Monday, June 28, 2010

Throwing his Glove

Jeffrey Goldberg calls out Glenn Greenwald: let's go see for ourselves. What a quaint idea.


4infidels said...

I don't get the argument that removing Saddam Hussein was immoral. I am not sure that the cost, in terms of American lives and money, and the increased influence of Iran, made it advantageous for the U.S. I also think that the real threats from jihad are in Iran, in Europe and elsewhere, including within the American homeland.

I certainly don't think that nation-building in Iraq is beneficial to Americans, especially getting our troops killed to prevent Arab Shiites and Arab Sunnis from fighting each other. I don't understand why the US has been so hesitant to call out Iran and Syria for their roles in attacking American troops.

But there are many shades of gray and I can't see how someone could say that removing a mass murdering thug with no respect for human life is immoral. I also can't see how you conclude that it was immoral for the US to try to create a functioning nation-state, however naive and uninformed were those dreamers who put their faith in such an outcome.

The thing I find most immoral is that the Americans and the world have largely ignored the persecution and exodus of the Christian population from Iraq. But don't count on the far left to take up their cause, as it would put them on the opposite side from the jihadists. Of course, pro-war conservatives can't take up the Christian cause in Iraq either, as that would cast doubt on their narrative of the surge in Iraq having been anything more than a momentary success.

Anonymous said...

Four (I like that better, if you object, let me know)

as to the Iraq war I think it will prove to be an unfinished job - General Odierno who I think did the non-flashy part btw is promoted? out of the way.

here's the link to the report on the Saddam/AlQaeda (irony alert, read it all)

I realize that Saddam had no relationship at all with al Qaeda (despite the volumes of evidence that suggest the contrary


Anonymous said...

I am sick to death of hearing Greenwald is a 'leftist'. He himself says he isn't. He's worked with and for Pat Buchanan, he's worked for and with LaRouche-ites. His column is commonly linked and praised by blogs and websites to the right of Ghengis Khan and worse. He has defended neo Nazis and holocaust deniers. He openly espouses a kind of so called anti-zionism more violent and fascist than even Hamas.

Greenwald is not a leftist but the 'left' and the progressives are so morally bankrupt, so bereft of anything resembling a coherent moral credo that they'll latch on to the Greenwalds like lampreys. The fact that he's an out out and out antisemite is what they like to hear and he's more than happy to oblige.

Lee Ratner said...

4Infidels: The argument that removing Saddam was immoral goes that for as bad as Mr. Hussein was, there was no indication that what replaced him would be better or that the transition into the replacement would be free of blood. The critics of the Second Iraq War, correctly IMO, argue that there would be much less American and Iraqi bloodshed if Hussein remained in power. Quite frankly, Bush II simply wasn't up to task of nation-building in Iraq and this failure ensured a lot of suffering and a lot of money going down the drain.

Anonymous said...


as to my memory box you are correct in how you represent the original Iraq war argument i.e. running along the lines of the IMHO disgusting Trolley Problem which I hear is all the rage for philosophers to take their students through. Basically it is akin to Sophie's Choice (though fiction maybe an adequate place for it a cold-blooded thought experiment is not)

That said, if you'd take the trouble of reading Greenwald's text you would find a different wording callous to the point of "where's the bucket".

Bush2s nation building could have never succeeded, not even with the best of all post war plannings (read up on Gertrude Bell).

During the run-up I got the impression that the planners dreamt themselves back into streets full of flag-weaving Germans and forgot totally that they had bombed us first into numbness and fatigue i.e. Bush2s believed their idiotic short-sighted narrowly-focused military strategists who seem all intent on proving that area bombing had no military value at all, forgetting totally that it made civilians and especially mothers very very tired to live in half or more than half rubbished cities.

Tired people are meek people with little energy left for ideology, so post-war occupied by the Americans mothers send their youngsters to the black market etc. to get them some potatoes and slapped them when they saw them toying with a slingshot. If there is one military historian who has thought and written about impact beyond VE-day I haven't come across instead Churchill to his ever-lasting disgrace didn't give Bomber Harris his due - the man may have been a maniac so what? Another point I don't read much about is: how much farther would have the Russians been able to advance without the Allies bombing German urbans into a welcoming mood? Did the bombing maybe save me from a life under Russian sovereignship?

Americans in Iraq to their honour tried again to do the impossible, it proved to be impossible (is that why the "surge" was aborted? which in my reading it was) so now they've upped the ante - if the impossible is impossible then maybe a miracle in Afghanistan will do the (Halford Mackinder) trick.

I think 4infidels's idea of bunkering down in Kurdistan would be the least bad of them all, but if do it in style, make Kurdistan a place as seductive and as glittering to its neighbours as you made Germany - but of course doing a (menacing) sitting duck in Kurdistan doesn't solve Pakistan on the brink with all those atom bombs. On the other hand such a sitting duck may attract a lot of eager for a fight young men and keep them from mayhem elsewhere.

In short I am tired of this bashing of BushII via headline throwing - he made mistakes, who doesn't, but even while I kept saying to myself "oh no" "oh no"
I would have been grateful for any decent piece of writing that separated the avoidable from the unavoidable.
Would you believe that even Mary Beard ("the Americans had it - 9/11 - coming") conceded after she had a close look at the matter that the looting of the Baghdad museum was more or less unavoidable?

Bits like these are rare to come by but they should alert a thinking person to not run with the crowd without further information.


Anonymous said...

"Americans in Iraq to their honour tried again to do the impossible, it proved to be impossible (is that why the "surge" was aborted? which in my reading it was)"

Correction to the above:

just when it seemed that in Iraq the Impossible might become Possible the "surge" was aborted.

I guess that is what boots think and I hope they don't see it as having been had like vets of Korengar Valley seem to think.


Anonymous said...

We have seen the trolls, and the trolls are the bloggers themselves. It doesn't matter to me if Weigel is left wing or right wing, someone who regularly wishes rhetorical death on those he doesn't like and uses "fucktard" as an epithet in sober written conversation does not have the proper temperament to be a journalist. Or as Goldberg says "I detest keyboard adventurism."

Goldberg's critics of course accuse accuse Goldberg himself of keyboard adventurism for his writings on Iraq. Regardless of whether the war right or wrong, his arguments and writings were well within cultural norms. It is Greenwald, Ezra Klein et al who are crazy by pretending that all tools of international diplomacy are actually against "international law."