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The Worst of the Worst

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Freedom House provides the awesome service of issuing list after list of countries that suck. Sometimes it's countries that suck at freedom of the press, sometimes it countries that suck at human rights, but the general tenor of the their reports is: "Hey! These guys are really bad. Don't forget, OK?" Which, though I sound flip, is a very legitimate service. And if it serves no other purpose, it reminds readers to pay attention to the seemingly intractable once in awhile, while giving journalists something to write about on a slow news day.

Their latest report gets right to the heart of their mission. It's called "The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies, 2007"[PDF]:

"Repressive regimes can be incredibly resilient, as this year's list demonstrates," said Arch Puddington, Director of Research at Freedom House [and possessor of the best name ever]. "Some of the countries on this list are global bullies; others are responsible for unspeakable humanitarian crises. In practically every case, these regimes are resistant to change and are indifferent to their citizens' political rights, civil liberties and basic human needs."

So, for your weekend amusement, the list:

The report includes detailed summaries of political and human rights conditions in Belarus, Burma, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe. Also included are three territories: Chechnya, Tibet and Western Sahara. Except for Cote d'Ivoire, which is new to the list this year, and Belarus, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe, all have been rated the "worst of the worst" since 2002 or earlier.

More on Freedom House here and here.

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  1. Someone inform The Nation that the USA is not on the short list.

  2. Guy,

    That’s only because they don’t have a “Worst Hair” category.

  3. Ahh list overlooks great homeland if Kazakhstan! I kill Freedom House now!

  4. NOT!!!

    I make funny!

  5. That’s only because they don’t have a “Worst Hair” category.

    Are we going to have another conversation about 70’s haircuts?

  6. Did Nick’s hair look extra full on the Bill Moyers show tonight, or is it just me?

  7. Everyone orgasms over these things . . . so what about Libya? Mohmar Khadafi-Duck? What in the hell? I dont care about these vermin . . . they can do what they please, so long as it does not hurt me as an American citizen. Whatever happened to blessed, shrug-the-shoulders, fuck-you isolationism??

  8. “Whatever happened to blessed, shrug-the-shoulders, fuck-you isolationism??”

    Oil.

  9. Did you notice that P.J. O’Rourke and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (lefty intellectual) are on the Board of Trustees of Freedom House? Talk about a rainbow coalition!

  10. I’m shocked that the US, Canada, and the UK rated so highly. It seems that there has been a great reduction in our civil rights and civil liberties over the past several years. Did they account for the usurption of property rights in the US, the cameras in the UK, or the warrantless wiretaps? Did they visit one of the wonderful airports in these countries?

    No doubt that the western trail is more free than places like North Korea, but I think we have a lot of things we can improve upon. We should at least have down arrows.

    I guess these folks can keep on “rockin’ in the free world” if they think they’re that free. Me, I don’t “believe the hype”.

  11. The opposition leader (a black by the way) to Mugabe in Zimbabwe finally had the courage to admit that overall, Africans had more peace, freedom and prosperity under the yoke of British colonialism than they do now, and that and self-rule
    has largely failed. Africa is well represented on the list.

  12. hke,

    Instead of listing countries as “free,” “partly free,” and “not free,” Freedom House should use the categories “least bad,” “pretty bad,” and “extreme suckitude.”

    Incidentally, the Freedom House freedom map for 2006 lists Mongolia as free.

    http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=15

    Can someone think of a good joke about Mongolian freedom? Because I’m blocking.

  13. They missed Trashcanistan.

  14. Can someone think of a good joke about Mongolian freedom?

    I Kahn’t.

  15. If you look further up in the report they have a different list: “Included in this country are eight countries judged to have the worst records: Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Also included are two territories, Chechnya and Tibet, whose countries suffer intense repression. These states and regions received the Freedom House survey’s lowest rating: 7 for political rights and 7 for civil liberties.” In other words, these are the absolute worst, which answers the question of what happened to Libya.

    “This report also includes nine further countries near the bottom of Freedom House’s list of the most repressive: Belarus, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Zimbabwe The territory of Western Sahara is also included in this group. While these states scored slightly better than the ‘worst of the worst,’they offer very little scope for private discussion while severely suppressing opposition political activity, impeding independent organizing, and censoring or publishing criticism of the state.” So these are the next-to-worst of the worst.

    I notice Putin’s Russia hasn’t fallen to this level yet. Western Sahara is another occupied country with a civil war.

  16. (a black by the way)

    Since when did my dead grandpa get an Internet connection?

  17. He was the worst

    Since Louis the First!

  18. “I’m shocked that the US, Canada, and the UK rated so highly.”

    I know what you mean. Free the Dixie Chicks & Michael Moore from the Gulags now! Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. I’m sure all those prisoners at Guantanamo, or the ones we killed there or in Abu Grahib, or the “ghost” prisoners we’re holding around the world, or the 600,000 dead Iraqis, think the US is a real beacon of freedom. Freedom House is a right wing hack house.

  20. I dont know about anyone else, but when someone says “right wing hack house” my first thought is “Eleanor Roosevelt”.

  21. Free the Dixie Chicks and Michael Moore? This can only be sarcasm. The Chicks and Moore are rolling in it–money, fame, liberty, license–the darlings of the Left, spouting off constantly. Perhaps the commenter thinks that any sort of criticism in a free society equates to censorship, to imprisonment, denial of freedon? Very typical of the Left

  22. M. A. George:

    MayorOmalleySuxs got you good!

  23. I’m an historically ignorant Leftist..

    I don’t have one.

    Sincerely,

    RobLevine’sSenseOfScale

  24. Kudos for shedding light on Burma. One of the most despicable regimes on earth. And totally ignored by the MSM. But why should we care? It’s not like they’re sitting on a river of oil or anything.

  25. Is this now the weekend open thread?

    Okay, unrelated responses follow.

    I’m sure all those prisoners at Guantanamo, or the ones we killed there or in Abu Grahib, or the “ghost” prisoners we’re holding around the world, or the 600,000 dead Iraqis, think the US is a real beacon of freedom. Freedom House is a right wing hack house.

    If they would just learn that “leave us alone and nobody gets hurt” lesson then they would still be back where we found them.

    Kudos for shedding light on Burma. One of the most despicable regimes on earth. And totally ignored by the MSM. But why should we care? It’s not like they’re sitting on a river of oil or anything.

    I thought Officer Blair (George Orwell) did that when he tried his hand at elephant shooting? They certainly were not being ignored by the British back then.

  26. I’m a whiny glass-half-empty dark cloud victim-wannabe Leftist who identifies with all the losers in the world.

    I have none.

    Somebody please arrest me!

    Sincerely,

    Rob Levine’s Sense of Gratitude

  27. That’s not funny! How can you be laughing & hitting on pretty girls & turning your back to me when there are VICTIMS in this world!?

    Stop having fun & FEEL the unfairness with me!

    And why is everybody ignoring my sister Debbie Downer? She’s saying important things!

    Sincerely,

    Rob Levine’s Fun Quotient

  28. The Dixie Chicks don’t have to be in the gulag for me to dislike and thus question some of the developments that have come about post-9/11 (or even before that).

  29. Is Quenten Harding (I know I probably have his name off by a few letters) trying to leave Forbes and come to Reason?

    Perhaps he should write to the foundation instead of cluttering up the screen at Forbes on FOX.

  30. “Whatever happened to blessed, shrug-the-shoulders, fuck-you isolationism??”

    It moved to the Democratic party.

    “The Dixie Chicks don’t have to be in the gulag for me to dislike and thus question some of the developments that have come about post-9/11 (or even before that).”

    No, but it’s a pleasant thought anyway!

  31. I hope my various attributes aren’t as talkative as Rob Levine’s. Then again, I suppose my sense of scale is a bit healthier.

  32. I’m shocked that the US, Canada, and the UK rated so highly. It seems that there has been a great reduction in our civil rights and civil liberties over the past several years. Did they account for the usurption of property rights in the US, the cameras in the UK, or the warrantless wiretaps? Did they visit one of the wonderful airports in these countries?

    Remember that these listings are relative, not absolute. The standards by which freedoms are judged are the freedoms in other countries. Which is why nations with compulsory healthcare, profligate cameras and injudicious application of habeus corpus can still be listed as the freest in the world.

    A hundred years from now The US will still be on top of the pile because we’ll be able to choose which hand our Lojack is implanted in, and we’ll be able to turn our telescreens off for up to an hour at a time.

  33. “A hundred years from now The US will still be on top of the pile because we’ll be able to choose which hand our Lojack is implanted in, and we’ll be able to turn our telescreens off for up to an hour at a time.”

    Still sounds better than being stoned to death for becoming a rape victim.

  34. Still sounds better than being stoned to death for becoming a rape victim.

    Or getting beaten for refusing to wear a stupid pin at a chairity walk . . .

  35. And just to show what a worthless organization the United Nations is, one of the countries on the list–Zimbabwe–has just been elected to chair a commission that is suppose to promote economic progress.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/05/12/un.zimbabwe.ap/index.html

  36. I saw this thing on the news about how polluted the drinking water is in Iraq, the Tigris and Euphrates are making lots of people sick. The UN is distributing water to literally thousands of people so they will not die of things like dysentery. Yeah, thats worthless, huh Cesar? You may not like some of the stands and ways they organize (some of which are absurd) but the UN saves thousands of people’s lives a year doing countless good things that otherwise may not get done. So why not take that uninformed right wing talking points nonsense back to Redstate.com and other equally not-in-the-know blogs.

  37. Ken–

    I was referring more to the way they are organized rather than any humanitarian work they do.

    I’m not for abolishing the whole thing, I don’t like it much but I realize its the only international organization available.

    Its just very frustrating to see things like Libya and Sudan chairing the human rights commission, the conference on racism condemming the United States for being racist while ignoring Drafur,etc, etc.

  38. Or getting beaten for refusing to wear a stupid pin at a chairity walk . . .

    Who? Who does not want to wear the ribbon? I am wearing the ribbon. He is wearing the ribbon. We are all wearing the ribbon! So why aren’t you going to wear the ribbon!?

  39. You may not like some of the stands and ways they organize (some of which are absurd) but the UN saves thousands of people’s lives a year doing countless good things that otherwise may not get done.

    There are intl orgs that do similar things (Red Cross/Crescent comes to mind), without the world-govt pretentions the UN brings to the table. I don’t see how the political wing of the UN is necessary for the humanitarian wing to do its good work.

  40. If they would just learn that “leave us alone and nobody gets hurt” lesson then they would still be back where we found them.

    That whole “leave us alone and nobody gets hurt” lesson might go two ways, mightn’t it?

  41. In other words, who left home and started bothering other folks first?

  42. Were Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran truly free countries, representative of their peoples’ interests, oil would likely be even more expensive and their foreign policies would be unrelentingly hostile to Israel and the US.

  43. In other words, who left home and started bothering other folks first?

    First, the earth cooled, then some other stuff happened, the Iraq invaded Kuwait, then we kicked them out and they accepted surrender terms, then Iraq violated all of them and we are back again.

    Oh, our friends count too so leave them alone and nobody gets hurt.

  44. Guy Montag,

    …then some other stuff happened…

    Yes, part of that “other stuff” was the invasion of “Iraq” by the British during WWI. Then the “Iraqis” rebelled (after WWI) and were mercilessly put down by the British.

  45. Guy Montag,

    In other words, history, memory or whatever what one wishes to call it has a fairly long tail. For people and nations it is a difficult thing to overcome. Which is in part why Machiavelli argued that the foundations of polities are so critical.

    __________________________________

    Folks should ask themselves what sort of foundation is being laid for a future Iraq.

  46. “?but the UN saves thousands of people’s lives a year doing countless good things that otherwise may not get done.”

    After the big tidal wave in Thailand a couple of years back, despite what some German government minister babbled, it was the US effing Navy and its support branche, the marine corps, along with the uniformed branch of the civil service (air force) that saved 100s of thousands of lives. I bet you don’t sing the USN’s praises though.

    Free the Dixie Chicks now!!!! Release Michael Moore!!!! Freedom!!! (read that last one with a bad Glaswegian accent)

  47. Grotius,

    We were no longer the British then and not for quite some time before.

    And, no Iraq can not have the excuse that they were traumatized by the British so they had to invade Kuwait.

  48. Another story being ignored by the media is what’s happening in Kosovo right now. In a couple of days, the UN Security Council will vote on whether to grant it independence (despite no referendum occurring, and it being a violation of Serbian sovereignty). Russia is widely expected to veto it; how the Kosovars will react to that is anyone’s guess. Could we see another Chechnya in the Balkans?

  49. I have a question that Ive never got a good answer to, that actually applies here (in that Ive used Freedom House’s #s in helping to determine an answer in the past). When was the last time that two free democracies fought each other in a war?

    Someone on this forum ought to have the history background to come up with better answers than I have. The best suggestions I have ever heard are:

    1. Falklands – however, I believe Freedom House has Argentina as “partly free” at that time + Im not sure they were a democracy really either.

    2. War of 1812 – Ive excluded it because the King still had power in England at the time.

    A lot depends on how nit-picky you want to be on “free” and “democracy”. For me, the point is, look at the countries that score a 1 on both parts of Freedom House’s list. Does anyone see these countries going to war with each other?

  50. War of 1812 – Ive excluded it because the King still had power in England at the time.

    Actually, Parliament had taken all his power away from him two years earlier (pretending that he had signed the bill ceding that power) and handed it over to the Prince Regent.

  51. Argentina was ruled by a particularly vicious group of right-wing generals at the time of the Falklands War.

    When was the last time that two free democracies fought each other in a war?

    Depends how you define democracy. For example, Yugoslavia under Milosevic was technically a democracy and the opposition and press had some degree of freedom, yet it also had elements of a police state. A Croatian writer came up with the term “Democratatorship” to describe the various post-communist Yugoslavian states. Putin’s Russia could be described in the same manner.

    South Africa under Apartheid could also be considered a whites-only democracy (though white anti-racism activists could also fall afoul of repressive laws if they crossed certain boundaries).

    Note that both of those countries are considered full democracies today.

  52. robc | May 12, 2007, 6:10pm | #
    I have a question that Ive never got a good answer to, that actually applies here (in that Ive used Freedom House’s #s in helping to determine an answer in the past). When was the last time that two free democracies fought each other in a war?

    Possibly one of our interventions in Latin America? I think Bolivia had one of its few democratically election governments at the beginning of the Chaco War, but I’m not sure about Paraguay. Bolivia initiated the actual war, but there were skirmishes for a long time before it.

  53. If they would just learn that “leave us alone and nobody gets hurt” lesson then they would still be back where we found them.

    That’s what Saddam and other dictators said to people who opposed them.

  54. A better measure of the power of markets to help the cause of peace is to look at Thomas Friedman’s Golden Arches Theory. Stated:

    “No two countries that both had McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s”.

    Granted, this rule was broken once when Nato attacked Serbia (I seem to be stuck on that topic today). However, it holds true for the most part.

  55. First, the earth cooled, then some other stuff happened, the Iraq invaded Kuwait, then we kicked them out and they accepted surrender terms, then Iraq violated all of them and we are back again.

    Yeah, let’s consider some of that “other stuff [that] happened”.

    It might be really instructive if we did, no?

  56. Rob Levine | May 12, 2007, 8:14am
    I’m sure all those prisoners at Guantanamo,

    Which is how Cuba got on the list…

  57. A better measure of the power of markets to help the cause of peace is to look at Thomas Friedman’s Golden Arches Theory. Stated:

    “No two countries that both had McDonald’s had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald’s”.

    Granted, this rule was broken once when Nato attacked Serbia (I seem to be stuck on that topic today). However, it holds true for the most part.

    Um, how bout when Israel invaded Lebanon?

    Do civil wars count?

    Rawanda was making the transition to some form of democracy when the stuff in the 90s happened.

    Indonesia is fighting something of an Islamic insurgency, Phillipeans a communist one, Nepal a Maoist one and Turkey a Kurdish one.

    And of course, Iraqis somehow manage to keep killing each other after having elections.

    Asking why democracies never fight each other is like asking why you never see two rich guys slugging it out on a street corner. Countres that can maintain such systems are usually societies with mores and values that make war unlikely.

    Seems to make sense. Unfortunaeley the morons in the Bush administration read the evidence backwards and decided that elections and voting are a magic pill that civillize men.

  58. Um, how bout when Israel invaded Lebanon?

    Technically that was a war between Israel and Hezbollah, not the Lebanese governement. The Lebanese Army wasn’t even a participant.

  59. Could we see another Chechnya in the Balkans?

    It is so cute how all of the Leftists here (not you) keep grasping at making the West the bad folks and everybody else the “good” folks!

    Just going from the last post about Lebanon, Israel invaded Lebanon every time because people in Lebanon were attacking Israeli civilians. Even the last time, the only side that attacked military targets was Israel. The folks shooting from Lebaon were targeting subdivisions in Israel and “hiding” in apartment buildings.

    You folk are so transparent as to make it only a puzzle for those studying philosophy with a bag over their head in a locked closet.

  60. Guy Montag,

    We were no longer the British then and not for quite some time before.

    And? Who stated that we are the British?

    And, no Iraq can not have the excuse that they were traumatized by the British so they had to invade Kuwait.

    And? Who made any claim about an “excuse?”

    Let me repeat what I wrote:

    In other words, history, memory or whatever what one wishes to call it has a fairly long tail. For people and nations it is a difficult thing to overcome. Which is in part why Machiavelli argued that the foundations of polities are so critical.

    robc,

    It is an issue of typology.

  61. Grotius,

    Go on with all of your doublespeak and have fun in your mommie’s basement.

    I am sure we will hear from you how fire can not melt steel too.

  62. Guy Montag,

    Is that really the best that you can do?

  63. Dues,

    Pakistan and India both have McDonalds and while not at war there something of a dispute border conflict between them.

  64. “Were Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran truly free countries, representative of their peoples’ interests, oil would likely be even more expensive and their foreign policies would be unrelentingly hostile to Israel and the US.”

    Saudi Arabia, sure. Iraq wouldn’t be Iraq, it’d be three countries, with the Kurd part friendly toward us. And Iran? Most Iranians love Western culture — they might still hate Israel and NYC, but otherwise friendly toward us.

    Sorry about ruining a perfectly good argument by dragging in facts. My bad.

  65. I’m shocked that the US, Canada, and the UK rated so highly.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  66. Pakistan and India both have McDonalds and while not at war there something of a dispute border conflict between them.

    True, though relations between them have greatly improved since ’99. (Though I could wiggle out of that one by claiming the “where’s the beef” clause: the McDonalds in India don’t serve beef (they use mutton instead) so can’t be considered true representatives of the phenomenon.)

    There also was a violation of the rule when Panama was invaded in Operation Just Cause.

    It’s not an ironclad rule, but the principle behind it, that a nation with a prosperous and growing middle class becomes less a threat to its neighbours seems fairly sound. (American exceptionalism notwithstanding).

  67. Deus,

    Depends how you define democracy

    Apparently, depends on how free is defined too. Its wasnt free or democratic that I was setting as my standard, it was free AND democratic. None of the countries you mentioned could really be described as free.

    I guess I could make my standard more objective – Since Freedom House started ratings countries in the early 70s (or late 60s) have two countries, both of which score a 1 on both rating sections, fought a war against each other?

  68. Syd,

    From some googling around, it appears Paraguay didnt have a democratically elected government until 1993. From 1904 thru the end of the Chaco war, the Liberal Party had taken over from the Colorado party, but that appears to be change in 1 party rule, not anything democratic. But, history of Paraguay seems sparse, so I cant tell for sure. Bolivia was a democracy at the beginning of the war (not sure how free of a democracy) but had a coup during the war, so they didnt end it that way.

  69. Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the Franchise Wars. Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.

  70. Grotius deigning to debate with Guy Montag?!

    What’s next? The US going to war with Lichtenstein?

    Grotius,
    Yes, that is the best he can do. He was actually quite proud of that. Humor him. Act like you’ve been bested. There is nothing to be gained from conversation with Guy Montag.

  71. Concerning the “two democracies have never fought each other” bit while on a theoretical level it makes a certain degree of sense it is by no means an iron-clad rule. Furthermore, the veracity of much of the evidence for or against this claim is highly dependent on the definitions used.

  72. I for one am somewhat disappointed in the report on Somalia. It takes a statist viewpoint. Somalia
    did not descend into anarchy, but consciously chose NOT to have western style Democracy. True, in the Southern area, around the capitol, Mogadishu, there has been chaos, but how much of that is caused by the attempts of the AU, the UN and the US to force on the people what they do not want-democracy? The clans have not had the incentive to cooperate when the other countries have been constantly meddling, trying to establish a government that surely will be dominated by one clan over the others. The chaos then is largely caused by rival clans jockeying for position to take over the state when it is established. That is the case now-one clan has won, backed by the US.

    The Somalia experiment is significant for libs because it is the first nation since 1648 (Treaty of Westphalia) to consciously decide NOT to have a government. Democracy in Africa has resulted in so many civil wars and genocides because when one tribe wins the power it sees it as an opportunity to exploit or even wipe out the minority tribe. The Somalis called
    holding office in a democracy or any government “having a chair”. When you have a chair, it makes everything illegal legal, and everything legal illegal.

    The African system of laws (XEER) that they tried to live under is not anarchy, and not Sharia law either. It is KRITARCHY, or rule by judges. It is still working well in Northern Somalia, or Somaliland.

    Kritarchy is not really anarchy because the clans do not sell land to each other. It still has a territorial basis. But, it is not a monopoly on the use of force over the whole territory, where the majority exterminates the minority, either. It was a big step towards showing the world what new forms of stateless governence can emerge in the 21 Century.

  73. Democracies do not go to war with each other?

    HA! Read Prof Hoppe (http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe17.html)

  74. “I want you two to be the worst of the worst. And don’t ever let me catch you doing the things they teach you.”

  75. If Somalia doesn’t have a western style government, who’s to pay their western style debt?

  76. And, no Iraq can not have the excuse that they were traumatized by the British so they had to invade Kuwait.

    But apparently America can have the excuse “we were traumatized by Saudi hijackers with Afghan backing, so we had to invade Iraq.”

  77. Hey, didn’t Iraq used to have one of the world’s most repressive regimes? What happened with that?

    Oh, right.

  78. I thought it was interesting that Iran (although certainly “not free”) was not on the worst-of-the-worst list.

  79. TallDave,

    Oh and read the report’s statement on Iraq (scroll down).

  80. Sense of scale? What are 600,000 dead Iraqis? Insignificant? Commenters on this site are meaner and more ignorant than the bloggers themselves, who I usually find interesting.

  81. f Somalia doesn’t have a western style government, who’s to pay their western style debt?

    I hope no one. Presumably that debt was incurred by the flip floping ex marxist dictator, Sid Baire.

  82. Grotius,

    Your link to the Wash Post editoril implies that this “campaing of torture” is America’s doing. Hogwash! The Iraq Ministry of Interior is infiltrated by Shi’a militiamen. The US has nothing to do with that.

    Why do you hate America?

  83. 2 issues with Rob Levine’s sense of scale.

    First, Rob Levine is parroting grossly overstated numbers that have been widely criticized and dismissed.

    The 600,000 Lancet number is widely considered fraudulent. Here are some links, Rob:

    1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article1469636.ece
    2. http://www.claytoncramer.com/weblog/2006_10_08_archive.html#116069912405842066
    3. http://pajamasmedia.com/2006/10/joisting_with_the_lancet_the_p.php

    Same for the Lancet’s earlier, less outrageous study stating 100,000 Iraqi civilian dead:
    1. http://www.chicagoboyz.net/archives/002543.html
    2. http://www.slate.com/id/2108887/
    3. http://marccooper.typepad.com/marccooper/2004/10/how_many_dead_i.html

    But the second, much more important issue is Rob Levine’s small and meager sense of scale and history.

    In just one engagement of WWII, the battle of Okinawa, over 7,000 U.S Marines died, over 5,000 American sailors died on their ships, and over 100,000 Japanese troops died.

    This scale of slaughter was common in the Pacific theater, and throughout WWII, resulting in approximately 400,000 American combatants killed, well over 1,000,000 Japanese combatants killed, over 20,000,000 Russian combatants and civilians killed, and you [probably don’t] know the rest of that history.

    Even if 600,000 “extra” Iraqi civilians have been killed by America’s war to liberate those unhappy people from Saddam-Hussein-Iraq’s-Biggest-Weapon-Of-Mass-Destruction, as wars of liberation go this is a relatively tiny body count and a relatively small price paid in mankind’s long slog against tyranny and toward liberty.

    And when compared to the handiwork and bodycount of Rob Levine’s intellectual forebears (100 million killed by Leftist tyrants in the 20th century according to “The Black Book of Communism”), these 600,000 dead are really just small-ball, aren’t they Rob?

    Given the ocean’s of blood spilled in the pursuit of Rob’s collectivist goals, Rob isn’t really so much worried about Iraqi civilians, as he is determined to scoff and tear down those working for good, isn’t that right Rob?

    Back to the Leftist intellectual ghetto, Rob! And back to your primary information sources: Gasping for Air America & Pacifica!

  84. “wars of liberation” ? 600,000 Iraqis liberated from their lives; a million refugees liberated from their country? Their ancient country destroyed? And please, IWuzzaLib, don’t speak for me. You don’t know anything about me beyond what I’ve said here. Does Freedom House even care about these “liberated” Iraqis? George W. Bush’s foray into Iraq is the worst strategic disaster in 2000 years – check Martin van Creveld.

  85. Whether 100,000+ Iraqi lives are worth the liberation of their country from tyranny, and its deliverance to democracy and human rights, is a difficult question to answer.

    Whether 100,000+ Iraqi lives are worth a brief and bloody interregnum between one tyrant and another is a very easy question to answer: of course not.

    Frankly, IWuzzaLib, justifying all those bodies by talking about what you WANTED to happen puts you a lot closer to those in the Black Book than Rob Levine. Even if he did seize on a shady statistic.

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