Reasonable Thoughts on Operation Iraqi Freedom
April 3, 2006 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Hindsight on Iraq is 20/20 -- but views diverge. Reason magazine asks notable libertarians, conservatives, and academics -- from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (one word: "win") to Illuminatus! author Robert Anton Wilson ("Bush has used [the invasion] as an excuse to destroy the last few tattered remnants of the Bill of Rights") -- if they would have chosen differently in 2003, knowing how the war would develop.
posted by digaman (97 comments total)

 
Glenn Reynolds and Christopher Hitchens are just pathetic at this point.
posted by empath at 10:20 AM on April 3, 2006


Hindsight tends to work that way. Although, many of us had foresight...
posted by NationalKato at 10:26 AM on April 3, 2006


So basically none of them changed their mind. When does anyone ever change their mind when their position is so entrenched?

This is an interesting article, but the best thing about it is this!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:30 AM on April 3, 2006


So basically none of them changed their mind.

Yeah, there isn't anything new here. This post is just a chance to poke sticks at The Other again. Its a topic of which we have clearly not had enough.
posted by dios at 10:35 AM on April 3, 2006


Glenn Reynolds's is such an idiot.

Also, a lot of people have changed their minds.

I think it might have been possible to 'win' in Iraq if the administration had gone in with a sold plan to 'win the peace' from the gitgo, if they had picked non-idiots with real experience to run the country in a non-ideological way.

But that didn't happen.
posted by delmoi at 10:44 AM on April 3, 2006


This post is just a chance to poke sticks at The Other again.

If the Other Other is scary enough to drop all those bombs on it, I think the Other can handle a stick.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:44 AM on April 3, 2006


Reason Magazine: still dry humping the carpet
posted by wfrgms at 10:51 AM on April 3, 2006


It seems difficult for most people to change their views no matter what and to believe in what they felt True initially. In my case, I supported the war but then, soon after, discovered that there were no WMD and thus the rationale presented to Congress and to the American public was false (or a lie)...at that point, I opposed and continue to oppose the war. What to do? Withdraw as soon as possible and let the people there decide to have a civil war or not.

I would, like Gary Hart, ask one question that so far the White House refuses to answer: Are we or are we not building permanent military bases in Iraq?
posted by Postroad at 10:53 AM on April 3, 2006


I think it's most interesting to note who *has* changed their minds. By this point, anyone still in favor of the war in Iraq basically has Kool-Aid running through their veins.
posted by JHarris at 10:54 AM on April 3, 2006


Supergenius.
posted by brownpau at 11:00 AM on April 3, 2006


postroad:

"It seems clear that the Pentagon would prefer to keep its bases in Iraq. It has already spent $1 billion or more on them, outfitting some with underground bunkers and other characteristics of long-term bases. The $67.6 billion emergency bill to cover Iraq and Afghanistan military costs includes $348 million for further base construction."

-- Christian Science Monitor
posted by digaman at 11:00 AM on April 3, 2006


Reynolds is a libertarian like Bill Maher is a libertarian. They pretend to have a detatched, lofty perspective, but they really just don't want to admit they're simple partisans (especially Reynolds).

As to the survey responses, at least Charles Murray is honest. It's really disconcerting to see how much Hitchens values rhetoric over practical solutions, and how much Reynolds values pithiness over substance.

I supported the war, because I believed what Colin Powell and Dick Cheney said, and I never dreamed that we would be so incompetent in the follow-up. I thought the sanctions regime was a moral catastrophe. I should have known better, at the time, than to trust the administration-- its willingness to lie about, say, tax cuts, and its penchant for cronyism was evident even at the time.

I'm not old enough to remember it; but most friends who are say that the late 70s was a more demoralizing time. My mom described that period to me when I was little as a time when "it did not feel good to be an American."
posted by ibmcginty at 11:03 AM on April 3, 2006


Reynolds is a libertarian like Bill Maher is a libertarian. They pretend to have a detatched, lofty perspective, but they really just don't want to admit they're simple partisans (especially Reynolds).

As to the survey responses, at least Charles Murray is honest. It's really disconcerting to see how much Hitchens values rhetoric over practical solutions, and how much Reynolds values pithiness over substance.

I supported the war, because I believed what Colin Powell and Dick Cheney said, and I never dreamed that we would be so incompetent in the follow-up. I thought the sanctions regime was a moral catastrophe. I should have known better, at the time, than to trust the administration-- its willingness to lie about, say, tax cuts, and its penchant for cronyism was evident even at the time.

I'm not old enough to remember it; but most friends who are say that the late 70s was a more demoralizing time. My mom described that period to me when I was little as a time when "it did not feel good to be an American."
posted by ibmcginty at 11:03 AM on April 3, 2006


Oh, Hitchens.

The United States and its allies should continue to stand for federal democracy, while making Iraq a killing-field for jihadists and fascists and a training ground for an army that will need to intervene again in other failed state/rogue state contexts.

He does know that real human beings live in the place he wants to turn into a "killing-field," right? Right?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:05 AM on April 3, 2006


One more time, IBM!

I supported some of the theory behind the war, in that I don't have a problem with projecting force or invading countries (I think Kosovo was pretty justified). My problem wasn't the WMD (though I resented being lied to), it was that I regard this administration as one of the most incompetant ever to be elected, and thus predicted a giant debacle based on the morons in control.
I feel somewhat vindicated.
posted by klangklangston at 11:17 AM on April 3, 2006


Ah, so Win is the solution. What a Moran.

I kind of go on the Klangglangston train, that's more or less my thoughts.

A big problem in the US is that the people who want to help the Middle East change are a bunch of warmongering, partisan, racist assholes, and the rest of the country either doesn't want to get involved, or doesn't have an alternate solution to war and destruction. For the most part.
posted by cell divide at 11:21 AM on April 3, 2006


I'm not old enough to remember it; but most friends who are say that the late 70s was a more demoralizing time. My mom described that period to me when I was little as a time when "it did not feel good to be an American."

I am old enough to remember it (as if I need to be reminded). I don't know if it was because I was young then, but I recall at least having optimism for the future of the Republic. Politicians screwed up big time, both when it came to Nam and American politics. But at least they were held accountable then, and what we were left with was the idea that as a country we could learn from our mistakes.

I'm not quite so optimistic now. What really pisses me off is that my generation, and the one immediately following it, is responsible for squandering more of our basic freedoms than any other in modern history.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:23 AM on April 3, 2006


the late 70s was a more demoralizing time. My mom described that period to me when I was little as a time when "it did not feel good to be an American."

I'm old enough to remember it, and my parents were radicals who had been arrested and jailed (my dad) for protesting against the Vietnam war.

This historical moment is even worse.
posted by digaman at 11:30 AM on April 3, 2006


Holy Christ. It's like someone did a buzzword transplant on Louis Rossetto.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:31 AM on April 3, 2006


is responsible for squandering more of our basic freedoms than any other in modern history.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:23 PM CST on April 3


Out of curiosity, which "basic freedom" that one had back in the day have we "squandered?"
posted by dios at 11:33 AM on April 3, 2006


This is old, and I'm surprised nobody's gotten to Louis Rossetto's entry yet. Fun preview: he actually drops the word "dhimmitude."

on preview: ok. one person got to Louis Rossetto's entry. Isn't it great?
posted by furiousthought at 11:36 AM on April 3, 2006


Out of curiosity, which "basic freedom" that one had back in the day have we "squandered?"
posted by dios at 11:33 AM PST on April 3


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:47 AM on April 3, 2006


This neverending flamewar inspired me to ask...
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 11:47 AM on April 3, 2006


The difference I see between the 70's and now is that now is more demoralizing than then. Back then, Nixon left office in disgrace, we got out of Viet Nam, and there seemed to be an aura of hope for the future.

I don't see a lot of hope today. Maybe it has something to do with my age then vs my age now, but I don't think that explains all of it. I think that we (Americans) were looking forward to the future with hope back then and I just don't see a lot of that now.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:55 AM on April 3, 2006


Out of curiosity, which "basic freedom" that one had back in the day have we "squandered?"

Talking on the telephone without being wiretapped without a warrant by the NSA, for starters. Oh yeah that's right -- they're just wiretapping terroristsTM.
posted by digaman at 11:55 AM on April 3, 2006


As others have mentioned, watching the contorted sophistry by which Hitchens continues to try to defend a position that is indefensible by his own stated ideals would be the best spectator sport in American journalism if it wasn't so sad. As Greil Marcus once said of Rod Stewart, "Rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely."

Also, has Rossetto always been such a shrill apologist for authoritarianism, or did he convert after the dotcom meltdown? And what the bloody hell does "dhimmitude" mean?
posted by gompa at 11:56 AM on April 3, 2006


Wait, could dios be ... Christopher Hitchens?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:59 AM on April 3, 2006


Talking on the telephone without being wiretapped without a warrant by the NSA, for starters. Oh yeah that's right -- they're just wiretapping terroristsTM.
posted by digaman at 1:55 PM CST on April 3


Well, even if I grant that you didn't have that issue a generation ago (which I don't; your right to privacy is greater now anyhow) and if I grant that Bush's policy violates some basic freedom (which I don't), the poster argued that we have less freedoms than any time in modern history. So, that one thing is evidence of that fact?
posted by dios at 11:59 AM on April 3, 2006


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon PROBABLE CAUSE, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:03 PM on April 3, 2006


Riverbend: Things are so bad here now, the TV warns us not to trust the police. And more and more people, like my cousin, must pay terrible visits to the morgue.
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on April 3, 2006


After two years and $200 million, only 20 of 142 Iraqi healthcare facilities will be completed.
posted by homunculus at 12:09 PM on April 3, 2006


And what the bloody hell does "dhimmitude" mean?

Roughly, this is where non-Islamic people pay a tax to an Islamic state or the Muslims come in and raze them. It is a medieval thing.

In our more civilized system, the oily black tributes and armies go in the opposite directions.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:20 PM on April 3, 2006


a buzzword transplant on Louis Rossetto

No "transplant" needed -- coining and using buzzwords effectively is part of what Wired has always done. We even have a column called "Jargon Watch." (As most MeFiers know, I write for the magazine, though Louis hasn't helmed Wired for many years.)

Some Wired coinages really flourished. (Googling "geek syndrome," a phrase our executive editor Bob Cohn invented for an article of mine of Asperger's syndrome, which was later popularized by Time magazine, yields thousands of results on autism sites.) Other coinages flopped. W3, anyone? LOL, as they say.
posted by digaman at 12:24 PM on April 3, 2006


Rossetto's response makes me want to cancel my subscription.

"Forward Defense", my ass.
posted by empath at 12:30 PM on April 3, 2006


I guess the freedoms supposedly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights don't count.

Who do you have to unconstitutionally detain to get a rebuttal around here?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:30 PM on April 3, 2006


Cancel your subscription to what? Louis is no longer associated with Wired or any other magazine, as far as I know.

For what it's worth, I thought Louis' response was basically Karl Rove's talking points on the war dressed up with hipper buzzwords. I expected something smarter from Louis, but that's his opinion.
posted by digaman at 12:33 PM on April 3, 2006


Unsure about talent, but Hitchens is clearly a waste of a remarkable liver.

And I would say that while it may not bear legal scrutiny, there's something to be said about the internalized perceptions of freedom, of one's own personal liberty being curtailed by fear. Panopticon, anyone? "Free speech zones," citizenship via fiat, the assumption of wiretapping and surveillance -- these are not indicators of a democratic society.

Pardon my idealism.
posted by Haruspex at 12:43 PM on April 3, 2006


And I would say that while it may not bear legal scrutiny, there's something to be said about the internalized perceptions of freedom, of one's own personal liberty being curtailed by fear.

I would agree with you and not object at all that sentiment. However, when someone, in obvious hyperbole, argues that we have less freedoms than we had a generation ago because we have squandered them, it really is asinine. Quite simply, if one doesn't understand that Americans have substantially more freedom (from a legal or in absolute terms) than one did a generation ago, then one is completely and hopelessly myopic. And after all the hand-wringing is done about whether the Patriot Act is the most evil thing ever, in the end, people's freedom from a legal standpoint is not different than it was before Bush was elected.

It would be great if people would learn that they do their points a disservice when they overstate their case in a moronic and hyperbolic manner. Saying that we won't have our constitutional freedoms is sheer idiocy.
posted by dios at 12:51 PM on April 3, 2006


He does know that real human beings live in the place he wants to turn into a "killing-field," right? Right?

You'll have to define what he considers a "real" human being before I can answer that question.
posted by illovich at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2006


dios, howsabout you address Optimus Chyme's comments rather than picking on your pet NSA issue?
posted by odinsdream at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2006


dios, howsabout you address Optimus Chyme's comments rather than picking on your pet NSA issue?
posted by odinsdream at 2:58 PM CST on April 3


I don't respond to certain people who frequently do nothing other than troll and insult me.
posted by dios at 1:05 PM on April 3, 2006


OC, maybe instead of merely quoting the text of the Amendments, you could make a specific argument about why you think they were violated in those cases.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:07 PM on April 3, 2006


I'm having a sense of déja vu.
posted by digaman at 1:12 PM on April 3, 2006


I don't respond to certain people who frequently do nothing other than troll and insult me.
posted by dios at 1:05 PM PST on April 3


How convenient.

OC, maybe instead of merely quoting the text of the Amendments, you could make a specific argument about why you think they were violated in those cases.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:07 PM PST on April 3


It's pretty self-evident, Monju. In the first example, Padilla was a U.S. citizen arrested on U.S. soil, and was held for three years without access to counsel and without being charged with a crime. If it can happen to him, it can happen to me, you, or even dios.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2006


Quite simply, if one doesn't understand that Americans have substantially more freedom (from a legal or in absolute terms) than one did a generation ago, then one is completely and hopelessly myopic.

As in...?
posted by Artw at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2006


Hmm. Yeah, I'm having a terrible sense of deja vu also. We have dios, here again, taking the thread off course... for what purpose? And we have OC dutifully following along. Out of curiosity, where have I seen this before?

The best thing about these responses is the way they so many of them take civil war to be an acceptable outcome. I suspect most Americans feel this way, also. The other great thing is that nobody wants to address the total failure of the neocon project. It's the 900lb elephant in the room. You' have to wonder when the conservatives are going to start pointing fingers at one another.
posted by nixerman at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2006


Louis Rossetto: "...we are confronted by a uniquely 21st century challenge: a networked fascist movement of super-empowered individuals trying to undo 50K years of social evolution."

He's talking about the neo-cons, right?

Doesn't anyone know what fascism was anymore? None of the fanatical Islamic fighters - call them "insurgents," "terrorists," or "freedom-fighters" - even come close. The neo-cons genuinely come much closer.

Why do so many intelligent, capable people throw their brains out the window when anything political comes up?
posted by Western Infidels at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2006


The whole problem with the less free/more free debate is that it's largely unsettled. The problem is more that the current administration is not entirely concerned with it's own constitutional limitaions and is willing to figure out a way to justify whatever it needs to... and the legislative brach seems largely willing to fall all over itself to make it legal in hindsight.

It's not so much a question of are we more or less free currently, but rather which way things are going to go in the near future. If the current trend continues, I am concerned that a number of rights could be curtailed... except in free speech zones, of course.

PS: I know it's unspeakably lefty, but the ACLU was keeping a scorecard of liberties won and lost since 9/11, at least for a while.
posted by illovich at 1:23 PM on April 3, 2006


I'm having a sense of déja vu.
posted by digaman at 3:12 PM CST on April 3


It's ok. I did too. It's not us, it's just this post.

It's been done about... 9 score times, but for some reason, it was decided we need to go over the topics again.
posted by dios at 1:25 PM on April 3, 2006


Why do so many intelligent, capable people throw their brains out the window when anything political comes up?

Because they are scared little babies who think everything bad is someone else's fault, and everything good is their birthright.
posted by cell divide at 1:28 PM on April 3, 2006


It's been done about... 9 score times, but for some reason, it was decided we need to go over the topics again.
posted by dios at 1:25 PM PST on April 3


Yet somehow that didn't stop you from posting in the thread, claiming that everything is fine, nothing to see here, and then refusing to acknowledge valid rebuttals.

You better put illovich on your List, by the way.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:28 PM on April 3, 2006


Funny thing...I went to find the Civil Rights Commission's 2004 report "Redefining Rights in America", which slammed the Bush Administration's record on various matters...I thought, now there was substantial information which could serve to further discussion of curtailing of rights in America under Bush, being as it was a US government report, paid for by you and me.

And whaddaya know, it's nowhere to be found on the site. Flushed down the memory hole, like so much other embarrassing (but factual) information which doesn't toe the Bush party line. Every report after 2005 is available though, aftter they replaced that crusty old commissioner who served every administration since Carter (IIRC) with someone less objectionable.

The internets never forget though.

Reports Purged From the Website of the Civil Rights Commission. He who controls the present controls the past.
posted by edverb at 1:29 PM on April 3, 2006


It's pretty self-evident, Monju. In the first example, Padilla was a U.S. citizen arrested on U.S. soil, and was held for three years without access to counsel and without being charged with a crime. If it can happen to him, it can happen to me, you, or even dios."

Except that it's not self-evident. Padilla was held as an enemy combatant. Is that unconstitutional? The Fourth Circuit says no. What's your counterargument?

And how about your second example?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:37 PM on April 3, 2006


PS: I know it's unspeakably lefty, but the ACLU was keeping a scorecard of liberties won and lost since 9/11, at least for a while.
posted by illovich at 3:23 PM CST on April 3


So the liberties I lost include:

The liberty to be free from the bureaucracy ("President establishes new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. 6.6.02")

The liberty to have foreign nationals be baggage screeners ("Aviation and Transportation Security Act bars non-citizen airport screeners. 11.19.01")

The liberty of non-citizens to be here without government knowledge ("DOJ announces that non-citizens must report change of address within ten days. 7.22.02")

The liberty to be free from inter-agency cooperation ("New information-sharing powers for intelligence agencies").
___________

Look. There are valid statements to be made that there is some concern about Security measures. But when people start acting as if we are whole-sale losing all of our rights and liberty, it just is complete hyperbole. The Constitution still exists. The Court in Hamdi allayed many of these ramblings about prisoners. And freedom, in this generation, is much more so than in the past (contra the original comment which asserted we are losing our basic freedoms).

Hyperbole gets you nothing. It only undermines your other points. You aren't going to convince anyone of your point of view if you go about acting as if we are one step away from being Stalin-land. I was talking with someone about the real, honest, tangible daily differences in our lives in this post 9/11 world, and other than more security at airports, we couldn't think of a single one (hand-wringing fears notwithstanding).
posted by dios at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2006


...and remind me never to wear the wrong t-shirt or have the wrong bumper sticker on my car to a taxpayer funded event, lest GOP operatives impersonating Secret Service agents "arrest" me.
posted by edverb at 1:40 PM on April 3, 2006


Is that unconstitutional? The Fourth Circuit says no. What's your counterargument?

The Second Circuit said yes. Does that mean that the action's very constitutionality changed, or the system's view of it? And you know, as I do, that the the Fourth's rationale was based on bullshit logic about the Congressional joint resolution.

Further, if Padilla is an enemy combatant, and we don't need to charge him with anything to keep him locked up, then why have we finally indicted him? Why not just let him rot in a cell somewhere?

And how about your second example?

It's none of the federal government's fucking business what I read.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:47 PM on April 3, 2006


It's de-ja-vue all over again.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:54 PM on April 3, 2006


Boy, I'm sure glad I'm not a Muslim in Detroit on 9/12, or a homosexual who was fired for my sexual orientation, or a guy who shared a name with a felon in Florida in 2000, or a special needs kid under NCLB, or a family living next to a toxic waste dump, or anyone named David Nelson. I'm certainly glad I'm not an undercover CIA officer, or a former Treasury Secretary or White House budget director who made uncomfortable predictions about the costs of war, or a US Army Corps of Engineers auditor looking at KBR's billing, or the National Archivist, or a special prosecutor in Guam looking sideways at Jack Abramoff.

If I am not the subject of official retalition, or someone who was neglected or intimidated or attacked or outed, or screwed over for blowing a whistle, or putting out some inconvenient data...it must not have happened!

Well, they may be tapping my phones and intercepting my emails without a warrant, but whatever. What I don't know won't hurt me.

[/snark]
posted by edverb at 1:54 PM on April 3, 2006


Dios, the original argument, which you quoted, wasn't that you Americans have fewer freedoms than ever before, it's that you've squandered more than ever before. You've framed this in a few different ways, all of which are straw men. Tsk tsk!
posted by Drexen at 1:59 PM on April 3, 2006


The Second Circuit said yes. Does that mean that the action's very constitutionality changed, or the system's view of it?

No, it simply means that the answer is not "self-evident," as you argued above. As the Supreme Court has declined to rule on the issue, we don't really know the answer. The truth is, though, that enemy combatant status is not a new thing, and this is not a new loss of basic freedoms. This is a constitutional problem as old as the republic, and to assert that it's all the Bush Administration's fault is myopic.

Further, if Padilla is an enemy combatant, and we don't need to charge him with anything to keep him locked up, then why have we finally indicted him? Why not just let him rot in a cell somewhere?

The Government's counsel was likely worried about having the issue addressed by the Supreme Court, and moved Padilla to civilian custody in order to moot the case. That's not unconstitutional either.

It's none of the federal government's fucking business what I read.

Of course it's not. Except that in the case you cited, the specific book in question had handwritten remarks in the margins indicating hostility and potential dangerousness to the US. The government wasn't interested in who had read the book per se, it was interested in the specific person who wrote those remarks in that specific copy of the book. I'm not sure why such an inquiry violates the Fourth Amendment.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:01 PM on April 3, 2006


The Government's counsel was likely worried about having the issue addressed by the Supreme Court, and moved Padilla to civilian custody in order to moot the case.

And why would they be worried about that?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:08 PM on April 3, 2006


I would, like Gary Hart, ask one question that so far the White House refuses to answer: Are we or are we not building permanent military bases in Iraq?

I'm sure we will withdraw from Iraq in much the same way we left Japan, Germany, Italy and the UK after WWII.

Or maybe the way we left South Korea?


Once that sinks in, it becomes quite clear that we will never leave Iraq.
posted by a3matrix at 2:12 PM on April 3, 2006


And why would they be worried about that?

Obviously because they might lose. Do you think you're scoring rhetorical points here? You have still failed to come close to proving that there was a "self-evident" violation of the Constitution. The Circuits are split, and the Supreme Court has declined to take the case.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:12 PM on April 3, 2006


Of course it's not. Except that in the case you cited, the specific book in question had handwritten remarks in the margins indicating hostility and potential dangerousness to the US.

These words?

"If the things I'm doing is considered a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal. Hostility toward America is a religious duty and we hope to be rewarded by God."

Well, now that you all have them in your cache, please call the FBI and let them know that your computers need to be seized, as well as all of Matt's servers so they can figure out who this dastardly "OC" is, and what kind of grave copy/pasting threat he poses to the U.S.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:12 PM on April 3, 2006


Wonder of my bank records are private? Eh, maybe, maybe not. It's illegal for the teller to tell, ya know. Why would they be interested in my library records? I checked out a book by Al Franken once...wonder if that gets me uninvited from the White House holiday Christmas party. Well, at least I was never infiltrated for my anti-Iraq-war stance (to my knowledge, anyway), or asked to get off a bus crossing federal property, or harrassed by DHS asked to move my car from the parking lot where I work.

Though I do hear they're giving tax dollars to Pat Robertson now. I don't mind. He says he's going to pray for people, and as we know, he has a direct line to the Almighty. Praise the lord. Lord knows I need the prayer because I can't afford health insurance anymore, and Medicare won't cover my oxygen for more than 12 uhhh 36 uhhh, whatever number of months passed whatever house they picked.

Nah, everything's status quo, right? Haven't lost a thing. I don't live in New Orleans, never have.

[/snark]
posted by edverb at 2:13 PM on April 3, 2006


Obviously because they might lose.

Thank you.

Do you think you're scoring rhetorical points here?

Yes. When even the Supreme Court, who have Bush's cock snugly in their mouths, might rule against him, you know it's a self-evident case.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2006


When even the Supreme Court, who have Bush's cock snugly in their mouths, might rule against him, you know it's a self-evident case.

In that case, your argument is well taken. Perhaps I might include that phrase in my next appellate brief.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:21 PM on April 3, 2006


I'm sure we will withdraw from Iraq in much the same way we left Japan, Germany, Italy and the UK after WWII.

The Marshall Plan was one of the best post-war ideas and implementations ever. If we had that level of competence and planning, I'd be all for it. Well maybe not ALL for it, but you know what I mean.
posted by cell divide at 2:23 PM on April 3, 2006


And lastly...I cannot WAIT for President Hillary to claim there's a precedent for all the outrageous stuff she can do under a "unitary executive". And Alito and his like will UPHOLD IT! Imagine THAT! If the president does it, it's not illegal! HA HA! Goodbye King George, hello Queen Hillary! I'm sure the right will unify behind our Commandress-in-Chief, never undermining, never questioning, guarding the homeland from irresponsible discourse during a permanent state of war. All the vitriol they now have for Howard Dean and Michael Moore will be magically transferred to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh when they become fever-swamp critics of our President! Just imagine!

Secret prisons, secret laws, war crimes, illegal orders....all legally justified with a wave and a nod to some narrowly interpreted law! They can fire the whole Travel Department and the right will ignore it this time. Come hell or high water, they do not question the Commandress-in Chief during wartime. SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, SUPPORT OUR COMMANDRESS IN CHIEF! That's the way it is. America. Love it or leave it, baby.
posted by edverb at 2:25 PM on April 3, 2006


In that case, your argument is well taken. Perhaps I might include that phrase in my next appellate brief.

Just another day in lawyerville, dog.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2006


I say that we vote out of office everyone who voted for the Iraq war, even high-profile types like Clinton and Lieberman. I would say that we should vote out everyone who voted for the PATRIOT ACT, but that would leave us with nobody but Feingold and a bunch of fresh faces.

Now that I think about it, that may not be such a bad idea.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2006


derail:

Japan, Germany, Italy and the UK after WWII.

Which of these is not like the others?

/derail
posted by dash_slot- at 2:41 PM on April 3, 2006


"Quite simply, if one doesn't understand that Americans have substantially more freedom (from a legal or in absolute terms) than one did a generation ago, then one is completely and hopelessly myopic."

Substantially more freedom? How?

As for the general reduction in freedom, while I can understand the twin paths of the lawyers arguing against such a stance in the thread, I have to say as a citizen that it definitely feels like I've lost freedoms.
Granted, the rebuttal is that all of the court decisions simply affirm that we did not under the constitution ever have those freedoms, but the thought that my conversation can be surveilled because the person who calls me has previously spoken to someone outside the country feels like a betrayal to me. And that's leaving aside the fact that, yeah, I did have the freedom to take nail clippers onto a plane just a couple of years ago.
posted by klangklangston at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2006


Actually, klang, nail clippers are just fine.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:47 PM on April 3, 2006


Yes, fortunately, the freedom to have nail clippers has been restored. You still have to protest in specified Free Speech Zones, though. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:53 PM on April 3, 2006


Substantially more freedom? How?
posted by klangklangston at 4:43 PM CST on April 3


Ask the nearest Black Guy over the age of 50 and see what his opinion is on whether his freedom has substantially increased or decreased over the last couple of generations.
posted by dios at 2:53 PM on April 3, 2006


Yeah it's fuckin' sweet for Black Guys now, and it's only getting sweeter:

In 2000 there were more than 469,000 African American men ages 18-24 who were enrolled in college, which represents 24.9% of the country's 1,885,000 African American men in that age range, according to the Status Report on Minorities in Higher Education 2001-2002, issued by the Washington, D.C.-based American Council on Education.

Black men have experienced a startling reversal of fortunes in the span of one generation. In 1980 African American men enrolled in higher education outnumbered those incarcerated by a quarter million. In 2000, black men behind bars exceeded those on campus by 188,000.

U.S. Department of Justice statistics from 2001 indicate that 179,500 black men ages 18-24 are in prison and jail. Therefore, in the 18-24 age group, the college/imprisoned ratio for black males is 2.6 to one.

For their white male counterparts, the ratio is 28 to one. In 2000 there were 3,522,392 white men ages 18-24 enrolled in college, which represents 32.8% of that age group, while 125,700 were in prison in 2001.

posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:57 PM on April 3, 2006


You still have to protest in specified Free Speech Zones, though. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

You mean like these? Deplorable.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:06 PM on April 3, 2006


Good thing I'm not a Democrat, eh?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2006


You mean like these? Deplorable.

Gotta agree. That's a bipartisan assault on liberty there, like so many others.
posted by edverb at 3:10 PM on April 3, 2006


Yeah, monju, I'm kind of missing your point here.
posted by brundlefly at 3:10 PM on April 3, 2006


It's not us, it's just this post.

Sorry, dios, I know you don't like this FPP -- you said that up front. But the war and what people think about it, both in the present and in retrospect, are issues of enduring concern to me and others, so feel free to take a pass next time I post about it.
posted by digaman at 3:11 PM on April 3, 2006


1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

No, Though at the time, it was a bit of a wager. I never considered even a Saddam armed with WMD much of a threat. He, being a secular despot was one of alqaida's sworn enemies, and iraq being continually at war with iran seemed to indicate to me, at least, that if Saddam had em, he'd sure as shit save them for the iranians. Plus, I felt that our intel about Iraq's general weapons infrastructure could not have possibly been more accurate in 2003 than it was before the first gulf war. I mean, hell, right up until the beginning of the first gulf war we were the number one supplier of weapons, and had close ties with Iraq. One would imagine we'd have destroyed their weapons programs and caches then. Frankly, of all the rogue states and dictators in the world, I felt Saddam was small fry.

Also, having supported Afghanistan ( I lived a few blocks away from the WTC) and seeing what a cock up they made over there, I had a feeling Iraq wouldn't go so well...



2. Have you changed your position?

No, but I've learned a few important lessons, people believe in their decision procedures whether or not they are even remotely accurate. I know now that it was the same guys that sold us the USSR as the evil empire, when it was actually impoverished farmers, and a few scientists. It was the same guys who sold us Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. The Same Men. The same decision procedure. It was just as flawed then as it is now. Sometimes, when people tell you something is a bad idea, and they turn out to be right, maybe, just maybe you should listen to them the next time? Seriously, the single largest demonstration in the history of the world for a single cause, and now even the staunches supporters of the war are advocating turning tail and letting the place fall into a civil war. WTF?

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

I believe that we broke it, we ought to fix it. I think splitting the country up is a reasonable idea. I also think that the die has been cast. We as a country are now at war. We have to act like it. We never really thought it was going to be hard. We went in there with the idea "This won't be a war". That is not how you win, nor is that how you bring peace out of chaos.

The problem is this: Our currently "leadership" neither has the spine nor the competence to do what is necessary to have peace. They never were. So, given that we cannot do what is right, we have to leave. And soon.

On preview: I'd love to hear a supporter of the administration's perspective... Dios?
posted by Freen at 3:34 PM on April 3, 2006


i'd like to get the thread BACK ON TRACK by saying it takes a lot of guts to admit you were wrong and i commend those posters in this thread who did so.
posted by Miles Long at 3:54 PM on April 3, 2006


You know, I think that brings up another point. I never once considered the hawks to be anti-american, or treasonous. Just misguided.

What has happened to the idea of the loyal opposition?
posted by Freen at 4:02 PM on April 3, 2006


"Ask the nearest Black Guy over the age of 50 and see what his opinion is on whether his freedom has substantially increased or decreased over the last couple of generations."

I think you mean Black Guy™. And not last "couple of generations." You said one generation. Don't be weasely. That means we're talking since, what, 1976? I doubt you'd find a lot of black men (even Black Guy™) who would say that their rights have substantially increased in the last 30 years. And certainly, there's no support for your claim that to not see an increase in rights over this time period is myopic. So, for one who enters high dudgeon everytime a hyperbolic sentiment registers on your Dioscave sensors, your statement comes across as either hypocritical or intentionally dishonest (your pick).

Monju— Those are indeed the rules. Would you care to explain them to the workers at the Detroit Metro airport? For some reason, when my nail clippers were confiscated late last year, I felt that arguing would do me more harm than good.
posted by klangklangston at 4:05 PM on April 3, 2006


Very well put, Freen.
posted by brundlefly at 4:12 PM on April 3, 2006


for some reason, it was decided we need to go over the topics again.

In fairness, i didn't see any specific invite for you Dios, if you have no interest in the subject don't feel obliged to comment.

If you do comment is there any chance you could cut the complaints? Seeing as you have decided to get involved it seems pointless.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 4:13 PM on April 3, 2006


They going to have snakes on this one too?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:58 PM on April 3, 2006


You still have to protest in specified Free Speech Zones, though. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

You mean like these? [link to a photo of a "free speech zone" at the DNC] Deplorable.


You really don't get it, do you? This isn't about sides. The photo you link to depicts something terrible. Any person who understands what this country was founded on would agree. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of bullshit. You, dios, and others, are obviously still playing some kind of game, where there are "sides" and the "other people" are out to get you and yours.

Grow up.
posted by odinsdream at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2006


You, dios, and others, are obviously still playing some kind of game, where there are "sides" and the "other people" are out to get you and yours.

Of course I get it. Of course free speech zones are terrible, and ridiculous, and, in my opinion, unconstitutional. My whole point was that this "isn't about sides." Administrations routinely restrict civil rights during wartime. I don't like it, and certainly don't approve of it, but it's a fact. Whether it was prosecution of picketers during WWI, or sending Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII, or surveillance of anti-establishment groups during the Cold War, administrations of all parties have restricted rights to protect "security." I'm not defending restriction of civil rights; I fact against it every chance I get. My point is that suggesting that Bush administration has embarked on an unprecedented restriction of civil liberties is myopic.

You can lump me in with dios if you like, but you'd be wrong. And don't tell me to "grow up" if you don't understand my argument.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:23 PM on April 3, 2006


Hindsight is 20/20? For warmongering, war-crime-defending, Bush-worshipping imbeciles, possibly. There were plenty of smart people who foresaw this clusterfuck pretty damned accurately, thanks. And were very vocal about it at the time. And got reviled for it.
posted by Decani at 7:07 PM on April 3, 2006


General Zinni: "I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew."
posted by homunculus at 7:47 PM on April 3, 2006


decani: amen.
posted by Freen at 10:30 PM on April 3, 2006


What decani said.
I was there.
I was reviled.
I was correct.

Those who mindlessly defend partisan political parties to the detriment of their country are traitors.
Pure and simple.
This is exactly what we're seeing with the Defenders of Dubya.
Whaddya' love? Your country or "my team winning?"
posted by nofundy at 6:25 AM on April 4, 2006


Decani: There were plenty of smart people who foresaw this clusterfuck pretty damned accurately


Plenty? No, make that millions.
posted by Freen at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2006


monju: for God's sake, you need to figure out... the War on Terrorism is not a war any more than the War on BlacksDrugs is. Congress didn't declare war, and they gave the President a certain specific ability to go after Iraq... and he now claims they gave him the authority to do ANYTHING HE WANTS, FOREVER.

If you're not scared of that, your head isn't screwed on straight.
posted by Malor at 2:50 PM on April 4, 2006


« Older The domino effect....  |  Unfortunately, MeFi blue didn'... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments