Backing Down

Dickie Durbin just shuffled down to the Senate floor and made a pretty abject apology for the mindless blather he belched out last week. I doubt Durbin is any more sincere today than he was thoughful before. The political heat simply got too high, so he backed down.

The forced apology doesn’t mean much. The damage is done, and al-Jazeera isn’t likely to tout Dickie’s retraction with much vigor. But I can guarantee you that Dickie’s energetic defenders in the MSM and leftie blogosphere are awfully unhappy unhappy right now. He just cut them off at the knees.

At least now they have some idea of how the troops felt a week ago.


145 Responses to “Backing Down”

  1. Conservative Thinking Says:

    The Durbin Apology

    Sen. Durbin Apologizes for Gitmo Remarks (AP): WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other histo…

  2. Jeff Quinton - Backcountry Conservative Says:

    Breaking: Durbin apologizes

    AP via Chris Short (in IM) Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures. “Some may bel…

  3. Conservative Thinking Says:

    The Durbin Apology

    Sen. Durbin Apologizes for Gitmo Remarks (AP): WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other histo…

  4. j Says:

    Apology? THAT was an apology?

    It sounded more like a kid who was saying sorry for getting caught, not for stealing the loli-pop. That was not an apology.

  5. Siergen Says:

    I’m not sure if the term “abject apology” is appropriate. Although the reports I’ve read state that there were tears in eyes, they also quote him as saying “Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line. To them I extend my heartfelt apologies.”

    That sounds to me that he is sorry that “some” people thought what he said was wrong, but that he himself does not agree. If he truly felt he was wrong to compare our troops to Nazis, then he would appologize for his words, not how “some” felt about his words.

  6. Pursuit Says:

    I am so tired of these mopes pulling the teary eyed thing when they get in a tight spot. Pathetic. My daughters stopped deploying this tactic around the age of 9.

  7. The Jawa Report Says:

    Durbin’s Apology: I accept

    Jeff Quinton notified me that Dick Durbin has publicly apologozed. Ian from the Political Teen has the video. When I first saw the video, I thought, just like Charles Johnson seems to be thinking, wait, this isn’t an apology at…

  8. Ramblings' Journal Says:

    “Dick Dastardly” Durbin apologizes

    Late this afternoon, US Senator Dick Durbin (Holier Than Thou-IL), with tears in his eyes, finally apologized for his comments a week ago on the floor of the Senate which equated American troops in Iraq with Nazi stormtroopers and those…

  9. Patrick Says:

    It was, as described by previous comments, a non-apology. He was tearfully sorry if his words offended you. He was not sorry for the rabid partisanship that made him utter them.

    Interesting that it happened a few hours after the only Democrat with any visibility denounced him, Hizzoners-son, Richard “get the bulldozers and meet me at Meigs at midnight) Daley.

  10. The Strata-Sphere Says:

    Durbin Forced To Recant

    It is about time Durbin apologized, but I am not convinced of his sincerity and it is not a real apology (he’s more sorry we all misunderstood him).
    Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line,” the Illinois Democrat said. “…

  11. carla Says:

    Durbin didn’t owe an apology. He was telling the truth.

    And before you get your knickers in a bunch…Durbin specifically talked about THE POLICY of condoning torture. Not any soldiers. It’s not their fault. It’s the policy.

    I find it reprehensible how the right is so easily ready to defend torture.

    America: Not quite as bad as Pol Pot.

    Nothing like reaching for a new low.

  12. Will Allen Says:

    That’s what probably prompted it. When a mayor named Daley says “Jump!”, the only proper response from a Democrat Senator from Illinois is “How high!?”.

  13. Will Allen Says:

    No, Carla, Durbin said that an account of a prisoner being chained to a floor for 24 hours in a very hot or very cold room, sometimes being made to urinate or defecate on himself, brought to mind the actions of Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot. This is only trues if one is an ignorant twit regarding Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot, or a dishonest twit, or both.

  14. Sandy P Says:

    And while I did not read the FU, was Turban “embellishing” his comments on the report or not?

  15. Tony Natale, Jr. Says:

    My e-mail sent to hateful Durbin: Dear senator: Your so-called “weasel” apology is not enough for the military and God-loving American people unless you rebuke your NAZI-RUSSIAN GULAG- POL POT speech on the Senate floor. Senator Lott was removed from leadership and you should be man enough to take the heat off your Democrat party and resign your leadership position. Give up the George Soros (follow the money) commands that your party must follow.

  16. sven10077 Says:

    Sandy, Durbin was reading and collating a series of E-mails gathered by Amnesty International through the FOIA.

    http ://

    Carla, the fact of the matter is that the Senate’s master of hyperbolic metaphor got carried away and got caught. His comparing the “worst US misdeeds” to relatively benign behavior on any scale used to measure those three regimes modus operandi fails the logic test. I suggest Senor Dick take a tour of a Museum dealing with the rape of Nanking, the Holocaust, the Kiiling Fields, or the Gulag Archipelago-not that it’d make a dent in the L3 rhetoric.

    Clinton, beloved Billy Blythe is the guy who formalized the policy of sending foreign persons of interest to Egypt, Turkey or Saudi for Q+A sessions, and I assure you their methods are a little more sinister than “too much or too little AC” + chaining folks for a day.

    in closing from an alternate Senate where the guys have to speak what they really feel…

    “Dick said he was sorry, and thank God since now I don’t have to stand with those right-wingers who wanted to hold him accountable.”

    //John McCain-McCain

  17. CDR Salamander Says:

    To paraphrase a great man, “Sometimes you have the TRUTH as it is, not how you wish it was.”

    You stated, “And before you get your knickers in a bunch…Durbin specifically talked about THE POLICY of condoning torture. Not any soldiers.”

    Senator Turbin said, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”

    He directly attacked American servicemen and women. It is all there in black and white. Accept it or reject it, but it is right there.

    You are mistaken.

  18. JP Says:

    As far as this military guy is concerned, major props to the Mayor of the Windy City. Politically motivated or not, there’s a lot of Democrats who didn’t say what Daley said.


  19. Ed Says:

    The Return of the Son of the Non-Apology Apology

    Perhaps because Chicago’s Mayor Daily came out against him, Senator Durbin has attempted to apologize again. Ed Morrissey says that it’s better than the first one–and he’s right–but it still contains these weasel words:”Some may believe that my remar…

  20. reliapundit Says:

    I just watched (on C-SPAN) Durbin apologize on the Senate floor for comparing GITMO to NAZI, Soviet and POL POT death camps.

    He was choked up – TRULY NEAR TEARS (like Voinovich!), and I think he understands he crossed the line, and has learned his lesson. GOOD.



    If Durbin fails to resign, it tarnishes the entire Democrat Party.

  21. Michelle Malkin Says:


    Was away from the computer/TV this evening, assembling this Weber grill and breaking in a new Hi-5 CD with the kids. So, I just watched the Durbin non-apology apology (video and transcript available at The Political Teen) and caught up…

  22. htom Says:

    He has to not-apologize twice more, and then resign his leadership post.

    They are, all of them, fooling all of us most of the time.

  23. Craig Says:

    Carla almost said it for me.

    The thing I’d change is that Durbin did not compare the actions to the worst those other horrific regimes did, and I’m sure he would not – he said that if people heard the stories, they would think the actions were done by those horrible regimes rather than by the United States. And they do include actions by US service people, doing as they were ordered.

    I think Durbin was right. It’s the right wing distorting what he said that is the problem – not to mention their lack of dealing with the issue he raised.

    They love to demonize the messenger, to distract from the issue – just as Mark Fuhrman (sp?) was made the issue in the OJ Simpson trial, to distract from a murderer.

  24. Joan of Argghh! Says:

    Why should the Dems care as long as torture is “legal, safe, and rare”? They afford as much to unborn children.

  25. sven10077 Says:


    unfortunately for Senor Dick people got to watch his delivery. His delivery telegraphed his intent. There were MANY regimes he *could* have mentioned, and the ones he did did not bring to my mind the “transgressions” he, Carla, and yourself are gnashing your teeth over.

    Pol Pot did not have AC for his “guests”, uncle Joe was a bit too into cost cutting measures for him to worry too much about state provided heat in the Gulag Archipelago and I don’t recall reading of him “cranking up the AC” during the five weeks of summer they get, and Nazi Germany….?

    Well not to be gauche and all, but the Nazis had a morbid fascination with the OTHER extreme(with one notable exception) and frankly it is THAT fact that highlights the rhetorical parlor trick he was attempting to use. Senor Dick never found reason to complain when Beijing Billy was sending foreign dissidents off to get beaten to death or near death in the Middle East, senor Dick never saw fit to complain when John Reno decided that Fundi Flambe was the course du’jour for the US. No senor dick is making metaphors with the most evil regimes in the 20th century, despite the fact that *gasp* France, England, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Thailand, and several other nations have engaged in as bad or worse over the last 30 years.

    yup, you are right “no attempt to stretch and smear” just an eebil GOP plot.

    Sign a legal/medical release and let me run the four playbooks he mentioned on you, you’ll be singing lovesongs to sleep deprivation and “ac abuse”.

  26. KSM Says:

    Not a Democratic Senator, not a Democratic Congressman, not a Democratic Governor, but a Mayor (a Mayor!) spoke up and rebuked Durbin.

    How deep do the Dems have to go to find someone with an intact sense of right and wrong, and the guts to speak up?

    A Mayor? Sheesh!

  27. RandMan Says:

    If Durbin and the Dems want to debate the interrogation tactics used at Gitmo and elsewhere, then do so. But to compare the admittedly harsh interrogation tactics used on a few hunderd detainees at Gitmo to regimes that MURDERED tens of millions of INNOCENTS during the 20th century is just wrong.

    With that said, the plain facts are that Durbin, the Dems, Amnesty Intl, etc. could care less about the Gitmo detainees. Durbin’s statements were just another sleazy political move to hurt the Bush admin. and he and the Dems don’t give a damn whether it hurts the war effort or not.

    While I have no love for the Repubs on many political issues, at least they are not the Dems. Guys like Durbin are why I just can’t take the Dems seriously when it comes to matters of national security. Sheesh.

  28. Pat Says:

    Craig, do you live with Carla? And what flavor are your kool-aids?

  29. Kevin Says:

    Durbin wimped out big time. It typifies why Democrats are having such a hard time getting political traction. As so often has proven the case, they are their own worst political enemies. Or, as Roy Rogers described it: a circular firing squad. It seems little has changed in the succeeding decades…

    What’s more interesting, and revealing, to this ex-GOPer, is to watch so-called conservatives line-dancing to a rhetorical jig premised on the decidedly anti-conservative notion that the government can pick and choose which inalienable rights are valid and in which geographical location.

    You folks may well be Republicans. But, you’re not conservatives. Not by a long shot.

  30. Chan Says:

    But to compare the admittedly harsh interrogation tactics used on a few hunderd detainees at Gitmo to regimes that MURDERED tens of millions of INNOCENTS during the 20th century is just wrong.

    Considering that, on top of those allegations, Iraqi civvies are dying at as fast a rate under the US occupation as they did under Saddam, civvie casualties in Afghanistan are unknown but estimated at over 200k(conservatively, some estimates put it at 2x that.) and it seems almost a certainty that we will be in Iran or Syria by the end of 2006; you may come to eat that statement. This regime *might* end up in future permutations of that rhetorical stupidity.

  31. Right In Texas Says:

    June 21

    Dick Durbin “apologizes”, if you want to call it that, about his disgusting statements he made regarding the treatment of prisoners in Gitmo.

    The Political Teen has video
    Michelle Malkin is on the story too
    Vodka Pundit….

  32. Peter Says:

    Personally I’m getting weary of the Dick(less) Durbins and the Craigs and the Carlas bleating about those poor little innocent lambs in Gitmo. Those scumbags want to kill my children. I want them locked up, wrung dry of any usable information by whatever means neccessary, then killed.
    The only rights they have as illegal combatants, under those precious Geneva Conventions, are to a cigarette, a blindfold and a stout wall to stand before.
    Perhaps the Durbins and the Carlas and the Crags ought to decide whether or not it’s really a good idea to make things easier for the crowd that wants them dead.

  33. Mark in Mexico Says:

    10,000 Angels will swear you were wrong

    I’ve watched the video of Sen. Durbin’s apology and I think it was more than slimy. He apologised to “some” who thought his remarks were in poor taste. He invoked the words of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, to indicate that, if his words turned out t…

  34. RandMan Says:


    Down the road, you may be right. But it seems to me you are moving the goalposts here.

    Civilian casulties will continue to mount. That is true. What you left out is that most of the civilian causualties occurring now are at the hands of the radical muslims in those places. It wasn’t the US forces that set off that car bomb in Bagdad, was it?

    And the tragic loss of innocent life that will surely continue in those places doesn’t change the fact that Durbin’s analogy on Gtimo was totally offbase.

    New motto for the Left-
    Moving the goalposts since goalposts could be moved.


    What’s your favorite KoolAid flavor? Mine’s grape.

  35. Kevin Says:

    Sounds like Peter is ready to kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out. He’s not willing to let the handful of ongoing detainee reviews run their course in the military tribunals. Which obviously implies that he cares not a whit about the thirty odd former detainees long since set free, via military review processes, for lack of evidence.

    No, Peter doesn’t care about justice. He doesn’t care about innocent blood. He just wants to kill somebody. Guilt is obviously optional to him. He’s clearly decided that most of ’em are guilty and that’s good enough for him. This despite the fact that he knows no more about their guilt or innocence than I do, mind you.

    What makes Peter any better than Osama bin Laden? Because he was born in a different location? Because his skin is a different color? Because he communicates using a different language? Because he couches his fascistic tripe under the guise of a different religion?

    Congrats, Peter. You are that which you so obviously hate.

  36. Mike Says:

    Chan you are so full of shit it is no longer funny. 400,000 Afganies are dead because of the states. Get your shit square mother-fucker.

  37. jerry Says:

    fuck daley. fuck you.

  38. Law Dork Says:

    Sullivan’s Anger . . . Versus What We Really Need

    Has Andrew Sullivan been hanging out with Larry Kramer? I’ve not read such anger in HIV/AIDS literature since I read Kramer’s The Normal Heart while in undergrad. For the July 5, 2005, issue of The Advocate, Sullivan has written, “Still…

  39. RandMan Says:

    Hmmmm. Kevin reports that detainees have been released from Gitmo. Who’d have thought that we actually assess the situation of each detainee and, if warranted, actually release them. Seems to me Gitmo is sounding less and less like the killing fields and the gulag Durbin likened it to.

    Congratulations Kevin. You’ve just proven how wrong Durbin was when comparing Gitmo to Pol Pot, Hitler, et. al. Those totalitarians would have never allowed something like that to happen.

    Hope my pointing this out doesn’t keep you from enjoying your KoolAid though. If so, I’m sorry.

  40. zen_less Says:

    You all are amazing – in order to defend the actions of your dear Leader, you are willing to countenance torture, and cut off all forms of dissent. To critize behavior is NOT the same as attacking it – if you think that’s the case, I can’t wait for your children to say “Oh my God, you’re attacking me” when you tell them they were bad. But in your tortured logic, to point out ANYTHING we great Americans are doing might just possibly be wrong, is tantamount to treason. Dick Durbin was NOT saying US soldiers are Nazis – he was using a comparative statement (heard of those?) which asserted that the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo was MORE like what you would expect in a Gulag or fromt he Nazis than you would expect from Americans. And only in your desire to shout down all criticism does it become “Durbin said we’re Nazis” Well here’s a nice comparative statement: your stifiling of dissent is MORE like what happened in the Soviet Union than should happen in an open, free society like the US purports to be. Now, to save you all the trouble, here are responses 1 2 and 3, in short:

    “He’s saying we’re like the Commies!”

    “He’s stifling our freedom of speech!”

    “He hates the troops!”

  41. cav Says:

    He needs to step down from his higher position in the senate…Lott had to and apoligized…

    what happened to whats good for the USA verses the “party”.

  42. Jeremy Friesner Says:

    What’s amazing to me about this situation is that we have multiple documented cases of torture being inflicted on prisoners by US officials, and yet somehow the outrage is being directed not at the torturers, or the government that authorized the torture, but rather at the person who spoke out against it.

    Was I asleep when it became acceptable for Americans to torture people, and unacceptable to speak out against it? Have I woken up in some bizarro world where torture is an acceptable practice but (allegedly) “besmirching the honor of the troops” by talking about it is an unforgivable crime? Perhaps it’s a defensive mechanism — by getting sufficiently outraged and indignant about the wording of someone’s argument, we avoid having to really look at what our government has become. But how can we expect anyone to take our calls for democracy and human rights seriously when we can’t even follow our own principles?

    And lastly, the most frightening argument I’ve heard is that it’s somehow okay for us to torture people because “Al Quaeda does much worse”. By that logic, it would be okay for me to rape if I can point to someone else who murders. Talk about moral relativism! Some things are simply wrong, no matter what the situation is, and torture is one of those things. The sooner everyone faces up to the real problem at hand and stops hysterically blaming scapegoats, the sooner we can start digging ourselves out of the national nightmare Bush has sunk is into.

  43. Josh Says:

    “and yet somehow the outrage is being directed not at the torturers, or the government that authorized the torture, but rather at the person who spoke out against it.”

    And outrage is being directed at dirk durbin too, but he deserves it. Unless you really care about saving the gitmo detainees, then pretending that the holocaust is comperable to mild interrogation will only defeat your own argument.

    And that is basically what you keep forgetting to NOT DO. If true unforgivable torture of any sort was actually happening, there would be no purpose and no excuse for comparing it to the biggest examples of genocide to occur in recent history. By trying to obfuscate the truth, you disprove your own case. In the future, I would appreciate it if you didn’t try and smear everyone in the military with your anti-war propaganda, because they don’t deserve that treatment. That’s a worse example of torture (torturing logic) than anything that ever happened at gitmo or abu graib.

  44. Josh Says:

    On the subject of condemming real actual torture when it happens in the real world, I wonder when durbin will speak out against this

    “Iraqis Found in Torture House Tell of Brutality of Insurgents”

    Surely the demoncrat party cares more about human rights than reTHUGlikkkans, and will not remain silent about unambiguous reports of torture just because they cannot beat Americans over the head with it (which I think could be considered torture itself).

    Hello? Democrat party, is there a reasonable person left in it who will listen? echooooooooo… ?

  45. Duke DeLand Says:

    HELLO! – For our friends from the “loony left”…..

    Go directly to the blogosphere and check out sites giving the just-released polls showing the American people SUPPORT the Gitmo operation and do not feel it should be shut down.

    Durbin was expressing an opinion way overboard, and is completely out-of-touch with the majority of our citizens.

    OOPS! I forgot, that seems to be the mantra of today’s Democrats….


  46. lets react first and think later Says:

    well it worked! you are all mad at a senator for a metaphor ! that is brilliant! nevermind the actual war and the actual killing lets find something petty to get upset about. i hope you conservatives realize that you define yourselves not by what you are but by what you are not. and you are above all, simplistic reactionaries looking to be angered by “THEM”

  47. Rod Stanton Says:

    Again he did not apologize. Again he said the fault lies with dumb Americans that do not understand how bad America is.
    Had he said “Gitmo never has been and is not anything like the camps run by the Socialist Labor Party.”; that would be an apology.

  48. rosignol Says:

    What’s amazing to me about this situation is that we have multiple documented cases of torture being inflicted on prisoners by US officials, and yet somehow the outrage is being directed not at the torturers, or the government that authorized the torture, but rather at the person who spoke out against it.

    There’s a right way to do that, and a wrong way to do that.

    Comparing the US detention facility at Guantanamo, which has a fatality rate of 0, with Pol Pot’s killing fields (~2 million dead), Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps (~7ish million dead), or Stalin’s Gulag (tens of millions dead- exact number unknown) is very much the wrong way to do it.

    The right way to do it would involve discarding the pretense that the prisoners in Guantanamo should be presumed innocent until they face a tribunal (exactly when have people captured bearing arms while out of uniform in a war zone been accorded that consideration? The last time I checked, it was grounds for summary execution), and that any level of duress during an interrogation is torture.

    I’m quite willing to discuss what kind of duress should and shouldn’t be allowed in interrogations, but you’re going to have to make a case and defend it, not just claim that anything the interrogatee finds unpleasant or uncomfortable is torture.

    Unfortunately, the Democrats seem to be more interested in making Bush look bad than in having that debate.

  49. Howard Says:

    Did I wander into Sullivan’s site by mistake? Or has DU opened a western front?

    Chan- One big difference between the Iraqis/Afghanis killed and the Soviets/Cambodians et al: they’re mostly being killed by the same type of murderous thugs that we’re keeping locked away from the world in Gitmo, not us.

    Everyone agreeing that we’re “torturing” these poor misunderstood fanatics, don’t we usually hear of the aforementioned regimes chaining people to the ceiling instead of the floor? Whether Durbin’s rhetoric was defensible or not, his conflation of Gitmo with those regimes was unforgivably asinine in the current world environment. Way to give the enemy’s propaganda machine ammo, dick.

  50. vilenylons Says:

    Whether what is happening at Gitmo is torture is debatable. Some with more sensitive perspectives might think that it is. I don’t, but that is not the point. Durbin said that what the US is doing is comparable to the Soviet, comparable to Pol Pot, comparable to Hitler. Only a fool or someone totally ignorant of history could make such a claim. How many Gitmo detainess have been murdered? How many have been beheaded on TV for sport?
    They are getting treated as good or better that POW’s which is a status and a treatment that they, because of their actions, are not entitled to nor deserve. They chose to place themselves outside the protections and constrains of the Geneva convention.
    Durbin’s comments are so ignorant and false that no alligator tears apology can erase the stain of what he said. He should not get a free pass just because now he realizes that he got his tit stuck in the wringer. If he truly believes what he said he should be removed for his ignorance. If he said what he did for simple Bush bashing he should be removed for putting party politics above the needs of our nation. If he said what he did because he lacks the self discipline required of our leaders he should no longer be allowed to serve as a senator. Maybe in his next carreer he can set up a no-think tank with Daschle.

  51. JRI Says:

    “No, Carla, Durbin said that an account of a prisoner being chained to a floor for 24 hours in a very hot or very cold room, sometimes being made to urinate or defecate on himself, brought to mind the actions of Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot. This is only trues if one is an ignorant twit regarding Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot, or a dishonest twit, or both.
    Posted by: Will Allen at June 21, 2005 06:35 PM ”

    What does it bring to your mind? A fun night with the boys in the locker room at the Y?

    If you don’t recognize evil in the policy and the actions that poliicy leads to, then you are too far gone. Torture and indefinite confinement without charges or due process are not what my America is about. We’re better than that.

    Durbin was right, but he’s a chicken shit for backing down.

  52. JRI Says:

    Oh! And let’s not forget Uzbekistan! Thank god for Uzbekistan. At least we aren’t as bad as Uzebekistan!

  53. HoustonF Says:

    You know, for the last year or so everyone has been talking about how the Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything, how they have no ideas, that they have just become an opposition party, etc. Well I think I’m starting to see the beginnings of a platform for them, a “brand identity” if you will. They are becoming the party of Terrorists’ Rights. If it weren’t for the propaganda damage comments like Durbin’s and Pelosi’s calls for a “bi-partisan committee to investigate,” do when they are broadcast all over the muslim world by Al-Jazeera, I’d find it all quite lovely.

  54. Will Allen Says:

    JRI, every incidence of mistreatment of a prisoner does not recall Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot, unless one is an ignorant or dishonest twit regarding the nature of Nazism, the Gualg, or Pol Pot, which, apparently, you are.

  55. robbie Says:

    Why don’t we give the detainees the same rights that American citizens were given at Waco? no electicity, no water, playing loud music for days and nights, bright lights thru the night and no catered meals—liberals should agree with that.

  56. Ugh Says:

    Durbin effectively said:

    If I read you the description of the prisoner treatment in question without telling you where it took place, would you guess it was a description of:

    (a) Nazi Germany
    (b) Stalinist Russia
    (c) Pol Pot’s Cambodia
    (d) The United States of America

    What is wrong with that?

  57. sven10077 Says:



    It is always pretty amusing to me that the Senor Dicks and moonbats of the world kind of forget the Beijing Billy record on human rights. Fundi flambe, sending prisoners to the middle east for torture, kidnap deportations of political dissidents. Hell of a record to ‘ignore”.

    Clean up your own party than worry about wrecking our war effort.

  58. Carl W. Goss Says:

    Durban’s words were poorly chosen, but the fact remains that Gitmo is a Gulag, albeit in a much milder form than that associated with the Soviet Union.

    In any event a lot ofdamage is being done to the US in the Islamic world by a combination of ignorant grunts and incompetent noncoms who apparently don’t know how to handle POWs.

  59. sven10077 Says:

    maybe it was really just ‘disgruntled barbers’….


    “Islam means ‘peace’ my friend.”

    // dhimmi victim of Taqqiya

  60. Will Allen Says:

    No, ugh, that isn’t what Durbin said. He said the chaining of a prisoner to a floor for 24 hours called to mind Nazism, the Gulag, and Pol Pot. This is either abject ignorance, or abject dishonesty.

  61. sven10077 Says:


    Indeed, that is why his “metaphor” fails the logic test.

    Iowahawk has a scathing satire of him at,

  62. Will Allen Says:

    No, Carl, Guantanamo Bay is not a Gulag because some prisoners were mistreated, unless you wish to call almost all places of incarceration gulags, and thus strip the term of all distinct meaning. This is an assault on language itself.

  63. sven10077 Says:


    teh fact is that Durbin’s “blanching” is over behavior that would be laughed at in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

  64. Ugh Says:

    He said the chaining of a prisoner to a floor for 24 hours called to mind Nazism, the Gulag, and Pol Pot. This is either abject ignorance, or abject dishonesty.

    What does it bring to your mind?

  65. sven10077 Says:


    a useful interrogation technique that does no lasting harm to the client.

    Used by the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the US, and a host of others over the last 30 years. ANYTHING we do at ‘gitmo is MILD compared to what we did under Clinton, which was turn people over to the tender mercies of the Turks, Egyptians, and/or the Sauds for a month or two. We are AT war, last I checked Bush is NOT rounding up every Muslim like super-hero FDR did the Japanese and pondered doing to German/Americans.

    perspective, pass it on.

  66. Dwight in IL Says:

    What does it bring to your mind? A fun night with the boys in the locker room at the Y?

    Well, for some, ah, sexually creative groups, yeah, I guess so. There are people who pay top dollar for pretty much exactly those things. But that’s not really apropos to the discussion…

    Seriously, though, “what does it bring to mind”? How about basically every prison or jail anywhere in the world (including the US) before 1950? How about any prison or jail anywhere in the world (except the US and maybe Europe) today? How about treatment orders of magnitude better than that accorded common prisoners anywhere in the Third World.

    Gitmo is a military prison, not a health club or a resort. And its prisoners are largely the exact same type of thug busy butchering people in Iraq. They are not innocents, they were captured bearing arms against the US military, held as unlawful combatants. But despite all that: they are given far better food and medical care than they ever received before; their religion is respected and subsidized by the prison officials; and they are regularly monitored by human rights workers.

    How exactly is that like the Soviet gulag, Nazi work camps, or Pol Pot’s reeducation centers? Durbin compared practices which might be abuse to systems in which real torture was the expected regimen and death was the usual outcome.

    If he’d wanted to say the US is too good for the treatments listed, that we should rise to a higher standard, that’s well and good. But that’s not what he said. What he said was that the activities he listed, standard fare in 99% of prisons through 99.9% of history, was evocative of the worst regimes to walk the face of the earth. Why is that not clear to you all?

    In the world of the first half of the 20th century, in which the types of activities Durbin discussed were common occurrances in jails around the world, somehow people still condemned the Nazis and the gulag (and would have condemned Pol Pot too). Somehow they realized that there was a catagorical difference between rough treatment of accused criminals and brutal torture and execution of prisoners of conscience. Why can’t you?

  67. Will Allen Says:

    Ugh, It calls to my mind rough treatment of a prisoner that is less rough by almost any historical standard, including historical American standards, of treatment of captured. It helps to know some history before yapping in the well of the Senate.

    Should such treatment be excused? Probably not, but I would need to know more. Ya’ see, some prisoners have a nasty habit, for instance, of flinging their feces and urine at anyone they can. Chaining such a prisoner to a floor until they modify their behavior is a perfectly reasonable response to a situation that poses a health hazard to others. Leaping to Nazism, the Gulag, or Pol Pot, in response to what is, by American historical standards, typical rough treatment of a prisoner, does a disservice to history, and to what victims suffered under those regimes.

    I strongly suspect that what caused Durbin’s speech last night had a lot to do with Chicago-area Democrats who are also Holocaust survivors, or the children of Holocaust survivors, calling Daley’s office and strongly suggesting that Hizzoner should put lil’ Dickie Durbin back on his leash, until that time when lil’ Dickie once agin proves himself to be a pooch with an I.Q. higher than the typical poodle.

  68. spongeworthy Says:

    And let’s get a couple of things straight: You guys want to make Durbin out a hero because he’s exposing these transgressions, but he’s exposing nothing. These accusations were addressed months ago.

    And every detainee is being given a review by a tribunal. Whether it’s due process by our standards is irrelevant, it’s an attempt to determine accurately their status and many have been released because of these reviews.

    Stop misstating the facts about Gitmo. You are handing the enemy propaganda and destroying any case you might have domestically for lack of credibility.

    Why do I suspect you guys don’t give a shit about either? By what measure is dissent at that level patriotic?

  69. Ugh Says:

    You know, I think you’ve actually got me convinced that the comparison was unwise, however the shit-storm that followed from the right was ridiculous (especially considering that Hitler/Nazi references have emanated from that side as well, Santorum on the D’s attempt to stop changes to the filibuster rule: “The audacity of some members to stand up and say, ‘How dare you break this rule?’ — it’s the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It’s mine).”

    ANYTHING we do at ‘gitmo is MILD compared to what we did under Clinton, which was turn people over to the tender mercies of the Turks, Egyptians, and/or the Sauds for a month or two.

    Treatment A is not as bad as Treatment B, therefore Treatment A is ok.

    And it’s not like extraordinary rendition has suddenly gone on hiatus now that the Bush administration is around.

    And every detainee is being given a review by a tribunal.

    They are now, and only after the administration fought it tooth and nail and, IIRC, lost in court. Where were these tribunals when the prisoners were first taken? Somehow I don’t have a lot of faith in the process now taking place.

    Stop misstating the facts about Gitmo. You are handing the enemy propaganda

    Who’s misstating the facts about Gitmo? Durbin quoted from an FBI agent’s eyewitness account, is the FBI agent lying? And I think the presence of US troops in Iraq gives the enemy all the propaganda it needs, it’s not like the terrorists/insurgents were having trouble finding volunteers until Durbin spoke up last week.

    Plus the news is full of all sorts of great headlines about how well the war on terror is going:

    Iraqi Rebels Refine Bomb Skills, Pushing Toll of G.I.’s Higher

    Iraq May Be Prime Place for Training of Militants, C.I.A. Report Concludes

    Fighting a Hard, Half-Forgotten War
    U.S. Forces Surprised By Taliban’s Resilience In Remote Afghanistan

  70. spongeworthy Says:

    Who’s misstating facts about Gitmo? Look upthread.

    You think our presence in Iraq is all the enemy needs to recruit? So the conditions at Gitmo aren’t adding to our problems in the Middle East at all? That’s comforting, but it explodes a major lefty talking point.

    Durbins comments are being reported in the ME media, but if you say he’s not hurting our efforts, that Iraq by itself is enough, well, I am mollified. Between that informed opinion and Durbin’s apology, why, it appears my work is done.

  71. Will Allen Says:

    Ugh, people who try to assess a war like this by reading headlines are extremely unwise. I haven’t a clue what the strategic situation will be in five years, and neither do you. Part of the problem with our political culture is that people are hell-bent on pretending to “know” things that they cannot know. It would be prefereable for people to refrain from doing this.

    Next, there is no carbon-based life form more useless than a United States Senator who has served more than one term, and the second most useless is a freshman Senator. The institution, which is necessary, unfortunately and nearly inevitably transforms what may have once been human beings possessed with near-median intelligence into blithering, blathering, morons. By the time they reach a third term, they are nearly guaranteed to resemble an especially verbose myna bird, except with no ability to fly, and an unsual fondness for cameras.

    Thus, whenever a U.S. Senator mentions the word “Nazi”, or “Hitler”, it is almost certain that it will be part of a statement that is stunning in it’s stupidity. Durbin and Santorum are no exceptions.

  72. Ugh Says:

    You think our presence in Iraq is all the enemy needs to recruit?

    I would say it is a sufficient condition for a neverending supply of people willing to fight US troops in Iraq, hence my reference to terrorists/insurgents. I didn’t say Gitmo didn’t add to “our problems in the Middle East,” which includes more than the insurgents/terrorists in Iraq.

    In any event, when the next round of pictures comes out at the end of the month (barring a gov’t appeal), Durbin’s comments will be the least of anyone’s concerns.

    Durbins comments are being reported in the ME media, but if you say he’s not hurting our efforts

    Was it his Nazi comment or his description of the FBI’s report? And wouldn’t his criticism that we shouldn’t be doing such things actually help our cause, vis a vis, “Look, there’s at least someone in the US gov’t who thinks Muslim’s in Gitmo shouldn’t be treated that way, maybe they’re not all bad after all.”

  73. Ugh Says:

    Ugh, people who try to assess a war like this by reading headlines are extremely unwise. I haven’t a clue what the strategic situation will be in five years, and neither do you.

    I thought cutting and pasting all three articles would be a bit much.

  74. cassini Says:

    The Right Wing Noise Machine pounced on
    Sen. Durbin when the couldnt get Amnesty International to apologize for making similar comments. These right wingers are truly pathetic. This is nothing more than a diversion for President Bush’s plummeting poll numbers on job approval and Iraq and that fact that Congressional republicans have been getting their behinds handed to them by the democratic minority. Why doesnt the Washington talk about that? We all know why because at this point despite their blatant bragging after elections 2002 the bush agenda is DOA and he is looking more and more like a lame duck.

  75. Will Allen Says:

    Ugh, three newspaper articles, by people who, in all likelihood, are intellectually ill-equipped to evaluate a situation such as this, is unlikely to do any better. Hell, even the very best minds, people who have spent a lifetime studying wars such as this, cannot make worthwhile predictions as to what the situation will be five years hence. In Iraq, much depends on whether the Shia’ majority is willing to fight and die to have a self-governing Iraq, and whether enough Sunnis can accept that they will no longer dominate the Shia and Kurds. There is no way to know the answer to this.

  76. Dwight in IL Says:

    Ugh, I’ll tell you what, I’ll make a bet with you. I’ll bet, oh, I don’t know, $100 (or a nice dinner, or a bottle of nice Scotch, etc.) that 1 year (12 months) from now, the security situation in Iraq will be greatly improved (by objective measures).

    And I’ll bet another $100 that within 5 years (60 months) Iraq is a functioning state with reasonable rule-of-law, economic growth, etc. i.e. that it will be a “success” in the minds of its people and world opinion.

    For each of your articles, I could post several articles that show hopeful signs, but in the end I agree with Will we really don’t know what’s going to happen. However, I have a fair bit of trust in the Iraqi people themselves, and a good deal of trust in the ability of Islamic radicals to make themselves totally unwelcome in nearly any society they blight with their presence.

    But note the timeframe. These things take time. It’s been barely 2 years since Iraq had it’s entire government eliminated by force. Of course it’s a wreck. The Iraqi people were brutalized for decades, tortured regularly and without reason. They are a strong folk, but that’s a hard burden. That’s why the Kurds, and to a lesser extent the Shiites are doing relatively well in their areas. They’ve had more of a taste of freedom, and they like it!

    Liberty and freedom might just spread through the Middle East, and you’re just going to have to make peace with that. And make peace with the possibility that the US helped make it happen…

  77. Will Allen Says:

    Dwight, what gives me the most hope is that the Islamic totalitarians are extremely inept at what one of the basic tenets of guerilla warfare; building a broad base of support among the population. The recent accounts of Iraqi Sunnis fighting with the Islamic totalitarian guerillas lends more credence to this hope.

  78. joey buttafucco Says:

    Many Americans are now seen as traitors according to the Right-wing extremist mobs. Bush is smirking in his White House this morning as he surveys the destruction of a once great nation. No prayers are to be had this morning since they have all been locked up in a large red vault. Folks gathered around the local Wal-Mart to discuss plans of out-sourcing freedom to the past.

  79. Dwight in IL Says:

    Will, I agree and I think one of the reasons the Sunni insurgents are so angry with the Jihadis is that they know that as well. Of course I don’t think there was ever much hope of the Sunni insurgency winning the hearts and minds of the Kurds and Shiites, but the Jihadis are costing them the respect of the Sunni tribes. Which is disasterous!

    Of course, it remains to be seen exactly what happens, and whether the Iraqis can hammer out some agreement that appeals to enough Sunnis to finally put an end to both Sunni armed resistance and Sunni backing of foreign terrorists.

    I also suspect that many Iraqis had romanticized notions of the “brave Islamic warriors” and seeing these thugs up close and personal was a rude shock to them. Which means Iraqis may become an important vaccine for the region, because they can share the horror stories of just what “proper Islamic rule” really means.

  80. cassini Says:

    Joey B.

    Dont you know that is traitorus and unamerican to criticize Emperor Bush and his brainwashed conservative minions? Conservatism=Fascism.

  81. Dwight in IL Says:

    Do these drive-by-lefties happen often here? I mean, I may disagree with Ugh, but at least he(?)’s here to discuss and debate. What’s with the “pop in, shout, pop out” business? That’s just rude.

    I especially like the “conservatism=fascism” tag. Of course if cassini actually knew the history of either, he(?)’d realize how silly that one is. Whatever you may say about traditional conservatives, they were pretty much always enemies of fascism. Whether monarchist, absolutist, or Liberal, conservatism just doesn’t mix with fascism…

    Of course, many people throw around “fascism” when they mean “authoritarianism”, so maybe that’s it. Well, for those who want to learn more, this seems to be a reasonable start, though I just skimmed it:

  82. Will Allen Says:

    For many literacy-challenged, “fascism” is just a word for somebody they disagree with.

  83. cassini Says:


    Modern conservatism is akin to fascism.
    Right wing conservatives favor one party government..they want the democratic party destroyed and they want to rule without any opposition.

    Do yourself a favor and look up the word “fascism” in websters dictionary and compare the definition to the tenets of modern day conservatism. its almost a perfect match.

  84. Joey Buttafucco. Says:

    Joey B. understands the danger and

  85. Mary Kay Says:

    Jesus is being described as “with the terrorists”, by senior Roman officials this morning while speaking at the monthly messenger conference. His attacks on our economic policies and our way of life lead to the conclusion that he is indeed sympathetic to the terrorist cause. “We want to remind all of you that if you are not with us, you are obviously with the terrorists, no question”, the emperor proclaimed, smashing his fist upon the podium.
    At this time, no information is available as to who is leading this band of “evil-doers”, but speculation exists that Jesus may indeed be much more than just a henchman.
    “There is nothing to be gained by questioning the authority of our leadership at this critical time, so when we hear of these traitors creeping out of the woodwork, it makes my blood boil”, yelled Maximus O’Reilly from his rooftop.
    -more on this story as it develops.

  86. durban poison Says:

    excellent, mary kay. if these guys found out jesus turned out to be a librul they’d treat him exactly like they’re treating durbin.

    anything, anything at all, in the service of damage control. these folks really scare me. sadly it is NOT a very long leap from condoning or making apologist defense of systematic torture to putting the political dissidents in jail, themselves.

  87. ElvenPhoenix Says:


    What kind of kool-aid are you drinking? If you scan the conservative and libertarian political blogs at all, you will find large number of them extremely upset at the way the Democratic party is imploding. There needs to be a “loyal opposition” to ensure that the rights of the individual don’t get trampled by the governing elite.

    Unfortunately, a number of the Dems have been consistantly proving themselves to be on the other side via their publicized remarks. Their unreasoning Bush hatred seems to have caused their reasoning abilities to diminish remarkably over the past few years.

    What part of “war” don’t you understand? The problem with the Islamic radicals (mainly Wahabis) is that they want us all either dead or enslaved. They say so time and time again – but our MSM refuses to publish those accounts, leaving many people in ignorance.

    What Durbin did on the floor of the Senate was to provide our enemies, the ones that want you and your children dead, with propagandic talking points – after all, a US Senator said so! Durbin is entitled to his opinions, he’s entitled to his beliefs. He is not entitled to slander US troops who are in harm’s way, and he has proven himself an idiot by doing so.

    The people of Illinois deserve much better.

  88. joey kay Says:

    Thanks poison,
    It has been proven to shock and awe. Spam it along(if ya want to).
    Joey Kay Letourneau

  89. Cassini Says:

    Republican Noise Machine Seeks to Crucify Sen. Durbin to Avert attention
    From President Bush’s plummeting poll numbers…

    Why is that republicans dont want to talk about whats going on with President Bush in terms of his lame duck presidency?

    The republicans are having their behinds handed to them by the democratic minority in spite of all of their bragging after the 2004 elections.

  90. Ugh Says:

    Dwight, I’m not going to bet against something I hope will happen.

    Will, I’m quite willing to concede that neither you nor I can accurately predict what Iraq will be like 5 years from now. As far as the three articles go, they report:

    (1) casualties from bomb attacks in Iraq have reached new heights in the last two months as insurgents have begun to deploy devices that leave armored vehicles increasingly vulnerable, according to military records

    (2) A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda’s early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.

    (3) Note that troops are surprised at the Taliban’s resiliancy.

    While I’ll admit that they do not contain a comprehensive analysis of the overall war on terror (and therefore I probably should not have cited them as general news on the war as such), but they neither require some special background on international conflict nor are they in any way good news about progress in the war.

  91. Bostonian Says:

    What Durbin’s supporters lose sight of is that Durbin is second-guessing the entire military and its chain of command.

    He is effectively saying that he does not believe that the military contains any meaningful internal checks and simply cannot be trusted at all.

    So maybe he “supports” the troops but he surely doesn’t support the organization in which they work.

  92. Cassini Says:

    E. Phoenix:

    I make my own kool aid and it isnt poisoned with lockstep right wing propaganda like that which you drink from the rnc.

    The democratic party has far from “imploded” as you say thats total bs. if so then explain why they are having so much sucess thwarting the bush agenda.

    americas’ enemies didnt just pop up out of nowhere. they have been there for years. I suppose that you are one of those from the rightwing that believe that any criticism of President Bush is aiding and abetting the enemy, which is pure nonsense.

  93. Bostonian Says:

    I suppose you are one of those who things that America’s enemies are right.

  94. Bostonian Says:

    thinks, not things.

    Drat it.

  95. Old Dad Says:

    Everyone put on your objectivity hats and let see if we can agree.

    Both sides say stupid stuff.

    What Durbin said was stupid, empirically incorrect, and bad for the country.

    We righties enjoy rubbing his face in it. He deserves it.

    If Rick Santorum had said it, Kos would be crucifying him, and you lefties would be helping and liking it?

    We agree, right?

  96. Matt Says:


    I know you probably cannot understand the point I am about to make. You are crying because some people are criticizing comments made by Durbin. You claim that doing so “stifles debate.” In other words, you want the freedom to criticize, and make ridiculous and historically inaccurate and offenseive statements – such as that idiot Durbin did – but don’t want to have to ever be criticized for your stupid statements. In other words, you want the freedom to be an idiot and say stupid things, but don’t want to give me the freedom to point out how idiotic and stupid your statements are. That pretty much sums up the left’s position regarding debate on any issue.

  97. Dwight in IL Says:


    I’m glad to hear that you share my hope for the people of Iraq. I also hope you agree that, whatever the state of affairs there, there’s far more hope of democracy than there was under Saddam.

    In general , the problem with cherry-picking articles is that:

    1) a comprehensive view requires a survey of a large number of articles over a fairly broad run of time

    2) even then, it can be very hard to pick out the trends

    which is why the CIA and others pay people pretty good money to make these guesses and still screw up constantly.

    As for specifics:

    (1) there is no deep mystery to destroying armored vehicles when you have access to antitank mines and arty shells: just build bigger bombs. One limitation is a desire to avoid civilian casualties, so I think part of what you’re seeing is the relaxation of that concern as the Jihadis come to the fore.

    (2) the problem with CIA assessments is there’s one for every occasion. Literally. The point of them is to give various scenarios and predictions. I’d bet good money that there are assessments taking nearly the opposite conclusion. With that said, it’s certainly true that Iraq as failed state is far more useful to the Islamists than Afghanistan, it’s more centrally located, has ties to Europe and the West, etc. As Islamism is a parasite on the West, it flourishes best near or in West. Hence the success of Jihadi recruitment in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Europe.

    (3) Perhaps some are surprised, but I’m certainly not. These people have been fighting for generations. Expecting them to roll over and play dead, especially when Pakistan serves as a willing barracks and staging ground, is naive. But so what? Also, note that it’s been less than 4 years since Afghanistan was freed. You must start thinking in months and years, or you’ll never see the big picture.

    Finally, just one final note. No one has ever brought rule of law to Afghanistan. Ever. They defeated every conquerer, imperialist, and would-be civilizer that came down the pike, since the dawn of time. Afghanistan has sometimes been rich, often poor, but always ruled despotically. Yet now, rule of law flickers there—it may yet die, but for the first time, ever, there is the possibility of something you and I would recognize as a civilized government of laws.

    Similarly, Iraq has a culture and psyche deeply rooted in oppression, tyranny, and tribal conflict. Yet the Iraqis are also cosmopolitan, smart, mechanically inclined, and entrepreneurial. And here too, there is the promise of the birth of a nation which rises above tribalism, racism, and sectarian strife—not under the iron hand of a strongman but because the people choose rule of law over rule of the gun.

    I agree that both are still fragile, but doesn’t that mean we must do what we can to protect them? Leave aside any argument about the war’s rightness. Don’t we now have an absolute moral duty to support and defend these fledgling nations against terror and tyrrany? If we allow either to be overwhelmed by the forces of reaction and violence can we ever claim again to be anything but the decadent cowards our enemies claim us to be?

  98. Cassini Says:


    I do not think america’s enemies are right. I just believe that Iraq/Hussien had anything to do with the events of 9-11-01 and it has been proven so. I also believe that the fact that not a single wmd has been found in iraq is a horrendous blunder by president bush in strategy that the right wing is ignoring. I believe he should be criticized for this and it in no way aids and abets the enemy. the real enemy is osama bin laden/al queda and bush has brainwashed his supporters into believing otherwise.

  99. Gordon Jones Says:

    The liberals are shameless as usual – and they smell rather bad right now.

    I am disgusted with the left. They have sold out America for a few pieces of silver from the radical Islamic jihadists, in their zeal to bring down President Bush.

    I hope the left is happy that their crap and paranoia is being trumpeted across the Islamic world. I just got back from a business trip, and had to stop in Dubai. Going through security, a man looked at my passport and saw that I was an American. You know what he said? “So you are from America. Is it a gulag in the rest of the country, too?”

    Imagine – the US is a “gulag.” Who said that? Amnesty International – backed by the Soros-Moore-Clinton-Reid-Durbin wing of the Disturbed Party.

    I am sick to death of what the left has done to America: it has sided with our enemies (as they did with the Soviets), and cheer on their terrorist attacks.


  100. Bostonian Says:

    You misunderstand the purpose of the war, and probably have done so from the very beginning.

    Bush’s supporters do not believe that SH was responsible for 9/11–that’s a silly straw man argument that the left and the press put up and has been busy demolishing ever since.

    It’s about DEMOCRACY. That is what the war is about and what it has always been about.

    I shouldn’t even bother with you, but I’ll remind you anyway: the way to defeat Al Qaeda and Islamofacism is to provide a Muslim counterexample, a Muslim democracy where people thrive without cutting off heads of strangers.

    And Al Qaeda members have been flocking into Iraq and Afghanistan to try to defeat us. They know what it’s about, even if you don’t.

  101. Cassini Says:


    Your ignorance is simply amazing.

    you like so many on the right buy into bush’s nonsense that a democratic iraq will stop terrorism against the U.S.
    The groups that are against the u.s. are not going to go away.
    There are terrorist cells in the U.S. as we speak, waiting for orders to act.

    According to certain polls, up to 80% of republicans believe Hussien was involved in 9-11-01. Bush-Cheney insinuated it at every point possible and it was the basis of his re-election.

  102. Bostonian Says:

    “according to certain polls”

    Yeah, right.

    I’m one of many who supported the war from the beginning, and I do not know a single other supporter of the war who EVER believed that.

    I talk with a lot of people who voted for Bush and none of them believe that.

    In fact, we’ve all spent quite a lot of time saying that we don’t believe that and that Bush didn’t say that or imply that and that it wasn’t reason for the war and it wasn’t why why voted for ‘im.

    I’ve been having that argument online since the very first day of the war. The Hussein-9/11 connection CAME FROM YOU GUYS ON THE LEFT. And you have never shut up about it.

    But by all means, knock yourself out with that. It’s not like you listen or anything.

    As for what will stop terrorism and Islamofacism, I am astonished that you think democracy in the mideast would have no effect. But then, the Left hasn’t been liberal for quite some time.

  103. Cassini Says:


    Have you ever posted in msn SLATE magazine’s BALLOT BOX forum?

    You sound a lot like the repubs/cons in that site. They are all brainwashed and repeat repub talking points without really thinking about what they mean.
    they are incapable of independent thought.

    Bush-Cheney have implied from the get go that Hussien was involved with 9-11-01. there are many quotes from them both doing such.

    Whats really galling about the Iraq war is that we are now fighting the very people we were supposed to be liberating.

    Face it, the war in Iraq is a horrible mistake and unjustified. Even republicans like Sen. Hagel and McCain have stated that Bush lied about the reasoning to start the Iraq war and are looking for a exit strategy.

    And no, I dont believe that a democratic Iraq will stop terrorism against the U.S. That is a Bush pipedream that isnt based in reality.

  104. Bostonian Says:

    Cassini, whatever.

    I voted for Democrats my entire life until last November. After 9/11, Bush did EXACTLY what I wanted him to do.

    I’m sure you’ll be complaining about those Rovian mind rays long after the Democrat party has faded into existence.

  105. Tom Says:


    Since Bush and Cheney have been implying the Saddam-9/11 link from the start, I’m sure you can easily point out a few examples.

  106. petrus Says:

    WA: “He said the chaining of a prisoner to a floor for 24 hours called to mind Nazism, the Gulag, and Pol Pot.”

    Ugh: “What does it bring to your mind?”

    Who cares what it brings to my mind? A number of people who have survived the real Gulag, the real Holocaust, or the real Pol Pot have spoken up, and they say it doesn’t bring those things to their minds at all… In fact, they call the comparison “inappropriate” and “unacceptable” and say that it “demonstrates a profound lack of understanding.”

  107. The Raven Says:

    Torture isn’t always preventable. The typical “battlefield interrogation” is rather horrific. But such things are rare. That’s why Gitmo is such a problem – we’ve institutionalized the policy, and that’s very wrong.

    Congrats to Durbin for having the cojones to speak up on the matter and get people talking about it. Was he hyperbolic? Not really. When I read about the things that are happening in the various “detention centers” we have in place, I don’t recognize my country at all. America isn’t worth defending if the majority of our citizens believe that it is acceptable to treat our captives with such brutality.

    Our soldiers aren’t spreading democracy when they strip people naked and chain them into stress positions, they’re spreading an image of our country that hardens the hearts of our enemies and wins them more converts. This isn’t a “liberal-vs-conservative” issue, it’s a matter of what it means to be moral human being.

  108. Sandy P Says:

    Hagel and McCain are pubbies?

    Like Bloomberg is.

  109. Sandy P Says:

    progressivism/socialism = communism.

    See how easy that is?

  110. Craven Says:

    I am ashamed that Durbin is such a crybaby. If he wants to insult his country so badly he should at least stick to his guns and go down swinging, die with his boots on so to speak.

    If the US is going to put panties on the heads of terrorists, use that kind of inhuman brutality by god!, then Durbin needs to stay the path.

  111. Robert Says:

    Didn’t Durbin read from an FBI report?

    Obviously (here comes the broad brush), the FBI hates America!!

    Let’s stop funding them like we want to with PBS/ NPR!!!

  112. Robert Says:

    Don’t know much about how to link, but I’ll try this.

    If Bush can’t control Cheney’s mouth, how can he ever expect to control anything?

  113. Liberal Says:

    I’m sorry too, sorry that Republicans are unable to understand context, and sorry that Durbin caved.

  114. Says:

    Dick Durbin Apologizes

    Like others, I found the things that Senator Dick Durbin said as offensive. I heard excerpts from his apology this morning. It sounded sincere to me and it did not sound like he was trying to add a lot of qualifiers to what he said. You can read it her…

  115. rosignol Says:

    America isn’t worth defending if the majority of our citizens believe that it is acceptable to treat our captives with such brutality.

    Y’know, there is probably something that will make me feel that way… but not extending Geneva Conventions protections to people who do not extend those protections to our troops isn’t it.

    As far as brutality is concerned, war is inherently brutal. You cannot wage war in a non-brutal manner- at least, not if you want to win.

    More and more, it looks like self-described ‘progressives’ don’t want the US to win.

  116. F15C Says:

    I apologize up front for the length of this post… Regarding the left’s idealized world-view vis-a-vis interrogation techniques, a while ago, the Chicago Tribune and others reported that

  117. F15C Says:

    cassini bleated: “I just believe that Iraq/Hussien had anything (sic) to do with the events of 9-11-01 and it has been proven so. I also believe that the fact that not a single wmd has been found in iraq is a horrendous blunder by president bush in strategy that the right wing is ignoring.”

    The fact is cassini that everyone believed Saddam had, was developing, and would use WMD. Some quotes to illustrate:

    “Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don’t have the judgment to be President, or the credibility to be elected President.

    No one can doubt or should doubt that we are safer — and Iraq is better — because Saddam Hussein is now behind bars.”

    Senator John Kerry (Democrat, Massachusetts)
    Speech at Drake University in Iowa
    December 16, 2003

    Remember John F. Kerry?

    Anyway, let’s go back in time before Bush:

    “In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now — a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

    “If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.”

    President Clinton
    Address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff
    February 17, 1998

    I guess Karl Rove forced president Clinton to make that statement, right? There’s more:

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members…

    It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

    Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
    Addressing the US Senate
    October 10, 2002

    Rove again, I’m sure. So, even if you and so many other Democrats are experiencing ‘WMDnesia’, most everyone on the planet clearly believed Saddam had WMD, they had no choice as all the data pointed to that conclusion.

    The question is why? Why did so many believe something that was not true? Rove? Nope. Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam *wanted* everyone, especially his neighbors to believe he had WMD in spite of all that America and the UN had done to prevent it. It was crucial to him to maintain the perception of power he had in the region after getting spanked in the Gulf War. Saddam may be a sociopathic, mass-murdering tyrant, but he was incredibly good at brinksmanship and diplomatic manipulation – at least up to the point where Bush called his bluff.

    Saddam’s plan was to outlast the UN by plying UNSC members with oil-for-food money. Had he pulled it off and America backed down after 1441, (of course the UN would back down, that’s a given, it’s what the UN does…) he would have been positioned to become the super power in the ME. His neighbors would fear him, and rightfully so – he backed both America and the UN down over WMD. That is as big as it gets.

    So, if Bush blundered, he was in very good company in doing so. But the truth is, he did not blunder. He acted prudently given the information available at the time. A tough decision still, but he did what any other responsible president would have done in his place.

  118. Jack Tanner Says:

    ‘I’m sorry too, sorry that Republicans are unable to understand context’

    As much as you’d like to believe people didn’t understand the context of dumbass Durbin’s statement the problem is they understood it perfectly.

  119. Cassini Says:


    NONE of the people who you quoted STARTED A WAR WITH IRAQ. That indeed was Bush’s decision and he should be held accountable for it. The “imminent threat” that he said Iraq was didnt exist at the time and has been proven wrong. Now our soldiers have and are dying because of President Bush’s misjudgement.

  120. Mikey Says:

    Cassini – it wasn’t an imminent threat. The President denied it, he said waiting until it was imminent would be too late. Point to F15C.

  121. F15C Says:

    Cassini ignores my argument and monotonously continues: “The “imminent threat” that he said Iraq was didnt exist at the time and has been proven wrong.”

    You really are not paying attention. Reality check (I’ll type slow so you can follow along…):

    1) The world *believed* there was an “imminent threat” and the UN, the US, and other countries acted upon that belief. You may have been the only person on the planet that didn’t, but doing so required ignoring all available information. (Unless of course you took Saddam’s word for it, which I would not doubt seeing how the enemy of your enemy is your friend, right?)

    2) Obviously Kerry and others in congress voted to authorize going to war in Iraq. Obviously the UN passed 1441 (after a slew of other toothless resolutions) which promised serious consequences.

    3) Had Saddam been successful in staring down the UN and the US on WMD, he would be positioned as by far the most powerful man in the ME and feared by millions upon millions more outside Iraq – just exactly the way he wanted it.

    Do you think that ‘victory’ would drive him to kill fewer Iraqi’s per month than the 3000 per month average he maintained over the past decade or so? Do you think that so emboldened he would have not continued to develop WMD? Those who study him think otherwise.

    The facts are clear. Nuanced a bit maybe, but clear. Would you believe Democratic Senator Nancy Pelosi if she said the same thing? Let’s see:

    “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
    Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
    Also a member of the House Intelligence Committee
    Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq
    December 16, 1998

    But of course you probably believe that Rove got to her and the others too, don’t you? Do I need to go on? There is an entire Congressional record of these kinds of statements that speak truth to your little dark ranting lies.

    I’m sure you realize that you have shown no proof of any sort, only monotone, narrowly scoped rants. (Rants Against Bush – now there’s something new…) And, all the while you deliberately fail to even acknowledge Al Qaeda’s declaration of their intent to slaughter millions of Americans.

    The sum of psychotic Bushophobia combined with extreme cognitive dissonance regarding key realities is well, interesting. In the clinical sense of the word.

    So, even though Bush and congress all openly agreed on the scope and measure of the ‘imminent threat’ (democrats as well as republicans), and acted with full support of congress in a legal and prudent manner, you still choose to ignore all of those realities and cling to your tiny, fetid belief system.

    And you have the nerve to call yourselves “reality based”???

    (Oh, and you never did tell us how you would address the families of the “would-have-been-dead-and-dismembered” under your management of Gitmo’s denizens. Why is that? Tick, tock cassini. We’re still waiting.)

  122. Cassini Says:


    Put the words: Iraq bush imminent threat

    in google search and tell me what you come up with.

  123. F15C Says:

    Mikey: Quite eleoquently put. I missed that clear and obvious point. Thanks.

  124. Cassini Says:


    President Bush is the Commander in Cheif. It was his idea to go to war
    with Iraq and no matter how you try to put the blame on others, he is responsible for the outcome. Republicans in the Bush administration never take responsiblity for anything that happens negatively on their watch.
    Its always somebody elses fault…Its Bill Clintons fault..its the liberal media…what a load of malarkey…be a MAN a take resposiblity for YOUR ACTIONS.

  125. F15C Says:

    cassini: Google gave me this which is a good summation of the issue:

    “The truth is that while Bush never uttered the phrase “imminent threat,” he and members of his administration conveyed essentially the same message using other language: Bush called Iraq an “urgent threat”; Vice President Dick Cheney called Iraq a “mortal threat”; and other senior White House officials agreed in response to press questions that Iraq posed an “imminent threat.”

    Again, based on the information available at the time, calling Iraq an “urgent threat” is acceptable. The quote above is from “Media Matters” and is their summation. Note the weasely “conveyed essentially the same message using other language” statement. They are saying clearly that he didn’t say it, but they say he did. That is a torturous (pun intended) use of words in an attempt to deny the obvious.

    IMHO, Bush’s logic was that due to the short deployment cycles required for WMD, waiting for the threat to be truly “IMMINENT” would not be wise (duh). He was right.

  126. Cassini Says:


    Oh yeah, Condi Rices “mushroom cloud”…

    So you are telling us that you have absolutely no problem with the fact that not a single wmd was found in Iraq

    Also can you tell us exactly what Iraq/Hussien had to do with the events of 9-11-01?

  127. russ Says:

    Hey Carla and Joan, are you stupid by congenital condition or do you work at it?

  128. rob Says:

    Cassini, your parents shouldn’t have let you play with those plastic bags when you were just a young and worthless affliction…

  129. F15C Says:

    cassini: “be a MAN a take resposiblity for YOUR ACTIONS.”

    Geez, calm down. You sound hysterical. Count to ten or something.

    First, I did not state, claim, or imply anywhere that it was somebody else’s “fault” or blame anyone beyond Saddam Hussein. To whom by the way you utterly fail to ascribe any culpability whatsoever in this matter.

    I’m simply, calmly, stating the facts: Bush made a very difficult decision that was prudent based on the official policy of the US at the time, and the information availaible to him, congress, and the rest of the world. He was fully supported by congress – both dems and repubs – in going to war with Iraq. His actions are and were perfectly legal.

    And yes he is accountable for those decisions – I would never state otherwise. In reality, he took the only prudent course of action available to him at the time. It would be dishonest, sick folly to judge him by second guessing his and congress’ decisions based upon hindsite alone and ignoring the real perceptions of serious threats to America prevalent at the time.

    The real discussion is Bush and congress’ decision to go to war without the approval of the UNSC. That is the controversial decision made in this matter.

  130. F15C Says:

    Cassini: “Oh yeah, Condi Rices “mushroom cloud”…”

    No, Saddam Husseins… Again, for the n’th time, the prevalent belief, based on the intelligence available at the time was that Hussein had WMD.

    Nowhere did I state an opinion of whether I liked or did not like the fact that WMD was not found in Iraq. To me, that is not the issue. Saddam wanted the world to believe, truly believe, that he had WMD. He did a masterful job of manipulating world perception. He came very close to winning his game of brinksmanship. The world believed him. He believed, based upon his perceptions and experience, that the UN and therefore the US would, once again, back down when push came to shove. He was wrong at the most critical time.

    For the record, I hold Saddam Hussein responsible for the events that followed from his deliberate manipulation of the world’s perceptions regarding his WMD.

  131. F15C Says:

    Cassini: Another couple of quotes showing the context in which the decsisions leading to the war in Iraq were made:

    “He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts.”

    Congressman Henry Waxman (Democrat, California)
    Addressing the US Congress
    October 10, 2002


    “Dear Mr. President:

    The events of September 11 have highlighted the vulnerability of the United States to determined terrorists. As we work to clean up Afghanistan and destroy al Qaeda, it is imperative that we plan to eliminate the threat from Iraq.

    This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs.

    The threat from Iraq is real, and it cannot be permanently contained. For as long as Saddam Hussein is in power in Baghdad, he will seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them. We have no doubt that these deadly weapons are intended for use against the United States and its allies. Consequently, we believe we must directly confront Saddam, sooner rather than later.

    Mr. President, all indications are that in the interest of our own national security, Saddam Hussein must be removed from power.”


    Congressman Harold Ford (Democrat, Tennessee)
    Senator Bob Graham (Democrat, Florida)
    Congressman Tom Lantos (Democrat, California)
    Senator Joseph Lieberman (Democrat, Connecticut)

    Senator Sam Brownback (Republican, Kansas)
    Senator Jesse Helms (Republican, North Carolina)
    Congressman Henry Hyde (Republican, Illinois)
    Senator Trent Lott (Republican, Mississippi)
    Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona)
    Senator Richard Shelby (Republican, Alabama)

    Letter to President Bush
    December 5, 2001

  132. Cassini Says:


    I am perfectly calm..

    if you were to go back and review you would find that bush was going to attack
    Iraq regardless of what Congress did. As a matter of fact he had white house lawyers look into whether it was legal or not and they told them he had authority to to do it as a “police action”..he only went to congress as a matter of “political correctness”.

    Nice dodge on the questions i asked you.

    you answered neither of

  133. F15C Says:

    cassini: “and they told them he had authority to to do it as a “police action”..he only went to congress as a matter of “political correctness”.”

    I think we all know the constitution gives the President certain powers. I think it reasonable and prudent that the president in such times understand all available alternative courses of action. Standard operating procedure for competent decision making.

    Regarding your assertion, the key question is why did congress approve of Bush’s action? They could have fillibustered, but didn’t. They could have just voted it down. Why didn’t they?

    And I did answer your question regarding not finding WMD. I said that not finding WMD was not the real issue at hand. The fact is that the lack of WMD underlined Saddams failed ploy.

    I did not answer your question about Saddam and 9/11 because it is not germaine to this discussion. Bush did not claim that we were going to war with Iraq because Saddam was responsible for 9/11. Like Bush, I did not, and do not, believe that Saddam was behind 9/11. Do you?

    But when are you going to get back to the original thread, that of Gitmo and the fact that information extracted from terrorist detainees saved countless lives?

    Oh, and I’m glad you calmed down. There for a minute I thought something was going to pop.

  134. Cassini Says:


    I think Gitmo should be shut down. There is no excuse for holding people indefinitely without charging them with
    a crime.

    I think that when reports and pictures of abuse surface out its aids, abets and inflames the enemy.

    I’m sorry but i just dont see any connection between the events of 9-11-01 and the war in iraq….I think the war in Iraq is a tragic mistake and will do absolutely nothing to quell terrorism against the U.S. I think that Bush has brainwashed his supporters into believing that Hussien was involved, while Al qaeda has re-organized and Bin laden is still running free. Bush seldom talks about him and there is a reason for that.

    btw: Come over to the MSN Slate Magazine

    Ballot Box forum sometimes..I think you will enjoy the repartee over there.

  135. F15C Says:

    cassini: Here is another quote that I think succinctly summarizes the situation faced by our leaders before they made the decisions that launched us into war with Iraq:

    “The time has come for decisive action. With our allies, we must do whatever is necessary to guard against the threat posed by an Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction, and under the thumb of Saddam Hussein.

    The United States must lead an international effort to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein — and to assure that Iraq fulfills its obligations to the international community.

    This is not an easy decision, and it carries many risks. It will also carry costs, certainly in resources, and almost certainly in lives. After careful consideration, I believe that the risk of inaction is far greater than the risk of action.

    We must address the most insidious threat posed by weapons of mass destruction — the threat that comes from the ability of terrorists to obtain them.

    The path of confronting Saddam is full of hazards. But the path of inaction is far more dangerous. This week, a week where we remember the sacrifice of thousands of innocent Americans made on 9-11, the choice could not be starker. Had we known that such attacks were imminent, we surely would have used every means at our disposal to prevent them and take out the plotters. We cannot wait for such a terrible event — or, if weapons of mass destruction are used, one far worse — to address the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”

    Senator John Edwards (Democrat, North Carolina)
    Addressing the US Senate
    September 12, 2002

    I think Sen. Edwards statement is an eloquent summary of the prevalent thought at the time. His party affiliation makes no difference to me. And to be clear, I am not posting these statements by Democrats that support the war with Iraq to denigrate them, or as an “I told you so” with them. On the contrary, I do it because I believe they made the right decision. I do it because you and your ilk have too conveniently forgotten the realities of the world that our leaders had no choice but to deal with at the time.

    It is abundantly clear that you refuse to acknowledge or even discuss the facts. And you *still* are not so cleverly avoiding the Gitmo issue I raised. From your lack of response, one is left to conclude that saving innocent lives is of little or no importance to you. Not as long as there is Bush to attack.

    Look cassini, you are appearing pretty lame right now in terms of ability to participate in a productive argument. Zero proof of anything from you. Zero. All blow, no go wears thin pretty fast.

    But you know, you seem so convinced that disproving those Democrats and my argument should be ridiculously easy. So why are you so assidiously avoiding the facts of the matter and sticking to your baseless, ineffective assertions?

    Look, if you can make a case, do it. The childish bile you’re spewing has been done to death by many far better at it than you. You might as well be claiming that Bush is in truth and in reality Hitler reincarnated for all the proof you’ve shown.

    Oh, and there is still the Gimo matter you are also not so transparently ignoring. As I said before: Tick, tock. We’re waiting.

  136. F15C Says:

    cassini: Thanks for the invite to Slate. I will take you up on that. Sounds like fun.

    To your other points. “There is no excuse for holding people indefinitely without charging them with
    a crime.” I suppose you think we have to charge Iraq Republican Guard POWs with crimes as well then? International law clearly allows holding these people for the duration of the conflicts in which they fought as non-uniformed combatants. As I’ve stated before, each and every detainee has been in front of a tribunal that meets the requirements of Article V of the GC and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.

    cassini: “I think that when reports and pictures of abuse surface out its (sic) aids, abets and inflames the enemy.”

    I agree that the pictures inflame the enemy. Every breath we take as infidels and Americans inflames the enemy. There is nothing about Western civilizatoin that does not inflame them. Do the pictures aids and abet the enemy? No. The enemy is aided and abetted by the reactionary leftists who publicly and with clear malice degrade their own country, their own government. It is baseless, denigrating statements like Durbin’s that aid and abet. But the pictures themselves do not aid and abet.

    To be clear, there is plenty of room for opposition and discourse, but not at the price of aiding and abetting the enemy in any way. I have had very, very good discussions with leftists that have a conscience about this very thing. They too were saddened by the clear aid provided to the enemy by the words of some on their side. In some cases it was the only thing we agreed on, but I can respect that.

    cassini regarding 9/11: “I’m sorry but i just dont see any connection between the events of 9-11-01 and the war in iraq… I think the war in Iraq is a tragic mistake and will do absolutely nothing to quell terrorism against the U.S. … I think that Bush has brainwashed his supporters into believing that Hussien was involved…”

    I realize the connection such as it is is nuanced. I honestly if Saddam had anything to do with 9/11 or not. If I had to guess, and I would have to guess as there is no proof that I’m aware of showing that he did or did not. However, Bush, et al, never made that case. No one I know that supported the war thought that was why the war was undertaken. Frankly, my perception is that hysterics from both the far right and far left made up that concept and it stuck. I can understand a paranoid mindset believing that all Arabs, Saddam included, were guilty of corroborating on 9/11. But that is simply not true. But Bush “brainwashed” his supporters? Please, you can do better than that – can’t you?

    From a perspective of miltary strategy only, the war in Iraq is a brilliant strategy against terrorist organizations, especially Al Qaeda. In short, we are fighting AL Qaeda in Iraq on our terms not theirs. Iraq is war they cannot afford to lose so they are throwing everything they have at us over there. And they will continue to do so until they are exhausted and so defeated. The only way for them to win is for the US to pull out too soon and they know that. And so do their supporters amongst the radical left in this country and elsewhere. That’s why setting an official timetable to leave Iraq plays right into their hands. Doing so would provide a clear timetable to victory for Al Qaeda in Iraq and rejuvenate their will to fight. And that would be a disaster.

    Al Qaeda can not allow a non-Muslim presence ongoing in Iraq. Without going into detail on their religious dogma, allowing even a mildly pro-American government to stand would be a huge spiritual defeat for them and cause them to lose most if not all their credibility with the radical Muslim ‘street’.

    As to Bin Laden, for the time being, strategically speaking he is better left untouched, but marginalized. Most believe he will not allow himself to be captured. If he believes what he spews, then I agree. So in capturing him, you kill him, and you know what that makes him. A martyr. So as long as he is marginalized and rendered essentially ineffective, wait until the time is right to go get/kill him. I think the FBI/CIA/Military knows where he is, but work to just keep him on his toes and moving around too much to be effective. Good strategy in my opinion to marginalize the leader of your enemy and not empower some fresh new leader taking over the martyr’s position. Smart.

  137. rosignol Says:

    I think Gitmo should be shut down. There is no excuse for holding people indefinitely without charging them with a crime.
    -Cassini at June 23, 2005 02:30 PM

    There is no excuse for the US government holding US Citizens indefinitely without charging them with a crime. The rules regarding non-citizens captured on a battlefield are quite different- and those rules predate the first Bush administration, nevermind the second.

    Why do so many on the left have such a difficult time understanding this?

  138. rosignol Says:

    As to Bin Laden, for the time being, strategically speaking he is better left untouched, but marginalized. Most believe he will not allow himself to be captured. If he believes what he spews, then I agree. So in capturing him, you kill him, and you know what that makes him. A martyr. So as long as he is marginalized and rendered essentially ineffective, wait until the time is right to go get/kill him. I think the FBI/CIA/Military knows where he is, but work to just keep him on his toes and moving around too much to be effective. Good strategy in my opinion to marginalize the leader of your enemy and not empower some fresh new leader taking over the martyr’s position. Smart.

    Yes and no. I strongly suspect that the ‘martyr’ factor in the middle east is greatly exaggerated- that is a culture that respects power and success, and for Bin Laden to remain on the loose makes the US look ineffective.

    As far as the leadership thing is concerned, yes, it is better to not take out an incompetent commander and by doing so cause a competent one to be promoted… but I doubt al Qaeda has many competent commanders left. What they seem to be best at is hiding, not organizing a global jihad against us, as indicated by the lack of attacks on US soil post 9/11.

    Al Qaeda’s organization seems to be a loosely-afficilated franchise sort of thing, not a traditional chain of command. The effect of killing Bin Laden would likely be of little strategic value… but it would help to restore respect for America in the middle east. To be known for killing one’s enemies is considered a sign of strength in that part of the world, to not do so is a sign of weakness.

  139. F15C Says:

    rosignol: (great skiis by the way. 🙂 )

    Good point. Martyrdom may be overrated, though I see a ‘glorious’ death for Bin Laden as something to be avoided if only for the reason you mention. I think he is out of his league now that the scope of the war he started has been increased significantly. A telling point is the fact that OBL is not running the Al Qaeda show in Iraq when by all rights, he should be.

    Al Qaeda has shown a dogged determination and incredible patience in their quest to hurt us. Look at the periods between major attacks. I do not interpret the lack of attacks on or in the US as an indication of Al Qaeda’s disorganization, rather the difficulty factor has been increased fairly significantly since 9/11, and the bar has been raised in terms of the devastation the next attack must have. It truly is a different world – for them as well as us. I believe that they are patiently planning something big. Something that will result in significant loss of life here in America – far more than 9/11. It is a question of who has the strongest resolve, us or them. They believe they can wait until we have again become complacent and/or have been forced into a state of lower defensive capability by judicial actions.

    Your perspective on the value of killing OBL in interesting. I have seen the respect given in the ME to be fleeting, and its value varies by country, religious sub-group, and the situation. While I want Bin Laden’s head as much as the next guy, I am happy right now with his being on the run and seemingly ineffective.

  140. tom Says:

    One thing that irks me is how many people are unable to understand the meaning of the word “compare.” The word “compare” does not mean the same as “equate.”

    You can compare anything to anything, and yes, even compare apples to oranges.

    When I hear someone getting all bent out of shape saying “how dare they “compare,” for example, “George Bush to Hitler.”

    That can be done. If you support Bush, your hope is that Bush comes out better in the comparison.

    Now if someone “equates” Bush with Hitler, that’s a completely different statement.

    Please, let’s not render the meaning of the language by misusing it.

  141. Cassini Says:


    Good Morning,

    Let me first say that while i respect your opinions, I strongly disagree with most of them and as far as proof is concerned you have offered none to back up your positions. As a matter of fact much of what you are saying to me sounds like overblown RNC propaganda and talking points, which have been done much more effectively by right wing
    blowhards on FOX and Sunday talking head shows.

    You know there is a book by David Brock which deals with the organization of the “Republican Noise Machine”. Its as if once the rnc talking points are established the rank and file creates a “echo chamber” and repeats them until
    they are forced into the collective conscience of general public. I think that it is very deceptive because the Bush administration is fostering a perception of reality that is totally false, especially in dealing with Iraq.

    There is absolutely nothing “childish” in my opinions of political current events. I say exactly what I think.
    I dont hate Bush, I just strongly disagree with his right wing politics, opinions and tactics. I think that he is a poor president, although he is very good at hard ball politics. I also think he is leading the country in the wrong direction.

    Furthermore, If you so think that Bush is so correct on the War on Terrorism, how do you explain his declining poll#s
    on Iraq and job performance..Republicans such as yourself are so caught up in diverting attention away from that by pileing on
    non-essentials like Sen. Durbin.

  142. Robin Roberts Says:

    Cassini, do you really think that a complete non sequitur like your attempt to equate correctness with polling impresses anyone?

    Perhaps some basic courses in logical reasoning would be of benefit.

  143. Everyman Says:

    FoxNews Watch, moments ago.

    Neal Gabler:

    “Durbin told the truth.”


  144. reelman Says:

    Durbin should have said …
    “I am sorry for what I said and hereby apologize”… (a total of 10 words)

    HE DID NOT SAY THAT …AND WILL NOT EVER… notice most politicans now cleverly apologize “IF my words were offensive, upset someone, yada” …
    so tell us how this is a legit apology again?
    (“your mother is a slut … pressure/pressure/pressure so –>> “I apologize IF that offended you”) … get the new word scam? (damn lies are still proclaimed as truth … see, you have the problem because you are offended)…

  145. Wrenchbender1 Says:

    His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks.

    “They’re the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them,”

    Sooooo, calling me and everyone else in the military Nazis wasn’t trying to insult and disrespect us? Fuck you Durbin, go to hell.

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