Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Zarqawi is dead

In case you haven’t heard, The New York Times reports that US forces have killed Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the top Al-Qaeda man in Iraq. Of course it won’t end the war, but it’s an important victory and proves what one Marine said in the same paper last week but is sometimes hard to remember in the coverage of all the terrible daily attacks: the coalition forces are the hunters, not the hunted.

Discussions - 63 Comments

Never was a target more deserving of precision bombing. Great news!

And we’ll get bin Laden right before the election. This is great!

I am glad he’s dead, too. But, "the hunters, and not the hunted"? So, as we approach 1500 servicemen and women killed in action, those were hunting accidents? Killing one guy and his aides, and a few children does not prove that we have been on top of things all along. It is great news (except, of course, for the women and children) but it does not change the entire picture. It adds to it.

Fung, I doubt seriously that any serviceman or Marine would belittle the deaths of comrades by referring to them as "hunting accidents." I interpret the statement to mean that despite the micro-focus on the death count of our troops, the Coalition forces remain on track and continue to successfully hone in on those who propagate and instigate terrorism.

The "hunters/hunted" comment points to a disturbing acknowledgment that we traveled to Iraq in an aggressive posture.

Zarqawi no doubt committed some terrible acts, but didn’t we just kill an enemy of our own creation?

On a side note, it is/was taught to new Marine Lieutenants, and I quote, that "The greatest thing a man can do is hunt down and kill another man."

Fung - at the risk of being lumped in with body-counting left-wing journalists by culture of life proponent Joseph Knippenberg, I should point out that we are approaching 2,500 servicemen and women who have been killed in Iraq (about 2,000 in combat), not 1,500, as you cited. I didn’t think it was terribly likely that any of the reactionary regulars here would correct you on THAT one, which is a bit surprising, isn’t it, considering their self-proclaimed monopoly on loving and supporting the troops. I’m also curious where Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. troops figure into the hunter-hunted equation.

Deb, do you think we’re just about to "turn the corner" in Iraq now?

Interesting side note, Kubiak. I’d love to hear some thoughts on that one from the Harvey C. Mansfield/"Manliness" fan club here.

Ah, yes, the bleeding hearts club. I believe our action in Iraq is indeed aggressive and is in direct response to terrorism born & bred in that country.

I am of the opinion that we’ve turned many corners in Iraq, but I won’t waste my time trying to convince you otherwise.

I personally know many Marines - was raised by one as a matter of fact. If you want to criticize them, that’s fine - they have fought for many decades to protect your right to do so. As far as the Corps goes, "from the outside looking in, you can never understand it; from the inside looking out, you can never explain it."

If you think I am one to downplay the lives lost in the war, think again. My youngest brother served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. One may call him a "hunter." I will call him a Patriot.

I find it disturbing that such great news about a terrorist being killed has brought out such hatred and animosity not against George Bush but rather against the war effort itself, the military, and the soldiers. This kind of moral equivalency and self-loathing is a disgusting phenomenon. Professor Sikkenga was merely pointing out that contrary to media images, the American forces are not the offensive, not merely defensive bullseye targets for the terrorists.

"contrary to media images, the American forces are not the offensive, not merely defensive bullseye targets for the terrorists."


Craig - Thank you for the correction. I took a nap soon after posting that comment, and quite literally woke up, thinking "2500, not 1500!" I then wondered who, if anyone, would want to correct me regarding that particular error. Thanks again.

Tony, let me echo Craigs "Huh?"

Hatred and animosity? Why is it that being reminded of the innocents being killed is interpreted as hatred and animosity? I prefer Deb’s original: "Bleeding Heart." It is really funny.

Sorry! I meant they are on the offensive, not just sitting ducks.

Don’t argue with these people, Tony. Since they despise the entire enterprise of the Iraqi war, any good news is...actually...bad news, at least to them. They claim to support our troops without supporting the policy, but that’s an oxymoron. What it really means is that they can’t celebrate the death of a mass murderer, nor can they properly mourn the deaths of our soldiers (who support their point of view only when lying dead in heaps...the higher the better). Sickening, anti-American, and traitorous...and that’s the truth.

Wow, Dain, that one’s a real keeper. Some really "intelligent and insightful" remarks. You forgot to capitalize "truth" at the end there.

There really oughta be some law so that if someone doesn’t see things your way, they get sent to a detention camp.

Return to firing your guns in your driveway to celebrate the death of Al-Zarqawi. Party on. Take some pride in it, too, as your comments here at NLT in support of the troops surely played a part in killing Zarqawi.

Tony - make sure that you OBEY DAIN, and don’t argue with me or anyone else who resists Dain’s Truth.

Good God, how can anyone not be elated!? I saw the news as I was cleaning room 118 (hotel room service=worst job EVER) and wanted to call everyone I knew. I’m don’t necessarily think that Fung and the others hate America, but their reactions make me suspicious; maybe there is something to dain’s last comment. The debate over whether to invade Iraq is long over, and I don’t understand why those who initially opposed it continue to do so. Saying the invasion was bad, stupid, blood-bath, etc., is not going to solve the problem and bring the troops home.

Line 2: *I don’t*

Gotta stay one step ahead of the spellcheck nazis...

Andrew, how can you not be elated? Can you spell t.r.a.i.t.o.r? As I told Tony, you can’t argue with people who think we live in Amerika. Our accomplishments disprove their worldview, and are thus despised and belittled. Ignore these people...they will inherit nothing.

Uh-oh Dain, you better watch your back, because it looks like 59% of Americans are T-R-A-I-T-O-R-S!!

59% may be "opposed to the war" or thought it "was a mistake" in the polls - fine. That’s a reasonable basis for discussion. But, we are talking about the killing of the terrorists’ main leader - our enemy. Killed by our American boys. That is something to be very glad of.

To the "Moral eqivilents" minions,i.e Scanlon, Fung The termination of this piece of human debris, Zarqawi, is a time for celebration. His ending can only improve the gene pool in that part of the Middle-East. Capice?

Scanlon, or whatever your name de jour is, surveys are irrelevant on this issue. I know that most Americans are glad this guy is dead...and since there have been about 20 raids so far based on the intel gained by killing this scumbag, ultimately this will pay big dividends.

And those high disapproval ratings have come after 3 years of unremittingly negative spin on the part of the press. Even today, after killing the enemy’s primary leader, the MSM can only say "it won’t make a difference." They are traitors, as are you, and your crappy attitudes give aid and comfort to the enemy. I wonder how many of our boys have died because the insurgents were encouraged by our fifth column here at home.

I make no apologies for my harsh condemnation of people like you. You are traitors, and your attitudes and protests undermine our war effort.

Leftist’s response to Zarqawi’s death: Zarqawi is dead, but (fill in the blank)

Democrat’s response to Zarqawi’s death: Zarqawi is dead, but (fill in the blank)

Mostly Socialist Media response to Zarqawi’s death: Zarqawi’s dead, but (fill in the blank).

Remember that old trick from grade shool, in which you repeat a word over and over and it loses its meaning? Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck, Truck,

Due to indiscriminate application, and ignorance of the importance of context, "Truck" began to lose its meaning.

So it goes with Dain’s use of the word "Traitor."

Think the war is immoral? Traitor. Prefer a war in which lives are risked for actual freedom and liberty, instead of corporate and political gain? Traitor. Find it hard to dance on peoples graves? Traitor. Think this is the worst president ever? Traitor. Tired of Abhu Ghraib, Haditha, Guantanimo, Plame-gate, DeLay gate, Scooter-gate, secret wire-tapping-gate, Rove-gate, stolen-election-gate? Traitor. Traitor. Traitor. Traitor.Traitor. Traitor.Traitor. Traitor.Traitor. Traitor.Traitor. Traitor.

Reluctant to sing "Happy Days are Here Again" because we have seen one good day in a sea of bad ones? Or, that a good day is brought about by two 500 pound bombs? Traitor.

Well, Fung, here’s the definition of treason, which is the crime commited by traitors:

Violation of allegiance toward one’s country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.

We have an army in the field. If you don’t agree with it, then vote otherwise. If you lose, shut up. If you think that constant carping and undermining national morale is part of your "free speech" rights, tell me what exactly would qualify as treason in your book. And then tell me why good ol’ Abe Lincoln shut down certain newspapers...was his definition of treason different than yours? And how is undermining morale any different that giving the enemy our tactical plans? Both harm our efforts, and both cost lives...traitor.

Hey Guido, Here is another example of liberals always with the "good news, but...." line. This one yesterday from Nancy Pelosi:

The corruption extends to legislation written by lobbyists that works for the few, not the many, such as a prescription-drug bill that benefits pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies rather than senior citizens and other Medicare beneficiaries and an energy bill that benefits Big Oil rather than consumers. Mr. DeLay (R-Texas) may be leaving office, but he leaves behind the cost of corruption.

Why can’t she just enjoy?

It is good that we got Zarqawi, but Fung is not a traitor..nor does he give comfort to the enemy...nor does he undermine morale in any way. In point of fact neither Dain nor Fung have more than marginal butterfly ripple effects on the national conciousness...and they probably cancel each other out.

More disturbing than this are the comments of my former roomate and Marine Corps Lieutenant D. Kubiak... While I can attest to the trigger happiness of the Marines...who despite our chem lights came closest to putting us in danger...the marines I have met have been men(and hispanic women) of character. Nevertheless I can say with conviction that in my unit everyone opperates according to the ROE at all times... We aren’t as disciplined as the marines in garrison, our uniforms may not be as starched or as clean and we may not march as well...but we are more disciplined in theater.

...and if "traitor" has lost its meaning from overuse, then "racist" and "fascist" must be inaudible at this point.

In reality, "traitor" has lost its meaning because we as a people have become too decadent to enforce it. Some of us try, however...I hear the Dixie Chicks are having to cancel concerts. That and the death of a mass’s been a fine day.

Oh. And moral gnats say Zarqawi is dead, but Nancy Pelosi says (fill in the blank with something totally irrelevant).

Come on kids, ZARQAWI IS DEAD!!! No buts!!! Zarqawi is, as Ann Coulter would say, D-E-D dead!!! Wahoo??? or Boohoo??? Who’s side are you really on? Face it. The good guys got a BIG win and those who support them (no, really support them) have something to cheer about. Don’t rain on our parade, losers.

Dain, did you see the pics of him? Didn’t he look Pieceful? Suppose the not for profit muhammed has told him yet that he was only kidding?

"Dain": Where have you "heard" that the Dixie Chicks are canceling concerts? That would certainly seem to be an unusual step to take for a band that has the #1 album on the Billboard Country Music Charts:

Mr. Lewis: what branch of the military are you in? Are you currently serving in Iraq? If so, here’s hoping you get back in one, healthy piece.

John Lewis? THE John Lewis? The John Lewis entering Ashland University in the fall of ’99 and one time Ashbrook Scholar? The man who was the crown prince of universal determinism turned world’s greatest J.S. Mill advocate? Long time no hear, John. I finally graduated...this May. Kubiak, nice to see you again too. How are things with you both?

Its really a big achievement. Hopefully, another 9/11 is xpected at hell now.


What’s the source of your bitterness? No one important has made broad statements about the significance of Al-Zaqarwi’s death. Even President Bush, who could use the lift, indicated that his death was only a small victory, and that we still faced a large opposition.

I heard yesterday that there are five or six militia-like groups in Iraq, and that while Al-Zaqarwi’s was the largest, there are still four or five different groups still fully intact. Also, it would be ridiculous to think that no one will take Al-Zaqarwi’s place...hell, we didn’t know who he was until three years ago. But, regardless, a bad man died yesterday. He committed atrocities against mankind and he was our enemy. Good riddance. There is no need to compare his death to the difficulties we have faced in Iraq. There is no proper point of comparison.

Perhaps your bitterness comes from disillusionment. Does it anger you if people use a capital "T" when spelling Truth? I mean, if they believe it rather than only using it for rhetorical purposes? I can imagine that would make life difficult, especially with having such an interest in politics and philosophy.

Isaac...I got the Dixie Chicks news from Reuters. Too bad for them...album sales are distinctly second to touring as a way of making money. The music companies suck up most of the album profits. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of gals (personally, I’m ashamed that they are from Texas).

Fred, why the amateur attempt at psychoanalyzing me? How do you know I’m "bitter" in the first place? I could ask the equally pointless, groundless question of "What is the source of your arrogance and condescension?", but I won’t.

"Does it anger you if people use a capital "T" when spelling Truth? I mean, if they believe it rather than only using it for rhetorical purposes?"

Well, Fred, it depends on the context. Certainly you can imagine some claims to "Truth" that might be deeply and sincerely believed by the person uttering them, but which you strongly disagree with. Also, my guess is that your analysis of if and when a claim to T/truth would be sincere or only "for rhetorical purposes" might be swayed from perfect objectivity by your opinion regarding their claim. I trust I don’t need to supply examples of someone (of influence) making a claim to Truth that you (and I) would almost certainly disagree with. There are a variety of understandable emotional responses to that situation, but anger wouldn’t be the only one. One’s emotional response is hardly the most important subsequent thing, unless you’re engaging in a psych. experiment. When dain makes a claim to truth - be it lower-case or lofty-ideas-uppercase - by declaring me (and others) to be an "anti-American" "traitor" who can not "properly mourn the deaths of our soldiers," well, to use a favorite phrase of Kate’s, I don’t find this to be pleasing. On the other hand, I realize (or at least, that dain is not a person of great importance or influence, so feeling bitter is quite unnecessary. As much as I disagree with the keyboard warriors here, I find myself chuckling as often as I do shaking my head in disgust; often, it’s both simultaneously.

I represent millions of (less-articulate) Americas who feel just the same as I do. In their minds, you are a traitor...indeed, since Congress authorized this action in Iraq, your vocal opposition to the war is both illogical and illegitmate. As for whether I’m important or more and no less than anyone else on this blog.

And, you know, I keep wondering what DOES qualify as treason in the minds of people like you, Craig/troll. Do you actually have to kill American soldiers, for instance? Engage in actual espionage? When those dumbass American protestors went over to Iraq to form "human shields," where they guilty of treason or just exercising their speech rights?

Here’s a little evidence of how the media/vociferous opponents of the war aid the enemy: in a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly Robert Kaplan was with some Marines and soldiers in the Mosul area (haven’t heard much about it lately, have ya?) Apparently there are no car-bombings in the area anymore because there are no journalists there to report them. The journalists largely limit themselves to the Baghdad Green Zone. The terrorists (or freedom fighters) don’t want to waste resources if the world will not see the results, but still, thank God that those journalists are there to provide us with the Truth.


I was trying to be neither arrogant nor condescending with my question. I don’t think it was groundless. You seem to be a pretty knowledgeable guy, and it appears you, like the rest of us, spend too much time on this blog...but all of your posts have this tortured, angst-filled sense to them. I can easily envision the smirk with a shake of the head when you write your comments. I asked the question b/c I was wondering why you read the blog if it angers you so much.

I also don’t think it was pointless. If the immediate response to the death of Al-Zaqarwi is to belittle it through false comparisons of moral association to the entire United States’ operation in Iraq, then it seems it might be related to bitterness.

I misunderstood your comment to Dain about T/truth. I agree with most of what you said about it, but I don’t think a person’s opinion about a subject must undermine their ability to understand its truth when they are presented with it. This blog is evidence enough (outside of mudslinging and acheiving subjective feelings of superiority) that people are drawn to debate in order to come to an understanding. If we live in the muck of pure subjectivity, then what would be the point? Why would we be drawn to argument like we are (especially if we’re not interested in blue ribbons)?

OHMYGOD, are trying to reason with him. Look, man, just go slam your head against a cinderblock’ll end up with the same results, but it’s faster and ultimately less frustrating.

I find it amusing that dain puts so much energy into trying to convince others not to reply to, argue or converse with me, as if people couldn’t make such a decision on their own.

Fred, to be more direct, I just don’t think that the source of my emotions is a very interesting topic, whatever you might speculate it to be. If you’re curious about bitter people, should I direct you to another regular here at NLT, whose name begins with a ’d’? Why do I read this blog? I am a curious person. I want to know what sort of thoughts and principles people have who write under the ideal or motivation of "no left turns." I am curious how people justify and rationalize things. It is interesting to watch academics who are positioned fairly far on the right fringe defend Bush (most of the time) - or to see what they dislike about him. I am interested in the many varieties of conservatism, esp. the Straussians & neocons. Of course, I disagree with about 97% (maybe more?) of the ideas and opinions expressed, but there are some things to be learned here, if not always the didactic lessons intended. I also find it interesting to see what sort of comments the blog posts attract. I feel no need to only read that which I agree with. Does that help?

Fred, can you please tell me where/how I "belittle[d]" "the death of Al-Zagarwi"(sic) "through false comparisons of moral association [?! that could be more clear] to the entire United States’ operation in Iraq." Please indicate in which sentence(s) I did that. My initial comment was in response to Fung’s mistaken body count and Deb’s gushing optimism (as we’ve heard over and over and over again, how we’re about to "to turn the corner" and whatnot). I also took issue with Sikkenga’s machismo-tinted (or wait, is that just Manliness?) "hunter/hunted" analogy, along with Kubiak and Fung, but I wanted to know where dead Iraqi civilians fit into that dichotomy. I didn’t know one was obliged on the thread to give an official Statement of Glee regarding the guy’s death; I just responded to some other issues.

Regarding Zarqawi, I’m not "elated" and don’t feel inclined to "celebrate" his death, no. I’m not big on celebrating death in general (yet another thing that separates me from the terrorists). Yes he was a ruthless terrorist and surely a supremely scummy character. He brought a lot of grief to the world. I would have preferred to see him captured and tried for his crimes, like I do any such persons. A woman and child were killed in the same bombing that got Zarqawi; it might’ve been a good thing to avoid those deaths. After a one hour Zarqawi Death Party, should there be 5 seconds of silence for at least the dead kid, who could’ve someday experienced Bush’s gifts of Freedom and Democracy (TM)? What’s the protocol there? (Maybe he too was "born an American, just in the wrong place" and he could’ve become an Ashbrook Scholar and seen Mr. Schramm’s motorcycle collection after a great day in classes) I seriously doubt that Zarqawi’s death will reduce the number or intensity of future terrorist acts.

I seriously doubt that Zarqawi’s death will reduce the number or intensity of future terrorist acts.

Well that’s because you’re an Amerika hating traitor, Craig. (There Dain, I saved you the trouble!)

Just one point of scholarly clarification: the phrase "the hunters, not the hunted" in the original post was taken from the op-ed piece written by a Marine Corps officer who has served several tours in Iraq. As a professor, I make no claim to machismo or any other kind of manliness.

Craig/troll...I don’t mind if Fred wastes his time on one should fear you -- I just don’t think we should waste a lot of time on someone who mostly snipes and (occasionally) adds irrelevant drivel to a thread.

If you don’t feel joy at the death of this murderer, then that tells us everything we need to know about you. It’s a pure litmus test...just like support for the Afghan war. And it tells us volumes about your motivations...making suspect anything else you might say.

" I represent millions of (less-articulate) Americas who feel just the same as I do"

Time for your Haldol, my friend! You’ve been spitting it out, again, while the nurse isn’t watching, haven’t you???

And the Dixie Chicks can play for me, any day! Imagine, pretty girls who can think!

Phil/Fung...see #44 above.

Wow, even crappy social scientists like me use multiple assessments and measurements before we categorize a person.

Mr. Sikkenga - clarification noted. The hunter/hunted phrasing was from a Marine; you just said that it was proven by recent events.

dain - Has Fred, or anyone, solicited you for time management tips? Do you provide this service to your millions of fellow "less-articulate Americas" (sic)??

Do you provide this service to your millions of fellow "less-articulate Americas" (sic)?? that’s an idea.

Wow, even crappy social scientists like me use multiple assessments and measurements before we categorize a person.

In reality, psychotards and other slockologists start with the "proper" conclusions and "fiddle" with their measures until the data scream (and yield the desired outcome). I think my "measure" is inherently more objective because I’m not lying to myself (and my audience).

Yes Paul, it is me, Congrats on graduation...are you still in the GC-5?...I am over here with the boots on the ground...or more acurately tires...since I drive trucks (HET’s) in a transportation company that supplies marines and soilders in Iraq. I am in 28th Trans 1/77 HET(originally field artillery) in the Army.

Actually I am still uncertain about determinism...I believe that we live in a world in which cause and effect opperate. I also think most people are completely structured by the culture, and that to a large degree human beings are creatures of habit. If we want to change ourselves we have to change our habits...and that takes a strong commitment to change. I do believe that John Stuart Mill’s On liberty is a foundational text. Strangely enough in my argument with Dain he pulled out all the old cultural arguments for determinism that I used to embibe in...even stranger still is the fact that given his disposition to determinism he would call people traitors for disagreeing with if they had a choice!

For me it is interesting to think about how good ol’ Dan who used to walk around chanting kill, kill, kill..and who took this devotion with him to the Corps in a time of war no less is suddenly a Peace advocate(this in itself gives me pause...) But then again I prefer the army to the marines because we are less brainwashed...and more reasonable(or so they brainwash us into thinking:).

Just for the record...I would always prefer to be the hunter rather than the hunted...the truth is I am probably the hunted...but then again I am the hunted in the sense that an elephant can be hunted with birdshot. Our vehicles are heavilly armored and we always have superior fire power. I dislike IED’s because they mean I have to change some flat tires...(I have yet to be hit directly...but the debris in the roads causes a lot of flats.)

I am glad that the insurgents believe that the will of allah guides the bullets...(otherwise they might bother to aim) A lot of the time they must belive that the will of Allah also governs the maximum effective range...pop shots from a long ways off make it hard to discern who is shooting. I have yet to even bother firing a round because I have yet to have a clear shot or a discernable target.

I really agree with the sentiment that we should be the hunters and not the hunted...but I can agree also with Dan Kubiak who disagrees with this sentiment...and here is why.

Mike Caro notes that in a poker game people play a lot of hands when they come to a table because they came to play poker and not to fold. This is human nature. A marine or a soilder goes through a lot of trainning. People in combat arms like my artilery unit dislike working as truck drivers doing supply missions...we would rather kick down doors...mix it up. People joined to fight! But unless we exercise discipline and judgement we risk violating the ROE...or playing hands we shouldn’t play. The Marine corps mentality is probably at odds with the requirements of most situations...we are fighting cowards and the desire is always there to reraise them to get them to fold. But as soon as we think of it they are gone. Marines are good fighters...highly disciplined...but at the same time less cautious and more impetuous than soilders...that is what got some them in trouble at Haditha, but this doesn’t mean that you would want warriors who would rather be hunted than hunters.

Don’t get me started on Mill, John! And I’m not a foundationalist in the sense that I think people are automatons. Even with cultural scripts, people have leeway...but not the enormous amount of leeway typically needed to morph into Rand’s hero-capitalist, savior of the universe and defender against the great unwashed Looter! Generally what defeats cultural scripts is not nobility and Will, but plain ol’ human corruptibility.

Keep your head down over there, John. As much as I think you err on some issues, I’d miss your contributions.

To oppose war or to oppose a certain war or to oppose a military action is most certainly not traitorous or seditious.

However, to give aid and comfort to the enemy, to propagandize for the enemy, and to actively help the enemy is.

The problem is discerning where the line is. Sometimes it is extremely clear, other times it is not.

Aside from rooting for the enemy and wallowing in the casualty counts, the Fungs and Scanlons of the world clearly try to incite disaffection with the war...perhaps even civil disobedience (who knows...both are probably dues-paying members of Given that Abe Lincoln thought that the manipulation of public opinion was both important and potentially treasonous, how much truer is that given the current adversarial media and global communication? Its one thing to oppose a war before it starts, quite another to actively undermine the conduct of the war with an army in the field...’Father Abraham’ sure as Hell thought so.


Professor Sikkenga referes to the marine’s comment b/c most people believe the war has become a quagmire(59% based on your poll)with no clear objective. The death of Al-Zarqawi tends to indicate that objectives are being carried out (this is obvious, but then it may be easier for a less-articulate person to understand; way to go the insult route, now true understanding is at our fingertips). Fung used the death toll in order to muddy the significance of Sikkenga’s quote. No one made a claim that we are "on top of things," as Fung states.

If the success of killing an important enemy can only be weighed in contrast with the number of American deaths the war has brought, then it seems you are making a claim of "moral association" b/w the death of an enemy and the war operation. When you came on and re-emphasized the death toll, you made the intended meaning of Sikkenga’s quote even less clear, thereby seconding the claim of "moral association."

I’m not going to spell check this comment. I am going to DVR the Scripps National Spelling Bee and look for you in the crowd Craig. Were you ever a contestant?

Fred - So, the military is achieving some of its ojectives. They killed Zarqawi. Nonetheless, as you noted, no is claiming that U.S. forces in Iraq are "on top of things." To the extent that no one is claiming that (and frankly I bet someone is), I’m encouraged by the spreading comprehension of that evidence-based reality.

I find the hunter-hunted thing to just be feel-good macho posturing; delusional chest-thumping. Here we are, what, more than three years after Bush declared an end to "major combat operations" and Cheney long ago characterized an insurgency in its "last throes," yet, tellingly, keeping track of who is after who IS "sometimes hard to remember in the coverage of all the terrible daily attacks." (or is it really? I haven’t forgotten that the U.S. INVADED Iraq; that’s a "Hunter" position. Yet, then again, the invasion was described as being an urgent form of pre-emptive self-defense; perhaps that’s not the position of the "Hunted" necessarily, but it isn’t exactly "Hunter," either) The liberal-biased "MSM" cop-out became threadbare long ago (now it’s like a Janet Jackson Super Bowl "malfunction"). U.S. soldiers are coming back maimed and in coffins by the thousands and this would still be true even if the media declined to inform us about it.

As for your chiding me for "going the insult route," please review the thread. I was merely quoting dain. I can’t decide if I should be flattered or frustrated that you seem to be holding me to a different/much higher standard than that for dain, who seemingly can’t get through a single comment now without the name-calling routine. I’ll opt to feel flattered, I guess.

I never said "the success of killing an important enemy can only be weighed in contrast with the number of American deaths the war has brought," and I wouldn’t, particularly with the word "only."

I also don’t think it’s exactly fair to say that I "re-emphasized the death toll" simply by correcting Fung. His number nearly cut the true toll in half. If I mistakenly said that 1,500 Americans died on 9/11, I’d expect to be corrected. Maybe I should have tested my theory to see if any of the NLT loyalists would have corrected him.

I was never in the national spelling bee. What does that have to do with this? (But since you brought it up, I think it’s funny that they show it on ESPN, or that they used to)

also don’t think it’s exactly fair to say that I "re-emphasized the death toll" simply by correcting Fung. His number nearly cut the true toll in half. If I mistakenly said that 1,500 Americans died on 9/11, I’d expect to be corrected. Maybe I should have tested my theory to see if any of the NLT loyalists would have corrected him.

No, "Craig," you are wallowing in those casualty numbers. They are just so many political chips to people like you...we’ve all encountered your type before.

If you want to play the numbers game, let’s talk about Vietnam. We lost an average of 655 per month in Vietnam...about 10 times than the monthly butcher’s bill in Iraq. And this war means much more to us than Vietnam ever did...and yet, we are losing the war (according to you and the MSM). What’s happening in Iraq today is a low-level civil war between Sunni and Shia. Fundamental change never comes without costs...instead of using our men as counters in your small political games, how about honoring what they are trying to do?

And there, not a single name...I don’t need to call you are self-condemning. But it is fun to repay the Left in their own coin.

Lack of spelling and this kind of medium go hand in hand.

" And this war means much more to us than Vietnam ever did.."

Funny, I don’t remember the war-mongers calling Vietnam meaningless while it was going on, do you? Instead, I remember EXACTLY this kind of stupid defense of death by committing to more death. The Left was suggesting that our reasons for fighting in Vietnam were NOT sufficient to merit more American deaths. The war mongers told us about the domino theory, the yellow hordes, the unrelenting march of communism, and suggested that a bad month in Vietnam was better than a good month during WWI. Only traitors suggested that Vietnam wasn’t the lynchpin of civilization.

But, I don’t remember the dains and rumsfelds and bushes and rices during the late 60’s and early 70s suggesting that Vietnam wasn’t meaningful.

What will you be writing in 20 years about this one?

What will you be writing in 20 years about this one? I guess that depends on whether it becomes a representative government or not. I have no was a risky venture from the beginning...and Bush said that...repeatedly.

As for Vietnam, in what sense did the "domino effect" not happen. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma...only Thailand escaped Communism in the immediate region. Lots of insurgency in the Philippines, and if the USSR had survived there would still be lots of Marxist terrorism going on there.

Did we succeed in Vietnam? No, because of Democrats who just didn’t have the spine to fight the war the way it needed to be fought. It’s a whole topic that I’ll get into if you insist...but I think we could have had another "Korea" with wise management.

And I wonder if South Koreans appreciate their freedoms? Or was that just another bit of Amerikan adventurism?

I want to get Dain started on Mill... perhaps giving Dr. Sikkenga the record for most threads on a post would convince him to speak out more. On the other hand I wouldn’t mind getting Dain going on Rand either.

On the other hand no one has really noted that Iran is happy that Zarquawi is dead...making Iran unhappy is almost worth bringing him back to life...after all he was a "terrorist" largely dedicated to fighting Iranian influence. Perhaps from many political landscapes there is yet room to question celebration of his death... The United States is on top of things over here in Iraq, we control the roads, we control the cities...and the portions not controlled by allies are controlled by groups of american mercenaries like Blackwater USA. The bigger question is: Does the United States control the political/cultural climate? The answer to this is: No. Provided the wrong people use the proper democratic channels and methods they are unstopable...

If you get me started on either Rand or Mill this will most certainly be the "mother of all threads." Either topic really requires its own thread, John.

I’m more interested in your comments about Iraq. Zarqawi hated Shia, true, but he also blew up fellow Jordanians (which was ultimately his undoing, according to press accounts). How do you know the Iranians are unhappy about his death? I thought chaos served their purposes.

Morever, when you say cultural/political climate, what do you mean exactly? Is there no way to use some kind of clever jujitsu to make this culture work FOR us instead of AGAINST us?

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