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What's in a name?

In my all-too-brief study of rhetoric, I learned that the side that gets to define the terms of the argument most often wins. This often comes down to deciding what to call the two sides. David Eddings tackled his head-on in "The Belgariad," when the protagonist asked if they were the good guys in the struggle between "Good" and "Evil." The ancient sorceror answered that he prefers "us" and "them," as it avoids a lot of useless arguments.

Nonetheless, names mean a lot. This is hugely obvious in the abortion issue, where one side insists that its a matter of "pro-choice versus anti-choice," while the others say it's "pro-life versus pro-abortion." Simply accepting the other side's name is a huge rhetorical concession.

Similarly, with the argument over the war on terror, 'our" side has a bit of a dilemma. The other side has staked out "anti-war" as their rallying cray, leaving us to be called "pro-war." That's not entirely accurate, at least in my case, and rather damning. So I reject that.

So, what should "we" call ourselves? That's a tough one.

I thought about "pro-freedom," but I disliked it. It's too vague for my tastes. It could mean anything, and therefore means nothing. I don't like that sort of thing. We need something clearer, more precise, perhaps with some historical context that truly captures the sentiment that we didn't choose to fight this war on terror, but dammit, we're gonna win it.

And then it hit me. Let the other side be "anti-war." If they choose not to recognize that the war started a long time ago, and we've only recently started fighting back, that's their stupidity. We have more important things to worry about than their whining and kvetching.

We're pro-VICTORY.

It's a good word. It says exactly what our goal is: to win, to defeat the enemy, to stop those out to destroy us and our way of life and impose their tyrannical vision on people.

And it has positive historic connotations, too. In World War II, we built "Victory" ships, bought "Victory" bonds, sent heroes on "Victory" tours. It's clear, it's concise, and it doesn't overpromise or overcommit or flail about in rhetorical helplessness.

And it casts a lot of the "anti-war" movement into exactly their role (yeah, ANSWER, I'm talking to you): they're not against the war, they're simply rooting for the other side.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What's in a name?:

» Doug Ross @ Journal linked with The Stockdale Paradox and the modern Left

» A North American Patriot linked with I AM PRO-VICTORY

» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with I am Pro-Victory

» ayc linked with Pro-Victory vs. Anti-War

» Cafe Oregano linked with Monday Specials

» Liberal Pen Pal linked with On Marching

» Caerdroia linked with Naming Conventions

» Chronicles of the Knights Simplar linked with I am Pro-Victory

» Oblogatory Anecdotes linked with Not Anti-War When Taking Sides With The Enemy!

» Woody's News linked with Pro-War?

» Everyman Chronicles linked with Not Anti-War; Pro-Victory!

» Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho linked with I Am Pro-Victory

» Mudville Gazette linked with I Am Pro-Victory

» bRight & Early linked with YES!

» Don Surber linked with I Am Pro Victory

» The Stupid Shall Be Punished linked with I Am Pro-Victory

» Fuzzilicious Thinking linked with I'm Pro-Victory

» Dadmanly linked with I Am Pro-Victory

» Small Town Veteran linked with I AM PRO-VICTORY

» Veterans Support Our Troops linked with WE ARE PRO-VICTORY

» Shared Daily linked with Pro Victory

» Easily Entertained linked with Victory Votes

» The Thunder Run linked with I'm Pro Victory

» Right Face! linked with I am Pro Victory

» The Indepundit linked with Where I Stand

» BLACKFIVE linked with Both sides should be Pro-Victory

» BLACKFIVE linked with I question your patriotism

Comments (78)

I think I read that it was ... (Below threshold)

I think I read that it was Ronald Regan who said, "The opposite of war isn't peace; it's surrender."

Pro-victory--well said.

Works for me. These rhetori... (Below threshold)

Works for me. These rhetorical wars are part of the whole in advancing positions. I'd just as soon advance "Victory" since everyone will choose their own arms anyway. As you stated, why concede anything?

So does that mean we use th... (Below threshold)

So does that mean we use the "V" sign a la Winston Churchill, or should we show the back of our hands to the crowd a la European verison of the middle finger?

Or maybe a rapid alternating version?

Absolutely brilliant!... (Below threshold)

Absolutely brilliant!

Jay, What do you think the ... (Below threshold)

Jay, What do you think the response would be if instead of replying to the "anti-war" crowd that you (we) are "pro victory" you replied that you (we) are "anti-surrender". Seriously, this has been a "war " where I find it difficult to actually state with clarity what victory will be or look like. If I understand history, this fundamenatlist movement has waxed and waned in its impact over the centuries - initially locally and now globally. But it is quite clear to me that we cannot retreat or surrender to any threat the terrorist movement directs at our civilization.

If "anti-war demonstrators"... (Below threshold)

If "anti-war demonstrators" were consistently referred to as "pro-terrorist demonstrators" it would drive them nuts. It seems most view them in that light anyway and it would quickly catch on. With everyone but the MSM, of course.

Choosing a stupid name does... (Below threshold)

Choosing a stupid name doesn't stop you being pro-war. It just makes you look and sound stupid. It's as pathetic as the Fox News decision to start calling suicide bombers "homicide bombers." But maybe that didn't sound so bad to you.

If war were declared against Iran because of its almost certainly non-existent nuclear weapons program, calling yourselves "pro-victory" would also fail to change the fact that you are pro-war. Of course, as in the case of Iraq, even when you were presented with incontrovertable evidence that that program did not exist, you would continue to deny the facts. "Pro-victory! Pro-victory!"

So how about anti-reality? Or pro-delusion? There are plenty of other choices - pro-American Empire, would be one. (That'll get the deluded ones going..."We don't have an empire...quack, quack, quack..)

And when you say that you were attacked first, take a look back at history. The United States didn't start the invasions of the Middle East - that was countries like Britain, France and Russia. But when you took over from the Europeans and supported the eviction of Palestinians from their land, you donned their mantle of guilt. (Ah yes, mention of Palestinian land will get you going too, won't it...because having lived on that land longer than your country has existed is obviously no reason to claim that it is theirs...Pro-victory! Pro-victory!)

Here's another possible name - pro-oil.

Or here's another thought. Read 1984...or Animal Farm, come to that - because your "Pro-victory! Pro-victory!" sounds rather like the barnyard animals conned by the pigs into chanting "Two legs bad! Four legs good!"

"Pro-victory! Pro-victory!"

It was a bright cold day in... (Below threshold)

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.


He took down from the shelf a bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell, as of Chinese ricespirit. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, nerved himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine.


He took a cigarette from a crumpled packet marked VICTORY CIGARETTES and incautiously held it upright, whereupon the tobacco fell out on to the floor.


The Ministry of Truth -- Minitrue, in Newspeak -- was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:




The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. Scattered about London there were just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architecture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see all four of them simultaneously. They were the homes of the four Ministries between which the entire apparatus of government was divided. The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty.

Ah, cat, you make me laugh.... (Below threshold)

Ah, cat, you make me laugh. Thanks for that.

Cat is obviously pro-Saddam... (Below threshold)

Cat is obviously pro-Saddam's-mass-graves. I never understood that particular cult of moonbatism. They claim to care but really don't, that part I get, they're inherently dishonest, but they don't even care enough to try make it look like they believe the crap they spew. How can you be that poor of a liar with all those years of experience?

>Choosing a stupid name doe... (Below threshold)

>Choosing a stupid name doesn't stop you being pro-war.

And have the name Anti-war doesn't stop you from being capitulators.

Or here's another though... (Below threshold)

Or here's another thought. Read 1984...or Animal Farm, come to that - because your "Pro-victory! Pro-victory!" sounds rather like the barnyard animals conned by the pigs into chanting "Two legs bad! Four legs good!"

Only to the mentally deranged people like you who don't understand Animal Farm but pretend like they do.

I think that we can conclud... (Below threshold)

I think that we can conclude that Pro-Victory strikes exactly the right chord. It annoys exactly the right people.

It seems that some people are comically stuck in that "negativity equals intellecutal superiority" rut that I've noticed from Berkeley frosh.

Oh, there you go... stop calling them anti-war and use the term pro-defeat instead.

Supporting the jihad... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Supporting the jihadist is not anti-war.

The only way to abolish war is to surrender to any who threaten you. To be truly anti-war is to ask to be enslaved.

Cat? Animal House do... (Below threshold)

Cat? Animal House doesn't mean what you think it means.

argh..... Animal Farm</i... (Below threshold)

argh..... Animal Farm


"Cat is obviously pro-Sa... (Below threshold)

"Cat is obviously pro-Saddam's-mass-graves."

A sharp-suited, but not so sharp-minded member of your government used that lie when he was debating the war with the veteran Labour MP Alice Mahon. He was shot down in flames when she pointed out that she had been campaigning against Saddam Hussein and his murderous regime when Bush Sr., Reagan and Rumsfeld etc were providing him with his weapons. She nailed him on his lie and reduced him to silence, but you happily babble the same tired lie. That only reflects badly on you.

But go for the "Pro-Victory" slogan. Anything that makes you look like the bleating idiots you are is fine by me. Now I give way to your Two Minutes of Hate.

cat said:"A sharp-... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

cat said:

"A sharp-suited, but not so sharp-minded member of your government used that lie when he was debating the war with the veteran Labour MP Alice Mahon. He was shot down in flames when she pointed out that she had been campaigning against Saddam Hussein and his murderous regime when Bush Sr., Reagan and Rumsfeld etc were providing him with his weapons. She nailed him on his lie and reduced him to silence, but you happily babble the same tired lie. That only reflects badly on you."

You might want to check link this out, seeing as how badly you are offended by liars, I am sure you are not spreading such lies of your own intentionally.


B Moe, you're assuming Cat ... (Below threshold)

B Moe, you're assuming Cat cares that it is lying, that's not the case, never has been, never will be.

B Moe, I followed your link... (Below threshold)

B Moe, I followed your link - and out of officially recognized arms sales to Iraq up to 1990, the United States ranked No. 11, just after Libya. I also followed the link within that link - which showed that official US arms sales to Iraq started in 1983 - the same year that Donald Rumsfeld shook hands with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad - just after he had used chemical weapons for the first time.

Yep, we helped get him goin... (Below threshold)

Yep, we helped get him going early on to stop Iran from spreading Islamic fascism. We made a bad decision and it made us even more obligated to remove him.

But <a href="http://www.was... (Below threshold)

But France was still selling arms to Iraq 20 years later, long after even those gutless, reeking wastes of oxygen voted to block arms sales in the U.N. Not that it would matter to Cat, it's a fact, not a moonbat belief.

Since I'm getting dangerous... (Below threshold)

Since I'm getting dangerously close to being banned by the webmasters - as my very last comment today, let's get away from the French and the Libyans and return to the original subject:

Pro-Victory! Pro-Victory!

"banned by webmasters" ... (Below threshold)

"banned by webmasters"


"This thing is moving beyond talking points and I got nothing."

Banned? Who said anything ... (Below threshold)

Banned? Who said anything about banning? I do believe you are the first person to bring it up. Unless you've been banned before and are back again somehow, I'd say you're being paranoid.

Here's another "Winston" qu... (Below threshold)

Here's another "Winston" quote for you, cat:

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.
–Winston Churchill

I think we've all read Animal Farm (House! ha!), and here's a tip for you: it's FICTION, no matter how politically prophetic you imagine it to be.

Typical for the "Reality"-Based Commune to see the world through the lens of fiction, though. ;-)

cat:Not to suggest... (Below threshold)


Not to suggest that I speak for them, but given what I've seen Kevin, Jay Tea and even Paul put up with around here, I'd say you're safe.

You're too insignificant to bother banning.

Shorter cat: Root ... (Below threshold)

Shorter cat:
Root for the losers! America sucks! America sucks!

I really did mean it when I... (Below threshold)

I really did mean it when I said I was making my last comment, but after reading the protestations of the credulous, I have to reply. Silverbubble and jpm - ask Jay Tea if he ever hits the block button. That's all, just ask - I'm sure you want him to confirm that I'm a paranoid moonbat. He does, of course, have every right to ban me - I'm a guest here, and an unwelcome one at that. But, nevetheless, ask him if he has hit that button.

"If war were declared again... (Below threshold)

"If war were declared against Iran because of its almost certainly non-existent nuclear weapons program"

Oh, so a country that's basically a layer of sand on top of an ocean of oil is working to build nuke plants for electricity. Uh-huh.

Next I guess you'll tell us that "the Great Satan" is a cute little nickname likening us to an adorable furry puppy called "Satan" featured in Iranian cartoons.

"pro-American Empire, would be one. "

You think having the whole world live in a representative republic with guaranteed rights would be a bad thing? Hell, getting conquered by the United State of America was the best thing ever to happen to my neck of the woods.

"Here's another possible name - pro-oil."

Yeah, I'll buy that. Oil makes machines go, and machines replace human labor and make slavery unprofitable. So, yeah, put me down as pro-oil.

Now when the moonbats let us have as many nuclear plants as we need, then we'll ease up on importing and using oil. But I'm not holding my breath.

Oh my God! No matter how mu... (Below threshold)

Oh my God! No matter how much I want to leave, there always seems to be someone who says something that just has to be answered. Beth - you really should be careful about quoting Winston Churchill. Here's another Churchill quote:

"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes."

Who were the "uncivilized tribes" he was condemning to a truly horrifying death? The Kurds of Iraq. The same Kurds who were gassed decades later by Saddam Hussein. And this is a man you want to quote to back up your argument?

Animal House doesn't mea... (Below threshold)

Animal House doesn't mean what you think it means

Damn. I better change my life now!

cat, I've banned a few. Let... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

cat, I've banned a few. Let me reassure you: the closest thing you've done to justify banning was the lengthy quote from Orwell -- but you attributed it.

Been a tetch annoyed at you? Yup. Been the slightest tempted to go hit the "ban" button? Not in the least.

I've banned people for plagiarism, for grotesque and repeated obscenities, for misrepresenting themselves as other regulars around here, and in one memorable case, simply for being a deranged, psychotic stalker of another blogger who tried to make every thread about the object of his obsession. Compared to them, cat, you're a rank amateur.

But if it makes you feel any better, go ahead and indulge in your paranoid persecution fantasies. Go and tell all your whacko friends how you were brutally oppressed and suppressed for speaking truth to power.

Just don't expect me to waste any more energy beyond this to justify it. 'Cuz you just ain't worth it.


Jay, you started well, then... (Below threshold)

Jay, you started well, then you exaggerated. But perhaps I did get a bit paranoid after I was subjected to a mass-block because of a certain multiple-posting idiot claiming to speak for God. You hit the button that day and I was presented with a notice saying that only "registered" users could post directly. Your very polite notice said that comments would now only be allowed after they had been approved (reminded me of that libertarian publication - the China Daily). You never did get around to allowing my comments about Iran. So, forgive me for being "paranoid" but you should perhaps be a bit more honest.

Whatever...go for the "Pro-Victory" thing. Your acoloytes definitely like it.

I have absolutely no recoll... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I have absolutely no recollection of any such incident ever happening, cat. I have NEVER instituted any such blocking, have no idea if it's even possible, and wouldn't want to do it anyway.


Say, you didn't used to post under another name, did you? I recall another pain in the ass who screamed "censorship!" when his piece was held AUTOMATICALLY by the site for having too many links and being suspected spam. That was based solely on the site's software, NOT content, and I approved it the instant I was aware of it.

If that's not the case, cat, then I gotta say you've been getting into the GOOD drugs. Why don't you share?


So would mebers of this "pr... (Below threshold)
John Lederer:

So would mebers of this "pro-Victory" movement be "pro-Victorians", and would we have to cover the legs of our pianos?

Do you really not se... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Do you really not see the difference between "Reagan and Rumsfeld etc were providing him with his weapons" and the fact the US only had 1% of the total arms sales to Iraq?

And you haven't addressed this statement at all:

Supporting the jihadist is not anti-war.

The only way to abolish war is to surrender to any who threaten you. To be truly anti-war is to ask to be enslaved.

Do you have any rebuttal as to how to be anti-war and not be a slave to the warriors?

Jay, you have no recollecti... (Below threshold)

Jay, you have no recollection? You have NEVER instituted such a blocking? I wouldn't have any idea if it's possible or not either. But I do know it happened - and I have no reason to post under a different name. So, we could be charitable and blame it on a software glitch.

Very good post Jay Tea. Yes... (Below threshold)

Very good post Jay Tea. Yes that's the clux of our side. We are of the Pro-Victory gray camp and not of the failure camp.

Thank you, Jay Tea. Support... (Below threshold)

Thank you, Jay Tea. Support the troops and their mission.

Cat, why do you use an ad link instead of your own email or URL?

alright, david eddings rock... (Below threshold)

alright, david eddings rocks! you seem to have very good taste in books jay tea.

If Cat is still around, I'd... (Below threshold)

If Cat is still around, I'd like to post this from Dennis Prager and see if it can comment:

Do you believe we are fighting evil people in Iraq?

That is how supporters of the war regard the Baathists and the Islamic suicide terrorists, the people we are fighting in Iraq.

Because if you cannot answer it, or avoid answering it, or answer "no," we know enough about your moral compass to know that further dialogue is unnecessary. In fact, dialogue is impossible. Our understanding of good and evil is so different from yours, there is simply nothing to discuss. Someone who was asked a hundred years ago "Do you believe that whites who lynch blacks are evil?" and refused to answer in the affirmative was not someone one could dialogue with.
So Kitty, fess up. Are you of the ilk that can never seem to see evil in anyone but Americans or Jews?

*crickets*<... (Below threshold)
B Moe:


B. Moe,Thanks for ... (Below threshold)

B. Moe,

Thanks for the link about arms sales to Iraq.

I'm still not settled on the whole issue, though. But I think probably we helped Saddam a little bit and liberals made a mountain out of a mole hill about it.

For sure, we sold Saddam many dual use items. But dual use items, believe it or not, are dual use. We might have sold him blood testing equipment or water pumps and it would be "dual use".

My point, though, is that those wouldn't be in the graph you linked to. Not that that invalidates the argument, I just thought it was worth pointing out.

We did give him some anthrax and precursors to sarin gas according to Wikipedia ( http://tinyurl.com/dxjnv ) I don't know what the "other use" for those is but I consider Reagan, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to be good men who wouldn't just give Saddam those things with the intention that he use them to kill people. As far as I know, there's no link between WMDs we gave him and the ones he actually is known to have used (i.e. mustard gas). If he had anthraxed the Iranians that would be a different story.

Smarter liberals claim that we gave him money to buy all those conventional weapons from those other countries. That doesn't make sense to me, though, since Saddam was never short on cash, what with all the oil and all.

Now that I think about it, it should have been obvious to me before seeing the graph that Saddam didn't get his weapons from us. Iraq had AK-47s and T-52s, not M-16s and Abrams'.

I did a little more researc... (Below threshold)

I did a little more research.

Thiodiglycol is a precursor to mustard gas but is also used extensively in the inks/dye/photographic industry for things like printing inks, ball point pen fluids, and paints (http://tinyurl.com/a6hlw).

There's such a thing as an anthrax vaccine which explains how anthrax can be dual use (you can use it to make the vaccine). You can also study it. According to the Riegle Report (http://tinyurl.com/6x7ym) anthrax was the only really nasty bacteria given to Iraq (as far as I can tell) and it was approved for transfer to the Ministry of Higher Education. Seems more like a research sale to me. Iraq did end up making biological weapons with that strain, though.

I can't address the precursor to sarin gas since Wikipedia doesn't name it. But of course, sarin gas is not a WMD or else the IED that blew up on the side of the road last year with sarin gas in it (http://tinyurl.com/28mzd) would have been a WMD in Iraq and everybody knows there were no WMDs in Iraq.

Okay, sorry, just on... (Below threshold)

Okay, sorry, just one more post:

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Fact Sheet (http://tinyurl.com/7qebs):

"Mustard gas may be made in different ways according to whether ethylene, vinyl chloride or thiodiglycol is chosen as the starting material. Published UN findings suggest that the Iraqi mustard had been made from the last of these precursors. Thiodiglycol is a quite widely used industrial commodity, finding application as an antioxidant, as a vulcanizing agent, as an intermediate for other commodities, and as a solvent for dyes used in the textile industry. Its conversion to mustard gas is very simple indeed, the only technological problem being that of preventing its manufacturers from becoming its first casualties. That, however, is not a small problem. When Britain first manufactured mustard gas, there were, over a six-month period during 1918, 1.27 cases of mustard illness per person employed."


"Thiodiglycol: This chemical is widely employed in water based dyes for the cloth manufacturing industries, including the rural industries of developing countries. It is a key component in water based inks used in the manufacture of felt tip pens and in certain printing inks. It is also a starting chemical for the production of specialty resins and adhesives, and is used as a lubricant additive."

... so the next time liberals say that there's some magical chemical you need for the complex process of making mustard gas, and only the U.S. and USSR have it, and we gave it to Iraq knowing that it could only be used for mustard gas, tell them it's used for lots of other things, many developing countries already have it, and making mustard gas is not that hard. Then kick them in the shins for me.

I wish someone would detail... (Below threshold)

I wish someone would detail, and I mean detail, "pro-victory" can be attained. The goal, as stated above, is "to win, to defeat the enemy, to stop those out to destroy us and our way of life and impose their tyrannical vision on people."

First, how do we "defeat the enemy." In World Wars that was to take over the country by force of arms. We obviously cannot do that, as demonstrated by our efforts in Iraq and Afganistan. Then, we are to "to stop those out to destroy us and our way of life." First, this is as wrongheaded as the first. Thinking that they (whoever "they" are) can "destroy us" is ludicrous. Any suggestions on how that would be accomplished? Maybe "they" could get all of Russia's WMD and drop them on the US. Finally, what "they" really want is for us to get out of their face. Studies have shown that once we left a city, state or region, the violence enventually subsided. As to imposing a "tyrannical vision on people," good luck. Tyrannical visions have been imposed on people since the beginning of time, and it is highly unlikely that we will be able to stop this evil.

Until we try to attain "victory" by a means other than force, we will not attain "victory." We can't kill all of them, and we can't impose peace in either country. The citizens have to be willing to do this. So far they have not been successful, but it is their problem, and they need to solve it sooner, rather than later.

"First, how do we "d... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

"First, how do we "defeat the enemy." In World Wars that was to take over the country by force of arms. We obviously cannot do that, as demonstrated by our efforts in Iraq and Afganistan."

Uh, what color is the sky on your planet, Clyde?

Jay. Just what exactly are ... (Below threshold)

Jay. Just what exactly are you fighting for in Iraq? The liberation of the Iraqi people? The removal of a vicious dictator?. How will victory reveal itself? When there are no more insurgents left to kill?

The case for war in Iraq has been discredited, for example there were no WMDs. Had the War on Terror been confined to Afghanistan and the pursuit of Bin Laden then perhaps Iraq could have been contained. But no, Bin Laden is still at large, granted with a somewhat weaker power base. Instead we have a hell hole that is Iraq with no end in sight to the hostilities. Sure the insurgents are being reduced in numbers daily. But the threat of civil war is perhaps greater now that it has ever been. And also the threat to the west is even greater. Why, whereas Iraq was a secular state under Saddam, the prospect of it becoming an Islamic state is even greater especially with Iran providing support for the insurgents.

It is sad that, America once percieved as the great liberator, hark back to WW1 and WW2, is now perceived to be an evil empire. Were it not for America the vast majority of Europe could be speaking German! Thankfully and as much as I like the German language, that is not the case.

Now old friends Europe and America are at loggerheads over the war. Insults are traded at every level from heads of state to pundits from either side of the pond. Had America listened to the rest of the world, (and of course Tony Blair listened!) the world might be a safer place. Your Pro Victory slogan is nothing but a vacuous chant, something to rally the patriotic and the ill in formed. Similarly, your inference that those opposed to the war are in fact anti American and pro terrorist is offensive and insulting. After 9/11 I was 100% behind America's right to seek out Bin Laden and his band of terrorists. But 9/11 does not give the US carte blanche to stick its nose into any conflict it sees fit to enter. The decision to invade Iraq will in my opinion rank as one the most idiotic ever taken by a world leader.

I am so sick of these idiot... (Below threshold)

I am so sick of these idiots that claim The USA to be the evil empire , guys your lucky cause if I was in control guess what ,we here do not need any of you out there , so I would bring all my troops home ,also any others stationed in any bases , they will guard the borders , also if you think we will give aid to anyone , sorry go get iot else where , next , we will offer 10.00 a barrel for oil to the oil whores in the middle east , they dont like it , fine let them eat it ... we can make do with what we have , maybe after a few months of their oil sitting there and overflowing they will be eager to sell ..
from now on the americas will not take in anyone .

I wonder what you would think of us then ... anyone caught with any kind of affilate to any terroristic ties , will be deported immediatly and if caught will doing a terroristic attack here will be in our jail for life ..

like I said your your all lucky I am not in charge ..

Fingers forward to bullwink... (Below threshold)

Fingers forward to bullwinkle and JT, back of the hand to cat, conor et al...

Epador, hardly an inspiring... (Below threshold)

Epador, hardly an inspiring riposte. If that's your best, let's call it a day as the debate is going nowhere.

ConorPossibly you ... (Below threshold)


Possibly you missed the elections in Afghanistan about a week ago? I would understand if you had, seeing how this historic event made possible by the US was given the same coverage and respect by the major US MSM as a correction notice in the NYTimes.

And, by your disdain of a pro-victory stance, you certainly underline the raison d'etre of the otherside -- seeing that America loses and that those we have helped lose, too. I mean, heck, if the US didn't depose the Taliban and Saddam it would all be burka's, mass graves and trains running on time -- nice easy status quo -- and you wouldn't have to worry your pretty little head about the big moral questions of the universe.

Darleen - your "moral compa... (Below threshold)

Darleen - your "moral compass" argument is misplaced. I hate the violence in Iraq, just as I hated the violence and repression under Saddam Hussein. The problem with your argument is that you made the violence much worse. I'm sure you will fail to understand this point, in fact I'm sure you will deliberately misrepresent it. The fact is that there were NO suicide bombers in Iraq before you invaded. We were all shocked by the London bombings that took place on one day. The same number of people are killed EVERY day in Iraq.

Before the invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein paid money to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. Do I agree with that? No. Do I support suicide bombers? No.

The suicide bombers in Israel haven't stopped because Saddam Hussein is in prison. And now they have terrorized a nation to such an extent that nearly a thousand people were died in the stampede in Baghdad last month. Think about it - a thousand people. Not as many as 9/11, but 9/11 was just one day - not EVERY day of the year.

Do I wish the bombers would stop? Yes. But sorry, they take no more notice of my opinions than you do.

Let me repeat - there were NO suicide bombers in Iraq before you invaded. Now, they seem to breeding like rabbits.

JC - you conclude that Sarin doesn't count as WMD because they found Sarin last year. Sarin IS a weapon of mass destruction. The reason it didn't count was because it had degraded to the point of being useless. This was precisely what Scott Ritter said was the case before the invasion in 2003: Almost all of Saddam's chemical weapons had been destroyed; what remained was so far beyond its shelf-life it would be harmless goo. And that's just what has been found - a few left-over munitions that were militarily useless.

Others criticize the mention of selling arms to Iran. 1% is a very small proportion. But it's interesting that that 1% began when Iraq was conducting a murderous war of aggression against a neighboring country. The million people who died in that war didn't need people helping Iraq continue the killing. And of course there were those (almost) under-the-radar arms sales to Iran.

Before the Iran-Iraq war, it's hardly surprising the US wasn't selling arms to Saddam - his party had nationalized Iraq's oil industry. Back in the '50s that same action in Iran had been enough for Britain and the US to overthrow the democratically elected prime minister and install and the murderous dictatorship of the Shah - who incidentally started Iran's nuclear program, pursuing the full nuclear cycle with the blessing of the US government. Back then, the United States didn't have any qualms about a country swimming in oil saying that it needed to enrich uranium. Back then, the US accepted the argument that Iran needed to look to the future, that petroleum should be used for export income and petrochemicals. Now, those arguments are forgotten.

Well, if you get your war with Iran, it is possible that a nuclear weapons program might be found. It is far more likely that the accusations against Tehran will be found to be just as groundless as the fabricated "massive stockpiles of WMD in Iraq.".

But being proved wrong will not change your minds. Why should it when you can chant "Pro-Victory! Pro-Victory!"

you have to remember after ... (Below threshold)

you have to remember after all we have to support our troops , our president and our country , if we dont for sure we are doomed ..

I read this in more than on... (Below threshold)

I read this in more than one historical account:
The British "V" for victory goes back to the 100 Tears War against the French. The English and Welsh longbowmen ruled the battlefield of their day. It was not uncommon for the French to cut of the arrow holding fingers of captured soldiers. The "V" was used to show the enemy that the English still had their fingers, and the French were doomed, as was usually the case. It wasn't until Joan of Arc that the English were pushed off the continent, leading to the generalization that no french-man ever won a war. War is hell, but it is a worse kind of hell on the loosers. Me, I'm pro-victory all the way.

cat,I'd be ... (Below threshold)


I'd be happy to address why we would send a precursor of sarin gas to Iraq, but the Wikipedia article doesn't say which one we gave him. It could have been an arsenic salt needed for ore mining or something like that that we gave him. If you name a specific chemical, I'll Google it's uses.

Also, Saddam was supposed to give up ALL his WMDs, voluntarily, whether they were past their shelf life or not.

Whatever we gave Saddam bef... (Below threshold)

Whatever we gave Saddam before 1990, after Desert Storm when he was subject to UN approved sanctions we refused to let him have weapons grade clorine.

For our troubles we were villified by all and sundry for maliciously causing the deaths of poor Iraqi children who could not get safe water to drink.

Does no one remember this?

What does victory in Iraq l... (Below threshold)

What does victory in Iraq look like. I'll assume that whomever asked did it in good faith.

Firstly, there is more to victory than the military fight and Iraq is part of a larger conflict. This is what *I* think victory in Iraq will look like.

In past wars, as someone mentioned, you "won" by occupying the other country, preferably annexing it permanently. This was the goal of both Germany and Japan in WW2. This isn't our goal. In fact, this would cause us to lose the larger conflict. To *win* we need a few things to happen... the military victroy is a given. The enemy can blow up things and people but other than an essential *vandalism* they accomplish nothing. They aren't going to disappear any time soon but it really doesn't matter. We can only lose to them by rolling over and begging them to kill us.

More important is establishing self determined and prosperous (for everyone, not just the rulers or warlords) nations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We're doing, and THEY are doing, a pretty amazing job so far with elections and women's sufferage and education and rebuilding. Far from smooth sailing but no one sees this as a *problem* except for those looking for failure.

To effectively end the terror threat the middle east must be pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Victory will be when the first spontaneous free election is held in some *other* country in the middle east.

Victory will be when Iraq is no longer dependant on oil. And Saudi. When Saudi enters the modern world and no longer simply imports the luxuries while utterly wasting the resources it has in its population, a *waste* that is reflected in the hopelessness of young men who somehow think that blowing themselves up at a young age is glorious compared to looking forward to a future of... nothing.

Tangent here... do you realize that Saudi imports it's labor because no Saudi male who even hopes to get a wife can afford to give the impression that he is forced to labor? No matter how poor, they've got to give the impression that the family is among the idle rich or else no one is going to let their daughter marry you?

Victory in the War on Terror, of which Iraq is only a part, requires that the social stupidity that created Bin Laden (a very wealthy young man) and Saddam (a sickly brutal tyrant) has to end. And the "just leave them alone" folks make that harder every single time they undermine our efforts over there. Every enabling slogan that convinces the enemy that if they just keep murdering school teachers (was it six teachers just today or yesterday?) and vandalizing roads or public works or assassinating police or officials or (trying) to blow up some Americans, keeps that progress from happening. It makes winning take longer. It increases the cost.

he enemy can blow up thi... (Below threshold)

he enemy can blow up things and people but other than an essential *vandalism* they accomplish nothing. They aren't going to disappear any time soon but it really doesn't matter.

So killing innocent people is vandalism, and terrorists aren't going away but that doesn't matter? Isn't that the point?

Far from smooth sailing but no one sees this as a *problem* except for those looking for failure.

What you're saying here is that people convinced of the inevitable success refuse to recognize problems as problems, and therefore do not attempt to remedy them. Case in the point the Iraqi constitution, which if the administration has it their way (no postponment), it may very well cause civil war.

Victory will be when Iraq is no longer dependant on oil.

Every oil-rich country is dependent on oil. You're saying victory will be when they run out?

And how exactly do you propose we end the social and political structure of Saudi Arabia when they are our closest ally in the region and are, well, pretty "buddy buddy" with the people who designed and carried out the GWOT (you're familiar with them, they run the White House and the Pentagon)? By the way I agree with you about Saudi Arabia, but I don't see this crew doing anything about it.

You then go on to repeat the stupidity that criticism of the GWOT here is not only heard by the people fighting in Iraq, but they pay attention to it. Do you think if there were no Americans against this war the terrorists would all pack it in and go home?

Darleen. I am more... (Below threshold)


I am more than aware of the fact that there was an election in Afghanistan. I am also more than aware that Bin Laden and his band of terrorists are still running around in said country.

What you fail to grasp is that Saddam was not an Islamic fundamentalist. He was just a bad old fashioned dictator just like any other despot around the world today and perhaps despised as much by the fundamentalists as by the west.. So your talk of Burkas is baseless and convey's a complete lack of understanding of the situation. Moreover the removal of Saddam has played into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists who now have an opporunity to consolidate their power base. So instead of making Iraq a better place, in fact it has been made worse. After all if the democratic process is allowed to flourish and the Iraqi electorate install an Islamic Cleric who ineffect will be a dictator, will probably foment relations with Iran et al, will America respect the wishes of the Iraqi electorate? We all know the answer to that one.

With regards to the big moral questions of the universe, that is soemthing I shall leave to those whom are far cleverer than me. However I shall continue to ruminate over more local matters without the pressure of being coerced into a decision by the powers that be, as that is what a good citizen does. You on the other hand can swallow hook line and sinker the official government line. After all, your loyalty is unquestioning and unwavering, the kind of stooge citizen that every government wished it had.

For those of you like cat a... (Below threshold)

For those of you like cat and Conor, while there are deaths in Iraq from terrorists frequently, only someone who is completely naive, or partisan, would argue Iraq is worse off now. Kind of like implying the hardships faced by the colonies after the withdrawl of British troops following the Revolutionary War proove it was wrong to proclaim our independance...not a perfect analogy, but still fitting. How's this, then: The despair of the the Japanese and the economic hardships they faced after WWII prove that we shouldn't have retaliated for Pearl Harbor. We should have sought to understand that our empirical foreign policies had driven the rational emperor to attack the worlds greatest evil and given them the State of Hawaii in compensation. That's roughly the position of the "anti-war" crowd today.

We will have a new democracy in Iraq, and judging by the constitutional draft that was circulated recently, even if they are more Islam-centric, they will have adequate rights in regard to personal freedoms for religion, speech and equality. That's just to start...how long did it take us to perfect democracy? Yes, that's rhetorical, we still have the ability to create ammendments to our constitution hundreds of years after the fact...and have found reason to use this ability somewhat recently.
Also, there is way too much hysteria about a civil war in Iraq. Civil war is not the end of the world...we had ours and survived. And that wasn't after a majority of the population had been held captive to the murderous regime of a minority. We don't expect them to have a carbon copy of the British parliment by next week, for Gods sake.

I like "pro-victory." It fits. I always reply in the same fashion to liberals who demand I wear the "pro-war" badge. I've spoken to many such people who demand that since they are anti-war, as a matter of course I must be pro-war. I always reply that I will wear the pro-war label as soon as they accept the obvious label they must then wear in compensation, since I am also pro-life.

*sigh* mantis... if you thi... (Below threshold)

*sigh* mantis... if you think "vandalism" is not a strong enough word, perhaps you ought to talk it over with the Vandals.

Actually I think vandalism ... (Below threshold)

Actually I think vandalism is a term that refers to the destruction of property, especially public property, as the Vandals did when they sacked Rome and trashed all the pretty buildings. As far as I know the terrorists don't explode carbombs to destroy the car.

Unless you were talking about the punk band, in which case I'll take it up with them next time I see them.

BrainyPartial anal... (Below threshold)


Partial analogies, references to wars past, civil war and democracy but my favourite "empirical foreign polices". All sounds very impressive. But given that there is a complete absence of coherency or logic in your rant it's probably best that we agree to disagree.

Conor, translation: You can... (Below threshold)

Conor, translation: You can't win so you'll cop out?

Brainy. This is no... (Below threshold)


This is not a war where smart bombs will determine the outcome. Smart thinking is what is required. Sadly, there seems to be too few smart people in control of the situation. Sadder still is how a government has brainwashed its people into believing that its continued existence and well being is dependent upon the removal of a despot from Iraq. Do you honestly beieve that Saddam posed a threat to America? Given his first taste of defeat at American hands in the Gulf War it is inconceivable that he would have launched an offensive against the States. No, something stinks about this war. It might take years, decades for the truth to emerge.

Now before you accuse me of being a bleeding heart anti war liberal, I would like to point out that I am not. Anti war, yes. Liberal, no. Opposition to the war does not make one a liberal. I support the troops and pray for their safe return, but I believe that they should not have been ordered there in the first place. Perhaps you can provide a valid reason for the removal of Saddam. Emancipation of the Iraqi people will prove a weak argument as from here on in the the onus will be on America to remove every dictator in the world. A very tall order indeed. But perhaps the Iraqi people were singled out for such help for more altruistice reasons? You tell me. I am all ears

I like it. As I've said ti... (Below threshold)

I like it. As I've said time and again, it is not a "peace" movement, it is not an "anti-war" movement. It is a pro-appeasement, anti-America, "head in the sand" movement.

"Oh, if we just leave them alone or try to understand, they'll leave us alone." B.S.!

If 9/11 taught us anything it is that the Islamic jihadists want all who differ from them dead. And they will stop at nothing to make us dead.

If you are not pro-victory, then you are pro-defeat.

James @ Right Face!

JamesIn a nutshell... (Below threshold)


In a nutshell, Iraq was a secular state prior to the allied invasion. Islamic fundamentalism was not an issue because Saddam kept the mullahs and any other body that posed a threat to his power, in prison or had them killed. But this is probably all academic to you. It seems to be the case that if Bush says it is, then it is! Like a brainwashed member of a cult you allow yourself to be taken in by the government spin. My guess is that if Bush said shit was custard, you would eat it and probably be looking for seconds.

Thanks a bunch for this! I ... (Below threshold)

Thanks a bunch for this! I put the button on Liberty Just in Case just now! Great idea.

Conor, either you haven't b... (Below threshold)

Conor, either you haven't been listening or you refuse to believe the reasons for the invasion. We knew Saddam had WMD's. Now, it appears he got rid of them, either by moving them or by actually destroying them like he was supposed to, but the onus was on him to PROVE this to the world and he didn't. That coupled with his almost daily abandonment of the cease-fire from the first Gulf War was more than ample justification to invade. We wanted to invade for a few reasons. The most important was to show that we meant buisness in the war on terror. Our reputation in the region is that we were weak militarily and would not stand up to defiance or attack. Bin Laden explicitly stated this as a reason he thought he could get away with 9/11. We had to prove we had the fortitude to engage in a prolonged conflict and win. It was also important to set up a democracy in the region, and Iraq was suitably placed as a focal point for that democracy to spread throughout the region. This has actually been proven correct, as witnessed by the remarkable developments in Lebanon, the Ukraine and elsewhere. The opposition parties in these countries were given hope and backing by our actions in Iraq. This was stated by one of the prominent politicians in Lebannon soon after the withdrawl of Syrian forces. It is funny that you poo-poo the idea of liberating 52 million people from a murderous...though secular, as you insist on pointing out..regime. It is true this wasn't really our main goal, but odd that you would insist it is not a noble one. And while Iraq may be modeled more on Islam than under Sadam, odd for a population almost completely Muslim, the constitution has safeguards for freedom of religion, speech and gender equality. Our own constitution didn't guarantee all of these things until more than a hundred years after it was ratified. This is how I know the war is justified. Your own screeching points more to a brainwashed moonbat than anything posted here in the affirmative.

Conor,I find it ir... (Below threshold)


I find it ironic that you lefties think anyone who supports the war on terrorism or has good things to say about Bush must be slavishly and fanatically devoted to him and everything he says.

I disagree with a lot of what Bush does and says. Lately he sounds more like FDR than a conservative. Of course one of the lefts main taling points is that everybody on the right is a brain-washed Bushie. I understand that you are unable to see things any other way.

The fact remains that we are in a war for the survival of western culture and democracy. You're either on our side or the enemies. There is no middle ground.

Brainy. All well and good, ... (Below threshold)

Brainy. All well and good, but would you please explain to me the threat that Saddam posed to the West. I am based in London but prior to the invasion I felt no threat from Saddam. Post Saddam, I now feel more threatened by some lunatic with a bomb in his bag. Ask the people in Spain, they will tell you the same thing. Similarly as an American, what threat did you feel from Saddam? Surely Bin Laden was the bigger threat but to the best of my knowledge he's still running around Afghanistan, scot free, despite being responsible for the death of 3000 people on the US mainland. Correct me if I am wrong but I cant seem to remember Saddam having declared war on the US or the west. Would he be foolish again by invading a neighbour, unlikely.

I would have more respect for the architects of the war if they came out and admitted that the war was about oil rather than the liberation of a people.

Bush specifically said he d... (Below threshold)

Bush specifically said he didn't pose an immenent threat, but that he was unwilling to wait for him to become one. As I have said, it was accepted as FACT, worldwide, that he had WMD's and that he had harbored terrorists. The two could not be allowed the possibility to be combined. Idiot liberals would have raked Bush over the coals, rightly, in my opinion, if in late 2003, had we not attacked, a WMD went off in downtown LA. Bush was not willing to take that chance..hell protecting the American people is his JOB. Sadam technically declared war on the U.S. daily..every time he violated the cease-fire agreement he signed at the end of the gulf war. He would have been exponentially more dangerous had the French, Germans and Russians been successful in getting the sanctions against him dropped...not that those 3 countries honored the sanctions, anyway, but the rest of the world would have been free to sell him whatever he wanted as well.

Idiotic ramblings about this being a war for oil are partisan and pathetic, IMHO. As far as Bin Laden, hiding in caves and running in fear for your life daily hardly equals "scot free." Sitting in Gitmo with a taxpayer funded Koran would be "scot free." I want him to assume room temperature.....be "D.E.D. Ded"...ASAP. But there are other considerations here and finding one man somewhere in the world ain't so easy as you would like it to be.

Admit that it was a war for... (Below threshold)

Admit that it was a war for oil? If it was a war for oil why does my gas still cost so damn much?

It is a war to remove from power a ruthless bloodthirsty dictator. A tyrant who:
- had tortured, poisoned and murdered thousands of his own citizens
- committed genocide against ethnic groups (Kurds, Ma'dan, Shia) in his country
- invaded and warred against his neighbors
- developed and stockpiled numerous types of WMDs
- used WMDs against those neighbors and ethnic groups
- ruined vast areas of his country (the systematic attacks against the habitat of the Ma'dan or "Marsh Arabs" in Mesopotamia)
- built a nuclear reactor
- sought to attain an offensive nuclear capability
- violated numerous UN sanctions for 12 years
- committed acts of war and agression against the nations enforcing said sanctions
- repeatedly refused to allow inspections of his country to verify his compliance with said sanctions
- paid rewards to the families of "Palestinian" terrorists who murder innocent civilians
- provided safe haven to terrorists like Abu Nibal, while he trained the 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta in Baghdad
- maintaining diplomatic contacts with Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers
- used his own military instructors to train Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq
- impermissible discrimination in regard to fair and necessary distribution of food and health care to the people of Iraq

More than enough reason to go to war against Saddam's regime and liberate the people of Iraq.

James @ Right Face!

Y'know, Conor, you're right... (Below threshold)

Y'know, Conor, you're right. It has to be a war for oil, because all that refusal to comply with U.N. orders and potshots at patrol planes couldn't possibly have been Saddam trying to preserve the appearance of being a threat or anything. After all, only someone who had nothing to hide would try to hide it, right? People should never deal with potential threats until those threats are completely manifest.

So ... next time I'm working in the garden, I'm not gonna put down mulch. After all, when I'm planting the plants, there's no reason to safeguard against weeds and dehydration until they're already killing off the lilies, right?

And who needs vaccinations? I don't see any reason to worry about tetanus 'til I'm curled up and spasming in pain on the hospital bed. And obviously, hepatitis has yet to prove itself a credible threat to me. I'm not going to put myself through a few days of unpleasant pain when the chance of infection and death are just that - chances.

Oh, and take that chicken back out of the refrigerator! You don't see any bacteria growing on it, do you? Refrigeration isn't necessary; it's just a conflict for conveniently chilly beverages, and don't you dare tell me otherwise.

Too bad nobody thoguht of t... (Below threshold)

Too bad nobody thoguht of this in 2003. Maybe we could have had an actual victory by now. Seriously, if more people had been calling themselves pro-victory in 2001 maybe we'd have caught Osama by now. Everybody loves victory; even the anti-war folks love victory. Anti-Bush people love victory too. Unfortunately calling for victory doesn't seem to help our president find his first clue about how to actually achieve anything victorious.

I love reading the leftists... (Below threshold)

I love reading the leftists posts. Cat cites Animal Farm as a reference source and Conor's measure of peace and stability in the world is "there were no suicide bombers in Iraq before the war".

Cat: George Orwell (Who's real name was Eric Blair) was a socialist, and perhaps a borderline anarchist, who had a great distain for authority and supported the Palestinians. His view of the world, even during his lifetime, was greatly out of touch with the mainstream. Please don't cite his fictional works as a legitmate reference to today's very real issues.

Conor: No, we know of no "suicide bombers" in Iraq under Saddam's reign. Their occupation back then was categorized as "loyal Baathist" or "Republican Guard" and they raided Iraqi homes searching for and killing anyone who showed any potential for opposing Hussein. They were thugs and murders then and they are still thugs and murders today. The only difference is that they aren't exclusively targeting unarmed civilians now.

And, yes, we did back Saddam back in the 70's and even the 80's. He was viewed then as a progressive leader (he was vice-president of Iraq until 1979) back in the 70's before he forced General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr to resign. Incidently, al-Bakr was a relative of Saddam's and was looking to sign a treaty with Syria (also a Baathist state) to unite the 2 nations under the control of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. That is when Saddam accended to the Presidency of Iraq.

In the 80's, we gave him money and arms in the Iran-Iraqi war for 2 good reasons: 1) he was viewed as a secular leader as opposed to the fundamentalist Islamist Khomeini, and 2) we didn't want him consolidating his influence with other pan-Arab nations in the region. You should also know that we did this in conjunction with both Russia and France. After Saddam's 8 year war with Iran, an estimated 1.7 million people were dead and Iraq had an estimated debt of $75 billion dollars.

So while Saddam started out as a revolutionary (in the sense he helped the poor through technology and was secular in his beliefs) and was backed by the people of Iraq, he certainly didn't end up that way. He gassed 15,000 Kurds during the Iraq-Iran War, amassed thousands of rounds of chemical weapons (the so-called "missing WMDs"), and murdered anyone who he perceived as opposition. But, no, you're right. Iraq didn't have "suicide bombers". Tell it to the hundreds of thousands who died under his regime.








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