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OlFuzzyBastard
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#1 Posted on 1.4.03 1933.13
Reposted on: 1.4.10 1935.36
From this week's issue:

I Should Not Be Allowed To Say The Following Things About America

As Americans, we have a right to question our government and its actions. However, while there is a time to criticize, there is also a time to follow in complacent silence. And that time is now.

It's one thing to question our leaders in the days leading up to a war. But it is another thing entirely to do it during a war. Once the blood of young men starts to spill, it is our duty as citizens not to challenge those responsible for spilling that blood. We must remove the boxing gloves and put on the kid gloves. That is why, in this moment of crisis, I should not be allowed to say the following things about America:

Why do we purport to be fighting in the name of liberating the Iraqi people when we have no interest in violations of human rights—as evidenced by our habit of looking the other way when they occur in China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria, Burma, Libya, and countless other countries? Why, of all the brutal regimes that regularly violate human rights, do we only intervene militarily in Iraq? Because the violation of human rights is not our true interest here. We just say it is as a convenient means of manipulating world opinion and making our cause seem more just.

That is exactly the sort of thing I should not say right now.

This also is not the time to ask whether diplomacy was ever given a chance. Or why, for the last 10 years, Iraq has been our sworn archenemy, when during the 15 years preceding it we traded freely in armaments and military aircraft with the evil and despotic Saddam Hussein. This is the kind of question that, while utterly valid, should not be posed right now.

And I certainly will not point out our rapid loss of interest in the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan once our fighting in that country was over. We sure got out of that place in a hurry once it became clear that the problems were too complex to solve with cruise missiles.

That sort of remark will simply have to wait until our boys are safely back home.

Here's another question I won't ask right now: Could this entire situation have been avoided in the early 1990s had then-U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie not been given sub rosa instructions by the Bush Administration to soft-pedal a cruel dictator? Such a question would be tantamount to sedition while our country engages in bloody conflict. Just think how hurtful that would be to our military morale. I know I couldn't fight a war knowing that was the talk back home.

Is this, then, the appropriate time for me to ask if Operation Iraqi Freedom is an elaborate double-blind, sleight-of-hand misdirection ploy to con us out of inconvenient civil rights through Patriot Acts I and II? Should I wonder whether this war is an elaborate means of distracting the country while its economy bucks and lurches toward the brink of a full-blown depression? No and no.

True patriots know that a price of freedom is periodic submission to the will of our leaders—especially when the liberties granted us by the Constitution are at stake. What good is our right to free speech if our soldiers are too demoralized to defend that right, thanks to disparaging remarks made about their commander-in-chief by the Dixie Chicks?

When the Founding Fathers authored the Constitution that sets forth our nation's guiding principles, they made certain to guarantee us individual rights and freedoms. How dare we selfishly lay claim to those liberties at the very moment when our nation is in crisis, when it needs us to be our most selfless? We shame the memory of Thomas Jefferson by daring to mention Bush's outright lies about satellite photos that supposedly prove Iraq is developing nuclear weapons.

At this difficult time, President Bush needs my support. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld needs my support. General Tommy Franks needs my support. It is not my function as a citizen in a participatory democracy to question our leaders. And to exercise my constitutional right—nay, duty—to do so would be un-American.

Promote this thread!
Bizzle Izzle
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#2 Posted on 1.4.03 2005.10
Reposted on: 1.4.10 2005.57
I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent.

Just in case any of you leftists missed it, the people of Iraq ARE being liberated. Why does that piss you off so much? For the sake of argument let's say that GWB is only going in there to get him and his Texas Oil friends rich. People are STILL being liberated. And yet you leftists complain and whine about it. PEOPLE ARE BEING LIBERATED. That's not a bad thing, that's a GOOD THING. But I guess it's only bad when it's being done by a Republican.

oh, BTW, People are being Liberated.
Nate The Snake
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#3 Posted on 1.4.03 2057.43
Reposted on: 1.4.10 2058.21
Liberated RIGHT into heaven! YAY US! We're cutting out the middleman and giving those poor people A DIRECT PASS TO ETERNAL BLISS! /satire

Nobody's said that the coincidental side effect of this economic exercise is bad. Saying so is putting words into people's mouths, but then, that's a fairly common tactic on both sides of the fence...

But the fact remains that this whole deal is fucked up ten ways to Sunday, and the sheer idea that saving the Iraqi people is A SIDE EFFECT of what's really being done, instead of the entire point, is wrong on so many levels that it makes me sick to my stomach.
spf
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#4 Posted on 2.4.03 0057.16
Reposted on: 2.4.10 0059.01
If in 5 years from now the Iraqi people are living in a functioning democratic republic with the full panoply of civil rights, then I'll gladly call them liberated. However, thus far not much has changed for the average Iraqi except for the large amount of bombs being blown up around him/her. When the U.S. public decides nation-building is inconvenient in times of great economic stress how likely is it that some new dictatorial power will arise, possibly with US backing so long as he doesn't let terrorist movements move about openly in his country? All that is true right now is that Iraq is a country with no functioning leadership, and is unlikely to return to the rule of the Hussein family. To call them liberated right now is to call an egg a chicken dinner.

Oh and "What good is our right to free speech if our soldiers are too demoralized to defend that right, thanks to disparaging remarks made about their commander-in-chief by the Dixie Chicks?" just made me smile
And wow Bizzle, could you somehow get a bit more anger behind your usage of "leftist"? Did your local GOP chapter demand your sense of humor as part of the party loyalty oath? (edited by spf2119 on 2.4.03 0255)

(edited by spf2119 on 2.4.03 0303)
OlFuzzyBastard
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#5 Posted on 2.4.03 1054.32
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1059.02

    Originally posted by Bizzle Izzle
    I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent.

    Just in case any of you leftists missed it, the people of Iraq ARE being liberated. Why does that piss you off so much? For the sake of argument let's say that GWB is only going in there to get him and his Texas Oil friends rich. People are STILL being liberated. And yet you leftists complain and whine about it. PEOPLE ARE BEING LIBERATED. That's not a bad thing, that's a GOOD THING. But I guess it's only bad when it's being done by a Republican.

    oh, BTW, People are being Liberated.



I'll believe that when I see it. I was foolish enough to believe it in Afghanistan, and we left that country in a shambles, ruled by a regime that differentiates from the Taliban in name only, and we "forgot" to budget any money for the rebuilding of their country.

It's like Dubya himself (almost) said: Fool me once, shame on you...
Socks
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#6 Posted on 2.4.03 1419.25
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1421.11
Yeah shame on the United States.

How dare they re-establish running water and deliver food to starving people.

Where do they get the right to blow up a torture chamber?


Ahem...sarcasm.
Sultan_of_Submission
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#7 Posted on 2.4.03 1427.26
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1428.42


    China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria, Burma, Libya


We are in Indonesia helping, we are in Burma helping, we are in Lybia helping, China is communist and Ive heard nothing about Saudi (and we should be there fighting them anyways). Whoever wrote that article is an idiot.
spf
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#8 Posted on 2.4.03 1437.18
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1440.05
Ummm...I might be willing to believe we have someone of some sort in Indonesia, but you will have to show me some proof that we have anyone in either the dictatorship of Burma or in Libya.
commie_050
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#9 Posted on 2.4.03 1725.12
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1729.04
"I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent."

Yes, because legitimate critiques of the insitutions in power have no place in a democratic society. Sheesh.
calvinh0560
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#10 Posted on 2.4.03 1731.21
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1738.32

    Originally posted by commie_050
    "I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent."

    Yes, because legitimate critiques of the insitutions in power have no place in a democratic society. Sheesh.



No, but flat out lying does not either.
PalpatineW
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#11 Posted on 2.4.03 1829.45
Reposted on: 2.4.10 1830.27

    Originally Posted by OFB
    I'll believe that when I see it. I was foolish enough to believe it in Afghanistan, and we left that country in a shambles, ruled by a regime that differentiates from the Taliban in name only, and we "forgot" to budget any money for the rebuilding of their country.



Huh? Granted I'm not exceedingly well-informed on the issue, but everything I've seen in the papers looks positive. Karzai is not a fundamentalist, women are able to go to school, US soldiers are still helping to provide medical care to starving children, at great risk and expense to themselves... looks a lot better than the Taliban to me.
ges7184
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#12 Posted on 2.4.03 2118.21
Reposted on: 2.4.10 2119.07
Did I miss the part where we pulled out of Afghanistan?

I thought we were still there.
Eddie Famous
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#13 Posted on 2.4.03 2134.54
Reposted on: 2.4.10 2141.56

    Originally posted by spf2119
    All that is true right now is that Iraq is a country with no functioning leadership, and is unlikely to return to the rule of the Hussein family. To call them liberated right now is to call an egg a chicken dinner


At least soon, the citizens might actually get the egg, instead of the Iraqi elite.
Nate The Snake
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#14 Posted on 2.4.03 2307.50
Reposted on: 2.4.10 2307.52

    Originally posted by calvinh0560

      Originally posted by commie_050
      "I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent."

      Yes, because legitimate critiques of the insitutions in power have no place in a democratic society. Sheesh.



    No, but flat out lying does not either.



What portion of that (satirical, by the way) article was a "flat out lie"? Just curious.
godking
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#15 Posted on 2.4.03 2334.07
Reposted on: 2.4.10 2335.02
Granted I'm not exceedingly well-informed on the issue, but everything I've seen in the papers looks positive.

Everything you've seen in the paper is photo ops in Kabul, which is all Hamid Karzai controls with any strength at all. The rest of Afghanistan is controlled by various warlords - who, not coincidentally, are restarting the opium poppy crop in huge amounts. Karzai's been literally begging the United States for advanced military aid so he can control the entire country, or at least a more significant portion thereof.

Incidentally, the only reason he controls any of it at all by this point is because of the continued presence of German and French troops. Which should say something.
PalpatineW
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#16 Posted on 3.4.03 0710.27
Reposted on: 3.4.10 0712.04

    Originally posted by godking
    Granted I'm not exceedingly well-informed on the issue, but everything I've seen in the papers looks positive.

    Everything you've seen in the paper is photo ops in Kabul, which is all Hamid Karzai controls with any strength at all. The rest of Afghanistan is controlled by various warlords - who, not coincidentally, are restarting the opium poppy crop in huge amounts. Karzai's been literally begging the United States for advanced military aid so he can control the entire country, or at least a more significant portion thereof.

    Incidentally, the only reason he controls any of it at all by this point is because of the continued presence of German and French troops. Which should say something.



We're still there, godking. And good for the French and Germans (and I mean that). The government is in place. We're re-training the army. Coalition soldiers still provide Karzai's bodyguard. They'll sort things out. Feudal systems like the one in Afghanistan aren't going to go away overnight. And even "photo ops in Kabul" are a hell of a lot better than a gov't run by the Taliban and al Qaeda.
IsaacYankem
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#17 Posted on 3.4.03 0942.02
Reposted on: 3.4.10 0944.35

    Originally posted by Sultan_of_Submission


      China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria, Burma, Libya


    We are in Indonesia helping, we are in Burma helping, we are in Lybia helping, China is communist and Ive heard nothing about Saudi (and we should be there fighting them anyways). Whoever wrote that article is an idiot.




In Indonesia, we are only helping the military dictatorship with military aid. Nothing at all is being done for Burma, aside from a ban on new investments in their horrible government. We have imposed severe export controls, restrictions on sales of military eqipment, and prohibition of U.S. foreign aid to Libya under the Foreign Assistance Act. The person who wrote the satirical article is not an idiot.
calvinh0560
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#18 Posted on 3.4.03 1437.03
Reposted on: 3.4.10 1445.31

    Originally posted by Nate The Snake

      Originally posted by calvinh0560

        Originally posted by commie_050
        "I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent."

        Yes, because legitimate critiques of the insitutions in power have no place in a democratic society. Sheesh.



      No, but flat out lying does not either.



    What portion of that (satirical, by the way) article was a "flat out lie"? Just curious.



No my quote was more toward when people on both the left and the right lie. Lets take the NY Times for an example. They are a paper that is left wing. On Tuesday in a front page article the Times quoted Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace as saying "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we war-gamed against" But the real quote was 'The enemy we're fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against". See the decided to change the facts around so it fits there own agenda.
OlFuzzyBastard
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#19 Posted on 3.4.03 2011.16
Reposted on: 3.4.10 2013.53

    Originally posted by calvinh0560

      Originally posted by Nate The Snake

        Originally posted by calvinh0560

          Originally posted by commie_050
          "I wouldn't mind seeing some of these leftists exercise their Right to Remain Silent."

          Yes, because legitimate critiques of the insitutions in power have no place in a democratic society. Sheesh.



        No, but flat out lying does not either.



      What portion of that (satirical, by the way) article was a "flat out lie"? Just curious.



    No my quote was more toward when people on both the left and the right lie. Lets take the NY Times for an example. They are a paper that is left wing. On Tuesday in a front page article the Times quoted Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace as saying "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we war-gamed against" But the real quote was 'The enemy we're fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against". See the decided to change the facts around so it fits there own agenda.



Tom Tommorow's take on this "controversy":

...and then there's this one:

A front-page article on Tuesday about criticism voiced by American military officers in Iraq over war plans omitted two words from an earlier comment by Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, commander of V Corps. General Wallace had said (with the omission indicated by uppercasing), "The enemy we're fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against."


Again, Sullivan seems to perceive bias at play, asking, "One simple question: why are the reporters who used that critical quote to exaggerate the difficulties of the allies still working for the NYT?"

As I say, of course it's important for newspapers to quote sources accurately. (And anyone who's ever been interviewed in any context can tell you how rarely that actually happens.) But in my experience, "a bit" is often used colloquially as a synonym for "rather" or "somewhat." It doesn't necessarily, or even often, signify "a small amount"--and in fact, generally is an understated way of suggesting the opposite. Maybe this is just an Americanism, to which our cousin from across the pond is tone deaf, I really don't know. But, for instance, if I were to write that "Andrew Sullivan seems to have a bit of trouble differentiating between reality and ideological fantasy," I would not be implying that he has minimal trouble making such a distinction. Now, unlike Sullivan, I'm willing to acknowledge up front that I have no absolutely idea what the General meant to say--clearly, it's impossible to know without fuller context. He may well have intended to convey his belief that "The enemy we're fighting is only marginally different from the one we war-gamed against." Though if that were his intent, it seems more likely that he would have accentuated the positive rather than the negative, i.e., "this enemy is so similar as to be indistinguishable from the one we wargamed against!"

To be fair, "a bit" can imply a negligible difference or a small amount--as in, "I clearly have a bit of time to waste at the moment." But it's so frequently used to suggest the opposite that it seems, well, a bit of a stretch--by which I mean, it is utterly and absolutely ludicrous--to suggest that two reporters should lose their jobs over this.

At any rate, the whole thing makes me a bit tired.
godking
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#20 Posted on 4.4.03 0117.57
Reposted on: 4.4.10 0117.58
We're still there, godking. And good for the French and Germans (and I mean that). The government is in place. We're re-training the army.

The point is Karzai barely has an army worth mentioning, and the opium warlords outnumber him ten to one.

Again, this can't be emphasized enough - were it not for the soldiers of allied nations, Karzai would once again be in London begging for help. He is completely without authority in Afghanistan in any realistic sense. This isn't something that's just going to take a little time and then it'll all work out - this is an almost completely untenable situation, one that cannot be won without far more extensive military and monetary aid than we are currently lending (and bear in mind, until somebody pointed it out, the United States had completely forgotten to send Afghanistan any money this year at all - and even then, only a hundred million was sent when Karzai needs at least twenty times that to do anything of importance.

Let's put it in wrestling terms: the opium warlords are Triple H and the Evilution, and the allied forces are backing Maven.
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