American Baghdad

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Juan Cole has post up projecting what it might look like if the U.S. were Iraq. Not entirely fair, since the relevant baseline is pre-occupation Iraq, but it does provide a fairly concrete image in light of which to view sunshine and fuzzy bunny talk from the Bush campaign.

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  1. Damn, I deleted this from my inbox 3 times this month already and now Reason has to link to it! I guess I better set my spam filter to catch more of the email versions in the future!

  2. “Here is a pointless comparison that tries to make Bush look bad.”
    “Put it on Hit & Run!”

  3. Bush just admitted that right/wrong track poll numbers in Iraq are better than in America.

    He can’t even do sunshine and fuzzy bunny BS right.

  4. Bush just admitted that right/wrong track poll numbers in Iraq are better than in America.

    He can’t even do sunshine and fuzzy bunny BS right.

  5. Since you can’s seem to post messages right, I’d call it a wash. 🙂

    Just kidding.

  6. “Can’s” = “Can’t”

    See we all fumble seemingly simple tasks from time to time. 🙂

  7. Sorry, this is one of those “Well, duh!” Hit & Run posts. If the U.S. had been a thug state ruled for decades by bloody dictators who put millions in mass graves, and then was invaded by a foreign power, would things be peachy a year and a half later? No, but what does that prove?

    In other news, if you don’t go to the dentist for decades, when you finally do it hurts (and costs) alot.

  8. While Juan’s article was good, as Julian pointed out it was missing the pre-Saddam perspective.

    I independently did that on my Blog:

    Perspective

  9. Saddam was killing 250,000 Iraqi’s a year, the equivalent proportionally of 2,750,000 Americans each year.

    That’s Saddam’s lifetime average, right, counting all lethal casualties of all civil wars, the Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War I as Saddam’s victims, plus your garden-variety police-state murders and averaging that over the life of his rule, correct? It’s not actually a claim that Saddam murdered a quarter million people in 2001 or 2002, is it? Does it ascribe “excess deaths” from UN sanctions to Saddam as well? Did Saddam murder 250,000 Iraqis in 1999? Or were the vast majority of the deaths that go into that figure from the 1979-1991 period?

    If so, let’s be clear: it doesn’t make Saddam a swell guy. Quite the contrary. But the local perspective is going to be most colored by the last few years.

  10. The 250,000 figure is a typical estimate for the total number of Iraqis killed by Saddam over the course of his entire time as leader of Iraq (1978 to 2003), although the figure of 300,000 is used more often.

  11. Wow, he sure did take that straw-man to task. Did you see how it couldn’t even hit back it was so overwhelmed. He sure is right about Iraq.

  12. What drivel. Leave counterfactual history to guys like Turtledove. At least they have the sense to hold most variables constant so as to have the appearance of saying something meaningful, or at least interesting.

    How about “What if the North were the South”?

  13. Very nice work, Pierce.

    Or you can try it another way. What percentage of the U.S. population was being killed each week during 1777? Or during 1863? And what were the prospects for real freedom and peace then? (No fair looking forward a hundred or so years.)

    And here’s another (pointless) exercise in statistical extrapolation. If Iraq had the same proporation of annual traffic fatalities as the U.S., only about 5,000 people would be victims of car accidents. What does that prove? Nada.

  14. The 250,000 figure is a typical estimate for the total number of Iraqis killed by Saddam over the course of his entire time as leader of Iraq (1978 to 2003), although the figure of 300,000 is used more often.

    Does it include people killed in war or as a result of the sanctions? Or is it a strict accounting of deaths by citizens at the hands of the state?

    (Also, where does it come from?)

  15. http://armedservices.house.gov/issues/Hussein/04-01-21chicagotrib.htm

    “So far, 282 possible mass grave sites have been identified, 55 have been confirmed and 20 have been explored. But nine months after Hussein’s fall, the total number of graves is unknown. So, too, is the number buried, though the figure is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.”

    “Among Kurds alone, for example, there are at least 182,000 people missing, 8,000 of them from one clan, the Barzanis.”

    “Over the years, word had spread about a mass grave less than 10 miles away in Hila, but nobody had dared go there for fear of being punished. But a few days after the regime’s collapse, Husseyni and his brother, Dr. Rafid al-Husseyni, and dozens of volunteers went to the site, where authorities think as many as 15,000 people may be buried.”

    http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/pdf/iraq_mass_graves.pdf

    “Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been ‘disappeared’ by the Iraqi government over the past two decades,” said the group in a statement in May. “Many of these ‘disappeared’ are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq.”

    290,000 in 20 years would average about 15,000 per year. Or 150,000 scaled to the size of the U.S. That’s only the people “disappeared”…not those soldiers and civilians killed in the war with Iran.

    This site estimates 150,000 soldiers killed in the war with Iran:

    http://www.worldhistory.com/iraq.htm

    That’s equivalent to 1.5 million U.S. soldiers killed in 8 years. I think that’s more soldiers killed than in every U.S. war *combined.* (However, the population of the U.S. in the Civil War and WWII were lower, so “10 to 1” factor would be overstating the deaths.)

    For someone like Juan Cole there’s probably some doubt…but what “libertarian” can doubt that, on average, things are much better in Iraq now than they were under Saddam Hussein?

  16. I might add if that were the case, US=Iraq, we might be saying what I believe the Iraqis are saying, “Find the thugs killing us. Find them and kill them.” It seems odd to me that in Fallujah, Paris and American Campii the villain of the car bombings is the US, not Al-Douri or Zarqawi.

    The Kurds and Shi’i know what’s on the line here, a restoratuion of the Ba’ath or an installation of Al-Sadr and Zarqawi and the theocracy.
    And Juan didn’t mention that, did he? So let’s add that, 3,300 Americans a week are being killed by Catholics brought into the US from Canada seeking to establish a Papal state in the US, or by Mormons hoping to install a more home-grown theocracy, or by the Genovese Crime Family. What would Americans think? I think they might say, we can’t let THOSE people win, let’s stop’em? Mayhap we all would be saying “Brit’s go home, so we can have a large civil war that may well end with the imposition of a tyranny again and my group(s) being put under that tyranny’s boot heel.” Thank God Juan Cole didn’t hang out in the US in 1863, though Kevin Carson might laud him as an American Hero if he had. Of course, I’m a Conservative Republican (Repug)-Neo-Con, so what the HELL do I know, eh?

  17. waddya mean, “not fair”? It’s completely stupid and facile. He just scaled the numbers up to make them look bad.

    One could just as validly scale them down, to say, Flagstaff, Arizona: “One person is killed by violence every two weeks. One American soldier is killed per year”.

    It’s just a stupid propaganda exercise, as one would expect from Cole.

  18. For someone like Juan Cole there’s probably some doubt…but what “libertarian” can doubt that, on average, things are much better in Iraq now than they were under Saddam Hussein?

    to be honest, i think it’s quite hard to say from a desk in america.

    are they tyrannized? well, yes… for the moment, anyway, they see themselves being occupied by a western imperial army, ruled by washington fiat. the power goes out. the water doesn’t run oftentimes. places explode seemingly at random under unseen warplanes. people are getting shot at checkpoints. people are being carted off to prison arbitrarily.

    none of these things happened under saddam. i think one can make a very rational case that the average citizen is in far greater jeopardy of random violence and the travails of chaos. say what you will about saddam, but iraqi society was orderly; it isn’t now.

    good americans want to ideologically believe that all things under a despot like saddam could never possibly be worse than that, ever, ever, ever. but the very real truth is that despotism (while utterly undesirable) is orderly — and order has value.

    disclaimer: here i have to say for the sake of the idiots that i in fact love my country and even believe some of its propaganda. i also have to say that i’m not blind, and that saddam was in fact a ruthless despot that i would never want to live under.

    but that doesn’t mean i have to be blind to the fact that things may not in fact be better now than they were. nor do i have to be blind to the possibility that things will be getting much worse for them, especially if we pull out in the next six months (or before order is imposed).

  19. It’s just a stupid propaganda exercise, as one would expect from Cole.

    plainly, no one should take it literally. it has little analytical basis.

    but it does give a nebulous window on how different things are in iraq, and why individuals would be motivated to take up arms and join local militias, which are now largely the forces of law and order in iraqi cities.

  20. It seems odd to me that in Fallujah, Paris and American Campii the villain of the car bombings is the US, not Al-Douri or Zarqawi.

    that is very odd indeed. i think the whole affair was a terrible mistake, a misdiagnosis of the problem of terrorism/insurgency against american imperialism.

    but the hard truth for a dove like me is, now that the mistake has been made, we have to restore order and institutions before leaving. that means a decade, much more money and many more troops, imo.

  21. the power goes out. the water doesn’t run oftentimes. places explode seemingly at random under unseen warplanes. people are getting shot at checkpoints. people are being carted off to prison arbitrarily.
    none of these things happened under saddam.

    All of those things happened under Saddam.

  22. We had our Civil War and Revolutionary War already, thanks.
    They were quite bloody enough.
    And there were plenty of defeatists back then who were sure the bad guys were gonna win, and we should’ve just given up, and it was all a big ugly mistake.
    Fortunately, the good guys had the courage to keep fighting and the wisdom to ignore the so-called “patriotic” dissenters of their day.
    I remain aghast that so many so-called “Libertarians” oppose fighting for Liberty.

  23. aaron — i’m open to think that, if i could but find some evidence for it and some manner of putting scale w/r/t the current conditon.

    i also apologize for “carted off to prison” — that surely did happen under saddam. what i should have said was that it isn’t happening less under us. (indeed, reports are that the prisons are more crowded now than ever.)

  24. I remain aghast that so many so-called “Libertarians” oppose fighting for Liberty.

    if i could bring myself to believe it was just that, mcclain, i would support it. as it is, the likelihood that one can create and Empire of Liberty rings hollow to me.

    the civil war, for that matter, was a war the southern elite fought for their independence and the (up until that point) widely assumed right of the states to secede from the union peaceably. obviously, the slaves within the south were not free under this system — self-determination has never meant freedom for all, of course — but that doesn’t change the fact that the south was fighting for self-determination. the civil war could be said to be the first war of american empire, and certainly assured the ascendancy of central govenrment in america.

    many iraqi insurgents, too, i think are fighting for that same self-determination — in my opinion, so is al-qaeda fighting for that cause against what it perceives (rightly) as tacit american imperial rule by proxy.

  25. I’d like to think that the prisons are more crowded now because we don’t clear out space the way Saddam might have. Either by offing people, or randomly letting criminals out of prison (I think it was Iraq The Model that mentioned he would let thugs out of prison on his birthday).

  26. Well, gaius, if you’re taking the side of both the Confederates and the Iraqi terrorist insurgents, that’s all I really need to know about you.

  27. taking the side

    lol — please don’t reduce my opinions! i’m simply pointing out that this situation is complex, and there are many points fo view in all conflicts. it’s part of trying to understand their side as well as ours.

    reducing every conflict to a morality play in which you are right is simpleminded, imo, and possibly very (unnecessarily) costly.

  28. “to be honest, i think it’s quite hard to say from a desk in america.”

    It depends. Is one a *libertarian* at a desk in America? If one is a *libertarian* at a desk in America, I don’t think it’s hard to say: things are unquestionably better now for the average person in Iraq than they were under Saddam Hussein.

    “are they tyrannized? well, yes…”

    Provide some evidence that that are more “tyrannized” than they were under Saddam Hussein. You can’t! Because it’s unquestionable that the average person in Iraq is much more free today than they were in February 2003.

    “…for the moment, anyway, they see themselves being occupied by a western imperial army,…”

    And if they are are so “tyrannized” by that occupation, why aren’t there thousands in the streets carrying signs and shouting, “U.S. soldiers get out!” and “Yankee go home!”?

    Certainly such demonstrations would get a huge amount of coverage on Al Jazeera. Not to mention on CBS. Not to mention in Reason and Liberty magazines. (No offense intended, just stating facts. 😉 I would fully support such coverage; it WOULD be important news.)

    “…ruled by washington fiat.”

    What “Washington fiat?” Allawi was chosen by a *U.N.* respresentative. To my knowledge, not one U.S. citizen is in charge of any central ministry in Iraq, nor in charge of any provincial ministry. U.S. people don’t tell Iraqi courts which people to arrest or set free.

    In fact, it could *easily* be argued that Iraqis are *less* under “Washington fiat” now than they were under Saddam Hussein. Under Saddam Hussein, there were U.N. economic sanctions (whose chief booster was the U.S.) that significantly impacted life in Iraq.

    “the power goes out.”

    The power almost certainly went out much *more* the last few years under Saddam Hussein. The central power grid is supplying much more electrical energy (about 50% more) than it was before the war:

    http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/accomplishments/electricity.html

    And now there are MANY more private generators running in Iraq.

    What has changed is that all the power isn’t being sucked into Baghdad, like it was under Saddam Hussein. Under Saddam Hussein, virtually all the power in the country was sucked into Baghdad, to keep Saddam Hussein and his government popular in the capital (with about 20-25% of the population). The rest of the country got screwed.

    “the water doesn’t run oftentimes.”

    The water supply is as good as it was right before the U.S. invaded.’

    http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/accomplishments/watsan.htm%6C

    “Baghdad: Expanding one water treatment plant to increase capacity by flow by more than 50 million gallons per day and rehabilitating two sewage treatment plants. A major wastewater treatment plant in Baghdad began operating on May 19, 2004; this is the first major plant in the country to operate in over 12 years.
    The sewage treatment system, barely functioning for years before the conflict, will be restored to almost 100-percent capacity, serving 80 percent of Baghdad’s population. Standby generators are being installed at 41 Baghdad water facilities.”

    “South: Rehabilitating the Sweet Water Canal system, including repairing breaches, cleaning the main reservoir, and refurbishing 14 water treatment plants around Basrah. Treated water production at the Sweet Water Canal will increase 100 percent, serving almost 2.1 million.”

    “places explode seemingly at random under unseen warplanes.”

    Perhaps the warplanes are “unseen” because the explosions are caused by mortar shells fired by terrorists (also mistakenly idenfied as “insurgents”).

    Gaias, the stuff you talk about (water, electricity) are hardly issues of “liberty”. What about free speech and freedom of the press? What about freedom of religion? What about freedom to own satellite dishes and cell phones? What about freedom to learn in classrooms that don’t demand constant praise for the Dear Leader?

    What about economic growth that absolutely collapsed under Saddam Hussein?

    “In 2003, Iraq’s GDP barely reached $30 billion. When Sadaam Hussein came to power in 1980, however, GDP stood at almost $130 billion and Iraq profited from one of the most advanced economies in the Middle East. Average income fell from $3,600 per person in 1980 to between $770 and $1,020 by 2001 and will be just $450-610 by the end of 2003, according to World Bank figures.”

    http://www.infoprod.co.il/article/28

    “people are getting shot at checkpoints.”

    *Who* is being shot at checkpoints, and by whom? And at what rate? A couple days ago, U.S. soldiers shot a car bomber before he could detonate his bomb. I assume that sort of thing doesn’t bother you?

    “people are being carted off to prison arbitrarily.”

    How many people? By whom? How do you know it’s “arbitrary?”

    “none of these things happened under saddam.”

    Bwahahahahaha! Good one, gaius! Oh…you’re *serious??!* If so, you win a booby prize for ignorance!

    It’s pretty clear that you’ve never been to Iraq. (I haven’t either.)

    But it also appears that you have never read or conversed with people who ever lived in Iraq. Here are just a few blogs by people who actually *live* in Iraq. You should run your thoughts by them. (Most of them could use a laugh. ;-))

    http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

    http://www.healingiraq.com/

    http://iraqataglance.blogspot.com/

    http://messopotamian.blogspot.com/

    http://astarfrommosul.blogspot.com/

    http://rosebaghdad.blogspot.com/

    “say what you will about saddam, but iraqi society was orderly; it isn’t now.”

    Yes, gaius, Iraqi society under Saddam was orderly. And North Korean society under Kim Jong Il is orderly. And Cuban society under Fidel Castro is orderly. And if one is NOT a libertarian (as Juan Cole is NOT a libertarian), such orderliness may be worth a nearly total lack of freedom. But no libertarian thinks that way. If they do, they wouldn’t be libertarians!

  29. While some nuts on here were being diapered, Juan Cole was studying the Mideast. He speaks Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam, and lived in a number of places in the Muslim world for extended periods of time. You keyboarding chickenhawks who get your info from embedded jounalists hunkered down in hotels or from self serving politicians should pay attention if he thinks things are bad.

  30. it’s unquestionable

    i get the feeling that much of what you believe, mr bahner, is “unquestionable”. 🙂

    Gaias, the stuff you talk about (water, electricity) are hardly issues of “liberty”. What about free speech and freedom of the press? What about freedom of religion? What about freedom to own satellite dishes and cell phones? What about freedom to learn in classrooms that don’t demand constant praise for the Dear Leader?

    i would refer you to the comment of the iraqi soccer coach at the olympics:

    “You cannot speak about a team that represents freedom. We do not have freedom in Iraq, we have an occupying force. This is one of our most miserable times,” he said.

    now, you can choose to ignore him, or discredit him, or denounce him. but the truth is that this man lives in iraq as an iraqi, and speaks from experience, not just an ideological platform. millions of iraqis agree with him, and that is irrefutable. i would ask you: what good is the abstracted ideal of freedom when you get shot at going to get your groceries?

    you’re right to point out that i don’t converse regularly with iraqis living in iraq. (and neither do you.) i survive in the blogosphere like you do. and we have the luxury of being able to pick and choose who we listen to, what iraqi “reality” we’d like to adopt.

    this fellow and his compatriots do not.

    “none of these things happened under saddam.”

    these were poorly chosen words on my part. i should have said, “these things are little better now in iraq than they were under saddam — and some are worse”. and that is, on the basis of all i’ve read, right and left, largely the truth i’ve divined. (and yes, i read those blogs too.)

    and that is sad — because it seems to me that, with competent planning in washington, much of this horrid mess might have been avoided.

    i can read well enough to see you’ve adopted a position of faith. and that’s fine — most do. i don’t care to try to dislodge you and doubt i could. fwiw, i hope in time i’m shown to be wrong.

  31. The whole exercise of deciding whether life in Iraq has gotten better or worse since the invasion can never be won decisively. Every side can find facts to support its argument. People in Kurdish areas are certainly better off, although remember that Saddam hasn’t controlled those areas for the past 10 years so more a morale boost than a quantitative improvement. In the Sunni and Shi’ite areas there is generally greater political and economic freedom today than under Saddam while personal security for most people is clearly worse. The problem for the Bush administration is that many people, even moderate Republicans, are comparing today’s Iraq not to Saddam’s Iraq but to the Iraq that the Administration promised. There are still many reasons to believe that Iraq can turn out alright but the Bush administration has consistently downplayed the bad news, ignored the difficulties involved and generally acted like Pollyannas. No wonder they don’t inspire a great deal of confidence. The other interesting comparison is Iraq today vs Iraq September 2003. By almost any measurement Iraq has gotten worse, not better, over the last 12 months. It may be that this is really the “dead-enders” last gasp but to believe this requires a lot of faith in the ability of America to stay the course.

  32. Juan Cole, eh?

    What’s next? A REASON H&R link to the writings of Noam Chomsky?

  33. “i get the feeling that much of what you believe, mr bahner, is “unquestionable”. :)”

    I don’t believe anything, gaius. I ***think*** everything. I say, “unquestionable,” because there really isn’t any question. In fact, let’s take ***your own example,***:

    “i would refer you to the comment of the iraqi soccer coach at the olympics:”

    “You cannot speak about a team that represents freedom. We do not have freedom in Iraq, we have an occupying force. This is one of our most miserable times,” he said.

    OK. You hit me with your best shot. It’s pathetic. Let’s read some comments from people who were on the Olympic soccer team BEFORE Saddam was deposed:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/05/07/MN175617.DTL

    “He would turn against you in ways you wouldn’t believe. Hitler didn’t even come close,” said Emmanuel Baba Dano, known throughout Iraq as Amu Baba, who served as the national soccer coach for most of the past three decades.

    Before every match, players were forced to watch a video in which Odai threatened them if they did not triumph, Baba said.

    Ahmed Radi, 39, a former Olympian who retired in 1997 and now coaches the national team, said, “We couldn’t play properly sometimes, thinking about what would happen to us if we failed.”

    After losing an important match, he said, the entire team was once taken directly from the soccer stadium to jail in a bus with blacked-out windows. They were crammed into a single cell and beaten with sticks.

    “It was normal to spend days and weeks in jail,” said Laith Hussein, the team’s current captain, who is not related to the former president. “We would joke that we had three homes — our own houses, the stadium and jail.”

    Though the punishments — ranging from the mundane to the brutal — were rumored before the war, they are only now coming to light as the players finally feel free enough to tell their stories.

    Or this:

    Still, Baba counts himself a relatively fortunate victim of Odai’s capricious cruel streak.

    While members of his squad were tortured, Baba said, he was imprisoned for only three days, during which he was deprived of food and the medicine that he takes daily for diabetes and a heart condition. His wife was also put in jail; she lives today in Canada.

    Now, gaius, is there *really* any question about which situation is better, from the standpoint of freedom? In one case, the coach moans and whines about how bad things are in Iraq (and then returns to Iraq where absolutely nothing happens to him, in terms of his being shot dead). In the other case, the coach is imprisoned for three days without food or medicine…AND his wife is imprisoned…and he didn’t even criticize Uday or Saddam. (If he had criticized them, he wouldn’t be alive to talk about it.)

  34. Some more excerpts from Iraqi soccer, prior to Saddam Hussein being deposed (and his miserable b@stard son being killed):

    http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/voices/200308/0815athletes.html

    Udai Hussein, who headed Iraq’s Olympic Committee, was so feared within his country that the glee many Iraqi sports officials felt shortly after his death was muted by concern that he was somehow still alive.

    “We hear it’s him ? but we are not 100 percent sure about his death,” soccer player Jaffer al-Muthafer said. Al-Muthafer, 42, escaped from Iraq in 1979, earned a doctorate in sports management in Germany and returned to Iraq ? to see his mother for the first time in 24 years ? in mid-May. In recent months, he had been active in an exile group called the Free Iraq Olympic Group.

    “If it’s really him, we will be so very happy,” al-Muthafer said. “We will really be able to start a new regime of Olympic sport in Iraq. OK, he’s gone. We will start a new life.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2003/s847656.htm

    This was where Hisham ended up after a bad game -prison. After losing to Japan at the Asian championships two years ago, he and the rest of the team spent 16 days here. It was Uday’s private jail for poor-performing athletes. A place where their heads would be shaved, where athletes would suffer water torture and have to undergo back-breaking training for 12 hours a day.

  35. Abas Rahim, a speedy 24-year-old left wing for Police, is one of Iraq’s finest players. After returning home from 1997 Junior World Cup qualifying matches in South Korea, Rahim was jailed for 21 days. He was the team captain, as well as the tournament’s most valuable player, and he was punished for the team’s failure. “Five years later, after trying to quit the team, Rahim missed a crucial penalty kick against the Union Club in Qatar. He was held captive in Hussein’s Republican Palace for seven days, he recalled, blindfolded the entire time. Today, he played unafraid.”

    — The Washington Post, May 17, 2003

    ‘The players would start crying,’ said Emmanuel Baba, 69, a former player who became a coach renowned throughout the Arab world, where he is known by his nickname, Ammo Baba. ‘They would tremble with fear.'”

    “‘When they got out of prison, they would come to me and lift their shirts to show me the red stripes on their back. They had been beaten with a metal cable. Then the guards threw salt water at them, so the scars would stay for life.'”

    — The Washington Post, April 24, 2003

    ‘I thought many times of leaving soccer,’ said Laith Hussein, captain of the national team and a star in Iraq. ‘But how could I? I was afraid of what Uday would do to me and my family. I would sit and cry when I was by myself. I want to play soccer for myself, and for the Iraqi people, not for Uday.'”

    — The Washington Post, April 24, 2003

  36. Give it up, Mark. Saddam Hussein has gotten fast-tracked to a total rehabilitation of character by the left and some libertarians in this country. When Bill Clinton was dealing with Iraq in 1998 he was the head of a nightmare regime in bed with terrorists, but now “Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror”.

    After he is executed you will see a wiping away of sins and an elevation to the position of sainthood for the left occupied by Fidel, Che, and Hugo.

  37. “You keyboarding chickenhawks…”

    Probably shouldn’t be talking about “ckicken” when you post under a pseudonym (you gutless worm)!

    But regarding “chickenhawks”…the person *I’m* voting for has pledged that, if he is elected, he’d pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible:

    http://www.campaign.politicalcrossfire.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=61

    More importantly, Michael Badnarik would remove U.S. troops from ALL foreign countries.

    That can be contrasted to John Kerry, the man for whom Juan Cole will be voting:

    1) Kerry voted in favor of using “force” in Iraq…and he didn’t even have the guts to stand with Ron Paul and demand Yes/No Congressional votes on a Declaration of War,

    2) Kerry voted for U.S. bombing in Kosovo…the ultimate “chickenhawk” “war”…again, Kerry didn’t have the guts to demand that the Senate vote yes/no on a declaration of war.

    More importantly, John Kerry has made no statement that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from foreign lands. And John Kerry certainly hasn’t made any statement that he wouldn’t violate his oath of office by waging war–probably undeclared war, to boot!–for “humanitarian” reasons.

    So Juan Cole is voting for a chickenhawk, not me. Are you also voting for a chickenhawk, Gadfly?

  38. I volunteer you, Mark, to go over there and kick there asses. Hint: when you go to the market, take an army.

  39. Upon reflection, I really should address at least your #2. Did you know we didn’t lose a single soldier in the Kosovo attack?

    And yes, I’ll support a strong, smart president.

  40. Gadfly writes, “I volunteer you, Mark, to go over there and kick there(sic) asses.”

    Why don’t you volunteer yourself, Chickenhawk…er, Gadfly? You’re the one who’s going to vote for the law-breaking coward who voted to send U.S. soldiers to Iraq.

    Gadfly asks, “Did you know we didn’t lose a single soldier in the Kosovo attack?”

    Yeah, that’s why the Big-Breasted Chickenhawk, Bill Clinton, did it. Made him look presidential. And if it had absolutely nothing to do with the national defense, and if it killed a couple hundred or couple thousand innocent civilians, why should he care?

    “And yes, I’ll support a strong, smart president.”

    Yeah, you’ll support John Kerry…a law-breaking coward. A man who voted to men and women to Iraq, but didn’t even have the courage to demand that it was done legally (through a declaration of war). And you have the gall to call *me* a “chickenhawk!” (When I’m voting for Michael Badnarik–a man who not only wouldn’t have voted to send the troops in the first place, but will pull troops out immediately, unlike John Kerry.)

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