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What Noble Cause?
Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey, 24, died in Iraq, and she wants to know why:

"I want to ask the president, `Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?'" she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "Last week, you said my son died for a noble cause and I want to ask him what that noble cause is?"

I have no idea. Help her out, Bush apologists. We'd all love to know. (And I say that, not as some tie-dyed, peace sign-toting Birkenstock wearer with a daisy between her toes, but as somebody who thinks we should have flattened Afghanistan taking out Bin Laden.)

Posted by aalkon at August 6, 2005 7:59 AM

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Rather than apologize for Mr. Bush, let me remind everyone that it is the plain duty of Congress, the gutless wonders appropriating your tax money and equipping your neighbors for war, to declare war. The War Powers Act was invented to let a sitting President swing in the breeze while Congress goes to the beach to relax.

The lay public doesn't want to deal with an *assistant* manager if they get cold French fries, so I expect them not to deal with Congress.

Posted by: Radwaste at August 7, 2005 3:52 AM

To transform a region that has only known despotism and tyranny that has resulted in a breeding ground for an ideology of hatred that has intentionally attacked and killed thousands of civillians throughout the world.

Her son fought and died "over there" so that someday we can return to a society where cops in London, New York, or anywhere else in the Western world don't have to chase down Muslim-looking men and shoot them seven times in the head for fear that they may be carrying a bomb.

You already know all this (it's been explained to you in your comments many times over). Obviously you and many other people disagree with the strategy. But you lost the debate when Bush won the last election. Instead of dealing with it like a rational adult, you attack and needle any way possible like a spoiled child. You didn't get your way so you throw up these fake arguments like a little kid throwing a temper tantrum.

It's like that girl who wrote in for some advice on her boyfriend's porno watching. You essentially told her that guys think differently than women and she needs to get over it and stop throwing temper tantrums about it. You need to do the same thing. We're in Iraq. Get over it. Start contributing to the debate on how to win this war, rather than whining about how you lost the last debate.

P.S. Sorry to be rude on your blog, but you threw down the gauntlet with this post. You're smart, probably smarter than me, hell of a lot funnier, and I can't even touch your writing skills. But suggesting that killing Bin Laden would have solved all our problems is just plain stupid.

Posted by: nash at August 7, 2005 8:25 AM

Nash, I've posted megabytes of nearly identical rhetoric on here over the last two years. Suggestion: Do not let your feelings be hurt when in the weeks ahead it's apparent that she's not taken your points or even read your comments.

Bush may well be a mediocre president, but those who hate him most pursue their dislike with a child's love of inane magical principle. Same thing happened with Clinton, too.

Posted by: Cridland at August 7, 2005 8:43 AM

I don't know, Nash. There's no evolutionary mandate that says we have to be in Iraq. If we weren't so dependent on their oil couldn't we have dealt with them some other way (embargos, etc) and had more support from the rest of the world? And for God's sake if we are going to send our boys over there, let's be completely aggressive and give the best possible support and equipment. Let's get the hell out of there!!! I see this thing dragging on forever like Vietnam. I have two gorgeous draft-age sons. What's going to happen to them when they run out of voluntary enlistees? We CAN put the blame for this mess on Bush. He’s the Commander in Chief! You do make a good point -- we're over there, so let's finish it up and get the hell out.

Posted by: kuery at August 7, 2005 8:50 AM

How we win the war? It seems even the war professionals are clueless on that one. We don't seem to be winning in the war against extremism either; merely breeding more.

"To transform a region that has only known despotism and tyranny that has resulted in a breeding ground for an ideology of hatred that has intentionally attacked and killed thousands of civillians throughout the world.

Her son fought and died "over there" so that someday we can return to a society where cops in London, New York, or anywhere else in the Western world don't have to chase down Muslim-looking men and shoot them seven times in the head for fear that they may be carrying a bomb."

Sorry, but how, exactly, are we accomplishing this by being in Iraq, and how, exactly are we going to "win"?

Perhaps killing Bin Laden wouldn't have "solved all of our problems," but being in Iraq doesn't seem to be doing the job either. We have terrorists after us, and instead of attacking them, we're attacking a third party.

I have nowhere near the animus for Clinton or Bush Senior that I do for the dangerous, anti-science Bush Junior.

Again, there's Kuery's point: if we weren't so dependent on their oil, and if we'd approached this with some rudimentary diplomacy...and, if we'd actually armed the kids over there properly. Maybe those sending kids to war should send them as if they were their own kids -- ie, not have them digging through junkyards for armor. Again, if the blame doesn't fall on bush, please tell me where we point the finger? Iraq is a mess. Another Vietnam, I'd guess.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 7, 2005 9:51 AM

Oh no, it's the all - purpose, one - size - fits - all argument of "It's all about the oil." That's entirely specious, particularly when you consider that Iraq's oil proficiency was severely damaged by the war, and is still nowhere near its pre - war capacity.

As for the grieving mother, my heart goes out to her and all of the military families who lose loved ones, but what did she expect when her son enlisted? That he'd be peacekeeping somewhere in Europe? When you enlist in any branch of the armed services, they're not shy about telling you what your duties will entail, and that you may be called into service where you're in harm's way.

The media can always be relied on to do this kind of "grave robbing" reportage, but they never seem to get around to interviewing those parents who are proud of their sons and daughters for their service to their country, in spite of their grief. What a nauseating example of extreme bias.

Posted by: Dmac at August 7, 2005 10:00 AM

> what did she expect when her son enlisted?
> That he'd be peacekeeping somewhere in Europe?

Everyone's clued into the disconnect here, right? We've been out of Vietnam for 30 years. But in the seventh decade since our invasion, we have over 100,000 troops in Europe. But no one ever seemed bothered by that, or ever called Europe a "quagmire." Isolationists are either not paying attention or not thinking clearly.

> Iraq's oil proficiency was severely
> damaged by the war...

It's my understanding that the the oil fields had been maintain with duct tape and bailing wire for the last 30 years. Iraq's brutalized economy has done more to impede production than has war or terrorism.

> if we'd approached this with some
> rudimentary diplomacy...

Oh, stop. Is THIS the kind of 'diplomacy' you had it mind?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Great_Leader_Comrade_Kim_Jong_Il_(122).jpg

Playing footsie with fucktards is what got us into this.

Posted by: Crid at August 7, 2005 11:21 AM

Forgive me, but I wasn't aware American soldiers were being attacked by insurgents in West Germany.

The point, among others, is, we're maintaining oil fields -- not starting to fuel our cars with sugar like Brazil or use alternative means.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 7, 2005 12:05 PM

How is it not about the oil? Maybe the production over there sucks right now, but ultimately someone's gonna get it out of the ground. Greedy Americans want that someone to be greedy Americans. Read Paul Hawken's "The Ecology of Commerce". We're essentially spending millions of years worth of the planet's energy savings account in a couple of irresponsible centuries. Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Posted by: Diana at August 7, 2005 12:29 PM

Kuery: Embargoes don't work. Do a search for "UN oil for food scandal."

I'm all for total war and ready to see millions of Muslims die if it ends this war in a week. Most people would object, so we've chosen a strategy that will take a decade or more.

Amy: you're missing the forest for the trees. You've been given the big picture many times over but you refuse to see it. One last attempt--go here and read these essays:

http://denbeste.nu/cd_Articles/TheEssentialLibrary.shtml

You may not agree, but you won't be able to argue from ignorance anymore.

Sugar fuels sound good to me but I'm sure there is some downside. You and I live in California where baking bread is considered an environmental hazard. I've never seen an honest article that presents both the costs and benefits of alternative fuels.

The reason we are maintaining Iraq's oil field is because they will need the income to build a stable democracy. But their production is just a drop in the bucket compared to world production.

Posted by: nash at August 7, 2005 12:54 PM

"Again, if the blame doesn't fall on bush, please tell me where we point the finger?"

Dear lady, I have already done this! Congress has the plain duty of supporting or denying all sustained action with other nations.

As to this being about oil, that is simplistic at best.

Please note that, as I mentioned in another thread, emissions treatments are different for different fuels. With millions of automobiles calibrated for gasoline, no one is going to switch to alcohol or vegetable oil unless they flatly cannot afford gasoline; then, they will have to have a new engine or vehicle, the production of which calls for yet more energy expenditure.

Posted by: Radwaste at August 7, 2005 3:05 PM

> I wasn't aware American soldiers were being
> attacked by insurgents in West Germany.

Exactly, but you never complained about the generations of warmakers we've ensconced there. Let's all try to guess without looking it up on Google: In the several decades since the end of hostilities in world war II, have more soldiers died in routine losses (accidents, etc,) in European service than have died in Iraq since, say, May 1st, 2003?

Tough call, ain't it?

> ...attacked by insurgents...

Hitchens has already dispensed with this wording:

http://www.slate.com/id/2118820/

But let me ask: Does the fact that someone on this planet somewhere might want to fight against something (ie, basic human freedoms) mean that we should lay off? Are we otherwise completely reliant on Albright's White Wine Wayfarers? (Even SHE didn't think so back in the day... Just ask Colin Powell[!])

And yet I say, merely hating W is not a sensible policy of righteous contrarianism. You're hating the wrong guys, though hateful they may be.

> Again, if the blame doesn't fall on bush...

He's merely president, he's not the author of Life on Earth.

> Iraq's [...] production is just a drop in
> the bucket compared to world production.

But it's either the first or second best pool of oil in the known universe. We should have faith that this wealth will be able to sustain a capitalist democracy of 25 million a few hundred feet overhead.

> go here and read these essays...

Dude, I'll send you flowers if Alkon actually makes time to read that material with anything like a thoughtful eye. In the past, SDB himself has come to this forum without AA (or her readers) caring much.

Posted by: Crid at August 7, 2005 4:45 PM

Sorry, read and yet I say as AGAIN (etc)

One should drink and comment at the same time, but this friend came by with a bottle of sake.

Posted by: crid at August 7, 2005 4:47 PM

Crid wrote:

>And yet I say, merely hating W is not a sensible >policy of righteous contrarianism. You're hating >the wrong guys, though hateful they may be.

So who do you hold responsible?

Posted by: Mad Hungarian at August 8, 2005 7:26 AM

I blame the vegetarians.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at August 8, 2005 5:03 PM

Here's a nice response to Crazy Cindy from one Mommamontezz:

Your son, as well as every other soldier killed in this conflict, died because he made an informed and conscious decision to join the military of a nation committed to protecting its citizens during a time of terror and upheaval. To say he was duped by a recruiter with promises of cash and a guarenteed slot in the Chaplancy is to call into question and discount to the world his intelligence, his sense of duty, his honor, and his manhood. You turn him from the man he was into the child you raised. He earned his manhood and independence, and the world owes him it's respect.

Your son died because he stepped up bravely when he was needed and did what was necessary to quell rioting near Baghdad. He knew the risk and accepted it.

Your son died because thousands of foreign nationals cross the border into Iraq every day from such places as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Jordan, Palestinian Israel, Morrocco, Pakistan. They cross the border and take up arms, not for the freedom of a nation, but to preserve the status quo of corruption, despotism, fanatisism, and intollerance. They do so, emboldened by the words and deeds of those here who do not merely question or debate the war, but who take up verbal and written arms against this nation, her government, and her military for no other reasons than intellectual arrogance and political intollerance.

Your son is dead because France and Germany and Russia put their own greed and self interest ahead of the good of an entire people held in servitude by the avarice and ego of one man, Saddam Hussain, and his quest for ever increasing territory and power in the Middle East. Even after the US pulled away from him after the gas attacks during the Iran-Iraq war, these countries and more continued to trade with him, enhancing his military and his outlandish palaces while leaving his country in ever increasing poverty. If you want to yell "No Blood for Oil" and accurately address the involved parties, you will need to have a visa and risk imprisonment. Most of these countries are not nearly as open to dissent as what you are used to.

If you want to know why your son is dead, look in the mirror. He is dead because you raised him right, in spite of your behavior now. ...

Posted by: Richard Bennett at August 10, 2005 5:26 PM

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