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October 06, 2008

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Cf Ron Suskind's The Way of the World for a CIA rather than DoD attempt to manipulate US opinion re Iraq in a very direct way: Saddam's last head of intelligence, hiding with US help in Jordan, was asked to copy in his own handwriting a letter to Saddam put together by CIA on Bush/Cheney/Tenet request, neatly tying Saddam to Mohammed Atta (via Abu Nidal!) and the 9/11 targets, and saying Oh by the way, the yellowcake order from Niger is coming along very well thanks. The authenticity of the handwriting was attested by the compliant Ayad Allawi and the letter made it as far as the compliant Russert and Brokaw on Meet the Press. According to Suskind this violates a 1991 law concerning CIA attempts to manipulate domestic US opinion.

"The Washington Post reported on a disturbing new development on Friday of last week, but due to the poor timing of the story's release it has received less attention than it deserves"

Not my fault, since I did a long blog post about it two days ago.

I know you've had sad news keeping you from paying attention, of course. Condolences again. I've been distracted myself.

Great post, Eric.

Two corrections:

It's FUX News.

and ....


....... Armstrong Williams was and is not a journalist. I don't know what he is, but the model from which he is derived is a vague combination of whatever weird slave-effing Strom Thurmond was up to, and the Soviet model of journalism.

He's like Sarah Palin.

They are both efforts by the Republican Party to illustrate that black men and white women don't need affirmative action to live down to the level of the extraordinary dumb white men in that Party.

It's egalitarian dumbalicious dumbacity.

But then, this is an administration that views public diplomacy as an exercise in convincing foreign audiences that policies which are unpopular for tangible reasons are actually just fine - based solely on the magic of slick marketing.

I'd go a little further than that.

This is an administration that believes that they can make the world something other than it actually is, just by saying so.

They are insane. Full-on barking. Not living in the real world.

I really don't think that is an exaggeration, at all.

Thanks -

The market dropped below 10,000 today.

Donald Luskin is an advisor to John McCain, which ought to stop the Ayres shouters in their tracks.

Talk about people out to destroy our country.

Phil Gramm is right. Donald Luskin is a whiner. Donald Luskin is an American.

Therefore, Americans are whiners.

I don't think that the Executive Branch of the Government is the only party trying to manipulate US and foreign opinion by grandstanding and presenting half-truths. I do think that the United States needs to be able to present it's side of the story to the world. I read Mountain Runner from time to time and I think it is important that the USA reiterate its goals in the Middle East: to establish democracies, and a middle class.

he Pentagon’s 3-year, $300 million contract for private companies to “engage and inspire” Iraqis to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government, described by Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus in the Washington Post, is more than an effort five years too late. It is one more shining example of the significant failure of the U.S. Government to come to grips with the present need and commit the resources necessary to engage in the Second Great War of Ideas that began in earnest nearly a decade ago.

The nay sayers will broadcast to the world that America is only in it for "blood for oil", that America is for torture, and that American military are murderers. The Democrats, pareticularly Eric Martin, support Al Sadr and his Murder Squads, They say that Malaki is the "real" Iranian puppet, even if he wears a suit and tie and attempts to go after the Taliban types in Basra.

Ted Kennedy said triumphantly . Well, apparently Ted Kennedy forgot about the origins and the epilouge of Vietnam. Obamama didn't vote for the war, but he said he would get out of Iraq, even if the consequence was genocide. That is what the Dems boast about regarding Vietnam: they got out, and the resulting genocide, well They didn't care.

And every stinking Democrat doesn't care about the aftermath of pulling out precipitously from Iraq. The posters on the blog do not and Obama does not either. This is

The Democrats are against Americas goals for Democracy, civil society, and a middle class in the Middle East. They actively support Al Sadr, and actively oppose the War on Terror. This is very similar to the Democratic opposition to liberation of Eastern Europe. Almost all to the Democrats were against the very actions that gave freedom to millions of people, because they were against the Republicans.

I cannot fathom why it the Democrats think that it is advantageous to side with America's enemies, and with dictators and would-be dictators like Castro, Al Sadr, Assad, etc., but they do it over and over again.

Darnit!

I think it is important that the USA reiterate its goals in the Middle East: to establish democracies, and a middle class

Really? Those are the only goals? The US isn't committed to supporting the security of Israel? I could have sworn that pretty much every national politician had at some point claimed that was one of our primary objectives in the middle east...

What I don't get is why Republicans have long supported dictators like Mubarak in Egypt. Dictatorial governments are bad for the middle class, right? So why did Reagan and both Bushes ensure that we kept giving lots of cash to Mubarak? Do Republicans hate the middle class? Or do they just like dictatorships. Surely, our long time support for the dictatorial regime in Egypt has nothing to do with our interest in Israeli security...after all, the only goals the US has in the middle east are establishing democracy and promoting the growth of a middle class. DaveC said so himself.

Is it time to install a breathalyzer on your computer, DaveC?

"I do think that the United States needs to be able to present it's side of the story to the world."

That's why we have a State Department. And we used to have a U.S. Information Agency, but your Republican pals decided it wasn't necessary, and eliminated it. Good job, Republicans! Thanks, Jesse Helms!

"he Democrats, pareticularly Eric Martin, support Al Sadr and his Murder Squads,"

Etc.

And this is where you engage in your contemptible lying and slander again.

If this isn't bannable, I don't know what is.

Hey Dave --

I'm assuming you've had a bad day and you're venting. I have no real issue with that, I've done it myself.

With all due respect, you sound like a crazy wild man. I bet if you were to dial it back about down from 11 to somewhere around 4 you might have a thoughtful point to make. Not the one you seem to be trying to make here, probably, but maybe some other, more reasonable one.

Maybe you want to chill out a bit and try again later.

Thanks -

DaveC: I do not like to do this. However, you have slandered the people here pretty regularly, and been warned about it. Saying that we don;t care about the aftermath in Iraq, let alone that Eric supports death squads, is so far beyond the pale that you are out of here.

You are banned, or will be once I regain my banning powers.

In your place, I would think about why, exactly, I feel compelled to write this kind of genuinely hateful and hurtful stuff to members of a community who have shown you more friendship and concern than you have ever shown us. But then, of course, I'm not you.

Ouch, DaveC banned...the end of an era. I always thought DaveC's comments were interesting and had a flair of humor attached to them, even if "some" might consider it obnoxious. In a lot of ways I look up to him, primarily because he's articulating what I was sort of thinking but couldn't get my mind around to write on a blog with pretty high standards for content/comments. DaveC wasn't afraid to take on the machine, you gotta respect that.

"even if 'some' might consider it obnoxious."

Oddly, I don't take kindly to being told I'm a traitor, I want Sadr to triumph, I hate America, I want America to lose, I want American soldiers killed, I'm indifferent to Vietnamese lives, and so on and so forth, as DaveC has repeatedly claimed over and over and over and over for years now. Hilarious as you may find such claims.

DaveC is about the only person on ObWi who has ever seriously pissed me off. And close to the only person in the blogosphere, as well.

But he's repeated these slanders so endlessly that it's clear that he means them, and frankly, he's about the only person I've ever encountered online who has seriously given me an urge to punch him in the face.

Precisely because people around here treat him as a "decent," "good" guy, and not as a troll.

Words have meaning. There's civil disagreement, and there's fighting words. Don't tell me I don't love my country, or that I don't care about genocide. Don't tell me you care about Israel and I don't. Don't lie about me and about what I believe, with such claims, over and over and over and over, after being warned not to, over and over and over, for year after year.

It'll piss me off.

You wouldn't like me when I'm pissed off.

pretty high standards for content/comments

The standards were relaxed for DaveC because people remembered what he used to be. No one else would have gotten away with the slander for so long. If you think that we're all sympathizing with terrorists, hate America, and rejoice in the deaths of soldiers, please keep it to yourself rather than taking on "the machine" (otherwise known as common decency). Also, try not to tell us that you come here to abuse us because your liberal co-workers or neighbors have annoyed you and it's safer to take it out on us unreal people rather than people you have to encounter face to face.

In a lot of ways I look up to him, primarily because he's articulating what I was sort of thinking but couldn't get my mind around to write on a blog with pretty high standards for content/comments.

What Glenn Greenwald aptly describes as the Right's two-pronged religion of rage and self-pity - of which DaveC was certainly an open follower, and you are, apparently, a covert follower. Well, well.

With regard to DaveC:

Were I to hang out on a regular basis on a blog that actively wanted McCain and Palin to win, I would certainly feel bitterly angry and express hate towards the people who were actively cheerleading the US and the world towards destruction. Which is evidently how DaveC feels about Obama's supporters and McCain's opponents. That and I think he only posts here when he's pissed as a newt on Saturday night.

The chief difference is, of course, that McCain actually would be a disaster-area President, just as Bush has been, and anyone would need to be pissed as a newt through the week to think it would actually be a good idea for McCain to win.

But the other difference is that I was a regular at a right-wing blog, and when I realized I was getting too angry and hateful towards the deluded, horrifying stupid wretches* who posted such insane things there, I just quit commenting. If DaveC feels the same way about the Obsidian Wing regulars, he should ultimately welcome a break.

*Who I'm sure were perfectly nice people in their private lives.

Well, most of them.

pissed

In the British and American senses.

I particularly liked this bit:

The Democrats, pareticularly [sic] Eric Martin, support Al Sadr and his Murder Squads, They say that Malaki is the "real" Iranian puppet, even if he wears a suit and tie and attempts to go after the Taliban types in Basra.

Even if he wears a suit? Have you ever seen the leader of Hamas? He wears a suit too. I mean, is that really the depth of analysis required to determine a given leader's political leanings?

Also: Taliban types in Basra?

The Taliban practice an ultra-orthodox (perverted) form of Sunni Islam. They had zero tolerance for other religions, or other Muslim sects. They were notoriously brutal in their treatment of Shiites in Afghanistan.

So tell me DaveC, if you're not yet banned: which groups in Basra were like the Taliban?

of which DaveC was certainly an open follower, and you are, apparently, a covert follower.

I don't even consider myself very right-wing like Greenwald mentions, but if you want to cast me in that light, I suppose that's your perogative. It's a free country after all.

LT Nixon: but if you want to cast me in that light

That's a bit disingenuous, given that I was responding to your own assertion that DaveC is "articulating what I was sort of thinking but couldn't get my mind around to write on a blog with pretty high standards".

You have cast yourself in that light, if you admit you were "sort of thinking" that (for example) "every stinking Democrat doesn't care about the aftermath of pulling out precipitously from Iraq. The posters on the blog do not and Obama does not either."

I thought this website was supposed to be a portal into the way people think about politics. Honestly, I do think that from time to time, but I don't try to articulate it into a comment or anything. But I give DaceC props for giving it a shot. It's offensive, but so is reality.

I thought this website was supposed to be a portal into the way people think about politics.

Well, yes. You opened up a portal into how you think about politics. Still not seeing why you think that I am "casting you in this light" when it's your own admission that you think "Democrats think that it is advantageous to side with America's enemies, and with dictators and would-be dictators like Castro, Al Sadr, Assad, etc." that is casting you in this light.

It's offensive, but so is reality.

So because the real world is offensive to you wingnuts, you feel free to be offensive right back to the people living in the reality-based community?

I thought this website was supposed to be a portal into the way people think about politics.

You thought wrong. People think an infinite number of things about politics. Most of those things are very very wrong. OW is supposed to be a place where being correct matters, or at least matters a great deal more than having an unsubstantiated opinion.

It's offensive, but so is reality.

But it is also stupid. Really: saying crazy unsubstantiated things about what other people believe is not just offensive, but stupid, and it makes you look stupid. It has nothing to do with reality: this is just random smears that DaveC made up in his head. How would you feel if I started talking about how much you love having sex with goats and how the local papers are filled with stories of your hot goat love? That would be offensive, but it would also be OK since that's reality right? And reality is offensive sometimes, right?

What say you, o mighty goat blower?

Jes and Turb, please consider dialing it back a bit.

How would you feel if I started talking about how much you love having sex with goats and how the local papers are filled with stories of your hot goat love? What say you, o mighty goat blower?

haha, I probably would think it was pretty hilarious. But I have a warped sense of humor.

Hey, I don't think LT Nixon actually blows goats. But if the standard we're aspiring to is "saying random offensive things is good because reality is sometimes offensive", then talking about his goat blowing proclivities seems perfectly fine. Now, if someone would like to argue that DaveC's comments are better substantiated than accusations of LT Nixon's goat blowing tendencies, I'd love to see that. I don't think anyone can do that though, but please, surprise me.

The point remains: we should refrain from making statements about other commenter's beliefs absent serious evidence. That point is a lot more important than the kooky notion that OW is a forum for all possible whacked out lunatic political beliefs that exist in the fevered minds of every drug addled klansman.

haha, I probably would think it was pretty hilarious. But I have a warped sense of humor.

Do you think everyone else enjoys the same thing? Do you think your mother would like it if I accused her of blowing goats? Do you think making random crazy unsupported accusations is a good way to conduct a discussion?

Turb and Jes,

I think the LT is trying to remain a little light-hearted with his most recent comments, perhaps some slack is in order.

IMO, I think it's OK for the LT to sort of think out loud on occasion. We should all give each other that space as long as we agree to keep the discussion within reason in the aftermath.

Lord knows I've written things in posts and comments that I'd like to have back and/or a chance to explain/reconsider.

DaveC, IMO again, was a repeat offender and a flagrant violator of civility. LT Nixon, on the other hand, has been a valuable contributor.

I'd rather discuss which of DaveC's comments rang true to the LT, and why, then try to tar him with every crazy thing DaveC ever wrote.

What Eric just said.

And what Anarch just said.

Look: we have, in fact, cut DaveC a whole lot of slack. During that time, even though he is really great over at TiO, when he comes here he feels compelled to tell us, repeatedly, how we all hate the troops, hate our country, support al Qaeda, want to throw our opponents into psychiatric prisons, etc., etc., etc.

I don't know how it looks to anyone else, but to me, those are serious things to say. And DaveC knows us well enough, I would have thought, to know that. But he does it anyways. It's as though none of us here are people, who might actually mind being called traitors, or told that we support death squads.

I think the LT is trying to remain a little light-hearted with his most recent comments, perhaps some slack is in order.

I don't get this at all. When LT Nixon says "I always thought DaveC's comments were interesting and had a flair of humor attached to them, even if "some" might consider it obnoxious. In a lot of ways I look up to him, primarily because he's articulating what I was sort of thinking but couldn't get my mind around to write on a blog with pretty high standards for content/comments.", I don't see anything lighthearted. I see someone who claims to agree with DaveC. In the last 6 months, I haven't seen DaveC write a single comment that was either interesting or funny or failed to slander people. If LT Nixon thinks those comments are great and worth emulating...well, that doesn't seem lighthearted to me.

LT Nixon, on the other hand, has been a valuable contributor.

I might have missed his valuable contributions...can you think of what they were? I don't recall any.

I'd rather discuss which of DaveC's comments rang true to the LT, and why, then try to tar him with every crazy thing DaveC ever wrote.

No one is stopping him from doing that. I note that he has failed to take you up on your request. I've noticed that he occasionally says something bizarre or unsupportable, gets called on it, and then disappears. Which is what he's done here.

Seriously Eric, I don't get what you're asking me. Since apparently hilzoy and Anarch agree with your request, could one of you explain precisely what you think I've done wrong and what you want me to do differently?

Turb,

The light-hearted comment was in reference to his willingness to play along re: goat blowing.

I don't think you did anything wildly wrong here, but this might have been a bit excessive:

Do you think your mother would like it if I accused her of blowing goats?

As for LT Nixon, I've been interacting with him since the days when publius was only writing for his personal site, Legal Fiction, and I can vouch for the fact that he is quite capable of having a rational conversation.

Maybe it would have been better if we had all asked him upfront which of DaveC's ideas he supported. But I'm not trying to dictate conduct.

I was just asking for a bit of slack to be given when commenters are making pretty crude references to mothers and the like.

Check that: I'm not sure if the LT was on Legal Fiction, but I've been in discussions with him on this site, and they have been fruitful.

Eric: I'd rather discuss which of DaveC's comments rang true to the LT, and why

That would be nice, if that was a discussion LT Nixon actually, you know, wanted to have. But it appears he doesn't.

Other than that, what Turbulence said.

The light-hearted comment was in reference to his willingness to play along re: goat blowing.

Ah. I suppose it could have been lighthearted. Or it could have been honest: I know people who find that funny, and that's how I took it.

I don't think you did anything wildly wrong here, but this might have been a bit excessive:

Eric, that was a hypothetical intended to demonstrate that saying horrific things about people is likely to insult them and shut down productive discussion. LTN doesn't seem to believe that concept. He doesn't seem to see any problem with DaveC's use of the tactic and he claims to be fine with being called a goat blower. I think it is important for DaveC followers to understand why DaveC was banned. LTN's comments suggest that he doesn't get it.

Obviously, I don't think LTN's mother has sex with animals. I know nothing about her. But if someone has difficulty understanding the concept that making up lies about people is bad, I think asking how they would feel if someone made up lies about their mother is reasonable.

I agree with you that LTN is better than DaveC, but I don't see tons of daylight between them. Check out his performance on the Debate Advice thread: he doesn't know much about economics, so he says bizarre stuff, gets called on it (politely I might add), and then refuses to engage. Nothing wrong with that per se, but it sure does remind me of DaveC...

I'm not going to lie, fear that the left hates America, wants troops dead, loves our enemies, has been a major contributor to "non-liberals" paranoia regarding progressive America for a long time. Not saying whether it is true or not, and I'm sure you'll say I've been brainwashed by talk radio or something, but it's interesting to see how different personalities respond in this forum. I think ObWi is very influential and intellectual, and DaveC would just use direct methods in an attempt to dredge up responses. The tactics were crude, and it's not my place to question Hilzoy's banning policy, but the results of DaveC's interactions were very interesting, I gotta say.

However, I'm sorry Hilzoy felt hurt or attacked, and I didn't think people took these matters so personally. So maybe it would have been best if he didn't leave comments such as these.

LT, you believe people shouldn't take it personally when someone insults them personally? Hilzoy felt attacked because she was attacked. I don't understand what you're not seeing here.

KCinDC,

I don't find the concept irrational, but you see so much of it on the internet I just thought no one cared that much. I suppose I thought wrong.

LT Nixon: who exactly do you think constitutes the "Left"? How many people are in the Left? Do you think a significant number of commenters on this thread are part of the Left? Is hilzoy part of the Left?

I'm asking you about what you yourself believe and will stand by. I'm not interested in what you think other people believe.

The fact that someone disappears at a given moment or day or week doesn't remotely necessarily mean they're ducking a topic. They may just be, you know, busy.

God knows there are countless times I can't be around at a given moment or day or week, and I'd be right irritated if someone insisted that meant I was deliberately ducking conversation.

(Witness the fact that I've been unable to post for half an hour just now, and a an equal time earlier, due to the erratic wireless connection in this house.)

Speaking only for myself: while I think I disagree with LT Nixon on pretty much all large-scale policy questions, he seems perfectly capable of reasoned (and reasonable) discussion. Boring after him like he's the new Conservative Boogeyman seems to me both rude and counterproductive and, what's more, entirely unwarranted. This is in stark contrast with DaveC who, though he's perfectly capable of reasoned discussion, has chosen to regard ObWi as his personal flaming/trolling grounds. I have no idea why he made that choice, nor do I particularly care; I'm just interested in participating* in a forum where people of varying walks can converse in a civil, if occasionally passionate, manner.

* In a largely vicarious fashion, thanks to the new job.

I missed this at first, but:

Turbulence: agree with you that LTN is better than DaveC, but I don't see tons of daylight between them.

Speaking as someone visually impaired himself: dude, check your glasses.

I'm not going to lie, fear that the left hates America, wants troops dead, loves our enemies, has been a major contributor to "non-liberals" paranoia regarding progressive America for a long time.
Please define what you do and don't mean by "the left." I don't know how to respond to this otherwise. Although I'd suggest that there are a lot of crazy people who believe a lot of nonsense about "the left." Certainly relatively few Democrats or liberals believe any such thing, and I can't imagine any rational reason why any sane person would believe such nonsense as above.

There are always a few wacko fringe people who can be found to fill such descriptions, but you're talking about deeply fringe extremists, few of whom even believe in participating in the electoral process, let alone in, say, the Democratic Party.

"...but it's interesting to see how different personalities respond in this forum."

"...but the results of DaveC's interactions were very interesting, I gotta say."

What was interesting, specifically? What do you mean by this?

"I didn't think people took these matters so personally."

How on earth could someone not take such appalling accusations personally when they're made about one's person?

"So maybe it would have been best if he didn't leave comments such as these."

Ya think?

The fact that someone disappears at a given moment or day or week doesn't remotely necessarily mean they're ducking a topic. They may just be, you know, busy.

Very true. Note that I never claimed the contrary. I specifically referred to a pattern. As in, something based on more than one observation.

I am however sorry that you are experiencing wireless difficulties.


Boring after him like he's the new Conservative Boogeyman seems to me both rude and counterproductive and, what's more, entirely unwarranted.

Um, OK. Can you point to specific things I said that were rude or counterproductive?

Speaking as someone visually impaired himself: dude, check your glasses.

OK, done. They're fine. I think we just disagree. Not a big deal. Telling me we disagree without providing any evidence is unlikely to change my mind. Just FYI.

Um, OK. Can you point to specific things I said that were rude or counterproductive?

Your entire goat-blowing analogy, for starters. I mean, you really think

What say you, o mighty goat blower?

is, in present context, productive politesse?

[And fyi, there's a point beyond which Socratic questioning ceases being educational and launches headfirst into plain annoying. That whole analogy is, well, beyond that point.]

Telling me we disagree without providing any evidence is unlikely to change my mind. Just FYI.

I wasn't attempting to write a persuasive essay, I was registering my profound disagreement with your assessment. Whether you consider my disagreement a data point worth consideration is of course your choice; I'd hope, though, that it should count for something.

As to specifics, well, I'll offer one: DaveC routinely declare[s|d] liberals/ObWi readers/whoever to be terror-loving traitors. LT Nixon -- whatever his personal reservations -- doesn't. That distinction, in and of itself, is worth consideration. That distinction is, in fact, the distinction to be made on Obsidian Wings; that whatever our personal beliefs or reservations, we try to communicate in a civil and productive fashion. Yes, he's worried about our devotion to our country and our cause; I'm afraid that the right in this country is lurching beyond proto-fascism and into outright would-be-tyranny. I'm not going to declare him objectively pro-fascist, though, simply because of his political allegiances, and I'd hope that he returns me the favor.* As long as he engages the conversation in a reasonable fashion, well, that's all I can ask; I can only hope that, by the reasonableness of my responses, I can convince him that a) his fears are unwarranted and b) how utterly, utterly wrong he is about everything.

[Hey, a boy can dream!]

Interrogating him as if he were the enemy** -- which, let's be honest, you basically were -- isn't going to do much of anything except reinforce whatever bad impressions he's got of liberals and ossify the conversation into duelling stereotypes, and who the fnord needs that? If I want that kind of strident pointlessness, I have the whole of the internets at my disposal; if I want something more, well, that's why I come here.

Obviously, YMMV -- but please be aware that, irrespective of your intent, this is how you're being perceived... and that by someone who is, for the most part, in complete agreement with you politically.

* Also because, at an individual level, I don't think he is. But that's actually a separate point: at least there I'd be regarding him as an individual, as opposed to the blanket condemnations DaveC makes.

** Rhetorical enemy, not enemy combatant, natch.

Incidentally:

An investigation by the military has concluded that American airstrikes on Aug. 22 in a village in western Afghanistan killed far more civilians than American commanders there have acknowledged, according to two American military officials.

The military investigator’s report found that more than 30 civilians — not 5 to 7 as the military has long insisted — died in the airstrikes against a suspected Taliban compound in Azizabad.

Turb said LT Nixon: who exactly do you think constitutes the "Left"? How many people are in the Left? Do you think a significant number of commenters on this thread are part of the Left? Is hilzoy part of the Left?

I'm asking you about what you yourself believe and will stand by.

This blog seems to write posts that are favorable to Obama, and the commenters are generally in agreement. It's probably fair to say that most people here consider themselves liberals, like most people at Hot Air or TOwn Hall consider themselves conservative.

Gary asked What was interesting, specifically? What do you mean by this?

DaveC gave me a ObWi post here. Many of the comments seem to make jokes about the violence going on in Sadr City/Basrah/Green Zone in March 2008, apparently to make anyone who supported Iraq a mental midget. There seems to be a tendency for some people to adopt a morally superior and self-righteous position about their political beliefs, and DaveC could poke holes in some of the hypocrisy of this. Don't dare question their patriotism or their "support of the troops" as Americans are getting killed in a war, even though they're making wisecracks. You know, interesting.

I'm not going to declare him objectively pro-fascist, though, simply because of his political allegiances, and I'd hope that he returns me the favor

That's very kind of you.

LT Nixon: Thanks for coming back and responding.

Don't dare question their patriotism or their "support of the troops" as Americans are getting killed in a war, even though they're making wisecracks.

There are 23 comments on that thread, of which 11, at the broadest, could be described as "wisecracks" - ranging from an exchange about Sadr's civil disobedience between Sarah J and Hilzoy, to a punning comment by Slartibartfast, to pure black humor. Two comments make reference to Andy Olmsted, who had been killed in Iraq 10 weeks previously (and whose request was that we neither use his death to attack US presence in Iraq nor to support it: which request all the regulars honored, regardless of our personal opinion of the war: Andy was one of the good guys).

The article itself is about the failure of the Surge and increased violence in Iraq. It is actually more about Iraqis getting killed in Iraq than it is about Americans getting killed in Iraq.

Seven comments out of the 23 are either long or link to articles that comment on the current situation.

There was no criticism of "the troops" and no crticism of anyone's patriotism for supporting the war in Iraq.

Four comments make reference to or link to an article written by Charles Bird, a former front page poster at Obsidian Wings, who habitually greeted any new news from Iraq with the conclusion that the war had turned the corner and things would be getting better in six months.

The difference between the mockery of Charles Bird and DaveC's pointless attacks was just that: the mockery of Charles Bird had a specific point - it was based on something Charles Bird habitually does.

If your feeling is that it's somehow improper to respond to really bad news with wisecracks about the situation - that the only proper response to a horrible situation is absolute seriousness and attention to the facts, no black humor allowed, I have to ask: Why then do you feel it's proper for DaveC to respond to really bad news with "wisecracks" about the people discussing the news?

The arab peoples do see the USA administration completly illumineted and ill-minded...they need justice and no-one can divert their vision...they do have their culture, their relegion, their history or their own history interpretation...and they consider that Mr Glassman can't anyway divert them and their sons...they have number of spolied rights to regain...then no chance to win the war of ideas declared by the public deplomacy undersecratary!

"Many of the comments seem to make jokes about the violence going on in Sadr City/Basrah/Green Zone in March 2008, apparently to make anyone who supported Iraq a mental midget."

They do? I don't recall jokes about violence: can you give a few examples, please?

"...and DaveC could poke holes in some of the hypocrisy of this."

I have trouble understanding this, because in my understanding, to poke holes in hypocrisy, one has to use facts and logic. All DaveC ever used is simple abuse.

"There seems to be a tendency for some people to adopt a morally superior and self-righteous position about their political beliefs"

Good thing DaveC is free of that.

Don't dare question their patriotism or their "support of the troops" as Americans are getting killed in a war, even though they're making wisecracks. You know, interesting.

Are you similarly critical of soldiers who make the same wisecracks?

That's very kind of you.

I'm all heart :)

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