"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dissent Helps, Not Hurts, Our Troops and Freedom in Iraq

Read.

"They want an exit strategy, a cut-and-run exit strategy. What we are for is a successful strategy," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn, according to AP.

But Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: "We want to change the course. We can't stay the course."

Despite the differences, today’s developments indicate a growing willingness by Congress to probe the president’s handling of the Iraq war as the U.S. military death toll rises, public support slides, and the Iraqi resistance grows.


Al.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

"The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq ... We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders," Mr. Clinton said.

It would have been better if the U.S. had left Iraq's "fundamental military and social and police structure intact," he noted.

The current U.S. President George W. Bush has been trying recently to revive the public's fading support to his unjustified decision to invade Iraq, saying that many current critics warned that Saddam was a threat before the war started.



Jazeera.

Rep. John Murtha, an influential House Democrat who once voted for invading Iraq called Thursday for immediately pulling out American troops from the country, a move described by analysts as another sign of growing unease in Congress about the war.

"It is time for a change in direction," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats said, adding that the U.S. Army "is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."


Italics mine. Comfort and encouragement for the insurgent murderers to keep doing what they're doing, theirs.

The issue is not whether these Americans have the right of free speech, it's whether they are doing good in their exercise of that right. If they can question, so can I: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

21 comments:

Tlaloc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tbmbuzz said...

Since the hornets nest was there in the first place it was high time to destroy it. Stupid not to.

Tlaloc said...

"Since the hornets nest was there in the first place it was high time to destroy it. Stupid not to."

Right, because we should be genocidal maniacs who destroy all life we simply find inconvenient. That's ever so much more reasonable than simply leaving them alone.

tbmbuzz said...

Right, because we should be genocidal maniacs who destroy all life we simply find inconvenient.


Yeah right, this is what America is all about, according to you libs. And you wonder why ordinary Americans hold you in such contempt. Merry Christmas!

Tlaloc said...

"Yeah right, this is what America is all about, according to you libs."

Funny how you call for genocide and then claim I'm wrong for suggesting some are calling for genocide.


"And you wonder why ordinary Americans hold you in such contempt."

Hadn't noticed that. Actually what I noticed is that the GOP has to abuse people's fear of the Other in order to win an election. Without fearmongering what do the conservatives really have? Social Security "reform" that's dead in the water. A ton of criminal corruption cases being tried either in real courts or the court of public opinion. Runaway deficit spending to enrich war profiteers.

Somehow I think things may not be going quite the way you think they are going. You have seen the polls right?

KeithM, Indy said...

and without fearmongering what do the liberal/leftist/democrats really have???

According to them Republicans, are racists, bigotted, homo-phobic, anti-feminist, and willing to steal old peoples money...

Yeah, that's certainly not the politics of fear.

Tlaloc said...

"and without fearmongering what do the liberal/leftist/democrats really have???"

well you know social programs like say Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, WIC, et cetera...



"According to them Republicans, are racists, bigotted, homo-phobic, anti-feminist, and willing to steal old peoples money..."

Well lets see... Racist, you have heard of immigration "reform" right? And the republican push for profiling laws that don't work but stigmatize minorities, right? Homophobic, surely we don't have to get into the "DOMA" that are exclusively republican in nature. Anti-feminist, the constant attacks on NOW the ACLU and PP pretty much support that point. Willing to steal old people's money? Back to SS "reform" and the the drug prescription program. The current budget was *shock* a giant give away to corporations at the expense of the old and the poor. And it was hand crafted by a republican majority in both houses so they have absolutely no one to blame for the blowback but themselves.



"Yeah, that's certainly not the politics of fear."

There is a difference between "fear and "fearmongering." Fear is healthy and natural. Fearmongering is inflating something to make it seem more fearful than it is.

JC said...

Right, because we should be genocidal maniacs who destroy all life we simply find inconvenient.

We're not guilty of genocide... that's Saddam, remember?

JC said...

Funny how you call for genocide and then claim I'm wrong for suggesting some are calling for genocide.
He wasn't calling for genocide, he was asserting that the removal of Saddam's regime (the "hornet's nest") was justified. Genocide would be "the systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group." (dictionary.com)

The host of "Let's Talk", Dr. Kareem, writes:
Who do you think should stand trial as a war criminal; Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush?

Tlaloc said...

"We're not guilty of genocide... that's Saddam, remember?"

Actually there are a scary number of people in this country who are calling for genocide. Furthermore the indiscriminate use of depleted Uranium which has lead to a massive upswing in medical complications among Iraqis and particularly Iraqi children could fairly reasonably be construed as negligent if not willful genocide.



"The host of "Let's Talk", Dr. Kareem, writes:
Who do you think should stand trial as a war criminal; Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush?"

Why not both?

By the way have you seen the latest from iraq? I'll give you a hint here is the lede: "US hopes of secular Iraqi state fade away"

http://smh.com.au/news/world/us-hopes-of-secular-iraqi-state-fade-away/2005/12/20/1135032020005.html

Tlaloc said...

There is no military solution to terrorism short of genocide, you guys do get that right? Genocide is the only way in which you can really get ahead of the curve that determines how many terrorists you create for each one you kill.

JC said...

Actually there are a scary number of people in this country who are calling for genocide. Furthermore the indiscriminate use of depleted Uranium which has lead to a massive upswing in medical complications among Iraqis and particularly Iraqi children could fairly reasonably be construed as negligent if not willful genocide.

Calling for genocide? Who is calling for genocide, and genocide of whom?
Even if the uranium claim were true, that would not be genocide. Allow me to repeat the definition of genocide: "The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group." Genocide is when Saddam says "Let's use chemical weapons to annihilate all of the Kurds." Your claim is similar to "Ford built a defective car, resulting in many accidental deaths, thus they are guilty of 'negligent genocide.'" Read the definition: there's more to genocide than killing a significant number of people, just as there is more to murder than killing someone. There is no legal definition of "negligent genocide" anywhere to my knowledge; I think you're making that up.

Why not both?
(You did notice that was an Al Jazeera editorial, right?)
Again, I ask when has Bush ever ordered genocide or committed war crimes?
-- Abuse of detainees? The guards who were involved are all being judged and punished. Under Saddam, not only was abuse encouraged, but murder and genocide as well (crimes against humanity). We punish abuse.
-- Accidentally killing civilians? This is relatively rare, and our military makes every use of modern technology to minimize civilian casulties. Saddam, his regime, and the terrorists all deliberately target civilians in large numbers.
-- Invading Iraq? "War" is not the same as "war crime." Examples of war crimes are attacking soldiers that hold a flag of truce, using a flag of truce as bait for an ambush, or abusing prisoners of war.

You can disagree with the war, but it's another matter to accuse your president of war crimes. If you have some evidence of war crimes of which no one else is aware, feel free to post it here and then turn it over to the authorities so they can convict him.

Tlaloc said...

"Calling for genocide? Who is calling for genocide, and genocide of whom?"

On a number of conservative forums people have called for cleansing all arabs or all muslims. I personally debated with some at Freeconservatives about this topic. A surprising number there (as three or four) openly called for the murder of all arabs and NONE of the rest of the commentators reacted with condemnation. You can find similar cases at most of the big conservative sites (LGF, FR, et cetera).



"Even if the uranium claim were true,"

It is true:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/95178_du12.shtml

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn3627

Ironicaly the UN even considers DU to be a WMD:
http://www.sundayherald.com/32522


"that would not be genocide. Allow me to repeat the definition of genocide: "The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.""

Yes and the dumping of a toxicc and radiological substance all over their country can certainly fall under that catagory.



"(You did notice that was an Al Jazeera editorial, right?)"

And your point being? Al Jazeera is actually a very good source for news on the region. As opposed to many middle east papers it wil actually let Israel tell their side of the story and challenges the ruling powers of the middle east (except of Qatar where they are based).



"-- Abuse of detainees? The guards who were involved are all being judged and punished."

The abuse was ordered and justified by people up to at least Rummsfeld. Nobody above the grunts has been punished.



"-- Accidentally killing civilians? This is relatively rare, and our military makes every use of modern technology to minimize civilian casulties."

Yeah so rare that 15x as many Iraqi civilians have died as US troops. Our use of DU and WP both undermine your contention that we go out of our way to prevent such casualties. On the contrary the number of stories that show our troops to be trigger happy is enormous. Perhaps you recall the wedding party we bombed? Or the ambulance carrying a US soldeir that we shot up? Or the Italian security agent we killed at a check point after he had rescued a hostage?



"-- Invading Iraq? "War" is not the same as "war crime." Examples of war crimes are attacking soldiers that hold a flag of truce, using a flag of truce as bait for an ambush, or abusing prisoners of war."

Well it also includes launching a war of aggression and not following the geneva conventions. WHOOPS!



"You can disagree with the war, but it's another matter to accuse your president of war crimes. If you have some evidence of war crimes of which no one else is aware, feel free to post it here and then turn it over to the authorities so they can convict him."

I have the same evidence you do you just choose to close your eyes to it. There is no question that many of the activities of this war have been illegal. We failed to provide even minimal safeguards to the population at large by using a WMD. We failed to provide geneva guaranteed protections to captured soldiers and civilians. We launched the invasion with no legal foundation whatsoever. Feel free to notice some of these events any time now...

JC said...

Regarding the so-called uranium "genocide:" Read your own articles. "But some researchers are beginning to suspect that in combination, the two effects could do significant harm." Some researches are beginning to suspect that in combination, the two effects could do significant harm. That's precisely my point: we didn't do anything with the uranium to deliberately kill people. No intent, no genocide. And anyone who condones genocide is so far out of the mainstream it's not even funny.

Yeah so rare that 15x as many Iraqi civilians have died as US troops.
We didn't target them, but the terrorists certainly did (thus the high numbers). It's not a war crime to accidentally kill civilians while conducting military operations, but it is to target them deliberately.

The abuse was ordered and justified by people up to at least Rummsfeld.
Now you're unilaterally convicting Rumsfeld. If he were really ordering abuse and then supporting the prosecution of those who carried out the orders, then 1) soldiers would stop carrying out those orders and 2) some prosecutor would charge him with something. (A house divided against itself cannot stand!) Neither is happening. Rumsfeld is innocent until proven guilty. And all of that says nothing about Bush.

Well it also includes launching a war of aggression and not following the geneva conventions.
Whether or not the war was legal or the Geneva Conventions were broken depends on how you interpret international law. I'll leave that up to the experts. Since the U.S., U.K., and other 46 or so nations that agreed to the war haven't been expelled from the U.N., I'm guessing your interpretation isn't the only one.

I have the same evidence you do you just choose to close your eyes to it. There is no question that many of the activities of this war have been illegal.
Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't see the same things you do. Sure, some people have broken the law, but Bush has not committed war crimes, and it's absurd to try to put him in the same category as Saddam.

Would you agree that Saddam's crimes are far worse than anything Bush ever did?

Tlaloc said...

"Regarding the so-called uranium "genocide:" Read your own articles. "But some researchers are beginning to suspect that in combination, the two effects could do significant harm." Some researches are beginning to suspect that in combination, the two effects could do significant harm."

I have read them and many more besides. What you are noticing is the cautious language. In part they use that language because the DoD has strongly denied any such hazard. The evidence from independent labs however is overwhelming. Not everyone is willing to state it so boldly, but keep reading and you will in fact reach the same conclusion.



"That's precisely my point: we didn't do anything with the uranium to deliberately kill people. No intent, no genocide."

To argue that though you'd have to believe the DoD really doesn't know the stuff is harmful. Strangely enough that's a bit hard to swallow.


" And anyone who condones genocide is so far out of the mainstream it's not even funny."

Really, you know they used to say the same thing about people who'd condone torture. Odd, isn't it, how far and how fast the "mainstream" shifts?



"We didn't target them, but the terrorists certainly did (thus the high numbers). It's not a war crime to accidentally kill civilians while conducting military operations, but it is to target them deliberately."

What is it when you just don't care?



"Now you're unilaterally convicting Rumsfeld. If he were really ordering abuse and then supporting the prosecution of those who carried out the orders, then 1) soldiers would stop carrying out those orders and 2) some prosecutor would charge him with something."

Good lord have you not read anything on this topic? We have the giovernment memos in which they redefined torture. We have the orders going out to interrogators in Afghanistan, Iraq, and guantanmo. We have the proof now of secret detention facilities and the lists of what went on there. We have the FBI reports of torture at gitmo. We have Cheney fighting tooth and nail against the McCain amendment. What does it take before you stop pretending this was the actions of a few "bad apples"?



"And all of that says nothing about Bush."

Gosh I rather thought employing several guys who okayed and directed torture of detainees might possibly reflect on the president. Silly me. I guess the buck stopped substantially earlier.



" Whether or not the war was legal or the Geneva Conventions were broken depends on how you interpret international law. I'll leave that up to the experts. Since the U.S., U.K., and other 46 or so nations that agreed to the war haven't been expelled from the U.N., I'm guessing your interpretation isn't the only one."

We both know that the UN couldn't function without the US. Expelling us isn't an option.



"Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't see the same things you do."

And they aren't members of the "reality based community" by their own definition.



"Sure, some people have broken the law, but Bush has not committed war crimes, and it's absurd to try to put him in the same category as Saddam."

Why precisely? Saddam's government used WMD and operated torture chambers and killed civilians, right? Which of those is untrue of GWB's government?



"Would you agree that Saddam's crimes are far worse than anything Bush ever did?"

Sure, but when your only defense is "saddam was worse" you've lost the argument.

KeithM, Indy said...

Not only is your bias against our troops is showing again tlaloc... but your IGNORANCE as well.

You might want to get to know a few over the Christmas and New Years Holidays.

Here are several blogs from which you can start your education.

Currently in Iraq:
http://thunder6.typepad.com/
http://www.afemalesoldier2.com/
http://strengthandhonor.typepad.com/captaink/
http://currierd.typepad.com/centurion/

Been there or going there:
http://www.blackfive.net/
http://www.gojackarmy.blogspot.com/
http://www.mudvillegazette.com/
http://www.lt-smash.us/
http://inbrief.threatswatch.org/

Has son over there:
http://www.donaldsensing.com/

You have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR...

James Elliott said...

::Sigh::

When are the Righties going to stop pretending that somehow wanting the troops out of harm's way or a more effectively waged war to minimize their exposure to danger while maximizing their effectiveness isn't bias against the troops?

The "stay the course" line of reasoning is faulty on many levels, not the least of which is on-the-ground reality. The current Administration strategy, as enacted since 2003, is not effective. There are no arguments that do not involve the infinite timeline or ex post facto reasoning that can even dispute that.

This whole "genocide" thing is totally off-topic from Tom's ridiculous post. Al-Jazeera is one of the finest news agencies in the world, Tom, and also the most unorthodox and unbiased sources of news in the Middle East. Furthermore, your contention, that somehow criticizing the Administration policy for what it is - ineffective - gives succor and encouragement to the insurgents is completely undemonstrated by anything. All you have to show for such a case is your own visceral reaction. It's not even demonstrated in the Al Jazeera piece (which, in fact, repeats Republican talking points on Democratic positions, and not the Democratic positions themselves - so who's helping the enemy then?).

Your contention rests on nothing more than an emotional appeal and hatred.

KeithM, Indy said...

Sorry but the charge of bias against our troops is going to stand in this case.

As the argument presented had nothing to do with getting our troops out of harms way, and had everything to do with smearing their character and actions.

But I suppose calling out troops genocidal, careless, tyrants and morally equivelant to Saddam is "helping our troops and freedom in Iraq..."

Tom Van Dyke said...

Thank you for reading me carefully, Keith. The careless reader is a thoughtless one.

The questioners get very huffy when they themselves are questioned.

James Elliott said...

Sorry but the charge of bias against our troops is going to stand in this case.

Because the case is so well-established? (/sarcasm)

As the argument presented had nothing to do with getting our troops out of harms way, and had everything to do with smearing their character and actions.

I'm sorry, but whose arguments are you referring to? Because I was referring to the actual topic at hand, not JC and buzz's ridiculous genocide/not-genocide argument with Tlaloc.

But I suppose calling out troops genocidal, careless, tyrants and morally equivelant to Saddam is "helping our troops and freedom in Iraq..."

Show me who, out of all the people Tom quotes in his post, or anywhere else on this site, makes those contentions. Anywhere. Show me one Leftist who is taken seriously (and, contrary to popular Righty belief, Michael Moore and Ward Churchill aren't) who is on record saying such a thing. Tlaloc can have his own opinions - and for what it's worth, I think you're willfully misunderstanding what he and others have said - but he hardly speaks for all Leftists, Democrats, or anti-war protesters.

Seriously. Keith and Tom, you have got to prove this one or give up the broad brush-strokes.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It's quite clear there are no arguments that you will find convincing, Mr. Elliott, since the invasion of Iraq is called "unjustified" in the body of a "news report" (note "scare quotes"), and still you call al-Jazeera a fine news agency.

For the record, my point is that American politicians could avoid heated sound bites that provide fodder for al-Jazeera and the like. (Al-Jazeera did not feature Monday's [?] 279-109 House vote for "staying the course" as it did the other things I cited. That illustrates my point. It is not a fine news agency.)

I heard Sen. McCain disagree with the disbanding of the Ba'athist army without the foolishness of calling it a "big mistake."

As a man with the world's ear, and who has been on the world stage for 15 years, ex-President Clinton should have known better.

Or perhaps he did, and didn't care. If so, even more shame on him.

(You apparently missed Sen. Kennedy calling the US the new operators of Saddam's torture chambers, and would-be future ex-President Kerry saying the US terrorizes Iraqis by breaking into their homes late at night. As for "genocide," you have a point there. No sane person would say such things.)

(I would have been happy to discuss this issue with you, James, but as usual, this comments section has been clogged from the start with irrelevance and nonsense, and there's no point in continuing at this late time for a very limited readership.

Perhaps next time.)