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View Diary: Kansas City protest vigil - New Year's Eve (17 comments)

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  •  Nothing personal, but your view is wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    Contrary to popular belief, I (and most Republicans I know) am very questioning of the world around me.  I'm quite introspective, and look to see where I might be wrong on something.  And, when it comes to the war in Iraq, I may not like the way it is going, but I still strongly support it.

    The problem with your logic is that you automatically assume that someone would have to be ignoring the situation in order to perceive it differently than you.  There are plenty who agree with you, but don't simply write off those who disagree as ignorant or closed-minded.  Otherwise, you are being exactly that which you are accusing others of.

    •  Sacrifice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...And, when it comes to the war in Iraq, I may not like the way it is going, but I still strongly support it...

      I don't know you, and I can't speak to the sacrifices you've made in your strong support of the war.

      What I have found in participating in hundreds of small scale public vigils and protests is that there are a significant number of people who support the war, but aren't willing to sacrifice anything other than their critical thinking skills and maybe, the Constitution.

      One case, in point, from almost fifteen months ago. I had a brief e-mail exchange with a former student. My reply to him:

      Dear XXXXX,

      I was pleased to hear from you - and glad to hear that life is going well.

      [personal information removed]

      These are extraordinary times. There are very real and serious consequences for every one of our actions. I no longer hold back my voice in the interest of not ruffling any feathers (as if I ever did), nor am I now interested in keeping a civil tongue.

      It's very clear to me that you love your family and your unfolding life, as well you should. I am perplexed by your statement "...I still valiantly support our President". I'm no longer interested in this debate, the time for the "game" of debate is long since past, and I, for one, am tired of that game. But, I must ask you this question, the tortured peregrinations of Jonah Goldberg notwithstanding: If you haven't yet done so, why haven't you enlisted?

      The unpleasant realities trump any debate. Nor, for my own selfish reasons, do I hope or want to encourage you to place yourself in harm's way - I already live in constant fear of the possible bad news in regard to others I know who have volunteered themselves.

      As always, I hold you in high regard.


      I have not heard from him again.

      I do have students who have enlisted and who serve. I have a signficant number of other students who "support the war" yet can't be bothered to enlist and serve.

      •  My own background, (0+ / 0-)

        I am a veteran.  I enlisted in 1999 in the U.S. Navy, and served until 2005.  At that juncture, I tried to either switch branches to the USAF, or to become an officer in the Navy.  I was denied due to body fat (I was one or two percent over the limit-I could pass all the physical tests, but I had too much gut).  I am currently enrolled at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and upon completion of my degree in political science and (hopefully) law, I hope to be in good enough shape to go back to the service as a JAG officer.

        As to the critical thinking/Constitution sacrificing remarks, I think that it is awfully close-minded to suggest that someone who doesn't oppose the war is lacking in critical thinking.  Knowing what we know now, perhaps we shouldn't have went in.  I'm still in the small minority that sees a possibility that they could have been transported to Syria, but even throwing that possibility out, Saddam used chemical weapons on his own people, and postured as if he had WMD.  The old saying applies-"If it barks like a dog, walks like a dog, and looks like a dog..."

        But let's say that we shouldn't have went in.  The fact of the matter is, President Bush was authorized to use force, and Saddam had a full year of warning from President Bush, and 12 years of negotiations from the U.S.  We are now there, and to extract ourselves before the job at hand is complete would be a catastrophe that is unimaginable.

        With respects to your Constitution-sacrificing remarks, when it comes to detainees, they are not accorded full Constitutional rights, because they are not subject to the Constitution.  That would be tantamount to saying that we could levy an income tax on enemy combatants, because it's a Constitutional mandate.  There is currently a military tribunal system in place, and so long as there is a honest and swift review of whether they are enemy combatants, then we are meeting our obligations to them.  If you are referring to torture, there are already laws on the books to punish those misguided servicemembers who would engage in these activities.  And, we have to be careful what we define as torture.  Waterboarding?  Yes.  Playing loud music and causing them to lose some sleep?  If so, you might want to bring the U.N. to my apartment complex, as there are several tenants here violating my Geneva Convention rights.  We don't know exactly what interrogation techniques they use, and for good reason.  It would be the equivalent of giving the opposing team your playbook.  If you know what plays they are going to run, all you have to do is practice against that.

        I wish I could say the war is going better, but when you put it in historical perspective, not only on the number of deaths our servicemembers have had to endure, but also the point at where Iraq stands, juxtaposed against Japan and Germany post-WW2, I would say that we are in a far better position now than then.

        •  You want to go to law school? (0+ / 0-)

          They must not have covered the Constitution in your classes yet.

          Rule of Law: An Absolute Prohibition of Torture

          Rule of Law?

          James B. Staab, "`With the Stroke of a Pen': President Bush Cannot Unilaterally Establish Military Commissions", Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies: Papers from the March 2003 Counter-Terrorism & Civil Liberties Conference, Central Missouri State University, 3, pp. 53-65 [as numbered]. ISSN 1-538-7909.

          Hamdan v. Rumsfeld

          Yeah, I know a JAG officer - he actually does have critical thinking skills. You could probably benefit from the association.

          •  It's good to see that you have your civility. (0+ / 0-)

            After all, insulting people is the hallmark of getting them to look at your case and judge it on its merits.

            In either case, I do have a good understanding of the Constitution, and while I don't yet have the vast case knowledge that some have, that might be because this is my first year back, and my classes have all been general education courses.  The paper by Dr. Staab is perhaps the best critique from your side that I have read.  However, I take contention with some of his points, such as relying on Justice Hugo Black's dissent in Johnson v. Eisentrager for much of his support on why that is a bad case to reference.  With all due respect to Justice Black, dissents have no legal tender, but rather are a viewpoint against the majority.  They are good quotables, but they are not decisions of the Court which can be referenced as precedent.  Furthermore, if I am reading his paper correctly, he doesn't seem to state a case which would give clear-cut precedent to giving foreign enemy combatants access to our legal system, except for Eisentrager.

            Perhaps President Bush was wrong in his interpretation of the law with regards to military commissions, and if so, then he was wrong, and has been corrected by Hamdan.

            If laws were broken, then they need to be corrected, swiftly and correctly.  I have often contended that Congress has not done its job as it has needed to with regards to oversight.  If you are trying to make me out as an apologist for the Republican Congress of the last few years, the only reason I wanted them in there was because I believe that the qualities I don't like about the current batch of Congressmen will only be enlarged by a Democrat Congress.  That is nothing to say of your party, personally, but I have disagreement with policies that many espouse.

            What troubles me about you is the fact that you seem to make it personal -- if you don't agree with me, you are a bad person, you don't think about anything, how could anyone reasonable come to a different conclusion than me, etc.

            And, as far as the JAG officer, I would love to meet him - not because my critical thinking skills need work, as you might contend (they do, but so do everyone's-none are perfect), but because I think there would be much common ground between the two of us due to our military backgrounds, and because I would benefit from the knowledge of someone whose career I hope to follow in the footsteps of.

            •  A civil tongue? (0+ / 0-)

              My personal experiences over the last six years give me no inclination to offer a civil tongue. I'm not interested in holding hands and singing songs of brotherhood.

              ...the best critique from your side that I have read...

              It's the side of the Constitution and the angels. So much for dubya being a "uniter, not a divider", eh?

              The telling point in James Staab's paper does not come from the dissent in Eisentrager, but in that, for the present case, Congress has not declared war. The seperation of powers argument is another. Note the date of his paper. The supremes said the same thing three years later in Hamdan.

              ...the current batch of Congressmen will only be enlarged by a Democrat Congress...

              Typical republican shill - the proper usage is Democratic. You watch too much of the Faux News Channel - not too helpful in developing those essential critical thinking skills.

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