Gentlemen and Enemies

Herbert Yardley was a codebreaker during World War I and continued his efforts during the postwar era in the State Department’s “Black Chamber”. When intercepted messages to the Japanese delegates to the Washington Naval Conference were decrypted, the Americans knew how far they could be pushed in limiting their tonnage of capita ships. It was the equivalent of seeing your opponent’s hand in a poker game. The Japanese were pushed to the limit but they did cheat a bit.

The Hoover Administration reeked of rectitude and when Yardley informed the new Secretary of State of the wonderful accomplishments of the Black Chamber, the operation was shut down and Yardley had to find a new job. “Gentlemen,” Secretary of State Stimson said, “do not read each others mail.”

There are times when high moral principles define the pathway to defeat.

Fortunately for the Nation, there were other agencies interested in the content of ‘other gentlemen’s mail’ and we did not have to start from scratch in December of 1941.

Times have changed. Some of our most dangerous enemies are not nations but groups that are loyal to only themselves and their leadership.

During World War II, messages to and from enemy headquarters were regularly intercepted and decoded. Hoover’s Secretary of State had become FDR’s Secretary of War and he was not so fastidious about reading messages between strangers.

Are we to have a 1928 attitude about dealing with terrorists who might have life saving information. Liberal hack Gorelick put up her silly wall and it may have cost us dearly. We should use a confession squeezed from such as evidence in a court of law. Getting information is another matter, especially when the person being interrogated is not a soldier wearing the uniform of his nation’s military.

The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact.

We are dealing with subhuman scum rather than Gentlemen, but their apologists do not seem to know the difference.

114 Comments

  1. Art Downs: “There are times when high moral principles define the pathway to defeat.”

    I’m glad you said that, Art, because that attitude defines you better than anything I or your other critics could even attempt to articulate about you.

    As if that’s not enough, we have this from you: “The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact.”

    Who ever thought it was?

    In my view, your attitude is not consistent with certain basic American values that have persisted since our founding.

  2. Well said, Phoenician! I had a similar response in mind, but erased the seven letter ‘F’ word and went with what I posted.

  3. “Gentlemen,” Secretary of State Stimson said, “do not read each others mail.”

    There are times when high moral principles define the pathway to defeat.

    One way to look on it is that Stimson was apparently unable to recognize who was a gentleman, and who was not.

    Thus, he brought people within his moral pale of reciprocity, who didn’t by virtue of their beliefs and behavior, belong there.

    Actually the entire question of the nature and behavior of gentlemen and the possession of personal honor is an interesting one, and to some degree coextensive with other questions defining the differences between conservatives and the libertarian leaning on one side, and modern liberals, on the other.

    The shorthand version is that collectivists and other kinds of totalitarians by their very nature and definition don’t and can’t support the idea of personal honor. Their collectivist anthropology has no place for such individually oriented concepts.

    My earlier use of the term reciprocity is another clue to the difference in conceptual starting points between the the self-governing and directing on the one hand and the collectivist kind on the other.

    Reiprocity is taken by some natural law theorists to be the first operative principle in the formation of a system of valid law; and by extension, voluntary social arrangements.

    On the other hand, the collectivist takes the marxian principle of “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” as the ultimate statement outlining an ideal system of associative relations.

    I was thumbing through Anne Applebaum’s history, “Gulag” again the other day, and it struck me how even after being imprisoned in concentration camps, physically brutalized, terrorized, and exploited to near death, so many people craved the security of a totalitarian system.

    Phoenician in a time of Romans certainly isn’t unique in his general outlook. The world was, and still is full of his kind; panting for coerced affiliation above affinity, lusting for the pseudo love and warmth of a state directed social scrum, in preference to the chill winds of the hillside. But we see in Gulag, where that taste got those who drank deepest from the cup.

  4. Geez,

    Read: “Actually the entire question of the nature and behavior of gentlemen and the possession personal honor is an interesting one, and to some degree coextensive with with other questions defining the differences between conservatives and the libertarian leaning one one side, and modern liberals, on the other.”

    As: Actually the entire question of the nature and behavior of gentlemen and the possession of personal honor is an interesting one, and to some degree coextensive with other questions defining the differences between conservatives and the libertarian leaning on one side, and modern liberals, on the other.

  5. The shorthand version is that collectivists and other kinds of totalitarians by their very nature and definition don’t and can’t support the idea of personal honor.

    So deeply stupid.

    Perry, Dave Neiwart covered the use of dehumanization rhetoric in America definitively. I have to admit I get a giggle from the Squid missing the point so comprehensively.

  6. DNW: “Actually the entire question of the nature and behavior of gentlemen and the possession of personal honor is an interesting one, and to some degree coextensive with other questions defining the differences between conservatives and the libertarian leaning on one side, and modern liberals, on the other.”

    You have permitted yourself to fall into a trap, that is, characterizing a person, then dropping said person into simplistic categories, like Conservative, Libertarian, or Liberal, followed by assumptions and extrapolations. First, this is exactly what you have done regarding Phoenician, second, it presumes that there are no significant overlaps, grey areas, in between the boxes, in undefined (by you) areas.

    Ascribing personal honor to Conservatives and Libertarians, not to Liberals, is a symptom of your disease, DNW.

    Your tendency, then, is not to deal with issues and their impacts, and to form invalid/inaccurate conclusions about people. I think this trap is one to be avoided.

  7. Phoenician, I was writing while you posted. We’re both on the same page, again. Thanks for the links too. Quite appropriate!

  8. We are dealing with subhuman scum rather than Gentlemen, but their apologists do not seem to know the difference.

    That pretty much says it all. They seem more upset that a scumbag terrorist got a bit of water poured on his face than over the 3,000 people killed by said scumbag. Compassion is great, but compassion for evil is naive at best.

  9. In my view, your attitude is not consistent with certain basic American values that have persisted since our founding.

    Sorry, Perry, but you’re wrong on this. Showing sympathy for unrepentant evil is NOT a noble virtue, nor is it an American value. Art is simply making the case that, for justice to prevail, evil must be FOUGHT, not merely appeased. Surely you would agree with that!

  10. “DNW: “Actually the entire question of the nature and behavior of gentlemen and the possession of personal honor is an interesting one, and to some degree coextensive with other questions defining the differences between conservatives and the libertarian leaning on one side, and modern liberals, on the other.”

    You have permitted yourself to fall into a trap, that is, characterizing a person, then dropping said person into simplistic categories, like Conservative, Libertarian, or Liberal, followed by assumptions and extrapolations.”

    Perry, what individual person is mentioned in the passage you have quoted above?

    “First, this is exactly what you have done regarding Phoenician,”

    Regarding Phoenician, no extrapolation from a definition is necessary. The evidence of his activities speaks for itself.

    Phoenician in a time of Romans has repeatedly demonstrated through his bad and deceitful behavior, what kind of personal scruples he has, or better lacks.

    For example, apparently finding the overall atmosphere of the site congenial, the clown cited the old communist front Lawyers Guild as an authority, without apparently even knowing who he was quoting; he pretended to authoritatively expound on “habeus (sic) corpus” repeatedly, demonstrating only that he doesn’t really know enough about the doctrine of habeas corpus to even get the spelling right; he comically cited an outdated news magazine article as evidence of one of his propositions, thereby advancing a legally discredited conspiracy theory, months after the applicability of the notion had already been invalidated by a court.

    When I demonstrated that there was neither real freedom of the press nor freedom of speech in G.B. or Canada when it came to politically correct matters, he fell silent on the issue. Shall we assume he supports the legal enforcement of speech codes?

    Refute him comprehensively, or just on point, and he simply moves on to his next attempt at provocation and attention getting.

    As for you, you are showing yourself completely incapable of commenting intelligently on what I have actually written.

    Try one of these passages:

    “The shorthand version is that collectivists and other kinds of totalitarians by their very nature and definition don’t and can’t support the idea of personal honor. Their collectivist anthropology has no place for such individually oriented concepts. [do I need to cite Lenin or Marx or some other socialist theorist?]

    My earlier use of the term reciprocity is another clue to the difference in conceptual starting points between the the self-governing and directing on the one hand and the collectivist kind on the other.

    Reciprocity is taken by some natural law theorists to be the first operative principle in the formation of a system of valid law; and by extension, voluntary social arrangements. [Do I need to cite Fuller?]

    On the other hand, the collectivist takes the marxian principle of “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” as the ultimate statement outlining an ideal system of associative relations. … [Do I need to cite Marx?]

    I was thumbing through Anne Applebaum’s history, “Gulag” again the other day, and it struck me how even after being imprisoned in concentration camps, physically brutalized, terrorized, and exploited to near death, so many people craved the security of a totalitarian system [Do I need to scan the passages from the book?]… we see in Gulag, where that taste got those who drank deepest from the cup.”

    “… second, it presumes that there are no significant overlaps, grey areas, in between the boxes, in undefined (by you) areas.”

    Are you arguing that Phoenician has in fact a kind of personal honor, or a little bit honor? Or, are you just saying that he is not really a complete totalitarian, in exactly the way say Mussolini, or Stalin were?

    “Ascribing personal honor to Conservatives and Libertarians, not to Liberals, is a symptom of your disease, DNW.”

    You have misread what I have written, Perry. What I stated – and here I’ll use different words – was that the principles of collectivism, are incompatible with the concept of personal honor. There is no mystery in this, collectivists themselves have been waging this ideological war against individualism for years.

    “The tendency, then, is not to deal with issues and their impacts, and to form invalid/inaccurate conclusions about people. I think this trap is one to be avoided.”

    Perry, do you consider yourself to be an honorable man? If so, what in your view are the characteristics that entitle a man or woman to be termed honorable?

    As for your troll pal, Perry, as I earlier showed, he does what Internet trolls do; and that is why he is called a troll.

  11. Eric: “Sorry, Perry, but you’re wrong on this. Showing sympathy for unrepentant evil is NOT a noble virtue, nor is it an American value. Art is simply making the case that, for justice to prevail, evil must be FOUGHT, not merely appeased. Surely you would agree with that!”

    Eric, you ought to think a little more about what you write before you write it, to be sure you really believe what you write!

    Avoiding torture is not “showing sympathy” or appeasement!

    What are your thoughts about those who would torture our American men and women in the military?

    How would you react to “a little bit of water” poured up your nose and in your mouth simultaneously. You’d s**t, and then some, to be sure!

    And I’ll make this point one more time, at least. Neither the military nor the FBI condone torture, for example waterboarding, or the so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

    If you want me to tell you who is evil, in addition to the terrorists who took down the Twin Towers, and would do us in at the first opportunity, and it would be those of us who have an attitude like Art expressed, and that includes Dick Cheney!

    I certainly hope we don’t count you among them. Based on what you have written, you are mighty close! At the moment, I am not believing that you believe what you wrote!

  12. That pretty much says it all. They seem more upset that a scumbag terrorist got a bit of water poured on his face than over the 3,000 people killed by said scumbag.

    Again, that’s over 100 people who have died under “interrogation”.

    Again, between 80 and 90% of those held are innocent.

    Again, torture is not only immoral, corrupting and useless – it is also illegal. Under American law. Prosecuting those who tortured and those who ordered torture is simply what is legally required. When the Attorney General initiates an investigation, this is because that is what the law requires.

    When the rule of law is your enemy, you’re probably on the wrong side.

    The clearest indication of what is right is to look at which side of the argument is pressing for the facts to be shown, and which side is pressing for everything to be suppressed. If you honestly believed what your country was doing was right, then you’d have no problem putting it in a court of law in the full glare of discovery and letting a jury to decide.

  13. I find it almost amusing, DNW, that Phoenician has you so intimidated that about all you can think of to do is to demonize him and to apply your haphazardly selected labeling. It is actually much more pathetic than amusing.

    Why don’t you respond to his statements, which are most often backed up by links which give fuller explanations to his views, instead of demonizing, which is your prefered response.?

    DNW: “Are you arguing that Phoenician has in fact a kind of personal honor, …?”

    Yes!

    DNW: “As for you, you are showing yourself completely incapable of commenting intelligently on what I have actually written.”

    Typical DNW arrogant, condescending BS, this is!

    More DNW BS:

    Perry: “Ascribing personal honor to Conservatives and Libertarians, not to Liberals, is a symptom of your disease, DNW.”

    DNW:”You have misread what I have written, Perry. What I stated – and here I’ll use different words – was that the principles of collectivism, are incompatible with the concept of personal honor.”

    Your implication, clearly, unless you now deny it, is that Liberals are collectivists, whatever that is. What it is is a loose term used by Conservatives as a pejorative. Are the Brits collectivists? How about the Canadians? The Japanese? The Swedes?

    DNW: “Perry, do you consider yourself to be an honorable man? If so, what in your view are the characteristics that entitle a man or woman to be termed honorable?”

    Honor is in the eyes of the beholder, therefore I will let you be the judge, albeit admittedly based only on the characteristically limited exposure of the man/woman that one gleans from any blog.

    DNW: “As for your troll pal, Perry, as I earlier showed, he [Phoenician] does what Internet trolls do; and that is why he is called a troll.”

    You call him a troll from a position of weakness, otherwise you would not do so. Instead, you should continue the debate with him. Moreover, it should be apparent that he comes on here well prepared. It is then left to you to determine how convincing he is.

  14. Well said, Phoenician!

    Actually, that quote (about the “Original German”) came from Molly Ivins, in reference to a Pat Buchanan speech. Pho merely “Borrowed” it, without credit I might add.

  15. Avoiding torture is not “showing sympathy” or appeasement!

    And i reject the notion that waterboarding is torture, after all, our own military does it as part of training our own troops. I think the reason some on the Left object to what we did with KSM and two of his buddies has nothing to do with “Torture”, for we didn’t torture them. What offends the Left is that we BROKE them. We broke their precious self-esteem; no longer could they see themselves as big, bad, brave Jihadists willing to die in glorious martyrdom, but rather as cowards who ratted out their pals, their organization, and their cause after a little water was splashed in their faces. They lost their precious self-respect, and for that the Left cannot forgive America. Well, boo hoo for them. That should be a lesson to all future terrorists; conspire to kill 3,000 Americans, and we’ll break YOUR self esteem, too!

  16. How would you react to “a little bit of water” poured up your nose and in your mouth simultaneously. You’d s**t, and then some, to be sure!

    If I’d just planned a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 innocents, and that was all they did to me, I’d thank God that my captors were this merciful.

    Sorry Perry, but Art is right. These terrorists are sub-human vermin, and let’s never forget it. The fact that they got their feelings hurt bothers me not. Quite frankly, they deserve nothing less than the death penalty.

  17. Eric: And i reject the notion that waterboarding is torture, after all, our own military does it as part of training our own troops.

    Come on, Eric, stop rationalizing and spinning. Our military does not torture our own, they demonstrate what torture is. Moreover, our military does not waterboard the enemy. Do you disagree with the FBI and the Military Code? If so, you are not in good company.

    Eric: “What offends the Left is that we BROKE them.”

    No again, Eric, your facts are skewed. The FBI broke them, and the CIA did not extract any other information with their consecutive 80 and 180 waterboarding incidents. Even Dick Cheney has not refuted that with any evidence.

    Those opposing the use of torture, which you lump under the category of “the Left”, are joined by the FBI and the Military Code.

    Deal with that, Eric! Nevermind, you won’t because you can’t.

    You have yet to think before you regurgitate your ideology as fast as you can type. You must be hungry and tired, so eat your dinner!

  18. Eric: These terrorists are sub-human vermin, and let’s never forget it.

    And you want to drag us down by using torture on them, not to mention that it is an ineffective technique, as claimed by the FBI and the Military.

    You and Art might want to consider using the same pejoratives on your own ideological position on this issue, because it is certainly uncalled for from a moral standpoint, or are you actually calling on an eye for an eye. I thought our culture was long past that idea. But not you and Art! For shame!!!

  19. Perry wrote:

    “Why don’t you respond to his statements, which are most often backed up by links …”

    Why, Perry, did you cut out the passage in the very message you are responding to, wherein I provided repeated examples of having done just that?

    “which give fuller explanations to his views, …”

    His views? LOL

    ” You call him a troll …”

    I now call him an Internet troll because having watched him for some time, I have observed that that is how he behaves.

    Phoenician, surfs the Internet seeking venues where he can engage in his flaming activities and vent his ideological spleen from behind the guise of someone interested in or capable of informed discussion.

    His primary technique, is to paste up a link to some web site that supposedly buttresses(but as we have repeatedly seen often does not)his ideological position, while coupling the posting of that link to some insulting statement, bit of invective, or brief ad hominem argument.

    When he is caught exposing his ignorance, as he was on habeas corpus, or is demonstrated to have been regurgitating half digested encyclopedia blurbs, as he was in the general welfare clause discussion, he disappears; only to pop up sniping and name calling in some other thread. That is how Phoenician in a time of Romans behaves, and that is typical troll behavior.

    You want to get an idea of what he has to offer other than insults? Take a look at his blog, and count the takers. Nobody is buying what that pathetic neurotic is selling there; so he has to go elsewhere to get his fix.

    You want to indulge that fraud’s behavior, Perry? Go right ahead and suit yourself.

    I’ve harrowed that idiot’s “arguments” often enough, to know what he is actually up to.

  20. Come on, Eric, stop rationalizing and spinning. Our military does not torture our own

    My point exactly. Thus, waterboarding isn’t torture.

    No again, Eric, your facts are skewed. The FBI broke them, and the CIA did not extract any other information with their consecutive 80 and 180 waterboarding incidents. Even Dick Cheney has not refuted that with any evidence.

    Not so. KSM wasn’t giving up anything useful until we started waterboarding him. Then he sang like a canary.

    Anyway, I stand by my original comments. The Left isn’t offended that we waterboarded them, but rather that we BROKE them. We broke their precious self esteem. We hurt their feelings. Too bad for them. That’s what they get for being terrorists.

  21. If you want me to tell you who is evil, in addition to the terrorists who took down the Twin Towers, and would do us in at the first opportunity, and it would be those of us who have an attitude like Art expressed, and that includes Dick Cheney!

    Sorry, but this is moral equivalency. Fighting evil isn’t evil, and hating evil isn’t evil, either. Art and I (and Dick Cheney) see these terrorist scum for what they are – pure evil. And we want to fight evil the most effective way possible. If that means waterboarding top terrorists to get vital info on their organization that can save innocent lives, then that’s good, not bad. You seem like a reasonable fellow, so why are you suddenly accusing people as being evil for wanting to fight evil the best way possible?

  22. If you honestly believed what your country was doing was right, then you’d have no problem putting it in a court of law in the full glare of discovery and letting a jury to decide.

    Yeah, let’s dig up Harry Truman and put him on trial for war crimes (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) while we’re at it.

  23. Actually, that quote (about the “Original German”) came from Molly Ivins, in reference to a Pat Buchanan speech. Pho merely “Borrowed” it, without credit I might add.

    Uh-huh. I also use quotes from movies, books, and the Bible which are common cultural currency without attribution. You’ll find a lot of people do.

    Deeply, deeply stupid.

  24. And i reject the notion that waterboarding is torture,

    Uh-huh.

    And what do those conservatives with experience say?

    Turns out the stunt wasn’t so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

    “It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,”Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”
    [...]
    Last year, Vanity Fair writer Christopher Hitchens endured the same experiment — and came to a similar conclusion. The conservative writer said he found the treatment terrifying, and was haunted by it for months afterward.

    “Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture,” Hitchens concluded in the article.

  25. Sorry Perry, but Art is right. These terrorists are sub-human vermin, and let’s never forget it. The fact that they got their feelings hurt bothers me not.

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C

    (a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
    (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
    (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
    (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
    (c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

    So what you’re saying, Eric, is that the US law doesn’t apply if the victims are people who are brown, Muslim, and accused of certain crimes?

    Do you think it might be easier to drag them out into a town square, hang them and burn the bodies? There’s a certain precedent in the US for stating that the law doesn’t apply based on characteristics of the victims, isn’t there?

  26. Not so. KSM wasn’t giving up anything useful until we started waterboarding him. Then he sang like a canary.

    Uh-huh:

    Likewise, supporters of the harsh techniques have repeatedly pointed to the interrogation of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as an example of the effectiveness of harsh methods. The inspector general’s report says that Mohammed “provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard,” and much of it was outdated or wrong. Bush administration officials have claimed that after Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times, he started to talk and gave interrogators a wealth of credible information that helped thwart other attacks. In July 2004 the agency’s analytical branch issued a secret report titled “Khalid Shaykh Muhammad: Preeminent Source on Al-Qaeda.” It names alleged Qaeda operatives, inside the U.S. and overseas, whom KSM identified to U.S. authorities, and enumerates specific plots that KSM told interrogators he was planning. But the paper, which was one of the documents released this week, offers no breakdown of which pieces of this information KSM provided before or after being subjected to waterboarding and other rough treatment.

    The documents also don’t address the question of whether, under the stress and pain of intense interrogation, detainees gave false information that they thought their questioners wanted to hear. The CIA documents offer no evidence that the agency made any effort to assess whether the “enhanced” interrogations may have, in fact, produced more bad information than good. Nor do the documents address the question, recently raised by the CIA’s current director, Leon Panetta, of whether the same information could have been obtained through nonviolent interrogation tactics.

    A former intelligence official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, noted that in selling the notion of “enhanced” interrogation techniques to congressional leaders, the Bush administration regularly argued that the main purpose of the techniques was to extract information that could be used to foil imminent terror plots. But the inspector general said his investigation failed to “uncover any evidence that these plots were imminent.”

    But, of course, that nice Mr Chaney wouldn’t lie, would he?

  27. Fighting evil isn’t evil, and hating evil isn’t evil, either.

    The Soviet Union fought Nazi Germany. Fighting evil doesn’t make you the Good Guys. It’s what you do that show whether you are good or evil.

    Torture is a crime against humanity, like slavery, terrorism or genocide. Countries that engage in these actions are doing evil, no matter how much they may try to tell themselves they are The Good Guys. People who support these are complicit in evil, no matter how much they may tell themselves they are The Good Guys.

    You are not the Good Guys because you say so, no matter how loudly. You are the Good Guys because you act like it. And when you don’t act like it, you are not The Good Guys. It’s pretty simple.

    Words are cheap. Actions count. Countries that torture commit evil. If they don’t act to excise the practise and rectify it, they *are* evil.

    As a sidenote, my own country now has a bit of a scandal since the SAS was found handing prisoners over to Americans. It’s against the law to deliver people to regimes that may torture them. European nations are also facing these problems, and refusing to extradite certain prisoners to the States. The civilised world is judging you by your actions, not your rhetoric.

  28. I have, of course, previously suggested a compromise – obeying the law. If an official really and truly believes that someone needs to be tortured, then torture him – but automatically prosecute and present that rationale at the trial afterwards. If this act of torture really did prevent an attack, no jury would convict.

    But this is not good enough. What you are demanding is the exercise of secret government power, up to and including killing people, without accountability.

    That’s why your hysteria over Obama is laughable. You already support immense unaccountable government power – you just assume it will always be wielded against Muslims.

  29. You know, I avoid commenting at CSPT anymore, except for the lightest of posts because frankly Phoenecian is so offensively rude, insulting and off-putting that it’s just not worth the energy and time to have given serious thought to develop an argument/position, only to be attacked and called names or to see others putting forth good faith arguments and end up being called ugly names and insulted. What a bunch of bullshit.

    To be so perpetually angry that others aren’t as *superior* and *enlightened* as he is must be what causes that intense anger and disgust that pours from ever pore. Once in a blue moon, Phoe, consider – gasp! – the remote possibility that you just might be wrong and need to shut up with the insults, discover humility, and learn from others. Again it’s amazing how bitter and foul the left are. Even when they are in the place of power. Go figure.

    I will make this one comment on this post and then take my leave from this thread. Don’t waste your time insulting me, Phoe, I won’t read them and am frankly not the least bit interested. I just feel incredibly sorry for you. It must be awful to be so miserable. Anyway, with regard to the post: Eric, I agree completely with your statement below and would add, naive at best and that puts us at a deadly risk,

    “Compassion is great, but compassion for evil is naive at best.

  30. It appears that the dialog is between those who are mere observers (and often from afar) and those who are participants in the game..

    The former seeks links (often highly biased) to ‘prove’ their points. Sometimes a bit of digging can show how slanted some sources may be.

    The dilettantes do flock together and form a rather amusing confederacy of angry dunces.

  31. Other Dana, I feel compelled to jump in here as you run away.

    Do you agree with this? Art Downs: “There are times when high moral principles define the pathway to defeat.”

    Talk about evil!

    You said you agree with this: Eric: “Compassion is great, but compassion for evil is naive at best.”

    This statement was made with reference to the torture that has been committed in our name. How can you agree with this?

    I think you are confused about what is and what is not evil. If done by us – No! If done by them – Yes! So you seem to assume that we are incapable of evil behavior.

    I have to question those who accuse our defined enemies as evil, when they are not able to detect evil done by our fellow citizens.

    Finally, you criticize Phoenician without engaging him on even one point with which you disagree. Your post is one long ad hominem attack, and then you run out the door. Moreover, you conveniently overlook similar expression styles by people on your side of the ideological divide. I suggest you read some of Art Downs’ posts, in which in my view there is a pretty bad attitude often expressed, with his style of pontificating without engagement, as his post above is but one of many examples. Why are you uncritical of him? I think the answer is quite obvious!

  32. You’ll notice, Perry, that they will indulge in ad hominem for post after post after post rather than address the pertinent point – they are not demanding that the government have the power to defend the country, they are demanding that it be allowed to do without accountability.

    Rants and insults from wingnuts should be taken as a compliment, a sure sign that you’ve invoked cognitive dissonance. Again, I recommend that online book on authoritarian personalities.

  33. Perry, I’m not certain how long you’ve been visiting this site, but it should be long enough to see PIATOR’s history of elitist and personal attacks. PIATOR has, indeed, been banned from several conservative sites I’ve visited. And it’s far more difficult to be banned from a conservative site than it is to be banned from a liberal site. “Ad hominem” is only an accurate accusation when the subject of the purported ad hominem hasn’t been proven worthy of the accusations.

  34. Please don’t ban Pho. I take my laptop to the club and show the guys what Pho writes for shits and giggles. We’ve had some great laughs and a few good fights. About 40% of the guys are libs and they think he’s a blowhard. Keep Pho alive. We need an example of what not do do. After reading several of Pho’s rants one guy has already switched to our side. His name is Harry and he said after reading a Pho rant: “Do I sound like that”? We all said ‘Yes” at the same time. Course, I then bought him a beer. He needed it.

  35. JohnC: “Please don’t ban Pho. I take my laptop to the club and show the guys what Pho writes for shits and giggles.”

    In addition to taking your laptop to the club, JohnC, it would be instructive if you give a little thought to what Phoenician writes. I say that, because, as I have said before, I find his presentations and his arguments far more convincing than yours, as you have lowered yourself, disappointingly to me, to nastiness and ad hominems, usually without substance. Please don’t have me fish through for quotes; instead, consider again the issues and the debates surrounding them. Then we can have meaningful discourse again.

    Up to now, with certain exceptions, the Conservatives on this blog, by the nature of their responses, are showing themselves to be weak, because they avoid the debate/discussion, and divert to personal monologues. I give Dana Pico as one of the exceptions, and Eric quite often as well. That’s my opinion!

  36. Perry, you may not believe it but I do give thought to what Pho writes. The problem is I’ve heard those arguments a thousand times before. They are usually espoused by people who have limited life experience or are kids in school. What exactly do these people do for a living? Do they actually work, or do they derive their income from other sources? Have they ever tried to start a business? Who pays for their home, car, health care? Have they ever fought to defend their country? Have they ever killed or bled to do the same? Do they value liberty or security purchased by other people’s money? Do they have to make payrolls for employees who depend on them every week in the year? Do they spend all day mixing cement and return home exhausted with rough hands and dirty jeans to a family that loves them? Do they have children in uniform serving their country? Have they ever served their country? Do they even pay taxes? If they don’t, they have no say on how to spend mine. Up to June of this year my company has paid over 67 grand in federal tax alone. That’s a lot of other people’s clukers but this year I won’t be able to buy a new car for myself.

    Pho is the type I’ve seen all my life. They ridicule others and pontificate about how everyone else should do this or that. Me, Eric, Dana Pico, Art, Yorkshire, Other Dana etc. are DOERS. We are the ones that feed the engines of prosperity. We are the ones who fight for liberty. And frankly, I don’t need a snot-nose telling me I’m stupid. So yes, I’ve lashed out lately at Pho. But it was out of frustration over the narrow, childish view of life he espouses. A utopian world view not based in reality or history. It’s the condecending attitude by a person who apparantly has limited life experience at best or is a dangerous statist at worst.

    So I appologise to both you and Pho for my occasional diatribes. But when people who don’t do tell those who do, it’s hard to swallow. We can make America a better place but not through government. We do that by acceping responsability for our finances, our families, our communities and our nation. Not by turning those resposabilities over to faceless bureaucrats.

    Don’t get sucked in. Pho is no fan of America as he has demonstrated therefore, that which he suggests for America should be looked upon with suspicion. WE know our best interests. After all we’re Americans and therefore we are EXCEPTIONAL.

  37. WE know our best interests. After all we’re Americans and therefore we are EXCEPTIONAL.

    As 43 presidents (actually 42) have said up to Jan 20, 2009, this country is exceptional in the world, #44 will not acknowledge that.

  38. Yorkshire, as someone once said: “If you were lucky enough to be born in the United States, you’ve already won life’s lottery”.

  39. JohnC.:
    Yorkshire, as someone once said: “If you were lucky enough to be born in the United States, you’ve already won life’s lottery”.

    Unfortunately, someone is trying desparately to close down Rick’s Cafe and backroom casino.

  40. Do you agree with this? Art Downs: “There are times when high moral principles define the pathway to defeat.”
    Talk about evil!

    Art has a point. Did you see my response regarding Truman and Hiroshima? War is almost always inherently ugly, and modern war especially so. Sometimes you have to use ugly means to win, thus Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What we did there was orders of magnitude worse than anything we’ve done at Gitmo, and we did it to civilians to boot.

    One reason I’m ignoring Pho’s posts is we thrashed this issue out at great length on a liberal site, and I believe I made all the points I needed to make, and see no point in rehashing them here. I can try to link it here if you are interested.

    In any event, I will conclude by saying that one reason our side gets frustrated is we see that there are elements on the Left that seem to have no interest in actually defeating the terrorists, indeed, some on the far Left actually seem to want them to win! They are far more interested in getting “Revenge” on Bush & Cheney than in fighting the actual source of terrorist evil. That is stupid at best, and childish and petulant un-Americanism at worst.

  41. Perry, you may not believe it but I do give thought to what Pho writes. The problem is I’ve heard those arguments a thousand times before. They are usually espoused by people who have limited life experience or are kids in school. What exactly do these people do for a living? Do they actually work, or do they derive their income from other sources? Have they ever tried to start a business? Who pays for their home, car, health care? Have they ever fought to defend their country? Have they ever killed or bled to do the same? Do they value liberty or security purchased by other people’s money? Do they have to make payrolls for employees who depend on them every week in the year? Do they spend all day mixing cement and return home exhausted with rough hands and dirty jeans to a family that loves them? Do they have children in uniform serving their country? Have they ever served their country? Do they even pay taxes?

    If you “give thought to what I write”, then why is the author important?

    In short, you cannot deal with what is actually written, so you look to ad hominem for a reason to dismiss it.

  42. WE know our best interests. After all we’re Americans and therefore we are EXCEPTIONAL.

    “7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.

    This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.”

    - Umberto Eco, Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt

    Pho is the type I’ve seen all my life. They ridicule others and pontificate about how everyone else should do this or that. Me, Eric, Dana Pico, Art, Yorkshire, Other Dana etc. are DOERS.

    “3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake.

    Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering’s fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” and “universities are nests of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.”
    - ibid.

  43. In any event, I will conclude by saying that one reason our side gets frustrated is we see that there are elements on the Left that seem to have no interest in actually defeating the terrorists, indeed, some on the far Left actually seem to want them to win! They are far more interested in getting “Revenge” on Bush & Cheney than in fighting the actual source of terrorist evil. That is stupid at best, and childish and petulant un-Americanism at worst.

    Eric, there’s an old saying that “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster”.

    What has happened over the last few years is that America faced a single spectacularly successful attack from an already existing terrorist threat, but an attack similiar to those suffered by other countries all the time. As a result of that attack, it has shown itself to be a weak polity – various elements within it have used the attack as an excuse for partican political gain, to curtail domestic liberties and divide the populace, to justify torture in a fit of not knowing what to do next, in scaring the people to support wars based on lies.

    We’ve seen it before, but it was usually associated with South and Central America.

    The terrorists are not Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Terrorism cannot be bombed away; you cannot bomb people into loving you. The assumption that you can go to “war” with it is being used as an excuse for various agendas, and people such as yourself – authoritarian followers – are stupid enough to fall for it. The formula is depressingly simple – scare you, preferably by personalising a threat; provide an enemy, preferably an exotic Other; wrap the agenda up in some sort of self-justifying action which feeds your ego.

    Consider the hysteria whipped up over Obama, and the whole teabagger movement.

    Your comment cannot be argued against because it derives entirely from premises which are false.

    - “Defeating the terrorists” confuses “defeating these particular identified and known terrorists” (a very easy thing for any nation state) with “defeating terrorism” (just about impossible, and certainly not through sole use of the military).

    - “Getting revenge on Bush & Cheney” means demonstrating that the rule of law applies to a nation’s leaders as well as the population. When the political class can break domestic and international law with impunity, then you have a rogue nation.

    - “the actual source of terrorist evil” implies that evil is something you can seperate from your own actions. To torture, to kidnap, to start wars in pursuit of “defeating terrorism” is not to fight evil. It is to become evil (and, incidentally, to foster yet more terrorism).

    I don’t really expect you to understand, because you’ve shown yourself to be both ignorant and unable to cope with new ideas. But other people in your country are well able to see what is going on.

  44. “That’s why your hysteria over Obama is laughable. You already support immense unaccountable government power – you just assume it will always be wielded against Muslims.”

    Yeah, the American Revolution proved that Americans thought and would always continue to think that the only danger to their liberties would come from “non-white” races. That’s why they had to suffer so much from, and then finally kill so many of King George’s English, Scotch, and German, hirelings, fops, punks, and tories in order to maintain their rights.

    And the activities of the Lyndon Johnson Administration, or say the Roosevelt and Kennedy Administrations, further proved that American citizens need never be on the lookout for abuses of executive power being directed at political “enemies” by “one of their own”.

    “Elmer L. Irey, head of the criminal division of the Treasury’s tax enforcement branch in Washington from 1919 to 1946, acknowledged in his 1948 autobiography that Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. ordered him to develop tax charges against Mellon even though he, Irey, knew that the former Treasury Secretary was innocent.

    A Justice Department memo written about the case in early 1934 shared Irey’s sentiment: the charges against Mellon were either invalid or could not be proved. Nonetheless, on March 11, 1934, the Roosevelt Administration announced it would seek criminal tax-evasion charges against Mellon. According to the Justice Department, he owed the Government additional taxes for 1931 of about $1.3 million, plus a 50 percent fraud penalty. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, as the tax agency was then known, subsequently upped Mellon’s alleged tax debt to more than $3 million.”

    NYT

    And the history of Islam and it’s doctrines concerning Kuffar populations give us every reason to believe that the liberties of non-muslims were and will be respected wherever Islam ever acheives political ascendency.

    And finally, Phoenician in a time of Romans is not an Internet troll.

  45. “If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the people of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence: Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder or citizens of another nation in war is an act of ‘heroic virtue’?”

  46. The formula is depressingly simple – scare you, preferably by personalising a threat; provide an enemy, preferably an exotic Other; wrap the agenda up in some sort of self-justifying action which feeds your ego.

    Here you go – proof.

    Yeah, the American Revolution proved that Americans thought and would always continue to think that the only danger to their liberties would come from “non-white” races. That’s why they had to suffer so much from, and then finally kill so many of King George’s English, Scotch, and German, hirelings, fops, punks, and tories in order to maintain their rights.

    “Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” – George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

    Countries are born, grow – and decay. The fact that you are attempting to justify secret government power without accountability – directly against the ideals of the people you claim to hold as heroes – demonstrates this.

    Deeply, deeply stupid.

  47. “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

  48. “That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is tru; but when those in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.”

  49. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”

  50. “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.”

  51. A further demonstration of just how far you’ve fallen – there are now questions of whether the US has joined the exclusive club of, uh, Germany and Japan, in using torture to conduct unlawful human experimentation.

    But, of course, whatever the US does is good, there is no way these people should be held accountable, and any attempt to find out what actually happened only helps terrorist evil, right?

  52. “I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have the best training in the world, in the field of advertising and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency. Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious. I think that the fundamental difference between our world, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours, and we tend to disbelieve ours.”

  53. Speaking as I was the other day of the suppression of free speech and commentary in the Commonwealth countries, we note some unwelcome news for the collectivist kind.

    No doubt there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth in certain quarters of Carthage tonight …

    From, incidentally, Jihad Watch:

    “September 2, 2009
    Free speech wins huge victory in Canada
    At issue here was not true hate speech — racial slurs, etc. — which are indefensible. Rather, the aim of such laws is to crush political dissent. The Organization of the Islamic Conference is trying to strong-arm Western nations into imposing hate speech laws that will restrict speech about Islam they don’t like, including explorations of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists.

    This was in Canada the law that snared Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn for anti-jihad statements. But now this ruling is a major setback for that effort, however, although all such a law would need in the U.S. would be an activist President without much attachment to free speech and five compliant Supreme Court justices. But that could never happen, now, could it?

    “Hate speech laws violate constitution: Rights tribunal,” from Canwest News Service, September 2 (thanks to all who sent this in):

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13, Canada’s much-criticized human rights hate speech law, is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.

    The decision released Wednesday morning by tribunal chair Athanasios Hadjis appears to strip the Canadian Human Rights Commission of its controversial legal mandate to pursue hate on the Internet, which it has strenuously defended against complaints of censorship.

    It also marks the first major failure of Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, an anti-hate law that was conceived in the 1960s to target racist telephone hotlines, then expanded in 2001 to the include the entire Internet, and for the last decade used almost exclusively by one complainant, activist Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman….”

    Oh yeah, Richard Warman ….

  54. ““I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have the best training in the world, in the field of advertising and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency. Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious. I think that the fundamental difference between our world, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours, and we tend to disbelieve ours.””

    Supposing for a moment that we grant your premise, in talking to a former Russian “journalist” who as part of her job wrote “Letters to the Editor” praising the Soviet system, I found that there is another difference: many of you don’t think it’s wrong.

  55. - “the actual source of terrorist evil” implies that evil is something you can seperate from your own actions. To torture, to kidnap, to start wars in pursuit of “defeating terrorism” is not to fight evil. It is to become evil (and, incidentally, to foster yet more terrorism).

    I noticed you completely ducked my point about Harry Truman and the atomic bombings. But then, consistency isn’t exactly your strong point. Mostly, you just want to annoy people and post endless left wing rants and quotes from obscure left wing nobodies. Gets boring, fast.

    Oh, and PS. We haven’t been attacked since 9/11. Pretty much blows your last “point” to bits. Cheney was right – Obama and the Left would do well to offer up some sincere thanks to those who have kept us safe, but they’d rather piss in the soup instead.

  56. Phoenician: “Eric, there’s an old saying that “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster”.”

    I don’t think that our government understands this yet, and I include Obama now, along with Cheney/Bush, along with Truman (Korea) and Johnson (Vietnam). In all cases, instead of focusing on building up homeland defenses and reaching out diplomatically, we opted to fight our wars on the soil of other sovereign nations.

    Suppose the old Soviet Union opted to do the same on our soil. It most certainly would have triggered a nuclear bomb exchange. So far, we have been careful to choose nations that have no nuclear power, which is why Iran, on the cusp of being a nuclear power, scares the s**t out of us. Of course, defending Israel has something to do with our former axis of evil stupidity.

    I feel strongly that there must have been, for a long time, uber-governmental secret powers, tied to our military-industry empire, involving the CIA and other unidentifiable entities, who have been calling our foreign policy/foreign war shots since WWII, promoted by expressing constantly the fear of the Soviet Union, China, and the Communists in General.

    Now it is the fear of Islamic terrorists. This is speculation on my part, of course, based on my attempt to connect the dots over my lifetime.

    There always seems to be an appropriate target of evil, a country or a group, used to justify the extraordinary DoD expenditures and the aggressive actions we have taken for almost six decades.

    The Cheney/Bush Iraq War, and the Obama Afghanistan War, are both our current albatrosses, on top of the fact that our economy continues to hang by a shoestring. Add to that the ideological polarization, fed mostly by the Right, preventing us from acting in unison, and you have an unsustainable track which we currently ride upon.

    I suppose by now it is quite apparent that I am greatly worried about the future of our nation!

    So on topic, “Gentlemen and Enemies”, I’m looking hard for the gentlemen and seeing oh so few. Instead, I see more of the aggressively violent side of the American Psyche, as per some of the truly outrageous comments made in this thread, many already pointed out.

    Why are we so adverse to constructive criticism, regardless of the source? Instead of addressing the points made, we respond by attacking the messenger. Now that is really stupid, in my view.

    It would be well for all of us to consider this piece, as Phoenician has written so articulately right here.

    Instead of the knee-jerked partisan response, take a few more minutes to think about his thesis. I think there is a lot of truth about us in it, expressed by a NZender, who takes the time to point out issues about ourselves to which we should be paying attention, so why instead are just getting our hackles up and feeling insulted!

  57. Instead of the knee-jerked partisan response, take a few more minutes to think about his thesis. I think there is a lot of truth about us in it!

    I don’t. I’m not playing the “Moral equivalence” game. Fighting evil doesn’t make you evil, that’s just the nonsense the Left peddles in its effort to weaken the West. Appeasement and pacifism in the face of evil are NOT virtues. We didn’t make deals with Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, we smashed them into total surrender. And rightly so. We should make no apologies for aggressive tactics in the face of evil, no matter what form it comes in.

  58. Eric: “Fighting evil doesn’t make you evil, ….”

    Read it again, Eric: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster”.

    You are home from work, probably tired, probably hungry, probably impatient. Whatever, you are not taking the time to think, instead, you blurt out, with a defensive posture, some talking points. Notice the word “might”, Eric!

  59. Read it again, Eric: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster”.

    A trite cliche is not a substitute for deep philosophical thought.

  60. You are home from work, probably tired, probably hungry, probably impatient. Whatever, you are not taking the time to think, instead, you blurt out, with a defensive posture, some talking points. Notice the word “might”, Eric!

    Actually, I’m home from a baseball game. Our guys were up 2-0 in the top of the 9th inning, two outs, game in the bag. Then the Black Sox score two solo home runs, followed by two more runs. 4-2 final score. So yeah, that kinda sucked.

    But that’s not the point. Point is, some of us believe in moral absolutes. And 9/11 was absolutely evil. It had to be fought, and sometimes with tough tactics. We need not apologize for being aggressive in squashing evil, nor need we wring our hands in terms of endless navel gazing. You fight to win, period.

    Let me give just one short example. Our relatives come from Germany, and a few years back, we discovered our long lost family back in the Old Country. Everyone got along fine – with one exception. There was an older woman who’d lived through WW 2. Her entire family was wiped out when an American bomb hit her house, killing her 4 sons. Naturally, to this day, she is bitter toward Americans, which I can fully understand. I can empathize with her loss, which must have been horrible, and as far as I know, neither she nor her young sons were particularly big supporters of the Nazis. Yet I cannot say that I have regrets that this happened. It was total war, and their country did start it. We had to do everything in our power to defeat the Nazis, even though countless thousands of civilians suffered as these distant relatives did.

    Sherman put it best: War is hell. But once engaged in war, you fight to win. The best way is to put the maximum force to bear, and crush the enemy as quickly as possible, thus avoiding even longer, prolonged bloodshed. Sorry, but that’s just the reality of the situation.

  61. I noticed you completely ducked my point about Harry Truman and the atomic bombings.

    I’m terribly sorry – you had a point? Could you actually state what it was?

    Oh, and PS. We haven’t been attacked since 9/11. Pretty much blows your last “point” to bits.

    Apart from, I dunno – 14 June 2002, 12 May 2003, 11-19 June 2004, 6 Dec 2004, 9 Nov 2005, and 12 Jan 2007… Of course, no planes were flown into buildings in the eight years after 2001 – or in the 225 years before it.

    Not to mention the suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan. These, however, are not terrorists under US definitions. Presumably they’re freedom fighters.

  62. Then what about the Geneva Convention, Eric, do we just tear it up as a matter of current expediency? Furthermore, do we just ignore the position taken by the FBI and, of all entities, our own military who is fighting this war?

    Your position makes no sense to me!

  63. As a follow-on to what Phoenician just wrote, as I have said before, place yourself into the shoes of your enemy. This is the first step toward peace! It is also a way to grow the marital relationship and cut down on the divorce rate.

  64. I feel strongly that there must have been, for a long time, uber-governmental secret powers, tied to our military-industry empire, involving the CIA and other unidentifiable entities, who have been calling our foreign policy/foreign war shots since WWII, promoted by expressing constantly the fear of the Soviet Union, China, and the Communists in General.

    Perry, do you recall this story?

    Fighting evil doesn’t make you evil,

    However, torturing people and invading countries based on lies does make you evil.

    Appeasement and pacifism in the face of evil are NOT virtues.

    However, not torturing people and not invading countries based on lies are not appeasement or pacifism.

    We didn’t make deals with Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, we smashed them into total surrender.

    However, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were the Bad Guys because, among other things, they tortured people and invaded countries based on lies.

    We should make no apologies for aggressive tactics in the face of evil, no matter what form it comes in.

    However, torturing people and invading countries based on lies are the face of evil.

  65. Sherman put it best: War is hell. But once engaged in war, you fight to win. The best way is to put the maximum force to bear, and crush the enemy as quickly as possible, thus avoiding even longer, prolonged bloodshed.

    So you’re saying Al Qaeda was right to attack the World Trade Centre, based on being at war with the US?

  66. ““I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have the best training in the world, in the field of advertising and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency. Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious. I think that the fundamental difference between our world, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours, and we tend to disbelieve ours.””

    This comment is, in fact, demonstrated in this case study.

  67. Eric, you are the best! You are an American. The rest don’t count. (comies and fascists) They are fools and Trols. Tonight I am a tad loaded. Sorry bout’ that. But I also am sorry about my spellibng. Not g0od at that. We are still Exceptional! Long live the United States of America”!

  68. Then what about the Geneva Convention, Eric, do we just tear it up as a matter of current expediency?

    The Geneva Convention was always meant to apply to soldiers. It did not apply to spies, for example (who could be summarily executed) nor does it apply to terrorists.

    Sorry, Perry, you seem like a nice guy, and one who has some actual principles. But my sympathy for these terrorist scum is exactly zero. If we could bomb Hiroshima to end WW 2 (arguably an act of genocide, at least from the Japanese POV) then getting tough with three top terror leaders, including the man who planned 9/11, to save American lives from future attacks seems entirely within bounds to me.

    Like I said, war is hell. The thing is to win as quickly and effectively as possible.

  69. Thanks, John. Sounds like you’re enjoying your evening. When the Neville Chamberlain in the Time of Hitler becomes unhinged, I know I’m on to something right.

  70. As a follow-on to what Phoenician just wrote, as I have said before, place yourself into the shoes of your enemy. This is the first step toward peace!

    Most of the time, I might agree with this. Assuming, of course, you are dealing with reasonable people. That’s why Gandhi’s tactics worked to free India from the Brits, the British were, in the end, a reasonable lot. But against a Hitler or Stalin, they would have been worse than useless. He would have simply been run over by a tank, or lined up against a wall and shot. And these terrorists are pure evil. Reason and kindness don’t work with such people. I don’t want to walk in their shoes, nor know what’s in their hearts and minds, other than to collect vital information for intelligence purposes.

  71. And these terrorists are pure evil. Reason and kindness don’t work with such people.

    As has been mentioned, Eric, the majority of those people picked up and held by the States are innocent. The fact that you keep ignoring this little problem shows just how weak your position is.

  72. As has been mentioned, Eric, the majority of those people picked up and held by the States are innocent.

    Sure. Keep telling yourself that.

  73. Eric, war is hell, as you said, and you are a supporter of it! Even though lies were the means to attain it, which personally made Bush and family, Cheney and family, oil companies, and the Milton Friedman fans, more wealthy, and despite the many many warnings (some of which I’ve posted here) over and over, by historical icons, you are a supporter of that hell.

    JAMES MADISON: “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

    The “bringing democracy” and “ridding Iraq of Hussein” supposedly being the reason for these wars is such BS if you look at other news sources that are not corporate controlled, but you only speak derisively of them. Consider this statement from Desmond Tutu.

    DESMOND TUTU: “When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible, and we had the land. The said ‘Let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the bible, and they had the land.”

    Consider replacing the word bible with the word democracy in above statement to recognize what has taken place in the middle east.

    ALEX DE TOCQUEVILLE: “All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest way to accomplish it.”

    War is a racket.

  74. Eric: “Like I said, war is hell. The thing is to win as quickly and effectively as possible.”

    Yes, it is hell! Why then do we wage it when it is unnecessary?

    Did you follow Blu’s link and watch the IVAW video?

    Did you read the quotes Blu posted?

    Having done so, then review for yourself the definition of evil, and apply it properly to whom is deserving.

  75. Yes, it is hell! Why then do we wage it when it is unnecessary?

    Because it’s hell for other people, and authoritarian followers (=”wingnuts”) find it remarkably easy to justify pain, misery and death on large scales for other people provided there’s some way to seperate them off as an “Other”. being brown-skinned Muslims will do nicely.

    Any resemblence between this and certain attitudes in Europe in the middle of last century are not coincidental.

  76. Having done so, then review for yourself the definition of evil, and apply it properly to whom is deserving.

    I apply it to the terrorists. If you cannot see that they are pure evil, I don’t really know what else I can say.

  77. “War is a racket.”

    So are modern liberalism and the welfare state. The difference is that wars eventually come to an end, and sometimes the preservation of liberty is the result.

    But then, what use has a modern liberal for a regime of liberty, other than to try and use its provisions in order to undermine it?

  78. Yes, it is hell! Why then do we wage it when it is unnecessary?

    That depends on the definition of “Necessary”. In an ideal world, no war would ever be necessary, but we don’t live in that world. It’s hard to say how “Necessary” the Iraq War was, and we can have that argument some other time, but Afghanistan was absolutely necessary. This was a country whose rulers were protecting the people who attacked us on 9/11, and they had to go. I don’t think you can disagree with that.

  79. So are modern liberalism and the welfare state. The difference is that wars eventually come to an end, and sometimes the preservation of liberty is the result.

    Indeed. And I would add that, when done right, they lead to the expansion of liberty. That was certainly the end result of WW 2 (with the notable exception of the East Bloc, which we did not control). Ask the Kurds how their liberty is compared to under Saddam Hussein.

  80. “War is a racket.”

    Whoever said this is a pinhead, and I don’t care if they have more decorations than a birthday cake! War is serious and deadly business, and to dismiss it as some kind of scheme to make money is either deeply cynical, or the sign of someone who simply has his head up his butt …

  81. and despite the many many warnings (some of which I’ve posted here) over and over, by historical icons, you are a supporter of that hell.
    JAMES MADISON

    Blu, you can take just about any quote from a famous person, and use it to “prove” just about any point you like. Remember Jefferson’s quote about the Tree of Liberty? A noble sentiment that unfortunately was also quoted by Tim McVeigh, such that now that quote is associated with domestic terrorism.

    Please think for yourself, and don’t just post these “Quotes” from assorted worthies from the past. It would make for a much more convincing point.

  82. “Indeed. And I would add that, when done right, they lead to the expansion of liberty”

    You will notice that that is not really a concern of most persons self-identifying as progressives or modern liberals. Unless, maybe it has to do with something involving Gardasil.

    Their greatest political concern is closing the loop, and wrangling everyone into one big and centrally directed, if not particularly happy, family.

    The paranoid ranting and pseudo scholarship of so much of the left, as they relentlessly construct their ideology of forcible inclusion, is evidence of that intent.

    Try ignoring these Kumbaya chanting neurotics and their social pets, and it’s “depraved indifference”. Try to figure a way of, or express a preference for, keeping their dysfunction at arm’s length and it’s “eliminationism”.

    As far as they are concerned the only moral course of action is to join them in their hothouses of dysfunction and cost redistribution, and learn to like it.

    “What? You don’t want your taxes to support our new community values magazine venture “Steatopygous Male? What are you, a bigot?”

    They don’t want independence, and they don’t want the means, and therefore the personal responsibility, to maintain it.

    Toss a figurative 40 acres and a mule at their feet, and they run off shrieking in the other direction.

    As the controversial Anne Coulter aptly and amusingly observed,

    Liberals are like people with stale breath talking into your face at a party. You try backing away from them or offering them gum, but then they just start whimpering.”

  83. Whoever said this is a pinhead, and I don’t care if they have more decorations than a birthday cake!

    That would be this guy.

    Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye”, was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

    During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
    [...]
    From 1927 to 1929, Butler was commander of the Marine Expeditionary Force in China. He cleverly parlayed his influence among various generals and warlords to the protection of US interests, and ultimately won the public acclaim of contending Chinese leaders.[16]

    When Butler returned to the United States in 1929 he was promoted. At the age of 48, he became the Marine Corps’ youngest major general. He directed the Quantico camp’s growth until it became the “showplace” of the Corps.[8][21] Butler also won national attention by taking thousands of his men on long field marches, many of which he led from the front, to Gettysburg and other Civil War battle sites where they conducted large-scale re-enactments before crowds of often distinguished spectators.[21]

    In 1931, Butler publicly recounted gossip about Benito Mussolini in which the dictator allegedly struck a child with his automobile in a hit-and-run accident. The Italian government protested and President Hoover, who strongly disliked Butler, forced Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams III to court-martial him. Butler became the first general officer to be placed under arrest since the Civil War. He apologized to Secretary Adams and the court martial was canceled with only a reprimand.[22]

    I’m sure he’s just spinning in his grave at the thought that an ignorant pimply-faced bumpkin disagrees with him.

  84. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, in a letter to his friend: “I see in the near future, a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace, and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarch, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than buracracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods, or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army, in front of me, and the financial institutions at the rear, the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of te country will endeavor to prolong its rign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of the few, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment, more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions my prove groundless.”

    Here’s another fellow, known for being particularly bright.

    ALBERT EINSTEIN, in a letter to Sigmond Freud: “The minority, the ruling class, at present, has the schools, and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumbs. This enables it to organize, and sway the emotions of the masses, and it makes tools of them.”

    You have been played by war profiteers, Eric. You don’t get the whole picture and you don’t want to look.

    You cannot, Eric accuse me of taking quotes out of context, because there are numerous historical icons saying the same things, in a myriad of different ways. I could very easily find more, but I have got to go to work.

    You are one of the reasons, in your ignorance (willing ignorance) that allows for the slaughter of many thousands of innocent human beings. Our bombing campaign has by far killed more innocent human beings than the suicide bombers that are trying to get us to stop it. When I have to realize that you vote in your limited knowledge, and brain full disinformation, it saddens me deeply that you vote, which creates more wealth for those without a conscience, who profits extraordinarily from the war, while poor get poorer. But the saddest thing is the wars that have NOT been necessary, and the hundreds of thousands of those getting bombed, and dismembered. Charles Manson’s actions couldn’t come close to what the powerful war profiteers have done, in terms of horror.

    So, are you going to disrespect the soldiers that have made statements, exposing what is going on over there? Did you have the objectivity and fortitude to listen to them? I doubt you got it in you.

    JAMES MADISON: “The growing wealth acquired by them (corporations) never fails to be a source of abuses.”

    By the way, pipelines were starting to get laid into Afghanistan before 9-11-01, even. Look up PNAC, or Project for the New American Century. Also, look up the connection of Rupert Murdoch to it, and then, look up how much he owns, the media. You just might start to get it. But you are kind of a Polly-Anna, cannot fathom that such scoundrels exist with immense power, and media ownership is power. You are controlled, as if a marionette doll. You really have a long way to go, before you begin to understand. But, you won’t try to see things further. Too proud, I guess. Tragic that you would vote in your state of oblivion.

  85. Eric, a book review, which would benefit you and others, if you share it: THE SHOCK DOCTRINE by Naiomi Klein.

  86. Incidentally, within the PNAC document, there is a statement which says, “we need a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ to get the public to go along with the plan. The plan was to take over the middle east. Was there a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ ?

    William Krystal is the editor of the Weekly Standard, and is also the chairman of the PNAC think tank/document. That publication has been losing money, as has other conservative media sources (people are wising up) but their need to keep the oblivion of those like yourself intact, it continues. As does your oblivion. Washington Times is another, owned by the billionaire Moonie, supporting neo-con agendas. The list goes on, but I’ve got to leave for work now.

  87. You will notice that that is not really a concern of most persons self-identifying as progressives or modern liberals. Unless, maybe it has to do with something involving Gardasil.
    Their greatest political concern is closing the loop, and wrangling everyone into one big and centrally directed, if not particularly happy, family.
    The paranoid ranting and pseudo scholarship of so much of the left, as they relentlessly construct their ideology of forcible inclusion, is evidence of that intent.

    The Left, lacking genuine values of their own, is left (as it were) to vilifying those who do, and, in general, attacking their motives and smearing their character. They are like rodents who sit in envy of the eagle because he can soar above their little rat holes, so their only “Defense” is to try to pull him down to their level.

    They are, in the words of Monty Python’s John Cleese – A complete waste of space.

  88. You have been played by war profiteers, Eric. You don’t get the whole picture and you don’t want to look.

    Problem is, Blu, your “Whole picture” is a highly paranoid view of the world, fed by endless hours spent on various kook sites. And you keep posting those same tired old quotes, as if they were a substitute for actual, original thought on your part. If you want to buy into kookery and far left moral relativism, have at it, but to me it’s a complete waste of time.

  89. As far as they are concerned the only moral course of action is to join them in their hothouses of dysfunction and cost redistribution, and learn to like it.

    There’s an old country song that describes this mindset perfectly:

    The bad guys always claim,
    Both sides are the same.
    The Good Guys and the Bad guys

  90. You are one of the reasons, in your ignorance (willing ignorance) that allows for the slaughter of many thousands of innocent human beings. Our bombing campaign has by far killed more innocent human beings than the suicide bombers that are trying to get us to stop it.

    What “Bombing campaign”? What are you even talking about? It would be nice if you had evidence for the nonsense you post, but as usual, you don’t. Got any actual figures for people, innocent or otherwise, killed by allied bombing? Of course you don’t. Whatever bombing we’ve done in Iraq has been very limited in scale, with nearly all the fighting done by ground forces. But why should I waste my time pointing out actual facts, when your mind is filled with bilge from your kook sites?

  91. That publication has been losing money, as has other conservative media sources (people are wising up)

    FOX News is doing great, but that aside, it’s not unusual for a political publication not to make money. I used to subscribe to National Review, and I’m not sure it ever made a dollar in profit, in large part due to the fact that it’s almost all articles with very little advertising.

  92. Eric: “I apply it to the terrorists. If you cannot see that they are pure evil, I don’t really know what else I can say.”

    Just creating the phrase “pure evil” speaks volumes, Eric, about your inability to step back to see the whole scene and about a lack in your moral fiber.

    I can say that you don’t know what “evil” really means, Eric, as you only pick and choose, refusing to look within and review some of the things we have done in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan. This is part of the scene I’m talking about.

    We must not determine ‘evil’ based only on scale, but based also on judging individual actions. Fighting our wars on the sovereign land of a foreign country, killing civilians and destroying their land and their infrastructure, that counts as evil in my dictionary. That you are willing to overlook these evil acts of ours says something about your sense of morality, Eric, and it really isn’t very nice!

    Just saying “War is Hell” says little when it comes to taking responsibility and being accountable for one’s actions, individually or nationally.!

  93. You want to know how many sorties (carrying bombs, each sortie killing God knows how many innocent civilians) flew over Iraq? This article was early on, so you can multiply it many times over.

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=29232

    You can claim I’m “acting like I’m morally superior” as you implied, but objecting to human beings being slaughtered is only a concern of any decent human being. I’m not morally superior in general, but I’m not okay with innocent people getting killed, are you? Or you just figure…”oh well…war is hell…so what!”

  94. You can claim I’m “acting like I’m morally superior” as you implied, but objecting to human beings being slaughtered is only a concern of any decent human being.

    “Any decent human being” excludes wingnuts, Blu. They don’t see people different from them as human in the same sense as them.

    Witness Eric and his repeated justifications and evasions.

  95. A little “housekeeping” task:

    Recently, confronted with a refutation of his false contention that Americans only think that threats to their security and liberties can come from non-white populations, Phoenician in a time of Romans attempted to switch his footing to a charge of hypocrisy: an accusation that Americans are failing to live up to the ideals of their revered historical figures.

    Since Phoenician had already been having an argument with another poster, Eric, as to what constitutes torture …

    Phoenician responds to the factual rebuttal he faced with:

    “Countries are born, grow – and decay. The fact that you are attempting to justify secret government power without accountability – directly against the ideals of the people you claim to hold as heroes – demonstrates this.”

    Note please, that Phoenician doesn’t say here that these people are his own heroes, or even that he finds them admirable. He merely juxtaposes a mumbo jumbo sentence proclaiming that nations grow and decay, to a sentence stating that Americans’ supposed present lack of proper reverence for the ideals espoused by their forebears, is a demonstration of his bit of pseudo-metaphysical yammering.

    Then, in order to purportedly illustrate how current day Americans are failing to live up to their founding ideals when it comes to dealing with terrorism, Phoenician presents doctored “quote” from George Washington:

    ” “Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” – George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775 “

    “Prisoner”?

    Here is the actual text and context of the previously quoted material as un-manipulated and unedited by Phoenician in a time of Romans:

    “Sir: You are intrusted with a Command of the utmost Consequence sequence to the Interest and Liberties of America. Upon your Conduct and Courage and that of the Officers and Soldiers detached on this Expedition, not only the Success of the present Enterprize, and your own Honour, but the Safety and Welfare of the Whole Continent may depend. I charge you, therefore, and the Officers and Soldiers, under your Command, as you value your own Safety and Honour and the Favour and Esteem of your Country, that you consider yourselves, as marching, not through an Enemy’s Country; but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such the Inhabitants of Canada, and the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain and America. That you check by every Motive of Duty and Fear of Punishment, every Attempt to plunder or insult any of the Inhabitants of Canada. Should any American Soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any Canadian or Indian, in his Person or Property, I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary Punishment as the Enormity of the Crime may require. …etc . “

    George Washington to Benedict Arnold upon the invasion of Canada

    Gif available from the National Archives

    ” … consider yourselves, as marching, not through an Enemy’s Country; but that of our Friends and Brethren, for such the Inhabitants of Canada, and the Indian Nations have approved themselves in this unhappy Contest between Great Britain and America … “

    Liberals are like people with stale breath talking into your face at a party. You try backing away from them or offering them gum, but then they just start whimpering.” Ann Coulter

  96. OMG, now we have Ann Coulter brought into this fray. Figures!

    Blu: “Oblivious [DNW], but intentionally so.”

    Still true!

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