Al-Jazeera bites back.
December 3, 2005 8:14 PM   Subscribe

Al-Jazeera bites back. In 2003, following US pressure on the Emir of Qatar and claims of a secret meeting of House, Senate, Pentagon, and intelligence leaders who authorized the use of "all possible pressure" to silence the station, al-Jazeera fired its general manager, stopped referring to Iraqi insurgents as "the resistance", and banned the airing of hostage executions and the death of US soldiers. Today, following recent reports of George W. Bush planning an attack against al-Jazeera HQ in Qatar, and the US bribing of Iraqi reporters and news sources, al-Jazeera seems to have changed that policy by airing the video of 10 US Marines being killed in an improvised explosive device attack. (NSFW. Windows Media. Right click this link to save the video, or this link to stream it.) Is this change indicative of larger changes in Arab public opinion, or has the Emir of Qatar decided to push back?
posted by insomnia_lj (110 comments total)
 
Seems like a pretty fucked up (not to mention passive aggressive) way to "get back" if thats what this actually is. A video of marines killed by IED is different then a video fo a hostage getting decapitated.
posted by delmoi at 8:17 PM on December 3, 2005


The ironic thing is, Allah isn't actually that akbar.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 8:34 PM on December 3, 2005


nah, see it's a plot to boot GW's ratings, gives americans a visibile target to hate and support the prez on.
posted by edgeways at 8:37 PM on December 3, 2005


Now they're just asking to be bombed.
posted by my sock puppet account at 8:50 PM on December 3, 2005


hmm. so, there's consequences to our government's actions?

I'm not as sure that this has anything to do with the fact that Bush wanted to kill the lot of them like a coward, as much as the pentagon fessing up to buying the news in Iraq, which pretty much raises the stakes of being considered trustworthy news in that part of the world. I mean, obviously, we've given this young democracy a taste of how free press can mean saying whatever the fuck the powers that be want.

oh, and from the link:

Please don’t hotlink to my videos - it is hard enough to deal with the current bandwidth I have now. If you like the video(s) you’ve seen, please consider donating to my dedicated server tipjar here. Ian
posted by Busithoth at 8:58 PM on December 3, 2005


It could be that the Arab media is reacting to this in a way similar to how other media sources are reacting to the Bush administration in general. (i.e. They see them as unpopular, and don't hold back so much.)

That said, the Emir of Qatar owns the country and can do whatever he wants. Bush administration threats probably seem pretty empty right now, and Qatar's close ties with the US are becoming more of a liability lately.

The thing that I found most interesting while researching links that document US pressure against al-Jazeera was the allegations that members of the House, Senate, Pentagon. etc. may have been secretly gunning for al-Jazeera too. It certainly puts claims of Bush making an isolated "joke" about bombing al-Jazeera in perspective.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:02 PM on December 3, 2005


insomnia_lj, are you aware that al-jazeera staffers linked to your MeFi post about Frank Gaffney? I linked to their blog Don't Bomb Us in my first and only FPP on Metafilter to date. Apparently, someone at al-Jazeera is reading Metafilter too.

This circular linkitude makes me wonder if an al Jazeera staffer might read this post as well, and if they could shed some light on your questions here.
posted by edverb at 9:19 PM on December 3, 2005


For those who don't have/play Windows Media, Reuters have released video stills.

All those soldiers walking alongside the vehicle, and still nobody could spot the buried IED. I certainly couldn't by looking at the video. Those things can be damned invisible!
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:23 PM on December 3, 2005


ab'd al'Hazred
So I'm just curious, when you say that God is not great, do you mean the christian God, the muslim God, or God in general. Just curious, that's all . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:45 PM on December 3, 2005


"insomnia_lj, are you aware that al-jazeera staffers linked to your MeFi post about Frank Gaffney?

Wow... I did not know that. Thanks for letting me know.

This has been a very interesting month for me. John Pilger, who has won just about every major award for journalism, cited me in his latest article for my "first-class investigative work that ought to shame well-paid journalists" on the white phosphorus issue.

I was also interviewed by a British journalism trade magazine and BBC Radio Five, but I still found the time to personally insult the head of BBC's international news department. D'oh!
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:54 PM on December 3, 2005


I haven't been this disturbed since the video last week of the drivers being shot from the back of the contractors' vehicles. Thinking of the two together makes me sick to my stomach.
posted by VulcanMike at 9:56 PM on December 3, 2005


"I believe "Allah akbar" is usually uttered as a joyful or triumphant exultation."

It really depends on the situation. It's not just celebratory. It's also used in prayer, as a kind of mantra to ward off fear, as a way to overcome horrible things, as a kind of resignation to fate, and often by those about to die.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:01 PM on December 3, 2005


My condolences to the people who loved the kids that
were killed and injured. I can't imagine how they might
feel seeing this piece of video. No good will come of it.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:11 PM on December 3, 2005


If there's video of this stuff, we should be seeing it on our own news channels--this will have to do, i guess, since our own don't want to show what we're doing there, and how it's going.
posted by amberglow at 10:13 PM on December 3, 2005


I haven't been this disturbed since the video last week of the drivers being shot from the back of the contractors' vehicles. Thinking of the two together makes me sick to my stomach.

So I went back and watched the trophy video from the contractors and this video again, and imagined the audio switched. I think I've hit my saturation point for this war -- how ugly, how absolutely heartbreaking, how tragic. There must a better way.
posted by VulcanMike at 10:17 PM on December 3, 2005


I saw that video last night on the BBC. Are they also a target?
posted by quarsan at 10:40 PM on December 3, 2005


insomnia_lj is in danger of becoming a media whore.
posted by delmoi at 10:50 PM on December 3, 2005


I wish. Whores are paid!
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:54 PM on December 3, 2005


hmm. so, there's consequences to our government's actions?

Um, are you aware that we did not attack Qatar? Do you not think it's pretty unlikely that we would want to attack the country that hosts a large military base?

Al Jazeera should be able to report whatever the hell they want to. It doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is Americans like insomnia who masturbate to the site of marines dying. From what I've seen, insomnia is the only citizen I know of that geniunely hates this country.
posted by b_thinky at 12:19 AM on December 4, 2005


Coralized video link.d

All those soldiers walking alongside the vehicle, and still nobody could spot the buried IED. I certainly couldn't by looking at the video.

It was reportedly modded artillery shells. No doubt they were concealed in the pile of dirt that looks fairly natural right where the ivy drapes over. The lethality -- 10 soldiers is unusual -- may have been due to igniting some ordnance in the Humvee, which seems to sputter and smoke for seconds after the explosion.

The guy in civvies must have been an Iraqi translator.

Incidentally, this isn't the first IED snuff I've seen. There are a few of them floating out there, some are obviously, like this, propaganda produced by the perpetrators, and others are security cameras and the like.

What's really ironic about this is that the Vietnam War was infamously "broadcast into living rooms". I've seen footage of Tet where US soldiers got kille before the cameras, although I have nothing to prove to me that such moemnts were on CBS. This war, in contrast, has had almost no battlefield footage whatsoever seen on US television, which conversely seems to render such moments that much more shocking and taboo. Certainly the US media don't shy from showing footage from non-US conflicts.
posted by dhartung at 12:27 AM on December 4, 2005


What bothers me is Americans like insomnia who masturbate to the site of marines dying. From what I've seen, insomnia is the only citizen I know of that geniunely hates this country.

Where do find insomnia getting a sense of pleasure from this? I don't think this puts a smile on any American's face in anyway. I too, feel strongly that these images need to be shown and the American public needs to know exactly what is going over there. Images like this sadly put a big contrast between the current administration's description (i.e. bullshit) of the war in Iraq and the reality on the ground. This particular event was larger in scale than most attacks on U.S. troops or at least more effective than others, but any 3rd grader with basic math skills can figure out that we're not winning this stupid war.

insomnia never used the word hate in this thread, those are strong allegations to throw at somebody, and should be done with great care. To hate your own country implies more than a disgust or disdain of your country's policies, or a sense of shame because of those policies (a feeling that I currently have, but I can see my opinion eroding away if a significant change takes place).
posted by Mijo Bijo at 12:39 AM on December 4, 2005


That video was also broadcast on the news in Japan today.

BTW, has anyone been able to verify that the Don't Bomb Us blog is actually written by Al-jazeera staffers? All they have is a gmail account and a blog on blogger. Their flickr stream looks a lot like generic press photos too.
posted by jsonic at 12:45 AM on December 4, 2005


Mijo Bijo: do you ever read Metafilter? About once a week you'll get a post from Insomnia bin Laden praising some disaster that befalls the US military. For those of us with friends or loved ones in the military, or for people who are just fans of America in general, it gets pretty annoying.

We're not winning the war because there is nothing to win. I'll give the administration the benefit of the doubt in that progress is being made in training the Iraqis to fight for themselves. Until they are close to 100% on their own we'll just keep bleeding and we pretty much don't have a choice in the matter any more. But like most people, I don't see where this war was or will be worth the sacrifices we're making.

I guess if the new Iraq becomes a reliable trading partner we'll benefit in the long term. But the assertion that freedom and democracy will spread from Iraq to the rest of the middle east is a long shot at best. It's like me saying if I put pink flamingos in my front yard, the rest of the neighborhood will follow suit.

In general I find the War on Terror agreeable and I'm a big fan of Bush's economic policies, but this Iraq war is a big stinker.
posted by b_thinky at 1:34 AM on December 4, 2005


jsonic, I've been talking to them on a couple of issues (self link 1 and self link 2) and have been getting replies from an aljazeera.net addy as well as their gmail. I've also had skype chats with them and have arranged meetings with them. So I am certain they are al Jazeera staffers.
posted by quarsan at 2:04 AM on December 4, 2005


To add perspective, the bomb video linked in the post has been broadcast on UK news media. I don't recall if it was Sky or BBC News 24 where I saw the clip, though; but it would have been one of the two, and quite likely both.
posted by nthdegx at 2:08 AM on December 4, 2005


About once a week you'll get a post from Insomnia bin Laden praising some disaster that befalls the US military.

Ad hominem.

For those of us with friends or loved ones in the military, or for people who are just fans of America in general, it gets pretty annoying.


I find it annoying that they're there in the first place. Everybody in this country knows somebody who is fighting in that war. I've talked to a growing number of current soldiers who hate this war and know it will never succeed, no matter how many times they try and change the U.S.'s agenda there.

We're not winning the war because there is nothing to win. I'll give the administration the benefit of the doubt in that progress is being made in training the Iraqis to fight for themselves.


In his speech about the war in Iraq recently at the Naval Academy, Bush used the term "victory" [NY Times] a lot. If there is nothing to win, than what the hell is Bush talking about victory for? How many times are you going to give Bush the benefit of the doubt? There is less and less gray area everyday that the current administration did lie to the American people.

I guess if the new Iraq becomes a reliable trading partner we'll benefit in the long term.

So exactly how many deaths to dollars gained will make this war beneficial to either side? Wars aren't a fucking business prospectus.

In general I find the War on Terror agreeable and I'm a big fan of Bush's economic policies, but this Iraq war is a big stinker.

I supported the war in Afghanistan. I just find it a bit illogical that we have approx. 15,000 troops in a country twice the size of Iraq that actually harbored the guy who attacked us, and he may still be there, yet we have approx. 150,000 troops in a country the size of California getting our troops blown to all hell. All of this because they had a tyrant in power that was neutralized (a non-threat) and he wasn't even allied with bin Laden in the slightest. Explain that one to me? If I had my way we would have 150,000 troops in Afghanistan still hunting him down until he was captured. There would be zero troops in Iraq, and if the body count was the same in Afghanistan as it is in Iraq I could justify it. Bush hasn't given us any justice.

High five for finding a benefit with Bush's economic policies. Unfortunately I'm with the majority of people in the U.S. who haven't. Kudos to you!
posted by Mijo Bijo at 2:15 AM on December 4, 2005


Thanks for the followup quarsan.
posted by jsonic at 2:44 AM on December 4, 2005


I saw this on CNN this morning, with a warning that the clip was hard to watch.
posted by Cicerius at 2:51 AM on December 4, 2005


I grew up watching TV news during the Vietnam war,and such images were common during that conflict. The Bush administration has wanted to control media all through the war, and their frustration with foreign news outlets not toeing their line has been obvious from the outstart.

Yes, these images may upset families of soldiers who are in Iraq. That is part of reporting a war. Reports of US casualties did not make the US electorate want to pull out of WWII or Korea. It was the pointless nature of the Vietnam war that caused the US electorate to pressure their government to withdraw, thus saving the lives of American soldiers. And that is the definition of the term "Vietnam Syndrome" in political discourse. US politicians hope to never again feel the wrath of an informed, democratic voter bloc.
posted by zaelic at 3:14 AM on December 4, 2005


How about iraqi deads, american blood is not precious than iraqi blood

and blood brings blood, it's that simple

you give blood you get blood

when americans gonna stop being stupid
posted by zouhair at 3:15 AM on December 4, 2005


Apparently, someone at al-Jazeera is reading Metafilter too.

If i was PP i'd be worried.

*cue hostage wearing metafilter t-shirt*
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:43 AM on December 4, 2005


"From what I've seen, insomnia is the only citizen I know of that geniunely hates this country."

Then you haven't seen much, have you....?

I'm personally on the edge of "hating my country" myself.... I"m starting with Bush... I would put you on the list as well if you like...
posted by HuronBob at 3:46 AM on December 4, 2005



Unfortunately Zouhair the answer is - when the price of blood is more than the price of oil...its pure market speculation until then.

If ANY government cooks the books on its economic situation, investor confidence is lost and their economy head south.

Its a tough call, but there is a parallel with a populations belief in a governments actions and words too. And i believe a certain administration is running out of goodwill fast due to...shall say...'modifications' to truth, perpetrated in the name of democracy both in the USA and abroad.

Threatening to blow up a newspaper is another one of those 'modifications' if you need an example to sink your teeth into. Planting pro american paid articles into 'free' local media is kind of a contradiction as well.

Simple economics. If people similar to b_thinky cant understand it when put that way then i dont know what will get through to him/them.
posted by rawfishy at 4:00 AM on December 4, 2005


In general I find the War on Terror agreeable and I'm a big fan of Bush's economic policies, but this Iraq war is a big stinker.
posted by b_thinky at 10:34 AM CET on December 4 [!]


Wars may be many things - some of them are even worth fighting - but only someone whose darkness is as complete as the sun is bright could describe any war as "agreeable."

Bush's only "economic policy" is to quite openly borrow vast sums of money and give it all away to his super-rich buddies, leaving the taxpayers of the future to pay for it. To be "a fan" of that policy requires, again, a lack of insight whose profundity must surely be measured in light-years.

So it's a wonderful moment - a cause for rejoicing, the beginning of real hope, and a very significant omen of policy shifts to come - when a citizen of b_thinky's political stature feels confident enough to observe that the occupation of Iraq is, in his words, "a big stinker."

Karl Rove, are you listening?
posted by cleardawn at 5:48 AM on December 4, 2005


"insomnia bin laden"!

"a big stinker"!

comedy gold.

in the meantime, in the real world -- as opposed to b_stinky's fantasy world:

US Army admits Iraqis outnumber foreign fighters as its main enemy
Iraqis, rather than foreign fighters, now form the vast majority of the insurgents who are waging a ferocious guerrilla war against United States forces in Sunni western Iraq, American commanders have revealed.
Their conclusion, disclosed to the Sunday Telegraph in interviews over 10 days in battle-torn Anbar province, contradicts the White House message that outsiders are the principal enemy in Iraq.
Of 1,300 suspected insurgents arrested over the past five months in and around Ramadi, none has been a foreigner. Col John Gronski, senior officer in the town, Anbar's provincial capital, said that almost all insurgent fighting there was by Iraqis.
so much for the "roach motel".
the Iraqis don't want you there. hell, even their president said that Americans are a legitimate target.
posted by matteo at 6:34 AM on December 4, 2005


I wish. Whores are paid!
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:54 AM CET on December 4 [!]

Jolly good ! There you go $69 for an article on al-jazeera alleged abuse of worker rights.
posted by elpapacito at 6:35 AM on December 4, 2005





posted by matteo at 6:35 AM on December 4, 2005


"What bothers me is Americans like insomnia who masturbate to the site of marines dying. From what I've seen, insomnia is the only citizen I know of that geniunely hates this country."

I'm the only citizen who hates this country? Hardly. I mean, there's Young Republican who runs the website where I found the video. He and his buddies *LOVE* war porn! We were all going to get together and mutually masturbate to it, but I prefer using my left hand, and they prefer using their right, and we'd just get in each other's way...

Alternately, maybe what I said here might make more sense to you. I've had friends die over there, and have had to see many more lose their buddies, so this is hardly something I take lightly. That said, you seem to believe I have a greater duty to my country than to the truth. I'm sorry, but I absolutely don't believe that.
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:40 AM on December 4, 2005


Is this change indicative of larger changes in Arab public opinion, or has the Emir of Qatar decided to push back?

Everyone loves a winner. No one loves a loser, and a pile on effect starts happening.

Kick 'em when they are down.


Given the above the Emir doesn't have to say 'go get 'em', he just has to stop taking action when someone goes for a jab VS US Actions. To stop caring is enough.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:54 AM on December 4, 2005


Um, are you aware that we did not attack Qatar? Do you not think it's pretty unlikely that we would want to attack the country that hosts a large military base?

Al Jazeera should be able to report whatever the hell they want to. It doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is Americans like insomnia who masturbate to the site of marines dying. From what I've seen, insomnia is the only citizen I know of that geniunely hates this country.


I don't think it unlikely at all the BushCo. would've wanted to attack Al Jazeera's HQ. Like an embassy, their property could be thought of as foreign soil (a non-state terrorist, if you will, the true threat that Bush ignored until he was forced not to). Why is it when Bush says something batshit stupid people fall over themselves to make excuses that he's not supposed to be smart/coherent/informed/well-spoken/honest? How exactly does that raise the bar for the Presidency?

And the actions I was talking about was the buying and subverting the 'new' Iraqi "free press". Stupid, stupid, stupid to live up to the low expectations set for us by a wary public whom we've in the past helped keep subdued (aiding Saddam), embargoed (post-aiding Saddam), bombed (shock and awe), and pillaged (non-metered oil drilling to this day, the method by which the oil-for-food scandal was made possible, only we do it bigger and better).

I'm glad you agree the network should be able to report what they like. I think the disconnect between what neo-cons think about the mindsets of souls in the Middle East and what those souls are actually exposed to is vast, and their unwillingness to 'change course' is criminal.

And fuck anyone who'd celebrate the deaths of American forces. I'm not convinced in the least that Insomnia does. It is why I can't listen to Pacifica radio for extended periods of time. They may be correct in their complaints/arguments, but I can't listen to the constant bewailing of how bad our government is. I get the distinct opinion after a while that everything is fucked to all hell, and I want to drink/smoke/fuck that out of my consciousness. I'm all for information, but really.
posted by Busithoth at 6:59 AM on December 4, 2005


I realize this is a little off the subject, but from the whtt.org link above:

One cartoon was of so-called 'green-card soldiers': young Latino men shown going through an immigration tunnel to emerge from the other side as US soldiers, ready to leave for military service in Iraq.

The other was of New York's twin towers imploding, and two giant fuel pumps rising to replace them from the ashes.


Say what you want about them, but they appear to have awesome editorial cartoonists.
posted by JHarris at 7:03 AM on December 4, 2005


i always drag the things i love into fights they cant possibly win.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:48 AM on December 4, 2005


Those editorial cartoons that were yanked from al-Jazeera can't possibly be more offensive than this one from the Guardian last week.


posted by insomnia_lj at 8:00 AM on December 4, 2005


Good for al-Jazeera. I sincerely hope that this video is the lead story on every cable and network news program. Hell, it's news and it isn't as though we're much from the DoD or the embedded lackeys calling themselves journalists.

With the obvious exception of those in the military or their families there seems to be a huge disconnect between the reality of this war and the publics perception of our incursion into Iraq. A few more videos like this and Mr. Apple Pie might reconsider driving his child to the recruiting station and save a life in the process.
posted by cedar at 8:01 AM on December 4, 2005


cedar, I don't think Mr. Apple Pie can do jack shit about a kid who wants to join the military. Not after they're 18, anyway.
posted by Busithoth at 8:14 AM on December 4, 2005


I wonder why al-Jazeera never published my "Punch a Muslim in the Face Week" blurb in the Weekend Planner.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2005



posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 8:34 AM on December 4, 2005


I don't think Mr. Apple Pie can do jack shit about a kid who wants to join the military. Not after they're 18, anyway.

Maybe not, but our buddy out there in the heartland sits on the school board. The same school board that allows recruiters to romp around high schools making pie in the sky promises to the next crop of cannon fodder. Mr. Apple Pie attends a church that along with praying for the troops also prays for victory and death to our enemies. Our hypothetical (and likely nonexistant) common man speaks to dozens of people a day and influences those around him. Hearts and minds, baby. hearts and minds.

Mr. Apple Pie, instead of saying, "That's my boy. Go get a terrorist for me!" might say, "Are you sure you might not want to reconsider? This war stuff can be deadly, you know. There aren't any terrorists in Iraq anyway."

As distasteful as the source may be, this video presents a view of this war that we haven't seen before. If the American people are to make informed decisions there is no such thing as too much information and I'm tired of being treated like an idiot.
posted by cedar at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2005


Insomnia-lj, don't hold your breath for anyone to get spanked for their bad behaviour at the Press Gazette, the new owner is Piers Morgan (better known over here as Piers Moron) who seems to have bought the paper with Murdoch money. He's er... well known in the UK for his impeccable journalistic ethics.
posted by Flitcraft at 8:41 AM on December 4, 2005


Busithoth writes "I don't think Mr. Apple Pie can do jack shit about a kid who wants to join the military. Not after they're 18, anyway."

I couldn't even talk my son out of a full burst of 6. He passed his 3-year mark last month. His best buddy is getting out. They've been together right through basic & 2 trips to Iraq.

insomnia_lj writes "you seem to believe I have a greater duty to my country than to the truth. I'm sorry, but I absolutely don't believe that."

If one's duty is not first to truth, talk of duty to country, or anything else, is meaningless.

On Preview:

cedar writes "making pie in the sky promises to the next crop of cannon fodder."

My son is no cannon fodder. Interestingly, he came down on orders for recruiting school Monday. We're pretty happy about that.
posted by taosbat at 8:51 AM on December 4, 2005


Whenever I try to access the English Al-Jazeera web site uisng this URL: http://english.aljazeera.net/

I get this message:

Information Alert

Status : 504 Gateway Time-Out

Description : Unable to connect to origin web server. The web site you are attempting to access is currently unreachable. This may be due to a network outage, or the web site might be experiencing technical difficulties.


Am I using the wrong link? This has been going on for weeks.
posted by taosbat at 8:58 AM on December 4, 2005


My condolences to the people who loved the kids that
were killed and injured. I can't imagine how they might
feel seeing this piece of video. No good will come of it.


Now you have some idea as to how the families of civilians killed by US bombs in Iraq feel about the US coverage of the war (especially in its early days), I suppose.

In any case the Emir of Qatar doesn't control al-Jazeera.
posted by clevershark at 9:13 AM on December 4, 2005


maybe they IP banned you
posted by matteo at 9:14 AM on December 4, 2005


Bush's only "economic policy" is to quite openly borrow vast sums of money and give it all away to his super-rich buddies, leaving the taxpayers of the future to pay for it.

Actually, Bush's economic policy seems to be to push for free trade, cut taxes to spur the economy. And - oh my God - it's working! Unless you shut yourself off to everything but Al Franken and Metafilter, you'd know that.
posted by b_thinky at 9:34 AM on December 4, 2005


matteo writes "maybe they IP banned you"

The problem has occured on my home dial-up from one ISP, my new satellite connection from another and at the local wireless cafe. Could an IP ban accomplish that?
posted by taosbat at 9:36 AM on December 4, 2005


Huh! It just opened like a charm. I'm astonished. That link worked once or twice a long time ago but has consistantly returned the error I mentioned for months. Maybe someone at Al-Jazeera is reading this... Spooky.
posted by taosbat at 9:47 AM on December 4, 2005


taosbat: My son is no cannon fodder. Interestingly, he came down on orders for recruiting school Monday. We're pretty happy about that.

I have little to offer but my condolences. I intend no disrespect to you or your son.

This is where we part ways. I cannot help but feel any young person who enlists in a time of war is supporting that war in the most direct way imaginable -- considering my conviction that the justification for the war in Iraq is house of sticks built upon a foundation of mud it apalls me that people continue to sacrifice themselves. While your son carries the best wishes of me and mine into war, should he ever find himself in combat it will be a life changing expierience. Taking a life isn't going to leave him unscarred and when that is the best scenario I have a tough time considering the military a viable choice at the moment.

I do not believe the reasons for the war in Iraq are compelling enough to wreak this level of havoc in our families and society. Your paying a steep price in your household but in my house it's too steep a price and looking more and more like a scam run by a cabal of second-rate grifters.
posted by cedar at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2005


cedar writes "I cannot help but feel any young person who enlists in a time of war is supporting that war in the most direct way imaginable"

Robert enilsted before the war started. He left for Iraq the first time 18 days out of basic and the war started 2 days later.

Many young people still view military sevice as a duty or an economic stepping-stone to a better life, or both. Some may actually enlist wanting to go to Iraq; but, others are still enlisting despite Iraq from a sense of duty or for self-improvement.

"considering my conviction that the justification for the war in Iraq is house of sticks built upon a foundation of mud it apalls me that people continue to sacrifice themselves."

I couldn't agree more. I believe my son and his military leadership have been terribly mislead by their highest leadership, the Commander in Chief and Secretary of Defense being just the two most in his direct chain of command.

"While your son carries the best wishes of me and mine into war, should he ever find himself in combat it will be a life changing expierience. Taking a life isn't going to leave him unscarred and when that is the best scenario I have a tough time considering the military a viable choice at the moment."

Thank you for the good wishes. Robert has completed 2 combat tours in Iraq as an infantryman. He and I have talked about his experiences quite bluntly and shall continue to do so. Here are two self links regarding that dialogue.

"I do not believe the reasons for the war in Iraq are compelling enough to wreak this level of havoc in our families and society."

I couldn't agree more. It looks to me like the neo-con experiment in military imperialism is blowing up in their faces and not only America, and Iraq, but the world, will suffer for their sins. It is our failure that we did not find a way to stop them.

"Your paying a steep price in your household but in my house it's too steep a price and looking more and more like a scam run by a cabal of second-rate grifters."

It's a complex challenge to support my son in finding his way through "a scam run by a cabal of second-rate grifters" in an honorable manner. It's my biggest challenge ever.

I want him to achieve the 'better life' he envisions. I certainly don't want him to end up a bitter veteran of a lost war like his grandfather. My only tool is the most unflinching dedication to the truth I can manage.
posted by taosbat at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2005


Taosbat, thank you for the considered response. I applaud your aplombe and forthrightness in the midst of a difficult situation that seems, at times, to defy reason.
posted by cedar at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2005


You're welcome; and, thank you.
posted by taosbat at 10:55 AM on December 4, 2005


Actually, Bush's economic policy seems to be to push for free trade, cut taxes to spur the economy. And - oh my God - it's working! Unless you shut yourself off to everything but Al Franken and Metafilter, you'd know that.

That's not true at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:57 AM on December 4, 2005


Bummer! The English Al-Jazeera web site is inaccessible to me again.
posted by taosbat at 11:01 AM on December 4, 2005


Gosh, b_thinky, the majority of Americans don't agree with you at all when it comes to the economy.

Guess it's not working for them.

On preview, what amberglow said.
posted by Haruspex at 11:07 AM on December 4, 2005


mk1gti - I'm atheist
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 1:02 PM on December 4, 2005


Good link amberglow. I don't care how many jobs have been added to the rolls since Bush has been in office. Unemployment is at 5% even. I would argue it's difficult to move much lower than that number.

Haruspex, the majority of Americans will believe whatever they hear over and over agian, regardless of the truth. I'm sure you know that. Bush's numbers are low an all fronts, but the numbers for Democrats are about the same. We're a nation divided, but all blaming the other side. Republicans will say the Dems are leading us the wrong way, and the Dems vice versa.

But corporate profits and productivity are near all time highs. Unemplyment is near an all time low. A recent study showed nearly 75% of Americans own some stock, which means they all benefit from the Bush tax cuts on dividends and capital gains.

The federal government actually took in more revenue than projected this year, as did most of the 50 states. Why? The tax cuts, stupid.

I honestly don't see where even the most partisan Democrat could say with a straight face that the economy isn't in extremely good hands with a straight face.
posted by b_thinky at 1:49 PM on December 4, 2005


How about iraqi deads, american blood is not precious than iraqi blood

and blood brings blood, it's that simple

you give blood you get blood

when americans gonna stop being stupid
posted by zouhair at 3:15 AM PST on December 4


Please tell that to the terrorists in Iraq, if you should happen to meet any. It seems to me they are the ones willing to sacrifice numerous innocent Iraqi civilians just for the chance to kill one or two Americans. That behavior seems to imply they believe American blood is of more value than Iraqi.

And if you should happen to see any Iraqis, tell them tribalism was practical in the Dark Ages, but if they want decent lives today, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds should stop killing each other for sport. It's generally bad for national stability.

I agree that Americans can be stupid, but words cannot describe the idiocy of the Iraqis. First they allow themselves to be raped by Saddam for decades and now they let their tribalistic instincts lead them to a civil war.
posted by b_thinky at 1:57 PM on December 4, 2005


B_thinky, if you're interested, you could do a little background reading about the actual effects of free trade and tax cuts.

Both serve a single purpose: to redirect wealth to Bush's super-rich buddies. And who does that money come from, do you think? That's right, it comes from everybody else. Including you.

Do you really think Bush gives a flying fuck about ordinary Americans, any more than he does about ordinary Iraqis?

I know you've been brought up on a whole lot of lies in all the rightwing news sources, and I don't blame you for your total lack of understanding of economics and politics. Many, many Americans are in the same position as you. But please, try to educate yourself - it's really not hard. MeFi is not a bad place to start doing that. I'd advise you to ignore the comments - just keep reading the links.
posted by cleardawn at 1:59 PM on December 4, 2005


cedar, your opinion of the soldiers is kind of ludicrous. you assume you understand their thoughts and political positions, when best friends and even family can be, at best, bewildered at times. (this was all expressed better by taosbat above). Just saying, it ain't that simple a thing as to what motivates someone to serve.

It can produce wonderful insights like the one conveyed by my friend currently on tour #2: US ARMY is a backwards anagram for:

Yes,
My
Retarded
Ass
Signed
Up


B_thinky, the problem with the GOP saying the Dems are leading this country in the wrong direction is that the Dems are in control of no branch of the government. You drive head -on into a post, the only thing accusing the back-seat driver is going to do is merit a breathalizer.

I do like that you acknowledge that all it takes to convince the masses is repetition, repetition, repetition. I think that's true, sadly. It permeates, if for no other reason than people come to think 'well, if it weren't true, wouldn't they stop saying that?' and there, they give our leaders too much credit. They are all whores to polls (unsurprisingly). Bush just swaggered and swore he wasn't. Even when it's proven he does, just as slavishly as Clinton.

I think that all the recent polls showing people are regretting their votes for Bush last year means jack.
posted by Busithoth at 4:23 PM on December 4, 2005


i_thinky_b_thinky_already_drinky_the_kool-aid
posted by HyperBlue at 4:32 PM on December 4, 2005


In general I find the War on Terror agreeable and I'm a big fan of Bush's economic policies.
-b-thinky

Agreeable? When war becomes agreeable we are serious trouble. Maybe if you were exposed to more footage of American soldiers being exploded it wouldn't be quite so 'agreeable'.

As for Bush's economic policies, I hope you are rich. Because if you aren't rich and you are still a big fan of his policies, then I really feel sorry for you.
posted by sophist at 4:54 PM on December 4, 2005


"I honestly don't see where even the most partisan Democrat could say with a straight face that the economy isn't in extremely good hands with a straight face."

If the economy was so peachy, then debt wouldn't be at an all-time high, our nation's credit wouldn't be approaching junk-bond status, and the Fed wouldn't be trying to play "hide the salami M3" from the American taxpayers.

Anyone can use phony market stimulation techniques to prime the pump, all while getting the fat cats fatter, but who do you think is going to have to pay off all that debt? And how will they do it and still save Social Security?

This, of course, is by Republican design. They've never seen a good program that they couldn't destroy. Rest assured, a reckoning is coming.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:15 PM on December 4, 2005


I just wanted to rant and ask a question:
When Bush's term ends, and he leaves office to daddy Bush and his oil friends.....

Who, or what will hold him or Dick or anyone else accountable for what happened in Iraq?

I mean he just leaves office and that's it? No more. He lives off his fat interest and Secret Service protecting him rest of this life?
posted by countzen at 5:37 PM on December 4, 2005


Wonderful article by Mark Steyn
posted by ParisParamus at 5:40 PM on December 4, 2005


ParisParamus, you're still here? Why aren't you proving your convictions in Iraq?
posted by taosbat at 5:44 PM on December 4, 2005


Corporate profits for C-level-types, possibly, but without commensurate gains in capital investment. Productivity, no — you're wrong. Companies are doing the same or less with the same flagging resources. Job growth, internal advancement, all the stats are either static or depressed.

Hell, b_thinky, if you don't believe me, read up on Warren Buffet's diatribes against the Bush economics. His warnings to BH shareholders are, frankly, rather chilling.

As for "straight face," I'm not so inured by any ideological Botox to remain emotionless, much less expressionless. Imagine, rather, a feral gleam of steadily increasing rage.
posted by Haruspex at 5:52 PM on December 4, 2005


um...I think you meant to post in a different thread?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:55 PM on December 4, 2005


Ah yes. Mark Steyn.
posted by Haruspex at 5:59 PM on December 4, 2005


And so, the liberal, pacifist fantasies of failure go on...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:16 PM on December 4, 2005


Yo! ParisParamus, I asked your sorry ass a fucking question.
posted by taosbat at 6:52 PM on December 4, 2005


But corporate profits and productivity are near all time highs.

CNN, August 2005, CEO pay: Sky high gets even higher:
In 2004, the ratio of average CEO pay to the average pay of a production (i.e., non-management) worker was 431-to-1, up from 301-to-1 in 2003, according to "Executive Excess," [PDF] an annual report released Tuesday by the liberal research groups United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies.

That's not the highest ever. In 2001, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay hit a peak of 525-to-1.

Still, it's quite a leap year over year, and it ranks on the high end historically. In 1990, for instance, CEOs made about 107 times more than the average worker, while in 1982, the average CEO made only 42 times more.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 PM on December 4, 2005


B_thinky, if you're interested, you could do a little background reading about the actual effects of free trade and tax cuts.

Both serve a single purpose: to redirect wealth to Bush's super-rich buddies. And who does that money come from, do you think? That's right, it comes from everybody else. Including you.


I'd like a definition of "super-rich." Does it mean anyone who is not on welfare? Anyone who makes more than minimum wage? Anyone who makes more than you? Is there a dollar figure attached? "Super-rich" is quite a subjective label. What does it mean - seriously? Are you a member of the "super rich"? If not, what gives you the right to say how much they should pay in taxes?

Almost everyone who pays taxes benefits from the tax cuts. Some poor folks did not benefit from the tax cuts, mainly because their incomes were too low to be taxed. After all, you can't pay less than $0 taxes.
posted by b_thinky at 7:23 PM on December 4, 2005


kirkaracha: I've never seen that statistic be used as an indicator of corporate productivity before. Usually you tally the amount of profits generated and divide it by expenditures, such as labor, R&D, advertising, etc. Labor would include both production and management. So if corporate productivity is up, the "executive excess" doesn't seem to be that excessive at all, does it?

But, hey, profits are evil. Who wants profits? The goal of business is simply to provide health care and paid vacations to employees. CEOs shouldn't be compensated anymore than janitors. Businesses should actually be owned and operated by the government. The model works so well in Cuba and North Korea, which by the way, I hear is quite nice this year! You might think about paying a visit sometime!
posted by b_thinky at 7:32 PM on December 4, 2005


And so, the liberal, pacifist fantasies of failure go on...
I can't even make a joke out of this. Nice straw-man, jackass- find me a single poster above who is happy about what is going on.
You know what? I'm a pacifist. I'm a liberal. And this is not. My. Fault. I am not to blame for this. I don't know why you're getting mad at people who DIDN'T WANT THIS WAR TO BEGIN WITH, when you could be getting mad at, I don't know, the people who set the bomb? Or maybe the government that sent troops in to a country that now hates them, and is actively trying to kill them?
We tried to prevent this. Don't you get it? The protests, everything- they were to keep this from happening!
So guess what- you can take your ridiculous blame and shove it up your ass. If you ever actually, I don't know, answered a god-damned question, maybe I wouldn't be another one of your "echo-chamber" boogey-men who write you off for your beliefs. If you could actually answer some questions, maybe we might see the validity of your points! Maybe this wouldn't be an "echo-chamber" if you ACTUALLY ARGUED SOMETHING, instead of just popping in and snarking people like a weak sperm.
This is a challenge. Come back here and participate in a discussion, without offhandedly insulting and ignoring people. The validity of your points are totally exclipsed by your total lack of interest in any sort of debate. If you can actually do this...well, shit. I'd be amazed. I would take you seriously, and consider your points.
But this crap? It's beneath you, or rather, it should be.

On preview:
The model works so well in Cuba and North Korea, which by the way, I hear is quite nice this year! You might think about paying a visit sometime!

Wow. CUTTING. I guess I'll have to give up my long-held Socialist belie....oh, wow! I'm not a socialist! What the...it appears that no-one here has professed socialist beliefs! My heart is explodin'! WTFOMGBBQ.
posted by 235w103 at 7:37 PM on December 4, 2005


235w103: calm down. Or find another thread.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:59 PM on December 4, 2005


ParisParamus
posted by taosbat at 8:02 PM on December 4, 2005


I'm sorry. I've been acting a bit irrationally as of late. But can you at least see why something like that might anger me? When you accuse me, and people like me, of being happy because people, probably good people, who wanted nothing more than to help others and protect them from those who would harm them, have died? Do you understand how hurtful that is? It is a horrible thing to say to someone, and to blindly label "liberals" and "pacifists" as somehow being complicit in these deaths is...I can't even think of the words. I just want you to think about the implications of what you said, and tell me if you actually believe that I, and all others who identify as liberal or pacifist, are happy about these 10 deaths, and have been dreaming about them, hoping for them, praying for them.
Forget everything else in that comment. Just answer that question- do you think that these deaths are my fantasy?
posted by 235w103 at 8:32 PM on December 4, 2005


235w103 - ParisParamus is extremely efficient at wasting the time of his established ideological adversaries. I suspect you are being toyed with.
posted by troutfishing at 8:50 PM on December 4, 2005


Mark Steyn is full of crap when he says that the US have been consistantly meeting their deadlines.

For instance, there was Rumsfeld's statement around the time of the invasion that US troops could begin to draw down their forces in Iraq in time for Christmas...

Or, when that obviously wasn't going to happen, how about the Nov. 6, 2003 Pentagon announcement that US forces would be reduced from 132,000 to 105,000 by May 2004...

Or what about the US promise of 6500 megawatts of electricity production in Iraq by June 2004? Not only did they miss that deadline last year, but they've missed it by the end of this year too. Current production 18 months later is still short of this mark, at about 4600 megawatts. Iraq is now an electricity and gasoline importer, requiring electricity imports from Iran and Turkey to stay above water.

Or how about the fact that the Bush administration actually wanted to delay elections in Iraq, and that it was Sistani who forced the US to allow UN (not US) supervised elections sooner than the US wanted to allow them.

You'd think that Steyn wouldn't lie so much, but then again, he's not really a reporter that has to back up his facts. He just writes things that sound good.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:59 PM on December 4, 2005


Steyn is no liar. Stop manipulating figures. Not meeting hoped deadlines doesn't negate fantastic overall progress. Steyn is one of the, if not the best columnists out there. I encourage all the Mefi Left sheep to read his columns are realize they are being deceived by the Mainstream media--the MSM.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:09 PM on December 4, 2005


...and you are a zionist neocon fruitbat.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:59 PM on December 4, 2005


"Not meeting hoped deadlines doesn't negate fantastic overall progress."

Hey, nice peaceful democratic reconstruction you've got there...

Too bad about the lack of peace, though.

...and the lack of reconstruction.

...oh, and the lack of democracy too.

Other than that though, hey, way to go!
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:03 PM on December 4, 2005


I encourage all the Mefi Left sheep to read his columns are realize they are being deceived by the Mainstream media--the MSM.
Yup--they faithfully transmit every single lie of this administration and its supporters, few as they are nowadays.
posted by amberglow at 10:12 PM on December 4, 2005


"Stop manipulating figures."

...by presenting all those inconvenient facts.

Obviously, inconvenient facts just get in the way of PP's psychosis.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:16 PM on December 4, 2005


cleardawn writes:

"B_thinky, if you're interested, you could do a little background reading about the actual effects of free trade and tax cuts.

Both serve a single purpose: to redirect wealth to Bush's super-rich buddies. And who does that money come from, do you think? That's right, it comes from everybody else. Including you."

I think you're mistaken, and I also think that when you chastise B_thinky's opinion as uneducated, you're resorting to ad hominem attack.

Cleardawn, please explain to me exactly how my money *in a cumpulsory manner* is transferred, nay, redirected, from me to wealthy people when a) I pay less in taxes than I used to, and b) I can buy many goods for cheaper than I used to when they were made here... and c) Nobody is forcing me to buy luxury items anyway.

I have no problem paying rich people and corporations for something they're not gouging me on. But that's not redirection. That's commerce, last time I checked.
posted by bugmuncher at 10:23 PM on December 4, 2005


Reference for this post:

b_thinky, just wanted you to know that I think you're a fucking pussy for evading my analysis of your own words. If you thought that I missed the fact that you didn't respond to my critique of almost every word you said last night, you're dead fucking wrong.

It's not astonishing, I've come to expect it from people on the right, trying to manipulate any conversation on to your own terms. I spent time responding to your posts, but you elect to ignore mine? Were my replies too dumb? Naw, it can't be that, you would've jumped on it in a heartbeat if that were the case. What has prompted you to not respond to me? I spent the time to analyze everything you said and respond, the least you could do is respond in kind.

I guess I'm just a dumb leftist, thinking that the world might be fair? I should've known you were better than my dumb plebian ass. After all, you did get a bigger tax cut than I did, cock-knock!!
posted by Mijo Bijo at 4:45 AM on December 5, 2005


Krugman today--The Joyless Economy --...It should have been a good year for American families: the economy grew 4.2 percent, its best performance since 1999. Yet most families actually lost economic ground. Real median household income - the income of households in the middle of the income distribution, adjusted for inflation - fell for the fifth year in a row. And one key source of economic insecurity got worse, as the number of Americans without health insurance continued to rise.

We don't have comparable data for 2005 yet, but it's pretty clear that the results will be similar. G.D.P. growth has remained solid, but most families are probably losing ground as their earnings fail to keep up with inflation.

Behind the disconnect between economic growth and family incomes lies the extremely lopsided nature of the economic recovery that officially began in late 2001. The growth in corporate profits has, as I said, been spectacular. Even after adjusting for inflation, profits have risen more than 50 percent since the last quarter of 2001. But real wage and salary income is up less than 7 percent. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:44 AM on December 5, 2005


b_thinky: I'd like a definition of "super-rich." Does it mean anyone who is not on welfare? ... Almost everyone who pays taxes benefits from the tax cuts.

The Tax Policy Center calculated that 51.3 percent of the House bill's tax package would flow to the top 1 percent of filers, people with average annual incomes of $1.1 million. Put another way: half the entire tax cut would go to about 1.4 million households.

So I suppose our definition of super-rich for this conversation is the top 1% of filers.
posted by VulcanMike at 7:22 AM on December 5, 2005


I...I'm not sure, but I think I hear b_thinky actually suggest that, while our country is experiencing a record deficit and an 8 trillion dollar national debt, that the economy is doing pretty good!

What was it that Lloyd Bentsen once said? If you let me borrow hundreds of billions of dollars, I can give you the impression of prosperity, too!

You can't really be serious at all, b_thinky, if you imagine that our economy is in good shape when we have such a galactic deficit every year and a national debt that ought to be a considered a treasonous act, if not at least criminal malpractice, on the part of our elected officials.

I mean, do you manage your own finances that way? If you were monstrously in debt, and borrowing more money every year to finance your lifestyle, would you seriously think you were in good financial shape just because you had steak on the table?

I am amazed that there are people on the planet that actually think this way, and mightily chagrined that some of them are fellow Republicans. It's agonizing that people who, for generations, have touted the importance of fiscal responsibility are becoming in this past generation the very ones that espouse borrow-and-spend on a colossal scale.

I just wish people talking like you would SNAP OUT OF IT. We're in serious financial trouble, here! Being in blind tribalistic support of a President because he's a Republican or Christian or whatever is dangerous! I'm a Christian Republican myself, but there's no excuse to deny reality and imagine that George Bush, or the Republican-controlled Congress, is doing a great job with the economy. If I had a CFO in my company that managed finances like this, I would have long ago fired him for gross incompetence.

I dream of the days when we had PAYGO. It was pathetically inadequate to resolve the problem, but it was at least some nod toward fiscal conservatism.
posted by darkstar at 9:32 AM on December 5, 2005


Cleardawn, please explain to me exactly how my money *in a cumpulsory manner* is transferred, nay, redirected, from me to wealthy people

Mainly, the money has been borrowed on your behalf by the Bush administration. You haven't paid for it yet. But you will - with interest. That's what "budget deficit" means.

By payback time, of course, it'll be a Democratic administration, and the high taxes you'll then have to pay (to repay Bush's loans) will be blamed on funding for things like schools and hospitals. Which will then be cut, just in time for you to pay more for your old-age health care and your kids' education, as well as higher taxes, all thanks to Bush's trillion-dollar debt.

The Republicans (who, naturally, own most newspapers and TV channels) will then be jumping up and down screaming about "tax-and-spend Democrats". And so you'll go out and elect another Republican nutjob.

A whole lot of Americans fall for this, apparently, decade after decade. It's not just you. If you can think of a good, simple way to explain it more simply than I have here, please share.
posted by cleardawn at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2005


This is the silliest nonsense. The US Army moved it's base OUT of Saudi Arabia & INTO Qatar prior to the war, so essentially they'd be bombing themselves & their hosts. Can we move on to white phosphorus or any of the other debunked memes?
posted by beautifulatrocities at 10:38 AM on December 5, 2005


b_thinky, the spending power of money is completely relative. The value of a dollar in your pocket is determined by how many dollars there are in everyone else's pockets. If a tax cut give you back $600 but gives a richer person back $600,000, the balance has shifted. All of your dollars are now worth less than they were. In our huge economy it's difficult to feel these changes but they do add up. It's clear that the average American's quality of life is declining when you look at the issues of rising costs of health care, rising costs of insurance, disappearance of pension plans, rising fuel costs, etc. Bush's legacy is going to extremely dim but by the time we agree on that it will be way too late to do anything about it (it already is).
posted by sineater at 10:47 AM on December 5, 2005


Hmm... Thread was improved thru snarkiness. Weird.
Lack of passion for foreign policy perhaps?

Anyway, it’s fairly obvious the Emir of Qatar is playing us. I’m just wondering why we painted ourselves into a corner.
Bush does things in such a manner that - well, look, I understand where b_thinky is coming from on some of his concepts
(Insulting insomnia_lj is not one of them, if you read his posts he is clearly passionate about the truth, not merely opposed to U.S. actions. It’s debatable whether he is correct in his presentation or his assertions, but the same is true of all of us. Given his past posts I don’t doubt he is in earnest in his motives. If he hated the country he wouldn’t attempt to correct it.)

The problem is if you’re not paying full attention to what Bushco is doing you’re not going to see the downsides. I often feel like I’ve been slipped a trick cigar.
Why the hell did we close the base in Saudi? (that’s the Prince Sultan Air Base, kids - in 2003)
Not only did that make us more dependant on the Al Udeid base in Qatar, but it’s what Bin Laden wanted. Since when do you do ANYTHING a terrorist wants?
Hyperbole aside - I don’t see any underlying methodology. Bomb ‘em? That’s the answer?
One major advantage to having veterans serving in public office is not only that they know the costs of war in human terms as well as economic, but they know the limits of military force. You cannot bomb people into obediance. It takes leadership and sacrifice. Neither of which I’ve seen a glimmer of in this administration. The guys on the ground seem to be working toward a positive resolution in spite of them. Which is not how it’s supposed to happen. Your government is supposed to help you accomplish the mission they set for you. Not fuck you up.

cleardawn illustrated well the impact of Bushco’s economic strategies. I’ve never been a big fan of government spending and they are spending like there is no tomorrow.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:34 AM on December 5, 2005


Sorry if you feel slighted Mijo Bijo.

I find it annoying that they're there in the first place. Everybody in this country knows somebody who is fighting in that war. I've talked to a growing number of current soldiers who hate this war and know it will never succeed, no matter how many times they try and change the U.S.'s agenda there.

Ok. Great. Everyone has your opinion... not saying you're wrong.

In his speech about the war in Iraq recently at the Naval Academy, Bush used the term "victory" [NY Times] a lot. If there is nothing to win, than what the hell is Bush talking about victory for? How many times are you going to give Bush the benefit of the doubt? There is less and less gray area everyday that the current administration did lie to the American people.

Of course he's gonna talk about victory. Bush is more optimistic about his Iraq war than I am. I said I give him the benefit of the doubt on believing him when he says the Iraqi army is making progress.

So exactly how many deaths to dollars gained will make this war beneficial to either side? Wars aren't a fucking business prospectus.

I don't know how many. That's the question. But sometimes wars create better economies and better lives for the survivors of the war. Was the death brought by the Civil War or WWII worth it? If Iraq becomes a "friendly" country that's allowed to export oil and other products, their citizens will benefit.

I supported the war in Afghanistan. I just find it a bit illogical that we have approx. 15,000 troops in a country twice the size of Iraq that actually harbored the guy who attacked us, and he may still be there, yet we have approx. 150,000 troops in a country the size of California getting our troops blown to all hell. All of this because they had a tyrant in power that was neutralized (a non-threat) and he wasn't even allied with bin Laden in the slightest. Explain that one to me? If I had my way we would have 150,000 troops in Afghanistan still hunting him down until he was captured. There would be zero troops in Iraq, and if the body count was the same in Afghanistan as it is in Iraq I could justify it. Bush hasn't given us any justice.

I think we'll catch bin Laden when we want to. Too many people will say the WOT is over when he's caught. For now, he's probably pretty much isolated/contained and not much of a threat. I doubt we could use 150,000 troops in Afghanistan (remember, he's probably in Pakistan anyways).

High five for finding a benefit with Bush's economic policies. Unfortunately I'm with the majority of people in the U.S. who haven't. Kudos to you!

Well, I guess you and your "majority" don't earn an income, don't own any property and don't own any investments. Sorry to hear that!
posted by b_thinky at 12:05 PM on December 5, 2005


Cleardawn said: Mainly, the money has been borrowed on your behalf by the Bush administration. You haven't paid for it yet. But you will - with interest. That's what "budget deficit" means.

Actually, bugmuncher was referring to the way large amounts of HIS paycheck are diverted from him and he's provided with no direct benefit from said diversion. On top of that, assuming he is a high earner, a disproportionately large percentage is revoked from him, apparently as a penalty for being successful.

Democrats on taxes are nothing more than class warriors. The AMT tax was created in the 60s literally because 27 millionaires did not pay income tax one year. This year, about 20 million Americans will pay the AMT tax.

I'm really sorry if it bothers you that those dirty, rotten fat cats got a tax break. After all, they have more money than you and that's just not fair. But I'm not a fat cat and I got a tax break too, so I'm happy. I'm not willing to give up my break just to make sure a tiny number of rich people are penalized for being super rich. That's what they call Player-Hating.
posted by b_thinky at 12:31 PM on December 5, 2005


Ah, you think that taxes are unnecessary. You're right, of course. In Somalia, for example, nobody pays taxes. You might like it there!

If you're not a fat cat, then, as the links earlier in this thread repeatedly demonstrated, you're getting poorer under Bush, even with your tax breaks. Your government is also heading rapidly for bankruptcy, not only moral and intellectual bankruptcy, but financial bankruptcy as well.

If all that makes you happy, then that's great. It makes me happy too, since I hate America (for being free, obviously) and frequently masturbate over pictures of dying Americans. No shortage of those, that's for sure!

So you and I can both be happy together, in this happy, happy world. Isn't that wonderful?
posted by cleardawn at 7:07 PM on December 5, 2005


b_thinky, you can attack Democrats all you want for their ideological differences. But I'm a Republican. And like many Republicans, at least the classically conservative ones, I'm in favor of conservative fiscal responsibility.

I wonder how you might address the concerns I raised above. It seems to me extremely disingenuous to be slamming the Dems for engaging in class warfare when they take exception to Bush's and the Congressional Republicans' fiscal policy, when the result of said policy is to borrow-and-spend, driving up a spectacular national debt and grotesque levels of deficits.

Surely you don't seriously think that's fiscally responsible at all.

Do you?
posted by darkstar at 7:26 AM on December 6, 2005


white phosphorus is a debunked meme?
posted by 31d1 at 8:13 AM on December 6, 2005


31d1, I was wondering about that statement, too. But it seems so bizarre an assertion that one shudders to go there.
posted by darkstar at 8:58 AM on December 6, 2005


*sound of crickets*
posted by darkstar at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2005


So, I guess this means I don't get a response, b_thinky?

Oh well.
posted by darkstar at 10:45 AM on December 8, 2005


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