128 3 mins 15 yrs

The political left is fond of classifying and compartmentalizing people into identifiable groups:  gender, race. religion, country-of-origin etc.

And, the political left is fond of censoring debate based on inclusion, or exclusion, from the group.

Dear reader… this is identity politics.   

It means that a white man who dares comment on the possible reasons for crime  in a black neighborhood will be labeled a “racist” if his views are not consistent with the political left.  A  man who dares comment that mothers  are best at home raising their children is labeled “sexist.”   A man who has never served in the military and is not anti-war is a “chickenhawk.”  

Identity politics is a bullying tactic and it is used to censor debate.  The left posits that one must have “moral authority” to debate an issue.  The left grants permission to debate, or  “moral authority,”  only to those  on the left.

Moral authority and the Military:

I have never heard a military man or woman say that the debate surrounding the war in Iraq is open only to those who wear a uniform.

But I have head this numerous times from the anti-war left. The argument that only those who wear the uniform are qualified to debate the war is shallow and is used as a means to bully silence out of those with whom the left does not agree.

Not everybody serves in the military.  Nor should they.    

I recently had the honor of hearing General James T. Conway, Commandant, United States Marine Corps speak.  I heard him say that he had no doubt – no doubt! – that  today we face an enemy that would come into our homes and slaughter every man, woman and child,  if given the chance.  

The US Marines – hoorah! – are willing, able and brilliant at doing the heavy lifting; they fight for our freedom.  As a civilian, I do my part by supporting my military. I do my part by defending my defenders and by electing a POTUS who will not guarantee our defeat in Iraq.   

Not only do I have the “moral authority” to do this, I have the moral obligation to do this.

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128 thoughts on “Overspecializing on the Left

  1. >>A man who dares comment that mothers are best at home raising their children is labeled “sexist.” <<

    What do you call a man who dares comment that fathers are best at home raising their children?

  2. Supporting the troops means not sending them into battle not fully armed, taking care of them when they return home wounded, and not sacrificing their lives for the short term political benefit of George Bush.

  3. Noel: "What do you call a man who dares comment that fathers are best at home raising their children?"

    I wouldn’t call him anything. I would debate the point by asking him why he felt this. It’s called "making a reasonable argument." You make a point, and then you support it with logic or facts. Who knows…I might agree if the argument is good enough.

    Mahons: I agree. The troops need proper equipment, proper medical care. THe war is not for Bush’s short term political advantage. That’s just silly.

    Mahons, have you ever talked to anyone in the military?

  4. Patty,

    You seem to me to be unusually obsessed with what you call "the left."

    What constitutes this grouping? Thoughtful people?

  5. Patty: I have never talked to anyone in the military (active or retired). This of course made it difficult during family gatherings as addressing my father (Third Army – same as Audie Murphy), my Uncle Tom (Green Beret Combat Veteran of Vietnam), my Uncle Joe (United States Navy) was therefore impossible, but I still managed to get some member of the family to pass the salt.**

    Of course the war in Iraq was for Bush poitical gain, his administration has fed on it longer than Dolly Parton’s babies kept breastfeeding.

    **these is my caution sign to you. The Mahons of old would have skewered your comment, but I’ve promised to censor myself in the interest of mercy. Try another personal shot like that and all bets are off my good woman.

  6. Mahons: "**these is my caution sign to you. The Mahons of old would have skewered your comment, but I’ve promised to censor myself in the interest of mercy. Try another personal shot like that and all bets are off my good woman."

    Shakin’ in my boots, Mahon. Shakin’ in my boots!

    If you were only as smart as you think you are!

  7. This is the left – thoughtful people? About as ‘thoughtful’ as that fool, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thanks to Riger Scruton from Civitas 2006.

    This repudiation (of the nation state) is the result of a peculiar frame of mind that has arisen throughout the Western world since the second world war, and which is particularly prevalent among the intellectual and political élites. No adequate word exists for this attitude, though its symptoms
    are instantly recognised: namely, the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours’. Being the opposite of xenophobia I propose to call this state of mind oikophobia, by which I mean (stretching the Greek a little) the repudiation of
    inheritance and home. Oikophobia is a stage through which the adolescent mind normally passes. But it is a stage in which some people—intellectuals especially—tend to become arrested. As George Orwell pointed out, intellectuals on the Left are especially prone to it, and this has often made them willing agents of foreign powers.4 The Cambridge spies offer a telling illustration of what oikophobia has meant for our country. And it is interesting to note that
    a recent BBC ‘docudrama’ constructed around that deplorable episode neither examined the realities of their treason nor addressed the suffering of the millions of their East European victims, but merely endorsed the oikophobia that
    had caused the spies to act as they did. The resulting
    portrait of English society, culture, nationhood and loyalty as both morally reprehensible and politically laughable is standard BBC fare—prolefeed, as Orwell described it in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    Nor is oikophobia a specifically English, still less specifically British tendency (although Scots seem relatively immune to it). When Sartre and Foucault draw their picture of the ‘bourgeois’ mentality, the mentality of the Other in his Otherness, they are describing the ordinary decent Frenchman, and expressing their contempt for his national
    culture. A chronic form of oikophobia has spread through the American universities, in the guise of political correctness, and loudly surfaced in the aftermath of September 11th, to pour scorn on the culture that allegedly provoked the attacks, and to side by implication with the terrorists.
    This frame of mind finds a natural home in state institutions, since these offer the power base from which to attack the simple loyalties of ordinary people. Hence European parliaments and bureaucracies contain large numbers of oikophobes whose principal concern in exercising power is to pour scorn on national values and to open the way to their subversion. The domination of our own national parliament by oiks, as we might call them, is partly responsible for the assaults on our constitution, for the acceptance of subsidised immigration, and for the attacks on customs and institutions associated with traditional and native forms of life. The oik repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments,
    accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed on us from on high by the EU or the UN, though without troubling to consider Terence’s question, and defining his political vision in terms of universal values that have been purified of all
    reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community. The oik is, in his own eyes, a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism. And it is the rise of the oik that has led to the growing crisis of legitimacy in the nation states of Europe. For we are seeing a massive expansion of the legislative burden on the people of Europe, and a relentless assault on the only loyalties that would enable them voluntarily to bear it. The explosive effect of this has already been felt in Holland and France. It will be felt soon everywhere, and the result may not be what the oiks expect.

  8. Patty,

    The "left" classification is a bit nebulous.

    So you’ll take the secret with you to the grave, right?

  9. Dawkins: are you trying to imply that "Left" doesn’t exist, or isn’t meaningful as a political distinction from, say, "right"? I don’t think that argument holds up.

  10. Allan,

    Interesting piece by Roger Scrotun. I mentioned something like this a few days back. At last I know what I am: an oikophobe.

    Yep, I feel no affinity whatsoever with the land I was born in. I didn’t ask my parents to bring me into the world, and if I had done I wonder if I’d have chosen England. What has English history or "heritage" got to do with me? Diddly squat of course. Why would it?

    I live in Ireland now and feel no great affinity with the country or the nation that occupies it. Again, why should I?

    Nationalism and patriotism are instincts left over from a time when our hairy ancestors roamed the earth and hunted in bands and tribes. I’ve no great wish to go there.

  11. Dawkins: OK — correct me if I’m wrong – my understanding is that you don’t believe in God. And now you say that you don’t have any allegiance to your country.

    Do you feel allegiance to anybody or anything? (seriously) Do you feel allegiance to a philosophy, or an idea?

    Or, do you think we are just random collections of atoms etc.
    .

  12. Patty,

    I have allegiance to those I love and those who love me. They’re what’s important in my life and in the world, and they know this.

  13. Dawkins: OK.

    It seems a little primitive to me though. Man, woman, cave.

    You must feel a little allegiance to free speech, law and order, and other useful social constructs…no?

  14. Dawkins, Roger Scruton has got you and your ilk defined in a clear and concise manner. The problem for me is that people like you, as you admitted that you can be defined, are now at the top of all of the nation’s institutions (Ian Blair, Ken Livingstone, Rowan Williams, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Gordon Brown et al) and they are giving away all the powers which make (or made) Britain a nation and not just an island. What is most noticeable is the ‘entryism’ method by which they took over these institutions and denied the means of opposition to those who would have stopped them. In the current situation, this means absolute refusal of a referendum on the EU’s latest power grab.

  15. Patty,

    Cave, LOL.

    I respect "free speech, law and order, etc, but have no "allegiance" to them. I didn’t invent them so have no affinity to them. Same goes for flags, national anthems, football teams.

    You probably think I’m a freak, and maybe I am :0)

  16. Allan,

    I assure you chaps like me aren’t "at the top of all of the nation’s institutions." We aren’t even close. We don’t join clubs you see.

    Ye gods, be glad chaps like me aren’t running the country!

    All together now: "I yam a nanarchist-a!"

  17. Dawkins: I don’t think you are a freak; I think you are —

    an OIK! with "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours’." (see alan@oslo comment)

    I would say a prayer for you, but I know that would give you the "willies,"
    😉

    Instead, I prescribe for you a little self-reflection and association with others of sound mind – you are definitely not challenged enough by your surroundings.

    Also, see "There Will Be Blood." Great movie. About an oil catter in California. (warning: violence)

  18. "A man who dares comment that mothers are best at home raising their children is labeled “sexist.” "

    Nope. If a man comments that a woman is better off at home raising kids he is sexist.

    If he comments that mothers are best off at home raising their kids it’s a valid point worthy of a debate with parents themselves.

    That debate can include whether or not a father wants more time at home with his kids. Which in turn leads to things like paternity leave from work for them. Or maternity leave for a family that need 2 wages in our ‘splendid’ business and consumer driven society.

    Personally I don’t attribute all advanced thinking to the Left. I think society is advanced enough to have that sort of discussion across the political spectrum.

    It’s when Left and Right start legislating and proscribing their idea of proper thought and morals in an attempt to control that it becomes the issue.

  19. –I don’t attribute all advanced thinking to the Left.–

    I don’t attribute any thinking whatsoever to the Left. Or for the most part, to the Right either. Once you’ve identified yourself as part of any grouping, your primary focus becomes that of defending the position . party.

    I’m a hawk on crime, national defense, War on Terror, and on keeping government expenses low. I’m proud of Guantanemo Bay. I’m not in favor of redefining marriage to conform with the latest European and Massachusetts fads. I’m also for gun control and for campaign finance restrictions that would keep the Romneys and Bloombergs of this world from buying elections. I support a sharply expanded effort to develop alternative energy sources, and more mass transit as part of a general effort to use less oil until the new sources are developed.

    Does this make me a Righty or a Lefty? Who cares. I take my issues one at a time.

    I think that the left is largely anti-military and that they should be condemned for that.

    But they are on to something when criticize intellectual and physical slobs like Rush Limbahhh for being obese cheerleaders for military actions when said porker spent his entire young life finding ways to avoid serving himself.

    Same with Bush and Cheney. Cheney did not serve, and Bush spent his National Guard serve goofing off.

    If some lib wants to point this out, then–they are correct to do so. They are wrong on everything else, but on this they have a point.

  20. Phantom

    Hear hear! Excellent comment.

    Allan

    Interesting comments. Scruton is on the money about the oiks.

  21. Alison,

    "It’s when Left and Right start legislating and proscribing their idea of proper thought and morals in an attempt to control that it becomes the issue.:

    Amen and preach it sister.

    Phantom,

    "I’m proud of Guantanemo Bay."

    Jesus help you. However the offer of a drink still stands….I may be in NYC over the coming months on business and if so will be delighted to purchase either yourself or mahons (or any other ATW regulars in the environs) severial drinks in part exchange for the enlightenment over the years. Slainte!

  22. Phantom: "Cheney did not serve, and Bush spent his National Guard serve goofing off.

    If some lib wants to point this out, then–they are correct to do so."

    Not if said lib wants to make a point against military policy. I don’t sew and yet surely I can comment on fashion? I don’t serve in the police force, yet surely I can comment on the police force? etc.etc.

    If some lib wants to argue against the war, than he/she needs to argue using actual facts, reasoning etc. Calling into play the Cheney’s service record is an attempt at a personal slur (ad hominem) and is used to censor debate.

  23. Phantom –

    Re "I don’t attribute any thinking whatsoever to the Left".

    That was a dose of sarcasm. Meaning we can figure it out between left and right.

    >>I think society is advanced enough to have that sort of discussion *across the political spectrum*

  24. Patty

    But it was not your moral obligation to sew clothing. Its perfectly acceptable to delegate that job to someone else.

    But when Limbaugh, Bush and Cheney dodged the draft, the job of serving in Vietnam was forced upon someone whose father was not well connected.

    You’d at least think that these guys would keep a low profile on matters of a military nature.

    This is why people like McCain have an immense credibility on national defense that a shirker like Bush or Cheney simply can never claim.

    I think that Bush is qualified to state an opinion. I just don’t think he has the moral stature to be Commander in Chief.

  25. Sorry i mean that was me being sarcastic in my initial remark

    However where you say this

    "Does this make me a Righty or a Lefty? Who cares. I take my issues one at a time."

    Fair enough and i agree, that was my point. Least it’s fair enough ’til you come to vote.

  26. The right are very fond of calling Gore a hypoctite because of his large carbon footprint. They’re not so happy when it’s pointed out that most of the armnchair generals among them managed to avoid military service themselves.

    Pot and kettle.

  27. Peter

    The Right are correct to call Gore what he is, which is an environmental rapist and a fraud

    The Left are right to call Bush and Cheney shirkers and Draft Dodgers

  28. The Phantom: We have a volunteer military. Noone is forcing anyone to serve. The military is ready, willing, and able. Hoorah!
    They are an awesome group of young men and women. They are smart, disciplined, skilled and effective.

    Whether or not CHeney served, or Bush saw combat is irrelevant.

  29. Patty,

    "The "left" classification is a bit nebulous."

    No shit, sherlock?

    Perhaps you will take on the arguments rather than the sources in future then? We live in hope!

  30. Peter,

    I call Gore a fraud and a hypocrite. I also saw active military service.

    Unlike you, I am quite happy to see any public figure chastised – as long as it is done in fairness, and not just out of bigoted or political pique.

    Don’t you also specialise in generalisations such as ‘right world’, armchair generals, etc?

    Did you see active service anywhere – even with the NAAFI – or even with the Salvation Army?

  31. Frank: "We live in hope!"

    Spoken like a Democrat – the party of Hope! Hopeful Hope! Here’s Hoping! Hoping for Change! Change & Hope!

    Say "Nope" to No Hope! Hoping to Change for Hope!

  32. True.

    But 40 years is but one flutter of a hummingbird’s wings when we speak of such things.

    "No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character."
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1880)

  33. The Right are correct to call Gore what he is, which is an environmental rapist and a fraud

    Rubbish. He is neither, and it’s thanks to him more than any other individual that AGW is now mainstream.

  34. The Phantom: Critique the war if you like – but personal attacks on Cheney’s character doesn’t say anything about the advisability of his policy on the war.

  35. He is an environmental rapist

    He and his wife Tipper use appx twenty to twenty four times the electricity that the average household uses in his home state of Tennessee.

    If everyone used energy the way he does, the ice caps would melt next week.

    He is a "do as I say not as I do" guy

    A complete moral fraud.

  36. Phantom,

    "He and his wife Tipper use appx twenty to twenty four times the electricity that the average household uses in his home state of Tennessee."

    And of course, the average household in Tennessee is home to an ex-VP candidate with associated security staff and capacity to offset. Right?

    Not that you in your zeal would make an unfair comparison or anything.

    But the question is, should the average TN household care about their electricity bill or not?

    What say you, Phantom?

  37. Patty

    Your snide comment to Mahons as to whether he had ever spoken to a military member was exactly the sort of smug selective moralising you accuse the left of. An attempt to imply that because he does not share exactly your unswerving support for the war in Iraq he is an anti-militarist and lacking in knowledge, interest or concern for the views of those who serve in the military. It was a low shot and shows that you are a hypocrite as you copy the worst traits of the politically correct left establishment.

  38. –the average household in Tennessee is home to an ex-VP candidate with associated security staff and capacity to offset. Right?–

    Well, right indeed.

    Gore never said that when he was challenged on the matter. Here,it is thou who art guilty of speculating.

    And it would take an immense security staff to add up to 20 times the energy use of the average (extremely profligate) American family.

    Gore should be trying to set a personal example.

    I didn’t even mention the extensive use of personal jets.

    I could care less that this guy used to be the Vice President. So what.

    The terribly evil Richard Nixon spent most of his post presidential life in a Manhattan apartment. Truman and Carter lived/live in small houses with presumably low energy usage.

    This charlatan shuffles from town to town and country to country, using the energy of a small Baltic nation, while giving us all lectures on how we need to use less energy and go green.

    Oh yeah, if you want to feel good about the energy you use, you can buy an indulgence, I mean carbon credit from good ole Rev. Al, who has a company set up to sell you that stuff.

    Better not to use so much energy in the first place?

  39. Phantom,

    "you can buy an indulgence, I mean carbon credit from good ole Rev. Al, who has a company set up to sell you that stuff."

    Is that so? What is the name of this company?

  40. My Dear Colm: I hope that you will report my snideness to the politeness police because I am, indeed, in deep and dire need of a "talkin’ to."

    Poor Mahons! I didn’t realize that his feelings would be hurt so easily! Why…after he called my position on my prior post "idiotic" I sort of figured that he liked to play a little rough. In fact, thinking back, he has often been a wee bit snide himself!.

    But you are right…and oh how lucky he is to have a lackey like you to protect him!

    I don’t mean to be sarcastic. Or mean. Or – what was that you accused me of – hypocritical….it just slips out sometimes.

    Please forgive me. I am not a racist. Or sexist. Or Smug. (I don’t drive a Prius.)

    Sincerely yours, contrite and sorry.

    Patty

    PS I cried.

  41. The Phantom: You’re right – blame Bush. For his stupidity. But not because he didn’t see combat.

    I blame Bush because he is "loyal" to the wrong failing people for way too long – Rumsfield, Brownie in New Orleans, COndi RIce. He seems to put personal loyalties above success in the mission, whether it be domestic or militarily – and I think that’s a bad trait.

    His service record is irrelevant.

  42. Patty

    I comment because I want to, not because I am anyones lacky. Mahons certainly doesn’t need me to defend him and I don’t do so because I think he needs it, but because I saw a smug hypicritical comment from you and wanted to give my opinion it and pull you up on your oh so superior dismissing of the lefts moralistic intolerance and then you go and behave just like them with your attempts to monopolise patriotism and support for the military as being dependent on holding the same views as yourself.

    I am not asking you to be contrite or sorry or to cry , you tell it like you see it and I tell it as I see it.

  43. Phantom,

    "It is Generation Investment Management LLP"

    Do you know the difference between buying and selling?

    It is a fundamental point on this topic.

  44. — You’re right – blame Bush. For his stupidity.–

    We agree on that one. The only way we climb out of this hole is to speak very frankly indeed.

    We elected the wrong guy in 2000. It should have been McCain then. Bush’s presidency is clearly a failure on many levels, and I speak as a supporter of the Iraq war.

    Take care. Gotta go.

  45. Colm: What is "snide" about asking him if he knows anyone in the military??

    Many people have no relatives,friends, or acquaintances in the military. It’s not snide to ask. And I certainly don’t wish to have a monopoly on patriotism.

    If you want to argue that an immediate pull-out from Iraq is patriotic in some way good luck to you. Because it’s not.

    I know you’re not his lackey. I was yanking your chain.

  46. Patty

    Asking Mahons if he had ever spoken to anyone in the military was simply your way of saying "You are ignorant of military people and if you knew or spoke to them you would not have the views you have". It was a way of attempting to smear him in the same way as the intolerant PC left do with their attempt to control the parameters of acceptability. I believe that both you and Mahons are proud of and support your country and your armed forces and are both capable of doing so while having different views on the US govts. Iraq policy.

    BTW – I don’t know why you bring in the subject of arguing for an immediate pull out from Iraq because neither I nor as far as I am aware mahons has advocated that, so why try to put the idea around that that is what we believe?

  47. >>I don’t know why you bring in the subject of arguing for an immediate pull out from Iraq because neither I nor as far as I am aware mahons has advocated that<<

    Exactly. Patty, you should really try to argue with arguments and stop believing people behave the way you’d like them to.

    Besides, what’s unpatriotic about advocating an immediate pullout from Iraq, as many very patriotic Americans do?

  48. Frank

    This Post discusses some of what Gore is actually doing with his company.

    The usefulness of such practices is may be great. But the point is that he stands to profit from the hysteria that he is ginning up.

    And while I ride the subway and literally dry clothes on a clothesline, he drives in limos, has three homes (*) and flies to meetings in London in private jets.

    After all, he’s the former Vice President of the United States.

    (*) so to get to his household energy use, you’d have to add the consumption of all three houses. The Tennessee newspaper I believe only had the energy record of a single house.

  49. Phantom,

    "It is Generation Investment Management LLP"

    So Al Gore’s company PAID for the offsets?

    That is still diferrent from buying from himself, isn’t it?

    "And while I ride the subway and literally dry clothes on a clothesline, he drives in limos, has three homes (*) and flies to meetings in London in private jets."

    So what? Either Gore is correct or he is not. Whether or not he buys his own BS is neither here nor there (though I understand the frustration).

  50. I’m mostly on board with Phantom in this discussion. I am conservative, but I really dislike the GOP party plank and I’m not interested in being dictated to by the pundits or party leaders on how I should "think" about any given issue.

    Patty, I have a curiosity question for you. Do you come from a military family? I mean a family with generations of past service or current service?

  51. On the military pedigree question – It’s perfectly normal in America to question or support military action regardless of past service. That’s why we are America – free speech folks.

  52. He as a person buys the credits from the profit making company that he has equity in. The company buys the credits –or stocks — elsewhere.The profits from such ventures is shared by the investors. including big Al.

    I absolutely do not accept that this is an acceptable approach. It is grossly irresponsible for one person, especially en environmental icon in the eyes of some, to be using this much energy. He is a bad example, even if there is a place for offsets among industries. etc.

  53. Colm: "BTW – I don’t know why you bring in the subject of arguing for an immediate pull out from Iraq because neither I nor as far as I am aware mahons has advocated that, so why try to put the idea around that that is what we believe?"

    Both of the Democrat nominee condenders, Obama and Clinton, argue in debates that they will bring the troops home from Iraq if/when elected.

  54. Phantom,

    "He as a person buys the credits from the profit making company that he has equity in."

    Really? Is that really so? I think that if you look more closely you will find that his company buys him offsets (as it does for other employees of the same company).

    Reagardless, I think the real issue remains regardless of who buys what for whom.

  55. Patty

    I know Obama has said that, but I don’t think that is Hillary’s position – besides you were commenting on Mahons views, and I don’t believe it is his either.

    Plus you could argue that such a position is wrong or misguided but it does not mean that those advocating it are less patriotic or supportive of the military than you.

  56. Noel (and Colm) Whether or not a pullout is unpatriotic (or patriotic) is not very enlightening. It’s a better discussion, I think, to discusss the reprecussions of a pull-out.

    I think it would be a disaster for the country if we leave Iraq without victory.

    Now,what is "victory?" That is open to discussion for wiser people than I. But, I don’t think either Obama or CLInton are phrasing their pullout schemes around the notion of a victory. They want to cut our losses and leave. Very different.

  57. >>Whether or not a pullout is unpatriotic (or patriotic) is not very enlightening.<<

    Exactly. I think this whole more-patriotic-than-thou discussion is very narrow-minded and slightly sickening.
    There are Americans who have no respect for the flag, who don’t vote for any party, who would never stand for the national anthem and who have no affection for the army but who are nevertheless just as "patriotic" as you are, Patty.

    >>I think it would be a disaster for the country if we leave Iraq without victory.<<

    I think it would be a disaster for the country if you leave Iraq more unstable than you found it.

    (by "the country" I mean Iraq BTW)

  58. The realities for whoever is running for office will change dramatically when they win the White House and are fully briefed on the all the details that they don’t currently know.

    I seriously doubt any of the three will precipitously order a pull out of Iraq. I predict we’ll be in the region for many years, Bush has ensured that fact by tying the Iraq War to democratic nation building.

    Patty – military family?

  59. Noel, Bush has completely tied everyones hands with his scope and ambition in Iraq. I am completely opposed to American nation building – it is anti-ethical to our Constitutional Republic.

  60. Noel: I didn’t start the more patriotic-than-thou discussion. My post is about those who feel a nonmilitary person has no right to discuss military policy because they are "chickenhawks." In a sense, this is the mirror image of the patriotic argument.

    Do you care what happens to America in the event of a pullout before victory – however that may be defined? Or only Iraq? (this is a sincere question, BTW, not an insinuation that you don’t care.)

  61. Daphne: "I seriously doubt any of the three will precipitously order a pull out of Iraq."

    I would not bank on this. Smarter folks than I worry about this.

  62. Daphne,

    I agree with you. The right course is to go in, kill all the Jihadi, and leave. Nation building is a distraction to the main event. We WON WW2 first. We WIN the war on terror first.

  63. The realities for whoever is running for office will change dramatically when they win the White House and are fully briefed on the all the details that they don’t currently know.

    or more likely, when they are shown the zapruder film and handed their orders. 😛

  64. David

    If you don’t help rebuild the Iraqi nation after killing all the insurgents and Jihadi you only guarantee a new Jihadi emerging, and start the vicious circle again. The ‘kill the enemy then get out and all will be fine’ argument is a simplistic cartoon version of the reality of military intervention.

  65. Colm: Did you make your reservations for the Mahons Lackeys Convention? If you order now you can get the same discount I’ve offered to Troll (what yu think someone is really as rightwing as Troll? He is my perfect foil).

    Frank: Let me know, since the Troll Summit collapsed it would be entertaining to down a few with you. You guys have Euros so expect me to let you buy more than your share.

    Patty: Bush and Cheney’s records are clearly open for review, but naturally you shy away from whatever doesn’t meet your worldview so you skip condemning them for skipping out on Vietnam yet sending other people’s sons and daughters to war. As I recall Mitt’s sons aren’t in the fight, Rudy’s plays golf, and the Bush girls like to party. If this is the penultimate conflict, why aren’t their kids going? Because just like in their day, someone elses gets to go and die.

  66. Patty,

    It’s a really interesting debate. I guess I lament the loss of momentum in the war on terror, and Iraq has caused that. I fully support out troops whose bravery has been exceptional. But neo-Wilsonian polices aren’t right for these times and I see Bush more in that mode. On the war on terror only one thing matters – total victory. I think we are doing great things in Iraq now – killing lots of terrorists. But the global scale of the problem should mean we focus on sticking to the Bush doctrine, and I am just disappointed Bush himself has departed from that. I say all this as a complete supporter of the war on terror!

  67. >>Do you care what happens to America in the event of a pullout before victory – however that may be defined?<<

    Patty, to be honest, I’d spend my whole life caring if I had to care about what happens to Norway and Portugal, to Australia and Korea, and to all the other countries in the world, in the event of a US pullout from Iraq.

    And because I’ve allocated only a small part of my small brain to caring about anything political, I think it best to care about 1) those countries I’m closest to and 2) those countries that will in all likelihood suffer most.
    Group 1 are fortunately in little direct danger, but 2) includes primarily Iraq and its neighbours, and these countries therefore really deserve our prime concern.

    And if I came from a country that caused the sorry mess in the first place, and especially if I supported the specific political movement that’s guilty for it, then I’d probably feel quite guilty about Iraqis and worry about the consequences for them even more than I do now.

  68. David,

    "The right course is to go in, kill all the Jihadi, and leave."

    This you cannot mean. Do you know how much the USA has spent trying to do just that? If you were to count it aloud, at a dollar per second, it’s doubtful you’d reach the full amount before 30,000 years had elapsed.

    Terrorism is not conventional warfare. George Bush has discovered that somewhat belatedly. His advisers knew of course, but he didn’t listen to them.

    Wisdom dictates that an army cannot fight terrorism and win. This is going to be an exceptionally prolonged "war." All of us here at ATW will be long dead before it’s over.

    And on that cheerful note, bon nuit :0)

  69. >>His advisers knew of course, but he didn’t listen to them.<<

    To be fair, Dawkins, many of them knew but didn’t tell him.

  70. The Iraqis are going to be the Boat People of this time, which is unfortunate since they have no boats.

  71. Patty – why do you support Nation Building? I can’t think of too many policy decisions that are less conservative.

  72. Wrong Mahons – they are going to be the Vietnamese. Completely fucked over by everybody but their own people.

  73. Completely fucked over by everybody but their own people.

    Hey David weren’t you on biased bbc and threatened to moderate comments due to language? Same standards ought to apply here don’t you think?

  74. David Vance:
    Aussie Bystander,

    You appear to think I am interested in the drivel you post. I’m not. I suggest a lie-down in a dark room for you – and watch the language on any thread I post or you’ll be moderated. Debate is fine, vulgarity isn’t. Got it?
    David Vance | 08.02.08 – 12:28 pm |

    Over on biased BBC

    David?

  75. Daphne:"why do you support Nation Building?"

    i don’t see much of choice in Iraq.

    PS Watch your language, please.

  76. I think the occasional swear word is acceptable in the heat of strongly felt debate as Daphne expressed it in regards to the treatment of ordinary Iraqis.

    It’s when such words are used for direct personal abuse or as part of an escalating ‘tennis match’ tirade between commenters that it becomes unacceptable.

  77. Colm: How about one free swear word per person, regardless of context? Sort of like a mulligan in golf.

    (Daphne has used up her quota.)

  78. Damn! It’s so simple, Colm. One f**king word per thread. (I can’t bring myself to really swear – pathetic) 🙂

  79. Typhoo has a personal agenda going – she should be ignored since she has no problem dropping the f bomb in personal attacks when she’s gone berserk on threads.

    Patty – Exactly, there is no choice since Bush violated every Constitutional precept with his nation building agenda in Iraq. He has given our country and our military personnel no alternative but an endless engagement in the Middle East. Bush is wrong and he has done our country and our military a great disservice with his quixotic agenda.

  80. Swearing directly at someone is quite different from swearing in frustration at one’s dislike of an abstraction, in my opinion. I think Daphne was doing the latter, rather than the former.

  81. Typhoo has a personal agenda going

    Nope.

    David Vance:
    Aussie Bystander,

    You appear to think I am interested in the drivel you post. I’m not. I suggest a lie-down in a dark room for you – and watch the language on any thread I post or you’ll be moderated. Debate is fine, vulgarity isn’t. Got it?
    David Vance | 08.02.08 – 12:28 pm |

    Merely asking David why standards on his own blog are not as important to him as the other blog he contributes to. Vulgarity he doesn’t like, doesn’t tolerate it any where else, so why here?

    It’s a valid point, and as was already pointed out some use up more quotas of it than most.

    David is threating to moderate posts on other threads on other boards for the vulgarity has been said here. And the OP only used it the once, not as a matter of course.

    I intend to ask him, by e mail if I have to.

    I’d like to know why one woman here gets away with it, when men on other blogs don’t?

  82. Patty sorry didn;t mean to hijack your thread. I’ll contact David at some other point and ask him.

    That was my last word on the subject.

  83. Sorry to butt-in here, but are Yanky politicians like UK ones in that their promises vanish when they get into office?

    I ask this because if Clintonia & Obama are serious about pulling out of Iraq then your country is in for a terrible hangover later on. After all, thinking historically/militarily, your casualties are not that great. (The actual invasion itself cost only the life of one soldier).

    Then again, if it’s the cost of the war, think of the billions of dollars-worth of oil you are sitting on in Iraq. That’s some trade-off!

    Why does’nt anybody suggest doing a Korea-style division of the country….’you hostile lot can stay in the North, and we’ll keep the South’. It worked.

    Pulling out of Iraq makes no logical sense.

  84. Typhoo: It is my understanding that I am responsible for the language on my own posts. I asked Daphne to watch her language and I think on this post, at least, the issue is over. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t email David if you wish to but I do think that he has bigger fish to fry than a swear word on a blog.

  85. Patty I understand its your thread but its his blog, so my point stands. glad you asked her to watch her language, thank you. I don’t know about the bigger fish, since he threatens others with moderation if vulgarity is used. Next time I contact him, I will ask.

    As I said sorry for diverting your thread.

  86. Bernard: You’re not butting in. I enjoy your contribution.

    Daphne and Typhoo’s little squabble about what-I-do-not-know has woken me up to the fact that I have bigger fish to fry, though! Who says women are not petty!

    Bye.

  87. Frank

    I look forward to seeing you and hopefully Mahons and anyone else who chooses to come. I’m pretty flexible and would be happy to meet anywhere in NYC if I am in town.

    –Really? Is that really so? I think that if you look more closely you will find that his company buys him offsets (as it does for other employees of the same company)..Reagardless, I think the real issue remains regardless of who buys what for whom.–

    Yes, the issue remains since:
    a) he and the LLC that he has equity in profits by the panic that he spreads ( analogous to the argument made about Cheney profiting via his Halliburton stock by the war he helped bring about )
    b) obtaining carbon offsets does not begin to excuse his profligate use of energy. Jimmy Carter –who I generally have little time for — uses, I bet, far less energy than does Gore. And he is a very active ex –President–not a failed candidate for the office — with very energetic efforts in Habitat for Humanity and in various causes in Africa. I just cannot see Carter riding around in private jets and living the lifestyle that Gore does.


    Anyone still up who wants to sample the best political and General Interest talk show in America should turn to

    WABC radio in NY from 7-10pm Eastern(now) or KFI radio in Los Angeles, 10pm-1am Eastern.

    Its the John Batchelor Show, and its the best there is, ladies and gents. Enjoy.

  88. Patty – are you ever going to answer my question on you and your family’s military background? Since you brought up service qualification (or speaking to servicemen) as the benchmark for valid opinion on our current war, I think you ought to offer up your family’s current and past military status. Attending a speech by Military personnel doesn’t count.

    I’m most interested in how your personal or family military background qualifications make you able to address our country’s current military entanglements. If you and your family have no/or minimal (read non-Officer status) service experience, how can you post an opinion on these topics given your stance on Mahons’ opinions?

    Don’t worry, I won’t curse on your threads again Patty. I can see how sensitive and delicate you and Typhoo are about foul language…upsetting you girls is the last thing I want to do. So sorry.

  89. Hi Daphne: You’re missing the whole point of this post. The point that I am trying to make is that personal things like race, gender, and even service record does NOT matter vis-a-vis an argument about policy.

    It’s not about the PERSONAL, it’s about the policy.

    As I stated, I have never heard a man or woman in uniform state the case that military service qualified or disqualified someone from commenting on policy. That’s a lefty "chickenhawk" argument whether they disown it or not.

    It would improve the formation of policy, I think, if policy was criticized for substantial reasons rather than ad hominem.

    Regarding swearing and squabbles etc. – I don’t care about this stuff. I’d prefer not to get dragged into it.

  90. I did question the credibility of Mahons implication that the troops lack equipment etc. but it is not a PERSONAL statement regarding Mahons that I am interested in, so much as some evidence supporting his contentions.

  91. Patty, I’ve just finished Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes, a history of the CIA. Weiner’s is the first work to rely solely on interviews and documents alone, many of them recently released. Patty, read it and then tell me you feel like sticking out your chest and saluting. The United States has killed and pillaged on every continent on the planet, most of the mess that we’re wading through today is directly attributable to those thick, drunken, arrogant Americans who thought they could save the world from communism with airplanes, guns and a shitload of shrink-wrapped dollars on pallets. That’s not me saying that, it’s a precis of what was said by Americans who served in the CIA, many of them in very senior positions. Just in case you think this is all in the past, read Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack about the shambolic war in Iraq (in which your president claimed victory in May 2003), which includes interviews with some very senior Bush officials and the man himself. Like the Bourbons, the Americans have forgotten nothing, but learned nothing either.

  92. Aoife

    most of the mess that we’re wading through today is directly attributable to those thick, drunken, arrogant Americans who thought they could save the world from communism with airplanes, guns and a shitload of shrink-wrapped dollars on pallets.

    They did save the world from communism. The Soviet Union is no more. Whatever is wrong with to world today it is better then the days when half of Europe was a prison.

  93. Oh right, Henry. Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states are in fine shape now that the commies aren’t in charge, that’s if you forget the wars that have ravaged the region since the Soviet Union fell. The Reds were pushed out of Afghanistan with US firepower and the locals ended up being very grateful and living happily ever after. Africa is a paradise on earth now that the CIA has put paid to socialism on that continent. North Korea was put in its place as was Vietnam. Closer to Washington, I’m so glad Hugo and Fidel have been put in their place too. Brendan Behan once said that he never saw a situation so dire that a policeman couldn’t make it a hundred times worse. If America is our global policeman, then I’m afraid he was absolutely right.

  94. "Oh right, Henry. Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states are in fine shape now that the commies aren’t in charge"

    Oh come on, Aoife. They’re in much better shape now (apart from the one’s still within Putin’s sweaty grasp). Just ask most of the natives.

    I’ll not quibble with your views on the CIA – they behaved disgracefully in Guatemala and Chile and made fools of themselves in Cuba. It’s a shame that the US felt it had to play dirty during the cold war.

  95. Aoife

    I can only shake my head and wonder when I come across nostalgia for the Soviet Union. Have a word with some of our immigrants Aoife. They are as likely to miss the Soviet Union as we are to miss the Black and Tans.

  96. Patty: Good Lord, only my inante sense of decorum prevented me from dropping more F bombs upon reading your comments than Typhoo at a Tourette’s Syndrome Conference (Typhoo – come on my good woman, thou has cast stones from a glass house. Let us stand down on this little squabble over a rare word choice of a felow commentator).

    First, you asked if I had ever spoken to anyone in the military, which strikes me and any reader capable of thought as a personal question. Incidently, one I answered, you didn’t.

    Second, no need to worry about my credibility for the lack of equipment provided to our troops. The former Sec. of Defense acknowledged as much.

    Third – military service is not a prerequisite for commenting on the military or military actions.

  97. Nostalgia for the Soviet Union, Henry? Good Lord, man, where did I write anything like that? The place was a big, fat, murderous mess run by big, fat, murderous thugs. I can try to be clearer if you like.
    Reg, re the various former Soviet republics, that’s certainly arguable, but personally I suspect that the people living there have seen very little change in their quality of life between 1988 and 2008.

  98. "I suspect that the people living there have seen very little change in their quality of life between 1988 and 2008".

    ROFL!

  99. "Reg, re the various former Soviet republics, that’s certainly arguable, but personally I suspect that the people living there have seen very little change in their quality of life between 1988 and 2008."

    Depends which ones, Aoife.

    The Baltic States have unquestionably benefited. Yes, they’re not perfect, but these things take time. The Ukraine also seems to be on the right path (eventually). Georgia was also showing promise but recent events (and Russian interference) have muddied that somewhat.

    The rest don’t seem to be doing great but that’s generally because one dictatorship (or "controlled democracy") has replaced another.

  100. "I’d like to know why one woman here gets away with it, when men on other blogs don’t?"

    Huh?

    Two women. Count me in. (I’m Spartacus)

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