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View Diary: Through the Looking Glass: Freeperville (324 comments)

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  •  there is much less public debate space for . .. (none)
    anti-war talk. We have the center (which in the name of patriotism supports torture and murder of thousands of innocents) the right (which supports these same more enthusiastically) and the left (which opposes them).  The disproportion of propagation of the views of the news of the right and so-called center on one hand, and the left on the other, is immense.  The disparity reflects the disparity between rich and poor.

    The liberal media - NBC, etc. - do plenty of their own cheerleading for war, and vastly underreport the corruption and the sadism of the bush administration and its allies.

    Sometimes reporters will say, well, one side hates me, and so does the other, so I must be doing a good job.  No, Mr. Reporter, that does not prove you are doing a good job.

    Some say the war in Iraq is a great thing and getting better.  Others try to express what George Galloway expresses so well.  If your idea of truth is to go halfway in between and think, this must be a moderate thing to do, since it is middle ground, then you will find yourself supporting torture - only half as much.

    Reality is complex, and it is to our advantage to recognize that.  There are also important distinctions to make, and they aren't that hard to make, some of them, if you are honest.  Torture really is wrong.  Cheney really is a gangster.  People who speak the truth really are deserving of praise and admiration, and do not deserve to be compared to the major liars of the world, like George Bush, Laura Bush, Bill Frist etc.

    •  It all depends on the color of your glasses (none)
      Supports the torture and murder of thousands of innocents. I assume you have a source for the thousands of innocents, I'm aware of mistreatment of dozens and the recent comments on the deaths of two, but thousands?

      Support torture and murder? No, but what is the appropriate response to finding they occur? Most of these revelations are about things already under investigation. People are being punished. This junk happens in every war on every side in varying degrees. That's one of the reasons to avoid war unless necessary.

      Many would like to imagine that the abuses are somehow the result of secret orders from Carl Rove. Frankly, as a nurdy guy who encountered the typical harassment in High School P.E., I have no trouble at all believing that there are soldiers out there who can come up with abuse all on their own. Occam's razor applies.

      Interestingly, the conservatives believe that the media spends all of its time focusing on the casualties, spends forests worth of trees printing stories about the rumors that some neandrethals abused the Koran. They complain continuously that the media is all anti-war and never says anything positive.

      Reality is complex.

      Here comes the big question: Do you want the Iraq occupation to end successfully?

      •  Careful, William (none)
        It has been my experience that asking questions that will reveal what liberals really think -- like "I want the war to fail so that Chimpy Bushitler and the repugs lose" -- can make liberals mad.  

        If you've read much of this thread, they like to think they are above pettiness.  Many are not and will not like it if you point that out.

        The other thing I saw a lot in this thread was the idea that the right-wing blogs were mostly based on opinion, not facts -- that folks at the Kos had the facts on their side.  What I see too often are blanket statements like "Torture is wrong" and "Cheney is a gangster".  The latter is factually incorrect and the former contains an assumption that the US tortures people.  Again, some facts to back this up would be good.

      •  I think we'd all like that (none)
         but we know enough history to know that's highly unlikely even if we had our full powers to bear on Iraq. As Gore Vidal noted, we're REALLY TERRIBLE at this empire thing - colonization ain't our bag.

         Sadly, when the invasion was still spooling up, I predicted that we'd end up with a less blatant strongman running things and US troops still there 15-20 years later. Nothing done so far has changed that estimate. Call me a pessimist, but I would much rather have seen the UN in there because they have experience at what is essentially rebuilding governments (East Timor comes most readily to mind), and we would have had more help both in troops and in monetary aid. Yes, the UN is inefficient at best, but they at least know what the hell they're doing - as Iraq has proved, the US does not have a structure for rebuilding governments, and likely never will.

        I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

        by Anderson Republican on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:53:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The big answer (none)
        Here comes the big question: Do you want the Iraq occupation to end successfully?

        Define 'successfully'.

        If you mean that before election day 2008, either all US troops are out of Iraq, or the average rate at which the remaining troops are killed goes below, hmm, let's say one a week for sake of argument, and Iraqi civilians are not being killed by insurgent violence at an average rate above one a day, I'd be far happier than I am now, even though the Bush administration could claim credit for the victory and leverage that for the election.

        If that in turn led to a 2008-2012 Republican administration which did even more damage at home and abroad, I'd weep. But I'd acknowledge that the Bush administration achieved success in Iraq.

        Do you see any conceivable way that we can achieve my standard for "successful end to the occupation"?

        •  Successfully (none)
          My question was inspired by the fact that so many diaries seem excited by bad news for progress in Iraq. I don't think that the collapse of Iraq into civil war would be a good thing and really do hope that a government can be built.

          I do think that it is possible for your definition of success to be met. We are, after all, barely two years from crossing the border into Iraq. Elections in 2008 are over three years away. Frankly, I expect significant troup withdrawals by the 2006 elections.

          On a positive note, the targets are getting softer, more of them are civilian than either military or police. It keeps the body count up and the media attention, but represents a lower capability. I found the effort to make places for the Sunnis in the new government showed more wisdom and compromise than our leaders do, so there is hope. On the other hand, there could easily be civil war.

          I would actually like to see us completely out of there, but that may be too much to hope for since we never seem to leave anywhere completely.

          As to the credit, if the Iraqis manage to build a stable democratic government, that does not leave the Bush administration off the hook. Mistakes were made, costs were high, and people died. Those responsible must bear the burden even if it works out in the end.

      •  if you are not aware of the thousands of people (none)
        who have died because of US policy in Iraq then you really have not been paying attention, or have been very selective.
        •  Torture and murder (none)
          I assumed the phrase torture and murder was related to the Abu Ghraib and Guantanomo scandals as well as the two in Afghanistan that were recently mentioned.

          If we are talking about all casualties of the war, I am clearly aware of the various estimates. And, indeed, thousands have died as a result of the war.

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