Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The GOOD The BAD and The UGLY -More Random Thoughts...

The Good:

Anne Coulter was booted from her job of covering the “Democratic Re-Invention Convention” by USA today for…being Anne Coulter. I wanted to post a paragraph from the article that got the papers panties in a twist –

Written by Anne Coulter 7/26/04:

“…the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call "women" at the Democratic National Convention…” –Anne Coulter (www.annecoulter.com)

Written by me 7/25/04:

They all dress like they live at Goodwill and wear no makeup and even the cutest of them has uglied herself up beyond recognition with pointy little Lisa Lobe glasses…” ALa71 (www.mobyrebuttal.com)

Now can two ‘angry right-wing blondes’ be wrong?

Since us fanatical right-wingers are always criticizing Hollywood leftists, I would like to commend Sean P. Diddy Combs for two things that he has done recently that have impressed me. 1) He heard that the soldiers in Iraq needed baby wipes and sent over and entire truck load. 2) In his ‘Get out and Vote’ campaign he is not encouraging voters to vote for Kerry, but telling them to research the issues and educate themselves –and you know that means… more votes for Bushie!

I would also like to commend the Australian Prime Minister, Alexander Downer, for his strong words to the Spanish and Filipino governments in regards to bowing to the will of terrorists. “The military withdrawal of the Philippines and Spain from Iraq has encouraged terrorists to continue their threats."
Amen Brother!

The Bad:

Can you believe Clinton had the audacity to bring up Vietnam –and continue the allegation that Bush was AWOL…Bush volunteered for the NG and Clinton dodged the draft and went to England to ‘not inhale pot’ and protest on foreign soil.

“There was ample risk involved in flying military jets in domestic airspace, certainly. Two of W’s fellow pilots were killed in separate mishaps during the time that he was stationed in Ellington. But there was virtually no chance that W., as a National Guardsmen, would see combat. Aware that his father might encounter criticism over this issue…W volunteered for Palace Alert, a special program that dispatched National Guard pilots to relieve active duty pilots in Vietnam. But W. was turned down. The program was being phased out…” Christopher Anderson- Time Magazine (former contributing editor) People (senior editor) Reporter for Life Magazine & The New York Times.

Why would you have Jimmy Carter at the DNC convention? Any President who had the term ‘misery index’ created during his Presidency should be hidden away--not center stage.

Planned Parenthood is now selling t-shirts that say “I had an abortion”. Do I really need to make any comment here…
(Thanks to Tammi at Road Warrior Survival for pointing this out!)

The Ugly:

Michael Moore

More/Moore lies exposed…

I have taken to amusing myself with the things that Moby doesn’t write about…any weapons found in Iraq, Saddam’s mass graves, Saddam’s methods of torture, Democracy taking hold (this was even in the front page of the NYT but still not a peep from the techno-king), fast approaching elections in Afghanistan, Oil for Food Scandal, Putin’s warning to President Bush about Saddam, Joe Wilson’s ‘African uranium story’ reported as false in the 9/11 commission report, Sandy Burglar stealing classified documents… His last entry was about, yup, you guessed it –Bush’s National Guard Service…


91ghost said...

What the hell is Moby's blog name? Of all the blogs out there, I'm sure his would be the most fitting and satisfying for me to froth away on.

ALa said...

91Ghost_Glad your back...I was looking for your help the other day...smile.
His site is www.moby.com and go to 'moby journal' in the menu. If you go back and start reading old ones your blood pressure is just going to go up!

91ghost said...

Godamn...this is going to be good. Stay tuned...

91ghost said...

I just spent about five hours perusing his sight...I was a little disappointed. I'm not at all being sarcastic when I say the whole tone and tenor of his journal is childish. It reminded me of the time when I was at some "indy rock" party that my wife wanted me to go to before she was my wife...there were plenty of good and nice people there, but then you also had the kinds wearing t-shirts with pictures of U.S. warplanes dropping bombs and all sorts of witty yet derogatory phrases plastered on them that really only conveyed messages of adolescent bitterness and angst rather than anything halfway profound. Is there a way we could get him to visit your site and engage in debate?

91ghost said...

I meant five minutes.

ALa said...

What bothers me is that there are a lot of people that read his site and take it as gospel. I use his site as a meter to what the media is feeding into the heads of these kids. I actually emailed him my site address. My husband thinks that I should post it on his messge boards (actually a fair amount of Conservatives are fighting the good fight on those boards). I would have to join to post though and I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I'll tell you what if your in the mood to get riled up-go into the "nixon" post & read davesplash and that should do it (he's over on Jen's page too in all three last discussions).

~Jen~ said...

Ala71, you must pop over and see BigandMean's brilliant response to Dave. I almost copied and pasted it over here but it's too long.

~Jen~ said...

91ghost - When I read "5 hours" I thought to myself - he sure must like pain.

riceburner147 said...

A man who has done more good after his presidency than most presidents do during their tenure IMHO always deserves a hearing. W/E one may think about JC's time in office, His personal faith and dedication to church and home and country (He CERTAINLY served with honor)is to be held in respect no matter ones personal political views. I look forward to the day when on my way driving to florida i can detour to plains ga. and attend his SS class that he has taught consistently for some 30 years (out of sight of the public forum). He is a man that i disagree with often politically but whom i admire personally.

ALa said...

riceburner-I know of your deep love of Mr. Carter BUT this is about a POLITICAL convention where he slammed the CURRENT President -not a Sunday School class in Georgia...someone just today that Jesus said turn the other cheek and love thine enemy--- and he has not done that for Bush -maybe he should practice what he is preaching!

riceburner147 said...


Reagan accepted special favors from the rich and powerful, and did special favors for them using our money. Besides the $1200 coffee pots and $980 toilet seats, the Reagan years soaked most Americans with higher taxes despite our lower real personal incomes.

Reagan endlessly blathered about morality and family values, but showed no morality and barely valued his family. He seldom went to church, but made a big deal about it.

Carter leads by example, living modestly and decently. He stood up for the weak, and still does. Even as president, he went to church regularly and taught Sunday School, but he never bragged about it.

He might say of all his achievements, his four children -- sons John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip), Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff), and daughter Amy -- were the best.

So wish a happy 78th birthday to our 39th president James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, born on this date in 1924. An underrated president and a great American

from Google search "Jimmy Carter Misery Index"

riceburner147 said...

re: I know of your deep love of Mr. Carter BUT this is about a POLITICAL convention where he slammed the CURRENT President -not a Sunday School class in Georgia...someone just today that Jesus said turn the other cheek and love thine enemy--- and he has not done that for Bush -maybe he should practice what he is preaching!

All of us who think critically realize that it is possible, no, required that in order to be the "honorable opposition" that opposition is required (sic). It is difficult to ascertain whether or not someone has "turned the other cheek" since this is a biblical concept that requires an aspect of God's character that most of us do not possess ie: "all knowing". If you are in possesion of this particular trait please contact me immeditely, I have a few lottery issues to discuss with you. As for "practicing what he preaches" in my own life i see that i NEVER do that consistently, but try to. As for JC, the record speaks for itself, do you really want me to rattle off his list of accomplishments (that would certainly make him blush) jeez, lets start with the Nobel Peace Prize and work down from there. Let Jimmy alone and lets go after the lame record of Kerry.

ALa said...

Phew -I missed having the same birthday by one day! Reagan loved his wife and didn't go to church because of all the undue hardhsip that it placed on his congregation (security & press), but his pastor net with him and Nancy privately and regularly.
I don't know how Jimmy Carter can balance his christianity and his pro-choice stands:

riceburner147 said...

That is something that i cannot honestly understand either. I choose to let that be a matter between Him and His God. It truly troubles me however.

justrose said...

LOL 91Ghost -- five minutes on Moby's site can FEEL like five hours.

ALa71 -- do you think Moby is one of your commenters on here, writing under a nom de plume? Another right wing conspiracy takes hold!

Jen -- I love Bigandmean. He rocks.

ALa said...

BigandMean does Rock! I was just telling my P that you can almost feel this big cowboy walk into the room when he writes, "Down here in Texas, we don't refer to women as liars son!"...he rocks!

this we'll defend said...

Anne Coulter was not booted by the DNC as you imply. They don't care what she has to say since she is so partisan that her reporting is never reflective of reality anyway. Unless the well-dressed, beautiful women at the DNC I saw last night are reflective of the "hippie chicks" that Anne Coulter is frothing about. She should return to her task of labeling veterans like me who love this Republic as treasonous and misinformed because we don't think like her.

As far as voters educating themselves, I agree with you that this is a good thing. I disagree with you that this will result in more votes for the worst president our nation has ever had - W.

Why do you include the comments of the Australian prime minister in your anti-Democratic party diatribe? Are you suggesting, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that the democratic party supported the Filipino decision to pull out their troops or cave in to terrorism? In case anybody fell for that bait and switch, it simply is not true. The Democratic party wants to WIN the war on terror, not just fight it forever in a constant state of fear and emergency.

Your criticism of Clinton is misplaced. As an infantry veteran I would prefer a man who protested the Vietnam war any day over a man who sought personal safety in the National Guard and then was a hawk. The word is "chickenhawk." It fits W to a T. Can you believe the audacity of a president who cravenly dodged the draft, didn't protest the war, in fact took no stand at all, and then claimed to be a warrior and even landed on a aircraft carrier and wore a military uniform? Remember when Eisenhower wore his uniform as president? Me neither.

W did not volunteer for Vietnam. He flew outmoded jets that were already obsolete in our inventory and were useless in the Vietnam war - and he knew it. When he was assigned to the unit he checked "Do Not Volunteer" when he was asked if he wanted an overseas assignment. The program he volunteered for was BS and he knew it. He claims veteran status and dares to compare his service with the service of the over-extended and over-deployed guardsmen of today, but less than 1% of the forces in Vietnam were reservists, and only one company of infantry was from the National Guard during the entire course of the war. How dare he! National Guard duty was a way to avoid deployment and everybody knew it and anybody who claims otherwise is simply a liar. To compare his NG service with the brave warriors in the reserves today is disgusting and inexcusable. Nobody joins the Guard or reserve to dodge the draft today. Don't BS an infantry veteran with your false claims on behalf of W. The facts are too easy to prove otherwise. I won't even go into how he failed to take a required physical and was removed from flight status.

Your disdain for nobel-prize winning President Carter is simply sad. To imagine that the DNC wouldn't welcome a living democratic president is hard to believe, and yet you ask why? You don't agree with Mr. Carter and you don't like his presidency, but is that any reason for the DNC to feel the same way?

Your reference to Saddam's mass graves (yet another attempt to "forget" that the war was about WMD and not about "Saddam is bad") is interesting. Using your logic, and assuming you are an honest person who truly believes we were right to invade Iraq on behalf of the Iraqi people, because Saddam was an evil bastard, I have a question. When are we going into the Sudan? Where genocide is taking place? Where the rulers are arming and encouraging gangs of criminals to rape, murder, and ethnically cleanse tens of thousands of people? Where thousands of people are dying right now, today, as I type this? When are we deploying there?

Didn't think so.

Stop the "Saddam was a bad man" BS. If that was the reason Congress would never have authorized the war and the American people would not have permitted it. Bush stoked fears based on false evidence - and he is responsible. We didn't go into Iraq on behalf of the Iraqis. We went because W was so stupid (reflective of his incurious personality and C grades in school) that he thought it was the right thing for America to do. Now we HAVE to win or we will be worse off than ever.

So go ahead and selectively distort the facts to support your preconcieved opinions. Your president does it, why shouldn't you? As for me I will look forward to November and the return of our nation to the path we started out on in 1776.

I would rather vote for a block of wood than vote for President Bush. Ok, insert your own joke here.

Vote Kerry!

DaveSplash said...

Wow, this we defend, that was amazing. Perfectly stated. Are you running for office any time soon. I like your platform.

ALa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
this we'll defend said...

Here is an editorial I wrote in Nov of 2002 well before we invaded. It explains why I disagreed with the march toward war with Iraq. You decide if I, at the time a second-year law student, was more right than the president. And if I was, your decision is whether you still expect him to make good decisions:

Nov. 2002:
The President has not shown that war with Iraq is morally just. Under the classic “just war doctrine,” a state is morally justified in its use of force if it meets all of the following four factors:
(1) The damage inflicted (or threatened) by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain.
(2) War should be waged only as a last resort.
(3) There must be serious prospects of success.
(4) The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.

As discussed below, war with Iraq has not met the just war standard.

(1) The damage inflicted (or threatened) by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain.

If the facts show that Saddam is close to completion of a nuclear weapon then we should eliminate him. We don’t need to wait and be hit first before responding. His history of chemical weapons use against Iran and his own Kurdish minority demonstrate that he should not be allowed to acquire even more dangerous nuclear weapons. Is there proof that an atomic threat from Iraq is imminent? We simply don’t know. We are told that evidence can’t be shared because of “national security.” Such concerns did not stop President Kennedy from laying out his case during the Cuban Missile Crisis. If the United States is to go to war, it had better not do so under false pretenses. The administration needs to lay out its case clearly and unambiguously, just as President Kennedy did. If there really is evidence, then a way can surely be found to show it while protecting the identity of sensitive intelligence sources. This has not been done. Even after secret information was recently shared with Congress many senators and representatives remained unconvinced. No credible information has been shared with the public. Meanwhile, North Korea, which provided Iraq its Scud missiles, has openly admitted to continuing its development of nuclear weapons despite agreeing to stop doing so in 1993. Is there talk of war against North Korea? Strangely, no. Why Iraq and not North Korea?
I am not willing to take it on faith, without evidence, that we must invade or suffer nuclear attack. Retired General Wesley Clark, a former NATO commander, feels the same. He recently testified before the Senate that, "It's a question of what's the sense of urgency here, and how soon would we need to act unilaterally? So far as any of the information has been presented, there is nothing that indicates that in the immediate, next hours, next days, that there's going to be nuclear-tipped missiles put on launch pads to go against our forces or our allies in the region."
On 9/11 we watched in horror as two towers full of living human beings crashed to the ground. Our reaction was normal – we wanted to fight back, to punish the “evildoers.” I felt, and feel, the same. I want Osama dead. So why are we invading Iraq, a secular regime often denounced by Islamic fundamentalists such as Al Qaeda? Iraq did not attack us on 9/11. If Iraq had been behind the attacks, this debate, and Saddam, would already be over. The President’s weak attempts to use 9/11 to justify war with Iraq only point out the weakness of the case. When a president uses half-truths or untruths to justify a war, it is probably a good idea to slow down the march towards conflict. The attacks of 9/11 are unrelated to Iraq, and thus can provide no justification for an invasion.

Saddam and his cronies are evil, and the world would no doubt be better off without them. He has brutally oppressed his own people. That is not a reason to invade Iraq. If that were the test, then we should also invade North Korea, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iran, and arguably Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China, and on and on. Something more is required to provide a just cause for war or the sovereignty of all nations is threatened.

(2) War should be waged only as a last resort. One reason given for war is that Saddam is not complying with UN resolutions. However, Saddam hasn’t complied with UN resolutions for at least a decade. Why the rush to war now? Three retired four-star American generals said recently that attacking Iraq without a United Nations resolution supporting military action could limit aid from allies, energize recruiting for Al Qaeda and undermine America's long-term diplomatic and economic interests. "We must continue to persuade the other members of the Security Council of the correctness of our position, and we must not be too quick to take no for an answer," Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Similar testimony was given by Gen. Clark and Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, a former chief of United States Central Command. The three generals, some of whom warned that a war with Iraq would detract from the campaign against terrorism, said the Bush administration must work harder to exhaust diplomatic options before resorting to military action to oust Saddam and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction Iraq may have. The three generals said a United Nations resolution was important because it would isolate Saddam internationally, give skittish allies some political cover to join any military action and bolster America's long-term global aims. "We are a global nation with global interests, and undermining the credibility of the United Nations does very little to help provide stability and security and safety to the rest of the world, where we have to operate for economic reasons and political reasons," said Shalikashvili.
Now that the President has been forced to obtain a UN resolution calling on Iraq to comply with weapons inspections, he must allow time for the resolution to work. If Iraq complies, then no war is needed. If Iraq does not comply, the threat will be clear and we will have worldwide support for our actions. Why rush to war without such support? The short answer is that there is no need to rush. Make the case, build support, and then if other measures don’t work we will have the moral legitimacy we need before we issue our military a license to kill and put our soldiers in harm’s way. When (if) diplomacy fails we will at least know that we tried. Our soldiers and the innocent noncombatants who will be caught in the middle deserve our best efforts with diplomacy first.

(3) There must be serious prospects of success. Our military is the best the world has ever seen. Success against the Iraqi military is a certainty, and thus the President’s call for “regime change” is bound to happen if we invade. We need to be certain, however, that such a change would result in a safer world. That is the test for success, not removing Saddam. Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that men don’t ride events, events ride the man. The war could (and probably would) have consequences beyond what most of us can predict now. The eminent military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz cautioned that when preparing for war political leaders should never take the first step until they know their last. If war with Iraq is worth U.S. blood and treasure it is worth establishing and articulating a desired political end and a plan for the political consolidation of our military success. We must not take the first step until we have thought our strategy through to the last step, until we understand all the risks and rewards. This has not been done.

The first Gulf War convinced many Americans that war is cheap and easy, with few American casualties. There is an expectation that we can win easily and mostly from the air. If Saddam and his cronies hold out in the cities we will face urban combat, which is much more dangerous both to our military and to noncombatant civilians caught in the middle. It will not be a cheap victory. There is the threat that Saddam, backed into a corner and with nothing to lose, will lash out with weapons of mass destruction such as the chemical weapons he already has. He has already threatened to strike Israel and Israel has already promised to respond, throwing the entire region into even more disarray with unforeseen consequences. General Clark warned that attacking Iraq could divert military resources and political commitment to the global effort against Al Qaeda and possibly "supercharge" recruiting for the terrorist network. It would also cost a lot more national treasure than the first Gulf War. In the first effort in Congress to estimate the fiscal cost of an Iraqi war, Democrats on the House Budget Committee issued a report putting the likely price tag at $30 billion to $60 billion, less than that for the Persian Gulf War in 1991. That war cost about $60 billion, but our allies picked up four-fifths of the costs. The Democrats' estimates do not include the possible costs of a long-term peacekeeping mission or of providing aid. No doubt those costs would be enormous. Would an invasion of Iraq be in our long-term best interests, making the world safer? In short, we don’t know. The case has not been made. Rushing to war without properly considering the risks and rewards is a recipe for disaster, not success.

(4) The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. If Iraq actually is close to possession of a nuclear weapon then an invasion to eliminate that threat would be the lesser evil, but as I discussed above the President has not, or can not, show that this is the case. I am also concerned about how the President used the threat of war in a partisan manner, just as Republican strategist Karl Rove suggested last year. This threatens the long-term survival of our republic. The response of Mr. Bush to valid questions and criticism by some senators was to question their patriotism. In the recent election Republicans in Georgia ran ads showing the twin towers falling and stating that Senator Max Cleland, who voted against giving Mr. Bush unchecked war powers, did not have the “courage to lead.” Cleland is a combat veteran who lost both legs and an arm fighting in Vietnam. His opponent, who never served in the military, won. Mr. Bush, a National Guard veteran who courageously defended Texas from the Viet Cong while Cleland was fighting in Vietnam, has falsely tried to link Iraq to 9/11, has refused to provide evidence of an imminent threat, has dissipated the worldwide sympathy and support the U.S. enjoyed after 9/11 by not building a case with our allies, and then wrapped himself in the flag when questioned.

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It is ok to question authority – our founding fathers taught us this when they created our republic. I therefore question Mr. Bush’s understanding of our Revolution and our Constitution. If war in Iraq is the right thing for us to do then our President should provide evidence to the American people. He has refused to do this, citing “national security,” and until he does so (if he can) war in Iraq is unjustified. If a “wag the dog” strategy is allowed to succeed it will weaken our system of government, which is a greater threat to our national security than any possible threat from Iraq.

One last note: if we do go to war in Iraq then we are all responsible, even those of us against the war. Do not blame the military for political decisions. When America wages war it is never the generals who decide to do so, but the politicians. Criticism of the war should not be directed at the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that go into harm’s way in the name of the United States. As citizens of a republic we are all responsible for the actions of our military, whether we wear a uniform or not. I hope we don’t go to war. If we do, I will support our soldiers however I can – but not the President.

Frater Bovious said...

Loved BigandMean's response. Makes me proud to be a naturalized Texan.

I really like the CD "Play" by Moby. Don't know if I can even hazard a glimpse at his site though.

Regarding Saddam was a bad man vs WMD. Frankly, neither were the reason for going there. (Side note, for everyone that has denigrated GB1 for not going into Iraq during the Gulf War, we see now why. Sadly, I think GB2 should have chatted with his dad a bit more.)

No, the point here was pre-emption, and the most likely target after Afghanistan was Iraq. The reasons floated were, in my opinion, political in nature, and dealing with a perceived need to do something about a very different kind of enemy, and reconcile that with maintaining public support.

I am not calling Bush or anyone else a liar at this point. Facts are always borrowed or massaged or fabricated to make palatable the nastiness of life in an imperfect world. (Side note about Carter. He may be the most decent man to ever serve as President. Most consider his presidency a failure. Which brings up the question, Can a good man be an effective president?)

I would like for any President in Bush's position on 9/12 to be able to say:

"OK, here's the deal. We have a very hard to define enemy, which seems loosely bound by a hatred toward the USA for reasons that vary from our involvement with Israel to not being muslim to perceived wrongs involving oil.

"We are not dealing with a nation per se as we understand such a concept. We are dealing with people that I believe will detonate a nuclear weapon on our shores if they have the opportunity to do so. As your president, I am going to attempt to keep that from happening, through the only means available. Force.

"We will therefore go to war against the nations harboring this loosley defined alliance of shadows that has and will desire harm to our nation. We start with Afghanistan as our best intelligence indicates that the probable mastermind of 9/11 is there. Next, we will go into Iraq, as a case can be made that they are in violation of UN treaties, and we have very credible evidence that they have close financial ties with the people responsible for this tragedy, and are providing safe haven. Otherwise, it could be (insert country of your choice here)for the above referenced reasons. Sadly, we are going to shoot first and ask questions later, because right now we are way behind in this endeavour, and we will have to run hard to catch up.

"This will be ugly, and it will be trying. Your sons and daughters are going to die in strange lands. But, I knowingly take this course because I have a firm conviction that the death toll will be incomprehensibly higher if we fail to act now. This is war folks, and we are going to take it to them with a vengeance."

But, you see, a president can't say that. We can all pretend that we know what we would have done sitting in Bush's chair. That is arm-chair quarterbacking of the very worst kind. "Well, I would have rolled right and hit (pick your favorite receiver) on a slant, and we would have won that game." Right. Whatever you want to believe. Go put some pads on and prove it.

Or, run for president. Show us how it is done.

I really am not attempting to support the concept of lying or of misleading the American people in order to get something done that you think needs doing. But let's not pretend that we all don't suspend our disbelief or set aside judgement when we are hearing plausible sounding arguments that meet an emotional need.

Frankly, there for a period of time, I don't think the American people cared what excuse we were hearing for going into Iraq.

The only thing we can do is try to vote intelligently for the future. And this type of interchange (these blogs) can further that goal. But lets be real about the world situation, and have a bit of sense. At this time we can't even say hindsight is 20/20. We still don't really know what we are looking at with regard to terrorism. No one can say whether or not invading Iraq has prevented further attacks on American soil or made them inevitable. I feel confident that it has given certain people pause. I hope the nation can stay focused on the issue of terrorism and avoid another wake up call.

Frater Bovious said...

BTW, TWD, I was composing while you were posting, so my post was not in response to your latest post, though it might look like it.

Frankly, you raise valid points. Thanks. msc

this we'll defend said...

Thanks Frater. I agree about armchair qb'ing. My point was that my editorial was in Nov 2002, and I was not at all alone.

~Jen~ said...

Ala71 - I just made the bunny ears picture my computer wall paper. I can't stop giggling about it.

DaveSplash said...

Well, Frater, I guess it depends on what the meaning of fact is, hmmm?

Frater Bovious said...

Fact: noun 1 Law, deed, act, as before (or after) the fact; 2 anything that actually happens in time or space; 3 quality of actuality, as a matter of fact; 4 statement certainly and strictly true; - Scribner-Bantam English Dictionary.

Hence the qualifiers: borrowed, massaged, distorted.

Fact: Muslim extremists flew planes into the world trade center.

Fact: Much confusion ensued.

Fact: Something had to be done.

Fact: Nobody today that was not in the position of the people in charge can tell me what they would have done if in the same position (well, that's actually an opinion. It'd take some serious persuasion and verifiable information to convince me otherwise.)

Fact: al Qaeda had operatives in Iraq.

There are probably a few more that we could add to that list. And there are many more we could add after the fact of the invasion to Iraq, as in Fact: there are no weapons of mass destruction there.

A lot of things get thrown around as fact that are actually opinion, and some of them become fact or not after definitive action.

We could go on, and many of these facts would be disputed, which effectively makes them all opinion, since the nature of a fact is that is should be self-supportive and something that people agree or admit is true.

The simple fact is that no one knew enough facts to act without fear of making mistakes.

We then go forward with this fact: No one can say whether or not the war on Iraq has prevented or made inevitable future attacks on our soil. The fact may be that it has done both. Prevented to date, made inevitable in the future.

Time will tell. But it helps to stay on topic when talking about this stuff, and to me this election is about The Terrorism.

this we'll defend said...

Fact: Al Queda operatives were in Iraq.
Inference: Iraq was in league with terrorists.

Fact: They were actually only in the territory not under Iraqi control (well north into the no-fly zone).
Inference: no proof of cooperation, as the 9/11 report said.

Fact: Al queda operatives were also in Buffalo NY, San Diego, and Chicago.
Inference: the US and Iraq were cooperating with terrorists.

See how things can be twisted?

Fact: Iraq had "contacts" with Al Queda.
Inference: Iraq supports Al Queda.
Fact: The US has "contacts" with North Korea.
Inference: the US supports North Korea.

Doesn't pass the smell test to me.

Fact: Iraq was a secular regime denounced by Islamic Fundamentalists, and Saddam pursued and destroyed Islamic Fundamentalists because he considered them a threat to his dictatorial regime.
Inference: Iraq and 9/11 were not connected.
Fact: that is what the 9/11 Commission decided too.

Fact: Even today the administration implies that Iraq had a connection with the terrorists.
Inference: they are lying and they know it.

Fact: Iraq had chem weapons as early as the 1980s, and used them in the war with IRan and against the Kurds.
Inference: Iraq will destroy us if we don't act first.

Fact: Iraq gave up using chem weapons because, in fact, they are sucky weapons (which is why the Japanese stopped using them in WWII, why the Nazis did too, why we "renounced" any use of them ourselves, and why every terrorist who has tried to use them has failed miserably or would have done more damage just by using conventional high explosive).
Inference: who cares if Iraq has chem weapons as long as they don't have the means to deliver them and no inclination to use them against us? As long as there is no threat?

Fact: most people are scared shitless by the term WMD.
Fact: most people who understand WMDs are not - except for nuclear weapons which are very different.
Fact: the administration used the threat of WMDs to justify war, even though military professionals were telling them Iraq was no threat to the United States.
Inference: we were lied to. Knowingly. Whether Iraq had WMDs or not isn't the question, even though most people still think it is. The question was: was Iraq an imminent threat? The answer was no.

Fact: Al Queda was in Afghanistan and we sent in less than 25,000 troops.
Fact: Osama & co. got away.
Inference: oops.

Fact: Al Queda and Osama were not in Iraq.
Fact: we sent in almost 200,000 troops, and 140,000 are still there.
Fact: as predicted, invading Iraq has inflamed the world against us (not just in the Islamic community) and worked to super-charge terrorist recruiting.
Inference: no we are not safer, just as the CORRECTED state department report said - we in fact had more terrorist attacks across the world last year than any time beforehand, ever. (the uncorrected report said it was at an all-time low - but it was the opposite).
Inference: oops.

Conclusion: George W. may have the best of intentions, but he is really sucky at his job and ignored the professionals around him who predicted exactly what would happen - and were exactly right.

If you really believe this is an election about terrorism then don't vote for the guy who doesn't do "nuance," the c-student who called Greeks "Grecians," who attacked the wrong country, who blames everybody around him for his failures, and who still claims he can't think of any mistakes he may have made. Even if he had F'ed up as much as he has I would give him the benefit of the doubt if he seemed to learn from his mistakes, but he doesn't.

George W. likes to be a good 'ole boy, while Kerry seems a stiff elitist know-it-all. So yes I would probably rather BBQ with W. But if I were choosing a heart surgeon I would want the best heart surgeon, not the friendliest. If I were in need of a lawyer I would want the best one, not the friendliest. If my son was in the military I would want his commanding officer to be the brightest and hardest-working, not the friendliest. If I am choosing a president I think I will choose the one that seems the smartest and the most competent, not the guy I would want to BBQ with. I can find my own BBQ buddies. I'm not electing the church deacon or the local dog catcher when I vote for president. I don't want a C-student as president. I want the smart guy.

Vote Kerry and let's win the war, not live in fear and prolong it forever and ever.

ALa said...

As to your last comment... (Honestly) give me ONE thing that John Kerry has done in 20 years in Congress -ONE THING (Do not use Vietnam, because we already know that you see this as a plus and I see it as a minus). You have NO basis to say that JK will win the war because he has NEVER had a bill passed in Congress that he has authored _NOT ONE ...some leader. HE has done nothing for the people of MA so what can he do for the whole country.
Thank god tonight is the closing of the 'Buyer's Remorse' Convention.
Second- your quote:
"Fact: They were actually only in the territory not under Iraqi control (well north into the no-fly zone).
Inference: no proof of cooperation, as the 9/11 report said.
Fact: Al Queda operatives were also in Buffalo NY, San Diego, and Chicago.
Inference: the US and Iraq were cooperating with terrorists."

Correction: Al Zwahri (and other Al Qaeda colleagues) was in Iraq (Baghdad) prior to the war -actually had his leg amputated in a Regime hospital. WE (President Bush) said that we will go after terrorists (should have said Islamic fundamentalists) AND the countries that HARBOR them. Buffalo is not harboring them -Saddam was.

Frater Bovious said...

TWD, I liked the Fact, Inference format.

I agree completely with the "fact" that Afghanistan was under-forced.

Of course no one here knows me, but I have always been unhappy with the whole Iraq thing. Historically we have not gone to war with the express intent to depose a sitting leader. That always struck me as a bad plan. (As I noted in another post somewhere, I wish GB2 had chatted more with GB1.)

I kept asking myself how would I feel if N. Korea came over here to get President Clinton (in case it is not clear, I am not a fan of Clinton, but I am also NOT comparing him to Saddam). Answer: Mad as hell.

I believed when Clinton was elected the country had made a mistake. I believe if GB1 had been re-elected, the whole Jihad thing would be very different. Say what you may about him, he understood foreign policy, and the fact he did not go into Iraq when many foolish people here were saying he should did more for Arab US relations than most of us comprehend.

And he kept Israel from getting involved, mostly because the last time they didn't do what a bush told them they wandered the desert for 40 years. (Sorry ;-})

I don't like hearing that W is an idiot and that he has a personal vendetta against Iraq, and that this is all a sham made up for his Halliburton cronies, and the all but implied personal involvement in taking down the WTC. Aside from the docudrama, f 9/11 (no I haven't seen it, will have to force myself this weekend to be able to blog with any semblance of integrity)all I can say is f Michael Moore. He has done nothing to further the intelligent selection of the next president.

But anyway, thanks for the well considered comments. Everybody have a drink.

ALa said...

Frater_ BUT how would you feel about N. Korea coming over here to rid us of Clinton (if they left afterward) if he had killed your dad and brother, cut off your uncle's hands, Uday had raped your sister....and so on...Might change things a bit...

Frater Bovious said...

Well, there is that...

this we'll defend said...

Frater -
As a lefty democrat, I thought Bush "I" was brilliant. His decision not to roll on to Baghdad (after he had said our mission was not to invade Iraq but to kick them out of Kuwait) is now shown to be brilliant. The dumba - excuse me, neocons who said "finish the job" didn't realize that this would mean US dollars rebuilding Iraq, US lives lost in a needless war, and, let's face it, as long as Saddam the bogeyman was there the rest of the middle east cooperated with us even though they despised us. I also, as a soldier, really believed that he placed great value on the lives of his troops. I still do. I don't feel that way about Mr. "Bring it on" Bush at all. Bush "I" seemed reluctant to go to war, and I remember when Sec of State Baker met with his Iraqi counterpart in a last-ditch effort to avoid war. When that failed I felt we had no choice but to fight - which is how we should always feel before we fight. That he assembled a 30-nation coalition with real allies that contributed real troops, not Palua and Micronesia, is also to his credit. The Syrians sent several battalions of ground troops, for goodness sake. And, notice, the Arab world did NOT erupt into anti-american hatred. Yeah, Bush sr. really had a brain. And, used it.

I don't think W has any personal vendettas or is part of an evil cabal. I think he is a good-hearted man who wants desperately to do what is best for this country. I also think he is a lazy simpleton who doesn't know how to figure that out, and calling Greeks "Grecians" should have been the first clue to anybody who thought otherwise. He doesn't do "nuance" and doesn't read the paper. That really scares me. He is said to be "decisive." If I take a multiple choice test and pick A or B or C or D but don't bother reading the questions or learning the material I might be described as decisive for choosing a letter and moving on, but that doesn't mean I will pass the test. A curious and intellectual president that learns about the world around him seems better suited to the job.

When you watch F9/11 treat it like two different films - the first half the most useless dreck you have ever seen full of evil conspiracies and allegations and Elvis is alive stuff - and the second half a completely different film entirely. Give the second half some attention - it isn't unbiased of course, but it does raise some chilling questions and some points that mainstream media have not. Then feel free to tell Moore to F-off because the points he raises don't belong to him anyway.

I once said I would rather vote for a block of wood than W. I watched Kerry's speech tonight. I think I'll get my wish. :)


ALa71 - I thought we talked about the "Saddam was a bad guy" thing already. Do I need to do it again?

this we'll defend said...

Ala71 - sorry, didn't catch your earlier post.

One thing Kerry has done in Congress?

1) Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.
2) One of Senator Kerry’s first legislative initiatives as a United States Senator was his cosponsorship of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act.
3) The American Small Business Emergency Relief and Recovery Act of 2001 (the Kerry-Bond act)

Oops, you said one thing.

And important thing to note is that some senators sponsor legislation, others write it, and some serve as mediators and negotiators. Kerry is the latter. For instance, Senator Kerry worked in 2000 with a bipartisan group of Foreign Relations Committee members to author and pass the then-largest response by the Federal Government to the AIDS epidemic. He also secured Senate support for the vaccine tax credit to bolster research and development of vaccines against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. He is also co-Chair, along with Senator Bill Frist, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies HIV/AIDS Task Force.

He doesn't have a singel "aids" bill to his name, but not because he isn't instrumental in that area. He is known as influential in the Senate not because he is a behind-the-scenes string puller or because he is a showboat, but because he is known for deep thougth, analyzing the issues exhaustively before coming to a decision. This trait helps him influence other Senators. It is said that sometimes his own staff doesn't know which way he will vote until he does because he always wants to hear as much as he can about issues and doesn't limit himself to just one position in advance. That is admirable.

He is also boring as hell. I can't deny that. He is really, really, really boring.

The 9/11 commission report (a bipartisan commission) has detailed findings and footnotes about your Iraq-Al Queda allegations. You should check it out.

ALa said...

TWD_ I am now making a prediction...you are a Bill Maher fan....
Look back through the past, and every Sitting President has said that they don't read the daily papers. This does not mean that someone doesn't bring them all the news; it means that their job is too important to read all the editorialized garbage that is slamming them everyday. Clinton has said that throughout the impeachment trials -papers weren't even in the Whitehouse. This is a disingenuous Maher point for Americans that aren't willing to look further. The Bush's have said it's sad because W used to go get the coffee and the papers and that's how him and Laura have started their days since the beginning of their marriage -in bed with coffee and yes, newspapers.
Kerry has had nothing that he has authored -he rode McCain’s coat-tails on the Vietnam normalization/POW thing and someone elses on the ‘more cops on the street thing’ (I didn’t ask about Committees because that is politics and sonority –not credibility –look Syria is the head of the UN’s human rights committee)…...This, to me, seems a serious lack of leadership-after TWENTY YEARS he should have spearheaded AT LEAST one bill that has been passed. As I have previously stated -he authored a bill with such sweeping intelligence cuts (AFTER the first WTC bombing) that even Teddy (hiccup) Kennedy wouldn't sign it....
You also have not addressed, in all these posts, the Iraqi missiles (that violated UN regulations) turning up in other countries -UN insp. tags intact -and the fact that Joe Wilson's testimony has been discredited by the 9/11 commission (bolstered fact that Saddam WAS seeking to buy uranium -why would he need this?) BTW, I have read the report in its entirety. It seems to me more naive to say 'Clinton said he had WMD, France said it, MI6 said it, the CIA said it, Russia said it, the UN said it....but oooops he didn't we were ALL wrong’. I find it hard to believe that the WHOLE world and TWO administrations all had it wrong...they are in Syria....

this we'll defend said...

don't watch Bill Maher, but the few times I have I thought he was funny.

The President said he doesn't read the papers, that he gets all his info from his advisors (shades of the emperor's new clothes, especially in light of how those who don't toe the party line are treated). Clinton was known as a policy wonk that knew all 6 sides of a 3-sided issue. I think it is important and scary that Bush gets all his info from a small group of ideologues.

Kerry a lack of leadership because he doesn't author bills? Yes, he authors few bills. I don't think that is any indication of how well a Senator performs at all. Since W's record prior to taking office - I won't go into the well-known details. Kerry wins easily (way easily) on the experience and leadership "thing." It is a no-brainer when you inform yourself and compare the two men's biographies.

You are right, I have not addressed the Iraqi missiles, so here goes:

It is well known Iraq wasn't complying with UN resolutions. Many countries have traded arms illegally - including North Korea, which originally built those very missiles and claims to have an atomic bomb which we don't seem to care about much, or Pakistan which sells and buys lots more stuff and now has the bomb, but we don't seem to care about that either. Not sure what your point about the missiles is unless it is another "Saddamm was a bad man" argument.

The one and only question was: does Iraq present a viable and imminent threat? It did not. Imagine Bush explaining to the American people that we should invade Iraq "because Iraq is trading conventional weapons!" He would not have gained congressional authorization.

Joe Wilson's allegations that the British intelligence was based on forged documents has not been discredited. It is no longer an allegation - the documents were forged. Everything else is puffery and character destruction.

As for Clinton, etc. believing Iraq has WMDs - I again think you miss the point. I addressed it elsewhere, maybe not on this blog. I MYSELF believed he had WMDs. That wasn't the point. The point was did he present a threat to the US. He did not. WMDs are the bogeyman, so let's break it down into reality:

WMDs are any NBC weapon - nuclear, biological, or chemical.

Nuclear - real threat and we should invade if he was near to acquiring one, or we have viable evidence he is close. Note that attempting to get one doesn't satisfy the just war requirement that the threat be imminent - and there are many nations including North Korea and Iran that are doing just that but we don't seem to be concerned (we should be). But if Saddam was going or attempting to go nuclear the bar for invasion would be set very low. In fact he was seeking to acquire one but it was well known that he was not close. The aluminum tubes were known to be for conventional weapons but the facts were twisted. The Yellowcake was known to be based on forged documents but ended up in the State of the Union anyway (any news now, after the fact, that he was seeking nuclear supplies doesn't change that and doesn't make it more likely he was close to gaining the Bomb). so in short - he was not a nuclear threat and nobody claimed he was except through half-truths and insinuation. North Korea, on the other hand...

Chemical - he had them. I didn't expect that he would have destroyed them, but we know for sure he had them - huge stockpiles of nerve, blood, and blister agent. I was surprised that he didn't still have them (of course I never claimed that it was a "fact" and that there was "no doubt.") Iraq tried to hide all evidence of its chem programs and thus it is Iraq's fault that we believed they were trying to hide something when they were trying to hide it. The "it" turned out to be nothing, but to conclude otherwise was reasonable at the time. So does that justify invasion? No - had we found huge stockpiles there would still be no evidence of any delivery systems capable of threatening the US. Chem weapons are sucky weapons, which is why even Saddam stopped using them against his own people and Iran. Why Hitler didn't use them. Why nobody uses them - they are inefficient, hard to deploy, and not half as effective as conventional weapons. Saddam didn't have any delivery mechanisms capable of threatening the US, and any "terrorists" that he armed would be less of a threat than if they had conventional high explosive. Having chem weapons doesn't justify an invasion any more than having explosives.

Chem weapons scare people so you can inflame the public by mentioning nerve agent or blood agent or blister agent - it seems so scary. Know what? If you have a can of Raid underneath your kitchen sink you have a nerve agent. Sounds funny until we launch a pre-emptive strike against your kitchen. If you have chlorine you have the makings of mustard gas - sounds funny until your pool gets taken out by a missile. Any nation that can make chlorine has a chem weapons program.

Bottom line: we knew then and know even better now that Iraq's chem weapons did not and never did present a viable and imminent threat to the United States. Clinton's contention that Iraq had WMDs doesn't contradict that at all.

Bio - he didn't have it, nobody really expected him to have it (despite the "mobile weapons trailers" insinuations and other fear-stoking attempts), we didn't expect to find anything, and we didn't.

So the entire world that expected Iraq to have WMDs were not wrong in their belief, but only one world leader (and his Brit lapdog) failed to understand the nature of the threat. Everybody else came to the right conclusion. Everybody. Seems hard to believe that the entire world was all wrong...

this we'll defend said...

Before I forget - it is so cool to discuss issues with informed people instead of people who say "how can you know all the details on stuff like that" or "how boring" or "it doesn't impact my life" and then listen to them go into the intricate details of the Kobe case or the Laci Peterson case. Now that is important stuff that will have a huge impact on our lives...

ALa said...

You skirted on the Joe Wilson issue. There was no character assassination -the man was trying to sell a book.
Fact: He said that his wife in NO way helped or influenced the fact that he was sent to Africa.
Reality: 9/11 commission has the memo where she recommended him for the job.

Fact: He said that he found no evidence to support claims that Saddam was seeking to buy uranium, and that he tried to convey this to the Administration.
Reality: Both 9/11 commission and MI6 say that Wilson's report BOLSTERED the claim (nothing to do with forged report -they know about that).

Fact: WMD have been found in Iraq -just not in stockpiles.
Fact: Al Zwahri was being harbored by the Saddam regime.
Fact: Bill Clinton has a very odd nose.

BTW, even though I believe that the last thing this country needs is another left-leaning lawyer...I still hope that you did well on the bar!

this we'll defend said...


I didn't dodge anything. The docs were forged. and WMDs weren't the issue, or Wilson, or "terrism" or whether Bubba got a hummer and lied about it or Jesus or abortion. The issue was: Did Iraq present a viable and immiment threat to the United States? Answer was no, and you can spin it all day long the answer was no. No no no no no. I do not like green eggs and ham, I do NOT like them sam I am.

Hoochimomma said...

I can name something Kerry did in Congress! He successfully lobbied to get New England clam chowder on the menu in the senate cafeteria. Some senate staffers from that part of the country were actually skipping lunch because they were tired of the same old stuff at lunch everyday. Kerry got them back. You might say that he was solely responsible for feeding the hungry.

He personnally gave a place to live to the homeless. After he got an annulment, his new girlfried came to Washington and had no home so she moved in with him for awhile. Now we're talking! Who says Just Republicans screw the homeless?

He also demonstrated that, contrary to the opinion of most, not every Senator from Massachusetts is a boozing skirt chaser. Well, not a boozing one anyway.

ALa said...

Hoochimomma_I am so glad that you cleared up all the questions that TWD dodged...I had no idea Kerry was such and altruistic person! I guess, now that I think of it, him and Thereeeeesa have employed many a plastic surgeon, hairdresser (him -she looks as if she needs one), and I heard they had a fire-hydrant moved to fit one of their SUVs (that he owned in Detroit, but not on Earth Day)...I guess this employed some city workers...he, is infact, creating jobs!
My eyes are opened!