Sen. Hagel: Get Out of Iraq

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"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," [Sen. Chuck] Hagel [R-Neb.] said on "This Week" on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."

Hagel said "stay the course" is not a policy. "By any standard, when you analyze 2 1/2 years in Iraq … we're not winning," he said.

Whole thing here. Hagel is a Vietnam vet with the Purple Hearts to protect him against Mike Dukakis-type charges of weak-kneed pacifism. He was also a fence-sitter on voting in favor of force in Iraq, though he eventually signed on to giving the president the go-ahead, causing brass-balled Reason cartoonist Peter "Hate" Bagge to label him a political "wuss."

Hagel's one of those upper-house hopefuls that are always running for president and this latest pronouncement seems in keeping with whatever delusional dreams of residing in the White House that all too many senators harbor. But it definitely represents a problem for Bush and conservatives. Hagel pulled a 95 percent rating from the American Conservative Union in 2003; he's not the type of guy they can brush off.

And he's definitely in synch with the country, which shares his grim assessment of the Iraq occupation at this point in time. In March 2004, 65 percent of Americans supported going to war; now only 44 percent does. And a record high of 57 percent thinks the war has made the country "less safe" from terrorism. More poll results here.

Whatever else you can say about Iraq, this much seems inarguable: The Bush administration has failed to define the parameters of success there in any really convincing way. And whatever the successes of the occupation may be, they've done a piss-poor job of making clear a) what they are and b) precisely what level of American sacrifice is both required and acceptable.

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  1. But why bother with B when no-one’s taken you to task for not having bothered to come up with A?

  2. “And whatever the successes of the occupation may be, they’ve done a piss-poor job of making clear a) what they are and b) precisely what level of American sacrifice is both required and acceptable.”

    Hear, hear!

    Some things are more expensive than valuable. What did we get? How much did it cost?

    Sure, there are costs associated with leaving too. And the Pottery Barn rule bothers me.

    …but can we go back to the ‘ol Powell Doctrine in the meantime?

  3. In March 2004, 65 percent of Americans supported going to war; now only 44 percent does.

    If that isn’t an argument against democracy I don’t know what is. Fewer than 2,000 Americans dead and 21 percent of these steely warriors are ready to give up? What, precisely, did they think they were “supporting” back in aught-3?

  4. Unfortunately no limited war may have either explained in a realistic manner. Unlimited conflict such as WWII made things so easy.

    For all the critics I like an easy to use definition of success.

  5. Hasn’t he saying things like these for last 2 years or so? Hagel is a typical politician – had the situation in Iraq been better he would have been the first one to claim how right he was. What the fuck he was expecting when he voted for this shit? Did he ever thought that occupying a foreign land and imposing your values on them would be so much easy. Show some balls, will you?

  6. “What, precisely, did they think they were “supporting” back in aught-3?”

    They thought it was a war of self-defense back then. They thought they were removing an Al Qaeda threat with WMD.

    I’ve speculated for a long time that there should be a large number of Americans who were willing to invade on a self-defense basis but who aren’t willing to occupy just to save some other people. …Well there they are!

  7. “Hagel is a typical politician – had the situation in Iraq been better he would have been the first one to claim how right he was.”

    I know! …The framers never intended for these god-awful politicians who run around, reflecting the views of their constituents…

    “What the fuck [was he] expecting when he voted for this shit?”

    That’s, more or less, the question Gillespie posed above, isn’t it? Were the objectives clearly defined? Did we meet those objectives? If we did–and I’m not saying we did–were the value of those achievements worth the sacrifices?

    I don’t know what Hagel was expecting when he voted, but, apparently, what we’ve accomplished so far has not surpassed his expectations. …He doesn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in the future of the occupation either, does he?

  8. Bullshit, they “thought”, Tom. And maybe, just maybe, Tim, the 20-some-odd thousand civilian casualties are also giving pause to some armchair hawks.

  9. Fewer than 2,000 Americans dead and 21 percent of these steely warriors are ready to give up?

    Tom (& Tim),

    On the surface, your comments seem to indicate a American’s waivering support is akin to a ‘wussification’ or some such character flaw.

    I think that 21% you’re talking about probably thought Bush & Co. were going to be a lot smarter than they’ve turned out to be.

    It doesn’t take a military strategist to point out the unbelievable stupidity in some of their decisions.

    Keep in mind that 21% was told we’d be greeted with candy and flowers, was told Saddam was working with and trained the 9-11 terrorist, was told Saddam’s nuc program was almost online and was told the war was over and won AND that we’d be out in 6 months.

    It seems only natural to allow them a little ‘sticker shock’ when what the Bushies are delivering doesn’t match up to what they promised.

  10. It’s good to see Hagel, a conservative Republican senator with a solid record of voting for less government and lower taxes,…

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/details_all_years.php3?senate_id=82

    …advocating our government’s withdrawal from Iraq and this national disgrace that was motivated by neocon duplicity.

    Extra kudos to Hagel for being one of the few senators in either party to question, before our government’s attack on Iraq, the WMD and terror connection lies that the neocons used as pretext to foist this tragedy on us.

    Sen. Hegel:

    I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East.

    And going back before its attack on Iraq, our government’s involvement in the Mid East is what motivated the 9/11 attacks against us.

    Check out Raimondo for more on Hagel and the burgeoning anti-war sentiment from both right and left, and the pathetic situation of the leading Democratic presidential candidates for ’08 being unapologetic war hawks:

    http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7009

  11. Interestingly, Hagel isn’t the only one having second thoughts. Even the crowd at the National Review are starting to sound like they’re ready to call it a wash and come home. Which is far, far from the stupidest idea I’ve read in the National Review all week.

    I think we’re seeing the begining of the snowball effect in regard to anti-war sentiment.

    As a politician, it may be true that Hagel is no hero, but I can hardly blame him for putting some distance between himself and the Bush administration’s party line. I have a feeling George Bush is going to be a boat anchor for Republican candidates for the next several election cycles, at least. Give Hagel credit for at least being smart enough to notice the buzzards circling.

  12. That’s one of my favorite Bagge cartoon features, by the way. It describes perfectly how the anti-war movement was hamstrung. So many lefty twits saw it as the perfect platform for getting media attention for their own, unrelated concerns. (A placard that read, “No War! / Reparations Now!” was all too typical.) They climbed aboard the movement and swamped it. Drowned it.

    Now that Americans are there, however, I wish the best for both the soldiers and the Iraqi people.

  13. O.K., I rarely comment here, but I would love to see you write something extensive about the war, Nick (perhaps you have and you can provide me with a link–I saw the one about defining the parameters of success). I spoke to you about it in person more than a year ago, and you seem to view the topic with restraint, pragmatism, and fairness.

    As someone of libertarian sympathies who was pro-war in Iraq (and, for all intents and purposes, still I still am), I often find it hard to engage in discussions about the war with anyone who shares my domestic views. Then again, it may be a tired topic; to which I say, good job on this post, thanks for pointing Hagel out (though it should be noted that he has been saying this kind of thing for a couple of years now, I think).

    P.S. That was a great comment Tim. I think the switch in popular support is exactly the kind of thing Madison, Hamilton, and Jay would cite in their argument to make this a republican, rather than democratic, country. The passions of the people are capable of seismic and often-times wrong-headed shifts. Unfortunately, there is, too often, a corresponding dirth of “enlightened statesmen” or statesmen who, though they may be enlightened, are willing to look past the next election towards our long-term future as a country.

  14. I have a feeling George Bush is going to be a boat anchor for Republican candidates for the next several election cycles, at least.

    Pig,

    I’ll see you and raise you one.

    I think the whole Republican party is going to have some tough times over the next few years because they dumped the very things that made them gain momentum over the past decade…mainly a commitment to smaller government.

    Fiscal conservatives (and everybody else) are getting tired of the religious right and the deficits don’t help.

  15. Unfortunately, there is, too often, a corresponding dirth of “enlightened statesmen” or statesmen who, though they may be enlightened, are willing to look past the next election towards our long-term future as a country.h

    John,

    Though I agree with little else in your post, I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.

    Our whole body politic worldwide has devolved into a cynical cabal of wankers. Their only political tool is to feign indignation and most are completely unable to give a really good speech.

    Statesmanship, I fear, may be a lost art.

  16. “I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East.”

    Really? That would be tragic if say Syria and Iran became less stable. Well, Lebanon became less stable – but that was a good thing, no? I don’t know why we would care if a bunch of dictatorships became less stable. Actually, that is what we want!

    “By any standard, when you analyze 2 1/2 years in Iraq … we’re not winning.”

    The insurgents hold no territory and must be in hiding and constantly on the run. In any direct battles, they always lose. The political process continues to move forward and the economy and infrastructure are slowing improving. It does not seem so clear to me that we are “not winning”.

  17. “The insurgents hold no territory and must be in hiding and constantly on the run. In any direct battles, they always lose. The political process continues to move forward and the economy and infrastructure are slowing improving. It does not seem so clear to me that we are “not winning”.”

    …But you’re just talkin’ about the Green Zone, right?

  18. And maybe, just maybe, Tim, the 20-some-odd thousand civilian casualties are also giving pause to some armchair hawks.

    So they thought it was a good idea to go to war with a country, and now they’re shocked that people in that country are getting killed?

  19. Madpad,

    To your point concerning the immediate future of the Republican party, I would say that before fiscal conservatives will abandon Republicans, there must be a viable alternative on the other side of the aisle. What may happen is some basic warning shot–fiscal conservatives vote democratic once to scare the party into dumping folks like Santorum–but in the long-run, Republicans are more likely to reverse to fiscal conservatism (particularly where it concerns domestic welfare and free trade) than Democrats; and since many of today’s dominant social issues are either losing battles for Republicans(gay marriage will ultimately succeed) or questions primarily tied up in the courts (i.e. abortion) the top federal, legislative priorities of fiscal conservatives will likely remain a) taxation and economic freedom and (for those like me, and from a different perspective, perhaps you) b) security.

    On the reverse, I am terribly scared that there are NO small government alternatives–just differing versions of various big government ideologies. One has to wonder how real fiscal conservatives can force a reallignment in the structure of one party or another NOW without wasting a decade worth of votes “sending messages” to the party in power by voting them out in favor of an equally bad opposition party candidate. Maybe that is why we are so polarized. Since there is no fiscal conservativism the need to differentiate the two major parties has forced the national debate toward more divisive and morally entangled issues like war and culture (I still think Republicans are marginally better on taxes and free trade–the deficit and medicare being huge problems).

  20. Once you started referring me to that hack Raimondo, Rick Barton, I stopped listening…in the same way I didn’t listen to “no blood for oil” bullshit despite reservations about the war. The Left was so intolerable during that time I would cheer for war just to piss them off. Mind you, myself and two family members (one deployed to the sandbox himself) are ready to go, so that’s not just idle armchairing on my part.

  21. To your point concerning the immediate future of the Republican party, I would say that before fiscal conservatives will abandon Republicans, there must be a viable alternative on the other side of the aisle.

    Why? From a libertarian perspective, if a fiscally conservative choice isn’t available to me from either party, that takes fiscal conservatism off of the table as a criteria for voting. If social liberalism becomes the only criteria where the candidates distinguish themselves, the Democrat may well be the better choice.

    Also, not all Democrats are necessarily spend-thrifts. If you’ve been following Matt Welch’s articles about Western red-state Democratic governors, you can see that many of them have established records of (relative) fiscal conservatism. I expect that some of those red-state Democrats will eventually be players on the national stage. It’s doubtful the liberal Democrats on the coasts will be the future of the Democratic party; they can’t win national elections. Sooner or later, the Democrats will be forced to nominate candidates that can win the red states, or be reduced to a regional party.

    While I generally prefer Republican candidates, it’s not a lock. I’d vote for a Ron Paul or a Gary Johnson over any Democrat, but that isn’t a choice the Republican party is likely to give me any time soon. If the choice were between a moderately fiscally conservative/socially liberal Democrat like Brian Schweitzer and a war-mongering crotch-monkey like Rick Santorum, it wouldn’t be a contest. I’d vote Democrat and never look back.

  22. Ayn Randian,

    Raimondo has been right in his forecasts concerning foreign policy matters an impressive number of times. Who was there as early as Raimondo, making cases that WMD won’t be found and that the “terror connections” were actually null? And I’ve never known Raimondo to be wrong on matters of principle, unlike lefty critics of the Iraq war and our government’s foreign policy.

  23. Pig Mannix,

    I think we need to let them know that Rudi Juililiberalani in the type of candidate that will cause us to bolt in a heartbeat.

    Chuck Hagel, however, seems like a wonderful choice with a real world shot at getting the nomination.

  24. And maybe, just maybe, Tim, the 20-some-odd thousand civilian casualties are also giving pause to some armchair hawks.

    About as much pause as the several hundreds of thousands slaughtered by Saddam gave the anti-war left.

    By reasonable extrapolation of Saddam’s average, the net number of civilian deaths in Iraq is around zero. Even conservative estimates put Saddam’s total at around 10,000 per year, which is in the same ballpark as the war.

  25. I think the whole Republican party is going to have some tough times over the next few years because they dumped the very things that made them gain momentum over the past decade…mainly a commitment to smaller government.

    You think anyone’s noticed? Or that anyone cares? The only reason most people oppose big government is because it tends to require an increase in taxes. But, thanks to the miracle of mortgaging our future, we can enjoy all sorts of freedom-reducing measures even as we reap an additional 300 dollars a year. Isn’t living only for the moment a beautiful thing?

    Dan-You mean the unrest that allowed the avowed terrorists in Hezbollah to cement their hold over Southern Lebanon, likely creating even more headaches for us in the not terribly distant future? Maybe you should keep up with what’s happening before you declare victory. As for the other countries in the Middle East and their infrastructure problems, well, you like driving your car, don’t you? And cheaply made consumer goods made of plastics and transported by ships, planes and trucks? Both those will get rather more scarce if the terrorists who get a free hand after governments fall start targeting oil wells for destruction. We don’t live in a vacuum; we can’t keep pretending that our actions overseas won’t have any real effect on life here.

    The insurgents hold no territory and must be in hiding and constantly on the run. In any direct battles, they always lose. The political process continues to move forward and the economy and infrastructure are slowing improving. It does not seem so clear to me that we are “not winning

    And in Vietnam, the “insurgents” in the Viet Cong were required to be in hiding and constantly on the run. In any direct battles, they always lost. Gee, I’m glad that things went so very well for us back then. So, none of us need to worry after all!

    As for the political process showing any sort of improvement, again, I have to point you to the real world in an attempt to convince you to see reason. The parliament in Iraq is on the verge of being forced to dissolve because nobody can agree on a Constitution. If they weren’t fudging the rules to buy time, then they already would have called for new elections, since the rules for such things demanded that any extension be requested prior to August 1. The Sunni hate the idea of giving in, the Kurds are convinced that they’re going to be screwed over and don’t want to fold their hands, and the Shi’a seem to be looking forward to creating Iran II. Where the hell are you looking that causes you to see improvement, and why do you seem to be the only one who has noticed?

    By reasonable extrapolation of Saddam’s average, the net number of civilian deaths in Iraq is around zero. Even conservative estimates put Saddam’s total at around 10,000 per year, which is in the same ballpark as the war.

    Because hell, as long as we’re ahead of the bloodthirsty dictator in net terms, we’re doing all right. In fact, those Iraqis who fight us after losing family are damned ungrateful; they should be honored to sacrifice their wives and children to appease the Great American War Machine in it’s drive to secure freedom for those Iraqis lucky enough to survive the machinations of the Great American War Machine.

    Hey, things sure did get less complicated when we stopped trying to live up to troublesome things like ideals and just started reveling in our newfound utilitarianism. Of course, we don’t seem to be very good at figuring out what action provides the greatest good, but I’m sure we’ll improve.

  26. What, precisely, did they think they were “supporting” back in aught-3?

    A “cakewalk” in which we would be “greeted as liberators” where we could proclaim “Mission Accomplished” in just a few short months?

  27. nail on head, Phil.

  28. “Whatever else you can say about Iraq, this much seems inarguable:” That is really funny, people will argue if you say the sky is blue.

  29. “By reasonable extrapolation of Saddam’s average, the net number of civilian deaths in Iraq is around zero. Even conservative estimates put Saddam’s total at around 10,000 per year, which is in the same ballpark as the war.”

    So the theory here is that Saddam was killing the same number of people in 2002 as at the height of the Iran/Iraq War. Mmm-kay.

    Actually, there was another period when the humanitarian situation in Iraq was worse than it is today: the immediate aftermath of the last time we fought a war there.

  30. Saving face? There’s no face to save.

    Put Saddam back into power.

  31. i wonder if it’s ever occurred to anyone in power that if we followed the intent of that Constitution thingy (we still have that somewhere, right? they didn’t toss it out with FDR’s chinese take out menus, did they?) Congress would have to pass a declaration of war, and maybe that’d do something to ensure that:

    a. we didn’t get engaged in a war without significant public support

    and

    b. when we did get involved in said war, we’d commit ourselves to it and not do it half-assed

  32. “In March 2004, 65 percent of Americans supported going to war; now only 44 percent does.”

    Tim Cavanaugh responds, “If that isn’t an argument against democracy I don’t know what is. Fewer than 2,000 Americans dead and 21 percent of these steely warriors are ready to give up? What, precisely, did they think they were “supporting” back in aught-3?”

    Perhaps, Tim, they were supporting “taking out” Saddam and his sons.

    At the time that Uday and Qusay were killed, less than 300 U.S. soldiers had been killed. At the time that Saddam Hussein was captured, less than 500 U.S. soldiers had been killed.

    The U.S. military accomplished its task. Saddam Hussein’s government was toppled. The current government is not even close to Saddam Hussein in its likelihood/potential to kill innocent U.S. citizens.

    Perhaps they think the U.S. military should be brought home when it has accomplished its mission. Why is that unreasonable?

  33. “And the Pottery Barn rule bothers me.”

    You mean, Iraq wasn’t “broke” when Saddam & Sons were in power?!

  34. “I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East.”

    “Really? That would be tragic if say Syria and Iran became less stable.”

    Not to mention Iraq. Before we invaded, we could have counted on at least 20-30 years more of Saddam and his sons ruling Iraq, and killing anyone they considered even remotely threatening to their rule.

  35. “I’d vote Democrat and never look back.”

    Why not vote for the *best* candidate? Why not vote for the candidate who most closely represents your own view of what the U.S. government should should be doing?

  36. Alternative explanations for why Americans supported the war back then are a fascinating topic. I keep thinking of all the references to polls–like this one–showing that most Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was complicit in 9/11.

    Maybe the idea that Saddam Hussein was behind it all inserted itself into our collective subconscious during the Anthrax attack, and, then again, maybe Bush Administration hawks put the idea out there and exploited the hell out of it. Maybe it was Powell’s testimony before the UN–I don’t know. …The question of how so many Americans got the idea that Saddam Hussein was complicit in 9/11 is an open one for me, but they definitely thought he was involved in 9/11.

    …I don’t think it’s controversial to say that your typical commenter in a forum like this is probably much more rational and, indeed, much better informed than the typical American. For most Americans, the world is a terribly confusing place, and what they believe depends on whom they trust.

  37. “Why not vote for the *best* candidate? Why not vote for the candidate who most closely represents your own view of what the U.S. government should should be doing?”

    Because our system of government is winner-take-all; not proportional representation, instant runoff, or any other wonderful way of electing candidates.

  38. Becaus, Mark, the most insightful, thoughtful, hard headed, fiscally responsible Republican House candidate in America is still going to vote for Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay, is still going to march in lockstep when the President wants his appropriation bills passed, and isn’t going to make a peep when his insightful, thoughtful, hard headed, fiscally responsible bills and amendments are killed by the neanderthal leadership.

  39. This war is lost because a SHia dominated Iraq (with no constitutional separation of church and state or protection of minorities) will become an Islamic state closely allied with Iran.

    Militarily the US clearly has “won” but politically the last causus belli is gone. No WMD, no link to Al Qaeda, and no an Islamic republic in place of a secular regime.

  40. “This war is lost because a SHia dominated Iraq (with no constitutional separation of church and state or protection of minorities) will become an Islamic state closely allied with Iran.

    Perhaps a year from now, people will wonder that anyone ever thought such an outcome was in doubt.

    …I’ve been hopping up and down about it, on this very board, for more than a year!

  41. “The question of how so many Americans got the idea that Saddam Hussein was complicit in 9/11 is an open one for me, but they definitely thought he was involved in 9/11.”

    Tom, ever been on a jury? I’ve been on two. Come deliberation time, there’s about 3-4 people that have a pretty good bead on what just transpired in front of them, about 4-5 that could be convinced either way, and about 4 that just say, “tell me how to vote”. If a majority can’t separate rumor and innuendo from fact in a 4 day trial, how can we expect them to do it in the real, distraction filled world?

    Realist: Bingo. I suggested that as a probable outcome, on this forum, when the shooting started.
    Sigh.

  42. The real point of the war? To get the oil before the Chinese do.

  43. I asked, “Why not vote for the *best* candidate? Why not vote for the candidate who most closely represents your own view of what the U.S. government should should be doing?”

    M1EK answers, “Because our system of government is winner-take-all;…”

    ???

    Yes, our system of government is “winner-take-all”…so what?

    Why does that stop you from voting for the best person? Do you think you’ll get some sort of prize for picking the winner?

  44. Nick Gillespie writes, “Obviously, one argument is that liberal democratic regimes are less likely to conjure up terrorists, but it’s far from clear exactly how that theory explains the 9/11 attacks or even al Qaeda or Zarqawi (rumored to be enlisted by bin Laden to commence attacks on targets within the U.S.).”

    “Far from clear…?” How so?

    1) Fifteen of the 19 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia (not a liberal democratic government).

    2) Osama bin Laden operated in Afghanistan under the Taliban (not a liberal democratic government).

    3) Saddam Hussein’s government (not a liberal democratic government) sheltered such terrorists as Abu Nidal and Abdul Rahman Yassin (participant in the 1993 WTC attack)…and funded suicide bombers who killed U.S. citizens in Israel.

    If Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan (under the Taliban) had been liberal democracies, do you think 9/11 would have occurred?

  45. Mark Bahner,

    Your point is mot logical. It doesn’t follow at all that since the folks who carried out the 9/11 attacks were from illiberal regimes, that that fact explains the attacks or their motivation.

    The evidence is that we were attacked on 9/11 because the attackers were motivated by resentment of our government’s short sighted and immoral hyper-interventionist policies in the Mideast.

    Why so many from Saudi Arabia? Instead of sketchy reasoning with an end to exculpating our government’s elective and dishonest war on Iraq; note that one of the reasons Bin Laden gave for the attack in his 9/11 Fatwah was US troops too close to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

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

    There is more evidence that our government’s immoral foreign policy in the Mideast is what motivated the attacks of 9/11, especially its support of the Israeli government’s brutal and thieving occupation of Palestinian land. Note that the findings of the 9/11 commission reveal:

    “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

  46. …Make that, of course, “Your point is NOT logical.”

    PREVIEW BUTTON! I must start using it!!

  47. “Hagel is a Vietnam vet with the Purple Hearts to protect him against Mike Dukakis-type charges of weak-kneed pacifism.”

    Are you crazy? Michael Ledeen among others are already accusing him of just that. To the neocons, not only are peole who disagree with them traitors, but war heroes who don’t agree with them are *particularly* traitorous…

  48. David T,

    Yeah, and don’t be too surprised if the neocons even drag out the old anti-Semitic racism card to play against Hagel. Quite ironic since the neocon’s main motivation for lying us into this war that they thought taking out Saddam would be good for the Israeli state, and a first step toward their goal of regime change, or at least pressure vis a vis Iran and Syria-All paid for with American lives and money.

  49. “Do you think you’ll get some sort of prize for picking the winner?”

    The two other guys are rarely exactly as bad. In this case, I think only a complete lunatic can look back at the last 5 years and not ponder how much better off we’d have been with Gore in the White House, even if in 2000 there appeared to be only a little difference.

  50. Rick, this is antisemetic: “note that one of the reasons Bin Laden gave for the attack in his 9/11 Fatwah was US troops too close to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.”

    I’m not sure how it’s antisemetic, but…uh…support the troops!

  51. “the neocon’s main motivation for lying us into this war that they thought taking out Saddam would be good for the Israeli state”

    joe, in a thread a little ways up the page, you predict that soon pro-war people will start blaming the rootless cosmopolitans who control the media and pull the strings of our puppet leaders. When I pointed out that people here say that stuff all the time, and they’re not pro-war, you said, “just wait.”

    Now, I admire that you would recognize such slime when it comes from the other side. But why, why, why do you give Rick Barton a free pass?

  52. Steve,

    joe probably gives me what you a call “free pass” because, as he has noted in these threads, I’ve never written anything anti-Semitic. Also I’ve written against anti-Semitism and all racism, as I despise the lot of it.

    If you could separate criticism of the Israeli government and its supporters from racism, you wouldn’t be asking joe such a ridiculous question
    .

  53. Steve,

    I certainly don’t believe that, “Israel and its supporters control the media”. I do believe that supporters of Israel, and sadly the actions of the Israeli government as well, tend to be wildly more represented in mass media than supporters of the Palestinians. The biased coverage of the actions of the Israeli state, often to the extent of absurdity, speaks for itself.

    That there was a neocon plot that had the U.S. govt. doing the bidding of the Israeli state is now a matter of historical record. So is the fact that folks who are Jews are among the public critics of this conspiracy.

  54. Steve,

    Also, I do, in fact, think that, “Israel is an apartheid-like society”. This is because of the actions of its government. But I certainly don’t think that it’s, “among the worst oppressors on earth.” Not even close.

    Also, I find much to admire about certain aspects Israeli society. I think it’s their government and the influence of fundamentalist religious nuts that are the problems. It seems like you and I agree, at least on this.

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