Is al-Sistani Really Issuing Fatwas? And Was John Roberts Playing Peppermint Patty?

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Updates on two (relatively) recent blog posts of mine (not because anyone asked, but because I want to keep on giving).

First, a while back, I linked to an AP story that claimed that "moderate" Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani was issuing fatwas against U.S. troops, or was contemplating the same. The Weekly Standard's Bill Roggio says it ain't necessarily so here.

Second, in a May 7 blog post about John McCain's stated intention to appoint "conservative" judges similar to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, I asked readers to never forget that da judge played Peppermint Patty in his all-boys' high school production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (if I'm not mistaken, I've trotted out this bit o' trivia virtually every time I mention Roberts). reason contributor, screenwriter, and Univ. of Chicago Law School grad Steve Kurtz wrote to inform me:

I'm tired of seeing this mistake reprinted.  There is no Peppermint Patty character in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. There is a Patty, based on one of the personality-free girls from the early Peanuts strip. The show was a huge off-Broadway hit debuting in 1967—since Peppermint Patty made her first appearance in late 1966, the show was probably written before she even existed. Charlie Brown has since gone on to be one of the most-performed musicals of all, partly because it's very entertaining, partly because everyone reads Peanuts, partly because it's so cheap to produce.  When it was revived on Broadway in 1999, the character of Patty was dropped and Sally, Charlie Brown's younger sister, was added.  She was played by Kristin Chenoweth, who got the best reviews and won a Tony for the role.

I'm happy to set the record straight on that score, though I'll note that the non-minty Patty, while indeed being personality-free, is in the very first Peanuts strip, and yes that is Shermy, dear angry Shermy, the Chuck Cunningham of the Chas. Schulz universe, making about the best joke ever in the whole run of the strip:

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  1. Actually, Nick, al-Sistani issued a fatwa on Peppermint Patty because she’s a lesbian.

  2. Concerning the first item: I’m glad to hear Roggio’s take. I really am. It’s really heartening to me.

    Concerning the second: “Peanuts” always unflinchingly depicted extroardinary pathos and existential angst. This strip is wonderfully edgy.

  3. For some reason, I feel like I need to drink.

  4. That strip must be from the day Charlie Brown’s zig-zag shirt was being washed.

  5. Epi,

    I thought Marcy was the lesbian. She does call Patty “sir” all the time. Actually, Marcy’s unrequited longings are the central tragedy of Peanuts. Well, that and the fact that Charlie Brown never thought to kick that bitch Lucy in the face when she pulls away the ball…

  6. It is a different Patty in the first strip.

  7. Actually, Marcy’s unrequited longings are the central tragedy of Peanuts.

    Now Peanuts finally makes perfect sense to me. Charlie Brown is the bumbling patriarchy, Patty the unattainable straight girl, and Lucy’s football represents female dignity that Lucy is always pulling away from Charlie Brown’s violent, rapist foot just at the last moment.

    Time to submit this interpretation to Feministing. Not OK!

  8. Hillary Blogs
    Obamas resume
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    This and more on?

    http://sensico.wordpress.com/

  9. Heh. Weekly Standard writer saying we can’t trust John Cole because of his record.

    Now that’s comedy.

  10. Epi,

    An ATM gave me a blood-smeared $20 bill yesterday. Do you think it was some sort of Memorial Day promotion?

  11. Without Charles Schulz, there’s be no

  12. An ATM gave me a blood-smeared $20 bill yesterday. Do you think it was some sort of Memorial Day promotion?

    Was it menstrual blood? You can tell by the taste or if it’s thicker and chunkier. If so, it may be the beginning of the Feministing world takeover.

  13. It wouldn’t be a stretch for a man to play the androgynous Peppermint Patty, so it is more blog-shock-worthy that Roberts plyed the original Patty.

  14. There is a Patty, based on one of the personality-free girls from the early Peanuts strip.

    The other was Violet. I hate myself for knowing crap like that.

  15. In the past few hours on H&R I’ve read comparisons of sales tax schemes to licking genital warts, tales of uncles waving penises, and advice to taste bloody dollar bills. I’m glad my computer isn’t in the dining room, that’s for sure.

  16. Yes, there is no Peppermint Patty constantly calling Charlie Brown “Chuck.” I know this because I was Pigpen in the play in middle school.

  17. Violet wasn’t exactly personality-free. She was an even bigger bitch than Lucy.

  18. I knew two girls in middle school who filled the Patty-Violet function, which is also very much like the freaky twin girls on The Simpsons. I don’t think it was coincidence that they lived in a Baptist Camp.

  19. Violet wasn’t exactly personality-free. She was an even bigger bitch than Lucy.

    Correct. Patty’s purpose was to give Violet someone to bitch to.

  20. Peanuts, like 99% of the comics page (Beetle Bailey, Blondie, Family Circus and numerous others), is what remains after comedy has an abortion.

  21. what remains after comedy has an abortion.

    what, tearing up in a department store every time they pass the children’s shoes section but pretending it doesn’t hurt?

  22. And if you don’t want to click:

    “Thelma Keane, 82, the inspiration for the Mommy in the long-running “Family Circus” comic strip created by her husband, Bil Keane, died May 23 at an assisted living facility near Paradise Valley, Ariz. She had Alzheimer’s disease.”

  23. what, tearing up in a department store every time they pass the children’s shoes section but pretending it doesn’t hurt?

    Now that’s comedy. Bill Keane, take note.

  24. Still, what kind of self respecting right wing theorist was a drama kid?

  25. dude, conservatives are all about drama. the constant clash between upholding their religious values in a secular, godless society of socialists versus their desire to eat penises in every shopping mall bathroom from here to kalamazoo.

  26. There’s an all-boys Christian high school down the street from where I work and I have to say I was more than a little surprised to see on their sign that they were even having a musical.

  27. I’ve always thought Family Circus was created so women that had abortions wouldn’t feel so bad about it.

  28. I wonder at the poor soul who added [citation needed] to every show mentioned in that Chuck Cunningham article.

  29. Still, what kind of self respecting right wing theorist was a drama kid?

    If you believe in stereotypes, Mark Foley & Larry Craig.

    Oh, wait – you said theorists.

  30. I wonder at the poor soul who added [citation needed] to every show mentioned in that Chuck Cunningham article.

    Yeah, really.

  31. I wonder at the poor soul who added [citation needed] to every show mentioned in that Chuck Cunningham article.

    Aren’t the shows their own citation?

  32. Who gives a rat’s ass who Roberts played in a high school play? If this the most dirt Nick can dig up on him, he must be Ivory Pure. If Nick has to bring up this fake factoid every time he mentions Roberts, then it’s Nick who has the problem, not Roberts.

    Projecting are we, Mr. Gillespie? Are you secretly wishing it was you who played feminine roles in high school? I think that leather jacket is your way of denying your underlying desire for angora sweaters. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

  33. Kristin Chenoweth

    I’d hit that . . .

  34. First, a while back, I linked to an AP story that claimed that “moderate” Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani was issuing fatwas against U.S. troops, or was contemplating the same.

    Once again, the AP is duped by insurgent stringers, this time Sadrists.

    Sistani has supported peaceful democracy in Iraq from the start. During the Basra operation, he told Sadrists to give up their arms.

  35. http://www.aswataliraq.info/look/english/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrArticle=75766&NrIssue=2&NrSection=1

    Leading figure in Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, Jalal el-Din al-Saghier, said on Tuesday that dissolving the al-Mahdi army is Shiite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s responsibility, asserting that top Shiite Cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has nothing to do with this militia as al-Sadr did not consult the SIIC when he established it.
    “Al-Sistani has a clear opinion in this regard; the law is the only authority in the country,” al-Saghier told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI).

    “Al-Sistani asked al-Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government,” the Shiite official said.

    All of which has not made the Sadrists happy:

    Sadr aide lashes out at Iraq’s senior Shiite cleric –Battat said the Sadr movement has not seen any “reaction or fatwa (religious decree) from Najaf” criticising the government assault on Shiite fighters in Sadr City.

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gV5Dom04lgpyx2714W7tMjBud_QQ

    Yeah, he sounds like he’s right on the verge of fomenting armed rebellion in opposition to the same government whose election he insisted on.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/28/international/middleeast/28iraq.html

    BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 27 – Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric is opposing a drive by prominent Sunni Arab and Kurdish political factions to delay elections scheduled for Jan. 30, an aide to the cleric and Shiite leaders said Saturday.

  36. The USG Open Source Center translates transcripts of Arabic language satellite stations reporting on the controversies over recent statements of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. (Via BBC Monitoring). Note that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s adviser on cultural affairs went on Iranian television and slammed the US positions in the negotiations for a Status of Forces Agreement. .

    ‘May 25, 2008 Sunday

    AL-SISTANI NOT TO ALLOW US-IRAQ AGREEMENT “AS LONG AS HE IS ALIVE” – AL-ALAM TV

    LENGTH: 271 words

    Text of report by state-run Iranian Arabic-language television news channel Al-Alam on 25 May

    [Presenter] There have been further reactions to the security agreement, which the US occupation and the Iraqi government intend to sign. A source close to the [Shi’i] religious figure Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani has said that Al-Sistani told Prime Minister Al-Maliki, during their meeting in the holy city of Al-Najaf, that he totally rejects the agreement.

    He [Al-Sistani] said he would not allow the signing of the agreement as long as he is alive. However, at the same time, he voiced support to the Iraqi government and to efforts by Iraqi officials and people to establish security and stability in the country.

    Mr Husayn Barakah al-Shami, advisor to the Iraqi prime minister for cultural affairs, said that through this agreement, the US wants Iraq to be a launch pad to control the region. He added that Iraqis and their political leaders and religious figures have a lot of reservations about the agreement and its implications.

    [Al-Shami] Iraq is very serious about getting out of Chapter 7 [of the UN Charter]. The Americans have their special project and their strategy in the region and in Iraq. They want Iraq to be their launch pad to control the region and to strengthen their influence there. The Iraqi people, political leaders and religious clerics voiced their reservations about this agreement. But they must enter this agreement [after seeking] clarifications on the issues of military bases, arrests, prisons and the use of Iraq’s air space.

    Source: Al-Alam TV, Tehran, in Arabic 1700 gmt 25 May 08 ‘

  37. http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/5868/Shia_Clerics_Dispute_Sistani_Fatwas_Report

    Sources close to prominent Shi’a clerics in Najaf have expressed “surprise” at reports in the Western media which claim that Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has issued religious opinions suggesting support of armed resistance against the foreign forces in Iraq, going so far as to dismiss the reported rulings as “false,” according to a report by an online Iraqi news agency.

    And they’re a little pissed off about it, too:

    One source in the office of Muhammad Sa’id al-Hakim contacted by al-Malaf Press threatened to hold responsible those “airing false fatwas.” The source said that fatwas that do not bear Sistani’s seal or signature are considered false.

    The same source told al-Malaf Press that the reports of the pro-resistance Sistani fatwas were “media stunts” intended to “effect confusion” among the Shi’a community.

  38. Although, it looks like they’ve “effect[ed] confusion” among lots of people here too.

  39. Text of report by state-run Iranian Arabic-language television news channel Al-Alam on 25 May

    Be sure to also catch their 23-episode series on how the Holocaust is a myth.

  40. Although, it looks like they’ve “effect[ed] confusion” among lots of people here too.

    I wouldn’t give ’em too much credit, TD. There was plenty of pre-existing confusion.

  41. Sistani is much too careful to get caught out like that. He’s still advocating nonviolent resistance to the occupation, and pushing for its end through the political process.

    A fatwa calling for violent resistance would be most out of character for him.

    He’s giving us time.

  42. Too bad the report you’re dismissing is being backed up by Sistani’s colleagues, TallDave.

    Maliki’s visit Thursday to Najaf, where he met with Sistani, seemed to be acknowledgment of just that change in status, one that the Ayatollah did not appear to shrink from. “Sistani emphasized that everything should be done to get back total sovereignty on all levels,” said Sheik Abdul Mehdi al-Karbala’e, who summed up Sistani’s meeting with Maliki in a speech to Shi’ite follower attending Friday prayers in Karbala.

  43. There was plenty of pre-existing confusion.

    Yeah, we’re already seeing the “secret conspiracy” stuff.

    Meanwhile, after the successful IA occupation of Sadr City, Iraq had its most peaceful week in years.

  44. “Sistani emphasized that everything should be done to get back total sovereignty on all levels,” said Sheik Abdul Mehdi al-Karbala’e

    Gee, I could have sworn that was the official U.S. position too.

  45. “Sistani emphasized that everything should be done to get back total sovereignty on all levels,” said Sheik Abdul Mehdi al-Karbala’e

    Gee, I could have sworn that was the official U.S. position too.

    That would be the “official U.S. position” that includes permanent bases, right? So, not so much, really.

    More clues, for those not impersonating Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House:

    Question: “I sell foodstuffs. Sometimes the Occupying Powers or their associates come to my establishment. May I sell them foodstuffs?”

    Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani replied: “Selling foodstuffs to the Occupying Powers is not permitted.”

  46. That’s funny, I thought Sistani didn’t consider it an occupation.

  47. TallDave,

    Total sovereignty would seem to preclude the presence of over 100,000 foreign troops and thousands of civilian contractors, all outside Iraqi jurisdiction.

  48. Gosh, all this time we’ve been handing over control of province after province to Iraqi forces and helping them organize a government and write a Constitution and hold elections, and now it turns out we’re against Iraqi sovereignty!

    That would be the “official U.S. position” that includes permanent bases, right?

    If the Iraqis want them. The Kurds are begging for them. Is Germany sovereign? Japan? S Korea?

    Oh well, Trutherism is alive and well.

  49. Do you have a link on that Sistani Q&A? I bet it comes from 2004, before elections were held.

    And no, not selling us food is not the same as shooting at us.

    Is Kuwait sovereign? Qatar?

  50. If the Iraqis want them.

    And now, Sistani is saying that there will be permanent American bases over his dead body.

    You know, just like Adenaur.

    Or not.

  51. And now, Sistani is saying that there will be permanent American bases over his dead body.

    Well, let him run for office then. If his party wins a majority, they can vote it down in Parliament, and there will be no bases.

    See how sovereignty works?

  52. His party is SCIRI, and with its partner Dawa, they do have a majority.

    Here’s your link.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/021167.php

    Scroll down a bit, past the part where Sistani says that he doesn’t support armed resistance “at this time.”

  53. Here is the same “source” that you quoted above, TallDave:

    The source, who asked to remain anonymous, in an interview with “Newsmatik”, “There is no truth to this irresponsible rumors in whole or even in part.”
    Source added that from the beginning of religious authority from the outset is that “Iraq is not ready for jihad or a military confrontation for the time being, after the devastation left by the great wars of the former regime.”

    The source said that Sistani “supports the resistance to the occupation, but not by military means, for the time being.”

    For the time being. He’s giving us an out. Smart people wouldn’t look for reasons not to get the point.

  54. His party is SCIRI, and with its partner Dawa, they do have a majority.

    Well, then, problem solved. They can just vote against it.

  55. “supports the resistance to the occupation, but not by military means, for the time being.”

    So he’s Gandhi. Excellent, we fully support all nonviolent political points of view.

    Smart people wouldn’t look for reasons not to get the point.

    Ah, back to your forte, personal insults. I would stick with that.

  56. He’s giving us an out.

    Yes, the “out” being transition to a democracy (which Sistani insisted on), which is what we’re doing. That’s why he’s issued no support for the Sadrists and told them the elected government is the only law.

    Now, if the U.S. were to, say, install a Sunni strongman, Sistani might change his tune about nonviolence. Hence the “for the time being.”

    Can’t blame the guy for hedging his statements, given Iraq’s history.

  57. Well, then, problem solved. They can just vote against it.

    Hopefully, the guns we’re sticking in their faces won’t effect the vote too much. Wisely, the Iraqis are delaying the process so that it will come up after the end of this administration’s term, when there’s a change we’ll have a president who actually would allow the vote to happen, and actually would respect the Iraqis’ will.

    So he’s Gandhi. Excellent, we fully support all nonviolent political points of view.

    I forget, did Gandhi say he opposed violence “for the time being?”

    Ah, back to your forte, personal insults. Wow, that was every bit as honest, fair, and respectful as Oh well, Trutherism is alive and well.

    So, anyway, how’s that “he must have put that out back in 2004” assumption working out for you?

  58. Now, if the U.S. were to, say, install a Sunni strongman

    Which, incidentally, is what Juan Cole predicted we would do in 2004. So you really can’t blame Sistani for being a little paranoid.

  59. Yes, the “out” being transition to a democracy

    No, the out being the chance to withdraw before he issues his fatwa. Duh.

    This is really, really easy to understand if you aren’t actively working not to.

    “For the time being” is not a difficult concept.

  60. “Not while I’m alive” is not a difficult concept, either.

  61. Sistani is the figure who organized the nationwide actions demanding early elections, instead of the regional caucuses the Bush administration had planned.

  62. Hopefully, the guns we’re sticking in their faces won’t effect the vote too much.

    ROFLMAO Is that what you picture? The Iraqi Parliament meeting while American soldiers tell them to vote the right way or die?

    Honestly, you people are just being silly now.

    Anyways, it’s hard to tell when the fatwa was written, as FARS’ translator won’t give the date, and is a suspect source anyway.

    Fars News Agency (FNA) is an Iranian news agency. It was officially launched in Tehran in February 2002 to “promote the principles of the Islamic Revolution and safeguard national interests”.

    http://www.farsnews.net/newstext.php?nn=8703040357

    In any case, US troops are in no danger of starving.

  63. Well, if you want to believe Sistani is right on the verge of declaring armed rebellion after six years of telling the people engaged in armed rebellion to cut it out, you’re certainly free to do so.

  64. ROFLMAO Is that what you picture? The Iraqi Parliament meeting while American soldiers tell them to vote the right way or die?

    Not literally, of course, but there is a reason why international law does not recognize the legimitacy of elections carried out under foreign occupation.

    In any case, US troops are in no danger of starving. Are you this stupid, or just this irresponsible?

    He has declared us to be occupiers, and issues a fatwa against assisting us. He has stated, in his denial that he issued a fatwa calling for violent resistance, that he does not support it “at this time.” And he has stated that the primary plank in our (for the time being) Iraq policy – the maintenance of an occupation and permanent bases – will not happen while he is alive.

    Not even you are clueless enough to think that the concern is about American troops starving. Even the most moderate forces in Iraq – except for the people our military is keeping in power – are losing their patience, even while “50 years, why not 100, why not a 1000” remains our policy.

    I just don’t understand why people play dumb. it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  65. Gosh, all this time we’ve been handing over control of province after province to Iraqi forces and helping them organize a government and write a Constitution and hold elections, and now it turns out we’re against Iraqi sovereignty!

    I suspect Sistani’s, er, timetable for Iraqi sovereignty (which you’re tacitly agreeing does not exist now) might be a bit different from the Bush admin’s. So your claim that he’s merely agreeing with Bush when he says he wants everything done to regain sovereignty is not strictly true.

  66. TallDave | May 27, 2008, 3:33pm | #

    Well, if you want to believe Sistani is right on the verge of declaring armed rebellion after six years of telling the people engaged in armed rebellion to cut it out, you’re certainly free to do so.

    Yes, I am. And rather than letting you put words in my mouth, I’ll make my own arguments, thanks.

    Sistani has been biding his time for six years, waiting and seeing. He can tell the end game is coming soon, and his response will depend on how we play it.

    If we leave, he’ll be our best friend. If we try to stay, he’s going to team up with Sadr to drive us out.

  67. Not literally, of course, but there is a reason why international law does not recognize the legimitacy of elections carried out under foreign occupation.

    Yes, in Vichy France, but not in postwar Japan or Germany or S Korea.

    Good God, are you really saying the US military is using death threats to force the Iraqi Parliament to vote for permanent bases? The day after Memorial Day? Sheesh.

    He has declared us to be occupiers, and issues a fatwa against assisting us.

    He also issued lots of fatwas against resisting us. So, he’s neutral and peaceful.

    If we leave, he’ll be our best friend. If we try to stay, he’s going to team up with Sadr to drive us out

    You really need to read up on their relationship.

  68. Good God, are you really saying the US military is using death threats to force the Iraqi Parliament to vote for permanent bases?The day after Memorial Day? Sheesh.

    Boy, those faux-patriot cheap shots really are too tempting, aren’t they? NO, dipshit, not literally. Would you like me to write it again?

    I could explain my reasoned, nuanced point about how this works, but why would I bother? You’ve just shown what I can expect to get back.

    He also issued lots of fatwas against resisting us. No, he has not. He has never issued a fatwa against resisting us. He has, in fact, issued fatwas requiring resitance to us – by peaceful means. As I’ve already shown. And you keep twisting yourself into pretzels to ignore.

    So, he’s neutral Nope. …and peaceful “For the time being.”

    You really need to read up on their relationship.

    Lawls. Yeah, that’s it, I’m just not up on my reading. It really needs to start dawning on you that “Joe just doesn’t know very much about the subject” is a really, really stupid thing to tell yourself.

  69. Good God, are you really saying the US military is using death threats to force the Iraqi Parliament to vote for permanent bases?The day after Memorial Day? Sheesh.

    Boy, those faux-patriot cheap shots really are too tempting, aren’t they? NO, dipshit, not literally. Would you like me to write it again?

    I could explain my reasoned, nuanced point about how this works, but why would I bother? You’ve just shown what I can expect to get back.

    He also issued lots of fatwas against resisting us. No, he has not. He has never issued a fatwa against resisting us. He has, in fact, issued fatwas requiring resitance to us – by peaceful means. As I’ve already shown. And you keep twisting yourself into pretzels to ignore.

    So, he’s neutral Nope. …and peaceful “For the time being.”

    You really need to read up on their relationship.

    Lawls. Yeah, that’s it, I’m just not up on my reading. It really needs to start dawning on you that “Joe just doesn’t know very much about the subject” is a really, really stupid thing to tell yourself.

  70. Sistani has been biding his time for six years, waiting and seeing. He can tell the end game is coming soon, and his response will depend on how we play it.

    Well, enjoy your secret conspiracy theories based on Iranian news reports. We’ll see how your “it’s about to get a lot worse” prediction plays out.

    Of course, “permanent” bases are a red herring, and the real and obvious reason elected Iraqis want an extended (not permanent) American presence is that we’re helping them build a stable country and train their forces, not because of any implied threat. If Sistani wants them to negotiate a shorter-term deal, more power to him.

  71. Would you like me to write it again?

    Then what, exactly, are you implying when you say “Hopefully, the guns we’re sticking in their faces won’t effect the vote too much. ” Either there’s an implied threat that we will attack them there (and you are viciously slandering our troops by implying that) or you have no discernible point.

  72. Yeah, that’s it, I’m just not up on my reading.

    Obviously not, if you are unaware of the schism between the Sadrists and Sistani.

  73. He has never issued a fatwa against resisting us

    Again, you need to read up. I already linked one where he tells the Sadrists to stop resisting.

  74. the real and obvious reason elected Iraqis want an extended (not permanent) American presence is that we’re helping them build a stable country and train their forces, not because of any implied threat.

    Hell, if anything the elected government is supporting a U.S. presence because we’re protecting them, not because they’re afraid we’ll attack them if they vote the wrong way.

  75. Well, enjoy your secret conspiracy theories based on Iranian news reports.

    Coming from someone who gullibly swallowed every conspiracy theory used to sell this war, this is less than the crushing put-down you seem to think it will be.

    We’ll see how your “it’s about to get a lot worse” prediction plays out. That isn’t what I wrote, either. I think your candidate is going to get humilated this fall, and the next president is going to withdraw the troops, leading to the “Sistani is our best friend” scenario.

    Of course, “permanent” bases are a red herring A red herring that is both the basis of our current policy, and was idenfied before the war even begun as an important reason to launch it.

    Then what, exactly, are you implying when you say “Hopefully, the guns we’re sticking in their faces won’t effect the vote too much. ” You don’t know what “literally” means, do you?

    Either there’s an implied threat that we will attack them there Or, that we will cease to protect them, or find another target for our affection to prop up.

    (and you are viciously slandering our troops by implying that) Stop hiding behind the troops, you fucking pussy. They follow their orders, and the issue is the policy of those giving those orders. God, it’s fun to watch you faux-patriots swirling the bowl.

    or you have no discernible point. You’re good at not discerning things when you’d prefer not to know them, aren’t you?

  76. I already linked one where he tells the Sadrists to stop resisting.

    He did not tell them to stop resisting the Americans. He told them to stop fighting the government.

    Please, tell me more about how little I know. It always goes so well for people who do that.

  77. Hell, if anything the elected government is supporting a U.S. presence because we’re protecting them, not because they’re afraid we’ll attack them if they vote the wrong way.

    That was easy.

    Thanks for playing along.

  78. Obviously not, if you are unaware of the schism between the Sadrists and Sistani.

    And the statement that they would only team up in a specific set of circumstances indicates that I am unaware of this schism, how, exactly?

    Oh, right. You can look better in an argument if you assume that, so you do. As always.

  79. every conspiracy theory used to sell this war,

    You mean the conspiracy to overthrow a henious regime and install a democracy? Seems to be working out.

    He did not tell them to stop resisting the Americans. He told them to stop fighting the government.

    He told them to lay down their arms and obey the government, which has told them to stop reisting the occupiers. QED.

    Also, the whole disarming Sadrists thing runs counter to your secret six-year Sistani conspiracy to eventually foment armed rebellion theory and then join forces with his rival.

    or you have no discernible point.

    Again, then what is your point? As you have no coherent defense beyond namecalling, I think it’s fair to say you meant what you said, and frankly its appalling. Feel free to abuse me, but please don’t say our troops are behaving like the Mafia, with dark hints of guns pointed at the faces of Iraq’s elected government in order to coerce them into giving us bases.

    If you want to spin your Sistani fantasies, fine, but kindly leave our troops out of it.

  80. They follow their orders, and the issue is the policy of those giving those orders.

    An order to threaten or attack an elected Iraqi official in order to gain military bases would obviously be illegal and I doubt an American soldier would follow it, nor is it remotely credible that such an order would be issued.

  81. And the statement that they would only team up in a specific set of circumstances

    That “specific set of circumstances” has existed for six years. Again, if you think they would “team up” you don’t know much about them. They are further apart today than ever.

  82. Oh well, if you were honest, you’d apologize or at least admit there is no coercive threat of U.S. military force against elected Iraqi officials designed to get us military bases, a notion as silly as it offensive.

    Since you’re not, I will bid you good day.

  83. You mean the conspiracy to overthrow a henious regime and install a democracy? Seems to be working out. Shorter TallDave: yes, you are right, I believed the conspiracy theories about WMDs and al Qaeda.

    He told them to lay down their arms and obey the government, which has told them to stop reisting the occupiers. QED. Shorter: Yes, you are right, he didn’t tell them to stop resisting the Americans.

    Oh, and stop hiding behind the troops, you pussy.

    You shouldn’t drag them into a debate over policy just because you’re losing. It’s disrespectful.

  84. An order to threaten or attack an elected Iraqi official in order to gain military bases would obviously be illegal

    This just in: TallDave calls Iraq War illegal, American troops conscious war criminals.

  85. That “specific set of circumstances” has existed for six years.

    Wow, that whole part about “waiting” for the right moment – so well summed up in Sistani’s statement “not at this time” – just went right over your head, didn’t it?

  86. And I will bid you one last “Stop hiding behind the troops, you pussy.”

  87. joe, Dave, we don’t want you to hate!

    we want you to LOVE!

  88. Oh, and stop hiding behind the troops, you pussy.

    Ah, the dignified debate style of Joe.

    TallDave: why even bother?

    Joe: What job allows you to sit in front of your keyboard all day hurling insults at people?

  89. First, let me say that both TallDave and joe bring up several relevant points, somewhat obscured by the pissing match their interlocution has devolved into.

    “Not while I’m alive” is not a difficult concept, either.

    ???

  90. I just want to know where you guys find the energy to have the exact same argument time and time again.

  91. Joe: What job allows you to sit in front of your keyboard all day hurling insults at people?

    I believe joe is a self-employed consultant these days. So his time is his own. As long as he’s not billing his clients for time he spends squabbling with us.

  92. @Episiarch

    Do you see sitcom potential, too?

  93. I saw a small production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown once, in a very intimate setting. Like in a school library, with about three rows of audience. But it was performed by adults.

    (It’s important to make that last point, lest this story be rendered even more creepy.)

    Unfortunately, the whole time I was chagrined and distracted by the fact that Snoopy’s pert girlish nipples poked all too prominently through her/his costume. And that’s really all I remember about the play.

    (Or musical. Was it a play or a musical? I have no idea.)

  94. Snoopy’s pert girlish nipples poked all too prominently through her/his costume.

    At least tell me there were six of them.

  95. Who would have thought a post on Peppermint Patty would have morphed into a discussion of Sistani?

    Not me.

  96. Tommy, you may want to look at the post title again.

  97. Unfortunately, the whole time I was chagrined and distracted by the fact that Snoopy’s pert girlish nipples poked all too prominently through her/his costume.

    While I’ve been distracted by nipples, I’ve never been chagrined by them.

  98. “I asked readers to never forget that da judge played Peppermint Patty in his all-boys’ high school production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (if I’m not mistaken, I’ve trotted out this bit o’ trivia virtually every time I mention Roberts”

    How in the fuck this is relevant to anything is beyond me. But then again the Libertarian Party is irrelevant, so maybe it balances things out.

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