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Author: Subject: Tears Are Only Shed From The Left's Eye

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  posted on 5/20/2004 at 07:22 AM
quote:
http://www.nationalreview.com/jos/jos200405181427.asp

John O'Sullivan - National Review Online
May 18, 2004, 2:27 p.m.
Left Eye’s View
Seeing through the Abu Ghraib coverage.



In World War II, a passer-by, lost in London's main official thoroughfare of Whitehall, stopped a military officer and asked him which side the Defense Department was on. The officer thought for a moment and then said: "Well, it's hard to be sure, but our side, I hope."




In the last week the coverage of Iraq by the U.S. media has exhibited at least four separate failings:

1. Selective Agonizing. Ever since the Abu Ghraib photographs emerged, the media has shown them on every possible occasion, accompanied by reports and editorials on America's shame and the world's revulsion. That is fine by me. The photographs are shocking evidence of shocking behavior — Jerry Springer meets Saddam Hussein — and we should be ashamed they occurred under American auspices But they are not the only story in the world.

Objectively considered, the U.N.'s "Oil-for-Food" scandal is a far bigger story, implicating not one international statesman but about two dozen, and involving not the abuse of suspected terrorists but the starvation of children. Interestingly, the media has been happy to forget it entirely in all their excitement over Abu Ghraib.

Then again, worse rape and brutality than those displayed in Abu Ghraib are known to occur daily in America's prisons without arousing any media interest at all. Indeed, the newspapers sometimes join D.A.'s in calling for crooked CEO's to be sentenced to ten year's hard sodomy. Maybe these jocular remarks about homosexual rape were among the influences that led the Abu Ghraib guards to abuse their victims. Big mistake. This gloating sadism is only a joke when suspected Republicans are the likely victims.


And the photographs of prisoner abuse are not remotely as shocking as the pictures of Nicholas Berg being beheaded by Islamist terrorists. You might imagine that the beheading of an innocent American would be replayed endlessly on the networks and the front pages. But the media suddenly discovered taste. The Berg murder was briskly reported and then confined to the memory hole. And the media hunt for Rumsfeld — that Berg's beheading had briefly interrupted — resumed in full cry.

As a Spanish writer commented this week: "Tears are shed only from the left eye."

2. Taking Dictation from Terror. Before we leave Berg, we should note that a vast number of news outlets reported as a fact that he was murdered "in retaliation for" the Abu Ghraib abuses. That was the terrorists' own justification, of course: They shrewdly judged that the American and Western media would eagerly publish the headlines they had dictated. And they were right. For the "retaliation" explanation transfers the blame for Berg's death from the actual murderers onto George W. Bush and the U.S. As the sharp-eyed Australian blogger, Tim Blair, pointed out, however, the terrorists abducted Berg about two weeks before the Abu Ghraib scandal surfaced. Was that abduction in retaliation for something else? Or were they simply gifted with astonishing foresight? Incidentally, the media's behavior in this case — in addition to being bone-headedly biased — is a rare genuine example of "blaming the victim." But not a single editor seems to have been restrained by the fact.

3. Willing Gullibility. Two newspapers — the Daily Mirror in Britain and the Boston Globe in the U.S. — have published fake photographs of British and American soldiers abusing prisoners. In the British case the fakes were quickly detected once they had been published, and in the American case, they had been detected before the Globe published them. Neither the media's vaunted "skepticism" nor simple fact-checking on the internet were employed in either case by the papers. The fakes were, in the old Fleet Street joke, "too good to check." There was a rush to misjudgment. As Mark Steyn argued in the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday, the journalists wanted to believe that they were real because they hunger to discredit the Anglo-American intervention in Iraq.

Indeed, they still want to believe that the fakes were real — the disgraced Mirror editor claimed to have told the truth on the day the fraud was conclusively established. And since he was fired, he has become a heroic figure in British journalistic circles hostile to Blair and the war. He may be a liar, they feel, but he's our liar. Or as they would probably put it, the "truth about Iraq" is more important than the facts. You know, at a deeper level.

4. Galloping Inferentialism. The media's main interest in the Abu Ghraib scandal over the last week — what postmodernists call its principal "narrative" — has been its pursuit of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as an accessory to torture before the fact. Some reports have been, in effect, prosecution briefs for the theory that he either knew about or (better still) actually authorized the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American guards. And since the evidence for this theory is scanty, to say the least, reporters employ the highly dubious technique of building inference upon inference to make the case.

Take, as an example, the widely republished Washington Post report asking "Was Abuse Ordered?" This begins with the case of a Syrian jihadist who was subjected to intense pressures to instill fear into him so that he would give up intelligence data for the fight against the Iraqi insurgents. It then speculates that because a military intelligence officer was involved in this interrogation, this "suggests a wider circle of involvement in aggressive and potentially abusive" techniques by senior officers. It goes on to argue that the Abu Ghraib "abuses could have been an outgrowth of harsh treatment" techniques authorized by the Pentagon. And it finally postulates that "although no direct links have been found between the documented abuses and orders from Washington, Pentagon officials...say that the hunt for [intelligence] data...was coordinated during this period by Undersecretary of Defense Stephen Cambone...long one of the closest aides to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The coincidence in timing...."

Let us review the evidence in this trial by inference. It "suggests" that "potentially" abusive techniques were used that "could have been an outgrowth" of methods that cannot be "directly linked" to Rumsfeld unless the "coincidence" that his aide was in charge of collecting intelligence at the time is the smoking gun.

In opposition to this towering inferno of inferences, there is an actual fact: the statement of one of the abuser guards that the higher-ups would have stopped the abuses if they had known of them. And as the old maxim goes, an ounce of fact is worth a ton of inferences.

5. Hunting the Snark (or Criminalizing Antiterrorism.) What makes this journalistic pursuit of Rumsfeld all the more suspect is that even if all these inferences were borne out by later evidence, they would not convict the Defense secretary of any known crime or misdemeanor. He would have authorized harsh techniques, not in themselves abusive but only potentially so, that others wrongly took to be permission to humiliate and abuse prisoners under their control. There is no crime in that — nor even any major error. Senior Pentagon officials knew that the harsh interrogation techniques they did authorize — for instance, hooding prisoners, interrupting their sleep over several days, and exposing them to cold temperatures — were open to abuse. That is why they stipulated very precisely what the techniques should be — not allowing any physical brutality or sexual humiliation. Why they limited the use of such techniques to those few cases where crucial intelligence was likely to be gained. And why they insisted on the prior permission of the senior U.S. general in Iraq for their use.

Of course, most editors and reporters probably take the view that inflicting even this limited and supervised stress to frighten suspects is impermissible. A Washington Post editorial, for instance, argued that no intelligence gain could possibly compensate for the national embarrassment of having a U.S. secretary of State publicly defend such techniques before the international community.

That is certainly arguable. And in general governments should not carry out acts they are unprepared to defend in public. But is it wholly and always persuasive? Suppose, for instance, that inflicting psychological stress and instilling fear into a terrorist suspect seemed likely to help prevent the beheading of another innocent American like Nick Berg? Or to avert another catastrophe such as September 11? Or even to halt a nuclear attack on an American city? Would we not feel that in such cases the end of saving lives justified the means of inflicting psychological stress?

These are serious moral questions — and serious practical questions when the U.S. is waging a war on terror. They cannot be wished away by pious references to the Geneva Convention. And the media's attempt to transform serious consideration of these painful dilemmas into a gung-ho criminal prosecution of Rumsfeld is both a partisan disgrace and a shameful evasion of difficult realities.

Let us finally examine the tally sheet. Selective agonizing, taking dictation from terror, willing gullibility, galloping inferentialism, and criminalizing anti-terrorism — not a short list of media failings for a single week. And when all the mistakes are on the side of opposing the liberation of Iraq, and none of the mistakes favor the U.S. or Britain or Bush or Blair, it tells you something. Namely, which side they're on. Or "tears are shed only from the left eye."

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/20/2004 at 05:15 PM
quote:
Objectively considered, the U.N.'s "Oil-for-Food" scandal is a far bigger story

News judgment isn't objective. It's based mostly on what people are going to pay attention to, and the Abu Ghraib story is more gripping. Same rationale unfortunately works when people wonder why both stories will be small print on a website under a picture and a huge story about Michael Jackson's latest court appearance or something.

quote:
Before we leave Berg, we should note that a vast number of news outlets reported as a fact that he was murdered "in retaliation for" the Abu Ghraib abuses. That was the terrorists' own justification, of course

That's what the quote marks - you know, " and " - meant.

quote:
For the "retaliation" explanation transfers the blame for Berg's death from the actual murderers onto George W. Bush and the U.S.

If you trust terrorists, and of course we all do that.

quote:
Willing Gullibility

Of course. When a paper screws up, it MUST be on purpose (if it makes the story better from your political slant)! The Mirror is a tabloid, and their editor was fired or resigned over the scandal, which was bigger in Britain for obvious reasons.

quote:
What makes this journalistic pursuit of Rumsfeld all the more suspect is that even if all these inferences were borne out by later evidence, they would not convict the Defense secretary of any known crime or misdemeanor.

He's not on trial, so I'm not sure why this is supposed to be important.

quote:
Some reports have been, in effect, prosecution briefs for the theory that he either knew about or (better still) actually authorized the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American guards.

If the story is that someone alleges Rumsfeld knew, exactly what do you expect the piece to contain?

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 02:16 AM
quote:
News judgment isn't objective

Bingo!

quote:
Of course. When a paper screws up, it MUST be on purpose (if it makes the story better from your political slant)!

Newspapers do, and an agenda can be at the heart of it. They know that the main story will be on the front page, but the retraction will be small and buried in the back pages.

D

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 04:07 AM
Here we go again.....

I just wanna know what the debater's actual suggestions for solutions to this, that, and the other world (and domestic) problems are.

Don't start bashing each other again, please.

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 08:10 AM
I posted this article in the hopes that it was articulate enough to point out the extreme liberal bias in covering the war, the administration and the accomplishments of both. To read most newpapers in America (and I'm pretty sure it's the same in Europe), one would get the impression that there is absolutely nothing being accomplished in either Afghanistan or Iraq. Likewise, Abu Ghraib *did* happen because of orders from Rumsfeld or Bush if one accepts the press' point of view.

The solution is simple. The press shouldn't *have* a point of view when it comes to news. Report the news and stop with every story being an editorial opinion piece. People "down here" aren't as stupid as those elitists seem to think we are. We can figure out for ourselves what a set of facts means. Just the facts ma'am, just the facts.

Hope my belief that there is indeed a huge liberal bias in the media didn't bash anyone here. It was not intended to.
quote:
quote:
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Willing Gullibility
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Of course. When a paper screws up, it MUST be on purpose (if it makes the story better from your political slant)! The Mirror is a tabloid, and their editor was fired or resigned over the scandal, which was bigger in Britain for obvious reasons
You're forgetting (or purposely leaving out) the Boston Globe Marley. It is alleged that they knew the pics were fake and ran the story anyway. Even if they didn't though, the only way they could've run it without knowing is if they did nothing to check out their authenticity. Assuming they didn't know, they were willing to take the word of someone as being accurate fact. That's "willing gullibility" if ever I've seen it.

Tom S.

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 11:39 AM
I know better but I am going to post anyway because it is important.

Anyone who does not see the

"...extreme liberal bias in covering the war, the administration and the accomplishments of both."

is blind as a bat or just not paying attention.

The Post that started this thread made very good and accurate points and I have not seen anything posted that discredits any of it.

It is ok to hate war. In fact if you like war there is something wrong. But hating war is not the same thing as attempting to undermine the efforts of the military and the administration in charge during such difficult times purely for political reasons. This is playing right into the terrorists hands.

They want us divided - we will be easier to defeat that way.
They want us to leave - it will be easier to bring the attacks back to our soil if we leave them alone
They want the liberals to effectively divide the country by focusing on all the terrible things we have done. While they ignore the minor things like beheading US civilians, torturing, raping and murdering millions of their own people while they plotted against us.
They want Kerry to win

Freedom of speech & press should bring with it some sense of responsibility to report things accurately and not to suit your own political aggenda. This Freedom we all love and enjoy may be the one thing that separates us enough for the terrorists to win. They are winning now because they are utilizing the one thing we have that they hate agaisnt us - our freedom. We could never use these tactics against them because they control their media and right now they control ours too. That should bother you...ALOT!

The terrorists want Kerry to win because he is NO THREAT to them at all. They want GWB to loose because he will not back down. When the media is so blatently biased whose team are they on? Kerry's or the terrorists. There is a difference but in the long run it may not matter.

How about this.... burried in the news today on some channels and not there at all on others is a story that 4 Iraqis have been arrested for Nick Bergs murder. But more important there are more photos surfacing at showing American Soldiers abusing prisnors.

Mayor Juliani said that when he was a Prosecuter in NY that there weren 5 major crime families in the area. He said that it did absolutely no good to take one down. The other 4 got stronger and moved into the opened territory. He said the only way to effectively take them down was to take ALL OF THEM Down. It is the same with terrorists and the war on terror may lead anywhere. But we must fight terrorism or accept it as a way of life. We are one of the few countries that has not given up and I don't want to. I do not like war but I really hate chicken sh!t random acts of violence and terror agaisnt us because we are Free and Powerful.

And to the meat of the political arena

GWB Belives in what we are doing, we have made mistakes (everyone does). But I believe he is a good man with good intentions for the future of our country. He is not standing on a podium saying exactly what you want to hear just so he can get elected.

The Clintonesque smile and arrogance of Kerry comes accross like BS to me. He says what he thinks you want to hear to get your vote. In the next town on the next day he will have to say just the opposite to get the vote and it is clear he is willing to do that. What he has not done amidst all of his criticism of Bush is suggest a better way to deal with these important issues. He doesn't have one. I take that back, it does seem that raising taxes will solve most of our problems if you listen to what he says.

Understand that I know Bush is not perfect by any means (no one is). But he is not affraid to make unpopular decisions in an election year to protect the future of this country. I respect that. We need to support our troops and our President. Constructive criticism is great. Malicious attempts to undermine the safety of this country are unacceptable.

I wonder what would happen to George Bush if he was caught having sex with an intern in the oval office? He would be crucified by the media and likey removed from office. It is not gonna happen because he is smart enough not to make such a bone headed decision. Yeah I'm still mad about that and here is why...

Who can honestly say that if they were caught having sex in their office with an intern that they wouldn't be fired on the spot. Do you really think that lying about it would get you off the hook? Clinton did. Do you think the position "it is my persoanl life and it's none of your buisiness would work? Clinton did. Do you thing describing a sexual act as something other than sex would get you off the hook? Clinton did.

And he got off the hook and there are still misguided people that think he was a great president simply because he rode the waves of a prospering ecconomy that he had NOTHING to do with.

If you read all of this please accept my apologies. There must be something better you could be doing.

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 01:16 PM
I read it all Jimmy, and you sure don't owe me an apology. You've got a lot of insight and a lot of passion in your words. I think it's a shame that you had to feel like "I know better than this, but...." I wish you would offer your insights every day. Thanks for doing it this time in any case.

Tom S.

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 02:14 PM
There was a time when I offered my insights every day on various subjects and I have learned that there are people here many which I consider to be my firends that just take some things way to seriously.

There are many things I feel strongly about and want to speak out often. But I don't want to lose friends over it. Especially something as silly as a joke (i.e. Who?) Ya had to be there. Maybe you were. I kind of wish I hadn't been.

[Edited on 5/21/2004 by KCJimmy]

 

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  posted on 5/21/2004 at 06:19 PM
KC-
I think there is no liberal media bias - in fact- after watching the imbedded reporters durint the iraq invasion leaves me not doubt that we have a severe "right wing" bias in our TV & radio medias.....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------
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The terrorists want Kerry to win because he is NO THREAT to them at all. They want GWB to loose because he will not back down. When the media is so blatently biased whose team are they on? Kerry's or the terrorists. There is a difference but in the long run it may not matter.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------
FYI- the word is lose.....
but this is complete bull - not to mention what an embarrassing statement it is-
have you ever listened to kerry speak on the issues??
kerry, as most americans, wants a truly international effort to combat terrorism.......
not cowboy america riding to the rescue......we have no chance to win this alone and isolated from our friends....we need their cooperation and assistance......
the present administration has no clue how to be diplomatic to win a more international consensus.....thats what happens when folks act like a bully, lie, take intelligence to heart from convicted liars, and then look for friends to help them out of our own self created mess while we sit upon our high horse...........think outside the box......we are not the world....merely a part of it.....



[Edited on 5/21/2004 by PeachNutt]

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 03:02 AM
quote:
The terrorists want Kerry to win because he is NO THREAT to them at all. They want GWB to loose because he will not back down. When the media is so blatently biased whose team are they on? Kerry's or the terrorists. There is a difference but in the long run it may not matter.

As I mentioned actually just a few days ago, at least a few Al Qaeda members are on record as rooting for Bush, Jimmy. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,114489,00.html Why not just take a pol of all the terrorists you can find and let them tell you who you should vote for?

[Edited on 5/22/2004 by Marley]

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 08:18 AM
If the "Terrorists For Bush" lobby is strong at all, it's for much the same reason as their compatriots would want Kerry to win. On the one hand, with Bush standing up to them, they have an excuse to spoonfeed the world media (and their willing believers, or useful idiots, whichever you prefer) their "justifications" for mass murder.

On the other hand, if Kerry were to win, we'd put our national defense in the hands of the UN (at least as it regards Iraq) and they wouldn't need excuses, they'd just walk right on in and commit more mass murder than the world has seen since Hitler, Stalin and Mugabe(sp?) combined. That's not my "speculation" on what Kerry would do, he's said it loud and clear many times. If I have to, I'll dig out the quotes. Yeah, you can probably find quotes that say just the opposite too. That's the other problem with Kerry, he's never seen a side of any issue that he didn't like, depending on who he's talking to at the time that is.

Tom S.

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 09:00 AM
Tom -
1. I don't think that's an accuarate supposition.....
2. This earth does need an active strong well supported UN so that there is meaning and consequence to "international law".....hopefully,eventually, we will all agree to live together on this one little planet without insisting on who's god is biggest, best and most important.........

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 09:59 AM
Not sure what supposition you're referring to PN. While I think it would be *nice* (and I do mean that) to have a UN that works, I don't think we *need* it. As it stands now, I'd be in favor of kicking the whole organization out of New York so they can see how "well supported" they'd be in France or any other place on Earth. If the organization ever gets itself to the point that every decision isn't purely political, no problem, let's dance.

I do find it interesting that you imply that we're fighting to show our god is "biggest, best and most important." Seems you believe that's what this is all about. Is that right? Personally, from the U.S.'s perspective, I think this is no more about God than it is about wanting to trade horses for camels for transportation. It's about 9/11, and preventing more of the same. It's about bloodthirsty animals who find joy in burning, dismembering and hanging dead Americans on bridges. It's about Nick Berg and the kind of hateful, sadistic monsters who would love nothing more than to have you, your family members, me and the whole country in the same position until we're all out of their way so they can impose THEIR god on the rest of the world unimpeded.

I noticed you put "international law" in quotes. That's appropriate actually, because it is a premise that has only been talked about for the most part. To the degree that our country has flaunted "international law," it is an exercise in arguing minutia when compared to Saddam's regime, Iran, Syria or al Qaeda "insurgents" like the ones who murdered Nick Berg mercilessly. That doesn't make it right that we flaunt it to any degree, but the difference between them and us is that we afford due process to offenders and punishment to those convicted. We don't need the U.N. to validate that process for us. They need to validate their own shortcomings though, especially considering how impotent they have been in having any positive effect on Saddam, Rhuwanda, the maddrassas that teach hate for western civilization and breed the lemmings who follow madmen to a death which is only honorable if they take as many westerners or Jews with them as they can.

All that and more, and yet Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Ashcroft are the pieces of sh!t destroying our country and the world. I try Gary, honestly I do, but I can't make heads nor tails of your logic, except to observe that you seem to hate a handful of Americans as much as Islamo facists hate us all. The U.N. cannot solve that problem for our country either.

Tom S.

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 12:42 PM
Except for a few countries, the UN is primarily a joke. Come on, we want them fighting terrorists? Would it be nice if they did, sure, but they are not serious. The Oil for Food program was a nice touch too. They were bombed in Iraq and went running with their tale between their legs because "the US couldn't provide adequate security." And they did a hell of a job in Bosnia, and they are doing a hell of a job working out the Israeli/Palestinian thing too. The problem with the UN is that there is "no consequence" to their resolutions, only a handful of nations have the conviction to carry out the consequence. That is one of the main reasons they are not credible.
 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 07:45 PM
i meant the "who's god is best,etc...in an earthly context.....not from any one nation in particular....
"we'd put our national defense in the hands of the UN (at least as it regards Iraq) and they" i think this is wrong the suppostion.........
I don't think we have anything to fear from Iraq - and never did...........
we help prop up dictators and it always seems to bite us in the ass......

 

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  posted on 5/22/2004 at 11:18 PM
Below are just a few links where you can find out how inaccurate that supposition is Gary. Like I said, it's not a supposition or speculation at all, it's just repeating his own words. Yeah, he does try to soften the blow by saying they would have a limited role, but he says every time he speaks about it that they're limited role would be in the areas of reconstruction and building a Constitution. The security (military force), according to him, would still be our responsibility. I have a problem with that. We tried to bring the U.N. in at the very beginning. As soon as one attack was launched against this great bastion of courage and shining example of world-wide diplomacy, they turned tail and ran. Why, if they won't be responsible for engaging in battle, and if they refuse to defend themselves as before, would the next time be any different? That's a rhetorical question for which I already have the only answer that makes any sense to me. It wouldn't be.

But there's another aspect to his description of how he'd handle "internationalizing" Iraq that's disturbing and disingenuous. If we'd still be responsible for security (read: military operations), then what would be different as far as Americans fighting and dying? Why and how would our troops come home any faster if "peacekeepers" are afraid or unwilling to enforce new laws aimed at stopping the fighting? How would GIs who are scheduled to either come home or be discharged benefit from U.N. involvement if we have to keep the same numbers over there so America can continue being burdened with all the military responsibilities? Oh, and you'll notice in the links below that Kerry says one of the first things he'd do is send MORE troops.

The security issues and distribution of responsibilities that Kerry would affect are one thing, but one can't begin to analyze how the U.N. will relate with Iraqi citizens at this point, because nearly all of the leaders from most of the countries were involved in ripping those citizens off in the oil for food program. They're a bit pissed from what I've heard and read. Saddam wasn't the only killer before the war. Hunger and disease did their share of killing too. I believe in innocence until proven guilty, but one would have to be in total denial to believe that there's nothing to the scandal and that it doesn't reach far and wide. One place hasn't been implicated as of yet though. The good ol' U.S. of A. I'd be ashamed of any President who groveled to thieves for helping to rebuild that which they had a significant part of tearing down.

I think what you fail to understand Gary, is that folks who dislike or distrust the U.N. do so for real, valid reasons. It'd be great if all countries could and would work together to make a better life for everyone. To the extent that that is not just plain ol' fantasy-thinking though, we still can't do it on our own, and our government has a duty to its own citizens way ahead of citizens of other countries. I've said it before, the ball is in the U.N.'s court. It's not that we're not willing to compromise, I think our government is more than willing. When they're willing to do the same, we'll get along a lot better with the world community. But if they really want it, it's time to stop with the politics and offer something constructive and substantial that has any hope of helping the situation in Iraq. Otherwise, for us, there's nothing but more headaches to be gained by involving the U.N. with more than a sideline role.

Anyway, here's some links so you can verify for yourself how inaccurate my "supposition" is:

http://www.latefinal.com/archives/001664.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1116337/posts

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/bayefsky200405030950.asp This one is a very well-written, comprehensive article on Kerry's obsession with the UN. I hope you'll read it.

http://news.bostonherald.com/opinion/view.bg?articleid=4310&format=

And just to show that I am willing to check out "progressive" thought on the subject as well, check out how vehemently against Kerry some liberals are here:
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0305-03.htm

I was going to make that the last one, but I checked one more out. It was so good that I decided to just post it here. Sorry for the length of this post, but this is important stuff, unlike the flap over ribbons vs. medals etc. Anyway....

quote:


http://www.townhall.com/columnists/charleskrauthammer/ck20040423.shtml

Going back to the U.N.? For what?
Charles Krauthammer (archive)

April 23, 2004

WASHINGTON -- In 1952, a presidential candidate running against an administration that had gotten the U.S. into a debilitating and inconclusive war abroad pledged: ``I will go to Korea.'' He won. A half century later, a presidential candidate running against an administration that has gotten the U.S. into a debilitating and (thus far) inconclusive war abroad, pledges: ``I will go to the U.N.''

Electrifying, is it not? And Democrats are wondering why their man is trailing a rather wounded George Bush not just overall, but on Iraq -- and precisely at a time when Iraq is going so badly.

``If I'm president,'' Kerry said, ``I will not only personally go to the U.N., I will go to other capitals.'' For Kerry, showing up at Kofi Annan's doorstep and sweeping through Allied capitals is no rhetorical flourish, no strategic sideshow. It is the essence of his Iraq plan: ``Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world.''

This is an Iraq policy? Never has a more serious question received a more feckless answer. Going back to the U.N.: What does that mean? It cannot mean the General Assembly, which decides nothing. It must mean going back to the Security Council.

There are five permanent members. We are one. The British are already with us. So that leaves China, indifferent at best to our Middle East adventure, though generally hostile, and Russia, which has opposed the war from the very beginning. Moscow was so wedded to Saddam that it was doing everything it could to prevent an impartial Paul Volcker commission from investigating the corrupt oil-for-food program that enriched Saddam and, through kickbacks, hundreds of others in dozens of countries, including Russia.

That leaves ... France. What does Kerry think France will do for us? Perhaps he sees himself and Teresa descending on Paris like Jack and Jackie in Camelot days. Does he really believe that if he grovels before Jacques Chirac in well-accented French, he will persuade France to join us in a war that it has opposed from the beginning, that is now going badly, and that has moved Iraq out of the French sphere of influence and into the American?

The idea is so absurd that when Tim Russert interviewed Kerry and quoted Democratic foreign policy adviser Ivo Daalder as saying that handing political and military responsibility to the U.N. and other countries is not realistic, Kerry simply dodged the question. There was nothing to say.

Which might help inside-the-Beltway Washington find its way out of its conundrum over the latest polls. No one can understand how, with the president being pummeled daily on the front pages by Richard Clarke, the Sept. 11 hearings, the Woodward book, and the eruption of Iraq into open warfare again, Bush nonetheless has gained over Kerry on the issue of national security.

The answer is simple: Americans are a serious people, war is a serious business, and what John Kerry is offering is simply not serious. Americans may be unsure whether Bush has a plan for success in Iraq. But they sure as hell know that going to U.N. headquarters, visiting foreign capitals and promising lots of jaw-jaw is no plan at all.

I give Kerry credit for not taking the easy antiwar path. He agrees that abandoning Iraq would be catastrophic for the United States and for the war on terror. Kerry did flirt with Howard Dean in the primaries, but has consistently opposed ``cut and run.''

True, it would be politically suicidal to zigzag yet again on the war. After having voted No on the Gulf War, Yes on the Iraq war, No on the $87 billion for reconstruction, and today advocating a firm Yes on finishing the job, to now reverse himself once again and advocate pulling out would be a politically fatal flip-flop.

But his tortuous path to his current position has left him politically bereft on Iraq. Ralph Nader has now made himself the antiwar candidate by calling for a pullout in six months. With that, his candidacy found a rationale beyond mere vanity, and may indeed draw some serious Democratic support. Many liberals and left-wingers will find it hard to support a Democratic candidate who, like Hubert Humphrey in 1968, advocates staying the course on a war they hate.

Kerry's political problem is that he supports Bush's Iraq objective and differs only on the means. Unfortunately for Kerry, ``I will go to Turtle Bay'' is not the stuff of legend. Unless he comes up with something better, Kerry may lose the war issue that was his for the taking.

 

____________________
"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves." Eric Hoffer

 
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