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October 28, 2007

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What's noteworthy is that Charles subsequently replied several times to other comments on that thread, but never responded to Hilzoy or her points.

What's noteworthy is that Charles subsequently replied several times to other comments on that thread, but never responded to Hilzoy or her points.

I noticed that too. Not responding is probably the only credible response.

I was shocked at the time, but more so now, since in the intervening time we laid my own father to rest. There's always someone that would like you to die, simply because of your membership in one group or another (real or perceived). There's often someone willing to take a whack at it. That's just life in a sometimes hostile world, and it's what security is about dealing with.

But I think how I would feel if anyone had made a calculated effort to get Dad into a blasphemous situation from which he couldn't escape. I don't think Dad believed that there was anything you could do to him that would mechanistically send him to Hell, insofar as he believed in such a place. but I can imagine how I'd feel if there were such a thing in his creed and someone talked and joked about doing it to him as payback for...I dunno, his role in World War II, or his part in the NASA conspiracy to conceal the truth of the flat earth, or whatever. I can't even take up the idea without feeling a tremble of anger, and it's purely hypothetical for me.

When I read that 2005 thread and think how I'd feel at knowing that a bunch of people who regard themselves as my mortal enemies were gleefully working out how to desecrate my corpse so as to send me to Hell and forever deny me God and the reunions of the afterlife...I have to say that it would anger me. At the least. And that I'd have a hard time thinking of it as something to just dismiss, knowing that some of them are themselves soldiers and that that kind of insane, evil scheming gets endorsed inside the government as well as outside.

What I can't quite understand, back at the real me, is why anyone might find the above reaction surprising or inappropriate. How would any of us feel about efforts to cut us off from whatever we hold most dear?

What I'm trying to work out about the stance Charles, and others, take here, is how it can be held absent doublethink.

One would seem to be required to simultaneously believe that what's written in any little American, or, I suppose, Western, magazine, or blog, or website, no matter how obscure, or hidden behind a subscription paywall, is likely to be scanned by Islamist jihadists, and if they find it offensive, Teh Terrorists are apt to become far more inflamed than they already are, and be moved to kill more Americans than they already are trying to kill, or do it faster, or more angrily, or something -- it's not clear, but it's Wery Wery Dangerous To American Troops, we're assured -- and we must also believe at the same time that offensive things said in American, or, I suppose, Western magazines, blogs, and websites, aren't a concern at all -- if the material that might offend Muslims or Islamist jihadists comes from right-wingers and Speaks Truth.

It's not all clear to me that Teh Terrorists, or the mobs waiting to riot, or whomever it is we're supposed to be concerned about, are inclined to cut the American and Western right-wing, and their Truth, the same slack Charles and friends do.

But if Charles could explain how this all works, I'd be most interested.

I'd suggest a fresh post by Charles on the topic, as this thread is already difficult to load on dial-up.

Because Bob Owens is on this thread, Anarch, you just violated the posting rules. Well done.

Contra rilkefan I was aware of this, and I stand by what I said. If you feel that's a bannable offense, ban away.

Although I am deeply amused that, ignoring the substantive posts to which you could have responded, you chose to be outraged -- excuse me, to claim the moral high ground -- at my little barb. Sad, really.

Bruce: What I can't quite understand, back at the real me, is why anyone might find the above reaction surprising or inappropriate. How would any of us feel about efforts to cut us off from whatever we hold most dear?

I think it goes along with the presumption (OCSteve has outlined it a couple of times) that while it's natural and right for Americans to feel rage when they saw the WTC destroyed, when Iraqis or Afghans see US bombers destroying buildings and killing civilians, they shouldn't feel anger, or if they do, it's because they're bad, wrong people who don't understand the noble motivations of the US military.

"We can't reason from our feelings to those of this class of persons," said the other lady, sorting out some worsteds on her lap.

"when Iraqis or Afghans see US bombers destroying buildings and killing civilians, they shouldn't feel anger"

Strictly speaking, if the WTC had been the HQ for some evil overlord who'd fed my uncle into a plastic shredder feet first, I might have cheered it's destruction. It's possible to forget that the Iraq war actually DID have some pluses for the Iraqi people, (Those who didn't have minion status, anyway.) which you can't really say of the WTC bombing and Americans.

Strictly speaking, if the WTC had been the HQ for some evil overlord who'd fed my uncle into a plastic shredder feet first, I might have cheered it's destruction.

You might, but what does that have to do with the experience of Iraqis and Afghans seeing their homes and workplaces destroyed? I did specifically say the WTC, not the Pentagon.

It's possible to forget that the Iraq war actually DID have some pluses for the Iraqi people

Yes: they started out a country of 27 million where it was possible to keep your head down and live a relatively normal life: four years later, about one million are dead, at least three million are refugees, and the survivors are learning to live in a country where you cannot just "keep your head down", because foreign military occupiers - mercenaries or soldiers - can murder you for being in the way, and you can die in the civil war that the invasion/occupation sparked off, just for being in the "wrong" sect.

What "pluses" were you thinking of, Brett? I'm not seeing any.

It's possible to forget that the Iraq war actually DID have some pluses for the Iraqi people, (Those who didn't have minion status, anyway.) which you can't really say of the WTC bombing and Americans.

Actually, I can think of quite a number of "pluses" that came out of the destruction of the WTC. However, that doesn't mean that (i) given the choice, I'd still like to have it happen; or (ii) the pluses outweigh the minuses.

"which you can't really say of the WTC bombing and the Americans."

No, you can't. Well, you can make a case for it, but it would be a kind of reverse inside-out political correctness to do so.

Which I enjoy doing, just to participate in stupid, meaningless arguments.

Yes, in some ways the Iraqi people are better off, kind of like cattle are better off in the beef packaging plant than chickens are in the chicken packaging plant.

At what cost to the United States and its political well-being domestically and at what cost to its foreign policy?

George Bush's foreign policy and conduct of the war, in all of its particulars, is one part early Buffy St. Marie (peace, love, democracy, and the flat tax), one part Torquemada (yes, that hurts, but the Death Tax is worse, and the flat tax), one part Larry Kudlow (flat cities and the flat tax), and one part Reilly, Ace of Spies (flat tax, schmlat tax, can you say highly paid mercenaries, multiyear high margin contracts, pallets of money that go missing in the night, and the world's largest bazaar of tricked-out armaments).

Is al Qaeda better off? I mean, compared to my imaginary friend, Saddam Hussein? Is Iran better off? Is Pakistan better off?

Is America better off?

I have two words for you (not Brett; "you" is the ether that never talks back):

Rudy Guiliani --- who before 9/11 and all of the brass rings it placed within his reach was little more than a bitter little martinet with a cranky wife, a cranky mistress, and cranky prostate.

He's better off, and not only because he unloaded the cranky wife. Although he ended up losing the love nest and gaining an even crankier wife.

But it doesn't stop there. How many stock symbols can I quote you with a comparison of the prices on 9/10 and prices, let's say on July 4, 2007, that have gone parabolic, benefiting everyone, including moi.

Why? Because there is nothing like a little war to unclog the credit spigots, goose the balky economic machinery of peacetime, and make American entrepreneurs break into pidgin French.

Of course, it will turn out badly in the long run, because inflating the economy to keep George Bush's ego bubble from bursting, I'm sorry, I mean, to finance a war is usually followed by a hangover, but that's Bill's province.

Which conservastives should know, considering their baseline opinion that it was not the edifice of the New Deal that caused the U.S. to break out of the Depression, but the onset of World War II, with all of that financially profitable carnage, from which the survivors returned to
finally place a chicken in every garage and two cars in every pot, and later, in the Sixties, lots of pot in the garage AND in the pots in the basement.

Yippee for war is a dirty little politically incorrect secret.

But except for a few whacko conservatives on a few idiot websites and most of the population crowding the White House and a little less than half the Congress, who still think the adrenaline rush of having TWO clearly identifiable enemies -- Islam and Liberals -- was well worth the cost of a couple of gummint subsidized skyscrapers coming down like powdered mummies ................. I don't think conservatives take any more pleasure from that tragedy than antiwar liberals would take pleasure from Saddam coming back to life to butcher lots of uncles in a plastic shredder.


John, totally platonically of course, I love you completely.

I never liked Plato.

Let's handshake! I couldn't stand that guy either.

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