corporate re-education is so fun!

'Insurgents' minor to US planners; nonviolent acts effective?

"The main factor that has caused the US to back down is mass non-violent resistance, including huge demonstrations, Sistani fatwas, etc. It should be regarded as a triumph of non-violence, I think. The 'insurgents' are not a major problem for US planners. The US has such overwhelming reserves of violence that in that arena it will never have much trouble. But nonviolent resistance is a different matter." -- Noam Chomsky
http://blog.zmag.org/index.php/weblog/entry/backing_down_to_iraqi_nonviolence/

He elaborates more here:
http://blog.zmag.org/index.php/weblog/entry/iraqs_election/
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 1st, 2005
I must confess I will feel a huge satisfaction if the Iraqi government tells the our army to get out ASAP.

I have worries about what our response would be though....
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 1st, 2005
Bullshit.

Bush was the one, along with Sistani and the Kurds, who pushed for the election to go forward.

Notably missing: Kennedy, the UN and a whole helluva lot of liberals claiming that a credible election would be impossible by this time.

Chomsky. Bullsitter.
Permalink anonyser 
March 1st, 2005
hhmmmm... reading... reading... interesting... reading....

Oh! Chomsky!

Ctrl-A, Del.

How, exactly, does Chomsky figure the US is backing down? Iraq has had free elections and is moving forward with formation of their parliament.

Removing armed forces was always part of the plan.

I'm a little foggy on the whole "US is losing ground" part. But then I haven't been paying attention lately - are we withdrawing massive numbers of troops?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 1st, 2005
It's very interesting to observe that when you mention a very Noam-ish position, people will tend to accept it well. Until you tell them /who/ said it. ;)

All the criticisms on this thread are directly answered by the second link I gave. Read it, and you'll see the answers.

But I'd like to add one piece of evidence in response to the guy who claimed: "Bush was the one ... who pushed for the election to go forward," which Noam contradicted.

The journalist Bill Moyers explained of his times working with president Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon took credit for the Freedom of Information Act, and signed it as if it were his baby. But behind the scenes, "what few people knew at the time is that LBJ had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the signing ceremony... He dug in his heels and even threatened to pocket veto the bill after it reached the White House... he signed "the damned thing," as he called it (only I'm paraphrasing, out of respect for PBS standards); he signed it, and then went out to claim credit for it."
http://www.pbs.org/now/commentary/moyers4.html

Presidents take credit and spin situations to their advantage. Except maybe George Washington, who "never told a lie." ;)
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 1st, 2005
"It's very interesting to observe that when you mention a very Noam-ish position, people will tend to accept it well. Until you tell them /who/ said it."

FWIW, I wasn't accepting it - I was reading with interest to see how the author was going to defend a position I didn't agree with. When I saw it was Chomsky, I figured I wasn't likely to agree with his defense, either, since in my (admittedly limited) experience reading his political writings, I find him to be somewhat at right angles to reality.

I'll go read now.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 1st, 2005
Bush and the US was definitely and clearly pushed into having elections in Iraq by sistani, go back and read some history if you are unsure on that.
If Bush spun it differently, who can blame him for that?

<g> maybe even chomsky can be right sometimes?
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 2nd, 2005
sorry, I mean "into having elections *when he did*

The plan for Iraq involved putting a constitution into place that would provide for an 'interim government' to rule until some indefinite point in the future and then for that to be replaced by a democratically elected one.

one interesting piece of news that was reported was someone closely related to the RIAA popping over to Iraq to help them draw up the copyright provisions (it was intended to be a *very* comprehensive constitution..)

Sistani takes credit for insisting that the elections be held as soon as possible, and that the constitution be drawn up by those elected as I understand it.
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 2nd, 2005
There have been three separate strategies for the civil administration of Iraq since the invasion and each one has been in the teeth of US resistance. The original named administrators (remember them?) lasted a bare few weeks; the Iraqi Council was largely forced upon them together with the reformation of the Police force which they'd disbanded.

The appointment of the leaders of the Council and then the interim interim PM were also not the preferred choices of the US and then finally the date of the election was demanded by Sistani.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 2nd, 2005
Of course, Bush's position from day one has been to "work with the Iraqi people" to build a stable, democratic country.

The conspiracy theory people's position from day one was that Bush's real goal was to stay in the country forever, draining the oil from the ground.

If Bush does ANYTHING that seems like a move towards position 2, people go "AH! the Evil Genius is showing his hand!", but when he does something in line with position one, they go "AH! The stupid moron is forced to back down!"

The whole thing seems to me to be a hole in someone's head.

I have no problem with Iraq changing the US's *plans*, since the ONLY way for a democracy to work is for the people to BE involved and don't see how that is a change in the US's *position*.
Permalink Steamrolla 
March 2nd, 2005
Actually, Bush's position from day one was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Most of the world knew that bin Laden hated Saddam, and Iraq was no threat. Except for George Bush and his believers.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 2nd, 2005
>> "Actually, Bush's position from day one was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."

Bush had to take this position because the whining sniveling Marxists in this country wouldn't have stood for it if Bush simply stated he wanted to establish a democratic foothold in the Middle East. Looks like it's working to me, though. (Syria/Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Libya) The last thing idiot leftists like Jimmy Carter want is to see their beloved dictators lose control of a large chunk of the world. Notice he's stepping up the love-fests with Castro & Venezuela right now.
Permalink Godless Visigoth 
March 2nd, 2005
> Of course, Bush's position from day one has been to "work with the Iraqi people" to build a stable, democratic country.

Without presuming to know Bush's thoughts, is it true that previous Administrations have acted to support, and/or to install, right-wing (in South and Central America) and pro-western (in the Middle and Far Easts) dictatorships?

If so, people may extrapolate those acts to say that that is what "American Foreign Policy" has been, and therefore perhaps still is: and then to view the military actions of the Bush administration through those lenses.

Looking closely at the phrase you quoted, I wonder *which* of the "Iraqi people" they were working with, especially before the invasion.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 2nd, 2005
"Bush had to take this position because the whining sniveling Marxists in this country wouldn't have stood for it if Bush simply stated he wanted to establish a democratic foothold in the Middle East."

Ding! Correct!

I'm working on a business plan for a restaurant in DC at the moment. I'm planning to sell hot crow sandwiches. I should make a killing selling lunch to Democrat congress-critters and lefty pundits.
Permalink Anonymous Pantywaist 
March 2nd, 2005
"I have no problem with Iraq changing the US's *plans*, since the ONLY way for a democracy to work is for the people to BE involved and don't see how that is a change in the US's *position*.

Steamrolla
Wednesday, March 02, 2005"

I think the fact that Iraqis at this point in time are both able to and do peacefully change US plans is a major plus. I think that those who are trying to change US plans by killing large numbers of Iraqi civilians at this point in time are evil lunatics.

While I greave for the American soldiers killed, it is part of the job description. If things get to where they send this disabled old retired soldier over there, It is part of the retirement contract that I accepted.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 2nd, 2005
Hey, newsflash:

Bush is attamptimg to maximize both his politcal utility and what he views as the national interest through the Iraq war.

If that means Sistani is involved, that elections can get us out of Iraq, so be it.

This topic is the prime example of why Kerry lost the election:

All these do-gooders running around saying the president must be "pure at heart" or some other BS. The president needs to find a way to maximize US influence and seek its own best interest. In this case, that means dragging Iraq along with us. The gross naive behavior of Bush's opposition leaves them with no plan. None. What do we do with Iraq? We cringe, we cower, we wring our hands and say "how awful". And there you are, stuck, reveling in your own obscurity and insignificance.
Permalink hoser 
March 2nd, 2005
"Maybe you better sit down and pop a Xanax before reading any further, because what I&#8217;m about to tell you should seriously short you out: not only is the average soldier&#8217;s salary barely life-sustaining, the combat pay of the average grunt in Afghanistan and Iraq is only $7.50 a day or a measly $225 a month."
http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=Defensewatch%20Special.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=1&rnd=592.2779035310086

I accept there are conspiracy theorists who believe the fairies hid Iraq's WMDs, or Marxists are running around subverting our plans. This justifies why George Bush II suckered our soldiers into risking their lives. Because many thought they were defending our nation. When in fact their purpose is to get limbs blown off for $225/month.

I'm neither Democrat nor Republican, and I don't drink Coke nor Pepsi.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 2nd, 2005
hoser

I'm guessing, but you sound like a Liberal. If you are a Liberal, you must be absolutely sick at damage, being done to the Democratic Party. I am a conservative and I am.

What will it take for them to realize that unless they get rid of political hate speech and come up with some real ideas about the future of America, that electoral disaster is coming for them.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 2nd, 2005
Tayssir

While, Col. David H. Hackworth (USA Ret.) and I don't always agree he had a distinguished military military career and tirelessly works for the interests of both veterans and active duty military personal. In this case, while I agree with him, I think you misunderstand what he is saying.

No American soldier is serving in Iraq for $225/month. The point Col Hackworth is making is that "hostile fire pay" unlike regular pay has not kept up with inflation.

When I enlisted in 1965 base pay for a new recruit was $78/month it is now $1235.10/month. As an E-5 serving in Viet Nam my base pay was less than $300/month. The current rate is 2060.70/month. Base pay is deceptive a soldiers real income is 150 to 200% of base pay.

Col Hackworth is pointing out that while serving in viet Nam my hostile fire pay was $100/month or roughly 1/3 of my base pay. Today it is $225/month or roughly 1/10 of a comparable base pay. His other points illustrate that things haven't changed that much in the military. REMFs still get more awards than the guy on the front line etc.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 2nd, 2005
Incidentally, in case my post mislead some people who don't know about basic pay, imminient danger pay, etc, this looks like a good source of info:
http://basic.armystudyguide.com/benefits/pay_and_allowances.htm
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 2nd, 2005
Yeah, gotcha Sam. Right after I posted that, I was like, "Holy hell that post made no sense!" And so I rushed to find some sites that explained combat pay.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 2nd, 2005
And no genius at the Pentagon can make this leap of logic:
1) End "imminent danger" pay for rear echelon.
2) Use savings from 1. to increase imminent danger pay for front line combat soldiers.

I gather from Col. Hackworth's article that by spending one-day in a combat zone, your pay for the whole month is tax free. Yet another loophole that ought to be closed. Those senior commanders should be drummed out for exploiting the system that way. What a great example for their soldiers.
Permalink Rob VH 
March 2nd, 2005
There's an awful lot of post event rose tinted spectacles being handed out around here.

It was always bad, it will get worse and all those that 'planned' it will generally survive scot free.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
March 2nd, 2005
Simon

Bush et al will either be able to pull it off or they won't. As John Kerry and several other intelligent Liberals have said, Failing to pull it off would be seriously bad news for the US.

I think that everyone who wishes the US well, what ever their opinion on the wisdom of the war in the first place, hopes Bush and team pulls this off. So we all tend to cheer encouraging news.

Bush has "bet the farm" (the future of America) on this war. Loose it, note, it might not be winnable, and our children and grandchildren will probably still be paying the price when they die of old age. Win it and democracy may spread to the Middle east in time.

I never would have launched the war. As it was launched, I want us to win.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 2nd, 2005
EXACTLY.

I may not like reality, but its the only one we've got.
Permalink hoser 
March 2nd, 2005
I may not like reality, but they are the only ones we've got.

I sure get the impression that there are those that don't view the same world that I do. :)
Permalink Steamrolla 
March 2nd, 2005
First of all perhaps SSG could say why he thinks that hate speech wins elections when it won in 1980, 84, 88, 2000 and 2004 (though in the last case hate speech both won and lost)_.

Seoondly does he seriously think that the US would have given a toss about peaceful protests if it wasn't for the threat that the Shiites would rebel in the same way the Sunnis were. Has he forgotten than when Sadr and Sistani orginally called for elections the US countered by closing down Sadr's newspaper and trying to arrest him, causing the Shias to rise up and force the Us to fight on two fronts.

Thirdly what on earth does he mean by 'pull it off'. If he means having true democracy in the Middle East than that would mean the US being kicked out of the whole region, since the only support the US has is from unelected dictators.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 2nd, 2005
"Win it and democracy may spread to the Middle east in time."

So 100,000 people were brutally murdered in less than 2 years because democracy MAY spread to the Middle East?? Sarg, don't you think it's a huge price for that kind of uncertainty? caculated risk doesn't ring any bell?

Let me tell you how you spread democracy in the Middle East. You FUCKING don't! Okay? And if you're really honest, you stop poking your NASTY nose into people's business there.

Layman terms: BACK THE FUCK OFF!

Who are the US allies in the Middle East? and if you know the answer, do you know why?
Permalink Dan Denman 
March 3rd, 2005
Stephen Jones

Being selective aren't you? What about 1964 or any other election that Democrats won? The DNC ran an ad implying that a vote for Goldwater would result in the end of the world due to nuclear war and promised to stay out of Viet Nam.

Historically elections have been a substitute for civil war in changing governments. It has always been full of hate speech and dirty tricks. It is my (probably naive) belief (hope?) that we are outgrowing that style of political campaigning in America.

Intelligent discussion of the American political process requires a familiarity with "The Federalist Papers" Trying to understand the American political system with out that familiarity is like trying to program in assembly language with no idea as to what a computer is or that it even contains a CPU.
Permalink SSG Sam Eaton AUS ret 
March 3rd, 2005
The blogger mentioned in the orig post also wrote a critique of our democracy, mentioning the Federalist Papers.
http://www.epiic.com/newsletter/chomsky.html

US-style democracy is an interesting experiment, and as it plays out we see pros and cons.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 3rd, 2005
----"The DNC ran an ad implying that a vote for Goldwater would result in the end of the world due to nuclear war"----

I wouldn't call that playing dirty, I'd call it playing safe :)

American elections have always been notorious for mud-slinging but the right wing is up there with the best of them, and seems to maintain it as a permanent background music. The truth is that I see no evidence whatsoever that being nasty lost an election and plenty that being fair opened one to being a wuss, and a weak-kneed liberal.

I suspect you keep harping on about this because you are so annoyed at being at the receiving end for once.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 3rd, 2005
Mr. Jones: The little speck of good news is that Russ Feingold won re-election to the U.S. Senate, despite the fact that his opponent ran a nasty campaign against him. Add to that the fact that Feingold was (to my understanding) the only U.S. Senator to vote against the Patriot Act, which should have been the Kiss of Death by conventional wisdom. I don't remember the final vote-split, but it wasn't even close. Hope that brightens your day a little. :)
Permalink cubiclegrrl 
March 3rd, 2005
Being an incumbent is an immense advantage when standing for Congress or the Senate. Poeple have a propiretory feeling as far as their local congressman or senator is concerned and even somebody as far to the left as Bernie Grant probably has his seat for life. And about the only thing you can't get away voting against is legislation that favours Israel (though even that is possible).
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 3rd, 2005
In 1988, Congress had a ~99% reelection rate. I hear it's usually around 87-99%.

Things like war chests and redistricting give incumbents huge advantages. They can carve up their little fiefdoms.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 3rd, 2005
A well-known Republican, John McCain, was heavily smeared by Bush's election machine once. There were attacks against his wife's problem with prescription drugs before it was made fashionable by Limbaugh, implications he fathered an illegitimate black daughter (she was adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh), and so on.
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/03/21/the_anatomy_of_a_smear_campaign/

Democracy Now reopened some of those wounds, when Amy asked McCain why he supported Bush in the recent elections, despite the smears.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 3rd, 2005
"It was always bad, it will get worse and all those that 'planned' it will generally survive scot free."

This attitude marks you as quintessentially European (if I do not miss my mark?). Your continent had the same attitude about Soviet Communism not long ago.

The trouble is anyone with any optimism or stomach for risk taking left your continent for America or other locales long ago.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005
"The trouble is anyone with any optimism or stomach for risk taking left your continent for America or other locales long ago."

oh, my aching stomach....so *everyone* in Europe is risk adverse? impressive statement.


<g> in fact, you could easily argue that france, germany and the others who argued strongly against the invasion of Iraq were being exceedingly brave....even in the face of a possible threat (pah!) to their countries their governments were able to stand behind their conviction that war is a Bad Thing.

OTOH we americans were stampeded quickly and easily into line...all it took was a few threats from our president and we cowered like little figures of jelly and begged bush to invade a foreign country illegally...we were willing to sacrifice as many foreign lives as it took to ensure the safety of our own.

Jim Rankin....how many innocent foreign lives are you willing to sacrifice to reduce the risk to your own?
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 4th, 2005
----"Jim Rankin....how many innocent foreign lives are you willing to sacrifice to reduce the risk to your own?"----

Shoome mishtake shurely?

Shouldn't that be "how many innocent foreign lives are you willing to sacrifice to INCREASE the risk to your own?"

Or is reality completely banned?
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 4th, 2005
Coming soon to a theater near you!!

"The Road to Caricature" starring Stephen Jones as "The Closed-Minded-Lefty-America-Hater"!!

Don't miss it!!
Permalink ? 
March 4th, 2005
"...even in the face of a possible threat (pah!) to their countries their governments were able to stand behind their conviction that war is a Bad Thing."

(pah!) is right. What threat were Germany and France ever under for not going along with the U.S.? Seems to me Bush, Chirac, and Schroeder were falling all over themselves a few weeks ago to say "We disagree about almost everything, but that doesn't mean we can't still be friends!"

They are simply following their own interests. Which they perceive to be forming Europe into a united power to counter balance the U.S. Best of luck to them.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005
"Jim Rankin....how many innocent foreign lives are you willing to sacrifice to reduce the risk to your own?"

How many foreign lives were sacrificed by our former policy of coddling dictators instead of openly promoting democracy in the Middle East? How many foreign lives would be sacrificed if we continued to support and coddle dictatorships in that part of the world instead of supporting their rights to self determination?

Now, as W says, freedom is not our gift to give. It is a right given to each human being by God. But it's about time we stopped actively supporting those who seek to take that right away.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005
""The Road to Caricature" starring Stephen Jones as "The Closed-Minded-Lefty-America-Hater"!!"

Beat me to it. Darn.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005
Bush is sadly too anti-American and anti-democratic to understand his duties as president. And many follow him, who also pretend to be American. President John Quincy Adams explained:

"But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

"She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom."

"The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 4th, 2005
To John Quincy Adams, I would say: "Too late."

He spoke in an era when America was far from being a world power. The U.S. accounts for about one fifth of the world's economy. Trade and political involvement walk arm and arm with one another.
Permalink ? 
March 4th, 2005
Unfortunately for America, you are actually agreeing 100% with President Adams. When he said America may become "dictatress of the world", that means he saw what was coming up. A global power, as you explain.

One where we get in bed with China's intrigues, under the pretense of "free trade."
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 4th, 2005
"How many foreign lives were sacrificed by our former policy of coddling dictators instead of openly promoting democracy in the Middle East?"

why stop in the middle east? how about north korea? china? ...the continent of africa is surely ripe for an invasion?  how far do you want togo? how many countries do we have to invade in the name of peace and democracy?
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 4th, 2005
"pah!) is right.&#160; What threat were Germany and France ever under for not going along with the U.S.?"


umm...the risk from saddam hussein/Iraq? remember?...we invaded Iraq because it represented a threat....

didn't we?

By refusing to invade under that threat because of their principles surely the french and the germans proved themselves to have far greater courage than we americans, who couldn't give up our principles quickly enough....
Permalink FullNameRequired 
March 4th, 2005
"how many countries do we have to invade in the name of peace and democracy?"

*sigh*

W gets this question all the time, to which he has to patiently reply "Different situations need to be handled differently." China is different from North Korea is different from Iran is different from insert-failed-African-nation-state-here.

Imagine that. W the one with a nuanced view of the world.

But in every case, we need to be doing what we can to create more democracy and freedom, not less. If you can point to counter-examples in W's term, I will join you in denouncing that behavior. But I will also praise him for his rhetoric and actions supporting democracy and freedom in the world.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005
"umm...the risk from saddam hussein/Iraq? remember?"

Certainly a more interesting idea than what I assumed you were saying, which is that France and Germany felt threatened by the U.S.

Still not sure if I buy it, though.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 4th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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