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Monday, June 12, 2006

Bill McDonald explains in plain English

If you went to your neighbor's house and murdered him and then told the police you did it because he was building a weapon to kill you, you'd go to prison -- especially if no weapon could be found.... You might feel the Iraqis are not innocent, so let me give you one example: A girl, 5 to 7 years old was also killed in the raid on Zarqawi. She had to be innocent, and if the United States was going to come to her country and kill her, we should have at least been in the right. Instead, we were wrong -- not arguably wrong -- just plain wrong.
As they say, read the whole thing.

Comments (27)

What if that same neighbor (who had no weapon after all) had been preventing the police from inspecting his house?

What if that neighbor had previously invaded a sovereign town (say, Gresham) because somebody let their dog run off-leash, and then he raped all the women in the town and burned it down.

What if that neighbor had tried to murder your daddy?

What if that neighbor had already murdered his own son-in-law, and thousands of his own "family" using previous versions of the weapons that couldn't be found.

What if that neighbor was paying rewards to the family of little neighborhood kids who had the "courage" to jump in front of trains?

What if, indeed.

Preemptive War, War of choice, War based on lies.

This is Wrong, wrong, wrong,

What propaganda are we going to believe?

9/11 was an inside job. The three buildings in NY fell at freefall speed. Please watch the buildings fall again. It will become obvious even to the layman.


What if a government attacks it's own people? Passes laws that take away our freedom of speach, and make them able to come into your house without a warrant. Media is now controlled and all we get is entertainment.

Whistleblowers will now get Jail sentences.

We are under a dictatorship. Can't anyone else see this.

George Bush said the constitution was just a piece of paper.

We have a corrupt government. All of them need to be replaced. Even the congressmen. I believe that Oregon is also run by corruption as it has been in the past.

We need to clean our own house before we judge others.


Too bad, but not uncommon, that a thoughtful statement just draws comments from the extremes. The middle ground seems plenty clear to me: Pre-emptive, unilateral military attacks are wrong. Torture is wrong. Indefinite incarceration without judicial review is wrong. Indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians (when others do it, we call it terrorism) is wrong.

The little girl in Haditha was asleep in her nightclothes, like her grand-daddy, the one in the wheelchair pumped full of holes.

And if Mister T wants to REALLY find out what is happening in Iraq, he could drop the drink mix and sign up for The Army -- if he only had some cojones.

If only...

Interesting that rebuttals in the same vein as the argument are labeled "comments from the extremes...".

Allen, I fear that simplicity if the real enemy in this discussion. When the first strike can be anonymous and result in thousands of deaths (e.g. nuclear, biological, chemical) is a pre-emptive strike always wrong? Are you comfortable using "torture" as an umbrella term that includes a level of discomfort that is milder than that undergone by many military trainees and fraternity pledges and should be prohibited even if it involves an effort to stop mass murder? Is it your contention that foreign-born terrorists (not regular military troops)captured on foreign battlefields should be accorded civilian lawyers in the U.S? And finally, are you aware of any military force in history that has made more efforts to avoid non-combatant casualties than the U.S.? If so, please let us know. Keep in mind that a central tenet of guerilla warfare is to hide among the civilian population and terrorists, in particular, exist to exploit innocent civilians by not only killing them but using them as shields when necessary. That you are willing to generalize the practices of the US military with terrorists is...well, "sadly interesting" is the only term I can come up with that wouldn't be deleted for offensiveness.

Getting back to the spirit of Bill's original, here's a few more that come to mind:

What if that neighbor, after agreeing to parole terms for his previous conviction on a murderous rampage against another neighborhood family (not his first rampage - that one was back in the '80's and was considered more of a turf war so he was given a pass on it), told the authorities to go to hell and wouldnl't allow them on his property to enforce the terms of the parole and search for the alleged weapons? And then he did this 16 more times over a sufficient time to get rid of the evidence?

What if the authorities in surrounding towns all had experience with your neighbor and all agreed that, yes, they were pretty sure he did have weapons and yes, he was planning to kill you?

What if it later was revealed that members of your city council and your police chief had been bribed by your neighbor to not only denigrate your concerns to the rest of the community but also to make sure that no official action would be taken despite the evidence of weapons and intent?

What if your neighbor was not only found to be supporting local gangs that were terrorizing and killing other neighbors but also was allowing some of these thugs (that had killed more than a few members of your family a year before) to not only sleep over but to train in his basement for their next operation?

And what if, after all this, you didn't take any action and your neighbor, now emboldened by the tacit support of your "community leadership" continued on his previously established lifestyle choices and killed a few more of your relatives and any other neighbors he happened to disagree with?

I suspect that your family would have pretty good reason to believe that you didn't care about their welfare but were only more interested in getting along with the rest of the community. And they'd be right.

this is what i know- my cousins on flight 77 were innocent. And now they're gone. According to some people, no plane hit the Pentagon. Maybe they can find those two people for me. Because my family can't.

This i also know- Hussein lost the right to call himself a human being quite some time ago.

Everything else, well, i know only what some other family members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan tell me. I'm not a military strategist, nor a historian, nor any kind of politician. I've been lied to on all fronts by people waving blue flags and red flags and american flags. These people are all still lying to me.

Mr. T and Ronald M., I urge you to think a little about your "examples", all of which seem to be intended to justify vigilante action. Anticipatory self-defense? It's a hard case to make, and your efforts seem only to reinforce Bill McDonald's position.

one example: A girl, 5 to 7 years old was also killed in the raid on Zarqawi. She had to be innocent

hmm...hadnt heard that. What I heard was that it was Zarqawi's 16-yr old wife and their infant daughter.
But I guess with the media we have today, we will never know for sure. They pretty much report whatever they want to get ratings.

One thing though...say if they find Osama in the hills somewhere, should they take their time, planning each hit carefully, then go in and remove all the "innocents" such as elderly and children first? Because I guarantee you, they are not considering anyone "innocent" when they attack us. They have even said we are all "guilty" because of who we are, how we live, and where we live.
Or do we just give up and hope we can all get along?
I understand and agree that the White House's statements in the beginning were BS, but what should we have done?

While I weep for the girl, if you're gonna bring a child into a "safe house", you'd better know she's going to be a target as well. We can debate how we got there until we're blue in the face, but the bottom line is we're there. We broke it, it's up to us to fix it. Our military did the right thing in bombing that house and killing the terrorist it was hiding.

Anyone else hear the report on NPR last night about preparations in Venezuela for a US invasion? They're stashing their weapons under statues of the Virgin Mary. Similar to tactics used in the Middle East of using religious shrines for cover. Not saying we are or should invade Venezuela (I believe we should keep our mits off...Big Oil may take a different view), but if we find ourselves down there, it's gonna be tough to avoid that fact and tough not to start blowing up shrines. Then we're the bad guys. Again.

this is what i know- my cousins on flight 77 were innocent. And now they're gone. According to some people, no plane hit the Pentagon. Maybe they can find those two people for me. Because my family can't.

Sorry to hear that.. whats really sad is those same people who say the plane never hit the Pentagon are saying that Flight 93 never even crashed. Apparently it was re-routed to Cincinatti and the people put into witness protection by our government...I guess when you hate a certain administration so much, no story is outlandish...or in this case, just bat-shit crazy.

Anyone else hear the report on NPR last night about preparations in Venezuela for a US invasion?

The only person I have heard saying that is Chavez...makes you kinda wonder where NPR is getting its information.

makes you kinda wonder NPR is getting its information.

So I'm guessing then you didn't hear the piece from the reporter on the ground watching the war games.

When did analogies become classified as enemy combatants? There sure are a lot of 'em being tortured here.

Ripped from the headlines:
"Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert said Monday his country would not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran and lent support to efforts by the European Union and the United States to persuade Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment..."

Hmmm, wacky neighbor declares you should be "wipped from the map". Wacky neighbor has the moral justification (in his mind) to wipe you from the map. Wacky neighbor now is getting nukes so that they can do what they want to do with their nukes.

Maybe Israel should wait for the UN, EU and other diplomatic efforts to protect them? It didn't work so well for Dafur, or the 100,000 killed by Saddam before he was removed.

At what point should Israel be able to defend itself from attacts? Maybe after the rockets are launched but before they hit Tel Aviv? After the homicide bomber has triggered his bomb in the town square, but before the explosion has crossed the street?

What the Quagmire in Iraq has to do with Iran vs. Israel:


One could make the comparison on the issue of pre-emptive strikes. It's a good discussion to have (somewhere), since the absence of such through the cold war is probably the only reason we're here talking about anything.


There is a possibility that the "wiped of the map" comment was poorly translated, and that it might not imply the level of threat one would assume. More about that here.

U.S. policy in the Middle East is predicated on the Israels playing the attack dog if the U.S. is unable or unwilling to do so. This doctrine emerged in the Johnson Administration (he was preoccupied with Vietnam) and was formalized by the Nixon Administration (when the Syrians invaded Jordan in September 1970).

The jihadists and fedayeen have recognized the U.S is NOT a neutral third party for some time (at least since Carter left office).

Despite our philosophical and political alignment with Israel, Clinton did his level best to negotiate a settlement to the Palestinian question. He failed. Following that failure, it became necessary to demonstrate that a failed peacemaker was not a paper tiger.

We had to remove Saddam Hussein from power to demonstrate that U.S. Foreign Policy is not just a benign grouping of diplomats, with limited economic might, and naval vessels that sail the world without much of anything to do.

Quoting Madeline Albright (speaking to Colin Powell, "What good is it having the most powerful military in the world if you don’t use it.”

George Bush used it. Paper Tiger no more.

Question: I keep hearing about innocent Iraqis being killed by American soldiers, but why does no one ever talk about the innocent Iraqis killed by the 'Iraqi and foreign insurgents?' Car bombs, homicide bombers, snipers and assassins... I bet the secular Muslim terrorists have killed way more civilian Iraqis than we have.

In fact, the secular Muslims seem to be everywhere killing their own people or their neighbors in lots of places where we aren't conducting any kind of war: Sudan, Gaza, Iran, Indonesia...

War is hard on civilians and soldiers - let's not act outraged or surprised over the obvious. Weak countries, like weak people, are more likely to be attacked than strong ones. After all of our foreign policy failures of the past few years under both Republican and Democrat administrations, we had to do something. The Bush administration started off okay, but is now turning soft, just like their predecessors - a sure recipe for an even worse disaster than the current Iraq adventure in the future.

It's like African Americans using the "n-word". MAC. It doesn't count: THEY GET A FREE PASS, just like the jihadists and the fedayeen of Iraq get to kill all the civilians they can without repercussion. The librules will tell you that everything was peachy-keen in Iraq before we got there and stirred things up. Yeah right.

Saddam Hussein killed tens of thousands of his own people by fiat. He killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers by instigating the Iran/Iraq war (with millions more injured).

Al Qaeda in Iraq frequently targets civilians, with hundreds of women and children targeted to date.

But the Hate America crowd doesn't care: they know that Op/Ed articles and "nobody died when Clinton Lied" bumper stickers aren't going to influence Al Qaeda or the Baath Party Loyalists.

Mac and T:

The jihadists who blow peple up are assuredly evil. They are directly responsible for many (probably most) of the civillian deaths in Iraq since the war began. Before that, Hussein murdered some of his people, and tortured more, and oppressed most. Those facts, however, do not entirely remove the blood from our hands. Although its faults were many, Hussein's government was at least fairly stable. When we overthrew it, we uncorked the underlying chaos.

As a result of our failure to contain that predictable chaos, thousands of Iraqis died who, without the war, would most likely be alive today. The evidence [*] strongly indicates that Iraqis have died at a much higher rate since the war than before the war. We did not pull the triggers or plant the bombs or wield the knives that killed most of those people, but still we are indirectly responsible for their deaths.

That's not to say the war couldn't have been a worthwhile or noble effort. The ideals behind it may even have been good. (Although just which ideals we're fighting for is a murky question with various answers.) But no matter the goal, we failed to minimize the civillian carnage when carrying out the strategy by planning for an easy occupation rather than a hard one. Beyond that, the strategy itself seems to have been based on faulty information and/or judgement, so the correctness of the whole enterprise is doubtful.

In short, we removed an evil, but we have allowed a greater evil to take its place. (Temporarily, one hopes.)

And no, I don't hate America. I just demand that my government do better than this.

[*: I'd link to it, but the blog filters prevent me linking to CO dot UK sites. Hee. Go to the Guardian website, and tack on "/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338362,00.html"]

I have now de-blacklisted co.uk, which should not have been blacklisted to begin with. (Don't get me started on blog spammers...)

Just what is meant by a "secular muslum"? The terrorists are only following in the footsteps of Muhammed (sp?) who was a very violent person and who violently spread his religion. The Quoran directly calls for death to all infidels (which is everyone not Muslim). When Muhammed died, his successor (also his father-in-law) killed by the thousands all those who wanted out of this new religion. There was no out. Only death. That is still the case. And I don't think "wiped out" was too far off in the translation because Islam does not allow for the existance of Israel. Ever wonder why the Palestinians can't quite come to a full peace agreement with Israel? Because they can't by their religion acknowledge Israel's right to exist. That's at the crux of it. If you want to argue this, then you need to study up on Islam a bit. It's not like that is some big secret or anything. Again, it's in the Qoran. It's in their base teachings. So I'm not real hopeful of any real peace on that front. I think Israel is pretty brave just holding their ground given that everyone around them wants them dead. But I sure there are those who will blast me on that.
And I honestly don't hold out much hope for all the various factions to come together to form a cohesive new government in Iraq that will last for any amount of time. The various factions kill each other at a drop of a hat and revenge is routine. I'm not saying all Muslims are violent murderers. Luckily, most of them don't practice everything the Koran teaches. I think these are the real "secular Muslims".

The U.S. Paper Tiger Army is calling for MISTER T as they are almost 100,000 soldiers short of recruitment goals.

So grab a gun and go to Iraq... or you are afraid of LOSING YOUR... HEAD?


You must be writing to us from Basic Training, assuming that only people who carry a rifle to work are qualified to express an opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy or military affairs.

Yup, Mr. Tee, I'm at Camp Pendleton, doing one-armed push-ups, learning Arabic (they write backwards) and wondering where all you chickenhawks are!

Bawk! Bawk! Bawk!

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