Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Christian Unrealism

I’m on the Sojourners email list. Today I received this message in response to the raid that freed three Christian peace activists held by terrorist captors:

Our hearts are filled with joy today as we heard that Harmeet Singh Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember have been safely released in Baghdad. Christian Peacemaker Teams rejoices with their families and friends at the expectation of their return to their loved ones and community. Together we have endured uncertainty, hope, fear, grief and now joy during the four months since they were abducted in Baghdad.

***

Harmeet, Jim and Norman and Tom were in Iraq to learn of the struggles facing the people in that country. They went, motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a nonviolent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict. They knew that their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers. We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end.

***

Throughout these difficult months, we have been heartened by messages of concern for our four colleagues from all over the world. We have been especially moved by the gracious outpouring of support from Muslim brothers and sisters in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. That support continues to come to us day after day. We pray that Christians throughout the world will, in the same spirit, call for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq.


During these past months, we have tasted of the pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Why have our loved ones been taken? Where are they being held? Under what conditions? How are they? Will they be released? When?

They love and forgive their colleagues’ captors, but say nothing about the troops who liberated them. "The pain that has been the daily bread of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis" seems to refer in this case to current conditions in Iraq, but would seem to apply much more truly to Iraqi captivity under the murderous Saddam Hussein regime. Mere intellectual honesty would require them to condemn their captors and the vicious ideology they represent for their own suffering, not to mention those of the ordinary Iraqis who are daily subject to random attacks by al Qaeda and Baathist thugs.

Discussions - 57 Comments

Did anyone honestly expect them to be grateful for the military rescuing them?

Remember, their ideology must demonize war and the United States military.

They love and forgive their colleagues’ captors, but say nothing about the troops who liberated them.

One quickly can determine that this sort of thinking is wholly invested in a faith, which cannot be debated. Many liberal Democrats are closely aligned with this same faith. Coherent debate with these people is next to impossible. Facts, truth, or reasonable thought are of little or no use with these people.

Throw them back.
Stop looking for them. Publicly announce they are outside the concern of the free world.

Joe, you’re a braver man than I to take e-mails from the Sojourners crowd. I used to read it years ago, but checked out for good when Jim Wallis wrote in 1979 that the Vietnamese boat people were fleeing to the U.S. to support their "consumerist lifestyles" that we has imposed on them during our war effort. Even Geoge McGovern was able to apprehend the plain meaning of the boat people. Not Wallis and his crowd. These folks are a disgrace.

They’re idolators, not Christians.
Their kingdom is entirely of this world.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf".- George Orwell

The Coalition should send these ingrate "Sojourners" a bill for the manhours spent and fuel consumed by their vehicles to rescue their ungrateful sorry beehinds.

Pease pay in Pound Sterling since it was mostly a Brit opperation. Congratulations to them.

Throw them back. Stop looking for them. Publicly announce they are outside the concern of the free world.


Really? Because they disagree with your views? Isn’t this the very thing the Iraq war was launched to defend?

Sure, why not. Freedom of Speech.

These people put themselves in harm’s way and won’t show any gratitude toward their rescuers. Anger at them is appropriate. I don’t see why the U.S. military or anyone else is obligated to rescue people who are there to interfere with their mission and who express contempt for them even when rescued.

Brian, the purpose of the Iraq war was to defend Western security, not some abstract principle of freedom. The viciousness of the Saddam regime added moral justification for the war, but we didn’t go to fight for people’s right to express themselves.

Furthermore, even if the war’s stated purpose was as you claim, it is immature and hypocritical of you to use that justification as a means of attacking someone who says the hell with the pseudo-Christian freaks who we just wasted man hours rescuing.

With the same breath we actively risk fighting for freedom of speech, we have every right to criticize what comes out of someone’s mouth. That’s the whole point.

"...but say nothing about the troops who liberated them."

Actually, they did say this:

"...Multinational Forces [are] the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping..." and this: "...the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces...".

In other words, those kids who put their lives on the line to rescue them are the real terrorists and abductors.

They can see the beam in our eyes but cannot detect even a mote in the eyes of the terrorists. Amazing. This stinks of "I’m holier than thou!". And spiritual pride is THE Original Sin.

Steve Hayward notes: Joe, you’re a braver man than I to take e-mails from the Sojourners crowd. I used to read it years ago, but checked out for good when Jim Wallis wrote in 1979 that the Vietnamese boat people were fleeing to the U.S. to support their "consumerist lifestyles" that we has imposed on them during our war effort.

In the latter part of the Clinton era, Wallis was getting mighty fed up with Saddam’s "cat and mouse" tactics with the Clinton and the U.N. Having liad down a few option on how to deal with this "Tyrant," Wallis threw down the hammer, saying:

"if necessary, arrest him, put him in jail, and bring him to judgment. How would this be accomplished? Having lifted economic sanctions, flood Iraq with international radio broadcasts telling its people that the world has no fight with them, but is sending an international police force to arrest and remove their dictator. Order the Iraqi army not to protect him but to get out of the way. Then do whatever it takes to track Saddam down and place him in international custody."

Pretty funny, I think. You can read the whole silly thing here if you want to.

Anger at them is appropriate.


Sure anger, maybe. Although being anNoyed that people who have just been rescued from certain death, don’t act to some proscribed list in your head seems a little artificial.


Besides this is good news! isn’t the current meme to whine on about how the MSM doesn’t report any of the good news from Iraq?


Now you guys are complaining about the good news too! Jeeze, there is no pleasing some people.


A final point. I myself think these people are kind of crazy, but in an heroic way. As an unarmed person, to plant yourself in between two heavily armed parties takes a certain kind of courage.


I am certain that those uncluttered with a hard political view of the conflict would feel the same way. As a result, these guys are doing the occupation forces a favour, by showing the insurgency in it’s worst possible form. Killing the innocent who have come to help them.


I mean what kind of depraved animal does that?


You can bet that moderate Iraqis are as appalled by this as we are.

Actually, they did say this: "...Multinational Forces [are] the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping..." and this: "...the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces...".


But guys, this is factually true. If a westerner had arrived in Iraq prior to the invasion, could they have gone anywhere in the country without being murdered?


We all know that the answer is yes, or at least that the odds of it happeing would have been miniscule. You may not like the answer, it may make you grind your teeth in frustration and result in a flood of impassioned explanation, but the truth is what it is.


As regards kidnapping of Iraqis, well yes there is no doubt that a fair bit of that is going on.


I think however that it is possible to deplore the situation, and not hate individual soldiers. Soldiers who in the main are doing their jobs under terrible circumstances and trying to help individual iraqis where they can.


However the situation is dire, handing out a 100 hershy bars, or even building a school, does little for the individual who has lost a loved one, or a limb.

13:

Brian,

"don’t act to some proscribed list in your head ..."

That’s one misspelling and one grammatical error in less than a sentence. You are beginning to sound like one of those stupid uneducated Republican rednecks, sir.

"Proscribed" means "forbidden."
You’re looking for a different word, spelled "prescribed"

And no, it’s not my prescribed list. It is elementary common sense and morality.

Yes, it’s in my head, and clearly not in yours. But I can’t help that.

You are beginning to sound like one of those stupid uneducated Republican rednecks, sir. "Proscribed" means "forbidden."


Early morning posting. I’m human:-)


I willing to bet that the rescued hostages thanked the specific individuals that got them out.


However, they were there because they were against the war in the first place. It makes no sense that they would change there position on that. The fact of their capture simply underscores their position that the invasion was a disaster for anyone who happens to be in Iraq.


I am fascinated by people who trumpet "morality", yet, for their own security, champion a cause that has resulted in the death of thousands of innocent people.


Then have the gall to turn on people who are living out the primary message of Christianity!!!


You might what to give your own compass a shake there buddy.

However, they were there because they were against the war in the first place.


No. They were there because they need a "cause" to give their lives purpose. Their actions needlessly placed lives at risk - those of the people they claim to support and those of the troops that rescued them. They are nothing more than a selfish cult looking to build self-esteem.


Otherwise, they would go back in again, right?

They are nothing more than a selfish cult looking to build self-esteem.


That strikes me as exactly the kind of crap that a 1st century Pharisee, or roman senator would wheel out when faced with some incomprehensible act of selflessness by the early Christians. I mean exactly what they would say.


Myself, I think right wing Christians, who promote everything odious about Christianity, and suppress most of the good stuff, are embarrassed and humiliated by the challenge people like this represent.


They put it to them that living the life of Christ is about promoting peace, and justice. That war, indeed any violence, is completely inconsistent with Christ’s message. I find the tone of the objections here pretty hypocritical. These people may be getting in the way of your pet war, but they are trying to promoting tolerance, peace and love and great personal cost.

I prosecuted a man, years ago, for a double murder. He had carjacked a car from a young man, forcing him from his car at the point of a screw driver. The police began to chase the suspect in the victim’s car. The suspect drove at speeds exceeding 90mph (150km/h?) through several red lights. He did not slow down as he approached a busy intersection, ran another red light there, broadsided a car and killed two of its occupants. The two people killed were boys aged 19 and 20.

The parents of the boys, at least initially, blamed the police for having chased the carjacker. If they hadn’t chased him, he would not have driven through the intersection at the speed he did, he would not have hit the boys’ car, he would not have killed the boys. It was all the fault of the police.

The peace activists just rescued by the military were interfering. They put themselves in harm’s way on purpose and they endangered the lives of countless innocents by so doing, not to mention the lives of the military men and women who had to rescue them.

This time, thank God, no innocents were harmed or killed in the effort to rescue them. Next time, and there probably will be next times, we may not be so lucky. They should exercise their rights to protest the war from a place far away, where they won’t endanger others in the process.

The military was no more at fault for the kidnapping of these individuals than the police were for the murder of the 2 young men in the case I prosecuted and the blame they put on the military for the kidnappings are no more rational than the blame the parents put on the police for the deaths of their sons in that murder case.

They should be grateful to the military, but we have no reason to expect them to be grateful to the military.

Mr. Frisk said, "They’re idolators, not Christians. Their kingdom is entirely of this world."

Well, "this world" would be planet Earth. What, exactly, is your kingdom composed of, Mr. Frisk?

The military was no more at fault for the kidnapping of these individuals than the police were for the murder of the 2 young men in the case I prosecuted and the blame they put on the military for the kidnappings are no more rational than the blame the parents put on the police for the deaths of their sons in that murder case.


Good example, and I totally agree with your views on the example, but I’m not convinced it fits exactly to the issue here.


Let me cogitate on that a bit.

They are nothing more than a selfish cult looking to build self-esteem.


That strikes me as exactly the kind of crap that a 1st century Pharisee, or roman senator would wheel out when faced with some incomprehensible act of selflessness by the early Christians.


I wasn’t talking about YOU but I see you took it personally. I can guess why. You’re a selfish fool too. Just like them.


They refused gratitude to the "occupiers" who rescued them because it would weaken their anti-american rhetoric. They cling to that discredited position only because their self-worth is invested in it. They have been revealed as intellectually dishonest. You would make fools into moral heroes. But they are selfish hypocrites, thats all.


Myself, I think right wing Christians, who promote everything odious about Christianity, and suppress most of the good stuff, are embarrassed and humiliated by the challenge people like this represent.


I have no idea why you bring right wing Christians into your little kneejerk tantrum. I never brought them up. And I’m not a Christian. Non-sequiter.


They put it to them that living the life of Christ is about promoting peace, and justice. That war, indeed any violence, is completely inconsistent with Christ’s message.


Sure. Just like Somolia. People like you donated food & medicine for the starving to "feel good" about yourselves, only to have it stolen by warlords who used it to tighten their grip. People like me had to go in and fight the bad guys to actually help the starving. It takes a coward like you enable tyrants from your ivory tower, it takes a Marine like me to put them down and actually save people’s lives. If you insist on living in an alternate reality ["war is bad"] please try not to screw up this one with your self-serving "acts of kindness". Good people die because you and your kind want to feel righteous.


These people may be getting in the way of your pet war, but they are trying to promoting tolerance, peace and love and great personal cost.


My pet war? LOL. You’re such a nit.


The people who are promoting tolerance, peace, and love at great personal cost are the troops who have volunteered two, three, and four times now to go back to Iraq and rescue a beaten and battered people from a monstrous tyrant.


The anti-war crowd isn’t promoting anything but themselves.

Methinks you guys missed the ball on this one. I had a squirrel on their site and came up with this in less than 5 mins.


We pray for the soldiers who risked their lives to free Jim, Norman, and Harmeet. We give thanks to God that, through excellent intelligence work and skilled operations, they manifested an unprecedented respect for CPT’s commitment to nonviolence by rescuing them without a shot being fired and without injury to any parties. Like the soldier in Matthew 8: 5-13, they too were able to participate in the moment of God’s liberation. We pray that they will be convicted by the spiritual authority of these brave Christian peacemakers and with the wisdom and knowledge of Christ who said "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."


It would be easy to pit the peacemaker against the soldier - but it would be wrong to do so. There are soldiers who serve "the least of these" in Iraq. It was an unknown American soldier who decided to drape Tom Fox’s casket with a flag to honor his sacrifice. And there are peacemakers who thrive more on their own anger, self-righteousness, and personal purity, than on authentic deeply rooted sacrificial love.


Here is the whole thing : http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=060323

I wasn’t talking about YOU but I see you took it personally.


Actually I didn’t, I just really think the sentiment is crap. For the record I’m not a Christian either, but that doesn’t preclude me from appreciating the motivations of these people.


If you insist on living in an alternate reality ["war is bad"]


This attitude is not the alternate reality chum, war is bad.


The people who are promoting tolerance, peace, and love at great personal cost are the troops who have volunteered two, three, and four times now to go back to Iraq and rescue


While I accept the motivations, I’m afraid the outcome speaks for itself. This is a depressing truth, and since you are someone who has clearly invested in the effort, I can understand your frustration.


However despising a few naive old codgers, one of whom is now dead, for an heroic and selfless (although misguided in my book) act seems odd to me.


You might just as well say Christ was "asking" for it, by challenging the authorities of the time.


I mean what an ass, not only did he get himself killed, but he endangered the entire population of the city with all this talk of King this, King that. Next thing will have the Romans killing the men, raping the women ... just to show us who is boss.


Good riddance I say, misguided deranged trouble maker. You see were I’m going with this?


As regards gratitude, I posted an excerpt from their site, it’s clear they are grateful. They seem like the genuine article, if such a thing exists among Christians, most of whom I find pretty repellent and morally schizophrenic frankly.

/reformatted, had coding probs, site admin pls delete prior post?


They are nothing more than a selfish cult looking to build self-esteem.


That strikes me as exactly the kind of crap that a 1st century Pharisee, or roman senator would wheel out when faced with some incomprehensible act of selflessness by the early Christians.


I wasn’t talking about YOU but I see you took it personally. I can guess why. You’re a selfish fool too. Just like them.


They refused gratitude to the "occupiers" who rescued them because it would weaken their anti-american rhetoric. They cling to that discredited position only because their self-worth is invested in it. They have been revealed as intellectually dishonest. You would make fools into moral heroes. But they are selfish hypocrites, thats all.


Myself, I think right wing Christians, who promote everything odious about Christianity, and suppress most of the good stuff, are embarrassed and humiliated by the challenge people like this represent.


I have no idea why you bring right wing Christians into your little kneejerk tantrum. I never brought them up. And I’m not a Christian. Non-sequiter.


They put it to them that living the life of Christ is about promoting peace, and justice. That war, indeed any violence, is completely inconsistent with Christ’s message.


Sure. Just like Somolia. People like you donated food & medicine for the starving to "feel good" about yourselves, only to have it stolen by warlords who used it to tighten their grip. People like me had to go in and fight the bad guys to actually help the starving. It takes a coward like you enable tyrants from your ivory tower, it takes a Marine like me to put them down and actually save people’s lives. If you insist on living in an alternate reality ["war is bad"] please try not to screw up this one with your self-serving "acts of kindness". Good people die because you and your kind want to feel righteous.


These people may be getting in the way of your pet war, but they are trying to promoting tolerance, peace and love and great personal cost.


My pet war? LOL. You’re such a nit.


The people who are promoting tolerance, peace, and love at great personal cost are the troops who have volunteered two, three, and four times now to go back to Iraq and rescue a beaten and battered people from a monstrous tyrant.


The anti-war crowd isn’t promoting anything but themselves.

As regards gratitude, I posted an excerpt from their site, it’s clear they are grateful


Grateful as of 9PM last night, once they realized they were losing a PR battle:


"We ended up having a long talk with Sara, who is part of CPT. She said that the phones had been ringing off the hook today with people calling to express their anger over the lack of acknowledgement of the troops’ role in freeing the CPT workers"

Grateful as of 9PM last night, once they realized they were losing a PR battle:


I don’t think thats correct. The quote that I read was posted on the 23rd and references the authors feeling at 05:30 in the morning.


But you know, who cares? These peoples first reponse must be to jump through your constantly shifting hoops?


It’s depressing, that you have become so desperate to find an explanation for the terrible basket case that Iraq has become, that you need to express such contempt and hatred (at least it sure sounds that way) for people who want to do only good by their fellow man. One of whom has died in the effort.


Have some modicum of respect.

It’s depressing, that you have become so desperate to find an explanation for the terrible basket case that Iraq has become


Thats a strawman. I’ve never brought Iraq up.


But since you now have, I’ll say that characterization of it as a "terrible basket case" is also intellectually dishonest.


that you need to express such contempt and hatred (at least it sure sounds that way) for people who want to do only good by their fellow man. One of whom has died in the effort.


I have contempt for these people because they are using religion to prop up their anti-war agenda. They are dishonest and selfish. Their recent experience makes it obvious that the effort was not in good faith. It was designed to be a political statement, but it backfired once the guys in the "black hats" had to rescue them from the "good guys".


You want a genuine Christian Hero? Look to Rahman in Afganistan. He converted to Christianity, knowing that it would mean his death, knowing that no one will come to his rescue. And he’s not recanting.

You want a genuine Christian Hero? Look to Rahman in Afganistan. He converted to Christianity, knowing that it would mean his death, knowing that no one will come to his rescue. And he’s not recanting.


That doesn’t seem to make much sense. Neither of us beleive he is dying for something real. Unless you mean the abstract idea that it’s his right to free speech he is dying for?


We agree I’m sure that it’s a travesty and a dreadful injustice.


They are dishonest and selfish.


Hard to make that stick when one of them is dead. Do you know anything about these guys? They are anti war alright, because they think it’s wrong. There doesn’t seem to be much else to their motivation.


I’m intrigued by the bile and savagery of the comments they attract. Absolutely wierd.


Blessed are the peacemakers eh?

I don’t think thats correct. The quote that I read was posted on the 23rd and references the authors feeling at 05:30 in the morning.


Its was released at 9 PM last night, no reference to any "feelings" that AM:


"Addenda 23 March 2006, 9 p.m. ET - We have been so overwhelmed and overjoyed to have...As peacemakers who hold firm to our commitment to nonviolence, we are also deeply grateful that they fired no shots to free our colleagues"


http://leaningstraightup.com/2006/03/23/they-could-have-at-least-said-thank-you/

Neither of us beleive he is dying for something real.


He’s dying for his freedom to worship as he sees fit.


Hard to make that stick when one of them is dead


Hardly. There was another idiot who self-immolated to protest Desert Shield. At least he didn’t needlessly put other lives at risk.

Hardly. There was another idiot who self-immolated to protest Desert Shield. At least he didn’t needlessly put other lives at risk.


You are hard man, but incredibly myopic.


You clearly despise those who feel that war is wrong. I don’t despise them, and I can certainly see where they are coming from. Although I agree that they were unwise to put themselves in danger.


However, you have no capacity it seems, to recognise the enormous danger that the people of Iraq have been put into by the invasion itself. We know that tens of thousands are actually dead. Not simply at risk.


I find that disconnect somewhat undermines your credibility.


Such visceral contempt for unarmed, naive peacemakers. People having a real old go at following in Christs footsteps, up to and including the sacrificial death. I guess war can do that to you.

Such visceral contempt for unarmed, naive peacemakers.


My contempt for them is fueled by their contempt of genuine peacemakers who selflessly risked their lives to save them.


Its also fueled by their blatant hypocrisy. They claim to espouse non-violence, yet they deliberately placed themselves in a position to be kidnapped by terrorists, who ransom their hostages for money, to be used to buy explosives to blow up innocents. They knew this was a probably outcome, its common knowledge [Italy & Japan], yet they did it anyway.

However, you have no capacity it seems, to recognise the enormous danger that the people of Iraq have been put into by the invasion itself. I find that disconnect somewhat undermines your credibility.


Thats a cute ad hom without foundation. Support it with an example before you abuse terms like "credibility".


We know that tens of thousands are actually dead.


And source that. Lancet’s study has been discredited. Account for percent of terrorists deliberately killed by US forces vs innocents killed accidentally. Cross that with those killed by Saddam and extrapolate out to 2006.

You are hard man, but incredibly myopic


"myopia: Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning"


Put on your glasses. There are three choices in our future, none of them good:


1) Submit to a Theocracy of Sharia Law. Prepare to watch you daughter gangraped and stoned to death because she revealed her bare ankle. Prepare to watch your son buried alive under a brick wall because he was outed as a homosexual. Prepare to be burned alive because you dared question the will of Allah, or:


2) Global Nuclear warfare between the Caliphate and the West, or:


3) Transform key ME states into an Arab Democracies, before the exploding demographic of young males with no hope and nothing to live for lashes outward. Channel them to reform & rebuild their civilization, or they will destroy yours.


So, how’s your prescription? If you have a better long range plan, please fwd it to Condi.

And source that. Lancet’s study has been discredited. Account for percent of terrorists deliberately killed by US forces vs innocents killed accidentally. Cross that with those killed by Saddam and extrapolate out to 2006.


The lancet study claims 100K, it also states the confidence interval clearly.


Even Bush himself casually tossed out 30K, so I’m not certain what you are disputing exactly.


As regards the calculation, Hmmm thats quite a challenge. Luckily someone else has done all that in advance. Knock yourself out : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_conflict_in_Iraq_since_2003


These people thought they were doing the right thing, you disagree. You think GWB is doing the right thing, I (and they) disagree.


The problem for you, is that there are a heap of bodies on your side of the equation. You can probably divvy it up and account for some of them, but overall you still end up in the ... uh ... red.


Yet, when these guys do something that many would laud them for, you have an episode because it puts people at risk.


C’mon, your position is completely inconsistent and untenable. The Iraq war has arguably put millions of people at risk. The worst case scenario runs to a general conflagration that sucks in the whole world, and you want to lecture these gentle white haired peaceniks?


Give it up.

1) Submit to a Theocracy of Sharia Law. Prepare to watch you daughter gangraped and stoned to death because she revealed her bare ankle. Prepare to watch your son buried alive under a brick wall because he was outed as a homosexual. Prepare to be burned alive because you dared question the will of Allah, or:


Speculative tripe.


I wouldn’t buy a used car on the basis of this reasoning, let alone start a war guaranteed to kill tens of thousands of completely innocent people.


The only theocracy you are in danger of ending up with, is the home grown Christofascist one. You might want to pay attention to that.

Are the heaps of bodies left in the wake of Saddam’s tyranny so easily forgotten? Maybe the MSM should have kept a daily count of those slaughtered by Saddam’s regime prior to the start of the war in Iraq. The sanctions and embargos imposed on Iraq did nothing to hurt Saddam’s regime. Now that the evidence of Saddam’s tolerance / support of Al Qaeda training in his country is being methodically revealed, although slowly & quietly and nowhere near as loudly as the daily death count in Iraq, let those of us who support the war effort in Iraq sit back quietly and watch.

I think these ’Christian’ activists have committed a sin. Scripture says "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God," and yet they go off thinking that a Bible will protect them (against all logic). Do they think they have Jesus on speed-dial...that he will wisk them away from danger in some miraculous way?

I’m sorry to say it, but the Darwin Award often makes sense to me. Some people should simply pay the price of their stupidity. But I’m not saying I wished them ill...I’m just frustrated with the whole scenario.

Are the heaps of bodies left in the wake of Saddam’s tyranny so easily forgotten?


Brook, be honest. During the Iran/Iraq war, when Amnesty international was protesting Saddams western sponsored gassing of the kurds, what were you doing?


I’m guessing that your were :
a) cheering him on like Rumsfeld and Co.
b) Blissfully unaware of any of it.


People like me and the hapless sojourners always oppose guys like Saddam.


People like you oppose guys like Saddam when the government tells you to, and support them too.

Easy to talk big on the internet Brian.

When you write a statement that would earn you a punch in the nose if you said it in person, maybe you should think befor you hit the post button.

I think you are a knee-jerk leftist, wrong, not evil - but if you cannot say the same (wrong, not evil) of those you disagree with, why bother posting here?

Why bother spending your credibility on a useless insult?

I think you are a knee-jerk leftist, wrong, not evil - but if you cannot say the same (wrong, not evil) of those you disagree with, why bother posting here?


Now I’m completely bemused. What are you talking about?


I never claimed anyone was evil?


Is this about the comment targeting Brook? C’mon do you honestly think if he knew SH was gassing kurds in 1988, that he wouldn’t be wringing his hands to justify it because "He’s our secular bulwark against that crazy theocracy." etc.


I’d be interested to hear your position at the time ...


Plus threatinging violence ... very passè ...

Just for the record, I am female.

"Blissfully unaware" is an assumption on your part. Truth is, for most dictators, economic sanctions and the threats thereof don’t work. With dictators & tyrants, unfortunately, physical force is often required. War IS hell. I don’t take it lightly. When I was little I can remember PRAYING daily that war would not exist. However, I grew up in a real world and sometimes reality demands war.

Don’t assume I am sitting here "safe & warm" in America at risk of losing or feeling nothing. My brother - the one I helped raise - served in both Afghanistan & Iraq. I wasn’t there personally, but part of my heart & soul was. The truth is, I long for nothing MORE than peace, but human nature produces "bastards", if I may use the same term you have in recent posts. History has shown that "bastards" don’t comprehend peace - even when it is clearly evidenced in the behavior of people around them. Saying "Please" doesn’t work with them. Asking nicely while pretending they do not butcher their own people has no effect on them. Therefore, force is required. The war in Iraq was not a first response to a supposed threat. Discount my arguments, try to shame or embarrass me, remind me of the thousands of INNOCENTS lost in the war – I appreciate some of your comments and even read many of the links you post, but understand that I support our troops & our efforts in Iraq. You may voice your dissent, but I will not be ashamed to voice my support.

Brian, People like you oppose guys like Saddam when the government tells you to, and support them too. On top of your preening moral superiority, which you have not demonstrated, had you directed that at me, I would have shown you the floor.

I appreciate some of your comments and even read many of the links you post, but understand that I support our troops & our efforts in Iraq. You may voice your dissent, but I will not be ashamed to voice my support.


I wouldn’t have it any other way. The individual troops are not the problem. On the contrary, they are often exemplary in there efforts and selflessness.


This guy I find particularly encouraging : http://www.boredsoldier.blogspot.com/


Military interventions are sometimes unavoidable, and these are the kind of guys you need in that situation.


I could stick a big "however" on here and ruin what I’m saying with a bunch of qualifications. So I won’t:-)


I wish your brother, and all the allied soldiers the best, and I genuinely hope they stay safe.

On top of your preening moral superiority, which you have not demonstrated, had you directed that at me, I would have shown you the floor.


Yeah ok, it was a bit sickening.


In principle though, purely on a factual basis I’m right. Most americans had no idea who SH was until they were instructed to beleive that he was Satan incarnate. Which wasn’t a hard sell given the evidence.


Those who did know, thought he was a fine fellow, and Iraq a glowing example of a well run secular arab state. A bit like president whatisname in Pakistan .... the military dictator that Bush is so fond of?


Was I really preening?

Yes Brian, Preening:

Brook, be honest. During the Iran/Iraq war, when Amnesty international was protesting Saddams western sponsored gassing of the kurds, what were you doing? Here, you are setting up your moral superiority by denegrating someone you do not know.I’m guessing that your were : a) cheering him on like Rumsfeld and Co. b) Blissfully unaware of any of it. Inserting a tendentious characterization of events, to impugn evil on your political opponents, and ignorance on anyone who does not agree with your characterization. People like me and the hapless sojourners always oppose guys like Saddam. And here the Preening is in the flesh, "I am pure, and you are not." Go suck eggs. ;-)

Now I’ll tell you what I was doing during the Iran - Iraq War: training to fignt an interdiction if it spilled into the Gulf and threatened the flow of Oil to the World. That is, policing the world economy because someone had to.

You pick your "facts" from some anti-american talking point list, they are rather poor characterizations or reality.

Steve Malynn


You are coming off as a little superior yourself there Steve ... kettle/pot etc.

Just answering your false charges, Brian: Is this about the comment targeting Brook? C’mon do you honestly think if he knew SH was gassing kurds in 1988, that he wouldn’t be wringing his hands to justify it because "He’s our secular bulwark against that crazy theocracy." etc. The Cold War was still on, the USSR was arming Iraq, the US was trying to keep the lid on (a dozen helecopters is not "arming Saddam"). I know, I supported part of that effort to keep the straits of Hormuz open - it was directed against Iran more than against Iraq, only because Iran was more a threat.

The Cold War was still on, the USSR was arming Iraq, the US was trying to keep the lid on (a dozen helecopters is not "arming Saddam").


Well Steve, so you are an atrocity apologist after all.


You’ll note, if you cast your eye back that I made the point of mentioning that the "west" was assisting SH. That includes the EU and the US. Although I think, you are modestly understating US involvement. Don’t be shy, embrace the pain.


My overall point, which I’m sure your just peversely avoiding is this : There is always a justification for whatever current scumbag the west chooses to be in bed with. Exhibit A Pakistan.


Yet, looking back, shocked horror. Some of it even genuine. Exhibit B Iraq.


The lesson? The ends never justify the means Stevie, it always bites you in the ... exactly:-)

Well Brian, I tried. Hope you have the sense to be embarrassed when you grow up.

Brian Coughlin (#14),

No, it is not true that our troops "[are] the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping..." and it is disgusting moral equivalence to say so. The root cause is Man’s Fallen Nature, as manifested by a 7th century Death-Cult, Fascist dead-enders and common criminals, 100,000 of whom Saddam released in the run-up to the invasion. But that’s our fault too, huh?

This organization is also to blame for making themselves available as hostages to further their own egos and the cause of the terrorists. Whatever they are saying now, they first called it a "release", not even a "rescue". and they are refusing to co-operate so other victims might be helped and other crimes prevented. Pacifism is inherently selfish and therefore anti-Christian. Christians--indeeed all decent people--have a DUTY to stand between the innocent and the evil. That is what our troops are doing for both us and the Iraqi people. These clowns are merely moral-grandstanders, albeit ones who are endangering other people’s lives and chances at freedom. But that’s a price they are heroically willing to pay for their self-worship.

to further their own egos and the cause of the terrorists


This is an insane contention. Most especially if you have read any of their material.


With your views and attitudes, you would have paid for a front row seat at the crucifixion, and cheered as they drove the nails in.


Of course you woul have explained how Christ had endangered everyone, and what a selfish egoist he was for attracting all that attention. How he had to die.


These people are at least trying to part of the solution, not a bulwark to the status quo. All of us have much to learn from their heroism.

The heroes are our troops and Iraqi citizens who are trying to build a decent civil society despite the harmful and self-centered antics of these glory hounds.

Ironically, they were rescued based on information provided by an "illegally detained" terrorist/criminal. And they now use the phrase "freed safely" instead of "released"--but the fact is that they were rescued. And can only be made and kept free by better men than themselves.

But at least they have their self-esteem--that’s what’s important, after all.

We’re just damned if we "do" and damned if we "don’t", aren’t we? And by "we", I mean America. When we don’t intervene somewhere (rescuing the starved, imprisoned, tortured or terrorized) we’re criticized for being isolationist and cold-hearted; when we do intervene somewhere (rescuing the starved, imprisoned, tortured or terrorized) we’re called warmongers and greedy capitalists. No matter what we say or what we do, there will be critics - and they will be loud critics, even in our own country. Hello, Democracy!!!

On a side note, Brian, I am a Christian. And most likely, I would have been one nailing Christ to the Cross. How many fought it then? Why would I think myself different from them? I hope in my heart that I would have been weeping, but the same crowd that cheered Him upon his entrance into Jerusalem one Sunday, were the same ones shouting "Crucify Him" a week later. It’s human nature.

Well, Rahman has had his execuion stayed. Not sure who long he will last once his fellow prisioners realize he is a Christian convert.

I’m sure that CPT is on their way to Afganistan now to rescue him. Yeah right.

It is cool that people can take the mortgage loans and that opens up new possibilities.

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