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Haditha reversal busts the narrative
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, October 06, 2007

Apparently Haditha supported the larger anti-war narrative even if the evidence didn't (much like the Duke case).

The "larger narrative?"
Last year, when accounts of the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha by a group of marines came to light, it seemed that the Iraq war had produced its defining atrocity, just as the conflict in Vietnam had spawned the My Lai massacre a generation ago.
Its "defining atrocity"? Is that how we "define" wars now?

But:
But on Thursday, a senior military investigator recommended dropping murder charges against the ranking enlisted marine accused in the 2005 killings, just as he had done earlier in the cases of two other marines charged in the case. The recommendation may well have ended prosecutors’ chances of winning any murder convictions in the killings of the apparently unarmed men, women and children.

In the recent case, against Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, the investigator recommended that he be charged with negligent homicide if the case moved ahead to court-martial. In the other two cases, the investigator recommended dropping all charges.
In the meantime, Rep. John Murtha has been taken to court by SSG Wuterich for slander. Murtha contends that he was acting in his official capacity and is immune. The judge says he may be right but she wants his deposition.

I think he may have a case concerning anything he said on the floor of the House and may even be given the benefit of the doubt concerning an official press conference.

But he'd have a tough time convincing me that an appearance with Chris Matthews "Hardball", where he denounced and slandered the Marines in question, falls under "official duty". Hopefully the judge will see it that way as well.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Dropping charges does not mean it didn’t happen — it only means that there isn’t enough evidence that the prosecutor believes he can get a conviction. But a military investigation — the kind we are supposed to trust in the Beauchamps case — did conclude atrocities occurred. If I’m to believe the military on the Beauchamps case, I should believe them here too. Of course, if you want legal decisions to determine reality, OJ Simpson was innocent.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, also, the guy contending slander had better be careful. Murtha does not have to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to avoid slander, even if he wasn’t acting in an official capacity. And if the evidence that does come out is enough to create a strong impression that there were atrocities — and clearly such evidence does exist, otherwise the military investigation would not have initially concluded it did — and that might end up biting this guy charging slander on his rear end.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Links to this evidence.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I believe Murtha also said his ABSCAM actions were also undertaken in an "official capacity"...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Dropping charges does not mean it didn’t happen — it only means that there isn’t enough evidence that the prosecutor believes he can get a conviction
Fine, I’m coming up to Maine to swear out child molestation charges against you. And once the charges are dropped, I’m going to say that exact same thing!

Oh, the fun we can have with this standard....

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark, you’re forgetting the fact that there was a military investigation. We were told in the Beauchamps case how we should trust military investigations. There is a lot to suggest evidence is pretty strong that atrocities occurred, and I’m convinced they did. But, clearly, if there isn’t enough evidence to convict, then nobody should be convicted, we have a standard of justice that says its better that a guilty go free than an innocent suffer. But you really can’t jump from this and dismiss all the evidence out there, especially not a military investigation. If you think Haditha is going to be seen as something other than a shameful moment in American military history, you’re engaged in wishful thinking. Most likely there’s going to be anger that no one is being punished for this.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Shark, you’re forgetting the fact that there was a military investigation
Fine.

I’ll alledge you molested some kids on an army base.

Then after charges are dropped, I can still hit you with that zinger...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Boy, my typing gets worse everyday lol
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It’s hopeless, shark. Those who are convinced that the narrative matters more than the law, or facts, or evidence, or any of that hard stuff will just refuse to listen to anything you say. Notice when and how they are willing to use the "innocent until proven guilty" meme as opposed to when "fake but true" is acceptable. And if the evidence doesn’t support the meme, well, just pretend that it does, or invent some, or allude to evidence ’out there’ that isn’t presented but would support the narrative if you looked at it.

Looks like now we’ll have to deal with Haditha ’Truthers’ too.

I wonder why the ’anger’ out there in the US against the PC Lefties is never noticed or worried about?

Personally, I’d like to accuse Scott Erb of pyronecropedobestiality, if charges are being thrown about willy-nilly.
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
Erb, you have no idea what you’re talking about, and you should probably just stop.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Erb,

Link to the military investigation findings, please.

I rather agree with you that legally "innocent" doesn’t mean that an incident didn’t happen, but you can’t compare it with Beauchamp’s case, as there was no criminal trial there.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
What Beauchamps and the Haditha Marines have in common is not that there was a ’military investigation’, but what was decided when that investigation finally brought the evidence to light. Nothing happened.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Erb said:
We were told in the Beauchamps case how we should trust military investigations.
I disagree. The argument I read on QandO seemed to be "wait until the investigation is complete before passing judgement."
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Shark, an allegation not backed up by a full scale investigation is not the same as one that is. You seem not to understand that point in your quest to get personal.

I think some of you are so motivated not to believe that atrocities occurred that you want to jump from this to the conclusion that Haditha didn’t happen.

Sorry, that’s not reality. I’m convinced some of you are really out of touch with reality. Oh course, not being able to admit that the Iraq war was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, one that has not gone at all as planned and is by any objective measure a fiasco is already enough evidence to judge someone as so caught up in bias that they are resisting clear evidence from reality.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
I’m convinced some of you are really out of touch with reality.
Well, Boris, that’s quite a conclusion you’ve reached there, from your life-tenure position on the political science faculty at the Univeristy of Maine, Farmington.
Oh course, not being able to admit that the Iraq war was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, one that has not gone at all as planned and is by any objective measure a fiasco is already enough evidence to judge someone as so caught up in bias that they are resisting clear evidence from reality.
You’re describing virtually every war, Boris. By your standards there could be no war that was not "the worst foreign policy decision[] in American history" by their own terms. WWII was particularly the worst. Not to mention the Civil War, the War of 1812 (nation’s capital burned), the Spanish-American (long insurrection in the Philippines), WWI (~110,000 men killed in a year, roughly half by disease). All bad foreign policy decisions, all the worst, and all way worse than Iraq.

In other words, Boris, you don’t know anything about the history of American wars or the United States, except that you detest the U.S. and want it broken up into several smaller countries (or is that position now inoperative, since you’ve become a "pragmatic libertarian?")

You see how important life tenure on the Univeristy of Maine, Farmington political science faculty is, Boris? Because if it became known that you don’t actually know anything about American wars other than a bumper-sticker belief you’ve embedded in your false rhetoric, some normal sort of institution would happily bid you adieu.

Imagine, for a moment, if your job was to run a heavy or light industrial process, but you didn’t know anything about it, or have any apparent desire to learn? But kept the job because you had life tenure?

Someone might think you were genuinely out of touch with reality. Along with the company that had agreed to the terms of your employment.

You don’t think that I call you the "lemonade stand Ward Churchill" for nothing?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
You guys are messing up Erb’s personal narrative. You’re trying to argue with the guy who first claimed:
Kerry, smart enough to realize that in the gotcha game an apology is precisely the wrong thing to do, fired back...

So why not apologize? In an ideal world, Kerry could say, “gee, I didn’t mean to insult anyone and I apologize for any offense.” But the gotcha game is perverse in how it plays itself out. Once you apologize, you are admitting that the charge is true, at least in the world of modern American political discourse. The opponents will take the apology and parade it as proof that you meant what you said.
And now claims:
the way Rush responded — going on the attack — suggests he is, deep down, an insecure person. That’s OK, and it explains a lot, but somehow it causes me to feel a little sorry for him.
Facts don’t matter to Erb; only the narrative matters. Erb has already decided that the Marines murdered those in Haditha so nothing can challenge that belief. Remember, Erb suspects that the military members in Iraq are part of the most murderous army in American history.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Boris Erb writes:
Oh, also, the guy contending slander had better be careful.
More or less careful, Boris, than Congressman John Murtha was when he declared him guilty?

Would you like him to be that careful, or would you like him to be careful about defending his name, honor, and reputation?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Erb suspects that the military members in Iraq are part of the most murderous army in American history.
An army of the adherents to Genghis Khan? Sounds sort of familiar. ;)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
JWG writes:
Erb suspects that the military members in Iraq are part of the most murderous army in American history.
Tokyo, I mean Baghdad Erb has always encouraged silly murdering American boys to surrender before they defeated by invincible imperial car bombers and beheaders.

Baghdad, I mean Tehran Erb always encourage silly murdering Great Satan to leave humble loving Iranian Mullahs alone to defend their humble loving terrorist ways with nuclear weapons because Great Satan is terrible threat to all humanity.

Tehran, I mean Hezbollah Erb always too encourage silly murdering Jews to let silly rockets fall will-nilly in silly stolen land to kill silly Jews because they cannot defeat mighty terrorist armies of great Hezbollah fighters.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I think some of you are so motivated not to believe that atrocities occurred that you want to jump from this to the conclusion that Haditha didn’t happen
As opposed to you who are so motivated to believe that atrocities DID happen, that you jump to that conclusion regardless...
I’m convinced some of you are really out of touch with reality
Project much, do ya?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I am firmly convinced that what happened here was a hoax, mounted for propaganda value.

Rather than posting the thoughts here, I’ll ask you to read here.

The quick version is that the Democrats got caught by their own eagerness to think the worst of the US... by people who knew of that eagerness and staged the scene so as to provide for it.... all for the propaganda value. Because they knew once the propaganda got to the states, the willing idiots here would pick up on it.

Thus Jack Murtha’s original comments, which have been proven wrong, and for which he is now being sued, could only be called "irrational exuberance". They picked up on it with a glee that can only be described as the joy of finally getting one right; None of the other attempts in recent years have proven their case.

But then reality set in, and we find ourselves where we are... as I say in my piece, the image now is not of the US being the bad guy, but is now one of the Democrats are willing to toss anyone and anything under the bus to gain governmental power. Our Soldiers. Our county’s standing in the world. Millions of Iraqi lives. The truth. Anything.

There are many words which can describe such behavior, but perhaps none more appropriate than “Stalinist”. Do you begin to understand the depth of what America faces with these people?

And by the way, Erb demonstrates rather nicely that they’re going to hang onto that most fervent wish of theirs, no matter what.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
In other words, Boris, you don’t know anything about the history of American wars or the United States, except that you detest the U.S. and want it broken up into several smaller countries (or is that position now inoperative, since you’ve become a "pragmatic libertarian?")
Yet he keep son telling me he knows history very well and I need to read more.

Bet you 5$ my 7 linear feet of US history bookshelving beats his hands down.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

PS. I apologize for not blogging or posting much lately, on Monday at 8:30. my will have a C-section and bring Katherine Lorraine Perkins into the world, and my moved our place of residence last month, been a skosh busy.
 
Written By: tomdperkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com
Heh. Interesting to schedule it like that. Ours kinda came on their own schedule... yes, 3am, both of em.

Congrats from here, Tom. Give the lady a hug.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
A hug? She gets flowers and week or two of no housework at all to do, so she can get some sleep in between feedings.

But I’ll give her one with your name on it, sir.

As for the timing, given past history, a scheduled C-section was strongly indicated. She’s full term and the baby hasn’t even dropped an inch.

When I do post on my blog again, there will be pictures.

Yours, TDP, ml,msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
PS. I apologize for not blogging or posting much lately, on Monday at 8:30. my will have a C-section and bring Katherine Lorraine Perkins into the world, and my moved our place of residence last month, been a skosh busy.
Congrats to both you and the wife and an early welcome to Katherine Lorraine Perkins.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think some of you are so motivated not to believe that atrocities occurred that you want to jump from this to the conclusion that Haditha didn’t happen.
No Scott, most here know something happened at Haditha. The difference is that it is you who is rushing to have it deemed an atrocity. For only if it is deemed so will it fit the narrative you and your idealogical brethren seem so anxious to foist.

And since you seem to have a rather peculiar definition of atrocity, would NATO’s bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade also fit that bill?
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
The difference is that it is you who is rushing to have it deemed an atrocity.
Lets be clear. This is not just "an atrocity", this is the DEFINING ATROCITY!

No wonder they’re fighting so hard to keep it. If this is discredited, there can’t be a movie with George Clooney and Susan Sarandon made about it, and the Dems can’t milk it to further their agenda.

Of course, I would ask why the "defining atrocity" has to be something our troops did? Are any atrocities committed by enemies eligible for this designation? If they lose this one, what was the previous "defining atrocity" of the war? Abu Ghraib? Does it move back up the rankings like the silver medalist who’s now going to get Marion Jones’ stripped gold medal? Does the Times or MoveOn have a scoreboard or something so we can see the atrocity standings? Now that baseball season is almost over we need something to follow.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Scott, you forget the foundations of our legal systems. Again.

Innocent until proven guilty.

Now, before you go and cite OJ and Michael Jackson, I’d also like to point out that the reason this didn’t continue and the charges were dropped was because the prosecution had NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. If they did, they would have taken it to trial, unlike the two above mentioned cases, where jurors where already penning their books for their deals.

Did Haditha happen? Yes. Was it caused by Marines? No, and there’s no evidence to prove otherwise, and that’s the key. Could it be that the marines are, I don’t know...telling the truth? Have you considered that? Or are you predisposed to suspect our own uniformed men and women without a shred of evidence to support you?

And this is where I’m basing my allegations from, before you come with your mock righteous indignation:
But you really can’t jump from this and dismiss all the evidence out there, especially not a military investigation. If you think Haditha is going to be seen as something other than a shameful moment in American military history, you’re engaged in wishful thinking.
In your previous SENTENCE you’re all sanctimonious about ’If they didn’t do it, then they shouldn’t be convicted bla bla bla’ yet you already believe the Military is responsible because of ’If you think Haditha is going to be seen as something other than a shameful moment in American military history’. Again: there was no evidence to say the Marines did it, and no substantial evidence to suggest they lied. Which means, if they didn’t lie....
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
I find it interesting that many on the Left love the Greatest Generation that defended us and the world from the Nazis and the Tojo, but seem to forget that our rules of engagement then were seemly to give little quarter; especially in the Pacific where the Japanese used many tactics used now by the Islamists.

Clearing a building which contains or has suspected enemy is not an easy task, either during WWII in enemy occupied territory or now in Iraq. If the enemy uses civilians as cover when attacking our military, which they do in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are the ones responsible for civilian’s deaths if our military is operating with in the ROE, period. No ifs, ands or buts; the enemy is responsible.

Have we got to the point of being non-judgmental of others that America should accept the blame for everyone else’s evil/criminal/immoral acts? I don’t think so. I see a lot of anger around me direct towards those that say we should, even in my blue state. The Left needs to get out more; away from their cloistered surroundings and interact with Americans that have a real life. But reality can be harsh, so it is much easier to avoid it and find those that echo ones ideology.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
Shark, an allegation not backed up by a full scale investigation is not the same as one that is. You seem not to understand that point in your quest to get personal.
He’s dead on. I’ll bet a full scale invesigation would show some molestation in Maine. There might not be enough evidence to convict you, though. So you’d be in the same place as the Marines.
Dropping charges does not mean it didn’t happen — it only means that there isn’t enough evidence that the prosecutor believes he can get a conviction.
That would fit is scenario.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
Dropping charges does not mean it didn’t happen - it only means that there isn’t enough evidence that the prosecutor believes he can get a conviction.
Actually, and you’d know this if you’ve actually read what the Article 32 investigating officer has said, the evidence supports the defendant’s story and not the prosecution’s version of events. That’s why charges have been dismissed for most of the Marines.

Obviously the event happened. What is also becoming obvious is it happened as the Marines originally said it happened and not as Rep. Murtha claims it happened.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Bet you 5$ my 7 linear feet of US history bookshelving beats his hands down."

Ah, the beginner’s set. Congrats and best wishes, also.



"I find it interesting that many on the Left love the Greatest Generation that defended us and the world from the Nazis and the Tojo,"

Yeah, hingsight may be 20/20, but only when corrected by rose colored glasses. Or maybe only when seen through the veil of nostalgia. Pick one.
(Not a great metaphor, but hey, today is Sunday.)
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Ah, the beginner’s set.
True enough.

I’m fairly sure Erb’s got Zinn’s piece of trash, do you agree it only counts for 1/4 inch worth?
Congrats and best wishes, also.
Many thanks.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I haven’t read Zinn, but I have read excerpts, reviews, and comments. Based on that, I would agree. I am reminded of that old saying, it’s not the length, it’s how you use it. If he does, as you say, have that 1/4 inch, then he has lost on both counts.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

Did Haditha happen? Yes. Was it caused by Marines? No, and there’s no evidence to prove otherwise,
Only testimony from a lot of Iraqis who claim to have witnessed it, plus an initial investigation which led to charges.

There’s a lot of evidence of an American atrocity. But not enough to pin it on particular individuals in a manner that can withstand legal scrutiny in a court of law. So yeah, don’t prosecute, that’s how our system should work. But don’t try to jump from there to ’there’s no evidence anything happened.’

People aren’t that dumb. Your attempt to write a "narrative" where you whitewash an atrocity isn’t going to work.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb...
Only testimony from a lot of Iraqis who claim to have witnessed it, plus an initial investigation which led to charges.

There’s a lot of evidence of an American atrocity. But not enough to pin it on particular individuals in a manner that can withstand legal scrutiny in a court of law. So yeah, don’t prosecute, that’s how our system should work. But don’t try to jump from there to ’there’s no evidence anything happened.’
...clings to the hope that Marines committed "an American atrocity."


 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I’m fairly sure Erb’s got Zinn’s piece of trash
Zinn’s work is excellent. It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t appreciate it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb...
Only testimony from a lot of Iraqis who claim to have witnessed it, plus an initial investigation which led to charges.
Well, except the Iraqis who claim it happened also claim the US owes them compensation for it happening and, as one might imagine, if those killed are determined to be insurgents, no compensation.

So given that, what do you suppose they’ll claim they saw?

That’s right ... and as it turned out, the evidence didn’t support their claims.

And then there’s this.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I seem to vaguely recall that shortly after the Haditha incident there was blog chatter about the cameraman being a member of a phony Iraqi humitarian group with perhaps a couple of members.
Someone posted the best coverage of it at Free Republic.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Boris Erb writes:
Zinn’s work is excellent. It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t appreciate it.
Zinn’s "work" is America with the good parts left out, just the way you like it, Boris. The guys at the KGB probably looked at the manuscript and said, "we could have written this ourselves," and maybe they did.

The value of reading Zinn is to find out just how much the Left hates and wants you to hate your country. No serious person takes Zinn seriously for anything other than that.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Well according to this report the whole thing was staged by AQ so that there was a absolute guarantee of civilian casualties. The documents that they reference are here.

And Zinn’s work is for those who feel that Chomsky likes America too much.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Oh course, not being able to admit that the Iraq war was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history, one that has not gone at all as planned and is by any objective measure a fiasco is already enough evidence to judge someone as so caught up in bias that they are resisting clear evidence from reality.
Erb, didn’t you on a recent thread say that we already won the war in Iraq? That the occupation is what is going wrong? Given your recent words, how can you possibly say that the was is "by any objective measure a fiasco"?

Or are you talking out of your hindquarters again?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
"Only testimony from a lot of Iraqis who claim to have witnessed it,"

Indeed, one of these witnesses was pictured on this very site not too long ago, holding up a couple of the very bullets used in the slaughter.

"plus an initial investigation which led to charges."

Initial investigations are not definitive, they are a rough draft. This would not be the first case where the initial investigation produced a different conclusion than a subsequent, more thorough investigation. The name Nifong ring a bell?

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Hey Erb,

Just how "...in touch with reality" is it to reject investigations in favor of your preordained conclusions.

Does the term "denial" mean anything to you?

Of course, to the post-modernist regressive/tribalist/left, truth and fact are all subjective...as in "If the Fuhrer says so, two plus two equals five".

[As for accusing Erb of child molestation, that would be appropriate in that he is intelletucally molesting his students.]
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Short and sweet - If the investigation supports his conclusion, it was good, if not, it was a cover-up.

This story was broken by ’Time’ - so, if there’s a cover up, we ought to hear about it, I think some time around October 2008 would be a perfect time.

And Tim, we try not to talk about Nifong, because he’s smarter than the rest of us.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Just a few days ago, I said here:
I am firmly convinced that what happened here was a hoax, mounted for propaganda value.
So, now comes word that’s exactly what was going on...
October 6, 2007 – Buried in the mountain of exhibits attached to the once secret Haditha, Iraq murder inquiry prepared by US Army Maj. Gen. Eldon A. Bargewell is an obscure Marine Corps intelligence summary (see pdf) that says the deadly encounter was an intentional propaganda ploy planned and paid for by Al Qaeda foreign fighters.
It’s nice to be proven right so quickly. The remaining conjecture now makes the most sense.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Erb, didn’t you on a recent thread say that we already won the war in Iraq? That the occupation is what is going wrong? Given your recent words, how can you possibly say that the was is "by any objective measure a fiasco"?
The fiasco was the belief that military power could shape political results. By going to war, we assured that even with victory, we’d weaken ourselves, do great damage to the Iraqi people, and destabilize the region.

It’s probably the biggest strategic mistake in our history, in my opinion.

Joel C: refusal to prosecute happens often if the evidence is there, but it isn’t deemed to be either enough to convict, or admissible in court. Not prosecuting does not mean "zilch, nada" is there. To jump from this to claims that it didn’t happen or that members of the American military did nothing wrong stretches common sense. I see a lot of you getting quite emotional that this doesn’t some how cause me to disbelieve the accusations. I guess you demand ’political correctness’ of opinions when none of us have all the evidence. Sorry, that’s contrary to the very values of our country.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The fiasco was the belief that military power could shape political results. By going to war, we assured that even with victory, we’d weaken ourselves, do great damage to the Iraqi people, and destabilize the region.
Replace Iraq with Germany and Japan, and recalculate, Erb.
You never seem to make it by this one.
Try.
Now.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Boris Erb writes:
The fiasco was the belief that military power could shape political results.
Ah, Boris, military power has been shaping political results about forever.

The United States exists as it does today because the military power of the Union outlasted and overwhelmed the military power of the South.

Take a look at a globe sometime and see if you can spot the political results shaped by military power. I know, I know, that’s too concrete an activity for you, but do it anyway.
It’s probably the biggest strategic mistake in our history, in my opinion.
It’s the "biggest strategic mistake in our history" only if you don’t know anything about "our history," Boris.

In fact, it’s one of the best and least expensive strategic investments we’ve ever made in our history. Instead of allowing Islamic fascism to further grow and begin to thrive in the Middle East power vacuum created by the end of the Cold War and the and the end of the bipolar superpower standoff, we’ve intervened before it got totally out of control, removed the most unstable regime in the most unstable region in the world (under the auspices of the UN, which was, of course, the intended purpose of the UN, to stop regimes like the Nazis and Japanese militarists before they turned the world upside down).

You’ve been told to say that Iraq is the "biggest strategic mistake in our history," so it’s not really an opinion. Opinions, especially those of PhDs in political science have to be based on facts properly contextualized, and your facts are bad and your contextualization non-existent.

You’re somebody’s tool, Boris. Drift back in time and memory and try to figure out who that somebody is, unless you already know and you’ve been cashing checks from it all these years.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
Not prosecuting does not mean "zilch, nada" is there.
Without knowing the specific standards used in military prosecutions, which I’ll assume have lower thresholds than those used in civil criminal proceedings, the minimum standard for prosecuting in civil courts is "probable cause," which means that there is evidence that a crime has been committed and that the person under suspicion is likely to have committed it. In civil proceedings this allows for an indictment which sends the accused to trial where the standard then becomes "beyond a reasonable doubt."

So "not prosecuting" means that "there is no case." Granted, that does not always mean that the person or persons being investigated are innocent, but it never means that they are guilty.
To jump from this to claims that it didn’t happen or that members of the American military did nothing wrong stretches common sense.
Would that be better or worse, Boris, than assuming that someone is "innocent until proven guilty?"

Would it be better or worse than Congressman Murtha declaring the Marines cold-blooded murderers before there had even been an investigation?

Now, that said, I never expect you to admit even what’s obvious if admitting it would show the United States and its military men in something less than the harshest "atrocity" light.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Replace Iraq with Germany and Japan, and recalculate, Erb.
That’s one big problem: they naively thought that Japan and Germany were example that could be replicated in Iraq. The cases are so absolutely different that they should have known better. Japan and Germany were advanced industrial states, modern, had attempted democracy before, and most importantly were homogenuous and had a political culture of order and stability (unlike post-Ottoman societies). To help, here are a few points from a class I had this morning which, ironically, directly addressed this issue (note the importance of number 2, and compare it to Iraq):

1. All democracies have been difficult to construct. The most successful and resilient (the US and Great Britain) have taken a long time to gradually build a culture of democracy. Compromise, tolerance, slow change. US had slavery for 80 years, women couldn’t vote for 140. Great Britain had slow move of power from Monarch to House of Lords to the House of Commons, where it all is held today. France, however, is on its 5th Republic, and early efforts at democracy in Japan, Germany and Italy gave way to military dictatorships or fascism. The progress by those three beforehand helped them succeed later, but it was difficult.

2. Germany and Japan also show how economic success and internal security make it easier to build a successful democracy. After WWII many doubted these states could change. A study by Verba and Almond in the fifties showed most Germans did not yet think democracy best for Germany, the best times were either the Wihelmine period, or Hitler before 1939. But by the mid-eighties German support for democracy was tops in Europe.

3. Democracy as we know it now is a western institution, even though Japan and a few third world countries have democratic governments. The method has been defined by the West, and Japan mimicked the West, starting with Japan studying Prussia.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
That’s one big problem: they naively thought that Japan and Germany were example that could be replicated in Iraq.
Japan and Germany are as unlike each other as Iraq is unlike Japan or Germany, Boris.

Then this:
3. Democracy as we know it now is a western institution, even though Japan and a few third world countries have democratic governments.
Ah, Boris, there are approximately 130 democracies in the world today. Most of them are not in the West. Many of those that are in the West previously had no tradition of democracy, but now do.

Your argument here isn’t just bullsh*t, it’s not factual. So, you are not only wrong, you are guilty of miseducating your students, i.e., you’re lying to them because you want to discredit the U.S. policy in Iraq by creating a false factual-theoretical framework for understanding democracy in the world today.

Somebody get me the Chancellor of the University of Maine on the phone.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Zinn’s work is excellent. It doesn’t surprise me that you don’t appreciate it.
Zinn’s work is acceptable prose, it is relatively factual.

It is worthless as a narrative of American distinctiveness and also as a showcase of universal human nature seen from the perspective of political economy, except as being a ponderous bad example. That you can’t appreciate that is as plain as the nose on your face.

And as plain as the tripe you post here.

The only thing we did irretrievably wrong in Vietnam—contrary to your view and by way of showcasing your misapprehension—is leave it in the manner we did. Understanding that is the beginning of learning what is worth knowing about that episode.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkin
URL: tomdperkins.blogspot.com
The only thing we did irretrievably wrong in Vietnam—contrary to your view and by way of showcasing your misapprehension—is leave it in the manner we did.
It was a pointless, immoral war. A Vietnamese friend I know is still furious at America for getting involved in their internal conflict, noting our involvement killed hundreds of thousands, and set up angry reprisals. It was a shameful time in our history, we should have never been there and we lacked the capacity to create a better outcome.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
A Vietnamese friend I know is still furious
Well that settles it.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Boris Erb writes about Vietnam:
It was a pointless, immoral war.
It was neither pointless, nor immoral. It was a righteous if flawed attempt to stop another Soviet-backed communist regime from devouring and ruining another society. Of course, Boris, you’ve never met a totalitarian communist regime that you didn’t like.

And, remember, 45 years after a establishing a communist totalitarian dictatorship in Cuba, "Castro is still better than Batista." Right?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes about Vietnam:
A Vietnamese friend I know is still furious at America for getting involved in their internal conflict, noting our involvement killed hundreds of thousands, and set up angry reprisals.
It wasn’t an "internal conflict" when the country was partitioned and set up under two governments. But I love the passive voice "our involvement killed hundred of thousands," which leaves the Viet Cong and NVA as mere bystanders in the war that they pursued ruthlessly. And, "set up angry reprisals" of course ignores that Ho was killing "counter-revolutionaries" (or whatever he thought they were) well before the Ameicans came in force, and there was rapid migration from North to South because of it.

Erb’s theory must be that if you took the South away as a refuge that all would have been well. Ho would have killed those who needed killin’, along with any semblance of a free Vietnamese society, and that would have been that.

So, those "reprisals" at war’s end were just more of the same, the basic programmed killing you get when communist regimes take over. It just happened much earlier in the North.

And where did you "Vietnamese friend" learn about the Vietnam War, Boris? At an American university from someone like you? And how did he get to the U.S.? As a refugee from the Vietnamese communist regime?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
A Vietnamese friend I know is still furious - Erb.

Well that settles it. - JWG
JWG called it.

Erb. Oh Erb.

A guy I work with is an electronics tech. He used to work on anti-aircraft systems in Vietnam.

Russian built ones.

He was related to the wrong person and ended up here...r

Do you suppose his current opinion that the wrong side won at least cancels out your friend’s?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkin
URL: tomdperkins.blogspot.com
"A Vietnamese friend I know is still furious at America for getting involved in their internal conflict,"

Where does this guy live? Would he happen to be one of almost a million Vietnamese who succeeded in getting to the US? The lucky ones.

"our involvement killed hundreds of thousands, and set up angry reprisals"

How many thousands would have been killed if we hadn’t gotten involved? And how does OUR involvement justify reprisals against their fellow Vietnamese, the ones they fought to free from our repressive colonialism? I suppose we are also responsible for the reprisals by Mao and Lenin.


"It was a pointless, immoral war."

I have never thought that opposing Communist totalitarianism was either pointless or immoral. Silly me.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I have never thought that opposing Communist totalitarianism was either pointless or immoral. Silly me.
Here’s something that might clarify what I mean: Notice how you have to move away from the concrete reality (millions killed, a country destroyed, our bombs and napalm doing immense damage to real people) to an abstraction ’opposing communist totalitarianism’ to try to rationalize it. And its very weak, since obviously we didn’t go to war against most other communist governments.

The biggest error of the 20th century, the century of ideology, was to use ideology as a basis for rationalizing war and violence. Luckily Vietnam was an anamoly, one that showed the relative impotence of the US to shape politics with military force. It destroyed a lot of lives in Vietnam, but thankfully did not spread.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb does a Jon Lovitz:
Here’s something that might clarify what I mean: Notice how you have to move away from the concrete reality (millions killed, a country destroyed, our bombs and napalm doing immense damage to real people) to an abstraction ’opposing communist totalitarianism’ to try to rationalize it. And its very weak, since obviously we didn’t go to war against most other communist governments.
Ah, Boris, communist totalitarianism was and is no "abstraction." It was responsible for killing 100 million people during the 20th century.

That’s before we get to how they simply destroy societies and the lives of those who survive.

So, "0pposing communist totalitarianism" isn’t a "rationalization" for the Vietnam war; it was the immediate and urgent reason for it. And we couldn’t go to war against "most other communist governments," in any conventional sense, but we fought a 40-year Cold War for the express purpose of stopping the spread of the murderous bastards. And we had to fight them conventionally in certain venues to make sure they knew we were serious.

Why does any of that have to be explained to you? Are you such a creepy liar that you just engage, day in and day out, in the most unconscious banal deceit imaginable? I guess anyone who has ever dealt with you knows the answer to that.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"Here’s something that might clarify what I mean:Notice how you have to move away from the concrete reality (millions killed, a country destroyed, our bombs and napalm doing immense damage to real people) to an abstraction ’opposing communist totalitarianism’ to try to rationalize it"

Sort of like rationalizing opposing Nazi and Fascist totalitarianism. Try again. Perhaps once you express, for the umpteenth time, your concern and sensitivity for real people you can say something that actually clarifies something.


"It destroyed a lot of lives in Vietnam, but thankfully did not spread"

The Cambodians and Laotians might argue that.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Here’s something that might clarify what I mean:Notice how you have to move away from the concrete reality (millions killed, a country destroyed, our bombs and napalm doing immense damage to real people) to an abstraction ’opposing communist totalitarianism’ to try to rationalize it"

Sort of like rationalizing opposing Nazi and Fascist totalitarianism. Try again. Perhaps once you express, for the umpteenth time, your concern and sensitivity for real people you can say something that actually clarifies something.
Yet we didn’t fight all the other communist regimes, so the rationale you gave is at best extremely flawed. And we didn’t fight Nazi totalitarianism, we even participated in their olympics. We fought Nazi aggression. Yet in Vietnam we helped prevent a peaceful unification via an election because of fears of who would win. Yet how could Vietnam be worse off if it had avoided the level of violence and horror our actions helped bring about? Can you really rationalize our intervention, killing, and destroying simply by positing "communism" as an abstract opponent? No, history correctly remembers Vietnam as a war that was pointless and even immoral. I strongly suspect that’s going to be the legacy of the Iraq war as well.

Though you do have a point that our intervention in Vietnam led to horrible consequences in Laos and Cambodia. That war is a national shame for America, it showed the danger of the use of power.
You see, communism was going to fall anyway. Containment worked, and if we had followed Kennan’s logic more closely, it could have worked more quickly and with less bloodshed. Using war failed in Korea (efforts to rollback communism led to the most humiliating retreat in American military history and three years of pointless war to get us back to where we could have been in 1950 — Truman botched that completely. What defeated communism was containment and a functional economic system. It’s interesting when you talk to people who are too young to remember the Cold War personally (pretty much anyone under 25). They almost always think it was a bizarre, ridiculous and dangerous game, totally unnecessary. It’s hard to convey the psychology of the time, though I try – I think with the advantage of historical hindsight, they see rather clearly what most people of that era did not see. And, frankly, it is nice that communism is now as Ronald Reagan would say, ‘in the ashbin of history,’ and no longer anything relevant except in really backwards places like North Korea. Even Cuba is changing, Europeans who do business there note the more open atmosphere in terms of economics.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
Yet we didn’t fight all the other communist regimes, so the rationale you gave is at best extremely flawed. And we didn’t fight Nazi totalitarianism, we even participated in their olympics. We fought Nazi aggression. Yet in Vietnam we helped prevent a peaceful unification via an election because of fears of who would win.
First of all, Boris, they were not Germany’s Olympics. The Olympics were a world event held that year in Germany.

And of course we fought Nazi totalitarianism because that is what the Nazi regime was spreading via its aggression, just as what we were fighting in Vietnam was the spread through aggression of Soviet-sponsored communism.

And there was not going to be any "peaceful unification" in Vietnam because, like all Communist dictators, even those who briefly make use of elections, Ho was already murdering and would continue to murder any opposition at a furious clip. How many elections have there been in Vietnam since the communists took over?

Do you believe that all "democracy" involves is having one election where the majority votes in a regime that will never allow another election?

"Peaceful?" "Election?" Where? You’re lost in a mirage of crank Leftist delusions. You also lost sight, because you never cared in the first place, of the potential for Vietnam as a reasonably free society on the Pacific rim.

Now, you have hit a customary reset button here, in order to throw yourself back into the full embrace of the Marxist interpretation of these events. And that this is as much a reflex with you as anyone could observe with the tap of a doctor’s hammer to your knee.

And let me say again that you have no business whatsoever, in any shape or form, standing in front of a classroom.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
You see, communism was going to fall anyway.
That’s easy for you to say.

You were born in a free society, and didn’t have your life and all your years eaten away by communism.

It’s sort of odd, don’t you think, that you’ve spent your entire adult life spouting the programmatic KGB interpretation of these events, even as you offer "communism was going to fall anyway."

As a supposed specialist in German history, do you think that what happened in East Germany was nothing special, and was "going to fall anyway?"

How about if a 500 pound man comes and puts you down on the ground and stands on your face for 50 years? Will you be satisfied with a glib comment that he’s "going to fall anyway, so don’t be concerned?"
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
we even participated in their olympics.
You’re so damn shortsighted you’re unintentionally racist—you’re implicitly criticizing Owens dude.
Not cool.

But very leftist. Any past good thing must be thrown under the bus to support this days narrative.

You’re despicable.


^Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
You see, communism was going to fall anyway.
Idiot. Rank amateur idiot.

A fool with paper.

If the generals throwing the coup had thrown lead, the cold war would be on today, only with the Soviets sliding closer to miserable North Koreadom.

^Yours, TDP, ml, msl & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The Twit In The Mister Rogers Sweater:
"Here’s something that might clarify what I mean: Notice how you have to move away from the concrete reality (millions killed, a country destroyed, our bombs and napalm doing immense damage to real people) to an abstraction ’opposing communist totalitarianism’ to try to rationalize it."
Erb? Do you understand what an "abstraction" is?... what purpose it serves? Let me take that abstraction and raise it to the level of a concrete right before your dim beady eyes: Why don’t you try to explain the 320,000 Chinese soldiers that Mao ran through Vietnam between ’65 and ’68?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Billy, I condemn Chinese intervention in Vietnamese affairs as well.

Tom, you’re left to just calling names, unable to actually respond. My foreign policy approach is not leftist (after all the left brought us Vietnam and Kosovo), but libertarian and non-interventionist. I also disagree with you that the coup could have saved communism in the USSR. The whole structure had fallen apart, and the KGB saw it coming as early as the 1970s. Especially once globalization hit, there was no way for communism to survive. George Kennan had predicted as much.

Reality. Deal with it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb lies:
My foreign policy approach is not leftist (after all the left brought us Vietnam and Kosovo), but libertarian and non-interventionist.
Oh, for God’s sake, is there no end to it, Erb?

Your "foreign policy approach" is so far Left that you have endorsed every Leftist lie ever told about foreign policy. Your new "libertarian" clown outfit doesn’t change that. Escalation in Vietnam wasn’t brought by the Left, it was brought by liberal anti-communism. The Left, you shirking moron, was behind the "peace" movement. And Kosovo was not the work of the Left, it was the work of the Clintons, who needed something to distract attention from a fresh scandal. The real Left was vehemently opposed to the action in Kosovo and on the grounds that it was an attack by on a socialist regime. You followed most of their script on that one. As you follow the script on Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua and, for a time, Korea.
Billy, I condemn Chinese intervention in Vietnamese affairs as well.
Oh, dear. You are the slithering eel, the Platonic ideal. How about the Stalinist Soviet trainee who called himself Ho Chi Minh, what about his intervention in Vietnamese affairs?

 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"Billy, I condemn Chinese intervention in Vietnamese affairs as well."
Yeah, well, don’t look now, Mr. Historian Of International Affairs And Military Matters, but Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara did that long before you ever got your thumb out of your pie-hole.

"Deal with it."
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
So, Billy do two moral wrongs make a moral right?

You seem to dislike big government, but somehow don’t seem to condemn it when it’s killing people in the name of the US through military means. How can anyone not see that, and not consider you to be, if not a hypocrite, at least a little lazy in how you apply your principles.

CAN you deal with that?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
we even participated in their olympics.

You’re so damn shortsighted you’re unintentionally racist—you’re implicitly criticizing Owens dude.
Not cool.
How is simply noting an historical fact racist? You make no sense at all, Tom.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"So, Billy do two moral wrongs make a moral right?"
That’s your equivocation, fool. Not mine.
’You seem to dislike big government, but somehow don’t seem to condemn it when it’s killing people in the name of the US through military means. How can anyone not see that, and not consider you to be, if not a hypocrite, at least a little lazy in how you apply your principles."
Is that second sentence supposed to be an interrogative, you idiot?

You don’t even know what the subject is, Erb. Here is your clue for the day: if American culture had been fully arranged the way I would have had it, there would have been enough clear-headed people who understood the mortal threat of communism in the twentieth century to go chop Ho Chi Minh’s head right off, and nobody would have soaked a judy like you one thin dime for any of it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
You don’t even know what the subject is, Erb. Here is your clue for the day: if American culture had been fully arranged the way I would have had it, there would have been enough clear-headed people who understood the mortal threat of communism in the twentieth century to go chop Ho Chi Minh’s head right off, and nobody would have soaked a judy like you one thin dime for any of it.
Sorry, Billy, that doesn’t cut it.

Consider someone from the left justifying massive social welfare programs saying "if American culture was full arranged the way I would have had it, there would have been enough clear-headed people who understand the moral evil of poverty and injustice to go pay for education, health care, and aid to all who need it."

In other words, if you’re going to condemn big government but be soft on it when it does something you would have preferred people to do voluntarily, then you can’t whine when those from other perspectives accept different activities of big government because it does what they would have preferred people to do voluntarily.

Once you start excusing or going easy on government actions using tax payer dollars because, well, it’s doing what you think is OK, then you’ve started down a slippery slope. And, given your attempt at an uncompromising ideology — your rejection of pragmatism — that slippery slope destroys your ability to stand clearly on principle.

If you are going to be against health care, social welfare programs, a strong domestic police force, and social security on principle, you MUST be just as principled against government use of military power in order to avoid that slippery slope. This is especially true if its military power that does not involve direct defense from attack, but intervention because one believes that a mortal threat will emerge without action.

Of course, history indicates that Ho Chi Minh and the North provided no mortal threat, but that’s a whole other problem with your argument.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb lies:
Of course, history indicates that Ho Chi Minh and the North provided no mortal threat,
No mortal threat to whom?

They were vicious murderers, Boris. And should the United States have allowed Soviet-backed regimes to take power whenever the opportunity presented itself, or might there have been some small place in the world for the defense of freedom?

Surely you must understand that as rotten a socialist as you are (and no one buys your "pragmatic libertarian" pretense, Boris), that Ho would have had exactly two words to say about you: "Shoot him."

He wasn’t fond of keeping people "who get ideas" around.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"In other words, if you’re going to condemn big government but be soft on it when it does something you would have preferred people to do voluntarily, then you can’t whine when those from other perspectives accept different activities of big government because it does what they would have preferred people to do voluntarily."
"Be soft"? Is that what you said? That’s your way of flatly ignoring the fact that I condemn all government, while you’re ignoring the completely separate argument about communism and what to do about it. This is why it’s impossible for you to conceive or grasp the idea of voluntary action to deal with something like Vietnam. As for your "other perspectives": of all them and me, I’m the one who’s arguing for freedom, Erb. You’re the one who grants them the unilateral use of force. Notice that I would "prefer" that you weren’t such a commie flat-head and would see the value in something like Vietnam, but I would never authorize "different activities", like: using force to make you join the effort in any way.

I’m not like you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
That’s your way of flatly ignoring the fact that I condemn all government, while you’re ignoring the completely separate argument about communism and what to do about it.
First of all, if you condemn all government, you can’t somehow make it seem like government fighting communism isn’t so bad because they are doing what you think they should be. Communism was never the threat it was made out to be, an argument I was making back in grad school back in the early eighties. I didn’t expect the Soviet Union to collapse as rapidly as it did, but it seemed clear that ultimately Nixon’s detente had created a situation where if we could avoid military confrontation, the internal contradictions of communism (love the irony) would tear it apart. In retrospect, even I didn’t appreciate just how devastating communist rule was for both the economy and the human spirit.

Yet a big government solutionto communism: go and attack countries, initiate force, in order to defeat an ’ism’ — was a "cure" that only made the disease worse. First, it entails killing and attacking innocents who are pawns being used by the true communist leaders. This rallies the population to the side of the government. Second, the US lost its moral edge, as it became less freedom vs. communism than two super powers fighting for position. Finally, the hot wars fought (Korea and Vietnam) hurt the US more than the USSR or China, while the proxy wars fought in the third world devastated those places. Big government made things worse in the Cold War, both communist and democratic governments.

This is a position I would hope you would agree with.
This is why it’s impossible for you to conceive or grasp the idea of voluntary action to deal with something like Vietnam.


Voluntary action to "deal" with Vietnam? So outsiders should come in and start killing people, initiating force, because those people are being used by leaders who believe in an evil ideology? Perhaps if you could initiate force only against the evil leaders, but that’s still morally questionable. You think their ideology a "mortal threat" (I think it was doomed from the start) but once you initiate force against an imagined future attack, you are no longer on the side of liberty. You can argue other-defense, but what if the other doesn’t want to be defended in that way? Who are you to decide that even voluntary initiation of force is legitimate, even if it is against someone who initiated force against people other than yourselves? No, even the voluntaristic approach when not self-defense or direct defense of another under physical attack is hard to defend on moral grounds.
As for your "other perspectives": of all them and me, I’m the one who’s arguing for freedom, Erb. You’re the one who grants them the unilateral use of force.
I’m not granting anything. I recognize the imperfection of reality and rest my argument on a basic claim: the morality of the means is important, and ultimately the best way to bring about desired ends. We won’t end injustice, evil, or stop those who abuse power or grab unilateral power. If we ignore the morality of the means and use killing and initiation of force ourselves to try to stop them, we’ll only reinforce the idea that politics is about grabbing and using power, and ultimately create less freedom than before. The only real way to freedom is not to get caught up in that game, not to rationalize on ideological grounds acts which at base do not entail self-defense (except with a web of rationalizations about possible future threats).
Notice that I would "prefer" that you weren’t such a commie flat-head and would see the value in something like Vietnam, but I would never authorize "different activities", like: using force to make you join the effort in any way.
Yet you would initiate force against Vietnam because you have decided you don’t like the ideology of their government. A voluntary initiation of force is OK, as long as it isn’t government doing it. You’ve already slid down that slippery slope. You’re a lot more like you think I am than you realize. Because when looked at objectively and clearly, I’m making a moral argument for freedom and human rights and you are looking to rationalize the initiation of force.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"First of all, if you condemn all government, you can’t somehow make it seem like government fighting communism isn’t so bad because they are doing what you think they should be."
I told you that you didn’t know what the subject was here, Erb. Now, scroll your narrow ass up & down this post until you find the very first time that I remarked on it. Okay? Look good and hard. You’re the one who mentioned an "abstraction" as a matter of rationale. Well, I’m the one who pointed out a concrete example of communist predation, and the point was — and is — that it requires no "rationale" to oppose communism because the facts will do just fine.

Now: that "somehow seem" is your problem, Erb. You’re the one responsible for your delusions. Not me.
"Communism was never the threat it was made out to be..."
Christ, you’re a stupid individual, Erb. Really: you’re just hapless.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Well, I’m the one who pointed out a concrete example of communist predation, and the point was — and is — that it requires no "rationale" to oppose communism because the facts will do just fine.
No, you are forming collective identities by abstracting actions or decisions by individuals, and then assigning them to an "ism" rather than holding the individual accountable. Communism itself is meaningless. You can have harmless people who believe communist ideas. You can have those who enable harmful people by supporting them because of ideology. And you have leaders who make choices. But that’s true with nationalism, and true of any ideology that would motivate people to initiate force even if it is to initiate force against communism. It’s one thing to oppose an "ism" — a set of ideas. And you can call me "commie" until the cows come home, but having seen how the Soviet system stole the spirit and life of people in Russian villages, seeing first hand what communism caused even when it did not use direct violence, that ideology is completely anathema to anything I believe in. And my spouse is a Russian of German descent whose family were kulacks and had their livelihood taken away, something they certainly remember. When you throw around calling people something like that so easily, you cheapen the real evil behind the ideology.

Again, opposing the "ism" does not mean initiate force against an entire collective population based on that rationale. That is a dangerous form of collectivism. That is a slide between opposition to ideas and rationale to kill people, many of whom are either pawns themselves or innocent victims of political action. Because, as I stated last time:

Yet a big government solution to communism: go and attack countries, initiate force, in order to defeat an ’ism’ — was a "cure" that only made the disease worse. First, it entails killing and attacking innocents who are pawns being used by the true communist leaders. This rallies the population to the side of the government. Second, the US lost its moral edge, as it became less freedom vs. communism than two super powers fighting for position. Finally, the hot wars fought (Korea and Vietnam) hurt the US more than the USSR or China, while the proxy wars fought in the third world devastated those places. Big government made things worse in the Cold War, both communist and democratic governments.

Finally, I point out the reality that communism was doomed to fail, and not the kind of existential threat to the West as it was made out to be. You call me stupid but you are unable to counter that argument. That is why I think you make up this fiction that I’m some sort of communist or relativist, call names and try to use argument by ridicule. You have a gut reaction to my arguments, but you’re not able to refute them. So, rather than think, "hmmm, maybe I should rethink this," you accuse me of somehow being slippery and resort to name calling.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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