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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Does the Left really want the US to lose the war?

Christopher Hitchens asks exactly the right question: If the Left is so concerned about the conditions in Iraq, why aren't they helping out? Does the Left really want the US to lose the Iraq War? How can so many people watch this as if they were spectators, handicapping and rating the successes and failures from some imagined position of neutrality? Do they suppose that a defeat in Iraq would be a defeat only for the Bush administration? The United States is awash in human rights groups, feminist organizations, ecological foundations, and committees for the rights of minorities. How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians? I've always wonderd about that, and I am saddend to say that the answer is "Yes". It seems that people want the US to fail in the Iraq to teach "The arrogant US" and "Stupid Bush" a lesson and they don't really care about the consequences that such a lesson might have on the region. In a conversation I had with my aunt and I've had with many people since, they seem to want the US to lose, without understanding that this would mean that the bloodthursty terrorists of Al QAEDA and Zarqawi would win, which would also mean calamity to the Iraqi people. Those are the same people who were so opposed to the US going into Iraq because the loss of civillian lives and ignored all the hundreds of thousands of iraqi civillians who died on the hand of Saddam and they are the ones advocating that the US withdraws from there tommorow, if not today. It's like they are saying "Oh, so what if the US pulls out and Iraq descends into chaos? That's the iraqis problem now. You mean that the fundemntalists might make another Afghanistan out of it? Oh, that's horrible. Oh well, too bad. I can't be botherd by this now: the republicans look bad after their defeat and now the democrats are going to win for sure. Go HILLARY for 08!" Christopher thinks along the same line it seems: For day after day last month I could not escape the news of the gigantic "Live 8" enterprise, which urged governments to do more along existing lines by way of debt relief and aid for Africa. Isn't there a single drop of solidarity and compassion left over for the people of Iraq, after three decades of tyranny, war, and sanctions and now an assault from the vilest movement on the face of the planet? Unless someone gives me a persuasive reason to think otherwise, my provisional conclusion is that the human rights and charitable "communities" have taken a pass on Iraq for political reasons that are not very creditable. And so we watch with detached curiosity, from dry land, to see whether the Iraqis will sink or swim. For shame. Word.

34 Comments:

At 8/10/2005 06:50:00 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Hey SandMonkey!

You're right. Hitchens is right. And I mulled over the same questions last year and came to the conclusion that these people all share a tenuous (if that) grasp on reality.

 
At 8/10/2005 07:00:00 AM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

Thank you for putting my exact thoughts into words.

 
At 8/10/2005 09:14:00 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

The collective left is not a straw man.

 
At 8/10/2005 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"Does the Left really want the US to lose the war?"_____I think there are two arguments in their minds. 1. Bush is evil, so anything that harms him is good. 2. All war is evil, nothing is worse than war, the US should never ever fight wars. The left got a great boost when they "won" the Vietnam war. Some would like to repeat that. ____As usual, it isn't black and white. Bush is no angel, the US have made big mistakes in Iraq (not so many as in Vietnam, I think), some of the insurgents in Iraq genuinely believe they are patriots fighting an invasion. And so on.

 
At 8/10/2005 12:45:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Don Cox,

1) You are right about #1.

2) You are wrong about #2. The Western Left have always been *strategically* against war. In 1939, the American Communist Party was against the US entering WWII because Stalin had made a pact with Hitler (the Communist folk singer, Pete Seeger, sang protest songs against American involvement). After Hitler invaded the Soviets, the Communists went silent.

The Western Left did not broadly protest the US involvement in Bosnia, Serbia, or the bombings in Iraq that the Clinton Admin did. They were not against the N. Vietnamese warring against the South. They favor the side of the terrorists in Iraq.

The Western Left (and the general Arab population) have picked sides. They prefer the terrorists.

 
At 8/10/2005 01:14:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

As a proud "lefty", I have to disagree.

True, there is some sick pleasure in seeing Bush have his ass handed to him, but no one wants innocent Iraqis to suffer.

I was against the Iraq war for pragmatic reasons, not ethical... Al-Qaeda first, Iran Second, Iraq third, but ONLY if we have good signs that the culture is ready to accept democracy... not all societies are, specially tribal Arab societies.

But what made me and many lefties SOOO angry is not the war itself, but instead Bush's use of deception and nationalism to sell the war.

Why didn't Bush just say:

1. We have a plan to remake the middle-east, we don't know if it will work but we need to try.

2. Saddam is not a current threat but a potential threat (we don't need another North Korea.. no military options!)

3. Saddam liked to torture and gas women and children."

But what done is done!

If it is determined that Iraq is in fact winnable (your guess is as good as mine), than I am all for Canada and others joining the effort if Bush gives control to Nato or UN. But we NEED honesty and humility.

Unfortunately, at this point no one trust America, specially the middle-east and left which naturally distrust power and loves conspiracies.

Man, think how much $200 Billion could have done to fight AIDS, poverty, illiteracy etc... to the left, that is a moral defeat.

 
At 8/10/2005 03:04:00 PM, Blogger Bronson said...

The left wanted South Vietnam to fall to the communists because they hated Nixon. Now Vietnam is in miserable conditions compared to the other countries the US "interfered" with (Taiwan, Japan, South Korea).

Now the left wants Iraq to fall because they hate Bush. The left wants Bush to have "Made it Worse"

Iraq could be the next Turkey, which isn't so bad. The alternative is to be the next Somalia. Thats bad.

 
At 8/10/2005 03:06:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan:

"Why didn't Bush just say: etc..."

The obvious answer is that Saddam violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement that ended the Gulf War, on numerous occassions, and the entire world (including the Bush admin) actually believed he had WMD. Isn't it easier to point to things that would seem to justify war, before going to war, than to say something like:

"The middle east needs to be changed, so we are invading Iraq, because we think that's the best place to start"

I mean, really, don't you think that would have been a tough sell, even in the United States?

By the way, I wasn't a proponent of the war in Iraq. Iraq didn't seem, to me, to be a (major) part of the terrorism problem, and I figure if we were able to contain Saddam for 10 years, we probably could have contained him a little longer, or found some other way to depose him. I support the war in Iraq now, but only because I think the only way out is forward. Failure in Iraq would not only be a humiliation for the US (which would make many people very happy) but it would have terrible consequences for Iraqis, and for everyone else who wants democracy, in some form, in the middle east.

And not only that, failure in Iraq would signal an end to the war on terror in it's current form, and the next attempt would be, in my opinion, not so idealistic as what the neocons are trying. Whatever one thinks of the neocons, they *are* remarkably idealistic (and probably very naive) in their attempts to fight terrorism by building better societies, that won't produce so many terrorists. I don't think anything like that has been done successfully, before.

 
At 8/10/2005 04:33:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

Programmer craig, I completely agree that IF we can win in Iraq than we MUST win in Iraq, but we clearly need a better strategy.

I disagree about Vietnam, I don't think it was winnable without committing unacceptable human rights violations. Those actions (ie, nuclear & fire bombing) were not advocated for be even the hawks.

Interesting to note, DuPont, the maker of "Agent Orange", now has an office in Vietnam. Progress is being made since the withdrawal. Unfourtunately, Islamic Fascism is much more resilient than communism.

As for WMDs, its a HUGE overstatement to suggest that most countries thought Saddam had any. Iran, its primary enemy, certainly was not deeply concerned.

Agents in Iraq knew full well that the CIA only pays for info saying Saddam DID have weapons. Not great intelligence.

But like I stated before, there were GOOD reasons to go to war. Selling them would have been tougher short term, but much more useful now.

The left fears Bush's crusading persona. Blair comes across as a man who "thinks" he is right, Bush comes across as "knowing" his right... we hate that! :)

All these arguments aside, I just don't know if any amount of money and military can help a culture that doesn't want to be helped.

Do cops know they cannot be a Shiite/Sunni while they are on the clock? (etc..)

Iran would have been so much easier!

 
At 8/10/2005 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Lee C.   ―   U.S.A. said...

How come there is not a huge voluntary effort to help and to publicize the efforts to find the hundreds of thousands of "missing" Iraqis, to support Iraqi women's battle against fundamentalists, to assist in the recuperation of the marsh Arab wetlands, and to underwrite the struggle of the Kurds, the largest stateless people in the Middle East? Is Abu Ghraib really the only subject that interests our humanitarians?

I suppose that's a fair question.  I have another…
If these are good things to do why is "the right" not doing these things either?

I suspect I have a logical answer for that.  You, Sandmonkey put it in bold for us to see…

"Unless someone gives me a persuasive reason to think otherwise, my provisional conclusion is that the human rights and charitable "communities" have taken a pass on Iraq for political reasons that are not very creditable."

It would appear that Mr. Hitchen's purpose is not to win the war in Iraq; rather, his purpose is to draw "conclusions" about "the left" "for [domestic] political reasons"; Iraq is merely a useful tool for him.

Congratulations Sandmonkey you've been had, and it would appear you enjoyed it.

 
At 8/10/2005 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Hitchens wants to blame somebody else for the Bush failures in Iraq. Funny how these "tough guys" will start up wars in other places, never go to fight there, and then blame everyone but themselves when it all goes to shit.

I, for one, opposed this war because I was sure the people proposing this war, and pimping for this war, would turn it all into shit. They are just totally imcompent at nearly everything!


The lessons of Vietnam is that the USA did not learn a thing. And it looks like many of citizens of the USA are VERY determined not to learn anything from this war either.

How come no one got fired for the intelligence failures of 9/11?

How come no one got fired for the intelligence failures that this war was based on?

How come no one got fired for the total incompetence in the post-war planning and execution?

When is ANYBODY in the current US government actually going to accept some responsibility for their decisions and actions?

SAM

 
At 8/11/2005 12:16:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

"If these are good things to do why is "the right" not doing these things either?"


Lee ,I think you too missed the point.

The Left for the most part has always presented itself as to have a monopoly for "caring". Femenist groups, human rights groups, women rights groups, and most of the other humanatarian endeavors of the like have always belonged to the Left. The argument always was that the Left is better then the right because people on the Left "cared for the world". Yet such care seems not to exist in their hearts for the iraqi people for some reason, or at least they ignore it.

You asked me why didn't the right do something? Well, they did. They supported the war, they funded it and they keep up the supoort for it even when things aren't going their way. As for civillian groups on the right, I have seen fundraisers and webevents to support the soldiers over there, to get them more and better equipment to keep them safe. They are in it to protect the american soldiers who are in harm's way over there. The people on the left declined to do that, because they don't wnat to support the war. That's fine, don;t support the war or your own countrymen, but how about showing some of that "caring you people are so famous for, for the poor Iraqis who are sufffering that you claim that you care so much about?

I am talking about the people here guys, the iraqi folks that the left claims are suffering because of the US occupation and its aftermath. Why not help them? Why not help them rebuild their cities if the military isn;t doing it fast enough? Why not show support for the iraqi women who are trying to keep their rights under the new constitution? How about raising money for medical supplies to be sent to iraqi hospitals? Maybe a walk for Iraq or something? Howcome none of you are doing what you claim makes you so superior to those on the right?

That was Hitchen's question. The conclusion seems that if you do that and help those people that way this whole experiment may work faster and better and have a greater chance of success. It seems none of you wnat it to succeed out of fear that such a success would mean that Bush maybe right. Well, aren;t you supposed to do what's right regardless? Don;t you want the iraqis to have a better life and future?

Look, The right liberated them, and the left so far did zilch for them. I still wonder why that is! And for the record, you didn't answer. You evaded the question.

SAM,
This is not about opposing the war or being for the war or how the US ended in there in the first place. This is about the iraqi people and making their lives better. The question is, even if you are against the war, the occuptaoion and Bush and all that is on the right, don't you want the iraqi people to have a better future? Haven't they sufferd enough in your opinion? Well, if that's the case, what are you doing to help them out?

 
At 8/11/2005 02:42:00 AM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"think how much $200 Billion could have done to fight AIDS, poverty, illiteracy etc"___However, these are all symptoms of bad government. The best way to fight them is to improve democracy and reduce corruption. Even the poorest countries could improve their literacy rates if the government was efficient. AIDS is not such a big problem in well organised countries. It takes hold where the President's cousin is appointed Minister of Health.

 
At 8/11/2005 04:10:00 AM, Anonymous Lee C.   ―   U.S.A. said...

"You asked me why didn't the right do something?"
You start with the wrong premises, you tend to draw the wrong conclusions, even if your logic is impeccable.  You started with the wrong premises.
No, Sandmonkey that's not what I asked, nor, just incidentally, did I specifically direct my question to you.  I said that I had a question, and the question was not why didn't "the right" do something.
I asked, "If these are good things to do why is 'the right" not doing these things either?" (emphasis added to add clarity this time)
And just for the record.  I dispute your other premise, that, "The Left for the most part has always presented itself as to have a monopoly for "caring"." With the exception of women's groups (American women tend to be more liberal and more likely to vote Democrat than American men), I do not accept that "the left" has nor claims a monopoly on "caring".  It has been our conservatives who, for instance, have wanted sanctions on China for their civil rights violations, "the right" claims to care quite enough about that.  I'd hazard a guess that donations to the Red Cross can't be distinguished by the donor's politics.  (And I'd argue with your premise that "the right" liberated Iraq too, or "funded" the war--they tax equally across the board for that--or rather, they don't, but run up debt instead, but we'll pay across the board.  Rather, "the right" merely claims all support for the war to be in their camp whether it is or not.)
But, back to my point… Hitchens didn't suggest that "the right" should be doing these things did he?  That was not his point nor his interest.  He doesn't give a damn if these things are done it seems.  His interest was merely in his domestic political battles. Iraq is a useful tool; you have signed up as a useful…, well, let's call it "accomplice".

 
At 8/11/2005 04:12:00 AM, Anonymous Lee C.   ―   U.S.A. said...

"You asked me why didn't the right do something?"
You start with the wrong premises, you tend to draw the wrong conclusions, even if your logic is impeccable.
You started with the wrong premises.
No, Sandmonkey that's not what I asked, nor, just incidentally, did I specifically direct my question to you. I said that I had a question, and the question was not why didn't "the right" do something.
I asked, "If these are good things to do why is 'the right" not doing these things either?" (emphasis added to add clarity this time)
And just for the record. I dispute your other premise, that, "The Left for the most part has always presented itself as to have a monopoly for "caring"." With the exception of women's groups (American women tend to be more liberal and more likely to vote Democrat than American men), I do not accept that "the left" has nor claims a monopoly on "caring". It has been our conservatives who, for instance, have wanted sanctions on China for their civil rights violations, "the right" claims to care quite enough about that. I'd hazard a guess that donations to the Red Cross can't be distinguished by the donor's politics. (And I'd argue with your premise that "the right" liberated Iraq too, or "funded" the war--they tax equally across the board for that. Rather, "the right" merely claims all support for the war to be in their camp whether it is or not.)
But, back to my point… Hitchens didn't suggest that "the right" should be doing these things did he? That was not his point nor his interest. He doesn't give a damn if these things are done it seems. His interest was merely in his domestic political battles. Iraq is a useful tool; you have signed up as a useful…, well, let's call it "accomplice".

 
At 8/11/2005 07:40:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

It's ironic that the "right" have pushed so hard for tax cuts for the rich.

The left on the other hand, even though blue states are far richer than red states, have pushed for higher taxes in order to fully fund America's liabilities... including the war.

Imagine if Roosevelt came out one morning and said:

"Issue 1, pearl harbor has just been bombed by the Japanese"

"Issue 2, call your congress and ask them to pass my tax cuts bill"

:)

At this point, America is at risks of losing its Empire status. Remember, empires fall not because of war, but because of debt.

 
At 8/11/2005 09:46:00 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

At this point, America is at risks of losing its Empire status. Remember, empires fall not because of war, but because of debt.

Who said ever said that?

By the way, "If America were an empire, Canada would be the 51st state." I think Ted Nugent said that.

1. We have a plan to remake the middle-east, we don't know if it will work but we need to try.
2. Saddam is not a current threat but a potential threat (we don't need another North Korea.. no military options!)
3. Saddam liked to torture and gas women and children."


Err...guess what? Wolfowitz famously said #1. Rice famously said #2. The Bush said #3 over and over. The Left and the Canadians and the Europeans did not find those arguments credible. They said, "Sure he's a bad guy, but..."

Powell took the arguments to the UN (that conference of dictators) that were applicable to the UN. Did it matter to the French that their intel services believed Saddam had huge stockpiles of WMD? No. Does it matter to the Left today that Saddam *did* have centrifuges and hidden WMD equipment and a secret WMD program that he *thought* was producing weapons? No. Will the Left therefore stop complaining about us not finding huge WMD stockpiles? No.

 
At 8/11/2005 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

CMAR II, I hate to be confrontational, but it is that attitude that fuels the "left vs right" war, which is completely unnecessary.

"Remember, empires fall not because of war, but because of debt.

Who ever said that?"

Former Reagan aid Pat Buchanan for one.

America is the first Empire to not call itself an empire. (Soviet was the second). I don't say empire as an insult!! The world is a better place because of America's superpower... personally I am not a big fan of communism.

America's Empire is actually in worse shape than Britain's empire before it fell. Brittain was the world biggest lender, America has become the world's biggest debtor. (too many credit cards i guess)

If the U.S. currency collapses the world will be without an Empire for the first time since the Dark Ages.

As for wmd's, the claims made by America were very weak. Remember when Powell held up a photo of a plane that was destroyed 12 years ago? (feel bad for Powell, he seems like a good guy terribly used)

But like I said before, I am NOT upset about the war itself, just the lies used to sell the war! Why not stick to the truth and have faith in voters... or even better, go after Islamic Fascism which is a much easier sell.

I am glad Saddam is gone, couldn't happen to a nicer dictator. But we must logically look at our primary threats, look at the local cultures, and decide where to put our LIMITED resources.

I don't hate the right for being right. I just ask for the right not to hate the left for being left. Both sides are capable of hate, lies, sympathy and compromise.

 
At 8/11/2005 11:59:00 AM, Blogger CMAR II said...

America is the first Empire to not call itself an empire. (Soviet was the second). I don't say empire as an insult!!

Of course not! Who could be insulted by being compared to the USSR? If you don't want to fuel a "left v. right" war" then you should stop using absurd terms like "empire" to describe the US. That's Fidel Castro stuff.

The US is such a dominating empire that its thousands of troops in Germany couldn't get it to give a mere "thumbs-up" to the Iraq Liberation. It the US is an empire, then (guess what?) the Empire has fallen already.

I don't hold the Left in contempt for being left. I do so because they, at best, have been a millstone around the neck of the good guys in the life-or-death struggle against the Islamic fascists (eg calling the Afghanistan invasion a "quagmire" after 5 weeks of fighting.). At worst they have taken the bad guys' side (eg calling them "freedom fighters). And in the fast middle are those that have performed as "fluffers" for the enemy.

Incidentally, Hitchens is as left as they come on every issue but this one.

 
At 8/11/2005 12:54:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Yep, I recall during the election recounts in Florida, in 2000, Hitchens was a big time proponent of Gore and a major Bush basher. He was so colorful and said such inflammatory things, they had him in opinion shows just about every night. I was *very* surprised to hear him taking such a hard line on terrorism, after September 11th. I guess guys like him are proof that there are people on the left willing to take a stand for what they believe in, even if they have to stand with people they normally don't agree with.

Incidentally, from his articles and commentary the last few years, it seems that he has become really bitter about what his former leftist colleagues have been up to. I don't think he qualifies as "left" anymore, but I'm not sure where I'd put him on the political spectrum.

 
At 8/11/2005 02:56:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

CMAR, that is completely unfair!

I would never compare America's Empire of freedom to the USSR's Empire of tyranny. Yes they are both Empires, one for good and one for evil. (man, why do people always vilify the left... or right..?)

How often will a right-winger refer to America (and rightly so) as the "Empire of Liberty".

Without the American empire, who would be there to protect us from the Barbarians at the gate? Who would rebuild Germany and Japan and promote democracy and free markets.

This why the Left feel so attacked by the right.

Even when I praise America I get vilified as a pinko and terrorist sympathizer. Admit it, if my response was written by a republican you would agree with it!

But something inside all of us says "attack the left/right no matter what"

I am a proud leftist Jew. I see Jihad for what it is. But as a Lefty I absolutely DEMAND honesty and human rights from MY SIDE at all times. My side better behave even when our enemy is not. Its part of the burden of being the good guys.

Oh, and just so you know, Canada is heavily involved in Afghanistan and almost all liberal Canadians support it. That was a good target. (although we must end the war-on-drugs for Afghan to thrive)

I am glad that Saddam is gone but I am concerned it was poor strategy and Iraq will become ultra-Islamic.

Can you say that you are not also concerned?

Why can't we ever debate an issue on its cost/benefit analysis instead of left/right?

If Bush said we are going after Iran or Syria, Canada would have played ball. Now Iran knows America's resources are strained and are turning on its reactors.

My Persian girlfriend told me that before the Iraq war, everybody in Iran was asking "where are the Americans? how come they won't invade and free us"

Now when she speaks to her Persian friends, they look at Iraq and say forget it... its better this way.

All I am saying is that America is the best Empire in human history... but in this case it used its super-power poorly and missed good opportunities to fight Islamic fascism.

Can a Right-Winger please back me up or at least say, "I disagree, but i can see your point".

 
At 8/11/2005 03:01:00 PM, Anonymous Suz said...

I read the leftist comments and wish to argue against, but am so tired by the same old illogical statements that I cannot bring myself to argue anymore.

Suffice it to say I'm with Hitchens and you, Sandmonkey.

 
At 8/11/2005 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

craig, your right about Hitchens.

I was taken back by how hawkish he has become... but I understand it.

I love watching Hitchens speak, but NEVER ask him a question. He is a mean little bugger when he hears something he disagrees with and loves to rub it in people's faces.

Hitchens is a bit of a nut himself, I can't believe he went after Mother Teresa! Man, he REALLY hates religion.

Now that the left learned what Islamic Fascism really is, I think Hitchens will kiss and make up with the left.

 
At 8/11/2005 04:59:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Jordan,

I'd like to be diplomatic and say you have a point about something. But unfortunately, despite your good intentions, you have started in the wrong direction about everything.

How often will a right-winger refer to America (and rightly so) as the "Empire of Liberty".

I don't recall right-wingers of any significance calling the US this. I think Jefferson first used that term and I believe he meant it ironically. Those in the past who used it in earnest were adherants of "Manifest Destiny" which is not held by any thinking Americans nowadays. Otherwise, only extreme leftist Americans refer to the US as an empire and they sure don't it is an "empire of liberty." So I don't know why "the Left feel so attacked by the right" in this case.

Oh, and just so you know, Canada is heavily involved in Afghanistan and almost all liberal Canadians support it.

Well...okay...look, I don't want to pick too much at *any* actual help Nato is doing in the M.E. in the cause of good, so I'll just say, "I really appreciate the work Canadian soldiers are doing." And I really mean that. I do.

But this next statement...

If Bush said we are going after Iran or Syria, Canada would have played ball.

Come on. Canada would have backed an invasion of Syria??? (let alone, Iran) Rather than taking out a guy who had been flouting UN inspections for 12 years??? Be serious. It's absurd to suggest Chretien's government would have gone along with either of those ideas. And unfortunately the Canadian military is in no shape to do any of the heavy lifting if it did (which it wouldn't).

Since we're talking "loss/profit analysis" here, I'll point out that the new Iraqi government is having problems with an estimated 1% dissaffected population ~ maybe 200K. In Iran we would face an estimated 9 million Iranians would standing against an invasion out of pure patriotism. The democrat leaders in Iran have repeatedly said they don't want an invasion but moral support and pressure from the free nations. But if Canada wants to push for a no-fly zone over Iranian Kurdistan to protect the protestors there, I'm with them and I bet Bush would be too.

Let me tell you this. If the US went into the M.E. to clean up the swamp there and did not start with Iraq, it is hard to see where she would have had justification for cleaning up anywhere. If a given nation wouldn't put it on the line to remove Saddam after 12 years of sanctions (which would be gone now btw) and diplomatic dancing, she wouldn't put it on the line for doing stopping tyranny *anywhere*.

There simply were no other options until Iraq was sorted out. That's why the leftist hem-hawing is so disingenuous.

 
At 8/11/2005 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

CMAR, why do you say that me calling America an Empire is an " liberal attack" in any context.

Paul Johnson of the Hoover Institute (not exactly a left-wing extremest) whole career is based on showing that America is indeed an empire and a necessary one for that! Who else is going to fight fascism?

George Washington himself spoke of "the rising American Empire."

As for Canada, true our resources are very limited, but its an important symbol to have our and other middle-powers economic support.

Iran was (and still is) a much better target than Iraq! They have many active nuclear reactors, they publicly support terrorist (Saddam tried to hide it), they have deep connections to the Taliban and Osama (as apposed to being Sunni enemies).

Most importantly, 90% of Persians are liberal atheist who despise their government. They couldn't care less about Shiite/Sunni/Kurd stuff, and they LOVE America.

Iran was the only middle-eastern country that had a candle light vigil on 911 (besides Israel of course)

Not to mention the fact that Iraq enforced secular law and Iran enforces Islamic Fascism.

Even Hichens himself talks about how Persians think Bush is wonderful (and maybe a profit) and how people went up to him on the street and asked "when the hell are the Americans going to invade?!"

America could have easily sold Canada on a war with Iran. We are not irrational people, the connection between Iran, Afghan, and Osama is clear. Iraq... not so obvious.

You might be right about Syria though... that would have been tougher.

I believe you are being completely sincere in your comments. Is it remotely possible, that even though I am a pinko-commie-lefty, that I just might be geninne in my comments?

I feel that I have done everything I can to see your points and even agree with some of them but unfortunately, I think you have decided that because I am on the left, I don't deserve the same courtesy. Specially considering that I have not said anything bad about the right!

CRAIG, you have implied that I am:

1. Compare America to communist Cuba (which is nuts)

2. Am disingenuous (because I disagree with you?)

3. "Wrong about Everything" (thanx)

4. Left-Wing Extremest (again, thanx)

5. Support Islamic fascists (yep, as a Jew I am so into Jihad)

Do you think these statements are partically helpful? Does it make your arguments stronger?

It is impossible to have a decent debate anymore! Everyone just makes wild accusations and tries to vilify the the other side.

Both the right and left do it and I am sick of it. Everyone is going to have to learn that neither side is "evil" and both sides are sensere.

I like Hitchens, Dershowitz, and Buchanan. But I just can't stand it when someone must stoops to vilification to win debates.

 
At 8/11/2005 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

The American left most certainly DO want America to lose the war.

The American left are delusional Communists...like the ones who oversaw the management of Chernobyl.

---Dan

 
At 8/11/2005 08:42:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan, I think you confused me with somebody else, no? I don't recall mentioning Cuba or any of those other things!

BTW, I'll freely admit I agree with you on some of your points, but it wouldn't do you any good for right-wing backup, because I'm a civil libertarian :)

Jordan, you should be aware, though... Canadians seem to learn things in school about America that are flatly untrue. Or, at least, completely at odds with what Americans learn about the United States. So, when you make references to what American historical figures said and did, don't be surprised if Americans have no idea what you are talking about! I've noticed this before in debates between Canadians and Americans. It's easy to think, since our cultures and histories are so closely related, that we learn the same version of history, but it isn't necessarily so :)

 
At 8/11/2005 08:51:00 PM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

craig, i think i am confusing you with cmar... sorry!

Its true history is taught very differently, to be honest, i prefer American history. Like politics, religion, etc.. America really knows how to sell!

I actually watch a lot of American PBS and Canadian lecture series featuring mostly American intellectuals... Canada loves docs!

But does anyone else notice that we mostly just vilify and don't bother to debate actual points. We are all so sure our ideology is right and everyone is wrong.

 
At 8/11/2005 09:26:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

The American left are "delusional Communists" eh? Yeah, I think they actually are! You know what's sad? If they actually believed in the Liberal ideals they claim to, people like me might vote for them once in a while. As it is, I can't recall the last time I voted for somebody who called themselves "liberal" or "progressive" because those are just code words for utopian socialism these days. You gotta dig pretty deep before it comes out, though! Sometimes, it takes 2 or even 3 questions! Dunno what part of wealth redistribution seems "Liberal" to them, but, whatever :P

That's one of the reasons the Left opposes the neocons so strongly, btw. They don't think democracy is the answer to terrorism. They think communism is. And be advised, "liberal" flamers, I'm going to bombard you with links from your leftist comrades that say exactly that if you come around here calling me names, like you usually do! Bastards!

Jordan, about the empire thing... the concept of an American Empire is repulsive to most Americans... but we are in a tough position on this. The old european empires were trade empiures. The US is certainly not that, and never has been. There's no denying that we engage in a type of political "imperialism" though. I don't even know what else to call it. We *have* toppled governments because we didn't like their political situation, we *have* kept people in power when they were opposed by their own populations. Maybe our reasons were good and maybe they weren't so good, at least some of the time. I think it's grossly unfair for critics of America to compare the US with European empires of old, the US wasn't involved in all that then, and it isn't now. But it's hard to win a nuanced argument about this with somebody who is beating you over the head with charges of being an imperialist. So, I always just say "America is not an Empire!" and leave it at that. SOme people cannot be reasoned with, and I've found people who use terms like "imperialism" are usually in that group. By the way, they usually use terms like "working class" and outside of the US bourgeoisie and proletariat, because people in other countries don't get beat up for multisyllabic commie terminology.

And for non-Americans, yes, I'm serious, using those words can and will get your ass kicked here. Beware!

 
At 8/11/2005 10:00:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Jordan said:
#But does anyone else notice
#that we mostly just vilify and
#don't bother to debate actual
#points. We are all so sure our
#ideology is right and everyone
#is wrong.

Hey, I just did that, what are you trying to say man?

You must have been online same time as me, your comment went right between my two :)

 
At 8/12/2005 04:49:00 AM, Anonymous Jordan from Left Canada said...

As a liberal, i HATE communism! Its true that our side is guilty of a tad too much socialism... which I firmly reject. Although I must say I am not a big fan of supply-side economics either. I think both Europe and America are kidding themselves regarding debt. Canada right now is on good footing with our mixed economy, but I doubt it will last. We will find a way to screw it up :)

Craig, you seem like a very reasonable person. I agree with most of what you said! I still believe America is the last great Empire and hope it remains that way. I can understand how people become defensive at the word Empire but I truly believe the world needs an empire, desperately.

America has done so much for the world. We need that to continue. But if America makes a few more poor strategic decisions like Iraq, America will not have the military or political will to continue to spread democracy.

 
At 8/12/2005 07:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"SAM,
This is not about opposing the war or being for the war or how the US ended in there in the first place. This is about the iraqi people and making their lives better. The question is, even if you are against the war, the occuptaoion and Bush and all that is on the right, don't you want the iraqi people to have a better future? Haven't they sufferd enough in your opinion? Well, if that's the case, what are you doing to help them out?"


I am trying to get the US/UK troops out of Iraq because they are clearly making things worse. They are like fuel on a fire. I know it will get even worse when the troops leave, but the longer they are there, the worse it will get. That's the way guerilla wars go. The sooner they leave, the less awful it will be for the Iraqis and the sooner the Iraqis can decide their own fate.

I look at the photos from Yahoo News every day. The majority of Iraqis outside the Green Zone do not want us there.
Sam

 
At 8/15/2005 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Ishtar in West Virginia said...

Here's an Iraqi's version of what would happen if the U.S. were to withdraw troops

http://messopotamian.blogspot.com/

He believes the killing would not diminish, but drastically intensify...kind of like what happened after we pulled out of Vietnam.

But then, since there would be no Americans there, and only scores of Iraqis dying as rival groups fought it out to take power, we could just ignore the killing like we ignored what Saddam was doing to the Iraqis for all those years.

And we could go back to focusing on tv shows in America and forget all this foreign meddling...

 
At 8/15/2005 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Ishtar in West Virginia said...

Or better yet, we could put our resources into fighting REAL problems like global warming

 

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