The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, March 21, 2003

Bill Quick used to make fun of wacked-out leftoids who wrote letters to the San Francisco Chronicle. He has abandoned this effort, presumably out of fear that stupidity is catching. Thus by default I have sole control over the mocking of such weenies. Bwahahaha!

My preferred venue is the San Jose Mercury News. Today's dispatches were a bumper crop of sheer, unadulterated genius:

THERE are legitimate reasons to debate the Iraq war. We have credible concerns about ``blowback,'' unaddressed concerns about cost, and fears of getting involved in a quagmire. Opponents also question the legality of the war and the inevitable loss of innocent life.

As to innocent casualties, consider the case of Afghanistan. Shortly after the allied campaign, there was an MSNBC report that alleged 500,000 deaths under the Taliban from 1996 to the November 2001, or about 8,000 a month. After the bombing campaign, there was an unsubstantiated but widely quoted estimate that the civilian casualties in Afghanistan roughly equaled the toll on 9/11 -- say, between 3,000 and 5,000. If so, this represented an average two-week period under the Taliban.

Grim arithmetic and little consolation to the victims, but I wonder if similar logic holds here.

Alfonso Valdes
San Carlos

Valdes' casualty estimate is of course the same lie, courtesy of Marc Herold, that has been debunked all over the blogosphere. The true figure is closer to 1000 deaths. But even if we grant Valdes' casualty figures, what were the casualty figures in each of the two week periods after the bombing campaign was complete and the Taliban was overthrown?

Yeah, a number just about equal to Alfonso Valdes' IQ.

Update: Aaron Haspel commented that I was unfair to Valdes and when I went back and reread the letter I realized that I had completely misread it. I was tempted to remove my silly diatribe, but I'm leaving it here so that Haspel's comment makes sense, and to remind myself to be more careful next time.

PRESIDENT Bush says that diplomacy has failed. No, Bush's diplomacy has failed -- the United States could garner only four Security Council votes for a resolution to attack Iraq. The administration says it has support of more than 30 countries, but only Britain and possibly Australia are willing to contribute troops.

Even more telling is which countries agreed to support the United States, and why. Many of these countries are poor, either former Soviet satellites or republics that were willing to sign on in spite of overwhelming domestic opposition of their citizens. Why would they be willing to support this war? The example of my native Hungary is an illustration. Although polls show more than 80 percent of the people oppose this war, it is permitting the United States to train Iraqi dissidents on a former air base in exchange for significant financial rewards.

The arrogance of the Bush administration has made us the most hated nation in the world.

Nick Szabo

I don't know why Szabo thinks it would be an advantage to have military forces from 30 countries arrayed in the desert for an attack on Iraq. Just think of the cost in magic markers alone! Even the Volokh Conspiracy couldn't keep up with the color scheme.

Szabo claims that the US is a bully ... because it offers other countries enormous bribes in exchange for minor favors? That's a problem for me, because I have to help foot the tax bill. Damn if I can see how the Hungarians are being oppressed.

SAGE words from Sen. Robert Byrd: ``Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves.'' That is exactly what this administration has succeeded in doing, waging a war of choice alone.

As much as I want Saddam Hussein eliminated, it should be his people's choice or the world's collective action that should make it happen. My fear is that with this war, we may be aiding Osama bin Laden's evil designs, promoting recruitment to Al-Qaida and making the United States a pariah.

Rameysh Ramdas
San Jose

Does Ramdas think that if all the Iraqis meditate on a Saddam-free Iraq, that Saddam and the Baath party will magically vanish?

And what is this nonsense about "the world's collective action"? The world will never take collective action on anything. There are countries ruled by tyrants for whom the extirpation of Saddam would set an unfortunate example. And there are countries set to make money off the current regime. How do the objections of these countries make the actions of the US and 30 other nations immoral?

We do not have a duty to free people from tyranny. But we have a right to. If France and Germany and Russia and China and Burma and Mozambique don't like it, too bad.

Let's wrap up with two classic shithead themes: "War is a video game" and "We have fallen into their trap":

THE war on Iraq follows a common Hollywood plot that goes like this: Find a villain whose evilness is limited only by one's imagination, and then pump up the viewer's vitriolic hatred until any retribution is justified.

Thanks go to Hollywood's Stallone, Eastwood and Schwarzenegger for appealing to the most base of human emotions, revenge, and all in the name of justice. And thanks go to President Bush for bringing these very exciting Hollywood renditions into the reality of every American's daily life -- with quotes from the Bible yet! The enjoyment of real war, from our living rooms TVs, even exceeds that of the most violent video game kids could imagine. Are snuff films next?

Duane J. Overby
San Jose

Has Overby ever seen a video game? They're incredibly violent and have amazing action and special effects. By contrast, the video and pictures that I see from the war are mostly boring and static -- shots of soldiers advancing through sandstorms, panoramic shots of things burning. Pictures of deaths -- or even dead bodies -- are very rare.

I understand that terrorists have particular goals, including creating deep fear in their victims and the general population; causing change of habits and activities; demonstrating the target population's sins, such as imperialistic tendencies, paranoia, grandiosity and greed; decreasing stability in the economy of the target population; and changing global opinion toward the target population.

It seems to me that the 9/11 terrorists have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Elane O'Rourke
San Jose

Hey Elane, who's scared? Me, or Uday Hussein?



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