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Pale comparisons

I've always been fond of the game of chess. It's fascinated me since I was seven or so, when I was a gifted amateur. Unfortunately, I haven't progressed much beyond that stage, but I still enjoy it on occasion.

In chess, one successful tactic is to sacrifice a lesser piece in order to capture an opponent's of higher value. Pawns are traded for knights, knights for rooks, rooks for queens, and the like. In each case, the end result is the same: while both sides are weakened, one player comes out clearly the better.

In politics, this is true, too. Occasionally, one side will willingly offer up one of its own people if, in the process, they can bring down a higher-ranking member of the opposition. And last week, we witnessed a masterful demonstration of this tactic.

Senator Dick Durbin's remarks on the floor of the Senate comparing the US running of Guantanamo to Nazi death camps, Soviet Gulags, and the Cambodian killing fields had pretty much run their course. Durbin had taken considerable heat, but it looked like it would blow over with a minimum of permanent damage.

Then, enter Karl Rove. He goes to a Conservative Party convention in New York state, and gives a real stem-winder of a speech lauding them and speaking of the glories of conservatism. And in the middle of the speech, he tosses in some red meat. He singles out Howard Dean and Michael Moore as examplars of the worst of modern liberalism, and then goes into depth on the offenses of Moveon.org and brings back up Senator Durbin's remarks.

As expected -- nay, as planned -- this sends the Left into a horrible frenzy. Rove is denounced, railed against, there are calls for his resignation or firing. There are probably even a few whackos over at DU (but I repeat myself) who call for his head on a pike.

But then, an odd (but entirely predictable) thing happens. People go and look at just what Rove said, and start thinking: it might have been a smidgen over the top, but was it fundamentally inaccurate? Did he honestly recount what Durbin said, and some of the entirely-predictable consequences that have already come to pass?

All of a sudden Durbin, who thought he was over the worst of it with his pathetic non-apology ("if you were offended, I'm sorry."), finds himself in the center of a renewed firestorm over his remarks. And not because Karl Rove mentioned it, but because so many of Durbin's allies have fallen for the bait and are constantly repeating it.

And here's a major difference: Karl Rove, while he may be a political genius and the architect of many of Bush's successes, is only officially the Deputy Chief Of Staff -- an appointed position. He's a political operative at his core, not a leader. Durbin, however, is the #2 Democrat in the Senate. Rove may not exactly be a pawn and Durbin a Queen in the grand scope of things, but Durbin holds a far greater position of public trust -- and can withstand a lot less heat than Rove.

There is one major difference between chess and politics, however. The game of chess is, literally as well as figuratively, black and white. A piece is either captured or not. In politics, however, people are seldom removed from the board entirely and permanently, save by death. Many times after a severe blow, a political figure will stagger on, gravely wounded and crippled, but remaining on the stage. That appears to be the case here.

Another example of this, lesser but telling, is when my Fearless Leader discussed, in depth, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd's history in the Ku Klux Klan. David Anderson, normally one of the more reasonable and readable members of the Left, responded thusly:

And just what was Ronald Reagan's membership in the John Birch Society?

I hadn't heard about that, so I went to the links one of his supporters cited. And was I ever educated.

According to a single unnamed source, an FBI informant described as "reliable" said Reagan was a member of the John Birch society in 1960. Not a single shred of corroborating evidence is presented to back this up. Numerous accounts of Reagan courting Birchers to support him are cited, and his dance of flirting with them while carefully keeping just enough distance for propriety's sake, are cited, but no one has managed to uncover a single piece of evidence to back up that single un-named informant's claim.

And let's, for a moment, presume that Reagan had indeed been a Bircher at one point: so what?

I've kept an eye on the Birchers off and on for some years. And my conclusion is this:

The Birchers are batshit crazy. They're conspiracy nuts of the highest magnitude. They're wild-eyed fanatics, seeing Communist plots under every leaf and convinced that every single happening is just another tiny piece of the Grand Evil Plot To Destroy All That Is Decent And Good, As Emblemized By America. They're paranoid and delusional and utterly without redeeming value, beyond their worth as entertainment.

But what they are not is dangerous. They've never been implicated in anything resembling violence. They've never killed anyone, that I know of, and don't hold massive demonstrations to threaten their "enemies" with mob violence.

Let that stand in sharp contrast with the Ku Klux Klan, America's original home-grown terrorists. To compare the two groups is obscene. While the Birchers could consider it an insult, I really don't give a faded fart about their hurt feelings -- they've got plenty of more important things to get outraged than that. What is far more significant about the comparison is that it (pardon the pun) whitewashes the Klan, gives them a veneer of respectability and helps mask their despicable, contemptible, vile past.

But to bring it back to individuals, let's look at Reagan and Byrd again. Reagan, who has been out of office and the public eye for sixteen years, and dead for one. And his membership is a simple, unsubstantiated allegation.

Byrd, on the other hand, is still a sitting Senator and Democratic leader. He was a key force behind the "compromise" (cough, spit) on Bush's judicial nominees of late.

And he wasn't just a brief member of the Ku Klux Klan. He was the founder, organizer, chief recruiter, and leader of a chapter. And he's never detailed any great "Saul on the road to Damascus" conversion, when he suddenly realized just how wrong and immoral and evil the Klan was. Instead, it was a mere "youthful indiscretion."

So, if the left wants to hang the "John Birch member" label on Reagan, so be it. But they better be willing to accept Byrd's despicable history -- and utter failure to repudiate the organization of which he once was a leading figure.


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Comments (33)

Hmmmm."According t... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

"According to a single unnamed source, an FBI informant described as "reliable" said Reagan was a member of the John Birch society in 1960."

No doubt someone will one day accuse Reagan of being a secret KKK member on the basis of an anonymous source. Frankly some of these people seem certifiable.

I think you are rightin tha... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think you are rightin that Byrd and the John Birch comparison seem to give the Klan an air of respectability that it does not deserve.

Are you saying the Dems sac... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Are you saying the Dems sacrificed Durbin to get Rove or that the Repubs half sacrificed Rove to half get Durbin? Also, do you believe the Dems have psychic powers? That the Dems foresaw Rove's speech and so set up Durbin for sacrifice weeks ahead of time?

And when you say "as expected" "nay, as planned" who do you mean? It's clear that the Dems do not have psychic powers so you must mean that Rove and Bush expected, nay, planned, for the Left to nuts. Right? That's kind of odd don't you think. Planning to say something offensive just to get a rise out of the opposition? What happened to all your hand wringing about the coarsening of political debate? Here we have a calculated move to coarsen the debate, right down to obfuscations, smears and outrageous insinuations, and you don't say boo.

And yes people did go and look at what Rove said. After spending the last decade or so painting every Democrat to the left of Zell Miller as a stark raving hate-America liberal, Rove gives a speech using the word "conservative" and "liberal," cearly meaning the two to be taken as synonyms for Republican and Democrat. I mean seriously you're again either bein deliberately obtuse or you support this kind slick, propagandistic twisting of the language. To top if off he uses MoveOn, Michael Moore and Howard Dean in the same sentence as if they were all part of the same monolithic entity, liberalism. So yes he did say something fundamentally inaccurate: Dean supported the war in Afghanistan. The Democratic party supported the war in Afghanistan and most of them voted for the war in Iraq. And no he did not honestly recount what Durbin said. Durbing did not compare the actions of US troops to Hitler or Pol Pot, he asked if anyone felt that what an FBI officer witnessed was recognizable as the kind of behavior one normally associates with Americans or tyrrants. If you were honest you'd have to say that no, traditionally, before Bush took over, one would not associate that kind of behavior with America. Now, sadly, it's on the record.

On another point, let's be ... (Below threshold)
frameone:

On another point, let's be honest. What's really going on here is Rove wants to paint the larger Democratics and liberal opposition to the war in Iraq as somehow being opposition to the war against al-Qaeda generally. When in reality we all know that the war in Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror.

I think he is saying that t... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think he is saying that the GOP sacrificed Rove to make Durbin look worse, but I may be wrong.

Rove contrary to the tinfoil hat types isn't all that powerful. He definitely has great strategy and a keen understanding of politics (and even the liberals have to admit that they would love to have a liberal Rove working for them), but he doens't really hold a position that carries much power.

But back to the KKK thing-what is it with rivisionists wanting to turn the KKK into some kind of Kiwanis club?

What Rove did was point out... (Below threshold)
Huda Thunkit:

What Rove did was point out that liberalism --once a force for good in America-- has simply become the anti-Americans. Therer is nothing they won't do to defame, demean, or otherwise bash the US.

That Democrats (a political party) took offense points out that the Party has degenerated. Rove named MoveOn, Michael Moore, Howard 'Hate' Dean, and Dick 'Gulag' Durbin; all unmistakably self-proclaimed liberals.

Rove: Liberals have degenerated.
Democrats: Don't talk about us like that!

OR

Rove: "This shoe (waves it) has stickers on it that say 'I hate America'. (wrinkles nose) It's owner has horrible foot-rot too. It's disgusting"
Democrats: You evil man! (snatches shoe, crams oversize foot into it) Don't talk about my shoe that way.

The bottom line is that Rove isn't a genius, it's that the Democratic leadership's become slug-stupid.... and increasingly anti-American, irrelevant liberals.

Good analogy JT. I do thin... (Below threshold)
Fersboo:

Good analogy JT. I do think it needs a little cleaning up though. I think Rove's move is more of a skewer or pin, in that as the Dems move to attack Rove, they leave Durbin exposed to the threat.

"What Rove did was point ou... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"What Rove did was point out that liberalism --once a force for good in America-- has simply become the anti-Americans. Therer is nothing they won't do to defame, demean, or otherwise bash the US."

This is simpy not the case. Rove is not pointing out what liberalism has become, he and the right-wing have spent the last decade or more recasting what liberalism has always done in in anegative light, essentially turning liberal into a bad word. If fighting for fair labor laws and creating Social Security was not unAmerican, then defending labor laws and defending Social Security isn't unAmerican either. If standing against toture wasn't unAmerican fifty years ago it isn't now.

Opposing toture and arguing in favor of the rule of law (the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention Against Torture etc.) are not unAmerican. Here's the truth. If we are indeed fighting a war without end in the war on terror then what we have in GITMO and Ab Ghraib and elsewhere are permanent prisons for captured combatants (there is no such legal term as 'illegal/unlawful combatant'). These are places where people can be held for the duration of hostilities which, in the case of our war on terror, looks like in perpetuity, forever. Then we know for a fact that abuses have gone on and that people have died in our custody under suspicious circumstances. People have been tortured. Put it all together and we are in the earliest stages of what is indeed a gulag system, where people dissapear without legal protections, essentially forever, and where, the potential for abuse and torture is high. Arguing against the establishment of such a system is not unAmerican. It is not going out of one's way to defame the country. The country didn't set this system up. The Bush administration did. You have to separate the policymakers from the country itself. Bush and his policies are not America. To suggest that they are is to move us a step too close to the very kinds of tyrranies we oppose.

No, Frameone -- liberals... (Below threshold)

No, Frameone -- liberals turned liberal into a bad word by morphing into the anti-American moonbat left.

frameoneThe "liber... (Below threshold)

frameone

The "liberalism" of Dean, Kucinich, Moveon, Moore et al is not the liberalism of FDR or JFK (as in Kennedy not Kerry). That classical liberalism which was also anti-leftist, has been subsumed by the contemporary American Left. A Left that holds as its central tenet "groups rights" trump individual rights.

See Kelo et al v New London

please. read what durbin sa... (Below threshold)
garth:

please. read what durbin said, moron. he did in no way say american troops were nazis, and you know it. he said that kind of behavior is not what you'd expect from America, but from an oppressive regime. i know its a nuanced point, but it's not in any way wrong. you people miss a very important thing that's got those opposed to these policies upset: there is no due process here. we need due process. if you are willing to support due process, thus constitutional protection, of even those SUSPECTED of being the worst amoung us, then you'll go a long way towards allaying the fears and calming the anger of those you idiotically term "anti-American".
The whole "moonbat" hating crowd has it's own myopic assumptions they're not willing to look past, and they act surprised when they're called lunatics. Well, it's because YOU ARE.

please. read what durbin... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

please. read what durbin said, moron. he did in no way say american troops were nazis, and you know it. he said that kind of behavior is not what you'd expect from America, but from an oppressive regime.

I did read what he said, and if somebody inferred that I was behaving like a Nazi, then I would take them at the word.

Also, I just love it how Durbin didn't really mean that our soldiers were nazi's, but somehow Rove meant Liberal=democrats.

if you are willing to su... (Below threshold)

if you are willing to support due process, thus constitutional protection, of even those SUSPECTED of being the worst amoung us

Ah, garth, but I do!

I just don't try and confuse or conflate what the Constitution says about "due process" vis a vis our criminal judicial process and what is appropriate for unlawful combatants which is the province of the military.

You do need to actually read the Geneva conventions before pretending that irregulars captured on a field of battle making war on American troops and identified as members of al Qaeda or the Taliban are either civilians or POWs.

I'm sure when al Qaeda sues for peace, negotiation of the release of their members can start.

Methinks Frameone protests ... (Below threshold)
jim rhoads (vnjagvet):

Methinks Frameone protests too much. Durbin was misunderstood. But what was Durbin's rhetorical point for if not to compare an isolated interrogation tactic at Gitmo with three of the most bloodthirsty regimes of the 20th century.

Yeah Durbin didn't mean it but Rove really did mean to demean moderate Democrats. For me, FO's long explanation falls flat as an eggless souffle'.

Darleen and McGhee displayi... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Darleen and McGhee displaying just how thoroughly soaked in Rovian spin they are. See guys, this is the groupthink that Rove and Co. have spent the last two decades trying to pound into your heads. The transplant has taken! It's alive!


No, Frameone -- liberals turned liberal into a bad word by morphing into the anti-American moonbat left.
Posted by: McGehee at June 25, 2005 01:28 PM

frameone

The "liberalism" of Dean, Kucinich, Moveon, Moore et al is not the liberalism of FDR or JFK (as in Kennedy not Kerry). That classical liberalism which was also anti-leftist, has been subsumed by the contemporary American Left. A Left that holds as its central tenet "groups rights" trump individual rights.

See Kelo et al v New London
Posted by: Darleen at June 25, 2005 01:55 PM

geez frameoneyou r... (Below threshold)

geez frameone

you repost McGhee's and my comments then...

...then....

well, silence is one of your better modes, I admit. Shows you might be thinking.

Considering the number of m... (Below threshold)

Considering the number of manifestos that you write using the bandwidth of others, you should be blogging, frameone.

But Darleen the vast majori... (Below threshold)
frameone:

But Darleen the vast majority of the policies and issues that liberals, progressives, Democrats what have you flow straight from the policies and issues staked out by FDR, JFK and others. To argue that the contemporary liberal position on Social Security, labor law, the environment, health care, education is somehow alien to anything that came before is a load of right-wing spin. Conservatives and Republicans hated Social Secuirty when it was established and they hate it now. They're tactics have changed, however, in how to color the issue.

Granted, liberals and Democrats have not had the most well articulated positions on some foreign policy issues but it's without a doubt obvious that the Democratic Party was united with the rest of the country in the decision to go to invade Afghanistan. Did you even know that the Department of Homeland Security was porposed by Democrats and that Bush initially opposed the idea? So please. Rove's whole speech was more distortion and obfuscation, distortion and obfuscation that you swallow whole.

FDR first proposed a Soc Se... (Below threshold)

FDR first proposed a Soc Sec system that would eventually be a private insurance system, not the bloated 100% government pay-as-you-go tax. Today's tottering ponzi scheme would horrify FDR.

Did you know that welfare reform was Republican proposal that Billy Jeff initially opposed? (wanna keep playing this game?)

Now, was Rove obfuscating when he said:

We are seizing the Mantle of Idealism. As all of you know, President Bush is making a powerful case for spreading human liberty and defending human dignity. This was once largely the preserve of liberalism — but Ronald Reagan changed all that. It was President Reagan, you’ll recall, who said the policy of the United States was not simply to contain Soviet Communism, but to transcend it. And we would, he argued, was because of the power of liberty.

How distorted was this:

Submitting a petition is precisely what Moveon.org did. It was a petition imploring the powers that be to “use moderation and restraint in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States.”

or

Has there been a more revealing moment this year than when Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, compared what Americans had done to prisoners in our control at Guantanamo Bay with what was done by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot — three of the most brutal and malevolent figures in the 20th century?

I know this part of his speech I agree with:

We need to learn from our successes — and from the failures of the other side and ourselves. As the governing movement in America, conservatives cannot grow tired or timid. We have been given the opportunity to govern; now we have to show we deserve the trust of our fellow citizens.

Certainly a hell of a lot more confident and inspiring than the "I hate Republicans and what they stand for ... just a bunch of white Christians have never worked a day in their lives" rabble rousing Dean tosses to the leftist-cum-liberals.

In late 2001 I heard a lot ... (Below threshold)
cat:

In late 2001 I heard a lot of Americans on the airwaves asking the question: "Why do they hate us?"

Well, websites like this give a pretty good indication - a rather better reason than that sadly inadequate "They hate us for our freedom."

I've always thought I'd like to visit the United States - I nearly did a couple of times and got quite excited about it, but somehow it never worked out. Now, unfortunately, it probably never will because until the secret police knock down my door and drag me away fighting, no one is ever going to take my fingerprints - and, unfortunately, us potentially terrorist foreigners can't even change planes in your country now without being fingerprinted.

So that puts me at a slight disadvantage - I can only judge Americans by those I meet outside of their country - and those I see in the media and read on the Internet.

It's a funny thing. I've liked just about every American I've ever met, with the exception of one pedophile - and most have struck me as being pretty intelligent and aware.

And here on this website we can see plenty of people writing who a knowledgable and more than able to present an intelligent argument.

So why does it all go so horribly wrong? I don't know, but I will mention a few of the things that make me despair when I read them.

I don't know anything about Durbin, other than the speech that is currently causing so much controversy. I only read that speech because so many people were making such a fuss about it. So what did I find? A very measured and reasonable argument that stresses what he believes to be American values and that abusing our fellow human beings is not one of them.

For that, he is widely misquoted and reviled.

In an earlier post, Paul demonstrated that not all Americans are either as intelligent or as likeable as the ones I have met. He criticizes those who want to "focus on how we bad americans might have hurt those terrorists' feelings. [Panties on the head and a stuck air conditioner ain't abuse, get over it).

So...this is meant for Paul, tell me...is that what you think has killed so many people in Iraq when they were in US custody? You would only have to re-read Durbin's comments to know that that was not what he was referring to - and he wasn't talking about the worst abuses that have taken place.

First, Paul, do you remember that when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, US guards in the prison said 80-90% of the prisoners were probably innocent? Do you remember that the entire male population of villages was being dragged off to detention centers, because several of them might have been involved in the insurgency?

Would you like to be stripped naked and have dogs set on you?

Would you like to be sodomized with a broomstick?

Since it was you who brought up the panty issue, would you like to be stripped naked by foreigners in front of your child and have panties put on your head?

Would you like to receive messages from your sister telling you to kill her because of the shame of being raped by her foreign guards?

And finally, would you like to be beaten to death?

Durbin didn't mention any of these things, but he did mention people being chained in a fetal position on the floor without food or water for up to 24 hours in their own urine and shit. How would you like that, Paul, especially if you were one of the 80-90% who were "probably innocent"?

Well, it's not likely to happen to you, so you probably don't give a damn.

And if you don't give a damn about that, you probably feel the same about reports that 60,000 people could be being held prisoner in Iraq, when the official figure is only around 17,000. What is happening to the other 43,000? Do you care?

Here's another thing that makes me despair about discourse on websites like this. If I hadn't already identified myself as being non-American, I would immediately be identified as a "terrorist-loving liberal", as opposed to a "terrorist-loving
foreigner".

What is this thing so many of you have with these labels? You seem to be devoted to them to the point that you cease to think for yourselves. So people are willing to dismiss Byrd's membership of the KKK, just because he's a Democrat?

This seems to be a recurring theme. Democrats were willing to overlook any crime Clinton committed because he was a Democrat - and I'm not talking about having his dick sucked and then lying about it. I'm talking about bombing a country all day, every day for three months for a lie - a lie just as great as the ones Bush, Cheney and all the others told about Iraq.

And no matter what crimes Bush commits, Republicans will never admit to them - because they're Republicans. I'm not going to list them right now, because I assume people do read the news.

But there is one thing that is a great unifier for all you self-proclaimed "libs" and "cons" - mindless patriotism. So most of the "libs" supported the invasion of Iraq, despite the fact that the most credible information around indicated that Iraq probably had no weapons of mass destruction, there was no link with al-Qaeda and the country posed no significant threat to anyone - let alone an "imminent threat".

Your Democratic presidential candidate made a very strong argument for giving Bush the power to undertake that war - and then, during the election campaign, spent months squirming on the hook of his own making. He couldn't possibly come up with a convincing argument against Bush, because he'd supported the very same action - so had all those liberal newspapers - the New York Times and the Washington Post, to mention just two.

Having played cheerleaders to that totally unjustified war, all these "libs" found themselves completely unable to present a convincing argument against it. So for most, tens of thousands of Iraqis killed because of your illegal actions are not worthy of serious mention.

When a serious and scientific survey is done to find out how many Iraqis are killed, most of you ridicule it - despite the fact that that report had been subjected to extensive scientific peer review. Let's assume that the survey might be wrong - how many of you are calling for a better survey to be done? We know that 1,700 American troops have been killed - why don't we know how many Iraqis are now dead because of your invasion?

The only answer I can think of is that you simply do not care.

And that, I am afraid, is why "they" hated you - and why "they" are now most of the world. I'm sure you have read the recent opinion poll of people in countries who are supposed to be your allies - including Britain - give a more favorable rating to China than they do to the United States. They're not starry-eyed about the Chinese government. It's just that China is rampaging around the world like a nuclear-armed bully invading every country it wants, torturing and killing their citizens, controlling their economy - and then pretending that the victims are to blame.

So, go on with your "lib-this" and "con-that". Go on with your talk of "moonbats" and "terrorists". Go on with your whining about 9-11 (which, incidentally, the vast majority of us potential "terrorists" were just as devastated about as you) when you have killed at least 30 times as many people in the last four years. You can - you're the most powerful country in the world, and even if you weren't, you'd be free to do so.

But with every proof you give the rest of us that you intend to dominate us - and don't give a damn how many of us die in process - you will create more people who hate you.

Erratum:When I sai... (Below threshold)
cat:

Erratum:

When I said "China is rampaging around..." I meant isn't rampaging around.

And since I've returned to this page, I'll just mention another of Clinton's crimes that Democrats are so keen to forget - the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the 1990s from UN sanctions that the United States and Britain refused to allow to be lifted. (Isn't that veto a wonderful thing?) Those sanctions were supposed to be because of WMD - but Madeleine Albright said they would never be lifted until Saddam Hussein was removed from power - and she knew that Iraq had already been essentially disarmed. Just in case you've forgotten, those hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths were one of the main reasons bin Laden gave for committing mass-murder on September 11, 2001.

It's amusing to see the dis... (Below threshold)
-S-:

It's amusing to see the distortions of reason revealed in the recent statements made by many Democrats.

Rove spoke about "liberals." And referred to actual statements made by "liberals" in print, media and otherwise and pointed out why they were (my word here) disgusting in relationship to the events of 09/11.

So now all the Democrats broil and rage against Rove as having, they allege, insulted Democrats.

The only people who have insulted Democrats are the insulting liberal groups who promote the Democratic Party and got Hillary Clinton elected in a state (NY) that she had no history of residence in relationship to (among other egregious compromises of that person and those who promoted her and still are).

At least we are getting Democrats in the Senate, House and otherwise on record as admitting that the liberal groups that Karl Rove referred to are, in fact, Democrats and that Democrats do, in fact, align with them.

Durbin can crawl across the land like a reptile and yet Democrats want Karl Rove "to resign" because Rove pretty closely quoted certain liberal groups and persons.

Also, after hearing David Obey's comments from yesterday/maybe day before, referring to Rove as a poor rendition of (who, McCarthy, I think he said)...I'm thinking that the Democrats have a lot to fear by exposing communism and marxism in their party and among their funding sources. Obey and others like him would likely be found out, is my point, if McCarthy's investigations were to resume in our country.

This is the stupidest thing I've yet to hear Democrats 'cry out' about and over...suggesting Karl Rove resign because he quoted the literature and statements made by Democrats.

Oh, and I've yet to hear Hillary Clinton issue any statement about Durbin. Guess she's too preoccupied with vast, rightwing conspiracies to ponder other issues.

Cat that is quite a diatrib... (Below threshold)
jim rhoads:

Cat that is quite a diatribe. So what gave you the impression that anyone in this country wants to dominate you (or your country, whatever one that is).

I believe what this country wants to dominate is those in the world who want to come here for the purpose of destroying any of our buildings, infrastructure or institutions. And our desire to dominate such people is limited. It is to dominate them sufficiently so that they will not do the things listed above.

cat: "would you like to" s... (Below threshold)
-S-:

cat: "would you like to" see your life and the lives of others brutally destroyed by madmen flying hijacked planes?

"Torture" to many Islamicists is being shown a slice of ham, seeing a woman's unmasked face, having to listen to American pop music, seeing the bloof of a menstruating woman...etc., etc.

Most in Abu Gharaib, for example, have gained weight during their capture, are provided with daily, balanced and well prepared and cooked meals, shelter and clothing and security, all of which they would not have otherwise, and which many of them admit they've never known. Oh, broiled fish and/or lemon chicken, the horror!

There were SOME instances in the past of abuse of prisoners by captors. That's been admitted and has ceased and the people responsible have been and are being held accountable for their awful behaviors (most of those dishonorably discharged from service and have lost their retirement benefits/pensions, so they are paying a very difficult price for their bad behaviors).

But, despite "torture," we Americans have not taken random persons from other countries into garages, tortured them on video and cut their heads off. Nor even begun to reach the massive awfulness that occured on 09/11 here in the U.S.

There are limits to any one individual's tolerance of insult and most of America, MOST of Americans, are generous, kind and good but we aren't going to allow another 09/11 to occur. Don't like that about Americans? I think most of America would say, "tough."

Jim, what gives me the impr... (Below threshold)
cat:

Jim, what gives me the impression that your country wants to dominate others? Well, you overthrew the democratically elected governments of Iran and Chile - and installed murderous dictators who were willing to give your corporations better terms. You took part in coups around the world for decades - Indonesia for example - for precisely the same reason. In these countries, you provided lists of thousands of people who were recommended to be rounded up, tortured and killed...and your secret services witnessed these events. Economically, you demand total obedience in the service of your corporations - no matter how much hardship that causes to the population of those countries. If the governments of those countries refuse your demands, you close off their economic lifelines. If that doesn't work, you engineer coups or "popular uprisings". And if that doesn't work -as in Panama and Iraq, you invade them. I find it profoundly disturbing that you do not realize this.

Since you ask, my country is Britain. And that leads on to my answer to your statement that: "what this country wants to dominate is those in the world who want to come here for the purpose of destroying any of our buildings". Well your country and mine bombed a shitload of buildings - with people in them - in Iraq throughout the 1990s. Not just on one day of one year, but all through the year, every year. But, sorry, I forgot - it's only American buildings that anyone should care about - only Americal lives that anyone should feel any compassion for.

The vast majority of us around the world wept for your dead in 2001 - we wept with grief, and with anger. But you have shown no remorse for the slaughter you have carried out and while we still feel great sympathy for the people who were killed on 9-11 and for their families and friends, we have no sympathy for you as a nation.

As for -S, I don't even know how to begin. How the hell would you know if most people have gained weight in Abu Ghraib? But - and let's assume the highly improbable possibility that you have anyone's word for this other than propaganda - something like 60% of Iraqis are unemployed. Given that, it wouldn't take much to raise their calorie intake.

Torture is being shown ham? Do me a favor - get some people to ram a broomstick up your anus, set dogs on your naked body, hang you by your arms from the ceiling for hours on end - then come back and tell me how much you enjoyed it.

It's only a few people who have already been punished and doesn't happen anymore? Then why will the United States still not let the UN inspect Guantanamo. When China refuses to allow the UN into its prisons, we find it very easy to understand why. Strange how you don't wonder why when it comes to your country.

It's time you started finding out what your country really has done. Some 3,000 people were murdered on September 11 2001. Tens of thousands -probably more than 100,000 - have been killed in Iraq...because of your invasion. If you think 100,000 Iraqi lives are worth less than 3,000 of yours, then you are beneath contempt. I'm sorry, I would like to be more polite, I really would. Insulting people is counterproductive. But your dismissal of the suffering and deaths of others is so extreme, I just cannot find it in myself to show civility.

Cat: "United State... (Below threshold)
scootran:

Cat:

"United States still not let the UN inspect Guantanamo."

The International Red Cross has continuous access to the GITMO detainess.


Yes, scootran, the Red Cros... (Below threshold)
cat:

Yes, scootran, the Red Cross has indeed had access to Guantanamo - and has been critical of what it found there, despite the fact that it does its best never to make strong public statements about the prisons and detention centers it visits. Scootran, did you actually read those words you just copied and pasted? It wasn't a long sentence, and the words "Red Cross" were not in it. The Red Cross tries to provide humanitarian relief to all sides in any conflict and to help prisoners. During WWII when my grandfather was a prisoner of war held by the Japanese and forced to work as a slave laborer on the death railroad in Thailand and Burma, he occasionally received a parcel from the Red Cross. That did not stop vast numbers of his fellow soldiers dying. Visits from the Red Cross are profoundly different from a visit from the UN Human Rights Commission to assess whether or not a country is complying with the international conventions that it has signed and ratified.

Well, you overthrew the ... (Below threshold)
jim rhoads:

Well, you overthrew the democratically elected governments of Iran and Chile - and installed murderous dictators who were willing to give your corporations better terms. You took part in coups around the world for decades - Indonesia for example - for precisely the same reason. In these countries, you provided lists of thousands of people who were recommended to be rounded up, tortured and killed...and your secret services witnessed these events.

I guess, Cat, that things done in the Cold War some 40 to 50 years ago by many countries, including Great Britain could well have made us enemies,but I haven't heard of any Chileans bombing anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan, or the USA.

My recollection (although hazy) is that the validity and fairness of Mohammed Mossadegh's "elections" were challenged by the British Government of the early 50's and that his ouster was a joint effort by the British intelligence service and the CIA, under some fear that his leadership lead Iran more toward the Soviets. See, e.g. http://www.thebestlinks.com/Mohammed_Mossadegh.html.

Of course, the actions of the U.S. in Iraq were as a result of the Hussein Government's activities after Iraq's Excellent Kuwait Adventure.

Economically, you demand total obedience in the service of your corporations - no matter how much hardship that causes to the population of those countries. If the governments of those countries refuse your demands, you close off their economic lifelines. If that doesn't work, you engineer coups or "popular uprisings". And if that doesn't work -as in Panama and Iraq, you invade them. I find it profoundly disturbing that you do not realize this.

Our corporations generally have been losing influence in world markets, and there is a great deal of international leadership involved in the direction and management of those corporations.

I think my discription of our Nation's current goals is accurate. Things change over a 40-50 year period, especially since the moral bankruptcy of institutional leftism was exposed by the collapse of the Soviet style of international communism.

Your recitation of history sounds very similar to that propounded by Globalpeacesolutions, and Amnesty International, and like organizations against both our war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I know it must pain you that your Government has been our staunchest ally in this endeavor, and that that is unlikely to change anytime soon given the recent elections of Mssrs Blair and Bush.

What pains you comforts me, however, and I am extremely happy to be in this country and am sorry you are disposed not to come here. Unless your political outlook changes, I shall not try to encourage your visit anytime soon.

Thanks for your civil discourse, though.

To: Anonymous "Cat"F... (Below threshold)

To: Anonymous "Cat"
From: An American
Re: Visiting the US

Review of your statements:

no one is ever going to take my fingerprints

Go on with your whining about 9-11 ... when you have killed at least 30 times as many people in the last four years.

Thank you. We are happy to have you stay out of our country. Hope you will be happy when you get to choose conversion, dhimmitude or death when Sharia is enacted in your country.

Sincerely

A American, by accident of birth, by choice as an adult.

Cat-1st let's talk about Ch... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Cat-1st let's talk about China. Ever heard of Tibet? Ever heard of Tawain? Shall we rediscuss this "rampaging around" bit?

Also, if you think Iraq had democratic elections before the US invasion, then there is no reason to do much further debate, because you must have missed those reports on how when you would go to vote, the election worker would mark your card for you, and give you the ballot to cast-hardly a democracy. Dropping a ballot in a box hardly a democracy makes, but you can just keep on deluding yourself.

"Rovian spin", Frameone?</p... (Below threshold)

"Rovian spin", Frameone?

You're talking to someone who's been watching this play out for 25 years. Dismissing it as "spin" is ... well, spin.

Rove has pissed off alot of... (Below threshold)
gordon:

Rove has pissed off alot of the troops. They're sending home emails wanting to "show him a personal tour of Ramadi" and wanting to "sit on the fat [email protected]#k's face."
Whatever his intentions were the troops fighting on the front lines are angry. I don't know how you wingnuts are going to spin that?

gordon:citations, ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

gordon:

citations, please?

J.




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