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September 12, 2008

Comments

I'm not sure why this is back by popular demand. Just because Gawfer and I ...

[From DR -- Please READ THE POST BEFORE YOU COMMENT. I'm sure other readers will be interested in your comments, but only if they are relevant to the existing post, or to another comment.]

I'm going to say this again, after you have censored my original comment. And if you look, my original comment was post nearly 40 minutes after the original post. 40 minutes slogging through it and following all the links, I must have had 20 tabs open at one point. (Most of them being other blogs which operate on journalistic speculation rather than solid fact, a few out of context quotes from the BBC and other news organizations, and a lot of speculation from the ISSA, whose job it is to speculate and run possible war scenarios in preparation for being able to answer and respond to them.)

Just because Gawfer and I tossed a little bit of this back and forth on another blog post hardly warrants bringing this back as "Back By Popular Demand". Especially as nothing new appears to have occurred or been added to it.

Your original post claims "Everything that Nancy Pelosi said turned out to be true." you then quote a statement she made from 2002, when she, like everyone else was under the sway of the false and possibly deliberately faulty intelligence provided by the Bush Administration regarding Saddam's WMD programs.

You then link to a post by Gina Cobb from Oct. of 2007.

(Which contains the above mentioned links, and then a bunch of quotes from 2002 when everyone was pretty much duped about Iraq's weapons capability.)

We went in, we found some non-weapons grade yellowcake which we already knew was there since before 1991, and some empty pre-1991 chemical weapons containers. We did not find chemical weapons, we did not find biological weapons, we did not find nuclear weapons. To date, no post-1991 manufactured WMDs have been found in Iraq.

End of story.

And please, instead of censoring my comment, follow it up with a comment of your own that contradicts me or provides discussion. If you think I am wrong, bring up reasons why, and we can discuss it. If other people think I am wrong (or right) they can provide comments of their own.

Free Speech, Dialogue, Discussion. The American way.

By the way, I would just like to add, as someone who frequents moderate Republican blogs (as that most closely aligns with my political views), and even some liberal left leaning blogs (I try and listen to all viewpoints), this is the only blog I have ever had posts censored on. And I don't even use foul language.

"...Free Speech, Dialogue, Discussion. The American way..."

It is clear by your comments that you are a thoughtful and intelligent person who can articulate concepts.

The one error you have made is to assume your first amendment rights are applicable in a private domain. These websites are bought and paid for by the owner, and as such fall under their rule within the confines of our laws. In other words, our free speech ends at the press of the comment button. Gina has funded this site, and is the law regarding free speech.

The same goes for my site BTW. I paid for the domain, and it is up to me to insure firstly that no laws are violated, and then that MY RULES are complied with.

Your comments are good and thought provoking, Andrew. Please continue.

I understand that Gina Cobb (and Democracy Rules, are they the same person?) have the right to remove posts as they see fit.

I find it ironic though, that with an American Flag and an American Eagle up at the top of the page, on a blog which is ostensibly supposed to be an open forum (News and Commentary for Thinking People, Welcome! Make Yourself at Home, Leave a Comment) about an issue (Politics) which is one which so obviously requires discourse, I have found myself censored on three occasions (and I've been here approximately a week.)

As I mentioned before, I don't use foul language, and I have never been censored or had a post deleted or edited in any way on any of the other blogs I read and comment on. I would describe my commenting style as mildly acerbic at times, but never filled with the vitriol and rage which typically gets a poster banned or censored.

It is perfectly within the domain holder's right to censor me, and even block my IP address, but I find that it is contrary to the very nature of what this blog is supposed to be about (at least, as I understand it.)

No, Gina and DR are not one in the same anymore than Gina and I are one in the same. I have the right to censor, edit or delete any comments on the posts that only I write, and so does DR. We cannot edit or change any post written by anyone else.

With that being said, I submit to the authority of Gina and her rules, as she is the owner, and I am just a guest commentator. I believe DR is as I am; a guest commentator as well.

PS - I also enjoy commenting here - even though Gawfer and I got off to such a bad start.

Talking about censure and Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, the subsequent war against him, I'd like to add a comment.

To lay the foundation - I believe Saddam was a maniac that killed anyone in his way. He was evil - real evil.

I want to bring this up because it started everything. If there had been no 911, then I don't think the war in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been possible. I think that the USA needed an excuse to invade Iraq. That excuse was the word 'terrorism', that was 're-invented' after 911.

There has been so much written and I'll just add one piece that I read lately, that hopefully someone will comment on. Thanks.

____________
[From DR -- I hope you have stored this comment elsewhere, because I will soon delete everything from here on down. I don't know what else to do with it. It's irrelevant to the thread, but the worst problem is that it is undocumented.

EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS require extraordinary proof. Thus, our demand for verifiability must be very high in this case. Also, the Law of Parsimony, (also called Occam's razor), requires that the simplest explanation that fits the facts must be accepted.

The "Truther" arguments are extremely complicated. Therefore for them to be accepted, they would have to fit the facts BETTER than the standard explanation.

There is also the problem of bias. Most of the "truthers" are people with a particular hatred for Bush. Conspiracy theories are also common among people with personality disorders that feature paranoia.

Of course, they could be crazy, but they also COULD BE RIGHT. However, their assertions must be checked very carefully. Millions of Americans believe that Elvis is alive.]

__________________________________

[From DR -- As I have pointed out several times in the past, keep it brief and factual. Opinions are much more interesting if they are fact-based. I have edited your comment here, but please remember that I will delete your comment if it's too much work to edit it. DO NOT INSULT THE HOST.]

DemocracyRules has now edited and added to their original blog post which requires me to respond to the new points added:

(1) [Insult deleted] The Main Stream Media in the end usually ends up being fairly balanced by virtue of it's own competitiveness and the nature of media reporting in general. There are some media sources which lean to the left, and there are other sources which lean to the right. These tend to counteract each other. If you get your information from a wide variety of sources (instead of just one or two) you usually get an accurate picture of the truth.

[There is ample evidence that the MSM is strongly leftist. I will not cite references here, because EVERY study I have yet seen has shown that the MSM has a strong left-wing bias. Find me a credible study that shows otherwise and I will post it.]

(2) Once again (I believe this is the third or fourth time) you quote people speaking in 2002 who had been influenced by the faulty (and possibly deliberately skewed) information which had been presented by the Bush Administration. The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence which Pelosi was a part of does not review intelligence, they make advisements on how the Intelligence community should work.

[You are not reading my material thoroughly. I cite the statements made in 2002 to specifically refute the argument that "Bush Lied". He did no such thing. Saddam was regarded as a threat by most legislators.]

(3) [Irrelevant]

(4) [Irrelevant]

(5) [Irrelevant]

A speech by Bernard Fall, who predicted in 1964 that America would lose the Vietnam War, and even why they would lose the Vietnam War.

[The US DID NOT LOSE the Vietnam war. See my previous posts on this. Nixon won the war using laser-guided bombs (operations Linebacker 1 & 2.) This forced the N. Vietnamese to the peace table.

Once the US had withdrawn, N. Vietnam re-invaded. With another round of precision bombings, N. Vietnam could have been defeated again. The Democrat-controlled house denied funding for the air-strikes. S. Vietnam was overwhelmed. The US was not defeated. The S. Vietnamese were defeated because of the US Democrats. -- The Linebacker operations are well-documented.]


-----

To Yes But Truthfully,

Most of the 9/11 conspiracy theories represent a fairly extreme left wing view, and I think they've been pretty thoroughly investigated and discredited by this point. There are so many wild 9/11 conspiracy theories that it's impossible to go to one source to debunk them all. One that tackles most of the main talking points is the Popular Mechanics investigation into 9/11 conspiracy theories:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html?page=1

I view the extreme left with the same disappointment I view the extreme right. The wild speculation and hysterical antagonism that each of these extremely polarized views represents does nothing to help our country as a whole. I'm not saying it's wrong to question or investigate, that sort of thing is to be encouraged, but to continue to be obstinate in the face of the evidence indicates some sort of other fundamental problem.

I will check that site, however I still haven't found answers to many of the questions regarding 9-11 - AND there are many.
I would also hesitate to call what has been written and said by very intelligent and educated people to be extreme.
I suggest, from your comments, that you do a little research on this too. I found it fascinating.
There have been German and Italian documentaries on it. amoungst others.

What I find reallz compelling, is that there were a massive number of discrepancies. Usuallz, if the truth is told, there may be a few, but so many??
Please check out '9/11 Coincidences' Parts One to 11 on youtube and then tell me what you think. I agree that people could be making money from this, but look at the evidence...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odp1FO0Vmuw

At this point in time, with the elections so close, I can understand your answer regarding extreme left and right. However, I am neither - although more liberal than conservative. I guess it is not a good time to bring 911 up - but it is actually the main reason why the US people are so tied up in knots regarding this election - because if 911 had never been, what happened after would also not have happened. It is the corner stone to our new world.

Clearly, in the heart of every American is NOT revisiting 9/11/2001, but working to prevent another catastrophic event from occurring... at all costs.

While typing this, I recalled the general sentiment that existed directly after 9/11: ‘If we were reasonably sure, [not 100% sure] that there was an impending attack, we would no longer wait for it to occur. In other words, we became pro-active rather than reactive. It was later defined as 'Pre-emptive defense', and attributed to one of the Bush Doctrines.

DemocracyRules,

From now on, if you're going to selectively censor parts of my post, please just delete the whole thing. This probably won't be much of a problem, since I won't participate in your blog posts anymore.

You apparently cannot stand anyone directly analyzing and contradicting portions of your post, which is why you removed my counter arguments to your points 3,4, and 5, and then condescendingly labeled them all "irrelevant".

I can't compete with fascistic censorship of that kind.

Furthermore, I am very surprised you think the statement "This is silly." is an insult. Apparently you've never really been insulted.

Last, the United States LOST Vietnam. The political maneuvering of the Paris Peace Accord was a face saving gesture by the Nixon administration to withdraw from the conflict in the face of massive public pressure at home, and the fact that there appeared to be no end to the conflict and it was a massive drain on U.S. resources. The North Vietnamese agreed to the Paris Peace accord as a simple and expedient means of getting the U.S. out of Vietnam. It worked.

Winning or Losing a war is not always done on the battlefield, sometimes it's done at the negotiating table, and here North Vietnam won.

The U.S. came away from Vietnam with 60,000 dead and 300,000 wounded and left an unsupported government in South Vietnam which they knew would not survive. This is a loss.

Saigon is now called Ho Chi Minh City. End of story.

[Read the HISTORY, Andrew. I assure you, you will not make things true just by asserting they are true. Don't fight with me, there is no point in that. The truth is bigger than both of us. Cite your sources and prove me wrong. That's how discourse reveals truth! I promise, I will READ what your write.]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh_City

...looks like our efforts to have a free and democratic South Vietnam failed.

[Andrew, you know very well this is irrelevant to the discussion, so why bring it up?

The issue was DID the US lose their part of the war in Vietnam or NOT? There is no question that after the US withdrew, N. Vietnam invaded and defeated the South --

but that was AFTER the US signed a peace treaty and withdrew:

The Day The US Won In Vietnam


The US was no longer at war with N. Vietnam. -- Pro Patria]

Andrew - DR needs to change his name to just RULES.
It is absolutely ridiculous to even put forward the idea that Vietnam was won by the US.

[From DR -- Why is it ridiculous? The MSM have foisted an egregious mistruth on the world. With the internet, and sources like

Google Scholar

readily available, That mistruth can easily be shown to be false. I don't take the MSM's word about anything anymore...

The Day The US Won In Vietnam

]

What was the original GOAL of the US? I mean , surely they undertook to go to war after very careful thought? Surely they did not go on a whim?

So what was the goal? The goal was to stop the spread of communism to South Vietnam.

[Uh, I explained that in a previous comment. In 1968, Johnson bombed N. Vietnam, but the bombs were very inaccurate, and they did little to stop the reinforcements and resupplies coming into the South. The MSM said, "Johnson is bombing rice paddies", which was about right.

However, Nixon's Operations Linebacker 1 & 2 used laser guided bombs. They came in low and took out VERY SPECIFIC targets like rail bridges, rail yards, key roadways, etc. Civilian casualties were low, but N. Vietnam's capacity to reinforce and resupply their army in the South was DEVASTATED. The North agreed to peace terms, because they ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT WIN in the South no matter how much equipment the USSR and China gave them. They lost their shipping capacity.

Kissinger, the Secretary of State, had little that he could TELL the MSM at the time, because of military secrecy. He kept talking about "surgical strikes", but nobody knew what he meant. The MSM laughed that it must be some type of precision bombing of rice paddies, or maybe hospitals.]

That did not happen. Everyone has seen the dramatic footage of the last US soldiers leaving the roof of the US Embassy in helicopters as the North Vietnamese rolled in. That looked anything like victory to me!

[YES, those pictures are very sad, but they were taken from the very biased lens of the MSM. The helicopter pictures show the evacuation of the US embassy in 1975, when S. Vietnam fell to the Communists. It was long after the US military had withdrawn from S. Vietnam.]

It was a failure on a massive scale, as you described, that is being repeated - de ja vu - in Iraq.

It is un-questionable fact.

[I know, used to do that too. I used to go around believing the MSM stuff. But over time, I started to think, "Why is it UNQUESTIONABLE? What really happened?"]

Additionally, the fact that DR even argues against this fact, explains a lot of where he is coming from - i.e. a relatively blind corner.

[Uh, the corner is not really BLIND. So long as we have access to the truth, blindness to the truth is a personal choice.]

Folks,

Lets be clear. The Military did not lose the Vietnam war.

Vietnam was lost in the American eye and Congress after the Tet offensive:

"February 1, 1968 - In Saigon during Tet, a suspected Viet Cong guerrilla is shot in the head by South Vietnam's police chief Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, in full view of an NBC news cameraman and an Associated Press still photographer. The haunting AP photo taken by Eddie Adams appears on the front page of most American newspapers the next morning. Americans also observe the filmed execution on NBC TV...

February 2, 1968 - President Johnson labels the Tet Offensive "a complete failure."

"...For the North Vietnamese, the Tet Offensive is both a military and political failure in Vietnam. The "general uprising" they had hoped to ignite among South Vietnamese peasants against the Saigon government never materialized. Viet Cong had also come out of hiding to do most of the actual fighting, suffered devastating losses, and never regained their former strength. As a result, most of the fighting will be taken over by North Vietnamese regulars fighting a conventional war. -->Tet's only success, and an unexpected one, was in eroding grassroots support among Americans and in Congress for continuing the war indefinitely..."

The media’s bias reporting played a significant role in destroying the morale of the American fighting forces in Vietnam, and fostered a sense of utter contempt for our troops as they returned home. Many were the reports of medals being torn from uniforms and soldiers being spat upon as they exited air terminals. People believed what was being reported from a liberal bent that lasted beyond the time I served (1979-1985). There was still a sense of disdain for the military, and I received NO accolades for being in uniform.

What people tend to overlook is that Vietnam was in comparison a very small part of the world politics that were continuing to simmer. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were fully engaged with China and the Soviet Union throughout the war and many possible events were avoided because of their efforts.

And to compare the outcome of Vietnam to Iraq is absurd.

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=51189
But improved security here presented an option that probably wouldn’t even have been considered during the secretary’s seven previous visits to Iraq. Gates rode in a regular armored sedan, and his party traveled in mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles as they made the trip on the airport road…”

“…Gates told the leaders that he was honored to meet with them. “I can hardly believe with my own eyes the dramatic changes for the better,” he said. “The changes are due to the sacrifices of Iraqis and our own coalition forces.”


As I write this we are standing down in Iraq, Iraqi forces continue to take over, a beginning democracy is in place, and the Iraqi infrastructure is better now than ever before (I’ve posted links in previous comments as support). General Petraeus yesterday, passed the command to general Odierno as he takes on the bigger role of Chief of US Central Command. One does not get a promotion for failure, BTW. The western world now has an ally in the Middle East to encourage Saudi Arabia and others to play nice.

[Dear Gawfer, from DR -- Thank you for this clarification. here is something I wrote previously about Vietnam:

The Day The US Won In Vietnam

-- Pro Patria]

DemocracyRules,

First, I will once again ask you to make your replies as comments. When you go in and edit someone else's comment, it makes it (a) difficult to catch, as sometimes we don't know you've replied, (b) somewhat confusing, as sometimes it is difficult to discern where your comment ends and the original comment was, and (c) it disrupts the flow of the conversation. For example, my reply to Yes, But Truthfully makes no sense now that you have deleted the contents of his comment. Also, since you have deleted my link to the speech by Bernard Fall, people cannot follow it and understand the point I was trying to make.

I would also ask you to stop censoring peoples comments unless they contain profanity.

Argue with people all you want, but do it in your own comment instead of abusing your ability to edit other peoples replies.

-----------------

Now, in regards to Vietnam. I am going to throw your own words back at you here. "I assure you, you will not make things true just by asserting they are true." - Linking to your own blog post "The Day the US Won in Vietnam" three times does not make it any more true.

War is waged on a number of fronts, some of which are on the battlefield, but others which are at the negotiating table, and the in the field of propaganda.

In terms of Military, it is highly probable, that at an enormous cost in manpower and money the United States might have been able to occupy Vietnam and achieve a "military" victory, but it would require an occupation and constant suppression of an insurgency and guerilla war, which would have had a huge destabilizing effect on the U.S. in both economic and moral terms. Total victory for the U.S. would have been just about impossible.

I once again point to the Bernard Fall speech, which I will again post a link to:

http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/navy/art5-w98.htm

The pertinent information is contained in the section "The Erroneous Criteria of Success". (This problem is also pertinent to Iraq.)

I also recommend Jeffrey Record's "Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win" for further reading.

Victory on the battlefield for the U.S. in Vietnam did not mean winning the war. The U.S. lost the war.

If we say that a face-saving withdrawl from the country is a victory, then you can say that the Soviets won in Afghanistan. Is that something you believe?

In the end, the U.S. failed to achieve it's objectives, and North Vietnam succeeded in theirs. They never won a "battle" but they succeeded in creating a sustained insurgency, they then won the propaganda war, and they out maneuvered the U.S. at the negotiating table.

If you seriously believe that the U.S. won the Vietnam War, then I, Andrew Boylston, will gladly do everything in my power to help fly you out to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and have it arranged so that you have a translator and can present a lecture on your findings before the Ho Chi Minh City Open University Faculty of Southeast Asian Studies.

____________________
[From DR -- OK I will draw a line to make my notes clearer. Andrew, Once again you are becoming unnecessarily abrasive. YOU should be GLAD I put notes on your comments. Otherwise I would just delete them.

Each website is a bit different, and here are GINA's rules: "Comments... may also be edited or deleted if they include statements that are false, defamatory, unethical, immoral, or illogical. Rude comments or spam will also result in a permanent website ban..."

I support those rules. Andrew, on comment boards you have to choose between HEAT and LIGHT, and if you want LIGHT, heat is a waste of energy.

By the way, Gina also edits some of my stuff (although she hasn't banned me yet!). Editing is good for you, it makes you tough. EVERY PUBLISHED AUTHOR must deal with editors.

Now as for Vietnam... well, never mind. The readers of this thread now have enough info to make up their own minds.]

DR,

Thank you for separating your comments with the line. I still think it would be easier if you just left a comment of your own in reply, this way it will show up in the Feed on the left side of the site, and we'll know when you're replied. Gina did so here:

http://ginacobb.typepad.com/gina_cobb/2008/09/is-a-godlly-wom.html

However, I do appreciate that you left your comments in a separate line and did not censor the post. It makes for a more open atmosphere here.

I also agree, the readers of this thread probably do have enough information now to decide on their own about the results of the Vietnam War.

Andrew,
If you are addressing 'The Gawfer', let me restate my position:

"...Lets be clear. The Military did not lose the Vietnam War.

Vietnam was lost in the American eye and Congress after the Tet offensive:"

As you can see, I did not indicate victory; I pointed my finger squarely in the face of the media and congress who were responding to public pressure influenced by the media.

Not sure how old you are, sir, but I remember clearly the goings on. June of 1970, I remember sitting in the grand stands at my older sister's High School graduation listening to the key note speaker mock and ridicule our military, and then my father standing up and booing him. I remember my mom trying to calm my father because he was remembering things about his service in the Korean War that I wouldn't understand until last year when he finally opened up to me. War is hell for everybody... especially the soldiers.

Though we left Vietnam in defeat, it wasn't because of our military. No, it was because of 'political correctness'. The political correctness that says all death is bad and brings flowers and makes love not war, the very same disease that attempted to imbed itself in the Iraq war and manifested itself in the form of the vomit Cindy Sheehan spewed upon the airwaves of the liberal media. I could go on, but the point is clear.

Thankfully, President Bush had the tenacity to fight through the dogma and and leave Iraq better than when we went in.

The US lost the Vietnam War because our military was not allowed to do what they were trained to do: achieve military dominance by gaining control of strategic geographical points and killing the enemy without remorse.

If you weren’t addressing me, then please ignore my rant.

Gawfer,

We seem to be roughly the same age. I was born in 1958. Half a century down, who knows how much more to go.

I wasn't addressing you, but I do stick by what I said.

As I said above, "In terms of Military, it is highly probable, that at an enormous cost in manpower and money the United States might have been able to occupy Vietnam and achieve a "military" victory, but it would require an occupation and constant suppression of an insurgency and guerilla war, which would have had a huge destabilizing effect on the U.S. in both economic and moral terms."

...and...

"War is waged on a number of fronts, some of which are on the battlefield, but others which are at the negotiating table, and the in the field of propaganda."

To surmise,

The U.S. Military did not lose the war. But the United States, as a collective nation, government, military, and populace, lost the war in Vietnam. We did not achieve what we set out to do, namely, insure that there was and would continue to be a stable and democratic South Vietnam. Vietnam is now a communist nation. We may have had the better team, we might have even played the better game on the field, but after all is said and done, the final score indicates that North Vietnam won.

If we had won, the memories wouldn't be so bitter.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

Andrew,

"...The U.S. Military did not lose the war. But the United States, as a collective nation, government, military, and populace, lost the war in Vietnam. We did not achieve what we set out to do, namely, insure that there was and would continue to be a stable and democratic South Vietnam. Vietnam is now a communist nation. We may have had the better team, we might have even played the better game on the field, but after all is said and done, the final score indicates that North Vietnam won.

If we had won, the memories wouldn't be so bitter..."

Agreed.

Just to back up my take on Iraq DR, please check what www.globalresearch.ca writes about the soldiers experiences there:

"MARFA, Texas, Sep 16 (IPS) - Aside from the Iraqi people, nobody knows what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq better than the soldiers themselves. A new book gives readers vivid and detailed accounts of the devastation the U.S. occupation has brought to Iraq, in the soldiers' own words.

"Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation," published by Haymarket Books Tuesday, is a gut-wrenching, historic chronicle of what the U.S. military has done to Iraq, as well as its own soldiers.

Authored by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and journalist Aaron Glantz, the book is a reader for hearings that took place in Silver Spring, Maryland between Mar. 13-16, 2008 at the National Labour College.

"I remember one woman walking by," said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the U.S. Marines who served three tours in Iraq. "She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realised that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces.""

It continues and does not get better. This is a true account from soldiers that were in Iraq. What is clear is that these were not just occasional breaks in code of conduct - it was a total breakdown.

That is why Iraq will ultimately not bend to forced democracy - if you even want to call it that.

__________________________________

[From DR --- "Yes But", you are being too generous with my time!

NO, I will NOT READ an obviously one-sided and biased account that comes from a hate-filled muck-raking website that could not validate a fact if their lives depended upon it.

PRIMARY SOURCES, cross-validated information, completely logical arguments, empirical evidence, those are what's needed to expose the truth.

If you're not interested in verifiable truth, why would you visit this website?

By the way, not one of your previous defamatory assertions about Iraq can be proved. There seems to be a problem here with differentiating between what someone SAYS is true, and what can actually be PROVEN to be true.

Why pollute the information stream with falsehoods, hearsay, character assassination, and unverifiable assertions?

WHAT, PRECISELY IS THE POINT OF THAT? -- Pro Patria]

To Yes, But Truthfully:

Any and all wars contain stories of horror. It is, unfortunately, the nature of war.

I am sure that even though we are involved in a war we should not be involved in, that our soldiers are trying their best, though at times some crack under pressure.

I am also sure that there are some uplifting stories in Iraq, about how people's lives have been changed for the better.

How Iraq will turn out though, I cannot say.

--------------------------------------------------------

To DR,

In response to your comment on Yes, But Truthfully's comment.

I can't believe you would say this, and yet also post that David James Manning video, which is nothing but hate-filled muck-raking. You have given platform to someone who speech is often filled with falsehoods, hearsay, character assassination, and unverifiable assertion.

You are walking a very hypocritical line of reasoning here.

____________________________

[From DR -- I WISH you wouldn't do this. Just rattling off a reply without thinking it through properly.

IN FACT, as far as I can tell, the video is VERY ACCURATE.
Obama's mother was very promiscuous. She got pregnant when she was 17.

She and Obama's father were never married. Obama's mother had many lovers. Obama's father was an alcoholic. He did lose both legs. He did have many lovers and common-law relationships.

Palins' critics almost certainly do have their own family problems.

ALL of these things are verifiable. There are VERY FEW falsehoods that I can find in what he says. Therefore, they are not character assassinations. It is not defamation or slander if one utters the truth and can prove it.

Yes, his speech is muscular and filled with invective. BUT SO IS YOURS, and I publish most of it... Pro Patria]

DR -

I can't believe I have to post this again. Will your censorship never stop? Also, quit erasing the truth...

[From DR -- Andrew please stop trying to republish this thing all the time. Otherwise I will have to ban you, at least temporarily. I'll look at your comment tomorrow, but in the meantime try to rewrite it so that it is tight, to the point, and well documented. Also, try to make it so other readers will find it interesting.]

Andrew,

I have deleted some of your comments today, and perhaps DR has deleted others. You will have to live with it.

In some cases, if I consider a comment illogical, slanderous, or unfair in one aspect, the whole comment will be deleted without explanation. I only occasionally have time to stop and explain.

I do not adhere to the philosophy that people should be able to post anything they want on a webpage as long as they aren't breaking a law or posting profanity. Illogical, foolish comments can sometimes be enlightening in themselves, but at a certain point they begin to pull down the quality of any website.

I suggest you do your best to keep it polite, logical, fair, factually accurate, informative or at least interesting, etc. and keep in mind that some comments will be deleted anyway even if you think they were terrific.

As our comment policy states, comments here are like letters to the editor. Not all remain published. If in my opinion comments are redundant, or misleading, or unfair to one person or an entire group of people, or just don't add to the discussion, I may delete the comment if I notice it.

Just the facts, from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Dunham)

Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham were married on Feb. 2, 1961.

She gave birth to Barack Obama August 4, 1961 when she was 18 years old.

Yes, But Truthfully:

I think some of your links are a bit far to the left, but I read them as well. I try and give everything a fair shake.

I used to quite like Central Sanity (http://centralsanity.blogspot.com/) which was a good blog (but it is now mostly defunct). That's how I found this blog. Gina's site is linked on the right hand side.

I made it my goal this election cycle to participate in one left wing blog and one right wing blog, and make a moderate argument for the center in both of them.

The left wing blog I have joined has actually been much more receptive, and I have yet to be censored there, despite getting into a pretty heated discussion in regards towards our position in Afghanistan (I think we should be there) and another one on gun ownership (I am for it, I own two.) They're much more supportive of free speech apparently.

Oh well - Gina and DR would be great politicians - not - you wouldn't get passed the first sentence before they muzzled you!

Andrew - I guess a lot of our world perceptions of the world have to do with our background and where we live.

I used to hate Europe - old world and all that.
However, as I get older, I realize more and more just how much this modern world has spurned wisdom that has been learnt through the ages (often the hard way). Bush jumping into the middle east with guns blazing was a classic example of the modern worlds 'now' attitude.

I am not keen on giving my details out here due to some of the people here, but let me say that I come from a country where firearms are also allowed. I now live in Europe where personal firearms are not allowed - and I am soooooo thankful for that.

Consider my background. My father is a hunter and has many firearms. I've served in an army and know how to shoot and kill with many weapons.

I am glad that my kids go to school and I need not be scared that something similar to Collumbine will happen. It's not like it can't happen - but it is far more unlikely than in the US - simply because weapons are controlled FAR better.

And that is my point. I feel reasonably sure that both you and Gawfer are probably very responsible gun owners and know how to handle weapons safely. I know I would be.

However - I don't trust the other people in this world. I have noticed that the number of people with small ego's or insecurities are usually the first ones to be seen with pit bulls at their side and weapon on their hip. They shouldn't be allowed near a weapon.

So there are two options - carry a firearm to protect
yourself and family from the crazy ones or just ban firearms altogether. I choose the second option.

There are just too many people in this world that are too trigger happy.


Lets try again - since DR believes in the USA and freedom of speech.

Regarding your comment DR:

""As I write this we are standing down in Iraq, Iraqi forces continue to take over, a beginning democracy is in place, and the Iraqi infrastructure is better now than ever before (I’ve posted links in previous comments as support). General Petraeus yesterday, passed the command to general Odierno as he takes on the bigger role of Chief of US Central Command. One does not get a promotion for failure, BTW. The western world now has an ally in the Middle East to encourage Saudi Arabia and others to play nice.""

DR - I have to question that. You are taking your information from the side that currently controls the media airways - i.e. western media.


It is common knowledge in the White House that anyone who questions Cheyney's orders doesn't last long in their job. Is that democracy?

Andrew, can you still call it a democracy after all the freedoms that Bush has taken away from the US citizens (without very few of them knowing?).

I find it interesting that it worries you about happenings in Russia. I really believe that the US people should be very worried about their freedoms.

Yes But,

I have also lived in a country where firearms were not allowed (Japan) and it is one of the safest countries in the world (simple fact) so there is something to be said for the gun control argument. I will not argue that.

However, this is not the nature of the United States right now. Having lived, at times, in some of the rougher neighborhoods in U.S. cities, having a firearm is sometimes a very expedient means of protection (I have, thankfully, never had to use it.)

It does require proper training, handling, and care though. Owning a firearm is a right, but we should not forget that it is also a privilege, and a grave responsibility as well. Not everyone treats it as such.

Oh, and as for Bush and the way he has trampled on some of our personal freedoms, I am hopeful that the next administration will take steps to correct that.

"...And that is my point. I feel reasonably sure that both you and Gawfer are probably very responsible gun owners and know how to handle weapons safely. I know I would be.

However - I don't trust the other people in this world. I have noticed that the number of people with small ego's or insecurities are usually the first ones to be seen with pit bulls at their side and weapon on their hip. They shoulden't be allowed near a weapon.

So there are two options - carry a firearm to protect
yourself and family from the crazy ones or just ban firearms altogether. I choose the second option.

There are just too many people in this world that are too trigger happy."

Thank you for the vote of confidence, and yes, I am a responsible gun owner. The fact that the media does not expose responsible gun owners but sensationalize gun violence creates an illusion that most people are dangerous with weapons. There is NOTHING further from the truth. By banning all weapons everywhere, the end result is the law abiding citizens will relinquish there guns, while criminals will continue in criminal behavior, and will not relinquish theirs.

Interestingly, the states with the lowest rate of gun violence (e.g. Texas, Arizona, etc) also have carry laws allowing citizens to arm themselves while states like California and the District of Columbia with the most stringent gun laws, have the highest rate of gun violence. When using the rationale that says banning all guns will make a state safer, the statistics make no sense.

In general, a person will more likely to commit a crime when they see the risk of being caught or killed as minimal, and less likely to commit a crime when the potential of their victim being armed is greater.

In other words, if you were going to burglarize a house, would you choose a house in Texas where the Castle Doctrine is strong, or Washington DC where ALL weapons have been banned?

As far as being safer in London where all guns have been banned, here please note these statistics: In the last 12 months from July '07 to July '08, there have been 2,544 'Gun Enabled' crimes, and a total of 854,314 crimes (source: http://www.met.police.uk/crimefigures/ ) That is a heck of a lot of Crime in a city that has banned gun ownership.

All this to say the 2nd Amendment of the constitution affords every law abiding citizen of the United States the right to bear arms, and as a consequence, when that right is not infringed upon, crime is significantly lower.

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