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Breaking news: Bush visits Iraq

Fox News and Reuters are both reporting that President Bush is in Iraq this morning on another unannounced visit.

The trip is apparently to lend support to Iraq's nascent government.


Comments (47)

Just watch the MSM go balla... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Just watch the MSM go ballastic over this "publicity" stunt.

Zarq dead, Rove not indicted, and now this. Just how much more do they expect us to absorb.

:)

I always love it when the W... (Below threshold)
Vicky:

I always love it when the White House does this to the MSM. I still remember the Thanksgiving trip to Iraq.

The U.S. military slammed t... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The U.S. military slammed the moonbats really hard yesterday. They allowed Bill O'Reilly to visit Gitmo and tour the entire facility and interview the Guards. Does NYC have enough street sweepers and garbage dumps to keep the bodies picked up. Moonbats will be jumping from every building over 2 stories high. I figured by now the New York Times would lock everyone in the building and set it on fire. Mass suicide.

Dim-wit talking head on FOX right now saying the lefties do not want to cut and run from Iraq. They support the effort and the troops. What a joke. It there anyone in the world that hasn't heard the dim-wit leadership screaming get out now? What about Peloshi, Murtha, Hanoi John, Drunken Ted, the cartoon character from Ohio that ran for president in 04, on and on? LMAO when the come out and lie on National TV to everyone in the world. No brains and no shame dim-wits.

Given that Bush's Thanksgiv... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Given that Bush's Thanksgiving trip was entirely reported by the MSM through the prism of a plastic turkey (which, as we know, never actually happened), one wonders what prism the MSM will use now.

Perhaps reports that Bush danced in Zarqawi's blood? Perhaps that his infidel hands desecrated a Koran (which had been doused in urine)? Perhaps that he personally shot Iraqi prisoners (as some journo accused previous PM Allawi of doing)?

The scary thing is that all of these accusations are only a little beyond the pale.

Scrapiron:What the... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Scrapiron:

What the dim-wit actually said was "no one is calling for an immediate withdrawal, but a time table for withdrawal". What she is too stupid to realize is that once you set a timetable for withdrawal, you might as well get on a plane and fly home today!

Actually, since we haven't taught history and current events to our children for over 30 years, nothing surprises me. We haven't won a war, except Granada since WWII, and the only reason we won there is that the Marines managed to kill all the bad guys before Washington could stop them.

I don't pretend to know what is going to happen in the next 2 1/2 years, but if Pres. Bush manages to pull this Iraq thing off, I'll bet you my house that the Dems will deny having ever been anything but supportive of the effort. Since it's allright for them to rewrite history, they will get away with it. Kind of like the Japanesse leaving Pearl Harbor out of all their history books.

The American people were al... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

The American people were already waking up to the FACT that the situation in Iraq was vastly improved BEFORE Zark's "health" took a turn for the worse! :)

Now the Iraqi cabinet is complete (with rational folks!), Zark IS (still) dead, and the Prez has flown into this "quagmire" to congratulate the Iraqis.

Good week all around...for Americans AND Iraqis. Just not for Dimocrats.

It's all so clear now. The ... (Below threshold)

It's all so clear now. The sealed indictment indicted George Bush. That's why he suddenly flew to Baghdad. No extradition. Cheney will take over the White House while Bush lives in a palace in the Green Zone.

It will take five minutes t... (Below threshold)
AYTQ:

It will take five minutes to read this and another five minutes to take action, proposed below. Your action could literally change the world.

Recently Mark Malloch Brown, the eloquent-speaking number two at the United Nations, said that "Middle America" did not know how the US is constructively engaged with the UN because of UN detractors and too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping over too many years. Friends, the UN deserves to be bashed and bashed hard. Please allow us to give you a glimpse into how the United Nations is run:

Hirings and promotions routinely violate UN rules (and are illegal under some national laws) and revolve around patronage and whom one knows rather than professional qualifications. Poorly performing managers are simply moved into different management slots while others are placed in senior positions only because of their nationality, or because of favors owed to them by their supervisors or colleagues.

Salaries for UN employees are free of taxes and come with six weeks vacation, 11 holidays, 10 sick days that are often used as vacation, plus 4 weeks of home leave, rental and housing grants to supplement an already generous salary (we all make an average of $7,000-$10,000 a month tax free), a pension at 8% of salary times years of service that can be cashed out tax free (one-third of which can be taken as a lumop-sum at retirement), and educational subsidies for children of UN employees. Many also participate in an "alternative work schedule" in which they get every other Friday off. But don't even try to apply. Your application will not be acknowledged nor will you ever get invited for a job interview. You must know someone to work at the UN (or worse, sleep with them).

Several of us have advanced degrees in management and have been trained to manage large public organizations, yet we are blocked from advancing by arrogant men in the 50s with no management training, education, or experience - only sitting in their chairs because they are friends with someone in a higher position. We threaten them because they know they are there based only on their connections.

And there is a profound lack of accountability within the UN regarding resource allocation. Simple procurement that would normally take five minutes using modern technology systems takes 2-3 months in the UN. And many United Nations Development Program country offices pay "local experts" outrageously high sums of money for products of dubious quality. Such contracts would never be made by other international aid agencies such as USAID that have much stronger internal controls and oversight.

We are all familiar with outrageous examples of graft and corruption within the UN system, and yet time and again the scandal is covered up. In fact, a recent article on internal management in the Financial Times cited a UN-commissioned report released in 1994 that was remarkably damning and yet, as the article noted, nothing has changed which has led to this present crisis of credibility at the UN.

Despite its dysfunction, if the UN were actually making a difference, many would mutter to themselves but the UN deserves its strongest bashing because of its profound inability to respond to genocide, war, famine, natural disasters, and corruption.

Kofi Annan, current head of the United Nations who ironically lives in a mansion in New York worth about $10 million, was head of peacekeeping operations in 1994 in Rwanda when 800,000 people died. In 2004, he said "I believed at that time that I was doing my best" despite the fact that he held back UN troops from intervening to settle the conflict and declined to provide more logistic and material support to stop the slaughter. And don't forget that ten years ago thousands of Bosnian Muslims were murdered by the Serb militias who were in a UN protected 'safe haven' with hundreds of UN soldiers assigned to defend them. Yet the UN stood by while the entire adult and teenage male population was systematically butchered.

Kofi Annan was unable to stop mismanagement of the Oil-for-Food Program that allowed Saddam Hussein's regime to embezzle $4.4 billion through pricing irregularities and an additional $5.7 billion through illegal oil smuggling. Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna which won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil for Food program.

Kofi Annan protected Ruud Lubbers, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, against a report that found him guilty of sexual harassment by declaring him innocent. This created a global protest against Annan, resulting in Lubbers being eventually forced to resign, not because of his own egregious actions, but because he was starting to adversely impact Annan's public image (which image by the way is propped up around the world thanks to an $85 million dollar annual "communications" budget. What other modern corporation has two directors of communication like the UN, one for the Secretariat and one for the SG? Only those that exist to provide "jobs for the boys").

Kofi Annan accepted a $500,000 prize from the ruler of Dubai, courtesy of a judges' panel rife with U.N. connections, one member of which Annan then appointed to a high U.N. job (Annan was advised to take the prize money by Malloch Brown who rents a home in Westchester County from his friend George Soros for $12,000 a month but can be adequately covered by Brown's salary at $287,087).

Kofi Annan remains in power despite continuing sexual abuse scandals by UN peacekeepers. A 2005 internal UN investigation found that sexual abuse has been reported in at least five countries where UN peacekeepers have been deployed including the Congo, Haiti, Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, and Liberia.

And Kofi Annan remains in power while genocide continues in Darfur, while Zimbabwe tailspins into despotism, while up to a third of the population of some African countries will die from AIDS, while corruption keeps the poorest countries in starkest poverty, and while the U.N. Human Rights Council includes repressive non-democratic states such as Cuba, China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

Kofi Annan and Mark Malloch Brown arrogantly ignore the fact that the quality of life of several of us has come close to being destroyed by the many bitter experiences we have experienced over the past decades.

Most who work for the UN are so used to its dysfunctionality that they have NO idea how sick the organization is or they are unwilling to come forward because UN labor laws and protections are abysmal. See the report prepared by UK Barrister and Human Rights QC Geoffrey Robertson on behalf of UN Staff which highlights the gross deficiencies of worker protections at the UN--www.iowatch.org .

And to add insult to injury, the newly created OIOS (the new "independent" internal oversight panel established to "reform" the UN) has been strong-armed by Malloch Brown and is not independent because its meager budget comes directly from the UN (equal by the way to one-half of Annan's annual PR budget), thus dissuading anyone from within the UN from coming forward. Don't think that Malloch Brown is an independent UN operative. Justin Leites - UNDP - was placed on administrative leave to campaign for U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry - with MMB's approval.

And what really happened at UNDP? Why would Malloch Brown leave his influential post as head of UNDP to spend a year defending the scandals swirling around Kofi Annan and then announce that he would resign when Kofi leaves at the end of this year? Because he royally mismanaged UNDP! Everyone at UNDP knows this but is too scared to share the details of what happened for fear of retaliation by Brown. But ask UNDP Country Directors and UNDP Practice Managers what happened under King Mark's reign and you will get a completely different picture of his mismanagement skills and bombastic ways.

As the walls literally crumble down around them, those who work for the UN and citizens who believe in the founding principles of the UN have no understanding how bad it really is. Unfortunately, we encourage young people who are seeking a career in international affairs to avoid the United Nations at all costs. We wish there would come a day when we would no longer make this recommendation.

Of course the senior leadership of the UN try to hide the profound problems of the UN but shame on them for saying that Americans don't know or understand how the US is engaged with the UN. If you and everyone in Middle America truly understood what ails the UN, the US, which funds $3.3 billion annually or 22% of the entire UN budget, would shut off the money spigot yesterday. In sum, the UN should be shuttered, allowing a brand new organization to emerge because the current UN is broken beyond repair.

Not much has changed since the UN was founded 60 years ago. The UN could have done much, much better in making the word a better place. Make no mistake - this is about the future of YOUR world - a world of some 180 countries who are desperate for a better life for all their citizens. Don't let incompetent middle-aged bureaucrat hacks from dictatorships determine the future of OUR world.

Please contact your two Senators and your representative to the House of Representatives by clicking here: http://www.house.gov/writerep/. Ask your Senators and Congressman to stop discussing "reform" of the UN. Ask your Senators and Congressman to create a NEW organization that can lead the world well into the 21st Century. This is NOT a Democrats vs. Republicans debate. All Democrats and all Republicans should be able to easily agree on this issue.

1. US out of the UN
2. Close the UN
3. Create a new organization that can truly make the world a better place.

For more information, please contact Edward Patrick Flaherty at [email protected] who represents UN employees including our views here.

Written by a concerned group of current and former UN employees.

USMC Pilot:"...if Pr... (Below threshold)
Bryan:

USMC Pilot:
"...if Pres. Bush manages to pull this Iraq thing off, I'll bet you my house that the Dems will deny having ever been anything but supportive of the effort."

If you want to have some fun sometime, try finding a Liberal who will admit to having supported the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Funny how they've forgotten about that. Apparently they were all gung-ho Goldwater supporters. Yeah, it's not the way I remember it, either.

It's a good week to be an A... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

It's a good week to be an American.

A bad week to be a moonbat.

I guess this narrowed down ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

I guess this narrowed down the "leaker list" a little bit. I would love to know the identity of the journalists who were trusted with this secret.

USMC Pilot:"...if Pr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

USMC Pilot:
"...if Pres. Bush manages to pull this Iraq thing off, I'll bet you my house that the Dems will deny having ever been anything but supportive of the effort."
--------------------------------------------------
We, dems, have always been supportive of the effort in Iraq. We just differed with Bush on how to achieve victory. Just like the Soviet Union would have imploded on its own, Saddam would get tired of his own weight and would decide to have democracy instead. Reagan wasted our resources on STAR war and racked up the deficit. Bush is doing the same in Iraq.

"the Soviet Union would hav... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"the Soviet Union would have imploded on its own, Saddam would get tired of his own weight and would decide to have democracy instead. Reagan wasted our resources on STAR war and racked up the deficit."

Funny, Gorbi indicated it was the attempt to keep up with Reagan and Star Wars that ultimately did them in. Also, Reagan didn't up the deficit--a Democratically controlled Congress that refused his spending cuts did. A lesson the current Republican controlled Congress should heed if they want to remain in power.

What broke the Soviet Union... (Below threshold)
Big D:

What broke the Soviet Union was Regan's refusal to see them as anything but exactly what they were, and to act on what he saw.

Faith, It's funny how litt... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Faith, It's funny how little things like facts or truth can make such a difference.

I stopped arguing with these idiots a long time ago. You can't fix stupid and the more vocal the moonbats are -- the more elections we win.

It is not supportive of the... (Below threshold)

It is not supportive of the effort in Iraq, even allowing room for different ideas of what would have been best to do, to say that *nothing* should have been done because Saddam would eventually tire of being a tyrant and his sons would eventually tire of... what his sons tended to enjoy.

*Suportive* of the effort in Iraq requires... support. Not agreement, just support.

As an example, consider a woman I once knew... she *always* knew the best way to do anything. No matter what her husband did he could have done it a better way. For her to have been *supportive* of him would not require that she decide that his way was best after all but it would require that she help him with his plans.

Say, maybe he was changing a light bulb and set up a ladder when she thought he should use one of those telescoping poles. Supportive would mean handing him the lightbulbs. Unsupportive would be having a snit, refusing to help, and lecturing the whole time about the superiority of the telescoping light-bulb changing pole, waving the pole at him and demanding he get off the ladder without changing the light bulb.

I don't think it's all that common but there do seem to be a bunch of people, like LoveAmerica Immegrant, who honestly believe that the light bulb will change itself.

Where are all of the leftie... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Where are all of the lefties today? I guess Fitzmas being a bust has really hit them hard...

Where are all of the lef... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Where are all of the lefties today?

Drinking heavily, no doubt, despite the early hour.

Hi folks, I forgot... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Hi folks,
I forgot to add that my post above was meant to be sarcasm. It is good to see your reaction though.

Not a good day/week to be a leftie.

OT, but I didn't start it:<... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

OT, but I didn't start it:

Reagan won the Cold War when he ran the USSR's defence spending up to an unsustainable portion of their GDP and they had to fold their hand. Oh fuck, wait... the Soviets did that themselves! Yeah, because Reagan was in charge of the US, not the USSR... but I'll be danged if he couldn't read a script.

LoveAmerica Immigrant...I k... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

LoveAmerica Immigrant...I knew it was, I just didn't have a chance to chime in and "save" you. :)

Good to see you over here from Poli.

Cheers!!

p.s. it is NEVER a good to be a Leftie.

USMC pilot: The latest i've... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

USMC pilot: The latest i've heard (today) is the call for deep sixing the mission in 06, actually out by the end of 06. Hanoi John is introducing the bill, he said today. That's not much of a planned withdrawal, that's a cut and run. All of the terrorist would be glad to take a six month R & R, (Rest and Re-arm) and plan a massive attack. (former B-47/B-52 crewchief)

LoveAmerica,Lol, I... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

LoveAmerica,

Lol, I've read a few of your previous comments and it didn't mesh up with this one. Thought maybe you'd lost it for a moment there.

Bemused, That is an ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Bemused,
That is an excellently instructive post. People, note how liberals are unable to understand multi-variable equations, correlations, and causation. This of course is why liberals never ever major in mathematics.

And just as our dear friend Bemused is unable to see any relationship between US and USSR actions during the Cold War, he too is unable to see any relationship between the death of Zarqawi and terrorism, the Iraq war and freedom, taxes and employment, etc.

The inability of liberals to understand simple relationships is why liberals are so bad at problem solving. And that is why they always major in english and philosophy, topics that have no answers.

You think mathematicians ar... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

You think mathematicians are typically Republican, McCain? Why don't you take Horowitz's word for it that they are in fact overwhelmingly left-leaning?

As for English and Philosophy having NO answers, you obviously did pretty bad in some liberal arts elective courses and you blame flaky Marxists, not your low level of reading comprehension. Problems in English and Philosophy classes may not have single answers, but there sure as hell are a lot of bad ones. Ever read John Locke? He didn't get anything right. Seriously. If you want to figure out why private property should not be the fundamental building block of an open society, you'll have to read Kant's Critiques. Good luck with that, chucklehead.

"...he too is unable to see any relationship between the death of Zarqawi and terrorism, the Iraq war and freedom, taxes and employment, etc." I see relationships there. I know that a) now that Zarqawi is dead, there is one less terrorist for you not to be signing up to fight in Iraq; b) the Iraq war has a little to do with freedom, and a lot to do with mismanagement and incompetence; and c) higher taxes means higher unemployment, but also balanced budgets, better social programs, and a lot of other things that don't matter to you because you let your ideology do your thinking for you.

At least you're impressed with the pile of dead strawmen on your front lawn. Smart people aren't, though.

English major, right? But ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

English major, right? But are you a philosophy minor, the double-whammy of illogical liberalism?

I have an MA in Political P... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

I have an MA in Political Philosophy, McCain. I never took an English course, as I prefer to enjoy literature, not dissect it.

As for "illogical", if an argument in a philosophy course fails to stand up to the light of reason (inductive or deductive, depending on what is being discussed), it gets relegated to the annals of history, at best (i.e. Locke); and at worst, ignored (i.e. contemporary defences of libertarianism). Philosophers tend to be very moderate thinkers, not the caricature that you seem to have in mind. Logic, in fact, falls within the jurisdiction of Philosophy. Tree hugging does not.

By the way, how are your logic skillz, McCain? You okay with formal logic? All those universal and existential quantifiers... I'd be surprised if you've ever seen actual logic problems. I got 100% in every formal logic course I've ever had, and I TA'd an advanced formal logic course when I was in 2nd year. I was younger than all of the students I had to grade.

But no, that's cool, call me "illogical", because apparently you know what the word means and I don't.

"Reagan won the Cold War wh... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

"Reagan won the Cold War when he ran the USSR's defence spending up to an unsustainable portion of their GDP and they had to fold their hand. Oh fuck, wait... the Soviets did that themselves! Yeah, because Reagan was in charge of the US, not the USSR..."

Sorry, Bemused, but are you really that ignorant? Seriously, do you not understand how military spending in America affected military spending in the mercifully defunct USSR? Or are you just playing at being stupid so you can stay perpetually "bemused?" (Which, for those who don't know, means "to make confused", which "bemused" seems to be in a continual state of.)

Political "science," indeed... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Political "science," indeed, where insecure people try to claim that a liberal art is actually a science. I am amused that iberals are so comfortable being bemused, wrapping themselves in the bankrupt philosophy of moral relativism in which there are no correct answers.

Justrand, Big Mo, and McCai... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Justrand, Big Mo, and McCain ...
Good to see the familiar folks from Polipundit here.

Cheers,
lai

Bemused:If you are... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Bemused:

If you are attempting to win the argument by typing until everyone (including yourself) has lost your train of thought, then we surrender; you win.

USMC Pilot, musie just like... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

USMC Pilot, musie just likes to bite the hand that feeds and protects him. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

Hey Big Mo: I understand th... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Hey Big Mo: I understand that. I thought that I implied it. So let's agree that we cannot sanely credit Reagan with the Soviet Union's bankrupt economy, and instead attribute it to too many decades of trying to impose a state-controlled economy across the biggest piece of land on Earth. Reagan: Right place, right time! I'd buy that bumper sticker.

McCain: who studied political science? I was in political PHILOSOPHY. Different questions, different answers. The only people who defended moral relativism in any ethics course I ever took were usually Economics majors, dude, because they accepted the false dichotomy of universalism vs. relativism. I guess your world is black and white too.

This is hard, but here goes: moral objectivism is not universalism, and a denial of universalism is not an acceptance of relativism. I could suggest some papers and books that explain this, but I suspect you wouldn't read anything from those evil liberal university presses.

Les: what are you claiming to protect me from?

Bemused - NO, let's NOT "ag... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Bemused - NO, let's NOT "agree that we cannot sanely credit Reagan with the Soviet Union's bankrupt economy," because he had a lot to do with it in the last years of the USSR. You're partially right, though.

Reagan deserves credit because he tipped them over the edge. He knew that the Commies could not keep pace with the USA, so he caused them to eat themselves alive bby forcing them to keep pace with the military buildup. To deny Reagan credit for that is poppycock.

Bemused:"This is h... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Bemused:

"This is hard, but here goes: moral objectivism is not universalism, and a denial of universalism is not an acceptance of relativism. I could suggest some papers and books that explain this, but I suspect you wouldn't read anything from those evil liberal university presses."

Thanks, you just proved my point. Whatever mumbo jumbo you learned in MA school has little application out here in the world. It does, however, give a good reason for wasting public dollars, so please keep it out of the real world.

Ahh political philosophy. ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Ahh political philosophy. That explains why you have a lot of free time on your hands. With that time, here are two simple questions for you to answer. Hint...moral relativists struggle with these. Will you?

1. What is a war just?
2. When is human suffering acceptable?


The inability of liberal... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The inability of liberals to understand simple relationships is why liberals are so bad at problem solving. And that is why they always major in english and philosophy, topics that have no answers.

Well, I'm a liberal and I have degrees in biology, English, and sociology. Egads, natural science, social science, and the humanities! What to think? Well, I'm a liberal so I can't possibly understand correlation, causation, or multi-variable equations. Those degrees aren't worth the paper they're printed on due solely to where I fall on the political spectrum. At least I understand the fallacy of conflating one person's words (however misinterpreted) with the beliefs of an entire group of people, as you so often do, McCain.

1. What is a war just?

What is a war just? Maybe a few English courses would have done you good.

Whatever mumbo jumbo you... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Whatever mumbo jumbo you learned in MA school has little application out here in the world. It does, however, give a good reason for wasting public dollars, so please keep it out of the real world.

Translation: Book lerning never did no one no good!

I took a course on Just War... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

I took a course on Just War Theory, McCain (which I think is what you were talking about--proofread, amigo!), and while there is no cut and dry answer to when it's okay to use the military for humanitarian or national security interests,

A) No relevant players in the debate think that it is always WRONG to use it; and
B) No relevant players think that it is okay to use it for purely economic reasons.

The debate itself is pretty dry, as most serious academic discussions tend to be, but it contains nary a trace of relativism. As for "When is human suffering acceptable?", that's such a vague question... but the right answer has to be "Never, all things being equal". That's a lawyer-ish response, but it's actually the right one.

Ya done trying to assert your intelligence by attacking academia?

Hey USMC Pilot: I don't lecture you about flying fighter planes, so you don't lecture me about morality and ethics. Deal? Deal!

As expected, you have no an... (Below threshold)
McCain:

As expected, you have no answer for the first question. Your second answer ("never") is the expected answer of a moral relativist which allows you to equate all suffering on an equivalent field. It also happens to be the wrong answer.

Since Mantis is curious, let's let Mantis try the moral-relativist game.

Mantis, when is a war just?
Mantis, when is suffering acceptable?

Bemused:I'll lectu... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Bemused:

I'll lecture you on any damned thing I want.

Mantis:

"Translation: Book lerning never did no one no good!"

That depends on the book and the teacher. My point is that theory from a socialist is about as useful as tits on a boar hog.

Since Mantis is curious,... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Since Mantis is curious, let's let Mantis try the moral-relativist game.

Ooh, a gotcha game with someone who is not interested in debate, but rather wishes to twist words into ammunition to support his spurious conclusions. Ok, sounds like fun!

Mantis, when is a war just?

Well, Chomsky says...ok just kidding. I'll assume you mean jus ad bellum and not jus in bello and will focus only on the justification for war and not the justification of certain types of force. So when is a war just? Ok, the easy answer:

- Defense against an external attack
- Protection of allies from external attack
- Protection of innocents from brutal regimes which engage in massive violations of human rights

Those are the broad strokes, but war in the modern world is much more complex than that. War can only take place between legitimate governments, so how does one define legitimate in this context? Was Saddam's Iraq a legitimate government? Well, it was sovereign, the automomous north notwithstanding. Assuming that it was legitimate, does the Iraq war meet the above criteria? I've never been convinced we needed to go to war to protect ourselves from aggression by Iraq, nor that we needed to go to war to protect Iraq's neighbors (this time around; the Gulf War was clearly just). As far as the third, it's a tough call. Saddam was clearly a brutal dictator and Iraq needed to be rid of him, but were large portions of the population in immediate danger enough to justify invasion? Maybe, maybe not. In any case this is hardly the casus belli we were given.

I should note that I have never once argued that the Iraq war is unjust. What was much more important to me was whether it was a good idea or not, whether the aims of the war would be achieved. If more people die as a result of the war than would have under Saddam and if terrorism increases as a result of the war rather than decreases, then I believe the war was a bad idea. That's without even considering the financial and diplomatic consequences of the war. War is complex, and the decision to go to war should take into account more than if the war is "just". If we engaged in every possible "just" war (based on the third justification) against a non-aggressor nation we would constantly be at war with multiple countries for their crimes against their own people.

Mantis, when is suffering acceptable

This is a strange question and I believe you'll have to rephrase it before I answer. For the moment I will defer to the Buddha:

Life is suffering.

That depends on the book... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That depends on the book and the teacher. My point is that theory from a socialist is about as useful as tits on a boar hog.

You call universalism and relativism mumbo jumbo with no real world application, now you say they are socialist theories? I'll bet Kant and the founding fathers (universalists) would be surprised to find out they were socialist.

If you are in fact a Marine pilot, you are certainly skilled and definitely know about "real world" applications, but when it comes to philosophy, maybe you're a bit out of your depth. Universalism and relativism are not political philosophies (like socialism) and were debated for hundreds of years prior to the emergence of socialism.

mantis:Actually I ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

mantis:

Actually I was calling you a socialist, for no capatilist would waste his/her time with "universalism and relativism ". You can debate them, and any other concept that some other egg head comes up with, until hell freezes over and accomplish nothing. The real world requires hard desicions made now, not after years of talk.

I personally would not have invaded Iraq with ground troops, but the President did, so I stand behind that decision totaly. We have invaded, so the best course of action now, is to commit to victory on that front, and stop pretending that something else would have been better, when in fact there is no way to prove anything.

BTW, I flew helicopters.

Actually I was calling y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Actually I was calling you a socialist, for no capatilist would waste his/her time with "universalism and relativism ".

The capitalists who founded this country "wasted" plenty of time on them. If you think all philosophy is pointless or, oddly, socialist, maybe you should just keep yourself out of such discussions.

Mantis, you are doing well.... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Mantis, you are doing well. A war is just when the expected moral benefits outweigh the expected moral costs. You took 1000 words to state the obvious, but you arrived at the correct answer. Your liberal pals say Guantanamo as if it is an answer, when the reality is it is just one small factor in a moral calculation.

Moving to the second challenge, you almost accidentally stumbled across the correct answer. To paraphrase the Buddha, suffering exists and will be part of life. The answer, therefore, since suffering is inevitable, is that suffering is acceptable when the alternative is more suffering. Apply this Truth to the bombing of Zarqawi in which several presumably innocent people died. The alternative (he lives) results in more death than this one act.

So I'll give you half credit for that question, which means you get 1.5 out of 2.0, or 75%. That is an excellent result for a liberal on a moral relativity test. Congratulations.

On a larger scale, or course, one must ponder both of these questions when assessing the Iraq war. Saddam Hussein is responsible for the death of 2,000,000 people. One must factor the costs of having this killing machine in power against the costs of bringing him down.

mantis:"The capita... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

mantis:

"The capitalists who founded this country "wasted" plenty of time on them."

My point made. They acted. You talk.




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