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August 17, 2005

Comments

Rumsfeld may have been talking through his vagina.

Sounds like Negroponte is really earning that paycheck.

On a completely, totally different note, the Poor Man is on fire. Keyboards Kommandos does LOTR.

hilzoy- Yep He keeps getting better and better.

I'm not sure that Fisk is correct about the lack of details. See here for details (last paragraph).

OT- but I see there's some trouble in Bangladesh.

Happy Jack- Wow the Republicans were right. Iraq is a beacon and example to the rest of the middle east. Im so glad we are no longer seeking stability in that part of the world. Lots of interesting stuff should start happening soon.

"They don't report the good news" is a right-wing article of faith -- not an empirical observation based on anything factual.

Somehow escaping their analysis is that most of the Iraq news is very bad in relation to whatever good news does exist. And the bad news happens to be what really matters, just like if you get a medical diagnosis that you have cancer but your pulse and blood pressure are great, one of those reports is going to get a lot more attention. And its not because you are biased toward the bad news.

What is funny is that conservative media that goes with this talking point never prints much good news either about Iraq. Wonder why that is?

The good news (for some of you ) is "Today Gaza, and Tomorrow, Jerusalem and the West Bank". The UN has won another part of its mission. So I suppose I should congratulste you all. But I feel differently, and want the project for a broader civil society in the Middle East to succeed.

"They don't report the good news" is a right-wing article of faith -- not an empirical observation based on anything factual.

How the heck could you know the facts? I don't know why Obwi doesn't want to blogroll or link to Iraq The Model or Michael Yon, but there is a different point of view of events in Iraq that is being successfully suppressed.

It really is pretty damn depressing for me with more and more people I know buying into the "It's all Israel's fault" line. I think we are totally screwed. Everybody seems to hate Israel, or George Bush, or the imperialistic America, and they dont give a damn whether Baathists or Hezbollah or Hamas takes over.

And you all here, look how happy and excited you are. The people who wanted things to go well look bad right now. Perhaps this has been all for nothing, and if we pull out right now it will really prove that it's all for nothing and you guys win.

War Crimes. Flat and Simple.

The Hague Conventions did not make it impossible to invade a country for humanitarian or preventive reasons, but they make it very difficult by adding various sorts of restrictions, like no aerial bombings of civilian areas and the requirement to provide security for civilians.

We have been thru this before. I am told we can't guarantee the safety of every Iraqi, 100%. We did not make a good faith effort, and in any case before you destroy the existing security you should be able to replace it. It might have been possible to come up with 100k volunteer policemen from inside America in 2003. They were never interested. They were in a hurry. They didn't want to spend the money. They didn't give a damn.

War crimes. As bad as Hitler or Stalin? No. As bad as Milosevic? No. Worse than any President since the Phillipine war, and bad enough to be a permanent stain on the honour of America? Absolutely. Bad enough that prosecution is essential, all the way up to the President? As long as I have a breath in my body.

I would say more but the Secret Service is watching blogs and sending visitors.

How the heck could you know the facts?

Are you evincing skepticism here or claiming that you know the facts demonstrate the contrary?

I love that headline: "Sadr City Now a Success Story". Except for all those executed people dumped in industrial areas!

And you all here, look how happy and excited you are. The people who wanted things to go well look bad right now. Perhaps this has been all for nothing, and if we pull out right now it will really prove that it's all for nothing and you guys win.

shush, troll.

With respect, cleek, I wouldn't describe this gentleman as a troll; he is, after all, explaining himself after a fashion. He is probably a decent person suffering from cognitive dissonance between what he wants to believe, (which appears in a few blogs) and what is actually happening in Iraq (which appears almost nowhere).

With respect, cleek, I wouldn't describe this gentleman as a troll

'troll' is a compliment; since the alternative is that he really believes we'e "happy and excited" about the mess Bush has created for us and the Iraqis - and that's just deluded.

cleek: I think DaveC deserves better than "shush, troll": he's been a regular, polite, and generally involved commenter on this blog. "Shush, troll" should be reserved for those like DonQ of not-beloved memory who did nothing but show up and post lengthy attacks.

DaveC: Perhaps this has been all for nothing, and if we pull out right now it will really prove that it's all for nothing and you guys win.

You might want to consider this definition of madness: it's when you've tried something and it doesn't work so you do it again, do it more, do it harder, as if repetition and forcefulness were all that what was needed for success in an impossible effort.

Assuming that the "noble cause" was to establish a peaceful democracy in Iraq, Bush & Co could not succeed using the means they wanted to use: to invade without enough troops for peacekeeping, and to attempt to run an occupation on academic right-wing theories about destroying a nation's economy in order to save it, while expecting the Iraqis to be too grateful at being liberated to resist the occupation.

That Bush & Co could not succeed using their preferred strategy has been evident since late 2003. That they had no intention of admitting that their preferred strategy was a mistake and that they needed to change has also been evident.

You may not like this. But it's no one's fault but the Bush administration's that the Iraq invasion/occupation has been such a crashing failure: it is certainly not the fault of those who kept loudly pointing out the very obvious mistakes that the Bush administration were making, and their results.

he's been a regular, polite, and generally involved commenter on this blog.

well, i agree. but that doesn't mean his latest statement isn't intended to stir up comments by the use of inflammatory language.

cleek--

in my experience, DaveC is very much not a troll. I'm not sure why he thinks anyone here is "happy & excited" about the carnage in Iraq--he can tell us if he wants, but maybe it's the levity wrt ThePoorMan?

In my slice of liberal-land, I would say there is more and more sadness about the lack of stability in Iraq and the dimming prospects for good outcomes. I have not heard *any* "it's all Israel's fault" talk, but then again, that's *my* slice of the country, and it interests me that DaveC is hearing more of it in *his* slice.

I am tentatively happy about the Gaza pull-out, but only because I think that it is a step *towards* "broader civil society in the ME" rather than away from it.

DaveC, you shouldn't let despair drive you into incoherence.

The good news (for some of you ) is "Today Gaza, and Tomorrow, Jerusalem and the West Bank".

I take it you do not support the President's Roadmap? What do you think the solution is, other than two states, with a clear border between them (and whatever security on the border each state thinks it needs)?

The UN has won another part of its mission. So I suppose I should congratulste you all. But I feel differently, and want the project for a broader civil society in the Middle East to succeed.

But isn't creating a real Palestinian polity, with territory under its control, a prerequisite to the creation of this society? Isn't the philosophical underpinning of the project that if people are given a chance, and a model, they'll choose liberty? Are you saying that this cannot be the case for the Palestinians? Do you believe in the project -- as a real project, not just a dream?

How the heck could you know the facts? I don't know why Obwi doesn't want to blogroll or link to Iraq The Model or Michael Yon, but there is a different point of view of events in Iraq that is being successfully suppressed.

Are you saying that Iraq's factions were able to agree on a constitution by the deadline? That July wasn't the bloodiest month in modern Baghdad? That it is safe to drive from the airport to the green zone? That an Iraq that is peacefully hostile to Iran, and not hostile to Israel can be the result of any democratic process?

It hardly seems fair to call the contents of blogs posted on the internet "suppressed."

It really is pretty damn depressing for me with more and more people I know buying into the "It's all Israel's fault" line.

I don't know anyone that you know -- I'd guess, anyway, since we live in different parts of the country -- but have no idea why your friends would think this. They think Israel is backing Zarqawi? Or Iran?

I think we are totally screwed.

I thought everything was going fine, and we're just not hearing about it. Or are things going badly?

Everybody seems to hate Israel, or George Bush, or the imperialistic America, and they dont give a damn whether Baathists or Hezbollah or Hamas takes over.

If by 'hate' you mean 'not blindly worship' or even 'not agree with on everything' I think this would be fair to your friends. Otherwise, I think your overstating. If by 'everybody' you mean the people who post here, I think you're being grossly unfair about 'hate.' Some hate one or the other, most give no evidence of hating anything.

As for not giving a damn who takes over, I'd ask you whether you can square The Project with a Hamas electoral victory. I mean if the people freely choose Hamas in municipal elections, what right do we have to do anything about it? Isn't the right to make that choice -- among others -- what we are trying to give them? As for whether they can take over, I'd give Hamas (in Palestine) a much better chance that Hezbollah (in Lebanon) or the Baath (in Iraq). Hez competed in fair elections and while it did OK, it's so far from taking over that one cannot reasonably fear that it will. The Baath will never rule Iraq again, so long as Kurds and Shia are armed, and Iran thinks a friendly state can emerge in Iraq.

And you all here, look how happy and excited you are.

I don't see any happiness at all. You tell your friend not to drink and drive. He drinks, drives, and is killed. Are you happy at his funeral? Hardly.


ok ok. DaveC, i apologize for my comment.

i think you're 100% wrong to say that people here are celebrating what W has wrought in Iraq. but maybe i misjudged your reason for saying it.

DaveC:
I don't know why Obwi doesn't want to blogroll or link to Iraq The Model or Michael Yon, but there is a different point of view of events in Iraq that is being successfully suppressed.

What point of view is that? I can't find anything particularly enlightening on either blog. This may come as a shock, but even we Libruls are actually aware of most of the basic facts, including (1) that we're killing and capturing a lot of insurgents, and (2) that there is an ongoing political process in Iraq chugging along toward some kind of government.

We Eeyores still have a few nagging little concerns though.

First, and this cannot be emphasized enough, killing lots of insurgents/Baathists/Islamo-whatsits is definitely not a sufficient condition for "victory" (whatever that means here). If there were a fixed, non-replenishable number of bad guys, I'd be right there with POTUS, Staying the Course. We all know there isn't, though. No matter how many bombs we disarm or snipers we shoot, there will always be more waiting their turn.

Second, while the political process may appear to be going well, it's just not possible to tell what's under the surface. There's a non-zero chance we end up with another Islamic theocracy, of course, but also so much more. There are the corrupt local and regional governments. There are the rumours of new torture. This sort of colonial nation building is ultimately like making Frankenstein monsters. It's pretty easy to stitch a bunch of spare body parts together, the hard part is actually bringing them to life. A living, breathing democracy can't be manufactured, least of all in a country like Iraq, with all its factions, and all their old grudges, and all of them armed to the teeth. The Sunni officers and Shia officers may well be sitting on opposite sides of the mess, sharpening their knives and waiting for the Americans to leave. Or maybe they dodge civil war and theocracy long enough for another strong arm general to consolidate his power and shoot up parliament (again). There are just so many potential outcomes. You'll forgive me if I don't think that "enduring liberal democracy" has any better than even odds against all the other possibilities.

Finally, even the best of these outcomes is still pretty horrible, all things considered. The opportunity costs of this whole fiasco are astronomical. There were a million other more important problems addressable with those hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives. Dozens of countries in worse need of intervention. Hundreds of less wasteful ways to fix Iraq. The whole thing is a nightmare, like waking up from anesthesia to hear the doctor say, "The bad news is I 'sexed up' the X-rays a little, and we didn't really need to open up your chest cavity. The good news is you survived the operation (it was touch and go for a while), the scarring will be minimal, you'll be back on solid food in a couple weeks, we're about 65% sure we didn't leave any surgical instruments in there, and it only ended up costing about $400 billion! The world is so much better off without that nasty little hangnail, don't you agree?"

You can rest assured that none of this makes me at all happy.

DaveC: Trust me, I was not the least happy and excited when I wrote this post. I actually sat there, after pasting in the long quote, wondering what on earth I could say, since just bursting into tears doesn't come across over the internet. I've said this before, but I may as well say it again:

(a) Nothing -- nothing at all -- about the current debacle in Iraq makes me happy. I really do not want any of this to happen. For me, it is exactly like having someone I care about die while driving drunk.

(b) I want us to succeed. Pointing out bad news is not, not, not the same as wanting there to be bad news.

(c) If it all goes to hell in a handbasket, no one wins, certainly not me.

(d) What does this post have to do with Israel? For what it's worth, I support the withdrawal from Gaza, and think it will be immensely helpful to Israel's security; my only concerns are (a) a lingering distrust of Sharon (I lived in Israel during Sabra and Shatila, and it had that effect on me), and (b) a more concrete worry that this will preclude any other steps toward peace for some time. But this post, and the comments that preceded yours, said nothing about Israel at all, so I don't know where that part of your comments came from.

I hope your work is going better, though.

Words fail me.

And good god, murders in NYC are down to around 600 per year . Yes, freedom, "untidy."

DaveC,

I am very strongly pro-Israel. Nonetheless, I believe the Gaza pullout was the right thing to do, from both a moral and a practical viewpoint.

In addition, I was quite pleased to see the arrangement that was made to transfer the greenhouses to the Palestinians. This may be a relatively small-scale matter, but anything that helps the Palestinians build a functioning civil society is a big step in the right direction, for both them and Israel.

I was going to write about how the differences in the way left and right think and talk can be dramatically different and result in the sort of problem that Hilzoy is talking about but decided against it. Instead you get the following foolishness.

Left(as heard by the right): The house is burning! I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! NAA NAA! NAA NAA! You should have listened to me! I told you that fireplace wouldn't work!

Right(as heard by the left): You stupid schmuck! Shut the hell up, pass the ammo and praise Jesus! Now help me put more wood on the fire!

Left(as actually said): While I know we are freezing in here perhaps you shouldn't just start a fire without checking the floo.

Right(as actually said): If we don't do something quick we are going to freeze to death.

DaveC,

If you love this country so much...why did you allow it to get so bad?

I guess the real issue is who do we trust more?

"A SOLDIER IN IRAQ, TO MATT LAUER: "Well sir, I'd tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I'd be pretty depressed as well."

Neodude:If you love this country so much...why did you allow it to get so bad?

Perhaps a mirror could be more useful in answering that question.

I don't really know anything about you at all. Haven't read too many of your posts. But, if you think this country is in such bad shape isn't that your responsibility and not DaveC?

Dave C.:

Since I have stated here several times that I, in fact, hate George W. Bush, your statements hold some truth .... about me, but not about EVERYONE.

But let's discuss hate. I hate many things and many historical figures. I hate peas. I hate Joseph Stalin. I hate computer error messages. I hate cravats. I hate malaria. You get the idea. George W. Bush falls somewhere in that range, closer to peas than to Stalin. Peas go down the garbage disposal while my mother's not looking, Stalin gets a bullet in the head, and George Bush's punishment falls somewhere in between .. probably at a minimum security facility with all the modern conveniences, including garbage disposals.

Thing is, I'm sure George Bush could be an entertaining drinking buddy. Until he got all teary-eyed and sincere late in the evening. It's his sincerity that I really hate, which is funny kind of, because it seems to be the only thing many conservatives still like about him.

If sincerity was as admirable and all it is cracked up to be, I would join Osama Bin Laden in his crystal cave of sincerity with his sincere cadres.

I hated Bill Clinton's charming sincerity too, but the admirable thing about Clinton is that he didn't believe a word of it. Bush is sincere about his sincerity.

As to Israel, I do not hate. I hate the idea that God gave someone land, but only in the sense that my mortgage lender would hate the idea I would announce that God gave me my house free and clear last Thursday, so can we stop with the monthly payments. I do hate those who would try to destroy Israel within its original borders. Beyond that, I find the whole mess disconcertingly confusing and boring.

I've come to hate Steely Dan.

I hate the carnage and death in Iraq. I'd like to go back to hating Saddam Hussein and fly-over zones.

I could change my mind about any of this at any time, because I have this awful habit of letting the world's barrage of changing facts leach away at my ideologies, unless of course I come up against someone whose ideologies seem unleachable and then I become hyper-sincere, too, just to see what happens. And I mean that sincerely.

I don't hate you, Dave C.

The good news (for some of you ) is "Today Gaza, and Tomorrow, Jerusalem and the West Bank".

The UN has won another part of its mission.

I feel differently, and want the project for a broader civil society in the Middle East to succeed.

Everybody seems to hate Israel, or George Bush, or the imperialistic America, and they dont give a damn whether Baathists or Hezbollah or Hamas takes over.

And you all here, look how happy and excited you are.

Meanwhile on the home front, the strawman body count continues to rise.

a helpful suggestion from Fafblog.

a helpful suggestion from Fafblog.

heh

but you realize this would put a versy stressful burden on the news producers scouring the globe for more Damsel in Distress stories.

DDR,

I meant the the mess in Iraq...if the warmongers were so conserned about Iraq and loved the United States, why would they allow things to get so bad.

Not the cultural war bad (you know, Janet Jackson's tit, Gays getting married, unwed mothers, cussin' on TV) but the military bad (mass murder, chaos, rape, death, destruction, torture, fascist militias).

I was going to point out fafblog earlier but passed. I love this part:

Given the number of riots, the amount of violence, and the attacks by insurgents that appear to have erupted since the dawn of the war, it's clear that something has to be done to stop news of the conflict from getting out to crazed terrorists, who, becoming so excitable about the prospect of American torture, might well become livid if they learned of the US's involvement in preventively invading a muslim country and killing thousands there in a massively botched occupation.

Crock Pot, I don't mean to be disagreeable, but the exerpts in Winder's of 12:00:08 are not atypical of 'Right (as actually said).'

Are there people on the other side who say things that are as intemporate and unfactual? Absolutely. Is it just as wrong? Yes. But, you know, although I think that someone jostling someone else on a sidewalk in Chicago is just as bad as someone jostling me on a sidewalk in DC, I'm only going to react to one.

For me, despite his normally striking me as somewhat shrill (that can be good, right Brad?), Bob Herbert's heart-felt complaint should get more media play:

If the nation really cared, the president would not be frolicking at his ranch for the entire month of August. He'd be back in Washington burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out how to get the troops out of the terrible fix he put them in.

This remains my central complaint about this war: we're not given a role to play in winning it except to sit back, shut up, and shop. The message that sends is that there's nothing we can do to stop the slaughter of our troops over there.

I for one can't stand to watch the news any more...5 killed this day, two the next, four blown to bits tomorrow as sure as the sun will rise...and all the while Bush is all smiles as he signs this corporate welfare bill into law or that pork-infested bill into law and takes a break from God only knows what at his ranch riding his bike and clearing the brush. Who cares??? The nation takes it cue from its leader as how concerned we should be and what we can do to help end the violence.

Really, Mr. Bush, forget the photo ops. I know you've been totally invested for years in securing handouts for the energy companies, but what I really want to know, here and now, is what the f*ck you're doing to stop the killings.

a helpful suggestion from Fafblog.

Also note the previous post, in which Giblets proposes Operation Wishful Thinking (OWT).

Edward, I think you have put your finger on exactly the reason that Cindy Sheehan has struck a chord. The "be very afraid / go shop" cognitive dissonance has finally become impossible to ignore. I don't know why it has taken until now but I think that's what has happened.

The President, as usual, is a little bit slow to see it. I suspect he will catch on, though, or at least his advisors will. I can't imagine what the response will be.

more evidence of the liberal media's attempt to bury all of the good news coming out of Iraq

Jack Lecou:

I applaud and am in agreement with the substance and spirit of your comment above, but I am wondering about the "hundreds of less wasteful ways to fix Iraq" that you mention. Can you give an example? (I'm willing to discount the "hundreds" as harmless hyperbole.) I assume by 'fix' you mean something like 'remove Saddam Hussein from power, end the oppression and deprivation of ordinary Iraqis, and ensure that Iraq will not be a threatening or destabilizing force in the region,' but correct me if that is wrong. While I was and remain against the war, I never have been aware of a realistically practicable solution to the problem.

Looking at what I just wrote, I realize it could be taken as snark or sarcasm. It isn't -- I really do wonder what you have in mind. thanks.

Dave C, ae you still out there? I don't have much to say in regard to your comments since everyone else has already made the points-except that I am extremely grateful that the Isrealis are pulling out of parts of the Gaza and wish we were preparing to give more help to the Palestinians resettlement effort--but the long series of friendly responses to your post does make one thing clear: conservatives are welcomed, even needed here, so I for one, hope you will keep posting.

Umm, apropos of nothing, as Rilkefan might say, I've found a new superhero.

One Kinky Friedman, formerly of the country-and-Western band -- Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys -- has announced his candicacy for Governor of Texas, as an Independent.

Read all about it in the Dan Halpern article in this week's New Yorker (August 22, 2005).

I see the White House in his future. With his sidekick, Jewford, in tow he could in fact be the Anti-Christ lots of people are looking for. But it will be a side-splitting Apocalypse -- which is really all I ask.

Thing is, he's dead serious. And so are some Texans.

Here is a link to the Kinky Friedman profile. Nice -- reminiscent of HST running for Pitkin Co. Sherriff.

Friedman v Walken

that'd be a nice change

The Friedmans moved to Texas from Chicago in 1945, a year after Kinky's birth.... He lives alone, except for four profoundly unruly dogs whom he calls the Friedmans and on whom he dotes as if they were grandchildren.

Texas? Unruly dogs? Is Kinky Friedman really Bob McManus?

Further evidence the bad news is being suppressed.

mason:

Yeah, "hundreds" is a maybe bit hyperbolic, but not entirely unreasonable when we count up all of the junctions where we could have taken a different path, all of the myriad mistakes made by Bush and Rumsfeld and the Heritage Foundation interns.

Just a couple ideas off the top of my head:

We could have eased sanctions and tried to actively engaged with Iraqis to promote political reform. It might have been slow going, but anything's better than 10-15 years of civil war.

We could have actually waited for the inspections to finish. While our destroyers were idling in the Gulf with cruise missiles aimed at Baghdad, we couldv'e suggested that Saddam release his political prisoners and let the press print a few less than flattering opinion columns.

We could have actually tried to work with the UN. Nevermind the extra resources and support, even an air of genuine international mandate would have done wonders to legitimize the invasion. It's easy to demonize American infidels and their illegal invasion. It's a lot harder to work up a good froth about UN blue hats doing their job.

Of course, ultimately there is no provision in international law for one country to overthrow the government of another because it doesn't think the other is "democratic" enough. If we really want to be in the business of toppling dictators we should do it through the right channels. We could start by pushing for something like a UN Human Rights Prosecutor. An office with the authority to review, interview and inspect whatever, whomever and wherever it likes. An office with the power to issue indictments, and a standing international force commitment to back them up. (Of course, this will never happen. We're terrified that the likes of Rumsfeld, Sharon, and Kissinger would be the first in the dock...)

I think the conclusion from these posts is that many of you seem to trust Chris Matthews and other talking heads more than we trust our soldiers on the ground.

I actually heard the soldier in the interview with Matt Lauer. I can say he sounded much more real to me than anything I have ever heard from Chris Matthews.


DDR, I suggest you follow the link to Hardball and read the surrounding transcript. It is a discussion with Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward and Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war veteran and founder of OperationTruth.org.

The Chris Matthews quote is small potatoes compared with Mr. Reickhoff's view.

DDR:

I don't listen to Chris Matthews. Or any of the other talking heads. Maybe you'd like to take a crack at my questions to DaveC:

Are you saying that Iraq's factions were able to agree on a constitution by the deadline? That July wasn't the bloodiest month in modern Baghdad? That it is safe to drive from the airport to the green zone? That an Iraq that is peacefully hostile to Iran, and not hostile to Israel can be the result of any democratic process?

My belief that the current effort is a fools errand is not based on what some talking head says. It's based on my views (a) that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to craft a civil settlement that accomodates the interests of Sunni, Shia, and Kurd; and (b) that our presence hinders accomplishment of this because (i) it unites opposition factions that would otherwise fall apart and (ii) it may embolden Shia and Kurd negotiators to hold out for a better deal than they would accept if they had to face the Sunni by themselves. I also think it's a fools errand because a country with a much greater strategic interest in the outcome than we have -- and in general interests adverse to ours -- has greater influence over many parts of the currently governing coalition, better intelligence, and better message discipline. (In every category CB, von, and others find necessary to prevail in Iraq, it seems to me that Iran has us beat). Finally, I think it's a fools errand because people in Iraq, given a free choice, will choose a governing ideology that is incompatible with our interests. It will be friendly to Iran, hostile to Iraq, light on women's right, heavy on Islam, and there will be substantial tolerance of extremism in different regions of the country -- unless a totalitarian dictator of some kind steps in.

Do you think I am wrong about any of these points? I'd be happy to hear you out. Just don't tell me that my opinions are based on some media half-truths, and that if I only believed what some soldier or other was saying, my views on these subjects would be different.

CharleyCarp, "hostile to Israel [not Iraq]" I imagine you meant. Other than that, yes, indeed.

charleycarp--

" It will be friendly to Iran, hostile to Iraq,"

I'm guessing that's a typo for "Israel"

Yes, ral, thanks for the correction.

I think we have several potential proofreading alternate career paths here.

I am confident, though, that our endeavor in Iraq will not fail because an insufficient number of schools have been painted. Or because our soldiers aren't sincere or dedicated enough.

I should really have an associate draft my comments for me.

Trouble is, they'd want to have the time count towards their monthly quota and annual bonus.

Dude, but you would be a legend. "Hah, you think the partner you're working for is crazy?" You could go down in history with the sushi memo.

Hil,
This sounds like a continuation of our conversation from another thread. I don't have time to respond now, but it could be postworthy downstream.

But let's discuss hate. I hate many things and many historical figures. I hate peas. I hate Joseph Stalin.

Minor problem - without the resiliency of the USSR under attack, Hitler wins (80% of Germany's casualties inflicted by the Russians). Without the inter-war industrialization, the USSR isn't able to withstand invasion from the west come WWII (see Kennedy's "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.") Without Stalin being an authoritarian murdering bastard, no industrialization during teh inter-war period.

Shush, troll" should be reserved for those like DonQ of not-beloved memory who did nothing but show up and post lengthy attacks.

Not nice to talk about me when I am not here...

"Without Stalin being an authoritarian murdering bastard, no industrialization during teh inter-war period."

That's the step in your logic that I question. You might be able to make the argument that authoritarianism was required. I'm not sure how you can prove that being a murderous bastard is necessary for industrialization. I'm pretty certain that some other countries have managed that step without mass murders.

"I am confident, though, that our endeavor in Iraq will not fail because an insufficient number of schools have been painted. Or because our soldiers aren't sincere or dedicated enough."

"Nor because." I work cheap, though, and off the books. I'm sure we can work something out.

Gary, I was thinking of you when I wrote "proofreading."

Phoenician in a time of Romans:

Yes, well, I hate Stalin because of his poor taste in tunics.

What now, is my mother going to post about the goodness of peas? ;)

That's the step in your logic that I question. You might be able to make the argument that authoritarianism was required. I'm not sure how you can prove that being a murderous bastard is necessary for industrialization. I'm pretty certain that some other countries have managed that step without mass murders.

Define mass murder & then list all the countries that have managed to industrialise without mass murders.

Ludlow Massacre

As night approached, the militia descended on the tent camp and set fire to it, apparently oblivious to the fact that two women and eleven children had been hiding in the pit beneath one tent and did not escape with the other strikers. When their charred bodies were found the next day, their deaths became a rallying cry for the UMWA, who called the incident the "Ludlow Massacre." In addition to the fire victims, thirteen people were shot dead during that day.

Really, aside from the fact that there are far better proofreaders than me, the difference between my casually cruising by and commenting, and my actually proofing professionally, is great. Very large, even. But now let's all move on to topics of lesser pain, I suggest.

Although I'm still open to cheap work offers.

You might be able to make the argument that authoritarianism was required. I'm not sure how you can prove that being a murderous bastard is necessary for industrialization. I'm pretty certain that some other countries have managed that step without mass murders.

How else could he have freed the capital and resources necessary save by repressing the kulaks?

Just for fun, take a look at this download.

I guess what was depressing me so much is the idea that Palestine, whatever that is, is by definition, devoid of Jews. I really dont understand it. My impression, however far removed (I only know Israelis in Haifa) is that if there were a country of Palestine, and Jews could live there, then they would do so, but the situation is that in many countries in the area, for instance Jordan, Jews cannot be citizens or own property. I understand that removing Jews from Gaza makes it easier to defend Israel proper. But I hate the fact that this apparently is necessary. Israel allows a certain number, albeit limited, of Muslim citizens, and Druze, Bahais, Christians as well. I don't see it as a very liberal cause to want Jews banished from Palestine, and it hurts me to see the Israeli military doing this

I understand somewhat the ambivalence toward Israelis. I remember a friend of mine, when I said how terrible the Iran-Iraq war was, expressing the point of view that if Israel's enemies were killing each other, more power to them, and I was aghast.

What I want in the Middle East is for Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Kurds, Bahais, Christians, and whatever to live together. I think that our chances for that to happen right now are limited to Iraq, Israel, Turkey,and possibly Lebanon. I don't want this to fail. If a Democrat president could pull this off after 2008, I would be thrilled. I just don't see why we should oppose this now.

Thanks for all the civil and thoughtful comments by the way. I only get on late at night now and cant have a conversat

I guess what was depressing me so much is the idea that Palestine, whatever that is, is by definition, devoid of Jews. I really dont understand it. My impression, however far removed (I only know Israelis in Haifa) is that if there were a country of Palestine, and Jews could live there, then they would do so, but the situation is that in many countries in the area, for instance Jordan, Jews cannot be citizens or own property. I understand that removing Jews from Gaza makes it easier to defend Israel proper. But I hate the fact that this apparently is necessary. Israel allows a certain number, albeit limited, of Muslim citizens, and Druze, Bahais, Christians as well. I don't see it as a very liberal cause to want Jews banished from Palestine, and it hurts me to see the Israeli military doing this

I understand somewhat the ambivalence toward Israelis. I remember a friend of mine, when I said how terrible the Iran-Iraq war was, expressing the point of view that if Israel's enemies were killing each other, more power to them, and I was aghast.

What I want in the Middle East is for Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Kurds, Bahais, Christians, and whatever to live together. I think that our chances for that to happen right now are limited to Iraq, Israel, Turkey,and possibly Lebanon. I don't want this to fail. If a Democrat president could pull this off after 2008, I would be thrilled. I just don't see why we should oppose this now.

Thanks for all the civil and thoughtful comments by the way. I only get on late at night now and cant really do a conversation type thing.

Sorry about the double comment.

John Thullen:
I've come to hate Steely Dan.

WTF KIND OF CRAZY WIERDO ARE YOU?

This is just not right.

DaveC: What I want in the Middle East is for Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Kurds, Bahais, Christians, and whatever to live together. I think that our chances for that to happen right now are limited to Iraq, Israel, Turkey,and possibly Lebanon. I don't want this to fail. If a Democrat president could pull this off after 2008, I would be thrilled. I just don't see why we should oppose this now.

Nor do I: but Bush was elected in November 2004 for the next four years, and as we already knew from his disaster-ridden first term, he was bound to keep failing in his second term. Those who voted for Bush are those who are - de facto - opposing success in the Middle East, because they voted back in a President whose track record assured them of failure.

Thanks for all the civil and thoughtful comments by the way.

I disagree with you, DaveC, frequently: but you're certainly no troll, and I would say so to anyone.

"Define mass murder & then list all the countries that have managed to industrialise without mass murders."

Can we please have just a bit of perspective here? Comparing the killing of 13 people to the number of people murdered under Stalin's regime (not to mention to failing to note the difference between regular governmental administration of murder and turning a blind eye to corporate thugs) only proves that Stalin was right about the definition of "statistic".

"Define mass murder & then list all the countries that have managed to industrialise without mass murders."

-- Not to worry, Sebastian: he was banned before, and I went in and banned his new IP address.

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