God's Politics

God's Politics


Sue Badeau: The Defeat of Victory

posted by gp_intern

In the cacophony of words and voices swirling around the president’s veto of the Iraq bill this week, two words stood out to me – “victory” and “defeat.”

Opponents of the bill call it a timetable for defeat and urge us to push on for victory.

A question that has long been troubling me whenever I hear these words in this context is, “What would victory look like?”

I never supported this war, so to me, we hit defeat the moment the first shots rang. The idea of “victory” in a war situation is elusive to me: We are all losers. We are, all of us – Americans and Iraqis alike – worse for the wear. Yet, I keep hearing these terms bandied about, and I would really like to understand – what would victory look like to those who speak of it? I have asked war supporters this question – none can answer. I have listened to the pundits and politicians – none of them offer a vision for victory. They simply reiterate, vociferously, how we must not give in to defeat.

What would victory look like? What are our leaders waiting for? Will they know it when they see it?

After reading the headlines and hearing these calls for victory and sneers about timetables for defeat again this morning, I turned again to the Bible, following a trail through Psalms and Matthew, landing in Isaiah 59, where the unmistakable answer is clear – God’s definition of “victory” is “justice”.

Not the human construct that equates justice with revenge and retribution. But the unearthly vision that justice is connected to mercy and grace and brings about peace.

And the definition of defeat? Isaiah 59 tells us that neither victory nor justice will be found as long as “truth stumbles in the public square.”

We must not allow our leaders to hide behind powerful words like “victory” and “defeat” while truth goes stumbling by.

What would victory look like? I am afraid that our leaders do not know – they cannot find their way. “They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks … Yes, truth is lacking.” (Isaiah 59:8 and 15).

As many voices, for and against, discuss the veto and its implications for victory, we need someone to be bold enough to bring a different “v” word into the conversation – “vision.” We need a vision for victory that is built on truth and leads to peace.


Susan H. Badeau is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children’s Commission, a parent of 22 children by birth, foster care, and adoption, a life-long advocate and a Sojourners/Philadelphia volunteer.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:07 pm


I think victory would look like peace. We certainly aren’t going to have peace if we leave, and Iraq wasn’t peaceful to begin with. Peace is always the desirable option, but you cannot have peace with one who is warring with you.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:17 pm


I don’t think we will have peace if we stay, either–so victory seems unattainable…I hope I am wrong…I don’t agree with Bush’s approach, but I nevertheless hope it works…



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Wolverine

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:30 pm


What would victory look like? Victory would look like a stable Iraq with a humane government. Maybe you don’t agree with the decision to invade Iraq. Maybe you don’t think the goal is possible. Certainly the administration can be criticized for underestimating how difficult the task of establishing a stable, humane government would be. But to the extent that your complaints rest on the accusation that the administration doesn’t have a goal for Iraq, all your anger is just posturing, and your “prophetic” Bible quotes sound like Pee-Wee Herman doing an impersonation of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction. Wolverine



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walter t

posted May 3, 2007 at 5:52 pm


War is messy. Any peace that comes from this war will inevitably be messy and probably won’t look like victory. Look at the Korean War, if I am historically accurate, there was no victory for the U.S., but a cease-fire. A cease-fire with the insurrectionists is a long way off to say the least. Therefore, we must be prepared to support the Iraqis in some form or another for a long time. We need to force the Iraquis to stand up, work with the neighbors in the region, secure all borders to Iraq, solicit assistance from the UN, etc. We do need to start setting some non-disclosed deadlines for redeployment and for benchmarks. If we don’t get in withdrawal mode, we will continue on the course we’re on due to simple laws of inertia. Iraq is a mess, but we need to do our best to contain the mess if we can’t clean up the mess.



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:00 pm


I think a beginning for victory would be the result of actively and aggessively pursuing a diplomatic solution, as proposed by the Baker-Hamilton recommendations. It might result in Iraq’s being divided into three countries, but it appears that they can’t get along with each other in any meaningul way to build a stable nation (at least not without inviting another tyrant like Saddam–or even worse than Saddam–to come and rule there). I agree that a quick pullout is not in either our or Iraq’s best interests, but we can’t stay there forever, either. I hope Congress’ efforts will force the stubborn Bush administration to begin exploring the diplomatic recommendations and relying on more than just military options. Thanks, Susan. Peace,



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justintime

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:01 pm


There can be no progress toward peace or victory until the Bush junta is removed from office. .



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Mike Hayes

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:12 pm


I knew a person at work years ago who held a secretarial position who resisted it when technical personnel who had failed to plan ahead asked her to help bail them out. She had a saying that went something like “… failure to plan ahead on your part does not constitute a crisis on my part…”. The decision to invade Iraq, in spite of all the evidence that indicated that what has happened would very likely happen, does not create an obligation on our country to act as though no mistake was made in the decision to invade Iraq. May the leaders of the congress find some bipartisan way to lead our country out of the responsibility for Iraq that fell upon us after the invasion and the subsequent collapse of the government and the society in Iraq… and may it not take as long for our country to reverse course in Iraq as it did in Vietnam. Violent struggle between the religious sects in Iraq is occurring, and the sooner that struggle is resolved, the sooner peace and security will return to the people of Iraq. It’s up to the members of congress to find a way to end the violence that is occurring and that will continue to occur until our country changes course. We can each ask our members of congress to hasten the day.



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Wolverine

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:18 pm


Failure to plan ahead on your part does not justify a crisis on my part All I can say to that is: It’s a perfectly understandable sentiment, but I’m grateful God did not take a similar view after The Fall. Wolverine



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bellow

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:44 pm


peace, stability? give me a break – the neocon dream is a more powerful america, not a peaceful middle east.funny how you guys aren’t talking about the ACTUAL reason we went to war in the first place. it wasn’t peace and stability. in any event, anyone who believes that the way to peace and stability in the middle east is through beating them into submission knows nothing about the middle east.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:48 pm


Bellow– “the neocon dream is a more powerful america, not a peaceful middle east.”Good point, although you also need to understand that we cannot have a more powerful America without a peaceful Middle East. Any disruption in our oil supply will wreak havoc on the world’s economy. We need a peace, however, tentative to be attained in the Middle East. The Neocon vision is a stronger America through a Middle East under their control (ie. not OPEC’s control).



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bellow

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:48 pm


“Pee-Wee Herman doing an impersonation of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction.” clever.



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bellow

posted May 3, 2007 at 6:53 pm


squeaky, yes, but a middle east under our control is hardly stable. in fact, historical western attempts to bring the middle east under our control are the source of a large portion of the instability in that region.



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bellow

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:05 pm


“but you cannot have peace with one who is warring with you.” the best argument yet for initiating an end to the “military phase” of this disaster.



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Matt Channing

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:35 pm


Kevin- It is true you cannot have peace with one who is warring with you. The question is–”Would Iraq be warring with us if we hadn’t invaded…?” Remember, there were never any WMD’s, therefore no weapons to carry out a long-distance attack. If victory would look like peace, what your idea of “peace” look like…?



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Martha Huntley

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:43 pm


This is an excellent column, and I wish I had heard or will hear a similar message from our pulpit(s).



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 7:57 pm


bellow– “yes, but a middle east under our control is hardly stable.” Well, I agree completely. Which is why I believe the neocon efforts in the Middle East are arrogant and ignorant.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:12 pm


Susan in her article quotes from Isaiah They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks … Yes, truth is lacking. (Isaiah 59:8 and 15). I believe she is applying that to the US when I think it should be applied to the warring Muslim sects Shia and Sunni. They have been at war for some time now. We did not bring about the hatred between Sunni and Shia that is inbread. They do not believe in the same God Isaiah was talking about. They do not know the way of peace and justice just look around the middle east. God created choice for a reason and he went to great lenghts to give us a choice. It appears to me that Muslims (Shia and Sunni in this case)do not believe in free choice for if you do not believe what they believe you are subject to either total rejection or put to death. They do not want freedom like we have freedom. They want freedon to eliminate anyone who does do not believe what they believe. They work on revenge for wrongs from 100′s even 1000′s of years ago. What does victory look like Susan asks…it will not look like antyhing we will want to see. It looked like Saddam Hussein for quite a while. Peace only comes if shia and sunni will settle their diferences which have been there for 100′s of years. Al Sadr will not let that happen…he would have to give credit to the US and that would be like blasphemy to him. For real peace it would have to look like…believeing in a loving God who accepts each of us sinner or saint as we are. Why dont Catholics kill Baptists or (Conservatives kill Liberals :) in this country, because we beieve it is okay to have differences. We actually beileve it is healthy.God tends to leave us pretty much alone to our own choices right or wrong, until we discover the right choice. We are trying to apply a belief system in a place that simply cannot understand that belief. PS Susan dont read the the part in the BIBLE about where God told the nation of Israel to distroy men women and children because of their beliefs…very similar beliefs to what the the Sunnis and Shia believe. Those stories may a little to real for some to understand. By the way, I am not suggesting we play God I am just pointing out that there will probably be no peace until both Shia or Sunni realizes who God is and what He is really about. We need to pray for them…not just once but fervrently daily. Ramblings.



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kevin s.

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm


“The question is–”Would Iraq be warring with us if we hadn’t invaded…?”” Insofar as the “war” in Iraq consists of sectarian groups supported by Iran, essentially, yes. Iraq was actively engaged in a long-term war with us, plotting to assassinate our president, refusing weapons-inspectors, violating no-fly zones etc…The only difference is that Iraq’s weapons capacity was less than we thought.



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Randy: Wasn’t there a time in Christian history (not really that long ago, either) when Catholics WERE killed by Protestants (and vice versa)? Haven’t you read about Mary Stuart in England, or the Thrity Years War in continental Europe? Wasn’t our own state of Maryland founded by Catholics to escape persecution in England? I respectfully suggest, Randy, that you become more familiar with Islamic beliefs–from less biased sources than the ones you apparently are using, and also with our own Christian history, before you begin painting the situation in Iraq with such a broad and generalizing brush. Later,



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:26 pm


Randy G, “I believe she is applying that to the US when I think it should be applied to the warring Muslim sects Shia and Sunni. They have been at war for some time now. We did not bring about the hatred between Sunni and Shia that is inbread.” Sadly, this was not carefully considered before we went to war. If we understood the historical background of these Islamic sects, we should have been able to predict this outcome. It’s not like something like this has never ever happened before…We do need to pray for them.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:38 pm


Don, Thanks for your insight. Did it make it right that protestants killed catholics or that it still goes on today in parts of the world. No! But that does not change God and it just ilumminates how humans can so badly misinterpret Gods word. I respectfully suggest you take off the rose colored glasses about Islamic extremists and there leaders. Reagardless of the reason we went to Iraq they, Shia and Sunni, have a choice now of peace or war and they and their leaders (MUSLIM) have chosen not to sit and talk but to perpetrate more violence. I am certain that if they wanted to they could negotiate a peace. But they only know war because of their belief system. Their history certainly proves that. Respectfuly.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm


Squeaky, So we leave Saddam in place to continue his quest for weapons or to perpetrate more inhumae actions on his people? Not to mention that he was in violation of so many UN Sanctions, why have a UN at all? Why have any international law if a Saddam can violate them time and time again and no one ever enforces them.I do agree that we sould have been better prepared for the outcome once the iron fist of Saddam was lifted from Iraq. Obvioulsy as long as one sect was in charge I guess there was some form of control. Saddam just did all the killing and torturing that needed to be done to hold the country somewhat together. Sounds just like the place where I would want to live.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 3, 2007 at 8:47 pm


Randy G I have to agree with Don.Your generalizations about Islam and Muslims are inaccurate at best. My experiences with Muslims are very different from what you have described. I know that the status quo in this country would like us to believe that Muslims are our enemy, but I have never felt that way not even when I lived in Tehran in 1978. Let s get past these prejudices so we can have peace.



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:02 pm


neuro_nurse and Randy: Part of Al Qaida’s strategy vs. the West is to get us to believe that Islam is our enemy, so we will begin a clash of civilizations. They know they can’t defeat the West by terrorist acts alone. We played right into their hands by invading Iraq, because now the Islamists can say to rank-and-file Muslims: See? We told you that they want to destroy Islam. And now our administration is threating Iran. For these reasons, we should’t allow Ahmadinejad’s (sp?) inflammatory language and acts (mostly indended for a domestic audience, to divert Iranian citizen attention away from his government’s unpopularity) to provoke us to rash actions. Again, that would just be feeding their hopes for an Islam vs. West conflagration. I recently read a poll that indicated many Muslims feel that the West is “out to get Islam.” It is true, Randy, that Islamic extremists are dangerous and we need to be vigilant. But they don’t speak for Islam as a whole, any more than Jerry Falwell speaks for all Christians. Further, most Americans probably don’t have any idea what is behind the Shia vs. Sunni conflict. Squeaky is right when he said we should have anticipated that this simmering animosity would boil over after Saddam was removed. But saying that we gave them a chance for peace and they refused to sit down and talk–and then saying that their belief system is responsible–betrays less than adequate knowledge of both the Islamic belief system and the roots of Sunni-Shiite tensions. Peace,



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Neuro Nurse My apologies, I do not see muslims as my enemy at all. I do see people like Al Sadr and what we are dealing with in Iraq much different than the muslims we know here and frankly the muslims in many other parts of the world.I do not have any prejudices against Muslims as a whole but when their leadership is not willing to even converse and move towards peace there is more than meets the eye and when those leaders outright want to insite their people to annihilate the US and Israel then I have to consider that as a problem. Prejudice is the problem, but as far as I can see in this country Muslims and Christians and Non Christians live in peace together in the same parts of town with Mosques next to Churches. I do not think it is we who are prejudice and it is not us who have stated that the annihlation of Isreal and the US is on our agenda. We are called by God to love our enemys but we are not called to be stupid but to be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves Mt 10:16



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:10 pm


Don, Thanks! I have often wondered after 9/11 if our reponse would have been one of morning and greieveing not only for our dead but also over the people who perpetrated the deeds of that day. If our world response would have been one of forgiveness rather than revenge what would have happened. May be nothing different but I have often thought how the world may have been different now.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:14 pm


Don, My understanding of Iraq now, today, is that if both Sunni and Shia were willing to come to the table to stop the sectarian violence, that would be possible. Are you saying that cannot be done, even now? My understanding is that is their choice. Or is it that awesome human trait called pride that will not let them?



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Don

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:30 pm


Randy: Thanks. I too have wondered whether we could pray and forgive those who do these terrorist deeds. Diana Butler Bass, in her recent book Christianity for the Rest of Us, talks about a church with a lot of military families as members because of its location in an area near several bases. On the Sunday after 9/11, the pastor led the congregation in paryers for Osama bin Laden. Talk about courage!–but the congregation understands the scriptures and was willing to go along. Regarding Sunnis and Shiites, I’m not saying that it’s impossible for them to work together, but it appears it will be very difficult, especially now. That’s why I think we need an assertive and vigorous diplomatic efffort to try and resolve and stabilize this situation and, eventually, to bring our troops home as soon as we can. We should have anticipated these tensions would flare after Saddam was removed, but we didn’t. A lot of ‘ifs’ here: If we had invaded with adequate numbers of troops to secure the country; If we hadn’t disbanded the Iraqi army; If we had anticipated and planned for how to deal with the insurgency before it really got started; If we had … I fear that we as a nation and especially our leaders in charge don’t really know or understand this society we thought we were trying to help. Is it perhaps part of America’s pride and arrogance that we think we can fix things we don’t really understand? I don’t know.



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Carl Copas

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:37 pm


kevin s: “The only difference is that Iraq’s weapons capacity was less than we thought.” No, the only difference is that some of us recognized before the invasion that Bush and co. were lying about WMDs. Now, no honest person can deny it.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:42 pm


Randy G, “So we leave Saddam in place to continue his quest for weapons or to perpetrate more inhumae actions on his people?” Well, I didn’t say any of that, so I’m not sure why you are responding to something I didn’t say. “Thanks! I have often wondered after 9/11 if our reponse would have been one of morning and greieveing not only for our dead but also over the people who perpetrated the deeds of that day. If our world response would have been one of forgiveness rather than revenge what would have happened. May be nothing different but I have often thought how the world may have been different now.” I have wondered, too. I have often wondered what would have happened had our response been one of forgiveness–I think Don’s right in that our response only played right into the terrorists’ hands. That being said, the Taliban really needed to go, and we had support, even among Islamic nations, for our operations in Afghanistan. Probably because it wasn’t seen as a pre-emptive war, but an appropriate response to a great act of violence upon our people. “My understanding is that is their choice. Or is it that awesome human trait called pride that will not let them?” It is their choice, and I am sure pride is what keeps them from overcoming their differences. Ultimately, this is the problem. However, I do think there are other complexities that play into this…it certainly hasn’t helped that the U.S. is seen as invaders… the bigger question then becomes–if civil war is their choice, and their business, is it our business to try to stop it? We gave them their freedom, and if this is their choice of how to use that freedom, is it our business to try to stop it? I’m not saying we should cut and run (I honestly don’t know the best course of action in Iraq), but it is one of the issues that needs to be considered.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:47 pm


Carl, Please get over the lying part and deal with the fact that the President and Congress and yes even Democrats were mislead be the intel. No one lied they were simply wrong. Poor intel okay? Deal with it. Saddam was in violation of so many UN sanctions all he had to do was cooperate. We unfortuately were one of the few countries that saw it that way and we did something about. Right or Wrong we did it now we have to deal with it. I am so tired of all the condemantion. Go read the Sermon on the Mount condemnation does no good. Remember you will be judged be every word that proceeds from your mouth so please stop calling people liars when you do not know for sure.Respectfully,



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 9:57 pm


No, the only difference is that some of us recognized before the invasion that Bush and co. were lying about WMDs. Now, no honest person can deny it. Carl CopasSadly, Carl, there are plenty of dishonest people (some of whom frequent this blog!) who continue to deny that Bush lied about the whole matter. What is patently offensive about the the whole matter is that President got us into this mess, he has proved incapable of fixing the problem, and now those who call themselves conservatives would have us continue down the same path! Any mention of how wrong it was ab initio (from the beginning) is considered to be partisan mud slinging. If slick Willy Clinton had done it, I wonder if these same “patriots” would be clamoring to stay in Iraq. It wasn’t so long ago that I heard Repbulicans bitterly criticizing Clinton for not having an “exit strategy” for his intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. Those places look like Alice in Wonderland to the mess this administration has made, not only of Iraq, but of the whole region. Yeah, I know… everything changed after 9/11…give me a break! This war is, was, and will be wrong no matter how you try to repackage it, re-market it, or re-format it. Moreover this unquestioning loyalty to the United States is the sin of idolatry and we have a jealous God.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:15 pm


Carl and Sarasota, You both must have had a cystal balls and I would say you need to be in intelligence gathering or worse yet in congress because the best and brightest minds that you and I elected mostly said yep those look like WMD’s, and yep Saddam is acting like he has the WMD’s, so he must have WMD’s and they voted for a war. Even Hillary the savior of the Dems. Do you mean to tell me Hillary made a mistake…besides marrying Bill? Just some yuks! While it does matter how we got there, it matters more how we get out so use those Crystal Balls to figure that one out would ya! :)



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:16 pm


Sarasota, I have found in life the first person to call someone dishonest is usually the on you have to watch.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:29 pm


I have found in life the first person to call someone dishonest is usually the on you have to watch. Randy GRandy, I have found that those who unquestioningly accept authority are in danger of embracing facism.



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Kristopher

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:01 pm


The “Bush lied” mantra is silly and burned out. Do we have to go through the whole, “democrats voted for the war also” thing? If conspiracy theorists had as much common sense as they do imagination, I guess the dishonest people wouldn’t have anything to laugh about.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:07 pm


If the same mistakes had been made by a Democratic government, conservatives would not hesitate to continue to point to those mistakes. Therefore, I find it disengenous when a conservative says “what’s past is past. Get over it.” When over 3000 Americans and 10′s of thousands of Iraqi citizens have died for a war based on faulty intelligence, I’m sorry–I’m not going to “get over it.” I don’t understand how anyone can overlook that or defend it.



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splinterlog

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:08 pm


silly and burned out Ummm, yeah and “WMDs”, “Iraq/Terrosism nexus” aren’t silly and burned out. If anything, four years on it has become even more clear the extent to which this administration went to war under false pretences.So yes, Bush did lie. Suck it up princess!



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:41 pm


Ummh not one solution…just more name calling and rhetoric, just like congress and the President. How ironic! Sarasota…Facism? Come on really? I thought better of you until that comment.



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squeaky

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:47 pm


Randy G,Solutions, yes, we need them. But it does not at all help the situation when the current administration refuses to own up to its mistakes. We cannot and should not ignore these mistakes, as much as conservatives argue we should.



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:48 pm


Splinterdog, If we could get all of the guys like you that have crystal balls and are so sure of the truth maybe we could get something done in this country. Have you run for office lately to put those uncomprimising skills to work for common good? “Suck it up princess?” What is that about? Good line though! :)



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Randy G

posted May 3, 2007 at 11:51 pm


SqueakyWe do have a Democartic government. By the way the Democrats will get their chance to mess things up just wait. We always need someone to blame after we elect them. Besides I think Nancy will do a splendid job.



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splinterlog

posted May 4, 2007 at 12:07 am


Hey I kinda like Splinterdog, or maybe better Splinterdawg… You know as well as I do that I dont’ own a crystal ball – so if you ever need to borrow one, I think Donny might have a spare one kicking around somewhere ;)



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Don

posted May 4, 2007 at 12:33 am


Donny have a crystal ball? You gotta be kidding! Wouldn’t that be a concession to the forces that are sending the Christian church to perdition? Later,



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 2:00 am


Sarasota…Facism? Come on really? I thought better of you until that comment. Randy GAh well, I guess I’ll just have to spend the rest of my life regretting how I’ve disappointed you. :-(



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Bren

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:50 am


Finding a workable solution requires first that there is agreement on what the “problem” is. Squeaky says “we gave them their freedom”. I’d have to ask you to explain that statement. Yes, they’re now free of Saddam Hussein, but otherwise did they get freedom? There’s still no security of electricity, clean water, gas. We destroyed their libraries, their educational institutions, their economy, their homes. I would argue that it is precisely because “we DIDN’T give them their freedom” that civil war broke out. But the prior question is: did the U.S. go to Iraq to give Iraqis freedom? What the government said they were going to Iraq to do was to get rid of Al Qaeda. This was supposed to be revenge for 9/11. The WMD story was to justify this tactic. There is evidence that suggests the U.S. entered Iraq in order to establish a permanent military base there, to ensure a secure source of oil and that the events of 9/11 gave the government the excuse to do what they’d always wanted to do. I have never read that granting freedom to the Iraqis was a priority.



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ds0490

posted May 4, 2007 at 1:58 pm


“If we could get all of the guys like you that have crystal balls and are so sure of the truth maybe we could get something done in this country. Have you run for office lately to put those uncomprimising skills to work for common good?” There was no need for crystal balls. The inspectors from the UN were telling us that there were no active WMD programs in Iraq. When SecState Powell told the UN that “we know where these weapons are located”, those familiar with the inspection regime were saying that this was not the case. And the President himself even admitted that Saddam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks…long after we invaded, of course. So please, those of you covering up for your President, spare me the argument that “everyone thought he had weapons.” NO, not everyone did. A significant number of people who had been on the ground in Iraq for years told us this was wrong. They have been proven correct…and your ignorance and stubbornness in refusing to admit this tell us more about the spirit that dwells in your heart than anything you could do.



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Mark

posted May 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm


All of this political correctness and discussion is mute, Any “christian” that thinks that God’s kingdom will be a democracy were our opinions or ideas are important or relevant is mistaken. Christians serve the one and only God, and the only peace will be when Jesus Christ returns. Muslims follow a false prophet and as such should be ignored or evangelized, since when did God say that tolerance of other religions was how we should act, actually he said “man should have no other gods but me”. we as christians should wake up and realize that he is our King not our president and we did not elect him, he created us and we should obey him completely and quit this political correctness.



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 4:48 pm


“Sadly, Carl, there are plenty of dishonest people (some of whom frequent this blog!) who continue to deny that Bush lied about the whole matter.” I like the new narrative on this blog that people who disagree not only think differently, but are actively lying. “They have been proven correct…” Which is different from saying that Bush was lying.



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splinterlog

posted May 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm


No Kevin , no one said that you’re lying, but you are defending an administration that lied about the reasons for going to war. Former neocon insider, Francis Fukuyama, put it this way:The Republican convention outrageously lumped the September 11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq war into a single, seamless war on terrorism – as if the soldiers fighting Mr Sadr were avenging the destroyers of the twin towers… the administration will have got away a Big Lie about the war on terrorism and will have little incentive to engage in serious review



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splinterlog

posted May 4, 2007 at 5:21 pm


The above quote is from a Financial Times article by FF.



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squeaky

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Lie, faulty intelligence, or what have you, to say there should be no accountability whatsoever for this mismanaged war is irresponsible. I’m not giving our government a free pass on this one with a shrug of the shoulders and a “we all make mistakes. whoopsie daisy” mentality. And yet this is just the sort of defense I have heard given for the faulty intelligence that led to this war. “Let it go,” we’re told. Why should we let it go? If someone killed one of your loved ones through a thoughtless act of negligence, would you hold that person responsible and accountable?



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Carl Copas

posted May 4, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Randy, no crystal ball. I just read read news sources from outside the US, primarily from the UK and Canada. I also took seriously UN weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohammed el Baradei when they said the WMDs weren’t in Iraq. kevin s, I should not have said that all people who still believe that Bush was sincere are dishonest. I apologize; that was not a Christian thing to say.



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nad2

posted May 4, 2007 at 7:26 pm


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18488585/ among the many losers in this war, our soldiers & their families, including the ones who make it home alive.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 4, 2007 at 8:13 pm


“Sadly, Carl, there are plenty of dishonest people (some of whom frequent this blog!) who continue to deny that Bush lied about the whole matter.” Sarasota I like the new narrative on this blog that people who disagree not only think differently, but are actively lying. Kevin S. Glad you like it. Me too. Dishonesty does not necessarily mean lying. It can be intellectual dishonesty or intellectual laziness. Take your choice.



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Wolverine

posted May 4, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Sarasota, If you’ve ever played outfield, you know that one of the toughest plays out there is a line drive that’s exactly in your direction — maybe it’ll land short, maybe it’ll go long, it’s really hard to predict because you can’t see any of the arc that you might see if you were off to the side a little. Now, I’m actually a pretty good fielder and I’m quite competitive. (I’m left-handed — oh the irony! — so managers tend not to put me on the infield although I have played 3rd from time to time, but I digress) I’ll tell you, that line drive directly overhead has fooled me a couple times. And it wasn’t because I was dishonest or “intellectually lazy”, I play to win and I concentrate. It’s just a really tricky play to make. Sometimes a situation will come up where it’s really tough to get a read on things and you wind up looking like a fool. And the spectators who’ve never played the game will think you’re an idiot or you aren’t trying. But the guy’s who played the game know what kind of things can happen out there. Now as far as I know, Bill Clinton has never argued that Bush lied about weapons in Iraq. Not that he supports the administration or Iraq, but that’s one accusation Bill hasn’t made. I suspect that maybe it’s because he, of all people, knows just how tough it can be to figure out these things sometimes. Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted May 4, 2007 at 11:21 pm


Wolverine, To be fair, he was calling me intellectually lazy, not Bush.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 5, 2007 at 2:16 am


Wolverine, Thank you for that enlightening metaphor. I can only respond with three words: Downing Street Memo Peace.



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Another nonymous

posted May 5, 2007 at 3:31 am


I have often wondered after 9/11 if our reponse would have been one of morning and greieveing not only for our dead but also over the people who perpetrated the deeds of that day. If our world response would have been one of forgiveness rather than revenge what would have happened. May be nothing different but I have often thought how the world may have been different now. Randy G | 05.03.07 – 3:15 pm | Sorry I didn’t pick up on this earlier, but thank you, Randy, for saying this. This is exactly what I hoped, prayed and pleaded for in the days after 9/11. It’s what I still hope, pray and plead for. To the extent that we can still think and act this way, we win.



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Wolverine

posted May 5, 2007 at 5:20 pm


The Sarasota Kid wrote: (Sorry, it’s just that every time I see that name I imagine a gunslinger wearing a cowboy hat, loud flower shirt, bermuda shorts and sandals. Look out Tex! It’s the Sarasota Kid, the rootinest, tootinest cowboy south of Tampa Bay! But now I’m really digressing…) Anyway, sarasotakid wrote: Thank you for that enlightening metaphor. I can only respond with three words: Downing Street Memo Sorry, kid, but your smoking gun is shooting blanks. What you have with the Downing Street Memo is one guy’s recollection of another guy’s briefing where he describes what he heard at some briefings in the US. Even if you accept it as genuine, it’s at best second-hand, and maybe third-hand, information. If I showed you a memo where person A described a briefing where person B said that Saddam Hussein was developing nukes, would you consider that a “smoking gun”? I didn’t think so. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 5, 2007 at 9:41 pm


Sorry, kid, but your smoking gun is shooting blanks. Wolverine That’s okay Wolverine. I suspect no quantum of proof would be adequate to unseat your idol.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 5, 2007 at 10:59 pm


(Sorry, it’s just that every time I see that name I imagine a gunslinger wearing a cowboy hat, loud flower shirt, bermuda shorts and sandals. Look out Tex! It’s the Sarasota Kid, the rootinest, tootinest cowboy south of Tampa Bay! But now I’m really digressing…) Wolverine Hey Wolverine. I had not read this part of the post. That is funny! Actually I haven’t gotten to the loud flower shirt or the sandals yet. I haven’t been in Florida long enough! But that is funny!I know only too well how cantankerous I can be, but I do enjoy the dialog with you. Peace.



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Ana Leite

posted May 7, 2007 at 12:58 pm


It is a known fact that all politicians use those arguments that thhey think will convince and mobilize the people – be it a democracy or not – into the action that is “politically correct”: often going to war for economic reasons, using the different “ingredients” at hand (discontent, religious differences). We look at Roman History and see this. We look at nowadays politics and it is the same struggle for power and economic interests – at the cost of lives, those actual and those to come – compromising life on our planet. Looking back at History, one should avoid making the same mistakes. But, there seems there are words to entangle truth and fact and create illusions. Many of those in power look on the people of the various countries either as helpers to their cause (like the weapons lobby) or obstacles which then need to be exterminated. After extermination – at many costs – then there is “room” for negociating with the weak and or not even that – just take possession. Throwing stones into an advancing tank is pointless, even if the image is on TV. Fighting with kind words the poison and guns on the other side is not going to get us peace. Hard words must be said in reply to those political words that go on and on to justify actions that happen endlessly: like throwing up a building full of people in the middle of the night, because there was one suspect of terrorism. Would it be posible in USA? It happens in many parts of the worls: Palestine, some countries in Africa (Sudan,Darfur, for example), Kosovo… How to end this state of affairs? Going to the roots and following the money flux… Facts! Like oil and weapons. Business and politcs. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and no more. Then may be we couls have justice to begin with – and then some changes to bring about peace (which cannot prevail without a hierarchy of power). “Elephant Memory”



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butch

posted May 8, 2007 at 6:53 am


I respectfully suggest you take off the rose colored glasses about Islamic extremists and there leaders. Reagardless of the reason we went to Iraq they, Shia and Sunni, have a choice now of peace or war and they and their leaders (MUSLIM) have chosen not to sit and talk but to perpetrate more violence. I am certain that if they wanted to they could negotiate a peace. But they only know war because of their belief system. Their history certainly proves that. Randy G Let me change a couple of words I respectfully suggest you take off the rose colored glasses about neocon extremists and there leaders. Reagardless of the reason we went to Iraq they, US and British, have a choice now of peace or war and they and their leaders (CHRISTIAN) have chosen not to sit and talk but to perpetrate more violence. I am certain that if they wanted to they could negotiate a peace. But they only know war because of their belief system. Their history certainly proves that.



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Don

posted May 8, 2007 at 12:44 pm


Good job, Butch!



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Randy G

posted May 8, 2007 at 11:03 pm


Butch, Yep I am sure George Bush ordered those car bombs last week from Al Sadr in Iraq. Yeah, GW probably called up Al Sadr and said “hey can you get two suicide guys to drive into the green zone a blow up a few of my guys.” Neocon extremist…how about Disciple of Christ…get over the lables. Or is it labels over peace which seems to be the prevailing political process in Washington Repub. or Dem. Can’t get your way or somebody disagrees with you, then name call. Talk to few troops who have been there, Iraq, and see what they have to say about what is going on. I do not see Iran or any other Muslim nation bringing people to the table to discuss peace. I think we US were the catalysts for the talks that are going on with Muslim nations. Wake up Butch…maybe your reading to many out of country newspapers.



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