Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In Whose Image?

The Washington Post compares Pinochet and Castro, Latin America's doppelgangsters, two murderous dictators one whose legacy was prosperity and the other hunger. Oxblog Comments comments. Marc Cooper has dark memories. Samizdata finds himself compelled to denounce Pinochet as a murderer, but acknowledges that he was by no means the worst of them. The fascination of the Pinochet story -- and his juxtaposition with his evil historical twin, Fidel Castro -- lies in that it is a case study in the problem of historical evil. How may we oppose evil if we must commit it ourselves? Many of the same individuals who now rejoice at Pinochet's death might in the next breath argue that America should have left Saddam in power because ... he was the lesser evil. And in the breath following wax nostalgic over America's defeat of Nazi Germany, which included the firebombing of Dresden as a footnote, because it prevented the extermination of whole races. Or did it? If you are one of President Ahmadinejad's admirers, then you may question whether the evils the Allies committed were for any knowable good. How does man act in history? How does man save his soul and yet live?


And history goes on, leaving us to catch up as best we can before historical judgments and final verdicts can be made. While the press focused on the death of Pinochet, another man was being convicted of being the "Pol Pot" of Africa. The London Times reports:

Ethiopia’s brutal Marxist dictator, known as the African Pol Pot, became the first fallen leader to be found guilty yesterday of genocide in his own country after a 12-year trial. Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former President, who fled to Zimbabwe in 1991, was accused along with top members of his military Government of killing thousands during his 17-year rule. The period was marked by vicious crackdowns on opponents, disastrous wars with neighbouring countries and rebel groups and devastating famines in which starvation was used to force peasants into submission. ...

The Soviet-backed revolution that brought Mengistu and a group of other young army officers to power in 1974 ended the feudal rule of Emperor Haile Selassie, treated as a deity by millions of dirt-poor people in Africa’s second most-populous country. The court was told how the ageing Emperor was suffocated to death with a pillow and his body buried under a lavatory in the royal palace, where he was under house arrest. Mengistu and other hardliners had decided that his presence was an obstacle to rural peasants making the leap from feudalism to Marxism without a process of industrialisation and creation of a proletariat. Mengistu’s henchmen devised a “Red Terror”, modelled on the Chinese Cultural Revolution, to bring the reluctant populace into line. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Others fled into exile or joined rebel movements. In the mid-1980s it was not uncommon to see students, suspected government critics or rebel sympathisers hanging from lampposts each morning. Ordinary people were too terrified to talk to Western reporters.

The "Pol Pot" or the "Pinochet" of Africa? Either way the noose awaits at our avenging hands.

Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons." And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?"

97 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "Samizdata finds himself compelled to denounce Pinochet as a murderer, but acknowledges that he was by no means the worst of them."

After all, what were Pinochet's alleged crimes? Torturing and/or killing insurgents in the war against Communism, which was a kind of terrorism.

12/12/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

House Divided Speech
Springfield, Illinois
June 16, 1858House Divided Speech
Springfield, Illinois
June 16, 1858
Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.

Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new -- North as well as South.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

For the rest of the speach go here

12/12/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger enthymeme ∙ said...

Woman catholic why are you always the first bloody comment in every thread? Always ready with some platitude, inanity, or other.

If it helps to curb your effervescence, I believe Wretchard is married.

The Belmont Club is an excellent blog. Pity its commentariat is so dull.

12/12/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enthymeme said,"Woman catholic why are you always the first bloody comment in every thread? Always ready with some platitude, inanity, or other."

I'm thinking it's because when I get home from work and bathe and have dinner and sit down to make comments on the internet, Wretchard is just posting that day's thread.

"The Belmont Club is an excellent blog. Pity its commentariat is so dull."

Sometimes the most penetrating analysis can be quite dull. I don't believe there's many opportunities for prairie-dogging over the cubicle walls at Langley.

12/12/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I just purchased the Black Book of Communism (since I bought it off a person in the People's Republic of Madison it must have been coerced reading by one of those reactionary college professors)and I am eager to see what it says about Chile.

I was struck by Wretchard's question How may we oppose evil if we must commit it ourselves?. I refrain from reciting a prayer but it is the first thing leaping to my mind.

I do not think it is coincidence humanity and hypocrisy begin with the letter h. If we are to be upright people we have to understand we are weak we are all hypocrites. One of the ads by the US governments office of drug control policy (no matter what you think of the war on drugs the ad highlights an important life point) admonishes parents to get beyond their own drug history so parents don't say "I used whacky, so I can't tell my children not to".

Yes, there is hypocrisy in the right's support of Pinochet, but are the gushes of Pinochet like that for Castro? Do we have the equivalent of Nobel prize gushing about Stalin's USSR as we do about Pinochet? Do we see in right wing gathering's shirts with Pinochet's face? No.

On NRO today (IIRC) Jonah Goldberg noted many of the nations wracked by leftist tyrranies did not evolve into liberal democracies in a graceful manner (if at all) while those governed by rightist tyrranies seem to evolve into prosperous and liberal democracies, at least at a greater rate and with less blood than those ruled by leftist dictators.

12/12/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ironic that so many compare Pinochet to Castro, since it was Pinochet who prevented Chile from becoming another Cuba by deposing Allende.

I have to add that I'm really tired of the MSM and lefty blogs who harp about Pinochet's overthrow of the "democratically elected Allende government."

Hitler was elected democratically, too. Being elected doesn't make a government sacrosanct.

12/12/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Stephen,

That is a common sin, to mistake democratic elections with liberal governance. They are not the same.

12/12/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stephen renico said, "Hitler was elected democratically, too. Being elected doesn't make a government sacrosanct."

So if there are some democratically elected governments that are not sacrosant, and if there are some dictatorships which are sacrosanct, I wonder what the objective criteria for sanctity is. I hope you don't say "harmony with US foreign policy".

12/12/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

Pinochet was one of those very rough men that allow us to sleep at night. If we don't wake up and turn the ship away from the shoals we'll all be praying for a Pinochet. He'll be weighed in the balance and not found wanting.

12/12/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

georged said, "Pinochet was one of those very rough men that allow us to sleep at night."

I call those men and women Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardies, Cops, and Firefighters. In fine, the First Responders, and all of them sworn to uphold, not subvert, the law. I don't have to worry about General Abizaid crossing the Rubicon.

enthymeme said, "If it helps to curb your effervescence, I believe Wretchard is married."

Do you hire non-sequituries to do your typing?

12/12/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

As Elvis has reminded us of the Bhuddist re-iteration of over-dependence on the physical world:

We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby


Like Christ on the Cross, we are aware of our attachments.

Oh let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Let's don't let a good thing die

When honey, you know
I've never lied to you
Mmm yeah, yeah


Singing like that, Elvis questions us: And still we choose to be born into this world?

Elvis was called Krishna in earlier modalities:

Arjuna is certain that he would be victorious in this war since he has Lord Krishna (one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu) on his side. He is able to visualize the scene at the end of the battle; the dead bodies of his cousins lying on the battlefield, motionless and incapable of vengeance. It is then that he looses his nerve to fight.
http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/de.htm

Sorry for going crazily big picture, Arjuna was one of those humans who got drafted into War....

12/12/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger erico said...

I believe Wretchard's question is at heart a Christian one. Rene Girard asked the same question, "How can Satan cast out Satan?" He in fact had an answer. What he calls the scapegoat effect, arising from his theory of mimetic rivalry. When crisis comes to a head, due to our mimetic, or imitative human nature, on a group level, a mob forms that senses that the outsider is the cause of all the mob's troubles and must be dispatched. The crisis appears to have been resolved, peace is restored. His theory of world religions goes on to assert that the violence appears to have divine countenance, hence he calls it sacred violence. Think of Jesus handed over to Pilate. Inasmuch as we await the coming of the next Pinochet to save us, this is perhaps no better than Pilate's response to the mob. "What is truth?"

So, the Christian call is to rise above powers and principalities, because Christ himself defeated them. Meanwhile, we await His return. And of course, if Christ didn't rise, then our faith is in vain. But this doesn't free us from answering the question of how we are to live in this quite dangerous world.

I watched "Friendly Persuasion" last night for the first time, and it got me to thinking about this issue. I suppose it was on my mind quite a bit already. For what it's worth, I thought the movie treated the subject of Quaker or Shaker non-violence in the face of the Southern troops advance across their farmland to be done quite well, without falling into diatribe or political posturing, allowing for a meditation on the subject.

12/12/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Marcus Aurelius - I was struck by Wretchard's question How may we oppose evil if we must commit it ourselves?. I refrain from reciting a prayer but it is the first thing leaping to my mind.

It is a matter of doing the lesser evil for the greater good.

Warriors can live with that.

Lawyers can't.

It helps to be right, because the only thing that separates Stalin's famous saying about the necessity to break eggs for an omlette and Truman's decision to kill Japanese cities to save overall lives and shorten the time to victory was that history favors Truman. Truman lacked being the recipient of the repudiation by successors of what he did. Unlike Stalin - who was nailed by the great (and courageous) denunciation Kruschev made on Stalin's tactics at the Party Congress 50 years ago.

12/12/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Pinochet promised a return to democracy and he kept his promise. He stood for election as Chile's President in 1988. Losing 55-45 he handed over the reins of power. No bloodshed. His legacy? A prosperous and free Chile. One of the left's favorite boogiemen, Pinochet voluntarily surrendered power and left his country stronger than when he took over. Can the same be said for Castro?

12/12/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

C4,

This is where we come into agreement.

Dinesh D'Souza came to my town some years ago and talked about how the lesser of two evils is a fact of life. The question he posed is since when is the decision between perfect good & evil?

One of your themes is the hyperlegalistic environment we find ourselves in (despite the indiplomacy you use to express it and the inprecision with which you aim the blame at) and that is a theme that points out much of what is wrong with in our approach to the GWOT. The chains this hyperlegalism puts on the fight is not the fault of a single president nor his first, second, or third rings of advisors. It goes to a philosophy that got its way for a long time and is not used to not getting its way.

Still, we need to make the distinction between obseince to hyperlegalism and the demands of politics and diplomacy. Too often, many want all out war, a point I have been raising often (and if my reading is proper Wretchard also hopes in a similar fashion) is we need to bring all three legs of the triangle to bear against Islamo-fascism.

I see the President's administration is trying like heck to bring all to bear, but all too many think all is well and all this conflict stuff is just BS. Its important for leaders to be in front but if the herd does not want to follow then the leader is SOL.

12/12/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

woman catholic asked:

"So if there are some democratically elected governments that are not sacrosant, and if there are some dictatorships which are sacrosanct, I wonder what the objective criteria for sanctity is."

I would go with Thomas Jefferson's criteria:

"...a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government..."

No where does Mr. Jefferson say that the goal of a good government should be to "be democratic." Democracy is a means not an end. Usually elections are one of the best means to prevent corruption and abuse of liberties, but we would have to be very ignorant of history to say it is the only means or that it is always best.

12/12/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

It comes down to utilitarianism vs deontology. Pinochet was a good 'authoritarian' dictator, and was good for his country. Mengistu turned Ethiopia (not necessarily a basket case) into a wasteland, killing 800,000 outright and guaranteeing the starvation and misery of millions more. Coincidentally, he's holed up in Mugabe's Zimbabwe, the current poster child for horrible Marxist policies.

If we adhere to Deontology, then Pinochet is just as bad as Castro, and they're both just as bad as Mugabe and Mengistu. However, the people of Chile are still far better off for having a Pinochet rather than a Mengistu. Whether they are better off for having Pinochet over Allende is another story.

12/12/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

In Whose Image?.

Mine.

As C4 and Marcus Aurelius point out, the problem is, at the computational level, well understood. Maximise (Number*Benefit) over the various alternatives.

The Number will be usually clear cut. The problem is in quantifying the benefit, as this will bring in value judgements and value bases.

But I'm clear on where I stand on value judgements. I know there will be many who disagree, but I don't care.

In order to allay doubts, it would be nice to have corroboration that it is not my selfish gene creating prejudice. And there is coroboration: how many people risk life and limb to get to China, the ME, Russia, Cuba? None. We can't all be wrong.

Sometimes one is just lucky to be born in the right part of the globe. Let's just factor that into our number crunching, and live with the consequences.

ADE

12/12/2006 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Merry Christmas all. Greetings. Jesus is not a baby anymore.

This country sits on: Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. Everyone knows the difference between Bush and Stalin or Hitler. If the left thought Bush was a real Hitler they would be scared to death to ever say so. What's really going on is America is setting Christ aside and going for evolution. The left is the leading edge of it. So what do you expect from people who self describe themselves as nothing more than loud bags of dirt. Where is right or where is wrong to a dressed colum of dirt? They seek their own comfort and will say and do anything they think they can get away with. For them life is all over except for who can scream the loudest for what they want. And what do they want? They want to be God. Too bad. HE won't budge.

I try not to get inbetween them and the object of their wrath. It is messy now and it looks to get worse before it gets better.

Shhh.. HE's risen!

12/12/2006 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I lived in Venezuela and Peru during the last oil boom '79-'83 and this post makes me remember a cumbia from sowmehwere in that region. It's chorus went:

"And dice ese maricon, que en Cuba no falta nada"

The rest of the verses were list of all the things you could not buy in Cuba. Makes me laugh to remember it.

12/13/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

I think Pinochet took the least-bloody solution that created the most security and prosperity for the average Chilean

I agree with J Random American about democracy. The purpose of government is to provide an environment where the average person can earn a living and raise a family without being afraid that he and his family will be killed, or the fruits of his labor will be confiscated. Over time, the means that best secures this end is a Constitutional Republic (NOT a democracy, which can quickly turn into mob rule)

Allende only won a plurality of 36.2% of the vote. He then proceded to use this non-mandate to attempt to impose dictatorial control over Chile. Pinochet stepped in and stopped this takeover, and finally restored democratic rule within the context of a working market economy

12/13/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"...leftist tyrranies did not evolve into liberal democracies in a graceful manner (if at all) while those governed by rightist tyrranies seem to evolve into prosperous and liberal democracies,..."

The problem with this assertion is that there is no such thing as a "right wing dictator". If we are to establish a political spectrum, then on the far Right we have utter anarchy and on the far Left we have a society in which all things are either compulsory or forbidden.

Hitler was "right" of Stalin, but both were Leftists. Mao, Pol Pot, and Genghis Kahn were probably Left of Stalin (lots of room for argument there, I will admit, so let'er rip, folks).

Reagan was well to the Right of FD Roosevelt and probably about equal on the Left/Right scale with Teddy Roosevelt - but none of them were Leftists.

The difference between Pinochet and Castro is like the difference between a bad case of flu and pneumonia. Neither one is good for you, but they are both the same thing. And the lesser one can evolve into the deadlier one.

12/13/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

What happened in Africa in the 70's, mostly because America went soft, is a reminder of the danger we face today, if America goes soft again.

I wonder if there has been a Fascist government (Marxist or otherwise) that didn't kill alot of it's own people.

12/13/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one of my posts from Samizdata.

------------------------------------
Obviously the leftists would have to be dealt with. Given that Pinochet was a soldier, the first methods that came to his mind would be military style executions and torture.

My opinion is that in his mind, there were only allies and enemies. Nevermind his enemies did not wear uniforms. They opposed him, sought the ruin of his country(however unwitting), and did ruin a huge chunk of it. So he did what soldiers are supposed to do to enemies: capture them, torture them for information, then kill them. Clearly not obeying the Geneva Conventions even ith regards to captured enemy troops, but then again the Geneva Conventions are usually for suckers anyway.

It was a military response to a non-military threat. I think the difference between his methods and Lee Kuan Yew's in Singapore was the result of their backgrounds. LKY was a lawyer, and sought lawyer-ish methods, hence the imprisonment and banishments. Pinochet was a soldier; he would seek the direct force method, so the executions and tortures.

And perhaps Pinochet's biggest flaw was not outgrowing that military mindset. From all accounts, he was obsessed with his role as a military leader.
------------------------------

I think part of the reason why the left hated Pinochet was that he played by savage rules of ideological conflict which they thought belonged exclusively to them.

And interestingly, one insightful post at Marc Cooper's delusional comments thread remarked on the similarity between Pinochet and Franco.

12/13/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Some make the accounts in Genesis 3 out to be some type of fairy tale. But if one takes the time to look into the meaning of the story, the true nature of the creature called man is revealed. As true today as then.

Commenters like wie-wu and woman catholic like to point to examples of christians not living up to the example of Christ as a failure of the religion when it has been the failure of man, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, animist, etc, etc or agnostic. It's in our imperfect nature.

While it is true that Christianity underwent its Dark ages, they were the result of bad Christian leaders who abandoned Biblical doctrine for worldly pragmetism.

By comparison, Islam, which I consider to have always been mired in "Dark Ages" remains there due to (what Muslims consider) good Muslims following the doctrine of their prophet. In other words, it takes a "bad" Muslim to reject the death cult that is professed in the Koran.

A huge idealogical difference that can't be missed by an honest person that has actually read and studied the two documents.

12/13/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enscout, I think you posted on the wrong thread... :P

12/13/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

wobbly guy:
It appears you are correct.

The truth remains nonetheless. Pinochet, Castro, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler are all human with the same limitations, made in His image, but of a fallen nature.

12/13/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

"Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand."

Can we start a petition to print these words in giant letters on the Halls of Congress?

12/13/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Peter Grynch said...

"Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand."

Can we start a petition to print these words in giant letters on the Halls of Congress?

///////////////////////
Jesus was referring to the house of satan. Nevertheless its worth noting that the congress seems to be the relatively new innovation. for example the moslem world has a place for both the ruler and judges but a legislative branch is relatively unknown other than as a west pleasing rubber stamp.

The Global Poor Are Getting Richer, Faster
Human Events ^ | 12/13/06 | James Peron

Posted on 12/13/2006 7:52:56 AM PST by ZGuy

In a report out today, The World Bank looks both at current economic growth rates and projections for the next 25 years. The report, Global Economics Prospects 2007 says "developing economies are projected to grow by 7.0 percent in 2006,more than twice as fast as high-income countries (3.1 percent), with all developing regions growing by about 5 percent or more." While these nations have only 22 percent of global GDP they accounted for 38 percent of the increase in global output. And they are expected to increase their share of global output by about 50 percent by 2030.

12/13/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Speaking of supporting and not supporting bad guys in power...

The latest rumor to leak is that Bush's new strategy, which won't come out until the end of the year, is to "double up" by adding more troops then targeting Al Sadr and possibly Anbar.

If we succeeded in destroying Sadr's and the Sunni militias, that would leave only the Iranian sponsored Shiite militia, along with the Kurds living in their own seperate area. Would that mean we handing victory to Iran by destroying everyone in Iraq opposed to them? An argument could be made that was like destroying all the fighters in Lebanon besides Hezbollah. What would the Sunni Arab nations think if we handed Iraq to Iran as a Shiite country?

12/13/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> if there are some democratically elected governments that are not sacrosant, and if there are some dictatorships which are sacrosanct, I wonder what the objective criteria for sanctity is.

First of all, I don't believe that Hitler was freely elected in the first place. Saddam Hussein was also "elected", but it was under fear of violence, that anyone who voted against him knew they'd end up in a torture chamber / rape room.. Another example is Hitler's first attempt to take control, when he surrounded the parliament with troops and order legislators to appoint him dictator or be killed. Germany stopped him that time, but not the second.

Anyway, even if Hitler were truly democratically elected the first time, he lost all legitimacy by never allowing a real election again, breaking down all the checks and balances in the constitution, and throwing political opponents in concentration camps.

So my opinion is that all freely elected governments are legitimate as long as they act like freely elected governments. When they act outside their constitutional limits, rule by violence, jail opposition, postpone or eliminate elections then they lose legitimacy because they no longer act they way they were elected to be.

One of the arguments I heard about Pinochet and Chile was that the democratically elected socialists stepped outside legitimate limits and moved in the direction of never having elections again. I don't know one way or the other if that is true.

Another example happening right now is Putin in Russia. He was legally elected, but is rigging the system and assassinating opponents. I would not be surprised if Russia does not hold another free election.

12/13/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Completing the question, I would say that a dictator is never legitimate. An argument could be made that a military coup which replaces a tyrant with democracy is a good thing, but that doesn't make the coup a legitimate government. It is the lesser of two evils, which should return power to the people immediately.

12/13/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Sounds like this general gets it:

The American people need to prepare for a long-duration war against radical Muslims who are set to fight for 50 to 100 years to create an Islamist state in the region, a top Pentagon strategist in the war on terror says.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark O. Schissler said in an interview that the current strategy for fighting Islamists includes both military and ideological components that make it similar to the 40-year Cold War against communism.
"We're in a generational war. You can try and fight the enemy where they are and where they're attacking you, or prevent them and defend your own homeland," said Gen. Schissler, deputy director for the war on terrorism within the strategic plans office of the Pentagon's Joint Staff.
"But that's not enough to stop it. We've got to break the chain, and that's ... the ideology. We really need to show the errors in Islamist extremist thinking."
...
The current war on terrorism requires fighting with ideas. In the Cold War, "we didn't beat ...the communists by militarily taking them to the battlefield," he said. "We took them to the intellectual battlefield and beat them against their ideas, the ideology of communism."


Link

12/13/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The things Pinochet did as compared to what?

What Allende and his thugs were doing and would have done?

1971-73 were not safe years to be a farmer or rancher or a business owner in Chile.

Every single Chilean I have met, from vaqueros to fruit pickers to school teachers to Doctors sing Pinochet's praises.

The only discord I hear is from American And Spanish Apologists.

12/13/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

"Hitler was elected democratically, too. Being elected doesn't make a government sacrosanct. "

Both Allende and Hitler got about the same amount of the Vote.

12/13/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wu Wei: a tyrant like a Hitler or Stalin is never "legitimate" whether democratically elected or not - because they do not recognize the principles embodied in such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

For that matter, I have no doubt that Hitler and Stalin could have been reelected with ease, even if they had allowed free elections.

Our real dilemna is not just how to view a Pinochet or Hitler or Stalin but how to deal with nations who willingly support such tyrants and adopt the associated philosophies. In the case of Saddam the situation was clear: the vast majority of the population hated him, but a significant percentage either loved him or feared not to love him. Our entire approach was based on those facts.

For all of the reports of a restless youthful population in Iran, ready to overthrow the Mullahs, I think that the situation there is much closer to Nazi Germany or the USSR of WWII than it is to Iraq.

12/13/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

"If we adhere to Deontology, then Pinochet is just as bad as Castro, and they're both just as bad as Mugabe and Mengistu. However, the people of Chile are still far better off for having a Pinochet rather than a Mengistu. Whether they are better off for having Pinochet over Allende is another story. "

If we adhere to individual rights, then Pinochet is preferred over Allende because Allende did not even adhere to rule of law or enforce contracts.

Allende was a Mugabe in waiting.

He was flouting the courts and taking over private property and killing people.

Had the German Military moved against Hitler in 1934 we'd all be debating Von XXX's takeover.

12/13/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> For all of the reports of a restless youthful population in Iran, ready to overthrow the Mullahs,

Yes, and most of the old guard Mullahs are ready to overthrow insane President Ahmadinejad.

Link


Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces a potential setback at the hands of the nation's traditional conservatives in elections Friday for a government oversight body that will one day choose a successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Several allies of fundamentalist Ayatollah Mohammed Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, a spiritual and political adviser to Mr. Ahmadinejad, have been blocked by the country's religious establishment from running for seats on the Assembly of Experts, a group of 86 clerics with nominal oversight powers over the supreme leader.
Ayatollah Mesbah -Yazdi, the ultra orthodox ayatollah's own son, was among those bounced.
"The old conservatives among the clerics are trying to hold onto their ability to steer the Islamic revolution, and they are not supporting Ahmadinejad's way," said A. William Samii, an Iranian political analyst with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Mehdi Khalaji, who studied theology at Qom, Iran -- the intellectual heart of Shi'ite Islam -- said Ayatollah Khamenei sent a clear signal in the run-up to Friday's vote that he wanted to rein in Mr. Ahmadinejad's fundamentalist allies, who have pushed an aggressive line on Islamic practice, Israel and confrontation with the United States.

12/13/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Bigger Diggler said...

Jean Kirkpatrick: "Authoritarian Regimes breazily 'allow' crushing poverty, brutality and misery to exist within their societies. Whereas, totalitarian regimes actively CAUSE those things."

12/13/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rwe said, "Wu Wei: a tyrant like a Hitler or Stalin is never 'legitimate' whether democratically elected or not - because they do not recognize the principles embodied in such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution."

Four score and three years after that Constitution was created a slave owner in the South could still beat a man to death without penalty, because he was property. Documents mean nothing, only how we treat each other means anything.

12/13/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how do we know "how we treat eachother?"

12/13/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That's easy Jimmah-the-Ppab: the "Golden Rule".

12/13/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hitler's brownshirts, by breaking up the constitutional rights of the opposition parties, skewed the democratic process out of its actual implementation. Intimidation of the oppo left the process 'democratic' in name and shell-form only.

12/13/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Do unto others
before they do unto you?

12/13/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

No, that's called pre-emption and certain people here say that's immoral, DR. And they'd rather not follow the golden rule, either, when it comes to truthfulness and civility.

I'm surprised this discussion hasn't mentioned Hugo and his move to consolidate power in Venezuela and to radicalize South/ Central American politics. Guess there aren't reports of mass murders or unmarked graves, yet.

12/13/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too much ambiguity in that golden rule - doesnt really tell you what to do when your being done unlike you were previously doing.

Also, the "doing unto others" is as open to being hijacked by our enemies as "democracy" and "freedom."

Maybe WC was making this point tangentially, but it may be that the information age will actually require leaders to be a bit more charismatic and not simply behave as automatons following the faux-boolean strut of documents, as WC is critical of - I think.

John Bolton and Rumsfeld had this vital quality. Bush clearly does not.

My heart sank as soon as we ditched "infinite justice" and tempered ourselves, embracing the anti-rally, welcoming subversive comedians to mock patriotism during our farcical respite.

WC's point that Henry V or Aragorn needed no legal-rational basis for their authority. They lead because they appealed to something UN resolutions cannot. Oddly enough, I think Bolton resonated with some because he was not bound by the impositions of s***** documents.

Charisma may be the adaptive immunity against psychological warfare. Sure its got downsides, but surrender has upsides too.

12/13/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy Larsen said, "Intimidation of the oppo left the process 'democratic' in name and shell-form only."

But all the measures they passed with that led up to the presence of the brownshirts in the Reichstag were passed in a democratic manner, so they share some of the blame, even if they lacked the foresight to see what Hitler was doing. But even then, he gave them his blueprint in Mein Kampf.

12/13/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> WC's point that Henry V or Aragorn needed no legal-rational basis for their authority.

History shows that the English and other kings of that era did need the consent of the governed. The British Parliament's House of Lords and House of Commons capture some of the politics well, along with the Magna Carta, revolutions where kings were beheaded and eventually replaced by another king who agreed to limited powers. Often in the earliest days there was no king but just warring "Lords". One lord became dominant, but the amount of power between the King and the Lords varied, and sometimes a King was overthrown and replaced by a more powerful lord.

12/13/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pinochet's regime is responsible for some 3 to 4 thousand political executions and perhaps 20,000 cases of torture. By the standards of the second half of the 20th century and indeed by contemporary standards, that is not much of a record (however bloody and tragic on its own scale). As a dictator, Pinochet does not even come close to the far bloodier record of dozens of African and Asian dictators whose names you can't remember.

Pinochet's apparent importance lies solely in the fact that those who define importance in current global culture can associate him (rightly or wrongly) with the United States: Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais, The New York Times, Oliver Stone, and therefore the rest of us.

If consistent standards were objectively applied to such matters, most of us would likely never have heard of Pinochet.

12/13/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Several people involved with Oliver Stone's documentary on Cuban leader Fidel Castro have agreed to pay the U-S government to resolve allegations that they violated an embargo against Cuba.

Treasury Department documents say the payment of just over 63-hundred dollars will settle alleged violations that occurred between February of 2002 and May of 2003.


Violations of Embargo

12/13/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephen Renico said, "It's ironic that so many compare Pinochet to Castro, since it was Pinochet who prevented Chile from becoming another Cuba by deposing Allende."

I wonder if it would have been acceptable to some Righties to depose Gore in the event he won in 2000.

A presidential election was held in Chile on September 4, 1970. A narrow plurality was secured by Salvador Allende, the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition of leftist parties. Because he did not obtain an absolute majority, his election required a further vote by the National Congress of Chile which resulted in Allende assuming the presidency in accordance with the Chilean Constitution of 1925.

Gore asked for hand recounts in three counties, as provided for under Florida state law. This set into motion a series of recounts (portions by machine, and portions by hand), questions about portions of the Florida vote, and finally lawsuits. These ultimately ended in a December 12 5-4 United States Supreme Court decision which ended the Florida recounts and allowed Florida to certify its vote, and award its 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush.

12/13/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC, I think it is important to include in your 2000 hypothetical that some revolutionary foreign country--Iran?--had openly provided $$ and cadres to the Gore cmpaign, and Gore had openly promised to turn the US toward "the Iranian model."

Wd Tommy Franks have become "The American Pinochet?" Wd he have restored a normal American polity faster than a Gore/Khatami administration?

Allende was the beneficiary of a constitutional crisis in Chile, and cynically exploited it to turn his country toward revolutionary socialism. As noted above, no normal Chileans wanted that.

Gen. Pinochet shd be understood as a Chilean patriot who executed a small, short-term coup (by 1983 pluralism had returned, and Pinochet left in 1988) in order to avoid a huge, permanent one. Pinochetism lasted all of 15 years...Castroism has lasted 48 (so far...and his successor's name is Castro, too. :- ( )

12/13/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Completing the question, I would say that a dictator is never legitimate. An argument could be made that a military coup which replaces a tyrant with democracy is a good thing, but that doesn't make the coup a legitimate government. It is the lesser of two evils, which should return power to the people immediately."

Vichy is always a question mark. Petain was voted into power by the soon to be dead 3rd Republic, but also extraordinary conditions.

12/13/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"For all of the reports of a restless youthful population in Iran, ready to overthrow the Mullahs,"

Take it for what it's worth:

Zogby International/Reader's Digest polling data.

"Iranians said they believe their country should lead the region “diplomatically and militarily” – 56% supported this view, and only 12% said their country should not be the dominant regional power. Nearly equal percentages of respondents want Iran to become more secular and liberal (31%) as want the country to become more religious and conservative (36%).


On one question, Iranians showed almost total agreement, regardless of age or gender. When asked if the state of Israel is illegitimate and should not exist, 67% agreed and only 9% disagreed.



Despite tensions between the United States and Iran, most Iranians – nearly two thirds – said they don’t believe that the two countries will go to war in the next decade.


Iranian men were more interested than women in making the economy work better. Among men, 47% said the economy should be a top government priority, while just 33% of women agreed. The older the respondent, the less important they considered development of a nuclear arsenal.


A majority said they would be willing to suffer through a bad economy if that were the price the country had to pay to develop its nuclear program. Also, 25% said they would blame the United States if the United Nations imposed nuclear-related sanctions, although nearly 40% said they were not sure whom to blame. Only one in six would blame Iran’s own government. If their country were to develop nuclear weapons, 25% said it would make the Middle East a safer place, but 35% disagreed with that statement.


When it came to their view of the United States, there was a split between the generations. Older Iranians were much more likely to admire the American people and society than younger Iranians. John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International, hypothesized that this generational split may be due in part to the lack of exposure to Americans over the past two decades.


Younger and older Iranians would favor a more conservative, religious society, while those aged 30–49 said they would favor a more liberal, secular culture. What is striking is that just 15% said Iranian culture should stay just the way it is right now. Women were more likely than men to say they wanted a more liberal, secular society. Among those Iranians with Internet access, 41% said they wanted a more religious culture, compared to 33% who said they wanted a more secular society."


I was originally optimistic, but the more I think about it, it is hard not to get a sense, that we're pray to the same sort that caused Bush Administration officials to believe in Ahmed Chalabi’s indigenous influence. Marching Iranian students and strident intellectuals are not the majority of Iran, nor necessarily their representatives, even if they are most likely to talk to Westerners. As much as we'd like to, we can't count on Iranians to solve our problems for us.

In the long run, it isn't clear anyway that Iran's semi-democratic institutions would even survive a political reformation. If the Atheist Chinese Communist Party is willing to kill for power, I'd say it goes double for those who think they truly are the hands of God.

12/13/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry for the long post, but I doubted that many of you have seen it.

It is Zogby, who's got an agenda, but it is probably the most credible poll I've found so far.

12/13/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Era la isla mas bella
descubierta por Colon.
¡¡Y llego ese maricon

he hizo una mierda de ella!!
Se acabo la Mortadella,
la malta, la condensada,
el queso, la jamonada,
el dulce y el salchichón.

¡¡Y dice ese maricon
que en Cuba no falta nada!!

12/13/2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link

U.S. military leaders reportedly recommend changing the main military mission in Iraq from fighting insurgents to supporting Iraqis and hunting terrorists.
Citing sources familiar with the White House's review of Iraq policy, the Washington Post said Thursday that members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have given President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney a "pragmatic assessment of what can and cannot be done" by the U.S. military.
Bush and Cheney met with the military leaders at the Pentagon Wednesday.
The chiefs are not in favor of adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq, the Post reported, citing sources "familiar with their thinking." Rather, they regard strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to gaining stability in Iraq -- and they urge a stronger push for economic reconstruction and political reconciliation.
Sources told the Post that the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has been looking at a proposal to redefine the U.S. military mission by pulling U.S. troops out of Iraqi cities and consolidating them at some U.S. bases -- while leaving day-to-day combat to the Iraqi army.

12/14/2006 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

I'm having a bit of a problem, can someone tell me when Hitler was elected as chancellor? I'm trying to keep my history straight here.

1933 - The Nazis reach a position from which they can seize power on 30 January when Hitler is appointed chancellor. Following the Reichstag fire on 27 February basic civil rights are suspended and the Nazis are given the right to quash political opposition.

Germany's last election until after the Second World War is held on 5 March. Though the Nazis win only 44% of the vote Hitler persuades the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Law, allowing him to govern independently of the parliament for four years. The Nazis now take full control of the state apparatus.

Another ref.

12/14/2006 02:31:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Wu Wei's link

Sources told the Post that the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has been looking at a proposal to redefine the U.S. military mission by pulling U.S. troops out of Iraqi cities and consolidating them at some U.S. bases -- while leaving day-to-day combat to the Iraqi army.

Yes!!!!

ADE

12/14/2006 03:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC asked: "I wonder if it would have been acceptable to some Righties to depose Gore in the event he won in 2000."

That would depend on how much Gore started to behave like Allende. Given your comment, I'm not sure you really know that much about what was going on in Chile at the time Allende took power.

12/14/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

It was more like Gore attempting to depose the duly elected George Bush. Every count showed that Bush had the votes, then Gore tried to steal the election by a selective recount in a few counties where democratic election judges could invent votes.

It would have put the country in a dangerous situation, which may be why the us supreme court stepped in.

12/14/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here is more about the probable new direction in Iraq:

The recommendations Casey is reviewing to overhaul the military mission were formulated by Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the outgoing top U.S. ground commander, officials said. The plan positions the U.S. military to be able to move swiftly to a new focus on training, one of the key recommendations from several reviews of U.S. strategy, including from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

Under the plan developed by Chiarelli's staff, the military would shift about half of its 15 combat brigades away from battling insurgents and sectarian violence and into training Iraqi security forces as soon as the spring of 2007, military and defense officials said. In northern and western Iraq, U.S. commanders are already moving troops out of combat missions to place them as advisers with lower-level Iraqi army units, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, spokesman for the military in Iraq, said yesterday at a briefing in Baghdad.
...
But as the sources described yesterday, the military planning in both Washington and Baghdad is far along, in some ways tracking the ideas presented last week by the Iraq Study Group, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former U.S. representative Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), for instance in the emphasis on reshaping the U.S. military mission to focus on training and advising.

Thousands of U.S. combat troops in Iraq would become embedded advisers with Iraqi security forces. About 4,000 U.S. troops are now serving on 11-person military training teams embedded with Iraqi forces. The new plan would add 30 troops to each team, allowing them to provide supervision and mentoring down to the level of Iraqi army companies -- a step seen as critical to bolstering Iraqi units and preventing sectarian violence.

Meanwhile, the remaining seven to eight brigades of U.S. combat forces would focus on three core missions: striking al-Qaeda, strengthening security along Iraq's borders, and protecting major highways and other routes to ensure U.S. forces freedom of movement in Iraq.

The plan would not allow for any major reduction in U.S. troops in Iraq over the next year -- nor would it call for any surge in troops, as some, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have advocated.


Link

12/14/2006 04:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephen Renico said, in reply to WC asking:

> "I wonder if it would
> have been acceptable to
> some Righties to depose
> Gore in the event he won
> in 2000."

That would depend on how much Gore started to behave like Allende. Given your comment, I'm not sure you really know that much about what was going on in Chile at the time Allende took power.

You're right, if the humanistic Allende had nationalized a variety of US-owned corporations and put the country's natural resources back into the hands of the people who lived there and voted for him, that would have been a catastrophe much worse for materialistic conservatives than Pinochet killing and torturing thousands of his own people. However, no matter what regulatory bills al-Gore would have signed, it is never acceptable to overthrow the duly-elected President of the United States by force. This country is ruled by laws.

12/14/2006 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Here's one more interesting quote about the new US military strategy in Iraq:

The Pentagon chiefs also are urging that any new strategy be sensitive to regional context, particularly the impact of political or military decisions. They are concerned that any decision to effectively throw U.S. support to the Shiite majority may lead Sunni governments in the region to take a more active role in supporting Sunni insurgents. But they are also concerned that a crackdown on Iraq's largest Shiite militia, the Mahdi army, may have repercussions on Iran's actions in Iraq, say officials familiar with the ongoing review.

12/14/2006 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Generals are right, what ever the US does has intended and unitended consequence.

Many of the unitended consequences can be seen, ahead of tme.

12/14/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wu wei said, "It was more like Gore attempting to depose the duly elected George Bush. Every count showed that Bush had the votes, then Gore tried to steal the election by a selective recount in a few counties where democratic election judges could invent votes."

I voted for Gore in 2000, but during the recount Gore said he would abide by the decision of the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Supreme Court upheld the new deadline for certification (which had already slipped a week), and Bush still had a majority. At that point he sent Lieberman out before reporters to give a Churchillian speech about fighting on the land, at sea, in the mountains, and never giving up. I realized that Gore was a lying sack of Shi'ite and I became a Bushie at that instant, because the most important thing to me is that a politician does what he says he will do.

12/14/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

w c:
"the most important thing to me is that a politician does what he says he will do."

Amen

Gore & other Dems have no idea how much damage was done to US by his antics in '00. Half the country still can't get over it 6 years later. They may never.

Nixon wanted to contest the 1960 election due to dead people voting in Cook Co, Illinois but Ike talked him out of it for that very reason.

Isn't it amazing that, whenever the Deamocrats win elections all the whining & bitching about voter fraud ends.

12/14/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

WC wrote:

"This country is ruled by laws."

So were the Colonies.

12/14/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enscout said, "Isn't it amazing that, whenever the Deamocrats win elections all the whining & bitching about voter fraud ends."

If you read about what happened here in Washington State in 2004 when Queen Gregoire was annointed, it will be more fuel for the fire.

12/14/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Thank you Mike H.!

Hitler was never elected, people! He never received more than 30-odd percent of the vote and was appointed chancellor by Hindenburg.

Why do so many people keep making this mistake?

12/14/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger wrecktafire said...

How does man save his soul and yet live?

What a great question to pose to a room heavily influenced by realpolitik!

For those who care about their souls, and have a little knowledge about such things, the certain answer is that sometimes you can't have it both ways.

To choose evil means to accomplish a good end is the all-time greatest temptation for good people. Those who give in to the temptation lose a little of their goodness each time.

You can't throw stink-bombs and not get stinky.

12/14/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

If good people use only means that are ineffective, then evil people will win every time.

You cannot be hit with stink bombs and not get stinky.

12/14/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Sheep dogs do not mind gettin' stinky. Just have to let them loose.

12/14/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger wrecktafire said...

If good people use only means that are ineffective, then evil people will win every time.

Tautology penalty: 15 yards. :-)

12/14/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wrecktafire said, "Tautology penalty: 15 yards. :-)"

Oxymoronic tautology is an oxymoronic tautology.

12/14/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger wrecktafire said...

"Oxymoronic tautology is an oxymoronic tautology."

Didn't you forget the ";-)" ?

12/14/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The US is now training Yassir Afrafat's boys, Fatah, in anti-terror tactics!

Link


The U.S. government is providing anti-terror training to Fatah security forces in the West Bank as part of its opposition to the Hamas party and militants.
The training began with the Presidential Guard, made up entirely of Fatah activists loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas...
Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, told the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth the decision to train Fatah security forces was made after it became known Iran is helping arm and fund Hamas political and military activities, the report said.
"We are involved in building up the Presidential Guard, instructing it, assisting it to build itself up and giving them ideas. We are not training the forces to confront Hamas," Dayton told the newspaper. "Hamas is receiving money and arms from Iran and possibly Syria, and we must make sure that the moderate forces will not be erased."

12/14/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC,

I get the impression that you're something of an Allende sympathizer. Why someone who uses "Woman Catholic" and writes some fairly conservative comments would ever support the avowedly atheist Allende and his Castro agenda.

Nationalizing industries in the way you're preaching would violate a host of laws in this country. Acting like Allende, or the other example I made, Hitler, is a sure way to be justifiably removed from office by force.

12/14/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/14/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

In March 1933, Hitler's party got 43.9%--Allied with the DNVP's 8%(Nazi by another name) he had a bare majority.

12/14/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ikez said...

Funny how the left is always trying to whitewash Saddam's terror links and atrocities.

In case anyone needs a reminding take a stop at www.regimeofterror.com

12/14/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nazis were the NSDAP, while the DNVP were a fringe party led by industrialist Alfred Hugenberg. Both allied in the Harzburg Front in 1931 to overthrow Bruning's government in 1932.

And yes, Hitler was appointed as reichschancellor by Hindenburg because von Papen convinced him (Hindenburg) that he could control Hitler while he was Chancellor - a fatal miscalculation.

He was only re-elected with such ease because by that time, it was down to plebiscites that said "yes" or "no" to Hitler being the Fuhrer - he had already exploited the Enabling Act as well as Hindenburg's death in 1934 to rid Germany of his political and ideological opponents.

12/14/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

From an article critical of neoconservatives:

Michael Ledeen, a confidant of Vice President Cheney...

In the neocons’ heyday, he formulated what Jonah Goldberg admiringly called the “Ledeen Doctrine”: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”


Link

12/14/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quoted from that article:

What won’t be dropped is the neoconservatives’ attachment to Israel and the tendency to conflate the Jewish state’s interests (as defined in right-wing Israeli terms) with America’s. So one can look forward to neoconservative agitation on two fronts: a powerful campaign to draw the United States into a war to eliminate Iran’s nuclear potential and an equally loud effort in support of maintaining Israeli dominance over the West Bank and denying the Palestinians meaningful statehood. Those who argue effectively for a more even-handed American policy towards Israel and Palestine will risk the full measure of smears linking them to historical anti-Semitism. The archetypical neoconservative argument will no longer be Bob Kagan and Bill Kristol’s call for American “benevolent global hegemony,” but Gabriel Schoenfeld’s attack on John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in Commentary, an essay that sought to connect the pair’s work to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

12/14/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Wretchard,

Before getting to your question re: what to do about evil, you must confront and resolve:

Permitting evil is evil.

or:

Failure to resist evil is evil.

12/14/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> he [Allende] introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle...

One might also say...

The Chinese leadership introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chinese economic miracle

12/14/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wu Wei said, "The Chinese leadership introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chinese economic miracle"

The miracle was the change of policies, the economic boom is guaranteed to happen when they are practiced.

12/14/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg:

I think all intelligent, patriotic, and informed people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto Pinochet. In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi Castro.


Link

12/14/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

This blog has changed. It's doesn't sound like it use to. I recall it being very interesting but now it's kind of flat.

12/15/2006 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/15/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/15/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

People I miss:

Truepeers, Fred.

I'm sure there's a number I'm forgetting, pity.

12/15/2006 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry, browser acting up.

12/15/2006 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Cutler:

Thanks for the Zogby info. You amplified, if not made, my point.

I had an exchange on another site, American Future, with an apparent Iranian blogger that convinced me that even if only 10% of their country is like him, then We Have A Big Problem. And it is probably more like 30% or more.

That Problem is solvable, and is far, far less daunting than the USSR was, but I fear that unlike the Soviets, containment will not work.

We are past the Nevil Chamberlain moment and are at a Harry Truman juncture; doing some Evil now to prevent a Much Greater Evil a little later.

The trajedy is that we will wring our hands endlesslly if we do some pre-emptive Evil now, but will consider the Much Greater Evil that occurs if we do not take action as just one of the breaks.

At the time of the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I heard a US reporter in Japan say a very interesting thing. He stated that the Japanese seemed to consider their attack on Pearl Harbor as just one of those things that happen in war, rather than a shameful thing -and furthermore seemed to see no linkage between the Pearl Harbor attack and the bombing of Hiroshima. The Pearl Harbor attack was just a tactic used in a war while the nuclear attack on Hiroshima is seen as great disaster in the same vein as an earthquake. They do not see that one led to the other. And the Japanese are a pretty damn rational people. Compared to the Iranians they are Mr. Friggin' Spock.

Scary...

12/15/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I think it would be better for the US and Israel both if the US stopped giving any aid to Israel. Personally I'd rather see that money go to our military. Or we could use to train up an army on the peripery of Islam from peoples under assault, like Darfur.

12/15/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

On the periphery of Islam? Like Israel?

12/15/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, Israel is surrounded by Islam, not on the periphery, geographically speaking, at all.

An island in the storm.

12/15/2006 09:24:00 AM  

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