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usnjay

GK:
Good article, but I have to disagree with you on your last paragraph. Natural selection is a mechanical process based on genes, nature doesn’t ‘adapt’ ways to modify it. The active anti-Americanism of the 5th column is more easily explained by existing human nature.

Put yourself in the place of a extreme leftist (Howard Dean, for example). Your political base is losing ground, and even worse your philosophical stand is becoming difficult to maintain. As the world becomes more prosperous, socialism has less to offer. People are becoming less willing to trade freedom for a social safety net. Things are bad.

But now, a group you despise is in power and fighting a group you don’t see as a threat. Yes, terrorists killed 3000 people, but that was years ago and statistically you’re unlikely to die yourself. More importantly, America is capitalist and you aren’t, so you don’t identify with the country as a whole. YOU weren’t attacked, THEY were.

Who do you fight against? Easy! Oppose America, and use the media to push your message. This has a double benefit of attacking the other guy on issues that don’t require socialist principles to be examined.

regards,
usnjay

Nick Mallory

Excellent piece. The bitter, whining reaction of the usual suspects to the killing of this monsterous thug has shown, once again, that the anti war loons are simply cheering for the other side.

The 'fifth column' in the west is hardly a new phenomena. Appeasement was very popular in Britain before WWII, with almost the entire establishment keen to bow to Hitler, the American public were content to leave Europe to the Nazi horde until Pearl Harbour and most of the academic and media left were happy to apologise for the Soviet Evil Empire throughout the cold war.

I think there's maybe 10% of the population which is immune to reason, perhaps because of the post modern nonsense which has infested academia over the last quarter century. The idea that there is no such thing as objective truth and everything is just a 'discourse' with 'reality' nothing more than a construct of the 'hegemony' is as pervaisive as it is ridiculous.

Conrad

Talk about immune to reason. Do you guys really know what's in your best interests? Do you really think that making great claims about how killing Zarqawi is going to make a huge difference in Iraq is going to help the war effort? Do you really know the situation in Iraq? Do you remember how everyone claimed that catching Saddam would be a huge blow to the insurgency? Do you remember how Cheney declared that after the first election the insurgency was in its death throes? These claims simply destroy American credibility. It's not the left that is to blame for the pessimism about Iraq, its the overblown claims of victory and progress (mission accomplished, anyone?) by the administration and the far right that have reduced a majority of the country's faith in these efforts to a very low level.

The fact is, Zarqawi was already becoming irrelevant to the insurgency. That's why he was killed. It wasn't that we tracked him down, it's that he was betrayed by his own people because he had become a liability rather than an asset. It's also important to realize that the insurgency is not primarily led by foreign terrorists like Zarqawi. It's primarily led by native baathists, sunnis, and shiites, and the war has been shifting away from attacking Americans to attacking one another. In other words, its been morphing away from a war against the American occupation and a war between factions for control of Iraq. I think most of the people there feel that America has already been defeated, in that we are no longer even trying to control the situation militarily or politically, and are just acting as a kind of stabilizing force to keep the violence from breaking out into full-scale civil war. So attacks on Americans have fallen, but attacks on Iraqis have risen. Zarqawi was there to attack Americans, and he served a purpose for the other factions for a while, to keep the Americans from exerting any real control over the situation, by confining them to their bases and on very way patrols. But he went too far, was too dramatic, too megalomaniacal and had to be sacrificed. It doesn't mean the situation is better, it just means the situation has been changing. Zarqawi was not even in charge of the Al Qaeda types in Iraq anymore. They have moved on. Killing him was a good thing, but it's not like it's going to change anything. It's a symptom of a change that's already been taking place, and that change isn't a good one for us, except to the degree that it means American troops are being targeted less frequently now. But that's also because American troops are less exposed now, and doing less, and matter less, and the general sense is that they are on their way out anyway.

Iraq is moving towards that old “ Vietnamization” policy, in which the battle is increasingly being turned over to the Iraqis to fight. Our involvement is going to be an increasingly supportive one, training Iraqis to fight the insurgents, rather than doing the fighting ourselves. And of course it pretty much has to be. Let's hope it works out better than it did in Vietnam.

Chuck the Lucky

The reason for the 8-10% (I hope it is that low) and the larger fraction that can be swayed and manipulated by them is simply that every stupid idea and belief can capture a seemingly sizable fraction of the population. Virtually every person in the world embraces at least one stupid and indefensible belief. (One of mine is that one day intelligence will be more powerful and pervasive than ignorance).

usnjay

Conrad:
First, neither the author or any major political figure has said Zarqawi’s death was a final victory or another turning point. They’ve just said it’s a good thing and will have positive effects. ‘The Futurists’ strongest statement was that it would “yield dividends for months to come” [emphasis mine].

I agree with most of the rest of your statements because you (mostly) agree with what Bush and the military has said was the goal the entire time: the US will stand down as the Iraqis stand up. Our military is doing less as the Iraqis do more.

I personally think we won in Iraq when Bush won in 2004, but even for those who disagree I don’t see how you could predict anything but victory in Iraq. It’s pretty much impossible for there to be a civil war, and we’ve created a democracy in the middle east. That’s victory. How ‘bout just enjoying it?

regards,
Jason

Conrad

USNjay,

I'm sure I'd enjoy it more if you'd share what you're smoking. Okay, so you agree with the leftist 5th column that Zarqawi's death doesn't make much difference and that we can't win the war, only the Iraqis can. I guess you are now part of that 8-10%. The only difference is that you have the great notion of just declaring victory and going home. I agree. It worked for Vietnman, didn't it? I say it can work for Iraq also. So, if maybe after we leave things take a different turn, that's not our fault is it? Hell no. Pass me another spliff, will you?

usnjay

Conrad:
I think there's a happy medium between Zarqawi's death guaranteeing happiness for all and it not making much difference.

The Leftist response GK and others are referring to is the statements that not only was Zarqawi's death not a victory, but America is to blame for the people he killed, Bush timed the strike for political reasons, etc, etc.

We won in 2004 b/c it guaranteed we'd stay until the job was finished, and that's what we're doing. It's similar to saying we won in WWII once the battle of the Bulge was decided.

so, good news all around.

regards,
usnjay

Conrad

Yeah, I agree there's a medium there, but it's much closer to it not much mattering at this point. Killing Zarqawi a while back would have made a bigger difference.

As for the lefty point that we bear some responsibility for the people Zarqawi killed, I'd actually have to agree partway there also. Fact is, we bungled the occupation badly, never planned for it, never put int he troops needed, never secured the country, the arms supplies, never made the place safe, and allowed people like Zarqawi to sow havoc and death. As the occupying power, we were responsible for keeping the peace in Iraq. That we didn't do our job means that we bear some responsibility for what Zarqawi and his kind have wrought.

Invading a country means we end up bearing its burdens on our shoulders. We become responsible for the shit unleashed that we didn't handle. And yes, we unleashed lots of forces in Iraq that we didn't handle as we should.

You say we won in 2004, but then why is the war still being waged in 2006, with no clear end in sight, no victory in sight either.

As for the claim that we could have killed Zarqawi back in 2002-3, yes, it's true we didn't because we wanted to keep alive the rationale that we needed to invade to keep people like Zarqawi from having a safe haven in northern Iraq. Killing him actually would have undermined the rationale for the invasion, because it would have demonstrated that there were options short of war for dealing with this kind of thing. So yeah, letting Zarqawi live back then means we bear some responsibility for what he later wrought.

Toaster

"Yeah, I agree there's a medium there, but it's much closer to it not much mattering at this point. Killing Zarqawi a while back would have made a bigger difference"

This, from the same group that thinks catching Osama will end the War on Terror (and who will then say we are partly responsible for driving Osama to do what he does).

"As for the claim that we could have killed Zarqawi back in 2002-3, yes, it's true we didn't because we wanted to keep alive the rationale that we needed to invade to keep people like Zarqawi from having a safe haven in northern Iraq. "

er...We could not have killed him without flying our planes all over Iraq, and possibly even having forces on the ground. You are saying we should have killed him instead of invading Iraq. That is like saying we should just eat pork instead of killing pigs.

Conrad

Toaster,

“This, from the same group that thinks catching Osama will end the War on Terror (and who will then say we are partly responsible for driving Osama to do what he does).”

What group? You have this crazed delusion that “the left” is a group of some kind. I don't know of any leftists who believe catching Osama will end the war on terror, though it would be good, and was of course supposedly a high priority at one time, until it became clear that Bush botched the job. The left is just being sarcastic bringing things like that up, pointing out that Bush's priority isn't really about winning the war on terror, but using the war on terror to justify his geopolitical plans to transform the middle east by projecting US power into the region. Bush is actually willing to exacerbate the war on terror if need be in order to accomplish his larger goals.

“er...We could not have killed him without flying our planes all over Iraq, and possibly even having forces on the ground. You are saying we should have killed him instead of invading Iraq. That is like saying we should just eat pork instead of killing pigs.”

We were already flying planes over Iraq, and engaging in military actions long before the invasion. We had special forces on the ground all over the place. If we could do that, we could have killed Zarqawi. What would have stopped us, other than a decision at the top not to do so? The point is that we could have done such things without launching any invasion and occupation, and were in fact doing such things. But killing Zarqawi would have removed a justification for war when Bush was trying to mobilize support for a full scale invasion, and so it wasn't part of his plan. Turns out to have been one of many big mistakes he made.

Niccolo

Back to the question of why a percentage of the population acts so as to put their own lives at risk. I propose the answer: toxoplasma gondii.

This is a parasite that turns normally risk-averse rats (in the tests reported) into risk-seekers. It also infects humans.

The story is available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/2/11
and http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=117239
and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol9no11/03-0143.htm

For more, run "toxoplasma rats risk" in Google . . .


- Niccolo

Maddy

“There was a time when openly rooting for an enemy that deliberately targets civilians, and uses gruesome shock tactics such as televised beheadings, would have been considered shocking sedition.”

Is that time not today? I consider it shocking sedition to “root for” Zarqawi. Although I’m not sure comparing Bush to Zarqawi is “rooting for” Zarqawi, seeing as the people making those comparisons seem to HATE both men.

“There was a time when it would have been considered treason to claim that the elected President is more evil than such an enemy.”

When exactly?

I would explain this in my own words, but I think some famous American writers have addressed this particular misunderstanding more eloquently:
“We are a rebellious nation. Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born; our creeds were infidelity to the mother church; our constitution treason to our fatherland.” -- Theodore Parker
Our nation rebelled so that the President would be subject to criticism, unlike the untouchable British monarchy. As Alexander Hamilton explained, “the President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person of the King of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable: There is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable, no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution.”

In fact, it is uniquely American – PRO-American, if you will – to voice one’s opinion:
“If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.” – Lysander Spooner

And, finally (emphasis mine):
Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. ... I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

To argue that those who disagree with you are committing treason is about as Stalinist as you can get. What if, by some horrible misjudgment, there was a socialist in office, and he went to war against Canada for no reason? (And no, that situation isn’t directly comparable, I’m just trying to think of something that would help you understand) What if you were one of the only people who disagreed with said socialist president’s war? Wouldn’t you want your opinion to be heard, to matter, even if you were a small minority?

Even if you don’t agree with the extremists, at least let them speak – or you’ll be breaking the very rules you hate.

“There was a time when it would have been considered strange for some people to openly oppose measures that may prevent themselves from getting killed by terrorists.”
Agreed, and well said. I don’t dislike comparisons of Zarqawi to Bush, because I want people to say what they believe. However, I do find such comparisons to be fairly nonsensical and lacking any reasonable basis in fact, especially since Zarqawi killed people directly and Bush is not himself committing murder. Of course, this distinction can easily be pointed out to extremists in an effort to make them see shades of gray in their partisan ideology.


Conrad: It may be that Zarqawi’s death does not make a big difference in Iraq for the Iraqi people, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made a big difference for the American people. Bringing down a figurehead is important, especially one as unquestionably terrible as Zarqawi. Don’t underestimate the importance of boosting morale. This will give the troops confidence, and confidence can go a long way if you let it.
Also, you write that time will tell us that Zarqawi’s death will effect nothing. That’s true; time will tell what happens, so in my opinion, we would do better to wait before making further judgement. While we’re waiting, we may as well be glad that the man can inflict no further damage.

M. Simon

You have been reading "The Final Encyclopedia" again. Haven't you?

We had Copperheads in 1864. Anti-FDR Republicans from 1933 to 1945. The 8 - 10% is nothing new.

It is in vs out usually, not left vs right.

usnjay

I agree that “in vs. out” plays a role, the leftists wouldn’t be anti-American if America were as socialist as they’d like.

You’re mistaken about an 8-10% anti-American element during WWII. I’m sure some people said America deserved December 7th and questioned why we were attacking Germany when it was Japan that attacked us. I’m sure some people said FDR lied us into war, and explained that the German people were better off under Hitler then being bombed by the US. I’m sure you can even find some people who said the war was for oil or other natural resources, and the war would make America less secure.

But I think you’d be hard pressed to find 8-10 people who said this, much less 8-10 percent.

Regards,
usnjay

phosphorious

%10 per cent of the country are traitors?

Really?

That's 25 million traitors.

GK

Yep. Actually, 17% of Americans view America negatively. I think just half of those are a fifth column.

They believe poor Zarqawi was 'murdered' by the evil US military, that America deserved 9/11 (or that Bush did it), that the Iraq War is one of the greatest atrocities ever committed in the history of humanity, oppose even the Afghanistan War, etc.

Conrad

USNjay,

Just before Pearl Harbor, huge numbers of Americans were demonstrating in the streets protesting American support for Britain rather than Germany. Hitler had lots of friends in the US who wanted us to remain neutral, and yes, they argued that Germany was better under Hitler, and that we were going to war over oil.

The fact is, the war WAS basically over oil, or at least that was the precipitating issue. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because we had been threatening, and then actually beginning, an embargo denying Japan access to our oil (we were an oil exporter in those days). Japan attacked as a direct response to our oil policies, which they regarded as an attempt to destroy their economy. The whole purpose of Pearl harbor was to seize control of the oil fields in Indonesia and SE asia to secure a continuing supply of oil for Japan. Many have suggested that our oil policy was either stupid, or deliberately engaged in order to provoke war.

After Pearl harbor, most Americans lined up against Germany and Japan, even the Repulbicans who had been behind the pro-Germany movement, but there remained a significant though silent minority who continued to feel that we were fighting on the wrong side (in Europe).

gi_joel2k

Why in your link to a blogger from Daily Kos do you link to such a half-ass site like Expose the Left? Why haven't you linked directly to the Daily Kos article? Is it because your critiques of the left are limited to borrowing material from other right-wing sites? If you actually read the article on Daily Kos, or the excerpt listed on Expose the Left, it is obvious the Daily Kos article is not praising Al Qaeda, but making an observation about the difference in mindsets between our leadership and that of Al-Qaeda.

GK

gijoek2k,

The ExposetheLeft text box has over two-thirds of the DailyKos article.

The Kos blogger states Bush is the reason 'we are in this mess in the first place', despite all the terrorist attacks before Bush took office (including most of the 9/11 planning, which began in 1996), AND all the attacks in other countries (Madrid, London, Bali, Beslan, Delhi, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt X 2, etc.)

The Kos article is at the very least sympathetic to Al-Qaeda's structure and ideology.

M. Simon

usnjay,

I'm a veteran of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club. DLGN-25.

Look at the archives of the Chicago Tribune for that era. Google the Roberts Commission on Pearl Harbor.

The Republicans of the time were reluctant supporters of the war. Just like the Dems today. Although I'd say the current situation is more similar in numbers to the 1860-65 period.

Look up "Jew's war" for that period. Anti-Jew sentiment in America peaked in 1944.

alzaebo

"self-selection"- don't forget the bystanders! I say that the suicidal promote war in general.

We've eliminated famine and plague- is nature now introducing Emotion (war hysteria) as a new strategy?

Our numbers have quadrupled in 4 generations- is nature driving half the world mad to cause rapid population reduction?

It's futile to try reasoning with a leftist or islamist! Latent circuitry is switched to full "on" with them. Traditional religion turns on old circuitry, just not as vehemently.

I'm NOT saying that millenia of faith are hallucination- I'm saying that the circuitry for such perceptions exists, and probably for quite good reason. We just don't describe what we honestly experience very well.

Sometimes the old circuits may be a bit...corroded. Or used in a new way, like happened in the long past.

alzaebo

Zarqawi's death was part of a package deal- the Sunnis gave him up. In return, they gain a ministry (the Army, to keep Iran out of Iraq), and an end to the Shia death squads under the jurisdiction of the national Police.

Bush and crew are playing Deep Chess here. This means the Sunnis are now seriously included in the game. Trust the Left to miss the ramifications.

alzaebo

This also means that Hakim's SCIRI are now at war with Mookie Sadr and the Badr brigades. Iraqi Shia are turned against Iranian infiltrators, in other words- and are already defending Sunnis against jihadis (both foreign and domestic) in the provincial towns.

Nationalism is trumping religion- religion doesn't pay the electricity bill. They just didn't know what would work, or who to trust before the experiment began proving itself.

The 'new idea' is that the key to Iraq is the new conquest of Baghdad. True, but currently being derided and doubted. Hogwash. We've chased 'em from town to town, and now are completing the final flytrap- with 24.5 million Baghdad residents joining in the fight on the biggest stage in Iraq.

Trust the organs of Newspeak to bring out more 'military analysts'- bedwetters who analize the military.

alzaebo

"Hitler had lots of friends in the US who wanted us to remain neutral, and yes, they argued that Germany was better under Hitler, and that we were going to war over oil."

Hitler did have friends. Joe Kennedy and Herbert Bush bought the Brown Building as the first
headquarters for the National Socialists, as they thought Hitler would suppress the communist unions. Well, he did. That's where the original "BushHitler" rant came from. Where are the "ChimpKennedyHitler" signs?

Many did support a negotiated peace, and did not want to see our extensive holdings in Germany decimated. I wonder how many campaign donors were yanking FDR's string. What a nightmare.

Some say 70% against the war prior to Pearl Harbor- I'd say that's the same inflated "68 percent who believe the Iraq war is going badly" agitprop that I heard yesterday.

True also about Japan- and, I think Germany might've won if they hadn't run out of gas. They had to try to strike for the oilfields east of Stalingrad, eventually.

A group of WWI vets actually tried to assassinate FDR- they were incensed over the lack of medical care- "FDR doesn't care about the troops!"- the lead vet, at least, was executed and about 200 more went to prison.

Ty

Hey wait, if the killing of Zarqawi can be seen as the biggest victory in the War on Terror, can his creation be considered the biggest failure of the war in Iraq?

GK

Ty,

No, because these are the same people who say 'Iraq has no ties to Al-Qaeda', but also that 'Bush didn't do anything to prevent North Korea, a nation with no religious or geographical ties to Al-Qaeda, from getting nuclear weapons.'

There is no logical consistency among the anti-Americans, except opposition to the national interests of America.

Ty

But, Zarqawi was in Jordan at the time we invaded Iraq...?

GK

No, he fought the US in Afghanistan in 2001, was injured, and was treated in a hospital owned by Uday Hussein in Iraq (one of many connections between the Husseins and terrorists). He then set up shop there as the US invaded.

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