5/24/2007

May 15: International Conscientious Objectors' Day


Today we give our profound respect to conscientious objectors like GI Desmond Doss, who won a medal for bravery under fire in 1945, despite never picking up a rifle. He said, "soldiers must decide for themselves what it is right to do. But for me, it was wrong to kill and I felt I could not do it." Instead, he saved the lives of 100 fellow soldiers. Doss and three other men explain their different reasons for refusing to fight in four distinct conflicts: "Why I Would Not Kill in War."

16 comments:

SHOPMAN said...

While I respect the views of true conscientious objectors and generally believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, I also believe that there is a time to fight. During WW2 my father landed in Libya, Marched across N Africa, moved 1/2 way up the Italian penninsula only to be rewarded by being transferred to England in Jan. of '44. Yes, he then was part of the D-Day landing. He never talked about this while he was alive, I only discovered this after his death when I found his actual military transcipt which contained his deployment orders. His job, forward 'fire controller'. Which means he was on the radio directing artillery fire while exposing himself with minimal protection. No doubt, he called in fire that killed hundreds, if not thousands of enemy troops. At times we are faced with a force so evil, we must fight, and fight to the last man if needed. WW2 was an example of that time. GW's Iraq war is not.

jpn said...

Shopman:

I agree that there are times when we must "fight to the last man, if needed." However, that doesn't eliminate a person's right to fight or not fight...depending on their personal and/or religious beliefs. Like exercising you right to freedom of speech, you can also pay a heavy price to exercise your right to conscientiously objective to fighting.

You say GW's Iraq war is not such a war. What if time proves Bush right? I believe there are many who drive merrily along in their cars and think it's as simple as turning the Humvies around and head home. Granted, the Iraqi war is about oil and keeping our oil cheap and affordable. Do you see any of your fiends and neighbors doing anything measurable to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Alternatively, do you see them blaming it on the evil oil companies making obscene profits?

Here's a calculation for you to consider. In 1979 I was paying $1.25 per gallon of gas and so was everybody else in western Wisconsin. Figuring for inflation, that gas would cost $3.73 per gallon. The price was $3.25 on my way home from work today. The number is higher, by the financial cost of gas is cheaper.

It think the Big 3 American automakers a leaderless bureaucracies and parallel the lack of leadership we have seen in our government leaders -- especially at the federal level and increasingly so at the state levels. It's not about ethics and doing the right thing anymore, it's about lining one's pocket while the getting is good. The last President who showed leadership on the question of energy consumption was Jimmy Carter when he turned the heat down and put solar panels on the White House.

I think American would rather shop and bitch about the price of gas and complain about the government for not solving all the problems that they are to lazy to take responsibility for.

SHOPMAN said...

JPN
My first sentence above pays respect to the TRUE C.O. As far as time proving GW right in regards to Iraq, I'll eat my hat on main street the day that should happen. I can't fully agree with you that he went in there for oil. He had Iraq in sight from the day he found out he was going to be president. 911 just gave him the excuse that he needed. It also gave him the opening to further pervert the constitution, redefine the bill of rights and entrench his supposed permanent Republican majority by unifying the extremist on the right. I didn't say anything about the price of gas, it's cheaper than bottled water. I agree with you about Carter, a brilliant man. He just didn't know how to play in the political pigpen. Keep in mind, this was when Mr. Falwell really got the moral majority going and Reagen was the one who rode that wave sucessfully. Reagen,so-so actor, lousy president...but he did have the personality that Carter didn't. The first time a met a Secret Service agent was when I was carrying a 'Carter for president' sign at a Susan Ford campaign stop in St Cloud in 1975. I'm afraid I agree with you on laziness of Americans also. Most are so involved in the work a day world we live in to get involved politics or even read the editorials in the newspapers.I know many who don't even vote,but I'm kinda glad some of them don't.

jpn said...

Shopman:

Let's do a little "what if'ing" here.

Let's say Al Gore had enough votes to win his home state and was elected President in 2000. Let's say 9/11 happened as it did. What do you think Gore's response would have been?

Do you think he would have went to war in Afghanistan? It think so. Frankly, I wonder what to Bush so long to go into Afghanistan!

I think Gore won't have made the linkage to Iraq and would have continued on with sanctions. Apparently more Iraqis died under sanctions during the Clinton administration than have died during Bush's administration.

It's fascinating to me how the Bush inner circle was dominated by Vietnam era chicken hawks. It's like they use General Colin Powell as their toke soldier boy. Powell lost all his credibility. He was replaced by Condlessea Rice who was a Soviet Union expert -- a nation that no longer exists. She's also a Bush cronny. Mike Brown was a frat boy cronny running FEMA. Alberto Gonzales gang seems to all have graduated from Pat Roberson's law school. They put right-out-of-college grads in charge of running Iraq. Kids that could barely find the bathroom let along wipe their own asses.

It amazes me that loyalty dominates the Bush administration so much. It's not the best and the brightest. It's who can stay on the knees the longest and has the brownest nose. The Bush administration is a fine example of inbred, hillbilly management. It has absolutely no credibility and unfortunately it has virtually destroyed an credibility the US had in the world.

Do you notice that even the Republicans don't mention Bush anymore. They've skipped right over him and reverted back to Reagan. With Gulliani in the race, he'll be skipping back to Barry Goldwater.

Anonymous said...

Except for stopping (American) Slavery, Nazi Facism, Japanese Militarism, and Soviet Communism, war never solved anything.

Sometimes, when your enemy is ruthless and utterly unwilling to compromise, war is the only remaining option.

Like with Islamofacism, whose creedo is submit, convert, or die.

666 said...

Anon:

Interesting observation. Islamofacists..."whose creedo is submit, convert, or die." Now that sounds like some Christian groups we've heard about recently and in the past. I remember doctors have been murdered for being involved in abortion clinics by Christians who opposed the doctors' actions.

Yoy seem to have lumped everyone who falls under the broad banner of Islam into one solid, evil lump. That lump would be bound together by your ignorance and prejudice and lack of understanding. Not too long ago, white Christian men wore white robes and rode around on horses at night and killed Black people to keep God's country pure.

Anonymous said...

666,
You may have noticed that there aren't a lot of Christian groups who commandeer jumbo airliners, kill pilots and crew, and then fly the jets into buildings killing thousands of innocents in the process.

Nor are there many who strap on dymamite vests and blow up themselves and dozens/scores/ hundreds of people at markets and other public gathering places, day after day.

A few, perhaps, but not many, and certainly not on the scale of the jihadists.

Yes, there have been a couple of doctors and abortion clinic workers killed by fanatics, but those fanatics have been roundly comdemned by the all the mainline Christian demonimations. They have also been hunted down and prosecuted for their murders.

The Klan? A dispicable organization to be sure, and held in great disrepute by virtually all Americans. I think their last lynching victim died in 1951 -- a tragedy, to be sure -- but far removed in time and scope from the daily slaughter of innocents that takes place daily in Iraq and elsewhere in the middle east.

But please do not think me ignorant or prejudiced or misunderstanding of Islam. I have studied it extensively and understand it far better than some who think it no different than other religions. It is different, in a very dangerous and historic way.

You first must understand that Islamic bloodlust is not modern development. The rapid spread of Islam in the 7th through 14th centuries, across north Africa and up into southern France, and across the Dardenelles into the Balkans and to the gates of Vienna, were accomplished by the sword, not by conversion.

Later, Thomas Jefferson learned as much while seeking to end the depredations of the Barbary pirates in the early 19th century, when he (and John Adams) was told by Tripoli's ambassador to London that the reason the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping and enslaved their crews was because "it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman (sic) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."

After some 150 years of backwardness and irrelevance, western technology released the oil under the desert sands and western policies permitted Muslims to reap the ecomomic fortunes released from those wells. That money brought technology and empowerment, and re-ignited the long-dormant Islamic quest to dominate, convert, and kill.

Don't lecture me on Islam, or draw moral parallels between western christanity and Islam. The three great dichotomies of Islam -- Muslim and Infidel, Master and Slave, Man and Woman -- remain enshrined in that 7th century faith unchanged and unchanging. The term moderate Muslim is an oxymoron.

I suggest that you read some history and learn just how much you don't know about Islam.

666 said...

Anon:

What's the difference between the Islamofacists and other freedom fighters? Would we be facing the same scenario had we had some leadership in this country that tried to lead towards energy independence over the past 30+ years. Evidently, it's easier to leader us into war than into evergy independence.

What you suggest I read? I've read a variety of information, history and opinions on the future impacts of what is happening in the Middle East. There doesn't seem to be a single, dominating opinion on what the future will be.

What sources do you draw your opinions from? It would be interesting see if your intelligence on the subject here is narrow or wide. Would you consider yourself to be a qualified expert on the subject or an armchair quarterback.

Anonymous said...

Oh please don’t start spouting that “Terrorist = Freedom Fighter” nonsense, or begin suggesting that oil is at the heart of our struggles with the radical Muslims.

Think about what those Islamic “freedom fighters” want. Not peace or democracy, but Jihad and Sharia law. They want the “freedom” to make second class citizens of all women, extract tribute from those who will not convert, and, in the words of Osama bin Laden, to “raise up the Caliphate” to establish Sharia as the supreme law in all lands occupied by believers.

As was imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan, women cannot own property or vote – or even drive cars. They must be subservient, along with their “co-wives” to all that their husband desires, and should they stray to another the punishment for adultery is death by stoning. Should a woman claim she was raped, no less than 4 men must attest that they witnessed the rape to convict the accused. Other women are not recognized as reliable witnesses.

For the conquered, it is submit, convert, or die. Those that submit (i.e. pay the jisya tax) are called Dhimmi (translated as “protected” or “guilty” in Arabic), and are permitted to privately practice their religion -- but not to participate in any way in public affairs or administration. Those who will not pay tribute must convert or die.

What to read to learn more? Well, I could suggest the Qur’an itself, along with two other equally important Islamic texts – the “tafir,” or commentary on the Qur’an, and the “hadith,” or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. Beyond those are Robert Spencer’s “The Truth about Muhammad,” “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and all the works of Bernard Lewis (Professor of Near Eastern Sudies, Emeritus at Princeton Univeristy) including “What went Wrong?” Excellent periodical pieces include “The Pope and the Prophet” by Robert R. Reilly (Crisis, November 2006) and “Jefferson versus the Muslim Pirates by Christopher Hitchens (City Journal, Spring 2007).

The piece by Rielly is particularly informative as it discusses how, in contrast to Christanity, Islam divorces faith from reason. Muslims believe that God is pure will, and as such is not bound by any order – natural or moral. Things (nature, men) do not act of their own natures but only according to God’s will at the moment. All mankind can do is to obey; he cannot use reason to know God or God’s wishes. And since he cannot know God, he cannot love him – he can only obey. As the great Muslim thinker Abu Hamid al-Ghazali wrote in “Moderation in Belief,” “No obligations flow from reason, but [only] from the Sharia.” The fact is, Islam’s greatest thinker deemed the religion unreasonable.

I know that ABTL is a rather silly little blog that serves as an echo chamber for common left-wing misconceptions, and I’m probably wasting my time explaining any of this, but I feel it important to get some facts out regarding what I believe is the most important issue of the day – western civilization’s struggle against resurgent Islam. If you value democracy, self-determination, and the rights of both men and women, you may want to reappraise your benign view of Islam.

And for the blog administrator, I do appreciate the opportunity to post up my dissent to the prevailing views on your blog.

ATBL blogger said...

I can somewhat understand your point.
But this administration is not about "Christian" values. It's about MONEY, POWER and OIL!!!!
Dick Chaney would be the last person on earth I'd choose as a representative of Christianity except for maybe Hitler or Pol Pot!

We may be silly here, but we're anything but an echo chamber.
If you want to hear only one side of an argument, go to OTBL. Over there their always Right!

666 said...

Anon:

You provide some interesting information. I would say that many people who profess to be Christians divorce faith from reason. Certainly you would agree that many running around pandering their versions of the Christian faith have diverted greatly from the teachings of Jesus. Are you surprised that the same would happen in the Islamic faith. Islam doesn't teach that it's ok to kill innocent people. Christianity does teach that either.

Remember, one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

Do you believe it is wrong of someone to strap a bomb to his body, walk into a crowded market and kill 100 innocent people in Baghdad? Is that more wrong that when the US softened up Baghdad in 2003 by bombing innocent civilians? Or does the US have God on its side because it is a Christian nation? Is it wrong for those insurgents/combatants to behead a captured American and ok for our Christain soldiers to rape and murder innocents in Iraq? Do the acts of the individuals roll up to be the policy of the nation as a whole? Do the actions of Islamic freedom fighters/terrorists roll up to be the teachings of the whole Islamic faith?

SHOPMAN said...

MY, this conversation has taken an interesting turn since I've last visited.
1st about Anon. comment about this being a silly little blog, thats certainly dismissive and condescending to be sure. Maybe it is a silly little blog, but at least it caught Anon. attention enough to write and contribute to the conversation. I would invite Anon. to disclose what he is doing with his historical knowledge to advance a public discussion. I too have a silly little blog, very silly, very little, I can't do everything to get my voice and viewpoint heard but I can do something which is what ATBL is doing.
Anon., correct me if I'm wrong but are you in the' kill'em all and let God sort them out' camp. Thats kinda the feeling I get from your writing.I could be wrong.
Muslims comprise aprox 1/6th of the planets population,roughly 1.2 billion folks. I'm reading your thoughts as to your belief that they all are united in an effort to form a grand Caliphate and terrorism is their tool of choice to reestablish their historical high point of dominance. Throughout history, terrorism has been with mankind. We are the only species that can take pleasure in the torture of another being. While I agree with you, that in this modern world, most of the terrorist are Muslim, I have to disagree with you if you are implying that most Muslims are terrorist.
History has also shown us that any society that gains technological advantage over it's neighbors will exploit it's neighbors and grow and consume all in it's path until it is either out manned, spread to thin or technology evens the playing field. This happened with the Huns with some thing so simple as a split bit for their horses. They went on to become the greatest horsemen, arguably, of all time. They used this advantage to build an empire from China to Eastern Europe and were the only people to extract protection money from the Roman empire.
Germany did this by unifying air and ground power with many technological advances to create 'blitzkrieg' and dominate Europe.
Both eventually spread themselves to thin, combined with poor leadership, they met their downfall.
I personally never think it's a waste of my time to converse with someone of opposite opinion. I try not to look down my nose at any one. We all have bias , I am not very smart, but I'm smart enough to know that I need to learn, and I will never learn by only talking to people who agree with me 100% of the time.
As far as ATBL being an 'echochamber', I would say anyone who uses made up 2 word sound bites that have been invented to unify a political base and instill fear in the uninformed, words like Islamofacist, are the real 'echochambers'.
George Bush was actually doing a pretty good job in Afghanistan. Then he diverted all of this countries resources to Iraq. A nation that had no ties to 911. A country that had been well contained for 10 years. A country with zero ability to attain Nuclear weaponry. A country that couldn't feed it's own people. And the one nation that could keep Iran in check.
I would ask anon. to respond to 2 simple questions,Was it the right move to invade Iraq? What should America do now, that it is clearly established that this war has been woefully mismanaged?

Anonymous said...

Well, moving this post-piece to the top of the blog seems to have rejuvenated some interest. Fine; lets talk:

ABTL blogger: Sorry to see you have such an advanced case of BDS. Besides, if you want to make ridiculous comparisons of the US Vice President and evil historical figures, there are much more prolific killers to choose from. Try Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. Their murderous tally is at least 10 times that of than Hitler and Pol Pot combined.

666: I certainly agree that most of us fall short of the example of Christ.

Two of the great Doctors of the Church, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, struggled with the moral challenge of so-called “just war,” with Augustine rejecting the concept and Aquinas finding it permissible within narrowly defined parameters. In no instances does the church condone the killing of innocents, however, and such murder has always been condemned as contrary to biblical teaching. But to say that Islam has such prohibitions on killing requires you to acknowledge that infidelity to Islam -- or to your husband for that matter-- makes one “guilty” and subject to the sword.

As for your comments regarding the early stages of the Iraq war, you obviously do not understand how the US Military operates. Since the end of the second world war, the US Military has become increasingly averse to causing collateral damage, and takes great pains to minimize civilian casualties. Target selection focuses on infrastructure, not people, and also avoids significant social, cultural, or religious structures. Installations such as government buildings and/or power stations are normally targeted at night, when the buildings are empty or otherwise minimally manned. Moreover, development and use of precision weaponry over the last 25 years came about principally at the behest of the military with the objective of keeping collateral damage to a minimum.

The fact is, if civilians are killed by US action, it is an unintentional and regrettable mistake for which the Military takes responsibility and well-deserved criticism. If our soldiers murder and/or rape civilians, the crimes are denounced by our government and if/when the perpetrators are caught they are tried, convicted, and punished. Contrast this with Islamic suicide bombers, who intentionally target and murder civilians, and then become celebrated as martyrs on their way to paradise.

Shopman: There is a saying that the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim, meaning, of course, that it’s much easier to live with less-devout (read less-fanatical) Muslims. Truly committed Muslims, steeped in the teachings of the Qur’an and the preachings of the Imams, are far more likely to reject the principles of liberal democracy and fight against all forms of modernity. They may be a minority in Islam, but they are extremely influential. Islamic terrorism is used not only to attack the west, but as we see in Iraq and Gaza, is used increasingly to keep wavering and/or moderate Muslims in line.

I use the term Islamofacist advisedly. Italian facists and German Nazis melded industry and state together to form their repressive and brutal governments. The Taliban of Afghanistan and the Ayatollahs of Iran melded religion and state together to form their repressive and brutal governments. There are plenty of parallels, including strident militarism, a propensity for warfare, and aggressive international expansion.

You mentioned your father in your first post in this thread, and how he and others were “faced with a force so evil, [they had to] fight, and fight to the last man if needed.” Consider that while we now recognize how evil the Nazi regime was, we didn’t at the time. The US went to war with Japan, not Germany, and had not Hitler pre-emptively declared war on us following our declaration against Japan, we might not have fought in Europe at all. Arguably we bumbled our way into the European war, but now talk as if defeating the Nazi’s was our primary objective. If Hitler had been just a bit less crazy, we might not have fought against him at all, and instead of congratulating ourselves on fighting the “last good war,” we would be left berating ourselves for nuking the Japanese.

Finally, I want to address your two questions. As to whether we should have gone into Iraq, we must remember that the US political elite was of one mind about the dangers posed by Iraq. President Clinton had called for Iraqi regime change in 1998, and that call was echoed by John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and other prominent Democrats as late as 2003. Iraq was in protracted violation of 17 UN Resolutions, and the US congress voted to approve military action. The Intelligence Services of the US, Britain, France, Israel, and Russia all believed that Iraq possessed a robust WMD program, and that same intelligence had been shared with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. British intelligence still stands by its report that Iraq was attempting to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger, the duplicitous dissembling of Joe Wilson notwithstanding. All the while, Saddam snubbed his nose at the UN and world opinion, paying rewards to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, hosting known terrorists like Abu Nidal, kicking out weapons inspectors from Iraq, and refusing to provide information on the status of WMD’s he admitted to possessing at the end of the first Gulf War. Yes, I think there was a strong case for going into Iraq and deposing the thuggish despot of a rogue state.

As to what we should do now, I must first take issue with your qualifier that the war has been “woefully mismanaged.” True, we have not completed our work, and it has proven far more difficult that we had hoped, and we could have done some things differently. Democratic nation-building in the middle east is no easy task, especially when fanatics are willing to blow up and murder hundreds and thousands of fellow citizens in hopes of fomenting dissent and breaking our will. But the Iraqi’s have adopted a democratic constitution and elected a broad-based government, stood up a functional army and police force, and are slowly but surely building and/or rebuilding their infrastructure.

I wish we could leave tomorrow – I have had two nephews serving over there in the last 2 years – but to leave prematurely would surely result in civil war and mayhem that would dwarf anything we have seen to date. Leaving now would be the height of irresponsibility, I believe, and would surely embolden the fanatics who seek to consolidate their power in a new Islamic state and export their Jihadic terror against Europe and the US. We cannot let that happen.

ABTL blogger said...

anonymous said:


"Yes, I think there was a strong case for going into Iraq and deposing the thuggish despot of a rogue state."

I'm afraid you are stuck in a time warp. All the evidence points to the
desire to attack Iraq as coming from The Neo-Cons who twisted "intelligence"
to serve their desire to go to war with Iraq.

Please supply the source for your claim that Clinton called of Regime change
in Iraq.
What did occur was that he receive a letter from the following Neo-Cons calling for him to istigate a war against Iraq.

The letter begins:

The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor..............................

Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett

Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky

Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad

William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman

Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber

Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick


You'll note that many of these NeoCons had positions of influence in the Bush
Administration or as part of their Right Wing Propoganda machine. Bill Kristol is still calling out to attack Iran on Fox New weekly.


In Aug. of 2002 Chaney was instigating an attack on Iraq by referring to
intelligence that he knew was false.

General Anthony Zinni (see credentials below)
Reflected back on Chaney's war mongering on a recent segment of Meet the Press:

Zinni's Credentials:

From CBS:
(Retired General Anthony Zinni is one of the most respected and outspoken military leaders of the past two decades.

From 1997 to 2000, he was commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command, in charge of all American troops in the Middle East. That was the same job held by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf before him, and Gen. Tommy Franks after.

Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, the Bush administration thought so highly of Zinni that it appointed him to one of its highest diplomatic posts -- special envoy to the Middle East.)

Zinni's bewilderment at Chaney's remarks:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18094428/

Meet the press April 15 07

MR. RUSSERT: I want to take you back to August of 2002. You were being given an award by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and there you are. Vice President Cheney’s addressing the group. You have just been decorated. And this is what the vice president said on that day. Let’s listen:

(Videotape, August 26, 2002)

VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY: Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: The next year, The Washington Post, Tom Ricks wrote this story: “Cheney’s certitude bewildered [retired General Tony] Zinni. ... ‘In my time at Centcom, I watched the intelligence, and never—not once—did it say, “He has WMD.”’

“Though retired for nearly two years, Zinni says, he remained current on the intelligence through his consulting with the CIA and the military. ‘I did consulting work for the agency, right up to the beginning of the war. I never saw anything. I’d say to analysts, “Where’s the threat?”’ Their response, he recalls, was, ‘Silence.’

“Zinni’s concern deepened as Cheney pressed on. ... Zinni’s conclusion as he slowly walked off the stage that day was that the Bush administration was determined to go to war. A moment later, he had another, equally chilling thought: ‘These guys don’t understand what’” they’re “‘getting into.’” Why do you think that they wanted to go to war?

GEN. ZINNI: Well, I think, obviously after 9/11, they saw a need to change our approaches in the Middle East, to do something dramatic. Unfortunately, I think this was the wrong place at the wrong time. And, and the philosophy or the theory behind this change that this liberation would cause a rising up and a, a, a drive for democracy in the Middle East, it, it didn’t square with the way the culture or the way the thinking and the, and the situation was that we had seen in my time. I think the WMD problem, we’d always had a suspicion of WMD programs, but never any hard evidence. And, as time went on, it seemed less and less likely there was an existing program. I mean the vice president’s term was he was “amassing” weapons of mass destruction. Clearly, there was no evidence of even an existing program, let, let alone amassing of weapons of mass destruction.
--------------------

Now don't forget that weeks prior to our attack on Iraq. The Bush administration let out Billions in no bid contracts to Halliburton, a company
which Chaney had once run and maintained close ties.
Thes contracts were to rebuild a country that we had not yet destroyed.
Don't tell me that Chaney is not an evil war profiteer.
Perhaps comparing him to Hitler or Pol Pot is a bit of hyperbole. But Chaney ABSOLUTELY is no representative of Christian values by any stretch of the imagination.

Frankly, I too have concerns about us prematurely leaving Iraq. But it's time to face facts. This war has been so mismanaged that we can no longer win.
At a time when we might have had a chance to build a new Iraq. Halliburton trucks were running around Iraq empty simply to justify charge a per mile fee to the U.S. Government.
Billions of dollars in cash disappeared from the Iraqi treasury.
Stolen by defense contractors like Custer Battle.
see:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-03-09-defense-contractor_x.htm

These actions by the Bush Administration and their close associates can be describe in no other way than indefensible.
This war is about money, oil and power.


P.S. I have no idea what BDS is? My guess would be Bill Danielson Syndrome.

666 said...

Anon:

For me you provide some useful insights into the discussion.

Of course the US military tries to minimize collateral damage, i.e., killing innocent men, women and children. But try as they might, there have been many killed in Iraq. This is going to leave deep psyhic wounds in a cultural of revenge.

Of course the US military takes responsibility for the murder and rape of innocents by its soldiers. However, they will worm and squirm and try to do their best to cover up or deny the truth. The fact remains that it happen and it reduces the chance for sometype of peace and creates more enemies of the US.

How many Muslims have you met in your life? One, ten, hundreds? I'd be interested to know if you view of the situation comes from what you read or what you have experienced in life. I've met a few Muslins and they were consultants who came from India. I've never visited the Middle East and have only what I read and hear on the news to base my judgements.

I do think you are wrong if you think the war in Iraq is about some noble cause to instill democracy in the Middle East. We wouldn't be wasting of time in the Middle East if there wasn't oil bubbling beneath the ground. Why not instill democracy in Darfur or a smaller test market to prove out our concept. I also don't count anyone as "noble" in the Bush administration. Incompetency blended with blind ideology and loyalty has proved to be a mess that those in charge refuse to recognize.

SHOPMAN said...

Anon., you never did answer my 2nd question of what we should do now? You said what we shouldn't do, not what we should do.
I guess you're right about my saying the war has been woefully mismanaged, In reality, I should have said criminally micromanaged with arrogance and ignorance. To even suggest that we 'could have done a few things differently' does not set political bias aside long enough to face the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration has fouled this up from the start. Bush constantly stated that he was listening to Generals on the ground when in fact he defied their wishs from the outset and when he didn't like what he was hearing from them, he changed Generals.
Now we have General Petraus in charge, who I'm sure you know wrote the Army Manual on Asymmetric Warfare. His manual clearly states the ratio of attackers to defenders, according to his own manual we are vastly under manned.
Never before in our history have we had a special intel office in the basement of the pentagon directed by a vice-president for sole pupose of cherry picking intel. Clearly that was done and was the basis for allot of the consensus you cite. Having a program is not the same as having the ability. The WMD's Saddam did have at the end of Gulf War 1 (mustard gas and the like), we knew he had, because he bought them from us. The tubes and yellow cake were concoctions of Cheney. Pure and simple.
So to answer my own question as to what to do now. I'll compare it to Texas hold'em. At this point you either fold or go all in. I do know what you don't do, is to keep doing the same that failed in the past, namely 'stay the course' which is my best guess as to what your advocating . The only reason I figure not to redeploy right now is that I feel a moral obligation. We didn't break one piece in the pottery barn, we burned down the barn. We own this mess, not a misnamed coalition,us, we own this mess. I'm not even sure we have enough of an army left to actually go in and do the job right which would mean sealing the borders, all of them, confiscating every gun, controlling every square inch of dirt and establising the rule of law. You would have to get there before you could even think about nation building. Which George Bush said he would never do when he ran for office the first time. Please don't tell me 911 changed everything, Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911,even GW admitted as much.
Also GW is quoted as saying,(paraphraseing),' a vote to authorize force, is a vote for peace'. Almost as rediculous as his catching a 7.5# perch in his Crawford pond. The man has been caught in lie after lie after lie.
To defend this mans execution of his war in Iraq, to steal Jeff Gannans words, would be to divorce yourself from reality. In my words, leaves you with a credibility deficet. I have enjoyed the talk sir.