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Oh lord, again with the sniveling

Posted by on May 21, 2004

We killed a village in Iraq.

When did I stop caring about what we’re doing in other countries? I cared last year. I think it was when I realized there was nothing I can do…if we smash the state there will just be another state. History is built on slaughtered villagers. They were celebrating a wedding and we decapitated their children. It’s nothing new.

Maria at work says we’re living in the last days. She says it’s all there in the Bible. I wonder if we are the Apocalypse horsemen and it’s only the rest of the world that has to worry?

kids

70 Responses to Oh lord, again with the sniveling

  1. didofoot

    once again, i disappear for a day and shit blows up.

    i un-blocked meaty fly. he at least was reasonably articulate and did not suggest that dianna should be mutilated. that comment alone really quadrupled my misery over the current state of affairs, so thank you for that, john.

    you guys seem to be holding your own against these maroons so i’ll leave you to it, despite my desire to virtually cover my ears and yell “na na na, i can’t hear you” whenever they comment.

  2. christine

    My favorite part of this is the insistence from neo-cons that the end justifies the means. That is their point, right? It’s okay to go in for any reason, self-interested or altruistic, informed or uninformed, as long as removing Sadaam from power was “a good thing.” What I like so much about it is how squarely the intelligentsia from every region in every time period have come down against that idea. I think they will only find sympathizers amongst the utilitarians, who, not surprisingly were adopted by the economists who are now justifying the war. Take comfort that you are in the good company of Plato, Confucius, even Kant on this one, while not even the Straussians can help them now.

  3. sean

    Ditto, Christine, although I think even Mr. Jeremy Bentham would be upset by the Abu Ghraib abuses, even if they’d taken place in a panopticon.

  4. Kristina

    When I graduated from Cal, I said that if I ever heard the word “panopticon” ever again, I’d go insane. So, now you’ve done it; you’ve made me totally crazy Sean ­čśë

  5. didofoot

    one dictionary.com moment later, i am now in love with sean.

  6. michele

    hey! me too. i love you, dictionary.com

  7. Kristina

    dictionary.com does kick m-w.com’s ass, but I’m in love with dictionary.law.com

  8. John

    It’s time to put the nail in your collective mental coffins. Let’s just run through a few statistics to put things in perspective.

    First, as Meaty Fly mentioned above, UNICEF estimated that 60,000 civilians (per year) were dying early deaths in the years before the war. I’ve read 37,000 per year elsewhere, but it probably depends on the period measured.

    *I’m pretty sure this doesn’t even include the mass graves.

    Second, the peacenik http://www.iraqbodycount.net estimates that number of Iraqi civilian deaths as 9,000 to 11,000 since the start of the war. Given the nature of the counters, odds are this is an inflated number.

    Food in Iraq is everywhere available, clean water is flowing, electricity is being produced at levels higher than those before the war, hundreds of schools have been rebuilt and some 30,000 teachers trained´┐Żand whereas before the war Iraqi civilians were dying untimely deaths at the rate of 36,000 a year, now even an anti-war group estimates that in the last 14 months the number of Iraqi civilians to die unnatural deaths numbers at most about 11,000.

    Now, if Cody and the peace-loving opponents of Saddam’s removal had their way (and if UNICEF can be believed), somewhere between 37,000 to 60,000 Iraqi civilians would have died in the past year. Instead, a mere 9,000 to 11,000 died. Hmmm. Yet Cody thinks things have gotten “worse.”

    There is no civil war, nor is there likely to be one. That doesn’t even enter into the equation.

    As for American casualties, they have been among the lowest in history at 1.5 to 2.5% (total of 800). Compare these for fun:

    Korean War: 7.8%

    World War I: 6.8%

    World War II: 6.6%

    Vietnam War: 6.2%

    Sorry, this war is not a disaster. It is one of the greatest successes in the history of warfare thus. There is a sad lack of historical perspective on this board. Sad.

    I’ll be the first to admit that the prison scandal is bad news. I certainly don’t support what happened there. But to suggest that such abuse in any way undermines the worthiness of removing Saddam is laughable.

    Have you forgotten about the mass graves?

    Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies´┐Żtheir arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.

    “We’ve already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves,” said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein’s regime murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. “Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been ‘disappeared’ by the Iraqi government over the past two decades,” said the group in a statement in May. “Many of these ‘disappeared’ are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq.”

    If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.

    If you can read that and honestly say that it would be better if Saddam were still in power, you are even further gone than I suspected.

  9. Kristina

    I really hate John, any anyone else who thinks this war is “one of the greatest successes in the history of warfare thus”. I think he’s missing the point that there shouldn’t be a “war” at all, that none of our soldiers should be dying over there and that no matter how bad Saddam was, he was not the “direct threat” that the Administration claimed he was and there is no real link to 9/11. Jackass John, no one here is saying that Saddam was a good person or that he should have remained in power indefinitely, but they are saying that we were lied to about the real reasons for removing him and now that he’s gone, we’ve got a huge mess on our hands that we are not capable of handling in a responsible and ultimately productive manner. Things are messed up, and to deny that is worse than to disregard history (which no one here is actually doing) because you’re blinding yourself to things that are actually happening right now. Don’t bother responding to me b/c I don’t give a shit what you think about my comment. I’m really writing this to make myself feel better and for my friends, no you, asswipe.

  10. Doug

    Dipshit, no one is saying that Saddam’s government was good. I would hope that the current occupying forces are committing fewer atrocities than Saddam did, but we are still committing SOME atrocities (prison abuse, etc.). Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t be pissed when our military does even one evil, Saddam-like thing just because we aren’t any worse than one of the most brutal dictators in history? Wrong is wrong, regardless of what happened in the past.

    You haven’t stated anything new in your past few posts. You keep rehashing the same argument that a good final outcome in Iraq will justify all the misinformation used to justify the invasion, as well as horrific crimes against innocent civilians committed by our military. Even if Iraq turns into a shining example of democracy, it won´┐Żt change the fact that the Bush administration has lied and made numerous mistakes for which it should be held accountable. Have you even read 1984? All of the blatantly obvious parallels between the Bush administration and the totalitarian government described in that novel seem to be going right over your head. Frankly, this is getting boring. Your argument clearly isn’t convincing anyone. The readers of this site can’t be brainwashed by repetition like Fox News viewers. You might want to come up with a different argument because you are basically wasting your time with your current one. If I were you, I would admit that I was outclassed and fighting a losing battle. However, by all means please continue. It is pretty entertaining seeing you make an ass of yourself in front of a lot of intelligent people.

  11. Doug

    That last post was directed at John, not Kristina, although it should be pretty obvious that John=dipshit.

  12. Kristina

    No worries, I think it was pretty obvious who the “dipshit” was meant to be.

  13. dr v

    “First, as Meaty Fly mentioned above, UNICEF estimated that 60,000 civilians (per year) were dying early deaths in the years before the war. I’ve read 37,000 per year elsewhere, but it probably depends on the period measured.”

    Yep, that’s because of economic sanctions that we imposed you fool.

    “If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.”

    Guess what? We supported Pol Pot even after we knew he was a genocidal maniac.

    We also sold Antrhax to Saddam Hussein. Again, crucially, this was AFTER we knew that he was routinely using chemical weapons on civilians.

    So, again, I ask that you carefully think about the history of the matter. We knowingly give our full support to genocidal regimes for political gain. Indeed, we enable them to continue their genocide on a larger scale. Then, when our political goals change all of the sudden we start pointing out how bad the genocide is. Nevermind the fact that we were supporting it all along! Can you simply not see the hypocrisy in all of this?

  14. didofoot

    Iraqbodycount.org includes a list of their media sources and a description of their methods of information gathering on their website. They only use figures which are widely agreed on in the mainstream media, so I think to dismiss them as “peacenik” and imply that they are inflating their totals is pretty unfair.

    This is tangental, but it’s a good site and deserves recognition. I am a bit skeptical of the motives behind some of the sources John has quoted, however.

  15. John

    Ahhh yes:

    Under your logic, if you gave a kid a pair of scissors, and that kid started stabbing other kids at a party, it would be wrong to forcefully stop the kid because, after all, YOU gave the kid the scissors in the first place.

    It was wrong to stop Saddam’s murderous party because, hey, America helped give him the party supplies.

    According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the United States was responsible for 1% of all arms imports to Iraq during the period from 1973 to 2002. So, yeah, we helped give Saddam the scissors. But during the same period, USSR/Russia supplied 57%, France gave 13%, and China gave 12%. Three Security Council nations gave 82% while the U.S. gave 1% of the scissors.

    And while America wrongly took the scissors away, Russia, France, and China opposed the removal of the scissors. That ought to be deeply satisfying to the peace lovers. Those countries recognized the core principle that if you do something wrong, you can never do something right, especially if its for the wrong reasons.

    *All together now*

    It is good that Saddam is gone, and we wouldn’t want him back, but we were wrong to remove him. America has no right to be in Iraq, but it must stay to finish the job, because America wrongly removed a mass-murdering dictator, which was a good thing, but for the wrong reasons.

    This has indeed become a waste of time. Just keep opposing the removal of dictators in the name of peace, because, after all, America has done bad things in the past, and we wouldn’t want to change that, even if it helps people.

  16. dr v

    Chomsky refers to John’s absurd rhetorical tactic as the Doctrine of Change of Course with the content being “Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that’s all over, so let’s not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff.” He goes on to call the doctrine “dishonest and cowardly”.

    I never said I was opposed to removing dictators. I’m opposed to all of the bold face lies. I’m sorry but history really does matter. You can’t claim that your foreign policy is based on the most noble intentions (democratizing the Middle East) when the past has shown that it’s only our own self-interest that matters. If we really care so much about removing dictators then why do we have such a long history of supporting them? Gen. Suharto, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Gen. Noriega to name a few.

    Given the substantial history of our support for fascist regimes, I can’t help but be skeptical of any claim that bringing democracy to a region is our main military goal. Sure, we’d like a democracy in Iraq as long as they do whatever we tell them to.

    Maybe you should respond to some of my arguments instead of presenting more absurd anologies of children with scissors.

  17. sean

    I’m not sure how the idea of distrusting the Bush Administration after months of lies has been conflated with supporting dictators and mass graves, but the logical thread in many of the above arguments has long been broken, replaced by analogies to children’s birthday parties and operating tables.

    A comparison to Iraqi deaths before and after the Unites States invasion is a lot more valid, though there is clearly a lot of disagreement about the figures. Any such comparison should acknowledge that United States planes were bombing parts of Iraq on nearly a daily basis since the middle of 1998. In other words, it’s not like the United States just began killing Iraqis last March.

  18. John

    Dr V,

    “I’m sorry but history really does matter. You can’t claim that your foreign policy is based on the most noble intentions (democratizing the Middle East) when the past has shown that it’s only our own self-interest that matters. If we really care so much about removing dictators then why do we have such a long history of supporting them? Gen. Suharto, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Gen. Noriega to name a few.”

    Your reasoning has so many flaws it’s hard to know where to start. First, America is a collection of individual minds, and to imply that the minds controlling America during the Cold War couldn’t have had different motives and perceptions than those governing now is absurd. The minds that supported slavery are dead, and it is patently absurd to attribute their opinions and outlook to the current members of Congress (with a few exceptions, perhaps). The same can be said for Cold War strategy to some extent. We were fighting a nuclear-armed foe during the Cold War. We simply did not have the options we have now. Right or wrong, we used evil as a pawn against greater evil.

    I do not discount the value of history or the value of questioning whether these moves were, all things considered, positive or negative. But the conditions of the Cold War are gone, and with them the justification for propping up dictators (though our options are far more limited with North Korea).

    America has a chance to do what it couldn’t do then: spread democracy in the Middle East. I support that. You do not. Let us part ways.

    Another point. Our perception of self-interest has changed. I support pursuing a foreign policy rooted firmly in the rich soil of self-interest. But the nature of our self-interest has changed. Where it may have required the propping of dictators in one era, it now requires the spreading of democracy. That is another issue, but I believe it. Self-interest and helping people are not mutually exclusive. Doctors want to help people. And doctors also see it as in their interest to help people because they are paid for doing so. THEY WANT TO HELP PEOPLE BECAUSE IN DOING SO THEY HELP THEMSLEVES AND IT MAKES THEM FEEL GOOD. They hit two birds with one stone! The same logic applies here, though you are too blinded by pacifist ideology to see.

    And please, please don’t come back with dreamy U.N. solutions. The U.N. is the most corrupt organization in history. It does more to support dictators than to spread democracy. U.N. peacekeepers have been involved in numerous scandals and crimes of late. That is the nature of the beast. Wars bring out some ugly things. But they can be used as a force for good.

    Kristina thinks war is inherently wrong. It was wrong to free the slaves, wrong to stop the NAZIS, and wrong to stop Saddam. According to your logic, it would have been doubly wrong to stop slavery because the North had a history of supporting slavery and had helped solidify it as an institution in law. Whatever. I’ll leave that warped logic for you guys to pat each other on the asses with.

    Sean, politicians lie. I don’t trust what they say anyway. Do you trust Kerry? Come on now. I do trust that what we are doing in Iraq is positive. Positive for us. Positive for them.

    But this is old and I have other fish to fry.

    Ciao

  19. Cody

    Bush is a liar, no one denies,

    but call him a liar, and little John cries,

    “We’re doing our best to help Middle East

    by bringing democracy, our wealth will increase.

    That is not the story that sold the war.

    Fear is the story that we heard before.

    The world doesn’t like us as much as it did,

    and it’s all the darn fault of President Bush, the kid.

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