Animals

The depravity of our enemy knows no bounds. While traditional media continuously focus on isolated American crimes at Abu Ghraib or perceived Politically Correct slights such as the phantom Koran flushing at Gitmo or the burning of Taliban bodies in Afghanistan, our enemy is time and time again issued a pass for their heinous crimes.

The latest glossed-over crimes by al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents occurred in the city of Tal Afar. Stryker Brigade News reprints a depressing press release from Task Force Freedom. Excerpted:

… bodies of 14 people buried in a shallow grave just east of the city Friday. Twelve of the corpses were bound and appear to have been shot in the head execution style while two others were decapitated…Terrorists used the city to train mortar teams, and then conducted attacks against innocent civilians…two girls aged 9 and 11 were injured when two mortar rounds impacted in front of their house as they played outside…terrorists in Tall Afar have used boys and women to conduct attacks against security forces and the people of Tall Afar… In the past month, four other incidents of boys from age 10-12 conducting attacks have occurred… In a chilling confession, one boy who Iraqi Police captured during the heavy fighting in September admitted to murdering people and even helping hold the feet of others while the older terrorists beheaded them. He had been sodomized and brain-washed by the terrorists.

This is not merely an isolated incident. In Kirkuk, children as also used as suicide bombers; “A child thought to be just ten years old, wearing an explosives belt, has died in a roadside explosion at the al-Qods intersection…”

The exploitation of children should offend the sensibilities of any civilized person. There is no proper punishment on this earth for those who treat children as tools of terror. As we have seen in the past, the mentally disabled are used for such disgusting purposes, such as pressing a child with Downs Syndrome to act as a suicide bomber. The practice continues in Tal Afar.

Recently, a young boy with a learning disability was coerced into throwing hand grenades at local citizens and Iraqi Security Forces. US Soldiers captured the boy who led them to a 60 year old man who instigated the attack. The man was captured and US forces are working with Iraqi officials to find foster care for the boy.

In late September, a woman believed to be in her early twenties and also mentally impaired, detonated an explosive belt killing herself and seven other innocent Iraqis including one child.

Anyone who knows children with disabilities knows these are the most gentle and innocent citizens deserving of our kindness and compassion. To the animals known as al Qaeda and often referred to in such glowing terms as “freedom fighters” and “the resistance” , they are chattel, tools to sow death and destruction.

The media glosses over such crimes against humanity, and in doing so provides the enemy of civilization an opportunity to conduct their terror war without being held accountable for their actions. Information such as the exploitation and brutality against children and the disabled is suppressed or placed on page A-25.

Those of us with a moral compass are disgusted, to say the least.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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118 Comments

  • Nick Rizzuto says:

    This isn’t surprising. Our media wants America to retreat from Iraq with our tail between our legs. They follow a guideline:
    1 Maximize the enemies effect by focusing on negative news.
    2 Provide no context to American casualty reports, simply report a number.
    3 Whitewash the enemy by using soft terms like insurgent.
    4 Inflame anti-americanism through hyping American crimes (the actions at Abu Ghraib become an attrocity while mass graves go unreported) and allowing phony stories like the USA today piece on Koran flushing to be published.
    This is no longer journalism. The media has to be considered the enemy at this point unless they prove themselves otherwise. Unfortunately the wartime media was the greatest casualty of Vietnam. It severely limits our ability to fight, having willfully become a tool of our enemies.

  • Nick Rizzuto says:

    Might I add that this is why you Bill, in my humble opinion, have become one of the most important journalists covering this war.

  • Justin Capone says:

    What has happened is the media has decided this is an elective war. So that any crime the Baathists or Jihadists commit is Bush’s fault. That way when a Jihadist blows up women and children it is our fault for being their not their fault for chosing to kill women and children.
    The media has simply decided that the War on Terror is not important to win. The media and the public will be woken up again. But, it will only be after a major strike in a Western country.
    Zarqawi has held his hand for some time, because he is well aware that the US public and media is turning against the war in Iraq and is most apathetic about the War on Terror in general. But, eventually his trigger finger will get too itchy and he will order a big attack in Europe. Italy is the country I most worry about right now, especially given the upcoming Italian election next year.

  • Robert says:

    Why the mainstream media glosses over our enemies crimes is the question that needs to be asked. What purpose are they serving … who’s pulling their strings. It has to be more than just Bush bashing.

  • Dave From Chicago says:

    Has anyone here bought some Iraqi Dinar from that website advertised on Bill’s site? I was thinking about it but wanted to check with you guys to see if it wasn’t some scam.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Robert, its all about ratings.
    The media sees no obligation for it to root for this war so they only focus on events that are shocking. The enemy being bad is considered by the media to be a dog bies man story. But, any hint of actions by US soldiers that might be unproper is seen as a man bies dog story.

  • Mark Spittle says:

    I hadn’t realized that waging two full-blown wars against terrorists — Afghanistan and Iraq — constituted “issuing a pass for their heinous crimes.”
    What’s the weather like on your planet?

  • Justin Capone says:

    Mark Spittle,
    Maybe, you didn’t read what I said all that closely, but I said that is what the media thinks. What the media thinks and reality are not the same thing.

  • madmatt says:

    Or we could look at it this way: how many airstrikes have Iraqis called in on US forces? How many have US forces called in on civilians? No cheating remember there was not a single Iraqi involved in 9-11

  • Mark Spittle says:

    I wasn’t commenting on your post, Justin. I was commenting on Roggio’s ludicrous assertion.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Mark,
    The only thing that is ludicrous here is your statement. The media did not wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public did. So, explain to me why we hear about Abu Ghraib non-stop, but the use of disable children as suicide machines is glossed over? By the media, mind you.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Oh, and Mark, in case you can’t comprehend what you read, which I strongly suspect is the case, I’ll repost it for you. And if you still can’t understand, here’s a hint, look at the text in bold.
    While traditional media continuously focus on isolated American crimes at Abu Ghraib or perceived Politically Correct slights such as the phantom Koran flushing at Gitmo or the burning of Taliban bodies in Afghanistan, our enemy is time and time again issued a pass for their heinous crimes.”
    Does that help?

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    Let us salute our noble savages…fine young cannibals.
    Great work Bill.

  • Jamison1 says:

    Here’s another good article that came out today:
    Iraq, Unplugged by: Michael Rubin (who spent 17 months outside the wire in Iraq).
    Democracy and reconstruction are processes. Progress is slow, but to those who know Iraq, it is there. Iraqis criticize certain Washington decisions and embassy strategy. Few, though, see any merits in abandonment.
    In both Washington and Baghdad, administrations will come and go. Scandals will happen. Prosecutors will demand accountability. Courts will rule. The innocent get exonerated, and the guilty pay a price. In no case, though, should Iraq be treated a template for cynical politics. Twenty-five million Iraqis deserve better. So do U.S. servicemen taking extraordinary risks, more than 2,000 making the ultimate sacrifice, not only for Iraq’s freedom and liberty, but also U.S. national security. For those to whom inside-the-Beltway games are paramount, some serious soul searching is in order.
    Read the rest:
    //www.nationalreview.com/rubin/rubin200511010821.asp

  • ike says:

    Bill,
    He has a liberal truth filter around his head. It’s not worth trying to penetrate it.

  • vuc says:

    Nick Rizzutto:
    “the media has to be considered the enemy at this point”
    Joe Stalin would agree with you

  • ike says:

    Sorry Bill, it is worth trying. Let him have it.

  • hamidreza says:

    madmatt: How many have US forces called in on civilians? No cheating remember there was not a single Iraqi involved in 9-11
    There is no evidence that US calls air strikes on civilians. If by this you mean what that hospital director is saying, then where are the pictures to back up his lies? And what makes you think that women cannot be terrorists. The manner in which the terrorists endanger children, using them as protection in a combat zone, is also legendary.
    Invasion of Iraq is not a revenge attack. Iraq was invaded because the Iraqi people lacked sovereignty and were enslaved by a totalitarian regime.

  • Matthew says:

    Actually vuc,
    Stalin would have called our media, in Lenin’s own words “our useful idiots.”

  • bindare4u says:

    Anybody remember who the idiot congressman or senator it was who said, the “insuegents” were Iraq’s freedom fighters. I would like to send him a copy of Bill’s excellent post. Not that it would do any good though, as facts only confuse them.

  • Nick Rizzuto says:

    Vuc,
    I’ve actually studied Stalin extensively. Care to quote him?
    Or did saying that Stalin would agree with me just seem like the witty thing to say at the time? A soundbite in lue of a cohesive argument might get a round of applause on Real Time with Bill Mahr, but doesnt work in reality.

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    If there is a message here, I think it goes something like this, ‘If you attack our allies and we bomb you to smithereens, maneuver you into a corner and receive you capitulation, oh thee who has not the honor of men, we will come to your palace, knock on the door not twice, and drag your unruly carcass into the street by the nap of the neck’.
    Justice will be done. Do what you will to please the ‘sick’ media and their useful idiots, but in the end, men with guns are coming, and boy are they pissed.

  • blert says:

    bindare4u
    You’re referring to Mr. Moore. And he is no politician.

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.

    Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

    Print is the sharpest and the strongest weapon of our party.
    Uncle Joe

  • JRI says:

    “our enemy is time and time again issued a pass for their heinous crimes. ”
    Yeah! Why DID Bush let up on Bin Laden?

  • hamidreza says:

    Annoy Mouse: Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
    Nah – too cynical and Machiavellian for me. I still think there is such a thing as an enlightened and liberal education.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    JRI,
    “Why DID Bush let up on Bin Laden?”
    IMHO, because Bin Laden is in the Western Mountains of China and the US is unwilling to trade Taiwan or Chinese help on the North Korean issue for Bin Laden.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    JRI, madmatt, and Mark Spittle are all unable to discern the difference between a political opponent and the enemies of civilization. For them they are one in the same.
    Snarky comments and finger pointing do not make up for the fact that al Qaeda gladly uses children and the mentally disabled to kill and maim.
    Shame on you all.
    You have no understanding of the horror that awaits us if we yield to these animals. If they cannot respect the most innocent, they will eat you alive.
    Shame on you.

  • The Raven says:

    I don’t think the media is in the business of “handing out passes” or anything of the sort. When Islamic kidnappers cut off somebody’s head, or bomb a bunch of kids, or do anything else, it generally winds up in the record. We get these stories constantly, and not just from Iraq but from totalitarian regimes everywhere.
    I think what the owner of this blog is trying to say is that while there is reportage of atrocities committed by non-Americans, the tone of such reporting lacks a certain shrill fervor that would satisfy his neoconservative leanings.
    The view from this desk is that I more or less expect Islamic militants (and governments for that matter) to behave badly. I anticipate that they flog people in public, chop off body parts, treat women worse than chattle, promote systemic corruption, and so forth. This is who they are and that is what they do. I don’t approve of any of it, but it doesn’t surprise or shock me, either.
    Abu Ghraib is the tip of an archipelago of detention centers that stretch from Gitmo to the ‘stans in east Asia. Then we have the unmarked Gulfstreams outsourcing the really apalling stuff. Then we have people like Padilla being held without charges and unable to view whatever evidence is levied against them. Then we have the Patriot Act and its abuses. These are things I do not expect from my government, and these are things I do not want my tax dollars spent upon. They do surprise and shock me and I very much want to know about them.
    Senator McCain put it very nicely when he noted recently that the behavior of our enemies is not the benchmark by which we judge ourselves. It is our own ideals and principles that we use as a guide, and when our government strays from that standard each and every one of us is threatened comensurately. Thank God our toothless media still manages to produce a feeble whimper every now and then.

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    Abu Ghraib was in no way a proud moment in our republic. But if you have people, you’re going to have problems now in then. It is a sad state of affairs that we could not met out the appropriate remedy without airing our dirty laundry to the rest of the world and to embolden those who would murder children in the name of a vengeful and merciless god. That those who perpetrated these crimes are rotting in jail right now shows that in America, justice will be done.
    For those of you who consider yourselves to be up holders of justice, the social vigilantes of the world, whose purpose is to protect the world from the evil tyranny of the United States of America, please consider that your absence of protest against the most heinous crimes in the world only serves to perpetuate them. You must be very proud of yourselves.
    Who you gonna call?

  • joshowitz says:

    “an opportunity to conduct their terror war without being held accountable for their actions.”
    I would call a Global War on Terror being held accountable for their actions.
    But you know, calling out others’ evils to lessen another’s is a poor parlor trick. Besides, you’re lucky the article is in the paper at all. You do realize how much about Iraq and Afghanistan don’t get into the papers or on the TV at all, right?
    I’m all for those stories making top headlines, as long as it doesn’t bump things off the front page like our own government officials (people we have control over, unlike terrorists a world away) doing immoral, unethical and illegal things.
    Maybe a good compromise would be, for every mention of Abu Ghraib, GITMO, or the atrocities in Afghanistan the news is forced to balance the story with one about terrorists doing something worse. Of course, that would require a law or something to keep news agencies fair, like the one Reagan got rid of in the ’80s.
    If you voted for Reagan, you can’t complain about media’s bias. There was a law on the books protecting against bias, and Reagan struck it down. So, the question of what is in papers or where is moot.

  • Tom W. says:

    How many of the prisoners released from Gitmo have subsequently been killed or recaptured on the battlefield?
    Also, what if someone in Gitmo knows about a plot to smuggle a nuke into the country, but we don’t get the information because we take Senator McCain’s moral high ground? If the nuke plot is carried out, what have we gained other than the satisfaction of knowing that we didn’t descend to the terrorists’ level?
    Raven, are you willing to sacrifice your city to a nuke in order to maintain the moral high ground?

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    News does not happen, it is created. What is brought to the foreground and highlighted is itself a form of commentary.
    As far as Abu Ghraib is concerned, if I had anything to do with it, panties would not enter into the equation. Are you familiar with the term ‘decimate’?
    Wiki, Decimation:
    “Literally meaning “removal of a tenth,” this punishment was assigned to mutinous or cowardly soldiers. Those selected for punishment were divided into groups of ten; each group cast lots, and the soldier on whom the lot fell was executed by his nine comrades, often by stoning or clubbing.”

  • Jim, Mtn View, CA says:

    Dems: Quick! Make America turn tail before Pres Bush gets any credit for winning the war in Iraq.
    “Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that President Bush used in the run-up to the war in Iraq and accusing Republicans of ignoring the issue. “They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why,” Democratic leader Harry Reid said.”

  • Nonserviam says:

    You don’t get it. Al Queda is reprehensible and commits horrid acts. Some Americans wish to make sure we do not behave in the same way by killing innocents, torturing people, etc
    This administration seems hell-bent on besmirching the American dignity and honor with the kinds of tactics he endorses.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    Spittle, vuc, et al,
    Are you actually so blind that you can’t see the fact that the MSM is drastically misrepresenting events in Iraq and Afghanistan, by what they report, what they don’t report, context, what page it is put on in the paper, etc?

  • Justin Capone says:

    Nonserviam, when has the US ever sanctioned torture? If you believe that having prisoners sexually abuse each other was US military sanctioned actions then there is no hope to even talk about this with you.
    But, of course this is totally political as it is with most democracts. I am not a republican or a democrat, but I can say without hesitation that most dems don’t care at all about the War on Terror and just see Iraq and other issues as weapons either benifit or hurt the opposition.

  • hamidreza says:

    Raven – fair enough. But …
    Abu Ghraib is the tip of an archipelago of detention centers that stretch from Gitmo to the ‘stans in east Asia.
    The ‘stans’ are in CENTRAL asia. Could you be more specific. Where are these “detention centers in the stans”? Islam Karimov the dictator of Uzbekistan just shut down one (of two) US bases in all of central asia and declared the US persona non grata, because the US protested the Ferqana valley massacre (which BTW was instigated by Jihadists).

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Bill and his acolytes here seem comfortable talking about “The Enemy” as a monolithic, corporate entity: every crime committed in response to the US occupation of Iraq (always stripped of political and military context in its presentation), is credited as representing the philosophy and morality of that seemless, hive-minded, super-organised and centrally controlled fiction of al-Qaeda. The crimes of US occupiers, by contrast, if not largely ignored or even dismissed outright, are forgiven as either rogue actions of individuals or, through a variety of slippery arguments, as not representative of the US govt, the military, America, or Christianity. In other words, for these would-be analysts, any random “terrorist” act — indeed, anything bad that happens in Iraq that can be attributed to non-coalition actions — reveals important things about the essential evils of Islam and the depravity of those who oppose the US occupation. By contrast, no bad things committed by US forces — even those that might indicate systemic problems — say anything about Christianity and the character of US military and civilian commanders. Instead, they are just mistakes and should be understood as the actions of individuals – often stressed out kids who overreact to something due to the nature of war and life in a warzone. Bill, Annoy Mouse, Matthew &co, you are clearly still very much in Kansas.

  • hamidreza says:

    Nonserviam – its one thing to hold oneself to the highest moral standards (and demand the same from others), and it is entirely another thing to advocate moral equivalency and relativism. I am afraid that your interest in high moral standards simply stops at our borders, as long as you can blame the US government for that.
    Massive Arab on Arab atrocities or political prisoners and repression in Tehran is ignored by the same crowd who whine about Gitmo and Abu Ghraib pork sandwiches. It is hard to take them seriously and their sincerety is in question.

  • Abdullah says:

    If arabs have it in them to join the civilized world, this is the last chance. Join the brave Iraqi people and govern yourselves in peace. Send the al qaeda killers to hell where they belong. Demonstrate that Islam is capable of being a religion of peace, without bigoted supremacist tendencies. Learn to live in peace and tolerance. This is the last chance.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Abdullah, what do you mean by “the civilized world”? What are its characteristics? What countries would you say are members of this world? Are any Muslim-majority countries “civilized” in your view?

  • Joe Bob says:

    “Isolated American crimes.” We are truly rotting from within. Nothing wrong with a little torture, eh? See you in hell.

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massiach – We can try to analyze the conduct of the warring parties in Iraq – the Islamist marketplace carbombings vs. US raids of villages and towns where care is taken not to harm non-combatants. But since you have complained about Islam being unfairly taken to task – let me say that as long as Muslims dont reckon with their total uncritical acceptance of prophet Mohammad as an infalliable character, and whitewash his atrocities auch as assassination of those he did not like, and accept uncritically and without any supporting evidence his rantings as being absolute divine truth, and as long as the Koran says “slay the unbelievers wherever you find them” is accepted uncritically by “believers” who have no better reason to accept this other than “faith”, and those who reasonabley question such nonsense are made to suffer heinous punishment – as long as Muslims maintain such a position, you will have to endure the fact that the world will rightfully question and fight this ideology of Islam and the depravity of Islamists.
    Just because the two parties are warring, does not justify a cheap moral equivalency. Furthermore the attempt to somehow absolve communal and political Islam by putting down some other religion (Christianity) – would this not be further evidence of the depravity of its followers? When can Muslims answer to the marketplace and school bombings, and the burning desire to install repressive Talibanate, without putting others down?

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massiach: Abdullah, what do you mean by “the civilized world”? What are its characteristics? What countries would you say are members of this world? Are any Muslim-majority countries “civilized” in your view?
    The civilized world is that part of the globe where Human Rights, foremost of which are the individual liberties, are observed and protected by the state, and where the citizenry have consciously constructed democratic and civil institutions to arrive at good governance.
    Unfortunatley, none of the 35 or so Muslim or Arab countries meet this standard. There is no choice but to conclude that Muslims by and large lack the general will to achieve civil society.

  • Nicholas says:

    You said:
    “I think what the owner of this blog is trying to say is that while there is reportage of atrocities committed by non-Americans, the tone of such reporting lacks a certain shrill fervor that would satisfy his neoconservative leanings.”
    I think what you meant to say was:
    “I think what the owner of this blog is trying to say is that while there is reportage of atrocities committed by non-Americans, the tone of such reporting lacks a certain shrill fervor that one finds in the reportage of any minor wrongdoings committed my Americans.”

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    How long does a civilised country have to have practised the very vague characteristics which you laid out in order to be part of the civilised world? Is Russia civilised? Is Germany? Is Israel? How about Japan? China? Singapore? Are any poor countries civilised? Any countries not formerly imperialist or colonialist powers? Any that are not Christian?
    I assume you consider the US to be the pre-eminent member of the league of civilised nations. How long has this been the case? How long did US genocide of North American indigenes exclude it from membership? How about the full-blown, race-based chattel slavery that the US practiced for so long – even to the point of resisting for many decades the international movement spearheaded by the UK to give up the barbaric practice? Was America civilised as it progressively chewed off pieces of Mexico and annexed them to its own expansionist project? What year would you say the US fully entered the ranks of the civilised? Was it civilised during the era of Jim Crow laws? Can it be considered civilised as long as it has the death penalty (the only OECD country to do so)? Can a country be fully civilised that has a penal system like that of the US?

  • Nicholas says:

    “Bill and his acolytes here seem comfortable talking about “The Enemy” as a monolithic, corporate entity: every crime committed in response to the US occupation of Iraq (always stripped of political and military context in its presentation), is credited as representing the philosophy and morality of that seemless, hive-minded, super-organised and centrally controlled fiction of al-Qaeda.”
    Neither Bill nor anyone sane has ever said anything like that. I know, I’ve been paying attention. YOU are the only person making this kind of statement or accusation.
    I guess it’s a case of reading into statements what you expect or want to hear.

  • Nicholas says:

    “Is Russia civilised?”
    They’re heading in the right direction, but not quite there yet. Much better than they were under Stalin or Lenin.
    “Is Germany?”
    I’d say so.
    “Is Israel?”
    I’d say so, although they have a few issues. They’re demonstrating the willingness to compromise, which I’d say is a pretty civilised characteristic.
    “How about Japan?”
    Since about 1945, yes.
    “China?”
    Partially. They have a long way to go, but again, much better than they used to be.
    “Singapore?”
    Yes.
    “Are any poor countries civilised?”
    Plenty.
    “Any countries not formerly imperialist or colonialist powers?”
    Since basically all countries were formerly imperialist of colonial powers of someone, I think that’s a bit hard to answer. Care to give examples of such countries?
    “Any that are not Christian?”
    Heaps. India (Hindu & Muslim), Indonesia is getting there (Muslim), Japan and South Korea (Buddhist and others), Israel (Judaism primarily), Thailand, Malaysia, and now happily Afghanistan and hopefully soon Iraq. Even Turkey is on the way, but they have to improve a lot. Christianity is pretty far-reaching (basically all of America and a lot of Europe, and parts of Asia) which makes it hard to find good examples, but between a future more civilised China and present-day India and Indonesia, that’s billions of non-christians who will be living in what are or will hopefully be enlightened countries.
    “I assume you consider the US to be the pre-eminent member of the league of civilised nations.”
    I don’t, personally. I don’t know about others.
    “How long has this been the case?”
    Well, the US has been very powerful since WW2 stirred them into action, and has always had a lot of freedom for their citizens, but I think there are plenty of other good countries around.
    “Can it be considered civilised as long as it has the death penalty (the only OECD country to do so)?”
    I don’t advocate a death penalty myself but I don’t see why it excludes one from being civilised, as long as due process is maintained and it’s only used when it’s really deserved/necessary. I don’t see why an individual who has killed several other people has some magical right to continued existence. It’s another thing altogether when used on political prisoners etc.
    “Can a country be fully civilised that has a penal system like that of the US?”
    I think the US’s justice system is pretty screwed up (mostly the civil part of it, too many damn lawsuits) but it gives better protections and more fairness than most.
    The bottom line is unless you do something very wrong, you’re generally left alone, which is a good thing in my opinion.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Nicholas, any nasty act committed by “The Enemy” is taken as representative of…”The Enemy” — undifferentiated, evil, Muslim, uncivilised. Any nasty act committed by the “Heroes” that make up the bulk of the US military (and ostensibly all of those on the casualty lists), by contrast, says nothing about the US, except that its military has some bad eggs in it (and many of these are probably good eggs given a bad rap by the liberal media). I might be the only person making this accusation here, but that doesn’t make it any less obvious. If I’m mistaken, perhaps you or one of the others, can point out to one of Bill’s articles in which he talks about a suicide bomber as an individual with a rich and nuanced life? or as an individual who has done something that the majority of Muslims denounce or have ambivalent feelings over?

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    So, according to Nicholas at least, there are Civilised countries (CC), Uncivilised countries (UCC), and a third category, Partially Civilised countries (PCC). Countries that are now CC could have been UCC as recently as 60 years ago (Germany, Japan), so CC status can be earned and, presumably, lost.
    Nicholas, when the US was massacring its indigenous population, annexing pieces of neighbouring countries by military force, and practicing full-blown chattel slavery against world opinion in the mid-19th century, was it CC, UCC or PCC? Can you say when you think the US became CC? Since “due process” seems to be a sine qua non for CC status in your mind, does recent erosion of due process in the US for cases involving purported “enemy combatants” represent a threat to the US level of civilisation?
    And finally, Nicholas, can you name a few each of the non-Christian countries and the many poor countries that you consider to be CC (as opposed to PCC)? This will help me understand your thinking on questions of “civilisation”.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Hamidreza, I think you would be hard pressed to find many Muslims anywhere in the world who believe that the Qur’anic verse you quoted (“slay the unbelievers wherever you find them”) means that the blood of non-Muslims is halal for the slaying. They understand the specific historical context in which that verse was given. The vast majority of believers whole heartedly embrace the universal injunction in Sura Al-Kafirun, “to you your religion, and unto me my religion”.

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massich – I guess when you go back 200 years and selectively dig up mud devoid of historical context against one country – you then try to put together a weak case which has NO relevency to today’s world.
    Slavery is still going on TODAY in Sudan and Saudi Arabia and some Gulf states, by Arabs and Muslims. Now if you wish to talk about 100 year old events in a different historical context, ignoring atrocities committed today and tomorrow, then I have a problem with your nonsensical approach. You need to distinguish historical precedent which is the domain of the historian, from debates that have contemporary relevance.
    As they say, time like any other physical quantity, is logarithmic. What happened in the past 20 years is of more relevance and significance than that happened in the 200 years preceeding it. Of course “memory” which you are loaded with, appears to get stronger for the Muslim the older the grievance seems to be. Muslims are still beheading one another for some stupid power struggle that happened 1,400 years ago.
    Did you know that most black of Africa that were forcibly made into slaves in the past 3 centuries were actually sent to Arab countries, and not to America? So before you gain the right to criticize America, you should talk about your own closed society.
    When we talk about civil society, we are not trying to selectively do a fishing job to put down a particular nation. Instead, we are comparing countries based on well known standards and measures in today’s world. Your obsession for selectively and ideologically fishing for skeletons in the closet is one reason why your society is unable to come to grips with modernity and civility.
    And Nicholas did provide you examples of many non-Christian countries which will be considered “civilized” (your word) today. Japan, Taiwan, India, Korea, possibly Thailand – none of which are Christian countries. Your obsession with Christianity-bashing is amusing.
    Your problem is that you cannot defend Islam, and you cannot defend a standard of civility, of which you are unable to even define, without putting down Christianity. As Bill would say, Shame on You. You have no case but to whine where your society and religion has failed, and your political consciousness is reduced to blame apportioning, 3rd world victimhood, and historical skeleton digging.

  • hamidreza says:

    The vast majority of believers whole heartedly embrace the universal injunction in Sura Al-Kafirun, “to you your religion, and unto me my religion”.
    And what is this nonsense supposed to mean? That I cannot criticize Islam, but you can criticize Christianity? That somehow Islam is above discussion and reason? Or does it mean that if I dont criticize Islam, then you will not criticize Christianity?
    Well, you got it wrong. The world will criticize and condemn Islam, where it finds it reasonable to do so. You can keep this nonsense immoral and anti-ethical Koranic verse to your closed society, because humanity aint biting.
    We will expose that Mohammad for the pedophile assassin that he is, until you believers stop being so violent against those who wish to speak the truth about Islam and its self-promoted prophet, and until you believers start using your brains and stop taking things on faith.
    Why is it that critiquing the Koran and Mohammad is prohibited in ALL Muslim countries? Why is it that few dare to talk about Islam in a Muslim country, and those who do are either assassinated, thrown in jail, or a fatwa is put on their head? Why is it that Irshad Manji in Canada and Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands, with the help of their governments, have to hide from Muslims wishing to kill them?
    No, you take that stupid Koranic verse of “I hear no evil if you hear no evil” and just put it somewhere that the sun don’t shine.

  • Kartik says:

    This thread just proves what I have said about Leftists and Islamic terrorists :
    Rule #1 about Activist liberals – they have no interest in facts. You could lock one in a room for two weeks and show them mountains upon mountains of evidence, and they will not change their opinion. It is wired in their DNA.
    Remarkably, they exhibit this cognitive dissonance even when their own life is at risk. Never before have humans existed that actively opposed measures that would save their own lives. They actually feel that being stripped naked and donned with women’s underwear is worse than being beheaded with a blunt knife on videotape. This is unprecedented in nature. Why would such self-terminating beings exist?
    They are genetically preprogrammed to oppose things that ensure even their own safety (like the Patriot Act, WoT, etc.), as nature has chosen them to weed themselves out of the gene pool.
    The evolutionary process and natural selection generates genetic waste matter. Nature has to discard this waste matter, and does so by accumulating the garbage in certain members of the species. Previously, predators would catch these weak, defective creatures. In the case of the modern human species, predation is no longer a factor, so these ‘wastebasket’ humans have to be programmed to weed themselves out. These self-destructive individuals (liberals, Islamists, etc.) and their anti-evolutionary, anti-life actions (abortion, suicide bombing, genital mutilation, gay marriage), are merely nature evolving Darwinian evolution to fit the modern world.
    Those of us who fight the war and terror and the war against leftism, are those who nature has chosen to propagate the evolutionary stream. We evolve and improve ourselves by fighting off liberalism and terrorism. The more effective we are, the more we evolve.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Hamidreza, as my name should indicate to anyone with a name like yours, I am a Christian, not Muslim. I also carry a US passport. So the ad hominem attacks based on my presumed religion and nationality are not only irrelevant, but mistaken.
    I think that people who use tropes like “the civilised world” need to be specific about what they mean. I am not dredging up 200 year old facts to disparage the US. Rather, I am trying to understand what some of you here mean when you talk about “Civilisation”. (You are mistaken when you say that I began this subject: I was responding to a statement from someone named Abdullah.)
    So, for those who are comfortable using Bush and Blair-type language about the civilised world, I would like to know: When did the US become a civilised nation? From its birth? I suspect that many of you here equate “being civilised” to “being like America”. It’s that potential parochialism that I want to probe. Has the US ever been uncivilised? If so, when did it cease to be? Please nail down this definition before moving on to the next tirade.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Hamidreza: “No, you take that stupid Koranic verse of “I hear no evil if you hear no evil” and just put it somewhere that the sun don’t shine.”
    Kartik: “Those of us who fight the war and terror and the war against leftism, are those who nature has chosen to propagate the evolutionary stream. We evolve and improve ourselves by fighting off liberalism and terrorism. The more effective we are, the more we evolve.”
    Would you say that these statements represent the level of civilisation and humanity that you hope the US military adventure in the Middle East will engender? And Kartik, would you say that the “War on Terrorism” and the “War on Liberalism” are projects equally supported by the US Constitution?

  • Kartik says:

    Abdul Massiach,
    First admit to me that Al-Qaeda using children and terrorism *deliberately* as methods to deliver bombs is more evil and shocking than anything the US has done.
    The US may have done bad things, but was never this bad.
    Admit this to me first, and only then will I discuss anything with you.

  • hamidreza says:

    AM – the country that I come from, the name name Issa (Jesus) is a common Muslim name.
    I gave you a definition for civilization, that you can find in #45. You must have missed it. I suggest you make the effort to read the complete debate.
    Furthermore, what is known as liberalism, civil society and democracy, which has intimately to do with the concept of a modern civilization, is not an American invented parochial concept, that you wish to bring down along with your post-colonial blame apportioning crusade. I suggest that you study the historical process of enlightenment, and the development of empirical political and ethical philosophy by the likes of Hobbes, Locke, Kant, and put into action by early American and French revolutionary figures, in order to arrive at this historical construction which we refer to as western civilization.
    You will find that it has little if at all to do with the America that you have in mind, and rather is a universal concept which has been successfully adopted by many nation states today. By trying to pigeon hole western civilization into unsavory closets with skeletons, you will not be doing anybody a favor and you are far from the historical process.
    Obviously your unsuccessful defence of Islam is a back handed way to defend religion at the cost of secularism in general. That is where you have gone astray. Now, this subject matter is not suited for this forum, and I suggest that you take a look at the process of historical enlightenment and start with the premise that nothing should be taken on faith. An uncritical (lowly) “faith based” methodology results in exactly the irony that has transpired here. Where a supposedly Christian, in the process of historical mud digging, ends up defending a closed and repressive religion, which is hell-bent on destroying and dhimmitizing your religion in the first place.
    Let me just observe, for whatever it is worth, that obviously you have not received a secular or liberal education, much less understood the tenets of positive empiricism, and you cannot think outside the confined box of middle eastern Abrahamic ideology.

  • Nicholas says:

    “Nicholas, when the US was massacring its indigenous population, annexing pieces of neighbouring countries by military force, and practicing full-blown chattel slavery against world opinion in the mid-19th century, was it CC, UCC or PCC?”
    By today’s standards it was uncivilised. By the standards of the day, it was at least partially civilised, but probably actually very civilised. The “bar” is moving. On average, we’re all getting a lot more civilised. Some people are lagging behind.
    “Can you say when you think the US became CC?”
    See above. Since the “bar” shifts, it’s possible for a country to have been a lot less civilised in the past, but still civilised for the day. For example, what about excluding black people from voting, etc.? By today’s standards that’s definitely uncivilised, but it was routine not that long ago. By today’s standards, I’d say the US became civilised around the time of the proper integration of the black population.
    “Since “due process” seems to be a sine qua non for CC status in your mind, does recent erosion of due process in the US for cases involving purported “enemy combatants” represent a threat to the US level of civilisation?”
    Yes, I suppose it is essential, or close to being so, for a truly civilsed nation. By whatever means, there should be the concept of fair, open and speed trials. You should keep in mind, the way that enemy combatants are treated has never been the same as the way ordinary citizens of a country have been treated, and I don’t see why they should be. Someone living in an operational society needs and deserves greater protections than someone acting as a combatant on a battlefield. For a start, you can’t kill someone you assume to be guilty of a crime, but you CAN kill someone you meet on a battlefield who is shooting in your direction. Very different rules. Always has been, and probably always will be.
    There certainly are threats to our level of civilisation at the moment. There always are. The challenge is to deal with them in an appropriate way. I hope that the government will be able to do that over the next few years. But remember that traditionally, if you are captured on a battlefield, you are held until the end of the war, lest you return to the fight. It’s unfortunate that this sort of thing happens to these people, and I think we need new legislation to deal with these cases properly, but I don’t see them being out of line with traditional prosecution of warfare. I think our prosecution of warfare can, and must, improve but it’s early days yet. I believe, actually, it has improved a lot recently. A lot less innocent people die in warfare these days compared to recent history.
    “And finally, Nicholas, can you name a few each of the non-Christian countries and the many poor countries that you consider to be CC (as opposed to PCC)? This will help me understand your thinking on questions of “civilisation”.”
    I already named a lot of the non-christian civilised countries. I’d say, the following are reasonable guidelines for civilisation:
    * No genocide. Use capital punishment sparingly.
    * No political prisoners or suppression of free expression, within reason (e.g. we put up with people touting communism these days, even though we think it’s dumb, but China doesn’t put up with people touting democracy. If someone’s going around advocating genocide that’s a different matter).
    * Freedom for the people, as long as they’re not significantly hurting anyone else.
    * Fair, transparent and speedy trials (even many “civilised” nations today are not doing so great with this).
    * Don’t go to war with anyone unless they’re treating you, a neighbour or their own people really badly (e.g. they or their agents attack you or a neighbour en masse, or are committing genocide with their own people or others). This is a difficult judgement to make, since you can’t always wait to be attacked to fight back, and it’s a slipperly slope, but we’ll just have to pay attention to it carefully I guess.
    * A reasonable level of economic freedom for the people. Allow the people to travel if they want to.
    * Some form of democracy. Doesn’t have to be the same flavour as everyone else, but people should have choice of the way they are governed. Otherwise the above tend to suffer.
    Not a complete list, but I think it should be pretty straightforward? I’m sure what is civilised will change over time (hopefully become more strict, rather than less strict).

  • hamidreza says:

    AM – I can’t speak on behalf of Kartik. But what I have said is a re-affirmation of the stature of man and his enlightened status where nothing is beyond criticism and reason.
    Now if your ideology (or religion) is incapable of handling dialog and criticim, then to that extent it lacks a foundation to engender civilization.
    Therefore, when you quote me a Koranic verse, and it is so obvious from the context that what you mean is not freedom FROM religion (namely that freedom to criticize and denigrate religion) – but what you mean is an unholy alliance of Abrahamic religions at the cost of secular humanity – then I have the god given right to call that demonic, asinine and idiotic, and furthermore, make claim that my civilization that allows me and others to peacefully criticise an ideology and any religion, is far superior to your closed and baseless system of gods and sanctomonious books, angels and prophets.

  • Nicholas says:

    “Nicholas, any nasty act committed by “The Enemy” is taken as representative of…”The Enemy” — undifferentiated, evil, Muslim, uncivilised.”
    Who said that? Not me, not Bill.
    What Bill said is, at least some of our “enemies” (i.e. those shooting at coalition troops) are evil and uncivilised, and he’s complaining that they’re being held to such low standards, and we’re being held to such high standards, that even though we try to be civilised and they don’t, we’re the ones who are criticised the most. I think it’s a valid point.
    “Any nasty act committed by the “Heroes” that make up the bulk of the US military (and ostensibly all of those on the casualty lists), by contrast, says nothing about the US, except that its military has some bad eggs in it (and many of these are probably good eggs given a bad rap by the liberal media).”
    Well, if there was say, one or two occasions per year where something nasty happened in Iraq or Afghanistan, I think we would be a lot less upset than if there were, say, tens of them per day.
    Don’t tell me that terrorist acts are only committed by a couple of rotten eggs, because there are far too many of them.
    Sure, we have rotten eggs, and by OUR standards they do bad things. That’s why we put them in jail, demote them, eject them from the armed forces and apologise. That’s why we try our hardest to prevent those things happening. Can you say the same for the Middle East in general? I think not. It’s hard enough to get them to condemn many of these acts.
    Oh, some do condemn the acts, and we thank them (and their esteem grows in our eyes). But far too few…
    “I might be the only person making this accusation here, but that doesn’t make it any less obvious.”
    So, if you’re the only person making these claims, why should we have to defend against them? Surely we can only defend things we say, rather than that you put in our mouths…
    “If I’m mistaken, perhaps you or one of the others, can point out to one of Bill’s articles in which he talks about a suicide bomber as an individual with a rich and nuanced life?”
    Sure, like Charles Manson was an individual with a rich and nuanced life, or John Lee Malvo. I’m sorry but if we’re not going to put our own serial killers on pedestals, why should we do it for others?
    “or as an individual who has done something that the majority of Muslims denounce or have ambivalent feelings over?”
    The majority of Muslims do not denounce it, so far as I can tell. Like I said above, some do, but not enough IMO. They all should. It’s one thing to engage coalition forces in battle, which I think is misguided, but I can at least respect. It’s another entirely to behead hostages or kill children or other innocents.
    Show me a westerner who does not denounce torture, abuse or killing of innocents and I will show you a fool upon whom I will pour much ire.
    Ambivalent feelings are not good enough. Do I feel ambivalent about rapists, murderers, thieves? No! They ruin other people’s lives for their own petty gains. We, unfortunately, do ruin some people’s lives – innocent people die in war even though we try to avoid it – but at least it’s for a good reason – improving the lives of many millions of people.

  • Tom W. says:

    The problem with a lot of the points made on this thread is that the posters are arguing the fallacy of the excluded middle: If the U. S. isn’t perfect, then we as Americans have no right to condemn anybody else, even when they butcher children, flay peoples’ faces off, murder teachers in front of their students, use retarded teenagers as suicide bombers, etc. We can’t call the Muslim beheaders “uncivilized” because after all, our men put panties on someone’s head.
    Luckily, our military leaders don’t have time for such utopian, ivory-tower posturing. Our soldiers know real evil when they see it, and they kill it without a second’s thought.
    Despite all the moaning and hand-wringing about the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the average Iraqi knows the difference between Ba’athists and Americans. In the documentary Voices of Iraq, Iraqi men are seen laughing and saying that all Iraqi men want to be sent to Abu Ghraib because where else would they have the opportunity to have an American woman touch their penises.
    Yes, that’s right: Arab men acutally have a sense of perspective, a sense of proportion, and even… a sense of HUMOR about it. I know that all Arab men are supposed to be grim and prissy and ready to take murderous offense at everything we the filthy infidels do, but the reality is that Iraqis have brains, and they know that we are nothing like Saddam.
    To suggest that we’re just as bad as Saddam is to minimize the suffering of those who experienced his brutality for thirty years, and it shows an almost pathological lack of empathy.

  • Nicholas says:

    Oh, and let me point out an important nuance that a lot of people seem to miss.
    Bill refers to “our enemies” or “our enemy”. Well, we sort of have more than one enemy or enemies. There are at least:
    * Those who are our ideological enemies – hence, the War or Terror.
    * Those who are our military enemies – insurgents in Iraq, etc.
    * Those who aid either of the above parties, but are not actually part of them, whether on purpose or by manipulation – some of the crazier elements of our societies and some very biased journalists and public figures.
    There are definitely overlaps between them. I suspect at the beginning of this post, the enemy that Bill is referring to are our ideological enemies – the terrorists.
    Not everyone who attacks us is a terrorist. By definition, the terrorists are the ones who cause and exploit terror as a weapon. In fact, I would argue there are even different “levels” of terrorists.
    For example, Mutually Assured Destruction is a form of terrorism. But it doesn’t involve kidnapping people and cutting off their heads.
    In short, Bill referring to “the enemy” is an oversimplification that is probably confusing some people. You might taking it as meaning “everyone we are fighting militarily” when I think he means “everyoen we are fighting ideologically”.
    Perhaps we need a better name for these extremely unpallatible people to avoid this kind of confusion. I think that’s what he’s alluding to in the title of this post – Animals.
    Shall we refer to people who bomb children and such as Animals from now on to make it clearer?

  • Nicholas says:

    Tom W. : The more I hear about the average Iraqi, the more I like them.
    Here’s to them having the freedom and security to enjoy their lives soon, like many of us already do.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Kartik, I don’t know that I would use the word evil for either the “brainwashed”, adolescent Americans who deliver indiscriminate death to hundreds in a foreign country via video monitors and multi-billion dollar weapons systems or the hardscrabble jihadists who use “brainwashed” young fanatics to deliver indiscriminate death up close and personal to dozens of occupying forces and the collaborators who support them, with a few dollars worth of homemade explosives.
    I think of both sides as ignorant, arrogant, mad for power, and worthy of being opposed.
    I think both sides seek to claim the high moral ground, but that neither has any moral authority to speak of.
    If the total number of non-combatant victims of the US are compared to those attributed to “Al-Qaeda” and “The Enemy”, though, clearly the US has killed and maimed many times more than its opponents. Even if you add Saddam’s victims and those of the Iraqi Ba’athists to the jihadist toll, the US has still caused more deaths in Iraq than all of its enemies, real and imagined, in the past 14 years. It has also destroyed far more of the civilian infrastructure and contributed much more to instability in the region.
    Despite the empirically greater damage perpetrated by the US in the region, and the far greater sums of money invested in the project, I wouldn’t call US policy evil, nor its practitioners evildoers. I don’t think that sort of language contributes to understanding historical, social, or political processes. But obviously, US (and UK/French/Russian/Israeli) imperialism in the region predated the emergence of al-Qaeda by a good, long time, and helped create the conditions for its reactionary appearance. That is criminal. The US is guilty. The al-Qaeda brand of Salafist Pan-Islamism can trace its intellectual roots through a century of resistance to western imperialism in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; it is not a gang of evil lunatics who hate the US out of envy or spite. The US has earned the enmity.
    But even so, to me, the “who’s more evil” question is irrelevant to a critical understanding of the situation.

  • Nicholas says:

    *sigh* I give up trying to argue cogently with this Abdul guy.
    Sure, a JDAM dropped on a group of terrorists, aimed by spotters on the ground is no less “discriminate” than a truck bomb being driven into a crowd and then detonated. They both kill their targets. The “minor” difference is that the target of one is people doing very bad things whereas the target of the other is people standing around mostly minding their own business. If you can’t see that, then you’re lost.
    If you claim that the US has killed more Iraqi civilians than Saddam, then you are lost. This is patently not true. Even if you take the worst sane body count from the war and ignore those Saddam killed in his wars with Iran and Kuwait (not to mention his missiles shot at Israel).
    THe US is causing damage in the region? No-one has caused more damge in the Middle East than Middle Eastern dictators and relgious fanatics.
    You don’t care about who’s more evil? Then how do you know whether the people would be better off if one side trumps the other?

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    It’s getting to be late at night where I am, and I need to check out. Thanks to those who contributed comments in response to my questions.
    Let me close with comments on two things in Nicholas’s last post.
    For example, Mutually Assured Destruction is a form of terrorism. But it doesn’t involve kidnapping people and cutting off their heads.
    Five or ten people lined up for a video performance that ends with one human being killing another the old fashioned way is far less horrible, and certainly far less damaging, than a chain of people hidden behind technology and other barriers turning keys that lead to the death of 500,000 people. Both are “terrorism” in intent and effect, but there is hardly any comparison between them.
    Shall we refer to people who bomb children and such as Animals from now on to make it clearer?

    US animals and Jihadist animals? I don’t think that adds much to the conversation.

  • Nicholas says:

    “The al-Qaeda brand of Salafist Pan-Islamism can trace its intellectual roots through a century of resistance to western imperialism in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; it is not a gang of evil lunatics who hate the US out of envy or spite. The US has earned the enmity.”
    Again, moral equivalency. The west has been imperialist, therefore it is OK for certain unsanitary people to do anything including killing random innocent people in order for them to have their own brand of imperialism.
    The US has a recent history of liberating and protecting other countries from horrible fates, not imperialism. The US rescued Western Europe first from Hitler, then from Stalin. The US recued the Pacific from Imperial Japan. The US rescued South Korea from becoming the “paradise” that is North Korea. The US tried to rescue South Vietnam from the same fate, but failed. The US tried to help the people of the Balkans. Then Afghanistan. Now Iraq.
    None of this is imperialism. In each case (which is long enough ago for history to tell), the countries have become functioning entities free of direct US influence and the US has, or is, pulling out of basically all of them.
    I don’t particularly like the US. They screw with my country. They’re arrogant. But I think that comes from being so powerful. I’d rather be screwed with by someone relatively benign and enlightened like the US than someone horrible like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Al Quaeda, or any of the other wonderful people around the globe.
    Hell, if we had our own Saddam here, I’d say to the USA, “Bring It On”. Then I’d go hide until it was over as best I could. Thank god someone would have the balls to do it.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    If you claim that the US has killed more Iraqi civilians than Saddam, then you are lost. This is patently not true.
    You need to return to the patents office, Nicholas. The number of Iraqi non-combatants killed by American policy is not limited to the unintended or accidental victims of its bombing and engagement strategies. It also includes the million or so victims of its sanctions regime in the period 1991-2003, including more than 500,000 under the age of 5. It will also include tens of thousands who will succumb in the next generation due to exposure to chemicals and toxins, including the residues left by the superfine depleted uranium that the US uses in its toxic brand of warfare. In the end, more Iraqis will die from super modern US chemical weapons than from Saddam’s old fashioned ones.

  • Nicholas says:

    Uhhh, whatever.
    The fact that Saddam funneled the money for food for his people into his palaces and weapons has nothing to do with them dying.
    Suuuurreeee.
    Heh. If you give me some DU powder I will happily throw it around my house. It’s not very dangerous. You don’t know your chemistry, it seems.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Nicholas, imperialism has many forms; it achieves its goals with methods other than bullets whenever possible. The fact that the US fought the Soviet Union in part by rebuilding Europe and Japan doesn’t mean that it wasn’t vying for world dominance. In fact, just the opposite is true – it wanted to dominate the world without rivals, and it has largely accomplished that for the time being. I think it will be a fairly short time, though.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Heh. If you give me some DU powder I will happily throw it around my house. It’s not very dangerous. You don’t know your chemistry, it seems.
    Nicholas, heavy metal poisoning is extremely dangerous – and uranium is worse than lead or mercury. But then again, I suppose you supported the government in its arguments that exposure from above ground nuclear tests wasn’t responsible for deaths of guinea pig military observers or southern Utah ranchers. And in its denial that Agent Orange had caused harm to the soldiers who dispersed it (or the peasants that breathed it). And the denials of Gulf War Syndrome. The US government doesn’t have a very good track record in areas like this. But hey, maybe this time they’ll be right. They can’t be wrong every time, can they? And they don’t lie every time, do they?

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massiach – you are so obiviously ignorant about Iraqi facts, and your ideological anti-Americanism is now abundantly evident.
    First off, American military personnel are not delivering indiscriminate death to hundreds in Iraq. Could you show me some evidence backing such a preposterous claim? Or is it your less than educated opinion?
    “US mad for power”? Like when it constructs a democratic Iraqi constitutional government and wishes to reduce its troop levels?
    The total number of “US non-combatant victims” is about 6,000 to 7,000 during the 2 1/2 years of invasion. This is well documented and you can check with //www.icasualties.org. Now compare this to about 24,000 killed by al-Qaeda and Baathists insurgents, and also by the Shiite militias, during the same period. Again, refer to the websites such as the Brookings Institution or Iraq Body Count. Saddam’s victims is of much higher magnitude. The United Nations says Saddam is responsible for 300,000 deaths. Iraqis claim 500,000. This does not include up to 2,000,000 Iraqis and Iranians killed during their 8 year war.
    Therefore your assertion that Even if you add Saddam’s victims and those of the Iraqi Ba’athists to the jihadist toll, the US has still caused more deaths in Iraq than all of its enemies, real and imagined, in the past 14 years. is entirely baseless and unfactual.
    Lets see if you can back up any of your preposterous claims. Obviously you cannot.
    And what is this trope “imperialism” that all nations except the backward Arab totalitarian dictatorships and their Islamist allies, seem to be guilty of? Can you explain that, or shall it remain as another one of your undefined categories?
    The al-Qaeda brand of Salafist Pan-Islamism can trace its intellectual roots through a century of resistance to western imperialism in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia; it is not a gang of evil lunatics who hate the US out of envy or spite. The US has earned the enmity.
    Like when assisting the Afghanis in defending their country against Soviet domination, then US would certainly deserve to earn their enmity. Or when Iranian religionists for the past 30 years have been running the country into the ground, looting the treasury and impoverishing the population, then that would certainly deserve the US to earn their enmity.

  • Nicholas says:

    I’m well aware that eating a big, heaping bowl of Uranium is not the best thing ever for my health. However, firing DU rounds is very different than eating Uranium. Did you know that in a given square mile, in the top 30cm of soil there is on average 4 tonnes of Uranium? And this is natural uranium, not DU, so it’s even worse.
    Oh dear, I’d better not eat any more vegetables!!!
    Well, if you don’t like the US being the most powerful country in the world, the only real option is to start working hard to turn YOUR country into the most powerful country in the world. Go! Start now! Be constructive!

  • hamidreza says:

    AM – the sanctions regime on Saddam was mandated by the United Nations. Take your complaint elsewhere. Besides, there was no reason for Saddam to loot the oil for food program to pay for his perks, instead of saving this purported 500,000 Iraqis that you claim. The Iraqi government is foremostly responsible for its own people, and it was Saddam that made the sanctions happen in the first place.
    Oxidized U-238 (DU) is not any more toxic than ordinary dirt. In fact ordinary dirt contains massive amounts of U-238.
    Anything else that you can concont, Abdul?

  • Nicholas says:

    By the way, the main reason I don’t believe the bunk about DU is:
    (1) a basic understanding of nuclear chemistry and regular chemistry being able to compare its hazards to other, similar substances
    but more importantly
    (2) the sheer amount of hysteria surrounding it.
    Every time someone wants to bring out the DU=bad argument, they can never come up with anything scientific. It’s always just playing on nuclear scaremongering. All the scientific analyses I’ve read have suggested it’s either (a) not much of a hazard at all or (b) only hazardous in the worst of circumstances.
    Unfortunately, the scaremongers make it really hard to get a firm grip on the exact facts of the situation. But my experience is, the more the hysteria, the less serious the situation really is.
    For the record, I would also be fine with having a nuclear reactor next door to my house. MUCH rather that than a coal plant anywhere nearby. It would be a lot better for my health.

  • hamidreza says:

    In fact, just the opposite is true – it wanted to dominate the world without rivals, and it has largely accomplished that for the time being. I think it will be a fairly short time, though.
    Like when it could not even get a simple UN resolution passed to invade Iraq and was abandoned by those it “dominated” (like France and Germany)?
    Why heck, it couldnt even get to use its airbase in Turkey to invade Iraq, after 30 years of paying rent for that god forsaken place!
    Or when it was forced to close down its base in Uzbekistan, because the US protested the human rights condition in that country?
    Some Empire, I must say!

  • Nicholas says:

    Hamidreza – where are you from? Curious because of your name. It sounds kind of arabic or something.
    I’m from Australia myself.

  • hamidreza says:

    Hi Nicholas – I am from Iran. I had also read that Uranium is very common in topsoil. As you say the “left” breeds on inaccurcy and hysteria.
    This guy I would swear was a Muslim masquerading as a Christian.

  • hamidreza says:

    Nicholas – those were excellent replies. Unfortunately these folks receive their knowledge not from inquiry and study of the facts – but by the cheap way of appealling to ideology. This guy didnt have a single figure for Iraqi casualties, but was so sure that US had caused more deaths than Saddam. And then to blame the sanctions deaths (which BTW there is huge dispute as to the number of children affected) on the US, when it was a UN mandate all along. These “reactionary-left” corwds are pathetic.

  • Nicholas says:

    Ah, the family who owns the company I work for are from Iran. They are very nice. I think they all want Iran to be more free so they can be more comfortable visiting it.
    Be a little careful, I might be considered “on the left”. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m an idiot, I think 😉 I think “left” people are often too idealistic, whereas “right” are more pragmatic, hence this perception.
    *sigh* I wish Saddam had just vanished off the face of the earth and none of this was necessary, and everyone danced and sang and held hands etc. But it just didn’t happen that way…

  • hamidreza says:

    Well there are two kinds of lefts. The “classic” left which is scientific in its approach to society and subscribes to historical materialism, and is quite progressive. Then there is the new left, which actually is quite reactionary and is now allied with Islamists and other totalitarian ideologues. The classic left is classic liberal and democratic. While the reactionary-left like our friend AM has no qualms allying with fascists on the extreme right, and considers religion such as Islam to be “authentic” and a manifestation of emancipation. In fact I think the left-right dichotomy does not hold anymore, and the spectrum is multi-faceted in ways that it was not pre-1989.
    I am optimistic about the future in Iraq, and am getting increasingly so. Maybe democracy will get a hold. Unfortunately their massive oil resources makes the dialectics abundantly more complicated and prone to pitfalls.

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  • leaddog2 says:

    Nicholas,
    Your answer to Abdul Massiach (???) here was correct! He is completely NOT telling the Truth about most Muslims. There are some who are less “Koran-applying” than others.
    “or as an individual who has done something that the majority of Muslims denounce or have ambivalent feelings over?”
    “The majority of Muslims do not denounce it, so far as I can tell”.
    Read Jihad Watch on this subject. This blog is for a DIFFERENT PURPOSE. Let’s keep it on the Iraq and Afghanistan progress, please!

  • Necromancer says:

    Quite simply, you typically horrible person, AMERICA IS SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN ITS ENEMIES. If we fail in that, then what exactly is it that we’re fighting for?

  • vuc says:

    leaddog:
    Isn’t it ironic that the same people in the anti-muslim “islam is a violent religion” crowd are the same people who want to “liberate” Iraq from brutal repression?

  • Oded says:

    ‘AbdKartik, I don’t know that I would use the word evil for either the “brainwashed”, adolescent Americans who deliver indiscriminate death to hundreds in a foreign country via video monitors and multi-billion dollar weapons systems or the hardscrabble jihadists who use “brainwashed” young fanatics to deliver indiscriminate death up close and personal to dozens of occupying forces and the collaborators who support them, with a few dollars worth of homemade explosives.’
    ‘If the total number of non-combatant victims of the US are compared to those attributed to “Al-Qaeda” and “The Enemy”, though, clearly the US has killed and maimed many times more than its opponents. Even if you add Saddam’s victims and those of the Iraqi Ba’athists to the jihadist toll, the US has still caused more deaths in Iraq than all of its enemies, real and imagined, in the past 14 years. It has also destroyed far more of the civilian infrastructure and contributed much more to instability in the region.’
    Abdul Massiach (Soldier Messiah?), you have lost any credibility when you suggest that US soldiers dispense indiscriminate death to hundreds as being the equivalent of those who deliberately target the innocent. Have US/Iraqi/Coalition forces killed innocents? Regretably, in persuit of those nonuniformed ‘insurgents’ hiding among civilians, the answer is yes. The blood, however is on the hands of those individuals who knowingly hide among the civilian population using them for protection.
    Islamic terrorists of the sort employed by Al Queda, carefully defined by Bill in this and previous posts DELIBERATELY target innocents. The coalition forces make every attempt to protect innocents often at risk to themselves. They wear UNIFORMS (they might as well wear targets) to distinguish themselves from noncombatants.
    To suggest that the US has killed many more innocents than the ‘insurgency’ and Saddam combined is a rediculous statement which doesnt deserve serious discussion. Are you referring to the much debunked Lancet article where 100,000 civilians were supposedly killed? Or the 500,000 children that supposedly died due to sanctions circumvented by Saddam with bribes to UN officials so he could build a few palaces? A policy which in itself prolonged the sanctions and suffering of Iraqis and likely contributed to unnecessary deaths. This while spending a pittance on Iraqs infrastructure and producing thousands of childrens (bodies of children who died due to a variety of ailments whose bodies were gathered and stored for this purpose) coffins to march in front of the media.
    You’re entitled to your opinion concerning the necessity for the war and associated carnage, but to suggest that the US in a war, without precident in terms of low casualties, is responsible for the majority of Iraqi deaths is preposterous.
    Also to suggest that we are entitely responsible for the dysfunction of the Arab/Muslim world without accountablility on their part is dimwitted at best.
    The lives lost in terrorist acts by Al Queda are in persuit of reclaiming the caliphate and it is they who are politicizing Islam and feeding you there own propaganda which you have fallen for hook, line and sinker. Amazing since the great majority of Iraqis havent fallen for that lure (mostly hating the jihadis) and you have. Yes the great Satan is responsible for Islams grievances and we deserve to have airplanes flying into buildings.
    It is the perverted interpretation of Islam which has fueled the majority of terrorist acts worldwide. To my knowledge none of these acts has improved the lot of Muslims or provided free elections for millions. The acts have only cost the lives of innocent people.
    It is Islam which cannot allow other faiths to coexist. It is the Islamic Middle East that is so dysfunctional that one small state, Israel, produces more scientific papers and publications and books than the entire rest of the ME. There are many poor non muslim nations in the world, having been acted upon by the Imperialistic west that do not contribute to worldwide terrorism. Again Islamofascist terror.
    I submit we should be accountable for our errors past and present, but it doesnt mean that we cant do the right thing currently. We are fighting a dispicable enemy who deliberately chooses their methods, while we (as flawed as we are) choose to generally do the correct and honorable thing. It is only people such as yourself who would equate us with such an enemy despite much evidence to the contrary.

  • vuc says:

    Althought I believe there is absolutely no moral equivalence between American soldiers and Al Qaeda, I think that Abdul’s opinion probably does reflect the majority of Arab opinion (both muslim and christian) that is virulently opposed to American policies in the Middle East.
    A majority of Iraqis and Arabs throughout the Middle East do not see us an “liberators” but see us as occupiers and I think it’s important to understand that. The War in Iraq is increasing hatred of the United States throughout the Arab and muslim world. Bloggers here are making it seem like 99% of Iraqis support the American troops against the insurgents when that is not the case at all. Iraqis want us to leave their country and I think this should be a reality once the next election has happened and Iraqi security forces are a little better trained. If we truly believe in democracy in Iraq, perhaps there should be a referendum question as part of the next election which states “Should all American soldiers immediately exit Iraq?” Yes/No.

  • Oded says:

    Vuc, I agree with you for the most part. I agree that most Iraqis want us out, but understand the consequences of us leaving. I also agree that once there is an elected government that we should leave if asked, despite the fact that I would hope we can keep a military presence (but a small footprint) there.
    As for the rest of the Muslim/Arab world, I agree but I also believe some of that is changing or will change for the better. There is a recent poll which attests to this. I am also certain that opinions concerning Muslim terrorists have been changing as AQ has been ‘showing their ass’ so to speak, in Iraq. This isnt a one way street and the final word is not written in the court of world opinion and on ‘the arab street’. Indeed this has been one of the most positive outcomes of this war, despite the innocent loss of life.
    The struggle of ideas has just begun and it will be playing out over many decades. It is precisely what this war is/has become about. This should only be viewed through the prism of time and history. Presently I dont care if we are not liked, I care that we are respected and hope that we can be admired in the future.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    vuc,
    “The Majority of Arab Opinion”
    NO ONE knows what the majority of Arabs thinks since the majority of Arabs are not allowed to say anything but what they are told to say.
    It is a serious problem trying to KNOW what people in totalitarian societies think. 99.999% of Iraqi’s thought Saddam was the Greatest Leader that ever lived…just ask Saddam.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    The name Abdul Massiach means “servant of the Messiah” and indicates my Christian background. Religion, however, no longer plays any role in my personal life.
    War causes more deaths than those directly attributable to the wounds caused by bombs and firearms. The Lancet studies (there is a variety of them, and they are mutually critical and corrective), with their methodologies that focus on overall mortality and morbidity rates, are indicative of this. You may dispute whether sanctions killed 500,000 Iraqi children or only 300,000 in the 1990s, but even the lowest figures are horrific. And though the sanctions were nominally imposed by the UN, they were rammed through and then maintained by US pressure.
    The unwillingness – even inability – of Americans contributing to this forum to step back and look at events dispassionately colours and clouds nearly every comment here. Zeal, emotion, and nationalism are much more on display in the spun opinions expressed here than objective distance and intellectual rigour.
    I would say as a general rule, unless you are able to look at the US-Iraqi situation with the same detachment that you would have in observing a war between, say, two South American or two African states in which you have no personal interest or stake, you can’t begin to aspire to a real understanding. Preconceived notions about what America is, what its intentions are, what it is and isn’t capable of, tend to distort the observations and conclusions of US “patriots” here. But perhaps that’s what most of you want – reassurance or therapy, not scholarship or truly informed debate.
    Kula inggih nyumanggakaken.

  • Super 6 says:

    “I would say as a general rule, unless you are able to look at the US-Iraqi situation with the same detachment that you would have in observing a war between, say, two South American or two African states in which you have no personal interest or stake, you can’t begin to aspire to a real understanding.”
    I know a tree by the fruit it produces and I also know what the fruits of Islam are. We have a record that goes back several hundred years….

  • Kartik says:

    Abdul Massiach,
    2ND REQUEST :
    First admit to me that Al-Qaeda using children and disabled people *deliberately* as methods to deliver bombs is more evil and shocking than anything the US has done.
    The US may have done bad things, but has never, ever done anything this bad.
    Admit this to me first, and only then will I discuss anything with you. I will give you one last chance to answer this simple question, for the others to see where you stand.

  • hamidreza says:

    vuc – Isn’t it ironic that the same people in the anti-muslim “islam is a violent religion” crowd are the same people who want to “liberate” Iraq from brutal repression?
    I fail to see the contradiction. Care to elaborate?
    Islam is an ideology of submission and dominance. It implements its cause through brutal supression and brainwashing (mainly children). Saddam also implemented a totalitarian state. Totalitarianism is same, whether through Islamism, or Saddam’s Baathism.
    Of course Iraqis are free to be Muslims, and that is part of the Freedom of Religion contract. So you are mistaken to believe that anti-Islam means preventing Iraqis from exercising Islam in a private manner.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Kartik, I already made the point that I don’t think categories like “evil” or “more evil” are relevant to the situation in Iraq. The question makes as much sense to me as asking who was more evil in the Peloponnesian War, Athens or Sparta?
    If my disinterest in moral categories means that you must exclude me from the circle of your interlocutors at this forum, I will have to accept that burden.

  • hamidreza says:

    vuc – the Iraqi government today asked the UN to extend the US mandate in Iraq by another year.
    Remember, the Iraqi government was freely elected after a 3 month campaign period where 225 political parties ran openly and without fear, for Parliamentary seats. I think this answers you completely.
    Also, frankly why should we care for the majority opinion of the anti-west Muslims? Aren’t these the same people who believe that US or Israel inflicted the 9-11 attack on itself? Just because a large number of individuals uncritically believe via faith in nonsense or conspiracy, that does not make the nonsense any more worthy to listen to.
    In a sign that Iraq’s leaders see a further need for U.S. protection until their own troops are trained, the government asked the U.N. Security Council this week to renew the mandate of the U.S.-led forces for another year after January 1.
    from Reuters

  • vuc says:

    hamidreza:
    We either pay attention to what the Arab world thinks about our policies or we fight them forever. We have to make a choice.

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massieh – The Lancet study is widely debunked and discredited. The Brookings Institution says the Islamofascists have killed about 24,000 innocent Iraqis (mainly by targetting them) while the US is responsible for only 6,000 deaths (unintended collateral damage). So stop repeating lies please.
    The Saddam sanctions was his own cause, decided by the UN. With the kind of wealth he was looting, he could have easily improved children’s care in Iraq with no sweat. So again, stop this nonsensical propaganda – talking points of the reactionary-left. Ultimately, it is the government that is responsible for its own people. Maybe you should show some sympathy for the dead by attacking other Arab dictators who wish to impoverish their own people and rule on them by force of guns, instead of attacking the United Nations.
    The unwillingness – even inability – of Americans contributing to this forum to step back and look at events dispassionately colours and clouds nearly every comment here. Zeal, emotion, and nationalism are much more on display in the spun opinions expressed here than objective distance and intellectual rigour.
    Well, I don’t see you providing to answers to the refutation of your talking points such as Depleted Uranium claims or UN sanctions on Saddam. And when your made up figures on Iraqi casualties were challanged, you never bothered to provide any backup. I find your ideological approach to debate very tiresome and it certainly does not meet the standards of evidence and rigour required. Lets see you back up some of your fantastic assertions with Links, before you call the kettle black.
    Your complaint is more valid on your own part. If you had evidence to produce to backup your ideological assertions, then I would sympathize with your complaint. But no, you just wish to mud sling (like your historical fishing expeditions) and now you try to claim the high intellectual ground. Sorry but it aint working.
    3rd Request – please provide links to back up some of your fantastic assertions, such as Iraqi casualty counts, or US’s policy to deliver indiscriminate death to Iraqi civillians.

  • hamidreza says:

    ooops – third paragraph in previous post is Abdul’s quote and should have been in italics.

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul Massiah: I would say as a general rule, unless you are able to look at the US-Iraqi situation with the same detachment that you would have in observing a war between, say, two South American or two African states in which you have no personal interest or stake, you can’t begin to aspire to a real understanding. Preconceived notions about what America is, what its intentions are, what it is and isn’t capable of, tend to distort the observations and conclusions of US “patriots” here. But perhaps that’s what most of you want – reassurance or therapy, not scholarship or truly informed debate.
    For somebody who does not perform to the minimum standard of providing backup evidence for his fantastic assertions, despite multiple requests, and avoids those who refute his ideological rantings, this sort of fancy language certainly rings quite hollow of meaning and sincerety.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Hamidreza, the claim that the Lancet articles (you don’t refer to which one/s) are debunked is an exaggeration, to put it kindly. With respect to the October 2004 article on the cluster sample survey of mortality before and after the invasion, there are numerous sources that come down on the side of its general conclusions and others that consider it flawed either as a data set or in the interpretations made by the authors. My impression is that the debunkers tend to be featured on more overtly partisan sites, and to write in a more politicised style, while the supporters appear on more general sites and present their comments with less bombast. I know of no other estimates that look at overall mortality rates rather than reported casualties of military encounters, so the Lancet study is an important piece of statistical argument that everyone interested in the conduct of this war should be aware of, one way or the other.
    For some of the critical yet generally positive reviews see e.g.
    //www.countercurrents.org/iraq-polya121104.htm;
    //www.medialens.org/alerts/05/050906_burying_the_lancet_part2.php;
    and especially
    //timlambert.org/2005/03;

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    It escapes me why you consider my few comments and questions to be “ideological rantings”, Hamidreza, since I don’t take up one side of the debate or the other. If looking at both sides critically, refusing to privilege one or the other on a priori “moral” or “civilisational” grounds, and seeking to apply the same critical standards to the claims of each is an ideologised or overtly politicised approach, how would you characterise that ideology?

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  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul M. – Lancet put out a highly political piece 4 days before the US elections that claimed Iraqi casualties NOT by the US, but by the insurgents mainly to be between 8K and 194K. So idiotic selective outrage folks made the claim that this means US has killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Now how can one give statistical credence to a figure where the degree of confidence is something like 1500%, is beyond any statistician’s imagination. Furthermore, the pollsters FAILED to require death certificates from the families of the deceased !!! So any half versed Islamist that had an ax to grind must have reported multiple innocent deaths by the hands of the US army. And then, the polling was heavily biased towards Fallujah, which in 4/2004 was the scene of major combat, and while 90% of the casualties were combatants, Lancet put each and every death to the account of innocent civilians – and thus skewing the results hugely.
    now check this one: //www.techcentralstation.com/110104H.html
    Also Independent has called the Lancet pseudo-study “very doubtful”.
    None of your three links worked. They are highly ideological and not very credible sites BTW. Obviously you have not read those articles yourself and just have cut and pasted the links from some central database, probably maintained by moonbat ideologues (aka fascist-left).
    So before you go on your customary pontifications and opinionating about “political style” and other subjective tirades, including historical mud slinging, may I ask you to stick to the empirical methodology and produce links that work and that are credible.
    I question your credibility of making at least a dozen preposterous claims, such as US deliberately killing civilians at the rate that higher than Saddam, or that DU is harmful, or that UN and not Saddam is responsible for children mortality during the sanctions, or that US is engaged in “dominance” and “imperialism” whatever these tropes of yours mean.
    You were unable to define “civilized”, and then you went around demanding to know when western democratic nations became such? No, you dont even seem to know what civilization is, because of your upbringing in despotic Arab culture of political backwardness. May I suggest you go back to your Koranic studies and stop pretending to be oh so objective – which you are not the least. No links, no backup, only lies. Only fools are pushing the Lancet politicized article. The other moonbats are sticking to IraqBodyCount and ICasualties, and all, including the US government are putting the hard number of casualties at 26,000 – and that mostly due to the Sunni Islamofascists – which you seem to have a soft spot for.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Hamidreza, if you remove the ; from the end of the URLs I linked in my earlier post, they do work. I’m not well versed in HTML tag use. To make things simple for you, here they are again. You will see when you read them that your fulminations are a bit overblown.
    //www.countercurrents.org/iraq-polya121104.htm
    //www.medialens.org/alerts/05/050906_burying_the_lancet_part2.php
    and especially
    //timlambert.org/2005/03

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul: It escapes me why you consider my few comments and questions to be “ideological rantings”, Hamidreza, since I don’t take up one side of the debate or the other. If looking at both sides critically, refusing to privilege one or the other on a priori “moral” or “civilisational” grounds, and seeking to apply the same critical standards to the claims of each is an ideologised or overtly politicised approach, how would you characterise that ideology?
    You know why they are ideological rantings – because of your moral equivalency. Your postmodern attitude, where you confuse objectivity with moral equivalence, is a well known ideological trait of the reactionary-left cum Islamist partisan. For you, the practice of slavery by Sudanese Arabs, or the stoning of adulterers by the Iranian Islamists, or the female genital mutilation by subsaharan Arabs is only of cultural curiosity. When the Islamofascist blows up 100 people at the marketplace, you will dismiss that as a justified reaction to this delusional myth of “imperialism” which again, you are unable to even coherently define. You stare evil in its eye and then you blink. Islamist evil is whitewashed as long as the blame can be apportioned in some screwy manner on the Americans, if not the Europeans.
    You are a fraud Abdul. You are confusing objectivity where the truth is arrived at by empirical evidence and analysis, with that of postmodern moral and ethical relativism. You dont know the difference. I asked you 3 times to provide link and you refused. When you were forced, you produced dud links. What you mean by “both sides” is not that lets get the facts from all angles to arrive at the truth. It means lets engage in rhetoric and partisan mud, as long as we pretend that we are considering both sides of the warring parties. Your “refusal to privelege on moral grounds” translates to seeing no evil and hearing no evil, as long as it is not coming from the American or the western side. And then you invoked a despicable Koranic verse, from the book of lies, to back this dearth of moral certitude.
    Your ideology has been well characterized. It is a reactionary postmodern ideology of tearing down civilizations in order to promote a totalitarian, communal, and medieval system that suits your unenlightened and subjective tastes the best. It is an ideology where Human Rights has no place, and where moral equivalence is confused with objectivity, and where rhetoric flourishes at the expense of positive empiricism.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    Every aspect of your tirade was mistaken, my Pahlavic friend. For example, I was born in Cleveland OH, the sixth generation of my family to live in that city. Every other assertion or conclusion you made is equally off base. Wassalam.

  • hamidreza says:

    Abdul – I already wrote what was wrong with the Lancet article, as many including Independent a leftist publication, have noted. It is your claim that Lancet is credible. So now it is for you to convince me that such criticisms noted above do not apply.
    And may I ask, while you are at it, what would your solution have been for the freeing of Iraqis from the yoke of Saddam? Dont tell me you have no idea.

  • Abdul Massiach says:

    There was no compelling reason for the US to instigate war against Iraq, and many reasons not to. The regime of inspections was working, the reasons given by the US president for going to war were fabricated or distorted. US interests have been disastrously served by the adventure. No military action should have been taken against Hussein, period.

  • Nicholas says:

    Abdul, you claim not to be taking sides, but then you go and take sides quite clearly.
    “There was no compelling reason for the US to instigate war against Iraq”…
    I’d say Saddam Hussein, a brutal tyrant who was a threat to his own people, his neighbours and beyond was one pretty darn compelling reason.
    If only we could have gotten rid of Mao, Stalin and all the other horrors of the 20th century. I don’t think many would argue that wouldn’t have been worthwhile, if it could have been done anywhere near as cheaply as the ousting of Saddam.
    “The regime of inspections was working”… ?!?!?!?!?!?!
    That’s PURE fabrication. They were a joke. Ask Richard Butler or Rolf Ekeus. They ought to know. As far as I understand it, there is plenty of evidence that WMDs were being developed DURING the inspection period. It was only in the period of 2001-2003 (basically after they gave up hope of having any serious inspections, but as the war clouds were brewing) that most of the weapons and tools made to use them were destroyed and/or hidden. Still, some of them (such as mobile biological agent production laboratories) remained. How can you say the inspections worked?
    Rememeber, the condition of the inspections were that they had to prove they had no NBC weapons. They failed to do so, and in their efforts to deny the inspections, they acted in a very suspicious manner. If they had no NBC weapons why didn’t they let the inspectors verify that fact? I think the answer was they did have them and were developing them. That’s the only sane answer I can come up with. They knew the consequences – allow inspections or face military action. No sane person who has nothing to hide risks an invasion over something which doesn’t exist.
    “US interests have been disastrously served by the adventure.”
    Yeah, I’m sure 27 million free Iraqis are all wrong… I’m sure democracy in the Middle East was a big boo-boo.
    Hell, Saddam is still around, ask them whether they’d like him back in charge?

  • Nicholas says:

    Abdul, gee, do you think maybe the people who wrote the documents at those links might just be a TAD biased?
    “Aside from the sustained lying, massive public deception, illegality, the horrendous “collateral” civilian casualties and immense US corporate benefit (nearly US$400 billion extra military expenditure by the US alone since 9/11), there is a further outrageous scandal associated with the post-9/11 US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, namely the NON-REPORTAGE of horrendous civilian casualties by mainstream global mass media.”
    I stopped reading after that because I figured the whole thing was as biased as the opening paragraph and therefore worthless.
    The second article concludes “people say this report is flawed, but didn’t complain about another report using similar methodology”. I’m sorry but that doesn’t prove it’s not flawed, only that they didn’t scrutinize the latter report properly. I don’t see anything there to actually counter the meat of the argument that the Lancet study is flawed. After all, it doesn’t seem to do any actual analysis of the study, so how can it?
    I don’t see anything relevant at all in the third link. There’s something about the Lancet study but it’s incredibly petty – like correcting someone’s spelling and pretending that somehow makes what they said invalid.
    Iraq body count says 27-30k civilians have died in Iraq from all military-related causes. I suspect this is not too far from the mark. I believe this includes those killed by terrorists, insurgents, coalition military, stray bombs and rounds, etc. I’m not sure how it breaks down beyond there.
    This is an awful lot of people but I wouldn’t be surprised if something like half or more were actually from terrorist attacks and from what I understand of what life was like under Saddam, probably more people would have died without the invasion.
    Certainly, you could argue a few more or less people would have died with no invasion, but I find it hard to believe anyone could argue that it’s worthwhile sacrificing the quality of life of 27 million people to perhaps save a few, and letting Saddam continue to rack up his body count (estimates are well over one million for, what, 30 years of rule? that’s a lot more people per year than are dying right now in Iraq).

  • Nicholas says:

    Well, the Iraq body count only counts reported deaths, so the actual number is probably higher, but now that I read some more, I found that they state that US-led forces killed 37% of civilian victims.
    So, let’s say the real number is 1.5 times the reported number, which means roughly 45 000 people. 37% of that is 16 650 or, hmm, about 6660 per year. Even the 45 000 estimate I give over the course of 2.5 years is still less than one million plus divided by 30 years.
    This is all rather grim. The violence doesn’t have to continue. It’s entirely up to the terrorists and insurgents. They can choose to stop the violence (or we can stop them given enough time). The coalition is not going to leave until the Iraqis have their security act together, and then the Iraqis are never going to leave, so it’s not going to stop from that end. The choice is theirs, and I think many will choose soon. We shall see.

  • Nick says:

    Hamidreza gets better with each post and you sir look more pathetic. It’s beautiful.

  • AMac says:

    I wrote about the Roberts Lancet study in May at Winds of Change. In my opinion, the main objective of the papers’ authors and the editors of The Lancet was to damage Bush’s chances of re-election in November 2004. The central claim of the paper as The Lancet carelessly presented it, and as it is generally understood–“100,000 Iraqis killed by Americans during and after the invasion”–is demonstrably false.

    That said, this was not what the authors actually claimed, even if one of the Invited Commentaries in the same issue did. A careful reading of the paper reveals that the authors project 59,000 excess deaths from violence from all sources in the 18 months during and immediately after the March 2003, excepting Fallujah. The difference between 59,000 and 100,000 is statistical noise. As the authors were neither stupid nor unversed in statistics, they presumably were aware of this.

    Tim Lambert, the ardent and able Lancet defender, stated that Roberts’ data suggest 33,000 violent deaths, ex-Fallujah, due to the war and its aftermath (citation in the linked post). The paper itself didn’t contain adequate information to say, but the calculation is probably correct.

    There are a number of reasons for an open-minded person to approach the Lancet’s results with a great deal of skepticism. As one example: to his credit, perhaps, the lead author has been frank about his anti-intervention biases, and described how the researchers and surveyers, American and Iraqi, were all anti-American. This adds to the common-sense caution that, beyond statistics, what the survey recorded did not necessarily reflect the actual ground truth. There is no way to know.

    The UN survey that was published earlier this year supports some of Roberts’ more sober claims, and shows that other extrapolations were inaccurate (e.g. the infant mortality claims in the Lancet article). (I haven’t had time to write up a comparison).

    Another point to consider is that Roberts’ paper is a comparison of a prewar period with the 18 months following the March 2003 invasion. One reason that the latter period looks so “bad” (100,000 excess deaths) is that the general health and security of the surveyed population looks relatively good in the “before” period. But this is the very time during which “UN sanctions were killing hundreds of thousands of babies,” etc. The Lancet may be right, or the “sanctions killing hundreds of thousands” studies may be right, but it is a stretch to credit both at the same time. Although many people, obviously, do exactly that.

  • hamidreza says:

    AMac – thanks for the details. I am sure to check out Winds of Change for further research on this leftist propaganda “talking point”.

  • Mark Spittle says:

    You have no understanding of the horror that awaits us if we yield to these animals. If they cannot respect the most innocent, they will eat you alive. Shame on you.

    This sounds like Colbert doing schtick. Really.

    So, Mr. Roggio, in your revisionist history, the media was not selling 9/11 = Iraq, and they had nothing to do with convincing the “American People” to go to war?
    In reality, had the media done its job and revealed that Bush lied about WMD’s, 9/11, etc. the American people would not have supported the war at all.
    Do you not see the grotesque similarities between your panicked, hate-filled rhetoric (“They will eat you alive!”) and that of the mullahs?
    You are just as bad as they.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis