Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A must see film

Instead of watching President Obama's speech last night, which would have just pissed me off, I decided to watch a movie on HBO called Taking Chance that I TVoed.

Go on over to Blackfive for the backstory of how LtCol. Strobl escorted the remains of a Marine named LCpl Chance Phelps to his home in Wyoming.

I first read about the story of LCpl Phelps a couple of weeks ago, and it dawned on me that I had heard his name before. I had to dig through some of the pictures that I had taken from 2006, but I found one of the baseball field and memorial named in his honor that is located on Camp Ramadi, Iraq, within thirty feet of the operations tent where I worked everyday.


Right behind it are the four stacks on the Southern edge of Ramadi that used to be notorious for providing insurgents a birds eye view of the camp. I would often sit on the edge of this memorial to smoke a cigarette as it provided cover from those towers. I often wondered who this Marine was and what the story was behind this inscription.

Now I know.

Thanks for the cover LCpl Phelps, and Semper Fi.

14 comments:

Sans Authoritas said...

After 9/11, this teenager said, "I absolutely have to go. I’ve got to do something."

He did do something. He died. Does anyone have the rational infarction to tell me that he died "to keep America free?"

Freedom isn't destroyed by planes hitting buildings. It's destroyed by occupying armies of political forces.

I hope we can all get over the infantile, feel-good parroting, "They're fighting for FREEDOM!"

It's a lie. A lie that's suckered young men into being in the employ of the State since the invention of killing other people.

-Sans Authoritas

CTone said...

"Freedom isn't destroyed by planes hitting buildings."

I disagree. Have you tried flying anywhere lately? The absurd amount of pointless security at airports did not come about just for the hell of it; it came about because dickheads flew planes into buildings.

Taken a stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue lately? Buildings in DC aren't protected by men with rifles because we feel so free that we can give one to every government employee. Those men are armed with rifles because dickheads drive bomb laden cars into buildings.

Men like Chance Phelps don't get their arm twisted to join a group like the Marine Corps; they join to kill dickheads that load bombs into cars, or plan on hyjacking planes, or fill homemade explosive devices with poison to detonate in our cities. Dickheads that do that deny freedom to not only the innocent people they kill, they deny it to everyone else that lives in the wake of the event.

At this point, just about any irrational "security" measure can get approval from our government - all with the nodding approval of Americans. Right or wrong.

As far as fighting for the freedom of Iraqi citizens: how has it panned out for our country with having only one non-Arab ally in the Middle East? Not so well. Now we have a fairly large ally that is made up almost entirely of Muslims. When countries don't have to live under the fear of murderous tyrants, they tend to make nice neighbors.

That is worth fighting for.

Sans Authoritas said...

CTone,the planes did not cause the crackdown on freedom and the increase of fascism. The State did. Your freedom of religion, your ability to keep and carry firearms, your rights to privacy and free speech aren't violated by terrorists. They're violated routinely by the State. And Americans merely bleat, and nod in approval, as you say.

I didn't say anything about fighting for the freedom of Iraqis. While fighting for freedom is a good thing, it should be done by the people whose freedom is being impinged upon. When Saddam Hussein was in power, Iraqis had the ability to carry around fully-auto AK's. They didn't take advantage of it.

Now, if you really think that the same slimy politicians who voted to ban your firearms sent those troops into Iraq on some "humanitarian" mission, you are out of your gourd. If it were all about "regime change" and "securing freedom for poor, oppressed people," the U.S. government would've first gone into about 3 dozen African countries and done something about the tens of thousands of people being hacked to death with damned machetes! Regime change. Right. Because the politician slugs who rule over our lives really care about other people. They really show it, don't they, by pouring billions of dollars of debt onto us and our grandchildren. By restricting your right to effectively defend yourself. By bailing out corporations who made crappy business decisions: subsidizing stupidity. You go ahead and support those politicians. They never change. Just their names, my friend. Just their names change. Who they always are stays the same. Self-interested, bloated, hissing reptiles who use other people's money to line their pockets and feel powerful. But keep voting for them, my friend. Maybe, just perhaps, someday, your very important vote will change the nature of human beings with the power to take money at gunpoint.

What you are supporting is international political welfare: except that instead of money, you advocate a handout of violence in a vain attempt to change the way people live, think and act. A movement that does not spring from the ground up will wither and die. You can't establish peace top-down, at the point of a bayonet. You can only restore an already extant peace with violence. A peace that Iraq did not have, and will not have until the hearts of individual human beings are changed, no matter how many "surges" you send in.

CTone said...

"Your freedom of religion, your ability to keep and carry firearms, your rights to privacy and free speech aren't violated by terrorists. They're violated routinely by the State."

I agree that they're routinely violated by the state, but this does not take into consideration the cause and effect of terrorists flying planes into buildings. Sure, the ultimate mechanism of freedom being taken away from the living is the state, but it's done at the behest of a fearful populace in the wake of an event like a terrorist attack. Over a longer period of time, such liberties will be taken away by the state regardless - I get that - but not at the rate it does after an attack. Cause and effect.

Your point, however, does not take into account the liberties taken away from those who do not survive the event. Does their freedom not count? The 3,000+ lives lost on 9/11 count as those who have lost all their liberties in a single moment. Are we to ignore that? Marines like Chance Phelps are out and about, right now, at this very moment, killing the bastards that would take the lives - and ultimately the freedom - of countless others.

The US armed forces have been killing such religious fanatics at a very high rate; keeping them from taking over our planes; keeping them from detonating Chem Bio weapons, and bringing the fight to their shores instead of them bringing it to ours.

That is worth fighting for, and worthy of respect and honor; especially after giving your life.

You call Chance a state pawn, but how many murderous men do you reckon he bagged that would have killed someone I love? Someone you love? We will never know, but I'm pretty damn glad that my family is alive and well, and thus retaining their God given right to life because of men like that.

I'm not the biggest fan of the state either, but we can't stick our heads in the sand and hope the bad men go away. We can send send brave armed men to kill on our behalf.

CTone said...

I also do not think that our politicians are so altruistic that they sent Americans to fight for the freedom of Iraqis, but the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airman are, and have taken it upon themselves to ensure that it happens.

With that said, there are inherent advantages to turning a former tyrant led state into one of a peaceful republic that uses laws instead of fear and murder to run the country. Peaceful nations make good neighbors and charitable friends, and what we need now, more than ever, is such a nation that can influence the Middle East.

Now we have it.

Israel is a great friend, but they are also not able to tell nations like Syria or Iran to play nice with us. Of course there had to be something in it for the US; that's the reason why we haven't gone into 3 dozen African countries - because there is no advantage to having them on our side. The US isn't going to spend blood and money on countries that have nothing to give.

Isolationism is not always good policy, despite it working for Switzerland for so long.

"What you are supporting is international political welfare:"
Indirectly, yes, because the men and women in our military will fight to see that others don't suffer, but as I said above, and you noted earlier, politicians don't usually let that happen unless there is something in it for America as a whole. There is.

"except that instead of money, you advocate a handout of violence in a vain attempt to change the way people live, think and act."
Yes, but it isn't in vain. Given, the disaster in Vietnam is but one example of how it can be in vain when a political party manipulates public opinion to end the war. Sound familiar? With Iraq, we've proven that you can change the way people live, think, and act if you throw them enough money to build infrastructure, and handout violence to those who would stick Iraqi children in an oven because the parents won't join their twisted religious views and martyr themselves by killing the very people who are building schools. It just takes some time.

We got over the tactics of providing peace at bayonet point, and Iraq is better off for it.

Sans Authoritas said...

CTone, the question is not how many lives Chance saved, but how many he is helping claim. Bin Laden and his Saudi Arabian majority attacked for the reasons they said they attacked. Not because "they hate our freedom." That's foolish propaganda from the State. They attacked because they don't want the U.S. military presence overseas. I don't blame their detestation of a U.S. military presence in dozens upon dozens of countries. I do blame them for killing civilians who have nothing to do with those policies. But I understand why they did it: because they do not have the power to make their statement against the military forces.

The fact is that Chance, and Billy, and Joe, and Bobby being over in Iraq and getting snuffed and their limbs blown off cannot prevent another 9/11. They will not stop a determined individual or group of individuals from crossing the border and doing whatever they want to whoever they want once again. As I said, and as Michael Scheuer, former CIA Bin Laden unit chief said, they attacked because of the military presence in the Middle East. If that is the case, the presence of well-intentioned (but naive and wrong) young people like Chance, Billy, Tommy, and Jimmy are merely adding fuel to the fire of their anger.

No matter the outcome of the current quagmire, there will always be defenders, complaining how public opinion is what caused the war and occupation to be unsuccessful. But then, with a new goal every other year, (AWOL WMD's, regime change, nation building) what yardstick does the State use to measure success?

And even if it were true that public opinion, not the antecedently doomed enterprise itself, caused the failure, should not the will of the people direct the actions their rulers take? (Not that I agree in any respect with the mixture of oligarchy and mob rule democracy extant now, or what some people still claim is 'a constitutional republic.'"

I still remember very clearly, back in my brainwashed, flag-waving Arab-hating Statist days, when I heard someone claim, on September 11, 2001, the day of the attacks, "They're going to find a patsy for this, and then they're going to use it as an excuse to invade Iraq." I thought he was crazy. I don't anymore. The nature of politicians is immutable. They can't "run" anything within the political borders of the United State (note: not plural.) Almost everyone recognizes that fact, while at the same time, people still trust those same corrupt, slimy, leeching politicians to make prudent, well-informed, wise decisions on which land to invade and which people to kill. I cannot fathom how people can embrace these two contradictory views. It really is the epitomy of Orwellian "doublethink."

-Sans Authoritas

CTone said...

This is such an interesting and challenging conversation as about half of your points I outright agree on, but in the same sentence there will be substance that I can't disagree more. I enjoy this very much.

"They attacked because they don't want the U.S. military presence overseas."

That is only but a fraction of the reason. Islamic terrorists attack because they want to establish an Islamic state throughout the world. Military presence is just another excuse in a bottomless barrel of excuses to attack other countries. - "This new generation, these new radicals, they brought innovation to that. First they said, everybody should go for jihad, it's an individual duty, it's not collective. Secondly, we are in a permanent jihad, and thirdly, jihad is global, it's not linked with a specific territory."-Oliver Roy, Professor, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.

These people are going to attack regardless. We attack them to reduce, but not eliminate, the chances of them organizing effectively to make another attack. Taking a policy of non-intervention, or letting them get organized by doing nothing will only guarantee another attack. Should we just say to hell with it all and let them do their thing?

That is not to say that I support an endless global war, or that I support hundreds of bases staffed by hundreds of thousands of troops throughout the globe, or that I support empire building and global policing. Not at all. But we still need to make friends with nations and kill our enemies in order to maintain our way of life. Again, sticking our heads in the sand will not make the bad men go away, but teenagers with automatic rifles will.

"The fact is that Chance, and Billy, and Joe, and Bobby being over in Iraq and getting snuffed and their limbs blown off cannot prevent another 9/11. They will not stop a determined individual or group of individuals from crossing the border and doing whatever they want to whoever they want once again."

Again, are you saying that we should not do anything at all? Do you honestly think that if we pulled every Soldier and every Marine back to the US, shut down our OCONUS bases, and take a pacifist stand that another 9/11 won't happen; like Al-Qaeda will just set down their arms and leave us alone? I have no delusions about stopping every attack that will come our way, but I do know that either they will kill us here on our soil, or we will kill them on theirs. I prefer the latter.

From what I gather from your argument, immediately disbanding our armed forces will bring us peace; or at the very least put on the moral high ground.

"...should not the will of the people direct the actions their rulers take?"

Of course I'd say yes, an I do conceed that our elected politicians have stopped listening to us. They no longer consider themselves to be elected state servants, but "rulers", as you said. I don't trust their decisions in foreign policy, just like I don't trust them on any policy. They have shown themselves to be irresponsible and untrustworthy in every way imaginable. I also agree that the conditions and excuses that they made in order to justify war was/is a naked lie; one that we have to pay a high price for, with some, like Chance, paying the ultimate price.

I never said it's right, only that at times it's neccesary.

Sans Authoritas said...

"This is such an interesting and challenging conversation as about half of your points I outright agree on, but in the same sentence there will be substance that I can't disagree more. I enjoy this very much."

CTone, it is always a pleasure to have a civil conversation with a fellow seeker of truth.

"Islamic terrorists attack because they want to establish an Islamic state throughout the world."

How is slaughtering innocents and thereby instilling hatred for the adherents of Islam going to help them create an Islamic state?

Muslims cannot impose a State on anyone with force. They must first spread their beliefs to acquire popularity. Popularity cannot be achieved be done by murdering innocent people.

If your culture is cowed into "believing" in a murderous ideology because violent men threaten to kill people if they do not believe, then your culture is weak, and probably does not deserve to continue. Honestly, I'd rather live in a culture where even murderous insane people believe what they spout, rather than a lukewarm culture where nobody believes in anything beyond themselves.

"We attack them to reduce, but not eliminate, the chances of them organizing effectively to make another attack."

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I am not a cog or an appendage of the State, and hence, "We" are not attacking anyone.

"Again, are you saying that we should not do anything at all? Do you honestly think that if we pulled every Soldier and every Marine back to the US, shut down our OCONUS bases, and take a pacifist stand that another 9/11 won't happen?"

Are you saying that the current course being taken by the State can prevent another 9/11?

When was the last time Switzerland was attacked by external terrorists, CTone? Or the Netherlands?

It seems that the States with the most troops in other countries are the ones in which innocent civilians are being most targeted, and tyranny by the State in response to those attacks is more prevalent. Is that not true?

"I never said it's right, only that at times it's neccesary."

If that which is right conflicts with your idea of "needful," you need to reassess what is really "needful." Because that which is right is immutable, and not dependent on what anyone thinks they "need."


I am in favor, CTone, of the non-interventionist policies of the Founding Fathers, and more yet: that the average person ought to cease yielding power over their lives (including their money, time and property) to violent men known as elected officials. It has always been unwise to put into anyone's hands the power of taking money by violence or the threat of violence. One should never do such a thing with one's own life, and one never has the right to grant anyone coercive power over another peaceful person's life.

Elected officials do not listen to you because they have no incentive to listen to you. You will pay their salary, or they will kill you or put you in prison. Your vote means nothing to them. The money of special interest lobbyists, whose money comes from handouts taken from your livelihood, is all they have a reason to hear. They don't care what you think. They will always find fools to put them into office. And once they get there, your voice will be perennially drowned out by the clinking of thirty pieces of silver.

CTone said...

"How is slaughtering innocents. . .going to help them create an Islamic state?"
****
"Popularity cannot be achieved be done by murdering innocent people."

I absolutely agree, and that is why Al-Qaeda has failed in Iraq. The Iraqi people didn't appreciate being bound and shot in order to make that Sharia law pipe dream a reality. I saw it with my own eyes. The people there finaly grasped that we were the lesser evil, and that we built schools, power plants, and other vital structure for the good of the country. That's why we won.

That does not mean that Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamic organizations do not try to impose their will by force. It has worked for them before. What separates their brand of violence from the US' is that they offer nothing in return. Either play their game or be killed. That's the same policy they have all over the world, and ignoring it will not make them re-direct their violence elseware.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I am not a cog or an appendage of the State, and hence, "We" are not attacking anyone."

Are you not an American? Right or wrong, you are born into a country bound by the Constitution; given, a document that you did not sign, but no less must adhere to. I presume that the "cog" of which you speak is military service? You may not have fired a shot on foreign soil, but if you vote, and even if you don't, you are, in one way or another, a participant in the state - however reluctant you might be. While writing your congresscritter may not be the same as a bullet launched in anger, it is a deliberate action in the state appendage. That makes you a cog - non-violent perhaps, and one who makes great intrueging conversation - but a cog none the less.

"Are you saying that the current course being taken by the State can prevent another 9/11?"

You didn't answer my question, but since we're answering questions with questions, I will ask: since carrying a firearm is of no guarantee that I can fend off an attack, should I not bother to carry at all? Marines like Chance Phelps are making the terrorist life a hard one. While there is no way to quantify it, killing them in droves prevents some - not all - attacks, and has been a pretty successful policy for America thus far.

Muslims are going to continue to try to violently implement their plan of a global Islamic state, regardless of what policies the US takes. It's well known that they have a 100 year global plan, and in it there is no mention of relaxing their focus on any country due to said countries stance on any issue. Either you're a believer, or you are going to be attacked. Hell, there's not even an addendum in their plan that says if you convert to Islam that you won't be attacked.

I still say the best way to deal with such people is to send motivated and well armed Marines to find them in their beds and kill them.

CTone said...

"If that which is right conflicts with your idea of "needful," you need to reassess what is really "needful."

I think killing those that want to make the world an Islamic state by force is right, but I was pointing to the fact that the way the US went about it initially probably wasn't the righ way to go about it.

"I am in favor, CTone, of the non-interventionist policies of the Founding Fathers"

They were'nt all that non-interventionist. They were more militant than any who exists today. Do you not think that Washington would have organised and led an army to kill every violent haji if they had attacked the nation? Just because the Founding Fathers fought a war here on this soil does not mean that they would have hesitated for the slightest moment to take that fight elseware. They didn't meddle so much in foreign affairs as we do now, but they still meddled.

My argument being that foreign affairs is just an excuse for Islamic terrorists to justify bloodshed. They will operate without justification, if needed, because it can be found in any religious literature if you look hard enough.

"It has always been unwise to put into anyone's hands the power of taking money by violence or the threat of violence."

Agreed. But we are not taking money by violence or threat thereof. We're not even taking oil!

The fight in Iraq may have been initiated by a lie, or not, who knows, but it was initiated. What we have to show for all of the death that came from it is a predominantly Muslim country smack dab in the middle of our enemies that will be nice to us. That is something that has never happened before, and was worth the price. The influence of Iraq on that end of the world will be immense, and will surely buy us a lot less bloodshed down the road.

Sans Authoritas said...

"That does not mean that Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamic organizations do not try to impose their will by force. It has worked for them before. . . . Either play their game or be killed. That's the same policy they have all over the world, and ignoring it will not make them re-direct their violence elseware."

CTone, I am all in favor of terrorists being snuffed. I only take issue with the fact that A) It's being done with coercively-obtained tax dollars and through politicians, and B) Iraqis never posed a threat of terrorism, and as even Bush admitted, Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until the U.S. State's troops invaded.


"Are you not an American? Right or wrong, you are born into a country bound by the Constitution; given, a document that you did not sign, but no less must adhere to."

I was born in a particular geographic area, over which a monopoly on violence had been claimed by a group of men. This country? (I assume you mean the people within this geographic area, many of whom share similar ideas?) This country? Bound by a few inked words on parchment paper? When has the State ever been "bound" by the Constitution when it didn't want to be? Lincoln, F.D.R., Lyndon Johnson, Clinton, Bush, you name it?

As Spooner would say, why am I bound to live according to a document written by men who died 200 years ago? Can you bind another man by creating a document? Moreover, can you bind that man's children, and his grandchildren? Certainly not!

"I presume that the "cog" of which you speak is military service? You may not have fired a shot on foreign soil, but if you vote, and even if you don't, you are, in one way or another, a participant in the state - however reluctant you might be."

No, I do not vote. I have no right to force you, at gunpoint, to subsidize the goods or services I would like to see emplaced. I am not a part of the State any more than I am a part of the mafia, if they take my money at gunpoint in exchange for "protection."

"While writing your congresscritter may not be the same as a bullet launched in anger, it is a deliberate action in the state appendage. That makes you a cog - non-violent perhaps, and one who makes great intrueging conversation - but a cog none the less."

I don't write politicians and ask them to do anything. It would be more productive and more moral to punch my fist into a brick wall. Repeatedly.

Ultimately, politicians have one tool: violence. They take money at gunpoint, and accomplish ends with it. I don't have the right to do that. I don't have the right to go up to your car, wash your windshield, and demand, with a gun in my hand, that you pay me for the services I've given you. The same goes for any other service, whether it be water, power, healthcare, protection services, or roadways.

Now, how does a group of men suddenly develop the moral right to do what an individual does not have the right to do? Does a gang of people suddenly create its own alternate moral universe, where taking money at gunpoint from peaceful people is moral?

"You didn't answer my question, but since we're answering questions with questions, I will ask: since carrying a firearm is of no guarantee that I can fend off an attack, should I not bother to carry at all?"

Certainly you should carry. Because when a threat presents itself, you recognize the threat as real, active, and immediate, you stand a much better chance of defending yourself from the immediate, real threat than if you were unarmed. However, in contrast with defending yourself from an actual and immediate threat, you could go into every bar, alley and pool hall in town and hunt down and kill everyone who you think might possibly rob you in the next 5 years, and kill anyone who rightfully tries to stop your insanity, calling them "insurgents." This latter is the course currently being pursued by the U.S. State military, on a gargantuan scale.

"Marines like Chance Phelps are making the terrorist life a hard one. While there is no way to quantify it, killing them in droves prevents some - not all - attacks, and has been a pretty successful policy for America thus far."

What terrorists are in Iraq? Have they found any plans by any Iraqis to attack American citizens? Does shooting at invaders in your country, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, make you a terrorist? I think the Finns would disagree. I have no doubt the Soviet state soldiers called the U.S. State-supported Taliban "terrorists."

The policy of killing who in droves? Iraqis. Who never posed a threat against any American soldiers, let alone civilians, before the occupiers inflamed their indignation.

I might as well say that my lion whistle has kept lions from attacking me.

"Muslims are going to continue to try to violently implement their plan of a global Islamic state, regardless of what policies the US takes. It's well known that they have a 100 year global plan, and in it there is no mention of relaxing their focus on any country due to said countries stance on any issue. Either you're a believer, or you are going to be attacked."

CTone, it has been so since day one of Islam, when the 9-year-old molesting, demonically-obsessed Muhammad (or Mahomet, as I like to say, rather politically incorrectly) gathered a bunch of violent scimitar-wielding thugs and ran around, screaming "Convert or die!" The proper response has never changed: you identify and kill the violent aggressors. That does not mean that you occupy their land, or try to meddle in their internal politics. It means that you find out precisely who is responsible, kill them, then go away. Repeat as necessary. You can't change their way of life by occupying them. You won't make them not hate you by occupying them. Occupying them will have the opposite of the desired effect.

I still say the best way to deal with such people is to send motivated and well armed Marines to find them in their beds and kill them.

Islam must be intrinsically linked to the State, unlike Christianity. Islam requires that those who claim to be Muslim must act in a particular way, or suffer physical harm. Islam is a non-physical ideology, and it cannot be fought with physical violence. It must be fought with good ideas (and having plenty of children to whom we can pass on these good ideas.) Only the physical manifestations of bad ideas can be fought, namely, acts of aggression.

Sans Authoritas said...

"I think killing those that want to make the world an Islamic state by force is right, but I was pointing to the fact that the way the US went about it initially probably wasn't the righ way to go about it."

Agreed.

"Just because the Founding Fathers fought a war here on this soil does not mean that they would have hesitated for the slightest moment to take that fight elseware. They didn't meddle so much in foreign affairs as we do now, but they still meddled."

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's big adventure with the Barbary pirates is an excellent example. Now, if the venture had been voluntarily funded by shippers, it would've been perfect. But Jefferson sent men to meet with the pirates, and those who directed the pirates. He did not occupy the land, or declare "war on piracy." He sent men to parley, first. Instead of reasonable men, they found Muslims, who believe what the Koran teaches: "it was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave," but then, of course, they were hypocrites, because despite their duty to plunder and enslave, they were "men" whose "duties" could be forgotten, if their palms were greased with a little lucre. [From wikipedia.] Or perhaps they thought that coerced lucre was enough of a "duty," if you catch the pun.

So, James Madison found those responsible, snuffed some of them, captured a couple ships, and successfully negotiated with the head honcho, essentially stating, "You will leave American sailors alone or die. This mere piece of paper called a "treaty" is but an ephemeral reminder of that concrete fact."

Then they lived happily ever after. That is how you deal with violent aggressors. You find out who they are beforehand, go in and stomp them. Then you leave. Again, repeat as necessary.


Sans Authoritas wrote: It has always been unwise to put into anyone's hands the power of taking money by violence or the threat of violence.

"Agreed. But we are not taking money by violence or threat thereof. We're not even taking oil!"

I'm not talking about Iraq. I'm talking about United State politicians taking money by the violence of taxation.

"What we have to show for all of the death that came from it is a predominantly Muslim country smack dab in the middle of our enemies that will be nice to us. That is something that has never happened before, and was worth the price. The influence of Iraq on that end of the world will be immense, and will surely buy us a lot less bloodshed down the road."

That is something that has never happened before, and will never happen. What does a recently-scolded truculent child do do as soon as your back is turned? He sticks out his tongue, or makes a similar defiant gesture. Politicians and other violent men are children writ large. Except without all the innocence and basic human decency. A child that has been raised in a violent atmosphere will ensure that his defiant gesture is a violent one. Like the teen who recently stabbed his father repeatedly for taking away a case of inferior-quality beer. Some of the people of Iraq, who have been humiliated and had their indignation fanned by a years-long occupation may do something similar, while they would not have if the State had not gone and messed with their beer. Of course, in the case of the Iraqis, the beer was never found, and was just a ruse for invading.

CTone said...

"B) Iraqis never posed a threat of terrorism, and as even Bush admitted, Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until the U.S. State's troops invaded."
****
"What terrorists are in Iraq?"

The reasons for the Iraq ivasion were dubious at best, in hindsight, but everyone who had anything to do with providing for the common defense in the US had been saying since the first Gulf War that Saddam was a grave threat to this country, and for good reason.

The idea of Iraq having chem/bio weapons is not fantasy; they used them on their own people. That we didn't find large amounts after the invasion isn't strange; many of the bio labs in Iraq were recently scuttled, and the discovery of 550 metric tons of yellowcake doesn't make them look like saints either.

As for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well as all the other crazies: yes they were not there pre invasion, but they certainly chose to come. Logistically, you couldn't ask for anything better than to have your enemy come to you. A smaller portion of the fight came from Iraqis, but the gist of the fighting came from foreigners. So while Saddams murderous army was getting annihilated, the other Islamic crazies were marching over with their weapons for the jihad that they asked for.

"when a threat presents itself, you recognize the threat as real, active, and immediate, you stand a much better chance of defending yourself from the immediate, real threat"

Iraq did present itself as a real, active, and immediate threat which we standed a better chance of defending from by not waiting for the punch to connect. That Al-Qaeda made the choice to go there and fight could not have been anticipated.

"You can't change their way of life by occupying them. You won't make them not hate you by occupying them."

Yet that is precicely what we did. Iraq is drafting a SOFA agreement as we speak, and could have told us to get lost years ago.

CTone said...

"That is something that has never happened before, and will never happen."

It has happened, and whether it gets screwed up down the road is another question, but right now there is more shooting going on in Detroit than in Baghdad.

Iraq was not responsible for 9/11, but they were a threat, and I hold that Saddams death made this country safer, not to mention for Iraq. What it boils down to is that you did not want it to happen on your dime, and I can completely understand that.

I understand your point about the morals of taking someone elses wealth by force and accomplishing ends with it, and I agree that it's morally wrong. The reallity that we face is that there are several hundred million people in this geographical area that insist on their wealth to be taken and used to provide for the common defense, and all under the somewhat collective agreement of "a few inked words on parchment paper;" a paper that used to be considered relevant by the serpents that were elected to do the bidding of the people. That is an entirely different argument, and one that I probably agree with you more on than you would think.

Whether the US (or state, or great satan, you pick) was morally right to send warriors to kill people that do not like our geographical way of life, Chance Phelps answered the call on behalf of the millions of individuals who bought him a weapon and killed those who would kill us. That takes someone who is brave, dedicated, and honorable, and I doubt he was considering the moral argument that we're having now while he was killing men who would gladly plant a bomb under your mattress.