Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Get Up Stand Up

The battle raging the past few months concerning free speech (i.e. Muhammad cartoons) has gotten me thinking about what things are worth fighting for. Should we battle Islamic extremism in the world today? Should we fight for freedom of speech? Should we fight for freedom to be spread across the world to places that are unaccustomed to it? Should we fight to stop the production of nuclear weapons in countries like Iran? What exactly should we do as the sole superpower in the world today? Do we have an obligation, or even just a good reason, to fight for these things or should we just build a big fence around America and keep everything at bay for as long as we can?

I do not have the answers for all of these questions but I do believe in a few generalities that can apply to all situations. I do believe America should do what it can to promote freedom, liberty, and peace. For me this belief carries over into problems like Iran’s nuclear weapons program. For example if Iran gets a nuke then they will use it on Israel and eventually threaten other countries in order to spread their influence. A lot of America’s critics say that we are hypocritical because we have nukes but don’t want other countries to get them too. Well unlike America, Iran’s intention for their nukes would be to spread Islamic extremism instead of freedom like we want to. Relativism does not come into play here just because Iran thinks Islamic extremism is better and we think freedom and liberty are better. Democratic freedoms are better then an extreme religious rule any day of the week, no ifs ands or buts about it. Another one of my generalities is that I believe America has the right to kill those who threaten our country. Whether our enemies are terrorists or an entire army I believe we have the right to defend ourselves against all enemies foreign and domestic. The last generality and perhaps most important is that I believe we should protect the freedoms and way of life that our forefathers guaranteed for us in the Constitution and it’s subsequent Amendments. For as John Adams said: “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Appeasement

Natan Sharansky, a former senior government minister in Israel, says in his book Fear No Evil in which he recounts his experience in a Soviet jail after being arrested for requesting to emigrate to Israel (apparently an unacceptable practice in Communist Russia) that “To cooperate with the KGB would mean letting down our growing number of supporters in the free world and undermining their continued determination to help us.” In this passage Sharansky was explaining his resolve not to give the KGB any pertinent information concerning his arrest that could in turn be used against his friends and in general to the detriment of his supporters. Like Sharansky not wanting to talk to the KGB, Americans are in a similar situation: if we appease terrorists it is the same as cooperating with them. By not directly taking up a stance against them we help further their cause by letting it gain steam before doing anything about it. A pre-emptive strike like we made in Iraq is the only course of action for America to take right now against terrorism of all facets. Our very way of life is under attack and the longer we wait around to do something about it the harder it will be to defeat. In his book, The Gathering Storm, Churchill makes the point over and over that every appeasement of the Nazis was a missed opportunity to confront the threat at it smallest. When totalitarian threats are not confronted, it always comes to pass that they grow.

Many people would have you believe that you cannot prove a terrorist’s intent until after they commit an attack like 9/11. But lets think about this for a minute. If a burglar breaks into your house but has yet to steal something then are you able to discern his true intent by his mere presence in your house, or do you need to let him steal something and then leave before you understand completely what his true intentions were? Of course not!

Sharansky continues with the same outlook that “I knew that each time the KGB made a political arrest, it required permission from the political leadership. If I recanted, it would only make it easier for the KGB to receive permission to initiate new repressions and another round of arrests.” Each time we let the terrorists and those who support them get away with something (uranium enrichment for example) then we encourage them to do so again and again. If you let your kid get away with stealing a cookie one day and then slap her hand the next for doing so, she will most likely do so again hoping that she can get away with it like she did the first time.

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men

Why can’t there just be peace in the world? People like the Christian Peacemakers (aka soon to be foreign hostages that we have to risk our lives to save) try to work for everyone just to get along and live in harmony, Muslims hand in hand with Americans, Palestinians hugging Jews. Well sort of, as long as you are an Iraqi Baathist and not an American, or a Palestinian and not a Jew you will get support from the “Christian” Peacemakers. Why there can’t be peace in this world is an easy question to answer. When two groups have diametrically opposed views like say for example Islamic extremists who think Allah wants all women to be completely covered and American women who are so liberated they think they should be able to go topless in public then there wont be any reconciliation between the two groups. This example is of course lame but I am sure everyone can think of a few better examples of the unavoidable culture clash that would ensue between Islamofacists and Americans (other then Ramsey Clark and John Walker Lindh of course). Perhaps a parallel between Nazi Germany and Jewish people could be drawn to mirror my point even better. Nazi’s wanted to kill all Jews while Jews didn’t all want to die. Is there any common ground where the two groups could find peace? No.

So it is for the reason that I believe peace will never prevail on earth that I think America must do what it can to ensure freedom in this world. This sentiment has and will continue to win America it’s fair share of critics but I invite all of those critics to come to Iraq and visit the many people tortured and oppressed by Saddam and ask them if they if they appreciate being free from his tyrannical rule. Ask the Kuwaitis if they are appreciative of America for freeing them from Saddam in 1991. Ask Jews if they are appreciative of the sacrifices Americans made to free them from Hitler. Ask the many immigrants in America if they are appreciative for the sacrifices Americans have made in the past in order to secure a free country where they could find asylum from their less than tolerant countries.

I think one thing that we have to keep in mind about Islamic extremism is that it is an ideology and should be treated as such. Islam is a religion; Islamic extremism is an ideology much like KKK members who call themselves Christians would be considered. We do not need to fear insulting regular Muslims by singling out Islamic extremists for criticism, that is of course if regular Muslims can tell the difference between themselves and extremists like regular Christians can differentiate between themselves and abortion clinic bombers.

Free Speech

These same sentiments (see Sharansky quotes above) apply to my feelings about free speech. If free speech is worth fighting for, and I believe it is, then we need to confront all opposition to it before it becomes to late. The First Amendment’s guarantee that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” ensures our right to say what we want, and in relation to the Muhammad cartoon controversy can actually be used to punish those who use their speech to threaten or provoke a fight between others like this guy below (that is if he was in America of course).



According to Eugene Volokh as quoted in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: “There is, however, a small set of rather narrow exceptions to free speech protection.”

Speech that is reasonably perceived as a threat of violence (and not just rhetorical hyperbole) can be punished. Virginia v. Black (2003).

Face-to-face insults that are addressed to a particular person and are likely to cause an imminent fight can be punished. More generalized offensive speech that is not addressed to a particular person cannot be punished even if it is profane or deeply insulting. Cohen v. California (1971).



So if we as Americans want to draw attention to the fact that the prophet Muhammad is not off limits to talk about and in doing so offend Muslims by showing cartoons of Muhammad then so be it, we have the right to do so and should do so in an exercise of our freedoms. Forget insulting Muslims, if you are not a Muslim then you should not be judged by it’s tenets, much the same way as if you are not a Christian then you do not have to stand up to judgment based upon Christian teachings. If you are not trying to live by the rules of a certain religion then you should not be subjected to the punishments imposed by that religion.

Basically these are the thoughts that have been going through my head the past few weeks. Sorry about this not being a highly polished essay. Take it for what it is worth and know that your military has in the past, and is willing now to fight for what is right. Of course that is if we can convince our politicians to do the same. In today’s politically correct world where everyone is afraid of offending someone or some group we need a new breed of politician who can stand up for what is right with the intestinal fortitude needed in order to procure our way of life now and for future generations. We need to reward these politicians with our support and votes so that they can rest assured that their job is to do the right thing and not to please the most amount of people possible by saying the politically correct thing. We need more Dick Cheneys to tell people like Patrick Leahy to "Go f*#k yourself" when they truly deserve it.

97 comments:

Mary*Ann said...

I should not be amazed at your posts, yet I always am. You rock Boggs!!

Anonymous said...

Speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may. But be sure your motivations are right. Speak truth knowing the power that truth carries with it. Never compromise it. If you don't know the truth don't be afraid to admit it but study to learn it. A lie will always leave you with a funny feeling. The truth satisfies. Test everything to see if it be true. Yes Boggs, the truth reconciles but when rejected the truth devides. There are things worth fighting for - -worth dieing for. Until you reach this point in life you don't truly live. Not to say we must all fight in a physical war (not yet anyway) but we all face a battle every day to stand for truth. Just like you get up every morning and put on your armor and clean your weapon, we civilians need to be prepared to combat the lies with the truth each day we live. You are supplying us much information with which to fight our enemies - - who are determined to defeat us and sometimes are not as lazy as we can be. Thank you Boggs for your excellent blog. I don't see how anyone can question your motives or your courage to stand for truth and freedom. May we all, young and old, join you in this battle whole heartedly. Nothing else is really acceptable. Nothing else is going to give us victory.
Your appreciative readers,
A&N

Brian Coughlan said...

When totalitarian threats are not confronted, it always comes to pass that they grow.

The terrible irony of your post is that the US, through Bush's unilateral action in Iraq and it's threatening of Iran is seen as the real threat to world peace.

I might add that there is some substance to this case, how many tens of thousands of Iraqis have the Iranians killed in the last 5 years? You may not like that formulation, but they are the undisputable facts.

US citizens account for roughly 3% of the world population. In the absence of a structure to legitimise these wars, what gives the US the right to take the kind of action you are proposing?

tfdad said...

Brian, You are a cut flower. You have no historical roots, and so the Bush doctrine makes no sense to you. Isn't there anybody in your life; grandparents, greatgrandparents, a neighbor, that remembers WWII as it was, not as Hollywood portrays it. Read Churchill's The Gathering Storm. Learn what happens when good people bury their head in the sand and just hope against hope that the bad guys will behave.

Then go share what you learn with a Bush=Hitler buddy. Stop being part of the problem.

Brian Coughlan said...

tfdad ... I am well versed in history and fully familiar with the period, and the tired argument you base upon it.

A rather lengthy excerpt from a recent article I read by Glenn Greenwald.

To pro-Bush war supporters, the world is forever stuck in the 1930s. Every leader we don't like is Adolph Hitler, a crazed and irrational lunatic who wants to dominate the world and who can't be reasoned with. Every country opposed to our interests is Nazi Germany. From this it follows that every warmonger is the glorious reincarnation of the brave and resolute Winston Churchill.

And one who opposes or even questions any proposed war becomes the lowly and cowardly appeaser, Neville Chamberlain. For any and every conflict that arises, the U.S. is in the identical position of France and England in 1937-faced with an aggressive and militaristic Nazi Germany, will we shrink in appeasement and fear from the grand calling of history duties, or will we stand tall and firm and wage glorious war?

With that cartoonish framework in place, war is always the best option. It is the only option for those who are noble, strong, and fearless. Conversely, the sole reason for opposing a war is that one is a weak-minded and weak-willed appeaser who harbors dangerous fantasies of negotiating with madmen. Diplomacy and containment are simply elevated, PC terms for appeasement. War is the only tool that works.

To be sure, Saddam Hussein was a brutal thug who murdered and oppressed his citizens with virtually no limits, etc. etc., but the notion that he was ever in a league with Adolph Hitler in terms of the threats he posed, the capabilities he possessed, or even the ambitions he harbored, was always transparent myth. This equivalence is even more fictitious with regard to Iran, which -- although saddled with a highly unpopular president who is clearly malignant and who uses nationalistic rhetoric to boost the morale of his base- is a country that is, in fact, ruled by a council of mullahs which has exhibited nothing but rationality and appears to be guided by nothing other than self-interest.

We were led into invading Iraq by a group of people who are as bloodthirsty as they historically ignorant. They are stuck in a childish and stunted mental prison where every event, every conflict, every choice is to be seen exclusively through the prism of a single historical event, an event which-for a variety of reasons, some intellectual, some cultural, some psychological-is the only one that has any resonance for them. Even as we are still mired in their last failed war, they are attempting to impose these stunted historical distortions to lead us into a new one.

The now well-known principle, Godwin's Law, holds "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler" increases and that once such a comparison is made, "the thread in which the comment was posted is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress." That principle should be applied 100-fold to foreign policy choices, especially decisions about whether to start new wars.

Brian Coughlan said...

Now we have that out of the way, can someone honestly address the question :

US citizens account for roughly 3% of the world population. In the absence of a structure to legitimise these wars, what gives the US the right to take the kind of action you are proposing?

Courtney said...

Great post. My brother and I discussed free speech in correlation to the South Park episode the other night. I find it ironic that Comedy Central would censor the image of Muhammad, and even have a black shot which says "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Muhammad on their network" only to be followed by Jesus defecating on an American flag, President Bush and a pregnant woman. I think Trey and Matt made a good point, but shame on Comedy Central- what cowards.

Elizabeth said...

Mr. Boggs: I don't have time to go into a lengthy critique right now, but in brief: You are confusing different historical events and political movements with each other, as well as throwing in a variety of slogans at random intervals. What you have written is not an argument. You aren't really familiar with the history and politics of the Middle East. I believe everyone has a right to an opinion, but an opinion based on anything other than knowledge and expertise is not valuable. I respect what expertise you may have on military matters as a soldier. But you do not have any expertise on history or political science. I strongly suggest that when you return to the U.S., if these issues interest you, that you enroll in a reputable international relations program at a university, or at the very least read some reputable histories, rather than relying on Bush propaganda, right-wing commenters, and a few random historical facts thrown in at incongruous moments. When you have finished doing so, I would be interested in your opinions.

Anonymous said...

Could be the FACT that we will be 0% of the world population if we do not fight terrorism. You ignorant know nothing. That is not an insult hurrled at you as you will claim. It is an obvious FACT. Can we just move on and ignore Brian. He fits into the catagory of "None so blind as those who refuse to see."
A&N

Anonymous said...

How many wars have you fought in Elizabeth? How much history have you experienced first hand. Maybe you've been too busy becoming an expert. Some of us out here don't have to attend International Relations Programs to be brainwashed. We actually have lived in the real world. And by the way- -it is not Mr. Boggs - -it is Sgt. Boggs. You are disrespectful. Did they teach you that in college?
A&N
See Sgt. Boggs how everyday is just another challenge and how the truth does not only reconcile but also divides. Your comment page is a small photo of the reality of our country at this time. Thanks Sgt. for doing a great job.

Brian Coughlan said...

Could be the FACT that we will be 0% of the world population if we do not fight terrorism. You ignorant know nothing.

Why are you so frightened and angry, and what of exactly?

Why are you so furious at the idea that someone might represent the other side of an argument?

The Iranians you are so desperate to destroy are just people. Any attack on Iran will kill hundreds of innocent people, and the worst case scenario could be millions if the entire middle east implodes. Why would you be so keen to see that trigger pulled?

The US lived with the threat of nuclear annihilation for half a century, and although they had far more reason to be as angry and frightened as you appear to be, they rarely were. Why is that?

The US spends more on the military than the rest of the entire world put together.

In what scenario could the US by "wiped out", the population reduced to 0%?

Please explain it to me, I just don't see it.

Praguetwin said...

Sgt. Boggs,

First I want to apologize for being disrespectful for just calling you "Boggs" all the time. I had no idea.

I just want to say that I don't agree with Elizabeth about your opinion not being valuable. It is extremely valuable in that it gives one some insight into what pro-war people are thinking and why.

Like Elizabeth I don't really have time to analyze your whole post. I just want to take issue with a couple of points that you made..

"For example if Iran gets a nuke then they will use it on Israel and eventually threaten other countries in order to spread their influence."

I hear this from the right over and over again. Iran WILL use it on Isreal. This is not a fact, this is an opinion.

Iran (Persia) has not gone on the offensive in 250 years. They are defensive in nature. The Shiites literally lived in caves for hundreds of years. They are interested in self-preservation. Sure, the president is a psycho, but his lightly vieled threats are likely nothing more than nationalistic rhetoric. The real leaders have no interest in taking an action that is sure to result in the destruction of their entire country.

I want you to think about that. Do you honestly believe that Iran is going to launch a nuke at Isreal when the result will be at least 100 ICBMs being launched at them? Hell, we could aim the whole cold war arsenal at them and make it clear that Iran will cease to exist if they so much as launch one nuke at anybody.

Assuming that they will use it is assuming that they are completely suicidal. This defies logic. Iran intends on being around for a very long time. They have been waiting for 1200 years for the last Imam to rise. I don't think they are going to give up so easy.

We know how agressive the Soviets were, but the priciples of deterrence worked with them and can work again.

I tend to agree with you that "peace on earth" is nothing more than fantasy. I don't expect the radical Islamists and the Orthodox Jews to break bread, but couldn't they just leave each other alone (to the greatest extent possible)?

There is always going to be war, but that doesn't mean that going out and starting war is a good thing. Have you ever heard the expression "best to let sleeping dogs lie?"

You use the example of the robber in the house. Hey, if I catch someone in my house, I'll shoot them dead and not feel guilty about it in the least. But premtively striking Iran is more like going to a guys house and shooting him because you believe he is going to rob your house.

Big difference.

In a free society, we are allowed to have guns. But just because I have a gun, and I say that I hate certain people and that they should die doesn't make me a criminal. Not until I USE the gun am I a criminal. Or until I say in no uncertain terms "I am going to kill you." You mention the KKK, and you should note that despite the fact that they are armed, and hate blacks and jews and wish them all dead, there is not a damn thing the government can do, and I believe that is a good thing. They may be armed and nuts, but that is their right. There is a certain danger to living in a free world, and if you believe in freedom then you have to believe that Iran has a right to be as backward as they want. You do realize that a majority favors the religious leaders. Please tell me you do.

TFDad and Annie, why don't you try to answer Brian's questions instead of just attacking him.

Annie, you said.. "Some of us out here don't have to attend International Relations Programs to be brainwashed."

LOL!

Are you saying you got yours washed for free?

Anonymous said...

Do you know who said, "It's best to let sleeping dogs lie"? A sleeping dog.

Anonymous said...

Yes Praguetwin - -I realized my gramatical error after I entered the comment. But you caught my drift anyway - -didn't you. If you want my answers we'll do it on my time and not Sgt. Boggs. Give me your email and I'll give you mine.
Annie

Melinda said...

3% of the population responsible for carrying a lion's share percentage of the rest of the world on its back. I distinctly remember the US ponying up 40% of the tsunami relief and being called "stingy" on day two or three of the effort.

Additionally, threatening the sovreignty of a nation such as ours should be met with the means necessary to quell it. From Islamofascism to illegal border crossings, we need to shore up the borders.

The idea that some tiny spot on the map who cannot contribute in any meaningful way except attendance but who has equal footing with the US is what makes the UN laughable on its face. Dig a bit deeper and the corruption and idiotic nature of Iran heading the group responsible for security/arms/etc. reinforces the assessment.

And, let's not confuse opinion with argument. Opinion is NOTHING but personal assessment...like Elizabeth's opinion that Boggs' statements aren't valuable. An argument is what Boggs' has built to support his assertions he's made on his blog. You can certainly look at particular points on his argument to look for logical fallacies, but this either/or idea doesn't work. And, I'm betting that the argument would stand if the opinions of those who disagree were similar in nature.

Boggs, once again, you've outdone yourself. Good work.

Brian Coughlan said...

3% of the population responsible for carrying a lion's share percentage of the rest of the world on its back.

The US provides the smallest per capita proportion of GDP. Which somewhat takes the steam out of your case :

http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp#ForeignAidNumbersinChartsandGraphs

However,even if that were not the case, you seem to be confusing purchasing power with legitimacy. If your logic were applied at home then only the richest 3% of americans would have the right to vote in elections.

threatening the sovreignty of a nation such as ours should be met with the means necessary to quell it.

Well you are in luck. The Iranians have made no threats against US sovreignity.

They have repeatedly denied any intentions to develop a nuclear weapon, even going so far as to claim that it would be contrary to the tenents of islam to have such a weapon.

To attack a country under these circumstances, to threaten to attack them with nuclear weapons, is fairly unprecedented.

The idea that some tiny spot on the map who cannot contribute in any meaningful way except attendance but who has equal footing with the US is what makes the UN laughable on its face.

This statement ... ah this is a cracker.

a) The statement exposes such a visceral sense of superiority and blatant raw nationalism, that I suspect you may be incapable of viewing non americans as human.

b) The UN has a security council made up of 5 permanent members, and 10 additional members that change every few years. The 5 permanent members have absolute veto rights over any "legislation" that is passed. The US, after USSR/Russia is the permanent member that has used it's veto more than any other.

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/data/vetotab.htm

I'm not sure what is more depressing, what you don't know, or what you think you know and object to.

Being rich is not the same as being right, I though the US had rejected monarchy?

Dig a bit deeper and the corruption and idiotic nature of Iran heading the group responsible for security/arms/etc. reinforces the assessment.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. Iran hold no UN offices that I am aware of, but correct me by all means.

Brian Coughlan said...

I would really like someone to articulate this for me, or even to justify it, to put it in some kind of context for me:

US citizens account for roughly 3% of the world population. In the absence of a structure to legitimise these wars, what gives the US the right to take the kind of action you are proposing?

T. F. Boggs said...

Elizabeth,
I was prepared to respond to your comment but then I read your blogs and realized why you are a "former journalist" and not a current journalist. Your obvious distortions of history are blatant as can be seen by a brief perusal of your thoughts concerning Israel. If your journalistic endeavors were anything like your blogging then I would have to say you must have worked for the New York Times.
Was it my mention of Sharansky that upset you? Does he not count as a reputable source to learn about history? Is he just one of those right-wing commenters that you refer to? What reputable histories would you have me read? Maybe some Chomsky or some Said?
Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean that I haven’t done my homework. But you are right, maybe I could go to Georgetown or Berkeley when I get back to learn about the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

If I am in a crowd of 34 people and a madman enters the group intent on killing all who don't believe as he does but he picks me out to be his first victim because I am the strongest of the 34 and must be dealt with because he knows I will help protect the other 33, do I run and hide or yell I surrender my beliefs and freedom and life or do I stand and fight. And if he is in fact a sneaky coward and hides in the crowd, do I seek him out or do I wait until he can creep up behind me to do his filthy work of enslavement and/or murder? Some in the crowd might come to my aide if I stand. Many will run in fear or because they don't understand that if he gets me they will be next. Have you not heard the "Head" of Iran say we are all infidels and must die? Have you not heard this repeated time and again even before the war? Did you sleep through 9/11? Have you not understood one word in Sgt. Boggs blog or in the other comments that you have decided come from the brain washed right? I belong to NO group and follow nobodies agendas but my own. Yes, I am afraid of the enemy because I know he stands for nothing but hate and murder and will stop at nothing to destroy everything I hold dear. But I am no coward that hides his head in the sand. I will fight in spite of the fear. And I will not be afraid to speak. And I HATE war. Any sane person does. Ask Sgt. Boggs. Read Mike Yon. We are not war mongers. We did not start this war in spite of the lies our enemies put out. But young Sgt. Boggs is right. There are things worth fighting and dieing for. Those things can't be taken for granted. I for one do not swallow the liberal line you love so much that you have deceived yourself and cut yourself off from the world of reality. Perhaps you don't even know that you are repeating the liberal line. You will see only what you want to see. You stand for nothing. Your search for truth is a deceitful one. There is no reasoning with you. No amount of evidence will ever convince you. Go ahead, pick my spelling and grammar apart. Annie

tfdad said...

Brian, I absolutely promise myself I'll not concern myself with another comment you may make again.

But here goes. You say "U.S. citizens account for roughly 3% of the world population.In the absence of a structure to legitimize these wars, what gives the US the right to take the kind of action you are proposing?"

And the answer is, 9-11-2001.

If that doesn't do it for you, nothing will.

Brian Coughlan said...

Annie your example simply does not apply.

Iran cannot possibly destroy the US.

Do you not see that it is wrong to sanction the killing of innocent people, simply because of your fear?

9/11 was a terrible tragedy, but more people die from cancer, or car accidents, or poor dietary habits, every year then were killed on 9/11.

The odds of you being the victim of a terrorist atrocity are millions to one against, yet you are consumed by fear and anger, ruled by it to such an extreme degree that the "enemy" are painted as inhuman, monstrous and alien :

because I know he stands for nothing but hate and murder and will stop at nothing to destroy everything I hold dear

There are very few people like that, most are like you. They have people they love and care about, and want to protect. They are frightened by a monstrous and powerful foreign government who wishes their destruction. They are you.

The Iranian people are not your enemy, Annie. I am not your enemy.

Boggs help me out here, this is beyond paranoid.

Brian Coughlan said...

And the answer is, 9-11-2001.

OK, I appreciate that, it's an answer.

Someone organised the unlawful killing of 3000 Americans. Therefore Americans can kill, attack or declare war on anyone that was involved. OK, I get that.

However, what is the long term logic here? 9/11 is the underpinning, sure. However, if things go wrong for example, if the US is responsible for killing innocent people, what is the comeback?

Are the innocent victims of US military errors to be avenged by more US civilian deaths?

Work through this with me ... I think we are almost there.

T. F. Boggs said...

Oh yeah and people can call me anything they want, I don't mind. Just don't call me late for dinner.

Anonymous said...

And the people all said - -"Amen Sgt.Boggs".

Elizabeth said...

Yes, please go to Georgetown or Berkeley. Or Columbia, or Johns Hopkins, or the University of Tennessee or any other college. And I suggest that when you do, and you write your term papers, that you make sure to cite reputable sources. And no, Natan Sharansky won't be one of them. If you want to pass the class, that is.

Elizabeth said...

6:54 PM
Anonymous said...
How many wars have you fought in Elizabeth?

This is a nonsensical remark, since I specifically said that I defer to SGT. Boggs in terms of matters military.

I haven't fought in wars. I have, however, lived all over the world (yes, the REAL world--is there a fake one?) including the Middle East, during the past 42 years.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the meeting where it was decreed that a nation could not act in its own interests without 'a structure to legitimize'? That just sounds plain crazy, no matter how you try to complicate it so that it sounds intelligent.

Brian Coughlan said...

Did I miss the meeting where it was decreed that a nation could not act in its own interests without 'a structure to legitimize'? That just sounds plain crazy, no matter how you try to complicate it so that it sounds intelligent.

Why yes. It appears you did. The meeting was called the "Nuremberg Trials".

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

What prevents you from walking across to your neighbour and killing him, his family, and the guy who came to read the meter?

Law. The Nuremberg trials established the norms that you seem to think need to be chucked out.

Fine. What I am trying to understand is what are you replacing it with?

Is it simply, I do what I like? That too is an answer, just not a very satisfactory one.

Praguetwin said...

Annie,

My email is public. Yours is not. Feel free to drop me line anytime you want.

Boggs,

No response? Let me ask you this to make it simple. If I believe that my neighbor is planning to kill me, and I know he is trying to buy guns, but publicly he has said he does not intend to, can I blow up his house with his family in it?

According to your logic, I can.

Papa Ray said...

Ignore brian, his ego gets in the way of his common sense.

"that you enroll in a reputable international relations program at a university," Please DON'T, our universitys (most surely, the large ones), are run by liberal, socialist idiots and their professors are even worse.

"can I blow up his house with his family in it?"

Well, the laws where I live say that if threatned in such a way that you believe your life is in danger, you have the right to use deadly force.

But you know, thats just the backward state of Texas.


Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Brian Coughlan said...

Just a moment.

This is what Praguetwin wrote :

If I believe that my neighbor is planning to kill me, and I know he is trying to buy guns, but publicly he has said he does not intend to, can I blow up his house with his family in it?

Now this is what you responded Paparay :

Well, the laws where I live say that if threatned in such a way that you believe your life is in danger, you have the right to use deadly force.

Now either you are, answering the question, and you seem to be saying that blowing up houses and killing entire families, because you feel threatened, is an acceptable form of pre-emptive self defense in Texas.

Or you are answering a question that no one (in this forum at least) has asked.

Which is it? Or am I missing a third option?

Brian Coughlan said...

A word on common sense :

The Aztecs considered it common sense to cut the beating heart out of sacrificial victims every couple of years.

At some point in the past, a bunch of the aztec clergy get it into there heads that not doing this would cause the world to end.

Perfectly reasonable and entirely rational way to behave they thought, I mean who wants the world to end right?

If your "common sense" allows you to be comfortable with your government killing tens of thousands of people, you need to rethink it.

Chris Tanner said...

You are absolutely right, Sgt. Boggs. I thank God for brave and honorable men like you!

You are why I can put my children to bed and not fear for their safety, because American soldiers like you are defending truth and freedom and true peace.

Thank you for your noble fight, sir.

Melinda said...

Brian-
I'm not going to while away the day seeking out links to citations you wouldn't read, but I will take a second to reply with a few things in your response to me.

First, my perception of the UN is that it would be very happy if the US, regardless of the population in the States, were weaker and a quieter voice on the world stage. I don't think a group like the UN with the corrupt nature of its dealings (Oil for Food comes to mind) is an organization I would trust to make major decisions that could affect my family.

Having Iran on the "Disarmament Commission" doesn't say much for those voting and doesn't raise the UN's credibility for me.

As far as Iran in general...are you kidding me?

"against the tenets of Islam to develop such a weapon"...yeah, because so far these folks have seemed REALLY interested in the tenets of Islam. Which is it? Are we supposed to believe that Islam is a religion of peace & just a few are mucking it up or are the tenets of Islam to annhilate or enslave anyone who isn't towing Islam's line? Either way, it doesn't look good for the home team. I also tend not to put a great deal of stock in promises made by Iran.

As far as your comments disparaging me as someone who views non-Americans as sub-human, you know nothing about me. I took exception to comments you'd made, but I didn't once attribute that in any way to the type of person I perceive you to be based on one little blurb you posted.

Do I view people who hack off people's heads, murder school children, blow up innocents in a marketplace and who would do the same to me simply because I'm who I am as less than human?

Well, I suppose you have me there. I'd much rather concentrate on sending aid and helping those who suffer from the evil actions committed by terrorists than try and figure out what happened to the terrorist in his/her childhood to make her want to kill me since no reason justifies that.

However, if it is between shooting a homicide bomber before he can detonate his vest or allowing him to do what he wishes because, hey, he's human too, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Praguetwin said...

Using Texas self-defense law as a logical benchmark for foreign policy...

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force.

So there has to be "use" or "attempted use" of "unlawful force" to justify using force against another.

Since Texas allows the right to bear arms, just bearing arms does not qualify, there must be a use or attemped use of a weapon for the case to qualify for self-defense. Even if you don't like the fact that your neighbor has the same gun you do, that doesn't mean you can shoot him.

Furthermore, subsection (b) goes on to list exceptions wherein the subject would not be allowed to use force, the first being...

1) in response to verbal provocation alone;

Not that it matters, since Iran has threatened no one specifically. Saying, "Israel should be wiped off the map" is a lot different than saying, "we are going to wipe Isreal off the map."

And since we are using Texas self-defense law as a proxy for international law, let us not forget that if the US strikes Iran without a UN resolution to do so, and absent Iranian aggression, Iran then has a right to use deadly force against the US.

I suspect, in such a case, they will.

I am not alone in this belief.

Brian Coughlan said...

However, if it is between shooting a homicide bomber before he can detonate his vest or allowing him to do what he wishes because, hey, he's human too, I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Melinda, would that it were that simple. I'd be pulling the trigger right there with you.

However, it isn't that simple, and therein lies the rub.

As for my comments ... lets take a look.

The idea that some tiny spot on the map who cannot contribute in any meaningful way except attendance but who has equal footing with the US is what makes the UN laughable on its face.

You don't see that is a shockingly superior and arrogant comment?

Try reading it this way

The idea that some miserable mimimum wager who cannot contribute in any meaningful way except with their vote has equal footing with those of us with money is laughable on it's face.

Do you get it now?

The US represents 3% of the worlds population. What gives the US the right to dictate anything to anyone?

You note that you don't trust the Iranians. OK, so on the basis of your fear you condone the killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people?

Just because you and President Bush are nervous? What if you are wrong?

Anonymous said...

What if they are right?

Melinda said...

Okay, first:

Its = belonging to it; the possessive form of it.

It's = it is; a contraction of two words

There...now I feel better.

You want my honest answer, Brian?

The only thing "arrogant" I see in your latest post is your assumption that someone you don't even know will find it fun and educational to have their words parsed, picked apart and taken out of context.

I didn't agree with your premise in your previous comment that I'm equating "purchasing power with legitimacy" and even if I did, didn't you already point out that it isn't the case?

Your decision to take my words and make them analogous to a scenario involving minimum-wage workers sheds more light on the assumptions you are making about me as a person, but really do nothing to change my original statement because, again, it isn't all based on money...which you erroneously assumed and have been running with ever since.

Anonymous said...

What if they are Right?

Brian Coughlan said...

What if they are Right?

Good question.

The odds seem strongly against this.

1) There is broad consensus that any Iranian nuclear weapon is 5 to 10 years away.
2) All of there facilities are (currently) open to inspection.
3) The Iranian government has repeatedly denied any intentions of developing a nuclear weapon.
4) If they did develop such a weapon, and used it on Israel for example, as Boggs has suggested, the counterstrike would eliminate them as a nation. They would simply cease to exist.

Now, knowing this, are you still prepared to sanction the killing of Iranian civilians?

If you are could you tell me why?

Brian Coughlan said...

Its = belonging to it; the possessive form of it.

It's = it is; a contraction of two words

There...now I feel better.


I appreciate the instruction; I'm always willing to learn:-)

The only thing "arrogant" I see in your latest post is your assumption that someone you don't even know will find it fun and educational to have their words parsed, picked apart and taken out of context.

I'm not assuming that at all. I'm sure it's unpleasant. However, you are saying things in a public forum that are morally outrageous, some that are patently untrue and much that is simply absurd.

That other nations and their citizens should be ignored.
That Iran has threatened American sovereignty.
That America “carries the rest of the world on it’s back”.
That the UN functions as a kind of democratic forum.

Melinda, if you don’t like having your comments picked apart, research your stuff before you post it. Or don’t post, but don’t expect me to give you a free pass.

Anonymous said...

What if you are wrong?

Brian Coughlan said...

What if you are wrong?

I could be, hope I'm not, but I'm not prepared to sanction the killing of innocent people for a "just in case" scenario based on zero evidence. Again.

Are you?

Anonymous said...

Are you willing to sanction the killing of the jews?

Brian Coughlan said...

Are you willing to sanction the killing of the Jews?

No. What a bizarre question.

I suspect that what you are clumsily driving at here, is whether I would be willing to risk Jewish lives to save Iranian lives.

Well it's good to see you coming to grips with the complexity of the situation, and realising that these situations are never black and white.

Based on what the available evidence, I'd have to say yes.

Jewish lives are only very marginally at risk from Iranian nuclear attack, and if at all, only several years down the road.

An attack on Iran would certainly result in Iranian civilian deaths, and almost certainly in Jewish deaths. Iran as no nuclear missiles it could launch at the US, so the next best thing would be Israel.

All and all, I think attacking Iran would be a bad idea for everybody, not just the Iranians.

All of that said, your premise is topsy turvy.

You ask the question "what if I'm wrong?". The understanding being that inaction might cause deaths.

But action will absolutely cause deaths, just deaths that you are comfortable with. You favour military action, even where the risk is almost non-existent because you have divided the world up into us and them.

I value the lives of Americans, Iranians and Israelis equally. Therefore given the almost complete absence of risk (I have outlined the reasons in an earlier post), I favour diplomacy, the EU carrot and stick approach.

If there was genuine risk, I would choose differently.

Anonymous said...

You have shown yourself for what you are. F*ck off.

Anonymous said...

Wow Sgt. Boggs. Once again you hit the nail on the head with your blog. It went full cycle right here on your comment page. Debate. Accpetance- -rejection. Free speech! Ain't it wonderful, bad grammar, spelling and all. And as you ending your blog with the words of VP DC, so ended your comment page. We love you Sgt. and thanks for all you are doing defending us from terrorism. Your guys are still the very best after all is said and done!!
Annie and Neatie
From the GREAT state of TEXAS USA

T. F. Boggs said...

There is a big difference between what a country can do and what individual citizens can do. Praguetwin I don’t think your analogy of your neighbor wanting to kill you works. If, for the sake of the question you asked, your neighbor wants to kill you and is trying to get the means to do so then you should call the cops. If you blew up your neighbor’s house before he did anything to you then it would be murder. There are different rules for countries protecting themselves then there are for private citizens. Like I said in your case you would have to go to the police and they would take care of it, for the U.S. since we can’t arrest a country’s leadership there are different ways for us to go about protecting ourselves, i.e. diplomacy, military presence, and war just to name a few.

So taking your example further lets look at 9/11 for a minute. Lots of people criticize Bush for not preventing 9/11 and said we should have seen it coming. So what if we knew that they were going to do it and we killed the terrorists before they could or arrested them and put them away in jail before they could, would that be a bad thing?

I will concede to you on a point though. It is my opinion that Iran would use a nuke on Israel. I think I was too loose with my words. I should have said “probably use it” or “use it for leverage.” One of Iraq’s main reasons for wanting to have nukes was to level the playing field with Israel. Saddam said it himself and believed he would be the future leader of the Arab world once he was able to obtain some nukes and threaten those pesky Israelis who so vastly outnumber the rest of the Arab world that the Arabs can do nothing about them. I believe Iran is the same way. Their president is a psycho as you say.

As far as internet debates eventually going back to Hitler and the Nazis I think that is fine. Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it. I am not saying to the same degree as the Nazis but I used them merely as an example.

What gives 3% of the world’s population the right to dictate anything to anyone you ask? Well when the rest of the world pussyfoots around when things need to be done then we have to take it upon ourselves to do the right thing. And I think I remember the UN also wanting to do something about Iran. Oh and what about the 30 plus countries that have helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan, hardly 3%.

I didn’t answer earlier for a few reasons. One because I like to let the debate take some shape, and two I have been busy with a move.

Brian Coughlan said...

What gives 3% of the world’s population the right to dictate anything to anyone you ask? Well when the rest of the world pussyfoots around when things need to be done then we have to take it upon ourselves to do the right thing.

But Sgt. Boggs, who gets to decide what the right thing is? President Bush, the US congress?

What if the rest of the world disagrees? Do they just have to suck it up?

Oh and what about the 30 plus countries that have helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan, hardly 3%

An excellent point. I'm much more comfortable with Afghanistan, and it's true the coalition is more broadly based there.

However, only about 4 (other) countries have committed more than 1000 troops to Iraq. There the US is almost completely alone, and you can forget Iran, no one else will touch that with a barge pole.

Brian Coughlan said...

You have shown yourself for what you are. F*ck off.

Have I? What is that exactly? Also use of that word? Tacky.

Brian Coughlan said...

U.S. since we can’t arrest a country’s leadership there are different ways for us to go about protecting ourselves, i.e. diplomacy, military presence, and war just to name a few.

Sgt.Boggs, hy can't you arrest a countries leadership? That makes far more financial and casualty sense than sending in 150,000 troops surely?

I don't see that war was a good option here, and absolutely not in Iran.

I get that guys like yourself are doing good work because you are there now. That though is a separate issue.

BUCK SARGENT said...

Thanks for taking back the "Craziest Commenters" title from me Boggs.

Really though, you shouldn't waste too much time with these yahoos. They are not our intended audience, simply because they are incapable of unimpassioned reason. You will NEVER be able to convince them of anything by your arguments, no matter how well constructed, so it's truly futile to even try. Our universities are positively crawling with these type of people who revel in their own perceived moral superiority.

What was it Churchill said, "A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject?" Something like that. Sums up a modern lefty pretty well to these ears. But of course, they believe the exact same of the rest of us. But then crazy people usually don't know they're crazy. They think everyone else is.

I don't mind passioned debate, in fact I welcome it, but I refuse to engage with these nutjobs anymore. I'll read what they write, and then just move on. I've got better uses of my time. However, I still welcome their participation, for no other reason than it exposes their insanity to the light of day. Most people out there have no idea how unhinged some of their friends and neighbors have become. The internet has finally brought them all out of the woodwork, and it gives me comfort that this, coupled with liberals insistence on Roe v. Wading themselves completely out of the gene pool, will mean that their ilk will be marginalized for generations to come. The smaller their numbers become, the louder they shout to make up for it. But it's all a ruse. It's game over for them and I think they realize this on some level, hence their intense frustration witht the perceived direction of the country. I'll listen to them again once they start winning some elections for a change.

One glaring omission that I did notice and I can't help but point out what when someone (Elizabeth?) claimed that Iran has never done anything to us and is in fact perfectly rational and thus subject to a rational-based deterrence. My jaw hit the floor on that one. And wasn't she the one who claimed such higher learning education cred? If so, it speaks volumes.

The very first act of Iran's newly installed mullahtocracy in 1979 was to INVADE U.S. soil and take hostage dozens of American diplomats and citizens, of whom they held captive for over a year. That is an act of war by any definition, my dear. Perhaps you weren't born early enough to have remembered it. I'm sure it wasn't in any of your college texts. They only cover bad things Amerikkka does.

Since 1979, the Iranians have been the world's leader in exporting international terrorism to nearly every corner of the globe, to include as far away and remote as South America. They used children as front line shock troops and human mine detectors against Iraq in their eight year war that killed and maimed millions. They continue to fund and train terrorist cliques that kill and maim in Iraq, the West Bank, and thoughout Europe. It's only a matter of time before their handiwork hits our own shores.

Their leaders are shockingly open about their plans and desires, simply because they believe the West is too passive and weak to do anything about it. You moonbats will believe only the best of intentions about such unaccountable madmen, yet reflexively believe only the worst about your own country's democratically elected leaders.

You are completely unserious in an extremely serious time for our nation and the remainder of the world who freeloads on our backs for protection. You believe that no one in "their right mind" would detonate a nuke in a nation that could pulverize them in retaliation. The problem is, you assume way too much. The religious fervor that grips the leaders of Iran do not care about the same things you and I care about. The indeed wish for the return of the 12th Imam, but they also believe that he can be ushered in faster with the onset on Armageddon.

Apparently, that doesn't make you loons nervous, but the Bush Adminstration eavesdropping on al Qaeda does.

Again, it speaks volumes.

Brian Coughlan said...

Buck Sargent, I'm not denying that Iranians have in the past done things that are questionable.

However, you come at the subject from an extreme position.

For example the takeover of the embassy is characterised as a terrible deed, an invasion, and the Iranians conduct in the Iran/Iraq war as monstrous.

Although I agree with you on both counts, you fail to touch on two important points in your historical synopsis.

1) The Iran/Iraq war was to no small degree funded by the US and EU (on the Iraq side).

2) The CIA toppled the democratically elected prime minister of Iran in the 1950's and replaced him with the Shah, a repressive dictator.
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/

These two events strike me as at least as bad or worse. Yet they get no mention in your synopsis, why?

You proceed to wax eloquent about the 12 imam, and other inanities of Islam, yet you make no mention of similar Christian aberrations such as convoluted end times theology and the rapture.

There is bad and good on both sides. We are where we are NOW.

I don't deny that some in the Iranian government may wish America harm. In fact, I'd be amazed given the US interference in Iran over the last 60 years if that was not the case.

So there is a kind of logic to your assertion that we need to get them before they us.

However, it's the same kind of logic that advocates that:

Everyone should walk because cars kill people.

Black men between the ages of 15 and 35 should be imprisoned, because statistically they are far likelier to commit a crime.

That logic takes no account of the individual, or the long-term consequences of actions.

Iran has nationwide elections, a parliament and a free-market economy. Also an underground media and almost 100,000 bloggers.

Seventy-five percent of Iran's population is younger than 25. It is the world's only country whose youth is pro-American. But a military attack by Israel or the U.S. would quickly drive them into the hard-line camp " and jeopardize Iraqi democratization.

Killing tens of thousands of Iranian civilians will not improve American or Israeli security one iota. On the contrary, it will almost certainly have the opposite effect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Buck Sargent. There is really nothing else to say- - except thank you. We need leaders like you in every part of our lives, business, politics, and just everywhere. And you are right that we are aware of people of this ilk and the rotten fruit they have produced. It now discusted most Americans and the tide is turning - -in part because of the internet and great bloggers. It has taught us a great lesson about the futility of correcting a fool. They only hate you for giving them the truth.So back to reality. Thank you and all the great guys like Sgt Boggs for what you are doing and for telling us what is going on so we can live our lives in freedom and so we can encourage good men to run for office over here and vote for them. You have also taught us to not sit on our butts and be silent. We really are serious about this and thank our God for you every day.
Annie and Neatie

Melinda said...

I'm sorry, Brian, really. I hadn't realized that the blog author had elected you the moderator and responder to all comments.

"Morally outrageous"? And, in a roundabout way, a "liar." Both firsts for me. Can't wait to put it in my diary.

I haven't ever found anything in my reading or research, or in your comments and links (but wouldn't it make life easier if I could?), that would alter my viewpoint that when the crap hits the fan, I'd much rather have the United States backing me up with its 3% population than most of the rest of the roster of the United Nations.

And, since Buck Sargent provided such a wonderful comment about Iran, I will leave it at that.

Brian Coughlan said...

Look Melinda, I don't think you are a liar. I have no doubt that you are a good mother, and pillar of your community.

I mean that honestly, I you were not those things you wouldn't be blogging or supporting Sgt. Boggs.

However, you have posted things that are untrue.

Your comments about the UN, and America "carrying the world on its back", for example, These things are demonstrably untrue. These things are not simply a matter of your opinion.

They are black/white, square/round, true/false kind of issues.

You may not grasp that, which is a pity because it means we clearly inhabit different realities.

I find it odd, that although I am the person not willing to countenance the killing of innocent civilians, I am the one being vilified and attacked.

Give that some thought. I mean it is odd that you are willing to kill foreigners thousands of kilometers distant .... just in case.

That you cannot grasp how depraved and despicable that is ... well it just leaves me speechless.

I guess I feel so strongly because I am one of those foreigners. For all that, I wouldn't support attacking american civilians no matter how deranged your leaders.

Genuine good wishes Sgt. Boggs and good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Melinda - - -From two more of us old "American women" to another one we had to laugh. Being that foreigners just don't seem to get it that we are not a bunch of cattle hidden under a burka or a burlap bag but actually think for ourselves over here and are doers and shakers - - -they got a long way to go baby. Maybe being underestimated isn't such a bad thing though. And thank God American men don't look at us as possessions but as something very special to them and they are willing to fight and die for us. During war we American women in return will do everything we can to support our men. Thank God I am an American woman. And if it ever comes to it I doubt we will turn tail and run in a real battle. We love ya Melinda. Go our men!
A&N

Brian Coughlan said...

During war we American women in return will do everything we can to support our men.

Including supporting the air bombardment of Iran resulting in the death of innocent Iranian civilians?

Praguetwin said...

Dear Boggs,

I promise not to call you late for dinner. ;-)

I’ll concede that like most analogies, mine is flawed. The rules are different for nations. But just to wrap it up, in the case you describe, you think your neighbor wants to kill you, but the cops can’t really do anything. He has to do something to you first. This gets to the heart of the argument on Iran. It is about who strikes first. You understand the importance of the public perception of a conflict; the initial aggressor is usually seen as the bad guy. Even if you are right in your opinion that they would use a nuclear bomb, and I am wrong, we recognize that we don’t actually know for sure.

If the United States strikes first against Iran without actually knowing that Iran would do the unthinkable, the psychological fallout in the war for the hearts and minds will be absolutely devastating.

In talking about the principle of pre-emption. Your hypothetical use of 9/11 is a great one. Had they found out, and caught the guys, that would be fine, so long as there was proof of their desire to carry through with their plans.

Iran has succeeded in low-grade uranium enrichment. Inspectors are currently there. I think it is a bit pre-mature to be dropping any bombs (presuming that dropping bombs would be a good idea). Dropping bombs (or nuclear bombs) before they even attempt to produce a weapon would be a colossal mistake. I would hope you would consider agreeing with me on this small point.

Be careful comparing Iran to the Nazis, but since we are, keep in mind that the Nazis had that largest army the world had ever seen. And since we are on it, I think you are right that they want to extend their influence throughout the region, certainly with the Shi’a Muslims. I think that is naturally going to happen. The west has been happy to see the Shi’a populations fragmented, (This helps explain why the US was happy to support Saddam Hussein in his vicious war of aggression against Iran) but I think those days are coming to an end. Events in Iraq have helped to accelerate the process of galvanizing the Shi’a, and I think it has increased Iran’s influence in Iraq. These regional goals of Iran seem quite meager when compared to the goals of 1000 years of world domination that Hitler dreamed of.

But we need to focus on the justice of pre-emption.

I believe in the rule of law. For people as well as nations. I understand, as you point out, that the rules of engagement are different. However, one of the most basic principles of law is corpus delicti, “body of crime”. Essentially, it has to be shown that a crime was committed. Active planning with intent to commit a crime has been determined to be a lesser crime in and of itself, so even this would qualify.

As uncomfortable as it may be, they have to be caught in the act of trying to dispatch a weapon before any action can be justifiably taken. Let me ask you this: would it be okay to have bombed Pakistan when they were developing the bomb? We didn’t want them to have one either.

Thanks for keeping the lines of communication open. I hope all goes well with your move. Let us all know how it worked out when you can.

Most of all, keep up the good work. As silly as a lot of people would think, I think these discussions part of a process of understanding that we may not even understand yet. I hope you will stick with it.

Anonymous said...

We understand you F***ers. You just will to H*** we didn't.

Chelsea said...

Hi Tim,
After reading all 60 comments, I am exhausted! The best comes from Buck Sargent...thanks...you are a smart man. I've never responded (I'm not the confrontational type) but I've read it all:)
Instead of arguing back and forth with people who will never change their minds (honestly, I don't think I will change mine either), I'll just say I miss you Tim! I respect you so much for writing about what you've experienced, and I'm really proud of you! I told a student that my brother-in-law is in the army and serving in Iraq, and he came up to me later, gave me his best salute and told me he wanted to be a soldier like you:).
Love you!
Chelsea

Brian Coughlan said...

We understand you F***ers. You just will to H*** we didn't.
C'mon, keep it civil.

Brian Coughlan said...

http://hoder.com/weblog/

Sgt. Boggs check this out when you get a moment, and tell me what you think.

Best wishes:-)

Brian Coughlan said...

Heck why argue with me, put your case directly to an Iranian.

http://mrbehi.blogs.com/i/2006/04/so_using_nucs_a.html

Melinda said...

A & N...hey, ladies! Nice to "meet" you & I, for the life of me, can't find in any comment I've written where I've sanctioned the killing of innocent people in foreign lands.

Must have been my evil twin posting then or perhaps I wasn't clear...terrorists are not innocent civilians. Let's save our moral indignation for those folks, shall we? The Iranian situation is interesting as the leader is proving to be quite a crackpot and the people may very well be able to make a stand and rid themselves of that mess; for their sake, I hope sooner than later.

I'm not a fan of the UN. Sorry. No, really I'm not sorry at all. The idea of the corruption which cost that organization SO much money and the news that food rations will be cut in Darfur makes me nauseated.

The UN needed $746m to maintain food aid. They only rounded up $238m from members. We (the US) handed over $188m of that. That means the others on the donor list coughed up $50m. Wealth does not equal legitimacy in my eyes, but when I think of ALL that could be done by the UN if it were run more properly, it boggles my mind.

Anonymous said...

Melinda, Amen to all you said. Keep up the good work. A&N

Gypsy said...

Good grief I have a headache. :) Well said Buck Sargent and t.f. And you too A&N and Melinda. I just can't even bring myself to respond to the rest...

We've got your back t.f.

Brian Coughlan said...

can't find in any comment I've written where I've sanctioned the killing of innocent people in foreign lands.

If you are ok with, or worse still, cheerleading a bombing campaign against Iran, sanctioning the death of innocents in foreign lands is exactly what you are doing.

There are 70 million people in Iran, and the vast majority of them have little influence on the repellent government that is currently in place.

Thats all I'm saying.

when I think of ALL that could be done by the UN if it were run more properly, it boggles my mind.

You and me both:-(

tanksis said...

Sgt. Boggs-Thanks. You rock.

Buck Sargent-Right on, as always.

A&N, Melinda-You ladies are on fire!


God bless our troops. Thank God for y'all!

Catyloo said...

Shew!! The comments! I'll keep it short...for anyone who thinks Iran is this little, keeps to themselves, harmless country, and even if you believe the opposite, take a minute to read http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0305/0305iraqrev.htm. There are plenty of other sites that will verify this info. (and note the article was writen in 2005)

No Muslim country is harmless. Their jihad has been going on since the Crusades. Back then they were the Mohammedans...today Islam. Jihad is their way of life..whether against each other or against the rest of the world.

I suppose it is like a Marine Capt. said.....Five Muslim countries can get along if four are nuked.

JohnD said...

Hey Tim and Buck Sergeant,
Thanks for doing a great job!
You guys all rock!

Courtney said...

Tim-
71 posts! Isn't there some kind of record you've broken- Guiness Book of World Records for most comments on a blog or something? I'll look into it for you.

catyloo said...

Sorry, try again...the whole link did not copy.


www.enterstageright.com/archive/
articles/0305/0305iraqrev.htm

Heralder said...

t.f. boggs, Great blog.


Brian:

I'm coming into this a little late, but let me offer my take on things.

The population of any given country certainly is not a litmus test to it's political potency, it's ability to be right or wrong nor in it's right to step forward and confront it's enemies.
Being that China posseses roughly a third of the world's population, would you then find it's decisions to go to war more justified? Or only if more people agreed with their reasons?

I think you may be getting confused with popular opinion vs. what's right.

To finally answer the question you posed, and I'll expound a little more on tfdad's answer:

9/11. Again you posed the casualty count to legitimacy of action. Yes, 3000 innocent human lives might seem like a small drop in a rather large bucket of casualties since, but that's not the point. The point is that it was a direct act of war. Regardless of whether you agree with our president's statements directly afterwards, that's your answer. We were attacked, war is declared, and the war will be a long one.
Was war declared on Iraq or Iran? Indirectly, yes. Any state that knowingly provides safe haven for these terrorists is an enemy. You may call this heavy-handed, I call it a reckoning.
Will the "rest of the world" (which is a deceptively broad statement) agree with the continuing campaign against terrorists? No.
Does that make it wrong? No.

If we, 3% of the world's population don't stand strong, who else is going to? I think the answer, judging by attitudes around the globe, is no one.

Underestimating Iran is a fatal mistake. In my opinion I don't believe they would launch a strike against Israel. They will however, as they openly stated, share this technology with Syria, and by proxy anyone else that agrees with their twisted ideals. So now, Syria and Iran have nuclear missles. A concerted strike isn't as much a danger to them now is it? Especially with Iran funding it's much-loved terrorist groups around the globe with nuclear capability.
But hey, we have MAYBE five years until they are capable of having weapons, let's just go to sleep until then, right? Let's deal with this issue at the 11th hour when are options are few and the stakes are even higher. By waiting to confront this, you are further limiting diplomacy and ensuring military action.
If you believe a Iran will only use nuclear power for peaceful purposes (the development of which they've kept secret for many years) than I think your judgement is impaired.

Brian Coughlan said...

Herald, I read and reread your post, and there are certainly parts in there that I agree with.

The question re legitimacy is an important one. However, I'm afraid you don't address it to my satisfaction. I hope you'll hang around to let me explain.

By your logic any group of 3% in a polity could take whatever action they like to achieve whatever aims they think are "right".

That is in fact a partial definition of terrorism itself. A small minority that has a beef with the rest of (or a particular) segment of society, that cannot make a convincing case, will often resort to violence.

Your problem remains. I and billions of others, and even millions within the US, do not agree that the small risk posed by a minority of Muslims in Iran justifies the risk of a pre-emptive attack, which will kill hundreds and has the potential to kill millions.

Because the US government presses on regardless, shouting at the top it's voice "WE ARE RIGHT, you don't get it, we will SAVE YOU!" does not make it right.

It makes them the muttering guy at the bus stop with the hand painted sign claiming the end of the world.

At it's most basic, actual people are being killed to prevent potential deaths, but many, certainly a majority, of the rest of us think that calculation is horribly flawed.

To paraphrase Annie, what if no one was at risk? Actual innocent people would be killed for nothing.

You do make an excellent point as regards China. What if they decided something was "right"? Reintegration of Taiwan for example?

Most Mainland Chinese think this is an excellent idea, and many support force to achieve it.

On balance, it seems more justifiable to use force to reintegrate Taiwan, historically part of China for thousands of years, and detached for only a few decades, than for the US to use force in Vietnam, Iran or Iraq.

However, I agree with you that to accept that would be lunacy, and I'm guessing we agree on the reasons.

However it exposes the root issue of legitimacy, and hopefully puts it in a context where you are suddenly on my side of the fence.

The issues of legitimacy are addressed in the UN Security Council. I agree with you that this sucks, but for different reasons I suspect.

Nonetheless, at the end of WWII, global society came up with the Security Council on the UN to prevent war, and that is at least a partial "success" in that we have avoided a major war on the scale of WWI or WWII since it's creation.

However, the Security Council is a flawed instrument because it allows the 5 victors of WWII vetoes to strike down any decision made by the council. It also only includes a very narrow group in decision-making.

It is in effect a deeply undemocratic institution.

War is the most serious and deadly undertaking that humans engage in. In fact, any given war now has the potential to spiral out of control to the point where the destruction of the entire planet is a possibility.

I would therefore be as adamant in insisting that the Chinese listen to the rest of the world as I am in insisting that the Americans do.

War, if it is to undertaken at all, needs to be sanctioned by a global majority in an agreed forum. No vetoes, no "but we are the good guys!!", no "but they might be planning something!".

Just we the people, insisting that our voice be heard.

Heralder said...

Brian,


""By your logic any group of 3% in a polity could take whatever action they like to achieve whatever aims they think are "right"".

""That is in fact a partial definition of terrorism itself. A small minority that has a beef with the rest of (or a particular) segment of society, that cannot make a convincing case, will often resort to violence""

Not exactly. I never said, though I may have indirectly inferred, that we can take whatever action we like. The issue here is that we took action on something that was unpopular. Do you think it was right that Saddam should murder his own people? That he for over a decade routinely ignored and violated UN resolutions? (that’s called failed diplomacy by the way) Oppressed his people. Had documented ties to terrorism, bought dual purpose machinery that can be used to manufacture chemical weapons?

I think we can agree that this is wrong. So, taking action to stop this would be…you guessed it, right. I’m sorry the U.N. didn’t agree that this was the case….but then they were profiting from the suffering of the Iraqi people through the Oil for Food program. That would have to end and they might be exposed if we went in and turned things upside down. Other European countries that disagreed with our invading Iraq may have been worried at us uncovering all of the weapons they sold to Saddam as well. But somehow, after all contextual elements are taken into account…we are still wrong. It vexes me.

The definition for terrorism that I found has nothing to with majorities or minorities…or convincing cases, it has to do with targets and intentions.

“the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear”

""“Your problem remains. I and billions of others, and even millions within the US, do not agree that the small risk posed by a minority of Muslims in Iran justifies the risk of a pre-emptive attack, which will kill hundreds and has the potential to kill millions.”""

Can you extrapolate the amount of casualties that would result from a global nuclear conflict? No small risk there. Do you think it a small risk to give heed to someone who specifically says he plans to wipe a sovereign nation off the map? Would you allow a man you threatened to kill you get a gun? How is this a small risk? How are nuclear armed terrorists a small risk? Help me to understand this.

""“..However it exposes the root issue of legitimacy, and hopefully puts it in a context where you are suddenly on my side of the fence.”""

China wanting to reintegrate Taiwan has no contextual similarity with Vietnam, Iraq or Iran. China has no desire to do this for the betterment of anyone involved other than themselves.

""“At it's most basic, actual people are being killed to prevent potential deaths, but many, certainly a majority, of the rest of us think that calculation is horribly flawed.”""

So your idea is let these “potential deaths” become real deaths before we take action? Would it have been worth killing “actual” people to prevent the Holocaust? How about the genocide in Sudan?
You see, by the time we realize those “potential deaths” are no longer potential, those people are already gone. Naturally, Iran slinging threats and promising military (or terrorist) action to any that oppose them getting nuclear technology is not a catalyst for diplomacy. But they will not get the blame for putting their citizenry at risk, we will. I call that a horribly flawed calculation.

""“War, if it is to undertaken at all, needs to be sanctioned by a global majority in an agreed forum. No vetoes, no "but we are the good guys!!", no "but they might be planning something!".”""

As stated above, it’s hard to get a global majority when people are opposing saving lives or toppling dictators because it would interfere with their profiteering…or for the sole reason that they do not like you.

Anonymous said...

A comment for your comment Heralder. Thank you. Have you learned that, as Buck Sargent so well stated, it is a waste of good time to try to correct a fool or to convince the enemy of anything. There is a concerted effort by the enemies of our country to bombard great blog sites with propaganda. Check it out. You will see the pattern and the propaganda. Yet another effort to discourage true americans. It is backfiring because we have also taken note that many, many americans who were passive in the past are no longer so. The more the propagandist spout the old worn out lies the more americans are realizing what is happening. Maybe we should thank them. (not really) But we do thank you and the millions of blog readers and thinking people of our great country!!!!! You are right on.
Annie and Neatie

bmcworldcitizen said...

the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

Quoting the definition of terrorism is something of an own goal I’m afraid.

What on earth was all the sabre rattling for prior to the invasion of Iraq, and currently going on with regard to Iran?

Is it calculated to reassure the Iranian people that the US has their best interests at heart?

What else is the US trying to achieve other than ideological and political change in the Middle East? This is a stated goal. In the first instance, by overt threats of violence, and in the second, by actual attacks.

When you engage in pre-emptive warfare, which kills tens of thousands of civilians, leaving the infrastructure of a country shattered, the line between what you are engaging in, and state terrorism becomes perilously thin.

Almost all the hysterical questions you pose are hypothetical, and thus unanswerable. Try and stick to the facts.

1) Iran has no nuclear weapons, and is at least 3 to 5 years away from developing one (1).
2) They deny wanting to obtain one (1).
3) They annually spend roughly 4% of the annual US military spend.
4) Any nuclear attack would result in complete annihilation of Iran and the regime.
5) Although a repressive regime, they have all the infrastructure of democracy working, albeit within strictly managed limits.
6) They have a young pro American population.

Ironically, Iran is perhaps the one country in the Middle East that could slide peacefully into full-fledged democracy.

Given the above facts, any decision to bomb, attack or nuke Iran on the evidence available to date is not simply completely immoral, but utterly self defeating.

Finally Herald, here is the deal. You and I are in danger. The Iranian government have plenty of reasons to distrust and hate the US given its baleful involvement in their history to date. It would be ludicrous to contend that waiting and monitoring does not have risks.

However given the facts above, the risks, even in the long-term are small. The split between us comes because I proceed from the assumption that American, Iranian and European lives are of equal value.

A pre-emptive attack potentially makes sense in a context where, "our" lives are considered valuable and "their" lives worthless.

Thus no matter how many of them are killed 1, 10 a million, it's worth it, because potential "us" lives may have been saved.

Now I'm not saying I wouldn't have my crossover point, where the risk would be so acute that action would be unavoidable, and my own sense of self preservation would trump my revulsion for military action, but we are many years away from that.

The truth is simple, but I’m not certain you can face up to your own bigotry. You, perhaps unconsciously, think Iranian (and Iraqi) lives are worthless. In that context, any attack of any scale, at any time almost makes sense. The tragedy is that, even with your extreme logic, you are still wrong.

Anonymous said...

Heralder - - -Point proven. One thing they fight hardest against is the truth. Remember - it is the truth that will set us free and keep us free. Thanks Sgt Boggs, once again for your honest and informative blogs. Keep up the good fight and I can agree with Gyspy here. We have your backs here at home against the enemy.
Annie and Neatie

Heralder said...

bmcworldcitizen:

Hm. Here I was having a conversation with Brian (who at least is cordial), and it turns out that not only am I wrong, almost all my questions are hypothetical and thus unanswerable, and finally that I'm a bigot...unconsciously so at that.
Thanks! Why pay for a psychiatrist when you can diagnose me for free, right?

Own up to it bmc, it's not that my hypothetical questions are unanswerable, it's that if you answered them honestly you'd find you had no leg to stand on.

That's ok though. No need to answer them anyway, because they weren't directed at you.

Let me respond to you, however, in less "hypothetical" means.

""*Quoting the definition of terrorism is something of an own goal I’m afraid.*""

Quoting the definition of terrorism was only for the benefit of making a correction of terms.

*""What on earth was all the sabre rattling for prior to the invasion of Iraq, and currently going on with regard to Iran?
Is it calculated to reassure the Iranian people that the US has their best interests at heart?*""

It's letting the governments of said countries know that we aren't going to roll over and simply issue a resolution and forget about them like has been done in the past.

We have never threatened the Iranian people.

""*What else is the US trying to achieve other than ideological and political change in the Middle East? This is a stated goal. In the first instance, by overt threats of violence, and in the second, by actual attacks.*""

Not only (why the hell do I have to explain this to you, have you been asleep for 5 years?) are we attempting to affect a positive political change there (i.e., democracy) but were are giving those who would slaughter innocents as a STATED GOAL a taste of their own blood. If you wish to talk to a mass murdering fanatic wearing a suicide belt, or perhaps hand him a U.N. resolution formally condemning his actions, I welcome you to do so...it'll only hurt for a brief moment.

Is killing terrorists and toppling dictators and ideology you disagree with? If so, I don't think you're fit to make character judgments on anyone.
What about democracy...disagree with that? It appears the Iraqi voters don't.

So to quite directly answer your obtuse accusation: no we're not terrorists.

""*Almost all the hysterical questions you pose are hypothetical, and thus unanswerable. Try and stick to the facts."*""

Hysterical. Wrong adjective. Nothing hysterical about them in the least.

Let's look at your facts.

""*1) Iran has no nuclear weapons, and is at least 3 to 5 years away from developing one (1).*""

Exactly, that's why we should do nothing at all. Smile and nod at Iran's genocidal threats...we have 3 to 5 years until they act on them. If you ever get cancer I suspect you'll wait until you have a month to live to get chemotherapy...just to make sure it was really cancer.

""*2) They deny wanting to obtain one (1).*""

Well, you got me there. Since they denied wanting one I guess that means they're telling the truth. They were just concealing the program for years because it'd be more fun to see the look on our faces when they finally revealed it.

""*3) They annually spend roughly 4% of the annual US military spend.*""

Yes and cats have whiskers. What?

How much military spending does it take to hand a low yield nuclear device to Hezbollah?

""*4) Any nuclear attack would result in complete annihilation of Iran and the regime.*""

*Hypothetical Question Alert*

What about if a nuclear explosion took place without Iran launching anything? Who's going to be able to pin it on them if they sail or truck one into a country?
And you're using the Mutually Assured Destruction clause with people like the Iranian president? This is a man that *encourages people to blow themselves up to kill others.*

Good call bmc.

""*5) Although a repressive regime, they have all the infrastructure of democracy working, albeit within strictly managed limits.*""

Hey that's great. Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Iran and nuclear weapons.

""*6) They have a young pro American population.*""

...living in a repressive regime.

We're working through the U.N. to get this handled your way. This U.S. bombing of Iran you "hysterically" speak of is just a "hypothetical" situation, so I wont address it.

""*The Iranian government have plenty of reasons to distrust and hate the US given its baleful involvement in their history to date.*""

Yes, it all comes back to us in the end doesn't it? If someone doesn't like the U.S. it's not them, no, it's us. It has nothing to with the leader of Iran being a homicidal maniac.

""*the split between us comes because I proceed from the assumption that American, Iranian and European lives are of equal value.*""

bmcworldcitizen..hey, it's me Heralder. Yeah, can you come down of your moral mountaintop and join the conversation? Thanks.

I've said nothing that would lead any stable-minded person to think I value American lives more than Iranian or European lives. In fact if you remember back in my previous post, the two examples I gave to pre-emption were the Holocaust and Sudan. Where does valuing American lives more come into that equation?

""*A pre-emptive attack potentially makes sense in a context where, "our" lives are considered valuable and "their" lives worthless.*""

No, it doesn't.

""*The truth is simple, but I’m not certain you can face up to your own bigotry. You, perhaps unconsciously, think Iranian (and Iraqi) lives are worthless. In that context, any attack of any scale, at any time almost makes sense. The tragedy is that, even with your extreme logic, you are still wrong.*""

For someone who wants to "try and stick with the facts" you sure are keen on trying to base an argument on who you think I may or may not be or what I may or may not believe.

No amount of abstraction is going to validate your argument my friend.
I am not distracted by your condescension, or your righteous arrogance, to cover your failure in constructing a salient point.

Heralder said...

I guess I'm just too stubborn to let certain things go ;)

Annie & Neatie,

Thank you for your previous compliment...I appreciate it.

I can't get the italic and bold tags to work for some reason, hence the annoying jumbled quoting in my responses.

JohnD said...

Heralder and A&N,
Thank you for your thoughts.
When it all comes to a finality you truly know that America is surely to blame. I wouldn't be surprised to find out we told Eve about the apple. Of course, in order to placate our PC writers, told Pandora to open the box as well.
Keep voting! (I trust your judgement)

bmcworldcitizen said...

Heralder you are stubborn, but so am I:-)

Let me try an summarise my main point as concisley as possible.

Dropping bombs on Iran will kill innocent civilians. You, and it seems everyone else on this blog are in favour of that, primarily to protect American lives.

However, there is not even a strong circumstantial case that there is serious threat. You may not agree with that assessment, but it is widely held.

I also note that you didn't make any serious attempt to refute the 6 major points I listed, which I suspect means you agree but find them inconvenient. Your responses can perhaps be characterised as ringing rabble rousers, but low on content:-)

You appear to have taken mild offense at the term bigotry. What I actually suggested was that you were engaging in a kind of unconcious bigotry.

Heralder, I thought I was going easy.

This is the kindest assessment that can be made of clearly articulate and intelligent people who are cheerleading the incineration of innocent people on the flimsiest of evidence.

bmcworldcitizen said...

So now to the body of your comments.

The hypothetical questions you posed are problematic. You pose some unlikely extreme that only a suicidal idiot could disagree with. I wasn't keen on taking up reams of airtime on the subject, but if you are going to be snooty, you force my hand:-)

Can you extrapolate the amount of casualties that would result from a global nuclear conflict?

No. However, what makes you think this conflict would not go nuclear based on unsanctioned US involvement? The Iranians have no nuclear weapons, but the Chinese do, the Russians and the Israelis. Right now.

Why should I be more worried about non-existent nuclear weapons, for which even the intent to procure is denied, when we have actual nuclear weapons that could be deployed?

I hope you'll concede that given these nuclear weapons actually exist, that the risk of use is greater?

would you allow a man you threatened to kill you get a gun?

Sure I’d try and prevent it. Would I kill him, before he got the gun? Depends I suppose how existentially threatened I felt, but I guess it’s on the periphery of possible.

Would I plant a bomb on the city block he and his family lived in? That’s your option.

Time-consuming stuff, I hope I’ve made my pointJ


Yes, it all comes back to us in the end doesn't it? If someone doesn't like the U.S. it's not them, no, it's us. It has nothing to with the leader of Iran being a homicidal maniac.

Not it’s not all the US, but you have got to know you are not helping. The leader of Iran is a practically a mirror image of Bush, a swaggering loud mouthed, aggressive not terribly bright populist. Is he Satan incarnate? No. Is he planning world domination? No. Is he in a position to dominate the world? Still no. Does he stay stupid and odd things? Yes. Something else he has in common with BushJ Can he follow through on them? No. He does not have the position or the support, even a cursory glance at Iranian politics since the revolution make this plain. The guys who decide stuff are the Mullahs, and they have exhibited only rational behaviour to date.

You note that the US is taking the UN route. That’s lovely, but utterly meaningless if the “wrong” answer will simply be ignored. What’s the point of that?

No amount of abstraction is going to validate your argument my friend.
I am not distracted by your condescension, or your righteous arrogance, to cover your failure in constructing a salient point.


The points are all there; you though seem to inhabit the parallel universe reserved for the unredeemable Bush supporter. In this universe, military action is always the best way, and the route that whatever despot of the week has forced you to sadly choose against your will. In fact this difficult choice makes you an heroic figure. Snap out of the trance.

Think about it.

Iran is 4 times the size of Iraq
They have an actual army
They pose no existential threat to the US or the EU, and they never will
The worst possible thing we can imagine is at least 3 years away, and all the facilities used to “build a bomb” are under continued inspection
The US is already over stretched in Iraq

The support of you and millions like you will decide how this plays out. I may be a self-righteous ass on occasion, but I won’t have the death of innocent people on my conscience.

bmcworldcitizen said...

One last point. I have been grinding my teeth over Dafur for the last 18 months.

That is an actual situation in which peacekeeping would make sense.

The issue here is with the security council which is completely hamstrung by the Chinese veto.

The only way to work around this is to eliminate the vetoes in the security council, including the American veto.

bmcworldcitizen said...

you can get the italics etc. working like this :

Bracket what you want to bold or italicise at the start with <..B..> and at the end with <../b..>

Use i for italics and remove the fullstops, I just put them in to prevent the html tags from activating.

Heralder said...

bmcworldcitizen:

This reply should be more legible than my last now that I know how to use the tags. Thanks.

<..i..>Dropping bombs on Iran will kill innocent civilians. You, and it seems everyone else on this blog are in favour of that, primarily to protect American lives.<../i..>

Unfortunately it would, yes. The tens of thousands I’ve seen quoted seems a bit off. If it were to happen I think you know that we would be targeting the facilities and not carpet bombing. To protect American lives? Maybe in the long run, but the people at risk right away are the people of Europe.

<..i..>However, there is not even a strong circumstantial case that there is serious threat. You may not agree with that assessment, but it is widely held.<../i..>

I think whenever we’re talking about a country where there is no separation between church and state it’s hard to think them getting a nuclear weapon is not a serious threat. Your assessment being widely held is conjecture.

<..i..>I also note that you didn't make any serious attempt to refute the 6 major points I listed, which I suspect means you agree but find them inconvenient. Your responses can perhaps be characterised as ringing rabble rousers, but low on content:-)<../i..>

Because many were sarcastic responses, does make them less of an answer. At least 4 of your 6 points were not at all “major” in constructing an argument against the threat of Iran…and I said as much. Specifically, points 2,3,5 and 6.

<..i..>You appear to have taken mild offense at the term bigotry. What I actually suggested was that you were engaging in a kind of unconcious bigotry.<../i..>

Yes I took offense to it. Your personal, unwarranted, and unfounded character judgments have no place in this debate. You did more than suggest bigotry, you made an outright accusation. Would it be constructive or true to this conversation if I “suggested” you’re a disingenuous anti-American terrorist sympathizer? I thought not.
What made it more insulting is that you used it to compare me to you, and I don’t think you need publicly masturbate here about how morally superior you think you are. Besides the fact of it being erroneous, it’s also arrogant to assume so much.

<..i..>This is the kindest assessment that can be made of clearly articulate and intelligent people who are cheerleading the incineration of innocent people on the flimsiest of evidence.<../i..>

This is where we cannot come to terms. Evidence you believe flimsy, I do not. What you call “cheerleading”, I would call “not ruling out”. I consider things actual <..b..>common sense<../b..> that you consider a slim risk. We are on two different planes of existence.

<..i..> However, what makes you think this conflict would not go nuclear based on unsanctioned US involvement?<../i..>

That’s the whole point bmc, if we felt forced to deal with Iran by force, it would <..b..>so<../b..> the conflict doesn’t go nuclear 5 years from now.

<..i..> The Iranians have no nuclear weapons, but the Chinese do, the Russians and the Israelis. Right now.

Why should I be more worried about non-existent nuclear weapons, for which even the intent to procure is denied, when we have actual nuclear weapons that could be deployed?

I hope you'll concede that given these nuclear weapons actually exist, that the risk of use is greater?<../i..>

You’re failing to take into account <..b>who<../b..> has the weapons into your risk factor.
Who would you feel safer having around?

1) An armed police officer.
2) An unarmed Zacarias Moussaoui,
who is looking to arm himself.

I see the inherent flaw in my questioning here. You obviously do not see the current owners of nuclear weapons as option 1. So lets remove Russia and China from the equation, being that they are busy blocking sanctions against Iran because it would interfere with their huge military and technology contracts. (Do keep in mind, however, how long they’ve had them and not used them.) 1 or 2?

<..i..> Would I plant a bomb on the city block he and his family lived in? That’s your option<../i..>

Actually it’s not. It’s more like bombing all the shops that are working to supply him with a weapon because they too want you dead.

<..i..>The leader of Iran is a practically a mirror image of Bush..<../i..>

Wow. If you can’t see the obvious and operational differences between these two men and their motives than I’m not going to waste the time telling you. I’ll sum it up with: Which one of the two said another country should be <..b..>wiped off the map<../b..> because of religious and racial hatred?

<..i..>You note that the US is taking the UN route. That’s lovely, but utterly meaningless if the “wrong” answer will simply be ignored. What’s the point of that?<../i..>

Who said the “wrong answer” would be ignored? We’re (U.S. and Europe) trying to pass sanctions on them now. If they continue with uranium enrichment past that (which they basically said they will) than it has been stated that military action is “on the table”, meaning it will not be ruled out as a possible course of action.

<..i..>The points are all there; you though seem to inhabit the parallel universe reserved for the unredeemable Bush supporter. In this universe, military action is always the best way, and the route that whatever despot of the week has forced you to sadly choose against your will. In fact this difficult choice makes you an heroic figure. Snap out of the trance.<../i..>

Actually, funny you should mention it. I voted for Clinton, Gore and Kerry respectively. But as time passed and I read more and more about what the liberal left had to say, I became polarized. Thinking back there were only few things that I overtly disagreed with that Bush had done. If he were up for another term, I would vote for him now (either way I’m now voting republican)…and this is coming from someone who believes military action is rarely the best way.

I think something that has always appealed to my sensibilities is responsibility for one’s own actions. I realized that the liberal left disagrees wholeheartedly with this idea. It’s always someone else’s fault…big government, big corporations, “The Man” the U.S.; which leads to ridiculous conspiracy theories that are needed to validate their reality…to the degree that many support the idea that we orchestrated 9/11. It was so alien for them to blame <..b..>anyone<../b..> else for something that they cannot place responsibility on Islamofascists and their supporters. Even those who do, then blame U.S. policy for “making” these murderers.

In their world, the underdog is always right…they are always being oppressed by imperialistic powers.

Zacarias Moussaoui had a rough childhood? Well then it’s not his <..b..>fault<../b..> he took part in 9/11 and laughed and chided the grieving families.

Iran continues to up the ante, they continue to defy the U.N. and it’s member countries, knowing full well that it is they, not <..b..>us<../b..> that are putting them and their citizens at risk. But they know that if they force our hand they will always have sympathetic ears when they blame others for what happened.

We are telling them “do not pick up the gun, or I may be forced to shoot you” and they are saying “f-k you, I dare you to do it.” Yes, it really is that simple.

It must be so nice to never do anything wrong. It must be so nice to be protected by others to the degree that you can <..b..>afford<../b..> to be a pacifist. Can you tell me what it’s like bmc? I’m dying to know.

<..i..>The worst possible thing we can imagine is at least 3 years away, and all the facilities used to “build a bomb” are under continued inspection<../i..>

Are they? The IAEA just reported to the U.N. that Iran failed to comply with inspections…hence the deliberation of sanctions.

Heralder said...

I'd swear I'm not an idiot..yet again I failed to make the tags work.

*sigh*

bmcworldcitizen said...

You need to leave the ... out of the <..b..> otherwise they work

bmcworldcitizen said...

Phew ... that was a fairly rough post. I don't think either of us are saying much that is new, and the tone is certainly fraying around the edges.

I genuinely do not see the risks you see. Plus Iraq is patently a basket case, and it seems a perverse exercise in maschocism to want more of the same.

Bottom line? The UN is never going to sanction military action. For the reasons you stated yourself. That means the US will go it completely alone, because not even the UK will touch this. If the US does go it alone, it's going to be worse than Iraq, it's going to take longer, and the US will come out of it badly damaged. A deserved global pariah, and seriously in hock to the Chinese. What a dystopian nightmare. The Iranian's of course will be pulverised.

What will be gained by it? No one can possibly say. War simply throws the cards up in the air, and they fall … wherever. Maybe Pakistan will go Taliban and nuke India, or Israel or both? The Iranians, if attacked will hit everything and anything they can. Which is quite a lot really given the 150,000 US troops in Iraq. They will almost certainly have a go at Israel, who knows how they will respond? Once you let the genie out of the bottle …. You read it here first.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

bmcworldcitizen:

We will agree to disagree and I can relieve these poor readers of my ineptitude with bold and italic tags.

Hopefully we don't have to attribute military resources to Iran, and our coalition can finish their work in Iraq (which we also disagree on being a basket case.)

Take Care.

Anonymous said...

Agree with him ot not, T.F.'s Birthday is Sunday, May 7th!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you - -Happy Birthday to youuu - -Happy Birthday dear Boggsyyy - -Happy Birthday to You!! Checking in the mirror for gray hairs in the temples are you? We will celebrate for you today by having a 4 layer chocolate cake, with candles, and home made ice cream. We will eat 3 pieces for you and you will enjoy it. We will eat the rest for your buddies. When you get home we hope to give you your birthday spanking- - - plus one for being late and one to grow on. Many more Tim and thanks for being born.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!
Your grateful fans who actually like you.
Annie & Neatie
The package is in the mail!!!!

Heralder said...

Happy belated Birthday Boggs!

Anonymous said...

Brain I'm sure you will find some way to turn it around but I have to ask...

Do you feel Iran is behind some of the killing going on in Iraq?

I do.

I'm no expert like you but being a human being that enjoys life I'd say they (Iran) are looking to step it up. 9/11 was a bad day, I woke up my dad (in NY) when it first went down and told him to turn on the local news. My brother worked for the NYPA and his office was on the 74th floor east side of WTC #1. I'll never forget hearing my dad break down over the phone when the 2nd plane hit my Bro's building.

They (Islamist freaks)want to kill us (us being anyone who is not them). I doubt they will do the nuke thing themselves but I strongly believe that they will do a statue of liberty pass (pun intended) to any of the many sick G’sods they claim to have waiting in the wings ready to die for Allah.

Boggs thanks for the Blogs and Buck really hit it on the head. I am so very sick of the left turning everything round.

LondonCaspian said...

Interesting blog! I just came across this.

What the world needs is more dialogue between nations not war mongering leaders. The US is the only super power but this will change over time and they will eventually loose this status. That's not me trying to piss on your fire guys but that's the reality of history.

The question is how can everyone in the world feel safe and secure, not just the American people. Attacking Iran would be one of the most foolish things that anyone can do right now. Yes, Iran may be pulverised by American power but the concequences will not stop there. bmcworldcitizen is right.

Maureen O'Grady said...

Sgt. Boggs, I absolutely love this post. Thank you, thank you thank you. It is so great to hear the perspective of a soldier who is actually THERE and who has a knowledge of the context of the situation -- ie., a person who has read some history and can pull some threads out to connect the dots for folks.

I believe this is a high concept war that is not going to be understood by everyone... because they are not seeing the far reaching vision of it, and they have no historical context they are basing their opinions on.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful posts.