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View Diary: Cheney and Limbaugh are right (273 comments)

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  •  it's tiresome to have to say this over and over (257+ / 0-)
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    Deep Dark, reef the dog, wozzle, RichM, Alumbrados, sj, chrississippi, keirdubois, pb, Joe Willy, tundraman, fouro, vivacia, TaraIst, Pen, TrueBlueMajority, sen bob, Categorically Imperative, kellogg, karlpk, Shockwave, shayera, Private Keepout, rhubarb, GayHillbilly, YankInUK, frisco, logorrhea, RFK Lives, wild salmon, Birdman, strengthANDwisdom, Heart of the Rockies, mrfleas, opinionated, Mooncat, riverrun, Karen Wehrstein, elveta, Doc Allen, OCD, srkp23, AlyoshaKaramazov, shock, boilerman10, hekebolos, roses, slatsg, DavidHW, Boston to Salem, Boxers, lilnubber, Terre, fumie, enough already, splashy, Serendipity, mayan, normal family, milofischi, MrSandman, oldjohnbrown, Winnie, draftchrisheinz, QuinnLaBelle, Hawksana, goobop, texasmom, johnnygunn, BrooklynVoice, papercut, RebeccaG, grrr, Dood Abides, fritzrth, walkshills, bwintx, peterj911, side pocket, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, SanDiegoDem, Flann, Timroff, Sassy, Demfem, gsbadj, sxwarren, nailbender, madaprn, angrybird, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, DianeNYS, blueyedace2, David R, slave138, Tonedevil, PBen, kamarvt, Webster, clammyc, Simplify, Far left coast, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, citizenx, catleigh, Brooke In Seattle, kamarkamarka, chidmf, teresab, Gary Norton, kldave, homeland observer, lennysfo, sallyfallschurch, Pam from Calif, GreyHawk, Little Lulu, blue jersey mom, Repete153, antiapollon, onanyes, Jaboo, rofodem, wardlow, pacotrey, zinger99, Ekaterin, psyched, noladq, thiroy, Sister Havana, Hazardman, vivycakes, Reality Bites Back, martini, occams hatchet, Coherent Viewpoint, LeftOverAmerica, Major Danby, trashablanca, buddabelly, chicagoblueohio, Do Tell, rcbowman, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, BlueInARedState, evercompromised, hungrycoyote, dopper0189, Still Thinking, stonemason, Yellow Canary, dougymi, deha, mango, dennisl, EthrDemon, kck, Sassy725, ormondotvos, SJLinNYC, arbiter, nilocjin, slandurgurl, FireCrow, filmgeek83, myrealname, ER Doc, think blue, rage, workingmom OH, rsie, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, sarayakat, va dare, righteousbabe, means are the ends, frankzappatista, zedaker, Statusquomustgo, DanC, KenM30, duha, Temmoku, NativeOak, slksfca, AllanTBG, AndrewOG, AntKat, DemCurious, DBunn, seabos84, eastmt, old wobbly, Boreal Ecologist, overlander, california keefer, kmiddle, ninkasi23, uniongal, Dartagnan, jetskreemr, offgrid, ddriscoll, RandomGuyFromGermany, CTMET, left coast lad, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, terabytes, greenchiledem, crispycreme, MonsterSound, java4every1, drchelo, gillaroo, St Louis Woman, Uwaine, malharden, jayden, netguyct, TheCorkBoard, jhop7, pioneer111, Rumarhazzit, fallina7, madgranny, Biologist, keikekaze, willb48, craiger, Neon Mama, Terra Mystica, kafkananda, rogerdaddy, PDXken, Mad Kossack, Blackacre, Phil N DeBlanc, dragoneyes, wayoutinthestix, I, califdem, Chilean Jew, AshesAllFallDown, Faheyman, legal alien, OWCH, Conservative Liberal, Mardish, peaceloveandkucinich, The Big Red One, this old house, Miss Butter

    again, but somebody has to.

    Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

    by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 05:59:32 PM PDT

    •  Who would have thought that after four YEARS (33+ / 0-)

      we still have to make that point?

      Nevertheless, thank you for making it again.

      "Life rolls on in George W. Bush's America, forcing us to invent a new word -- greeed" --Molly Ivins

      by rhubarb on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (51+ / 0-)

        I started reading this diary and though that it was more courageous than it turned out to be. I thought it was going to ask us to face the fact that withdrawal from Iraq actually means a military defeat and that a military defeat of the US in an imperial war is a good thing. Instead its just more wordplay about how we aren't really in a war because the objective of the war was the removal of Sadaam Hussein yadda yadda yadda.

        I hate to break this to you, but its still a freaking war. It wasn't ever really just about removing Sadaam Hussein even if that was once the rationale of the week. People here act like its a big aberation that we were lied into this war. News flash: Its a rare war that isn't sold to the people with lies. Remeber the Maine? Tonkin Gulf anyone? Medical students in peril in Grenada? I could go on.

        Sorry, the purpose of this war was to secure U.S. domination over Iraq and its strategic resources and to project our power over the rest of the region. As everyone who knows what PNAC stands for should know. There is nothing inconsistent with us running both an occupation AND a war. In fact its a pretty common combination.  Its a war of occupation.

        Some folks seem to think that by calling the war "a civil war" we can get out without having been militarily defeated. Thats some self-deluding semantic nonsense. Like many wars this one involves more than two sides and is therefore subject to multiple designations. A good case can be made that an important aspect is now a civil war. But there is  still the plain old occupation/insurgency/counter-insurgency aspect that is alive and well. Furthermore it is worth considering the possibility that the U.S. has deliberately stoked a civil war precisely to prevent the emergence of the unified Iraqi resistance to our occupation that was threatened when the Mahdi Army rose up while shit was flying in Faluja.

        Look its a war and we're getting our asses handed to us. Just as we did in Viet Nam. Not because our troops aren't properly armed or trained but for the reason that better armed and trained armies usually lose these sorts of conflicts -- the other guys have more at stake and are prepared to fight forever even if they take completely lopsided losses while our guys want nothing more than to get home alive ASAP. Thats not to impugn their military talents -- its to say this is a bullshit rich man's war and even the most gung ho U.S. soldier knows it somewhere in the back of his head.

        Its to be expected that when a country loses a war that it tell itself comforting lies about the fact up to and including claims that it wasn't really a war. And its also understanable that people here fear the Dems getting blamed for losing another war even though this one was so obviously lost on Bush's watch, so better to insist that it wasn't a really war so how could it be lost.

        But this is a community that prides itself on being "reality based." So I think its important to be clear, at the very least to ourselves, that withdrawing from Iraq is a military defeat for the U.S. empire. It may be a political victory for U.S. democracy. You can even argue that we've already lost and that withdrawing is simply facing up to that fact and reducing the damage done. But when the U.S. invades a country and is compelled to leave because its citizenry (rightly) has no stomach to continue the fight, that is a military defeat with all of the attendant consequences for any future plans for continued U.S. global domination. We can pretend otherwise, but we will only be fooling ourselves.  

        "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

        by Christopher Day on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:30:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and what otherwise well-meaning anti-imperialists (38+ / 0-)

          like yourself don't grasp is that there's a big difference between saying, "see, this is what happens when you try to dominate someone else's country and steal their resources" and "see, the American military really isn't that tough, and we CAN be defeated!"

          The truth is that the American military IS that good, and that tough.  We have NOT been defeated in war here.  And the American military in Iraq can prove that any day of the week by essentially firebombing all of Fallujah and Sadr City.

          It's not a military defeat; it's using American troops as fodder to attempt to legitimize the longterm theft of another nation's resources.  That's what we call a misguided and immoral occupation--not a lost war.

          Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

          by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:46:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure we've been defeated (17+ / 0-)

            We have NOT been defeated in war here.  

            In your dreams.  Original poster may have a point about how we ought to frame our defeat ("victory!") but amongst ourselves let's talk honestly.

            Our defeat is a consequence of the inherent unwinnability of an imperial war of domination... short of genocide.

            The real issue is the fact that imperialism itself is not "winnable"... it is a posture that expands, until it reaches its natural limits... the limits of control, the limits of local resistance, the limits of imperial rot... and then every empire begins its decline.

            Imperialism itself is not winnable, yet the US Congress voted for it... and votes for it every time it funds a military budget.   It can be won for awhile... but the world is changing, and no level of funding and troops will sustain the imperium indefinitely.

            We'll see in Iraq and around the world whether we have the grace to retreat from empire as the British did...or whether we will insist on every more vigorous and genocidal efforts to fight the locals and maintain our positions around the world, because we can only see the decline of an empire as a "defeat."

            To quote some made up Clint Eastwood line,
            "Are ya man enough to say 'I don't want to be an imperial soldier any more?'  Well are ya, punk?"

            •  we won the imperial war of domination (9+ / 0-)

              Saddam looked at us wrong, we didn't like him.

              We went in, obliterated his army and captured him in about 2 weeks.  Flawlessly.  Easily.

              The war itself was preposterously easy.

              Obliterating an opponent in war isn't a problem for the U.S. military; maintaining an occupation of a foreign country is.

              And to this day, we could just slaughter the people of Fallujah and Sadr City and dramatically reduce out troop deaths.

              Wars are in the service of taking territory and killing enemies.  In that regard, America can still do whatever it pleases with astounding ease.

              Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

              by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:13:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We won almost nothing with the initial victory... (12+ / 0-)

                The best soldiers faded away to fight the real war... which they are fighting quite well today.

                And we walked right into the trap.

                Maintaining an occupation IS the war... and we're losing it.

                Obliterating and slaughtering the people of Fallugha and Sadr City is what I call genocide.. and it is always an option for a desperate empire.  Are you advocating it?

                If America can do what it wants with ease, why did John McCain have to wear a suit of armor, and have a huge military escort just to walk through a market?  That's not "doing what we want" with ease... that's proof positive that we can't even walk down the street without a full military operation .  The funny part is that McCain probably thinks it was a demonstration of power, not weakness

                •  slaughtering the population (13+ / 0-)

                  was exactly what we did in Dresden.  And Hiroshima.  And when we napalmed entire villages and towns in Vietnam.

                  When you're at war and the conquered population refuses to submit, that's what you do.  When you're at war.

                  We weren't looking to exploit Germany economically, and we weren't looking to use the workers of Hiroshima as a photo-op story, an ally, or an oil resource.  So we didn't give a shit if we obliterated their cities.

                  This fact is causing schizophrenia among right-wing bloggers, who figure that Bush must be enforcing liberal politically correct rules of engagement in this "war."

                  The truth is, however, that it's not a "war" at all.  If it were, we would wage war--real war--on Sadr City.

                  Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

                  by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:59:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree with you, dude. (5+ / 0-)

                    But strategic bombing was immoral and unnecessary. Especially Hiroshima and even more so Nagasaki.

                    Most of the men involved lived to regret that decision.

                    Round the clock bombing of Germany was ineffective. The Germans simply shifted their factories underground or moved them into forests. Germany produced more tanks in 1944 than in any other year.

                    The air war was complete bullshit. WWII was won by the US (and Soviet) Army in Europe and the US Navy in the Pacific. Period.

                    Never get involved in a land war in Asia

                    by The Big Red One on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 09:33:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I would agree with you except for... (4+ / 0-)

                      ...the Battle of the Bulge.  I posit the Germans would not have run out of fuel had the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania not been destroyed by the US Air Corp.

                      Had the Germans had fuel and not needed to capture allied fuel depots the outcome may have been different.

                      Furthermore, there was plenty of tactical air power that was crucial in many key battles.

                      The Battle of Midway was won by naval air power.

                      And the jury is still way out on whether the alternative to Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a full blown invasion of Japan with a much higher death count on both sides.

                      I would have prefered that the Hiroshima bomb was dropped instead in Tokyo harbor as General Steyer sugested.

                      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

                      by Shockwave on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 10:06:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The point about Japan is that the naval blockade (6+ / 0-)

                        by the US was working, Japan was collapsing, and was ready to surrender on terms.  

                        The US did not want to negotiate terms.  

                        1. One might wonder if the US ever wants to negotiate, even in victory, but
                        1. There was also the problem of ending the war before the Soviets turned their attention east, as they were obliged to do (being allies), but were also eager to do--too eager from the US point of view  
                        1.  The bombs were actually dropped in an attempt to scare the Soviets into submission.  A partial success:  The Soviets were plenty scared, but rather than submitting, the ramped up their nuclear research and started their own bomb project--not the last time this strategy would backfire.  

                        The much-debated invasion would never have been necessary.  

                        •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gaianne, Shockwave, Autarkh, daddy4mak

                          I used to by into the "we had to nuke them or it would have been worse" myth.

                          But how in the world could Japan have hurt the US or our allies once we destroyed her navy. She couldn't. So we didn't have to do it.

                          The Pacific war was over after Leyte Gulf. Japan was helpless after that. So we nuked a helpless enemy. And that's not cool.

                          Of course, human beings make mistakes. It was a horrible war. A war that Japan wanted more than we did. But still, for people to still pretend that it wasn't wrong to nuke Japan is a bit like saying that "we should fight them there so we don't have to fight them here" today.

                          It's delusional. It has no basis in reality. We need to admit when we fuck up.

                          Never get involved in a land war in Asia

                          by The Big Red One on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:26:04 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Shockwave, you are sick. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Shockwave

                        Do you realize what you are saying? Nuclear weapns should have been used in an even higher population area killing even more innocent civillians?

                        You do realize nuclear weapons burn the skin off of all living cretures in range don't you? Or not?

                        Oh.wait a minuite ... I'm sorry, I failed to notice you're just quoting a nut-case survivialist as a joke.

                        Never mind.

                        "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                        by koNko on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:21:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Misunderstanding (0+ / 0-)

                          The bomb over Tokyo Harbour was meant to be a demonstration of the bomb's power with minimal casualties. IIRC, the aim was to directly show the leadership of Japan what sort of weapon they possessed. by detonating it in plain view, but not over top of a populated area.

                          •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shockwave

                            What would those minimum casulties consist of?

                            Where would the radiation go?

                            Maybe you better think through this more rationally?

                            "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                            by koNko on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 09:32:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Think what thru? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Shockwave

                            A bomb over a harbor where maybe a hundred people would be killed or a bomb over city where thousands would be instantly incinerated? I know which one I think is better.

                            As for the radiation, it's not really important.  There is going to be radiation and radiation-related problems either way.

                          •  Seculative & Delusional (0+ / 0-)

                            You're speculating that a nuclear weapon dedonated in the harbour of Tokyo, with (then and now) several times the population Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have killed fewer people. OK, you know little about geography and less about nuclear weapons.

                            "...not really importiant, there would be nuclear radiation and radiation-related problems either way?"

                            No further comment. You are beyond hope.

                            "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                            by koNko on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 10:08:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                            That's odd.  Somewhere in all my geography classes I never heard anything about mass numbers of people living in or on the Tokyo harbor.  I do know the early nukes didn't have a huge (by today's standards) blast radius, so detonation in the middle of the harbor would not directly cause as many casualties as one over a city.

                            No further comment. You are beyond hope.

                            Right back at ya...  If you don't realize that x amount of radiation in one place is pretty much the same as x amount of radiation in another place a few hundred miles away (if even that far) you're hopelessly deluded.  The radiation spreads quite a bit so no, it really doesn't make much difference.

                          •  Really, you are quite mistaken (0+ / 0-)

                            Apparently you are unfamiliar with the geography of Tokyo, I suggest buying a map and using the scale to measure distance. At the time, the population was even more clustered around the harbor than it is today.

                            The number of casualties would have been relative to various factors not only blast radius. Regardless, assuming it was placed at the geographical center of the harbor, Ebisu, Akasaka, and Higashi-Ginza at least would have been in thermonuclear storm range.

                            NB 1 - Clue for the clueless; the Imperial Palace in Minatoku is nearby, certianly in the range of the firestorm.

                            NB 2 - The prevalance of wodden buildings then would have assured a horrendus fire.

                            Other factors you overlook are population density, geography and prevailing wind direction of Tokyo, all of which would most likely have ensured the radiation cloud would spread inland toward the population (after the thermonuclear blast and winds) encompassing a population greater than Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

                            But these are mere facts and facts never seem to enter the minds of Armchair Generals. I realize your interest is just to win a simple-minded and semantic argument, but frankly, that's beyond you.

                            Nuclear weapons kill by percussion, thermal and radiation burning first, radiation ion induced sickness second, and do so indiscriminately.

                            Really, you are a small-minded morally bankrupt person.

                            If that is not the case, I suggest you visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to face the facts first hand and argue this issue with survivors. If you care to, perhaps you should educate yourself first to avoid making yourself a bigger ass than you already have.

                            Hiroshima : 60,00-70,000 deaths, 140,000 injured
                            Nagasaki  : 42,000 deaths, 40,000 injured
                            9/11        : 2,980 deaths, 2,337 injured  

                            Link1

                            Link 2

                            Link 3

                            Link 4

                            Link 5

                            Link 6

                            Link 7

                            Link 8

                            Link 9

                            Link 10

                            "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                            by koNko on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 11:18:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You might want to look at your own sources... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... a little closer - and while you're at it, follow your own advice:

                            Apparently you are unfamiliar with the geography of Tokyo, I suggest buying a map and using the scale to measure distance.

                            The blast radius of the weapons used in WWII was confined to around 2 miles as described in your 4th Link (and a good number of other sources).  That same source describes the effects at the edge of the radius:

                            The most apparent external damage was that the doors and windows were blown out and the roof damaged. As Glasstone states, this house "was badly damaged both internally and externally, but it remained standing. ... Although complete restoration would have been very costly, it is believed that, with the window and door openings covered, and shoring in the basement, the house would have been habitable under emergency conditions." People would have tended to experience cuts from glass fragments and, as Glasstone states, "possible fatal injuries from flying debris or as a result of translational displacement of the body as a whole." Shelters in the basement were intact. [178-80]. At Hiroshima 2% of the population were killed and 25% injured in the 2 to 0.75 psi region.

                            Beyond that range, the effects are limited to residual radiation.

                            Contrary to your apocalyptic theory, a bomb dropped in the center of the harbor would be around 4 miles from the coast at its closest point.  At that distance, only minor fires and the radioactive fallout would be a concern.

                            "NB1" - False as explained above.  The Imperial Palace was outside of the firestorm range and out of direct harm.

                            "NB2" - This would only be true if the Japanese were of the habit of building their wooden buildings in the middle of the water.  The degree of fires outside of the 2 mile range would be minimal and manageable.  Also consider that Tokyo had already sustained high levels of firebombings at this point in the war.  If there were wooden buildings to burn, odds are they were already ash.

                            As an example (source):

                            The U.S. bombing strategy of 1942-44 against Japan was expanded in a big way in March 1945, beginning with the fire bombing of Tokyo on March 9 and 10, 1945. The area of Tokyo selected was four miles by three miles, a zone with a civilian population density of 103,000 per square mile. A high concentration of incendiary bombs dropped from the huge U.S. B-29 Superfortresses ignited a series of fires, fanned by brisk winds, which raged out of control within half an hour, the result of which was that more than 15 square miles of Tokyo was burned out. About 100,000 men, women and children were killed and another 100,000 people were made homeless. According to the U.S. Army Air Forces: "No other air attack of the war, either in Japan or Europe, was so destructive of life and property."

                            "With casualties of this order," Clark wrote of the March 9-10 fire bombing of Tokyo, "it seemed inevitable that Japan could be burned into capitulation. The bomber, surely, might here do what it had failed to do against Germany: Eliminate the need for ground invasion."

                            Within 48 hours of the U.S. fire bombing of Tokyo, LeMay's B-29 bombers launched incendiary attacks against Kobe, Nagoya, and Osaka. Over a 10 day period, 9,373 tons of bombs were dropped and 31 square miles of these cities were burned out. More fire bomb raids were carried out on Tokyo, and by the end of May 1945, 56 square miles of Tokyo had been reduced to ashes.

                            Kennett described the impact of these incendiary raids: "Everything combustible would be consumed, and the fierce temperatures generated would ensure that by radiant heat alone the conflagration would cross streets and canals. In some cases the heat would soften the asphalt in the streets, so that fire equipment mired down and was lost to the flames. Water sprayed on the fire would simply vaporize; glass panes would soften and drip from metal window frames. Here and there, incredibly, concrete melted. No living thing could survive in such an atmosphere."

                            The population density of Tokyo in 1945 (before the firebombings) was around 103000 people per/square mile.  Hiroshima at the time had about 25% of that.  The question is, which would have felt a greater effect - a direct hit to a smaller concentration of people or indirect residual effects to a larger concentration?

                            But these are mere facts and facts never seem to enter the minds of Armchair Generals. I realize your interest is just to win a simple-minded and semantic argument, but frankly, that's beyond you.

                            No, facts are a great place to base theoretical discussion.  Unfortunately, some people neglect to review the facts before climbing on their podium to trumpet their ill-conceived arguments and ad hominem attacks:

                            Really, you are a small-minded morally bankrupt person.

                            To which I reply: Right back at you...

                          •  Still trying to rationalize nuclear war? (0+ / 0-)

                            This is a theoretical argument on your side alone, and a poorly reasoned one at that. You said:

                            A bomb over a harbor where maybe a hundred people would be killed or a bomb over city where thousands would be instantly incinerated?

                            ... and ...

                            Right back at ya...  If you don't realize that x amount of radiation in one place is pretty much the same as x amount of radiation in another place a few hundred miles away (if even that far) you're hopelessly deluded.  The radiation spreads quite a bit so no, it really doesn't make much difference.

                            ... and ...

                            As for the radiation, it's not really important.  There is going to be radiation and radiation-related problems either way.

                            That's so absurd, it really doesn't merit much more of a reply, except to ask you how you reconcile those arguments and the ones you make now. Please go back to your original arguements.

                            You're still trying to win some sort of sematic arguement here, but you are totaly unconvincing logically, and fail to address (or percieve) the moral issues at hand.

                            Regardless of whether the blast would have reached landfall (depends where your magicaly well contained nuclear weapon would have landed), the fire-storm and radiation fallout would have killed thousands. If you doubt this, please visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki as I suggest and review the short and long-term mortality rates due to the effect of fires, radiation burns and radiation sickness. Perhaps you consider this unimportinat, your obvious facination with explosive devices falls a bit short of leading you to understanding the nature of nuclear weapons. Would the radiation have stopped at your 2 mile limit? Did you review that information as well? Not much of a problem?

                            BTW, you don't need to lecture me about the fire bombings of Tokyo to convince me America is skilled at commiting attrocities by bombing civillian populations, you are still practicing that today (eg, "Shock and Awe" bombing of Iraqi civillians). Not surprising given your typically self-serving arguements. Please speak to the moral issues, your silence on it is quite revealing.

                            Regardless, 100,000+ deaths and 100,000+ injuries from incendiary bombing hardly compare to the casualty rates of the nuclear bombings, I suggest you compare the statistics and consider the results in human terms if you have the capacity to do so - something the survivors had great difficulty doing after witnessing it first-hand.

                            Plese visit Hiroshima and make your arguements to the few reaining survivors, some work as gides at the Hiroshima Peace Park, you have failed to convince me, perhaps you would have better luck with them.

                            You have convinced me of one thing, like many Americans, you have no real concept of war and approach it in theoretical, dehumanizing terms. That explains why America has become a rogue state and is making enimies all over the world - a morally bankrupt nation. Fortunately, many other people visting this site lead me to believe it's possible to reverse that situation, you do the opposite.

                            "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                            by koNko on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 02:55:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think maybe you forgot... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...what this discussion is about.  It's about the morality of dropping 'the bomb' in the middle of the harbor as a demonstration, or bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I agree that the radiation from either scenario would have resulted in horrific casualties.  

                            THAT is precisely why I said (in the context of the discussion), it doesn't matter.  The results would have been the same or similar enough in either scenario to negate each other.  That leaves the immediate deaths caused by the bombing as the sole factor and the facts are, a lot less people would have been killed by dropping the bomb on the harbor.

                            This has been my argument from the start as explained (maybe not clearly enough to cleave through your outrage) in the sections you quoted.

                            You attack my arguments as illogical, but fail to show where the logic breaks down.  From a moral standpoint, any use of the nukes was immoral but a drop on the harbor would have killed a lot less people.

                            There's nothing magical about the blast range of the nukes we used.  The results at various ranges were well documented.  The distance to the coast was far enough that even a drop a mile off-target from the center would not have made landfall.  This includes the 'firestorm' you keep referring to.

                            You can argue that long term death caused by the radiation is worse than the immediate death at the center of the blast if you so desire.  If you want to look 'long-term' perhaps you should define what you consider 'long'.  Months? Years? Decades?  The timeframe is important to the context of the discussion.  Is it better to live 10, 20, 30 or more years and die from cancer caused by the radiation or to die instantly?  I guess that would be a matter of opinion and definitely debatable.

                            Would the radiation have stopped at your 2 mile limit? Did you review that information as well? Not much of a problem?

                            I clearly pointed out (in every one of my replies) that the radiation would spread beyond the blast area - part of the reason why it is a negated factor between the two scenarios.  Do you honestly believe the radiation from Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn't affect people in Tokyo?  I'm fairly certain it did and I'm likewise certain they are included in studies of the 'long-term' effects.

                            BTW, you don't need to lecture me about the fire bombings of Tokyo to convince me America is skilled at committing atrocities by bombing civilian populations, you are still practicing that today (eg, "Shock and Awe" bombing of Iraqi civilians). Not surprising given your typically self-serving arguments. Please speak to the moral issues, your silence on it is quite revealing.

                            Sorry, but what the hell are you talking about?  My argument from the start was that it would have been more humane to show our capabilities without reducing two cities to rubble along with thousands of inhabitants.  You seem to have very little grasp of context.  I wasn't saying the firebombings were a good thing - I was simply pointing out that the city was already largely destroyed by previous actions, so a nuclear explosion 4-5 miles away would not likely have done much as it did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                            Atrocities happen in wars.  I won't debate it, nor do I glorify it, but I don't need to be lectured on it, either.  It has happened in just about every war before and probably in every war after.  The hands of the Japanese were no cleaner - as I'm sure you and your Chinese countrymen are aware.  Does it make our actions right?  No, but discussing wars and morals is pretty much the epitome of an oxymoron.

                            Plese visit Hiroshima and make your arguements to the few reaining survivors, some work as gides at the Hiroshima Peace Park, you have failed to convince me, perhaps you would have better luck with them.

                            Convince the people of Hiroshima that it would have been better to drop a bomb in the harbor to demonstrate our capabilities than to drop one on them?  Frankly, I don't think they would disagree.

                            You have convinced me of one thing, like many Americans, you have no real concept of war and approach it in theoretical, dehumanizing terms. That explains why America has become a rogue state and is making enemies all over the world - a morally bankrupt nation. Fortunately, many other people visiting this site lead me to believe it's possible to reverse that situation, you do the opposite.

                            That's where you're wrong.  America has humanized war to the point that even a handful of civilian casualties is enough to raise an outcry.  Calling us a rogue nation for the actions of our pathetic leaders is the same as blaming the citizens of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo and every other city and village of Japan for Hirohito's attack on America and the actions of Unit 731.  And no offense, but your country is hardly what most would call 'upstanding'.  

                            As for being morally bankrupt - I'd be hard-pressed to find a single nation that someone didn't consider morally bankrupt.  Morals are derived largely from the cultures of each group of people.  What one group may consider normal and moral may be viewed as the embodiment of immorality by another.

                          •  And by the way... (0+ / 0-)

                            No one in this discussion has tried to "rationalize nuclear war".  You're creating a strawman and beating him liberally...

                          •  Sorry My Delayed Reply (0+ / 0-)

                            In these two days 33 people were murrdered in the USA and the Mayor of Nagasaki was shot and is critically injured near death.

                            Out of respect for these people I suggest to suspend this discussion for a brief period.

                            I will reply in due course explaining my reasoning, posting to your message so you recieve the comment.

                            Meanwhile you can cool-down as I have so we can have a reasonable discussion toward mutual understanding.

                            I appreciate your understanding and agreement.

                            Thank You.

                            "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

                            by koNko on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 11:02:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  The bombing of the synthetic oil industry (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Shockwave

                        was also critical.  Targeting oil crippled the German ear effort and caused relativly few civilian casualities.  Targetting other industries was less effective.

                •  "We won almost nothing... (0+ / 0-)

                  with the initial victory.."

                  Oh, sure, and I s'pose Napoleon won almost nothing by occupying Moscow!?

                  What a http://politicalhumor.about.com/...

                  •  Just so... (0+ / 0-)

                    What did Napolean win by occupying  Moscow?  His victory contained the seeds of his defeat at the hands of the Russian winter, desertion and long supply lines.

                    So also we won something... but it was almost nothing compared to the real alignment of forces that we set loose and that are defeating us now.

                •  It was no trap (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Miles, LNK

                  Nobody set us up to do it.  Going in, there was NOBODY that was hot for us to invade and occupy Iraq.

                  It was all choice.  Don't even give a whiff of letting them off the hook.

                  "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

                  by gsbadj on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 04:07:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, if I'm remembering correctly, (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Miles, gsbadj, catleigh, LNK

                    Osama once said that his greatest hope was that he could get the US to invade a middle eastern country so that he could seriously rally his troops and seriously hurt America.  He wanted to create an Afghanistan for the U.S. that would result in the collapse or the country.  Apparently he even admitted, post invasion, that he hadn't really anticipated America invading Iraq, but boy did that work out well as a recruiting tool for AQ.

                    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell (-9.75, -9.03)

                    by nilocjin on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 07:39:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  There's war and there are battles (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Miles

                Taking Baghdad was a battle. Another point is that until you get an unconditional surrender from the enemy you are in a state of war which is why we are losing. If we treated it like a war, then yes it would have been somewhat like WW2 in that we would firebomb cities and keep leveling towns until all factions turned in their arms and a gave us unconditional surrender. Then in it would be an occupation

                That never happened. The fact that dear leader equated the running of the regime from Baghdad as winning the war- or combat operations- is meaningless since he has misinterpreted everything else that has gone on there. But don't let that happen here. It is war over there because we don't have an unconditional surrender and it's a war we are losing.

                In all likelihood the realization that this is Vietnam on steroids won't hit for another 2 years or more since the D's offered up funding anyway. They are funding a war effort that was designed to take territory but not destroy it first in order to steal the oil. A real bad strategy exemplified by not enough troops and a very smart enemy that has been around fighting wars much longer than we have.

                It should have been clear to most when we used our limited resources to protect the oil ministry after we won the battle of Baghdad that there was some real problems with the rationale for going in. But we are in the shithole waste-deep and it's a war as  the families of the 25 soldiers killed this month will testify too and the number would have been much larger if the state of the art in protective gear had not advanced ( but not enough- see Occam's diary on Body Armor)  

                But I don't think many in the military was surprised when the regime melted away in the Battle of Baghdad that this war was far from over. If there was any doubts that was clearly erased after Abu Gharib and the DE-Baathification process.

                We just needed a big sign by the Green Zone:
                Caution- Idiots at work

                "making sure your tax dollars are wasted and soldiers will die by insuring a state of war will exist"

                Diebold, the hand of God
                Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
                The Image Factory

                by Dburn on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:22:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Eyes rolling. (9+ / 0-)

              The US didn't become imperial. It became stupid. Misinformed is really the better term.

              The public was lied and manipulated into this shit. Americans would not have supported this thing at all had they understood we were going in there to occupy Iraq and steal their oil.

              I saw the polls before the war that asked that crucial question, "do you support a war for oil"? The answer was overwhelmingly, No. Americans aren't monsters, they were totally manipulated into this a small cabal of evil men (and the corporate media who largely went along with it).

              Never get involved in a land war in Asia

              by The Big Red One on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 09:28:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Defeated at what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              friendlyfire

              Policing a country in the throes of a civil war between religious factions?

              I guess if you take on a hopeless military objective from the beginning and then not achieve your objective, it could be a defeat.  I don't see it that way.

              "I intend to live forever. So far, so good." Steven Wright

              by gsbadj on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 04:04:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Victorious at what? (0+ / 0-)

                Establishing stability?

                Creating a democracy?

                Assuring the supply of oil?

                Eliminating the Baathists?

                Making the world a safer place for the U.S?

                No victories yet.

                Occupying Bagdad?  We may occupy it, but we don't control it.

                Killing Sadam?  If you want to say that's the whole purpose, then let's declare victory and go home.

          •  The US military is damn tough (5+ / 0-)

            But tough is not enough, unless we want to go to the point of genocide, aka the Nazi/Mongol method. Fortunately even Bush is not there (yet).

            Our armed forces are top-notch, no loss of face for them IMO. We are losing the war in Iraq same as we lost in Viet Nam: no legit reason for being there in the first place, plus determined and capable resistance with unlimited capacity to resupply.

            It's often said these days that there is no military solution for a political problem. True enough, but I would go farther: lasting military victory occurs only when it is underpinned by moral, cultural, economic, and even biological advantages. None of these seem to apply in Iraq.

          •  But the occupation meme was deflated in 2003 (0+ / 0-)

            "It can't be an occupation when the Iraqi government is asking us to remain here."  I am on board with you for much of what you say.  But the GOPpers have already defused this particular meme.  

            "A Republic, if you can keep it". Ben Franklin 1787, regarding the new Constitution. "Challenge accepted." George W. Bush, Jan 20, 2001.

            by Quicklund on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:27:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it was never seriously raised, and there are 2 (4+ / 0-)

              answers:

              1. It's in their interest to maintain our presence, as it means they don't have to stop the violence or confront the problems; and
              1. If they were adamant about our departure, we would simply replace them.

              Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

              by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:30:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hate to play the NAZI card (6+ / 0-)

                But the current Iraqi government is more akin to the Vichy Regime in Occupied France than to an actual sovereign government. They exist at the pleasure of the president.
                As for sectarian violence, it can be argued that the Pentagon actually encourages it (and might even bankroll it), true to the concept of divide and rule.

                "I'm not black, but there are whole lotta times I wish I could say I'm not white." - F. Zappa

                •  We need to play that card more often... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  enough already, Zero Carb Rob

                  ...when appropriate.  Some of the parallels are horrifying, and if it waddles like a Nazi and quacks like a Nazi...

                  Invading another country that poses no threat and whose resources you want, after a powerful propaganda campaign, is right out of the Nazi playbook.  Spying on people without warrants and telling them it's for their own safety -- right out of the Nazi playbook.  Consolidating executive power, stirring up nationalism, reviling your critics as traitors, pumping up your economy through war -- all right out of the Nazi playbook.  And I keep hearing things about Halliburton contracts to build big empty prison-camps in the Arizona desert...

                  Yeah, we've got a problem here, and we need to face it head-on.

                  "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace." - Jimi Hendrix

                  by CharlieHipHop on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 05:58:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  because it was shot down in flames (0+ / 0-)

                I distinctly recall early attempts in teh media to frame Iraq as an accupation.  These attempts were ridiculed.  Various treaties and UN resolutions were cited, and the 'occupation' frame died in stillbirth.  It is still vulnerable to the same counter-arguments.  You can take it to the bank they would be used again.  We both know how much the American media traffics in nuance.

                I agree with you 100% we should try to re-frame Iraq as something other than a "war".  I agree with you the word "occupation" is a better descriptor of the situation.  I just don't think it will work.  It is pitching a gopher ball right down the middle of the plate.  The GOP has all those treaties and UN Resolutions to waive around in front of the cameras, and even coming from GOP politicians, that is going to make sense to 90% of America.

                We need to re-frame, but we need to try a new context.

                "A Republic, if you can keep it". Ben Franklin 1787, regarding the new Constitution. "Challenge accepted." George W. Bush, Jan 20, 2001.

                by Quicklund on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 07:08:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  The Iraqi government are a bunch of crooks. (5+ / 0-)

              The Iraqi people want us gone yesterday. The Iraqi government are not legitimate. They control nothing. The only Iraqis with any control or legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqis are the militias and insurgents.

              Never get involved in a land war in Asia

              by The Big Red One on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 09:36:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I understand that much (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Big Red One

                But since when is nuance communicated in America's news media?  Somewhere there is a piece of paper with signatures on it 'inviting' American troops to Iraq.  Repubicans will waive around this piece of paper and draw paralells to NATO nations.  "So America is 'occupying' England?  Are we 'occupying' Germany?  Hollywood librals hate the troops".

                Does this make sense?  No.  Will it get traction in the media?  Yep.  I agree with you on a personal level, but we both know how the sound-bite American media works.

                "A Republic, if you can keep it". Ben Franklin 1787, regarding the new Constitution. "Challenge accepted." George W. Bush, Jan 20, 2001.

                by Quicklund on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:59:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Argh. (7+ / 0-)

            The truth is that the American military IS that good, and that tough.  We have NOT been defeated in war here.  And the American military in Iraq can prove that any day of the week by essentially firebombing all of Fallujah and Sadr City.

            It's not a military defeat; it's using American troops as fodder to attempt to legitimize the longterm theft of another nation's resources.  That's what we call a misguided and immoral occupation--not a lost war.

            Winning a war means, at the most basic level, achieving one's strategic objectives. We've not accomplished the stated ones -- which were lies -- nor the ignoble, actual ones, therefore by any reasonable, honest account, we’ve failed. One can get the better of every tactical military confrontation and still lose a war, because wars posses dimensions besides their military ones. They are, as Clausewitz famously surmised, "the continuation of politics by other means."

            You say we can win by firebombing Fallujah and Sadr City. This, to me, seems like a variation of the "if only we had the will" meme that has been around since Viet Nam.

            Think about it seriously. What would happen if we started systematically destroying Iraqi population centers? Do you think the moral zeitgeist of the world is such that it would tolerate another Dresden or Tokyo? Does the ability to exterminate civilians denote any kind of military superiority?  

            "A triviality is a statement whose opposite is false; a great truth is one whose opposite is another great truth." -- Niels Bohr

            by Autarkh on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 12:46:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  that's because (3+ / 0-)

            you've got a simplistic definition of war.  you're confusing war with genocide.  yes, the united states military is 'good' enough to exterminate the Iraqi people.  thankfully, this isn't a genocidal war, but an imperialistic one.  get that?  there are classes of war, determined by their aims.  the united states is losing this war relative to its aims... except insofar as those aims have been the enrichment of the war machine, its financial creditors and so on.  in those terms, the war has been wildly successful.  THE CREDITORS HAVE ALREADY WON, and it was a stunning victory.

          •  Bushco's Intentions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enough already

            I'd like to see someone (who has a big audience) go after Bushco's motivation for this war.  Time and time again they repeat the tired old phrase about the "War on Terror".  But very good arguments have already been made that the Iraq Occupation is making the terrorist situation worse for the U.S.  It's obvious to me why Bushco wants to keep the Iraq Occupation open ended.  Money.  The military-industrial complex, Halliburton, Lockheed, Blackhawk, etc.  Profits for Bushco's corporate owners.  I wish Keith Olbermann would spend a night talking about Bushco's reasons for the Occupation.  Maybe if the journalists who had access to the Whitehouse actually did their jobs...

          •  "We had to destroy the village to save it" (0+ / 0-)

            The truth is that the American military IS that good, and that tough.  We have NOT been defeated in war here.  And the American military in Iraq can prove that any day of the week by essentially firebombing all of Fallujah and Sadr City.

            It's all like a deadly football game to you, isn't it, thereisnospoon.  As long as our team wins, who cares who the fuck we kill.

            I'll bet you don't do nuance very well either, do you?

          •  Carl von Clausewitz (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mbguenth

            The Prussian soldier, military theorist and historian Carl von Clausewitz famously wrote:

            "War is a continuation of politics by other means."

            Wikipedia defines politics thus:

            "Politics is the process by which groups make decisions."

            By this logic, and I think common sense, the purpose of war, at least as practiced in the West, is not usually genocide but to force a decision or particular state of affairs.

            In other words, wars have objectives and if those objectives are not achieved and continue to be un-achieved then the war is not won.  It is not necessarily defeat if the objective(s) are still theoretically achieveable yet go on not being achieved.  Does this situation sound familiar?

            So to two questions are evident, IMHO.

            1. What is/are the objective(s)?
            1. Can the objective(s) be achieved militarily, ie by killing people?

            There are the stated objectives of the Iraq war and then there are the actual objectives of the war and then there is the possibility that our fracking idiot-in-chief doesn't have a firm grasp of what he is trying to achieve.

            If people are killing each other and neither side is giving up or being wiped out and each side has the goal of being in charge of whats left then the war could quite possibly be for all practical purposes "endless" (see Sudan). And in such a case, the solution might be negotiations and not ground combat, but unfortunately it is often a combination of the two.  Also, unilaterally packing it in and going home is both "defeat" and a "non-military solution."  

            You say defeat
            I say non-military solution
            Lets just call the whole thing off

            ePluribus Media - Truth be told.

            by Stoy on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:39:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is simply more word parsing. (0+ / 0-)

            Our national psyche is so fragile that we, in the US cannot admit mistakes and then take the most responsible route to extricate ourselves from that mistake.

            Iraq is a travesty and a mistake from which we should remove ourselves from — immediately.

            SUCK IT UP AMERICA. We fucked up. Now resolve the issue.

        •  Right on CD! (8+ / 0-)

          If we're looking for a meme that lets Dems off the hook, how about this one:

          Bush lost this war on the first day.

          The American empire is over, and not because of this war. In truth, the Iraq war of conquest was only begun as a desperate, last-ditch effort to preserve an empire whose time has passed.

          Now, can we get on with creating our post-imperial identity? Thank you.

        •  Whatever. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thereisnospoon

          If it makes you happy, the evil Americans have been defeated by the glorious and heroic Iraqi freedom fighters. Do you like that better?

          No doubt things will be so much better when China is the dominant power in the world, right? Or maybe you would prefer Russia. That Putin is such a nice man.

          Never get involved in a land war in Asia

          by The Big Red One on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 09:24:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

            I think that the monopolar "balance" of power is a bad thing for the world and for America, no matter who is the dominant power.  We wouldn't have stumbled into Iraq if anyone had been strong enough to seriously challenge us on it.  I would absolutely welcome a multipolar balance of power.  Power should never be concentrated in too few hands.

            "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace." - Jimi Hendrix

            by CharlieHipHop on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:03:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, then. You're on the money.. (4+ / 0-)

          with saying that a defeat in this "war" with Iraq is the quiet reality, because the war has no military objective unless you legitimize genocide and kill all of the Iraqis. Bush must face defeat because he tried to make the war into something that wasn't. He layered lie upon lie when what he wanted was the wealth of fossil fuels beneath the Iraqis' feet.

          But now, we see that Bush's defeat is also Bush's crowning achievement, because in Congress' bill to defund the war is also a provision to legitimize the taking, by US and UK oil companies, of 80% of Iraqi oil profits.

        •  thanks for saying this (0+ / 0-)

          and saying it well.

        •  Alternate meme: America loses unjust wars. (0+ / 0-)

          Or maybe "unjust imperialist wars."

          Just sayin'.  Of course it'll never fly.

          "You are coming to a sad realization. CANCEL or ALLOW?"

          by sxwarren on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 04:03:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely Correct. (0+ / 0-)

          No further comment needed.

          "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstien

          by koNko on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:08:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I want you to consider the consequences (0+ / 0-)

          of a US military defeat.

          No really I would like you to consider the permutations down the road that comes from that root of all possible evils.

          As shitty as Iraq IS, as poor the reasons for our being there, and as much as we need to be out OF there post haste; we can not, nor should not embrace or encourage that we were defeated on the battlefield.

          From that comes the death of ten thousand paper cuts.....

          Now you can be as anti-imperialist as you would like, and I will applaud you for it since empire should not be what this nation is about.  But facts is facts, and the fact is we are the last great power standing.  Since nature abhors a vacuum we can either expand into it and smother any growing ambitions in other states or we can withdraw to a smaller profile and let those other states expand into the vacuum.

          Are you familiar at all with the history of the 19th century and the early 20th?

          Because that is what allowing those other nations to expand into the power vacuum will lead to a replay of.  This time though the various and sundry will instead of having iron clads and dreadnoughts as their "big" toys will have the BOMB.  A century of nuclear brinksmanship and proxy brush wars fought in the third world as each tries to carve out a neo-imperial set of colonies to provide for their resource needs.  

          So, your railing against the US imperialism; and it really is NOTUS imperialism, but rather Bush', will in all likelihood lead to a growth in global imperialism.

          And in that particular game we will be forced to play along because of the political realities.  But we will be doing so half a step behind and worse yet without our nations greatest deterrent in war:  Our aura of invincibility.  An aura that keeps all sane people and nations and most of the insane ones from even thinking about taking a poke at us.

          Consider the consequences.

    •  Keep up the excellent work. (25+ / 0-)

      You're rowing up a billion-dollar stream of bullshit.  Sooner or later we're going to get our hands on the spigot, and turn it OFF.  America will be surprised to find what reality smells like (though, sadly, there are going to be puddles of poop to clean up for five to ten years).

      The Cheney/Bush/Republican Regime: Making mass murderers of all Americans, for profit.

      by Yellow Canary on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:07:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No matter how tiresome, DON'T YOU DARE STOP! (6+ / 0-)

      Keep inspiring the rest of us. You do it so well.

      The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

      by Serendipity on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:30:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LithiumCola, martini

      how their strawman frame is "right". Saying democrats want to do this:

      come home in defeat, rather than put in place or support a policy that will lead to victory

      Is in no way the same thing as saying, "we need to come home because there are no military solutions."

      •  Agree. (7+ / 0-)

        If it makes no sense for BarbinMD to say that the situation in Iraq has no military solution, then, exactly equally, it makes no sense to say it could end in defeat.

        So if BarbinMD is wrong, then so is Cheney.

        Spoon's larger point is correct, but blaming BarbinMD for saying something that everyone is saying, especially as a response to someone (Limbaugh-Cheney) who just said it is a bit much.

        BarbinMD could have challenged the use of the word "war".  She chose not to, in that post.  She instead engaged them on their own terms.

        Spoon wants to say that that's a mistake.  You should never engage them on their own terms.  Okay.  That's cool.

        It's hardly grounds for a call out, though.

        "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

        by LithiumCola on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:03:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, not really (0+ / 0-)

          it makes no sense for BarbinMD (or Petraeus) to say that there is no military solution--because they're saying it's a war.

          Cheney is saying it's a war, and quite coherently saying he doesn't want to sue for peace on unfavorable terms (i.e., defeat).

          Cheney is much more logical coherent here.

          Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

          by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:49:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is simply (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            walkshills, truong son traveler

            the commonly used term for people fighting each other, nothing more, nothing less.

            Also, you are having, it seems to me, a major leap in logic by insisting that if something is actually a war, it must end either in "victory" or "defeat"?

            It seems to me that really, there are simply rarely any true "victors" in any war, let alone this travesty. If we leave right now, who is the "victor"? Because according to Cheney, it is "the terrorists". And you are saying he is right?

            •  when did i start beating my wife? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              seabos84, jhop7

              if Cheney were right about it being a war, then I guess, yes, the insurgency (much bigger than just "terrorists) is winning.

              But that's not true, because if it were actually war, we'd do the same thing to Sadr City and Fallujah that we did to Dresden.  Which is exactly what right-wing bloggers complain about: they say that the military is being hamstrung by politically-correct rules of engagement, because they see no other reason why the American military is being frustrated by these ragtag insurgents.

              And if it were a war, they'd be right.  Simply slaughtering the populations in question has always been an option that we haven't exercised because we haven't been fighting a war.

              Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

              by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:06:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't ask you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade

                when you stopped beating your wife. You're the one who titled the diary "Cheney and Limbaugh are right".

                I just feel like although you are trying to avoid a right wing frame, you are backing into a different one.

              •  You go to war with the war you have (0+ / 0-)

                Or, insert "word of choice" for "war."  Our military went to war, there was a clear objective: get rid of Saddam Hussein.  Outside of justifications and stated objectives, etc... the answer was to cut off the head.  Thus the choice to start the war with a bunker-buster attack on his suspected hideout.  We won the war remarkably quickly, with Saddam's choice to flee from capture.  Mission accomplished.  Really.  What happened next was where Dick and George should get nailed.  As soon as that objective was reached, the plan to stabilize the country and return it to the Iraqis had to take supreme priority.  Anything less than the total commitment of whatever resources were required to those ends was a total visionless abdication of responsibility, and guaranteed the deevolution of the situation to chronic misery and bloodshed.  (Cheney: "You call it gross negligence... we call it the patriotic war on terror.")  Calling that process "war" is a disingenuous simplification designed to stifle criticism.  But don't be suprised.  That failure of vison and leadership is endemic to the NeoCon doctrine.  Their faith and strategy boils down to this: the inevitable capitulation of those confronted by superior firepower.  Apparently they never heard of the Alamo.

                What, impeach us, you silly little democrats? Who ever heard of such nonsense? Now run along and buy us more guns...

                by jhop7 on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:48:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Um, we did flatten Fallujah -- twice (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joe Willy

                The city suffered extensive damage. Fallujah was referred to as the "City of Mosques". Before the war, it was estimated that the city had 200+ mosques. Some claim 60 of these had been destroyed in the fighting. Perhaps half the homes suffered at least some damage. About 7,000 to 10,000 of the roughly 50,000 buildings in the town are estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive ([4], [5]), and half to two-thirds of the buildings have suffered notable damage. It is also reported that 66 out of the city's 133 mosques were discovered holding significant amounts of insurgent weapons [6], a violation of Article 16 of the Geneva Convention. [7]

                Source

                "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace." - Jimi Hendrix

                by CharlieHipHop on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:17:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd

        ...any victory in any war.

        there are times when the horrors come to your doorstep and choices are limited, but where is the "victory"

        for me there is only a melancholy longing for the return to sanity

    •  It's tiresome to hear you guys say this (12+ / 0-)

      over and over again. I understand you're all bent out of shape over calling it a war, but that's the common term for nations killing people.

      "Calling out" BarbinMD is just silly.

      "People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."
      - J. Danforth Quayle

      by davewill on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:37:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is it possible for you to frame your good points (12+ / 0-)

      in non-sensationalized and swarm-baiting manner?

      Yes, everyone knows there are secrets to marketing oneself here and ensuring you get your diary on the Recommend List. And that's important because for any impt point that bears discussion, if you DON'T strategize to get your diary onto the Rec'd List, it scrolls off the page and gets igored.

      One of the tricks you employ so well is kind of a misleading bait & switch title -- one designed to provoke a flippant "wtf???" attitude when the reader scans it on the fleeting space to the right where all diaries get dumped.. Which then entices them to click and read your sensationalized "hook", get people worked up enough to read it thoroughly, only to pull the rug out 3/4 of the way in, to make your real point.

      While I commend you for your hook-creation prowess, it gets a little tiring to see this formula employed. Why couldn't you have said, upfront, "When we use the word "war" to describe the situation we are seeking to extricate ourselves from, we validate and reinforce the GOP framing, which is "this is a war we must win" and "to leave now would be to lose" .. and whatever variations they use to pummel democrats.

      You are correct: The terminology used by Dems should never ever include "Global War on Terror" or "Iraq War" or "we must redeploy our troops end this war the American people are tired of" etc= "War without end" etc.

      This was precept #1 from Lakoff -- and whatever disagreements people may have with his executios of reframing, he is 100% correct. They win every time we employ their framing words, then massage them with our own spin.

      People hear Cheney say "war" and Pelosi say "end war" - and yes, what is completely bypassed is a recognition that there never was a war here, and thus to call it one, validates the whole strategy the neocons used to immerse us into their war-profiteering business enterprise.

      It was a pre-emptive invasion -- not an elective war -- a pre-emptive invasion forced upon the USA by an Admin so intent on attacking Iraq that they manufactured evidence and changed their many rationalizations for this initiative in order to sell it to America under the cloak of fear.

      We found no WMD's, the false reason for committing forces, and instead fueled a civil war in a region where we had no business being. Now we're occupiers and Democrats want to end the oiccupation and stop abusing our military for non-defense reasons.

      etc.

      My point is: Can't you please make your point in ways that immediately address the core issues, vs. creating a marketing hook to rile people up? I think you can. Why not try it?

      •  that was addressed to thereisnospoon (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dem in the heart of Texas

        re his core premise, with which I agree conmpletely:

        tell the goddamn truth: namely, that America is NOT FIGHTING A WAR IN IRAQ.

      •  because i've said that time and time again (12+ / 0-)

        and an essential part of good writing is getting a reader interested in the first place.  It's not about selling a diary to get recommended--it's about the craft of rhetorical writing.

        The very worst thing that ever happened to high school writing courses was the stricture that the topic sentence be the first sentence of the essay, followed by brief exegesis of the supporting arguments, leading to paragraph break, leading to topic sentence of first supporting argument in second paragraph.

        Robots don't read diaries and essays; people do.

        Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

        by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:51:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here here! (6+ / 0-)

          Damn good comment.  FWIW, I'm a writing professor, and I'd like to use this comment in my class.  Also, the debate over what it takes to get on the rec list is interesting in itself.  I'd bring in the whole diary, but I'm on sabbatical this semester.  By the time I get back to teaching next fall, this debate will probably ov--  wait, what am I saying?  I'll just wait.  

          "The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span." -- Karl Kraus

          paralepsis

          by kellogg on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:56:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  so you're getting people to read them (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Carbide Bit

          but is it working?

          If you yourself say you've said it for the umpteenth time. If your approach has worked before, would that many times be needed?

          I'm only saying, I think you are distracting people and causing diverting attention to sub-issues like BarbInMD's FR story blew it again.. and "Dick Cheney is right"

          By the time your real point is made, not everyone is focused on your linguistic point. I think you could reframe your approach to getting read, and craft your solutions even stronger, to positively reinforce the correct way to discuss extrication from Iraq, and serving the will of the American People.

          but it's subjective. If it works for you, more power to you. Your theme is 100% correct. And why this whole framing concept doesn't stick here raises lots of questions about the overall strategic value of blogging for solution-development.

          The blogosphere is fantastic at analysis. Occasionally good a framing. And downright terrible in the non-mastery of pushing out actionable solutions, with gameplans to train our Democratic leaders and media spokespersons.

          Why not focus, beginning today, on the plan to successfully push out this framing to those who have media exposure.

          •  i've sent out op-eds (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rhfactor, Rumarhazzit

            and you know, as many times as I've said it, still there are many who have not yet seen it.  The more eyeballs that digest this meme, the better as far as I'm concerned.

            And I think you'll note from the comments that no one here is disparaging BarbinMD; almost every comment is focused on the content and the message.

            Republicans: By their rotted fruit you shall know them.

            by thereisnospoon on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:07:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I said a similar thing in a comment recently (0+ / 0-)

              and got some angry responses.  We won the war, we are not now fighting a war.  

              My favorite definition of warfare is "aggressive negotiation."  It's interesting that the dictionary didn't talk about objectives.  War is a way of forcing your opponent to take your view of a reasonable settlement to the differences between your country and theirs.  In that sense, there never was a war, because we never asked for anything from Iraq, we never told them what we wanted, and, in truth, it seems we didn't even know what we wanted.  We still don't know what we want.  If we find Atrios' magic pony there, I guess all this death and destruction will have been worth it.  But as it is, it seems we just vandalized the place.

            •  "The more eyeballs that digest this meme, the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              netguyct

              better"

              I agree. Good job with the framing. It is essential.

        •  Rhetorical writing is (0+ / 0-)

          what sells newspapers in this country, and we see how informed the population is with this formula.  I guess part of informing people is to make sure you get their attention.  The first thing you learn in journalism school is how to sell newspapers; information is secondary.  

          The problem is, people are too lazy to be curious enough to try to find out why the hell they're in the fix we're in.  After you satiate them with Anna or Britney, maybe the important stuff eventually seeps in.

          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

          by gatorcog on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:21:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  spot on for the umpteenth time spoon (0+ / 0-)

      it's all about the language. Thanks again for stating the obvious as it is needed.

      Investigate, Impeach, Imprison! -9.13/-7.59

      by FireCrow on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rangel agrees with you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Willy, martini, jhop7

      Here's a bit of transcript from Tuesday night's Hardball. Charlie rangel:
      "Sometimes it takes longer than others.  I‘ve been frustrated for five years, saying, Listen, Mr. and Mrs. America, where are you?  Americans are being killed.  Hundreds of thousands of Arabs are being killed.  And we started this.  We were misled in going there, and we‘ve made a mess of things.  And now we‘re looking for a victory that we don‘t even know, if the terrorists want to surrender, where to go."

    •  Thanks for this brilliant piece. (0+ / 0-)

      "[W]e shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets . . . we shall never surrender[.]"

      by Miss Butter on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 06:58:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you know.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unterhausen, Rumarhazzit

      I did make this point in a comment to Senator Feingold as well just today.

      nice diary, dude.

      And for the record, BarbinMD rocks....

    •  if you can do it, (6+ / 0-)

      I will also reiterate my post elsewhere.  A very few select paragraphs from Kevin Phillips' American Dynasty, towards our collective understanding that same aristocratic families run everything to do with "war" and have seized a tragic percentage of the national heart and conscience with their lies about their true efforts and intentions (i.e., the "right").

      Phillips, an esteemed part of the erstwhile Nixon administration, proves that even Republicans can be phobic of the emerging royalty in the US whose money and century-long (more?) doings are enmeshed in the "military industrial congressional complex."  To fail to understand this is to fail to grasp the games in the middle east for at least the past 100 years, and thereby be deceived into thinking there is really a "war:"

      In the United States, as we will see, the twentieth-century rise of the Bush family was built on the five pillars of American global sway: the international reach of U.S. investment banking, the emerging giantism of the military-industrial complex, the ballooning of the CIA and kindred intelligence operations, the drive for U.S. control of global oil supplies and a close alliance with Britain and the English-speaking community. This century of upward momentum brought a sequence of controversies, albeit ones that never gained critical mass—such as the exposure in 1942 of Prescott Bush’s corporate directorship links to wartime Germany, which harked back to over-ambitious 1920s investment banking, the Bush family’s longtime involvement with global armaments and the military-industrial complex (that latter was big enough by 1961 that President Eisenhower warned against it) and a web of close connections to the CIA, ones that began decades before George Bush’s brief CIA directorship in 1976. Threads like these weigh may not weigh heavily on individual presidencies; they are many times more troubling in a dynasty.

      To tell the tale [of the] Bushes as "our not-quite-royal family..." ...the Bush royal connections documented in Burke’s Peerage and elsewhere have nourished the self-image of both chief executives. However, the founding father of the Bush clan was not a Bush, but a Walker—George H. Walker, for whom both the 41st and 43rd presidents are named...  If Samuel P. Bush made money and connections in World War One, which he did, Walker made more of each. Afterwards, he was wooed in 1919 by Averell Harriman to run a derring-do set of investments cobbled together in the postwar political maelstrom of 1920s Germany and Russia. Over two decades, father-in-law Walker helped steer Prescott Bush to the top of what became the Brown Brothers Harriman of mid-century—rich, full of Yale Skull and Bonesmen, London-linked, politically influential and intimately wired through several of its top partners to the postwar birthing of the CIA...  During the first half of the 20th century, the United States had evolved its own version of "permanent government" akin to the British one. Although peaking from the 1920s through the 1950s, its influence lingered, to George H.W. Bush’s critical advantage.

      One subsection [of Phillips’ book] focuses on World War Two and the enlargement and mutation of the early military-industrial complex, including the absorption of Germany-savvy U.S. business elites into the OSS, CIA and kindred agencies in the 1940s. George H. Walker, Prescott Bush, Brown Brothers Harriman and their Yale and Wall Street colleagues were important movers and shakers... Another... looks at the first three generations of Bush dynasty—from Samuel Bush, George Walker and Prescott Bush through George H. W. Bush—and their involvements with the national security establishment. Too little attention has been paid to the strong connections developed between the Bush family and the CIA many years before George H. W. Bush ran it. Under George W. Bush, the CIA has become more powerful than ever...  

      ...Texas presidents now have launched the last three U.S. wars: Vietnam, the Gulf War of 1991 and the 2003 war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The last two reflect a unique set of circumstances. They are the first pair of U.S. wars to be fought by father-and-son presidents, in part arising out of a misconceived U.S. arms build-up for Iraq undertaken by the father. They also reflected a two-generation Texan pre-occupation with U.S. Middle Eastern and Caspian oil interests. "The War of the Texas Succession" is a geopolitical as well as family-based concept.

      We might better be talking about the war in our own country, a war of understanding vs. propaganda, true national interests of citizens vs. self-interested illicit governance with an eye towards furthering the abyss which the US treasury has become.

      "Stonemason" has nothing to do with "Freemasonry." We build architecture with stone.

      by stonemason on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 07:57:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so you're saying...thereisnowar? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thereisnospoon

      Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

      by nailbender on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 08:32:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its a good frame spoonless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Willy

      But whatever you call it, the US military is being destroyed by something. It is slowly but steadily losing its ability to fight anything.

      Its troops are exhausted, demoralised and under-resourced (even for a low level conflict such as Iraq), it is being forced to pour in reinforcements, more reinforcements after 4 years than Dumsfeld said would be the total needed after 6 months. There are only two reasons to throw in reinforcements; either you have broken your enemy's position and you want to drive open the bridgehead, or your position has been broken and you need to shore up the defences. It ain't the first.

      Its hardware is being ground down, tanks, armoured vehicles, humvees, choppers are all steadily succumbing to the dust and the excessive use and the attacks, there are rows and rows of damaged Abrams tanks lined up in parking lots because they can't be repaired because there are no longer the resources to repair them, that is a losing army.

      The sick, the wounded, the unfit, the psychotic are being recycled into the battlefield because there is nobody left to do the fighting and the casualty rate is now rising again, that too is a losing army.

      Yes the US could firebomb any Iraqi city into rubble at a moment's notice, but the reality is that not only would it not "win" by doing so, it would create even more resistance in the process, that too is a losing proposition.

      In ever way you look at it, the US military is losing in Iraq because the US Military is being broken on the wheel there. Yes it will still "win" every firefight it gets into, but in the broader context that is meaningless, as meaningless as it was in Vietnam.

      A war is ended when one of the combatants either surrenders or withdraws from the field and the democratic party is preparing to do that officially because the military, through no fault of its own, is being destroyed, undermined, and rendered unable and unfit to achieve its purposes, to defend the US from its enemies.

      Whether the US congress or its people ever utter the words "we have lost the war" matters not at all; they have "lost interest" in it, which is another way of saying that they can no longer identify with the winning side, which means they are internalising the loss even if they never speak it.

      The Number of the Beast 72-25

      by Deep Dark on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 05:44:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes! YES and YES and YES! (0+ / 0-)
      I have a horrible feeling that the Legacy Media are still calling it a war simply because it takes fewer column inches and screen space.

      --

      The President is not my master. He is Chief among my servants.

      by DemCurious on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:58:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is It War Yet? (0+ / 0-)

      You're right, making this sectariam conflict into a war has been pretty tough work. Just like in Vietnam it requires that all the various factions be united into one group, (Tet offensive did that in Nam'), whether its Communist, or Islamo-Fascists, or Carpetbaggers, whatever it is, you have to cement the opposition, as Bush has said, you have to fight using ideology, which implies a dialectic; good evil, right wrong, vanilla chocolate
      And its been damn tough getting to that point.
      No ideology, no war, no leg to stand on....
      And like the war in Vietnam, which became a struggle against Communism, through the poltical necessity of selling the damned thing to the American people, our only solution is to draw the Iranians into the Islamo Fascist conflict.
      At that point it doesn't really matter if we win or lose, because the struggle has been validated. We can continue the fight in other places and at other times of our choosing, and we always have our mantra. The war on terror is too sufficently vague to keep the public enraged, but something like a Cold War, that would serve their purposes for decades to come.

      "Everything is chrome in the future..." Sponge Bob Square Pants

      by agent double o soul on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 10:16:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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