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hahah!! history repeats itself.
January 31, 2005 7:49 PM   Subscribe

United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in [insert country]'s presidential election despite a [insert terror group] terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from [insert besieged capital city], 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the [insert terror group].

....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President [insert idiotic Texas Republican]'s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in [insert besieged country]. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in [insert date], to which President [insert idiotic Texas Republican] gave his personal commitment when he met [foreign puppet politician], the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

Dateline? Sept. 4th, 1967.

Fact-Checked with archived NYT links at Daily KOS.
posted by taumeson (83 comments total)

 
[insert idiotic Texas Republican]

Ummmm.... LBJ was a Democrat. He was JFK's veep.
posted by Doohickie at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2005


[insert idiotic Texas Republican]

...

Fact-Checked with archived NYT links

...except thatJohnson was a Democrat.
posted by MiHail at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2005


Ignoring the question of whether the invasion was a good idea or not, we're there. What should we have done? Not held elections? We can't leave now, so we might as well try to set things up as well as we can.

"hahah!! history repeats itself."
Elections are bad now?
posted by null terminated at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2005


Damn! Out-typed again!
posted by MiHail at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2005


why do you hate america?
posted by slapshot57 at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2005


Hehehe
posted by Doohickie at 7:57 PM on January 31, 2005


slapshot: To whom is your question addressed? I don't see anyone hating America here.
posted by Doohickie at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2005


And about four months after the article above was mentioned, the Tet Offensive went down. I'm as pessimistic as anyone about Iraq, but I really hope that it is the start of something good for the country, for everyone involved (the most of which so we can get our troops the heck out of there).
posted by almostcool at 8:01 PM on January 31, 2005


Doohickie - Why do you hate America?
posted by iamck at 8:03 PM on January 31, 2005


perhaps ironically, iamck, your link brings me to microsoft.com
posted by null terminated at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2005


the most of which so we can get our troops the heck out of there

How else will we be able to invade Iran?
posted by jperkins at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2005


iamck... did you mean this?
posted by Doohickie at 8:08 PM on January 31, 2005


More important is WHO hates America.





(Warning: offensive to anyone other than members of the Westboro Baptist Church)
posted by MiHail at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2005


Christopher Hitchens on the Viet Nam comparison.
posted by coelecanth at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2005


back to serious mode.

I appreciate the differences Hitchens points out, and I also feel that the left has over-used this particular "dead parrot." However, Iraq and Vietnam seem similar to me, not in their political backgrounds, certainly, but in the U.S.'s very high-handed approach to both. The result (and the causes) may not be identical, but they're both pretty quagmire-ish. Neither action was undertaken with good motives.
posted by MiHail at 8:26 PM on January 31, 2005


More important is WHO hates America.

This site reads like one of those "manifestos" that schizophrenic people are always sending to Deborah Norville or Tom Brokaw.
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:31 PM on January 31, 2005


This thread will be a quagmire unless we all withdraw from it immediately. Bring them home.
posted by eatitlive at 8:34 PM on January 31, 2005


gah...i knew Johnson was a Texan, so my brain short-circuited at that point. heh.

anyway, i think it's important to mention that there is another parallel to be drawn between this badly planned war and another badly planned war. i don't think this is much like vietnam at all as far as the warfighting goes, but i think it's exactly like vietnam in the way we executed it.
posted by taumeson at 8:36 PM on January 31, 2005


LBJ was democrat (as others have stated) and probably not that much of an idiot. But he was from texas.
posted by delmoi at 8:38 PM on January 31, 2005


DONT BELIEVE THE INTERNET IT IS A BUNCH OF LIES
posted by Dean Keaton at 8:40 PM on January 31, 2005


gah...i knew Johnson was a Texan, so my brain short-circuited at that point.

Well maybe before you start drawing parallels between wars, you start with getting basic historical facts correct.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2005


LBJ was democrat (as others have stated) and probably not that much of an idiot. But he was from texas.

Which may explain this.
posted by MiHail at 8:51 PM on January 31, 2005


Well maybe before you start drawing parallels between wars, you start with getting basic historical facts correct.

how the fuck is me having a brain fart related to drawing parallels between anything?

whatever, it's not the point of the thread, which i noticed NOBODY IS HAVING A DECENT DISCUSSION OF.
posted by taumeson at 9:42 PM on January 31, 2005


Well, that'll teach you to get your facts straight. Snarky, I know, but in a way, you've derailed your own thread with such an obvious gaff. As far as the thought behind the original post goes, to me the parallel has been obvious for a while. I guess we need to wait and see how this war pans out, eh?

But if you're looking for parallels, I think one of the wildcards in Iraq that maybe didn't have a counterpart in Vietnam is the Kurd situation.
posted by Doohickie at 9:48 PM on January 31, 2005


Steve, et. al.:

Maybe you should drop the dismissive attitude and address the issue rather than kvetching about minor issues to distract from the situation. (Warning: Salon link; slightly more partisan daily kos link here.) Not that we don't appreciate getting a little bit of holier-than-thou with our red herrings, but we've just come to expect it, you know?

That said, you certainly have a legitimate issue with this post, because Vietnam-to-Iraq comparisons are not, after all, fair. The Vietnam War happened a long time ago and it's not necessarily applicable to our situation today. In fact, there are many of us on this side of the fence who think that it would be pretty low -- in fact, downright despicable to levy the Vietnam War against any modern political figure. Especially if that comparison or claim were specious in any way. Heavens, we certainly wouldn't want it to get out into the mainstream media.

That said, the point of the post, which you're not addressing is that, while the elections in Iraq are a wonderful thing, and definitely a step in the right direction, things over there are not good -- and history does caution us against being overeager or getting ahead of ourselves. Remember, many of us on the left are just as happy about this as you are. However, that doesn't mean that we should get overexcited about it, as many conservative commentators are at the moment.

In fact, history does caution us against it. It suggests that we be wary of putting on rose-colored glasses. That is why the Vietnam comparison is appropriate -- because of what it tells us about ourselves as a nation, not because of what it says about Iraq. That is the issue you should be addressing. Your whining is not entirely without reason, given the headline on this page, the tone of this FPP (childish at best), and that the elections are a reason for rejoicing.

However, you should really be above this. Just because taumeson is making silly, unjustified partisan jabs doesn't give you the right to do the same and act all superior about it.
posted by spiderwire at 9:50 PM on January 31, 2005


Hey, has everyone heard LBJ order pants?
posted by LarryC at 9:52 PM on January 31, 2005


thank you spiderwire, for putting some thought into the content of this post. i tried to do more than just cut and paste from another source, and look what it got me.
posted by taumeson at 9:55 PM on January 31, 2005


Oh, and for the record, I'm a proud Texan, although not a native.

A side note, and an unrelated one at that: LBJ was an excellent President, although maybe not quite as good as GW Bush is bad. Students of American politics can gain a lot out of comparing the two of them, especially looking at Texas as a political microcosm.

LBJ came from the part of Texas settled by Germans, who farmed their own land -- which was rough and difficult -- and were often rigorous academics with their own libraries.

Dubya's political tradition hails from East Texas, where rich soil was washed down into the plains from the Hill Country. These areas were largely claimed as plantations, owned by rich whites and farmed by slaves. Dubya makes his home in Crawford, near Waco, one of the most historically racist towns in the nation.

The conservative tradition in Texas is built on the backs of slaves, on excessive wealth and the abuse of power, on fundamentalist condescension, and on an ethical system which values the power of hereditary wealth over the hard work of dedicated everyday citizens.

The state's liberal tradition is built on personal achievement, tolerance, self-discipline, intellectual rigor, and the will to band together as a community and persevere despite harsh and difficult conditions.

Just sayin'.
posted by spiderwire at 10:00 PM on January 31, 2005


Hey, has everyone heard [Texas Pants Wearer] order [lower sectioned pantaloon-type clothings]
posted by destro at 10:01 PM on January 31, 2005


taumeson:

I actually thought that it was a pretty good move except for the LBJ error. It adds a lot of rhetorical punch to the argument. I would have put the original in a first comment or something.

That said: I'm not sure if you noticed that I insulted you pretty heavily in my comment. Nothing personal really, but your tone leaves much to be desired. A headline with "hahah!!" is a sitting duck for people like Steve_at_Linnwood to demagogue you. Like it or not, conservatives tend to be better at this than liberals.

I won't say why I think that's the case, because the point is that by starting the thread off like you did, you really did shoot yourself in the foot by lowering the discourse to their level and allowing them to ignore your argument. If we've learned nothing since Gingrich -- hell, since Goldwater -- we should have learned that we can't give them any excuses, because they'll take them. Most of all, that requires being more mature than them. Don't take the first cheap shot.
posted by spiderwire at 10:09 PM on January 31, 2005


OK, how about this:

United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in [insert country]'s presidential election despite a [insert terror group] terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from [insert besieged capital city], 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the [insert terror group].

....A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President [insert idiotic Texans]'s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in [insert besieged country]. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in [insert date], to which President [insert idiotic Texan] gave his personal commitment when he met [foreign puppet politician], the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

Dateline? Sept. 4th, 1967.

See? Copy editing.

Besides, bitching about "Republican" or "Democrat" is kind of counterproductive.

After all Stalin was a "Liberal" and Himmler was a "conservative".

To me, the salient points are competence and motive.

"I've got no illusions about the political left any more than the right: just a shrewd idea of which one is going to stomp on us first."

Tom Robinson
1977
posted by Relay at 10:27 PM on January 31, 2005


This could have been presented far better and possibly avoided much of this

A headline with "hahah!!" is a sitting duck for people like Steve_at_Linnwood to demagogue you. Like it or not, conservatives tend to be better at this than liberals.

It's also not that funny (the whole situation).
posted by The God Complex at 10:29 PM on January 31, 2005



posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:29 PM on January 31, 2005


spiderwire writes "LBJ came from the part of Texas settled by Germans, who farmed their own land -- which was rough and difficult -- and were often rigorous academics with their own libraries.

Dubya's political tradition hails from East Texas..."


Dubya hails from the part of Texas called "Connecticut", settled by the Rich, who farmed their trust funds and connections -- with was rough and difficult only on the servants -- and were often members of the glee club at rigorous Ivy League schools which only coincidently had endowments underwritten by the applicants' own families.

(You see, it's still called "meritocracy" when you rise to the top by dint of your ancestors' own efforts.)
posted by orthogonality at 10:38 PM on January 31, 2005


orthogonality

"Dubya hails from the part of Texas called "Connecticut", ... "

Funniest thing I've heard in days.
posted by Relay at 10:42 PM on January 31, 2005


Nothing personal really, but your tone leaves much to be desired. A headline with "hahah!!" is a sitting duck for people like Steve_at_Linnwood to demagogue you.

That's being a bit too generous. Not only was it a troll hahah post, but also…

a) it contained a huge mistake.

and

b) taumeson smarmily adds at the end that his post has been "fact checked".



Sorry. Can't take the post seriously. Laffing too hard.

Worst. Gaffe. Evah.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:49 PM on January 31, 2005


taumeson organising a toga party...

"Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?? Hell NO!"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:56 PM on January 31, 2005


Of all the ways to post this link, this was probably the lamest. Stillborn.

That said, I'm sure that voting in Florida 2000 was considered to have gone well until the count started. I can't remember who said it, but the big test of elections isn't voting, counting, or even declaring a winner, but when the losing side(s) accept defeat.
posted by riviera at 11:16 PM on January 31, 2005


It's hard to believe that someone who thinks they have something thoughtful to say on this subject would not know that LBJ was a Democrat. "Brain fart". Right.

Shrub can fairly be called a "Texan" given how many years he lived there. But not, I think, "East Texan". He spent a good while in the Midland/Odessa area, and that's West Texas.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:57 PM on January 31, 2005


Bummer about the glitch, because this is something Americans need to think about. This is at least the third "historic event" that signaled a sea change in Iraq, from which everything was going to start improving. Thus far we have been on a consistent downward trend -- none of these turning points have actually been turning points.

Also, from much of what I have read, most Americans don't have any idea what just happened in Iraq. It was nothing at all like a regular election. For one thing, most Iraqis had no idea who they were voting for until they showed up. Some Iraqis had to vote to avoid losing food credits. An entire ethnic segment seems to have not participated at all. The Iraqis still don't really have a functioning democratic government, rather a slate of people to write the rules for a government (very significant point when it looks like Sunnis are going to have an even smaller hand in that then they would have). Under the best of circumstances, building a democracy out of the artificial state that was Iraq was going to be hard -- America has not created the best of circumstances.

That's the point if this comparison.

Armitage Shanks: what the hell is LBJ pointing at there?
posted by teece at 12:08 AM on February 1, 2005


Troll much?
posted by HTuttle at 12:13 AM on February 1, 2005


I can't remember who said it, but the big test of elections isn't voting, counting, or even declaring a winner, but when the losing side(s) accept defeat.

Given the 2000 election was a sham, all American citizens are losers from that little event in history. We all keep losing, every day, regardless of this week's segment of propaganda from Iraq.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:15 AM on February 1, 2005


How come I always get in late on these things?
posted by Balisong at 12:31 AM on February 1, 2005


George was born in Conn. raised in Texas, went to junior high in Texas,then left for andover for high school. Ithink he identifies with texan values rather than Connecticut.
posted by hortense at 12:38 AM on February 1, 2005


slapshot: To whom is your question addressed? I don't see anyone hating America here.

/raises hand

Pick me! Pick me!
posted by salmacis at 1:05 AM on February 1, 2005


Armitage Shanks: what the hell is LBJ pointing at there?

He's showing the press the scar from his gall bladder operation.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:12 AM on February 1, 2005


Teece, it's a scar. IIRC, it was a gall-bladder operation. LBJ was . . . unusual for a president.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:20 AM on February 1, 2005


Yes, gall bladder.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:22 AM on February 1, 2005


The God-awful quality of the FPP has already been covered.

At least Vietnam started from a mostly-accurate-if-misguided premise. Imagine if a year into the conflict, it was discovered there weren't actually any Communists in Vietnam, and there was actually no connection between Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

In Vietnam, we took sides in an ongoing conflict. In Iraq, we unilaterally and preemptively invaded a foreign sovereign nation. This after scaring the crap out of the population and Congress with untruths - (the silly thesaurus lists untruth as the first synonym of lie. Good thing we have Bill O'Reilly to guide us through the doublethink required to realize that Bush never lied about WMDs in Iraq).

The logistics of the military campaign don't bother me nearly as much as the precedent that was set and will be haunting us for a very long time. On that criteria, Iraq is a far worse situation than Vietnam ever was.
posted by Bokononist at 2:06 AM on February 1, 2005


I believe we probably lost the war at Abu Ghraib.

After we didn't deal with that from the highest levels, instead blaming and locking up a bunch of kids for years and years, the outcome was nearly inevitable. The Iraqis aren't dumb. They KNOW now that Americans will torture them, that despite all our claims of moral superiority, we're just as nasty as the old government was. But we're not as ruthless; we are nasty without the will to be truly terrifying. It's just about the worst possible choice.. either we treat them well, or we treat them absolutely ruthlessly. Being halfway in between makes us weak bullies.

The war was never about bullets, it was about hearts and minds. We needed active cooperation by the population to report terrorists, as we can't easily find them ourselves. We needed the terrorists' wifves and children to turn them in because we were right and they were wrong.

But we can't make that claim with a straight face anymore, and because of that, it is extremely unlikely that we will ever be able to stabilize the situation. The terrorists will be able to hide in plain sight, because their families and friends will say nothing to us.

I believe the insurgency will just get worse and worse until we give up and flee. We chose to be nasty without backbone... halfway moral. Bad idea.
posted by Malor at 2:45 AM on February 1, 2005


what -- again, damn! -- riviera said.
posted by matteo at 3:34 AM on February 1, 2005


Troll much?

Are you fucking kidding me, you pathetic little hypocrite?

And why hasn't Mick commented yet? There's nothing more damning than his silence!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:09 AM on February 1, 2005


We can't leave now, so we might as well try to set things up as well as we can.

I read statements like this all the time and when I do, I just want to weep. I'm reminded of an anology drawn by Noam Chomsky: Suppose you have a guy who's beating his wife. It's a sad situation, he says, but what else can he do? Well, one thing he could do would be to stop beating her.
posted by Clay201 at 4:19 AM on February 1, 2005


We can't leave now, so we might as well try to set things up as well as we can.

I read statements like this all the time and when I do, I just want to weep. I'm reminded of an analogy drawn by Noam Chomsky: Suppose you have a guy who's beating his wife. It's a sad situation, he says, but what else can he do? Well, one thing he could do would be to stop beating her.
posted by Clay201 at 4:22 AM on February 1, 2005


damn. didn't think the first one went through. My aplologies.
posted by Clay201 at 4:23 AM on February 1, 2005


what -- again, damn! -- riviera said.
posted by matteo at 3:34 AM PST on February 1


I know the feeling. Gotta love 'im!
posted by nofundy at 4:40 AM on February 1, 2005


Christopher Hitchens on the Viet Nam comparison.

There is a Universal law which states that as soon as Christopher Hitchens imparts information, it ceases to be true. This is most evident when he is in command of the facts. Facts themselves cease to behave according to natural laws whilst contained within a Christopher Hitchens article, book or television appearance.

However, you should really be above this. Just because taumeson is making silly, unjustified partisan jabs doesn't give you the right to do the same and act all superior about it.

You do know you're addressing Steve_at_Linwood, right?
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:14 AM on February 1, 2005


Taumeson:

You have made an interesting find. I'm intrigued by it.

But... come on. Dismissing the democrat/republican thing as a minor error in presentation (as some here have done) is pretty weak. If anything, it's indicative of a dislike of Texans or a haste to assume that everything bad comes from the "other" party. None of these are what America really needs right now.

In short, America's divided, and it's all your fault. :)

On another note (to those discussing the Tet Offensive), I think it would be a mistake for the insurgents to initiate a Tet-style offensive in Iraq. The Tet Offensive pretty much nullified the Viet Cong as a fighting force, but it was a victory for them anyway because the American public removed support for the war. So if their large-scale offensive was exactly parallel, I think America wouldn't make the same mistake twice.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2005


But... come on. Dismissing the democrat/republican thing as a minor error in presentation (as some here have done) is pretty weak. If anything, it's indicative of a dislike of Texans or a haste to assume that everything bad comes from the "other" party.

ok...and both of those i'm guilty of sometimes :)

i don't think we need to brace for a tet offensive...i seriously don't think that the insurgency in iraq has any comparison to the viet cong. but it's illuminating to note that we're hearing the same exact rhetoric from the current administration...it's like they're taking the vietnam playbook and running with it, as far as the civilian leadership goes. they're just a clueless now as then.

the only saving grace is that we've got some generals who still remember the lessons of the vietnam war, and are trying to avoid having that happen to us.
posted by taumeson at 6:29 AM on February 1, 2005


the only saving grace is that we've got some generals who still remember the lessons of the vietnam war, and are trying to avoid having that happen to us.

haven't they all already been purged?

and what Malor, Clay, and teece said.
posted by amberglow at 7:11 AM on February 1, 2005


Hitchens' arguments are more applicable to rejecting comparisons between Vietnam and Gulf War I than they are to the current conflict. Hussein's attacks on Iran and Kuwait, and the atrocities he commited happened mostly before the first Gulf War. And he cites support of the little-known Iraqi Communist Party for regime change as a difference. Might as well point out that we aren't fighting Vietnamese people in Iraq. Nice Monty Python reference, though.

There are similarities between the Iraq War and the Vietnam War. The government lied about the reasons we went to war, and lied about the progress of the war. In both cases we sent our troops into a country where they don't know the language or the culture. The enemy blends in with the population, so it's difficult to tell who we're fighting, and they have active or passive support from a sizable portion of the population. We backed an illegitimate government we installed. Saying there are parallels between the two isn't the same as saying they're the same thing.

This is at least the third "historic event" that signaled a sea change in Iraq, from which everything was going to start improving. Thus far we have been on a consistent downward trend -- none of these turning points have actually been turning points

Haven't there been at least four turning points? "Mission accomplished," Hussein's capture, the "transfer" of "sovereignty," and the elections? Casualties are on an upward trend.

Good thing we have Bill O'Reilly to guide us through the doublethink required to realize that Bush never lied about WMDs in Iraq

You mean this Bill O'Reilly?
"If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:24 AM on February 1, 2005


Yes, this is very much like Vietnam. And, as I recall, after we left Vietnam, mostly as a P.R. stunt to make the voters happy, Vietnam got bloodier than it ever had been when we were there. A number of human-rights activists from Vietnam who had campaigned ardently to get us to leave finally smuggled themselves out, at great risk, and came to the U.S. to convince the American government to come back and help. People spat on them; Vietnam was already a stain on our conscience, and we didn't want "facts" coming back to bite us on the ass about our duty to try to fix things when all we wanted to do was forget.

Let's hope we can win this one, whether starting it was right or wrong. Let's hope the military brains have learned enough from the hell that leaving Vietnam created. Whether starting the war was right or wrong, I don't see how anybody can hope for anything but free elections, a strong, functional government, and solidarity in Iraq right now.
posted by koeselitz at 8:04 AM on February 1, 2005


Let's hope we can win this one, whether starting it was right or wrong. Let's hope the military brains have learned enough from the hell that leaving Vietnam created. Whether starting the war was right or wrong, I don't see how anybody can hope for anything but free elections, a strong, functional government, and solidarity in Iraq right now.

Granted. But let's hope we're not stupid enough to go for Round 2 in Iran.
posted by kgasmart at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2005


taumeson smarmily adds at the end that his post has been "fact checked".

Worst. Gaffe. Evah


BINGO!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2005


I think that my central point got lost in my invective against S@L, and, at risk of self-plugging, I really want to reiterate it:

The Vietnam comparison is appropriate because of what it tells us about ourselves as a nation, not because of what it says about Iraq.

Alternatively: the Vietnam example demonstrates how elections, because of their symbolic value to Americans, can easily produce a warm glowy feeling that might not jive with reality. We should be very wary of that.

Aside from that, the Vietnam-Iraq parallels are specious at best, and transparent political pandering most of the time.
posted by spiderwire at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2005


This pretty much applies to everything - like bellbottoms, if you hold on to it long enough it'll come back in fashion.
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:42 AM on February 1, 2005


Also, FWIW, I'm well aware of Bush's history, where he was born, where he grew up -- I have many friends from Midland -- but what I said was that he makes his home in Crawford and he is a descendant of the East Texas political tradition, and I think that's significant.

Also, on preview: Steve_at_Linnwood -- brilliant response, good contribution to the discussion. Do you ever post a comment that's more than one line long?
posted by spiderwire at 9:44 AM on February 1, 2005


"I don't see how anybody can hope for anything but free elections, a strong, functional government, and solidarity in Iraq right now."

And yet there are many who simply cannot seem to accept the possability. They would, in some way, much rather see Iraq go down in flames than see Bush actually accomplish somehting good.

"Anybody but Bush" is far from a dead concept.
posted by soulhuntre at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2005


spiderwire, S@L's comment history is hysterical. good catch. and btw, yes, i know you insulted me earlier, but i deserved it, so why act like an idiot?
posted by taumeson at 10:23 AM on February 1, 2005


man, i'm off.

that should read "so why should i REACT like an idiot?"
posted by taumeson at 10:30 AM on February 1, 2005


And yet there are many who simply cannot seem to accept the possability. They would, in some way, much rather see Iraq go down in flames than see Bush actually accomplish somehting good.

So riddle me this: If, in March 2003, someone had said to you, "Are you willing to sacrifice 1,400 American lives so that Iraq might hold free elections?" what would you have said?

We can all hope the end turns out well. But that doesn't necessarily justify the means.
posted by kgasmart at 10:36 AM on February 1, 2005


"So riddle me this: If, in March 2003, someone had said to you, 'Are you willing to sacrifice 1,400 American lives so that Iraq might hold free elections?' what would you have said?"

I don't know about soulhuntre, but my reaction would've been:

"Of course. That sounds like we'd be saving lives overall, and doing good in Arab countries is what the United States needs to do right now. But you're crazy if you think the American body-count will be anywhere near that low."

Wow, look. I was wrong. Past-me is sort of bad at making predictions.
posted by koeselitz at 12:23 PM on February 1, 2005


Regarding the thread’s parallels. Would Clinton or Bush Sr. be like JFK as he was the first to send Troops to Vietnam?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:34 PM on February 1, 2005


Regarding the thread’s parallels. Would Clinton or Bush Sr. be JFK as he was the first to send our troops to Vietnam?
posted by thomcatspike at 12:37 PM on February 1, 2005


Good (insert MeFi member's name) troll... pet the (try not to sigh in desperation at another wasted post) troll... pretend the (insert strong adjective of disapproval) troll has gone away...
posted by AspectRatio at 12:56 PM on February 1, 2005


AspectRatio: It's a nice thought, but I think that Steve_at_Linnwood's here to stay.
posted by spiderwire at 1:18 PM on February 1, 2005


nah, thomcat--Bush 1 and Clinton didn't put troops on Iraqi soil at all.

I've been hearing that Iraq is more like the Soviets in Afghanistan--and we know how that one turned out.
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on February 1, 2005


excellent reminder about Iraq, and lies upon lies obscuring older truth: What I Heard about Iraq (from London Review of Books)
posted by amberglow at 2:32 PM on February 1, 2005


"So riddle me this: If, in March 2003, someone had said to you, "Are you willing to sacrifice 1,400 American lives so that Iraq might hold free elections?" what would you have said?"

I would have said "Yes, I think it is worth the casualties that woudl be involved in using force to bring democracy to Iraq considering the strategic benefits in the region of a free Iraq. While I hope the causalties will be that low, I suspect they will be higher".
posted by soulhuntre at 10:31 PM on February 1, 2005


I probably would have said "No. And your claims about weapons of mass destruction were dubious at best, but you know what, after you don't find any, I bet you're going to change the rationale for going to war."
posted by taumeson at 7:32 AM on February 2, 2005


I would have said, "For that alone? No. For a peaceful, democratic Iraq where the Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds get along (relatively speaking)? Yes. But there's no WMDs and Iraq does not pose an immediate threat to the US."

And, in fact, that's exactly what I did say. But free elections alone are far, far from what I hoped Iraq would look like by now.

Though flawed, I was very happy that the elections went as well as they did. It was a pleasant surprise. But Iraq is still hell, and it didn't have to be. It's not clear that if we were to pull out the whole country would go in to full-fledged civil war. It didn't have to be that way. Americans and Iraqis are still dying because the war is effectively still continuing. It didn't have to be that way.

Iraq has been a disaster and the conservatives that won't admit it are, well, blinded by their loyalty. Or something.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:08 AM on February 2, 2005


You do not own their courage
posted by Freen at 10:26 AM on February 2, 2005


So riddle me this: If, in March 2003, someone had said to you, 'Are you willing to sacrifice 1,400 American lives so that Iraq might hold free elections?' what would you have said?

"I dunno, ask Dick, he handles this stuff."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:39 AM on February 2, 2005


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