Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Monday, April 03, 2006

the fourth reich?

Scott points me to this post by Christopher J. Priest: the fourth reich. It's so much the archetypical piece of paranoid hysterical moonbatism that I would think it's a joke, an unfair caricature written by a Republican, if I didn't know better. It doesn't really deserve a serious response, but as a favor to a friend, let's wander through it. (Let me know if I miss something important.)

Republicans are using the very liberties we espouse to foment a political monolith...

A less hysterical person might call that "a majority."

These men are, in fact, crafting a one-party, one-thought, one-idea system, where what we think and what we believe are dictated to us in daily talking points emailed from Washington. ...

Daily e-mails?! Why, that's self-evidently evil! But Dems use e-mail, too! Ok, how about a more serious response: a less paranoid person might show us the text of all e-mails sent by both parties, choose a few from each at random and show compelling evidence how one is any more "one-thought, one-idea" than the next.

Challenges to the party line are not to be tolerated.

Except on issues like immigration, the Iraq war, the size of government, etc.

Impeaching the sitting president is an act reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors. Clinton’s lying under oath certainly fit the misdemeanor description, but it was a real stretch.

At least he says "lying under oath" instead of "sex." But that's a felony, not a misdemeanor. Unless the Constitution makes provision for a President serving his term from prison (it doesn't), or being above the law (it doesn't), that leaves impeachment.

Reagan's 1984 Republicans enjoyed a laugh about bombing the Soviet Union. Bush's 2006 Republicans actually want to do it.

I've gotta sign up for these "one-thought, one-idea" e-mails! One really says "let's bomb the Soviet Union"? Oh, wait! The Soviet Union doesn't exist any more, so it would have to be "let's bring back the Soviet Union, then bomb them!"

Republicans used the cover of an American tragedy to invade a sovereign country that has never attacked us in naive hope of (1) avenging Bush's daddy, (2) installing a western-style democracy, and (3) snatching the oil--and thus reducing our dependence on Saudi Arabia.

Hey, some substance! Let's look closer.

First, I think he's talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan. He considers Saddam's murdering his way into power a legitimate path to sovereignty (talk about blood for oil). Was the Taliban's take-over in Afghanistan any less "sovereign" by his standards?

"Never attacked us?" When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, we attacked two countries, Germany and Italy, who "never attacked us," and had no more link to the Pearl Harbor attack than Iraq does to 9/11. We decided then to fight against world fascism. Likewise, after 9/11, we decided that outlaw regimes like Iraq, with ties to terrorism and pursuing WMD, who declared war on the US as flagrantly as Osama bin Laden did, needed to be opposed.

"...snatching the oil..." Groundless accusations are cheap, and he provides no more evidence for this than anything else. Shouldn't US oil companies brag about this to their shareholders? Their stock prices would soar! There was discussion before the war about calling the war's costs loans (to be repaid), but that didn't go far. And, of course, there's the blind eye to Saddam shedding serious blood for oil.

Name me one substantial positive or effective foreign policy objective President Bush has achieved in his six years in office.

Um...

These guys even put it to music!

...(I mean, substitute “gay” for “Jew” and see what you get)...

Good advice! Take this article and substitute "Jew" for "Republican" and "GOP" and see what you get! An article Hitler himself would approve. "Crush the evil other!"

The saddest and most tragic bi-product of Karl Rove’s brilliance ...

ARC's Law: "As a Lefty online discussion thread grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one." A pretty fitting reference in such a Godwinian post.

Even the graphic at the end seems to be ripped off of this, which Michael Moore ripped off, too.

A parting thought, from Vodkapundit:

President Bush isn’t a fascist, and I can prove it.

We’ve seen what American bookstores and publications and universities do when confronted with real fascists: they knuckle under. You might not be able to find those Danish cartoons anyplace respectable, but you’ll sure find lots of anti-Bush stuff.

Ipso facto, America is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch.
[P.S.: Forgive me--I forward-dated this article so I wouldn't lose the draft. I'm fixing it now.]

Comments:

(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)



"...snatching the oil..." Groundless accusations are cheap, and he provides no more evidence for this than anything else. Shouldn't US oil companies brag about this to their shareholders? Their stock prices would soar! There was discussion before the war about calling the war's costs loans (to be repaid), but that didn't go far. And, of course, there's the blind eye to Saddam shedding serious blood for oil.

Um...Jim...while their stock prices may not be "soaring" (although that depends on what you're comparing it too), they are doing quite well.
 


Oil companies are doing quite well. But the cause seems to be their straight percentage mark-up on "surging" crude oil prices, not stolen oil. Shouldn't an annual report say that they're marking up stolen Iraqi oil to market prices? I don't see anyone anywhere making any specific claims that way.

(By the way, is everybody's blood boiling at me yet? Ok, I was a little strong. ;-)
 


Let's see here...if you were working for "Big oil" ;), and the company was stealing oil from another country, would you file it in your annual report?

Not that I'm stating "as fact" that oil companies are, but simply pointing out that it's not in their financial reports does not refute the possibility.

You were hoping to get some people riled up were you? Let's see if I can help...

First, I think he's talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan. He considers Saddam's murdering his way into power a legitimate path to sovereignty (talk about blood for oil). Was the Taliban's take-over in Afghanistan any less "sovereign" by his standards?

A country is "sovereign" if it is a self-governing or independant state. The path to said sovereignty doesn't enter into it. If it did, then let's discuss the displacement of the people who lived in our own country before we moved in.

Additionally, I didn't see you address points 1) avenging Bush's daddy or 2) installing western-style democracy in that same passage.

Regarding Bush's daddy, in light of this new story, it seems more compelling. I know you just hand-wave the whole Downing thing, but I have yet to see anything rationalizing it's dismissal. Liberal media indeed...

The second point - installing "western-style" democracy deserves more thought. I'm not certain, my own self, as to what exactly that means. I suppose it's meant in contrast to, say a democratic parliament (or is it parliamentary democracy)? Something like France or England? Or is it meant simply as "why a western-style democracy?" The quick and easy answer, of course, is "because we did all the work liberating you and that's what we use to govern". Still, why not some form of debate/discourse regarding what "type" of democracy Iraq should implement?

I'm at work and need to go actually do some of it now...
 


Glad to provide you a little thought-provoking(?) distraction from work.

How does an oil company balance its books (apart from hiring Arthur-Andersen)? It's all gotta be out in the open (if they're publicly traded), and if they're getting free oil their profits would start to match their gross revenue (like, way higher), wouldn't they?

True that it doesn't refute the possibility. But that's not a responsible standard. But without evidence it's irresponsible to even bring it up, let alone assert it like the author does. If a Republican asserted that John Kerry's brain was controlled by evil aliens, offering the same evidence (none), you might think that's irresponsible--and you'd be right.

Do we agree that "sovereign" is equally (ir)relevant for Afghanistan and Iraq? It's usually brought up to make the war sound self-evidently illegal. It's a red herring, IMHO.

Was that the link you meant to post? The mediamatters page is 11 months old (you said "new story").

His bringing up "western-style democracy" seems particularly odd. Like it's a bad thing, that evil Republicans need "the cover of an American tragedy" to perpetrate on their hapless victims. Particularily vs. Saddam's brutal dictatorship.

It seems he's really trying to say that it's naive to hope that western-style democracy will work in Iraq. He might be right--it's too early to tell. Seems a bit, idunno, snooty to assert that they don't deserve or can't handle a government like ours (i.e., that it's a self-evidently "naive hope"). If Iraq goes back to a dictator, will he say that's how it ought to be for them?

Debate and discourse on Iraq's form of government is fine, which the constitution they drafted (I think) reflects.

Regarding "avenging Bush's daddy":
(1) It lets him ignore everything that everybody says (par for this guy), exchanging it for a baseless accusation. It would be like me saying that Priest just wrote that article to please his daddy, then disregarding the whole thing.
(2) Attempting to assassinate a former president seems like an act of war to me. If you substituted Clinton, Carter and Iran, would that be different?
 


Grrrr...no that's not the link, dangit. I was trying to find something other than the NY Tims-pay-for-this-story site.

Here's what I meant to link...sorry.

No wait...it's this one.

Eh...I'll give you the oil thing. Given the trustworthiness of oil tycoons (i.e. - you don't need to swear us in, we wouldn't lie...) however, I'm a little more open to deceit on thier behalf. Basically, I don't trust them and the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Regarding sovereignty, I'm not sure I follow your meaning (or analogy?) A sovereign nation is a self-governing, independant nation. Period. That's it. In your post, you kept alluding to the fact that Iraq's sovereignty was established in a bloody, nasty way. I don't disagree, but that doesn't make the country any less "sovereign".

My point is that if we were to judge sovereign nations by their path to said sovereignty, we'd find that many, if not most, of our "civilized" nations today, including our own, fall far short of our expectations. Or is our own sovereignty "OK" because it was "so long ago" and Iraq's was within our lifetimes (relatively)?

Regarding the Bush's daddy thing, the new Downing memo (I hope I got the link right this time), is indicative of Bush's motivation and willingness to invade Iraq long before we did. In fact, it would indicate that he was planning militry activity while at the same time saying to the world "we will exhaust all diplomatic options". If the memo is legit, it further illustrates our President's duplicitous nature.

Regarding your reference to Bush's daddy's attempted assassination, if that were an act of war, as you say, then why didn't we officially declare war? Even when we fought Saddam in Kuwait, it wasn't because of an attempted assassination. So, apparently, attempted assassination is not an act of war.
 


I'll grant you the sovereignty thing.

if that were an act of war, as you say, then why didn't we officially declare war?

Maybe the same reason we didn't declare war on al-Qaida when bin Laden declared war on us in 1996. Or why we didn't declare war on (pre-al-Qaida) Islamic extremists when they bombed the WTC in 1991. Clinton didn't think we needed to.

Even when we fought Saddam in Kuwait, it wasn't because of an attempted assassination. So, apparently, attempted assassination is not an act of war.

One act of war among many, including invading your neighbors, trying to blow up congress, the white house, etc.
 

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