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Dec 23rd 2006

more use of the “botched joke” excuse

as we predicted, use of the botched joke excuse is growing. as with our predictions on new LDS apostles and jurisprudential trends, you can take our prognostications to the bank.

previous offenders:
john kerry
faith hill

new offenders: (in order of increasing seriousness)
jim mora
rosie o’donnell
wesam al delaema

jim mora took some flack from atlanta fans after he very clearly said on a radio show in washington state that he would leave his job with the falcons at the drop of a hat if he had the opportunity to coach the washington huskies college football team:

in the interview, Mora claims he would take the Washington job even if the Falcons were coming off a Super Bowl victory. At one point, he said: “I don’t care if we’re in the middle of a playoff run, I’m packing my stuff and coming back to Seattle.”

like john kerry’s “botched joke” and faith hill’s “botched joke,” i think mora just didn’t know anyone that mattered would ever find out. his excuse:

I guess you’ve got to watch what you say to anybody anymore. I’m doing an interview with my best friend, joking around, and all of a sudden it’s a big story. Believe me, there’s nothing to it.”

sure.

next, rosie o’donnell said chinese people sound like “ching, chong” when they speak. the initial excuse?

O’Donnell’s rep, Cindi Berger, said in a statement: “She’s a comedian in addition to being a talk show co-host. I certainly hope that one day they will be able to grasp her humor.”

yes, rosie dreams of a day when she’ll be able to insult a large percentage of the american public with immature, elementary school humor, while she continues to act like she is the moral compass for america. rosie’s misstep is perhaps most like john kerry’s, because she actually meant it to be funny, before she realized how offensive her comments were.

finally, wesam al delaema, a dutch citizen who recorded the planting of a roadside bomb in iraq (and kept the tape as a nice little memento), claims he wasn’t a willing participant (then why’d you keep the tape, dipcrap?). he also happened to make the following comments on TV:

In a 2003 interview broadcast on Dutch television, al Delaema accused the U.S. and its allies of waging war in Iraq to control its oil reserves. “I don’t care if I myself die or not. I want to offer myself up for my land, for my people,” he said in the interview. [source: LGF – dutch muslim faces US terror trial]

his family is claiming his comments were a joke.

sigh. as i predicted, with its past success, the “i botched the joke” excuse is starting to pop up everywhere now.

previously:
‘i botched the joke’ revisited (lamenting that the excuse popularized by john kerry had spread to the country music industry)

36 Responses to “more use of the “botched joke” excuse”

  1. Jay

    For someone who likes to think he’s pretty smart, you sure don’t like to think for yourself sometimes, Travis. I’m talking about the John Kerry joke incident.

    Now, before I go on, you have to know that I am not a big John Kerry fan. He has the charisma of a dog turd and a voice that could even put a speed addict to sleep in about two minutes. However, it doesn’t take a good deal of intelligence to know that the Senator was making a dig on the Prez and not on the troops in Iraq.

    You have evidently chosen to jump on the band wagon that thinks that Kerry didn’t botch his joke, and that he thinks that our soldiers in Iraq are stupid. Come on man. Get real. He simply botched a joke. This really isn’t surprising when you consider the source. Kerry is about as adept at telling jokes as Wolfowitz is in predicting the costs of a war.

    Your perpetuation of this misinterpretation of Kerry’s bad joke is kind of childish and it certainly shows that you really don’t have any objectivity.

  2. Steve

    Amen Jay. Travis, I’ll bet you actually think that Bush’s joke about looking for WMD’s in the Whitehouse was a hoot. It’s funny how you criticize Kerry for leaving the word “us” out and fail to criticize the complete lack of taste our W has.

  3. For someone who likes to think he’s pretty smart

    where have i said that i’m smart? nowhere on this blog or elsewhere have i claimed that i’m smart or intelligent or a genius. nowhere (with the minor exception of when i’m looking for a job) have i bragged about my scholarships or achievements (unlike some people). i have, frequently, questioned the intelligence of others. i have often done this on the basis of, “if i can figure this out, then anyone should be able to.” i think i am of pretty average intelligence, and so it surprises me when people do things that even i can recognize are idiotic.

    Your perpetuation of this misinterpretation of Kerry’s bad joke is kind of childish and it certainly shows that you really don’t have any objectivity.

    you must have missed the posts where we pointed out john kerry’s pattern of calling the troops stupid or otherwise insulting them. the fact that you ignore an established pattern is kind of childish and it certainly shows that you really don’t have any objectivity. the facts you ignore are here:

    John Kerry: “Troops will be poor, black, and prone to war crimes (and stupid!)”

    video: john kerry’s unflagging support for the our military

    go read that first post and watch the video at the second, then come back and tell me john kerry thinks our men and women in uniform are smart.

    or don’t think for yourself. instead, just trust john kerry’s spin campaign manager. he’ll set you straight. then you can go and tell these democrats who jumped on the “bandwagon” that they need to get off his back because, hey, it was just a botched joke!

    Kerry is about as adept at telling jokes as Wolfowitz is in predicting the costs of a war.

    funny, i thought john kerry was the smooth talker. bush is the bumbler, isn’t he?

    I’ll bet you actually think that Bush’s joke about looking for WMD’s in the Whitehouse was a hoot.

    i’m sorry. you appear to be unacquainted with self-deprecating humor.

    actually, i think it is sad that saddam ignored UN resolution 1441 so that we had to assemble a 30+ nation coalition and enforce it. i mean, since saddam didn’t have any weapons, why didn’t he just submit to inspections?

  4. Jay

    OK, I take back my comment about you thinking that you’re smart. I made a huge leap in postulating that just because you think anyone that doesn’t agree with you is stupid, that does not necessarily mean that you think that you’re smart. Sorry for the mix up. Moving on now..

    Wow, you really have a hard time talking to someone when they have nuanced opinions don‘t you (and by ‘nuanced’ I mean someone who doesn’t believe EVERY piece of propaganda BS that a given political party can put out) ?

    Try, please try, to understand this. I am not affiliated with a political party. Bush and the Republicans do horribly stupid things, and so do the Democrats. Can you at least agree with this much? If so, then there’s hope for you.

    The joke that Kerry said is squarely in the ‘stupid’ category. I think we can agree on that. But it was stupid because it was an immature pot-shot at the President. And about the whole band wagon thing; I don’t care if every Democrat in Congress jumped on your band wagon. They have their political careers to save. I heard the joke with my own ears. And with the help of a little something called CONTEXT I can easily conclude that it was very obviously directed at his former competitor in the 2004 election. Yeah, I can decide that myself. I don’t need Hannity, Carlson, or anyone else to tell me what Kerry meant. Thinking for oneself is a good thing. I recommend it some time.

    Speaking of context, I find the quote about the troops being poor and black very interesting. Unfortunately the link you had didn’t work. I would like to put that quote into context as well so I can understand what Kerry was getting at. If he was insulting the troops, then shame on him (although I would find that hard to believe). I am sure that this quote will make a lot more sense when I understand the flow of the conversation. Please repost the link, and I will listen to it and try to make sense of it.

    Also, your last paragraph makes me think that you stopped paying attention to current events in march of 2003 with your two-cents worth about the war. Also, I think it’s interesting (and dichotomous) that you justify the war in Iraq saying that it was to enforce a UN resolution as if you support the UN. But then overlook the fact that the UN didn’t want the US to go to war in Iraq in 2003. So, is the UN legitimate? If so, then we should not have gone in until they said it was ok. And if they’re not a legitimate body, then their initial resolution should not be enforceable. Please walk me through this one. I’m a bit confused.

    Also, why did Saddam act like he had weapons even when he didn’t? Well first, he thought we were bluffing (obviously he doesn‘t learn from his mistakes). There are also many other possible reasons for him to carry on as he was. I really don’t feel like going into them. They are widely published, you can do your own homework. Anyway, the Administration has come out and said that they were wrong about the weapons. Why do you believe EVERYTHING else they say, but this one little piece of info?

    Anyway, I can’t believe you are still bringing up the war. I thought it might be too embarrassing for you and like-minded people given the tragic current state of affairs. And don’t even get me started on the 30+ nations in the coalition. 11 of those countries contributed less than 100 troops! And 20 of the other countries had less than 1,000. Come on. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; get real. Bush Sr. did well in building a real coalition, Bush Jr.- not so much.

    -Jay

    PS- I really don’t want this to spiral into a debate about the Iraq war. The invasion happened. The war continues. Our troops are dying. It sucks and I hope it ends soon with a positive outcome for Iraqis and Americans alike.

  5. Steve

    So John Kerry’s saying something in the past allows you, Travis, clear insight into the man’s soul. Jay is right about your credibility here Travis (nonexistent). Got news for you, it didn’t work for you guys. You lost the House and Senate.

    Travis, Travis, Travis. Bush is too stupid to pull off self-deprecation. He was gloating (you obviously didn’t see the video). Fortunately someone recorded it so we could see the stupidity of this man. Again, with the loss of American lives at a cost of billions to the taxpayers, it was extremely tasteless.

    You really get a kick out of showing people my past with BYU. Keep in mind, when you guys tried to claim that I only wished I could go there, I was just calling you on it. Not only did I choose not to go there but they were willing to pay me. Now I have to clarify. This was in the late eighties so it was much easier to get in then. Take a lesson Bush. That is self-deprecation (although it is also truthful).

  6. Steve

    Coalition of the willing? Poland? Try coalition of the bribed, coerced, bought and extorted. Actually, I am stealing that from Kerry.

  7. If you want a true example of a ‘botched joke’ I give you the Bush Admnistration. It is a joke and it is botched beyond all description. FUBAR and SNAFU don’t touch it.

  8. doug

    Travis, Travis, Travis, (sorry…my fingers are stuck to Ctrl-V, it’s a liberal thing)

    Don’t you get it?

    All of our problems are because of Iraq.

    Wake up dude!

  9. that link is: http://www.all-encompassingly.com/john-kerry-troops-will-be-poor-black-and-prone-to-war-crimes-and-stupid/

    just because you think anyone that doesn’t agree with you is stupid, that does not necessarily mean that you think that you’re smart.

    that’s partially correct. sometimes i think people who disagree with me are, nevertheless, smart. that’s why i don’t call everyone i disagree with “stupid.”

    I think it’s interesting (and dichotomous) that you justify the war in Iraq saying that it was to enforce a UN resolution as if you support the UN. But then overlook the fact that the UN didn’t want the US to go to war in Iraq in 2003. So, is the UN legitimate? If so, then we should not have gone in until they said it was ok. And if they’re not a legitimate body, then their initial resolution should not be enforceable. Please walk me through this one. I’m a bit confused.

    here is one way of looking at the UN legitimacy-question. we recognize the federal government as the legitimate US government. nevertheless, they are accused of doing illegitimate things all the time. the trick, then, is to get the federal government to see it “our” way when they are doing something illegitimate (we have the benefit–the clarity and ease–of calling illegitimate government acts “unconstitutional” but international law is not as well-defined). legitimacy or illegitimacy of US government behavior is conveniently decided by an independent judiciary, whose decisions the executive is then required to enforce. the authority of these bodies is tied to the people, one way or another, through elections (same goes for the legislature, obviously).

    the problem with international law is, states often disagree on how something should be interpreted, as well as who gets to interpret it. there a tenuous tie to the “people” for states’ representatives acting internationally. and, probably most importantly, there is really no centralized enforcement mechanism.

    who is supposed to enforce international law? there is the ICJ (international court of justice) but it has only heard a hundred or so cases in its 60 years of existence. states don’t turn to it like individuals do our domestic courts, which have become almost automatic. in fact, most states seek resolutions to international law through alternative methods, including diplomacy, negotiations, arbitration, sanctions, the assertion of other political or economic pressure, other self-help, and even war. the UN was established to facilitate the peaceful resolution of disputes. the UN failed here, because of corruption.

    china, russia, and france were members of the security council, and the UNSC cannot act without a unanimous vote that includes them (unless they abstain). we now know that russia and france were “in the bag” for saddam because of lucrative contracts-slash-bribes that they received from the dictator. therefore, like the scandalous arrangement between french and russian judges that took away the pairs figure skating gold medal from the canadians at the 2002 winter olympics, corruption threw a wrench in the works here, too. only this time, thousands of lives and the entire course of geopolitics were on the line. i’ll quote, extensively, from iraqfact.com, which is a project of the chicago tribune:

    Resolution 1441, the last of 17 such broad directives to Iraq, was adopted by a 15-0 vote on Nov. 8, 2002. It said the Security Council:

    “… Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 …” and gives Iraq a final 30 days to provide “a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material. …”

    Iraq was to give inspectors “immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access” to verify its compliance. The decree concluded with its admonition that the Security Council “has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations.”

    The resolution’s 30-day window dragged into months of stalling and limited compliance by Hussein. By early March 2003, the U.S., Britain and Spain were lobbying the Security Council to set a March 17 deadline for Iraq to comply with the Nov. 8, 2002, resolution.

    On March 7, 2003, the inspectors paradoxically suggested to the Security Council that Iraq had displayed more cooperation, but the inspectors also said they still had 29 areas of unanswered questions about weapons issues. The Tribune reported that those issues included the whereabouts of thousands of chemical bombs and tons of anthrax, VX nerve gas and botulinum toxin uncovered during previous searches.

    U.S. and British officials retorted that, at best, Iraq’s cooperation with the inspectors was reluctant, evasive, incomplete–and clearly a rebuke to Resolution 1441.

    France and Russia nevertheless threatened to veto the proposed ultimatum. In response, Washington, London and Madrid proposed setting a compliance deadline later than March 17. Again, Paris and Moscow threatened vetoes.

    With two permanent members of the Security Council unwilling to support the November resolution for which they had voted, the U.S., Britain and Spain withdrew their proposal for an 18th resolution. They said they instead would rely on the earlier council ultimatums. With diplomacy in tatters, the UN instructed its inspectors and humanitarian workers to leave Iraq.

    On March 17, 2003, Bush primarily cited Iraq’s failure to obey UN orders as the reason for the impending launch of the war. He spoke of Iraq’s weapons programs but pivoted his speech on Hussein’s intransigence:

    “My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

    “Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned. …

    “The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours,” Bush said.

    “In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq, so that disarmament can proceed peacefully. He has thus far refused. All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours.

    “Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals–including journalists and inspectors–should leave Iraq immediately.”

    Early on March 20 in Iraq–the night of March 19 here–the first missiles struck Baghdad.

    What we know today

    Reasonable minds profoundly disagree on whether Saddam Hussein’s flouting of UN resolutions and sanctions justified the launch of war. But there can be no credible assertion that either Iraq or the UN met its responsibility to the world. If anything, the Bush administration’s citations of cunning chicanery–both in Baghdad and at UN headquarters on the East River–were gravely understated.

    That chicanery is, however, not the only reason why Hussein felt he could dodge international mandates, or why the UN repeatedly permitted him to do so.

    The Bush administration’s strategy of confrontation bucked decades of policy in many countries–the U.S. included. Before Bush initiated what he called a war against global terrorism, many prosperous nations employed a triad defense of stoicism, appeasement and, from Washington and a few other world capitals, occasional bursts of retaliatory missiles or other limited military actions.

    That is not to diminish efforts such as Western Europe’s struggle to control leftist terror groups in the second half of the 20th Century, or Israel’s attempts to thwart Palestinian bombers, or diplomacy to quell bloody violence in Northern Ireland. But those and other experiences with terror assaults had left many governments weary and resigned.

    The notion of attacking Iraq thus came as an especially sharp stick in the eye of nations that, unlike Washington, didn’t see that country as a cradle of terrorism. Yes, Hussein was a pariah, but he had not invaded another country in a dozen years, and many governments wanted proof that he had meaningful ties to groups such as Al Qaeda.

    Bush, having overthrown the Taliban government of Afghanistan, now wanted to eradicate another regime. And he wanted the UN to give him permission.

    The better approach, many governments believed, was containment. They saw Hussein’s grudging agreement to re-admit weapons inspectors, as Resolution 1441 demanded, as proof that the world could limit whatever threat he posed. But was Hussein a reformed man? Or did having the world’s most powerful military poised at his border, ready to invade, prompt him to pay lip service to UN demands?

    As 2003 arrived, the containment caucus had a problem. For years many governments had hoped that a combination of sticks and carrots–in the form of international oversight, threatened sanctions and economic incentives–would keep North Korea from pursuing nukes. The disclosure that Pyongyang had secretly connived for years to build nukes, and now was lengthening the reach of its delivery system, was a nightmare. Its implication: If containment someday failed and Hussein acquired nukes, he would be as invulnerable as the North Koreans who, by numerous accounts, already possessed bombs.

    The reluctance of many governments to embrace Bush’s aggressive agenda was understandable. But the reluctance of those governments to enforce Security Council resolutions for which they had voted arguably was not.

    Did the White House mislead Americans, or the world, about Iraq’s rebuffs to the UN? No. The truthfulness of the administration’s basic case, like Iraq’s hubris, is as self-evident in retrospect as it was at the time:

    For whatever reason, and none is acceptable, Hussein didn’t disclose what weapons programs he had, or no longer had, or schemed to have. He did not have the option–refusal–that he chose.

    Rather than confront that refusal, the UN averted its eyes–not only from Hussein but from its own complicity in his bad acts. Even as Hussein ignored the resolutions, widespread corruption of an important UN effort to help the people of Iraq empowered him to continue abusing them. That corruption allegedly funded Hussein’s purchase of influential friends in nations that, year after year, did not press the Security Council to enforce its edicts against him.

    As long as Hussein laid golden eggs, many powerful individuals and businesses around the world were happy to collect them–and to support his efforts to end the international sanctions against Iraq.

    These patterns of failure emerge from the findings of an inquiry panel led by Paul Volcker, former chairman of this nation’s Federal Reserve, and from the October 2004 report of U.S. chief weapons inspector Charles Duelfer. Numerous U.S. congressional investigators and criminal prosecutors also are turning up evidence.

    In a series of reports, Volcker’s team has chronicled the debasement and exploitation of the UN’s oil-for-food program. For seven years before the war, that program let Hussein sell oil and ostensibly use the proceeds to buy humanitarian supplies for citizens suffering hardships caused by the sanctions.

    Under lax UN oversight, Hussein used oil-for-food to wage extortion, bribery and other schemes: Volcker alleges that half of some 4,500 companies around the world that participated in oil-for-food paid $1.8 billion in illegal kickbacks to Iraq’s regime. And, apart from oil-for-food, Hussein also scammed vast revenues by illegally smuggling oil out of Iraq.

    Hussein did use some of the money to help his people. He also diverted booty, Volcker found, to beneficiaries in 66 countries. Significantly, many of these diplomats and other profiteers were clustered in France, Russia and China–three nations with permanent memberships, and veto power, on the Security Council.

    Tariq Aziz, then Iraq’s deputy prime minister, has told probers that Hussein awarded oil allocations to his beneficiaries based on their level of opposition to the sanctions. An Oct. 28, 2005, Washington Post account of Volcker’s fifth and final report summed up the findings: Iraq used its oil wealth to influence some countries’ policies at the UN, awarding Russia $19 billion and France $4.4 billion in oil contracts.

    Charles Duelfer’s October 2004 report on his search for Iraqi weapons succinctly framed Hussein’s modus operandi. Duelfer also said Hussein’s scheme to parlay oil-for-food into the end of UN sanctions almost had succeeded.

    Duelfer wrote: “He sought to balance the need to cooperate with UN inspections–to gain support for lifting sanctions–with his intention to preserve Iraq’s intellectual capital for WMD and with a minimum of foreign intrusiveness and loss of face. … By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime …” Once liberated from sanctions, Duelfer concluded, Hussein intended to recreate Iraq’s illicit weapons capability.

    that is from iraqfact.com

    why did Saddam act like he had weapons even when he didn’t? Well first, he thought we were bluffing

    even if he thought we were bluffing about enforcement, this doesn’t explain why he cut off weapons inspections in the first place.

    given the tragic current state of affairs.

    indeed. it is tragic the UN was too impotent to enforce its own resolutions, requiring us, in a dangerous world, to do it for them. it is unfortunate that we had to go in there. and every iraqi civilian casualty and every american military casualty is tragic.

    And don’t even get me started on the 30+ nations in the coalition. 11 of those countries contributed less than 100 troops! And 20 of the other countries had less than 1,000. Come on. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; get real.

    my point wasn’t to discuss the supremacy of our military among the nations of the world, my point was to note that many, many countries agreed that 1441 should be enforced, even if bribed france and russia, as members of the UNSC, had the power to veto any UN action to enforce it.

    I really don’t want this to spiral into a debate about the Iraq war.

    unfortunately, this is like someone who says, “i don’t mean to insult you, but…” or “i’m not racist, but…” i hate debating the iraq war as much as anybody, yet that is what we are doing here. somebody brought up WMDs. and though it was like listening to fingernails scrape a chalkboard, i responded.

    [the war] sucks and I hope it ends soon with a positive outcome for Iraqis and Americans alike.

    agreed.

    [bill comments] If you want a true example of a ‘botched joke’ I give you the Bush Admnistration.

    indeed. and can you imagine the frustration at the impeachment hearings if bush and cheney got off by saying, “hey, we were only joking. can’t you people take a joke? we’ll apologize for the botched joke that is our administration, but that’s all.”

    that is what annoys me about the ‘botched joke’ excuse. it is like a slippery slope. who knows who will use it in the future, and what he will get away with? we can all thank mr. heinze for this predicament.

  10. Oh, I do so look forward to those hearings.

  11. Steve

    Travis,

    We don’t need a history lesson here. We lived through those sad events.

    What Russia, China, and France act in their own self interest? Who’d of thunk? Isn’t that what we do; invasion of Iraq come to mind? Interestingly, Russia, China, France, most Europeans (most of the world) was right (no justification for war).

    Really Travis, the love/hate relationship the Republicans have with the UN is comical. So we needed to act unilaterally to fulfill the obligations of the UN? I guess we attack Israel next for its failures. How about sending troops to Darfur? It’s the height of right-wing hypocrisy.

    You are still missing one key component in your narrative above. The intelligence was cooked [The Downing Street Memo(s)/Cheney’s Dark War/the “slam dunk case”]. The Bush administration lied to us. Where is the outrage from the puritanical right?! We get outright hypocrisy again.

    You’re missing one other thing Travis. The Kerry botched joke was just that and nothing more. You guys have turned it into something silly. The comparison to the Bush administration is ridiculous because presumably they do not see themselves as a joke. Unforutunately the 0.5 to 1 Trillion dollar joke is on us. I agree with Bill. I can’t wait to see what we uncover. At first I thought we shouldn’t go there but a criminal is a criminal and should be punished.

    Doug, Doug, Doug. Sorry fingers stuck on ctrl V. The “vote for a democrat is a vote for the terrorists” slogan really is a botched (tired) joke. Keep it up though; we’d love to remove right wing zealots from the White House in ’08. I mean, Carter learned the same thing about blaming the American public. What’s the support for Bush’s new plan (~12% or so)?

  12. What Russia, China, and France act in their own self interest? Who’d of thunk? Isn’t that what we do; invasion of Iraq come to mind?

    the right of “collective self-defense” is given to states in article 51 of the UN charter. i am yet to find a fundamental right to bribe or be bribed.

    the love/hate relationship the Republicans have with the UN is comical.

    i don’t love the UN. the UN is merely a tool that i would rather live without. like my weed whacker. i wish i could just mow the lawn, and forego the weed whacking. i hate it. it always shoots rocks at my shins. but i begrudgingly use my weed whacker because that is the only decent way, however bad, to get rid of grass in tight spots on my lawn. and if i didn’t whack the weeds, our neighbors might frown at us.

    because i hate the weed whacker so much already, it makes me even more irate when i go to use it and it is broken. i just want it to work. same with the UN. i don’t love it, i hate it. i let my weed whacker live in my garage and don’t break it and throw it out. the least it can do is do its job.

    So we needed to act unilaterally to fulfill the obligations of the UN?

    i bet you were outraged when the international skating union and the international olympic committee unilaterally gave the canadians a gold medal in pairs figure skating in 2002, completely contradicting the judges’ votes.

    did you even read the iraq facts i quoted from iraqfact.com? oh, wait, you’ve already made up your mind:

    We don’t need a history lesson here…..The intelligence was cooked [The Downing Street Memo(s)/Cheney’s Dark War/the “slam dunk case”]. The Bush administration lied to us.

    but i’m not talking about intelligence. i’m talking about iraq’s behavior.

    Did the White House mislead Americans, or the world, about Iraq’s rebuffs to the UN? No. The truthfulness of the administration’s basic case, like Iraq’s hubris, is as self-evident in retrospect as it was at the time:

    For whatever reason, and none is acceptable, Hussein didn’t disclose what weapons programs he had, or no longer had, or schemed to have. He did not have the option–refusal–that he chose.

    Rather than confront that refusal, the UN averted its eyes [source: iraqfact.com]

    like when maniacal muslim terrorists beheaded nicholas berg and his father blamed president bush for their behavior, you want to blame our president for something a maniacal dictator did himself to the detriment of his country. hussein had all the power in march 2003. he could have submitted to inspections. he could have left the country. he could have stopped bribing UNSC member states. he didn’t, so bush, blair, howard, junichiro, aznar, and about 30 other world leaders called him on it. and you blame them and deride their act as “unilateral.”

    The Kerry botched joke was just that and nothing more. You guys have turned it into something silly.

    i agree, i have been joking about the botched joke excuse. can’t you forgive me? i just botched the joke, after all!

    (see how annoying that ever-ready excuse is? please join me in condemning it)

  13. Steve

    That is where you are wrong Travis. It isn’t an excuse. It’s exactly what it was. Kerry shouldn’t have to appologize for criticizing George Bush. You guys politicized it forcing him to do so.

    Have you found a fundamental right to extortion, say threatening to bomb a nation (certainly one that doesn’t condone terrorism) back to the stone age?

    How times have changed. Did you guys appreciate the UN during the Korean War? Do you appreciate what UNICEF does? I’m glad to know that you hate the UN. Now I atleast know it is pointless talking with you about all the good it has done (e.g., reducing armed conflict globally). I recognize that the UN is flawed. The world is better with it though. If Bush had listened we would all be a lot better.

    The difference with the ice skating competition is that they were justified in giving the gold medal to the Canadians. George Bush lied to us about WMD. The war was illegitimate from the start. Try reading some of the allegations. Oh I guess you have made up your mind just as much as I have.

    You mean to the detriment of our country (a quagmire, 3000 lives and counting, 20,000 seriously injured, ~.5 to 1 trillion). Way to go Bush!

  14. Steve:

    We don’t need a history lesson here…..The intelligence was cooked [The Downing Street Memo(s)/Cheney’s Dark War/the “slam dunk case”]. The Bush administration lied to us.

    Travis:

    but i’m not talking about intelligence. i’m talking about iraq’s behavior.

    Steve:

    George Bush lied to us about WMD. The war was illegitimate from the start. Try reading some of the allegations. Oh I guess you have made up your mind just as much as I have.

    Brick wall.

  15. Steve

    Brick wall Ryan because you guys don’t acknowledge the fact that it didn’t matter what Hussein did. The administration was going for regime change (Downing Street Memo(s)). So Iraq’s behavior had nothing to do with it despite what Travis would have us believe.

    Bush lied to us. We were sold a bill of goods. The world’s most dangerous people should not have the most dangerous weapons. Ring a bell?

    The scary thing is that now they are after regime change in Iran. Can anyone stop these fools?

  16. Deon

    Can anyone stop these fools?

    Are you talking about the Bush Administration or Iran?

  17. Steve

    I was speaking of the Bush Administration but I guess it does apply to both. One thing is for sure, the Bush Administration can’t stop Iran. Bombing them will merely slow them down and really tick them off. Additionally, if you want to see our oil economy grind to a halt, do just that. Finally, if you want to make the threat of terrorism by islamic extremists greater (as we have done in Iraq according to our own intelligence estimates) proceed with that asinine plan.

  18. The administration was going for regime change (Downing Street Memo(s)). So Iraq’s behavior had nothing to do with it despite what Travis would have us believe.

    i’m sorry, steve, but you keep missing my point. please read this handy summary from the chicago tribune again:

    For whatever reason, and none is acceptable, Hussein didn’t disclose what weapons programs he had, or no longer had, or schemed to have. He did not have the option–refusal–that he chose.

    so, my question for you, steve, is this:

    are you retarded? if so, please continue commenting, thinking that your points refute mine.

    please slow down, stop sputtering out talking points, and think about that summary for one second.

    it doesn’t matter if intelligence was cooked or if the neocons wanted regime change: bushitler, blair, tenet, darth cheney, the neocons, and coultergeist all could have been silenced if hussein complied with the unanimous UN resolution 1441 calling for inspections. poof! like magic, there’s no regime change. (because, since the intelligence was fake, there were no weapons to be found).

    cooked intelligence did not determine whether hussein acted or failed to act in the face of a UN resolution. and the coalition of the willing would not have had the right to invade his country without his failure to act.

    if cooked intelligence was behind the unanimous vote for UN resolution 1441, that doesn’t matter either. if hussein had complied, the wishes of the new american nazi party headed by george bush could have been thwarted. if hussein had just allowed inspections to go forward, america would have been proven wrong, and hussein would have gained credibility in the world. he could have continued his practice of fleecing the iraqi people and taking their oil money. he could have kept the rape rooms open. abu ghraib could have remained in business, doing things ten times worse than were ever done there by the american tenants. hussein could have escaped judgment for the kurdish genocide for who knows how long. and steve valentine would have been overjoyed that we just left him alone to do all that.

    so, again, are you so completely dense that you do not understand this?

  19. Steve

    Travis, I’ll ask the same of you. Are you retarded? It didn’t matter what Hussein did. He could have brought Bush over and shown him the lack of weapons stockpiles. It wouldn’t matter. We still were going to invade.

    What?!! You honestly think Bush the zealot, dominionist would have bowed to international pressure?!! The man who wants to increase troop strength in Iraq because he has 12% of the population behind him. The man who truly believes “Old Europe” should be listened to. C’mon I know you’re not dense but to insist this is ridiculous.

    Keep in mind also that Bush, knowing the intelligence was cooked, had a choice too. He didn’t have to invade.

  20. Steve

    Travis. What a cheap shot! Of course I am always overjoyed when raping and pillaging are carried out!

    If that is the case, why am I so upset that the kill rate in Iraq is higher after Saddam (650,000 or so)? Why am I upset that nearly 2 million people have been displaced? Why, am I upset that 3000 Americans have died (>20,000 seriously injured) for a lie? Why am I upset that we are not helping in Sudan (where we really should worry about genocide). Why do I care that the 1/2 trillion dollars could have been used to shore up social security for the forseeable future? Boy, I’m really conflicted because of the horrible human being I am.

    On the other hadn, if you guys really do hold the moral high ground and I truly am evil, why lie to the American public? Why not invade every country where an evil dictator/government perpetrates attrocities against the public (Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, China, etc.)? Why not listen to the generals? Why not go to war with the army you wished you had? Why promulgate stupid foreign policy (axis of evil)?

    After that self assessment, I think I can dismiss your comment as ridiculous. Again your lack of credibility shining through.

  21. Steve

    “cooked intelligence did not determine whether hussein acted or failed to act in the face of a UN resolution”

    How do you presume to know this? I mean how do you know that seeing Bush lie through his teeth didn’t force Saddam’s hand. Something like, this guy’s (Bush) a maniac. All I can do is call his bluff and hope that Bush will lose in the court of public oppinion.

    I mean, really do you know Saddam’s mind? Again, use some critical thinking skills. At least be open to different ideas.

  22. George Bush lied to us about WMD. The war was illegitimate from the start.

    Search though I may, I have yet to find the inferential path from “President Bush lied” to “The war in Iraq was unjustified” — which makes me wonder why the first of these sentences is uttered so often. I keep hoping that an opponent of the war, of whom there are many, will supply the path. In the meantime, let’s play devil’s advocate. Suppose President Bush lied about (1) Iraqi involvement in the attacks of 9-11 and (2) the existence, in Iraq, of weapons of mass destruction. Suppose he really is a liar, as many liberals proclaim. It doesn’t follow, without some powerful (but implausible) additional premises, that the war was wrong.

    The Morality of Lying

    Let’s think this through. Is lying always wrong? There are three theoretical positions. The absolutist deontological position is that lying is always wrong, no matter how good the consequences of doing so. The moderate deontological position is that lying is intrinsically wrong (i.e., wrong in itself, because of the kind of act it is), but justified if enough good is produced (or enough harm prevented) thereby. In effect, the moderate deontologist endorses a rebuttable presumption against lying: “Lying is wrong unless X.” The consequentialist position is that lying is not intrinsically wrong. That an act is a lie is morally irrelevant. There is no presumption against lying. Whether a lie or any other act is justified depends solely on its consequences.

    To summarize: To an absolutist deontologist, lying is intrinsically wrong and can never be justified by its consequences. To a moderate deontologist, lying is intrinsically wrong but can be justified if enough good is produced thereby. To a consequentialist, lying is not intrinsically wrong. If it is wrong at all, it is extrinsically wrong — because of what it brings about. To an absolutist deontologist, there is an irrebuttable presumption (what lawyers call a “conclusive” presumption) against lying. To a moderate deontologist, there is a rebuttable presumption against lying. To a consequentialist, there is no presumption against lying.

    Applying the Theories

    Suppose President Bush needed public support for the war in Iraq and believed he could get it — mobilize it — only by lying about the two things mentioned. This seems to be the liberal view, repeated ad nauseam. Only an absolutist deontologist would conclude, without more, that the war was unjustified, for, to that person, no amount of good can justify lying. The situation is different, however, for moderate deontologists and consequentialists. For the latter, there must be a calculation of the costs and benefits of the war for all concerned, compared with alternative actions. The consequentialist is not concerned with whether President Bush lied, only with whether his action — however described — maximized the good, impartially considered.

    (Let me elaborate. The good in question is the good of all, not just of Americans. Consequentialists consider nationality, ethnicity, race, and religion morally irrelevant. These categories are of no intrinsic moral significance to them. Consequentialists also reject loyalties of all kinds, including those to family and friends. In deciding what to do, they say, one must be strictly impartial. The interests of an American count for no more (or less) than the interests of an Iraqi. The interests of my child count for no more (or less) than those of any other child; and if I am the one deciding what to do, I must remain strictly impartial between them. Many people consider this alone to be a sufficient reason to reject consequentialism.)

    For the moderate deontologist, who endorses a rebuttable presumption against lying, the question is whether enough good was produced by the war to justify lying. This depends on the person’s threshold. Some moderate deontologists have a high threshold; they require a great deal of good to justify a lie. Others have a low threshold; they require only some good to justify a lie. Moderate deontologists fall on a spectrum or continuum. Think of it this way. To an absolutist deontologist, lying has a moral weight of 1. To a consequentialist, lying has a moral weight of 0. Moderate deontologists occupy the space — and it’s a lot of space — between 0 and 1.

    A Hypothetical Case

    To see how these moral theories might lead to different conclusions about the permissibility of war in Iraq, suppose the war makes the world a better place by 1,000,000 units. That is, after subtracting the bad from the good, taking everyone’s interests into account, we’re left with 1,000,000 units of good. No other action, let us say, would produce as much. Now suppose President Bush’s hypothesized lies were necessary to produce that good. The absolutist deontologist says the war was unjustified. Evil may not be done that good may come. Lying is categorically prohibited. The consequentialist says the war was justified, since, ex hypothesi, it produced more overall good than any alternative action. To a consequentialist, the end justifies the means. Any means.

    Moderate deontologists would disagree among themselves about the permissibility of the war. Those with thresholds higher than 1,000,000 units of good would side with the absolutist deontologists in condemning the war. They would say that 1,000,000 units of good is not enough to justify the lies told to produce that good. Moderate deontologists with lower thresholds might side with the consequentialists in commending the war, since it produced enough good, in their view, to outweigh the intrinsic badness of the lies. Where the threshold is set makes all the difference.

    Note that different theorists can come to the same conclusion about the war. That S opposes the war doesn’t mean that S is an absolutist deontologist. S may be a moderate deontologist who believes that his or her threshold hasn’t been met. By the same token, that T supports the war doesn’t mean that T is a consequentialist. T may be a moderate deontologist who believes that his or her threshold has been met. That two or more theories give the same result in particular cases doesn’t make them the same theory. What makes theories distinct is that they don’t always give the same result.

    Remember: I’m only assuming, for the sake of argument, that the consequentialist calculus comes out in favor of the war. It could come out against the war. It all depends on the facts. What’s distinctive about consequentialism is that it attaches no intrinsic moral significance to whether President Bush lied.

    The Incompleteness of Liberal Thought

    The point of these theoretical reflections is this: Even if President Bush lied about Iraqi involvement in the attacks of 9-11 and about the existence, in Iraq, of weapons of mass destruction, all the argumentative work remains to be done! Only absolutist deontologists, of whom I suspect there are few, say that the fact that President Bush lied disposes of the question whether the war was justified. Everyone else must examine the consequences of the war vis-à-vis the consequences of alternative courses of action-and that has nothing to do with President Bush.

    Liberals are disingenuous. In their obsessive focus on the president, and specifically on whether he lied to the American people, they miss the larger issue of the justification for the war. They act as if they’re all absolutist deontologists. They act as if no amount of good could possibly justify the telling of a lie.

    In fact, almost no liberal who opposes the war is an absolutist deontologist. Liberals “adopt” absolutist deontology when it suits their purposes. When it doesn’t, they adopt moderate deontology or consequentialism. This is theoretical cherry-picking. It is no more respectable than any other type of cherry-picking. In fact, it’s less respectable, since it’s either a rationalization of a moral judgment made on other grounds or a bald expression of hatred or some other vile emotion.

    Keith Burgess-Jackson, J.D., Ph.D., is a frequent contributor to Tech Central Station. Several of his columns have concerned the war in Iraq, which he supported from the beginning. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he teaches courses in Logic, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, and Philosophy of Law. He has three blogs: AnalPhilosopher, Animal Ethics, and The Ethics of War.

  23. steve

    Boy, Travis. If you guys can’t find the inferential path, you are terrible researchers. Try “the Google”.

    “Let’s think this through. Is lying always wrong?”

    I think this has been anwered by God (2 Ne. 2:18. 2 Ne. 9:34).

    Man, Keith likes to listen to himself more than Pseudomonas. I mean really Travis we don’t need a lecture on whether or not the ends justify the means.

    I will agree here that hindsight is 20/20 and that all parties use it to their advantage. Yes, you guys would use it too if things had turned out better. The part that good ole Keith missed is that many more Americans would have been absolute deontologists had George Bush told the truth and then invaded. Have you guys not learned yet that the poll numbers do reflect American sentiment? Let me help you out, election day 2006.

    Another problem that Keith is missing, George Bush’s lies resulted in 3000 American lives lost, 20000 seriously injured, 650000 civillians lost, and 1/2 trillion wasted (and counting) without accomplishing the much lauded middle east democracy! This is more important than cherry picking; this is a catastrophe (to put it more euphemistically than John Stewart). At the very least, it is criminal.

  24. 1/2 trillion wasted (and counting) without accomplishing the much lauded middle east democracy!

    1/2 a trillion? that is peanuts:

    The United States has spent $9 trillion (in current dollars) on welfare programs since President Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1965.
    :::::
    And yet, poverty is still with us.
    :::::
    “there are more than 80 poverty-related programs, which in 2003 cost $522 billion. Yet despite those programs, 37 million Americans continue to live in poverty.”
    :::::
    Likewise, the United States has spent over $1 trillion on foreign aid. And yet, the Clinton administration reported that “despite decades of foreign assistance, most of Africa and parts of Latin America, Asia and the Middle East are economically worse off today than they were 20 years ago.” [source: homelandstupidity.us]

    and you want to quit on mideast democracy after just half a trillion? we spent half a trillion on poverty in the US in 2003 alone. do you then agree that we should quit public assistance inside the US? please explain.

    another point about democracy: i know that you think i am george bush’s mini me, but i am not. i don’t agree with all of his rationales for war. i understand how you could think that i do, because i have used some of his arguments about liberating iraq to buttress my own. but the truth is, they are not good except as icing on the cake of self-defense. i don’t think the US should be running around trying to save everyone from themselves (establishing democracy, bringing a dictator to justice, etc). our country has enough problems that need attending to.

    however, the one argument that i found very convincing in bush’s case for war was this: the entire world–except hussein himself, you note–thought iraq had WMDs. hussein suddenly wouldn’t let the UN conduct inspections so lots of people, understandably, started freaking out. when the UN, because of corruption (or, if you prefer: lies) failed to act, the US acted. this makes sense because the US was most likely to suffer from a failure of the international community to deal with the perceived problem.

    “Let’s think this through. Is lying always wrong?”

    I think this has been anwered (sic) by God

    yes, your god kofi annan answered this one. in a working UN resolution you’ll find language like (i’ll paraphrase until i can find it): “no one is required to tell the truth all of the time.” i know it’s depressing, but that is the conscensus of the international community.

    Keep in mind also that Bush, knowing the intelligence was cooked, had a choice too. He didn’t have to invade.

    let me get back to you after january 2. the foundation you have built your life on, frontline’s “the dark side” is set to tivo. then i’ll know the secret truths.

    What?!! You honestly think Bush the zealot, dominionist would have bowed to international pressure?!! The man who wants to increase troop strength in Iraq because he has 12% of the population behind him. The man who truly believes “Old Europe” should be listened to. C’mon I know you’re not dense but to insist this is ridiculous.
    :::::
    It didn’t matter what Hussein did. He could have brought Bush over and shown him the lack of weapons stockpiles. It wouldn’t matter. We still were going to invade.

    miss cleo is in the house!

    because he is a zealot and a dominionist, he went to the UN and labored on the diplomacy path for 18 months trying to influence world opinion. he let saddam have a 17th chance to submit to international will–and thereby get off the hook–before he ordered the inevitable invasion.

    your studies in chemistry have clearly taught you tons about international politics. much moreso, even than bush and his advisors ever learned.

    tell me: you’re not so ill with BDS that you really think president bush would have attacked iraq if saddam showed the world there were no weapons, are you?

    that claim is so far out there, i don’t think a single person in american public life would agree with you, besides the token tin foil loon, dennis kucinich.

    why am I so upset that the kill rate in Iraq is higher after Saddam?

    that question is too easy. it’s because now you can blame the deaths on your least favorite nation, the USA.

    Why am I upset that nearly 2 million people have been displaced?….Why am I upset that we are not helping in Sudan (where we really should worry about genocide).

    the answer is the same. why do you say care about sudan but not iraq? because it allows you to oppose the bush administration. why didn’t you care about the suffering of the iraqi people before the US appeared on the scene? answer: now, you can blame america, so iraqi lives matter.

    i don’t know why george bush brought up saddam’s atrocities against iraqis as one of the rationales for war. if anything, it must’ve been an attempt to get you liberals on board. he apparently underestimated your BDS.

    again, i would prefer a conservative foreign policy from our executive branch. this means, no use of our military outside our borders except in defense of our country. however, this requires a comprehensive “withdrawal” policy, including immigration, energy, international commitments, and nerves of steel as we watched the world turn without lifting a finger.

    but i tend to look on the bright side: then we wouldn’t have to answer questions from whiners demanding to know, impatiently, why we don’t invade every country with an evil dictator?

    Why not invade every country where an evil dictator/government perpetrates attrocities (sic) against the public (Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, China, etc.)?

    answer: because those are all your favorite world leaders! according to you, bush is more dangerous than all of them.

  25. steve

    Boy, now you want to bring up George’s track record on poverty. Brilliant! Nearly 50 million (this is closer to the actual number) people in poverty and growing at a rate of 1 million per year. Bush is a genius.

    Again Travis,the Downing Street Memo and Bush’s intentional lying (State of the Union Address) clearly demonstrate that his going to the UN was symbolic only (meant nothing). He had nothing to lose. If they went along with it, he was covered. If they didn’t go along, he was going to invade anyway (covered by the coalition of the “willing”).

    “i know it’s depressing, but that is the conscensus (sic) of the international community.”

    I’m not interested in the consensus of the international community. I responded with scriptures showing how God feel’s about lying. Oh and at least my God Kofi has half a brain compared with your God Bush.

    Your comparison with welfare is silly but we’ve already discussed this before. It doesn’t warrant a response here.

    Democracy? Oh is that what we’re bringing them? I thought it was murder and mayhem.

    “your studies in chemistry have clearly taught you tons about international politics. much moreso, even than bush and his advisors ever learned.”

    No my studies in chemistry have helped me to develop critical thinking skills. Something your crack team (Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush) clearly lacks. What, you shouldn’t go into a country divided along sectarian and ethnic lines with a limited number of troops and expect to maintain peace?

    “tell me: you’re not so ill with BDS that you really think president bush would have attacked iraq if saddam showed the world there were no weapons, are you?”

    Tell me: you don’t suffer so much from an inability to grasp reality that you think Bush would have allowed Sadam to come clean.

    See what Scott Ritter a former member of the UN weapons inspection team had to say.

    “There’s no doubt Iraq hasn’t fully complied with its disarmament obligations as set forth by the Security Council in its resolution. But on the other hand, since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capacity has been verifiably eliminated… We have to remember that this missing 5-10% doesn’t necessarily constitute a threat… It constitutes bits and pieces of a weapons program which in its totality doesn’t amount to much, but which is still prohibited… We can’t give Iraq a clean bill of health, therefore we can’t close the book on their weapons of mass destruction. But simultaneously, we can’t reasonably talk about Iraqi non-compliance as representing a de-facto retention of a prohibited capacity worthy of war.

    We eliminated the nuclear program, and for Iraq to have reconstituted it would require undertaking activities that would have been eminently detectable by intelligence services.

    If Iraq were producing [chemical] weapons today, we’d have proof, pure and simple.

    [A]s of December 1998 we had no evidence Iraq had retained biological weapons, nor that they were working on any. In fact, we had a lot of evidence to suggest Iraq was in compliance.”

    Bush knew that Iraq could and would not comply. Or do you suppose we have found the complete documents detailing Iraq’s destruction of its remaining stockpiles (actually pittance -see Ritter’s remarks) of WMD? Is Bush hiding those? Only loons don’t recognize that Bush was going in anyway.

    C’mon Travis. The notion that only Republicans are patriots is only believed by Hee Haws. The American public spanked the Republicans for it in November. Let me explain about Sudan. There may be ~1/2 million dead there (over three years). This is much higher than Sadam’s kill rate over 24 years. It’s the numbers man. That’s all we stupid chemists care about. What, fewer people were killed by Sadam than have been murdered in Iraq because of Bush’s stupidity? What, it might be easier to gain world support for action in Sudan? What, we may not have to shoulder all the costs (1/2 trillion)? You guys should try the numbers once in a while. Oh you have Rove’s fairyland numbers.

    I’m glad you’re able to see the “bright side”. Not to be sacrilegiuos or anything, but The Life of Brian comes to mind. I think about 20% of Americans can see that bright side with you.

    Actually the leaders of China, Russia, North Korea, etc. are your favorite leaders. They are the only ones that kept Bush in power (’04). I will praise you guys on one thing. You are good fearmongers. Always have been.

  26. travis

    George’s track record on poverty.

    war on poverty: 1965 – present.
    bush 43 presidency: 2001 – present.

    get a clue, BDS sufferer.

    If they didn’t go along, he was going to invade anyway (covered by the coalition of the “willing”).

    no, the coalition wouldn’t have been willing if saddam had opened up his country to weapons inspections and showed that he had none.

    Your comparison with welfare is silly

    you: $1/2 trillion spent in the “war on terror” is a waste because we haven’t made any progress.

    me: would you then agree that $9 trillion spent in the “war on poverty” is a waste because we haven’t made any progress?

    it’s a simple question. but i can understand why you wouldn’t want to answer it. you’re just a chemist. $9 trillion isn’t an atomic number, and you can’t find it on a periodic table. so its probably a lie made up by faux news.

    Democracy? Oh is that what we’re bringing them? I thought it was murder and mayhem.

    no, we brought them several free elections, ones in which no candidate magically got 100% of the vote. but thanks for representing the hezbollah view.

    iran, syria, and al-qaeda have been bringing them murder and mayhem, in the form of imported terrorist thugs who plant roadside bombs and stage other attacks aimed at anyone and everyone — including completely innocent iraqi citizens.

    you shouldn’t go into a country divided along sectarian and ethnic lines with a limited number of troops and expect to maintain peace?

    unbelievably, there are a limited number of troops patrolling my neighborhood in the religiously and ethnically diverse USA right now. i’ll call bush and tell him to send backup immediately.

    See what Scott Ritter a former member of the UN weapons inspection team had to say.

    see what else scott ritter, al-jazeera columnist and pervert had to say:

    *September 16, 1998: The House National Security Committee
    “Iraq is not disarmed. Iraq still poses a real and meaningful threat to its neighbors, and nothing the Security Council or the United States is currently doing will change this back.”

    *April 10, 2001: CNN, Live From the Front Lines
    “Well I’ve said all along that we had fundamentally disarmed Iraq by 1996.”

    curious.

    C’mon Travis. The notion that only Republicans are patriots is only believed by Hee Haws. The American public spanked the Republicans for it in November.

    yes, by electing a bunch of guys that acted as republican as possible. one, jim webb, is a lifelong republican who became a democrat a few months before the election so he could run against republican, george allen. many of the others, like heath shuler, are actually more conservative than lots of republicans in congress. gosh, that spanking hurt. you know what they say, imitation is the most sincere form of spanking.

    What, fewer people were killed by Sadam than have been murdered in Iraq because of [the fanaticism of jihadi extremists]?

    the sentence, as corrected, is true. i just had to help you out there. you’re a democrat, so your first inclination is to blame america. don’t worry, it has happened to the best of you.

    What, it might be easier to gain world support for action in Sudan? What, we may not have to shoulder all the costs (1/2 trillion)?

    big whoop. we are still the biggest monetary supporters of the UN. based on our fixed obligations, we’ll pay at least 25% – 30% of any intervention in sudan, even if we don’t lift a finger (or send a single aircraft carrier) of our own. but that (non-involvement) is not going to happen because the UN hasn’t done anything yet. looks like no one else, not even the UN, will act without us taking the lead. (iraq all over again). we’ll be footing the majority of the cost and burden of any intervention in sudan, mark my words.

    here’s how it will go down: we’ll send in some troops there. we won’t be able to fight with unmanned drones or less risky air strikes because our foes have learned how to defeat us. they hide among the innocent. they use the guerrilla tactics they saw succeed in vietnam (democrat war), somalia / black hawk down (democrat war) and iraq (democrats saw the same intelligence as bush and voted for the war, then voted against funding the war, then called for withdrawal, then called bush a liar, etc). all the bad guys in sudan have to do is get lucky and cause a few deaths, and americans will be calling for withdrawal and retreat in no time. our enemies know how we do business. we’re a paper tiger. they know our bureaucrats will commission a “retreat advisory report,” then they’ll be home free.

    history repeats itself.

    if the US goes into sudan (since the UN won’t) people will just hate us more and call us imperialists. then liberals will whine about how war is bad for any reason, but especially one articulated by a neocon, then we’ll lose.

    i could write a book about a future US intervention in sudan right freaking now, and just leave a few blanks for specifics.

    Not to be sacrilegiuos (sic, sic) or anything, but The Life of Brian comes to mind.

    i haven’t seen that movie, so i don’t get your point.

    I think about 20% of Americans can see that bright side with you.

    i’m not interested in the consensus of the national community.

    Actually the leaders of China, Russia, North Korea, etc. are your favorite leaders. They are the only ones that kept Bush in power (’04).

    you stupid piece of crap, was that supposed to be funny?

    follow this: bush is the villain who got democrats control of congress (’06), so he is therefore your favorite leader. you love to be “fearmongers,” too. i recall many breathless democrat rants about bush’s “trampling of free speech” and civil liberties and democrats constantly harping — fearmongering, if you will — that george w bush was turning our country into a police state, that george bush would turn back the clock on women’s procreative freedom to the 1950s with his judicial nominees, george bush would turn back the clock to the days of jim crow with his racist policies, that george bush was about to reinstate the draft (but it turned out a democrat, charlie rangel, proposed reinstating the draft. rangel then voted against his own proposal). of course, the democrat fearmongering that started this thread: john kerry telling a bunch of LA-area community college students that if they did poorly in school, george bush would stick them in iraq.

    therefore, using your superb logic, george w bush is your favorite leader. so i will take this opportunity to praise you liberals on one thing. you are good fearmongers. always have been.

  27. steve

    Get a clue Travis. War on poverty- poverty decreased from 25% to about ~11% after the first 10 years (and has remained there. George Bush, (50 million people in poverty and climbing -accelerating). You are right. It is a simple question. You can’t calculate.

    “no, the coalition wouldn’t have been willing if saddam had opened up his country to weapons inspections and showed that he had none.”

    Whatever. You have a selective memory. The coalition never was “willing” and we went in anyway. Again what happened to the documents detailing complete destruction of Saddam’s pitiful stockpiles of WMD?

    Your neighborhood diverse? That melting pot in Kentucky? I guess that is why you guys were so suprised by the results in Iraq. Total disconnect from reality.

    So Scott Ritter believes that Iraq was a threat because they were trying to procure WMD while at the same time believing they didn’t have much of those capabilities. Big whoop!

    Yeah we elected so many Republicans that George Bush felt he had enough political capital to keep Rummy around. And, Webb really is an ardent supporter of Bush. Did you see the tongue lashing he gave him? Yes the American people did give you guys a spanking. I hope that you people turn a blind eye again in ’08 so we can get more idiots out of there.

    Wouldn’t it be better to shoulder 25% of the cost rather than 95%? Wouldn’t it be better to have world oppinion on our side? If you want a good description of the negative effects of such a state vis a vis the economy, try reading Fishman’s China Inc.

    Whatever. You see so clearly what will happen to us in Sudan. Where was this prognistication when it came to Iraq? We had, as you mentioned, Vietnam, Somalia, Beirut (a Republican stupidity) etc. to learn from. Bush could have used your help. Oh I forget, George Bush is just plain stupid (the original idea behind this post -Kerry’s botched joke).

    “you stupid piece of crap, was that supposed to be funny?”

    I could say the same of you but I won’t. If you look at the end of your post we realize that all along you really do believe that Kerry’s intentions were to criticize the troops. Wrong. He meant to say “you get us stuck in Iraq”. Plain and simple. Additionally, my words truly were a joke -though they touched a nerve in you. Your words show that you can’t think for yourself or follow a discussion based on context. Finally, your words also show the hypocrisy in the idea of compassionate conservatism. There is no semblance of Christianity in the Neocon ideology. No wonder you espouse the elitism and social darwinism that are major tenets of LaVey’s Satanism.

  28. doug

    No wonder you espouse the elitism and social darwinism that are major tenets of LaVey’s Satanism.

    the all-encompassingly blog: Bringing our fellow man to Satanism, one neocon at a time.

  29. Steve

    See now, I just knew one of you would find the humor there. You didn’t even need to call me a stupid piece of crap.

  30. Additionally, my words truly were a joke -though they touched a nerve in you.

    wait, so you’re saying the “favorite leaders” comment was just a botched joke? it was pretty funny. i acknowledged that by saying,

    was that supposed to be funny?”

    i also threw in a rather mild insult. grow a backbone.

    You didn’t even need to call me a stupid piece of crap.

    your “republicans are fearmongers” comment was complete bunk, and yet the idea is something you have repeatedly asserted it in your many comments on this blog.

    if you’re going to keep throwing out undigested talking points like that, expect me to attach an appropriate label to you.

  31. steve

    Wasn’t a botched joke Travis. Others would get the humor there. Remember it’s not always about you.

    Your intimations that Democrats aren’t patriots and that Democrats support terrorism are complete bunk. It’s also something you’ve asserted many times. I guess that means your label is appropriate to describe you as well.

    Stupid piece of crap = mild insult. Gee I wonder what would be a severe insult with you Travis.

    I have plenty backbone. Well, enough that I don’t get upset when you call me a stupid piece of crap. In fact, I find it amusing.

  32. […] such was said of me this week. so i asked my good friend, coultergeist (aka ann coulter) to respond. please enjoy her column: […]

  33. […] such was said of me this week. so i asked my friend, ann coulter, to respond. she was kind enough to oblige: […]

  34. […] such was said of me this week. i asked my friend, ann coulter, for a response. she was kind enough to oblige: […]

  35. […] Jay and Steve, Dec 2006 [link] […]

  36. travis

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmNjYmZkNDA0NDUyZmU2M2UzMjAwZmJjMjhjNjM5NmU=

    The Politics of Fear
    And the mother of all bait-and-switches.

    By Jonah Goldberg

    Democrats take understandable pride in FDR’s famous declaration, made during the Great Depression, that “all we have to fear is fear itself.” More recently Democrats, led by none other than Al Gore, have been fixated on the evils of the “politics of fear” — politics, allegedly, only Republicans are guilty of practicing.

    Ever since the Iraq War turned decidedly unpopular, Gore has been demonizing George W. Bush and the GOP as fearmongers. “He betrayed this country!” Gore fumed of President Bush, in a famous splenetic diatribe at a 2004 Democratic Party event in Tennessee. “He played on our fears!” Gore went on to rail against the “politics of fear” going all the way back to Nixon. In 2008, when Gore endorsed Barack Obama it was in part because the Illinois senator represented a break with the “politics of fear.”

    What’s hilarious about this is that Gore is, without question, the most successful fearmonger in America, if not the whole world. He is constantly spinning climate change in the most horrifying terms possible. He asserts global warming as the author of nearly every calamity, inflating threats in order to bully people into agreeing with him. There’s no time to argue, do what I say or we’re all doomed, is the central message of Al Gore’s environmental shtick. And it works for him. It’s made him both hugely wealthy and popular in the circles he cares about and it has advanced his agenda farther than fair-minded persuasion would.

    Of course, in the process he’s fueled paranoia among an entire generation of young people who think we’re seconds from an environmental Armageddon.

    Gore also seems to have taught Barack Obama a thing or two. President Obama, whose whole campaign was about hope over fear, has been scaring the dickens out of people lately. He has certainly terrified the stock market. He’s warned of “catastrophe” and economic “disaster” from which we may never recover.

    What’s particularly odious about Obama’s scare tactics is that he’s using them for the mother of all bait-and-switches. He justifiably scares people about the magnitude of the financial crisis, but uses that fear not to sell them on a solution to the crisis but to trick them into signing up for a new Great Society. It’s like convincing someone he’s got cancer and then telling him that’s why he needs to buy a new car.

    But beyond the hypocrisy and the undemocratic nature of using panic to cram through policies you couldn’t get through debate and persuasion, what I find fascinating is the psychological projection. Liberals have been using fear to demonize their opponents for generations. FDR did it all the time. Harry Truman claimed his 1948 opponent, Thomas Dewey, was the front man for a fascist cabal. LBJ tried to link Barry Goldwater with the Klan and the (fictionally right-wing) forces who assassinated Kennedy. Bill Clinton was a master of conjuring fears about angry white men and other hobgoblins. Al Gore campaigned in 2000 by decrying every idea he didn’t like as a “risky scheme.” Liberal activists groups stir up panics over food, children, power lines, polar bears, and a thousand other things every day.

    I’ve long been convinced that one of the chief sources of rage in politics is when the enemy steals your shtick. Republicans loathed Bill Clinton in part because he ran on issues like crime and fixing welfare. One major ingredient of Bush hatred was that he campaigned on issues like education and gushed about compassion. I’m not saying that Republicans don’t practice the politics of fear. But I do sometimes wonder if Democrats get so upset about it because they think they’re the only ones allowed to do that.