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July 07, 2004

Letters, We Get Letters!

Our most recent missive came from "Xiaodown," in response to One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other, a comparison of American and Islamic atrocity photos. It's at the bottom of the comments section there should you wish to read it in full.

---In only one of these photos is the person responsible for the atrocity depicted being punished by the same system that produced that person.----

In the other two, the people responsibile for the atrocities are being punished by massive indiscriminate military strikes by the best equiped and most destructive military the world has ever seen.

The WW II bombing of Dresden was a massive indiscriminate military strike. Between 35,000 and 100,000 people died. Nothing in the Iraq war comes close to qualifying as such. At most, and taking the Left's numbers for granted, 13096 Iraqi civilians have died since the war in that country began. Only ignorance of what "massive indiscriminate military strikes" actually are allows such a mistaken generalization to be made in the first place.

I ask you, Xiao, since we are the "best equiped and most destructive military the world has ever seen," why aren't we subjecting Arabs to at least the same rates of destruction we visited upon the Germans to 60 years ago?

---Only one of these photos were condemned as a violation of the Geneva convention.---

What? The other two are violations of the Geneva convention. Duh. It goes without saying that killing a captured prisoner of war is against the Geneva convention. You don't have to go declaring that the sky is blue. The leash picture is depicting something that might be in a Geneva gray area... so, it had to be made clear that this behavior is not acceptable.

But you're too ignorant to actually LOOK UP the Geneva convention to see what it says. Just because someone says "X is a violation of the Geneva Conventions", doesn't mean that Y isn't.

I didn't point out that they weren't violations. I pointed out that they weren't condemned as violations. You got on your high horse because you wanted to, not because you had a reason to.

A much stronger argument would have been that the beheadings weren't violations at all as Al-Qaeda and the other Islamic fundies aren't signatories to the convention in the first place.

Of course, one would have to know something about the Geneva conventions to make such an argument.

---Only one of these photos was published by the major media.---

Yeah, well, the media has this thing about not publishing pictures of severed heads. Go figure.

I'd say that the media has this thing about publishing articles that put Americans in a bad light. Articles that portray American activities in Iraq in a more positive light are much rarer, and those that truthfully portray the horrible nature of the other side are the rarest of all.

---Only one of these photos wasn't greeted with overwhelming indifference on the part of the Left.---

Is there any possible way that you can back up this statement? I doubt it. I am very liberal, and I am entirely appalled at ALL THREE of these actions.

One person does not a movement make.

We are aghast at the abuses of power that the U.S. government has taken in Iraq. We are flabberghasted at the expense of this war. We are not amused at the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

We are the Queen! My apologies for not being able to resist the pull of this cheap shot. I now return you to your regular programming.

I'll do you a favor. I'll agree that the terrorists beheading these people in Iraq and Saudi Arabia are wrong and despicable.

Now, you do me a favor:
Look at these pictures -
http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=2444
And tell me what you see?

Funny, how hard it is to find pictures of atrocities committed by the other side at antiwar.com, (where, btw, I pulled the dog leash pic from in the first place)--proof enough for me about how much the Left "cares" about dead Americans. Antiwar.com is a poster child for the Left's indifference to attacks on Americans. The best it has to offer is the assumption that, at best, we're morally equivalents of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Which is one of the stupidest theories ever promulgated by either side during this conflict. Once again it's a reflection of ignorance on the part of the Left rather than the actual truth of the matter. If America actually is that evil, then I ask again, where in the hell are all dead Arabs? One would think that even a lackadaisical effort on our part could kill off a few hundred thousand. Funny, how in the last year, and with all our strength in arms, we can't even equal the average number of Iraqis killed by Saddam in a year. (400,000 known dead, 300,000 missing. 30 years in power)

---Only one of these photos will be the subject of discussion on the part of the major media in the coming months.---

Well, time has shown that the Prisoner Abuse scandal doesn't make that much news anymore. It gets a mention here and there. And yet, the beheadings continue, so they get press coverage. So, you're just plain wrong here. Another attempt at a republican self-fullfilling prophecy fails.

As of today, there are 15,900 stories at Google news containing the string "Abu Ghraib."--hardly evidence of a story that's fallen off the media radar. All instances of the term "Beheading" ( a much more general term, and thus subject to an artificial count total), only total up to 12,600.

I'm a Democrat, and, according the conservatives that stop by, a classic liberal. Classic liberals, in case you're wondering, are the type of liberal historically in favor of liberating downtrodden masses from despotic leaders. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade is a good historical example.

We're a rare breed indeed nowadays, because the American Left now only feels moral outrage when it is politically convenient, and worships an ideal of "peace" that has never existed. Had that strain of liberal thinking existed in the 1850's, slavery in the South would have continued into the 1900s. It's slogans would have been something along the lines of "No blood for darkies!" and "Lincoln lied, People died." Needless to say, there would never have been an Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

"Peace" is not necessarily better than war, especially when it results from a desire not to confront evil head on, or from demands that our motives be pure before we can confront evil, as I've said before.

Opponents of a war on Iraq feel that because no actor on this stage has a pure enough motive, then no one should be allowed to act. Our motives for bombing Iraq may well be racist and immoral. This bothers me not one whit. Opposing the bombing is more racist and immoral. I don't care if you think your ideals are as pure as the driven snow, the end result of them would be to extend the suffering of the Iraqi people. Saddam is evil. Even people who go out in search of a less evil Saddam fail to find him. Saddam is a scourge, a murderous cancer on the Iraqi people. He has killed thousands, if not millions. He will go on spreading death until stopped, and heretofore nothing has stopped him.

If you're not completely appalled, you haven't been paying attention.

To the antiwar left, Abu Ghraib is the moral equivalent of 700,000 dead. I'm appalled all right, but not for the reasons you might think.

Posted by Bigwig at July 7, 2004 01:01 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Is antiwar.com hard left? I always thought they were hard right. Oh well, a precise taxodermy of the wingnuts and moonbats is probably an impossibility.

Posted by: KevinM at July 7, 2004 03:08 PM

This is a shining moment in U.S. history. We've just liberated 50 million people in two countries. Only FDR beat this. What's the deal with about 20% of us hating those of us who accomplished this? My mom cries and spits venom about the liberation of Iraq, saying that it violates all the values her parents raised her with. I told her it fulfilled the values my parents raised me with, you know, "Never again," liberty, and all that jazz. There is no reason or logic behind the over-the-top hatred of the liberation of Iraq. How can it be explained?

Posted by: Jim at July 7, 2004 03:09 PM

My theory is that the anger basically stems from impotence.

Whether or not GW had a personal agenda in invading Iraq (as many think he did), the fact remains that when he publicly made his mind up, nothing was going to divert him from it - no matter what he had to tell us in order to justify it.

There is then a certain amount of - perhaps understandable - frustration that the opinion of a large part of the population was completely ignored.

A certain amount of disillusionment can be expected from those that thought their voices counted for more than the actually did.

It appears to me that the frustration for this - and for other actions of the administration - is being displaced onto the Iraq question rather than going where it belongs.

Posted by: anon at July 7, 2004 03:58 PM

Your use of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was perhaps more true then you realized, and bitterly ironic as well. The brigade volunteers motives may have been pure as the driven snow, nevertheless they were tools of the Comintern.

In other words, all they effectively were doing was choosing sides in a fraternal struggle between flavors of totalitarianism. And they chose to be pawns of Moscow. How very much like a classic American liberal.

Posted by: Greg at July 7, 2004 04:00 PM

Yes, Bigwig. You are a tool of the Comintern/Nazintern - because we all know Bush = Hitler, and Bush = Stalin, a sometimes simultaneously based on anti-war artwork, and if you support anything he does, why, you are practically cheering on the Gulag.

So, for your pennance, please, repeat after me:

Bush knew, Atta flew.

It's all about the OOOOooiiiiilllll!

It's all about the pipeline, which Prescott Bush's head, which was saved by the Nazis, negotiated to have laid in by Haliburton, through Afghanistan, to bring the precious oil from Cockblockistan.

George Bush had Vince Foster killed. Which George Bush? Doesn't matter. Pick one. Hell, pick Jeb Bush for all I care. It's true, by God.

The Democrats are your friends. That's why they are running for the Presidency on a campaign of taxing the holy bejeebus out of you, for your own good, of course.

The Democrats will make the country safer. If George Bush wasn't so stupid, he'd know the Kerry trick - abject groveling in the face of an enraged Jihadi guarantees at least a chance of survival. Why, it worked so well in the recent past, that whole harems were operated by men, well, um, sort of men, who had achieved peace in a similar fashion.

Besides, if we just do what France says to do - which (depending on what day it is) is either (1) sell missiles and WMD components to enemies of the U.S.; or (2) fuck off out of the middle east and Europe completely; or (3) let a couple tens of millions of Africans starve and get genocided to death while we sit idly by - well if we just do that, and bow to the skinny black version of Jabba the Hut who apparently runs the UN these days, then we can have world peace and everybody on the le Monde editorial staff will like us, in spite of our stupid american simplisme, fatness, shitty taste in absurdist film, and crummy wines.

Gee, do you get the impression that I've had it with the "Peace in Our Time Crowd"? well, it's true. I've come to be positive that perhaps invading wasn't as clearly right as I had thought (Saudi was probably a better target...) but also to know damn well that taking out Saddam and giving the Iraqis a fighting chance isn't anything near wrong, as the pernicious so-called antiwar types claim. Damn them all to hell - they are rooting on the destruction of the one of the few worthwhile things man has ever cobbled together on a large scale, and that is the western notion of civilization. They aren't for peace; they are flat out for the other side.

And as for you Greg - equating the U.S. intervention in the middle east as a form of totalitarianism equal to Saddam's killing machine, aptly demonstrates that your moral barometer fell off the shelf and broke a while back. I handled Iraqi refugees over a decade ago, including many torture victims. I feel compelled to speak and write here for them - with tongues cut out, and hands blown off with shotgun and rifle blasts, it's unlikely that they could speak up or write anything on their own behalf. Even if the U.S. has some "base" motives like looking out for its own national interests, to compare what the U.S. is trying to do, to what Saddam did - to simply assert moral equivalence - is sickening.

Posted by: Blackavar at July 7, 2004 09:45 PM

You need to work on your reading comprehension.

I had no trouble with the majority of Bigwig's post, he worked over that emailer nicely.

I do get uncomfortable when otherwise intelligent folks call themselves liberals though, and pointed out that using the ALB was a painfully *bad* example of liberation.

To make things absolutely clear:

Liberals == suck
Abraham Lincoln Brigade == servants of Moscow, but with really good PR
Liberals == purveyors of moral equivalence
Bush (43) == true liberator of millions
Bigwig == apparently not aware of how much it sucks to be a liberal

Posted by: Greg at July 8, 2004 04:53 AM

Whoops, left one last bit out:

the anti-war Left == American Liberals (who are very different creatures from your original "classical" Enlightenment Liberals)

Posted by: Greg at July 8, 2004 04:59 AM
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