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Abu Ghraib: Same Service, Under New Management
May 17, 2004 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Rumsfeld knew. More revelations from Seymour Hersch at The New Yorker.
posted by digaman (119 comments total)

 
That's "Hersh," sorry.
posted by digaman at 9:37 AM on May 17, 2004


We've lowered the bar for a Pulitzer as well, but if corroborated, Hersh is a shoe-in.
posted by machaus at 9:38 AM on May 17, 2004


We've lowered the bar for a Pulitzer as well, but if corroborated, Hersh is a shoe-in.

It would be an odd repetition of history if Hersh's reporting is confirmed and he does win another Pulitzer. My Lai in Vietnam and then this story in Iraq.
posted by rdr at 9:48 AM on May 17, 2004


And, of course, the administration continues to lie. That is all they know is lie, lie, lie, deny, deny, deny. Bush says Rumfeld is doing an excellent job.
posted by wsg at 9:54 AM on May 17, 2004


It supports the story of the reservist "in charge" of Abu Ghraib, who had been sending letters to various family members for months which included details about a wing he wasn't allowed access to where CIA operatives and "contractors" tortured and possibly killed various prisoners.

It's my sincere hope that when people look back on this in thirty or forty years there is no debate about what America did, only blanket condemnation. The Democrats should keep hammering all of this home, repeatedly, in as blunt a manner as possible, without hedging bets. Rumsfeld and Co. should be locked away for the rest of their natural lives and seen as a disgusting and shameful chapter in the history of America, one that hopefully won't ever be repeated.

It's almost frightening how willfully ignorant people were of what exactly this administration was up to--perhaps not the exact details, but anyone who is surprised by the behaviour hasn't been paying attention for at least the last three and a half years (or, really, any of the 80's).
posted by The God Complex at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2004


We should note the DoD spokesman's non-denial denial: "These assertions on activities at Abu Ghraib, and the abuse of Iraqi detainees are outlandish, conspiratorial, and filled with error and anonymous conjecture."

There is no claim that Hersh has his basic facts wrong. If they won't deny this outright, we must assume that the facts are not on their side.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:07 AM on May 17, 2004


Insurgencies can be fixed or ameliorated by dealing with what caused them in the first place.

Yes. Yes. "Bombing them back to the Stone Age" is not a valid fix.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:10 AM on May 17, 2004


The "non-denial denial " sems to me to directly reject Hersh's allegations. The problem is, the DoD has lost credibility. I've reached the point where I assume they are always lying, particularly when the denials relate to malfeasance.
posted by crunchburger at 10:24 AM on May 17, 2004


Nick Berg's father blames Rumsfeld for son's death: "These people had nothing against my son... They were against what the United States is doing to their section of the world" and "He [Rumsfeld] said he is taking responsibility for the sexual abuse scandal... he hasn't really taken responsibility, he didn't lose his son, he didn't lose anything"
posted by The God Complex at 10:29 AM on May 17, 2004


As far as prestigious journalism awards go, the best Hersch could get would be a National Magazine Award. By contrast, Pulitzer Prizes in journalism are newspaper awards (see the FAQ, which could not be directly linked).
posted by raysmj at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2004


From Easterbrook today, suggesting the zealousness in pursuing Saddam contributed to what happened.
posted by loquax at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2004


I'd bet there are a number of Republicans who will like Rumsfeld more for this.
posted by callmejay at 10:39 AM on May 17, 2004


The question is does this lose Bush (or gain Kerry) a significant number of votes in November.
posted by Outlawyr at 10:42 AM on May 17, 2004




The "non-denial denial " seems to me to directly reject Hersh's allegations.

Except it doesn't. It calls them "outlandish" and "conspiratorial", which they certainly are. That doesn't mean they're not factual, however. The phrasing "filled with error" is also interesting: it suggests that the article contains "errors" (incorrect dates or place names, maybe?) without denying that it may also contain many facts. An outright denial by a government spokesperson would be something along the lines of "these allegations are not true". Of course, in discussing a beyond-top-secret operation, there's probably not much that a government spokesperson is allowed to say. Remember, these people don't operate by the rules of standard English conversation...
posted by mr_roboto at 10:49 AM on May 17, 2004


Rummy may be the first SecDef/SecWar who's run out of town by his own subordinates.

Think about this, folks: Where do you think all this information is coming from? Rummy would cut out the military chain of command everywhere that he could, given the choice, because he doesn't respect the career officer corps. And they know it.

So they're getting rid of him. One way or another.

What's more, he's collected a cadre of "HELL Yes!"-men who not only don't respect, but often actively RESENT the career officers.

Let's put this in perspective: We pay good money to train our combat flag officers -- we probably put more effort into it than any other military power on earth, with the possible execption of Britain. Then we not only studiously ignore, but often react against, what they tell us we should be doing.

And then, the political establishment that takes that stance drapes itself in the flag and grabs the rifle and hops about hooting madly about how it's the real pro-military party....

In what rational universe does this all make sense?
posted by lodurr at 10:55 AM on May 17, 2004


"Bill Clinton lied" comment in...4, 3, 2,...
posted by wsg at 10:56 AM on May 17, 2004


The phrasing "filled with error" is also interesting: it suggests that the article contains "errors" (incorrect dates or place names, maybe?) without denying that it may also contain many facts.

Mr. Roboto, I should have picked this up before; my apologies. I think this supports an additional possibility: That not just the soldiers, but also even many of the DoD politicoes, are becoming too disgusted to keep up the big lie.

Let's hope. Consciense is a powerful thing.
posted by lodurr at 10:58 AM on May 17, 2004


The phrase:

"No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses as witnessed in the recent photos and videos."

directly contradicts the thesis of Hersh's article.
posted by crunchburger at 11:09 AM on May 17, 2004


"We have a place, all of us, in a long story -- a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer."

"Today, we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion and character."


"And I can pledge our nation to a goal: When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side. "

"I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater justice and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well."

- George W. Bush. Inauguration Speech.

Mem-ries... light the cor-ners of my miiiind...
Misty, Water-color mem-ries... of the waaay we were...

posted by Perigee at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2004


No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses as witnessed in the recent photos and videos.

This statement is not one of objective factuality: the phrase "conceivably have been intended" allows for tons of subjective wiggle room. Of course it's not conceivable that the higher-ups intended for sexual humiliation techniques to be used by untrained privates in a standard detention facility: Hersh never argues that this was the explicit intention of the program. Intention, however, seems of little relevance in this particular case.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:21 AM on May 17, 2004


"No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses as witnessed in the recent photos and videos."

What about irresponsible officials of the Department of Defense?
posted by milnak at 11:26 AM on May 17, 2004


I believe the article. Mainly because this dosen't strike me as the kind of thing grunts would've cooked up out of boredom or frustration. That would've resulted in ordinary physical abuse (which would be reprehensible as well, but more understandable). This was just too psychologically precise. It was some kind of psyops thing, although to what end I can't understand, because it probably wouldn't work to extract information and propoganda-wise, it's an utter disaster.

The guards should be held responsible for their actions, for they are not blameless, but greater blame lies with those above them who used them. and all of us, if you think about it.

But the fact that this story has gotten out, tells me that there's dissension even within the military about this war.
posted by jonmc at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2004


"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation." -- Saki

Given that these are "SAP"-related issues, we can expect the DoD to deny their existence.

Given that they can expect these SAPs to later become public knowledge, we can also expect them to deny them in such a way that they can later claim to have not denied them.

This is nothing new [cliche alert] or unexpected, that's true. So we ought not to be deeply surprised. But that doesn't mean we ought not be outraged.
posted by lodurr at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2004


"No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program"
Just out of interest, does the Secretary count as an official? In Britain, for example, you could say "No civil servant for the Ministry of Defence"... if Hoon approved it, because Hoon is a minister of the crown, not a civil servant. We all know politicians and their mouthpieces love to use technicalities, after all ... :)
posted by kaemaril at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2004


"...approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses"

Crunchburger... the "intended" is the non-denial denial. Basically, with the word intended in there, the DoD is saying "we may have approved such techniques but they weren't intended to result in abuse."
posted by drezdn at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2004


Ohhh, quoting The Leader?

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

Dec 18th, 2000 GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT
posted by rough ashlar at 11:38 AM on May 17, 2004


I suppose you're right drezdn...very legalistic language.
posted by crunchburger at 11:48 AM on May 17, 2004


This is the most hysterical piece of journalistic malpractice I have ever observed. -- Lawrence DiRita, Rumsfeld's spokesman.

More details by Hersh in the article. They tend to say there "is" no such SAP in their denials therein. That doesn't mean there was no such thing. Technicalities indeed.
posted by beth at 11:53 AM on May 17, 2004


And when you read "No responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that..." realize that the next paragraph is:

"To correct one of the many errors in fact, Undersecretary Cambone has no responsibility, nor has he had any responsibility in the past, for detainee or interrogation programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, or anywhere else in the world.

Got that? "No responsible official approved... Undersecretary Cambone has no responsibility". Nice.
posted by nicwolff at 11:55 AM on May 17, 2004


I'd bet there are a number of Republicans who will like Rumsfeld more for this.

Why?
posted by yerfatma at 11:57 AM on May 17, 2004


nice catch, nicwolff. i didn't see that the first time. i wouldn't think they'd make the ruse so blatant.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:14 PM on May 17, 2004


This may be somewhat compromised by Hersh's details as to what information exactly was being extracted (but it might not), but digby last week found an interesting connection re: Cambone, the non-responsible undersecretary...
posted by soyjoy at 12:20 PM on May 17, 2004


The Dark Side of America
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on May 17, 2004


OH C'mon all you guys. .. it was Lyndee England's idea. All of it. And you all know it.

I mean she was the one holding the leash. . . . .
posted by Danf at 12:57 PM on May 17, 2004


Cambone, the non-responsible undersecretary...

So... if you have two undersecretaries, and one's named Rummy, and the other's named Cambone, which one would you think likes Dolphins more? You'd think it'd by Rummy, but you'd be wrong. Also, which one do you think would like humiliation, discomfort, and disregard for the Geneva convention more?
posted by namespan at 1:01 PM on May 17, 2004


more on Stephen Cambone from The Nation, particularly in regard to his recent, seemingly contradictory statements about his "responsibilities."
posted by mrgrimm at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2004


I'd bet there are a number of Republicans who will like Rumsfeld more for this.

Why?


The same reason they liked Ollie North after Iran Contra. They feel what he did was just and good.
posted by callmejay at 1:07 PM on May 17, 2004


The same reason they liked Ollie North after Iran Contra. They feel what he did was just and good.

[Disclaimer: I am not a Republican.]

Perhaps some, but people have their limits. As bad as Iran/Contra was, this was much more viscerally shocking. Plus while Oliver North dosen't have much else to his credit, he came across well on TV in a certain way, whereas Rummy just comes across reptilian, even before this. I think this will hurt the current administration, even among their "own."
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on May 17, 2004


According to Talking Points Memo, the non-denial denial's been revised since it was first published.
[original copied at GlobalSecurity.org | current DOD version]
posted by kirkaracha at 1:16 PM on May 17, 2004


"I'm not saying that Rumsfeld or the president or anybody else had any idea of how this sort of transmogrified into what we saw in the photographs," Hersh said.

RUMSFELD KNEW, HUH?
posted by techgnollogic at 1:24 PM on May 17, 2004


...which one would you think likes Dolphins more?

Hambone.
posted by mcgraw at 1:28 PM on May 17, 2004


It's my sincere hope that when people look back on this in thirty or forty years there is no debate about what America did, only blanket condemnation.

It's my sincere hope we make it to thirty or forty years from now, so we can look back on this at all.
posted by chicobangs at 1:34 PM on May 17, 2004


Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he had read a summary of the New Yorker article and stressed that all war prisoners should be treated humanely. "I haven't read the article and I don't know anything about the substance of the article," Powell said. "I have just seen a quick summary of it. So I will have to yield to the Defense Department to respond."

-CNN


I am reading this a certain way. . .not sure if I am reading it correctly but I am smiling. . .
posted by Danf at 1:42 PM on May 17, 2004


It's my sincere hope that when people look back on this in thirty or forty years there is no debate about what America did, only blanket condemnation.

That would very much depend on whether there is an America in forty years, no?
posted by Krrrlson at 2:14 PM on May 17, 2004


That would very much depend on whether there is an America in forty years, no?

Perhaps I'm just a bit older and more jaded, but I don't think things are nearly as bad as the 80s.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2004


That would very much depend on whether there is an America in forty years, no?

Since you asked, no.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:29 PM on May 17, 2004


Perhaps I'm just a bit older and more jaded, but I don't think things are nearly as bad as the 80s.


And I would argue that things are much worse than the 80's, but about the same as the early 70's. Administrative corruption and blanket denial of malfeasance, a cultural rift that blinds and separates Americans along ideological lines, and an unwinnable war that continues to escalate. Yes, America will still be here in 40 years. The question is, will it be a country that anyone wants to live in?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:47 PM on May 17, 2004


Oh gag me with a spoon, Wulfgar.... I mean, seriously, do you listen to yourself?
posted by techgnollogic at 2:59 PM on May 17, 2004


Got argument, or just gas, techgoll?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:03 PM on May 17, 2004


I'm seeing the world through Wulfgar!'s eyes, techgnollogic - and frankly, more and more of us are seeing the same thing. Do you have a reservoir of hopeful, positive developments to point to in contemporary U.S. society, politics, and foreign policy? Or are you just fashionably dismissive of people's concerns?
posted by stonerose at 3:07 PM on May 17, 2004


I just wonder what the administration thought would happen? It is scary to think that they figured that no one would find out. As hard as it is to say this I can't assume that they are dumb and I have to believe that they knew that this was going to come out. What I can't figure out is why is what we are seeing right now the spin that they chose?

I wonder if Rummy and Rice are going to be shown the door and Powell will end up as the next VP candidate, all with the hope that this will cleanse Bush of all the shit the whole administration seems to have been rolling around for the last couple years.
posted by n9 at 3:16 PM on May 17, 2004


I also agree with Wulfgar. Increasingly our politicians are saying what they can credibly get away with, and we have gotten used to a diet of sugar coated lies.

I am ashamed of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, but even more ashamed by Americans who turn a blind eye, or worse, those who believe the administration has the right to lie.

By accepting the deliberate distortions of the Bush/Reagan/Clinton/Bush administrations, we are choosing fantasy over reality. How can we expect candor from our politicians, when we reward them for painting a rosy picture of lives.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:31 PM on May 17, 2004


opps, I meant lies.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:32 PM on May 17, 2004


- George W. Bush. Inauguration Speech.

Wow - I was at his inauguration. You wouldn't have thought it was the same guy, except for all the religious nonsense. That's been consistent, at least.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:45 PM on May 17, 2004


stonerose, Wulfgar!
Looking back from a British perspective, the Clinton years were pretty much a positive and happy time.

At the moment, from this side of the pond everyone's pretty much thinking "well, if the worst comes to the worst, there's only 5 years left...

Pity about the 2 terms rule I guess...
posted by derbs at 3:47 PM on May 17, 2004


"Administrative corruption and blanket denial of malfeasance"

Lawsuits, criminal trials, investigative journalism, a growing freelance fact-checking blogger army, corporate citizenship, etc.

a cultural rift that blinds and separates Americans along ideological lines

My hispanic girlfriend is a Nader-friendly, Bush-hating former Deaniac. We argue over which movie to rent.

and an unwinnable war that continues to escalate

Oh, great argument yourself, sport. Unwinnable? Might as well give up now. And the Cold War could only end through unilateral disarmament or nuclear holocaust, too.

If you're afraid you won't want to live in America 40 years from now, maybe it's you who's headed in the wrong direction. You don't sound like you want to live here today.

Maybe if you didn't think everyone should follow the same ideology, and instead saw those "cultural rifts" as enclaves of diversity, the only logical result of a respect for multiculturalism and individuality, you wouldn't be in such a panic.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:47 PM on May 17, 2004


Fact is this country has seen worse times, faced bigger threats, defeated more capable foes, and continues to be an unstoppable locomotive of scientific, social, and artistic progress. We're the richest, most powerful, most concerned, self-critical and charitable nation on the face of the earth, in the history of mankind, and last year over a million people from all over the world moved here. Afraid no one will want to live in this country in 40 years? Get a fucking clue.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:57 PM on May 17, 2004


techgnollogic, I agree. There's criticism, and then there's paranoia and melodrama. Whatever side you're on, perspective is your friend.
posted by loquax at 4:02 PM on May 17, 2004


The thing that bugs me about the future of America is not the corrupt leadership - we can get past that, as a people. The real problem is the significant portion of the population that just eats this shit up, and asks for a second helping. When the populace is too stupid to even want to throw the bums out, well, what hope is there? I just hope more people wake up. Bush's numbers are down lately, so that's one good sign. If he wins (or is appointed again) in November, I think we're doomed.
posted by beth at 4:07 PM on May 17, 2004


techgnollogic, I agree. There's criticism, and then there's paranoia and melodrama. Whatever side you're on, perspective is your friend.

Bingo! I'd much rather live today than to live under the, alien and sedition laws of the 1920s for example. And really, I don't see Bush as much more malevolent in regards to dissent than Clinton for example. How quickly we forget the 2000 Republican Convention, the non-volent activists held on $1 million dollar bonds for posessing weapons of mass protest, and the entire "eco-terrorist" craze of the Clinton administration.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2004


If he wins (or is appointed again) in November, I think we're doomed.

Doomed how? Seriously. What will George W Bush do to Doom America in another 4 years? How will voting for Kerry not Doom America? Doom, like, turn the US into, say, Nigeria? Or Doom like blow up the entire country? If you're right, I'm awfully nervous as a Canadian. The stream of millions of refugees heading up here shortly might overwhelm our social services.
posted by loquax at 4:15 PM on May 17, 2004


Well, off the top of my head, I was thinking no hope for health coverage for the millions of uninsured, further fucking of the schools with "No Child Left Behind", further in debt, worse economy, world hating us even more, more expensive ill-advised military adventures we can't afford, further erosion of civil liberties at home, more money wasted in the War on (some) Drugs, more no-bid contracts being given to his friends, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, social services in general having to be cut even more, religion creeping into government ever more, packing the Supreme Court with Scalia clones, overturning of Roe v. Wade, and if you give me more time to reply, I'm sure I can come up with more. Oh yeah, more mishandling of the War on Terror, more lies, more corruption, more lack of clue at the top, not to mention lack of accountability... I think I'll shut up now and let others chime in.
posted by beth at 4:22 PM on May 17, 2004


techgnollogic, you rock.
posted by keswick at 4:31 PM on May 17, 2004


Whatever side you're on, perspective is your friend.

Ssshhhh, you're screwing everything up.
posted by yerfatma at 4:33 PM on May 17, 2004


Well, off the top of my head,

Bush would have to be pretty damned busy to get to all of that, assuming he had any interest in doing so.

Health coverage or lack thereof is not his fault. No American president has passed comprehensive health coverage legislation that has stuck, so I'm sure why Bush not accomplishing it either is dooming America.

The war on drugs was not started by Bush, so he can't really be blamed for that.

"The world hating you more" is subjective and not solely attributable to Bush should that even be the case. In any case, four more years of America hating followed by the great relief when Hillary Clinton or whoever is elected hardly dooms America.

Corrupt politicians (and if you can prove the illegality of anything you claim you'd win a pulitzer and bring down an administration) have always been around, and will always be around. Bush isn't the first and won't be the last. Not sure how that dooms America.

The rich getting richer etc can hardly be blamed on Bush. If anything, blame Clinton and his new economy. Or whatever. Some evils in this world are not Bush's fault.

Religion "creeping" into government may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view, but again, I fail to see how that on its own dooms America.

For the rest of it, sure, there's room for improvement. A lot of room, in a lot of areas. Maybe he's even the worst president ever. But even still, I fail to see how mismanaging the war on terror, or Iraq, or lying, or whatever will doom America. America is 300 million people and will survive the Bush administration. Talk to Somalis about a country that is doomed. Talk to Zimbabweans. Please lets keep things in a moral and historical perspective.
posted by loquax at 4:34 PM on May 17, 2004


[most] charitable nation

How's that?
posted by meehawl at 4:35 PM on May 17, 2004


beth, you rock.
posted by wsg at 4:36 PM on May 17, 2004


What will George W Bush do to Doom America in another 4 years? How will voting for Kerry not Doom America?

Dunno about any scenarios involving totalitarian apple-pie states, but there's a real chance Bush could nuke the government's budget given another four years. Whereas Kerry's intentions won't matter, he'll be forced into doing something about the budget by recalcitrant Republicans.

That being said, I think there's a fair bit in the middle of beth's comment that Democrats won't do anything to stop. Something else has to happen for that.

Still. One icily wonders what the Republicans have to do with America being an unstoppable locomotive of social progress, exactly.
posted by furiousthought at 4:37 PM on May 17, 2004


Yikes, that last post of mine was a mess, please forgive the grammar and punctuation.
posted by loquax at 4:38 PM on May 17, 2004


I wonder if Rummy and Rice are going to be shown the door and Powell will end up as the next VP candidate,

Nope; Rummy has the full support of the President, including a blanket "thank you" from the America people (which I don't share in the least, and despise George for attempting to speak for me). Rice acquitted herself well by denying any responsibility for ... well ... anything, in front of the Congress of the USA. And Powell has lost credibility with both the right and the left. Cheney remains the Vp because Cheney has the Supreme Court in his back pocket, the will of the neocons in his right front pocket, and he plays pocket pool with George's means of survival (energy policy, which to this day, remains a national security secret). No, underlings will be sacrificed; Lyndie England will be verbally crucified, but I'd bet real money that there will be no shakeup in the current formation of the administration ... save Powell, tactfully and with grace, leaving in disgust if GW gets re-elected.

On Preview:

techgnollogic, you sir, are an idiot.

W - "Administrative corruption and blanket denial of malfeasance"

T - Lawsuits, criminal trials, investigative journalism, a growing freelance fact-checking blogger army, corporate citizenship, etc.

Meaning what? Has Ken Lay been brought to trial? Has Bob Novac revealed his sources on who outed a CIA operative? Can the American people yet view the minutes from Cheney's Energy council, or is Scalia too busy hunting ducks with Cheney's shotguns? Has the Commander in chief held anyone accountable for the actions at Abu Graib, save those who were in the photos ... and those who reported them? What have the fact checking bloggers revealed that have changed the American mindset about anything? Come on, wiseass, bring on your facts, 'cause your innuendo of a defense falls short.

W - a cultural rift that blinds and separates Americans along ideological lines

T - My hispanic girlfriend is a Nader-friendly, Bush-hating former Deaniac. We argue over which movie to rent.


WTF? Who cares? Do you have a point that isn't so deeply clogged in anecdotal syrup that it means something?

W - and an unwinnable war that continues to escalate

T - Oh, great argument yourself, sport. Unwinnable? Might as well give up now. And the Cold War could only end through unilateral disarmament or nuclear holocaust, too.


You need to get over the cold war there, little camper. Who are we at war with? The Iraqis? No, we were at war with the Ba'athists, but they're gone now. Yet we still have people trying to blow our asses up. You can tell yourself that they're all Ba'athist supporters, but I think that the burden of truth lies with you, not me. And we're really at war with terrorism, right? How much good did we do against the murderers of Mr. Berg? Are we winning? Can we win? Again, it would appear that the burden of proof lies with you, not me.

Or perhaps you are arguing that we are winning the war for the hearts and minds of Iraqis, and that we are convincing them that American Democracy is a friendly and comforting thing to emulate. Please, by all means, state your case, sparky. I'd love to hear your case. And I also think it would be appreciated by y2karl, matteo, and every other poster who has laid down link after link about how we are effectively driving the Iraqi people away from any trust that we have their best interests at heart.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, you mean that I am being anti-American by even bringing up the idea that we may lose the "war on terror", precisely because our current adventures are creating more terrorists. Anti-American? Fuck you. I love this country, and always have. That's exactly why I am disgusted to see that its leaders will pass the buck, its soldiers will be undersupported, we will abandon countries after destroying their infrastructure (Afganistan), and that we still haven't even attempted to foster a leadership role in the world. But come on, smart guy. Show me how beautiful things are with America acting like a Minotaur with a hard-on. Bring it on, little camper ... I'm listening.

Fact is this country has seen worse times, faced bigger threats, defeated more capable foes, and continues to be an unstoppable locomotive of scientific, social, and artistic progress. We're the richest, most powerful, most concerned, self-critical and charitable nation on the face of the earth, in the history of mankind, and last year over a million people from all over the world moved here. Afraid no one will want to live in this country in 40 years? Get a fucking clue.

What a moroon. We have seen worse times, but we haven't seen these times. As for defeating more capable foes, how many times have we faced an enemy that has 1.2 billion potential recruits? Haven't studied your math lately, I see. And any unstoppable object remains so ... until it is stopped. Haven't studied your physics lately either, have you? The Richest? Comparatively speaking, no we're not. Most powerful? Define this in terms that won't require nuclear annihilation of a country and then we'll talk. Most concerned? Prove it. Self-critical? You yourself are attempting to silence that critique, you hypocrite. You claim things of dubious truth and prove the claims that America is a jingoist bully. Thanks. Thanks alot, asshole.

And finally, techgno-illogic, you have completely misread what I wrote. I never said that America 40 years from now would be a place that no one wanted to live in. I asked the question. Do you have a valid answer or are you simply interested in attempted intimidation that makes you look all the more foolish? Your choice, of course.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:40 PM on May 17, 2004


loquax, I don't really think that all of the country's ills that Beth spoke of are Bush's fault either. But he is most definitely in the best position to make positive changes to improve our country. Instead he signs everything put in front of him, signs a Clear Water act that is the exact opposite, a Clean Air act that promises to let more pollution into the air, he's entrenched us in Iraq for at least the next decade without even the beginning of an exit strategy planned out.

He has built his presidency upon a foundation of lies.

Like a commenter above talking about DoD information. Anything BushCo says publicly, I interpret it the other way around. If they say that progress is being made in Iraq then we're losing ground. If Bush says that he's going to investigate the tortures at Abu Ghraib then he's going to watch some baseball and drink a six pack.

There is so little truth coming from the White House these days that people are, I think, just inured to the lies. They have become SOP for this government that people no longer bother to try and pay attention.

On Preview: Oh yeah, the budget! The guy is spending money like he knows there's no tomorrow. And its our money he's spending and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE!
posted by fenriq at 4:51 PM on May 17, 2004


Wulfgar!, do you really think Powell's got that much in him left to leave? He looks like a beat and beaten whipping boy everytime I see him in the news.
posted by fenriq at 4:57 PM on May 17, 2004


fenriq: I'm not saying that Bush is wonderful and you should be happy to have him. Honestly, I think he's been an about-average president in terms of his actions and results, both good and bad. It's been an eventful and unpredictable four years, and he certainly could have screwed things up worse. I also think that he gets a bad rap in certain aspects of his administration. That being said, I only get upset about this when people literally talk about the US going to hell in a handbasket because of him. He is not the anti-christ, or evil incarnate. "America" is not doomed, or threatened by him until he declares himself president-for-life. If he gets re-elected, deal with it, wait four years, and then vote for someone else. If you really think the US is headed for the toilet, come up to Canada, we could use a few years of a reverse brain drain. Until then, I think a little less hyperbole is in order.
posted by loquax at 5:02 PM on May 17, 2004



It's almost frightening how willfully ignorant people were of what exactly this administration was up to


NO, IT'S NOT.

it is a result of the society we have built. it is the natural result of vicious behavior encouraged by gym teachers with "dodgeballs", the result of violent sociopathic bastards rewarded and excused from academic performance as long as they carry a football on friday nights, the natural result of the "nod nod wink wink" "succeed at all costs" "be a winner" indoctrination of the young, the "go to church on sunday and peel the skin off your competitors all week" mentality the whole nation lives in, the endless framing in tv and media that makes life appear to be an acquisition contest, it is the natural result of endlessly battering young minds with this message. shit is rewarded. virtue is crushed. worthless, self-centered pieces of shit like georgie bush are fed lives of ease and acclamation. they become president.

clock yourself up the side of the head. i fail to see how anyone can feign frightened surprise at the natural results of things they fucking design and wholeheartedly participate in on a daily basis..
posted by quonsar at 5:02 PM on May 17, 2004


here here.
posted by futureproof at 5:11 PM on May 17, 2004


We're the richest, most powerful, most concerned, self-critical and charitable nation on the face of the earth, in the history of mankind,

Oh good grief. Canada is more charitable, and the British are far more self-critical, to name just two examples. On the other hand, there's probably no country in the world that's more self-aggrandizing.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:24 PM on May 17, 2004


Canada is more charitable

Canada is not more charitable in terms of foreign aid as a percentage of GDP (in fact, scoring embarrassingly low on that scale). Also, the United States spends more per capita on healthcare and I believe education that Canada does. Canada may in some ways be more efficient, likely because of the nature of the country and the distribution of the population, but is not necessarily "more charitable".

The point still stands that the US is at least *among* the most....

Just nit picking, but an example of the negative stereotypes being made of Americans and their government, in my opinion.
posted by loquax at 5:30 PM on May 17, 2004


It's been an eventful and unpredictable four years,

...due in large part to the volatile, chaotic, incompetent, and fundamentally dishonest Bush administration itself.

and he certainly could have screwed things up worse.

That is inarguable. Still, it's hard to point at anything he has actually done right.

If you really think the US is headed for the toilet, come up to Canada

It's tempting. Vancouver is a really nice city.
posted by Mars Saxman at 5:33 PM on May 17, 2004


loquax, we don't, re: foreign aid: The disparity between American and European contributions was highlighted yesterday by an agreement among European Union nations to donate an average 0.39 percent of their gross domestic product to aid by 2006, compared with America's current 0.1 percent of GDP.--from WaPo (2002)

and we don't cover all citizens like Canada and Europe, so are spending more to cover fewer people re: healthcare. Education I don't know.
posted by amberglow at 5:37 PM on May 17, 2004


Again, it would appear that the burden of proof lies with you, not me.

Bull-fuckin'-shit, twinkletoes. You're the one who called the war "unwinnable." No matter what I think of the war, the burden is on you to prove it cannot be won, even though - Are we winning? Can we win? - you have already retreated back to asking.

You yourself are attempting to silence that critique

You're dreaming. I disagreed with your stupid fucking paranoid delusion of a "critique." Maybe if you weren't so terrified of someone's counterargument you wouldn't be crying about people trying to "silence" you.

I never said that America 40 years from now would be a place that no one wanted to live in. I asked the question.

And I never said you said you wouldn't want to live here, I said you're afraid you won't want to. If you have to ask a stupid fucking question, don't get upset when I have to roll my eyes and laugh at you until it hurts.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:39 PM on May 17, 2004


The Roots of Torture
The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war. A NEWSWEEK investigation.
posted by mr.marx at 5:44 PM on May 17, 2004


Also, the United States spends more per capita on healthcare and I believe education that Canada does.

Spending more on healthcare while leaving millions uninsured isn't exactly an achievement. Of course the United States has much to be proud of, but it's just absurd how many people like technollogic feel compelled to constantly puff themselves up with this childish "USA #1" line. I mean, grow up already.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:45 PM on May 17, 2004


well, quonsar, he/she did say "frightened," not "surprised" ...

i pretty much agree with you, but it still frightens me.

It's been an eventful and unpredictable four years, and he certainly could have screwed things up worse.

if Gallup were asking, i would strongly disagree. i would agree that anything is possible, but "certainly could have screwed up things worse"? it's very hard for me to imagine how.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:46 PM on May 17, 2004


amberglow - right, I was just about to correct myself on that. Thanks. The US is about 25th in terms of foreign aid as a percentage of GDP and Canada is about 17th. The US is the second largest (behind Japan) in terms of real dollars though, at 9+ billion dollars annually.

In terms of healthcare, you may be right, and I guess this isn't the place for it, but I would argue that it's a lot more complicated to give 300 million people free healthcare as opposed to the 30 million in Canada. And the US is number 1 in the world at 12.9% of GDP.

In terms of education, the US is third in terms of tertiary enrollment, at 77%, and neither Canada or the US are in the top 25 in terms of spending as a % of GDP (Lesotho! being number 1)

Regardless, hardly numbers that foresee the kind of panic sometimes expressed by those disappointed with the administration. OK, I'm done participating in the derailing the thread, sorry...
posted by loquax at 5:48 PM on May 17, 2004


well, quonsar, he/she did say "frightened," not "surprised" ...

i pretty much agree with you, but it still frightens me.


yes, it is important to me that the god complex not see my screed as a personal attack. he just happened to speak the words that inspired it. god, we have become a sick society.
posted by quonsar at 6:00 PM on May 17, 2004


Bull-fuckin'-shit, twinkletoes. You're the one who called the war "unwinnable." No matter what I think of the war, the burden is on you to prove it cannot be won, even though - Are we winning? Can we win? - you have already retreated back to asking.

Answer one simple question: What do you call a "win"? Baseline is required, you know, twinkletoes.

You're dreaming. I disagreed with your stupid fucking paranoid delusion of a "critique." Maybe if you weren't so terrified of someone's counterargument you wouldn't be crying about people trying to "silence" you.

Oh gag me with a spoon, Wulfgar.... I mean, seriously, do you listen to yourself?

Your words, fool. Not mine. You were called on that by several more than me. I notice that you haven't responded to any of us with anything other than calls of delusion (which you haven't proven) and calls of paranoia, which you simply can't prove. Coward much? Show your stuff, twinkletoes.

W - I never said that America 40 years from now would be a place that no one wanted to live in. I asked the question.

T - And I never said you said you wouldn't want to live here, I said you're afraid you won't want to. If you have to ask a stupid fucking question, don't get upset when I have to roll my eyes and laugh at you until it hurts.


Show me the fear, fantasy boy. Show me a statement I made that proves the fear, fantasy boy. Come on, bring it on. Prove that you aren't making this up as you go. Prove anything that has been shown contradictory to what you've said. Show me how what I asked is a stupid question worthy of your chuckles. You can't show shit, can you, fear boy? Didn't think so.

You haven't shown anything that stands for your jingism, in the face of arguments that show you foolish. Rail all you want, dude, but its me that's laughing at you.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:17 PM on May 17, 2004


Hey guys what's with all the profanity and name calling? Doesn't add much to the debate.
posted by cell divide at 6:46 PM on May 17, 2004


The US is the second largest (behind Japan) in terms of real dollars though, at 9+ billion dollars annually.

And how much of the US's amazingly low per-capita expenditure on "foreign aid" is accounted by enormous transfers to the three largest benificiaries: Israel, Egypt, and Colombia? Israel and Egypt alone account for over 25% of the US's annual development aid budget.

This over-weighted expenditure of foreign aid (and associated military aid) on these far-from-under-developed allies and proxy states means that the real contribution of the United States to non-strategically aligned developing countries is minimal.

If you don't think refugees throughout the world notice that their bags of relief supplies tend to be stamped more often with the EU blue stars flag or the Japanese flag rather than the USA brand, then you underestimate them. And you underestimate how potent feelings of goodwill could be in recruiting potential allies or humint. I don't see many fundamentalist movements popular among dispossessed and marginalized populations calling for jihads against the Japanese.
posted by meehawl at 6:57 PM on May 17, 2004


"Yes. Yes. "Bombing them back to the Stone Age" is not a valid fix."

Neither is rolling over to appease everyone who says "we hate you, and we are going to bomb/attack you until you give us money/food/equipment/your eye teeth and kiss our ass in every way forever".

The problem with appeasement is it never stops. You teach these people that they really will get their way through terrorism and they will hold a knife to your throat forever.

First you have to spank them hard (Germany, Japan as examples) and let them know that you will NOT tolerate being held hostage... then you can make friends with anyone who has learned that lesson.

""I'm not saying that Rumsfeld or the president or anybody else had any idea of how this sort of transmogrified into what we saw in the photographs," Hersh said."

Remember, only listen to the author of an article when he supports you, when he says something you don't like, ignore him.

"Fact is this country has seen worse times, faced bigger threats, defeated more capable foes, and continues to be an unstoppable locomotive of scientific, social, and artistic progress"

Only in the current navel gazing, frenzy whipping atmosphere does this war qualify as "unwinnable". Casualties have been light, strategic progress is good and there is not one significant threat that could push us out of that country.

The only thing that will lose this war is the collapse of US will to win.

"Or Doom like blow up the entire country?"

No, no .. thats DOOM as in large armies of undead zombies from another dimension.

""succeed at all costs" "be a winner" indoctrination of the young"

You're kidding right? We don't live in that world - and haven't for a while if we ever did. We are living the result of the PC craze... where kids have been taught that results don't matter - only trying matters. We live in a world where everyone is supposed to play every game even if they suck and you the idea of an objective testing program in schools scares people so bad there are protests in the streets about it. The cultural anger at those who have, acquire and achieve is huge these days.

I guess what you see in society reflect your own biases - your does your and mine does mine - but I don't see this as a culture of competition, this is a culture of people who have forgotten how to compete, how to be strong and who whine to their therapists and blame "society" for every problem they ever had.
posted by soulhuntre at 7:17 PM on May 17, 2004


virtue is crushed. worthless, self-centered pieces of shit like georgie bush are fed lives of ease and acclamation. they become president.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of W B Yeats.
posted by SPrintF at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2004


god, we have become a sick society

Don't worry, q. What will happen with the United States is the same thing that happens to all complacent democracies throughout history -- they fall into brutal dictatorships, and are then quashed by marauding hordes.

We most certainly deserve it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:56 PM on May 17, 2004




The problem with appeasement is it never stops. You teach these people that they really will get their way through terrorism and they will hold a knife to your throat forever. First you have to spank them hard (Germany, Japan as examples) and let them know that you will NOT tolerate being held hostage... then you can make friends with anyone who has learned that lesson.

I heard much of this vainglorious rubbish for 30 years as the UK central government battled the PIRA.

From both sides.

Eventually they began negotiations.

You'd be surprised how a decade or two of conflict and natural selection changes your perspectives.
posted by meehawl at 10:44 PM on May 17, 2004


The scariest thing is that if Rumsfeld goes, Wolfowitz is next in line. Erm..

I think what the last few weeks/months has shown is that when dealing with the statements of the American government, one should have a dictionary handy.

It's not "torture" - perhaps "abuse", or even "persuasion". Youthful hijinks?

I think Rice kicked it off with the whole "historical events" line.

Seriously, if one is going to go into semantics, one should at least do it properly..

Loved the whole "no responsible.." "he didn't have any responsibility.." line though ^_^
posted by Mossy at 10:51 PM on May 17, 2004


My schadenfreude knows no bounds. Into the dustbin of history, you scoundrels!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:07 PM on May 17, 2004


The problem with appeasement is it never stops. You teach these people that they really will get their way through terrorism and they will hold a knife to your throat forever.

The problem with your argument is that it's a slippery slope one, a poor debate tactice at best. First you frame it with the language of "appeasement" trying to allude to the claims made against Chamberlain in the run up to World War II, then you say if you say if this happens it will keep happening forever. While it would be just as easy to say, if we send more troops to Iraq, we're going to have to keep doing that indefinitely.

Neither is quite true, especially since there are a multitude of other options. For example, finding a way to get the other Middle-Eastern countries involved in rebuilding Iraq, in a way that Iraqis would not be put out by such action.
posted by drezdn at 11:18 PM on May 17, 2004




First Abu Ghraib Iraqi Swedish Prisoner Sues U.S. for Damages...
posted by mr.marx at 12:11 AM on May 18, 2004


"Neither is quite true, especially since there are a multitude of other options. For example, finding a way to get the other Middle-Eastern countries involved in rebuilding Iraq, in a way that Iraqis would not be put out by such action."

I have no problem with a solution to Iraq that involves getting others in on the act, rebuilding the country and generally making nice now that we have removed the people we had to remove. In fact, it is pretty exactly what I have been thinking is a good idea.

What I dislike is the rising tide of people (not so much her om mefi though you do see it in the air) that seem to feel that we should use appeasement to prevent conflicts.. That somehow the useful response to people who hate you because of your success and a religion/ideology of hatred is to shower them with gifts to try and make them not so angry.

Iraq is, in fact, a good example. You cross the line and you get removed. Those who are left who are intelligent enough to work together can benefit... those who don't will perish.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:56 AM on May 18, 2004


First Abu Ghraib Iraqi Prisoner Sues U.S. for Damages...

Oh Great...screw the taxpayer going in, screw 'em coming out. It was noble of Rummy not only to condone the "terrorism" of often unidentified detainees, but then to offer compensation. I presume this will be deducted from his Federal pension, no?

We will find that Iraq will become our own private hole into which we have not only poured our time, money, energy, sweat and blood, but also our credibility for a long time to come.

Is that the question that should be asked when they do another poll that indicates 60% still feel it was worth it to invade a sovereign nation?
posted by charms55 at 2:32 AM on May 18, 2004


Well, charms55, at least you know which counties in America most deserve our precious educational funding.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:28 AM on May 18, 2004


"What I dislike is the rising tide of people (not so much her om mefi though you do see it in the air) that seem to feel that we should use appeasement to prevent conflicts"

Which conflict exactly? Iraq ruled by a ruthless bloodthirsty dictator wasn't pretty, but neither was it at war with the US surely?

And I'm afraid Iraq will be yours (and our thanks to wonderful Tony) private hell hole as we didn't seem too bothered when the rest of the world wondered why we were invading.

Appeasement is a nasty, dirty word that brings to mind pictures of Neville Chamberlain waving notes from Hitler in the wind, but just because I don't agree with bombing a nation back into the stone age doesn't mean that I agree with appeasement.

The real problem I find these days is how the hell are we going to sort this situation out? If the definition of success here is a democratic Iraq then what is the best way of achieving that right now? With all the hatred of the US in the middle east in general it seems only sensible to reduce the US military presence as much as possible and replace it with UN (hopefully arabic) forces while keeping to a set timetable for handing over of various powers and finally elections.

Oh, and what Stavros said.
posted by ciderwoman at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2004


You cross the line and you get removed. Those who are left who are intelligent enough to work together can benefit... those who don't will perish

How darwinistic. Not to mention ludicrous.
posted by ook at 7:55 AM on May 18, 2004


"How darwinistic."

Life is Darwinistic on every level. This applies to nations, people, animals, and bacteria - all of it. This is neither foolish nor smart - it simply >is< . those in iraq who can figure out that a nation ruled by a moderate government that is capable of not being a terrorist hub as well as a brutal dictatorship will benefit from the increased ties to the west. those who do not will keep picking up a gun and (hopefully) getting shot. i fail to see how it is ludicrous to say be someone we can work with and we will work for you, try and destroy us and we will destroy you. i>"Which conflict exactly? Iraq ruled by a ruthless bloodthirsty dictator wasn't pretty, but neither was it at war with the US surely?"

Iraq under Saddam was a focal and rallying point in a region that harbored forces who were and are at war with us. They declared that war and showed us that left unchecked they had the means to bring that war to our own back yard and cause significant damage. They wanted our attention, and they have it.

In that conflict is is crucial to be able to project power into the Middle East. Coupled with his obviously high evil modifier and stated intent to destroy the US and incite others to do so, adding in his flat out (till it was too late) refusal to prove he had complied with the terms of the last time we let his ass off the hook Saddam was a good candidate.

* Do something good (remove a brutal dictator)
* Remove a threat to our safety
* Remove a base for those who would attack us
* Gain a staging area to maintain a presence in the region
* Remind the other brutal dictators in the area that they are not immune to retaliation

The terrorists and rebels can huff and puff all they want, they can blow up as many of their own people in car bombs as they please but they cannot force a US withdrawal as long as our will remains to win this conflict. This is the point that will decide which way the next few decades go. This is that point where you realize if someone had stood up to Hitler he would have been broken.

Iraq is a testing ground now, that may not be how it started but it is what we have. We are going to try and create and keep alive a democracy in a region that hates democracy. They are going to try and break our resolve and our will. They will do this with all the means at the disposal of terrorists... because they lack the military means to do so.

Prevail know and we prove to them and others that terrorism is not a useful strategy to control the actions of a major power. Lose our will (the only way to lose) and fail now and we show them that they can achieve what they want through car bombs and hostages murders.

That doesn't strike me as a good message to send.

"Appeasement is a nasty, dirty word that brings to mind pictures of Neville Chamberlain waving notes from Hitler in the wind, but just because I don't agree with bombing a nation back into the stone age doesn't mean that I agree with appeasement."

Of course the choices are not binary in this. Middle ground is there. But there are many who feel that the only way to combat terror is to make sure we give those nations that sponsor terrorism as a matter of ideology as much money, aid, political appeasement as we can.

The idea is that if we just start kissing their butts they won't hate us. The reality is that they hate us as a matter of religious zealotry. We could be the nicest people on the planet, send them money on a daily basis, send Sally Struthers... and they would still seek our destruction.

Now, there is a lot of value in working to improve their societies and economies - take away some of the desperation that drives them to the religions so strongly and fosters that desperation. However that isn't enough alone... it takes the simultaneous elimination of the people who do the indoctrination and their ability to point to their successes.

posted by soulhuntre at 8:30 AM on May 18, 2004


I see what you're saying quonsar, but there are a number of other first-world nations who are very similar in many respects (especially concerning entertainment, athletics, etc.), even if they play football and not... football. They just don't have the bible belt.
posted by The God Complex at 9:18 AM on May 18, 2004


"Iraq under Saddam was a focal and rallying point in a region that harbored forces who were and are at war with us"

Just sad that Al Quaeda apparently wasn't one of them, otherwise everything would have just been so damn neat.

" Gain a staging area to maintain a presence in the region"

Why? What the hell has that area got to do with you to allow you to have a base there? If you're invited then all well and good (though those Saudi bases may well be seen as doing more harm than good).

" Remind the other brutal dictators in the area that they are not immune to retaliation"

Or at least remind them to keep trading with us and not get too lippy and step out of line.

"Iraq is a testing ground now"

What? Are you mental? Iraq is a country, a sovereign country with a large population and proud history (OK, the people have a proud history, maybe less so the country as it isn't exactly that old). It is most certainly not a testing ground, and I'd be so bold as to venture that it's the level of arrogance that can see another persons country as nothing more than a testing ground for you and your policy that leads to levels of hatred and misunderstanding with the US.

And I'm sorry, but the quasi religious / Churchillian tone of the rest of your post only makes me imagine a male voice choir appearing in the background humming the Star Spangled Banner while Stallone slams a fist on the desk and shouts "this time sir, do we get to win?"

And now I had so better get back to work...
posted by ciderwoman at 9:23 AM on May 18, 2004


soulhuntre: what a complete load of bollocks - simply stating your ideological prejudices as facts doesn't make them so.

I can't be bothered to dredge up all of the rebuttals to your standard crap, but the "they hate us as a matter of religious zealotry" just pisses me off so much - they hate the US because it is the backer of Israel's state sponsored terrorism, because they continue to prop up the dictators of a number of middle east nations(e.g. Saudi Arabia), because for the past 20-30 years they have tried to control the middle east by bank rolling some of the most vicious people in the world (Saddam, Osama, ...), because they ignore international law, etc., etc.

on preview - what ciderwoman said as well
posted by daveg at 10:56 AM on May 18, 2004


they hate the US because it is the backer of Israel's state sponsored terrorism

simply stating your ideological prejudices as facts doesn't make them so.


What's good for the goose...
posted by loquax at 11:07 AM on May 18, 2004


loquax: Today Israel has killed 19 people (including children hanging out washing) in a region that it is illegally occupying. From past performance at the UN, particularly the security council, it only seems to be the US administration that doesn't think it is is terrorism.

Two days ago the Israeli government threatened the occupants of the refugee camp that if they didn't (somehow) stop all activities against the state of Israel then a new round of house demolitions would take place and that any collateral damage would not be their fault (I would reference the URL, but the Israeli government's English webpages seem to be out of action). It is more or less the same thing that terrorist organisations have been saying since time immemorial.
posted by daveg at 11:30 AM on May 18, 2004


That's your perspective, that's your opinion, that's your interpretation of events. All I was saying is that you cannot present it as fact, the same way that you criticized soulhuntre.

I can equally claim that your post is the result of your ideological prejudice.
posted by loquax at 11:41 AM on May 18, 2004


it is a result of the society we have built. it is the natural result of vicious behavior encouraged by gym teachers with "dodgeballs", the result of violent sociopathic bastards rewarded and excused from academic performance as long as they carry a football on friday nights, the natural result of the "nod nod wink wink" "succeed at all costs" "be a winner" indoctrination of the young, the "go to church on sunday and peel the skin off your competitors all week" mentality the whole nation lives in, the endless framing in tv and media that makes life appear to be an acquisition contest, it is the natural result of endlessly battering young minds with this message. shit is rewarded. virtue is crushed. worthless, self-centered pieces of shit like georgie bush are fed lives of ease and acclamation. they become president.

clock yourself up the side of the head. i fail to see how anyone can feign frightened surprise at the natural results of things they fucking design and wholeheartedly participate in on a daily basis..


quonsar, you live in a dream world.

Just kidding! Beautiful stuff, quonsar. Too true.
posted by mcgraw at 12:01 PM on May 18, 2004


loquax: Of course you're right, I was just seeing if you'd back down ;<)
posted by daveg at 12:51 PM on May 18, 2004


And seriously, if the terrorists 'hated freedom' then the Netherlands would be fuckin' DUST, you know? As would Denmark, and Sweden, and Switzerland, and New Zealand, and Canada, and every other country that's truly freer than we are.

And I don't think Osama bin Laden sent those planes to attack us because he hated our freedom, I think he did it because of our support for Israel and our ties with Saudi family and all our military bases in Saudi Arabia. You know why I think that?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE FUCKING SAID!


- David Cross
posted by mr.marx at 1:02 PM on May 18, 2004


daveg: Not in this lifetime! 'Till we meet again...

Oh, and is this where I'm supposed to say that you're living in a dream world? Ah, I'm just kidding too...
posted by loquax at 1:06 PM on May 18, 2004




The Army, The CIA and the Republicans in the Senate are all lining up to beat the crap out of the Bush administration after years of dismissive treatment from them.

The crazy thing is that's from the UPI, which is owned by the same people as the Washington Times, which is even more conservative than Fox News. The shit is hitting the fan.
posted by NortonDC at 8:34 PM on May 18, 2004


Life is Darwinistic on every level. This applies to nations, people, animals, and bacteria - all of it. This is neither foolish nor smart - it simply >is

Gotta love Ayn Rand bollocks dressed up as materialist essentialism.

Human society is a coordinated, emergent behaviour that is manifestly neither Darwinistic nor efficient. There are numerous examples of how certain human cultures are naifestly non-naturally selected (vis, celibate clergy). You are just a lame troll with ideas that would sound crude and laughable even on little green footballs.
posted by meehawl at 8:48 AM on May 19, 2004


The problem with appeasement is it never stops. You teach these people that they really will get their way through terrorism and they will hold a knife to your throat forever.

First you have to spank them hard (Germany, Japan as examples) and let them know that you will NOT tolerate being held hostage... then you can make friends with anyone who has learned that lesson.


One thing that continually astonishes me is the overwhelming use of this kind of a vocabulary of the schoolyard to describe military action. Those nations aren't getting "spanked"; if you want to see what such "spanking" consists of, go and spend some time with the survivors of the initial bombardment of Baghdad, with the children whose eardrums have been blown out by the concussion of bombs, the maimed and the homeless. It's not "spanking", for god's sake. And then this "make friends with anyone who has learned the lesson." You're talking about geopolitics here, not who is the biggest and meanest bully swaggering his way through recess. This kind of thinking, this weird metaphorical idea of the world as a high school, is part of what got you guys into this mess in the first place. What did Bush say? "Fuck Saddam, we're taking him out." This demonstrates the most astonishingly ignorant and primitive idea of how things work.

And your examples-- Germany and Japan-- do you then think that Hiroshima was a good spanking?
posted by jokeefe at 3:53 PM on May 19, 2004


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