Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Sheehan

I’ve wanted to stay far away from the Sheehan protest, which is generating more heat than light, but someone on a discussion thread noted the absence of any Sheehan-related analysis on NLT. Okay, I offer as Exhibit One James Lileks’ column, which is a pretty hard hit on the latest media darling.

Discussions - 56 Comments

Here is my take on the situation:

It is sad when people lose their loved ones in war but that does not make anything you care to say morally absolute. Only actually being right can do that for you. In the end the point is that having a son or daughter die in Iraq does not elevate one to the level of being morally absolute. If you believe Ms. Sheehan is morally absolute because her son died then you must also believe that Mr. Griffin is morally absolute for the same reason. Yet their points of view are practically opposite. How can you have two opposing views both be morally absolute? You can’t. So you have two choices: 1)create a double standard in order to dismiss one of them or 2)find another path to the truth.


http://pubcrawler.blogspot.com/2005/08/morally-absolute.html

In my view, Mrs. Sheehan is engaged in projecting her grief...she’s not handling it well, and she’s blaming those whose fault she would like it to be. It’s a stupid thing to do, and brings disgrace to her family, but I guess she feels her own psychological needs outweight personal and familial dignity.

In my opinion it doesn’t matter what Ms. Sheehan says. She lost her child, and I hope that no one goes through that. Let’s not even argue if this is her taking advantage of her tragic life for her 15 minutes of fame. So let her go on and on, and ignore what she says, it’s just cathartic garbage...it makes her feel better. I would humbly submit that the conservative press ignore her and her rantings the way the liberal press has ignored the whole Air America scandal or the the Lacy Peterson-like case in Philadelphia.

Thank you, Steven, for posting this.

In my view, the point is not about Sheehan’s veracity, or whether she has made any mistakes in her life. She is not running for office.

Instead, the point is that she is achieving something that has been very difficult for some of us to express: While hawks and corporations claim one false motive for the war after another, watching the preceding claims fall like dominoes (WMD’s, yellowcake, terrorist training camps, links b/w Saddam and Bin Laden, Saddam is a bad man), there are those in the country who feel betrayed by their leaders.

Of course, no one wants to lose a child to war, or to any other cause. But, for those of us who do not trust the Bush Administration’s motives (with very good reason!) the solace of dignity and pride in a just cause that might have been due to people like Sheehan has been withheld.

This is the crime and the shame. We see Bush and his administration as owing this country a huge apology, and a debt that can never be repaid. Instead, we get more lies, and lame justifications for a pre-emptive war, and "If you are not with us, then you are against us."

What she wants is for Bush to confront the human loss and suffering that he has caused directly. A leader would not have to be asked for that. A leader would not have to be forced to do it.

Fung,



Just to get off on the right foot (because I haven’t had a chance to discuss things on this blog in a long time), I agree with you that there is excellent reason to distrust the Bush Administration. Maybe he should apologize (but that’s never going to happen). HOWEVER, Sheehan is going to hurt the Democrats and their cause . . . here’s why . . . :-D



Sheehan’s argument is extremely emotional. I’d guess this is why Dr. Hayward admitting to his attempt to "stay away" from it. It really says something about the desperation and weakness of leftist interest groups and the Democratic Party when they rally around a woman mourning the loss of her son.



I think it would be deplorable to use such an emotional appeal as the beginning of an anti-war, anti-conservative movement. I would be very disappointed if more Americans were swayed to the left by the death of soldiers than by actual ideological reasons. For example, during Vietnam, once the draft was activated, everybody suddenly started protesting and caring in massive numbers. It would happen again if Bush reinstated the draft. People should care and begin to raise questions and concerns BEFORE we take the actions that cause such direct, emotional, and "close-to-home" problems. Maybe I’m being too idealistic, but people swayed by such problems have, in my opinion, poor reasons for aligning themselves with the Left.



I guess I’m just worried that the Democrats (and their favorite interest groups and celebrities) are going to use this emotion and mourning to sway voters.



I don’t know. I’m tired. *sigh*

Hi Matt- I would share your worry if the emotion was not authentic or relevant. But a mother’s loss of her son is fundamental to the ethical considerations when war is considered! And not just American mothers, but all of the mothers in the coalition of the willing, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my view, this administration knows that wars are popular as long as we can thrill to the rumble of jet engines, and of tanks cruising the desert floor. But they keep us from seeing images of the dead precisely because they know how Americans will react, and how Americans SHOULD react!

We should NEVER lose sight of the very real fact that when the flags stop waving, and the flight suits come off, mothers will lose their sons.

Well, Steve, nice job at avoiding saying anything of your own. Lileks’ piece indicates to me that he should stick to hilarious evaluations of interior designs from the ’50s-’70s. "The Exploits and Exploitation of Cindy Sheehan"?? I love that part - "exploitation of." Sounds like a tv movie about a crackhead prostitute or a Playboy bunny. I wonder if we’ll hear the same line if/when the father of a fallen son tries to get his voice above the din of the talking heads. I doubt it. But it’s always good to see the right acknowledge the exploitation of women. It also works conveniently for them when the exploited woman is critical of the beloved emperor; thus, she’s rambling nonsense and we should all ignore her and her "grief" until she comes to her senses and applauds when the Prez’s motorcade blows past. But the right should possibly consider that Sheehan could well have developed a righteous anger towards the President without any help whatsoever from outside sources. I too disagree with Matt’s attempt to separate her emotions from her intellect. One can think about something, draw an intelligent and reasonable conclusion, and then be mad about it. Sheehan’s attempt to get a meeting with the Prez. (a 2nd meeting - FINE - he has time for afternoon naps, he has time to listen and nod for 30-60 mins., no?) is hardly "the beginning of an anti-war, anti-conservative movement." Matt, if people are swayed to the left because of anything related to the current war, it won’t be "by the death of soldiers" rather "than by actual ideological reasons" it will be due to what they see as the completely unnecessary deaths of soldiers, soldiers who died in vain, and this in turn could lead people away from the ideologies of the right.

I found this line from Lileks’ Sheehan dismissal to be pretty fun:


"It would be obvious to note that we went to war to depose an actual fascist state." Now, gee, if I remember correctly, we went to war because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed against us within any given 24 hr. period. And he had uranium and was making a huge stockpile of nukes, right?? Um, so no, it wouldn’t be "obvious," James.

As for Sheehan being the latest "media darling" I don’t really buy that designation. The stories I’ve heard and read have primarily just reported the unusual event taking place within a mile or two of Bush’s vacation ranch (this doesn’t happen every day, does it?). I’ve heard a variety of commentaries, but probably the strongest I’ve heard/seen have been those from Bill O’Reilly and Michelle Malkin, who seemed to be "debating" if Sheehan was Satan incarnate or merely the spawn of Satan. And then there’s Lileks, too. But granted, I haven’t heard from Limbaugh, Buckley, Coulter, Horowitz and all the other superstars of the Right.

But I know, I know, Bush doesn’t have time to be meeting with every parent of every fallen soldier. Let’s see, we’re approaching 2,000 dead, so if he’d give each mom & dad 30 min. that’d come out to 1,000 hrs. Assuming he puts in 50 hr. work weeks (not counting his well-earned 5 weeks off in Crawford) and he would do nothing but meet with those parents, he’d have about 5 months of meetings!! That’s crazy!

Didn’t sheehan meet with Dean’s old campaign advisor every morning. Didn’t she try to justify osama’s actions on 9-11. Didn’t her son RE-ENLIST after the war started. Isn’t she a member of MOVEON.org. I feel her pain i really do but her son agreed with the war and fought for a noble cause. I don’t she how she can act like after how her son casey was in total support of the war.

"It would be obvious to note that we went to war to depose an actual fascist state." Now, gee, if I remember correctly, we went to war because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed against us within any given 24 hr. period. And he had uranium and was making a huge stockpile of nukes, right?? Um, so no, it wouldn’t be "obvious," James.

I know this is an old battle, but it still irritates me that people like Chris L. want to reinvent history.

The Bush administration provided numerous reasons for wanting to depose Saddam Hussein. The reason they used to make their case to the UN was, indeed, related to Iraq’s alleged possession of WMD, an allegation that was accepted as a likely fact by every major intelligence gathering agency in the world, even those in countries that opposed the US/UK proposal in the UN. In speeches and press briefings, the Bush administration made it clear that the WMD threat was only one of several reasons to depose Saddam. Among the reasons that they provide was to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. Even when the case was made to the UN, it wasn’t solely about the WMD that were believed to be in Iraq, but the issue was that Iraq was still in violation of something like 16 UN resolutions relating to WMD. Saddam refused to comply with the resolutions. That alone should be justification for our actions.

The time has come for the Iraqi people to escape oppression, find freedom and live in hope. -- President Bush, November 8, 2002

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation...

And as we and our coalition partners are doing in Afghanistan, we will bring to the Iraqi people food and medicines and supplies -- and freedom.

-- President Bush, January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address

The fact is that the president has already met with Sheehan--she’s disappointed now that it wasn’t a media event, so she wants a do-over.

So now her other children are writing her letters, begging her to stop disgracing Casey’s memory. Her husband has filed for divorce. And now her mother has had a stroke. Cindy Sheehan has finally decided to go home.

I have seen in this and a subsequent post the following line of logic: Since a soldier willingly joins and fights a war, the parent has no right to use grief and anger to unite others who oppose the war.

Following this logic, Mothers against Drunk Driving have no right to unite others against drunk driving, because their offspring willingly joined those who drink and drive. Parents who lose their children to drugs have no right to join the War against Drugs, because their children willingly used drugs!

You see, the point is NOT what the child believes and does willingly. The point is that alcohol, drugs, and Bush lie, and THAT is the problem. That is what separated Vietnam and Iraq from WW1 and WW2, and THAT is what gives Sheehan her power.

Fung...do you know how really tired I am of hearing "Bush lied....". To LIE you have to know the truth and yet tell a different story. What did Bush actually LIE about, sir? Everyone (including YOU) thought Saddam had WMD. Everyone (including YOU) knew he was a mass murderer. Everyone (including YOU) knew he had dealings with terrorists (like Abu Nidal & the Palestinians). Everyone (including YOU) knew he had tried to assassinate Bush Sr. Everyone (including YOU) knew that he ran a fascist state that had warred against most of his neighbors. And yet...somehow Bush lied. The liars here are people like YOU.

This was a LEGAL war. I suggest you read UN Resolution 1441 here. It warns Saddam there will be "serious consequences" for non-compliance. War is really the only meaningful "consequence" that Saddam had not yet experienced. All Bush did was to give the UN some teeth.

As for Cindy Sheehan and her comrades, they are all raging Leftists using an honorable man’s sacrifice for political "points." Disgraceful, but as I’ve said many times before, the Left lacks a sense of shame.

Fung- good point. And furthermore, people can change their minds. So even if Sheehan and her son were in total support of the war at some point, it’s entirely possible that she could have decided that this war was not as advertised.

Continuing with that issue, Dominick, you can cite all the quotes about "spreading freedom and liberating the good Iraqi people from tyranny and the will of opressive evil-doers, blah blah" that you want to, but that doesn’t change the fact that the war was sold as being about protecting America from WMDs. Otherwise there’s no WAY Americans would have gone for it- there are plenty of bad situations in other countries that we basically ignore (Sudan, for instance). No, the Supreme Liberator only really starting talking that up AFTER we were already knee-deep and it was clear that no WMDs were going to turn up.

Fung, who’s saying that Sheehan has no right to protest? I think that what she’s doing is disgraceful, but I’ve never heard anyone say that she doesn’t possess every right to engage in peaceful protest. It sounds as though you are actually telling US that we have no right to disagree with her.

No, the Supreme Liberator only really starting talking that up AFTER we were already knee-deep and it was clear that no WMDs were going to turn up.

Uh, Phil, those quotes were pre-invasion.

And even if I accept your main point that freeing the Iraqis was not the main method that the war was sold to the American people, the main thrust was two-fold: eliminating the threat Saddam posed due to the WMD that he never accounted for and enforcing the UN resolutions that he had been violating since the end of the Gulf War. Both of those things still hold true. Saddam never accounted for the vast majority of the WMD that he admitted to having post-Gulf War (the fact that he appears to have destroyed them is secondary to the fact that we had no way to know that conclusively since he always played games with the inspectors) and he was still in violation of the UN resolutions that he agreed to abide by as a part of the treaty that ended conflict in the Gulf War.

What it comes down to is that Saddam didn’t want to admit that he didn’t have the weapons because he wanted to use them as a threat to his neighbors even though they didn’t exist any more. He also, it has been demonstrated, had maintained a network that would have allowed him to resume production of chemical and biological agents fairly quickly had the situation permitted it. He gambled that Bush wouldn’t actually invade him over the UN resolutions and he was wrong. End of story. If he had been honest and open about it and willing to risk losing face on the so-called Arab Street, he could have avoided the invasion and eventual removal from power. None of this translates to "BUSH LIED".

John - At what point do I suggest that no one has the right to disagree with CS? Most of you are following Karl Rove’s example, and, instead of addressing the message, you vilify the messenger. You have called her disgraceful, and suggested that she cares more about media hype than she does her son. That is not the same as disagreeing with her, but it becomes a bit transparent after a while. My efforts here, are to remind you all of her message: losing a child because our "leaders" misled us is worthy of the country’s attention. It has happened over 1800 times in Iraq.

Another demonstration that Bush cannot be trusted is provided by Dominick:

"And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation... "

Wrong, wrong, wrong. At best, he was wrong about the time, toil, and death between that statement and true liberation. At worst, the Iraqis can anticipate either (1) more of the same violence that they witness daily, or (2) a pullout, and a new state that hates the U.S, more completely and more lethally than Saddam ever did.

Dain- You pretend AGAIN to know what is in my head! I KNEW the results of the Hans Blix inspections, and that there was no evidence of WMDs. I also KNEW that Saddam is a bad man, and that he has plenty of company, and that we cannot, will not, and DO not invade every country that is run by a bad man, or that has dealings with terrorists. Let’s not forget that we called him a friend not so long ago, as we have other bad men. The Saudi regime is at least as repressive as Saddam’s, and Bush finds plenty of time to meet with them -- more than once, even! He even holds their hands! Let’s not forget that the hunt for Bin Laden has failed so far, the hunt for the Anthrax attacker INSIDE the US has failed so far, the efforts to secure our borders have failed (see New Mexico, Arizona, Texas). The attempt to bring peace and stability to Iraq has not only failed, it has brought the opposite, and Iraq is NOW home to more terrorists than ever before!

The only thing that has been accomplished is that the U.S. has martial "control" over Iraq and its oil fields, and still, gasoline is 2.59 a gallon.

Don’t tell me what I know, Dain. He’s a liar, and the reason you are tired of hearing it is the same reason that a cheating husband gets tired of being reminded of his lies: they happened, and it is too late to take them back, and now he must either embrace the lie, or come clean.

Enjoy the embrace.

But Fund, you did know that he had WMD...he had used them against the Kurds. Did you never ask yourself why, if he was in compliance, he didn’t say so and open up the country? And of course you did know that he was a mass murderer, that he had dealings with assorted terrorists, that he was a war-monger, etc. You don’t deny this, and that’s good...you’d be a liar if you did. Thanks for confirming your hypocrisy!

Everything else you say is unsupported Moveon.org BS. You can’t know if the new Iraq will be even more hostile that Saddam’s regime. The price of oil has little to do with Iraq or Saudi Arabia...it has to do with 1) Chinese demand, 2) breakdowns/offline status in our refining capacity, and 3) summer. I don’t like the prices either, but let’s not pretend that Bush is to blame for oil prices...if you want to pretend, then let’s see some evidence. And...are you actually saying that you want to close down the BORDERS!!!! You, Fung...Mr. "I hate the white man?" Wouldn’t that interfere with your grand scheme of disinheriting white people and turning Amerika into a multicultural paradise. Man, call Guinness...we have a new world record for hypocrisy!

Face it, Bush didn’t like. At worst he was simply wrong (like every other political leader in the developed world who believed their security services). And this was a legal war, a point you haven’t denied.

Mea culpa, errors!

Fung, not Fund, in line #1. Lie, not like, in line # 15.

Uh, Phil, those quotes were pre-invasion.

Uh, Dominick, it doesn’t matter when those quotes were from, the PRIMARY (and in the public eye that was wholly equivalent to the SOLE) justification given for invading Iraq was that it posed a danger to the U.S. in the form of possessing WMDs. The justification wasn’t to help out the poor folks of Iraq. The Bush Administration prides itself -somehow- on being able to shoot straight with The American People and telling it like it is. And what it told The American People, and what they in turn heard, was that we had to go into Iraq as a pre-emptive attack, a kind of defense. Bush might have mumbled something too about stopping Saddam before he drilled for oil in a pristine wetland north of Tikrit (just making that up, so don’t bother "fact-checking" it), but that, or anything else, was just trivial murmurs, it isn’t what got him any public support or the votes in Congress to go mission-accomplishing. It was not a "two-fold" justification; it was, if I may alter that wording ever so slightly to a toilet paper phrase, it was a very thin "single ply" justification - WMDs!

No, Dominick, you are the one attempting to revise history. I have no doubt that the Ashbrook gang 50 years from now will be recalling how Bush started the war because he read a thick, scholarly tome on Saddam’s sundry atrocities and he finally couldn’t take the thought of one more Iraqi child suffering, so he decided we must invade and spread democracy like rice at a wedding. And there will probably be some obscure Ashbrook "history" books to support such notions. But meanwhile, those of us more concerned with knowing what really happened will be reading how time and time again, Bush, Cheney and Co. drilled it into the public’s consciousness that Saddam posed a serious and imminent danger to America, and we should not delay in stopping him from triggering something truly cataclysmic. And we’ll also be reading a thing or two about the Downing Street Memo, which is another substantive matter that Mrs. Sheehan has brought up in regard to her son’s death that no one is addressing. Instead, we get red-baiting-style smears and sanctimonious claptrap about how she is disgracing her son’s memory, as though you all broke into tears when you got news of his death.

"...the Left couldn’t care less about honor or about our soldiers." What a sweeping generalization that is, Dain. EVERY single liberal has absolutely ZERO concern for American soldiers, huh? But Bush, the man who STARTED this utterly pointless war, now he grieves deeply over every loss.

You don’t know us, so stop telling me, Fung and every other non-right-winger what we think and believe. I just can’t figure out the distorted logic that tells you if "liberals want to end the war, that must mean they don’t care about our troops. But I fully support the war and the man who started it, so I’M the one who really cares about them." I’ll bet you prove your support with one (or even TWO) of those super helpful yellow ribbons.

Dain! This just in on cnn.com:

"In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."

There is more, and it points to Bush and his buddies being a bunch of liars. If you’re so tired of this, better stay away from the news.

Did I say "close down the borders?" No. I pointed to them as non-secure -- this despite another promise from GWB to make our borders more secure. All he and his administration are focused on is Iraq. There are other ways to make a border safe and secure than closing it down. Kind of like a mind.....

The price of oil has little to do with Iraq and Saudi Arabia? Are you actually typing that with your own fingers?

I think you should refer to Steven H’s post regarding rubbish. He understands (a) manufactured claims of shortage to boost profit, and (b) smart and stupid responses to perceived shortages. Not sure how old you are, but I remember another shortage in the 70’s, which turned out not to be such a shortage after all. but, boy didn’t the oil companies in Texas make a lot of money! And, boy, didn’t it come out of my pocket!

Go look at cnn.com, buddy. The walls are tumblin’ down.....

Can anyone please explain to me exactly how Mrs. Sheehan’s actions were "disgracing Casey’s memory"? If indeed
Casey was pro-war right up to his tragic end, Mrs. Sheehan still might believe her son was misled, and she -along with
many other war opponents- could still think very highly of Casey. Like all of the other servicepersons killed, Casey was more than simply a soldier. She didn’t want her son to die, and feels that the reason for his death was absolutely unacceptable and unnecessary. Also, Mr. Moser, how do you know that the reason for Sheehan’s disappointment with her first meeting with Bush was "that it wasn’t a media event"? This seems like a speculative smear tactic.

Also, Fung’s point above is excellent.

Fung, I only look at CNN (aka Saddam’s lapdog) when I want to be lied to. I don’t see how your post proves that Bush lied. I invite you to increase your level of coherence by 1) linking this "source" to Bush, and 2) proving that Bush knew any of this.

How do you quantify "more secure?" He’d have to shut them down to make them terrorist-proof. Regardless, I do agree that immigation is a problem and that Bush is missing-in-action on this issue, but I disagree that this is because of Iraq.

As for the cost of oil...do you ever read world news? Iraq’s oil production is up to 2.2 million barrels per day, only slightly lower than its pre-war level, and much higher than its 300K to 1 million per day in the mid-1990s (and, gee, oil was CHEAP back then). News flash, Fung...the Lefty blogs and MSM won’t give you the plain facts.

Phil,

Do your homework!! I am going to speak out once and for all. Over a year and half ago the Polish troops found over 17 cyclo-sarin warheads (about 10x stronger than sarin). The same troops say a hand grenade with sarin gas in it go off. Furthermore I think it was just about 3 or 4 days ago that we found and underground chemical plant with 1500 gallons of chemicals in it that were no more that about 4 or 5 years old. Also, I was listened to the John Batchler show the other day and he was talking to a British Bomb dispossal officer who said it is not uncommon for his to dispose of road side bombs with mustard gas in them. HMMMMMMMMM, does seem to me that no wmd’s are there.

You can look it up and I suggest you do.

The same troops say a hand grenade with sarin gas in it go off.

sp.

The same troops saw a hand grenade go off after it was thrown at them.

Fung, seriously why do liberals always add in the oil arguement.

If you really thought that invading Iraq would bring down the price of oil you are sad and obviously have never heard of OPEC. Furthermore, OPEC is pumping oil at near 30 year highs, which means the reason the price of gas is 2.59 is because of supply concerns and refining constraints.

Well ..., hopefully this means you won’t be posting anymore, since you’ve finally decided to "speak out once and for all." (You say this as if you’ve been watching from the sidelines this whole time and now you’ve just had enough).

So the WMDs that we had to go war over were GRENADES and 1500 gallons of "chemicals?" What were the chemicals? Where did you come by this information? What I really want to know is, did Saddam have the capability to make a strike against the U.S. and if he did, how real was the threat that he would? I think the answers are "no" and "highly unlikely."

Dear .....

I never thought anything of the sort. I DID hear Mr. Bush suggest that the whole war would be paid for with Iraqi oil, but I didn’t believe it then, and so am not surprised that he added to his list of lies.

In fact, I predicted (though not here) that invading an Arab country would probably anger individual Arabs and OPEC countries in general and would create future terrorists, higher oil prices, and many unnecessary deaths.

Maybe we can bring this back from Operation Iraqi Freedom II to the Sheehan story. I agree with Dr. Moser (comment 10) in questioning Cindy Sheehan’s motives considering she has already met with President Bush. After the first meeting she said of the President "That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together." Of course she has somehow since changed her mind and has decided he is a "[explicative] hypocrite" and needs to send his daughters to Iraq. She has offered no reasons for the change of heart other than to say "shock has worn off and deep anger has set in." I just don’t think we should take seriously (politically speaking) someone whose life is such a wreck right now and is obviously in a world of pain over the loss of a loved one.

No one on this side of the debate believes she shouldn’t be allowed to protest or mourn her son, but calling national attention to herself when her family needs her back home (or maybe they don’t anymore) is incredibly selfish and small-souled. I really can’t imagine what she is going through right now, but I would suspect it’s not much different from what the other 4,000 mothers of the fallen are going through right now.

Fung, again, you must be the crappiest social scientist on the planet. Even simple cause-and-effect relationships elude you, and you ignore evidence.

1) Current oil production, particularly in OPEC countries (save Venezuela and Iraq) is way up. Certainly no one is "withholding" oil in protest of our invasion of Iraq. What a perfectly stupid idea.

2) The world oil market generally responses to higher demand/higher prices by leveling off, but that hasn’t happened in the last year of so...primarly because of Chinese and Indian demand. In essence, we have admitted two very hungry diners to our table without cooking more food.

3) I’m pretty sure the reason that supply hasn’t expanded as it should have is political, not economic. Both America and the EU have all kinds of new regulations that discourage exploration (because even if you found it, it wouldn’t pay to drill for it). Many nations have kicked out the companies with the know-how, and so they aren’t keeping up with the latest technologies. AND, Americans simply have the buying power to buy $3 a gallon gasoline...they love their SUVs more than their bank accounts, I assume.

Regardless, you can’t pin this on Bush. I think we are paying for too many years of complacency...time to wake up and smell the crude.

Over a year and half ago the Polish troops found over 17 cyclo-sarin warheads (about 10x stronger than sarin). The same troops say a hand grenade with sarin gas in it go off.

Wow!! I see that this has veered way off the original topic, but this "..." person has really dropped a pile here, and he/she deserves to be called on it.

Ok, .... (can you at least go by Mickey Mouse or Angry AM Radio Fiend or something? It’s awkward to address someone who goes by an ellipsis. Are are you the latest version of The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?), per your advice to "look it up," I did. It’s sweet how you took President Bush’s "Don’t Forget Poland" so literally, but as it turns out, you’re quite wrong on a bunch of facts there, including the most important one, that they actually found some real WMDs.

First of all, the incident you speak of wasn’t "over a year and a half ago," it was last July, on the 2nd/3rd. Here is the Washington Post article, entitled "Chemicals Not Found in Iraq Warheads," that did the follow-up story that I’m guessing your favorite unbiased news sources accidentally missed. Most crucial line of the story:

"The Coalition Press Information Center in Baghdad said in a statement yesterday that the 122-milimeter rocket rounds,
which initially showed traces of sarin, ’were all empty and tested negative for any type of chemicals.’"

Sorry!

And here is the BBC story covering the same thing (Apologies, but I couldn’t find a FoxNews link to the story). The relevant section:

"...but the US military said that while two of the rockets tested positive for sarin, traces of the agent were so small and deteriorated as to be virtually harmless. ’These rounds were determined to have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces,’ a statement by the military said. Another 16 rockets found by the Polish troops were all empty and tested negative for any type of chemicals." Now, I’m no expert, but "limited to no impact" hardly sounds like WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

As to why those sarin traces found in the 2 (not "over 17") missiles were "so small and deteriorated as to be virtually harmless," this newswire article points out that "Two other warheads found in mid-June were found to contain an insignificant amount of sarin gas. The armaments were left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the [Coalition] statement said.
’Due to the deteriorated state of the rounds and small quantity of remaining agent, these rounds were determined to have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces.’

Curiously, in case Dominick Roark happens to be reading, that newswire article ends with this:


"Washington justified leading the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by claiming the country was harbouring weapons of mass destruction. However, none has yet been found."

Oh yeah, ..., and the BBC article also points out that cyclo-sarin is 5x, not 10x, stronger than sarin. My dad must have told me a million times not to exaggerate!

Also, the Post article notes that the Polish troops didn’t exactly find or discover the "virtually harmless" missiles (military’s words, not mine), they bought them for an "undisclosed sum of money." No word on whether the White House reimbursed them or not.

So,..., I have done the homework that you assigned, and I found that you were wrong about the time, the dangers of the warheads and their possible "WMD" status, the notion that they were "found," and details about cyclo-sarin itself.

See, ..., there’s a reason why even Bush’s lapdog Tony Blair said on July 6th of last year, just a few days after the non-discovery that you brought up, "I have to accept that we have not found them [Iraqi WMD], that we may not find them." Did you catch that particular news tidbit when you "was listened to the John Batchler show" last year??

But I do agree with what you said, ..., it "does seem to me that no wmd’s are there."

And I guess I should thank Steven for posting on Sheehan, since I was the one who made the request. If you have a brandy snifter on top of your computer monitor, let me put $5 in virtual Monopoly money in it!

Just as a friendly reminder, here are my other requests:

1. Bob Taft’s "no contest" plea and his involvement in the Ohio "Coingate" scandal.


2. The "Marine of the Year" Iraq veteran who shot out of his window in Boston and injured 2 (American, civilian) people


3. The breakdown of the London Police’s story regarding their fatal shooting of the Brazilian man on the tube (no turnstile-jumping, no heavy jacket, etc.)... I haven’t heard one peep abou that shooting here. But we are winning the Global War against Violent Extremists, right??? But those cops were neither violent nor extreme, I guess.


4. The gun-nut in Texas who drove over those crosses in apparent counter-protest at the Sheehan camp - sorta seems like he was at least making a veiled threat against Sheehan’s right to speak...

Or about the father (in favor of the war) who came up to the protestors and pulled up the cross with the name of his son on it who died fighting in Iraq for a cause he believed in and gave his life for...

Oh, Wynn, you showed him, huh!

Saddam had lots of contraband, and geez, somehow we took so LOOONGGG to actually invade that he was able to dismantle it. See here.

Moreover, while the Polish/sarin story didn’t pan out, a sarin shell was found there. See here.

And it’s important to understand that Saddam had the intention to restart his programs if he could. See here, a ’beloved’ CNN story.

You know, if Al Qaeda wasn’t in Iraq before the war, they would be there now even if Saddam was still in power. Bin Laden’s MO clearly demonstrates he loves 1) rogue states, and 2) weak states, and Saddam’s regime was both. And the idea that Al Qaeda would have nothing to do with Saddam is absurd...I suggest reading Stephen Hayes The Connection.

The bottom line is that the Left never wanted to go to war at all, not even in Afghanistan. They are seeing only what they want to see and ignoring everything else. This is why GW Bush is still President, and why "liberalism" has become a dirty word. You have to care about our country and our culture before people will again entrust you with our national defense.

Dain- Didn’t Bin Laden know that Iraq was there before we invaded it? If he loves rogue nations so much, why didn’t he set up shop there earlier?

The difference between liberals’ responses to Afghanistan and to Iraq point out how wrong you are. Almost no one criticizes Bush’s reasons for going in to Afghanistan. We just wish he’d find bin Laden! We can see the difference between a just and an unjust war. If we were as opposed to all war as you claim, then we would lament Afghanistan as much as we do Iraq!

Then, you said,

"You have to care about our country and our culture before people will again entrust you with our national defense. " I think you should add that we also have to forget that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. I think the Republican "brand" in 2008 should be: "We have only been successfully attacked on our soil once on our watch!" Or, how about, "If you don’t count 9/11, only our allies get attacked, lately!" That is, if we make it that long. From the looks of the borders in the Southwest, the unapprehended Anthrax killer (remember that?)could be traipsing back and forth across the border like Tiny Tim through the tulips.

To S. Wynn: Nice job!

Brilliant Dain. We invaded Iraq because they had "a sarin shell." Something tells me the U.S. has a lot of countries left to invade, if that’s all it takes.

Fung, what a hypocrite. How dare you say that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. The whole plan was set in order during Clinton’s watch, much of the difficulties our security agencies had were directly the result of Clinton’s "wall" of separation between these agencies, and Clinton even had fair warning. Your words are might big considered the blossoming "Able Danger" scandal. Before all is said and done, this will be firmly (and correctly) pinned on PlayBoy Clinton.

Your long litany of "failures" is non-sensical. I work with lots of liberals, and very few of them whole-heartedly endorsed the Afghanistan campaign. Indeed, that campaign was done on the cheap (using indigenous fighters) for fear of getting you folks all stirred up. As for Bin Laden, well...you don’t seem to understand the difficulties because you are ignorant about Al Qaeda as an organization. I recommend you read Marc Sageman’s book. Anyone who understands how Al Qaeda is put together understands why we’ve had trouble penetrating that terrorist organization and why it’s so hard to catch him. Educate yourself for once!

And MES, don’t address a small fragment of my rebuttal unless you are willing to say something more substantive. You’ve become a slimy little sniper, unfit to be on the thread.

I will address whatever I please from your silly comments. You and your cohort (...) have been thoroughly deconstructed by Fung and Wynn, and now you’re all sore about it. You should feel honored that anyone’s paying attention to you at all. As far as fitness for the thread, I think anyone with a pulse who can operate a keyboard is "fit" for it. And as for cherry-picking certain parts of other’s comments and ignoring everything else that you can’t come up with a good response for, that sums up your M.O. perfectly. I’ve seen you do it on a regular basis with Fung and Phil Thompson, among others.

If I were Fung I’d say something like "Oh, yea?" Since I’m not, I’ll ask you for a prime example of my "cherry-picking." We don’t have far to go to find you using that tactic...comment #36 above.

Wynn did diddly. I don’t know Mr. ..., and I’m not responsible for his lack of research. The proofs I gave stand...no one has contradicted them. Hell, there are even aerial recon photos of Saddam dismantling his war machine while you Lefties forced Bush to jump through all your meaningless UN/congressional rituals. Indeed, this war would be over and our boys would be on the way home if we weren’t fighting a PC war...and why are we fighting in such a genteel way? You people. Proof...Gitmo...which people like you equate with extermination camps and beheading. You people kill me...you’d have us bring harsh language to a gunfight BECAUSE YOU WANT US TO LOSE. There’s a word for that....

As for fitness to be on this thread, I guess you DO qualify under that standard. You seem to have a functioning brain stem...although I think the neocortex shut down years ago, or perhaps it never developed? Regards.

Dain said,

:Fung, what a hypocrite. How dare you say that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch"

My mistake. It happened during George Washington’s watch. I am soooooo silly!

Then Dain said,

As for Bin Laden, well...you don’t seem to understand the difficulties because you are ignorant about Al Qaeda as an organization. I recommend you read Marc Sageman’s book. Anyone who understands how Al Qaeda is put together understands why we’ve had trouble penetrating that terrorist organization and why it’s so hard to catch him"

I’m so sorry. I will, from now on, only evaluate how Bush performs on EASY tasks, like pronouncing "new-kyoo-lurrr."

Yea, if all you mean is that Bush happened to be the POTUS on September 11, 2001, then yes, you are correct. If you are saying (as I’m sure you are) that Bush is therefore directly responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans, then you are wrong (as I’m sure you realize). You are a hypocrite BECAUSE you realize this is unfair and yet you say it.

Oh, and your point about Iraq being a rogue nation prior to 9/11...yes, that is correct. But Afghanistan was a better one and had a slightly more friendly government (the Taliban, you remember them, right)? After we ousted his buddies, Al Qaeda had to shift around...if Saddam was still in power I’d bet their new home would be Iraq.

Now tell me, Fung, and be honest (if you can): Did you support an all-out American-led invasion of Afghanistan...thousands of Marines and soldiers, tanks, half our airforce, the works?

Memo to Fung:

Tired, lame insults aimed at GW Bush cannot substitute for understanding how terrorist networks operate. We must assume you are indeed ignorant of counterterrorism research, else you would not have resorted to said insults.

Addendum to Memo (Fung):

Using regional/cultural dialects as indicators of native intellect is an act of bigotry. We can’t wait to hear your views on Ebonics.

Dain said,:

"Yea, if all you mean is that Bush happened to be the POTUS on September 11, 2001, then yes, you are correct. If you are saying (as I’m sure you are) that Bush is therefore directly responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans, then you are wrong (as I’m sure you realize). You are a hypocrite BECAUSE you realize this is unfair and yet you say it."

You are right. Bush is not responsible for anything that has happened during his watch. Clinton is! And Clinton is responsible for nothing that occurred during his 8 years--- Bush the first is! I like this game! THERE is leadership. Even Bush doesn’t depend on that lame excuse, Dainy.

And "new-kyoo-lurr" isn’t regional, Noam, it is just stupid. I hear stupid people in the northeast using it, too, as they use "so don’t I," and "chimley."

Are you getting tired, buddy? You’re sounding a little.... pale.

"Indeed, this war would be over and our boys would be on the way home if we weren’t fighting a PC war...and why are we fighting in such a genteel way? You people."

Dain, are you seriously suggesting that the war in Iraq is not going well because of liberals?

Hey, Phil, tell me something...what force on earth could stop our military (other than an equally strong military)? Why did we invade Fallujah and then back off...just long enough for them to reinforce? Six months later we have to take it again, this time at a cost of 90 brave soldiers. It was politics, my friend, mostly driven by the Left as well as those in Iraq who pretend to be on our side but aren’t. A simple firebombing of Fallujah would have saved those soldiers...why didn’t we do it? Why didn’t we invade Iraq a year earlier...Bush got the go-ahead from Congress in 2002. Again, politics. That’s what I mean. That segment of our electorate who doesn’t have the will (or the stomach) to actually win wars really impedes us.

Fung, sarcasm can’t hide the fact that your position is really dumb. I think Bush is a genius compared to you...at least I find him far more reasonable than you are. As for dialects, your finesse is useful but transparent. If a mascot group speaks "oddly" then that’s a valid cultural difference, but when a Southern white man does it he’s just stupid. That’s bigotry, my friend.

Jimmy Carter used to say "new-kyoo-lurr," too.

Cindy Sheehan denounces our military involvement not only in Iraq, but in Afghanistan too, and wants a US pullout. Many libs, Howard Dean being a prominent example, like to tout their support for Operation Enduring Freedom. They also like to puff this sad lady and give sermonettes about how the President should hand her a publicity coup by meeting with her again and so on. So I wonder: Do Dean and his ilk agree with her about Afghanistan? If they don’t and they think she’s wrong, why should we credit what she has to say about Iraq? After all, her "argument" in both cases seems to be much the same, and boils down to the standard-issue anti-Bush paranoid ranting that has become so self-destructively common on the left these days.

BTW, having quite recently lost a loved one myself, I think I can safely say that I feel considerable sympathy for what Cindy Sheehan is going through emotionally these days. But feeling human sympathy for her pain and crediting her claims about US military and foreign policy are two very different things.

If Jimmy Carter said "New-kyoo-lurr", then it wasn’t his fault. Remember, his predecessor was Gerald Ford. It was Ford’s fault. That guy, I never did trust him!

Bush isn’t stupid because he is a Southerner. He’s stupid because he’s stupid. Or, he behaves stupidly in order to be attractive to stupid people. And this has nothing to do with Cindy Sheehan.

PJC-I am very sorry for your loss.

Regarding Cindy Sheehan, the point is not that she must be correct about everything. Again, she is not running for office. The point is that she represents a challenge for Bush. He is not likely to pass the test that she represents.

Dain, you recently said in an earlier thread that you only went to CNN when you "want to be lied to," so why are you referring to readers to a CNN link in comment 34?

Thanks for your condolences. But the "not running for office" thing is a red herring.

She’s put herself into the public spotlight to publicly advocate a certain point of view regarding national policy. She may not actually want to hold office, but she clearly does want to shape national policy--to, among other things, have us withdraw our forces quickly from Afghanistan. Her claims qua grieving mother are, as I’ve suggested, a wash: Other grieving parents support the war. Cindy Sheehan as a self-made public event is the ’politics of compassion’ at it worst, a really sad farce. Bush has addressed her claims quite forthrightly, by the way. He said he respects her right to hold and express her views, said that he’s also heard them from others, and said that he honestly disagrees. And he DID run for office.

I did it as an ironic stroke...an intellectual jujitsu, if you will.

More like an intellectual hari kiri.

I would never commit seppuku over liberals! No, it was simply using your own weapons (in this case, the MSM) against you.

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