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Whac-A-Raghead for Just $325

Fake Osama

Revenge. It is among the most potent drivers of human behavior. The 9/11 terrorist attacks more than a decade ago shocked the world, and for some, the horrific attacks provoked a powerful demon with a voracious appetite for vengeance. Attacking one Muslim country after another has not sated every appetite. Even the killing of Osama Bin Laden did not slay the demon that haunts so many. In fact, sensational headlines and lurid tales of the the assassination of Bin Laden actually seemed to further stimulate blood lust in some quarters.

Regardless of one’s personal reaction to the attacks, most people can relate to the concept of revenge. It is the quest for a sense of justice that comes from avenging the innocent. What is amazing is the incredible blind spots that obscure the very same motives in others.

Why shouldn’t Muslims, or any other people on the receiving end of Western foreign policy, not also long for revenge against their tormentors? If we accept they are no less human, then it shouldn’t be so hard to imagine that they, too, want to protect their people and avenge their dead.

Why should they remain supine in the face of unrelenting Western aggression? We all agree that terrorism is wrong, but do we ever ask what options are available to those on the receiving end of our policies? The bombing, torturing, poisoning, and starving of their people, and the theft of their lands and resources angers them too. Even a child can see this is true, so why is it a constant struggle for so many to see what’s right in front of their nosesIt’s easier to believe sweet, self-serving lies than to see their plight and common humanity, and ask, “What would I do if I were in their shoes?” 

“We” want revenge, “they” want revenge, so where does it end? Sweet lies and the endless cycle of violence on both sides of the so-called “War on Terror” will bring nothing but more death and destruction. The powerful have the ultimate means to change course, and while we obscure reality with fantasy, mutual hatred is flourishing, and revenge is a commodity:

Getting inside the mind of a terrorist wasn’t difficult at all. Even as children, human beings fabricate elaborate revenge fantasies. We’re not a particular species. Check out popular video games.  ~Alan Dean Foster

Why trouble your beautiful mind with unpleasant reality and boring “policy” talk? If real life wars and playing couch potato soldier in Call of Duty hasn’t satisfied your personal blood lust, you’re in luck. You can indulge in the Orwellian dream of a “Sealed Mindset” for just $325: Keep the wounds fresh, unleash your simmering rage, and enjoy the thrill of personally killing the world’s most notorious, demonic “raghead.”

Perhaps the “ragheads” will respond with their own morbid revenge “adventure” and the cycle of hatred and vengeance can go on forever?

You Can Fake-Kill Osama bin Laden for $325

by Cord Jefferson, Gawker

Got a few hundred bucks and a bloodlust compelling you to pretend to gun down another human being? Boy, have we got the adventure for you.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, a former Navy Seal, Larry Yatch, is offering people who fantasize about killing other people a chance to participate in a reenactment of the Seal raid that executed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani compound last year. Called “Sealed Mindset,” the reenactment begins with practice with real firearms aimed at an Osama target, during which Yatch tells the gunners to aim for “anything above the moustache to below the turban.”

Once sufficiently amped up by the sensation of pumping deadly bullets out of a rifle, participants are then led on a mission to storm Osama’s lair, which is actually just a musty room in Sealed Mindset’s 10,000-square-foot studio. The toy soldiers kick in the door and shoot Osama with paintballs, and then the man in the Osama costume slumps over like he’s dead, and everyone hoots and howls, about a fake killing.

According to Minnesota Public Radio reporter Madeleine Baran, people walk away from Osama’s corpse enthused. “That was awesome,” one woman told her.

And she’s right: If there’s anything this summer has taught us, it’s that assault rifles and violence are very fun and awesome games.

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  • I say wipe the ragheads off the face off the earth, then build a big ol’ McD’s. Electric cars here we come.

  • Chameleon

    @Jeremy,

    Now you are just rambling like a chicken with its head cut off. What claims are you now making, and what claims are you rebutting? You are all over the place. I will address your arguments backed with FACTS and DATA, since everything else is totally irrelevant balling over debunked arguments:

    OCCUPATION PROMOTES TERRORISM: SADDAM’S ATTACK ON HIS PEOPLE AS YOUR REBUTTAL

    You brought up a link to Saddam slaughtering his own people. Yes, this is one incident where the international community should have stepped in to stop it if they had the chance, just like they did in the Arab Spring (primarily in Libya) but not with any boots on the ground occupying the country. It was a critically missed opportunity, since the people were rising up against Saddam in revolt, which is exactly the prerequisite trigger to watch out for in terms of when and how to support a nascent democracy. Yes, the methodology is critical, since the research is overwhelming in showing that occupation promotes terrorism and does not build a real democracy. Intervention to stop persecution and oppression by a government of its people when they are rising up to form their own democracy is a good thing, which the U.S. completely failed to do. They went for the boots on the ground option instead, with dire consequences. Once again, your fact actually supports my argument and destroys yours. How embarrassing.

    OCCUPATION DOES NOT BUILD DEMOCRACIES: GERMANY AND JAPAN AS YOUR REBUTTAL

    Your next two facts were Wikipedia links to post-war occupation of Germany and Japan. You are trying to rebut my claim that boots on the ground did not rebuild the country. I am still waiting on what facts from these links support your rebuttal. The way I read these links is that the German and Japanese bureaucrats (which remained in place, unlike the Baath party bureaucrats in Iraq) rebuilt their own countries IN SPITE OF THE U.S. OCCUPATION. For example, in Germany, we have the example of East Germany (extended occupation by the Russians) vs. West Germany (much more limited and brief occupation presence). So which one was more successful? Moreover, here is an even more compelling fact from your sources proving exactly this point, that occupation boots on the ground (i.e., military) did not rebuild much of anything:

    “MacArthur at no time established in Japan what could be correctly described as Military government. He continued to use the Japanese government to control the country, but teams of military personnel, afterward replaced to quite a considerable extent by civilians, were placed throughout the Japanese prefectures as a check on the extent to which the prefectures were carrying out the directives issued by MacArthur’s headquarters or the orders from the central government…. The normal duties of a military government organisation, the most important of which are law and order and a legal system, were never needed in Japan since the Japanese government’s normal legal system still functioned with regard to all Japanese nationals … The so-called military government in Japan was therefore neither military nor government.”

    Although some rebuilding ideas of value were shared, which could have been done without boots on the ground, the occupation was a major negative in many respects – again, according to your own sources. Some of these negative outcomes include the following: blatant injustices in the occupation legal system, systematic rapes by occupation forces, occupation-sponsored and controlled censorship against free speech, unjust expulsions of citizens in the hundreds of thousands, thousands of bastard children, cultural destruction, and even occupation-sanctioned prostitution of the native population such that nearly 50,000 Japanese women had to serve as official whores for 300,000 U.S. troops. Not only that, some occupying troops continued military operations long after the Japanese surrender, “causing large scale civilian casualties”. Isn’t occupation wonderful? Embarrassed by your own facts once again.

    WAR POWERS RESOLUTION AND IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION

    The Iraq War Resolution was already debunked in other posts above as being both unconstitutional and bogus. Don’t you recognize how all the points in your original post are just a copy and past from the contents of this resolution? Recycling the same facts does not a new fact make.

    As for the War Powers Resolution Act, yes, this has been interpreted to give the President aggressive, invasive military powers by some political hawks, even though it states that the President can only do so in self-defense of the nation to repel attacks. Such arguments are made on completely flimsy grounds, again using such logic as “pre-emptive self-defense” and making absurd claims that “commencing war” (with “shock and awe”, no less!) is not equivalent to “declaring war.” Yah, right. As a result, any such aggressive interpretation of this resolution is simply unconstitutional, as I have been saying all along. And I am not alone in coming to this conclusion. As your own source article states, “All presidents since 1973 have declared their belief that the act is unconstitutional.” How embarrassing for you once again. Do you even know what the difference is between the Constitution, which the Founding Fathers created, and subsequent laws, which are all potential violations of it. Just because a law is enacted does not mean it has the Constitutional stamp of approval. All of my arguments were based on the soundness of what the Founding Fathers left for us as an example to follow, not on the Orwellian, terrorist-promoting machinations of power hungry individuals trying to violate the Constitution without being blamed for doing so.

    OBL “RELIGIOUS TALK” AS YOUR SUPPORT FOR A RELIGIOUS MOTIVE

    You are copying and pasting quotes like you are totally oblivious to what you are doing. You include 4-5 quotes that have absolutely nothing to do with religious justification, let alone explicit motivation to commit terrorism. None of these quotes have anything remotely to do with terrorism. I know using actual facts is a new thing for you, but this is ridiculous. Using logic also appears to be a new thing for you. Based on your logic, because OBL quoted some “religious talk”, that means religion was his motivation for terrorism. Brilliant.

    You also questioned where “OBL stated that they would still fought the West even if they were following the religion of their pagan ancestors.” I already answered that in a previous post: around 4:50 into the video. This definitively proves that Islam was just a tool of justification for him, not in any way a motive of any consequence, let alone a primary motive. His motives were based on his perception of injustice and the need to act in self-defense against Western occupation, which are entirely universal ethical motives, not religious motives.

    YOUR HISSY-FIT RESPONSE TO MY CHALLENGE

    You say, “I find your comments racist and offensive. If Osama says the Quran tells him to kill infidels or whatever, then he is correct. If you tell me that the Quran tells you never to harm a fly, then you are correct.”

    Is this how you respond to a challenge – have a hissy-fit? I challenge you once again, and this time feel free to bring in anyone from Al Qaeda or any mullah on a payroll that you like on planet earth to your assistance to help you with the necessary facts and logic to make a cogent argument. Copy and paste if you like, but my only demand is that you stand behind the arguments as if they were your own, and as if your reputation is on the line given how strongly you feel I am wrong. I can start with verse 9:5 that OBL quoted, as well as the so-called “hadith” giving what looks like a blanket kill order (per your post to llisha). However, before you begin, let me warn you about two points you must overcome first:

    1) There is no record of that hadith as far as I can tell. I have been unable to find it anywhere to validate it, and I can do electronic text searches, which covers all the reputable hadiths. If you can find it, and it is a reputable hadith, then it becomes a potential fact up for discussion about what Islam says. Until then, it is just manufactured propaganda.
    2) Verse 9:5 (the famous “verse of the sword”) has absolutely nothing to do with Jews or Christians, whom the Declaration of War is addressing. It is addressed solely to polytheist pagans (al Mushrikeen), and only to those pagans who are guilty of treason in breaking a treaty with Muslims and attacking Muslims first.

    So sorry – please do try again. The challenge remains open. If you accept the challenge, I will give you 4-5 chances to beat me (i.e., 4-5 sets of contiguous verses) to demonstrate the elusive kill order in the Quran, where fighting is not done to protect the state or to stop persecution and oppression. I don’t have time to waste by indulging you indefinitely in this challenge. I think 4-5 chances is fair, and it ensures that you invest the time to pick the verses that you most believe support your rebuttal. Now bring it. Or are you going to continue to cry and whine “racism” when someone gives you an in-your-face challenge to your own grossly unfounded bigoted beliefs?

    YOU ARE STILL WOEFULLY IGNORANT OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

    You say, “It is a hypothesis, not a theory. for it to be a theory it would have to have stood up under rigorous testing against various competing ideas and hypothesis.” Wrong. Read your own source again. Here are the very first words:

    “A scientific theory is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.”[1][2] Scientists create scientific theories from hypotheses that have been corroborated through the scientific method, then gather evidence to test their accuracy. As with all forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and do not make apodictic propositions; instead, they aim for predictive and explanatory force.”

    In the social sciences, repeated confirmation is obviously done almost exclusively through observation rather than experimentation, but data based on repeated observations is just as valid as experimental data. The only problem with observational data is when there are confounding variables to make the causation inferred from correlation uncertain. In this case, no confounding variables have been identified, so that is not a concern, and the data have dramatic predictive and explanatory force. Our conclusions are supported by literally thousands of data points on terrorist attacks repeatedly confirming the same conclusion, whereas your rebuttals are simply vacuous claims. So, I ask yet again, SHOW ME YOUR DATA.

    You continue to be humiliated by your own referenced facts, yet again. How embarrassing.

    SCOTT ATRAN VIDEO SUPPOSEDLY SUPPORTS YOUR CLAIM!

    In another post, you are desperately trying to support your claim that Internet propaganda is responsible for terrorist activity. But it is not at all. Terrorists are not recruited on the Internet. In fact, not even a single such case has ever been documented, as Scott Atran points out. The Internet is just used increasingly by self-radicalized terrorists to find Al Qaeda, but the idea that terrorists are being created by Al Qaeda Internet propaganda is completely destroyed by the facts. Scott Atran has looked at EVERY single case to prove this claim as totally bogus. Here is the actual content of the slide you referenced on the video (closer to the 17 minute mark), with the “cyberspace” phrase as just a parenthetical comment:

    “It’s not about Hierarchical Organization, Command and Control, Recruitment or Brainwashing: It’s about flat and fluid networks of friends, families, neighbors, schoolmates, workmates…. and soccer buddies, WHO SELF-RADICALIZE AND GO LOOKING FOR QAEDA (increasingly in cyberspace).” (my emphasis added)

    Once again, totally humiliated by your own facts.

  • Ummer

    New tea party… super islamophobic, by one such new tea party founder – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6XGtNWGQw4&feature=g-all-u

  • should say *it is not* rather than it not

    They attack the US due to American foreign policies and the CIA has a word for it, it is called blowback

  • @Jeremy I consider Scott Atran to be one of the foremost authorities on the subject so yes I do consider those facts and data
    The quote is from the Scott Atran video around the 4 minute mark
    And he even states something similar in this PBS translation
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html

    The point of the DOD transcript was to show that it not simply religious justification that drive them to attack the US rather it is the policies which he said in the transcript

  • Jeremy

    @Ilisha

    I have read his fatwa and declarations against the US, and they are explicitly religious.

    *(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
    (a) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.*

    Who do you think the ‘us’ is in this sentence? Al Qaeda? or Muslims?

    *(b) You attacked us in Palestine…*

    Al qaeda to my knowledge has never been attacked in Palestine, so I am starting to think he is talking about Muslims.

    *(c) You attacked us in Somalia…*

    While Al qaeda supported the attacks of Aidid, I don’t know that they were actually fighting there, as opposed to just having trained the militia. So it appears once again, this is a religious claim.

    *(d) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis…*

    This could mean either, but i am still pretty sure when he says ‘us’ he is referring to ‘Muslims’, which makes this motivation religious.

    *(e) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices…*

    Now this certainly must mean Muslims, as I don’t believe any Jihadi groups produce oil.

    *(f) Your forces occupy our countries…*

    For him to even suggest that a country belongs to Muslims is absurd.

    *(g) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day….*

    Yet this was Saddams doing, but once again, he isn’t worried about the Christians in Iraq, only the Muslims. Once again, this supports my point about religious motivations.

    *(h) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their eternal capital…*

    and thats a problem because……? Oh yeah, because of how Bin Laden views Islam.

    I am astounded how you can make my case here and yet claim it means the opposite. OBL’s foreign policy goals are strictly because of the way he views Islam and Muslims. This is very straight forward. When he declares war it is in the name of Allah:

    “”Praise be to God, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)”; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-‘Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that NO ONE BUT GOD IS WORSHIPPED, God who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders. “”

    This is from Bin Ladens 1998 fatwa. once again, explicitly religious justification for war, using Islam to justify his actions. The Capitals are mine. Notably, this is the first paragraph of this Fatwa, which makes the entire case it seems.
    This is how Bin laden sees the world, strictly through a religious lens.
    Frankly, I am amazed that anyone could even try and argue against this, it is so plainly stated in his writings. we have every reason to believe he put careful thought into these writings and the wording he used. so it is certainly no mistake.

  • Jeremy

    “it is the Internet, that is giving them their greatest impetus to act today.”

    Scott Atran discussing jihadi motivations. 16:15

    This actually supports one of my hypothesis’ that contradict the ones presented earlier.
    Will you consider this DATA and FACTS?

    Thanks for posting that.

  • Jeremy

    @Saladin aka Big Boss:

    Also, what was the point of the Scott Attran video addressed to me?

  • Jeremy

    *Saladin aka Big Boss Says:
    August 24th, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    @Jeremy

    OBL stated that they would still fought the West even if they were following the religion of their pagan ancestors*

    Where did he state that? i have obviously missed it? I have read much of his works, but certainly not all…

    *Khalid Sheikh Muhammad said in the Department of Defense That Islam does NOT give him the right to kill innocents or children(Emphasis mine) *

    Point being? his actions obviously tell a different story. If a man walked to you mom, and punched her in the face, then turned to you and said ‘I could never hit a woman” would you believe him?

  • Jeremy

    August 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am
    @Jeremy,

    It is a straw man argument because you are creating it yourself so that you can argue with yourself. No one is making it. The “realistic solution” was already provided via the example of the Arab spring: NO boots on the ground, and step in as an international community (via UN approval) with air power only to stop the persecution and oppression by a government of its own citizens, thereby allowing democracy to evolve from within. *

    So your position isn’t against intervention, it’s against ‘Boots on the ground’? so we are only arguing about methodology, is that correct?

    *If the government does not resort to open persecution and oppression of its own citizens, then stay the hell out. What is so difficult about that to comprehend?*

    You mean, just like Saddam was doing right? Iraqi’s did in fact rise up against Saddam, and they were slaughtered.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_uprisings_in_Iraq

    *Sorry, bad examples. These countries were arguably already “democratic”, except with executive branches with excess authority run amok (like the U.S. is moving towards today).*

    If your definition of the word ‘arguably’ means ‘not at all’. Then that statement would be correct. japan was most certainly not a democracy. Germany was at one point, but chose to cede that right to their government. And France was technically a Democracy under the Vichy, but not really, if you now what I mean. But either way, I am pretty sure you said this : *Democracy, by definition, is ALWAYS a bottom up process*
    This is a demonstrably false statement. You are wrong. Bolding is yours btw, not mine.

    * But more important, the U.S. did not rebuild these countries with their boots on the ground or by trying to run the country by themselves like they were doing for years in Iraq.*

    Wrong, that is exactly what they did.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Japan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied-occupied_Germany

    * By contrast, the U.S. simply annihilated the entire bureaucratic infrastructure in Iraq by firing everyone in the Baath party, which just so happened to be almost everyone working for the entire government bureaucracy.*

    this is true, and it is quite possible that the De Ba’athification of Iraq was a bad move. However, It is also likely that leaving the Ba’ath party members in their positions could have been bad as well. There are several reasons to suspect that a large majority would have been Saddam loyalists. But we will never know, hindsight is 20/20

    You say, “Utter nonsense… see above” yep, I should probably say it again too.

    *Yes, by now it would have been inevitable. You could have asked the same question regarding the Arab spring countries, and the answer back then would have been much more unlikely for them – and yet, look at them all today. *

    This point is addressed above. sadly this was tried and failed.

    * A democracy can only start once the people rise up to start it. The international community can only be patient and to support it at the grass roots level, and perhaps to intervene to stop persecution and oppression (e.g., with air power) only when absolutely necessary.*

    demonstrably untrue as shown above… with FACTS and DATA… cause I know how much you love that stuff, even if you do choose to ignore it.

    *THEN SHOW ME THE DATA. WHERE ARE YOUR QUOTES? WHERE ARE YOUR ARGUMENTS? Quit throwing out claims without any supporting facts. *

    This is your response regarding Bin Laden and his religiousity, of which you claimed I was ignorant. So it is surprising to me that you are unfamiliar with his works, as the implication was that you had read them, my bad, sorry. Here are a few paragraphs from Bin Ladens 1996 fatwa:

    “”Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and ask for his pardon. we take refuge in Allah from our wrongs and bad deeds. Who ever been guided by Allah will not be misled, and who ever has been misled, he will never be guided. I bear witness that there is no God except Allah-no associates with Him- and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.

    {O you who believe! be careful of -your duty to- Allah with the proper care which is due to Him, and do not die unless you are Muslim} (Imraan; 3:102), {O people be careful of -your duty to- your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same -kind- and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of -your duty to- Allah , by whom you demand one of another -your rights-, and (be careful) to the ties of kinship; surely Allah ever watches over you} (An-Nisa; 4:1), {O you who believe! be careful- of your duty- to Allah and speak the right word; He will put your deeds into a right state for you, and forgive you your faults; and who ever obeys Allah and his Apostle, he indeed achieve a mighty success} (Al-Ahzab; 33:70-71).

    Delicious Praise be to Allah, reporting the saying of the prophet Shu’aib: {I desire nothing but reform so far as I am able, and with non but Allah is the direction of my affair to the right and successful path; on him do I rely and to him do I turn} (Hud; 11:88).

    Praise be to Allah, saying: {You are the best of the nations raised up for -the benefit of- men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in Allah} (Aal-Imraan; 3:110). Allah’s blessing and salutations on His slave and messenger who said: (The people are close to an all encompassing punishment from Allah if they see the oppressor and fail to restrain him.)

    It should not be hidden from you that the people of Islam had suffered from “”

    Now, it should be clear to you, that this is explicitly religious talk. I am not sure how it came to be that you don’t know this, but you can look it up. Also, the title of this Fatwa is: “Declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two Holy places”
    Nothing about this strikes you as religious? please be serious.

    *They are totally meaningless. You haven’t even rebutted my facts and quotes yet, and you have the gall to challenge me without your own facts?*

    See above

    * As for what Islam says about warfare, it is 100% clear. *

    That is fascinating, so if it is 100% clear then every Muslim on the planet should be in total agreement with you on the subject then, right?

    *I have laid down this challenge many times, and ALL have failed to win the debate: Show me where in the Quran it allows Muslims to kill in the context of warfare of any sort except to protect the state or to fight against persecution and oppression. *

    Your arrogance knows no bounds I see. First of all, I am not claiminmg to know the correct interperetation of the Quran, you seem to be the one making this claim. You claim to know better than Muslim preachers and Imams across the globe and throughout history, what Islam means and how they should practice it. I find your comments racist and offensive. If Osama says the Quran tells him to kill infidels or whatever, then he is correct. If you tell me that the Quran tells you never to harm a fly, then you are correct.
    It is arrogant and insulting to Muslims across the globe for you to claim to know what it is they should or shouldn’t believe.

    *So what you are saying is that you have been caught red-handed totally contradicting yourself. The “Taliban model” is actually the most egregious fear-mongering template of “sharia law” used by the Islamophobes, *

    Someone here recommended Michael Scheuer and his opinions. Well, I suggest you follow that advice, read his book about Bin Laden, it illustrates some of the arguements and differing opinions on these matters that the different Jihadi groups and members had.

    *so you have really shot yourself in the foot with this rebuttal. *

    If you say so?!?

    *Loonwatch’s and my prior destruction of your claim therefore still applies. *

    So, it also destroys Scheuer’s thesis as well?

    *You were indeed claiming some sort of “sharia law” worldwide conspiracy (based on the “Taliban model”) that has been totally debunked as utterly false or absurd by all sorts of data and irrefutable logic. *

    Where are all your DATA and FACTS that you are always blubbering about? strangely absent here.

    *Now go back and address my rebuttals to your ludicrous claim or simply refuse to debate it. Either way you will be humiliating yourself.*

    You appear to have beaten me to it… I will try and learn from your mistakes.

    *However, if you plead ignorance and simply admit that you were wrong, then that will be the noble way out. Be my guest – make your choice.*

    Lol, YES SIR!

    *So you are saying that the President did not start the war in Iraq? *

    I am saying congress authorized the use of force in Iraq… explicitly. This is a FACT and I already gave you the DATA!

    *The resolution that you speak of only gave the authorization to defend the U.S. from Iraq:*

    Except for that enforce the resolution part, it also did that. You should read it.

    * “to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq”,*

    Oh wait! you did read it…. thanks for making my case for me. Somehow another defeat that you see as victory.

    *but it is up to the Congress to declare and start wars, not the President. *

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution

    Your command of history is astounding.

    *If it can be interpreted that the resolution gave the President the right to declare war, then this resolution must be deemed to be unconstitutional, since only Congress can declare war, as you so emphatically point out. Please peddle your terrorist-promoting ideology somewhere else please.*

    But why, I thought you liked FACTS and DATA?

    *Amazing. You are still beating around the bush, just like all trolls do. You can’t even identify which reasons you stand behind. Answer my question. Do you support and believe those reasons to the extent that they morally justified the war on Iraq?*

    I have already answered this in an above post. I believe the US had a moral obligation to intervene in Iraq.
    If there is a particular reason you would care to debate, lets have at it…. I am game.

    *We did our own research, and discovered independent research to boot, and the data are conclusive with a high degree of statistical probability.*

    Conclusive! and yet you seem to have ignored or not even addressed other possibilities?

    * By contrast, your reasons are totally implausible with no data to support them.*

    Your DATA should have taken these things into account for it to be considered reasonable. I am sure I could correlate data that supports an increase in Global warming to Terrorist attacks. Would you say that Data set would then be able to stand on its own as ‘proof’?

    *You assert “confirmation bias”, but you ignore the fact that our conclusion is supported by research done by independent scholars. *

    i wasn’t aware that independent scholars were immune to the human condition. That is amazing, do you have another study that shows that?

    *Do you even know what “confirmation bias” means? *

    Yep, do you?

    *Moreover, when you assert “confirmation bias”, you are making the implicit claim that a conclusion is ignoring other relevant data to the contrary.*

    Ok, well I guess not then.

    *So, I say once again, SHOW ME YOUR DATA TO THE CONTRARY. Your post-hoc fallacy argument was already rebutted as being false, since you have not identified even a single confounding variable to explain the variation in the dependent variable of terrorist attacks, whereas my supported theory does so with great precision.*

    I poroposed several variables that seem to have been completely ignored in your analysis of a very complex subject. but whats even funnier, is that I never claimed US policy had no effect on Terrorist activity. To the contrary. You can read it all in the above posts. My reaction was a little bit “they were itching for grievances anyways” with a little bit of so what? if killing nazi’s creates more Nazi’s” then so be it.

    *Do you need a lecture in the scientific method too?*

    One of us does, but it certainly isnt me.

    *You have the gall once again to assert that I am “not interested in delving any further into the subject” when you have ZERO data to support claims that you just pulled from your backside. Excuse me?*

    It is because my opponent is unarmed. You are excused.

    *So let me get this straight. If you claim that aliens are causing all the gravity that we experience, it is up to scientists to prove you are wrong before science can conclude you are wrong in the face of all kinds of data to the contrary? *

    But you see, this is exactly the sort of claim you are making? once again, you make my point. You really are making this too easy…
    You are asserting something using only one data set and not even weighing in all the other possible factors. YOU are the guy making the claim about aliens and gravity, not me. And yet you then proceed to tell me that I should provide you with A) the variables and B)the Data sets to suopport the variables that have obviously not even been considered. this is obviously a very complex thing, and yet you trumpet one data set like it is the answer to everything. Hilarious!

    *I have already shown you the data to support the only theory that has substantial factual support.*

    It is a hypothesis, not a theory. for it to be a theory it would have to have stood up under rigourous testing against various competing ideas and hypothesis.

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

    *You are now humiliating yourself with your sheer ignorance of the scientific method. *

    STOP IT, you are cracking me up here.

    *You don’t even have a plausible hypothesis to the contrary, let alone a working theory.*

    I have many hypothesis, but granted, no working theory.

    * You haven’t even presented a scrap of data. NOW SHOW ME THE DATA.*

    I love it when you say that!

    So let me get this straight. If you claim that US Foreign Policy are causing all the Terrorist Attacks that we experience, it is up to scientists to prove you are wrong before science can conclude you are wrong in the face of all kinds of data to the contrary?

    Never mind that there are hundred of attacks in places where there isn’t even a US presence…. but I suppose that doesn’t model into your ‘Theory’ as you call it.

  • Stoned Gremlin

    @Saladin In 2004 wasn’t there a tape broadcast featured on Al Jazeera and MSNBC where OBL said his intentions for the 9/11 attacks was to bleed America into bankruptcy?

    “So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah.”

    “And it was to these sorts of notions and their like that the British diplomat and others were referring in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. [When they pointed out that] for example, al-Qaida spent $500,000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than $500 billion.”

    “Meaning that every dollar of al-Qaida defeated a million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs.”

    “As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.”

    “And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the mujahidin recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan – with Allah’s permission.”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/archive/2004/11/200849163336457223.html

  • Chameleon

    @Saladin aka Big Boss,

    Thanks for piling on yet another mountain of high quality data to support the obvious conclusions about what motivates terrorism (including the 9/11 attacks) and where the threat is really coming from. Scott Atran, by the way, is a highly respected atheist social scientist specializing in terrorism research, not a Muslim with “confirmation bias” as Jeremy would allege, or perhaps practicing taqiyya” as others might allege. I watched part of this video before from another Loonwatch post and completely forgot about it until you brought it up at exactly the right time here. Thank you very much. The quote from OBL about how he would still be compelled to attack the U.S. even if he were a pagan who was never introduced to Islam is around the 4:50 minute mark, by the way, but the whole video is worthwhile to see.

    Those who make claims without data are just propaganda pawns, and the sad thing is how they don’t even realize it. However, those who continue to make claims in spite of all the data to the contrary are much worse. They are willfully ignorant, and the only way that they can keep this irrational willfulness alive is with hate. To those, I just say again and again, SHOW ME THE DATA! The entertainment for me is in seeing how much factual and logical humiliation their hate can endure.

  • Saladin aka Big Boss

    @Jeremy

    OBL stated that they would still fought the West even if they were following the religion of their pagan ancestors

    Khalid Sheikh Muhammad said in the Department of Defense That Islam does NOT give him the right to kill innocents or children(Emphasis mine)

    http://www.defense.gov/news/transcript_isn10024.pdf

  • @Chameleon

    Alrighty then! You are truly amazing in your ability to engage in a debate in a factual manner. May you continue to draw slow, long, deep breaths of air, especially while you do this work and may you continue to find it “entertaining.”

    It is amazing just how many do not realize that Adolf Hilter’s rise to power began with the German democratic elections of 1924 when he was first elected. Or that Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and that Italy had a parliment at that time.

    Clearly, the US invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with democracy. As you and I have discussed, corporatocracy better explains US foreign policy than does democracy. And what a sad waste of human life and resources, both Iraqi and American, on behalf of corporations, the American Iraq invasion was.

    May you smile and breath for a very long life, for you do really good work.

  • Chameleon

    @Jeremy,

    You say, “I fail to see how thats a strawman arguement. You have not provided any other realistic solutions to the problem, and have only stood against the outcome of the one chosen. What is the alternative that I a missing?” And you also ask, “So how would you have changed that if not by force? through the power of being nice? What is the alternative?”

    It is a straw man argument because you are creating it yourself so that you can argue with yourself. No one is making it. The “realistic solution” was already provided via the example of the Arab spring: NO boots on the ground, and step in as an international community (via UN approval) with air power only to stop the persecution and oppression by a government of its own citizens, thereby allowing democracy to evolve from within. If the government does not resort to open persecution and oppression of its own citizens, then stay the hell out. What is so difficult about that to comprehend?

    You say, “This is probably the most moronic statement I’ve heard yet. Lets look at examples of Democracies that were spread: Germany, Japan and Italy, just to give the simplest examples. Clearly all these democracies were the result of outside influence.”

    Sorry, bad examples. These countries were arguably already “democratic”, except with executive branches with excess authority run amok (like the U.S. is moving towards today). But more important, the U.S. did not rebuild these countries with their boots on the ground or by trying to run the country by themselves like they were doing for years in Iraq. The local bureaucratic infrastructure was in place and retained, and the citizens themselves rebuilt their own countries for the most part. By contrast, the U.S. simply annihilated the entire bureaucratic infrastructure in Iraq by firing everyone in the Baath party, which just so happened to be almost everyone working for the entire government bureaucracy. So what do you think happens when all these “enemies of the state” are fired and are prevented from getting employment to feed their families? Do you think that they might just then become a self-fulfilling prophecy – “enemies of the state” – against the U.S. occupation? Just perhaps?

    You say, “Utter nonsense… see above”

    I say utter nonsense. See above. I presented data. By contrast, you presented none, which makes your claims “devoid of sense”, i.e., “utter nonsense”.

    You say, “can you really say that the Iraqi people would have ‘risen up’ on their own?”

    Yes, by now it would have been inevitable. You could have asked the same question regarding the Arab spring countries, and the answer back then would have been much more unlikely for them – and yet, look at them all today. Given how disgruntled the majority of the population already was with Saddam Hussein’s regime, I have no doubt at all. It was just a matter of time. However, even if they did not rise up yet, we have no business invading and occupying their country. A democracy can only start once the people rise up to start it. The international community can only be patient and to support it at the grass roots level, and perhaps to intervene to stop persecution and oppression (e.g., with air power) only when absolutely necessary.

    You say, “Read his words again, a little more carefully. His grievences are defined in religious terms and viewed througha religious lens. Bin Laden was a very pious Muslim. While his interperetation of Islam may be seen as ‘wrong’ in your eyes, it is just as valid an interperetation as any other. I would not be so arrogant as to say that I or anyone else knows what the ‘true’ Islam is”

    THEN SHOW ME THE DATA. WHERE ARE YOUR QUOTES? WHERE ARE YOUR ARGUMENTS? Quit throwing out claims without any supporting facts. They are totally meaningless. You haven’t even rebutted my facts and quotes yet, and you have the gall to challenge me without your own facts? As for what Islam says about warfare, it is 100% clear. I have laid down this challenge many times, and ALL have failed to win the debate: Show me where in the Quran it allows Muslims to kill in the context of warfare of any sort except to protect the state or to fight against persecution and oppression. This Islamic model of warfare is 100% in compliance with universally ethical democratic principles and true American values, as espoused by the Founding Fathers. The same cannot be said of the un-American Christian love cult doctrine of hugging one’s enemies and turning the other cheek while they slaughter your own people.

    You say, “Can’t say exactly it appears the Jihadi’s themselves aren’t even unified on exactly what religious mandates they would impose. But it would seem that OBL supported the Taliban model without much complaint, I imagine it would be something similar.”

    So what you are saying is that you have been caught red-handed totally contradicting yourself. The “Taliban model” is actually the most egregious fear-mongering template of “sharia law” used by the Islamophobes, so you have really shot yourself in the foot with this rebuttal. Loonwatch’s and my prior destruction of your claim therefore still applies. You were indeed claiming some sort of “sharia law” worldwide conspiracy (based on the “Taliban model”) that has been totally debunked as utterly false or absurd by all sorts of data and irrefutable logic. Now go back and address my rebuttals to your ludicrous claim or simply refuse to debate it. Either way you will be humiliating yourself. However, if you plead ignorance and simply admit that you were wrong, then that will be the noble way out. Be my guest – make your choice.

    You say, “What crazy world do you live in? how is it things that exactly condradict you are seen as victories….”

    So you are saying that the President did not start the war in Iraq? The resolution that you speak of only gave the authorization to defend the U.S. from Iraq: “to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq”, not to invade and occupy Iraq! Yes, it gave some leeway in terms of how the President can “defend” (hence the glaring need for the oxymoron “pre-emptive self-defense”, as I already emphasized), but it is up to the Congress to declare and start wars, not the President. If it can be interpreted that the resolution gave the President the right to declare war, then this resolution must be deemed to be unconstitutional, since only Congress can declare war, as you so emphatically point out. Please peddle your terrorist-promoting ideology somewhere else please.

    You say, “For the most part, yes, those are all valid reasons, some more than others.”

    Amazing. You are still beating around the bush, just like all trolls do. You can’t even identify which reasons you stand behind. Answer my question. Do you support and believe those reasons to the extent that they morally justified the war on Iraq?

    You say, “Do your own research…. or just accept the first solution comes along that fits into your perspective. You asked for other plausible reasons, there are some. Your post-hoc fallacy, to be accurate would need to take all these other factors into account, among others. if it does not, it simply shows confirmation bias. It is obvious that you aren’t interested in delving any further into the subject that what fits your perspective, good for you!”

    We did our own research, and discovered independent research to boot, and the data are conclusive with a high degree of statistical probability. By contrast, your reasons are totally implausible with no data to support them. You assert “confirmation bias”, but you ignore the fact that our conclusion is supported by research done by independent scholars. Do you even know what “confirmation bias” means? Moreover, when you assert “confirmation bias”, you are making the implicit claim that a conclusion is ignoring other relevant data to the contrary. So, I say once again, SHOW ME YOUR DATA TO THE CONTRARY. Your post-hoc fallacy argument was already rebutted as being false, since you have not identified even a single confounding variable to explain the variation in the dependent variable of terrorist attacks, whereas my supported theory does so with great precision. Do you need a lecture in the scientific method too? You have the gall once again to assert that I am “not interested in delving any further into the subject” when you have ZERO data to support claims that you just pulled from your backside. Excuse me?

    You say, “You have it entirely backwards. YOU are the one positing the theory, therefore it is your responsibility to provide the data that rule all these factors out. I was challenged to provide another theory, which is what I did. your turn…. show me the data!”

    So let me get this straight. If you claim that aliens are causing all the gravity that we experience, it is up to scientists to prove you are wrong before science can conclude you are wrong in the face of all kinds of data to the contrary? I have already shown you the data to support the only theory that has substantial factual support. You are now humiliating yourself with your sheer ignorance of the scientific method. You don’t even have a plausible hypothesis to the contrary, let alone a working theory. You haven’t even presented a scrap of data. NOW SHOW ME THE DATA.

  • Jeremy

    i must have somehow missed this response, perhaps due to the bizzarre ‘moderating’ that goes on here, anyways, I will address it now, better late than never!

    * Octane Says:
    August 21st, 2012 at 4:41 pm
    @Jeremy. I hope you do not mind but Im just going to call you J for short.*

    Don’t mind at all…

    *By stating the following: “this is either an extremely malicious thing, or sadly naive. Can you seriously say that if there were a 1000 hostages being raped tortured and abused, that the force that went in there, liberated them but killed 2 in the process have ‘no excuse’ for their actions? That sound like a wicked thing to say.”

    Here you are justifying US military actions in the above statement. This premise is based upon the term you have used “liberated”. That term clearly implies that you believe that country and its denizens to indeed have been liberated. *

    Yes, that is what I believe, while their situation is far from perfect, they have quite obviously already participated in their own elections and are working towards a stable future. Agreed its a difficult path (Thanks to the murderous thugs trying to impede the reconstruction effort) it is still a path towards progress.

    *My point here is that they Iraqis do not see themselves as liberated. By asserting that they have been is YOUR view. Not theirs. What they do see is a country that has been thrown into greater turmoil than it was prior to this war. Ask an Iraqi and not just one or two a group of them how they feel about the invasion. Do they feel liberated. Then see if it correlates to you thinking they have indeed been liberated. *

    I wasn’t aware you spoke for Iraqis, however, they certainly did see themselves as liberated when American troops rolled into Baghdad.
    recently polling suggests that indeed the Iraqi’s do want the Americans to leave (amazing how they get to have their views heard and considered), but not just yet. While they aren’t happy with the American presence, they are also aware of the dangers that still around from hardcore ideologues.
    Seems about right. No one’s liberty ever came without a cost as far as I can tell.

    *Further you had written in response to another writer: [Our policies fuel terrorism. That’s a fact.’]-Saladin aka Big Boss

    “Yes, in the same way that a battered wifes big mouth fuels her drunken husband to beat her…. nice logic.”- Jeremy

    Well the above statement you made clearly shows you do not think that US policies in the Muslim world (and Im saying the Muslim world since that is the obvious arena we are dealing with) have no consequences. *

    This is a strawman as I never said any such thing. I have addressed this elsewhere, but Al Qaeda and its allies are full of grievance, the Americans were damned if they do, or damned if they didn’t. When the American forces were island hopping towards Japan, the fight became the most brutal and vicious. Children lined up to blow themselves up under American tanks. I don’t doubt that American victories fueled this fire, but so what?

    *Here you are telling people who are Muslim, who have a very good understanding of that region that you think US policies have no impact in creating terrorism or blowback as Saladin had put it.*

    I am, where?

    *Those people are aggrieved for a reason. If they are telling you that it is XYZ that is pissing us off. Then its XYZ. How can you say otherwise when THEY are telling you that very fact of why they are pissed off?? That makes no sense to me.*

    I can see that.

    *There is also a fallacy in your argument that you and many others with your viewpoint make. I never stated that AQ were observant Muslims nor did I allude to that viewpoint.*

    this is why I asked the question, for clarification, thanks.

    *AQ capitalize on US foreign policy.*

    Agreed

    *You kill people in varying countries and they recruit their countrymen and families. At that point they join for political reasons and anger. They have a vehicle vengeance and the AQ provide it.*

    Except the bulk of the killing is being done by AQ, not US forces… so that kinda puts a few holes in your story…

    *And to answer your question I do indeed have a clear understanding of what ticks off Muslims. *

    I wasn’t aware Muslims were a monolith that you had the magical ability to understand. I learn something new everyday!

    *and what was the response to that? Was it not a military attack? Would you say that those people were driven to attack out of Christian ideals since it was GW Bush who stated that God told him to go into Iraq.? *

    For many of them, yes.

    *As per Muslim grievances how many have you talked too? I mean really honestly talked too. 1 or 2? Or 20 or 30? Why not just ask rather than subsuming that it is liberal propaganda. *

    Two of my closest friends are Muslim, I am not a pew poll however, but nor are you.

    *Im not assuming here. You clearly are stating that US foreign policy did not result in terrorism. The above quotes at the beginning of this post show that. *

    And yet, you are assuming? I never said any such thing, I agree that the policies on some level fuel terrorism, my point is, so what? So what if killing Japanese soldiers created more die hard japanese soldiers? I fail to see how that is relevant. But it seems you fail to see all the other factors that may contribute as well.

    *Further you insist that that foreign policy has resulted in liberation and self determination for hundreds of millions. In this case Im assuming you mean Iraq.*

    i am not sure why you would think I mean Iraq. perhaps if I said tens of millions. I am referring here to the liberated victims of fascism, stalinism, imperialism etc. This is a global victory, and while you seem quick to quibble over the minute details, I prefer to see the success of the grand strategy, while accepting that it is far from perfect. All these issues about how Iraqi’s feel could apply to anyone of the countries liberated after WWII, and yet they all moved forward to become thriving democracies.

    *Again you are assuming that these people have been liberated. Again ask those people. *

    The very fact that we can go ask speaks for itself

    *Ask Iraqis if they feel liberated. How exactly have they been liberated? What self determination do they have? *

    Hmmmm, just like after WWII

    *They resources as you know were put for grabs by the US government to the highest bidders. You also Im sure are aware that Haliburton was extracting oil from Iraq. *

    Hmmm, just like the Marshall plan. And I think when you say extracting, you mean ‘buying’. but I could be wrong.

    * For you to state that its far from Utopian is an understatement.*

    And yet no other alternatives have been provided?

    * The US has single handedly destroyed an entire country and bombed it into the stone age,*

    I think you mean Al qaeda and its allies.

    *literally raped its resources and people. *

    Now you are being silly.

    *And you honestly think they are liberated? The US is worse than Saddam ever was.*

    This explains alot. The scary part is, you are probably serious about it.
    Can you really stand behind this statement?

    *Im not sure how you can make such a statement. Im puzzled by this because you do know that Iraqs infrastructure was destroyed by the US military. The insurgency did not carpet bomb the whole country into the stone age. *

    Nor did the US, who have in fact been spending blood and treasure to rebuild this infrastructure. Please be serious.

    *The country does not have the basics such as running water and consistent electricity. The insurgency is against the Americans. *

    Right, the same Americans who are trying to rebuild the infrastructure…. It must be nice where you live.

    *They did not take apart the whole country. *

    That is precisely what the ‘insurgency is doing’

    *Again can you show me where Iraqis are saying that they are grateful for the US in Liberating them.
    Or do you think they are too stupid to realize that they have been liberated?*

    They showed that when they danced in the street after the arrival of US troops, Oh, and when they turned out to vote.

    *The resources were still used to develop the entire country.*

    kinda like now, oh, but before they were also used to rape massacre and tortue people, build palaces and invade neighbouring countries.

    *Iraqis had almost a 100% literacy rate.*

    we don’t even have that here in the West, your claims are getting more ridiculous by the line here.

    *They had schools, hospitals, electricity, food, water. For whatever it was it was their fight and they would have brought him down. *

    That statement has no bearing on reality.

    *You forget though that it was the US who supported Saddam and his policies.*

    not entirely true, the US didn’t actively fight Saddam, and were happy to turn their enemies against each other during the Iran – Iraq war. But they didn’t go out of their way to ‘support’ him.
    You are thinking of the European powers, mainly France, that supported Saddam.

    *He stayed in power because of the US and its policy. I mean these are historical and immutable facts. *

    really, who was going to take hime out of power before the US stepped in? I would really love to hear this crazy theory?

    *You say a future and again I ask you. What future? *

    The future of self determination. If you don’t see that as good thing, then there is obviously no reasoning with you. Although, you think saddam id ‘better’ than the US (still cant believe you think that) Perhaps you would rather live safely in a prison with all your needs provided, but most people would rather live in the open air with all the dangers it entails.

    *Have you asked the Iraqi people about their future? At this point in time the country is in shambles its in a civil war it has no infrastructure. Do you honestly think that the country has a bright future at this point? *

    Yes

    *You are painting it like the US has delivered Iraq from the abyss and landed them in the garden of eden. *

    if that is what I have done, then equally you are painting it like America invaded the garden of Eden and turned Iraq into an Abyss. It would seem with your obvious support of Saddam that this is precisely what you are saying.

    *Well lets be honest here. *

    Could we?

    *That is exactly what the US has done in Iraq.*

    correct, the US invaded the country and threw out the Occupying Bath regime. and good on them too.

    *The insurgency are people trying to reclaim their land from a foreign invader. *

    they could do that by voting. Incidentally, if the insurgency wasn’t there, the US would have left long ago? the war isn’t popular at home, and the costs are huge. Your logic here doesn’t add up.

    *You for some reason are against grass roots movements against an occupying force. Which is what the US is. So should you not be supporting the insurgency?*

    I am not sure you understand what ‘grass roots’ means.the insurgency is and has been largely made up of Foreign fighters sponsored by foreign dollars. It is also noteable that after the US withdrawl in Dec. 2011 attacks INCREASED across the country. Kinda puts another nail in the coffin that was your theory.
    I don’t doubt mind you, that there are indeed disenfranchised local Iraqis, but their goals are not a stable democratic Iraq, that much should be obvious.

    *Israel is occupying and threatening its neighbours has weapons of mass destruction. Should you not support a joint strike against it and deliver those people from tyranny?*

    really you want to get into Israel? Those people could deliver themselves form tryanny by denouncing violence and reconizing Israel as a sovreign partner in world affairs.

    *A great point by you: “Let me ask you a question: Do you think that the deaths of French citizens during the liberation of France in 1944 was justified? Do you believe that the French peoples should have taken up arms against the American occupation force at every opportunity? Do you believe that the French Republic would be better of under the Boot of the Vichy government?””

    The US was not alone.*

    Just like during the Iraq war

    * Second France was invaded by a foreign country. *

    just like Iraq was invaded and occupied by the Baath party. check.

    *Did the Americans have Iraqi approval? Again you turn a blind eye to the Iraqi sentiment of being invaded.*

    And what is that sentiment?

    * Did the US have UN approval? A critical point you have ignored. And clearly they did not. France bitterly rejected the US trying to go into Iraq. The US did not have UN approval. It was an UNSANCTIONED act. Period.*

    The Oil-for-food scandal and the complicity of germany, France and Russia in Iraqi violations of sanctions make it obvious as to why.

    *Firstly. The Lancet is a peer reviewed medical journal. That means that their research methods are reproduce able and their numbers are accepted to be fairly accurate.*

    Fairly accurate/ that is your idea of numbers that are unquestionable?
    good grief.

    *Can you tell me how one of the most preeminent journals on par with JAMA and NEJM numbers are ‘debatable’. And debateable by whom? Those who dont want to believe the high casualty rate. *

    I already stated I believe the numbers to be higher, not lower.

    *The UN sanctions were pushed by the US. In fact Madelaine Albright was asked if she was bothered by the fact that 50k plus children had died from the US led sanctions. And she said she was not. This by the way was when Clinton was in power and MA was doing a university circuit. She was asked this question and that is what she said. You can do a quick google search for this statement. The point here being Iraqi lives not even innocent children disturbed even the most ardent of ‘liberal’ politicians. *

    So wait, the US controls the UN? you sang a different tune a couple lines ago…. regardless, Saddam was responsible, not the US for those deaths. Other UN member states were also complicit thanks to OIl-for-food. It is a horrible tragedy. None of this changes the numbers whatsoever.
    Even if the exact same number have died, that would have died under Saddams rule, it would still be better because the country is moving forward. Although saddams wars of conquest most certainly would have lead to untold deaths that don’t even come close to the numbers since the invasion.

    *Hans Blix was the UN weapons inspector. A neutral party. Scott Ritter UN weapon inspector from the US. Valarie Plame ex-CIA outed by the US gov when her husband stated Joe Wilson stated that there was no weapons of mass destruction that the yellow cake story was garbage. How do you explain that? *

    It wasn’t Hans Blix job to ‘find’ WMD. It was Saddams obligation to show the waepons inspectors where the unaccounted for material was. They had a list of known stockpiles, all Saddam had to do, was show the inspectors where they were, which he never did. To claim that anyone of these people could have known or not known what happened to these stockpiles is patently ridiculous, and taking Saddam at his word.
    Incidentally, by all accounts he deliberately misled the Un so that he would not appear weak in the region, as he wasn’t very popular with his neighbours. Sadly, it was those very sanctions kept him from rebuilding his military infrastructure.

    *So are you saying that Hans Blix a neutral party was lying?*

    i am saying there is no possible way he could have known other than ‘taking Saddams word for it’

    *You did not address the fact that and still believe incorrectly so that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There is no proof of it and that false notion has been debunked several times over. That too by independent bodies with no personal stake in Iraq. *

    It wasn’t for the US to prove he had them, it was for Saddam to prove that he didn’t. which he repeatedly refused to do. Once again, there were known stockpiles, all he had to do was reveal them.

    You still haven’t address the question. You are POTUS, the country is still reeling from 9/11. Your CIA chief tells you that the case for Iraq’s WMD’s is a slamdunk. Saddam has been going out of his way to mislead everyone into thinking that he still has WMD stockpiles. he has used them several times before.Do you act on that information? or do you deny logic and ignore it?

    * Well the torture of those was sanctioned by Donald Rumsfeld. So he was not brought before any tribunal.*

    Incorrect

    *Here is what I believe. A people have a right to decide who and what government they should choose. 8

    which is exactly what the Iraqi’s will now be able to do

    *No other group or nation state should decide that for them. *

    Correct, which is why the Baath party had no right to decide what sort of government Iraqi’s should live under. It is also why the democratic process still in its infancy there is a good thing. the US has no intention of deciding for them.

    *And certainly not from an ethnocentric colonial perspective of we know best for you. Since that is what is being advocated here. If they are content then leave them be.*

    So Iraqi’s were content living under the Baath party rule?

    *They will evolve their own way and system in which they deem fit. *

    It’s hard to do that under the boot of oppression dont you think?

    8What if they feel Communism is better.*

    Thats the amazing thing about democracy, they could vote a communist system in!

    *No you do not promote Chinese Freedom and Democracy. Let that come from whithin. *

    Your statements are horrifying! You really dont think you shouldn’t support peoples freedoms? This is a vicious thing to say.

    *If those people want you to support it then yes you go and support it.*

    and how exactly do you tell if they want you to or not?

    I think your most revealing statement here is that you think that Americans are worse than Saddam. A murderous psycopath in every sense of the word, and on a horrifying scale. You should be ashamed of yourself. Even if you posit that America is responsible for the deaths occuring in Iraq, they certainly aren’t the ones commiting them and it is most certainly not their intent.

  • Jeremy

    *You say, “[T]o argue that Iraqi’s would be better off living under the Hussein family indefinitely is an indefensible position, and yet one it seems people here are eager to support”

    Another straw man argument. Is anyone here making that argument or supporting it? [sound of crickets]*

    I fail to see how thats a strawman arguement. You have not provided any other realistic solutions to the problem, and have only stood against the outcome of the one chosen. What is the alternative that I a missing?

    *You say, “[T]o argue that Iraqi’s would be better off living under the Hussein family indefinitely is an indefensible position, and yet one it seems people here are eager to support”*

    So how would you have changed that if not by force? through the power of being nice?
    What is the alternative?

    *Democracy, by definition, is ALWAYS a bottom up process*

    This is probably the most moronic statement I’ve heard yet. Lets look at examples of Democracies that were spread: Germany, Japan and Italy, just to give the simplest examples. Clearly all these democracies were the result of outside influence.

    *A true democracy is born from within, from the soul of the people. It is not “spread” by a self-interested superpower, with profiteering corporate rapists in its wake all in a line to get their share of its booty. No democracy was meant to be whored by its own Founding Fathers. It is from this type of vile, incestuous “democracy” that the bastard child of terrorism is born.*

    Utter nonsense… see above.

    can you really say that the Iraqi people would have ‘risen up’ on their own? Tried and failed if I recall. please be serious.

  • Jeremy

    @Chameleon

    *You think you are being clear, but you are anything but. Do you or don’t you support and believe in the reasons that the U.S. gave at the time for invading Iraq? I am not asking whether you stand behind the fact that these reasons were in fact given by the U.S. (duh, no one here is disputing that sheer banality). I am asking whether you support and believe in those arguments. If not, then you are being a troll.*

    The question was asked, why did the US invade Iraq. I explicitly stated that I copy pasta’d that info from Wikipedia as the reasons given at the time. For the most part, yes, those are all valid reasons, some more than others. Do I think it was the US main goals? no. These were used as justifications for a strategic policy. But they were valid reasons (most) none the less.

    *Now just show me the data correlating Al Qaeda and “American left” propaganda with the variation in terrorism levels to explain that variation as well as troop occupation levels does.*

    Do your own research…. or just accept the first solution comes along that fits into your perspective. You asked for other plausible reasons, there are some. Your post-hoc fallacy, to be accurate would need to take all these other factors into account, among others. if it does not, it simply shows confirmation bias. It is obvious that you aren’t interested in delving any further into the subject that what fits your perspective, good for you!

    *How many newspapers did they circulate? How many pamphlets did they get out, house to house? How many phone calls and emails did they make spreading all this propaganda that resulted in all these variations in terrorism levels. And how the hell did they get away with all of this massive propaganda campaign right under the noses of all those American boots on the ground? Show me the data. Just show me the data.*

    You have it entirely backwards. YOU are the one positing the theory, therefore it is your responsibility to provide the data that rule all these factors out. I was challenged to provide another theory, which is what I did. your turn…. show me the data!

    *This claim has already been thoroughly debunked by @Octane and others. Next.*

    uuuhh,no, they havent. feel free to ignore it as usual.

    *Duh, of course it says that.*

    Thanks, your gettin there sport!

    * to further support my argument that the U.S. violated the Constitution even more by having the President (executive branch) start the war in Iraq and just about everywhere else, thereby unlawfully seizing this power from Congress? *

    What crazy world do you live in? how is it things that exactly condradict you are seen as victories…. it must be nice where you live, also helps explain the ignorance.

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

    *I just debunked that argument with actual facts,*

    Back to imaginary land are we….

    *Religion was of course consulted for permissibility by OBL (and thoroughly mangled, by his own hired mullahs to boot), since he knew that his cause would have been doomed from the start without some stamp of approval. However, religion was not used as his primary justification, as I just proved*

    you did no such thing, the very fact that Osama divides the world along religious lines supports my position, not yours. Read his words again, a little more carefully. His grievences are defined in religious terms and viewed througha religious lens. Bin Laden was a very pious Muslim. While his interperetation of Islam may be seen as ‘wrong’ in your eyes, it is just as valid an interperetation as any other. I would not be so arrogant as to say that I or anyone else knows what the ‘true’ Islam is.

    *If you weren’t referring to the “sharia law” bogeyman, then what “religious mandates” being imposed were you referring to?*

    Can’t say exactly it appears the Jihadi’s themselves aren’t even unified on exactly what religious mandates they would impose. But it would seem that OBL supported the Taliban model without much complaint, I imagine it would be something similar.

    *Please do edify me.*

    consider yourself Edified.

    *It is mind boggling how you can expect me to be mind boggled with absolutely no data to back up your argument.*

    The data is not mine to provide. With limited data sets almost any theory can be proposed. It is strange that you don’t even think in those terms, but it is very revealing.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    @ Josh:

    > Just to let you know when they breif you on a mission they don’t hold
    > anything or sugar coat nothing, I actually know more to Iraq than you
    > will ever know, but I’m not going to release anymore info, I could get
    > arrested.

    BWAHAHAHA… I saw this the other day, and it STILL makes me laugh. You say it with all the weasely doublespeak of a stereotypical ‘internet tough guy.’ You CLAIM all this special secret knowledge that only you know and can’t reveal to the rest of the world. Let me tell you something, assuming you really are enlisted, odds are you’re just another grunt at best. But go on pretending you are some elite bad ass. It amuses me to no end.

    For someone who claims to ‘know more about Iraq than the rest of us,’ you seem genuinely ignorant of it. For instance, you claim Sunnis are the majority. They aren’t. They’re only like 30% of the country. 65% or more is Ithna’ashari Shi’a. That’s before you get into the Yezidis, Ahl-e-Haqq, Bahá’í, Zoroastrians, Mandaeans, Jews and Christians. Of course, I’m also reasonably sure a moron like you has never heard of half those religions, and you probably wouldn’t believe that there have been Iraqi Christians for millennia. Indeed, Assryian Christianity is closer Christianity as it was practiced in Jesus’ time than most American Churches. Hell, I’m even going to bet you don’t speak a word of Arabic, let alone Turkoman, Sorani, Hewrami or Kurmanci.

    One thing that never ceases to amaze me about you Islamophobes is how you constantly assume everyone is as white bread as yourselves. This America baby. We’re a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country. Some of us, even right here on these very boards, are Muslim. Scary huh? And you know what else? Some of us still have family and kin living in Iraq, or surrounding countries. Some of us might even have been born there, or grown up there. So for all your self-proclaimed ‘expert knowledge’ on Iraq, there are plenty of Iraqi Americans who would laugh in your face. Hell… some of the people posting on these boards might be posting from Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

    > As a soldier this doesn’t surprises me. In training we have many targets
    > dressed in islamic terrorist garb.

    Islamic ‘terrorist garb’? I wasn’t aware that al-Qaeda had a dress code, or that my galabiyya and kaffiyeh were somehow ‘terrorist.’ The funny thing is just how racist that assertion sounds. It plays off the assumption that religious devotion represents fundamentalism, and the typical Islamophobic hatred for anything ‘foreign’ or ‘ethnic.’ As I’ve said before, Islamophobia is not really about Islam in and of itself. Its about hatred for Middle Eastern and South Asian culture. Speaking Arabic, eating Middle Eastern foods, listening to raï, wearing the thobe… its all seen as inherently opposed to western culture. No doubt some of the other regulars here will remember the Swiss ban on minarets which, amongst other things, was based on the claim that they were ‘alien’ to Swiss architecture…

    Of course, the flip side of this argument is equally hilarious. If terrorists can be identified by wearing thobes and kaffiyehs, then wouldn’t the smart ones simply dress like westerners? You know, as a disguise? But then, nobody said the industry of manufactured panic was logical. I suppose it would be TOO scary for people like you to suspect every white guy in jeans and a t-shirt. Much easier to look for the random Arab American on his way to jummah prayers.

  • @Chameleon

    Thank you for your kind words and most of all for the incredible history lesson which you just provided. Again, I appreciate your efforts.

  • Chameleon

    @BuddhaShrink,

    I appreciate your expression of support, since I have no other way of knowing it is really there or if I am just writing for myself, which can be entertaining for a while but not nearly as gratifying as knowing someone may have actually learned a nugget or two from me. I take special pleasure in not just contributing something “new”, but in reminding others of what they already “know” – but on a whole new level, and in a way that they will hopefully not forget again. On that note, I must also express my appreciation for your posts. They are both inspiring and edifying in the same way, without any exception that I can recall.

    You have inspired me to leave one more nugget in reply to your comment, “Besides, there have been way too many coops conducted by the United States – on behalf of corporations – of democracies, ie., Iran, Guatemala, Chile, to mention but a few, to believe that democracy is what motivates US foreign policy.”

    There are all kinds of books, articles, historical documents, etc. to prove this undeniable point of yours that the U.S. operates from the realist school of political thought almost without exception (i.e., any U.S. policy that does not promote U.S. self-interest must be invalid and discarded, no matter how many democratic or moral principles may be violated elsewhere, as long as U.S. voters don’t find out about these violations). There are also innumerable reference sources documenting how the massive concentration in corporate power over the past 150 years or so has driven this shift in policy.

    However, there is one story that stands out to me as a particularly fascinating expression of this Orwellian reality that most Americans have never even heard of, in the same way that the vast majority of Americans today honestly don’t comprehend what kind of Orwellian society they currently live in. It is the story of U.S. General Smedley Butler, whom some corporate elites tried to recruit in the 1930’s (partly in response to strong Socialist movements at the time) so that they could literally seize the White House from FDR by force in a fascist plot to take over the U.S. government itself. They thought General Butler would be amenable to the conspiracy based on his long U.S. military history of serving corporate interests, but they did not realize how regretful and ashamed he had already become of his own past in the interim, in spite of his heroic military accomplishments equaled by no other Marine in history. Needless to say, the corporate coup d’état of the United States did not succeed – at least officially – but the words of General Butler remain as a warning today, to all those who will listen, that the coup has indeed already happened, though most of us refuse to see it or believe it:

    “I spent 33 years in the Marines, most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism…. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of a half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested…” (from “War is a Racket”, book cover and page 10).

    This is how “Democracy” is “spread” by the U.S. military and then whored out to corporate interests. Don’t believe me. Believe Major General Smedley Butler, the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, along with all the other brave, repentant souls who admit their own unwitting complicity in this ongoing rape.

  • @Ilisha

    No problem at all, but thanks for your explanation – I was wondering.

    And may you and all of Loonwatch stay strong, as well. Keep up the good work.

    As an aside, I can not help but notice your extremey high level of tolerance for Islamophobes trolling your website. Some are straight forward with their bigotry towards Muslims demonstrating that the rediculous assertion that they have no problem with Muslims, only Islam, is a lie.
    Other Islamophobes, BareNakedIslam, for example, concluded her comments by saying she loved nothing more than riling up Muslims.
    I know for a fact that she, BareNakedIslam, has no such level of tolerance for diversity of opinion on her website; dimissing those who take issue with nasty, ugly name calling, “slut” and telling them that they have “no right to their next breath” and then banning them from her website.

    There is kindness and compassion to be found on Loonwatch, whereas only fear and hate can be found on Islamophobic websites. Put another way, The compassion of Islam comes through on Loonwatch; fear and hate comes through Islamophobic websites and Facebook pages.
    May you always be strong and compassionate.

  • @Chameleon

    Your persistence is amazing! That you find it entertaining is truly a rare gift. Your willingness to defend and speak for another, Geji, is admirable.
    Your words regarding democracy being spread as if democracy were butter or jam is an image that has often occurred to me as well. I agree, democracy comes from within. Even the notion of democracy coming as some sort of gift from another country seems anti-democratic in and of itself.
    Besides, there have been way too many coops conducted by the United States – on behalf of corporations – of democracies, ie., Iran, Guatemala, Chile, to mention but a few, to believe that democracy is what motivates US foreign policy.
    The best ways for us here in the States to encourage democracy in the world are to perfect it here at home – and we have a long way to go – and to mind our own business and to have faith in other people.

    May you stay strong, Chameleon! Your efforts are earning you many credits.

    [Buddha Shrink: Sorry your comment was delayed. I had to rescue it from an overzealous spam filter. Ilisha]

  • Chameleon

    @Geji,

    Thanks for the suggestion. When this stops being entertaining, I might just take your advice. In the mean time, how about I reply on your behalf to Jeremy? On that note….

    @Jeremy,

    This is to address your email to @Geji.

    You say, “I believe your positions to be naive and sadly misinformed coupled with a an ideological blinding.”

    Beliefs don’t count in a debate, Jeremy. Intelligent arguments do. We are waiting on yours. It is funny to hear about how your beliefs are important to the argument when you already admitted that you don’t even believe in your own arguments.

    You say, “[T]o argue that Iraqi’s would be better off living under the Hussein family indefinitely is an indefensible position, and yet one it seems people here are eager to support”

    Another straw man argument. Is anyone here making that argument or supporting it? [sound of crickets]

    You say, “I am however supporting the American spreading of Democracy.”

    Now there is another euphemistic oxymoron: “spreading Democracy” (with a capital “D” no less). So is this like spreading jam on toast or did you have some other type of “spreading” in mind. Democracy, by definition, is ALWAYS a bottom up process, since it literally means “rule by the people”. It cannot be spread top down or superficially like jam. Research shows how futile trying to do so is, no matter what troubled country is used as a case study, Muslim or non-Muslim. Instead of installing or propping up these dictators and their phony top down “elections”, as the U.S. has historically done, the U.S. should be focusing its efforts at the grass roots level on SUPPORTING democracy by those passionate citizens from within the country who will be able to implement it. The U.S. government has been acting like a howling idiot in thinking – and teaching – that democracy starts with ballot boxes. Have Americans no memory of their own history anymore?

    Above all else, the U.S. needs to keep its boots off the ground, since we now know how destructive occupation is, both to the country’s nascent democracy and to global interests by promoting terrorism. It is also anathema to the letter and spirit of everything it means to be an American and everything that the Founding Fathers fought and died for. The success of the Arab spring in getting rid of dictators IN SPITE OF the U.S. historical support for those dictators is a testament to how the true democratic process can and should work. It is also a testament to the success of a dramatically improved, though far from perfect, new U.S. policy of trying to keep U.S. boots off the ground and allowing democracy to evolve without hindrance.

    A true democracy is born from within, from the soul of the people. It is not “spread” by a self-interested superpower, with profiteering corporate rapists in its wake all in a line to get their share of its booty. No democracy was meant to be whored by its own Founding Fathers. It is from this type of vile, incestuous “democracy” that the bastard child of terrorism is born.

  • Chameleon

    @Jeremy,

    You say, “I do support what I put, AGAIN, those are just a few of the reasons the US gave at the time for invading Iraq.”

    You think you are being clear, but you are anything but. Do you or don’t you support and believe in the reasons that the U.S. gave at the time for invading Iraq? I am not asking whether you stand behind the fact that these reasons were in fact given by the U.S. (duh, no one here is disputing that sheer banality). I am asking whether you support and believe in those arguments. If not, then you are being a troll.

    You say, “there are several reasons that are plausible. Anti-war sentiment on the home front, Al-qaeda’s increasing deftness with the use of internet propaganda, Al qaeda’s viewed ‘success’ against the ‘infidel’ troops etc. there are many many reasons that could be posited, but nice try.Al Qaeda and the American left were very succesful undermining the war effort at home, with the use of all sorts of propaganda. A well played manouver in my eyes.”

    Nice claim – Now just show me the data correlating Al Qaeda and “American left” propaganda with the variation in terrorism levels to explain that variation as well as troop occupation levels does. Also, show me the data to prove that Al Qaeda and the “American left” had a significant propaganda presence in Iraq after 9/11. For example, how many network channels did they operate? How many newspapers did they circulate? How many pamphlets did they get out, house to house? How many phone calls and emails did they make spreading all this propaganda that resulted in all these variations in terrorism levels. And how the hell did they get away with all of this massive propaganda campaign right under the noses of all those American boots on the ground? Show me the data. Just show me the data. Your claims are nothing but hot air when the real data screams a whole different story.

    You say, “Its true hundreds of thousands have died, Many hundreds of thousands (not by US hands mind you) more lives have been saved and tens of millions now have a future that doesn’t involve their lives being held at the whim of a dictator.”

    This claim has already been thoroughly debunked by @Octane and others. Next.

    You say, “I am pretty sure it says this: “Congress shall have the power to declare war.”

    Duh, of course it says that. And your point is what, to further support my argument that the U.S. violated the Constitution even more by having the President (executive branch) start the war in Iraq and just about everywhere else, thereby unlawfully seizing this power from Congress? That is also a great point, so thank you very much. However, that was not the point I was making. Are you dense? My argument was not with respect to WHO can declare war, but WHY, i.e., WHEN is war permitted to be declared. I am still waiting on you to show me how the Constitution permits the military to be used for invasion and occupation. It does not.

    You say, “Osama’s logic is fueled completely by his twisted interperetation of Islam. His is a logic full of grievance. He divides the world explicitly through a religious lens.”

    I just debunked that argument with actual facts, yet you continue to claim it is true without facts. Sorry, blustering and rambling does not qualify as a rebuttal. Please do try again. Religion was of course consulted for permissibility by OBL (and thoroughly mangled, by his own hired mullahs to boot), since he knew that his cause would have been doomed from the start without some stamp of approval. However, religion was not used as his primary justification, as I just proved. OBL had no respect for the dictators of “Muslim” countries, whom he perceived as just an extension of the U.S. government. So to suggest that terrorists should “simply support the US deposing of dictators”, whom the U.S. historically supported – and whom the U.S. only attacked BECAUSE of terrorism – is a joke. And you also suggest that the terrorists should “lobby their government” to change or to get the U.S. out. Are you serious? When was it ever “their government” to lobby, let alone the government of the population at large, such that lobbying would even be feasible, practical or permitted?

    You say, “It’s true that they dislike American occupation, it’s also true that they dislike Iraqi democracy, as you’ve said.”

    Thank you for conceding my claim, but no thank you for making up a claim that I never made.

    You say, “I don’t recall ever mentioning Sharia Law at all during any of this discussion, another point I never made supposedly refuted, well done.”

    Great. Then please do explain your word for word claim, “[Terrorists] want the freedom to impose their own religious mandates on their people.” If you weren’t referring to the “sharia law” bogeyman, then what “religious mandates” being imposed were you referring to? The “other sharia law” perhaps? You act as if I am twisting your words, but I can honestly see no other interpretation to this phrase. Please do edify me.

    You say, “It is mind boggling to me that you don’t also see that as positive? why?”

    It is mind boggling how you can expect me to be mind boggled with absolutely no data to back up your argument.

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