Bush supports Amnesty International


I'm pretty pissed off about a lot of things that I see my goverment doing right now.  For example, we claim to be fighting a "War on Terrorism", but we're missing a few important facts:

  • The US is the #1 perpetrator of terrorism world-wide
  • After Sept 11, the US took steps to increase suffering world-wide
  • Groups like al-Qaida see no point in negotiating with the US; they believe we will only respond to displays of force.

Since the start of the "War on Terror", the world has become a less safe place.  Our use of force sets a precedent for, and distracts attention from terror at the hands of other oppressive regimes.  We give them license to commit evil.

In the middle of all this, the Bush Administration announced that the government was issuing a tax refund.  We got a check for $600 last year.

What better way to use that money, than to support the human rights that our government's actions are destroying.

So yesterday I went to the Amnesty International web site & made a donation for $600.  I hope it helps.

Dear Mr. Bush: Congratulations on your recent re-election.  I want to encourage you to continue sending refunds my way, so I can send them right to AI.

[1] Chomsky in October 2001

[2] AI on the War on Terror

Comments (69)

  1. Randy H. says:

    Wrong forum Jay. Stick to your interesting posts about C#. 🙂

  2. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Randy: You may be right.

  3. Jack says:

    You bullet points:

    * Perpetrator of terrorism???

    Explain that…

    * After Sept 11 we haven’t been attacked like that again.

    Increase suffering world wide?? That is not even close to true, getting rid of Suddam lessened suffering world wide. He no longer practices his genocide and torturous ways.

    * "Groups like al-Qaida see no point in negotiating.." Why would we want to negotiate with al-Qaida? So we can ask them to please not kill innocent people if we give them what they want….

    Horrible post.

  4. Justin says:

    "but we’re missing a few important facts:"

    What followed should have been a few samples of these facts but instead you offer three opinions. How do you quantify this? Is it just by the number of people killed? if so the Sudan warlords have us beat, at best we’re #2 but that’s no reason not to strive to be the best. Your next step again failed to give concrete examples of how we enacted our insidious plan to increase suffering. I guess Afghani girls going to back to school is suffering of a sort. And somebody needs to step up to the plate and start oppressing those Kurds, they ain’t gonna torture themselves you know. Finally you state that groups like al-Qaida won’t respond to negotiation, well one of your demands is the eradication of the Zionists (Israel) that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for negotiation. I seem to remember another group in history who wanted to negotiate on that point as well but there isn’t too much criticism to the Allies response.

    This is typical Liberalist American self loathing. But will you ever leave this country and its liberties and opportunities? No, you won’t, you’ll run the same line of bullshit that all the other ineffectual beaugoise bohemians like Sean Penn or Eddie Vedder run. Istead of following through with your threats to leave America you realize nobody is buying your "black helicopter/cia/we brought 9-11 on ourselves" crap and then go onto say that you "are fighting for change from the inside". So you voted Democrat and gave 600 bucks to AI, hardly gutsy statements. Take a page from Maraget Hassan’s book, put your money where your ivory tower philophies are and go put yourself in harm’s way to help these people that America is so callously terrorising. Until then you’re just another coffee house blogger with a superiority complex throwing out Chomsky references trying to get in some Berkley chick’s pants.

  5. Justin says:

    "well one of your demands"

    I mistyped, it should been "their". Despite my disagreement with jaybaz I don’t think he advocates the eradication of Israel.

  6. Justin says:

    "Justin: But Chomsky is at MIT…" If ever there was a kindred spirit to Chomsky’s idealism it would have be the Berkley radicals, although Richard Stallman, another MIT alum would work too.

  7. Kevlar says:

    Jay, you’re a dumbass. Your money would be more wisely spent if you were to give it to the French than to give it to Amnesty International, an organization which prior to 2000 chose to accuse Israel of war crimes while ignoring countries like Iran and Iraq.

    If you want to help people out, go sponsor 20 little poverty stricken palestine children with your $600 instead of donating it to an organization that hates America. You’ll have more of an impact on peoples lives than if you were to fuel more anti-american bullshit.

    Where the hell was Amnesty when Clinton bombed Yugoslavia to kingdom-come? How is invading Iraq any different than stopping attrocities in Yugoslavia? The difference is that one president orchestrating it was a liberal and the other was a conservative.

    Go cry your tears elsewhere.

  8. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Justin: But Chomsky is at MIT…

  9. Prasanna says:

    Why this sudden outburst? Frustrated with too much debugging? 🙂

  10. Wallym says:

    Put a sock in it before you freakin’ overheat. This is so far out of bounds for this weblog site.

  11. Vince P says:

    The United States has been under attack from Islamic terrorists since at least 1979 and we have finally begun to fight back and you have the unmitigated gall to call us the terrorists?

    If we’re terrorists then so are you. You should move to Saudi Arabia and see how long you last there.

  12. Diego says:

    "How is invading Iraq any different than stopping attrocities in Yugoslavia? The difference is that one president orchestrating it was a liberal and the other was a conservative."

    It isn’t. It seems you missed that jaybaz has NOT said he’s liberal. (he hasn’t said he is either)

    He’s wrote against Iraq war. What makes you think a conservative person has to support Iraq war?

    I hope you all guys would live outside of use and would see a bit the _real_ world. Living in a country where you government tells TV stations that they can’t show images from dead people "because it hurts" (it hurts? no shit!! I bet that being killed hurts even _more_) it’s a _bad_, bad bad thing (And I’m spanish, we got some people killed. Still we’re not stupid enought to start again a war against in a country which has _nothing_ to see with alqaida terrorists- like iraq)

  13. Justin says:

    "It isn’t. It seems you missed that jaybaz has NOT said he’s liberal. (he hasn’t said he is either)"

    If it walks like a duck and it talks like duck, chances are its a duck.

    "Still we’re not stupid enought to start again a war against in a country which has _nothing_ to see with alqaida terrorists- like iraq)"

    But you Spain didn’t start the war in Iraq, but support from your government was there. And, from is supposed to be perceived as a direct result, your country was the subject of its terrorist attack, the Madrid train bombings. The reaction was to elect a new government which would pull troops out of Iraq. You may think that this means you are now safe from terrorism, you "negotiated" successfully with the terrorists. For the time being that is. But what if the whims of the terrorists find another bone to pick with Spain? They know that an act of severe enough death and destruction will get them the results they want. If you think that by pulling out of Iraq has made you safer then you are mistaken, you’ve given and inch and they want the mile.

  14. Kevlar says:

    Diego, you’re just riding on the coat tails of the US. Saddam was a time bomb waiting to happen.

    If you’re from Spain, then all I have to say to you is that YOU’RE a bigger problem than the terrorists because you’re an appeaser. If you’re a South American, then you’re likely totally misinformed about almost everything with regards to your local media (Peru, Argentina, etc).

    A lack of dead bodies on TV does nothing to disenfranchise the American populace from the fact that war sucks. As I see it, its the fucking middle east and europe whom are causing us to once again pony up and clean up their fucking mess. Maybe we should’ve just let Chirac buy illegal oil and sponsor terrorism in exchange for bribes from Saddam… oh wait, you likely haven’t heard anything about that you ignorant ass.

  15. Paul G says:

    I disagree with you. The world is safer with Saddam out of power. We may occasionally make mistakes, but our policy is to take the fight to the terrorists and to promote peace and democracy. If we sometimes err in that quest then we should be held accountable for that. But to allege that somehow our policy is at its base evil is incorrect, in my opinion.

  16. Frederik says:

    I have to agree with you :).

    After 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the world has become much more polarised. ("Either you’re with us, or you’re against us"). In the war on terror, it are mostly muslim civilians that are suffering – far more muslims have died in those two wars than Americans in the 9/11 attacks.

    This makes lot of muslims feel like they are under attack – while most of them are just peaceful people like you and me. It makes some of them hate the U.S., and to a larger extent the Western world.

    The source of terrorism is hate and anger. You will find few happy people flying themselves to death in an skyscraper.

    I believe that in this way, the U.S. actually make the world less safer for other Western countries.

    That fighting a war in Afghanistan and Iraq on your own (as stated by some here) makes the world a safer place is something I can’t agree with. This war has no broad international support, no legal basis. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

    It was being led by a dictator. Agreed. Lots of countries are being led by dictators. Are you going to attack all of them? What about Iran, Saudi Arabia? What about non-democratic African countries? Why not ‘free’ them?

    Nations like France have active military support in peace keeping forces, for example in Africa. The U.S. haven’t done a lot lately to make Africa a safer place, for example. How many Americans actually know about the war in Congo for example, a country being led by some non-demicratic corrupt politicians? Or Ivory Coast?

    Why should the U.S. -who took actions on their own- be better than European countries that supported broad international peace keeping attempts?

    Don’t forget about the ever lasting source of hate coming from muslims – Palestine. Tucking them away behind a wall isn’t really making the world a safer place, is it?

  17. Ali says:

    "… The United States has been under attack from Islamic terrorists since at least 1979 and we have … "

    <br>

    Can you elaborate little bit?

    Our sanctions have killed close to 2 million people in Iraq since 91 which includes close to million infants and children. In every country of those "Islamic Terrorists", we have setup governments of our stooges, e.g., saudi arabia, jordan, egypt, just to name a few. impartially speaking, how would someone feel here in USA if a 3rd country installed their puppet as our leader? Read the history of Baath party how it was protected by the british and USA all long against the uprisings. Saddam was brutal. didn’t we know when we put him there? same is with the guy who replaced him, allawi; both are same kinds; brutal and with CIA backgrounds. We have been meddling with other countries and picking their leaders of our choosing for close to a century now.

    Contrary to the popular myth, Killing Saddam did not make world safer. He had nothing to endanger the world in the first place. Killing Saddam was never the intent. If it was, we could have done it very peacefully just like we took care of General Noriega. We have killed over hundred thousand people in Iraq (and thats only civilians). 3/4 months back, CPA told Iraqi authorities to stop the count for the dead civilians.

    Jay – I commend your courage to put this on your blog.

    Ali

  18. Anonymous says:

    <I>Our sanctions have killed close to 2 million people in Iraq since 91 which includes close to million infants and children.</I>

    Read up on the Oil for Aid program. It wasn’t us who killed those people, it was Saddam. You can pin the blame for anything on the US, because we’ve been cleaning the shit up for decades. Just because we’re involved does not mean that the US is at fault or that anyone is to blame other than the Iraqi people themselves for having no spine to stand up to tyrrany.

  19. Frederik says:

    I’d like to add one thing about Spain.

    As you know, Spain is a democratic country. So, first of all, if the Spanish civilians choose to elect another government, Americans should be the first one to respect the outcome of that democratic process, shouldn’t they?

    Secondly. The Spanish support for the Iraq war has never been supported by the Spanish people. Most of them considered it as not a good thing to do.

    Third. The Spanish goverment tried to blame the Madrid train bombings on the ETA first – the "Spanish terrorists". You might want to remember that Spain has a long history with terrorism and that the Spanish people might be well in place to judge how to deal with it.

    The Spanish government tried to lie about the bombings. Unlinke in the U.S., a government that lies (‘Weapons of mass destruction’, anyone?) doesn’t get re-elected.

    Spanish people voted for the truth, in a democratic process. Isn’t that exatly what the U.S. is trying to spread around the world?

  20. jaybaz [MS] says:

    When did Saddam Hussein die?

  21. Kevlar says:

    There were no lies wrt WMD’s jack ass. Want to know how we knew they were there? Because we gave them to him. We knew precisely how many and what kinds of weapons he had.

    The Spanish are at fault because instead of standing up to fight, they played into Bin Laden’s hand and showed the world that blowing people up in trains can adjust national interests. If that were to happen in the US it would not cause Bush to lose an election, but in fact would re-inforce people’s support for him. The ETA had not participated in very much terror for years specifically because they were making an effort to legitimize their organization. Nobody lied about who caused the bombings. The ETA was blamed not because the Spanish Govt lied, but rather ETA was the likely perpetrator.

    Do you want to know why the US doesn’t pussy-foot around when people fuck with us? Because we’re always a target, no matter what our foreign policy is. If we’re not helping anyone, then thats a reason to fuck with us. If we’re helping someone, then we’re supporting the wrong individuals. We just don’t have the option of hiding in a hole when the shit falls like the goddamn Swiss during WWII.

    Choose a side and choose carefully.

  22. Justin says:

    Fredrick:

    "In the war on terror, it are mostly muslim civilians that are suffering – far more muslims have died in those two wars than Americans in the 9/11 attacks."

    But the War on Terrorism is just on facet of American foreign policy. America was instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosovic in Serbia who was well on his way to ethnically cleansing the Muslims out of the Balkans.

    "The source of terrorism is hate and anger. You will find few happy people flying themselves to death in an skyscraper. "

    While I wouldn’t call it happiness, it is not hate and anger that drives Islamic militance. It is a warping of the Islamic religion that drive these attacks. If you are young Palistinian man with no hope for a good paying job or a just life in this world then to sacrifice your self for the greater good of your society does have an appeal to it. The Islamic religion is not anathema to the Judeo-Christian religions, it is Islamic mullahs and sheiks that have their own agendas that manipulate Muslim men and women into tools of violence. Just the same as extreme Christian leaders can incite the susceptible into violence in the name of God, take for example Eric Rudolph who killed a doctor who performed abortions.

    "This war has no broad international support, no legal basis."

    War never has a legal basis. Sure, the UN may come up with "sanctions", and "actions", and "peace keeping forces" but they are usually stymied by geo-politics and most just reduced to a country’s UN spokesman denouncing the atrocity du juor in "the strongest terms possible". At some point a country that feels it has justification will step and take action regardless of UN bickering. If France had not been doing business with Saddam maybe they would have gone along with the UN security council initiatives put forth by the US to attack Iraq, then again maybe not. Germany had no legal basis for war in 1939 but since facism allowed it’s population to rationalize its striking out against those oppressing it since the end of WWI the legality of it was moot. A "legal" war is just a bullshit notion that allows the nonparticipants to absolve themselves of the responsibilities of not stopping the aggressor. I realize this pretty much an idictment of the Iraq war but then again I never thought it was necessary. I’m not pro-War, but I’m sure as hell not anti-America.

  23. Vince P says:

    > Can you elaborate little bit?

    1979 – Islamists seize US Embassy in Iran, hold staff hostage for a year or so.

    1982- US Embassy in Beirut bombed by Islamists.

    1983 – US Marine Barracks bombed Islamists

    1985 – American in wheelchair murdered during hijacking of Achille Lauro by Islamists

    1986 – Disco in Berlin that US Servicemen frequented bombed by Islamist from Libya staged from East Berlin

    1988 Pan Am 103 bombed by Islamist

    1993 First WTC Bombiing by Islamists

    1995 Cab bomb kills 5 Americans in Saudi Araba by Islamists

    1996 US Air Force barracks bombed by Islamists

    1998 US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed by Islamists

    2000 USS Cole bombed by Islamists

    And these are just attacks against the US , to do attacks against Israel and other countries would be 100s of pages.

    >Our sanctions have killed close to 2 million people in Iraq since 91 which includes close to million infants and children.

    Those sanctions are attributable to Saddam Hussien as consequence for his invasaion of soverign nation Kuwait. Saddam needed to prove he was in compliance of various demands but he chose not to. So the sanctions remained. The US invasaion ended them.

    > In every country of those "Islamic Terrorists", we have setup governments of our stooges, e.g., saudi arabia, jordan, egypt,

    We did not establish any of those governments, I believe if any nation is responsible for that, it would be UK.

    >just to name a few. impartially speaking, how would someone feel here in USA if a 3rd country installed their puppet as our leader?

    i dont know. i guess you shold prove your premise with some correct facts.

    >Read the history of Baath party how it was protected by the british and USA all long against the uprisings.

    Did you miss the Cold War?

    > Saddam was brutal. didn’t we know when we put him there? same is with the guy who replaced him, allawi; both are same kinds; brutal and with CIA backgrounds.

    OMG Allawi has a CIA backgroud.. call the UN!

    > We have been meddling with other countries and picking their leaders of our choosing for close to a century now.

    No , we haven’t.

    >Contrary to the popular myth, Killing Saddam

    He’s alive. Where do you get your info?

    Try to get educated before spouting your nonsense.

  24. Justin says:

    To Ali:

    "Contrary to the popular myth, Killing Saddam did not make world safer. He had nothing to endanger the world in the first place."

    What about the Kurds he gassed or the Iranians in the 80’s? You can’t live with your head in the sand like an ostrich. Just because he didn’t attack your country doesn’t absolve him of attacking others.

    "We have killed over hundred thousand people in Iraq (and thats only civilians)."

    That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve heard yet. Please provide backing evidence.

  25. Vince P says:

    I’m always striken by the absolute absurdity of Europeans lecturing the United States about matters of war/peace/international "morality".

    The Europeans have been at the heart of the destructive wars in human history, they adhere to the most destructive -ism’s they can think of.. they drag us into the conflicts they create and then castigate us for learning from their mistakes and stopping dictators before they get too powerful.

    Who are they to say anything? There will be 100,000,000 less of them in 50 years .. and how many more radical Islamists?

    Dont call us the next time your continent is on fire.

  26. Justin says:

    Fredrick:

    "As you know, Spain is a democratic country. So, first of all, if the Spanish civilians choose to elect another government, Americans should be the first one to respect the outcome of that democratic process, shouldn’t they? "

    Can you show me how we haven’t respected the outcome of your elections? Did we try and overthrow the new government. Disagreeing with the policy of the incoming party is not the same thing as not respecting Spain’s choice of elected officials.

    "Secondly. The Spanish support for the Iraq war has never been supported by the Spanish people. Most of them considered it as not a good thing to do."

    Just like alot of Americans. But Spain, like America, is a representative democracy as opposed to a popular democracy. You put your officials into power to make policy for you so their judgements are representative of the wishes of society as a whole regardless of the thoughts of the individual. Electing new officials allows the new wishes of the people to be enacted.

    "Third. The Spanish goverment tried to blame the Madrid train bombings on the ETA first – the "Spanish terrorists". You might want to remember that Spain has a long history with terrorism and that the Spanish people might be well in place to judge how to deal with it. "

    I’m aware of the Spain’s history with the Basque terrorists but since they were not responsible what is the point?

    "The Spanish government tried to lie about the bombings. Unlinke in the U.S., a government that lies (‘Weapons of mass destruction’, anyone?) doesn’t get re-elected. "

    The truth is irrelevant, it must be if you think the US is lying about its justification for war. What matters is popular support for war. Again I don’t see what your point is other than to take some moral high ground and feel superior.

  27. Frederik says:

    Europe has learned from its past. For sure, we didn’t make a good start in 1914 and 1940, but we’ve been living in peace for over 60 years now.

    We have shown the world that nations working together can work – think European Union.

    Of course the EU has a more violent history – but well, our history started a couple of 1000 years earlier than ‘American’ history, didn’t it?

    Don’t use the "if it wasn’t for use you would still be speaking German" argument. The U.S. only joined WW II because of economical interests and keeps on abusing that argument for over 60 years now. Or wasn’t your economy going trough a hard time when it couldn’t trade with "old Europe" anymore?

    Europe was and is grateful of the US support in WWII. But we’re free and independent and 60 years later we’re ready to go our own way, thank you.

    And well, where do you think the ideas of Independency and Free nations come from? Didn’t all that start in the -agreed, violent- French Revolution? Where did the Renaissance come from? Wasn’t that Europe?

    Europe is a great case study of nations working together – where the U.S. just act on their own. Europe has been working on peace and unification for 60 years now. That seems like a strong bag of knowledge about "war/peace/international" morality, doesn’t it?

    Europe maybe isn’t military superior, but don’t forget our history.

  28. Vince P says:

    > Unlinke in the U.S., a government that lies (‘Weapons of mass destruction’, anyone?) doesn’t get re-elected

    You need to learn what a lie is. The fact is Saddam allowed every country with a spy service to think he was WMD’ed because he didn’t want Iran to think he was free of WMD. It was responsblity to prove he didnt have them, it wasn’t ours to prove that he did.

    No nation’s spy service had said he was w/o WMD before the war.

    If there’s a liar here, it’s you.

  29. Vince P says:

    Frederik says:

    And well, where do you think the ideas of Independency and Free nations come from? Didn’t all that start in the -agreed, violent- French Revolution? Where did the Renaissance come from? Wasn’t that Europe

    -end-

    The American Revolution predated France’s. And somehow we skipped the Reign of Terror phase.

    I hope the Renaissance came from Europe, since it was Europe where the Dark Ages came from.

  30. Vince P says:

    Frederik: Convienently you left out how 1/2 of Europe was trapped in Communism from WW-II until 1989.

    And it’s *our* military actions and strenght that has allowed you to have your experienment with the beuocratic State. The EU is rife with corruption, and is hardly democratic. The EU supports the father of terrorism Arafat.

    The US very much encouraged the ECSC and the EEC and the EU, under our protection umbrella. We create the utopia bubble you live in, because you surely wouldn’t have been able to protect yourselves. And then you attack us for "causing" war all over the world. No, sorry, we didn’t cause the latest war.. Militant Islam is on the move, pressing against border it can, and they’re in your heartland now. Look what’s happening in the Netherlands… the government is about to ready to concede that Jihad has been declared against it by Islamists. What did the Netherlands ever do to them?

  31. Justin says:

    "Don’t use the "if it wasn’t for use you would still be speaking German" argument. The U.S. only joined WW II because of economical interests and keeps on abusing that argument for over 60 years now."

    Actually if it wasn’t for the Soviets you would be speaking German right now. It was the invasion of the Soviet Union that brok the back of the German war machine, nice as it might be to think that it was the Americans.

    And it wasn’t economic reasons that caused us to get into the fight, FDR was chomping at the bit to get in there before the fall of Britian, but it was our isolationist Congress that opposed the war. The attack of Pearl Harbor galvanized the population behind that fact that isolationism isn’t realistic. If it was purely economics America never would have got involved as we could have traded with German occupied Europe as easily as a non occupied Europe. In fact an occupied Europe would have been an ideal trading partner as we have seen from Iraq that occupation is an expensive business. So while I’m all for leaving America’s involvement in WWII in the past, it’s motives shouldn’t be questioned either.

    "Europe is a great case study of nations working together – where the U.S. just act on their own. Europe has been working on peace and unification for 60 years now. That seems like a strong bag of knowledge about "war/peace/international" morality, doesn’t it? "

    But Europe has only acted together in ignoring the problems festering in the middle east. Working together to do nothing isn’t much of an accomplishment.

    "That seems like a strong bag of knowledge about "war/peace/international" morality, doesn’t it? "

    The passage of time doesn’t give you any special insight into peace and morality. If it did then why have you only been peaceful for 60 years and not 160 years? That’s kind of like a smoker who says they know something about giving up cigarettes even thought this is the fifth time they’ve quit. Why didn’t they get it right the first four times?

  32. Vince P says:

    Fedrick:

    "Europe is a great case study of nations working together "

    Is that like when Chirac told the newly-joining Eastern European nations’ leaders to shut up when they expressed support for the US? And that any government that supported the US in opposition to France/Germany might have its EU membership reviewed?

    Or when Austria elected a Center-Right government in the 90’s and the EU did everything except excommunicate it?

  33. I respect everyones right to believe and stand for their cause but this is the wrong place for this kind of message.

    I read the comments and your post, amazes me how many people who think they are smart feel the need to jump in and cite all kinds of facts and figures hoping to wow the other guy, all the while being completely devoid of any context for those facts.

    Bottom line, we as a country have made some mistakes and our policies have of course, created some terrorists but in the end we are the greatest exporter of good into the world as well. Lets not lose sight of that.

    And as for your 600 dollars, next time try this; buy 600 dollars worth of fast food or grocery store gift certificates and every time you see a homeless person give them enough to buy a couple meals. Just my thought.

  34. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Keith: Thanks for your thoughts. I see fast food as poison; I want to help, not hurt the homeless! Still, using that money to feed people locally satisfies my goal: to use my ill-gotten funds to compensate (in a small way) for the damage my government is doing.

    All: Some lucid (and some not-so-lucid) comments here. Thanks for sharing. Please be gentle with each other.

  35. Diego says:

    "Diego, you’re just riding on the coat tails of the US. Saddam was a time bomb waiting to happen. "

    Saddam was *NOT* a problem. He didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. He didn’t have resources to build them. He wanted to do it, yeah. What a surprise, I’ve know that since before the Kuwait war.

    The REAL problem with Bush is that he didn’t started the war "to get rid of Saddam because he’s evil". That’d have been GREAT. He started the war because he though Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, because he though saddam had relations with Alqaeda. And he didn’t. There was NOT any real reason to start the war so soon. Given that saddam had not weapons of mass destruction, it’d have been great that Bush had proposed the war to UNO, and he had waited for the inspectors to return. And he didn’t. Instead, he started the war "because he might attack us" (hah!), against the opinion of the rest of the world. Without a good plan. (remember when you were told that iraq war would took only two weeks? HAH!). Without caring of getting more international support. Doing things without thinking has ended with TOO MANY DEATHS. You can’t play with people’s life in this way. You CAN’T. That’s why reelecting Bush is insane, HE JUST DON’T KNOWS HOW TO FIGHT TERRORISM. It’d have been great a well-though international coaliction to get rid of saddam, but hey, bush was going to do it alone and in two weeks, and he couldn’t even wait to the inspectors to return "because he could attack us!!". There you’re, you’ve the results in front of your own eyes. You’ve reelected the same, crappy, stupid president which didn’t know how to fight iraq, which didn’t know how to avoid the 11S disaster and which won’t know (consequently) how to fight and protect you in the future. Enjoy your government.

  36. Diego says:

    Oh, and BTW, while Bush was fighting the war, Osama bin laden continued alive – somewhere out of iraq. Instead of catching Osama, he concentrated all his strenght in a dictator that don’t have nothing to see with Alqaeda, which has probably allowed alqaeda to scape from US militars and get lots of distraction out of them. Which is another good reason why Bush is so bad – instead of catching the _real_ terrorists he wastes time and resources in a stupid war. I don’t see how Americans are now "more secure" with bin laden (who is the guy who killed all those people at the twin towers, not sadam) which is MUCH more dangerous than saddam and that makes america more _insecure_ not the contrary.

    Ah, if only bush had concentrated on osama and had catched him instead of fighting a war that didn’t need to be at that time. That would have really been a more _secure_ world, not the mess you’ve now

    I will admit, however, that kerry didn’t have any fu****** idea of how to get you rid of all the mess bush has created. It’s not that it’s a easy task. We’ll see.

  37. Vince P says:

    Diego: Your government apparently had no qualms about acting unilaterally when Morocco threatened your country’s claim on Perejil, just off the coast of Morocco.. Talk about imperialism! What sort of legitimate claim can Spain make toward a worthless rock right off Morroco?

    Where was Spain’s appeal to the United Nations? I missed it I think.

    You are ignornant if you think not fighting Terrorists of the scale of Islamists is some sort of stragety.

    What is your idea to fight the global menance of radical Islam?

  38. Hey Jay, right on man! Glad to see some people who aren’t brainwashed and still thinking critically. Anyways, it’s your blog, so if you wanna write about whatever go bloody well ahead (obviously).

    Does MS double those donations?

  39. Rod Pineda says:

    What a Moronic Comment

  40. Jeff says:

    It’s a shame that this shows up on Microsoft’s public blog. It’s one thing to be just on your site but it’s pathetic that it shows up on their website. If Bush would have never had been in office, then MS would more then likely have been cut into pieces during the anti-trust lawsuits.

  41. Atul says:

    You are bound to take a lot of flak for this courageous post (and commendable action), but do know that there are lots of people out there who do concur with your views…

    Atul

  42. Anon says:

    You, fucking Americans: violence is the only language you know. It’s ingrained in your -uh oh- "culture". Just see your movies and your televisions series, for example. Bin Ladin is a fucking thug, but he has used the only vocabulary you understand: blood. Terrorism is his grammar. War is yours. You are so alike.

  43. Anon says:

    Kevlar is a typical American right-winger moron (sorry for the tripple oxymoron) who doesn’t check his facts. Reports from Amensty before 2000 can be consulted online and they all mention Iran and Iraq.

  44. Frederik says:

    The EU is actively working in the Middle-East. In peacefull projects, though. We support the Palestine autorities, help building schools and basic infrastructure (water for example) for the Palestine people.

    It’s worth nothing that a big deal of that infrastructure is later destructed by Israel using U.S. equipment.

    As for the U.S. revolution, don’t you think the support the U.S. got in 1778 from France helped? Next time you want independence, don’t count on the French, then <g>.

    Anyway. Speaking of WW II, I think what happened to Germany is the perfect example of what can happen when a nation feels humiliated, embarassed and lives in bad conditions.

    Don’t forget the German feeling about ‘Das Diktat’ (the Versailles treaty which demanded impossible things from Germany) and the economical crisis that helped Hitler out. They were happy to believe him when he pointed the finger at somebody else (the judes).

    That’s what despair can lead people to.

    My conclusion there is that, although brute force and war (including Sovjet and U.S. support) ended the war, the war could have been avoided if the people weren’t drive to dispair.

    I see a big analogy with terrorism there. (‘Western people are evil, they exploit us! Believe in Allah or Osama Bin Laden, he will lead us to heaven.)

    About the French and German reaction to the new nations joining the EU and their position in the Iraq crisis, it’s true that that matter has deeply divided the Union. Reviewing their membership wasn’t possible anymore at that time, though.

    But it’s worth nothing the financial support they got from the U.S. and the possible influences of that on their foreign policy.

    Anyway. It’s generally a good thing to keep an eye on sentiments against you and to try to figure out where it comes from and take away the reason for that sentiment rather than to attack or suppress it.

    About giving the $ 600 to some poor people in the street in the form of food, I don’t know if that solves a structural problem. Maybe it’s better to spend that money to help them get a job, for example?

    Vince, don’t forget that the Spanish goverment has changed since the Madrid bombings. The Perejil incident was with the popular party (a complete idiot affair, by the way), after the train bombings there was a socialist party.

    Spain and Morrocco have a long history of incidents about islands and fishing agreements, for example. That time it just escalated.

    Frederik.

  45. Andreas says:

    To Justin:

    > "We have killed over hundred thousand people in Iraq (and thats only civilians)."

    > That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve heard yet. Please provide backing evidence.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3962969.stm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8243-2004Oct29.html

  46. Anon says:

    Here is what thinks a girl blogging from Baghdad about American elections:

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

  47. Anon says:

    Three years ago, as the pungent odor of what was left of the World Trade Center slowly pervaded my neighborhood, I wrote a piece called “We’re all Israelis Now.” I didn’t invent the idea; in the hours since the attacks I had heard several commentators say essentially the same thing, although our meanings were in fact diametrically opposed. For them, the September 11 attacks had constituted a tragic wake up call to America about the mortal threat posed by Muslim terrorism, which Israel had been living through for decades and whose methods the US would now have to copy if it wanted to “win the war on terror.”

    For me, however, the attacks suggested a more troubling scenario: That like Israelis, Americans would never face the causes of the extreme violence perpetrated against us by those whose oppression we have supported and even enforced, and engage in the honest introspection of what our role has been in generating the kind of hatred that turns commuter jets into cruise missiles. Instead, my gut told me that we’d acquiesce to President Bush’s use of the war to realize the long-held imperial, even apocalyptic visions of the neoliberal Right, ones that find great sympathy with its Israeli counterpart.

    As I watch George W. Bush celebrate his reelection I realize I never could have imagined just how much like Israelis we would become. Think about it: in Israel, the majority of Jewish citizens support the policies of Ariel Sharon despite the large-scale, systematic (and according to international law, criminal) violence his government deploys against Palestinian society, despite the worsening economic situation for the lower middle class religious voters who constitute his main base of support, despite rising international opprobrium and isolation. Sound familiar?

    As for the country’s “liberal” opposition, it’s in a shambles, politically and morally bankrupt because in fact it was a willing participant in creating and preserving the system that is now eating away at the heart of Israeli society. Aside from occasional plaintive oped pieces by members of its progressive wing, the Labor Party can and will do nothing fundamentally to challenge Sharon’s policies. Why? Because they reflect an impulse, nurtured by the Labor movement during its decades in power, that is buried deep in the heart of Zionism: to build an exclusively Jewish society on as much of the ancient homeland as possible, with little regard for the fate of the country’s native inhabitants.

    As any native American will remind us, America was built on a similar holy quest. So it shouldn’t surprise us that the parallels between Israel’s mini-empire and America’s Iraq adventure are striking.

    It’s not just that America’s occupation is faring as terribly as Israel’s. In the last week–with more than enough time to influence the election–doctors from America’s leading research hospitals published a study demonstrating that US forces have killed upwards of 100,000 Iraqis, the majority of them women and children killed by American bombs. Yet before November 2 Americans could at least say they weren’t directly responsible for the disaster that has unfolded there in Iraq, since an unelected President had taken the country to war under false pretenses. No more. As of today, American society has declared its support for the invasion, and as such is morally and politically culpable for every single one of those 100,000 dead, and every single one of the tens of thousands of deaths that are sure to follow.

    To put it bluntly, Americans have chosen to return a man to the White House who has supervised the killing of more civilians than Slobodan Milosevic. We have signed onto a President who sanctions torture, who wantonly rejects any international treaty–Kyoto, the ABM and the International Criminal Court–that doesn’t suit his messianic agenda. Who truly believes “God Almighty” is on his side.

    America, in short, has become a criminal nation, and it must be stopped. (Yes, there are many other criminal nations, but aside from Israel how many even have the pretense of democracy? Russia? The Sudan? China? India is perhaps one; and given its sordid occupation of Kashmir it shouldn’t surprise that a US-India-Israel axis of occupation and Islamophobia is one of the most prominent features of the world’s geo-strategic post-9/11 landscape.)

    In Israel most citizens know full well the realities of their occupation; even right-wing newspapers routinely publish articles that describe its details with enough clarity to make any ignorance willful. This dynamic is in fact why Israelis have responded to the civil war with Palestinians by increasing the dehumanization of the occupation, accompanied by a fervent practice of getting on with life no matter what’s happening ten or fifteen miles away in “the Territories.” The alternative, actually working to stop the insanity of the occupation, would lead to much more hatred and violence within Israel and between Jews than Palestinians could ever hope to inflict on Israeli society from the outside.

    The situation is almost identical vis-à-vis the American perspective on Iraq. Abu Ghraib? Mass civilian casualties caused by a war launched on demonstrably false pretenses? The erosion of civil liberties? The transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of tax payer money (not to mention Iraqi resources and capital) by the US government to its corporate allies? To more than 70% of America’s eligible votes–that is, the approximately thirty percent that voted for Bush and the forty percent that didn’t feel this situation was compelling enough to warrant their taking the time to vote–none of it really matters. America is great and strong and can do what it wants, and to hell with anyone who gets in our way, especially if they fight back.

    The numbing acceptance of large scale and systematic violence perpetrated by the state as a normal part of its exercise of power and the willingness of a plurality of the electorate to support parties and policies which are manifestly against their economic and social interests (as demonstrated by the increase in poverty and economic insecurity across the board in Israel and the US produced by the last two decades of neoliberalism) sadly characterize both societies today. This is why I never shared the optimism friends who thought this situation would help elect Kerry. Like Israel’s Barak or Peres, in the context of a post-9/11 militant globalization, John Kerry offered Americans little more than Bush lite on the most crucial issue of the day. In America’s increasingly obese culture, is there any wonder we chose SuperSize over Nutrasweet?

    So here we are, three years after the tragic day of 9/11. The smell of charred metal, fuel and flesh no longer pervades the five boroughs of New York; instead it wafts across the major cities of Iraq (where most Americans don’t have to smell it, but I can attest from personal experience that the odor in Baghdad is as pungent as in Queens). The Bush Administration is free to proceed with a violently imperialist foreign policy with little fear of repercussion or political cost at home–who cares about abroad?–the Left is stupefied at its own political and moral incompetence, and the people at large are increasingly split between a fundamentalist religious-nationalist camp, and a yuppie-liberal camp that has no real legs to stand on and has little hope of engaging the millions of poor and working class who have moved to the right because of “social issues.” Indeed, it is clear that they don’t care if the rich are getting richer and the environment is going to Hell, as long as they’re on the road to Heaven–or at least the Second Coming.

    This situation reveals something dark, even frightening about America’s collective character. Making the situation worse are the reasons why people voted for President Bush: the belief that he better represents America’s “moral values,” along with the faith that he, not Kerry, will fight a “better and more efficient war on terror.” What kind of moral values the occupation of Iraq represents no one dares say. What kind of terror the US military has wrought in Iraq most American don’t want to know.

    Better to “stay the course” and pray for the safe return of the troops. Leave the troubling moral lessons of Iraq to be exorcised by Hollywood’s or Nintendo’s latest version of Rambo, helicoptering across the sands of Iraq blasting away yet more hapless Iraqi soldiers (as if enough weren’t killed in the real war) and rescuing whatever is left of America’s honor once the reality of a determined anti-colonial resistance drives America out of Iraq–the common fate of occupying powers across history.

    Until such time, however, unimagined damage will likely be done to the world and America’s standing in it. What are progressives to do about it? Whether in Israel or the US the liberal opposition–the Labor Party in Israel, the Democrats in the US–have proven themselves to be politically and morally bankrupt. They are dying parties and should be abandoned as quickly as possible in favor of the hard work of slowly building truly populist progressive parties that can reach out to, engage and challenge their more conservative and often religions compatriots who today look Right, not Left, to address their most basic needs.

    In the meantime, the international community, especially the EU, most assert a defiant tone against US and Israeli militarism and perform the novel but fundamental role acting as a counterweight and alternative to America’s imperial vision (at the same time, however, they must move beyond a narrow anti-American and anti-Zionist anti-imperialism to a broader critique of the larger system of Middle Eastern autocracy and violence, whose victims are no less deserving of our concern than Palestinians or Iraqis). But this will not happen on its own; it’s up to citizens across the continent to ensure that their governments don’t take the easy road of adopting a pragmatic approach of supporting the status quo and “working” with the Bush administration, while waiting for America to bleed itself dry in Iraq and other imperial adventures.

    One thing is for sure. Bush and his millenarian policies can’t be defeated by the kind of violence and hatred that guides his worldview. As Antonio Gramsci warned us seventy years ago, a “war of maneuver” or frontal assault on an advanced capitalist state by the Left cannot be won. Instead we need to dust off our copies of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and buy a copy of Subcomandante Marcos’s dispatches from the Lacondan jungle. Then perhaps we can find clues on how to fight a better and more efficient “war of position” against the terrifying prospect of four more years of George W. Bush.

    While the Left has often turned to Gramsci for guidance, most commentators have ignored one of his most important insights: that however negative a role religion played in Italian society, it constituted the most important social force in the struggle against capitalism and fascism, without which the Left could never hope to achieve social hegemony against the bourgeoisie. This is because religion contains the kernel of “common sense” of the masses whose natural instinct is to rebel against the domination of the capitalist elite. But because it is largely unformed or articulated, it is easily manipulated by that elite–as Thomas Frank has so eloquently shown in his recent What’s the Matter with Kansas–and needs to be joined to the “good sense” of radically progressive intellectuals in order to shape the kind of ideology and political program that could attract the majority of the poor and middle class. But in this dialog the secular intellectuals would be transformed as much as the religious masses, creating the kind of organic unity that helped propel the religious Right from the margins of their party to the center of power.

    It’s sad but telling that a sickly political prisoner in fascist Italy writing from memory on scraps of paper could anticipate the struggle facing America today better than most contemporary leaders of the so-called Left. But never fear, if John Ashcroft has his way many of us will soon have a similar opportunity to learn the benefits of solitary confinement for producing innovative social theory. In the meantime if progressives don’t figure out how to reach working class conservative Christians, before to long we will all be living through Bush’s dreams of apocalypse.

  48. Ali says:

    >1979 – Islamists seize US Embassy in Iran, hold staff hostage for a year or so.

    We blew their airliner. Killed close to 300 of their civilians. Screwed their country so bad by trying to install our guys. For starters, look at the declassified CIA documents how we meddled in that country’s affairs. Its very beneficial to look at the context of someone’s action before making a statement.

    On a side note, there is no such thing as an "Islamist", just like there is nothing of the sort of Christist, or Jewist, etc etc. YOu seem to be too much fantasized by the term.

    —————————–

    >1982 – US Embassy in Beirut bombed by Islamists.

    >1983 – US Marine Barracks bombed Islamists

    >1985 – American in wheelchair murdered during hijacking of Achille Lauro by Islamists

    >1986 – Disco in Berlin that US Servicemen frequented bombed by Islamist from Libya staged from East Berlin

    Our blind support for Israel’s genocide of palestenians will have consequences. When people’s homes are demolished with no justice in sight; over 50 years of suppression of a nation; others are not going to give us roses.

    ——————————

    >1988 Pan Am 103 bombed by Islamist

    It was Gaddafi. He is as secular as anyone can imagine.

    ——————————

    >1993 First WTC Bombiing by Islamists

    >1995 Cab bomb kills 5 Americans in Saudi Araba by Islamists

    >1996 US Air Force barracks bombed by Islamists

    We are sitting in someone’s land knowing very well that the population does not like it, specially at a place which is a sacred land for over a billion muslims, very much aware of what feelings does it incite. Why not get out of there for a change (which we are finally doing now)

    ——————————

    >1998 US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed by Islamists

    >2000 USS Cole bombed by Islamists

    No proof was every presented who did it. You cannot just keep on blaming everything on a group of people just because it suits your agenda.

    ——————————

    >And these are just attacks against the US , to do attacks against Israel and other >countries would be 100s of pages.

    Well, Israel’s policies call for agitation against it. You cannot suppress people and feel that you will be safe. They should have learned from the sufferings from what Hitler did to Jews.

    —————————

    >Those sanctions are attributable to Saddam Hussien as consequence for his

    >invasaion of soverign nation Kuwait. Saddam needed to prove he was in compliance

    >of various demands but he chose not to. So the sanctions remained.

    >The US invasaion ended them.

    Sure, as our second iraq war has shown, it supposedly did not contain him. but still we are left with consequences of that which killed close to 2 million people in Iraq since 91 which includes close to million infants and children as I stated earlier. Its common sense that you will not be able to contain the guy unless you get rid of him, as he has support of Russia and other countries.

    Israel has been in noncompliance for pretty much every UN resolution against it. These are double standards to say the least. Plus, even when was in compliance, we still made up stuff and attacked anyway.

    —————————

    >> In every country of those "Islamic Terrorists", we have setup governments of our stooges, e.g., saudi arabia, jordan, egypt,

    >We did not establish any of those governments, I believe if any nation is responsible for that, it would be UK.

    I apologize. You are right. We just supported them like we do today. We ship people over there to get them tortured. They are our very close allies in those human right issues. As we all know now after Abu-Gharaib, this is one thing where we share common beliefs with them with those oppressive regimes.

    But I will be correct in stating that we have taken our that mantle from UK since she has been relegated to 3rd rate power (as Indian FM stated). We put Krazai (a former unocal guy), pushed for King Abdullah (who was never in line for the throne), installed Allawi, and brought in King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

    ————————-

    >>just to name a few. impartially speaking, how would someone feel here in USA if a 3rd country installed their puppet as our leader?

    >i dont know. i guess you shold prove your premise with some correct facts.

    correct fact is what I stated before. UK and now us are installing governments for close to century. There’s bound to be hostility from the people.

    ————————-

    >>Read the history of Baath party how it was protected by the british

    >>and USA all long against the uprisings.

    >Did you miss the Cold War?

    No I did not. And that was not the point at hand. The point was that this

    is what brings the hostility from people, instead of roses as stated by our

    administration before we invaded iraq. how many times we stood by kurdish people

    only to be backed out as saddam annihlated them. He was our guy all along.

    ————————–

    >> Saddam was brutal. didn’t we know when we put him there? same is with the guy who replaced him, allawi; both are same kinds; brutal and with CIA backgrounds.

    >OMG Allawi has a CIA backgroud.. call the UN!

    No one needs to call UN. It was just to point out that we are putting our people,

    replacing the old ones with the new ones, who will pursue our agenda against its neighbors.

    —————————-

    >> We have been meddling with other countries and picking their leaders of our choosing for close to a century now.

    >No , we haven’t.

    Yes we have. Karzai, Allawi, King Abdullah, failed attemp in Iran, Bay of Pigs in Cuba, etc etc

    —————————-

    >>Contrary to the popular myth, Killing Saddam

    >He’s alive. Where do you get your info?

    >Try to get educated before spouting your nonsense.

    I apologize. I wanted to say "Killing Saddam will not make the world safer".

    It was not nonsence. It was a grammatical error. The point was, getting rid

    of saddam was not the intent of this war. Try to look at the issue rather then

    dwelling on the trivialities.

    —————————-

  49. Ali says:

    >><I>Our sanctions have killed close to 2 million people in Iraq since 91 which includes close to million infants and children.</I>

    <i>

    Read up on the Oil for Aid program. It wasn’t us who killed those people, it was Saddam. You can pin the blame for anything on the US, because we’ve been cleaning the shit up for decades. Just because we’re involved does not mean that the US is at fault or that anyone is to blame other than the Iraqi people themselves for having no spine to stand up to tyrrany.</i>

    I did, and followed it very closely, and I suggest you do the same. Read how the medical equipment under the clause of dual use equipment; read how the depleted uranium ammo was used and left there to destroy generations of people. Read how, as the invading force, we did not protect the nuclear waste as it made its way into the steams and canals of the iraq’s water system. read how our bombs destroyed the civilian infrastructure including water supply system which had catastrophic consequences.

    Iraq people had spine to stand up every time; the problem was we helped Saddam again and again to kill the same people and destroy any opposition as we portray to protect the same people. Read about the Kurdish uprisings and role of CIA in them.

    In 1996, Madeline Albright was asked about the hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq who have died because of the sanctions, and whether she thought the price was worth it. she replied, in a very famous quote: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price… we think the price is worth it."

    The argument you are making that we did not kill those people, has been made again and again. Knowing Saddam very well, we put him in a position to screw his people as we had helped him do that every time in the past. Scott Ritter very rightly said that we are just as responsible for the deaths of Iraq people as Saddam is.

  50. Jay,

    That’s an impressively selfless thing to do with such a large chunk of money. Well done. And I’m glad you put it on your blog, too. In these times of frustration and bitterness, it’s positive and encouraging to see an example of how as individuals we can make a difference *ourselves*, and not fall into the trap of thinking that our elected representatives are the only ones who can bring about social change.

    I hope the volume of negative comments isn’t getting you down.

  51. Miguel says:

    I’m european and I’m ashamed of our politics and out anti-americanism. In europe we pretend that islamic terrorists don’t exist and hope terrorism passes by us so that we don’t have to do anything(example: spanish elections outcome). Typical european thing to do. Talk and talk and talk and talk… and do nothing about it- "if it goes wrong the americans will do something". It’s shamefull. It is time for europe to open their eyes and stop being politically correct just because it pleases the masses. Radical muslims like bin laden have a plot to take down the western world(europe included) and we europeans want to pretend it is not happening!! that’s being so naive. I’m glad that once again americans are taking actions. I hope they succeed or we’ll be all F***** up!

    And saying: "people like bin laden are just the minority in islamic countries".. hmm then why every muslim (moderates included) like bin laden? why do they always find a justification for terrorist attacks? and if they are against bin laden(as they try to fool us) why don’t they act inside their countries and eliminate the so-called minority of radical muslims? if they don’t do anything about them it’s bc they agreed with them and therefore are guilty as well!

    And then there’s another thing it pisses me off about europe…. we tend to think that we are the only intelligent,cultural ones and that americans are all ignorant and stupid; that we are superior to them.

    ugh! sometimes I wished i was american.Bush: if you’re reading this give me a green card 😉

  52. CJ says:

    I try to keep my politics and work separate. After reading this nonsense, I have no qualms deleting this particular channel from my FeedDemon client.

  53. Vince P says:

    It must be pretty hard to be a leftist these days and see your calls-for-inaction ignored in Australia, now the United States and next in the UK. All of the arguements for inaction are similar to the anti-Reagan hysterics we heard in the 80s , yet today Latin America and Eastern Europe are enjoying their freedom.

    If you have alternatives lets hear it. If all you have is your condescending obstructionism, then be prepared for more electoral defeats in the lands that share English heritage that dates back to the Magna Carta, except in Spain where the Spanish jihadists are implicit in the death of Van Gough in Netherlands. Our common enemy is quite accomodated. Peace in our time, indeed, Andalusia.

  54. jaybaz [MS] says:

    CJ: I’d respond, but you won’t see my response.

    Oops, I responded.

  55. JohnnyG says:

    Let this be said to the gentleman who mentioned "America, in short, has become a criminal nation, and it must be stopped"…take your ideologically points and put them in the context of a well formed argument. Your claims to lay in truth but are merely a speculation…a combination of "facts" that appears real to an uninformed mind. Study history…bring context…understand that humans make mistakes. Every bad thing that that has been produced by America’s involvement has been deliberate, and often other outcomes could have been much worse, yet that is often forgotten.

    Some `Random Observations:

    • America was attacked by religious extremists. Over 3,000 died…plunging or burning to their deaths…including my first manager and mentor that I had in the corporate world.

    • America doesn’t like religious extremists…sometimes we kill them…and we’e proud of that. But this creates a moral problem in some peoples mind…and I like that…that’s how I want my kids to be. Unfortunately, it’s not the reality of today…there’s evil people lurking around that want to kill thousands because they think there ideals mean the rejoicing of your death. Sometimes that means doing the tough thing…if it’s the right thing for the long term good of the world.

    • Ideology may have a tendency to blind the reality of the situation with “facts”…often a problem of the DNC.

    • Americans are human, and we fail all the time.

    • We always get back up.

    • It’s not America’s fault that everybody buys oil in the middle east…and we DO buy it, not steal it. Nobody deserves to die over that.

    • It only takes a few hundred thousand dollars to kill a lot of innocent people.

    • Saddam had the will and a few billion dollars of money…funneled to him through corrupt UN program comprising of high ranking European member states.

    • Some Americans are little upset that a corrupted French government flipped us the bird in supporting Saddam Hussein…it came down to a choice of sides and we think they we’re wrong. France sent some weapons and training team for our fight…400,000 of our boys died for the allies in WWII. But the fact is…that the ALLIES won the war…and that’s all that matters. We did what was right, whether it had positive “economic” side affects doesn’t make it wrong…typical anti-American rhetoric.

    • Over 44 million people died in WWII, it could have been avoided by small preemptive war sought by those “evil” neo hawks: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761563737_1/World_War_II.html#S76

    War is not evil if it is just…IMHO…I know the Catholic Church disagrees, but history does.

    • The alleged 100,000 is just a guess as strong as the assumption that Iraq has WMD…but in a numbers game…Saddam would have killed, tortured, and raped more than we ever will kill in error…war is not perfect. Yet there is a happy ending for our action…ask our “puppet governments” of Japan and Germany.

    • America has never has rarely, if ever, had an evil motive in its long term foreign policy. Unless you believe capitalism is evil…and there is a hell of a lot of socialists, communists, and some liberals that do.

    My view of our national policy:

    Any nation, faction, or person that threatens or harms an American citizen or our soil…WILL be destroyed or dismantled.

    Any nation, faction, or person that threatens harm an American interest or ally…MAY be destroyed or dismantled at our discretion.

    Any nation, faction, or person that threatens harm an another human being, depriving them of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…God WILLING, our nation and it’s allies will be blessed with the courage and the will to rise to the challenge.

    Any nation that promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…will ALWAYS have a friend in the America…even though we may not always agree or share the same self-interests…it’s freedom that allows humanities full capability of compassion to manifest itself.

  56. Vince P says:

    Look what the Netherlands have brought on themselves…. and what nation can have a more different policy than the United States then the Netherlands. The Europeans who are so critical of the US should pay attention what is happening in their own realm:

    Islamist Group Warns Dutch Over Anti-Muslim Attacks

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=6750020

    DUBAI (Reuters) – A little-known Islamist group has threatened to carry out attacks in the Netherlands following a series of attacks on Muslim buildings there, according to an Internet statement posted on Tuesday.

    "We ask you for the last time, and you still have a chance, to stop the attacks on our mosques, schools and the Muslim community in Holland … before you pay a heavy price," Islamic Tawhid Brigades said in a statement dated Nov. 9 and posted on a Web site used by Islamists.

    There have been several attacks against Dutch mosques since a film director critical of Islam, Theo van Gogh, was killed last Tuesday by a suspected Islamist militant. A bomb damaged an Islamic primary school in a southern Dutch town on Monday.

    "We will not stand with our hands tied and we will make the Dutch government and people pay dearly," Islamic Tawhid said in the statement, whose authenticity could not be verified.

    The group has claimed responsibility for last month’s bombings on the Egyptian Sinai peninsula but has not been officially linked to them.

  57. Matt says:

    If JohnnyG’s ideology takes hold the world will be a very dangerous place.

    Any billionaire has the ability to threaten the US with terrorist strikes costing a few hundred thousand. According to Johnny, the US therefore has the right to invade any country with a billionaire who their President thinks might be trying to hurt the US (probably with more of those nasty undeclared WMDs)

    And France was on the side of world opinion. The US was the international discontent who ignored everyone else’s considered opinion. Stop pretending the US had any sort of world consensus and that only a few insignificant European countries objected to the war in Iraq.

    That’s the sort of arrogance that pisses the world off when it comes to the US. It gets substantial military support from countries representing around 5% of the world and reckons that’s enough to go waltzing around the world with aircraft carriers and machine guns. Great – that’s sure to convince a moderate Muslim you’re on their side.

  58. Travis says:

    Jay, I like you. Too many people have an attitude of "whatever America does is right because it’s America doing it." Take a look from the outside in once in a while. Thanks for this post.

  59. Nim Chimpsky says:

    You link to Noam Chomsky who wrote the following:

    "I see no anti-Semitic implication in the denial of the existence of gas chambers or even in the denial of the Holocaust."

    And was an admirere of Pol Pot

    I can’t believe you would support this type of person — you seem too smart.

  60. jeff says:

    You’ve blown your credibility with your liberal talking points.

    Microsoft lets you do this with their resources on their time?

    Can we regard this as Microsoft Opinion? I’ll ask the newspapers..

  61. "Anne" says:

    I find it so amusing that the leftists blame America when a despot does something horrible and we hold him accountable. The precipitating action isn’t at fault- Saddam isn’t responsible for sanctions, even though he invaded Kuwait; it is the US, for holding him responsible by pushing for sanctions!

    The US killed people by invading Iraq; but I didn’t see a worldwide uproar when Saddam killed, maimed and orphaned between 500,000 and a million of his people! We’re still excavating the mass graves. But Amnesty International is after the US because we have a death penalty.

    This complete absence of the ability to place blame or accept responsibility is the problem; and unfortunately it is perpetuated by the left. That is, unless the blame is meant to rest on America.

    According to many here, Europe is a veritable utopia, cleansed of all sins and America is just a constantly misguided lumbering oaf with the largest club on the block; he may occasionally come in handy. Funny how it’s the lumbering oaf that has put men on the moon, developed a reusable space shuttle, evolved the worlds single biggest economy in only 200 years when Europe had a head start, and has unemployment lower than France and Germany despite losing a trillion dollars due to the 9/11 attacks. I guess occasionally we may produce something of merit, then. People flock here, while the population in Germany for example, is in decline. America doesn’t make any pretenses about being 100% correct; but we aren’t petrified to inaction, which seems to be the case with old Europe. Colouring it as a desire for peace is ridiculous. How did Europe’s ‘peace’ stop the slaughter in Yugoslavia? How has a desire for ‘peace’ helped anything in Sudan? How did it stop Stalin killing millions of Ukrainians? If you define peace as an absence of any wars that is something different than a peace between nations, with no hostilities. Peace means stopping oppressive regimes from wholesale murder, it means halting terrorism, it means spreading freedom. Peace as defined by ‘no war’ means that you choose that over decisive action which could save lives. What would have happened if Hitler had been confronted earlier? If Communism hadn’t been allowed to fester? I don’t think people who suffered under either of those totalitarian regimes prescribe to your definition of ‘peace’ as being an acceptable compromise for their lives.

  62. Anon says:

    To "Anne": I find so amusing that the right-winger so easily forget that most of the "tyrans" USA have been fighting have been their puppets. That’s the case for Bin Laden, that’s the case for Hussein. I don’t mention all the other dictators USA have been creating and sustaining through history: Pinochet, Vidella, Mugabe, Mobutu, Suharto, Marcos, and countless others. Then, your attempt to give "moral lessons" to other appear for what they are: fucking hypocrisy. You are a fucking hypocrite. That’s part of your culture.

  63. Martin says:

    Being English I wish I could stand in my ivory tower and say that this is a purely American problem as a large number of people have been attempting to promote for the past few months, but in truth that’s just unreasonable. Bush is simply at the head of the largest nation pushing this brand of imperialism. Among others, the UK has been close behind him, but generally I find that the UK press is more willing to criticise their own government so it gives the appearance of our public being more Anti-Bush than the press in the US gives. In a few months, we’ll also have the opportunity to vote against Blair, but we’re in a similar position where the second major party doesn’t have much difference to offer in that area unfortunately. That’s the wonderful thing about party democracy, while in theory you have choice of leadership, on many important issues you’ll find all parties following similar lines and it’s all an illusion.

    What I’ll always fail to understand is why it isn’t clear to everyone that one of the things that’s driving Bush (and Blair to be even-handed), is an element of Christian Fundamentalism – call it evangelical faith or whatever you like, but it all boils down to a similar thing. A desire to impose your own moral belief systems onto others because you feel it’s the will of the almighty to do so. I will never understand why on earth anyone feels that religion is a thing you must convert others to, or force others to change their ways of life for. While I have strong religious convictions, they’re a thing for me alone & if my neighbour believes otherwise and does things I don’t approve of, that’s really his business not mine. When it’s illegal, that’s a different matter, but then stick to fighting it because of a breech of law not a religious indignation & don’t intentionally muddle the two because it happens to stir up the populace..

    Iraq is a nasty situation we’ve gotten ourselves into – now we’re there we do indeed have a moral obligation to not simply pull out and leave things in a state of anarchy, but I think we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t recognise just how many more islamic martyrs have been created by the heavy-handed handling of the ‘liberation’. A safer world? Well perhaps those who are inclined to anti-western activism have been denied access to larger weapons now, but I can’t escape the feeling that there are 100 times more of them looking for a way to inflict damage because they have less to lose.

    Anyway.. Back to the original posting. I see no problem with you making the odd personal statement besides technical stuff on your blog, but the level of comment response has been somewhat extreme.. Do you people all know that there are serious talking shops all over the web where you can debate this stuff until the cows come home ? Though I’d suggest reining in the anger and the cursing if you want to appear like a sane reasoned human being that anyone would bother to read posts from.

  64. Lurker says:

    Anon,

    So what you are saying is that because we helped Bin Laden against Russia we shouldn’t take him out when he kills 3000 plus Americans?

    And you insinuate that we leave Hussein alone because we supported him against Iran…before he turned his power on his own people?

    Sure that makes perfect sense doesn’t it.

    Yes, the US gives support to many regimes around the world, and yes some of them turn bad. Does that make the US evil? No.

    Does our former support of a regime mean we don’t have the right to take it out if they do go bad? No.

    Do we not have a moral obligation to clean up messes we create? Yes.

    Anon, I may be a hypocrite but you’re just plain stupid.

  65. jaybaz [MS] says:

    There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. Clearly people feel very strongly about these topics, and I’m impressed with the dedication you have shown to what you believe in. You have applied a great deal of time & energy to push for what you believe in. Good for you.

    I’ve decided to lock down comments on this post, as part of my split of personal vs. professional blog.

    Thanks all for your contributions. A blog is nothing without its readers.

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