Monday, July 18, 2005

Trolls, elfs, dwarfs and sundry

I guess I should feel honored having a troll. It is sort of comforting, in a strange, masochistic way. And I need to address the points, repetitive that they are. So, here goes:

1. "1 is not correct because blowing up people, including little kids, is not the only thing a group of people can do to remove an occupying force." No, I suppose it is not the only thing. However, they don't have a lot of options and this is the one they picked. One has to deal with reality.

2. "There is something about us they don't like." I propose that one simply switches the players. Put us in the position of the Iraqi. Figure out why we might not like what's going on.

3. "Why were attacked on 9/11? We were just minding our own business at that point." Mikey, Mikey, my boy. Wake up! America is an imperial power. For better or worse, our culture and influence extends throughout the world.

4. "Why couldn't it be our freedom?" Because before "freedom" as I assume you are using the word (freedom of speech, religion, political expression, etc.) one has to have freedom from harm and freedom from hunger, freedom from thirst and freedom from the elements. There are few political philosophers in a foxhole; and there are damn few in Afghanistan and Iraq.

5. "But it's not G.W.'s fault these radical Muslims are so evil that they have no respect for human life. They did these same things before G.W., they will do these same things after G.W." Really? I've been around a long time and I don't remember terrorism being used like it is now. Suicide bombing from Wikipedia:
Lebanon, during its civil war, saw the first modern suicide bombing: the Islamic Dawa Party's car bombing of the Iraqi embassy in Beirut, in December 1981.
Suicide bombing has increased dramatically in Iraq since the invasion. It is their major weapon. Again:
Suicide bombing may thus "work" as a military tactic (in that it costs fewer lives than any conventional military tactic or targeting soldiers rather than civilians) and may or may not achieve the political objectives sought by the combatant. However, it is likely to remain a method of operation employed by Palestinians, at least as long as the Palestinians are outclassed militarily by Israel (emphasis added).
This is the point. It is the only alternative because of the overwhelming firepower of the American military. Observe carefully that I am not making a moral judgement here. The time for moral judgements is long past. This is practical.

6. "If we are unwilling to fight and destroy the kind of evil that blows up innocent children..." Saddam Hussein was a meglomaniacal butcher as were his sons. He killed many innocents. But we are not up against SH or even an organized opposition. We are up against a fanatical group (10,000? 20,000? who knows) that is well armed with explosives (probably due to our neglect in securing the massive arms dumps after the invasion) that is committed to driving us from their land. It has nothing to do with evil at all.

Jorge Luis Borges once wrote a story about a king and his obsession with models of his kingdom. At first he just had a small model on his table. Then he expanded it to the size of his room. He was so enchanted that he ordered a map that was as big as his palace. Finally, of course, he built one as big as his kingdom.

The moral here is that we would probably have to send 25 million men to guard every single Iraqi every second of the day to vanquish this type of insurgency. You and GW may think that you are bringing "freedom and democracy" to Iraq, but I don't think there are many there that believe that or, more importantly, care.

We need to change what we are doing. It is as simple as that.


Redjalapeno said...

Hey Doc,

Welcome back to hell!

I just got through doing the same thing that you just did, only I did in the comment section of your previous post.

Great minds do think alike.

mikey said...

Gee, is someone who challenges your ideas a "troll?" I thought you were a fan of freedom of speech. You seem a bit defensive. Well, at least you've softened up your rhetoric about the bombings being G.W.'s fault.

BTW, I still haven't seen any cogent arguments showing how Bush lied.

I don't find a lot to disagree with in points 1-3 or your rebuttal, so I'll leave those alone. That doesn't mean I agree with your emphasis, but at least they are fair opinions.

In #4, I still don't see why our freedom couldn't be the very thing they don't like. Islam is not about freedom. Freedom of speech, religion, expression, are things that are anathema to the most fundamental Muslims. I'm not exactly sure what your point is about hunger, thirst, elements. Are you saying they don't like us because we're rich and they're poor? I don't recall Bin Laden or other terrorists ever mentioning money as the root of their hatred.

In #5, you seem to support my point, not refute it. These killers have been using these tactics since at least 1981 according to your reference. You're original theory was that these Muslim murderers had no choice but to use these tactics because big bad G.W. was occupying their territory. Well, apparently these tactics have been in use for a while. Isn't that what I said?

And, what do you supply as an alternative? It seems like you think that if the U.S. were much, much weaker, then these terrorists wouldn't have to resort to such tactics. What kind of argument is that? Just because there are evil people that don't like something about us, are we supposed to reduce our presence in the world so they will ignore us? Let us grow weak, so that we can be safe?

I take greatest exception to your comment in #6, that "it has nothing to do with evil at all." To use your reprimand, WAKE UP. You think this is all about land? The issue here is a group of people with an agenda based on their interpretation of Islam. These people use terrorist tactics to try to weaken their opposition. These are evil, twisted people. They are murderers, and nothing more. They are on the rampage for more than just land. They are out to obliterate any opposition to their ideals, not just people who occupy some piece of land. If it were just about land, then why was the U.S. attacked on so many occasions when we occupied no one?

As to your final point, I think you are sorely mistaken. I think there are millions in Iraq that believe the U.S. efforts there are extremely helpful in creating a democracy and who care deeply about freedom. Are you someone who cares about freedom? If not, then wouldn't you be just as happy in some dictatorial state? Cuba is close by. Would you like to live there?

I agree that we need to change what we are doing. And I think the change needs to come from people like yourself who take great pleasure in promoting conspiracy theories and who spend the majority of their time looking for things wrong with the world instead of looking for ways to help.

Steve Hill said...

In my experience--you can't talk reason with someone who a) is rooted in emotion; and/or b) is not rooted in reality.

Red and Doc, I admire your passion, but lets face it: all the facts that each of you post isn't going to sway Mikey--because Mikey doesn't live a world where facts are relevant.

Having said that, well done to both of you.

mikey said...

Dear Steve,

You fit right in with the leftist mold of making attacks on personal character while failing to support any position with your own facts. Why don't you jump in and tell me what "facts" I am overlooking? I know it's intimidating to have to support your liberal mindset, but please give it a try.

Steve Hill said...

Thanks Mikey. I think that Red and Dr. C. have articulated things quite well.

By the way, I don't think that I fit into a "leftist" mold. You don't really know what my politics are. I actually have a long history of working for and with both Democrat and Republican policymakers.

I do believe that we were intentionally misled to justify this unnecessary war, and I am sickened by the destruction and loss of life that we have caused.

Dr. C said...

Thanks for stopping by. Have they found a new director yet? I think RJ and I have exhausted ourselves on this one. Old mikey is nothing if he's not tenacious.
As for not doing anything positive, well, I'll have to let the world decide. I did run a leukemia protocol in Romania with over a hundred kids on it. I guess that's finding something wrong with the world. Evil white blood cells!

mikey said...

Sorry Steve, if you look like a duck and quack like a duck, you're a duck. I'll take your deference to Doc and Red as you not being willing or able to take on any serious debate. Thanks for the indirect compliment though.

Doc - and I thought we were actually communicating there for a while. Oh well, if you and Red have exhausted yourselves (especially Red, he sure can go on and on and on...), I can understand. It's hard to keep fighting when you have little ammunition.

Redjalapeno said...

Tenacious as a drunk in a bar fight. No matter how many times you punch him in the face, he’ll just keep getting up and ask for more.

Mikey is here to stay, will most likely will keep getting back up and parroting the same lame crap over and over again. Steve was dead on when he suggested mikey has no interest in debate.

I can picture this little turd laughing himself silly as he thinks in his mind he has kicked ass or something to that effect.

I say we let the drunk wander around rambling, and sooner or later like all good drunks he’ll either sober up and go home or wander into another bar for another pummeling and claim victory.

Recidivist said...

Gee, is someone who challenges your ideas a ‘troll?’ I thought you were a fan of freedom of speech.

Hmmmm … classic troll defence #1

The problem with that defence is that you should be able to show that you are actually challenging the points made .. not just reeling out the same wholly unoriginal rhetoric that you are stupid enough to believe simply because someone tells you it is so.

As for the freedom of speech bit … funny how that invariably gets thrown in (normally, and this is such a case, by someone who challenges you right to even think what you think) when that freedom hasn’t even been challenged.

You don’t actually challenge ideas if you don't have ideas of your own that you can support with a reasoned argument ... and making dismissive and diversionary noises in order to get the discussion on to your pre-scripted agenda does not really qualify as a reasoned argument. It is TROLLING.

Dr C: Troll's are indeed something of a compliment. The fact that you have had the great misfortune to acquire one generally indicates that you have challenged someone in such a manner that they have come face-to-face with the sheer irrational and ignorant evil and bigotry that is the foundation of their own beliefs. Unable to deal with this fact they need lash out ... at you.

Trolling is generally the preserve of the man with both a small penis and a small brain (basically just your classic bully) whose only way to get an ego boost is to try to belittle with someone else’s wholly unoriginal rhetoric.

mikey said...

Recid -

It's amazing how you and Red know me so well. Thanks for the free psycho-analysis. Oh, and the penis/brain thing was beautiful. Such a mature and relevant comment, to be sure. You are a master debater.

Your wisdom has made me realize now that the only thought worthy of publishing is one that is different than everyone elses.