This Week in Bullshit

So Geov has a weekly thing on HorsesAss.org that’s better than this one. I could step up and write a better Bullshit post. Or I could just stick to the same old, same old. I chose number two, but that’s probably why he has a long running radio show on KEXP (and even before it was KEXP), and I’m just a guy who swears on the Internet. Anyway, here’s your bullshit:

* President Bush said that he might reduce troop levels in Iraq. And when he says something you know it’s true.

* And as long as I’m stepping on Geov’s toes and talking about Iraq, Riverbend has left. It’s senseless and tragic, and I would hope the people who made stupid accusations against her would re-consider what they’ve been doing. But perhaps a tiny bit of human decency would be asking too much.

* Just in case you were wondering who’s to blame for the Larry Craig mess, it’s the state of Minnesota. And Michael Medved thinks the real tragedy in all this is that Michael Medved hasn’t thought enough about burly men in uniform.

* And finally for national bullshit, it may be safe to say that supply side economics are bullshit.

Locally:

* Seriously, what was the Trib thinking?

* Gary Randal sees a clear line between hate crimes legislation and forcing the Church not to mention Jesus.

* Lou Guzzo wants more booing the National Anthem.

* “Doc” Hastings is upset that MoveOn was able to read things that General Peteraeus has written in the past. And that they were willing to make some obvious predictions.

This is an open thread

Comments

  1. 1

    busdrivermike spews:

    An open thread? Yeeehawww!

    Let me take this opportunity to say that if we all collect Social Security for thirty years, starting at age 67, we will still not see the last American troop leave Iraq.

    And that has more to do with the decisions the Democratic “leaders” are making, than the ones the Cuckoo’s nest known as the White House makes.

    IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE TOO IMPEACH THE CRIMINALS!!!!!!!!

  2. 3

    spews:

    Siggghhh … more evidence that ARS (alternative reality syndrome) has deeply infected the conservative community.

    Over at SP they are going nuts about MoveOn’s challenging the veracity of a General who represents the Bush admin.

    Let me see if I get this right. Why would anyone imagine that a General of the United States Army wold be used in such a manner by this administration? Doing so would not only denigrate a soldier of great distinction but the administration would lose credibility!

    In the meantime, as usual, nobody over there bothered to listen as the General endorsed the facts as stated by Sens Obama, Clinton, and Biden.

    Sadly, I think ARS may be incurable.

    more at SeattleJew

  3. 4

    spews:

    Just to keep theme going, but I thought some recent reading I have done as a biologist may be of interest:

    I understand that ARS is now known to be caused by a virus similar to HIV. Current research suggests that this virus originated in horse meat and was passed to humans who ate wild horse meat while participating in survival exercises in Idaho.

    The virus, tentatively named H-ARS, apparently adapted itself to conservatives sharing the recently discovered transposition of the gene macho from its normally silent location on the y-chromosome to the X choromosome. The mode of transmission is not yet certain. There is, however, concern that females, having two X’s. may be especially susceptible. The CDC is recommending that conservative men not frequent houses of ill repute until a bllod test can be developed.

  4. 8

    spews:

    I do not actually agree with Harvey. As usual he is too kind. People who acquire ARS do so because of their life style. That is matter of choice!

    Of curse we should try to help them but I would never exempt them from the blame they deserve anymore than I would excuse an alcoholic for vehicular homicide.

  5. 9

    spews:

    Press release from Jay Inslee:

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), who voted against the war in Iraq almost five years ago, released the following statement in response to a much anticipated testimony given in the House today by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on progress in Iraq.

    “Whether we leave in six weeks, six months or six more years, the result is going to be the same – a result decided by Iraqis. We’ve got to get over the Six-Month Syndrome – that if we just stay another six months with another 600 American soldiers dead, that somehow democracy suddenly will blossom in Iraq.”

    “We may have had a reduction in violence in some parts of Iraq, but we haven’t advanced in solving difference between Shiites and Sunnis in the last six months or five years. No amount of the administration’s smoke and mirrors can hide one fundamental fact: that there hasn’t been political reconciliation in Iraq, just a continuation of the president’s ruinous policies.

    “No matter how effective our military is, it cannot solve the political problems in Iraq. The destiny of Iraq cannot be decided by American soldiers – it only can be determined by the Iraqi people and their leaders. Only Iraqis can forge political compromises necessary for long-term success. That’s why we need a timetable for redeployment in an orderly fashion.”

    Impressive reasoning.

  6. 10

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp, the parent company of FNC has announced that he aims for the company to be “carbon neutral” by 2010.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0.....-2,00.html

    Lessee, to quote MTR:

    OBL believes in the global warming hoax.
    Rupert Murdoch believes in the global warming hoax.

    Oh noes! My head asplodes!!

  7. 11

    My Left Foot spews:

    On a lighter note: I discovered this little festival through an article in today’s Los Angeles Times online edition, front page even.

    http://www.fightingbobfest.org/

    Have a look. I found it funny, informative and downright liberal. If you have ARS, do not click the link……your head will explode.

  8. 12

    spews:

    Seattle Jew. Since I can not convince conservatives that no facts support their positions I have developed a strategy. Have you noticed that “Conservatives / Republicans / Right Wing Nutcases” run away as fast as they can when some “liberal” wants to talk politics, and they realize they can not defend a single one of their positions. While they are spewing talking points while beating a hasty retreat, I find myself INSULTING THEM. Yes, it is a sad fact that I have to insult Republicons. They never stick around to discuss why every single death in Iraq is a murder, committed by The United States, because Iraqi security is our responsibility. We ran their government and police off in 2003, and didn’t give a second though to what to do next. We didn’t even bring enough troops to guard the weapons depots we knew the locations of for 20 years, much less the nuclear power plants. These Republicons don’t want to talk about the fact that there was zero evidence that Saddam had a nuclear weapons program, and every time the word “Mushroom Cloud” came out of Bush’s pie hole it was a blatant, in your face lie. They don’t want to talk about how 95% of Americans are losing ground to inflation, and the top 5% is raking it in, and paying lower taxes at the same time, causing us to borrow trillions from Red China.

    One thing is for sure when it comes to the Republicons Seattle Jew. When you tell a Republicon they will save $20 on their taxes, they will ignore any crime you commit, all in the name of tax cuts! In fact for half the Republicons they only have 3 words that fit in their brain. Tax Cuts, and abortion. Aborting is a great subject. See how many of them want to force every woman in Amerika at gunpoint to carry every single child to term, whether it is wanted or not, even if trying to have the baby will kill her. All the time they are too busy to adopt the 5 million children we already have that no one wants. Any time a right winger mentions abortion, ask them how many children they have adopted. If they say zero, then insult them for being the 2 faced tools they are.

    Republicons are a Disease. Period.

    Every single Republicon should be aborted from our government. It is obvious they can not lead, govern, or even tell the truth. Ever. When it comes to ideas, their only idea is fear. In fact, fear and greed is all they can campaign on.

    What scares me is how many warnings Bush ignored before 9-11, and all the unanswered questions surrounding 9-11. Like who shredded all the control tower tapes…… And for what reason. Why did WTC 7 just fall down…… Poof.

  9. 13

    spews:

    The ARS afflicted right is clinging to a life ring thrown to tehm, foolishly, by Move on. Like the post @12, the only purpose of the NY Times ad seems to have been to inflame the irredentists of Bush’s residual followers and ..I guess act asa battle cry to the antiwar movement.

    The latter goal made sense but it also obscured an impartant fact. The spin on Gen, P. was already negative enough w/o feeding the alternative reality afflicted right. In fact, listebning and reading to the bemedalled soldier, it seemed ot me that he SUPPORTED what the democratic leadership and esp. jack Murth have been saying.

    What the good General SAID was that we could help the ethnic rivals in Iraq control their areas of the country. Supporting local sheikhs rather than a fantasized central democratic regime does work in the Sunni areas and is likely to work in the South because of Arab distrust of Farsi led Shia forces.

    Furthermore, echoing Congressman Murtha, the general emphasized how much worse off we are because we allowed el Qaeda of Iraq to build. I know this is hard on conservative ears but for once leave your alternative reality aside and listen to what this soldier had to say about he impact of the destruction of the great mosque.

    Equally important are the questions the General refused to answer .. he would not answer any question about the cost of this war to our global efforts, the sources of troops to continue beyond next Spring, or the role of El Qaeda in EQ of Iraq affairs. Worse he would not answer such strategic questions as how long do we need to be there to achieve what goals.

    This is a good man serving a failed leader as well as he can.

  10. 14

    spews:

    @12 Facts

    A Comment on Therapy for ARS

    I understand your feelings. As a patriot is is difficult to listen to someone living in an alternative reality and taking action that hurt our country.

    I am not entirely joking about ARS. When I first read about paranoid schizophrenia I found it impossible to believe that there were people who walked around in an alternative reality. Interviewing a few patients convinced me that paranoia was quite real. I remember one famous guy, you might know him so I will conceal his identity, who held a very important position, We became friends and I learned that this fellow literally talked with Jesus and got answers. The guy was known for having s bit of an ego and seeing things oddly but he had true paranoia! ..He was delusional.

    ARS reminds me of that. Its victims are so imbedded in “second lives” that reality is less important than fantasy. If you are patient, they will eventually tell you weird things … though not to the extremes of my paranoid acquaintance above.

    To be fair, ARS can afflict the left as well. During ‘nam I know many folks who insisted that Mao was a sainty fellow. The affects of ARS on the USSR were drastic .. it ruined the chances of communism to succeed.

    Today, however, ARS is a disease of the right. So when you become angry may I suggest three strategies:

    1. Consider your goals, Do you want to assist the afflicted person in her fantasy? Do you want to enjoy your own anger?
    Are you trying to provoke them or reward them?

    2. Consider the bystanders. Many folks who read SP or listen Medved are goos people. Leading an ARS afflicted person along may help people who do not have ARS and honestly want to make good decisions. Seeing the ARS person drop off of the deep end, as it were, is an object lesson to the still sane,

    3. Keep you cool. As one example, listen to the Goldy show when an ARS victim calls in. Goldy is gentle and hmouring. he thanks them, giving them n opportunity to blame him for their irrationality,

    Finally if at all possible, involve a Pooka. Not everyone is lucky enough to realize that humans are still accompanied by the big eared ones.

  11. 15

    OneMan spews:

    @13:

    This is a good man serving a failed leader as well as he can.

    That’s my take on it too.

    I’m really worried about the defacto partitioning of Iraq though. It looks a lot to me like the descent into warlord-dominated regions exemplified by Somalia, Afghanistan and Waziristan in Pakistan.

    If you want to eliminate Al Qaeda’s safe havens, this ain’t the way to do it.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to fix it in Iraq. Good Going, Dubya!

    -OM

  12. 16

    spews:

    To succeed at any endeavor, you need to clearly define what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Our real goal, all along, has been to secure Iraqi oil for Big Oil. In order to continue to avoid the reality that we need to develop alternative energy sources,we need a ready supply of cheap oil that can be foisted on the world at inflated prices.

    There seems to be no way to avoid the fact that Big Oil is going to continue to rip everyone off until they can privatize the world’s water supply and rip everyone off that way.

  13. 18

    spews:

    This is a real opportunity for the dem leaders.

    They should embrace Petraeus’ comments and use them t describe a rational exit strategy.

    As a start, why not push the bushies to say how that are goinf to hand;e the inter shia warfare in the South?

    A radical strategy might be to bring Iran to the table. Tactically they may want an Iranian led group, but strategicaly they would be better off with a friendly shiite Arab group running the South.

  14. 19

    spews:

    NY Times .. getting good

    The web design of the NY Times online version is getting to be very good!

    The Bloid supporters really ought to look at it. I wonder if there is any chance that the NYT might collaborate with local groups? It would be great to take this as a start and add a local interface.

  15. 20

    YLB spews:

    We became friends and I learned that this fellow literally talked with Jesus and got answers. The guy was known for having s bit of an ego and seeing things oddly but he had true paranoia! ..He was delusional.

    Sounds just like – Puddybud!

  16. 21

    spews:

    Remember what day this is.
    On this date in 1973, the US government took out the freely elected government of Chile and replaced it with a dictatorship.

  17. 23

    delbert spews:

    Moveon.org’s ad is indefensible. Yet you try. Even the Democratic leadership is backpedaling away from these guys.

    General Petraeus is tasked with the labors of Hercules and these slime bags accuse him of treason*.

    I don’t question your patriotism, you must have some, just not for the United States of America.

    * Betray and treason have the same Latin root. Look it up.

  18. 24

    YLB spews:

    right wing moron @ 22

    Westmoreland made a similar presentation to Congress in 1967. After that 25000 more Americans died in a conflict that most people regard these days as a MISTAKE – same as today.

    Ask the families of those dead men if anyone BETRAYED them.

    As for moveon – there’s a little something called the first ammendment that men and women in Iraq are supposedly fighting and dying and getting maimed for.

    Why do you hate America, moron?

  19. 25

    spews:

    re 22: This isn’t the first time Petraeus has lied to the American public to apply a veneer of respectability to some crazy and failed policy Iraq.

    The ad IS defensible. This war is NOT. Hiding behind the good General’s reputation is another stalling tactic of the Bush Administration. They’ll throw Petraeus to the dogs as sonn as he is no longer poitically useful to them.

    And you, Delbert, will be right there with them — denouncing Petraeus.

  20. 27

    spews:

    Conservatives have no moral compass. They are sociopaths.

    Don’t send your sons and daughters to Iraq to die for these sociopathic monsters — like Delbert.

  21. 28

    delbert spews:

    @23

    I never suggested that Moveon.org could not post any ad they wanted. I’m calling them slimeballs for what they did. And I’m calling you fools for supporting them. And unpatriotic.

  22. 29

    Another TJ spews:

    Carl: I love your Bullshit. Don’t change a thing.

    Agreed. There are times for respectful debate. Other times require old-fashioned argument or even simple derision. And still other times are for calling things what they are, even if that means employing vulgarities:

    http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com.....o-whe.html

    It’s all about using the correct tool for the job.

  23. 30

    Mark spews:

    s-choir says:

    # 3: Don’t try to argue with an idiot (a conservative). You cannot convince an idiot that he is one.

    09/10/2007 at 10:59 pm

    Oh, so that explains why you refuse to see the error of your ways.

  24. 31

    Another TJ spews:

    I never suggested that Moveon.org could not post any ad they wanted. I’m calling them slimeballs for what they did. And I’m calling you fools for supporting them. And unpatriotic.

    What are your specific objections to the ad?

  25. 32

    spews:

    @23
    Whenever a public official lies to the American people about something as important as what’s happening in Iraq, real patriots consider that a betrayal.

  26. 33

    Piper Scott spews:

    Just so you’ll know: I have two sons (out of five children, three in-law children, and one – two by the end of the week – grandchildren) in the military, one a soldier and the other a Marine.

    While I’m the first to admit that beaucoup mistakes were made in Iraq, I’m still firmly convinced that it was the right thing to do at the time (for a lot of different reasons), and we need to do what’s necessary to finish the job.

    Take your shots…

    The Piper

  27. 34

    spews:

    @33
    While I’m the first to admit that beaucoup mistakes were made in Iraq, I’m still firmly convinced that it was the right thing to do at the time (for a lot of different reasons), and we need to do what’s necessary to finish the job.

    I think there were legitimate reasons to want to overthrow Saddam’s regime, but the right thing to do at the time was to work hard for greater recognition of Israel in the region (before the Iraq War, both the Saudis and Iranians were offering that). The bottom line is that by the end of 2002, it was abundantly clear that the way the Bush Administration was approaching this invasion was leading us towards disaster. Those of us who recognized that and said it at the time have been proven right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  28. 36

    YLB spews:

    I’m calling them slimeballs for what they did.

    Call them anything you want. It’s your first ammendment right.

    And I’m calling you fools for supporting them.

    Again it’s your first ammendment right. But we’re not fooled by anything. The Iraq invasion was a mistake – a waste of blood and treasure and an almost unforgivable crime against countless Iraqis.

    History repeats. Petraeus is Westmoreland.

    And unpatriotic.

    That’s where you’re wrong. Dissent IS patriotic.

  29. 37

    spews:

    @35
    It’s fun to watch people come to the full realization that they know a lot less than they thought they did.

    @33
    As for the second part on “finishing the job,” there’s not much we can do at this point. We’re in a political stalemate where the occupying force is not seen as legitimate. Therefore, to the Iraqis, any agreements we’re seen as driving will be seen as one imposed on them against their will. We’ve basically painted ourselves into a corner, and the only responsible path right now is to start the process of turning over Iraq to the Iraqis.

  30. 38

    YLB spews:

    we need to do what’s necessary to finish the job.

    Translation: kill a lot more people making the survivors hate us for generations.

    It’s not a war on terror, it’s a war to create MORE terrorists.

  31. 39

    YLB spews:

    I wonder if these right wing nutcases have noticed that the more they spout their talking points, the more Darcy Burner’s fundraising totals increase.

    Ooops, just gave away something.

    Thanks for playing right wingers.

  32. 40

    Paddy Mac Daddy spews:

    Muqtada al Sadr. That is who Petreaeus is fighting for. That is who nearly 4,000 Americans have died for. All this money and all this blood … to install yet another, virolently anti-American Islamist theocracy. This war is not only morally wrong. It is strategically stupid. Its objectives are traitorous.

  33. 42

    Piper Scott spews:

    @35…Chadt…

    It’s called debate…the exchange of ideas and points of view in order to challenge and be challenged, as opposed to smug dismissals of anything that doesn’t conform to your inside-the-box vision of the world. At least I’m willing to come on to your turf and mix it up…what about you???

    @34…Lee…

    I have grave reservations that either Saudi Arabia or Iran were ever serious about Israel. Neither the Wahabi’s nor the Ayatollah’s, respectively, would have tolerated it. Ahmenidjad’s oft repeated desire to replicate the Holocaust by first denying its historical truth then advocating wiping Israel off the map is simply the most unequivocal expression of a consummation devoutely to be wished by Iranian leaders since the days of Ayatollah Khomeini. I’m hard pressed to understand how the world community can tolerate putzes like him.

    And there is no such thing in history as “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” If there were, why do historians continue to debate why Rome fell?

    As a general proposition, I believe that nations have no friends; they only have interests. Now, I’m willing to make an exception for the British, but most of our other European and Asian allies are such because they need us way more than we need them. It’s sort of a “you don’t want to be on the bad side of the biggest bull in the herd” argument.

    As the Russians seek to reassert not just Soviet era influence, but traditional interests dating back to the time of Peter the Great, watch how many of our steadfast friends will again appease the giant bear.

    I think many who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq from the get go now feel justified akin to those who work to implement self-fulfilling prophecies. My belief, however, is different. And remember that my stake in all this is pretty significant; my children’s lives are on the line.

    The Piper

  34. 43

    YLB spews:

    While I’m the first to admit that beaucoup mistakes were made in Iraq,

    I had to come back to this. I thought you right wingers said these folks in charge, like Shrub Cheney Rummy and Wolfie, were the “adults”. “Adults” are supposed to know better. They’re not supposed to make mistakes especially mistakes costing American lives and 400 billion in treasure.

    And didn’t you just spew on and on about Jimmy Carter?

    I mean how does it really feel to be so silly and stupid?

  35. 44

    chadt spews:

    @40

    And is supported by conservatives, which explains everything. Why can you not see this. Conservatives are better than you are. They assume you are so bereft of upbringing that you need to look up “salver”.
    They’re not pompous, snobby blowhards; they just know that you are an idiot and are telling you that.

    We certainly have trolls that dance to a different piper here.

  36. 45

    SeattleJew spews:

    @37 Lee

    I think you are right on here. The key is to somehow survive the next 16 months with an incompetent leader without so badly polarizing the thng that the next admin will have a worse problem.

    Its eems to em that there is room for taking advantage of exactly the results Gen Petraeus has achieved. We can:

    protect the Kurds and help them move toward a condominium with Turkey!

    act as blue helmets in the center and south to keep foreign forces out and assist local insurgencies to develop. The price is throwing the last five years of bushism into the dunghill of history.

    I do not believe we can achieve this as long as the ARS afflicted run the White House. This raises one intriguing question. WHO is pulling the strings? Clearly GWB is no longer running his own affairs, who is? How rational are they? Will they deal with demos for the common national good? What is the price of dealing with whoever is behind the curtain?

    My assumption is that Daddy B is running lil B now. I am NOT a fan f Daddy but I do believe he is not afflicted with ARS. Unlike lil Bush, Daddu seemed to me to govern out of mean spirited self interest. If I am right, there may be a chance.

    Ideally, I would like to see GWB announce a change in strategy, admit his error (only a BIG MAN can do that, might be historic) and call for international help. It is in the self interest of almost all the relevant powers ot see something like Jo Biden’s solution.

    Iran: They know very well that Farsi can not rule over Arabs, I do not believe they are really interested
    on confronting the US but they are interest in dominating Islam from Qom. A functional arab ruled shiite southern province would suit their needs to a T.

    Syria: They can not deal with a strong Sunni force on their Eastern border. Chaos is nice but there is too much chance for the Sunni to act as a wedge to drive Asaad out.

    Saudi: They fear overthrow. They need muslim allies in the nearby.

    China: they need oil.

    India: they want to be the local imperialists.

    Turkey: want to be the eastern outpost of Europe and a moderate alternative to islamofascism.

    The Sunni I can not imagine that they think that Saddam is going to return. Sunni dominance is over. NOW they need something in return. If the rumors are true that Anbar has its own oil, the answer is obvious.

    REAL BAD GUYS:

    a. el Qaeda Iraq .. their only rasin d’etre is hatred for the Shia and for the US. Petraeus has shown that thiese guys can be eliminated in the self interest of local sheikhs.

    b. Malakhi .. reminds me of the last days of the NIxon “elected” S.Vietnamese puppets. They are harmless unless WE are foolish enough to support them.

    c. Iran … obviously they would love to see shit thrown in Uncle Sam’s face. Maybe we can accept that? Take the blame and work toward a better time?

    At base the Iranian republic is as democratic in theory as Jefferson’s republic was ..that is if you can except TJ’s brilliance in separating Church and State. England capitulated to the US, eventually gaining us as their most powerful ally.

    If we can tolerate China why not Iran? As a liberal I believe political systems should compete peacefully … I have no objections (as long as I do not have to live there) to corporate fascism in Singapore, theocracy in Iraq or post communist oligarchy in China .. as long as these sytems behave within some reasonable limit of human rights and don’t try to impose themselves on others by force.

    I suspect an apology from a belittled GWB won’t happen but I also suspect the effect would be great.

    BOTTOM LINE

    Seems to me that this is a bit like a Jotto game where someone has scrambled the letters.

  37. 46

    chadt spews:

    @45 SJ:

    “Seems to me that this is a bit like a Jotto game where someone has scrambled the letters.”

    Steve, Steve, Steve…..your typing is greatly improved; don’t be so hard on yourself.
    :>

  38. 47

    OneMan spews:

    @33:

    I have two sons…in the military, one a soldier and the other a Marine.

    …and I for one hope you’ll pass along my thanks for their service. I have a neice in the Army and her soon-to-be-husband has had a nice little stint in Iraq as well. It IS possible to honor the soldiers while disagreeing with the validity of their mission.

    We can agree on the many mistakes since the invasion.

    I’d love to hear what you think were the valid reasons to invade Iraq. I can remember arguing with my brother at Thanksgiving 2002 about why Iraq did or didn’t present any kind of clear and present danger. It was clear at the time that Iraq was not an immediate danger to America or its interests. It was clear at the time that the administration was at the very least overstating the threat.

    You can choose to believe it or not but I said at the time that if we were to invade anybody based on their support for terrorism it should be Iran.

    So tell me, what do you think were the clear and present threats presented by that tinpot asshat Saddam Hussein? Hint: don’t bother going down the yellowcake road. Don’t bother talking about how “the world” thought he was a threat…”the world” thought so based on US intelligence. Which we know was cooked.

    Go ahead, give it your best shot.

    -OM

  39. 48

    SeattleJew spews:

    @42 Piper … cogent post!

    I thank you for a cogent post. The issue of Saudi intent is very important.

    I think you are very wrong about the Wahabes. They are fanatics but they have three overwhelming issues to solve:

    1. they depend on the House of Saud and HOS is in bad trouble. Soemthing will replace the HOS as a government of SA and the Wahabes need ot make plans to survive that. They themselves are too small a group to run SA.

    2. they are orthodox Muslim scholars and know very well that Jerusalem was not mentioned in the Quran and that Umar himself invited the Jews back in after he conquered the Byzantines. As long as Jews are not in Arabia and Israel itself is a small enclave in a Muslim world,, there is nothng in their dogma that rules out a Jewish state.

    3. Israel is … in Wahabe terms … conservative, To survive the Wahabes and the HOS need allies who will not push for a government patterned after Medina .. as proposed by the Muslim brotherhood for a state that is accomadating to the Shia. Israel may be their best hope.

  40. 49

    Piper Scott spews:

    @47…OM…

    Fair enough…but give me a few minutes as I literally have a pot on the stove…

    The Piper

  41. 51

    My Left Foot spews:

    49

    Goldy,

    Is Piper the troll formerly known as HowCanYouBeProudToBeAnAss?

    The posts have similarity in tone, flow and structure.

    Just askin’.

  42. 52

    spews:

    re 42: “And there is no such thing in history as “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” If there were, why do historians continue to debate why Rome fell?”

    They debate why, not whether.

  43. 53

    spews:

    @42
    I have grave reservations that either Saudi Arabia or Iran were ever serious about Israel.

    You’re more than welcome to believe that, but even the Israelis now admit that the 2002 overtures from the Saudis were genuine (after they originally didn’t think so), and many Israelis are supportive of the plan they introduced then.

    As for the Iranians, the Jerusalem Post covered that here:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/S.....0355517833

    There’s no way to be absolutely certain what their motivation was, but considering that this was before Ahmadinejad, at a time when the U.S. took over Afghanistan in only a few weeks and had yet to overplay their hand, it’s very conceivable that there was genuine Iranian interest in reconciliation.

    Neither the Wahabi’s nor the Ayatollah’s, respectively, would have tolerated it.

    Of course not, but the fact that these offers came out anyway shows how it can be possible to defeat these radicals, by working with the more moderate elements of these nations. You don’t defeat Wahabiism or radical Shiism by killing people, you defeat them by strengthening the hand of the moderates. Israel has repeatedly made this mistake in dealing with the Palestinians.

    Ahmenidjad’s oft repeated desire to replicate the Holocaust by first denying its historical truth then advocating wiping Israel off the map is simply the most unequivocal expression of a consummation devoutely to be wished by Iranian leaders since the days of Ayatollah Khomeini.

    And a big reason why Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran right now is because our invasion of Iraq revived the notions of America as the “Great Satan”, a perception that had been slowly dying in the decade leading up to the Iraq War.

    And there is no such thing in history as “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” If there were, why do historians continue to debate why Rome fell?

    What? It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hitler was a bad person who needed to be stopped. It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a strategic blunder. It’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980. The only reason we still debate why Rome fell is because the historical record of what happened at that time is very spotty.

    As a general proposition, I believe that nations have no friends; they only have interests.

    They can have both, but their interests will always be more important than their friends.

    Now, I’m willing to make an exception for the British, but most of our other European and Asian allies are such because they need us way more than we need them.

    That’s not going to be true for much longer. And Iraq is a big reason why.

    It’s sort of a “you don’t want to be on the bad side of the biggest bull in the herd” argument.

    Again, that was much more true in 2002 than it is today. With us stuck in Iraq, the way people view our power has changed. People see us more as a reckless power. We may be the biggest bull in the herd, but people now think that bull has mad cow disease and might flip out on anyone for no reason. If it gets too bad, the other bulls will eventually work together to contain the big bull.

    As the Russians seek to reassert not just Soviet era influence, but traditional interests dating back to the time of Peter the Great, watch how many of our steadfast friends will again appease the giant bear.

    Well, why do you think they’re doing that, Einstein? Do you think people want to go back to Communism? Of course not. They see America’s power as its own threat now. They don’t trust our leadership, so they look elsewhere.

    I think many who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq from the get go now feel justified akin to those who work to implement self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Bullshit. The people who opposed the invasion of Iraq had no effect at all on how the invasion and occupation played out. Iraqis aren’t influences by the debates that we have here in the U.S. That’s the kind of excuse you hear from people who were raised in an environment where they never had to take responsibility for anything. My parents’ generation (although my parents were certainly an exception) were brought up in an environment where they were always told “it’s never your fault” in order to preserve their self-esteem. Now we have the king of those pampered sissies sitting in the White House, while his lazy followers make excuses for all his mistakes by blaming the people who’ve worked hard to understand the complexities of the region and warned him about what he was getting into. It’s a damn disgrace.

    My belief, however, is different. And remember that my stake in all this is pretty significant; my children’s lives are on the line.

    It doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about.

  44. 54

    Piper Scott spews:

    @51…MLF…

    I NEVER post under an assumed nom de plume other than The Piper, a moniker I’ve had since I started blogging a long time ago.

    It’s fascinating…and curious…how many of you go apoplexic when confronted with a POV with which you disagree, which validates one of my original theses about liberals that they believe they’re better than us red state rubes. If you’re gonna dish it out, you also have to learn to occassionally take it. See Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

    Back to my pot…on the stove…

    The Piper

  45. 55

    spews:

    re 42: “It’s called debate…the exchange of ideas and points of view in order to challenge and be challenged, as opposed to smug dismissals of anything that doesn’t conform to your inside-the-box vision of the world. At least I’m willing to come on to your turf and mix it up…what about you???”

    It’s aggravating that you should mention that as it is commonly experienced by liberal bloggers thaT they will ALWAYS be banned from a conservative blog if they embarrass the more frothy wingnuts with constant and “cogent” rebuttals.

  46. 59

    spews:

    @54
    It’s fascinating…and curious…how many of you go apoplexic when confronted with a POV with which you disagree, which validates one of my original theses about liberals that they believe they’re better than us red state rubes. If you’re gonna dish it out, you also have to learn to occassionally take it. See Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

    We’re not being presented just with a POV we disagree with. We’re being presented with a POV that has deeply hurt this country in the past 5 years. That fact cannot be ignored here.

  47. 60

    spews:

    re 54: Piper fancies himself as a rhetorical whetstone for the Liberal mind.

    Why don’t you get back to basics, Piper? Go to a dictionary and look up the definitions for Liberal and Conservative.

  48. 61

    SeattleJew spews:

    @54 Piper is uninterested but maybe … intersting for other reasons:

    So, how does one get you to discuss facts?

    I did look for your image on the web and found this: http://www.daughtersofrhea.com.....20edge.PNG

    Welcome to Daughters of Rhea. Over 30 years ago, with her two young daughters in tow, Rhea began her journey into the art of belly dance in the San Francisco Bay Area before setting up her studio in Plaka, the ancient city of Athens, Greece. Still going strong, Rhea and her daughters Piper and Melina — and granddaughter Zoë Isadora! — continue the tradition of oriental dance with taste, intelligence and joie de vivre.

    nice!

  49. 62

    Piper Scott spews:

    @61…SJ…

    Sorry…wrong piper…But who’s the apparent cross-dresser all bedecked in…gold???

    Try highland piper, and you’ll have better luck.

    The Piper

  50. 64

    YLB spews:

    how many of you go apoplexic when confronted with a POV with which you disagree

    A point of view that had led to and supports a tragic waste of blood and treasure.

    Yeah, no reason to be a little surly about that at all.

  51. 65

    Daddy Love spews:

    23 delbert

    Your prodigious semantic analysis notwithstanding, MoveOn is saying that General Petraeus is betraying the AMerican peoiple, not that he is committing treason (a crime defined on our constitution) against the government of the United States of America.

  52. 66

    Daddy Love spews:

    34 Lee (and Piper 33)

    I think there were legitimate reasons to want to overthrow Saddam’s regime

    There may have been reasons to want to overthrow Saddam, but there were no legitmate reasons to invade and overthrow him. That action was as illegitimate as it gets.

    Every bit of existing international law was against us, and still is.

  53. 67

    spews:

    Here are li9nks to the facts, Piper, on the Petraeus matter:

    http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html

    “General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress“ in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.”
    Washington Post, “Battling for Iraq,” by David H. Petraeus. 9/26/04″

  54. 69

    spews:

    @66
    That’s why I worded it that way. :)

    The only reasons given for deposing him were speculative (WMD’s, ties to terrorism), and now known to be false. It’s a good example of why we have a justice system in the first place, so that we are prevented from allowing vengeance to delegitimize our own authority.

  55. 70

    delbert spews:

    @66

    Except for violations of UN security council resolutions:
    1441
    1284
    1205
    1194
    1154
    1137
    1134
    1115
    1060
    1051
    949
    715
    plus a few others…

  56. 71

    delbert spews:

    @67

    Quoting the Washington Post from the moveon.org website, how recursive…

    yet after that article the Senate still confirmed him 81-0.

  57. 72

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “…..and we need to do what’s necessary to finish the job.”

    Ah, Piper, the ends justify the means I see. However, even from that perspective it would seem incumbent to define just what ‘finishing the job’ entails.

    Give it your best shot.

  58. 73

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “I think many who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq from the get go now feel justified akin to those who work to implement self-fulfilling prophecies.”

    You use the term “think” loosely, but you do project well. But as smug dismissals go, well, pretty much par for the course.

  59. 74

    SeattleJew spews:

    @70 to the best of my knowledge the UN did not hire the US to enforce these violations.

  60. 75

    Milo spews:

    piper,

    i hope your kin remains safe. As to “we need to finish the job”, sorry, we’re much beyond that – the Iraqis need to finish the job.

  61. 76

    Milo spews:

    I love how righties like to cite the UN when it suits them, but villify it every other chance they get.

  62. 77

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Delbert,

    While you’re at it, here’s some other UN Resolutions think about. There is also a long list of Security Council Resolutions vetoed by the US.

    * Resolution 106: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”.
    * Resolution 111: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”.
    * Resolution 127: ” . . . ‘recommends’ Israel suspends it’s ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”.
    * Resolution 162: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”.
    * Resolution 171: ” . . . determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”.
    * Resolution 228: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”.
    * Resolution 237: ” . . . ‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”.
    * Resolution 248: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”.
    * Resolution 250: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”.
    * Resolution 251: ” . . . ‘deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250″.
    * Resolution 252: ” . . . ‘declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”.
    * Resolution 256: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”.
    * Resolution 259: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”.
    * Resolution 262: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”.
    * Resolution 265: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan”.
    * Resolution 267: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”.
    *Resolution 270: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 271: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”.
    * Resolution 279: ” . . . ‘demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 280: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 285: ” . . . ‘demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 298: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”.
    * Resolution 313: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 316: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 317: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 332: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 337: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”.
    * Resolution 347: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 425: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 427: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.
    * Resolution 444: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”.
    * Resolution 446: ” . . . ‘determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious
    obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
    * Resolution 450: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 452: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”.
    * Resolution 465: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member
    states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”.
    * Resolution 467: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 468: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of
    two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”.
    * Resolution 469: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the
    council’s order not to deport Palestinians”.
    * Resolution 471: ” . . . ‘expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide
    by the Fourth Geneva Convention”.
    * Resolution 476: ” . . . ‘reiterates’ that Israel’s claim to Jerusalem are ‘null and void'”.
    * Resolution 478: ” . . . ‘censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its
    claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law'”.
    * Resolution 484: ” . . . ‘declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported
    Palestinian mayors”.
    * Resolution 487: ” . . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s
    nuclear facility”.
    * Resolution 497: ” . . . ‘decides’ that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan
    Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith”.
    * Resolution 498: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 501: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”.
    * Resolution 509: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 515: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and
    allow food supplies to be brought in”.
    * Resolution 517: ” . . . ‘censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions
    and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 518: ” . . . ‘demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”.
    * Resolution 520: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”.
    * Resolution 573: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia
    in attack on PLO headquarters.
    * Resolution 587: ” . . . ‘takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw
    its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”.
    * Resolution 592: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students
    at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops”.
    * Resolution 605: ” . . . ‘strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices
    denying the human rights of Palestinians.
    * Resolution 607: ” . . . ‘calls’ on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly
    requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
    * Resolution 608: ” . . . ‘deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”.
    * Resolution 636: ” . . . ‘deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
    * Resolution 641: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians.
    * Resolution 672: ” . . . ‘condemns’ Israel for violence against Palestinians
    at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
    * Resolution 673: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United
    Nations.
    * Resolution 681: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of
    Palestinians.
    * Resolution 694: ” . . . ‘deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and
    calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
    * Resolution 726: ” . . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians.
    * Resolution 799: “. . . ‘strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians
    and calls for their immediate return.

  63. 80

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Man, what a record! I guess that means we are justified in invading Israel, huh?

  64. 81

    Piper Scott spews:

    Thoughts on a number of issues…

    Iraqi Kurds and Turkey…Think gasoline and a match. Turkey has its own ethnic Kurds with whom to deal, and the last thing it wants is cross-fertilization between its Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.

    In 1965, when I was in the 9th grade at Kenmore Junior High, I read an article in Time magazine about the struggle of Kurds to create their own independent Kurdistan. Under Mustafa Barzini and his son, even then Kurds where fighting Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, all of whom have sought to crush their own Kurds. Today’s Turkey would just as soon let Iraq keep its Kurds and not have its own become emboldened. Turkey wants a buffer from, not assimilation into…

    Blue Helmets…Huh??? One of the greatest failures in the history of international diplomacy is the concept of blue-helmeted peace keeping forces. Think massacre…Think impotent…

    While SJ didn’t suggest the Blue Helmets come under the auspices of the UN, most do, which brings me to how ridiculous and hypocritical that body is. Witness putting a thug like Bashir Assad and his Syrian government on the UN Human Rights Commission…Ghastly!

    SJ…Farsi is a language, Persian is a people. Interesting, however, that nearly half of the population of Iran are non-Persian ethnic minorities, and there are a ton of different ones, including a boodle of Arabs. While there’s a great deal of unreported ethnic tension in Iran, when it comes to Iraq, Iran’s brand of Islam and Iraq’s Shia majority seem to me to trump Arab solidarity, especially since the Saudi’s are primarily Sunni.

    You’ll get no argument from me that the whole things is fubared. But that’s no excuse for not advancing our own interests, which may or may not coincide with the interests of others.

    The Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia is much more powerful and sinister than characterized. More than a bunch of bearded Muslim clerics debating fine points of the Koran, Wahabiism demands a strict and Draconian sharia, and it has its own religious police force to enforce its will. Particularly gruesome have been the degredations against women. Remember the 2002 deaths of several school girls prevented by religious police from escaping their burning school because they weren’t dressed appropriately?

    There may be conflicts between the House of Saud and Wahabi’s generally, but the whole thing stinks.

    As an aside…Religious extremists in Saudi Arabia or Iran are given greater respect by many posters at HA while religious conservatives in the U.S. are hounded unmercifully…Where’s the open-minded tolerance in that?

    The Iraqi government is a huge disppointment not only to the U.S., but also to the Iraqi people, and therein lies the rub. If victory is defined as a relatively self-sufficient Iraq, then indeed we’re a long way from home. But I’ll never forget the images of purple-stained fingers and stories of 70-mile walks in order to vote. In one sense, the Iraqi people are like us: they hunger for a self-determination of their very own.

    My oldest son, an army staff sergeant journalist, was in Baghdad during the last election, and he was impressed by both the resolve of the people to vote, and their willingness to stand up to thugs when given support.

    Current efforts to bargain with Sunni tribal chieftans to get them to turn against al-Quida are good and paying dividends. But I’m not sure it could have been done earlier. Sometimes things just have to ripen before the fruit is ready to be picked…But that’s just my opinion.

    Charles Krauthammer is a commentator I respect, and a recent column of his declared him open to some sort of partition of Iraq vaguely akin to Sen. Joseph Biden’s approach. It shouldn’t be ruled out as a matter of course.

    While I’m willing to live and let live with countries whose political leadership has all the charm and grace of dog vomit (been to the Ukraine lately?), I do draw some lines, which brings me to why I think going into Iraq in 2003 was necessary…So hang on!

    In a post-9/11 world, no body can be given a pass…NOBODY! While you can debate all you want whether al-Quida had a presence in Iraq prior to 9/11, you can’t debate that Saddam had been a thorn in our side for years prior.

    Every intelligence agency in the world believed he had WMD’s, and it wasn’t simply because the U.S. said so. They had their own assessments and data from which they made their own conclusions. Certainly, Saddam, machismo braggert and bully that he was, fostered those beliefs since it made him look tough.

    Umpteen UN resolutions called for him to disarm, fully cooperate with weapons inspectors, generally clean up his act…”or else.” It finally came time to “or else.”

    Saddam’s Iraq was a serious de-stabilizing threat to the region, an overt threat to the peace and security of Israel, and, as a consequence, a threat to the U.S. Diplomacy had been tried up the kazoo in order to get him to behave differently, all to no avail. He still rattled his sabers.

    Now…call me impetuous if you wish, but I’m very serious about what I said earlier about nobody getting a pass; anybody that rattles sabers against the peace and security of the United States, either directly or by extension, and keeps on doing it after being repeatedly and nicely asked to stop…ought to have those sabers jammed down their freakin’ throats!

    I have a sister and two nieces who live in NYC, and one of my nieces was in school literally in the shadow of one of the Twin Towers. My sister, an executive with the organization that owns and operates St. Vincent Hospital, spent days on end simply answering calls from people begging for information about this relative, that friend…someone they loved. All she could say was, “We have nothing…”

    Never again!!!

    I like the old Revolutionary War flag that had a rattlesnake upon it and the legend, “Don’t Tread On Me!” You’re either for us…or against us; only the Swiss get to be neutral in this fight, and even they’re now cracking down on Islamic extremism within Switzerland.

    It’s neither the purpose nor in the best interest of the United States for it to seek or act in order to obtain the approval of others. While it’s nice to have others with whom to partner or simply hang with, we need to be prepared to go it alone if that’s what’s in the best interests of the people of the United States.

    It’s interesting to note that the so-called failed opportunity peace overtures to Iran of 2003 had Iran demanding bi-lateral talks with the U.S. with the U.S. insisting they be multi-lateral and regional in nature. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. When we insist upon including others, and talks fail, we get blamed. Shades of North Korea.

    I don’t believe in coincidences, so it was fascinating to watch how quickly after the U.S. invaded Iraq that Muammar Khaddafi “saw the light.”

    So-called Iranian moderates…That sad and sorry song has verses dating back to barely a week after the overthrow of the Shah; it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    Repeat after me: There are NO Iranian moderates; there are NO Iranian moderates…

    These illusory “peace and friendship overtures” remind me of B’rer Rabbit’s plea not to be thrown into the briar patch…Into that black hole of despair, I wish not to be sucked.

    Iran is a bad act. Period! You can’t always blame the sins of others on George W. Bush, neo-cons, Karl Rove, or Dick Cheney. Iran is just plain bad irrespective of anyone else.

    Wanna know who a couple of real villians are in this piece? Sykes and Picot…

    Mad Cow Disease…I don’t mind other countries being wary of the U.S. and kept slightly off balance; they won’t then take us so easily for granted…Remember, we don’t exist to please or be submissive to others. We’ll do the best we can to get along, but it’s not the highest value or virtue.

    The election of Nikolas Sarkozy in France is interesting. Given the choice between the clearly pro-U.S. Sarkozy and the anti-U.S. what’s her face (forgettable and forgotten), even the French voted in their self-interest. Not to say Sarkozy will be as cozy as Tony Blair, but there’s no mistaking his election as anything other than an affirmation of the power and leadership of the U.S….even under G.W.

    Have at it…

    The Piper

  65. 82

    Piper Scott spews:

    Hmmm…

    I just spent a LONG time writing a detailed post in response to many of you only to have it disappear when I hit “submit comment.”

    Hmmm…

    The Piper

  66. 84

    spews:

    @81
    It was probably snared by the filter. Happens to all of us. Just make sure you select all and copy before clicking to post it. If you send it again, and it says “It looks like you’ve already said that”, then your comment was caught up in the filter and one of the site admins will approve it and it will show up then.

  67. 85

    Piper Scott spews:

    @82…Chadt…

    Actually, by backspacing I recovered it…still un-posted. Yet when I tried submitting it again, I was told I had already posted it. Is there a Catch-22 here?

    The Piper

  68. 86

    chadt spews:

    @81 Try the following:

    Hit the back arrow on your browser until you get back to the comment, and resubmit

    Also, highlight and save the text somewhere, or keep it on your clipboard until you are sure the comment is registered.

    Your comment may be being held in a buffer for some irregularity that software is programmed to capture. When a moderator reviews the thread, it’ll be released and appear in sequence.

  69. 87

    spews:

    @81
    The filter I’m referring to is a spam filter, BTW. If you have multiple links, for example, it might think your comment was spam.

  70. 88

    Piper Scott spews:

    @81…Lee…

    Thank you for that information…At over 1,400 words (all family friendly), I suppose that’s to be expected. When I did find it again, that’s the first thing I did…copy/paste into Word, which is something I keep swearing to do all the time ever since I lost a particularly brilliant piece some months ago over at Postman’s blog.

    Oh, well…back to conspiring how to make Karl Rove emperor/king…

    The Piper

  71. 91

    delbert spews:

    @77

    The list I posted were ADOPTED resolutions, you know, the kind that got enough votes to win.

    The permanent members of the security council have vetos for a reason. The US is not the only country who uses their veto, or threat thereof, either. See China re: Darfur/Sudan

  72. 93

    delbert spews:

    Just a quick show of hands –

    How many of y’all think the US government, or some division thereof, had a hand in the 9/11 attacks. Not just ‘failure to detect’, but actual knowledge before the attack or assistance thereto?

  73. 97

    Piper Scott spews:

    Thoughts on a number of issues…

    Iraqi Kurds and Turkey…Think gasoline and a match. Turkey has its own ethnic Kurds with whom to deal, and the last thing it wants is cross-fertilization between its Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.

    In 1965, when I was in the 9th grade at Kenmore Junior High, I read an article in Time magazine about the struggle of Kurds to create their own independent Kurdistan. Under Mustafa Barzini and his son, even then Kurds where fighting Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, all of whom have sought to crush their own Kurds. Today’s Turkey would just as soon let Iraq keep its Kurds and not have its own become emboldened. Turkey wants a buffer from, not assimilation into…

    Blue Helmets…Huh??? One of the greatest failures in the history of international diplomacy is the concept of blue-helmeted peace keeping forces. Think massacre…Think impotent…

    While SJ didn’t suggest the Blue Helmets come under the auspices of the UN, most do, which brings me to how ridiculous and hypocritical that body is. Witness putting a thug like Bashir Assad and his Syrian government on the UN Human Rights Commission…Ghastly!

    SJ…Farsi is a language, Persian is a people. Interesting, however, that nearly half of the population of Iran are non-Persian ethnic minorities, and there are a ton of different ones, including a boodle of Arabs. While there’s a great deal of unreported ethnic tension in Iran, when it comes to Iraq, Iran’s brand of Islam and Iraq’s Shia majority seem to me to trump Arab solidarity, especially since the Saudi’s are primarily Sunni.

    You’ll get no argument from me that the whole things is fubared. But that’s no excuse for not advancing our own interests, which may or may not coincide with the interests of others.

    The Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia is much more powerful and sinister than characterized. More than a bunch of bearded Muslim clerics debating fine points of the Koran, Wahabiism demands a strict and Draconian sharia, and it has its own religious police force to enforce its will. Particularly gruesome have been the degredations against women. Remember the 2002 deaths of several school girls prevented by religious police from escaping their burning school because they weren’t dressed appropriately?

    There may be conflicts between the House of Saud and Wahabi’s generally, but the whole thing stinks.

    As an aside…Religious extremists in Saudi Arabia or Iran are given greater respect by many posters at HA while religious conservatives in the U.S. are hounded unmercifully…Where’s the open-minded tolerance in that?

    The Piper

  74. 98

    Piper Scott spews:

    More…

    The Iraqi government is a huge disppointment not only to the U.S., but also to the Iraqi people, and therein lies the rub. If victory is defined as a relatively self-sufficient Iraq, then indeed we’re a long way from home. But I’ll never forget the images of purple-stained fingers and stories of 70-mile walks in order to vote. In one sense, the Iraqi people are like us: they hunger for a self-determination of their very own.

    My oldest son, an army staff sergeant journalist, was in Baghdad during the last election, and he was impressed by both the resolve of the people to vote, and their willingness to stand up to thugs when given support.

    Current efforts to bargain with Sunni tribal chieftans to get them to turn against al-Quida are good and paying dividends. But I’m not sure it could have been done earlier. Sometimes things just have to ripen before the fruit is ready to be picked…But that’s just my opinion.

    Charles Krauthammer is a commentator I respect, and a recent column of his declared him open to some sort of partition of Iraq vaguely akin to Sen. Joseph Biden’s approach. It shouldn’t be ruled out as a matter of course.

    While I’m willing to live and let live with countries whose political leadership has all the charm and grace of dog vomit (been to the Ukraine lately?), I do draw some lines, which brings me to why I think going into Iraq in 2003 was necessary…So hang on!

    In a post-9/11 world, no body can be given a pass…NOBODY! While you can debate all you want whether al-Quida had a presence in Iraq prior to 9/11, you can’t debate that Saddam had been a thorn in our side for years prior.

    Every intelligence agency in the world believed he had WMD’s, and it wasn’t simply because the U.S. said so. They had their own assessments and data from which they made their own conclusions. Certainly, Saddam, machismo braggert and bully that he was, fostered those beliefs since it made him look tough.

    Umpteen UN resolutions called for him to disarm, fully cooperate with weapons inspectors, generally clean up his act…”or else.” It finally came time to “or else.”

    Saddam’s Iraq was a serious de-stabilizing threat to the region, an overt threat to the peace and security of Israel, and, as a consequence, a threat to the U.S. Diplomacy had been tried up the kazoo in order to get him to behave differently, all to no avail. He still rattled his sabers.

    Now…call me impetuous if you wish, but I’m very serious about what I said earlier about nobody getting a pass; anybody that rattles sabers against the peace and security of the United States, either directly or by extension, and keeps on doing it after being repeatedly and nicely asked to stop…ought to have those sabers jammed down their freakin’ throats!

    I have a sister and two nieces who live in NYC, and one of my nieces was in school literally in the shadow of one of the Twin Towers. My sister, an executive with the organization that owns and operates St. Vincent Hospital, spent days on end simply answering calls from people begging for information about this relative, that friend…someone they loved. All she could say was, “We have nothing…”

    Never again!!!

    I like the old Revolutionary War flag that had a rattlesnake upon it and the legend, “Don’t Tread On Me!” You’re either for us…or against us; only the Swiss get to be neutral in this fight, and even they’re now cracking down on Islamic extremism within Switzerland.

    The Piper

  75. 99

    Piper Scott spews:

    Shall I press my luck with more?

    It’s neither the purpose nor in the best interest of the United States for it to seek or act in order to obtain the approval of others. While it’s nice to have others with whom to partner or simply hang with, we need to be prepared to go it alone if that’s what’s in the best interests of the people of the United States.

    It’s interesting to note that the so-called failed opportunity peace overtures to Iran of 2003 had Iran demanding bi-lateral talks with the U.S. with the U.S. insisting they be multi-lateral and regional in nature. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. When we insist upon including others, and talks fail, we get blamed. Shades of North Korea.

    I don’t believe in coincidences, so it was fascinating to watch how quickly after the U.S. invaded Iraq that Muammar Khaddafi “saw the light.”

    So-called Iranian moderates…That sad and sorry song has verses dating back to barely a week after the overthrow of the Shah; it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    Repeat after me: There are NO Iranian moderates; there are NO Iranian moderates…

    These illusory “peace and friendship overtures” remind me of B’rer Rabbit’s plea not to be thrown into the briar patch…Into that black hole of despair, I wish not to be sucked.

    Iran is a bad act. Period! You can’t always blame the sins of others on George W. Bush, neo-cons, Karl Rove, or Dick Cheney. Iran is just plain bad irrespective of anyone else.

    Wanna know who a couple of real villians are in this piece? Sykes and Picot…

    Mad Cow Disease…I don’t mind other countries being wary of the U.S. and kept slightly off balance; they won’t then take us so easily for granted…Remember, we don’t exist to please or be submissive to others. We’ll do the best we can to get along, but it’s not the highest value or virtue.

    The election of Nikolas Sarkozy in France is interesting. Given the choice between the clearly pro-U.S. Sarkozy and the anti-U.S. what’s her face (forgettable and forgotten), even the French voted in their self-interest. Not to say Sarkozy will be as cozy as Tony Blair, but there’s no mistaking his election as anything other than an affirmation of the power and leadership of the U.S….even under G.W.

    Have at it…

    The Piper

    PS: That’s it…

  76. 101

    SeattleJew spews:

    1. I believe you are incorrect. I think Persian and Farsi are the same thing .. one is Farsi and one is English, both refer to a epople and its language … like French or Hebrew.

    2. Gee … you can spell Kurd. However, you are way behind on recent Kurdiah and Turkish history. The Turks are trying to find a way of living together with the Kurds , otherwise there will be no European membership. The Kurds have their handsful establishing a state.

    3. You also must think everyone BUT you is unrea. Yes Virginia, I know who the Wahabes are. I also know that there only claim on power is via the House of Saud.When did you last see an agent of the Wahabe secret police outside SA???

    As usual your comments about liberal tolerating far right religious nuts is … nutty.

  77. 102

    SeattleJew spews:

    “Now…call me impetuous if you wish, but I’m very serious about what I said earlier about nobody getting a pass; anybody that rattles sabers against the peace and security of the United States, either directly or by extension, and keeps on doing it after being repeatedly and nicely asked to stop…ought to have those sabers jammed down their freakin’ throats!”

    Oh …

    are you signing up for the invasions of Venezuela, Cuba, China, Pakistan, and Burma? Or just France?

    You really do have ARS if you think the US has that kind of strength ..unless we just blow up the world.

    In any case, the issue now is not whether the idiot in Chief should have invaded, but how to make the best of a fucked up job. You REALLY oight to listen to Sens Biden, Obama, and Clinton .. for that matter McCain. All these folks are trying to solve the mess you guys created. Most of Repricans are still trying to get over Nixon.

  78. 103

    spews:

    @96 – 98
    Well, it appears we’ve entered another bout with a troll who just keeps changing the subject rather than trying to defend his previous inaccuracies, but I guess I’ll respond to the newest non sequiturs:

    @96
    Iraqi Kurds and Turkey…Think gasoline and a match. Turkey has its own ethnic Kurds with whom to deal, and the last thing it wants is cross-fertilization between its Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.

    That’s true, but the answer is not to go back to the way Saddam treated the Kurds in order to prevent it. The answer is to help Turkey deal with Kurdish terrorist groups and ensure that Kurds have a respectable level of autonomy over their own affairs without interfering with Turkey’s territorial integrity. Definitely not as easy as it sounds. But I’d be perfectly happy if American troops remained stationed in Kurdish regions (and even happier if there were a more international troop coalition).

    Blue Helmets…Huh??? One of the greatest failures in the history of international diplomacy is the concept of blue-helmeted peace keeping forces. Think massacre…Think impotent…

    What’s happening now in Iraq isn’t looking much better than many of the failed UN attempts at keeping the peace. Actually, it looks worse. The UN was a bold idea that has never lived up to its idealistic goals. The solution is not to get rid of it, but to figure out how to make it better and more effective and doing peacekeeping.

    While SJ didn’t suggest the Blue Helmets come under the auspices of the UN, most do, which brings me to how ridiculous and hypocritical that body is. Witness putting a thug like Bashir Assad and his Syrian government on the UN Human Rights Commission…Ghastly!

    You say this, but yesterday you did not seem bothered at all about our treatment of Jose Padilla or many of the other tactics that we use in the “war on terror.” Either you care about human rights or you don’t. But condemning Syria while believing that it’s ok for the US to do the same things is blatant hypocrisy.

    As an aside…Religious extremists in Saudi Arabia or Iran are given greater respect by many posters at HA while religious conservatives in the U.S. are hounded unmercifully…Where’s the open-minded tolerance in that?

    This is a silly generalization that has no basis in reality. People who use religious extremism to kill innocent people or to impose their will on them are wrong whether they’re in Riyadh, Nablus, or Kentucky.

  79. 104

    SeattleJew spews:

    @98 I am glad you are making an effort to express some ideas.

    If I can help ……

    To start with, lets talk about Iran. You and I both agree this is one dangerous place. Islam in general has big problems and these may be at their worst in Iran. Cool nuff?

    OK, what would you like President Obama, or whoever YOU want,to do about Iran. be specific and please tell us realistically where the resources are going to come from. Please also indicate your willingness to support this effort with taxes and a draft if needed.

    Go for it!

  80. 105

    Piper Scott spews:

    @100…SJ…

    From Wikipedia…

    Farsi may refer to:

    Native name of the Persian language
    Farsi Island, an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf
    The Jafari Shia Tajiks of Central Asia
    Farsi District of the Herat Province in Afghanistan.
    Salman al-Farsi, one of Muhammad’s companions
    Al-Farisi (1260-1320), Persian mathematician and physicist
    Jalaleddin Farsi, a presidential candidate in Iran
    Fouad al-Farsi, Saudi Information Minister

    While Turkey may be doing things differently with its Kurds it is, as you note, to curry favor with the EU, not because of some latent civil rights movement. I cannot believe that it wants Iraqi Kurds to have much if anything to do with Turkish Kurds since that could mean nothing but trouble for Ankara. The more anyone swings at that tar baby, the stucker they will get.

    What brought the subject of Wahabi’s up, SJ, was my earlier response to your comment about Saudi Arabia making nice with Israel. The power of Wahabi Islamic fundamentalism to check such a move is, from what I can tell, absolute. Folks down that way may cut a lot of bait, but they’ll never actually go fishing…

    I’ve known enough people who’ve lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 10-minutes, and I’ve heard their stories of what they see and hear. Ain’t no Saudi ambassador going to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv while the Dome of the Rock is in infidel hands.

    The Piper

  81. 106

    SeattleJew spews:

    @192 Lee … gee his reasoning on the UN is so… so…

    fuzzy????

    Lets see …

    whose flag flew over OUR troops in Korea?
    where was Israeli statehood declared?

    oh yeh … and his alternative to the UN ..
    I guess that must be the Holy Rovian Empire! I wonder, can that exist without a state church? The last HRE depended on mercenaries .. shall we hire some disgruntles South Africans? maybe China will lease its army to us?

    Then too, wasn’t the motto of the Romans, “bread and circuses?” Maybe the Rovina State should have a Department of Public Distraction.

    I’ll bet a colliseum with gladiators games would go great in Baghdad! Michael Vick might emcee it!

    Of course, at its zenith, the Roman Empire has slavery too, That is a very good idea. Enslaving those you conquer is an old and noble tradition. Done well (of course using Jewish law) slavery can be a good thing ..trains the barbarians to east with forks and wipe their arses with corn silk!

  82. 107

    YLB spews:

    Piper is well-schooled in all the standard neo-con bullshit.

    The neo-cons thought they had all the answers. Look how well that turned out.

  83. 109

    spews:

    @97
    The Iraqi government is a huge disppointment not only to the U.S., but also to the Iraqi people, and therein lies the rub. If victory is defined as a relatively self-sufficient Iraq, then indeed we’re a long way from home. But I’ll never forget the images of purple-stained fingers and stories of 70-mile walks in order to vote. In one sense, the Iraqi people are like us: they hunger for a self-determination of their very own.

    Yes, but one thing you’ve conveniently forgotten is that the main group they elected ran on a platform where one of their promises was to bring an end to the US occupation. Once they were elected, though, they were unable to do that. The Iraqi people certainly hunger for self-determination, and that’s why it’s so important for us to establish a timetable for leaving, so that Iraqis can plan for that time. Instead, we’ve decided that we’re staying there indefinitely and will leave whenever we feel like it. All this has done is played into the hands of those who don’t want the Iraqi people to be self-determinant (folks like Al-Qaeda and Iran).

    My oldest son, an army staff sergeant journalist, was in Baghdad during the last election, and he was impressed by both the resolve of the people to vote, and their willingness to stand up to thugs when given support.

    And many of those people have now fled to Syria.

    Current efforts to bargain with Sunni tribal chieftans to get them to turn against al-Quida are good and paying dividends. But I’m not sure it could have been done earlier. Sometimes things just have to ripen before the fruit is ready to be picked…But that’s just my opinion.

    That’s an odd reading of what’s going on. The tribal chieftains are clearly not our friends. In fact, one of the leaders that Bush met with last week in Anbar would be accurately described as a gangster in this country. They want to fight Al Qaeda because the organization has become so powerful there that they’re actually threatening to overtake the hold on power the Baathists and other allied Sunnis had. Even if the Baathists win that battle, they’ll then just point their guns back at the elected government, and us. But I’m not even sure we’ll see that rosy of a scenario. Al Qaeda may actually become entrenched there and western Iraq could become another Waziristan.

    Charles Krauthammer is a commentator I respect, and a recent column of his declared him open to some sort of partition of Iraq vaguely akin to Sen. Joseph Biden’s approach. It shouldn’t be ruled out as a matter of course.

    I don’t necessarily think a partition of Iraq is something that we should be pushing for, but at this point, I worry that it’s somewhat inevitable.

    While I’m willing to live and let live with countries whose political leadership has all the charm and grace of dog vomit (been to the Ukraine lately?), I do draw some lines, which brings me to why I think going into Iraq in 2003 was necessary…So hang on!

    I haven’t been the Ukraine, but I was in Egypt in May, and they have a situation where there’s little political freedom, but certainly no need to send US troops in. The people of the Middle East will slowly win their battles against totalitarian regimes, but invading them in order to do so will be counterproductive on that front.

    Every intelligence agency in the world believed he had WMD’s, and it wasn’t simply because the U.S. said so.

    Incorrect.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/b...../bush_wmd/

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/.....index.html

    They had their own assessments and data from which they made their own conclusions. Certainly, Saddam, machismo braggert and bully that he was, fostered those beliefs since it made him look tough.

    That’s true, but it’s not an excuse to take his words at face value. UN inspectors were doing their jobs effectively (feel free to read the UNMOVIC reports from early 2003) and were well on their way to making it clear that Saddam no longer had WMD capabilities. We went to war in Iraq because Bush wanted to, not because we had to.

    Umpteen UN resolutions called for him to disarm, fully cooperate with weapons inspectors, generally clean up his act…”or else.” It finally came time to “or else.”

    This is absurd. He had already disarmed, and repeatedly told the truth about that. Is your memory a bit faulty?

    Saddam’s Iraq was a serious de-stabilizing threat to the region, an overt threat to the peace and security of Israel, and, as a consequence, a threat to the U.S. Diplomacy had been tried up the kazoo in order to get him to behave differently, all to no avail. He still rattled his sabers.

    He wasn’t a threat to anyone. He got smacked down in 1991 by us, and none of his neighbors felt unduly threatened by him. In fact, that’s why the Saudis actually tried several times in 2002 to get us to reconsider invading. If Saddam was such a threat to the region, why on Earth would the Saudis have done that? They knew that an invasion would destabilize the region more than anything.

    Now…call me impetuous if you wish, but I’m very serious about what I said earlier about nobody getting a pass; anybody that rattles sabers against the peace and security of the United States, either directly or by extension, and keeps on doing it after being repeatedly and nicely asked to stop…ought to have those sabers jammed down their freakin’ throats!

    That’s fine and good. The problem is that Iraq wasn’t rattling sabers, Bush was. You got fooled because you were (like the media) too lazy to confirm whether or not the things our president was telling us were true. I wasn’t. Saddam was not threatening us and had no ability to strike us.

    I have a sister and two nieces who live in NYC, and one of my nieces was in school literally in the shadow of one of the Twin Towers. My sister, an executive with the organization that owns and operates St. Vincent Hospital, spent days on end simply answering calls from people begging for information about this relative, that friend…someone they loved. All she could say was, “We have nothing…”

    Well, when it comes to excuses for why we invaded Iraq, you also have nothing.

    I like the old Revolutionary War flag that had a rattlesnake upon it and the legend, “Don’t Tread On Me!” You’re either for us…or against us; only the Swiss get to be neutral in this fight, and even they’re now cracking down on Islamic extremism within Switzerland.

    And there are a lot of Iraqis who can identify with that right now. Much like our founding fathers, they want to run their own affairs and not be told to pass oil laws dictated to them by a foreign power.

  84. 110

    SeattleJew spews:

    @104 The Haram el Sharif is in Muslim hands. It is and has been administered by a Jordanian or Islamic council since 48.

    Persia derives from the ancient Greek name for Iran’s maritime province, called Fars in the modern Persian language.
    I may be wring, but a Persian friend tells me that Farsi is an adjective.

    Next time, I suggest not just looking up stuff that supports your argument but actually doing some research. OR EVEN ADMITTING IGNORANCE!

  85. 111

    SeattleJew spews:

    @104 The Don’t Tread on Me Flag was the flag of New Hampshire and it referred to getting the fuckin red coats out of their business.

    So … by your reasoning, we should get the owrds changes to Arabic and distribute it to our allies in Iraq?

    GREAT IDEA .. reminds me of the lapsed plan of the US occupation to redesign the iraqui flaq. I LIKE IT!

    Lets raise $$ for a new Iraqui flag, courtesy of Piper the Scott.

  86. 112

    Piper Scott spews:

    @103…SJ…

    Won’t fall into the tax trap…I’ve been baited with that by some of the best – Julia Patterson while testifying before the King County Council – and I didn’t fall for it then, and won’t now. Suffice to say, it’s not a question of not enough revenue, but of how the revenue we have is spent.

    Since I’m one of those classic “liberals” of the old, Milton Friedman school, I will contend that the overwhelmingly fast majority of stuff the federal government is involved with is bupkis. The security and protection of its people are the ultimate goals of government.

    As to what to do…Trust nobody to be on our side when the you-know-what hits the fan, which means be prepared to go it alone.

    Do everything possible to isolate Iran financially. Wherever in the world there’s an Iranian asset, seize it. Iranian deposits in banks need to be frozen. Not a ship, truck, or scorpian enters the country…PERIOD! Shades of the Cuban missile blockade.

    Any act of international terrorism committed by any Islamist in any part of the world will be considered an attack against the United States by Iran. Worked for Kennedy to scare the crap out of Kruschev.

    Exploration and development of domestic oil reserves becomes not just national energy policy, but national defense policy. Off-shore drilling in California, drilling in ANWR, and wherever a drop can be had will be the policy of the U.S. New refineries to process crude will be fast-tracked.

    The Edward M. Kennedy Wind Turbines will immediately be built off the shore of Cape Cod. He will also be encouraged to speak long and vociferously at various venues in Massachusetts each winter since he’s probably the most efficient producer of hot air in the history of the world.

    Environmental restrictions against energy development will be relaxed, but not removed.

    While the military isn’t in favor of a draft, I’d be willing to consider one…NO exemptions…Men and women…Israel is a nation of citizen-soldiers because every man and woman is trained and ready.

    Interesting that Switzerland also has a draft…

    At age 18 and for three years…

    Because I am who I am, the first drafted would be the next graduating class at Garfield HS.

    I’d begin a policy of surveillance flights over Iran. Not necessary, mind you, since spy sattelites can do the job, but the intimidation factor would be pretty steep.

    Pour CIA money and resources into every Iranian hotspot.

    Make it clear that Iran can not have leaders like Ahmadinejad, the Ayatollah’s, or anyone like them…If anyone puts up a beef remind them that when push came to shove, the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo…or Saddam…Ahmadinejad, wannabe that he is, should be regarded no differently.

    Unrelenting pressure…squeeze where it hurts…choke Iranian investments…make Iranian oil poison on the world market…

    How’s that for a start?

    The Piper

  87. 113

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “As an aside…Religious extremists in Saudi Arabia or Iran are given greater respect by many posters at HA while religious conservatives in the U.S. are hounded unmercifully…Where’s the open-minded tolerance in that?”

    As a counter aside, I might remind you that the Wahabis are a small minority of Islam, and have practically no influence outside of Saudi Arabia and maybe one or two of the Gulf states. They have a rather explicit political agreement with the House of Saud going back to the 19th century. I should also remind you that these fruitcakes are not trying to demolish the separation of church and state in this country, nor are they trying to elevate creation science as an ‘equal’ to evolution, nor are they marching in the streets demanding that they, and they alone, should determine what a woman does with her body.

    But answer this: If the object is to combat the source and support of worldwide islamic terrorism, why did we not invade Saudi Arabia?

    And answer this: If this is indeed an ‘existential struggle’ why no rationing, forced saving, a draft, and other measures. Why just “go shopping”?

    Go for it.

  88. 114

    spews:

    @98
    Shall I press my luck with more?

    Why not? Once you’ve embarrassed yourself to this level with your lack of knowledge, it really can’t get worse.

    It’s neither the purpose nor in the best interest of the United States for it to seek or act in order to obtain the approval of others. While it’s nice to have others with whom to partner or simply hang with, we need to be prepared to go it alone if that’s what’s in the best interests of the people of the United States.

    That’s true. But anybody with half a brain can tell that invading Iraq and spending hundreds of billions of dollars to occupy it was certainly not in our best interests.

    It’s interesting to note that the so-called failed opportunity peace overtures to Iran of 2003 had Iran demanding bi-lateral talks with the U.S. with the U.S. insisting they be multi-lateral and regional in nature. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. When we insist upon including others, and talks fail, we get blamed. Shades of North Korea.

    With power comes responsibility. That seems to be another important lesson that your generation of slackers has conveniently ignored.

    I don’t believe in coincidences, so it was fascinating to watch how quickly after the U.S. invaded Iraq that Muammar Khaddafi “saw the light.”

    Qaddafi started making concessions in 2000. Do you believe in the tooth fairy, too?

    So-called Iranian moderates…That sad and sorry song has verses dating back to barely a week after the overthrow of the Shah; it’s a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    Repeat after me: There are NO Iranian moderates; there are NO Iranian moderates…

    Even for you, this is a misinformed statement. The Iranian populace is actually quite moderate and pro-western in their outlook. They just don’t have the ability to make the changes in the government that they desire.

    These illusory “peace and friendship overtures” remind me of B’rer Rabbit’s plea not to be thrown into the briar patch…Into that black hole of despair, I wish not to be sucked.

    Well, those of us who don’t live our lives through our television sets know a little more than you.

    Iran is a bad act. Period! You can’t always blame the sins of others on George W. Bush, neo-cons, Karl Rove, or Dick Cheney. Iran is just plain bad irrespective of anyone else.

    Over the past two decades, since the passing of Khomeini, Iranian society has been split between moderates and the hardliners. Saying “Iran is just plain bad” undercuts the moderates in this fight and when our government does it, it’s counterproductive.

    Mad Cow Disease…I don’t mind other countries being wary of the U.S. and kept slightly off balance; they won’t then take us so easily for granted…Remember, we don’t exist to please or be submissive to others. We’ll do the best we can to get along, but it’s not the highest value or virtue.

    There’s a big difference between being strong and being reckless. If other countries think that we’re tough but fair, we’ll be respected and feared. If other countries think we’re tough but unfair, we’ll be feared, but the lack of respect will hurt us in the end.

    The election of Nikolas Sarkozy in France is interesting. Given the choice between the clearly pro-U.S. Sarkozy and the anti-U.S. what’s her face (forgettable and forgotten), even the French voted in their self-interest. Not to say Sarkozy will be as cozy as Tony Blair, but there’s no mistaking his election as anything other than an affirmation of the power and leadership of the U.S….even under G.W.

    As someone who was actually in France during the election, I’m not sure how you came to this conclusion. The U.S. and the Iraq War played very little role in what happened over there. To say that the French elected Sarkozy to cement better relations with the U.S. has no basis in reality.

  89. 115

    spews:

    @104
    I’ve known enough people who’ve lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 10-minutes, and I’ve heard their stories of what they see and hear. Ain’t no Saudi ambassador going to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv while the Dome of the Rock is in infidel hands.

    That’s something that Bush could have changed, but he lacked the courage and vision.

  90. 116

    spews:

    @111
    I’d begin a policy of surveillance flights over Iran. Not necessary, mind you, since spy sattelites can do the job, but the intimidation factor would be pretty steep.

    So, basically, you’re saying that in order to win the war on terror, we have to think and act like terrorists?

  91. 117

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Suffice to say, it’s not a question of not enough revenue, but of how the revenue we have is spent.

    Dishonesty of the highest order. Your assertion is not ‘sufficient’ by any means unless you demonstrate otherwise. Since you make the assertion, it is for you to back it up…do so, or your point can and should be dismissed.

    I will contend that the overwhelmingly fast majority of stuff the federal government is involved with is bupkis.

    Libertarian gobbledy gook. Take out Social Security, Take out Medicare (dedicated funds, but SSI props up the fed gov. fiscal picture), take out debt service, take out our bloated and wasteful defence spending–what’s left? Bupkis.

    Any act of international terrorism committed by any Islamist in any part of the world will be considered an attack against the United States by Iran. Worked for Kennedy to scare the crap out of Kruschev.

    Why not just declare war? This is the same thing. Your historical analogy with the Cuban missle crisis is inappropriate. A full blockade of Iran is also an act of war. You would simply push Iran into selling their oil somewhere else (china, india). This is insanity. This is international relations by “you hurt my feelings” 8 year olds. Even Henry Kissinger isn’t this nuts!

  92. 118

    Piper Scott spews:

    @104…Lee…

    Changed what? Gotten the Israeli’s to give up West Jerusalem? No way!

    The Piper…

  93. 119

    Daddy Love spews:

    70 delbert

    No UN resolution legitimized the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    UN resolutions are matters for UN decision and action.

    The US invaded and occupied Iraq as a unilateral action in violation of the UN charter, not as an action under the auspices of a UN approval.

  94. 120

    spews:

    @111
    How’s that for a start?

    What have you started? You’ve just been posting random thoughts all day. And you haven’t been able to defend a single thing you’ve written. Were you ever told ‘No’ when you were a child?

  95. 121

    Piper Scott spews:

    @115 and 116…Lee and PTBAA…

    SJ’s query to me was what policies I would enact to counter what he and I both agree is the threat of Iran. I articulated them, and all you have are complaints.

    Where are your alternatives?

    The Piper

    PS: SJ…My calabash cousin (my brother-in-law’s wife’s brother-in-law)who’s a Persian from Iran says the speak Farsi, but are Iranians. I guess it depends upon the source…

  96. 122

    spews:

    @117
    Changed what? Gotten the Israeli’s to give up West Jerusalem? No way!

    Haha, no. He could have gotten a Saudi representative to visit Israel. Now Bill Clinton or Bill Richardson…they could probably get the Israeli’s to allow for Jerusalem to become an international city like the Vatican. But Bush? Nah, he’s a lightweight even if he put in the effort.

  97. 123

    Daddy Love spews:

    70 delbert

    That makes you misinformed or a liar. If misinformed, I imagine you are glad to have a bit of accurate information. If a liar, you’ll insist that your lie is true.

  98. 124

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    I’d begin a policy of surveillance flights over Iran.

    This is an act of war. What would you think if the Chinese initiated surveillance overflights over the US? After all, we owe them a lot of money, and they rightfully would like to keep an eye on their investments.

  99. 125

    Daddy Love spews:

    the threat of Iran

    What threat is that? A threat to the US? Don’t make me laugh. Oops, you did.

  100. 126

    spews:

    @120
    SJ’s query to me was what policies I would enact to counter what he and I both agree is the threat of Iran. I articulated them, and all you have are complaints.

    Where are your alternatives?

    There are practically no good options in Iran right now in order to keep them from building nuclear capacity. The important thing to do is to make it worth the while of both China and Russia to assist us, and in the end, economic incentives and/or sanctions are the only things we have, and neither of those options is foolproof. Otherwise, we have no real leverage. I don’t think there’s a silver bullet solution. I’m just hoping that the President doesn’t make the situation even worse by believing that there’s a military response that will somehow work.

  101. 128

    Piper Scott spews:

    @121…Lee…

    Like the Vatican??? The Vatican isn’t an international city; it’s a semi-sovereign city-state controlled completely by the Catholic church.

    Do you have any idea how holy Jerusalem is to Jewish people in Israel? Secular, religious…it makes no difference…Why not turn the Wailing Wall into a Wendy’s?

    Next year, Jerusalem…For how many millenia was that uttered among those scattered in the Diaspora?

    The Piper

  102. 130

    spews:

    Piper: I thought you wanted to hone your political iron to a sharper point by ‘debating’ with us. Yet, you ignore the facts I present you with, because the links are located on Moveon.org’s website. I assure you that the links are to valid sources — like the Washington Post — and the written words of General Petraeus himself.

    Put up, or shut up.

  103. 131

    spews:

    @127
    Like the Vatican??? The Vatican isn’t an international city; it’s a semi-sovereign city-state controlled completely by the Catholic church.

    You know what I mean. Basically a city-state, separately governed that the surrounding area.

    Do you have any idea how holy Jerusalem is to Jewish people in Israel? Secular, religious…it makes no difference…Why not turn the Wailing Wall into a Wendy’s?

    Um, yeah, there a plenty of Israelis who would have no problem with it if it led to peace. Not to mention that Jerusalem is so important to them that the city’s Jewish population keeps dropping:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/20.....usalem.php

    Next year, Jerusalem…For how many millenia was that uttered among those scattered in the Diaspora?

    If it’s an international city, it will be a place where Jews can come an pray any time. Most Israelis have the sense to recognize that.

  104. 133

    Piper Scott spews:

    @123…PTBAA…

    The Chinese know better…and after all the fiascos with thier crappy commie cancer-causing products, they ain’t about to piss us off.

    Besides…What we do isn’t a license for others to do it to us.

    “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (a favorite of Bill Clinton with the volume given him by Monica Lewinsky).

    Remember…the goal isn’t even-handedness, it’s national security. If you’re POTUS, your first responsibility is to the people of the U.S., not Panamanian public opinion.

    Speaking of Panama…I hear that Gen. Noriega is about to be released from jail…only to be grabbed by the French who want to stick him in one of their own for a very long period of time.

    Curious…Is Chateau d’If still operational?

    The Piper

  105. 134

    chadt spews:

    Lucy @126 said:

    “re 71: That’s where the links are. But, if you prefer to be an uninformed sheeple …”

    Sheeple is PLURAL. He is a Shleep. In his case, uninformed is a genetic, irreversible condition.

    Nice to see you around here again :>

  106. 136

    spews:

    Piper, check out this link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02466.html

    “Experts Doubt Drop In Violence in Iraq
    Military Statistics Called Into Question
    By Karen DeYoung
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, September 6, 2007; Page A16
    The U.S. military’s claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.”

  107. 138

    spews:

    Piper: You are just setting things up to where you can excuse your stupidity and inconsistency to the superior machinations of your ‘hobgoblin-free’ mind.

    I ain’t buyin’ it.

  108. 142

    Piper Scott spews:

    @137…Headless…

    One thing I do demonstrate tremendous consistency on is not getting into the gutter by calling anyone a name…

    You can disagree with me all you want; even call me wrong-headed or bereft of facts – legitimate debate tools, all – but if the best you have is to call me stupid, the reflection, my friend, is on you, not me…

    The Piper

  109. 143

    Daddy Love spews:

    I copied this earlier today without a link, so I have to try to retrieve the citation:

    In late 2002, as the Bush administration prepared for war, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell tasked [now-Ambassador Ryan] Crocker and Assistant Secretary of State William Burns with exploring the risks of military intervention. The result was a six-page memo they entitled “The Perfect Storm,” according to an account in Washington Post reporter Karen DeYoung’s biography “Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell.”

    The memo bluntly predicted that toppling Hussein could unleash long-repressed sectarian and ethnic tensions, that the Sunni minority would not easily relinquish power, and that powerful neighbors such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia would try to move in to influence events. It also cautioned that the United States would have to start from scratch building a political and economic system because Iraq’s infrastructure was in tatters.

    So we ignored the “tensions,” disenfranchinsed and antagonized the Sunni minority, which happened to contain most of Saddam’s disbanded army, loooked theother way while Saudi Arabia armed said Sunni minority, stonewalled and antagonized instead of engaging Syria and Iran (yes, the Iran who helped us in Afghanistan just a year or so before), postponed elections, vetoed regional elections in favor of the more easily manipulated national election, and utterly failed to to reconstruct the nation we broke by staffing our mission with idiot young ideologues and corrrupt crony corporations.

    But of course after 2008 it will all be the Democrats’ fault that things go to hell there. Right?

  110. 145

    Daddy Love spews:

    The difference between this summer and last summer is that last summer if you questioned Rumsfeld, you were a traitor, and this summer if you question Petraeus, you’re a traitor.

  111. 146

    Piper Scott spews:

    @131…Lee…

    I appreciate the sentiment, and I don’t question your sincerity, but every fiber of my being tells me that Israeli’s would go for that about as much as they would go for the so-called Palestinian “right of return.”

    A goal dreamt of for thousands of years isn’t about to be relinquished to “international control” just to make nice.

    Remember, this is Israel of the Six-Day War and the Jewish people with still-burning memories of the Holocaust. They might be willing to trade land for peace and abandon West Bank settlements (however, have you seen some of the news footage of how rough that went???), but not something as holy as Jerusalem.

    Americans generally can’t fully grasp the significance of something like this. Protestants in Northern Ireland wear the color orange because of what William of Orange did nearly 400-years ago…and Catholics haven’t forgetten it. There’s peace now, but it’s still volatile.

    Why not suggest making Mecca or Medina international cities? What do you think Saudi and Islamic reaction generally would be?

    Nope…Some things aren’t negotiable.

    Before I forget…Somebody questioned what to do about Iranian nuclear capability. Remember what the Israeli air force did to Saddam’s nearly-finished reactor some years ago? Israel acted before it found itself faced with nuclear annihilation, world public opinion be damned…

    The Piper

  112. 147

    chadt spews:

    Does no-one remember the 2004(?) Book by Woodward that created a sort of mini-storm when it was revealed that Bush consulted nobody else before deciding on war?

    At the time everyone thought that explained a lot, to wit, he’s a spoiled little rich boy running the outfit like a toy train. He disregarded anything and everything that contradicted his decision. It (the book) passed muster at the White House, so why should the present mess be the slightest surprise?

  113. 148

    Piper Scott spews:

    @145…DL…

    Question him all you like, but don’t start from the get-go with a defamatory full-page ad in the NY Times claiming how Gen. Petraeus has betrayed us. That’s a damnable libel against a soldier who has served his country with honor and distinction.

    And don’t dismiss what he has to say out of hand. He’s been there on the ground and in the trench, and he’s no one’s lap dog.

    I have yet to be able to watch his presentation all the way through…Life and stuff happens…

    BTW…In an e-mail conversation with my youngest son the lance corporal, I asked him what Marines think of the current Iraq status…I’ll let you know what he says…provided he doesn’t use a lot of colorful metaphors.

    The Piper

  114. 149

    spews:

    re 142: ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!’ bill s.

    “Calling a stupid person ‘bereft of reason’ is the same as calling them stupid — except it sounds like George Will!” headless

  115. 150

    spews:

    I’ll get you off that high horse yet, Piper.

    You’ll feel a lot better. You can call me stupid if you want too. After all, you just explained that you were bereft of reason, so it doesn’t carry any weight.

  116. 151

    spews:

    @146
    I appreciate the sentiment, and I don’t question your sincerity, but every fiber of my being tells me that Israeli’s would go for that about as much as they would go for the so-called Palestinian “right of return.”

    The Israelis would absolutely go for having Jerusalem as an international city long before they allow for Palestinian “right of return”. An absolute “right of return” is a non-starter for obvious reasons.

    A goal dreamt of for thousands of years isn’t about to be relinquished to “international control” just to make nice.

    I think you overstate the importance the average Israeli today puts on it. The zealots who have these dreams are still a fringe in that society. The average Israeli would rather have peace than to hold onto Jerusalem.

    Remember, this is Israel of the Six-Day War and the Jewish people with still-burning memories of the Holocaust. They might be willing to trade land for peace and abandon West Bank settlements (however, have you seen some of the news footage of how rough that went???), but not something as holy as Jerusalem.

    I totally disagree with that, although I have to admit, I’m curious if SeattleJew agrees with you or me. He and I have often disagreed on matters such as this. My relatives in Israel would certainly support having Jerusalem be an international city not governed by Israel, but I can’t say with certainty that they are in the majority.

    Americans generally can’t fully grasp the significance of something like this. Protestants in Northern Ireland wear the color orange because of what William of Orange did nearly 400-years ago…and Catholics haven’t forgetten it. There’s peace now, but it’s still volatile.

    But there’s no real equivalent to Jerusalem in that conflict.

    Why not suggest making Mecca or Medina international cities? What do you think Saudi and Islamic reaction generally would be?

    No one’s fighting over it, so that’s not really a comparable hypothetical.

    Before I forget…Somebody questioned what to do about Iranian nuclear capability. Remember what the Israeli air force did to Saddam’s nearly-finished reactor some years ago? Israel acted before it found itself faced with nuclear annihilation, world public opinion be damned…

    This is a very different time (post Cold War), and practically no one believes that doing the same in Iran would work. It would be more likely to solidify support for the hardliners and make it easier for them to obtain nuclear weapons.

  117. 152

    Piper Scott spews:

    @150…Headless…

    Your moniker? You come up with that on your own?

    I make it a practice to not engage in a battle of wits with someone who comes to the fray quite obviously unarmed.

    I have five adult children, so I’m impervious to your barbs…

    The Piper

  118. 153

    spews:

    @148
    Question him all you like, but don’t start from the get-go with a defamatory full-page ad in the NY Times claiming how Gen. Petraeus has betrayed us. That’s a damnable libel against a soldier who has served his country with honor and distinction.

    Well, no. That’s actually an accurate description for someone who is lying to us about what’s happening in Iraq. When a public official lies to us about a war we’re fighting, that’s certainly a kind of betrayal.

    And don’t dismiss what he has to say out of hand. He’s been there on the ground and in the trench, and he’s no one’s lap dog.

    Are you kidding?

    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/.....us-august/

    I can prove you about 10-15 more examples if you want.

    I have yet to be able to watch his presentation all the way through…Life and stuff happens…

    I’m sure you’ll be enthralled when you watch it. I can also provide you numerous links to information about how he’s completely fudged the numbers in order to tell us (falsely) that the surge is working.

  119. 154

    Daddy Love spews:

    The Myth of AQI
    Fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq is the last big argument for keeping U.S. troops in the country. But the military’s estimation of the threat is alarmingly wrong.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....ghman.html

    …what if official military estimates about the size and impact of al-Qaeda in Iraq are simply wrong? Indeed, interviews with numerous military and intelligence analysts, both inside and outside of government, suggest that the number of strikes the group has directed represent only a fraction of what official estimates claim.

    …The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which arguably has the best track record for producing accurate intelligence assessments, last year estimated that AQI’s membership was in a range of “more than 1,000.” When compared with the military’s estimate for the total size of the insurgency—between 20,000 and 30,000 full-time fighters—this figure puts AQI forces at around 5 percent. When compared with Iraqi intelligence’s much larger estimates of the insurgency—200,000 fighters—INR’s estimate would put AQI forces at less than 1 percent. This year, the State Department dropped even its base-level estimate, because, as an official explained, “the information is too disparate to come up with a consensus number.”

    How big, then, is AQI? The most persuasive estimate I’ve heard comes from Malcolm Nance, the author of The Terrorists of Iraq and a twenty-year intelligence veteran and Arabic speaker who has worked with military and intelligence units tracking al-Qaeda inside Iraq. He believes AQI includes about 850 full-time fighters, comprising 2 percent to 5 percent of the Sunni insurgency. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” according to Nance, “is a microscopic terrorist organization.”

    Not that the president would lie to us…

  120. 155

    Another TJ spews:

    Question him all you like, but don’t start from the get-go with a defamatory full-page ad in the NY Times claiming how Gen. Petraeus has betrayed us.

    The ad did not claim Petraeus has betrayed us.

  121. 156

    Daddy Love spews:

    a damnable libel

    Again, I laugh. Don’t question Petraeus? Why not? Everyone connected with this operation has been lying from the start, except for those who have been ignored and fired because they told the truth. If Petraeus keeps his job, we know he’s lying.

  122. 158

    Piper Scott spews:

    @151…Lee…

    The N. Ireland parallel is in the nature of historic conflicts and cultural or national aspirations about which essentially rootless Americans have difficulties understanding.

    A lot of people outside the U.S. talk of grievances, wounds, wars, and injustices committed hundreds and hundreds of years ago as if they were yesterday.

    The Crusades are over 700-years old, but they still piss a lot of Muslims off. I mean it’s not like you or I did anything personal to Saladdin…

    Amercians by nature tend to be more business-like, practical, and pragmatic whereas in other cultures, people are rooted almost symbiotically with their national history and identity.

    I have a theory that has helped me understand why so many international business ventures have gone awry. When Americans do business, they do business. When things are difficult, they make business decisions. When things are really difficult…they still make business decisions.

    In other countries, however, when things get difficult or really difficult, people often fall back on cultural patterns, and I’ve seen it happen.

    Three years ago, I ran this theory by a very successful French business consultant who was a partner in one of the largest multi-national consultancy firms in the world, and he absolutely verified it. His firm’s policy was to never allow culture clash by putting people of one nationality with another when things were going bad; almost all the time they’d fall back on their cultural roots causing all kinds of chaos.

    I was prevented from getting sucked into a terrible business arrangement with a Saudi firm well before 9/11 by keeping this in mind. Not everyone thinks bottom-line, dollars and cents (even liberals in business do this), so always be aware of the values of those with whom you do business. If you don’t fundamentally have shared values, be careeful.

    The Piper

  123. 159

    spews:

    @158
    All of that is obvious to everyone on this board. It doesn’t change what the correct approach should be to the Middle East in general. One thing that you should probably take to heart is that the one factor that causes people to revert to age-old prejudices is fear. That’s why taking a terroristic approach to the Middle East’s problems, as you suggested in comment #111:

    I’d begin a policy of surveillance flights over Iran. Not necessary, mind you, since spy sattelites can do the job, but the intimidation factor would be pretty steep.

    Is nearly always counterproductive. It gets people to revert back to the historical animosities that exist within cultures. It’s an important lesson to understand, especially today, as we’ve seen how 9/11 affected a great number of us, causing us to revert back to our more recent animosity towards Saddam Hussein, rather than doing more rational things that would have been more of a benefit to us.

  124. 160

    YLB spews:

    This Piper guy is a total liar. He says he doesn’t get into the “gutter” by calling anyone a name or using invective or innuendo.

    Of course he’s done all of these things since the conservatives are mentally ill thread. In doing this he simply proves Goldy’s initial point.

    His never ending stream of neo-con bullshit has been ably handled by Lee but his rants about Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy and the evil Iranians and whatnot come down to one core belief:

    Liberals bad, conservatives good.

    It’s a tribal thing. He’s fallen back on HIS cultural roots.

  125. 162

    chadt spews:

    I am amused by his bringing his military kids into the conversation, as though his attempt to shine by reflected glory somehow validates his bankrupt arguments.

    Just makes him look cheap and needy.

  126. 163

    Piper Scott spews:

    @159…Lee…

    I watch a lot of baseball, how about you? Ever seen a pitcher throw one high, tight, and inside? What they call a brush-back pitch? It’s sent as a warning with a message, and it’s intended to intimidate.

    Same thing is done in international relations all the time. With the thugocracy in Iran, I suspect they won’t change they behavior until they’re scared so bad their pants are brown.

    The problem, of couse, is that when you’re playing chicken, you have to know when to blink…and when to stare down.

    Instilling fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the whole concepet of deterrance is essentially based upon fear. Hell, the essence of the criminal law is based upon fear.

    Surveillance flights over Iran at will would send the messazge that Tehran is incapable of doing anything to prevent them, that the survival of its government is no longer in its hands, and that further, even stronger actions cannot be prevented. Sure might change their bellicose rhetoric or bargaining-table intransifence.

    The Piper

  127. 164

    Piper Scott spews:

    @160…YLB…

    Sigh…so much anger! How do you cope???

    I never said liberals were bad; that’s a moral judgment of right or wrong behavior. I’m very confident that you no longer beat your wife, nor have you robbed a bank lately.

    I can, however, question your opinions, beliefs, prejudices, and points of view just as you can question mine. We can joust vigorously, even vehemently, but we’ll make progress only if we do it respectfully.

    The Piper

  128. 165

    Daddy Love spews:

    163 Piper

    Iran has already beaten the US by throwing out (at great risk) the scion of our hand-picked dynasty in 1979. Do you really think that a lot of rhetoric that they know damned good and well we are unable to back up with military action will move them in OUR direction? Sure, pal.

    Tell us what is wrong with diplomacy.

  129. 166

    Piper Scott spews:

    @162…Chadt…

    Call me what you will, but you mess with my kids…even the staff sergeant and lance corporal…and that will raise my dander.

    My sons serve honorably and well, and I’m proud of them. Both volunteered (the staff sergeant re-enlisted in Baghdad while the lance corporal raises his hand all the time to go to the sand box), and both are smart enough and adult enough to have a complete understanding of the grave nature of what they’re doing.

    So…direct your epistle missiles at me, not my boys.

    The Piper

  130. 167

    Daddy Love spews:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01453.html

    A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

    http://audio.theworld.org/?q=node/5815

    Mohamed ElBaradei warned that Iran was close to reaching large-scale levels of uranium enrichment without providing assurances its program was peaceful. He repeated his estimate that Iran was three to eight years away from building a nuclear weapon, if that is what it was trying to do.

    Iran is also party to all or nearly all intergovermental treaties regulating nuclear development. As far as I can tell, nothing about their inspected programs violate any current treaties.

    And can we get past the false propaganda that Iran has called for Israel to be destroyed and/or “denied the historical truth” of the Holocaust? Ahmadinajad (who, by the way, is a minor figure in a country with a weak presidency who has been inflated in importance by an administration eager to use him for their own propaganda) has said that Khomeini “was correct to say that Israel should be wiped from the pages if history” which means (a) that he didn’t say it himself but rather agreed with the statement, and (b) that he doesn’t think Israel is legitimate. How odd for a Middle Eastern Muslim nation to reject what they see as 20th century colonialism, eh? Further, his comment on the Holocaust was that the that the Holocaust has assumed “mythic” proportions to the West, and that this blowing up of their importantce led to the establishment of Israel, again unsurprisingly saying that that he doesn’t think the establishment of Israel was legitimate. Gee, just like every other Muslim nation in the ME.

  131. 168

    Piper Scott spews:

    @165…DL…

    Yours is a historical non-sequitor. When the Shah got the boot in 1979, the U.S. was pretty impotent militarily. But consider who was president at the time.

    Today, however, we have no military rival; it’s less a question of capability and more one of will.

    “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.” Chou En-Lai.

    “War is nothing but a continuation of politics by other means.” Karl Von Clausewitz

    And if you’ll review my suggestions to SJ in re Iran, you’ll note that I didn’t advocate anything other than diplomacy…high, tight, and inside diplomacy…

    The Piper

  132. 169

    Another TJ spews:

    #166,

    You just made chadt’s point. He didn’t “mess with” your kids. He noted that you were trying to use them as shields against criticism, and you responded by using them as shields against his criticism.

  133. 170

    Piper Scott spews:

    @167…DL…

    You can be an Ahmadinajad apologist all you want. Hell, even Stalin had one in Walter Duranty, and he was awarded a Pulitzer for articles he wrote that he knew were not only false, but covered up mass murder, starvation, and a brutal dictatorship.

    To deny Iranian perfidy is to bury your head in the sand. Even the EU dislikes the current government!

    You can dismiss the rhetoric all you want, but I say let’s take Ahmadinajad at his word and at face value by calling him out for the genocidal racist he is. Sound like a plan?

    The Piper

  134. 171

    Piper Scott spews:

    @169…ATJ…

    Here’s what the lance corporal had to say this afternoon:

    “I’ve really found that Most Marines don’t care about politics. They’re more interested in the glory/brag factor. “I’m a combat vet,” is the Marine Corps equivalent of “My farts smell like fresh peaches.”

    I actually yell at my Marines when they pull the whole “I don’t care/that doesn’t apply to me” crap about issues. Some actually care though. They’re very proud of what they do and they’ve seen, first-hand, positive change in
    the country. I had a buddy who went in with the first wave in with MALS16 2003 and again with HMM 365 about 8 months ago. He was amazed at the change.”

    I don’t use my boys as a shield, but, as their dad, I see it as my job to stand up for them and their effort here at home.

    The Piper

  135. 172

    YLB spews:

    but we’ll make progress only if we do it respectfully.

    You’ve shown next to no respect.

    You’ve used invective and name calling, “the Kingfisher of Liberals, His Corpundancy Teddy Kennedy”, “Did your mother love you, Lee? It’s hard to tell”

    You’ve used innuendo, “know for a fact that the children (what few there are, SJ’s Viagra notwithstanding)”.

    But that’s ok, I wouldn’t expect much more from you. I’ve seen many many people just like you come through here.

    Your views are nothing new. Really. You’ve brought next to nothing new to the table here. All the talking points you’ve repeated have all been discussed here.

    There’s no “progress” to be made.

    You have two choices 1) stay and have your talking points sliced and diced and tossed about culminating in a “highlights” reel authored by Lee as was done recently to a troll who called himself Marvin Stamn or 2) leave quietly secure in your own beliefs or delusions as the case may be.

    I feel sorry for your kids. I hope they haven’t served 4 or more deployments like some other kids have, not to protect the country but to cover the political backsides of some very corrupt people.

  136. 173

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Just in case you were wondering who’s to blame for the Larry Craig mess,”

    Let me guess! Hmmm … whoooo could it beeeee?? Lessee … how about … the guy who pleaded GUILTY?!!*

    * This is too profound for wingnuts to figure out. They won’t get it in a million years.

  137. 174

    Another TJ spews:

    I don’t use my boys as a shield,

    Given that you did in this very thread, I think we can safely say that statement is inaccurate.

    but, as their dad, I see it as my job to stand up for them and their effort here at home.

    Bully for you. Where in this thread did anyone impugn them or their effort?

  138. 175

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Remember what Lincoln said, “The man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” of course, Craig is a Republican, so by definition he’s a fool.

  139. 176

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Doc Hastings is a partisan hack. I’m a partisan hack, too! The difference is that I don’t represent a couple hundred thousand people in Congress. He’s supposed to know better, whereas I’m only a fucking rabbit.

  140. 177

    chadt spews:

    @171

    I’m sure that they can stand up quite well for themselves; the question is, can you, without using them to validate your arguments?

  141. 178

    OneMan spews:

    So Piper, pretty much everybody else has debunked much of your commentary. I won’t pile on except for a few important points:

    First, the UN never gave the US the go-ahead to invade Iraq. The nearest they came was in the vote after Powell’s presentation which has since been shown to be a pack of lies. Our invasion was illegal. Worse, it was a disastrous foreign policy fuckup. It was absolutely guaranteed to go pear shaped, even if we’d done everything “right” — because we don’t have a 500,000 member occupying force available and the American people would never stand for the draft that would be required to create such a force.

    Second, by your comments it’s obvious you are indeed a follower of Krauthammer who is an utter fool. How’s that democracy blooming in the Middle East?

    Krauthammer is one of those who believe that those dirty arabs (or in this case, persians) only understand strength and force. This is, of course, utter crap. The best example in the Middle East is, ironically, Iran. Our belligerence toward them has pulled the population together in opposition to America, delivering exactly the opposite result the administration was going for, of encouraging dissident elements in the country to assert themselves. GG, Dubya!

    Overflights, bombings, embargoes will only further entrench the existing regime and force the populace to support them.

    Finally, don’t you think the Iranians read the paper? Do ya think maybe they’d protect their enrichment facilities by putting them underground and / or distributing them around the country so that they couldn’t be bombed?

    More Of The Same is not a winning foreign policy, or did you miss the last seven years?

    -OM

  142. 179

    Another TJ spews:

    * Lou Guzzo wants more booing the National Anthem.

    Next week: Lou Guzzo wants more puppies kicked.

  143. 180

    spews:

    # 152 — 5 grown kids! I’ll bet Cialis sounds pretty good by now.

    There’s only so many times you can storm the same castle gates before the Cialis ennui sets in.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  144. 181

    spews:

    Fact: Sociopaths try to make people feel sorry for them.

    Fact: R Sen. Craig is trying to make us feel sorry for him.

    Conclusion: R. Sen. Craig is a sociopath.

  145. 182

    spews:

    # 169 — Thomas Wolfe’s short story about ‘Ol’ Lookey Thar’ is apropos.

    I don’t expect anyone to get that reference.

  146. 183

    spews:

    @163
    I watch a lot of baseball, how about you? Ever seen a pitcher throw one high, tight, and inside? What they call a brush-back pitch? It’s sent as a warning with a message, and it’s intended to intimidate.

    Same thing is done in international relations all the time. With the thugocracy in Iran, I suspect they won’t change they behavior until they’re scared so bad their pants are brown.

    Is this supposed to be a serious argument? What are you, 5?

  147. 184

    spews:

    @163
    Instilling fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the whole concepet of deterrance is essentially based upon fear. Hell, the essence of the criminal law is based upon fear.

    OK, so let’s take drug laws for instance. For 30 years, we’ve used fear to combat drug addiction. Has it worked?

    Surveillance flights over Iran at will would send the messazge that Tehran is incapable of doing anything to prevent them, that the survival of its government is no longer in its hands, and that further, even stronger actions cannot be prevented. Sure might change their bellicose rhetoric or bargaining-table intransifence.

    Um, no. What it would do is convince Iranians that it’s even more important that they build nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

  148. 185

    spews:

    @164
    I can, however, question your opinions, beliefs, prejudices, and points of view just as you can question mine. We can joust vigorously, even vehemently, but we’ll make progress only if we do it respectfully.

    Piper, you’re barely making enough sense for us to take you seriously. I’ve tried hard to have a civil discussion with you today because I want to try to understand you’re still so invested in denial over what’s happening in the Middle East. But don’t get me wrong. I think the views you have are borderline ridiculous.

    @168
    Yours is a historical non-sequitor. When the Shah got the boot in 1979, the U.S. was pretty impotent militarily. But consider who was president at the time.

    Do you even care about being right?

    @170
    You can be an Ahmadinajad apologist all you want. Hell, even Stalin had one in Walter Duranty, and he was awarded a Pulitzer for articles he wrote that he knew were not only false, but covered up mass murder, starvation, and a brutal dictatorship.

    You’re comparing Stlain to Ahmadinejad? Do you even have a basic understanding of how the Iranian government is set up?

    To deny Iranian perfidy is to bury your head in the sand. Even the EU dislikes the current government!

    How is the Iranian government any worse than the Saudis or the UAE when it comes to Israel?

    You can dismiss the rhetoric all you want, but I say let’s take Ahmadinajad at his word and at face value by calling him out for the genocidal racist he is. Sound like a plan?

    Just like we took Saddam at face value when he boasted about how powerful he was? God forbid you ever had an actual job having to interact with Middle Easterners. They’d chew you up and spit you out.

  149. 186

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    Piper @ 163:

    Hell, the essence of the criminal law is based upon fear.

    Ummmm. No.

    The essence of the criminal law is based upon actions which cannot be tolerated by a civilized society.

    If murder, assault, and rape are permitted, you can not have anything which resembles civil society. You will have to either be a thug, or live under the protection of thugs to get on with your life. Neither are desirable outcomes. Ask any Russian or Sicilian if you need a second opinion.

    If theft is tolerated, legitimate commerce and property cannot exist. If what is yours to purchase, make, build, and improve is mine to steal as I see fit, we again wind up with a rootless and immoral society based solely on who can provide the strongest protection racket.

    One could argue that the deterrent side of criminal law is based on fear. I am 100% certain you are wrong about that, but I want to be asleep within the next 20 minutes and I won’t be able to complete my argument that quickly, so it’ll have to wait for another day.

    Since a lot of people are giving you a rough time, I’d like to say I kind of enjoy having you here. You’re wrong a lot of the time, but you write your own material and you make complete and generally coherent arguments. That’s an improvement over our resident troll contingent.

  150. 187

    spews:

    @112 @103…SJ…
    “Since I’m one of those classic “liberals” of the old, Milton Friedman school,”

    There is nothing old fashioned about this … the word liberla has a totally different menaing in Europe.

    “I will contend that the overwhelmingly fast majority of stuff the federal government is involved with is bupkis. The security and protection of its people are the ultimate goals of government.”

    Fine AND paying the fucking debt. After debt and military, the actual part of the US budget left ofr anytihng lese is tiny.

    “Any act of international terrorism committed by any Islamist in any part of the world will be considered an attack against the United States by Iran. Worked for Kennedy to scare the crap out of Kruschev.”

    What owrld are you living in? So if three Pakis piss on the Whitehouse lawn we should bomb Iran????

    “Exploration and development of domestic oil reserves becomes not just national energy policy, but national defense policy. Off-shore drilling in California, drilling in ANWR, and wherever a drop can be had will be the policy of the U.S. New refineries to process crude will be fast-tracked.”

    An awful example of ARS. No responsible figure believes the US has enough oil to do any of theis. Moreover, we would be ass holes to use up a strategic resource as long as we can buy the freakin stuff off of others.

    “While the military isn’t in favor of a draft, I’d be willing to consider one…NO exemptions…Men and women…Israel is a nation of citizen-soldiers because every man and woman is trained and ready.”

    Your knowledge of Israel is fascinating … though wrong. No, not every Israeli serves. Muslims and orthodox jews, as well as COs are exempt and women do not serve in combat. gays, however can give their lives.

    “Because I am who I am, the first drafted would be the next graduating class at Garfield HS.”

    WHAT … is this meant as a racist slur???

    “Make it clear that Iran can not have leaders like Ahmadinejad, the Ayatollah’s, or anyone like them…If anyone puts up a beef remind them that when push came to shove, the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo…or Saddam…Ahmadinejad, wannabe that he is, should be regarded no differently.”

    Errr ahhh … are you advocating that the US behave as fascists do?

    “How’s that for a start?”

    The Piper is an idiot.

  151. 188

    spews:

    @122 Lee …

    The Vatican ain’t an international city any more than Mecca. It is a wholly owned and governed entity of the RC Church.

    Not exactly a useful idea for Jerusalem.

  152. 189

    spews:

    @128 where in hell do you, a goy, get off telling US how much we revere Jerusalem??

    FWIW, Jerusalem is not even in the Torah, the Waiing wall was constructed by a notorious antisemite and quisling, and WE gave control over the Temple MOunt to the muslims.

    Yes, there is an attachment ot Jerusalem … but you would find few Jews who have your beleifs abut its meaning.

  153. 190

    spews:

    On Jerusalem ..

    I do not think anyone thnks the international solution will work … someone would have to run it and everyone I can imagine has too much of a supect agenda … unless we asked the Dalai Lama?

    Pesonally, I would like to see it remain under Israeli ocntrol. Unlike the Arabs, we have given everyone access … except our own folks who are not allowed on the mount!

    Given the symbolism, however, I think some sort of condominium between Palestine and Israel may be the best solution. How one provides civic services under such a mess is hard to imagine … remember Berlin???

    Also, I wish folks would understand that Jerusalem was not the “third”most holy city in Islam until VERY recently. The city is not mentioned in the Quran and has never served, unlike Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Damascus, or Bgahdad as the capitol of the Arab world .. as a caliphate or sultanate.

    Zionism itself never treated Jerusalem as especially important …t he quote from the Haggadha misused here actually means Israel, not necessarily the city of Jerusalem.

    From a practical POV, it seems to me that the best solution … and what I know the great majority of Jews favor … is to find some way for the Jews and the Arabs to both have a capital in the city. BIT in the city is confusing for a goy like Piper. He probably does not ralize that the Knesset is no where near the historic city. There is no reason a Palestinian capital would not be similarly located outside the Jerusalem of yore.

    Goyem like Piper piss me off just as I my Africa American friends get pissed at Euroes who act as if they had their own blackies. Fight your own battles.

  154. 191

    Daddy Love spews:

    170 Piper

    “let’s take Ahmadinajad at his word and at face value “

    I am taking him at his word. You are lying about his words. I think we know your “plan.”

  155. 192

    Daddy Love spews:

    168 Piper

    We have no capability to do more than send a bombing mission to Iraq. Will, schmill…you guys are all comic book readers who subscribe to The Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics. It’s just a bizarre way of looking at the world. The wreakage that the Bush administration is leaving in its wake is a direct consequence of this will-o-centric view of the world, but to you it just means that all we need is to deploy more willpower, and the pony will magically appear.

    The Iraq war has degraded the US military. We have units streatched to the limits, troops spending 15-month deployments, and we have to draw down troops by next summer because we can’t maintain the escalationsurge. We also dismantled our armed divisions in Calfornia whose specialty was playing the vital role of “the enemy” in crucial training exercises, and sent them to Iraq (as our future readiness suffers). We have drained National Guard units across the contry such that, notably, they were not available to assist after Hurricane Katrina because we sent them to Iraq.

    Iran knows this. The whole fucking world knows it. “Will power” notwithstanding, we cannot invade and topple their government. We cannot destroy their nuclear capability (whose military nature is purely our speculation, BTW) with bombs. If we bomb them, their people will back their government against us, and other ME nations will become increasingly (again) hostile to us. We have passed the point of diminishing returns on “willpower.”

    Once upon a time the USA, the greatest nation on earth, persuaded other nations to join in a great Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Surprisingly to every conservative who now lives, apparently, we did it without bombing the shit out of every nation to beat them into submission until they signed.

    What we need is a Spiderman Theory of Geopolitics. One that starts out, “With great power comes greater responsibility…”

  156. 194

    Daddy Love spews:

    185 Lee

    He/she was not comparing Stalin to Ahmadinejad. He was comparing ME to Walter Duranty, saying that I am a dupe spreading what I know are lies.

  157. 195

    Daddy Love spews:

    186 jsa

    I would sy rather that in this contry the essence of criminal law is based on justice. To ensure that the innocent are exonerated and the guilty punished, and that both are necessary if a civil society is to function.

    But punishment and fear are the “essence” of modern conservatism.

  158. 197

    Piper Scott spews:

    Good Morning Lefties!

    Won’t have as much time to play today…have to get some work done!

    Some points…

    The Wailing Wall, as I recall, is the last surviving part of the second temple built by Herod the Great and destroyed by the Romans in the first century A.D.

    The Dome of the Rock is sacred to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity for different reasons. For a whole lot of reasons, I’m most comfortable having it in Israeli hands.

    I am aware that universal conscription in Israel doesn’t include muslims, Orthodox Jews, and CO’s. Still, every other Jewish man and woman does his or her service and remains a member of IDF reserves ready to be called up when needed. Reminds me a lot of the Book of Nehemiah when every man not only worked to rebuild the wall, but also kept his weapons close at hand to defend the wall.

    The fear inherent in the criminal law serves to restrain and deter. The easiest and most obvious example is the fear of paying an expensive speeding ticket. People are deterred from driving too fast past a WSP cruiser because it’s painful to get caught.

    Justice is a terribly amorphous term; one man’s justice is another’s tyranny. Oliver Wendell Holmes was once encouraged by a young man to,”Go and do justice,” to which he scornfully replied, “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”

    Law is an arbitrary thing. Right up to its edge on one side, you’re considered moral, yet a hair’s witdth movement in the wrong direction brands you a criminal.

    The purpose of law is to order society, not to search for justice. When law is applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner, then notions of justice come into play.

    Some acts the law considers wrong per se (murder, theft, etc.) and some are made so only by an act of the legislature (insider trading, environmental crimes, etc.). What today is acceptable is, tomorrow, criminal. We (society collectively through its elected representatives) make these determinations not in pursuit of an abstract notion of justice, but because we determine that they are necessary for the proper functioning of society.

    Whenever I hear stuck-pig caterwauling about “justice,” it’s usually because someone’s personal toes got stepped on…A sort-of it’s justice when it happens to you, but injustice when it happens to me.

    On some fine points of Judaism, I will defer to SJ. However, Jews that I know have zero interest in ceding back to Arab control any portion of Jerusalem, which to them is at least symbolically special.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Israel have two capital cities? Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? The Knesset sits in a portion of Jerusalem that prior to the 1967 Six Day War was in Arab hands, while the international diplomatic corps maintains its embassies in Tel Aviv.

    @186…Jsa’s analysis of the necessity of both law and respect for it is well said.

    Drafting Garfield graduates is my way of saluting Amy Hagopian with whom I’ve had a few interesting interchanges. The disgraceful way military recruiters have been treated at Garfield also prompts me to want to start there first. Nevertheless, should we ever reinstitute the draft, I wouldn’t support deferrments of any type. At age 19, all men and women register, and it would be up to the military to determine manpower needs and who is fit to serve. Everyone gets the same treatment…how’s that for justice?

    Yesterday, SJ, who shares my reservations about Iran, asked what I would do to address that issue, so I made suggestions, none of which encompassed firing any shots at anyone. I expected to get pummeled – no harm there – but it is disappointing not to hear actual alternative policie proposals to confront Iran. Instead, I read a lot of rationalization and dismissal…excuses run amok!

    Instead of lectures on how the Iranian president really isn’t important (only the #2 guy in the country after Ayatollah Khamanei) or the words out of his mouth aren’t the words out of his mouth (which seriously irked the French and Germans, BTW), how about a serious discussion on the significance of what might take placed should Iran get to the point of having nuclear weapons.

    The nuclear non-proliferation treaty is nice, but cheated upon.

    FYI…The Piper is a he…

    Wish I could address all the calumnies tossed my way, but duty calls!

    The Piper

  159. 198

    spews:

    @197
    The fear inherent in the criminal law serves to restrain and deter. The easiest and most obvious example is the fear of paying an expensive speeding ticket. People are deterred from driving too fast past a WSP cruiser because it’s painful to get caught.

    What? People speed all the time everywhere (especially in other cities). Speed limits are actually one of the best arguments against what you’re arguing.

    Justice is a terribly amorphous term; one man’s justice is another’s tyranny. Oliver Wendell Holmes was once encouraged by a young man to,”Go and do justice,” to which he scornfully replied, “This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.”

    But people have a clear understanding of justice when it directly affects them. And most human beings have very similar core beliefs when it comes to justice. They believe that people should be free to do what they please as long as they don’t harm others. The problem exists when large numbers of people are fooled into believing that certain behaviors, beliefs, or attitudes held by others are harmful to them. That’s when justice gets convoluted.

    Law is an arbitrary thing. Right up to its edge on one side, you’re considered moral, yet a hair’s witdth movement in the wrong direction brands you a criminal.

    And that’s wrong. That’s why our founding fathers tried to make it clear that we should have freedom of religion, because they understood that it’s a slippery slope for government to be allowed to legislate morality. This is why our drug laws have become such a disaster because they rely on a belief that we can protect ourselves by disallowing certain moral choices.

    The purpose of law is to order society, not to search for justice. When law is applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner, then notions of justice come into play.

    Reading this, I’m not at all surprised that you’re having trouble understanding why things in Iraq have become such a disaster. You can’t maintain peace through arbitrary fiat, where you make laws to “order society” rather than to protect the justice of the citizens. The primary purpose of law is to uphold justice. Murder is illegal because allowing people to kill others is clearly unjust. But drug laws are illegal in an attempt to “order society”, which is why they don’t work. People who are affected by those laws recognize them as inherently unjust.

    Some acts the law considers wrong per se (murder, theft, etc.) and some are made so only by an act of the legislature (insider trading, environmental crimes, etc.). What today is acceptable is, tomorrow, criminal. We (society collectively through its elected representatives) make these determinations not in pursuit of an abstract notion of justice, but because we determine that they are necessary for the proper functioning of society.

    I don’t agree with this. Laws on insider trading and protecting the environment can certainly be justified on a notion of justice. We all share this world and this economic system, and therefore we should be expected to demand justice when people harm the environement we all share, or cheat with the economic system. Insider trading is hardly that different than theft, except that someone is stealing from everyone.

    Whenever I hear stuck-pig caterwauling about “justice,” it’s usually because someone’s personal toes got stepped on…A sort-of it’s justice when it happens to you, but injustice when it happens to me.

    Well, the justice system in this country is inbalanced in many ways. It favors the rich and through selective enforcement of drug laws, it disfavors minorities. This country does not have a very healthy justice system right now, between our 2 million prisoners (25% of the world’s total prisoners) and the corruption inside the DOJ.

    On some fine points of Judaism, I will defer to SJ. However, Jews that I know have zero interest in ceding back to Arab control any portion of Jerusalem, which to them is at least symbolically special.

    You need to get out and talk to more Jews. Even my Israeli relatives don’t agree with that.

    Instead of lectures on how the Iranian president really isn’t important (only the #2 guy in the country after Ayatollah Khamanei) or the words out of his mouth aren’t the words out of his mouth (which seriously irked the French and Germans, BTW), how about a serious discussion on the significance of what might take placed should Iran get to the point of having nuclear weapons.

    What you have to do is work with the other major powers to come to an agreement that says very clearly that the Iranians must allow for their weapons to be monitored by the IAEA and that if they ever use their weapons or give them to a terrorist group that the world’s powers will ally together to depose the regime.

  160. 199

    Piper Scott spews:

    @198…Lee…

    Go study the history of English Common Law; you might find it enlightening. I especially commend to your attention the doctrines of malum in se and malum prohibitum and the judicial history of “breaking bulk,” which arose to address flaws in the pure Common Law definition of theft.

    Your notions of justice are my notions of tyranny, and visa versa.

    Above the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. are the words, “Equal Justice Under Law,” not just equal justice.

    Fear is a deterrent, though not a perfect one hence the need for the police officer, courts, and prisons. The law says you shouldn’t steal, but the jails are filled with thieves.

    You decry failings in the criminal justice system, yet you neglect to take into account that because humans are flawed, the systems they create are also flawed. Yet we struggle to improve them.

    Whether drug crimes should be crimes at all is an example of society, through the legislature, determining that such behavior is criminal. Whether that’s a wise policy decision isn’t the point; it was a decision that was made nevertheles.

    Courts and judges are confronted all the time with conflicts between what the law is versus what appears “just.” Certainly, I can get as outraged as the next guy when the law calls for a sentance that doesn’t recognize the severity of an offense or the impact upon a victim, but a judge, in passing sentance, is obliged to follow the law, not her personal notions of right or wrong. Remedies for disconnects then fall to the legislature to craft, which it rarely does in either a timely or sufficient manner. Witness the still woefully pathetic penalties for drunk driving.

    Your IAEA policy is too “closing the barn door after the horse has escaped” for me. Waiting to act until after Iran sells a nuke to some jihadist will be hollow “justice” (pardon my use of the term) since thousands will already be dead. He who hesitates…

    The Piper

  161. 200

    spews:

    Go study the history of English Common Law; you might find it enlightening. I especially commend to your attention the doctrines of malum in se and malum prohibitum and the judicial history of “breaking bulk,” which arose to address flaws in the pure Common Law definition of theft.

    There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t studied thoroughly. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m someone who has a very throrough understanding of why the current justice system we have in this country is broken, and I’m more than happy to explain to you why your misunderstandings of how justice works lead to your inability to understand our failures in the Middle East.

    Your notions of justice are my notions of tyranny, and visa versa.

    And that’s why you’re an idiot. Your notion of justice is to scare people into obeying authroity. Only an idiot believes that can work.

    Above the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. are the words, “Equal Justice Under Law,” not just equal justice.

    And I think that’s part of why we need to rethink some of the basic assumptions about what kinds of behaviors can and can’t be prohibited under law.

    Fear is a deterrent, though not a perfect one hence the need for the police officer, courts, and prisons. The law says you shouldn’t steal, but the jails are filled with thieves.

    Exactly, the fear of breaking the law does not deter people from doing it. That’s the whole damn point I tried to make. But you put people in jail because of justice, because a person who is victimized expects his victimizer to be punished.

    You decry failings in the criminal justice system, yet you neglect to take into account that because humans are flawed, the systems they create are also flawed. Yet we struggle to improve them.

    Of course we do. That’s why I’m saying that despite English Common Law and our Supreme Court, things aren’t perfect and still need to be improved.

    Whether drug crimes should be crimes at all is an example of society, through the legislature, determining that such behavior is criminal. Whether that’s a wise policy decision isn’t the point; it was a decision that was made nevertheles.

    What I’m pointing out to you is that because drug prohibitions are an attempt to “promote order” rather than to “provide justice”, drug prohibitions don’t work. What I’m saying is that drug prohibition (like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s) is a great example of how your misunderstandings of how justice really works, and that failure on your part leads to why you struggle to understand why we’re failing at what we’re trying to do in the Middle East.

    Courts and judges are confronted all the time with conflicts between what the law is versus what appears “just.” Certainly, I can get as outraged as the next guy when the law calls for a sentance that doesn’t recognize the severity of an offense or the impact upon a victim, but a judge, in passing sentance, is obliged to follow the law, not her personal notions of right or wrong.

    In our society today, the opposite is actually more common, where a judge is forced to send someone to jail for longer than they should be sent there. That’s why our jails are so overcrowded, causing people who actually deserve to be there to be let out early or given a lighter sentence. I agree that judges hands are often tied. That’s an indication that we need to figure out where our laws are failing us. And they fail us when they’re used to promote order instead of preserving justice.

    Remedies for disconnects then fall to the legislature to craft, which it rarely does in either a timely or sufficient manner. Witness the still woefully pathetic penalties for drunk driving.

    What?! The penalties for drunk driving are a mess! I’ve had several friends who’ve been completely railroaded by drunk driving charges. The limits now are so low that you can be charged with drunk driving even if you’re not drunk (.08 is a single drink for some people). And you can have your license suspended even if you’re acquitted! Again, this all stems from your faulty believe that you can scare people into obeying the law. All you end up with is a system that very few people consider to be just and causes more problems than it solves. And people still drink and drive ALL THE TIME. The best approach to drinking and driving is to set the limit back up to something that makes sense (at least .12), only allow for police to pull someone over if they’re driving recklessly (not roadblocks or random checks), and to punish them by suspending their license, or for multiple offenders or for someone who causes an accident, I think it’s acceptable to confiscate a vehicle. Of course, if a person drives without a license, then that could be a jailable offense.

    Your IAEA policy is too “closing the barn door after the horse has escaped” for me. Waiting to act until after Iran sells a nuke to some jihadist will be hollow “justice” (pardon my use of the term) since thousands will already be dead. He who hesitates…

    So, they should be found guilty of a crime before they have a chance to commit it? Wow, and you think you know something about justice, huh?

  162. 201

    Daddy Love spews:

    the significance of what might take placed should Iran get to the point of having nuclear weapons.

    Or we can deal with the reality that they are years from acquiring a nuclear weapon and discuss the “significance” of the actions that can be taken during that time to draw Iran further into international agreements and inspection that will limit their ability to cheat and to incent them to bind themselves more tightly into the community of nations and into mutual security agreements such that they will have less inclination to rely on unilateral massive retaliation-style weaponry.

    I realize that you pooh-pooh such efforts. Glad I am that your boys are taking it in the shorts.

  163. 202

    Daddy Love spews:

    200 Lee

    in Piper’s view, Iran should be punished for a crime that they may very well not even be contemplating committing by having the US murder thousands of their citizens.

  164. 203

    spews:

    @202
    in Piper’s view, Iran should be punished for a crime that they may very well not even be contemplating committing by having the US murder thousands of their citizens.

    It’s called justice. Don’t you understand what justice means? :)

  165. 204

    Piper Scott spews:

    @200…Lee…

    I take it you’re not a supporter of MADD?

    If anything in the area of DUI policy, the levels will decrease, not increase, and the penalties will increase, not decrease. I wouldn’t be surprised to one day see the liberal Washington State Legislature include a DUI offense as a strike under “Three Strikes You’re Out.”

    On the issue of drunk driving, may I suggest that it’s you who are completely out of step with today’s notions of “justice?”

    As to Iran…Stick your head in the sand all you want, but no one in the international community is interested in Iran getting anywhere even close to nuclear weapon capability. And if it takes pre-emptory action to make that stick, then look for most of the world to complain about it on the one hand while brfeathing a huge sigh of relief on the other. That’s called diplomacy, too, which never has anything to do with “justice.”

    The Piper

  166. 205

    spews:

    @204
    I take it you’re not a supporter of MADD?

    Absolutely not. I think they’re as bad as anyone when it comes to believing in fiction over facts.

    If anything in the area of DUI policy, the levels will decrease, not increase, and the penalties will increase, not decrease. I wouldn’t be surprised to one day see the liberal Washington State Legislature include a DUI offense as a strike under “Three Strikes You’re Out.”

    I agree. And it’s because they believe in the same distorted notions of what laws are for that you do.

    On the issue of drunk driving, may I suggest that it’s you who are completely out of step with today’s notions of “justice?”

    Why don’t you tell that to some of the people I know who’ve been completely fucked by those laws? And none of those people have ever been involved in an accident or more serious driving offenses. I realize that drunk driving can be extremely dangerous, but the way we’re dealing with it is worse. It assumes that people can’t be responsible and know their own limits. And to most of us, that’s clearly an injustice.

    As to Iran…Stick your head in the sand all you want, but no one in the international community is interested in Iran getting anywhere even close to nuclear weapon capability.

    Of course they’re not, but anyone with half a brain knows that if the Iranians feel threatened, they’ll be more likely to build one.

    And if it takes pre-emptory action to make that stick, then look for most of the world to complain about it on the one hand while brfeathing a huge sigh of relief on the other. That’s called diplomacy, too, which never has anything to do with “justice.”

    Anyone who breathes a sign of relief if/when we pre-emptively invade Iran to keep them from building nuclear weapons is clueless, since that act will almost certainly make it more likely for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

  167. 206

    spews:

    @204
    That’s called diplomacy, too, which never has anything to do with “justice.”

    Actually, what you’re talking about is not diplomacy. If you actually understood diplomacy and why it’s important, you’d understand what it has to do with justice.

  168. 207

    Daddy Love spews:

    “As to Iran…Stick your head in the sand all you want, but no one in the international community is interested in Iran getting anywhere even close to nuclear weapon capability.

    Not that they are.

    And if it takes pre-emptory action to make that stick, then look for most of the world to complain about it on the one hand while breathing a huge sigh of relief on the other. That’s called diplomacy, too, which never has anything to do with ‘justice.’ “

    Yes, in the fantasy world you guys inhabit, the world is grateful for our murderous, unprovoked attacks. You don’t understand why the world has repeatedly rebuked the US for its illegal, unjustified invasion of Iraq, and you all imagine that not ONLY will the world cheer us (behind a thin façade of harsh criticism as they try to disguise the admiration and envy of our president’s huge throbbing member) when we bomb Iran, but that if we invade, the people of Iran will greet us as liberators.

    And they call ME crazy.

  169. 208

    Daddy Love spews:

    Remember how we’re, um, not arming Sunnis in Anbar and Baghdad?

    Well, maybe not so much…

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRA.....wt.01.html

    [Question] (on camera): Will the assistance or the coordination with these former insurgent groups extend to arming [them] or helping them out in logistics in any sense?
    GEN. BENJAMIN MIXON, U.S. REGIONAL COMMANDER IN IRAQ: It certainly will. We have seen this in counterinsurgency operations before, using local nationals, if you will, arming them, forming them into scouts, if you will. And that’s the primary role that we want to use them in. They know the territory, they know the enemy.

    But they’ll greet us as liberators! And anyway, what could go wrong with this?

  170. 209

    Daddy Love spews:

    But of course, the very honorable, straight-shooting General Petraeus wouldn’t lie to us. Would he?

  171. 210

    Daddy Love spews:

    Hey, didn’t the president and Genreal Petraeus just give “the enemy” a timetable for our withdrawal? I thought we weren’t supposed to do that. Oh, I guess IOKIYAR.