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Robert Scheer: Warring Over the Heart of the Party

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Posted on Aug 22, 2006
War Error
Mr. Fish

By Robert Scheer

Make no mistake about it: The fight within the Democratic Party over the Iraq war is as important as it is real. This is no sideshow between seasoned Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and upstart challenger Ned Lamont, between pros and bloggers, or lefties and conservatives within the party.

No, this battle transcends those labels and cuts to the obligation of politicians to be honest with the public. Indeed, a seasoned conservative Democratic politician should recognize the war in Iraq for the unmitigated disaster it is and seek to properly place responsibility for it on the incumbent Republican president.

It is one thing for Democrats like Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to admit that they bought into the Bush administration’s lies about Saddam Hussein’s alleged nuke program and partnership with Al Qaeda and to now seek to make amends by working to bring the troops home. It is quite another, as Lieberman has, to continue to defend as wise this patently absurd betrayal of the public interest. And it moves from dumb to evil to claim that those like Lamont who dare tell the truth are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do—get out by a date certain—it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again,” Lieberman said after his defeat in the Connecticut primary earlier this month, indicting not only his opponent but all those who voted for him.

In fact, Lieberman, along with the president and vice president, has become a full-blown McCarthyite smear artist, painting his political opponents with the tar brush of treason in an alleged apocalyptic battle for civilization.

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“I’m worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don’t appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy,” said Lieberman on Aug. 10, an enemy “more evil or as evil as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War.”

Such hyperbole is not only historically ridiculous—more evil than Adolf Hitler and his extermination camps? ... more dangerous than the Soviets and their thousands of nukes?—it is a cynical attack on the free debate that is supposed to inform our nation’s leaders. The Lieberman-Cheney axis insists that not only are those who disagree with them traitorous or, at best, naive, but also that any and all military action conducted in the name of fighting terrorists is, by definition, good.

But what if the opposite were true? That, as Lamont and other critics of this quagmire argue, our clumsy presence in Iraq has increased the danger of Al Qaeda-style terrorism? After all, fundamentalist Al Qaeda did not have a base in Hussein’s secularized Iraq and has flourished there only since the United States brought chaos and American targets, many of them still teenagers, to Baghdad’s bloody streets.

Again, this is not really a “left” or “right” position. It is even conceded by the two leading national security experts associated with Lieberman and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council he helped found.

“The war in Iraq has proved to be a disaster for the struggle against Osama bin Laden,” Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack said in last Sunday’s Washington Post. “Fighters there are receiving training, building networks and becoming further radicalized—and the U.S. occupation is proving a dream recruiting tool for young Muslims worldwide.”

This is quite an admission coming from two Democratic hawks who vociferously supported the war: Pollack wrote the influential “Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.” Back in April 2003, the two argued in the DLC’s magazine that democratizing Iraq would be made easier by the fact that “Iraq had perhaps the best educated, most secular, and most progressive population of all the Arab states” prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

So are they chastened by the mayhem? No, they want us to dig ourselves a deeper hole. “It probably would require 450,000 troops to quash an all-out civil war there,” they say now. “Such an effort would require a commitment of enormous military and economic resources, far in excess of what the United States has already put forth.”

And once we bankrupt ourselves to make Iraq a giant military prison camp, what will we do then? Find a new Hussein to take over Iraq? As Lamont wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week, staying the course when the car is headed off the cliff is hardly a realistic position.

E-mail Robert Scheer at rscheer@truthdig.com.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, September 4, 2006 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have followed the ping-pong dialogue of F. Anderson and Stuart H. over the last few weeks with interest. This is because I too have engaged in new party flings in 1964, 1968, 1972, + 1980, alas, to no avail!

Anderson makes some useful distinctions between latter day Demmies and this latest new party caper. There have been about 225 of them with national aspirations since 1789, almost all of them ephemeral, and ineffectual, save for the Socialists led by Eugene Debs early in the 20th century.

Stuart H., on the other hand, has opted to go down on the Democrat Titanic once more, like so many submissive Liberals of years past. I have watched for 58 years, as this party’s politicians have given way most of the time since 1952 when our people voted the clown Eisenhower, with Crook Nixon as his VIP, and his cabinet all hand-picked by the worst reactionary Republicans on the American scene.

Now that the racist southern rednecks have gone over to the Republican party where they rightly belong, more Americans are voting reactionary, (some 59 million in the 2004 presidential election) vs. 56 million for that intellectual runt of the litter, Kerry, of the Democrat party. Some 79 million eligible voters did not go to the polls, or were discouraged by long lines, broken machines, or other Republican trickery, particularly by the usual Fascist/Republican scum in Florida and Ohio.

Given the gutless, hopelessly fragmented Demican party, I think it doomed like the uselesss Whig Party was in the 1848-1856 era. The sooner we opt to kill it off, the better for progressive pros-pects in the future.

On the other hand, the sheer infantilism, pomposity and devious manipulative capers of Green Party leadership cliques make it impossible for mature progressives to take it seriously.

I say this, having voted for Nader twice and not willing to vote Democrat ever again. This is because both major parties are completely corrupt, and have rigged ballot access in all but a few states, to prevent new party entries.

In closing, has anyone out there read Ralph Nader’s “Crashing the Party” ? It will help real Patriots understand just why and how our so-called democratic process is so degenerate, it surely ranks last among bona-fide democracies in the world. In 2000 + 2004 the Green Party capers were pathetic indeed in the face of these national challenges. They will be equally useless in 2008 as well. We need to destroy the Demicans and construct a replacement for it as well. This is, of course, likely to be impossible given our political system as broken down and corrupt as the obscene Soviet system which collapsed not so very long ago.

Ion C. Laskaris, Burlington, Vermont

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By paul white you are a murderer and a hypocrite, September 4, 2006 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re; paul white

As a mother of an active duty xxxxxxxxxxxxx, I do consider you to be a murderer and a hypocrite.  if my son were to die tomorrow, I will think of “you personally”, realizing that you contributed to his death:

failing to acknowledge and CORRECT the major screw-up decisions that we endured and CONTINUE to endure. Support of a full blown civil war at present.  The lists runs deep, so I’ll stop here.

I’m acutely aware more than most, of the vietnam history, as one foot step away 4 * x 3 sat @ my dinner table for years during our past history.

Please don’t cause me any more heart pain by your destructive language.

As a family we have shed a millions tears over this war hell, with truth known (of which you know little) of all the dirty lies.  Have you been in Iraq?

Mother of US Special Forces Soldier
d-green
green
rangers
seals

Sadly most are not able to understand the stock market, let alone manager their own 401k’s.  Hencefore, many don’t realize the financial dirty strings behind the window dressing, until it is to late.  I fully agree with the floor trader who has graciously tried to educate you.

and a final thought or 2:
when the xxxxx cross under dow you don’t fly on airplanes! At present, this is true since early august.

http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/04/stories/20060904044714 00.htm

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By Floyd Anderson, September 4, 2006 at 6:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment 21567 by Stuart H.

“A great coalition can be formed by agreeing to disagree about certain elements.” You continue to repeat the very point I am trying to refute. I, and other Greens I might add, have no more interest in forming a coalition, “great’ or otherwise, with such illiberal Democratic warhawks as Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton or Charles Schumer than I am in forming a coalition with George Bush, Newt Gingrich, or other Republicans. I, and Greens in general, do not agree on enough matters with even the so-called “progressive” Democrats to consider building a coalition with them. They always want us to sacrifice some of our principles, not the other way around. That is why most of us have joined the Green Party. We are not interested in building a “coalition” with Democrats. A major difference between you and me is that while I share your dislike of Republican policies, I do not share your generally positive view of Democratic policies. In many ways, I dislike the hypocritical so-called “progressive Democrats” (a term that is an oxymoron) even more than I dislike Republicans (who are at least honest enough to admit what and who they are). That is the entire point that I have been trying to convey in my posts. You can continue to dream of some “great coalition” but you must also be a realist and acknowledge that Greens are not going to be a part of it. There is a reason why the Green Party is running candidates against even the most “progressive” Democrats in this year’s elections.

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By Floyd Anderson, September 3, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment # 21485 by Tony Wicker

So-called “progressive Democrat Barbara Boxer is the US Senator from California. I live in New York state. My US Senators are Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. When I, in fact, did contact Barbara Boxer to object to her support for the Patriot Act(following an interview she gave the Progressive magazine) she wrote back that “congressional courtesy” prevented her from giving a serious and substantive reply to the concerns of constituents of other Senators. When I expressed a similar concern to “progressive Democratic” Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (also from California)I got a similar response, with her further suggestion that I contact my own Congressman, a right-wing Republican named Thomas Reynolds (I had contacted Nancy and asked that she stop sending me, a registered Green, requests to contribute money to the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee and my Republican Congressman Reynolds would have had no interest in the matter whatever). When I have contacted my own “progressive Democratic” Senators Schumer and Clinton to complain about their own militarism and presposterous posturing to the right of Bush and the Republicans on Iraq and other “security” matters, I have barely received courteous treatment. But let me make clear that I have virtually no interest in conducting further communication with these folks. I do agree with you that the real issue is peace. The congressional Democrats, including the so-called “progressives, have shown no interest in promoting “peace.” For that reason I hope for their political defeat and wish to replace them with real “progressives.” That is why I joined the Green Party. If this be “factionalism” so be it. On the other hand, when one calls a position other than one’s own a name—such as “factionalism”—is one engaging in name-calling in an effort to have the position dismissed rather than discussed? And if so, is that terribly ethical?

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, September 3, 2006 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To wicher re: #21225 This dialogue, in my judgement, has nothing to do with “the validity of what you have to say.” For me the questions and positions you pose, I try to measure vs. my own personal experience and studies in the history of civilization. We will never agree until one or more events in the future convinces one of us that his assessment of reality and human nature is mistaken. That’s life!

Yes, I have been tracking Rabbi Lerner, and Tikkun, whose endeavors I do respect, but cannot agree with on the specific issue of “trusting Arabs and Moslems, or their damnable “Intifadas!” I will try to get to his book shortly,to comment.

On “dialogue with enemies” this is sometimes an “impossible choice” morally or realistically. Many of us who watched the rise of Nazi Germany and the outcomes of slaughter and holocaust it caused, much to the delight of all the Arab moral trash, we can never forgive or forget.

It is therefore impossible to accept the foolish dream of “a multi-ethnic democracy” as a viable course of action for Israel. As a Greek,whose family from Nicea, fought Turks for some 1300 years, the vigorous separation of these ethnic antagonists is absolutely necessary for Israel’s survival, as it was, for the revival of a Greek nation. As for entrusting the security of any people to international guarantees of the corrupt, lazy and devious U.N. leadership, this is an intolerable option as well.

I mention these points simply to underline a certain force of historical inevitability and the more ugly aspects of tribal humankind behaviors, which are likely to create even more bloodshed and destruction in the 21st century than they did in the last one.

Finally, are you familiar with the ancient Greek meaning of “antagonist” who is the challenger to the “protagonist”, the existing champion of the moment. This is an eternal struggle! Ecce Homo! To refuse the “antagonist’s challenge” is, more often than not, to remain enslaved forever.

Ion C. Laskaris, Burlington,Vt. + iclrevusa.com

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By Stuart H, September 3, 2006 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to: Comment #21293 by Floyd Anderson

I think the issue here is really the problem of trying to discern the person behind the email, which is something that should require long thinking and some attempt to see a thread of agreement.  It’s a harder art to practice than it would seem to be.

A lot of the time, this medium seems informed by video games, which are about zapping some enemy.  In real politics, the problem that is so difficult that it sometimes seems to be impossible, is to inform a debate so as to achieve a deliberation among strong people who disagree at least somewhat.

The problem many people have with politics is that translating the strong opinion that works in a forum presentation into real life policy, takes dealing with others as they actually are and working from some point of agreement, no matter how small, towards practical goals.

There’s a continuum out there, with people spread all along it because we are all limited beings who are struggling to understand the right balance between ourselves as individuals, and others in groups on many different levels.

I think that my disagreements with Greens are ironic.  Mostly, some of my all-time favorite people are Greens.  But I just see a sort of practicality in the Democratic Party that seems workable to me - at this time.

I see the challenges of moving Democratic Party leaders and local board members as well as rank and file delegates and voters to more Progressive positions, and I prefer - again, at this time - orienting towards those challenges.

I don’t see a need to develop some argument about this where none is needed.  We have the long run to work out the great issues.  If we elect people to any office whatsoever who is open to progressive policies -whether by that lable or some other - that is something to work with.

The main thing we need in our elected leaders and candidates at this point is the courage to face issues honestly and the creativity and energy to actually lead in the right direction instead of just pandering to the big money interests.

The way this comes about is that We The People work in whatever way we can to spread the consciousness needed in the public that progressive change is possible,
and that people elected to public office can be intelligent, honest, and capable of leadership in the right direction. 

Vote for the wrong people - or decline to be involved in the process - and we see what results.  It’s up to each of us and everyone we can possibly talk to by whatever means to turn a trend that has been developing for several decades around.

A great coalition can be formed by agreeing to disagree about certain elements, while joining forces to create a movement in the right direction.  If we get rid of the fascist right wing as a majority in Washington and at many local levels, we can work out the details.  Just beginning to recover from the damage done under Bush could, unfortunately, take some time.

The last thing we need is to see some Bush dynasty instituted while we fail to overcome a deeply human tendency to fight our friends harder than we fight our enemies over perfection issues, while the great conflagration rages.

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By Tony Wicher, September 3, 2006 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #21293 by Floyd Anderson on 9/02 at 5:07 am

Though your differences with “progressive Democrats” such as Barbara Boxer are real and well stated, and I would agree with a lot of them, nevertheless I think you might balance this with consideration of what things you and Barbara may have in common. If you don’t do this, then, I fear, you fall into factionalism, which is the curse of politics. The issue is peace, not what party you’re in. If you don’t agree with something Barbara said or did, have you tried contacting her to point out in a friendly way what you consider to be the error of her ways?

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By Floyd Anderson, September 2, 2006 at 5:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Response to Comment #21155 by Stuart H:

For many years before I became a member of the Green Party I was a “progressive Democrat.” I am definitely not making characterizations of people and positions that I do not understand. For you to suggest so, Sir, shows intellectual arrogance, not to mention collosal ignorance and naivete, on your part. One of the most annoying things about certain “liberal” Democrats such as yourself is their constant and never-ending attempts to tell Greens what we really think or should think or what we should do (e.g., have Green Party candidates step
aside in close elections to make the race safe for some illiberal Democrat). To suggest that there are basic and important ideological differences between Greens and Democrats is not to make “hard and fast choices” or to create “false divisions.” Congressional Democrats, almost every one of them, support globalization and so-called “free trade” and have voted for NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. Greens almost uniformly oppose globalization. Pointing this out is not “creating false divisions.” Even alleged “progressive” Democrats like Barbara Boxer voted for the Patriot Act. NO green would have done so. Many “progressive” Democrats voted to support Bush’s illegal “preemptive” war against Iraq. NO Green would have done so. Congressional Democrats (every single one of them now that Cynthia McKinney is leaving) take money and marching orders from AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli Lobby. No Green would do so. Greens favor divestment from Israel and condemn Israel’s crimes against humanity. Tell me that this is a “false division.” I know that it pains you, Sir, to have to admit that Greens really are a different breed from so-called “progressive Democrats”(the term really is an oxymoron) and that realignment of Greens with Democrats is unlikely to take place ant time soon. Despite the intellectual arrogance that tends to characterize several of your posts in this discussion, it is you who seems not to be very well informed on this matter. If you really do want to understand Greens and where they are coming from, I suggest that you go to Green Commons (http://greencommons.org) and spend some time reading the blogs there. That might raise your awareness considerably and perhaps make you less likely to arrogantly dismiss the real differences between Democrats and Greens as “hard and fast either/or choices.”

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2006 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #21181 by Ion Constantine Laskaris

Thank you so much, sir, for joining this conversation. Let us reason together as two friends. That’s all people have to do, really. You are just the man I wanted to speak with. If I could possibly convince you of the validity of anything I say, maybe I could convince the rest of Israel. I wonder, have you read Rabbi Michael Lerner’s “Healing Israel/Palestine”? I am just reading it now and I think it presents an objective view of the conflict that is very fair to all sides.

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #21149 by Floyd Anderson on 9/01 at 12:24 pm

Very well stated also. You’re right about the so-called “progressive Democrats”, including, alas, Howard Dean and Barbara Boxer. They were against the Iraq war from the beginning. I give them lots of credit for that, in contrast to Democrats who didn’t. On the other hand, they are now circling the wagons around the position that Iraq was a diversion from the real war, the “War on Terror”, which they say the Bush Administration has completely screwed up. They figure the American people will buy this, and they very likely will. But it is only a half-truth, and unfortunately they don’t question fundamental U.S. policies that have led to this mess, policies shared by both Democratic and Repulican Administrations in the past. They don’t have the guts for that. They are still cowardly politicians. They don’t seem to think the American people will buy the truth, so they huddle around this half-truth. But if they told them the truth, maybe they would believe it. Maybe the American people are only as dumb as their politicians treat them.

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, September 1, 2006 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John C. - #20132 on 08/27 seems determined to grovel before the Arabs for life, as a kind of Al Jazeera media mouth. Whether it is devoted ignorance or conscious propaganda blogmouth one cannot rightly tell. Perhaps he simply does not like Jews, and there’s an end to it.

Wicher, by contrast, seems to be a sincere advocate with his hopes of Jews “making friends” with enemies since “time immemorial!” There are some enemies who must remain so until one of the forces disintegrates under the weight of its own contradictions and malevolence. This will happen in most of the Moslem world in this century, in my judgement.

Perhaps neither of these individuals knows the Arabs in Palestine, with the backing of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, the Saudis, Iraqis, have fought against Israel’s existence for 60 years - by force of arms, covert violence, major middle east lies and propaganda, economic boycotts, and poisonous preaching of viscious and ignorant Imams and Ayatollahs.

The Arab nations have always resisted both the one-state and the two state solutions proposed by the UN in the 1947-48 era.             

They will always do so until Israel is destroyed,
or they collapse from their own degenerate and obsolete cultural processes, through civil war- or revolutions in the course of the 21st century.

While I find the Fascist/Republican traditions in our own country equally destructive to humankind, the prospects of life in a Moslem world for those of us who think of ourselves as freethinkers and secular humanists would represent the end of our Western civilization. I prefer the collapse of the
obsolete world constructs first.

Ion C. Laskaris, Burlington,Vermont+iclrevusa.com

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By Stuart H, September 1, 2006 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Characterizing “Greens” and “Democrats” by hard and fast either/or choices may help create a case for why one decides to commit one way or another, but there are largely issues that are under a lot of debate.  It is not an oxymoron at all to be a progressive and be a Democrat.

Be careful to label other people’s views with whom you may not have much familiarity.  We do best when we attempt to understand our own and articulate them for the purpose of enriching the common dialogue, not creating false divisions, the way Republicans do.

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By Floyd Anderson, September 1, 2006 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Greens and Democrats are very far apart on many issues. Greens tend to be “progressive” or “left-wing” anarchists (in the tradition of William Lloyd Garrison and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) whereas “progressive Democrats” (if the term is not an oxymoron) are ‘statists” and “Liberals.” Progressive Democrats tend to be pro- globalization and so-called free trade; Greens are against it. Progressive Democrats (Howard Dean, who is anathema to most Greens, is a perfect example) support an AIPAC sponsored foreign policy that puts the interests of Israel above those of the US; Greens denounce Israel’s crimes,advocate divestment from Israel and wish to eliminate military aid to Israel and give equal financial support to the Palestinians as we give to Israel. Many Progressive Democrats support the war in Iraq and will also support Bush’s forthcoming nuking of Iran; Greens went to the streets to oppose the assault on Iraq and will go to the streets to oppose further US militarism in Iran and elsewhere. Progressive Democrats are in favor of further “centralization”; Greens are in favor of decentralization. I could go on and on. My point is that Greens have so many differences with Democrats that it is uninformed and unrealistic to expect Greens to cooperate with Progressive Democrats in “reforming” (by whose standards?) the unredeemable and unreformable (by Green standards) Democratic Party.

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By Tony Wicher, September 1, 2006 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #21126 by Stuart H on 9/01 at 9:07 am

Very well said. If we all get real about the issues, then we will naturally cooperate and will not descend into partisan antagonism. For me the issue is peace. I will support anyone whom I consider to be a principled peace advocate against anyone I do not so consider, whether the persons involved be Democrat, Green, or Republican. By the way, there are such things as principled Republican peace advocates, whose voices are beginning to be heard. Did you see that anti-war rally led by the Mayor of Salt Lake City? I will not call anyone “vile”, much less Barbara Boxer, because, as a principled peace advocate myself, I understand that antagonism in ANY form leads to war, not peace. Let’s not even call the Bush Administration vile, let alone liberal Democrats. Let’s just say that the last eight years has been a complete fiasco and proves that they are completely wrong about everything. Let’s try to stay factual and leave out the moralizing.

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By Stuart H, September 1, 2006 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, the argument over the viability of the Green Party isn’t too relevant.  We each must contemplate where the best use of our own energy and commitments should be.

I have pissed various local Democratic position-holders off by pointing out that if they don’t get religion about reforming the Party, they could see a larger number of people like myself go over to the Green Party at some point.  I think that is the real threat that might put some energy into reform.  It is probably what caused the DNC to elect Dean as Chair.

So whatever works in the end to create a body of elected officials that are more responsive to reality and to the people at the grassroots level, is whatever works.

My personal strategy is something I find a lot of agreement with.  I am not ready to give up on the Party that has such a dynamic history just because our current situation is difficult.

The Party’s history shows that is can be very responsive and courageous. 

The problem we have now seems nearly impossible because we are dealing with huge paradigmatic forces we can only affect by increments.

The fact that most people’s minds are jacked into media that in turn is deeply invested in a corporate viewpoint, is a condition that Plato recognized as a human vulnerability when he described the cave scenario.

How do we get the American population out of Plato’s cave where it is enslaved?  How do we deal with the fact that most people would rather believe in entertaining lies than face the truth in a world where a Perfect Storm of global issues is gathering?

How do we encourage people to step forward into leadership positions who have the courage to face our true conditions? 

It doesn’t matter how we do this.  In the end, history will judge us on whether we got real in our time, or maintained our various fictions rather than deal with the issues that they now suffer from.

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By WonderingWhenTheDemLeadersWillSeeTheElephantInTheR, August 31, 2006 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s why I refuse to “transcend” my differences with my fellow Democrats:

When a US invasion of Iraq was AIPAC’s dearest wish, Barbara Boxer was all for it. Now that the Iraq war is a reality and it’s gone sour, she’s trying to jump on the anti-Iraq-war bandwagon.

Meanwhile, the clearest and most present danger is the current neocon campaign, also supported by AIPAC, to get the US to go to war against Iran for Israel.

And of course, she’s all for that.

F*** her and all the other Democratic “leaders” like her. She is vile. She is a traitor.

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By Floyd Anderson, August 31, 2006 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Really and truly there is effectively no Green Party.”

Really and truly there IS actually a Green Party. Your continued denial that it exists and is, in fact, currently getting candidates elected to many offices at the local level, does not mean that it actually does not exist. You perhaps do not wish for the Green Party to succeed but for you to confuse your personal wishes with the reality of the situation is delusion. Did it ever occur to you that many of the people in the Green Party do not wish to work within or to attempt to reform the unredeemable Democratic Party? Republicans replaced the Whigs and Greens can and will, with or without you, replace the unreformable and unredeemable Democratic Party. VOTE GREEN!!

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By Tony Wicher, August 31, 2006 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #20902 by Stuart H on 8/31 at 9:27 am

Yes, I am in full agreement with your political strategy. The reform of the Democratic party, though extremely difficult, is still our best hope for progress, and I wish we could convince our friends in the Green and Peace and Freedom parties that this is so, because they could contribute so much to accomplishing this. By “reforming the Democratic Party”, I mean making it a real party of peace, as outlined in my wish list below. It sure does seem an impossibly long way from Hillary Clinton, etc. to what I’m talking about, though. All my money (such as it is) has been going to the Dean wing of the party. Now is the best chance we have had since the sixties to make some progress. However, wherever Green or Peace and Freedom party candidates have a chance to unseat a Lieberman/Clinton-style Democrat and replace him or her with a principled peace advocate, anyone who has peace at heart, including any progressive Democrat, should support such a candidate.  Greens who win congressional seats will presumably caucus with Democrats anyway. In return, the Greens and Peace and Freedom party should not run against progressive Democrats. In this way we can together form a broad peace front.

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By Stuart H, August 31, 2006 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Really and truly there is effectively no Green Party.

Now, obviously there are a lot of people trying to create one and I admit that I have been tempted to step in, since I happen to have real local political experience, and contribute.

However, the Green Party as a vehicle for serious national progressive reform is not sufficiently developed to do anything but make
promises that can’t possibly be delivered.

Those who really want to register a protest vote should probably consider voting Green, but it is not going to be taken seriously by any of the people who actually get elected.

The Democratic Party is not easily reformed, this is true.  Over the past twenty five to thirty years, a lot of good people decided to let the consultants and those who were eager to assume positions in the Party control things,
because they didn’t think it worth the effort to get in there and win the debates. 

So what has happened is that the most mediocre people on the local scene in many localities are entrenched and see their duty as winning a “King on the Hill” game to keep their positions. 

To reform the Party, a pretty strenuous effort is required to move this “leadership” aside.

This is beginning to happen.  We saw a good amount of effort applied during the 2004 primary when supporters of Dean and Kucinich began to attend meetings and begin the reform process.  This continues with the
Lamont campaign and the effort to win House races and take control of Congress away from the Republicans.

This must continue.  True reform is not won easily, and there is about a quarter century of leadership mediocrity to clear away.

It might seem easier to start a new Party, but the truth is that these are the sort of problems that are just part of human nature.  A new political party will have the same old problems.  At root is a desire to have someone else take care of responsibilities for citizenship that really belong to each of us as individuals.  We can’t get away from that, and that is the lesson we must learn from looking at the results of the past.

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By paul white, August 31, 2006 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Tony Wisher:

Now, Tony.  We all know as a liberal you are once again standing on your head and telling the world it is upside down.  Of course you want common sense to go away—you are a liberal!  But it won’t.  Just like W.  He’s in dee White House, Tony, because the majority of people trust him—not your party—to fight terror.  You don’t want to fight terror, Tony.  You want to debate the point in the UN.  That’s why, Tony, you are not commander in chief.

Did you read your plan for Amrerica?  Astounding. With you as President, the United States of America would have a life expectancy of one day.  Our enemies want to to kill us, Tony—you too and You love them.  They will kill you in one micro-second.  As for me and my family, we will defend ourselves.  And so will the overwhelming majority of Americans, who are silent on this issue.  This website is a haven for frustrated liberals talking to themselves.  When someone like me (with a different opinion) shows up, you don’t know how to react, other than lashing out or hoping I go away. That’s why conservatives, in the end, when push comes to shove, will stay in power.  Tony your plan is just not realistic in today’s environmnet.  We have to defend ourselves.

Nice try, though.  And just for you, I’ll stick around.

WHAA…..WHAAA….the whimpering, whining of liberal Tony.  There, there, Tony. Let your Daddy help you. Calm down, little guy.  Stop your crying.  Baby want a bottle?  Here, suck on this.  There you go little fella, doesn’t that feel better?  Daddy knows what’s best for his babies.  Daddy W not only feels your pain, he does something about it.  Okay, big guy?  Feel better now.  That a boy! Tony, aren’t you glad Daddy W is here for you?

Paul White
In the Right

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By Floyd Anderson, August 30, 2006 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is no real point in supporting the Green Party at this point, because effectively, there is no such thing.”

What a ridiculous and silly comment. To find out how silly and incorrect it actually is go to httt://www.greencommons.org/ or http://www.gp.org/.

The Green Party (there actually is such an entity)is running candidates in all but a few states this year and is currently winning 1 out of every 5 races it contests. Unless you are a supporter of the corporate agenda or AIPAC or DLC or globalization, the Democratic Party is totally unredeemable. Vote Green!!!

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2006 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s what I wish the Democratic Party would do:

(1) Declare that the very idea of “War on Terror” is a stupid Bushism, and that this nation is in fact NOT at war. “Terrorism” is a matter to be dealt with by international police and international courts, which the United States will make every effort to strengthen, and will scrupulously abide by its rulings.

(2) Declare that it is will be U.S. policy to guarantee Israeli security only providing that Israel (including the West Bank and Gaza) makes a transition to a multiethnic democracy with international security guarantees to replace the U.S. military alliance. 

(3) Last (and most ridiculous) Declare that the United States will henceforth not sell arms to any nation, period. Remove U.S. army bases from everywhere outside the U.S. where they are located.

Let’s really be a party of peace, what do you say?

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By Tony Wicher, August 30, 2006 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks, this Paul White person is wasting our time. There is no possibility of any communication with him, just meaningless static. I suggest a policy of “no comment” to any of his posts. Maybe he’ll go away.

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By Try Wharton if YOU don't care for Harvard, August 30, 2006 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO: Paul White


YOU still don’t comprehend economics,  shocking w/ that degree type.  Rest assured it is all about the $$$$$$.
Money never lies and neither does xxxxxx.  I’ll bet you are one of the “SMART” soles who bought stock on 3/10/2000 and “in the right”.  Did you enjoy the ride?  economics graduate ; was it a little enron; kmart; etc., etc.

The tooth fairy is coming to town, oh better watch out, you better not pout. And yes I’ll be thinking of you.

You stated and I quote:
“Floor trader, what’s your plan?”

I would NOT state same on a web site.

Just for YOU….more PROGRESS:
Insurgents kill 74 in Iraq as bloodshed mounts :

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060830/ts_afp/iraq_060830141940

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By paul white, August 30, 2006 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for honoring the brave soldiers (by listing them) who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have this exchange in our free society.  They and their families are to be revered.  All of our sympathy is with them.  They are true Americans—true patriots.  Their sacrifice is even more honorable because they volunteered (as either Guardsmen or enlistees).  They knew going in what the possible consequences could be.  They believed so much in your and your children’s and your children’s children ‘s freedom, that they nonetheless volunteered.  It was great of you to honor them.

But why did you then denigrate their names by, in the same message, putting me down?  It was as if you were just using them to further your agenda, your hatred of George Bush (I’m sure).  I served and was proud to.  From your comments, I suspect you did not.  A true patriot would not waste time putting me down.  One wonders if you are really an insipid weenie—loving the freedom to be able to put down others under a penname on a blog site, but not willing to serve, not willing to offer up your plan.  Just wondering—not saying that is the case. 

What is the case is your incessant need to denigrate, whine, compalain—the only thing liberals seem to be able to do.  Rather than put me down, why not follow up your honoring of the heros you listed with your plan.  What is it?

Mine is to not dishonor those you listed and all the others.  Mine is to not abandon our Iraqi friends.  Minbe is to not tell those trying to destroy the fledgling Iraqi democracy when we are leaving.  Mine is to ensure that Iraq can become self sufficient as a democracy.

What’s your’s?  Don’t put me down, just tell me what you would do.  Hilary and W and Joe Lieberman say we should stay the course?  They say that this is difficult with so many spineless whiners telling them to pull out now (war is not easy).  What say you?  Can you just address this issue without putting me down?  I say no.  Prove me wrong.

Payul White
In the Right

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By John Earl, August 30, 2006 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I certain your call to arms for Paul has been heeded. He’s enlisted for a tour in Mesopotamia. It’s inspiring to see men who put their booty where their pie hole is!

Wat to go, Paul White!

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By Stuart H, August 30, 2006 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no real point in supporting the Green Party at this time, because effectively, there is no such thing. 

The Democratic Party is redeemable.  There are several problems that have to be addressed, which are not easily resolved, however.

A lot of people have bought the myth that there is no difference between Repubs and Dems and over the years, have withdrawn from voting or participating.  This has left the field to those whose perspective is narrowly concerned with establishing status within the Party and playing status games.  The intellectual leadership, by default, became the consultants who are concerned with paychecks and what keeps the gig going.

This has been going on long enough that the Party’s leadership cannot be persuaded that the grassroots interest in changing things is anything but a temporary phenomenon that will go away when the immediate excitement dies down.  This dynamic can change when enough people weigh in and make serious commitments. 

In a culture dominated by television, the fact is that a lot of effort is spent promoting “why bother?” 

The antidote is to promote an awakening of the body politick, which is what Scheer is really describing.  Hopefully the amazing lack of intellect and common sense of the Bush administration will result in a strong reaction from the smarter part of the American culture,
but with a grip on practicality.

The Bush/Halliburton scheme is apparently to work in a secretive fashion to set up a military empire to secure worldwide oil supplies to prop up American hyper-consumption.  One would think that they calculate on the public deciding at some point that this is the right strategy, because losing quality of life may create hysteria and panic.  At some point, the public may indeed go for demogogic leadership.  One hopes not.

But the problem I see with Democratic leaders and those who usually criticize them as well, is that there doesn’t seem to be anyone looking at the real big picture.  Iraq is a symptom of a more fundamental problem in our world, that of a future with declining oil and other natural resources. 

Do we prepare for war with China to keep our own access to oil from getting eclipsed, or is there a better 21st century strategy for leading the human race into the 22nd century?

There should be more vigorous debate in the public sphere about this and how Democrats could adopt strategies not beholden to the vested interests whose narrow views have crippled our ability to see and think clearly.

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By IRAQ's Great Democracy, August 30, 2006 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO: Paul White

You stated and I quote:

  “While we are not home free yet (we are fighting a war), returning soldiers overwhelmingly (repeat: overwhelminly speak of the progress”—______________________________________________
Since YOU are so willing to support george bush incomptence along with the MURDERS of these US Soldiers, the IED IRAQ Ritz Carlton is calling YOU to enlist NOW! 

The men listed below DIED within the past THREE DAYS. Further not all have been reported for these THREE days either,  wonder they can’t speak of PROGRESS!
______________________________________________

The data listed below is from this :
http://icasualties.org/oif/Details.aspx

2854 08/27/06 Hildreth, Seth A. Specialist 26 U.S. Army 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Reg, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

2855 08/27/06 Dolan, Dan Private 1st Class 19 U.S. Army 1st BN, 23rd Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division

2856 08/27/06 Cross, Kenneth Specialist 21 U.S. Army 1st BN, 23rd Infantry Reg, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division

2857 08/27/06 Smith, Tristan Specialist 23 U.S. Army Multi-National Division – Baghdad

2858 08/27/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Army Multi-National Division – Baghdad

2859 08/27/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Army Multi-National Division – Baghdad

2860 08/27/06 Jones, Joshua D. Specialist 24 U.S. Army 3rd BN, 67th Armor Reg, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

2861 08/27/06 Champlin, Donald E. Lance Corporal 28 U.S. Marine 3rd BN, 2nd Marine Reg, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force

2862 08/27/06 Almazan, David J. Sergeant 27 U.S. Army 1st BN, 36th Infantry Reg, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

2863 08/27/06 Hansen, Jeffrey J. Staff Sergeant 31 U.S. Air National Guard 1st Squadron, 167th Cavalry, 1st BN, 34th Brigade Combat Team

2864 08/27/06 Benson, Darry Sergeant 46 U.S. Army National Guard 730th Quartermaster Battalion

2865 08/28/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Marine Regimental Combat Team 5

2866 08/28/06 Schneider, Matthew E. Specialist 23 U.S. Army 141st Signal BN, 1st Armored Division

2867 08/29/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Army Not reported yet

2868 08/29/06 NAME NOT RELEASED YET Not reported yet   U.S. Marine 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division


For the daily reports of the great US DEMOCRACY currently present in IRAQ please see these links:

http://www.freearabvoice.org/Iraq/Report/report626.htm

http://www.freearabvoice.org/Iraq/Report/report625.htm

DEMOCRACY DEFINITION:
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections;  the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges  

FALLACY DEFINITION:
1 a obsolete : GUILE, TRICKERY b : deceptive appearance : DECEPTION
2 a : a false or mistaken idea b : erroneous character : ERRONEOUSNESS
3 : an often plausible argument using false or invalid inference

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By paul white, August 30, 2006 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all liberals, including the Floor Trader (#20462):

Sorry you believe that teaching an adult bible class is a “waste.”  But hey, you are liberals.  You stand on your heads and tell the world it is upside down. 

Floor trader (#20462) does what liberals do best—put others down.  Read the piece.  Absolutely, not one plan—one idea—one new thought—nothing more than bashing someone else.  Liberals being liberals.

As a Brown U econ major, I have no respect for Harvard economics 101. Two true stories, Floortrader, about Harvard economics 101.  As an undergraduate, I was chatting with two co-eds at a mixer in Cambridge.  They were 10s (one Radcliff and one Smith, as I recall).  An insipid wennie with a nasal twang (or dip—I mean drip) approached.  He was a Harvard undergrad who was interning for, you guessed it—Teddy K.  As a liberal, he relished himself God’s gift to the world and to women/men—I’m not sure.  He asked me in their presence, what school are you from, wanting to impress with his Ivy lineage, not suspecting I too would have an Ivy background.  Brown, I answered.  He laughed,then added what’s the color of horse shit?  He laughed at his own funny.  I then asked him, friend, as a Harvard man, what hand do you use to wipe yourself after defecating (he was so full of it, I just had to ask).  His quick retort—hey, I’m a left-leaning, almost communist Harvard guy—I naturally use my left hand.  I responded that, as for me, as a Brown gentleman, I used toilet paper.  The girls were on the floor with laughter.  The wennie, liberal, Harvard guy, tail between his legs, left whimpering and whining and muttering something about having to get to some project.  The Cliffer said she thought he lived in the Harvard fag house.  While that comment was mean (and probably untrue), I did dance the night away with both girls and later dated one of them for some time.

Harvard economics story number two.  After serving in the United States Army during the Vietnam era, I did not go to Hravard to get my MBA—went to another New England school instead.  A naval pilot friend did go to Harvard.  We would compare notes.  After a semester on the cost of capital, the Harvard prof told the class, forgot everything I said all semester, and in real life, just use 10%.  My friend paid (in today’s dollars), $10,000 to take that one course at Harvard and get that advice—just use 10%.  I paid $1,000 in today’s dollars and learned how to calculate cost of capital.  The problem for the Harvard guys today is that they can’t figure it out.  10% is no longer relevant.  W has the economy humming so well, you can no longer use a 10% number.  The 10% presumed Jimmy Carter with his 19% inflation rate would be president.

No, Floor Trader, I have little respect for Harvard economics.  What they teach there—Karl Marx and Jimmy Carter economics, lowering taxes is bad, etc., etc, socialized this and that—is no longer relevant.  Reagan got things under control and W continues the trend.  Besides, why take an Econ 101 from a school that will be wooped by Brown in the Ivy opener.  You’ve heard the song, “Who’s in dee White House…Bush, Bush..Bush.”  Well, Who’s the defending Ivy football champ…Brown, Brown…Brown.  Give me Brown Econo 101—lower taxes, give incentives to the rich so that they will create jobs for the poor, don’t give the poor a fish…rather, teach them to fish.  I know, I know.  This is way over liberal’s heads.

And finally—here’s the plan.

1. Lower taxes

2. Blockade Iran after August 31 (Iran will disregard UN edict.

3.  Stay in Iraq and Afganistan til those democracies can defend themselves.  Do not announce to enemy date of withdrawal, even if we have one.  Tell enemy we are staying forever.

4. If Iran does not comply with UN Resolution by Oct. 1, do not announce in advance, but just bomb with precision bombs the governemnet buildings of the current Iraqi regime.  The overwhelming majority of Iranian people, living in fear of this fascist governemnt, will be grateful.

5.  Continue to protect the US by whatever means possible.  If protecting our citizens is an issue, disregard the ruling by the Carter-appointee judge in Michigan.  We are at war,

6.  Try to convince liberals that we are at war with an enemy that wants to kill them.  Liberals are at war with their own country at the moment.

Floor trader, what’s your plan?  Are you capable of offering any ideas, or like your cohorts, do you just spew dribble that denigrates others?  Give it a shot, tell us YOUR plan.  Or are you too much of an inspid, liberal weenie? 

Paul White
In the Right

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By TranscendMyAsterisk, August 29, 2006 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America’s blind, bipartisan devotion to achieving the Israeli right wing’s strategic goals for them, regardless of harm to ourselves and to the rest of the planet, constitutes a clear, present danger of such mammoth catastrophe that it dwarfs all other political issues. 

This is a matter of such urgency that I refuse to “transcend” my differences with any fellow Democrat who doesn’t understand this.

Really, people; in these dire circumstances, how can anyone give a fIying f*** about Social Security?

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By Cheerios box economics graduate Paul White, August 29, 2006 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO:  Comment #20349 by paul white


You stated and I quote:
  “Brown U economics graduate, MBA, business owner “

And after the degree YOU still believe the reason we are at war is democracy? Check Harvard they are savy for real economics 101.

Try again.

Money never lies and neither does xxxxxx.  I’ll bet you are one of the “SMART” soles who bought stock on 3/10/2000 and “in the right”.  Did you enjoy the ride?  economics graduate ; god help your ” in god we trust”.


You stated and I quote;

”  not to articulate new ideas, concepts, thoughts, plans of action.  “

Sound just like george w. bush…. 

You stated and I quote:

While we are not home free yet (we are fighting a war), returning soldiers overwhelmingly (repeat: overwhelminly speak of the progress—

yeap we are fighting a full blown CIVIL WAR, so Paul, come on over to the IED Iraq Ritz Carlton!  laughing all the way, so untrue, away from the eyes of bush and co…..PROGRESS is a grade F!


You stated and I quote:
  “Can’t you see that in the long run this will help keep peace in the mid-East.”

The tooth fairy is coming to town, oh better watch out, you better not pout.

I’ll keep you in mind!

Cheers,
The Floor Trader

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By John C, August 29, 2006 at 5:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #20349 by paul white on 8/28 at 3:13 pm

To the liberal readers who frequent this website

“I am a Vietnam era US Army vet, Brown U economics graduate, MBA, business owner and adult bible class teacher.”

What a waste!

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By Jon, August 29, 2006 at 4:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.yaleshmale.com/yaleshmale.php

The above link tells why this country kept making mistakes. Perhaps we need a standardize test to weed out unqualified presidential candidates.

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By paul white, August 28, 2006 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the liberal readers who frequent this website

I am a Vietnam era US Army vet, Brown U economics graduate, MBA, business owner and adult bible class teacher.

What strikes me about this piece is that it demonstrates why liberals just can not prevail on a national level.  It is nothing more than a liberal being a liberal. doing what liberals do best—whining, wimpering, crying, complaining, bashing Bush, bashing Santorum, etc.  It pulls plays right out of the ole liberal play book. 

The nature of a liberal is to denigrate, not to articulate new ideas, concepts, thoughts, plans of action.  When one can’t engage in the arena of ideas (because you do not have any good ideas), it is just natural to have to say something, so, you all just whine or bash Bush.

Of course there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  They were moved.  Let’s see liberals, everyone knew they were there.  It wasn’t that W lied to the UN.  The UN never believes Bush.  The Un knew they were there.  You all know they were there.  JohnKerry knew they were there.  What is the big deal about this?  they were used two decaqdes ago on the Kurds. So you all b elieve thatIraq went backwards?  It had them and used them 20 years ago and 20 years later had none?  DAHHH>>>if you weren’t so busy bashing Bush, you’d realize they were moved.

Second, aren’t you all glad that we are democratizing Iraq.  Can’t you see that in the long run this will help keep peace in the mid-East.  That’s why Lieberman and other thinking people support Iraq.  We all know that the media hates Bush and airs only the negative.  While we are not home free yet (we are fighting a war), returning soldiers overwhelmingly (repeat: overwhelminly speak of the progress—tell us what CNN can’t bring itself to because it hates W so much).

So, democrates will just beat each other up.  Meanwhile< Liberman will win in Conn as an independent.  Santorum will win in PA and the overwhelming silent majority will return to office those who have values and stand for something other than bashing Bush.

So don’t worry about the issue raised by Robert S.  It’s moot.  We are at war, and American is smart enough to know that it doesn’t want Nancy P., John K., Howard D., George S., Barbara S., the UN etc, etc, etc. protecting us in a real war.  That’s why when all the votes are counted, you will see conservatives still holding the house and senate, even in this off-year election.

Thank God for W.  Aren’t you glad he’s your Daddy?

Paul White
In the Right

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By John C, August 28, 2006 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #20244 by indePundit on 8/27 at 8:39 pm

<<WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE! >>

<< Unfortunately, the majority of responses to this stellar piece of journalism has been ridiculously off-topic.>>

The topic was Joe Lieberman’s support of the Iraq War. Joe Lieberman’s basic reason that underlies his support of the Iraq war is his congenital bond with Israel, which is the country that had good reason to fear Iraq. The Lieberman support of the Iraq war reflects his concern for Israel - not the United States. It therefore ought to be obvious that Israel, and its sordid history is indeed part of the topic of Joe Lieberman and Iraq.

<< To be clear, I am not disparaging the value of the input or the basis of logic in the opinions expressed here. >>

That’s nice of you to at least acknowledge the worthiness of what you have been able to read.

<< I am however, disheartened by lost opportunity to reflect on the central message of this writers profound observations and succinct wisdom. >>

I actually saw little profound in Scheer’s piece. But I think there was much profound in the thoughts expressed in the commentary. Maybe you need to broaden your perspective.

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By indePundit, August 27, 2006 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE!

Unfortunately, the majority of responses to this stellar piece of journalism has been ridiculously off-topic. To be clear, I am not disparaging the value of the input or the basis of logic in the opinions expressed here. I am however, disheartened by lost opportunity to reflect on the central message of this writers profound observations and succinct wisdom.

For some strange reason I thought that comments posted under a particular article would, or should, follow the theme of that particular message. Don’t we dishonor and/or trivialize the efforts of the author when we ignore the the intellectual arguments posed to us?

Yes, I do believe it is bad manners for readers to respond with commentary that does nothing to advance a legitimate consideration of the topic. But that’s not really the point. I certainly was not motivated to submit my first contribution here in order to preach forum etiquette. My disappointment is rooted in conviction that goes far beyond petty peeves.

I believe that our collective failure to rationally explore the potential significance of focused concepts, via debate and discussion, completely eliminates the required channels of analysis that could lead to the discovery and/or recognition of ground-breaking ideas. We could have stumbled upon the holy grail of dynamic political theory and nobody would even notice. We’re all so busy venting anger, proposing scenarios, declaring values, justifying opinions and fulfilling narcissistic agendas that we surrender both the opportunity and the means to facilitate the development of potentially powerful insights and suppositions.

It’s a damn shame. I really thought that Mr.. Scheer was on to something here. I was particularly impressed with the clarity, honesty and sensibility of his presentation. It’s a simple, yet searing message that should greatly resonate within our community and is deserving of serious evaluation. I mean who knows? This could lead to “the” defining position of consensus and commitment that topples the prevailing culture of corruption and helps to overcome the destructive acceptance of incompetence that dominates our current political landscape.

hmmmm
honesty and accountabily in government?
now that’s a concept that NEEDS to gain traction

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By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2006 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #20132 by Ion Constantine Laskaris on 8/26 at 12:17 pm

Further thoughts:

I don’t want to be unkind. I wonder if we couldn’t find some come common ground. Can’t we fight fascism together? My father was not Jewish (my mother was) and he was a great Nazi hunter in my eyes. I follow in his footsteps. Now the term “fascist” is rather loose. It was strange to hear Bush of all people talking about “Islamo-fascism” the other day, because I first heard the term coming from a left-wing Jew, who also considers Bush a fascist. When I heard that I thought, Mr Bush, I’m sure you’re too stupid and ignorant to have the slightest idea what a fascist is, but if you would like to know, try looking in a mirror. Somehow Bush looks a whole lot more like a real fascist to me than bin Laden. But hey, if you want to talk about Islamo-fascism, that’s all right with me. I have no use for anyone of any nationality, religion or ethnicity that advocates any form of violence. Non-violence is my first principle of political action. But I do call on you to to recognize the justice of the position of the Muslim people - not their leaders, but the people themselves. There must be a dialog between the Jews and the Muslims as peoples, not between their damn political leaders, who are all a bunch of warmongers. But it is up to each people to get rid of their own fascists. Here in America perhaps we will be making some progress in November.

I do not think the state of Israel can survive in its current form. Jewish security does not lie that way, only endless war. The way to Jewish security lies in the strengthening of international law and the protection of human rights. The Jewish people are perfectly placed now to make a historic contribution to the human race, perhaps their greatest ever. You may ask why so much should be expected of them. Are they not the Chosen People?

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By John C, August 27, 2006 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a bit more history that ought to be   re-visited in view of the current debacle going on in Palestine. It is taken (paraphrased)from an excellent historical account of the early period of the Zionist movement.

In the 1920’s there was a faction in the Zionist movement called “Brit Shalom”, meaning the Covenant of Peace that advocated a single state bi-national Nation called Palestine in which there would be absolute political equality for both the Jews and the Arabs.

Its basic premise was that the long term survival of the Jews depended on finding a way to co-exist with the Arabs.

Brit Shalom maintained that their position reflected the essence of the original Zionist endeavor started by Theodore Hertzl in the   mid-1890’s, and that it was a very pragmatic concept. Brit Shalom was convenced that Zionism would fall into disaster if it fails to find common ground with the Arabs.

The spiritual leader of co-existence was a Martin Buber, the Jewish religious philosopher from Vienna who advocated the single bi-national state based on “the love for the homeland that both peoples share”.

The Mapam Party was formed in the 1940’s to advocate the single bi-national state.

In 1947 it lobbied the UN unsuccessfully to adopt the single state solution.

Unfortunately it did not have a strong standing in the Zionist movement that had followed the lead of the hard line zealots Chaim Wiezman and David ben Gurion - who were the leaders who established the mean-spirited aggressive posture of the Israel State that exists to this day.

Today, Naom Chomsky is the only voice still on the radar that carries on the argument for the only practical solution.

The above did not come from Chomsky

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By Tony Wicher, August 27, 2006 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Comment #20132 by Ion Constantine Laskaris on 8/26 at 12:17 pm

“Israel is now surrounded West (with Gaza), North with Hezbollah, backed by Iran, + Syria, Jordan, the Saudis, and Egypt - Arab enemines all. Everyone of them is a degenerate and murderous nation. For this reason I think the Jews are entitled to a fair number of mistakes while they are fighting for their lives.”

There you go again, Mr. Laskaris. Calling your neighbors “murderous degenerates” is certainly no way to make friends with them. People with persecution complexes are always surrounded with enemies, whether real, imaginary or both.

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By John C, August 27, 2006 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #20132 by Ion Constantine Laskaris


<< “Obviously, to the victors belong the spoils, and they dictate the peace terms”. >>

Well, that is how Israel sees it, and they have been trying unsuccessfully to dictate the terms to the Arabs for the last 39 years. The problem is that the Israelis are not dictating “peace” terms at all. They are dictating “unjust” terms that will never be accepted, and in the meantime Israeli citizens must live a life of constant anxiety and fear.

If the Israelis (and you) think that is smart?), intelligent(?), advantageous(?) or pleasing to their God(?), they better resign themselves to eventual extinction, because even their God will not help them.

No nation can defy the world forever - which is something that the United States will also someday learn.

The rest of your post is not worth my time for comment.

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By John C, August 27, 2006 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
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Re:Comment #20141 by Tony Wicher

<<The Jewish people would most certainly be wise to make peace with their neighbors while they can>>

I’m happy to see at least one thoughtful response to my post

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By John Earl, August 27, 2006 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
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Just as in this country where many citizens opposed the policies of the Bush administration, in Israel there were those who protested the actions of its leadership.

The mother of one of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers called for an end to the violence perpetrated by her government.

There is more criticism in the mainstream Israeli press of its government’s policies than there is is this country’s press outlets.

Dennis Kucinich was one Democrat who called for a ceasefire in Lebanon. Would that other members of his party not be so cowed by the pro-Israeli-government faction in this nation.

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By Tony Wicher, August 26, 2006 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #20049 by John C on 8/25 at 4:26 pm

To the best of my knowledge, the historical account you give is accurate. From the standpoint of an international court, you state clearly the injustice suffered by the Palestinians. The solidarity of all Muslims with their cause is therefor also just. If this issue is not addressed, war will never end. No just “two-state” solution is possible, and no unjust one will ever be accepted.

The Jewish people would most certainly be wise to make peace with their neighbors while they can and to stop relying on the military alliance with the United States. The oil companies that run this place are not supporting Israel out of love for the Jewish people.

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, August 26, 2006 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to John C. @ #19835

You clearly have a very selective memory blaming the Jews for all these imaginary inequities you list.

#1. Your first question is vague, ambiguous, and
lacks any examples. Please be specific!

Obviously, to the victors belong the spoils, and
they dictate the peace terms.

2. As for your nonsense phrase, “Palestinian Arabs” there never has been a “Palestinian nation state” in 1300 years of Moslem history. The Turks ruled with their Ottoman Empire over this area for some 370 years until they were defeated in WWI. Then the British and French settled peace terms for the whole middle east.

Would you use the term “Palestinian Jews? or Jerusalem Greeks? since the Byzantine Empire ruled here for some 1000 years.

3. For every Resolution 242 Israel refused to accept,there are more than 100 the Arab nation-states rejected. Or don’t you know this?

Israel is now surrounded West (with Gaza), North
with Hezbollah, backed by Iran, + Syria, Jordan,
the Saudis, and Egypt - Arab enemines all.
Everyone of them is a degenerate and murderous nation. For this reason I think the Jews are entitled to a fair number of mistakes while they are fighting for their lives.

4. As for “covenants” what are your souces for this gibberish? More anon!

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By Tony Wicher, August 26, 2006 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
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Reply to Comment #20108 by Spinoza on 8/26 at 8:14 am: Hey, Spinoza! You’re one of my favorite philosophers! Yes, the Jewish people should study Spinoza and know themselves a little better.

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By cognitorex, August 26, 2006 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
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RE: ‘more rice for you’ and Enron reference
Also article yesterday, all Cheney’s investments are in foreign currencies poised to increase/soar as dollar sinks globally.

I THINK, ERGO I‘M RIGHT:
    (god confirms this)

A well known learned commentator recently postulated that Bush exemplifies the mental state known as narcissism. With some authority on the subject I add here another, not contradictory, explanation.
One of the results of excessive alcohol intake over many years is the “Desires Equal Expectations Psychosis (D.E.E.P.),” also known as “Simply Hoping is Truth (S.H.I.T.)” or ‘wishful thinking syndromitis.’
Imagine a corporation where the marketing division has co-opted all the power. Hopeful fancy pronouncements of success, glory and marvelous products issue forth daily while the core entity hemorrhages cash, loses customers and is an irreversible decline.
Why am I not surprised that America under Bush’s leadership is an eerie reminder of the fantasy structure that once was Enron?

OLD TEXAS SAYING:  if god had wanted Texans to ski, he would have made bulls..t white.

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By Spinoza, August 26, 2006 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
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>  I believe the Jewish people have the greatness of soul to step out of this cycle of violence.


I should hope so.

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By more rice for you ............., August 25, 2006 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
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RED Voters:

Why oh why were M3 figures cut off @ the start of the Irans 3/26/2006 date of a oil futures contract in euro’s AKA the new middle east nymex?  Why is Iran so very hot w/ Bush? 


Why has the Bush Bankruptcy co., cut off the holding of major postions (short and long) in NYMEX - Commodities EXCHANGE? Oh why?


Why is our FED been printing US dollars in mega amounts?  Oh why?


Oh why or why have commodities soared 380 percent since we layed our MILITARY machines in Afganistan?


Yep keep supporting him in Iraq and his Failing policy until he bleeds YOU dry of “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

H Y P E R _ I N F L A T I O N coming to a local theater near YOU!


http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2006/05/m2_and_inflatio.html


red voters please sign the back of your checks over to ” george w. BUSH : USA ENRON President

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By LNickols, August 25, 2006 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
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I would love to see a whole column devoted to the topic of “the obligation of the politicians to be honest with the public.”  Politicians are way too comfortable, take few risks, blame one another, then sit back and wait for reelection.  They have no sense of obligation to set aside their egos and money connections and truly act in the best interests of this country.

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By John C, August 25, 2006 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
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Here are some thoughts to ponder:

In 1947, Britain had had it with about two solid years of a Zionist insurgency that included attacks on British troops, bombings of government buildings, destruction of communications and military trains, and murders of British, Arabs, and even moderate minded Jews. The list of leaders of the Zionist terrorists reads like a roster of the later prime ministers of Israel (Menachem Begin, Ytzhac Shamir, Ytzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon. The history of the Zionist insurgency reads like a CNN report on Iraq.

Britain finally gave up and turned their problem over to the United Nations, who immediately sent an investigating commission to Palestine to look into what could be done.

After the commission’s report was submitted and after much deliberation and rangling, and with vociferous objections from the Arab States, the UN voted on two propositions. The first was for a single State of Palestine with equal rights for both Jews and Arabs. It was rejected. The second was for two independent states in which the Zionists with 1/3 the population and 7% ownership in the land would receive 54% of the land including 80% of the arable cultivated land. The Palestinians with 2/3 of the population and 93% of land ownership would receive only 46% of the land which included only 20% of the arable land. That was approved by 33 of 56 nations.

In 1967 the Israelis conquered the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights but were told by the United Nations that the land still belonged to Palestine (and Syria), and that they must withdraw. They have remained, for more than forty years, in violation of an order of the only body that gives them international legitimacy.

In view of such injustice wouldn’t it behoove the Israelis to think more about their moral responsibilities towards the Palestinians, who trace their heritage just as far back as any Jew. They obviously got way more in 1948 than they were ever entitled to and yet they continue to grab more.

Considering the suffering they endure under constant Arab attack and terror (and with surely more coming in the future), you would think that they would realize that their strategy is a disaster for Israel, and a major course change is needed.

In my opinion, the first course change ought to be to divorce its Middle East policy from the policy of the United States. We are only enabling Israel to avoid the course of action that they must someday take, and that is to become once again friends with their neighbors. Else Israel as a nation is doomed to never ending casualties, eternal fear and anxiety, and possible extinction.

In fact it would behoove Israel to make that course change before the United States finally wises up to the fact that supporting Israel is no longer in our strategic interest. We lost 3000 people; we lost the Twin Towers; we are bleeding from the costs of homeland security and Iraq; and we have lost about 20,000 killed and wounded in Iraq that can be tied to our support for Israel. Remember, that was bin Laden’s primary reason for attacking the United States.

If only people would use their brains.

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By Tony Wicher, August 25, 2006 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
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Reply Comment #19989 and others by Ion Constantine Laskaris

Mr. Laskaris,

Your comments speak for themselves. You are just full of hate. I would imagine that everyone else on this blog can see this, even if you can’t. Know yourself. See how the violence and trauma of the Holocaust has been continued in the idea of Jewish self-defense. See how the fear expressed in the slogan “never again” is now destroying the soul of the Jewish people, making them militaristic and fascistic like those who persecuted them. See that this defensiveness is just one side of the coin, and the other side is aggression. I believe the Jewish people have the greatness of soul to step out of this cycle of violence.

Shalom

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By John Earl, August 25, 2006 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
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http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/news-mideast-usa-israel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

I wonder if the investigation of Israel’s use of cluster bombs supplied by the United States in Lebanon will be objective?

Some of the weapons used by the US in Iraq, including cluster bombs, were criminal enough. So why shouldn’t Israel commit war crimes too?

I just hope the islamo-facists don’t get a hold of some of them babies!

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By John C, August 25, 2006 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #19989 by Ion Constantine Laskaris

<< try to mount an intelligent defense of your condemnation of Israel’s defense efforts.>>

Israel’s defense efforts ended in 1967. They have been on the offense ever since then, but like America they claim that every bomb they drop is defense. But actions speak louder than words.

And by the way, the Zionists have been on the offense since Hertzl started it all in the 1890s. When you read the history of Zionist terrorism in the late 1940s, it reads like what’s going on in Iraq. And the names of the terrorist leaders, read like the roster of Israeli prime ministers.

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By cognitorex, August 25, 2006 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
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A US BACKED IRAQI GOVERNMENT IS AN OXYMORON
The Iraqis need to have a sense of nation, of nationalism, to form a lasting government. A US backed government is anathematical to the good Iraqi souls who just demonstrated openly in favor of Hezbollah.
Loosely paraphrased Murtha’s message is: “We are the enemy: we are the problem: they’re shooting at us and those perceived to be our lackeys.”
Tis time to go.
A US backed Iraqi government, acceptable to an Iraqi nation, is an oxymoron. Completing the mission is up to the Iraqis: praise Allah and good luck: “what can we do to help?”

PS. Remember, we do have to keep the peace until ol’ Saddam is duly dispatched lest “Crashing the Gate” by Sunni loyalists becomes a headline from Hell.

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By Spinoza, August 25, 2006 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
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There are certain Jews who are doing great harm to Jews with their immoral and stupid hatred of Muslims and their undying loyalty to Israel no matter what Israel does.  This right wing chorus has to be stopped.  Muslims are people, Palestinians are people and they have rights and they deserve to be respected as all people deserve to be respected.  Liberals should stop placating Jewish racism.

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By Spinoza, August 25, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
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Vote strategically to move the country left. I live in NY State so the Democrats are likely to win no matter what.  We have the right wing Hillary Clinton running for office.  Therefore I will vote Green.

However if I thought the Democrats could lose I would vote Hillary.

Voting doesn’t matter much in terms of the big picture. Hillary often attacks the Republicans from the right.

It is more important that we be out in the streets which is where the real power is.  Large numbers of demonstrators have more influence than all of the voting combined. —-And the more violent the demonstration the more important it is.

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By AlanSmithee, August 25, 2006 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
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Comment #19935 by Otis on 8/24 at 8:43 pm

Um, Otis, Truthdig is strictly a Democrat Only site.  Notice all the articles about dems?  Don’t mention the Greens.  You’ll meet with nothing by hatred and dirision.  (And few gawd’s sake, don’t mention Ralph Nader!)  Just keep to the topic on how to elect democrats like the Robert Sheer article above.

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By Roberto, August 25, 2006 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
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To Tony Wicher Comment 19900:
Learn how to read. I don’t mean just pronouncing the words but understanding what has been written. Mr. Laskaris never called the “Moslem” religion degenerate. He said, “in my judgement, only degenerate Arabs swimming in oil money, and the rest of the pro-intifada Moslem world matches the murderous record of Nazi lies and evil conduct.”
You, Tony, are the example of what is wrong with the world today.  I’m talking about close minded people who usurp their feelings and opinions onto other people’s words.  I say you are the disease. You’re too stupid to not understand what a sentence says b/c in actuality you are the hatemonger.
You say, “you are a “Judeo-fascist” and a perfect, pure example of what is wrong with Israel and the Jewish people today. You are a disease.”  You just called the Jewish people and their country a disease. If you cannot understand how you said that and how Mr. Laskaris did not say Islam is degenerate then not only do YOU need to know yourself but your langauge as well.

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, August 25, 2006 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
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In re: Tony wichunt - # 19900
Sometimes it seems like certain Westcoast types like you have gotten drunk on your never-never land papaya juice.

Equally reactionary with the ignorant Moslem masses are the reactionary Catholic Church which has over 1000 years of degenerate behavior. For this reason I have always been anti-clerical, in the great tradition of Emile Zola & Freethinkers down the centuries.

I also despise the fundamentalist protestant trash from Billy Sunday to Billy Graham and our latter day sewerrat spokesMEN for that imbecilic religiosity - Pat Robertson and commercial Christ hustler, Jerry Falwell polluting the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth as much as the black-gowned pederast priests do. 

As soon as you recover from your current Rabies seizure, wipe the foam off your mouth, quit snarling, and try to mount an intelligent defense of your condemnation of Israel’s defense efforts.

As for me being “Judeo-Fascist” - surely there must be others, (if only imaginary and rattling around aimlessly in your perfervid brain) why not describe their traits, tendencies, deeds, and venomous babble. I will be happy to “fess up”
if I am one of them. I suspect many of us in this hi-speed clothes washer of symposium dispute will be amused by your efforts. Hitler loves you!

Ion C.Laskaris,Burlington,Vt.+ iclrevusa.com

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By harsaru, August 25, 2006 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
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The truth(according to katherine harris) is that God chose George Bush to lead America.
Just like He gave Palestine to the Jews .
I’m gonna have to give up on him.
Especially as He talks to George W.
Do you think He owns Fox Tv????

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By Hilding Lindquist, August 25, 2006 at 5:22 am Link to this comment
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I have voted for third party candidates in the past and will do so again. I have come to believe that unless we find a way that let’s political parties other than the two dominent parties credibly compete in the system, we will continue to have far too many tweedle dee dee and tweedle de dum choices ... representing corporate “property” rights, and the enslaving wealth and power that goes with the those “rights” rather than the people empowering rights of our Constitution—in keeping with our core values stated in our Declaration of Independence.

There are many caveats to that general statement, but the essential core of letting the peoples voices (heavy on the plural “voices”) be heard retains lest our democracy remains a scam perpetrated by an oligarchy on the rest of us.

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By John C, August 25, 2006 at 4:25 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #19921 by Ga on 8/24 at 7:40 pm

<< Joe Lieberman is just another Religious nut. Wether Christian, Muslim, Jew—a fanatic is a fanatic is a fanatic.>>

You have that right! But unfortunately he is not “just another”. Lieberman is a powerful politico with a very clever spiel and a vauable asset to AIPAC.

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By Otis, August 24, 2006 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
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Pro-War Democrats should go to the Party that supports their views—the Republicans.  With both parties controlled by basically the same Corporations, it won’t make much difference.

An alternative idea is to have the anti-war Democrats go to the Party that supports their views (and has since BEFORE the invasion of Iraq)—the Green Party.

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By Ga, August 24, 2006 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
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Joe Lieberman is just another Religious nut. Wether Christian, Muslim, Jew—a fanatic is a fanatic is a fanatic.

At least the Muslim leaders don’t lie and pretend they are something they are not like our American leaders do.

And there is blood on all hands. Ours too. Never forget that.

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By Tony Wicher, August 24, 2006 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
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RE: Comment #19782 by Ion Constantine Laskaris

Mr. Laskaris,

Calling the Moslem religion “degenerate” makes you just as much of a hatemonger as any anti-semite, any Nazi. Very obviously, you are a “Judeo-fascist” and a perfect, pure example of what is wrong with Israel and the Jewish people today. You are a disease. Know yourself; only then will you have peace or freedom.

Tony Wicher
Ontario, California

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, August 24, 2006 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment
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Reply to Beck Out West - #19867 to my missive of
#19782 First let me thank Truthdig for hosting this kind of Battle of Ideas. It sure beats the
genteel pap of the NYT day after day.

I get a strong sense of a lot of morally outraged
people speaking out - and this is the only way the truth ever gets out and a concensus built on spiritual integrity can happen.

Now to Beck - Yes, of course I have a sense of rage and need no mirror to confirm it. Nor do I choose to apologize for it when I am facing day after day and year after year the evil conduct of
so much political and pseudo-religious trash.

If you are really incapable of such a Manichean
sense of good and evil, like Isaiah and Jeremiah,
then you risk living as a spiritual castrato.

In a short space I lay out a brief sketch of the scenario of evil as I see it, and the Moslem world’s conduct plays some part in it. If you cannot understand that and do some homework to alter your smug American complacency, I can only say - information cannot argue with small closed minds. More on John C. anon!

Ion C. Laskaris,Burlington,Vt.+iclrevusa.com

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By yours truly, August 24, 2006 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
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The problem with waiting for our politicians to be honest with us is that this has to happen immediately, being that time is running out on us, what with this perpetual war on terror, not to mention global warming. Who’s to get the truth out when our politicians refuse to do it?  We the people, that’s who.  And just how are we going to accomplish this?  By way of the Internet, that’s how.  After all changing the world is a do it ourselves endeavor, with each and everyone featured in a leading role.

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By Beck Out West, August 24, 2006 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment
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RE: Comment #19712 by Robert Nelson
Thanks for the link Mr Nelson!  Matt Taibbi’s articles are a revelation to me. Lieberman is the tip of the political berg that’s been dragging across the hull of the Democratic ship for too long. I have to paste this excerpt as a teaser to anyone who’s not read his Rolling Stone columns yet:

“The reason the Lamont election has all of Washington so badly freaked out and dug in is that it’s revealed a crack in the long-dependable mechanism of mainstream American politics. For almost four decades now conservatives in both parties have been governing according to a very simple formula. You run against Jane Fonda and George McGovern in election season, then you spend the next four years playing golf, shooting flightless birds, and taking $25,000 speaking gigs in Aspen while you let your fundraisers run things around the office.”

Well said Matt.


RE: Comment #19782 by Ion Constantine Laskaris

Nice try. I started to read, and for a moment thought that you had done some serious research, and not just cherry-picked some facts. For a second I thought that I had overlooked something important enough to change my mind about the Middle East conflict. Then I read on… to my sad disappointment. Mr Laskaris, if you want to see the face of hate, you don’t have to go further than a bathroom mirror.

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By John Earl, August 24, 2006 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
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If Ira Chernus is right, before George W leaves stage right, there may be a major blowup in the Middle East that will put this one to shame. It sounds like a runaway train. And the Dems are likely to be on board. Maybe if the Dems were to gain a Congressional majority and impeach Bush that might save the day. “Fairy tales can come true…”?

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0824-32.htm

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By red bleeds the books -USA = Enron!, August 24, 2006 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment
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What one currency ” did ” you need to trade with other foreign nations?

What one currency ” do ” you need to trade with other foreign nations?

Along with who owns the oil, the next largest financial economic WORLD control of oil is what ?

Who controls what is in a basket of currency for each foreign nation?

Who controls what is in a countries reserve currency holdings?

wars are married to extreme higher prices in what indices and or products?

why are MORE americans than ever before falling into poverty?

why are higher paying jobs and professions leaving in ships to other countries of lower economic standards?

what are strong indicators of stagnation +  inflation = hyper-inflation?

w/ a paper and a # 2 pencil write down your answers.  check/b in 2 wks. for answers.

red voters consult your library

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By Jon B, August 24, 2006 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
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If there is another war in the mideast between Israel and one of the arab states, you can be rest assured that most of the DC politicians, republicans or democrats, would vote for it.

Time for voters to force candidates to manifest their positions before more unpleasant surprises to come.

There are enough bloodshed on earth. Lieberman is excluded perhaps.

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By John C, August 24, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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From ritzl:

I believe that we have to demonstrate that we can resolve the problems that we create.  Otherwise, as I, you, and others believe, we will be the pariah of the world for some time to come.  Especially the Islamic world.

How many more people need to die while the United States tries to “demonstrate that we can resolve the problems that we create” - and while things keep getting worse - not better!

As for being a pariah in the world we have already achieved that, and killing more people won’t change that either.

Like Israel, the United States needs to think about making serious amends before world hatred for us will change. But like Israel, we can’t see beyond our superpower arrogance.

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By rabblerowzer, August 24, 2006 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
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Democratic Party Oligarchy

What with Republicans rigging the general elections, and Democrats rigging the primaries, voters don’t have a chance of electing anyone they want. The Democratic Party Oligarchy decides on a candidate long before the voting begins, sabotages outsiders like Dean, and funnels money to their candidate. Which limits voters to voting for the establishment candidate, or not voting at all.

One way around this cunning Catch 22 is for voters to make their campaign contributions directly to their preferred candidate, and cut out the middlemen. Who gave these assholes the power to limit our voting rights?

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By John C, August 24, 2006 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #19782 by Ion Constantine Laskaris

How come that in your dissertation you don’t answer the question I posed?

Who the Hell gave the United States and Britain the right to give Palestine to Israel?

And, as for the Zionist Jews “buying” the Arab land, why didn’t you include an explanation of the covenant in the deed that said that the land could never be sold again to a non-Jew? I suppose that is a perfectly legitimate way to take over a country - according to you.

And finally, how come you don’t explain Israel’s refusal to abide by UN 242?

These are all convenient omissions, so characteristic of the ways Jews argue.

I was not aware that the Arabs drove Jews out of their countries (if true), and I certainly would not condone that. But it sure is understandable given the Israeli’s oppression of Arabs in their own land.

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By Mannstein, August 24, 2006 at 7:03 am Link to this comment
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Wrong again Bluestar, I’m no friend of the Republicans nor the Dems just a casual observer of the US political scene. There isn’t a party in this country that represents my interests. As far as Rove is concerned I can’t stand the man. The same goes for Kerry and the Clintons.

Just the other day on NPR there was a lefty that claimed Alger Hiss really wasn’t a spy and the Rosenbergs were framed. This inspite of what was revealed from the Soviet Archives for State Security (KGB) in the early 1990s. European lefties go so far as to insist the Katyn Massacres were committed by the Nazis inspite of the fact that Gorbachov addmitted to the Poles the deed was done by the NKVD. These people have been telling us such fairy tales since the 1940s.

FDR Administration was riddled with communists or communist sympathizers at the highest levels whether you like to admit it or not.

Get a life and move on.

Hope you have another good laugh but do so while you have your head in the sand.

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By John F. Butterfield, August 24, 2006 at 4:27 am Link to this comment
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If we can marginalize the warmongers in our country, it will help the citizens of other countries marginalize the terrorists.

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By ritzl, August 24, 2006 at 2:25 am Link to this comment
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I agree with your outrage Mr. Scheer, but I have to say that the quandry of the “get out now” sentiment is that in so doing we consign hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to death.

Would this not be the left’s complicity in the ongoing US “interfere and let them sort it out” foreign policy with respect to Iraq in the last 25 years?

To be honest, I don’t know the right answer.  But I would suggest that it is not as simple as “withdraw now.”

Perhaps more then less, or Bagdhad stable first, or some other such mantra/milestone would be more appropriate to showing the Arab and Islamic world that the vagaries of US power/media/elections don’t always have to lead to butchery.

I believe that we have to demonstrate that we can resolve the problems that we create.  Otherwise, as I, you, and others believe, we will be the pariah of the world for some time to come.  Especially the Islamic world.

Keep up the good fight.  You are on the right side.

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By Wanda Marie Woodward, August 23, 2006 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
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“War on Terror” is a cover-up to hide the 90 year history of the U.S. plundering and pillaging other countries for their mineral and natural resources and, as a result, the culmination of these respective countries’ vengeance for these avaricious foreign policies which all fall under some propaganda heading of “national security” or “war against terror”.  Read John Perkins’ book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Most people are still missing the root cause of Bush’s and Cheney’s agenda: imperialistic agenda to dominate the Middle East and, later the world, by controlling oil reserves.  Anyone heard of Oil Peak Theory?  Well, whether you believe it or not, it’s at least advisable that we educate ourselves on it.  Then decide for yourself if this doesn’t somehow explain (not justify, but explain) the irrational, imprudent, outrageously inept current foreign policy.  God help America if this is accurate:


http://www.peakoil.net/Publications/PeakOilSpclOrder#15TextCharts020806Low.pdf

http://wolf.readinglitho.co.uk/mainpages/introduction.html

http://www.gravmag.com/oil.html

http://www.energybulletin.net/index.php

http://www.theoildrum.com/

http://www.rense.com/general73/to9p.htm

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20-060726& articleId=2824

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By Steve Harrington, August 23, 2006 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment
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The problem is that the Democrats are as lazy and stupid as the Republicans (with the exception of Karl Rove) They pat each other on the back and agree that the war in Iraq should never have been started.  At least half of the Dems believed GW’s BS and voted for the undeclared war. They are sheep. They deserve the disrespect the Republicans are giving them. 
What we really need is solutions. Of course the Republican echo machine will attack anyone who suggests something besides “stay the course” but that is no excuse for not advancing any alternatives. 
I think that we should set up multiple green zones in Iraq and let the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds fight it out. Anyone who does not want to fight can stay in the green zone after being strip searched. Those outside the green zones should be encouraged to fight to the death. Once the infrastructure completely collapses and they are all starving, they will suddenly learn how to negotiate.

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By joe sullivan, August 23, 2006 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i didn’t realize—up until now—that “honesty” means agreeing with you, mr. scheer.

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, August 23, 2006 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As I view the media pros from a 60 year perspective and citizen comments in the blog world for the last 18 months, plus the impulse of most of our voters to choose moral trash for their president, (Crook Nixon twice and almost a third time), plus the moral degenerate and illegal trash we have now,or stupid clowns and puppets like Ike and Reagan, not to mention second-rate Democrats, it strikes me the curse of
Empire is too devious and complex for any people to cope with.

Even the empires under British, French, and Italian forms of democratic rule as well as our very own quasi-Fascist American one, have been doomed to eventual collapse. 

The most recent spasm of virulent ignorance here and in western Europe is blaming the Jews and Israel for the latest barrage of Arab attacks to exterminate them. In the 1930s, most observers of
those Nazi “Nightmare Years” blamed the victims,
not the evil-doers for not appeasing Hitler.

Only the concentration camp corpses and few survivors woke us all up for awhile. A case in point of the latest surge of intellectual rabies based on invincable rabies are the outcries, like John C’s about the Jews and “the injustice they have imposed” on the poor Palestinians.

This citizen may not be an anti-semite but he is certainly the victim of a complete Arab propaganda brainwash. This is historical drivel.

For one thing many rich Arabs sold much of their
land to Jewish immigrants from 1870 to 1945 at very high prices. In 1947, many Arabs, at the urging of their Imams rushed East across the river Jordan to wait for King Abdullah’s “Arab Legion” to drive the Jews into the sea, and seize their lands for free. A retired British general
led this Arab scum.

After their defeat, and the creation of Israel in
1948, over the next ten years every Arab nation from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Iraq expelled their Jewish populations, robbed them of their property and wealth, and even ransomed the
wealthy forcing them to pay to escape.

Many of them came to Israel. This caused the swift rise of Jewish population over two million.
Later migrations from the U.S., eastern Europe and
the eternally anti-semitic Soviet Union plus the
increased birth rates has raised this population to more than five million.

John C. and others like him should read the UNRRA
reports, and a dozen books like Joan Peter’s “From
Time Immemorial” recommended by Barbara Tuchman + many others, “The Arab Mind” by Raphael Patai, and the work of Bernard Lewis to begin to get a purchase on the truth of this vicious and devious Arab history from 630 AD to this very day.

Most tribes on this earth, including the Greeks with their “Trojan Horse” around 1200 B.C. are quickly capable of slaughter, conquest and perpet- ual deceit. But,in my judgement,only degenerate Arabs swimming in oil money, and the rest of the pro-intifada Moslem world matches the murderous record of Nazi lies and evil conduct. Yes, of course, Stalin and the Soviet regime were an exercise in evil too.     

As for our own Fascist/Republican regime here,
yes it is an “Axis of Evil” as well. But that’s another bedtime nightmare story…

Ion C. Laskaris, Burlington,Vt. + iclrevusa.com

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By zenseeker, August 23, 2006 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well spoken Robert, the battle to take back America will be long and hard…I came up with some rules for myself and:

The 11 criterias to pick up the Sledge Hammer:

  * 1.  When words no longer have their intended meaning.
  * 2.  When logic and civility fall on deaf ears.
  * 3.  When carefull reasoning is disregarded.
  * 4.  When proof and evidence is no longer trusted.
  * 5.  When scientific standards and results can be easily bought.
  * 6.  When lies and deceit become accepted forms of behavior and is consistently rewarded.
  * 7.  When truth is a weakness or opening to be exploited.
  * 8.  When justice for all is no longer blind.
  * 9.  When honor is only for the weak and timid.
  * 9.  When hypocricy no longer needs a pretense.
  * 10.  When there is no longer shame in selling yourself to the highest bidder.
  * 11.  And, when that person no longer hear or see anyone else but themselves.

When these things start to happen around me, that when I take out the sledge hammer.  The difference in me is when they start to listen, I plan to put it back.

Try these flash games here http://zenwire.com

Throw knives at Ann Coulter:  http://zenwire.com/flashmedia-anncoulter.php

Slap Newt Gingrich before he starts WW3: http://zenwire.com/slapnewtgingrich.php

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, August 23, 2006 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OCPatriot—your political analysis is excellent.

This is the REAL war on terror:  Iraqi oil

•  No-bid contracts for Halliburton and friends

•  The installation of multiple U.S military bases in the region

•  Installation of a puppet government in control of Iraq  

•  To reconfigure the Middle East geopolitically

•  To gain strategic control over Iraq’s—and the surrounding territory’s—hydrocarbon reserves to establish a cabal-based energy market to replace OPEC

•  To maintain the U.S. dollar as the monopoly currency for the critical international oil market

All the other stuff, is just psychobabble phrases and slogans designed to fool and confuse the public-—Islamo-fascists; evil doers; axis of evil; asymmetrical warfare—it’s all a load of “crap.” 

Speaking of which did you hear the latest news story—Animal House in the West Wing

“He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we’re learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he’s still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can’t get enough of fart jokes. He’s also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forgets about getting people to gas about that.”

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/articles/060820/28whisplead.htm

http://www.heavy.com/heavy.php?channel=stinkyBush&partner=aff31

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By HIPPIE JIM, August 23, 2006 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THERE’S ONLY ONE PARTY AND IT DOESN’T REPRESENT ME OR YOU!

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By Blue Star, August 23, 2006 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was reading Mannstein’s post and it gave me the best laugh I have had in a long time.  “Liberals think of Stalin in glowing terms.”  Do you write for Rove.  Hilarious stuff, as good or better than anything Cheney or Rove come up with to demean and destroy anyone to the left of Attila the Hun.

Thanks for the laugh, I always appreciate good humor.

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By John C, August 23, 2006 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Ed tru Lib

<<Last note to all the John C.s out there-sure some of you are sincere in your stupidity or anti-semitism, but how many of you are REPUBLICAN moles, or at least trolls?>>

I’m sure not a Republican mole, and I’m not an anti-Semite either. And I’m not realy an anti-Israeli either.

My position on Israel is that its legitimacy is extemely questionable. Who the hell gave Britain and the United States the right to give Palestine to Israel. They should have carved out prime land in Germany for the Jewish State. The Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust. And their claim to have been given the land of Palestine by God is something only a Jew could believe.

Add to that the fact that the UN, the agency that created Israel, and is Israel’s only claim to legitimacy, demands In Resolution 242) that Israel’s borders are the borders established in 1948, and that Israel must return to those borders, because. under international law, land seized by war is not legitimate.

But they are there, and the fundamenmtal wrong done to the Palestinians can no longer be reversed. So what would a fair, sensible, and logical country do after sixty years of deadly Palestinian and Arab resistance and terror against them?

In my opinion, any decent country in that situation would (and should) realize that their only hope for future peace and security lies in trying to be a good neighbor to the people they have harmed and oppressed. And they should make amends for all the injustice done and caused by them, by withdrawing to their only legal borders, abandon all of the illegal settlements, and allow all of the refugees from their own terrorist acts in 1948 to return and reclaim their homes, or at least pay them compensation.

However, I find the Israelis as a whole, incapable of seeing the injustice they have imposed, stubbornly and greedily hanging onto their ill begotten land grabs, and willing to continue to bear the terror that is used against them , terror that will never stop.

Yes, I guess I am anti-Israel but for good and logical reason - but I also feel sorry for the Israelis who have suffered for so many years under such bad and stupid leadership - just as we are now suffering under Bush.

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By rachelle, August 23, 2006 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer’s (author of this article) attempt at “honesty with the public” and Lieberman’s concern with an “enemy more evil or as evil as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War,” leaves a lot to be desired. Look inwards, angel…

I have been spittin’ angry with the U.S. of A. since Vietnam, retroactively since Hiroshima, etc., when I became aware of the issues. I am not anti-American (I know many fine folks), but I have had it with the PROJECTING that the US does with respect to other nations. The U.S. is frequently the aggressor, if not in overt, then in covert ways, and has been so inclined since its inception.

To the minds of many nations, the U.S. is the dominant factor, for lack of a better word. There can be no enemy greater than the U.S. So if instead of spreading conflict and discontent, it attempted to build the infrastructure of countries at war, the whole world would magically quiet down…

There is no enemy, only people in need. Stop the fucking warring, already!!! Start BUILDING. And don’t give me that crap about an “enemy more evil or as evil as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War.”

It’s an attitude problem.

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By darby1936, August 23, 2006 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lieberman should have shut up while he was 12 points ahead. He’s been all over cable trying to sell his pig in a poke (Iraq). He can’t put enough lipstick on that pig though and he’s now down to a statisctical dead heat. Keep talking HoJo, you’re the best weapon Ned has.

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By felicity smith, August 23, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not only is patriotism the last refuge of a scoundrel, attacking another’s patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  The invectives hurled at those who suggest that the US get out of Iraq, are nothing more than name calling.  If you’re losing an argument, attack the personal integrity of your opponent. Aside from that unproductive nonsense, Stay the Course is now the be-all-end-all of Bush’s Iraq policy. If anyone can detect a strategy in staying the course, let’s hear it.  Originally justification for attacking Iraq was to get rid of Sadaam.  That accomplished, the justification for staying in Iraq was a democratic election.  That was accomplished. (As far as creating an Iraqi police force to keep the peace, that seems to be going the way of a Sisyphusian enterprise.) Now the Republican cry is a “failed” Iraq will be a haven for terrorists. Prior to our invasion, it was not a haven but now that we’ve made it one, which is arguable, we have to stay. Does anyone else get the feeling that the Bush administration never had any intention of getting out of Iraq once it was in?  Who in his right mind would walk away from all that divine oil?

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By Ion Constantine Laskaris, August 23, 2006 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of all the ridiculous notions aired by media types
this year, Scheer’s idea that squabbling Demmies must get their act together over Iraq is one of the dumbest. First of all, every DLC political whore in D.C. also depends on the same Mr.& Mrs Rich Bitchs and corporations as the Fascist/ Republican scum and are equally corrupt.

The lies and propaganda of the reactionaries will always persuade ignorant Americans to vote for moral trash at every level. And Diebold and other
election stealing schemes in Florida and Ohio will guarantee Republican outcomes.

Even if Demmies get elected, shit is still shit no
matter what the label. The best thing patriotic citizens can do now is to kill off a Democrat party degenerate since 1840. Do’nt vote for its shit or its stupid intellectual liberal castrati ass- licking to the capitalist system.

Once the country is looted and totally collapsed,
our people might create a new Republic. But I think they lack the moral fiber to do so.

It is true we have a war on a degenerate Moslem nation of Islam. But we have a far more destruct- ive “Axis of Evil” in our own capitalist society. Compared to these two challenges, what happens or
fails to happen in a fake “Iraq” invented by the
British Empire after WWI does not matter a damn.

Scheer needs to educate himself more fully on the
destiny of this globe. Hobsbawm’s “The Age of Extremes” is as good as any place to start.

Ion C. Laskaris, Burlington,Vt + iclrevusa.com

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By Mannstein, August 23, 2006 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You still doesn’t get it. Uncle Joe Stalin made A. Hitler look like a boy scout yet the West allied itself with that mass murderer without batting an eyelash. Stalin was responsible for 60 million deaths according to “The Black Book of Communism”. In the meantime liberals still think of him in glowing terms. Maybe 60 million non Jewish victims   aren’t worth the fingernail of a Jew as a Rabbi claimed not so long ago.

The US is forever backing the most despicable dictators for political reasons. Iraq was supplied WMD by Rumsfeld personally when Saddam fought against Iran. Suddenly he is the new Hitler.

Give us all a break.

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By Leo Belldaere, August 23, 2006 at 11:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Independent Joe is no Democrat.  Hillarity is no Democrat.  They are DINOs, so far in the pockets of corporations that they couldn’t see real Democratic values if their political lives depended on it…

How marvellous!

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By Druthers, August 23, 2006 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are there any politiciens left who tell the truth, or even know what the truth is? Perhaps a handful, but that helps explain why voters are avid for new voices that have not been sucked into the black hole of Washington.
As long as lobbists rule it will be utopist to expect much other than more of what we are getting.
Lieberman is just a symptom that brought the problem to light for a wider public—and the last word always goes to the clinking of coins.

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By Dan Noel, August 23, 2006 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

450,000 troops? It is fair to consider this as a minimal count of U.S. troops that would keep Iraq under the U.S. boot, but avoiding a civil war and restoring the confidence of the Iraqi public in the United States will probably require much more: that our military stop behaving like an occupying force and instead focus on serving and protecting Iraqi civilians, like a police force would do.

Needless to say, this would force our military personnel to radically alter their cultural belief that their lives are more important than anybody else’s in Iraq, and embrace a call to sacrifice themselves to save Iraqis. The body counts would quickly reflect the change: at this point, U.S. soldiers count their dead by the thousand, Iraqi civilians count theirs by the tens of thousands; there is a good possibility that the numbers would get swapped.

In other words, our military can probably restore the prestige of our great nation, gain the confidence of ordinary Iraqis, get the oil flowing, and perhaps, who knows, even give birth to a genuine democracy in an Arab country, with Western countries in awe at the U.S. resolve.

However, it may be time to remember Saddam Hussein’s reported taunt to some high-ranking U.S. official before his invasion of Kuwait that the United States could not afford to lose 10,000 men in a single battle.

So, our nation is probably capable of pacifying Iraq as many of our political leaders want us to believe, but it would be a big mistake to omit to budget a high amount of U.S. military blood in the operation.

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By OCPatriot, August 23, 2006 at 11:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By the way, why is the headline on your piece “War on Terror”?  How many times do we have to be reminded? There is no (quote) “war on terror” (unquote). It is a stupid statement, and Ill explain why in a moment. I dont mean that as a pejorative. And to repeat it, or give it any credence, is to help spread a lie, a deliberate attempt at propaganda, or a statement by a person who does not know what he or she is talking about. I find that the newspapers and television, as well as blogs on the internet, all use the phrase war on terror and it does everyone a disservice. Google alone states that there are 137,000,000 references to this phase.

When our President, George Bush, says those words, he is talking non-sense. So is anyone else using these words. The words are inflammatory, and their ultimate effect often deliberately to cause people to suspend any rational judgment about the things the speaker wants to do because of this so-called War on Terror. When rational judgment is suspended, people will do anything no matter how ineffective it is because of the emotional mind-clouding power, and the fear it gives rise to, when such meaningless words are used.

It is also extremely sloppy journalism to repeat this phase, except as a direct quote, because it is meaningless. It is as meaningless as war on laziness or the war on weather. Journalists seem never to have heard of semantics, or an abstraction ladder, a key concept in semantics (well worth looking at), both of which deal with the meaning of words and how their use affects us.

Right now, we as a country are involved in a number of situations, some dangerous, some not, one or two very separate wars, some diplomatic efforts, and a very diverse set of circumstances that may possibly threaten our way of life, and we, as a country, appear to be afraid of a number of diversified groups of people who reside in various countries. We are also, as a country, possibly threatened in a number of ways by a number of countries, as opposed to small scattered groups of people. All of these have been lumped together into a catch phrase that is entirely meaningless, namely a “war on terror.”

If we can define what these groups and countries are and distinguish how they differ from one another, it can help us to understand what were doing, why were doing it, and what the characteristics of all this mixed up war on terror might really mean. This, of course, immediately implies that there is no one single opponent against whom we can wage war, but instead presents a variety of different situations, some more dangerous than others, each of them requiring that we handle them, as best we can, in different ways if we want to reduce any threat they pose.

(I)The first group of people that we claim to be fighting with is a vaguely defined group, once led by a man named Bin Laden, that calls itself Al Qaeda. It appears to be based in Afghanistan, but may have spread to various other countries. It is a loosely-knit, guerrilla group that dislikes the West, vaguely defined as European and American countries. We dont know nearly enough about it to be at war with this group because it is so diffuse, and it is all too easy to confuse it with other groups at times. It is not certain that its leaders are alive or have control over this group because it is so diffuse. Originally, it was most probably responsible for the event known as 9/11. We, as a country under President Bush, claim to be fighting this group but appear to have lost interest in pursuing this group forcefully.

The number of deaths of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in this first military operation is 255 with 765 injured as of January 2006, as tracked by Wikipedia. I cite this figure in sharp contrast to the number of U.S. troops killed in the next military effort, still going on today, in Iraq which was 2,299 U.S. soldiers killed and 33,094 seriously injured as of March 2006 (cited at the site http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspxhttp://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx). The disparity between Afghanistan and Iraq, in terms of dead and casualties is very revealing about what is being emphasized.

(II)The second group that we were fighting was the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. It was a war declared by President Bush, with no real resistance from Congress. The enemy was a vague one mainly the dictator, Saddam Hussein, who somehow had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and was linked vaguely to terrorists, the same ones named in Afghanistan as being Al Qaeda. None of these reasons has proven to be true. I repeat: None of the reasons given for this war have been proven to be true. As cited above, more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq as a result of this war. Because of what the President and his Administration have been saying, and repeating as a mantra, according to many surveys, many people in the U.S. believe, irrationally, that this war is being fought as a war on terror. This is simply not an accurate or true statement.

Our troops really arent fighting terror or terrorists here. They are actually intervening in an internal conflict that has been going on for a long time back to when England and Winston Churchill was involved. I will add that there have been instances of non-Iraqi individuals crossing the border into Iraq from Syria and Iran to attack American military forces, and some of these individuals may be linked to Al Qaeda, but that is not the biggest part of the problem. In fact, because of our invasion of Iraq and our destruction of the status quo, by eliminating Saddam Hussein, it may be that we have opened a whole new breeding ground for, and encouraged, these individuals to learn how to operate successfully and conduct terrorist operations.  Iraq thus appears to be involved in a civil war of Sunnis versus Shiites, with Kurds protecting their interests, and some outsiders conducting guerilla terrorist operations aimed at fomenting unrest and driving the U.S. forces out. We cannot be involved in a war on terror here because there are at least four separate parties here, and it isnt always clear who is doing what to hurt or kill whom.

(III)A third arena whom we are not fighting is North Korea, a dictatorship that is working to build an atomic bomb capability. This country is a military threat to South Korea because it possesses a huge standing army of more than a million soldiers. It is a country with a well-defined government, not a loosely organized group of individuals. We have not declared war on them, nor have they declared war on the U.S. But for some reason, at times, they have been included in this war on terror.

(IV)A fourth arena that is also sometimes referred to under the mantra of war on terror is Iran. Iran is the largest country in the Middle East, with a government that is primarily run by its religious right. They may provide a place for Al Qaeda and other groups which dislike the U.S. for various reasons to develop and train members. We are not at war with Iran, and they are not at war with us. But, for some reason, they also have been lumped into this war on terror.

(V)There are other places in the world, such as South America and the Philippines, that have been also lumped into this war on terror, but, again, we have not declared war on them nor have they declared war on the U.S. Numerous groups, some of which hate the U.S. and some involved in insurgencies against their existing government, have the earmarks of terrorists in that they conduct underground operations, kill people indiscriminately, have loose organizations, may or may not be linked to other similar organizations.

It is very important, unlike our President and his “war on terror”, to separate different types of terrorists (a very maligned word) into specific and different groups. So we are not at war with all of the groups Ive mentioned. We couldnt be. Many of them have no government for us to declare war on. It is sloppy use of communication to say that we are engaged in a war on terror when we really need to understand that there are many such groups around the world, each separate and different, each requiring different tactics, each posing a different type of threat (in some cases, no threat) to our country.

Please remember that next time you hear these words. If you understand what has been said here, you will be able to determine how absurd such a claim is (war on terror) and look at what the person saying these words is really trying to do. He or she may be trying to scare you so you dont think clearly; he or she may be pushing an agenda to take rights away from you; he or she may be saying such words to get elected again; or to be considered patriotic or strong or effective. Always listen to the words and match them to the actions. The outcome may surprise you and open your eyes to what is actually going on.

Lumping all terrorists together, as the fear factor causes people to do, only blinds them to what is a complex situation and decreases the chance that any effective action can be taken.

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By Robert Nelson, August 23, 2006 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Read Matt Taibbi’s column “Road Rage” about
Lieberman in Rolling Stone. Lieberman feels his Senate seat is his personal fiefdom.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/10963174/lieberman_bushs_favorite_democrat

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By OCPatriot, August 23, 2006 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bob, if I understand you properly, you’re suggesting that the Democrats, if they are to win, must speak with a single voice, proclaim a unified message, about Iraq and ultimately about what we as a nation need to face the world.  Unfortunately, there is no strong leader, or party structure, or discipline to make this happen at this time.  Some Democrats are ashamed about how easily they were led into sanctioning the war in Iraq; some are willing to recant; some don’t know how to explain what happened on their watch (even though they were the minority party).  I am perplexed and appalled at how disorganized the Democrats are as a political party; it is each man or woman for himself.  Hillary can’t seem to join forces with Dean; Lamont is out there battling Lieberman without support from Bill; just two examples.  Underlying this, I have noticed that the rank and file appears to hope that the Republicans will self-destruct and lose races because of their own stupid actions, very passive indeed, and very much above the dirty hands and personal work that individuals can do to ensure the outcome they desire.  So it’s whistling in the wind, as far as I’m concerned.  Maybe the upcoming push by the Republicans will be for a “draft” to enlist young men and women in the fight and this will mobilize Democrats; but I tend to think it will happen after, not before, the election (after the Republicans have again won enough to be a majority).  Sometimes a leader emerges from nowhere, and takes the reins, but I haven’t seen any signs of one.  Have you?

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By ALAN, August 23, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now with Lieberman gone who will protect me and my future children from video games and televsion? Thank god he lost.

Any fellow dems. a little scared that the democratic party is once again lacking the “eye of a tiger” that led Rocky to victory in part 2,3,4,5, and possibly 6? If we, they can’t muster even a dirty look at Liebermans way they will be wtfpwned (internet speak meaning they will get beat, badly) by the GOP when they start to wade into the fight.

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By Michael, August 23, 2006 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it humorous that a flaming lib like you, Mr. Scheer, would try to put on the cloak of reasonableness and studied intelligence just to break the deal by not being able to contain your hyperbole.

Time to face facts.  Lieberman will win easily in CT and Lamont will soon be forgotten.  Already far-lefties like Josh Marshall are calling for you anti-war types to abandon Ol’ Ned as a hopeless cause - precisely because he is so hopeless.

Joe will win alright and ranting nut cases like you will ensure that he will be driven further away from the party he chooses - the hapless jackasses - and into the arms of the awaiting elephants.  Add to that the increasing poll numbers for Santorum - with momentum, and the fact that the entire state of California is out of the picture for gaining any seats in the House, and you can see that you’ll be left standing out in the morning fog on Market street, scratching your ass, wondering what happened.

And then, when the party is in as much disarray as possible - anybody say “Dean’s gotta go?” we will be ready for 2008 and the donkeys will again be on the outside looking in.  As Howie Cosell once said, “Down Goes Frazier!!!”

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By x, August 23, 2006 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Expecting the Corporate/DLC/AIPAC owned and controlled Democrats to tell the truth to the public is pretty much like waiting for hell to freeze over. Voters who are fed up with the Democrats and their long record of lying to the public can vote for Green Party candidates in most states this year. To find out more go to: http://www.greencommons.org.

Why not skip the middleman and go ahead and vote facist Republican?  That’s exactly what Greens and Naderites have accomplished—putting that fucking chimp in the White House.

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