Wednesday, August 11, 2004

 

Neocon Policy


The last quote may have been a slip of the tongue. This one is not. It is not funny either.

Michael Ledeen is one of the architects of the neocon program now being implemented under the nose of the American people in the name of freedom and democracy. I quote:

“every now and again the United States has to pick up a crappy little country and throw it against a wall just to prove we are serious.”*

I find those words so eloquent in aptly describing what has been happening to Iraq! Are we to conclude that all those mistakes were not due to shear incompetence and mismanagement on the part of the administration… but were actually intentional?

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* Later, Mr. Ledeem… " admitted that, yes, he had said those words but that they had been taken out of context; but that in essence, yes, it was true, every now and again the United States has to prove to the rest of the World that it is a great power." I would be grateful for any clarification by any American Saddamist or neocon as to the proper "context" of those words.




Comments:

I am not a neo-con so I won't attempt to explain Mr. Leeden's comments. If you are really looking for a true Neo-con to debate, try Mr. Paul Edwards of Austalia. I don't think he will agree with all of Mr. Ledeen's comments, but I will leave that to him.

He can be reached via the following link http://www.thinktam.com/askiraq/viewtopic.php?t=320. He is a formidable debater.

IMHO, since you hold vastly different world views and both express yourself well in writing, an exchange between the two of you would have real value and may cause people to challenge their opinions and beliefs.

Mark in Chi-Town
 
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Abu, I'd like to apologize for the offence caused by one of my neocon brothers. Most of what he says is good, but this is not. It's not about proving that America is a "great power". It is about making the world a safer place for humanists. And it isn't the country that is being thrown against the wall, it is the non-humanist government and insurgents. I really am sorry. We don't need this sort of talk. The war is not against the Iraqi people or the Iraqi nation. I am falling in love with your country, as the underlying humanist nature of the Iraqi people is coming to the surface now that they have freedom of speech, and want to protect it against anyone who wishes to throw it against the wall.
 
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I think his comments are basically mistaken. While I suppose it is necessary for America to periodically make a show of force, it happens that the world provides plenty of opportunities to do so without specifically picking on a random crappy country. Usually the US makes a point of reforming and improving the countries it invades, and almost all interventions have had a legitimate humanitarian or security rationale. (i.e. Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, Gulf War I, Panama, Grenada, etc. I'm probably missing even more minor humanitarian interventions here.)
 
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AK: Thanks for posting link. Boy it chills my bones going back in time when poppy and the wingnuts, and reagan were "liberating" Central America. Dejavu. Even the serial killer negraponte. My god. I can't believe we've allowed these monsters to continue their rape and murder. May they rot in hell with pain and suffering for every innocent human being they tortured and killed for their greedy crimes against humanity.

People hate us because we don't seem to care about anything but the bottom line. Greedy trumps the right to life. America, land of the corporate thugs, and evil doer's.

Sincerely
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
Michael Ledeen is a recycled think-tank moron and a closet fascist from way back before Reagan. He is often used by FoxNews as a generic terrorism expert. And he is, obviously not terribly bright.
He is the perfect 'neo-con'.
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
Michael Ledeen is a recycled think-tank moron and a closet fascist from way back before Reagan. He is often used by FoxNews as a generic terrorism expert. And he is, obviously not terribly bright.
He is the perfect 'neo-con'.
 
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"Boy it chills my bones going back in time when poppy and the wingnuts, and reagan were "liberating" Central America"

In other words, gritting their teeth and doing whatever was necessary to win the Cold War. Sometimes there are only bad things to choose between, and it is necessary to take the least worst option. I suggest you ask this guy if he thinks it was worth it:

http://www.nato.int/multi/video/2004/040402-accession/v040402-bulgaria.wmv
 
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Sorry, real player is not working right now. Will try again.

NO IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Not in my name. Evil is always evil. Especially EVIl made in America. And there is no difference between mass extermination done by US, or saddam, osama, or Hitler. Some say we're a Christian nation. I wonder. Perhaps instead of 10 commandments in school or court, why not attach to body of US policy makers. Nope, terra can not be anything but terra. It seems we have no more moral authority than any other stalinist totalitarian regime.
(snip)
But there is one country that is mysteriously missing from the discussion--namely, the major one, the one that has the responsibility for the tragedy and for the turmoil, And that is a revealing example of the cynicism and the quite astonishing moral cowardice of the American elites. And in this it is very much like every official study of the region and a great many of the unofficial ones.

A couple of months ago the Council on Hemispheric Affairs published its annual human rights report for Latin America. It selected, as the worst governments in Latin America for 1985, El Salvador and Guatemala, the only two governments in Central America "that abducted, killed, and tortured political opponents on a systematic and widespread basis." This, incidentally, is the sixth successive year that they obtained that honor, and in that period they have succeeded in killing, those two governments, roughly a hundred and fifty thousand people, and causing several millions of refugees.

There was, in fact, one other contender for first place in the Council on Hemispheric Affairs report; namely, the Contras--what even their supporters call an American proxy army, that is attacking Nicaragua from its Honduran, and in part Costa Rican, bases. There are also thousands of civilians murdered, tortured, and mutilated by them. They carry out no other noteworthy military operations. The only reason they don't achieve first place is that they don't have quite the strength to do it.

Now these atrocities are not the ordinary garden variety kinds of murders. In El Salvador it means, for example, elite American-trained battalions going through a town, destroying, and leaving behind them women hanging by their feet with their breasts cut off and their facial skin peeled back, bleeding to death.

It means in Nicaragua, for example, the Contras going into a town, shooting it up, killing people, taking a fourteen-year- old girl, raping her, slitting her throat, cutting her head off and putting it on a pole to intimidate the rest of the population. To pick one example. That one from an American priest who has been working there for many years. One example from a list a mile long compiled by human rights organizations, barely noted here and quickly forgotten.

In Guatemala it means, for example, troops going into a village, collecting the population in the central town building, taking out the men and beheading them, raping and then killing the women, taking out the children and smashing them to pieces against rocks in a nearby river. These are the kinds of things that we are talking about. This is a record that bears comparison to Pol Pot, both in scale and in character.

It's also notable that we are talking about three close U.S. allies, in fact clients, which have been supported by the United States throughout. With one exception. In the case of Guatemala, Congress put some restrictions on the Executive limiting its capacity to participate in genocide to the extent that it wanted, and therefore it was necessary to call upon other client states to help. First were Argentine neo-Nazis, but that was lost with the unfortunate return to democracy in Argentina; and since, primarily Israel, which has lent itself with great enthusiasm to the cause.

To that record we may add Nicaragua, where in 1978 and 1979, in the last days of Somoza, about fifty thousand more people were killed. Contrary to many lies, the Carter Administration supported that massacre to the very end. It's very much like the Haiti and Philippines case.
Source:
http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19860409.htm

Sincerely
 
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You failed to list the alternate option. The alternate option was to have all those things and more done by communists, across the entire globe, in order to create the perfect communist. If you have any complaints, take it up with the USSR. Given that they were the evil regime, and America was a liberal democracy, they were the ones who needed to stand down. You must take the least worst option. The perfect option is never available. The Cuban missile crisis nearly created a nuclear holocaust, because some numbskull US president failed to invade Cuba when he had the chance. And a numbskull US Congress failed to provide the military and financial aid that our South Vietnamese allies required from 1972-1975 to counteract the NVA buildup that the USSR was happy to fund. Here, read this:

http://www.thinktam.com/askiraq/viewtopic.php?p=2515#2515
 
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The linked story now carries this introductory paragraph:

Editor's Note: This is a revised and corrected version of this story. The earlier version contained a quote that was erroneously attributed to Michael Ledeen.The "crappy" quote is not present here, and was presumably removed.

As for the Chomsky site: I no longer trust Dr. Chomsky in such matters, ever since I caught him in a blatant contradiction last year and he defended himself by claiming that such lies were fair game.
 
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There is no difference between atrocities. USA or USSR.
 
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Moral equivalency between that USA and USSR was the game played by the leftist apologists for the USSR for the entire Cold War, and sadly they have taught this to their intellectual sucessors who just swallow anyone told to them on TV in a sufficiantly self-righteous tone.

In most cases, they had to blatantly exagerrate the US's crimes using hyperbolic rhetoric combined with minimizing the horrors of the gulags and purges to even come anywhere close to a comparison. Communism killed 100 million people. The numbers killed in Latin American civil wars were more like in the 10s of thousands. So you have a difference of about 100x between the numbers.

But of course, they then go to the absurd length of blaming the actions of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia on the USA, as if Cambodians are mindless automotons who turned into insane zombies simple because the US happened to be bombing along the border with Vietnam. (Not because Pol Pot was a mass murderer and his agrarian communist philosophy an insanity).

Which reminds me, Chomsky is a Marxist who visited Cambodia and praised Pol Pot's government, not to mention every other Marxist socialist regime on the planet. He's also been caught distorting the truth on numerous occasions. The man is a Marxist ideologue who feels that lies are an acceptable tool to affect political change.
 
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Wouldn't that be a difference of 1000x to 10,000x?
 
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No.
 
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Why not? Also, how much credit should be given to the communists for the death toll in WWII, given that they started it jointly with the Nazis?
 
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Murder is murder. One victim is one too many. Credit, as you call it would appear to go to the guilty.

Hitler saw no difference between Jews and Communist. They were both equally hated. So I'm not sure what you're point is.

Sincerely
 
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One of us is confused. Did communism kill 1000-10,000 times more people than were killed in Latin America by right-wing locals?

If so, do you think that supporting right-wing locals was the least worst choice, when faced with the possibility of communists taking over instead, and doing their normal drive to cleanse the population of those who didn't think that communism was a scientifically proven way to improve their life?

In addition, given that the communists started WWII, together with the Nazis (they both invaded Poland), can we assume that the death toll from WWII should be split evenly between Nazis and Communists? If so, that will change the 1000x-10,000x figure a little bit upwards.

Also, given that the communists killed more people than Hitler ever did, do you know of any western communists who have profusely apologized for supporting communism, and now hang their heads in shame?
 
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Ledeen doesn't speak for me and if he has any connection to the current administration it needs to be severed and might I suggest that the crappy little man Ledeen himself be thrown against a wall. I can't speak for all Americans. But I am a Democrat who supported removing Sadaam NOT to show the world our might or because I thought he was any real threat to me but to give the long-suffering Iraqi people a break for a change and a chance at a free country. Was this a mistake? Most Iraqis seem to want to build a democratic country. With all due respect to the Michael Moore's and the Noam Chomsky's, but: What other chance did your children have to live in freedom?

Sean from California
 
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I'm not able to dispute your figures on number of victims. As I said before, I see no difference between one murderous regime from another.

I am more concerned with brutal military oppression the us engages in. This govt has yet to be held accountable. Different adminstrations have been cited for Human Rights abuses. Still we arrogantly continue to prop up oppressive regimes and hide behind the myth of spreading democracy and freedom.
Sincerely
 
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"I see no difference between one murderous regime from another."

If you have a choice between two murderous regimes, the way to tell the difference is to choose the one that is likely the least murderous. Choose the one that is least likely to threaten the free world (ie non-murderous regimes). We don't live in a perfect world yet.

"Still we arrogantly continue to prop up oppressive regimes and hide behind the myth of spreading democracy and freedom"

Which regime are you talking about, and what is the alternative option? Does the alternative option create more problems than it solves? It isn't a myth about spreading freedom and democracy. It is happening. I sent you a link to the video of Bulgaria switching from being a Warsaw Pact slave, to being a willing NATO ally. Freedom doesn't come any sweeter than that, and the Bulgarians know it, even if you've never known anything other than freedom.

Afghanistan and Iraq are transitioning to freedom as we speak. Not sure what more you want. Can I ask you to read this:
http://www.thinktam.com/askiraq/viewtopic.php?t=337
 
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You're kidding. If you're really serious, you can do a google and find we have quite a history with our spreading freedom. If you find where we actually did spread freedom, let me know. Hint, saddam for one.

Iraq and Afgan appear to be on the verge of implosion. We aren't gonna win the hearts and minds today. I read today people are so pissed, (we only killed 300 so far today!) anyway people are forming human chains in the street to keep al-sadar safe, and several cpa hand picked ig's have resigned in anger of the blood bath we been doing for over a week now. It's an absolute disaster on our part. They are quite clear about wanting our butts out of their country. Don't blame them. They put up with more than we would if we were ever "liberated" by a bunch yahoo's.

Will just have to see and hope for a miracle.
Sincerely
 
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"we have quite a history with our spreading freedom."

Yeah. The ENTIRE Europe. And Australia was saved at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

"Hint, saddam for one."

More accurately, Khomenei was prevented from seizing the southern Iraqi oilfields and holding the free world to ransom.

"anyway people are forming human chains in the street to keep al-sadar safe"

SOME people are doing that. OTHER people want to see Al Sadr hung from a lamp post. This is a civil war/insurgency. The US is on the winning side (ie the lamp post side).

"They are quite clear about wanting our butts out of their country."

Actually they want a lot of inconsistent things. At the moment, an attempt is being made to keep out of their face as much as possible, without affecting the end goal of having Iraqi law (including human rights etc) stand unchallenged. War is messy. You're looking at the middle of it at the moment. After war comes peace. The numbers are too skewed in Allawi's favour for there to be anything other than an Allawi victory. But some people need to be convinced the hard way.
 
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Look, I didnt even read the link ... I saw "Noam Chomsky" come up and I sighed ... Here's my comment:

Noam Chomsky is a dangerous left-wing liar.

He defended the Communist Khmer Rouge genocidal maniacs in Cambodia who were killing millions in 1979...

" the Khmer Rouge programs elicited a positive response…because they dealt with fundamental problems rooted in the feudal past and exacerbated by the imperial system."

... and has made a career as a self-described Left Anarchist of attacking everything the United States does. He is the worst and most disreputable 'source' you could possibly think of.

That Chomsky is now attacking USA after ignoring the genocides of others (including Saddams) is just par for the course. Why use a man who denies genocides happen? that this man, who defended the powers of totalitarianism and repression when it waved under a communist banner, is now being used by the jihadist opponents of US foreign policy, only tells me that both movements depend on the utterances of fanatics to 'prove' their point.

If you want to make your points, dont ever refer or use Noam Chomsky.

A review of Noam Chomsky by a Liberal
 
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"Ledeen doesn't speak for me and if he has any connection to the current administration it needs to be severed"

... It should be pointed out that Ledeen is *not* a member of this administration and never has been, to my knowledge.


If you want to go with what the administration is saying, go with Powell, Rumsfeld, Armitage, Cheney, Bush, etc. NOT a man who is a columnist and in some think-tank.
 
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More interesting is that he is considered a "dangerous man" for advocating regime change in Iran:

"Now Michael Ledeen is calling for regime change beyond Iraq. In an address entitled "Time to Focus on Iran -- The Mother of Modern Terrorism," "

Given what we know now about Iran vis a vis terrorism, vis a vis their repression of democratic desires, and vis a vis their interference in Iraq, what should be our aim for Iran.

Accomodate the "mad Mullahs", or attempt to undermine them? Or walk away and hope their support for Hizbollah, and letting Al Qeada and Zarqawi come and go across their borders wont hurt others?

Is Ledeen dangerous, or wise here?
 
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"I am more concerned with brutal military oppression the us engages in. "

You mean, like OPERATION OVERLORD.

That was a war crime doncha think? Thousands of civilians killed. And such huge military mistakes made, thousands of our troops died. and stories of prisoners shot. Terrible.

The US never should have done that ... going to France in 1944 and deposing a Nazi regime from Europe that never attacked us on US soil.
 
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"I am more concerned with brutal military oppression the us engages in. "

You mean, like OPERATION OVERLORD.

That was a war crime doncha think? Thousands of civilians killed. And such huge military mistakes made, thousands of our troops died. and stories of prisoners shot.

Terrible.

The US never should have done that ... going to France in 1944 and deposing a Nazi regime that never attacked us on US soil.
 
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"Which reminds me, Chomsky is a Marxist who visited Cambodia and praised Pol Pot's government, not to mention every other Marxist socialist regime on the planet. He's also been caught distorting the truth on numerous occasions. The man is a Marxist ideologue who feels that lies are an acceptable tool to affect political change."

This is true. Chomsky also went out of his way to defend an anti-semitic 'holocaust denier' historian-fraud.
Chomsky's support for the repressive Communist regimes of the world was and is vile. He is utterly useless and poisonous, and if you have to use him to make your point, you've proven yourself intellectually bankrupt.
 
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RATHER THAN DEBATE WHAT LYING ENEMIES CLAIM LEDEEN SAID, WHY NOT LOOK AT WHAT HE REALLY SAID AND COMMENT DIRECTLY?


The Nature of the Enemy
Micheal Ledeed, 7/26/04
Win first. Hearts and minds will come.

All of a sudden everybody's asking, "Who are we fighting anyway?" It's an interesting question, but it's not nearly as important as many of the debaters believe. The 9/11 Commission tells us we're fighting Islamists, or Islamist terrorists, and David Brooks has cooed over this, because he likes the notion that we're fighting an ideology. The White House has devoted lots of man-hours to this matter, trying to figure out how we win "the battle of ideas," and the Internet is full of people who argue, variously, that we're fighting "radical Islam," "Saddam's die-hards," "foreign fighters," or even "Islam itself." All of these "Islamic" definitions guide us back to Samuel Huntington's thesis that there is a war — or at least a clash — of civilizations underway. Most share the conviction that we're fighting something that is unusually dangerous because not a traditional enemy, that is to say, a state. It's much more than that, or so they believe.

I wonder. An awful lot of our enemies' ideology comes from us, as several scholars — Bernard Lewis and Amir Taheri, for starters — have stressed. The virulent anti-Semitism at the core of the (Sunni and Shiite) jihadists is right out of the Fuhrer's old playbook, which helps understand why jihad and the revival of anti-Semitism in Europe are running along in tandem. Sure, there's ample xenophobia in Islam, and Bat Yeor's fine work on dhimmitude abundantly documents the Muslim drive to dominate the infidel. But the kind of anti-Semitism — hardly distinguishable from anti-Americanism nowadays — that we find in Middle Eastern gutters has a Western trademark. It started in France in the 19th century, got a pseudoscientific gloss from the Austrians and Germans a generation later, and spread like topsy.

Notice, please, that many scholars at the time insisted that Nazism was first and foremost an ideology, not a state. Indeed, Hitler was at pains to proclaim that he was fighting for an Aryan reich, not a German state. And if you read some of the literature on Nazism or for that matter the broader work on totalitarianism produced by the "greatest generation," you'll find a profound preoccupation with "winning the war of ideas" against fascism. Indeed, a good deal of money and energy was expended by our armed forces, during and after the war, to de-Nazify and de-fascify the Old World.

But the important thing is that when we smashed Hitler, Nazi ideology died along with him, and fell into the same bunker.

The same debate over "whom or what are we fighting" raged during the Cold War, when we endlessly pondered whether we were fighting Communist ideology or Russian imperialism. Some — mostly intellectuals, many of them in the CIA — saw the Cold War primarily in ideological terms, and thought we would win if and only if we wooed the world's masses from the Communist dream. Others warned that this was an illusion, and that we'd better tend to "containment" else the Red Army would bring us and our allies to our knees.

In the end, when the Soviet Empire fell, the appeal of Communism was mortally wounded, at least for a generation.

You see where I'm going, surely. The debate is a trap, because it diverts our attention and our energies from the main thing, which is winning the war. It's an intellectual amusement, and it gets in our way. As that great Machiavellian Vince Lombardi reminds us, winning is the only thing.

That's why the public figure who has best understood the nature of the war, and has best defined our enemy, is George W. Bush. Of all people! He had it right from the start: We have been attacked by many terrorist groups and many countries that support the terrorists. It makes no sense to distinguish between them, and so we will not. We're going after them all.

Yes, I know he seems to lose his bearings from time to time, especially when the deep thinkers and the sheikhs and the Europeans and Kofi Annan and John Paul II insist we can't win the hearts and minds of the Middle East unless we first solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. But he has repeatedly pulled himself out of that trap very nicely, and he invariably does so in terms that show he has a uniquely deep understanding of our enemies.

He says the way to win the war is to liberate the Middle East from the tyrants who now govern it and sponsor terrorism.

And that's exactly right. There are plenty of terrorists out there who aren't Islamists. (There are even some suicide terrorists who have been forced into it; Coalition commanders are reporting the discovery of hands chained to steering wheels in suicide vehicles.) But all the terror masters are tyrants. Saddam didn't have any religious standing, nor do the Assads, but they are in the front rank of the terror masters. Ergo: Defeat the tyrants, win the war.

And then historians can study the failed ideology.

Machiavelli, Chapter Two: If you are victorious, people will always judge the means you used to have been appropriate.

Corollary from Lyndon Baines Johnson: When you have them by the balls, the hearts and minds generally follow.

Faster, please.
 
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Michael Ledeen is one of those loud and foolish voices that does not represent the American voice. It is my sincere wish that Iraq and the Iraq people find the strength to create an environment where the political process flourishes without the manipulation of gun toting thugs. An open society that allows people to express who they are and what they think freely without the imposition of those who are myopic. In such a society people like Michael Ledeen will exist. They will express themselves with words not guns and fear. While most of America does not agree with Michael Ledeen he is free to express himself. Freedom of expression is an important asset to a free society. Freedom to hate is not. Given that the will of the majority in Iraq prevails I hope that freedom becomes the way. Not guns and fear.
 
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