Liberal Hawks, Bloody But Unbowed: ‘This time it’s different’

You can't unsee. ||| Vanity FairVanity FairSure, military intervention is polling in the single digits; yes, we're still bringing body bags home from civil wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya; and tellingly, even advocates of punishing Bashar al-Assad with missiles are quick to admit that there's no real promising plan going forward. But so Liberal Hawks beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Behold the left-of-center case for punitive, experimental, credibility-saving war.

Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker:

This time it's different. [...]

What can America do? It's not unreasonable to ask whether even a well-intentioned American effort to save Syrians might fail, or whether such an effort might pull America into a terrible quagmire. In the piece about Obama and Syria I wrote for the magazine in May, I detailed just how daunting those challenges are. But how much longer are we going to allow those questions to prevent us from trying?

Hi, neighbors! Let's bomb the shit out of some stuff. ||| Eugene Robinson, Washington Post:

History says don't do it. Most Americans say don't do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's homicidal regime with a military strike — and hope that history and the people are wrong. [...] 

The president was right to make chemical-weapons use the "red line" that Assad must not cross. Upholding the principle that such weapons must never, ever be employed is so important that Obama, in my view, really has no choice. [...]

This is a case in which somebody has to be the world's policeman.

New York Times editorial board:

Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through. Many countries (including Iran, which Mr. Obama has often said won’t be permitted to have a nuclear weapon) will be watching.

Dr. William Kristol. ||| Bernard Henri-Levy, Joe Lieberman, Leon Wieseltier, Paul Berman, Marty Peretz, and a bunch of their neo-conservative friends (such as "Dr. William Kristol"):

We urge you to respond decisively by imposing meaningful consequences on the Assad regime.  At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship's military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons.  It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria's armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons.

Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime.  The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad's chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants.  [...]

Left unanswered, the Assad regime's mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America's red lines are only empty threats.  It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us—one that will certainly embolden Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable.

Reason on Liberal Hawks here; on Syria here.

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  • Goldwin Smith||

    Liberals are pro-war statists as long as the Right Top Men are doing it. Film at Eleven. Remember the Civil War? Or WWI? Or WWII? Bosnia? Kosovo?

    And most of the opposition to the Cold War was due to support for the USSR. The rest was the draft. I mean after all why was it okay for Churchill and Eden to commit regime change in Iran in 1941 but not in 1953?

  • Drake||

    Forgot Vietnam.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    That's what I was referring to with the draft comment.

  • Jon Lester||

    Of all the places where we've intervened in the last 20 years, the only one I can think of that didn't turn into an Islamic republic (at least in part) is Haiti.

  • Aresen||

    In Haiti's case, an Islamic republic would have been an improvement.

    Also, Serbia didn't turn into an Islamic Republic, but I'm no sure if bombing the Chinese Embassy there counts as an invasion.

  • Jon Lester||

    Kosovo most certainly did.

  • Jon Lester||

    And one of the Bosnian partitions.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Libya is not an Islamist republic.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's a good thing he didn't say "Islamist republic", then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Care to split the hair further?

  • Jon Lester||

  • Noelle Campbell||

    Is Bosnia an Islamic republic now?

  • Jon Lester||

    There was that partition plan between the three groups, though I haven't heard anything from the Muslim sector in a long time.

  • CE||

    History says don't do it. Most Americans say don't do it.

    So don't do it.

  • Noelle Campbell||

    Can't expect the regime to honor, acknowledge or respect history at all. Michelle did say we were going to have to change our history.

  • castillomalissa||

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  • sarcasmic||

  • ||

    Bunch of loud mouth'd shnooks!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    At least it's not Bush doing it.

  • GregorFC||

    What does Bush have to do with it? So, as long as its not Bush, then its ok??? Since you are good with it as long as its not Bush, I expect you to be signing up for your military service soon, and not back line stuff either, but front line, boots on the ground, right in the middle of it, because after all, its ok as long as its not Bush!

  • sarcasmic||

    Someone needs to recalibrate their sarcasm detector.

  • GregorFC||

    I need to invent that sarcasm font that everybody is talking about :)

  • OldMexican||

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A BIG BANG THEORY REFERENCE?!

    To the gas chamber, go.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sarcasm font. Yeah, that would be real useful.

  • jdfinct||

    +1

  • ||

    Seriously.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If we just let Syria get away with using chemical weapons, it will be like standing idly by while Assad twerks right in President Obama's face. That's not the America that I want to live in.

  • DJF||

    This is why the President ordered that the top secret Miley Cyrus Twirk be revealed, this will let Assad know that there is no Twerk gap and we can respond Twerk for Twerk.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    while Assad twerks right in President Obama's face

    Timely humor - I approve.

  • ||

    I'm waiting for the Rwanda analogies to get trotted out.

    We don't want another rwanda do we? Never forget!

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Or US Isolationism and not joining the League of Nations.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Rwanda? Something happened in Rwanda? I forgot.

  • OldMexican||

    Yes, a hotel happened. They even made a movie about it, with Iron Man's second friend (after his first friend was shot down by the Red Tails.)

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    we're still bringing body bags home from civil wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya

    Matt? Ummm...one out of three, maybe?

  • Matt Welch||

  • sarcasmic||

    Two out of three ain't bad.

  • Matt Welch||

    Depends on your interpretation of the word "still." For me, if body bags have come home in the previous 12 months, it qualifies.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libya? Oh yeah. Forgot about Benghazi. I was thinking body bags in terms of conventional combat. My bad.

  • ||

    No one important died in Benghazi, sarc. Get over it already.

  • WTF||

    What difference at this point does it make?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "Still" == "currently; ongoing"

    "Recently" == "maybe in the previous 12 months or so"

  • R C Dean||

    You have a touching faith in the notion that no Americans have been killed in Libya more recently and none are still at risk, just because nobody official has said as much.

    Personally, I have little doubt that whatever was going on in Libya a year ago isn't currently ongoing, and would be very surprised to learn that no Americans have died in Libya since Benghazi. It was important enough, after all, to sacrifice four Americans, including an ambassador, during a Presidential campaign.

  • R C Dean||

    Confusing. Replace "I have little doubt" with "I would be surprised if"

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I don't know the answer, but I know that using "still" to mean "in the relatively recent past" is disingenuous. A 21 year old isn't "still" 20 just because he was 20 within the last 12 months.

    If "still" was the correct usage it was a happy coincidence than purposeful.

  • robc||

    Well, as no body bags have come home in the last 5 minutes (Im guessing), by your definition, STILL doesnt apply to any of them.

    I think 12 months is stretching it, but I get Matt's point.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yes, 12 months is stretching it. Illegitimately, imo, whether I get his point or not.

  • Lord Humungus||

    This time it's different!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    This time is always different. It's last time that's always the same.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Hey according to NewsMax widget (is that the right word?) it's only going to be a two day strike. Much better than Bush's war. /Shriek

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    All interventions are not the same (understatement of the year).

    If Bush had whacked Saddam like Obama did with Qaddafi we would be close to $2 trillion better off not to mention 4500 US dead.

  • John||

    If only Bush had just left Iraq to be taken over by Islamists like Obama did Libya.

    Go suck cock somewhere else. I think even Obama is tired of it at this point

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Iraq has been taken over by Islamists, you idiot.

    Read the first line of their constitution - it is full-on Sharia.

  • WTF||

    BUSHPIGS!!111!!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!

  • John||

    Because being Muslim is the same thing as being an Islamist radical. About every Muslim coutry in the world has the same clause in their constitution. God you are a sorry pile of shit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The new Iraq has said they will provide military support to Hezbollah against Israel.

  • John||

    Bush pig!!! Call me when they invade Kuwait. And Biden says Iraq I'd Obama's greatest achievement. Get your talking points straight retard.

  • R C Dean||

    The new Iraq has said they will provide military support to Hezbollah against Israel.

    Why do I suspect that this radicalization happened after January 21, 2009?

  • Fluffy||

    Why do I suspect that this radicalization happened after January 21, 2009?

    So what you are saying is that Iraq's purported sovereignty prior to that date was a sham?

    Interesting.

  • John||

    No. He is saying Obama fucked up and contributed to a sovereign nation going radical.

    But Iraq isn't radical and never was. Shreek is just lying.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Afghanistan Doesn't Exist in Sock Puppet fantasy world.

  • Fluffy||

    By the standard by which the Morsi regime in Egypt was declared "Islamist" by the LGF brigade, the Islamic Dawa party is absolutely, positively Islamist.

  • John||

    TheMorsi regime did a lot more than have some clause in the constitution. You really do have an affection for radical Muslims.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fluffy is being ignorant.

  • Fluffy||

    TheMorsi regime did a lot more than have some clause in the constitution.

    Like what?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Iraq has been taken over by Islamists

    Lies.

  • ||

    God you are tiresome.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    All interventions are not the same


    The Buttwipe: "Ooohh! My IUD just falls off at the sight of the dreamy chocolate warrior fighting the Hittites!"

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    That's Chocolate Dreamboat Nixon tilting at Saladin!

  • OldMexican||

    But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's homicidal regime with a military strike.


    Because Obama is black and shit. That's why.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    You forgot Democrat.

  • OldMexican||

    That is implicit in the "shit"

    (:-(|)

  • meta||

    gasp! how could you insult shit like that? What has shit ever done to you to deserve such treatment?

  • MJGreen||

    But how much longer are we going to allow those questions to prevent us from trying?

    POLITICS IS A RATIONAL ENDEAVOR. TOP MEN THOROUGHLY EVALUATE A SITUATION BEFORE ACTING.

  • ||

    Those Good Intentions as implemented by a Well Meaning and Right Minded Leader must make that blood taste so, so yummy. No wonder they have such a taste for it, the poor starved things.

  • Stilgar||

    Even if we were to concede the point that the US is somehow justified/obligated to intervene in even a minor attack using CBW, there is no evidence that Assad did this and plenty to cast doubt - unless you are John "undeniable evidence" Kerry.

    There are many dual use (legal) agents which can be weaponized in short order by just about anyone with an interest to cause havoc or stir the pot. Given the total lack of first responder preventive gear and subsequent lack of injury it is unlikely this was an attack with military grade agents.

    Now, could Assad be dumbing down his weapons? Sure. But why on earth would he use the one thing which seems certain to result in a US attack? And at a time when he has clawed back some ground from Al and Bob Qaeda?

    Well at least we know Obama will get another peace pipe from all of this.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "there is no evidence that Assad did this and plenty to cast doubt - unless you are John "undeniable evidence" Kerry."

    I think the administration has already made up it's collective "mind" and I doubt they will backtrack from this point about who is to blame.

    Hagel said in the interview that Washington would soon share evidence that it was the Syrian regime which unleashed chemical weapons last week on the outskirts of Damascus.

    "Syria used chemical weapons against its own people," Hagel said in the interview.

    "Now, we'll have more information and more intelligence here very shortly to present. I think the Secretary (of State John Kerry) noted that yesterday," he said in Brunei, where he is attending a regional gathering of defence ministers.

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-force.....37018.html

  • Cytotoxic||

    there is no evidence that Assad did this and plenty to cast doubt

    Nope. The rebels do not have this capability. It's pretty clear Assad did this.

    And at a time when he has clawed back some ground from Al and Bob Qaeda?

    Barely. He couldn't kick them out of the Damascus suburbs.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "The rebels do not have this capability."

    You mean, unless some foreign power that wanted an excuse to intervene against Assad gave them that capability, or alternatively allowed them to acquire that capability from the spoils of a different conflict that many of the same groups were involved with.

  • Hugh Akston||

    With all this talk about Syria and dirty evil chemical weapons, I just don't have the time or the space to think about the NSA spying on Americans and abusing its already overly-broad authority. Must be some kinda coincidence.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Plus the revelation about Assad using chemical weapons has distracted from the fact that the Obama Regime has lied or distorted the truth every time it has made a statement regarding NSA.

    There's no way the Obama Regime would distort the truth about CBW in Syria, right?

  • John||

    I have always said that had Al Gore won in 2000 we would have invaded Iraq sooner than we did. The Dems are Wilsonians. Shame on all the useful idiots who claim that they must vote D because the Republicans will get us in a war.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    No boots on the ground so it's all good.

  • Tim||

    Sooner or later, every President gets his War Leader thing going. The media will welcome the chance to praise Obama as our great warrior king.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, Gore would have had the whole lot of neocons in his administration (Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rummy, et al).

    Do you ever think?

  • John||

    Gore argued for war in 1998. He was a bigger hawk about it in 2000 than Bush was. Go lie somewhere else retard.

  • John Thacker||

    No, he would have had liberal hawks who have exactly the same views as the neocons, but are on the other team. The liberal hawks who supported Bush on Iraq, just as the neocons are supporting Obama on Syria.

  • WTF||

    BUSHPIGS!!111!!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!

  • ||

    You're the only one here who doesn't think demfag.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Look at the hyper-belligerent Kerry now and try to argue that things would have been substantially different after a 2004 Kerry election victory.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's consistent with the actions of the Clinton administration, which generally tried to be tougher on law and order and on foreign policy as part of its triangulation of the Republicans. The evidence is pretty overwhelming, so unless Gore was somehow a total peacenik (which is also contrary to his Senate record), I assume we'd have attacked the same two countries we attacked.

  • ||

    Dems have taken America to war more than the Republicans. Fact is fact.

  • Tim||

    We intervene to show that killing civillians is wrong, except for the civillians that we kill in our stikes, who are just collateral damage.

  • OldMexican||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ah, the old Jedi mind-meld.

  • Noelle Campbell||

    I think you mean the Vulcan Nerve Punch.

  • kinnath||

    I had this brilliant idea to use Google Translate to convert FYTW into Arabic. Then I remembered that H&R would spit it back in my face, because FYTW.

  • John||

    And this is totally different than Iraq. I mean Saddam killed many more people than Assad ever did and we haven't been in a low intensity war with Assad for 12 years. See this not the same at all.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    It's not like there are allegations of WMDs or that a Dem is launching an attack to distract from scandals either.

  • John||

    Funny how liars and Obama ass kissers like shreek totally forget how hawkish Gore and Clinton were on Iraq. Clinton bombed Iraq neArly daily his entire time in office and talked up th WMD threat as well.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Doesn't look like Obama is interested in whether or not Assad really did launch that gas attack.

    Will we see any "Obama Lied People Died" placards at the protests covered by the DemOp media?

  • From the Tundra||

    What are these "protests" of which you speak?

  • Goldwin Smith||

    From the anti-war movement that has been nonexistent since Pearl Harbor?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've never understood how Iraq was all about Bush the Younger, given that we were in a tepid war throughout the 90s. Certainly, the Iraqis saw it that way, with us regularly blowing shit up.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Because the "anti-war" movement are leftists who hate the GOP and corporations?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I understand the what. What I don't understand is the logic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There is no logic, grasshopper.

  • CatoTheElder||

    US Secretary of State Albright admitted that US sanctions were responsible for killing 500,000 Iraqi children during the Clinton Regime.

    Doesn't sound very tepid to me. Maybe lukewarm.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The Beast Albright not only conceded that fact, she was proud of it.

  • creech||

    Brian Kilmeade was waving his war boner around on "Fox & Friends" this morning. I guess he is entitled though: in his twenties, he signed up for combat infantryman in the first Gulf War, then as a reservist has served two tours in Iraq and three in Afghanistan, winning two purple hearts and a bronze star.

    Oh, wait...that wasn't him???

  • John||

    I hate that shit. Serving in war doesn't give you any special status to voice an opinion on future wars. But it is fun watching pathetic cowardly fucks like shreek decide sending other people to die is just great because Obama is black and shit.

  • Floridian||

    My dad was a tunnel rat in Vietnam and he still supports ever intervention under every president. I really think patriotisms blinds people to reality (we are always the good guys). I don't know what else it could be.

  • Aresen||

    Even if you are the good guys, war is a venture to be undertaken with great caution. Too many damn things can go wrong.

    Also, even if you are the good guys, there are plenty of perfectly innocent people on the other side of the wall who are going to suffer. Read Twain's "The War Prayer."

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

  • BakedPenguin||

    In addition to things going wrong, there has to be eternal vigilance against expediency taking place of ethics. It can be easier to justify more and more unethical shit when you are "right".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Diplomacy is hard and often slow moving. When you have a huge military advantage, the use of force can seem an easier and quicker solution. But that's very frequently the wrong answer.

  • sarcasmic||

    “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    In contrast with today's, "My Country, Right Or Wrong".

  • Noelle Campbell||

    He just believes in a different America than you. That shouldn't come as a surprise since his generation was as split on what America should be as ours is.

  • John Thacker||

    You neglected to mention that oddest group of current liberal hawks-- the Onion.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    What sort of pro-interventionist piece did they post?

  • John Thacker||

    They have been mocking Obama for months for not invading. For example, "Obama deeply concerned after Syrians gassed to death on White House lawn.

  • Cascadian Ephor Xenocles||

    I don't know if that's mockery of not invading so much as mockery of the general impotence of "concern."

  • John Thacker||

    It's one example out of dozen of so. Related, in one way or the other, to the "Syrian Electronic Army" attacking the Onion's website a little while ago.

  • ||

    Just like Obama lost the plot on how to lead wisely on race matters in America, he's lost the psychological edge in Mid-East policy.

    He did well with the Russians - until Powerful Putin got in.

  • Dweebston||

    Not even waiting for the first missile strikes before they begin cooing about the president's bold, unassailable vision.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Well he was given the Nobel just for being elected so this is par for the course.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I still "almost" puke when I hear some otherwise rational anti-war voices continuing to insist that the thoughtful Obama is reluctant to go to war, he is being pushed and dragged into it by raving lunatic Republicans. Not that it is not partially true, but what is this article about?

  • Noelle Campbell||

    What raving lunatic Republicans? McCain? He's practically a Democrat now.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Just as long as they successfully manage to blot out the horrifying suspicion that there is nothing we can do to fix the problem.

  • albo||

    Don't anybody worry. It's a two-day strike and then it's over and Assad won't do it again. No Americans will be hurt and there will be no repercussions at all in the Middle East, a region as stable as a Mylie Cyrus stage performance.

    Jeez, you guys, no worries.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    So any anti-war protests so far? However any that do happened will be ignored by the media.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Occupy the Pentagon, you say? Occupy the NSA, you say?

    I'm sorry but the anti-war protesting will come from somewhere else.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Sorry, all tied up protesting Fracking.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Does Syria have any oil?

  • John||

    No. So that makes going to war with them totally ok.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Obviously. Most of the actual anti-Iraq sentiment was due to a Rethuglikkkan doing the bidding of KKKORPORATE masters to steal Iraq's oil.

    Obama is a Democrat and therefore opposed to corporations so he has no sinister ulterior motives whatsoever in bombing Syria or Libya.

  • Jon Lester||

    But the idea of a pipeline stretching from Iraq to the Mediterranean has occurred to some. Last time I mentioned that, someone pointed out there's already one (or one being built) across Turkey for the same purpose.

  • KDN||

    Syria has produced heavy-grade oil from fields located in the northeast since the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, light-grade, low-sulphur oil was discovered near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Syria's rate of oil production has decreased dramatically from a peak close to 600,000 barrels per day in 1995 down to less than 140,000 bbl/d in 2012.

    Syria exported roughly 200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d) in 2005, and oil still accounts for a majority of the country's export income. Syria also produces 22 million cubic meters of gas per day, with estimated reserves around 8.5 trillion cubic feet (240 km3). While the government has begun to work with international energy companies in the hopes of eventually becoming a gas exporter, all gas currently produced is consumed domestically.

    Prior to the uprising, more than 90% of Syrian oil exports were to EU countries, with the remainder going to Turkey. Oil and gas revenues constituted around 20% of total GDP and 25% of total government revenue.

    They have no oil, but oil is their chief export.

    I get that it's small potatoes when compared to Iraq, but they do have enough reserves that gaining access would be worth someone's while (especially since there's a lot less pirates and Iranians between Western Europe and Latakia than Basra).

  • John||

    http://billingsgazette.com/new.....touch=true

    Teacher has affair with 14 year old girl who later commits suicide. Teacher get 30 days after inially getting nothing but then being such a fuck up he got kicked out of counseling the judge says the suicide did t matter since the girl was troubled to begin with. The fact that she was screwed up to begin with males the statutory rape worse you immoral half wit. If I were that girl's father, I don't think that guy would want to get out of jail.

  • sarcasmic||

  • John||

    I am very liberal about age of consent. But 49 year old teacher and 14 year old screwed up girl? You a a deviant who needs to be exterminated.

  • Brett L||

    This is actually far closer to the actual story in Lolita than most appropriations.

  • sarcasmic||

    xkcd got it about right.

    Standard creepiness rule: don't date under (age/2 + 7).

    So for 49, 31 is about as young as he could go without being a creep.

    http://xkcd.com/314/

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That rule sucks.

  • Lord Humungus||

    most rules do.

  • sarcasmic||

    The way I look at it is the bigger the gap in age, the less you will have in common. I mean, if you're pushing 50, what the fuck are you going to talk about with a 20yr old? Or a 30yr old even? You've got to have something to build a relationship on.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I mean, if you're pushing 50, what the fuck are you going to talk about with a 20yr old?

    talk?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I should just say that I object to anything that involves the word "Creepy", because fuck that word that's why.

  • sarcasmic||

    I should just say that I object to anything that involves the word "Creepy", because fuck that word that's why.

    That's just creepy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Inside the hospital-themed restaurant where 'patients' pay to wear straitjackets while waitresses dressed as nurses spoonfeed them body parts


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....ckets.html
    Creepy

  • ||

    Sex?

  • robc||

    I wouldnt exist if that rule was a "rule".

    My Dad violated it, he was 27 and my Mom was 18 when they got married.

    I do think its a decent suggestion though.

  • Robert||

    You wouldn't exist? Or you would've had other parents?

  • Jon Lester||

    At age 43, that rule happens to work out for me with regard to American women, because the good ones get better after 30.

    However, if the girl happens to be from Europe, then we don't have to add 7 in our formula...

  • Fluffy||

    That math only really applies until one party is 25, or one party is 60.

  • Killazontherun||

    I have a general formula as well. No one under 17 for an adult male 21+ and that is more to do with respect for the father of the lady and his lawful domain than some foolish notion about what is socially appropriate. Humans are too varied for that to apply to anyone but sheep. When I was in my early 20s I had an outstanding affair with a woman in her late 40s. We never suffered for intelligent conversation because my understanding of the world wasn't limited to the few years that I have lived in it. I know women of that age now of similar capacity. I wont entertain the notion of sexual relations with them now even though they openly flirt with me only because I'm married, and happily so.

  • Killazontherun||

    Also, one of the head guys here is just a year shy of sixty dating a girl in grad school who is only twenty three. No one calls him creepy. He owns a speed boat and is in good shape. Lucky motherfucker is the official title.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The judge also said Morales was "older than her chronological age."

    In what universe does that statement even make sense? Even if, say, she were a child prodigy with an IQ of 200, it would have no legal bearing on consent.

    Or is this another example of the racist belief that Black and Latin girls are more sexually precocious, and thus, "grow up faster" than the delicate lilies of White womanhood?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Huh? You know of no teenagers who act older than they are?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What does "acting older" have to do with the legality of statutory rape?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Did you check IDs when you were 21?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *shrugs*

    I never met jailbait that was worth going to prison for.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How do you know other than the fact that you weren't prosecuted?

    I met jailbait (16), in a bar, who had been carded. If she had been crazy (or her parents vindictive), I'd have been in a world of crap.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Which is a completely different situation than what the judge in this case is commenting on.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Your statement "What does 'acting older' have to do with the legality of statutory rape?" didn't seem to limit the discussion to the case at hand. When someone acts older -- by being a in place it is illegal for minors to be, for example -- acting older should be a mitigating factor.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's a good point.

  • robc||

    16 isnt jailbait in the majority of US states.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'm sure the judge in Texas would be appropriately convinced if I had had to make that argument.

  • robc||


    I'm sure the judge in Texas would be appropriately convinced if I had had to make that argument.

    Apparently its 17 in Texas, which is odd. And prime.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's even funkier. The age of consent if the actors are within, I think, 3 years of each other is 14.

    +1 (neither prime nor composite) for a math reference.

  • Killazontherun||

    I once met a sixteen year old girl at my college library. Talked for an hour, and due to my not really flirting with her, she confessed her age, and her intention of being there to pick up a college guy. If I hadn't had a girlfriend I would have been all over that and assuming the entire time that she was a co-ed.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    What does "acting older" have to do with the legality of statutory rape?

    So there is no such thing as mitigating or aggravating circumstances to you?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Strict liability is usually pretty evil.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So there is no such thing as mitigating or aggravating circumstances to you?

    Ah, so the way she was dressed, she was asking for it?

    C'mon, son!

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Ah, so the way she was dressed, she was asking for it?

    C'mon, son!

    Dude, what the fuck? This wasn't forcible rape.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And it wasn't star-crossed lovers either.

    An emotionally disturbed public school student was groomed by someone in a position of power over her. The relationship obviously disturbed her enough that she killed herself.

    Don't conflate this with the 18-year-old football player going to jail for having sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    An emotionally disturbed public school student was groomed by someone in a position of power over her. The relationship obviously disturbed her enough that she killed herself.

    Based on the one-half of the story you heard, that is.

  • Sidd Finch||

    An emotionally disturbed public school student was groomed by someone in a position of power over her. The relationship obviously disturbed her enough that she killed herself.

    obviously

  • Dweebston||

    Plenty of precocious teenagers; doesn't mean I'd want to employ them, let alone sleep with them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Everyone acts their age. By definition.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That's... odd. If you belief a class full of 13 years olds all act the same way, you have a much different view of the world than I do.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, what does one's "behavior" have to do with the legality of sexual intercourse with them?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The legality? Probably nothing. The morality? A lot.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The legality? Probably nothing. The morality? A lot.

    Well it should be noted these frequently go hand-in-hand on sentencing. Note that this guy was convicted and did receive a prison sentence.

    I also want to point out that this is probably the first time I have seen a news article drop the word "statutory" from a case like this (that is, they simply said "rape" instead of "statutory rape"). There's a REASON we use a term like "statutory", and it's because we don't think of this as "rape rape".

  • Sidd Finch||

    I also want to point out that this is probably the first time I have seen a news article drop the word "statutory" from a case like this

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/08/.....ct-rapist/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The legality? Probably nothing. The morality? A lot.

    My argument is strictly about the legality.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    My argument is strictly about the legality.

    So in Situation A, a guy has sex with a girl one day shy of the age of consent. he checked her ID (it was a fake) and asked her multiple times how old she was, and she lied and said she was 18.

    In Situation B, a guy manipulates a 13 year old into having sex through promises of money/candy/grades/whatever.

    Both of these should be punished the same?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Both of these should be punished the same?

    That's the point, bro. The judge is treating Mr. B in the same manner as Mr. A.

    Do you think that's correct?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That's the point, bro. The judge is treating Mr. B in the same manner as Mr. A.

    Except when the judge points out the victim acted older than she was, you got all shirty about it.

    So when the judge introduces aggravating factors you're all good with it, but if he introduces mitigating ones, you get your dander up. And you gratuitously threw some racism acccusations in there for good measure.

  • Sidd Finch||

    So when the judge introduces aggravating factors you're all good with it, but if he introduces mitigating ones, you get your dander up.

    It's the opposite of the 'low IQ is a mitigating factor, but high IQ isn't an aggravating factor' head-scratcher.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Except when the judge points out the victim acted older than she was, you got all shirty about it.

    The only "shirtiness" I see is you reacting to the adjective "creepy" when describing 40-something males bedding 14-year-old girls. Are you posting during your "vacation" to Cambodia, perhaps?

    So when the judge introduces aggravating factors you're all good with it, but if he introduces mitigating ones, you get your dander up.

    How is it a mitigating circumstance in this case? As her teacher, he damn well knew her age. It's not the same as the girl who sneaks into the bar. So what does her supposed "maturity" have to do with the fact?

    And you gratuitously threw some racism acccusations in there for good measure.

    Give me a break! The stereotype of Black and Latin women being sexually available at an earlier age has been around for at least 500 years. In the United States, there is at least some evidence for the stereotype when examining the teen pregnancy rates of various ethnic groups. However, men in developed countries tend to have sex earlier than men in places like sub-Saharan Africa, due to stricter social mores in those cultures.

    Pick up a history book, then read a sociology book before claiming I gratuitously threw anything, kid.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Pick up a history book, then read a sociology book before claiming I gratuitously threw anything, kid.

    you don't have any evidence that racism was a motivation for the judge. Which means all you're doing is smearing by implication, because you lack proof. That's a shitty thing to do.

    Are you posting during your "vacation" to Cambodia, perhaps?

    More shittiness. See, here what you have done is engage in an ad hominem; in an attempt to discredit my position, you have smeared ME. Sorry to say, that's not something you get to do.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fuck you. If you object to the term "creepy" to describe the relationship between the teacher and the kid, then you should have no problem with child sex-tourism to the 3rd World.

    And you're damn right I "smeared" you, because, right now, you're acting like an oily shitstain.

    What are you going to do about it, internet tough guy?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    ha ha. The sure sign that someone lost an argument is when he starts whining and throwing insults. Cry more please.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, the sure sign someone lost an argument is when he starts projecting. The only crying is from you when you were outed as a pedophile.

    Allow me to instruct you in basic symbolic logic, (of which, I usually get paid about by the credit hour, so you're welcome). What you incorrect identify as argumentum ad hominem is actually reductio ad absurdum. When you realized that I argued your premises into contradiction, and even worse, that you couldn't keep up with my wit, you began to claim that is was some sort of Platonic symposium, as opposed to an internet news forum where the regulars habitually bust each others balls.

    I'm sure your friends on the NAMBLA forums will commiserate with you as you froth at the mouth with impotent rage.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If you object to the term "creepy" to describe the relationship between the teacher and the kid

    Where did I say that? Oh right, I didn't. See, that was a subconversation about an xkcd comic strip. It was not direct conversation on the subject at hand. This is why you fail.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Please. Thin gruel, pedo. Thin gruel indeed.

  • Sidd Finch||

    then read a sociology book

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You do realize, Finch, that most of your beloved HBD "research" employed the quantitative methodology of sociology in a Positivist theoretical framework, don't you?

  • Sidd Finch||

    I'll take Positivism over your beloved Critical Theory.

  • Calidissident||

    I have a really hard time believing that a disturbed 14 year old girl that killed herself was more mature than her age indicated.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It sounds like the sort of thing a sleazebag would say to justify his own actions. I'd be taking a closer look at this judge, if I were the pedo cops down there.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I know of teenagers who act younger than they are, but none who act older.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Question: who has covered up more child abuse, the Catholic Church or the Public School System?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Teacher has affair with 14 year old girl who later commits suicide.

    Nice....

  • Aresen||

    In the case of Syria, we appear to have a bi-partisan warboner.

    The Team Red side is trying to have it both ways: "Don't get involved in a bad situation!/Don't let Assad get away with this!" They are positioning themselves to blame Obama no matter what happens.

    If Obama has the guts to say 'no' to intervention in Syria*, I will actually gain some respect for him.

    I am not hopeful.

    *'Intervention in Syria' includes sending arms to the rebels. That may already have been done. If so, Barry has blown it again.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Where's Canada on this? Pro or against intervention?

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Pro probably. Since TEAM BLUE is in the White House the Liberals and NDP won't attack it.

  • Aresen||

    Harper appears to be on the pro-intervention side, but he will probably follow Obama's lead on this.

    OTOH, the rest of the country, including the opposition parties, is dead set against it. Harper tends to be cautious politically and will often bury his own preferences when he senses a losing position.

    It depends whether Harper's political instincts outweigh his neo-con leanings.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, most of us are against it, too! Which is why we're going to use force. Sadly, the U.S. has no constitutional restriction on a president who wants to kill people and blow shit up. Strange oversight, but what can we do?

  • Aresen||

    In a Westminister parliament, there is no check whatsoever on a PM with a majority government, so long as the PM can keep his party together. Only if his party senses that the PM is leading them to a political disaster is the PM likely to face a caucus revolt. (This happens often enough that PMs tend to keep close to the political center.)

    Also, the PM does have to face the opposition daily in the House of Commons and is required to respond to questions; he can't just flip them off.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, this is one of the reasons I favor the system the U.S. used to have over the parliamentary system--checks and balances among a divided legislature, executive, and judiciary, a written constitution, etc. Of course, those differences are becoming increasingly academic.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The three branches finally figured out they were working for the same mob.

    I figured it out when I was called to jury duty. I looked around and saw GOVT-paid Judge, Prosecutor, Public Defender and Policeman arrayed against the hapless accused in a courtroom with the American and State flags on display.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I had gotten the impression that Harper wasn't enthused about intervention but that if it happens he'll join in to show what a good teamplayer he is and because he can play Big Boss with Big Guns.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I had better get busy on my "Obama with horns and blood-dripping fangs" t-shirts. I sense a HUGE demand.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Racist!!!!

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Also whites have always been using their privilege to keep the black men down. So that's why the war can't be criticized.

  • Aresen||

    If it weren't for the fact that it would be spun that way, I'd laugh.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Did you see Code Pink apologize for criticizing Michelle Obama because she is a black woman?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Window on Eurasia: If US Attacks Syria, Russia Should Send Troops into Baltic Countries, Moscow Researcher Says"

    But according to the CIS researcher, “Russia must make it clear to the West that it will pay a high price for aggression against Syria,” and it can best do that by deploying its forces where “we have clear strategic supremacy, that is, in the Baltics.” In short, Moscow must tell the West: “you attack Syria in violation of international law, and we will occupy the Baltics.”

    http://windowoneurasia2.blogsp.....syria.html

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Dude needs to play more RISK. All the Baltics are part of NATO. I don't think Russia is willing to start World War III just to make a point. What Russia could do is occupy one of the C-list countries that are friendly to America but not strategic enough for America to start a direct conflict, like Georgia or Azerbaijan.

  • John||

    Would we go to war over Estonia? You guys are assuming that Putin sees Obama as a serious president and not an incompetent rube. I do t like those odds at all.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Estonia is a full member of NATO; we would be obligated.

  • Aresen||

    In any Ivan Ivanovich vs Joe Kilroy conflict outside of Russia proper, Ivan is going to get his balls blown off. The Russian military is simply not up to a serious conflict with any comparable power.

    The real danger is if Putin risks it anyways and panics when the shit hits the fan.

  • John||

    That is what they said in August 1914. Russia would never go to war over Serbia.

  • Aresen||

    I merely said that the Russian military was not up to a direct confrontation with the US military (or British or French, for that matter).

    I make no guarantees as to the degree of Putin's stupidity and arrogance.

  • Robert||

    "Never" may have been an exaggeration, but if you ran it 10 times, how many do you think they'd've gone to war in?

  • Tim||

    Fuck c list countries: they can have Detroit, Chicago and all of New Jersey.

  • Jon Lester||

    I think the Russians have already figured out that their material cost shouldn't exceed writing off what Assad owes them. Then, when the inevitable consequences of intervention happen, they can just tell us, "we told you so."

  • R C Dean||

    See, I would think that going to war without any Congressional fig leaf at all would be a laydown impeachment, all the way through both houses. If illegally killing who knows how many people and destroying who knows how much property isn't a "high crime", what is?

  • John||

    It is a non kinetic action. We areading from behind. If Obama does anything but bomb for a few days the political fallout will be interesting. This thing has no public support. No public support plus casualties plus no congressional authorization equals a lot of shit hitting the fan.

  • robc||

    That was my thought too.

    And I think there might be enough D's in the House to support a President Biden at that point.

  • John||

    Not if he just bombs and runs. It of there are any casualties, all bets are off.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Ever consider the possibility that Obama wants to boost his legacy?

    To be really esteemed among historians and public school teachers, a president has to have huge bodycounts.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's about as illegal as it gets, even accepting that Congress usually just waves the flag when the president rattles the saber.

    Even Bush got the AUMFs. The one against terror is more than a little iffy, but the one against Iraq is very likely a legal declaration of war.

  • John||

    It absolutely was. Iraq was a perfectly legal war. Kosovo and Libya are the ones that were illegal.

  • Pro Libertate||

    As bad as Bush was, at least he was playing by the Constitution when it came to warfare. I think this shows one of the real differences between the right and the left right now: The right acknowledges some limits on federal power, even if it tries to come up with end runs around those limits, while the left as constituted today seems to not recognize any limits, except to the extent that refusing to adhere to them might cost them an election.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I never understood the argument (if there was one) that Iraq II wasn't legal because there wasn't a deceleration. It's not like the Constitution requires declarations of war to be titled "1 2 3 4 I declare war."

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, I agree. Whatever one thinks about the invasion, it's a pretty thin argument that the AUMF wasn't a declaration of war.

    The AUMF against terror is a whole lot less clear, as it appears to me to be overbroad and an improper delegation of war power. But at least Congress actually passed it.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I thought Iraq was an awful idea for a bunch of reasons. Just never understood how people deluded themselves into thinking any exercise of congressional power has to use the exact wording of the Constitution.

    I'll leave the 2001 AUMF to the lawyers (on my side).

  • robc||

    The counter is a bill that literally declared war was also entered into congress, so there was some conflict over this. At the least, it seems the AUMF could have been easily amended to include the literal words to remove any doubt.

    But they chose not to do that, which questions whether they wanted to officially declare war under their congressional powers.

    And the Speaker of the House called the section of the constitution giving the power to declare war to congress an anachronism.

    There behavior suggests to me that they werent declaring war.

  • robc||

    *Their* behavior.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's very vaguely defined, anyway, so there are lots of ways that Congress can skin that cat.

  • robc||

    It's very vaguely defined, anyway, so there are lots of ways that Congress can skin that cat.

    Speaking of pussies, while I agree it is vague and precedent in not using the actual phrase goes back to Jefferson and the Barbary States, why are our congressmen to big of pussies to use the phrase?

    That bothers me more than whether it was technically legal or not.

    The congressmen in 1941 werent pussies, they declared fucking war.

  • robc||

    *too*

    Struggling today.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree, why not use the words? We need to stop letting the government in general weasel out of responsibility. If we need to go to war, then take responsibility for it. Own it, with all the consequences that entails.

    Our complete inability to hold politicians accountable is part of the reason constitutional government has broken down as much as it has.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The AUMFs are tainted by the fraud employed by the executive branch in seeking them. But it's still a damn sight better than the present -- at least Bush felt like he owed it to Congress to trick them into giving consent. Obama would rather make sure they know who is the bitch.

  • John||

    Fraud my ass. God that is a tiresome line of bullshit the evidence was there. Congress made a decision and the. Wanted to deny responsibility. Shame on you for enabling them

  • Pro Libertate||

    If chemical weapons are the real issue, why not put the Russians and Chinese on the spot for trying to at least stop their use?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    See, I would think that going to war without any Congressional fig leaf at all would be a laydown impeachment, all the way through both houses. If illegally killing who knows how many people and destroying who knows how much property isn't a "high crime", what is?

    I would think blatantly disregarding one's oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" would be a slam dunk impeachment, but the idea of Congress laying that charge would be like a group- of bank robbers stopping in the middle of proceedings to chastise one of the crew for picking a quarter up off the floor and putting it in his pocket.

  • Aresen||

    As I said above, the warboner is bipartisan.

    I don't think Obama would have any trouble getting a AUMF (even ex post facto) if he wanted it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's what's shocking to me about Libya and even Syria--Obama could likely get the votes. So what possible reason does he have for not following the constitutional process? I can only think of one, which is bad.

  • John Thacker||

    Presidents want power.

    Don't forget, of course, that Congress doesn't want the responsibility of a vote that might end up being the wrong way. The House could schedule a vote, and tell Obama, "Come and brief us, or we'll vote no." But the Speaker doesn't want that either.

  • John||

    Not sure about that. Not with 9% support.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Maybe not, but I bet it would be a whole lot closer than 9% voting for.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Though that gives me another reason he's skipping Congress--if the GOP decided to oppose a war resolution, the Democrats either have to crap all over any remnants of anti-war feeling in their party, or they have to "look weak." And Obama looks bad if his party doesn't support him.

    Fucking sick that we're allowing this.

  • John Thacker||

    It doesn't entirely matter if he's "skipping Congress." Congress can still vote.

    The House voted on Libya. What they got was an interesting debate with a lot of crossing party lines, but a majority against "we approve" and a majority against "we disapprove." Part of those voting against both were loyal Democrats who argued that Obama didn't need Congress's approval, dammit.

  • Aresen||

    Going to Congress for an AUMF would be the smart thing to do.

    If Congress refuses it, he can go to the librawks and say "I wanted to do something, but Congress tied my hands".

    If Congress approves it, it becomes impossible for Congress to pin the blame solely on Obama if things go sideways.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Americans will support the war once the propaganda gets started. The MSM will be spreading non-stop propaganda once the missiles start flying.

    But Congress will appropriate funds anyway. Gotta support the troops.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's homicidal regime with a military strike — and hope that history and the people are wrong.

    You know, at least neoconservatives will often try to make what they think is a reality-based. 'Kill these guys because he is a threat to us in this way'. The Liberal Hawks just don't care. Reality has failed them once more, so they will simply move forward without it.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "hope that history and the people are wrong"

    Hope 'n Change!

  • Paul.||

    Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through.

    So Obama wants to strike Syria because they have weapons of mass destruction. There's some precedent for this somewhere. I just can't put my finger on it.

  • bmp1701||

    Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through.

    This is drunken bar fight logic. "I told him not to say that again, he said it again, so I had to shoot him!"

  • Killazontherun||

    Exactly. The routine lack of sophistication at our highest echelons of decision making should be enough to put everyone in the Ancap camp.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I shot a man in Afghanistan, just to watch him die.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I predator-droned a child in Pakistan, just for the psychic thrill of watching the people's faces while I denied doing it.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I assassinated an 80-year-old terrorist with my bare hands and lovingly washed his genitals before throwing his body to the sharks.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    These putrid preachers of death with their broken or non-existent moral compasses are all part of the paid or non-paid Cass Sunstein propaganda brigade.

  • NL_||

    My lefty, anti-violence mother, who hated the Iraq war and Bush, compared the Syria debacle to the run-up to Vietnam. Then immediately said she trusted the Obama administration was equipped to handle the situation and that 'something' needed to be done. Pretty much just partisanship.

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