December 16th, 2008

Outrage Over a Shoe


photo credit: shaun wong

President Bush made a visit this past weekend to the country he invaded, subjugated, and has occupied. Little surprise, then, that his farewell address to his subjects was met with a bit of opposition, mild though it may have been. An angry journalist removed his shoes and threw them at the President, who deftly dodged each (no doubt smelly) projectile.

While Bush & Co. has played down the issue, some have expressed their outrage over the attempted assault. “How dare this man attack the President of the United States? Has he no respect?!” is a common inquiry.

While I suppose that some dignity should be afforded the duly elected leader of a nation, I wonder how any of us might act should we use the golden rule to place ourselves in a similar situation. Imagine that China has invaded our country and established a puppet government of which it approves. Imagine the seething rage festering in the souls of every American citizen, angry with the occupying force and its death machine. Then imagine China’s leader coming for a quaint visit and photo opportunity before he moves on to bigger and better things. You’re sitting in the room with a man who has ordered the imprisonment, torture, and death of your fellow countrymen. This man has brought war to your country and to your neighborhood. You weren’t able to bring a weapon of any kind, yet you want to make a scene and tell this man what you and millions of others think. You look down at your feet, and bingo! An easy way to send a message.

It’s not hard to see why the shoe-throwing journalist has quickly become a heroic legend among a downtrodden populace. In their eyes, this man’s actions were not disrespectful, but honorable and representative.

But domestic outrage is far more disingenuous, given that similar outrage is hard to be found when policies and laws are signed under the President’s pen that order death, destruction, and debt. To express dismay over a thrown shoe while looking the other way as the President further establishes an empire is the height of hypocrisy. Most people would generally agree that tyrants throughout history who were captured and punished got what was coming to them, but we fail to apply the same standard to our own countrymen and elected officials.

Further inviting future footwear attacks, President Bush has responded to accusations of his tyrannical legacy with a shrug and a “so what“? America, where is your outrage now?

154 Responses to “Outrage Over a Shoe”

  1. Daniel
    December 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Others have pointed out that in Arab culture, the soles of the feet are the dirtiest part of the body, and so shoe-throwing is intended as a mark of disrespect, not exclusively injury. Didn’t people beat the statue of Saddam Hussein with their shoes?

    I share the sentiment, though I’m grappling with the acceptability of shoe-throwing, even at Bush. I’d certainly try to aim better than that guy. No need to waste a perfectly good pair of shoes.

    Oh, and props to Bush for his reaction time. I didn’t know he had it in him.

  2. Dallas
    December 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    All this is making me reflect on Bush, Sr. and his puking incident in Japan… I don’t remember Japanese officials being outraged because Bush couldn’t keep his sushi down…

  3. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm #

    While I agree that we don’t critize our elected officials enough for throwing away our money while using our tax dollars to enrich themselves and their friends with their ‘pork’ projects. I do find issue with everything else. Are you actually comparing President Bush to a tyrant? Your example of China invading the U.S. is ridicilious! The U.S. isn’t run by a psychopathic tyrant that has killed tens of thousands of people that disagree with him politically or have a different view on his religion. He neither allows his family to rape, torture, and murder thousands of women for the fun of it.
    Also, to say that Bush “invaded, subjugated, and has occupied” the country of Iraq is totally misrepesenting the facts. I am not a regular reader of your blogs but I would doubt that you have denounced Georgia, Spain, Great Britain, Honduras, Australia, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Ukraine, etc. like you have the USA & Bush. Some of these countries have pulled their troops out by now but that’s not my point.
    While the PR campaign and first few years of the war were ran horribly the fact remains that the a decade ago the man who threw the shoe would be dead along with his family right now if it wasn’t for the USA.

  4. Kelly W.
    December 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    Not sure if everything I’ve read about the reporter who threw his shoes at Bush is true, but I thought I’d pass along some of the interesting tidbits I read in the foreign press about him.

    Apparently his brother was recently detained by US soldiers and they broke his arm and ribs as they mistreated him. As he threw his shoes, he shouted something like: This is a farewell kiss, dog, from all the innocent women and children who’ve been killed. A TV station has offered him bail money, and he’s been offered a job by another TV station. As Bush’s convoy left, many other bystanders also threw their shoes at the convoy.

    Actually, I have watched the clip more than a few times, and have had a good belly laugh every time I watch it!

    Hopefully the clip will be repeated for eternity as historians look back in history at his “legacy.”

  5. Daniel
    December 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm #

    The U.S. isn’t run by a psychopathic tyrant that has killed tens of thousands of people that disagree with him politically or have a different view on his religion.

    FAIL

  6. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    I feel sad for you Kelly. It’s obvious that you dislike Bush but to say “Hopefully the clip will be repeated for eternity as historians look back in history at his “legacy” is bordering on anti-American. If you think that Bush is a “tyrant” and “worse than Hitler” as many call him then fine. You’re entitled to that but you still respect the office even if you don’t respect the man. You don’t throw things at the President of the United States!
    Would it interest you to know that one of the main leaders of the Sunni Awakening condemned this act and was ashamed that an Iraqi would do this?
    Also, why did you say “Apparently his brother was recently detained by US soldiers and they broke his arm and ribs as they mistreated him.” Why do you assume that his arm was broken and his ribs hurt by ‘mistreatment.’ Do you need to drag our soldiers into the mud to make your point? Maybe he fought them so they had to throw him on the ground to restrain him? You don’t know the facts so I would hope that you would give the benefit of the doubt to our brave soldiers instead of a reporter who did this most likely as a PR move!

  7. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Oh Daniel all I have to say is prove it!

  8. Kelly W.
    December 16, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Seems I speed-read too fast earlier in the day. I guess this is how misinformation spreads. Apparently the shoe-thrower’s brother reported that the thrower himself suffered a broken arm and ribs as he was detained after the incident.

  9. Kelly W.
    December 16, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Chris, did you miss my first sentence? I clearly stated I didn’t know if it was true or not.

    However, you are correct in your assumptions that I believe Bush to be a war criminal, and that I think there are many US soldiers and Blackwater mercenaries who go way beyond the Geneva Conventions in their mishandling of Iraqis.

    Just this morning Cheney gave an interview on TV wherein he admitted the orders to waterboard and torture Iraqis and others was approved by himself personally.

    Incidently, Bush is just the puppet. Cheney is the real culprit here.

    I do not respect the office of President. Bush has clearly defiled the office.

  10. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Kelly, I went and reread your post and I apologize . I guess I also read too fast. I only watched clips of the Cheney interview and he never to my knowledge stated that it was ok to torture. He did say he didn’t regret water boarding KSM. Water boarding is not torture. It’s a regular part of Intelligence and Special Forces training. It’s been done by the military for decades for training purposes.
    I agree that there probably are some member of Blackwater and some military folks that violate the Geneva Convention but do you judge an entire war based on a few bad eggs? Bush as a war criminal is a ridiculous claim! If it could be proven then do you honestly believe that he’d still be President? That fact is agree or disagree with the Iraq War, Bush nor Cheney are no more war criminals than that hundreds of senators and congressman that voted for the use of force in the first place.
    Also, to say that you don’t respect the office of the President because Bush defiled it was a show of historic ignorance on your part. Even if Bush was guilty of everything I am sure you claim that would still not make him the worst President ever!

  11. Connor
    December 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    Are you actually comparing President Bush to a tyrant?

    No, I’m not comparing him to one. I’m saying he is one. His record demonstrates his utter disregard for the rule of law and his penchant for dictatorial powers.

    Your example of China invading the U.S. is ridicilious!

    Actually, it’s simply a role reversal. We did not dethrone Saddam because he was killing tens of thousands of his people. He was doing that long before we invdaded, even back to the day when Rumsfeld went over and shook hands with our then-ally. So long as his actions met our approval, he was okay by us.

    The example with China illustrates one simple fact: when a foreign country invades another country, demolishes its government, and establishes one it favors, the people don’t all necessarily agree with what the occupying force is doing.

    The U.S. isn’t run by a psychopathic tyrant that has killed tens of thousands of people that disagree with him politically or have a different view on his religion.

    You’re right, the U.S. is run by a man who has killed over a million. They just have a different color of skin and a different religion. Guess that means we get less upset since they weren’t born in our own country…

    Also, to say that Bush “invaded, subjugated, and has occupied” the country of Iraq is totally misrepesenting the facts.

    Hmm, well… He invaded the country without a Congressional declaration of war. He subjugated the Iraq people by imposing martial law and having the military police the streets and kill on sight any individual who dared to rise against them. And he is, half a decade later, still occupying the country, manning 14 embassies and bases, one of which is larger than the Vatican.

    Sounds to me like I was right on all accounts.

    I am not a regular reader of your blogs but I would doubt that you have denounced Georgia, Spain, Great Britain, Honduras, Australia, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Ukraine, etc. like you have the USA & Bush. Some of these countries have pulled their troops out by now but that’s not my point.

    Peter Schiff has a great analogy for this type of thing. He says, in effect: “If a school teacher gives the kids pixie sticks and soda pop and leaves them all alone for an hour, and they go crazy and make a mess of the room and don’t get their work done, then who is to blame?” All of the other countries are responsible for their actions, but it is pretty well documented that many had their arms twisted into joining forces with the supposedly “multilateral” military invasion in Iraq. It’s funny how we try to excuse our war through justification, saying that others participated as well. This is akin to a child caught stealing something, then trying to get out of punishment by saying “well Tommy did it, too!” Doesn’t work that way.

    While the PR campaign and first few years of the war were ran horribly the fact remains that the a decade ago the man who threw the shoe would be dead along with his family right now if it wasn’t for the USA.

    And that proves what, exactly? Numerous studies have shown that the Iraqi standard of living was far higher under Saddam’s regime. He may have been brutal with some, but the majority had a much more enjoyable life than they have now.

    Regardless, who are we to decide what the Iraqis should do? The elections over there are a sham; nothing is done without US approval. Even when their lawmakers say that they want us out, we don’t take heed.

  12. Kelly W.
    December 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    Bush’s approval rating is 21%. This is the lowest in the history of polling. I guess that puts me in the majority, and you in the minority, Chris.

    Here is a copy and paste from an article on the Cheney interview this morning:
    Cheney Admits Authorizing Detainee’s Torture

    Outgoing VP says Guantanamo prison should stay open until end of terror war, but has no idea when that might be

    By David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster

    December 16, 2008 “Raw Story” — Monday, outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney made a startling statement on a nation-wide, televised broadcast.

    When asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl whether he approved of interrogation tactics used against a so-called “high value prisoner” at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison, Mr. Cheney, in a break from his history of being press-shy, admitted to giving official sanctioning of torture.

    Video is from ABC’s World News, broadcast Dec. 15, 2008.

    “I supported it,” he said regarding the practice known as “water-boarding,” a form of simulated drowning. After World War II, Japanese soldiers were tried and convicted of war crimes in US courts for water-boarding, a practice which the outgoing Bush administration attempted to enshrine in policy.

    “I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn’t do,” Cheney said. “And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it.”

    He added: “It’s been a remarkably successful effort, and I think the results speak for themselves.”

  13. Connor
    December 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    You’re entitled to that but you still respect the office even if you don’t respect the man. You don’t throw things at the President of the United States!

    Time to resurrect the excellent quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

    Every man who parrots the cry of ‘stand by the President’ without adding the proviso ‘so far as he serves the Republic’ takes an attitude as essentially unmanly as that of any Stuart royalist who championed the doctrine that the King could do no wrong. No self-respecting and intelligent free man could take such an attitude. (Theodore Roosevelt, via Quoty)

    I don’t respect an office that has become the symbol of deceit, lies, duplicity, and pseudo-fascism. The current office of the POTUS is unrecognizable from the one created and restrained by the Constitution.

  14. Connor
    December 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    Water boarding is not torture. It’s a regular part of Intelligence and Special Forces training. It’s been done by the military for decades for training purposes.

    So I assume that means you’d have no problem with foreign troops using waterboarding on captured American prisoners?

    Bush as a war criminal is a ridiculous claim! If it could be proven then do you honestly believe that he’d still be President?

    The Book of Mormon sheds some light on the fact that Gadiantons don’t let Gadianton’s take a fall. Though there are a bevy of details in Vicent Bugliosi’s The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, you’ll rarely see anybody high up in power punished for their crimes. Instead, they’re promoted and get libraries built in their name.

    That fact is agree or disagree with the Iraq War, Bush nor Cheney are no more war criminals than that hundreds of senators and congressman that voted for the use of force in the first place.

    Agreed, but simply because a tool is made available does not mean it must be used. Bush is responsible for pursuing this war, advocating its expansion, and repeatedly badgering and pressuring Congress to spend more money, give him more power, suppress civil liberties, etc. He and his cohorts have plenty of blood on their hands, regardless of the spineless Congressmen who went along willingly.

    Even if Bush was guilty of everything I am sure you claim that would still not make him the worst President ever!

    Who could be worse? Lincoln trashed federalism and created a nationalist centralized state; Wilson gave us the Fed and an income tax, later admitting he had destroyed the country; FDR ramped up the socialism; Truman nuked millions of innocent people. But in many ways, Bush takes the cake. This is reflected by the record-breaking low approval ratings he currently has, as Kelly pointed out.

  15. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    “No, I’m not comparing him to one. I’m saying he is one.”
    If you consider Bush a tyrant for not following the ‘rule of law’ then I guess pretty much every President in history along with the majority of congressmen, senators, and supreme court justices would by tyrants as well. I guarantee you that every President has ignored the law and the Constitution at least once. Some of the most celebrated Presidents (FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jackson, JFK) were the biggest violators of the law. Do you demean them along with Bush?
    Again I understand your example about China but it doesn’t work. We aren’t willingly harboring terrorists, violating past peace treaties, shooting at foreigners enforcing UN law, sought, developed, and used WMD’s against our own and other countries, and the list goes on… I will concede that we did demolish their gov’t which is a good thing and replaced it with a more favorable one. You can’t argue though that they held free and fair elections that ultimately will decide the fate of their country. It’s not like we don’t allow Shia’s that support Sadr in the parliament or anything. So again your example doesn’t work. The US gov’t is nothing like that of Saddam’s Iraq.

    “Actually, it’s simply a role reversal. We did not dethrone Saddam because he was killing tens of thousands of his people.”
    Of course we didn’t invade Iraq solely because Saddam killed his own people. There is a whole list of reasons for it. We wasn’t complying with UN treaties, he was harboring and supporting terrorism, he was shooting at US & GB airplanes, he still hadn’t gave an accounting for his pre-Gulf War WMD’s etc. I’ll even add to that list that we probably did go in for oil. It’s not as big of a reason as you’d like to think but it can’t be denied that it is on the list.
    You’re right, the U.S. is run by a man who has killed over a million.
    Bush has killed over a million people? Hmm! I’d say that the terrorists have killed a bunch of people and to blame that all on Bush is downright crazy! I know you say that ‘if we never invaded those people would still be alive…’ I am not downplaying people’s lives here. I wish there would have been a better way. If we never would have entered WW I a lot of people would be alive. You could argue that the war would have ended sooner since all sides were almost out of supplies and men but the US involvement ramped things up again. If Pres. Madison would have waited another week or two we could have avoided the War of 1812 and all those people would still be alive. If Pres. Carter wouldn’t have had such a naïve foreign policy tens of thousands of Africans would still be alive. I can play that game too. To blame the President for the actions of terrorists is ridiculous! In war unfortunately civilians die but you should blame the people that kill them not the people that are trying to help them even if they screwed it up for awhile.

    “Hmm, well… He invaded the country without a Congressional declaration of war.”
    I am sure that know that the US has engaged in wars/conflicts thousands of times without a declaration of war. The President was given the power to use force. What do you think ‘force’ means. If you’re going to do something you might as well go all the way. Clinton learned that a few cruise missiles only put off dealing with Saddam a few years down the line. Everyone in Congress knew what they were voting for. If you have a beef that there wasn’t an official declaration take it up with Congress who were too cowardly to stick their necks out and make it official. Also, since the UN treaty that ended the Persian Gulf War gave certain stipulations that if Iraq didn’t follow hostilities would resume you could argue that the war was still going so a bill that authorized force was all that was needed.

    “He subjugated the Iraq people by imposing martial law and having the military police the streets and kill on sight any individual who dared to rise against them.”
    Of course he had the military in the streets! Who else was going to enforce the law? Who else was going to defend the people when a lot of people were taking advantage of the chaos to seek revenge? Are you actually saying that he gave the military permission to defend themselves if attacked? Isn’t that a no brainer? Perhaps you should explain that point better. I’d argue that the ROE (rules of engagement) are rather soft because the military has to wait until they are being shot at before they can respond. They can’t enter mosques or even fire at them without higher permission even though they are being used as terrorist bunkers. That’s just part of the problem with our very lenient ROE’s. There are American troops still there because Iraq is incapable of defending herself. Would you send a swat team into secure a bank and stop before you’ve searched all the floors? You can’t leave until security permits it or Iraq will make post U.S. withdrawal in Indochina look like a picnic.

    “but it is pretty well documented that many had their arms twisted into joining forces with the supposedly “multilateral” military invasion in Iraq. It’s funny how we try to excuse our war through justification, saying that others participated as well.”
    By the way I love Peter Schiff! I am not using the actions of other nations as an excuse. I am saying that if you hate Bush and believe he is a war criminal then all the leaders of all the countries involved should be judged the same. I’ve never heard that any country had their arms ‘twisted’ to join the coalition. I bet they said that after they pulled out their troops in order to get reelected, didn’t they? As we have learned from the Nuremburg Trials even if you are ordered or manipulated as you infer to do something you are still responsible for your actions and have to pay for them.
    Numerous studies have shown that the Iraqi standard of living was far higher under Saddam’s regime.
    As I am sure you are well aware studies and polls can be easily manipulated to produce the results you desire. Since the Sunni who were treated well are by far the minority in Iraq I don’t see how the “majority had a much more enjoyable life than they have now.” I find that flabbergasting and I bet if you asked any Kurd they’d laugh in your face. As would most Shia.

    “The elections over there are a sham…”
    How do you know the elections are a sham? To my knowledge the UN didn’t find any problems with them. The Iraqi’s protest over a lot of things but I never saw any election protests. Are they a sham simply because you say they are? Just because you don’t agree with the war?

    “Even when their lawmakers say that they want us out, we don’t take heed.”
    The recent Security bill (SOF) that passed overwhelming in the Iraqi parliament makes such a timetable. Many Iraqi’s are torn according to the Parliamentary debates. Many were afraid that the US would leave too early. Other were afraid that we wouldn’t leave. It seems that they are overwhelming committed to allowing us to help them until at least 2011 I believe it was. I couldn’t help but notice your article is over a year old. Don’t you find it a bit interesting that Al Sadr and his compatriots would want the US to withdraw prematurely? If you don’t then I am sorry to say that your credulity on the subject would be in great doubt.

  16. Gabriel Fink
    December 16, 2008 at 11:31 pm #

    I agree with everything you said Conner. I think something important to consider however is what would have happened to that person threw a shoe at Saddam Hussein?

  17. Chris
    December 16, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    I don’t respect an office that has become the symbol of deceit, lies, duplicity, and pseudo-fascism. The current office of the POTUS is unrecognizable from the one created and restrained by the Constitution.
    I hate to tell you Conner but the Presidency has been used as a way to get power, money, and personal prestige almost since its inception. You can’t be serious that you think Bush is so much worse that other Presidents. Wilson had over a million man army that would go around beating the crap out of war protestors. Bush doesn’t do that. I could give you dozens of more examples of other Presidents who have done far worse things than mismanaging a war and curtailing a few rights in order to keep our main right alive of staying alive! I love you Teddy quote but I think you misunderstood my statements. I don’t mean that we should ‘stand by the President.’ I believe that we should treat the President with respect and disagree with him in a civil and respectful manner so not to disparage the honored office he possesses. Would you be ok if some southern black Baptists threw stuff at Pres. Monson to protest the fact that the church didn’t allow black to hold the Priesthood until the 70’s? Of course not! Rational people would talk with him and express their opinions in an appropriate manner not by throwing stuff at him. The shoe guy is just like the crazy PETA people who love to throw blood on people who wear fur. They do it for shock value and to brag about it to their friends only.
    So I assume that means you’d have no problem with foreign troops using waterboarding on captured American prisoners?
    If other countries would only water board our captured soldiers I would be ecstatic. I would think history would be a good judge of how other countries have treated captured Americans. I would have no problem with water boarding! I would bet that we are in the minority of how well we are treating prisoners. Do you honestly believe that any country in the Middle East or Asia treats it’s terrorists like we do ours? They do get tortured there. Why don’t people who oppose torture complain about the countries that actually commit it? It’s because they are blinded by their anti-American biases that they can’t see that we are so much better than every other country on the planet! Many of our troops as I mentioned previously do get water boarder as part of their training. Marines have to learn how to take and put on gas masks while in a building filling with tear gas.
    You’ll rarely see anybody high up in power punished for their crimes. Instead, they’re promoted and get libraries built in their name.
    I agree with you! But to say some guy wrote a book proving that Bush is a war criminal doesn’t make it so. If you searched long enough you could find books that ‘proved’ that the holocaust didn’t happen and that Mao was a great humanitarian.
    Agreed, but simply because a tool is made available does not mean it must be used. Bush is responsible for pursuing this war, advocating its expansion, and repeatedly badgering and pressuring Congress to spend more money, give him more power, suppress civil liberties, etc.
    I agree! I think the Iraq War was a big blunder but I do believe that it was a war that we were going to have to deal with eventually. If it wasn’t in 2003 it would have been in 2009 or later. Saddam’s sons were far worse than Saddam and I can’t imagine the things the Iraqi people would have suffered through if they had come to power.I agree Bush and Congress are responsible for the war and they’ll have to answer for their decisions. I wouldn’t be so quick as to judge the war so horribly. What if Iraq turns out to be a beacon of freedom and liberty in the Middle East? Are you willing to apologize for all your vitriol? War is horrible, people suffer, but at times it is necessary.
    Who could be worse?
    Let’s see John Adams arrested and jailed people that criticized his administration and if they weren’t citizens he would deport them. Jackson forced thousands of Cherokee Indians to march at gun point during the winter hundreds of miles famously saying after the Supreme Court ruled that he could, “They have made their ruling, now let them enforce it.” Buchanan pretty much committed treason and exacerbated the problems with the South causing the Civil War. Wilson is considered by every honest historian as a pseudo dictator. Wilson created squads of me to beat up war protestors. Wilson jailed and arrested more dissidents than Mussolini did during his whole reign. FDR socialized almost everything and our economy has suffered and will soon be ruined by his socialistic policies like SSI and Fannie Mae. FDR tried to add 9 justices to the Supreme Court so he’d had control over that too. FDR imprisoned thousands of Japanese during WW II.
    Congress has a lower approval rating than Bush. Harry Reid is at something like 7% here in NV last time I looked. Approval ratings do not make the man. Lincoln almost lost his second term for not stopping the civil war. Though it was unpopular it was the right thing to do.

  18. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    By the way I love Peter Schiff! I am not using the actions of other nations as an excuse. I am saying that if you hate Bush and believe he is a war criminal then all the leaders of all the countries involved should be judged the same. I’ve never heard that any country had their arms ‘twisted’ to join the coalition. I bet they said that after they pulled out their troops in order to get reelected, didn’t they? As we have learned from the Nuremburg Trials even if you are ordered or manipulated as you infer to do something you are still responsible for your actions and have to pay for them.

    OK, so those other countries were also wrong. Nobody is saying they weren’t. You’re trying to use them to excuse Bush. Guess what, we’re more concerned about our OWN country than those others. Clean the inner vessel first, ya know. If more countries were more worried about themselves instead of everyone else (including USA worrying about itself) then the world would be a much better place. And yes, congress sucks, that doesn’t make Bush and Cheney suck any less.

  19. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    If you have a beef that there wasn’t an official declaration take it up with Congress who were too cowardly to stick their necks out and make it official.

    Maybe that’s exactly why congressional declaration is SUPPOSED to be required! To make it harder to go to war! But no, they pass the buck, and that was terribly wrong of them. That doesn’t make what Bush then did right. Congress had no authority to delegate war declaration, and Bush had no authority to take it. They were both wrong, but Bush is the one that actually went on with the unauthorized war.

  20. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 12:14 am #

    Bush’s approval rating is 21%. This is the lowest in the history of polling. I guess that puts me in the majority, and you in the minority, Chris.
    I have no problem being in the minority. It doesn’t mean I am wrong. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14) James Madison said (paraphrasing) “Public opinion as a volatile threat to the stability of the republic.” Anyone that has studied social sciences and polls knows that I could get a poll to say anything I wanted just by manipulating the survey. I have no doubts that Bush in unpopular but that doesn’t mean what he is doing is wrong. There are many factors that go into these things.
    In response to your article all I can say is ha! After reading it’s obvious that the writer has an agenda. He said, “in a break from his history of being press-shy, admitted to giving official sanctioning of torture.” The title alone gives the guy away as being at hater. Water boarding has not been ruled as torture!
    Also what the author doesn’t mention about the Japanese Soldier yes it was one soldier that was found guilty of ‘water boarding’ is that it was done to a civilian. What the author doesn’t mention was that Yukio Asano did a number of other things besides said water boarding. He also stole and withheld Red Cross supplies that were designated for POW’s. He also beat and burned soldiers with cigarettes among other things. See here link So again the reporter didn’t tell the whole truth to grind in metaphorical political ax. To say the U.S. convicted people of stuff we are now doing is a lie!

  21. Brandon
    December 17, 2008 at 12:17 am #

    The crazy thing is that there once was a time that I could relate to what Chris is saying. Now that the days of naively towing the Republican party line are behind me, I can’t even imagine what I was thinking the one time I voted for Bush. Yuck!
    I continue to be amazed when I hear people like Chris (who I assume is a republican) so vocally defend President Bush and his atrocious wars (in Iraq and “on terror”). Ten years ago those same Republicans were criticizing Bill Clinton for his interventions around the world. Now that their guy has been in power, these so-called conservatives are publicly justifying torture and pre-emptive wars. Unbelievable.

  22. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 12:17 am #

    If you consider Bush a tyrant for not following the ‘rule of law’ then I guess pretty much every President in history along with the majority of congressmen, senators, and supreme court justices would by tyrants as well. I guarantee you that every President has ignored the law and the Constitution at least once. Some of the most celebrated Presidents (FDR, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jackson, JFK) were the biggest violators of the law. Do you demean them along with Bush?

    Bingo! Yes we “demean” them all. More like we call them on their crap. There are a load of above the law tyrants in our history, but I would venture that Bush could possibly be the worst. He is most certainly the worst in our time, in our generation. Keep in mind also that any tyrant’s full legacy is carefully hidden and is not fully known until after he is out of power.

  23. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 12:22 am #

    @brandon
    Yes I totally feel you, man. I voted for bush twice! I was towing that party line and defending the war as recently as two years ago, to my great shame. Perhaps this is why I tend to get a little overzealous in preaching truth and law and constitution to those who are still towing that line. I somewhat identify with them and it pains me to see them so blind as I once was. I only wish to expedite the cleansing and start the healing process.

  24. Brandon
    December 17, 2008 at 12:24 am #

    I think the Iraq War was a big blunder but I do believe that it was a war that we were going to have to deal with eventually. If it wasn’t in 2003 it would have been in 2009 or later. Saddam’s sons were far worse than Saddam and I can’t imagine the things the Iraqi people would have suffered through if they had come to power

    Chris, I don’t understand this statement. How could the war be a blunder, if as you believe, it had to be fought eventually?

  25. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 12:27 am #

    What I am saying vontrapp is that the world isn’t comparing the leaders of these countries that participated in the War with Hitler like they are with Bush. That means there is something more to it than just the war. I do agree with you that other countries should really worry about their own problems! They also need stop blaming the USA for every problem and picking out all of our flaws while they ignore their own.
    Congress had no authority to delegate war declaration, and Bush had no authority to take it.
    Um yeah Congress did have the right to ‘authorize force’ it’s their job. As I have mentioned we have acted militarily thousands of times with only a handful of declarations of war. Most of the time Congress doesn’t even authorize it like they did the Iraq War. You should go read Max Boot’s book ‘Savage Wars of Peace…’ if you don’t believe me. Maybe why an official declaration wasn’t needed was because the Persian Gulf War never officially ended. According to the UN treaty Saddam had violated at least a dozen mandates and any such violation gave the U.S., Britain, and others legal right to resume hostilities and force him to comply. I agree Congress should have done their job better.
    They were both wrong, but Bush is the one that actually went on with the unauthorized war.
    This is where I have my biggest problem with anit-bush people. Why does Bush get all the blame? He is the President and deserves a lot of blame but why aren’t you calling all the people that authorized the President to use force in Iraq war criminals. I know you haven’t said as much vontrapp but others have. All I ask for is you be honest and equally critical of everyone.

  26. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    President Bush and his atrocious wars (in Iraq and “on terror”).
    Brandon I’d like you to please explain your statement so I can respond more accurately. I was too young to understand all the political ranglings during Clinton. By the way I don’t “tow the Republican party line.” I am critical of Republicans just as much as democrats. I consider myself a conservative not a republican. Again Brandon what torture have we committed? Water boarding is not torture! The only torture happened at Abu Ghraib at that wasn’t authorized by anyone in the Administration. It happened due to some sick and twisted people and a complete lack of oversight. What is wrong with pre-emptive wars? Do we always have to wait until Americans are dead in the streets to act?
    Chris, I don’t understand this statement. How could the war be a blunder, if as you believe, it had to be fought eventually?
    To better explain myself. I think the planning, explanation; defense and first few years of the war were totally botched! But to say that Saddam would be content with getting along with his neighbors and that he had given up his WMD ambitions is crazy! He would have done something again and we would have had to stop him. If not him, his sons certainly would have. Once a murdering, oppressive, dictator is always a murdering, oppressive dictator. It was a ‘war of choice’ by when not where in my opinion.

  27. Brandon
    December 17, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    Um yeah Congress did have the right to ‘authorize force’ it’s their job. As I have mentioned we have acted militarily thousands of times with only a handful of declarations of war. Most of the time Congress doesn’t even authorize it like they did the Iraq War.

    Chris, would you like to point out where in the law (constitution) does the congress have the authority to delegate its powers to the president? Also, just because our corrupt government has acted militarily thousands of times (many in contradiction to the law) does not mean they had the right to do so. Your argument seems to be, they did it and no one stopped them, therefore they had the right to do it. Can you imagine if we applied this logic to other areas of our life. Imagine if the president decided he had the authority to imprison US Citizens and keep them forever without a trial and no one stopped him, would he be violating the law? (That’s a trick question. Bush already did it, so I guess it must be legal.)

  28. Brandon
    December 17, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    Chris, Sorry if I wrongly assumed that you are a Repulican. For a non-repulican you sure seem to be making all the arguments that a party loyalist would make. As to the other question, I will have to respond later (it’s bedtime).

  29. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    …but I would venture that Bush could possibly be the worst.
    Being that I don’t know you then I’ll believe that you call Wilson and FDR as horrible Presidents that should have been impeached. I would love to hear Mr. vontrapp how Bush could be worse are more dictatorial than Wilson or how he has ignored the Constitution more than FDR. I don’t argue that Bush has done some unconstitutional things. All the bailout mess comes to mind. I assume that one of your complaints is the Patriot Act. While I have my complaints I’d sure love to hear how you’d help protect the country. The problem is that many of the things in the Patriot Act have been framed by the MSM in a disingenuous and deceitful way. Take wiring tapping for example. If you believed the MSM you’d think the government was listening to your conversations with your grandma. In fact it only listens in on calls coming from or going abroad and then only to people they suspect of terrorism. If we would have done this earlier 9/11 never would have happened. What would you do to gain the intelligence necessary to stop terrorist plots? Now with that said I agree it’s a very dangerous path to go down. It’s how dictators come to power. They take power to protect the people and then never give it back.

  30. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    Apology accepted Brandon. I am a registered Republican but have been considering for months now to become an independent.
    Chris, would you like to point out where in the law (constitution) does the congress have the authority to delegate its powers to the president?
    You can argue the Constitutionality of the system but that’s how it works. According to the law passed by Congress the President as Commander in Chief was certain discretion over the military since you can’t always get Congress together to debate and pass a declaration of war in time. The President can send troops anywhere when he wishes to quell sudden problems or protect Americans but has to get Congressional approval without 72 hours or has to withdraw them. That’s not exactly the law but it’s something close to that. A declaration of war isn’t always necessary if it’s something like Grenada which was over in a matter of hours. Now the constitutionality of this can be argued but the Federalists most likely would have seen this as if the majority of the people accepted this increased power given to the Executive branch then it would have been ok. History is full of Presidents with lots of power and then they do something stupid and Congress takes it all back. It’s unfortunately part of the cycle. Do I believe that it’s better to get a formal declaration of war, yes but in the world we live in today it’s not always possibly hence the reasons why Congress has passed laws updating the Constitution to a 21st world. It would be worth you time to read this.

  31. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 2:05 am #

    I need to comment on some things I missed: Brandon can you please name the U.S. citizen that has been imprisoned without a trial illegally? Conner, you said “Truman nuked millions of innocent people.” This comment proves to me two things. One that you are a compassionate person that cares for every human life which I commend. Two that you have never closely studied WW II. As horrible and cruel as the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were it saved millions of lives. In Hiroshima 66,000 people died and Nagasaki 36,000 people died. To put that into context the fire bombings of Dresden killed an estimated 25,000. The fire bombings of Tokyo have been said by some to have 100,000 casualties. Now with some perspective we can see that the nuclear attacks weren’t as bad as other attacks it was just the new way of doing it. Of course the injured suffered horrible due to radiation poisoning etc. My point in all this that if the USA had invaded Japan as was planned the American casualties would have exceeded that of the casualties of the nuclear attacks. McArthur estimated them to be as high as one million killed and wounded if not higher. At this same time the Japanese propaganda machine was brain washing its civilians that Americans were there to rape and pillage and that everyone should resist them. There is video of women being trained with long sticks to fight off the Americans. The Japanese casualties would have been in the millions. So I repeat myself that Truman’s decision to use the Atom bomb on Japan in the end saved millions of lives!
    Now something I would like all of you to answer is this. Some of you have said that Bush and others have blood on their hands. Now if you had your way and we didn’t invade Iraq and stop his genocidal and torturous regime could it not be said that you would have blood on your hands as well? Why is it that only the supporters of the Iraq War have blood on their hands? I don’t know if you guys are a part of the anti-war no matter what crowd or just anti-this war but it has never been explained to me why you don’t have to answer for your ‘crimes.’ Do you guys favor U.S. intervention in Darfur? If so what kind? Should we have intervened in Rwanda? If so how? Should we intervene in the Congo? The list could go on for countries that are ruled and oppressed by dictators that have committed all sorts of atrocities. If you said yes to any of these then it has to be asked, why not Iraq? Is it just the way the war was managed that makes you not like it? Was it that Congress didn’t officially declare it a war? Is it the amount of time it’s taken? The monetary cost? What’s the tipping point when a war to free people from oppression and tyranny turns into this ‘atrocious war’ I believe one of you said. Sure mistakes have been made but why does that put a shadow of the overarching goal of freeing a nation from tyranny while protecting our own and the regional security at the same time? Of course as discussed early there were more reasons for the invasion than this but I’d still like your thoughts.

  32. adrien
    December 17, 2008 at 6:58 am #

    Jose Padilla was the American citizen that was held for three years without trial or charges for plotting an attack.

  33. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    It’s true that countless wars have been fought without congressional declaration, illegally. That doesn’t excuse it. It’s true that other presidents have been as bad or worse. That doesn’t excuse it. Maybe you’re not trying to excuse Bush. After all you did come in to the defense of the office and not the man. So now I will say a few words about that.
    I do respect the office of the president. It’s my high regard for that office that most enrages me against Bush. If we want to talk about respecting the office I can think of no better way than to impeach Bush. But then he’s the president, that’s disrespectful, impeachment should only be used as a last resort, etc. (At least that’s the feeling I get from otherwise would be impeachers, included some in congress.) I disagree on all counts. It is disrespectful of the office to NOT impeach him, it should not be a last resort, but a first line of defense. Maybe you can agree with these sentiments.

    About the joint resolution you linked, most of the “wherebys” in there have since been admitted to be false and/or completely fabricated. And as far as a majority of people accepting increased power in the president, I say give them a chance to actually except it, by changing and creating these laws in the only acceptable, lawful way, through constitutional amendment.

    Just because congress writes up some law does not make it constitutional, and does not make it lawful, IMO. This includes the patriot act, the current bailouts, the president as supreme commander to send troops willy nilly, or delegating their responsibility to declare war, amongst other things.

  34. Kelly W.
    December 17, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    I would like to respond to one of Chris’ questions.

    I am anti EVERY war, because Satan is the founder of them all. Especially the current Iraq War.

    Peace on earth, good will toward all men.

  35. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 9:33 am #

    A response to a few of Chris’s statements and questions:

    Would you be ok if some southern black Baptists threw stuff at Pres. Monson to protest the fact that the church didn’t allow black to hold the Priesthood until the 70’s?

    In this situation, President Monson would simply be the representative not extending a privilege (we’d agree that it’s the Lord, but you catch my drift). This is a far cry from bombing innocent people and policing the streets.

    Rational people would talk with him and express their opinions in an appropriate manner not by throwing stuff at him.

    Would rational individuals in the founding generation have done the same thing with King George? Read over the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence, and you’ll see how easy it is to find modern correlation (and worse).

    Why don’t people who oppose torture complain about the countries that actually commit it? It’s because they are blinded by their anti-American biases that they can’t see that we are so much better than every other country on the planet!

    Better? Is this a contest, Chris? We rightly don’t complain about other countries because we cannot control what others do. We can ensure that we act appropriately and set an example. So much of current conflict is simply blowback – an equal or escalated response to something we ourselves instigated in the first place. Simply inflicting less pain on our prisoners than others do is hardly the mark of a civilized country, especially one that wants God to look favorably upon it.

    I wouldn’t be so quick as to judge the war so horribly. What if Iraq turns out to be a beacon of freedom and liberty in the Middle East? Are you willing to apologize for all your vitriol? War is horrible, people suffer, but at times it is necessary.

    Apologize for lifting a standard of peace, decrying tyranny in all its forms, and demanding that our elected leaders who made an oath to obey the Constitutional actually do so? Hell, no!

    Look, people in your position are often about proclaiming immediate and seen consequences. “The guy that threw the shoe would have been executed under Saddam’s regime!” “People in Iraq have electricity and schools, now!” “They held their own elections!” “Iraq may yet become a beacon of freedom and liberty!” “We overthrew a dictator!”

    Let me be very clear when I say the following: almost every negative action will have positive consequences. In fact, the most sinister actions are those that mask their evil under a shroud of positivity. Just as wolves masquerade best in sheep’s clothing, so too do some of the worst actions masquerade as beneficial.

    To truly understand the magnitude and implications of any action, as Bastiat so well noted, you must search out the unintended, unseen, and delayed consequences. Only then will you be a proper judge of anything.

    The invasion of Iraq and the so-called war on terror have indeed produced positive results! Nobody is discounting this fact. But what people in your position often do is disregard or ignore what isn’t immediate, and what often looms larger underneath the surface of common inquiry.

    Um yeah Congress did have the right to ‘authorize force’ it’s their job.
    This is utterly false. Congress only has power to declare war, not to authorize military force. Congress has no Constitutional authority to delegate its powers to another branch of government, and so by telling the President he could wage war if he wanted to, they were acting outside of their authority.

    This is where I have my biggest problem with anit-bush people. Why does Bush get all the blame? He is the President and deserves a lot of blame but why aren’t you calling all the people that authorized the President to use force in Iraq war criminals. … All I ask for is you be honest and equally critical of everyone.

    I and others are often equally critical of anybody who has voted for this mess. As executive, President Bush gets the brunt of the blame, and rightly so. But just because I have not mentioned Congress in this small article does not mean that I have given them a free pass on this one. Far from it, really.

    Water boarding is not torture!

    Imagine yourself discussing this topic with the Savior. Would you feel comfortable promoting this argument? Would the Prince of Peace agree with you? To assert that an action is not defined as torture only because it hasn’t been ruled by a judge as such is folly; the simulation of death to extract (usually unreliable) information most certainly is torture, regardless of whoever might disagree. You and I have been commanded to renounce war and proclaim peace… does your argument further this agenda?

    I assume that one of your complaints is the Patriot Act. While I have my complaints I’d sure love to hear how you’d help protect the country.

    Easy. Obey the Constitution. As Jefferson agreed, I’d rather suffer the consequences of too much liberty than too little.

    So I repeat myself that Truman’s decision to use the Atom bomb on Japan in the end saved millions of lives!

    Wow, I cannot disagree more. For starters on why, see this article. Bombing civilians after Japan had already tried to surrender is hardly a justified action, especially when the terms of that surrender were implemented anyways.

    I don’t know if you guys are a part of the anti-war no matter what crowd or just anti-this war but it has never been explained to me why you don’t have to answer for your ‘crimes.’

    A good Latter-day Saint is always part of the anti-war-with-few-and-limited-exceptions-namely-only-in-self-defense-or-under-the-specific-direction-of-the-Lord crowd. Going around liberating people is nowhere in our jurisdiction or moral authority, especially when uninvited and when we subsequently occupy the country and further our empire by constructing a permanent establishment of military bases and embassies.

    Answer for my crimes? Am I somehow responsible for the foreign dictator oppressing his own people? I oppose such actions and act within my limited ability to do so. But to claim that it is a crime for me to not support a military attack is absurd. Nowhere in the Constitution are we given the authority to battle bad guys; where would it end?

    Pres. Benson’s words bear repeating:

    There is one and only one legitimate goal of United Stats foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even defend them against their enemies. (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)

    As John Quincy Adams said, we don’t go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. When we do so, liberty goes out the window.

  36. JHP
    December 17, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Connor,

    I agree with most things you say, but I think you’re a little in left field on this one. I do recognize some problems with the way we entered and have occupied Iraq, but I think that to call Bush a tyrant, along with some of your other serious accusations, is a little overboard. I’m not saying you couldn’t be right, but I think your judgment is hasty. There is so much classified intelligence that only the president and military leaders have access to that I don’t feel informed enough to make your kind of pronouncements. I don’t think anybody other than Bush will have enough information about his intentions and the facts until someday he writes a book about it…assuming he tells the truth. For me, at this point, I have to go more on gut feeling, and that tells me you’re being a little extreme.

  37. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    I’m not saying you couldn’t be right, but I think your judgment is hasty.

    We’ve had five years of war to observe his intent, actions, and reasons. I don’t think it’s hasty to judge his actions (“by your fruits ye shall know them”), though we lack the (potentially inaccurate and fudged) “intelligence” he does.

    Did the Founders pass judgment on King George because they lacked certain intelligence he had?

    Yes, he may have access to information that we do not. But his actions—the constant, deliberate, and boastful circumvention of the Constitution—are inexcusable and thus merit, in my opinion, the title I have given him.

  38. JHP
    December 17, 2008 at 10:18 am #

    Fair enough, Connor. I respect your opinion very much based on other things you’ve written, so I’ll give your opinion much consideration. Though I’m not prepared to agree with you, I’ll continue to think on it. For now, I just have a hard time calling someone a tyrant who may honestly have righteous intentions, or maybe not, I just don’t know. Good intentions don’t make action okay, but I would be sure to distinguish someone who has good intentions and makes mistakes from others who have evil ones. E.g. Lincoln suspended Habeaus Corpus…not with intentions to do evil but to save the U.S.

  39. Ryan
    December 17, 2008 at 11:54 am #

    I just want to say that I think we’ll all see things a bit differently after a few years.

    Bush clearly isn’t concerned with being popular or well-respected. If that were the case, he would have bailed out on the war years ago. I feel that he is doing what he deems necessary based on the information he has access to and under the complicated circumstances he has been put in.

  40. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    I feel that he is doing what he deems necessary based on the information he has access to and under the complicated circumstances he has been put in.

    No matter how complicated the circumstances (Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, though Bush initially said they were connected; Bush’s former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill also said that Bush was looking for ways to attack Iraq even before 9/11), that does not justify a consistent and deliberate attack on the Constitution, a document which the man himself has sworn to uphold and defend.

    His actions are in no way justified by the circumstances, complicated (or contrived) as they may be.

  41. Kelly W.
    December 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    I got this update on the shoe-thrower from a Canadian source this morning:

    Al-Zaidi has been beaten up, he has a broken hand, broken ribs as well as internal bleeding.

    On December 16, according to US military sources, he was taken out of police custody and handed over to the Iraqi military command, which is tantamount to handing him over to US “interrogators”.

    The Iraqi Ministry of Defense denies that he is in the hands of the Iraqi military.

    US intelligence agents together with Iraqi security guards were directly involved in the arrest and beating of al Zaidi, which resulted in serious injuries :

    The U.S. Secret Service yesterday defended its agents’ response to an Iraqi journalist who threw a pair of shoes at President Bush during a Baghdad news conference, saying that they acted with the proper balance of aggressiveness and restraint. (WP, December 16, 2008)

    Bush made the following remarks following the incident:

    “It didn’t bother me, and if you want the facts it was a size 10 shoe he threw at me… That’s what happens in free societies when people try to draw attention to themselves.”

    The BBC report says that Al Zaidi “appeared before an investigating judge and “admitted the action he carried out”, a High Judicial Council spokesman said.”

    Other reports state that an Iraqi judge visited Muntadhar Al-Zeidi in jail. “His brother Durgham Zeidi alleged the reporter must have been too severely injured to appear in the courtroom.” (Mirror, December 17, 2008)

  42. Ryan
    December 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    “His actions are in no way justified by the circumstances, complicated (or contrived) as they may be.”

    Connor, with all due respect, you can’t know that for sure. None of us has access to the same information that the president does.

  43. Carborendum
    December 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Again the questions:

    Life, Liberty, Property?

    Repeated inury evincing a design of absolute despotism?

  44. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    Connor, with all due respect, you can’t know that for sure. None of us has access to the same information that the president does.

    You’re missing my point, which is this: no piece of information, however complicated, justifies a President in disregarding the Constitution he swore to uphold.

  45. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    Jose Padilla: I will agree that the Padilla situation was horribly botched but how much to do you know about his case? Let’s play a hypothetical game shall we Adrien? If a person did detonate a dirty bomb in a major US city first the destruction would be enormous! Then when the government set up a panel to investigate the bombing found that a person had been seen in an Al-Qaeda safe house in Pakistan. Investigators knew this young man had done internet searches on nuclear waste and other bombing making material. A well know but sometimes unreliable terrorist had mentioned that a young American wanted to plan to use a dirty bomb against the USA. With all that information would you or wouldn’t want the US authorities to detain said person and find out if the threat is real? I would imagine any sane person would at least want to question the subject. Now do you know who this person was? It was Jose Padilla! I agree not giving him legal counsel and not charging him was a mistake but can you imagine the outrage if the threat turned out to be real and he did do what many people thought he was going to do. Most Americans and yourself would be up in arms raising hell about why didn’t they stop him? It’s pretty similar to that of 9/11. Again so you don’t misunderstand me. The case was botched and Padilla does have a more than justifiable case against the government but maybe if he didn’t want to be labeled an enemy combatant and detained for a long time he shouldn’t hang out with terrorists or search for such dangerous things on the internet! Now that you’ve mentioned one semi-justifiable American imprisoned are there anymore? You can’t tell that your case as Bush being the worst President in history is solely based on one case? Lincoln, Adams, Wilson and others imprisoned thousands more…

  46. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    About the joint resolution you linked, most of the “wherebys” in there have since been admitted to be false and/or completely fabricated.

    A list of these ‘fabrications’ would be greatly appreciated vontrapp. I would also like a list of charges that would justify impeachment. I am glad to hear that you aren’t as crazy as many other Bush haters. I commend you for that. But again if you are going to impeach Bush you must also call for the impeachment of all the Senators and Congressmen that gave the President the authority to use force in Iraq. You should also throw in Clinton and Gore and the members of Congress that made it official US Foreign Policy to seek a regime change in Iraq. Just because Bush did so makes him the war criminal not the people who came up with the original plan.

    I am anti EVERY war, because Satan is the founder of them all. Especially the current Iraq War.

    I really feel sorry for you now Kelly. While I do understand where you are coming from I believe you need to answer for what would happen if you had your way. Hitler would have wiped out the Jewish race and probably moved onto Mormons. The USSR would have pseudo control over most of the world imprisoning, torturing, and murdering tens of millions of more people. Saddam would still be in control of Kuwait and I am sure they would not be treated nicely. The Kurds in Northern Iraq would most likely by largely dead. I could go on for hours but I as horrible and brutal war is it is a necessary tool when all others have been used up. Your naivety scares me! I hate to tell you Kelly but there are people and countries out there that want us dead. You can’t reason with them nor can you appease them. If history has taught us anything is that evil should be confronted once it is recognized and not excused by the likes of you and Neville Chamberlain. I would hope that you would defend your anti-every war not matter what policy in the light of the countless millions that would be dead if you would have had your way.

  47. Kelly W.
    December 17, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    “Most Americans and yourself would be up in arms raising hell about why didn’t they stop him? It’s pretty similar to that of 9/11.”

    Yep, 9/11 was a false-flag op. We could’ve stopped it, but Cheney gave the stand-down order from the White House bunker that morning as per the Mineta testimony.

  48. Kelly W.
    December 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    “I would hope that you would defend your anti-every war not matter what policy in the light of the countless millions that would be dead if you would have had your way.”

    I might could counter by citing the Ammonites, but it would do no good to argue with someone who likes pre-emptive war and thinks that waterboarding is not torture.

    War is never justified, never, never, unless it is commanded of God. I guess you just can’t comprehend that simple concept.

  49. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    Yep, 9/11 was a false-flag op. We could’ve stopped it, but Cheney gave the stand-down order from the White House bunker that morning as per the Mineta testimony.
    I know that many of you here and I assume Kelly are all into the conspiracy theories about 9/11. We could have and should have stopped it. I have no idea what you are talking about when ‘Cheney gave the stand-down order.’ Now I don’t want to rehash that debate but I couldn’t help but notice you didn’t answer any of my questions.

  50. Kelly W.
    December 17, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    “Now I don’t want to rehash that debate but I couldn’t help but notice you didn’t answer any of my questions.”

    Nope, I didn’t answer on purpose. I have no desire to argue with you because I consider it a waste of bandwidth. I think you already know my answers anyway.

  51. Jeremy Ashton
    December 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    Chris, As a nation, we have no business ever interfering in the affairs of other nations. J. Reuben Clark, in his great book “Stand Fast By Our Constitution”, stated that America’s participation in WWII was an “apostasy from peace” (pg. 75). He stated elsewhere in the book that no nation is ever 100% right and no nation 100% wrong so we should not be intertwined in their affairs. A foreign policy of non-intervention is not a policy of appeasement. It is, in fact, a policy of renouncing war and declaring peace.

    Without question, governments in other lands have and are violating the rights of individuals. Government is likewise violating individual rights at home. The individual who is willing to “lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13) by protecting their rights may be commended for acquiring the Christ-like attribute of love. However, it is the opposite of Christ-like to force someone else to lay down their life or support this cause with their own private property. Furthermore, when individuals do fight for the rights of others, they make certain they are not responsible for the killing of innocent civilians or then they become the very evil which they are fighting against.

    So, when it comes to the atrocities being committed in Iraq, Darfur, Rawanda, Congo – you as an individual may decide to either risk your own life or spend all your money fighting for these individuals. However, you have no right to demand that my children or I do so. I may feel that my life would be better spent in other endeavors. Also, if in the process of fighting the evils over there you are responsible for the killing of innocent blood, you should be held responsible for that.

  52. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Here are a few more reasons why there should be more outrage at Bush, and not the shoe.

  53. YOR Health
    December 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    I love the way bush was grinning the whole time whilst dodging the shoes, and that recreation using dolls is hilarious! lol

  54. Cameron
    December 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    “Numerous studies have shown that the Iraqi standard of living was far higher under Saddam’s regime. He may have been brutal with some, but the majority had a much more enjoyable life than they have now.”

    Connor, that sentence is hard for me to swallow. Particularly after your later pronouncements that suffering from too much liberty is better than suffering from too little.

  55. vontrapp
    December 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Why do the pronouncements of “suffering” too much liberty being better than too little worry you? One of the greatest Americans of all time, Patrick Henry, is famous for the simple quote, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” What could be more patriotic? Do kids even hear about this stuff in school anymore? Probably not. Instead now we have patriotism defined as “To hell with liberty! I’m scared, protect me please!” This is embodied in the PATRIOT act, the general attitudes towards the war on terror, the spying, the torturing, the bailouts. “It’s much better to give up a little freedom than to be poor for a season.” The whole thing disgusts me so.

  56. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Connor, that sentence is hard for me to swallow. Particularly after your later pronouncements that suffering from too much liberty is better than suffering from too little.

    For one study on this assertion, see here.

    I’m confused, though, in your reply. Are you arguing that Iraqis have more or less liberty (on the whole) then they did under Saddam? Toppling a dictator in exchange for an occupying foreign force isn’t really an increase in liberty.

  57. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    In this situation, President Monson would simply be the representative not extending a privilege (we’d agree that it’s the Lord, but you catch my drift). This is a far cry from bombing innocent people and policing the streets.
    I am sorry but if someone is protesting the church and throwing stuff at the Prophet saying that the Lord said so wouldn’t hold any water against those people. In fact it would probably enrage them more. My point is that you should disagree civilly and not threatened physical harm on anyone that you disagree with that is not a tyrant. As I have asked before a list of crimes would be nice so that I could explain why I believe you are wrong. I don’t an article or someone else bloviating about it I want a list with specific explanations that can be backed by unbiased empirical evidence if need be but I don’t require to present any at this time.

    Would rational individuals in the founding generation have done the same thing with King George? Read over the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence, and you’ll see how easy it is to find modern correlation (and worse).
    Again your ignorance of history is astounding. In fact the colonists bent over backwards to not go to war with GB. Do the Olive Branch Petition Declaration of Causes & Necessity of Taking up Arms ring a bell? It was only have King George declared the colonies in open rebellion and blood was spilt on the Lexington green that war was finally considered a must by many colonists.

    So much of current conflict is simply blowback – an equal or escalated response to something we ourselves instigated in the first place.
    I would like for you to expand on this statement please.

    Apologize for lifting a standard of peace, decrying tyranny in all its forms, and demanding that our elected leaders who made an oath to obey the Constitutional actually do so? Hell, no!
    While I think what you are doing is sometimes noble I think you are misguided. You never answered my questions on whether you’d use military force in Darfur, the Congo etc. When is military force acceptable to you? Could you sit back and allow genocide in Iraq after we leave? Everyone who blames Bush for not thinking the war through as guilty of the same crime for not thinking early withdrawal through. Like it or not we are there and there are enormous consequences not only for US but for the world if we withdraw prematurely. I again am glad that you hold our elected officials accountable for their actions but I think you have overstretched your argument by calling Bush a tyrant and a war criminal.

    To truly understand the magnitude and implications of any action, as Bastiat so well noted, you must search out the unintended, unseen, and delayed consequences. Only then will you be a proper judge of anything.
    I would hope that you use your same advice. Some of the unseen ‘consequences’ of the Iraq War was that weeks after Libya gave up their nuclear ambitions and Iran suspended theirs for a few months. Also you should wait and let history judge the prudence of the Iraq War. You seem too ready to condemn it before it’s even over.

    This is utterly false. Congress only has power to declare war, not to authorize military force. Congress has no Constitutional authority to delegate its powers to another branch of government, and so by telling the President he could wage war if he wanted to, they were acting outside of their authority.
    Article 1 Sec. 8 “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water” It seem that they have a bit more power than just ‘declaring war.’ Why can’t Congress authorize the President to use force? It’s not listed in the Constitution but we both know that the Constitution nor scripture doesn’t answer every question which is why we have modern day revelation or in this case why we have a Congress that passes bills to meet the threats of today. The elected representatives overwhelmingly gave the President the authority to use the military to enforce the many UN resolutions that Saddam had violated. I know what counter arguments you are going to make and I concede that technically it’s not constitutional but neither was the government’s involvement in building canals in the 1800’s or highways in the mid 1900’s. Both of these things were great for our country even though they weren’t technically constitutional. Sometimes common sense has to reign over strict constitutionalism being that even the Founders considered it to be a living document that would be used in different ways to help protect its ultimate goal of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ To quote Jefferson in his defense of the LA purchase “It is incumbent on those who accept great charges, to risk themselves on great occasions, to lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written laws, would be to lose the law itself…”

    I and others are often equally critical of anybody who has voted for this mess. As executive, President Bush gets the brunt of the blame, and rightly so. But just because I have not mentioned Congress in this small article does not mean that I have given them a free pass on this one. Far from it, really.
    I’d like for you to write an article calling every head of state that has participated in the Iraq War as a war criminal and everyone that voted in 1998 to dispose of Saddam and 2001(?) authorize force impeached. I have no doubts you are critical of them but to focus your ire on Bush and Cheney is excusing Congress’ ‘guilt’ in this affair.

    Imagine yourself discussing this topic with the Savior. Would you feel comfortable promoting this argument? Would the Prince of Peace agree with you? To assert that an action is not defined as torture only because it hasn’t been ruled by a judge as such is folly; the simulation of death to extract (usually unreliable) information most certainly is torture, regardless of whoever might disagree. You and I have been commanded to renounce war and proclaim peace… does your argument further this agenda?
    Oh Conner you should be ashamed of yourself. I am not saying he would approve of it but you don’t know he wouldn’t. Read the Old Testament for further proof of what God required people to do to ensure their own prosperity and security. I could use the same argument. Why didn’t you stop Saddam from torturing and murdering tens of thousands of his own people? Why didn’t you help the people in Congo? ‘Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.’ Water boarding has only been used three times and should only be used on a high value target that has information that will save lives. As for the reliability of the information I think I’ll believe former Director George Tenet and many other operative that were there that have come out and stated that we gained an enormous amount of intelligence for Khalid Sheik Mohammad. Since you have never seen this intelligence nor has 99% of the people so claim that it is unreliable you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t believe the or you

    Easy. Obey the Constitution. As Jefferson agreed, I’d rather suffer the consequences of too much liberty than too little.
    Oh the great and ambiguous Jefferson! He has a quote for everything one of which I used previously. I’d like some context to the quote in order to understand it correctly please. Jefferson also advocated rebellions every 20 years to ‘refresh the tree of liberty.’ He also supported the Maximillian Robespierre who as head of the Committee of Public Safety killed approximately 50,000 people by guillotine in France without a trial. It’s funny since the Founders conscientiously made the government and fully intended it to be run by aristocrats.

    So I repeat myself that Truman’s decision to use the Atom bomb on Japan in the end saved millions of lives!
    Wow, I cannot disagree more. For starters on why, see this article. Bombing civilians after Japan had already tried to surrender is hardly a justified action, especially when the terms of that surrender were implemented anyways.
    While the article is interesting it leaves out a lot of facts from my skimming of it. They did try and surrender before the bombing but who tried to surrender should be asked. The military never wanted to surrender and in fact were planning on overthrowing the imperial government to prevent said surrender. Now to overthrow someone you consider a god would mean that you are very committed to not giving up. This is all well documented on a history channel program. I am sorry I can’t recall the name. The article states that the unconditional surrender was a mistake and that it lengthened the war. Now this is his opinion. To seek unconditional surrender from a dictatorial mass murdering tyrant shouldn’t be that controversial. It seems to me we are not debating when the surrender took place but which kind was offered and acceptable to the US. I refer you to two articles to prove my point JSTOR Hiroshima

    A good Latter-day Saint is always part of the anti-war-with-few-and-limited-exceptions-namely-only-in-self-defense-or-under-the-specific-direction-of-the-Lord crowd. Going around liberating people is nowhere in our jurisdiction or moral authority, especially when uninvited and when we subsequently occupy the country and further our empire by constructing a permanent establishment of military bases and embassies.
    I agree that we should use military force very rarely but again I ask what is the cut off? Clinton used wordplay by stating that ‘acts of genocide’ had occurred in Rwanda to explain away his inaction. If you go ask the Kurds and Shia I would bet most would say they are happy we got rid of Saddam and in fact would have ‘invited us.’ Now the debate is over now what to do. When should we leave etc? Our occupation of the country is justified because as the saying goes, “if you break it you bought it.” Since we broke Iraq and it’s tyrannical government you are morally and ethically responsible to at least give them a chance to of self rule and prosperity before we abandon them to the likes of the Saudis, Iran, & Al Qaeda. Are you ready to accept the responsibility for all the atrocities that will ensue if we withdraw prematurely? If we abandon them like we have done countless times before the job is done we’ll get a genocide!

    Answer for my crimes? Am I somehow responsible for the foreign dictator oppressing his own people?
    This is my exact point. You are more than willing to put the blood innocent Iraqi’s killed by barbaric terrorist on the hands of Bush but you are unwilling to accept the responsibility of doing nothing while genocide and mass murder is occurring or has occurred. You can’t have it both ways.

    Nowhere in the Constitution are we given the authority to battle bad guys; where would it end?
    Aren’t we morally obligated to help our brothers? You defended the polygamists after the Fed’s searched their compound and took away their kids, what’s the difference? If you defended those bad guys which I’ll give you was the right thing but you denounce our involvement to free oppressed people seems hypocritical to me. The greater threat is that if we ignore bad guys, especially terrorists they won’t ignore us! It’s dangerously naïve to think that they would leave us alone if we would leave them alone. They want to establish and Caliphate that would stretch all over the Middle East, cover north Africa, and into Spain. Is it not ok for us to combat them? Are you going to defend Neville Chamberlain for selling out the Sudetenland and doom tens of thousands of innocent people to death and despair for your own protection?

    There is one and only one legitimate goal of United Stats foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to ‘uplift’ their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even defend them against their enemies. (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)
    We both know that just because a man is a prophet or an apostle that he is always speaking for God. Brigham Young would be an excellent example of this. Benson also said he didn’t know how ‘any member of the church could be a democrat.’ That is his personal opinion. Being that he was Sec. of Agriculture under Nixon I’d love to hear what his opinion was on our involvement in the India-Pakistani War or the Chinese Civil war etc. The truth of the matter is defending your friends and an ally is to preserve your own independence because they will be there for you when you need them. Well at least they should be. If Canada was overrun by terrorists your darn right we’d help because after they took over Canada they’d come after us next! I would bet that most general authorities would disagree with sending aid to others countries in order to stop starvation as we have done countless times throughout history is a bad thing or unconstitutional. So I am sad to say that Pres. Benson’s personal opinion here is not in accordance with church practices currently.

    As John Quincy Adams said, we don’t go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. When we do so, liberty goes out the window.
    Very well said but to apply Adam’s foreign policy today is moronic. I see the point and it’s a good one but not even in Adam’s wildest dreams could he imagine the atomic bomb. Now we can with a push of a button kill millions of people in the safety of our living room. There was no point in the 18th & 19th centuries to go abroad taking out people we disagreed with because they didn’t threaten us. The world is a lot different now Conner!

    No matter how complicated the circumstances (Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, though Bush initially said they were connected; Bush’s former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill also said that Bush was looking for ways to attack Iraq even before 9/11), that does not justify a consistent and deliberate attack on the Constitution, a document which the man himself has sworn to uphold and defend.
    Iraq didn’t have anything to do with 9/11 and I have never heard the President link the two directly. I could be wrong on this. He has at times implied the connection but it is understandable when you are waging a War on Terror that Iraq would be on the list seeing that Saddam harbored terrorists and gave money to terrorists. One most noted was a now famous member of Al-Qaeda Zarqawi. The fact remains that if Saddam did have weapons and there is still a strong argument that he did. If he had used them to either attack Israel or given them to terrorists to attack and ally or US base anywhere and the public found out that we knew he possessed such weapons and did nothing then most Americans would be ticked for his inaction.

  58. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    I might could counter by citing the Ammonites, but it would do no good to argue with someone who likes pre-emptive war and thinks that waterboarding is not torture.
    War is never justified, never, never, unless it is commanded of God. I guess you just can’t comprehend that simple concept.

    The story of the Ammonites doesn’t apply. They decided not to make war because they spent most of their lives doing that. They believed that if they took up arms even for a good reason that they would probably revert back to the old ways and die in the sin. It doesn’t mean that we can never make war or defend ourselves because I know many church members including bishops and stake presidents that would be a lot of trouble if the church agreed with your logic. Also, what do you say about all the Apostles that fought in WW II? Someone used a quote stating that it was a illegal and immoral for us to get involved. Many have great inspiring stories from their military experiences. How can you have such experiences and feel the spirit if you’re involved with such sin as was stated previously?
    Do you presume to know the mind of God Kelly? How do you know that the Iraq War is in line with his plan? Many people have come to know the gospel because of the war in Iraq. The gospel needs to be preached to everyone so how do you know this isn’t a way to open up these previously closed societies to the gospel? The fact is that you don’t so I would appreciate it if you would try to. I am not saying that the war is part of the plan either because I don’t know but the Lord does work in ‘mysterious ways.’ Why couldn’t he make the best of a bad situation? He did it with Joseph (Egypt) and countless other prophets and people throughout history why not now? To reiterate my point war is justified at times for many of the reasons we have already discussed by why not to protect the innocent? I can’t imagine that the church could in good conscience turn a blind eye to such atrocities as the Catholic church did during the holocaust.

  59. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    Chris, As a nation, we have no business ever interfering in the affairs of other nations. J. Reuben Clark, in his great book “Stand Fast By Our Constitution”, stated that America’s participation in WWII was an “apostasy from peace” (pg. 75). He stated elsewhere in the book that no nation is ever 100% right and no nation 100% wrong so we should not be intertwined in their affairs. A foreign policy of non-intervention is not a policy of appeasement. It is, in fact, a policy of renouncing war and declaring peace.
    Really? He said that? Again I really doubt that he was speaking for the Lord on that one. I doubt the church’s policy was to say basically that the mass murder of millions of Jews wasn’t their concern because it was happening in another country. Again the world J. Reuben Clark lived in was vastly different from today. We weren’t threatened by sadistic, mass murderers who use handicapped people as bombs back then. While I agree with some of the quote it’s application is preposterous in today’s world! Renouncing war is a bit strong don’t you think? Would you renounce our own Revolution because it was a war? Or how about the wars in the scriptures? I am guilty of using words that don’t express my views very well from time to time but that one was a bit over the top.

    However, it is the opposite of Christ-like to force someone else to lay down their life or support this cause with their own private property. Furthermore, when individuals do fight for the rights of others, they make certain they are not responsible for the killing of innocent civilians or then they become the very evil which they are fighting against.
    Who is forcing people to fight against their will? I hate to break it to you but when you join the military you should do fully knowing that you are being trained to kill among other things. Anyone who says they didn’t sign up for this while it’s their right to disagree with policy is a cop out because they are in the military. What else did they think they were going to do? Also I would like some further explanation of your last sentence please. You can’t honestly be saying that our soldiers are over their purposely killing innocent civilians? Some have I’ll grant you that but it’s by far the exception and not the rule!

  60. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm #

    So, when it comes to the atrocities being committed in Iraq, Darfur, Rawanda, Congo – you as an individual may decide to either risk your own life or spend all your money fighting for these individuals. However, you have no right to demand that my children or I do so. I may feel that my life would be better spent in other endeavors. Also, if in the process of fighting the evils over there you are responsible for the killing of innocent blood, you should be held responsible for that.
    No one is making you fight or your children. If they implement a draft then you’ll have a point. Again then I must hold you responsible for being idle and not fighting against genocide and other atrocities. I must hold you responsible for the million dead in Rwanda, the two million in Cambodia, the millions dead in Africa etc. If am responsible for my actions in supporting war then you are responsible for you actions of not supporting war. The sword cuts both ways! I am not implying this war necessarily but and war or conflict that would rid people of oppression, terror, and genocide.

  61. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm #

    Why do the pronouncements of “suffering” too much liberty being better than too little worry you? One of the greatest Americans of all time, Patrick Henry, is famous for the simple quote, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” What could be more patriotic? Do kids even hear about this stuff in school anymore? Probably not. Instead now we have patriotism defined as “To hell with liberty! I’m scared, protect me please!” This is embodied in the PATRIOT act, the general attitudes towards the war on terror, the spying, the torturing, the bailouts. “It’s much better to give up a little freedom than to be poor for a season.” The whole thing disgusts me so.
    You mean the Patrick Henry everyone thought was an enormous windbag so they made him governor of VA so they wouldn’t have to deal with him during the Constitutional Convention? Don’t get me wrong he was a courageous inspiring man but I am more of a Nathan Hale fan myself. Also, the quote is far better than the simple one liner that everyone knows. You should look it up! What spying? You mean the fact that we could listen on terrorist phone calls that were originating in a foreign country? The same ‘spying’ that would have prevented 9/11 if we would have done it. The same ‘spying’ that countless Presidents have employed for far less legal reasons for decades? Again I ask what torture? As much as I hate Brittney Spear and Barney music it is not torture. Water boarding is regularly done on our own troops and since we have only used in three times I would say that we have used a lot of restraint. While I am with you in principle vontrapp that simple fact remains. If you’re dead, then you won’t have to worry about your rights being infringed will you. Frankly I’d rather be alive and live in the current USA and allow the government a few powers rather than be dead or be oppressed under some sort of Islamic theocracy! Again it’s a very dangerous path to take but our representatives in Congress are briefed on this stuff and considering they only get outraged for political purposes I am not too worried. But I do keep my gun loaded safely hidden…

  62. Carborendum
    December 17, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    I”m going to take this in a completely different dimension.

    If their idea of the greatest insult is to pluck a hair out of their head in front of you, would anyone be making such a fuss about this?

    One reason why this is such a fuss is that throwing a potentially harmful object at someone’s head is a violent act. This wasn’t a slipper. It wasn’t a NERF shoe. It had some hard pieces and some weight to it. Throwing it at someone’s head is an act of violence, not a peaceful protest.

  63. Daniel
    December 17, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    This is what I was struggling with back in comment 1.

    It’s violent, but it’s not extremely violent, really. It’d hurt. But it’s pretty mild compared to what Bush & Co have done.

    I probably wouldn’t punch Bush in the face, even though I despise him. But I might wing a size 10 at him. Or I might just fantasise about it on an Internet discussion board.

    Let’s just say I sympathise with the flinger. I’m a shoe-flinger-sympathiser.

    Where can you get NERF shoes?

  64. Connor
    December 17, 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    But I might wing a size 10 at him. Or I might just fantasise about it on an Internet discussion board.

    Then you’ll enjoy this.

  65. Chris
    December 17, 2008 at 11:49 pm #

    Connor,
    You just proved my original disagreement to your blog. The link you provided should offend every American. Again I am not a fan of Bush. He has done lots of unconstitutional and stupid things. I do think he has done good things as well. Saving millions of lives in Africa and combating terrorism are the two biggest. But to play a game that fantacises about physically assaulting our President is outrageous in my opinion. You guys are so blinded and enraged by your anti-Bushness that you think someone attacking our President is funny. I think no matter who it is, that we as Americans should be outraged! Also, if you guys are such fans and advocates of the ‘shoe thrower’ why don’t you protest the ‘tyrant war criminal’ Bush in the same manner? The fact remains that whatever your opinion on the war is the fact the ‘show thrower’ and his family aren’t all being put into a mass grave right now proves that Iraq has improved in at least the area of ‘free speech’ if you call it that and public dissent.

  66. Daniel
    December 18, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    It’s always sad to see that final 22% making their last stand.

  67. Connor
    December 18, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    You just proved my original disagreement to your blog.

    What’s funny is that your outrage, Chris, furthers the argument I made in the blog post: higher outrage over an attempted minimal physical assault than for the atrocities committed in office. The willingness to disregard all the crap this guy’s done while elevating things he has no Constitutional authority to do, such as “saving millions of lives in Africa” (read: giving money to the countries which largely remains in the hands of the corrupt government, barely helping the intended recipients) and “combating terrorism” (you can’t really combat a tactic) is dangerous, for it allows an individual to further an empire and hoard power in the executive, so long as he does a couple “good” things along the way.

    You said you weren’t a staunch Republican, but all I see in your words is one of the blind and faithful-to-the-party-no-matter-what 22% Daniel refers to above. This saddens and surprises me, for there are few I’ve seen who defend this man’s actions as vigorously as you do.

    You should keep in mind that my stance is not anti-Bush, it is pro-Constitution. The man has done little to uphold his oath with respect to the document, and for that I hold little respect for him. Joseph Smith thought that such an individual should be removed from power, and so do I.

  68. Cameron
    December 18, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    Connor,

    I have a hard time with the rationalization “he may have been brutal with some, but the rest had a high standard of living”.

    This contrasts mightily with your statement that, “As Jefferson agreed, I’d rather suffer the consequences of too much liberty than too little.”

    Iraqis already suffered the consequences of too little liberty. “The rest” may have had a high standard of living, but the cost included being trucked out to the desert in the middle of the night, shot, and buried in mass graves. And that’s if you were lucky enough to escape the rape houses.

  69. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    Dictators and tyrants can be thankful that 21% of their home population think like Chris.

  70. Jeff T.
    December 18, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    Chris,

    To summarize Connor’s main point:

    It’s a matter of proportion. “Major atrocities” vs. “a shoe”. Which are we hearing about in the news? A shoe. Maybe it was wrong, maybe it wasn’t, but the point is that more people seem to care about someone throwing a shoe at Bush than about the atrocities he’s committed.

    It’s all a matter of proportion.

  71. vontrapp
    December 18, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Chris on #58,
    You ask how apostles can fight in WWII, how there can be so many spiritual experiences from wars? Wars must then be good right? You talk about God working in mysterious ways. Alright, fine, yes God can make the most of even horrible situations. Does that make those situations right or even desirable? NO. Does that mean that without the situation, God would have been unable to meet his objectives? NO. Does an unjust war make all participants sinners? NO. If you’re a good soldier, and follow your superiors and protect your comrades, then God does not fault you for that. Nobody is calling our troops a bunch of murderers, so get off your “support the troops” high horse. We are calling the war unfortunate and avoidable and atrocious, and blaming those responsible for starting it, not those who are stuck in the quagmire making the best of things.

  72. vontrapp
    December 18, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    No one is making you fight or your children. If they implement a draft then you’ll have a point. Again then I must hold you responsible for being idle and not fighting against genocide and other atrocities. I must hold you responsible for the million dead in Rwanda, the two million in Cambodia, the millions dead in Africa etc. If am responsible for my actions in supporting war then you are responsible for you actions of not supporting war. The sword cuts both ways! I am not implying this war necessarily but and war or conflict that would rid people of oppression, terror, and genocide.

    What if I join the army TO DEFEND MY COUNTRY, then my life is spent doing exactly not that. I have not only lost my life to something I did not care to lose it for, but I have also lost my opportunity to do what I did want to do, defend my own country. Now, we need someone else to step up and defend our country, and likewise that person will be spent on other pursuits.

    While I appreciate your breadth of historical knowledge you lack a little depth. I don’t know a lot about most of the situations you say we should have intervened in, but I know a heck of a lot about Cambodia. And let me tell you America herself was directly involved in a very large number of Cambodian deaths, and indirectly involved in lots more. Does that mean less would have died if we did not get involved? Perhaps not, but that’s not our responsibility. I know you disagree with that, but we’ll just have to have our own opinions I guess. At least with not involving ourselves we keep ourselves clean of the blood that is spilled. You like to call such spilling “botching.” I take a little offense at that flippant dismissal of lost human life.

  73. Carborendum
    December 18, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    Where can you get NERF shoes?

    I believe you can get those “wet shoes” that are made of some similar material. But I don’t know if they come in size 10 :)

  74. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    What’s funny is that your outrage, Chris, furthers the argument I made in the blog post: higher outrage over an attempted minimal physical assault than for the atrocities committed in office. The willingness to disregard all the crap this guy’s done while elevating things he has no Constitutional authority to do, such as “saving millions of lives in Africa” (read: giving money to the countries which largely remains in the hands of the corrupt government, barely helping the intended recipients) and “combating terrorism” (you can’t really combat a tactic) is dangerous, for it allows an individual to further an empire and hoard power in the executive, so long as he does a couple “good” things along the way.
    You said you weren’t a staunch Republican, but all I see in your words is one of the blind and faithful-to-the-party-no-matter-what 22% Daniel refers to above. This saddens and surprises me, for there are few I’ve seen who defend this man’s actions as vigorously as you do.
    You should keep in mind that my stance is not anti-Bush, it is pro-Constitution. The man has done little to uphold his oath with respect to the document, and for that I hold little respect for him. Joseph Smith thought that such an individual should be removed from power, and so do I.
    While I have been critical of Bush and many of his policies I do give him credit where credit is due. I have never said that Bush is a great defender of the Constitution. In fact yesterday he said that he was admitting that he had disregarded the ‘free market economy’ in order to save it. Having talked with a great deal of constitutional scholars and experts in the field of early American history there is a strong argument for this interpretation of the Constitution. I don’t agree with it necessarily but it is widely accepted in the historical and political fields of thought. To learn more on this very complicated debate I would recommend Edmund Morgan’s book called Inventing the People: The Rise of Popular Sovereignty in England and American and Bernard Bailyn’s book To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders.
    Now back to my original statement. You never have defended your disregard for the President almost getting physically assaulted. You justify it by saying that he doesn’t follow the Constitution so it’s ok. Honestly Connor. Again Bush has violated the Constitution many times as has pretty much everyone involved in government since its inception! Even those that wrote the dang thing! So according to your own argument the very people that wrote the Constitution didn’t respect it enough to follow it. I would argue that they made the document so vague in order to allow it to progress as my Jefferson said, ” Some men, look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched…Law and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” Take Slavery. It was left vague on purpose. The founder made a conscious decision to basically ignore slavery for the sake of establishing the Union. They knew that eventually when the Union was strong enough that future generations would deal with it and they did, by the blood of hundreds of thousands of people! It bodes ill for all of America when we don’t at least look down on such a disrespectful act when it is done against our President.
    Again I would love a list of these “high crimes and misdemeanors” that Bush has committed that justifies his impeachment. Then I’ll do my best to explain them to you. Also, the historical ignorance you guys display speaks louder than anything you’ve said here. Wilson is regarded by many historians as the first fascist dictator in the 20th century. He imprisoned more people in his short time in office than Mussolini ever did! How many American’s has Bush imprisoned illegally? So far you’ve mentioned one and I’ve explained why I thought it though obviously illegal was initially justified. Again so Connor doesn’t misunderstand me. I am no fan of President Bush in most areas but I believe that he has kept us safe and has understood correctly the threat of terrorism. To say that I ‘tow the party line’ because I defend a handful of my President policies while I denounce the majority is just plain silly. Also, the reason why you probably haven’t heard someone defend Bush like me is because the vast majority of your leaders from what I have gathered agree with you. I am offering another view point on this discussion. I would be interested in your ideas how to combat terrorism Connor since you obviously believe that you so much smarter are more capable than Bush.
    I agree that most of the foreign aid we send is a sham and agree with your opinion on how it is used. You forget we both served missions in the same country Connor. Again I ask you. Isn’t it in accordance with LDS teachings to help the less fortunate? Many of you have chosen to ignore my many of my points while I have bent over backwards to explain my opinions and thoughts on your questions. I would much rather have private companies donate money and help other countries deal with disasters and help with diseases but I don’t demean the government when they do great things! I have heard it said by some general authorities though I can’t cite a source that the USA foreign aid in feeding the starving and helping improve the lives of those that suffer is the tithing of our country. Now I am sure you’ll disagree with that but it makes sense to me.
    The fact that only 22% of people approve of Bush doesn’t mean a thing. If you took a poll in ancient Israel how many people would have approved of Christ? How many people believe in the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite on the eve of its fulfillment? How many people believe in a geocentric universe even after scientists like Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler had irrefutably disproven it? Sometimes time is what is needed to be the proper judge of ideas and people’s actions. I could go on but I think my examples suffice for now.

  75. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Jeff,
    I thank you for the clarification but I have understood it quite well. I believe that many have misunderstood my position in that to sanction or celebrate something like this demeans us as a nation and a people. If you think he should be impeached then ok that’s your belief but is it ok to physically assault a man because you disagree with him? Is it ok to beat up people that many of you consider ‘domestic enemies of the Constitution?’ You guys seem to deplore violence in any way shape or form except when it’s done or at least attempted against our President. That to me is sickening! At least be consistent in your outrage of violence please! The argument that to decry this act but overlook Bush’s other ‘crimes’ is a copout explanation of the incident at hand. You can’t justify one bad deed with another. Or can you?

  76. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    Vontrapp, #71 & 72
    I believe you are missing my point. Never have I said that wars were ‘good.’ There are at times necessary because to allow dictators and genocidal maniacs to run rampant is far worse than risking a war to stop them. I can expand greatly on this if you wish. My argument was aimed at Kelly who has stated that war’s are horrible an immoral. They should only happen when commanded by God, I believe her words were. My point was that how does she now the Iraq War isn’t part of the plan to pave the way for the predication of the Gospel in the Middle East? To judge the war in religious terms I believe is above our pay grades. I sure wish you’d show the amount of outrage toward people that have implied in this very blog that our soldiers are murdering innocent people and participating in an immoral action many willingly as you do me. War is always unfortunate and often atrocious but sometimes necessary. Again if those that are responsible for this war are by many in this blog are damned because they have blood on their hands. Why aren’t the people that choose not to help when it is morally and ethically irresponsible to sit by and watch?
    If you join the military you are committing yourself to follow the orders of your President. If you don’t want to be ‘forced’ to follow someone else’s ideas then don’t join the military. It’s pretty simple. I know of some soldiers that joined before 9/11 and disagree with the Iraq War. They have a point but again when you join the military you willingly submit yourself to the whims for the lack of a better word to your Commander-in-Chief.
    The Indochina situation I would bet we would agree on a lot of things. I am curious about your knowledge about Cambodia though. I don’t mean this in any offensive way just to clarify. What have you read or experienced that framed your thoughts about this? We of course were responsible for many innocent deaths during the Indochina war. As we have been guilty of many deaths of innocence in every major war ever. It’s the innocent that suffer the most during war. But to go back and judge the actions of a war that I would assume none of us had any personal experience in is unscholarly. When the enemy initiated over 80% of the battles one would probably be a little ‘trigger happy.’ When the enemy would use innocent civilians to shield themselves from our forces. When the enemy would rape and force people to give them food, shelter, weapons, and even fight for them. I am not excusing the deaths just giving you reasons for why the military saw fit to fight the war the way it did.
    I thank you for the compliment by the way. My point to restate it again is that as Christians who have been taught to help our brothers, serve our neighbor etc. etc. How can we not help them just because they are found in another country? I would be interested in your thoughts on Darfur, Angola, Congo, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. Was it wrong for Spain and France to intervene in our Revolution? What would have been the result if they didn’t? Were/are their justifiable reasons to intervene in any or all of these areas? Was it right for Nixon to send a carrier taskforce to the Bay of Bengal to force a ceasefire between India & Pakistan in 1971 that if allowed to continue could have possibly turned into another World war? Or was it ok for Carter to not intervene during the Ogadan conflict in 1977-19778 and other African wars when a simple show of force or solidarity most likely would have save thousands of lives? My opinions are based on history which I don’t want to repeat and my interpretations of our roles as Christians in helping the less fortunate. How can you look the other way and not at least try and prevent senseless deaths? Why isn’t it our responsibility? That doesn’t mean we have to send troops to every hot spot around the world but to ignore or look the other way is being complicit in the atrocities. If you don’t believe we should act then is it ok that the UN does? If that’s your argument I would remind you that we pay 24% of its operations costs and 26% of it’s defense costs so it doesn’t make much of a difference. Also, UN soldiers are often found to join in on the atrocities in Africa instead of stopping them. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this vontrapp and anyone else that would like to chime in. But please address when it is ok to intervene and why using my examples above or why it isn’t ok for us to intervene. Whatever your opinion may be.

  77. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    It isn’t OK to intervene. President Benson’s quote above stated that.

    I like Ron Paul’s stand on the issue of intervening.

  78. Connor
    December 18, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    While I have been critical of Bush and many of his policies I do give him credit where credit is due.

    I do not give credit for positive effects of immoral and un-Constitutional actions, since the net impact is a negative.

    Having talked with a great deal of constitutional scholars and experts in the field of early American history there is a strong argument for this interpretation of the Constitution.

    Which is…? For more on that, see here.

    You never have defended your disregard for the President almost getting physically assaulted.

    That is not the point of this post. My disregard for the President almost getting beaned in the head with a shoe pales in comparison with the topic at hand: the uneven application of contempt by supporters of Bush and his actions. Would I have thrown the shoe? Probably not. Do I understand why the guy did it? Sure. Does it make any difference if I condemn the action? Hardly. The man was free to act as he pleased, understanding the potential consequences of his action. That’s his issue to worry about.

    You justify it by saying that he doesn’t follow the Constitution so it’s ok. Honestly Connor.

    Please tell me where I have said that that Bush deserved the attempted assault or anything like it. I have nowhere advocated for an actual assault, but instead have simply described what I see as a massive imbalance in application of fury.

    Again Bush has violated the Constitution many times as has pretty much everyone involved in government since its inception! Even those that wrote the dang thing!

    Agreed. And that means what, exactly? You and I have made baptismal covenants that we repeatedly fail at. Does that mean we should not be held accountable for our sins, even though we know better? Nobody gets a free pass for disregarding the Constitution, whether they helped write it or not.

    I would argue that they made the document so vague in order to allow it to progress as my Jefferson said, “Some men, look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched… Law and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.”

    You conveniently leave out important context from that quote, originating from a letter to Samuel Kercheval in 1816, that sheds further light:

    I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects.

    Jefferson is not arguing that the Constitution should be left behind as society progresses, but instead that the laws and constitutions should be crafted in such a manner that they may be permitted to so evolve. It is for that precise reason that we have the ability to change and amend the law—not disregard it! If there is something in the Constitution that people don’t like, then there is one way to change through: through amendment. But you seem to give a pass to those who simply sidestep the document whenever it is convenient. That is in no way what Jefferson was advocating.

    The founder made a conscious decision to basically ignore slavery for the sake of establishing the Union. They knew that eventually when the Union was strong enough that future generations would deal with it and they did, by the blood of hundreds of thousands of people! It bodes ill for all of America when we don’t at least look down on such a disrespectful act when it is done against our President.

    First off, they did not basically ignore slavery. They settled on a 3/5 representation system, thus weakening the political power of the southern states. Second, the civil war was not initially about slavery at all. Lincoln himself admitted on several occasions that he didn’t care much about the slavery issue, and only changed his tune when he saw it as a convenient method to justify an aggressive war to reign in the southern states and create a nationalist central government. Every other nation on this planet got rid of slavery through peaceful means, except for ours. To claim that war was necessary to do so is just plain silly.

    Again I would love a list of these “high crimes and misdemeanors” that Bush has committed that justifies his impeachment.

    Take your pick

    Then I’ll do my best to explain them to you.

    If you would be so gracious.

    Also, the historical ignorance you guys display speaks louder than anything you’ve said here.

    This isn’t an intellectual pissing contest, Chris. Keep in mind that there are plenty on the other side of the discussion perhaps thinking the same, so it does little good to even say anything like this.

    Wilson is regarded by many historians as the first fascist dictator in the 20th century. He imprisoned more people in his short time in office than Mussolini ever did! How many American’s has Bush imprisoned illegally?

    Wilson indeed was one of the worst Presidents this country has seen. But does this excuse successive action, though it may be minimal in comparison? Does the tyrant who murders one person deserve any less castigation than he who murders a thousand? Surely their punishment may differ, but the responsibility to speak out against the action—no matter the number of people affected—is equal. You’ve used this argument several times in this thread now, which is really nothing more than the tiresome excuse offered by children to their parents (“But Johnny did it more than I did!”). The fact that others have done worse does not excuse current elected officials doing the same action.

    I am no fan of President Bush in most areas but I believe that he has kept us safe and has understood correctly the threat of terrorism.

    I think you’d greatly benefit from picking up one of Chalmers Johnson’s books. (You may want to start with Blowback since you asked for elaboration on that topic.) President Bush has not “understood” terrorism, but has fomented it. I’ve used the example before of sticking your hand in a beehive, and then getting upset when the bees sting you. To say that the person understands the bee threat is ludicrous; the bees would largely leave him alone if he didn’t stick his hand into their home. When you have bin Laden specifically stating the reason he wanted to attack America — as retribution for our invading their holy lands — it’s not hard to “correctly understand” terrorism. When we give munitions and money to those who do our bidding and they later turn on us (or we turn on them), it’s folly to not look at the inner vessel and scrutinize what role we have played in creating the atmosphere we’re fighting against.

    To say that I ‘tow the party line’ because I defend a handful of my President policies while I denounce the majority is just plain silly.

    I’m still waiting to see what majority you have denounced.

    Also, the reason why you probably haven’t heard someone defend Bush like me is because the vast majority of your leaders from what I have gathered agree with you.

    My leaders?

    I am offering another view point on this discussion. I would be interested in your ideas how to combat terrorism Connor since you obviously believe that you so much smarter are more capable than Bush.

    Being smarter and more capable than Bush is not a high standard to achieve, sadly.

    How would I combat terrorism? I think the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer, yet so-called conservatives are all too eager to abandon the principles they profess when it’s time to put them into practice. Lifting a standard of peace, minding our own business, obeying the Constitution and only acting with the moral authority we inherently possess are simple tasks that few seem willing and able to accomplish.

    In short: I would terminate the empire immediately. That means closing all 130+ military bases throughout the world, bringing the troops home, actually protecting and enforcing the border, stop all CIA programs that meddle in foreign affairs (which is pretty much all of them), and stop all humanitarian aid donations through government. And that would be day one; it’s easy to act when all that’s required is a signature.

    You forget we both served missions in the same country Connor.

    No, I didn’t forget that.

    Again I ask you. Isn’t it in accordance with LDS teachings to help the less fortunate?

    It most certainly is. But forcing people to be charitable is not of the Lord. Thus, the only way to be charitable is through individual and personal action. If you do not understand this fundamental division between socialism and consecration, then here is one place to start.

    Many of you have chosen to ignore my many of my points while I have bent over backwards to explain my opinions and thoughts on your questions.

    Not all of us have several free hours to spare in rebuttal.

    I would much rather have private companies donate money and help other countries deal with disasters and help with diseases but I don’t demean the government when they do great things!

    Again, you’re ignoring the unintended and unseen consequences of the actions—legalized theft, forced charity, misallocation of resources, and poor distribution. The federal government has no authority to tax Americans to help people outside of our country. What part of that don’t you understand?

    I have heard it said by some general authorities though I can’t cite a source that the USA foreign aid in feeding the starving and helping improve the lives of those that suffer is the tithing of our country. Now I am sure you’ll disagree with that but it makes sense to me.

    I’ll wait for a source on that one, thank you very much. Just like the rest of mormon folklore that passes as feel-goodery these days.

    Never have I said that wars were ‘good.’ There are at times necessary because to allow dictators and genocidal maniacs to run rampant is far worse than risking a war to stop them.

    What authority do we have for stopping dictators and genocidal maniacs? Where in the Constitution is the executive given that authority? To what extend do you suggest we pursue this course, and with what (if any) limits? There are hundreds of these types of people throughout the world, why are we not stopping them? Where do we get the money to do this? After all, you yourself said that the “if you break it, you buy it” principle entails that we have to set up a new infrastructure and government for them after we depose the tyrant. How do we prioritize which bad guys we’ll get? Why are we ignoring so many right now?

    This position of yours is horribly immoral, for it un-Constitutionally drains blood and treasure in pursuit of an fantasy that will never be realized. There will always be evil men reigning with blood and horror on this earth until Christ comes. Your position consigns us to a fate of perpetual warfare, which as the Founders repeatedly said, serves as the breeding grounds for an assault on domestic liberty.

    That’s not the country I want to live in.

    I believe her words were. My point was that how does she now the Iraq War isn’t part of the plan to pave the way for the predication of the Gospel in the Middle East?

    You’re right: we have no idea what the Lord can fix out of the messes we create. As vontrapp said in #71, this is quite a feasible result. But it is presumptuous to argue that this military invasion is in direct fulfillment of God’s commandment or will, and that it is the best method of bringing about the result.

    Besides, God is a God of law. He would not establish a Constitution, say that anything more or less than it comes of evil, and then encourage or approve of us completely disregarding it.

    War is always unfortunate and often atrocious but sometimes necessary.

    War is only necessary in self-defense, or if, for whatever reason, God explicitly commands it through established and authorized channels. Let’s be absolutely clear about that.

    If you join the military you are committing yourself to follow the orders of your President.

    Um, you might want to review the oath taken by the military. That pesky Constitution gets in the way, again.

    It’s the innocent that suffer the most during war. But to go back and judge the actions of a war that I would assume none of us had any personal experience in is unscholarly.

    It’s unscholarly to review past wars and judge the way in which they were fought?

    My point to restate it again is that as Christians who have been taught to help our brothers, serve our neighbor etc. etc. How can we not help them just because they are found in another country?

    You most certainly can help them. But you can’t force others to do the same, and the minute you work through government, you are doing exactly that.

    How can you look the other way and not at least try and prevent senseless deaths?

    Who is looking the other way? I and others on this blog are likely far more engaged, interested, and desirous to help then your average American.

    Why isn’t it our responsibility? That doesn’t mean we have to send troops to every hot spot around the world but to ignore or look the other way is being complicit in the atrocities.

    So you’re complicit right now in all the murders, deaths, rapes, robbery, and every evil action happening worldwide? Come now, Chris. You know better than that.

    If you don’t believe we should act then is it ok that the UN does?

    Then UN should not exist. Sovereignty cannot co-exist with world government.

  79. Brandon
    December 18, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    The fact that only 22% of people approve of Bush doesn’t mean a thing. If you took a poll in ancient Israel how many people would have approved of Christ? How many people believe in the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite on the eve of its fulfillment? How many people believe in a geocentric universe even after scientists like Galileo, Copernicus, and Kepler had irrefutably disproven it?

    This is my favorite quote from the thread. If I wasn’t aware of how serious Chris really is, I would think this is one of the best jokes I’ve seen in a long time. Comparing Bush to Jesus, Samuel the Lamanite, Galileo and others is just awesome. Since we are sharing Bush jokes, I particularly like this video.

  80. Yin
    December 18, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    War is only necessary in self-defense, or if, for whatever reason, God explicitly commands it through established and authorized channels. Let’s be absolutely clear about that.

    And George W. Bush is definitely not an authorized channel.

  81. Daniel
    December 18, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    There’s really nothing you can do for a True Believer. Could we all please take Chris as a cautionary tale?

    Sovereignty cannot co-exist with world government.

    Can liberty exist with government?

    Sovereignty:world government::liberty:government

    I see it as a trade-off.

  82. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    More news tonight on the shoe thrower. Apparently he has written an apology. Perhaps his apology came because they waterboarded him? Of course they didn’t torture him, because waterboarding is not torture. Here’s the article:

    Iraqi PM: Shoe Thrower Apologizes
    By VOA News
    18 December 2008

    The Iraqi prime minister’s office says the journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George Bush has apologized.

    A spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi wrote a letter in which he asked for Mr. Maliki’s pardon, calling his display an “ugly act.”

    Relatives of Zaidi immediately cast doubt that he would write such a letter of his own accord.

    The reporter has been in custody since the incident Sunday. He faces up to 15 years in prison, depending on what charges will be made against him and if he is found guilty.

    Thousands of Iraqis have protested in the streets, demanding his release. Zaidi has become somewhat of a folk hero for his action against Mr. Bush, who spearheaded the invasion of Iraq.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

  83. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    It isn’t OK to intervene. President Benson’s quote above stated that.
    I like Ron Paul’s stand on the issue of intervening.

    Kelly,
    I believe you never read my rebuttal. If we must take everything that a prophet or apostle says even though they aren’t always speaking in the name of God then the church’s policy would have to exclude an entire political party from the church. President McKay I believe it was said that the Catholic Church was the great abominable church mention in scripture. He had to withdraw that statement because it was his own personal opinion. Brigham Young would be an excellent example of a prophet would held very strong person view. Prophets are people like us. Yes they are inspired by God but only when they are speaking for God. Have you not hear the stories of when the Apostles have their weekly meeting that President Faust was given a hard time for being the only Democrat? Do you think that general authorities do not have strongly held and differing political views? Of course they do. They don’t share them very often if at all in publicly because people would use the to attack the church. Now to judge whether President Benson was speaking as a prophet or a man I would need some context to the quote. Now if it turns out President Benson’s quote is as a Prophet it in no way denounces pre-emptive war. Isn’t it in our best interest to kill those that are actively seeking to kill us? Do we always have to wait until they’ve killed Americans before we can respond? Why should we not engage Pakistan and India to help prevent a nuclear war? Why can’t we call for sanctions to prevent dictatorial mass murdering nations from acquiring WMD’s? In your opinion is the Afghanistan war justified? When does Ron Paul saw intervention is justified?

  84. Connor
    December 18, 2008 at 6:47 pm #

    Isn’t it in our best interest to kill those that are actively seeking to kill us?

    Hello, Minority Report.

    Do we always have to wait until they’ve killed Americans before we can respond?

    The belief that we should act before being acted upon rests on presumption that our intelligence will be concrete and absolute. Given that every single reason given for the Iraq war has been shown to be untrue, I would hope that you would question the ability of our government to understand the reality of any given situation.

  85. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    Brandon,
    Your logic and well thought out argument have forced me to acknowledge the error of my ways. Note the sarcasm Brandon since after you last comment your reading comprehension skills have come into doubt. My point is that popularity isn’t an accurate judge on the rightness or if you like righteousness of a person’s view or actions. I used examples when the minority turned out to be right while the majority were wrong. Can we judge the LDS church to be non Christian just because if you took a poll of the USA the majority would say so? Please Brandon let’s make rational, meaningful arguments.

  86. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    There’s really nothing you can do for a True Believer. Could we all please take Chris as a cautionary tale?
    Sovereignty cannot co-exist with world government.
    Can liberty exist with government?
    Sovereignty:world government::liberty:government
    I see it as a trade-off.

    The same could be said of you Daniel. When have I ever said that I am for a world government? I don’t fully understand what the last part of your comment means please elaborate.

  87. Brandon
    December 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Chris, I was making a joke. I am very aware of the point you were trying to make. Regardless, you think that Bush being unpopular is meaningless. To illustrate your point, you give the example of some pretty smart, articulate and thoughtful human beings who have positively influenced the world. The Joke is that Bush is none of those things.

    As far as my reading comprehension or as you previously stated “the historical ignorance you guys display speaks louder than anything you’ve said here”,
    I suggest you read some other threads on Connor’s blog to familiarize yourself with the kind of people that regularly read and post here.
    You seem to think that you can come on a blog, post 3000 word comments and expect everyone to try to refute your every point. You made too many points, and most of them are so easily dismissed by anyone who has done even the slightest bit of honest research that it is hard to find the motivation to respond. Seriously, despite your protests to the contrary, you are as true-blue neo-con as I have ever seen. That is OK. It’s just not ok to pretend that you are not.
    I was serious earlier in the thread that I used to think much like you do. I’m not really sure how it happened, but somehow I started finding material that didn’t follow Republican talking points (like the kind you get from Hannity and Limbaugh). The more I read, the more I stopped being a true believer (in the Republican sense, that is).
    You have obviously read alot, which is why it seems so amazing that you are such an adamant Bush/War defender. If you have an open mind or are at all curious, I highly recommend you read some of the many texts Connor and others have recommended. They will likely change your entire frame of reference (in a positive way, in my most humble opinion).

  88. Kelly W.
    December 18, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    I believe you never read my rebuttal.

    Of course I read your rebuttal. It just isn’t worth my time to respond. I happen to disagree with everything you say. And you seem to take delight in trying to post a question trying to counter everything I say.

    You see, the simple truth of the current matter is that 9/11 was a false-flag operation, and the Bush Administration is actively covering up for that fact so they can destroy the Constitution. This makes the Afghanistan and Iraq War and the “Global War On Terror” a tragic mistake. Nothing you say can compensate for this basic mistake.

  89. ajax
    December 18, 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    Chris, your sacred reverence for the political class is a bit disturbing. A healthy cynicism should be directed at the only class that can legally plunder us(US citizens) and apparently everybody else(non-US citizens). No matter the title, they are all jobholders and beholden to us. I like Mencken’s take on how to deal with them:

    “..any [citizen]…having looked into the acts of a jobholder and found him delinquent, may punish him instantly and on the spot, and in any manner that seems appropriate and convenient – and that, in case this punishment involves physical damage to the jobholder, the ensuing inquiry by the grand jury or coroner shall confine itself strictly to the question whether the jobholder deserved what he got. In other words, I propose that it shall no longer be malum in se for a citizen to pummel, cowhide, kick, gouge, cut, wound, bruise, maim, burn, club, bastinado, flay, or even lynch a jobholder, and that it shall be malum prohibitum only to the extent that the punishment exceeds the jobholder’s desserts. The amount of this excess, if any, may be determined very conveniently by a petit jury, as other questions of guilt are now determined…. If it decides that the jobholder deserves the punishment inflicted upon him, the citizen who inflicted it is acquitted with honor. If, on the contrary, it decides that the punishment was excessive, then the citizen is adjudged guilty of assault, mayhem, murder, or whatever it is, in a degree apportioned to the difference between what the jobholder deserved and what he got, and punishment for that excess follows in the usual course….

    The advantages of this plan, I believe, are too patent to need argument. At one stroke it removes all the legal impediments which now make the punishment of a recreant jobholder so hopeless a process…. Say a citizen today becomes convinced that a certain judge is a jack-ass – that his legal learning is defective, his sense of justice atrophied, and his conduct of cases before him tyrannical and against decency. As things stand, it is impossible to do anything about it…. Nor is anything to be gained by denouncing him publicly and urging all good citizens to vote against him when he comes up for re-election, for his term may run for ten or fifteen years, and even if it expires tomorrow and he is defeated the chances are good that his successor will be quite as bad, and maybe even worse.

    But now imagine any citizen free to approach him in open court and pull his nose. Or even, in aggravated cases, to cut off his ears, throw him out of the window, or knock him in the head with an ax. How vastly more attentive he would be to his duties! How diligently he would apply himself to the study of the law! How careful he would be about the rights of litigants before him!”

    Taking this half-jested proposal seriously, maybe the incident ought to be resolved in international court, with Bush on the one hand and the shoe throwing journalist on the other. The journalist may have a big beef with Bush, maybe friends and family were killed in this needless war. If that’s the case, let the court decide if throwing a shoe was too extreme.

  90. Chris
    December 18, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    I said: “ Having talked with a great deal of constitutional scholars and experts in the field of early American history there is a strong argument for this interpretation of the Constitution.”
    Connor said: “Which is…? For more on that, see here.”

    Connor I love how you dismiss other people’s valid historical interpretations of the Constitution as folly. While I don’t always agree with everything you espouse or what republicans or democrats espouse I can see their points of view. I disagree with them but I am open minded and know that they are doing what they believe to be right though they often do it in an unconstitutional sometimes immoral way. This is something I see you are lacking. I am sure you’ll have a clever comeback or quote but I do see your guy’s point of view even though most of you don’t see mine. To assume that I agree with you as a tool to “soften the blow” is another cop out. I am sure I do probably agree with you on a large amount of domestic issues. Ron Paul represents my domestic views in a lot of areas. I think he gets a bit too carried away but I like a lot of things he says. On foreign policy while I understand his views I believe he his strict constitutional interpretations blinds him to reality that tough times call for tough measures. I am sure that you’ll pick this sentence you and refute it but I would ask you to answer my point not just one sentence please.

    That is not the point of this post. My disregard for the President almost getting beaned in the head with a shoe pales in comparison with the topic at hand: the uneven application of contempt by supporters of Bush and his actions. Would I have thrown the shoe? Probably not. Do I understand why the guy did it? Sure. Does it make any difference if I condemn the action? Hardly. The man was free to act as he pleased, understanding the potential consequences of his action. That’s his issue to worry about.
    Please tell me where I have said that that Bush deserved the attempted assault or anything like it. I have nowhere advocated for an actual assault, but instead have simply described what I see as a massive imbalance in application of fury.

    The guy threw the shoe as a PR move. That’s always why people say and do extreme things in the public arena. Mark my words in a few months this same reporter will have a book all about this experience. He’ll probably get a TV show of his own or at least make the public TV circuit as a modern day hero by many Bush haters. When his book comes out my point will be vindicated. I think it’s a big deal that you posted a link to a game where you could hit “Bush” in the face with a shoe. Why can’t you bring yourself to say that the shoe thrower was wrong in attempting to physically assault our President? Why is that so hard? Why can’t you see that any rational person would have found a better way to express his outrage? I know it’s not the main point of your blog but a lot of what we’ve discussed wasn’t the main point of your blog. You’re consistent refusal to denounce the action implies that you don’t disagree with it. I am not asking for much Connor.

    Jefferson is not arguing that the Constitution should be left behind as society progresses, but instead that the laws and constitutions should be crafted in such a manner that they may be permitted to so evolve. It is for that precise reason that we have the ability to change and amend the law—not disregard it! If there is something in the Constitution that people don’t like, then there is one way to change through: through amendment. But you seem to give a pass to those who simply sidestep the document whenever it is convenient. That is in no way what Jefferson was advocating.
    Of course Jefferson wasn’t for ‘frequent and untried changes’ unless he or one of his associates has doing the changing. Again we get into the fact that Jefferson was the greatest example of hypocrisy and double speak of all the Founders! He also said to justify his breaking of the Constitution for the LA purchase, “It is incumbent on those who accept great charges, to risk themselves on great occasions, to lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written laws, would be to lose the law itself…” I don’t think either of us will win by quoting Jefferson. My reasoning was to enlighten you that there are different valid interpretations of the Constitution based on the founders writings. I reiterate I don’t necessarily agree with the great majority of their arguments but I do acknowledge that they exist. I referred you to two books that are widely accepted in the historical community that talk about the many hypocrisies and widely unknown philosophies of the founding of our nation.

    First off, they did not basically ignore slavery. They settled on a 3/5 representation system, thus weakening the political power of the southern states. Second, the civil war was not initially about slavery at all. Lincoln himself admitted on several occasions that he didn’t care much about the slavery issue, and only changed his tune when he saw it as a convenient method to justify an aggressive war to reign in the southern states and create a nationalist central government. Every other nation on this planet got rid of slavery through peaceful means, except for ours. To claim that war was necessary to do so is just plain silly.
    I believe you read my statement too fast. I purposely put in the word ‘basically’ for good reason. Of course they didn’t totally ignore slavery but they did put it on the back burner in order to create a unified country. This assumption can be found in a book by Winthrop Jordan called ‘The White Man’s Burden’ which is a synopsis of a much bigger more extensive work of the history of slavery in America. It a really good book, I highly recommend it! We can see that they put it on the back burner in the Constitution itself. They never once mention slavery or Africans but refer to them as ‘3/5 of a person’ ‘all other persons’ etc. To say the 3/5 compromise ‘weakened’ the South would be incorrect. The 3/5 compromise actually increased the south’s representation in the House which would give them a greater say in the laws passed in Congress.
    Of course I know that the Civil War wasn’t initially about slavery. Lincoln’s sole purpose was to save the Union not free the slaves. He did care about slaves and thought slavery was repugnant and evil but wasn’t willing to risk the Union on their behalf. He did use slavery to promote the war and to keep Britain and other foreign powers out of the war. Many thought as Washington did that slavery would eventually end on its own but with the expansion westward and the invention of the cotton gin made that reality very unlikely. Who knows if it would have eventually ended without a war? But one positive that came from a negative situation (civil war) as you would put it was the emancipation of the slaves. GB got rid of slavery by William Wilberforce who used deceit, manipulation, and lies to get it done. Now don’t the ends justify the means in rare cases? I would argue that they do. The fact that we were the last to get rid of slavery is a null point. You must understand the reasons for slavery in our country compared to that of others to better understand why it took so long to get rid is this horrible practice. I refer you back to Winthrop Jordan’s book.
    This isn’t an intellectual pissing contest, Chris. Keep in mind that there are plenty on the other side of the discussion perhaps thinking the same, so it does little good to even say anything like this.

    I will apologize for my statement that you guys are historically ignorant when you guys acknowledge that Bush is not the worst President we’ve ever had. I believed we guys fall into this quote by Thucydides, “The present is always the worst to those who are subject to the rule of others.” The reason why I keep bringing this up Connor is because I would hope you’d be intellectually honest and admit that Bush isn’t the worst President ever. I am not excusing the behaviors of his with which I disagree just trying to tone down the lunacy that is displayed by many anti-Bush people. You’ll gain more credibility with the fence sitters if you tone down the rhetoric of this sort.

    I think you’d greatly benefit from picking up one of Chalmers Johnson’s books. (You may want to start with Blowback since you asked for elaboration on that topic.) President Bush has not “understood” terrorism, but has fomented it. I’ve used the example before of sticking your hand in a beehive, and then getting upset when the bees sting you. To say that the person understands the bee threat is ludicrous; the bees would largely leave him alone if he didn’t stick his hand into their home. When you have bin Laden specifically stating the reason he wanted to attack America — as retribution for our invading their holy lands — it’s not hard to “correctly understand” terrorism. When we give munitions and money to those who do our bidding and they later turn on us (or we turn on them), it’s folly to not look at the inner vessel and scrutinize what role we have played in creating the atmosphere we’re fighting against.
    I have gained interesting insight into his arguments by reading the reviews (both good and bad) and by reading some of your blogs but I will look into the book later. To say we ‘invaded their holy lands’ is inaccurate. The royal family of Saudi Arabia invited us their because they knew that if Saddam invaded they would not be able to resist him. Bin Laden wanted to bring his fighters from Afghanistan and other places to fight Saddam if he invaded but the Saudi’s weren’t convinced that they would be successful. Bin Laden hates us because he believes allowing ‘infidels’ on the Holy Land is a desecration, which is why he also wants to overthrow the royal family to punish them for allowing such desecration. He also hates our support for Israel. Now with our correct understanding of his initial hatred of us we do understand why he attacked us. The book by Chalmers that says that out policy in this and many other areas around the world justify others actions against us is offensive! Now I don’t deny that blowback exists but in the case of 9/11 and Al-Qaeda it doesn’t. Even if it did purposely targeting and killing civilians is never justified in today’s world. To attempt to justify this behavior by the US’ foreign policy while it has often been stupid and moronic is exculpating the terrorists from their crimes. Again I am referring to the War on Terror specifically 9/11 and Afghanistan.

    I’m still waiting to see what majority you have denounced.
    I guess you’ve missed some of my remarks but for your benefit I’ll tell you. Prescription drug, no child left behind, all of the bailouts, minimum wage, reckless spending, border enforcement, ramos & compean, pretty much everything to do with immigration, inability to defend his own policies in the public arena, standing up against corruption in DC, initial management of the war, timing of the Iraq Invasion, campaign of fear to pump up the populace for the invasion, ‘mission accomplished’ moment, appointing Brown to FEMA, waiting too long to fire Rumsfeld, waiting too long to do the surge in Iraq, promoting Gen. Casey on the Joint Chief of Staff, not firing Gen. Casey, energy policy, corporate taxes, not repealing mark to market accounting rules…. That’s all I can think of presently.

    My leaders?
    I hope that you didn’t try and score a cheap point due to my spelling error?

    In short: I would terminate the empire immediately. That means closing all 130+ military bases throughout the world, bringing the troops home, actually protecting and enforcing the border, stop all CIA programs that meddle in foreign affairs (which is pretty much all of them), and stop all humanitarian aid donations through government. And that would be day one; it’s easy to act when all that’s required is a signature.
    I am glad that you offered some of your own ideas. Are you willing to concede a genocide if we bring the troops home immediately? That blood would definitely be on our heads. I agree with some of the others in part the bases, very limitedly with the CIA. Immigration I agree. Humanitarian I think we need to reassess what we do but I am against getting rid of them immediately. I am open to a progressive draw down and eventual elimination. Now for the complicated issues. Terrorism: What would you do? Is Afghanistan a just war? If not what would you have done? Will you allow Iran to go nuclear? If they do and use it against Israel what would you do? If Israel attacks Iran and Iran shuts off the Strait of Hormuz then what? If Pakistan’s government is overthrown by radicals what would you do about the nukes or the situation in general? If Pakistan & India start a nuclear war? If China attacks Taiwan? If Russia attack Ukraine? If Hezbolla, Hamas, or Al-Qaeda cells in the US attack us (how is not a concern) how would you respond? If they were directly linked to Iran, Syria, or any other government what would you do? The world is a lot more complicated that what I have so far understood about your foreign policy agenda that if we leave them alone they’ll leave us alone. That’s exactly what got us into this mess and several other unnecessary and prolonger wars in the first place.

    It most certainly is. But forcing people to be charitable is not of the Lord. Thus, the only way to be charitable is through individual and personal action. If you do not understand this fundamental division between socialism and consecration, then here is one place to start.
    I never said I would ‘force’ people to be charitable. You can’t just outright cut all the countries off because there would be huge blowback (if I may use that term) for that. As I stated above I am all for a gradual draw down and an eventual elimination of foreign aid. That doesn’t mean I am not willing to support people that are fighting for their own freedom. If the people of Iran chose to overthrow their government I would support them. You might say that is your point but I think that is a just cause to spend our money. Without France & Spain we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Not all of us have several free hours to spare in rebuttal.
    It doesn’t take me hours to rebut you guys. I only use what I know or what quotes I have at my ‘fingertips.’ Don’t try and convince yourself that all I’ve done is stand by to rebut you guys the last two days. I probably have more free time this week since school is out and I am currently unemployed but that is not an excuse when I am debating four or more different people. There are others of course but I would think that my questions could be answered and I appreciate the time you’ve spent attempting to do so but some key questions have been ignored. If you guys are up for addressing them I will go back through and make a list?

    Again, you’re ignoring the unintended and unseen consequences of the actions—legalized theft, forced charity, misallocation of resources, and poor distribution. The federal government has no authority to tax Americans to help people outside of our country. What part of that don’t you understand?
    I think you misunderstood me here. I would prefer organizations like the church and the Red Cross that have no ties to government that receive their money purely based on voluntary donations to help other countries with natural disasters etc. I understand that well and the insult was a bit much. I am trying hard not to be too cynical, offensive, or demeaning and I would ask the same courtesy in return. If I am over the top I would hope that you would point it out.

    What authority do we have for stopping dictators and genocidal maniacs? Where in the Constitution is the executive given that authority? To what extend do you suggest we pursue this course, and with what (if any) limits? There are hundreds of these types of people throughout the world, why are we not stopping them? Where do we get the money to do this? After all, you yourself said that the “if you break it, you buy it” principle entails that we have to set up a new infrastructure and government for them after we depose the tyrant. How do we prioritize which bad guys we’ll get? Why are we ignoring so many right now?
    I believe that it is our duty to help people. I don’t see the problem with stopping genocidal maniacs. I see your point that it will never end. That’s why I have stated that there are other ways besides waging war. Sanctions though usually don’t very effective are one way among many others. Was it right to sit back and allow one million Rwanda’s die? All it would have taken was a show of force to stop it, in my summation. Sometimes as history has proven just the appearance of strength is enough to stop these things. I have cited the Indian-Pakistan war of 1971, invasion of Iraq convinced Khadafi to give up nukes, and strength won the cold war against the soviets, strength made china compromise on the ‘peaceful unification’ of Taiwan. Aren’t those good things? The money of course is the problem seeing that not only do we have a several trillion dollar debt but thanks to Medicaid, SSI, and Medicare we have a 53 trillion dollar unfunded liability. With that said if we cleaned up all of our waste I have no doubts limited intervention would be more than affordable. We have to ignore so many now because we don’t the means to face them all. In some part thanks to Europe and NATO and their complete lack of attention to their own security. In my opinion we’d have to prioritize based on the ease of which the problem can be solved, where it is, the threat level to us, our friends, etc. In essence people smarter than me should do it.

    This position of yours is horribly immoral, for it un-Constitutionally drains blood and treasure in pursuit of an fantasy that will never be realized. There will always be evil men reigning with blood and horror on this earth until Christ comes. Your position consigns us to a fate of perpetual warfare, which as the Founders repeatedly said, serves as the breeding grounds for an assault on domestic liberty.How is it immoral to prevent genocide? I see you point domestically but what about my argument if American lives were not threatened and all we did was a show of force like in 1971? Has there ever been a situation when military force was justified outside of the scriptures? If so please explain why.

    You’re right: we have no idea what the Lord can fix out of the messes we create. As vontrapp said in #71, this is quite a feasible result. But it is presumptuous to argue that this military invasion is in direct fulfillment of God’s commandment or will, and that it is the best method of bringing about the result.I have never said that. In fact I have stated that I don’t know and my criticism is how do you know it’s not? I don’t presume to know the will of God as some have implied they do.
    Besides, God is a God of law. He would not establish a Constitution, say that anything more or less than it comes of evil, and then encourage or approve of us completely disregarding it.
    We come down again to the interpretation of the Constitution. Again I agree with you in principle and I know you’ll use that as a sign of me trying to manipulate you or ‘soften the blow’ but sometimes in order to save something you must bend the rules a little. Why did God approve of genocide in the land of Canaan? He wouldn’t tell people not to kill and then disregard his own laws. I don’t know why it happened but I am sure that God knows. I am sure they probably were guilty of enough sin to warrant death. How do you know that your strict interpretation of the Constitution is the same as God’s? We know that he doesn’t give us exact rules and laws for everything. He allows us to judge for ourselves what is prudent, righteous, and uplifting according to the gospel. It is not my intention to rile you up or offend you. I am not implying that mine is either just saying again back to the historical arguments for different interpretations of the Constitution. Until the prophets come out and say that (x) interpretation of the commerce clause is what God intended and (x) interpretation of the elastic clause then we really don’t know. We look to the actions and writings of the founders but they were so divided on the same issues that this often doesn’t resolve the problem either.

    War is only necessary in self-defense, or if, for whatever reason, God explicitly commands it through established and authorized channels. Let’s be absolutely clear about that.
    I would argue that would have had to attack Iraq for self defense. I disagree with the timing of the war but agree that we would have eventually had to do something about the Hussein family in order to protect both the homeland and our citizens abroad. He thumbed his nose far too long at the world to have any amount of credibility that he wouldn’t pursue more chemical weapons or use the one’s he never accounted for pre-gulf war. I know you’ve hashed this one out as well so no need to dispute the details just answer my main assumption please. You stance on Afghanistan would be much appreciate so I could understand you stance in this area of conversation. How does God explicitly command us to go to war? Does a prophet have to come and state without question ‘I want every LDS member if able to join the military’ or this war is God’s will because…or something like that. I believe Dan made excellent points in your debate about President Hinckley’s talk. Again not need to rehash the topic but I don’t presume to know if this war is his will or not but neither do you.

    Um, you might want to review the oath taken by the military. That pesky Constitution gets in the way, again.
    Unfortunately the ‘oath taken by the military’ is not in the Constitution so it doesn’t get ‘in the way.’ Now I imagine you are referring to the oath that has also evolved over time. Now according to what the Founders established they are required to “observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.” It seems that they did originally swear to follow the Presidents orders as long as it was ‘according to the rule…’ Now I have never studied this and I find it fascinating but I would suspect that it refers to not obeying an order that would try and impose despotism or control over the populace like GB did to us. It didn’t mean that the President couldn’t order them to war when we thought we were being threatened. For example I refer you back again to the Barbary Wars. According from what I understand from your argument we shouldn’t have become involved. I might be wrong in that assessment but either way I believe it was in accordance to the oath and the Constitution. Of course you shouldn’t follow immoral orders we can see from Nuremberg where that gets you. But the argument can be made that morality is relative because everyone has their own moral code to live by. We both share the same morals so it’s not necessary to go down that road. This is a point that is far from my main point that I don’t know why we are even debating it.

    It’s unscholarly to review past wars and judge the way in which they were fought?
    To expand on this because it’s obvious to me know this can be taken out of context. To quote David D. Hall in his book “World of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Beliefs in Early New England” he stated “We risk asking more of people in the past then they themselves expected.” It’s ahistorical to impose our own moral codes or judgments on people in the past without looking at it from their point of view and in their time period. I said this when talking about Indochina with vontrapp. We carpet bombed much of Vietnam. In hindsight was it wrong, you bet! Was the firebombing of Dresden wrong? Yes! Was the bombing of Tokyo wrong? Of course. But in the their time and based on the best knowledge they had at the time it was in accordance to how wars were fought at the time. Slavery was a horrible thing but we can’t with a broad brush call all of the colonists as racists without studying how slavery came to by and why it was accepted at the time. I am not excusing their behavior just saying you can’t judge the past from the present.

    Who is looking the other way? I and others on this blog are likely far more engaged, interested, and desirous to help then your average American.
    I know that you help a lot of people. I am not referring to your charity or anything like that. This was in reference to Kelly mainly and the rest who don’t believe military intervention is ever justified. Let’s say just across the border in Mexico you see a gang of people attacking and beating some young girls. Is it not your moral and ethical responsibility to try and stop them? Sure you’d be breaking the law by crossing into Mexico illegally and you might even use disproportional force on them but isn’t it ok if you save lives? Why is it not ok to bend some rules for the greater good? At times the spirit of the law needs to be followed and not just the letter of the law.

    So you’re complicit right now in all the murders, deaths, rapes, robbery, and every evil action happening worldwide? Come now, Chris. You know better than that.
    You’re cherry picking a statement to make me look bad Connor. It was you along with others that have said that Bush and others have blood on their hands for the consequences of the war. All I am doing is giving it back in return. If he and other are responsible for their actions why aren’t you and others responsible for your inactions? I believe the last episode of Seinfeld deals with the point I am trying to make here.

    Then UN should not exist. Sovereignty cannot co-exist with world government.
    I agree with you 100%. I just mentioned the UN so that I wouldn’t have to waste time responding to it if that was vontrapp’s counter argument. I admit that I should have know better. I’ll get to your list later. I don’t know if I mentioned that but I am done with this today.

  91. Daniel
    December 18, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Chris – that last part was a tangent on Connor’s comment.

  92. Connor
    December 18, 2008 at 11:57 pm #

    Connor I love how you dismiss other people’s valid historical interpretations of the Constitution as folly.

    I’m not sure where you’re coming from with this. I asked you an open ended question (“Which is…?”) because you mentioned a “strong argument” without specifying what exactly that was. I was asking you for detail, yet you think I’m dismissing a historical interpretation that I have not been presented. Hmmm…

    I disagree with them but I am open minded and know that they are doing what they believe to be right though they often do it in an unconstitutional sometimes immoral way. This is something I see you are lacking. I am sure you’ll have a clever comeback or quote but I do see your guy’s point of view even though most of you don’t see mine.

    On the contrary, my friend (to quote McCain), I and others here know exactly what your point of view is. We used to believe likewise, as many here have explained. We used to defend these actions and beliefs with equal vigor. So don’t claim that we don’t understand you, because I think we understand you quite well.

    On foreign policy while I understand his views I believe he his strict constitutional interpretations blinds him to reality that tough times call for tough measures. I am sure that you’ll pick this sentence you and refute it but I would ask you to answer my point not just one sentence please.

    You’re right, I can’t help but refute this. But I already did that on this post.

    The guy threw the shoe as a PR move.

    Yeah, that’s what Bush claimed. He downplayed the underlying issue and stated reason by the individual, instead declaring that the guy did it for some fame. Please! I’m sure that the guy was quite sincere and pissed off, and could not have cared less if anybody else was the wiser to his charade.

    I think it’s a big deal that you posted a link to a game where you could hit “Bush” in the face with a shoe.

    Have you ever played a video game, Chris, where the goal was to shoot the bad guy, be it an alien, a Nazi, a gangster, etc.? The vast majority of video games feature some type of villian that is usually an individual. I don’t play these games, but I’m well aware of them. Is your outrage just as seething for these types of games as the one I linked to? I would hope so, unless you elevate Bush over the others because he’s the President.

    Why can’t you bring yourself to say that the shoe thrower was wrong in attempting to physically assault our President? Why is that so hard?

    Because that’s not the point of this post at all, and your continual attempt to steer the conversation in that direction only further distracts from the original point. What I think about the action of the shoe is itself irrelevant. And it’s far less important than the actions that have affected millions of people throughout the world. Let’s put this in perspective, lest we try to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    I will apologize for my statement that you guys are historically ignorant when you guys acknowledge that Bush is not the worst President we’ve ever had.

    A conditional apology is of little value.

    The reason why I keep bringing this up Connor is because I would hope you’d be intellectually honest and admit that Bush isn’t the worst President ever.

    Okay, here you go: he’s one of the worst ever. He has lots of company and peers of ill repute.

    I hope that you didn’t try and score a cheap point due to my spelling error?

    What were you trying to spell?

    I am glad that you offered some of your own ideas. Are you willing to concede a genocide if we bring the troops home immediately?

    Nobody can predict the future, and I don’t appreciate fearmongering. Speculate as you may please, but any guilt-trip-induced policy such as this is on shaky ground.

    Terrorism: What would you do?

    Terrorism has always and will always exist. It’s a tactic, not a country or group of people. What would I do? I’d eliminate the numerous opportunities and invitations for attack that currently exist by sticking our hands in countries around the world. I’d secure our borders and lift up the standard of peace, creating an environment where we mind our own business and allow others to do the same. In short, I would remove the incentives for terrorists to bother us in the first place.

    Is Afghanistan a just war? If not what would you have done?

    Heavens, no. We’re nation building and policing the streets, not pursuing the original target of our military offense. I would issue letters of marque and reprisal as Ron Paul has suggested, and incentive others to give the guy up (who is likely already dead, by many accounts), rather than waste blood and treasure invading another country to go after one guy and his band of cohorts.

    Will you allow Iran to go nuclear?

    We’ve “allowed” plenty of other countries to go nuclear, haven’t we? Besides, Iran would be wiped off the map in a second if they attacked anybody, including Israel with its arsenal of nukes. Where do we get the authority to decide what weapons (of self-defense or otherwise; this is subject to judgment) another country may acquire and possess?

    If they do and use it against Israel what would you do?

    I would count the number of seconds before Iran goes bye bye.

    If Israel attacks Iran and Iran shuts off the Strait of Hormuz then what?

    Then it’s none of our business because we live on the other side of the world.

    I have little time or patience for a game of twenty (million) questions, so I’m going to cherry pick a few remaining ones before I call it quits.

    I never said I would ‘force’ people to be charitable.

    Sure you did, the second you involved government. Remember that Washington said that “government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.”

    You can’t just outright cut all the countries off because there would be huge blowback (if I may use that term) for that.

    Sometimes stopping cold turkey is the most effective way to quit. They are not entitled to our money, so I see no problem stopping the spigot that props up bad governments.

    How is it immoral to prevent genocide?

    It is immoral to consign a people to a perpetual state of warfare under the guise of fighting foreign enemies, taxing them and sending them off to die in unnecessary battles.

    Has there ever been a situation when military force was justified outside of the scriptures? If so please explain why.

    The revolutionary war was probably the only justifiable war we’ve engaged in as a nation.

    …but sometimes in order to save something you must bend the rules a little.

    Like Bush abandoning free market principles to save the free market? Hmmm…

    I would argue that would have had to attack Iraq for self defense.

    Iraq was in no way an immediate (or distant) threat to the national security of the mainland. Sure, they may have attacked some foreign forces, but there’s no way you can argue that Iraq would have had any ability in the distant future to attack the USA by sea, land, or air. Self-defense and Iraq shouldn’t even be in the same sentence.

    How does God explicitly command us to go to war?

    I think the scriptures satisfactorily answer that one. He uses a prophet.

    Unfortunately the ‘oath taken by the military’ is not in the Constitution so it doesn’t get ‘in the way.’

    I was referring to the fact that the Constitution is mentioned in the oath, not vice versa.

    Okay, I’m done with going in circles on this thread. Others may feel free to respond, but I’m moving on to other things for now. Enjoy.

  93. Brandon
    December 19, 2008 at 1:01 am #

    The book by Chalmers that says that out policy in this and many other areas around the world justify others actions against us is offensive! Now I don’t deny that blowback exists but in the case of 9/11 and Al-Qaeda it doesn’t. Even if it did purposely targeting and killing civilians is never justified in today’s world. To attempt to justify this behavior by the US’ foreign policy while it has often been stupid and moronic is exculpating the terrorists from their crimes. Again I am referring to the War on Terror specifically 9/11 and Afghanistan.

    I have to believe that you don’t actually believe Chalmers or any of us think that terrorists are justified in taking innocent life. I can only conclude that you were too busy lecturing about poor reading comprehension that you misunderstood the concept of blowback.

    If I pick a fight with someone and they kill me, could my death have been prevented? You might say sure, just don’t pick a fight with that guy.

    Essentially, we have been picking fights around the world and then we pretend that we don’t understand why people fight back. Our poor behavior does not excuse their poor behavior. However, if we ever hope to solve problems, we must first adjust our behavior and stop picking fights. I believe there is a saying about cleansing the inner vessel first that might apply here.

  94. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    Brandon,
    I apologize for my comment but you have to realize sarcasm and joking does not translate well in writing. Also, I do appreciate the way you have handled yourself in this debate. Other than the misunderstood joke you haven’t resorted to cheap shots so thanks! I apologize if I have done any to you! My point is using Copernicus and others was not to compare Bush to them. I do think you guys don’t give Bush enough credit. He’s a lot smarter than he seems but I admit he sure makes me doubt it at times. I explained my statement about my perceptions of ‘your historical ignorance’ in my response to Conner. I readily admit that you guys are intelligent, thoughtful, and caring people. I in no way have meant to diminish you personally but I just disagree with some of your opinions. As I have said and as Connor has pointed out to insult me, I probably agree with you guys on almost everything else expect foreign policy and President Bush. I have never pretended not to be a conservative. I have said that I don’t identify with many of the republican policies since they have abandoned conservative principles. In fact I would probably describe myself as a ‘neo-con.’ I do apologize I am a bit long winded but I am almost exclusively defending myself and my opinions against a larger number of people. I have been taken out of context several times so I tend to repeat myself to help prevent this but it continues to happen. I would ask for a little leeway on this and I’ll try to shorten up my comments. If my points are ‘too easily dismissed’ then do it. Dishonest politicians also just ignore questions they can’t answer for one reason or another. I will look into the text the problem is once school starts all I do is read so it’s hard to do any personal reading. I will take your advice and check out the blowback book even though I already know what it’s going to say. I would ask the same considerations from you. I believe my initial argument in this blog was to not celebrate the shoe thrower which has been done if not overtly then implicitly and that Bush is not the worst President ever! It was obviously gone onto many things after that.

  95. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 1:02 am #

    Kelly,
    Of course you disagree but by not answering my questions you are refusing to defend you own opinions and assumptions. I pose too many rhetorical questions I know and I am sorry for that. For my other questions that I pose to counter you ideas, what’s wrong with that? I have done my best to defend myself and answer your questions why can’t you do the same? The context of the President Benson quote is important. The consequences for your anti-war policy are important? I don’t apologize for questioning your obviously strongly held views. I’ve come to grips with the good and the bad of my politics have you? I can guarantee you the minute our government turns into a dictatorship I’ll be one of first to grab my gun and overthrow it in accordance with the Declaration of Independence and the Lockean philosophy on which much of it is based.
    Yes, President Bush someone you believe is dumber than a box of rocks was able to manipulate and deceive many of the smartest most experienced people in the world and orchestrate the 9/11 attacks. Not only did was he complicit in it he brought down WTC #7 on purpose but that’s not all. Not only was this ‘moron’ so smart and clever that he has been able to keep everyone involved in the ‘false flag operation’ quiet for over seven years. Now common sense alone would dictate that the chances of this are near impossible. The government probably hasn’t told us everything but to say that they were complicit in the attacks borders on paranoia. I believe South Park has been able to refute this conspiratorial claim not to mention Popular Mechanics and many other organizations. Yours and others opinions would hold more water if you didn’t seek out the conspiracies behind everything. I honestly want to know Kelly after the 9/11 attacks would you have done nothing? When is military force ok with you? Please don’t give me your standard answer. If we were invaded could we then defend ourselves? If terrorists were transporting a nuclear bomb on a boat destined for NY could we stop them? I am really not trying to demean you, just figure you out.

  96. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 3:03 am #

    I know I said I was done but I can’t sleep, sorry. I know I have been pretty relentless with you guys and I do appreciate your comments. I’ll make my rebuttals to Conner and then do my best to stop belaboring my points over and over.

    I’m not sure where you’re coming from with this. I asked you an open ended question (”Which is…?”)
    I am sorry I misunderstood this one. Well, it can be argued and has been by several of my history professors and by other books I have read that the Federalist response would be that if power has shifted toward the federal government it is because the majority of the sovereign people wanted it that way–and that such is the prerogative of the sovereign or ‘We the people.’ Even though it would not be Constitutional, the whim of the people in our type of government is what dictates where our country goes but electing those with whom they agree. A quote from a Founder is of note here though I for some reasons have lost who said it, “The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will.” That’s the other argument in a nutshell. Morgan’s book which I mentioned previously explains it very well.

    Yeah, that’s what Bush claimed. He downplayed the underlying issue and stated reason by the individual, instead declaring that the guy did it for some fame.
    I will be awaiting your apology when my prediction comes true…

    Is your outrage just as seething for these types of games as the one I linked to? I would hope so, unless you elevate Bush over the others because he’s the President.
    I have explained this several times but just in case you missed it. You should respect the office of the President! We didn’t treat the President of Iran that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of soldiers in Iraq like this. Every person no matter his policies should be afforded a certain respect and be treated as you would like to be treated. I don’t think that conservatives should throw shoes at Ron Paul just because he wants to abandon South Korea, Eastern Europe or Taiwan? Of course I’ve played video games but it’s all about intent Connor. A game that is designed to mock the event is not designed for entertainment purposes it’s designed to demean and poke fun and what could have been a serious situation. I understand it wasn’t the main point of your blog but again if you don’t denounce it you are agreeing with it. If you know someone committed a crime and don’t report it you become a complicit in it. It’s the same principle.

    Okay, here you go: he’s one of the worst ever. He has lots of company and peers of ill repute.
    Wow! I am proud of you! Now that you’ve admitted that you will slowly start to realize that he isn’t as vile and horrible as you think…(the last part is sarcasm by the way)

    What were you trying to spell?
    Yeah sorry about that. After I posted it I remembered I never told you what I meant. It was supposed to be readers.

    Nobody can predict the future, and I don’t appreciate fearmongering. Speculate as you may please, but any guilt-trip-induced policy such as this is on shaky ground.
    I doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this one coming. After the first few years of the war when the Coalition Forces was the only thing standing between chaos and semi chaos I would think the future would be easily discernible. I guess not. I didn’t mean to be a fear monger but it’s going to happen. If your policy is done and it happens I will be awaiting your apology. If it doesn’t I will afford you the same.

    In short, I would remove the incentives for terrorists to bother us in the first place.
    Again thanks for actually making your solutions to the problems. You’re a cut above everyone else I’ve talked to on the subject that only complain and whine but don’t have any ideas themselves. This is where my major disagreement lies. I believe you and most Ron Paul supporters are dangerously naïve. I believe that you don’t understand the nature of this war at all. I believe I refuted your claims for the starting of the war and even if your claims were true we’ve gone past the ‘point of no return’ to quote Phantom of the Opera, where if we left them alone now they wouldn’t stop. The jihadists want to destroy American and in its place establish a theocracy. Sharia law is already acceptable in some parts of the British Isles. Terrorists are all over Europe and the upcoming generation of ‘home grown’ terrorists proves that they are slowly but surely changing European society from within. Some times through political means other times through violent means. I know this sounds redundant to the Vietnam justifications but by their own words and deeds they will follow us home and in fact some are already here! You can call it fear mongering all you want but sometimes it’s better to embrace reality than live in a fantasy.

    Heavens, no. We’re nation building and policing the streets, not pursuing the original target of our military offense. I would issue letters of marque and reprisal as Ron Paul has suggested, and incentive others to give the guy up (who is likely already dead, by many accounts), rather than waste blood and treasure invading another country to go after one guy and his band of cohorts.
    The original target was Al-Qaeda and its supporters in Afghanistan namely the Taliban. Now taking into account that we had already involved ourselves in the country to defeat the Soviets and then abandoned them just as quickly are you really advocating that same policy that eventually led to 9/11? If would have helped them out then we wouldn’t have the problems we have now. Also, bin Laden has had a large amount of money placed on his head since 1996 and nothing has happened. Well, Clinton had an opportunity to take him but that is another story. Seeing that no one has betrayed him and turned him over even though we have wanted and encouraged people to do so for a dozen years the chances are rare that it will happen.

    Besides, Iran would be wiped off the map in a second if they attacked anybody, including Israel with its arsenal of nukes. Where do we get the authority to decide what weapons (of self-defense or otherwise; this is subject to judgment) another country may acquire and possess?
    Iran and the theology of the Ayatollahs believe that it is their mission in order to hasten the coming of the 12th Imam or whatever number it is (our second coming) by starting an apocalyptic war. People who believe that they will be rewarded in heaven with virgins if they die fighting us don’t worry too much about reprisal and the Cold War thoughts of Mutually Assured Destruction. We get the authority to deny them the weapons of mass murder because they have stated what they plan on doing when they get a nuclear weapon. The will seek to ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map’ and then they’ll come for us. Europe would have done well to believe the words of Hitler and the Nazi’s in 1933 and in his book Mein Campf instead of dismissing them.

    Then it’s none of our business because we live on the other side of the world.
    It’s none of our business if the Strait of Hormuz is blocked off? 30% of the world’s oil flows through that strait. If is closed for a month our current economic crisis will look like the City of Enoch in comparison. That’s not my assessment that’s the assessment of many experts and from a professor I had who was from Iran. Due to our stupid energy policy the Strait of Hormuz is one of the most critical pieces of real-estate in the world.

    Sometimes stopping cold turkey is the most effective way to quit. They are not entitled to our money, so I see no problem stopping the spigot that props up bad governments.
    You have to understand the consequences of your choices Connor. So let’s say we cut off all funding to Pakistan right now. The countries government would most likely be overthrown in a matter of months and terrorist would have control of 80-100 nuclear weapons with the missile technology to reach Europe. This would force the regional powers to act to prevent this and thus a bloody regional war is started involving almost half the world’s population. I think common sense would be our best course and cut back slowly and allow them some time to adjust.

    It is immoral to consign a people to a perpetual state of warfare under the guise of fighting foreign enemies, taxing them and sending them off to die in unnecessary battles.
    You never answered my question. You just explained it away by stating that our involvement wars would never end. Your point is a good one but you are ignoring the moral implications of doing nothing when it is in our ability and by the gospel teachings moral to help.

    The revolutionary war was probably the only justifiable war we’ve engaged in as a nation.
    Thank you for answering my question that I have wanted answered since the beginning of this thread. I just want you to know I have many things to say about this but I realize I have bloviated enough already today, so I won’t.

    Like Bush abandoning free market principles to save the free market? Hmmm…
    That’s not an answer. That’s a sarcastic remark. I imagine that you’d say no to which I would reply that I disagree for the extensive list of reasons I have previously stated.

    Iraq was in no way an immediate (or distant) threat to the national security of the mainland. Sure, they may have attacked some foreign forces, but there’s no way you can argue that Iraq would have had any ability in the distant future to attack the USA by sea, land, or air. Self-defense and Iraq shouldn’t even be in the same sentence.
    Abbu Abbas who hijacked an Italian cruise ship, Abdul Rahman Yasin who mixed the chemicals for the ’96 WTC attacks, Zarqawi well we know about him, and before bin Laden the most wanted terrorist Abu Nidal were all being harbored in Iraq. But what could a couple of evil, diabolical, maniacs ever hope to do to the US? That’s not mentioning Saddam’s unaccounted for chemical weapons and some of the other suspicious material found like large amounts of chlorine and pesticides. Not to mention his wanton disregard for the rule of law and constant obsession to reinstate his WMD programs. Former Iraqi General Georges Sada who was a member of Saddam’s inner circle said that the weeks prior to the invasion that the chemical and biological weapons Saddam hadn’t destroy from the First Gulf War and for which he never accounted were transported to Syria. From the very mouths to my own ears of the CIA Iraq Survey Group they can neither confirm nor deny this. I would rather be wrong and safe than idle and vulnerable. You’re right no threat at all (sarcasm intended). Just because they don’t have the means to ‘attack’ the US directly doesn’t mean they are not capable of handing this stuff off to people that can. It would be very easy with our horrible border security to sneak a WMD across the border. This is why many of us DID change after 9/11. We realized what a small group of committed psychopaths are capable of and how far they’re willing to go. That’s one of many lessons. So yes Iraq would have if left to their own devices been a very serious threat to the USA in the future.

    I won’t bother going over the Kucinich link since you obviously have run out of patience with me. I’ll just say that to be brief Article VI. His interpretation of the Article VI of the US Constitution isn’t even close. This misunderstanding of one of the most straight forward articles of the entire Constitution casts all his other points into serious doubt. I didn’t read them all I only skimmed a few that stood out to me but they were equally full of fallacies.

  97. Jeremy Ashton
    December 19, 2008 at 7:56 am #

    I had a great thought last night. What if we started a campaign to send old, smelly shoes to G.W. Bush before he leaves office as a “thanks” for all he has done for our country over the past 8 years? It might cause all senders to hit the radar of the Powers That Be – but they probably already have a pretty good list on us already. Should I run with this idea????

  98. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Brandon #93,

    I might have misunderstood Chalmers theory but I doubt it. I think his main point was to complain that our involvement in Asia and our propping of Japan basically lead us to surrender most of our manufacturing jobs to them thus threatening our economy. Isn’t that also part of this ‘blowback?’ Of course this theory is highly questionable because in the 90’s their economy went in the tank while I was suffered but not nearly to the extent of Japan. So our economic policy wasn’t as bad as he might have you believe. I do agree that it wasn’t smart but our continues job creation and ecomic growth disproves the fact that we need our economy needs to be based on manufacturing to survive. It would probably be more secure if we did but that’s not what Chalmers was arguing according to my understanding. My issue with the whole ‘blowback’ is that people use it as a blame America first argument. “If we would just leave them alone they’d leave us alone.” Even if that we true, which it is not for terrorism as I have previously explained I believe that option has long since passed us. Your theory does have validity in many aspects of history and foreign policy just not this one! Now if some ‘honest research’ can disprove my explanation of the causes of the War on Terror and the jihadists goals in this war then by all means…

  99. Kelly W.
    December 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm #

    @ Chris,

    You state: “I am really not trying to demean you, just figure you out.”

    I read in one of your posts that you served a mission. You will then understand one of the arguments wherein you might state that if Joseph Smith were a true prophet, and the Book of Mormon is a true book, then it could also follow that there were actually elephants in the Americas and the genetics showing no Old World genes in Indians are false. You could then understand that whatever anyone argued against the unbelievable story about “golden plates” would not mean a thing. Either Joseph Smith was a prophet, or he wasn’t.

    I am using the same principle when I state that 9/11 was an inside job, a false flag operation, and therefore whatever you state or ask when it concerns the outcome of the hoax of a War on Terror is also false. This is the reason I do not agree with anything you say. Your assumptions are based on what I believe to be a false premise from the get-go.

    So, since you want to figure me out, and really are sincere about it, I have put my own personal 9/11 story on the internet so everybody can read it, including you. I will not take the time to keep responding to your hypothetical questions.

    You can get to my personal 9/11 story by going to my webpage at http://kellysgarden.googlepages.com and then clicking on “my personal 9/11 story.”

  100. Kelly W.
    December 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    More news today about shoe-throwers in Iraq:

    McClatchy reports that university students in the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah west of Baghdad held a demonstration on Wednesday in which they waved their shoes and threw stones at US troops. McClatchy writes:

    ‘ Students raised their shoes and threw rocks at American soldiers, who reportedly opened fire above the crowd. Protesters said that indirect fire wounded one student, Zaid Salih. U.S. forces haven’t confirmed the account. “We demonstrated to express our support for Muntathar al Zaidi, but we were surprised with the entrance of the U.S. military,” said Ahmed Ismail, one of the protesters. “Unconsciously, we raised our shoes expressing our support for al Zaidi, but they attacked us.” ‘

    McClatchy reports a general mood in Iraq in the wake of the shoe-throwing, of “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. The mood was manifested when drivers refused to let Iraqi soldiers close the road in front of the green zone on Wednesday, and ignored their warning shots.

    There were pro-Muntazar demonstrations on Wednesday in Beirut, where students beat effigies of Bush with shoes, and in Lahore, Pakistan, where journalists came out in support of their colleague.

  101. Brandon
    December 19, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    My issue with the whole ‘blowback’ is that people use it as a blame America first argument.

    As a point of illustration, I think you should know that the phrase “blame America first” is highly partisan and seems to me to be a very inaccurate way to describe the opposition’s position (since it inherently calls into question their judgment, patriotism and loyalty). I think you continue to misunderstand if you think we are blaming America for the evil behavior of others. Terrorists are not justified in killing innocent people. However, as long as we continue to act throughout the world in a manner that inspires bad people to do bad things, we will always bear some responsibility for the outcome. I notice you did not address my (admitedly silly) example of me being killed by someone I picked a fight with. In that case, the blame would belong with the murder. However, if we criticised my choise to pick a fight with someone, would that make us a “blame Brandon first” crowd?

    “If we would just leave them alone they’d leave us alone.” Even if that we true, which it is not for terrorism as I have previously explained I believe that option has long since passed us. Your theory does have validity in many aspects of history and foreign policy just not this one

    I disagree. I think if we left them alone, they largely would leave us alone. While there are undoubtedly some in this world who would seek to commit violence against us in spite of a more humble foreign poilicy. But if this were the case, we would still be in a much better position to deal with such people because our resources would not be stretched thin throughout the world maintaining an empire. Also, we would be in a much better position morally, because war is justified when in self defense. Unfortunately, when you pick fights around the world, it is difficult to claim self defense.

  102. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 7:08 pm #

    Kelly,
    I being a man of my word I did check out your story and I did you one better. I have spent at least two hours researching 9/11. I will assume since I have taken this time for your argument that you’d take the time to listen to the rebuttal. I’ll get to that later. First I’d like to respond to your story. I hope you’ll forgive the length of my response but as you know I do like to bloviate a bit. Also the gene argument has been explained by a few LDS academics. It’s actually quite interesting!

    I am glad that you shared the story with me. I do enjoy learning what makes people tick and after this lengthy debate I understand your and other’s stance much better so I thank you. The WMD argument as I believe was stated on a different blog is not provable either way. Mustard gas has in fact been found in Iraq and the material necessary to make more was also found. I believe soldieroftruth gave you the resources for that. While I didn’t go into much depth into that blog I have hear many reports of the same so it confirmed what I already knew. The facts I mention about the CIA Iraq Study Group and General Sada also hint to the transportation of Saddam’s WMD’s to Syria. Again this cannot be proven but neither can it be proven. So I would ask you to refrain from stating that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s because the “absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” I believe too many people use the ‘absence’ of WMD’s as the excuse for the ‘lies’ of Bush to go to war. When in fact there are dozens more international acceptable reasons for the war. Even if the WMD is false the many violations of the UN treaties was reason enough to act militarily in Iraq. I know you don’t think we should ever do that and we’ve discussed that but with your Constitutional interpretations aside international law did justify a military response to deny the legitimacy of it would be disingenuous.

    I agree that the US Media didn’t do its job asking tough questions but neither did our elected representatives. This fact would make them equally culpable so according to your opinions they should all be drug in front of the ICC and charged (though the US doesn’t believe in it) or our courts if you prefer. Of course there has a huge disparity of reporting between countries. It all has to do with perception. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t care what Germany and its populace thinks (mostly). To make a long story short when Reagan went and gave his famous speech at the Brandenburg Bridge in 1987 more Berliners protested than supported Reagan. Now as history has proven Reagan foreign policy and tough stance against the Soviets proved to be their ultimate undoing. They were right to protest because they would have been the first casualties if war had started but it didn’t. They failed then as they fail now to understand the threat and prepare accordingly. Also, they for whatever reason have utterly failed to live up to their NATO commitments in Afghanistan so again what Europe thinks and reports, especially Germany is of little concern to me. I am not surprised that the Germans hate Bush. Most of Europe hate Bush again I would argue that Bush will be proven right and we’ll be forced to send more brave young men and women to defend them against the growing threat of their ‘home grown’ terrorists that are at this very moment threatening the continent.

    Of course after a half hour you became convinced about the 9/11 conspiracy. If you Google 9/11 you’ll get 211 million hits the majority are about this ‘conspiracy.’ It’s hard to be unbiased when you don’t spend equal time listening to both sides. If I had only watched Al Gore’s movie I’d be convinced the CO2 drives temperatures but with a few minutes of research I’ve found that to be untrue. George Bush isn’t a true ‘neo-con.’ If he was the majority of the policies he has done which I have listed previously wouldn’t have been done. He is a neo-con on foreign policy and on the War on Terror but to say that “the Republican Party having been hijacked by the neo-cons” isn’t accurate. I prove my point the fact that we nominated McCain as our nominee.

    Once Obama get’s sworn in and Bush is made dictator of the USA are you going to apologize for you assumptions of the patriot act and attempted to seize power’ with that of Hitler?” Your assumption would have to be wrong if he gives up power or do you think that Obama and him share a common goal and have been planning this since the beginning? Your analysis of Utahn’s is pretty much dead on. I could give you a short list of reasons why they tend to be republican and democrat but that point isn’t important. Just as you said that Utahn’s once convinced hold tightly to their values both religious and political; I could also infer the same thing with your tight hold to the 9/11 conspiracy as well.

    I was frustrated to find that the power of the Mainstream Media was powerful enough in its propaganda to convince the general populace that Bush had actually “won” the election. “(I believe Bush did NOT win, but the vote was manipulated.)”
    Of course you can prove that he stole the election right?

    Now back to the beginning. I would ask you in to humor me and check out the following website and listen to an interesting debate by your ‘Loose Change’ people. I would be interested in your thoughts on the debate. It has 6 parts of about 10 minutes each. Also I still would like to know when specifically we can use military force? To understand you more are all terrorists’ attacks done by the government? If no then would it be ok to respond to them?
    Popular Mechanics
    911 Myths
    Skeptic Magazine

  103. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    Brandon,
    Of course that phrase is highly partisan but if it’s true, it’s true. I never said that you personally or anyone else here believes that but there are many that use the same blowback theory to do blame America first. Look at Hollywood and George Galloway for proof. I forget to mention your example. I thought it was good but it ignores my original point. The historical beginning and reasons of bin Laden’s hatred for America wasn’t born out of any aggressive or incompetence of ours. I’d be interested in your view point on this.
    While you have every right to disagree with my assessment I still believe you are ignoring the intentions of the terrorists. They will never stop until we convert to Islam either willingly or by force and radical Islam rules the world. That’ not my opinion that’s their own teachings. We would be in more danger because if we left them alone half the world would soon be under tyrannical Islamic rule armed with nuclear weapons. This would make their attempts to attack us much more dangerous. I do not believe we can just ‘leave them alone’ and hope for the best. You do have a point that it we did consolidate our forces here we’d probably be stronger but at what cost? Wasn’t that the exact argument at the Munich Conference when Europe sold out the Sudetenland to Hitler? Are we doomed to allow Hezbollah and others commit another holocaust? The world would go to hell in a hand basket in a few years time.

  104. Kelly W.
    December 19, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    Sorry Chris, I am done with you. You will not stop until I do.

  105. Brandon
    December 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    The historical beginning and reasons of bin Laden’s hatred for America wasn’t born out of any aggressive or incompetence of ours. I’d be interested in your view point on this.

    I don’t know all of the reason’s why Bin Laden choose to pursue violent Jihad against the US. I do know, however, that some of the primary factors were the US presence in Saudi Arabia, the bombing of Iraq in the mid to late 90’s and our financial support of Isreal. All three of those fall under the category of picking fights with others, in my view.

    I still believe you are ignoring the intentions of the terrorists. They will never stop until we convert to Islam either willingly or by force and radical Islam rules the world.

    That may be true for some of them. Left to their own devices, I believe they would constitute a slim minority in the muslim world. Sadly, it is the actions of our own country that have enabled many of these extremist groups to achieve power. Both Iran and Afghanistan had somewhat moderate governments and fairly modern societies before we got involved. In both cases, our meddling led to radical islamists coming to power. Our continued presence only infuriates the more moderate elements in the muslim world, who would be the very people we need to fight the extremists if we ever hope to see peace in that region of the world.

  106. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 10:28 pm #

    Kelly,
    I can’t blame you I have been quite relentless but can you same that you have not been the same. Putting up stickers in the dead of night. Burning DVD’s etc? It’s unfortunate that you can’t investigate these things with an open mind. I gave you a link to a debate when ‘your side’ and ‘my side’ debate their points. Why can’t you at least watch it? I took the time to read your story I even read the arguments of the ‘9/11 Truthers’ on several website but then I sought out the other side and found them more convincing for many reasons. I am sorry that you can’t bring yourself to at least see the other side of this issue and rebut facts. I have meant no disrespect to you personally but have only sought to question your ideas and opinions. If you are not able to defend them in a logical, factual way that’s on you.

  107. Carborendum
    December 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    From Thomas More’s Utopia

    . . . for if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this but that you first make thieves and then punish them?

    But then again, it was a somewhat communistic novel by a man who was proclaimed a saint by burning lots of people at the stake.

  108. Chris
    December 19, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    Brandon,
    And then there were two… The royal family of Saudi Arabia invited us there because they knew that if Saddam invaded they would not be able to resist him. Bin Laden offered the royal family to bring his fighters from Afghanistan and other places to fight Saddam if he invaded but the Saudi’s weren’t convinced that bin Laden would be successful so they chose to invite us. Bin Laden hates us because he believes allowing ‘infidels’ on the Holy Land is a desecration, which is why he also wants to overthrow the royal family to punish them for allowing such desecration. He also hates our support for Israel and probably some other issues but these are the main ones. He didn’t much care for us before 1990 when our troops went to protect the Saudi’s but he wasn’t bent on destroying us either. While I understand your blowback policy is still applicable in my view it isn’t an accurate explanation for our current situation. Of course us being in the ‘Holy Land’ would tick some people off but we had every right to go there. It’s nto like we forced ourselves upon them.
    Bin Laden & Saddam rarely saw eye to eye and he didn’t care much what happened to him. By the time Clinton bombed Iraq in the 90’s Bin Laden already hated us and had already attacked us several times. Al-Qeada bombed the Yemen in 1992, WTC in 1993, US embassies in Tanzania & Kenya in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, Istanbul in 2003, and of course 9/11 which was being planned in the mid to late 90’s.
    Afghanistan to my knowledge has never had much of a government. A communist government with backing of the Soviet took over in the late 70’s and when they ran into trouble the Soviet’s decided to intervene and invaded on Christmas day 1979. He provided weapons and money to Mujahedeen and helped them defeat the Soviets. With our goals met we left the mujahedeen and other groups to fight amongst themselves with the weapons we had given them. The country there went back and forth between very weak governments until the Taliban took over in 1996. Iran of course is pretty much all our fault. I partially argue that our presence ‘infuriates’ the moderates. The Kurds absolutely love us (mostly). Roughly 1/3 of the population of Iran hates the current government and would overthrow them in a second if they could. Many other Arabs agree with us but I’d say the majority probably are at least concerned about our presence if not greatly annoyed.
    It is in many instances ‘our fault’ but does that mean we should let them run their course? That’s what I don’t understand. They want to establish a Middle Eastern Islamic empire and slowly expand into Indonesia, western china, northern Africa, and then on into Europe. That’s the religious doctrine; to convert the world with words or with the sword. It makes no difference to them.

  109. Curtis
    December 20, 2008 at 2:21 am #

    Sorry to come late to this thread. I was thrilled to see Bush insulted by this man. Hopefully, Bush’s entire legacy will be summarized by this action for the history books forever. Bush now has had shoes thrown at him but shoes are hardly comparable to what he has thrown at the Iraqi people. See this link for an example of what kind of stuff Bush has been throwing around:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac6jFHI8cZs&eurl=&feature=player_embedded

  110. Clumpy
    December 20, 2008 at 2:30 am #

    I’ve never understood this “blame America first” talking point. No, we don’t seek to blame ourselves any more than we wish to blame others about whom we have even less information, but what raving ultranationalists like Sean Hannity apparently don’t understand is that you have to take credit for your mistakes and do your best to shape them up.

  111. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    What an insult. I have studied 9/11 for literally thousands of hours, and Chris purports to know better than I after he’s studied it for two hours.

    http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200704/JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf

  112. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    An article on shoe-throwing in today’s news:
    __________________________

    Shoe-assault served Bush well, some US citizens say
    http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/12/21/10268808.html

    12/20/2008 11:00 PM | By Bassam Za’za’, Senior Reporter

    San Francisco: US President George Bush deserved the shoes-assault by Iraqi journalist, some US citizens told Gulf News.

    “A number of shoes should be hurled at him, equivalent to the number of deaths he has caused since the start of the Iraq’s war in 2003,” said Luci, a female cashier at one of Walgreens stores in San Francisco city.

    “Since he invaded Iraq in 2003 for reasons that later turned out to be baseless, President Bush ‘insulted the Arab world and rubbed their faces in mud. Now it’s about time someone rises and confronts him by any means,” she added.

    Gulf News hit the roads in San Francisco and interviewed a cross-section of individuals who conveyed their happiness and appreciation to Muntadar Al Zaidi, the 29-year-old Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes to president Bush during a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Al Zaidi works for Cairo-based Al Baghdadeya TV.

    “I am sure most residents in California state were happy to see that brave journalist giving Bush a well-deserved treatment,” said Mathew M, a tourist guide based in San Francisco’s Union Square. “He has not only insulted the Arab nation but he also ridiculed the American nation with his unjustified war against Iraqis. The action served him well, as I believe the journalist was only expressing the feelings of many other Iraqis.

    And Bud, a 34-year-old taxi driver echoed the same sentiments. “All Iraqis, given the chance, should hurl their shoes at Bush,” he said.

    Bold nerves

    Barbara, who works at the Bank of America, said Bush should be taken to a public square in Iraq and suffer more humiliation after what he did to that country. “I was thrilled to know that it was during a live broadcast as many people got to witness the ordeal,” he said.

    Rob, a waiter at a restaurant in Pier 1 area down San Francisco Bay, said the media is the world’s strongest weapon and what that courageous Iraqi journalist did requires ‘bold nerves’ to throw shoes at the president of the country that destroyed and occupied his homeland.

    “That’s the best moment of the century,” he said.

    Malaysia: Al Zaidi praised

    Malaysia’s foreign minister has praised the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at President George W. Bush, saying it was the “best show of retaliation” for the US invasion of Iraq.

    Rais Yatim praised “the shoe-throwing act by that remarkable reporter who gave President Bush his final farewell.

    “That shoe-throwing episode, in my view, is truly the best weapon of mass destruction to the leader who coined the phrase ‘axis of evil’ to denote Iran, Iraq and North Korea,” he said in a speech late on Friday at a dinner to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations. Malaysia opposes the US-led war in Iraq.

    – AP

  113. Chris
    December 20, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    What am I to infer from your constant refusal to answer the majority of my questions? I didn’t mean to imply that I ‘know better.’ I have no doubt that you’ve spent many hours but quantity does not equal quality. I have watched and looked at a large amount of ‘truther’ evidence and watched Loose Change and other documentaries not in their entirety. Why does the 9/11 Mysteries Documentary contradict itself several times stating the towers were first brought down with explosions (which have never before been used in controlled demolitions) and late state that you could see the implosions? Why did they take edit the construction worker’s interview to further their own agenda? Why do they make the assumption that if something sounds like a ‘bomb’ or an ‘explosion’ must mean it is? Why do they purposely only show one side of WTC #7 which ‘coincedentally doesn’t show any of the damage or the fire? Why do they assume that it was a controlled explosion when it was done so crappily and damaged several another buildings? Do you believe the Loose Change movie even after the Director and Producer admit that it contained many errors and wrong assumptions forcing them to make a second edition? Could it be they have a financial stake in hyping the conspiracy to make money? If it was a controlled demolition when did they set up all the explosives? Why did no one notice the tens of thousands of feet of blasting cord that would be needed? Why did they do through all the trouble of the attack just to destroy some documents in WTC #7? Why did they have to bring the towers down when the planes crashing into them would have been sufficient? Why after seven years and the hundreds of people that must have been involved how come no one has come out stating the truth? Why doesn’t Dr. Jones get his paper peer reviewed by the experts in the field that his paper is discussing? Hundreds of peer reviewed papers have been published explaining what happened while none have been to explain your theories? Why has Jones stated that thermite was used to bring down the towers when that assumption is easily dismissed by common sense? (He was demoted you might say for stating this theory by the Scholar of 9/11 or whatever they call themselves). Do you really think our incompetent government was able to pull off such a ‘successful’ and seemingly ‘flawless’ attack on itself? Why do all of the documentaries by the ‘truthers’ I’ve watched argue against the initial theories and never against the official reports like NIST? How can you explain people’s dismissal of your movement even though they hate Bush even more than you? Why do they seeing that your ‘evidence’ is so compelling refuse to accept it even though they would benefit enormously politically by doing so? If your evidence is so strong why do only Bush haters and anti-government people accept it? Now if you can answer these questions for me then I’ll keep digging but if you can’t then your claims must have serious problems.
    Also, just because there is outrage in San Francisco the most liberal anarchic city in the country doesn’t justify anything. I am sure the residents of Berchtesgaden loved Hitler’s solution to the ‘Jewish question’ but that doesn’t make them the authority on the subject or their opinions right.

  114. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Chris, oh how I love it when just one or two sentences of mine can get you ranting for multiple pages! Every time you run off your list of 100 questions, I sit back and enjoy the show. You simply expose your blind Nazialismus to Cheney. I already told you I wasn’t going to entertain you, but you sure are entertaining me. I seem to have you right where I want you, and in the mean-time this game of yours simply encourages others to look into the fact that 9/11 was an inside job by your efforts to publicize the issue.

  115. Chris
    December 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    There is no argument that I do tend to rant. It’s usually because I have to explain history to you guys and defend myself when you nit pick one sentence instead of rebutting my overall argument. As for my questions I figured I might as well give you an extensive list to allow you ample time to answer them at your leisure. Feel free to pick out my weakest questions and answer them. I’ll give you an easy one. Why does no demolition expert in the entire world believe that any of the WTC building were brought down by a controlled demolition? We can move this to it’s appropriate threat if you wish as long as you can answer my questions.

    You simply expose your blind Nazialismus to Cheney.
    I am assuming the spelling error was on purpose. I would again caution you that your completely unproven accusations and ridiculous comparisons strongly strain the credulity of your other more reasonable arguments. Having watched several debates now it has become quite obvious to me that one side uses experts and facts while the other side uses childish name calling, assumptions, and opinions. To prove my point ‘you tube’ the popular mechanics debate and the one I previously mentioned.

  116. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    Why does no demolition expert in the entire world believe that any of the WTC building were brought down by a controlled demolition?

    Here is a start of 552 architects and engineers.

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    I am assuming the spelling error was on purpose.

    Yes, it was very much on purpose.

    I suppose Connor might want to put a stop to all this nonsense. If I were he, I would put a stop to this all by editing this nonsense right out. It has definitely gone well past his intended purpose.

  117. Chris
    December 20, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    No demolition experts huh? I would think that one would be on your side understanding a controlled demolition is what most of the ‘truthers’ think brought down the buildings. Also, it greatly hampers your argument when Dr. Jones’ papers can’t pass a simple peer review. That simple fact alone dooms your argument. I would bet that your other ‘experts’ can’t get their papers published in any scientific journals as well but I’ll look into them to humor you. The ‘Top 40′ lists is laughable at best. I couldn’t help but notice that none of their reasons were based on science but only based on assumptions and other conspiracy theories.
    I will stop asking such tough questions of you since it is obvious that you can’t answer someone that with a few hours of research has seen the many cracks in your theories.
    I believe that you and most other ‘truthers’ have allowed your ‘Bush derangement syndrome’ to mutate and has now become a self perpetuating paranoia.

  118. Kelly W.
    December 20, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    You like doing this, don’t you? And you think you have credentials that I should believe you over Jones and Gage and Griffin? Not on your life. Can’t you see beyond your nose why people don’t want to play your silly game?

  119. Chris
    December 20, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    Questioning people in the hope’s that they’ll see the error of their ways? Sure I do enjoy it! I imagine the game you are reffering to is attempting to hold you responsible for your naive policies and their consequences. If that’s a game you and others don’t want to play then I pity you.
    You mean Jones who’s been denounced by his colleagues. Dr. Griffin who’s expertise is in theology and philosophy not engineering. I don’t know anything about Gage. I’ll throw in Judy Wood who is a dental engineer not quite a relevent field.
    Don’t believe me trust your common sense or take the words of the 10,000 page NIST report where dozens of actual experts chime in based on research not opinions. The hundreds of peer reviewed articles and papers done by actual engineers and other experts in relevent fields. Every demolition expert in the world. The simple fact the WTC collapses have been the most investigted and scrutinized engineering failure in world history and yet the official report is only questioned by the fringe who I might add can’t get any of their research published in any scientific magazines or journals.

  120. Curtis
    December 21, 2008 at 12:41 am #

    Chris,
    You said:

    Afghanistan to my knowledge has never had much of a government. A communist government with backing of the Soviet took over in the late 70’s and when they ran into trouble the Soviet’s decided to intervene and invaded on Christmas day 1979. He provided weapons and money to Mujahedeen and helped them defeat the Soviets. With our goals met we left the mujahedeen and other groups to fight amongst themselves with the weapons we had given them. The country there went back and forth between very weak governments until the Taliban took over in 1996.

    Actually, Afghanistan had quite a decent government from 1978 on when a coalition of Marxist-minded parties came together under a man named Taraki. This government imposed several reforms aimed at lifting up the common people such as allowing women an education and allowing women to drive cars. The opium industry was fought against. Land reform was undertaken and debts held by poor farmers was forgiven.

    Opposition against this genuinely popular government came from feudal landlords who opposed the land reforms, the opium traffickers, fundamentalist mullahs who opposed the reforms in favor of women, and, not to be outdone, by the USA via the CIA because we stand against anyone with egalitarian and collectivist economic policies. We intervened thru assassination of Taraki and overthrow of his government (which overthrow was overthrown a short time later again). The People’s Democratic Party (Taraki’s party) was then in charge again and ASKED the Soviets to come in and help them out against the US backed Mujahideen (the real invaders). It is a common misconception we perpetuate in our press to repeat as a fact that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. However, it should be noted that the Soviets were invited as guests to fight the CIA backed groups. Thus began the Jihad, 40 billion dollars spent by the CIA and 100,000 Jihadists trained by the CIA to start the holy war which continues today against the USA. The People’s Democratic Party hung on for 3 years after the Soviets left in 1989 and finally fell in the early 90’s. The Mujahideen messed up the country bigtime raping thousands of women and children and murdering many more, until the Taliban came into power in 1995-6. The Taliban were awful religious zealots who reigned in terror as is now well known to the general US public. What the US public doesn’t know though is that the US government wasn’t too concerned about the awful treatment of women under the Taliban and as late as 1999 paid the salary of every single Taliban government official! Of course, one must not forget that the US government has long backed UNOCAL’s bid to get a pipeline built through Afghanistan and the Bush government apparently had plans to move against the Taliban well before 9/11 ever happened as the Taliban wasn’t being very obedient on this issue.

  121. Kelly W.
    December 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    A new update on the shoe-thrower:

    BAGHDAD (AFP) — Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi man who threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush, is to sue security guards who he alleges beat him up after the incident, his lawyer said on Sunday.

    “Muntazer has filed a complaint today (Sunday) against those who assaulted him,” lawyer Dhiya al-Saadi told AFP, saying those responsible worked for the security forces of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s media office.

    “There are bruises on his body. He has lost a tooth in his upper jaw, and his left eye is bloodshot,” the lawyer said, adding that the list of injuries is backed up by medical checks.

  122. Curtis
    December 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    Iran has issued some good sense on the issue:

    Using the façade of democracy and human rights, the U.S. administration has taken a hateful, deceptive, and aggressive stance toward the world’s nations.

    “Historical memory won’t forget the current U.S. president because of the violent crimes of the U.S. occupiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and his support for the Israeli regime and hundreds of other crimes,” the statement noted.

    “The shameful incidents and horrible tortures used in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Israel, and other prisons through the support and on the orders of the United States are sufficient to bring George W. Bush to trial in international courts as a war criminal.”

    “While the Iraqi and Afghan people face insecurity, poverty, the flouting of their basic human rights, and the plunder of their national resources, Bush the younger calls himself the upholder of these people’s rights and speaks about freedom and human rights.”

    Bush insulted the people of the world, who are aware of the atrocities committed by the U.S. government and its hegemonistic attitude, which is influenced by the Zionist lobby, and Muntadar al-Zaidi only acted on behalf of millions of oppressed Iraqis, and his action was appreciated by people all over the world, even Americans, the statement added.

    In conclusion, the office of the deputy culture minister called on all journalists’ associations and international media outlets to make every effort to liberate the imprisoned journalist

  123. Chris
    December 21, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    Curtis,

    That was pretty good! I have never really read much on Afghanistan and it seems that you have. I do find issue with a few things. The soviets were often “asked” to come help many fledgiling communist governments even though the majority of the people were fighting to overthow it. The same thing happened in Hungary, Poland, and recently in Northern Georgia. We did fund the mujahadeen but I have heard from several experts on tv interviews that we never funded bin Laden nor his group. I haven’t looked into this so I don’t know for sure.
    I don’t know very much about Afghanistan but I would like some sources on your claims if you please.
    However, it should be noted that the Soviets were invited as guests to fight the CIA backed groups.
    As late as 1999 paid the salary of every single Taliban government official!
    The Bush government apparently had plans to move against the Taliban well before 9/11 ever happened as the Taliban.
    We intervened thru assassination of Taraki… While I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true I’d still like a source please.
    I find it disturbing that your posting the opinions of Iran and stating that they have “good sense.” So your agreeing with a government that kills gays & christians. Holds public executions for people speaking out against the government or women committing adultery among things. A government that is the largest supporter of terrorism and is directly respsonsible for the deaths of hundreds if not more of our soldiers! Come on Curtis! That’s like quoting Hitler Germany complaining about the US prison system as he’s mass murdering jews!

  124. Kelly W.
    December 21, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    I had a good chuckle this morning as I watched Condi Rice on Meet the Press as they played for her the video clip of the shoes flying past Bush’s head. It is good it made the Mainstream TV in an association with her and Bush’s Iraq Legacy.

  125. Curtis
    December 22, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    Chris,
    Here’s one good source on the story of Afghanistan:

    http://www.bt.com.bn/en/analysis/2008/12/17/story_of_us_cia_and_taliban

    I have no sympathy for Iran’s human rights issues. However, you must remember that our Christian roots show some of the same behaviors. Stoning people for adultery and homosexuality was common in Old Testament Israel.

    As far as Iran being the largest sponsor of terror in the world… you have to be an American to be saying that. In general, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Reagan in the 80s called the Mujahideen the moral equivalent of US Revolutionaries like Washington. Is Iranian sponsorship of Hezbollah or Hamas worse than US sponsorship of the South Vietnamese or the Contras of Nicaragua, or the Columbian paramilitaries, or Suharto of Indonesia? Is it worse than US sponsorship of the Iraqi government during the 80s? It’s all relative. Surely all men of reason can agree at least upon that principle. You can call anyone a name and try to make it stick and if you are big and powerful enough, you just might succeed.

    The Iranian government does make a lot of sense on a lot of issues where the US government makes no sense at all. The issue of a nuclear weapons free middle-east for one. The US is against it! Iran is for it. FISSBAN, the movement to eliminate the production of weapons grade fissile nuclear material at the UN. Iran is for it (with virtually the entire remainder of the world) and the US is against it. It’s just the future of the human species we’re talking about here. That’s all. Nope, I think Iran is not quite comparable to Hitler. Nice try though.

    As far as Russia acting upon an invitation… you’ve got some problems coming your way if you are going to say that Russia wasn’t looked upon as a savior by South Ossetia during the recent Georgian massacre there.

    In any case, if you don’t think Iran made good sense in the above comment, I’d be interested in finding out which part you think didn’t make good sense.

  126. Kelly W.
    December 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Cheney almost got it right, he predicted our Iraq invasion would have the Iraqis throwing flowers and candy at us. Cheney didn’t realize there is no candy or flowers in Iraq, so they had to throw their shoes.

  127. Carborendum
    December 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    Curtis,

    I have to comment one point of yours and disagree with another.

    True that our Christian roots show similar behavior in centuries past. But we didn’t have the level of technology or ability to destroy as back then. It’s dangerous enough to have today’s social development with today’s weapons. These people have social development that is 1000 years old with today’s technology. That is dangerous.

    one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter

    No, there is one big definitional difference. Are the targets primarily government/military targets? or civilian ones? Yes, you can make an argument that Bush/Cheney are terrorists by that definition. Which goes to prove that it isn’t just because you are on the winning/powerful side that makes you a terrorist or freedom fighter.

    And in war, almost everyone uses SOME terrorist tactics throughout the war. Some more than others.

    BTW: Something I just recently found out about the Arab world was that something happened many centuries ago. I’m still looking for what. But they were actually the most advanced society on the planet for an extended period of time. But something happened to destroy all they had. Whatever it was, I wonder if today’s western world can learn from them and keep it from happening to us. Or maybe we’re just getting ripe for destruction.

  128. Chris
    December 22, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    Curtis,
    I appreciate the link but that article would not pass any kind of scholarky review. To make claims that the US funded groups to overthrow Tariki’s government you need sources. To prove that we were funding the Taliban you need sources. So as interesting as it was I can only assume that it was opinion. The only sources I saw were the San Francisco Chronicle & Time Magazine both media outlets know for their democratic leanings. Doesn’t mean it’s not true but you need other sources to reinforce them.
    To say that Iran is for a ‘free middle east’ of nuclear weapons is a bit naive. The EU and Russa have all offered Iran the components necessary for a civilian nuclear program if they would stop enrighing uranimium. They have offered to provide for them and then collect it for disposal. Of course Iran has refused this offer because they aren’t interested in civilian nuclear power they want a bomb! You can’t believe everything a dictator says or claims Curtis. I would think with your views on Bush you’d know that by now…
    As for Georgia I would bet it was only coincedece that Russia had been moving it’s citizens into norther Georgia for years and then proclaiming many north ossetians as russian citizens just for their pretext to ‘protect’ them. I haven’t seen any evidence of a massacre and I’d like a source.
    I think Carborendum explained my other disagreements quite well!

  129. Curtis
    December 23, 2008 at 7:23 am #

    Chris and Carb,
    No time to reply now. Get back to you later.

  130. Brian M
    December 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    Connor, I’ve been reading through many of these comments and your responses and I just have to let you know… you’re awesome! I wonder if some of those arguing against you have even read or understand the US Constitution? and the Declaration of Independence? Also, reading books like the Making of America by W. Cleon Skousen and other books on the Founders perspectives and teachings would help clear up a lot of people’s ignorance.

    The Book of Mormon is another great source of learning truth that can be applied in this discussion.

    It’s really sad to see how so many people try so hard to justify the war in Iraq and look to GWB like he was called of God or something and could do no wrong. A true Latter-day Saint couldn’t do such a thing without completely ignoring the scriptures (word of God) – see: D&C 98: 4-11

  131. Carborendum
    December 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    There is an awful lot of “prove this or prove that” going on. I am agnostic regarding some conspiracty theories discussed here. I’ve done my share of research and it is difficult to come to a certain conclusion, myself.

    But then I ask,”What difference does it make?” I still hold these two beliefs.

    1) Radical Islam is still a dangerous force in the world.
    2) I still don’t trust my government anyway.

  132. Brennan
    December 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    We didnt fund Osama? Thats like saying we didnt give any money to Saddam! And what did he do with that generous gift?

    What about Pakistan?

    What about Mexico?

    We give so much money away, what do we get in return?

  133. Brennan
    December 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Carb, you say Radical Islam is dangerous? Why just Muslims? I’m sure I could go as far as saying that anything “radical” is dangerous. A “radical” citizen could be dangerous. Come invade our land, bomb our schools, police our streets. Then see what happens!

  134. Carborendum
    December 23, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    Brennan, good point. I would also add that anything that organizes large groups of people towards the same radical cause is more dangerous than individuals doing the same.

  135. Carissa
    December 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    Chris,

    I wouldn’t be so quick as to judge the war so horribly. What if Iraq turns out to be a beacon of freedom and liberty in the Middle East?

    I would say that most of us here prefer to judge policies based on principle rather than on the potential outcome of the policy. We need to make more decisions based on principle and trust in the promise “that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us”. (Spencer W Kimball)

    You asked what was wrong with pre-emptive war. We can look to the scriptures and the Book of Mormon for a guide. Do you find anything that supports it?

    Hugh Nibley was very clear about the strict defensive strategy of Captain Moroni. He even says “any thought of preemptive strike is out of the question”. Now surely Nibley may not have been inspired of God while saying this, as you note. But do you get anything different from the lessons of Captain Moroni?

  136. Curtis
    December 23, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    Chris,

    To say that Iran is for a ‘free middle east’ of nuclear weapons is a bit naive.

    Naïve? Iran has called for a nuclear weapons free zone in the middle east and a verifiable one at that. UN Security Council has passed a vote on the same issue back in 1991. Iran is all for it since it would reduce Israel’s threat against the Iranian nation. If you have a verifiable weapons reduction program, there is nothing left to naivety. The problem is that the US and Israel consistently vote against such measure with exception to UN resolution 687 back in 1991.

    The EU and Russa have all offered Iran the components necessary for a civilian nuclear program if they would stop enrighing uranimium. They have offered to provide for them and then collect it for disposal. Of course Iran has refused this offer because they aren’t interested in civilian nuclear power they want a bomb!

    Says who? They have an inalienable right under the NPT to enrich uranium under the supervision of the IAEA just as much as we do. Why should they give up this right? There is no compelling reason.

    I haven’t seen any evidence of a massacre and I’d like a source.

    This is due to only partially to you keeping your eyes closed. I say that because US media coverage of the event was horrendous… a perfect example of how completely biased our news outlets are. There was credible evidence from the beginning that there was a massacre that Russia was responding to, but our media didn’t start paying attention to it until it was way too late, about 3 months after the fact! Here is the New York Times from November 7:

    Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.
    Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.

    There’s plenty more where that came from, buy you’ll have to look outside of the US for early accounts.

    As for the assassination of Taraki, I don’t know for sure that the US was behind it or not, but it sure does fit the pattern. We have had many others assassinated so it would not be shocking to me if we were behind it. Read, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” if you would like to know what pattern I speak of.

    Carb,

    No, there is one big definitional difference. Are the targets primarily government/military targets? or civilian ones? Yes, you can make an argument that Bush/Cheney are terrorists by that definition. Which goes to prove that it isn’t just because you are on the winning/powerful side that makes you a terrorist or freedom fighter. And in war, almost everyone uses SOME terrorist tactics throughout the war. Some more than others.

    I’m not quite sure I get your point here. The US establishment looks upon Hamas as terrorists for example. However, the Palestinian people voted for Hamas in free and fair elections as their legitimate leaders. Hezbollah is looked upon in the west as terrorists. However, they were heroes in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world for standing up to the brutal attack of Israel in 2006. We called the Mujahideen freedom fighters and the moral equivalents of George Washington in the 80s and now we call them the worst terrorists on the planet. We loved Suharto and his brutal oppression of his own people and the people of East Timor, killing upwards of 1 million landless peasants. To his people though, he ran a regime of terror. The Cuban exiles in Florida love Jose Luis Posada, but he blew up a passenger airliner and killed 72 innocent people in the 1970s. I don’t see any conflict in the statement which says that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.
    Currently the US funds Jundallah and other groups dedicated to terror attacks in Iran. We have funded groups that have spread terror in foreign nations for years. Any student of history ought to look into these events. Look at what we did in Guatemala, Chile, and the list goes on and on.

  137. Carborendum
    December 24, 2008 at 7:20 am #

    Curtis,

    Boy are we looking at skewed corners of the world. After considering you counterpoint here I see that we’re not even talking about the same thing. Let me see if I can sum it up.

    EVERYBODY you spoke of would be a terrorist.

    And one more thing: Who’s “WE” hotshot?

  138. Carborendum
    December 24, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    On second thought. That doesn’t even sum it up. Never mind. We’re just talking about two completely different things.

  139. Chris
    December 24, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Says who? They have an inalienable right under the NPT to enrich uranium under the supervision of the IAEA just as much as we do. Why should they give up this right? There is no compelling reason.
    If Iran did call for a ‘nuclear free Middle East’ why are they pursuing nuclear weapons? I hate to keep bringing up Hitler examples but they work they best. Afer he annexed Austria he promised that he’d stop. Same thing after the Munich Conference and the Sudentenland. I hate you tell you this Cutris but you can’t believe dictators! They don’t tell the truth! It is naive to believe that Iran isn’t pursuing nuclear weapons and that they don’t want them.
    “Inalienable right” right to enrich uranium huh? So God gave them that right? They can enrich uranimum for a civilian nuclear program but since that’s not what they want then they have waived their right to enrich it. That and their support for terrorism I think would would disqulify them from being able to enrich or pursue such hazardous materials.
    Your Georgia source I noticed was only a quote. Are you sure it’s from a non biased source? I am not saying that Georgia was doing some dubious things but Russia has wanted to teach them a lesson for years and they would have used anything for an excuse. Which is exactly why they have made many of the ossestians “citizens” of Russia. I chose to take the side that doesn’t murder journalists for being critical of the government. You can take their side if you want?

  140. Curtis
    December 24, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    If Iran did call for a ‘nuclear free Middle East’ why are they pursuing nuclear weapons?

    Chris, you start from a baseless platform. How do you know they are pursuing nuclear weapons? They have adhered to their claim that they are seeking only to enrich uranium exclusively for civilian energy purposes for the whole time. The US says that they are pursuing nuclear weapons, but we have produced no good evidence for this. The IAEA has been inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities for a long time now and has never found evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Iran calls for a nuclear weapons-free middle east because of the equal footing it would put all middle-eastern countries upon if Israel didn’t have nuclear weapons. They are estimated to have around 200 nuclear weapons and are not signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. When you have evidence that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons feel free to share it, but I doubt you know more than the IAEA knows.

    It is naive to believe that Iran isn’t pursuing nuclear weapons and that they don’t want them.

    Again, we don’t have to leave anything to doubt. We have a weapons inspection regime called the IAEA that seeks to make sure that all nations are upholding their responsibilities under the NPT and they have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. Having said that, it sounds like you are part of the nuclear hypocrisy crowd when it comes to Iran. How can you expect that a nation as threatened as Iran is by the US and Israel, two big nuclear weapons powerhouses, to not seek to protect itself by the deterrent of a nuclear weapons program (if they were indeed pursuing a nuclear weapons program)? Look at how the US treated Iraq, who didn’t have nuclear weapons, and the difference in the way we treated North Korea, who does have nuclear weapons. The possession alone of nuclear weapons is a deterrent to invasion by even superpowers like the US. We have our armies surrounding Iran on all sides right now and we have threatened them as has Israel with unprovoked military strikes. Iran has never threatened Israel or the US with the exception of threats of retaliation for threatened attacks. In fact, Iran has never attacked another nation offensively in its entire existence as a nation. Iran is not a warmongering nation. On the other hand, both Israel and the US continually attack other nations and have been in a constant of war for a very long time now. Who is seeking who’s destruction here?

    “Inalienable right” right to enrich uranium huh? So God gave them that right? They can enrich uranimum for a civilian nuclear program but since that’s not what they want then they have waived their right to enrich it. That and their support for terrorism I think would would disqulify them from being able to enrich or pursue such hazardous materials.

    They have a right under the existing world authority for enriching uranium under the NPT regime. This is the right all nations recognize as signatories to that treaty and the US is part of that treaty (though the USA violates the spirit of that treaty) as is Iran. As long as the IAEA hasn’t found them in violation of that treaty, the still retain the privilege of enrichment. If terrorism was a reason to take away that right, the US and Israel would also lose their right to enrich now wouldn’t they.

    Your Georgia source I noticed was only a quote. Are you sure it’s from a non biased source?

    The Georgia source was the New York Times from November 7, 2008. This is the link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/europe/07georgia.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=print

    Another good article which tells the situation as it was without the western media lens can be found here:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20535.htm

    Gorbachev himself wrote for the Washington Post what the rest of the world besides the US already knew to be true here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/11/AR2008081101372_pf.html

    Which is exactly why they have made many of the ossestians “citizens” of Russia. I chose to take the side that doesn’t murder journalists for being critical of the government. You can take their side if you want?

    Your understanding of the situation here is faulty. Ossetians were citizens of Russia before Georgia broke away and most of them hold Russian passports. Putin himself has called for the decision to be left to the Ossetians themselves (which voted overwhelmingly for independence from Georgia in 2006) as to what nation they want to be a part of. Georgia has recognized the autonomy of South Ossetia since the early 90s, but inexplicably enacted its massacre of South Ossetians in violation of their own agreement on August 7, this year.

    No matter what Russia says, the South Ossetians themselves have spoken on this subject and have indicated that they were attacked without provocation and were defenseless when the indiscriminate attack began. Russia came to their aid as only can be expected in such a situation.

  141. Chris
    December 29, 2008 at 8:20 pm #

    Curtis,
    When you have evidence that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons feel free to share it, but I doubt you know more than the IAEA knows.
    Oh Curtis your naivety would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. How do I know they are pursuing nuclear weapons? Because they have said they are countless times! All you need to do is listen to what they say and what they are planning and it’s pretty clear what their intentions are. Just go and google ‘Iran & Nukes’ or any other combination you like that is synonomous and you’d find hundreds of news reports of their program. If it was for civilian purposes only why are the majority of their facilities buried deep underground? Almost like they have something to hide… Hmmm! Also, why don’t they accept Russia’s or the EU’s offer to provide them with all the materials necessary for a civilian program? It would save them money and then some of the sanctions would probably be stopped.
    The same IAEA that Saddam had been dooping and playing a game of hide and seek for over a decade. The same inspectors that Saddam paid off to give false reports. The same IAEA that has stated at least a dozen times that Iran is violating international sanctions and enriching uramium. Again just google IAEA and Iran for proof.
    Iran has never threatened Israel or the US with the exception of threats of retaliation for threatened attacks. In fact, Iran has never attacked another nation offensively in its entire existence as a nation.
    This statement alone makes me lose all respect for you Curtis. The fact that the US military has captured dozens of Iranian agents in Iraq plotting to kill coalition soldiers. The fact that we’ve found weapons & explosives in Iraq that might as well say ‘Made in Iran’ on them. Iran who even according to the UN played a role in the assassination of Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. Iran funds Hezbollah that has killed hundreds of Americans and hundreds from other nations. Come on Curtis! You need to stop drinking the Koolaid and pull your head out of the sand! You are believing exactly what they want you to believe. It’s like you’re watching Al-Jazeera!
    As for Georgia your article itself mentions that The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes while you have made me rethink it your source is still biased. The ‘monitors’ that are cited were Russian troops! While my opinion has its flaws yours isn’t without its own. So if Russia was only going to protect the Ossetians why did he cut off all the major roads in Georgia? Why after a ceasefire was agreed upon did Russia continue using military force? Russia didn’t go into Georgia out of some moral reasons they went there to teach Georgia and the other former soviet states a lesson! Everything else was just an excuse.

  142. Curtis
    January 1, 2009 at 3:10 am #

    How do I know they are pursuing nuclear weapons? Because they have said they are countless times!

    Then why don’t you quote one of these countless times? Perhaps it is because you have no idea what you are talking about?

    The same IAEA that Saddam had been dooping and playing a game of hide and seek for over a decade. The same inspectors that Saddam paid off to give false reports. The same IAEA that has stated at least a dozen times that Iran is violating international sanctions and enriching uramium. Again just google IAEA and Iran for proof.

    The IAEA had a handle on Iraq’s nuclear program. They declared Iraq in violation in 1991. After that, Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was pretty much dismantled. I’d say that stopping Iraq from developing a nuclear weapon was pretty good work. Perhaps you confuse the IAEA with UNMOVIC here which was charged with regulating non-nuclear WMD’s in Iraq.
    As far as the sanctions violations go, it is true that the IAEA has reported the breaking of the sanctions by Iran. However, we hardly needed the IAEA to tell us that. Iran told us that they continued to enrich uranium in violation of security council resolutions themselves. However, the IAEA has been unable to detect diversion of the enrichment process to military purposes and have never reported on the existence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Iran remains within the confines of the NPT as far as the IAEA is concerned. Googling the subject will give you the same information.

    This statement alone makes me lose all respect for you Curtis…

    This brings us back to the question of what the word, “terrorist” is defined as. Iran has never attacked another nation with its military in its entire existence. You are describing to me acts of individuals or groups that come from Iran, but the Iranian government has never been implicated in the scenarios you describe.
    As for the Hariri assassination, the UN report mentions nothing of Iran, but implicates Syria instead. Looks like you got your middle-eastern countries crossed. There are many who believe the Mossad had something to do with it. Who knows.

    It’s like you’re watching Al-Jazeera!

    And that is bad because…..
    Originally a creation of the BBC it is actually a pretty good source of information on the middle east. It’s actually been criticized for it’s pro-Israeli stance.

    your source is still biased. The ‘monitors’ that are cited were Russian troops

    No wonder you have such a fictitious understanding of the world we live in… you apparently are severely afflicted with some sort of dyslexia. Actually, the article said of the observers in Georgia the following:
    The monitors were members of an international team working under the mandate of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E. A multilateral organization with 56 member states, the group has monitored the conflict since a previous cease-fire agreement in the 1990s.

    The observations by the monitors, including a Finnish major, a Belarussian airborne captain and a Polish civilian, have been the subject of two confidential briefings to diplomats in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, one in August and the other in October. Summaries were shared with The New York Times by people in attendance at both.

    Details were then confirmed by three Western diplomats and a Russian, and were not disputed by the O.S.C.E.’s mission in Tbilisi, which was provided with a written summary of the observations.
    Whether Russia went in to teach a lesson to Georgia or not is not what I am pointing out here. The fact that there was a massacre of defenseless Ossetian civililans in their sleep by the Georgian military is not seriously disputed by many today. Google that.

  143. Chris
    January 2, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    Then why don’t you quote one of these countless times? Perhaps it is because you have no idea what you are talking about?
    I might have got a few things wrong because I didn’t care to read every line of the reports you sent me but the fact that this question is still under debate strains the credulity of everything you say. It’s almost like you have never even cared to listen to the other side of the debate before!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNy6AItckTA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHoVuFlrcjA&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OIUieD2KN4&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydvOrOvxUNg&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MFOrKuLxmE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmHT1s3-E3c
    There are hundreds of videos and it’s debated extensively that Iran is seeking WMD’s to destory Israel and then they’re coming for us! Watch the videos and hear it from their own mouths! Hopefully you’ll wash away the mud from your eyes and see the truth.

    This brings us back to the question of what the word, “terrorist” is defined as. Iran has never attacked another nation with its military in its entire existence. You are describing to me acts of individuals or groups that come from Iran, but the Iranian government has never been implicated in the scenarios you describe.
    Oh Curits you are completely hopeless! The fact that Iranian government officials with Iranian made weapons have been captured in Iraq doesn’t prove my point to you? Iran has fought and will continue to fight proxy war’s with us and Israel because people like you refuse to aknowledge what the war’s are actually about. Your ignorance and naivity scare me Curtis!
    Also, if you haven’t noticed Syria & Iran are clsoe allies and I highly doubt Syria would have done anything this bold without a tacit approval from Iran. This is purely speculation it is entirely possible and very probable.

    However, the IAEA has been unable to detect diversion of the enrichment process to military purposes and have never reported on the existence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran. Iran remains within the confines of the NPT as far as the IAEA is concerned. Googling the subject will give you the same information.
    If they were so ‘compliant’ how come the UN has several sanctions on them for their nuclear program? So they must be sanctioning Iran for being in accordance with the NPT & IAEA reports right? That doesn’t seem to go along with your theory. You go ahead and believe a genocidal, holocaust denying regime that has stated as it’s number foreign policy goal to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ if you like. I am going to error on the side of caution.

  144. Curtis
    January 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    There are hundreds of videos and it’s debated extensively that Iran is seeking WMD’s to destory Israel and then they’re coming for us! Watch the videos and hear it from their own mouths! Hopefully you’ll wash away the mud from your eyes and see the truth.

    Chris,

    Your arguments are completely baseless if the evidence you have is what you showed me in the above videos. There is nothing in there in which Iranian officials state they are seeking after nuclear weapons. May I remind you of your previous statement:

    How do I know they are pursuing nuclear weapons? Because they have said they are countless times!

    Then, my answer was:

    Then why don’t you quote one of these countless times? Perhaps it is because you have no idea what you are talking about?

    You then replied saying the answer was in the videos. I watched the videos and there was not a single statement coming from an Iranian official’s mouth stating that Iran was seeking after nuclear weapons. Back to the drawing board on that point my friend.

    The fact that Iranian government officials with Iranian made weapons have been captured in Iraq doesn’t prove my point to you?

    Source please. I would like to see where it is written that an Iranian government official has been found with Iranian made weapons in Iraq. I suspect your evidence is not as solid as you would like to imagine.

    Iran has fought and will continue to fight proxy war’s with us and Israel because people like you refuse to aknowledge what the war’s are actually about.

    Aren’t proxy wars fought when there is someone also fighting a proxy war on the other side? The US has a huge proxy in the middle east to whom we send 3 billion dollars a year in mostly military aid, which is used in crushing those you consider Iran’s proxies. However, I would like to make it part of the record that my assertion that Iran has never offensively attacked another nation with it’s military in it’s entire existence, still stands.

    Also, if you haven’t noticed Syria & Iran are clsoe allies and I highly doubt Syria would have done anything this bold without a tacit approval from Iran. This is purely speculation it is entirely possible and very probable.

    Anything is possible in a fantasy world. However, I would like to base my views on established facts, the type of which you have yet to provide.

    If they were so ‘compliant’ how come the UN has several sanctions on them for their nuclear program?

    In 8/07 the IAEA reports that the IAEA has “been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear materials at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use,”
    In 9/08, the IAEA the IAEA reports that Iran’s nuclear activities continued to be operated under safeguards and with no evidence of any diversion of nuclear material for non-peaceful uses and Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and accountancy reports, as required by its safeguards agreement. Nevertheless, the report reiterated that the IAEA would not be able to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program unless Iran adopted “transparency measures” which exceeded its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, since the IAEA does not verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in any country unless the Additional Protocol is in force. It should be noted that there are numerous countries under the NPT who haven’t adopted the additional protocol, including our neighbor to the north, Canada. Scary?

    So they must be sanctioning Iran for being in accordance with the NPT & IAEA reports right?

    The sanctions are actually not legal since, as you point out, Iran is in accordance with the requirements of the NPT. The sanctions are a tool used by the US to achieve its goals in the region, which goals include setting up justification for a military attack on Iran. This is not very different from the way the US set up justification for an attack on Iraq. Of course, we now see clearly that the set up for an attack on Iraq was completely baseless.

    You go ahead and believe a genocidal, holocaust denying regime that has stated as it’s number foreign policy goal to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ if you like.

    You repeat the falsehood here that Iran’s Pres. said that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. That was a mistranslation that is entirely not consistent with everything else Ahmadinejad has said regarding Iran’s policy toward Israel. The accurate translation, on the other hand, is very consistent with what Iran’s Pres. has been saying, which is something more like, “the Zionist regime will disappear from the pages of time,” and, as the Pres. explained, much like the way the Soviet Union or the Apartheid regime of South Africa disappeared. He has never threatened Israel with military attack except in self-defense.

    Having said all of the above, if, Iran did indeed pursue nuclear weapons, would it not be justified as the two nations that threaten to attack it, the US and Israel, contain massive amounts of nuclear weaponry and have actually threatened to use those nuclear weapons on Iran? On the other hand, the other member of the axis of evil that hasn’t been attacked or threatened with attack is North Korea, and the reason is pretty clear why they haven’t been attacked: They had a deterrent.

  145. Chris
    January 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    The videos didn’t answer you question directly but the videos are pretty conclusive that they want to destory Israel or as your ‘translation’ would say ‘make them disappear.’ Even though tens our thousands of people are chanting
    “Death to Israel” and “death to America” you believe that Iran is just passive not bothering anyone? I’d be interested in knowing your ‘translations’ when the President of Iran called Isreal the ‘great Satan’ and a ‘stinking corpse.’ Also, is there another explanation for his denying the holocaust as well?
    Here are your sources for Iran’s DIRECT involvment in Iraq.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/12/politics/main2355951.shtml
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/25/AR2007012502199.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/09/iraq/main2452519.shtml
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/11/world/middleeast/11cnd-weapons.html
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/IraqCoverage/Story?id=1692347&page=1

    Aren’t proxy wars fought when there is someone also fighting a proxy war on the other side? The US has a huge proxy in the middle east to whom we send 3 billion dollars a year in mostly military aid, which is used in crushing those you consider Iran’s proxies.
    So you agree that Iran fights proxy wars? What’s the difference? A proxy war is designed for you to make others fight so you don’t have to. There isn’t much of a difference between a proxy war and a direct war. Both involve in this case Iran funding, training, and encouraging war. The difference between Israel is that they don’t seek every opportunity to kill civilians and make war much unlike Hezbollad, Hamas, and the other terrorist organizations in the area. I am sure you’ll have some lame comeback for that but there is a big moral difference between the two!

    The sanctions are actually not legal since, as you point out, Iran is in accordance with the requirements of the NPT.
    Why aren’t the sanctions legal? The UN passed them so that make them legal. Unless you’re anti UN which I am and don’t consider anything the UN does or says as binding then that’s a whole other argument but either way if you believe the UN is constitutional then the sanctions are legal if you don’t then it doesn’t matter.
    I doubt I’ll be able to find a video with any Iranian official saying that they are pursuing WMD’s but actions speak louder than words. You have never explained why they aren’t willing to halt their enrichment then the EU & Russia would give them everything they would need for a civilian program for free? Why would one of the world’s leading oil producing states need nuclear energy anyway? I doubt it’s for their enviromental concerns. I would think that common sense could answer this question but I guess not in this case.
    Also, of course the IAEA whose leader or chairman come from Iran I believe found no evidence of ‘non-peaceful uses.’ They don’t have enough yet for a weapon but when they do it will be too late. Again I like to error on the side of caution.
    The US will only use nukes on Iran if they use nukes first. Israel and the US don’t kill civilians for fun nor use them as human shields. I think both countries have for the most part shown enormous restrain with their nuclear weapons and their military in general. An Armageddon obsessed cult that wants to promote a huge war to quicken the return of the 12th Imam shouldn’t be trusted with such weapons!
    We have other leverage mainly China to use on N. Korea. They aren’t suicidal religous fanatics like Iran. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges.
    Some videos and a website to backup my points:
    http://www.memri.org/jihad.html
    http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD216908
    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA21805
    http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA37707
    I have more if you’d like?

  146. Curtis
    January 4, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    I will cease to talk to you as you are not worth my time. I hope the others reading this thread can see right thru the propoganda that you propogate.

  147. Chris
    January 4, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    I see how it is! Now that I’ve given you sources disproving most of your theories I am ‘no longer worth your time.’ I have no doubt that the vast majority of people that will read this thread will agree with you but the future will prove me right. When you are proven to be undeniably wrong about Iran I hope that you will change your tune. I sincerely hope then you and others will stop exculpating the real murderers and war criminals and open your eyes to the truth about radical Islam and the jihadists! I highly doubt it but I do have faith… Thanks for the discussion!

  148. Kelly W.
    January 20, 2009 at 10:54 am #

    More news:

    The shoe-thrower is now seeking asylum in Switzerland.

    Shoe-throwing events are now happening in USA where protesters can throw shoes at a Bush effigy, dubbed “Give Bush the Boot.” The shoe throwers are NOT being arrested.

  149. Kelly W.
    August 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    More news today about the shoe-thrower. He is to be released early from prison (coming up on September 14th). He is considered a folk hero among the Iraqis. Here is the copy and paste below from CBS News:

    (AP) An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday.

    Muntadhar al-Zeidi’s act of protest during Mr. Bush’s last visit to Iraq as president turned the 30-year-old reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world, as his case became a rallying point for critics who resented the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation.

    “Al-Zeidi’s shoes were a suitable farewell for Bush’s deeds in Iraq,” Sunni lawmaker Dhafir al-Ani said in welcoming the early release. “Al-Zeidi’s act expressed the real will and feelings of the Iraqi people. His anger against Bush was the result of the suffering of his countrymen.”

    The journalist has been in custody since the Dec. 14 outburst, which occurred as President Bush was holding a news conference with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Maliki, who was standing next to Mr. Bush at the time, was said to have been deeply offended by the act.

    Al-Zeidi was initially sentenced to three years in prison after pleading not guilty to assaulting a foreign leader. The court reduced it to one year because the journalist had no prior criminal history.

    Defense attorney Karim al-Shujairi said al-Zeidi will now be released on Sept. 14, three months early.

    “We have been informed officially about the court decision,” al-Shujairi told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “His release will be a victory for the free and honorable Iraqi media.”

    Judicial spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar said he had no immediate information about the release because it was a weekend.

    Followers of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who were among the leaders of many of the demonstrations demanding al-Zeidi’s release, welcomed the decision to free him early.

    “We believe that al-Zeidi did not commit any crime but only expressed the will of the Iraqi people in rejecting the U.S. occupation,” Sadrist lawmaker Falah Shanshal said. “Al-Zeidi’s image will always be a heroic one.”

    The bizarre act of defiance transformed the obscure reporter from a minor TV station into a national hero to many Iraqis fed up with the U.S. presence.

    Thousands demonstrated for al-Zeidi’s release and hailed his gesture. A sofa-sized sculpture of a shoe was erected in his honor in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, but the Iraqi government later ordered it removed.

    Neither leader was injured, but Bush was forced to duck for cover as the journalist shouted in Arabic: “This is your farewell kiss, you dog! This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

    The case’s investigating judge has said the journalist was struck about the face and eyes, apparently by security agents who wrestled him to the ground and dragged him away.

    Al-Zeidi’s family has said he was also mistreated while in custody, although the government has denied the allegation.

    “We thank God that he will be released, although we still fear for his safety since he is still in the prison,” his brother Dargham said. “He will be released full of pride and strength from all the love he has received from the Iraqi people and international organizations and figures who advocate freedom.”

  150. Kelly W.
    September 11, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    This article taken from USA Today:
    ______________________________

    Iraqi Shoe Thrower Gets Hero Treatment
    By Nadeem Majeed, USA TODAY
    BAGHDAD — The Iraqi TV journalist who threw his shoes at then-president George W. Bush will be showered with gifts including a four-bedroom house — and at least one potential bride — upon his imminent release from jail.
    Muntadhar al-Zeidi, 30, is scheduled to be freed Monday after spending nine months in prison for assault, according to Dhiya al-Saadi, his lawyer.

  151. Kelly W.
    September 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    His release from jail should happen tomorrow. Looks like he has a bright future. His salary has been paid to him during his captivity, and he has many job offers, as well as a new home waiting for him. see part of the newspaper article below:
    _____________________________________

    Zaidi’s arrest triggered demonstrations in Baghdad and Maitham al-Zaidi, Muntazer’s brother, said supporters had already posted banners ahead of his release. He expects a crowd at the Baghdad air base where Muntazer is due to be freed.
    Muntazer, working for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya television, has received offers of support from around the world.
    Abdul Hamid al-Saih, a senior official at Baghdadiya, said the channel had bought Muntazer a home in Baghdad. His salary has been paid throughout the jail term, Saih said.
    Maitham al-Zaidi said Muntazer had been offered a number of jobs with other Arab media — but was still contemplating his professional future — and had been encouraged by some Iraqi politicians to run in Iraq’s parliamentary elections in January.
    “Before his deed, Muntazar al-Zaidi was only a journalist, reporting news. He doesn’t belong to any specific party now — he belongs to Iraq,” Maitham said.
    At the start of his trial in February, Zaidi said Bush’s smile as he talked about achievements in Iraq had made him think of “the killing of more than a million Iraqis, the disrespect for the sanctity of mosques and houses, the rapes of women.”

  152. Kelly W.
    September 15, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Here’s the latest on the release of the shoe-thrower from jail. He claims he was tortured there.
    ________________________________________

    From The Times
    September 16, 2009
    Man who threw shoe at Bush, Muntazer al-Zaidi freed after jail ‘torture’
    Richard Kerbaj in Baghdad
    Muntazer al-Zaidi hugs his sister after being freed from prison. Last night he left Iraq for medical checks
    The Iraqi journalist imprisoned for throwing his shoes at the former US President George Bush said yesterday that he had been waterboarded, electrocuted and repeatedly beaten.
    Muntazer al-Zaidi — who had a front tooth knocked out and his nose broken during his nine months in prison — also said that he would name senior Iraqi government officials whom he accused of having a hand in his torture.
    The reporter, who refused to apologise for throwing his shoes at the former President, demanded an apology from Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, for allegedly misleading the public about his treatment behind bars. “I was being tortured with the most hideous kind of tortures: electric shocks, beating with iron rods,” he said at a press conference at his former workplace, al-Baghdadia television.
    He said that Mr al-Maliki’s public assurances that he was being cared for in prison coincided with him being “left until morning handcuffed in a place that didn’t protect me from the pinching cold of the winter, after they drowned me with water.
    “I demand from him to apologise for covering up and keeping the truth from people,” Mr al-Zaidi said. “I will talk later about the names that got involved in torturing me, including some senior officials in the Government and army.”
    Despite his defiance and smart appearance, Mr al-Zaidi appeared physically weak and sometimes required help. While his friends celebrated his release and his family embraced him, his brother held his hand for support. Mr al-Zaidi shook as though he were braving a sudden chill.
    Asked by The Times how he was feeling, he managed a faint smile. “Not too well,” he said. “But that’s OK.”
    Ali Khdayar, a family member, pointed to pockmarks on Mr al-Zaidi’s head. “That’s from the cigarettes that prison guards used to burn his face with. He got even more scars and damage that’s hidden by his clothing.”
    Last night Mr al-Zaidi left on a private jet for Syria on his way to Greece for medical check-ups, according to his brother Uday.
    His cousin, Haidar al-Zaidi, said: “Muntazer will go to Greece for medical treatment because he was injected with unknown chemical drugs and he suffers from a continuous headache.”
    The journalists’s story dominated the news in Iraq yesterday, where his “heroic” deeds were their top bulletin. Everyday conversations in Baghdad were dominated by his release.
    He became world famous for hurling his size 10 shoes at Mr Bush at a press conference last December during the President’s final visit to Baghdad and also called him a dog — two of the worst insults in the Middle East. Mr Bush ducked the flying footwear but the attack was a major embarrassment to Mr al-Maliki, who was standing next to him.
    There is now talk of Mr al-Zaidi becoming a TV presenter on established Arabic networks. He has even received unsolicited proposals of marriage from around the region.
    Mr al-Zaidi said that the media hype surrounding him was less important than what had happened to Iraq. “I am now free but my country is still captive,” he said. “I am not a hero . . . I feel humiliated to see my country suffer.
    “If only the people who blamed me knew how many times have the shoes that I threw stepped in houses demolished by the occupation and how many times they mixed with the blood of innocent people and how many times they entered houses that have been violated.”
    He was convicted in March for assault but his three-year sentence was cut to one year on appeal because he had no criminal record. It was reduced again for good behaviour.
    Mr al-Zaidi’s lawyer, Dia al-Saadi, praised the justice system for allowing his client to be released early. “The court order of the release expresses the integrity and justice of the jurisdiction,” he said.
    The Iraqi authorities have denied allegations that Mr al-Zaidi was tortured in prison but after his news conference Sami al-Askari, an adviser to Mr al-Maliki, said that the allegations should be investigated.

  153. Kelly W.
    September 18, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    The shoe-thrower is now free, and he has made a speech in front of the public. I have copied and pasted the first part of the speech below. The last part I have not included below, it is about the torture he endured in prison.
    __________________________________
    Mutadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi who threw his shoe at George Bush gave this speech on his recent release.

    In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful.

    Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war.

    Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act.

    But, simply, I answer: What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

    And how it wanted to crush the skulls of (the homeland’s) sons under its boots, whether sheikhs, women, children or men. And during the past few years, more than a million martyrs fell by the bullets of the occupation and the country is now filled with more than 5 million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. And many millions of homeless because of displacement inside and outside the country.

    We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shiite would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ, may peace be upon him. And despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than 10 years, for more than a decade.

    Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. Until we were invaded by the illusion of liberation that some had. (The occupation) divided one brother from another, one neighbor from another, and the son from his uncle. It turned our homes into never-ending funeral tents. And our graveyards spread into parks and roadsides. It is a plague. It is the occupation that is killing us, that is violating the houses of worship and the sanctity of our homes and that is throwing thousands daily into makeshift prisons.

    I am not a hero, and I admit that. But I have a point of view and I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated. And to see my Baghdad burned. And my people being killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, and this weighs on me every day and pushes me toward the righteous path, the path of confrontation, the path of rejecting injustice, deceit and duplicity. It deprived me of a good night’s sleep.

    Dozens, no, hundreds, of images of massacres that would turn the hair of a newborn white used to bring tears to my eyes and wound me. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Fallujah, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. In the past years, I traveled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and hear with my own ears the screams of the bereaved and the orphans. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

    And as soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies of the Iraqis, and while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the traces of the blood of victims that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

    The opportunity came, and I took it.

    I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

    I say to those who reproach me: Do you know how many broken homes that shoe that I threw had entered because of the occupation? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? And how many times it had entered homes in which free Iraqi women and their sanctity had been violated? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

    When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

    After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.

    Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after.

    I wanted to defend the honor of my profession and suppressed patriotism on the day the country was violated and its high honor lost. Some say: Why didn’t he ask Bush an embarrassing question at the press conference, to shame him? And now I will answer you, journalists. How can I ask Bush when we were ordered to ask no questions before the press conference began, but only to cover the event. It was prohibited for any person to question Bush.

  154. Kelly W.
    December 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Al Zeidi has written a book titled The Last Salute to President Bush. The book was unveiled two years to the day of the shoe-throwing incident. Al Zeidi is doing book signings. Al Zeidi is also suing Al Malaki for putting him in prison and for the suffering and torture he endured there. He is donating all proceeds from his book to Iraqi children who have suffered due to USA’s occupation of Iraq.

    I still have to laugh as I think of the shoes flying towards Bush!

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