September 11, 2004


This week I have been thinking a lot about a post I read on D.G.C.I.:

First, a little background. This is a conservative blog. We aren't shy around here about professing our support for President Bush and other Republican candidates. If you had missed that point, let me invite you to take a look around.

We (the authors of this site) are Conservative Republicans. We write about Conservative Republican matters to our audience, who are mostly (go figger) Conservative Republicans. Makes sense so far, doesn't it?

But over the last couple of months in particular we have noticed an increase in comments from Liberals. Not just trolls, although God knows we have our share of them, but from self-professed Liberals, Kerry fans, who sometimes even make a semi-intelligent argument, even if they're usually wrong.

I don't hold that against them. For the most part, they're just misinformed.

But what I have to wonder is WHY? Why are they here? We certainly don't have anything to offer them and their belief system.

I have wondered the very thing time and time again, but what struck me the most was this exchange in the comments section:

Three words: Know your enemy.

You want to see blogs with some serious followers? Go check out Atrios, with its comments in the hundreds for every post. Go check out Pandagon, with its everyday readers of 25 or more. Go check out dailykos, and tell me Democrats are giving up and don't really like Kerry anyway.
I dare you.

Posted by: Norah at September 8, 2004 10:47 AM

Three words: Know your enemy.

And there's the basic difference between us. The only enemies I have are Islamofascist terrorists who want nothing more than to see both you and I dead.

And the sooner you figure THAT out, the better off we'll all be.

Posted by: dgci at September 8, 2004 06:13 PM

And that's when it hit me. Laser beam.

Last September 11, I was focused; I knew who the enemy was and my laser beam was strong. This year I find that I have gotten off target. (Actually, I get off target a lot because I'm a hot-headed person. Red 6 and I have discussed this extensively, since we're two peas in a pod in that respect. We both admire my husband for his ability to shrug off idiotarians and forget about them; Red 6 and I stew. We've recently learned to vent to each other, since both of us were previously dumping everything on my husband!) Returning to Nelson Ascher's post is a way for me to re-center. I wrote about this back in November:

I write often about laser beams, because that symbol has helped me gain perspective. On September 11th, I wrote a long email to family and friends about what the two-year anniversary meant to me, especially as a military wife. I read everything that all my favorite bloggers said that day and felt the same emotions they felt. I also had a different friend from college who has her own blog, and I went to see what she had to say on that momentous date. Nothing. I tried all of her links, and no one had even mentioned September 11th. I tried all of their links, racing through the internet trying to find anyone in their circle of "liberal" friends who thought that this date still held significance. I found one person who said that he had written a post about September 11th but then deleted it because "it is important to remember the events of 9/11, but let's not dwell on them."

I got so angry.
And then I found Nelson Ascher's post.

It stays at the top of my list of crucial reading, and I don't see anything bumping it out of the way. It has brought me great comfort ever since I read it.

On this side of the world it has been 911 again for over 6 hours. I swear I'd rather not write anything today. I'd rather remain silent and just spend the day feeling that my anger and hatred are alive and well. They're stronger indeed. I also know I should avoid reading much today, because many, probably most things that are and will be published will make me even angrier. And the problem is not that I don't want to be angrier: I do want. The problem is that I do not want to waste a miligram of my anger on all the idiots who have been getting ready to show us how idiotic they are. We're at a point where to be too angry at, say, Chomsky and the BBC, Old Europe and ANSWER, second and third rate entertainers and academics is to give them a kind of victory. They deserve disdain. Anger needs to remain concentrated like light in a laser beam, we must direct it toward its rightful target: Islamofascism first and foremost. If we spend too much time getting mad at those who are but idiots we run the risk of forgetting, even if only for a second, that it is the Muslim/Arab religious fanatics who are the ENEMY. In a way, that's the idiots' main weapon: to attract a wrath that could be more usefully directed to the really dangerous enemies. Whenever we're not thinking about the Jihadists we are losing some very precious time. And anger.

My anger has grown concentrated, like a laser beam, like Ascher proposed. I feel that anger burning inside of me every day when I read Little Green Footballs. I feel the anger when I watch the Palestinians dance in the streets, when I look at the Child Abuse Slideshow, or the Terrorism Promo Videos (now deleted but forever burned into my brain) that promote killing our President and soldiers. Writing my blog is a way for me to release that anger and hopefully connect with others who feel as I do. It is a way for us bloggers to remind each other that there's a reason we write: we're in a war of ideas, and as often as imams and Arab media spread theirs, we'll fight with anger and passion to spread ours. And it's a way for us to fuel our precious anger so that another September 11th will never happen.
But I need to re-focus. Sometimes I too feel like our Spaniard, "Being the only one with one idea, while virtually all the people around me is against it." But that is a distraction from the true target of my anger, the laser beam I have worked hard to focus, and I need to take his wise and eloquent words to heart:

"I just don't care about the criticism I receive every day, because I know the cause I defend is right."

I feel that my comments section has been pulling me off target for a long time now. Seb is not the enemy, though I send a hundred mental middle fingers his way. Neither was Florian or Rfidtag or any of the others who have tried to sidetrack me. You wanna know who the real enemy is?

This guy.


These guys.


And the guys who orchestrated this.


They are the enemy. All this other nonsense, all the forged memos and hats from Cambodia and plastic turkeys, is just a distraction from what's really important. D.G.C.I. told Norah that the sooner she figured it out, the better. I too could learn that lesson. My laser beam has scattered, to where points of light are now aimed at the likes of Michael Moore, John Kerry, and Seb. I need to refocus.

I have thin skin. It takes about one week of getting to know me before you realize that I take everything to heart, everything personally. Blogging was supposed to be an exercise in toughness for me, a way for me to cowboy up and take the heat, but I find I've only improved by a fraction. And I've found that I don't care to work any harder at becoming less sensitive. Thus, my comments section can sometimes feel like more of a burden than a blessing. Every unkind word about our servicemembers, every personal insult, and every moonbat theory is like a bullet through my heart. The easiest solution I could think of is to close down my comments section, but I don't think I'm quite ready for that because there's nothing I like better in the morning than an encouraging word from Tammi or Bunker or John. But I have to do something because lately I have been feeling depressingly distracted. I started my blog as a way to release anger, but at times it feels like it has become the source of my anger.

Jim of Parkway Rest Stop once told a story about Basic Training that has stuck with me: his tale of having to "police the brass". I think I've decided to police the brass of my comments section from now on. I'll walk through my comments section, and every bullet that pierces my thin skin will be picked out and discarded. The wounds will still burn, but perhaps the act of taking control over my own area -- the blogspace that I pay money to write in -- will have a calming effect.

Tim already advised me to do this a long time ago -- "Frankly you have had the stress heaped upon you of your husband in a combat zone with car bombs going off like so many popcorn kernels. are now waging a two front war. One in Iraq, one at your PC. I'm afraid it will consume you. I'm not betting you can make yourself not perhaps you may want to remove yourself as a target." -- I'm just now going to take his advice. I think a good way for me to maintain focus and hone my laser beam is to police the distracting brass.

At any rate, I really believe this year that we're all out of focus. This election is making us all point at each other instead of focusing as one nation on the looming threat that is Islamofascism. We're all drowning in a sea of Purple Hearts and superscript "th"s that have very little relevance to the current war we fight. And while we stand and point fingers at each other, those men in the photos above have not lost focus. They work diligently every day towards one goal: killing infidels. They'd kill Audie Murphy and Abbie Hoffman with the same indifference. We can't let ourselves forget that.

As 2001 slips further and further into our memory, we can't lose sight of the reality we face. We can't let smoke and mirrors sidetrack us from our goals, nor should we sidetrack ourselves. We owe it to all of the victims of WWIV, and especially to these people, to never let our laser beams scatter.

I'm working on my laser beam, every single day, and I sure could use your help.

Other 9/11 Reading:
Lileks 9.11.02
Cox & Forkum

Posted by: Sarah at 04:11 AM | Comments (36) | Add Comment
Post contains 1849 words, total size 12 kb.

1 Sarah, Keep that laser focused. It may have strayed in the past, but at least it was on. And it was bright. If you need someone to vent to and if Red 6 isn't available, you know how to reach me.

Posted by: Amritas at September 11, 2004 05:38 AM (/eWht)

2 Beautiful. You are back on track.

Posted by: Mike at September 11, 2004 07:26 AM (+sj2x)

3 Yes! Osama bin Laden and al Quaeda have been our enemy since well before 9/11. After the first WTC bombing, the Clinton/Gore adminstration vigorously pursued our enemy by: *Tracking down, arresting, and convicting those in the US who conducting that first WTC bombing *Thwarting other efforts to attack the US (e.g., the millinium plot), although not always succeeding abroad (e.g., our embassies in Africa and the USS Cole) * Attacking bin Laden and his follows in Afghanistan * Warning the incoming President Bush of the clear and present danger posed by al Queda, and giving Bush the plans that had been put in place to increase our attacks on our enemies - al Quaeda and bin Laden. Mr. Bush and his administration depricated this threat, prefering to lavish billions of dollars upon missile defense systems that are unlikey to work. In the 90's (and beyond),those of us who do not consider ourselves 'conservatives' were under relentless political attack by people such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter -- we were even called traitors in the title of a book by the latter. Yet it was that 'traitor,' that 'murderer', Bill Clinton, who worked with the international community to foil many of al Queda's attempts to harm us, and who led the US in unilateral action by attacking bin Laden's bases in Afganistan. In contrast, Mr. Bush failed to protect us against 9/11. He then sent our military after al Quaeda in Afganistan, only to cut back our forces before our troops had finished the job (and letting bin Laden slip free along the way). Why did Mr. Bush turn away when he might have destroyed our enemies? Because he wanted to attack Iraq -- a nation that was not a threat to the US, and was not providing substantive aid to our enemy, al Quaeda. Along the way Mr. Bush deceived us. He and his administration hyped-up unsubstantiated (and false) claims of Iraqi WMD and Iraqi links to "terrorists" to build support for his war. And, throughout his term, Mr. Bush has pandered to his core political supporters but made no substantive effort to reach out to the over 50% of Americans with a different vision for our nation. So, those of us who do not consider ourselves 'conservatives' and 'Republicans": * Have been under a relentless political attack for over a decade that has demonized us for hold our political views * Have seen a president hamstrung in the 1990's merely for representing our views * Have been ignored (and unserved) by a president who got into office only through a contrived Supreme Court decision that no Justice had the courage to sign * Have seen American attacked and 3,000 people murdered when Mr. Bush did not continue MR. Clinton's relentless pressure against our enemy * Have been misled (at best) or lied to (at worst) by Mr. Bushto convince us to invade a soverign nation that presented no substantive threat to us or our allies * Have seen Mr. Bush and his allies (and many, many, 'conservative' bloggers) attack John Kerry, a decorated American war veteren in an attempt to keep Mr. Bush in power. It is no wonder that you were able to find one non-'conservaative' who fianlly got so pissed-off at this uncalled-for abuse by that he responded by characterizing such 'conservatives' as his enemy. But that is, as you note, a red herring. Our real enemies are al Queda, Osama bin Laden, and those people and organizations that provide them substantive assistance, aid and support. We should be fighting our enemies, yet instead are bogged down in the quagmire of Iraq, where our necessary acts of self defense help to breed more enemies. Mr. Bush got us into this mess. He has made us less safe, not more. Those of us who recognize this and speak out on are not your enemy -- we are patriotic citizens doing our level best to make America stronger, safer, and better for us and our children.

Posted by: Jim at September 11, 2004 08:26 AM (s7guT)

4 It's funny that we both think in terms of the laser beam. It is hard, when you take things as personally as we do, to keep that beam so focused. But it is exercises just like you did in this post - that get us back on track. And you're right. The enemy is those you mention. We must remember that. And we must remember everyday why our military are in harms way - to fight that enemy. To keep it from happening again. Anywhere, but especially at home. You're spot on Sarah. And you're right - don't let anyone take that focus away from you.

Posted by: Tammi at September 11, 2004 09:43 AM (UOdfZ)

5 You're right again Sarah. Sometimes we all get sidetracked, sometimes we even waste our anger - but all you need to do to replenish the well is revisit that day and it returns.

Posted by: Kathleen A at September 11, 2004 10:45 AM (vnAYT)

6 I'm with you, the enemy is not here, they are "over there"? They are "them" not "us". Jim...I would say, you missed the point of the comments. It was totally a-political. This is the problemm with some folks of both sides. They don't get it. That's why we must still worry about our future.

Posted by: kat-missouri at September 11, 2004 12:16 PM (FaMVL)

7 Yikes, Jim is sorta frightening! If you don't get out of the way, all that spew and vitriol might cover you up like the poor zookeeper smothered by the elephant shit at the zoo. D'ya think he just copies and pastes that same mindnumbing, droning junk everywhere he surfs? He sounds a bit hysterical. Poor Jim. What about Paxil? Sarah, great post. But don't take out ALL the trolls, they're sort of trampoline-y and fun to jump on. Squish!

Posted by: Oda Mae at September 11, 2004 01:07 PM (xgTjN)

8 Well said, Sarah.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at September 11, 2004 08:22 PM (BjDAE)

9 kat-missouri posts in response to my comment: "Jim...I would say, you missed the point of the comments. It was totally a-political." Perhaps I did miss some points intended in Sarah's original blogging. I thought that one point was that we weaken ourselves when we loose sight of who our true enemies are. I agree with her. In my comment I noted that our president lost sight of who our true enemies are (al Quaeda & bin Laden), choosing to invade Iraq instead of driving home our counter-offensive against the terrorists. B ecause Mr. Bush lost sight of who are real enemies are, we are now weaker. Why? Because: * Over 1,000 US service men and women have died, with thousands more suffering serious injury. * A substantial fraction of our military might is tied down as an occupying army in Iraq * We have alienated many of our strongest allies and squandered musch intrernational good will that was given to us after 9/11 * Our occupation is generating much ill-will in the Middle East and (particularly the abuse of Iraqis held in detention by Americans) is helping the terrorists recruit new members * We have lost much of our credibility by pretending Iraq had WMD when the evidence we had didn't support that claim (and the claim was false) * We have killed many more innocent Iraqis in our invasion and occupation than were killed in all the 9/11 attacks * We have established the dangerous precedent that any nation can attack any other nation simply because the first has unilaterally decided taht the second may, someday, present a threat to the first Mr. Bush's actions have amply demonstrated Sarah's point -- by loosing sight of who our real enemy was, Mr. Bush has weakened America. Now, perhaps I have misunderstood the facts -- that is why I laid them out above. If you feel there is a factual error, I'm happy to look into it and, if I am in error, I will retract any errorneoud statement, put forward a correct one, offer my apologies, and revise any of my conclusions that were based on a factual error. Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 11, 2004 10:57 PM (s7guT)

10 Jim, You indicated that the Clinton/Gore administration vigorously pursued our enemy. Well, Clinton actually turned down offers from the Sudanese government to hand over Bin Laden. In 1996. After the 1993 WTC bombing. So maybe we should be blaming Clinton instead, for not having 20/20 hindsight, as you're blaming Bush. After all, if Clinton's got Bin Laden in 1996, it's more likely that Sept 11 wouldn't have happened. Given that the attack reputed took years to plan, the fault can hardly be Bush's fault alone. And yes, you did completely miss the point. The enemy is neither Clinton nor Bush but those Islamofascists who want Americans dead. Instead of thinking of a good solution or even probing deep enough to find the problem, you're just using this as a chance to diss Bush with your inaccuracies.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2004 12:02 AM (VDzYB)

11 Jim, Another point. One of Bin Laden's biggest gripes was that infidel (read: American) troops were on "holy" soil near Mecca. Well, guess why they were there? It was because Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2004 12:04 AM (VDzYB)

12 Hey Sarah - that was GREAT! You even sound like your old self in that posting. See Jim is one of those deluded idiotarians trying to blame everyone but the real enemy.....Islamofascism. He lets his politics interfere with staying safe. His hatred of conservatives just translates to President Bush. This is what is bothering me most about this political cycle. Democrats/lefties/liberals/progressives all are imploding because they have/are losing power and this loss is more important to them then the "country" you and I love....the United States of America. They refuse to understand nothing else matters if you're dead and if as you say we don't keep our eye on the laser that's what will happen. This is the best I've heard you sound since your better half was about to depart. I missed you and welcome back.

Posted by: Toni at September 12, 2004 12:22 AM (Y9mK4)

13 Hi Sarah, Interesting post, but I think I must disagree slightly. I think our 'enemies' are those who do not desire to 'protect and defend the Constitution or the United States'. Unfortunately, that makes things a little more complicated, a little more unfocused. I'm not saying that we all need to focus our laser on everything, but some people should be focusing on enemy as they can. There is little point for a soldier in Iraq worrying about an overly blinded media in the US. Thanks for sharing. Blog on!

Posted by: Ron - WI at September 12, 2004 04:00 AM (CwrQg)

14 Ron, Your definition sounds potentially overly broad. Billions of people have no desire to "protect and defend the Constitution or the United States" ... simply because they're not Americans. But I assume you don't think all of them are our "enemies." So who are you referring to?

Posted by: Amritas at September 12, 2004 04:25 AM (NEG+2)

15 Ron, As an Australian I have no desire to defend or protect the constitution of the United States. It's not my job, and I doubt Washington, Jefferson or Adams would want it to be my job. So, even though Australia has never been in conflict with the USA, even though we fought beside the U.S.A in Vietnam, Gulf War 1, Afghanistan and Gulf War 2, you regard me as an enemy. Thanks for the enlightenment, Ron. Screw you too. If most Americans feel the way you do, I guess we Australians should think twice next time the POTUS calls for coalition members, huh?

Posted by: Speranza at September 12, 2004 10:25 AM (vLXJ/)

16 Chris wrote: "Well, Clinton actually turned down offers from the Sudanese government to hand over Bin Laden. In 1996. After the 1993 WTC bombing." Yes, but what I asserted was that "the Clinton/Gore adminstration vigorously pursued our enemy [i.e., bin Laden and al Quaeda]." I went on to cite specific examples of them doing so. Chris's observation does not refute any of the examples I cited. I stand by my originial post. [What changed between 1996 and late 1998 when the US attacked bin Laden in Afganistan? Al Quaeda bombed our emabssies in Kenya and Tanzania.] The issue is not one of blaming any American for the attacks of 9/11 - I blame the perpetrators, our enemies bin Laden and al Quaeda. But my central point stands -- the most glaring example of an American forgetting who our enemies are (and weaking our nation by doing so) is Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq when Iraq had no role in 9/11, no operational ties to our enemies, no WMD, and no significant effort to obtain WMD.

Posted by: Jim at September 12, 2004 03:39 PM (s7guT)

17 Well Jim, Not getting the mastermind behind the 1993 WTC bombing in my opinion completely demolishes the argument that the Clinton/Gore administration vigorously pursued our enemies. You don't vigorously pursue an enemy by letting the top guy run free when you have a chance to nab him. The rest is pretty much irrelevant. I stand by my post.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2004 07:19 PM (VDzYB)

18 Jim, And on the Iraq point: everyone thought he had WMDs. The burden was on Saddam Hussein to provide that he had none, which he failed to do. The sanctions can't last forever and there had to be a solution to the problem.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2004 07:21 PM (VDzYB)

19 Chris, I'd like you to prove you don't have three-feet-tall bald aliens hidden in an underground bunker in your yard. I know you let the UN inspectors back into your yard , but the president has ordered them out. He says they can't be doing thier job , since they haven't found the aliens that are obviously there. Heck, Colin Powell's got photos and everything! Prove the aliens aren't there by next Friday or we're coming in to tear up the joint.

Posted by: Adrian at September 12, 2004 07:58 PM (SvJ1M)

20 Adrian, You have no jurisdiction. I have never used three-foot-tall bald aliens to kill people, like Saddam did to tens of thousands of Kurds with WMDs. I didn't take over my neighbor's house, like Saddam invaded Kuwait. And I didn't give the UN inspectors permission to get into my house as part of any agreement, as Saddam did. Perhaps the reason you're so into aliens is because you've got some hiding, and have to direct attention on someone else? Oh, and anyways, don't you remember the time when Saddam kicked the UN inspectors out? I bet he had quite a bit of time to hide stuffs then.

Posted by: chris at September 12, 2004 10:33 PM (VDzYB)

21 Chris states: "Not getting the mastermind behind the 1993 WTC bombing in my opinion completely demolishes the argument that the Clinton/Gore administration vigorously pursued our enemies. You don't vigorously pursue an enemy by letting the top guy run free when you have a chance to nab him. The rest is pretty much irrelevant. I stand by my post." Mr. Clinton saw no Constitutional justification for holding bin Laden in custody in the US, as he did not believe the US could put on a credible case in court. Unlike Chris, Mr. Clinton did not consider the Constitution of the United States irrelevant. [Recent Supreme Court decisions concerning prisoners held at Gitmo have born our Mr. Clinton's upholding the Cnstitution.] However, for the sake of this discussion I will retract my statement that the Clinton/Gore administration vigorously pursued our enemies. The fact remains that the most glaring example of an American forgetting who our enemies are (and weaking our nation by doing so) is Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq when Iraq had no role in 9/11, no operational ties to our enemies, no WMD, and no significant effort to obtain WMD. Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 12, 2004 11:34 PM (s7guT)

22 Chris wrote: "And on the Iraq point: everyone thought he had WMDs. The burden was on Saddam Hussein to provide that he had none, which he failed to do. The sanctions can't last forever and there had to be a solution to the problem." It is certainly not true that "everyone thought he [Hussein] had WMDs." Many Americans did not believe this during the build up to the invasion of Iraq. Many of our allies did not believe this. The UN certainly made no such determination. As to where the burden lay, I simply note that the UN Inspectors were in Iraq, doing their job, until the US told them to leave or risk death during our bombing and invasion of that nation. Had Mr. Bush remembered who our real enemies are, he would have waited the weeks required for the inspectors to do their job. We would then have had confirmation that Iraq presented no threat to the US. Instead, 1,000+ of our brothers and sisters are dead, many thousand more seriously injured, our military is tied down in Iraq, and (most salient of all) our enemies - bin Laden and al Quaeda - have had the chance to hide, recruit, and plan. This is my central point, which is directly related to Sarah's original post: The most glaring example of an American forgetting who our enemies are (and weakening the US by doing so) is Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq, a nation with no operational ties to our enemies. Mr. Bush did not keep his "laser beam focused" on our enemy. Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 13, 2004 12:01 AM (s7guT)

23 Chris, Once again you don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. The U.N weapons inspectors WERE in Iraq when Bush et al ordered them to leave so the bang bangs could begin. Hans Blix and co were ridiculed by by the U.S administration and generous folks like you for not finding what didn't exist. Falling back on 1980's crimes committed by Saddam to justify a war based on the notion of immediate threat is pathetic. You were wrong, Chris. Everyone who thought as you did was wrong. Just as many, if not more, people have died as a result of the current war than would have died by Saddam's hands for probably the next five years. You think the families of the Iraqis who have died in the past 18 months prefer their dying by American hands or the hands of the terrorists who have the run of the country, rather than by Saddam's hands? It wasn't Bush's right to make that choice for them. It wasn't your right either.

Posted by: Adrian at September 13, 2004 10:52 AM (xKQid)

24 Jim, How long should the inspectors try to find the WMDs? The same amount of time they were not allowed in Iraq? Remember Saddam kicked them out first. Saddam only allowed the inspectors back when the US troops were amassed at his border. Saddam breached the agreement first; and he had suffered no consequences. BTW, the 9/11 report does not say that Saddam had no ties to al quaeda, just that he had no ties to 9/11. And the Islamofascist problem is not restricted to Afghanistan. If you shut down their bases there they'll just regroup. If you just deal with the Taliban you're just waiting for another strike from somewhere else.

Posted by: chris at September 13, 2004 11:36 AM (W1mrP)

25 Adrian, Speaking of facts, who started that madness about aliens in the first place? The UN inspectors were only in Iraq because of US troops at Saddam's border. Such deployment has a great cost both in terms of money and manpower and should not have been necessary in the first place, had Saddam done what he had promised. He had been given his chance, and he did not comply with UN resolutions. Having the US deploy that many troops every time he decide to kick out UN inspectors was not a viable option. Besides, why the heck did he kick out the inspectors in the first place if he had intended to honor his agreement? You are the one who's wrong. No one said Saddam was an "immediate" threat. If you wait till Saddam has enough WMDs to attack the US, it's a bit too late. Considering the 300000 Iraqis in the mass graves, you're definitely off the mark in saying that as many or more people have died than under Saddam. And in case you haven't realized yet, this is a war to protect the US citizens. Many have complained about how the sanctions were bad for the Iraqis, and that the root causes of Islamofascist terrorism were the bad governments and economies in the Middle East. Well, this war is supposed to fix that. If we had let the sanctions continue and with Saddam not letting the inspectors in, sooner or later Saddam would have gotten WMDs, and we knew that he had them before and he had used them on the Kurds and that for quite a while the UN inspectors were not let in the country. Given the characters of the man it's hard not to expect him to have WMDs, and it's sheer folly to just let the situation continue or simply lift the sanctions. As for the right to decide for the Iraqis, it wasn't yours either. Bush's decision was based on the safety of the American people. As the president of the US, the safety of Americans supercede that of any others. We can either let the Iraqis rot and Saddam develop his weapons which he'll undoubtedly use on the US or sell to terrorists to use on the US, or we can remove him.

Posted by: chris at September 13, 2004 11:50 AM (TJ8HB)

26 Ah, Sadly, no, Chris, many Bush administration people DID say "immediate threat"... below is the now infamous video of Rumsfield being caught in a lie about that very subject. This war is NOT going to fix anything -- it's only making more terrorists. The problem is that the western world is trying to impose it's values on a people that already have their own identity and have for a longer period of time that the west. Also, while I don't agree with their way of life or irrational beliefs, they are no more irrational than we are in our policy towards the middle-east. We support an irrantional belief that the Jews are God's chosen people and that God is a some kind of realestate broker who gave that land of Israel to the Jews. Bsing policy on what the Bible says?! Isn't that just as 'crazy' as the Mulsum's beliefs?

Posted by: bushgirlsgonewild at September 13, 2004 04:53 PM (vzHiG)

27 To bushgirlsgonewild, Ah, sadly, you are obviously delusional. When did I say the Muslim faith is crazy or irrational? And how very nice of you to call Christian or Jewish beliefs irrational. Not to mention ignoring that there are atheists and Buddhists, etc. in this country... And if you want me to believe anything, don't use as a source. They're as biased as bias goes. I don't particularly feel like visiting a site that compares anyone to Hitler without their explicitly trying to commit genocide. And you should really get a life if you can't find any better handle than a baseless derogatory name for Bush's daughters.

Posted by: chris at September 13, 2004 05:14 PM (nyxv/)

28 Chris, Ok, yes, the video showing Rumsfield on Face The Nation being caught in a lie is a forgery. Sure. And did not compare Bush to Hitler; they held a contest and someone submitted a video/ad which did that. As in any contest, the people creating the contest couldn't control what was entered -- and as soon as they learned of the Hitler - Bush video they removed it. Of course I don't expect you to know the facts if all you ever listen to or watch is Rush Lobotomy or Fox "News". And you this Bushgirlsgonewild is BASELESS??? I partied with them in Dallas. BTW, he's Runmmy's own words ...(Of course the Associated Press forged these statements also): "No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." — Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02 "Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent - that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons." — Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02

Posted by: BUSHGIRLSGONEWILD at September 13, 2004 06:41 PM (vzHiG)

29 Sarah, Are you certain it's your laser and not your brain that's scattered and unfocused? And why does Bush hate our troops? Bush’s 2004 Budget Cut $200 Million From Impact Aid Program, Denying Education Funds For Children In Military Families. Despite a campaign promise to fulfill “a special obligation” to military families and “rebuild the schools that educate their children,” Bush’s 2004 budget cut $200 million from Impact Aid, a program that helps military children receive a quality education. While Bush requested $1.2 billion for the entire Impact Aid program, most of that funding went to non-military groups. Bush tried to cut $3 million from Impact Aid in 2003 as well. [New York Times, 8/22/00; House Appropriations Committee, Minority Staff, 6/17/03, 6/16/03; Washington Post, 6/17/03; Omaha World Herald, 2/5/02; State News Service, 2/4/02] Nearly A Quarter Of A Million Veterans Are Forced To Wait Months For Initial Visits to VA Doctors. At least 230,000 veterans are being forced to wait over six months for their initial visit to a doctor at the Veterans Administration (VA). In some parts of the country veterans are waiting nearly two years for these visits. Bush’s VA Secretary Anthony Principi has acknowledged the danger in these delays, stating “I’m concerned [the delays are] causing quality to be degraded.” The “Independent Budget,” an analysis of the VA budget provided by veterans groups, has said “The Department of Veterans Affairs health care system is in critical condition.” [Air Force Magazine, 10/02;; OMB Director Joshua Bolton to Rep. David Obey (D-WI), 10/21/03] Bush Proposed Doubling Costs of Prescription Drugs for Veterans. In 2003, Bush proposed increasing prescription drug costs for veterans. The Bush plan would have included a new $250 enrollment fee and a co pay increase from $7 to $15 for veterans earning over $24,000. In July 2003, the House Appropriations Committee agreed to a Democratic amendment to reject the Bush fee increases and recoup the $264 million in costs by reducing administrative funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. [Reuters, 7/14/03; Washington Post, 7/22/03]

Posted by: BUSHGIRLSGONEWILD at September 13, 2004 07:05 PM (vzHiG)

30 To bushgirlsgonewild, In referring to your handle I meant the name you used, "bushgirlsgonewild". And what did the Bush girls do? Apparently you don't know enough internet talk. To correct your extremely narrow and biased view, I never listen to Rush Limbaugh and hardly ever watch Fox News. I watch mostly CNN or NBC, for your information. Oh, and thanks for ignoring the question about my alleged mention of the irrationality of Muslim faith. Where's your proof? Kerry voted against $87 billion dollars for the troops. Which is bigger, $200 million or $87 billion? Okay, I still don't feel like going over to moveon, so I'll take your word for it. Rumsfield said "immdiate". Guess what? Come to think of it, I agree with him. I guess my point was that Bush never said it himself, and people tend to attribute that to him. And why are you insulting Sarah? All Sarah's saying is that we have a common enemy. And of course Jim has to drag Bush into the discussion, and Adrian decided to drag little aliens in as well, and then I suppose you can't resist saying something about Bush either. I'm beginning to think that you guys are obsessed about Bush. he's certainly not the center of my life, but it seems that you guys see him in everything. Do you see the Islamofascists as our enemies, or do you believe that Bush is the greatest threat to mankind, even though he didn't gas tens of thousands of Kurds or institute torture chambers? Do you really care about our soldiers and veterans? You could start by not insulting a military wife whose husband isn't by her side. By the way, I think your brain is scattered if you can't figure out $87 billion is bigger than $200 million. And the $87 billion goes to reduce immediate threat to our soldiers.

Posted by: chris at September 14, 2004 12:52 AM (VDzYB)

31 Chris wrote: "Jim, How long should the inspectors try to find the WMDs?" Long enough to find the putative WMD, or to reasonably conclude that htey don't exist. In particular, since the US claimed to have solid intelligence that the WMD existed, long enough to verify (or disprove) the specific facts that formed the basis for the Bush administration's claims of Iraqi WMD. Mr. Bush need only have waited to get definitive answers on the WMD -- without making the US weaker and without strengthening our enemies. This (again) is my central point, which is directly related to Sarah's original post: The most glaring example of an American forgetting who our enemies are (and weakening the US by doing so) is Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq, a nation with no operational ties to our enemies. Mr. Bush did not keep his "laser beam focused" on our enemy. Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2004 01:04 AM (s7guT)

32 Chris asserts "he 9/11 report does not say that Saddam had no ties to al quaeda, just that he had no ties to 9/11." Actually, (as reported by the Washington Post on July 23), "the commission reported finding no evidence of a 'collaborative operational relationship' between the two or an Iraqi role in attacking the United States." Were there ties? Yes. Were the ties such that we had cause to believe that Iraq and al Quaeda would collaborate? No. Since they were not collaborating, invading Iraq did not harm al Quaeda. (In fact, Mr. Bush's invasion has helped our enemies both by pulling our forces off of their heels and by inspiring many new recruits to join them.) This (again) is my central point, which is directly related to Sarah's original post: The most glaring example of an American forgetting who our enemies are (and weakening the US by doing so) is Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq, a nation with no operational ties to our enemies. Mr. Bush did not keep his "laser beam focused" on our enemy.

Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2004 01:13 AM (s7guT)

33 Jim, How much money would it have taken to keep the troops on the border until the inspectors are finished? The only reason Saddam let the inspectors in was because of those troops. If you had Saddam's time to hide some missiles in a place as big as Iraq, and you know the place better than the inspectors, how long do you think the inspectors would need to find them? And do you honest think that if we had withdrawn the Islamofascists would not have taken it as a sign or weakness, regardless of the truth? I don't see how your second email refutes the assertion you quoted from me. I believe we differ on this one point: that you think the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror, and I believe it deals with the root cause of terrorism - to get rid of the bad governments and hopelessness of people trapped with no way up or out. I think we're both so convinced that we're not going to convince each other anyways, and this thread has grown unbelievably long as is, so I'm going to stop here. By the way, I appreciate your polite discussions, especially in light of the name-calling, insults and condescension of nearly everyone else who disagrees here.

Posted by: chris at September 14, 2004 01:29 AM (VDzYB)

34 Chris writes: "I believe we differ on this one point: that you think the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror, and I believe it deals with the root cause of terrorism" I agree - this is the core of our difference. The factors you cite in your post are most certainly relevant to the root cause of disaffection in the arab world. But, they have been there for a long time, without leading to attacks upon the US. There are other factors, the biggest is most likely the fact that the US has been such a strong supporter of Israel. On the whole, I believe we have been right to do so, but the fact remains that our support of Israel has engendered angy and resentment against us. Yet, it does seem to me that the invasion of Iraq has only made things worse, and this deterioration was recognized by many even before the invasion. then, it only made sense to invade if their was a significant, near-term upside to the invasion. Seizing and destroying Iraqi WMDs (or an active WMD program nearing completion) would be one such upside. Taking out a close ally of our enemies would have been another. These were the two reasons the adminstration put forward to justify the invasion. Both were wrong, and the evidence our leaders had before the invasion was weak from the get-go. If this administration believed that striking at the root causes of terrorism was sufficeint to justify the invasion, they had a moral and ethical obligation to tell us so *before* choosing to start hostilities. They did not. I feel misled. I feel that the bravery (and blood and lives) of our troops is being squandered for meager gains. I resent our president telling our enemies to "bring it on" while not providing enough body armor to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As for the tone of our posts -- my intent is to communicate, to learn, and perhaps gain some insight into why others do not see things as I do. Your motives seem similar, for which I thank you. (Also, many thanks for not calling me a troll -- I do not care to be lumped with the like of "Dufus Galant".) Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2004 02:16 AM (s7guT)

35 Chris sought clarification of my response to his (?) (her?) statement"he 9/11 report does not say that Saddam had no ties to al quaeda, just that he had no ties to 9/11." My point here is that "ties" is non-specific. In particular, the "ties" between Iraq and al Quaeda were described as less than "collaborative" and as non-"operational". In other words, al Quaeda drew little, if any, strength from its ties to Iraq. Thus, by attacking Iraq we did not weaken our enemy who attacked us on 9/11 (and before). Best, Jim

Posted by: Jim at September 14, 2004 02:29 AM (s7guT)

36 Jim, I appreciate your comments. You have maturely presented facts which hold up your opinion. I may not agree, but I really like that you made me think. You are not my enemy, but al Qaida and others who wish to hurt us, are. Which is precisely on target with Sarah's post. Thank you.

Posted by: Princess Jami at September 15, 2004 04:58 PM (0gPLe)

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