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July 09, 2006

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Commenter or poster?

Go to La Repubblica and click on "Zidane fuori". Tragic or funny/tragic. "Le lacrime dei giocatori francesi" ("the tears of the French players") is perhaps un peu de trop, though I was rooting for the Italians (though I expected a low-scoring tie leading to a loss in the shoot-out.)

Oops: poster. Will edit.

Sometimes I amaze myself with my ability to screw things up. Groan.

Football isn't a matter of life and death. It's much more important than that...

a few days ago i asked if there was any evidence that NK was actually planning to attack Seoul in the event of an attack by a 3rd party (the "Mexico attacks us, we attack Canada to prove how mad we are" scenario). all of the answers i got boiled down to "well, Kim's crazy. of course he would."

well, it turns out there's a whole theory of international relations based on "he's crazy". Yglesias has more.

Go to La Repubblica and click on "Zidane fuori".

what a dick.

OT: i wonder why they didn't bother de-interlacing those vidclips... ?

Mai pourquoi? Mais pourquoi? ... Mais pourquoi?

OT--billmon is on fire these days. He has been posting a string of brilliance ever since, oh, early June, one great piece after another. Worth checking out.

"all of the answers i got boiled down to "well, Kim's crazy. of course he would.""

Having grown up in the world of MAD, watched On the Beach before High School, and then going thru Vietnam and into the "Counterforce" era/arms race...I don't know what crazy is anymore.

Having studied a little of what total was with NK would look like, I do think everyone should be a little cautious about how scenarios might play out. SK and Japan are downwind, NK has biological and chemicl weapons. If the US bombed a NK missile site, and Kim lobbed ten artillery rounds into Seoul, do not assume we would then be in total war. I think I heard it could take a century to make that entire peninsula habitable after the shooting stopped.

"OT--billmon is on fire these days."

Word.

Question for moderators. What is OT in a true open thread?

Cleek,
there are degrees of crazy. You have to think that even though there are tons of zainichi living in Japan who could completely pass as Japanese and who are (or were) sympathetic to the North, that they felt they had to kidnap Japanese in order to train people to infiltrate Japan suggests an level of organized insanity that is disturbing.

for the record: i don't doubt at all that KJI is a crazy bad person.

"for the record: i don't doubt at all that KJI is a crazy bad person."

South Korea wouldn't exist without us. Our primary bases for responding to North Korean aggression are in South Korea, as are our nearest troops.

If we attack North Korea, counter-attacking South Korea wouldn't be remotely crazy.

Now, if Kim Jong Il, in response, attacked China or Russia, that might be crazy.

Even crazier would be to attack, say, Finland or Honduras, but that's a little out of his range, absent terrorism.

No, no, Bob, "OT" in an open thread means "open thread" -- fanOf was just reminding us. But certain pharmaceutical products and online gambling, for example, are always off topic.

If we attack North Korea, counter-attacking South Korea wouldn't be remotely crazy.

because if Canada attacked us, we'd attack Mexico. (or, if a handful of people from SA/Yemen attacked us, we'd attack Iraq...)

let me try to explain what i'm asking: assuming there is some kind of military action against NK, which SK is not party to (US airstrikes from a carrier, for example), and is not participating in any way (don't bother arguing that assumption - i'm not interested). what makes you confident that SK (Seoul, specifically, since i'm asking about the "artillery aimed at Seoul" meme) is going to be KJI's target-of-choice ?

yes, i know he's crazy.
yes, i know he doesn't like SK.
yes, i know that's where his guns are pointed right now.
yes, i know it's an easy thing for him to do, based on geography.
yes, etc..

but add all that up and it still doesn't make sense that Seoul is the reflexive target. so, this is my question:

    has NK explicitly or implicitlt said that it's trying to hold SK/Seoul as some kind of hostage to prevent anyone from attacking NK ?

and please, don't base your answer on "he's crazy".

(sorry everyone, who read the same thing a half-dozen times on the other thread)

Cleek, try googling "sea of fire." It seems to be a favorite formulation.

NK attacking SK in response to a US strike isn't at all farfetched or crazy. First, inasmuch as we believe they'd do it, SK is a hostage -- just like any customers taken hostage in a bank robbery. Second, our military is in Seoul. Third, even if SK was somehow not in the initial strike, NK would always have reason to fear that SK would be part of the second, or subsequent, strikes.

The fact that it's easy makes it an especially easy call.

"because if Canada attacked us, we'd attack Mexico."

You've said that a few times. It makes no sense as an analogy, to use a phrase you like.

On the other hand, if we'd never signed a peace treaty with Britain, and were still technically at war with Britain -- as we and North Korea are -- and Britain maintained forces in Canada, and we had a DMZ, and we had a long history of infiltrating that DMZ, and sending submarines to drop off saboteurs in Canada, and we kidnapped prominent Canadians, and held them for years while denying it, and an endlessly long history of other violent acts against Canada, and we constantly made threats against Britain and its "Canadian puppet regime," and then we were attacked by Britain, yeah, I think we might attack British forces in Canada, and Canada.

Similarly, I believe the North Koreans when they've said a bazillion times that they'd attack southwards.

Not because anyone is crazy; because it would be the most rational way to strike back. Like I just said in my previous comment.

Here is some history for you. (PDF, if you prefer.)

Short version:

From
1954 to 1992, North Korea is reported to have infiltrated a total of 3,693 armed
agents into South Korea, with 1967 and 1968 accounting for 20 percent of the total.
Instances of terrorism were far fewer in number, but they seemed to have had a
continuingnegative impact on relations between the two Koreas. Not countingNorth
Korea’s invasion of South Korea that triggered the Korean War (1950-1953), North
Korea’s major terrorist involvement includes: attempted assassinations of President
Park Chung Hee in 1968 and 1974; a 1983 attempt on President Chun Doo Hwan’s
life in a bombing incident in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar); and a mid-air sabotage
bombingof a South Korean Boeing707 passenger plane in 1987. Provocations have
continued intermittentlyin recent years, in the form of armed incursions, kidnapings,
and occasional threats to turn the South Korean capital of Seoul into “a sea of fire”
and to silence or tame South Korean critics of North Korea.
Maybe that "doesn't make sense," but you'll have to take that up with the DPRK.

Here's a quote they reuse a lot:

03/1994 — For the first time in more than two decades, North Korea issued a
threat of war in an inter-Korean meeting in Panmunjom. In response to Seoul’s chief delegate mentioning the possibility of UN sanctions against the North for its refusal to accept full international nuclear inspections, Pyongyang’s chief delegate reportedlyreplied: “Seoul is not far away from here. If a war breaks out, Seoul will turn into a sea of fire.”
HTH.

I suggest reading the rest of the list.

Do you need more rhetoric, rather than mere acts?

Just recently:

02/1997 — North Korea threatened unspecified “retribution” against the South Korean newspaper Chung’ang Ilbo for publishing an account of Kim Il Sung’s death occurring in the course of a heated verbal exchange
between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in July 1994

[...]

06/1997 — NorthKorea’srulingpartyorgan,Nodong Sinmun, continued to incite
“pro-democratic” South Koreans to “overthrow” South Korea’s Kim
Young Sam government as “an urgent requirement” in a patriotic,
anti-fascist struggle for “independence, democracy, and
reunification.”
06/1997 — North Korea issued a threat to deliver “a merciless retaliatory blow” to South Korea’s daily newspaper Choson Ilbo for its June 24 editorial urging Kim Jong Il to relinquish power in favor of “a new reform-oriented [North Korean] group.” Denouncing the editorial as “the most provocative declaration of war against us,” North Korea
retorted that it had the right to retaliate “until . . . the Choson Ilbo ceases to exist.”

[...]

11/1997 — North Korea threatened to “demolish” South Korea’s state-run Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) alleged to be “a mouthpiece of fascist dictatorship.” It vowed to “kill everyone involved” in the production of a KBS TV mini-series depicting the life of repression and corruption in North Korean society “without so much as waking up a mouse or a bird” unless the KBS dropped the production forthwith.

[...]

04/1998 — ASouth Korean news dispatch quoted a member of the North Korean delegation to an inter-Korean conference in Beijing as making a “provocative statement” to the effect that North Korea would rather have a “liberation war” than capitulating to theSouth Korean attempt to “politicize” the food-and-fertilizer aid issue."

[...]

12/1998 — At a Pyongyang rally, North Korean youths and students vowed to turn Washington into “a sea of fire and to crush Seoul and Tokyo.”

[...]

In a similar vein, a North Korean vice minister of
defense is quoted as having declared that the Korean People’s Army will “blow up the U.S. territory as a whole”; a day earlier, North Korea had disclosed that it had its “own operation plan” to deal with its enemies. KCNA in English, December 2 and 3, 1998.

[...]

07/2000 — Through its Radio Pyongyang broadcast beamed to South Korea,
North Korea threatened to “blow up” (p’okp’a) the conservative
mass-circulation dailyChoson Ilbo for “slandering our Republic” by claiming that the Korean War was started bya southward invasion of
North Korea. North Korea argued that the newspaper’s action, harmful to national unity and reunification, “is not a matter of freedom of the press but of high treason.”

[...]

North Korea also argued that if Lee Hoi-chang came to power, “the South Korean people will not be able to live in peace...and the improving North-South relations will return to the time of confrontation.” KCNA in English, July 11, 2000; Korea Herald (Internet version), July 15, 2000. Radio Pyongyang to South Korea in Korean, July 11, 2000.

[...]

2/18/03 – North Korea threatened to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended the
Korean War if the United States imposed trade sanctions against the North claiming that a blockade against it would violate article 15 of
the armistice.

But I think their history of actions speaks louder than their rhetoric. YMMV.

Not to excuse Zidane (you can't), but clearly Materazzi's no angel.

"Second, our military is in Seoul."

Not so much, anymore. Camp Humphreys, instead.

On the other hand, Camp Red Cloud, Uijeongbu is apparently still "approximately 32 kilometers North of Seoul." And is being rebuilt, and also made into a new "super-garrison."

Including all the comforts of home:

A soldier moving from Fort Drum, N.Y., to Camp Casey, South Korea, will find exactly the same services at his new post, Kapaku said.

Congratulations, ObWi.

cleek -
I think it is unrealistic for us to believe that a strike by the US, whether or not it had a non-peninsular justification from our perspective, would be parsed by the North Koreans as a nation-to-nation conflict exclusively between themselves and the US, with SKorea as some kind of neutral neighbor. I'm not sure that "But the US troops in SK didn't do this, it was the carrier group! Totally different bunch of guys!" would really resonate with a NK political/military establishment that has been internally justifying military expenditures that starve the population by constantly invoking an imminent and unstoppable resumption of the peninsular war via an attack by the Americans. They have too much invested in their own narrative of what a US strike would mean to care much about what we think it means.

That said, will any military action by the US immediately result in a massive artillery barrage on Seoul? Maybe not. But once US bombs start landing above the 38th parallel, I think the percentage chances of such a strike will get pretty high, pretty fast.

The real value of attacking South Korea (from the North Korean perspective) is that the United States doesn't want South Korea attacked. Therefore, the threat of invading the South, or bombing Seoul, or an airstrike on Tokyo or what have you, serves as a deterrent to a U.S. attack on North Korea in the first place. The point isn't that Kim Jong Il is crazy for confusing South Korea and America; the point is that America values the continued welfare of South Korea (and American assets therein) more than it values any potential invasion of North Korea.

I'm pretty sure the "madman theory" refers to the notion that certain foreign leaders (Kim Jong Il, Saddam, or the next bad guy du jour) are so crazy that they'll launch a first strike, or that they'll be undeterrable by ordinary means (consider the popular argument that Ahmadinejad would nuke Tel Aviv, despite Israel's massive nuclear arsenal, because he's just such a Muslim).

"I think the percentage chances of such a strike will get pretty high, pretty fast."

Ahh, but then the question, not completely irrelevant since Perry made his recommendation or suggestion, is could the initial exchange remain limited? Certainly SK would be very angry, and maybe more angry at the US than NK. Maybe limited, maybe not, but no one wants to find out, so there is no military option against NK.

How about a military response? If NK would make a mistake and accidentally land a warheadless missile on Japan, or intentionally one with a warhead, is the only option an instant supermassive destruction of NK, hoping to limit SK casualties?

I ask because it is my theory that Iran could pre-emptively strike the US mainland, and Iran's destruction is not necessarily ensured. At least not immediately. Total war against an actually dangerous adversary, as opposed to say the toothless Afghanistan and Iraq (supposedly) is a very serious step.

Cleek, I guess you are assuming a scenario where the US attacks and SK (and presumably Japan) specifically disavows any knowledge. KJI (I think) would have to assume that any attack by the US would have SK (and Japan) as a party to the attack if nothing were said. But imagining that this were to occur and it were plausible. I'm not sure how, but just imagining it, of course, it would be very tricky for the US to stage an strike to wipe out NK nuclear weapon sites (or Taepodong sites) and the NK to refuse to strike at SK and call on the goodwill of the South Korean people, assuming that the situation above. They could, but that requires a belief in a pacifist KJI that isn't borne out by facts.

"I'm pretty sure the 'madman theory' refers to the notion that certain foreign leaders (Kim Jong Il, Saddam, or the next bad guy du jour) are so crazy that they'll launch a first strike, or that they'll be undeterrable by ordinary means"

Actually, it was invented by Richard Nixon to refer to himself, primarily in hope that having Kissinger relay the idea to the North Vietnamese would scare them.

It didn't work.

Of course, perhaps your definition remains accurate nonetheless.

Christmas: "consider the popular argument that Ahmadinejad would nuke Tel Aviv, despite Israel's massive nuclear arsenal, because he's just such a Muslim"


Got a cite for "because he's just such a Muslim"? I'd hate to think you were slinging accusations of rank bigotry around for the fun of it.

Gary: I'm well aware of the earlier, Kissingerian usage, but the term has taken on a somewhat different meaning. Nixon wanted special treatment and deference from leaders who might fear he was crazy; the idea here is that we should attack countries sooner because their leaders are crazy. The Nixonian version makes (American) craziness an advantage; the later one makes (foreign) craziness a liability and cause for regime change.

Rilkefan: Yeah, pretty rank bigotry, or at least mild bigotry inflamed by a good dose of ignorance. Take all the paranoia and panic showed over Ahmadinejad's oh-so-spooky belief in the Hidden Imam - a doctrine so extreme it's accepted by millions of other Shiites. Of course, as president, Ahmadinejad doesn't have control over the admission of women to a soccer game, much less the military, so his madman status is pretty much irrelevent, but that doesn't stop the doubly-ignorant from speculating.

"Gary: I'm well aware of the earlier, Kissingerian usage, but the term has taken on a somewhat different meaning."

Has it? Where? I'm not saying you're wrong; I've just not noticed this change in usage; could you give some sample cites, please? (I like to keep track of usage changes.)

"...consider the popular argument that Ahmadinejad would nuke Tel Aviv, despite Israel's massive nuclear arsenal, because he's just such a Muslim...."

I ignored this the first time round, because I couldn't make sense of what it was intended to mean. But we've gone round on Ahmadinejad and the power/lack-of of the President of Iran, and such, enough times here that I have nothing new to say on the topic.

Has it? Where?

You could start by reading the John Judis TNR piece Matt Yglesias linked to in the first place.

congrats to the new poster

“Seoul is not far away from here. If a war breaks out, Seoul will turn into a sea of fire.”

Gary, thanks. could've done without the snark, but that's what i was looking for.

If we attack North Korea, counter-attacking South Korea wouldn't be remotely crazy.

Now, if Kim Jong Il, in response, attacked China or Russia, that might be crazy.

You're right, that would be crazy. Sort of like how if a bunch of Saudis and Egyptians representing a non-governmental organization based primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan attacked the US and the US responded by attacking Iraq? So glad the US doesn't have such crazy leaders.*

*Usual disclaimer: Of course I think NK's prez is crazier than the US's. But that doesn't make OIF any saner.

Open Thread?

Re:The Bacevich WaPo Article

Body Counts ...Digby

"An occupying army has been shooting civilians indiscriminately (or at least it seems that way) engendering resentment among the population and they are just now recognizing that this might not have been the best idea in the world? Jesus." ...Digby

Blowback Problem ...Gilliard

"Another bitter complaint is of American convoys driving too fast and not stopping when they run someone down. It was such an incident in Kabul that provoked a six-hour riot last month — yet two weeks later a US truck ran over a child in exactly the same place." ...Bacevich, WaPo

No, This is not just a matter of stuff happens in war, war bad. The British are/were much much better in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Intentional overreaction and indiscriminate use of force by occupier? War crime.

Farber on Bacevich

"This is not to sympathize with, or justify in any way those who take up arms, or who support, the Iraqis fighting us." ...Farber

Nah, trucks run over my kid going 80 mph downtown Kabul and the soldiers just feel the bump and don't look back...sorry, I do sympathize and justify. Sue me.

While I can sympathize with those feelings as well, in defense of the soldiers, Army trucks are heavy enough that it's quite possible they could run over a child and not even feel a bump. (Which is a good reason not to be travelling too quickly through Kabul, but that's another post.)

Zidane game. i expect there will be many more of theses...

While I can sympathize with those feelings as well, in defense of the soldiers, Army trucks are heavy enough that it's quite possible they could run over a child and not even feel a bump.

I've been told pretty much the same thing about some of the larger civilian SUVs. Would that excuse a driver who ran over a child and didn't stop to help? Doesn't anyone ever glance in the rearview mirror and notice that there's a body lying in the road and people running to try to help? Or do they just hose down the trucks occasionally to get the blood and body parts off and count the children run over as "dead terrorists"?

I should probably add that for reasons that aren't particularly important or interesting to anyone else, I have a particular phobia of children being run over. I'd probably be more able to be fair and sympathetic to the soldiers if they'd accidently shot a kid.

I've been told pretty much the same thing about some of the larger civilian SUVs. Would that excuse a driver who ran over a child and didn't stop to help?

Well, if it really was established that the driver really had no reason to think that s/he had hit someone or even come close, then yes, it would excuse him/her for not stopping, though of course not for hitting the child in the first place.

But not being a driver of such a large vehicle, I don't know how likely it is that you could run someone over without at least being aware beforehand that there was someone in the danger zone as you passed by.

Well, if it really was established that the driver really had no reason to think that s/he had hit someone or even come close, then yes, it would excuse him/her for not stopping, though of course not for hitting the child in the first place.

I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which the driver of a vehicle, any vehicle, can reasonably have run over a person and not realized it*. Weren't they looking out that large piece of glass in front of them? If they couldn't see the road well enough to know that they hit a pedestrian, whether because of the vehicle, road conditions, or personal disability, then they shouldn't be driving in the first place.

*I can think of situations where they could not possibly have avoided it--ie someone jumps out in front of the car without warning--but how could they not notice...the person in front of the vehicle, the body in the rear view mirror, the bump, etc.

Dianne,

Military vehicles aren't built to the same specifications as civilian vehicles. Many military trucks don't have rear view mirrors, because the cargo section would block whatever you were trying to see. They do have side-view mirrors, but the driver is unlikely to check them often when traveling forward since you're not likely to be ambushed by someone in front of you (not to mention the IED threat). And because we not try to uparmor our vehicles in order to reduce the threat from IEDs, that means less glass, since glass is not particularly helpful at protecting against large explosions. That means more blind spots for the driver, particularly low to the front. The driver could easily steer away from where the child was, but not realize that the child then moved into the path of the vehicle.

I'm not trying to excuse anything, btw. Only to note that comparing this to what you may have experienced in civilian vehicles, even SUVs, isn't really an apt comparison.

"consider the popular argument that Ahmadinejad would nuke Tel Aviv, despite Israel's massive nuclear arsenal, because he's just such a Muslim"

Personally I worry that he might nuke Tel Aviv because he says so and sometimes bad state actors really have telegraphed their intentions. I also worry because he isn't the first Iranian president to have said so. I also worry because nuking just one or two sites in Israel (a bigish bomb at the two largest cities would kill 2/3 of the population) would be hugely more effective at destroying the country than it would be against most other semi-powerful countries (including Iran).

"You could start by reading the John Judis TNR piece Matt Yglesias linked to in the first place."

I could, and I have, but I'm unaware that Matt or Judis have the power in a single week to change usage. If when you said "the term has taken on a somewhat different meaning" you meant that one guy in a small circulation magazine, and a guy on a blog have in the space of one week used the term differently, well, okay, and we think "the term has taken on a somewhat different meaning" means different things, clearly.

Thanks for explaining.

"Nah, trucks run over my kid going 80 mph downtown Kabul and the soldiers just feel the bump and don't look back...sorry, I do sympathize and justify."

According to the Army, that was a case of the brakes failing, not of indifference. As I wasn't there, I can't testify to the accuracy or not of this. Naturally I sympathize with all loss of innocent life. I don't necessarily sympathize with those who take up arms because of it, and even less if it involves chopping people's heads off.

It's a little odd that a dozen comments sailed off on discussing the accident in Kabul without any reference to the actual incident. I'd like to think that the actual facts might be more relevant than abstract fantasizing about running over people and not realizing it, and what not. Since that didn't happen, what's the effing point in talking about someone's fantasy? Should we also condemn the use of pieces of the green cheese on the moon as weapons? Because I'm thoroughly opposed to that, myself. Why, I have nightmares about green cheese, and I'll tell you, I think that the smell alone probably makes them WMD. Man, the Army using green cheese to kill innocent people pisses me off no end.

Now, that we've overdone force protection in Iraq, and perhaps Afghanistan, and had excessive lack of attention to preserving Iraqi lives, not to mention dignity and respect, is where I started when I wrote the post that Bob cited (which is at least a pleasant change), and I'll stand by what I wrote.

But if you want to discuss the actual incident in Kabul, it might pay to discuss it, not some version of it that didn't happen. (Although if someone has a better pointer to a more thorough analysis of the facts, I'd read it with interest.)

"Personally I worry that he might nuke Tel Aviv because he says so and sometimes bad state actors really have telegraphed their intentions. I also worry because he isn't the first Iranian president to have said so."

Do you have a cite to either Ahmadinejad or another Iraqi President threatening specifically to "nuke Tel Aviv"? I don't believe I've seen that. I've seen a few lesser clerics or generals make such threats, I believe, but not Ahmadinejad. I recall Rafsanjani making a threat to nuke Israel when he was head of the Expediency Council, but, again, this isn't what you said.

I may have missed it, though, which is why I inquire.

No, quite right, he didn't specify the city.

Andrew: I see your point. I'm afraid my knowledge of military vehicles is not extensive. Perhaps my condemnation of the soldiers was too harsh. The condemnation should be saved for the designers of their vehicle. The vehicle you describe is extremely unsuited to the task of peacekeeping, which, IIRC, is what we are supposed to be doing in Iraq. If we are really interested in protecting the civilian population then we have to be available to that population, maybe even answerable to it. The police in NYC don't drive around in tanks, maybe an occupying force dedicated to preserving civil order and bringing about democracy shouldn't either. Yes, I know that if my suggestions were carried out that would put the soldiers at higher risk and I hate that idea. But at least they are all adults who volunteered to take the risk, not children unlucky enough to be born in the wrong place.

Excuse me. I should have said "in Iraq and Afghanistan" since the incident that sparked this discussion occured in Kabul.

According to the Army, that was a case of the brakes failing, not of indifference.

The Army says lots of things. Enough of them are blatantly untrue that I'd rather see outside confirmation before trusting their statements too far.

I don't necessarily sympathize with those who take up arms because of it, and even less if it involves chopping people's heads off.

Maybe I'm in a particularly vicious mood today, but I'm afraid my first response to this was "depends...whose head?" If the driver responsible for the killing's head got chopped off, I wouldn't think it was right, but I could sympathize with the impulse.

"No, quite right, he didn't specify the city."

Do you have a cite to Ahmadinejad specifically threatening to use nuclear weapons against Israel? (Not saying that the regime, or Israel, should be "wiped from the map," about which there is debate as to meaning: specifically saying "nuclear weapons" in some clear fashion.)

"If the driver responsible for the killing's head got chopped off, I wouldn't think it was right, but I could sympathize with the impulse."

What killings?

Do you generally support the death penalty for traffic accidents, and sympathize with chopping people's heads off?

If American troops cut off the head of an insurgent after some of their squadmates, perhaps some 18-year-old women who were driving trucks, were blown up, or tortured and mutilated, would you sympathize?

"Not saying that the regime, or Israel, should be "wiped from the map," about which there is debate as to meaning: specifically saying "nuclear weapons" in some clear fashion."

That's the one I'm talking about, but given any normal rhetorical style, talking about Israel needing to be wiped from the map in the middle of a discussion about Iran's need for nuclear weapons counts as a fairly clear threat. There is debate as to meaning mostly among those who want to deny the clear meaning.

. There is debate as to meaning mostly among those who want to deny the clear meaning.

Nice to see that the Karnak award manufacturing plant won't be hit with any layoffs soon.

"There is debate as to meaning mostly among those who want to deny the clear meaning."

I disagree. I have no wish to "deny... clear meaning." (Some do wish to make excuses for the Iranian regime, or justify just about anything said against Israel, it's true, but I'm not one of them.)

And I don't consider threats to wipe the Zionist regime out of existence as at all unthreatening. Not in the least.

But I do consider the threat of wiping out the existence of the Jewish State, and killing most or all of the Jews in Israel, as significantly different threats, regardless.

We desired to "wipe out" Saddam Hussein's regime; that didn't mean we desired to kill most Iraqis.

Nor did it involve nuclear weapons.

I take it, then, that when you said "I worry that he might nuke Tel Aviv because he says so" that, in fact, he didn't say anything about either nukes or Tel Aviv, but that other than those two minor facts, your statement was accurate. :-) Okay.

"I'd like to think that the actual facts might be more relevant than abstract fantasizing about running over people and not realizing it, and what not."

WTF Gary! That is directly insulting, the "incident" dicussed is not the riot-causing event, but this, linked indirectly via Digby and Gilliard

"Another bitter complaint is of American convoys driving too fast and not stopping when they run someone down. It was such an incident in Kabul that provoked a six-hour riot last month — yet two weeks later a US truck ran over a child in exactly the same place." ...Bacevich, WaPo cited at 9:24 AM

Why don't you take your problem up with A Bacevich?

"Should we also condemn the use of pieces of the green cheese on the moon as weapons? Because I'm thoroughly opposed to that, myself. Why, I have nightmares about green cheese, and I'll tell you, I think that the smell alone probably makes them WMD. Man, the Army using green cheese to kill innocent people pisses me off no end. " Farber

I call posting rules on this. If Gary is not at length calling me a liar, I do not know what the purpose of this drivel is.

Do you generally support the death penalty for traffic accidents, and sympathize with chopping people's heads off?

No, not even for "traffic accidents" caused by gross negligence or even overt malice. But I can understand the impulse that, say, the parents of a child who was run over by a military vehicle driven by a member of an occupying army might have to chop off the driver's head. Especially if the person responsible expressed no remorse and showed no interest in anything but escape and if I knew that he would face no consequences within his own command structure. That doesn't make it right, of course.

"...abstract fantasizing about running over people and not realizing it, and what not. Since that didn't happen, what's the effing point in talking about someone's fantasy?"

Was it the "not looking back" rather than "not stopping" that made it the equivalent of "green cheese"

I call posting rules. I have never initiated these attacks, it is always Gary. I even linked him, and he calls me either a liar or insane. I want a response, and I want it now.

"It's a little odd that a dozen comments sailed off on discussing the accident in Kabul without any reference to the actual incident. I'd like to think that the actual facts might be more relevant than abstract fantasizing about running over people and not realizing it, and what not. Since that didn't happen, what's the effing point in talking about someone's fantasy? Should we also condemn the use of pieces of the green cheese on the moon as weapons? Because I'm thoroughly opposed to that, myself. Why, I have nightmares about green cheese, and I'll tell you, I think that the smell alone probably makes them WMD. Man, the Army using green cheese to kill innocent people pisses me off no end." Farber, effing l**k wh*re and all around le*ch improves the tone of the debate.

You gonna protest all innocent, and you don't know how Bob could have possibly been offended by such a polite correction? You also corrected me on my 1-kiloton nuke, and I thanked you, tho honestly, I don't know that the details were really all that pertinent. But I remained polite.

Hey Gary, you ever find out what "farberize" means over at Unfogged?

Posting rules have been called, but for some reason only I have answered...

I pronounce as follows. It seems to me that a lot of this turns on the following unremarked point: Bob, in this comment (which started the discussion of the quote about the kid being run over in Kabul), you identify it as being from Bacevich's piece in the WaPo. It is, in fact, from this article in the Times of London.

Gary, assuming that you're talking about the incident described in Bacevich's piece, correctly points out that that incident was not as you described it. He does not, however, notice that Bacevich's piece does not contain the quote you cited, which I find understandable, since it's a pain to go over an article trying to establish the absence of a particular paragraph. (At least, for me: there's always some point, about 2/3 through, when my mind wanders and I have to start over.)

This would have been a good moment for Gary to try a more diplomatic approach, like "were you talking about THIS incident? Because it's described THIS way in the article, and that's unlike what you say. However, since the two of you are old virtual acquaintances, I think it's understandable to be more informal.

This would also have been a good moment for Bob to follow Gary's link to Bacevich's article in order to find the actual quote intending, perhaps, to produce it triumphantly; and then discover that, OMG, the quote is not in fact IN Bacevich, and then figure out the rest.

In general, however, I rule that this is a misunderstanding and a caution to us all, not a violation of posting rules.

So saith me. If anyone else disagrees, feel free ;)

On reflection, I also think that Gary might have been nicer. But my views about all this are probably beyond tedious.

I'm guessing that it was the green cheese that went over the line.

And since this is an OT, any thoughts about this article?

Senators Graham and Kyl not only misled their Senate colleagues, but also shamed their high offices by trying to deliberately mislead the U.S. Supreme Court. Their effort failed. I have not seen so blatant a ploy, or abuse of power, since Nixon's reign.

"Now, that we've overdone force protection in Iraq, and perhaps Afghanistan, and had excessive lack of attention to preserving Iraqi lives, not to mention dignity and respect, is where I started when I wrote the post that Bob cited (which is at least a pleasant change), and I'll stand by what I wrote." ...Farber

What you originally wrote at your place was better.

Characterizing "thousands of these 'escalation of force' episodes" with "tens of thousands" of innocent Iraqs as casualties...quotes are from Bacevich

...as "excessive lack of attention to preserving Iraqi lives" is pretty awful.

Now "tens of thousands" say 30k dead due to official policy, comparable to 300,000 innocent Americans, with no real possibility of justice, is not sufficient grounds to shoot at Americans? Why not?

Tell me, Gary, why is it is so very immoral for Iraqis to shoot at Americans in Iraq, given the three years and the way this occupation has played out. Are we the "good guys"? Should Iraqis be grateful and feel safer for our presence? Are we ensuring the peace?

Hey, liberal japonicus, since you're reading, any chance we could get a Hating on M/oe L/ane thread? I think this is kinda begging for it.

Hmmm, the problem is that Moe is 1) before a lot of commentators time (mine included) and 2) it looks like both his views and his language have radically changed over the past 2 years or so. Plus HoCB is designed to drain the anger out of this pond, I'm not sure anyone is equipped to deal with the deluge that would occur if the flood gates at RS were opened.

I've never been one of Moe's supporters, so I'm not too suprised. Comment number two invokes 9/11 - no one mentiones the rape and killing that might be the cause for the killing and maiming.
Ah well... just another day in RedState paradise I'd say

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