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How are you lying to yourself to avoid supporting your country?

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A few days ago, fellow Blogcritic Brian Flemming published an article “How are you lying yourself to support the war?” Frankly, I thought it was a bit lame. Well, I can be just as lame as Brian. Therefore, I’d like to gather some short answer versions of the deceptions that people are perpetrating on themselves in order to justify not supporting the perhaps ugly and stressful but necessary rat killing we’re doing in Iraq.

Let me give you a couple to start off:

“Just because there are literally tons of WMDs and precursor chemicals unaccounted for doesn’t mean that the Baath regime might likely have such things.”

“George Bush was not legitimately elected president, despite having more votes counted in numerous counts and recounts by state officials and the media, so why should he get to make policy?”

“Blindly ranting against the president even with no proof or logical reasoning is proof of my extra high patriotism.”

“If we had just given diplomacy a few more years, the French could have intimidated Saddam into giving up the WMDs that we know he didn’t have in the first place.”

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  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    Cool idea, Al! Are you going to make a video, too?

    Here are my contributions to the project:

    “I’m pretending that when pro-warriors refer to bombing Iraqi civilians as ‘rat-killing’ that it somehow indicates an ability to ‘dehumanize’ (whatever that is!) that is the first step on the way to a nation without a soul. I’m pretending that the Nazis said similar things about the Jews.”

    “I’m pretending that George W. Bush aborted an inspections process that was clearly working because he didn’t really want to disarm Saddam, he wanted war.”

    “I’m pretending that it’s obvious that George W. Bush and Colin Powell have both told outrageous public lies and that we should be concerned about it instead of skipping along happily into battle.”

    “I’m acting like the Iraqi human rights concerns that are all the rage among pro-warriors right now didn’t concern them much from 1979-2002, but suddenly became the latest fad when they seemed to be a useful PR tool on the way to war.”

    “I’m pretending that cutting $25B from veterans benefits and continuing to use depleted uranium shows contempt for the same troops the conservatives claim to support.”

    “I’m pretending that reading the Project for a New American Century makes me poop my Pampers in fright.”

    “I’ve convinced my gullible self that the long-term fate of this planet will depend on cooperation between nations, not one superpower wielding its army on anyone it chooses at any time. I’ve actually fooled myself into believing there are other nations on the planet that matter.”

    I’ll try to come up with some more.

  • InMarin

    “I pretend that Bush giving up sweets is a real sacrifice…not a sign that he is an alcoholic.”

    “I pretend that paying as few federal taxes as possible is patriotic.”

    “I pretend that Bush was chosen by God.”

    “I pretend that not winning the popular vote gives him a mandate to dismantle the ‘welfare state’ which forces my grandmother into an HMO to get insurance for prescription medication even though no HMO services her county.”

    “I pretend that eliminating overtime pay for workers will strengthen our economy.”

    “I pretend that Bush’s penchant for secrecy makes our government more honest.”

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    No,no, InMarin- you’re getting off topic. We’re trying to stay focused on the war theme. This stuff about overtime pay and HMOs is irrelevant.

    Keep on message, or I swear I’ll come over there and, and… CUT YOUR TAXES!

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    How are you lying to yourself to support your own double standard?

    How was it wrong to enforce federal law in a domestic situation, and respond with force when fired upon, but it’s right to invade a sovereign nation and use all force necessary to occupy it?

    Reference Al’s web site:

    http://63.249.206.119/politics/waco.html

    For the sake of parity, Al, can you whip up a page for us on “the Iraq massacre”?

  • InMarin

    “Especially, take a moment to mourn the slaughtered children, and the justice that will never be meted out to those responsible, and the erosion of our supposed constitutional liberties.” Damn Al, that sound downright ominous. How did we ever, ever survive the 90’s? Or is it the 00’s you are referring to?

    I’m sick and tired of hearing wingers claim that if I’m not pro-war I don’t support my country. I pay taxes, I vote, I try and spend money on American products, I support local businesses, I’ve never engaged in felonious activity…and yet, if I’m not in favor of killing Iraqi women and children, why I’m a communist/terrorist whose very existence threatens the Republic.

    How *exactly* am I not supporting my country, Al?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Now, now, InMarin, calm down and have a drink. Nobody is calling you a communist/terrorist simply for not favoring the war. You are not supporting the country in this action in that we are doing something big and you oppose it. That is cool. In fairness, I’ll go so far as to re-phrase and say that you generally support your country, but that you only specifically oppose some of the policies of this administration.

    It is in indeed possible that I slightly hyperbolize from time to time. :) In the interest of reducing unnecessary political inflammation, let me say that opposition to the war does not necessarily imply wickedness or lack of patriotism.

    Which is not to excuse at all the likes of Peter Arnett or the professor wishing for “a million Mogadishus.” That’s somewhere beyond. Screw them.

    Publicly stating opposition to government policies that you don’t like, though, is a good thing. Of course, that’s just the kind of thing this country’s about.

    However, if I think your specific stance if foolish, it’s then equally my right and duty to call you out on it.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I find it surprising that you would invoke the Waco massacre in defense of your opposition to military actionin Iraq.

    Dave Koresh did not murder a million+ people, nor invade any neighbors. He did not have chemical or biological weapons. We had not negotiated with him for a dozen years about nasty weapons.

    No, this peaceable guy was minding his own business when one day the swat team showed up, with a goddam tank, and come barreling in for absolutely no legitimate reason. Unfortunately but quite understandably, he panicked and moved to defend his family. When a bunch of thugs with heavy firepower show up at your door, it matters little that they’re wearing badges.

    He had no history of violence, and indeed had a good relationship with the local constabulary. Yet he was never given any reasonable chance, like having the sheriff and a deputy just come up and knock on the door like reasonable people.

    The warrant was based on lies and was highly stupid to start with. There was never any evidence before, during or after the fact to indicate that they had any illegal weapons at all. About the strongest evidence of anything presented for this warrant was that someone who had been at the house claims to have seen a picture of a schematic of a machine gun on a computer.

    Bill Clinton et all should STILL be sent to prison for at least one manslaughter charge apiece for all the people he allowed to be killed in the Branch Davidian compound.

    San, how in hell do you manage to defend the legitimacy of the Waco massacre of innocents, and then deny the legitimacy of taking out a mass murdering thug like Hussein? If you have some idea of legality that justifies this, then I respectfully suggest that your ideas of legality are screwy.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    “Dave Koresh did not murder a million+ people.”

    First off–“Dave”? Dude, was he your friend or something? “Dave”?

    Moving on, no, he didn’t murder a million+ people. He just molested children. That’s all. Don’t you remember that was the excuse that came in right at the LAST MINUTE to justify the attack?

    Kinda reminds me of the sudden interest in human rights violations in the run-up to war in Iraq. Oh, look here–human rights violations! Well, I guess we gotta go in then. (I do recognize the parallel is limited–the accusations against Saddam are clearly not in dispute by reasonable people.)

    “…nor invade any neighbors.”

    I might be wrong about this–didn’t his followers previously engage in an actual gun battle with a rival and his followers?

    “He did not have chemical or biological weapons.”

    No, but he had illegal weapons nonetheless. He was stockpiling them. Hmm…where have I heard that word before?

    “We had not negotiated with him for a dozen years about nasty weapons.”

    So it has to be a dozen years? Interesting.

    “When a bunch of thugs with heavy firepower show up at your door, it matters little that they’re wearing badges.”

    Does it matter if they claim to be “liberators”?

    “He had no history of violence…”

    Except molesting children. Remember–it doesn’t matter if charges are proved in these situations. If false testimony about aluminum tubes and Niger connections and just plain made-up evidence about an existing nuclear program don’t bug you (and you have never said they do, to my knowledge), I don’t see why allegations of child molestation hurled at Koresh would be a problem.

    “…and indeed had a good relationship with the local constabulary.”

    Wow. Sounds almost like the chummy relationship the U.S. had with Saddam for years after we knew he gassed his own people. Or Saddam’s weakened and non-aggressive posture toward his neighbors after 1991.

    “Yet he was never given any reasonable chance, like having the sheriff and a deputy just come up and knock on the door like reasonable people.”

    You mean like continuing an inspections process that was the strongest it had EVER BEEN, and which the chief inspector said was making progress, and which was predicted to reach a definitive conclusion in “weeks, not months”? Something reasonable like that?

    “The warrant was based on lies and was highly stupid to start with.”

    Um–oh, forget it. Too easy.

    And just so you know, Al? I’m with you on Waco–law enforcement leadership run amok, trying to use a religious cult to make headlines for themselves. Incompetence, arrogance, insanity. Not to mention a tragedy. I have visited the memorial at the Branch Davidian church specifically because I have sympathy for the victims (including all of the law enforcement officers who are memorialized along with everyone else).

    I do find your stance on Waco at odds with your position on virtually every element of the Iraq campaign, however.

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Al, they had a warrant, they knocked on his door. He opened fire on them. If the warrant was based on lies and was “highly stupid” — is that a legal argument? — that could have been settled in any criminal litigation that followed.

    Federal law enforcement was justified in defending themselves once fired upon. The long-term of the Waco situation could have been handled better, resulting in less loss of life in the final encounter. I don’t think I would have elected to charge the building with a tank.

    But just as a test case, Al: Next time the cops show up at your door, fire off a few rounds at them. See what happens. You’re probably right, they should just stand there and let you shoot them, but I bet they won’t.

  • Craig Diehls

    Remember Vietnam? Why is that the ones that weaseled out of serving are the biggest boosters of this war. Need I say more?

  • Craig Diehls

    Remember Vietnam? Why is that the ones that weaseled out of serving are the biggest boosters of this war. Need I say more?

  • InMarin

    My Dearest Al,

    I take extreme exception to the tone of your topic. While petulantly waving and wrapping yourself in the flag, your rhetoric is childish and confrontational. “Now, now InMarin calm down and have a drink”? I truly resent being talked down to especially from such an immature voice as yours.

    Your topic clearly equates being anti-war as not supporting our country. Exhibit A: “…deceptions that people are perpetrating on themselves in order to justify not supporting the perhaps ugly and stressful but necessary rat killing we’re doing in Iraq.” There is ample evidence of pro-war wingers calling those who do not support the Boy King and his Iraq Adventure as being communists or, worse, out-and-out terrorists. Andy Sullivan calls us Saddam-ites. Dennis Hastert claims that anti-war statements give aid and comfort to Saddam. There is violence directed at those who march for peace. I feel much more threatened by neocons than I ever did from Saddam Hussein.

    You call the Iraqi people ‘rats’: “…rat killing we’re doing in Iraq”. At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, you must be aware of another warmonger who called his opponents rats, or have you not read Mein Kampf?

    “You are not supporting the country in this action in that we are doing something big and you oppose it. That is cool.” WE? When did you sign up, Al? If my opinions are so ‘cool’, why do you call them lies? If my anti-Bush stance is perceived as un-American, how do you justify your shrillness against President Clinton? “…let me say that opposition to the war does not necessarily imply wickedness or lack of patriotism.” Then delete this entire topic, as that is EXACTLY what you are implying. Read the damn header Al: “How are you lying to yourself to avoid supporting your country?” In one sentence you have slandered everyone who doesn’t blindly adhere to your ideas.

    More BS: “Which is not to excuse at all the likes of Peter Arnett…” Yet, no words about Geraldo. Mr. Rivera committed a downright atrocity by giving information about troop locations and movements. Shouldn’t this be considered treasonous activity? The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

    “George Bush was not legitimately elected president…” This is true, Al, whether you like it or not. I invite you to read ‘The Betrayal of America’ by that well known rabble rouser Vincent Bugliosi. In the December 12, 2000 ruling by the US Supreme Court handing the election to George W. Bush, the Court committed the unpardonable sin of being a knowing surrogate for the Republican Party instead of being an impartial arbiter of the law. The Court majority, after knowingly transforming the votes of 50 million Americans into nothing and throwing out all of the Florida undervotes. Actually wrote that their ruling was intended to preserve “the fundamental right” to vote. That an election can be stolen by the highest court in the land under the deliberate pretext of an inapplicable constitutional provision has got to be one of the most frightening and dangerous events ever to have occurred in this country. I have no problem imagining your howls of derision if Clinton had been selected in this fashion. I would be as outraged if Clinton had ‘won’ this way as I am now. Bush v. Gore is a pox upon our land and we are now reaping what we have sown.

    Our very security has been compromised like no other time in history. Do I need to remind you that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch? It is a fact that Bush has business ties with the bin Laden family. Again, I have no problem imagining your fury if 9/11 happened on Gore’s watch. Yet, bin Laden is still out there, even though Bush declared his intention to git ‘em dead or alive. The anthrax killer is still at large, with no suspects in custody. Am I to pretend that you would not deride Reno if she were now the Attorney General? The Patriot Act will not shelter us; the Office of Homeland Security is a ruse – how would either of these have protected the Twin Towers against box cutters?

    I’m convinced that libertarians such as you are blind hypocrites for supporting this administration. Your claim of smaller government flies in the face of your support for the Bush Doctrine.

    I’ve just read that CNN knew weeks in advance that this war would begin March 19th. This is proof that Bush diplomacy is a joke and a lie. In addition, the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ contains member states that are extremely brutal and oppressive: Uzbekistan is but one example. This war will have negative consequences for decades to come and I would be incredibly remiss by not speaking out against such a brutal flouting of international law. Read and think, Al. You would NEVER support a Democratic president for such actions.

  • Laurie K

    I certainly would never claim that being anti-war is inherently patriotic, although I’m for this one for reasons that make sense to me, so I’ll stay out of the main fray here, and address this comment:

    >>”I’m acting like the Iraqi human rights concerns that are all the rage among pro-warriors right now didn’t concern them much from 1979-2002, but suddenly became the latest fad when they seemed to be a useful PR tool on the way to war.”<<

    As far as I can tell this statement applies directly to the anti-war folks as well. In spades. In fact, I don’t know whose public hand-wringing sickens me more: the pro-war side, who didn’t manage to even think of the human rights angle to this whole thing until relatively recently, or the anti-war side, who seem to equate public hand-wringing with moral superiority. On this issue, both sides are rather sickening.