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October 25, 2007

Comments

Thanks, I wish more Republicans were like you.

I wish more people were like you.

well put.

except: "The sooner people realize that critical thinking is an asset rather than a liability, the better off we will all be."

tha'ss ne're guh' hap'in

Well said, G'Kar. What's the Narnian word for mensch?

I intend to post more on this theme, later but Amen.

Jeez, the issue has been perfectly summed up by a bumper sticker: "Support the Troops, Bring 'Em Home Alive."

Dan, his name is G'Kar, not Mr. Tumnus. I think you mean the Narn word.

While I give Tom a point for maintaining civil discourse, which is no small feat in the current atmosphere, I stand firmly with all the above voices.

Though I 'served' our country as a police officer, I am unmoved by the dogma of the right and the fearmongering of the rabid few.

Let critical thinking reign.

What's the Narnian word for mensch?

Everyone in Narnia is a mensch, so they don't have a word for it. ;-)

It was Bush/Cheney who've stood before trusting 18 year old boys and girls in uniform, telling them that their nation was in imminent danger, and asking them to risk their lives to remove that threat.

Then, they stand in front of those boys and girls, and trade on the commitment and sacrifice of these children, in their dealings with the rest of us.

If there is a God, these people will have much to account for.

Jes: "Everyone in Narnia is a mensch, so they don't have a word for it. ;-)"

This, no doubt, is one reason why people keep assuming that G'Kar is a Narnian. ;)

While I give Tom a point for maintaining civil discourse

Why? What on earth was civil about the accusations he leveled against Hilzoy, Katherine, and the entire "left"? The fact that he didn't use profanity when telling them that they were unrepentant supporters of terrorists who want our troops to die?

Catsy....

I have been blogging in some dogmatic, original-thought challenged places and his comments were civil in a lack of obscenity and histrionics way.

Maybe I have PBSD.
(Post Blogging Stress Disorder)

At some point I wouldn't at all mind a separate thread for some meta-bashing at things like "When does it stop being polite, even when you use no nasty words?" Obviously this is a boundary I push myself somettimes, as various of you have objected, and the chance to sharpen up my awareness of the principles would do me no harm, I reckon.

"You can oppose the war without opposing the troops; people do that every day."

Yes, G'Kar: and as an intellectual exercise, it's quite easy: easy, that is, for you or me, or hilzoy, and probably most of the posters on this blog.

But OTOH, the Administration, and its supporters/enablers, have spent the last five years or so relentlessly hawking the inflexible formulation that

"Support the Troops" = "Support the Mission" = "Support Bush Administration policies"

and viciously tarring anyone who might question this shibboleth (as Tom's previous comment, civil or otherwise, illustrates) as borderline-treasonous.

If you have any suggestions as to how to get out a message that will break this simplistic equation, I'd like to hear it: because mostly, "debates" of this sort usually end up in sterile "Yes I do"/"No you don't" circular-arguments.

"borderline-treasonous" ?

only when they're in polite company. when they think nobody's looking, they're perfectly happy debating the various ways in which liberals should be killed for their crimes.

"Critical Thinking" is one of the best weapons against extremism and totalitarianism.

Amazing how many of those who equate "oppose the war" with "oppose the troops" were never troops. If they had been, they'd know how frequently the troops have some serious reservations about some of the battles that the politicians get them into having to fight.

"It is inverted logic to claim that we should continue to fight this war on behalf of the troops." -Jim Webb

thanks for this

Is propaganda a legitimate or effective tool in a time of war?

I think his point was that many Americans have provided propaganda cover for the terrorists. They may not have realized that in the beginning, but does anyone really doubt that AQ is hoping to defeat America with propaganda? They know they can't beat us on the battle field.

The recent case of Haditha is just one indication of this.

Bin Laden is consistently using Democratic talking points.

How can the left not realize how they are helping the enemy win the propaganda war?

There are many many things to oppose about this war, but sadly most are just opposing Bush. When Hillary is elected they will be singing a different tune. Until then, they find more common ground with the terrorists than the President.

It's quite pathetic really.

It's just like before the election. Corruption was bad before the election, but now it's okay. The only solace we can take is that after Hillary is elected everyone will be against terrorsim. Weird to actually look forward to that.

Come January 2009 they will be singing a differnt tune. That's the worst sort of American.

Can we re-ban bril free?

Bin Laden is consistently using Democratic talking points.

I wouldn't say consistently, but that's besides the point. Have you considered that he does so because he recognizes that the effect of this is to increase the power of supporters of continued War in Iraq, and he says the continuation of that war as the benefit to his cause which it has in fact been?

Free - "How can the left not realize how they are helping the enemy win the propaganda war?"

Who exactly is this enemy that you speak of? "Terrorists" doesn't cut it for a definition. Terrorism is a tactic, not a state. So who is the enemy? Sunnis? Shi'ites? Islam? Arabs?

Does anybody really know?

And the reason you hear so much animosity towards Bush is because of his policies, not the 'R' next to his name. His policies have made many of us poorer and have killed some of us, along with other humans, in an unnecessary war. Don't you think it's possible that the criticism comes from something other than partisanship?

Bin Laden is consistently using Democratic talking points.

In order to trick Republicans into supporting the war and thus furthering his goals. Don't fall for it!

The people helping Al Qaeda win the propaganda war are those framing this whole mess in terms of a clash of civilizations. Al Qaeda wants a war of Islam against the West. When we throw muslims who simply don't agree with US policy in with those who seek the destruction of the West and the restoration of the Caliphate, we're buying the Al Qaeda framing. Bin Laden could hardly hope for a better foil than the neocons.

"Support the Troops" = "Support the Mission" = "Support Bush Administration policies"

I can't believe that it is fall of 2007 and there are still people who have not figured it out on their own that when the 28% crowd says support the troops, this is precisely what they mean.

I've only been with "teh left" for a short while and I am already sick of having my patriotism questioned. Tom can go die in a fire.

And Sebastian Holsclaw has ALWAYS made sense. Or am I mixing up threads again? Damn you, Scott Beauchamp!

Bin Laden is consistently using Democratic talking points.

In order to trick Republicans into supporting the war and thus furthering his goals. Don't fall for it!

I think he just does it to get in good with the ladies. Rumor has it that Whitney Houston is a big liberal.

Jeez, it's sad we've come to a place where this even needed to be said. At what point did Americans lose all touch with reality. Even if you've never been to war, you can put yourself in G'kar's LPCs if you try.

In my war, which indeed had some parallels to this one in terms of popularity and value, there was a great deal more protest at home. But know what? That had very little impact on our day to day lives.

The same week of the Kent State shootings, I was in a place called the fishhook, with an NVA Regiment unhappy with our presence. Neither the protests nor the massacre had much impact on how we felt about what we were doing. Except for the black humor about the guardsmen shooting up their basic load and only hitting half a dozen people.

Look. "The troops" don't care what the hell you do. You can't "support" them unless you are a quartermaster or an artillery battery or a gunship pilot. So all of you statestide dorks? Quit hiding behind "the troops" who really don't give a damn what you do, they have problems of their own. Take a position, defend your position, speak rationally, LISTEN.

But cries of troop non-support and lack of patriotism are not only worthless, they are beneath contempt.

Charlie Mike, G'Kar

mikey

Except for the black humor about the guardsmen shooting up their basic load and only hitting half a dozen people.

Have you not learned anything with Scott Beauchamp? Soldiers don't have black humor. They would never joke about something like that. They are only sweetness and light and everything good. You must be pne of those phony soldiers Rush Limbaugh was talking about.

Honestly, I am disgusted you would even suggest they would joke about it. I question your patriotism. Hell, next thing you know, you will probably be trying to push these slanderous lies in TNR.

/sarcasm

As I've said before, I think that the way to support the troops is as follows. First, get up to speed on problems with the provision of supplies, arms, and whatever else they need, as well as medical benefits for the troops and veterans. Make sure it's all it should be.

Second, ask, about any Presidential candidate, is this person likely to get us (= the troops) into a war for anything less than a very good reason? If not, don't vote for him or her, absent some very, very compelling reason. (In the 19th century, I would have voted for someone who seemed likely to abolish slavery, but might be a bit trigger-happy. That's the sort of thing I'm counting as a very, very compelling reason.)

Third, whenever a war seems to be looming, inform yourself as best you can, taking care to read stuff about the country and/or conflict in question that was written before people started writing war and anti-war propaganda. Think hard about whether war is necessary and advisable. Act accordingly.

Ways not to support the troops: trying to read Osama bin Laden's mind, supporting any war that comes along, setting aside your critical faculties.

And: thanks, G'Kar. For your service, and for this.

John Cole, don't you realize that you are actually the worse of the worse. The rest of us on "teh left" were just naturally born evil and traitorous.

You, OTOH, were once on the side of the angels and are now fallen into the abyss.

As far as the other side is concerned, you are the worst possible sort of traitor.

BTW, G'Kar, I see that Sullivan linked to you.

They may not have realized that in the beginning, but does anyone really doubt that AQ is hoping to defeat America with propaganda? They know they can't beat us on the battle field.

Al Qaeda can't "beat us" at all, for any value of "beat us" worth discussing with non-insane people.

Can we please stop calling each other traitors? That's a strong word and not one to be thrown around lightly.

"They may not have realized that in the beginning, but does anyone really doubt that AQ is hoping to defeat America with propaganda?"

Does anyone really doubt that AQ has not the faintest chance in hell of "defeating" even the smallest hamlet in America, with progaganda, or anything else?

Ever?

"free," why are you so afraid of a tiny bunch of ratty people who are mostly in hiding? Do you really think that reading or viewing AQ propaganda is going to cause many Americans to think "golly, this is fairly persuasive stuff! I must entirely reconsider my views, now that I understand what this kind of jihad is all about!"?

In other words, are you nuts?

"The only solace we can take is that after Hillary is elected everyone will be against terrorsim."

As it happens, everyone in America is against terrorism, save for a handful of extremists, who generally confine their views to lip service.

Asserting otherwise would pretty much be declaring one's self a kook, unable to notice that, in fact, regardless of how fellow Americans may disagree with you on various political issues, they don't actually, with few exceptions, favor cold-blooded murder, or even the accidental death or injuring, of their fellow citizens, as a rule, or remotely mainstream view.

If you really don't understand this, and have convinced yourself otherwise, you really are simply out of touch with reality.

This tends to interfere with accurate political analysis, alas.

Free - "How can the left not realize how they are helping the enemy win the propaganda war?"

Wait a farging minute!

If we continue to cancel the Bill Of Rights by fits and starts and justify behaving in exactly the manner of every banana republic and failed political system (as in Communism) of the last couple of centuries, we will have handed the victory to OBL & AQ on a glided platter. With the gleeful help of the NeoCondescending and NeoConspiring Right.

The American experiment lives exactly until we become what we behold - the purveyors of force and the enforcers of repression.

"The troops" don't care what the hell you do. You can't "support" them unless you are a quartermaster or an artillery battery or a gunship pilot. So all of you statestide dorks? Quit hiding behind "the troops" who really don't give a damn what you do, they have problems of their own.

The way to "support the troops" is to make sure that they get the armor, the vehicles, the protection they need so they can do whatever job "we" (as a nation) have given them. The way to "support the troops" is to acknowledge the sacrifice, not make light of it with Purple Heart Band-Aids (if I was in the military, I think I would never vote Republican again for that).

The way to "support the troops" is to only send them into "harm's way" when there's a clear and present danger to our nation.

The way to "support the troops" is to thank G'Kar and those like him who are giving their best, and then some, to the honor of America.

The reason that the military is frequently refered to as the "Service" is because we choose to serve the nation. Proper military disipline requires us to let go of our personal desires and follow the orders of civilian leadership.

We need material support, there is no getting around that. But material support should not be confused with the political objectives of military force. When these things do get confused the policy generation process becomes frozen. (Perhaps this is the point Mr. Bush is pushing for).

Additionally as voting citizens, members of the military have a great interest in having policy that will allow us to remain at home safe with our families. Ultimately better than even the best supported deployment any day.

So after preaching to the chior, G'Kar, drive on.

Excellent post as usual, He Who Hails From Narn. It is unfortunate that it needs to be said, but it's never unfortunate to hear it.

And John Cole: remember that for years the worst sin wasn't paganism or heathenry, it was apostasy...

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