Ten Things We’ve Forgotten About the Iraq War

As the Iraq war enters its fifth year, its time to reflect on some of the things that we’ve long since forgotten.
1. Most people have forgotten–or never knew–all the reasons we went to war.H.J.RES.114 is the Congressional resolution that authorized the President to use force to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. Most Americans–probably including the 136 Congressional Representatives and 16 Senators who co-sponsored the resolution–have never bothered to read the text and instead parrot nonsense about “why we really went to war.” This law, however, provides the complete list of justifications for why we went to war with Iraq. This law establishes the criteria that the American people–through their elected representatives–agreed were sufficient reasons for using force in Iraq. The list includes:

Continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability (false); actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability (true); supporting and harboring terrorist organizations (true); continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population (true); refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq (true); failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait (true); demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people (true); attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush (true); firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces (true); harbored members of al-Qaeda (true); continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations (true).

Critics of the war who deny or downplay these reasons for going to war are either ignorant or dishonest. They are either unaware of the real reasons provided to the American people by their legislature or do know and are intentionally being deceptive.
2. The plan to overthrow Saddam began during the Clinton Administration — The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) was a Congressional statement of policy calling for regime change in Iraq which Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on October 31, 1998. The Act authorized the President to provide assistance (including military assistance that didn’t require the use of U.S. military force) to anti-Saddam groups working to enact a regime change. This act was also cited in H.J.RES.114.


3. It wasn’t just neo-conservatives who made the case for war. — Kenneth Pollack was the Iran-Iraq military analyst for the CIA, and the director of Persian Gulf Affairs and Near East and South Asian Affairs for the National Security Council under Bill Clinton. Pollack had both the experience and credentials to make liberals take notice so when his book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, debuted in 2002 it caused quite a splash among fence-sitters who were unwilling to accept the Republicans case for war. The New York Times claimed that Pollack‘s, ‘argument for invading Iraq is surely the most influential book of this season, has provided intellectual cover for every liberal who finds himself inclining toward war but uneasy about Mr. Bush.” According to The New Yorker, Pollack’s ‘comprehensive and convincing” case for war was presented, ‘More effectively than Dick Cheney or Paul Wolfowitz or any other of the hawkish big thinkers in the Administration…”
4. Saddam released over 100,000 hardened criminals from prison before the war. — At the beginning of the war, 1 out of every 200 Iraqis on the streets was a convicted rapist, robber, or murderer, or other felon. Unleashing such a horde of convicts would naturally have a devastating and detrimental impact on any society. Imagine what life would be like if we emptied every prison in Texas, a state that has approximately the same land area and population as Iraq. How safe do you think it would be to walk the streets of Austin or Dallas? Imagine also that the police forces had been disbanded and was having to be reconstituted. How long do you think it would take before the state was able to reach a level of ‘stability?”
Even if such an event were to occur here in the U.S. during a time of peace, it would be impossible for even the best police forces and military units to capture and reincarcerate all of these criminals within four years. The problem is compounded exponentially by occurring during a time of post-war reconstruction in a country run by a former dictator. Given such circumstances, how can anyone seriously claim that the country should even be close to being stable?
While I don’t think that all of the security issues in Iraq can be blamed on these criminals, a significant amount of the ‘insurgent activity” can reasonably be attributed to old fashioned lawlessness. Yet I can’t recall having heard anyone, either from the Left or from the Right, even mention this as a factor. Such an omission is inexcusable and I find it difficult to take any pundit seriously when they fail to take such realities into account.
5. Every Western government believed that Iraq had WMDs — In a interview with The Atlantic Monthly (Dec. 30, 2003), Kenneth Pollack made clear that Bush is not the only one who believed that Iraq had WMDs:

[The Atlantic] You too were a believer in the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. How did that happen and on what evidence did you come to that conclusion?

My evidence came straight from the intelligence community. …I was certainly not alone in this—this was a consensus among the U.S. government, it was a consensus among the UN inspectors, it was a consensus of American experts outside the U.S. government. In fact, it was a consensus in the entire international community.

It’s important to remember that any intelligence service or country with the ability to monitor Iraq and its weapons programs—Germany, France, Britain, Russia, Israel—was a hundred percent certain that Saddam had these programs. There may have been some debate over just how aggressive they were or how far along they were. The Germans were the most alarmist of all on the subject of a nuclear weapon. They thought the Iraqis might have one in as little as two or three years. Our own intelligence community tended to be a little more conservative; they thought it was more like four to six years away—or five to seven. But no one doubted that Saddam had these weapons.


So there would have been very few, if any, people, who ever posited, even as a hypothetical, that Iraq didn’t have any imminent WMD programs?
I can’t think of anyone who did not believe that the Iraqis had a weapons of mass destruction program. There was simply no one.

6. Economic sanctions helped strengthen Saddam — With sanctions effectively forbidding all other foreign commerce, Iraq’s only legitimate trade was whatever flowed through Saddam’s ministries under the supervision of the UN program.
The UN even expanded the Oil-For-Food-Program (OFFP) to allow Saddam to import not just food and medicine but oil-industry equipment as well. The cap on the amount of oil that Iraq could sell was also raised from $4 billion to $10 billion a year. Saddam thanked the UN for their generosity by throwing the UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq.
In 2000, Saddam found another way to profit from the venture. As Claudia Rosett wrote in an article in Commentary magazine:

It worked like this. Saddam would sell at below-market prices to his hand-picked customers—the Russians and the French were special favorites—and they could then sell the oil to third parties at a fat profit. Part of this profit they would keep, part they would kick back to Saddam as a “surcharge,” paid into bank accounts outside the UN program, in violation of UN sanctions.

This allowed the dictator to pocket billions of dollars that was intended to be used for the relief of the Iraqi people. Emboldened by the UN’s refusal to reign him in, Saddam also began to smuggle out oil through Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. Rather than put a stop to this violation, the UN chose to expand the program even further. In 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan approved “Oil-for-Food Plus” which added ten new sectors to be funded by the program, including “labor and social affairs,” “information,” “justice,” and “sports.” This allowed the UN to aid in financing, as Rossett points out, “the realms of Baathist party patronage, propaganda, censorship, secret police, rape rooms, and mass graves.”
7. Iraq was linked to Al Qaeda — Although you still hear people claim otherwise, Saddam had ties to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. As the 9/11 commision chair Thomas Kean told reporters, “Were there contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy, but they were there.” Vice Chair Lee Hamilton added, “There were connections between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein’s government. We don’t disagree with that. What we have said is that we don’t have any evidence of a cooperative, or a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein’s government and these al-Qaida operatives with regard to attacks on the United States [italics added]. So it seems to me that the sharp differences that the press has drawn, that the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.”
8. Democratic politicians like Ted Kennedy predicted that tens of thousands of Americans would die in combatKennedy said, ““The 45,000 body bags the Pentagon has sent to the region are all the evidence we need of the high price in lives and blood we will have to pay.” Kennedy also quoted General Joseph Hoar, who warned that when urban warfare broke out in Baghdad, the U.S. could run through “battalions a day at a time” and that the fighting would look like “the last fifteen minutes of ‘Private Ryan.’”
9. The pre-war casualty predictions were extremely inflated. — Before the war, the United Nations predicted that the civilian death toll in Iraq could reach 500,000. Current estimates are between 35,000 -40,000 — including insurgents and other combatents.
10. The U.S. did not attack Iraq “unilaterally.” — The UN has 148 democracies that were available to join the “Coalition of the Willing”:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Isle of Man, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Now look at the list of countries that joined our call to action:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, (Canada), Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, (Israel), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Isle of Man, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Switzerland, (Taiwan), Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

What about the other countries? We can’t expect nations who were on Saddam’s payroll to join us so we can exclude France and Russia. Three other countries refused, for various reasons, to get involved militarily (Germany, Egypt, and Bangladesh). Pakistan has its hands full aiding us in Afghanistan and Switzerland is, as always, neutral, so we can scratch those two as well. The countries that don’t have a military (Andorra, Dominica, Kiribati, Mauritius, Panama, Nauru, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) are obviously excluded as are the states that rely on others for their defense (Bermuda, Greenland, Isle of Man, Niue).
Because of the cost to deploy troops to Iraq, we should remove any country with a military budget under $200 million a year (Antigua, Armenia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).
Once we scrub our list we are left with the following:

Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen

These are the remaining democracies–the able but unwilling–that did not join us in overthrowing a brutal dictator.

Published by

Joe Carter

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicaton.

  • Ludwig

    Joe,you can try all you want,you will never transform the criminal invasion of Iraq into anything other than the unmitigated disaster that it is…nor will you ever change the well established FACT that this always was nothing more than a COMMERCIAL venture…most people know that now and eventually,the faith over fact crowd that you hang with is gonna have to come to term with that.

  • http://fourthplanet.net/dmind/ Ben Martin

    A flurry of subteleties, Joe, but that misses the real point.
    Instead of responding point by point, let me take you back to early 2003 and let you see what life was like for those of us on the other side of the fence, and think about some things supposrters of the war forget about the war:
    The Whitehouse has been agitating for war since September. We we are blindsided by this sudden concern about Iraq. After all, we were involved in a war in Afghanistan already. And it seemed like there were countries with much worse terrorist connections, such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, even Pakistan (though not through their official government, admittedly) (and also, incidentally – Sudan). So why Iraq? We were puzzled. In fact people are talking about the brutal repression of Iraqis, but the situation is much worse in North Korea, for one. Actually, all over the Middle East people experience brutal repression, and while it might not match Iraq, it certainly can be competetive. I mean, Iran, hello! So why Iraq? The only apparent answer seems to be, because they get by with it.
    Oh, people were talking about the WMD issue. What I knew at the time was that it was possible Iraq had WMD. People like Hans Blix though it could be true, at least at first. Colin Powell, the one guy most of us trusted in this administration, got up and said it was true. I was giving greater than 50-50 odds on the fact in the end. BUT what I also knew was that (1) the presence of such weapons could not be grounds for war and (2) the Whitehouse clearly didn’t care whether there were WMDs or not, they were going to war if they felt like it (yes, I thought this in 2003 – no I am not making that up – it was pretty darn obvious). The Whitehouse was not letting weapons inspectors finish inspecting. Plus, they had thrown a whole bunch of issues at the wall to see which ones would stick. WMD and the plight of the Iraqis were the ones that did. But if other reasons had played well, I believed at the time, those would have been used instead.
    The plight of the Iraqis… This was the one that gave me pause. Do people really believe that those of us opposeds to this war, opposed to war in general, somehow thought that life under Saddam Hussein was all peaches and cream? Or that we wanted the Iraqi people to suffer? Well, we didn’t, or at least I didn’t. I can’t imagine living in such a repressive place. On the other hand, I also know that Iraq was peaceful and stable, and women and Christians enjoyed certain rights, which is a lot better than it was in some place. Some people still disappear but 99.5% of the population manages to go about their lives – what will war do in such a situation? At best, there will be collateral damage and destruction of infrasturcture such as hospitals and water plants (and possibly even prisons, by the way, though I’m not sure I thought about that one, but you have to assume… I mean, come on…), probably mounting into the tens of thousands, at worst, a destabilized Iraq descending into civil war. There is plenty of precedent for the latter, and so, much concern on that point. Given those dangers, it seems unwise to go to war at this time, especially considering the weakness of the case for war (we should invaded North Korea, at least that would almost make sense…) and the possible trade offs. Most of the people who died under Iraq died in a much earlier era, there is much less need for intervaention now, and war will likely take more lives than it saves.
    Even with that though, the pro-war case almost had me going. I wanted to see Iraqis free. I didn’t want to see a war, but I would like to see Iraqis free. So, I didn’t always voice my opposition as loudly as I wished I had. I think in the back of my head I almost wished you would invade. But when I was rational, when I actually thought about it, it didn’t make sense.
    My decision to oppose the war was based on two things: (1) The delicate balance between the number of people dying in Iraq, and the number of people who will die in or as a result of war. I could only guess on those, but I couldn’t see it coming out better than even with everything taken in to account. (2) A conviction based on so much world history that war never ends neatly, and violence almost always perpetuates more violence. Everyone always thinks they can control violence, they can control war, but it doesn’t work that way. Every once in a while it works, but so often it doesn’t. And in the process of fighting a war, the seeds of the wars of the next generation are sowed. People become angry about what happened in the last war, even if unintentionally, and you set up a cycle of violence that goes on. I can think of cases where it hasn’t happend, but Iraq didn’t seem likely to be one of those places. We were already too hated in the Middle East.
    This was the real situation in early 2003. But nobody cared. Sheer arrogance one the day as always. No one listened. No one is listening now. “How could we have known?” WE BLEEPIN KNEW. DON’T GIVE ME THAT.
    Incidentally, a survey of Iraqis I saw, that was done in late 2003 and early 2004 (I forget when) showed that a majority were glad we had gotten rid of Iraq, but a majority were mad about the cessation and continued failure of basic services like water and electricity, and a majority felt we should leave now that the war was over [that was part of the evidence I saw in considering whether I thought we should withdraw then or not – I concluded we would be better off to, probably with international replacements, as was discussed back in 2004, I think). (I have not seen more recent surveys.] But at least, if that survey was right, you have the fact that the Iraqis agreed with you. That much I will grant you. But I still do not think it was wise course of action. If I had thought a majority of Iraqis would have supported an invasion would I have supported it? I don’t know. War has a way of getting much messier than anyone has planned on. The invasion could have been much worse. Instability could have happened earlier so that even with an early withdrawal, things would have been bad. War is NOT a good solution.
    I could quibble with some of your points, but in the end it doesn’t matter. This is not a dispute about evidence and facts, this is a dispute about beliefs about the nature of offensive war and violence. You believe it can be a force for good, and that it can be practically successful, and I reject both claims with some qualification. When I was very young I was naive enough to believe that an offensive war could liberate the oppressed. But I’ve grown up since then…
    Now, I know you were making a point about Iraq, but since we talked about this earlier… where does this leave Darfur?
    First, what’s being advocated in Darfur is not necessarily WAR. Not all military actions are created equal in this age of “peacekeeping.” Surely no one thinks the delpoyment of US troops to Bosnia was war. So this may not be war. In which case I think the moral and practical case would overwhelmingly be on the side of deployment.
    But things are getting more tense, at least between Khartoum and everyone else. Would an action now end up as war? It certainly could. Would it then be moral? If there are ongoing actions against civilians, I would think so. It would be messy, but it would be better than the alternative. There would already be violence, so we would not be adding any violence. And no one could accuse us of inciting conflict. But if there were to be war, incidentally, I think still there would be a difference between strictly defensive war and choosing to actually invade the rest of Sudan. I think that gets much stickier. I don’t think I would support a full scale war there. Not that anyone ever asks me…
    So I would be willing to support deployment to Darfur. (I would even be willing to go myself if I knew that I was going as a peacekeeper, and not to fight an actual war.)
    If people really want an all out war in Sudan, I might give more nuanced answers, but for now let’s stick to something I would support fully.

  • Ludwig

    Ben Martin
    we re not going to go to Darfur and the reason for this is self evident…there no monney to be made there like there is in Iraq.

  • In a nutshell

    Kumar
    Chennai
    India.
    After entering Iraq. No WMD’s were found. War in Iraq has not ended terrorism …. Most probably created more bitterness among the middle east community and their friends across the world. Is the world better of Now ? Were there other methods of curbing terrorism originating from Iraq ? What has happened while the concentration was on Iraq , has Al qaeda regrouped , has terrorism become more deep rooted ? Answers we will have to find at the earliest to move in the direction of a long term solution.
    How to limit terrorism , the answer maybe a coordinated effort in intelligence, and policies in arm sales. We will have to do some hard thinking on our attitudes towards Id’s and related “Big Brother watching” issues. Could help in tracking of terrorists thru study of movement patterns of suspects. Radical solutions necessary in this area.
    Identification and severely restrict illegal sale of arms. Tougher Penalties and laws for default. Identification of countries which are lax on such sales and activity , monitoring of travel to and from such countries. Existing law and policies may cover this to a good extent , but are they coordinated and implemented effectively ?

  • missvi87

    For the first time in my life I’m responding to a blog; this one I couldn’t resist.
    What a load of crap. And not one word about the U.S. dollars Saddam wouldn’t accept as payment for Iraqi oil…
    I’m with your pal Ludwig: Try as you might the invasion (and might I add an illegal one at that) of Iraq was never more than a commercial venture — one I like to refer to as Operation Expansion GNP.
    Iraqis will lead better lives now that they’ll have access to Nike sneakers, Levi jeans, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Britney Spears CDs, and not to be overlooked, cell phones! What would life be without a cell phone?
    Hurrah for freedom!

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    When I posted over on DailyKos that we *could* win the war, the scoffing was deafening. And while I have general reservations about the situation, the Left is so far off base I can’t come anywhere near their position. All of the economic suppositions are speculative and cries of “Oil” and “Halliburton” amount to mere cheerleading.
    Sadly, the Left may well send our soldiers to Darfur out of an act of the Religious Left’s new political morality.
    What many forget is why we went into the Balkans — the shell game of public opinion that was played through the media for months ahead of time:
    1. We can’t go in. WWI started because of a conflict there.
    2. Oh, there’s no problem. Now we can go in.
    This was based on a lie worse than the Iraq reasons of national interest — it was the UN game. And it got a patriotic soldier dishonorably discharaged for not wishing to wear UN colors.
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • We Hate Bush!

    Great post Joe.
    A very simple and logical reminder. And the Left writes again in pure emotion and hate for the President. The thing that has me scratching my head is my personal friends that have been to Iraq and in battle. The stories of success, aid, and friendships is amazing. The Left does not want success in Iraq. Hate is a terrible thing. And it’s somehow tied to decreasing intelligence.

  • http://backofthedesert.blogspot.com/ Fabio

    The prosecution of this war and its outcome are bona fide disasters, but questioning our decision to enter Iraq is revisionist and partisan at best. Tommy Franks pointed out in his book that Egyptian, Jordanian, British, Russian, and Israeli intel all corroborated our WMD story. It’s easy to armchair quarterback now, but with the World Trade Center rubble still smoldering, what would you have done when presented with the same information??

  • Joe, I’m backing you

    The most publicised reason we went to war with iraq was the fact we were ‘getting the WMD’s out’. This was obviously false, but, one of a long list of to-do’s in the US, one of which, her & the rest of the worlds safety.
    In the end, everyother country is thoroughly gutless unless the US steps up to the block first. The US went in here with solid gold intentions, backed by her allies, and has made drastic efforts to make todays world a safer place from terrorism.
    If anyone argues this war was a bad idea, and we should go chat with terrorists and reason for our own freedom, then by god you may as well go join the terrorists! You want to reason with a country linked with terrosism and attempt to ‘solve our problems’? If so, then, I say everyone of you who thinks the US is wrong, go over and start your ‘diplomacies’ and fix it!

  • JohnW

    THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS.
    [especially true when you lie to support something that caused the needless death and injury to hundreds of thousands of people]

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    I don’t think the oil connection is just “cheerleading.”
    “Whose Oil is it Anyway?”
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/13/opinion/edjuhasz.php
    I also wonder about the sell on the WMD. As displayed the last few weeks in the Libby/Cheney Plame scandal, the administration was not interested in facts that interrupted their plans on Iraq. Besides as Reagon said “The Buck stops here.”

  • http://aperfectcontradiction.blogspot.com/ fabulinus

    If I may add to this discussion, I have done a great deal of research on the war to liberate Iraq.
    Congress listed more reasons than Joe, I gave my analysis of the reasons for going to war here (I would post them but this comment would be longer than Joes post + the comment thread to this point if I did).
    Additionally, since many of the commenters are mislead on whether there were WMDs (there were) you can read the proof here.
    To bolster support / add proof to the contention that Saddam and Al Qaeda did have a relationship, I put together a selection of 9/11 commission report quotes here. Essentially the US government said that despite their differences they were on friendly terms. We have no evidence that they were involved in an “operational” relationship, but both sides sought out such a relationship. The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, so we don’t know exactly how close they ended up working together.
    Lastly, for these idiots who think this is really about oil, IF we wanted Saddam’s oil we could have just lifted sanctions and begun a trading relationship. Economists have pointed out that even if we did have a plan to flat out steal every drop of oil from Iraq, the profits from oil could NEVER offset the costs of going to war and keeping control of the newly acquired oil fields. It would take between 10 and 20 years at this point to offset the cost of going in, and that is if we stole every drop of oil and every dollar of revenue. Thus far that has NOT occurred. The myth about the war being for oil is a poorly thought out myth, but then again these moonbats who believe that aren’t exactly big thinkers.

  • Nick

    The US went in here with solid gold intentions,
    The road to hell is paved with…

  • bean

    To those who keep up the rant that the war was “illegal,” a few facts for you: a unanimous UN Security Council vote in October 2002 told Saddam to comply with the previous 17 UN resolutions or else face the consequences.
    The 1991 Gulf War technically never ended: Saddam signed a cease-fire, not a truce or a surrender. The cease-fire was contingent upon his complying with the UN mandate to disarm and prove that he had destroyed all his WMD, which in 1991 even Saddam admitted having (and which he had already used against the Iranians and Kurds). Saddam flouted the terms of the cease-fire, so resumption of hostilities was warranted by that fact.
    The Left is so blinded by BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) that they’ll keep repeating the same lies just to keep their heads from exploding.

  • Ludwig

    bean-headed
    The 1991 was did end with a cease-fire under the condition that Saddam would dismantle his chemical and biological programs and arsenal….WHICH HE DID,as confirmed that Scott Ritter as early as 1998…you remmeber him…he was the one weapons inspector that was actually interested in doing his job as opposed to doing some policital croniesm for the powers that be…he was roundly ridiculed by the washington who’s who as well as the press and commonly refered to as Saddam’s whipping boy…yet his report was 100% accurate down to the last dot…to this day,no one has even appologised for calling him a liar all this time. But thats probably because he was never really believed to be a liar by anyone…he was just telling one of those inconveniant truths that conflicted with the administration NEED for this invasion,which their corporate overlords had been requesting for some time…and thats the bottom line…this whole fiasco was nothing more than a war profiteering venture…which was still illegal last time i checked

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com Russ

    The 1991 Gulf War technically never ended: Saddam signed a cease-fire, not a truce or a surrender. The cease-fire was contingent upon his complying with the UN mandate to disarm and prove that he had destroyed all his WMD, which in 1991 even Saddam admitted having (and which he had already used against the Iranians and Kurds).
    Did he not comply?
    In any event, the war was so badly run that any trust in Bush to do any good is destroyed.
    I wonder who the “blinded” are here.

  • Rob Ryan

    It’s hard for me to believe that people are still defending this war.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    It’s hard to imagine people still defending this war? The Left has been, if nothing else, consistent. Back in the 60s they sent people into ‘Nam and then went dove. Same today. One Pres. candidate in ’72 even stated in his ads that the was one of the first hawks to turn dove. That makes the lies of the Left (lies by deception: they were for it before they were against it) very consistent and now visible in an historical pattern.
    I am still wondering if the Left wants to win anything? They certainly don’t want to even protect our borders.

  • bean


    as confirmed that Scott Ritter as early as 1998…you remmeber him…he was the one weapons inspector that was actually interested in doing his job as opposed to doing some policital croniesm for the powers that be.


    Oh, that would be the same Scott Ritter who took a $400,000 bribe from Saddam to make a “film” that somehow never got made.
    Here’s a great book for you to read: “Generation Kill” by Evan Wright, a reporter for that notorious Bush administration propaganda organ, Rolling Stone. Wright was embedded with a Marine recon unit in the initial war, and he reports that they captured several Iraqis who were fully kitted up for chemical warfare. No, they said, their unit did not have the WMD, but the next unit over did. Even Saddam’s generals thought he had WMD, and they planned their defensive tactics accordingly.
    Ludwig, you need to get over your hate-fueled delusions. I think lithium works well for that.

  • Russ

    I did a check up on the Ritter bribe and it didn’t pan out. Furthmore those documents they found in the big raid have not, as far as I know, been, cleared.
    My opinion is that all this talk, generated from hate radio, about the left being against America is not true. We are all Americans who care for our country.

  • phasespace

    fabulinous, don’t insult our intelligence, the link you gave for “proof” of WMD’s doesn’t support your position (but you are trying very hard to spin it that way). It’s common knowledge that Saddaam had and used chemical weapons against his own people and Iran back in the 80’s and 90’s. It is also well known that the vast majority of those chemical weapons had been destroyed, the weapons inspectors after the first gulf war saw to that there wasn’t very much that went unaccounted for. There is evidence that Saddaam did *try* to acquire additional chemical supplies, but was largely unsuccessfull. And as you truthfully note, by the time we invaded Iraq, what was left over had been degraded and was leaking out of their containers and no longer weaponizable.

    In other words, Iraq’s so-called WMD’s did not constitute a clear and present danger to the US in 2003.

  • bean

    Slate.com on Scott Ritter:

    By his own admission, Ritter accepted $400,000 in funding two years ago from an Iraqi-American businessman named Shakir al-Khafaji. Ritter used the money to visit Baghdad and film a documentary purporting to tell the true story of the weapons inspections (which in his telling were corrupted by sinister American manipulation). As Hayes [of the Weekly Standard] has reported, al-Khafaji is openly sympathetic to Saddam and regularly sponsors anti-American conferences in Baghdad. Al-Khafaji seems to have gotten his money’s worth: The documentary was so anti-U.S., says one of Ritter’s former U.N. colleagues, that Iraqi officials were passing out copies of it on CD-ROM at a recent international conference.

  • Ludwig

    bean-headed
    I m still waiting for you to dispute the veracity of the Ritter report…i mean,that would lend some credibility to your charge that Ritter was on Saddam’s payroll if the report he made was false…but since the report was completely accurate in every details,what would be the point of bribing him? I realise that in your head as well as in the head of all the “faith-over-facts” crowd,an american or Iraqi descent with some sympathies for Saddam Husseim giving monney to that the truth comes out directly translate to “Saddam bribed Scott to lie” but here on planet earth,it really doesnt…nice try though

  • bean

    No, Ludwig, you need to address the facts, amply cited, that everyone, including Saddam’s generals, European intelligence agencies and many, many prominent Democrats including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy all thought Saddam had WMD. Even Saddam admitted to having them at the end of the Gulf War, and Hans Blix even said that Saddam had not complied with the promises he’d made then, i.e., proof that he’d destroyed the weapons. Playing his endless shell game was not proof.
    Ritter is a nut-case. Read the rest of the Slate article. His conclusions were derived by whatever anti-American drug he’d suddenly taken, not by the facts on the ground.

  • Ludwig

    for some reason,my response to your latest comment is being held up,beanny…hopefully you ll get to read it…cheers.

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    Why did all these people including democrats believe in the WMD when there were none? Who wanted their oil and who was hell bent on finding evidence even if it was faulty. They say the lead to claims of yellow cake being sought after by Saddam was a pathetic piece of Italian forgery. Reagon said “The buck stops here.” The Bush administration are the ones who went after the evidence, its his responsibility.

  • giggling

    bean:
    lol, well done with respect to the Ritter issue. on the other hand, there’s Ludwig’s juvenile name-calling. That’s an indicator he’s running out of hot air..

  • Steve Brienen

    Regardless of how one feels about the reason(s) for going to war in Iraq, I am absolutly convinced that had we been able to get in and get out in a year and a half instead of 4 years, the impatient American people would have supported the war. It seams that we have turned into a nation of people who have instant gratification issues and want things done NOW. America loves a winner but has no patience to become one.
    I have my doubts about why we went there but to get out now will be a disaster. Looking back, maybe just maybe, we would have been better off to stay in Afganistan instead of going to Iraq,,, but wait…. that has been more than 4 years also,,, so lets pull out.
    Geesh.

  • Steve Brienen

    Regardless of how one feels about the reason(s) for going to war in Iraq, I am absolutly convinced that had we been able to get in and get out in a year and a half instead of 4 years, the impatient American people would have supported the war. It seams that we have turned into a nation of people who have instant gratification issues and want things done NOW. America loves a winner but has no patience to become one.
    I have my doubts about why we went there but to get out now will be a disaster. Looking back, maybe just maybe, we would have been better off to stay in Afganistan instead of going to Iraq,,, but wait…. that has been more than 4 years also,,, so lets pull out.
    Geesh.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    Russ,
    What I’ve found is a lot of solid patriotism in the Liberal crowd but a serious lack of it in the “Left”.
    I’ve found a good number who are outspokenly for opening the borders and not defending our allies.
    It’s the crowd that condemns Israel for defending itself and accepts AP fauxtography as real. They also push for a secularization of the nation (like France after their revolution) as well as an unwillingness (even when confronted) to condemn the Left’s violent radicals. There is a real segment of the Left which is anti-American.
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • Rob Ryan

    “The Left has been, if nothing else, consistent. Back in the 60s they sent people into ‘Nam and then went dove. Same today.”
    Are you suggesting that pulling out of Vietnam was a mistake? In both cases, the mistake was going in. To the extent that anyone, regardless of party, was responsible for getting us into either conflict he should be criticized. I’m not going to criticize anyone fro admitting a mistake. Right-wingers are starting to look like the hapless Black Knight who, having lost all his limbs, threatens to bite the legs off his adversary.

  • Rob Ryan

    “I am still wondering if the Left wants to win anything?”
    We want to win the elections, and guys like you are making it much easier.

  • Member of “The Left”

    I am a member of “the left” and a christian. And guess what? I do not have pointed ears, horns, red skin, and a tail.
    I love my country and democracy. I believe our country should defend itself, but I some times wonder why it is that our country spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined-seems like overkill to me. I do not support each and every military action the elites try to convince us is absolutely necessary for our safety and well-being. I am more afraid of the loss of our democratic way of life than I am of terrorism.
    I am a follower of Jesus Christ, not the military industrial complex. In regards to the “war on terror” and invasion/occupation of Iraq maybe we should all try to ask WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).

  • bean

    This is the voice of the antiwar Left, Rob Ryan. Voters will remember it come 2008, no matter how much misgivings they might have about the war itself, and will not give the White House to anyone who panders to these haters.
    Or try this site for the “patriotism” of the antiwar Left. (Warning: strong profanity aimed at our troops.)

  • ucfengr

    Are you suggesting that pulling out of Vietnam was a mistake?
    Considering the aftermath of our retreat, it’s hard to imagine anybody arguing that it was a wise decision. Let’s see, re-education camps, genocide of tribal peoples, denial of religious and political freedom; that was the result of our abandonment of the South Vietnamese and would be the likely result if we abandon the Iraqis.
    In both cases, the mistake was going in.
    Even if this were so, you don’t rectify a past mistake by making an even worse one.

  • bean

    I should add that all the “principled” and “brave” antiwar protestors in those photos are wearing scarves and masks. Pathetic.

  • Ludwig

    “lol, well done with respect to the Ritter issue. on the other hand, there’s Ludwig’s juvenile name-calling. That’s an indicator he’s running out of hot air..”
    What name calling…just having some “zoolander” fun with his nick thats all…i ve responded to every one of bean’s remark but my last post to him got held up for who knows what reason…the essense of it was that Intel agencies across the world suspected that Iraq had no WMDs left to be used in any threatening way but let him keep up the pretense so as not to encourage Iran to invade their now crippled long time enemy. As for Scott Ritter,i ve asked it before and i ll ask again…which specific parts of his report proved to be innacurate?

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    ucfengr,
    If the genocide you speak of is the Cambodian Killing fields, then there is more to the story. What was the cause of the rise of Pol Pot? Also was it not the Vietnamese who came in to put a stop to it? Nixon said if we didn’t stay in Vietnam we would have the communist in California, sort of the same faulty reasoning we are hearing about Iraq.

  • bean

    which specific parts of [Ritter’s] report proved to be innacurate?
    Was he right because he’d examined the evidence or because he’d suddenly become seized with an irrational anti-Americanism? The Slate.com report makes it pretty clear that Ritter was simply lashing out. If Bill Clinton (and later GWB) said 2+2=4, Ritter would have disagreed.

  • bean

    Nixon said if we didn’t stay in Vietnam we would have the communist in California
    Sorry, that was JFK and LBJ. They started the war, remember. Nixon ended it.
    It’s sad to see so many buy the lazy lie that Vietnam was Nixon’s war. It was already a going concern for 5 years when Nixon took office in January 1969.

  • Russ

    Your right on my quote about California, I assumed, incorrectly it was Nixon. I know full well the dems started the war, and I’ve been trying to educate myself on the matter lately, by reading A Bright Shinning Lie by Neil Sheehan. To say Nixon wasn’t responsible for the continuation and escalation of the war isn’t all together true. But to go back to the US leaving, the book talks extensively of how complicit the south must have been to have allowed some 20,000 North Vietnamese to creep up on the Saigon during the Tet Offensive.

  • Ken

    EO, looks like you got a lot of Good Little Party Members (TM) ringing in on this comment thread — Comrade Ludwig, Comrade Ben Martin, Comrade Nutshell, Comrade WeHateBush….
    Lots of doubleplusgoodthink,
    lots of doubleplusgood doubleplusduckspeak,
    lots of doubleplusbellyfeel INGSOC,
    lots of chunks of floam thrown at the picture of bush/goldstein.

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    Bean,
    I’m not altogether satisfied with your Ritter information. The link you provide says a Weakly Standard reported, Stephen F. Heyes said “by Ritter’s own words…” But Ritter flatly denies any bribe.
    “While he confirmed that he had received money from Mr al-Khafaji, Mr Ritter said that he had had his business associate checked by CIA “sources” via a friend who was a reporter, and was reassured.”

  • bean

    Huh? Of course Ritter is going to deny it was a bribe. Would you really expect him to admit it?

  • Ludwig

    “Was he right because he’d examined the evidence or because he’d suddenly become seized with an irrational anti-Americanism? ”
    perhaps it would help you you actually went and READ the report…it was a little more comprehensive than a one paragraph document where he repeats “i hate Bush” 45 times. in it you can find the detailed analysis of what Iraq had to begin with,what had been destroyed,what remained under lock and key,ect. The report was no kind to Saddam Husseim either,btw,with numerous documented instances of feet dragging on the part of the Iraqis but as i said, Saddam was walking a fine line between compliance and countering appearace of weakness in the face of its enemy,Iran. you dont “guess” those kinds of details by drinking some “i hate bush” kool-aids

  • Ludwig

    “Huh? Of course Ritter is going to deny it was a bribe. Would you really expect him to admit it?”
    i asked you before and i ask you again…a bribe to do what? present a false report? he didnt. portray Saddamn’s regime favorably in his report? he didnt. and if he accepted the so called bride and still did his job with all the integrity that was expected of him when presenting the truth,the whole truth and nothing but the truth in his report which is exactly what he did than what? you moaning that he screwed Saddam over? whats your damn point?

  • Ludwig

    Ken
    LOL…if all else fails,call em commies eh Kenny?

  • Rob Ryan

    “Voters will remember it come 2008, no matter how much misgivings they might have about the war itself, and will not give the White House to anyone who panders to these haters.”
    Who is pandering to these “haters”? Have I or anyone else stated support for the vandals you allude to? Two can play at the guilt-by-association game.
    The voters don’t seem to mind pandering to haters, by the way, if by pandering you mean some level of agreement. They elected Bush twice, and I’m sure he got the lion’s share of the racist and homophobe vote.

  • Rob Ryan

    “Considering the aftermath of our retreat, it’s hard to imagine anybody arguing that it [withdrawal from Vietnam] was a wise decision.”
    I think most reasonable people acknowledge the wisdom of the withdrawal. How many more American lives do you think we should have vainly sacrificed? Or are you so deluded that you think that war was winnable?

  • Daveleet

    To vainly assume that there was insufficient reason for starting the war (or that there is insufficient reason to finish it in victory) is an exercise in either naivete or dangerous stupidity. Iraq was a threat to American interests, a clear and present danger, and the world collective had shied from eliminating the threat until the United States stepped up to do so. Nobody in their right mind could want to continue the war under recent conditions, but nobody in their right mind could reasonably propose to end it without American victory and expect the status quo to either improve or be maintained.

  • Russ

    Daveleet,
    Iraq was a threat to American interests? Like?

  • monkeygirl

    hey never new that about the war. and it just blows my mind anyways just thought i would say this.

  • jd

    Please note that not one of the anti-war leftists here has responded to ANY of the points in Joe’s original post.
    I wonder what the moonbats will say if and when there is something that looks like victory in Iraq.
    One thing I know they WON’T say: It’s Bush’s fault.

  • Baggi

    Good summary Joe.
    It is telling that no one has bothered to respond to any of your points.

  • Baggi

    Jinks on JD, you owe me a coke!

  • Tim L

    I see that this was a good day not to visit EO. I’m glad I was busy!
    You guys are doing a great job of listening and trying to understand each other. Isn’t this what makes the web and blogging great?!

  • Ludwig

    “Please note that not one of the anti-war leftists here has responded to ANY of the points in Joe’s original post.”
    I responded to the ones that had some semblance of merit,like the demented claims that every Intel agencies feared an iminent wmd attack “in the next 15 minutes”…remember that one from tony the british poodle? cuz i do. Iraq was crippled…i knew it was crippled and if I knew it,chances are most Intel guys knew it as well. I also knew exactly what would happen in the aftermath and that anyone who used the term “cakewalk” was either a lying scum or a hopeless moron. And no,i dont have any special powers of divination…i just use my head and follow reasoning to its logical conclusion,something you dont see a lot of in the Faith-over-Facts crowd.
    “I wonder what the moonbats will say if and when there is something that looks like victory in Iraq.”
    I cant speak for other moonbats but this one is here to tell you that 10 years from now,there will probably be no Iraq…my prediction is this….a Kurdistan in constant conflict with Turkey,a central Sunni region which may or may not be called Iraq and a new Shiite province of Iran in the south.

  • jd

    I responded to the ones that had some semblance of merit,like the demented claims that every Intel agencies feared an iminent wmd attack “in the next 15 minutes”
    Only in the world of moonbats do demented claims have some semblance of merit.
    Incredible.

  • Joe, I’m backing you – Blaze

    Lets not get too far off topic on the past wars we’ve fought, they serve as reminders, and every war is different, let us not dwell on the successes & failures. I’m not going to argue for or against here, I’ve already made my point near the top, however, I would like to question the following extracts:
    “…whole fiasco was nothing more than a war profiteering venture” How can you call this a “war profiteering venture” when the war costs billions upon billions? The oil, while can earn Billions and billions, will not pay for this war, and business in the US & around the world would not alter drastically, if anything, you would see an increase in gold purchasing, nothing more. If your going to argue the US and the rest of the world is running out of oil, sure, I’ll agree there, but not to the point of invasion, not by a long shot. This war had nothing to do with economic ventures. All I’m saying is that comment is a load of BS with no evidence, nor logic behind it.
    “Iraq’s so-called WMD’s did not constitute a clear and present danger to the US in 2003″
    How so? Now, let me get this straight, if I were the superpower of the world, I should not act on information presented to me that suggests that at any point in the future (It could be tomorrow, it could be in twenty years) a hostile country will become a major threat to my country & houses/helps/aids organisations that are currently my sworn enemy (do i really need to mention the various terrorist organisations?)
    But, I should not act? I shold wait till they have a nice plump array of weapons, glowing in the heart of their country? Wow, what a world we would live in if you were in charge! My guess is we’d all be armed with Nuclear weapons and dealing in plutonium rather than the dollar.
    My point is if we wait, we give them the ability to get the weapons we fear, and they can use against us, or our allies. Look at it this way.
    If Iraq did get WMD’s, you all know that the range is pretty poor, and they most likley wouldnt reach the USA unless they had the best rockets and silo’s (which we can assume they didnt have). They would have looked to the USA’s allies, perhaps Israel? England? They would have killed innocents in spite of the USA, they already did it on their own people, whats to stop them form doing it to the guy next door?

  • http://www.fourthplanet.net/dmind/ Ben Martin

    I think Tim L has something of a point. Speaking exclusively for myself, I am just a little frustrated with the whole thing, and sometimes I let that frustration speak instead of really thinking about how we all might enhance our understanding of the experience, as opposed to practicing self-justification. (Just don’t mistake that patience for any thought that I might for half a second agree with Joe’s argument :) )
    Blaze:
    I think you should reconsider pre-emptive was as a general methodolgy for getting rid of non-conventional weapons. The problem is that there are too many nations who (1) already have them or (2) could get them easily. And the vast majority of such nations are too militarily powerful or too popular internationally to be able to be able to eliminate them militarily. We can already see where this sort of discussion leads us, since now people are talking about Iran. If Iraq was barely practicable, Iran is veritable suicide (at least in my judgment, which admittedly doesn’t count for much). And that still leaves us with North Koreas and whomever else comes down the line next. North Koreas would also be suicide – and that one I know even George Bush agrees with me on.
    More importantly though, this is ethically more than a little sketchy. Basically, you’re trading in actual lives lost now (in civilian casulties through “collateral damage” not to mention soldiers, on both sides) for potential lives lost later. I don’t see that that’s a wise or fair trade.
    The irony of course is that in fact the US approach to Iraq had – for all the problems with embargoes and such – already worked. We just didn’t know it, and went to war to get rid of WMD which we had already gotten rid of. You could of course argue that they might have tried for WMD in the future, but I haven’t really heard any analysts (as opposed to pundits) suggesting that that was in a any way likely.
    (Oh, and just for the record, even as someone opposed to the war, I have to admit that I don’t find the economic argument about the beginning of the war compelling. A lot of people on both sides have pointed out that there was not much money to be made on oil in this case, and the cost of the war certainly hasn’t been beneficial to our government.)

  • JohnW

    Maybe I’ll respond to Joe’s ten things about Iraq later. For now, I’ll just say-even if everything he said was correct, our invasion/occupation of Iraq in no way meets a Just War criteria and that why, as a christian, I can not support this administration’s actions in Iraq.
    Let’s stipulate that victory in Iraq means Iraqis can live their lives in relative peace and control their own destiny. Sorry, that’s just not possible while we are still occupying the county.

  • http://www.everysquareinch.blogspot.com andre

    Wow, strong opinions in the comments here. I guess it’s not surprising.
    One key question is whether the war is a “just war”. Last week, I posted on Christian Perspectives on War, reviewing points of the Just War theory. I think there may be reasons to suggest that this war, while well intentioned, does not abide by a couple of the basic principles.
    Just something to consider.

  • http://www.everysquareinch.blogspot.com andre

    Wow, strong opinions in the comments here. I guess it’s not surprising.
    One key question is whether the war is a “just war”. Last week, I posted on Christian Perspectives on War, reviewing points of the Just War theory. I think there may be reasons to suggest that this war, while well intentioned, does not abide by a couple of the basic principles.
    Just something to consider.

  • John M

    Every objection to this post is either based on 20/20 hindsight or is some version of “I don’t care about logic, I just hate Bush!”. Interesting. Have a point before opening your pie holes, people.

  • Ludwig

    “…whole fiasco was nothing more than a war profiteering venture” How can you call this a “war profiteering venture” when the war costs billions upon billions? The oil, while can earn Billions and billions, will not pay for this war, and business in the US & around the world would not alter drastically, if anything, you would see an increase in gold purchasing, nothing more. If your going to argue the US and the rest of the world is running out of oil, sure, I’ll agree there, but not to the point of invasion, not by a long shot. This war had nothing to do with economic ventures. All I’m saying is that comment is a load of BS with no evidence, nor logic behind it.”
    Oh for pete’s sake you re like a child…and a retarded one at that. I specificaly said that the war profiteering is taking place AT THE EXPENSE of the american tax payers,not to their benefit. The very corporations who lobbied for this war to take place,who received fat juicy no bid governement contracts are the only ones who benefited from the invasion of Iraq. Oil is a key element to this as well but not the only one by far. I would suggest you see a documentary titled :Iraq for Sale:the war profiteers which focus on the activities of some of these,like KBR…i promise you your jaw will be on the floor when you see the sheer level of malfeasance displayed by these criminals.
    “If Iraq did get WMD’s, you all know that the range is pretty poor, and they most likley wouldnt reach the USA unless they had the best rockets and silo’s (which we can assume they didnt have). They would have looked to the USA’s allies, perhaps Israel? England? They would have killed innocents in spite of the USA, they already did it on their own people, whats to stop them form doing it to the guy next door? ”
    I see..so your point is that if Iraq,by some miraculous bending of the fabric of time and space,had managed to get nuclear weapons,their first order of business would have been to launch them at Jerusalem and thus invite their own nuclear obliteration at the hand of Israel which DOES have nukes? Let me give you a little insight into Saddam’s mind…he did not hate Israel…he did not hate the US…he did not hate me,you,your mom,your dog ,”our freedom”,your Jesus (under Saddam’s rule,christians were actually safe in Iraq…they re not anymore),ect…Saddam hated poverty….HIS poverty to be precise. He loved to live the rich palace life…he loved to drink…he loved to eat…he loved to do all manor of things that come with being the king of your own little country,which he was,presidential titles aside. Now,the sort of life he enjoyed is only possible if He ‘s alive to enjoy it and so with that in mind,what possible motivation would he have had to conspire with terrorist groups who were planning attacks agains the US when it was clear that he would have been blamed for their actions,regardless of the evidence. When 911 occured,the first thing the Bush administration wanted to do was to bomb Iraq. Think about it for a second and get back to me.

  • Russ

    The worry I see in all this debate is that we’re not learning our lesson in being slow and very careful before going to war. The same shabby excusses are popping up concerning Iran. There have even been people saying that some want war because it fulfills some rapture predictions.

  • JohnW

    Responses to Joe’s 10 things about the invasion/occupation of Iraq:
    1. True
    2. True, see Project for New American Century website (letters to Clinton)
    3. True, but invasion/occupation of Iraq still does not meet the Just War criteria.
    4. True, but invasion/occupation of Iraq still does not meet the Just War criteria.
    5. Sure he had them-we sold them to him, but he later destroyed them.
    6. Maybe, but our sanctions caused the deaths of approximately 500,000 Iraqis.
    7. Not true, but even if it was the invasion/occupation of Iraq still does not meet the Just War criteria.
    8. The war is still wrong and the invasion/occupation of Iraq still does not meet the Just War criteria.
    9. UN was pretty much right in it’s estimates (see the Lancet study on excess death rate in Iraq after our invasion/occupation). Not all deaths caused by the war are directly caused by combat, yet the people are still just as dead and their deaths were not necessary.
    10. Be honest. We initiated and lead this invasion/occupation of Iraq.

  • Daveleet

    Responding to Russ (posted on 03.20.2007 9:15 PM): American interests include the dozens of fighter jets fired upon while patrolling the no fly zones between 91 & 03. Our interests include support of allies (e.g. Israel, Turkey and any ally trading with Iraq) who were, albeit rhetorically, threatened by Saddam’s regime. Our interests include the political & economic stability of the entire middle east (yes, because of oil). Our interests include upholding the concept of law-based UN oversight of preventing international conflicts. And, I believe, our national pride & standing in the community of nations was threatened by a defiant dictator flipping off successively weaker American administrators.

  • Daveleet

    Russ (posted on 03.21.2007 12:13 PM), how long would you say a slow approach to war should take? With Iraq, it was a 12-year approach.

  • ucfengr

    If the genocide you speak of is the Cambodian Killing fields
    No Russ, I am talking about the genocide of the Vietnamese Hmong tribes.
    I think most reasonable people acknowledge the wisdom of the withdrawal.
    Rob, I always find it amusing that when leftists talk of “reasonable people” they are mainly referring to people who agree with them.
    How many more American lives do you think we should have vainly sacrificed?
    How many Vietnamese (not to mention Cambodians, Laotians, and for that matter Afghanis) were sacrificed so that we could indulge the liberals’ preference for totalitarian regimes?
    Or are you so deluded that you think that war was winnable?
    The war was won. We had a stable, democratic South Vietnam. It was only when the Democratic Congress forbade President Ford from providing any support to our South Vietnamese allies that the Communist-supported North was able to overrun the South and bring about their Maoist dreams.
    5. Sure he had them-we sold them to him, but he later destroyed them.
    Who’s we, white man? Did you sell Saddam WMD’s, John, cause I sure didn’t. The French sold him his nuclear reactor; the one the Israelis took out. So “we” didn’t sell him any nukes. Did we sell him any chemical weapons? I suppose it is arguable that we sold him equipment that allowed him to make chemical weapons, but since all of the equipment used to make chemical weapons is also used to make pesticides, it’s kind of hard to blame us for selling him chemical weapons. It’d be kind of like blaming Ford for selling cars to people who drive drunk.

  • Russ

    Cheney responded to why they didn’t go all the way in the Gulf War and he said it would become a quagmire and the setting up of a new government would be very tricky, so it would probably been better in the US interests not to bog our troops down there years later. We left unfinished business in Afghanistan. Iraq pulled away much needed resources, especially Arabic speakers. Going about securing the oil in a bombastic way, was the wrong way. In fact the president’s own intelligence agency has clearly stated that the war has created more terrorism and the esteem of the US around the world has gone down.
    Ucfengr,
    Thanks for your response. I was totally unaware of the Hmoung genocide.

  • JohnW

    “We” sold Saddam the WMD’s in the sense that “We” also invaded and occupied Iraq. You see, when the President orders the military to invade and occupy a country, these actions are done in our name.

  • Russ

    “How many Vietnamese (not to mention Cambodians, Laotians, and for that matter Afghanis) were sacrificed so that we could indulge the liberals’ preference for totalitarian regimes?”
    ____
    The decision to become totalitarian was the Vietnamese’s. The liberals did not loose that war. Do you really think we should have bombed them more? The point where America said enough is enough is when 20,000 enemy troops infiltrated through South Vietnamese territory to invade Saigon during Tet. Also, we were the country which bombed Cambodia and made it so unstable that Pol Pot could come to power.

  • Blaze

    “I see..so your point is that if Iraq,by some miraculous bending of the fabric of time and space,had managed to get nuclear weapons,their first order of business would have been to launch them at Jerusalem and thus invite their own nuclear obliteration at the hand of Israel which DOES have nukes?”
    Not necessarily as plain as you described ‘launch them at jerusalem’. However, by giving our enemies WMD’s we give them huge leverage. We did not want Iraq or terrorist organisations gaining WMD’s & as a result, leverage over us. You also say “by some miraculous bending of the fabric of time and space,had managed to get nuclear weapons”. Do you think it’s that hard to get nuclear weapons? Theres literally hundreds of lost or uncontrolled nuclear weapons, many of them in the middle-east/europe & russian zones. Many of the weapons had been found and naturalised, but still, many remain.
    “what possible motivation would he have had to conspire with terrorist groups who were planning attacks agains the US when it was clear that he would have been blamed for their actions,regardless of the evidence” The motivation? This is pathetic. Do you really think a life style would hold him back? Do you see Bill gates or Paul allen resigning from their positions because they have ‘anough money & a nice lifestyle?’ No, they strive for more, to achieve more. Why must saddam be any different?
    Of course Israel has nukes, and of course, if Iraq or anyone else decided to attempt to take over, control or Kill Israel/ies they would use them as a last resort I have no doubt. In spite, terrorist organisations and countries such as Iraq (while iraq’s people are not guilty, those who support terrorism are) that have the capability to harm people would eventually lead to a war, its inevitable.
    Ben Martin & Daveleet, you posted some comments earlier which I agree with, although not completly in some areas, I advise people to revise their posts as they are very un-bias and logically thought out with the evidence Joe (and others) gave.

  • ucfengr

    The decision to become totalitarian was the Vietnamese’s.
    So, the South Vietnamese called up the North and said “Hey, we want to be in your little totalitarian regime. Would you mind invading us and killing off a good number of our people and sending another good number off to re-education camps, and then suppressing our political and religious freedoms? You will, gee thanks a lot. Next Tuesday good for your?” If I point a gun at you and tell you to give me your wallet, and you do, did you “decide” to give me your wallet?
    The liberals did not loose that war.
    Sure they did.
    Do you really think we should have bombed them more?
    Yes, I do, but then I have always thought human freedom and dignity was worth a very high price. Liberals, on the other hand have no problem with totalitarian regimes.

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ ucfengr

    Believing that, no wonder you hate liberals. This will sound condescending, sorry, but get a history book.

  • JohnW

    Unfengr,
    Refresh my memory-why where we in Vietnam. What’s your take on that?
    [I mean besides the “dominoe theory”]
    JohnW

  • ucfengr

    Believing that, no wonder you hate liberals. This will sound condescending, sorry, but get a history book.
    Not sure who wrote this, but it wasn’t me.

  • Russ

    ucfengr, I wrote it, I must have entered your name . very sorry,

  • http://www.smartpastor.com Jeff @ SmartPastor.com

    It is hard to be for the war…it really is.
    But I think what has been missing in this national debate is some historical perspective. Both perspective on what led to this war and how bad it is on a historical scale. You are a little to conservative for me frequently, Joe, but I think you are on to something with this post.
    I’ll keep reading.

  • Rob Ryan

    “Liberals, on the other hand have no problem with totalitarian regimes.”
    Not just an inaccurate assumption, a very stupid one.

  • ucfengr

    Not just an inaccurate assumption, a very stupid one.
    Da’ Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt, Rob, but I’ll go even further. Many on the left prefer totalitarian regimes, as long as they don’t have to live in them. Your side supports the one in Cuba, facilitated the creation of the one in South Vietnam, and are now hoping for ones in Iraq and probably Israel if you get your way.
    Refresh my memory-why where we in Vietnam. What’s your take on that?
    The same reason we are in every war, john, to make money the Exxon and Haliburton. Duh.

  • ucfengr

    Believing that, no wonder you hate liberals.
    Personally, I don’t hate liberals; I just don’t have much patience with them.
    This will sound condescending, sorry, but get a history book.
    My personal library of books on history is very extensive, thank you. Read them all at least once, most twice or more.

  • JohnW

    Unfengr,
    I really wanted to hear why you thought we were involved in Vietnam-I thought it might give me some insight into your thinking about how “the left” loves ruthless totalitarian regimes and hates the American government which just wants to spread democracy and wealth all around the world.
    JohnW

  • Blaze

    Ucfengr,
    I’m not arguing with you or anything, you can have your opinion, I am a liberal, and I’m glad you dont hate me, I would like to ask though. Why don’t you have much time for them? As in, is it because Liberals are too free willed? (not trying to sound aggressive, its just sounding that way)

  • ucfengr

    I really wanted to hear why you thought we were involved in Vietnam
    John, US involvement in Vietnam was a natural extension of the Truman Doctrine. The Truman Doctrine attempted to contain Soviet expansion by providing military and economic aid to countries in danger of falling into the Soviet sphere. US involvement in Greece, Turkey, and the Korean Peninsula are examples of the Truman Doctrine of containment. Of course, this was a time when Democrats supported democratic governments; a time that has long past.
    As in, is it because Liberals are too free willed?
    Blaze, free will is not something I associate with liberalism. I have always observed that within liberalism, conformity is very strictly enforced. Try being a liberal and disagreeing with the consensus on “global warming” or “gay marriage” or the War in Iraq.

  • JohnW

    Uncfengr,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the Vietnam war. Now I see the Iraq war makes perfect sense. The Cold War is over. We don’t have to worry about Communism, Terrorism is the big threat.
    Democrats don’t support democratic governments? I disagree, what do you think happened in the mid-term elections? Seems to me that the people spoke (even if they were deluded by the liberal media).

  • ucfengr

    Terrorism is the big threat.
    Terrorism is a tactic, Islamic fascism is the “big threat”.
    Democrats don’t support democratic governments?
    With some notable exceptions (Joe Lieberman prominent among them), no Democrats don’t support democratic regimes. I would be happy to be proven wrong here, so please feel free to name a few recent examples of places where Democrats favored the establishment of a democratic government, where there isn’t one now, and actually been willing to do something more than talk about it.

  • Russ

    I believe democrats support the Canadian, Mexican, all European and every other legitimate government. The republicans didn’t like the Agentine democratic government, so they killed it. Furthmore, if one thing could be pointed at as to being the cause of the cold war’s end, it would be the Russian’s idiotic invasion of Afghanistan. That war, along with the help of US aid to rebels, drained Russia.

  • JohnW

    “Islamic fascism” sounds very menancing and threatening, but is merely a made up word that has no basis in reality. Fascism involves strong elements of nationalism and corporatism, not present amoung Islamic terrorist groups.
    The use of the phrase “Islamic fascism” or “Islamofascism” is used by the Bush administration to imply that the so-called “war on terror” is really an epic struggle or a re-fighting World War II.

  • ucfengr

    I believe democrats support the Canadian, Mexican, all European and every other legitimate government.
    Actually my challenge (if you will) was to identify places where Democrats support the establishment of a democratic government where one doesn’t currently exist. Supporting democracy where it currently exists doesn’t require much courage or sacrifice. For example, would the current Democratic party advocate active measures to overthrow the totalitarian regimes of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, or Syria, or do Democrats consider those to be “legitimate governments” worthy of their support?
    The republicans didn’t like the Agentine democratic government, so they killed it.
    I suspect you are referring to the Chilean Coup of 1973 which overthrew Allende and installed Pinochet. I really don’t know if this qualifies as a “recent” example, but let’s look at it. While it is clear that Allende was initially democratically elected, it is not at all clear that he intended to rule democratically. The reason he was overthrown by the Chilean military (with at least financial support from the US) was because it was feared that he would establish a Cuban-style dictatorship in Chile.

  • Russ

    ucfengr,
    Where there may have been doubt about Allende’s democraticness, there would be little doubt with Pinochet, a ruthless dictator.

  • ucfengr

    John, I suspect if you had your druthers you would call it the “Bush-Haliburton War of Genocide against the noble, peaceful, and religiously ambiguous peoples of the Middle East”. Hey, that’s kind of catchy, perhaps I should trademark it.

  • ucfengr

    there would be little doubt with Pinochet, a ruthless dictator.
    Who, never the less, voluntarily relinquished power in free and open elections. For all his faults, this distinguishes him positively from Castro, Kim Il Jung, the Iranian mullahs, and the Al Assad family, among others. That said, I do find it interesting that you never attempt to show that there are totalitarian regimes currently in existence that Democrats would support taking active measures to overthrow, preferring instead to focus on a non-recent example where Republicans (and Democrats too, Scoop Jackson for example) supported the overthrow of a budding Communist dictatorship in the USA’s backyard.

  • JohnW

    Uncengr,
    Regarding your comments at No. 93.
    No, I simply call it a load of BS and since I love America and democracy, I am letting everyone know that I don’t believe the lies and fear-mongering being pushed on us by the government.

  • Russ

    As stated by a much earlier post, the Vietnam war was started by democrates.
    JohnW,
    T agree with that!

  • Chris

    The last time the US let public opinion decide what to do during war time we, as a nation, facilitated, by our action of withdrawal, the murder over nearly 3 MILLION people. 1.2 million Cambodians, an estimated 700,000 “boat people” and hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese.
    REGARDLESS of the perceived reasons for going to war, which ARE legally sound or Bush WOULD HAVE ALREADY been impeached, WE CAN NOT simply abandon the people of Iraq.
    3,000 military deaths is tragic, yes, but nothing compared to the slaughter that would occur if we let Al Qaeda and the hard line extremists set up shop and take over the country.
    Iraq must prevail as a free and sovereign nation. until I hear a moonbat explain how withdrawal will lead to lasting peace among people who WANTED TO KILL US long before Bush was elected, I’m supporting the president and our troops (just not on immigration!).

  • ucfengr

    As stated by a much earlier post, the Vietnam war was started by democrates.
    Russ, again you keep having to go farther and farther back to find Democrats that support establishing democracies. Where are the current Democrats that support taking active measures to overthrow totalitarian regimes like Cuba, Syria, North Korea, or Iran?
    I am letting everyone know that I don’t believe the lies and fear-mongering being pushed on us by the government.
    Yeah, I getting sick of all this “global warming” crap too, John?

  • JohnW

    What about the war power’s act? How about having congress vote on a declaration of war? Maybe that way the relevant facts can come out before we enter into the next “pre-emptive” war.
    I keep hearing this idea that our pulling out of Vietnam after a decade and the deaths of 58,000 american soldiers died and several million Vietnamse caused the deaths of additional millions. This talking point is really making the rounds now with Sean Hannity and company. Maybe we should have stayed in Vietnam permanently?
    Chris, what’s your solution? Should we stay in Iraq forever? As soon as we leave, they will set up their own government-most likely an Islamic Republic.
    Oh, and I thought we lived in a democratic republic, not an empire or monarchy. The president is the chief executive, we have separation of powers….and above all…THE PEOPLE ARE “THE DECIDERS”! I’d like to hear some “wingnut” tell me why this isn’t true.

  • ucfengr

    I love America and democracy
    I always find it amusing that folks on the left feel the need to say things like this. Is it because you feel your actions leave some doubt?

  • JohnW

    Very clever, uncefgrer

  • ucfengr

    What about the war power’s act? How about having congress vote on a declaration of war?
    Congress did authorize the use of force in Iraq with “The Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002″ (Wow, that kind of spells it out, don’t it?). It passed the House on 10/10/2002 with a vote of 296-113 and the Senate one day later with a vote of 77-32. It was then signed into law by President Bush on 10/16/2002.
    Maybe we should have stayed in Vietnam permanently?
    Hmm, how long have we had troops stationed in Cuba, Germany, South Korea, and Japan? Heck, South Korea is still officially at war with the North.
    THE PEOPLE ARE “THE DECIDERS”!
    Well, not really. In a constitutional republic, the “PEOPLE” don’t have a referendum on every action of government, they elect representatives that work within the constraints of the Constitution to make decisions on the direction the country should go. WRT the War in Iraq, the “PEOPLE” re-elected George Bush, in part because he campaigned to continue to pursue the war. In 2006, the “PEOPLE” elected a Democratic Congress, though I don’t think it is at all clear that they elected this Congress with a mandate to pull out of Iraq. If it were, Congress would have no problem enacting resolutions to end the funding of the War in Iraq, thereby forcing our withdrawl. That they aren’t able to should cause people to evaluate how anti-war the “PEOPLE” really are.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    John W,
    If pre-emption is the problem then we would not use any violence, even the violence of coersion. Like Containment.
    Both Korea and ‘Nam were equally pre-emptive containment actions as well as proxy wars. The goal was to stop them before they get any more of us.
    It was the Dems who sent us into both of those, at the behest of the UN. And they want to do the same with Darfur — because we can’t let genocide spread.
    It appears that both sides are doing the same thing for different reasons. It’s the reasons which should be judged first.
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    Ucfengr,
    The democrats were and are in full support of our war in Afghanistan.
    “More dramatically, it is widely believed that the financial costs of the Afghan war was the primary cause of the bankruptcy of the Soviet Union itself, and its very disappearance from the world stage. The demise was rapid: in the same year Soviet troops pulled out of Afghanistan, the chief symbol of its empire, the Berlin Wall, was toppled. Nation after nation once under Soviet control declared independence in the following 12 months.
    By the end of the following year, the Soviet Union itself was terminated. Within three years, its economy was completely ruined, its currency had collapsed to nearly no value, and its capital and infrastructure was nearly completely looted. Fifteen years later, the Russian population continues to decline rapidly and the life expectancy of Russians, as well as their level of literacy, health, and savings, approaches those of the terminally under-developed third-world nations.”
    I can’t remember the source of this. I think Iraq may prove to be our Afghanistan.
    .

  • JohnW

    Uncfengr,
    Most democrats don’t have the balls to cut off funding for the war (which is their constitutional right)…nevertheless, even if they did, there are not enough democrats to over-ride a presidential veto.
    Colin, you are quite right, democrats and republicans have both supported past wars. My question to you is: why have conservative evangelical Christians (followers of Jesus Christ) consistently supported each and every military operation our country has undertaken in the past 25 years. Doesn’t seem right to me and I just don’t understand it.

  • ucfengr

    The democrats were and are in full support of our war in Afghanistan.
    In the aftermath of 9/11/01 it would be hard to imagine any US politician opposing action against Afghanistan, though I do remember some opposition from the American left; so I am not sure how much credit Democrats should get for this. I also wonder how much of current Democratic support for the Afghan War is a political calculation designed to provide enough national security credibility to oppose the Iraq War without be tarred as a complete dove. How strong would Democratic support for the Afghan War be in the absence of the Iraq War? If the Afghan War became the main front in the War on Terror? If instead of nightly news stories about bombings and American deaths in Baghdad, there were nightly stories about bombings and US deaths in Kabul? The situation in Afghanistan is quite similar (albeit on a smaller scale) to the one in Iraq. Like in Iraq, what you have is the US military trying to maintain order between several rival tribes, who would be much happier killing each other off, until a self sufficient democracy can be established. I think a fair question to ask is, if we pull out of Iraq, how long will it be before Democrats start calling Afghanistan George Bush’s Vietnam and demand that we pull out of there as well?

  • Ludwig

    “Who, never the less, voluntarily relinquished power in free and open elections. For all his faults, this distinguishes him positively from Castro, Kim Il Jung, the Iranian mullahs, and the Al Assad family, among others. That said, I do find it interesting that you never attempt to show that there are totalitarian regimes currently in existence that Democrats would support taking active measures to overthrow, preferring instead to focus on a non-recent example where Republicans (and Democrats too, Scoop Jackson for example) supported the overthrow of a budding Communist dictatorship in the USA’s backyard.”
    Funny how you avoided comparing pinochet to the man whom he criminaly deposed in 1973 to establish his 18 years long dictatorial reign of terror. How many people were black bagged by Pinochet’s secret policiaz,never to be heard from again? Why dont you compare Pinochet to Allende? Pinochet only relinquished power when he personal fortune had been secured for him to retire a wealthy man and under the condition that he would never have to face the just and moral punishement for his MANY crimes. We both know that you would never have left your children alone in a room with that man so why do you right wigners always feel compelled to appologize for his evil? And you brought up Castro…why not Batista,the mafia enforcer who had opened Havana as a sanctuary for organised crime? Which is better…communist dictatorship or mafia control? whats your prefered cancer?

  • ucfengr

    After all, we have been in Afghanistan almost 2 years longer than we have been in Iraq. Do Democrats support staying in Afghanistan permanently?

  • ucfengr

    Funny how you avoided comparing pinochet to the man whom he criminaly deposed in 1973
    Funny, I always thought the right to replace a repressive government was a “natural right”. Pinochet didn’t grab power in a vacuum; he had quite a lot of support in Chile.
    Pinochet only relinquished power when he personal fortune had been secured for him to retire a wealthy man and under the condition that he would never have to face the just and moral punishement for his MANY crimes.
    I would gladly offer the same deal to Castro, Kim Jung Il, the Iranian mullahs, Bassar Al Assad, or even the Saudi Royal family and consider it a great blessing if they accepted it.
    We both know that you would never have left your children alone in a room with that man so why do you right wigners always feel compelled to appologize for his evil?,
    I didn’t apologize for his evil, I pointed out the one good thing he did that distinguishes him from the other dictators I mentioned.
    And you brought up Castro…why not Batista,the mafia enforcer who had opened Havana as a sanctuary for organised crime? Which is better…communist dictatorship or mafia control?
    Where would you rather live, 1970’s Havana or 1970’s New York City, or 1920’s Chicago for that matter? Where would you have more freedom? Where would you be safer from repression?

  • Ludwig

    “Funny, I always thought the right to replace a repressive government was a “natural right”. Pinochet didn’t grab power in a vacuum; he had quite a lot of support in Chile.”
    Ok what are you smoking and can i have some? The elected governement of Allende was repressive? compared to what,the pinochet dictatorship? Sure the old tin pot dictator had lots of support…mostly among the people who had lost the election in 1971…not exactly an objective lot were they?
    “I would gladly offer the same deal to Castro, Kim Jung Il, the Iranian mullahs, Bassar Al Assad, or even the Saudi Royal family and consider it a great blessing if they accepted it.”
    I suppose thats one way of looking at it…i ll bet every criminal on earth now hopes you’ll be put in charge of deciding their punishement.
    “I didn’t apologize for his evil, I pointed out the one good thing he did that distinguishes him from the other dictators I mentioned.”
    well,to be frank,he didnt reall have much of choice….the people who formed the governement that followed his dictatorship were among the very folks who had helped him deposed Allende…he was not in any position to fight them anymore…they gave him the deal to expedite his retirement,not because they didnt have any other means of getting rid of him so in the end,his gambit paid off…he commited a crime and got rewarded for it…what a marvelous exemple this is for all the little chilean kids,aint it?
    “Where would you rather live, 1970’s Havana or 1970’s New York City, or 1920’s Chicago for that matter? Where would you have more freedom? Where would you be safer from repression?”
    I d rather live in a place where you are both free from dictatorship AND organised crime…thats how cuba was before batista took it over.

  • ucfengr

    I d rather live in a place where you are both free from dictatorship AND organised crime…thats how cuba was before batista took it over.
    Oh, please. Organized criminals were running rum out of Cuba since the start of Prohibition, long before Batista came into power. Let’s not even mention Caribbean pirates operating out of Cuba in the 16th and 17th centuries. What have you been smoking?
    I suppose thats one way of looking at it…i ll bet every criminal on earth now hopes you’ll be put in charge of deciding their punishement.
    So you’d rather have the slim possibility of perfect justice at some far future point while condemning countless millions to live under grinding, brutal dictatorships for the present and foreseeable future? How very compassionate of you.

  • Rob Ryan

    “I always find it amusing that folks on the left feel the need to say things like this.”
    Why? It is only so because cranks like you (I think you have richly earned that pejorative based upon your willful misrepresentation of your ideological opponents in this thread)and Ann Coulter constantly question the patriotism and commitment to democracy of liberals.
    Think about why conservatives like you feel the need to constantly portray their foreign and domestic policies as compassionate and generous, not self-serving and greedy. See? Same thing, and not amusing at all. Rather sad, really.

  • Russ

    Ucfengr, Your 106 post was full of speculation, and I could make just as many back. The far left doesn’ t represent the mainstream democratic party. As you must have heard, in fact, Hillary says she plans on keeping the troops in Iraq, (if elected.) I don’t support her by the way.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    JohnW,
    I think the reasons that evangelicals support the US in time of war is that they’re very patriotic. (Now some on the left have termed this general patriotism as blind loyalty, but that’s rash. Of late the cry has been that we’re not patriotic. Strange is the contradiction.) It is a general loyalty and, for the most part, doesn’t see the need for the critical questions of the Left. When questions are aksed about the legitimacy of war, like ‘Nam and the Balkans and the lies to get us there, the questions do not supplant that higher rule of patriotism. And, unlike the Left, the questions are not dialectical in nature — there’s no intended conflict that would be, even potentially, revolutionary.
    In general, Evangelicals see little or no conflict between the God-ordained powers of government and the place of the Christian in service to that role.
    This matter is closely related to the apparent inconsistency between pro-life and patriotism / capital punishment — because abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia occur outside of any consideration of justice against wrongs committed.
    If there is a lack on this matter within Evangelical circles, I think it’s an unwillingness to evaluate and steer or push government toward justice — because we certainly treated the natives, blacks, and (my ancestors) Irish immigrants (among others) pretty poorly.
    Collin

  • ucfengr

    Gee Rob, sounds like I hurt your wittle feewings, or maybe touched a nerve?
    Ucfengr, Your 106 post was full of speculation
    Yes it was. That was my intention.

  • JohnW

    Colink,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about evangelical support for wars.
    Growing up in the south in a christian home, I am very familiar with the intermingling of God and Country.
    I voted for Bush in 2000 and initially supported the invasion/occupation of Iraq. I forgot where it was exactly, but in 2004 I read an article written by someone who was against the war that asked why it was evangelicals seemed to support all our government’s military action when Jesus Christ was the Prince of Peace and taught us to love our emenies. This caused me to re-examine my beliefs about always supporting military action. I eventually concluded that mixing God and Country too much amounts to idolatry. Also, I do not see how any born-again christian could in good conscience serve in the military. This position would have seemed extreme to me four years ago, but that’s the way I view things now. While I no longer support Bush, the responsibility of the militarization of our society lies with both democrats and republicans. Both parties are too beholding to the military industrial complex. Do we really need to spend more than all of the other countries of the world combined on defense to protect us from a few religious nuts. Is there any concievable way a fraction of that defense money could help prevent terrorism and improve the lives of people in our country?
    My viewpoints don’t go over to well here. I actually had one christian tell me that he thought someone could love his enemy while he was killing him.

  • Rob Ryan

    “Gee Rob, sounds like I hurt your wittle feewings, or maybe touched a nerve?”
    I’m sure you’d like to think that, since your efforts seem primarily driven not by logic but by a desire to offend.
    Like those of a fly at a barbecue, your machinations rise to the level of mild annoyance, not to hurt feelings or touched nerves. Now that you have regressed to baby talk, you aren’t even annoying, just pathetic.

  • Too Much TV

    You guys have watched too many movies and too much TV. This was not money-making venture. By the time we make back what we spent on the war, everyone involved will be old or dead. This was simply for the reasons stated above – by CONGRESS. It is just like the Democrats to support a war at the beginning and then condemn everyone for it if they think it will make them popular. If you are surprised that Ted Kennedy did it, get a clue. He is a weasel and a scoundrel. Like a roach, he won’t ever die and he’s always scurrying around the filth. His actions are predictable. And all you “bring our boys home” people are pathetic. This is no draft army, it is volunteer. The people in the armed forces took the job willingly and actually asked for it. Now they have to actually do their jobs and everybody whines about it. Give me a break. I’d rather have car bombs going off there than in my front yard – which is exactly what is coming if a Democrat gets in office and pulls us out of Iraq. Money is what is driving all of you and them to codemn the war – economy. It is not the driving force behind going to war. Bunch of greedy idiots.

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    Let me guess, Too much T.V. person is a fox News junkie. I’ve never read so many ungrounded thoughts in one lump since I forced myself to watch a Fox News show.
    Since you have access to a computer start education yourself with a little real news.
    Something, for example, that Fox News would never dream of reporting is the fact that the war has, by the estimate of president’s own intelligence agency, created much more terrorism.
    That is real christian of of, furthermore, to wish innocent Iraqis will get blown up instead of you. Like Jesus said blow up the other guy before he blows up you, right?

  • ucfengr

    I’m sure you’d like to think that, since your efforts seem primarily driven not by logic but by a desire to offend.
    Sounds like you find disagreement offensive, Rob. But seriously, what do you find so offensive? That I think that the Left supports totalitarian regimes? Well the Left did support the North Vietnamese Communists and they supported the Soviets during the Cold War; don’t you remember the 1980’s? I remember a lot of Leftist protests against Reagan, but none against Brezhnev or the parade of corpses that followed him until Gorby, who the Left also loved. The Left supported the Nicaraguan Communists. Heck, they treat Castro like a freakin’ rock star. So what’s your beef? Do you deny that these are totalitarian regimes or that the left supported them? Or do you want to try to make the case that somehow the Left’s support for these regimes doesn’t translate into support for totalitarian regimes? In any case, have at it.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    JohnW,
    Many of us do have reservations. I registered 1F (CO) back in the 70s because of the politics of ‘Nam. I couldn’t support the Left in the war effort — it was a politicized war. I’m still at odds about serving my country and knowingly having a mixed motive of serving a clear and definable political agenda.
    I do think it important for citizens to *query authority* but not necessary to *question authority* as the Left so often says. We’ve no real room for revolution but must leave room for dissent.
    The Iraq situation has shown one fascinating characteristic of the Left — they scream loudly, for everyone to hear — that dissent is being stiffled. Seems rather silly since they’ve got so much volume right now. (As of now I’ve been censored on HuffPo and C&L. DailyKos and TruthDig still accept my remarks.)
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • http://mattdabbs.blogspot.com Matt Dabbs

    It is crazy how the truth is ignored in favor of political advancement. That is going to kill our country. Our government is more interested in being re-elected than doing the right thing for this country and for the world. Thanks for the reminder.

  • ucfengr

    Also, I do not see how any born-again christian could in good conscience serve in the military.
    How do you reconcile that with the fact that David, “a man after God’s heart”, was the leader of Israel’s military and is known for, among other things, his wars of annihilation against the Philistines? With the fact that some of Jesus’ earliest followers were Roman soldiers? I don’t recall him telling them their military service was incompatible with following him, do you? It seems to me that to hold this view, you have to ignore quite a lot of the Bible.

  • Rob Ryan

    You continue, ucfengr, with your self-centered Coulteresque logic:
    I don’t like Castro.
    I support the embargo.
    “Lefties” don’t support the embargo.
    “Lefties” like Castro.
    I didn’t like Ho Chi Minh.
    I supported the Vietnam War.
    “Lefties” did not support the Vietnam War.
    “Lefties” liked Ho Chi Minh.
    “Do you deny that these are totalitarian regimes or that the left supported them?”
    The latter, of course, but you already know that. You are just playing dumb. Aren’t you?
    Do you support an immediate attack on North Korea? If not, you are supporting a totalitarian regime by your logic.

  • JohnW

    uncengr,
    Jesus spoke to and loved people in all their various life situations-the taxcollector, the whore, the demon possessed, the hypocrites, the rich, and yes, even the soldier. However, in no way did he embrace the Roman Empire and call it a good thing.
    Also, There is a new convenant now-we don’t live under the Old Testament covenant.
    Colin,
    Check out this website-www.beitshalomministries.org. Two very conservative christians are walking from Denver to Washington, D.C. to protest the war in Iraq and calling on evangelicals to repent for their support of the war and the militarization of our society. I do not agree with all of their ideas, but respect their fundamental message and admire them for standing up for their convictions.

  • ucfengr

    You continue, ucfengr, with your self-centered Coulteresque logic:
    Rob, I know you really think you are scoring some points by comparing me to Coulter, but it really doesn’t bother me. I’m not a Coulter fan, but at the same time, she really doesn’t set me off, like say, Joe. If you are trying to get my goat, you need to try harder.
    The latter, of course, but you already know that. You are just playing dumb. Aren’t you?
    For you to deny that the Left has actively supported Castro and Ho Chi Minh, to name just a couple is either dishonest or stupid. Some folks have asked why I have so little patience with liberals, it is because of foolishness like this.
    Do you support an immediate attack on North Korea? If not, you are supporting a totalitarian regime by your logic.
    Rob, I am beginning to wonder how closely related you are with logic. As I have indicated in prior posts I would support taking active measures to overthrow all the regimes I mentioned. I think there are strategic and tactical problems that would argue against direct military action in North Korea, but military action is not the only way to overthrow a totalitarian regime.

  • ucfengr

    However, in no way did he embrace the Roman Empire and call it a good thing.
    You are committing the fallacy of confusing the “Roman Empire” with individual Roman soldiers.
    Also, There is a new convenant now-we don’t live under the Old Testament covenant.
    Does that mean the Old Testament is irrelevent to Christians? Isn’t the God of the New Testament the same as the One of the Old? Jesus said many times that “He and the Father are one” meaning there is no separation between them. Jesus is the God of the Old and New Testament. The God that ordered David to slay the Philistines is the same God that hung on a cross.

  • ucfengr

    John, could a Christian be a police officer? They also have occasion to use violence, even deadly force, in the completion of their duties.

  • JohnW

    Uncenfgr,
    I’m not going to get involved in your games of twisting the scripture-the overall message of the bible is quite clear-Jesus Christ did not embrace the Roman Empire. Also, are you advocating following the Old Testament dietary laws and the stoning of incorrigible male children and homosexuals?
    I have no problem with appreciating and obeying the civil authorities-society needs order. I am not complaining about the occasional use of force, but am against our country’s military industrial war machine that is squandering our resources and bringing death and destruction to the world. Oh, and by the way, all this is not enhancing our security. Couldn’t we spend a fraction of the defense budget to prevent terrorism instead of spending $400 Billion in Iraq to produce more terrorists?
    Do you really think it is neccessary (or even “conservative” policy)to spend more on defense than all the rest of the world combined and to maintain over 700 military installations worldwide?

  • Rob Ryan

    “For you to deny that the Left has actively supported Castro and Ho Chi Minh, to name just a couple is either dishonest or stupid.”
    For you to imply that support for such regimes is typical of liberals is both dishonest and stupid.
    “Rob, I am beginning to wonder how closely related you are with logic.”
    We have already establish your estrangement from logic; now I am beginning to question your intelligence.
    “…but military action is not the only way to overthrow a totalitarian regime.”
    Bingo! Now if only the commander-in-chief would figure that out. Societies and governments evolve. Patience and engagement work wonders. Isolation sometimes does, and sometimes it exascerbates the situation (see Bush’s abject failure in N. Korea).
    Unlike you, I generally have patience with my ideological opponents, but then most are not as entrenched and blinded by their ideology as you are.

  • http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com Collin Brendemuehl

    JohnW,
    But Jesus did recognize the authority of government, as did his disciples. And he saw the church in a different light than government. Like the Hebrew nation which preceeded the Church, Christianity acknowledges the role of just enforcement of just laws. But unlike it, Christianity is a kingdom not of this world and not to be logically confused.
    The Kingdom of God transcends government. To some that means it has the authority to gain control, but I would disagree. What I find in the NT is the freedom to obey God first.
    Not long ago some (Left and Right) were taking surveys about patriotism, asking if you first served God or Government. The Lefties treated the evangelicals like self-proclaimed traitors and the Right only saw the thread with then deity was Allah. But either way, Theology is a threat to Liberal government. (I mean “Liberal” historically, not politically.)
    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com

  • ucfengr

    For you to imply that support for such regimes is typical of liberals is both dishonest and stupid.
    So, it was only atypical leftists marching around college campuses in the 1960’s shouting “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, NVA is gonna win!” and “Hey Hey LBJ, how many babies you kill today?”, and spitting on soldier returining from Vietnam? Good to know. Thanks for the clarification, Robby.
    I’m not going to get involved in your games of twisting the scripture
    John, it looks like what you call “twisting the scripture” is what I would call pointing out uncomfortable truths. You can’t just wish away the parts of the Bible you don’t like. While we, as Christians may not be under the Mosaic Laws, what was immoral in the Old Testament is still immoral in the New. The God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New.

  • JohnW

    I agree with you christians should obey the authorities and the kingdom of God transcends human government. I believe it is appropriate to speak out against the authorities at certain times-for the example, consider the confessing church in Germany speaking out against Hitler.
    We need a confessing church in america.

  • JohnW

    Uncfengr,
    I guess I would have to agree with you, what is wicked in the old testament is still wicked.
    In that regard, I would say some of the Psalms are appropriate-they speak against wicked rulers who oppress the poor and defenseless. Also Jeremiah Chapters 20-24 seem to apply. Isaiah Chapter 58 comes to mind as well.
    JohnW

  • ucfengr

    they speak against wicked rulers who oppress the poor and defenseless.
    I’d be interested to find out who you think they best apply to in our modern age, John.
    Do you really think it is neccessary (or even “conservative” policy)to spend more on defense than all the rest of the world combined and to maintain over 700 military installations worldwide?
    The reason the US spends so much is because we usually have to go to where the fight is, ala WW2. It’s very expensive to maintain the ability to project large amounts of military force, but as we learned in WW2, it’s cheaper than trying to build it as you need it. But to get to the heart of your question, who do you think will fill the vacuum in our absense, John? Nature abhors a vacuum and somebody will rush to fill it. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the US withdrew from its global responsibilities and what happened? What would have happened had the US decided after WW2 to let Europe handle itself? What would the Pacific look like if Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan had to deal with an expansionist China in the absence of US securty guarantees? What will happen in Iraq if the US withdraws? Do you think the Sunni states would stand aside and let Iran take control there? If you think it would be bad if Iran developed nukes, how do you think it would be if Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, etc. all developed them because they couldn’t rely on the US to act as a check against Iran? What would that do to our own security. How hard will it be to guard against a terrorist nuke attack when 20 countries have nukes instead of the half dozen or so that now have them. Even of those, I am really not concerned about a French, British, or even a Chinese nuke, but an Egyptian or Saudi nuke?

  • ucfengr

    (see Bush’s abject failure in N. Korea).
    I love this. On the one hand we have the leader of a totalitarian dictatorship best known for starving its own people, breaking agreements, and launching missiles at its neighbors and on the other hand we have, George Bush, the President of the US, still the land of the free and the home of the brave. And who does Rob blame for not coming to an agreement….wait for it…George Bush. Priceless, way to prove my point Robby.

  • JohnW

    Uncengr,
    Your analysis of why America needs to maintain global military hegemony a/k/a Empire seems to come straight from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) mission statement.
    You seem to have drunk the Kool-Aid.

  • ucfengr

    Your analysis of why America needs to maintain global military hegemony a/k/a Empire seems to come straight from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) mission statement.
    I am not sure who these guys are but I am glad they are hanging out at EO and taking advantage of the wisdom I am trying to impart. Good on you guys at PNAC. Beers to you. That said, I am not sure how this group agreeing with me invalidates my point. Perhaps you would care to elaborate.

  • JohnW

    The Project for the New American Century was a think tank started in the 1990’s following the end of the cold war. Its founding members included prominent members of the Bush adminstration such as Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Dick Cheney, as well as about a dozen other prominent Neo-Cons. They were pushing for military action in Iraq as early as 1998. (see their website and statement of principles at http://www.newamericancentury.org/lettersstatements.htm)
    Actually, its more like you agree with their ideas and I don’t agree with either one of you. The is no validation going on here.
    You might want to check out their website and quote their stuff when you try to explain your viewpoints. That way people will recognize you as being a serious Bushie.

  • Russ

    Ucfengr,
    Don’t be wantin a beer with this pac of nuts. Ones a felon.(Libby). one is certifiably crazy, (cheney), and some are the most heartless souls on earth, (Bill Kristol.) These are the guys, UC, that used our military to fullfil a scheme to invade Iraq, even though America was involved in a deadly serious war on terrorism.

  • ucfengr

    Okay, I understand that you don’t like these guys, but I still don’t understand why you think their (and my) assessment is wrong. Care to elaborate?

  • JohnW

    Unfengr,
    You were problably addressing Russ. Anyhow, I think the PNAC assessment is wrong too. I would like to elaborate, but you have seemingly pegged me as being some kind of crazy moonbat and I feel you wouldn’t really consider what I have to say. Besides, I don’t know how well I could explain my reasons. I will say that my fundamental problem with the PNAC people relates to what Eisenhower warned about in his famous farewell speech about the rise of the military industrial complex and it’s increasing influence on our government and economy.
    I would like to refer you to a recent book by a former CIA man and scholar, Chalmers Johnson. Mr. Johnson worked for the CIA during the Cold War and is deeply concerned for this country. His book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic”
    I also recommend a book by Andrew J. Bacevich, a West Point graduate and moderate conservative who has written a book entitled, “The New American Militarism: How Americans Are seduced By War”.

  • pete e

    What happened to facts #1 & 2?

  • Ludwig

    “Okay, I understand that you don’t like these guys, but I still don’t understand why you think their (and my) assessment is wrong. Care to elaborate?”
    The PNAC dogma is a receipe for american imperialism through overwhelming military and economic might…basicaly they want the US to rule the world with an iron fist,claiming hat this will benefit the world. The problem with their analysis rests on their inability to understand that no empire can exist if its not oppressing most of its subjects in order to provide the good life for the imperial ruling elite and their cronies. All empires,without any possible exceptions function on the principle of squezzing a large area of its ressources in order to concentrate it on the center of the empire,thus creating massive wealth for the few out of the poverty and hardship of the many…there has never been any single empire on earth that did not operate in this exact manor…as for weather or not they’re wrong well thta depends on how you look at it…if all you care about is the good life you live,regardless of how many people have to suffer for you to have it than empires are the best thing in the world for you.

  • Rob Ryan

    “And who does Rob blame for not coming to an agreement….wait for it…George Bush.”
    I said Bush failed in North Korea; does anyone doubt this? Agreements require communication, not stonewalling. You twist this into my somehow supporting a vile dictator over our president. A prime example of a disingenuous right-wing nutbag distortion.

  • ucfengr

    I said Bush failed in North Korea; does anyone doubt this? Agreements require communication, not stonewalling. You twist this into my somehow supporting a vile dictator over our president.
    And you blame Bush for not being able to come to an agreement with this “vile dictator” with a long history of breaking agreements and not adhering to international norms (N. Korea also has a history of kidnapping foreign nationals and provoking international incidents (see the USS Pueblo)), not to mention starving his citizens. You would think libs would have learned something from history. Didn’t Munich teach you anything, pieces of paper are worthless if one of the parties has no intention of honoring the agreement. Allow me to be blunt, Rob, have you ever considered the possibility that the problem in North Korea may be the “vile dictator” and not George Bush? No, of course not, but hey you support our president, right?
    I would like to elaborate, but you have seemingly pegged me as being some kind of crazy moonbat and I feel you wouldn’t really consider what I have to say.
    Nice way of dodging the question, John. Also a good way of avoiding the challenging work of critically examining your opinions and actually being able to support them. If you want me to take you seriously, then give me a reason to, otherwise don’t waste my time.

  • ucfengr

    The PNAC dogma is a receipe for american imperialism through overwhelming military and economic might…basicaly they want the US to rule the world with an iron fist,claiming hat this will benefit the world.
    Funny, I didn’t see this at their website. Maybe you need the special decoder ring to access that part. How many “Jew-ios” cereal boxtops did you send in to get yours?

  • ucfengr

    I said Bush failed in North Korea; does anyone doubt this?
    Using this logic I could blame WW2 on Churchill and Paul Reynaud (pre-war French Premier). If only they had communicated with Germany instead of stonewalling. After all Hitler promised that Poland was his last demand, and he really, really meant it (crossed his heart and everything) this time.

  • JohnW

    Uncfenger, I was trying to share something to help you understand why the PNAC philosophy is wrong. I did so in good faith, thinking you seriously wanted to look into the matter. I recommended two books by two scholarly individuals who had previously worked in the military and the CIA who have written complete books on why the PNAC philosophy is dangerously wrong for America.
    What is your response-you come back at me with smart ass comments. I did not insult or mock you when it was apparent that you didn’t even know about the PNAC group-a group that consisted of atleast 6 members of the Bush administration and about a dozen other well-known conservatives.
    You apparently are afraid to examine your opinions or support them with anything other than Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh talking points.
    Why are you afraid to read the book I recommended from the conservative ex-military man? At the very least you could just go to amazon.com and read about the book.
    It’s clear you just like to come on this blog, have some drinks, and spew insults, so why do I waste my time responding.

  • ucfengr

    John, if you can’t articulate your own views after reading these books I am not sure why I should waste several weeks pouring through them. They obviously haven’t helped you. Quite honestly I have enough books in my queue that I want to read without adding books whose purpose is to tell me why I should disagree with an organization that I don’t give two hoots or a holler about. To the folks at PNAC, I am very glad that you agree with me, if you wish to commission me for a paper or speech, I am sure I can make myself available, but be forewarned, my combination of brilliance and stunning good looks don’t come cheap.

  • JohnW

    Ucfengr,
    What books are you reading right now? Maybe I’ll check them out.
    Also, You should just stop with the PNAC comments-you are making a fool of yourself.
    John

  • ucfengr

    John, I don’t read current events books; I read history books. I have never read a book by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, or Bill Kristol, nor do I intend to. Their books are too colored by partisan political concerns, that really don’t interest me. The last 5 books I read are US Grant’s Personal Memoir, The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer, Everyday Stalinism by Sheila Fitzpatrick, and The Second World War by John Keegan, with a few trashy detective novels thrown in the mix for variety.
    Also, You should just stop with the PNAC comments-you are making a fool of yourself.
    I think it’s you, Lud, and Russ who are making fools of yourselves WRT PNAC. I really don’t care much about them either way so I feel free to poke fun at those who think they are some sort of global conspiracy, a sort of “Pinky and the Brain” for the neo-con set.
    Bill Kristol: “What are we going to do tonight, Dick?”
    Dick Cheney: “Same thing we do every night; try to take over the world.”

  • Rob Ryan

    John, perhaps you are more patient than I. I have concluded that ucfengr is not merely ignorant, he is willfully ignorant. There is no reasoning with someone who twists positions and abuses logic the way he does. I’m done in this thread.

  • ucfengr

    I have concluded that ucfengr is not merely ignorant, he is willfully ignorant.
    Sticks and stones, baby; sticks and stones.
    There is no reasoning with someone who twists positions and abuses logic the way he does.
    Rob, perhaps if your positions and logic were a little more robust, I wouldn’t have such any easy time twisting and abusing it. I’m not your problem, baby; you are.

  • JohnW

    Rob Ryan, I’m frustrated with our friend Uncengr too, but I look at this discussion as a learning experience. It may very well be that he is not truly interested in any real meaningful discussions.
    If nothing else, Rob, by having these discussions here, we show the readers that not everybody acquiesces to the simplistic fear-mongering, hateful, political messages pounded into our society by the corporate media. It is for this reason, that I plan on wearing my “war is not the answer” button every day until we see some changes in our government. I know full well that people like our friend Uncengr and others who do not independantly analyze the issues, will see my button and say
    “what a moronic left-wing america hating moonbat…’war is not the answer?’, how do we protect our country from the terrorists?”
    I am fully prepared to answer them from my perspective as a christian and give them some information. (no information for you now Uncengr-maybe some other time…). I do this because America is supposed to be a democracy and we are headed down the wrong path and I have to do something even if it isn’t much.
    Uncengr,
    Nice to see that you read. I suggest throwing in a few current event books from a variety of viewpoints/perspectives. You could make up your own mind about the issues and possible change your mind as facts warrant. Knowing what the different viewpoints are would help you in your discussions with people of opposing viewpoints

  • ucfengr

    The real problem with folks like John and Rob is that they are a lot more willing to give folks like Kim Jung Il, Castro, and Saddam the benefit of the doubt than they are George Bush and they just refuse to see it. Now that may not be the same as having a Kim Jung Il pin-up poster on your wall, but what it does is make the good guys have to watch their backs and their fronts and it make the bad guys not have to worry at all because they can rely on the American left to “blame America first” when things go bad (HT: Jeane Kirkpatrick).
    Nice to see that you read.
    Gee, thanks. I can write and do basic math too.
    I suggest throwing in a few current event books from a variety of viewpoints/perspectives.
    The problem with folks from my generation is that we tend to think we are the first folks to experience everything. John, there is nothing new under the sun. You can learn a lot more about our current situation by reading a book on the US Civil War than you can by reading any here today, on the discount shelf tomorrow book by Coulter, Hannity, Franken, et. al.

  • ucfengr

    I know full well that people like our friend Uncengr and others who do not independantly analyze the issues,
    You know, John, you do this a lot, assuming that people who don’t agree with you hasn’t “independently analyze(d) the issues”. It’s more than a little arrogant and not very Christian either. I guess that’s why you spell Christian with a small “c”. You must be a “little “c” Christian, you know one who doesn’t take it very seriously. You appear to claim to be one more to establish your credibility than out of any sincere belief in God, kind of like claiming to have voted for Bush in 2000. It’s also quite presumptuous to think that somehow only you and the folks who agree with you have perfect answers and perfect wisdom, some might suggest that you are putting your wisdom before God’s (or is that a small “g” god too?).

  • http://rememberruss.blogspot.com/ Russ

    I agree with UC, about the Civil War book, but I can one up him, the four Gospels.

  • jd

    It is for this reason, that I plan on wearing my “war is not the answer” button every day until we see some changes in our government.
    Do you have any idea how offensive your position on war might be to someone who survived Nazi Germany? Or to someone whose relatives were exterminated in concentration camps? Would you care to hazard a guess as to how many more people (not to mention Jews) would have been killed by the Nazis if EVERYONE thought “war is not the answer”? Have you ever thought about the notion that if enough people thought like you during the 1930s that we would be living in a TRULY fascist country today? Has it EVER occurred to you, in your deepest darkest moments, that sometimes war is precisely the ONLY answer?
    And please don’t tell me about Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela. These guys were fortunate in their enemies. If they had faced the Nazis or the Islamofascists they would simply have been killed and forgotten. But their enemies were Western powers, who saw the error of their ways and acquiesced to non-violent resistance.
    Outside of the western world, where are all the non-violent, peaceful pacifists who are making their voices known to their governments? Why don’t we see more people marching in the streets in Syria or Iran or North Korea? They would certainly have the motivation to protest their governments, right? Or are their governments somehow less odious than ours, so there’s not really that much dissatisfaction? It’s easier to live with Ahmadinejihad, than with George Bush, right? Just how long would you be permitted to live with a “Jihad is not the answer” button on your tie-dyed t-shirt?
    Yeah, you’re so brave wearing your button in a country where people have died fighting to protect your right to wear your “MORONIC” button.
    And I’m with Ucfengr in questioning the depth of your position on anything but hatred for Bush and conservatives.

  • JohnW

    Uncenger,
    I just wanted you to know I read your latest comments. I make my judgments on you lack of analysis, based upon your comments and unwillingness to even consider opposing viewpoints coming from conservative people. Also, you admit to not reading contempary books on current events.
    Have a nice week-We’ll play another time, OK.
    JD, War is not the Answer.

  • War is not the answer… then what is?

    OK, assuming I’m willing to entertain this ridiculous assertion, what is the answer?
    Specifically, Iraq has just invaded Kuwait. What is the answer?
    Pick a war of aggression in history, and tell me the answer.

  • jd

    JohnW:
    If war is not the answer then the argument can be made that YOU have more blood on your hands than those who believe war IS the answer.
    Just so YOU know that WE warmongers know that there are bloody consequences for your “morally superior” stance.
    Just so you know.

  • JohnW

    JD,
    Ok, Thanks for sharing. You just keep on believing that if you want.

  • Blaze

    This has been a really fun forum so far. As to “War is not the answer… then whart is?”, I like the way you situated yourself there, but, regardless, the comment is just asking for an argument all over again, which is what we’ve been talking about anyway.
    After all of this, I still belive, somewhat firmer than before, that the war, although still highly debatable, and a very volatile topic, was the necessary course of action. I dont wish to argue to much further on this, you all know that this topic can go on for ever.

  • JohnW

    Ok, if war is not the answer than what is?
    Take a fraction of the current US defense budget (which is larger than all the rest of the nations on the earth combined) and spend it on prevention of war and terrorism. Our society has been so militarized for so long, that even christians, who supposedly follow the Prince of Peace, simply dismiss this idea out of hand and resign themselves to believing that endless war is the only way.
    Take the Iraq war for instance-you have a country that because of our invasion/occupation has millions of displaced people and hundreds of thousands of people who have had family members killed, injured, or tortured. This is producing more terrorism, not helping to eliminate it.

  • Bryan

    You didn’t answer the question. Set aside the current war. I’m asking about the 1st one. When Iraq invaded Kuwait. How could that have been resolved without force?
    Pacifism at a personal level means ultimately that you will be poor and/or dead. The same holds at the national level. When evil comes for you, turning the cheek means you die. If you are willing to die, then so be it. But to advocate an entire nation allow themselves to be eradicated so a dictator can have more… I’m not willing to sign off on that.

  • JohnW

    Bryan,
    I wasn’t addressing you in my previous post.
    FYI, Prior to Gulf War we told Saddam we weren’t interested in Iraq’s territorial disputes with Kuwait and then we act all surprised when he invaded Kuwait. Furthermore, after we threatened military force he was willing to negotiate and pull out of Kuwait, but we rejected his offer. The Gulf War was not necessary.
    You are willing to sign off on spending more money than the rest of the world combined, neglecting domestic concerns, and a policy of never-ending war as the only solution to a few crazy religious nuts with box cutters?
    WWJD?

  • ucfengr

    Take a fraction of the current US defense budget (which is larger than all the rest of the nations on the earth combined)
    Well, the US defense budget is pretty big, but it isn’t quite that big, but let’s look at our defense budget and why it is so big. Well, we are a rich country with a high per capita income, so we pay our soldiers pretty well. Nearly 30% of our military budget goes towards paying our soldiers and providing for their and their families health care. Surely you wouldn’t want to cut our soldiers salaries or see their families go without health care, would you? Another reason for our huge defense expenditures is because there are a lot of countries that rely on the US for their defense. Countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, much of the Middle East, and Europe depend on the US for defense. Now, we could significantly cut our defense budget if we told these folks to start fending for themselves, but would that make the world a safer place? In the Pacific you would probably have Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan going nuclear to deter the regional aspirations of China and in the Middle East you could have a similar situation with the Sunni states, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt doing the same thing in response to a nuclear Iran. Yeah I know, PNAC agrees with me, but that doesn’t make the scenario less plausible. Do you really think the Sunni states would just sit still for a nuclear Iran in the absence of US security guarantees or that Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan would submit to Chinese domination?
    and spend it on prevention of war and terrorism.
    I would argue that a robust military capability and a willingness to use it are a better guard against war and terrorism than a robust diplomatic corps. Here’s a little though experiment, which house do you think is least likely to be robbed? One with a sign that says “Protected by Smith & Wesson” or one that says “We don’t believe in violence”?
    Furthermore, after we threatened military force he was willing to negotiate and pull out of Kuwait, but we rejected his offer. The Gulf War was not necessary.
    What was this grand bargain that Saddam offered that the evil warmonger Bush rejected? You know it never ceases to amaze me that folks like you are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to evil dictators like Saddam Hussein than you are to honorable, decent men like George H. W. Bush.

  • Blaze

    “I would argue that a robust military capability and a willingness to use it are a better guard against war and terrorism than a robust diplomatic corps. Here’s a little though experiment, which house do you think is least likely to be robbed? One with a sign that says “Protected by Smith & Wesson” or one that says “We don’t believe in violence”?”
    HA HA! I got a laugh from that. Its 100% correct though, “spend it[the budget] on prevention of war and terrorism” will not work because simply, the US is the worlds police. Many don’t like to hear that, however, its just how its turned out. Many countries such as Australia, NZ etc, have a ‘military’, but, in reality they only have active museum. Did anyone hear what happened with the US war games? Australia went there, the poor guys were using jets 25 years old against the USA’s prime fighter. Australia didn’t stand a chance. That is the same for many other countries now relying on US military. The US cannot afford to cut its military budget or it will be disadvantaging her allies as well as her self. The US has a right to keep its military prowess, leave the diplomatics to the organisations such as the UN. Thats what they’re there for, use them.

  • JohnW

    A great american made this political observation:
    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
    Uncfengr, What kind of insane left-wing moonbat would say such a thing?

  • ucfengr

    Uncfengr, What kind of insane left-wing moonbat would say such a thing?
    I believe it was the same guy who said,
    “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.” and was the US President during the War of 1812, James Madison. He is widely recognized as the Father of the Constitution and was initially opposed to a strong central government and a standing military. The experience of leading the nation during the War of 1812 changed his mind on these issues and he became a proponent of a stronger national government and a standing military.
    I should point out, that one out of context quote doesn’t make an argument. If you want to argue that the military should be smaller, go ahead, but it would help if you would take an honest look at the potential consequences of reducing the size and strength of the US military; something you appear unwilling to do, preferring instead to rely on meaningless platitudes and out of context quotes.

  • jd

    Ucfengr:
    Do not look for logic in any posts by JohnW. Check out post 165 (or practically any other). It is nothing but wishful thinking, complete ignorance of history and one completely debunked myth.

  • ucfengr

    Actually jd, I think I am engaged in a little wishful thinking myself in thinking that John will come up with a substantive, rational argument for any of his positions, but hope springs eternal.

  • JohnW

    JD and Uncfengr
    Good tag team bashing Boys. Well done!
    Re post no. 165 – do either one of you think it is healthy for our economy to sustain this type of spending on defense? The cost of the Iraq invasion and occupation is already around $400 Billion and growing. Also, as a christian or for that matter just a decent human being do you believe such a high level of spending on defense is where our priorities as a society should be? And if you say private charities and churches should be responsible for helping the needy and the government’s role in helping people should be smaller, don’t you think the government’s role in defense should be cut back to a reasonable level.
    I think you guys try to present yourselves as conservatives, but actually you seem to love big government when it comes to defense.
    My quote from James Madison is very relevent today, especially the part about executive power being extended. Actually the excerpt from the Madison quote you highlighted in bold, would seem to suggest that a military draft would be a good idea. Perhaps it would as more people would have an interest in making sure we go to war for good reasons.

  • ucfengr

    John, defense spending for 2007 (including supplemental spending on Iraq which has not yet passed) will be about $530 Billion. The US gross domestic product for 2007 will be around $13 Trillion, so defense spending makes up about 4% of our total GDP. This number is actually pretty low by historical standards. In 1977, for example defense spending was 4.9% of GDP; at the height of the Reagan defense build-up, defense spending was over 6% of GDP. So, how is our current level of defense spending economically unsustainable? Defense spending isn’t even the biggest part of overall federal spending; Social Security will spend nearly $600 Billion in 2007 and Health & Human Services will spend nearly $700 Billion.
    My quote from James Madison is very relevent today, especially the part about executive power being extended.
    Whether it is relevant or not is really irrelevant to my point. My point is that one out of context quote does not make an argument. How about some specifics on why you think defense spending is too high and what some of the costs and benefits of reducing it might be. Maybe you could talk about what you think the right level should be. I was also pointing out that he modified his views after actually serving has President during a war, becoming in favor of a strong central government, a standing army, and strong navy.

  • JohnW

    uncengr,
    If you want cost benefit analysis on the level of defense spending, I suggest reading some contemporary books on the subject. I am not an authority on this subject.
    For now I’ll leave you with a relevant quote from a well-known american politician, who apparently must be some sort of far-left, crazy nut:
    We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

  • ucfengr

    If you want cost benefit analysis on the level of defense spending, I suggest reading some contemporary books on the subject. I am not an authority on this subject.
    And yet you are confident it is too high. Based on what? You wonder why I really don’t take you all that seriously, it’s not because I think you are a “crazy moonbat”, it’s because your posts consist mainly of unsupported assertions and vague insults. There are a more than a few folks here that I disagree with, but I think they are serious people, you just don’t happen to be one of them.

  • JohnW

    Uncengr,
    Ouch, You are really good with the insults. Right back at you, slick.
    What is the basis for your opinions? You admit you don’t do any reading on current events.
    As for insulting you, sorry. I try my best not to do it, but sometimes your snide insulting comments to me, make it difficult for me not to respond in kind.

  • ucfengr

    What is the basis for your opinions? You admit you don’t do any reading on current events.
    John, you should read more posts more closely. What I said was I don’t read books on current events. That doesn’t mean I don’t read newspapers or follow the news on radio and TV. Also I when I make an assertion, I support it. Take my post on current defense spending for example (#175), I showed how our current level compared with past levels, what it is in relation to our GDP, and how it compared to other government spending to support my assertion that current levels of defense spending are reasonable or even low. What support do you provide for your assertions? Or take you assertion that Saddam was willing to make a deal with respect to Gulf War I (post #167), what deal was he willing to make? Perhaps Bush I rejected it because it wasn’t much of a deal at all, but there is no way for me to evaluate it because you never provided the supporting information. I then used your post to support my assertion that you (and folks like you) are far more willing to give evil dictators like Saddam or the Iranian mullahs the benefit of the doubt than you are either George Bush, in essence supporting them. Why do you think the Iranians don’t want to make a deal on nukes? It’s partly because they know that folks like you will blame Bush and the US no matter what they do. I don’t want to accuse you of actively supporting folks like Saddam, but your actions do encourage them and you don’t want to see it.

  • JohnW

    Uncenfgr,
    In 1961, Eisenhower, who I quote in Post No. 176, made his farewell address stating his concerns about the growth of the military spending taking away from domestic and humanitarian needs. He believed we were spending too much money on defense in 1961. Has the level of defense spending gone down since then? Could you answer this question? I’m not looking for extensive information with footnotes and a bibliography. A simple yes or no will do. The way you answer this question will reveal a lot to the readers of this blog-It will show us how you aproach issues and your credibility.

  • JohnW

    Uncengr,
    I know you haven’t answer Post No. 180 yet. Consider this a pre-emptive response…and it’s more for the benefit of other readers-I don’t intend to continue this discussion.
    With regards to the levels of defense spending since the 1960’s, it’s not clear cut, there seems to be no universal agreement on whether it has gone up, stayed the same, or decreased since then. It depends on who you ask and who they are relying on for their facts and what their agenda is.
    I would ask the readers of this blog to look into this matter for themselves and decide the answer. Here are some relevant websites promoting my particular point of view:
    truemajority.org/oreos/
    nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=277&Itemid=107
    http://www.democracyarsenal.org/2007/03/defense_spendin.html

  • ucfengr

    I know you haven’t answer Post No. 180 yet.
    Nor do I intend to. I’ve discussed my views on US defense spending in depth, I don’t feel the need to go any further. If you would like to share why you think defense spending is too high, what you think an appropriate level of defense spending is, and what you think the consequences of a less robust US military would be, I would be happy to respond, but at this point I am the only person offering any insight on my position or any reasons for supporting it.

  • Chris Hill Junke

    Look, I’m 15 years old, and even I’m not stupid enough to link Iraq to soem crazy oil-grab. Why? Because I’m not a complete moron, and I actually look things up. Few thinbgs about that line of thought:
    1. we have more potential oil in colorado alone than in all of saudi arabia
    2. within 2 years if we could dril in this country our military could be self suficiant. within 10, our ebtire nation
    3. how does our any of this help us get oil from the iraqis when we gave hem control of their country?
    now, if we really wanted oil, we could get it here in America, it would be easier, ceaoer, Bush wouldnt be hated, and, most importantly, IT WOULD SAVE AMERICAN LIVES! Saying the we went into Iraq for oil is just plain insulting.
    and if you want to see some of the dicussions ive been in, look me up on facebbok. im in many of them.

  • http://www.rolboccotrta.com daroloelri

    chiraccali

  • why aren’t you there?

    connections to al qaeda were shadowy?
    Pakistan’s Al Qaeda and Taliban were stark. Musharreff is just Saddam with a blow-drier. Why didn’t we attack them?
    Why not Saudi Arabia?
    Somehow 3900 dead Americans and 40,000 dead Iragi’s is tolerable to you? See you in hell.

  • rational thought

    A few questions:
    Please refrain from irrational responses and answer ALL or NONE. I will do the same should you have questions for me. Thanks and have a blessed day.
    1) How many people here are well versed in just war theory (ex. learned at national government-level instution of higher learning)
    2) How many people here proactively seek out friendship beyond their own faith?
    3) Of the people who do not (ref. Q3), how many would agree that we should have bombed Iraq had it been a country with a large Southern Baptist population in the midst of the target area?
    4) How many of you actually believe Jesus would pursue a non-negotiation policy and attack other countries because it was “agreed upon” they provided a “threat?”
    5) Without physical provocation, how many of you would kill your neighbor if you had credible evidence that “supported the theory” he had a machine gun and planned to use it on you?
    6) Without physical provocation, how many of you actually believe any elected official of a free and sovereign nation would have invaded a country he/she REALLY THOUGHT had WMD capability? (Reference last 50+ years of world history for reasoning).