Monday, November 06, 2006

To have no secret place

Victor Davis Hanson compares Ted Haggard and John Kerry to the character Pentheus in Euripede's play Bacchae. Pentheus starts off in the play as a moral crusader, but is secretly debauched. He secretly indulges in the vice he pretends to abhor. And before long Pentheus is destroyed by Nemesis, that agency of destruction from the gods.


In that latter tragedy, the young king vows to stomp out the new cult of Dionysos, with its celebration of wine and, more darkly to Pentheus, sexual liberation, particularly of women.

But after spending the first half of the play, mustering the forces of decency, in an eerie exchange with the disguised god, Pentheus himself shows a dark curiosity about what he wants to drive out. Soon he is cross-dressing, engaging in voyeurism, and ends up torn apart by the wild Bacchant women, among them his own mother. Euripides reminds us to seek balance in life, and to moderate our passions, especially the zealotry that may masque inner desires for the forbidden. Bacchae is a great play, Euripides’ last, and timeless in its wisdom about human frailty.

It's useful when making classical comparisons to get some sense of what these words originally meant. Nemesis was a woman. Or rather she was a goddess. According to Wikpedia.

Nemesis was ... the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris, vengeful fate personified as a remorseless goddess. The name Nemesis is related to the Greek word ... meaning "to give what is due". The Romans equated one aspect of Greek Nemesis, which might be translated "indignation at unmerited advantage",

Hubris was a crime. In ancient Greece it was the equivalent of "from what might today be termed assault and battery, to sexual assault, to the theft of public or sacred property". It was not, as we think it today, a case of overambition but of unjustified bullying. Aristotle defined hubris as a kind of sadistic assertion of one's putative superiority. It was not the scope of the act but its quality of meanness which made hubris hateful to the gods.

Hubris consists in doing or saying things that cause shame to the victim, not in order that anything may happen to you, nor because anything has happened to you, but merely for your own gratification. Hubris is not the requital of past injuries; this is revenge. As for the pleasure in hubris, its cause is this: men think that by ill-treating others they make their own superiority the greater.

In Haggard's case, it wasn't that he was opposed to homosexuality — many people reject homosexuality —  but the fact that he publicly prosecuted homosexuality out of a sense of false righteousness which fulfilled the condition of hubris. In Kerry's case, it was that he needlessly and gratuitously sniffed down at members of the service who protected him from the height of his great social position and wealth. Not because he had to, but because he could. In both cases the offense wasn't the men's views, but their cowardly malice that was so repulsive. It was exactly a kind of assault and battery, or sexual assault. In Kerry's case it was probably even akin to the theft of public or sacred property.

The public event to which the word "hubris" has been so grossly misapplied has been Operation Iraqi Freedom. The attempt to rid the Middle East of a dictator, bring democracy to the inhabitants of a country and provide it with billions of dollars in reconstruction money without seeking a single square kilometer of sovereignty or looted drop of oil in return may be a many things: a poorly executed plan, an overambitious program — but it was not hubris. That's a word better applied to Sykes and Picot who drew up Iraq with colored pencils on a map. Or better applied to the man now facing a rope for trying to invade Iran and Kuwait, then secretly attack America on his way to being the leader of the new Babylon. Fair minds and generous hearts may be battered, but not from hubris. Misfortune may come, but nemesis will pass them by.

I don't suppose it's possible to leave this topic without quoting Edward Guest's My Creed, who expressed the kind of modesty each man needs as his shield — not from Fortune — but from Nemesis.

To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.
To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.
To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.

42 Comments:

Blogger Charles Frith said...

I can assure you that a considerable portion of the world see hubris in the current administrations inability to send a single son to the war but have no problems justifying other sons as casualties.

11/06/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

ya mon.

11/06/2006 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The Washington Post has this story:

"With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy. ..."

"The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own."


Whatever the validity of the views of men actually serving in Iraq might be -- it may not encompass the big or strategic picture which many analysts with wide experience say they have; the poll itself may be methodologically biased -- it nevertheless represents information that can't be ignored. If men who are actually risking their lives want to continue the campaign there must be something to recommend it. That's not to say that everything about it may be wonderful. But it's not easy, under such circumstances, to simply dismiss the project as a crock of s**t. Something to think about, at least.

11/06/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Final Historian said...

"I can assure you that a considerable portion of the world see hubris in the current administrations inability to send a single son to the war but have no problems justifying other sons as casualties."

Last I checked, hadn't John McCain's son joined the Marines? Clinton put US troops in the Balkans as Peacekeepers. He put their lives on the line. Why didn't he encourage his daughter to join the army and share the risk, instead of going to college?

11/06/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger tcobb said...

Hubris may indeed be the downfall of civilization as we know it. The main problem of the modern age as I see it is that a lot of the ruling elites of nearly every nation have a whole lot more in common with each other than they do with the people they are supposedly serving, and this seems to translate into a near universal contempt for all of the "little people" over whose lives they claim the right to micro-manage because of their inherent wisdom and superiority.

Despite the great lesson of the 20th century, which is that command economies and social engineering just doesn't work because you are attempting to deal with "complex systems," many of the ruling elites just can't deal with the thought that they couldn't accomplish what so many people have attempted to do in the past, and have failed so badly at it when they made their attempts.

11/06/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

I do like the classical definition of 'hubris' better than the meaning we now ascribe to this interesting term. Totally agree with your post, W, and can easily see the classical definition at work in many of the stories of the MSM. Shame on them. Just a bunch of snobs and yet they refuse to reconize it.

11/06/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Orson Scott Card has an opinion piece at Real Clear Politics argues that there is no substitute for victory and from that stark fact a large number of necessary corollaries flow. But one of them isn't that we have to give up.

11/06/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard, thank you for such a strong post, the latest in the best string of many great posts in blogworld.

Guest's humble poem is a close approximation to a Catholic's belief that God is always watching, and there is no place where sin goes unseen, for the honest man. I'm pretty sure Jesus didn't make this idea up, probably copied it from Hindu texts, those early scientists of spirit.

"Fair minds and generous hearts may be battered, but not from hubris. Misfortune may come, but nemesis will pass them by."

As for those who would spout the "chicken-heart" slander, they should know they spit it at the American electorate, who voted in 2004 for this very issue of the Iraq war. What was the Kerry candidacy if not anti-war? He was the Dems' hero, he had the medals to prove it. And he was normal people's heels, and his words proved it. So many people imagine the Swiftees were objecting to his record in Vietnam, when in reality they were rejecting his military-personnel and America-hating slanders in his testimony before Congress, which lives on not only in writing, but in sound and pictures. The evidence is incontestible, so they must change the topic.

This bullshit about "justifying other sons (sic) casualties" is the perfect example of the modern meaning of hubris, where one professes one believes things untrue to pursue one's own agenda.

The current Administration represents the democratic vote of the American people, who knew exactly what they were voting for in 2004, and the American people have most definitely contributed a most noble volunteer military to make this world a better place.

(Okay - I'm going back to my ironclad "NO BICKERING" rule now.)

11/06/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

To perhaps build on what tcobb says, the hubris is that the elites of the Left seem to truly believe that there positions are so secure and so lofty that no international setback could affect their personal positions.

Indeed, the latest fad is that they embrace isolationism and that which inevitably accompanies it - biofuels, solar power, mandatory MPG standards, etc. - because the requisite expertise in all things military does not fit within either their personal lifestyles or chosen political positions.

I see this elsewhere as well. It often seems that presidents of companies seem far more comfortable with the political elites than they do those in their own industry. This they embrace the latest crackpot scheme hatched in DC even when it is obvious that the results will be disasterour for their industry.

In the words of Robert Heinlein, "The man who goes broke in a big way never misses a meal; its the guy who is shy half a buck that has to tighten his belt and skip lunch."

11/06/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

wretchard said...

"Orson Scott Card has an opinion piece at Real Clear Politics argues that there is no substitute for victory..."

Orson Scott's article is extremely perceptive. The election tomorrow really is a branch point in history. Here's the important quote from Scott's article:

"If we do not win this containable war now, following the plan President Bush has set forth, we will surely end up fighting far bloodier wars for the next generation."

In tomorrow's election, the decision could be made to not win this containable war. We would instead follow the wrong path dooming us all to a multi-megadeath clash of civilizations.

The lives of millions hangs by a thread.

11/06/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"I can assure you that a considerable portion of the world see hubris in the current administrations inability to send a single son to the war but have no problems justifying other sons as casualties."

Such a trivial, manipulative little comment. And, ironically, a holdover from the aristocratic era, like so many of our degenerated public discourse, if it has any justification at all. Hubris ought to be banned from all but classicist discourse - all it means now is Arrogance. Who thinks faggot means a wood tinder, perhaps smoldering? No one. This is what happens to words. So be it. But it would be an improvement if the corruptors of culture were deprived of the patina of extra sophistication and the sympathy that imparts inhering in such much-abused concepts as Hubris. Nice correction tho Wretch!

11/06/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hey anyone catch the Fox headline detailing docs from the Clinton era (I think 1999) describing an Iraq scenario with 400k troops and conclusions that even that would be most likely insufficient to prevent the kind of near-anarchy we see now?

KILL SADR YOU F-ING A__HOLES

11/06/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Charles Frith, how many sons of the shadow administration you would like to see in power are in Iraq or Afghanistan? If they have any, they have been uncharacteristically quiet about it.

I was a 19-year old MS I cadet at a podunk junior college in Mississippi when Saigon fell. I saw what that did to my instructors, and what that did to the Army I joined. I know the likely consequences to the souls of the Marines and soldiers of CNN broadcasting the last Blackhawk out of the IZ with desperate Iraqis hanging on to the skids.

11/06/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard wrote:

" If men who are actually risking their lives want to continue the campaign there must be something to recommend it."

I beg to disagree. The fact that they are risking their lives, the fact that they have undertaken to kill other human beings clouds their vision, their objectivity. The very fact that they have made this great sacrifice tilts the tables favoring a rational justification for what they are doing. The have a strong, natural, interest in believing what they are doing is right for if they are really engaged in a feckless adventure and they risk their lives to kill others they will be very demoralized. There is a strong psychological need to beleive what they are doing is right. On this account one should expect that they would be firmly in support of the mission they have been given.

On hubris, Aristotles rendition seems to be the most accurate. The Bush administration has demonstrated hubris in the handling of the Iraq conflict, from the early days until present. Their hubris is demonstrated in the belief that they could go it alone, that they would be greeted with flowers and candies, that oil would pay all the bills, that the Iraqis would rejoice once their leadership was vanquished and rise up and follow a democratic US Middle East rejuvenating existence causing dominos to fall in our favor throughout the region. This administration has shown extrarordinary hubris in its conduct of the war and we will be suffering its effects for many a year to come.

hey, another hubristic (is that a word?) assumption they seem to be operating on - debt doesn't matter.

11/06/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Ash,

You wrote:
I beg to disagree. The fact that they are risking their lives, the fact that they have undertaken to kill other human beings clouds their vision, their objectivity.:

Men on the spot necessarily have superior information to men at removes. Why? They are the recipient of a greater bandwidth. In terms of sheer information volume, they demonstrably have more than I. Perhaps you have more than they, but that is not self evident.

The remaining argument against believing men on the spot is that they are somehow biased by self-selection. As in killers can't be trusted to disapprove of killing. But that is counterbalanced by the circumstance that the same men must also do the dying. For that reason their calculus carries a special weight.

Let's consider the possible bias of pacifists living in the United States. Because they don't have to bear the burden of fighting or dying they may recommend courses of action which lead to greater numbers of deaths in the medium and long term. You may want them to quit Iraq, but soldiers may know (the informational advantage, remember) that this will mean they will have to retake it in the future at far higher cost. And then they will have to do the dying.

Consider. Hezbollah and the IDF are by all accounts, about to start fighting again. Now that Hezbollah has reammunition and re-entrenched. And the IDF troops who took certain bunkers are going to have to take them all over again. And people in Northern Israel are going to be rocketed all over again. And the civilians in Lebanon are going to get bombed all over again. Is asking the opinion of the men on the spot invalid? Not necessarily, seeing as they are going to have to pay the piper, they should at least be asked to suggest a tune.

11/06/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

wretchard, I'm not saying the men on the ground's opinion is not valid but rather it should be viewed in the context through which they experience the war. The soldiers life is primarily a small slice of the conflict. They go on patrol, they fight, and they have a heavy burden requiring them to, maybe, kill. No man wants to kill without cause. If a soldier kills he/she has a strong need for justification. That will color their perception. They also don't hang and have a beer at the local Iraqi bar, dinner with family. They exist in a separate universe from the country they are engaged in.

There has been much documentation of the bad information passed on up the chain of command in Vietnam with each link of the chain distorting the information based on their self interest. As Rumsfeld noticed there are many views, many slices of a war and no one slice is accurate. I suggest that the individual soldiers view is particularily biased, but still valid, but hardly 'the truth'.

There was one post made by mojo at http://www.turningtables.blogspot.com (he was a soldier writing about his experiences early in the war), I don't have time to find it at the moment, but it stands out in mind, how he really hoped that WMD's would be found because he really felt like it was all for naught if they were doing all of this and they didn't turn up. This was back when WMD's were still the big reason for the conflict. Times have changed but the soldiers need for moral support, a rationale, the reason for his fighting, killing, and maybe even dying, is still a real big thing coloring their perception of all.

11/06/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

A Haggard comment.I think he represents all that's wrong with American Christianity today.What I mean is the rise of the megachurches and media manipulative superstar church leaders.Instead of being a humble confessing community of believers trying to compassionately redeem the broken;the visible church is often hype,slick marketing and all about "noise,nickels and numbers".Charlatans like Haggard and others bring shame to the name of Christ as they build their kingdoms and live garish lives.
Haggard should heed the words of another Haggard,Merle, and slink off into the dark night of his soul.
-"Mama tried to raise me better,but her plea did I deny
I have only me to blame,cause Mamma tried."

11/06/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Ash said...
wretchard, I'm not saying the men on the ground's opinion is not valid but rather it should be viewed in the context through which they experience the war. The soldiers life is primarily a small slice of the conflict. They go on patrol, they fight, and they have a heavy burden requiring them to, maybe, kill. No man wants to kill without cause. If a soldier kills he/she has a strong need for justification. That will color their perception.
//////////////////
This sort of eurdite pretense is pure Kerry and is what will fry the dems tomorrow.

11/06/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Ash,

Then, it is your position that we surrender to the caliphate and Sharia Law?

Also, your naive belief that people join the military in order to kill people ("...the fact that they have undertaken to kill other human beings clouds their vision....") reveals the stuntedness of your moral and philospohical development and your complete lack of understanding of American military culture.

Beyond that,

"...a considerable portion of the world see...."

There we go with that other-focused codependent "worldview"...never occurring to it's adherents that most of the rest of the World is an intellectual and moral s--thole populated by tyrants and tyrant wannabes.

11/06/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Monday, November 06, 2006
Lileks On The Lessons of Casablanca
Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 10:12 PM

From today's Bleat:

Speaking of which: I was 25 when I first saw “Casablanca,” an almost fatal age at which to absorb those lessons for the first time. A man shall wear a white coat and regard everyone with affectionate disdain; a man shall smoke at all times, excepting the moments when he is operating a firearm – only bad men smoke and shoot; a man shall react to the physical manifestation of lost love by drinking himself into a muttering stupor; a man shall own a nightclub; a man shall hate Nazis; a man shall have an indistinct past laced with intimations of idealism but tempered with cynical realism; and – this is key – a man, when holding a beautiful woman in a Parisian garret, shall note the approaching artillery and comment on the particular size of the gun based on its auditory profile, and do so without fear or concern. Later, the man shall have the skill to secure passage on the last train out. But only after the champagne’s run out. To leave behind the Moet would be barbaric

11/06/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger rasqual said...

"I can assure you that a considerable portion of the world see hubris in the current administrations inability to send a single son to the war but have no problems justifying other sons as casualties."

Actually, this seems somewhat self-important itself -- as if the world is as obsessed with America as those on the left imagine. Survey results are often cited as evidence that America is in disrepute around the world. But what's never asked is "are you tired of surveys that seem to assume that you are likely to have America on your mind a lot?"

"wretchard, I'm not saying the men on the ground's opinion is not valid but rather it should be viewed in the context through which they experience the war."

As should the contexts of armchair generals who imagine that detachment borne of distance is inherently a more privileged source of objective judgment than the immanence of participation.

"I think he represents all that's wrong with American Christianity today."

Nah. Sin isn't original to this generation, so the "today" thing is just wrong. And sexual sins and lack of integrity aren't new either. What IS new, however, is the capitulation of the visible church to the tyranny of multinational corporate rule.

It was easy for the colonists to rebel against a Government -- England. Even asymmetric warfare against the world's sole superpower is comparatively easy. But how do you fight the big multinationals, who transcend accountability to national authorities? We have checks and balances in national governments; what have we here?

Whoops, I'm ranting. ;-)

11/06/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I think with the recent "Stupid troops" comment by Kerry and the "US troops cause terrorism" comment by Boxer there will be a lot of them voting for conservatives.

The troops have been besmirched, betrayed and belittled day after day by the Dems and their MSM lackeys.

It would not surprise me to see the Military vote (including Military Families) act as a swing vote in favor of the Republicans.

Remember, the dems can only hide so may military votes.

11/07/2006 01:39:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

come to think of it if you can picture Bogart in Casablanca and John Kerry -- you'll notice a similiar look.

11/07/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Ash,
It seems to me that while you claim the troops positions may be valid, you're trying awfully hard to rationalize why their views are irrelevant and should be ignored. The assessment that this is a Kerry-like stance seems apt.

wretchard,
While I enjoyed the Card article, I also encountered alot of criticism of his political writing from some quarters, indicating that he has for some time claimed to be a Democrat, but has written nothing but GOP talking points. Not that this takes away from the veracity of what he is saying, but it does make him appear to be something of a demagogue.

ledger,
I think the "troops cause terrorism" comment by Boxer will actually pan well to the left. Remember, these are the same folks who believe it's the guns that cause crime, not the people who use them. It's just as nonsensical to believe it's our troops that cause terrorism, instead of the terrorists themselves. It's the ever present ideology of removing personal responsibility for an individual's actions, and replacing it with some sort of simplifying outside factor. I guess it makes complicated issues easier to understand for some.

11/07/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger james said...

Wrt Haggard: "Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue."
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

11/07/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Ash,

I don't know that waterboarding is torture now that I have seen it. See my earlier post re: my experience with water. I can tell you I would not want it done to me, but is that the way to define torture? I don't consider what was done at Abu Graib to be torture. It was sophmoric and stupid, but not torture. The guy in the office next to me is the very definition of the word "nudge"; the word was invented for him...is that torture? Sure feels it where I sit, but is that enough to need a U.N. ban.

11/07/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Baillie said...

Where Mr. Haggard first strayed off the rails was here:

Matt: 5:27-28

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Which applies to any un-Christian desire. The battle against physical acts of sin (as taught by traditional Christianity) begins in the heart and mind. That's where he should have taken his stand against his own particular devils, where he should have sought help from others. That battle surrendered, the realization of his desires was inevitable.

It's kind of like staving off riots with Miss Manners. Enough whacks on the bottom with one of her tomes results in a child who has 'round him a nice deep moat full to the brim with painfully learned civilized behavior, and wide enough to discourage his primal impulse to throw rocks at people.

11/07/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

eggplant said:

"If we do not win this containable war now, following the plan President Bush has set forth, we will surely end up fighting far bloodier wars for the next generation."

Since this war was unprovoked (unlike Afghanistan), it was optional. So it follows that if we opt out of this war, then we also opt out of the "far bloodier wars for the next generation". We must abandon the "Bush Doctrine" and fall back to the MAD logic that served so well in the Cold War: Guaranteed regime change when provoked, but no more optional, pre-emptive invasions and occupations. This is the only way to restore American deterrence.

11/07/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

How would the world look now if we'd 'opted out' of WWII?

Just a question for Woman Catholic.

11/07/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

How would the world look now if we'd 'opted out' of WWII?

You aren't getting it. The Western response to World War II was provoked by Axis military assaults. But wars like Panama under Bush 41 or Grenada under Reagan were optional, just like Iraq. There were no terrorists in Iraq...until after "Mission Accomplished" day.

11/07/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

There were no terrorists in Iraq...until after "Mission Accomplished" day.

I take it you haven't read any of the translated documents then. They cast alot of doubt on such sweeping statements as that.

What about the terrorist camp we attacked with assistance from the Kurds in northern Iraq, BEFORE Mission Accomplished day? It was in all the newspapers, but has apparently been conveniently forgotten. What was it, Ansar al Islam (I get the names of the organizations mixed up)?

Iraq provoked us plenty, firing on and/or radar-locking our aircraft in the no fly zone over 2000 times in the years between Desert Storm and OIF>

11/07/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

yashmak wrote:

Iraq provoked us plenty, firing on and/or radar-locking our aircraft in the no fly zone over 2000 times in the years between Desert Storm and OIF

That was partly our fault. Our fathers in World War II would have never allowed Hitler to remain in power in Germany after defeating him (if he did not commit suicide). We decided it was cheaper to leave Saddam in power and set up no-fly zones. The amazing thing is how people were shocked when Saddam, ruler of a sovereign nation, challenged them.

11/07/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Yashmak,

As a good, non-hubristic America, we should only react after a terrorist event, as we did with Afghanistan. To have preemptively attacked that country to prevent 9-11 would have been immoral. Same with Iran. We should wait until one of their nukes goes off, so that we can go to Heaven as a virtuous nation.

Anyway, what is provocation? That could be debated endlessly, and that's why we need international agreement as to what constitutes casus belli. The world is a more peaceful place because the UN next to never takes a bully, harsh stand against troubled and arming countries (except against Nazi Israel.) Africa, North Korea, Pakistan and the Balkans are doing well, as a result.

Iraq was better off under dictator Saddam, and imperialist Bush never should have unseated his regime. If people don't rise up on their own and beat the secret police and elite guard, then they're OK. Of course, Bush I was right not to have gone into Baghdad in the first Gulf War, because the UN said not to and the Coalition would have fallen apart. Also, we're a big country that could have sustained some downed planes and pilots in the no-fly zones, and had we been more enterprising, we could have participated more in the UN corrupt Oil for Food program instead of whining about it.

Remember, WWII is the example of a good war, because it was a cathartic total war, made possible by diplomacy and policies of non-preemption working in magnificent tandem.

11/07/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Woman Catholic, your definition of "terrorist" leaves a lot to be desired. Saddam Hussein was a terrorist indeed, ask the relatives of the 180,000 Kurds he killed. He controlled vast amounts of men and money and was a sworn enemy of the USA, anyone who left him alive and in power should have been impeached.

11/07/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

dave h said:

Saddam Hussein was a terrorist indeed, ask the relatives of the 180,000 Kurds he killed. He controlled vast amounts of men and money and was a sworn enemy of the USA, anyone who left him alive and in power should have been impeached.

I wonder why the Republicans made American children have to hear about DNA on Monica's dress, when all they had to do was charge Clinton with breaking the US law against leaving rich sworn enemies of the USA in power.

11/07/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Great post, up there, trangbang.

Woman Catholic, you do realize, of course, that such slogan-salads are pretty silly, and mean nothing other than, you want to bicker.

11/07/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Buddy Larsen,

Woman Catholic made a good observation. A snake is a snake, and forever will remain a snake. A scorpion is a scorpion, and forever will remain a scorpion. A donkey is a donkey, and forever will remain a donkey.

You don't argue with a donkey. You don't play with a scorpion. And you don't make accommodations with a snake.

11/07/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

buddy wrote:

Woman Catholic, you do realize, of course, that such slogan-salads are pretty silly, and mean nothing other than, you want to bicker.

The point I wanted to make was that you can't impeach a President unless he broke the law. There is a law against lying under oath, but there is not a law against leaving a dictator in power. Dave H apparently thinks you can remove a president without cause.

As far as calling Saddam's pot shots at our planes "provocation" I suppose in a home invastion robbery, if you tried to defend yourself with a rifle but missed, the robber could take you to court for provoking him. That is illustrative of the silly consequences of leaving a vanquished leader in power of his country after losing a major war.

11/07/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

CW, you got that right!

11/07/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Buddy,

Saddam and the Baluch Connection. It's a shame more Americans aren't aware of it.

11/07/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/08/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"That was partly our fault. " -Woman Catholic

I see. It's our fault Saddam broke the ceasefire his government signed.

Nice.

Convenient too, as it's the only way you can rationalize away provocations that would have provoked war 100 times over if it had occurred between any other two nations.

11/08/2006 12:34:00 PM  

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