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The Liberals’ Creed

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The “Liberals” Creed” is an article published by Robert Alt, a Fellow in Legal and International Affairs at The John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University currently reporting from Iraq.

As I read through the creed, I found myself nodding at every point. Conservatives and Liberals will find themselves doing the same for different reasons. Conservatives like myself nod because, yes, that describes the current liberal mindset. Liberals nod because, yes, that describes their current mindset.


The Liberals Creed

We believe in the United Nations, and Kofi Annan, the maker of international legitimacy.

We believe that the UN inspections worked.
We believe that SCUD missiles fired at U.S. troops minutes after the war began don’t change anything;
We believe that 3 liters of sarin gas used against U.S. troops doesn’t change anything;
We believe that finding evidence of mustard gas doesn’t change anything.

We believe that the war in Iraq conducted by a Republican president was unjustified because it lacked UN approval;
We believe that the “military action” in Kosovo conducted by a Democratic president was justified without UN approval.

We believe that the Iraq war was unilateral.
We believe that the participation of Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Ukraine does not change the fact that the war was unilateral;
We believe that multilateralism can only be achieved with the participation of France and Germany;
We believe in multilateralism.

We believe that this war was motivated by greed and oil;
We believe that when France, Germany, and Russia opposed the war, they were motivated by principle, and not by sweetheart oil deals or Oil-For-Food kickbacks;
We believe that US oil prices are too high, and that the administration failed in its responsibility to do something about it.

We believe that the U.S. may only legitimately use force for humanitarian ends in one place if it does so in all places where aid might be needed;
We believe that the U.S. may not quell threats in places where the cost is relatively low unless it is willing to use force in places like North Korea, where the cost in lives would likely be very high;
We believe that a humanitarian action is only truly humanitarian if there are no strategic interests to muddle the altruism.

We believe that President Bush lied.
We believe that Prime Minister Blair lied.
We believe that when Hillary Clinton and Dick Gephardt voted for the war based on the same intelligence relied upon by Bush and Blair, they made reasonable decisions based on the intelligence available at the time.

We believe that the administration did not make the case for war;
We believe that the administration offered many different reasons but could not offer a coherent message explaining the need to go to war;
We believe that the administration made perfectly clear that the only reason we were going to war was because of the threat from WMDs.

We believe that there were no WMDs.
We believe that finding sarin gas is 14th page news;
We believe that if the sarin gas is old, then it really isn’t a WMD we were looking for;
We believe that it wasn’t really sarin gas;
We believe that sarin gas isn’t necessarily a WMD.

We believe that there was no terrorist connection to, or threat from, Iraq.
We believe that members of Abu Nidal in Iraq would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would not have committed terrorist acts if we had not invaded;
We believe that Saddam’s terrorist training camp at Salman Pak—complete with a Boeing 707 plane used for hijacking drills—did not exist or posed no real threat;
We believe that it was merely a coincidence that the pharmaceutical factory bombed by President Clinton in Sudan was using al Qaeda funds and a uniquely Iraqi formula to produce VX gas;
We believe that we are responsible for bringing terror on ourselves.

We believe that the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib is widespread and is probably the tip of the iceberg;
We believe that Abu Ghraib proves that the America’s occupation is no different than Saddam’s tyranny;
We believe that any attempt to suggest that there is a moral difference between a regime which systematically killed 300,000 people and tortured countless others and a regime which punished the acts of Abu Ghraib is illegitimate.

We believe that soldiers deliberately target women and children;
We believe that the soldiers abuse and kill Iraqis because they are racists;
We support our troops.

We believe that no one should question our statement that we “support our troops;”
We believe that the best thing that could happen for this country would be for Bush to lose in November;
We believe that the best way for Bush to lose in November is for the Iraq effort to go poorly, even if that means that more Iraqis and troops will die;
We believe that most of the troops are minorities and the poor;
We believe that when the word “heroes” is used to describe our troops, it should always be enclosed in scare quotes.

We believe in quagmire.
We believe that when fringe Iraqi groups attack hard targets and are soundly defeated with relatively low Coalition casualties, that this is inescapable evidence of crisis;
We believe that Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam.

We believe that Vietnam is the lens through which all wars should be viewed.
We believe that soldiers in Vietnam were baby killers;
We believe that John Kerry is a hero for his service in Vietnam.

We believe that because John Kerry is a hero, he necessarily has the national security expertise necessary to be commander-in-chief.
We believe that any attempt to question his national security expertise based on his voting record, including his decision to vote against a supplemental bill used to buy the soldiers body armor, is an unfair attack on the patriotism of a hero, who by virtue of this honorific has the expertise to be commander-in-chief.

We believe in the trinity: NPR, CNN, and the New York Times. We believe in Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and all the DNC, and we look for President Clinton yet to come. Amen.

Robert D. Alt is a Fellow in Legal and International Affairs at The John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University currently reporting from Iraq. You can follow his daily progress at No Left Turns.

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About David

  • bhw

    lol, jack e. jett ….

  • long live the liberal creed…..

    now if i can just get a copy of that gay agenda.

    jack e. jett

  • david, what ‘article’? it’s a whole book.

  • Mark,

    Alterman’s article is, in my opinion, wishful thinking and spin. I read the article and it completely certain tacticts used by mainstream media to promote certain facts while ignoring others.

    Sins of commission are a problem, but sins of ommission are at least as prevalent and just as troubling. I’m not painting everyone with the same brush, but if you think that there is no liberal bias coming from much of mainstream media then I have a bridge to sell you.

    And many self-avowed liberals in the media agree with me on this point.



  • boomcrashbaby

    First of all, Kerry voted against the supplemental funds because he was trailing badly in the polls to Dean.

    And how do you know this? Did O’Reilly say ‘It Was So’?

    As for Iraq; there’s no doubt in my mind that we have done the correct thing.

    It’s amazing to me, how low the bar is set for this President. Conservatives will forgive him for anything.

    I agree that Saddam needed to be removed from power. How we have done it, has caused far more harm than good. There have been so many intelligence failures. Not only the ones leading up to 9/11, but so many since then. Including the Chalabi/Iran incident(s), the erroneous reports that Saddam was a military force with large stockpiles of WMD, the lack of understanding in how the Arab world would react to an occupation, arresting innocent Americans for terrorism, even when other countries like Spain say ‘no, that’s NOT his fingerprints’, the list just goes on and on and on. This war cabinet, consisting of Rice, Rove, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, etc. can absolutely get away with absolutely anything, and conservatives will still rally behind the cabinet’s Commander.

    If the intent in making Iraq a democracy, was to remove a place for terrorism to hide, it’s failed. A man was just arrested in Oregon for trying to set up an Al Queda camp there. Thankfully, we caught that in time. But they’re probably here, they’re in Germany, Russia, all over Africa, Saudi Arabia – our ally, etc. If there’s one thing that Al Queda morphed into, it was something that can hide in a democracy. And according to reports, it’s numbers are swelling rather than diminishing.

    So was the intent of making Iraq a democracy, to free it’s people from torture, terror and the horrors of an evil regime? If so, we’re awful selective. Sudan is currently going through far worse than Saddam ever did to his own people, and we aren’t lifting a finger. The rest of the world sees that, and comments on it, just conservatives don’t because it’s still above that low bar.

    The price we are paying for Iraq is totally taking away from the actual war on terror. To fight terror takes more than tanks on city streets. It takes diplomacy. Bush’s diplomatic relations with anybody other than Tony Blair is a dismal failure. It takes counter intelligence. With as many intelligence failures as this administration has had already, it’s my opinion that Bush has failed with that as well. It takes spies, espionage, and covert intelligence to combat an enemy who hides among the innocent. Not tanks, missiles and bombs.

    As for Iraq; there’s no doubt in my mind that we have done the completely incorrect thing. While it might be natural for you and most other Americans to want the newcomer to prove he’s as good as the incumbent, for me, it’s like the incumbent is still up at the plate and has missed no less than 20 strikes in a row. Hell, ANY newcomer wouldn’t have to prove much at all to be given a chance in my eyes. The fact that there’s a newcomer who has proven military experience, a proven record of international diplomacy, and a politician who has spent many years in Washington, is certainly good news to me!

  • …and then go ahead and read Alterman’s “What Liberal Media”….a well-research total debunking of the liberal media myth.

  • Mac,

    I agree that if you talk to AVERAGE liberals, you’ll find that most don’t agree with the creed. However, if you watch Nightline, Dateline, the Today Show, read papers like the NY Times, The LA Times, or any number of other left-leaning media sources, you’ll DEFINITELY see that they are right in line with this creed. Go to MoveOn.org, or even read some of the blog postings from some of our contributors and you’ll see the same alignment.

    Does anyone here know, other than conservatives like myself, that Joe Wilson, in his recent book, “The Politics of Truth,” admitted that he was wrong when he claimed that Iraq was not seeking yellow cake uranium in Africa? The press made almost nothing of the fact that, when Joe Wilson was screaming, “BUSH LIED,” it was actually he who was wrong. Conservatives are used to this kind of slant from the mainstream media.

    Nuff said.


  • Boom,

    First of all, Kerry voted against the supplemental funds because he was trailing badly in the polls to Dean. Dean’s antiwar stance was KILLING Kerry, so he did his normal thing and “nuanced” the issue and was one of the very few senators to vote against the funds.

    Secondly, I don’t critisize Kerry’s foreign policy experience. As a matter of fact, I agree with you that Bush was in the same boat, or even worse. Bush had NO foreign policy experience, Gore had tons.

    The irony in my opinion, as I listened to the debates during the 2000 election cycle, was that, eight years earlier, I remember Clinton and Gore having to defend their ability to handle foreign policy issues. This is just another one of those incumbent advantages we see in politics. The acting President has the high ground on this issue. Everyone else has to show that they can come in and do the job just as well or better.

    As for Iraq; there’s no doubt in my mind that we have done the correct thing. Has the President done everything perfectly? No way, but Bush would be attacked on Iraq no matter what course he had chosen. If he hadn’t gone in on Iraq, Kerry would right now be campaigning that Bush failed to protect the country by taking out the aggressive dictator. And I’d be nodding in agreement on that point.

    Nothing that Bush does will ever please the angry left, except resign, of course, which he’ll never do. Because of the situation in Iraq, Kerry now has a chance of winning in November, BUT, even if the President does lose (which I still do not think will happen), at least he’ll have lost for doing the right thing.



  • Shark

    This piece illustrates the true HUGE difference between the Left and Right;

    the Right does bad satire badly.

  • The so-called “Liberals’s Creed” is clearly partisan sniping.

    But David Flanagan and RJ Elliot were clearly responding to Natalie’s labeling of the piece as “a semantic hate crime targeting millions of Americans”, which seems like it might be a touch overwrought.

    Heck, I’m not even sure what a “semantic hate crime” would actually be, but the label is, well, funny!

  • David Flanagan, I suggest you defer to Natalie’s Mom. Moms know things.

    The thing that strikes me in regard to entries like this one is that they rely on not talking to or reading the people they are supposedly about. Ask most liberals and progressives about the topics Alt is nattering about and you would get opinions quite different from anything he says. So, why not ask? Because then one could not produce a far Right diatribe against liberals thinly disguised as a creed.

  • boomcrashbaby

    It’s actually pretty hysterical. And also hysterically funny. As a liberal, I found my head nodding yes quite a few times. A lot of that creed is right on the money. A lot of times I was also nodding my head at the thought of ‘here goes the generalizations again’.

    Thank you for giving this liberal laptop whiplash.

    There’s so much to laugh about, but I’ll just point out one thing:

    “We believe that any attempt to question his national security expertise based on his voting record, including his decision to vote against a supplemental bill used to buy the soldiers body armor, is an unfair attack on the patriotism of a hero, who by virtue of this honorific has the expertise to be commander-in-chief.”

    America KNOWS already, that the SUPPLEMENTAL bill which he voted against body armor, constituted less than 1% of the overall total of the bill. America KNOWS that it was the other 99% of the bill he was voting against. America KNOWS that whenever this is touted by conservatives, that a red flashing light goes off in their heads, telling them anything else the conservatives rant about is just as skewed and misrepresentative.

    From my own personal creed, attacking Kerry’s ability to handle national security is just laughable coming from a pro-Bush poster. Bush had never been out of the country before he was president. He had never studied foreign affairs. He had never served in the military beyond ‘border patrol’ for a southern national guard latrine. He has completely blundered the war on terror and the rebuilding (credibility) of Iraq practically beyond repair. He has made millions and millions more hate us now than before 9/11. He completely flip flops on wanting some people in Iraq dead, then next thing you know, they are recommended for the next positions of power of there. Oh geez, if there’s any hope for the future of this country at all, it is with a proven military soldier as commander in chief. not Yosemite Sam, smirking from his Ivory Palace, about the credentials of another to be sherriff.

  • Not at all. Checked with my mother and rechecked my birth certificate. And checked out many of Alt’s previous writings. His obvious intent was to slap libs around.

  • Hyperbole, thy name is Natalie Davis… ;-]

  • A “semantic hate crime targeting millions of humans?”

    Okay, sure, whatever you say.


  • and, just for fun…let’s write up a conservatives’ creed.

    no, wait…it’s already been done (thank’s to Blogging of the President)…here’ are some fun bits from the year 2000 Republican Party Platform.

    smell the irony!!!

    here goes:

      “The arrogance, inconsistency, and unreliability of the administration’s diplomacy have undermined American alliances, alienated friends, and emboldened our adversaries.” [ed. this is referring to Clinton’s administration]

      “Gerrymandered congressional districts are an affront to democracy and an insult to the voters. We oppose that and any other attempt to rig the electoral process.”

      “Nor should the intelligence community be made the scapegoat for political misjudgments. A Republican administration working with the Congress will respect the needs and quiet sacrifices of these public servants as it strengthens America’s intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities and reorients them toward the dangers of the future.”

      “The current administration has casually sent American armed forces on dozens of missions without clear goals, realizable objectives, favorable rules of engagement, or defined exit strategies. Over the past seven years, a shrunken American military has been run ragged by a deployment tempo that has eroded its military readiness. Many units have seen their operational requirements increased four-fold, wearing out both people and equipment.”

      “The rule of law, the very foundation for a free society, has been under assault, not only by criminals from the ground up, but also from the top down. An administration that lives by evasion, coverup, stonewalling, and duplicity has given us a totally discredited Department of Justice.”

      “Sending our military on vague, aimless, and endless missions rapidly saps morale. Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, inadequate training, and rapidly declining readiness.”

      “Our goal for NATO is a strong political and security fellowship of independent nations in which consultations are mutually respected and defense burdens mutually shared.”

      “As the traditional advocate of America’s veterans, the Republican Party remains committed to fulfilling America’s obligations to them. That is why we defeated the administration’s attempt to replace veterans’ health care with a national system for everybody.”

      “The weak leadership and neglect of the administration have allowed America’s intelligence capabilities, including space based systems, to atrophy, resulting in repeated proliferation surprises such as Iraq’s renewed chemical and biological weapons programs.”

      “The Social Security surplus is off-limits, off budget, and will not be touched. We will not stop there, for we are also determined to protect Medicare and to pay down the national debt. Reducing that debt is both a sound policy goal and a moral imperative. Our families and most states are required to balance their budgets; it is reasonable to assume the federal government should do the same. Therefore, we reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.”

      “Inspired by Presidents Reagan and Bush, Republicans hammered into place the framework for today’s prosperity and surpluses. We cut tax rates, simplified the tax code, deregulated industries, and opened world markets to American enterprise. The result was the tremendous growth in the 1980s that created the venture capital to launch the technology revolution of the 1990s. That’s the origin of what is now called the New Economy: the longest economic boom in the Twentieth Century, 40 million new jobs, the lowest inflation and unemployment in memory.” [ed. the reason I find this ironic is becaues it contradicts administration claims that the recession began under Clinton]

      “A Republican president will work with businesses and with other nations to reduce harmful emissions through new technologies without compromising America’s sovereignty or competitiveness — and without forcing Americans to walk to work.”

      “We applaud Governor Bush’s pledge to name only judges who have demonstrated that they share his conservative beliefs and respect the Constitution.”

      “Reacting belatedly to inevitable crises, the administration constantly enlarges the reach of its rhetoric — most recently in Vice President Gore’s “new security agenda” that adds disease, climate, and all the world’s ethnic or religious conflicts to an undiminished set of existing American responsibilities. If there is some limit to candidate Gore’s new agenda for America as global social worker, he has yet to define it.”

      “A new Republican administration will patiently rebuild an international coalition opposed to Saddam Hussein and committed to joint action. We will insist that Iraq comply fully with its disarmament commitments. We will maintain the sanctions on the Iraqi regime while seeking to alleviate the suffering of innocent Iraqi people. We will react forcefully and unequivocally to any evidence of reconstituted Iraqi capabilities for producing weapons of mass destruction.”

      “The administration has used an arsenal of dilatory tactics to block any serious support to the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organization reflecting a broad and representative group of Iraqis who wish to free their country from the scourge of Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

      “Republicans prefer an America that is far less dependent on foreign crude oil. A Republican president will not be so tolerant if OPEC colludes to drive up the world price of oil, as it has done this past year.”

  • Hmmm. I’m a liberal. I don’t agree with a lot of what is in that creed. The above is less a group creed than it is either a listing of the stereotypes for which Alt has fallen or a semantic hate crime targeting millions of humans. Sad.

  • And moderates nod because partisan political wang-waving is just so damned funny to watch.