Sunday, December 18, 2011

The fruition of fear

The Cleveland Museum of Art holds one of the last monumental casts of Rodin's The Thinker that was produced under the artist's personal supervision. In 1970, the work was substantially damaged by a pipe bomb. The perpetrators were never caught, although the Weathermen were widely suspected. By today's standards, the act would have been called terrorism.

The museum stayed open. No metal detectors were installed. And instead of coddling The Thinker after his attack, instead of sequestering him indoors behind a thick glass panel, instead of succumbing to fear, museum officials decided to put him back in his rightful spot among the people.

That's what America used to look like.

The Thinker-9

Since 911, we've collectively caved to Osama bin Laden and the terror he and his associates cast upon us. The latest and perhaps most egregious affront is part of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the much derided indefinite detention provisions.

For those who believe that these provisions are limited to swarthy complected men with foreign sounding names, take a trip to the airport. Everyone takes off their shoes. Everyone gets ogled. Everyone will be subject to getting secretly thrown into a hole forever for no official reason. The new twist is that this nightmare won't be unfolding in Istanbul, but Poughkeepsie.

"But it's keeping us safe," says the doe-eyed blinking suburbanite from the warm interior of her Escalade.

Dick Cheney was the evil king of the fear mongers. He got Bush and the rest of Washington on board easily enough with the Patriot Act. Now Obama's subscribed and led us beyond the point of no return. Goodbye privacy, goodbye due process, goodbye innocent until proven guilty. I'm talking to you, John Doe. Don't like my rant? Let Dan Carlin tell you all about it.

To everyone who decries the construction of a mosque or derides fellow Americans based on their religion, behold the fruition of your bigotry: the inevitable and already-in-progress destruction of the United States Constitution.

Oh to be like my brave brave Thinker, so fearless and pure and victorious.

*  *  *

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

I left a message on their website Thursday: "Jesus wept". I doubt if they will catch the irony.
MR

Anonymous said...

The Thinker... or The Stinker? hahahahaha

Bill said...

"Oh to be like my brave brave Thinker, so fearless and pure and victorious." And, naive.

John Venlet said...

The fruition is not very pleasurable, or enjoyable, Erin, is it, no matter whose hand is on the till?

Erin O'Brien said...

A dead bin Laden owns you, Bill.

Erin O'Brien said...

-$10 billion a month in Afghanistan to chase less than 50 Al Qaeda and a few thousand Taliban.

-One nutcase loads his underwear with explosives and we spend billions on equipment to view every airline passenger naked.

Fear makes a lot of people rich.

The Times Square bomber with his propane tanks? Back in the 70's, that would have been called a crude local bomb and may or may not have hit national news.

FEAR STRIPS PEOPLE OF THEIR POWER.

I am sick of scared Americans.

J9 said...

I am sick of the fear machine too, Erin. I am getting out and meeting the people in my neighborhood and making eye contact at the mall, and just walking around. I miss being able to turn on the news and hear news, not fear reports.

Bill said...

Maybe the underwear bomber should take the path of the Weathermen terrorists and get into education. Chicago welcomes the terrorist mindset in it's professors and some, like Ayers, will be retiring soon.

Fear? No. Caution? Yes. I'm not afrain of global warming either. You?

Erin O'Brien said...

I'm not even tempted by your bait, Bill.

Bill said...

Took a nice, 3 mile, walk around my neighborhood today. There were lot's of families with kids and dogs (mostly labs, not for protection) and I even stopped to talk with one doe-eyed blinking suburbanite. Nice weather, Merry Christmas, The Sharks, and the downtown construction, were the main topics of conversation. As far as I could tell there was no fear or aprehension in the air. Maybe it's just the season but, I think it's pretty typical Americana. The only dead person who crossed my mind was my mother in law who died about a year ago and one of the neighbors mentioned her.

Kirk said...

Good point about The Thinker, Erin.

After 9/11, we should have declared war on something concrete, like Afghanistan (assuming the attacks were aided and abetted by that countrys' then-government, something I'm not sure has ever been proven), or, at the very least, Al Quida, but to declare war on an open-ended concept like "terrorism" just invited the dicing and slicing of out constitutional liberties. As one wag put it, declaring war on terrorism was as if, after Pearl Harbor, FDR had declared war on sneak attacks.

Bill said...

I'd say bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a pretty strong declaration of war on sneak attacks.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Madison Avenue was not in on it. They could have called it "Shock and Awe."

RJ

Anonymous said...

Erin-
What do you call it when someone compares apples and bowling balls?

MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I'd call it comparing fruits to an object you roll down a bowling lane. But that's just me.

Al
TRAG

Michael Williams said...

Hope or Hopeless? I want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers.

Erin O'Brien said...

On all the war's end coverage, the numbers keep coming up: 4,500 US deaths and a lowball estimate of 150,000 Iraqi deaths.

Imagine if China came over here and killed 150,000 Americans because they were worried we were going to attack them.

Our overblown self importance and American exceptionalism can absolutely disgust me. What filthy perversion.

Anonymous said...

@Al-I was thinking more along the lines of "bill-iousness"
MR

Joe said...

Erin,

I was with you until your last two sentences of your last comment.

America is exceptional. No place on Earth guarantees freedom like the American Constitution. No other country gives everyone the kind of opportunity you can find here.

Is it perfect? Of course not. But you have no king, no ruling class (not yet), your fate is not decided at 10 -- factory worker - scientist - soldier.

Are there problems? No one disagrees, but our imperfect American life beats the shit out of anything else on this big blue planet. Now and in the past.

Show me another place where a mixed race boy born to a teenaged mother, raised by his grandparents can rise to become the most powerful man in the World. Show me another place where a sharecropper's son and grandson of a slave can become a Supreme Court Justice.

America is exceptional. I have traveled the world, as my full passport will attest. There are nice places to visit, but there is no place like home.

I feel sorry that you can not see the wonder that is America.

Erin O'Brien said...

Don't feel sorry. I see plenty.

Cleveland Bob said...

Great friggin' post, Erin.

I "think" for X-mas, I will give myself the gift of a fear free 2012 as I too am sick of the fear machine perpetuated daily on airwaves.

As for America, its best days are behind it. We have a front row seat for the beginning of the end, but pity the youngsters in this country as they grow older as watch the final days of the Western decline.

We're the new Rome...smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Cleveland Bob said...

Oh, and here's just another example of the descent of the American Dream, folks...

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7392090n&tag=contentMain%3BcontentAux

Anonymous said...

"Show me another place where a mixed race boy born to a teenaged mother, raised by his grandparents can rise to become the most powerful man in the World. Show me another place where a sharecropper's son and grandson of a slave can become a Supreme Court Justice."-Joe 12/19/11 8:53 AM

Unexpected and pleasing endorsement of "It takes a Village" by Joe this morning.
Dare I counter that Obama and Thomas succeeded due to their own tenaciousness?


RJ

Anonymous said...

"Took a nice, 3 mile, walk around my neighborhood today. There were lot's of families with kids and dogs...As far as I could tell there was no fear or aprehension in the air."Bill- 12/18/11 1:00 PM

Hey Bill,

I was just reading on the web that, if you hurry, there are still openings for this mornings Segway tour of Oakland.

RJ

Judy said...

From what I've read, our being in the Middle East is the main reason for most of the terrorism; our foisting our way of life on them...maybe we should just come home and let them live their lives...after all, that's what we want to do, live our lives...

Unfortunately too many people don't even realize they are losing their freedoms...until something happens to a friend of theirs...or they want to get back at someone and make a comment...then people will start to disappear...maybe then they will listen...when it's too late to stop it...when the military machine has taken over...

So sad...

Bill said...

No way, RJ, I'm afraid to go to Oakland!

Anonymous said...

"No way, RJ, I'm afraid to go to Oakland!"-Bill-2/19/11 2:33 PM

C'mon Bill. You've got balls. Take 'em a puppy.


RJ

Bill said...

Just curious Judy. Which freedoms have you personally lost? The freedom to drive and not wear a seat belt? The freedom to ride a motorcycle without a helmet? The freedom to buy a toilet with a water tank big enough to get a good flush? The freedom to take the kids to see a nativity scene in a public square?

Anonymous said...

@Joe-
Far be it from me to say anything seen as bad-mouthing the ol'USA, but as far as opportunity is concerned, things aren't what they used to be.

In October Representative Paul Ryan,(R-WI) author of the "Medicare's in trouble so let's kill it now" Republican budget plan, tried to back-handedly address the income-inequality problem which motivates the Occupy movement;his thesis was that although US inequality vis-a-vis Europe might be greater, US upward mobility was greater.

As with so many of Mr Ryan's claims about our economy, he was wrong.

US upward mobility currently trails: Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Australia and Spain. Only England and Italy among the developed countries have lower mobility than the US.

Most if not all of the mentioned countries have nifty, boffo, shiny government-run healthcare to boot.
MR

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ Judy:

This is not a political post, but more a reflection of my experience in the Middle East, in which I've spent a total of 16 months.

"From what I've read, our being in the Middle East is the main reason for most of the terrorism; our foisting our way of life on them...maybe we should just come home and let them live their lives...after all, that's what we want to do, live our lives..."

We don't "foist our way of life on them," as you assert. What I've found is that while most in the Middle East like our technology, they don't like our culture. They live much as we do, but in public, they don't. And a lot, and I mean a lot more things are taboo in public, unlike here. That's not foisting our way of life on them - you won't see middle eastern men holding hands with their wives/girlfriends in public, for example. In Saudi Arabia, the religious police enforce such taboos in a draconian manner. Trust me.

Our being in the middle east as the source of terrorism - initially, one of Al Qaeda's reasons for terrorism was that we were "occupying the land of the two holy mosques," meaning Saudi Arabia. Other than our embassy and perhaps a few trainers, we do not operate any bases in Saudi Arabia, and haven't for some time. We've left Iraq, will leave Afghanistan in a few years, and only have a few thousand in Kuwait, at the invitation of the Kuwaiti government. Anyone who believes that our "presence in the middle east" explains the hatred of terrorists and their subsequent attacks on our forces and citizens ignores the facts. We're not there in large numbers, at least not anymore (Afghanistan excepted, but that will change in a few years). Al Qaeda and their supporters just hate us, period. It wouldn't matter if we had 10 troops there or 10 million. They'd find one reason or another to justify their actions, be it the Koran or something else.

Again, this is just my opinion based on my experience in the region.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

"We're not there in large numbers, at least not anymore (Afghanistan excepted, but that will change in a few years)."

Over 150,000 Iraqis dead and a massive occupation you admit to in that sentence and you don't think our Middle East presence is a major factor in their attitude toward us? That's an interesting point of view.

Al The Retired Army Guy - And Iraq Veteran said...

The number of Iraqis dead is a matter of speculation. No one knows for sure. Anything over one person dead is a bad thing, and both you and I would agree to that.

I've been in Iraq and seen how Saddam lived, and how poorly he treated those that didn't accrue to his views. We can debate the amount of dead, reasons for going in, etc. There is no doubt, however, in my mind having actually been on the ground, in Iraq, that removing Saddam from the gene pool was a good thing not only for Iraqis, but for humanity.

Many Iraqis viewed us as occupiers. Well guess what - we're gone now. Just yesterday, Maliki issued an arrest warrant for his vice president, a Sunni (Maliki is a Shiite). Didn't take then long, did it? I guess they'll blame that on us, too. Even after we're gone.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

"The number of Iraqis dead is a matter of speculation."

It certainly is.

"... removing Saddam from the gene pool was a good thing not only for Iraqis, but for humanity."

Where does it say in the Constitution that we're supposed to cleanse foreign lands of bad guys?

Oh wait.

I forgot we were in danger. The Iraqis were stuffing Twinkies with anthrax and getting ready to ship them over to our preschoolers! Remember Curveball and Tenet and Powell's big UN speech?

FEAR FEAR FEAR!

"I guess they'll blame that on us, too."

And why the hell shouldn't they? We toppled the gov they had and stayed for ten years--during which you admit that "Many Iraqis viewed us as occupiers." Maybe we should stay for ten more years. Give 'em Sarah Palin as a leader. Pretty soon they'll be flying the red, white and blue, buying Big Mac's and talking about those zany "Jersey Shore" kids.

Okay, Team American Exceptionalism, put on your letter sweaters and get out your pompoms.

We're number one!
We're number one!
We're number one!

Anonymous said...

Erin and Al:

The number of Iraqi dead may or may not EVER be known.

We ABSOLUTELY know the number of WMDs found. It's ZERO.

Saddam put out a "Beware of Dog" sign and never bought the dog.

MR

WV: "emuled" electronic mail sent or received by a jackass- ex-"William sent me a message but it was his usual e-mule obfuscation"

Anonymous said...

We're all children of Abraham. We need to get our shit together and quit killing one another.

RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy - And Iraq Veteran said...

@ Erin - as you know, I am on the record as questioning the reasons given, at the time, for going into Iraq. I've stated this more times than I remember.

It doesn't change the fact that we did, indeed go in. Where I see the failure(s) is that we did not plan for the aftermath. For this I place blame squarely on the shoulders of General Tommy Franks and his staff. They did not plan for the chaos that followed (in the war gaming part of the military decision making process, you consider and plan for such "what ifs"). And thousands of Americans and Iraqis paid the price.

As for placing blame on us for all their troubles, of course we caused some of them. But we didn't cause all of them.

One of my jobs when I was in Baghdad was to engage and work with Iraqi government agencies and offices in support of the U.S. Embassy's performance plan. That meant that I would work with such entities to create media programs to achieve the goals in the performance plan. At the time I was there, sectarian violence was at its worst. Convincing Iraqis to get along with each other was a tall order, believe me. Yet, our Ambassador at the time, Zalmay Khalilzad, wanted to produce products encouraging such a rapprochement.

At the time, the only thing that really united all Iraqis was their national soccer team. We thought that possibly creating products showing Iraqis of all sects, tribes, etc. playing on the soccer field might reverberate with Iraqi citizens. So, we went to talk to the President of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, who ostensibly was responsible at the time for the team. We sat down with him in the Al Rashid hotel, the same place where LTC Charles "Chad" Buehring, a good friend of mine from my days at the Special Warfare Center (we worked less than 10 feet from each other) was killed on October 26, 2003, in a rocket attack. At the time, you could see the room in which he was mortally wounded - the railing and much of the front of the building where he'd been staying was still damaged.

We sat down with the Iraqi official, and for the first 25 to 30 minutes of our discussion, he lectured myself and my team about how we Americans could have fixed everything wrong with Iraq in a month or so. We were the greatest power, had all the resources, etc., but yet, according to this guy, we had done nothing. I'm sitting in the hotel restaurant, drinking tea with this individual, and I couldn't help thinking about Chad, his wife Alicia, and their three sons. We'd done nothing? We wouldn't have been having that conversation if we'd done nothing.

Eventually, he agreed to work with us on the project. Some time after our meeting, he was kidnapped. I don't know what happened to him.

Reflecting now, it's clear to me that Iraqis had high hopes once we went in (and the conversation I had with the individual above is evidence of that). However, those hopes were drastically optimistic and not realistically obtainable. The infrastructure of Iraq was crumbling well before we got there - their power grid, for example, hadn't been upgraded since the 60s. Same goes for their sewer and water system. And yet, according to a lot of Iraqis, we were supposed to fix it almost overnight (I heard the same sentiment from other Iraqis I worked with in the embassy). It simply wasn't possible, especially without their help. There were those that wanted to help their country, but far too many I encountered were all too happy to sit back and let us do it, all the while criticizing us for "not doing enough." Again, this was my experience having been on the ground there.

We don't yet know what will happen in Iraq. If the arrest of the Iraqi Vice President is any omen, it doesn't look good. Time will tell.

In the meantime, there is, in Kuwait, a place called Camp Buehring.

Once again, we will agree to disagree here. I'll have no further comment on the subject.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks for a really thoughtful comment, Al. I'm sure everyone appreciates your insight.

Anonymous said...

@Al-thanks, and thanks for your service...MR

Bill said...

The United States has not killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians, or anything close to that. Of course there were civilian casualties but the majority of the civilian deaths have been caused by sectarian violence, Iraqi killing Iraqi. Americans blaming America for atrocities not committed, is disgusting.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ MR: Here's to thanking every veteran, past, present and future, for their service to our country.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

@ Bill...
-After the fall of Baghdad, the Coalition Provisional Authority and the US military made the disastrous decision to disband the Iraqi military.
-The officers and men were not returned to their barracks and discharged. There was no mustering out, no return of equipment, no paperwork. The army simply dissolved. Hundreds of thousands of weapons simply walked home.
-There were only the feeblest of efforts to secure ammo dumps and weapons depots.
-Bill, I have been trying not to engage you, because time after time your remarks are trite or are borne of ignorance. You fall back on non sequiturs. Facts are inconvenient for you.
-But riddle me this, Bill: elsewhere on this blog you advocated for the impeachment of the Attorney General of the United States over a poorly conceived sting operation in which several hundreds of weapons found their way into the wrong hands; a federal agent was dead; Mr Holder must be held RESPONSIBLE. How do you reconcile your mind-boggling hypocrisy, saying as you did yesterday that the United States 'didn't kill 100,000 Iraqis, or anything close'. Doesn't ANYBODY bear any responsibility? What was the level of non-governmental, Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence in the country prior to the invasion?
MR

Al The Retired Army Guy - And Iraq Veteran said...

@ MR: not really commenting on the subject further, but just getting a fact straight. The US military did not give the order to disband the Iraqi military. L. Paul Bremer, the head of the CPA, made that decision and issued the order, albeit in coordination with Rumsfeld and President Bush (and Doug Feith, number two at the Pentagon at the time). Bear in mind also that the Iraqi Army had pretty much melted away by the time Bremer got to Baghdad - there were virtually no units left in barracks. Most of them took off their uniforms and went home to their families once they saw how things were going.

One other thing - there were (and still are) weapons all over Iraq. It simply was not possible to secure every single weapons cache (I have friends that were on the ground during the invasion, and they told me as much). Our forces did their best, but they simply did not have enough resources and for that matter time to get them all. Also, virtually every home in Iraq has a weapon or weapons of some type, with the ammunition to match.

From "My Year In Iraq," by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, pg. 57:

"On Friday, May 23, 2003, I signed CPA Order No. 2, "Dissolution of Entities." These included the Defense Ministry, all related national security ministries and offices, and all military formations, including the Republican Guard, Special Republican Guard, Baath Party Militia, and the Fedayeen Saddam. The order terminated the service of all members of the former military, noted that payments would be made, and announced that the Coalition planned to create a New Iraqi Army "as the first step in forming a national self-defense capability for a free Iraq." Under civilian control, the force would be "professional, non-political, militarily effective, and representative of all Iraqis.""

George Bush admits in his book that in retrospect, he should have had a longer debate about the wisdom of the decision to disband Iraq's security forces. I think he's right to question that decision given subsequent events.

Al
TRAG

Judy said...

Bill..also the freedom to use incandescent light bulbs...the freedom to fly without being screened...the freedom to say something on certain websites without being concerned that I'm being put on someone's 'list' for indefinite interrogation...the freedom to run a red light or to walk down the street without a camera watching...everyone is so afraid and it's becoming worse...

Judy said...

Al...Our democratic society is so different from their tribal society which is what I believe causes so much friction...

Anonymous said...

@ Al-thanks for facts and clarification...I should have subbed "SecDef" where I used 'US military'. Perhaps I should have emphasized that zero effort was made to do any formal mustering out as well..Rumsfeld's decision making throughout was...wanting...
MR

wv: 'fatifers'-underground reservoirs, akin to aquifers, from which such commodities as ranch dressing, kool-whip, and hydrogenated vegetable oil are produced...

Anonymous said...

@Judy-the previous poster mentioned a list of things which are more properly referred to as conveniences or preferences, whereas you of course expressed concern about real rights such as speech, habeas corpus, etc...
MR

Al The Retired Army Guy - And Iraq Veteran said...

@ Judy: One must remember that there are more things than just tribe at the heart of the difficulties Iraq has experienced in the past (under Saddam and not under Saddam) and will in the future. Basically, in Iraq, people identify by family, by tribe, and then by religion, in that order. It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are so many problems in trying to bring anything to a consensus there. Add the Kurds to that (who, BTW, will never give up their autonomy that they enjoyed under Saddam and also now), and one can see how difficult it must be. Kind of like trying to herd cats.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

You can engage me or not, MR. I didn't advocate for the impeachment of Holder because it would be a waste of time. He should be fired or resign. As far as Iragi on Iraqi violence, maybe one of the more informed commentators will remind you of the many mass graves uncovered there. We, the USofA, fucked up many things in Iraq. But, throwing around comments like, the US killed hundreds of thousands of Iragi civilians, is bull shit. Engage that!

Judy said...

Al...You and I are talking along similar lines...their way of life and our way of life will never converge...and I believe that leaving them alone to live their violent lives without interference will make things safer here...

Erin O'Brien said...

Oil.

Anonymous said...

Bill...
as usual, you follow true to form...The central point of my question to you, that Holder should pay for a poorly conceived and/or executed sting operation while you justify ANY amount of US involvement in civilian deaths is ignored...What the hell do mass graves that WERE there have to do with what followed from US actions after?

And how many dead Iraqi civilians are ok? 48,000? 53,000? 20???

MR

Anonymous said...

"As far as Iragi on Iraqi violence, maybe one of the more informed commentators will remind you of the many mass graves uncovered there."-Bill-12/21/11 6:44 PM

The U.S. has a special expertise in mass burials.

"Following a three-day blizzard, the military hired civilians to bury the dead Lakota. The burial party found the deceased frozen; they were gathered up and placed in a common grave on a hill overlooking the encampment from which some of the fire from the Hotchkiss guns originated. It was reported that four infants were found alive, wrapped in their deceased mothers' shawls. In all, 84 men, 44 women, and 18 children reportedly died on the field, while at least seven Lakota were mortally wounded."
The Wounded Knee Massacre happened on December 29, 1890.

RJ

Anonymous said...

If you haven't questioned the basic nature of man based on current events and need a primer on the complexities of international military intervention see this:

The Devil Came on Horseback (2007) - IMDb
www.imdb.com/title/tt0912580/

The Devil Came on Horseback
www.thedevilcameonhorseback.com/

Let There be Peace on Earth.

RJ

Bill said...

I'm simply pointing out the fallacy of the, US caused, Iraqi civilian death numbers in one of the comments. A simple, "you're right about that Bill" and, "thank you for your service", would suffice.

Anonymous said...

If you break into an asylum, chase off all the attnedents, scattering matches and gas cans all about before you leave, you're responsible for the conflagration.
You're not right, and you're certainly of no service. If I want to hear anything else from an ass, I'll fart.

MR
Merry Christmas

Bill said...

Obama's numbers improve. Some numbers don't.

Anonymous said...

Iraqi Body Count(no, NOT Iragi)an independent US/UK group estimates civilian dead at between 103K-113K, 3/03 through 10/11.

Iraqi Family Health,an Iraq-based public health group,estimated 151K through 6/06

Associated Press 110,600 through 4/09

Analysis of Wikileaks 109K through 12/09

Reuters between 92K and 101k through 8/09

MR

Bill said...

Any of those numbers may or may not be accurate. The point is that most of them, a huge majority of them, were not killed by US soldiers. When you read any of the reports you cite, you will find it almost impossible to find a breakdown of Iraqi military killed. Some do talk about 23k+ Iraqi insurgents killed. However it is next to impossible to know how many of them were the result of US military action. Bottom line, the number of civilians killed by US troops, although too many regardless of the number, is limited to those accidentally killed during a strike against military targets. The US military made a practice of NOT targeting Mosques even though the enemy regulary hid in them and they stored amunition. Bottom line, there were close to zero intenional killings of Iraqi civilians and probably less than 1,000 civilians killed accidentally by US troops.

Kirk said...

Erin said: "Oil."

Good point, Erin.

Judy said: "Our way of life and they're way of life will never converge."

Since we're Homo Sapiens and they're Homo Sapens, there's every possibility that our ways of life may someday converge. I just don't think it will happen at gunpoint. If anything, that will delay the convergence.

WV Kerwin: Actor who once played Sinbad (a citizen of Baghdad, as a matter of fact.)

Bill said...

Oil? Yes, we're benefiting in some ways but not because we took over the oil fields. Here's a NY Times article that gives a pretty good picture of The truth about Iraqi oil

Anonymous said...

Bill-
With all due* respect, BULLSHIT. Did you not read my analogy of the asylum?
Your assertion is that there were only 1,000 dead due to US action? First of all, that's still too fucking many, but second of all it's absurd on its face. Artillery? Airstrikes? you say it is impossible to know how many were the result of US military action, and then expert that you are fix the number at less than 1,000?
* "BULLSHIT" is all the respect a post like this is 'due'.
MR

Anonymous said...

I observed the same statistical slight of hand. This whole exercise is nonsense or, in the alternative, BS.

However MR. You and I get engaged with this troll expecting some sort of reasonable outcome. Ain't gonna happen.

Merry Christmas

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Come on, gents, it's December 23rd. Let's cool it.

Erin O'Brien said...

... or December 22 ... hmmm ... Erin Need Eggnog ...

Bill said...

Have you noticed that none of the troll engagers have been able to come up with a number of Iraqi civilians killed by US troops? Sometimes you just have to admit you're wrong. Our troops never try to kill innocent civilians. They are usually subject to stringent rules of engagement which increases the danger to them. Other than the rare nut case, our Armed forces should be honored, not accused of slaughtering innocent civilians. I've been called a lot of names here. No big deal but that doesn't strengthen a bogus argument.

Erin O'Brien said...

I think they call it "collateral damage," Bill.

Now enough.