Mary Unroshed

You know, Mary is so close to making a positive contribution to this blog. I’m going to show you how.

As I’ve made clear when I posted this, I intend to have a serious, grownup discussion about energy — without the pointless partisanship, rancid ideology, and ad hominem childishness that has plagued this blog, and held it back from broader participation, since the beginning.

So I made an example of "Mary Rosh," unpublishing two of her comments. I hesitated to do it, because she was actually on topic, although her ideas… well, I’ll let you decide how constructive they are. But since they had violated the higher standard of civility I had set for this post, in the hope that some of our more serious and fastidious participants would warm up to it, they had to go.

But here they are, translated into normal, sane, grownup language (and Doug or anybody else who wants them — I’ll still e-mail you the originals). Glean from them what you will.

These thoughts were posted on Friday (in slightly different form):

I think it’s time to get realistic.  It’s just not going to be that easy to replace Middle Eastern oil that can be gotten out of the ground for $3.00 per barrel.  There’s a lot going on right not with respect to conservation and alternative energy sources, but all these crash course, consequences-be-damned proposals (are in vain).

… For example, build nuclear power plants as fast as safely possible.  First, that’s been done.  No nuclear power plant has been put on line since the Three Mile Island accident, and that, as it happens, is as fast as is safely possible.  Second, electricity generation mostly doesn’t use oil.

Drilling in ANWR wouldn’t get a significant amount of oil…

Light rail is just (impractical) unless the population is dense enough, which it isn’t in most cities in the U.S.

The $2 per gallon gasoline tax wouldn’t bother me much, but it would be economically crippling to a lot of people, especially in a place like South Carolina, where there aren’t too many alternatives to passenger cars, and where the incomes aren’t that high….

That was it, boiled down to basic concepts. Here’s the one from today (Saturday):

1.  The nuclear energy idea is (unwise), because

a) the plants are dangerous and expensive. 
b) electricity generation uses relatively little oil.  TWO PERCENT of U.S. electric generation in 2001 was oil-fired.

So (we would) waste vast sums of money and … expose the population to considerable danger, and create waste that will last for hundreds of centuries, without saving any oil to speak of.

2.  The light rail idea is … too expensive and too inconvenient unless the population is pretty dense, which is not true in most American cities.  Imagine light rail in South Carolina, for example.  You have to get people from their houses to the station, and you have to get them from the station to their destination.  That’s a huge pain, requiring bus transfers at both ends, unless the population around the train station is dense enough to support the train, and the workplaces and other destinations at the other end of the line are clustered around closely enough.

3.  The $2.00 per gallon gasoline tax wouldn’t bother me, but it would devastate a lot of people, particularly in South Carolina and other conservative states where the income isn’t that high.  It would create an insurmountable hardship for millions of people, and be borne by those who could least afford it.

4.  Drilling in ANWR wouldn’t supply a significant percentage of our needs….

5.  … Any energy policy should be analyzed in terms of what our needs are and what is the best way to supply our needs.

6.  I don’t object on principle to the idea of developing new technologies, including hydrogen.  The main problem with hydrogen, though, is probably distribution.  And it’s vitally important not to use technological initiatives simply as mechanisms to transfer federal money.  For example, any hydrogen fuel initiative carried out in South Carolina is likely to amount to nothing more than a simple transfer of federal money to South Carolina, because South Carolina doesn’t have the educated population necessary to carry such an initiative through to success. [Editor’s note: Even if Mary tried another pseudonym and stopped the sore-thumb practice of calling me "Warthen," we would know her by this signature obsession. It’s like a nervous tic. But despite the implied insult to 4 million people, it doesn’t really break the rules.]

7.  It’s not going to be easy to develop an economical way to replace 100% of the oil that lies under sand and costs $3.00 per barrel to get out of the ground.  We need to concentrate first on managing our demand so that we avoid shortages that drive the price way up.  Sometimes shaving 2% or 3% off of our demand will do that.  There’s no need to lurch into some crash program to replace 100% of our imported energy, without considering the alternatives and consequences of doing so.

8.  … There are, of course, plenty of ways for us to provide for our security without trying to change the Middle East by military force, or by devoting excessive resource or accepting excessive negative consequences in order to achieve an arbitrarily set goal of complete energy independence. Using diplomacy, for example. For example, when Iran offered in 2001 to help us pursue al Qaeda, and offered numerous other overtures of friendship and assistance, we could have talked to them instead of making threats.

That’s it. Oh, one other thing. Just for fun, I’ll give you an edited version of a still-published comment from Mary. Weirdly, it was one in which she was trying, in spite of herself, to give positive feedback, however ironic — but it just stuck in her craw. Here’s the cleaned-up version (see how much time she could save, if she dropped the hostility):

Actually, it’s not that bad an idea….

Of course, there’s the distinct likelihood that she meant NOTHING positive at all — in other words, that the insult was the point, rather than a cover-up for her embarrassment at saying something positive. But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

By the way, did any of y’all get ANYTHING out of all those releases I posted? If not, I’ll drop the practice right away, and feel relieved. (I was a little manic yesterday, wasn’t I?)

30 thoughts on “Mary Unroshed

  1. Mary Rosh

    Judge, then, to what pitches of inflamed, distracted fury the minds of his more desperate hunters were impelled, when amid the chips of chewed boats, and the sinking limbs of torn comrades, they swam out of the white curds of the whale’s direful wrath into the serene, exasperating sunlight, that smiled on, as if at a birth or a bridal.
    His three boats stove around him, and oars and men both whirling in the eddies; one captain, seizing the line-knife from his broken prow, had dashed at the whale, as an Arkansas duellist at his foe, blindly seeking with a six inch blade to reach the fathom-deep life of the whale.
    That captain was Ahab. And then it was,
    that suddenly sweeping his sickle-shaped lower jaw beneath him, Moby Dick had
    reaped away ahab’s leg, as a mower a blade of grass in the field. No turbaned Turk, no hired Venetian or Malay, could have smote him with more seeming malice. Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to
    identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and
    spiritual exasperations.
    The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. That
    intangible malignity which has been from the beginning; to whose dominion even the modern Christians ascribe one-half of the worlds; which the ancient Ophites of the east reverenced in their statue devil; — Ahab did not fall down and worship it like them; but deliriously transferring its idea to the abhorred white whale, he pitted himself, all mutilated, against it.
    All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth
    with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst
    his hot heart’s shell upon it.
    –Herman Melville

  2. Brad Warthen

    This was obviously a worthwhile exercise. See how much better Mary’s writing has gotten already?
    She’s even gone so far as to drop the pseudonym, bringing “her” identity out into the “exasperating sunlight.” Turns out her name is Herman.

  3. Brad Warthen

    It HAS been demonstrated. Maybe I should go back and actual READ the book. I didn’t, back when it was assigned in school, but I still got an A on the final essay test. How could I miss? We’d been discussing every aspect of it for weeks.
    Now, each time I see a quotation from it, I think, “That’s pretty good. Looks like I missed something.” But first. O’m going to go ahead and reread some Conrad. An excerpt to chew on:
    “Droll thing life is– that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself–that comes too late–a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable grayness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamor, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair’s-breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. This is the reason why I affirm that Kurtz was a remarkable man. He had something to say. He said it. Since I had peeped over the edge myself, I understand better the meaning of his stare, that could not see the flame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness. He had summed up–he had judged. `The horror!’ He was a remarkable man. After all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candor, it had conviction, it had a vibrating note of revolt in its whisper, it had the appalling face of a glimpsed truth–the strange commingling of desire and hate. And it is not my own extremity I remember best– a vision of grayness without form filled with physical pain, and a careless contempt for the evanescence of all things–even of this pain itself. No! It is his extremity that I seem to have lived through. True, he had made that last stride, he had stepped over the edge, while I had been permitted to draw back my hesitating foot. And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible.”

  4. bud

    Brad, I could take your civility nagging a little more seriously if you weren’t constantly taking cheap shots at the anti-war pragmatists, especially John Kerry.

  5. Brad Warthen

    WHO took a cheap shot at John Kerry? Who?
    Barack Obama sent out a release with a missing word. It was funny. I got to thinking that as bad as that error was, it could have been worse — he could have stated the case, which is that Obama is money now, and Kerry a has-been. As fine a gentleman as Obama is, you know it had to cross his mind to say the kind of playground taunts that I tossed in.
    What IS it with you people? Are you missing a couple of layers of skin? It’s like you are SO ready to take offense, nobody can have a little innocent fun with something that only a deaf, dumb and blind alien would fail to recognize as at least mildly amusing.
    Get over it. Recognize the difference between serious and “Oh, this is funny.” It’s not all that hard.
    Did I call Kerry an idiot, or a worthless excuse for a human being, or anything even remotely angry or critical? No. Hell, I wasn’t even making fun of HIM. It was Obama who screwed up. And you know what? I think Obama can take a little kidding. Why can’t you?

  6. Brad Warthen

    Not to pick a fight where I wasn’t having one, but bud, pragmatism and futilism are not the same thing. Mr. Kerry, fine gentleman though he may be, is a futilist. There are many well-meaning futilists on both the left (“Hell no! Wars never accomplish anything!”) and the right (“All those taxes we pay for schools are just going down a rathole!”). The argument goes like this: If it’s very, very difficult, it should not be attempted. It may be very sensible. It’s certainly conservative, in the better sense of the word. But it’s not precisely the same as being pragmatic.

  7. Ready to Hurl

    The argument goes like this: If it’s very, very difficult, it should not be attempted.

    No, Brad the argument goes like this:
    (1) If we see a hornets’ nest and knocking it over isn’t in our nation’s interest– won’t further our fight against our primary enemy;
    (2) If we study the hornets’ nest and most of our savviest, brightest, most knowledgeable minds say that there’s no reasonable way to knock it over without getting stung badly– perhaps fatally; THEN
    (3) We leave the hornets’ nest alone and go after the most imminent threat to our nation.
    Do you know why seven out of every ten Americans don’t support the war?
    Hint: it’s NOT because it’s difficult.
    It’s because Dear Leader, his henchmen and his enablers (yep, that’s you, Brad) lied to Americans about why we should to invade Iraq. Then y’all changed the lie.
    Now, you think that AMERICANS are the problem because they resent being played for suckers and the they REALLY don’t like chronic incompetence.
    Here’s a beginner’s tip on salesmanship: don’t insult the people that you’re trying to sell– especially if you’re selling a pile of horse crap.

  8. Brad Warthen

    RTH, my position has never changed, and since Jimmy Carter was the one president I have felt the least bad voting for, I hope he won’t mind if I borrow from him, change the tense a little, and say I’ve never lied to you.

    Unlike a whole lot of people on all sides of this, I’ve always thought the same thing: 9/11 taught us that the status quo in the Middle East to Southwest Asia was extraordinarily dangerous to the United States. So the longtime attitude of the US to that region of making sure nothing upset the status quo — Daddy Bush not deposing Saddam is the ultimate example of that, and quite wise and restrained by pre-9/11 standards — had to be dropped. We needed to topple the status quo, knock over the supports and give something else a chance. And having knocked it over — as I wrote in March 2003 — there’s no way on earth we could think of walking away. THAT would REALLY be dangerous. It would be far more risky than having toppled things to begin with. As much as a lot of folks — including some who supported the invasion — might like, we can’t "undo" the Iraq war, any more than we can run history backwards and put Caesar back over the Rubicon.

    I’ve always been straight about it. Here’s what I wrote the month BEFORE the invasion
    in 2003. Tell me where my message has changed. I hadn’t looked at that column in a long time, and just now I said almost exactly the same things, before going back to find it just now. And I’ve said the same things right along.

    If you’ve heard something else, that’s been your choice. I’ve been completely straight with you, right down the line.

  9. bud

    Brad your message has been consistent but that doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means you’re stubborn. You were wrong in 2003 and you’re wrong now. You said in 2003 that we shouldn’t invade as conquerors. That’s like saying we shouldn’t drink to quench our thirst. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s time for the war-monger party (formely the un-party) to go the way of the gooney bird.

  10. bud

    Great News! This from the Christian Science Monitor
    “US Congress weighs its role on Iraq
    With antiwar protests on the rise, it may move to curb defense funding.”
    The antiwar protests will only intensify. It’s about damn time! Brad I’m starting to come around on your earlier post about Congress’s vote on the non-binding resolution. Let’s just skip that step and go right to cutting the funding. President hardhead isn’t going to respond to anything other than force.

  11. Ready to Hurl

    Hey, Brad (and everyone else) check out the Walker Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security at USC, 2/8-2/9.
    George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate, will lecture on “The Media and the Iraq War,” 7:00 p.m., Rm. 153, Gambrell, 2/8.
    On Friday, 2/9, Packer will join a panel including Peter Galbraith, and defense analyst Thomas Donnelly discussing “Iraq: Strategies for the Future.” The panel session meets in the same Gambrell room at 1:00 p.m.
    Brad this should be very educational session for you, in particular. Peter Galbraith is extremely knowledgeable about the Middle East and formerly served as U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. He wrote The End of Iraq which recommends partitioning Iraq and withdrawing.

  12. Brad Warthen

    Oops. There goes Mary again. Unpublished…

    This reminds me of another literary quotation:

    … She had urgent news about Dunbar.
        "They’re going to disappear him," she said.
        Yossarian squinted at her uncomprehendingly. "They’re what?" he asked in surprise, and laughed uneasily. "What does that mean?"
        "I don’t know. I heard them talking behind a door."
        "I don’t know. I couldn’t see them. I just heard them say they were going to disappear Dunbar."
        "Why are they going to disappear him?"
        "I don’t know."
        "It doesn’t make good sense. It isn’t even good grammar. What the hell does it mean when they disappear somebody?"
        "I don’t know."

    I wonder: Does Mary look anything like Nurse Duckett? Or does she look more like Yossarian?

    Right now, she’s looking a lot like Dunbar to me.

    Too bad. I thought for a bit there that she was starting to get the idea of civil discourse. Or at least, she was getting the hang of ambiguous allusion, which would still be an improvement.

  13. Brad Warthen

    bud, “stubborn” I’ll accept service on. Of course, “stubborn” doesn’t mean wrong, either, any more than consistent means right.
    And you may have meant it facetiously, but yes — cutting off funding is far more respectable than empty political gestures that do nothing but undermine the troops that we’re funding.
    It’s still horribly, horribly wrong, but not as contemptible as the resolution we had been discussing.
    That reminds me of something I meant to post yesterday…

  14. Ready to Hurl

    This is all happening because the president has decided to use the military might of the most powerful nation in history to hunt down bad guys wherever they might be. It is a development that I welcome. With great power comes the responsibility to act.

    First, let me apologize for lumping you together with the liars and deceivers of the Bush Administration.
    Nope, you’ve obviously been openly mistaken from the beginning.
    Brad, I would give a lot to see your argument demolished by George Packer and, especially Peter Galbraith.
    But, since you’ve refused to recognize reality (Iraq had zilch to do with 9/11, according to the 9/11 Commission and everyone except the wingnuts, Darth Cheney, and the loony neo-cons) for years, I have no faith that you’ll come out of denial.
    Please go to the forum and make this argument to Packer and Galbraith. Be sure to video the response and post it.
    Even though you didn’t subscribe to the con-job selling of the war by the Bushies, I have only slightly higher estimation for you. Your hubris and cavalier carelessness (“knock it over and see what happens”) is breathtaking.
    You correctly surmised that rebuilding Iraq– even if we did every thing correctly would be measured in decades. Yet you signed on to support entering the quagmire despite recognizing that the Bush Administration was misleading Americans about every solitary important aspect of the endeavor.
    Only an idiot wouldn’t have seen that Americans would turn on the war when the justifications used to sell it turned out to be false; when the fiscal and human cost turned out to be incorrect by multiples of 1,000; and when the time frame was underestimated by a factor of ten.
    Again, sorry about alleging that you lied. Your transgression was possibly worse.

  15. Brad Warthen

    Possibly. But thank you, sir, I accept your apology.
    That done, allow me to pose a question: I know you think you know I was wrong all along, and am wrong now. But think about this…
    If I were right, and right for the reasons and under the conditions I cited at the time, why on Earth would my mind be changed? Just because other people are disillusioned because they supported the war for the wrong reasons — thinking it would be quick and easy, or feeling betrayed that there was no WMD (which of course no one knew, not even the few with the chutzpah to claim that they “knew all along”).
    Suppose everyone in the country turned against the war, including the Decider? That still wouldn’t make me wrong, assuming (and I know you have trouble assuming this, even for the sake of argument) that I was right to start with?
    Now such a disastrous turnabout in public opinion as we’ve seen CAN doom our effort, and make it futile. But faced with that possibility, I feel the duty to try to persuade people to stop being so fatalistic. The main danger to this high-stakes enterprise is, and has always been, the American people DECIDING we’re going to fail. I keep arguing to do my small bit to turn the tide back.
    And yes, we could still fail even with everyone in this country supporting it and being confident about it. As I’ve always said, this is a difficult and high-risk enterprise (the only more dangerous route, I believe, was NOT to act). But there remains a chance of success, and giving up is the only thing that would GUARANTEE failure — which is a thing we can’t afford.

  16. kc

    Suppose everyone in the country turned against the war
    I think most everyone in this country IS against the war. ‘Cept for you, Bush, Laura, Barney, and Dave here.

  17. Ready to Hurl

    (the only more dangerous route, I believe, was NOT to act)

    Why? Why? Why?
    Hell’s bells, a better, more persuasive case could have been made to invade IRAN than Iraq in 2003. At least Iran had actually been proven to be a state-sponsor of international terrorism.
    You don’t know how bizarre it is to read you channeling Darth Cheney. It’s like you both were dunked in the purple kool-aid.
    Every bit of evidence and history that has come to light since we’ve invaded Iraq has pointed to other more pressing threats to the U.S.
    Pakistan– OUR “ALLY,” FOR PETE’S SAKE– has been peddling nuclear technology on the black market. North Korea has been testing missiles and restarted nuclear production. Our image in the Muslim world has nose-dived into oblivion. China is working to weaponize space. Afghanistan is slipping back to the Taliban. Iran has become a nuclear power. Millions around the world think that OUR president is more dangerous than Osama bin Laden.
    I’m not condemning you for not being prescient. It’s your pathological attachment to a course of action that has proven disasterous that baffles. It’s light years beyond “stubborn.”

  18. Ready to Hurl

    kc, Barney’s looking a little doubtful– but then he’s “only” a “stupid” dog.
    What could he know?

  19. bud

    Brad opines:
    “The main danger to this high-stakes enterprise is, and has always been, the American people DECIDING we’re going to fail.”
    No, the main danger is that what we’re doing is just plain wrong. Continuing with a policy that is wrong brings about consequences that are deadly to our security. If we acknowledge that we’re wrong, accept responsibility and move on. That is different from failure, it’s merely an acceptance of reality.
    History is full of failures that ultimately benefited the people of a given nation. Germany’s failure in WW-II benefited the German people in the long run. Same with the failure of the Confederacy. Our failure in Vietnam didn’t hurt the nation in the long run. So this whole business of failure really doesn’t bother me. What concerns me is continuing with a bad policy.

  20. Doug Ross

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire
    Mary Rosh says:
    “Barack Obama sent out a release with a missing word.”
    “As fine a gentleman as Obama is, you know it had to cross his mind. .
    No, we don’t know any such thing. Warthen protests Bud’s observations,
    blaming Senator Obama, on the basis that Warthen’s scurrilous and
    slur “had to” cross Senator Obama’s mind. But Warthen refutes that
    when he admits that Senator Obama is a “fine gentleman”. Why would a
    gentleman” have the same thoughts as a lazy, worthless, cowardly liar
    “We needed to topple the status quo, knock over the supports and give
    something else a chance.”
    And in another demonstration of the cowardice that kept him out of
    Warthen paints his views in broad, general terms, shying away from
    presenting specific details of his viewpoint. He does not say, if
    notice, that we needed to start a war under false pretenses, losing the
    lives of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of
    wasting hundreds of billions of tax dollars, diverting attention away
    genuine strategic threats, and weakening our military so that it
    less able to deal with genuine strategic threats. Those are all
    of the specific way Warthen advocated that the “status quo” should be
    Warthen also presents a false dichotomy, pretending that his vision of
    “changing the status quo” is the only possible way that the “status
    could have been changed. But there were many ways to change the status
    For example, we could have responded positively to Iran’s positive
    overtures. We could have pressed for human rights improvements in
    Eastern countries – not least, but setting a good example ourselves.
    could have acted to reduce fears and suspicioins among Middle Eastern
    countries that we were motivated by colonialism. We could have done
    kinds of things that would have benefited us and the Middle East in the
    and short terms. That would have altered the status quo.
    It wouldn’t have altered it in the way Warthen wished, and wouldn’t
    allowed him to play the soldier in his imagination in a way that his
    cowardice kept him from doing in reality, but it would have improved
    real lives of real people.

  21. bud

    Yes Mary, there were many who believed there was no WMD threat from Iraq. It is nothing but a neo-con lie to claim that everyone believed Iraq had huge stockpiles of WMD. From Wikepedia here are two men that were scoffed at by the neo-cons in 2003 but, unlike Brad Warthen, were absolutely 100% correct:
    Hans Blix. Blix’s statements about the Iraq WMD program came to contradict the claims of the Bush administration, and attracted a great deal of criticism from supporters of the invasion of Iraq. In an interview on BBC TV on 8 February 2004, Dr. Blix accused the U.S. and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
    And Scott Ritter:
    William Scott Ritter, Jr. (born July 15, 1961) is most noted for being a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East stemming from his experiences as a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March, 2003, Ritter repeatedly stated that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Because of the prevailing political climate in the United States at the time, Ritter was widely condemned for this position. In retrospect, much of Ritter’s pre-invasion critique of US policy has been vindicated.
    For Brad to continue the bogus neo-con claim that everyone believed Iraq possessed WMD is an act of intellectual dishonesty. So why should any pragmatist believe any claims that are made now? To do so would be foolhardy.

  22. Mary Rosh

    Bud, I don’t count those guys, because they had knowledge in addition to that which was available to the general public. I am particularly struck by the fact that large numbers of people in the general public, using information that was freely available in the press, came to well-supported conclusions that there were no WMD’s. The information was available to Warthen, too; he just chose to ignore it.

  23. bud

    Mary, Blix and Ritter were important experts that publicly disputed the Bush administration claims. Much of the freely available information you speak of is based on the work of these two men.

  24. Mary Rosh

    Bud, even without the information they provided, which as I understand it was along the lines of “I’ve been there, the stuff isn’t there”, and was extremely useful and important, and would have stopped the invasion cold if it was listened to, there was plenty of ADDITIONAL information pointing to the weakness of the administration claims. Colin Powell’s claims blew apart not because of information provided by Scott and Ritter, but through analysis of the sources of the information behind the claims, and the weakness of those sources.
    Even if I arbitrarily exclude Blix and Ritter, and the information they provided, there was STILL plenty of information available to show that there was no evidence of WMD’s, and many, many people examined that information and drew correct conclusions.
    So Warthen’s claim that no one knew that there were no WMD’s is risible, and acknowledging the information provided by Blix and Ritter makes Warthen’s claim even more risible.
    Without Blix and Ritter, we knew that there was no good evidence of WMD’s. With Blix and Ritter, we knew for a fact that there were no WMD’s.

  25. bud

    To recap: Brad asks us to support an administration that wants to escalate U.S. military involvement in Iraq based on pure specualtion, and nothing more, that this proposed escalation will quell the violence there. If successful this would succeed where numerous, similar escalations have failed. But in spite of the previous failures those who oppose it, even in a non-binding manner, are accussed of cowardice.
    And what is the claim for continuing with this endevour in the first place? It is said to be necessary because there will be greater violence and a greater threat to our security if we don’t continue. This whopper is put forth by the same people who told us since day 1 that Iraq was a grave threat to our security because they had WMD. A claim that was proven false and one which many believed to be false prior to our invasion. And despite crystal clear evidence to the contrary the same group of people who support the latest (yet essentially similar to previous surges) idea claim virtually everyone believed there were WMD. That false claim has now become something of an article of faith by those who support the war. But in spite of all the lies, distortions and incompetence by those pushing for this latest surge those who oppose it are branded as unpatriotic cowards who don’t support the troops.
    This would all be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Nothing but death, cripping injuries and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted by an administration that lied to us from the beginning and continues to lie to us now. But Brad is right about one thing. Rather than pass a non-binding resolution congress should simply cut off funding immediately. That would be the patriotic and pragmatic thing to do.

  26. Ready to Hurl

    Hey, Brad, I hope that you’ve read the latest from McClatchy in Iraq (below).
    Do I need to draw you a picture? We’ve been inadvertently training the sectarian militias.
    This pretty much guarantees Bush’s “new” tactic of embedding small U.S. units and “holding” sections of Baghdad will be a recipe for fragged Americans.
    You can keep spouting ciruclar non-sense about how we “have” to stay in Iraq or you can wake up smell the coffee.
    My money is on you thinking that sacrificing another 3,000-plus Americans during the clueless Bush lame-duckdom will be worthwhile until some one new can take a crack at it.
    Needless to say, you and the rest of the 101 Fightin’ Keyboarders won’t be suffering.
    Mahdi Army gains strength through unwitting aid of U.S.
    BAGHDAD, Iraq – The U.S. military drive to train and equip Iraq’s security forces has unwittingly strengthened anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia, which has been battling to take over much of the capital city as American forces are trying to secure it.
    U.S. Army commanders and enlisted men who are patrolling east Baghdad, which is home to more than half the city’s population and the front line of al-Sadr’s campaign to drive rival Sunni Muslims from their homes and neighborhoods, said al-Sadr’s militias had heavily infiltrated the Iraqi police and army units that they’ve trained and armed.
    “Half of them are JAM. They’ll wave at us during the day and shoot at us during the night,” said 1st Lt. Dan Quinn, a platoon leader in the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, using the initials of the militia’s Arabic name, Jaish al Mahdi. “People (in America) think it’s bad, but that we control the city. That’s not the way it is. They control it, and they let us drive around. It’s hostile territory.”

  27. Ready to Hurl

    Yep, bud, even the dullest of the wingnuts are getting the talking points “telegraphed” by the Bushies in preparation for attacking Iran.

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