Iraqi Athletes vs. Bush

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Via Yahoo News:

The Bush campaign is running an ad in which the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear.

A narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations—and two fewer terrorist regimes. With strength, resolve and courage, democracy will triumph over terror and hope will defeat hatred."…

"How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women?" [Iraqi soccer player] Ahmed Manajid told SI.com. "He has committed so many crimes."…

The players said they were grateful that Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, was no longer in charge of the country's Olympians, SI.com reported. He had tortured players for playing badly. U.S. troops killed him last year in Mosul.

Still, the team's coach said the ad was inappropriate and that the team does not support the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

"My problems are not with the American people," Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad told SI.com. "They are with what America has done in Iraq: destroy everything," he said. "The American army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the (national) stadium and there are shootings on the road?"

Whole story here.

You can view the ad, titled "Victory" at the Bush campaign site. It is a strange bit of film, which jumps from an incongruous shot of George and Laura to scenes from the Olympics. It highlights the fact that in 1972 there were 40 democracies in the world and now there are 120.

Presumably no Iraqi athletes were harmed in the filming of the spot.

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  1. Gaius Marius,
    “it’s become a naked matter of observation that we’ve killed far more iraqis than saddam did in his last several years”

    You have? state your source, sir! I dare you! Prove to me that YOU know how many Iraqis have been killed as a result of our involvement in Iraq, and also how many Saddam killed in the last several years. Be sure to classify them by cause of death. Otherwise this like so much of the rest of your post is simply hot air.

    You continually amaze me by your apologist statements. You haven’t SEEN the mass graves and rape rooms in Iraq so you assume they must either must not exist or must have been exaggerated.

    “15,000 dead civilians, Tens of thousands maimed. All of it for no good reason. The war was based on wild fabrication and duplicity. Sounds like good cause to hate the American government to me.”

    The Iraqi people couldn’t care less what justification Bush used to get approval to invade. Most of them probably don’t even know since western media translated into Arabic is almost non-existent. The reasons why they hate us are complex, but have nothing to do with George Bush’s justification involving WMD. In fact, they have nothing to do with George Bush at all. They hated us before 2000, remember?

    “ideological crusading aside, american government propaganda aside, people are getting killed arbitrarily and capriciously in surprising numbers in iraq by americans — and that didn’t happen much under saddam, where you at least knew what the rules were even if you didn’t agree with them or with the severity of the punishment for transgression.

    It appears that you may believe the measure of “how good things are” in a country ought to be a simple tally of how many of the people are being killed. I for one would rather die in freedom than live under tyranny, and thankfully many other Americans have felt the same way. Yes, the security situation is bad right now. Yes, there is more disorder than under Saddam?s thugs. Your suggestion that an Orwellian Stalinist dictatorship might be somehow better are disturbing and revealing.

    “i’m sure you have the ability to see through such plain nationalist propaganda of american superiority. do you repeat it from habit or convenience?”

    It seems, sir, that you have bought into quite a bit of propaganda yourself.

  2. “I for one would rather die in freedom than live under tyranny, and thankfully many other Americans have felt the same way.”

    By all means go. Easy enough to sit in the AC and boast of your love of freedom. Have at it, the army has a job for you.

  3. I for one would rather die in freedom than live under tyranny, and thankfully many other Americans have felt the same way.

    Any Iraqi with any self-respect must be crying: Give me liberty and give me death!

    It doesn’t work that way. People – Americans, Afghans, Iraqis – would just rather live, for living people have a better chance of being able to exercise their right to freedom than dead ones do.

    I often get the feeling that Americans are surprised at the lack of gratitude they find in Iraq. You come here and kill my kid, you can be pretty sure I won’t be thanking you for the gift of freedom.

    And finally. Just because one fights evil does not make one good. If it did, our cities would be full of churches dedicated to St. Stalin.

  4. Before the invasion people were so cowed that the police didn’t even need to wear a sidearm. Now that they’ve been “liberated” they have to duck and cover to get to the market.

  5. Even if amputating a leg is medically necessary, is it fair to expect gratitude from a patient…in the middle of surgery?

    In Adenauer’s farewell address, he said that Germany hadn’t been defeated in the war; it had been liberated. That’s about as good as you can hope for from a leader under occupation, but maybe that isn?t good enough for some people. Did anyone expect Adenauer to thank the Allies for the firebombing?

    Rick Barton cited fifteen thousand civilian casualties in Iraq, but the number I’ve seen quoted is closer to twenty thousand; regardless, as long as the civilian casualties keep piling up, how can we expect gratitude?

  6. Honestly, gaius marius, the ignorance of your comments are astounding, even for you.

    “ideological crusading aside, american government propaganda aside, people are getting killed arbitrarily and capriciously in surprising numbers in iraq by americans”

    Please. The vast majority of these people dying are people actively trying to kill our soldiers, or at least those unlucky enough to be nearby while their fellow countrymen are attempting to do so. The cases of INNOCENT civilians being “abitrarily and capriciously” killed are, while obviously appalling, extremely infrequent, and your insistance that that’s the norm is quite telling of you.

    You make me wonder if you’re just Michael Moore in disguise.

  7. Andy,

    Twenty thousand dead Iraqi civilians since 3/20/03; now let’s see…

    … that’s almost forty a day!

    Do you really think we’re killing an average of almost forty insurgents every day? Or maybe you think we killed a whole bunch of insurgents at one go on a couple of occassions? Well that must have been some battle! Funny, but I never heard about it!

  8. Ken,

    OK, then, you’re right. All those people were used as target practice for our sadistic soldiers…

  9. Gaius and Ken,
    Put Up or Shut Up! 15,000/20,000 Civilian KIA’s, your proof please, and let’s avoid the Iraqi Body Count Website…
    Yes, Gaius, things were STABLE in Iraq under Saddam. As a CONSERVATIVE I assume that makes Iraq a good place, other stable places you might want to investigate, Auschwitz, Kolyma, the White Sea Ship Canal circa 1930, or Kampuchea under Pol Pot. They were stable and predictable, one knew what would get one punished, heck there were even definite terms of service at Kolyma and the White Sea Ship Canal, “…Nothing gets you TEN years.” Your comments were disgusting, but revealing….

  10. . . . and Mussolini made the trains run on time.

  11. Thanks for the link Joe L.

    http://www.iraqbodycount.net/bodycount.htm

    It has some pretty good details, including sources. Like I wrote above, I’ve seen the total number of dead Iraqi civilians quoted as being much higher…I’ll look for a reference to the twenty thousand number, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a site as detailed as iraqbodycount.

  12. You might want to quote Pravda, too or check Signaal” for reportage on German in W.W.II. The site has horrific methodoligic flaws. It failed MISERABLY in Afghanistan, oh I guess it didn’t, it provided “proof” of Civilian deaths for war opponents, but its numbers were extremely inflated.
    Oh and let’s set some terms, too… there are four terms in usage, “Soldier,” “Civilian,” “Combatant” and “Noncombatant.” In general usage, Soldier=Combatant and Civilian=Non-Combatant HOWEVER, for body count purposes, legal determinations, and “Moral calculus” they may NOT be used interchangeably.
    Father O’Malley, Dr. O’Malley, and (I think) Nurse O’Malley may all be SOLDIERS, however, they are NOT Combatants. Now, Mr. O’Malley and Grandmother O’Malley may both be Civilians, but that does not make them Noncombatants. If Granny and Papa O’Malley grab their trusty AK’s to repel the Infidel Invader, be they US Soldiers or simply the Episcopalians from across the street, the O’Malleys are combatants and subject to death, wounding, or imprisonment (Legal or ILLEGAL Combatants-Gitmo). Now as long as the priest, the doctor or the nurse refrain from combat, they are NOT combatants and may not be deliberately harmed. Though they may be imprisoned as illegal or legal combatants.
    And this ramble has a point, simply quoting the word “Civilian” does not make a dead person a Noncombatant. So, “Civilian” deaths could include Jihadis, Ba’athist deadenders, Ba’athist mercenaries, and the Mahdi’s Army. Their deaths however, are not illegal nor immoral. So, when you find the number of civilian deaths, let’s look at the methodology and definitions shall we?

  13. And finally. Just because one fights evil does not make one good. If it did, our cities would be full of churches dedicated to St. Stalin.

    They do. They’re called university liberal arts departments.

  14. The Online Newshour has a story up about counting casualties, and iraqbodycount is one of the participants. Another reporter in the interview, essentially, dismisses iraqbodycount’s methodology as being only good for calculating an upper limit.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/jan-june04/civilians_04-26.html

    You’re criticism is well taken. Still iraqbodycount would seem like a good source if the stories they used for counting were catalogued and linked for our perusal rather than just listed.

    I think there’s always going to be problems with counting civilian casualties under such circumstances. The Holocaust, the Gulag’s toll and the Khmer Rouge’s tally on the civilian population were all easier to calculate; it helps when the military documents the civilians it deliberately kills. But we’re not killing civilians on purpose, so figures are going to come from secondary sources and an accurate tally will always be hard to come by. But, surely, you’ll concede that there have been thousands of civilians who died during and after the invasion, and that the loss of those people’s lives is a tragedy, won’t you?

    My argument against the war, ultimately, is that what we gained by winning the war isn’t worth the price of the lives of the people who died and who continue to die. My justification for staying now that we’re there is that no matter what we would gain by leaving, it wouldn’t be worth all the civilian lives that would be lost in an Iraqi civil war.

    Anyway, I’ve known that casualties and deaths aren’t the same thing for a long time, but after some precursory scanning, I have to confess that I may have fallen into the casualty/death trap. That is, I’ve seen sources quoting a number around Gaius’ fifteen thousand in deaths, and I’ve seen twenty thousand listed as the number of casualties.

    http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html

    In spite of this, I’ll stick to my original point; indeed, as I wrote above, “…regardless, as long as the civilian casualties keep piling up, how can we expect gratitude?”

  15. Ah Ken, so seldom does one run into a civil disagreement these parts about. I rather fear continuing to disagree with you…

    But away we go. “In spite of this, I’ll stick to my original point; indeed, as I wrote above, “…regardless, as long as the civilian casualties keep piling up, how can we expect gratitude?” A couple of points. You’re right I can’t expect gratitude. That’s not really an issue. I’ll use Germany as an example. I don’t expect gratitude from Germans circa 1946. Gratitude is not something that is important, it’s nice but it’s irrelevant. The question is, are the people of Germany or Iraq better off having lost their tyrannical government, not whether they are grateful for its replacement? And further, was it right to replace it? The answer to both questions if “Yes.” German or Iraqi gratitude is not really the issue.
    And to carry this further, several hundred thousand German civilians did die in Liberating Germany. Are we then to conclude that the liberation of Germany was somehow WRONG? Again, the civilians do not have to be grateful that they have been liberated, it is only important that the structure of their lives is made better by the liberation. (At this point I realize I lay myself open to the technical charge that their lives are NOT better off, no doubt Gaius will make, but I’d like to hold this post to something less than my usual Ph.D. dissertation)
    Finally, does the moral stain of civilian deaths lie solely with the US? If the Ba’athists or Jihadis detonate a car bomb that kills 100-plus people in Iraq, is the US to blame? Simply tallying the dead and then saying, no wonder they hate us is a tad simplistic? Don’t the users of the car bombs have some responsibility? And don’t the Iraqi’s have some reason to be grumpy with THEM? I have seen some data that suggests that indeed the Iraqi’s are happier with Iraq post-Saddam Hussein and do blame the insurgents for the deaths, or some of them. They may not be grateful, but they aren’t blaming the US for the deaths, at least totally. And nor should they.

  16. I’m curious, can anyone here think of a foreign policy accomplishment Bush could take credit for without sounding shallow and opportunistic?

    Imperfect as the occupation is, we really did liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban, and we really did liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein.

    Are we doing everything right in the meantime? Absolutely not. Are the citizens better off than they would be if those regimes were still in power?

    For all our faults, is there anyone willing to argue that Afghanistan and Iraq would be better off with their previous governments still in charge?

  17. No one knows how many Iraqis have died in the war so far; American policy forbids any counting on their part (it would likely be inaccurate anyway) and there is no functioning Iraqi government, etc. body to do it either.

    Ken Schultz,

    “… the Khmer Rouge’s tally on the civilian population were all easier to calculate…”

    From what I have read the estimates of the number dead are based largely on drop in population during the 1970s; the Khmer Rouge did not keep very intricate records of who they did or did not kill. Anyway, differentiating between those killed between 1970-1975 by a combination of Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian government, the South Vietnamese (who were as ruthless to the Cambodian population as the Khmer Rouge was), American bombing (which took a heavy toll due to its rather indicriminate nature – the US lacked the proper guidance technology in Cambodia to bomb with any precision) and other factors like disease or flat starvation is difficult at best and those who died between 1975-1979 at the hands of the Khmer Rouge is difficult at best.

    Joe L.,

    The question is, are the people of Germany or Iraq better off having lost their tyrannical government, not whether they are grateful for its replacement? And further, was it right to replace it?

    Well, to be frank, the U.S. didn’t invade Germany to “free” the Germans from Nazi tyranny (in large part because Germans as a rule approved of said “tyranny” – in other words, the Germans were under a government that found at least some merit in.) So its a bit odd to write in these terms. Plus, I suspect you’re writing about WWII to throw gloss of success onto the current affair; however, its patently clear that the post-war scenario in Iraq is so different from that found in Germany as to make the analogy laughable.

    Again, the civilians do not have to be grateful that they have been liberated, it is only important that the structure of their lives is made better by the liberation.

    Well, that just begs the question; are their lives better off or not? Heck, I could imagine some future nightmare scenarios that would make Saddam’s rule seem like a cakewalk.

    (At this point I realize I lay myself open to the technical charge that their lives are NOT better off, no doubt Gaius will make, but I’d like to hold this post to something less than my usual Ph.D. dissertation)

    Your usual what? *rolls eyes*

    Finally, does the moral stain of civilian deaths lie solely with the US?

    Clearly for those civilians US soldiers kill, yes it does.

    And don’t the Iraqi’s have some reason to be grumpy with THEM?

    Maybe or maybe not; its a matter of psychological outlook that is not easily answerable. Which of course get you back to the gratitude or appreciation issue pretty quick.

    I have seen some data that suggests that indeed the Iraqi’s are happier with Iraq post-Saddam Hussein and do blame the insurgents for the deaths, or some of them.

    I’ve also seen some data which states that Iraqis want Americans to leave and blame us at least in part for the generally shitty nature of the post-war “peace.” The fact is that despite your attempt to undermine it, the mood of the country vis a vis the US presence there is important and that mood is informed at least in part by what they think of the US invasion.

  18. So, the days of torture were better? The atheletes seem to want to have their cake and eat it too.

  19. Why do you roll your eyes? Or do facts and cogent arguments bother you?
    And no, the post-war situation in Germany and Iraq is NOT different and laughable, simply that Gay Gunnels doesn’t like the implications….
    And Gary let’s don’t try to minimize the Kmer Rouge, let’s leave that to Noam Chomsky and his ilk. Or are you going to do an apologia for them now?

  20. Rachel, I believe that’s what they call a false dichotomy. I’m sure they don’t believe that the “days of torture were better.” With that in mind, it is possible to be against the U.S. Occupation and the use of their images as a propaganda ploy here in the States.

  21. No, they’re sore that they couldn’t do it themselves. When U.S. forces leave they’ll have nothing to bitch about. Not that they’ll ever hold us in high esteem, but who does? They take our money and run. For every problem there is in the world, there is a nation with its hand out waiting on Uncle Sam to behave exactly how that nation expects it to behave, to give exactly what they are expected to give, and then to recede.

  22. Rachel, I believe that’s what they call a false dichotomy. I’m sure they don’t believe that the “days of torture were better.” With that in mind, it is possible to be against the U.S. Occupation and the use of their images as a propaganda ploy here in the States.

  23. Rachel, I believe that’s what they call a false dichotomy. I’m sure they don’t believe that the “days of torture were better.” With that in mind, it is possible to be against the U.S. Occupation and the use of their images as a propaganda ploy here in the States.

  24. Not all Iraqis are mad at the U.S. and our soldiers. Many are extremely grateful. Here’s an interview with an Iraqi who approves of both our invasion and our occupation:

    http://cbftw.blogspot.com/2004/08/interview-with-iraqi.html

    The Iraqi soccer coach, in an interview two weeks ago, denied knowledge of Uday Hussein’s brutality and torture. I wouldn’t go around quoting him as an authority on what’s right and wrong for Iraq.

  25. Sorry for the duplicate postings…dang confounded computer…

  26. Rachel,

    Did you forget about US government torture of Iraqis? And now, the US government backed interim government’s torture of Iraqis.

    15,000 dead civilians, Tens of thousands maimed. All of it for no good reason. The war was based on wild fabrication and duplicity. Sounds like good cause to hate the American government to me.

    “My problems are not with the American people,” Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad told SI.com.

    We should be thankful for this type of consideration. We need to tell the world, that we are so ashamed of the actions of our government in Iraq and the rest of the Mid-east as well. But, we also should express our pride in American civil society and capitalism.

  27. the days of torture were better?

    i tell you what, rachel — if you stop listening to people with addresses in the pentagon and start listening to people who live in iraq, you might learn something about exactly *how much* worse it is now than then.

    ideological crusading aside, american government propaganda aside, people are getting killed arbitrarily and capriciously in surprising numbers in iraq by americans — and that didn’t happen much under saddam, where you at least knew what the rules were even if you didn’t agree with them or with the severity of the punishment for transgression.

    it’s become a naked matter of observation that we’ve killed far more iraqis than saddam did in his last several years, and that things there were much more peaceful in the main under him than under us.

    you can choose to ignore it as a matter of faith. but, if you listen to the people there, that much has become self-evident.

  28. The Iraqi soccer coach, in an interview two weeks ago, denied knowledge of Uday Hussein’s brutality and torture.

    matthew, it’s reasonable that he wouldn’t have such knowledge. simply because it’s been pounded ad infinitum, ad nauseum into american heads that uday was The Devil does not make it so in fact.

    hear me clearly — i’m certain he was not a nice man, and i’m certain iraqis are happy he’s gone. but was he the figure of Death incarnate that american media consumers believe he was? i doubt it — just as a doubt the kaiser bayonetted babies.

  29. For every problem there is in the world, there is a nation with its hand out waiting on Uncle Sam to behave exactly how that nation expects it to behave, to give exactly what they are expected to give, and then to recede.

    LOL! that’s right — the world functions only on american cultural and economic gratuity. didn’t the nazis believe something along those lines?

    rst, i’m sure you have the ability to see through such plain nationalist propaganda of american superiority. do you repeat it from habit or convenience?

  30. I see they clipped the interview, leaving out the part at the end where he said “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go torture and maim a few atheletes who didn’t win gold medals. Oh crap, I almost forgot, we’re not allowed to do that anymore. Dammit.”

  31. matthew, it’s reasonable that he wouldn’t have such knowledge. simply because it’s been pounded ad infinitum, ad nauseum into american heads that uday was The Devil does not make it so in fact.

    hear me clearly — i’m certain he was not a nice man, and i’m certain iraqis are happy he’s gone. but was he the figure of Death incarnate that american media consumers believe he was? i doubt it — just as a doubt the kaiser bayonetted babies.

    What a disgustingly ignorant thing to say.

  32. gaius —

    Where do you get your information? How do you know that Americans have killed more Iraqis than Saddam did?

  33. The original Sporting Illustrated story, by Grant Wahl, contains more quotes:

    Sadir, Wednesday’s goal-scorer, used to be the star player for the professional soccer team in Najaf. In the city in which 20,000 fans used to fill the stadium and chant Sadir’s name, U.S. and Iraqi forces have battled loyalists to rebel cleric Moktada al-Sadr for the past two weeks. Najaf lies in ruins.

    “I want the violence and the war to go away from the city,” says Sadir, 21. “We don’t wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away.”

    Manajid, 22, who nearly scored his own goal with a driven header on Wednesday, hails from the city of Fallujah. He says coalition forces killed Manajid’s cousin, Omar Jabbar al-Aziz, who was fighting as an insurgent, and several of his friends. In fact, Manajid says, if he were not playing soccer he would “for sure” be fighting as part of the resistance.

    “I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that mean they are terrorists?” Manajid says. “Everyone [in Fallujah] has been labeled a terrorist. These are all lies. Fallujah people are some of the best people in Iraq.”

    […]

    When the Games are over, though, Coach Hamad says, they will have to return home to a place where they fear walking the streets. “The war is not secure,” says Hamad, 43. “Many people hate America now. The Americans have lost many people around the world–and that is what is happening in America also.”

    It’s interesting that one of the players is from Sunni Fallujah and another from Shia Najaf.

  34. Joe L.,

    This is a “fact” or “cogent argument?”

    …but I’d like to hold this post to something less than my usual Ph.D. dissertation)

    Looks more like an attempt to avoid a problem in your argument and fluff your feathers at the same time to me. 🙂

    And no, the post-war situation in Germany and Iraq is NOT different and laughable…

    They are actually quite different; for example, Germany did not experience the level of fighting, etc. post-conflict that Iraq has. Furthermore, a bunch of foreign “fighters” did not enter Germany and starting causing trouble as has been the case, nor did the Nazi regime have many long-lasting adherents (that fought at least) in the post-war situation. There are innumberable differences between the two.

    simply that Gay Gunnels doesn’t like the implications….

    Listen jerk, you can attacks my arguments all you want to, but my sexuality is none of goddamn concern. In other words, who I like to fuck really isn’t any of damn business.

    And Gary let’s don’t try to minimize the Kmer Rouge…

    I am NOT minimizing anything regarding the Khmer Rouge, and you completely mischaracterize my statement by implying that I do. Nor am I apologizing for the Khmer Rouge. Indeed, I’m not apologizing for ANYONE, including the Khmer Rouge, the South Vietnamese military, Cambodia’s own army between 1970-1975, nor the US. Is it too much for you to be honest?

  35. Joe L:

    “avoid the Iraqi Body Count Website…”

    Why? It’s well documented and MSNBC and CNBC have used it.

    Although it wasn’t the reason why our government attacked Iraq; liberating the Iraqis from Saddam would never fly with the American people as a sufficient justification for the war, as well it shouldn’t. That’s why exaggerations and outright lies were told by the administration and the neocon propaganda machine concerning WMD and “terrorist connections” in order to foist the needless tragedy on our republic.

  36. the world functions only on american cultural and economic gratuity. didn’t the nazis believe something along those lines?

    Don’t confuse capacity to function for preference. Domestic political maneuvering is easier when you can point the finger.

  37. As fascinating as a discussion of accountancy can be, more interesting (to me, at least) is the notion of Collectivism/Communitarianism which underlies so many of the arguments defending US action in Iraq.

    Allow me to highlight some examples here and comment briefly on each:

    For every problem there is in the world, there is a nation with its hand out waiting on Uncle Sam to behave exactly how that nation expects it to behave…

    “Nations” don’t expect anything. “Nations” don’t even have hands. And Uncle Sam is a cartoon character.

    “Don’t be picky. You know what I mean.” Yup.

    Language expresses thought. The thought behind the above statement is that “the nation is created by the State, which gives to the people, conscious of its own moral unity, a will and therefore an effective existence.”

    Did you forget about US government torture of Iraqis?

    It was individuals who tortured – or allowed the torture of – Iraqis. These individuals are your agents, working for you. You pay them.

    Every day, a few minutes of your labour is devoted to paying for the torture of people. You bought the leash. You bought the electrodes.

    The question is, are the people of Germany or Iraq better off having lost their tyrannical government, not whether they are grateful for its replacement?

    Abdul is 6. He had his legs blown off by an American shell when he accidently got in the line of fire.

    Aisha is 12. She had her head blown off by an American shell. Accidently. Oops.

    Are they better off? Are their parents better off? Are any Americans better off? Are you safer?

    …the civilians do not have to be grateful that they have been liberated, it is only important that the structure of their lives is made better by the liberation.

    They don’t even have to like it. They are part of a greater whole. It is the structure which counts.

    Your agents (ie, you) made life better for Afghans by funding anti-soviet forces. They (ie, you) made life better for Iraqis by supporting Saddam. Now, you’re making their lives better by supporting Allawi.

    …is there anyone willing to argue that Afghanistan and Iraq would be better off with their previous governments still in charge?

    Since their previous governments were in charge thanks to the intervention of your agents, I certainly wouldn’t argue that. But I digress.

    Afghanistan is not a mystical body. Iraq is not a beehive. Italy has not got “an active consciousness” and the state is not “the creator of right”.

    At least, I don’t believe so.

    I don’t know what the motives of Bush and his handlers were in invading Iraq. I presume they were – as are all human choices – purely selfish in nature. I do think, though, that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq are being sold to the American people using not just lies (“free democratic Iraq and Afghanistan”) but collectivist/communitarian arguments. Fundamental – individual – human rights are irrelevant.

  38. Joe L.,

    Hell, old man, I can’t even see a typo in what I wrote to you!

    My name is NOT “Gay Gunnels.” That you say you cannot see what you call a typo – when the misspelling of my name is patently obvious (geez even spotted it) – fairly well demonstrates to me that you’re a liar.

    Just for you edification, let me qoute you again:

    And no, the post-war situation in Germany and Iraq is NOT different and laughable, simply that Gay Gunnels doesn’t like the implications….

    We were discussing Iraq and Post-War Germany.

    And so far you have yet to justify your claims; I gave you three reasons why they differ; you’ve given me no reason to accept to your claim.

  39. I messed up the html. sorry.

    I know you want the links, so here they are.

    Language expresses thought. The thought behind the above statement…

    Italy has not got…

  40. fewer ‘innocents’ in iraq have been killed by US action than by celebratory gunfire prompted by the hussein boys’ deaths, soccer victories, weddings, livestock births etc…

    life is cheap in iraq, but we didn’t set the price

  41. eponymous,

    fewer ‘innocents’ in iraq have been killed by US action than by celebratory gunfire prompted by the hussein boys’ deaths, soccer victories, weddings, livestock births etc…

    How did you establish that?

    life is cheap in iraq, but we didn’t set the price

    The US, along with other parties, has been intimately involved in setting the price; don’t abdicate responsibility now.

  42. Listen jerk, you can attacks my arguments all you want to, but my sexuality is none of goddamn concern. In other words, who I like to fuck really isn’t any of damn business.

    Calm down, Chuckles – I think Joe L. simply made a typo. Don’t forget Hanlon’s Razor.

  43. Are you SENSITIVE about your sexuality? Any way what brought that on? Hell, old man, I can’t even see a typo in what I wrote to you! Much less anything that implies who or what you like to achieve orgasm with, on or in… We were discussing Iraq and Post-War Germany. I think you ought to lie, take a stress pill and think things over-in the owrds of HAL 9000.

  44. “Even if amputating a leg is medically necessary, is it fair to expect gratitude from a patient…in the middle of surgery?”

    Who elected you doctor?

    Where’d you put the consent form, doc?

    How are his vitals?

    You planning on closing any time soon? Maybe yelling, “Close for me” to whoever happens to be standing in the room?

    Now that the WMD ruse has collapsed, Iraq hawks like to talk about saving Iraq from itself. The surgeon metaphor is revealing.

  45. Oh, yeah, something about the Iraq soccer team – the Director of Iraq’s Olympic program (the post formerly heal by Qusai) said Iraqis were profoundly grateful and don’t hate Bush, and the soccer players all shut the fuck up.

  46. eponymous:

    “fewer ‘innocents’ in iraq have been killed by US action than by celebratory gunfire prompted by the hussein boys’ deaths, soccer victories, weddings, livestock births etc…

    Your quote marks around the word, innocents, gives you away, and that is another reason why I don’t expect you to be able to back up that ridiculous statement.

    “life is cheap in iraq”

    Does believing that make you feel better about the slaughter our government visited upon those people? We should be asking if life is cheap to our government that they can kill so many Iraqis, without good cause.

    God, look what we’re talking about. This shit has got to stop. The prosecution of the Iraq war is at odds with the core ideas of our republic. We must never again allow our government to pursue an elective war. This war is taking a toll on our standards of decency. We should never let the actions of our government cause us to condone needless killing and torture.

  47. Joe L.,

    I think that you’re BSing in your at 08:53 AM, but I’m not positive. However, I am positive that bigotry has no place in a venue such as this one that reveres individually.

  48. make that…”BSing in your post at 08:53 AM”

  49. who else is absolutely breathless by joe L’s “intellectualism”? i guess we should take his word that his typing skills (spelling skills?) are so far below his intellect.

    why, i do believe we have the real-life Vizzini here!!!!

    and such an expert on german history, too! does he have any tips for the trifecta this afternoon at thistledown??? (every 19 minutes the place goes crazy)…

    breathless with his intellect,
    drf

  50. Joe L.:

    “Oh Rick …I think you are a BIGOT about Eretz Ysrael, or rather Sharon et. al.

    Opposition to actions of the Israeli government and Ariel Sharon is obviously not bigotry.

    “You are a conspiracy theorist…”

    No one who wants to understand politics should reject conspiracy analysis as out of hand. To do so would be to assume that political power is never transmitted via the machinations of hidden collusion and miss-direction. Political reality just doesn’t work that way. In the world of politics, what really happened is often in contrast to the picture offered by those in power. When you debase conspiracy analysis, you’re throwing out an invaluable tool for understanding real politic.

    “…that consorts, intellectually, with anti-Semites.”

    That a vague and big net, Joe L. Witch hunts anyone? The only “consorting” that I’ve ever done with anti-Semitism is to give it the condemnation that it and all racism deserve.

    Since you mentioned bigotry and Sharon in the same post, it should be pointed out that besides maintaining a murderous and thieving occupation of Palestinian land, Ariel Sharon actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land in open discrimination against Israel’s own 15% to 20% Arab citizen population!

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    We should start to wash our hands of this disgrace and ask congress to quit funding the occupation by the Israeli government:

    http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

  51. …and of course, that should have been, “that reveres individuality.”

    Sometimes I get so mad I can’t type straight, and when I’m a little tired as well… well, it’s evident…Ok I better crash.

  52. Joe L.-

    I am trying hard to picture an Iraqi parent whose child was killed or paralyzed by an American bomb saying, “Thank Allah my child was taken away by freedom-loving soldiers of the United States, rather than that ruthless bastard Saddam. When my family is destroyed by Saddam I know something is seriously wrong with the universe, but when my family is damaged by the United States I take heart in the fact that my child died in an Iraq much, much better than the one we had before.”

    (Fans of Don Marquis may recognize that the above paragraph heavily plagiarizes his poem “The Big Bad Wolf.” My apologies for that.)

  53. Hank Reardon:

    “GaRy, Rick and Ken worry about those poor civilians who are now finding life more complex than under Saddam.

    It’s the needless loss of Iraqi and American life(and limb) that is the concern here.

    ” It is the citizenry of Iraq that has lacked the spine to rid itself of a despot”

    Poor Ayn Rand just rolled over in her grave… So then, we should have bombed the captive Eastern block nations because they didn’t throw off the tyranny of communism fast enough? If we had adopted that tactic, thousands would have been killed in a cause whose wonderful triumph was actually accomplished with far, far less blood shed.

    ” WE are better off when the people who cheer the mass killings of Americans wind up dead.”

    What?? Is this is what the hawks are reduced to now that the WMD and “connections” ruses have been exposed? Part of our response to 9/11 should be to stop our government from taking the actions that led to 9/11. The evidence is that our government’s financing the Israeli government’s occupation is what led to the 9/11 tragedy:

    “Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.”

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

  54. I really get a kick out of all this talk of liberating people for their own good on a libertarian website. Whenever anyone says they are doing something you wouldn’t do for yourself “for your own good”, run.

  55. Serendipitously, I just ran across this article.

  56. Damn DRF, I have been humbled, I have met my match… So beyond the Ad Hominem attacks do you have anything to add? I assume the MIS-capitalized “i” is an ironic comment on my typing? You know, spelling, grammar, punctuation, they are small things in a message board posting, BUT if you’re going to complain about small things, don’t make the SAME sort of small mistakes…. Because unless there’s an ironic point to be made, it makes you look stoopit. Not that you ARE STOOPIT, just that can seem that way, because your argument was well structured, well supported, and well argued… But then I agree I am an intellectual, and an intellectual GIANT as compared to you.

    Jennifer, I’m sure that those with dead and maimed children WILL be disconsolate. I assume that the survivors of the 40,000 plus French that died in the Liberation of France found it a bittersweet “liberation” or mayhap an entirely bitter situation. (it s a historical allusion trifecta, DRF) HOWEVER, for the several MILLION people victimized by the Ba’athist regime, in Iraq, Kuwayt, the Shi’i south and the Kurdish north, and the millions of Iraqi’s who had their lives stunted by this evil megalomaniac’s actions the liberation may have happier overtones. Now they can rest assured that they or their loved ones will not experience the barbarities of the ancien regime. Did you or CNN cry very much for THOSE victims? Or because they were not televised, do they not count?

  57. Rick your comment on Eastern Europe shows you for a fool (Yes, Jesus just wept for my sin). You know the Soviets ruined MILLIONS of lives in Eastern Europe from 1945 to now. Because of the Red Army and then Nuclear Weapons, Eastern Europe had to languish under that nasty, brutish rule. But, let’s not let Realpolitik get in the way of some kind of moral clarity… IF Eastern Europe could have been liberated in 1956 it should have been. You are too glib with the minimal “cost” of the four-decade long Occupation of Eastern Europe. You may not be aware of the Doctor’s Trial, or the uprisings in East German, or Poznan, or in Gdansk (1970) or the rebellion of the miners in the Jiu Valley in Romania, or the oppression and simply mindless, numbing conformism that was the rule of the Occupation for Eastern Europe. But they happened, and they took thosands of lives, and hundreds of thousands disappeared in smaller trials and arrests, and tens of MILLIONS languished in a nasty, brutal police state. For man that grieves for the mostly self-inflicted wounds of the Palestinians, I am amazed.

  58. So willing to sacrifice the few for the many, Joe L. So eager to appear as morally corrupt as the terrorists, Hank Reardon.

    Today on Hardtalk (BBC), John McCarthy:

    “Perhaps when they see people being badly abused in the prisons… they say, ‘These people aren’t civilized. Why shouldn’t we be using the weapons we have? …’

    “I think it’s breaking down the edifice of the right that one tries to do by appearing to be as weak and morally corrupt as the people you’re supposedly trying to bring into the fold.”

  59. JoeL.

    Talk about being a “fool”! How could you possibly construe my statement that…

    “If we had adopted that tactic (military attack), thousands would have been killed in a cause whose wonderful triumph was actually accomplished with far, far less blood shed.”

    …as somehow mitigating the mass murder and other suffering that was inflicted on the victims of communism. The “cost” to which I was referring was obviously not cost of the occupation of Eastern Europe. It was the cost of our government’s different possible actions in terms of these victim’s lives and American lives as well.

    You miss an important part of the message of the terrible evil of communism when you excuse the Israeli government’s occupation as being ” mostly self-inflicted wounds of the Palestinians. With this statement, you also ignore the history and current reality of the situation.

  60. Well Ray M.,
    And your response to Slavery in the South would have been, the Holocaust, to the Gulags? I await your Libertarian/libertarian/anarcho-capitalist/Romantic COnservative answer… Is it simply sometimes being a Libertarian means saying, “It’s just not our business?” is that the slaves, and the Jews, and the people of Eastern Europe were in an economically inefficient system and that sooner or later it would be bankrupt and they would be free, or will it be that the West is morally corrupt and decadent and certainly NOT something to emulate nor something having the spiritual authority to liberate?
    And for about the 40th time, I note… Under Saddam Hussein the prison staff received NO notoriety (Damn where was CNN and Human Rights Watch THEN?), but did receive fiscal remuneration for the torture and breaking of prisoners. In short they were rewarded for their brutality. Under the CPA, the guards have been exposed, investigated, and now are being tried, they will receive their OWN prison terms for their actions. So you want to point out the moral equivalence of the two, now?
    So Raymond, what does one do when all options lead to the damage to innocents? Nothing, Darfur, Rwanda…

  61. JoeL.

    Ok, I see a possible cause for the confusion. I should have pointed out that I was talking about an attack in the 80’s.

  62. Rick Barton, you are a fan of the Conspiracy and you once said you were a Libertarian. I have news, you can’t be both.
    The touch stone of libertarianism is the power of the many. The touchstone of the Conspiracy is the power of the Few. That is not to deny the existence of “Conspiracies.” Carlos Lehder, Pablo Escobar entered into conspiracies to smuggle cocaine, people enter into conspiracies to rob banks, there was a conspiracy to burgle and bug the DNC in 1972. But those are NOT the Grand Conspiracies that you outline. Sadly those Grand Conspiracies figments of people’s imaginations.
    In your Grand Conspiracy World a few hundred Jews, Neo-Cons (mostly Jews) operate in Israel and the United States to bring the US into Middle East on behalf of Eretz Israel. The few control the destinies of millions… Well, if the few can do it HERE, why not elsewhere? My point being, one cannot simultaneously believe in the power of the few and the power of the many. If a few can do the job you posit, then the few can run the economy. The few can govern the nation, any nation. So, Mak-Nas or his avatar Gaius Marius can hold this view, but not a libertarian. Because a Libertarian doesn’t believe that the few CAN achieve those things. Oh they can be market leaders, opinion setters, political leaders, they can LEAD the masses, but they cannot simply rule the masses, it’s inefficient and in the end self-defeating. Conspiracies are fundamentally unworkable in the libertarian world view, hence the opposition to corporate welfare, corporate oligopoly, cartels and the like … they are conspiracies that are designed to hinder the workings of the Free Market, and as such they produce sub-optimal outcomes. You are going to have to make a choice, young Padawan the world of Justin Raimondo or the world of the Cato Institute, choose wisely.
    Finally, a long example … oddly enough related to me by a DEVOUT Marxist. The oil shocks of 1974 and 1979 saw a tremendous inflow of money into the Middle East. The OPEC nations COULD have chosen to invest that money themselves, HOWEVER, Western bankers proposed, instead, that the OPEC nations become rentiers and let the Western Bankers invest the money FOR THEM. They had a track record stretching back centuries of investing worldwide and turning a profit, it was easier for the OPEC nations to invest via Citicorp than it was to invest themselves.
    In turn, some of this money was funneled to the 3rd and 4th worlds. Apparently, Western Bankers did not believe that nation states could go bankrupt, in some contradiction of the historical record … or mayhap they figured that Western armies would collect the money has they had in the past, who knows?
    By the 1980s there was a debt crisis in the 3rd and 4th worlds. Into that breach stepped the IMF and IBRD, all controlled by Western donors. The net result was that the 3rd and 4th worlds became dependent upon Western nations for their solvency and had to adopt Western-style notions for their economies.
    In 1974 many on the Left hailed the Oil Shocks as the “Developing World ‘Standing Up.” This marked, they hoped, the beginning of the empowerment of the 3rd world. The end result was the entrapment of the 3rd world in a web of loans and obligations from Western nations and Western bankers.
    As my Marxist friend says, “You just want to believe that their was a conspiracy to achieve this end.” But, he freely admitted, that there wasn’t, what there was a set of actors, each acting in accordance with “his” needs and interests. This interaction of needs and the need to maximize utilities led to the end result, that the Marxist lament. There was no cabal of bankers and sheiks meeting secretly to ensure the slavery of the 3rd world. It was the market place of ideas and cash that hooked petrodollars to bankers to the 3rd world…the Libertarian view is the correct one. The Conspiratorial view is the wrong one.
    Conspiracy theory seeks to meet PSYCHOLOGICAL needs of its purveyors, it doesn’t describe the world. It merely provides a reason-driven explanation of events that is much more psychologically comforting than thinking that the Universe is rather chaotic and indifferent. JSB Haldane once said, “The Universe is not only much stranger than we imagine, it is much strnager than we CAN imagine,”( Or words to that effect). Conspiracies make the universe less weird and more humanly encompassable, but they do not describe the universe, they speak more to the inner life of their purveyors than the universe.

  63. So Raymond, what does one do when all options lead to the damage to innocents?

    I thought that the proper reaction to 9/11 would have been a reaffirmation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence. “In the aftermath of this horrendous attack, we reaffirm our commitment to fundamental individual rights. We will abolish capital punishment. We will reform our prisons. We will repeal laws which violate our rights…”

    We didn’t get that. We got exactly the opposite, in fact. We got war, the PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo, abu Ghraib. Your agents shipped prisoners to countries with less delicate sensibilities for more vigorous interrogation. We got even more war.

    The US government destroyed the structure of Afghanistan without insuring a replacement, leaving the country a playground for warlords, the Taliban, and al Qaeda. In fact, the situation is so bad that the UN refuses to send people there.

    In Iraq, today, American forces are in a position where one error, one wrong shot, could result in enmity from Shias the world over.

    The brutish incompetence of this administration is awesome. Not only do their policies violate the rights of others, they put the fundamental rights of American citizens in graver danger.

    So what does one do when innocents are being harmed?

    I honestly don’t know. I do know that giving the bad guys a really bad example isn’t the answer. I know that maiming and torturing and killing some of the innocents (or the bad guys, for that matter) “for the greater good” is not the answer.

    I refuse to believe that the end justifies the means.

    “… all options lead to the damage to innocents”

    What is the goal of this administration in Iraq? You seem to think your agents are sacrificing lives and wasting your money out of some sort of concern for innocents.

    The Civil War was not fought to free the slaves. WWII was not fought to end the Holocaust. And Iraq is not being fought to stop violations of human rights there.

    I don’t know why the US invaded Iraq. I suspect it was because Bush wanted revenge. Some kind of macho thing. But I really don’t know. Maybe it was for the oil. Maybe it was to give Halliburton something to do. But it certainly wasn’t to bring democracy and freedom to Iraq. It wasn’t to save American lives or to secure the blessings of liberty for anybody.

  64. Raymond, Raymond… So right you are, the Civil War, the Second World War, and the Cold War WEREN’T fought to correct those evils, ENTIRELY, but they also DID END THEM. So whilst the intentions may not have been entirely pure the results are good. Or do you wish that we had found a more “pure” way to deal with those evils? Even, if the pure way is a chimera or will take years to effect?
    “I thought that the proper reaction to 9/11 would have been a reaffirmation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence. “In the aftermath of this horrendous attack, we reaffirm our commitment to fundamental individual rights. We will abolish capital punishment. We will reform our prisons. We will repeal laws which violate our rights…”-and this would have achieved what? This reminds me of the “Quakers” in my home town. They intended to dress trees in black clothing to symbolize their opposition to war and its evils? And their symbol manipulation achieved what? Did it bring Usama to justice, defeat the Taliban, or merely make them feel good about themselves? More the latter than any of the former… But it had no appreciable effect. And your “solution” would have what effect on Usama and the Taliban? Is being pure worth more attacks?
    “The US government destroyed the structure of Afghanistan without insuring a replacement, leaving the country a playground for warlords, the Taliban, and al Qaeda. In fact, the situation is so bad that the UN refuses to send people there. “- So before we go to war, we have to have a COMPLETE plan for the war, and the aftermath? I hate to break this to you, but that’s not how the Second World War happened, see the Morgenthau Plan and the plans for a quadripartite division of Germany. The standard you propose is so impossibly high that no war can be fought… That is preferable to what exists in Afghanistan or Iraq today? Votes and economic reconstruction not withstanding?

    But finally we come to the finale of the post:
    “I don’t know why the US invaded Iraq. I suspect it was because Bush wanted revenge. Some kind of macho thing. But I really don’t know. Maybe it was for the oil. Maybe it was to give Halliburton something to do. But it certainly wasn’t to bring democracy and freedom to Iraq. It wasn’t to save American lives or to secure the blessings of liberty for anybody.”-Ahhhhhh the standard Leftist cant…. Excuse me, how do you know that the President didn’t mean what he said. Why is that? Cuz the US CAN’T be good? I’m afraid you’ll have to be a little more specific here … otherwise you’re simply saying, “I’m right, I can’t PROVE it, but I KNOW I am.”

  65. Joe L.

    Yes, I am a libertarian and I see conspiracy analysis as an indispensable tool for understanding politics. I am hardly the only one. One important example is Murray Rothbard, whom they called “Mr. Libertarian”. He was a huge proponent of using conspiracy theorizing to discern political truth surrounding big issues. I like Rothbard’s extension of common sense volitional analysis from small political situations (such as the collusion between labor and management to enact tariffs, which surprises no one) to things like entry into war, the creation of the Federal Reserve, energy policies, the IMF, environmental laws, etc. We must ask the question: “Who benefits?”

    The fact that libertarians see the individual as victimized by state action (your “many”) does not exclude the fact that the state action can come at the behest of, and is for the benefit of a small number of people. (your “few”) No “few” can “run the economy” with out the power of the state behind them. But, with the power of government, all kinds of dominance is possible.

    You’ve chosen to illustrate with the example of the question of conspiracies on behalf of the Israeli government. Certainly, they’ve gone on. For example, one of the main concerns of the neo-cons in using deception and otherwise pressuring the government into attacking Iraq, is that the attack, in their opinion, would be good for Israel.

    It’s true, that people who are Jews undoubtedly disproportionately carry out the conspiracies on behalf of the Israeli government. However, this fact does not justify anti-Semitism. Let’s even imagine that a cabal of Jews controls the whole, entire U.S. government with its own sinister agenda. This situation would still not justify anti-Semitism (of course, there is no justification) because the vast majority of Jews would not be involved with the cabal. In fact, it would be quite likely that the vast majority of Jews would be among the victims of such a cabal.

    Conspiracies for state power do often result in the “hindering the workings of the free market, and as such they produce sub-optimal outcomes” for the many but, super-optimal outcomes for the few”. Libertarians point this out. No one has to choose between Raimondo and Cato. Antiwar.com and Cato complement each other. Actually, they often make the same analysis. Didn’t Ivan Eland, at Cato, point out the Israel motivation behind the neocon push for the Iraq war?

    Sure there is incorrect conspiracy analysis. But, that doesn’t make all conspiratorial views wrong. BTW political conspiracy theorizing and analysis in general should not be judged by Marxist class conspiracy theorizing. Marxist conspiracy theory grafts some of the errors of Marxism onto conspiracy analysis. Whole classes don’t and can’t conspire. Political entities do.

    It’s the denying of conspiracies that satisfies psychological needs. It’s comforting to believe there is no deception, when there, in fact, is. This is what often makes people susceptible to the lies of those in power.

    Lastly, not all political conspiracies are deleterious. For example, Reagan engaged in wonderful conspiracies with the Pope to hasten the fall of Eastern block communism!

  66. Yeah Rick, the Palestinians are suffering from “self-inflicted” wounds. Let’s review:
    1946-1948: The Arabs and the Palestinians had a chance to have a Palestine. They blew it. In fact, HAD the Palestinians and their “allies” accepted the Partition Plan or the aftermath of the war, then they would have held the moral “high ground.” Because Deir Yassin DID happen and if the Palestinians and the Arabs had accepted the partition of 1948 they could have, rightfully, beaten the Zionists on the head with the atrocity. But, they didn’t. Instead, the Arabs annexed the remnants of the Palestinian State, Gaza and the West Bank and denied the region peace. BAD CHOICE ON THE ARAB/PALESTINIAN PART
    1948-1968: The Arabs confine the Palestinians to camps. After all the Palestinians are a better propaganda tool that way. Jordan and Egypt COULD have granted the Palestinians their rump state, but they didn’t. Instead, they and the Palestinians hold out for the “total” solution, the creation of secular Palestine in the place of ISRAEL. ANOTHER BAD CHOICE ON THE ARAB/PALESTINIAN PART
    1968-1988: The “No” Policies. No Talks, No Recognition, and No Peace. What did that get the Palestinians? It got a lot of people killed, on both sides, and more imprisoned, mostly on the Palestinian side. But a refusal to accept anything less than total victory was a BAD CHOICE ON THE ARAB/PALESTINIAN PART.
    1988-1998: The Palestinians had a chance… The end of the Cold War allowed the Palestinian “situation” to be resolved in such a manner that a Palestinian State would not be a bridgehead for the USSR. The end of the Cold War eliminated Syria as a major player and the end of the 2nd Gulf War eliminated Saddam Hussein.
    Internally, and to the Palestinian credit, the Intifada emerged. This showed that Palestinians would DIE for a state and made the Occupied Territories ungovernable. Palestinians “Stood Up”-in Mao’s words. The situation was “ripe” in Haas’ words.
    And the Palestinians blew it… They had a chance to create a state, akin to Syria, or Jordan, or possibly Somalia, but a chance. And after Netanyahu’s defeat and Barak’s Premiership they had a positive chance in Israel and Clinton could TASTE the Nobel Prize. The Palestinians rejected the partition plan offered and decided to take up the Intifada again. Only this time, they simply set out to prove the Palestinians could KILL, not die for a state. The PA has run a corrupt, authoritarian state and placed themselves in the situation they are in. BAD CHOICE ON THE ARAB/PALESTINIAN PART.
    Rick, you infantalize the Palestinians. You sweep their bad choices under the rug and make the situation they exist in ISRAEL’S fault. It’s not, I don’t claim Eretz Ysrael is spotless or blameless. I don’t have to make that claim… Note I say that the Palestinians have made bad choices, not that they are totally blameless. We make JUDGMENTS…People and groups make decisions, some good and some bad. It seems very clear that, on the whole, the Palestinians have made bad choices and it is those CHOICES, that have placed them in the horrid position they are in. They have squandered a tremendous number of opportunities.

  67. Oh SORRY GARY… You know you need to be a little LESS sensitive, now let’s review, I’ve been told to “fuck off” in here, you called me a “jerk”-albeit in response to what you thought was a slander, and I’ve been called innumerable times a “wing nut.” I haven’t exploded and neither should you. In fact, the best thing to do is to ask not shout … if you’d have said, “What’s witht he GAY comment?” I’d have noticed it and said, “Oh sorry, it’s a mistake.” But you didn’t go that route. If you BOTHERED to notice, I try to be polite, I guess it’s my feminine side. Now personally, I think you Rick Barton, and Kevin Carson are flat out WRONG and thankfully powerless, but I try to treat with civility. Now that’s not condescension on my part, I just think you can be wrong, and still be treated decently. So next time show some restraint, show some decency, and ASK first.
    Oh Rick …Typo’s happen. And I think you are a BIGOT about Eretz Ysrael, or rather Sharon et. al. You are a conspiracy theorist that consorts, intellectually, with anti-Semites. Don’t talk to me about BIGOTRY. As Christ said, “Cast the beam from your OWN eye….”

  68. Paul,

    I did volunteer, and I have served my country for the last ten years. The army is a great choice for a lot of people, and I would encourage anyone of age to consider it.

  69. If I were a woman living in Iraq or–more horrifying–Afganistan– I would thank God for every American bomb that fell on my country. If my choice was to either continue living life as an animal in “peace” or to risk my own death or the death of my children in a war BUT with the faint promise of gaining some control over my destiny, not to mention being taught to read and given a vote– GUESS WHAT I’d choose? After reading the appallingly selfish posts on this topic, it’s no wonder so few women are libertarian…

  70. Joe L.,

    You know you need to be a little LESS sensitive…

    And you need to bullshit less.

    Hank Reardon,

    GaRy … worry about those poor civilians who are now finding life more complex than under Saddam.

    That’s not true in my case; I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Iraqis either way. I do however dispute Joe L’s fallacious historical analysis and the like. So far Joe L. has refused to actually address my arguments (or indeed even meet my specific challenge regarding his Germany-Iraq analogy) and has instead acted in a rather juvenile matter.

  71. Joe L.

    History reveals the lie in the idea that Palestinian people are somehow suffering from “self-inflicted” wounds.

    Let’s start with the brutal forced exodus of 750,000 Palestinians at the founding of Israel. see: Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Norman Finkelstein

    In 1949 the UN set up refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon And Syria. The great bulk in Jordan. The Israeli government was supposed to allow the refugees to choose between return or compensation but has thus far reneged. Tragically over a million Palestinian refugees still live in refugee camps.

    To attempt to substantiate your claim, you resort to saying“BAD CHOICE ON THE ARAB/PALESTINIAN PART” But that’s not what the question is here. You’re attempting a bait and switch. It’s choices on the Palestinian people’s part that you need to show were “self-inflicted” wounds. Not other Arab regimes.

    The surrounding Arab regimes could not fairly speak for the Palestinians whose land was stolen in 1948. In fact, the British government had offered the then Prince Abdulla of Jordan, grandfather of King Hussein an under the table deal for him to be King of part of the area that would be the Palestinian State, so he actually had a big incentive to turn down a Palestinian state.

    You left out the seizure of Palestinian land in 67′ after the Six Day War, which was the inception of the occupation! An occupation that satisfies the aspirations of racist religious nuts in Israel with whom Sharon has made political league. The occupation has had nothing to do with the original pretext of “security” for Israel. What a weird security zone it is that the Israeli government puts civilians into! ( And I do mean “PUTS”. Most of the settlers in Gaza came from the Sinai and were forced to go to Gaza by the Israeli government if they wanted any compensation.)

    Also, note that when Winston S. Churchill III in 1973 asked Ariel Sharon, “What is to become of the Palestinians land?” Sharon answered: “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

    The Israeli government has never bargained in good faith.

    The PA has, indeed, run a corrupt and authoritarian state and the Israeli government backs them. They both repress freedom of enterprise for the Palestinian people which keeps them paying about four times what they should for almost everything; goods they have to buy from politically favored Israeli companies. Of course the thug enforcer PA gets their cut as well. The result is malnutrician for the Palestinian people. It’s a terrible shame that we are forced to finance the maintenance of this situation. See: How Israel Lost : The Four Questions by Richard Ben Cramer Everyone who is interested in the Israel/Palestine situation should read this book. Especially those who care about Israel.

  72. I’m glad we cleared up the gay typo problem. Now we need to clear up the issue of over-sensitivity towards the Iraqi people. GaRy, Rick and Ken worry about those poor civilians who are now finding life more complex than under Saddam. I say too damn bad, It is the citizenry of Iraq that has lacked the spine to rid itself of a despot that not only tormented his own people, but also threatened his neighbors. And anyone who believes Saddam was not one terminal diagnoses from killing millions more hasn’t been paying attention. Finally, many Iraqis celebrated on Sept. 11th, and for that alone I believe they are better off dead.

  73. I should say: WE are better off when the people who cheer the mass killings of Americans wind up dead. There’s also a little candy shop in Palestine that needs to receive a shipment of poison chocolate. Too bad the media filters never let us see that bit of footage from three years ago.

  74. I guess we have to destroy the country in order to save it, huh?

  75. “Now that the WMD ruse has collapsed, Iraq hawks like to talk about saving Iraq from itself. The surgeon metaphor is revealing.”

    I’ve been mistaken as an Iraq hawk! Who’d a thunk it? I’ve been decrying the war on this very board for months.

    Even in this thread, I spelled out my opposition in painfully simple terms. You must have missed, “My argument against the war, ultimately, is that what we gained by winning the war isn’t worth the price of the lives of the people who died and who continue to die.”

    The point of the surgeon metaphor was that even if you are a war hawk, it’s unreasonable to expect gratitude from Iraqis while Iraqi civilians are still dying in the streets.

    Got it?

  76. No Jennifer, Uday, Qusai, Saddam and the Tikriti’swere DESTROYING the country, running it for their PERSONAL benefit. We are in the process of saving the country. One of the reasons thre is less power in Baghdad, was that the country never had enough power generation capacity, the Ba’athists merely diverted power from other areas to power the areas they liked. Now, Baghdad has no special claim, nor does Tikrit, so they have to make do like the rest of Iraq has had to for years. Am I to weep that those who reaped special benfits at the expense of others now have to live as the rest of Iraq?

  77. It?s too bad they only showed part of the interview with this Iraqi. In addition to what was shown he was asked what he thought of the women on the Iraqi Olympic team, specifically the female Iraqi Judo competitor. He stated, ?If she was my sister I would kill her.?
    A paraphrase of Phil Sheridan?s infamous quote would seem appropriate here, just substitute Islamo-Fascist for Indian. /R

  78. ?If she was my sister I would kill her.?

    Do you have an internet source for that? I’d like to read the whole thing.

    Thanks.

  79. Ray, I don’t. However I did see the entire interview. Those ar the words he spoke “If she was my sister I would kill her.”. /R

  80. So many stimuli, so little time for response.

    After reading the appallingly selfish posts on this topic

    Read Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Appalling Selfishness. It will open your eyes.

    The reasoning behind your post is, btw, surprisingly similar to the reasoning behind the attacks of Islamist extremists.

    What higher good is there, after all, than the will of God? What greater good is there than an eternity in paradise?

    Excuse me, how do you know that the President didn’t mean what he said.

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful. And so are we.

    “They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people. And neither do we.” (George W. Bush, August 6, 2004)

    How do you know that the President didn’t mean what he said?

    …the standard Leftist cant….

    Oh my. “Leftist”. Why, that’s even worse than “liberal”!

    This is like being on O’Reilly. Next I expect you’re going to shout me down while twisting my words .

    …you’re simply saying, “I’m right, I can’t PROVE it, but I KNOW I am.”

    Yup. There it is.

    “Quakers” … dress trees in black clothing to symbolize their opposition to war and its evils

    Code orange. Yellow alert. Condition chocolate.

    And their symbol manipulation achieved what? Did it bring Usama to justice, defeat the Taliban, or merely make them feel good about themselves?

    Must I pick one, or may I accept the whole package?

    If I get only one choice, I’ll have to go with “bring Usama to justice”. Oh wait. The US invasion of Afghanistan did that. Sorry.

    (Disclaimer: No fundamental individual rights were injured in the dressing of these trees.)

    So before we go to war, we have to have a COMPLETE plan for the war, and the aftermath?

    Let us imagine I want to visit Paris for the weekend.

    I set off on foot. Three weeks later I end up penniless in Rome.

    What do you think my chances of seeing the Eiffel Tower are?

    (Disclaimer: No fundamental individual rights were violated during my trip to Paris.)

    The standard you propose is so impossibly high that no war can be fought…

    Precisely.

    This is the 21st Century. It’s time more people realized, along with Boy George (that great political commentator), that “War is stupid”.

    We no longer go to war to solve neighbourhood disputes. (At least, not where I live.) We don’t blow away whole villages because a plumber living there did a lousy job on my pipes. We don’t carpet-bomb Rome because we think the Pope’s stance on condom-use is harmful.

    We’ve evolved other ways of resolving such conflicts.

    —————-

    Now to the important thing. (Note: You are entering an irony-free zone.)

    “I thought that the proper reaction to 9/11 would have been a reaffirmation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence. “In the aftermath of this horrendous attack, we reaffirm our commitment to fundamental individual rights. We will abolish capital punishment. We will reform our prisons. We will repeal laws which violate our rights…”

    -and this would have achieved what?

    It would have ended the ritual sacrifice of defenseless human beings by the state.

    It would have put a stop to the forced obligation of individuals to give of their labour to pay for this sacrifice. It would have stopped making you all accomplices in the barbarity of capital punishment.

    It would have proclaimed to the world that you value human dignity, that rape and torture and humiliation are not acceptable means in dealing with crime.

    It would have shown that you are civilized, and that your “edifice of the right” is worth building. It would have shown that you actually believe in what you say you believe in.

    One cannot change another’s mind through violence. We change minds – we defeat terrorism – through education and example.

  81. Rick:

    “Ray, I don’t. However I did see the entire interview. Those ar the words he spoke “If she was my sister I would kill her.”. /R”

    More details please. Where was the interview shown? Was it in English or translated into English? who said that, the coach or one of the players? I doubt that your quote is true and I’ll gladly admit error if you can provide more details about the source of your quote.

  82. Hi anon. It’s true, he said it. He being one of the athletes, the coach was standing with him. If memory serves me correctly it was on the Sunday Morning Show (CBS?, but I’ve been wrong before. I’ll Google it later today. It was in fluent English. It is a perfect example of radical Islam, “If she was my sister I would kill her.” The reason, because she is wearing shorts and a tee shirt and she is mixing with “other people” and she should be at home living under the laws of Islam which dictate that her current behavior is justification for him to kill her.
    Why on earth would you doubt it? Is it that you doubt everyone on anything? Is it you doubt me or is it you don’t believe there really are Islamo-Facists. I guarantee you I am not the only one who saw it.
    Geeez.

  83. Rick:
    “I’ll Google it later today. It was in fluent English”

    I would appreciate the link very much.

    “Why on earth would you doubt it? Is it that you doubt everyone on anything? Is it you doubt me or is it you don’t believe there really are Islamo-Facists. I guarantee you I am not the only one who saw it.”

    I don’t doubt the existence of ‘islamo-facists’ any more than ‘christian-facsists’ and facists of other creeds.

    I expressed doubt in your statement because of Xrlq@at August 20, 2004 12:27 PM at the beginning of this thread. I wasn’t sure whether you were serious. I saw the article in SI about the interview and there was no mention of the statement you quote.

    Another reason for my doubts is that muslim religious fundamentalists don’t typically ‘waste’ their time playing sports. That is why the statement sounded weird to me and that is why I asked for details. Is there a problem?

  84. oh, joe l. you genius. i may faint. stoopid stoopid indeed. wow. “well argued”– did you borrow your younger brother’s community college book again?

    asshat.

  85. The enemy thinks that lopping off heads is a good way to change minds. It worked with the Phillipinos.

  86. gaius marius:

    “mr barton, i’m sad to say that i think you’ve placed the cart before the horse. our standards of decency and intellect (in many respects, not the least of which is thinking in particularities than absurd, grand ideological tonality) have been in decline for over a century — and that has made possible the decay of american goverment with the complicity of the people.”

    Yes; my view is indeed the opposite. I believe that our relative freedom of enterprise and limited government has bred a people whose prosperity is matched by their tolerance. Stories of foreigners saying that Americans are the most welcoming people in the world are legion.

    Historically our limited government produced an easy multicultural society because it didn’t really matter so much as to what nationality controlled the government, because government was limited in its power. The Jim crow south was only possible with the power of government.

    Our famous sense of fair play has been spawned by liberty (less government) and is compromised when government power is seen as some “solution” to one or another “faction”. In fact, government power breeds divisive factions.

    Please give my best to your nephew, Julius

  87. wow — too many comments! lol…

    josh, you’ll note your sources are distinctly western and offer but anecdotal accounts.

    certainly, i’m not making the case for his canonization. uday seems to have been an awful man, particularly by any modern western standard.

    but was he what he is advertised to be here? i simply doubt it. he has been the subject of an inordinate amount of propaganda. if that skepticism make me “ignorant” in your more faithful eyes, so be it.

    How do you know that Americans have killed more Iraqis than Saddam did?

    sorry — to clarify, i mean the rate of killing as a proxy for relative condition. that is to say, american troops have been in country for nearly a year and a half and are estimated to have killed well over 20,000 iraqi civilians.

    saddam, for all his indecency, has been estimated by human rights watch to have “disappeared” or killed some 200,000 over his 25 years — 8,000 people a year. of course, much of this came earlier in his reign and in awful spurts — later years were much more sedate.

    that means we thought to be killing iraqi civilians at over twice the average rate that saddam did, and massively more than in saddam’s last years.

  88. “it’s become a naked matter of observation that we’ve killed far more iraqis than saddam did in his last several years”

    You have? state your source, sir! I dare you!

    of course, none of us have been there to see everything — none of us are omniscient. truly, i dare you: prove iraq even exists! lol — we all are speculating to a large degree in much of our lives.

    but my above post cites human rights watch and iraq body count figures, fwiw. those who disagree with my viewpoint are certain to find those figures rotely false, i’m sure.

  89. You haven’t SEEN the mass graves and rape rooms in Iraq so you assume they must either must not exist or must have been exaggerated.

    jamie s, you’re making the nauseatingly common inference that “i heart saddam” because i’m appalled by our behavior. just not so — and i dare say it reveals the simplicity of many minds here to continue making that leap of illogic out of emotional certitude.

    i am not an apologist for saddam. i am questioning whether he and his sons were materially worse than we have been — and that is a case any patriotic american should be EXTREMELY interested in hearing out.

  90. jamie s, while i agree that wmd falsehood is no issue to arabs (they assumed it was just pretext long before we did), take a look at any polling of arab citizenry contrasting 2000 and 2004 — or, for that matter 1956 and 2004. you can make some cases to perpetuate american empire — but that none of the conquered feel any differently isn’t one of them.

    that the arab world hates the united states irrationally is one of the great propaganda coups of the post-9/11 world. when such tripe is commonplace belief, conquest and slaughter becomes so very much easier.

  91. The vast majority of these people dying are people actively trying to kill our soldiers, or at least those unlucky enough to be nearby while their fellow countrymen are attempting to do so. The cases of INNOCENT civilians being “abitrarily and capriciously” killed are, while obviously appalling, extremely infrequent, and your insistance that that’s the norm is quite telling of you.

    andy, i wish i could assume as much. it seems to me that, between abu ghraib and the horror of the british high command and the accounts of american veterans themselves, careless and capricious killing has become the hallmark of the american occupation.

    moreover, the response of iraqis says much — honestly, do you imagine iraqis would be so desperate to see us go as to widely support a man like al-sadr if we weren’t the worst sort of plague on them?

  92. My argument against the war, ultimately, is that what we gained by winning the war isn’t worth the price of the lives of the people who died and who continue to die. My justification for staying now that we’re there is that no matter what we would gain by leaving, it wouldn’t be worth all the civilian lives that would be lost in an Iraqi civil war.

    ken, that’s an exceedingly rational view. the expenses of empire are simply too high to make sense, imo — and i tend to view iraqi civil war as an eventuality now whether we stay or go.

  93. Finally, does the moral stain of civilian deaths lie solely with the US? If the Ba’athists or Jihadis detonate a car bomb that kills 100-plus people in Iraq, is the US to blame? Simply tallying the dead and then saying, no wonder they hate us is a tad simplistic?

    joe L, this is a good point and i concur. but it needs analysis — in the eyes of most iraqis, they were not being killed arbitrarily before and they are now. what has changed? the united states army.

    we are certain to shoulder the *blame*, regardless of the responsibility — we are the occupier, and the lesson of history is that no occupied population blames their hometown insurgents. and so — regardless of whether you and i agree or not — the united states will be blamed for all the killing. and no one can change that — it’s a human reaction, not totally irrational, and we would do it too under their circumstances.

    (sincerely, haven’t millions of americans blamed saddam — and millions more all of islam — for something osama did? a great deal of superstition and very little evidence in all that — and yet, here we are. the transferral of blame to the most convenient target is longstanding tradition.)

  94. anon, just finished a long response when the server flashed a message stating that the server had been reset, what ever that meant, but I lost my response. IMO it was a good one.
    However as it is getting late and I just arrived home from work I’ll give a brief reply.
    First in answer to your question, no problem.
    I understand that many people will doubt that the statement was made simply because they do not undersatn the fundamental Islamce way of thinking. However if any individual has spent just a short amount of time in this culture they would understan that this is how they have been reared. It is similar to the culture in India and a few other areas.
    But it is real. Disgustingly so.
    I’ll try to Google it up tomorrow as I need to cook up some dinner and get some sleep, 0430 come around quickly.
    in the interm if any other readers saw the interview it would be appreciated if you could point anon and me as to where we can read or preferably view it.
    No, I’m too tired to run a spell check. /R
    PS Rick Barton “your nephew Julius” good one.

  95. God, look what we’re talking about. This shit has got to stop. The prosecution of the Iraq war is at odds with the core ideas of our republic. We must never again allow our government to pursue an elective war. This war is taking a toll on our standards of decency. We should never let the actions of our government cause us to condone needless killing and torture.

    mr barton, i’m sad to say that i think you’ve placed the cart before the horse. our standards of decency and intellect (in many respects, not the least of which is thinking in particularities than absurd, grand ideological tonality) have been in decline for over a century — and that has made possible the decay of american goverment with the complicity of the people.

  96. Susan,
    If you would give your life for the freedom you are talking about, then by all means do so. But if you are sitting comfortably at home in front of your computer, you have absolutely no right to call anyone else “appallingly selfish” for not making that choice. I am a woman libertarian because I don’t believe that I have any right to snipe at other people for not risking their lives for a cause while I sit in the safety of my home clucking about how worthy that cause is. Maybe few women are libertarians for the same reason few men are- because they don’t grasp the difference between “I think such and such is a good idea” and “Other people should have to sacrifice because I think it’s a good idea!”

  97. “moreover, the response of iraqis says much — honestly, do you imagine iraqis would be so desperate to see us go as to widely support a man like al-sadr if we weren’t the worst sort of plague on them?”

    Well, given the biased type of coverage that they receive from their oh-so “fair and balanced” media, yes. And before you go off telling me how our media is just as distorted as theirs, do you HONESTLY believe that?

  98. “moreover, the response of iraqis says much — honestly, do you imagine iraqis would be so desperate to see us go as to widely support a man like al-sadr if we weren’t the worst sort of plague on them?”

    Well, given the biased type of coverage that they receive from their oh-so “fair and balanced” media, yes. And before you go off telling me how our media is just as distorted as theirs, do you HONESTLY believe that?

  99. Well, given the biased type of coverage that they receive from their oh-so “fair and balanced” media, yes. And before you go off telling me how our media is just as distorted as theirs, do you HONESTLY believe that?

    yes — and this from experience, not speculation. watch al-jazeera for a while, then watch fox or nbc. no difference at all, except for the side of the coin.

    media isn’t reporting. media is mythology — the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. al-jazeera does so from the arab POV, nbc from teh american. they both tell a kind of truth, but not about current events.

  100. Oh please! Don?t you guys understand that this was just a yet another political game? Don?t you notice the Iraqi sportsmen, how they dress, and their hairstyle? I think they are more like American-Iraqis than Iraqis.

  101. “It’s wisest to question everything.”

    To a point…

  102. Here‘s the only SI link I could find.

    To a point…

    Ok. I’ll clarify. It’s wisest to question everything that might be remotely interesting to you or might have an effect on your life in some way (however insignificant).

    The rest you can accept on faith.

  103. ps – Unless it’s in an Amnesty International report, or The Economist. Then it’s true.

  104. limited government

    i think that ended circa 1933, and was in decline as early at the 1880s. we now live in a society characterized by an invasive authoritarian government, with a lot of empty sentimental propaganda about freedom and constitution filling the air.

    and i’m positing that that decay, the decline of voluntary limitation in the power of vox populi to rule, was sanctioned — in fact demanded — by the people as attitudes changed away from the english parliamentary tradition under the influence of rousseau (who was abhorred by most of the founders) and others.

    i’m very sad to say that i observe “the core ideas of our republic”, as you said, are already long dead. what is left of it is a shroud of useless rhetoric hiding the skeleton of empire. it is what garet garrett called “revolution within the form” — we have subtly changed the meaning of terms like “freedom” and “independence” so that we can abandon those old principles while still paying them lip service and duping the insensitive and the lazy into complacency. that sort of bait-and-switch was mastered by FDR — who even managed to coopt and enduringly reverse the meaning of “liberal” in america.

    that isn’t to say that we can’t do largely as we wish today — people in america have a sadly unsophisticated vision of tyranny as some sort of dark kafkaesque antilife. under typical tyranny, many get along just as they would have, such a lack of change that often few realize that their form of government is now different. there’s no signpost to mark the change — until, one day, the tyrant does something so egregious as to make it clear to all but the blind and the loyal. (american cities like chicago are an excellent example of tyranny — when mayor daley bypassed every protocol of government to destroy meigs field to progress his personal agenda, it became clear to all that he is a tyrant.)

    our presidents, republican or democrat, are (like daley) getting bolder and bolder with time. the current administration largely ignores congress and views the courts cynically. it won’t be very long, imo, before a president makes clear he’s no longer in need of the other branches.

    and, done appropriately in a moment of crisis and with sufficient propaganda, he’ll meet with very little popular resistance — because most of us already know, consciously or not, that congress and the courts are irrelevant compared to the president — and we like “Strong Leadership” and quick polar solutions.

  105. rick_laredo:
    “However if any individual has spent just a short amount of time in this culture they would understan that this is how they have been reared. It is similar to the culture in India and a few other areas”

    Thanks, but I’m familiar with the culture more than you can ever imagine. Now, how about a pointer to the interview? Thanks.

    Raymond:
    “Here’s the only SI link I could find.”

    Yeah, I have read the SI article, but no mention of the harsh statements that rick_laredo@August 23, 2004 01:54 PM attributed to one of the Iraqi soccer players.

  106. I did a search on CBS.com, too. No luck.

    imo, It’s an urban myth.

  107. rick_laredo:
    “I’ll try to Google it up tomorrow”

    I’m still waiting or should I call bull shit?

  108. Why on earth would you doubt it? Is it that you doubt everyone on anything? Is it you doubt me or is it you don’t believe there really are Islamo-Facists.

    It’s wisest to question everything.

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