November 28th, 2006

Chaos, tyranny, and fledgling democracies in the Middle East

Listening to part of President Bush’s press conference in Estonia (see the middle section of the linked article for a small discussion), two things struck me.

The first was the support Bush still gets from a country such as Estonia, so recently emerged from its own long nightmare of Soviet domination, and undergoing the struggles all such nations experience in trying to implement the goal of becoming a democratic and functioning nation. Estonians and other post-Soviet Eastern Europeans understand the hardships involved better than most nations on earth do; certainly better than we in the United States.

The second was that Bush is not abandoning the Iraqis to the tender mercies of realpolitik–at least rhetorically speaking, at least not yet.

As I wrote not too long ago [I'm in a hurry so will supply the links later]–in dysfunctional nations, there are mostly two choices: chaos or tyranny. If the tyranny is neither too tyrannical nor too dangerous to the rest of the world, tyranny may sometimes be the best of a bad business. The Shah’s Iran is a good example of that; it was replaced with a far worse tyranny.

As Bush pointed out in his press conference, not only Iraq but Lebanon is undergoing a chaotic passage right now. Both nations are struggling democracies attempting to resist both tyranny and chaos. Of course it’s hard, slow, and exceedingly difficult going.

The forces of evil (yes, I will most definitely use that word) are determined to sow chaos in both countries, and in any country in the area that tries to wrest itself from the grip of tyranny. Those pernicious forces know that chaos suits their purposes–not only tempermentally, because they love its nihilistic violence, but strategically as well, because it frightens the populations of the countries involved into desiring the strong hand of a strong leader to make a semblance of order out of the chaos.

Another strategic aim of these forces (which hasn’t been reached so far in the case of Iraq, but might be close to being reached) is to frighten and exhaust the US into abandoning the nation in question to either its chaos or its tyrant (who cares which? then the news will go off our front pages)–or, as the lamentable Jonathan Chait suggested recently in the LA Times, to restore an especially vicious tyrant (none other than Saddam Hussein himself) to power, in order to control the chaos. The truth is that in a place such as Iraq, the chaos was always underneath the surface, waiting to erupt.

And no matter what we do and which we choose: the support of a tyrant, or the attempt to pass through the chaos towards a better government for that country– the chaos and/or the tyranny inherent in such places can always be blamed on the US. And we can run from that chaos, crying that it’s too much for us.

I don’t blame the US for either the tyranny or the chaos. I do blame us, however, for not committing fully to doing whatever needed to be done to subdue the chaos when it first erupted, and for not being ready enough for it. Looters should have been shot at the outset. Al Sadr should have been defanged before his movement had time to grow.

I understand why it wasn’t done; we didn’t want to seem to be a heavy-handed occupying force. But we were an occupying force, occupying a nation that had been defeated in war. We used to know how to do this sort of thing; the aftermath of World War II and the occupation of Germany and Japan are excellent examples. But we no longer seem to have the belief that such a thing is possible. And that belief is key. Without it, we will abandon these countries to their Hobson’s choice of chaos or tyranny.

74 Responses to “Chaos, tyranny, and fledgling democracies in the Middle East”

  1. Steve Says:


    I do blame us, however, for not committing fully to doing whatever needed to be done to subdue the chaos when it first erupted, and for not being ready enough for it. Looters should have been shot at the outset. Al Sadr should have been defanged before his movement had time to grow.

    Bingo.

  2. Holmes Says:

    It is not too late to do what is necessary to secure a free state.

  3. Mikey NTH Says:

    People such as Chait fail to realize that a dictatorship is as brittle as glass – it is always one breath away from chaos. What happens, Mr. Chait, when the bloody old tyrant dies, or falls, without their being a US Army in-country? You think this is chaos? You think this opens an opportunity for extremists? Sir, you haven’t seen nuthin’ yet. Just wait til the Assad dynasty is destroyed and the general pulling the coup fails to get his grip on everything right away.

    Then, sir, you Will see chaos.

  4. stumbley Says:

    “In fact it was a model of islamic secular tolerance.”

    I’m sure the Kurds will agree wholeheartedly.

    You ARE an idiot.

  5. Daviscoach Says:

    “the occupation of Germany and Japan are excellent examples.”

    Neo, not even in the same ballpark. Germany and Japan had their cities reduced to ashes and rubble. Dresden and Tokyo were firebombed to almost nothing and Hiroshima and Nagasaki fried. Miles and miles of cities without any part of a building standing. We defeated an army and a people. That was war.

    We defeated an overmatched army in Iraq. And that army was the only thing that kept the civilians from doing what they are doing now.

    What we are demanding our armed forces do in Iraq is spat them on the behind and send them to timeout…and don’t use harsh language.

    I call this the SoccerMom war.

  6. Good Ole Charlie (SE Penna) Says:

    justaguy:

    Hey, even I can get this one.

    Kurds were a minority that were actively persecuted by Saddam and Friends and Family. To make it worse (if you’re Saddam, etc.) they were/are sitting on a load of oil…which Saddam and Sunnis aren’t. So help yourself, Uday…and don’t let a few massacres stop you.

    Now we have Sunnis persecuted in turn.

    “What you sow, so shall you reap.”

    The above sounds about right to me. And also makes sweet music to the Kurdish/Shia Death Squads.

    Couldn’t happen to more deserving set of killers: Saddam and Friends and Family.

  7. DocJim Says:

    Seems to me that the thesis — anarchy is worse than a mild-mannered tyranny– is a simple truth of societies.

    However, Lebanon was a pretty happy country for many decades before the late-lamented PLO took over with their guns and beat-up the Christian ruling party. After the PLO essentially left, there was a vacuum that lead to anarchy or near-anarchy. I think we can give the blame of Lebanon to Yasser Arafat. With the Christians voted out and many having left the country, it will be a long haul. Putting the useless UN in charge will no doubt continue the Syrian subterfuge/rule. The big problem of the recent history was stopping the Israeli Army a week or two too soon. And I don’t care if they were vicious, they had a vicious enemy. I wish they had cleaned out all of the rats nests.

  8. Holmes Says:

    I didn’t realize Palestinians were a race.

  9. Sally Says:

    Daviscoach: “the occupation of Germany and Japan are excellent examples.”

    Neo, not even in the same ballpark.

    This is a good point. The question is whether it will take something equivalent to the destruction visited upon Germany and Japan in order to reform arab and muslim cultures to the point that they can share the planet peaceably with Kurds, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Russians, Africans, Americans, etc., etc., etc. The aptly named “soccer mom” war certainly isn’t doing it.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    The thing was, I don’t remmeber steve talking about defanging Sadr on this blog way back in 2005 or 2004. I remember him saying that US troops should stay in their bases to avoid the IEDs, and not patrol the streets in unarmored humvees and get slaughtered like bunnies. That is what I remember about his “bingo”.

    We defeated an overmatched army in Iraq. And that army was the only thing that kept the civilians from doing what they are doing now.
    Idiffer on this point.

    No, actually, we didn’t defeat that army or any other army unit of Saddam’s. They filtered away, because they had planned on an insurgency from day one. So you think they were defeaten, but they were just cooking up a guerrila war while we were celebrating.

    In tyrannies, it is the secret police that does the law and order bit, not the army. Army’s too stupid and composed of too many citizens, to do systemic purges and cleansings of the neighborhood. Saddam learned quite a bit from his Russian trainers.

    All in all, I advocated ruthless tactics back sometime on this blog, precisely because I knew if you don’t do it now, things will get worse, and what you could have stopped with a few executions, will now require tens upon tens of thousands of executions. Analogous to Chamberlain. Arabs respect strength. But they don’t have the same honor code as us. Strength to them is the ability to kidnap your loved ones and to get ransom money from you, that is strength to Arabs. Their power and ability to terrorize you by targeting those who you can’t protect. Why else would they kill civilians and police rather than get slaughtered by the US Marines in Fallujah? Not too many of those going around.

    I did have some hopes for the elections, but the more I learned about psychological warfare and warfare in general, and the more history I learned from neo, the more I came to realize that the elections were just temporary. A temporary hope. All those ROE things about not shooting mosques, and Fallujah. I didn’t come up with the ideas of executions and destroying Fallujah with a nuclear bomb on my own. Or shooting rioters. I read about them. In Sherman’s letters to the citizens of Atlanta in the Civ War. Through military science fiction scenarios which covered the same topic. Evacuating Fallujah, destroying the terroists inside with the Marines, broadcasting the torture tapes acquired, and then cleansing Fallujah with a nuclear bomb was a modified version of Sherman burning Atlanta.

    I based the solution to Iraq, upon what I know to have worked in the real past, and what has been postulated in scenarios that I believed to be accurate.

    As time goes on, your options are limited. What you could have stopped with a strong defense when Hitler was weak, will only be stopped by a devastation later when he gets stronger.

    As time goes on and you don’t do what is necessary, your options become limited in what you are able to choose. Before you could have chosen the easy w

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    What you could have stopped with a strong defense when Hitler was weak, will only be stopped by a devastation later when he gets stronger.

    As time goes on and you don’t do what is necessary, your options become limited in what you are able to choose. Before you could have chosen the easy way out, could have chosen to fight when victory was certain. But when victory is not certain, and you seem to be negotiating with your enemies pleading for mercy, then you are forced into decisions. An interesting state of affairs for the once mighty United States of America.

    It was not necessary for the US to do everything in a ruthless and brutal manner. You do not want to emulate the Russians with their rather heavy handed assassination techniques and execution policies. The solutions I formed was based off of some of that stuff, sure, but mostly it was based upon American ingenuity. Our ability to perfect and improve upon what our enemies are already using.

    I cannot promise to anyone that if looters were shot or what not, that the violence we see now would be absent. I could promise that it would be delayed and lessened, but not removed. The little things will not win a war, but they will help. You have to keep the presusre and the initiative, always be on the offensive, never give your enemy a moment to breath. That is what matters. It doesn’t matter if you were weak or lazy back in Chamberlain’s times, what matters is the steel you have right now. Do you have enough?

    When I was reading Healing Iraq the blog and I realized that the British was doing jack in Basra and it was turning into a hell hole. I realized that the United States was focusing too much on the Sunni insurgency. With what people have now said about Sadr, about how they refused to take him out and martyr him because the military didn’t want a second front with the Shia, is consistent with my derivations.

    What I saw was a logistical nightmare. Where by ignoring your back logistics lines, the enemy would cut through your food supply, and even if you win at the front, you would still starve to death. That was what I saw by looking at how the US and Britain ignored Basra and the Shia areas. The Shia were 60% of the population, why were they being ignored and why did the US allow the thugs to gain power in the Shia regions while doing their fighting in the Sunni areas? Made no logistical or strategic sense.

    This was all before the Golden mosque troubles, btw. Problems in Basra and thugs and Healing Iraq’s complaints have been around for years. It is nothing new. It is only new if people watch the media for their info.

    I advocated everything from nuking Fallujah to threatening to execute GitMo detainees and prisoners at Abu Ghraib in return for Americans hostages, to taking hostage the family members of the terrorists and insurgents.

    The situation was not clear, but you took it as it was. One battle at a time. Now I can tell you about a lot of things that went wrong, b

  12. Ymarsakar Says:

    One battle at a time. Now I can tell you about a lot of things that went wrong, but that would be too much steve.

    What to do now? I say Fallujah Sadr city. Capture Sadr, have a military tribunal, then execute him, within 24 hours with the trial not taking any longer than “2 days”. Dismantle his militia. But only after 2 months of combat in which no surrender or quarter is given. By sending the Marines into Sadr city. Two months of sustained combat and extermination. Because the point is not to take Sadr city, the point is to kill Sadr’s militia, to inflict enough psychological damage, that you can be safe in the knowledge at the end that these “militia boys” won’t filter back into Sadr city to blow up Marines as we try to reconstruct the city afterwards.

    We will have to reconstrct Sadr city, to remove Sadr’s power base, which is the poor and disaffected. Sadr’s militia is based upon Hezbollah, you know, social services. Cut that out, third, after Sadr is dead and his militia has been eviscerated.

    What to do about Iran? I came up with one scenario for that one too. Syria? That too. There are two ways to fight wars, Neo, in my view. Either you base your strategy upon killing enough of the enemy so that the enemy is FORCED to come to the negotiations table or be annihilated. OR, you base your strategy upon the notion that if you can get your enemy to the negotiations table, you won’t have to kill any of his people. Chamberlain did it one way, Churchill did it the other.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, I have always heard, for the past 3 years, from folks like steve and Ralph peters and the other “bigger hammer is better” strategists that more troops was necessary because more troops meant more “will” or “strength” or some naive notion like that. I have NEVER heard Ralph Peters or the steve folks who wanted more troops, advocate shooting the rioters. It seems the false belief in these people is that if you just magically got more troops, these “more troops” would “magically” obtain “orders” that allowed them to fire on civilians and criminals.

    The very fact that they wanted more troops, meant they were afraid of the situation in Iraq and was basing their decisions upon this fear that if we can get more grunts, then the grunts will do what needs to be done without us having to talk about the dirty and nitty details about what they actually need to do.

    Never take counsel of your fears, I said to steve almost a year ago. Offensive actions in Iraq should be based upon rage, hatred, aggressiveness, and pure will. The will to destroy our enemies. Not fear of casualties, not fear of international sanction, or desire for this “hang with the pack mentality” that says if we got more people it would be safer. The isolationist right didn’t get it right, and the Left didn’t get it. No extremist got it right. The very principles of Sun Tzu were never applied to this war. The generals tried, oh they tried, but they failed. That is excusable. Their current actions are not however.

    Bush still does not realize that the problems in Iraq stem directly or indirectly from his unwillingness to lay down the iron fist of Imperial might. He cannot affect real solutions to the real problems, without recognizing why his own previous solutions failed to work. HIs adivsers do not have the wisdom of our Neo here. His advisers are idiots. They told him not to mess with Sadr. Typical bureacrats. Let’s push it on someone else. Ass covering time.

  14. harry Says:

    justaguy:
    “Iraq has very little history of sectarian animosity . In fact it was a model of islamic secular tolerance.”

    Thats the model huh? And why do you think they all got along? Could it be that the model of secularism was held together at threat of a firing squad? Of being discovered lying in a mass grave several years later?

    Hussein made sure there was relative harmony alright, and he didnt care how he accomplished that.

    And you guys get so worked up about what moral malfeasance we’re supposedly committing.

    Seems like you’re clearly in favor of the tyranny school of enforced secularist tolerance, depending upon who its enforced by.

  15. Steve Says:

    The question is whether it will take something equivalent to the destruction visited upon Germany and Japan in order to reform arab and muslim cultures to the point that they can share the planet peaceably with Kurds, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Russians, Africans, Americans, etc., etc., etc. The aptly named “soccer mom” war certainly isn’t doing it.

    The attacks on US elements in the last six years have come from Al Qaeda, an extra-national gang based in Afghanistan, and the members of Al Qaeda who have caused us the most grief have come from places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. So why aren’t we bombing Egypt and Saudi Arabia? You tell me.

    As I pointed out elsewhere, we bombed the Germans and the Japanese because they were invading and occupying their neighbors. The Arabs/Muslims aren’t doing that. It may be that some Arab/Muslim government is covertly supporting terrorists. If so, let’s see the evidence, so we can declare a proper war. The problem is, this administration blew the evidence on Iraq, so the American people are not going to buy another war. But keep at it. Maybe your dreams will come true.

  16. harry Says:

    I also dont see how offering freedom and democracy in a land held together by the fear produced by one man, naturally means those same people must also buy into breast implants and Britney Spears. Those are merely bonus upgrade options. You dont have to have them.

  17. Steve Says:


    I remember him saying that US troops should stay in their bases to avoid the IEDs, and not patrol the streets in unarmored humvees and get slaughtered like bunnies.

    Yes, indeed. There’s no reason why Americans should be victims in a pointless conflict designed to make Iraq peaceful and democratic.

    That goes to the point of what we should have done when we invaded. We should have taken out the top leadership cadre, and left the rest in place. We should have shot looters on sight, recognizing that by allowing the emergence of mob rule, we would never be able to get the genie back into the bottle. We screwed up. If you didn’t get my emails about it at the time, sorry.

  18. Steve Says:


    I remember him saying that US troops should stay in their bases to avoid the IEDs, and not patrol the streets in unarmored humvees and get slaughtered like bunnies.

    Yes, indeed. There’s no reason why Americans should be victims in a pointless conflict designed to make Iraq peaceful and democratic.

    That goes to the point of what we should have done when we invaded. We should have taken out the top leadership cadre, and left the rest in place. We should have shot looters on sight, recognizing that by allowing the emergence of mob rule, we would never be able to get the genie back into the bottle. We screwed up. If you didn’t get my emails about it at the time, sorry.


    Never take counsel of your fears, I said to steve almost a year ago. Offensive actions in Iraq should be based upon rage, hatred, aggressiveness, and pure will. The will to destroy our enemies.

    This is not a question of fear: there’s nothing to fear. It’s a question of what you want to achieve. At this point, after 3.5 years, the idea of slaughtering vast numbers of Iraqis is utterly pointless. Furthermore, basing military actions on rage and hatred is bad policy. Military action — even slaughter — has to be governed by discipline. Otherwise you will have a mob at your command.


    Bush still does not realize that the problems in Iraq stem directly or indirectly from his unwillingness to lay down the iron fist of Imperial might.

    That’s a little florid for my tastes, but, in general you are right.

  19. Holmes Says:

    You’ll never convince a person like justaguy that the West and specifically America are not the centers of all evil. It’s comical really. Just let the troll prowl, he’ll tire himself out.

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    If the US imitated Russia a bit more, maybe we’d have a bit more silence, eh Sergey?

  21. Ariel Says:

    “better off than the Kurds in Turkey who were also being killed by US supplied weapons at the time. Still are.”

    Wow, only the US sells weapons! And the US specifically supplied them to Turkey so Turkey could kill Kurds. Wow.

  22. justaguy Says:

    Actually Holmes, it is you and your friends here who are banging on about good and evil. You are idealogues who see everything muslim as dangerous or inferior and requiring a military intervention.

    I am not against you Americans (yet) but I’m certainly not with you either. Nor should I need to be.

    The neocons have made a fragile world far more dangerous than ever before in my opinion and continue to make it more so.

    I have no such illusions that would label any side all evil or all innocent. I am an antiidealogue. I don’t believe capitalism or socialism have all the answers and I don’t believe in any gods, deities or demons.

    I certainly don’t believe that NOT talking is a policy or that national pride is a valid reason to kill tens of thousands of people. That would be a sick society indeed.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Military action — even slaughter — has to be governed by discipline. Otherwise you will have a mob at your command.

    We’re talking about political decisions, not how to carry out a snatch operation.

    We should have taken out the top leadership cadre, and left the rest in place.

    By your logic, you can’t shoot the looters, which is why you didn’t mention it and which is why shooting looters is inconsistent with “leaving the rest in place”.

    At this point, after 3.5 years, the idea of slaughtering vast numbers of Iraqis is utterly pointless.

    You had the same position a year ago, or even two years ago. Nothing has changed. Get rid of the leaders, and your position is that that is enough. But it wasn’t enough.

    Yes, indeed. There’s no reason why Americans should be victims in a pointless conflict designed to make Iraq peaceful and democratic.

    What would have been pointless was to kill the leaders and expect that law and order can be sustained when the Americans can’t even patrol the streets and talk with the locals face to face.

  24. justaguy Says:

    “better off than the Kurds in Turkey who were also being killed by US supplied weapons at the time. Still are.”

    Wow, only the US sells weapons! And the US specifically supplied them to Turkey so Turkey could kill Kurds. Wow.
    Ariel | 11.28.06 – 11:46 pm | #

    Wow, fresh from accusing me of not being able to read, Ariel builds a strawman with a deliberate misinterpretation. Idiot.

    Are your debating skills always so poor that you have to resort to kiddy tactics?

  25. Ariel Says:

    Aw, that hurts. So I’ll just repeat myself,
    “You know, you make a lot of things up and then say other people say them. The sophistry, unsubstantiated assumptions, and just plain old lying about other people is all out of your mouth and on your head. A real shame.

    Now you can just spew out nastiness or condescension, doesn’t matter to me. You can twist what I’ve said until it’s just another one of your lies. Makes no difference to me either. People that can read can see what your doing.”

    And it wasn’t a strawman, it was what you intended to imply, but worded so you could deny it. And the “kiddy tactics” were for your level of understanding, just trying to help your reading problem.
    You know, you seldom confront anything anyone writes head on, but either go nasty or tangentially. Those aren’t debating skills, hate to tell you.

    And you can’t read, as your posts so eloquently testify.

  26. justaguy Says:

    “And it wasn’t a strawman, it was what you intended to imply, but worded so you could deny it.”

    No. It is a strawman. It cearly is a misinterpetation and hyperbolic.

    “Now you can just spew out nastiness or condescension”

    It’s called responding in kind. As I’ve pointed out, Neo deletes my posts, so it is difficult to have a reasonable conversation when my replies to others disappear. The bile and nastiness of the Sallys of this board are clearly worse than anything I’ve posted. Feel free to give me examples though.

    “You know, you seldom confront anything anyone writes head on, but either go nasty or tangentially”

    Sorry if you are struggling to keep up. I probably am much more knowledgable about the middle east than you are though, having been there many times. I don’t hold the irrational fears that you are being sold. Or are you one of the sellers? Its getting hard to tell who the lying liars are these days.

  27. Sally Says:

    What makes you think that they can’t share the planet peacefully?

    Oh, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, 9/11, Hamas, Hezbollah, bombings in Spain, Britain, Turkey, Kenya, Egypt, Algeria, Israel, …, Beslan, Bali, Kashmir, lethal riots over beauty pageants in Nigeria, or over cartoons worldwide, threats to kill novelists, murdering film makers and politicians, assassinations in Lebanon, threats to behead the Pope, apprehended plans to murder thousands, threats by muslim leaders to wipe countries off the map, urgings by muslim religious leaders to kill Jews, …

    Well, that could go on for a long time, but this at least might provide a clue to the answer.

  28. Ariel Says:

    See, there you go again. Unsubstantiated assumptions verging on what I’m sure you intend to be character assassination. Followed by nastiness and condescension, with the inevitable “I’m just responding in kind”. Which of course makes you the victim.

    Nope, actually, I am not struggling to keep up, I am way ahead of you, not that you will understand my meaning nor do I care. And the “I probably am much more knowledgable” is simply being full of oneself. Or
    Pompous: “having or exhibiting self-importance.”

    Anyway, this has nothing to do with Neo’s post. Nor do you. Idiot (just responding in kind, you know).

  29. Ariel Says:

    1. Sally, my 11.29.06 12:40 was intended for justa. He is so full of himself. Pompous asses really bug me. Personal quirk.

    2. The first comment to Neo’s post, that of Steve’s quoting from her second to last paragraph nailed much of how we failed the Iraqis. Oh, and to you who say we were not welcomed when we deposed Saddam, pure hogwash.

  30. Sally Says:

    No prob, Ariel. justa’s afflicted with the sort of blindness that you find among all True Believers (aka fanatics, fundamentalists of one kind or another), in that he hasn’t any ability to see himself — instead he lives with a pure fantasy of himself. It’s a pretty dull fantasy, I’d say, but then probably not for him.

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    Ariel, isn’t it funny that I can ignore these folks? Since their name doesn’t come up first, I try and detect justa’s posts first, and then skip it.

    When they are talking to you directly, hard to ignore if you already read what they said. Mental game. But, easy to do so if you see them talking to someone else. However, only way they would stop talking to you, is if they know you aren’t reading them.

    I think justa gets a kick off of annoying you and sally. He tried talking to me, but I skipped his post and he knew it. So he doesn’t even respond to whatever I say now. Good for him.

    You got to train these people with the pavlovian system used on dogs, Ariel. It works.

  32. Ariel Says:

    “Oh gosh!!!! They’re talking about me in the 3rd person. Who’d have come up with such a cunning plan??

    Adults?”

    Boring, very boring. And not even clever, just plain, self-centered stupid.
    Do you always expect everyone to talk or write directly to you? We weren’t “talking” to you, get it? And no one owes you the courtesy you won’t pay yourself.

    When you look at the rising sun, is your first thought about how it has begun its journey around you?

    To paraphrase the words of that immortal bard, “go away, boy, you bother me.”

  33. Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) Says:

    Well, well. Such people skills on display.

    I think I’ll save my hand and not poke the justaguy vs. world melee, and just ask: genocide? Civil war seems far more appropriate; perhaps you can explain your reasoning?

  34. pete Says:

    Neo is up to /his/her cowardly behavior again by taking down my posts. The truth must be avoided at all costs eh Neo?

  35. justaguy Says:

    Well Justin, when most of ones posts get deleted by Neo in a cowardly attempt to manipulate opinion, it is difficult to demostrate people skills.

    I’d be happy to have a civil discussion if anyone here, including the hostess, would argue honestly or honourably.

  36. pete Says:

    Justin

    BushCo was warned by his own State Dept (not to mention those of us who know a damn thing about Iraq) that the most likely outcome of invading Iraq would be civil war. Nevertheless BushCo invaded Iraq and 600,000 (and counting) deaths have occured exactly as anticipated. That is genocide in any reasonable persons book.

  37. pete Says:

    Justaguy

    She/he is a coward. Plain and simple. She/he is trying awfully hard to find some small corner of the universe where the actions of the neocon wont be seen as barbaric.

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    Everything people do is based on a premise. For example, you take a glass of water on the premise that drinking it will quench your thirst. You smile and say “hello” to a co-worker on the premise that this friendly greeting that expresses goodwill will evoke friendliness and goodwill in return. We fight Islamist Jihad on the premise that vigorous defense will discourage and eventually defeat those trying to destroy us. All normal human premises.

    But, every now and then, we run into people who seem to be from some other planet, because their behaviors fly in the face of normal human ones. Such a person would be, for example, one who advises the thirsty to fast from water. Another example is a co-worker who responds to a friendly look defensively, with a dirty look, as though it were a threat. Yet another example is one who advises that the way to get people to stop attacking you is by NOT fighting back.

    This isn’t because they think thirst quenches thirst, etc. It’s because thirst has nothing to do with thirst, in their eyes.

    They are from Pluto, you see. In their world, it ain’t about thirst or whatever it’s about: it’s about THEM. So, they are acting on narcissistic premises. Their reaction to everything is based on the premise that their reaction proves something about them: it proves that they are superior to you.

    So, they view everything as a demonstration that they are superior to you. It’s a teeter-totter game. Therefore, it often takes on a wholly negative aspect: they aggrandize themselves by diminishing you. Hence everything that happens, and everything you say or do is viewed as a demonstration of your inferiority.

    In other words, it ain’t about thirst or whatever it’s about: it’s always about your inferiority = their superiority. That’s why their views and reactions are so bizarre.

    I got not enough sticks to break 50 legions.
    Link Doubles GO Read

  39. Sergey Says:

    Many usefull Western idiots visiting Moscow circa 1930 also see perfect order without violence on the streets. And millions Russian were then in prison camps in arctic tundra or stood before firing squads in near-Moscow forests. Lion Feihtwanger in “Moscow, 1930″ described clean streets and civil, hospitable citizens.

  40. douglas Says:

    Steve:“So why aren’t we bombing Egypt and Saudi Arabia? You tell me.”

    Because the existing governments, bad as they are, are much better than what would take their place at this time, perhaps even what would be elected in (ala the palestinians). They also might, over time, be persuaded to become more democratic, more free than they are now. It’s called a carrot approach. Sometimes that’s the correct approach. Sometimes you whip out the stick. That was easy. Why do you ask such silly questions?

    Justa:“The neocons have made a fragile world far more dangerous than ever before in my opinion and continue to make it more so.”

    Well, what’s your opinion worth? You probably thought things were pretty safe in NYC on 9-10-01. The worlds always been a dangerous place. Grow up. Sitting around thinking if we were nice enough to everyone it would be safe is what got us into this mess.

    Pete:“Nevertheless BushCo invaded Iraq and 600,000 (and counting) deaths have occured exactly as anticipated.”

    If last October was the worst month in Iraq for civilian deaths at 3709 (The United Nations said Wednesday that 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October, the most in any month since the war began 44 months ago, and a figure certain to be eclipsed in November.”) and lets for argument sake say November was worse, say 4000- Then lets multiply 4000 times 44 and we get 176,000. No where near your 600,000 propaganda number- and that’s using the WORST month as an average- obviously, the real number should be MUCH lower. I’m not trying to diminish the value of those human lives that actually were lost, well the non-terrorist ones anyway, just trying to make a point that wherever you’ve been getting your info is full of it. Try a little harder next time, you’re not succeeding right now in convincing anyone that you’re smarter than Bush.

  41. douglas Says:

    Ymar, can’t help myself. Besides, why shouldn’t we talk with the trolls, when they are so easily PROVEN wrong, and make such fine examples of looney leftism?

    Shooting fish in a barrel.

  42. justaguy Says:

    pete | 11.29.06 – 2:58 am | #

    Yeah, she is well prepared to make sacrifices of other people’s lives but not brave enough to allow an honest argument on her blog.

    What a pathetic excuse for a human being. Typical of the type.

  43. pete Says:

    Douglas

    That wasn’t a fish that you shot it was your foot. The numbers that the UN gets are conservative numbers (pun intended) culled from hospitals only. Those hospitals, which have the resources to keep track of those they take to the overworked morgues, report to the US supported “Iraqi government” (ie failed state) via the Shiite- controlled Health Ministry which is pressured to keep the numbers low.

    Propaganda? You want to talk propaganda? What do you think got us into this mess brainiac?

  44. justaguy Says:

    Douglas, you smug git, 2 million Iraqis are dead as a result of US/British actions snce 1991.

    Don’t be so blithe about the deaths that your country causes or the misery that it exports around the world.

    Open your eyes to what is done in your name with your tax dollars.

    Hamas are resisting a brutal military colonization and defying Israeli genocidal policies. Defying an ethnocentric theocratic zealous colonization.

    I no longer give a damn about 9/11. You and your neocon Israel firsters have used it to reap murderous havoc on mostly innocent people AND to hand OBL a bigger victory than he’d have ever imagined.

    Your ideology is sick, twisted and barbaric. You are way worse than those you claim to be fighting.

  45. douglas Says:

    Pete:“That wasn’t a fish that you shot it was your foot. The numbers that the UN gets are conservative numbers (pun intended) culled from hospitals only.”

    Well, my math was clear and gave you every benefit of the doubt (using the MAX month as average). Even if you doubled that number, you’d get 352,000- a little over half of your supposed 600,000. That’s more than a bit beyond the margin of error, sorry. Care to back up your assertions with some math, or other hard evidence, or must we always be left with only your (questionable) word?

    Justa:“Douglas, you smug git, 2 million Iraqis are dead as a result of US/British actions snce 1991.”

    Obviously, you are counting those who suffered under Oil-for-Food. I’m no fan of that. I suppose you were for taking out Saddam at the close of Gulf War I then? I also question your number, and ask you for substantiation. Thanks.

    “Don’t be so blithe about the deaths that your country causes or the misery that it exports around the world.”

    Where exactly was I blithe? I am rather serious about it, as well as the Terrorists and Mullahs that wish to export death around the world in the name of Allah. You?

    “Hamas are resisting a brutal military colonization and defying Israeli genocidal policies.”

    Boy, those Israelis really suck at being genocidal, considering the military advantage they have. Why let it take decades when a final solution could be acheived in weeks? /sarcasm

    “Your ideology is sick, twisted and barbaric. You are way worse than those you claim to be fighting.”

    Tell me, what is my ideology that is so twisted? You haven’t been around here (or anywhere else I post) long enough to know, I don’t think. I’ve pretty much stuck to exposing your ignorance of the facts since you’ve been around. Back up your claim, please. Thanks.

    Peace.

  46. Sergey Says:

    Democracy involves much more than simply absence of brutal tyranny, free elections and referendums. It is ability of society to govern itself, ability to self-organization. Very few societies on Earth possess necessary social skills and habits to develop this “Web of Trust”, so brilliantly described by Bill Whittle. Even if there is no open hostility around, it takes time to build some trust to your neighbor; and it is virtually impossible when hostility present. Historically speaking, democracies first arise in self-governing town communities of traders and merchants – Greek, Italian, Russian city states, such as Athens, Venice, Novgorod; free trade is a powerful tool of building trust. They were situated at periphery of mighty empires, where neither secular nor clerical authority could effectively rule. Most of them were destroyed later by these empires, and refuges from Antwerp, Flanders, Amsterdam and other religious dissidents established first colonies in New World. (New York was called New Amsterdam these days.) British empire also could not effectively rule in these peripheral colonies; that is how freedom survived. But this still is an exception, a string of happy coincidences that made it possible. Most of the world populations are still inherently non-democratic and can not develop democracy by themselves, without external help. And in rare instances when this help is successful, it was accomplished only after complete destruction and discrediting of their previous non-democratic cultures.

  47. justaguy Says:

    “Care to back up your assertions with some math, or other hard evidence, or must we always be left with only your (questionable) word?”

    Clearly Pete was referring to the Johns Hopkins epidemiologocal study which is the most authoritative estimate of the death toll. I’m surprised that an expert such as yourself hasn’t heaard of it.

    The Iraqi government recently estimated the death toll from the sunni insurgency alone at 150,000.

    These are figures you can cite with authority.

    WHO estimates the death toll from the sanctions at a minimum of 1.25 million including a minimum 500,000 children. This is from the sanctions alone and does not include deaths from illnesses caused almost certainly by the chemical and radiological weapons used by US forces during the Kuwait war or direct civilian deaths from bombardment during the war.

    Your neocon ideology of provocation and unfetterd military action to further US/Israeli interests (securing energy capacity) is what I find twisted and sick. The notion that human beings are just some sort of collateral in a game of politics for economic theft and the creation of a racially/religiously pure Jewish state in the middle east on arab lands. The ideology of might is right and that laws nor common decency and humanity do not apply to the US and Israel.

    Last, Israel plays a very good propaganda game. The colonization of Eretz Yisrael is a slow but sure thing. If they annihilated the Palestinians in one fell swoop, world public opinion would destroy their greatest shield. US public indifference and thus US economic assistance. They can’t survive without it and they couldn’t continue without the US veto in the UNSC.

    So, smart arse, you may think you are ever so clever, but you are clearly a liar or very uninformed and naive.

    How’s that foot wound, dumbarse?

  48. justtheguy (aka dete) Says:

    Lougdas, you blithering idiot, 200 million — million or billion? let’s be “conservative” (get it?), and just say billion — Iraqis are dead as a direct result of US/British/Polish action since 1933! Allah, how you neoneoneocons “avoid” the truth! You are all very very bad peeple! And Hamas, oh my allah, they are all very very good peeple! Martyrs and saints!!

    May a thousand 9/11s rain down on you all!! Aieeelululululululululululu …

    Okay, I was getting a little bit carried away there. I’m okay. I’m not on anyone’s side, really. I hate you all, of course. Because you’re hateful. But you already knew that. I love Hamas, Hezbollah, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Iranians, the Syrians, and the Iraqis (not so much the Kurds). I have a bit of a soft spot for Al Qaeda … because they’re bringing down the Great SATAN!! The worst, most lyingest, the, the, the sickest, the badest, the Jewest there ever ever was!!! In history!!!! Before history!!!!!

    Okay. Okay. Somebody got a kleenex?

    I’ll just end by saying … behead all those who delete my posts!!! Wassamatta, you can’t handle an argum

  49. Zeno Says:

    It’s all the fault of US / Israel… Yawn.
    I live in Brazil where druglords dominate all the favelas and violence is rampant and corrupt politicians never go to prison and democracy is far from perfect. All fault of the US and Israel, I’m sure.

    By the way, justaguy’s beloved palestinians rank above Brazil in the UN’s Human Develop Index. They have the highest birthrate and life expectancy of the Arab world. Those israelis sure are incompetent in genocidal management….

    More interesting is the question: why do some societies work and others fail? Is democracy enough? After a dictatorship and a brief and faulty interlude with liberalism, Latin America seems to be set on trying again the failed experiment of socialism…

  50. Ymarsakar Says:

    It depends, Douglass. For some people, it is feeding the crocs. Better watch out sooner or later.

    Others are amused or find it fun reading Justa or arguing with Justa. While still others like Ariel, argue because of anger or a state other than tranquility.

    I prefer to have people be tranquil while reading Neo. These people we call justa thrive on the attention they get in the blog of the notorious neo-neocon!!! gasp. Sometimes they erupt in rage and fury, which is kind of funny in a way, sort of like watching Kramer with his train wreck persona.

    But all such entertainments grow stale after awhile. The time spent arguing with Justa, I would rather use to read Bookworm, Anna, blackfive, and so forth.

  51. Sergey Says:

    Zeno, I already tried to answer this question in my post. I can add only this: proletariat will always cling to socialist utopia, in this respect Marx was right. You need middle class to defend democracy, and this class must comprise large part of population to win elections. So viability of democracy depends most of all on GDP per capita, which correlates strongly with proportion of middle class. In South America, where poverty is widespread, markets are not free and crony capitalism prevail, democracies are very fragile.

  52. Sergey Says:

    Another consideration about perspectives of democracies in different cultures: they strongly depend on religious background. In realm of Christianity they are much better for protestants than for catholic or eastern orthodox denominations. The reason is that only protestants were fully exposed to major spiritually liberating processes associated with Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. (They influenced catholics too, but to lesser extent and mainly clergy, not laymen.) Main ethos of Renaissance was creativity, humanity and optimism, belief in tremendous spiritual potential of single individual, possibility of personal spiritual growth by applying one’s willpower. It was also associated with ideas of social progress and basic equality of people – equality under God, that transcends and outshines social and class inequality. Reformation and Enlightenment strengthened and popularized these tendencies, which strongly contribute to self-organization, self-government and sovereign, independent personality, that is core values of democratic society.
    On other hand, paternalistic approach of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, symbolically reflected in form of address to priests – Father (or “batushka” in Russian) and naming of parishioners “my son” – project powerful message of adolescent dependence and irresponsibility. This type of personality seeks protection and guidance from authorities, prone to personality cults (like Mussoliny, Franco, Stalin or scores of South American dictators) as secular replacement of Father figure, lacks individual initiative, often behave cruel and susceptible to pack mentality in revolts, bloody revolutions, etc.; all typical traits of adolescence. Totalitarian mass movements thrive on this background. Such mentality also typical for leftists: most of them behave and think like spoiled children, unable to control their emotions or stand pain.

  53. douglas Says:

    Ho-Hum.

    “Care to back up your assertions with some math, or other hard evidence, or must we always be left with only your (questionable) word?”

    ”Clearly Pete was referring to the Johns Hopkins epidemiologocal study which is the most authoritative estimate of the death toll. I’m surprised that an expert such as yourself hasn’t heaard of it.”

    You mean the one by the same people who were discredited in their survey two years ago? They’re reliable. I don’t have time to do a point by point, just go here for a dissection. Then you can come back and tell me why that’s wrong too (other than that it doesn’t fit your world view).

    ”These are figures you can cite with authority.”

    You mean like the last one they did that was total hooey? Right.

    ”WHO estimates the death toll from the sanctions at a minimum of 1.25 million including a minimum 500,000 children. This is from the sanctions alone and does not include deaths from illnesses caused almost certainly by the chemical and radiological weapons used by US forces during the Kuwait war or direct civilian deaths from bombardment during the war.”

    The funny thing about this is that you don’t even realize that, if true, it shoots your Johns Hopkins study down in flames. Given the WHO numbers you claim, the baseline death rate used by the JH study would be WAY off. Nice going. Chemical and Radiological weapons used by the U.S.? Please, enlighten me. I can hardly wait.

    ”Your neocon ideology of provocation and unfetterd military action to further US/Israeli interests (securing energy capacity) is what I find twisted and sick.”

    And you know this is my ideology how, exactly? I don’t even think I’m a Neocon, despite the fact that I visit this site. Are you stereotyping me by association?

    ”The notion that human beings are just some sort of collateral in a game of politics for economic theft and the creation of a racially/religiously pure Jewish state in the middle east on arab lands.”

    Do you drive a car? If so, “human beings are just some sort of collateral” so you can drive as well. I don’t know the numbers in Canada, though I expect they would be similar to the U.S. Here, over 40,000 people die annually in traffic accidents. Each of those deaths is entirely preventable. We could abandon the private automobile as a mode of transport, but we’ve deemed, as a society, that it’s WORTH the loss of life to gain the convenience and productivity that comes with it. We also lose, on average, one worker from the Fire, Police, Utility, and Santiation fields each day. Again, accepted “collateral” to gain the benefits of being protected and provided with things like sanitation and utilities. EVERYTHING has it’s costs. Don’t get all high and mighty on me, bud. I won’t even bother addressing your blatant anti-semitism. If I said something similar about Arabs

  54. douglas Says:

    An even better questioning of the JH survey here.

  55. Ymarsakar Says:

    Douglas, you understand that your comments are limited to a certain number of words, right?

  56. douglas Says:


    Johns Hopkins study annihilated here.

  57. douglas Says:

    Part II: (sorry about that)

    …If I said something similar about Arabs, you’d be on me like white on rice.

    ”Last, Israel plays a very good propaganda game. The colonization of Eretz Yisrael is a slow but sure thing. If they annihilated the Palestinians in one fell swoop, world public opinion would destroy their greatest shield.”

    Why on earth would Israel, if intent on “genocide” of the Palestinians care about world opinion? It is already against them (as you note by your mention of the US as a shield). Not that it would matter, I mean look at Sudan- your precious ‘world opinion’ is worthless to the poor Christian and animist blacks being genocidally killed there. Like the Israelis would have anything to worry about.

    ”So, smart arse, you may think you are ever so clever, but you are clearly a liar or very uninformed and naive.”

    And so to you…

  58. justaguy Says:

    Douglas,
    I am no epidemiologist, but I use their statistics regularly in my work. If I took the vague words of a WSJ (an extremist propaganda rag) propagandist over the results produced by the world’s preeminent epidemiologist, considered authoritative enough to be published by the world’s preeminent medical journal, I’d have been out of business years ago.

    (Mr. Moore, a political consultant) Hmmmm.

    The study’s method is accepted by governments all over the world including yours. The results also marry up with other smaller studies by other bodies.

    The 1st study was never debunked in any authoritative way that I ever saw. The messengers were attacked but no expert criticism came close to disputing the efficacy.

    Your car driving analogy? Ridiculous strawman. No analogy at all there. Driving is a choice. Having bombs dropped on you isn’t.

    I don’t know what Canada has to do with anything at all.

    Americans say these things about arabs all the time since the neocons rose, and much worse. Opposing brutal miltary policies of the Israeli state is not antisemitic, it is opposition to systematic violence by a state. A state which is racist by definition and intent.

    To be frank though, the antisemitic tag is so overused and misused that it is losing any real meaning. I guess its the old crying wolf thing.

    BTW. If you can find a reliable epidemiologist or even a statistician to cast doubt on the Johns Hopkins/Lancet study, feel free to post it. There’s a good chap.

    Kind regards,

    jag

  59. Zeno Says:

    Sergey,
    Thanks for your comments. I believe you’re right about the “middle class” factor. Yet this could mean that, depressingly, the poorer and more chaotic a society becomes, the easier it falls prey to the same type of “socialist saviours” or “populist caudillos” that made it poor/chaotic in the first place. It’s a win-win situation for these types of leaders (so common in Latin America): as the number of poor people grow so grows their base of support, hoping for some kind of miraculous salvation, easily promised but not so easily given.

  60. Anonymous Says:

    yeah doug – your way off – and your link is a joke – methodololgy?

    Nah – just good old spin.

  61. a guy in pajamas Says:

    However, the key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough cluster points. In their 2006 report, “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional sample survey,” the Johns Hopkins team says it used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is astonishing: I wouldn’t survey a junior high school, no less an entire country, using only 47 cluster points.

    Neither would anyone else. For its 2004 survey of Iraq, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) used 2,200 cluster points of 10 interviews each for a total sample of 21,688. …

    What happens when you don’t use enough cluster points in a survey? You get crazy results when compared to a known quantity, or a survey with more cluster points. There was a perfect example of this two years ago. The UNDP’s survey, in April and May 2004, estimated between 18,000 and 29,000 Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war. This survey was conducted four months prior to another, earlier study by the Johns Hopkins team, which used 33 cluster points and estimated between 69,000 and 155,000 civilian deaths–four to five times as high as the UNDP survey, which used 66 times the cluster points. …

    Appendix A of the Johns Hopkins survey, for example, cites several other studies of mortality in war zones, and uses the citations to validate the group’s use of cluster sampling. One study is by the International Rescue Committee in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which used 750 cluster points. Harvard’s School of Public Health, in a 1992 survey of Iraq, used 271 cluster points. Another study in Kosovo cites the use of 50 cluster points, but this was for a population of just 1.6 million, compared to Iraq’s 27 million.

    When I pointed out these numbers to Dr. Roberts, he said that the appendices were written by a student and should be ignored. Which led me to wonder what other sections of the survey should be ignored.

    Hmm. Sounds perfectly methodological to me. Perfect for publishing one month prior to an election, too.

  62. a guy in pajamas Says:

    justaguy: Douglas, you smug git, 2 million Iraqis are dead as a result of US/British actions snce 1991.

    Actually, they are dead as a result of Saddam’s resistance to UN authority; his insistence on subverting the Oil-for-Food program to buy weapons, UN bureaucrats, and UK politicians; enrich himself and his Iraqi buddies; build new palaces and the world’s largest mosque; and as a result of the complete corruption of the UN program supposed to run the program.

    Hamas are resisting a brutal military colonization and defying Israeli genocidal policies. Defying an ethnocentric theocratic zealous colonization.

    That’s laughable. Hamas is a brutal, theocratic, ethnocentric, genocidal, pathologically violent organization that has repeatedly subverted negotiated peace settlements and goaded Israel into military action because they cannot accept anything less than obliteration of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

    Your ideology is sick, twisted and barbaric. You are way worse than those you claim to be fighting.

    Your ideology is sick, twisted, and barbaric. However, you’re just a putz and in no way comparable to the butchers you happily support.

  63. douglas Says:

    “yeah doug – your (sic) way off – and your link is a joke – methodololgy?

    Nah – just good old spin.” -Anonymous

    wow, a knockout blow! Persuasive argument like that just can’t be beat.

    How about a go at explaining why any of the several links I left are wrong. C’mon, any one will do.

  64. douglas Says:

    ”I am no epidemiologist, but I use their statistics regularly in my work. If I took the vague words of a WSJ (an extremist propaganda rag) propagandist over the results produced by the world’s preeminent epidemiologist, considered authoritative enough to be published by the world’s preeminent medical journal, I’d have been out of business years ago.”

    Preeminent Epidemiologist? If you say so. But you still miss the point of the criticisms- it’s not that epidemiology is a bad method, it’s that it doesn’t work so well in these less than ideal conditions, and with such a small sample size. Don’t those points make you even a little concerned about the possibility of error? Or does it fit your preconceptions so well, it can’t be wrong? Several of the links I provided you with discuss the fact that it’s a good method under the right circumstances, and when there is a sufficient sample, but lacking those… Even proponents of the study only use quotes backing the soundness of the method in general. here is a link to a couple of scientists giving their opinion as to some problems with the survey. What makes you right and them wrong? Let me know. By the way, as of now, you have yet to actually fabricate a complete argument against anything I’ve presented other than that you don’t like some of my sources. ”(Mr. Moore, a political consultant) Hmmmm.”
    Stunning argument. Where exactly is your quibble with his analysis? How about a real argument please.

    ”The study’s method is accepted by governments all over the world including yours. The results also marry up with other smaller studies by other bodies.”

    Again, it’s not the method, it’s the application- a method is only as good as it’s application- garbage in, garbage out. That is the leading criticism here, and you’ve offered nothing to counter it. I’ve offered several supporting links.

  65. douglas Says:

    Haloscan not liking my links right now…

    the last one was:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0610/S00436.htm

  66. douglas Says:

    ”The 1st study was never debunked in any authoritative way that I ever saw. The messengers were attacked but no expert criticism came close to disputing the efficacy.”

    Maybe you need to look harder. From an old post-
    100,000? Get with the times, that’s long ago debunked. Where, pray tell, do you get your info? This http://www.slate.com/id/2108887 article at Slate slams the survey, and they’re no fans of the Bush admin. He goes with Iraq the body counts numbers, but they’re dissected here http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/554awdqo.asp . You won’t like the source, but I’d like to see you refute it with logical argument.
    Of course, then you’d have to explain why a more complete survey by the UN puts the number FAR lower… http://www.iq.undp.org/ilcs/population.htm
    They say:”War-related Death
    The number of deaths of civilians and military personnel in Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion is another set of figures that has raised controversy. The Living Conditions Survey data indicates 24,000 deaths, with a 95 percent confidence interval from 18,000 to 29,000 deaths. According to the survey data, children aged below 18 years comprise 12% percent of the deaths due to warfare.”
    So I’ve been over this before. Care to tell me what’s wrong with these critiques?

  67. douglas Says:

    Your car driving analogy? Ridiculous strawman. No analogy at all there. Driving is a choice. Having bombs dropped on you isn’t.

    Someone makes the choice to drop bombs. It’s a choice alright. What I said was that, as societies, we choose to go to war (at least in a democracy) and we choose to allow private citizens to drive private vehicles on public roads. Both cost our societies in human lives, but we at times deem it necessary to accept a certain amount of loss of life to gain certain benefits for our societies. So, point being, spare me the high and mighty attitude about loss of life- clearly, as a member of a society, you accept some as the cost of living the way you do.

    ”I don’t know what Canada has to do with anything at all.”

    Sorry, thinking about someone else who said they were canucks.

    ”To be frank though, the antisemitic tag is so overused and misused that it is losing any real meaning. I guess its the old crying wolf thing.”

    I’m sure it’s been ‘overused’ around you.

    ”BTW. If you can find a reliable epidemiologist or even a statistician to cast doubt on the Johns Hopkins/Lancet study, feel free to post it. There’s a good chap.”

    The Oxford and U of London fellows good enough for you? (Sean Gourley and Professor Neil Johnson of the physics department at Oxford University and Professor Michael Spagat of the economics department of Royal Holloway, University of London contend that the study’s methodology is fundamentally flawed and will result in an over-estimation of the death toll in Iraq.- and they were kind enough to leave email addresses at the end of the piece, you can take it up with them if you feel they aren’t up to snuff) How about a rebuttal that actually explains why any criticisms I’ve offered don’t hold up? Have at it, and good luck.

  68. douglas Says:

    Oh, and Justa, weren’t you going to educate me about the chemical and radiological weapons used by the US in Gulf War I?

  69. Justaguy Says:

    That’s laughable. Hamas is a brutal, theocratic, ethnocentric, genocidal, pathologically violent organization that has repeatedly subverted negotiated peace settlements and goaded Israel into military action because they cannot accept anything less than obliteration of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.
    A nonce in pajamas.

    Happy to see some factual back up to your statement. Let’ hear your facts.

  70. Justaguy Says:

    justaguy: Douglas, you smug git, 2 million Iraqis are dead as a result of US/British actions snce 1991.

    Actually, they are dead as a result of Saddam’s resistance to UN authority; his insistence on subverting the Oil-for-Food program to buy weapons, UN bureaucrats, and UK politicians; enrich himself and his Iraqi buddies; build new palaces and the world’s largest mosque; and as a result of the complete corruption of the UN program supposed to run the program.

    Douglas, I don’t think that you and I (we are both of the West, yes?) can slate the deaths to Saddam. Sorry, but the facts on’t support the conclusion.

  71. Justaguy Says:

    Your ideology is sick, twisted, and barbaric. However, you’re just a putz and in no way comparable to the butchers you happily support.
    a guy in pajamas | Homepage | 11.30.06 – 1:00 am | #

    Sorry, but which butchers have you discerned that I support? Don’t worry about the happy part. Let’s see you back your statement up.

  72. Justaguy Says:

    Douglas, none of those links actually directly relate to the Johns Hopkins study.

    Does it get any sillier than this?

  73. Ymarsakar Says:

    My ideology smells as sweet as the scent of war.

  74. douglas Says:

    endless non-arguements… Ho-hum.

    Don’t feed the trolls…

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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