If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America. –
President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Just how nasty and baseless are the current allegations that our soldiers used chemical weapons on civilians and insurgents in Fallujah? I will let an unexpected (and vocally anti-war) source have a say:
I agree that the invasion in 2003 was illegal. However, the assault on the guerrillas in Fallujah was not illegal. It had a UN Security Council resolution behind it authorizing Coalition troops to carry out such operations, and recognizing the transitional government of Iyad Allawi, which also backed the operation. What was done to Fallujah was so horrible that it is now often forgotten that there was every reason to think that the city was a base for the worst kinds of terrorism against innocent civilians in Baghdad and Karbala; there were very bad characters there.
Black and white depictions of the Marines as villains and the guerrillas as good guys are silly and morally poisonous. If I had known the full extent of the damage that would be done to the city, I would have been against the Fallujah campaign; it is just terrible counter-insurgency tactics for one thing, and was a humanitarian disaster. But to say that the US military wilfully contravened its own regulations and knowingly broke US and international law on chemical weapons by deploying white phosphorus there would have to be proven from better evidence than has been presented.
That source- Juan Cole (and I do not agree with all of his characterizations, but the quote is surprising in its bluntness and willingness to refute the bile that some on the left are gleefully attempting to spread).
Just something to think about the next time you read something like this:
Saddam tortured, we torture. Saddam used WP chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians, we use WP chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians.
Like torture, the apologists try to justify our use of such abhorrent techniques, oblivious to the fact that our moral standing is in tatters and our crediblity beyond repair. We aren’t just losing the war in Iraq, we are losing our credibility in the world.
If you’ve lost Juan Cole…
*** Update ***
I think I just had a blogging orgasm (a bloggorgasm? blogasm?). Mother Sheehan has penned an open letter to Bush, including the following:
Also, since August we have discovered that American forces are using chemical weapons in Iraq. The Army admitted that white phosphorous was used as an offensive weapon against “enemy combatants.” Oh really, George, since when did a weapon fired from a distance distinguish between enemies and innocents? Especially when it is so hard for soldiers on the ground to differentiate between enemies and innocents? It is hard for one to ignore if not look away from the grisly pictures of the burned citizens of Fallujah.
By the way, George, isn’t the use of chemical weapons prohibited? Don’t you always say that “Saddam is a bad man” for using chemical weapons on his own people? So is it okay for you to use chemical weapons in Iraq because the citizens of Iraq are not “your people?” Saddam should be on trial for killing so many innocent people. Bombing cities where innocent civilians live and using chemical weapons are war crimes. Does that make you an alleged war criminal? Move over, Saddam. There is a new bad guy in town.
I have no words to describe my bliss.
Admittedly Kos draws moral equivalencies between his own nation and the worst tyrannies extant.
And admittedly he purveys “war crimes” lies about his own erstwhile fellow soldiers at war.
And admittedly he cares nothing about victory for his own country at war next to victory for his own political party.
But please, don’t question his patriotism.
Sure, the US is not as bad as Hussein.
But what a shame that the Bush administration opened the door to these accusations through its use of torture and its willingness to “disappear” people. And spare me the claims that torture is not the official policy. The fact that the Bush administration refuses to support legislation that would confirm an anti-torture position opens the door to conclusions that torture is an acceptable tool.
And yes, the US has lost its moral authority and credibility. At least for now.
I think you will find that both Tacitus and I have been dismayed (to say the least) about our policy regarding torture. In fact, we are (to my knowledge) the only ones from red State who have openly and forcefully opposed the policy.
And while saying “Sure, we are not as bad as Hussein” may have a degree of rhetorical flair and may titillate the masses (I have even said it or something like it to make a point), the fact of the matter is, we aren’t. We don’t engage in the things that hideous, odious regime engaged in, we do not use chemical weapons (let alone on civilians), and even though I am not pleased with our behavior in some regards, pretending we are even in the same league as Hussein is disingenuous and makes me want to disregard your opinions.
Do we have some problems, have we made some mistakes, and has this adminstration done some things that are awful and we should be ashamed of? Absolutely. But we aren’t as bad as Hussein, and that is something you and the left should begin to recognize.
I know you’re not comparing Juan Cole to Walter Cronkite, but rather just using LBJ’s quote to make a rhetorical point, but it’s still a little creepy.
After all, if Kos had written:
Than Juan would have probably written Kos a check.
The Cole-coalition on this subject is right.
A bunch of people on the left need to grow the hell up.
There’s not a more hard-assed opponent of this war in here than yours truly .. and I gotta tell ya, the DKos material and some of the commentary in here on this topic are embarassing and troubling to me.
This whole WP thing is a cheap shot that injures people who least deserve it, and the country at large. It’s gratuitous and completely unnecessary. Find some other way to act out your outrage over the war. Keep a cool head while those around you are acting like damned fools.
John, some of us already do recognize that. The attempt to equivocate the actions of the American military to the Hussein regime in any way, shape, and/or form is the best example of why reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy. And that’s exactly what the whole “white phosphorous is a banned chemical weapon” argument is, once you reach the base of it. They found what happens to be the most absurd connection between a chemical-based weapon and a chemical weapon that is remotely possible. Unless, of course, that they figure out that, since gunpowder is effective due a chemical reaction, then the use of it must be the equivalent of using a banned chemical weapon.
Anyways, I have enough details to complain about President Bush’s administration and policies without pulling stuff out of my ass as well. And all this screaming they’re doing about their supposed “war crimes discovery” pulls attention away from the (in my opinion) much more profitable snarking about the Phase II investigation, which has pretty much dropped off the radars since the W.P.=3V1L meme took over.
This is one of the few times I’ll agree with something that Rush Limbaugh said. “The Left has bean curd for brains.” Or maybe tapioca. Or Pop-Rocks… My mother’s cottage pie? Regardless, it’s formless, tasteless, and has absolutely zero true nutritional value.
We may not be standing our for American Values, BUT AT LEAST WE ARE NOT AS BAD AS SADDAM HUSSEIN!
I feel so relieved. I think I can sleep now.
Bah, the only reason they keep harping on it is cause you got guys like John Cole… Outraged! Outraged I tell you!
It’s the standard lines of the hyperbole war.
As I head off to the hammock ….
I don’t generally watch the Tonight Show, but somehow it was on as I was turning off the lights in the living room. Jay was doing the Battle of the Jaywalk AllStars, a contest that pits some, uh, ill-informed people against each other in a mock game show.
On that note, I turn in, and will see you tomorrow.
Of course, Juan Cole has been studying Shi’ites for so long that he basically thinks like a Shi’ite. Which is why he was much less anti-Falluja taking than a lot of people on the left were…
Bob In Pacifica
You know, I really think there’s something about the tryptophan, or whatever that chemical in turkey is. I can hardly get worked up over willy pete tonight.
But John Cole, if it soothes you any, I doubt that WP has affected a tenth of one percent of the way people in the U.S. view this war. It’s no big deal. Did Kos even mention it today?
I’d rather Mr. Cole would get worked up over whether or not Bush wanted to bomb the al-Jezeera studios in Qatar. Or a discussion of Bob Woodward’s long-term connections with military intelligence. Something else.
Bob In Pacifica
But if you want to talk about black and white, the U.S. forces are in someone else’s land killing those people in order to get their oil. You could understand why Iraqis and the rest of the world and even the majority of Americans want us out of there, willie pete or not.
Remember: those folks are insurging on their land, not insurging on ours.
It is intellectually bankrupt to conflate someone’s mistaken belief in X with malicious espousal of X, perhaps even more so in a partisan context. By that standard one could as readily impugn Tacitus‘s or even John‘s patriotism as Kos’s.
I’m especially disappointed that John is taking such an emotional line on this issue without having any discussion with Kos, especially given Armando‘s comment on the other thread.
John is perfectly within his rights to be upset with the repetition of these fabrications. It’s one thing to make claims which are not true under the guise of ignorance (dumb, but forgivable). But when these people are set right by experts in the field, and they choose to ignore those experts and continue with the fabrications, that’s nothing but a big lie.
Now, there are plenty of discussion points in this issue. However, the instant you try to have a discussion about it, certain people will use the basest of argumentative tricks so they don’t have to admit they’re wrong. They will change the subject, they will ridicule you, insult you and run you around in circles. What they will never do is make a coherent argument which upholds their point of view.
Frankly I don’t see the point trying to have a serious discussion with someone who is (a) only out to make certain people look bad, regardless of the truth and (b) never achieved moral puberty.
I agree 100% this crap is distracting from the REAL issues. I also agree that the “being better than Hussein is not good enough” argument is dumb. Are we perfect? No. Can we try hard to be better? Yes, if we drop these charades. Are we even in the same ball park as Hussein and his brutes were? No way.
Like someone else pointed out, there are lots of issues to take Bush to task over. Why not concentrate on the discussions which are constructive?
Maybe it’s the tryptophan talking, but Judas Priest with a guitar solo, all this to-do about WP misses the fucking point by a fucking mile.
Using WP in an urban area like Fallujah is guaranteed to generate nasty video of horribly mutilated civilian bodies. So is using HE, so is using a stray Tall Boy or two.
That’s the inevitable result of using American armed forces to take a city. We blow shit up rather than send soldiers to bleed, whenever we can, and we’ve been fighting this way since the latter part of the Civil War. It’s why we win wars but lose counter-insurgency conflicts.
So the questions ought to be, “why were we taking Fallujah with American troops?” And, “why were we doing it when we did it — for the second time?”
No matter how you slice it, the answer comes down to “domestic politics” in the USA. And friends, that is not the fault of the grunts in Iraq. That’s 100% the fault of the Junior League Napoleon sitting in the White House.
When it becomes necessary to destroy the village in order to save it, the mission has gone seriously pear-shaped. That is not — ever — the soldier’s fault. It’s the commander’s fault.
Hear, hear, rilkefan.
For the record, whether WP is a chemical weapon or not matters to me very little: phosphorus burns from a conventional weapon are just as nasty, and I don’t imagine explosives feel much better. However, I doubt whether the tactics with which phosphorus flares are used affect our nation’s honor quite so much as the bodies in our prisons do. Your dismay over our torture policy is touching, but if you directed half the vitriol you’ve thrown at Kos towards those who advocate torture, I very much doubt you’d still be posting at RedState.
It is intellectually bankrupt to conflate someone’s mistaken belief in X with malicious espousal of X….
The choices here are these:
1) Markos Moulitsas is a thoroughgoing idiot, incapable of rational inquiry, ignorant of basic facts on subjects he purports to speak with some authority on, and completely amnesiac from his much-touted time as a United States Army artilleryman.
2) Markos Moulitsas is engaging in “malicious espousal of X.”
Noted that rilkefan believes that the guiding light of the online left is an intellectual midget.
John, your left-wing readers aren’t going to “respect” you till you adhere to their agenda and agree with them more. Please, I beg you, put aside your small-minded concern for the good name and wellbeing of your countrymen at war. You’ve imbibed far, far too much in the left’s loud concern “for the troops.” They didn’t mean it, for willy pete’s sake.
It’s why we win wars but lose counter-insurgency conflicts.
If you ignore the counter-insurgency fights against the American Indians, the Filipinos, various Haitian groups, the Sandinistas, the indigenous South Korean communists, the Hukbalahaps, and the Viet Cong, you’re completely right.
By the way, who are the Iraqi insurgents mostly targeting these days? Oh, right — Iraqis. Not Americans so much. There’s a reason for that, and it will become more clear assuming you and yours don’t win this policy fight.
Doesn’t this kind of explain why lefties aren’t precisely thrilled about joining you in a crusade against one of our own, even if we do think he’s in the wrong? Again, you’re an honest guy, and you’re even right. But how much are we supposed to care about which particular munition is inconsistently characterized as a chemical weapon when there’s this sort of thing going on? After all, isn’t Markos obviously much, much better than Saddam Hussein?
Because, Lord knows, lefty politicos haven’t been at the forefront trying to make certain that the VA hospitals are funded, or that our troops get the body armor they need. You can see this in how lefty advocate and comedian Al Franken isn’t going back to Iraq for yet another USO tour. You can see the tremendous difficulty we have recruiting vets to run as Democratic candidates.
I think the enormous altitude on that high horse may be causing a bit of lightheadedness.
HE or nukes are *far* more likely to generate mutilated civilians. WP bursts are not very big and not terribly lethal. Plus all the bodies I’ve seen were mutilated by something other than WP.
Yes, a few dead civilians are probably the inevitable result of urban combat. But that’s not what we’re upset about. That’s another argument. Please stop changing the topic.
In general, I’m happy to discuss whether the war is worthwhile with you. I can see the arguments why it isn’t. I don’t think they outweigh the arguments why it is, but we have different points of view obviously. But as I said, this is off-topic. If we didn’t have to defend the military against these vicious and untrue attacks, then perhaps we could spend more time debating what I agree is a much more important issue you have raised…
As an aside, I don’t think any COIN operation can possibly occur without it getting “messy”. And as messy as this one may be, I think it could be working. All COIN operations have been messy, but the clever people perfoming them are usually better at hushing it up than the Bush administration with all this pesky transparency and freedom of speech going on.
Same for you. You’re changing the topic. Again, if this WP crap wasn’t appearing in the media, we could have a much more useful discussion about issues like interrogations, abuse and torture.
John, your left-wing readers aren’t going to “respect” you till you adhere to their agenda and agree with them more.
Incorrect. I respect him, regardless of what his views are and I am, at least by the spectrum evident here, a left-wing commenter. Why?
Because he, just as with most folks here, doesn’t disrespect my views simply because they’re held by a left-of-center commenter (Of course, it’s not like anyone pays any real attention to my views. Hell, I couldn’t even get cited under my own name up five or so comments.[/friendly-snark]) but will throw them down or hold them high on their own merits. That, to me, is the most common value among the bloggers, left and right and center, that I both read and comment on. And also the most common value of decency in an arena where decency is all too uncommon.
For an example of the behavior I loathe? Just swing by the latest edition of Pandagon. The Cult of Marcotte is the biggest example of poor behavior on the left-hand side I can think of, even worse than the Kossack Klub.
Let us simply agree or disagree on the merits of an argument rather than the source of the argument.
If you ignore the counter-insurgency fights against the American Indians, the Filipinos, various Haitian groups, the Sandinistas, the indigenous South Korean communists, the Hukbalahaps, and the Viet Cong, you’re completely right.
The Viet Cong too? Really? “Was that the old “declare ourselves the winners and get out” thing? Because if it was, I have a practical victory strategy for the Bush Administration that has the blessing of precedent.
When did we defeat the Sandinistas, exactly? Sandino was murdered by Somoza, not U.S. Marines, who never caught Sandino.
The South Korean “communists” were mostly massacred by South Korean forces, not U.S. ones, if you’re referring to Cheju. Suchon was more in the nature of an armed mutiny, not a rebellion. Also, the VC were only beaten when they tried to take on the U.S. in set-piece battle, not by American counterinsurgency efforts.
Also, why do you say the Iraqi insurgents have stopped targeting U.S. forces? DoD itself notes that 80% of attacks are directed against American and coalition forces, though the Iraqis take 80% of the casualties. Where did this argument come from?
Rachel, you pretty much hit the nail on the head.
The VC were militarily defeated, primarily during the Tet Offensive. They made the stupid mistake that insurgents sometimes do which was to attack regular forces in strength. The army and marines hammered them. However, somehow, the North Vietnamese managed to spin Tet into a win in the media rather than a loss, and it was the beginning of the end politically. Eventually the US pulled out, the VC had time to regrow back part of their lost strength, and along with the NVA regulars took South Vietnam, which had been abandoned by the USA roughly two years earlier.
This is not to say that staying and finishing the job would have been a cakewalk from then on, but the problems in Vietnam were mostly political, not military (such as the unwillingness to do what was necessary in case it inflamed China or Russia).
This shows how silly is it to leave while you’re winning. Now, I recommend you inform yourself properly (if you are not already) of the current situation and then decide whether you think pulling out of Iraq would have a similar effect.
Myself, I am not sure – it could go down a number of different ways – but I sure hope we aren’t condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.
If the “willingness to do what was necessary” means an invasion of North Vietnam, then we should all be glad that “politics” won that one.
The reason why no one wanted to invade North Vietnam was because no one wanted to replay Korea in Vietnam. Unless you feel that adding the PLA to the list of battlefield enemies in Vietnam would have been a good idea, that is. Not to mention pushing China back into the Soviet Union’s corner in the Cold War.
You had 4 years to be talking about interrogations, abuse, and torture(these allegations started in Afghanistan practically on Day1) before the WP thing became a story. Never seemed to get around to it, “but don’t worry, honest to god we were going to start NEXT week but this silly WP story distracted us!”
Anyway, on topic…it’s a chemical. It’s a weapon. It’s a weaponized chemical. It can kill you in the same manner every other chemical weapon kills people. We use(d) it for smoke screens not just because it gave off smoke – there is stuff a lot better to use if all you want is smoke – it’s because no sane person will go near it. Because it’s a chemical…weapon
The arguement about it NOT being a chemical weapon is entirely based around what building a military bureaucracy stores it in, and less to do with the actual facts of what it is
If I stored a weaponized chemical in a shed labelled “gardening tools” would it make gardening tools? No, that would be absolutely silly. But somehow when the Pentagon does something like they have the magical ability to alter reality and it is, in fact, now a gardening tool…
Pardon my late-night drunken bluntness, but Tacitus, why must you flame?
American Indians? Counter-insurgency? Then we must have used biological warfare to commit genocide. Now if only we can isolate the Iraqi population for several thousand years, this might be applicable.
The Phillipine war? That lasted 20 years.
The Sandinstas? We didn’t fight that one.
If indigeneous South Korean communists are different from Korean communists in general, I’ve yet to hear of it.
I have to admit you have me with the Hukbalahaps. I hope we did ok.
And the Vietcong? Please.
Either you haven’t bothered to inform yourself, or you’re just trying to start shit. I mean,
Seriously, what does that accomplish? Honest people have honest differences. I suppose I’m on the left these days, but I’m somehow able to think John’s wrong without thinking and calling him a traitor/unpatriotic/whatever (even when he freaks out, like over Sheehan or this Kos business)
But you have to start shit:
John, despite his lack of adhesion, I respect. You, not so much
How can you not respect Tacitus? He has wonderful pearls of wisdom on his blog, like:
That cowardly bastard!
Newsflash: Bush said the same fucking thing about the broader ‘war on terror’. Oh, I’m sure if inclined one could parse away the statement, but the record is there for all to see.
If you can’t see the difference between Bush saying “I don’t think you can win (it, the all-out global war on terror)” and Murtha saying the Iraq war is unwinnable and we should pull out, I’d say you’re still in a tryptophan haze.
The difference between killing or converting every religious zealot on the planet who wants to blow up Christians and Jews, and continuing to eliminate pockets of them in one country should be apparent. Murtha, if I read his comments in the MSM correctly, thinks we should pull back our troops and only go in and put out spot fires. The obvious effect on the insurgency would be to set whole cities and regions alight, and there would be little chance for ultimate success.
The annoying thing is that we will pull out using exactly the same strategy planned anyway, when Iraqi forces are ready to do their own counterinsurgency or the insurgents come to their senses and stop blowing up civilians. I suspect we’ll see a drawdown in 06 and be a sparse force by 07-08. Exactly what we were apparently planning anyway, but the left and MSM will crow about how they forced us to withdraw rather than being an occupying force as the Evil BushMcHitlerBurton wanted.
So … the difference between Murtha’s plan and Bush’s is six months, give or take a few.
Obviously those six months are ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL, the difference between defeat and victory.
The difference lies in the PERCEPTION.
If one wants to criticize someone for conceding that victory is unattainable, then concsistency demands that one be equally outraged over both Bush and Murtha’s statements.
Sadly, for right-wingers like you that are in a permanent haze of stupididty, the only thing that matters is getting a GOTCHA! on the other guy – whomever that may be.
Both the ‘War on Terror’ and the war in Iraq are equally ‘unwinnable’ by any standard of military victory. We cannot quell the insurgency in Iraq any more than we will be able to quell the tide of people seeking to harm the United States. Why? Because it is a numbers game, and the odds are decidedly stacked against us.
And if I had to pick a fight to give up on, it would certainly be Iraq over the ‘War on Terror’, because in the long run it is far more important. But shortsighted folk such as yourself cannot grasp the concept of such a thing in your quest to defend the President and tear down his opponents.
Where did I claim that we are in the same league as Hussein? In fact, I said just the reverse.
You simply refuse to acknowledge the loss of moral authority this country has experienced. Attacking people like Kos isn’t going to bring back that moral authority. Holding this administration accountable will. But you’re unwilling to do much of that. So take the cheap way out and attack those who have no political clout. Your choice.
Since when did you become a mind-reader, T.? I have great respect for John.
Yes, I may call him a name from time to time, or take a cheap shot in order to make my point. He does the exact same thing in return.
As the old saying goes, there are three sides to every argument: yours, mine and the truth.
This blog is more in line with heading for the truth than RedState.org where a good chunk of the comments are streiff bellowing, “Consider this your last warning before you are banned!”
Wally Cronkite is a left-wing propegandist just like most of these liberal left-wing journalists working for the usial rags and birdcage liners
Perhaps it’s too late for this to get noticed, but something (besides the clumsy Nazi analogies) has been bothering me about this smearing-the-troops drumbeat.
If Kos and the left are smearing the troops by pushing allegations about white phosphorous that would, if true, mean that our troops for committing war crimes, then what about the Pentagon’s reaction to the Abu Ghraib/torture story? The ‘bad apples’ claim, the trial which made Lynndie England and her boyfriend into the cruel masterminds of detainee abuse — doesn’t this constitute a much more direct example of smearing the troops? And isn’t it worse if it’s their own leadership doing it rather than outside observers?
I really want to know why that’s different.
i think “blorgasm” is the word you’re looking for ;)
In a civil war between Sunnis and a Kurd/Shiite coalition for control of Iraq, it is vitally important to US national interests that we take the side of the Shiites, and risk American lives to ensure that they continue to control the seat of government. Or so I’m told.
Perhaps Tacitus and his friends could make a better case for “staying the course” if they articulated exactly why this is so critical to our national interests, as opposed to the national interests of the Iraqis. From where I sit, it seems they are willing to accept the loss of as many American lives as necessary, from the safety of their armchairs, so they can call it a “W” rather than an “L.” Well, I like to win too, but unless the objective we’re accomplishing is something important to US national interests, I’m not sure why it qualifies as a win.
Geez, what is it about this topic that causes the most bone-ignorant people to feel the need to weigh in on this and make idiots of themselves?
White phosphorus is an incendiary in every sense of the word. It is an incendiary in form. It is an incendiary in doctrinal function. It is not a chemical weapon in form because it does not rely on toxicity for its effects. It is not a chemical weapon in function because doctrinally it is used as a marker and as an obscurant.
It is not a chemical weapon by regulation or treaty.
It never has been.
And your statement that “no one will go near it” is nonsense. WP is a much better weapon than HE for extreme danger close missions in the offense because it has a smaller blast radius, and does a better job as an obscurant.
Doctrinally, in the offense, U.S. forces will advance through a WP smoke screen all the time. Indeed, we will do so whenever it is possible, and synchronising the smoke screen so closely with the maneuver element that you can advance through the WP smoke while the smoke is still on the ground is the acme of skill.
WP smoke is no more toxic than any other smoke on the battlefield.
Your assertion that we have “better things” to provide smoke is likewise ignorant. Artillery delivered smokescreens are generally a mixture of WP and smoke rounds, because WP gives you a more immediate smoke buildup than smoke.
And you totally ignore WP’s utility as a marking round and the fact that it helps observers direct fires with much greater precision, thereby limiting collateral damage and preserving noncombatant life.
Without it you’d have to use HE for marking rounds, and you would not be able to control TAC air fires with anywhere near the reliability and precision.
That would pull the rug out from under aviator’s precision munitions, since the target must be marked before a precision munition is useful. Without effective target marking, aviation assets would have to go back to the blanket napalm strikes of yesteryear – something we’d like to get away from in built-up areas. Thanks, in part, to White Phosphorus.
You do talk that way as a joke, right? It’s hard to believe that anyone who can read and write could be as socially inept as you appear to be here.
Tacitus: “Noted that rilkefan believes that the guiding light of the online left is an intellectual midget.”
Note that Tacitus is happy to make statements he knows to be false, or for which he has no evidence and has made no effort to gather any.
That Kos makes mistakes out of emotion is not controversial – John does the same – it’s part of being human. I post here and not at DK because John‘s a smarter, more interesting guy, one more susceptible to being convinced he’s wrong. Both are admirably able to carry on disputes in a civil if charged way – I still haven’t figured out, after years of pondering, why Tacitus chooses not to do so.
Just for the record, in my irrelevant view the guiding light of the online left is hilzoy of Obsidian Wings, though Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft or Jeanne of Body and Soul or perhaps Mark Kleiman come to mind.
Interestingly enough, hilzoy argued recently that the admin’s failure to plan for Iraq was so egregious that it shows they didn’t care about the outcome. I don’t think this is as wrong as the “Kos posted on issue X and few times and was wrong and I’ve shown that here therefore he must be a traitor” argument, but I did dispute it with some energy.
Better than being an insufferable prick, ain’t it? Jesus, what an asshole.
I don’t know if there are any instances of Hilzoy’s debating with Tacitus, but I’m sure she would hand his ass to him with dispatch.
I quit blogging over at Tacitus.org for a while after one too many comments like that. Now I’ve forgotten why I went back.
Interesting take. It certainly is mucho egregioso, but I can’t say … and neither can he … what it “shows,” beyond the obvious: These people are just not very smart and do not seem to be curious about anything beyond the immediate satisfactions they seek. Like children. Well, stupid and thoughtless children. But I think they did care. They thought that they’d get this wonderful outcome where Iraqi girls would hold up “I heart American” signs and the cheap oil would be running like maple syrup back here, fueling the economy and buying more and more Republican votes. I think they cared deeply about these things, it’s just that they were … well, wrong.
Yes, and the right’s position would be convincing if not for the memory of something called Peace With Honor.
How many names do we figure are engraved in the Wall in Washington, in memory of Peace With Honor? About half of them? More?
For what it’s worth, the argument was something more like: the administration did not really care, not enough to stop and be sure to get things right. Not that they didn’t care in any sense, at all.
I am flattered, if baffled, by the rest of rilkefan’s comment. Now I’m going to go hide.
I would agree with you if there was a shred of possibility that Kos “mistakenly believed” X. Given his experience in the US army as part of an artillery unit for chissakes, combined with the vast amount of proof, not evidence, but proof that WP is most definitely not a chemical weapon. In that context in which it is a virtual certainty that Kos (and others on the left) knows better vs an honest mistake, he knowingly spreads hateful lies which smear the troops knowing full well what he is doing. He futher ups the ante by equating the US with Saddam’s murderous regime. But it advances the leftist cause, so he does it anyway. Despicable as hell.
We already had that discussion, and I gotta tell you, I was appalled by its result.
You don’t understand the meaning of “equate”, so it’s difficult to respond seriously to your post, but:
I think you misunderstand the dispute over the term “chemical weapon”, as you misunderstand the dispute over the term “WMD”. Advocates choose to use technical or common definitions as it suits them.
And you ignore the context – bumbling admin mishandling or coverup of the evidence, apparent violation of army manual prohibition on the use of WP as an anti-personnel weapon, a history of admin deceit on everything.
And I’ve not seen any evidence that Kos has carefully considered the evidence in conversation with reasoned advocates of the other side.
Uh-oh, the in-laws are here – good recover-from-T-day, everybody.
Tsk, Darrell. You’re the biggest serial liar on this blog. Glass houses, stones, etc?
This, from a guy whose first reaction to the destruction from hurricane Katrina was that they ‘deserved’ it for being a red state
“apparent” violation with the use of WP? Presumably you have evidence/links to back up your assertion (?).. and if (a BIG if) there were 1 or 2 violations in a bloody firefight, is there anything approaching evidence that such violations were widespread and/or intentional? No? Because to recklessly throw out “apparent violations” in the use of WP without basis would make you complicit in a very ugly smear on our troops. But don’t dare question your patriotism, right?
This thread is now closed by the Darrell Abatement/HAZMAT team.
I’m a soldier, PP, not a geisha girl. And I don’t suffer fools gladly.
I find it pretty telling neither you nor Remfin has been able to rebut me in any way on the facts. But rather than having a V-8 moment, as a, you know, intellectually honest observer would do, you come after me because, well, because I’m mean.
Well, I may be mean. But I’m not accusing Marines of committing war crimes when I don’t have the qualifications or knowledge to know a shit round from shinola.
That’s not only mean, that’s irresponsible.
You wanna accuse our troops of being war criminals? Fine. If you know your stuff. If you don’t, you can expect someone who does to call you on it.
Well, I find it telling that you hadn’t noticed that I haven’t really argued your facts. I find it telling that you hadn’t noticed that I am pretty much on the side you are on in this topic. Two things that tell me that you just shoot your mouth off and don’t pay attention.
I also find it telling that you’d call people who haven’t studied warfare or weaponry or ordnance issues to be “ignorant” and “morons.” People are not morons just because they didn’t have the same experiences you had.
Instead of calling them morons, why don’t you explore ways to enlighten them? Unless chest-beating is your main goal.
I’ve got to say, this argument sounds very familiar to me, but in a different context:
That is to say, your choices are incompetence and gross negligence or deception and deliberate malice–we report, you decide.
I also find it telling that you’d call people who haven’t studied warfare or weaponry or ordnance issues to be “ignorant”
Of course they are. They’re ignorant about warfare, weaponry, and ordnance. Duh. Just like I’m ignorant about jet engines.
But only a moron would argue about jet engine repair with a jet engine mechanic, and tell him his tools are immoral, while ignoring the possibility that if you take his tools away, the jet could fall out of the sky and endanger more lives.
But that’s exactly what the morons are trying to do here.