August 9, 2005

"Do they suppose that a defeat in Iraq would be a defeat only for the Bush administration?"

Christopher Hitchens puts into words what I find so disturbing about the way anti-war types seem to lap up the bad news about Iraq.


Goesh said...

Islamofacists only need a little elbow room is all. Look on the positive side. If they have a corridor of control from Iran to Syria/Lebanon and control of the world's 3rd largest oil reserves in Iraq, they will ignore our decadence and sinful ways. Why would they want to export terrorism with that kind of money and power? With that kind of wealth and power, Iran would never have a need to provide terrorists with nuclear material to detonate in shipping containers in our harbors or in a suitcase in the financial district of New York.

Art said...

Speaking only for myself, I don't enjoy bad news out of Iraq. If what I call the "Liberation of Paris" scenario had come true and all the troops were home, I would gladly sit through GWB's gloating press conferences for the next four years and during the following eight of Jeb's administration if it would get back the 1800 American lives along with those of the Iraqi's.
Liberals point out what's happening because they saw this movie before. It was called Vietnam.
Granted very bad things happened after the US pulled out, but how could we have reached a different outcome? More troops? More time? Nuclear weapons? Jane Fonda leading rallys in support of the troops?
Maybe the constitutional election at the end of the year will turn things around. I sure hope it does. But if it doesn't, then what? What's the next "milestone" we'll be shooting for?

ploopusgirl said...

Goesh: You have such a profound ability to talk about things that are so absolutely irrelevant. What does that have to do with liberals allegedly gloating when America releases bad news out of Iraq? Really now...

Anyhow, I don't believe the bad news is something that liberals enjoy or look forward to. I think the bad news is just further proof that maybe we're not going about this thing the right way. What you don't seem to understand is that if Iraq (and the rest of the Middle East for that matter) were truly liberated, and became democratic states with freedom and liberty: liberals would love that. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be moving in that direction quickly enough to satisfy them. It's not that they want you to fail; it's that they think there may be another way.

Goesh said...

It is called free association, Poopusgirl, but I assure you, I have never 'been on the couch'. And speaking of free association, it comes to mind that recently a respondent accused me of being in a negative frame of mind too often. Wrong! Just this morning I reflected at length on my time as a Freshman in a dormitory. I vividly recalled the memory of the ______ brothers, whose names I won't mention because I believe they still are alive somewhere. They were identical twins, huge, blubbery fellows. Anyway, every Friday night the dorm monitors would go out for a couple of hours. X and Y would get buckets of soapy water and slosh them on a hallway floor, which was tiled. They would leave a dry patch at one end for footing. They would strip down, butt-naked, take a run and flop down on their immense bellies and go sliding down the hallway barking like seals. This was before the days of blogging, I hasten to point out, which is being addressed in another post, compliments of Ms. Ann. Can you now appreciate the beauty and freedom of free association?

Meade said...

ploopusgirl said (among other things): "...It's not that they want you to fail; it's that they think there may be another way."

Wasn't it the common-sensical radical liberal, Thomas Paine, who advised, lead, follow, or get out of the way? If today's liberals think there may be another better way, what do you suppose is taking them so long to share it with the rest of us?

Robert said...

If the way we're doing it is wrong, we need to change it. If the way we're doing it is right, we need to keep on. As with most things, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. So we need to continue what is right and change what is wrong. Sounds trite, but to me that's not the focus. We CANNOT afford to lose this fight. They WILL kill us if they have the opportunity.

Sloanasaurus said...

It appears that Mr. Goesh was trying to make a point - the same point (without the humor) that was made by Daldier and Chamberlain back in 1938.

Hitchens is right that many of those on the left want us to lose the war because a win would mean political capital for Bush (which is also true). This is clearly obvious in the rejection by liberals of the Wilsonian liberal mission that Bush has adopted (as Ploopusgirl has pointed out). Liberals used to be all for using American power to free people. They were all for it in Bosnia. Why are they opposed now... They are opposed because supporting the war means indirectly supporting Bush, who opposes the Leftwing Agenda. One could argue that Bush has failed in making the war more of a national war than a Republican war. Perhaps the government should be propagandizing the Generals and heoric soldiers as they did in World War II. However, with the media againt him, Bush's best bet would be to cobble together a majority in Congerss (which he has done...and as Madison did in 1812).

Cannibalizing your own country to further a party agenda is nothing new to history. The Federalists did it to James Madison in 1812. The "peace-party" in Carthage abandoned Hannibal at the moment of victory and left him without support.

Further, don't believe it when you hear a leftist complain about "our boys" dying in Iraq. These leftists don't give a damn about the volunteer army. To them they are just PIGS and uncle Toms in the white power structure. These people on the left talk about "our boys" because they know the rest of us give a damn and care about them. If you don't beleive me, ask David Horowitz, he used to be one of them.

The best thing for the Government to do is to recognize that there are people in America willing assist the terrorists in defeating the war effort. The govenrment needs to recognize that enemies live amongs us. The Government needs to fight back in both the public forum to respond to the lies spread by the media and through intelligence. AND MOST OF ALL, the government needs to avoid a draft. Why do you think Charlie Rangel and other liberal legislators want a draft? The draft was the most potent weapon used in Vietnam by the Left (even though only 20% of the army in Vietnam was drafted). As soon as the draft ended, so did the protests.

PatCA said...

Well said, sloan.

Unfortunately, people on the left--who I'm sure are very "caring" and well meaning--are deaf to such reasoning, as well as to much of history, because theirs is a psychological, not a political, position.

We have fought now for a mere two years against most regimes of the ME, who are sending in their proxies and their money to the "insurgents," and we've lost fewer soldiers than were killed in most major US cities during the same time. By the left's reasoning, if we can't win in two weeks, we surrender?!

dax said...

While a Republican is in the White House, the secret LibDem Wish List is:
1. Civil unrest in Iraq.
2. More US soldiers in bodybags.
3. High inflation.
4. High interest rates.
5. A slugish economy.
6. High unemployment.
7. Unbridled illegal immigration.
8. Rising welfare rolls.

It's very simple. If it's bad for US citizens, it's good for LibDems.

Dirty Harry said...


Well said. The liberals and their allies in the media have their Vietnam era playbooks out -- as do the terrorists.

We can only lose at home.

Sloanasaurus said...

"...because theirs is a psychological, not a political, position...."

In addition to this, there is no such thing as self-criticism on the left. You either follow the party line or your a Pig. The term neo-conservative was coined by a leftest in his attempt to marginalize his former comrades who were having trouble rationalizing away the crimes of pol pot, Stalin, Castro, and other left wing murderers.

This is why there is no such thing as a "liberal debating society." Liberal debating societies are street protests where fellow comrades chant for revolution and praise cop killers.

Elizabeth said...

Some of these comments from the right are so simple-minded they defy belief. It's a damn good thing, I guess, that only Republican service members, from Republican families, are fighting in Iraq so us liberals can only pretend to care about them. Thank God none of our own family members are there, or we might actually have to care, for real. And how did you get that copy of the secret liberal agenda? I thought that was encoded with the same super double secret encryption as the secret gay agenda? Curses! You've seen through our evil plan to endure inflation (who cares, though? we're all rich, rich, rich elites!), unemployment (no problem, we living on trust funds! wait, that's the unemployed, lazy as shit Bush girls), and increased welfare rolls (gee, where's Bill Clinton when you need him?)

It's at least affirming to read y'all and see proof, in black and white, of what unhinged, illogical, demogogic idiots the far right embraces.

Elizabeth said...

By the way, my argument is not with Hitchens; his point is best made here:

"How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?"

My argument is with hysterical screeds about how liberals hate America. Opposing Bush does not equal hating America, simpletons.

Sam said...

I opposed the war, but I want desparately for it to work out in the best way possible. For me, every bit of bad news out of Iraq is a tragedy -- absolutely horrible. And I have to say, I don't think any of my friends who oppose the war feel any differently.

I'm no Freudian, but sometimes I get the feeling that folks who support the Bush Administration are projecting when they accuse liberals of being happy if bad things happen so long as they can score political points. Too long a story for a comment, and we all know the details, but there's a fair case to be made that that's been the Bush Administration's MO since 9-11.

Also, I love the way Hitchens has now almost completely inverted what used to be the case for war in Iraq. The old story was that Saddam was so dangerous -- whether to us or to his own people -- that we had to attack -- whether to protect ourselves or to promote freedom in Iraq. The new story appears to be that Saddam was so weak, that the whole country was already crashing around him, that we had to invade to assure stability rather than chaos when he fell.

Elizabeth said...


If you liberals would just stop your negative naysaying, the administration and its apologists wouldn't have to keep creating new reasons for the war. Why do you hate America so much?

Dirty Harry said...

If liberals had rallied around Bush and the war on terror as Republicans rallied around FDR (a man they loathed) during WWII... We wouldn't be having this debate.

That liberals want us to lose in Iraq is obvious to anyone who can see and hear. Bush must be humiliated. America must be put in her place. The UN must rise again.

And it's nothing new. Liberals wanted us to lose in Vietnam. And we did. And millions died. But liberals don't regret us pulling out of Vietnam. They consider it a major victory. And now they want to repeat it.

This is nothing more than history repeating itself. But hopefully people who believe in protecting this country, ending terrorism, and that not just Americans deserve to be free -- can stop it.

We can only lose this war at home.

ploopusgirl said...

It's true. I've yet to see any liberals (like my parents, for example) throw block parties in honor of the latest bad news out of Iraq. They're like too busy working and things. Wanting to see more proof of progress and being disappointed in bad news out of Iraq is not the same thing as cheering bad news on and hoping for America's defeat. We don't HATE America. We LOVE America, especially what America is supposed to be: a melting pot of freedom. Disagreeing with leaders who lead us away from these virtues (freedom, privacy, equality) does not equal hating the goddamn country; it equals disagreeing with the goddamn leader. Why is it so hard to get this through your heads?

Dirty Harry said...

The good news is that as you can see here liberals refuse to admit they enjoy the bad news or secretly want us to lose.

So, at leat they know those feelings are wrong!

Or. maybe they know admitting them is bad politics... Hmm... Let me think on that.

ploopusgirl said...

God, fuck you Harry. You're so goddamned obnoxious. Do you tell your wife and your children that they HATE YOU and are SECRETLY HOPING FOR YOUR DOWNFALL every goddamn time they disagree with something you do or say?

Goesh said...

- all casualties are acceptable in a 'good' war -

Taken from the VFW Magazine, 8/05 issue:
Battle of Saipan
6/15 - 7/9/1944 (24 days)
Marines: 3,152 KIA
7,285 WIA

Sloanasaurus said...

"...Opposing Bush does not equal hating America..."

This is true. However, if you oppose Bush and you see the war on Terror as Mr. Bush's war or a Republican, then logically you will want the United States to lose the war (regardless of the destruction it causes to your own self). At the very least you will emphasize the bad.

If the Iraq war is won (and it will be), liberals will move to discredit Mr. Bush on the victory. I have a hunch on what the new liberal argument will be. The new argument will be that Bush only went into Iraq get rid of Weapons of Mass Destruction and that the democracy created afterword was a unintentional accident. Of course when making this argument, the current arugment that "Bush lied" about the WMD will be forgotten.

Dirty Harry said...

If my wife only dwelled on the negative, blew small things into major propaganda victories for my enemies, lied about me lying, refused to acknowledge any progress I made, and expressed that I was losing at the slightest provacation -- then yes, I'd think she was secretly hoping for my downfall.

What liberals are doing is a lot more insidious than disagreeing.

bill said...

This is the single most disturbing point I have with our Democrat friends -- rooting for the enemy. They have gone way off the deep end on this one.

It takes little more than a short search of the Senate website to call up the last resolution Congress voted on authorizing the Iraq war. How quickly they forget. Remember the Democrats demanded the last resolution and the U.N. appeal.

Why if they thought there was another way, why did they vote for the resolution.

"Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq:

"Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

"Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations ...

Just a little snippet. Convenient memory loss.

P. Froward said...

What I've noticed about the left, and since 9/11 this has been increasingly true of relatively moderate liberals as well, is that they'll uncritically believe pretty much anything bad that they hear about the US, and particularly about the US military. They make the worst possible assumptions about American motives. The closest they'll come to saying anything good about the US is to claim that it used to be wonderful, at some unspecified point in the past (when they were probably making precisely the same noises they're making now).

When they consider anybody who hates the US or is fighting against the US, they'll make positive assumptions about his motives, and make excuses for his crimes. The closest they'll come to condemning anybody who hates us is to say that he's almost as bad as we are.

If that's "love" for the US, I'm Gertrude Stein.

P.S. I'm not Gertrude Stein.

Sloanasaurus said...

"...Disagreeing with leaders who lead us away from these virtues (freedom, privacy, equality)..."

GAG ME! We need leaders who will make us more free and equal, just like Pol Pot did. In Cuba you have at least the freedom to rot in your own poverty. That is great as long as your neighbor is rotting as well.

I think everyone should get a blue ribbon for trying.....YIKES

Dirty Harry said...

The good news is that people are starting to notice and talk about how the liberals are trying to recreate their Vietnam victory. That will make it harder for them to succeed this time. We're on to them.

Hitchens certainly is. Maybe other notable writers will shine the light on The Enemy Within.

Tom said...

I know many conservatives who wished for the U.S. and NATO to lose (or at least not decisively win) the Kosovo war in Serbia in 1999 for precisely the same reasons that conservatives claim liberals want the US to lose in Iraq--politics. The fact that the evil Bill Clinton won a war was galling to them, and worse yet, he won it using the kind of multi-lateralism that conservatives hate so much. So conservatives may want to check their own recent history before they criticize liberals on topics like this.

Having said that, I supported the war in Iraq and continue to do so. However, I find it difficult to align myself with other supporters of the war because so many of them exhibit the same kind of insulting arrogance exhibited in this thread. It is not un-American or anti-war to point out the fact that things are not going well in Iraq. It is not un-American or anti-war to point out that our strategy is and has been deeply flawed, that our pre-war assumptions about being "welcomed as liberators" was off the mark, as was the belief that terrorists would not cross the borders into Iraq. To simply and blindly dismiss these and other legitimate problems as lies and propaganda from America-hating liberals is completely missing the point and is just as destructive as those who want America to lose.

dax said...

Mr. Tom, that is a REACH! I know of NO conservatives that wished ill on our servicemen in the Kosovo/Serbia "war" or wished for a US defeat.
I also don't remember films, books, and college circuit speeches demonizing the "war" in Serbia.
If you reach any further you may fall off the ledge.

Dirty Harry said...


Any links to support your first paragraph would be appreciated.

I think Somalia proves you wrong however. All I saw after Somalia was outrage that Clinton pulled out not a quiet glee that he'd stepped in it. We wanted him to win there. We put America before party.

I'm a right wing extremist and not only wanted Clinton to win but believed he was right to go into Kosovo.

The concern with Clinton was that he not screw it up. Was national interest. Not that he might succeed. We wanted him to succeed. And in Kosovo he did a superb job.

EddieP said...

With all the vitriol unleashed by the lefties here you'd have thought at least some would've answered Hitch's question.

Maybe I'm wrong, they don't hate America they just hate Hitchens.

vbspurs said...

One of my classmates, a lefty, but not overly political, put this situation in context best when he moaned aloud:

"Damn. They captured Saddam. Now Bush will be re-elected in a landslide. I hope they never catch Osama."

I understand that people disagree with the President's policies, and his viewpoints, and that's fine. Seriously. This means I get to disagree with another President whose viewpoints don't reflect mine too.

But in disliking your President, you should wish for bad things to happen to your country?

I wasn't the biggest fan of President Clinton, but dammit, he was my President.

(Well, I was naturalised an American last year, but still)

My politics take me only so far, before my humanity and patriotism kicks in.


ploopusgirl said...

Hey, Harry, how about some goddamn links supporting your theories of leftists hating America and loving bad news out of Iraq? Yeah, much obliged.

EddieP? Lefties unleashing vitriol? Oh and the right-wingers here are being pleasant and reasonable? I see.

bos0x said...

Sloanasaurus, you are such a childish, hypocritical piece of shit. Why is it that every goddamn news article, or photo, or really anything whether it has to do with politics or not, inspires you to whine about the America-hating liberals? Where are these liberals, exactly, or are they really just something you made up for any bizarre reason - you know, like all the pseudo-psychology you're spewing to justify everything. "...if you oppose Bush...logically you will want the United States to lose..." exactly, your simple little three-line theory explains everything, so totally logical, or something. Opposing Bush does not equal hating America, true, but it actually does, you know, because it's logical.

It's really cute how you declare that people can either be liberal or a Pig (capital P!) in the eyes of liberals...because you're not trying to seperate everyone into adorable "American" and "unAmerican" groups based on whether or not they agree with you or anything.

Oh, and it is wonderful to know that you hate freedom and equality, apparently, but its the liberals who are such anti-Americans. I thought that freedom was kind of an important thing here, like freedom of assembly and the press and such - was I wrong? Is freedom just a communist thing now? We should abolish freedom, I think, since your imaginary liberals always use it to slander our beloved country and leader and such.

Dirty Harry: Any links my ass. Maybe you should have asked Sloanasaurus that before you started agreeing with his moronic opinions about liberals.

Tom said...

Dax: Your point only proves that you and I know different groups of conservatives.

Harry: Thanks for your civil disagreement with my point (Dax, on the other hand….). As for evidence, there was the usual yahoos on talk radio, and some very strange rantings by Drudge. And there was a column by, as I recall, Charles Krauthamer, of all people, (the normally mild-mannered, even tempered Charles Krauthamer) who went off on the whole thing and suggested Clinton be impeached a second time, this time for the war. Must have been having a bad day. And the Republican Party leadership in Congress was clearly less than gung ho, offering half hearted support for a man they despised. I remember watching Trent Lott forcing himself to congratulate Clinton after the war ended with a look on his face as if he just drank a glass of sour milk. Anyway, I’ll admit the level of hatred for the Kosovo war coming from the Clinton-hating right wasn’t as loud or acidic as what comes from the left today, but it was there, and I was just as disgusted as it as I am of what comes from the left today.

Yes, I know, Lott always looks like he just drank a glass of sour milk.

I attended a lecture by Clinton a few years back. The audience was the usual group of Clintonian lefties who, for whatever reason, thought he was the greatest president ever, who no doubt expected some good Bush bashing. Imagine their surprise when Clinton supported the Iraq war, agreed that Saddam needed to be dealt with because he was a threat not only to the US but to the world and that we should all get behind President Bush and support the troops. The gasps were audible. Literally. You could hear groans of disappointment in the room.

As for Somalia, remember it was George H. W. Bush who first committed US troops to that mission, which I thought was a very brave thing for him to do in the final weeks of his administration. And then it was Clinton who screwed it up by refusing to send armor.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm close to deleting all the comments with bad language. If you don't want to mark yourself as a troll, you need to start rephrasing things. Generally, you shouldn't make personal attacks.

Bruce Hayden said...


Might be a good idea. I find that I really enjoy it when offensive language is minimized. Yes, it is sometimes hard to keep from calling something silly, but I try to limit myself to that word, applied only to someone's idea. Maybe that is too much. But this thread has gotten a bit incivil.

AJ Lynch said...

Elizabeth said:

"By the way, my argument is not with Hitchens; his point is best made here...."How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?"

So does that mean you(Elizabeth) will be sending a very large donation to the Iraq Fund of the Natural Resources Defense Fund or underwriting an ACLU office in Baghad?

I didn't think so. I have found most liberals will only support initiatives where the success of the initiative can't be accurately measured, monitored or accomplished.

ploopusgirl said...

Incivil, indeed, Bruce. Incivil, indeed.

Please, Ann. Censoring the comments on your blog? Whose eyes are you protecting?

XWL said...

The vitriol unleashed in these comments suggests that this continues to be a suppurating wound on both sides of this argument.

The anti-war left, and their media enablers, are lead, populated and voiced by leftovers from the Vietnam era who can only see this adventure through the lens of Quagmire, Tet-Offensives, and opressed minority soldiers (for example, anything written by Seymour Hirsch, Bochco's Over There, just about any statement by Kerry and Biden after the 04 election, and Jane Fonda's recently announced bus tour).

The pro war voices tend to be younger, more conservative and see this as a replay of the Reagan era policy style that lead to the end of the Cold War (strong statements against the enemy, no compunction about identifying evil as evil, while behind the scenes engaging in all sorts of Realpolitik dealmaking).

All I know is that if history is to repeat itself I prefer a victory over seemingly insurmountable circumstances that lead to the freeing of hundreds of millions rather than turning a probable victory (from a military standpoint) into a series of bitter defeats that lead to the deaths and displacement of millions (Pol Pot, and boat people) along with their continued subjugation under a totalitarian boot.

Now, let the pus, invective and general abuse flow my way, from my standpoint it will only reaffirm my correctness (and no doubt from your standpoint as well).

leeontheroad said...

oh, Sloan, you often have good things to say. This is not one of them. In fact, I'm teed off about it.

don't believe it when you hear a leftist complain about "our boys" dying in Iraq. These leftists don't give a damn about the volunteer army. To them they are just PIGS and uncle Toms in the white power structure.

Your rant agaisnt "the left" writ large is no better than than any cheers from that segment if things don't seem to be going well day to day. Have you considered how many "leftists" or at least Democrats serve in the military, including the reserves?

There's one I care really deeply about. He's a former student then colleague now stationed in Tikrit. He's a social liberal and Kerry supporter. He's been deployed for nineteen months as a reservist, in a foreign war in which he does not believe for a President for whom he did not vote. (This does not make him unique.)

Patriotism is serving because you said you would and not apologizing for loving the country, even when you think it's wrong. Thta's a paraphrase from my friend Ed.

If you meet Ed, call him "sir" and hope he's not in a mood to kick your ass for even raising the specter of Ms. Stowe's charatcer. (Yes, I almost forgot: Ed's African-American and doesn't take kindly to folks throwing 'round the race card just to try to make a point about soemoen else's hypocrisy.)

Dirty Harry said...


I agree with your assessment of how Repubs reacted to Kosovo. But that was based on a disagreement. No Republican Senator handed the enemy propaganda by something as profane as comparing Gitmo to Gulags. Krauthammer may have felt it was impeachable but everyone wanted success. Once there support for victory was universal. Good news was good news.

It is not that way at all now.

And you're right that Bush I got us in Somalia, but what I meant was that Conservatives were enraged it was a failure; that Clinton failed. They wanted the mission to succeed. They would've preferred Clinton get a win than the mission fail. That's the difference today. And it's a striking one.

ploopusgirl said...

Dirty Harry: Still no links or evidence that support your claims though, hmm?

Aaron said...

Re: ploopus girl

Are you seriously needing documentary evidence of of lefties bashing America and the war effort? Farrenheit 911, Ward Churchill, Ted Kennedy (war cooked up in Texas), John Stewart's running feature "Mes O' Potamia" funny in a Lord Haw Haw kind of way, various lefties connoting neo-Con with Israel or Jew, Columbia professors calling for a "million Mogadishus", writers for The Nation actually calling for support of the "resistance", using the term resistance for the insurgency at all, Maureen Dowd spinning Oedipal theories over Bush's motivation for the Iraq war, PLASTIC FRIGGING TURKEY THEORIES!!!! Barbara Boxer's various pronouncements... The list goes on and on and supports the cottage industry of the right pointing out liberal media bias and anti-American sentiment from the left. If you weren't being disingenuous in your request for evidence you are painfully politically ill-informed and I wonder how you came to Ms. Althouse's site. It is the probability that you were being disingenuous that makes some on the right start questioning motives and writing off debate. If you cannot admit that an operationally significant segment of the left is objectively pro-fascist and anti-American it is not worth debating with you. It is folks like Hitchens who give the left any semblence of intellectual honesty.

The left's inability to grapple with this is why they push folks like Ann Althouse into voting for Republicans. I won't be able to vote for a Democrat for a federal office until this problem is fixed.

Sloanasaurus said...

BosOx, you actually had the guts to twist my statements just a few pixels after my actual post. Don't you think that lowers your credibility? Look how easy it is to actully scroll up to my original post and then read your citation of it...

My comment about the problem of demanding both equality and freedom is well understood by most on this this board. The dream of Socialism is to have equality and freedom. The reality of socialism is that you can't have both equality and freedom. If you want equality, move to Cuba.

Elizabeth said...

"That liberals want us to lose in Iraq is obvious to anyone who can see and hear."--good thing it's so obvious; it saves Harry from having to actually offer evidence!

Sloan, I supported our invasion of Afghanistan as a reponse to 9/11. It was clearly necessary, and justified. I also predicted, in trying to argue a friend out of voting for Ralph Nader in 2000, that we'd be in Iraq within two years of Bush being elected. It's folly to believe that we're in Iraq because of 9/11, the embassy bombings, the Cole attack, the Bali bombings, or any other act of terror in the 90s and after 2001. But there are surely terrorists a plenty there now; because of our invasion the Iraqi people now find themselves at the mercy of Islamist fascists and other murdering bastards from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan--you name it.

Your argument is built on the assumption that Bush was correct in arguing that invading Iraq was necessary to fighting terror. That's where right-thinking people can disagree, but you can't cope with that disagreement, therefore you reduce the argument to bad liberals who hate Bush and good conservatives who hate Terror.

Your assumption that people who oppose the Iraq war want us to now lose that conflict is also simpleminded. We can't leave it in disarray and danger. We're committed. That's why I'm so angry at the lying and fearmongering from the Bush administration in the runup to this war. It was clear that once we entered it, we'd be committed to seeing it through. So, no, losing it isn't the outcome I'm cheering for. Seeing Bush tarred and feathered would be nice, but that's irrelevant to the outcome of the war in Iraq.

And ajlynch--I love how you ask me a question, then answer it yourself --that's typical of the level of discourse I see here from the right; why bother actually investigating and questioning when you can just make up the opposing view to suit your own argument?

Sloanasaurus said...


Your right. What I said is a gross generalization and probably not appropriate. I certainly agree with you that it is not always the case. And I wouldn't want to label a lot of Kerry supporters as leftists either. And of course there were plenty of Federalists who answered the call to duty in 1812 and valiantly fought for their country.

However, I am trying to point out a feeling that the laft has in general for the military. It is the same feeling that those on the left felt for the military in the late 1960s. The same feelings that drove people to spit on returning soldiers or to refer to members of the police as Pigs. When I was at Madison in the 1980s I witnessed crowds of people chanting ill will towards ROTC students when they were dressed in uniform.

It is quite disturbing.

Aaron said...


I love how folks on the left always want folks on the right to question. Just asking questions. It's only a question - aren't we free to inquire? It is almost always a rhetorical question that the person on the left doesn't want to be held responsible for. Like, "I am just questioning if the war was over oil". "There are important questions about the handling of the war" etc. "We need to question if the military is intentionally killing non-combatants." Rejecting cerain "questions" for the thinly vieled assertions that they are doesn't make someone close minded or stupid. Too many of the questions from the left side of the country are of the, "Do you beat your wife" category.

I sympathize if you thought the war wasn't worth the cost before we went to war. That is a reasonable position but as you point out moot now. We are committed and now that we are committed we need responsible politcal opposition.

Can you name a specific plausable tactical suggestion that has come from a democratic leader in order for us to do better in Iraq? Can you name one that was rejected?

Hitchens would agree with you that Bush scared rather convinced us into the war. I would agree as well. That is a matter of balance in the administration's message however. The messages that would convince the US to invade were delivered but not as strongly as the WMD messages. But they were all valid. I believe in the strategic value of bringing greater freedom to the middle east. I heard that message in the run up to the war in Iraq. I wish it had been made more strongly but it was made. You disagree but it doesn't make me stupid or close minded or unwilling to question. My positions could all be made in a nuanced and thorough way but are too detailed for a blog comment. I don't see any greater level of detail, fact, or wit in your post - or the others from the left side of the comments here.

bos0x said...

Aaron: What about documentary evidence of the insidious liberal plot to defeat America by pretending to grieve over dead soldiers and the other liberal plot to push for a draft so liberals can have an excuse to demonstrate? And I love how the Althouse blog is some secret society of the super politically informed, apparently, since it takes all kinds of political knowledge to understand and appreciate pictures of coffee cups.

ploopusgirl said...

Actually, you're correct, Aaron. I'm politically uninformed. I really have no clue about anything, and that's the truth. I comment on here simply because Ann's right-wing readers are so hateful and anti-left that it's disgusting at times. Referring to fellow Americans as "leftists," "terrorists," and "America haters" is unfounded and asinine. So, I apologize if my opinions seem misinformed; they probably are, but they're no more idiotic than the things I read from you people.

Aside from that, if you had read the thread, and actually taken into context the way I was asking for evidence from Dirty Harry, you would have realized that I want this evidence because he demanded evidence from Tom that supports his claim about righties being against Kosovo. There are as many obvious examples of that as there are of lefties being against Iraq, so why does only Tom have to offer evidence? I consider myself a liberal because to me a liberal is an open minded person who strives for freedom and, not equality of existence, but equality of treatment. As in, how about we learn to treat everyone as human beings, and not be so damn judgmental all the time. The conservatives who comment on this blog are the extreme polar opposite of this.

Oh, Sloanasaurus? One thing I do know about is.. spelling? Every single time you use the word "your" you spell it incorrectly. When you mean "you are," IT'S SPELLED YOU'RE. GOD. Sorry :> that's been bugging me. ;-)

vbspurs said...

How about reviving profane or obscene words to make your points, trolls? Thus possibly avoiding the axe from AnnPundit.

Start out a sentence like this:

Zounds! Fie! Give us the links to show the perfidy of liberals, you cur varlets.

That would be cool.

Oh, and when using sockpuppets to pretend there are many of you with the same "opinion", do try to get yourselves a different posting "voice".

I'm tired of reading insipid commentary from the same blog board muppet.


Aaron said...


Umm... I'm confused. Is this a reference to my post where I said that if someone was reading Ann Althouses blog they are likely politically aware enough to know the evidence backing up the right's arguments that many on the left are anti-American and want us to lose the war. I suppose someone could be coming to this blog for the apolitical content and still jump into this thread. I'd still take odds and put up money that her readership is largely aware of the supporting evidence I mention. Many on the left side of the argument on this thread seem to take the fact that generalizations have exceptions as somehow invalidating the generalization.

Ann Althouses readership is generally politically aware and I'd even say moer likely than most websites to be aware of opposing viewpoints as she trends moderate.

re: Grieving

I think many on the left truly care for the American military servicepeople. I think some truly think they are baby killers. The percentages of each are troublesome to me. The fact that there are many decent caring lefties out there doesn't invalidate the second class or the political impact they are having.

re: The draft.

Charlie Rangel calling for the draft is a rhetorical device. He knew it had 0 chance of being enacted. He did not suggest it in such a way as to give it any credibility as an actual legislative agenda. As a rhetorical politcal gambit it seems to me to be an adjunct to the whole chicken-hawk argument. It seems an attempt to say that those who support the war are hypocrites who aren't risking anything. This strikes me as a type of argument that is unconstructive and hinders the war effort. The numerous instances of similar behavior by Democrats are the reason the American people do not trust them with national security.

I also think it was an attempt to bolster the Dem youth outreach program in the'04 election that tried to scare young Americans with a draft to make them vote for Kerry. This is using an anti-war stance to help your party domestically.

While the Republicans also used the war in different ways to bolster their election chances they have managed to do it in a more responsible way - also they did it in a way that largely won't undermine the war effort itself.

It becomes tiresome to make these same arguments over and over and sometimes I find folks on the right short-hand their arguments. they say liberals are sinking the war effort for political advantage. They suck. Not very persuassive but doesn't mean the argument can't be made more elegantly.

I still think anyone here at this site unaware of these among hundreds of other arguments on both sides is pulling my leg for debating efect.

ploopusgirl said...

Victoria: I'm quite tired of being accused of having multiple personas. I once used another name, yes; and I am ever so sorry for disrespecting Poor Miss Althouse like that. I am not bosox, however. We may have similar opinions! Yes! That happens to happen in the world! I share similar opinions with Elizabeth, and would go so far as to say that she's my hero. I am obviously not Elizabeth, however. So if you could refrain from telling me that I'm other people and that my arguments are tiresome because they don't happen to agree with your opinions, it'd be much obliged.


EddieP said...

I still say the all vitriol is coming from the left. The WMD argument is a straw man. Saddam Hussein was given the opportunity for 12 years to certify he had destroyed the ones he had. We are in Iraq because Saddam thought he could bluff GWB into believing he had the weapons. It worked! Bush had no option other than invasion when Saddam threw the inspectors out the second time.

Had Hussein been playing with a full deck, he could have squashed the invasion by simply saying, come on in, look around. You'll have no interference from the government of Iraq. GWB could never have gotten his resolution through Congress if there was the slightest doubt in anyone's mind that Saddam didn't have the WMD he so jealously seemed to protect.

The left has picked up the argument that the war started in March of 2003. It started a long time before that. Bill Clinton's 1998 declaration about Iraq which was supported by all the dems was still in force when Bush took office. Regards

Aaron said...


I was actually making the argument that I thought you were informed and willfully ignoring evidence. If you truly are unaware of all the evidence one could muster in support of some of the right's arguments then I apologize. You state things with so much assurance that I assumed you knew the opposing arguments.

You stated that there are tons of equally obvious anti-Balkan war comments and political actions by the right as there are from the left on Iraq. Are there as many examples of republicans being against Kosovo? I was not as tied into poilitcs as I became post 9/11 but if there had been an anti-Balkan war movement as large, vocal, and rhetorically irresponsible I would like to know about it.

Perhaps it is an unfair comparison as the amount of American blood and money is of a completely different caliber between the two wars but I have a hard time believing a bunch of young republicans would be making giant puppets and smashing up starbucks in protest while professors from the Hoover Institute made speeches saying that Clinton is Hitler.

You stated: "a liberal because to me a liberal is an open minded person who strives for freedom and, not equality of existence, but equality of treatment. As in, how about we learn to treat everyone as human beings, and not be so damn judgmental all the time. The conservatives who comment on this blog are the extreme polar opposite of this."

This is a personal and emotive definition of liberal but one that is unfortunately quite common. As a political definition of the word "Liberal" is up for grabs these days I suppose thinking like this becomes more prevalent. Between establishment liberals rebranding themselves progressives - the mostly death of the hard-left creating a vacume that part of the moderate left is pulled into - and a variety of other causes discussed on this very blog when Ms. Althouse dismisses labels as relatively useless in todays political arena - we can see that the term liberal can mean whatever we want it to mean.

I disagree with your definition of liberal. Open-mindedness is not really a political stance - perhaps you mean that you believe in tenets of multi-culturalism and aspects of the gay political agenda? If this is the case on the gay front I agree with you (and is one of the reasons I say I have some liberal positions). Striving for freedom could mean supporting the overthrow of totalitarian dictators but I suspect you mean it in terms of domestic civil liberties (unless they are contradicted by PC shibboleths, gun rights, or gore corporate oxes)and sexual liberation. A cry against making judgements is very post-modern and is one of the reasons the Republicans keep shellacking the Dems. In a choice between a defacto nihilism brought on by a lack of anything objective to believe in versus a sometimes overwrought Judeo-Christian informed world view America chooses the Judeo-Christian dealio. All of this could be spelled out more fully but I am sure most are skipping my comments for length at this point.

My point is that liberals are not defined as those who are kind and thoughtful and conservatives as those who are not.

Elizabeth said...


Your comment on questioning, while interesting, has nothing to do with anything I've posted here, so far as I can see. Were you confusing me with someone else?

As for plausible suggestions from the left, one that stands out in my memory is specific criticism of Rummy's "leaner and meaner" strategy. We didn't have enough troops in the invasion to secure the country's borders, institutions, the safety of its civilians, and of our own forces. Rummy was insistent not just on waging the war but on proving his egghead theories about miltary structure.

As for the subtler arguments for the war, they do us a disservice. Bush should have had the balls to make them loudly and clearly, but he relied on fear instead, probably because it wasn't likely that America would have signed on to the idea of waging war to make the middle east more democratic--and the jury's out on how that's going to work, anyway, with a fundamentalist Islamist government much like Iran's looming as the most likely outcome of the Iraqi constitutional process.

If you want to argue that U.S. troops should be out there bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East and other parts, why Iraq? Why not Syria? Why not Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 attackers hail from? Why not take down Robert Mugabe? Or Kim Jong Il? Bush wanted Iraq-- 9/11 just gave him the pretext he needed. Telling fellow Americans that we were in direct danger from Iraq was shameful, and dishonest. If you found other, nuanced reasoning in his arguments, I don't think that makes you stupid. Unlike the conservative posters on this board, I'm not going to presume to state your motives or beliefs for you. I'll take your word for what you think.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I believe Tom said:

"It is not un-American or anti-war to point out the fact that things are not going well in Iraq."

It indeed is not un-American to point something out, it's just a display of perceptive inaccuracy if what one is pointing to is imaginary or wrong.

How do we define "going well"? By the number of troops dead? When was the last time we took over an entire nation and rebuilt it, and are the deaths here higher than historical norms, given the task?

Are things not going well in all of Iraq? What about in the Kurdish areas which are largely very pro-U.S.? What about the south in Shia dominated areas? There is not a bit of success anywhere? Does all of Iraq look alike?

Are the Iraqi police forces expanding at an exceedingly quick rate, allowing for more and more autonomy? Is there a government in place? Are kids back in school? Any new desalination plants online? Has cell phone use risen? Is there any free press or independent publications? Are government workers getting the first ATM cards? Is the Iraqi currency strengthening? Are the millions of ongoing projects that can be found on various government and other websites any indication of progress? Do I know? Do you know? Or are we sitting on our own opinion's rumpuss (buttox), counting bombs.

And what are we comparing this war to? How do we know if it is failing really? By the bombs? Is it failing cause the Sunnis, a minority who ruled, are doing everything in their power to slow an advancing constitutional process--is that the proof of failure? The bully (Sunni) freaking out that the schoolyard (the majority of Iraq)has their number is a sign of failure?

Did more or less people die in WW1 or WW2 or the Korean War or Vietnam? Revolutionary War? Is it death that we are marking progress with?

I am just curious how we know failure when we see it? Is lack of perfection failure? I have a friend who harkened back to the rare loss of American life in the first Gulf War, a statistical and historical anomaly if there ever was one.

Though I am certainly a right wing conservative, I do fault Rumsfeld for ignoring some very wise (and obvious) advice from the very beginning, and advice from more left leaning voices (in the State dept). However, I don't think it is necessarily easy to come up with ways that this very complex task is actually failing beyond reducing the whole process down to Sunni militants (murderers actually) and their bombs.

It would be interesting for those rabidly in favor of the war to point out some of our mistakes and failures, and for those so against the war and "concered for our boys" to come up with some detailed lists of what is going right. And THEN talk to each other.

bos0x said...

EddieP, how you feel about the WMDs is wonderful and all, except that I don't think poplsuogril or anyone else was arguing at all about WMDs. Great job being relevant! I love the argument though - Hussein was a washed-up old dictator who wanted to pretend that he had WMDs, so Bush had no choice but to invade! And nobody in Congress had the slightest doubt that the WMDs existed, either. Please. Before the war my mother would watch the news, all kinds of terrified by everyone saying "Look, these are definitely mobile germ labs", and even she was a little skeptical (of course, because she thought that the Iraqis were too stupid to make anything dangerous, so well). Of course, I still think its a very sweet and heartwarming story that makes my soul swell with patriotism, or something.

pst314 said...

Ploopus said: "Referring to fellow Americans as 'leftists', 'terrorists', and 'America haters' is unfounded and asinine."

Really? Who was it who called the Iraqi fascists "minutemen"? Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore? Who was it who was convicted of smuggling messages for Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, imprisoned for the first World Trade Center bombing? Lynn Cheney or far-left lawyer Lynne Stewart? And so on and so forth.

Then there is the double standard that so many "progressives" apply when criticizing America on the one hand and on the other hand Communists and Arab/Muslim fascists. Anything that can be blamed on America (even if it is necessary to twist the facts) is taken as evidence of America's fundamentally evil nature, while mass murder, enslavement, cultural genocide and the wholesale destruction of economies is excused as "great men make great errors." Sweet Lord protect us from such "sophisticated", "humane", and "freedom-loving" people.

Aaron said...

Hey Elizabeth:

My bad - I suspect over the questioning thing. Went back to the thread and couldn't find the post I was sparking off of. Someone made a comment about liberlas beinf inquisitive and free inquiery or something. I do think that this is a common trope of the left.

There is an E.J. Dionne op-ed from the run upo to the war that I should subscribe to the Washington Post archives in order to keep access to - anyway this op-ed took the bush administration to task for not having a focus for their arguments for the war. The administration pushed on a number of fronts till WMD came out as the front runner. I know I should have exact citations but there were any number of speeches. Bush's apologia for the quest for stability and the need for reform in the area comes to mind. In any event the main reason WMD rose to the top as a rationale had more to do with supporting Blair and a last run at the UN Security Councel than the domestic political scene.

When I say that I wish Bush had made the moral case for war stronger this is also a mostly political wish. If the intelligence had been correct and we had found WMD I wonder what the arguments between right and left would be. Many on the left were against the war when everyone in the world thought Saddam had WMD. I think this is some of what makes part of the left seem disingenuous for caring about WMD now.

The lack of WMD has been used as a cudgel to try and dellegitimize any other rationale for the war. Those other rationales were present even if they were not as highlighted. I remember in Blair's speech before congress him saying that he thought the judgement of history would be kind to us for overthrowing a tyrant even if we are incorrect in our estimation of the threat. I only hope that the left doesn't write history books or that seems a faint hope. In any event I believe and think the preponderance of evidence is such that the WMD argument itself was made in good faith. I think it shows a lack of good faith from many on the left to use the lack of WMD to delegitimize the entire effort and posit paranoid anti-American theories of oil, greed, oedipal dysfunction etc. in order to accomplish what exactly? The only two effects possible seem to be to diminish Bush's political stature and to undermine the war effort itself. This is not good.

I believe that if the Iraqi people were not made such pariahs on the world stage and if they thought the reformers of the world stood in solidarity with their struggles we would not have as many possible problems with the Iraqi constitution. By cutting Iraqi secularists, feminists, and other "progressive" factions in Iraq off from those who should be their allies we weaken them in a very high stakes political environment. There is a danger of the international left's making Iraq a self-fulfilling prophecy of their making. Still - every time the left has sounded the death knell on the Iraqi endeavor the Iraqi people have proved to the world that they will succeed. I think that the negativity of the left is making things worse - and I think for a significant number of them they are aware of this and actively hoping for such an outcome. Whether in order to humble the hyperpower of America - or for other reasons. There are of course doomsayers who honestly hold those beliefs but I wish some sense of restraint about loudly shouting doom would take hold. It does little good that I can see while making the possability of success that much more difficult.

Your comments about "why not other tyrannies" is not pursuassive. It is an argument that boils down to claiming hypocrisy is a worse sin than ignoring bloody tyranny. I disagree. Just because you can't or won't stop tyranny (or any other evil) everywhere is not an argument against doing what you can where you can.

There are numerous reasons why we invaded Iraq instead of other places. 16 UN resolutions, lack of completed WMDs as opposed to N. Korea, ease of military victory, geographical location, legally still being at war, Iraq's weakening sanctions and a host of others.

Rumsfeld's leaner meaner thing: I have always wanted someone to show me where these 500K troops were supposed to come from. Was it possible to muster that size force if we wanted to? Every expert I have read in the end says no. If it was a wish that could not be fulfilled it really isn't a reasonable suggestion. It is a rational for doing nothing. In terms of applying force the troops we sent are more than enough. It would be great to have a platoon on every block - but I wonder if we could actually stop suicide bombers even with that kind of force ratio. Israel has years of infrastructure and a highly mobilized citizenry and cannot stop all suicide attacks.

Anyway - I also will not question your motives. You seem like a smart decent person. I just think you are wrong with some really bad outcomes if you win the elections for the next few years.

Bruce Hayden said...

See, its not that hard to be polite here. If you review the thread, the name calling pretty much stopped after AnnPundit spoke up.

So, if no one else thanks you, I do. It is not that I am offended by the name calling, etc., but rather run into it elsewhere on a regular basis, and find it exhausting.

So, thanks.

Sloanasaurus said...

Elizabeth, I think it is a fair to argue that Iraq was a strategic mistake in the war on Terror just as Operation Market Garden was a mistake for the allies in World War II (some argue that the Strategic bombing campaign was a mistake).

However, if you were a general and you needed to put forth a plan to WIN the war on terror and in Afghanistan, an invasion of Iraq might look very appealing. Consider this line of logic:

If we are reconciled to fight the terrorists somewhere in the Islamic world the worst place to fight is Afghanistan. History has proven that victory is difficult to achieve there - both the British and the Soviets failed miserably. First, it is clear that our intervention in Afghanistan would attract Jihadists from the Islamic world as it did during the Soviet invasion. This gives the enemy a good supply of fanatic soldiers and money. Second, the geography of Afghanistan makes it easy to wage an endless guerrilla war, and the lack of a port (Afghanistan is landlocked) and the lack of reliable allies in bordering countries makes supply of a large force in Afghanistan very risky. Third, there are no reliable Afghan allies. The United States has no long term relationship with any groups of peoples there and the oppressed ethnic group (the Northern Alliance) make up a minority of the population. Finally, the Afghan population is too impoverished in any sense to fight against any well funded Jihadi presence. The strategic conclusion from these realities would be a permanent and forever ongoing battle between U.S. forces and Jihadists in Afghanistan. Certainly, the Pentagon considered these problems when they were planning the war on terror.

In contrast, Iraq offers a better battlefield to obtain ultimate victory. First, a war in Iraq will attract all the Jihadists who would have gone to Afghanistan. Iraq is much closer, Iraq has more historical significance to Muslims, and the Arab media will be covering it. This has proved to be true - the arab jihadists are fighting in Iraq, not Afghanistan. Second, the battlefield is more favorable (desert and cities) and a large army can be easily supplied through a port or reliable allies in neighboring countries (Kuwait). Third, the United States has reliable allies inside Iraq. The U.S has a long term relationship with the Kurds and the oppressed group in Iraq, the Shia, are a majority of the population. Fourth, the country has enough wealth and resources (oil and an educated class) to eventually fight the Jihadists by itself. This will eventually allow the American forces to leave.

After a strategic analysis of Afghanistan, one could conclude that to win in Afghanistan requires the invasion and victory in Iraq. The problem with Iraq vs. Afghanistan is political. Although invading Iraq offers the best strategic alternative, it is a much more difficult political problem to wage war in Iraq than Afghanistan. This was also true in World War II when Roosevelt was trying to figure out how to convince the country to concentrate 90% of its resources on Germany when Japan had done the actual attacking. However, Hitler’s declaration of war (and Roosevelt’s prior aggressive needling of Hitler) gave Roosevelt political cover to make the correct strategic decision.

Bruce Hayden said...

Why did we invade Iraq instead of some other countries with tyrannical governments?

One reason is that we could. As for the remainder of the Axis of Evil, N. Korea is presumably out because of the PRC. Iran would be significantly harder, from a logistics, etc. point of view. Twice the population and size of Iraq. Much at an altitude that would hamper helicopters. And the people there are far more likely to rally to their country's defense than were the Iraqis, given that the 20% Sunni minority was ruling the 80% of everyone else. There was little love lost between the Kurds in the north, or the Shiites further south, esp. after Saddam so brutally put down their revolts after Desert Storm.

The estimate I have seen for Iran is maybe double what we utilized in Desert Storm, and that might be low.

What terror states are left? Syria was initially out because we would look like Israeli surrogates if we had invaded them before Iraq - but if the Iraqis lead (in order to stop the flow of terrorists into their country from Syria), then we would assuredly follow. And Libia very quickly saw which way the wind was blowing, disclosing and shutting down its WMD program.

Sloanasaurus said...

Aaron, I think its also important to point out Bush's log term policy initiative behind the Iraq war. One of the problems Bush has consistently referred to is the proliferation of WMD, specifically Nuclear. History clearly shows that all technological advances eventually become available to all at discount prices. Thus, we must assume that eventually Nuclear weapons will become widely available. Knowing this, what should we do about it.

Both Kerry and Bush stated in the debates that proliferation was their number one national defense concern. The problem for Kerry (and many democrats) is that he offered no plausible plan other than continued negotiation.

Negotiation could work, except for the fact that even allied nations have a difficult time agreeing on things. Therefore, sanction regimes are difficult to keep together.

In contrast, Bush has adopted the so called neo-conservative philosophy (ala Natan Sharansky), that the only real way to prevent proliferation is to spread democracy and freedom (including using force to aid in this effort). We know from experience that democratic nations are not generally aggressive and that inertia tends to moderate democratic governments.

Bush could be wrong in the end and Nukes will spread anyways. But his idea is better than any other idea I have heard so far.

PatCA said...

I agree with Bruce. Again, we're all arguing about who is guilty of being Left or Right wingnuts. FYI my bone to pick is with Leftists like Michael Moore, as well as the Rangels and Kennedys in DC, not with the majority of liberals who may be troubled by the war but support the idea of America as a viable country.

The Iraqi people have high expectations as reflected in the latest Brookings Report. I don't LOVE BUSH but since no one in the Democratic Party, moveon, or Hollywood has yet answered Hitchens' challenge, and since the last century of diplomacy in the ME has failed miserably, I would cast my lot with them. They are human, just like me, and Bush is giving them the chance to be free, as well as protecting our strategic interests there--yours too, btw, unless you are willing to go back to living in the Stone Age.

vbspurs said...

Victoria: I'm quite tired of being accused of having multiple personas.

I beg your pardon, Ploopusgirl, but what on earth makes you think my post (which mentions no troll names specifically), was about you?

You're either immensely vain, or you're the main "voice" whilst the others are just your sockpuppets.

There, now you have cause for grievance, since I'm outright accusing you of something.

But not before.

That showed a guilty mind.


vbspurs said...

It would be interesting for those rabidly in favor of the war to point out some of our mistakes and failures, and for those so against the war and "concered for our boys" to come up with some detailed lists of what is going right. And THEN talk to each other.


If the spirit of fair play wasn't so missing in this Iraq War debate, and one side didn't react in an embattled way because they feel no matter what they do, they are damned, then you might begin to see greater self-criticism.

It's no fun being a punching bag for anyone.


Elizabeth said...

Victoria, which posts do you assume are by the same person, using multiple names?

Elizabeth said...


I'm tired at this late hour and can't generate the steam to reply to you with the attention that respectful dialogue deserves. But I wanted to take just a moment to say I've enjoyed our exchange for its overall reasonable tone. Thank you. That goes for some other folks as well, and I too noted that pretty much everyone cooled his or her jets after Ann stepped in. With football season coming, I don't think my blood pressure can stand exposure both to political debate and the struggles of the New Orleans Saints.

F15C said...

Here is a key problem I have with many or most liberals in a nutshell: Their ongoing claims that Bush lied and made up reasons to justify that "invading Iraq was necessary". It is the core of the bush hatred emanating so strongly from the left.

The fact is that most people believed Saddam had WMD, primarily because he (Saddam) wanted people to believe he did. Anyone with an iota of understanding and any real desire to learn the truth about Saddam and what motivated him (note the irony of a right of center commentor lecturing left-of-centers about 'understanding' our enemy) knows he needed the perception of power provided by that belief to impress his non-too-friendly neighbors.

Had America backed down and not attacked Iraq, Saddam would have achieved a great victory - he would forever be the man who stared down the US and the UN over WMD... In the middle east that would have solidifed his position as absolutely the most powerful man in the ME. (See Sandy Berger's comment below and do a bit of study if you must - I'm didn't just make this up).

Reality Check: The vast majority of our political leaders on both sides of the aisle supported and approved going to war in Iraq. That is a fact (See the quotes below) But now, many or most liberals blame it all on Bush and pathologically vilify him as evil incarnate (stupid, but evil incarnate... go figure). In my book doing so is not an example of "loving America" and is simply beneath contempt.

Also, why do liberals conveniently forget that regime change in Iraq has been official US policy since 1998?! President Clinton signed into law the The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (sponsored by Bob Kerrey, John McCain, and Joseph Lieberman) making it the law of the land and a purpose of America to remove Saddam from power and replace him with a democratic form of government. The act states:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
105th Congress, 2nd Session
September 29, 1998

These quotes are all from left of center politicians, some far left of center, all democrats and all address Iraq's WMD, ties to terror, etc. All the things Bush is accused of fabricating by commentors on this blog, in the MSM, and damn near everywhere. Read through these quotes then let's discuss.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."

Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
Also a member of the House Intelligence Committee
Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq
December 16, 1998

"Imagine the consequences if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act. Saddam will be emboldened, believing the international community has lost its will. He will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And some day, some way, I am certain, he will use that arsenal again, as he has ten times since 1983."

Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor
Town Hall Meeting on Iraq at Ohio State University
February 18, 1998

"Al Gore said last night that the time had come for a "final reckoning" with Iraq, describing the country as a "virulent threat in a class by itself" and suggesting that the United States should consider ways to oust Saddam Hussein."

The New York Times
Gore, Championing Bush, Calls For a 'Final Reckoning' With Iraq
February 13, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
Addressing the US Senate
October 10, 2002

(I apologize for the length of this post)

Elizabeth said...

The meme seems to be that "everyone" believed Saddam has WMDs right before we invaded. That's just not true, and the UN inspectors at the time were saying to give them more time. Congress approved war powers for Bush if necessary, which is not at all the same as saying "go, now, start the invasion." And the "law of the land" you cite is not the same as what you assert it means:

You say the resolution makes it "the law of the land and a purpose of America to remove Saddam from power and replace him with a democratic form of government.

But the act states:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Those are very different verbs: to support efforts to remove him doesn't mandate acting to remove him ourselves, and to promote the emergence of a democracy doesn't mean to go in and install one.

Furthermore, I took issue with Leiberman, Clinton and others at the time for being either wishy washy about their positions, or too quick to jump on the bandwagon. We did not have to rush into Iraq, we were not in imminent danger, we were misled and our fears were manipulated and if you think those things don't matter, you're more forgiving than I am. Presidents, and legislators, ought to be held accountable.

PatCA said...

You keep arguing the legality or the actual execution of the war.

How should the US combat terrorism and address the civil rights of ME peoples?

Sloanasaurus said...

Bush's main reason for invading Iraq was the neo-con idea of eradicating Saddam and instituting a democracy. I would say that 40% of Americans supported this position (including a good number of democrats). The WMD argument was needed to cobble together the more conservative elements of the Republican Party. The 40% represents the core support for the war and Bush will always have that.

The WMD failure is a gift for liberals because it allows them to argue Bush lied (and therefore oppose Bush) without overtly saying they oppose taking out saddam, ending genocide, and freeing people (which they would be forced to argue if they wanted to oppose Bush w/o the WMD). We know this to be true because freeing people and doing away with dictators were the motives behind the Bosnia war, a war that liberals supported (except the bad guys where white Christians).

Elizabeth said...

Bush was part of that unconvinced 60 percent when he opposed using the military for "nation building" in the 2000 election debates. Those anti-genocide, let's spread democracy arguments are very noble, but they came well after the fact of the invasion, nor are we doing anything to prevent genocide and spread democracy anywhere other than Iraq. It doesn't add up.

We can't impose civil rights on the Middle East, or anywhere else. We certainly don't do it by holding hands with the Saudi dictator. And, as for terrorism, didn't you hear? None of the 9/11 attack, nor the Cole bombing, nor the attacks on our embassies in Africa had squat to do with Iraq.

It's also funny to think about how Bush likes to say he doesn't follow the polls, but you're arguing to that the WMD scare was indeed a play to the polls. I guess it tested well in sample audiences: Would you support invading Iraq if you knew Saddam had nuclear weapons aimed right at your house? Gee, yeah!

F15C said...

Elizabeth, the act does not preclude us from doing exactly what we did either. I interpret the act as having teeth and real meaning, you seem to interpret it as giving us permission to do nothing but talk (as long as we don't say anything too bad) about Hussien, but little else. That was already being done by the experts at the UN.

Your statement: "We did not have to rush into Iraq, we were not in imminent danger, we were misled and our fears were manipulated and if you think those things don't matter, you're more forgiving than I am. Presidents, and legislators, ought to be held accountable."

We did not 'rush' into Iraq. How many more years and UN resolutions would have to pass before for you to consider it 'not a rush'? Be specific.

How were you misled? I paid a lot of attention during the period leading up to the war and do not feel the least bit misled.

Manipulated our fears? Fear is not a bad thing. It helps keeps us alive. Furthermore, your fear can only be manipulated if you allow it to be. If you feel your fears (which are yours - not mine) were manipulated, then I suggest looking inward for accountability.

I do not suffer fools, and am not the slightes bit forgiving of abuse of authority and power. But I do not see any abuses of power in the case of going to war against Saddam Hussein's regime.

Also, you seemed to ignore the core of my post - do you still believe that Bush lied made up justifications for going to war. If so, show us specifics that will substantiate your claim. I provided specific data that proves in the improbable event that he did lie then congress, including very liberal democrats, did as well.

I seem to get from your writing (I may be wrong) that you are at core, very anti-war and do not want to go to war unless you feel there is a verifiable 'imminent danger'. Is that accurate?

F15C said...

Elizabeth: "Those anti-genocide, let's spread democracy arguments are very noble, but they came well after the fact of the invasion..."

Not true and you should know it if you were paying attention. In a speech on Feb 26, 2003 Bush said:

"The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people, themselves. Today they live in scarcity and fear, under a dictator who has brought them nothing but war, and misery, and torture. Their lives and their freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein -- but Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us.

Bringing stability and unity to a free Iraq will not be easy. Yet that is no excuse to leave the Iraqi regime's torture chambers and poison labs in operation. Any future the Iraqi people choose for themselves will be better than the nightmare world that Saddam Hussein has chosen for them."

That was before the war. He made similar statements even earlier than this.

Your statement is an attack on Bush with no basis in truth or substantiation of any sort. Come on, at least provide some substance, some verifiable facts, figures, whatever. The far-left talking points are wearing very thin.

F15C said...

And another thing Elizabeth, you said: "Congress approved war powers for Bush if necessary, which is not at all the same as saying "go, now, start the invasion."

It is not the job of Congress to tell the President when to start a military action. Our government does not work that way. They authorized Bush to use force against Saddam Hussein knowing it would most likely mean war, and knowing (unlike you it seems) that use of that force was at the complete discretion of the President - not congress.

PatCA said...

"... nor are we doing anything to prevent genocide and spread democracy anywhere other than Iraq."

Not to pile on, Elizabeth, how do you know that? I have read, and I believe, that we are supporting efforts in Lebanon and Iran, covertly and overtly, for democracy. We trained the army in Georgia, among other places, so that when Schevardaze was deposed, the army remained professional and the coup was peaceful and democratic. We supported the Ukrainians with money and rhetoric, as we do the Iranian democrats. We are the only nation, to my knowledge, that has even breathed the word genocide with regard to Dafur. We led the tsunami recovery effort with a small company of non-UN nations. We are organizing a maritime protection group around the Red Sea of Iran's neighbors to protect them from Iran. The State Department and other agencies are training Iraqi future leaders in every field.

Yes, I bemoan our sins, but you ignore our virtues.

PatCA said...

Sorry, Caspian Sea.

Elizabeth said...


Thanks for that list--and for noting the "piling on"! I'll survive.

I can't help but notice, none of those efforts involve war. I'm happy to see that.

For whoever asked, no, I don't support war only in situations of imminent threat. I supported our action in Afghanistan with no reservations whatsoever.

PatCA said...

"I can't help but notice, none of those efforts involve war. I'm happy to see that."

That's right. So that's why people like me don't understand people like...the vocal, extreme left who are all angry all the time. From where we sit, it looks, acts, talks, quacks like hate. So it is hate.