[eDebate] ans Lewis
Thu Aug 2 00:25:09 CDT 2007
JL: Korcok, where to begin.
MK: the beginning is usually good.
JL: And again, regarding ad hominems, it would be wrong to point out that your recent posts would be pompous if they had any substance at all to them.
MK: on the other hand, the ending is good, too. substance is unnecessary for even HUGE pomposity: i know. have i mentioned that my IQ is a LOT higher than yours?
JL: First off, please define success in Iraq.
MK: Iraqi standards of living higher than before we liberated Iraq. check. life expectancy higher and infant mortality lower than before we liberated Iraq. check. net lives saved. check.
but those are just a few touchy-feely criteria that warm fuzzy cockles. there are a few that old people also care about.
US has military control of strategically critical middle eastern real estate that used to be controlled by one of its enemies and borders Iran and Syria with port access to the Persian Gulf? check.
US continues to demonstrate to potential enemies that if they fuck with us, nothing they care about will prosper. check.
US learns to do nation-building and democracy-conversion, develops intelligence networks in hostile contexts, and takes the fight to terrorists. check.
JL: And if you say "When we win," you have to go sit in the corner.
MK: When we win. You appear to be confused, however. You seem to believe that you are my mommy. For all I know, I am your daddy. Really. It all gets hazy a few years back.
Also, I don't know if we will ever "win" more than we are already "winning". It doesn't matter, really. The United States will never leave Iraq willingly. Not in our lifetimes, anyway. And whoever becomes President and whoever controls Congress won't change that. And if you think we will, you are a fool. And if you think we should, you are an even bigger fool. The only real questions are how much of a military presence we will have there, when the transitions occur and what form they will take.
JL: When, FOUR YEARS after "mission accomplished," Baghdad residents have about 2 hours of electricity a day, it's obvious that it would have been really helpful to have a plan for postwar Iraq beyond protecting the Oil Ministry.
MK: please. hours of electricity per day? your choice of standard is something easily manipulated by those who wish the US to fail, a convenient choice for them, because they can target fragile power systems and help you make your argument. why do you do that other than obvious explanations like you hate your daddy or you have been twisted into a grotesquery? why not make the standard the number of suicide bombings per day - at least then terrorists and zealots will blow themselves up trying to make your case for you - i would be okay with that... but really, let's use lifespan and economic growth: that way my argument is made for me only if Iraqis live longer and more prosperously while you still get yours if there is more misery, failure, and poverty. you know, win-win.
and OH-NOS!!!! not FOUR WHOLE YEARS!!!! THAT'S ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED ENTIRE DAYS!!!! TWO MILLION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY THOUSAND MINUTES!!!!
JL: Second, enlighten us on how the progress we've been told is being made thousands of times is FINALLY actual progress and not complete bullshit.
MK: Iraqi living standards, economic growth, lifespan, morbidity, child mortality. dead terrorists. US military control of Iraq. the NYT op-ed this weekend by O'Hanlon and Pollack. Your turn: how exactly are things worse than before the US liberation?
JL: First it was "when we get Saddam, it's over."
MK: dishonest crap. no one i know said that. instead they said things like "this will take a long time" and "we need to commit to this for the long haul" . and major combat operations were over in a few weeks. then the hard part began. the part that no one prepared for because no one knew what to do next or how to do it. the part that we are still learning how to do.
JL: Then it was "how about a new Iraqi flag that spits in the face of Arab tradition?" Then it was "okay, elections! That'll be victory!" Then "A constitution will mean we are victorious!"
MK: good milestones for progress. i take it you don't think that elections and constitutions matter? or are you one of those who think that democracy is good for white people but brown people, they will only ever know burkhas, theocracy, and beheadings?
feel free to cite anyone who wrote that once there were elections we would leave or once there was a constitution we were finished... oh wait that's just crap you were writing... my bad.
JL: Now the right wing is down to "Only 100 people were killed today in sectarian violence." Hell, the Pentagon is proud that "only" 73 American soldiers were killed last month.
MK: dishonest bullshit. 155,000 people died today around the world. about 2 of them were American military in Iraq. that is .000013 of the grand total of dying. those men and women chose to be in the US military: 4 years after the liberation, not one of those men and women is there against their will, anyone wishing to get out has had ample opportunity to do so. they died in service to their country and their sacrifice is worthy of our praise and recognition. they deserve better than to be caricatured by some twit as victims.
JL: Pretty soon we'll be hearing "The sun didn't swell into a red giant and devour the Earth. So we're making good progress."
MK: your turn. put up or shut up. what would YOU consider to be acceptable justification for the continued US military presence in Iraq? anticipating an idiotic answer like "NOTHING!!! IT IS AN IMMORAL WAR OF AGGRESSION AGAINST THE DESIRES OF ROSIE O'DONNEL!!" I would like to query deeper... If it is saving about 25,000 Iraqi lives a year? If infant mortality is down substantially? If morbidity is down and economic growth is up? no? because the French people hate us more than they did before we invaded? because we could have used those troops to invade Venezuela and kill Chavez instead? hmmm...
JL: And as far as the Brookings op-ed, they say we're making progress on the military front. Sure. We kicked ass on the military front in Vietnam - we killed a metric assload of Viet Cong and NVA and still wound up humiliated.
MK: yes we did. cut and run murdered more than 2 1/2 million Cambodians and South Vietnamese in cooperation with those lovely commies that Hanoi Jane embraced. the left seems to be enamored of strategies that leave America humiliated and hordes of brown people slaughtered.
JL: The difference here is we got sucked into Vietnam - Iraq was a war of choice from the beginning.
MK: every war is a war of choice. always, every time. We didn't have to fight in world war 2 or world war 1 or the civil war or the revolutionary war any more than we had to fight in the korean war or the vietnam war or the first gulf war. but peace is no safer or more sure a guarantor of justice or liberty or prosperity than is war. sometimes the right choice is to fight and sometimes the right choice is to make peace. the rest is just political bullshit for hucksters.
JL: And you know how little a pro-war article has to do with reality when it starts off with the high morale among our troops - implying that if you doubt the mission, you're not supporting the troops. Never mind that giving the troops the equipment they needed at the beginning - body armor, blast-resistant vehicles - would have been supporting the troops more than the mere words that the right wing is happy to give them. Oh, and magnetic ribbons. Can't forget those.
MK: more dishonest bullshit. the same crap that allows the left to move effortlessly from calling US troops terrorist thugs that rape in the middle of the night to donning wounded pouts when someone dares to mention that they are defaming the men and women fighting for this country. it starts and ends here: lets argue about what United States policy should be, but you don't caricature US troops as either perpetrators or as victims and i won't caricature you as either a coward or as unpatriotic. fair?
JL: I do applaud the authors for finishing with "How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission?" Perhaps you might answer that DIRECT question posed by the authors you applaud.
MK: those are good questions from mature persons. the question is asked for the purpose of pressuring Iraqi elites to make it work. And it has become clear that the Bush Administration has not previously put enough pressure on the Iraqi people to make it work. O'Hanlon and Pollack have roasted the Bush administration for that over the last couple of years, the Democrats have run with that theme and convinced some centrist Republicans. It makes sense to me that the United States needs to push the Iraqis to do more, faster. Because we are there for the long haul: it would be nicer if things were more pleasant for everyone.
JL: And as for Greenwald's article...I'm no fan of ad hominems, but it is relevant to show that someone has been wrong before on the same subject - it's called "credibility." If that word has lost meaning for you since 1/20/01, think "Alberto Gonzales" and you'll have the antonym.
MK: so you are training to be a poster-boy of the far left? man, you have a long haul before you... even for the debate-world nominee for poster boy you have a long way to go... there are 20 to 30 people reading this exchange that are muttering "newbie" while rolling their eyes because they are sure you won't be challenging their status as elite poster-children of the loopy left any time soon.
Finally, you are invited to present actual evidence for any of the stupid ideas you wrote in the previous post. I doubt I will reciprocate with evidence of my own because I doubt you will manage to keep my interest. how is THAT for POMPOSITY?!? I WIN!!!
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