Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Liberal penance about Iraq?

Mark Brown, an opponent of the war in Iraq (and Bush) begins to ask himself some tough questions after having watched the brave Iraqis vote. Could Bush be right about Iraq? What, then do we Liberals do? Some kind of penance, he suggests. I’d like the New York Times to ask itself similar questions. Perhaps in an editorial? I’m waiting.

Discussions - 14 Comments

Mark Brown did not go to Iraq, so he can’t tell for sure what this election looked like. In a few years we may all realize that the election in Iraq was not as democratic as many Republicans like to present it.

As for me, I feel that W. is evil and no lousy election in Iraq will change my mind. The war in Iraq was wrong and many innocent people died because American President and his team of crooks lied about WMDs.

Personally, I would not want to have another country decide when the election in my country should take place and how it would be conducted. I would not want to go to the election booth risking my life. So,
no penance from this girl.

W. never apologized for lying and for sending young American boys and girls to die for him. Why should we, his opponents, feel any need for penanace...

Personally, I would not want to have another country decide when the election in my country should take place and how it would be conducted. I would not want to go to the election booth risking my life.

Those are mighty big words coming from someone who never lived under a genocidal tyrant. Obviously, the Iraqis have a different view than you do.

ANIA - WOW. I don’t think your head could get any deeper in the sand. As I read your post, you basically say the facts mean nothing to you, you hate Bush, and nothing will change your view of this. So, the question I ask you (and others I meet like you) is...why should anyone care what you have to say or think? If any discussion ends with "Bush is evil", it doesn’t matter what is said. A cup of coffee is proof to you that Bush is evil. A dog barking is proof, the sunrise seals the deal. You have declared yourself entirely thoughtless on the matter. All roads lead to "Bush is evil". I guess that makes the job of critical thinking pretty easy on you. Way to go.

Isn’t quite ironic and instructive in a manner, that the very people who howled for Bush to admit he made a mistake can not bring themselves to admit a huge mistake on their own part. Even Mr. Brown writes"we need not conceed ethe point yet." Take your time Mark. We will be waiting ( but not holding our breathe ).

Ania:



President George W. Bush (as far as I know) is a pretty devout, Christian man who believes that he is doing something great and beneficial for the world and for our country. Evil? Do you really think HE is evil??? I think that’s a little over-the-top.



However, I understand the frustration. I’m frustrated with the war also. But, from one liberal to another, does that mean that we shouldn’t be happy the Iraqis have a democracy now? I mean, I think that Bush really rushed into Iraq without a lot of the support he needed (I know that practically this entire blog disagrees with me, but before you start refuting, let me make my point :-D), but the Iraqis are now MUCH more free than they were under the rule of Hussein. Does that mean such democracy should have been given to them from an invasion by us? Heh. In my opinion, no. But the fact is, they have it now and we should be happy for them. I think we have to, at the least, admit that.



Mr. Maxwell is right. If we find out tomorrow that Saddam really DID have Weapons of Mass Destruction and was going to use them on the United States the DAY AFTER we invaded (with infallible proof), there would be people who wouldn’t believe it. Or who, at least, would have too much pride to admit that George W. Bush was right (ouch . . . that hurt just to say in speculation).



So, Ania, as much as I commend you for posting your thoughts on this blog of very learned, conservative people, I think that you need to re-evaluate your opinions on our President (that doesn’t mean love him to death . . . just maybe not think he’s evil or hate him). God help us if John Paul Stevens dies. Heh. :-D

Ania Feministka:

Gary said it best when he said, "You have declared yourself entirely thoughtless on the matter."

I was about to start to refute every close-minded thing you said. But then I caught myself. There is no need to waste perfectly reasonable (whether or not they are right is debateable) opinions on someone who is actually, believe it or not, incapable of hearing my through. However I would like to say one thing.

"As for me, I feel that W. is evil and no lousy election in Iraq will change my mind. The war in Iraq was wrong and many innocent people died because American President and his team of crooks lied about WMDs." Dubya is evil, then? So, saving thousands of innocent civilian lives is evil? And this is a lousy election? Would you rather live in a free country (where you are allowed to say the things you have said, degrading the government) or in a country where if you say these things, they will silence you. By death. Without hesitation. You also said, "many innocent people died." I shall stop now before I myself die from exasperation.

Matt Mingus says "Evil? Do you really think HE is evil??? I think that’s a little over-the-top. " No, Matt, it’s not a little over-the-top. It’s so far over the top she has slid down the other side of the mountain. Happy landing, Mzz Feministka.

If George W. Bush is evil, it isn’t for going into Iraq, it is for the Clinton style nation building afterwards. When the Democrats and the French start doing penance this should wake us, past animosities and different political parties aside I believe Hillary Clinton honestly likes Bush’s policies. George W Bush has embraced in both his domestic and his foreign policy a level of altruism that democrats could never have breathed into the concept of liberty. Case in point from the second inaugural: "In America’s ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service and mercy and a heart for the weak."

Now it could be argued that freedom is a different concept from liberty, but Bush also says:"Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another." but what else does liberty mean? Liberty describes negative rights those things which we cannot give up when joining a state of civil society, those areas that are left open to the individual for independent action. Either we have rights, rights to live our life as we see fit, or we must put away our earthly goals for the satiation of the first pauper we encounter. But has not GWB co-opeted the democrats here? "we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear and make our society more prosperous and just and equal." We will make our society more equal by holding that freedom is only good when it is enobled by "service and mercy and a heart for the weak." Bush’s nation building affair in Iraq has been nothing but a huge welfare program, at a much greater cost, and to less avail than his post september 11 promise to respond with force to terrorists. Bush then says: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran and the varied faiths of our people." Am I making this up?

President Bush’s positive mentioning of the Koran as a backbone of self-government, while we are at war with Islamicists?

Unfortunately I am not kidding, and is this surprising from a man who never named the enemy clearly and unequivocally? A man who instead of rainning down artillery on Islamicist Iran instead attacked Iraq with more concern for damaging a mosque and inflaming public opinion as opposed to the lives of american troops. American troops who built hospitals and roads and parks so that a new type of welfare statism could be brought to the Arab world.

And that new welfare statism is religious welfare statism. Today the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that one defends the welfare state on secular grounds and the other defends it on religious grounds. Democrats who are good welfare statist need to do penance for supposing that Bush was not going to deliver to them what they could not have gainned themselves. Democrats need to do penance for supposing that he was going to cut government or fail to mention social security as a right. "In America’s ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act and the G.I. Bill of Rights." Translation: The Republican Party is now the party of FDR’s "four freedoms." The only reason that a Democrat shouldn’t do penance for misunderestimating GWB is if they are a career politician who is now forced to either lose his job or argue against a "God" that most americans believe exists for the simple matter of differentiating himself. (by the way this is the real reason the democrats are so confused and don’t know what to stand for.)

All Liberals should do pennance, especially those few classical liberals who believe in a different definition and basis for freedom, those who believe in America’s right to defend itself selfishly without establishing welfare states in the aftermath these same few who voted for George W. Bush because they believed he was on the side of Freedom and Liberty and not grand scale compromise. To these few a rational reason for considering GWB Evil presents itself: for at least the next 50 years, it is inconceivable that a political party in the United States will even think of liberty or freedom in a non-statist way. It may even be possible that the language of liberty will perish so that in the future all that can be conceptualised are the statist notions of the four freedoms, perhaps made poetic by religious allusions.

Matt,

Neither you or I know what’s really going on in Bush’s heart and mind regarding his own religious beliefs. I don’t think it’s productive or constructive to debate Bush’s status as "evil" or not. Pointless in general, but especially here, where those running the blog are constantly working themselves into a frenzy over Bush’s big, kind, virtuous heart, seemingly about to explode with Christ-like compassion. A case could be made that Christ’s behavior would’ve been much different if he were in Bush’s shoes, but that’s neither here nor there.

Also, I think you’re much too quick to accept the idea (I’m tempted to call it "the bait") that because there was an election of some sort (although it was a far cry from what most Americans would recognize as one if they themselves had to participate in it) that, snap, just like that, Iraqis "have a democracy now." I won’t ask you if you’d say that American democracy was still intact if you had to fear for your life on the way to the polls, with an occupying army (which had no schedule or deadline for departing) on the streets. Of course, any country that wanted to invade and occupy us for purposes of "liberation" would have a difficult case to make in comparing Bush to Hussein. But I wonder what the definitive standards for "democracy" and "freedom" would be among the Ashbrook types if China had invaded ANY other country, under false pretenses of pre-emptive protective attack, and then had a military presence of 150,000+ troops on the occupied’s streets to oversee the glorious exercise in "democracy." I’d predict head-shaking and hand-wringing from the Ashbrookers, and it’d be a rare instance where I would be in full agreement with them. When Poles were embracing true democracy (with the help of the Reagan-approved Solidarity party) in 1989, there was at least no presence of Soviet troops in Poland for their elections. Had that been the case, I suspect Reagan would have insisted on their speedy removal for REAL democracy to take root. And I would have agreed with him.

Other things to consider:


A majority of current Iraqi cabinet ministers are themselves U.S. or U.K. citizens.

Iraq’s oil revenues are deposited in the U.S.-dominated Development Fund, and will continue to be for at least the next 5 years.

No secret is made of the fact that Iyad Allawi has been a paid CIA agent for years. He also co-founded the Iraqi National Accord, a group which conducted terrorist attacks of its own, including bomb blasts of a crowded theater and a bus carrying schoolkids. So much for you’re either with us or with the terrorists.

Iraqis can embrace democracy, but not when the nation is effectively a puppet state for the U.S.

Christopher Stone - I don’t want to risk your death by exasperation (seriously, even the NLT blog isn’t THAT important!), but would you seriously deny that many innocent Iraqis (as in, civilians) have been killed as a result of recent American military actions in Iraq??

The election in Iraq was not democratic and people who think that it was are just way too optimistic and delusional.
With Bush it is going to be like with Stalin - I mean in a few years history will judge him harshly. I believe in that and if I am wrong then maybe in that distant future I will do my penance. We will see.

Ania - Like I say, who cares what you think. It’s all born out of "Bush is evil". The conclusion is made, and as you see events in the world, you cherry pick the ones that support your conclusion. You even go so far as to predict future events to support today’s conclusion that "Bush is evil". ("I mean in a few years history will judge him harshly.") How in the world can you know this? I know, it’s just an opinion, and you are welcome to it. But, the conslusion is already made, so the opinion is meaningless.

The same things were said of Reagan. During his time, he was said to be evil, a war-monger, stupid, a dottering old man, and on and on. When he passed, the respect and appreciation for him, here in California, the land of the liberal voter, was an unbelievable sight to be seen.

While the liberal wing of America is defining an unrealistic success in Iraq a the perfect Jeffersonian democracy installed without effort (with zero violence, zero problems, zero messiness of any kind) Bush and his supporters will be realistic and see this event as a step to a stable and free Middle East, peaceful and quiet in the years to come. By then, penance will not be asked of folks like you. We will simply ask you finally just be quiet and accept what is.

Any comparison between Bush and Stalin is absurd. Grow up.

Iraqis can embrace democracy, but not when the nation is effectively a puppet state for the U.S.

Of course, now that elections have been successfully pulled off, this is the Left’s new line of defense. Any regime that is not Saddam’s, or is not an Iranian-style Islamic Republic--in other words, any regime that is not anti-American--must not be legitimate in Iraq.

P Wallace-

"Christopher Stone - I don’t want to risk your death by exasperation (seriously, even the NLT blog isn’t THAT important!), but would you seriously deny that many innocent Iraqis (as in, civilians) have been killed as a result of recent American military actions in Iraq??" Of course Iraqi civilians have died as a result of American activities in Iraq. I did not mean to imply otherwise. However, the difference between Saddam Hussein’s army and the United States’ army is that ours does not target civilians. Of course civilians are going to die as a result of war, that is inevitable. It is also most regrettable. However, we do not TARGET them. We do not mean to kill them. Mistakes happen.

John Moser-

"Of course, now that elections have been successfully pulled off, this is the Left’s new line of defense. Any regime that is not Saddam’s, or is not an Iranian-style Islamic Republic--in other words, any regime that is not anti-American--must not be legitimate in Iraq." Nicely put. That is exactly how the Left has been acting in the few days since the election in Iraq. There is one word for this type of behavior: whining. Democrats are upset that Bush won. And that he is doing great things. They are angered that the man that "everyone" is supposed to hate has won the election.

Of course he won! Apparently the majority of America saw the need for a strong, balanced, compassionate, ethical leader. Especially in times of crises. War is not pretty. People die. But sometimes it is a "necessary evil." Clearly the majority of Americans think this, judging by the fact that Bush got re-elected.

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