7 February 2006

Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free

Paul Craig Roberts answers queries on how he has evolved from Reagan staffer to one of the harshest critics of the George W. Bush presidency.
We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The "liberal press" has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore's speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration.

The TV networks mimic Fox News' faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.

But the last paragraph is the most poignant:

Americans need to understand that many interests are using the "war on terror" to achieve their agendas. The Federalist Society is using the "war on terror" to achieve its agenda of concentrating power in the executive and packing the Supreme Court to this effect. The neocons are using the war to achieve their agenda of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. Police agencies are using the war to remove constraints on their powers and to make themselves less accountable. Republicans are using the war to achieve one-party rule--theirs. The Bush administration is using the war to avoid accountability and evade constraints on executive powers. Arms industries, or what President Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex," are using the war to fatten profits. Terrorism experts are using the war to gain visibility. Security firms are using it to gain customers. Readers can add to this list at will. The lack of debate gives carte blanche to these agendas.


Comments

Served with paranoia on the side?
Whoa Nelly. He tries to make a case in his essay that he's just a Reaganite Conservative concerned that he and a "few" are all that's left. Hmmmm....He claims Reagan didn't want to "WIN" the Cold War, just END it (one would ask-is there a difference, besides gramattics). He made "common purpose" with Gorbachev and ENDED the Cold War? Hello!!!! He ended the Cold War, because he ensured we would WIN the Cold War.
He then refers to the Scholars for 9/11 Truth (http://www.scholarsfor911tr...). Whoa now!!!! Where is this going!
I'm sorry, but this guy, whatever his accolades has left the building. As I've argued before, if the Isolationists want a villain to our current aggressive foreign policy and pursuit of democratization countries around the world-try Woodrow Wilson. Reagan did what Kennedy did, what Truman did, what FDR did, what Wilson did. Now Teddy on the other hand, was a true "Balance of Power" guy. So long as no one screwed with the Western Hemisphere, he didn't give a damn.
Paul Craig Roberts is in company with Pat Buchanon. I completely disagree with his characterization of Reagan and especially his subtle hints of "Bush knew and let it happen" conspiracy.
Nevertheless your feelings about Mr. Roberts leanings, the point about blackmail visa-vi illegal spying is indeed a valid one - the erosion of checks and balances is a worrisome development.
Bob, it has happened before and without accountability it will happen again. Take heed the words of John Dean, who has publicly testified that GWB is "worse than Watergate". And it's a subject he is intimately familiar with.
Okay, let's concede that a point has been made that domestic spying must be accomplished through FISA.
What is occurring is foreign surveillance, which IS legal; even the libs have conceded that point. Teddy Kennedy, Pelosi have stated that if this program is all about suspected terrorists and their contacts, then no sweat.
This is indeed what is happening. Congressional leaders and committe chairmen have been informed routinely over the last four years. So the big question is, "why all the noise suddenly; why the distortion in the media-domestic spying-rather than foreign surveillance of suspected terrorists."
If even liberals have conceded that foreign surveillance without a warrant is fine (they stress assurance of no violation), why does Roberts et al. continue to decry this activity as a degradation of the Constitution? It's puzzling, actually.
The courts and congressional hearings will determine this answer; the other question is whether the left will accept the results.
Sorry Hobey - the Watergate comparison won't fly. Nixon wanted to defeat his political enemies; Bush wants to defeat terrorists. Bush's doesn't need to defeat his political enemies - they're defeating themselves very nicely.
That's a very good point, Bob. Listening to Kennedy, and Dean is absolutely priceless. The ALIOTO Carnival was a complete waste, but so entertaining.
And to think we came this close to having Howard Dean challenging Bush for president. One can only hope for 2008.
How do you guys know for sure?

Without accountability, there's no way of knowing for certain. And it's been revealed time after time, that partisanship has trumped objectivity.
There was accountability in the foreign surveillance. Committee heads, confressional leaders...leaders of both parties...there IS accountability.
So as long as President Hillary notifies a few key Congressional associates about her spying activities, even if it is long after the fact, you guys will defend her right to do so unquestioningly.

Right?
Depends on the context, frankly. I know Naum vehemently disagrees, but we're at war right now, with an active presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. If, as you theorize, President Hillary assumes office with our forces in a state of war as they are now, I'll have no problem whatsoever.
And by the way, it's not LONG after the fact. The reviews are conducted periodically. And yes, notifying a few key associates is perfect. It ensures the procedure will not violate privacy laws.
While I disagree with you that Hillary will be Pres., I have no qualm with your proposal.
Sure - in the remote chance she gets elected. Just as long as its done now - only listening to overseas conversations with the terrorists.
A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost.

She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below.

She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised

a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The sailor consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot

air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346

feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north

latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolled her eyes and yelled down, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically
correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still
lost. Frankly, you've been no help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "Then you must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going.
You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made
a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve
your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met,
but, somehow, now it's my fault."
1. It is SECRET spying, which means even the committe heads arn't privy to that information. The "reviews" are nothing more than rubber stamping. Again, my point stands - no accountability.

2. The subject of whether or not we are at war is fodder for another article, one I plan to pen once I get a little time to breathe. But I shall let you ponder the following questions:

3. What nation state have we officially declared war with?

4. What definitive meausure will signify the end of war or is this just an Orwellian perpetual thing? Or is it just a matter proper police and better intel to root these things out?

5. During WWII, no automobiles were sold 1942-1944, driving was restricted, gasoline was rationed, other wartime measures were instituted and resources were put forth full throttle to defeating Germany and Japan. Now, a set of chickenhawks full of bloodlust are all too eager to sacrifice American youths other than their own, not on self defense, mind you, but on failed nation building exercises that have led to greater chaos in those affected world regions.

5. Why on earth are you folks so gullible to buy the Gonzalez and administration drivel of "just trust us", when everything we've learned (from the bits that have come into the open), shows how deceptive and dishonest Bush & staffers have been. From "Mission Accomplished" in 2003 to recent revealations (from Fitzgerald investigation) that the administration flat out lied about Libby & Cheney & Rove involvement with Plame outing. From Bush telling public audiences that a "court order is required for wiretaps" when secretly it's being done without court orders. And on and on...
Here is a reference to popular media that I am sure you all are familiar with (if I where to mention a book on the other hand, there is a good chance most of you have not read it)

In the last Star Wars episode 3, Padme is listening to the speech of Palpatine in the congressional room.

PALPATINE: In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years.

There is a loud, sustained CHEER from the Senate. BAIL ORGANA and PADME sit, dumbfounded.

PALPATINE: (continuing) An empire that will continue to be ruled by this august body, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life . . .

The Senate CHEERS again. BAIL and PADME are devastated. PADME begins to cry.

PALPATINE: (continuing) An empire ruled by the majority . . . Ruled by a new constitution . . .

The Senate APPLAUDS.

PADME: So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause . . .

When Star Wars 3 came out some liberals said that George Lucas was comparing the Dark Empire to the Bush administration. Conservative talk show hosts lambasted and mocked this assertion.

Well, the DVD came out, and on the DVD George Lucas said that he came up with the idea of Star Wars during the Nixon administration. I didn't know this before, but Nixon, according to Lucas, was attempting to do away with the two term limit of the President. This got Lucas thinking, "What causes Democracies to become dictatorships?" This is where he came up with the idea of Star Wars.

Rumsfield and Cheney where prominent players in the Nixon administration, just as they are prominent players in the Bush administration. Rumsfield has come out and said that the powers of the President should not be curtailed—he advocates an imperial presidency, above the law.[http://www.commondreams.org...]

I have argued before, and I will argue again, that Mondo, Neocon, and now Bob, are no different than those cheering people in Star Wars 3. No matter how many laws Bush breaks, no matter how appalling Bush's behavior, you three will always applaud.

And why should any three of you care about those protections in the Constitution? In all honesty, Mondo, Neocon, and Bob, the three of you have never actually exercised those rights to assemble or criticize the status quo. Why do you need rights that you never use anyway?

If they start rounding up dissenters you three are safe, me and Naum are the ones who have to worry, and if they round us up, I guarantee that you will be applauding this too, in the name of security. Why do I say this?

America has a shameful history of people like yourselves cheering the persecution of people who believe like Naum and I. The Palmer Raids, Operation Counterintelpro, McCarthyism, The Pinkertons, The Ludlow massacres, Japanese Internment Camps, etc. Throughout this persecutions there were "law and order" types, usually white middle to upper class Anglo-Saxons, who actively supported the suppression of the "other".

Where is the line in the sand gentlemen? What does this administration have to do to make you turn against it? Is there any moral yardstick in your minds?

I have heard mondo and neocon advocate and defend torture, mass murder, infinite jail terms, secret prisons, and spying.

What is left? Is there anything that Bush could possibly do which would make you turn against him? I honestly don't think there is. That is like asking Mondo if there is anyway he would stop believing in Christ. It will never happen. Just keep on cheering, and I hope the America that I know survives despite people like you 3.
And I've said again, and again, there is no sense discussing any rational, much less irrational topic with Trav. Your arguments are shallow, general and quite honestly, not even worth reading.
Trav, I suspect you're a great guy overall.
Here's one little question: doing away with a two-term limit seemed like an erosion of democracy to George Lucas. Obviously, you feel the same, considering you thought to summarize it in your post.
The question is, how could FDR save a democracy by serving four terms? Hmmmm....just a question.
As for the rest...sorry, you can be the King of your own Rhetorical, Propagandic world. I'll just be a normal Joe-Schmo in the real world.
Have a great day, Trav. If you're EVER in Phoenix, we must have a beer and just talk shit.
LOL.
Thanks for being courteous. You even invited me out for drinks, thanks. I don't think we would have much in common though :(

I think it was a good thing to limit a presidents term to two terms. Please don't try to weaken my argument simply because "a democrat did it". A common argument that you use against Naum, time and time again. You use this argument because it works well against Naum. Naum seems more partisan than me, and more likely to walk the line with the dems.

I feel my view of Dems is more nuainced and complex, so saying "the dems do it", simply will not defray nor weaken my arguments.

I support much of FDR's domestic policy, but there is much that I disagee with him about--the Japanese internments, the development of the atomic bomb, the war crimes of the fire bombings (for this alone I think FDR is a war criminal).

The excesses of FDR made this country realize that they did not want an imperial presidency, so they put a two term limit on the president, which Nixon, with the support of cheney and rumsfiled attempted to revert. FDR should have had a two term limit too. Just because he has a (D) after his name doesn't matter one damn bit to me.
"When adults first become conscious of something new, they usually either attack or try to escape from it... Attack includes such mild forms as ridicule, and escape includes merely putting out of mind."

-- William I.B. Beveridge, The Art of Scientific Investigation, 1957
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity (clamness) opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

--Albert Einstein
Better to dismiss me as a crazy, irrational son of a bitch than contemplate what I am trying to say.

I am questioning the very foundations of your beleif system, which I find morally troubling and contridictory. Unfortunalty predictably, you attack it with "mild forms as ridicule"
No, no,no, you do this time and again, Trav. Read your post, and read my question. This has nothing to do with "Dems did it". It has everything to do with George Lucas being stupid in his reasoning.
My point about the term limits is to show the absurd argument that an attempt to change a two-term limit law is analogous to a dictatorship; nor was it Imperial as you say. FDR was ELECTED by a majority four times. Very democratic, actually. In fact, some could claim with good logic, that is undemocratic to limit electoral terms.

Again, I must ask: when some claim that FDR "saved" democracy through the New Deal (they have good arguments, as I've already admitted)- how could his tenure possibly be described as Imperial, or an erosion of Democracy? This is the fallacy of the argument. You can't have a dictator saving a democracy.

"Unfortunalty predictably, you attack it with "mild forms as ridicule""

Have a good day.
"First get your facts straight; then you can misrepresent them as you will"
Mark Twain
I agree:

"My point about the term limits is to show the absurd argument that an attempt to change a two-term limit law is analogous to a dictatorship; nor was it Imperial as you say. FDR was ELECTED by a majority four times. Very democratic, actually. In fact, some could claim with good logic, that is undemocratic to limit electoral terms."

You wrote:
"Again, I must ask: when some claim that FDR "saved" democracy through the New Deal (they have good arguments, as I've already admitted)- how could his tenure possibly be described as Imperial, or an erosion of Democracy? This is the fallacy of the argument. You can't have a dictator saving a democracy."

On its face, your argument seems valid and solid. But with closer examination and thought, I think the reality is much more nuianced. You are taking extreme postitions and putting them forward as the only two options. "Either FDR was an imperialist or he was the defender of democracy, he can't be both, so your argument is flawed"

I think it COULD be both--in someways it could be argued that FDR "saved" democracy through the New Deal, but in other ways he erroded democracy. I mentioned the Japanese intern camps as an example, definatly not the high point of American democracy, or FDR's threat to stack the Supreme Court, threatening the mythical "balance of powers" we all learn in elementary school. Libertarians and some historians argue that FDR was a dictator because of, what some people say, his heavy handed tactics in implementing the New Deal.

I believe Lucas used this example as only one of many actions of Nixon. We all know Nixon's sorid history. There were many limitations put on the presidency because of Nixon and his abuse of power, Rumsfield and Cheney want to dismantle these checks and balances, these vital tools of democracy.

To use my pop-culture reference, above, at what point in Star Wars did the Republic cease to be a democracy? When you are describing abstract ideas such as "imperialism" and "democracy" with all its emotional baggage attached, it is hard to say when one begins and the other ends. The question Lucas was asking is: "Why and how does a democracy stop being a democracy?"

I feel, and I know that you will disagree, that Bush is attempting to gain as much power as possible, and he is attempting to circumvent many of these constiutional protections and ideals that Americans (allegedy) cherish. What FDR did was imperialist. What Wilson did with the Palmer raids and the supression of those opposed to the war was also imperialist. What Nixon did in Watergate was imperialist. And what Bush did with the wire tapes was imperialist.

My central question, which you ignored, is how far will Bush have to go before you say enough is enough? The Lucas analogy was not the central point of what I was trying to say, it is window dressing.

Neocon, you claim to believe in all of these ideals of democracy and freedom, but your support of such actions make me realize what you see as "democracy" and "freedom" is much, much, much differnt than me. As I asked above:

Where is the line in the sand gentlemen? What does this administration have to do to make you turn against it? Is there any moral yardstick in your minds?

I have heard mondo and neocon advocate and defend torture, mass murder, infinite jail terms, secret prisons, and spying.

What is left? Is there anything that Bush could possibly do which would make you turn against him? I honestly don't think there is. That is like asking Mondo if there is anyway he would stop believing in Christ. It will never happen. Just keep on cheering, and I hope the America that I know survives despite people like you 3.

"No, no,no, you do this time and again, Trav. Read your post, and read my question."

I am glad that I am so predictible. Please no more comments about how could I be a lawyer if I don't read your exact meaning and divine exactly what you are supposed to be saying.

I read hundreds of pages of muddled and convoluted law a week. Lord knows on my free time, with a casual hobby, I am going to devote as much time to reading and concentrating as I do in school. If I started to do that, posting on the internet would become just as dreary and difficult as school, and I would have to find another hobby to relax.
Neocon:
Why are you a neocon?

You shared with us a few months ago why you became a neocon. You mentioned Rwanda and Bosnia and the inaction of Western powers. I was impressed with your humanity and concern for others in this web blog posting, I really respected that.

But I think your solution is misguided, and actually causes more harm and human misery in the world.

Attaching this horror at Bosnia and Rwanda to the American ideals you were taught in childhood, you seem to feel that American military might can be a force for good in the world. You seem to feel like American military might can be a saving power in the world, and prevent more Bosnias and more Rwandas. You could not be more wrong.

American power has killed million upon millions of people, and kept millions and millions of people in desitute povery. For every success story, like Bosnia, there are ten more horrifying stories of American power supporting and condoning mass murder and torture on horrendous scale. I am shocked in my readings and studies just how wide spread this is, just when I thought I had learned all that I could learn, I find more examples in my studies. I am studying both Colombia and Nicaragua this semester, and once again America being a force for evil bears out more than it being a force for good.

While you and Mondo's intentions seem sincere, you seem like good, honest, moral, caring people, I argue that you are depending on the wrong source for the solution to this worlds problems.

Like those intergaltic members of the senate, you feel that PALPATINE has your best interest in mind, when the hard, harsh reality is strikingly different. No one wants to believe that their country does bad things, trust me, I didn't before 9/11. I met an anti-American years before and I was disgusted by her. I used many of the same arguments that you and Mondo use.

But living in the former USSR, and seeing the after effects of a country lose all faith and belief, in their country's myths, icons, propaganda, and lies, I realized that America in many ways is no different, except Americans still beleive.

Anyway, I have wasted enough time. Damn dog is whining cause my wife just left for work.
"Mondo, Neocon, and Bob, the three of you have never actually exercised those rights to assemble or criticize the status quo. Why do you need rights that you never use anyway?"

Ah, you assume much Travis, for you to make such a statement only shows that you have preconceived concepts of who I (we) am (are) without intimate knowledge of my (our) life (lives). You read a few statements made by people and assume that they are stuck in those comments and those comments represent their entire belief system and that there has never been or will be any change in those opinions. I have never been hunting, but I have the right to, if I so desire, and I support those people who do hunt. I don't own a GUN, but it's my right to do so if I wish, or to not, if I wish, and your opinion of me regarding MY CHOICE, to do or to not, is unimportant, It is my right and my choice, you do believe in FREEDOM OF CHOICE correct? Why do people have the right to vote when the majority of Americans refuse to use it? Just because we have the right to do something doesn't mean we don't deserve those rights unless we actually use them. Should we protest the government only because we are allowed to? There are other ways to change the "status quo" than by "assemble or criticize" it, My vote is one way, and my financial support to those organizations or political parties who's views I support. So, if you could take your judgmental attitude and refine it to judge YOUR life rather than others perhaps then and there you will find a change in your life that you can actually see happen. We have no rights to change others minds, or to judge others views and desires, we do however have a right to believe and do whatever we want to, within the law, in this great Nation of ours. So you use your right to question and I will use my right to support ANY agenda or belief system I so desire.

Some people can only find SELF-value in questioning the values of others.

"I have heard mondo and neocon advocate and defend torture, mass murder, infinite jail terms, secret prisons, and spying."

Prove it Travis, If you have heard (read) it, find the post and copy it. and not just one part of a much larger statement either, I mean in context and with any other statements that may quantify such said statements, You assume many things that I believe or say that have NEVER been said simply because that is what you believe I believe, so back it up, please and thank you.
I apologize for my broad generalizations, which I admit are often wrong. Thank you for refining them.

"Prove it Travis, If you have heard (read) it, find the post and copy it. and not just one part of a much larger statement either, I mean in context and with any other statements that may quantify such said statements, You assume many things that I believe or say that have NEVER been said simply because that is what you believe I believe, so back it up, please and thank you."

I will not take that challenge, not because I do not still believe what I said nor have I not seen examples of you 2 justifying "torture, mass murder, infinite jail terms, secret prisons, and spying."

But because even if I find these examples, you will not categorize it as such, or you will justify away your justifications, and we will argue back and forth what the defintion of what "is", is. No thanks. It is not worth my time or effort.

I have argued a parallel argument with another apologist on Wikipedia for months. Instead of reposting the comments here, and repeating myself, I will just give you the three links to my user page and his, for those interested.

The conversations started with a leftist ideologue (Ruy_Lopez) quitting wikipedia because conservative ideologues (TDC and others) pushed him out:

Giving_up_is_the_wrong_thing_to_do

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

Hey TDC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...
"But because even if I find these examples, you will not categorize it as such, or you will justify away your justifications, and we will argue back and forth what the defintion of what "is", is. No thanks. It is not worth my time or effort."

So, I cannot even defend myself because if I do I am only trying to "justify" whatever remarks I have made in the past???? Its a no win situation the isn't it Travis, you can say I believe anything you want me to believe based on selected portions of statements I have made in the past, and there is nothing I can do about it because ANYTHING I say is wrong. You see what I mean about your PRECONCEIVED opinion of me, even If I say I don't believe in torture, etc. you can say I do, and what I THINK FEEL OR KNOW about myself is unimportant, here's an idea instead of assuming I think something, or defend something because I am STUCK in a quagmire of illusions and unable to change or even believe it is possible I could be wrong because I am in a ideological black hole, try only to state your opinions as you see them and try not to assume I believe one way or another, don't make snap judgments about people and use them to justify YOUR OPINIONS, If I am wrong that is my problem, If I am blind that is my problem, if I am drinking KOOL-AID that is my problem, If you cannot justify your beliefs without tearing mine apart or allowing me justification of mine perhaps your beliefs are not strong enough to stand next to mine. Can we not disagree in PEACE? Does one opinion have to be better than the other? If you cannot argue your point without arguing MINE as well your point does not have strength to stand on its own.
Mondo,
No, it is not a "no-win situation" with me.

We have argued how many people died in Iraq over and over and over. You still cling to the belief, at least the last I read, that those WMDs were spirited magically away to another country. At least 100,000 people died Mondo. That is support of mass murder to me. You may not call it mass murder, but I do. Stalin said when one person dies it is a tragedy, when millions die it is a statistic.

I have seen the way you support US torture, the wiretaps, etc.

I was serious about my hypothetical question, how much is too much? How many people need to die and how many of the rights we as Americans are supposed to lose, before you or Neocon say enough is enough?

When does a democracy cease being a democracy and become something else? I agree with Neocon that we have never had an imperialist president. I feel that some of the actions of presidents have been imperialistic, but we have never slid into dictatorship.

I just have read a different history of America than you two, a darker side of US history, where the minority is persecuted, killed and jailed, all the while "good patriotic Americans" like yourself support such actions, tacitly (Not spoken) or openly. Am I assuming you would support such actions in the past? Yes, I am, because I see the way you fervently support such policies today.

I am not so much attacking you Mondo or Neocon as I am attacking the ideas, values and views you appear to support, that the right wing of this country supports. I come here to vent my frustration and marginalization at the way things are here in the US.

I realize that you are individuals and you may not tow the party line 100% of the time, but generally, from your words here, you appear to support the majority of those views.

So maybe Mondo, you don't support the wiretaps or the torture as much as I infer, if that is the case, I am happily surprised, and I apologize for assuming such.

In regards to "individuality" and preconceived notions, I find it so sad how so many Americans think that they are so very different and so unique, when in reality the vast majority think the same. It is another view that Americans have of themselves which is starkly different from reality.

As Alexis de Tocqueville stated in the 19th century:

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.

It seems, at first sight, as if all the minds of the Americans were formed upon one model, so accurately do they correspond in their manner of judging. A stranger does, indeed, sometimes meet with Americans who dissent from these rigorous formularies; with men who deplore the defects of the laws, the mutability and the ignorance of democracy; who even go so far as to observe the evil tendencies which impair the national character, and to point out such remedies as it might be possible to apply; but no one is there to hear these things besides yourself, and you, to whom these secret reflections are confided, are a stranger and a bird of passage. They are very ready to communicate truths which are useless to you, but they continue to hold a different language in public.

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
Mondo wrote:
"If you cannot justify your beliefs without tearing mine apart or allowing me justification of mine perhaps your beliefs are not strong enough to stand next to mine...If you cannot argue your point without arguing MINE as well your point does not have strength to stand on its own."

It is called arguement fatigue, which we all seem to have here. For example, how many times can we argue again and again if Iraq had WMDs?

"Can we not disagree in PEACE?"

No :(

"Does one opinion have to be better than the other?"

Yes :)
"We have argued how many people died in Iraq over and over and over. You still cling to the belief, at least the last I read, that those WMDs were spirited magically away to another country."

Fact: To say categorically, "There is/were no wmds in iraq," is to make an absolute statement. For the statement to be true, you must know for certain that there is no WMDs anywhere in IRAQ. So unless you have been to IRAQ, and turned over every stone and looked in every building, dug up the entire desert, this statement cannot be true. However one can say there "WERE" WMDs in Iraq and be completely correct, there are documents, and other evidence to support this. Were they destroyed, according to Hans Blix:

"U.N. weapons inspectors have found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction after conducting more than 400 searches of 300 sites over the past eleven weeks."

"But chief inspector Hans Blix reported to Security Council members that Iraq had failed to account for 1,000 tons of chemical agent, 6,500 chemical bombs, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agent and 380 rocket engines useful in the delivery of biological and chemical agents."

As for my magical belief the weapons were moved:
"One former top level military official interviewed this week claimed: "Our agents say they saw what seemed to them to be military convoys going into Syria. It was more than normal civilian activity: there were tanks and military trucks all moving across the border in mid-March. We think this is where some of Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons may have gone."

But in a series of confidential interviews with Turkish intelligence officials here in Ankara, Turkey's capital, some people in the military community, including Mr. Akbulut – a man with connections in the Turkish government – are claiming they know where those [Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological] weapons have gone: Syria.

Mr. Akbulut, from Erzurum in eastern Turkey, had moved into northern Iraq nine years ago to be with his wife. He ran a textile business that kept him travelling back and forth from Baghdad to the Kurdish enclaves in northern Iraq. And on many of those trips he claimed he saw: "Trucks and buses moving at night. It began over a year ago. Always going west to Syria. Always full of containers with Russian lettering and almost always with no passengers."
and
"We are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria," declared Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in December. "But U.S. intelligence officials report spotting several large Iraqi trucks with guards heading to Syria, reported the Washington Post. The contents of their cargo is not known."

and

"Significant equipment, assets and perhaps even expertise was transferred, the first signs of which appeared in August or September 2002," a Bush administration official told The Telegraph. "It is quite possible that Iraqi nuclear scientists went to Syria and that Saddam's regime may retain part of its army there." "The Italian newspaper, il Foglio, reported in late March that Saddam Hussein signed an agreement in Damascus on Jan. 17 to move his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, along with his scientists and technicians into Syria. The paper reported that, as a sign of good will, Saddam sent Syrian President Bashar Assad samples of anthrax and botulinum spores, and detailed analyses of tests carried out with these poisons on human subjects in Iraqi prisons."

and

”United States and British intelligence are tracking three mystery cargo ships for fear they contain Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, according to British reports. The vessels left port in late November, just as United Nations weapons inspectors arrived in Iraq to search for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons believed to have been stockpiled since the Persian Gulf War."Officials believe the ships set sail from a country other than Iraq to avoid detection from Western naval vessels patrolling the Gulf. Defense experts speculate that, if the ships are carrying weapons of mass destruction, the arms could have been smuggled out through Syria or Jordan."

and

"The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that WMDs may have been moved there."

and

"Two defense sources told The Washington Times that the ISG has interviewed Iraqis who told of Saddam's system of dispatching his trusted Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) to the border, where they would send border inspectors away.
The shift was followed by the movement of trucks in and out of Syria suspected of carrying materials banned by U.N. sanctions. Once the shipments were made, the agents would leave and the regular border guards would resume their posts."

and

"John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, “almost certainly” removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad"
and

"U.S. intelligence agencies have obtained satellite photographs of truck convoys that were at several weapons sites in Iraq in the weeks before U.S. military operations were launched, defense officials said yesterday.
The photographs indicate that Iraq was moving arms and equipment from its known weapons sites, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
According to one official, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, known as NGA, "documented the movement of long convoys of trucks from various areas around Baghdad to the Syrian border."

“The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units,” Mr. Shaw said. “Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units.”

“Most of Saddam’s most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.”

Shaw said that he confirmed this information with two separate European intelligence services who were familiar with the Russo-Iraqi arms transfers.

“Besides their own weapons, the Russians were supplying Saddam with arms made in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and other Eastern European nations, he said.”

“Whatever was not buried was put on lorries and sent to the Syrian border,” the defense official said."

and General Georges Sada:

"A former Iraqi general alleges that in June 2002 Saddam Hussein transported weapons of mass destruction out of the country to Syria aboard several refitted commercial jets, under the pretense of conducting a humanitarian mission for flood victims."

John Loftus a former Army officer, served as a Justice Department prosecutor. He investigated CIA cases of Nazi war criminals for the U.S. attorney general:

"Jordan recently seized 20 tons of chemicals trucked in by confessed al-Qaeda members who brought the stuff in from Syria. The chemicals included VX, Sarin and 70 others.
There's a lot of reason to think (the source of the chemicals) might be Iraq. We captured Iraqi members of al-Qaeda, who've been trained in Iraq, planned for the mission in Iraq, and now they're in Jordan with nerve gas. That's not the kind of thing you buy in a grocery store. You have to have obtained it from someplace."

so you see it's not "magical" there is evidence to support such claims.
Mondo, you keep recycling the same old misinformation that even the administration won't even tout.

Here are a few recent articles of interest however…

http://www.ipsnews.net/news...

The U.S. intelligence community's top Middle East analyst from 2000 to 2005 has accused the George W. Bush administration of distorting and politicising intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.

In an article published Friday in "Foreign Affairs" magazine, analyst Paul Pillar, who resigned from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) last year, also charges that the Bush administration ignored much of the analysis that had been prepared by the intelligence community, including its predictions of the chaos and conflict that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

----

http://www.pbs.org/now/poli...

In an interview airing tonight on the PBS weekly newsmagazine NOW, Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson makes the startling claim that much of Powell's landmark speech to the United Nations laying out the Bush Administration's case for the Iraq war was false.

"I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community, and the United Nations Security Council," says Wilkerson, who helped prepare the address.
and also recently:

"Congress's Secret Saddam Tapes

By ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 7, 2006

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is studying 12 hours of audio recordings between Saddam Hussein and his top advisers that may provide clues to the whereabouts of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

"The committee has already confirmed through the intelligence community that the recordings of Saddam's voice are authentic, according to its chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, who would not go into detail about the nature of the conversations or their context. They were provided to his committee by a former federal prosecutor, John Loftus, who says he received them from a former American military intelligence analyst."

"Mr. Loftus will make the recordings available to the public on February 17 at the annual meeting of the Intelligence Summit, of which he is president. On the organization's Web site, Mr. Loftus is quoted as promising that the recordings "will be able to provide a few definitive answers to some very important - and controversial - weapons of mass destruction questions." Contacted yesterday by The New York Sun, Mr. Loftus would only say that he delivered a CD of the recordings to a representative of the committee, and the following week the committee announced that it was reopening the investigation into weapons of mass destruction."

"The audio recordings are part of new evidence the House intelligence committee is piecing together that has spurred Mr. Hoekstra to reopen the question of whether Iraq had the biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons American inspectors could not turn up. President Bush called off the hunt for those weapons last year and has conceded that America has yet to find evidence of the stockpiles.

Mr. Hoekstra has already met with a former Iraqi air force general, Georges Sada, who claims that Saddam used civilian airplanes to ferry chemical weapons to Syria in 2002. Mr. Hoekstra is now talking to Iraqis who Mr. Sada claims took part in the mission, and the congressman said the former air force general "should not just be discounted." Mr. Hoekstra also said he is in touch with other people who have come forward to the committee - Iraqis and Americans - who claim that the weapons inspectors may have overlooked other key sites and evidence. He has also asked the director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, to declassify some 35,000 boxes of Iraqi documents obtained in the war that have yet to be translated.

"I still believe there are key individuals who have not been debriefed and there are key sites that have never been investigated. I know there are 35,000 boxes of documents that have never been translated. I am frustrated," Mr. Hoekstra said."

"Mr. Hoekstra is one of many who believe the question of what happened to Saddam's weapons of mass destruction is still unresolved. Last week Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld voiced similar doubts at the National Press Club. "We have not found them. We also have found a number of things we didn't imagine. We found a bunch of jet airplanes buried in Iraq. Who buries airplanes? I mean, really. So I don't know what we'll find in the months and years ahead. It could be anything," he said.

The former chief of the State Department's Iraq Intelligence Unit, Wayne White, and Mr. Rumsfeld's former undersecretary of defense for policy, Douglas Feith, have told the Sun they believe the question of what happened to the weapons is still open. The former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Force, Moshe Ya'alon, told the Sun in December that he believed Saddam sent chemical weapons to Syria before the war in 2002. The last chief American weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, said in the preamble to his final report that looting of sites may have severely weakened his team's ability to piece together a complete picture of Iraq's weapons program."

TONIGHT!!!!
http://www.cnsnews.com/View...\Nation\archive\200602\NAT20060215c.html
Secret Saddam WMD Tapes Subject of ABC Nightline Special
By Sherrie Gossett
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
February 15, 2006

(1st Add: Includes additional comments from former federal prosecutor John Loftus.)

(CNSNews.com) - Secret audiotapes of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with weapons of mass destruction will be the subject of an ABC "Nightline" program Wednesday night, a former federal prosecutor told Cybercast News Service.

The tapes are being called the "smoking gun" of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq. The New York Sun reported that the tapes have been authenticated and currently are being reviewed by the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

http://www.cnsnews.com/View...\Nation\archive\200602\NAT20060215a.html

Intelligence Summit to Air 'Saddam's WMD Tapes'
By Monisha Bansal
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
February 15, 2006
But I am getting off topic here, or at least off what we were originally talking about. Let's see

"At least 100,000 people died Mondo. That is support of mass murder to me. You may not call it mass murder, but I do."

Travis, do you believe that war can save lives?
iraqbodycount.net
Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq: 12/25/05
Min 27569 Max 31088

Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq on July 16, 1979 and was deposed in April of 2003. Over that twenty-four year period, Saddam Hussein killed between 600,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqis and was responsible for the deaths of over 700,000 Iranians and Kuwaitis Utilizing only the Iraqi numbers, this is an average of between 25,260 and 42,108 people a year, or between 2105 and 3509 Iraqi citizens a month. The United States toppled Saddam Hussein thirty-two months ago now. If Saddam had remained in power for those 32 months, between 67,360 and 112,288 Iraqis would have died – children starved in prisons, dissidents fed through industrial shredders, women strangled after visits to rape rooms all to be eventually reunited in remote mass graves. Using the maximum credible figures available:

112288 (Iraqi civilians that would have died under Saddam)
-27569 (Iraqi civilians that have died since Saddam was deposed)
------
84719 (Iraqi Civilians whose lives were saved by WAR with IRAQ)

Those who tally the Iraqi civilian deaths as justice against the war did not stir themselves as Saddam harvested the boldest and brightest of Iraq for 24 years. The plight of the Sudanese or those in East Timor is met with general disinterest. Apparently one Iraqi child inadvertently killed by American soldiers risking life and limb to bring liberty to an oppressed people is more horrifying that hundreds of Sudanese children liquidated in Darfur.

The anti-war movement views Iraqi civilians deaths as grist for the anti-American mill. Dead Sudanese are a statistic. Dead Iraqis before the war are a memory. Dead civilians in Iraq today are an exhilarating opportunity for the socialist left to undermine American liberty, power and society.

Iraq Body count
(Civilians reported killed by military intervention in IRAQ)
Min 27569 Max 31088

Saddam Body count
(civilians that would have been killed as a result of military non-intervention)
Min 67360 max 112288

IRAQ survival count
(Civilians saved by American policy on IRAQ)
Min 36272 Max 84719

Today, as many as eighty-four thousand Iraqis are alive (and free and voting) because of American policy.
"So maybe Mondo, you don't support the wiretaps or the torture as much as I infer, if that is the case, I am happily surprised, and I apologize for assuming such."

I think torture is actually not an effective way to gain information, it can work sometimes, but more often than not, you will only get the answers you want to hear and not necessarily the truth. as for the wire tapping, I personally do not think phone calls or email are "REALLY" private conversations. They are PUBLIC means of communications and subject to be heard or read by anyone, sometimes due to intent sometimes due to accident.
I wonder if people realize just how much of their private conversations are public? Anyone who uses a cell phone or cordless home phone are subject to be eavesdropped on by others. Even corded home phones sometimes can get connected to others calls, I remember about seven years ago I would hear other peoples calls on my corded home phone all the time and it wasn't a party line. We even picked up a neighbors baby monitor on ours. I have heard cb transmissions on my phone as well. I am not saying that the Government should be allowed to listen to Americans private conversations, but I also want them to be able to use whatever means they can LEGALLY use to stop bad things from happening to INNOCENT people. If I must trust that those people doing that are not surpassing their LEGAL abilities to do that and keep us safe I will, #1 these people are responsible for the safety and security of MILLIONS, I'm not, If they think that listening to me talk about what's for supper or whatever that's fine. If I have anything I don't want anyone to hear I am an IDIOT for doing it over the phones or through email. If I am a criminal and I am blabbing on the phones about my criminal deeds then I am my favorite kind of criminal, a dumb criminal. Anytime we use public communications for private business there is always the chance that someone else might be listening. #2 If we cant trust the people we elect to serve in the best interest of our Nation then we need to stop electing the same CRIMINALS into office. #3 If the majority of Americans vote for someone who is not morally upright and cannot be trusted to honestly do what is right to protect us, then that is the problem with democracy isn't it? If MY PEOPLE are so stupid that they don't care about the moral fiber and integrity of those who represent us then that shows a lack of moral fiber in Americans in general and perhaps those Americans cannot be trusted with civil liberties and freedoms or the right to vote. Our government is only the representation of all the people in America, if they are criminals then so are we for electing them. We need to stop blaming our leaders for what is clearly our problems and fix things from the ground up. If we don't want adulterists or money grubbers in our offices we need to start supporting the GOOD and weeding out the BAD. We need to investigate them and study their histories and voting patterns to find out what they really support and don't and stop believing the ADS and media claims, If we elect these guys without knowing WHO they truly are we cannot cry when they smoke crack take bribes or BOMB babies.

If GWB broke the law he should be punished, even if he was doing it to protect us, I do not believe that the ends justify the means. I dont think he has, though, legal loopholes can be good things or bad things but they do exist, He might be guilty of bending the laws, I dont really know. I do know that in our legal system guilty men can go free, and innocent people can go to jail, It's not perfect, nothing man made is. I think that the people who leaked the info deffinately broke the law and the same ends justifying the means applies, If they thought they were leaking this info to do RIGHT they broke the law in doing so and shoul be punished. I will leave it up to our legal system on both counts and will not presume guilt based on media or leaked information, there is the difference, the people who believe that BUSH should have never been elected are so eager to get him out of office that they will jump at any scrap that falls to the floor to further that dream into a reality. If we assume innocent until proven guilty 90% of the BUSH LIED and BUSH BROKE THE LAW talk would not happen, until after the truth is presented in a LEGAL court and JUDGED by those who have the authority to do so LEGALLY.
My thoughts
Is it so bad to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt, like we should everyone? We gave SADDAM the benefit of the doubt for over ten years.

As for the domestic spying/Wiretap issue, I will trust my Government to figure out if its Legal or not, What I know about it dont bother me (yet) and what I dont know dont bother me because I try to only worry about things I know about and wait for the unknown to surface to deal with it.
"If you cannot justify your beliefs without tearing mine apart or allowing me justification of mine perhaps your beliefs are not strong enough to stand next to mine"

Its called letting your words speak for themselves.

""Can we not disagree in PEACE?"

No :("

To bad for you, I think others opinions are important and valuable, even if I dont agree with them, I also think that as Americans we are free to think and feel however we want to think and feel and express them as well.

""Does one opinion have to be better than the other?"

Yes :)"

Only for the person whos faith in their belief can only stand if they think they are better or smarter than others and their views are therefore better. I know that I am far from perfect and I know I make mistakes, the more I know, the more I know I know nothing.

"Here are two questions for you to answer: First, do you know the combined weight of all the sand on all the beaches of Hawaii? We can safely assume that you don't. This brings us to the second question: Do you know how many hairs are on the back of a fully-grown male Tibetan yak? Probably not. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that there are some things that you don't know. It is important to ask these questions because there are some people who think they know everything.
Let's say that you know an incredible one percent of all the knowledge in the universe. To know 100 percent, you would have to know everything. There wouldn't be a rock in the universe that you would not be intimately familiar with, or a grain of sand that you would not be aware of. You would know everything that has happened in history, from that which is common knowledge to the minor details of the secret love life of Napoleon's great-grandmother's black cat's fleas. You would know every hair of every head, and every thought of every heart. All history would be laid out before you, because you would be omniscient (all-knowing).
Bear in mind that one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, Thomas Edison, said, "We do not know a millionth of one percent about anything." Let me repeat: Let's say that you have an incredible one percent of all the knowledge in the universe. Would it be possible, in the ninety-nine percent of the knowledge that you haven't yet come across, that there might be ample evidence to prove the existence of God? If you are reasonable, you will be forced to admit that it is possible. Somewhere, in the knowledge you haven't yet discovered, there could be enough evidence to prove that God does exist.
Let's look at the same thought from another angle. If I were to make an absolute statement such as, "There is no gold in China," what is needed for that statement to be proven true? I need absolute or total knowledge. I need to have information that there is no gold in any rock, in any river, in the ground, in any store, in any ring, or in any mouth (gold filling) in China. If there is one speck of gold in China, then my statement is false and I have no basis for it. I need absolute knowledge before I can make an absolute statement of that nature. Conversely, for me to say, "There is gold in China," I don't need to have all knowledge. I just need to have seen a speck of gold in the country, and the statement is then true.

To say categorically, "There is no God," is to make an absolute statement. For the statement to be true, I must know for certain that there is no God in the entire universe. No human being has all knowledge. Therefore, none of us is able to truthfully make this assertion.

If you insist upon disbelief in God, what you must say is, "Having the limited knowledge I have at present, I believe that there is no God." Owing to a lack of knowledge on your part, you don't know if God exists. So, in the strict sense of the word, you cannot be an atheist. The only true qualifier for the title is the One who has absolute knowledge, and why on earth would God want to deny His own existence?

The professing atheist is what is commonly known as an "agnostic" - one who claims he "doesn't know" if God exists. It is interesting to note that the Latin equivalent for the Greek word is "ignoramus." The Bible tells us that this ignorance is "willful" (Psalm 10:4). It's not that a person can't find God, but that he won't. It has been rightly said that the "atheist" can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman. He knows that if he admits that there is a God, he is admitting that he is ultimately responsible to Him. This is not a pleasant thought for some.

It is said that Mussolini (the Italian dictator), once stood on a pinnacle and cried, "God, if you are there, strike me dead!" When God didn't immediately bow to his dictates, Mussolini then concluded that there was no God. However, his prayer was answered some time later."

Excerpted from God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof the Atheist Doesn't Exist by Ray Comfort
I think that will be my last statements here on these and other subjects, I have made my position on torture, wire-taps, WMDs in IRAQ, The War on IRAQ, the iraqi death toll clear, How much of the anti-bush rhetoric is based on supposition?
How much is proven fact?
To date NONE of the issues have been given the pass as FACT. speculation. Just because some people believe it is true doesnt make it true, how much has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt? I have doubts....and they are reasonable. but again the courts will have to decide and as of yet GWB has not been prosecuted or charged....so We can say he is innocent (for now) and be correct.

You may have noticed that I have not posted very much here in the last few months and when i have it has not been very argumentative, I have learned that it is better not to argua a point rather to say what i think and then show why, if my reasons are viewed as biased so be it, at least I have facts to show exactly why i think what I think. i have learned allot here thanks to Travis and Naum and have used it well on other blogs. #1 never post information from one sided or biased sources, if you have information from such sources it is always better to find the original "less biased" more credibal source and post it. #2 NEVER attack anyone personally based on their beliefs or political affiliations, never assume they are idiots. #3 Compliments and honesty go a long way in making your views more accepted by others who do not share your views.
#4 The best weapon against an opposing view is to show evidence that that view is based on personal preconcieved notions rather than FACTS. #5 a fact is a fact is a fact, if you can show that what you believe is reasonable based on evidence and stipulated truths then you need not go round and round in endless debate. If others dont accept your views or evidence that does not devalue the FACTS, it only shows that most people are selective in what they are willing tobeleive. #6 if all else failes simply say you could be right, but based on what information I have I have to disagree.

You may still use the same tactics at debating as you have always used travis, I myself am stiving for a more HONEST OPEN approach to the need and desire to debate points of views and have come to the conclusion that 99.9% of things people argue about are only opinions and you know what oppinions are like. Thanks to this I have stood toe to toe with Doctors, Lawyers, and even College Professors and to date have gained their respect and friendship while actually TEACHING them a thing or two as well. I have turned hateful name calling debatists into courtiouse unoffensive debators who have learned to respect and accept other peoples view. You may wish to remain in your OLD ways and continue to encounter the same arguments time after time, I have chosen a NEW path and what I believe is more CONSTRUCTIVE and less DESTRUCTIVE. There was/is this one guy who is continually attacking ANYTHING I say, he's an ATHIEST too, imagine that.
I guess I shouldn't expect much from someone who believes the Earth was created in 7 days--if someone can believe that, they can believe anything.

Your arguments are justifications, similar to holocaust deniers, or American apologists (which you are), or those I met in Ukraine who thought Stalin didnt really kill all those people. Same rationalations, same mentality, different subjects.

Your WMD defense is absurd to the point of being hilarious. The same for the rest of the justifications. I really don't know why Naum wastes time arguing with you. This has nothing to do with evidence, and everything about your ideology which is impervious to mere reason.

Sorry to be so blatantly offensive, but this is the only place where I can tell people like yourself TRULY how I feel, with no repercutions at all.
right......you could be right, but based on what information I have I have to disagree. You dont offend me travis, not in the least.

Oh, and Travis, I was not attacking you either, only your belief system, which I believe is misguided and may be more DESTRUCTIVE than CONSTRUCTIVE.
As the latest torture photos come out, what is your latest justification on this one Mondo:

http://bailey83221.livejour...

DOES OGA really not mean OGA? Are you going to use similar hillarious logic such as you used with WMD's?

You stated that every single rock has not been overturned in Iraq in finding those WMD (an impossible requirement--which means you are safe believing in what you want to believe--regardless of the overwhelming evidence).
I quote the Economist:

A few low-level American guards stupid enough to have themselves photographed torturing and humiliating prisoners have been charged. A few dozen others have been reprimanded or discharged. No intelligence officers who conducted the interrogations, nor anyone higher up the chain of command, have been charged. Official investigations have been launched. None has blamed any senior official.

--J'accuse; Investigative journalism The Economist October 23, 2004, A searing critique of the Bush administration
"I think that will be my last statements here on these and other subjects, I have made my position on torture, wire-taps, WMDs in IRAQ, The War on IRAQ, the iraqi death toll clear"

as to the "NEW" photos, they may be photos we have never seen before but they are hardly new, They are from the same time frame as well, this is not evidence of NEW TORTURE or MORE TORTURE this is simply more evidence of torture that people have already been convicted of. Perhaps new convictions may come of this I dont know. I have seen them and they are basicly the same stuff that was in the original story, naked men being bound, naked men posing with guards being humiliated, men chained to walls and beds and to the floor, NAKED. The people in the photos were even the some of the same ones from the original, one of whom is already serving time in military prison because of the torture. I neither condone what they did or support it, I could be mistaken time will tell. I also do not BLAME BUSH for this. THE END. I will comment on this no further my position is clear.

"SBS said the images it showed were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request."
To paraphrase, Mondo,Trav, it's just damn difficult to discuss rationally with a man who refuses to use reason and understanding, or at least tolerance.
The world is not black and white as you would have it. Never has been, and never will be. Humans don't live by such rules. You wrote what you would do about foreign policy if you were President. The result, despite your optimism, would be a nuclear bomb in several US cities, war and destruction in the Middle East and Israel. Genocide on a global scale.
To accuse us of mass murder (you continually use the Lancet Report of 100,000 which has been shown to be wrong), yet your alternative of doing nothing would have resulted in many more thousands. IE Rwanda, Bosnia, China (100,000,000).
I'm sorry to have to tell you that in my humble opinion, I'm a Neocon, because I want Peace on Earth, not an Earth of Pieces. I'm sorry, because I know you're rolling your eyes, and wondering how I get through the day with such a savage, heartless, cruel mind. It's okay, though, I often do the same with the Anti-War, UPJ, MOVEON, crowd as well.
But one thing I keep im mind, though. Beer is the answer. On that note, have a great holiday weekend!!!!

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