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May 28, 2007

Comments

Amen Melinda.
The love, courage and patrotism you speak of should draw us to the reality of their sacrificial obedience; " that last full measure of devotion."
To the 'citizen soldiers' who have given that last full measure of devotion, we honor and thank you.

Here's an article by a Vietnam vet who recently lost his son in Eye-raq.

Informed people will of course know who Andrew Bacevich is.

"I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty."

By Andrew J. Bacevich
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052701308_pf.html

Oops, this should work:

http://tinyurl.com/ysqawy

Thanks Chris, we should not forget those currently in service, coverage of the war is being shorted on some venues.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/business/media/28carr.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin

http://www.journalism.org/node/5719

"I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty."

His duty was to die for freedom while mine was to complain about it. How dare he make any kind of equivalence between the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate narcissism.

1) It is Iraq. Why the ridiculous spelling?

2) I suppose I am uninformed since I do not know who this Bacevich is.

3) Why is it so hard for people who are against this current war to be thankful for those throughout history who have done their duty in serving their country? Why?

Not even on a day of remembrance can people such as Chris refrain from posting something like this, which does nothing to honor those who are supposed to be honored on this day.

Not only that, but the link has to be prefaced by an introduction that sounds nothing short of mocking.

Hi, Mo you have a computer and access to the internet. Did you consider googling the name? Did you read the linked article? Perhaps this is a signal that you don't have enough information on these things to make a judgement?

Bacevich is a professor of International relations at Boston University. He is a West Point Graduate and retired a Colonel. He did his graduate work at Princeton. He is a Vietnam vet and a political conservative.

An interestion conversation with him is at:

http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people5/Bacevich/bacevich-con0.html

It would seem to me that Memorial day is the last day you would want to forget those who are currently at risk, especially when they shouldn't have been over there in the first place.

Yes, I read the article.

That's the last I'll be commenting on your posts, Alan, because I am tired of your arrogance as well.

Alan is for freedom unless it's for brown people over the ocean. Why do we have a right to democracy but they don't?

And why question the mission of soldiers on a day that remembers the ultimate sacrifice our boys make regardless of it being a popular war or an unpopular one. These soldiers died for a mission you hate...who cares?!

"2) I suppose I am uninformed since I do not know who this Bacevich is."

What was the point of the above comment, then? Bacevich has been a high profile critic of our foreign policy for years. His name has been all over the internets for a month since his son was killed. Yes, if you were unaware of who he was it is a good indication that you have a certain information deficit. That deficit may be preventing you from making good decisions. Rather then taking offense so easily, why not start digging deeper?

Hi Doug, rather then throw bumper sticker slogans around and playing the race card, stop and think for a minute. Do you really believe we can bomb folks into democracy? In Afghanistan (which could have worked), the Taliban is back and we have a narco state. In Iraq we have a theocracy looming and a terrorist trainning ground.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/world/middleeast/28exodus.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

As for this "mission" nonsense. I refuse to respect the curious notion that old men who had "other priorities" when they were in a position and of an age to themselves serve, get to whip up half-baked, ideologically driven schemes that wind up killing young men who sought to serve our nation.

Memorial day is an excellent time to reflect that lives should not be spent to salve the reputations of politicians.

"Memorial day is an excellent time to reflect that lives should not be spent to salve the reputations of politicians."

What about the rich, white politicians-who-skipped-military-service who want to bring them home?

...and yes you can bomb people into a liberal western democracy, see the United States, Germany and Japan.

The young men who signed up to serve this nation speak for themselves, they disagree with you and submitted to leadership knowing they could be killed in Iraq.

You can't end unjust totalitarian violence unless free people are willing to confront it with just violence. Our soldiers have a tough job and you make it tougher. Thanks for doing your little part.

"What about the rich, white politicians-who-skipped-military-service who want to bring them home?"

Cut the irrelevant racist aspersions. It doesn't impress or intimidate me. You had a chance to vote for a real veteran and you chose a daddy's boy who took the easy way out. Here's a list you might be interested in:

http://www.awolbush.com/whoserved.html

"..and yes you can bomb people into a liberal western democracy, see the United States, Germany and Japan."

To do to Iraq what we did to Germany and Japan would require totally destroying the country and occupying it with at least 600,000 troops. That number is achievable only with a draft.

Germany was a western country that had been a democracy during the 1920s. It was occupied for 10 years.

The development of democracy in the United States was an organic development over several centuries. England was in turmoil in the sixteenth century and distance and transportation realities facilitated the development of the institutions necessary for self-government.

Japan was familiar with western style parliamentary government and had been a western style industrialized state since the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century.

News flash dude, important cultural and historical differences here. Rather than emoting about the "mission" and pie in the sky,. please explain where we get the troops for an effective occupation, and how long before Iraq is a liberal western democracy?

Doug, neo-conservatism has been shown to be an illusion and a failure. We are not going to have a liberal western democracy in Iraq. We are going to have a semi-autonomous Kurdistan in the north and a Shite theocracy in the south. There will be a lot less Sunnis when all is said and done.

I only know one person likely to wind up in Iraq at this time (active Army). His words were " I hope they send me to Afghanistan, I believe in that . I don't believe in Iraq and don't want to go there." He also indicated that this was a common viewpoint.

It seems he isn't alone. Your information is quite out of date.

"For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war."

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2006/12/tns.troopspol06l1229/

"But now on his third deployment in Iraq, he is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army."
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/world/middleeast/28delta.html?ex=1338004800&en=3bc9909321d69f9b&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

>That's the last I'll be commenting on your posts,
>Alan, because I am tired of your arrogance as well.

Can't stand the heat? Not up to it?

And yes, I was mocking.

And I'm from Canada.

It is incredible how ignorant Doug T is of history and geo-politics. Perhaps you ought to cease watching Faux News? Read some books that don't necessarily agree with your views, you will be amazed.

We're both Christians and I think an analogy can be made between Christians vs. the general population, and people against US foreign policy vs. the general population.

Though of course, there are far more people in the US that are against US foreign policy.

As a Christian you have closely looked at both sides of the fence, do the same for geo-politics. No government can be fully trusted.

>Alan is for freedom unless it's
>for brown people over the ocean.

I would have thought posters here would be a bit smarter. Who said anything about race?

>Why do we have a right to democracy
>but they don't?

What do you mean by "right to democracy"? You have a right to breathe, you don't have a "right to democracy". Unless you're talking about political rights given to you by the founders of the US.

I've lived in Poland, Germany and now Canada and compared to Canada and Europe the US version of democracy is a farce, federally at least. Canada and the European countries have real democracy. Switzerland to the extreme.

US "democracy"

USA: "NUMBER 17" on Democracy Index
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmIwZMSboZA

Also, people do not realize this but democracy is not an absolute truth or an absolute necessity. It is not to be imposed on anyone. It's a system that has evolved (pardon my choice of words) for a couple thousand years and what was democracy a hundred years ago is not acceptable today in most countries.

God is not a democrat and there will not be any democracy in Heaven.

I've known hundreds of immigrants from non-democratic countries, and NONE of them came over to Canada, the US or to Europe for "democracy", just for the freedom and opportunity capitalism presents, though a capitalism that is a bit more restrained than in communist China.

Also, democracy requires a civilized culture and people. Judging by what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan today what the Muslims there needed was the iron fist of Saddam.

Nobody asked the US to invade and impose a "democracy".

>...and yes you can bomb people into a liberal
>western democracy, see the United States, Germany and Japan.

I was going to reply to this but Alan already explained it well.

Also, keep in mind that in WWII Germany lost 88% of her men fighting against the Russians and used 85% of her military resources fighting against the Russians. The turning point in the war as at Stalingrad, before the US entered the European war.

>And why question the mission of soldiers
>on a day that remembers the ultimate sacrifice
>our boys make regardless of it being a
>popular war or an unpopular one.

"our boys", Don't people realize how nauseating that sounds?

Bacevich answers this better than I could.

>These soldiers died for a mission
>you hate...who cares?!

The long and bloody French invasion and occupation of Algeria was also protested by the French. Would you say the same to the French protesters as well? Or would you listen to their complaints? Of course, it could be that you agree with the French imperialistic invasion of Algeria.

>The young men who signed up to serve this nation
>speak for themselves, they disagree with you and
>submitted to leadership knowing they
>could be killed in Iraq.

Yes, that's why I don't shed any tears for them, be it Americans in Iraq or Canadians in Afghanistan. They went of their own volition, some because of misguided ideology and some to kick @ss and to see some action, as a National Guard acquaintance from Alaska put it.

Vietnam is a different story. Those soldiers were drafted. A friend purposely broke his legs to avoid the draft. Vietnam vets are people I have sympathy for. There's a homeless Vietnam vet in a park nearby, it is sad how these people were just discarded after the war. The same will happen to the Iraq vets. It is already happening as we have seen. They are just cannon fodder for your evil government. And it is amazing how many American looooooove their government.

Let us also not confuse a nation and its government, the two are separate. This allows one of my friends from a former Soviet republic to hate the Soviet government yet love the Russian people. Same with the Germans and the Nazis.

Of course, the US has "democracy" so Americans are slightly responsible for their government's actions.

>You can't end unjust totalitarian
>violence unless free people are
>willing to confront it with just violence.

You must be joking. Do you for one second believe that Iraqis are better off under the US occupation than under Saddam? Saddam was cruel, but mostly to his enemies, and we can well see that those cultures and peoples in Iraq needed an iron hand.

>Our soldiers have a tough job
>and you make it tougher.

They are invaders, so no sympathy.

Here's the clincher, and ponder this carefully:

With all the butchery and totalitarianism going in Africa and elsewhere, with millions of people dead, how can you believe for even a moment that the US:

- invaded the most strategic region in the world,
- spent HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS,
- KILLED THOUSANDS of American soldiers
- MAIMED or SCARRED FOR LIFE TENS OF THOUSANDS of AMERICAN soldiers
- killed and ruined the lives of tens of thousands Iraqis
- irreparably destroyed the worldwide reputation of the US
- vastly increased the danger of terrorism from peed-off Muslims

TO FREE THE IRAQIS FROM SADDAM AND INSTALL DDDDDDDUH-MOCRACY, AND KILL SOME TERRORISTS?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

THINK!!!!!

Also, there was the nuclear canard, which everyone seems to have forgotten, which was used as a singular point to focus all the pro-war propaganda on, thus making it easier to convince people like you that the war was just.

There are a number of reasons for the invasion of Iraq, some are:
- Israel
White man's burden By Ari Shavit (ISRAELI PAPER, lest I be accused of anti-semitism)
"The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible. But another journalist, Thomas Friedman (not part of the group), is skeptical"

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=280279&contrassID=2&subContrassID=14&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y

- oil

Wolfowitz: Iraq War Was About Oil
By George Wright
The Guardian

Wednesday 04 June 2003

Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war.

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/060503A.shtml

- The Great Game. Namely, Russia is down and has been encircled, along with China. The US has to prevent Russia and China from posing a challenge to its aspirations like Soviet Russia did.

I'm sure you would like non-Christians to take a close, critical look at Christianity....have you done the same with the much more obviously fallible US foreign policy???

Alan, I think it would be easier for me to convince you of the veracity of Christniaty than for us to convince Doug T and others here that the US government cannot be trusted.

You may be right Chris. Anyway six hundred days and counting until we are delivered from these fools.

Public office is a trust and breaking the military is about the most serious violation of that trust an administration can make. I was reading the promotion lists in the issue of the army times I referenced above and the Army is still bleeding O-3s. What folks like Doug seem to not be aware of, and Fox News will never tell them, is that the officer corp is voting with its feet.

Couple that with the trashing of the DOJ and your point about trust is very real.

A large part of the problem is the coporatization and concentration of media ownership. It is really hard to get a good picture of what is going on unless you dig a little.

>>Do you for one second believe that Iraqis are better off under the US occupation than under Saddam? Saddam was cruel, but mostly to his enemies, and we can well see that those cultures and peoples in Iraq needed an iron hand.

I wouldn't presume to claim personal knowledge as to whether or not the Iraqi people are better off now, so here's a response from an Iraqi blog to comments like the above:

"So our kind leftists who care so much about humanity don't think that dictatorship and tyranny are as terrible as all that. This article [see the link below] is interesting because it expresses the point of view of many of the like of this individual. Read this my friends and wonder how low have our "humanitarian" liberals and leftists have sunk. I shall say no more."

That quote comes from here:

http://messopotamian.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_
archive.html#116284281818451832

The article ("Saddam: a tribute") he's referring to that sounds much like the comment above can be found here:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/
david_cox/2006/11/saddam_a_tribute.html

Thank you, Amy. I am sorry that a post that was meant to convey honor toward those who so richly deserve it was turned into such an ugly thread. I'm sorry if I contributed to that. It's hard to just stay silent when you see stuff like this go on.

Alan, it seems that once people are entrenched in their views and biases no amount media diversity will dislodge them from their fallacious views.

Amy,

Read what you quoted from my post in the context of the entire post. I am not defending Saddam.

One more time:

==========================
With all the butchery and totalitarianism going in Africa and elsewhere, with millions of people dead, how can you believe for even a moment that the US:

- invaded the most strategic region in the world,
- spent HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS,
- KILLED THOUSANDS of American soldiers
- MAIMED or SCARRED FOR LIFE TENS OF THOUSANDS of AMERICAN soldiers
- killed and ruined the lives of tens of thousands Iraqis
- irreparably destroyed the worldwide reputation of the US
- vastly increased the danger of terrorism from peed-off Muslims

TO FREE THE IRAQIS FROM SADDAM AND INSTALL DDDDDDDUH-MOCRACY, AND KILL SOME TERRORISTS?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

THINK!!!!!
==========================

With all the butchery and totalitarianism going in Africa and elsewhere, with millions of people dead, how can you believe for even a moment that the US:

- invaded the most strategic region in the world,
- spent HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS,
- KILLED THOUSANDS of American soldiers
- MAIMED or SCARRED FOR LIFE TENS OF THOUSANDS of AMERICAN soldiers
- killed and ruined the lives of tens of thousands Iraqis
- irreparably destroyed the worldwide reputation of the US
- vastly increased the danger of terrorism from peed-off Muslims

TO FREE THE IRAQIS FROM SADDAM AND INSTALL DDDDDDDUH-MOCRACY, AND KILL SOME TERRORISTS?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

THINK!!!!!
==========================

Chris, I was responding directly to your claim that the Iraqis were better off under Saddam. I pointed to an Iraqi (who should know better than either of us) who not only disagreed with your claim, but was insulted by the very idea. I'm not sure how repeating another part of your comment twice over addresses what he said.

>>It seems that once people are entrenched in their views and biases no amount media diversity will dislodge them from their fallacious views.

My thought exactly.

Amy, you point out one Iraqi. Unless you haven't been paying attention, the vast majority of Iraqis, outside of the Kurds, are not happy with US presence.

That he's insulted with others' lack of concern is his business. I could not care less. There are far more serious human rights problems out there than Iraq ever had, sub-Saharan Africa being an example, but nobody seems to want to try very hard to stop the Muslim terrorist butchery in that region.

It is indisputable that in general, Iraqis are much worse off than under Saddam. Ask the Christians at least.

I should have repeated that section four times, because you still don't get the gist of my post.

>>It seems that once people are
>>entrenched in their views and
>>biases no amount media diversity
>>will dislodge them from their
>>fallacious views.
>My thought exactly.

Are you applying that to me? How so?

>>I should have repeated that section four times, because you still don't get the gist of my post.

Chris, I wasn't commenting on your entire post, I was just responding to that one claim by adding some media diversity to the conversation.

>Chris, I wasn't commenting on your
>entire post, I was just responding
>to that one claim by adding some
>media diversity to the >conversation.

OK

Here is another Iraqi blog:

http://hammorabi.blogspot.com/

Here is a good social conservative site:

http://www.sistani.org/local.php?modules=main

Hi Amy, The problem here is that neither of us knows anything about the Iraqi blogs to which we linked. Here is a recent poll from Iraq; notice the shift in opinion from 2005.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6451841.stm

All this is besides the point as far as I'm concerned. We are not going to police the world with a hundred thousand troops and even "democratic" empire building will destroy our institutions.

Does anyone here have all the intel and experience with geopolitical defensive strategy? Whether or not you agree with our activities in Iraq, there is more to this than the limited information that fuels the sophomoric arguments typically bandied about.

Alan, I actually used to read that blog quite a bit, so I do know something about it. He loves his country, and he certainly has no stake in partisan American politics.

I did take a look at that poll (thanks for the link), and regardless of the shift, the percentages of Iraqis who rate their situation at "about the same" and above still outweigh the "somewhat worse" and below. (And the difference between the two is quite large when they're talking about the state of their own lives--about 64% to 36%.) A good statistical response to the false claim that, overall, the Iraqis think their lives were better off under Saddam.

Hi Amy, what I meant was, who is he, in the sense that I know who Volokh, DeLong, Marshall, Sullivan and Drum (among others) are and what they are about. He is very well educated - his English is almost too good compared with other blogs I've read. Is he Shia? Kurd?

Two things about the poll stand out:

The trend line is very bad, moving consistently in a negative direction from 2004.

A majority (59%) now believe their lives are either about the same, somewhat worse, or much worse then under Saddam.

You may have misread the graphics; click on the pdf under the "Read the findings" box. A clear majority now believe their lives were the same or better before the war, are bad now and are going to get worse. Again note the trend from 2004 to 2007.

Believe me, I take no joy in this, but at some point we have to acknowledge the emperor's lack of clothing. Half the names on the Vietnam wall were added after it was clear it was a lost cause. It seems proper to consider that on Memorial Day.

One other thing, consider that "about the same" reply. We have spent thousands of American lives and a couple of trillion dollars (when all the bills come due) so a consistent 20% of the Iraqi population can say "no big deal". I don't see how that reply gets added into the positive side of the ledger.

Alan, it should be added into the positive side of the ledger because the charge was that things are *worse* now than they were under Saddam. If they are the same, they are not worse.

>>A majority (59%) now believe their lives are either about the same, somewhat worse, or much worse then under Saddam.

But if you include the "about the same" (as I argued above) on the other side, the percentage is 64%, and this is still greater than your 59%. In other words, if you were to leave out the "about the same" category altogether, it's still 43% (better) to 38% (worse) when they're talking about their own lives (from the first graphic at the top of the page). And as I said, in this case, the "about the same" should be added to the above because it does not agree with the statement that things are worse. But even if you leave it out completely, the "worse" side is not greater. (The "much worse" category has actually gone down since 2005.)

Regarding your second comment, I believe it is worth it for things to be "the same" if it means that after the conflict is squashed, things will be much better.

To Santiago:

>Does anyone here have all the
>intel and experience with
>geopolitical defensive strategy?

And what is your point?

>Whether or not you agree with our
>activities in Iraq, there is more
>to this than the limited
>information that fuels the
>sophomoric arguments typically
>bandied about.

Perhaps you could bandy about with some non-sophomoric arguments that could enlighten us all and spare us the baseless patronization?

Amy,

This was a survey of a couple thousand people, what do you think the tens of thousands that have been killed and maimed would have to say to you?

And the central issue one more time, which you apparently ignoring:

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

With all the butchery and totalitarianism going in Africa and elsewhere, with millions of people dead, how can you believe for even a moment that the US:

- invaded the most strategic region in the world,
- spent HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS,
- KILLED THOUSANDS of American soldiers
- MAIMED or SCARRED FOR LIFE TENS OF THOUSANDS of AMERICAN soldiers
- killed and ruined the lives of tens of thousands Iraqis
- irreparably destroyed the worldwide reputation of the US
- vastly increased the danger of terrorism from peed-off Muslims

TO FREE THE IRAQIS FROM SADDAM AND INSTALL DDDDDDDUH-MOCRACY, AND KILL SOME TERRORISTS?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

THINK!!!!!
==========================

Chris, perhaps if you didn't shout at people and talk to them like they are stupid, you would get a better response.

Mo, you're right but it's really hard not to get angry with people who think the Iraqi invasion was right and that the results below were worth it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2606.htm

I grew up in Poland and Germany and the biggest fear there growing up in the 80's was war. When we came to Canada it was immediately apparent that a fear of war was not part of the psyche of Canadians, never mind Americans. And it's sickening for a country to justify the invasion of another with platitudes of "democracy" and "freedom" when it ignored the literal butchery of 800,000 Africans in Rwanda in the 90's. I watched Clinton's "apology" for lack of action, as at the same time he was "protecting" the Iraqis from Saddam by bombing Iraq.

Good night, and I apologize for being rude earlier.

"Regarding your second comment, I believe it is worth it for things to be "the same" if it means that after the conflict is squashed, things will be much better."

I understand your point Amy, but if we are parsing words at this stage, it isn't a good sign. I urge everyone to read the whole poll - all 54 quesrions.

The much worse category has basically been flat for all three years. All changes are within or close to the margin of error. which is 2.5%. The other indicators are moving in the wrong direction by significant percentages.

This is no longer about quashing a conflict or bringing democracy. It's all about politics now. As you can see from the polls, the Iraqi people blame us for the state of things, the American people want us out and the troops no longer believe in the mission. Our military is either broken or close to it.

Chris and I are old enough to have been down this road before; you are about to learn a hard lesson.

Polls, because of their limited samples (and I've taken statistics in college) cannot be completely trusted.

What can be fully trusted are the opinions of the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis (according to Dubya), most of whom surely feel that the invasion was not worth it.

Of course, some people are prone to playing God and feel they have a right to dispense with others' lives for the "benefit" of others.

Alan, I think we're beating a dead horse.

Alan, I'm not parsing words. I'm only addressing one claim that was made. A large majority of Iraqis do not say their lives were better under Saddam. Chris rejects these statistics that go against his belief, and that's his right. But if that's the case, then there's nothing more that can be said about that.

Amy, your head is in the sand. I'm talking to a wall. Are you still in high school? Do they teach reading comprehension?

That's it for me for this discussion.

Chris, if you're going to poll the people who died after 2003, then I can poll the people who died prior to 2003 under Saddam. In neither case can we know if they thought it worth it to die to keep the status quo or worth it to die to change their situation. All we can know is that those who are in the midst of the dying still do not think life was better under Saddam.

You can, of course, argue that it is not worth the deaths, but that is a different discussion, and it doesn't change the fact of what the Iraqis are now saying about the particular claim that life was better under Saddam. This is not an argument to defend the whole of the war, as you seem to be taking it, or a refutation of all your arguments which you seem to be asking for, and I never intended for it to be either of those.

Chris wrote: "Amy, your head is in the sand. I'm talking to a wall. Are you still in high school? Do they teach reading comprehension?"

Lovely. Do you wonder why you are ignored? You have demonstrated maturity that doesn't even rise to the level of "high-schooler", and then you question Amy's.

"That's it for me for this discussion."

Thank goodness. Maybe the adults can get a word in edgewise.

"Of course, some people are prone to playing God and feel they have a right to dispense with others' lives for the 'benefit' of others."

Spare me the sanctimonous drivel. When politicians on the left do everything they can to remove troops immediately (seemingly entirely for political gain), when all signs point to that creating a drastic increase in violence and death in Iraq, they (and all who agree with them...) are demonstrating their belief that they have the "right to dispense with others' lives" (the Iraqis) for the (in this case financial and political "'benefit' of others."

Everyone is, to use your term, "playing God" here.

Hi Paul, did you read the whole poll? Read questions 29, 30, 38.

If you read sources on the left you would know that there are similar concerns. The reality is we don't know what would happen.

Linear extrapolations rarely work out in things of this nature.

Hi Chris and Amy, just found this Rod Dreher column on beliefnet. We should never forget that we all have our own learning curves, nor can we always understand the depth of another's commitment or the reasons for that commitment which may be totally unconnected to the issue a hand.

http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/crunchycon/2007/06/noonan-to-bush-its-over.html

(copy to somewhere on this line to link)

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