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April 23, 2009

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There is a just God and His justice is to heal the wounds and scars and put people back in play. His justice is not the retribution that you hope Cheney and Rumsfeld get. Retribution is injustice.

"His justice is not the retribution that you hope Cheney and Rumsfeld get. Retribution is injustice."

You consistently seem to not read well. Hilzoy wrote not a word about "retribution." You're simply making that up, and writing a mind-reading claim you are utterly unprivileged to make.

Making assertions based on what you believe other people are thinking is very rude, as well as unsupportable.

Not to mention condescending.

But it's nice to know that you also know how God acts, and are in a position to instruct others on God's thinking. Impressive.

The creepy thing is that Cheney and Rumsfeld (from what I gather) >do< believe in a just God -- and they see His justice as guiding their actions.

Actually, ">the< creepy thing" is misleading, as this whole disaster has left the realm of describable emotions long ago. It's all so numbing by this point...

Isn't this close to the proof that various conservatives were demanding be shown before they'd believe - that President Bush/his administration lied the US into war with Iraq?

If Obama does appoint an independent prosecutor, it would be more than useful if the prosecutor were not tied to examining the issue of torture only. Because the torture was committed for a purpose, and the purpose was to try to get false information out of the prisoners, and the false information was wanted to justify leading the US and other countries (let's not forget Poland) into a war of aggression against a country that was no threat to the US. Or the UK. Or indeed Poland.

And while I would want to see everyone concerned in the torture of prisoners in the dock for that - I would also like to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, in the dock for the war with Iraq they wanted and they tortured to justify it.

There is a just God and His justice is to heal the wounds and scars and put people back in play. His justice is not the retribution that you hope Cheney and Rumsfeld get. Retribution is injustice.

Ezekiel 18, 23: ' "Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.'

The Jewish/Christian God may be prepared to forgive, but only those who first admit their wrong-doing. If Cheney et al want to turn from their wicked ways and confess, that's open to them at any point. But if they want to continue to insist that torturing people isn't wicked or that they haven't done anything wrong, I don't see how they can expect forgiveness from God or anyone else.

"Because the torture was committed for a purpose, and the purpose was to try to get false information out of the prisoners, and the false information was wanted to justify leading the US and other countries (let's not forget Poland) into a war of aggression against a country that was no threat to the US."

I'm old fashioned, and would like to see an investigation before conclusions and conviction, rather than vice versa, rousing as the latter is, and necessitating boring patience as the former does.

Gary, this is surely a pretty clear case of "When Bad People ATTACK!", innit? As far as I can tell, the challenge is to actually get the "evildoers" to trial so that we can determine just how long (...or short) their sentences should be.

The thing that has puzzled me from 2002 until now is this: WTF is it with these guys and Iraq?

It's like Iraq is some kind of black hole that warps their minds with its irresistible gravitational pull. There is nothing they wouldn't do, no price they wouldn't pay, no law they wouldn't break, to make that war happen.

Was it the oil? Was it Feith and Perle's "Clean Break" strategy? Was it Bush cleaning up business that Poppy left undone?

Whatever the deal was, it went way beyond obsession.

russell: I think it was concern about depleting oil supplies, and about who has political control over the world's remaining reserves. Note that I say political, not economical - they would still pay for the oil, but they wouldn't risk blockades, sweetheart deals with China, etc.

Bush, Cheney and company are oil people. They don't want to spread panic about how the world will run out of (cheap) oil, but they've known it for quite a while. Securing control of the Iraq oil was part of their long-term plan.

Russell and Harald

GW went into Iraq to prove a point to his mother that he was a better man than his father. The other actors had other reasons.

Gary: But it's nice to know that you also know how God acts, and are in a position to instruct others on God's thinking. Impressive.

OT, but I spent 12 hours yesterday, except for meal breaks, at the Augusta Civic Center (packed as if it was basketball tournament time, and that's saying something) listening to people express their opinions, pro and con, about the gay marriage bill that's before the legislature.

We were treated to a very, very large dose of the above, right down to the railing ministers instructing the ministers on the 'pro' side how they should be preaching and how they should be interpreting scripture.

On balance in was a great day, but this is off topic so I won't go on, except to say that some of it -- this "I know the mind of God and of course he agrees with me" kind of thing, and the usual (if spoken out loud less than in the old days) suggestions of perversion, child molestation, etc. -- was frightening. And all too humanly familiar.

Russell, I think it was literally a perfect storm.

On one side there was the PNAC crowd - which included Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - who had wanted to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein quite literally for years, as an expression of US leadership in the region.

On another side there was the American oil interests which saw the largest oil reserves in the world in a country that was not under US hegemony: for these interests, it didn't actually matter if the oil was accessible by the US, only that it should be made inaccessible to any other power.

On another side there was the business interests that saw the possibilities of moving in on Iraq and making a massive profit from reconstruction - this was the Ahmed Chalabi side of the perfect storm, simply install a strong man who would be loyal to the US and have him run Iraq while the American corporations took care of business.

On yet another side, there was the purely emotional/"patriotic"/racist storms - hate-Saddam, hate-Iraq, kill-Iraqis, go in and finish off what wasn't finished in the first Iraq war.

A whole bunch of people, all of whom thought a war on Iraq would be a neat thing to do for various different reasons, running the biggest military-industrial complex in the world: and all they really had to do was redirect the rage Americans felt at 9/11 a tad, and they could whip up public opinion to support what they wanted to do.

"Retribution is injustice."

Summing up, in three words, the foreign policy of the Bush Administration.

Come to think of it, it pretty much demolishes the Republican Party's domestic policy, too, especially the conduct of Republican leaders of Congress from 1994 thru 2006.

I can understand George W. Bush having a thing about his mother, but what is it about Barbara Bush that captivated a majority of Americans in two national elections?

What does Erik Erickson at Redstate see in Barbara, anyway?

Heck, an entire news network, FOX, has been devoted to satisfying their Oedipal impulses for another guy's Mom.


all they really had to do was redirect the rage Americans felt at 9/11 a tad, and they could whip up public opinion to support what they wanted to do.

And it turns out that they didn't even really have to do this. Even on the eve of the war, in March 2003, 47% of the public opposed invading Iraq without UN authorization.

All they had to do was convince our political elites that the war was a good idea. The Village was perfectly willing to ignore actual public opinion (note how the above linked USA Today story spins its rather ambivalent poll numbers).

By the way, Sean Hannity offered himself up to be waterboarded for charity by Charles Grodin yesterday on Fox.

Grodin declined the offer.

We'll leave aside the torture possibilities of simply being with Charles Grodin for any length of time, but I would be happy to waterboard Sean Hannity for charity.

Coward Hannity pissing his pants and calling for HIS Mommy would be a boon for charity.

I say he confesses everything.

Set it up. I say small-dicked rube Hannity backs out, which of course is one choice most waterboard victims are not given.

Regular comments from d'd'd'dave is like a bad cold Obsidian Wings can't shake.

A whole bunch of people, all of whom thought a war on Iraq would be a neat thing to do for various different reasons, running the biggest military-industrial complex in the world

I remember feeling that war would be neat, but I had outgrown that phase by junior high.

Weighing in on theological matters on blogs is a mug's game.

That said, as speculation on the nature of god goes, d'd'd'dave's was among the more constructive and positive that I've read.

Just saying.

All of which doesn't take away from the natural human desire, expressed in hilzoy's comment, for people in power who abuse their office to be brought to account, in one way or another.

To riff briefly on a Yom Kippur theme I heard recently, it may be that it's not god's forgiveness that Bush, Cheney, et al will have to seek, but that of all of the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, whose lives they have laid waste.

That, of course, assumes many things that are not necessarily in evidence, but it is a thought that would give me pause, were I them.

/mugs game

To paraphase Lone Star:
"We're not just doing this for oil. We're doing it for a shit load of oil!"

The last really big field of light, sweet, cheap crude out there.

We ought to keep in mind that the linch pin data for the IraQ invasion was information which came from torture victims.

The McClatchy article got me to wondering if that was the reason the CIA destroyed the tapes. I always assumed they wanted to hide the brutal details of the techniques. But maybe it was the questions they were trying to hide???

"...WTF is it with these guys and Iraq?"

"...a neat thing to do for various different reasons..."

Yep, exactly. I would add that for some people, war is its own justification, a good and glorious occupation for the War-Time President(TM) of a permanently Republican USA.

Yes to what charles said.

I was at a picnic early on (maybe summer 2003?) and there was a woman there who had been involved in the preparations for an event where GWB had visited our fair state. She kept referring -- with an air of pride and self-importance -- to all the extra things that had to be done because he was a "sitting war president." As though it was something extra delicious, and, as I kept feeling, as though he hadn't cooked it up for exactly that reason.

On one side there was the PNAC crowd - which included Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - who had wanted to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein quite literally for years, as an expression of US leadership in the region.

There is no hatred so bitter as that for a friend who has disappointed you. As long as Hussein was willing to be a player in the US's post-shah game of balancing Iraq off against Iran in the Persian Gulf (aka "let's you and him fight"), he was Cheney and Rumsfeld's bestest buddy. Repressing his people? No big. Using chemical weapons? Boys will be boys. Launching a war of aggression? Damn Iranians had it coming (unless they actually had it coming, in which case let's sell them weapons). It's only when he got tired of playing that game and struck out on his own that he became the new Hitler.

Regular comments from d'd'd'dave is like a bad cold Obsidian Wings can't shake.

"Russell, I think it was literally a perfect storm."

"Literally" meaning "figuratively," unless you mean that an actual weather front caused these political decisions.

"On another side there was the American oil interests which saw the largest oil reserves in the world in a country that was not under US hegemony"

Trivial correction: Fourth largest.

I otherwise agree with your points.

Gesundheit!

On one side there was the PNAC crowd - which included Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz - who had wanted to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein quite literally for years, as an expression of US leadership in the region.

Jes understates this element of the motivation. It was not just about US leadership in the region, it was a vital first step in a plan that involved overthrowing governments in Iraq, Syria, and Iran and installing US clients. The aim was twofold: To ensure access to the region's oil by basing troops almost on top of the oil fields (making up for the loss of Saudi bases), and to eliminate Israel's most troublesome enemies.

Don't forget that Dubya is a born again evangelical of the Rapture Right stripe: Israel plays a vital role in rapture theology, and when your whole understanding of the meaning of existence is wrapped up in a script in which Israel is *the* central nation, protection of Israel isn't about political alliances between countries, it is about obedience to the will of the creator of everything that is, was, and ever shall be.

[The following web article was... a huge cut-and-paste that we tend to frown on, just as we tend to frown on folks using the blog to advertise without asking - The Editors]


"Don't forget that Dubya is a born again evangelical of the Rapture Right stripe"

Do you have a cite about Bush being particularly concerned with, or interested in, the Rapture? I haven't seen one, and I'd be curious to, if there is one.

Personal opinion only, so there is no cite, Gary, but IMO GWB used the evangelical born again pose purely for political purposes.

Bush has been Episcopalian, and then Methodist. Those are fairly mild as far as evangelism goes, and as far as I know don't do the "born-again" thing at all.

When I used to be a member of the Episcopal church, in high school and college, there was a born-again movement within the Episcopal Youth Ministries and within some of the churches with which I was acquainted in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but I've never been aware of any broader tendency within the church. That was also 20-mumble years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.

Dear Editors:

Was it an on-topic cut and paste? If it was, I'd ask that the next time it happens, you leave the first sentence or so, along with the note explaining the edit.

Gary - no cite, just familiarity with the key tropes of that subculture, having attended a Sunday School run by a member. I strongly suspect that he's wishy-washy on the details, but his core supporters sure aren't. One might argue that his knee jerk pro-Israel stance is a sop to his supporters rather than heartfelt personal commitment, but the effect is the same.

"Was it an on-topic cut and paste?"

As I recall, it was a long incoherent rant, mostly advertising a book, about the Rapture.

Just click his name and there'll be a full, exact copy of what he posted here on his typepad profile.

Maybe not exact. I didn't diff it. But it was close enough.

What does Erik Erickson at Redstate see in Barbara, anyway?

There are some questions which it is better simply not to ask.

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