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Author Topic: GOP and Democrats in the House of Reps
tern
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quote:
I'm sorry, but throwing terms around like treason and sedition is just not meaningful in the context of a discussion on a bulletin board.
Er? Are you thinking that we're labeling the discussion on the bulletin board treasonous or seditious?
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TomDavidson
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quote:

my point is that we are at war now against a designated enemy so no matter how we came to be there helping that enemy is still Treason.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one, B.C. It appears to me that you're making two assumptions here that I'm not inclined to immediately accept.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Washington Post

quote:
"People should feel comfortable about expressing their opinions about Iraq," the president said. "I heard somebody say, well, maybe so-and-so is not patriotic because they disagree with my position. I totally reject that thought. This is not an issue of who's [a] patriot and who's not patriotic. It's an issue of an honest, open debate about the way forward in Iraq."
Looks like the President and I agree on this.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Then again, maybe the Bush team isn't united behind the President? From the same article:

quote:
Perhaps the most striking moment came after Murtha's proposal. The White House assailed Murtha, likening him to liberal maverick filmmaker Michael Moore, characterizing him as a newfound ally of the "extreme liberal wing" of his party and accusing him of wanting to "surrender to the terrorists."
Assuming Bush had a hand in writing the earlier memo, I wonder what has changed his mind. He's well known for not paying attention to public opinion once he's made up his mind, so it seems unlikely that his new softer approach has to do with adverse reactions in the polls.
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fugu13
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Bob: the "not paying attention to public opinion thing once he's made up his mind" is a bit of hype, created in response to public opinion that such behavior is desirable.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
I'd be curious to hear when and where we've developed such skills to a "sick art form".
Has anyone in recent or distant history been responsible for toppling as many governments without actually taking over the country as we have been?

I don't know about you, but I think overthrowing LESS governments rather than more is the best approach to foriegn affairs.

Thus I proclaim the cavalier attitude with which "regime change" is discussed in this nation, and then promptly and efficiently carried out to be something we've perfected to a sick art form. Feel free to contradict me.

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Bean Counter
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Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy in time of War is still Treason no matter how politically incorrect it is to say so in Blue State Land. The Insurgent's only hope is that we will just lose our will and leave, the only comfort and aid they have is our Left-Wing minority. Not the weapons and money from forgien parts, not the fighters eager to die for the chance at pie in the sky.

It is just as simple as that. If the Democrates want us home so bad let them find ways to help speed things along, like regime change in Iran and Syria, hee hee...

Still did anyone else here we killed Zarquai today? I heard that on patrol and have not checked for the story yet. Cool if we did!

BC

[ November 21, 2005, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Bean Counter ]

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Megan
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As many have already said, dissent against a government we feel is doing wrong is not only our right but our duty. You are just plain wrong.

Also, didn't you say we were boring and you were leaving? Could you stick to that? Go on, now, git.

Some of us like reasoned, well-thought-out discussions.

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tern
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quote:
As many have already said, dissent against a government we feel is doing wrong is not only our right but our duty.
Yes, and no. Dissent against a government that we feel is doing wrong in a productive way that doesn't detract from the main goals is our duty. Dissent in such a way that it emboldens our enemies is just...vile.

quote:
Also, didn't you say we were boring and you were leaving? Could you stick to that? Go on, now, git.
How sweet. Bean Counter is out there, in Iraq. He's put his money where his mouth is. He's in sweltering heat, putting his life on the line, in danger of getting blown up by these "insurgents" that some people talk about here so fondly, and from my experiences, he's expressing the feelings of many of the troops towards the people back here in America who the troops don't feel support them. You're all nice and comfy, in the rear, hating on him because he's upset because he's risking his life and you're making his sacrifice harder. I hope that you are ashamed of yourself.

quote:
Some of us like reasoned, well-thought-out discussions.
You have contributed less than Bean Counter has. Sure, he's hot-headed, but he's making some good - if extreme - points worthy of debate. Now you know how the troops feel, but I guess it's much easier to pretend you care about us when you don't know how we feel.

General Giap said after Vietnam that the only thing that kept the North Vietnamese hanging on was their hope that "internal dissent" would weaken the American's resolve and cause them to withdraw. And he was right. How many of our troops in Nam would have lived if we'd won the war quickly? How many NVA wouldn't have died fighting us? How many South Vietnamese wouldn't have been slaughtered after the fall of Saigon if we'd won? All of that, if not caused by "dissent" was certainly contributed to by "protesters". Could this be considered treason? It's arguable.

quote:
Still did anyone else here we killed Zarquai today?
It's unconfirmed, and unlikely. Bummer...

What sickens me is the glee on the Left when more of us die. I don't think it's classified as treason, and it's not quite sedition, either - but it's despicable.

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Dan_raven
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BC, we hit his house, hard, but probably missed him.
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Dan_raven
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Tern.

quote:
What sickens me is the glee on the Left when more of us die. I don't think it's classified as treason, and it's not quite sedition, either - but it's despicable.
That comment sickens me. I am a member of that Left. I know many people who are so left they make Marx look like a Reagonite. None of them have ever shown the least amount of glee when another soldier dies.

It is an insult to say that we do.

You may think that we want more deaths as proof that the War is failing, or the President Bush is failing. We don't want that kind of proof, and we don't need it.

You want to lable as Sedition any dissent on the war. You say it only feeds the will of our enemies. It is our dissention that puts the blood of our soldiers on our hands.

How long are we supposed to follow along blindly to policies that are not enough before the continued deaths become blood on our hands?

The armor and under manned, under staffed, under planned policy of the war after the war needs to be addressed, but it appears as if the administration would rather sweep it under the rug.

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Chris Bridges
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I do not support the war but I do support doing it right, if it must be done.

I think Bush&Co pushed the data that supported their needs and pushed to convey an urgency that didn't exist.

I think the way we handled the Iraq war weakened our fight against terrorism and blew the support of a goodly chunk of the rest of the world.

I think that Rumsfeld&Co fought the war on the cheap against the urging of many experienced military people, and failed to plan for an extended occupation against insurgents.

I think the treatment of prisoners and the casual dismissal of the Geneva Convention hurts our country and weakens our fight even further.

I think the no-bid contracts assigned to profiteering friends of the administration is a cruel slap in the face to those who want to believe that the war wasn't fought for money.

The casualty numbers are upsetting, but I don't put the emphasis on them that the mainstream media does. Fewer than any other war we've been in by far, and if it results in a stable democracy in the middle east I'd argue they were well and nobly spent.

But I do not think we should pull out on any timetable, certainly not on one decided by people who have not been involved over there. Now the situation is there and of our making, we have a responsibility to make it work.

And while I don't look at 2,000 dead and freak out, I do think this administration shares some responsibility for the casualities that have occurred due to poor planning and insufficient armoring.

Most of all, I can't stand the kneejerk either/or responses I keep hearing. I want earnest discussion and solutions, not whining and name-calling and blaming. I do think this administration should be brought to task for their mismanagement (and the control of the war needs to be in the hands of people who know how to fight a war) but I don't think that should be the highest priority.

So where does this put me on the scale? Leftist? Liberal? Democrat? I've lost track, which one means what now?

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MrSquicky
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Regarding a time table in Iraq, I'm going to repost what I sid elsewhere:
quote:
The central goal of our occupation of Iraq should be the building of a strong, resilient nation that can stand without us. Besides creating an acutal standard to measure against, that's exactly what would be expressed by giving a timeline for U.S. troops withdrawing. By such and such a date, Iraq should be a strong enough country to deal with threats on their own.

Stating goals and how we're going to achieve them when the central goal is a strong, stable Iraq does not do any of the things that the President suggests. Rather it tells the Iraqis (and the potential anti-American Jihadists), we're here for these reasons and when they're accomplished we're going to leave. You do not need to fear an indefinite occupation. It tells the troops, we have an exit strategy for you and a well-thought out plan that can also be used as a measuring stick for how successful we are being. And it tells the terrorists, you don't control this situation. At some point, we're confident that the Iraqis will be able to handle you without our help.

Wouldn't having the terrorists think that they need only to wait us out be a good thing, assuming that this means they'd severely ramp down their activities? We'd be able to build much more quickly and securely, while their support should be eroded by both the lack of fulfillment to their impatient members and the demonstrably good effect we're having in the region? Wouldn't a less interefered with environment to build up the defenses further hamper terrorists activities when they decide to resume operations in force?

Or if we're not expecting the terrorists to settle down a bit, then what would the idea of there being a defined list of objectives with an associated timetable do for them really? Having a simplistic "We're leaving by this date." yeah would be an encouragement, but we'd be pretty stupid to implement that. Rather, if we said, here are the things we need to accomplish and here's the date ranges that we think that we could accomplish them by, I think our ability to follow this schedule would seriously dishearten the terrorists and dampen their power fantasies.

Could someone point out to me where my logic is faulty?
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MrSquicky
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The main goal of the terrorists is not to wait out the U.S., but rather to increase their power and sway. They don't care as much about Iraq as in swelling their ranks with recruits who have bought into their extremism.

This is actually directly referenced in Murtha's proposal, that the U.S. troops relinquishing the active role to the Iraqis would severely weaken terrorist recruitment. Do people think that this is an inaccurate claim?

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JTruant711
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Well, I'm not sure about the definitions of all those terms, considering that they based on the people that are either in the party or the people in a termed group. Change your views, change your party... It's all the same. I wouldn't put so much emphasis on what you are called rather than what you have to say or believe in.

On the initial discussion... what does 'over the horizon' mean? Seems sort of vague. I'm telling you now, it takes time to mobilize the military. This isn't your Civ4 game. If over the horizon means that the military will have bases and such scattered across Iraq like in Germany... I'm all for it. However, if this means that we leave troops in the Gulf or in Kuwait (which we should no longer reside in) or in Turkey or worse Germany or Bulgaria... no, I'm not for it. A presence will be required in Iraq until one whole generation has come to pass under the watchful eye of the I.P., I.A., and the U.S. military. As a sidenote: the average Iraqi would much rather be under the scrutiny or protection of the U.S. military, rather than the I.P. or I.A. Sad to say, but it's the truth. And at the risk of being terribly brutalized... perhaps a little cultural hegemony?

Just throwing it out there. Throw it back if you don't like it.

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aspectre
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Well, BeanCounter, since Dubya&Gang armed the insurgency by opening up Iraqi armories to officially-approved looting, I guess you'd be advocating a coup d'etat.
Or isn't providing weapons to the enemy worse than talking about withdrawal ?

PoliticallyCorrect: Kissin' the boss's hiney cuz "He's the boss."

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Storm Saxon
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Just to throw this out, but what if the question isn't what's best for Iraq? What if the question is what's best for the world?

One of the things I keep on thinking about is that we're spending in the neighborhood of, what, 2 billion dollars a month on Iraq. I keep wondering if throwing money and men at something that may very well be unattainable is really the wisest course of action.

Squicky says (to paraphrase)

quote:

The central goal of our occupation of Iraq should be the building of a strong, resilient nation that can stand without us.

and

quote:

Rather, if we said, here are the things we need to accomplish and here's the date ranges that we think that we could accomplish them by, I think our ability to follow this schedule would seriously dishearten the terrorists and dampen their power fantasies.

The first is somewhat objectively verifiable. The second is just so much speculation, I think, and isn't the kind of rhetoric that I've come to expect from Squicky.

To think of the forces arrayed against the U.S. as 'terrorists' isn't, I think, very helpful. On the one hand, you have the pan-Arabist fascists who want an Arabic society free from the west. On the other hand you have the Islamists funded by groups in Iran and Saudi Arabia who want a religious state in Iraq. Neither of these two ideologies, either within or without Iraq, are really 'disheartened' by us staying or going, or give a shit about people dying, just as our belief in democracy isn't really effected by people dying on either our side or the other side. It's a matter of faith. Indeed, some have argued that our presence in Iraq is a great recruiting tool for them. See, the imperialist aggressors will never leave!

Our war is a war of ideas. Inasmuch as our presence in Iraq furthers that war to promulgate the ideas of democracy and freeish markets, we should stay. Inasmuch as our presence in Iraq detracts from that war, we should leave.

I believe that staying in Iraq beyond rebuilding the military and infrastructure is unnecessary because you can't force people into democracy and free markets, you can only hope that they choose to embrace those things. Because of the conditions that I mentioned before, both within and without Iraq, that stir up hatred against us, and because of the nature of the beast, the military is not very effective prosyletizers for democracy. They do nothing to help sell the idea.

We've rebuilt the infrastructure. The military of Iraq is approaching readiness. I think it's very probable that we can have them up to strength in a year.

There really is nothing more the military can do in Iraq once the infrastructure and military are rebuilt. Send them home. Give the Iraqis space to make their own decisions. What would keeping the military in Iraq do to further the war of ideas?

In the final analysis, I think we can take that 2 billion a month and invest it in schools, water, and shelter for the poorest millions in the world and achieve far more in the war of ideas than we can swatting at mosquitoes in Iraq that will never go away.

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tern
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quote:
I know many people who are so left they make Marx look like a Reagonite. None of them have ever shown the least amount of glee when another soldier dies.

It is an insult to say that we do.

You may think that we want more deaths as proof that the War is failing, or the President Bush is failing. We don't want that kind of proof, and we don't need it

Pictures from the party!

I'm glad that you feel the way that you do, Bob, and I don't believe that the whole Left celebrates. But some certainly do. Furthermore, it's something I see every time the media reports deaths, the whole countdown thing, the constant attempts by the Paper of Record (NY Times, all the news that's printed to fit) to slant coverage of soldiers deaths. Our deaths are not a political football. Whether ten or ten thousand die, if it's a right cause then it's right, if it's a wrong cause then it's wrong.

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JTruant711
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quote:
The military of Iraq is approaching readiness. I think it's very probable that we can have them up to strength in a year.
What insider's knowledge do you have or have obtained that allows you to make such a statement?
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aspectre
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" In Taji, Alwan, the Sunni army captain, was ready to set a timeline for significant U.S. withdrawal. "Two years," Alwan said. If the Americans pull out before that -- before the government is steady, the constitution set and the army trained -- it "means we would go to civil conflict," he said. "
Not suggesting that an Iraqi captain is in the position to know, but I suspect he would be more in touch with the feeling on the Iraqi streets than most of us.

Note that, except for the upper ranks, the new IraqiArmy will essentially be drawn from the personnel of the old IraqiArmy that Dubya&Gang disbanded: the same disbanding which encouraged&allowed the looting of Iraq, including that of the armories.

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Storm Saxon
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It's an educated guess based on 'stuff' that I've read, the fact that they already had a military before, the fact that we train our basic infantry in about a year, and the fact that there are many jobless in Iraq right now that would be more than happy, I would think, to join up.

That said, I honestly think that the primary threat to Iraq's future isn't going to come from without, but within. As I said, the war of ideas. I have no doubt we'll be around to give assistance if a serious threat of invasion looms. I seriously doubt we would just ignore it if, say, Iran invaded. So, a real big, real competent military isn't going to do a whole lot right now other than to get people employed and to provide basic defense.

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Rakeesh
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In a time of war, any statement critical of the Commander in Chief's prosecution of that war will probably be viewed by our enemies as evidence of internal hesitancy, and rightly so. We are an open society, on almost all things. Very often we wear our heart on our sleeves, so to speak. This is a direct consequence of things like our Bill of Rights.

There is a solution to this, of course. Alter the US Constitution. But until it is altered in such a way as to make such behavior treasonous or seditions, criticizing the Administration or even the military in time of war isn't in itself treason or sedition.

Of course, changing the Constitution in such a way begs many questions. In what circumstances do we legislate that such criticism is treasonous or seditions? In a declared war against a nation state? Just how many of those have there been in the last sixty years, measured against how much actual military work there has been? Or will it be illegal in an undeclared war against a nation-state enemy? There's been much, much more of that over the past three generations, it's true. But then, we're not dealing with a nation-state enemy war right now either, are we?

To make such criticisms illegal, you'd have to change the Constitution to say, essentially, that it is treasonous or seditious to criticize the Government whenever our military is in harm's way. Even there, you'll have to be careful-training is often very dangerous as well, and (for instance) making a night landing on an aircraft carrier is very dangerous as well. So you'll have to change the Constitutution to make it illegal whenever our military is deliberately attacking and killing our nation's enemies.

But even then, let's be real: the public does not always know when that is happening, when it happens.

Tern, Bean Counter, this is just a building block of what our country is. In WWII, when FDR decided to focus on Europe first before the arguably more dangerous enemy (to USA), Japan, people criticized him publicly as well. Was that treasonous, or sedition?

-----

None of this is to say that I agree with Democrats talking about a time table right now for military withdrawl. Frankly I think such talk is terribly stupid, and since I don't feel any member of Congress is outright stupid, I must assume another motive for those who discuss such things.

I believe the people advocating an immediate pullout know that they aren't going to get it, ever. Therefore I believe they're asking for it as a method of playing the game of politics, of wrangling. Demanding far more than you're ever going to get, so that when the compromise comes, when you settle somewhere in the middle, you've gotten something close to what you originally expected to get. I believe such politicians are wrangling with the lives of others, and care very little for the lives of the people in other situations they would mock and belittle.

However, just saying, "I think we should begin pulling out soon," does not meet this standard. I think it's harmful and stupid to say such a thing publicly in a society where news of that statement will reach the leadership of our enemies almost as quickly as it does our own military leadership, but it's not treasonous or seditious, not by a long shot.

-----

Dan,

quote:
That comment sickens me. I am a member of that Left. I know many people who are so left they make Marx look like a Reagonite. None of them have ever shown the least amount of glee when another soldier dies.
You are a gentlemen, I think, and therefore your statement isn't surprising. What gentleperson would be friends with someone who did express such a sickening desire?

But just as the extreme religious right has our dear friend "G-d hates Fags" Phelps, so too does the extreme left have those who call American soldiers babykillers, and make mocking phone calls to the families of the fallen.

I don't think that it's very constructive to frame such discussions towards non lunatic fringe citizens as though we were talking to the nutcases, true. But the kooks are out there, on both sides. You know that.

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Dan_raven
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Two problems with your thinking Tern.

1) The "Parties" were only described as "Parties" by conservative hawks. It took me a while to go through the cross links, each story connected to the other so they appear to be more than there are, to come up to the truth.

The "Parties" were quiet and solemn moments of recognition for those who have died. Did some take advantage of those gatherings to push their political agenda for getting troops out? Yes. Did they laugh and drink and party wildly? NO.

2) You are confusing liberals with the media. While some media has a liberal bias, they have a much more pronounced $$$ bias. To sell papers they emphasize things that shock and anger the readers. They do the body counts and the body bags. They are as much war profiteer as Haliburton.

Even so, it beats the alternative, of not talking about the dead and wounded. We don't talk about caring for our war wounded enough as it is. If its a good cause, then yes, 10,000 dead may be worth it. But we need to know of the sacrifice of each of those 10,000. The ennoble us.

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Storm Saxon
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I'm certainly no expert, by any stretch, though, JT. I'm just throwing out an opinion. It could very well be that I'm wrong, which is fine by me. I'm here to see what other people think and to exchange ideas.
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Bean Counter
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I love how the default setting is to jump to the oft repeated lies of the liberal media as if they are the touchstone for truth. I am sure you have two million homeless tucked up your sleeve and Bush's planning the whole thing to avenge the lie Saddam told his friend the Saudi King about not invading Kuwait.

I am often called a fanatic for the Right when the reality is that fanatic has come to resemble hysteric in the sense that frothing and chanting slogans is vogue. It is the practice of the Left to froth and chant, as was seen in the last election, a practice that the majority of us find distastful.

Their are so many weapons and explosives in this country that anybody can get them who wants to risk a tour of Abu Ghraib by being caught. To claim that they were all plundered three years ago during the looting is simply dull.

Also my favorite reason for us transforming Iraq is that it really is getting to all the Islamic nations all around us. They are frothing and steaming and instead of waiting fifty years for their real chance, they are attacking us now while we are clearly overpowering. We will give the world an example of what a Democratic Islamic nation can be and can become, it is nothing more then what Europe wants to do by transforming Turkey into something they can swallow (Hee Hee) but we are doing it by means that they understand far better.

Imagine what they would do if the shoe was on the other foot, if they were so clearly superior to the rest of the world in military might? I for one do not want to wait for that day to straighten their heads.

BC

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MrSquicky
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quote:
In a time of war, any statement critical of the Commander in Chief's prosecution of that war will probably be viewed by our enemies as evidence of internal hesitancy, and rightly so. We are an open society, on almost all things. Very often we wear our heart on our sleeves, so to speak. This is a direct consequence of things like our Bill of Rights.

There is a solution to this, of course. Alter the US Constitution.

There is, to me, a more obvious solution that you seem to be overlooking. That is, the President acting in an honest, competent, and trustworthy manner. I think the people doing bad things are much more at fault than the people who criticize them for doing bad things. I don't think the idea that it's my job to shut up and accept whatever the President does is supporting either America or our troops. If he were, in my opinion, living up to the responsibilities of his office, I wouldn't feel that it was my job to force him to act responsibly and I'd be criticizing the people who were criticizing him. Sadly, the Bush administration (and many who support them) seem to be focused on the power of the office and give little thought to the responsibility that comes with it (and ideally precedes it).
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aspectre
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Japan wasn't even a minor threat to the US, Rakeesh, not even in the mind of the Japanese admiral in charge of the attack on PearlHarbor. Japan had an industrial base about 1/20th the size of the UnitedStates'.

However FDR (and Churchill) did exploit, then had to contend with 60years of Yellow(Peril)Journalism (that drummed up antiAsian fear&hatred in America) to get the US into the European conflict, which did present a clear&present danger to the US.

[ November 21, 2005, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Bean Counter
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quote:
I believe the people advocating an immediate pullout know that they aren't going to get it, ever. Therefore I believe they're asking for it as a method of playing the game of politics, of wrangling. Demanding far more than you're ever going to get, so that when the compromise comes, when you settle somewhere in the middle,
It is likely that like the "Demand" for a report that was due out in a week anyway the DEM's have caught wind of a large pullout in the Spring and want credit for it. Like the insurgents they too are fighting to stay relevant until the next opportunity arises.

BC

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Rakeesh
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Aspectre,

I didn't say the people were RIGHT, I said that at the time, it was arguable that Japan was the bigger threat.

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aspectre
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Yep, there are tons and tons of explosives and arms in Iraq, BeanCounter. Looted from unguarded armories, then openly sold in Iraqi street markets a couple of days after Rumsfeld announced that looting was "just Iraqis celebrating their new freedom."

[ November 21, 2005, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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JTruant711
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Aspectre,

Feel free to email me and I will send you pictures of caches we have found that predate the war and ones that occured afterward. I don't think it is in the best interests of the military to publicly unleash the TTP's of the insurgency. I don't think that would be considered prudent.

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Dan_raven
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Mr. Squicky brings up a good point.

Why have we jumped from Pro-War to Time-Table-To-Leave? Why do we want a Timetable when any descent evaluation of the situation will show that will only enhance the insurgent's position.

The answer--accountability.

The presidents trust raiting is at an all time low. Many people do not trust what he is saying, so how can they trust that there is a plan for bringing our brave troops home eventually?

They don't want to put our soldiers, or Iraqi soldiers on a time table. They want to put the administration on one, to prove that there is a plan and not just the vapor-ware of a plan for reconstruction that we had when we went into Iraq.

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kmbboots
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Having been to I can't even begin to say how many of those "parties", Tern, I can say that, generally, the atmosphere has been rather similar to that of a wake. Usually the names of the dead are read - both US and Iraqi (when we can find them). Most of the time the speakers are men and women who have sons or daughters or husbands who are there or who have been lost there, or soldiers who have returned. I have yet to hear even the most ardent activist express any kind of glee that people are dead or wounded - I can't imagine it.

As for the picture. Yes, it is good to be with and to gather comfort from friends and comrades. And, yes, there is a sense that after three years people are finally starting to pay attention. It helps to fight the feeling that I most often encounter - that if we had just been more diligent, had protested more, written more letters and had just worked harder, that perhaps these people wouldn't be dead.

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Rakeesh
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The problem is, Dan, that doing the one necessarily means doing the other. You cannot "put the Administration on a timetable" without similarly putting Iraqi and American (and many others) soldiers on that same timetable.
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Kwea
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I love it when BC posts...I don't really have to say anything to prove he is an idiot, all I have to do is let him ramble....


Aid and Comfort is completely different things than using our Right to Free Speech, no matter how ignorant our own soldiers are, or how deceptive they try to be.


I was a soldier, so I know from experience that not everyone in the military is like BC . . .


Thank God.

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aspectre
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Your offer is highly appreciated, JTruant711, but the last time I used an email account was when I decided to register here.
Curiosity may get the better of me, and I may open up a new account.

However, your point is inarguable. Saddam's regime had been hiding stockpiles of arms in small caches throughout the country to make them less vulnerable to airstrikes ever since the GulfWar. And during the lead-up to this war, Saddam ordered extra large disbursements of arms to his personal SpecialRepublicanGuard as well as to his personal fedayeen.

And my points still stand:

IF Dubya&Gang hadn't created the need to loot by firing everyone working for the Saddam government -- essentially telling about a quarter of the working population from industrial-scale breadbakers and furniture makers to bureaucrats to soldiers, "Starve while we take a few months to figure out what to do with you." -- most of the insurgency would never have been created. Most of the looting which further destroyed Iraq's infrastructure would have never occurred.

IF Dubya&Gang had kept most of the Iraqi military intact -- standing down the upper ranks of officers, with full pay until a review of their careers was completed -- most of those hidden caches would have been found&secured quickly. The armories would have remained under guard, and the arms looting&sales would have never occurred.

And IF the US had picked up the total tab for paying those Iraqi government employees -- working or not -- the yearly bill still would have been cheaper than an extra month of US combat operations. Let alone the extra reconstruction costs caused by the looting.
Let alone the ill will generated by services lost to Iraqis when the infrastructure further collapsed from looting.

Dubya&Gang decided to ignore both the USmilitary's and the USStateDepartment's plans for the postWar occupation:
Firing GeneralShinseki for testifying before Congress that twice as many troops would be needed for the initial phase of the Occupation to ensure a peaceful transition of governance;
Firing the first Occupation commander GeneralGarner for arguing to implement provisions of those Occupation plans;
Then ordering the civilian replacement PaulBremer to not even read those Occupation plans.

And I'm s'poseta buy that the resulting mess was unavoidable? unforseeable?

[ November 24, 2005, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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JTruant711
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quote:


Aid and Comfort (are) completely different things than using our Right to Free Speech, no matter how ignorant our own soldiers are, or how deceptive they try to be.



Ignorance, to you, may seem to be an facet of those who don't share your goals or nature. Or rather, you may look at ignorance as some other such device. I look at ignorance as a tool. Take for instance your own comments above. That statement alone is a tool of ignorance used to insight malice in others (or glee in some).

Where my original feeling was none other than malice, I stopped for a moment and decided that in all actuality this comment meant nothing to me. So, I too, am guilty of ignorance. I'm ignorant to your beliefs. I'm assuming that your whole ideological basis is based upon a series of rights that you wish to be innately driven upon the world. I'm ignorant to that as well. Where I would love the world to share in some sort of democratic government (or some such average government - ie. republic, social democracy, etc); I think that most cannot aspire to the responsibility that is required for such a government.

We are all ignorant to something, to most things. I would ask you not to put a label on our soldiers or any other such group, as ignorance is normality. Deception... well, that is a totally different thing. A much more malicious and Machiavellian thing. I applaud those capable of such a device.

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Silkie
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RE: GOP and Democrats in the House of Reps
-------------------------------------------------
It seems to me that we are digressing. But then no good discussion sticks to the subject on a BB, eh? [Wink]

My personal opinion on the Iraq conflict is that we had no right to invade Iraq in the first place. Yes, Saddam was a bad man. There are many nations across the world who are ruled by bad men. We chose Iraq to invade for reasons we were TOLD, and we are finding out what the REAL reasons were long after the war is under way.

Apparently the UN was doing it's job with their weapons inspectors. Those weapons inspectors were proven right, after the invasion. There were no WMDs, so there was no 'potential mushroom cloud' from Iraqi WMDs, as we were told.

Another justification was that Saddam was supposedly in violation of UN regulations. There was no UN resolution asking/authorizing US troops to invade Iraq. The United States did not ask for a vote on such a resolution after behind the scenes polls of the security council indicated that such a resolution would fail.

Preemptive war was a radical change in policy direction for our nation. So many of the things done by this administration have been borderline unconstitutional: the secrecy, the presidential regulations curtailing freedom of information, the "Patriot" Act, Guantanamo, and Abu Graib. Treaties have been broken. FEMA was cut to shreds. The EPA was gutted. Tax cuts have been given to the wealthy, while cutting Social Programs for the poor. Corporations have been allowed to write the regulations for their own industries.

I found the "Wizard of Oz time" opinion piece below an interesting alternate point of view to the flurry of postures assumed after the Murtha speech.

quote:
Losing the Fear Factor :

How The Bush Administration Got Spooked


It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know -- that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long.

Starting on September 11, 2001 -- with a monstrous helping hand from Osama bin Laden -- the Bush administration played the fear card with unbelievable effectiveness. For years, with its companion "war on terror," it trumped every other card in the American political deck. With an absurd system for color-coding dangers to Americans, the President, the Vice President, and the highest officials in this land were able to paint the media a "high" incendiary orange and the Democrats an "elevated" bright yellow, functionally sidelining them.

How stunningly in recent weeks the landscape has altered -- almost like your basic hurricane sweeping through some unprotected and unprepared city. Now, to their amazement, Bush administration officials find themselves thrust through the equivalent of a Star-Trekkian wormhole into an anti-universe where everything that once worked for them seems to work against them.

(continued ...)
By Tom Engelhardt



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Yank
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quote:
Calling Japan at any time a theocracy is a bit of a misnomer, as while there was Empereror-reverence, the country was not governed by a priest-caste, nor were decisions particularly heavily influenced by religious considerations compared to other monarchies throughout history.

"Kamikaze" means "wind of the Gods" or "Divine Wind". (the word "Kami" is recognized as one of the most fiendishly difficult words to translate in linguistics) Japan was difficult to compare to a Western theocracy, but in Western theocracies it was often possible to distinguish state from religion to at least some extent. In Japan, the Emperor WAS God, or the closest thing State Shinto theocracy recognizes to God. And they did in fact have a priestly caste, installed by the ruling elites.

The religious concept that the Japanese were descended from the sun kami Ameterasu, and therefore VASTLY superior to all other races, was (and to an extent, still is, even though the religious element plays a much smaller part) so deeply held and taken for granted that it can seem to be nearly invisible to the casual observer. They rarely stated that way, much as it is rarely stated that the sky is, in fact, blue. Why state the obvious? Everyone already knows the sky is blue. Everyone already knows we are better.

Eastern religion doesn't fit into the same categories and divisions that Western religion does. In a very real way, the code of Bushido was a huge part of Japanese religion, and it very much affected how they treated prisoners of war. It also affected the decision to bomb Pearl Harbor. Our retaliation would not be terribly problematic, it was assumed, because we were gaijin and not worthy of respect or consideration. One admiral, who had traveled and lived in the States, knew differently, but his opinion was dismissed out-of-hand:

"I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant
and filled him with a terrible resolve"

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Empire of Japan
December 7th, 1941

To others, this was ridiculous. Japan is a giant. No one else is. Foreign resolve is always weak. To say differently is to deny the very laws that govern the universe.

Perhaps Japan was not a "theocracy" in the strictest Western sense, but their worldview, actions, and ruling class were so powerfully governed and motivated by religious/cultural/ethnic/nationalistic (to the almost totally homogenous, xenophobic mid-century Japanese, these are all the same thing) fanatacism that I really don't know any other useful word to describe them.

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tern
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quote:
It helps to fight the feeling that I most often encounter - that if we had just been more diligent, had protested more, written more letters and had just worked harder, that perhaps these people wouldn't be dead.
Huh, wish there was something to fight the feeling I often encounter, that every soldier's death is considered political capital for some of those who are opposed to the war.

Note. I said some. If it doesn't apply to you, fine.

And as far as glee and feelings of happiness, my personal experience with these people (and I just graduated from Cal State Northridge, and there's plenty of them there) is that they're glad we're dead. Again, if it doesn't apply to you - good. I'm tellin' ya, though, it sure looks that way from the military's perspective.

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kmbboots
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Why would we have been protesting this war if we wanted to see people dead? I know a lot of peace activists and have spent a lot of time with them. Their whole purpose is for people not to be dying.
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tern
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That's their stated purpose. Of course, they didn't care about all the Iraqis that Saddam killed, but details, details...

Having said that, I don't think it's specifically that they want to see people dead as it is they want to achieve a political goal, and think they can climb to it over the bodies of soldiers. Because, of course, they care.

Of course, they don't care enough to ask the members of the military what we want, but I guess that's because we were stupid to join the military and thus our opinion doesn't matter.

Abraham Lincoln's Civil War was deeply unpopular, and in the 1864 presidential race, it seemed that he was at a deep disadvantage against John Kerry - er, General McClellan. How did Lincoln win? The soldiers voted for Lincoln, and that's what put him over the top. Not coincidentally, the military is strongly Republican.

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kmbboots
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Don't you think it's a bit ingenious to justify this invasion by saying that 20 years ago Saddam Hussein killed a lot of Iraqis? Without any complaint by the US government, by the way.

You do get that the "using chemical weapons on his own people" line that Jay and now you keep throwing in there refers to events almost 20 years ago.

And yes. As a matter of fact, many of the activists I know did have problems with our government selling Saddam Hussein WMD 20 years ago. And with the sanctions.

But we have more of a responsibility for what our government does. It's that "by the people" thing that President Lincoln mentioned.

Thinking that the peace movement is glad about death so that we can score political points is thinking about us backwards. We are calling attention to that pile of bodies in a desparate attempt to keep it from getting bigger.

No one has said that your opinion doesn't matter and I have certainly not called you stupid. You don't have the luxury of questioning orders. Especially because of that, the rest of us have a duty to hold our government accountable.

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Sopwith
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I'm still on the fence about this one, a bit.

I watched Murtha's press conference and what he said did strike a chord in me. I do want our troops to come home, safe, sound and sooner than later. But I don't want to see what happened in South Vietnam happen again.

I believe that we must follow through with our end of the deal and help to rebuild Iraq, both in infrastructure and government. We must give the people there a fighting chance at achieving a stable and lasting democracy.

But sometimes, I do wonder, if the Iraqis are as willing to work toward this as we are? Are they willing to earn the gift that can be given to them?

We've struggled and tried. We've given the lives of over 2,000 of our servicemen there. We've also had so many more come back injured and maimed. That doesn't even touch on the number who simply walked away from their lives to sacrifice their time and blood to give other people at chance at a better day. To give people a shot at the freedoms, hopes and dreams we all hold for our families.

We can't walk away, now. It would be the equivalent of leaving your infant in the woods in an effort to teach it survival skills. But, how long will it take this infant to grow up? Or do we have a special needs child on our hands that will take a lifetime of oversight and guidance?

I just don't know. I just don't know.

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
I'm glad that you feel the way that you do, Bob, and I don't believe that the whole Left celebrates. But some certainly do.
First off, that wasn't me whose post you were responding to (if I read your post and the sequence correctly). Also, ...if you don't believe that I should be painted with the same brush, why do you keep bringing it up? It seems pretty clear that you'd rather address your charicature of "the left" than actually have a discussion.

quote:
You have contributed less than Bean Counter has. Sure, he's hot-headed, but he's making some good - if extreme - points worthy of debate. Now you know how the troops feel, but I guess it's much easier to pretend you care about us when you don't know how we feel.
I challenge you to translate BC's "points worthy of debate" into terms that would actually make any of them worthy of debate. The bar is pretty low, so I imagine it shouldn't be too difficult, but I'll have to admit that I haven't been able to do it.

I'm not sure what BC's contributions have actually been. I know what he says they are, but I also recall that he has been caught in lies and half-truths repeatedly on this BB and so I distrust every claim he makes.

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tern
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I was thinking, I've talked to a lot of the leftists on this forum, and I've talked to a lot of leftists at school, and the majority are good people. Well, on Hatrack at least...

So why do I feel this way about the Left, that they glory in the blood of our troops? It isn't just that I have ideological disagreements, if it was just that then there's plenty of other things that I disagree with on the Left.

So here's what I came up with:

Remember the whole Abu Graib thing, and how the whole military was tarred with the same brush, that despite the fact that the vast majority of us are extremely honorable people, certain people *cough* on the left *cough* tried to make like we were all like that?

So maybe it is a small but very prominent group on the Left that gives the rest of y'all a bad name. Unfortunately, we don't see any public disagreements that the non-bloodthirsty Left has with the fringe left.

Take a look at these sites. Tell me how I can look at these sites and not feel that the Left despises the military.

Replacements Needed

Maimed for lies - Hannity & Colmes transcript

Counter Recruiters

Get off campus!

So I'm sure that some of you will come up with justifications, that they don't mean to come across like that, that they're being misunderstood, that they really have the best interests of the troops at heart. Well, think about how a member of the military would view it. We take things at face value, we're not all into postmodern critique and related nonsense.

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tern
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Bean Counter's point worthy of debate is that the rhetoric of the left gives aid and comfort to the enemy and thus is treason. Now, I don't quite agree with that, I think it is a bit extreme - Hanoi Jane, now that's treason - but that's his point, he's stuck to it, and I don't think that it has been addressed.

Sure, useful dissent is a good thing in a democracy, and it's hard to separate the useful from the worthless. But tell me this, do you feel that it is possible to cross the line from dissent to giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or sedition? Why or why not? Is it possible in these days to charge (in a court of law) people with treason or sedition (I don't think so) and why or why not?

Can free speech cross a line? What do you feel about the saying "The Constitution is not a suicide pact"? Do you agree, or why is it not applicable? Certain forms of speech (such as fighting words) are considered to be prohibited, thus "free speech" is already limited.

Lastly, should those who choose to use their free speech be responsible enough to do so in such a way as to not give aid and comfort to the enemy which would have the end effect of killing US soldiers?

Oh, and my "caricature of the Left" comes from the "activists" on my undergraduate college campus. I've talked to these people personally, read their vile crayonings in what passes for the school newspaper. Perhaps I've encountered the Left's versions of Fred Phelps - and I'll give y'all the benefit of the doubt and assume so - but they are the ones who have shaped my experience of the Left. I won't even mention anything about DailyKos or the Democratic Underground, and some of the creatures that slither there, because I already know that y'all aren't like that. [Smile]

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tern
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For the record, most of my questions in my previous post are meant to inspire reflection. I don't necessarily advocate actually doing them. For example, I don't think that the government should draw and enforce a line between free speech and anti-government speech. Probably because I'd end up in jail with the rest of y'all. But I do, for example, think that the Left (even the good-intentioned ones) should consider the effect of their words on the military and on our enemies. (Give y'all a hint - they don't think that they're pro-military)
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

So why do I feel this way about the Left, that they glory in the blood of our troops?

Who wants more troops to die? Which side wants troops not to die? Which side despises their own citizens, protestors who are exercising their democratic rights as Americans? Who is being anti-American and equating disagreement with treason and sedition and trying to spin the issues rather than address the issues on this board?

Oh, but that's not the whole story is it? It's not so simple, is it? No, it's not. In fact, presenting things like the above constitutes a lie of ommission, a strawman, doesn't it, Tern? So, why are you spinning and perverting the truth, my O so honorable military brother?

"Oooh, not me Mr. Saxon! Eye's jus' tellin' de troof!"

Stop screwing around, Tern, and start engaging in dialogue about the issues instead of trying to demonize your opponents, please. [Smile]

Edit: Smilies make everything go down more smoother.

[ November 21, 2005, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]

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Chris Bridges
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So why do I feel this way about the Left, that they glory in the blood of our troops?

Part of the problem is the impression many leftists get about the Bush administration and some of the war supporters, namely that they don't care how many troops die as long as the objectives are achieved. And I submit that, just as there are whacko extremists that glory in dead soldiers, there are also whacko extremists that want to see every Muslim dead even if we have to keep throwing soldiers at them to do it.

I believe that releasing classified information that directly causes Americans to be killed -- troop movements, battle plans, security information for American buildings, etc -- would be treasonous.

But do you understand that if I believe our administration is getting our troops killed needlessly because of bad management and intentional obliviousness, I am morally obligated to address it. Silence implies consent.

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