READER COMMENTS ON
"Ritter versus Hitchens on the Iraq War"
(88 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 12:32 pm PT...
I haven't seen the debate, but I would have no problem laying money on Ritter against Hitchens any day, on any topic (but of course, and especially, the war). Ritter has always been compelling and resourceful, Hitchens rarely.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 1:55 pm PT...
Hitchins is "stewing in his own juices" and has made himself irrelevant. I have a sneaking suspicion that somewhere in his mind he knows he made the wrong turn but doesn't have the character to admit it. So, (a supposed intellectual) he's reduced to parroting neocon talking points and lies and pretending they are original. I've heard him a number of times on the subject of Iraq. He gets murkier and more self-abasing (in terms of honesty and integrity) every time.
He plays his evident bitterness as derived from people not understanding his point of view, but it seems to me (as a people watcher) to be about his inability to grow up and face mistakes he's made. (OK, enough amateur psychology!)
I'm afraid his credibility is shot and he is is treading near the precincts of jokedom.
Scott Ritter, on the other hand, is pretty damned focused.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 1:59 pm PT...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:01 pm PT...
I agree. I don't think Hitchins even believes what he is saying. Sad sad man he is.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:03 pm PT...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:44 pm PT...
cool link regarding Yule History, Floridiot. thanks....
re: Hitchens... i get impression that somewhere along the way he sold out his independent perspective; not quite sure how or when it happened. i wonder if he has become a little too comfortable in the lifestyle of the intellectual-iconoclast-plays-favorite-dinner-guest at the tables of the rich and powerful. it seems that the rarefied air around those in high places could be like a drug that wears one down, little by little.
that's it! he's suffering from intellectual hypoxia! somebody get him some of that non-toxic air from the environmental disaster that was New Orleans! stat!
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:47 pm PT...
A major issue that immediately faces anti-racist activists, world-wide, is what stance to take on the ‘new’ war in Iraq. The ‘old’ war has now ended, so it’s only of historical interest and that’s fine for those who are interested. But anti-racist activists have to address the ‘new’ war to the extent that it has a racial or sectarian underpinning, and it overwhelmingly is so underpinned.
Who the political representatives of the Iraqi masses are has now been conclusively established. It is now clear that the political leadership is not considered by the vast majority to be ‘collaborators’ or any other such term of abuse.
Twelve odd millions of the Iraqi peoples’ have just voted in an undisputed, free and fair election process ending in all important proportional representation. These political representatives do speak for their constituents, be they Kurds, Arabs (either Shia or Sunie), Turkomen, Assyryans or various Christians and atheists. The various peoples’ have voted under a constitution that they approved, and that has established the formal equality of all the peoples’, and both sexes before the law.
A legitimate Iraqi government will now be established after protracted negotiations between these legitimate political representatives and it is a foregone conclusion (for those of us who know what stance the major parties are taking) that this government will call for continued military and economic assistance.
Local and foreign racists and sectarians of the most vicious kinds from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and so forth together with residual Baathists (with a shockingly racist history) are now going to wage their vicious racist war against the Iraqi peoples’ who are trying to build a country based on their non-racist constitution.
Anti-racist activists, irrespective of what our stance has been up-to-date, now have to come to terms with the new reality. It is as profound a turnaround for some as was the ending of the America First movement after 07/12/1942.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:59 pm PT...
Uh...PatrickM, are you reading/listening to the same news I am about the elections in Iraq??
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 4:05 pm PT...
#7 - Don't you wish. Sheessh.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 4:37 pm PT...
Yes we are all seeing the same News.
You know that the Iraqi peoples have had three elections in this year, ending in a very good result for them. So I take it you agree that as America First collapsed with the attack on Peal Harbour the new 'America first' thinking has to now collapse now.
Your problem is that you are blind to the real reason the U.S. ruling elite decided to go to war.
Bush is no lefty because he is waging this war in the interests of his class, and it is only incidentally in the interests of the oppressed peoples’ in the Middle East. He has become a progressive-right-winger because history thrust greatness upon him. He asked the big questions that had to be asked, after 9/11. What more can they do to us? ...Well, Mr. President they will, if not stopped, eventually get hold of a nuke and destroy Washington or some other city. What strategy must we adopt to defeat them? Mr. President we must set down policies to turn every country in the world into a modern (bourgeois) democracy. If all countries look, and smell like Sweden and France, we will have won. The world needs sewerage systems for the smell, and industrialization for the sewerage systems; it needs education for the industrialization, and it needs basic bourgeois political freedoms to permit the education… We must stop doing what we have been doing for the whole post WW2 period. We must reverse all our old policies. These mosquitoes are attacking us because we caused a swamp in the Middle East which breeds them! We must drain that swamp, and then there will be no more mosquitoes. Mr. President there is no other way of winning this war…. (At least that is what I would tell him if I was in the war cabinet)
If you want to think more about the type of issues that I am bringing up then go to
and have a look at the Draining the swamp thread in the forum, or democracy was intended for Iraq
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:17 pm PT...
What flavor was it, PatrickM? Cherry or Grape?
More on your so-called "Democracy" in another post either later today or tomorrow.
But I'm sorry to hear you've entrusted a coward like Bush to be your protector from the terrorist pussies. You can go cower in a bunker along with him.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:28 pm PT...
You might find www.juancole.com to be a useful source of information on Iraq and the Middle East if you are interested in broadening your perspective on these things.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:41 pm PT...
I am making very specific claims. In responce I am reading generalities. This is a sign than the debate on the issue of Iraq becomeing a bourgeois democracy is over and my side won. If not what exactly is the error in my logic?
Catherine; do not dodge the debate about the collapse of what is left of the 'peace' movement. I do not believe that you have adressed anything I have said. I therefor conclude that you do not give a shit about the Iraqi people. I do and that is why I support them 100% They are entitled to full support from anti racist forces around the world.
Naturally they get no help from the pseudo left.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:44 pm PT...
He asked the big questions that had to be asked, after 9/11.
Do people really still think that George has been calling the shots since 9/11? The guy hasn't a clue what's going on, and probably still believes the liberation crap that his closest advisers and cabinet members have been feeding him.
After being brought to war through falsehoods and manipulation, any resulting democracy will be built on a shaky foundation of lies. Because of the illegality of this war, nothing else matters. Nothing.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:49 pm PT...
P.S. The debate between Hitchens and Galloway left me with a lower opinion of both of them. If theres anyone that can properly debate Hitchen's idiotic rantings, Ritter is the one. I saw him on Booknotes and he speaks clearly and with authority.
Anyone know if the audio is available anywhere?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:59 pm PT...
Of cause the war was 'illegal' laws are created by revolutions revolutions are not created by laws. Saddam was the lawfull Tyrant of Iraq and overthrowing tyranny is illegal, as is every revolution until that revoltion establishes its law. The UN now recognises the Iraqi government that is trying the Tyrant Saddam!
just try and deal with comment 7 as your history lesson about how the US ruling class had to be tricked into a war of liberation with lies is not relevant for anti racist forces who have to deal with the current realities anyway.
The situation is now one of complete collapse because we are dealing with a new war!! So get behind the masses of the brave Iraqi people that turned out to vote for political representation and deal with those rps in a respectful non racists manner.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 6:46 pm PT...
I finally figured out that these conservatives were NOT EVER CONSERVATIVE and this is why Bremer, Snowcroft, and all the other conservatives were so furious with them.
All these neocons who are behind all this bullshit, and behind all "democracy flaming Iraq" and everything else are nothing but a bunch of liberals.
The reason they try to teach everyone to hate liberals is because they are liberals, self-hating neoliberal losers who like to stir up shit.
From PNAC to Wall Street, these creeps destroyed the conservative movement, lied to everybody & then tried to blame it all on the scapegoat: IE, neo-nazi liberals as they call them. (Aka: themselves!)
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 6:51 pm PT...
review comment 7 and deal with the reality that all anti racists are now facing; or point out the error in my logic.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:10 pm PT...
Sorry patrick, but you're wrong all the way around.
There was massive fraud in the Iraqi elections, and the Shiite majority aka the allies of the Neocon Zionists now control Iraq:
Iraqi court disqualifies prominent Sunni candidates
Knight Ridder Newspapers
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An Iraqi court has ruled that some of the most prominent Sunni Muslims who were elected to parliament last week won't be allowed to serve because officials suspect that they were high-ranking members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.
Knight Ridder has obtained a copy of the court ruling, which has yet to be circulated to the public.
The ruling is likely to dampen Bush administration hopes that the election would bring more of the disaffected Sunni minority into Iraq's political process and undermine Sunni support for the insurgency. Instead, the decision is likely to stoke fears of widening sectarian divisions in a nation already in danger of descending into civil war.
What you call freedom or liberty, I call the rape of the natural world. These "liberal" loonies destroyed other countries with the pretense of building free liberty, and the conservatives have said since the get-go they should be marched to the Hague and stand trial for the crimes in Syria, Iraq, Palestine.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:18 pm PT...
Clarification of #14: Illegal by US law, not Iraqi law. Invading sovereign nations because of lies is not our thing. The Iraqis could have overthrown Saddam, thats their own business. Of course it didn't help that we left them to die in '91 when they DID try to rise up.
PatrickM, a question or two. Do you find anything inherently racist about inflicting 30,000+ civilian casualties in Iraq in order to bring them their democracy on a silver platter? How do you feel racism factors into the general ambivilence of the American people when confronted with these gruesome statistics? Do you think the Iraqis' skin color and muslim religion affect the public opinion negatively in the States? Can you apply your racist argument to the goings-on in say, Darfur?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:51 pm PT...
You are avoiding the fact that the Kurds (about 20%) and the Shia (about 60%) used to be under the rule of the racist Arab Sunni tyranny. That is 80% of the Iraqi population let alone the democratically minded Sunni Arabs who have been liberated.
There is no other way to win the so called war on terror than to spread bourgeois democracy across the whole planet. Doing things in the old way, that is, since ww2, spreading repression and terror throughout the world is what has failed and those old discredited policies have to be junked like the garbage they are and always were.
Pretending that millions of Iraqis are not bravely voting and electing legitimate political representatives is a racist joke. This voting is happening.
And to not notice that the Zionists are being defeated and withdrawing from Gaza and parts of the West Bank (on the way to being totally pushed out of the West Bank) is peculiar.
Syria has been forced to get it's troops out of Lebanon and the democratic movement is stirring across the region. But you don’t notice and think that 80% of the Iraqi people are being defrauded of legitimate representation (leaving aside your position on the Arab Sunnis).
You don’t give a toss about democracy or liberation or the Middle East, fine.
But understand this; it is all being done because it is the only way to defeat the enemy of all modernity that dramatically came to your attention as of 9/11.
The swamp that breeds the mosquitoes must be drained, and the old U.S. policies, that created and supported the existence of that swamp has to be abandoned.
We are not going to just keep killing an endless stream of mosquitoes for ever as people that cannot think strategically would have us do. Nor are we going to pretend that these mosquitoes do not need destroying. They do!!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:59 pm PT...
sigh. i'll let someone else deal with this one.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:26 pm PT...
When the occupying forces (Syria) were forced out of Lebanon, then the people were able to handle their own government. Does PatrickM see the point? Where is your argument that the US must stay in Iraq?
Also, I heard that the Iraqis were forced to vote, or would lose their food etc rations if they didn't.
Isn't spreading democracy fun...
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:30 pm PT...
Patrick, no. You are a fool. This is not about the god damn "Bin Ladens of 9-11" and Bin-Laden DID NOT DO 9-11 either so we have no reason to be in either Iraq, or Syria at all.
This is about the war between the very Zionists you claim are not "repressive" and the Arabs themselves, the Sunni Arabs lived in peace for hundreds of years out there and it is a proven fact that they got along with their fellow people.
The Muslims have been persecuted all their lives by Jewish Tyrants, Turkish madmen and thousands of other events you can't begin to understand. The only reason they resorted to terror was to keep these mad-men out of their lands.
Further, it is absolutely clear who really did 9-11 and the truth will come out.
Congressman forced to resign after criticizing the Zionist Neocons who wanted war with Iraq, Syria
Conspiracy for Israel expansion, before 9-11 & beyond
Zionist Neocons had planned & drawn up expansion of "Greater Israel" for war with Iran, Syria, Iraq years in advance.
Plan was already officially crafted: "Securing the Realm" long before Al-Quaeda was dreamed up.....all the way back to the original Arab/Jewish war
When there is a full-fledged investigation of 9-11, and believe me this, there will be. We will see conclusively that the terrorists were within our own borders anyway, as they always were. And that Zionists from Israel did everything as a pretext for "protecting everybody" and securing their new land.
At that point, hopefully once and for all they are dealt with. And the entire scam for Bin-Laden as well as everybody else is unraveled, so Palestine is a free nation and Europe drops the Federal Reserve.
Chew on it, Pat. The muslims will never stop their violence until the Zionists stop their land grabs.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:42 pm PT...
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:02 pm PT...
I do not find anything inherently racist about inflicting 30,000+ civilian casualties in Iraq in order to bring them their democracy, after former U.S. policies had so dramatically failed. If the Iraqi peoples had to overthrow the Baathist tyranny themselves (while it remained armed to the teeth with tanks, artillery helicopter gun ships, intact command and control etc then the casualties would be gigantic, and you must face up to those casualties as well as the casualties of doing nothing, so spread the numbers of casualties and share the moral high ground because you don’t have one to yourself.
‘How do you feel racism factors into the general ambivilence of the American people when confronted with these gruesome statistics?’ Most people are like you; they don’t like the war (war full stop) but they understand that tyranny does not vanish of its own accord.
Do you think the Iraqis' skin color and muslim religion affect the public opinion negatively in the States? Yes I do. For example people think that they are not ready for democracy or that Muslims cannot reform their religion. Whereas this is the lynch pin country for the entire region and will be the place that spreads democratic ‘poison’ to all its neighbors.
I can think of no reason, why international troops, should not have not been sent to liberate the people of Darfur as well, and would be in favor. But it is worth noting that the US would be condemned for it by the ‘peace’ movement.
The left, aught to be demanding more intervention; not condemning the most successful war of liberation, by a major imperialist power, since VJ day. Instead the idiotic pseudo left, compare the Vietnam War, (where the US reactionaries under the leadership of that scoundrel Kennedy tried to prevent voting and opposed national liberation, so naturally they got their asses kicked) and the war to bring elections in Iraq!
Then they talk of quagmire when victory is clearly within the grasp of the Iraqi peoples.
Only people who have not thought about what a revolution in the Middle East will require could think that these levels of casualties could be bettered by some other method of overthrowing Baathism and then standing up to the same types as oppressed the Afghan peoples and delivered the world 9/11. Industrialized democracies now have one more ally and a dangerous enemy dispatched.
'Where is your argument that the US must stay in Iraq?' The Iraqi political leadership elected by the vast majority are asking for the Coalition troops to remain and help the Iraqi peoples deal with this fight against the enemies of modernity.
'Also, I heard that the Iraqis were forced to vote, or would lose their food etc rations if they didn't.' You heard this type of drivel for the very good reason that loons spread the notion that Zionists in the U.S organised 9/11. They have to spread somthing, otherwise they would be back to dealing with issues like I have outlined in comment 7; and that is something that they cannot do.
'Isn't spreading democracy fun'
Well we live in the era when Nations want Liberation Countries want Independence and the People want Revolution, anyone that stands against these trends will be pushing shit up hill; thus the settlements are being abandoned in Gaza and parts of the West Bank while some loons think that this is a sign that The Zionists are on the offensive, presumably as they were on the offensive as they were thrown out of Lebanon.
Zionist in the case of Doug Eldritch is is just code word for Jew. Doug Eldritch ought to be denounced on this site for what he is, a garden variety racist.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:25 pm PT...
Oh right Patrick, no your ad-hominem attacks won't work worth anything.
Thousands of Jews are against Zionism, and Jews do not equate with Zionists.
Israel of today attacks anyone with a different view than its own, including "Steven Spielberg." I suppose Steven Spielberg is a self-hating Jew also?
Your BS won't work anymore. Nationalism of any sort is plain wrong, including Jewish or Arab nationalism. In fact, it is so wrong that they are the REAL racists and that's why you can't defend this vote.
You are condoning racism by backing up the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and any of his generals, which have killed over 30,000 Arabs across Iraq & the straights.
You are also making sure that racism continues even worse, when you call on the Sunni Arabs to be secularized.
That is not just criminal, but racist, and if you want to see Israel have a revolution why aren't you over there fighting in Iraq then?
I dare say the real reason is because you have no exscuse; these wars are all completely WRONG and the Arab Muslims will NEVER accept the Zionists- they need to simply seperate the countries there and punish the criminals responsible.
I have to say that will never happen if they continue to blow eachother up, and that is exactly what these Zionist neocons have been doing.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:26 pm PT...
I feel sorry for you. You compare WWII to the illigal War in Iraq. Your crap that the so called 'old war is over...and the great 'new war' is on is insulting.
You are a bitter person....You and your PNAC friends look at the world through a straw. You need to open your eyes and see what we have done to Iraq and the rest of world. We have become the big bully. I grew up believing that America was a beacon of democratic ideas. We were the good guys.
In five years, we are the terror, yes, I said terror of the world.
We have weapons of mass destruction, we meddle in governments that we should not and we are the only country that has used the bomb.
Please write your PNAC crap somewhere else.
By the way, Happy Holidays
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:30 pm PT...
1) Scott Ritter: "This is a war that's not worth the life of one American because it's a war based on a lie."
Comment: Is he parroting Mother Sheehan or Barbra Streisand here? Christopher Hitchens must have been squirming in his seat. I had no idea Brother Ritter was so articulate and imaginative. This is debating, par excellence! This war was based on a lie? I've never heard it put that way? This is truly a new and fresh way of looking at it. Let me understand his logic here: And so, because this war was based on a lie, no American 's life was worth it? That's pretty deep, when you think about it.
Question: What if the war was not based on a lie, would it have been worth fighting? What if the Civil War was based on a lie? Or World War II? Would that make those wars not worth a single American life? Or what if the Iraq war WAS based on a lie, but it freed 27 million people (leaving the populous on par with Brazil in terms of their hope and optimism for the future) created only the second democracy in the Middle East, and made America safer and stronger?
Isn't it all a moot point anyway, why and how we went into Iraq? It is over, you know? It's a faint accompli. The only people who don't know it's over (and don't want it to be over) is the American and European Left, who think Nixon is the President and Vietnam is the War.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:59 pm PT...
Jose. Your comments are too stupid to even reply to.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
yank had enuf
said on 12/24/2005 @ 10:03 pm PT...
#29 Goering couldn't have said it better.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 10:50 pm PT...
Have you read The Pentagon's New Map?
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 10:57 pm PT...
Patrickm, are you familiar with Iran's attempt at democracy which ended in 1953?
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 11:08 pm PT...
Personally, I don't have the time or inclination to set PatrickM straight, but I do have to say his theory is one of the most sublime examples of pure malarky I've seen on Brad Blog (and I've seen plenty of trollic BS). I'll have to give it that. It has taken awhile to dawn on me that it is not a put-on.
The main thing that characterizes it is what it leaves out (following George's misleading lead in the "war on terrorism".) Beyond the important things mentioned by other posters, here are just a few things that Patrick might want to look into:
--- "Lies of George W. Bush"
--- Neocon concept of democracy
--- Energy policy of the Bush administration
--- Mideast oil production
--- UNOCAL pipeline
--- USA"PATRIOT" Act
--- nature of democracy
--- "the captive public" and trappings of democracy
--- cynical uses of nominal (as opposed to real) democracy
--- corporatization and democracy
--- corporatization/diversity/homogenization (and the effective similiarities with racism and classism)
--- corporate self-interest
--- United States world terrorism
--- nature of fascism
--- fair elections
--- modern political marketing
--- nature and methods of propaganda
--- Peak Oil
If he researches these subjects and still believes that "terrorism" and "democracy" in their shallowest forms as defined by the neocon pr machine for use in attaining goals are what are driving today's events, then he'll have to repeat class.
The world is an anti-democratic corporate (short-term) playground fueled by self-interest. Terrorism is naturally in the mix, and, in fact is a useful propaganda tool used ad nauseum by the neocons. The biggest mistake people can make is to trust in grand strategic designs because they never consider enough factors to be valid and are monolithic in one degree or another. PatrickM's is really not a good example because it ignores almost everything that matters practically, but it is true in all cases.
If a revolution occurs, it won't be a Tom Friedman fantasy, which is what Patrick's is in rough form. (Brad is the good Friedman.:) ) It will be a revolution from the knowledge of personal worth, sovereignty, and work - and it is happening world wide and it is militant. GWB represents a last, decadent, feverish, fearful manifestation of post WWII "globalization" which always had fascist tendencies. Those tendencies are just showing themselves now particularly because there is nowhere else to go in that worn-out paradigm.
My opinion anyway.
Wishing Brad and all my friends at Brad Blog (whatever religion, non-religion, or persuasion) a wonderful Christmas day tomorrow. And will 2006 be a good year or what?
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 11:23 pm PT...
What if the Civil War was based on a lie? Or World War II? Would that make those wars not worth a single American life?
World War II was based on a lie. Among other things, it was based on Hitler's lies and propaganda about jews. In that regard, the Nazis who had no problem carrying out what they saw as their manifest destiny were deservedly smashed by the allied forces. A lot of germans had no choice but to fight in the wermacht though, and even the pope was in the nazi youth by force. Those are people who died for a war based on lies and greed.
created only the second democracy in the Middle East
Tell me straight up, if Iraq turns out to be an islamic republic run by clerics campaigning on anti-americanism, was all of this nonsense worth it?
It is over, you know?
1st Lt. Benjamin T. Britt, 24, of Wheeler, Texas.
Spc. William Lopez-Feliciano, 33, of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.
The latest ones to die for your agenda. It is over for them, but we owe it to them to come to grips with the reality of why we went to war.
But it is worth noting that the US would be condemned for it by the ‘peace’ movement.
I haven't seen any so-called peace activist say anything to this effect. Show me what you got.
Then they talk of quagmire when victory is clearly within the grasp of the Iraqi peoples.
Define 'victory' in the operational sense, in as much detail as you can.
There is no other way to win the so called war on terror than to spread bourgeois democracy across the whole planet.
Prominent military leaders, analysts, and intellectuals happen to disagree with you.
Forcing democracy down the barrel of a gun is tough to do, at around $400 billion a pop.
Doing things in the old way, that is, since ww2, spreading repression and terror throughout the world is what has failed and those old discredited policies have to be junked like the garbage they are and always were.
Describe these policies of spreading repression and terror, who was behind them, what the alternatives were, and why they failed. In as much detail as you can.
Pretending that millions of Iraqis are not bravely voting and electing legitimate political representatives is a racist joke. This voting is happening.
They sure are brave. What is becoming clear though is that the elections are not legitimate. Election fraud, candidates being pre-screened by the US, candidates being assassinated, and other US interference with campaigns do not make for a healthy democracy. Explain how this criticism makes ones argument racist in nature, in as much detail as possible.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/25/2005 @ 3:22 am PT...
In order to disagree with Ritter one must find merit in the following premise, which fairly sums up the position of Hitchens and the neo-cons:
"It is worth brutalizing a sovereign country that posed no threat to us, likewise worth the loss of thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives, in order to remove a brutal dictator from power, one who was only brutal to his own people, and/or to find weapons of mass destruction that never existed, and/or to bring Western-style democracy to a land that has never known it, can't assimilate it, and wants more than anything else for our so-called liberating troops to leave at once."
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 4:32 am PT...
IMO, The Iraq invasion reminds me of a cop going to a domestic assault call, you know, one partner calls, the cops show up, both partners turn against the cops
Thats what I think is going to happen there
in just a matter of time, we just let the proverbial genie out of the bottle, thats all, this will end up being a theocracy, controlled by Iran
With bases there, they (Bilderburgers, et al) can keep the shit stirred up, leaving Big oil free to pillage their resources
But I digress....
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 10:56 am PT...
1) What if the Civil War was based on a lie? Or World War II? Would that make those wars not worth a single American life?
bvac, you dodged the question. You agreed with the premise (in an upside down way) but you avoided answering: Was fighting World War II worth one American life?
The ball is in your court.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 11:29 am PT...
Soul Rebel said: Jose. Your comments are too stupid to even reply to.
Comment: This is an example of an all too typical Liberal response when they find themselves confused.
yank had enuf said: #29 Goering couldn't have said it better.
Comment: This is either an attempt at wit, or a grade-school smear. But it is so so typical (and boringly so) of Liberals to make Nazi references when talking about fellow Americans who they disagree with. After all, Conservatives ARE evil, right, so it's an apt description?
However, I would posit that the irony is completely and embarrassingly lost on a poster like yank had euf, and I'll tell you why. It is the Conservatives who are fighting today's version of the Nazi--the Islamo-fascist, who, in some ways, is worse than a Nazi because a Nazi wanted to live, while it is those on the Left who hate the Right for fighting this modern-day Nazi, this evil.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 12:37 pm PT...
Jose and PatrickM,
I refer you both to www.juancole.com
He is from a military family and has views which are informed by knowledge of Middle Eastern cultures, religions, languages and histories--rather than from either a liberal or conservative Western-dominated perspective. You would both do well to learn more before pronoucing your opinion about what is best for Iraqis. Have you gone over and asked any Iraqis what they would like?
Your arguments (e.g. comparisons to WWII and comments about "liberals") reveal relatively little understanding of Iraqi perspectives, which are significantly different from Western ones.
Iraqi loyalties are profoundly tribal in nature, which is one reason the US military approach is causing problems that it does not understand. Civilian deaths bring about requirements for tribal retribution. This creates an expanding number of people who are enemies of the US and the Coalition forces. This is a cultural difference which has little or nothing to do with terrorism.
It is inappropriate to speak of the recent Iraqi election as free and fair. A country under occupation is not in a position to hold elections untainted by external influence. Especially in circumstances in which security is so poor that people must risk life and limb to buy food, let alone vote.
Iraqis need to find a political structure and leaders that suits them, not ones that the West thinks they ought to have. They deserve time and independence to solve their own problems on their own terms.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/25/2005 @ 1:12 pm PT...
For Catherine A.: You make a key point about labels. "Liberal" is a negative buzzword used by domestic RIGHT-WINGERS (as distinct from real conservatives, who oppose liberals on issues but without personal rancor). It's the equivalent of "Commie" during the McCarthy era and "Pinko" during Vietnam. It's a scapegoat word.
An Iraqi would have no frame of reference for the word, no matter what his branch of Islam or his politics. He doesn't relate to left-wing vs. right-wing,
let alone false labels used by each to discredit the other. An Sunni Muslim relates to a Shiite Muslim. A follower of cleric A relates to a follower of cleric B.
As you say, it's tribal, not political in our context.
For defenders of the Bush policy to decry opponents
as "liberals" isn't merely insulting, it's stupid, and irrelevant to what Iraq is all about.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 1:50 pm PT...
I wouldn't say it's stupid, it's just uninformed. No point bashing anyone.
We each need to take responsbility for informing ourselves.
Both Jose and PatrickM will be better able to support the current administration and Iraqis if they do so from a standpoint that is better informed. The same is true for those with a different political viewpoint--they will be better able to propose appropriate alternative strategies if they are well informed about Iraqi realities.
Uninformed ideology serves no one, and particularly not the Iraqi people.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 2:03 pm PT...
bvac, you dodged the question. You agreed with the premise (in an upside down way) but you avoided answering: Was fighting World War II worth one American life?
I dodged nothing. Our entry into World War II was not based on a lie, and incidentally was legally declared by congress. The Germans were brought to war on Hitler's lies and propaganda, and therefore hundreds of thousands were fighting for something that was 'not worth it'. The ones who chose to participate in the upper ranks, the SS and so forth, probably did not care about this nuance, because they subscribe to the same ideology as Hitler did. Perhaps Robert Lockwood Mills can offer some insight into this, whether he agrees with my perspective or not.
Compared to our present situation, in which the United States was the aggressor, the 2,165 dead and 16,000 wounded casualties suffered were for a lie. The original justification was false, and since then the mission has changed several times. Decide for yourself if this $400 billion dollar boondoggle was worth 2,165 lives.
There, now you can respond to the rest of my post.
It is the Conservatives who are fighting today's version of the Nazi--the Islamo-fascist
In what way does invading a country ruled by a secular tyrant, destroying its infrastructure, holding elections where pro-western secular candidates were squashed by anti-american muslim clerics, all while violence continues to escalate, constitute "fighting Islamo-fascism"?
who, in some ways, is worse than a Nazi
How many millions died because of Nazis, in how many years?
How many died because of "islamo-fascists" (a yet-to-be-defined term), in as many years?
Trying to apply left-right politics to this argument is a losing proposition. What's at play here are forces far greater than any political party. What's at stake is far more than a fledgling democracy.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 2:34 pm PT...
Yes, who are the "islamo-fascists"? Does it just mean "terrorists who are Muslims"? Does it mean "Muslims who are bad so we'll compare them with the Nazis and hope it works?" Is it appropriate to use the term "fascist" in this case? Gotta know what we are talking about.
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 2:40 pm PT...
Jose, the only thing that confuses me is the mentality of people like you. On the issues at hand, I have clarity. I will second Catherine's suggestion to read www.juancole.com
Also, your labels mean nothing to me. Call me what you will.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/25/2005 @ 5:01 pm PT...
The pejorative term "liberal" has no resonance with Iraqis, and no relevance to the debate about our occupation of Iraq. That was my point.
Using labels to subdue opponents of a government policy is uninformed, yes. I argue it's also stupid in the current context because "liberal" pertains to American politics, and the people who matter here are Iraqis. The debate must be about their future, not ours. The word "liberal" makes no more sense to Iraqis than the words "Sunni" and "Shiite" do in reference to our politics.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 7:38 pm PT...
Well, I am certain Galloway doesn't rate high with a lot of your commenters, Brad, because he pulls no punches over Zionist influence on American politics. Of course, they are just one of the many allies of the Neocons, indeed make up a sizable portion of the PNAC, don't they? But certainly, not the only ally of the Neocons, yet I do ask myself this, over and over: Who benefitted from 911? Ask Netanyahu, he stated it quite clearly. Who used bombing innocent civilians, and blamed it on
Islamists"? Ask Irgun.
So, M.O. and Cui Bono? SOP of any basic police detective work.
But, back specifically to Hitchens: After watching Hitchens flat MAKE UP LIES about Juan Cole's Middle Eatern experience compared to his own during the debate, Ritter was shooting Drunken Fish in a barrel.
Hitchens has NO credibilty.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 8:23 pm PT...
How did this ignorant notion (that being a GWB detractor means you're a Liberal) get started? It's hardly the case. It's not even close to being the case. Disagreeing with the policies of this corporatist administration is not a sign of being a liberal. It's a sign of common sense.
My best friend Richard, a 68-year-old life-long Conservative Republican, and owner of one of the largest apartment complexes in Southern California, is a passionate Bush detractor, and will argue vehemently against any justification of this war. He lists Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr., Nixon, S.I. Hiakawa, George Murphy, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and, more recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as among Republicans he's voted for. In fact, the only time he hasn't voted Republican was when Bob Dole was the candidate ("the ecomomy was strong, and Dole was too old and mean"), and the two runs of George W. Bush.
Richard voted against GWB because he considered him unqualified for public office, and a prop/shill/front for The Texas oil magnates, and their ilk, along with Cheney being "The Halliburton Man". All that has happened has deeply strengthened this conviction in both of us.
You can fool yourself, if you wish, but it's sheer fantasy to think that only liberals think this president is not the man who should be holding the office, and that this war is a crime.
Just one example is Dwight D. Eisenhower's son. Pat Buchanan and George Will have also made some very strong protests to the way this administration represents conservative ideology.
Bush's list of non-liberal detractors is not a short one. There are many conservatives who state that this administration does not represent their idealogy at all.
This administration reflects, and practices, fascist/corporatist idealogy.
Halliburton's Stock has risen apx. $80 million since the Iraq invasion, and BOUGHT ANY PETROL LATELY?!?!?
This administration is succeeding in what it set out to do, at the expense of you and I, Liberal, Moderate, and Conservative alike.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 10:45 pm PT...
The fact that the Zionists did 9-11 may be a conspiracy "theory" for now but I promise you it will not be after all of the proof is seen.
My point is you are acting very racist against Arabs by promoting the "fight on terror" that you are here....anyone who calls for the extermination of an entire people, race, or religion is not a good person...there is more obvious and demanded ways to deal with racial war or mischief.
Including seperating the powers, & the extremist overlords from their people who they repress.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 1:29 am PT...
Oh right Patrick, that's all very lovely but that doesn't prove a thing.
Contrary to your drivel I am not racist, anti semite or against negroes either.
In fact, I am anti zionist...and especially neocon. I see things through the real FULL glass, and not in your dogmatic view of blame "the terror on the arabs" and numerous other lies.....There is plenty of blame to go around for the terror, and class-based division of society. You only add to it.
Give the people what they want free from a repressive society and you will see them grow on their own, and that includes the Sunni Arabs. All the colonies in the Middle East should be seperated & live in different localities....not balkanized, which is what is presently happening.
Clearly the USA only makes this worse, with the repressive occupation of our forces to aid either Israel or anyone else with their own troubles. We shouldn't have anyone there at all, and you know this, yet you continue the canard of "terrorism must all be defeated".
Terrorism will NEVER all be defeated, and further everyone will die if they stay there. There will never be a win to this anywhere. And the only way to change cultures from hating eachother is changing the whole paradigm, not creating more wars and racial conflicts.
You'll find it right here in the USA and by the way....Don't you dare call me a conspiracy theorist. The conspiracy theory is that 9-11 was done by a renegade plane with no outside help from this government.....all of that has already been proven a lie. So lets go backwards and open up a complete, top to bottom investigation of 9-11.....A REAL one.....and then go from there, nothing less.
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 2:30 am PT...
PatrickM - surely it's occurred to you that the Peace Corps was a much better idea for achieving your lofty goals?
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 2:51 am PT...
I don't know if you have followed this thread, if not, would you like to comment on # 7; because I believe there has now been effectively a total collapse of the anti war position, from an anti racist point of view, (an old war having ended, and a new one started), as I outlined there, and have attempted to defend in several posts since. Sorry about the length of the last post but I had been accused of being to simplistic and not looking at enough of the issues.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:00 am PT...
I would sure like to know what an American victory in Iraq consists of?, what has to take place.
This war in Iraq is a "war on terrorism" according to the fake President. So "if" and when Bush and the NEOCONS declare victory for the U.S. military in Iraq, does this mean the war on terrorism is over?
This war on terrorism will be never ending. There are no countries to surrender, so it seems to me the Puppet Masters invented this war on terrorism to keep us at perpetual war, so that the UNPATRIOT ACT will stay with us forever, so we can have our privacy invaded all in the name of the war on terrorism.
One thing comes to mind. What happened to the old Soviet Union after their war in Afghanistan. The country fell apart, is this what the Puppet Masters have in store for the U.S.A. also? Look out people here comes the NEW WORLD ORDER.
One last comment. Is it just a coincidence that Osama Bin Laden (C.I.A. trained) was involved in both wars?????? :confused:
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:11 am PT...
Poor Pat - I didn't comment on #7 because I didn't think it was worthy of comment. If you truly believe that we in the 'reality-based community" hold obsolete views, that the "new reality" the neocons are busy spinning must be allowed to spin on to its obvious conclusion, then you are a lost soul. Please do yourself a favor and consider some reality-based alternatives to your most peculiar views. There is always hope. A peaceful and comfortable new year to you.
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:11 am PT...
For Patrick M.: I don't know what you've been reading, my friend...but you've got just about everything wrong where Iraq is concerned.
The most fervent wish of both Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq (well over 70% in recent polls) is that American forces LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY NOW. That wish is stronger than the desire to vote, put Saddam on trial, or devise a constitution.
You are a master of sophistry, Patrick (look the word up in the dictionary if you don't know the meaning). The election in Iraq was our idea, not theirs. We dictated its terms to them, not the reverse. Most Iraqis had little or no idea whom or what they were voting for. Your post suggests that Iraqis voted, and want us to stay there until the results of their vote can be implemented. Sounds lovely, but it doesn't square with the facts.
Your most outrageous statement, which goes beyond sophistry into absurdity, is "Western-style democracy always came to a land that has never known it." Hello? How about Iran? Thier popularly elected leader, Mossadegh, was overthrown in the 1950s in favor of Shah Reza Pahlevi...IN A COUP ORGANIZED BY OUR C.I.A.! How about Chile? They elected Allende by democratic process. AND THE C.I.A. OVERTHREW HIM IN FAVOR OF PINOCHET, A DICTATOR.
How many other examples do you want before you understand that democracy in the 20th century has
come to mean whatever the United States wants it to mean at a given moment? We now proclaim this groundswell for democracy in Iraq...but only after trying to sell the invasion on the basis of WMD that didn't exist, a phony uranium deal with Niger, and a link that never existed between Saddam and 9/11.
You throw accusations of racism and anti-Semitism around pretty freely, I've noticed. Yet you refer to the Middle East as a "swamp." Which begs the question, "Who would live in a swamp expect a lowlife, and why should a country halfway around the world invade a swamp in order to clean it out?"
As far as racism is concerned, what is more racist than to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, two men who hate each other, simply because they're both Muslims whom we happen to hate also?
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:18 am PT...
It is argued that it is better to fight the terrorists in their backyard, then to fight them in our own backyard. I guess I don't see an attack anytime soon by shiploads of a terrorist army.
The fact is after 9-11, we saw the creation of the Homeland Security Department. It was all lip service from the administration to make us feel like we safer and that the Government is protecting it's citizens.
Homeland security is a myth. Just a week ago 250+ pounds of explosives were stolen from a lab in New Mexico.
How secure was this lab and labs just like it all around our country. No security guards are required by law, no security camera's are required by law....just a chain link fence!!
This report of the stolen explosives was mentioned late last Sunday night. Not a word was mentioned about on main stream media, was it because that Monday Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security had a scheduled press conference about the HLSD's future goals and plans?????
Congress is starting to look into the fraud of millions of dollars going to contracts in HLS. The way I see it. We are no safer.
Homeland Security if implemented correctly would have been a far more effective tool against terrorists, then billions of dollars & the death of 2100+ U.S. troops in our illegal war in Iraq.
Bush should be waterboarded allong with the neocons and congress so that we can finally get the truth from these crooks and murders!
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:18 am PT...
Given what we know about VP Cheney's direct financial ties to Haliburton, isn't it clear that he has committed a fraud against the United States for the purpose of illegal financial gain, in accordance with the following statute? Couldn't the same be said of any US official who knowingly made false statements to advance the cause of war, while owning shares of companies that stood to gain substantially from that war? Cheney was acting specifically on behalf of the Contractor, Haliburton, to ensure no-bid contracts were awarded, based on knowingly fraudulent information generated by his own Office Of Special Plans. It might also be construed that any official who had a relationship to the Carlyle Group was also lying on their behalf - for their own financial benefit.
Section 1031. Major fraud against the United States
(a) Whoever knowingly executes, or attempts to execute, any scheme or artifice with the intent -
(1) to defraud the United States; or
(2) to obtain money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, in any procurement of property or services as a prime contractor with the United States or as a subcontractor or supplier on a contract in which there is a prime contract with the United States, if the value of the contract, subcontract, or any constituent part thereof, for such property or services is $1,000,000 or more shall, subject to the applicability of subsection (c) of this section, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
(1) the gross loss to the Government or the gross gain to a defendant is $500,000 or greater; or
(2) the offense involves a conscious or reckless risk of serious personal injury.
The financial links between those who lied, and those who benefitted as a direct result of the lies (primarily in the oil and military industries) are clear. The evidence that the President's speech knowingly included a lie about the Niger Yellow Cake is proveable in a court of law under oath.
That the Vice President knew for a fact that the claim was based on a forgery in advance of the President's speech is a given. That he instructed others to ensure that the sentence made it into the speech is also a given. What did the Vice President know, and when did he know it?
Everytime the Vice President knowingly lied to the American People to advance the cause of war, he committed a crime against the United States which both directly harmed other US citizens and directly enriched himself.
Indict Dick Cheney for Fraud.
The outing of Valarie Plame falls into precisely the same category, as it was specifically designed to ensure that the lead up to war continued apace...
Consummate diplomats like Wilson typically do not speak of "lies." So outraged was Wilson, though, that this bogus story had been used to "justify" an unprovoked war, that he made a point to note that the already proven dishonesty begs the question regarding "what else they are lying about."
It was a double whammy. And, as is now well known, the White House moved swiftly-if clumsily (and apparently illegally)-to retaliate.
It was clear from the start that Vice President Dick Cheney and Kemosabe (Amer. Indian for "Scotter") Libby, as well as Karl Rove, were taking the lead in this operation to make an object lesson of Wilson and his wife.
But there is abundant evidence that senior White House officials were aware of the CIA's doubts regarding the Niger story long before the State of the Union. Nearly a year earlier, in February 2002, the CIA had dispatched former Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate the claim about uranium purchases. When the CIA debriefed him in March, his findings were emphatic: As Wilson explained in a New York Times op-ed on July 6, "It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place." CIA Director George Tenet claimed on July 11 that Wilson was sent to Niger by junior nonproliferation experts at the CIA acting "on their own initiative" and that senior administration officials were unaware of his mission. But this is not true. Wilson was told by CIA officials that the mission had been specifically requested by the office of the vice president. Indeed, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, told Time magazine that Cheney had "asked a question about the implication of the [uranium] report." And, as Wilson tells The New Republic, "When an executive agency is tasked to find something out and it gets an answer, it goes back to the person who requested it." For the White House to suggest that Cheney's office was unaware of the results of Wilson's inquiry strains credulity.
Moreover, there is strong evidence that the CIA clearly conveyed its doubts about the Niger allegation to the White House on more than one occasion prior to the State of the Union. When Bush wanted to include the claim in an October 7, 2002, speech in Cincinnati, Tenet personally intervened, imploring Condoleezza Rice's National Security Council (NSC) deputy, Stephen Hadley, to cut the allegation from the speech, which he did. The idea that no one involved with the State of the Union was aware of this earlier, emphatic intervention is implausible. And when the latter speech was being written, the CIA again raised questions about the Niger assertion. According to The New York Times, when NSC proliferation staffer Robert G. Joseph called his CIA counterpart, Alan Foley, to ask about including the allegation in the State of the Union, Foley told Joseph the CIA was not confident about the information.
Indict Vice President Cheney. Put him under oath.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:32 am PT...
RLM..Iran...Chile...how long til the CIA assassinates Chavez? I'm keeing a close eye on that one. Given our sordid history of overthrowing democratically elected leaders who choose to stand up to US imperialism, he's got a big brass pair of balls. It's almost a repeat of Chile even - rather than play the international copper game, Allende chose to nationalize Chile's copper industry and keep the profits from his country's resources in country to better the lives of Chileans. That got him killed more than anything else. Now Chavez is playing the same game, only its with something far more valuable than copper.
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:35 am PT...
So true comment #56!!!!!!! People are so blind, and tend to forget history.
Our country has been doing this forever. Hell, we also like to aid countries with military training and weapons and then we end up warring with these same countries years later...examples:
During WWII we trained chinese teenagers as fighter pilots at Pensa Cola, Fla. Years later everyone wondered if it were Russians pilots flying the Russian MIG'S against our troops in Korea, it turns out it was those same American trained chinese fighter pilots.
We aided and sold weapons to Saddam during the Iraq, Iran war....who did we end up going to war with in the 90's and today....
We aided, trained and armed Osama Bin Laden and his freedom fighters in the Afghanistan war with the old Soviet Union...and we all know supposively what Bin Laden did on 9-11-01
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 3:38 am PT...
I, myself, don't answer to trolls, because they have this neo-reality that the media (aka, government) spews, and I refuse to become a talking point purveyor
Theres plenty of them around to do this already
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 4:02 am PT...
Ritter is of course correct, and the smearing and lies with regard to Ritter are of a piece with those described above re: Joe and Valerie Wilson. And for the same reasons outlined in Plunger's post above regarding going to war, we are now to be treated to an extended protraction of a so-called "exit". Substantial US forces will be in Iraq as long as Bush and Cheney are in office, period. The only moral solution is complete withdrawl now. Allegations of "cut and run cowards" are vacuous and useless insults which debase our democracy. We must leave now because it is a CRIME for us to be there. Any concession to maintain any troop presence fails to address the basic crime in question, and serves to keep open the flow of money Bush/Cheney so desperately crave. This is a fact: BUSH/CHENEY AND THEIR FRIENDS ARE MAKING BIG MONEY OFF THIS WAR. THAT'S WHY WE ARE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Spare the post hoc, ergo propter hoc altruistic motive excuse. Bush/Cheney ran for office so they could get this war. How all this could not be crystal clear to some Americans is beyond me.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 4:05 am PT...
Again I say prove that the neocon zionist vision for the Middle-East is a democracy
You probably have no idea, that the Sunnis feel persecuted and you probably have no idea that balkanization means to split up all socieities...and get them to kill eachother.
The Israel prime minister, for many years has actually CALLED for the balkanization of the Middle-East. And if that starts in Iraq that is their whole intention. Yet you know none of this, and consistently point to "democracy"...
I say prove it. What you call freedom, I call the rape of the natural world. I call it like I see it..
And regardless of what is known about 9-11, you above all else must agree with the common facts: the official story about 9-11 is a lie
Lets Roll 911
So given that factually, the official story is a lie.....We want the truth don't we. And also there is firm suspicions that the second world trade center was hit by a military aircraft, remote controlled. And if this "non-commercial" airliner just happened to be remote controlled by a demolitions expert...then that only gives more proof to the fact World Trade Center 7 was pulled (and explosives were used!)
In fact I for one have to say beyond a shadow of any doubt, explosives were used to destroy that building. And a "military aircraft" of some sort, along with a missile, was controlled by somebody and there needs to be a complete, irreversible investigation of the entire thing so that we know what really happened on 9-11....There should be no hesitantcy or fear of the truth.
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 5:18 am PT...
Big Johnny (#62) said: "BUSH/CHENEY AND THEIR FRIENDS ARE MAKING BIG MONEY OFF THIS WAR. THAT'S WHY WE ARE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE".
I agree, and have contended all along, that this best describes ALL of the actions of this administration, not just regarding this war.
Fascism is not difficult to define, or recognize. Mussolini was a live example... by definition:
"A political system in which all power of government is vested in a person, or group, with no other power (able) to balance and limit the activities of the government. Fascist governments are often closely associated with large corporations and sometimes with extreme nationalism and racist activities. Modern fascism is often called 'CORPORATISM'."
What is difficult is the masses not being able to come to terms with what is right in front of them. These "neocons" are hoarding and controlling your money and erasing your rights. That's what they are about.
Again, I return to one of my favorite Vidal quotes:
“It makes no difference who you vote for - the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people”
“The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent.”
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/26/2005 @ 7:03 am PT...
For Floridiot: I agree with you that arguing with trolls is frustrating. People like Patrick M. and Jose Chung aren't going to change their minds no matter what. But we have to keep pointing out the flaws in their arguments, if only to persuade others who might be on the fence.
I've noticed that trolls use either of two debating techniques that are polar opposite from each other. The smart-ass troll speaks in short sound bites and engages in name calling, rarely if ever arguing specifics. Patrick M. belongs to the other camp; he states opinion (or unproven neo-con theory) as fact, then elaborates at length by using false historical parallels and facile assumptions to justify his mind-set.
For example, Patrick says our policy in the Middle East "hasn't worked," so we have to try something new, which he calls "draining the swamp." Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? But it's sophistry, i.e., an argument that elevates the less important truth (Iraq isn't now a democracy, and it would be nice if it were) over the reality (Iraq has never been democratic, and besides, the United States only likes democracies if our guy wins the election).
Iran and Chile were the first examples I thought of. As Soul Rebel points out, Venezuela could be next...Chavez (a Socialist who stands up to the United States) is using oil in the same way Allende used copper, to help his own people first. That's in conflict with global macroeconomics, so we don't like Chavez and want to get rid of him, even though he's hugely popular in Venezuela. If Iraqis elect people we don't like, sooner or later we'll proclaim (as Patrick M. does now) that "our policy hasn't worked" and we'll try something else...maybe
another C.I.A. coup.
Our policy toward Ferdinand Marcos is the best example I can think of to portray our ambivalence toward democracy. The guy stole election after election and had the opposition leader (Aquino) murdered in cold blood. Yet after all this, Reagan was still defending him as a "great friend of the United States" and a sentinel against Communism.
We finally learned the truth...Marcos was a smart con-man who knew how to tell the United States what it wanted to hear. In his case it was "I'm an anti-Communist." In Chalabi's case, it was "Iraq craves freedom."
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 9:28 am PT...
# 50 - PatrickM --- Really, I was trying to be helpful. I say again, please get an education. That comes first, you know. Then comes the theory.
When I made a list of things to look into, the point wasn't to give you a vessel in which to discharge your verbal diarrhea. A little half-baked knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Ah, "bourgeois democracy", the holy grail for those flat intellects who want to pretend things are as they used to be (although considering themselves revolutionary). Corporatism as it has developed is not bourgeois democracy - If you don't understand that, you don't understand the world at all.
For all your words, you leave out almost everything. I provided a few hints, but it doesn't look like you will take them up.
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 11:26 am PT...
The pseudo political intellectualism you are displaying is typical. You throw words around without definition, and then demand to be correct in not only your premise, but in your deductions. This is childish ... playing with yourself.
First, you need to provide a definition of "democracy", "American democracy", "bourgeois democracy", and "Iraqi democracy". That is your beginning point. Then define the "old war in Iraq" and the "new war in Iraq", in terms of when each began and/or ended.
Second, your suggested premise that "Twelve odd millions of the Iraqi peoples’ have just voted in an undisputed, free and fair election process ending in all important proportional representation" is just a power play, because it is devoid of any consensus whatsoever.
Just on these two things you show yourself to be nothing more than a schill for a failed administration. A parrot of worn out, useless, and failed ramblings that have not persuaded the body politic, nor for sure bloggers here.
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/26/2005 @ 12:01 pm PT...
For Arry and Dredd: Let's be generous and assume Patrick is right that the Iraqi electoral process was "undisputed, free and fair (and ended) in all important (sic) proportional representation..." Let's give him this, even though he can't possibly know if it's true or not. The election might have been fair, or it might have been fixed. He doesn't know at this point, and neither do we.
What does a free and fair Iraqi election mean for the United States? The answer is...none of us knows. There's a theoretical possibility that a country in which almost everyone follows a Muslim cleric rather than a secular political leader will suddenly decide to become secular themselves. But it might be safer to buy a Powerball ticket than to expect that to happen. My hunch is (again, nobody really knows) that most Iraqis voted for the candidate(s) most closely allied with their favorite cleric...or the one their cleric told them to vote for.
Imagine two churches in the United States. One, in a black ghetto, is led by Al Sharpton's brother. His sermons deal with politics, and never fail to call George W. Bush on the carpet. The other church is in a rural town in Alabama; the pastor is George Wallace's grandson, and he rails every Sunday against Godless liberals.
Would even Patrick M. argue that 95% of the first church would not vote Democratic, and 95% of the second church not vote Republican?
I think Iraq will remain a tribal country whose people will follow the pronouncements of Muslim clerics, and that political candidates will have to adapt their platforms to theocratic dictates to get elected. If I'm right, then we've lost 2,160 dead and 10,000+ wounded for what amounts to an electoral dog and pony show.
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 12:07 pm PT...
You are responding to questions not directed towards you. I will ignore any response given on this premise.
As for Darfur: I did not give my opinion, instead I asked you to provide an example of a so-called peace activist who would condemn the US for intervening in the ongoing genocide. Absent any example, at least provide credible evidence that such a movement would take place.
The only other thing I asked you was:
Have you read The Pentagon's New Map?
I've got a pretty good idea of where you come from, PatrickM, and although I see things differently I would urge you to make your long-term projections based not on ideology, but on present-day situations and history - all things knowable.
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 12:22 pm PT...
I have found that many people who talk drivel about a Zionist involvement in 9/11 are anti Semites. If Doug Eldritch is just a conspiracy nut, rather than a racist conspiracy nut, so be it. But you aught to be told firmly that peddling idiotic theories about who planned and carried out 9/11 is not what is acceptable on grown up blogs.
BTW I do not apologize for Zionism see
A number of questions have arisen most of which can be classed as avoidance;
--- PNAC What else would people who own and run any society do except make plans to continue to own and run things? But still the world changes and change is coming ready or not. U.S. imperialism is now a shadow of its former self going from the worlds No1 creditor country to the worlds No 1 debtor. From having 50%+, of the worlds, industrial output, to (on memory) about 22 or 23%. The relative decline is quite dramatic, and people should remind themselves that booms end in busts. So incidentally keep your eyes wide open about real estate and stock markets which ruling classes would also like to control and don’t.
Ignore any ruling class plans for any new century for the moment and think about what is driving developments in the real world.
Consider how the last century started and ended. Whatever the plans of the British Ruling class were I can assure you the world did not turn out the way they thought. Neither will developments this century, but if the contenders for power in the ruling class did not make plans then they would be mad and they are not mad. Thus this war was planned by the ruling elite for some sound ruling class reason.
--- "Lies of George W. Bush"
The Bush war cabinet was working on strategy after 9/11; if people do not realize this they can not be taken seriously; and despite being at war with Islamists of the Taliban and AlQaeda varieties they decided to go to war with Baathism and destroy it. Whatever the reason was for the war we can be sure it was not from any immediate threat from WMD. But everybody including the French and German ruling class believed Saddam had some degree of WMD program that would be uncovered. So the lies that have been harmful to Bush and Co were chosen by mistake because the Bush war cabinet thought that some WMD’s would turn up. Nobody planned to be exposed as mistaken on WMD. Just the same as they blew it on the aircraft carrier with the mission accomplished idiocy. Just another blunder.
--- Neocon concept of democracy --- nature of democracy
--- "the captive public" and trappings of democracy
--- corporatization and democracy
--- cynical uses of nominal (as opposed to real) democracy
--- fair elections
--- modern political marketing
--- nature and methods of propaganda
It’s basically just bourgeois democracy, so get over it, humanity certainly will!
They run a class society so they look at it from their ruling class point of view and that’s to be expected. Meanwhile other classes that also descend from the Enlightenment will look at the problem posed by the political swamp that is the Middle East and bring our viewpoint to the table. Only imbeciles will forget that humans have been descending from the trees and this stage of historical development might not be anything like good, but it’s better than all that came before. The modern classes should be openly united against theocrats and feudalists and tyranny that would keep any of us in the dark ages.
--- Energy policy of the Bush administration
--- Mideast oil production
--- UNOCAL pipeline
--- Peak Oil
No blood for oil blathering. Just think for a moment; do you believe that the Iraqi politicians, just elected by some 12 million voters, could produce a puppet Government that would go along with the US ruling- class ripping off the Iraqi peoples' oil? Do you imagine for one moment that they could get away with it? IT IS NOT ABOUT OIL, it could never be about oil because the US people would not put up with an endless stream of body bags and the Iraqi people would not put up with puppets.
--- corporatization/diversity/homogenization (and the effective similiarities with racism and classism) --- corporate self-interest --- United States world terrorism --- USA "PATRIOT" Act
When you would like to make a sensible point I could deal with it; meanwhile readers can sing this tune,
Even though the sound of it
Is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough
You'll always sound precocious
He traveled all around the world
And everywhere he went
He'd use his word and all would say
"There goes a clever gent"
When Dukes and maharajas
Pass the time of day with me
I say me special word and then
They ask me out to tea
So when the cat has got your tongue
There's no need for dismay
Just summon up this crap
And then you've got a lot to say (not)
But better use it carefully
Or it could change your life
One night I said it to me girl
And now me girl's my wife!
No joke; no matter what the problem anywhere around the world, pseudo leftists and liberals can be found ramming a collection of words together rather than seeking truth from facts. Indeed it got so bad over the last 20 odd years, that we have the mumbo jumbo of post modernism that denies that facts are even there to be discovered or revealed from analysis and we can just pick and choose our own truth!!
--- nature of fascism
It is apparent that you would not know fascism if it jumped up and bit your arse. Ending 60 years of rotten to the core US foreign policy, and getting behind the bourgeois revolution rather than standing in its way is a huge leap in policy. Why shouldn’t the US undo much of the filth that it has been responsible for creating or propping up? Most people posting on this site would not deny that the US ruling elite has been following a standard, rotten, foreign policy of propping up gangsters and tyrants of all kinds since ww2. The foreign policy establishment, are GWBs greatest critics. They are screaming that their whole life’s work is being undone; and it is. Their policies failed and were mortally wounded in the pile of rubble that was 9/11.
Don’t hang your hat on distorted pieces of news about the election and pronounces on how the US Iraq project is defeated. Think laterally. Politics in Iraq is being played very hard (remember the negotiations on the constitution; they did more than just push it to the wire, but they did get an outcome). There is a small amount of carry on from some and the media that is ‘anti war’ is descending on this like flies to shit.
Democratically minded people in Iraq will not make the same error as people hear are making. They will resolve any election and representation problems through processes of genuine negotiation. They will know who they voted for and they will now allow them to do the job. People want to vote and be represented, so a reasonable method, or methods will be found, and in a short time, to ensure that the mass of people are represented as they wanted.
Anti-war people ought to admit that there are progressive forces throughout the Middle- East and that they have very often been butchered under former U.S., policies; and also, that Bush has, at least formally, declared these policies to be dead; and dead because they do not serve U.S., interests!
The abandoned policies led to the dead end that 9/11 pointed to. It’s always been my view that WMD is a very grave concern of the Bush war cabinet; not re Iraq, but in the ultimate sense that eventually if the war-on-terror was not fought out to victory, then sooner, or later, Washington, or some other place could be vaporized! That is the dead end. Feudalist suicide-bombers are not going to get hold of nukes, if GWB has anything to do with it. So, the ‘war-on- terror’, will continue to unfold and develop.
Some people, like the late Susan Sontag, think that terrorism will always be with us; therefore, this war is an endless undertaking. They should watch, ‘Gone with the Wind’, and think about slavery. I think that when the entire world has system’s-of-government like those to be found currently in the industrialized west, then such a war would be finished. So, perhaps it may last in one way or another for the next thirty years’, or more. Who can say? Whatever time it takes, would not alter the need to fight it, nor the requirement to adopt a strategy capable of leading to victory. But this stage in Iraq will not take very long and the new regime that results will be a steadfast ally against Islamic- terrorists, after all, they will have suffered mightily from them.
Islamic-terrorists, have rather dramatic agency, and must be fought and defeated. In short, they should be chased world wide. Thus after 9/11, war against the abomination that is the Taliban became inevitable and fully supportable. But what did we get from the loopy pseudo-left? It’s about an oil pipeline!
Any credible strategy, for fighting this ‘war-on-terror’, must include, both stopping terrorists, and reducing the quality of their arms and training; both in quantity, and quality. This much we should be able to agree on, the war in Afghanistan put a big hole in Al-Qaeda, and the west has been hardened as a general target since the war began as of 9/11.
The only prospect for long term success, (and that is virtually all that counts), that I can conceive of is to empower the people of the Middle-East, through a modernity project of some description. IMV Bush and his inner-circle came up with the same project that Chomsky did. Only Bush is in the position to do it, and is doing it. The next do-able part of the project was to rid the world of Saddam, and Iraq of U.N., sanctions; then muddle through empowering the locals, and getting an acceptable constitution adopted; and elections held. As we speak, this is happening, and as with all war, it rolls-on, warts and all.
The war in Iraq may, in the short-term, have the effect of increasing the numbers of terrorists, but it won’t increase the number of Saddam supporters! I have yet to hear an argument that victory in Iraq, (measured by the establishment of a democratic federation) will do so for either group!
Victory, throughout the region, will ultimately smash terrorists, by drying up the mass- supported issues they mobilize for; and weakening the fundamentalism common to backward societies. Advanced industrialized societies are not run by Taliban types. Honor killing of daughters, and wives is rare. Women are no longer charged with indecency, as the Australian, Annette Kellerman, was in the U.S., in 1902, just for wearing a one-piece bathing-suit. These very youthful societies are 100 years’ behind the west, but will make up that difference in twenty five years’, or so; because of that very youth, and the fact that world development is speeding up.
The US has changed course dramatically. Hamas in Palestine is now to be worked with; Hezbollah in Lebanon; the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Rather than allow the gangster regime of Mubarak to continue to build resentment and the eventual backlash the US are openly critical today. They want change and they are going to get it ready or not.
The pseudo-left actually want stability and couldn’t even cheer the fall of that fascist tyranny in Iraq. Pathetic is too pale a word, for what is being peddled here as ‘leftwing’. This stuff has long ago degenerated into collaboration with the enemies of modernity. Even that old imperialist Rumsfeld could change enough to grasp what the new century required.
Bush has a strategic plan that he is putting forth to change the world. He doesn’t mention the bourgeois revolution anymore than he proclaims himself as a representative of the ruling class. What do people expect? The real question is; objectively is that revolution what he has turned the US back to supporting? People on this site talk in feable minded turms of retreating into their own countries and allowing the Middle East to continue as the swamp that it is! There is not a hint of working with forces that are striving for liberation. Why the deafening silence about the Kurds? Why the fear of liberating Shia peoples? What is your program for changing the world?
Yes it is true that there are two sides to every war, but take the case of the Civil War, even Lincoln did not declare that putting an end to slavery was the principal war aim from the start. That principal war aim was unfolded later. That should not surprise anyone, it is to be expected in a class society
’If Iraq turns out to be an Islamic republic run by clerics campaigning on anti-Americanism, was all of this nonsense worth it?’
Yes it would; because history will not stop for any Islamic republics either. Modernity is at war with tyranny and feudal reaction. The bulk of people in Iran for example hate their ruling Mullahs and they will be overthrown. They came to power because the former US policies was to oppose democracy as they did with the coup in 1953 when they helped install the Shah. Communists and other democrats were crushed by this US freindly bastard leaving the pulpits as the only organizing platform left. 25 odd years later the full consequences came back to haunt the world. Now over 25 odd years later most Iranians are fed up to the back teeth, so the Mullahs rig elections and rule by outright brutality so the people will rise up and overthrow the Mullahs (that look almost as strong as did the old Soviet bosses in their actual decrepitude. The revolution is coming and youth (remember all the Middle East has a very youthful profile, while all Western countries, has an ageing profile), and technology with the net mobile phones highly developed pop culture etc, is going to speed things up. Nobody will have to invade Iran to liberate that proud people. They will be inspired by the democratic freedoms enjoyed right next door in Iraq and take these freedoms for themselves. Do not doubt this.
We owe it, to the fallen heroes of this just, and essentially completed, war of liberation, to come to grips with the reality of why we went to war. It was and is to start the process of draining the swamp of the entire Middle East. It is the only way of fighting to win against the current enemy of all modernity that attacked and declared unrelenting war as of 9/11. It is as correct a war as was WW2 and they both contrast with the despicable wars of aggression that almost all the rest of the post ww2 period was about.
If you doubt that the US would be condemned, try to advocate that Coalition military forces be used, regardless of UN security council vetoes by Russia or China, on virtually any ‘peace’ blog and report back; we will wait without holding our breath.
Victory is clearly within the grasp of the Iraqi peoples.
The Iraqi people will be in control through a democratically elected government with sufficient armed forces building up to control their territory and contribute to the fall of the reactionary anti democratic governments all around them. The US troops will not remain in any large numbers other than as border protection, air cover and naval protection forces. Victory on the Iraqi front, cannot be complete while the rest of the Middle East remains a Swamp. Iraq will continue to suffer from the Mosquitoes until the whole swamp is drained. The next part of the project is the establishment of a Palestinian State and more has happened in this direction, under GWB, than had happened during the last 40 years (when settlements were increasing, not as they are now, being dismantled) and whole areas handed over to Palestinian control. The major political parties in Israel are now literally pulling themselves apart, as the reality of the defeat of the project for Eratz Israel becomes apparent.
’Forcing democracy down the barrel of a gun is tough to do, at around $400 billion a pop.’ Isn’t that the truth! So; people who think that the US is about to go rampaging around the world, as a military colossus, should get a reality check. The US is just not up to the job. The biggest contribution the US has made is by abandoning its preeminent role on the other side! All the former policies were to prop up the likes of Mubarak, and Sharon and the filth that is the Saudi government and system.
You ask me to describe the old policies remember Marcos and the Shah and the invasion of Timor by the Indonesian cleptocracy of Suharto (who murdered communists and other democrats, in vast numbers; remember the mass murder of Indo China, remember Pinochet. The US foreign policy establishment best personified by that untried war criminal Henry Kissinger was behind this failed attempt to hold back the political demands of the masses throughout the world in the perceived interests of the US ruling class. Propping up all these bastards has failed and has instead built up a well of resentment throughout the world against the US who had been held in such high esteam at the end of ww2. Remember the failed effort to back the gangster Chiang Kai-shek when a quarter of the world’s people were standing up under the leadership of Mao? Nobody can say the US ruling elite were not warned what would befall them. Remember the stupidity of backing AlQaeda with a billion dollars and getting the Saudis to pump in another billion instead of backing the democratic forces opposed to Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. All these policies failed because they attempt to stand in the way of the three big issues that are driving our era. These are that; nations want liberation, countries want independence and the people want revolution.
Your comments about electoral fraud etc, is not racist, but naïve I the extreme. When all the negotiations and maneuvering of the vast number of political entities and players in Iraq is complete and a government formed, it will not mean that all problems are resolved. The attempt to paint the election process as illegitimate is both understandable and wrong. Do your sums and it will become clear to you that this is the case. For example think about just who the Kurds have elected and what type of man is President Talibani. It is better to investigate the political parties and their support base than fall a numbers argument that does not add up. Consider polls prior and after the election consider population percentages
ROBERT LOCKWOOD MILLS
Your post is a nonsense; and if you read through my posts since Comment 7 you will understand why even if you still disagree with me. It is vital to fight the war to drain the swamp of the Middle East, Iraq is but one front in this war. This war will be fought with all means available from the diplomatic to the military to the economic.
Western-style democracy always came ‘to a land that has never known it’ Only racists think that Middle Easterner’s can't assimilate it. Only a fool thinks that the Iraqi people elect a government, knowing that these politicians are going to ask the coalition to stay a while longer, yet ‘wants more than anything else for our so-called liberating troops to leave at once.’ They do not! They Want them to go ASAP after the mad bombers and Baathists have been subdued and their own forces trained to continue the fight. They know that it is the Iraqi people themselves who must ultimately win the war.
Does more than digress. He is still yammering on about oil years after it should have been apparent to all that the US could never install the puppets required to nick it. Get up to speed and deal with the election process that we are now discussing.
It seems to me that people are all over the place on this war, both left and right. The vast bulk of what is passing itself of a left though is nothing but a pseudo left. It is only left in form but it is right in essence.
http://www.lastsuperpower.net/ has quite a deal of discussion of this if you want to look around the site.
Your question ‘Have you gone over and asked any Iraqis what they would like?’ is to be answered by the results of the election. Listen to their elected representatives and do not assume that any expert knows how to represent their constituents better than those that were elected.
All this talk about Iraqi love of tyranny could be just a well applied to the Japanese. Thankfully Macarthur ignored your type of expert advise, and instead started that country on the road to a bourgeois democracy.
Iraqi’s do not need to be abandoned while the likes of Jordanian terrorists cross the border with their Jihadists, to impose terror on the people, they need to be listened to and their army trained ASAP. Keep your eye on the Kurds who will undoubtedly be the most powerful force for liberation in the whole region.
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, because the times they are a changing and changing fast.
...ROBERT LOCKWOOD MILLS
’An Iraqi would have no frame of reference for the word, no matter what his branch of Islam or his politics. He doesn't relate to left-wing vs. right-wing,’
You know not your ass from your elbow! Iraqi communists celebrated long and hard on the streets of Iraq when Saddam fell. There are a great many forces for modernity struggling in Iraq.
’Uninformed ideology serves no one, and particularly not the Iraqi people.’
Bravo. Now deal with some aspect of this war of liberation that is complex.
The United States was the liberator in Iraq and the 2,165 dead and 16,000 wounded casualties (half of which were returned to active duty in about 72hrs) suffered were for the purpose of launching the bourgeois revolution for the entire Middle East.
The ruling class through their ruling elite can not say this directly anymore than it could say that there is a ruling class and proletarians only work here. Nevertheless that is the stage of history we find ourselves in.
The original justification was all they thought they would have to say, because they believed it like every body else. Since that angle flopped the actual mission has been revealed and they are saying it as plainly as one could possibly expect (without taking out a copy of Das Capital and bashing you on the head with it.)
This $400 billion dollar boondoggle was worth every penny and the heroic 2,165 lives. Because there is no alternative that will work.
Bush Blair and others are bungling revolutionaries on a steep learning curve but there is no alternative than liberating the whole world by one means or another. In the case of Iraq it had to be a military intervention, not so in Lebanon. Political and economic pressure aught to be the main method, but they are all on the table. Modernity is at war with reaction.
‘holding elections where pro-western secular candidates were squashed by anti-American Muslim clerics,’ proves conclusively, that it’s not about nicking oil but about genuine liberation.
The Iraqi people are being put firmly in control and their own constitution is good stuff by standards. Read it. It will influence the next 20years of Middle Eastern history as profoundly as the fall of the Berlin Wall influenced the last 20 odd in Eastern Europe.
This Issue has now broken through to a whole new level, and pretending that nothing has changed will never do; so people interested in Iraq and studying the issue from another point of view can find a huge amount of discussion and collected articles at http://www.lastsuperpower.net/
COMMENT #70 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 11:06 pm PT...
#68 --- Robert --- I think Saddam was about as close to a secular ruler as they will get. He was certainly considered a modernizer throughout the region. (Although he used religious and other power blocks.)
But having destroyed the infrastructure and brought devastation to the nation as well as having thrown open the system to an upsurge of ancient rivalries, we can look forward to theocratic intolerance as the governing political principle. Once again, like a endless loop we can't leave, we have played our cowboy game and left likely civil war, devastation, and death in our wake. What the hell is wrong with us?
COMMENT #71 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 1:30 pm PT...
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 3:13 pm PT...
Fair enough. But that would destroy all his (PatricM) hopes of making sense of the Iraq experiment.
I mean we invaded them on false pretenses, occupy them under false pretenses, and have now given them, according to your suggested "concede a fair election", fair and open elections.
And they have elected the anti-Americans and booted out soundly the pro-Americans.
Either way the neoCon ideology comes out as madness based upon lies. It actually helps the liberal argument against the war if we allow that the elections were devoid of fraud ... as the admin must do since they managed the elections with a heavy hand (barbed wire, tanks, curfews, and martial law).
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 4:44 pm PT...
Dredd says that my ‘suggested premise... is just a power play, because it is devoid of any consensus whatsoever.’
OK; that is well worth looking at. Also, sorry for the delay in responding.
We do need to have some agreed broad brush facts to work from. For example I think we would all like to do this; http://www.lastsuperpower.net/images/finger/view and our dispute ought to be about how this is to be done.
I don’t think anyone on this site is upset about the Allied victory in WW2, or the imposition of democratic forms of governments upon the Axis powers. People here may want more than bourgeois democracy, but they could not want less.
In short, we all ought to be able to agree that voting in free and fair elections is desirable and something for all humanity. I do not believe that commentators on this site would support slavery or tyranny. I believe we can agree that;
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
The following is the election that we are specifically talking about;
‘The United Nations-supported “Independent” election commission monitors the Iraqi polls based on proportional representation in which about 15 million voters will head to polling stations around the country. About four million of the voters are registered in the country’s capital, Baghdad.
The new parliament-to-be-formed will have a four year term in office and will consist of 275 seats, like the Interim National Assembly.
Eighteen provinces, proportional to their population, will send members to parliament’ http://www.zaman.com/?bl...rh=20051215&hn=27574
We have published stats on the populations in all the provinces and they were not disputed before the election, so all have agreed to them.
The national turnout of 70 percent of Iraqis was a large increase from the 58 percent that had participated in the January elections LINK HERE
The main Sunni parties came top of the polls in four of Iraq's 18 provinces.
The electoral commission said earlier this week it had received more than 1,000 complaints related to the election, but added that only 20 of these were "serious" and liable to result in the cancellation of votes.
I have seen other reports of as many as 1500 complaints.
8.5m votes cast in the 30 January poll
Shia list: 48%
Kurdish parties: 26%
Iyad Allawi list: 14%
Others: 12% Turnout: 58% http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/.../middle_east/4261035.stm
This is the main line of complaint;
Dulaimi said he was particularly worried by the results from Baghdad, Basra and Kirkuk.
Baghdad was the biggest prize in the poll, accounting for over a fifth of seats in parliament. The Shi'ite alliance took a surprise 57 percent of the vote, against 19 percent for the IAF.
In the city of Kirkuk, contested by Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, the Kurdish bloc won more than half the votes amid allegations they had bussed in supporters from other areas.
Another leading member of the IAF, Hussein al-Falluji, said Friday's march was a show of strength to show the electoral commission and the Iraqi government's U.S. backers how effectively they can mobilise their followers.
But he also suggested there was room for negotiation.
"The door is still wide open to reach a solution," he said. "A deal could be made before the final election results are announced that would please all parties."
The electoral commission is examinining about 1,500 election complaints but says the vast majority are minor and will not affect the final result. It has all but ruled out a new vote.
U.S. officials and some within Iraq's Shi'ite majority fear that if Sunnis feel robbed by the results, the largely Sunni Arab insurgency will intensify.
Sunni Arabs who stayed away from the previous election of an interim assembly, turned out in large numbers this time, with many insurgents observing an informal truce to let them do so.
U.S. officials appear to be working to persuade Sunni Arab and secular leaders to join a broad-based coalition government.
Sunni Arabs, dominant during Saddam Hussein's rule, are believed to form around 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million people. Shi'ite Arabs account for about 60 percent. Most of the rest are non-Arab, predominantly Sunni, Kurds.
The population of Iraq is 26,074,906 (July 2005 est.) and the Age structure
0-14 years: 40% (male 5,293,709/female 5,130,826)
15-64 years: 57% (male 7,530,619/female 7,338,109)
65 years and over: 3% (male 367,832/female 413,811) (2005 est.)
Thus producing something like 14,600,000 eligible voters. (But there are the overseas refugees as well, and they are quite a large number)
I propose that we agree that the approximate breakdown of the Iraqi population is 19% Arab Sunni 19% Sunni Kurds and 57% Shia the other small national groupings like Turkomen, Assyrians etc 5% (we need a starting point, but if others can contribute more accurate figures fine I will be happy to go along with the better stats)
The intent is to find out if the election process (that we do all agree just happened) ended ‘in all important proportional representation’. If it did then we can conclude that whatever minor distortions or irregularities or corruption, the outcome is substantially free and fair. (Which is incidentally what the international observers from the UN concluded)
I refer people to the following news Item; http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=23631
’Iraq's election commission says 6,655 candidates, 307 parties and 19 coalitions have registered for Thursday's ballot.
The outcome of the vote is likely to be a much higher turnout than the last vote - and potentially a very different, less Shia-dominated government, says our correspondent.
He adds that while the violent, predominantly Sunni insurgency is ongoing, it has been much lower than in the run-up to the last polling day on 30 January.
Even some insurgent groups have called on people to vote, though al-Qaeda describes the elections as the work of Satan.’
We can note also the following as an agreed position.
‘The Kurdistan Alliance, dominated by Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, hopes to repeat its strong performance in Iraq's first post-war elections in January. In that poll it emerged as the second largest bloc in parliament and formed a coalition government with the winning Shia alliance.’
The major Kurdish political parties are not Islamist even though the Kurds are Muslims of the Sunni variety. There is essentially no support for Islamism among the Kurds. They are the most politically modern segment of the Iraqi population http://www.lastsuperpowe...es/women-peshmerger/view
Saddam was from the Arab Sunni minority, and he held absolute power through control of every important facet of Iraqi life. He essentially owned Iraq and held everyone’s life at his command. The Sunni Arabs were privileged and dominated the other 80% of the Iraqi population. Naturally enough though most Sunni Arabs were still just working stiffs without in reality any privileges.
The election ought to produce a vote, as it did in January, where political power is not monopolized by the biggest Shia groups, and power is even more broadly spread. If that is the outcome, and the final results are not far away now, then I say we should except that what the UN observers declared to be free and fair, was and is.
If we agree on this then I restate my original proposition that anti-racists have to get behind the new government of Iraq in their fight against the enemies of all descendants of the Enlightenment.
The fact that a non puppet government has resulted rules out the old notions that the US ruling elite would install pupets in order to nick oil etc and we are left with the hard to ajust to proposition that they meant to further the bourgeois revolution in order to defeat the enemy that showed up to all on 9/11.
Free and fair elections ends the old war and the new war is being run by and for the Iraqi people with their own elected political representatives. Just as the US, deserved the worlds support when the bombers struck on 9/11 so do the Iraqi masses who are faceing down these bombers every day.
It is also a case of self interest, becasue the swamp must be drained or Mosquitoes will endlessly bite us.
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 4:52 pm PT...
I appear to have stuffed up the screen, can anyone tell me how to make it fit so I can read it.
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 5:56 pm PT...
#71 --- BVAC --- No commonplaces on BradBlog, eh? OK.
COMMENT #76 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 6:16 pm PT...
Patrick --- It's the long URLs, I think, that spread the page. It works better to put them in as links. (See the "Click here" above the comment box for more information.) If you can't read it by scrolling, maybe you could change the screen area (pixels) on your monitor. Someone may fix it.
COMMENT #77 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 9:17 pm PT...
Thank you for your advise Arry. That will teach me for not reading the instructions, I shall do so now.
COMMENT #78 [Permalink]
said on 12/27/2005 @ 11:16 pm PT...
Have fixed the long link. Thanks for letting me know PatrickM. You may now continue your dull, unsupported, discredited, wishful-thinking, PNAC-inspired skreeds.
COMMENT #79 [Permalink]
said on 12/28/2005 @ 4:20 am PT...
If any of you know where we can find a video or an audio file of the debate between Ritter and Hitchens, please post the link here.
I saw the debate (at least some of it) between Galloway and Hitchens, and I have to say that I was very disappointed. It was more a show than a debate of ideas and facts.
So I hope this one will be better!
Thanks a lot!
COMMENT #80 [Permalink]
said on 12/28/2005 @ 8:34 am PT...
I also said you have to define the various forms of "democracy" you mandated without definition. You have not done that, however, you do make suggestion as to what "democracy" is.
You say "I don’t think anyone on this site is upset about ... the imposition of democratic forms of governments upon the Axis powers" (emphasis added).
I would argue that your sneaky premise is flawed. Democracy of the form Americans would accept, is not one that can be forced on citizens by governments. Just the opposite is true. Democracy is something that flows from the citizenry, the people, and so is government.
Democracy flows from the people or it is not American democracy. What is being forced on Iraq after and invasion and occupation does not qualify.
As another Brad Blog Thread shows (link here), the elections purged out US favored politicians, and elected religious connected types instead. Some of those have been an important part of the insurgency all along.
So, the experiment to force neoCon democracy, an inferior form to say the least, has not even worked.
What the womb of the neoCon mama administration is producing is an Iranian type of "democracy" where people can vote all they want but will not have an American democracy.
Why? Under our form of constitutional democracy we do not vote for nor against the most valuable essences of our American democracy (The Bill of Rights, as extending the constitution). Voting is a second class mechanism under the American concept of democracy.
And the voting we demand is open, honest, verifiable, and fair. But we do not allow that to extend to our most valuable rights, because they are inviolate, inalienable, and above voting.
COMMENT #81 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2005 @ 2:37 pm PT...
Please excuse my occasional vulgarity (e.g.#66) --- although I prefer to consider it Elizabethan. Nothing is killing the earth, life, and democracy more than blindness and a disdain for "reality"; and it often seems a task of despair to even chip away at the militant ignorance. (But that chipping is done very well by a number of regulars here.)
So, sometimes my posts can be termed "exasperated". (Although, you will notice that I never call anyone an "idiot" or a "moron" - I only speak of what is being said, even if in strong terms.)
Together with a week of severe storms, my road washing out, etc. --- well, it's not always wise to post. Somedays I "shoulda stood in bed".
COMMENT #82 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2006 @ 1:36 am PT...
I wonder if Ritter met any 14 year-old girls after the debate. There's more to that dude than meets the eye!
COMMENT #83 [Permalink]
said on 1/4/2006 @ 10:43 pm PT...
For fucks sake, no one has a link to the audio of the debate?
COMMENT #84 [Permalink]
said on 1/8/2006 @ 4:32 am PT...
COMMENT #85 [Permalink]
said on 1/8/2006 @ 11:53 am PT...
COMMENT #86 [Permalink]
said on 1/8/2006 @ 12:06 pm PT...
COMMENT #87 [Permalink]
said on 1/8/2006 @ 12:08 pm PT...
COMMENT #88 [Permalink]
said on 1/8/2006 @ 12:10 pm PT...
Sorry for the triple entry above...