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April 29, 2004

Comments

Bryon Gill

----Do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are.----

So I'm the enemy then? Can't believe you're pushing this kind of rhetoric Dauber.

Media Hound

Bryon Gill: What is the correct terminology for those who
promote the agenda of America's enemies?

Lenin had a term for such people; perhaps Lenin's terminology
is more accurate?

Bryguy

Media hound:

Your smear is even uglier than the one Dauber quotes. Do I really have to explain to you why the world is more nuanced than simply "With me or against us"?

Media Hound

Bryguy: There was no "smear," simply a question
which you have still not answered: What is the
correct terminology for those who promote the
agenda of America's enemies?

And I'm not from France; there is little room
for "nuance" between the free world, and the
islamofascists who seek to destroy it.

"Nuance" didn't have a place when communism
threatened the free world either, except to
those who served as apologists for the killers
of 100 million people, murdered as a result of
that particular ideology.


Bryguy

So for instance, opposing Honduran death squads was a nuance we didn't a place for?

It's a smear because you're implying that a) there's a single unified U.S. enemy agenda and b) I want exactly that. A smear is an overbroad accusation that implies something much worse than what is true.

Richard Aubrey

So, Bry, what is the proper term?

And if you want something different, why don't you tell us what it would look like.
Keep in mind the real world.

Bryguy

What does it matter what you call it? I'm not it and I'm tired of the suggestion that I am, so forgive me if I don't accept your terms of engagement.

In case you haven't checked lately, at no time has less than 30% of the population in this country opposed this war - even right after the capture of Saddam. That's about the same as the number of Republicans in the country - about %30. In fact most of the time nearly half actively oppose it. Largest demonstration in history in Washington against this war before it started.

I am not the enemy, I am a citizen and your attempts to smear me, and to smear people who believe and say any of the things the Marine quoted in Dauber's original article, are ugly and anti-democratic. No, I'm not talking about the party.

Athena

"Do your duty. Stop the attempts of the enemy wherever you are."

I didn't read that and think, "Oh, Americans who are anti-war and get on the news and say this is a mistake are the ENEMY."

I read it and thought, the enemy (Islamist terrorism) is purposely creating situations where the news media has a heyday and highlights the negative. The "enemy's" MESSAGE of "Hey America, you're going to lose because we're almighty Islamists and willing to die for our ideolgy" converges with the anti-war MESSAGE.

Granted that's not what he said. But I think there's a clear difference between the enemy, the enemy's message, and the misinformed American messenger.

But then that leads to the question...how far can the misinformed messenger go until they cross the line of being the "enemy" itself. If the messenger is a conduit for the success of terrorism, does that turn them into an "enemy of the state?" Tricky wording and labeling situation to grapple with.

Bryguy

In my haste I overstated the 30% number, there was a point when opposition dropped to about 25%.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/16/opinion/polls/main606621.shtml

But the point remains the same, and would remain the same whether the proportion of Americans who hold this opinion were 1 in 3, 1 in 4, 1 in 5, or 1 in 280 million.


Bryguy

Athena: It's a smear, it's meant to be possible to read it two ways. If you could only read it one way it would be an attack rather than just a smear. If you make a clear distinction between the enemy and the misinformed then I merely disagree with you rather than feeling threatened by you.

Media Hound

Bryguy writes: " Largest demonstration in history
in Washington against this war before it started."

Do you have any clue as to who organized that rally,
and almost every other "anti-war" rally since Sept 11th?


The Washington Post
January 22, 2003; Page A15

Marching With Stalinists

By Michael Kelly

International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front
group for the communist Workers World Party. The Workers World Party
is, literally, a Stalinist organization. It rose out of a split within
the old Socialist Workers Party over the Soviet Union's 1956 invasion
of Hungary -- the breakaway Workers World Party was all for the
invasion. International ANSWER today unquestioningly supports any
despotic regime that lays any claim to socialism, or simply to
anti-Americanism. It supported the butchers of Beijing after the
slaughter of Tiananmen Square. It supports Saddam Hussein and his
Baathist torture-state. It supports the last official Stalinist state,
North Korea, in the mass starvation of its citizens. It supported
Slobodan Milosevic after the massacre at Srebrenica. It supports the
mullahs of Iran, and the narco-gangsters of Colombia and the
bus-bombers of Hamas.

This is whom the left now marches with. The left marches with the
Stalinists. The left marches with those who would maintain in power
the leading oppressors of humanity in the world.

####
END EXCERPT

Note that "International ANSWER" gathered on September 12th,
2001 to put together a strategy that would prevent America
from responding to the attacks the day before.

I'm not saying you are a Stalinist, or are anti-American, but
if you promote their message -- which is the message of America's
enemies -- what's the difference?

Bryguy

------------------I'm not saying you are a Stalinist, or are anti-American, but
if you promote their message -- which is the message of America's
enemies -- what's the difference?----------------------

Jeebus, do you think they oppose good dental hygiene? This is why with us or against us is so stupid- I'm no more responsible for ANSWER than you are for Jerry Falwell. The point is not who organized it but WHO SHOWED UP. Hint: not the membership of ANSWER. Answer: AMERICANS.

Media Hound

Bryguy writes: "I'm no more responsible for ANSWER than you
are for Jerry Falwell."

Jerry Falwell? Where did he come from?

Anyway, I don't attend Jerry Falwell rallies, and don't
care what he says. Indeed, if Falwell was a front for
America's enemies, those who attended his rallies would
be furthering the cause of America's enemies.

You can attempt to explain away this reality in any way
you choose; supporters of tyranny have been attempting to
do so for over 50 years, it's nothing new.

Now, if you booted "International ANSWER" followers from
a genuine pacifist rally, that would be another story.

Pacifists are often naive and misguided, but "International
ANSWER" has a clear agenda to undermine the United States,
and are truly a fifth column.

Lugo

"What is the correct terminology for those who promote the agenda of America's enemies?"

Traitors.

Bryguy

Lugo: would that have included opponents of the Vietnam war in your opinion? How about congressional opposition to the Kosovo war? Better yet, is opposing *any* war ever allowable? You all need to take a deep god-damned breath and think about the consequences of what you're accusing me of.

Bryguy

Media Hound:

On the contrary, you're trying to smear legitimate opposition to the war with some fringe group. There's a reason why most people have no idea who ANSWER is- they don't CARE about ANSWER. They oppose the WAR and that's why they showed up.

At least you admit that pacifists are allowed to have opinions, but I'm no pacifist. In fact I would have supported the war in Iraq if we hadn't based it on lies and took steps to avoid the appearance that we intended to profit from it. Instead we have wrecked our credibility for decades and are sowing the seeds of a thousand new bin Ladens. I supported the goal of removing Saddam and encouraging a democratic Iraq, but not like this.

I'm done here, smear away.

Lugo

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

Did people who protested the Vietnam War give aid and comfort to North Vietnam? Yes, some of them clearly did. Will protests against the US presence in Iraq give aid and comfort to the insurgents, encouraging them to continue their attacks in the hopes that the US will give up and go home? Yes, it clearly will. Ergo, treason.

"In fact I would have supported the war in Iraq if we hadn't based it on lies"

That is so not relevant now. Right now the issue is whether or not we have a moral obligation to the Iraqis to create a stable society before we leave - which I think we do.

" and took steps to avoid the appearance that we intended to profit from it."

Um, so, you'd be OK if we profited from it, so long as it didn't appear that we did so?

"Instead we have wrecked our credibility for decades and are sowing the seeds of a thousand new bin Ladens."

Well gee, even if you accept this as true (which I do not), does that mean we should quit right now, and pull out? Seems to me that would get you all the disadvantages of starting the war without any of the advantages of winning.

"I supported the goal of removing Saddam and encouraging a democratic Iraq, but not like this."

Can you suggest a credible alternative course of action for removing Saddam and creating a democracy to the one that Bush took? I'm all agog waiting to hear what that would be.

Bryon Gill

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/html/art3.html

...this phase of treason consists of two elements: ``adherence to the
enemy; and rendering him aid and comfort.'' A citizen, it was said, may
take actions ``which do aid and comfort the enemy . . . but if there is
no adherence to the enemy in this, if there is no intent to betray,
there is no treason.

Incidentally, I couldn't find an enemies list - do we have any statutory enemies right now? Germany, for instance, wasn't legally our enemy until 1941 so it was legal for Prescott Bush to do business with them until that point. Of course he didn't stop until the Trading With The Enemy act shut him down in late 1942, but that's really beside the point. Just wondering if anyone actually knows this stuff, I couldn't find a list with a quick google search.

cousin dan

Osama Bin Laden has been saying for years that the U.S was planning to invade and occupy an oil rich country in the Arab World. So what did we do? Make him look like a goddamn prophet.

I'd say that falls under "promoting the enemy's agenda." Wouldn't you?

Leon

Bryguy,
Congressional opposition to Kosovo occurred before onset of hostilities. I don't recall a vociferous opposition after they started.

On another note, read the Marines post again. From his perspective there is a campaign of misinformation on the part of the press and anti-war protesters that undermines support for the mission at home and gives aid and comfort to the enemy in Iraq and the Islamofascist circles. Is that wrong? I don't think so.

He also addresses the condescending attitude many liberals have towards that part of the world when they question the desire and ability of Arabs and Muslims to live democratically and in freedom. Is this true? I don't think so.

If that causes you to have a coniption fit and begin to cry foul because you feel your patriotism is being questioned I think you need to do some soul searching. I think you have deeper issues. You sound like Howard Dean or John Kerry complaining about Republican attacks on their patriotism when nothing of the sort was said by the Republicans. Some of the posters above may have gone so far but only after you jumped to the conclusion yourself. You might not like the implication that an anti-war position is defacto helpful to the Islamofascist cause but it is.

As for your claim that nuance is superior to a binary sense of the world, Tony Blankley in the Washington Times had an astute observation in regards to Kerry (but it works for others who believe it is a superior way of thinking):

According to Webster's Dictionary, the etymology of nuance is from the middle French (Hmm!) word nuer: to make shades of color; from nue: clouds, akin to the Greek; nythos: dark. That would seem to be Mr. Kerry's problem. He thinks and talks in shades that create clouds and darkness around him. No one knows what he is saying, and thus what he is thinking. This makes things rather awkward for an American politician.

The rhetoric of American politics is binary, not gradational: Give me liberty or give me death; our nation cannot exist half slave and half free; are you pro life or pro choice; are you for or against capital punishment; pro or anti-war; for or against tax cuts. . . .

Seeing seven sides to an issue is useful in the study of metaphysics. But men of action--and world events always have required American presidents to be men of action--must be capable of decisive action. A candidate for president who is incapable of clearly expressing a single principle or goal he will fight for is inevitably going to be an ineffective candidate. And if he can't even decide what to say with clarity, he is unlikely to be able to act as president under the crushing pressure of world events. (via Best of Web)

Bryon Gill

Leon:

When a marine calls me enemy, I worry. If you don't like nuance I can't imagine why you'd be visiting a blog dedicated to parsing the news (unless you're here for alternative views like me, but that seems not to be the case).

I'll make you a deal: we'll agree that all things French (Hmm!) are discredited and ship Karen Hughes off to Gitmo as an enemy combatant.

You'll notice that I never jumped to any conclusion. Had my fears been unwarranted we wouldn't be here, and this thread would have died long ago. Of course Arabs can live in freedom and democracy - there are Arabs in the Knesset, even if they aren't very effective. But our Marine poster is clearly trying to paint the picture that dissent=enemy. If you can't see it that way you must be thicker than a Frenchman.

Media Hound

Enough back and forth on the Stalinist "International ANSWER" and
those who further its agenda, there's really nothing more to add.

1) Regarding a war fought for "lies," who exactly lied?

   "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious
   danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal
   weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be
   disarmed."

         Senator Edward Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts)
         Speech at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
         September 27, 2002
         http://kennedy.senate.gov/~kennedy/statements/02/09/2002927718.html

 
   "In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very
   kind of threat Iraq poses now -- a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction
   ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized
   criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

   If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps
   will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even
   in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear
   evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program."

         President Clinton
         Address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff
         February 17, 1998
         http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/02/17/transcripts/clinton.iraq/


   "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam
   Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile
   delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and
   sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

   It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase
   his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop
   nuclear weapons."

         Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
         Addressing the US Senate
         October 10, 2002
         http://clinton.senate.gov/speeches/iraq_101002.html


2) You write, not surprisingly, "I couldn't find an enemies list"

    The enemy is an ideology, not a country. America has been fighting the
    ideologies of tyranny for the last century, and unfortunately must continue
    to do so in this century.

    Americans will be fighting this ideology for generations, and let us
    hope America 'wins' before islamic terrorists detonate a nuclear device
    on a US city, and the subsequent response and likely global escalation
    sends the world into chaos and ruin.

    My guess is you view the notion that 'civilization is threatened'
    as merely hyperbole; not ginving a second's thought to what will
    occur -- both in the US, and in the world -- if a US city is
    devastated by a WMD device.

Bryon Gill

Media Hound (if that IS your real name):

I asked about the enemies list because it's a legal requirement for Treason. I mean, I really wanted to know if we have a list of statutory enemies, I wasn't just being cute.

Here - http://www.constitution.org/cmt/jwh/jwh_treason_6.htm
"20. Cf. United States v. McWilliams, 54 F. Supp. 791, 793 (Dist. Ct. D. C. 1944): An indictment for conspiracy to impair armed forces' morale is not duplicitous for also charging conspiracy to commit treason, since averments of defendants' conduct between 1933 and 1940 "cannot be deemed a charge of conspiracy to commit treason.... since an essential element therein is aid and comfort to 'enemies' and Germany did not become a statutory enemy until December, 1941."

So I was just wondering if we actually have any statutorily defined enemies right now.

Can you people ever stop talking about the Clintons?

You know what's a really good way to defuse religious fundamentalism? Keep using the word "crusade" while you invade a Muslim country. Be sure to use Christian rhetoric every chance you get. Don't fire your generals who go out and give speeches where they announce that our god is bigger than theirs. Most importantly, invade an oil-rich Arab country with a pathetic coalition of bribed countries, hire enough mercenaries that they're the second largest contingent of that army, and finally piss off the Hondurans by appointing death-squad-coverup-specialist John Negroponte to run Iraq after the self-imposed Iraqi sovereignty deadline passes so that they'll leave your already pathetic coalition even more pathetic than before.

Lugo is still agog at how things could have been run differently, and I sure can't imagine any other course of events - we live in the best of all possible worlds thanks to President Bush. Now I'm being cute, in case you're not French and can't handle nuance.

Leon

Wrong Byron. A critical reading, rather than an emotional one, would tell you he is saying that misinformation is the enemy. And who in his opinion is peddling the most misinformation? It is the media and the anti-war establishment. Since he is on the ground in Iraq I trust his opinion over yours or anyone in the media (and he isn't the only one in the military that have come to this conclusion).

A critical reading of what Mr. Blankley said would illuminate his belief, and mine, that nuance has its place, just not when it comes to issues as important as this. Beyond that, parsing the news, as you called it, and nuance have different meanings to me and if you understood the context of the quote you would have seen that. Guess I took it for granted that everyone would. In this conflict there will be winners and losers, there is no tie, the islamofascits will not recognize your nuance. I prefer to be on the winning side and see Western Civilization continue to flourish and the islamofascists to go the way of the Dinosaur. They understand one language, violence and seek to subject us to it if we do not acquiesce to their demands. Something tells me you would object to being forced to live as they would tell you too, yet you are willing to let them win by refusing to fight. I'm sorry but I just don't get it.

You'll also notice I did not say you jumped to a conclusion but Bryguy, but if you did the same, oh well. By the way, how thick are frenchman?

Bryon Gill

Yeah, bryguy is my nickname- was posting from two different computers, sorry for the confusion.

Critical readings don't usually land you at a single correct interpretation- they unpack the premises of the speaker, and they run them through the filters of various listeners. Take as an example the N-word. Different audiences hear this word *very* differently, and in fact they interpret it very differently depending on who is saying it. One statement can mean many different things to many different people. Critical readings are about figuring out how those meanings happen and interrelate, imagining that you'll find one objective meaning ignores this reality. Another example of a word that is understood differently given different listener/speaker combinations is "Crusade". Another is "Islamofascist".

I think you just don't like it when the nuances don't support your position, especially when it means 700 Americans and thousands of Iraqis have given their lives and only made things worse because of the incredibly bone-headed leadership of this country. I am rather fond of Western Civilization myself. Hosni Mubarak has been on the ground too, and he's not busy fighting Arabs so he might have some perspective that would be worth considering. He said that this war will cause 1000 Osamas and I believe him. I think we've got to make some serious sacrifices as acts of good faith to stop the bleeding.

If we win this war the way we're fighting it without making some radical changes in leadership and attitude, we won't have won anything. Moderate Arabs who used to think that America was a tolerant country are going to have strong evidence that America is a Christian theocracy bent on purging the holy land of heathens.

There is only one thing that Bush has done since the beginning of his presidency of which I can approve, and that is visiting a Mosque immediately after 9/11. But that gesture, and any number of Ramadan Iftars with friendly Arab leaders, is lost in the noise of our Iraq Crusade.

Every time you say the word "Islamofascist", you must understand that a Muslim is going to hear that the same way you would hear "Christianazi". Your first person worldview is seriously crimping your imagination.

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