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Unwinnable Iraq

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CW FISHER

The concept of “winning peace” through force is an ancient paradox worth reexamination by somebody who knows what they’re talking about. The only person qualified to broker this peace is Jesus, who speaks Aramaic fluently, I saw the movie tonight. He’s definitely the one and only. If he can’t do it, nobody can.

Because nobody can. Win the peace, that is. Certainly not America. The peace is not America’s to win, since America brought war. We can only continue to steal the country at this point, because that’s what George Bush has had us doing. We can keep acting like we’re “still” doing the right thing, but to do that now is to aid and abet, since we now know America is in Iraq under false pretenses. We illegally invaded a peaceful sovereign nation, bombed its cities, deposed its leaders, destroyed its infrastructure, its phones, electricity, water, schools, hospitals — schools and hospitals – we killed tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, and then we found out, shucks. No weapons. No army, no police, no cooperation, no patience, and now, no mercy.

Here’s an interesting fact we knew before we invaded. Saddam had just put the finishing touches on his second novel, which was about to become a full-length motion picture, then a theatrical spectacular the likes of which Baghdad had never seen. Writing was Saddam’s passion; there was no other mistress but the muse. Producing took a bit of time too! Let us pause to reflect.

Men over 50 often write books in response to their sudden, but natural, cataclysmic drop in testosterone. This is a time of life when men begin to lose body hair and interest in normal things like impressing people. Absent this hormone they pad about the kitchen and look back over a lifetime of aggression and find themselves feeling feelings they can’t quite place. They hide, they write, they apologize on paper, trial-size; they reproportion events, change names, dress it up, have a ball with it, or not have a ball, doesn’t matter: most first-novelists will be last-novelists. But second novels are a different thing entirely. Second novels are written by writers and lunatics. This was Saddam. To write requires all. To write in the style of Saddam is to scratch dryly from a shriveled scrotum, but dude it’s all he’s got man.

And that’s why Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and no plans of harming the US or any other country. Anybody who knows anybody who’s done anything similar to what Saddam Hussein was engaged in knows absolutely that he was not pursuing world domination! He wanted roses.

Look what we’ve done.

Look at it. America has done this thing and it’s too late to undo it and, kids, it’s time to go home, and send money and regrets. Be nice if we could take the initiative to do it before Easter so Japan can save face and three innocent people spared from being burned alive. It would be nice.

It would be Christian. It could even save the world.

Peace.

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About CW Fisher

  • http://www.sxxxy.org Nyx

    The only person qualified to broker this peace is Jesus, who speaks Arabic fluently, I saw the movie tonight.

    That was Aramaic. Not Arabic.

  • Shark

    Hey Picky Nyx,

    Sorry, but Jesus could speak any langauge he wanted to.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Thanks, Nyx. I thought it looked funny. I even looked it up.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Hey, Shark. Cool movie, huh? I wanted to tell Mel that blood dries and turns cracked and brown after about 10 minutes, all blood, even if it’s actually wine.

  • Eric Olsen

    CW, You can’t really be defending Saddam here, are you? The impulse to withdraw and hope for the best is very understandable and appealing, but not remotely feasible in this world, today. What do you think the hearings in Washington are about?

  • Shark

    What do you think the hearings in Washington are about?

    Iraq?

    Man, I thought they were about 9/11.

  • Shark

    CW: re: Passion as a cool movie.

    I dunno, I actually prefer beatitudes to blood, but as we all know, long speeches about peace, love, and understanding won’t sell.

    (just ask Elvis Costello!)

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Eric, I am absolutely defending Saddam Hussein! Yes. You get it. Yes.

    Those who say a pullout isn’t “remotely feasible” are wise to remember that getting into Iraq wasn’t “remotely feasible” either without a massive lie to motivate America to follow Bush into stealing a country and its resources. Whatever Iraq did in Kuwait is nothing compared to what we have done now. Whatever legitimacy we think we borrow by branding Saddam a criminal is moot by our own criminality. The death toll we have created is greater than what Saddam did to his Kurds. What’s the difference between killing with gas or killing with a blast? Both are push-button murder, both are cowardly kills from safe distances. The hearings have proved our illegitimacy. But if we claim responsibility for George Bush’s error, we’re as guilty as he is. The only principle we’re defending here is America’s right to seize any country it wants. I will never defend that. I’ll fight it instead, because I don’t want it to happen here. I’d resent it. It’s wrong.

    Not feasible. Eric, please. Feasibility is simply a matter of will in this case, and if we have lost the will to do the right thing, then we are truly lost.

    The hearings in Washington are about 9/11, the state of our intelligence, and the response of our government before and after the event. It is not about Iraq.

    That’s my point. What is being uncovered is clear proof of malice aforethought: that this administration came into power with a secret agenda and used 9/11 as cover. The 9/11 hearings have revealed the “smoking gun,” the evidence of conscious ignorance of the true threat, both before and after our one-day attack on American soil.

    You’re goddam right I’m serious, Eric. Absolutely.

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

    Oh, yes, you’re “serious”- as in speaking in a seriously wicked and evil tongue. Your words here reflect a lack of any real concern for the safety or the suffering of Americans or Iraqis.

    You get to spout your irresponsible pacifist rhetoric, knowing full well in your heart that great carnage and suffering on all sides would result from a simple withdrawal.

    You posit deception and cowardice, and complete wrongness for the US with no evidence, and twist any or no actual facts to support your pre-ordained conclusion.

    Your implication that the US presence has created greater carnage than Hussein is particularly reprehensible. He was filling up mass graves with innocents, we’ve STOPPED that. We’ve gone to great effort to PROTECT innocent life.

    The Hussein regime killed probably at least 1 million people. We’ve killed a few thousand, targeting as close as possible to get just the bad guys who have been doing all this nasty killing while sparing the innocent.

    But hey, those things- FACTS- don’t matter if they don’t serve your cheap anti-American premises.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Why, Al, you’ve gotten all flowery!

    And yes I am currently VERY anti-American. When we’re wrong, we’re wrong, and we’re wrong wrong wrong. So I’m saying it.

    Evidence? I don’t need any more evidence to see exactly what’s happening. While the Americans enjoy their hearings on television, three people tomorrow wil be BURNED ALIVE, Al. You count Iraqs versus Americans, you compare thousands of lives versus millions. I’m not intersted in the people who have already died — they’re dead. I’d like to save the three, followed by the rest of OUR men and women AND any Iraqis who want to come along. Those who want to stay to deal with their own problems at home may do so, and if they all kill each other, then it’s their fault, not ours.

    We’ve done enough damage. In what ways have we helped anybody? We destroyed their country, Al. They don’t want us to stay and fix it. They want our asses out of there, and no, I don’t blame them a bit.

    I’m for the Iraqi’s. I’m against terrorists. We need to fight the war on terror. This is NOT that war.

    The FACTS call for an immediate withdrawal and a change in course.

    This isn’t cowardice or pacifism, Al. This is called the RIGHT THING. It’s what I want my country to do. The only possible reason to stay would be to preserve Halliburton’s contract.

    That’s what this is about, Al. But you don’t have to get snippy about it. Communist.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    What’s happening to me? I using the caps key.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Those who say a pullout isn’t “remotely feasible” are wise to remember that getting into Iraq wasn’t “remotely feasible” either without a massive lie to motivate America to follow Bush into stealing a country and its resources. Whatever Iraq did in Kuwait is nothing compared to what we have done now.

    Oh, man, are you far gone.

    Maybe we didn’t have to go into Iraq, maybe it wasn’t a war we should have fought. But to claim it was about “stealing resources” and that Saddam’s pillaging in Kuwait was BETTER than what we are doing…

    Man, are you far gone…

  • Shark

    Al, read some history of the Middle East, or if you’re too tired, busy, or lazy for that, watch “Lawrence of Arabia” and get back to me.

    This has been tried before.

    I didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Don’t believe me? Ask the Brits.

    Nothing has changed.

    Iraq = Bush’s Pandora’s Box — plain and not simple

    BTW, Al “Mr. Libertarian”, I’m assuming you won’t bitch when your taxes are raised to pay for this “war”?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Here’s what the “pacifists” want:

    The US, having found no WMD, pulls out of Iraq, and it’s dozens of Allies follow. Civil War ensues.

    The Shia majority, armed by Iran, slaughters the Sunni minority in a bloodbath not seen since Rwanda. Women and children are not spared. The UN does nothing.

    The Shia turn their attention to the Kurds. Hideous battles ensue. The Kurds fend them off, mostly, and declare the creation of an Independent state. Turkey invades Kurdistan in response, slaughtering thousands. NATO rips apart at the seams.

    The terrorists are gleeful. Bush and Howard are defeated in upcoming elections, leading to governments in the US and Australia that attempt to appease the terrorists. Attacks on the US and Australia occur anyway. The new leaders of these countries blame their predecessors, and offer a summit conference.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Yeah, let’s pull out. Sounds like a winning plan for everyone…

  • Shark

    RJ, I’m williing to bet that all of the above (#14) will happen anyway.

    A few months after the U.S. “hands over the keys” on June 30, let’s meet back here and compare notes.

    All we’re doing over there is trading one bloodbath for another. Earlier, it was all Saddams. Now we’ve not only joined the game, but we’ve increased the number of players.

    It’s Vietnam, 1968.

    …No, wait! It’s “THE MIDDLE EAST” throughout the entire 20th century.

    Again, read some history.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Shark:

    The time to debate the reasons for going to war with Iraq was a LONG TIME AGO. Looks like the intelligence services fucked up. (And not just the American ones…)

    Fact is, we are there now. Pulling out will merely damage us (and the rest of the world) even more.

    We simply MUST win. Even if the government in Iraq ends up being an impotent pro-Western puppet (like in Afghanistan), that’s better than declaring defeat in the wake of terror.

    I hate to be cold, but the people in the military joined knowing full well they could be involved in a major war. Yeah, I know that wasn’t how it was sold to them. They thought they’d get wonderful benefits while defending a base in Georgia or Idaho. But they KNEW that risks were involved. (Or else they are idiots. And I don’t think they are…)

    They volunteered for this. The US is now engaged. Anything less than victory is defeat.

    I support victory. It will be costly. It will be bloody. But let’s let these guys do what they do best: Kill our enemies.

    USA! USA! ;-]

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Holymothermuffinflyin chunks of shit, what was THAT? RJ?

    MUST win? What is victory? Kill our what? Who is the enemy here?

    “I support victory. It will be costly. It will be bloody. But let’s let these guys do what they do best: Kill our enemies.”

    What in God’s name are you talking about, man?

    Iraq is not the enemy. And the Iraqi Council clearly has considerable power. The Iraqi Council ended the kidnapping and “burning alive” that was to occur today. It is not proved that civil war will break out by our absence. What is proved is that our presence there now is the cause of the violence.

    Sadr lives to see another day with considerably more power, including moral power over the three competing religious factions. It looks to me like they did pretty well today. Without us. Big surprise.

    They’ve waited 30 years for this. They should have the chance to do it. They’re wondering what we’re still doing hanging around? Go home! We didn’t ask you to come here and bomb us, and we’re getting the feeling you’re thinking of maybe franchising us. That’s what I’d be thinking. Because that’s what’s happening. See?

    I’m not advocating we run away, or simply “walk away.” I still think we should drive. And I think we should make whatever they need available to them. And get out. Or let them decide who stays, in anybody. Give them loans, apologize, and through an international coalition, work under the fledgling Iraqi government to rebuild the country as a true member of the world, if America is even invited.

    If that makes me a pacifist, well… no. Right now we’re “pacifying” Fallujah, which consists, so far, of surrounding the city with tanks, while a bunch of amateur wise guys with rocket launchers take pot shots. So there’s been a definition shift, but I get what you mean. You mean pacifist as in Peacenik. Okay. Yes, I’m for peace and against war. You bet.

    RJ, don’t focus on what to call me or you’ll miss it.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    If we pull out, Sadr will be the next dictator of Iraq. He will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc. The only difference is that it will be Sunnis, not Shias, who get the short end of the stick.

    The terrorists will view this as a pathetic American retreat. They will attack us around the globe, including in the US. They will gain more new recruits from a “victory” than a defeat.

    I tend to think the US should only engage in wars VERY hesitantly. But once we are involved, we MUST win.

    You seem to think retreat is okay, and will be a net positive for the world and the US. I disagree.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Sadr becomes Saddam and reopens the rape rooms? Sadr isn’t necessarily a “bad guy.” We don’t know that. That’s a leap. But I predict stuff all the time, so I really can’t talk.

    Sadr is an up and comer with a fairly clean background from what I can see, son of a beloved cleric, not greatly respected by the Shi’ite clerics mainly because he’s not a cleric but he struts around like one, sort of like the Rev. Jesse Jackson. But now that he helped broker the peace in Fallujah and ended the crisis with the Japanese hostages, I’d say he just demonstrated some true power. A rather awesome demonstration.

    In this country we call guys like that marketable candidates. Remember, we’re trying to “create a democracy?”

    Well, here it is in action. They’re doing well without us. They do badly when we’re around. They act the way we’d act if we were occupied by foreigners. Pissed off.

    Yes, RJ, I am absolutely positive the Iraqis can create a better future for themselves than we can.

    And please don’t call them terrorists. The word has to mean something now that we’re killing people over it. Iraq was where the WMDs were. Iraqis are the innocent people who lived there. The terrorists, we know, were never there. Now they are. Nice job, George.

    This war was a whole lot of bad idea.

    When you mention “rape rooms” it struck me that maybe they were bullshit too. Who would know? Our intelligence was so extremely lousy and rotten. Deeper than poor, deader than dead wrong.

    And nobody mentions that anymore.

    We came into Iraq, we kicked their ass, Bush stood there in a flight suit and declared the Mission Accomplished — even though he denied it later, it was, in fact, what he said: that the war in Iraq was over. Therefore when you say we have to finish what we started, we have to “win,” I must remind you, RJ, that we already have.

    Bush tacked on the democracy thing because, well, we accidently destroyed their country. We sorta had an obligation. And now all these contracts to fulfill. Oh, yes, the see what’s happening. They’re more worried about the guys with the little alligators on their shirts, the ones with the tape measures and blueprints, than they are about the ones in the tanks. They can smell a McDonald’s coming. They know what’s going on.

    So, rape rooms? Really not too concerned about ‘em, RJ. It’s a worse problem in Iran. Should we go to Iran next? Hey we’re already in the neighborhood, right?

  • Shark

    And please don’t call them terrorists. The word has to mean something now that we’re killing people over it.

    Pretty profound statement, that.

    Anyway, re: CW and comment#19:

    YEAH, WHAT HE SAID.

  • SFC Ski

    “When you mention “rape rooms” it struck me that maybe they were bullshit too. Who would know? Our intelligence was so extremely lousy and rotten. Deeper than poor, deader than dead wrong.”

    Been there, seen them, talked with Iraqis who had family members there, been to the “Death House” seen the rows of scaffolds and the bullet pocked walls, bloodstains “cracked and brown” on the walls. Mass graves? Those too. Some would like to believe that the atrocities of Saddam’s regime were falsehoods, or intelligence failures, but it is just not so.

    You are right, the Iraqis can ultimately creat a better future than we can give them. What some people fail to realize is that the fighting is part of the process that brings their future about, unfortunately. Sadr, Sistani, Ba’athists, Iranian backed Shia, they are all fighting for their part of a dissected Iraq.

    “Sadr isn’t necessarily a “bad guy.” ” Only in the sense that he wants to install an Islamic republic closely allied to Iran in place.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ: “Sadr … will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc.”

    What basis could you possibly have for an asinine claim like that?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I find it very odd that the Left is vehemently opposed to nativity scenes during Christmas, but they think it’s no big deal if an entire country of 25 million people fall under the thrall of a drooling fundamentalist Muslim.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hal:

    This guy is an Iranian-backed nutter. He hates Sunnis, Westerners, and everyone else who isn’t a fundamentalist Shite.

    The Left makes a big deal about how we shut down his little newspaper. Well, his paper was demanding the murder of American soldiers! And he killed a more senior (and more moderate) “cleric” to get his current position.

    This guy is scum. Why can’t all rational people agree on this?

  • Shark

    SFC SKI: “Sadr isn’t necessarily a “bad guy.” ” Only in the sense that he wants to install an Islamic republic closely allied to Iran in place.”

    Ah, Democracy! What happens if we ‘let ‘em vote’ and they elect a theocratic dictator?

    (Can we re-invade once we’re already there?)

  • Shark

    RJ:“This guy is scum. Why can’t all rational people agree on this?”

    RJ, you’re not exactly the guy we look to when we’re rallying the rational people. ‘kay?

    [winky]

    Actually, RJ, I believe your perception might change from black and white to many shades of grey if you read some history of occupational armies, especially in the 20th century.

    Put yourself in their place; it’s mighty helpful to know the mind of another, especially when you’re trying to subdue/seduce them in an occupation.

    For the occupied: the more violent = the more ‘heroic'; this is how one lays the foundation for post-occupation power. We whack the Al-Sadr, etc. — we create another martyr and a few thousand fanatical followers.

    We have to marginalize the guy by elevating one of his moderate competitors or courting a disgruntled ‘employee’.

    Forge photos with him and Jane Fonda at a pro-American rally.

    Anything.

  • JR

    re: al-Sadr Forge photos with him and Jane Fonda at a pro-American rally.

    Better yet, have Al Barger impersonate him. Send Al to Isreal, take pictures of him chumming it up with Ariel Sharon, and post them on the internet.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ,

    I see that you posted but did not answer my question:

    RJ: “Sadr … will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc.”

    HP: What basis could you possibly have for an asinine claim like that?

    Your fallacious argument (#24) of trying to paint opponents as not rational if they don’t agree with you is not an answer.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hal:

    What do you think a fundamentalist Shia government, led by a murderous “cleric,” will do to the opposition? Embrace them? Offer them cabinet seats? Or just fucking kill them?

    Okay, maybe they won’t die in a human shredder. Maybe they’ll just be stoned to death. Whatever.

    Sadr is a militant anti-American fundamentalist Shia with at least one murder of a fellow Iraqi under his belt (not to mention numerous Americans).

    I don’t want this guy in power in Iraq. Do you?

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    The rant wasn’t responsive, and the questions weren’t answers, RJ.

    So: why do you think Sadr “will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc.”?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I thought I answered that above.

    Saddam tortured and killed his political opponents.

    Sadr (or anyone of his ilk) will likely torture and kill his political opponents.

    The only question is to the methods.

    Rape rooms? Maybe. Human shredders? Maybe.

    But the end result will be a crushed opposition.

    Is that what you want? (You haven’t answered this question…)

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Okay, so you were simply ranting and had no basis for the statement, RJ.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Do I know for a fact that Sadr will immediately open up the human shredders and rape rooms again? No.

    Do I know that his style of governance will likely lead to murdered opposition members? Yes.

    AGAIN, do you want this guy in control of Iraq? Yes or no?

  • Shark

    Heard an interview with the French journalist who was just released from hostage status yesterday.

    He said he was held in over 10 different locations by ex-baathists, civilians, kids, farmers, merchants, Sunnis, shiites, clerics, etc.

    Said it seemed that recent efforts by US have turned a great number of ‘friendly’ Iraqis to resistance fighters almost overnight.

    Kids. Sunnis. Shiites.

    ie. It ain’t all “murderous, fundamental” blah blah “terrorists” that Bush would have you believe. It’s quickly becoming a ‘nationalist freedom fighter’ scenario — that, btw, we’re BOUND TO LOSE.

    RJ, if you do one disservice to the Universe As We Know It, it’s your constant Black & White paint jobs.

    PS:

    Viet.

    Nam.

    Redux.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ: Do I know that his style of governance will likely lead to murdered opposition members? Yes.

    No, you don’t, and let’s not shift the discussion:

    Even if Sadr were to get into power, there is no evidence whatsoever to support your original wild-eyed claim:

    “Sadr … will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc.”

    Sadr was as oppressed under Saddam as any other Shi’ite. He had nothing to do with “the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders,” except perhaps as a potential victim.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    RJ, are you thinking of Uday and Qusay, the sons of Saddam? They were into all that stuff: shredders and so forth. I don’t think Sadr is into that stuff. He may have ordered a murder. The US wants to arrest him. Which wouldn’t be bright right now.

    America has very little control over the rise of a new Iraqi leader. We can do our Simon Cowell, but if the people vote yes, an idol is born.

    This is what happens when one man decides to change the course of the world. We seem to get a new one every 41 years.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hal:

    Do you want Sadr as the theocratic dictator of Iraq? Yes or no?

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Since you’re not John Ashcroft, RJ, I have no interest in your question.

    Well, maybe a mild notice of it as an example of an attempt to shift the grounds of a discussion, but I’ve seen better.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Your pleading of the Fifth leads me to surmise that you do not oppose the idea of a lunatic Shia fundy gaining power in Iraq.

    As for my original comment about how he’ll immediately reopen the rape rooms, etc. this may not be exactly true. I don’t know. But I do know that he’s Iranian-backed, and has no qualms about killing. Iraq under his rule would lead to the murder of countless opposition members. Maybe not in a human shredder. Maybe they’d just be hung, or shot, or whatever.

    The method is unimportant. The end result is the same.

  • A.J.(Esmar)

    It’s about time that I let this out.

    If Saddam had WMDs or radioactive materials to begin with and we found them… do you think we’d publicly announce that? (we because I’m military)
    Of course not… panic would ensue.

    I just got back from 8 months in Fallujah. during those 8 months I’ve seen enough to know that the reason that we came over there was WELL justified. radiation? yes… I’ve been exposed… chemical weapons… yes… we’ve seen them… no biological weapons yet other than a mass produce of nasty smelling onions. (or for that matter the smell of walking through the streets of fallujah)

    It makes me sad to see that I have to leave my country off to war with it supporting me and come back with it spitting on me.

    Do the troops a favor… support us.. we’re risking our lives so that millions may experience the freedom that many in our country take advantage of.

    -PFC A.J.
    Sleep well in your blanket of freedom… because we soldiers are the ones tucking you in and defending you.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Uh, no. I don’t support any Death Brigade. Glad you’re back, though.

    Re: Mr. Elliott’s question: “I don’t want this guy in power in Iraq. Do you?”

    Doesn’t matter. What’s important is who the Iraqi people want. That’s the aim of making them democratic, right? They get to decide their leader. Whether you or I or the Shrub likes or dislikes their choice doesn’t matter one bit.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ: “Your pleading of the Fifth leads me to surmise …”

    Your surmises, besides being asinine, are yours alone and have no relevance to my beliefs nor, apparently, to the real world.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hal, if you enter into a debate, and refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions, people are naturally going to draw conclusions from that.

    But you are welcome to plead the Fifth. After all, it’s your Constitutional right! :-)

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    ND:

    If the Iraqis were to willing choose Sadr as their leader, in a democratic vote, then maybe that would be acceptable. But that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about him and his Iranian-funded-and-trained-and-armed militia filling the vaccuum left by a US pullout.

    This isn’t about democracy. It’s not about free will and choice and votes. It’s about a madman taking control of Iraq and slaughtering the opposition. It’s about a bloody civil war that will kill tens of thousands of Iraqis. It’s about Iraq becoming another Iran.

    These are bad things. I oppose them. I oppose the murderer Sadr. So does the present administration. That’s why we cannot leave just yet.

  • Shark

    American Oil Company Cannon Fodder writes: “Sleep well in your blanket of freedom… because we soldiers are the ones tucking you in and defending you.”

    Yeah, and meanwhile, some of your contemporaries are sleeping eternally in their body bags — zipped up and tucked in by George W. Bush and Company over non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

    PS: You wanna really defend me and give an oppressed people democracy? Invade the FUCKING *WHITE HOUSE.

    Or *Florida.

    Or *Saudi Arabia.

    * Axis of Evil

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ Elliott: "if you enter into a debate, and refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions, people are naturally going to draw conclusions from that"

    Perfect.

    Now if only you actually understood that, because that’s exactly what you did.

    You made what appeared to me to be patently ridiculous claims about Sadr:

    RJ: "Sadr … will reopen the rape rooms, the torture chambers, the human shredders, etc."

    I asked a reasonable question, looking for substantiation:

    What basis could you possibly have for an asinine claim like that?

    Instead of answering the question, you responded with prejudicial language, red herrings and other logical fallacies to arrive where you are now, trying to attribute your actions and a false position to me.

    You did manage to answer the question somewhere in there – there was no basis – but I no longer find this type of “discussion” as interesting as I did back in my dorm days, with a six-pack in one hand. The situation today is far too grave.

    [See RJ Elliott comments 24, 29, 31, 33, 37 and 39]

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    PFC A.J.: "It makes me sad to see that I have to leave my country off to war with it supporting me and come back with it spitting on me."

    That really bothers me and I’d like to know where you see that.

    From what I see, the opposition to the invasion of Iraq has a different dynamic than the opposition to Vietnam had. Nobody I know or know of blames the troops, and none of them “spit” on them, either literally or figuratively.

    The opponents to the invasion of Iraq I’ve seen and heard are clearly in sympathy with the troops, and are irate and upset about what the administration has done, placing Americans in harms way unnecessarily, to further their political agenda.

    PFC A.J.: "I just got back from 8 months in Fallujah … radiation? yes…"

    My understanding is that the radiation exposure is from the Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions used by the military (including during the first Gulf War). Is there evidence for radiation from other sources? Can you point me at some data on line? Thanks.

  • Shark

    Dear RJ,

    You’ve just seen your entire Republican Guard surrender to General Hal Pawluk’s “Shock & Awe” tactics.

    If I were you, I’d climb in a digital spider hole and never again show my face, unless, of course, it’s for one of Pawluk’s infamous delousing and ‘oral exams’.

    Nice knowin’ ya!

    xxoo
    S

  • Eric Olsen

    I see this has long carried on without me. Back in #5 I was referring to withdrawl not from Iraq specifically – which we could do just like Spain – but the withdrawal from the world that this elegiac post seems to long for. THAT is not possible and that’s what 9/11 is about.

    And as far as defending Saddam: he didn’t just kill Kurds, he killed every kind of countryman, by the hundreds of thousands, to support his reign of terror. Is there a vast moral gulf between accidental civilan deaths as a result of combat and the systematic torture and murder to preserve personal privilege and political power? You tell me.

  • Shark

    Eric, your logic would have you supporting an American invasion of China and North Korea.

    Please clarify.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    The logic wouldn’t have us invading China and North Korea because those are still considered diplomatic options, no? Iraq was targeted because it was a pretty strategically sound target in the region that produced the terrorists that were responsible for 9/11. It was poorly sold by Bush and his staff, but I don’t think they could have sold you the “we want to send a warning shot to the middle east” excuse for going to war in Iraq.

  • Eric Olsen

    And thanks A.J., I am very pleased to hear you think it’s worthwhile.

    And no, Sadr would not be an acceptable leader: no democracy before liberty. Theocracy is inherently undemocratic and unacceptable. And no, I don’t give a fuck what a deranged mob thinks it wants right now. What I want the Iraqis to do, right now, is what we tell them to do and be happy about it.

  • A.J.(Esmar)

    Hal Pawluk: “My understanding is that the radiation exposure is from the Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions used by the military (including during the first Gulf War). Is there evidence for radiation from other sources? Can you point me at some data on line? Thanks.”

    I can’t point you to any data other that that I guarded materials at a former Iraqi NBC (nuclear biological chemical) training site where there were materials buried that could be used to make dirty bombs. those materials have since then been removed. I’d be more specific but this page is viewable by anyone in the world :P

    we were required to wear RADIAC detectors for the time that we were out there to measure the radiation exposure and to record it in our medical records.

    I know that the .50cal API rounds are tipped with depleted uranium… but we did not have those rounds over there in our arsenal.

    as far as support…. I don’t ask that anyone support the intention of the politics behind it… but since there are americans there who represent ALL americans, that we support them.

    -PFC A.J.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    but since there are americans there who represent ALL americans, that we support them.

    I’m with you on that, AJ, but think that everyone on this site (and likely most Americans) has done so. I believe that opposing the Cheney-Wolfowitz politics is part of supporting the troops.

    As far as Depleted Uranium goes, it was used in this invasion of Iraq and during the first Gulf War. Both American and British forces use it for tank armor and armor-piercing weapons munitions because it is so massive (for the non-military audience here).

    Currently, there are tests being conducted on some soldiers returning from Iraq and the results show exposure:

    GIs Tested for Depleted Uranium Exposure

    FORT DIX, N.J. – The U.S. Army is conducting medical tests on a handful of GIs who complained of illnesses after reported exposure to depleted uranium in Iraq.

    Up to six soldiers from a National Guard unit based in Orangeburg, N.Y., have undergone exams at Fort Dix, and three of them remain there under observation, Fort Dix spokeswoman Carolee Nisbet said Monday.

    "We are following up on this. We are on top of it. It’s not something that has fallen by the wayside," she said.

    Of nine members of the unit examined by a doctor at the request of the New York Daily News, four had "almost certainly" inhaled radioactive dust from spent U.S. artillery shells containing depleted uranium, the newspaper reported Monday. [Miami Herald 4/5/04 free sign-up required]

    4 out of 9 is an extraordinarily high percentage. I’d like to see more than just “a handful of GIs” tested, now that the problem is recognized. I’m going to write my Senators and House Representative and suggest they look into this. It may not be much, but it’s something.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Eric Olsen…

    How are the twins? See they got a new movie coming out.

    “…elegiac post?” Eric, if you want to slap me, use your hand, not the glove. I had to look elegiac up to make sure it was the insult I thought it was. I’m still not sure, but I’m proceeding on the assumption that you have accused me of being a bleeding heart liberal communist because I intend to kick your ass and it always helps if I can picture my opponent as a plugged-heart Republican Romanist with beef fat on his lips and way too much self-esteem. You’re that guy, for me, for today, you bug-eyed borgly snit.

    You said: “And as far as defending Saddam: he didn’t just kill Kurds, he killed every kind of countryman, by the hundreds of thousands, to support his reign of terror. Is there a vast moral gulf between accidental civilan deaths as a result of combat and the systematic torture and murder to preserve personal privilege and political power? You tell me.”

    The answer, to my brain, is yes and no in equal parts, unless you start with the indivisible truth that it is wrong — not to mention counterproductive — to kill anyone for any reason. The bombing of Fallujah was no accident. The kills were not “collateral damage.” Someone made a decision to use a series of big-ass bombs. Eric, do you know why? Because we “knew” the fire-bombers were in the area. So we killed all the people for blocks around to make sure our message got across.

    That’s not war, it’s murder. It is murder.

    Do you think there’s no terror in a bomb? Do you watch al-Jezeera? You should. They show all the blood, all the body parts. Very little commentary the way we do it over here. They don’t have reporters blocking the picture, telling us what we’d be seeing if they weren’t blocking the picture. They’re not CNN with a high falutin ‘tude about showing corpses. It’s war, and war should be shown in all it’s gory glory, because that’s the news. War is hell. It is not to be desired or pursued, but avoided. It solves nothing, serves no one.

    We bloggers think we can solve things by typing. You asked us to compare dropping a bomb on innocent people versus slowly torturing them to death.

    Apparently, Eric, you bought the hype that says you can hit the sack with a clear conscience, but I urge you to stop typing for a minute and turn on al-Jezeera, where you can’t argue with a picture. Just go by what you see. And then YOU tell ME how they compare. The argument is so cowardly and smug and so typical of the Brave New American. You think that killing from a safe distance is cleaner and nicer. It isn’t. LOOK at the footage of what we did in Fallujah.

    Elegiac, I’ll give you an elegy. Dude, I don’t care what color you are, what language you speak, what your culture’s like. People of all races piss me off equally. But I’m not killing you, and I can’t be made to go along with your killing and anybody else’s for any other reason but self-defense.

    Fallujah was 700. Some say 600. As if that mitigates it! But what about the murder of the other 50,000?

    Gasp, murder? Yep. Because it was the full intent of George Bush and a handful of others to take Iraq at any cost, including the greatest cost of all, loss of office.

    You see, they never cared about WMDs in Iraq. That was a ruse, a door opener. It was a LIE, Eric! Somehow I get the feeling the full impact of this hasn’t hit you yet. This lie is what turns those initial bombing deaths into murders.

    It seems obvious to me that Saddam killed more people and in a slower, more painful way, while Bush did it overnight. Give him another few months, I’m quite sure George Bush will far outdistance Saddam, who just didn’t have the weaponry to do the job right. Ironically.

    Shit, Saddam Hussein was old news 20 years ago. He’s always been a cartoon. We had no idea what was actually going on. No one in the world can say that we did, not anymore, not after we bombed ‘em all to hell ON A HUNCH. And you think my suggestion that we do what they’re asking and go home would be irresponsible?

    Hey, you know what? When you lose, you get off the field. But we’re not going anywhere. We’re building the world’s largest “embassy.”

    The idiocy that kept us in Vietnam wasn’t false hope or idealism. And it most certainly was not this phony “honor” we all like to talk about. It was vanity. We don’t like to lose.

    And that’s why we’re not going anywhere. We can’t lose. We are such a spoiled nation of self-congratulating rich kids who have never experienced the true nature of long-term suffering that we are simply astonished when anyone implies that our democratic decision-making process might need a tweak.

    We are a nation of pigs driving cars too big for our garages during a time when the whole world is concern about the welfare of the earth we share, on which we piss.

    I feel much better now, Eric, and if you meant no attack on me personally, I apologize in advance. On the other hand, if you’ve been itching to take me down a peg or two, then bring it on, mofo, and be glad, be very, very glad that I’m a pacifist.

    Curt

  • Shark

    Craig: The logic wouldn’t have us invading China and North Korea because those are still considered diplomatic options, no?

    Okay.

    And apparently — for the Bush White House — diplomatic options with Iraq were never an option.

    ~ahahahaha~

    “You break it you buy it.” — Colin Powell’s Iraq Doctrine

    ~ahahahaha~

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    No, they weren’t an option because they felt a show of force to the region who crashed planes was appropriate. Whether you agree or disagree with the action, it is different than China and North Korea.

  • Eric Olsen

    Curt, Apparently this is all very personal for you. I don’t look at it that way, and as a result I can’t imagine being concerned with “taking someone like [you] down a peg or two.” I’m not even sure what that means. All I know is that the foreign policy presented here sounds just as wrong to me as it sounds right to you.

    I don’t think America is perfect, but I trust our motives and and I trust our fundamental morality. While I have no doubt that the accused were itching to get into Iraq, that doesn’t bother me in the least, nor does it change the rightness of finishing a war begun 13 years ago and establishing a beachhead of liberty in the Middle East. I do not believe the administration lied, though I have no doubt they saw what they were looking for in intelligence that wasn’t nearly as black and white as they saw it to be. That is not lying.

    I think it’s masochistic to dwell on the gruesome details of war: why torture yourself? Swimming in blood and guts does nothing to change the strategic realities of the world, and sometimes you have to fight.

    Regardless of whether you believe we should have gone there in the first place, we are there, we must remain there to help assure a transition to liberal democracy, with protection of individual rights, civil society, etc.

    That is what our troops are doing there, and I have no problem with them defending themselves or doing what they have to do to “pacify” the country.

    I believe you can’t see the forest for the trees, that you dwell on the microcosm when the macrocosm is the only rational way to approach the workings of nations and historical movements.

    Perhaps you just feel too deeply. I don’t know, but I have no idea why you would choose this time and place to attack my views on foreign policy, which are just as deeply and adamantly held as yours, in such a personal manner.

    The world is a dangerous, sometimes very ugly and dispiriting place, but I don’t believe the answer lies in ennui and lassitude.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Ennui and lassitude?

    You win. I’m sorry I offended you and that I stepped on your politics.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Craig Lyndall: “Whether you agree or disagree with the action, it is different than China and North Korea.”

    Indeed it is.

    Neither China nor North Korea provide us with oil, and neither is a threat to Israel, so the extremist right represented by the neoconservatives have not had a hard-on for them.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    And neither China or North Korea is in the area that produced terrorists who flew into our buildings.

    I know they don’t have oil, and I know they have more dangerous weapons, etc. assuming that is your next statement. I still think the Middle East represented quite a priority.

    We won’t know who is right until it plays out in the coming years. Have you ever considered that even though you don’t agree with it that Bush’s plan could work out for the best? Nobody is infallible and if you have zero confidence, I would say that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. Right?

    This is what drives me nuts about these conversations. We all go in assuming we are right. None of us are right. We are all probably have a little bit right and a whole bunch wrong.

    How many absolute, black and white, yes and no, right and wrong things have you EVER seen of this magnitude in your life? Mine are still 0 and counting.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Craig Lyndall: “And neither China or North Korea is in the area that produced terrorists who flew into our buildings.”

    That’s kind of a reach, that “in the area that produced…”

    Why not go for the terrorists and, if you want to, the country that produced them (Saudi Arabia)? Going for Iraq is like my favorite drunk joke:

    A drunk is crawling around under a lamp post so a passerby asks him what he’s doing.

    The drunk says: “I dropped my keys in the parking lot over there and I’m looking for them.”

    Passerby: “So why look for them here?”

    Drunk: “The light is better here.”

    The opportunity to press forward on the neocon agenda was better in Iraq than where the terrorist were or where they were produced.

    Despicable.

  • Eric Olsen

    Seriously, Craig is absolutely right here: why the self-righteous emotionalism? Everyone has an opinion and is free to present and defend that position to the best of their ability, but it’s just your opinion and you could be wrong. And so could I. Do you think your depth of feeling makes your opinion more valid or more likely to be “true”? Sorry, it just makes you sound dogmatic.

  • Shark

    re: WE DON’T KNOW IF WE’RE RIGHT —

    Well, Kids, let’s just check the data SO FAR:

    WE WERE RIGHT ON:

    No weapons of mass destruction.

    No cheering crowds with kisses and flowers.

    No oil revenues to pay for occupation.

    No security.

    No U.N. (they left after their top official was killed and said they won’t get involved at current level of anarchy)

    No international support (except for the Coalition of the Bribed, oh wait, Honduras and Spain just pulled out five minutes ago)

    Heavy incremental American casualties from ‘guerrilla’ war in ‘occupied’ territory [see wwII, FFI vs Vichy]

    No consensus by Iraqi citizens.

    No end game to potential civil war.

    No end game to occupation.

    Not enough American troops.

    We created more terrorists than we stopped.

    Another ‘quaqmire.’

    Increased terrorism.

    Increase in expansion and dispersal of terrorist resources.

    We created more instability in the region than we ameliorated (by your own [RJ’s] admissions above, btw: comment #14 and #18)

    ======================

    WE [opponents to Bush’s Blunder] ARE RIGHT ON EVERYTHING SO FAR.

    But I guess we’ll have to *wait to tally up the rest.

    (*prediction: by mid-summer, you’ll be begging to ‘get out’ of Iraq)

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Hal, your emotionalistically-centered arguments, infused with ennui and innuendo, concern us all, and Shark, I must say your lassitude is rarely elegiac, but your torpor is stultifying. Wake up and smell the thesaurus. We got a war to fight here.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Shark, you are missing the point.

    None of those things mean a damn thing in the long run. They affect your sentiment today. Being “right” about those things (although some are still undecided) doesn’t mean that the plan can’t work. All it means is that you don’t like the plan. That has been decidedly answered. There is still no proof that this plan (which many don’t like) will not work.

    Don’t confuse sentiment with success because they are not one in the same. And I would still argue that even the most informed opinions are wrong on a more than regular basis.

    This is why I am tired of spouting. Eventually a point must be made and saying you don’t like something doesn’t make the point that it won’t work.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Being “right” about those things (although some are still undecided) doesn’t mean that the plan can’t work…….There is still no proof that this plan (which many don’t like) will not work.

    Craig, war is not a game, but to use an analogy of one….if you are playing chess, and you’ve lost your knight (support of the U.N.), and you’ve lost your Queen (support of the American people), your Bishop (Middle East anti-American sentiment even higher), etc. you get the point. How many pieces do you need to lose before you decide your strategy isn’t really working for you?

    Granted, your strategy still might work, anything is possible, but as you lose piece after piece, your odds of success exponentially deteroriate until depending on the player (the commander-in-chief), it passes a point where he is unable to successfully win the game, even though another player still might be able to win it, in his shoes.

    Obviously, the only person who would want to continue with a strategy that ultimately leaves nothing but the King, would of course be…the King.

  • JR

    Well, call me superstitious, but I just think that the people who have been wrong more often in the past are more likely to be wrong about the future.

  • Shark

    Craig, I’d say you’re missing the point, because not only do we have all of the recent miscalculations by the Bush Administration, but we have all the historical mistakes made by the British in almost the EXACT SAME SITUATION.

    This isn’t Vietnam; it’s Britain in Iraq, 1920.

    IE.

    WE’VE SEEN ALL THIS BEFORE.

    See:

    Picot – Sykes Argreement, 1916

    Chalabi vs “King Faisal”

    Iraqis refer to 1920 as Am al-Nakha (Year of Catastrophe)

    1920, Iraq: three secret rebel groups form to blow up and assassinate British occupiers:

    1) Jamiyat an Nahda al Islamiya (The League of the Islamic Awakening)
    Members of the Jamiyat

    2) Al Jamiya al Wataniya al Islamiya (The Muslim National League)

    3) Haras al Istiqlal (The Guardians of Independence)

    July to October 1920 – Iraqi uprising: 10,000 casualties; 2,000 British.

    Cost to Brits: 40,000,000 pounds.

    “The desert was alive with Arab raiding parties.”

    British Col. Gerald Leachmen prescribed “wholesale slaughter” of the rebels. (a role taken recently by our own RJ Elliot and Al Barger)

    A Holy War (jihad) was proclaimed against Britain in Karbala.

    Mid-August, 1920: a provisional Arab government was proclaimed by the British.

    A British official wrote at the time: “What we are up against is anarchy plus fanaticism. There is little or no nationalism.”

    HE BLAMED “OUTSIDERS” for the anarchy.

    The Brits were there through the 1950s doing the same ol’ shit we’re doing now.

    And failing.

    =====================

    Seriously, if you haven’t read the history of Iraq (and I doubt that anyone in the Bush cabinet has), then you shouldn’t be debating this issue until you have. (not to mention invading the friggin’ place)

    Some of the “Iraq invasion” supporters statements have word for word equivalents in British officials’ statements from 1920.

    (Which is either sad or funny; I’m not sure which.)

    Bottom Line: We can’t win in Iraq; it’s a bottomless pit, an explicit historic quaqmire for western powers.

    Been there – done that.

    Oh, and did I mention: “You break it, you own it.”

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    You obviously believe your opinions are infallible. I guess there is no longer any sense in debate if that is the case.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    CW Fisher: “Hal, your emotionalistically-centered arguments, infused with ennui and innuendo, concern us all, and Shark, I must say your lassitude is rarely elegiac, but your torpor is stultifying.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Nick Jones

    “If Saddam had WMDs or radioactive materials to begin with and we found them… do you think we’d publicly announce that? (we because I’m military)”

    You mean you’re deliberately holding back on information that would justify everything The Chimp has told us? Gee, don’t you want to see him reelected in November?

    “Of course not… panic would ensue.”

    Man, I’m getting really tired of being told that we “can’t handle the truth”, and that if we heard it we’d fall apart like frightened six year olds.

  • Shark

    Nick: You mean you’re deliberately holding back on information that would justify everything The Chimp has told us?

    ~DOH!

    (good one!)

    CW, from Shark’s (Dada) Dictionary:

    “Lassitude: the psychological pose of an arrogant Collie”

    Fits me!

    Which reminds me: HAL, how ’bout one of them there “GOT TUDE” t-shirts, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal?

  • Shark

    BTW: Apropos of nada:

    I recently suggested (half-jokingly) that an Iraqi history for the lazy might be a viewing of “Lawrence of Arabia”.

    Well, I’ll be darned if Frank Rich didn’t write an essay about L of A -vs- Iraq in Sunday’s NY TIMES.

    (“great minds..” and all that…)

    check it out before it goes to “pay” zone

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    What the world needs now is love, sweet love, so I came up with another MDI, this one involving a dildo strapped to the chin to allow oral interaction. Sort of a nonlethal weapon. $9.99 plus s/h. BC wartime special. Hand that one over to Tek.

  • Eric Olsen

    The right word is the right word and that’s the one I’m going to use.

    “Iraq…quagmire…invading power…learn the lessons of history…”: all the same things were said about Afghanistan, and while not perfect, “history” has not been born out there.

    I don’t believe the administration would have kept it quiet if we had found WMD in Iraq – not unless it’s holding out for an “October Surprise,” and that would be inexcusable.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Eric: “Iraq…quagmire…invading power…learn the lessons of history…”: all the same things were said about Afghanistan, and while not perfect, “history” has not been born out there.

    That’s only true because the administration simply pulled the troops, abandoning the “war on terror” and the people of Afghanistan to follow the neocon agenda of invading Iraq.

    In Afghanistan today, the President is afraid to leave Kabul and doesn’t even appear in public if he can help it – you have to go through three security check-points if you want to see him.

    The country has split into brutal, dangerous fiefdoms of warlords who have turned Afghanistan into the world’s largest opium supplier – they produce 75% of it, and last year earned $2.3 billion (with a ‘b’) with an even bigger crop expected this year.

    Hamid Karai is lonely. He is huddled, as always, deep inside his presidential palace in Kabul, protected by towering stone walls, growling dogs and U.S. bodyguards. Karzai, who out of fear of assassination rarely leaves the palace, asks … [Remember Afghanistan? Time 3/8/04 subscription]

    See also: Afghanistan is not progressing well Pakistan Tribune

    And just for some additional perspective, remember what Richard Perle, “Prince of Darkness,” said on the day after the Bush “Mission Accomplished” photo op? From the official State Department site:

    " Relax, Celebrate Victory," By Richard Perle 2 May 2003

    This byliner by Richard Perle, a member of the Defense Policy Board, first appeared in USA Today May 2 and is in the public domain. No republication restrictions.

    From start to finish, President Bush has led the United States and its coalition partners to the most important military victory since World War II. And like the allied victory over the axis powers, the liberation of Iraq is more than the end of a brutal dictatorship: It is the foundation for a decent, humane government that will represent all the people of Iraq.

    This was a war worth fighting. It ended quickly with few civilian casualties and with little damage to Iraq’s cities, towns or infrastructure. It ended without the Arab world rising up against us, as the war’s critics feared, without the quagmire they predicted, without the heavy losses in house-to-house fighting they warned us to expect. [Richard Perle, American Enterprise Institute site]

    This administration and the neocon agenda are abject failures, internationally and domestically.

    It’s more than time to quit blindly supporting them.

  • Eric Olsen

    If the “blindly supporting the administration” comment is directed at me, allow me to state as forcefully as possible that I am puke sick of hearing it.

    I support nothing and no one “blindly,” I have stated ad nauseum that I disagree with the administration on many domestic issues and that if I do vote for Bush it will be based upon support for the war on terror – in the broadest sense – and will be done with strong trepidation.

    It is the height of patronizing self-regard to assume that one’s own views are reasoned and logical and all others represent the “blind following” of a given dogma.

    Please give it a big, fat, floating, fucking rest. Thanks.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Opposite opinions could be well thought out and logical and both be 50% wrong. Why is it that so many of us think that our opinions are infallible?

    EVERYTHING IS A COMPROMISE. You are not 100% right. You are not 100% wrong. If you think you are 100% right without giving yourself any margin for your own inevitable error, you are an extremist.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Eric: my comment was directed at those who blindly support the neocon agenda, and there are far too many of those, some of whom are seen on this very site.

    Copying material from a neocon site without questioning it, as Judy Woodruff on CNN does all the time, is “blindly supporting.”

    Claiming that opponents are irrational if they don’t agree is “blindly supporting.”

    Accepting that Afghanistan has been a huge success in the face of the evidence is “blindly supporting” (a partial success, yes, but …).

  • Shark

    “Iraq…quagmire…invading power…learn the lessons of history…”: all the same things were said about Afghanistan, and while not perfect, “history” has not been born out there.

    Afghanistan is a big, fat, floating, fucking disaster.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Uff. I had one of those this morning.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Despite the shreiking of the throw-in-the-towel bunch:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/04/21/MNGC468FG41.DTL

    AND

    http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1845548

    AND

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/polls/2004-04-19-gallup-poll_x.htm

    AND

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-04-20-cover-poll_x.htm

    In a democratic country, the majority decides. Right now, despite the endless carping of the defeatists, the majority is still supportive of winning the war, rather than slinking away with our tail between our legs.

    Sorry, fellas. You’ll have to shreik a lil’ louder…

    ;-]

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. April 15-18, 2004. N=1,201 adults nationwide
    4/15-18/04:

    "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

    Appprove: 45% Disapprove: 54%

    "Again thinking about the goals versus the costs of the war, so far in your opinion has there been an acceptable or unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq?"

    Acceptable: 33% Unacceptable: 65%

    "Do you think the Bush Administration does or does not have a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq?"

    Does: 45% Does not: 53%

    "Do you think the United States has gotten bogged down in Iraq, or do you think the United States is making good progress in Iraq?

    Bogged down: 59% Good progress 41%

    Shriek!

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Hal:

    I’ll let your typo slide. I make enough of them myself. ;-]

    But you gotta admit, even though those number are less-than-positive for the President, he’s still winning the day in re-election polls, despite the horrid month he’s had. That’s because most Americans don’t trust Kerry with Iraq. And most Americans want to actually win in Iraq.

    The Left only wins if…

    – More US troops die wholesale

    – Lunatic Muslims gain greater control in Iraq

    – More Coalition members pull out

    – The US pulls out of Iraq

    – Terrorism makes advances worldwide

    The Right wins if…

    – Iraq becomes a peaceful, pro-Western proto-democracy

    – Terrorism is dealt a major blow

    – Osama is caught

    – No attacks on the “Homeland” occur

    – The Coalition sticks together

    – The US remains in Iraq

    – Few American troops die in the future

    And guess what your side is rooting for?

    Sick…

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    A totally false characterization of the left/right case, RJ, just as in your other hypotheticals.

    Besides which, that’s not the issue.

  • boomcrashbaby

    RJ, you equated the goals of the Left with the goals of terrorists. If people truly believe those are the things that liberals want, then this paranoia of the Right I keep hearing of, is far worse than imagined. Liberals do not want war, or terrorism making advances. Let’s not forget who the enemy is, or transpose our definition of terrorist onto those who disagree with our ideology.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    The real issue is whether or not we should have gone there in the first place.

    We went there. Bush wanted to go there. Both Houses of Congress wanted to go there. WE VOTE FOR ALL THESE PEOPLE! In other words, in our democratic political system, we voted to go there.

    We are now there.

    Now what?

    Tough it out, make the best of a lousy situation, try to do the best we possibly can?

    OR

    Pull out with our tail betwen our legs, allow drooling Muslim fundamentalists to take over, and release Saddam?

    Which one, Hal?

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    BCB:

    Which side benefits from American defeats in Iraq? Bush, or those who hate him?

  • boomcrashbaby

    Which side benefits from American defeats in Iraq?

    Al Queda benefits.

    Bush, or those who hate him?

    Neither. How can those who hate him benefit if we lose a war on terror? If we lose a war on terror, we all lose, RJ.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    That’s exactly my point, BCB…

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    The Left wants to beat Bush more than they want to defeat terror.

    They oppose Bush on Gitmo

    They oppose Bush on the Patriot Act

    They oppose Bush in Iraq

    Some opposed Bush in Afghanistan

    They want Bush to lose in November

    The best way to get Bush out of office is to hope for more chaos in Iraq, and a major attack here at home.

    The Left has placed themselves in a position in which they are absolutely gleeful when events are disconcerting in Iraq. They love this. They view this as “see-I-told-you-so.”

    I’m not saying individual Leftists neccesarily hope for more dead Americans in Iraq (although some do). But their ideological position is bolstered by such events.

    These same types dislike positive economic news at home. These same types love to view the biased “slaughters” of al-Jazerra. These people WANT US TO LOSE!

    Sorry if that comes as a shock to you. But it’s true. The hard-core Left wants the US to sink into the sands of Iraq, because that is what they predicted. It is far better, in their minds, to be “right” and see Americans die, than to be “wrong” and see Americans live to bring peace and civilization and democracy to all Iraqis.

  • Shark

    Elliot: “The Left wants to beat Bush more than they want to defeat terror.”

    Yeah we do — and don’t look now, but ‘we’ve’ got a U-Haul parked outside of your holding cell at Bellvue Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

    (We figure it’ll be ‘one less moron’.)

    RJ, at what point do you line up the “liberals” for “delousing showers”?

    — or “Relocation” camps?

  • Bernard

    Predicting something and wanting it to happen are not the same thing.

    And yes, there are idiots on the left side of the fence. Neoconservatism is not the homeground of sanity on the right though. Where does your remarkable insight in the left wing mindset come from anyway? The dummy’s guide on polarisation?

    Better watch it, next you will be equating pacifism with evildoing and telling me that diplomacy is the source of all evil.

    At least we don’t elect our idiots to be president or gouvernor. We send them to far away places to wear funny hoods and scarves and protest globalisation.

  • Shark

    According to RJ Elliot:

    “The Right wins if…”

    – Iraq becomes a peaceful, pro-Western proto-democracy
    (Good luck; you’ll be lucky to get a nutbar theocracy minus a civil war)

    – Terrorism is dealt a major blow
    Then invade Afghanistan, whoops, we already did!)

    – Osama is caught
    (No effect on ‘war’ on terror)

    – No attacks on the “Homeland” occur
    (I wonder if Bush and Co. pray nightly for another poll-boosting, blank-check writing 9/11?)

    – The Coalition sticks together
    (“The Coalition” — hah; that’s like calling the Olsen Twins a “horde” of young girls)

    – The US remains in Iraq
    (We’ll be there for decades, RJ. You can ‘take that to the bank’)

    – Few American troops die in the future
    (we’re averaging 5.35 DEAD AMERICANS DAILY for the month of April 04)

    And tell us again, RJ:

    You aren’t fighting in Iraq for what reason?

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Once again, RJ, a false dichotomy. You also use “prejudicial language” in setting up the second choice, which could also be considered an implicit “straw man.”

    The fallacy of false dichotomy is committed when the arguer claims that his conclusion is one of only two options, when in fact there are other possibilities. The arguer then goes on to show that the ‘only other option’ is clearly outrageous, and so his preferred conclusion must be embraced.

    Prejudicial language: Loaded or emotive terms are used to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition.

    The straw man fallacy is when you misrepresent someone else’s position so that it can be attacked more easily, knock down that misrepresented position, then conclude that the original position has been demolished. It’s a fallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that have been made.

    There seems to a lot of all of the above going on around here, making it more difficult to have a productive discussion.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    RJ: The Left wants to beat Bush more than they want to defeat terror.

    The lack of clear thinking or partisanship behind a statement like that is frightening.

    Wow.

    Faith and fixations are not to be argued with.

    Bye, RJ.

  • JR

    The Left wants to beat Bush more than they want to defeat terror.

    Some of us don’t believe you can do one without the other.

  • boomcrashbaby

    They oppose Bush on Gitmo

    RJ, this type of reasoning is why you equate the goals of the Left with the goals of terrorists? What does ‘oppose Bush on Gitmo’ mean to you? It’s an awfully vague statement. Does it mean they oppose how Bush is handling Gitmo prisoners, or does it mean they oppose the concept of Gitmo completely? Or a third ideal? It’s too vague and doesn’t mean anything presented like this.

    There are many innocent people being held prisoner for more than two years without due process of law. Opposing THAT does not equate with ‘wanting terrorists to be freed’. How can we convince the muslim world that our values of freedom are so dear to us when we don’t follow them ourselves? They see the hypocrisy even if middle America can’t. Granted, in times of war, there are abuses of rights as nations have to go about defending themselves, however it can’t continue indefinitely, several years should already be plenty of time for the biggest superpower in the world to at least begin the legal process that it’s prisoners should be subject to, probably according to international law. Someone can be opposed to what Bush is doing in Gitmo (or not doing, as the case may be), and still not be for terrorists!

    They oppose Bush on the Patriot Act

    It doesn’t mean they want terrorists to win. It means we want to defeat terrorism without losing our freedoms. If we have to give up our freedoms to defeat terrorism, then we lost the war.

    They oppose Bush in Iraq

    Another vague statement. Some people want the U.S. to pull out completely, others didn’t want us there to begin with, but now that we are there, they realize we have to finish the job, but they can still be opposed to the war ever taking place to begin with. In either case, it DOES NOT equate with wanting terrorists to succeed.

    The best way to get Bush out of office is to hope for more chaos in Iraq, and a major attack here at home.

    Actually, I think the best way for Bush to get out of office is for Kerry to define himself to the American public. And I hope he’s able to achieve that soon.

    The Left has placed themselves in a position in which they are absolutely gleeful when events are disconcerting in Iraq. They love this. They view this as “see-I-told-you-so.”

    What ‘Left’ are you referring to in general? Being in a position of ‘I told you so’ does not mean one takes glee from it. When I have to tell my daughter ‘don’t do that or you’ll hurt yourself’ and she does it anyway, I don’t get any glee from saying ‘I told you so’.

    I’m not saying individual Leftists neccesarily hope for more dead Americans in Iraq (although some do). But their ideological position is bolstered by such events.
    These same types dislike positive economic news at home. These same types love to view the biased “slaughters” of al-Jazerra. These people WANT US TO LOSE!

    RJ, I don’t plant the ideologies of Fred Phelps or people who believe homosexuality can be cured by electroshock therapy onto the entire conservative movement. There are extremists on both sides. As for using the war for political purposes, the President is basing the bulk of his reelection campaign on HIS way of defeating terror. So he can use terrorism for a political platform but not others? HOW to combat terror is just as much a political issue as jobs or health care.

    It is far better, in their minds, to be “right” and see Americans die, than to be “wrong” and see Americans live to bring peace and civilization and democracy to all Iraqis.

    You consistently boil this down to Bush vs. terrorists with no alternative. It’s not a ‘Bush’s way or terrorists win’ world, RJ.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Taking Iraq was never about terrorism. To argue the war on the basis of terrorism is to score one for Bush. And terrorism. Because while we argue, they’re doing push-ups.

    It bears repeating, because it’s so easy to forget: The taking of Iraq was never about terrorism, never about 9/11, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or the disruption of future terrorist plots against America.

    Iraq is about real estate and spoils.

    Iraq is NOT about spreading “democracy,” unless democracy is defined as “winking capitalism.”

    Does anyone dispute the enormous disadvantage our military has now that Iraq has, as a result of Bush’s actions, turned into a terrorist war? It’s ironic how easy it is to pick out from the crowd a guy in camouflage.

    If you want to take a country, you send the military. If you want to defeat a terror cell, you infiltrate and defeat it from within.

    The reason America’s military is so ineffective is because our president has misunderstood its proper use. Worse, nobody told this guy no.

    This is the real crime. The congress was lied to by the president, who hijacked the military. We marched to Baghdad and took it. Bush declared the war over, then talked of winning the peace, which sounded reasonable to most, but then he needed $87 billion for the first year. And Congress, for God knows what reason, thought they had to make a quick decision.

    It was a race. In record time, without looking at the facts or considering the consequences, congress said yes.

    We are all complicit now. This is why the “left” is screaming bloody murder now. Because we should have screamed when Bush was in the flight suit on the boat, but we were distracted by the silly costume and the “Mission Accomplished” sign that Karl Rove recently said he regretted — once again — and reminded us that it was a banner commemorating the boat’s 40th mission, a claim that was disproved shortly after he said it the first time.

    RJ is doing us all a great service by defining the mindset of those lined up behind this president. But what bothers me is how set we’ve all become in our stands. There is an awful lot of personal pride involved in the pruning of one’s position.

    All I see is a war on terror that is being ignored while we debate lesser issues.

    If George Bush were secretly working for Chalabi, his strategies would begin to make sense. But for America, they make zero sense.

    We, as a nation, need to reexamine the true lessons of Vietnam. The same issues remain:

    1) American presidents have too much power to wage war and maneuver around our system of checks and balances

    2) Our intelligence agencies will continue to fail as long as they are scattered, secretive and scared of computers

    3) Our military needs new leadership that can make the quantum leap required to reinvent modern warfare as it’s being fought by our enemies

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    CW, that’s so cogent it needs wider distribution. As a start, go here and near the bottom select “Freedom” writer.

    This site is mostly right-wingies, but seem to permit opposing viewpoints. After submitting here, I’ve found my materials through news.google.com (in a couple of days).

    There are probably other places.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    “You wanna really defend me and give an oppressed people democracy? Invade the FUCKING *WHITE HOUSE.

    Or *Florida.

    Or *Saudi Arabia.

    * Axis of Evil”

    Amen to this.

    Truth can be found in RJ’s statement above: “This is not about democracy.” Yes. That’s what we have been saying all along. Shame on the terrorists, be they Iraqi, Saudi, or American, and on those who support any or all of them.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Thanks, Hal. Very helpful. Hi, Natilie. Love your stuff.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Thanks, Hal. Very helpful. Hi, Natalie. Love your stuff.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Sorry about that, Natalie. Say, Hal… is your last name “2000?”

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    CW: No, but my first name is actually IBM.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    HAL: IBM too.

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    No people can be oppressed indefinitely. Just ask the ancient Romans. Bottom line is it is up to the Iraqis for self determination. Too bad they just happen to sit on nature’s third largest oil supply. Hmmm.

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Taking Iraq was never about terrorism. To argue the war on the basis of terrorism is to score one for Bush. And terrorism. Because while we argue, they’re doing push-ups.

    In their caves? “How many bats can you now bench-press, Abdullah?”

    Iraq is about real estate and spoils.

    What “spoils” are these?

    Oil? Nope. Gas prices are higher now than before the war.

    Electoral “Spoils”? Nope. Bush’s poll numbers are lower now than before the invasion of Iraq. It was highly risky for him, politically, to go through with the Iraqi liberation.

    American Imperialism? Nope. We are going to hand over sovereignty very soon.

    Increased National Wealth? Nope. We are spending scores of billions of dollars in Iraq. It’s a net-loss, financially.

    No, I believe (as do most) that Iraq was about a perceived threat from WMDs, as well as an attempt to finally be rid of the problem of Hussein. And an attempt to establish a quasi-democratic beachhead in the Middle East. And to liberate 25 million people.

    I see no “spoils” being handed out in this war, except to the majority of Iraqis who aren’t part of the insurgency.

    This is the real crime. The congress was lied to by the president

    That’s quite a charge. Can you back it up?

    All I see is a war on terror that is being ignored while we debate lesser issues.

    Yeah, Iraq is a “lesser issue.” No terrorists there!

    American presidents have too much power to wage war and maneuver around our system of checks and balances

    The Congress (both Houses!) supported this military action. So much for “maneuver[ing] around our system of checks and balances”…

    Our intelligence agencies will continue to fail as long as they are scattered, secretive and scared of computers

    Our intelligence failed due to an over-reliance on computers, and satellites, and the like. And not enough human intelligence on the ground.

    Our military needs new leadership that can make the quantum leap required to reinvent modern warfare as it’s being fought by our enemies

    I don’t view suicide bombers and kidnappers as “modern warriors.” They are barbaric, illiterate savages.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Oh yeah?

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Yeah!

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Iraq is about real estate and spoils.

    Yes – and more.

    Wolfowitz said that the Iraqi oil would pay for reconstruction. In 1992 he and Scooter Libby (now Cheney’s chief of staff), both working for Secretary of Defense Cheney at the time, wrote a secret Defense Department plan that included the need for the West to control the oil as national policy. In 1996 Perle, Feith and a band of neoconservative brothers wrote a foreign policy statement for Israel calling for the removal of Saddam. Hard-right Israeli prime minister Netanyahu then tried to get the American congress to buy into that policy. That failed, so a larger group of neocons (Project for the New American Century) wrote to Clinton asking for an attack on Iraq. That failed, so through Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich they got Congress to pass the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. What the heck is a neocon – Part I

    The higher gas prices are Bush’s fault.

    They are a result of the Bush deficit, created by pushing tax cut after tax cut after tax cut in the face of a worsening and worsening and worsening economy. The huge deficit has driven the value of the dollar down against other major currencies, and OPEC has simply re-priced oil to keep its value constant as the dollar drops. The proof is in the fact that while the price of crude in America has gone up 38%, the price in Europe has gone up only 4%.

    American Imperialism? Nope. We are going to hand over sovereignty very soon.

    Actually, we’re not.

    It’s pseudo-sovereignty, with the US still maintaining control of the government. Negroponte and his 3,000 person “embassy” are meant to be the mechanism. If we’re lucky, Chalabi, the Iranian clerics and other foreigners (in Iraqi eyes) currently making up the governing council will be removed from power and replaced by Iraqis with legitimacy in Iraqi eyes, but tit doesn’t look likely at the moment.

    Increased National Wealth? Nope. We are spending scores of billions of dollars in Iraq. It’s a net-loss, financially.

    That’s the current fact; the pre-invasion promise was otherwise.

    Before the invasion, Wolfowitz and the other neocons were telling us that by now we would have only 30,000 troops in-country and Iraq oil would be covering reconstruction costs.

    Yeah, Iraq is a "lesser issue." No terrorists there!

    There are now; there weren’t before the neocon invasion.

    The Congress (both Houses!) supported this military action. So much for "maneuver[ing] around our system of checks and balances"…

    The Republican-dominated Congress was lied to in order to get the votes of those Republicans and Democrats who were not behind the neocon agenda. They’re starting to wake up, on both sides of the aisle.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    HAL, you never fail to learn me something new. Excellent job. If we could get RJ to pitch and you to hit, we could put together one helluva 7th inning stretch for the minors. It’s time to re-read your series What the Heck is a Neocon.

    RJ, you have a talent for the provocative. You can really stir a fevered reaction from people. I may disagree (currently) with your politics, but I don’t disrespect your gifts. I’m thinking of your self-mutilation piece, which is quite old but still attracting commentary. All you did was raise the subject, but the intensity of the response showed me you know how to hit the nerve. I admire this skill because I don’t have it. I pass this along now because I sense you need to hear something good. When you take a stand, as you have here, there’s always a risk you’ll stand alone, and that’s hard. Not that you ARE alone — there are plenty of conservatives out there. They just haven’t been rallying around your defense lately, probably because we’re lost in the deep woods of comments. Anyway. Take heart, RJ. We love you. I do read your blog, and furthermore I’m entertained. It’s only politics, as I know you know, and HAL is just better than all of us combined. When you have Hal on one side and Shark on the other, you’re going to get pinched.

    Don’t worry. Jim Carruthers has invited us all to his place in Canada, where Republicans and Democrats are only rumors, and the women are all busty and lusty and coming at you with hot cocoa.

    Curt

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “It’s time to re-read your series What the heck is a Neocon.

    Feel free to link to it on your site, and pass the link around to friends, acquaintances and Republicans :-)

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    CW and RJ: I recommend a collaboration. RJ comes up with the storyline and CW writes it. I believe we have the making of another Lennon and McCartney, Sigmund and Roy…

    I’ll be your agent. What say you?

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    Keep puffin, daddyO

  • http://www.blogblokecom Bb

    Sorry Doby, but I don’t smoke.

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    RE:Comment #115. Sigmund and Roy,huh?
    You better not tell Siegfried …..

  • http://www.blogbloke.com BB

    Call me Ziggy, or… whatever.

  • Shark

    CW: “It’s ironic how easy it is to pick out from the crowd a guy in camouflage.

    Boy, do I have a solution!

    BTW: I made this ‘art work’ 18 MONTHS ago.

    Is Shark psychic or whut?!

  • MCH

    “The right wins if few American troops die in the future.”
    – R. J. (Bobby) Elliott

    from Honor the Fallen:
    “Army Sgt. Jessica M. Housby, 23, of Rock Island, Ill., assigned to the 1644th Transportation Company, Illinois Army National Guard, was killed Feb. 9, 2005, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her convoy in Route Golden, Iraq.”
    (www.miltarycity.com/valor)

    A 2000 graduate of Rock Island High School, this beautiful, courageous young woman enlisted in the armed forces because she believed that actions speak louder than words. There have been over 35 U.S. military females killed in Iraq since the invasion.

    Mrs. Deborah Bundy, Jessica’s mother, is not happy with president Bush after losing her only daughter. “He (GW) does not realize what these parents have to go through for their loved ones,” Mrs. Bundy said, adding that she wishes GW’s daughters had to go to Iraq. “I think what he’s doing is all wrong. Our troops do not belong there.”
    (www.pigstye.net/iraq/article.php/HousbyJessica)

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