The Don is Dead?

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The New York Times editorial page wants President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and not just because of the Abu Ghraib scandal:

This is far from a case of a fine cabinet official undone by the actions of a few obscure bad apples in the military police. Donald Rumsfeld has morphed, over the last two years, from a man of supreme confidence to arrogance, then to almost willful blindness. With the approval of the president, he sent American troops into a place whose nature and dangers he had apparently never bothered to examine.

We now know that no one with any power in the Defense Department had a clue about what the administration was getting the coalition forces into. Mr. Rumsfeld?s blithe confidence that he could run his war on the cheap has also seriously harmed the Army and the National Guard.

Is the indictment fair? In many ways it is, since the Pentagon?s mismanagement of Iraq has made a difficult situation infinitely worse, threatening the success of a valid enterprise. But deleting Rummy seems a cop-out, inasmuch as Bush, Rice and Cheney were equally careless in their oversight of a post-war Iraqi transformation the president had deemed of historic importance (in contrast to Rummy, who always seemed far more interested in testing his weapons and reshaping the armed forces).

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  1. “Kerry was a front line grunt who was not aware that his actions were illegal when he committed them. When he discovered they were, he was pissed off enough to become one of the foremost leaders of the movement to end the ongoing crimes, and see that the military and civilian brass who were responsible for those crimes faced consequences.”
    Sadly Joe, little of this is true or holds up to examination. To use this line of argument is to excuse the guards at Abu Ghraib who “didn’t know the Geneva Convention.” First off many of the things he listed rape, execution, taking of heads, mutilation, torture, the razing of villages etc are fairly patently wrong and pretty much self-evidently illegal. So, IF Kerry performed these acts neither he nor you can argue he didn’t know that he was violating the law. Some of the things he said were violations of law are not, the firing of H&I missions, firing on persons in a Free Fire Zone, the use of the .50 Caliber HMG, Search and Destroy Missions. etc. These are legitimate acts of war.
    Above and beyond this the testimony that he gave at the Winter Soldier Hearings was HEARSAY, simply repeating what others had TOLD HIM and the fact is, that much of this testimony was FALSE, made by persons who were not soldiers, not soldiers in Vietnam, or by soldiers not in Combat Arms in Vietnam. In short, much of what Kerry says “he knows” is simply not true, it either isn’t illegal or it never happened.
    So, Kerry’s Crusade was indeed Quixotic, at best or simply self-serving aggrandizement at the expense of soldiers and the Truth. But by no stretch of the imagination can it be called a basis for a Presidential bid. Notice I have nothing to say about his service, he served in combat. So did my Father, he wouldn’t have been a good President either. Kerry’s post-war antics disqualify him, not his service. I don’t question his patriotism,then, but I sure as heck question his motivation and judgement in the aftermath.

  2. Joe L,

    Don’t worry about throat clearing, ass covering statements like your last paragraph with me. You didn’t criticize Kerry’s combat valour or patriotism, so I won’t accuse you of doing so. I’m not that kind of liberal. I just with the opposition around here would demonstrate a similar level of honesty in discussions of, say, Soviet industrial development.

    The point I made was addressed to a comment, made above, that Kerry’s involvement in “war crimes” makes him unfit to criticize Rumsfeld. Your comment, that Kerry may not have committed war crimes, appears to make my point even stronger.

    I think its pretty easy to distinguish between what Kerry did that may have been a crime – firing on people who everyone above him in the chain of command agreed were legitimate targets – and what the Abu Gharib guards did – obvious acts of criminality.

    But it really is wishful thinking on your part to pretend that there were not widespread war crimes in Vietnam. Tiger Force? My Lai? Operation Phoenix? C’mon. The presence of some bs in the Winter Soldier investigation does not get this country off the hook for the crimes that were committed, any more than the small number of bigots and angry neighbors reporting that innocent Muslims to the FBI gets Al Qaeda off the hook for their crimes.

    Dan may now commence with hysterically accusing me of moral equivalence.

  3. Kerry went to the “Naval Officer Candidate School at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island” (lifted that from another sight)

    I don’t know if that really makes him a “grunt”. I would expect an officer should know about not raping people…

  4. Kerry was never accused of raping people.

    He was one of 6 people in a small boat that was on the front lines. He personally operated a machine gun, took fire, was repeatedly wounded, and had to kill people from close enough to see the expression on their faces. That’s “grunt” enough for me.

  5. An interesting question: Given that Federico Pena was kicked out as Transportation Secretary after the Valujet crash in Florida back in 1996, why should Rumsfeld, Tenet, Rice, etc. get to keep their jobs? The foul-ups of those people on intelligence/strategy have resulted in orders of magnitude more deaths and property damage than dunking one DC-9 into the Everglades.

  6. Is the indictment fair? In many ways it is, since the Pentagon?s mismanagement of Iraq has made a difficult situation infinitely worse, threatening the success of a valid enterprise.

    How is the Pentagon mismanaging Iraq? Most of the fuck-ups seem to be coming from the State side of things.

    For that matter, how is it clear that Iraq is being mismanaged at all? Which past manager of Iraq are we comparing ourselves to, here? If you think Rumsfeld needs to go, who’s going to replace him and what will *that* guy’s plan be? The only alternate suggestion I’m hearing is “bring in the UN”, which is the one thing guaranteed to make the situation worse.

  7. It is mismanaged because we should have never been there. Get it? It could rain fucking gold in Iraq and we will not stop until Rummie and the other war criminals are in chains!

  8. Rick Barton,

    Who am I to argue with a fatwa? (I had not read your other post itemizing Bin Laden’s reasons…look’s like you were posting when I was writing mine.)

  9. Dan wrote: “For that matter, how is it clear that Iraq is being mismanaged at all?”

    How about the occupation has missed most of deadlines/targets it set for itself? (You might remember that administration officials back in late 2002-early 2003 were claiming the war would cost no more than $60-80 billion, that US troop levels would be drawn down to 30,000 by summer, that oil revenues would be sufficient within a year to cover reconstruction costs, etc.) You will, of course, now either (a) ignore this post or (b) claim that those deadlines/targets were unrealistic. Assuming you do (b), then I ask you: If a project manager of yours tells you his team can finish a project in two weeks on budget, but six weeks later they’re still working on it, they’re over double the original budget, and the project manager now says that it will take several more weeks to finish would you *not* say that he has mismanaged the project? There are, afterall, only three possibilities:

    (a) The project manager originally lied about the time/cost requirements;

    (b) The project manager has mismanaged his team and resources; or

    (c) An unforseen circumstance has occurred that invalidated the original projections.

    You will now leap to declare that possibility (c) is the real answer, but it doesn’t apply to the occupation of Iraq, since there were innumerable people who warned the Bush administration before the war about the exact ethnic/religious splits that are now the biggest threats to the viability of a stable, unified Iraq. (See, e.g., this very website, the American Conservative, Antiwar.com, etc.)

    To return to the earlier analogy, if your project manager claimed that an unforseen circumstance put his team behind schedule, but you knew that he had received multiple reports about that precise circumstance before the team started work, would you not say that he had mismanaged the project?

  10. Did Reno Go After Waco?

    I rest my case.

  11. Air American may be a troll or he may be serious? If he’s serious, this illustrates the hesitancy that folks from my side of the aisle have in regards to the Abu Ghraib charges. Yeah I deplore the acts and I want justice done, BUT?
    From some people’s views, to include Air American apparently, the goal is not justice but defeat of the US forces in Iraq. Understandably, that is not something most folks are willing to countenance.
    To the extent that Air American is NOT a troll or spoofer he represents something of a liability for people on the Left. As he says, it cold be raining gold and the policy recommendation would remain the same, come home and charge Bush? As long as the options are keep Rummie or acquiesce in the return of a nasty thuggish regime in Iraq, then I’m for keeping Rummie. I think most Americans would agree.

  12. There are, afterall, only three possibilities:
    (a) The project manager originally lied about the time/cost requirements;
    (b) The project manager has mismanaged his team and resources; or
    (c) An unforseen circumstance has occurred that invalidated the original projections.

    You’ve obviously never held a real job. Here are other common reasons for missing deadlines:

    (d): The people involved in the project make mistakes in their estimates. For example, a manager may consult with his engineers, and based on their estimates establish a timeline for a project. But one of the engineers is off in his or her estimate, delaying completion of his portion of the project, and hence of the project as a whole.
    (e): One or more people involved in the project make a serious mistake (such as, to continue the above example, using some technology that turns out to be inadequate for the project’s needs, and which then must be ripped out and replaced.

    and, most commonly,
    (f): The project manager(s) lacked the information they would have needed to construct an accurate timeline.

    The correct answer, in this case, is (f). Nobody had accurate information about the state Iraq would be in after the war. It was, for obvious reasons, impossible to have such information. All that it was possible to do was to estimate, based on available information, approximately what the costs involved would be. Frankly, only an idiot would think “he lied, he mismanaged, or the situation changed” are the only options. Managers aren’t omniscient and aren’t expected to be. What they are expected to do is the best job they can with the resources available.

    there were innumerable people who warned the Bush administration before the war about the exact ethnic/religious splits that are now the biggest threats to the viability of a stable, unified Iraq. (See, e.g., this very website, the American Conservative, Antiwar.com, etc.)

    That argument just doesn’t fly. You’re faulting the administration for not listening to people who have been dramatically wrong about virtually everything, and occasionally right only through sheer coincidence.

    Certainly Antiwar.com predicted trouble rebuilding Iraq. They also predicted millions of casualties, open civil war, the collapse of the entire Middle East into bloody warfare, the pillaging of the oil fields by greedy American companies, and thousands of other things that never happened and show no signs of ever happening. When your method of “predicting” what *will* happen consists of listing every possible negative outcome, it’s inevitable that you will occasionally be right. That doesn’t mean you’re worth ever listening to.

    Basically, you’re suggesting that Rumsfeld is incompetent because he didn’t follow the advice of demonstrably incompetent people. That’s not a rational view to hold.

  13. Well, the NY Times is a very important and credible news source. I think we consider what they recommend very seriously.

  14. Quotes from an article published in 2002 by Suleiman Abu Gheith, spokesperson for Al-Qa’ida (see here: http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP38802)

    “This goes for every man – let alone when the man in question is of those who believe in Allah, in Islam as a religion, and in Muhammad as Prophet and Messenger, and anyone who knows that his religion is unwilling to allow him to be inferior and refuses to allow him to be humiliated.”

    “How can [he] possibly [accept humiliation and inferiority] when he knows that his nation was created to stand at the center of leadership, at the center of hegemony and rule, at the center of ability and sacrifice? How can [he] possibly [accept humiliation and inferiority] when he knows that the [divine] rule is that the entire earth must be subject to the religion of Allah – not to the East, not to the West – to no ideology and to no path except for the path of Allah??”

    “America is the head of heresy in our modern world, and it leads an infidel democratic regime that is based upon separation of religion and state and on ruling the people by the people via legislating laws that contradict the way of Allah and permit what Allah has prohibited. This compels the other countries to act in accordance with the same laws in the same ways? and punishes any country [that rebels against these laws] by besieging it, and then by boycotting it. By so doing, [America] seeks to impose on the world a religion that is not Allah’s?”

    “America, with the collaboration of the Jews, is the leader of corruption and the breakdown [of values], whether moral, ideological, political, or economic corruption. It disseminates abomination and licentiousness among the people via the cheap media and the vile curricula.”

    Sounds like people who don’t like our culture to me.

  15. solarity,

    Actually, the evidence is far more than humiliation; the pictures in the NYT today prove that. Dead bodies with torture marks on them belie mere humiliation.

  16. When Young mentions a “valid enterprise”, what is he referring to? The DoD?

  17. The double standard is amazing. Kerry commits real atrocities by killing women and children and Democrats think he should be President. The Army brings to light “humiliation” of prisoners, and Rumsfield should resign and Bush must be voted out of office. It must be painful to be a Democrat.

  18. He must be. I’d hate to think he was talking about the war. On the other hand, I just read his most recent editorial, and I’m pretty sure he thinks ‘valid enterprise’ covers that too. Though I would be interested to see how he’d spin sodomy with a chemical light into ‘humiliation.’ I’d also be curious as to his reaction to the news that MG Miller, commandante at Gitmo, is the shining knight who’s supposed to redeem Abu Ghraib – given that Miller was the outside expert who suggested breaking the wall between MP and MI to begin with, using Gitmo SOP as his ‘baseline.’ This does not sound to me like a democratic system trying to do the right thing – it sounds like business as usual for a supremely arrogant and self-assured administration.

  19. Peachy, what’s wrong with breaking down the wall between MI and MP?

  20. Not exactly on topic, but:

    “…since the Pentagon?s mismanagement of Iraq…”

    It’s a self-evidently fallacious assumption that Iraq can be “managed”, what, like it’s a corporation or something? Have Bush, Rummy, etc. made some mistakes? Of course! But no one – NO ONE – can possibly be capable of undertaking this sort of action without making mistakes.

  21. “But deleting Rummy seems a cop-out, inasmuch as Bush, Rice and Cheney were equally careless in their oversight of a post-war Iraqi transformation the president had deemed of historic importance”

    But as SecDef, it’s Rumsfeld’s job to make the sure the goals oriented, big picture directives coming from the WH are implemented responsibly and credibly, and that the information the WH needs to formulate its big picture gets from the branches and the Pentagon into the relevant meetings in the White House.

    Know it all Rumsfeld fell into the same trap Hitler did after the Ardennes: having apparently proven the professional military men wrong on one matter, he proceeded to ignore and denigrate their advice thereafter whenever it conflicted with his own opinions.

  22. “…the Pentagon’s management…”
    How about the State Department’s mismanagement?
    Bush has tried so hard to give Colin Powell something, he let minds and hearts take over from asses and nuts way too soon. The first clergy’s private army should have been taken out with overwhelming force.

    we owe it to an enemy to defeat him so completely that he will feel no shame in laying down his sword.

  23. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, right after 9/11, pounded the table for going directly after Iraq instead of Afghanistan! Dump them both.

  24. Douglas: “Well, the NY Times is a very important and credible news source. I think we [should] consider what they recommend very seriously.”

    The question, Douglas, is not whether “we” consider their recommendations, but whether the administration does. As we all know, Bush doesn’t read the papers, and he sure as hell doesn’t read the New York Times. Of course, it’s our turn to do the firing in November!

    Evan: “When Young mentions a ‘valid enterprise’, what is he referring to? The DoD?”

    No, Evan, he is referring to “Operation: Iraqi Freedom”.

    solarity: “Kerry commits real atrocities by killing women and children and Democrats think he should be President…”

    Consider yourself “Hannitized”.

    peachy: “…sounds like business as usual for a supremely arrogant and self-assured administration.”

    This is business as usual for the entire government – past, present, and future. LBJ savaged Viet Nam, then passed it like a cheap whore to Nixon who promptly unzipped and mounted up. Nixon wasn’t satisfied though, and added Laos and Cambodia to his basement dungeon harem. What do you think Kerry will do with Iraq when he is elected? I’m voting for him, but I hold no illusions as to his hawkish stance on “The War”.

    Pay a visit to Subverted Reality, it’ll blow yer mind.

    *

  25. I wrote elsewhere and reprint it here:
    Further, our suspicions deepen when we hear calls for Rumsfeld? resignation. Cuz? if Rummy?s gotta go I guess General Myers Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff has got to go, as well as the Army Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of the Army, and Abazaid in Centcom, and Paul Bremer in Iraq, and LTG Sanchez in Iraq as well. ?Cuz there is a vast gap between sergeants and captains misbehaving in Iraq and Rumsfeld, and if the man at the top?s gotta go, I?d reckon all the guys and gals in between gotta go, too. Only we don?t hear that. Instead, we just begin to see ?Crocodile Tears? and a quest for political advantage, not really shock and outrage.

  26. “It must be painful to be a Democrat.”

    no more than it must be to be a Republican – both sides have to shut out the other side’s (valid) arguments and keep pushing for their guy

    but I will say this: it must be painful to be Kerry right now. I heard the recorded testimony where he stated “he had committed war crimes” and then described the much more serious (by degree) charges againt his “band of brothers”

  27. It must be painful to be a Democrat.

    no more than it must be to be a Republican…

    Let’s be real here, it is more painful to be a voter heading into November. The choices are and will remain; damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  28. It must be painful to be a Democrat.

    no more than it must be to be a Republican…

    We have many principled Republicans to vote for, for congress… certainly more principled then the Dems and Bush. And, the Libertarian candidate for president will no doubt be someone we can vote for with pride and “send a message” at the same time.

  29. s.a.m.
    “…it is more painful to be a voter …”

    not if you are a true blue libertarian – you can blame both parties (and since LP will never be in power, won’t be responsible for anything that happens) and debate theories in an ideal dream world 🙂

  30. Rick,

    not if the LP candidate is someone like Harry Browne who more or less blamed us for 9-11.

    I don’t regret supporting Bill Clinton in ’96 (even in retrospect I think he’s better than Bob Dole would have been); but I regret supporting Harry in 2000

  31. way back upthread joe l. asked why breaking the wall between mp and mi was a bad thing. if you come back by – military police are supposed to handle the prisoners (keep a ‘docile’ prison population etc) but are NOT supposed to be involved in gathering intelligence, whether by participating in interrogations and ‘preparing’ prisoners for them. the former is the province of military intelligence, the latter is not really supposed to happen, but of course does all the time (as we have seen.)

  32. Madpad:
    “Isreal didn’t make Iran & Iraq or Egypt & Syria fight.”

    When did Egypt & Syria fight? Or, we are making shit up as we go along.

  33. Yeah, What Zorel said… heavy on the “debate theories in an ideal dream world” stuff!

  34. Amen to s.a.m.,

    300 million Americans and these 2 boobs are my only effective choice?

    It’s enough to get one’s Irish up, I tell ya’!

    Oh the humanity!

  35. well, it looks like someone at the nyt reads the economist. is it just me, or was the resign rummy thing really quiet until their press time yesterday?

  36. “Consider yourself “Hannitized”.”

    That’s fucking bull! How can Kerry, who himself has implied in the past that he has commited war crimes, can ask for Rummy’s resignation?

    Seriously, in light all these abuses coming up, can Kerry be the President?

    Consider the source.

    Didn’t NY Yimes had an editorial yesterday regarding Michael Moore’s phony censorship?

  37. This is nonsense on stilts. First, there’s no reaason for anyone to listen to anything the NYT says about the Republicans, since they only wish them ill. Second, the premise that Rumsfeld’s done a bad job in the Iraqi war is questionable (actually, I’d say wrong), and more a sign of the NYT arrogance, not Rumsfeld’s. They even bring up the silly idea popular now among the clueless–that somehow having more troops is obviously better (why?–would we have taken the country faster, or is it better to have more soldiers around after to be shot at?). Then, to add insult to injury, rather than question the condescending, unproven claims of the NYT, Michael Young’s “argument” amounts to “obviously Rummy is no good, but so were the others.”

  38. zorel,

    “not if the LP candidate is someone like Harry Browne who more or less blamed us for 9-11.”

    The overwhelming evidence is that then 9/11 happened as a direct result of our government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy, Vis a vie the Mid-East. To say this is not the same as, “blaming us”. We are not the government!

  39. Who flew airplanes into buildings? hyper-interventionist foreign policy

    Who blew up Athens a few days ago? hyper-interventionist foreign policy

    Who blew up a school today in Pakistan? You guessed it, hyper-interventionist foreign policy

    Who stole your paper this morning? Again, the hyper-interventionist foreign policy

  40. I thought that 9-11 was the direct result of a bunch of radical Islamo-Fascists flying aircraft into buildings. And their “root motivation’ was an abhorrence for Western Modernity or Post-Modernity. Their EXCUSE was US Troops in Saudi Arabia, just as the Danzig Question and the treatment of the “Volk Deutsche” in Poland was the was the excuse for the invasion of Poland. Sooner or later Al-Quaeda was going to have to strike out at the US, the largest, richest, secular democracy on the planet.

  41. Rick,

    Must have been asleep during your years in government schools. Yes, WE ARE the government. Deal with it.

  42. “First, there’s no reaason for anyone to listen to anything the NYT says about the Republicans, since they only wish them ill.”

    Right, but you know, even a stopped clock….Also, with Republicans like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, who needs Democrats? (Geez, it’s hard to type “Democrats” after “needs”)

  43. If Harry Browne or Ron Paul had been President, we not not be discussing 9/11 or Iraq.They would not have happened.

  44. In his 9/11 Fatwa Bin Laden told us the three reasons for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula too close to Mecca. (This idiocy is at last ended)

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

    Our government’s stupidity brought these attacks on. The government’s response should be to hunt down those responsible and kill them so they can’t do it again, and to quit making the kind mistakes that led to 9/11.

    The “war on terror” and the war with Iraq are costly and dangerous diversions.

  45. JoeL,

    If the reason Al Qaeda attacked us is because
    we are a free country, then isn’t that
    “blaming America”? After all, if we would
    only make our women wear Burkas we wouldn’t be
    attacked, therefore YOU are “Blaming America”.

    Is that not a fair assesment?

    Well, then if someone else says the reason
    Al Qaeda attacked us is because we supported
    Isreal, we had troops in Saudi Arabia, we
    had sanctions against Iraq and we bombed Iraq
    frequently aren’t they just giving a different
    set of reason. I guess you could say they
    were “blaming America” also.

    We’re all wanted to find out WHY they attacked.
    You presented a broad cultural generalization that
    really can’t be found in historical examples.

    Others presented a concrete list of reasons.
    In fact the list of reasons given by the attackers.

    How about a historical analogy?
    American Indians and European settlers.
    Why did Techumsha go to war? (Early 1800’s in
    Indiana)

    Was he a religious kook… well maybe. Was it
    because they hated the American way of life?
    They thought white people were soft farmers
    and not brave hunters? Or was it because
    settlers were moving on to their land.

    That doesn’t mean Techumsha didn’t need to be
    fought against.
    And pointing out Al Qaeda’s reasons doesn’t mean
    they don’t need to be fought.

    -rover-

  46. Rick Barton,

    I can appreciate that our policies in the middle-east, historically, may fit the description of hyper-interventionist.

    Practically speaking, while often inconsistent and frequently unsupportive of democracy, the policies generally strived for establishing some stable basis for furthuring American interests. This in an area that has never been interested in democracy in the first place.

    Sure, we often got behind the bad guy with the big stick because that was often the most effective way to get things done.

    But you’ll have a hard time convincing me that that was the direct cause of 9-11.

    Doesn’t that take far too much responsibility from them? No matter how we meddle in other countries, isn’t their still a standard of right and wrong that we should insist upon?

    I understand your rationale, but I’m afraid I disagree with the “blame the victim” mentality

  47. Hydroman,
    yes they would have, just not in 2001, possibly 20 years later. Only the LP wouldn’t have had the ability to deal with them. Libertarians don’t do International Affairs or national Security well.
    Rick can trot out the quotes from the Fatwa as much as he likes, but the reality is they “hate us” because we discuss gay marriage, let our women get Ph.D.’s, wear bikinis, and we don’t enforce the Sharia. And unless and until we change they’ll hate us and move to attack us.
    Oh and Rick, just how would Libertarians/libertarians/anarcho-capitalists “…hunt down those responsible and kill them so they can’t do it again,…”? Being as such folk generally oppose the military systems that would achieve this. Oh and the WoT IS doing what you want done. Only it seeks to attack trans-national terror groups and the states that support it. Would you just have attacked Usama?

  48. Why hasn’t Al Qaeda attacked Switzerland if freedom is the only reason why they do what they do, and hyper-interventionist foreign policy has nothing to do with it?

    BTW, Joe, when you trotted out Hitler, you technically ended all rational discussion as per Godwin’s Law.

  49. …but the reality is they “hate us” because we discuss gay marriage, let our women get Ph.D.’s, wear bikinis, and we don’t enforce the Sharia. And unless and until we change they’ll hate us and move to attack us.

    On the otherhand, don’t we hate them for their oppressive views of women, wear burkas, plural marriages, blood money, and their enforcement of Sharia? Have we as Americans view US intervention as an abstract form of saving them from themselves as we try to do our own with the war on drugs?

  50. Nice try Thoreau… is that argument by definition or exclusion. “You mentioned Hitler, I don’t have to listen any more? La-la-LA” An argument is rational based on its evidence and coherence, not whether it invokes some arbitrarily designated historical figure.

    It would be better to invoke Goodwin’s Law when someone calls someone else a Fascist, Nazi, or Communist.

  51. sorry neocons, but it was also the Greek hyper-interventionist foreign policy that bombed Athens.

  52. s.a.m.,
    Yes, in a way we (I) *do* “hate” them for
    their oppressive regimes.
    And the society in America *is* better
    than their society. It is not like the war
    on drugs. Drug use has no *victim*. Dictatorships
    have victims just like the drug laws themselves have victims.

    I didn’t create American society but I’m very glad
    it was “imposed” upon me by my ancestors.

    -rover-

  53. madpad,

    Having the victim’s government not do stupid things is not to absolve the perps.

    “But you’ll have a hard time convincing me that that was the direct cause of 9-11.

    Again, in the Fatwa, Bin Laden told us the three reasons.

    Joe L.:

    “but the reality is they “hate us” because we discuss gay marriage, let our women get Ph.D.’s, wear bikinis, and we don’t enforce the Sharia.”

    That sounds like a classic definition of “barking up the wrong tree”. Some Arab states have allowed women to vote for decades. It just isn’t the kind of thing that would motivate an attack on the USA. France and the Brits have been the western countries that have been influential in securing the franchisee for women in Arab Nations. They weren’t attacked.

    Also, the chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world is Scandinavia. The Islamic clerics may complain, but of course there were no 9/11 attacks on Sweden or Denmark.

    There shouldn’t even be a war on terror.
    Terror is not an enemy; it’s a tactic, one that is mostly employed by weak as it was by the proto Israelis against the Brits. and the Palestinians against the Israeli government’s occupation of their land. The Chinese commies have used “fighting terror” as a pretext for cracking down on resistance to the ruthless occupation of Tibet: http://www.tibet.ca/wtnarchive/1997/3/6_3.html

    A war on a tactic is by nature an open ended war and one with out cessation. The war on terror is nebulous enough to give the government a sort of carte blanche excuse for infringing on all manner of individual rights.

  54. “Why hasn’t Al Qaeda attacked Switzerland if freedom is the only reason why they do what they do, and hyper-interventionist foreign policy has nothing to do with it?”

    For better or worse, America and not Switzerland or any other country has for decades been the main poster child for the image of the capitalistic, liberal, socially tolerant West. Even if they were/are motivated solely by a hatred of freedom, what other country would be a more meaningful target?
    Another interesting question would be, if they’re motivated only by our hyper-interventionist foreign policy, why hasn’t half of Central and South America tried to attack us? It seems like the answer to both questions is that both were motivating factors.

  55. “How can Kerry, who himself has implied in the past that he has commited war crimes, can ask for Rummy’s resignation? Seriously, in light all these abuses coming up, can Kerry be the President?”

    Kerry was a front line grunt who was not aware that his actions were illegal when he committed them. When he discovered they were, he was pissed off enough to become one of the foremost leaders of the movement to end the ongoing crimes, and see that the military and civilian brass who were responsible for those crimes faced consequences.

    Accusing Rumsfeld of allowing crimes to be committed in 2003-2004 is no different from accusing McNamara , Taylor, and Nixon of allowing them to be committed in 1966-1972. I think Kerry, with his record, is the pefect person to make these charges.

    thoreau, I disagree that any comparison to 1940s Germany triggers a Godwin. I made a legitimate, finely drawn point intended not to make a “Rumsfeld’s a Nazi” smear, but to draw an appropriate parallel of the two men’s failures and commanders of military forces.

  56. s.a.m.,

    I don’t think we “hate” them. We hate how unstable their government and capricious the leaders are. The slightest differences of religious opinion results in years of pointless bloodshed.

    They make an issue of Isreal, but history shows they’ll hate and fight each other regardless of Isreal. Isreal didn’t make Iran & Iraq or Egypt & Syria fight.

    Islamic extremist, given their way, would keep everyone ignorant, poor and fighting for one useless and pointless cause after another.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think we really care whether they wear burkhas, beat their wives or screw their camels as long as they quit killing each other – and us – while we try to conduct business…which is pretty much the ONLY thing that brings dollars to the region – billions of them.

    We need oil so we need rational stability in the region. We need democracy, because we hope that it might just stop them from blowing each other up on a regular basis.

    We don’t hate Islam. We hate what it does to some of them and what it in turn leads to them to do to us.

  57. anon,

    Hey, ease up on the coffee. Just a brain fart.

    I should have said “Egypt & Yemen” (Or Egypt & Libya OR Syria & Jordan…there’s plenty of conflicts to choose from…just pick one dammit)

  58. Jack:

    “Yes, WE ARE the government. Deal with it.”

    Just saying it doesn’t make it so. The government is very different from ordinary society. Only government has the legal right to initiate force. Just because political majorities influence some of what the government does, doesn’t mean that we are the government.

  59. Joe L,

    “the defeat of US forces in Iraq?!?”

    You poor, deluded fool. We lost as soon as we rolled in from Kuwait. People like you just didn’t realize it right away, because our forces gobbled up so much territory so fast on their way to Moscow-er, Baghdad.

    Your side went and got all those people killed, and now its falling apart and making things worse and wasting our assets just like my side said it would.

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