Friday, January 20, 2012

Blame America firsters


Try a test, Steve. Ask yourself and your conservative friends some questions. Apparently you are of the opinion that US based crimes are well known but enemy crimes, like those of Al Qaeda are unknown. Ask yourself and your friends these questions.
Here are some of the crimes from our side. Ask your friends if they've heard of them or can tell you any details.
I'm going to guess that you can't answer a single one of those 9 questions without going to Google right now. So you should ask yourself how you can sustain a claim like this when you are so ignorant of the crimes coming from our side.

i) I didn’t claim anything. Rather, I linked to an article by a guy who “served with an armored cavalry squadron during the Surge.”

ii) Notice that David is committing the fallacy of question-framing. He artificially tilts the argument in his favor by how he preemptively and prejudicially frames the issue. But why assume that these are the right question to ask? Also observe how David’s questions take certain premises for granted.

iii) I’ve lived through many of the events in question. I saw the news coverage at the time. Not to mention books and articles I’ve read.

Our crimes:
1-Do you know when the war in Vietnam started? Which portion of Vietnam was attacked? How many people died in the entire conflict? Can you answer within an order of magnitude?

i) Needless to say, that’s the wrong way to frame the issue. The Vietnam war had a context. The containment policy. Vietnam was one front in the cold war. It was an effort to check the expansion of communism. Communism is a totalitarian ideology which, at the time, posed a threat to the free world–including the U.S.

ii) The Vietnam war is not all of a piece. It evolved over time. We see the whole thing in retrospect, but, of course, people at the time couldn’t see into the future, and their own actions or inactions were shaping the future outcome in unpredictable ways. 

So, for instance, US involvement in the Vietnam war might have been a reasonable calculation in the early stages of the war.

IMO, we invested too much in the Vietnam conflict. Like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it became an exercise in diminishing returns. We should have had more limited objectives. Not so much to win the war, but to sabotage the global efforts of Russian and Red China. Get in, get out.

iii) Keep in mind, too, that we can’t compare the actual outcome with a counterfactual outcome. We don’t have access to possible worlds with alternate histories.

iv) David questions the humanitarian cost of the Vietnam war, but what about the humanitarian cost when the Viet Cong swept into the South–not to mention, as a side effect, the Khmer Rouge invading Cambodia?

2-What happened on 9-11-1973? How many people died?

i) Once again, David disregards the context of the coup d’etat. Allende was a communist alley. The prospect of Latin American going communist posed a threat to American national security. Congress and the POTUS have a Constitutional duty to protect us from our enemies.

ii) Keep in mind that the CIA didn’t assassinate Allende, although it did have a hand in destabilizing his regime, which was a hostile regime. He died in a military coup, at the hands of his countrymen. Why shift the blame to the US?

3-Do you know about birth defects in Fallujah and how they were caused?

i) Whether DU is responsible for birth defects is disputed:

ii) If this is a “crime,” it would be a crime against America soldiers as well as Iraqi citizens inasmuch as American soldiers would also be exposed to DU.

iii) It’s sometime a tradeoff between one risk and another. Not having armor-piercing ordnance puts our soldiers at risk.

4-Do you know how many people have been tortured to death in US custody according to Human Rights Watch since 9-11?

Human Rights Watch is a far left anti-war outfit. Ideologically opposed to US foreign policy. That’s hardly an impartial source of information.

5-How many have died in Iraq since the US invasion? Do you know the order of magnitude?

That fails to draw elementary moral distinctions. Are we talking about Muslim-on-Muslim casualties? Dead terrorists? Collateral damage?

6-What is the Haditha Massacre?

i) That’s disputed. For instance:

ii) Notice David’s default assumption: when in doubt, always assume the worst about Americans.

7-What does Afghan Convoy of Death refer to?

i) It refers to a movie.

ii) An Afghan journalist (Najibullah Quraishi) has no presumptive credibility in how he depicts US forces. He is motivated to produce antiwar propaganda.

iii) By the same token, Afghan “witnesses” have no presumptive credibility. They, too, have an incentive to present American forces in the worst possible light.

That doesn’t mean I automatically discount their testimony. But I don’t assume their version of events is more trustworthy than the testimony of our soldiers on the ground. Why not give our courageous soldiers the benefit of the doubt? 

iv) The alleged “Dasht-i-Leili massacre” is clearly a case of Muslim-on-Muslim violence. So why shift the blame to American forces?

v) Assuming that UIF soldiers massacred Taliban war captives, what were US soldiers supposed to do? Shoot UIF soldiers? Imagine how that would play on Aljazeera or the BBC?

vi) Why should I care whether Taliban combatants were killed? The world is a better place in their absence.

8-Name the most deadly terrorist incident in the western hemisphere prior to 9-11 that involved a civilian airliner.

i) I assume David is alluding to the Flight 655 incident. I remember the news coverage at the time.

ii) Why classify that as a “terrorist incident” rather than a tragic mistake? It would be a PR disaster for us to knowingly down a passenger plane. How would that further our national security interests?

iii) This also has a larger context. It happened on the heels of the USS Stark incident, when we didn’t respond in time.

9-Name the 2 largest genocidal campaigns since WWII and where the weaponry came from.

Is David alluding to the Rwandan-Burundi genocide? Is so, wasn’t the machete the weapon of choice? An agricultural implement?

Likewise, if that's the event you're alluding to, why blame Americans for African-on-African violence? 


  1. Commenting from my own entrenched mindset, deep within my own man made bunker, I proffer the Truth about the Big War Monger and conclude, the wars that are being discussed in this banter article pale in comparison to these snapshots glossies?

    The accuracy of the knowledge of this banter discussion is not in question.

    Exo_15:3 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.

    That's a very clear, succinct and straightforward declaration of Our Big War Monger, isn't it?

    In the following snapshot glossy, we can entertain either side of the battle. I guess you know who you are when reading this one?:

    Rev 13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.
    Rev 13:2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
    Rev 13:3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
    Rev 13:4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?"
    Rev 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
    Rev 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
    Rev 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
    Rev 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
    Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
    Rev 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

    And then there is this amazing insight into the other smaller big war monger who futilely fights forth foolishly for our future:

    Rev 17:12 And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
    Rev 17:13 These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast.
    Rev_17:14 They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful."

    Because I am going long winded, I am breaking up my comments.

  2. continuing my comments about the Big War Monger:

    All God fearing Saints no matter from which age they or we are plucked out of this world of ages certainly rejoice when reading the next snapshot photo glossy of impending disasters and destruction, I hope?

    Rev_19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

    Rev_19:19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.

    I will leave off with one entire Psalm, Psalm 76 which is a matter of fact, down to earth, Spirit of Faith filled insight into just whose side you are?

    Psa 76:1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song. In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.
    Psa 76:2 His abode has been established in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
    Psa 76:3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
    Psa 76:4 Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains of prey.
    Psa 76:5 The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.
    Psa 76:6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned.
    Psa 76:7 But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
    Psa 76:8 From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still,
    Psa 76:9 when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah
    Psa 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
    Psa 76:11 Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
    Psa 76:12 who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

    That Psalm just goes to show that these words of this Psalm really are real, really!

    Psa 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
    Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
    Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
    Psa 46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
    Psa 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
    Psa 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

  3. Here is the context of Pinochet/Allende. Needless to say, Allende destroyed Chilean democracy before the 73 coup with his movement towards authortarianism. Pinochet saved Chile from becoming another Cuba. It is funny how Dave regurgitates Left wing talking points against America without mentioning context.


  5. Question 1: Vietnam. No answer.

    Question 2: Chile. Steve knows of the event, probably through Google. Doesn't know how many died.

    Question 3: Fallujah. Steve, probably via Google, knows that depleted uranium is the suspected cause of birth defects.

    Question 4: # tortured to death per HRW. Steve doesn't know.

    Question 5: # of dead in Iraq. Steve doesn't know.

    Question 6: Haditha Massacre. Google informs Steve of what it is.

    Question 7: Afghan Convoy of Death. Google informs Steve. Steve applauds the notion that surrendered Taliban fighters were cooked to death as they bit into each other in containers baking under the sun to get fluid. Steve calls himself a Christian.

    Question 8: Civilian airliner terrorist incident in our hemisphere. Steve has obviously never heard of it and also thinks Iran is in the Western hemisphere.

    Question 9: Largest genocides. My question is perhaps a bit hard to answer because death tolls differ. Let me put it a different way. What are the largest genocides done with covert or overt military aid from the US since WWII?

  6. Some help for Steve. Copy and paste this link:

  7. 1. a. I’ll assume that you’re talking about our war and not the French one—1961.
    b. Both portions—South Vietnam by North Vietnamese supported guerrillas, North Vietnam by American planes
    c. Something on the order of several hundred thousand. Not all of whom were slain by us, although man were.
    2. We did not overthrow Allende--we did, however, engage in economic warfare against him, and did not go against Pinochet.
    3. No comment.
    4. How many?
    5. 150,000, by the most reliable estimate. And how many of those were killed by us, and how many by men blowing themselves up in crowded market squares?
    6. Haditha, based on the casualties and how they occurred, could not be called a “massacre” so much as a “monumental botch.”
    7. Najibullah Quraishi also spent two weeks filming a terrorist group in Northern Afghanistan as an embedded journalist. Nope. No proof of bias there, whatsoever. I will agree that that incident was nasty—however, I do not think the United States was responsible.
    8. Thanks for the link. So a man who the CIA had dropped as an asset being involved in something means America gave the go-ahead? Ahhhh…logic.
    9. Are you referring to Guatemala and Cambodia?