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June 10, 2005

Comments

I'm having the opposite problem. As time goes by, and the evidence that Bush and his top people manipulated the intelligence mounts, I find myself becoming angry in ways I don't like.

Edward, if you don't feel any safer, that has got to be because you're an Islamofascist terrorist, infiltrating our precious bodily fluids. Real America-Loving Americans feel safer with every bomb blast, school re-painting and Iraqi soldier who actually signed up before being killed by a car bomb.

Your allowing yourself to become distracted. You must concentrate on what is imporant;

a) Amnesty International are bad bad men for using the bad bad word.

b) Micheal Moore has a huge fat ass, and is "objectively pro Saddam."

Barry,

are you always so over the top?

You seem to have good points to make, but your style seems as if it were honed in a far-left-wing nut farm.

I don't mean that to offend you...I rather like the content of what you generally say, but it's like nails on a chalkboard sometimes getting through to the point.

just sayin'

never mind, I see BSR too felt this was an invitation to strike at the pro-war side.

I meant it sincerely...I'm growing numb, and that makes me uncomfortable.

Yes, please ixnay on the repetition of talking points. They might be true and they might be not, but this isn't the place for them.

I'm sorry, Edward, I'll tone it down. I was trying to match the level of Charles, Von, Sulla, Slartibartfast and Sebastian. And under the posting constraints, I figured that savage mockery was the best that I could do (of course, not as well as the Poor Man, or the Rude Pundit, who are genuine artists).

In your case, you were expressing genuine grief, and I was wrong to post like that. I promise to actually think about the thread before posting.

"I see BSR too felt this was an invitation to strike at the pro-war side."

Sorry, I must admit to letting my frustration get the best of me these past few months. A good freind of mine from Colleege just got his leg blown off from the knee down, on his second tour in Iraq. This is my ROTC freind, always gung ho, and it's frankly horrible to read his letters now.

As Iraq gets worse and worse all the pro-war side wants to do is talk about AI, rather than addressing the horrible situation in Iraq and how that and the system of secret prisons we have created are, from a PR perspective, losing the war on terror.

Numb is a sensible and common defense mechanism to something like this. We're going to be in Iraq taking casualties until they decide it's time to declare victory and go home. There's nothing you can really do about it, although there will be elections in 2006 and 2008.

good freind of mine from Colleege just got his leg blown off from the knee down, on his second tour in Iraq. This is my ROTC freind, always gung ho, and it's frankly horrible to read his letters now.

Dear God, BSR...I'm really sorry. Where is he now?

Nothing to be sory for Edward, I should be able to control my frustrations like an adult. As you know I tend to get emotional and develop a "torpedoes be damned" attitude, and it's not always productive.

My freind is back home with his family in Florida, after about a month in hospital. He is still getting heavy physical therapy and learning to walk again on his new leg. Don't be sorry for me, be sorry for him and everyone like him.

He used to be the nicest guy, and extremely patriotic. It is painful for me to see him turn bitter, bitter against the governemnt that he is starting to realize misused him in Iraq, even bitter against his fellow citizens.

I suspect he thinks I get some enjoyment from hearing him agree with the points we used to argue before he went to Iraq, but it gives me nothing but pain to hear him now. I would rather be wrong a thousand times over and have my old pal back.

A fellow from my church, who got married just before going to Iraq, had his leg blown off while driving one of those insufficienty armored vehicles we have so many of.

I can't pretend to know the man, but I was reading his e-mails posted on our bulletin board, and he was effusively grateful for how lucky he was. Temporary eyesight loss but not permanent. No brain damage. Both hands. Wonderful prosthetics available.

He's quite gung-ho, wishes he were back in combat, a Red Stater if ever there was one. Him and thousands of others like him. Many or most with wives and girlfriends (not to mention the husbands and boyfriends), children, etc.

This is why war should be reserved for inescapable necessity.

(Do we even have any official figures on the number of wounded, maimed, etc.? Last I checked, the Pentagon was not interested in sharing those.)

Lily, in so many ways I'm having the same problem as you and as Edward.

I get very, very angry - in a way I don't like - when I encounter people who have managed to keep their heads in the sand and are still comforting themselves with "they're all terrorists" or "the war in Iraq is really going well" or whatever.

And I started getting numb, too. Lots of things from 2004 contributed to this. When the photographs from Abu Ghraib were published. When Bush was elected. When it was evident that to some people - to enough people - torture and unjust imprisonment just aren't important. I know these may sound like talking points, and I apologize: that isn't my intent.

I don't know very many people who have gone to Iraq or to Afghanistan: back in my early twenties, I used to know a good many people in the British military, but that was in the bad old days and every single one of them had got a dishonorable discharge for being gay before I was 25. Nor do I know anyone personally who is in the archipelago of prisons that the US runs.

To me, then, the news of casualties and kidnappings both come as a shock to my humanity - sometimes a casualty or a kidnap victim gets a name, sometimes a face, sometimes (as with Anderson and BSR's stories, thank you for sharing them) merely the reminder that every person numbered as dead, maimed, kidnapped, tortured - they're all human beings, with friends, family, acquaintances.

I know one Iraq vet home from her tour who looks at the children playing in the yard next door and thinks of the Iraqi children the same age, whom she saw playing, and she thinks "How many of those children are still alive?" - a thought just in passing, between giving the kids Cokes and taking the groceries into the house. I can't imagine being in that state of mind. (She's been told her time has been extended an extra year, which means she will almost certainly have to serve another six months in Iraq: she thought she only had two months to go, but they've extended it to 14.)

The whole thing is one tangled mess: Blair's involvement just one thing among the rest. The prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. The torture victims. The soldiers killed and maimed and wounded - wounded in mind, as much as in body. And it is numbing. Which is the worst part of it, perhaps.

In partial expiation, I'd like to add my state is uncomfortably un-numb. I have a sick fascination with what's going on, the sheer evil of the GOP leadership in pushing on, the sheer evil of a large number of propagandists in aiding, and the sheer evil of a large number of supporters who are aware, but figure that Bush is the best of all possible words. [Which reminds me of the joke about an optimist and a pessimist - the first believes that this is the best of all possible worlds; the second fears that that's true.]

Every so often I really think about how bad things are getting, and it's truly frightening. The US doesn't have the forces to continue much longer (recruiting is dropping, and what happens to NCO's when they are on their third tour, and contemplating a fourth?); the US doesn't have the proper training and equipment for the forces that it has; the US doesn't have high-level leadership which has actually acted as if they fear defeat as a real, possibility. Instead, they seem to believe that a good MSM barrage and a warblogger strafing can stop it, so that they can turn back to the usual corruption.

Defeat.

An ugly word, which we're very close to. Not in the sense of tanks rumbling through our streets, and soldiers who don't speak our language quickly making us nolstalgic for what was, until very recently, the Bad Old Days. A lesser defeat. The withdrawal of a broken army, morale shattered.

We've already suffered a number of lesser defeats:

1) The idea that the US could *casually* triumph is no longer in force. We can hurt people, but the RPG and the artillery shell in the ditch is just as deadly as in Viet Nam (another ugly word, whose sheer avoidance probably got us here). We went from being a super-power to just the toughest guys around.

2) The United States of America. I don't think that the image of the USA was quite as bright as we thought; too many people who'd been on the receiving end of our failure to live up to our ideals remember that, even though we can blithely forget such unpleasant history (if we even knew about it at the time). But we took a big hit here, because too many people knew (better than the average American) that this wasn't about 9/11; it was enabled by 9/11. The administration decided that it needed a war, for many reasons, and the American people went along. For many reasons, but the idea of hitting back was probably number one, followed by the fear of those little people who could strike with such shocking and awesome power (aren't we the only people who get to do that?). When it came to torturing suspected terrorists, 53% of the American voters were fine with that. When it came to torturing semi-random Iraqis who had dumb luck, same thing. When it came to doing the same to American citizens, same thing (luckily the Supreme Court did what it was supposed to, but luck that we did nothing to earn).

3) The United States of America. The ideal of competancy, and some degree of trust. We broke that, and it'll take a generation to recover it - a generation with nobody in power like Bush, or the GOP whack-jobs in Congress. Which means a couple of generations down the road, at least. And that's bad, because the world has problems, and the USA can help the world, and help itself. When people can't assume even competant, enlightened self-interest on the part of the US government, it's gonna get worse.

4) Al Qaida. Supposedly Bin Ladin wanted Afghanistan II. He's definitely has it now. Supposedly several thousand Al Qaida troops were killed or captured in 2001. They've probably been replaced 2 for 1 by Iraqis, radicalized and experienced in war. Plus one or two thousand people fro the rest of the Middle East. After dealing with US conventional military forces, playing 'tag' with everybody else is easy. Afghanistan and the First Gulf War brought us Al Qaida, and, eventually, 9/11; if this war brings a proportional amount of damage, our children will good reason to curse our names.

5) The veterans. In the Detroit area, the homeless aid agencies are already noticing Iraq war vets. We'll know we're middle aged when our children look at old movies, and don't understand the cultural meaning of a homeless Vietnam veteran; they'll be used to Iraq war vets. And, of course, people who care about war veterans will be sh*t upon if they don't support creating more, fresher ones. I know a guy, who served a year in Vietnam, very active in veteran's issues, member of the VVA (you know, that organization founded by John Kerry, among others). He wrote a letter to the local newspaper, supporting the Swift Liars. He looked at Bush and Kerry, even after 4 years of Bush, and chose Bush. There will be many more veterans who will be opposing war in the future (wisely, unwisely), and many others who will decide with hard-won knowledge about the US and war in the future. But the jingoistic ones will be there, the ones who will (and you know many will) blame it all on liberals and the liberal media, revising history to suit themselves. And the powers-that-be find those people very useful, and can provide them with a megaphone and a stage. We will be seeing 'Iraq Vets for the Truth', or something with a similar title, down the road, and their effect won't be good.

6) The Middle East. Iraq is now well and truly trashed. Juan Cole's opinion can be summarized as 'Lebanon II' - 10-15 years of civil war, ending only in exhaustion. Now, he's not perfect, but I've yet to see anybody better. That will result in the suffering of 21 million people for another generation, and several hundred thousand deaths, over that time. In some countries there are democratic movements, in others the war has been most helpful for those who oppose them. And many of those democratic movements (Hezbollah is a signficant political party in Lebanon, still; the Islamic parties would win in Egypt or Saudi Arabia under any free election) will be good only if handled with care and expertise, something that this administration has only for winning elections and corruption. Right now it's a toss-up between a freer Middle East 10 years from now, and a Middle East more wracked by war and terrorism, with people supporing harsh Islamic fundamentalist states out of faith and fear of the chaos.

Well, if a judge's decision Phil Carter mentioned on Tuesday is not appealed or stayed, there may be some decided un-numbing:

"a decision by U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (S.D.N.Y.) to order the release of graphic photos held by the Pentagon of prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib. The photos are thought to be the same ones which left members of Congress ashen-faced when showed in a closed-door session last summer. Judge Hellerstein ordered the photos released by the end of this month."

Prepare for a new round of "just a few bad apples."

BSR and Anderson, my condolences to both your friends.

And Barry? Post more like your 4:50pm; that was excellent.


Anarch, thanks. A lot of my uber-snark is because there are moods where I figure that the only criticisms that can work are nasty humor (like the blogs I mentioned above, plus Fafblog). I guess it works better when I think calmly, first.

I'm sorry, Edward, I'll tone it down. I was trying to match the level of Charles, Von, Sulla, Slartibartfast and Sebastian.

FWIW, I think that's unwarranted as to four of those five. I disagree with them much of the time, but I appreciate their contributions to the discussion. The fifth, not so much.

And just to balance that last comment, let me second the kudos on your 4:50 post.

hmmmmm

Nahhh...couldn't be. Vietnam on crack.

We'll be out eventually, with Allawi and Chalabi trying to grab the helicopter skids from Green Zone roofs. Bush just gotta hold on til March 2009, so he blame Hillary.

Bob, that's not surprising. As I've said (mostly poaching off of others), they just keeping rotating these guys back in. There was a mention of some part of the 82nd ABN which had done six months in Afghanistan, six months in Iraq, back to Afghanistan for six months, and were back in Iraq for at least six more months. We're talking WWII levels of combat theater time, with an administration who is quite happy to use stop-loss like it was WWII, but not so quick to ramp up things like equipment production. Plus a war which is clearly no longer retaliation for 9/11, or a defense against an imminent threat, or (by now) much of bringing democracy into the Middle East.

So, things are getting worse, and show no prospect of getting better for the next couple of years. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the barracks BS-ing was changing from 'think we'll be here next year?' to 'think we'll be here in 2007?'.

BSR:

"I suspect he thinks I get some enjoyment from hearing him agree with the points we used to argue before he went to Iraq, but it gives me nothing but pain to hear him now. I would rather be wrong a thousand times over and have my old pal back."

A very sad, poignant, and humane comment.

Ugh, I hope you're right, but I fear that most Bush supporters are hardened enough into their positions at this point that a few photos aren't going to budge them.

BSR wrote: "I suspect he thinks I get some enjoyment from hearing him agree with the points we used to argue before he went to Iraq, but it gives me nothing but pain to hear him now. I would rather be wrong a thousand times over and have my old pal back."

I hope he knows that, or lets it sink in eventually. I wish him well.

I had a friend with whom I disagreed so much that we didn't talk about politics for about one year. It feels good to have him back on my side, but it'd have been better for all concerned if he'd been right, and I'd been wrong.

I had a friend with whom I disagreed so much that we didn't talk about politics for about one year. It feels good to have him back on my side, but it'd have been better for all concerned if he'd been right, and I'd been wrong.

How deeply we misunderstand each other.

There is no pro-war side on this blog. There are posters who view (or once viewed) war with Iraq as a necessary evil. But no one took the decision lightly, or defends the Administration (when we do defend the Administration) glibly. If you believe otherwise, that's your problem -- not ours.

Von: There is no pro-war side on this blog.

Okay. I promise to quit referring to you as pro-war, if you promise to quit referring to pro-choicers as "pro-abortion". For exactly the same reason.

Thankyou.

And I'm a goddamm card-carrying member of the ACLU, although I can do without their pro-abortion advocacy (and occasional left-wing politically-correct silliness).cite

Okay. I promise to quit referring to you as pro-war, if you promise to quit referring to pro-choicers as "pro-abortion". For exactly the same reason.

My first reaction: In fairness, I was refering specifically to the "ACLU," which does seem "pro-abortion" at times (in the sense that it views abortion-on-demand as an unmitigated good). I don't describe the "pro-choice" community generally as "pro-abortion".

My second reaction: O.K., point taken.

My third reaction: My word, how long have you been waiting to stick me with that quote!

I am of three minds about this, on the one hand, people are getting exactly what they deserve for electing an incompetant lying sack of shit like Bush, on the other hand what a f*cken waste, so much blood and money poured down the sewer with nothing to show for it, on the third hand, where can I find one of Bush's ChickenHawk so that I can grab a baseball bat and beat them to a bloody pulp and when I think I am done do it a second time for good measure!

But mainly I try to laugh, because if I didn't I'd just f*cken cry!

"But no one took the decision lightly, or defends the Administration (when we do defend the Administration) glibly."

You might be able to say that about yourself Von, it certainly doesn't apply to all of the commentators here.

IMO your last thread on AI nudged you into the camp of those that would rather focus on the messenger than the real problem, and that was suprising to me becuase I usually see you as the reasonable, centered voice.

BSR, I've written close to a dozen posts on Gitmo, disappeared prisoners, torture memos, and the rest. If I get kicked out of the club for criticizing AI for a bit of unbridled idiocy, well, the club probably wasn't worth belonging to in the first place.

LOL, I still don't like the AI post, but point well taken.

Von:

First: Point taken!

Second: Thanks.

Third: Heh. I read your comment, I thought 'Wait a minute, when did Von say that pro-choice people were "pro-abortion" [a term I loathe] - surely not that long ago?' and the wonders of Google did the rest.

"I was trying to match the level of Charles, Von, Sulla, Slartibartfast and Sebastian."

I can only guess what "level" is intended to mean in this context (volume?; tone?; intensity?; accuracy?; the list of possibilities goes on), but I'm quite sure that, whatever the intended meaning, these five people don't utilize the same one (and neither are individuals perfectly internally consistent, either).

As well, as a rule, I've always found the argument "s/he is engaging in [X technique of bad rhetoric], therefore I shall do the same!" to be most curious reasoning indeed ["s/he's saying something stupid, so my reply shall be just as stupid!; that will show 'em!")

dq writes:

...an incompetant lying sack of shit like Bush, on the other hand what a f*cken waste, so much blood and money poured down the sewer with nothing to show for it, on the third hand, where can I find one of Bush's ChickenHawk so that I can grab a baseball bat and beat them to a bloody pulp and when I think I am done do it a second time for good measure!

But mainly I try to laugh, because if I didn't I'd just f*cken cry!

Myself, I find the idea of objecting to a handful of specific words, Anglo-Saxon or otherwise, per se, rather than because of what they are used to say, fairly silly. However, I'm not someone who writes or enforces posting rules here, and I do hate to see them enforced in inconsistent fashion, because that's inherently unfair. Beyond the use of specific words, while I find "one of Bush's ChickenHawk" somewhat unintelligble in precisely what or who it is intended to refer to, I have to say that were I open to construing it as applying to anyone posting here, I'd take this as, well, considerably threatening. Threats have a way of seeming so threatening to me.

However, it's always good to see someone speak out against the horror of violence by explaining their desire to beat others to a bloody pulp. With a baseball bat. Multiple times. That's quite an admirable anti-war spirit. Not at all like desiring to give people you hate peroneal strikes. Much to learn, I have.

Don Quixote

Gary is right.

I've temporarily banned you. I know others have offered up similarly uncivil sentiments here, but you have a history of doing so and then not backing down when asked to (whereas others here have been kind enough to recognize that the house rules do mean something to us).

I don't want to have this debate here in public. I do believe my colleagues on the right side of the aisle will support this decision, and as if offered to anyone who is temporarily banned, if you wish to be unbanned, please email the kitty.

Despite knowing your anger is real, given the overall context, I feel you're just pouring gasoline on fire here and I don't believe appealing to your sense of cooperation within the posting rules will stop it. If I'm wrong, please feel free to tell me so in an email.

Gary
As well, as a rule, I've always found the argument "s/he is engaging in [X technique of bad rhetoric], therefore I shall do the same!" to be most curious reasoning indeed ["s/he's saying something stupid, so my reply shall be just as stupid!; that will show 'em!")

however, not a handful of paragraphs later

However, it's always good to see someone speak out against the horror of violence by explaining their desire to beat others to a bloody pulp. With a baseball bat. Multiple times. That's quite an admirable anti-war spirit. Not at all like desiring to give people you hate peroneal strikes. Much to learn, I have.

It's beginning to take on the features of an epidemic. Though Barry seems to be on his way to a cure (or at least remission), the bug has gotten to Gary. I blame Charles.

(jftr, I support Edward's decision, but I hope it will be reconsidered when and if things calm down here)

The dead: not numb, but in a state of constant background mourning.

BSR: I'm so sorry.

"...however, not a handful of paragraphs later...."

Not following your connection, LJ. Deciding to deliberately be "stupid" or "loud" or "make an argument as bad as you're making," say, which is what I was decrying, aren't remotely the same as engaging in simple sarcasm. Myself -- rather obviously -- I see nothing per se wrong with sarcasm (though, of course, it can be used as badly or well as any trope). Deliberately choosing to make a stupid argument, on the other hand, simply to mirror perceived stupidity, seems per se more than unhelpful (unless the goal is to convince readers that the writer can, indeed, be stupid), to me.

"...I support Edward's decision, but I hope it will be reconsidered when and if things calm down here"

I suspect that Edward's use of the words "I've temporarily banned you" might actually mean that it's "temporary."

Naruhodo, Gary. When you do it (in spite of the fact that the person has renounced that approach 5 posts, sorry, comments later) it's sarcasm, when someone else does it, it is not even remotely the same. Got it.

As for the definition of temporary, if I had simply said 'I support Edward's decision' it might have been construed as simply wanting DQ out of the place. Since iirc DQ was a Marine who served in Lebanon, I think that he brings some interesting experiences to the table. Also, I wanted to suggest that the current atmosphere may be partially to blame for DQ's current tone (as it is probably a causative factor with my own comments lately) without calling anyone out. Sorry too have been too subtle with that.

"When you do it (in spite of the fact that the person has renounced that approach 5 posts, sorry, comments later) it's sarcasm, when someone else does it, it is not even remotely the same. Got it."

This is rather irritating, because I said no such thing -- not even close -- and hold no such opinion whatever. Which part of "I see nothing per se wrong with sarcasm" reads unclearly to you?

What I said in the first place was this:

As well, as a rule, I've always found the argument "s/he is engaging in [X technique of bad rhetoric], therefore I shall do the same!" to be most curious reasoning indeed ["s/he's saying something stupid, so my reply shall be just as stupid!; that will show 'em!")
Where the heck do I say anything about sarcasm? How the heck is discussing mirroring rhetoric connected in any way with sarcasm?

If you can find a quote from me in which I in any way indicate that I in any way think sarcasm is inherently invalid, please bring it to my attention. If you can't, what the heck are you talking about?

Sorry, I'm having difficulty understanding why what Barry has posted isn't sarcasm and what you post is. As you said

Deciding to deliberately be "stupid" or "loud" or "make an argument as bad as you're making," say, which is what I was decrying, aren't remotely the same as engaging in simple sarcasm (emphasis mine)

I would have thought suggesting that it's always good to see someone speak out against the horror of violence by explaining their desire to beat others to a bloody pulp has some (perhaps remote) similarity to that which you decried in Barry (or at least in Barry before he turned over a new leaf 5 comments after the post you quote), but I'm obviously wrong. I guess I don't understand what sarcasm really is. Sorry to be so obtuse.

After you explain that, I also have another question
How the heck is discussing mirroring rhetoric connected in any way with sarcasm?

Since I thought sarcasm was a form of irony, I was under the impression that it was a part of rhetoric, unless this notion of 'mirroring rhetoric' is some sort of rhetoric that doesn't partake of the normal definition of rhetoric. In fact, I can only find one web page where the collocation 'mirroring rhetoric' appears, so I'm quite interested in this new field. Any links on studies of 'mirroring rhetoric' would be appreciated. Unless you've already explained this on your blog.

DQ, please check your email.

Also, please respect that a banning is a banning and it's incredibly uncool to go to another computer and to go around it. I'm sorry it took me so long to get to your email, but I'm deleting your comment here and asking that you respect the ban.

"I was thinking of the idiots such as yourself who told us this war would be a good idea, who told us that we would be welcomed with flowers...."

If you think personal abuse and falsehoods are the strongest arguments you have about whatever, well, I don't think you're doing yourself any favors, but that's just me. But although I did originally give luke-warm support for the war, I also subsequently wrote this, and you sir, are blatantly lying in asserting that I ever "told us that we would be welcomed with flowers..." or ever wrote anything similar. I'd ask you to withdraw it, but I don't expect you to pay attention to anything other than your own self-righteous moral superiority.

I'd suggest that for every blog post you've written criticizing the war, its execution, the Bush Administration's cavalier indifference to justice, the cases of torture, or any other relevant or related subject, I'm willing to bet I've written four, but you have no apparent interest in fact, or anything other than, apparently, making yourself feel better about yourself by continuously launching personal attacks other people, so "debate" would be pointless. Good day, sir. Rant on. (My kingdom for a blog killfile.) (Good job on that "banning" thing, blog-owners.)

(Good job on that "banning" thing, blog-owners.)

read the post before yours

"Sorry, I'm having difficulty understanding why what Barry has posted isn't sarcasm and what you post is."

LJ, although I don't understand what I've said to make you feel, as you apparently do, so intemperate, if you can remind me where I asserted that Barry wasn't being sarcastic in his 03:39 PM comment above, I'd appreciate it.

My response of "As well, as a rule, I've always found the argument 's/he is engaging in [X technique of bad rhetoric], therefore I shall do the same!' to be most curious reasoning indeed" was a response to what I quoted, which was "I was trying to match the level of Charles, Von, Sulla, Slartibartfast and Sebastian." Possibly you're confusing the fact that that's what I was responding to, not to Barry's 03:39 PM use of sarcasm? They're two different messages. And, as I said, I really don't know what "level" means in that context. If you'd like to offer the hypothesis that Barry used "level" interchangably with "sarcasm," you certainly may be right, but, as I said, "I can only guess what 'level' is intended to mean in this context."

(If I'd wanted to, instead, respond to Barry's use of the words "savage mockery," I'd have said so. But I didn't. I didn't criticize his use of sarcasm. I didn't criticize his use of "savage mockery." Instead I made a rather general aside about a larger rhetorical trope I've often seen over the years; I apologize, sincerely, for obviously not making this as clear as I would have liked.)

Ok, Gary, heart to heart. You jump on people for something when they've said they are planning to change their behaviour, you are being a jerk. I don't know why this is so difficult for you to understand. Rather than point this out directly, I tried to make my point indirectly. Perhaps that was a mistake.

I appreciate your point of view and the knowledge you bring to these comments, but honestly, seeing you come in one thread where Edward is trying to come to terms his emotions and play comment cop really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Is it really too much to ask you to stop?

I think there's a slight difference between using sarcasm to make a telling point, LJ, and simply performing a full-throttle firehose of comments. A little sarcasm occasionally marks the point; all sarcasm all the time obscures it.

Oh, and Barry: thanks for easing off. It does make quite a difference in how seriously I take you, I promise.

One person's "comment cop" is another person's "heart-to-heart."

"Is it really too much to ask you to stop?"

But, y'know, sheesh, I took issue in a single comment with a single comment of Barry's. I can't "stop" something that isn't ongoing. I can't even apologize for repetitive attacks I've not made. Clearly you feel that that single response was out of line, and you're entitled, but short of time-travel, no, the literal answer seems to be that I can't stop something that only happened once. What would you have me do?

I'm quite sure that I took no issue with anything Edward said here, either. I can, however, assure you that I shall continue to not take issue with anything Edward has said up to now in this thread, and shall continue to maintain my extant policy of saying nothing else in response to Barry's comment of 3:50 p.m.

(I shan't make invisible, however, my slight irritation and confusion that you are going on and on about this topic, accusing me of being a "comment cop" for having said something far more general and impersonal that Edward's criticism of 03:44 PM and sidereal's same of 03:45 PM, which you appear to find inoffensive; I don't know why you're so concerned with one and not the others.)

"You jump on people for something when they've said they are planning to change their behaviour, you are being a jerk. I don't know why this is so difficult for you to understand."

Giving this more direct attention: you're calling me a "jerk" for having not addressed comments made subsequent to those I responded to, LJ. I'm stuck in linear time, alas. Perhaps you feel that it's irresponsible to not carefully read every subsequent comment before commenting on something, but although that's a praiseworthy approach, if it's in the blog-comment rule book, I missed it. Perhaps that makes me a jerk.

Much as I'd prefer to apportion blame for this onto other people's lack of careful reading, it's clear that I bear considerable responsibility myself for this dynamic; where fault lies either overall or in specific cases is not for me to judge or say.
link

All for me for the day. mata, ashita.

Re liberal japonicus | June 10, 2005 11:20 PM: (scratches head). Do you think I've forgotten what I've written minutes ago, and need reminding?

I doubt this is going to make anyone feel any better, but coalition casualties have been pretty low considering just how many bombs go off in Iraq. I'm surprised it's not worse. Of course, I don't personally know anyone who has been affected, so perhaps I would feel differently if I did.

I doubt this is going to make anyone feel any better, but coalition casualties have been pretty low considering just how many bombs go off in Iraq

Deaths are low, considering. Casualties aren't, I don't think.

Praktike: Your comment does come off a bit cold. Iraqi deaths have been increased at a much greater rate lately, while U.S. and 'coalition' deaths grind on steadily, and injuries are, as felixrayman said, devastating.

It might be a good idea to get to know some Americans who are personally affected.

And it would do us all some good to think more about Iraqis as people, not as rhetorical props.

All options are horrible, but I honestly believe that U.S. withdrawal has to begin now. Others who opposed the war, or have come to oppose it, feel we can't. I understand their concerns; all options are horrible.

One demand that 'out now' and 'we can't just go' camps can agree on is that our government must make it explicit, official policy that we are going to leave. Practical organizing on that basis is helping me manage the anger that I share with Lily and others here.

"Oh, and Barry: thanks for easing off. It does make quite a difference in how seriously I take you, I promise."

Posted by: Slartibartfast | June 10, 2005 10:45 PM

You're welcome, Slartibartfast.

BTW, speaking of people who *are* evil, I bought the latest issue of the Atlantic. I dropped my subscription. I buy an issue once or twice a year.

The latest one had the Atlantic's wargame of what to do about N. Korea. Two of the elites participating were Kenneth 'Cakewalk' Adelman, and an Air Force General named McInerney, who is a 'military analyst for Fox New'. Ken's 'cakewalk' remark was not mentioned, of course.

The end result was the Mr. FoxNew general was pressing for an immediate air assault on N. Korea. The estimate called for 5 times the sortie rate used in the first days of the Iraq war. He said that casualties in S. Korea could be kept down to 100,000 (Seoul would, of course, take a rather serious hit). That's assuming that N. Korea never got to use a nuclear weapon, of course. He also said that the US could win in N. Korea one month faster than in Iraq. The account of the wargame didn't mention hysterical laughter. One of the participants, when told of the huge set of problems collapse of the government in N. Korea would cause, compared worrying about that to worrying about paying the taxes on a huge lottery jackpot

I would say that some people never learn, but, unfortunately, I think that some of these guys did - if the consequences of failure fall onto others, what me worry?

Anyway, this gave me some more reassurance that I was right in dropping the subscription, and I'll mail the copy to anybody who asks, at my expense, just to keep $6 from falling into their hands.

BTW, speaking of people who *are* evil, I bought the latest issue of the Atlantic. I dropped my subscription. I buy an issue once or twice a year.

The latest one had the Atlantic's wargame of what to do about N. Korea. Two of the elites participating were Kenneth 'Cakewalk' Adelman, and an Air Force General named McInerney, who is a 'military analyst for Fox New'. Ken's 'cakewalk' remark was not mentioned, of course.

The end result was the Mr. FoxNew general was pressing for an immediate air assault on N. Korea. The estimate called for 5 times the sortie rate used in the first days of the Iraq war. He said that casualties in S. Korea could be kept down to 100,000 (Seoul would, of course, take a rather serious hit). That's assuming that N. Korea never got to use a nuclear weapon, of course. He also said that the US could win in N. Korea one month faster than in Iraq. The account of the wargame didn't mention hysterical laughter. One of the participants, when told of the huge set of problems collapse of the government in N. Korea would cause, compared worrying about that to worrying about paying the taxes on a huge lottery jackpot

I would say that some people never learn, but, unfortunately, I think that some of these guys did - if the consequences of failure fall onto others, what me worry?

Anyway, this gave me some more reassurance that I was right in dropping the subscription, and I'll mail the copy to anybody who asks, at my expense, just to keep $6 from falling into their hands.

praktike wrote:

I doubt this is going to make anyone feel any better, but coalition casualties have been pretty low considering just how many bombs go off in Iraq. I'm surprised it's not worse. Of course, I don't personally know anyone who has been affected, so perhaps I would feel differently if I did.

One of the Marines killed in that explosion was the son of my ex-wife's oldest brother. Since my divorce, five years ago, I'd had little contact with the young man, so my memories of him are not recent ones. Rather I tend to remember him as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager. It's very hard for me to realize that his life is now over. Of course, his family is devastated.

You're right, praktike. Your observation isn't going to make anyone feel any better. It didn't do much for me, anyway.

I too am numb. I hate Bush and his failed policies as much as anyone, but now that someone I personally know is dead as a result of his, Bush's, stupidity and duplicity, I find myself at a loss for words. I suppose it is a good thing that the man died before he could leave behind a grieving wife and a child or two. Yeah, that's a good thing, all right.

Perhaps von or another such regular, one of those who, of course is not on the pro-war side (as I have it on good authority that there is no pro-war side on this blog), one who views (or once viewed) war with Iraq as a necessary evil, can try to brighten my day by telling me a nice story about how many schools in Iraq have been freshly painted, or how that in one village or another, electrical power is now available 37% of the time, instead of 35%. Maybe that will make me feel that my ex-wife's nephew and his fellow Marines died for a worthy cause.

Barry: "I would say that some people never learn"

The comments by McInerney sound identical to the prescriptions that some generals made over 50 years ago for what to do with NK.

(For anyone interested:

"American Airpower Strategy in Korea, 1950-1953" and "Bombs, Cities, and Civilians" by Conrad Crane

"The Limits of Air Power" by Mark Clodfelter

"Bombing to Win" by Robert Pape)

Vern, I am very sorry to learn about the death of your young relative. My neighbor's son is over there. It really leaves me without words to express how I feel.

Vern, I'm so sorry.

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