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Tilting at Windmills

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November 4, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

TORTURE AND SECRECY....Majid Khan, currently being held as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay, is not being allowed to speak to his lawyer. Why? Because previously he was detained in one the CIA's secret overseas prisons and "he may have come into possession of information, including...alternative interrogation techniques."

"May have come into possession." Indeed he may have. That's a very nice use of the passive voice, isn't it?

Now, Khan may be a cold-blooded killer whose main goal in life is to commit the mass murder of innocent Americans. Then again, he may be guilty of nothing more than yelling "Death to America" on crowded street corners in Karachi. We'll never know for sure, though, because once you've been the subject of government-sanctioned torture alternative interrogation techniques, you're automatically forbidden to defend yourself because you might tell people about the very alternative interrogation techniques that were employed against you.

This highlights the fundamental corruption of the human soul that torture causes. We know it's wrong, so not only do we torture prisoners, but we then do what we must to conceal what we've done. And then we try to conceal even that. Torture and secrecy, secrecy and torture, world without end.

That's not America. At least, it shouldn't be.

Kevin Drum 4:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (107)

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This highlights the fundamental corruption of the human soul that torture causes.

Amen, Kevin.

Very well said.

Posted by: Oregonian on November 4, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Our genital to electrode techniques are trade secrets. Are we to trust terrorists to not reveal how many chem sticks Americans can stick up a brown person's rectum at one time?

Posted by: shorter AL on November 4, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase your last line, Kevin, it is horrifying to say that this IS America, and it definitely shouldn't be.

Posted by: Chris on November 4, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

More to the point (this is supposedly from a commenter at Digbys), one or more alternative-interrogation-technique specialists revealed their secret knowledge to someone who almost certainly didn't have a security clearance. Why do they still have their jobs?

Posted by: Bill Arnold on November 4, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

we told you so

Posted by: kerry voters in 2004 on November 4, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Did you guys hear the one about the administration releasing nuclear weapon documents, printed in arabic, on the Internet?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/011/945usqnx.asp

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on November 4, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Forget the Hitler comparisons, Bush is the new wannabe Stalin.

And that the neo-cons have in their pedigree (you can look it up) founders with roots (direct or parental) in the Communist camp, this should come as no surprise. They rejected the ideology, but not the mindset.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on November 4, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Good point. Terrorists should never be questioned, and we should allow terrorists to reveal national security secrets in open court.

Ideally, we'd give terrorists their food of choice, a plasma TV, a woman to stone to death for showing her face, and whatever national security secrets they want. Then, they should be able to get on CNN to share those secrets with the world. Welcome to Drum/Kos Kidz/Pelosi's america.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 4, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I take it that you want all the terrorists to know that we electrocute their testicles so they can genetically engineer a new race of evil men who can absorb very high amperage without any damage to their genetalia.

Posted by: American Hawk on November 4, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Out of all the terrible things this administration is responsible for, I think this is the one that makes me the most angry. Of course many more people have died in Iraq than at our interrogator's hands, but it is just so fundamentally opposed to the people we are supposed to be, and the so-called Christians who support torture have lost any credibility with me on any topic. Torture supporters spit on Christ, they don't embrace him.

Posted by: Eclectic on November 4, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

The United States is led by psychopaths, humans who deem it necessary to wage war anywhere they see fit.

These same folks are of the belief that cruelty
to prisoners is God's plan.

Huh?

It's so bad folks that the FBI might hunt me
down for writing the above sentences.

I am a threat to the administration simply because I was raised as a non-violent quaker.

If I am imprisoned, what torture would provide
crucial information out of me?

What torture does is secure the status quo. It is a power-revenge tactic used by barbarians
since time began.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 4, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Torture and secrecy, secrecy and torture, world without end.

That's not America. At least, it shouldn't be.

Kevin Drum 4:11 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No Kevin, it is America. Think whatever bad thoughts you want to about this nation. Genocide, torture, undeclared wars of aggression, enviromental devastation (depleted uranium munitions?), assassinations, death squads, rigged foreign and domestic elections. Add to the list, they're all true. And we're doing worse things we don't even begin to comprehend. When our adversaries call us The Great Satan the accuracy of their charges are more true than any of us care to admit.

Posted by: steve duncan on November 4, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Mr. Cheney has already told us that it does not matter what you or I think.

Posted by: gregor on November 4, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

"and we should allow terrorists to reveal national security secrets in open court."

This has to be the greatest torture method ever conceived! We strap them into stress positions and yell top-secret information at them!

"Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA Agent! The NSA is monitoring all international calls of domestic origin! Lee Harvey Oswald did act alone, but he missed! The real shooter WAS on the grassy knoll!"
"AHHHHHH! I'll tell you anything you want! Just please stop telling me all this top secret information!"

Oh, the horror... the horror...

Posted by: DJ Any Reason on November 4, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why is there no outrage in USA? Because of the ethnic and religious background of the victims. The war supporters are the biggest bigots, pretending to be sympathetic to people they could care less about. The 19 hijackers cemented this. If they had one Canadian in the group, we'd probably be occupying Toronto now.

Posted by: lk on November 4, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

More evidence of the USA's slide from the core values and identity which resulted in it being a world leader not just respected, but more often than not followed and looked up to. Not so much lately.

If the republicans keep control in the upcoming midterms, yet exit polls disagree with the election results again by more than a couple of percent, my bet is the world will take a decidely different attitude to the USA. Not just as knocked a little off centre by events, but as a over-large, irrational and dangerously corrupt problem state, a thing to be hobbled economically and then contained politically for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on November 4, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

No one who believes in our Constitution should vote for any Republican next Tuesday. They are all guilty. So is Lieberman.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on November 4, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kafkaesque doesn't do it justice. I may have underestimated Kafka at college because I thought he was too surrealistic, too fanciful. Even in the Soviet Union after all, the accused 'in the infamous show trials' were allowed to be heard. But now we learn prisoners in Gitmo are not allowed to read their charges or see the evidence against them, and the latest, is that they may refused the right to speak to their lawyer, because they were tortured....I thought if they were tortured their confessions might be inadmissible.. Kevin, you are only half right 'this is not America', it is 'Amerika'.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on November 4, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

hopeless pedant:
The common denominator is totalitarianism.

Posted by: Jrgen in Germany on November 4, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, technically speaking, that isn't the passive voice. There is still a subject "he" and a verb "may have come." In the passive voice, the subject disappears.

Just take a look at neocon Richard Perle's money quote that you cite just below this post:

"Huge mistakes were made...."

Now THAT's the passive voice. And a prime example of how it is used to evade responsibility.

Posted by: pfc on November 4, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know, that's what America is becoming. Bill O'Reilly got a round of applause on Oprah of all places for saying we needed to torture detainees. It is all in how you frame the issue. The situational morality crowd is on the right.

Posted by: Paul on November 4, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

That's not America. At least, it shouldn't be.

sorry, the GOP has declared themselves the sole authority as to what's 'American' and what isn't. you're just a guest in their house. an unwelcome guest.

Posted by: cleek on November 4, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Please remember the disappeared of Argentina, Chile, and other places. Once we began torturing, we had to conceal. In the other countries, this led to murder, which reduces the number of people who can testify about the torture. Since we seem a little less blood-thirsty than the others, I guess our prisoners will be held for life, in communicado.

Posted by: DaleP on November 4, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually, technically speaking, that isn't the passive voice. There is still a subject "he" and a verb "may have come." In the passive voice, the subject disappears."

Actually, technically speaking, the sentence called passive by Kevin is not passive because it is active. Kevin was reacting to the mood of the verb, not the voice; hence his mistake.

Here's a passive sentence: "The man was bitten by the dog." Notice how there's still a subject?

Posted by: Paleo-grammarian on November 4, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

I believe that were it possible to somehow contact the Founders, they would say something like, "Excuse me -- we had that sort of thing. We fought a war to drive it from our shores. What the hell is wrong with you people???"

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on November 4, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Good point. Terrorists should never be questioned, and we should allow terrorists to reveal national security secrets in open court.
Ideally, we'd give terrorists their food of choice, a plasma TV, a woman to stone to death for showing her face, and whatever national security secrets they want. Then, they should be able to get on CNN to share those secrets with the world. Welcome to Drum/Kos Kidz/Pelosi's america."

One of the fundamental mistakes you and other RWAHs make is to assume that the people being tortured ARE in fact terrorists. Sure, some of them may be, but how do we know which are which?
Why do we have courts at all? Why not just let the "authorities" decide who is guilty and put them in jail, it would save a heck of a lot of lawyers fees? If you really want to take responsibility for ths kind of justice at least read "Oath Betrayed" by Steven Mills. It is not a pretty book, and the writing is stolid and technical, but it is very well documented and shows the exact results of this kind reasoning and just how people that did nothing to deserve punishment, get torured and sometimes die in the process.

Posted by: disgusted on November 4, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Now, Khan may be a cold-blooded killer whose main goal in life is to commit the mass murder of innocent Americans. Then again, he may be guilty of nothing more than yelling "Death to America" on crowded street corners in Karachi.

Majid Khan, from GlobalSecurity.org

Original source, page 6.

Posted by: ein on November 4, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

The "justification" for this is itself mind-boggling, namely that if terrorists find out what we do to get revenge, I mean, extract information, they will somehow "adapt" to these techniques.

How, exactly? By learning to breathe underwater? Or evolving to withstand freezing temperatures and no food?

I look forward to seeing Bush and Cheney in the dock in The Hague. Really.

Posted by: craigie on November 4, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure he'd like to return that information to the donor.

Posted by: BroD on November 4, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26.

Yeah, I'm sure there were people dying to get out of Bush's secert prisons and that it could "reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage" for Bush, Cheney, Alberto, and others in this horrid administation when Americans find out how many people "never got to talk to a lawyer and even died before any of Bushies Kangaroo courts could be convened.

Posted by: Cheryl on November 4, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

You are all clueless. This is first and foremost about our nations security.

If the world new what atrocities we commit; 1) the people of the world would hate us, 2) governments would feel free to stop cooperating with us militarily and diplomatically, and 3) our own vice president couldn't travel safely outside our borders.

If you dems had your way we would lose a tremendous amount of international support and our national security would be significantly eroded. But I guess we already knew you weren't serious about it.

Posted by: American Buzzard on November 4, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

When the full extent of the illegality, inhumanity and beastial actions of this administration comes to light, there will be no stopping impeachment. I hope we send him to the Hague as well. Compassionate Conservatives are the SS of our time.
Wow. What a nightmare these men are.

Are we seeing the last throes of White Angry Males in charge of our government? Seeing the Ganag of three, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Jr. standing together in a wire photo, I thought I could see an era passing away. The only ones protecting the elitist fraud of an American 1950s repressed fantasy existence are these clowns and their enablers. Lets create a tidal wave to drown this version of the GOP Tuesday.

Posted by: Sparko on November 4, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

re "I don't know, that's what America is becoming. Bill O'Reilly got a round of applause on Oprah of all places for saying we needed to torture detainees. It is all in how you frame the issue. The situational morality crowd is on the right.

Posted by: Paul on November 4, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK"

Be assured thet those applauding were paid supporters of BO; where do you think all the missing $$$ in Iraq have gone?

Posted by: gs on November 4, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the real problem with this argument: If they're saying he can't talk to an attorney about the "alternative interrogation techniques" used on him, doesn't that also automatically mean we will never EVER let him free. Him, or anyone else who has been subject to torture. The ramifications go FAR beyond not being able to talk to counsel. If you can't even tell your attorney, you're certainly not going to be able to tell the media or anyone else.

Posted by: MI on November 4, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I like to see the national poll numbers asking if Americans believe that Bush/Cheney are indeed torturing people.

Bush keeps saying that his administrations doesn't use torture on people from the Mideast, do believe this?

Posted by: Cheryl on November 4, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

in america these tactics are illegal as well as imoral. well as long as they are not doing it in country i guess its ok. not as americans we are supposed to be better and moral leaders of the world. that bullshit is gone out the window with are current govt regime. next they will take bloggers that dont agree down to guantanamo.morrality has left now we have the right wing instead.

Posted by: mr maki mmmkaayyy on November 4, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry for not reading the previous comments, but please, Kevin, what are you thinking?! "That's not America. At least, it shouldn't be." What the hell, man. It IS America right now. The f$%^ing Republicans have supported it after Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld have implemented it.

This is the America we live in. The Republican supporters out there may claim it's all about national greatness or some such silliness, but in reality they have supported the decline of our ideals, the violation of our morals, and the undermining of our strength.

What is America? Right now, it is a country that tortures. And nobody in power raised a finger against it. We who were appalled from the beginning were belittled. F$%^ that. "That's not America" my ass. It's too damn late for that trite little sentence.

Posted by: mc on November 4, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Directed energy weapons are being used experimentally on unwilling, non-consenting American citizens. Selected, targeted individuals who are unarmed, innocent civilians are being tortured and their bodies destroyed and in pain. That's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

Posted by: nomi on November 4, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Some of you people KILL me..who the hell cares what is done to OUR EMEMIES. ANY person that takes up arms,you know tries to kill,blow up or BEHEAD one of OUR Military is an EMEMY.In ANY COUNTRY AT F#@KING WAR...GET IT ITS A F^%KING WAR like it or not. If YOU LIBERAL COWARDS dont get it at least decide who you want to win. If in your Cowardly visions left over from the 60s you decide you want us to lose move to IRAQ. PLEASE!!! The rest of us know what side we are on and who we want to win.Maybe we should play nice,be gentle,pay them off to be good, BULLSHIT.If the same thing was going on under a DEMOCRAT Administration you would not ever hear about it especially from THE OLD MOLD MEDIA or you SICKOS.I say if we have to line up 10 of them to SAVE ONE OF OURS good deal!!!Have any one of you ever thought about the out come of a pull out?Dont you think it would give them Bas$#rds BALLS OF STEEL? HEY YOU TERRORISTS,come on over and blow up some Buildings, take over an Elementary School.When you do we will send some nice sick 60s leftovers for you to talk to.Dont you think or even realize if the Idea was to KILL Innocent people we could have been done in IRAQ in a matter of weeks?We are losing good AMERICAN Men& Women trying to do what is Moral and Fair and JUST!!! Its no problem Killing people in MASS numbers these days the Problem is seperating Good from BAD.Since WE,THE U.S. you know AMERICAN where you live REMOVED SADAM INSANE WE get to say what goes. The hate from the Left aimed at,for G W BUSH is so UN Sofisticated I would expect more from you Liberals you are losing IT!!!AGAIN!!!

Posted by: Glyn Lockhart on November 4, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

It has been said that it was easier to convince ten thousand Athenians to go to war than it was to convince a single Spartan of the necessity of war. That is because the Spartans were professional warriors and they applied judicious restraint; they did not warmonger for glory.

Your ideas are very simplistic, Glyn Lockhart. They fail to consider the why behind the hatred directed at this country right now.

In reality - where we all reside, like it or not - the causes are manifest, the answers are elusive, HOOAH is not a battle plan, and victory is not a strategy. Good and evil are relative concepts, believe it or not, and ethnocentric hatreds spur a lot of violence, bloodshed and death.

My family is comprised of that professional warrior class. They are thoughtful and deliberate and respectful people of honor; and I am deeply proud of all of them.

I am also profoundly grateful that you are not one of them.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 4, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody who wants to abandon the Iraqi people to the terrorists has abandoned morality. Many of you are upset that some terrorist may have been tortured by the US. Not real torture by historic standards -- rack, thumb-screws, tearing out fingernails -- but water-boarding. Morelikely, just water-boarding, which leaves in individual totally unharmed. You can see TV newsman volulntarily submitting to water-boarding here

Meanwhile many of you want to pull our troops out and let the terrorists torture and murder thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqis. And, the torture used in Iraq is is the barbaric type, from which people don't just walk away and go on with their lives.

Anyone care to explain the moral calculus where the mistreatment of one terrorist is appalling, but the real torture and murder of thousands fo Iraqis is desirable?

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 4, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

wow, glyn, nice use of the crazy caps. and it's a wonder people might find the GOP morally bankrupt.

oh, and as a representative of the human race, I'm going to have to ask you to return your membership card.

slavery is the new freedom!

Posted by: mencken on November 4, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

The Major just read Glyn Lockharts post and said 'Is she taking Saddam Insane's place?"

Touche.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 4, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk and ex-liberal:

Are you being deliberately obtuse? Since you've been on this website for months you've read all the arguments, cogently presented, against torture, and yet you still present ill-argued strawmen. Why?

Glyn Lockhart: that was an ill-mannered, extremist SCREED. Do you really believe that crap?

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on November 4, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

I look forward to seeing Bush and Cheney in the dock in The Hague. Really.

Absolutely. They should be sent to prison for a long time.

We should erect an inverse of Mt. Rushmore. A place where the record of these scoundrels can be catlogued, preserved, and explained. All of them. Not just Bush and Cheney, but the whole crowd around them, going back to Newt Gingrich and the anti-tax drown-the-baby crowd.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 4, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

glyn, dear, put down that broken mirror. no one's going to hurt you.

Posted by: glyn's nurse on November 4, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

"Then again, he may be guilty of nothing more than yelling "Death to America" on crowded street corners in Karachi. "

Another botched joke, Kevin? I tell ya, these libs reveal alot about themselves whent they let their gaurds down.

Leave it to liberals to want to protect people who shout "Death to America!"

ANd you guys wonder why you keep losing elections. I'm going to every political message board I can find and post this. People deserve to see the truth!

Posted by: egbert on November 4, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Glyn Lockhart: that was an ill-mannered, extremist SCREED. Do you really believe that crap?

If-you-don't-want-to-torture-terrorist-suspects-in-guantanamo-then-you-are-on-the-side-of-the-iraqis.Wewannawinsogotoiraqandgogetblownupbyoneoftheiraqiterroristsbutnotthetotallyawesomeiraqisthattookofftheirburkas.awesomeno?Bark!!#!

Posted by: enozinho (reporting from the death star) on November 4, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

This, by way of American Buzzard, is just amazing:

"You are all clueless. This is first and foremost about our nations security."


Bullshit, this is a gang of war criminals covering their asses, while cowards justify it out of fear.

"If the world new what atrocities we commit; 1) the people of the world would hate us, 2) governments would feel free to stop cooperating with us militarily and diplomatically, and 3) our own vice president couldn't travel safely outside our borders."


You just made my point. We are already a pariah on the world stage, our goodwill squandered by the criminals in the White House.


"If you dems had your way we would lose a tremendous amount of international support and our national security would be significantly eroded. But I guess we already knew you weren't serious about it."


We've already lost it, fool. And our lying about who we are and how we operate won't help. If we Democrats had our way, we wouldn't have to be ashamed of our own government. I remember being proud of being an American, but cowards like you, who are willing to sell out our principles for the illusion of safety have brought us to this sorry state.

Posted by: Slideguy on November 4, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, Kevin, your gift of thought and prose really shines. This is one of them.

Posted by: Fel on November 4, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfdaughter: Are you being deliberately obtuse? Since you've been on this website for months you've read all the arguments, cogently presented, against torture, and yet you still present ill-argued strawmen. Why?

Fair question, Wolfdaughter. Here are my reasons:

1. The US doesn't torture, as that word has been traditionally understood. Waterboarding must be terrible to endure, because it is extremely effective. On the other hand, it doesn't harm the person at all. If you followed the link I provided, you saw a TV newsman voluntarily submitting to waterboarding. Many in our military have been waterboarded, so that they know what it is.

But, no newsmen or military has volunteered for real torture -- to have their fingernails ripped out or their bones broken. This is the kind of torture our enemies in Iraq routinely do.

2. Lots of posters here say they're against torture, but they're not. They want to turn their backs on truly horrendous torture being done to our allies in Iraq - torture that will increase a hundred-fold if we withdraw our troops.

What freaks me out is the ability many liberals have to compartmentalize. The US waterboards one terrorist -- that's horrible! Terrorists and insurgents kill and maim thousands upon thousands of innocent people - who cares? Not their concern.

3. Given the horrendously brutal nature of our enemies, the kindest, most moral thing we can do is to win. We should do whatever it takes to end their primitive cruelty as quickly as possible.

4. It's by no means clear that our enemies will restrict their barbaric cruelty to the middle east and Africa. We're seeing more upheaval in Europe. Obviously we're all aware of the 9/11 attack that succeeded here and the other attacks that were thwarted. Even liberals who don't care when Iraqis an other Arabs are tortured and killed still ought to support defeating the terrorists for their own sake.

5. Wars aren't won by being nice. They're won by doing what it takes to win. Since Islamic terrorists hide among us (and among people of other countries), intelligence is cricial. We need use whatever methods work to find out where the terrorists are so we can stop them.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 4, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

>"...torture and murder of thousands fo Iraqis is desirable?"

Sorry, but isn't that exactly what we (Coalation of the Willing) have been doing for the last 3 years or so?

It is pretty certain that there have been somewhere between 200,000 and 600,000 Iraqi deaths due to our invasion. Of course, when it comes to torture we have our own shining examples to live up to.

>"Not real torture by historic standards -- rack, thumb-screws, tearing out fingernails -- but water-boarding. ... which leaves in individual [sic] totally unharmed."

Why do you say this? Gee whiz... if our interrogation techniques were 'just waterboarding' what would the government be trying to hide? Methinks the real truth (if it ever comes out) is going to be pretty ugly.
Full-on war crimes stuff.

The bottom line result of the Bush regime is that more and more people hate us every day. For every father, son, daughter, cousin, aunt (etc)that we kill we create more enemies.

What goes round, will eventually come round.

Posted by: Buford on November 4, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Glyn is a fake. Are you people really this stupid?

Posted by: bbc on November 4, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Buford wrote Sorry, but isn't that [torture and murder of thousands of Iraqis] exactly what we (Coalation of the Willing) have been doing for the last 3 years or so?

No, it's what the insurgents and al Qaeda have been doing. We are fighting against the murderers and torturerer.

It is pretty certain that there have been somewhere between 200,000 and 600,000 Iraqi deaths due to our invasion.

Whatever the number, we are fighting against the people who are causing these deaths. Incidentally, it may make you feel better to know that the number of Iraqis killed since 2003 is probably fewer than the number killed by Saddam in a average 3 1/2 -year period.

Of course, when it comes to torture we have our own shining examples to live up to.

Are you referring to Abu Graib? If so, there's no comparison between the what a few of our soldiers did there versus the thousands and thousands who were routinely tortured by Saddam -- rape rooms, pulling off limbs, throwing people off roofs, etc.

if our interrogation techniques were 'just waterboarding' what would the government be trying to hide?

Possibly waterboarding, which some people do consider to be "torture." Possibly they don't want specific techniques to be known to our enemies, since that knowledge would help our enemies and and make our questioning less effective.

Methinks the real truth (if it ever comes out) is going to be pretty ugly.
Full-on war crimes stuff.

Neither of us has any facts. However, I would point out that water boarding is said to be totally effective at getting people to talk. So, there would seem to be no need to have used anything uglier.

The bottom line result of the Bush regime is that more and more people hate us every day. For every father, son, daughter, cousin, aunt (etc)that we kill we create more enemies.

Consdering that we are the primary forces defending Iraqis against those who are killing the fathers, sons, daughters, cousins, aunts, etc., the world should love us more every day.

Maybe the reason so many hate us is that people like Buford promote anti-Americanism by a warped POV that sees America's good deeds as evil ones. One can criticize the US for mishandling post Saddam Iraq. But, it should be obvious that, whatever flaws in our strategy and execution, we're fighting against terrorism and for freedom and human dignity.

What goes round, will eventually come round.

Yes. It will take years, but eventually George Bush will be highly regarded, just as Harry Truman now is.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 4, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Glyn is a fake. Are you people really this stupid?

does that mean ex-liberal is a fake too? because nobody could be that stupid...right?

Posted by: e1 on November 4, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter ex-human (I must insist you resign your membership not merely from the species, but the genus as well) "A little torture is okay as long as we are doing it for freedom."

By the way - how outraged are you at Bush for rolling over for Maliki while one of our soldiers is being held by a militia in Sadr City who employs those "real" torture methods you listed, along with having a penchant for power drills and the effect they have on living human flesh.

Second - do you really think a reporter got the full treatment? Puh-lease. That's just weak.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 4, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

And yes. I did "click the link."

Do you get a woody when you watch, you sick twisted little creature?

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 4, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be happy to get ex-lib some viagra ... there are, after all, safer and more humane ways to get it up than to watch war porn and torture (even torture-light to random pieces of foxnews trash).

being repub, he probably doesn't believe in the science behind phosphodiesterase inhibitors.

Posted by: Nads on November 5, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter ex-human (I must insist you resign your membership not merely from the species, but the genus as well) "A little torture is okay as long as we are doing it for freedom."

It's a question of what we need to do to win. I wish we could prevent attacks and eliminate Islamic radicalism with the wave of a magic wand. In the real world, winning a war requires some unsavory actions. Losing the war against the terrorists would be the cruelest action we could take, because their torture and mayhem is a zillion times worse than what we do.

ISTM there are inconsistensies in what's acceptible. The rules of war would allow bombing of military targets, even if thousands of innocent civilians were maimed or killed in the bombing. The rules of war allowed the fire-bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombs dropped on two Japanese cities.

Yet, water-boarding one lousy terrroist supposedly means we're beyond the pale. Pardon me, but I'd rather water-board a terrorist than kill thousands of innocent civilians.

By the way - how outraged are you at Bush for rolling over for Maliki while one of our soldiers is being held by a militia in Sadr City who employs those "real" torture methods you listed, along with having a penchant for power drills and the effect they have on living human flesh.

I'm pretty outraged. My impression is that Maliki isn't fighting the terrorists. He figures the US is going to lose and the democracy will fall apart, so he's taking sides with al Sadr. Meanwhile, Bush (and the US) is stuck with Maliki, even though we doubt his willingness to fight terrorism all out.

Second - do you really think a reporter got the full treatment? Puh-lease. That's just weak.

The spot said he didn't get the full treatment. He got three versions, but the spot indicated that there were others.

I do think that there would be a full recovery after any of the versions. Once the person could breathe normally, he would return to normal conditions.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, don't you think it's sad that you are reduced to arguing that we are not as bad as Saddam? Well guess what? Judging by the current state of Iraq we are worse. Much worse.

As for the brave Mr. Harrigan, he withstood just a few seconds of waterboarding, with "interogators" who stopped as soon as he flinched. Let him first be kidnapped, secretly imprisoned halfway across the planet, and waterboarded until he passes out, repeatedly, by interrogators whom he fears may well let him die. Then let him deny that he was tortured.

Posted by: Doctor G on November 5, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

I do think that there would be a full recovery after any of the versions. Once the person could breathe normally, he would return to normal conditions.
Posted by: ex-liberal

spoken like someone who's already taken a hypoxic hit to the brain.

Posted by: Nads on November 5, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

In case you didn't get the memo, ex-human, Bush lost the fucking war when he let Rummy steamroll the professionals.

The 1997 PNAC assessment said it would take 400K troops and it would still be chaos. So Rummy sent in a coalition of 180K and threatened to fire anyone who said we needed to plan for the post-war phase.

He ain't Scarlett O'Hara and dealing with it tomorow when you get back to Tara ain't an option.

It is lost and they lost it.

Deal.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

In other words, the Administration is revealing state secrets to terrorists.

Posted by: Boronx on November 5, 2006 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

that's what you think, is it?

suppose you were running for congress and you believed that expressing said belief would cause you to lose the election?

ironic that the gopers keep bringing up fdr: so do we fear fear, or do we see the dark times through together as best we can; energetically and creatively?

if you believe in america then you believe in justice and due process. we know we have tortured too many people who were not terrorists to give bushco carte blanche.

Posted by: sal the barber on November 5, 2006 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

Did Bush put the schematics for an atomic bomb on the web beacause Cheney waterboarded him?

Posted by: curious on November 5, 2006 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK

re some of u people kill me from glyn lockhart.

umm if we torture are enemy makes us no better than are enemy . also it is against the geneva policies. personaly i would rather not be compared to a terrorist. by the way great statment mister sly

Posted by: mr maki mmmkaayyy on November 5, 2006 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: Wars aren't won by being nice.


A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly 3-times the number there now. - AP 11/4/06


ex-lib: They're won by doing what it takes to win.

Posted by: mr. irony on November 5, 2006 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Beautifully said, Kevin.

Torture is not the American way. I defy any conservative to name one useful piece of information that has been obtained by torture that could not have been learned or discerned by other means.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 5, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon me, but I'd rather water-board a terrorist than kill thousands of innocent civilians.

Classic false dichotomy.

We've been torturing people. Some of them may have been terrorists. Some of them have been innocents. Some of them have died as a result of the interrogations.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

(modify as needed)


Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 5, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Doctor G: ex-liberal, don't you think it's sad that you are reduced to arguing that we are not as bad as Saddam?

Mister Sly: We like to think we're the good-guys, but when the good-guys do what the bad-guys do, we're no longer good-guys. We're not rooting for an ideal anymore, simply a uniform.

These two comments nicely sum up the opposing position. They sound reasonable, but it leads to doing nothing. Here's why.

Wars are horrible. Wars require great sacrifice. Countries that fight wars do horrendous things. It's easy to allege atrocities in war (although there have been fewer in this war, compared with past wars.) By focusing on the negatives, it's easy to convince a country to stop making the sacrifices demanded by war.

Yet, the war against Radical Islam must be fought, IMHO. Radical Islam promotes hatred of all other religions. It promotes violent attacks to gain power. It opposes human rights for gays, women, etc. It opposes freedom and democracy. The world must not sit back and let this ideology control more and more countries. By taking the lead in this war, the US is taking the moral high ground.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

mr. irony: A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly 3-times the number there now. - AP 11/4/06

global citizen: The 1997 PNAC assessment said it would take 400K troops and it would still be chaos. So Rummy sent in a coalition of 180K and threatened to fire anyone who said we needed to plan for the post-war phase.

"The poor don't get enough welfare. Let's cut welfare."

That was NOT Lyndon Johnson's platform when he proposed the War on Poverty. Yet, the Democrats are running on a platform of

"There aren't enough troops in Iraq. Let's cut the number of troops."

Focusing on too few troops helps the Republicans. A lot of voters believe Bush made serious mistakes, but they realize that the Dems won't fix the problems his mistakes caused. They will hold their noses and vote Republican.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Democrat Orson Scott Card makes my points more effectively. He writes:

The Only Issue This Election Day

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

[snip]

Meanwhile, we have this election. You have your vote. For the sake of our children's future -- and for the sake of all good people in the world who don't get to vote in the only election that matters to their future, too -- vote for no Congressional candidate who even hints at withdrawing from Iraq or opposing Bush's leadership in the war. And vote for no candidate who will hand control of the House of Representatives to those who are sworn to undo Bush's restrained but steadfast foreign policy in this time of war.

You can read the entire essay at http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2006-10-29-1.html

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

Opinions are like assholes - everyone has one and they all stink. Orson Scott Card (Andy's son?) is as confused as you and your ilk are. First, the occupation of Iraq has as much to do with terrorism as Britney Spears has to do with opera. The overwhelming majority of people shooting at and bombing American troops are ordinary Iraqis who do not want us in their country. Full stop. Get it through your head.

Second, to the extent there are true al-Qaeda members in Iraq, and there are damn few of them, America's presence there only provides them with training and recruting opportunities, not to mention target practice.

Third, you conservative assholes talk about "winning" in Iraq. What the fuck does "winning" mean? Killing every Iraqi? Blowing up every building, bridge and piece of infrastructure in Iraq? Until you define this ambiguous concept of "winning", I will continue to regard you and this president as being full of smelly shit. You cannot "win" an occupation.

Finally, what an ugly and dismal future you, this Card asshole and President Dispshit offer. Endless killing and unending hatred of Muslims. Maimed and dismembered women and children. Sorry, but we can do better than that. We can also do better than having this ignorant, arrogant, uneducated piece of shit in the White House. America is a great, hopeful country. George Bush, you and your ilk are piles of ambulatory sewage and the American people are fed up with you and deserve better.

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger on November 5, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

The Liberal Avenger: Finally, what an ugly and dismal future you, this Card asshole and President Dispshit offer. Endless killing and unending hatred of Muslims. Maimed and dismembered women and children.

Well, I agree with this part of your post, TLA. An ugly and dismal future is staring the world in the face. It's caused by the spread of radical Islam. If the US pulls back, there will be endless killing; there will be maimed and dismembered women and children.

The fundamental question is whether we should try to prevent the carnage. Voting Democratic means we shouldn't.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

ex-human: You are ione of the most deliberately obtuse individuals I have ever encountered. It is really quite maddening. If they were going to invade, it should have been done with 2.5X the troops.

Now, it is too fucking late, because your guys called the wrong play.

This has been addressed and rebutted over and over ad nauseum. Restating the same vapid and vacuous bullshit on another thread does NOT mean you have a case, it means you are a braying jackass.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

From Bill Maher:

We can say that Iraq was a "noble experiment" if that helps you. Our intention was good; to penetrate iraq and bring it to a glorious, euphoric climax. But it's clear now that's just not going to happen. And yet we're still pounding away, causign the whole area to become painfully enflamed. And in that situation the kindest thing you can do is just pull out.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen - Maybe it's too late in Iraq, maybe it's not. Wars that looked hopeless have been won, such as the defense of Britain in WW2.

More importantly, it's not just Iraq. The Dems have been the anti-war party since Vietnam. No Democrat is running on a platform of specific increases in military efforts anywhere else. Joe Lieberman, who supported a strong military was booted out of the party in favor of peacenik Lamont.

A Democratic victory will signify opposition to all military efforts against Islamic fascism.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

If you think it's winnable put some skin in the game.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal claims that the Democratic Party is anti-war. Would that it were so.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

Posted by: Doctor G on November 5, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

ex-human: Check out Desert Crossings.

When invasion was looking imminent, General Zinni called up CENTCOM and told them they should dust off Desert Crossings. They asked what it was, they had never heard of it.

Apparently the Rumsfeld DoD disn't want it to fall into the hands of anyone competent.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

This highlights the fundamental corruption of the human soul that torture causes. We know it's wrong, so not only do we torture prisoners, but we then do what we must to conceal what we've done. And then we try to conceal even that. Torture and secrecy, secrecy and torture, world without end.

Kevin. Allow your mind to drift backwards in time several years. Could you have imagined that you would be writing posts like this? When speaking of the behavior of the United States?

Then, having to indulge in grade-school level discussions about how you do not favor coddling terrorists. Thank GWB and the people who elected him.


Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 5, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

GC - Yes, the post-war Iraq is a disaster. Yes, some experts recommended more troops, which might have made a difference. Others recommended fewer troops Yes, Rumsfeld desreves blame for making a misjudgment in this area. (Rumsfeld also made important correct judgments, e.g., about how to overthrow the Taliban and Saddam.)

You and I agree on all that. Now, what's your point?

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

This has been addressed and rebutted over and over ad nauseum. Restating the same vapid and vacuous bullshit on another thread does NOT mean you have a case, it means you are a braying jackass.

The point is, "ex-liberal," that no one cares what a dishonest jackass like you "agrees with" or how you'll view the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Gregory on November 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

From Bill Maher - I couldn't have said it better myself (If you would rather watch and listen, just click the link)

The election is [two] days away. I'm through dicking around with you. Here are the talking points:

1. When they say the Democrats will raise taxes, you say we have to because someone spent all the money in the world cutting Paris Hilton's taxes and not killing Osama bin Laden. In just six years the national debt has doubled. You can't keep spending money you don't take in. That's not even elementary economics, thats just called don't be Michael Jackson.

2. When they say the terrorists want the Democrats to win, you say "Are you insane? George Bush has been a terrorists wet dream." He inflames radical hatred against America and then cuts and runs on offerign to protect us from it. It's like a guy throwing shit on you and then offering to sell you relief from the flies.

3. When they say "cut and run" or "defeatocrat" you say "Bush lost the war. Period." All this nonsense about the violence is getting worse over there because they are trying to influence the election; No it's getting worse because you drew up the post-war plans on the back of a cocktail napkin at Applebees. And of course Democrats want to win, but that's impossible now that you've ethnically cleansed the place by making it unlivable. Just like you did with New Orleans.

4. When they say that actual combat veterans like John Kerry are denigrating the troops, You say "You are completely full of shit." Remember when Al Gore caught all that flack for sighing and moaning during that debate? yeah. Don't do that. Just say "You're full of shit." If I was a troop the support I would want back home would come in the form of people back home pressurign Washington to get me out of this pointless nightmare. That's how I would feel supported.

So when they say Democrats are obstructionists, you say "You're welcome." Sometimes good people have to intercede to prevent dire consequences. You wouldn't like to think of me as an obstructionist, but what if Roseanne had offered to sing? So I would be happy to frame this debate as a fight between the obstructionists and the enablers.

There is your "talking point." A vote for the Republicans is a vote to enable George Bush to keep ruling as an emperor. A retarded child emperor, but an emperor. So Democrats you've got [three] days to get out there and close. And it's not about slogans this time. Although when it comes to slogans, the only one I'm prepared to accept from the opposition is "The Republican Party. We're Sorry."

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal:

"Wars are horrible. Wars require great sacrifice. Countries that fight wars do horrendous things. It's easy to allege atrocities in war (although there have been fewer in this war, compared with past wars.) By focusing on the negatives, it's easy to convince a country to stop making the sacrifices demanded by war."

The fact that wars are horrible is precisely why they should only be fought when all other measures have truly been exhausted. This was a war of choice, the rationales for which were falsely presented. Do you deny this?

"Yet, the war against Radical Islam must be fought, IMHO. Radical Islam promotes hatred of all other religions. It promotes violent attacks to gain power. It opposes human rights for gays, women, etc. It opposes freedom and democracy. The world must not sit back and let this ideology control more and more countries. By taking the lead in this war, the US is taking the moral high ground."

While I agree that radical Islamists must be dealt with, our present means ARE NOT WORKING. Period. Not only are our present means not working, they are making the situation worse, as the legitimate grievances which partially drive the radical Islamists are not being addressed, and their paranoia is being fed.

They consider us "The Great Satan". And at this point in history, who is doing the greatest damage to whom? Who has the greatest firepower? If you were an alien looking down on Earth and watching this, who would you think presents the greatest threat?

Radical Islamists do present a threat, but the idea that they can actually take us over is ludicrous. THEY DO NOT HAVE THAT POWER. I am constantly struck by the absolute cowering terror which you and other apologists for the cluster fuck in Iraq, etc., present.

I am not necessarily opposed to surgical takeouts, by our various Special Forces, for locations with known Islamic terrorists. But making wholesale war on an Islamic country is like aiming a whole battery of cannon fire where one wellplaced beebee would be much more effective. We currently kill innocent people, whose relatives remember and swear to get revenge.

We need to beef up our Special Forces. We also need to beef up our Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies programs, nationwide, with full scholarships offered to those majoring in these areas, in return for a minimum of 5 years of service in a Middle Eastern country. (We also need to similarly beef up Chinese studies).

In our embassies, everyone should be required to speak the local language(s) and to have studied the local culture(s).

We need to get off our dependence on Middle Eastern oil ASAP, as that dependence has vastly distorted our policies in that part of the world, and has caused us to overthrow or to support various leaders, to later grievous blowback.

And yes, dammit, we should NOT torture. We can get what we want without it, and we only give an excuse to the Islamic terrorists and others to commit even further atrocities. Every time we torture, every time we kill civilians, we create another casus belli for the terrorists, and ensure that someone's son, grandson, cousin, nephew, uncle, brother, father, becomes a fresh enemy. How can you not see this?

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on November 5, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

America truly has become the New Jerusalem.

Posted by: Hostile on November 5, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfdaughter, you make some very good points. ex-liberal didn't address any of my points, so I infer he has no logical responses. This notion that "radical Islam" is some large, overwhelming force, is total nonsense. Download "The Power of Nightmares", a BBC special. Radical Islamists were on the wane before the U.S. invaded Iraq. They were increasingly marginalized after 9-11 and most Muslims were deeply opposed to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, which killed innocents, including Muslims. That changed after Bush decided unilaterally to invade Iraq. Now the Muslim world is almost singularly comtemptful of Washington. In short, invading Iraq was counterproductive in marginalizing radical Islamists. If you don't see that, you are a fool.

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger on November 5, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: From Bill Maher

Maher is a great comic, but he needs to check facts more.

1. When they say the Democrats will raise taxes, you say we have to because someone spent all the money in the world cutting Paris Hilton's taxes and not killing Osama bin Laden.

In fact, Bush has cut the deficit in half three years earlier than he promised to. Bush's tax cuts have led to huge increases in tax dollar revenue.

2. When they say the terrorists want the Democrats to win, you say "Are you insane? George Bush has been a terrorists wet dream."

Regardless of Maher's theory, we know terrorists want the Dems to win, because they said so. See http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52747

3. When they say "cut and run" or "defeatocrat" you say "Bush lost the war.

Maher has a point. Bush deserves blame for a mis-handled occupation. But, will Dems do better?

4. When they say that actual combat veterans like John Kerry are denigrating the troops, You say "You are completely full of shit."

Faced with such eloquence, I have no response.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Hawk:
The only argument I will ever have against anthing anyone says is the extreme opposite of it.
You oppose torture, therefore all your friends want to invite terrorists home for Christmas.

Posted by: Kenji on November 5, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Here is what Pat Buchanan's American Conservative magazine has to say about the war in Iraq and the power grab by Bush and the neo-cons:

GOP MUST GO

....It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seenin America and the world at largeas a decisive No vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome....

Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and whythus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.

As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bushs decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level...

The war will continue as long as Bush is in office, for no other reason than the feckless president cant face the embarrassment of admitting defeat. The chain of events is not complete: Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile, Americas image in the world, its capacity to persuade others that its interests are common interests, is lower than it has been in memory. All over the world people look at Bush and yearn for this countrywhich once symbolized hope and justiceto be humbled....

There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our countrys reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this Nov. 7. If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seenin Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpuras a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq....

On Nov. 7, the world will be watching as we go to the polls, seeking to ascertain whether the American people have the wisdom to try to correct a disastrous course. Posterity will note too if their collective decision is one that captured the attention of historiansthat of a people voting, again and again, to endorse a leader taking a country in a catastrophic direction. The choice is in our hands.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent op-ed by the American Conservative. It shows that true conservatives and true progressives do hold common ground on important issues.

It's the goose-stepping authoritarians and brain-dead neo-cultists who are the problem. They give lip service to conservatism just long enough to get elected while betraying everything it stands for through employing a perverse neo-liberal agenda.

Other conservative journals have run similar similar opinion pieces. Let's not forget that both the father of modern conservatism and the father of neo-conservatism have abandoned support for the occupation of Iraq. The stern fathers are coming around.

We have war-hawks, neocons, and true conservatives racing each other out of the closet to confess that the Iraq war was a mistake, finally catching up to the views of a majority of American citizens. If only they'd listened to us three and a half years ago.

And let me just give a pre-emptive fuck you to ex-liberal for the next offensive, stupid thing that you're bound to say.

Posted by: trex on November 5, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Wolfdaughter, suppose we agree for the sake of argument that Iraq was a war of choice and Bush exaggerated the case for war. (Although if things were going well in Iraq, few would care much about how the war started.)

Anyhow, the question is what to do now. We can't go back an undo the decision to go to war.

One blogger's POV is that the country can't tolerate another defeat in a major war.

The consequences of losing Iraq might be worse than losing Vietnam, not only because it would mean two losses (and the demoralization of being a two-time loser is worse than the demoralization of being a one-time loser), but because from a national security standpoint, a loss in Iraq would have worse consequences than the loss in Vietnam. Vietnam was a hot battle in the larger Cold War, but the real enemy consisted of actual, identifiable countries (primarily the Soviet Union) which were rational and which could be dealt with in other ways. Russia did not want World War III, as they still had fresh memories of World War II. While Communist ideologues saw Communism as inevitable, they just didn't have the same messianic view or willingness to die as martyrs, and they saw the United States as an enemy that could be dealt with at arm's length on a more or less rational basis. Not so with people who see us as the Great Satan, and who see Iraq as sacred soil and the proper seat of a Caliphate. If the U.S. loses the will to see the Iraq effort through to victory, the consequences will be very dire. Add the inevitable demoralization factor domestically, and I don't think this country can afford it.

Do you think he has a point?

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

You know what? I can't tolerate George Bush and the fatuous fuckheads he surrounds himself with, and the enablers who support him as he tries his damnedest to turn the United States into a failed state.

But I have no fucking choice. And the war is not winnable, so i guess they will all just go put their heads in the oven, since they find it intolerable? Or will they such it up like we have had to?

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 5, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

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Bah. Typical liberal party line.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 5, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

One blogger's POV is that the country can't tolerate another defeat in a major war.

What a shame then that Republicans foolishly mired us in an unwinnable one.

Posted by: trex on November 5, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

'Compassionate and sympathetic US liberals will soon mount a campaign to get Saddam's sentence set aside. The ground are two: inadequate legal defense- a crackpot named Ramsey Clark was active for him, and the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th amendment to the US Constitution. Liberals now believe that people the world over are given rights under the US Constitution. That is what their left-wing high school teachers tell them.'
--mhr

No, actually Jesus tells us that only God should decides who lives and who dies. Jesus himself was a victim of the death penalty, a Roman artifice that the Jews did not permit. If these hypocritical, "pro-life", pseudo-Christian Republicans, (like George W. Bush) had any integrity at all (which they don't), they would be opposing Saddam's death sentence too.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 5, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

mhr -- The Constitution does not give us rights. It enumerates some of the rights we already have by virtue of being human beings. So yes, people the world over have the same rights we do.

Posted by: Doctor G on November 5, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

The only reason to claim that torture is "too secret to reveal to lawyers" is that this administration wants to hide the evidence that will get them hung at this generation's Nuremburg Trials. They need to be executed along with every apologist for this administration.

Posted by: Peter on November 6, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

It's utterly normal in wartime to keep one's tactics secret. Loose lips sink ships. In war, knowledge is a weapon,

The attitude of today's liberals seems to be that the Manhattan Project ought to have filed public reports. As someone like Peter might have said, "The only reason for hiding the development of nuclear weapons is to hide the evidence that will get the scientists hanged as war criminal."

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 6, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

Why do all of ex-liberal's posts sound like he's just transliterated them from old Soviet propaganda posters?

Posted by: trex on November 6, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: In fact, Bush has cut the deficit in half three years earlier than he promised to.


THE TOP-4 U-S BUDGET DEFICITS:

1. 2004 (George W. Bush) $413 billion

2. 2003 (George W. Bush) $378 billion

3. 2005 (George W. Bush) $318 billion

4. 2006 (George W. Bush) $286 billion


since when is....286-billion...half....of 318-billion?

meanwhile, the federal debt passed 8.6-trillion...3-trillion higher...(more than 50-percent increase)...since the day President G.W. Bush took office...

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Posted by: mr. irony on November 6, 2006 at 5:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Actually, technically speaking, that isn't the passive voice. There is still a subject "he" and a verb "may have come." In the passive voice, the subject disappears."

Right, not passive. Wrong that the subject disappears; it's the "agent" that disappears. In "Huge mistakes were made", "huge mistakes" is the subject and the Agent/maker of them is gone.

Passive sentences have a form of BE as aux verb plus the so-called "past" participle form of a transitive verb in their verb phrase. COME is intransitive and doesn't participate in passive voice (unless you count an archaism like "He is come").

Here ends this grammatical interruption.

Posted by: Hamburger on November 6, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

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