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Thursday, March 17, 2005

I think this response from anonymous deserves front page posting. This was originally posted here as a comment.

ANONYMOUS: How does one even address such inbred ignorance?

TJ: It is great to see you are starting out with your strongest stuff. Do you guys realize that this type of visceral hatred is what cost you the last election? If they were witty insults, I'd be more impressed.

ANONYMOUS: Yeah man... Freedom is on the March! Freedom for corporate interests to loot you. Freedom for the government to spy on you and arrest you without any public oversight. Love that new bankruptcy law, it goes hand in hand with the highest medical care costs in the world. Awl Right!

TJ: What corporate interests are looting me? I go to the store, I buy what I want to buy. If you want to buy home-grown, all-natural, organically pure cereal made by the local commune, YOU CAN DO THAT. I choose to buy the cheaper, more delicious, Count Chocula, which, yes, is made by one of the big corporations. If you don't want to pay high gas prices, you can (a) buy an electric car or (b) move to a city where my tax dollars will subsidize your public transportation. Problem solved. You want to complain about corporate interests making a profit -- dude, don't buy the stuff. Make it yourself. The amish still do it. Or only buy stuff made by independent craftsman. You can get virtually anything on the net. Of course, you won't. Because the American economy provides a wider diversity of goods at a cheaper price than anywhere, anytime in the history of mankind.

If you are talking about workers, not consumers, here is another news flash: nobody is forcing you to work for a corporation. Most of the jobs in this country are generated by small businesses. Go work for one of them.

ANONYMOUS: I will ignore the majority of the inanity of your post and address just the ugliest and rawest lowpoints:

You [TJ, said]: "here is what is so tragic about Vietnam: a) We didn’t even attempt to destroy our enemy’s forces, which would have required a full scale invasion of the North"

Woah! Stop right there! What is really tragic is that we killed 5 million people in Vietnam! Hey that puts us right up there on the top ten greatest hits on the mass murder charts. Its really a wonder that we don't build a Vietnam Holocaust memorial on the national mall. To a racist like you 5 million Vietnamese murdered is not really tragic. No, for you the crime should have been doubled. Sick.

TJ: It took you nearly three paragaphs to call me a racist. I'm impressed. The fact is, lots of people do die in wars. They are always tragic. They are particularly tragic, however, when the wrong side wins. World War II, was very very tragic. 55 million people died. Nobody would argue that we shouldn't have fought WWII. We can all agree that the war would have been way more tragic had Hitler won. My point: all those lives lost would have at least meant something had we had the stones to fight the war to win. Still tragic. But at least a generation or two of Vietnamese would have enjoyed their liberty (like the South Koreans, the Taiwanese, the West Germans, etc...) instead of living with a boot on their throats. I believe that freedom is worth fighting for -- even other people's freedom.

I also disagree with your premise, that the number of deaths would have doubled had we fought to win. Nope. Had we fought to win, we could have rolled through Vietnam in 3-6 months, rather than fighting a prolonged battle (much of it via bombing raids) for 10 years. In all likelihood, there would have been far fewer casualties, not more.

ANONYMOUS: You [TJ, said]: "First of all, I think Falluja is still there today. Sure, lots of damage. But the city wasn’t destroyed."

This is an empirical issue. You are wrong. I challenge you to find some pictures of people living in Fallujah. The happiest Fallujah pictures you are likely to find is of people living in tent cities getting food aid off the backs of trucks.

TJ: You need to think about what journalists do. By your logic, there are no houses in Florida, because the only houses I have seen on television news from Florida were those destroyed in hurricanes. Fallujah is a huge city. We didn't level it -- though we could easily have done so. Are some people displaced, living in tents? I don't doubt it. But Fallujah was necessary because they demonstrated we had the resolve to go after our enemies.

Our enemies use women and children and civilian houses and mosques as shields and then you complain when civilians are killed and houses hit. Please. To paraphrase someone famous, we have to kill the enemy where they are, not where we would wish them to be.

ANONYMOUS: Go check out the pictures of the "terrorists" we killed. Go to Dahr Jamail. You don't have the stomach to see such pictures. Picture upon picture of civilians shot in the head, men women and children, at close range in their beds. Thats what our troops were doing going from house to house. Yeah add those terrorists onto the 100k terrorists we've killed around Iraq. Boy you'd think that with all those terrorists killed that by now we would have gotten them all. But somehow those pesky terrorists manage to keep killing American troops.

TJ: Do you really believe that American soldiers were going house to house shooting men, unarmed men women and children at close range in their beds? That seals it. You have to be in academia to believe something that insane. Can you tell me what college, university or law school you are currently working/studying?

If those "pesky" terrorists are in a position of strength, can you tell me why they would have to "recruit" down syndrome victims to be suicide bombers?

ANONYMOUS: Al Sadr boycotted the elections.

TJ: I guess I will have to take your word for it and not the word of, say, the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported:

"A surprisingly strong showing was also posted by a faction loyal to the deceased father of Muqtada al-Sadr, a young Shiite cleric whose militia fought U.S. forces twice last year. His father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al- Sadr, was assassinated in 1999. But while Islamic lists fared well as a group, their votes were scattered among various factions, and only one -- a party of independents in Wasit province said to be backed by Muqtada al-Sadr -- won an absolute majority. Seats will be allocated on each local council in proportion to each list's votes. A list could be a party, a coalition or an individual."

ANONYMOUS: You [TJ] said "Actually fixing the Middle East, and creating an environment where terrorists can’t train and recruit and plot with impunity." And similar blatherings elsewhere....". Its a wonder that people like you persist in asserting this, and a whole complex of lies which have been completely discredited. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, it had no connection to Al Quaida, or 9/11. It was not then a training ground for terrorists.

TJ: Where did the 1993 WTC bombers go? Baghdad. Where was Leon Klinghoffer's killer? Baghdad. Who offered safe haven to Bin Laden? Bagdhad. Have you ever heard of a place called Salman Pak?

ANONYMOUS: On the contrary unlike before, it is now most certainly a place where terrorists can plan and plot with impunity. And while Iraq did not have nuclear weapons, I think looks quite clear that Iran and North Korea do. But the US no longer has the credibility to do much about it. And Osama Bin Ladin, who most certainly did have something to do with 9/11? Where is he? Alive and well getting state of the art dialysis somewhere and planning more attacks. And do we know where he is? No, we are too busy spreading "democracy and freedom" in Iraq so that the Iraqi's can use that freedom impose Sharia law, and make a federation with nuclear armed Iran. Way to go you hard headed realists! Good thing its not soft headed flower power hippies running the government! They might give away the store.

TJ: Sure, they can just go to the terrorist base at Salman Pak. Oops. It is closed for business. I guess they can just go to the Iraqi intelligence services and ask for assistance. Oops. American troops stationed there. Please look up the word "impunity". Prior to the invasion, we couldn't just swoop in anywhere in Iraq and take out a terrorist. Now, we pretty much can go anywhere, anytime. That's the point. Iraq is not a safe haven.

Your argument, as I take it, is that Iraqis need a bloodthirsty dictator in charge because they can't handle freedom. Only time will tell, but I think they deserve a shot at it.

I'm the farthest thing from a realist that there can be.

ANONYMOUS: Freedom is on the march! Yay! Just not in nuclear armed North Korea, or in Iran or in our friend Pakistan. And you think you are the realist?! Or how about freedom in China or Russia why not on the march there? Oh well yeah... because they have nukes. Well now there is a lesson in that isn't there?

TJ: Your points about Iran and North Korea make no sense. If two tyrannies exist, and we can eliminate one of them, but not both, should we do nothing? How does that serve our interests? The interests of the Iraqi people? It doesn't. You are just moving the goalposts.

I for one, would be happy if we liberated Iran next.

ANONYMOUS: The price of oil has broken new highs, and the dollar is flirting with new lows. The debt, the budget deficit and the trade deficit are at all time highs. But facts be damned! Its a bright new morning for freedom and liberty in Iraq!

TJ: There you have it. This non-war you supported was all about cheap oil. No peace for oil! That's my motto.

i have to say tj is getting smoked so far
i think the last tj point says it all
tj is having an argument with who he wants anonymous to be rather than what anonymous is actually writing. Maybe tj could remind us how many billions of american taxpayer dollars is just plain missing that was supposed to be spent in Iraq.
Easy fall back and cheap shot at the "oil interests". Not getting specifically into the Iraq issue, but broadly into these type of cheap shots - Does anyone remember the high inflation, oil embargo and attempted rationing during the seventies? The impact it had on our American economy and psyche? Oil provide over 60% of the worlds energy. We need it to fuel our economy. America has a VITAL economic and security interest in ensuring that we have adequate supplies of oil. BTW - despite the dollar being weak and oil/gas prices being high, quartly growth in GDP was a healthy 4% AND demand for oil and gas in the U.S. was UP a strong 1% in Feb. over the previous month.
Oh man.... third party nailed it: "tj is having an argument with who he wants anonymous to be rather than what anonymous is actually writing."

So much of my response to you TJ doesn't actually need to qoute you. I can just quote myself. Here goes.

Me: "Freedom for corporate interests to loot you."

You answered back something about how Americans have to right to buy Count Chockula if they want. All right! Way to go dude! Lets hope they have count Chockula in those gulags the right is building. I suppose people like you won't mind them if they can still chose cheap breakfast cereals.

Let me be a little clearer: the current government is making it easier for corporations to loot you not at the cash register - but in the things which you cannot chose. The drug companies loot you when they sell you as an American, the same drugs for double the price they charge the rest of the world. You are looted by halliburton and the million defense contractors when they get no-bid contracts, fail in all their goals and still get paid a billions. Many of those contract have ridiculous invoices like when they charged you the taxpayer 9 million dollars for 80k worth of gas. But thats when they even bother with invoices. Many billions are not accounted for at all. Nobody knows where it went. It could have gone to buy mortars and rpgs for the insurgency there. There is no way for us to know. Or how about the way you are about to get looted when the federal government has to bail out the PBGC ( in federal insurance company that insures corporate pension plans ). Or the way you are about to get looted when they rape you with the changes to social security.

You ( with me parapharasing a little ): " But at least a generation or two of Vietnamese would have enjoyed their liberty" had we won Vietnam war.

Maybe that generation would have enjoyed freedom had we not killed them. Really is there no depth of depravity that makes war not worth it for you. The Nazi's killed 6 million Jews. For sure and enormous crime, which we memorialize constantly. America killed 5 million Vietnamese. But you manage to think this is right somehow. Remember the quote that finally gave Americans back their conscience on Vietnam when some sargent in the field said "Sometimes you have we have to destroy the village in order to save it". America and the world has come to a conclusion about the Vietnam war: America was wrong. And thankfully against all odds we lost that war and the world is better for it. Join the 21st century.

Me: "I challenge you to find some pictures of people living in Fallujah."

You answered back some blathering about how journalists only take pictures of destruction and blood. Its very simple: if there is some kind of happy normal life going on inside Fallujah then someone is taking pictures of it and posting them. I'm sure that if it is possible some marine photographers would be out there taking pictures of soldiers giving candy to children or some other propaganda. I challenged you to find it. Fallujah has been completely destroyed. There is nothing to argue about - you either can find some pictures to refute this point or you can concede the point and shut up. My problem with you is not that you are stupid, which you are not, but that you are ignorant. Get some facts. If I'm wrong prove it - with some evidence. This point about Fallujah is easy to refute - it you are correct.

Me: "Go to Dahr Jamail. You don't have the stomach to see such pictures. Picture upon picture of civilians shot in the head, men women and children, at close range in their beds."

You answered back some business about how our troops would never do such a thing. Well we never thought they would do what they did in Abu Ghraib either - until pictures proved us wrong. Again, there is no argument here. This is a simple matter of facts. Go to Dahr Jamail, look at the pictures, and find a way to explain how all those people were shot in the head asleep in their beds. Don't wave your hands about how this is just not possible. If its not possible then call my bluff, and prove that this evidence does not exist.

Also I love how you think you are insulting me by saying that I might come from "academia". Being called an academic is complement everywhere except among ignorant knuckle-draggers.

Me: "Al Sadr boycotted the elections."

You answered back with some completely irrelevant quote about an unrelated issue from the SF Chronicle. Are you reading at your grade level? Read that quote carefully. The party in question is dedicated to Al-Sadr's FATHER - a different person - one who has been assasinated 6 years ago. The writer mentions that the party did "surprisingly well". As in - despite the fact that the son is boycotting and denouncing the elections. The party of independents is mentioned as being "said to be backed", as in, Al-Sadr the son, is not backing them officially and that there are rumors that he backs this party. If Al-Sadr was not boycotting the election he would be on the list himself and would be openly supporting his own list, of his own party - not some random independents spreading rumors about how Al-Sadr supports them.

Its like you read something, and in your mind you scramble up the words to make new sentences which make more sense to you. You really need to get out of this reality distortion field in which you live and join reality again.

You "Sure, they can just go to the terrorist base at Salman Pak. Oops. It is closed for business."

Basically this sums up you argument in a few places how at least some terrorist hideouts have been closed. Rubbish. Yeah like they need Salman Pak. They have the whole or warlord ruled Afghanistan. Now conveniently funded by sales of Opium to America - a double win for the terrorists. Or they can use The entire Sunni triangle in Iraq. How about the whole city of Mosul as a good place to train our adversaries. We are less safe today than two years ago.

And your argument is still irrelevant to the issue: Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nor did it have WMD. Leon Klinghoffer or the 93 bombing or any of that other crap have nothing to do with 9/11.

You: "If two tyrannies exist, and we can eliminate one of them, but not both, should we do nothing?" This as an answer to my comments about how Iran and North Korea are building nukes.

The point is that in order to attack a non-threat we are allowing two serious threats go unanswered.

YOu: "You are just moving the goalposts. "

Thats rich. It was you who moved the goalposts! I supported this war when I was told Saddam Hussein has the capability and the intention to strike us with some kind of doomsday weapon withing 45 minutes. I was all for going in and removing that capability. What I got was an expensive quagmire and a bunch of garbage about how we are somehow "fullfilling god's plan" to bring "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. Get a grip.

In addition what we also gave away was an opening for our enemies to in fact build the very doomsday weapons which none of them had two years ago.
This is what happens when you consider yourself an academic but you stopped growing at the age of three.
Abu Ghraib? Give me a paper bag over my head for the ultimate torture while the enemy decapitates civilians and children.
It's time for you to expand your world and move out of that dorm room, or is it the third bedroom?
Uncle Margret: Not everyone enjoys S&M torture as much as you do.
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