Blogs > HNN > Has the Left Gone Mad?

Aug 4, 2006 4:26 pm

Has the Left Gone Mad?

Mr. LeVine is professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture, and Islamic studies at the University of California, Irvine, and author of the forthcoming books: Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil; and Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv and the Struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948. He is also a contributor, with Viggo Mortensen and Pilar Perez, to Twilight of Empire: Responses to Occupation. Click here to access his homepage.

Well, Hezbollah can breathe easily. Within a few days, there's a good chance that some of the best minds of the Left will be in the Bekka Valley helping lead the resistance against the Israeli destruction of Lebanon. At least that's what a jointly signed letter to the Guardian newspaper by progressive luminaries including Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Arundhati Roy seems to suggest.

Titled “War Crimes and Lebanon,”,,1835915,00.html, the letter begins by arguing that the all-out assault on Lebanon by Israel was not only long in the planning (at least two years ago, in fact), but was clearly greenlighted by the United States. Both of these claims are accurate: the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Israel's planning for a “coming invasion” of Lebanon, complete with Power Point presentations to foreign journalists and dignitaries, over a year ago. And the Bush Administration has made no secret that it wants Hezbollah defanged before it forces Israel to accept a ceasefire.

It also rightly castigates the international community for standing by and watching silence as Palestine and Lebanon are bled dry. The issue at hand, however, is what can the Left, which has experienced such a feeling of powerlessness since President Bush invaded Iraq over the objections of millions of protesters around the world, can do about it.

According to the signers, the best approach is to “offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality and to those who mount a resistance against it.”

Support for those who mount resistance? What exactly does this mean? Are my heroes Noam and Howard planning to pick up an RPG and start firing southward from the rubble of Qana? Should progressives be donating money to Hamas? Learning to crawl through tunnels and ferry the latest Iranian missiles to the front?

Of course, I am fairly certain that this isn't the kind of support that was intended. And like myself, most progressives I know have been using “all the means at our disposal” (as the letter signers pledge to do) to help spread the word about this utterly disastrous, and yes, criminal, war. But the ill-chosen (one can hope) words by my illustrious colleagues reflects a very disturbing trend within the Left that has emerged the last few years, and which has come to a head with the latest war: Many leaders of the movement are moving away from the commitment to non-violence that defined the struggle against the Vietnam War and the vast majority of protests against corporate globalization and the invasion of Iraq, and towards embracing violent resistance (think the Red Brigade, Bader Meinhof Gang or the Weather Underground) as a viable, and even the best way to check the capitalist war machine.

I saw the first glimmers of the change right after the US invasion, when senior members of the biggest anti-war coalition in the US told me that “it's all America now” and that the movement had to shift from anti-war to anti-imperialism as its focus. It's hard to endorse violence when you're anti-war, but if you're anti-imperialist there's a long history of violent struggles to “inspire” you (although supporters of this path seem to forget the most successful anti-imperialist struggles, such as Gandhi's in India and Mandela's in South Africa, were almost entirely non-violent, while others, like Algeria or Vietnam, produced corrupt and violent regimes in their wakes).

The situation was worse a year later, when Italian peace activists Simona Toretta and Simona Pari, whose brave commitment to non-violence and grass roots peace building I saw firsthand during my time in Iraq, were kidnapped by insurgents. At the very moment they were being threatened with beheading, leading anti-war activists attended a Hezbollah sponsored conference in Beirut where they declared the organization to be the best model of resistance against the New World Order, and proclaimed their support for the very Iraqi resistance that was threatening to kill their comrades.

Unlike most of the Western activists at the meeting, I have seen the resistance in action in Baghdad and Falluja, marching and chanting “death to the Jews” and America, so I'm not sure where the support was coming from for their resistance to the occupation--which by then had already turned more into a fratricidal war. As for Hezbollah, while I've done research on the movement for almost half a decade, and understand the important role it has played in building democracy and even empowering women, it can't be denied that it is also a military organization that regularly engages in violence, some of it (although by no means all) terroristic, to advance its aims.

Given this, is “glorifying Hezbollah” really the best model for an “anti-war” movement, let alone a movement that argues that “another world is possible” (the slogan of the anti-corporate globalization movement)? According to British MP and leading anti-war voice Geroge Galloway, it is. He proclaimed his glorification at a rally a little over a week after Israel launched its attack. And he's not alone, as in discussions with other progressives, I have heard similar rumblings of admiration for Hezbollah, which at least is fighting back against the most powerful force in the Middle East and its patron, the most powerful, and to many, the most evil, force in the world.

But even if we accept that that Lebanese and Palestinians have the right to resist the occupations they are suffering, how can Hezbollah be said to be winning from any score-card that would make sense to the signers of the Guardian letter? Whatever its motivation and Israel's actions leading up to its kidnapping of two IDF soldiers, Hezbollah's attack has produced an unimaginably terrible price for the people of Lebanon, much as Hamas's violence has allowed Israel to achieve many goals it otherwise could not have in the Occupied Territories.

Even if Hezbollah “wins” the war against Israel by surviving the onslaught and re-cementing its power with Lebanon and the Muslim world, Lebanon can only lose. How can progressives stand in solidarity with and support an organization that recklessly and selfishly played right into Israel's hands by giving it the pretense it was looking for to re-invade Lebanon? Why should we be encouraging Hezbollah when Lebanon is paying so dearly for the massive miscalculation—in moral, human and financial, if not in political terms—of Nasrallah and the Hezbollah leadership? Can't the Lebanese people, and the anti-war movement, do better?

The simple fact is that today more than ever violence begets violence, and the support and solidarity from Western-based activists and intellectuals can't change a dynamic in which violent resistance, whether to military or economic occupation, almost always winds up strengthening the powerful at the expense of the weak. If progressives really want to show solidarity and support for Palestinians, Lebanese, and Iraqis, we should be willing to travel to their countries, put our bodies on the line to stop the violence, and help develop the techniques of non-violent resistance, solidarity, and potentially at least, reconciliation, that made the anti-globalization movement so successful.

Anything less than that is, as they say in Arabic, haqi fadi, or empty talk. The Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis who are suffering from this war deserve better than that.

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

I believe Professor Levine is sincere in his anti imperialist, pro Palestine,pro Iraq and pro Lebanon protestations.
I also believe that his call for non violent resistance is genuinely felt as the most productive.
My question is: is it the one and only mode of resistance irrespective of the identity of the enemy, his ideological driving force, his ambitions and designs and his alliances?
Neither India nor South Africa prove that.
Both prove one thing only: under their specific conditions both were successful.
Would it have been possible to stop Hitler with non violent resistance?
It took the combined might of the USA, The British Empire and the USSR to achieve that and five long years.
To contend that nonviolent resistance is the cure all,any time, any place and irrespective of who is the enemy is, at best, naive and , at worst, defeatist and counter productive.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

More of the stupid, childish Kobashoving at which you excel.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Answer the questions that you so conveniently ignore.

Defend Donald Rumsfeld's battle plan in Iraq?

Defend George W. Bush's policy in Iraq?

I certainly may be boring but, weak... you better eat a case of spinach Popeye cause you're gonna need it.

Give a better effort this go around won't you. I'll be waiting.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


The title sounds like a bad 50's Motown group instead, of you and yours, who are gasping for air like a drowning Joementum Lieberman (D-Judas Kiss).

So a full 60% of your fellow countrymen are downers? No wonder prozac is detectable in the nations water supply. Tranquilizers against Republican induced stress.

Bush hating? Well defend any of his fantastic super tremendous most excellent policies, foreign or domestic, adulator? Go ahead, start us off, you're pick.

Republican hating? You really are hard pressed or is it hard up? There are no bigger haters than Frist, Santorum and the long gone Tommy 'Two Tone' Delay. This is a party who even hates their own, Lincoln Chafee. Maybe, if Republicans didn't hate our troops, gays, immigrants, women, non-christians, minorities, children, the poor and small dogs those running under the Elephant banner wouldn't be seeking to distance themselves from the President or hide their party affiliation in ads. You support a party and it's henchmen that is bought/paid for by Sun Myung Moon. You're a damn Moonie.

American hater? Look no further than Cheney, Rove and Mehlman. These are the only three haters of this nation found anywhere throughout the Land of the Free and you support them. Where does that leave you?

The Dems are losing it? That's right, the Republicans were the epitome of dignity and grace when Klinton was President. I remember that. Thank God for the Libertarian Party.

Your view really is skewed and you live in a dream world. Layoff the talk radio and FOX News it's making you daft.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

"War is not neat kids". No shit Sherlock. My comment was to Mr. Brown's point that some here are welcoming of discussion with terrorists who world sooner cut off our heads than sit to kibitz over tea and cakes.

Although, Nick Berg was beheaded May 7, 2004 (if you can find a prior documented case please post it) the mistreatment of Arabs at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib was well underway. Don't you think the Arab 'eye for an eye' mentality played off the US abuse of detainees? Who started the barbarism us or them?

When we first went to Iraq it wasn't to liberate anything other than EXXON-MOBILE from being shut out from the French/Saddam driven Oil for Food program under the guise of UN relief. We lowered the bar initially when we began to badly abuse the local niggers then, we get all uppity when they retaliated.

War is not neat so quit bawling when the US uniform gets a wee bit soiled by an avenging enemy. We are just as guilty of atrocities as the Arab terrorists that Mr. Brown highlights.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


No chilling here, ever. Especially, to anyone in support of a party who has killed 2,597 of our troops in a failed bogus war that Republican's have lost.

1.) Bush is not TR so you're comparison is moot.

2.) Stop rewriting history. Republican's were by far more despicable, angry, ugly, rude. persistent and mentally unstable backing the phony/costly Ken Starr onslaught against Klinton than anything the Dems could ever muster.

3.) Any single one of a laundry list of mean spirited Republican's is worth the whole of the Dems you listed. The Elephant's collective performance last summer over the Terri Schiavo debacle case in point.

4.) Bush is a pathological liar. Name one truth he's stated?

Bush rode his bike down a hill Wednesday shouting "air attack". For a 60 year old draft dodging alcoholic doper to act like a child it's no small wonder some of us are wary of this nutsack. This nation is being run by a moron.

You're nothing but a hot air windbag full of empty rhetoric and short on facts. A typical John Hagee Republican blowhard.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


"In our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."-- Aeschylus

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change."-- Robert F. Kennedy

Sad but, true MY answer is a resounding yes. YOUR 'if it is so bad, don't live here" spiel is the ultimate cop-out/denial and mutterings of a morally bankrupt redneck ignoramus coward.

Because some of US hold our great nation to a higher standard than the jackboots and their minions, including YOU, is troublesome and disgusting. This is not the actions of MY nation as envisioned by MY founding fathers. YOU and YOURS have highjacked this nation, driven her to the depths of diabolical depravity and disgraced this country in all that she stands for. Enough so that it is YOU who are now the antithesis of all things American.

The torture at Abu Ghraib/ Guantanamo, rape of children, murder of innocent Iraqi families then, burn their bodies for good measure, shoot an Iraqi baby in the head, indiscriminate slaying of unarmed Iraqi males of fighting age carried out in YOUR name and MINE is not what MY America is all about. What have YOU let us become, the new Nazi's? A supporter of slaughter reminiscent of the genocide against Native Americans or the butcher shop of Vietnam?

Usama bin forgotten, a Saudi enemy free to continue attacks at will on America, chaos in Afghanistan, a phony war in Iraq to steal oil, 2,917 total dead with 20,238 total wounded (OIF & OEF), losing both wars, anarchy in Iraq, fear card continually played by the Bush's against US citizens, our troops treated like crap with tens of thousand sure to be mental cases/thousands of amputees and no dollars for Veterans care, no-bid defense contractors stealing us blind etc., etc., etc...

WE were supposed to be bringing FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY to Iraq only instead to be bringing death, destruction and terror to a simple peoples who had nothing to do with any attacks against the United States. Upwards of one-quarter million Iraqi's dead.

If this is not true, answer this one simple question...

Identify, by name our enemy in Iraq?

There is no need for ME to try to equate MY country to the terrorists for YOU have made sure WE are every bit their equal, if not superior.

MY America is lost forever so, spot me $500K and I'll gladly move out of YOUR new American utopia.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

My bad. Prior to January 12, 1959 the groups signed to Motown Records never existed. They all were discovered/careers began on this day by the good graces/ under the auspices of Mr. Barry Gordy exclusively.

Jackie Wilson and the Matadors, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Marvelettes or Barrett Strong never sang a note or performed a song prior to this date.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


There is no mocking here and you well know it. Who, beside you and I at this stupid F-ing site even know who Lt. Childers is? Who, besides you and I pick a soldier daily to say a prayer for in memory of the sacrifce that our chosen 'soldier of the day' has made to this nation? Although, I did not know the Lieutenant he was my prayer soldier two nights ago. As the very first, of what is now far too many, I have prayed for him a few times now. Just a simple Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary. Not much but, enough that he and the others I pray for will never be forgotten as long as I am able to draw breath.

I can only imagine that he was every bit the man much, like you, BH. Dedicated, bright, tough as nails, loyal to a 'T', competent beyond compare, razor sharp in dress uniform, bold and brave yet, compassionate, caring, helpful and fun loving.

I spent this past Saturday night with my best friend's 80 year old mother. Her 19 year old grandson, a really good guy I might add, was due home this month from the Army in Iraq but, was extended then transferred from Mosul to Baghdad. As we sat together and played cards she spoke through the tears, the despair was too much even for a heartless wretch as me.

How much longer BH are we going to allow this charade to go on?

When BH are we going to demand that our Commander In Chief, George W. Bush, stop the lame excuses to pay the respects to the fallen as our past Presidents have done? Even if it is just one.

When BH are we going to call this Administration on the carpet for the mistreatment of our troops? The shortfalls in manpower? The lack of proper equipment? The foregoing of basics such as an extra daily ration?

When BH are we going to demand no more cuts in Veterans benefits and scream out for an increase in budget dollars for their care?

When BH are we going to prosecute those responsible for placing our troops in needless harms way?

When BH are we going to prosecute those defense contractors who have put profits ahead of the safety/welfare of our troops?

I don't expect you to answer any of these questions as I realize our mutual disdain stands in the way. That's OK for I can live with that but, what I can't live with is the least bit of what I sense/perceive to be deplorable treatment of our sons and daughters in arms.

Have a good night BH.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Or, is it Andrea? The same childishness you rail against. Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Your lack of originality/ humor assures me that we'll never have to worry about seeing your name highlight the marquee at the Trop.

Whether, I am a looney leftist or pinko commie with a Gus Hall tattoo on my butt you continue to fail to address/shy away from any of the inconvenient points I present to out/uncover the gross/sickening incompetence of this Administration and it's wrecked policy in Iraq.

In all seriousness, you're not one of those paid Republican trolls who are assigned to websites to disrupt threads/perceived anti-Bush comments?

If not, defend Donald Rumsfeld's battle plan in Iraq?

Defend George W. Bush's foreign policy in Iraq?

FYI... as a compassionate man I was just too embarrassed for you being forced to wear that dunce cap.

Lib·er·tar·i·an (lbr-târ-n) n.

1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
2. One who believes in free will.

[From liberty Middle English, liberte from Old French, from Latin lberts, from lber free. See leudh- in Indo-European Roots.]

liber·tari·an adj.
liber·tari·an·ism n.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

or coughing up a hair ball. Either way, I'd say Mr. Mahan just got faced. Big time!!!


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Peter K.,

You remind me of a boomerang. Every time I throw you away, you keep coming back...

Never assume... if you know what I mean. I am a Human Resources Manager. My experience is in dealing with/assisting troubled coworkers. The therapeutic industry is a scam especially, EAP's. Money wasted to support a habit and to kick it. Vicious cycle don't you agree? How has Canada managed with liberal drug laws and socialized medical care?

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


YOUR ill informed propaganda is hogwash!

Where are these facts/reality/truths of which YOU speak? Show ME this golden lamb that holds sway over YOUR confidence/trust/assuredness/wayward heart/national salvation. YOU know how to cut/paste don't YOU?

Here is MY proof. Read it, as it has been available throughout this unseemly episode of MY nations glorious history. From the very beginning to the current date. One source and one source only.

Refute it.

For a man of YOUR great intellect/ conviction that request should be child's play.

As a soldier in Jesus Christ's army there is no Islamofascism in MY soul or in MY future. I am prepared to die this very instant under His ever present hand. YOU'VE called the wrong song Barker, to the wrong dancer.

YOU'VE failed miserably to address the one basic strategic military question I posed. Who, by name, exactly is YOUR mythical enemy in Iraq?

I am a staunch militarist but, only when overwhelming force (LeMay Treatment/ Powell Doctrine) is used with purpose/ clear objective under strong leadership against a clearly defined enemy. Is the militarily incompetent/washout George W. Bush, draft dodging Richard B. Cheney and stumblebum Donald Rumsfeld YOUR Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower?

YOU'RE backing a mismanaged military venture that has now turned into a strategic nightmare. Just ask General Tommy Franks or General Peter Pace as Rumsfeld sacked his Eisenhower, General Eric Shinseki, before the Iraq War was even initiated.

I'll gladly renounce MY citizenship if it means the continued placement of the security to MY great nation and the direction of MY magnificent armed forces in the hands of fools such as these.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


The only terrorism is in your head planted, cultivated and watered by the crocodile tears of the Rovian mouthpieces at FOX News and in the dyslexic styled mumblings of an ill fit Commander In Chief in need of another stiff drink and fistful of mind numbing pills. Cindy Sheehan only lost a son but, GWB has lost a whole damn war!

Here are some more tips/readings for you to help understand state v. stateless 4th Generation Warfare.

William S. Lind

Defense Tech International (this is an e-book, so click on the booklet to the right of page, load, then click on pages to turn.)

Here is a right leaning site with a center of the road foundation/ rationale grounded in reality to help you track daily the world's war fronts.

The Strategy Page

Here is a news source of left leaning motivation that pegs the truth more closely than most.

Consortium News

By the way, Saudi Arabia is the heart/soul of terrorism against the United States. Take the time to write a letter to President 'Bandar' Bush to voice YOUR concern.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Poorly supported arguments! Oh, you must be referring to your very own unsubstantiated/ nonfactual/ confused reasoning spread liberally throughout this thread.

You're another one who doesn't know how to cut/paste. Show us these well founded points of reference/ fountains of rationale where you draw a cool drink for your skewed truths.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Here's how it works. Mr. Mahan makes assumptions/claims and offers no substantial proof, whatsoever. I ask for his proof/data source material that is obviously, readily available to him on the net to be able to make such crazed statements, to be cut/paste here for all to visually evaluate to discuss/agree/disagree with his points and move on. No proof/no sale. Provide proof/I'll back off.

For example; I make a hypothetical claim that the end of mankind will occur in a ball of man made atomic fire.

You or, someone like you, claims that I am a nutcase for no such man made atomic fire exists.

I go to a net source/ highlight the URL with my cursor/ click 'edit'/ click 'copy'/ place my cursor into the body of my HNN post/ click 'paste' and my proof that man made atomic fire exists is visible for all to see and decide.

The proof is given, something new is learned and we all move on all the better for it.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Peter K.,

In my profession I have seen first hand the ravages of alcohol/drug abuse (prescribed/illicit) and it is not something to joke about. I have had to deal with dozens of cases over my career enough so, as to write a book that, would shock the living piss out of even a cad like you.

The effects are devastating and lives are destroyed. For you to even insinuate that someone who seeks basic peace in this upside down world as being motivated by or under the influence of marijuana/ hashish is the ramblings of a true ignoramus/butthole.

Drug and alcohol addiction does not distinguish between Democrat or Republican/ right or left/ Jew or Christian or Moslem/ Warmonger or Dove. The poison is indiscriminate and any human being, regardless of station, is susceptible to the vice grip. Look no further than the current occupant of the White House who has battled a lifetime of addiction/ disease to alcohol and illicit drugs as proof.

I enjoy a joke as much as anyone here so, just call me a Dry Balls because, I did not find your post the least bit humorous and the height of ignorance.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


The attacks of 911 were a well orchestrated Saudi Arabian madrases driven MILITARY OPERATION aided/abetted by higher ups within the USG as the 911's Keane & Hamilton, overcome by guilt/complicity, now report.

I see that you did not even so much as browse any of the sources I provided.

What you believe to be terrorism or terror attacks, I define as highly coordinated strategic military operations conducted by the true enemy of the United States, the wealthy Emir's of the oil rich sheikdoms of the ME. Why do you think you're paying +$3.00gl for gasoline.

Lay off the FOX News it is turning your head to mush. Until we start defining this enemy in strictly military terms we will continue to lose this fight.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


You need to center it up. I realize that you and I did not get off on the best of terms/right foot but, please take this advice for what it's worth. You're an astoundingly brilliant man however, some of your posts read as if written by a rubber room patient at Bellevue. This type post may score big points at Free Republic but, here at HNN it only registers low single digits on the Laugh-O-Meter. Please believe me as this little coaching session is coming directly from the Lead Conductor on the Crazy Train.

With your smarts/insight/ highly articulated strong writing skills you could be a valuable resource for many of us here who seek answers to these complicated issues. When you laid out those posts late last week with facts, statistics, sequential logic, emotion free it was extremely difficult/nearly impossible to refute. Framed as those posts were you'd blow away, with ease, any of the brainiacs who hang out here.

Just like golf, drive the ball to the middle of the fairway and you'll win more converts/ convince posters of your cause/ sell your viewpoint to a wider audience of true intellectuals who post-up here and remember, there are a lot of voyeurs who visit this site that never post but, just read what ideas are being tossed about.

Take care...

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Take your megaphone/ 'B' monogrammed sweater and go cheerlead someplace where you won't be noticed/ called on your ridiculous Republican rote propaganda. Joe Lieberman's web-page is seeking Elephant butt kissing mouthpieces/ you'd fit right in.

The only good thing about this whole Israel slaughter of Lebanese innocence is that it takes the gross happenings in Iraq off the front page/out of the 24 hour news cycle loop to the joys of the incompetent/failed Bush Administration. However, some of us can't be distracted.

My goodness, we didn't miss the guest of honor/ key witness Ronald Dumsfeld choke up hair balls trying to answer for his failed war in Iraq at last weeks Senate hearings. Hillary pushed Rummy around like a tike in a stroller. RESIGN DONALD YOU SENILE OLD COOT. He's only killed 2,591 of our finest sons and daughters. Stop him now before he kills anymore and if any reader here wants to complain that I have once again posted the number of our dead in Iraq... PISS OFF... I'll punch you square in the face. (21) of (34) full National Guard brigades are non-combat ready with $21B needed just to correct the basic deficiencies. Thanks Don. Thanks Halliburton.

Then for your Einstein idle Bush Junior to spout this gem today as if, everyone was too distracted by Armageddon to notice;

"My attitude is that a young democracy has been born quite quickly and I think the Iraqi government has shown remarkable progress on the political front and that is... is that they developed a modern constitution that was ratified by the people and then 12 million people voted for a government.

Which gives me confidence about the future in Iraq, by the way. You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box. And a unity government is working to respond to the will of the people. And, frankly, it’s quite a remarkable achievement on the political front."

'CIVIL WAR THIS, CIVIL WAR THAT' what the hell is this moron talking about? Was a vote for/against a Civil War on the Iraq ballot? Or, is it our gift of democracy that gave the Iraqi's the right to freely/ indiscriminately kill each other? Bush doesn't have the foggiest damn idea what the hell he's saying and neither do you. You've handed the car keys of this country to a bottle beater who's puking drunk even when he's sober. Between Bush and Condi's clandestine love making/ mating they've hatched an egg alright... for a Dodo bird.

Republican's are oh so progressive with their enlightened stance toward gays especially, much needed Army Arab linguists as if we are fighting against speakers of the Kings English when compared to the styling of 'W', the teaching of science based on fairy tales or Kansas' Republican model, working tirelessly to prevent those thousands of flag burners flaming Old Glory with Made in China tags, raising the minimum wage, as 1 in 8 Americans go hungry daily only, if tied to Estate Tax repeals and the creme de la creme the Republican 9/11 Commission admits dropping the ball/ criminal negligence/ lying about the events happenings of that fateful day. No wonder Cheney held Bush's hand to testify, not under oath of course, as these two were complicit in 2,752 deaths on American soil.

After reading this you can now go fellate yourself.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


To win at tennis or ping pong it is imperative that you must control the center section of the court.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


Well, I clearly was not the one thrown under the bus, you were. Too bad/ so sad, now buck up 'lil girlie, quit your balling and get back in the game.

And no, I do not see this as a competition but, you certainly do as you are always so apt/quick to forget. Reread your opening post. Basically, you claim that Republican/rightists are winners and all us others losers.

You surely can give all us lefty's a lesson in crying. Maybe, you can start a consultancy business to teach us lefty's your highly developed techniques at $300 a head/ lunch includes baloney sandwiches.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Peter K.,

From reading your posts I just thought you were crazy. I never suspected you to be under the influence/doper. Also, you can't teach me anything as I grew up on hardcore city streets and have seen it all.

Your European drug utopia is not the land of rainbows that you project. Amsterdam has it's issues and is now moving to increase regulations on cafe/smoke shops as are the Swiss over their infamous Zurich needle park. We also see a resurgent opium trade in Afghanistan where drug earned dollars are turned to into arms to fuel the killing of Coalition troops and flood American/ European streets with killer 'H'.

As someone who is a social liberal I believe the US drug war to be a mistake/total failure and to each his own as freedom to do with one's own body is up to the individual but, just in case you need a graphic reminder of the joys in recreational drug use that you promote have a look;

Maybe, if you can hold open your squinted/ blood shot eyes long enough you'll be able to pick out those junkies that are Republican and those who are Democrat. Good luck.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Yeah, so is the rape/murder of a (14) year old Iraqi girl and the offing of her witness family. You know after hitting a few golf balls, glugging some Iraqi homebrew and sharing the small talk that you so desperately crave.

Beheading, rape, murder what's the diff eh, Mr. Brown?

And where is your Iranian nuke? Right next to the mushroom cloud produced by Iraq. Maybe that's just the smoke pouring out from Peter K.'s bong.

Your post would be worth something if you provided source material/proof but, since you can't go back to polishing your Iron Cross.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006

Mr. Dunning,

My post was not an 'attempt' at anger. If I was only angry I wouldn't waste any time here. As not being a registered Republican or Democrat detesting both party's with equal disdain and as a strict conservative/ Constitutionalist/ registered Libertarian I lean neither left nor right.

I am absolutely unhinged/unglued when the subject is this Administration and their bogus Iraq War is so much as mentioned. I can put up with allot except, bald face lying.

Have a good night.

Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/24/2006


You need all the support you can muster since you provide no substantial rebuttal and are adverse to facts/reality. Since I am neither a leftist nor a Democrat in fact, more conservative than you enough so, to make you look like John Rawls your attempt at pseudo-psychology/ theorizing is shot to hell fairly quick.

But, you go right ahead living in your dream world along with all the other rightist meatballs who have not gotten one thing correct in nearly three years of my coming here.

Being the liberal/lefty that you mistakenly believe that I am we're all for second chances so here's a little quiz. See if you can finally get at least something right for a change.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Yeah right, John. This might surprise you but you are not one of the people high on my list for advice, judging from what you’ve written.

I always find it entertaining when people start debating semantics, language, punctuation and, the like. Why not just say, “yeah, you're right substantively” because that's what your diversion means.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006


You can refuse to acknowledge the wackadoo whilings of the far left, just like you deny being a leftee. Your ignorance does not diminish the fact that lefteeism is replete with negative delusion, conspiracy theory and lies. Truth is, most wacks don't even care that their ideology is baseless.

Anyway, I stand by my earlier psudo-psychological diagnosis. Let's see what "substantial rebuttal" you can effect to impeach my claim. K?

andy mahan - 9/18/2006


Clue: "registered Libertarian" = Leftee

You understand where the name Libertarian came from?

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Well put Mr Brown. I think we can all agree that civilians have died on both sides. Still, it is intentionally deceptive to claim that Israel "intentionally" kills civilians. As you said these are only accusations (irresponsible at that). Lebanese civilian "shields" may have died only because they did not, or were not allowed to vacate. Israel has no way to determine fighting force from civilian. If Hizbo cared about the safety of the civilian population they would protect them by moving them out and distinguishing themselves from innocents. Instead they use them to hide among. The attempt at moral equivalency of the sides is bogus. Israel is morally superior to any terrorist group when accessed through right thinking western cultural values. Terrorists "INTENTIONALLY" kill civilians. They admit it! It is undeniably a MAJOR terrorist strategy. I reject the liberal compulsion to raise terrorism to the level of standing state armies. It is a ruse.

And Mr LeVine: I'd bet you CANNOT cite ONE instance of Israel "deliberately targeting civilians" in this war, much less innumerably. How could you know the military strategy of Israel? What you claim is fact is only your opinion.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Dude, why so personal? Chill.

A couple things. There are no “bad” 50’s Motown groups. Motown’s heyday was in the 60’s. It wasn’t even formed til ’59. During the 60’s all Motown acts were excellent. I dare say ALL.

As for GWB I cite TR: "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

And yes, Republicans were far more dignified than Dems 92-2000. Dems are just more agitated, both rank and file, and Politicians. Reps don’t have anywhere near the kind of nuts Dems got: Dean, Kerry, McKinney, Kennedy, Waters, Rangel, I’m sure I’m leaving someone out. If you don’t think the patients are running the asylum how do you explain booting an eighteen year Senator that votes with his party 90% of the time only because he was moderate enough to not get all red-faced and scream “Bush Lied”? From an Dem organizational standpoint it is sad. Strategically from the Republican standpoint, it’s great.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

"Either you have no knowledge of the makeup of the Libertarian Party, or you yourself refuse to believe that many former conservatives/Republicans (my father included) have defected to the Libertarians"

Come on Michael, there are only two choices? Either I have "no" knowledge or am ignorant? I'm gonna pick door 3 instead.

Do you know the root word for Libertarian? How about the root word for liberal? They are the same.

See the smaller government rhetoric is a myth, i.e. Eisenhower, Nixon, et. al. Neither party is "actually" for smaller government. Each Senator and Congressmen is for "bringing home the bacon" to their district. You must understand this to understand American politics. Smaller government rhetoric has only been a convenient agenda for Republicans to combat Democrats from raiding the "scarce resources" for their socialist agenda. Further, no party’s entire platform is static. It's always changing. Libertarians are currently for abortion, drug legalization and less law enforcement, certainly antithetic to the current conservative mindset, neatly aligned with liberals.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I'd rather debate my original post about the article “Has the left gone mad?” and the negativity and mental illness of you leftees. But your impotence to mount an argument rebutting my claim has confirmed it.

So, since you want to debate crap, I'll start with: you don't know how to spell "arguement", I'm sure I've seen you make that error 100 times. Secondly, citing semantics and language is not at all redundant. Semantics are a subset of language and concern themselves with the meaning of language. Language is the vehicle for communication. Your turn. Rebut. Or divert. Or whatever you do.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

See above.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Okay Michael, You are generally right concerning Libertarians. Yet I still hold that they are left of center on the ideology scale.

I did not read the link. I don't care to know more of Libertarians cause they turn me off from the start with the anarchy stuff.

Again, you are right. Liberty IS the root word for both Libertarian and Liberal.

Okay Michael, You are generally right concerning Libertarians. Yet I still hold that they are left of center on the ideology scale.

I did not read the link. I don't care to know more of Libertarians cause they turn me off from the start with the anarchy stuff. Libertarians make the same mistake concerning institutions as capitalists make with the market. They both think oversight is superfluous. For now my outlook is most closely aligned with the RNC. That has not always been so and may change.

Again, you are right. Liberty IS the root word for both Libertarian and Liberal.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

When one reads stuff like above over and over. There is no question as to why I've posited my theory at the start of this thread. Most of it is just angry and irrational.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006


Yeah, I do believe it applies to GWB. Especially. He is the President of the strongest nation on the globe and leader of the free world. He is under constant daily pressures that you and I can't imagine. The point is that it applies to anyone who is IN the fight. You and I are mere kibutzers.

If that is the nuttiest you can come up with, your list of "bad" Reps is pretty weak. They are all reasonable, straight shooters. Certainly not nutty like my earlier list.

That's one way to put it. He lost touch. But he is not "touched" as much of his constiuency has proven. Libermans story is not over yet. There is an election. Connecticuters are wildly out of step with America, wait and see. Reps will be making another play to voters that they are better than Dems on security in the coming election and America will agree and vote accordingly. 6 months ago the Reps were thought to have already lost the Senate and Congress. It appears not to be so in either case.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

With every post you expose more of who you really are Patty. I thought you were more sophisticated, but you appear to be just one more America hating, Bush hating, myopic partisan.

How can a reasonable person claim that the questionable media reporting at Abu Grab was the reason for beheading Nick Berg? That mentality has been perculating among Islamofascists for decades. We didn’t MAKE them into murderers. They CHOSE to be murderers. And, so what? Are we to sit back and try to negotiate with them that they please stop the murdering? It’s ridiculous. You said it yourself, they believe in an eye for an eye. The cultural construct of Islamofascists is such that they ONLY respect power. They see the wackos “attempts to understand and communicate” as weakness.

As for your worn out “war for oil” claim, there is no indication that America even knew of the “food for oil” scam in 2001. Had we known, we would have gleefully exposed Chirac. We didn’t. Even the nuttiest of the legumes long ago abandoned the war for oil argument. It’s baseless.

I don’t get the need to drop the “N” bomb in this context. I guess you used it for shock value. Whatever.

The liberal reliance on Relativism is vanity. It is circular logic. It doesn’t add, it only takes away. These terrorists that you claim are equal with America laugh at kids like you as you argue their positive attributes. They would love to give you the Nick Berg treatment only because you are American. They don’t care if you are liberal or conservative. But true to the liberal mindset you could yell, “if it wasn’t for Bush this wouldn’t have happened!” as your head rolls to the floor.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I don't know WHAT to say John. My life is complete. I've helped my fellow man.

I don't know if I like the part about adhominems and poorly supported arguments but you have so disarmed me that I'm torn as to whether I should feine humility or gloat. So I'll go both ways. It really wasn't me...but I told you so.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I comment here cause I like politics. Then again, I am a junkie. I don’t really LIKE it, I just find myself engaged. I also enjoy hearing what new things others have to say.

There is no correlation of productivity and vacation days for the Presidency. In fact Political Scientists have running debate on this, whether more vacation makes a President MORE productive, or proocupied or whether less vaction make them less productive or more hard working. Reagan and Carter are often cited as the need to take vacation.

Bush is probably not as smart as Clinton. But so what? He’s the President, Clinton’s not. GWB is not a particularly good speaker, which many like to use as an indication of his mental inferiority. It’s silly, I know many very smart people that suck at public speaking. Conversely, I know some riviting speakers that are not too deep. But GWB is far from dumb. The “dumb” charge is specious. There are many kinds of intelligence. This has been recognized for decades. Still for some reason more weight is given to “academic” intelligence than the others. Press conferences are not to be viewed as a opportunity to show what you know, especially from the Administration’s approach. The only reason for the Executive to talk with the press at all is to diseminate a message. This has been going on since Kennedy. For the most part, Bush is politically up to speed. Regardless of how he gets there. I honestly believe he will be favorably remembered historically.

What I meant with “touched” was that the Conn. voters are “touched” i.e. wacky, nutty, unreasonable….

Connecticut Democrats are not only out of touch with America they are out of touch with Connecticut. Watch and see. Today: Lieberman 46% Lamont 41%

The RNC has been able to put illegal immigration on the back burner. GWB has pandered to the very dissatisfied base with stronger enforcement talk and avoidance of amnesty. The RNC’s donations have increased. The general tone among Republican voters is that they need to coalesce. I am surprised by this. 3 months ago, I too thought they would get stomped at the mid term. Nobody can foretell the future. I’m just guessing (yet strongly) that unified government will continue into 2007.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Just tellin you what the study found. President's days off and productivity are not related. It depends on the person.

If Lieberman is elected that will be a huge loss for Conn. Democrats. They've already screwed themselves favoring a lightweight Like Lamont. How ignorant to think Lamont can do better for Conn that Joe Lieberman. Can't you see that?

Yeah, democrats have more money than republicans. You think that means they'll win? I doubt it. As I said unified government will continue into 2007.

Alot of what you label as "bad news"(Israel) is not considered bad for the President by most of America. The liberal echo chamber yaps about it like its the end of the world but America thinks Bush is doing a good job. Do you realize his popularity has raised about 7 points as a result of the Israel skirmish? Not that polls really mean much but elections do and he's undefeated!

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

The liberals (I don't accept that they are "progressive"...if anything they're regressive) are so anti-American and anti-Bush that their obsession renders them morally rudderless. The paramount concern for them is that they oppose anything that Bush or America favors….and that's it! There is no longer any moralistic thinking or concern as during Vietnam. Liberals are so damned negative that they repel the reasonable person. Nobody wants to hear his or her conspiratorial bull except other depressives. It really IS mental is an established psychological fact that if one allows them self to constantly ruminate on depressing and irrational thoughts their entire outlook will be negatively affected. The “anti” crap is not deep thinking. It's singularly political and unnecessary self-flagellation that adds nothing.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006


Oh how you libs recklessly throw around the condemnations a la Murtha. Provide your proof for these "war crimes".

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I'm gonna ignore most of that trash. Most of it starts out most of it starts out with "progressives" this, or progressives that, and I said right outa the box that liberals ARE NOT progressive. See I've tried to enlighten you leftees in these exact exchanges so many times I could puke. See it really doesn't matter what I say, you will still prefer your delusions. Anyway, my first post was not intended to be adhominim, many liberals HAVE made themselves mentally ill. And most people DON'T wanna hear their inane whining.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006


Everyone on here does not see this exchange as a competition. Only insecure little dweebs do. Many enjoy the exchange of ideas with the hope that something new will emerge. When someone is right, it's okay to admit it.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Thanks Robert,

I am surprised that you are able to recognize that my opinion is "thoughtful"

All the necessary support for my opinion is pretty well represented by Patrick's post above.

The obsessive, unreasonable, attacks on all things Bush are so childlike. The tole exacted on the health of the angry is substantial.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

My bad Peter. Apparently, your prediction is coming true...Maybe I should have subjugated my tone to something acceptable to the politically correct censoring of the radical left....but hey, then I wouldn't be exercizing free speech!

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

Patty. You're weak. When you can't keep up, and sense that what you're writing is boring (like above) just don't post.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I'm sorry that you either can't understand, or refuse to engage. But I really think a discussion of what repetitive "downer" thinking does to ones psyche is important. It is important for people to take care of themselves and give themselves time away from all the Bush hating, Republican hating, America hating ritual (trash-in trash-out) to reestablish perspective. Truth be told, many liberals are only being used (mistakenly) by the DNC to promote Democrat candidacy. The DNC, and for that matter the RNC, doesn’t give a rip about the mental health of it’s supporters, they just WANNA WIN.
Why do it only cite Dems? Cause they’re the ones losing it as the article explains, and they’re far more negative than the competition.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I suspect it may be hard to discern emotion online but, my original post was anything but angry. I merely stated a fact. If I were attach an emotion to what I wrote it would be instructive or maybe, mocking. Why would I be angry at the obtuse lack of direction of the far left? I'm dispationate, I'm not a leftee.

andy mahan - 9/18/2006

I disagree. Mr. Brown has made a cogent, real-world argument throughout. You and Tuley are unrealistic absolutists. War is not neat kids. Still, the strikes are far more exacting than than just 10 years ago.

Leena Marie Langlois - 8/23/2006

Hezbollah was counting on the higher morals of Israel to resist bombing because of the civilian casualties they would inflict. Their presumption was wrong and now Hezbollah's the one crying foul? Excuse me but I would think that if any other civilized country in the world were to be terrorized continuously like Israel has on all sides of its border, and they had the military capability, they would not roll over on their backs and say "ok, just walk all over me like a door mat." How hypocritical would it be for the U.S. or anyone else to tell Israel it can't defend itself despite the casualties it could inflict. Look at the casualties the war in Iraq inflicted. How about Hiroshima?? Who's being the hypocrite?

Leena Marie Langlois - 8/23/2006

Amen to that!! You hit the nail on the head. Why couldn't Hezbollah (being suicidal as it is for their cause) come out and face the Israelis like real men!! They're a bunch of cowards who know they don't have a chance if they do. How about all the innocent Israelis dying every year by suicide bombers acting on behalf of Hezbollah and Palestine? We don't shed a tear for them...As far as I'm concerned, the Lebanese and Palistinians have had it coming for a long time now. Since when has there been war without innocent casualties anyway. It's not like there's a lot of play room for the Hezbollah army to actually come out of civilian territory to fight their battle. Not that they would if they did anyway.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/16/2006

Well if you had been condemning Israel as much as you had the Darfur conflict It would be over. How about that.

john crocker - 8/14/2006

Where is this study and who performed it? I want to show it to my boss so I can call in productive. Again Bush doesn't appear to work all that hard when he is working.

How exactly is a Leiberman win a win for Republicans?

How exactly have the Democrats screwed themselves?

Can I assume that any of my points you did not address you concede, or will you get around to answering them presently?

If history is any guide more money means a better chance in the elections and according to polls there is a big anti-incumbant and anti-Republican feeling among the electorate.

I said the news coming out of Lebanon is distracting people from the bad news for Republicans (Iraq and corruption), not that it was bad news for Republicans.

"America thinks Bush is doing a good job"
According to the last polling I could find his popularity is up 3 points to 38%. The boost is generally attributed to the British terror plot, not his "handling" of Lebanon.

Arnold Shcherban - 8/14/2006

Who told you sir, that the world or, as I believe what you meant, the ones who critisize Israel's fierce bombardment of civilain infrastructure and communities don't care about the catastrophic scale of loss of life in Iraq and Darfur?
Open your eyes and you will see (provided you really want to see the true picture) that pretty much all those folks who now are doing the former do the latter as well.
But who blocks the really democratic and independent solutions of the crisis in Iraq and Darfur if not US
and some of its powerful European allies that currently control practically all UN financial resources, bodies and initiatives?
So, the cries and crocodile tears of some among international community don't present any practical resolution of those disasters, except serving as a propaganda veil for them.

Arnold Shcherban - 8/14/2006

I know Chomsky's works, ideas, and ideals quite well. Neither of those
express any support to terrorists and
war criminals. (However, always keep in mind what has been mentioned on this board before: one's people freedom fighter is another's terrorist).
Probably the main idea of Chomsky's works is revelation and denounciation of the outrageous double standards traditionally applied by US mainstream politicians and mass-media to the analysis of political events and actions of different states and based on those double standards the choice of major strategies in internal and, especially, foreign policies.
The whole thing about the hatred and dirt right propaganda pours on him and his supporters is caused exactly
by those revelations and denounciations, no more nor less.

Arnold Shcherban - 8/14/2006


On one side commentators as you are
say that Hezbollah are conniving and smart, on the other hand what you have essentially expressed here is their total stupidity.
How else can one miscalculate Israel's
military might and resolve to crush
their enemies, after almost 60 years
of Israel's decisive victories in all
military campaigns whether defensive
or offensive?
There are numerous indications to the contrary conclusion supported by almost all US and international mass media and admitted by Israelis themselves: Israel miscalculating the
ease with which its one more war against Lebanon will proceeed.
As soon as Hamas came to power in Palestine and Israel and US rejected
any possibility and opoortunity negotiating with that party, as the legitimate representative elected by Palestinians, instead openly announcing their plans to see for the
removal of Hamas as political leadership by all means, some observers warned: that means war.
However, for the opposing ideologues
history is nothing as either the sequence of accidental, unfortunate/fortunate events, or the embodiment of the plans
of the adversarial forces - never - the non-contingent plans of their own economic and ideological friends (that are good ones by definition).
We all know that no evidence and arguments can sway ideological zealots, that do everything to hide the truth, instead of seeking it.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/14/2006

Acutally Mr. Ebbit I happened to agree with this last post you just wrote. I understand what you are saying about defining our enemy so we can blow them to smitherenes. And opnely I would say our enemy is every middle eastern dictatorship.

Arnold Shcherban - 8/14/2006

The inspirational heroes of kovachevs:
German Nazis... for murdering the Left (including Jewish Left),
Pol Pot... for resisting Vietnamese,
Greek Nazis, sponsored by his US and
UK friends... also for murdering Left,
in general, every group or government
who killed or jailed Left.
It is important to note one fact of utmost ideological importance, which up to now I never seen being mentioned: If the Left do openly denounce and fiercely condemn the evil deeds of their own
compatriots Left (such as Stalin, Mao,
Pol Pot and all terrorist groups, Left or Right), kovachevs have never done the same to respective perpetrators on their side (such as US Washington Republican and Democrat administrations, who presided over multiple grand-scale war crimes, Israel's war crimes, and the crimes
of all murderous dictators they sponsored and supported... as long
as the latter murdered the Left).
They feel no remorse for the murderous
deeds of their Brothers
and Sisters in financial, social, and ideological and, non-coincidentally, in religion and crime.
That one fact really expose them as
ideological fanatics, alike worst kind
of terrorists.

john crocker - 8/14/2006

You should go back and read the entire exchange between Mr. Mahsn and myself before you link as ideological compatriots.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/13/2006

Mr. Ebbit why dont you tell the families that lost family members in 911 that their is no terorism.

john crocker - 8/13/2006

"I suspect it may be hard to discern emotion online but, my original post was anything but angry." - Andy Mahan

Consider your own words before you assign emotional content to the posts of others.

Jason Blake Keuter - 8/13/2006

I think your comments are kind of fair.

My comments were not about people who speak out against conservatives. My comments were about the dominant trends in left wing thought, which, whether you like it or not, find expression in the Democratic party. I don't think the backbone of the party consists of the dogmatic leftists like Chomsky or the Monthly Review (both of which would insist they are enemies of the Democratic party too)); they have, however, adopted many of their views. And in foreign policy, two dominant trends stand out. One is the view, more wildly held by the core constituency of the party, that America's military serves the same elites who have hijacked democracy; the other is the views taken by the professionals of the party - which is more of a Kissinger view that says disrupting morally dubious status quo's leads to worse situations (a classically conservative position a la Burke). Of course, the same constituencies calling for a Kissinger foreign policy were the very people who relentlessly attacked that policy as supportive of immoral regimes. Like Christopher Htichens said, the anti-Iraq war position IS the conservative position.

I fail to find in the Democratic Party any constituencies that are not only strong on defense, but generally feel that America's military does more good than harm.

I think you'll find most of the moderates among the elected officials and candidates for national or statewide office who know they've got to move to the middle for general elections.

The Democrats have a problem of equal magnitude with its far left base on foreign policy that the Republicans have with the religious right on domestic policy.

john crocker - 8/13/2006

I realize that I sounded a bit like your nemesis in the above post, but I am not Andy.

Philip Tuley - 8/13/2006

Which had absolutely nothing to do with Iraq until after we invaded. There has been no credible link between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda, which was touted by the administration.

john crocker - 8/13/2006

"There is no correlation of productivity and vacation days for the Presidency."
Does that work for other jobs too?
I think I'll call in productive for work tomorrow.

Bush doesn't seem to work all that hard when he works. The exorbitant vacation time is just a symptom and symbol of his lack of work ethic.

Nearly half of your reply is in rebuttal to a criticism I did not put forward ie Bush is dumb. If I had to hazzard a guess as to his intellect from my observations of him I would say he is right about of average intelligence. He isn't articulate or a quick or deep thinker, but he isn't as dumb as some would have you believe. The problem I have is his lack of curiousity and his simplistic spin on everything ("You know, I hear people say, well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box.").

"Press conferences are not to be viewed as a opportunity to show what you know, especially from the Administration’s approach."
Certainly not from this administration's approach.

So Connecticut Democrats are "touched" because because they didn't vote for Leiberman? That's pretty weak.

"Connecticut Democrats are not only out of touch with America they are out of touch with Connecticut."
Lets see, Leiberman lost the primary 48:52 and with the Republican Party's support he is now up 46:41 in the latest Rasmussin poll (in that same poll the Republican got 6%). I fail to see how that shows the Democrats are out of touch. Apparently the Democrats are so out of touch with Connecticut that either the Democratic nominee will win or the independent who pledges to become a Democrat will win. Where is the loss for Democrats here?

The RNC was forced to put immigration on the back burner because it was becoming a political loser for them.

When elections draw near donations go up. Dems are exceding expectations on donations as well.

The situation with Israel in Lebanon has moved a lot of bad news for the Republicans (Iraq, corruption) to the back burner, giving them a bit of breathing room.

I have yet to see any polling that looks good for the Republicans, but November is a ways away. Here's to hoping you were right 3 mos ago.

john crocker - 8/13/2006

Glad to bring some joy into your life. You have helped me find my inner ad hominem rambler. Now I don't know what I ever did without it.

You aren't so good at feigning humility, so you should probably stick with gloating.

"It really wasn't me...but I told you so."

Bill Heuisler - 8/13/2006

You are correct, I believe in such concepts as duty, honor and country. There are many who do, particularly in the United States Marine Corps and particularly since the sentiments are considered passe. Stubborn, I guess.
Some ideals are worth the sneers.

Someday you may sorely need a friend with a similar unsophistication. There will probably be one waiting. Isn't that prospect worth a smile?

john crocker - 8/13/2006

Care to site any examples, or are you content with your vague and unsubstantiated ramblings?

"You're another one who doesn't know how to cut/paste."
What on earth do you mean by this comment?
BTW [ctrl)C, [ctrl]V, now you know how.

Peter Kovachev - 8/13/2006


This is so silly. You started off with the non-argument about being a vet, a contention that is neither relevant to a debate nor provable on this forum. I unwisely retorted by refering very generally to my background...which too is moot for the discussion. So there, mea culpa; I was wrong to do that.

Now you are complaining that I'm not providing you with a full personal disclosure. Forget it; I don't need your biography and you don't need mine for this debate, and I enjoy my anonymity, which is protected by the fact that there are at least a dozen people with my last and first names in Canada alone. "Kovachev" is as common as "Smith" in my first language, which is what it means.

As for the debate itself, you are entangled in a mess of your own making. You tried to disqualify me and others by first claiming authority with your alleged vet status, then by telling me to read Hoffer to substantiate your charge that I'm a neoconservative and a nationalist. Hoffer never wrote about neocons, but never mind, according to you his judgements are magically transferable to whatever and whoever you decide simply because you say so. When I explained my disagreements with Hoffer's methods and my reasons, you accused me of "labelling" him. That's hardly a defense, it's a term high schoolers use whenever they want to make themselves or someone else out to be deeper than they actually are.

As for not addressing your mysterious points, which actually no one, including yourself knows what they are, the closest I can come to is your charge that I'm a neocon and a nationalist. Of course, you didn't explain why I'm these things ... or why even if I were, these things are somehow wrong or bad ... except to refer me to Hoffer's books. Evidently, as much as you love Hoffer's work, you don't actually understand it well enough. I can't help you there. You don't seriously expect me to waste time on re-reading Hoffer, building an argument for you from his stuff and then proposing counter-arguments, do you?

Jim Seth Brown - 8/13/2006

How about terrorism

john crocker - 8/13/2006

Come on Andy, now I'm playing your game. Don't just take your ball and go home, stay a bit and play.

john crocker - 8/13/2006

According to Mirriam Webster
kibitzer: one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment <a kibitzer at a card game>; broadly : one who offers opinions

Certainly according to the current everyone administration anyone who disagrees with their opinion is a kibitzer. They do not want any advice that does not correspond with the decisions that they have already made.

You seem by your usage to mean that we are somehow not in a position to judge, as we are not "in the game." If that is your point, why do you comment here?

All of the following apply to someone who is putting forth tremendous effort: "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood", "who strives valiantly" and "who spends himself for a worthy cause." Bush does not appear to put forth much effort at all. He surpassed Reagan's record setting number of vacation days in his fifth year. He is fantastically incurious; asking for all briefings to be on one page, asking few questions according to advisors and displaying little knowledge on important topics when questioned by the press.

My list of reps and senators is every bit as "nutty" as yours.

"But he is not 'touched' as much of his constiuency has proven."
What you mean by this?

In what way exactly are Connecticut voters out of step with America?

I do agree with you that the Republican strategy for November will be to use fear and divisiveness to try and hold on to power.

"6 months ago the Reps were thought to have already lost the Senate and Congress. It appears not to be so in either case."
No one can accurately predict an election several months out. We all have to wait, work and hope. You seem to be saying that Republicans have closed some sort of polical gap. Where is your evidence for this contention?

Jim Seth Brown - 8/12/2006

Mr. Ebbit I see that in the prescence of reality, facts, and truth you cannot see the light. Its sad to say you are another victim that has fallen prey to the world of Islamic Facsism. You are the type of person whose mind they twist into ultimately hating their own country. The lies that you have put out in this post are undeniably false and their is no proof to prove these allegations. You are a self hating american, see if you like living in some arab country better. Because this is the greatest country in the world, and it does not deserve a citizen that doesn't aprreciate what it gives to them everyday.

john crocker - 8/12/2006

They may have been around, but they weren't Motown.

john crocker - 8/12/2006

I am in agreement with you on the Motown, but not much else.

As for your quote I'll give you, "who errs and comes up short again and again", but "strong man", "doer of deeds", "whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood", "who strives valiantly", "the great devotions", "who spends himself for a worthy cause",do you really believe those apply to W.

Following is a short list of some of those "dignified" Republicans currently serving: Phil Gingrey, Sam Brownback, George Allen, Tom Coburn, Rick Santorum, Katherine Harris,Bill Frist, Lynn Westmoreland, and Ted "Big Truck" Stevens.

I find it a bit funny for Republicans to criticize Democrats for appealing to their base. Leiberman lost because he lost touch with the people he represented. That is the lesson of Leiberman.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/12/2006

Mr. Ebbit are you saying that the U.S is as bad as the terrorists. I guess that if you think our great nation is so bad, you shouldn't bother living here. Why don't you live in some arab country, im sure they will welcome you with open arms. Beacause America sure doesn't need you, trying to equate our country with terrorism.

Philip Tuley - 8/12/2006

Well, I'm glad you don't want us blown up. I'll leave the rest in Mark's capable hands, I think he'll have plenty to say.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/12/2006

Mr Levine, its nice that you responded to my post, I think it is really awsome to know I am debating someone very intellectual like yourself. However I have a few questions. In your post you mentioned Israel specifically targeted civilians in lebanon. I just find that hard to believe when the bombings are all targeted Hezbollah facilities, or infrastructure to prevent the rearmarment of Hezbollah. But yes their were mistakes, Qana, and the subsequent deaths of civilians being in the wrong place in the wrong time. And I know you might requote me on the Human Rights Commitee investigation, however how can their information be so correct when we can agree that
Hezbollah controlls southern Lebanon. We have already seen the integrity of CNN questioned when they had reporters being led around by Hezbollah members, essentially making the news station a propoganda puppet for the terrorists.

I have one more question for you sir, most countries commit acts thinking of how does this benefit us. Israel bombs a Hezbollah target, they are rewarded with less of a threat. Hezbollah kills an Israeli child, the arab community is stronger. So what benefit does it pose for Israel to deliberately kill innocent Lebanese. Does it help them in public relations, No. Does it help them make Hezbollah want to stop, No. So what is their benefit. So I dont see how it is possible for a democratic government to do something that not only doesnt benefit their people but hurts them as well. Also your generalizations of these supposed deliberate killings are basically accussations, where is the facts, the proof.

And lastly I hope you do not think that I want you to get blown up in your ship. I dont believe I implied that in my posts. Being able to debate these issues is what makes our country America so great.

Mark A. LeVine (UC Irvine History Professor) - 8/12/2006

hi. enjoying some of these posts, although not the ones hoping i and my colleagues get blown up on the peace ship. perhaps in a bit of bad taste but that's up for the writers' consciences. anyway, one point: this idea that hezbollah deliberately targets civilians while israel only kills them by accident. total BS. israel has deliberately targeted civilians inummerable times in this war, just as it has deliberately targeted civilians in palestine. i have seen it with my own eyes. all i am asking is that people be as honest about the actions of their own side as of the 'other.' trying to play this war as defensible, as michael walzer has done, is, well, indefensible. i have taken apart his recent new republic article and the articles others have written citing him as providing good justifications for israeli actions at my blog on, at the current thinking section.

Lorraine Paul - 8/12/2006

Bill, No offence intended, but you do often strike me as a "Letter to Garcia" type of bloke. I didn't believe the piffle it contained when I first read it as a ten year old.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/11/2006

O and Mr. Tuley where are these willful attacks that Israel does to kill civilians. Where are the "war crimes"

john crocker - 8/11/2006

Oh, now I understand, my behavior has been so self-destructive. You have shown me the error of my ways with your clearly thought out and cogent argument. Now I see that your post was not really a vitriolic attack on the left; you were just trying to snap us out of our reverie. Sort of an O'Reilly style shock therapy. The first hundred times you did it I just didn't get it. Rational supported arguments are for the reality based community (the fools). Ad hominem attacks and poorly cited (article 28 anyone)and poorly supported arguments(everything you've written in this thread) are the only effective way to argue.

Robert Hauer - 8/11/2006

I am not in any hurry at all to leave this thread; but you seem to be running on the same techniques you accuse others, especially keeping your obscure background carefully hidden, exposing it only with a few tidbits to display what you want people to think of your obscure and charismatic past with its so-called deep European insight. Why should I waste my time with that. Sure, I am wrong about many things but you sound as if you have never admitted such a thing as being wrong in your entire life, except that you are an ass. That minor fact to your credit, you have admitted. But your condescension about my confusion, and your failure to address some of my points, which I don’t think you even know are there, while you create strawmen mixed with personal insults, something you are quick to fling like manure all over this site and label those you don’t know as “obscurantist, pseudo-scientific philosophy or a world-view based primarily on faith.” Well, that just makes you what you have just called me. Your approach to an argument couldn’t possibly convince anyone, unless they were already sitting in your congregation .

john crocker - 8/11/2006

Once again your post is long on ad hominem attack and completely lacking in substance.

john crocker - 8/10/2006

Article 28

The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.

I believe this is the one you meant to refer to. This article does not apportion blame for the deaths of the protected persons. Israel cannot escape its share of blame for the deaths caused by its bombs and artillery.

john crocker - 8/10/2006

Article 51

The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces. No pressure or propaganda which aims at securing voluntary enlistment is permitted.

The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to work unless they are over eighteen years of age, and then only on work which is necessary either for the needs of the army of occupation, or for the public utility services, or for the feeding, sheltering, clothing, transportation or health of the population of the occupied country. Protected persons may not be compelled to undertake any work which would involve them in the obligation of taking part in military operations. The Occupying Power may not compel protected persons to employ forcible means to ensure the security of the installations where they are performing compulsory labour.

The work shall be carried out only in the occupied territory where the persons whose services have been requisitioned are. Every such person shall, so far as possible, be kept in his usual place of employment. Workers shall be paid a fair wage and the work shall be proportionate to their physical and intellectual capacities. The legislation in force in the occupied country concerning working conditions, and safeguards as regards, in particular, such matters as wages, hours of work, equipment, preliminary training and compensation for occupational accidents and diseases, shall be applicable to the protected persons assigned to the work referred to in this Article.

In no case shall requisition of labour lead to a mobilization of workers in an organization of a military or semi-military character.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/10/2006

First of all Israel has admitted its made mistakes. Second of all the targets on the syrian border is where Hezbollah gets its weapons supplies from. And you are calling me morally bankrupt when all you think is Israel should lie down its weapons and not fight. Hezbollah lobbing missilies is nothing new. It will continue. And in your mind Israel should sit and let the bombs fall and hope it kills as few Israeli's as possible. Let say I punch you in the face not once but over and over again, will you sit down with me to have tea so we can work it out, even though I tell you every day I won't stop hitting you in the face until your dead. Well that is what you are asking Israel to do.

Peter Kovachev - 8/10/2006

Peter Kovachev - 8/10/2006

Mr. Tuley,

You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Those launching attacks from a civilian area are directly and solely responsible for the civilians. The opposing party must attempt to avoid unnecesary casualties, but not at the expense of its own civilians or armed personnel.

Try Article 51:

Peter Kovachev - 8/10/2006

These are odd evaluations to express on a history site: "Solid, as far as I'm concerned," "ring true as any classic," "the names of the movements can change," and, most curious of all, "some don’t need vigorous obfuscating peer reviews." In other words, a description of an obscurantist, pseudo-scientific philosophy or a world-view based primarily on faith.

That's precisely what I meant by my sentence that confused you. Hoffer set out to break the idols of irrational mass movements, only to supply theories that are just as irrational and ones which seem to be running mostly on his charisma and the romantic mystique of the worker-philosopher.

But if his arguments cannot be defended with facts and if they cannot stand up to peer reviews, they might not all be true. Isn't truth, or at least the effort to arrive at truth what these debates are ultimate about?

I suspect that you are in a hurry to drop this thread because you sense that with Hoffer you're standing on quicksand. You've invested in what to you is an attractive, pleasant, all-encompassing worldview with one "minor" fault; you cannot defend it rationally and on a level playing field to an unbeliever. This is why you didn't present arguments against my supposed neoconservitism and nationalism, but urged me to read Hoffer; a hope that the intagible force of "Hoffism" will sway me emotionally.

Fine, you're entitled to hang onto things that give us spiritual or psychological meaning....hence religion and a whole host of "isms." But the moment you challenge my worldviews and my "isms," you should be prepared to face critical inquiries ... and to bravely face the possibility that you may have been wrong about some things all along.

Robert Hauer - 8/10/2006

Hoffer is more than fun and good and his relevancy is still solid as far as I’m concerned, his study about the peculiarities common to all mass movements, religious, social or nationalist ring as true as any classic, what he wrote was a classic. Of course Hoffer had nothing to say specifically on neoconservatism, only the names of the movements can change, what I was implying is that they generate the same things, intolerance, the breeding of fanaticism, the common traits that can be seen today, and here on HNN because most people want movements to be great and deep inside know they are not, and that makes them miserable which gives them a hatred against the truth, but they need that slime (“and slime had they for mortar” Genesis 2) “an iconoclast of mass movements became an iconic pop-star himself?” what does that really mean and what does it matter? And who has the “rich(er) knowledge base”? someone who lives it or the academic who writes about it isolated in his ivory tower? It’s reported that Hoffer probably read more books than most academics. And some don’t need vigorous obfuscating peer reviews. I think we’ve worn this thread out, don’t you.

Michael Dunning - 8/10/2006

Mr. Keuter,
You seem to lump together anyone who is to the left of center or speaks out against conservatives as "The Left." Isn't it obvious that those who make up the majority of Democrats are not the same as those who closely follow Chomsky or read Monthly Review? It would be the same were I to equate the majority of Republicans with Ann Coulter or The Weekly Standard. Both the Right and the Left have their share of moderates and whackos, and to lump all members of one side together seems a bit impetuous.

Peter Kovachev - 8/10/2006

Thank you for your reference, Hauer. Hoffer was fun and good for when I was learning English; simple sermons by a simple chap for simple folks. Kind of an everyman's Jose Ortega y Gasset or Eric Fromm. Btw, Hoffer didn't have much to say on neoconservatism because it wasn't around and the current attempts to graft his thoughts on anything new that comes along are an example of intellectual laziness and vacuity.

I'm not a big fan of that uniquely American genre of anti-intellectual "wisdom literature" consisting of articulating the obvious and clever folksy sayings which are impossible to either prove or disprove. It's hard to beat your Mark Twain, anyway, who actually had more layers and depth to him than many assume.

Don't get me wrong; Hoffer was a smart, likeable fellow, who articulated some novel ideas worth chewing over. Still, in trying to comprehend human culture and its manifestations, wisdom-nuggets are no substitute for a rich knowledge base, sound methods of inquiry, well-developed analytic skills and vigorous peer reviews.

Don't you think it ironic that the very fellow who set out to be an iconoclast of mass movements became an iconic pop-star himself?

Peter Kovachev - 8/10/2006

You're a Human Resource Manager? Goodness, Ebbitt, you can't manage your head, how do manage other people?

Don't know what an EAP is, so can't agree or disagree. As for Canada, our per capita drug problem is significantly lower, perhaps because our comprehensive "social safety net system," as they call it. Don't be jealous, though, we pay a lot more in taxes than you folks would tolerate.

Jason Blake Keuter - 8/10/2006

Absolutely true. I think a telling moment in the history of the left will be Paul Krugman's early columns about the Bush administration in which he relies heavily on Henry Kissinger's criticism of how the European status quo failed to adequately defend itself against radically disruptive forces. Krugman's hero becomes Kissinger.

The liberal left now advocates a Kissinger doctrine of capitulation to evil regimes and comfrots itself with its pseudo-sophisticated relativism that knows better than to be so sophmoric as to think evil exists.

In large measure, this is anti-Americanism. but its also elitism. Many American elites have monkeyed European ideas since the colonial period. Further, in being against their country, the left is proving that it isn't foolish enough to fall far "jingoistic" propaganda. Of course, it's foolish enough to fall for all sorts of overt propaganda from other sources, but we'll save that for another post.

Last, it's also anti-capitalism. One might trace this to VI Lenin who called Imperialism the final stage of Capitalism. In doing so, he was trying to explain why the workers in the more advanced western countries weren't communist revolutionaries. His answer: the workers have been bought off, given a mind-numbing prosperity at the expense of the down-trodden of what would later be called the Third World.

The left long ago gave up on the idea of some domestic working class revolution that would fulfill their nihilistic fantasies about destroying the US and placed their hopes in the third world. Thus, any third world tyrant who is against America - no matter there other flaws - is necessarily on the right side of history because their are going for the jugular of the capitalist order, which the left insistently believes (contrary to reality) will end in "immiseration".

This fantasy of immiseration is a veiled wish that the rest of American society (happy, prosperous, content) will join the left "intellectual" in the state of misery that intellectual wrongly blames on capitalism instead of his own personal failure to make something pleasant of his own existence.

The left is inching closer and closer to an overtly senseless nihilism. This is particularly pronounced among intellectuals who cannot avail themselves of the pleasures accorded by American society because that would make them like everyone else, and they want to be more intelligent and sophisticated. Problem is: they end up marignalized. So they hate the society that won't recognize them and lack any internal sources to give their life meaning.

john crocker - 8/10/2006

I might have responded to the "substance" of your original post, had it been more than a vitriolic ad hominem attack. The entire "substance" of your post seems to be:

1) progressives are regressive - No support is given for this "argument." What is it progressives are regressing towards? You certainly don't believe it is Vietnam era liberalism, as one of your later "points" makes clear.

2) progressives are anti-American - Again no support is given for this "argument." I am not even sure exactly what you mean by this.

3) progressives are anti-Bush - Again you provide no support for this "argument." I will concede that progressives are virtually united in their opposition to Bush. This is due to the policies he supports rather than some fetish, as you seem to feel.

4) progressives "obsession" leaves them morally rudderless - Again you provide no support for this "argument."

5) progressives primary concern is opposition to Bush and America - This is merely a restatement of "points" 2 and 3, again with no support. Additionally, it attempts to conflate the opinions of Bush and the American people. There is ample polling evidence that the opinions of the majority of the American people differ from those of Bush of the war in Iraq, social security and other issues.

6) "There is no longer any moralistic thinking or concern as during Vietnam." - Once again no support is given for this "argument"

7) The negativity of progressives repells reasonable people - No support is given for this absurd ad hominem attack.

8) You seem to imply that being a progressive is a mental illness - another absurd ad hominem attack with nothing to back it up

9) "The “anti” crap is not deep thinking." - Here you seem to equate any policy disagreement with progressives as "anti" crap. I think it would be better defined as "anti-crap."

10) "It's singularly political and unnecessary self-flagellation that adds nothing." - Virtually all posts on this board are political. As for unnecessary that is your opinion. How is an argument against an oppositon policy self-flaggelation? Opposition voices do add something to the debate. Your statement is merely an attempt to dismiss opposition arguments without addressing their substance.

The reason I did not respond to your the "substance" of your original post is that it contained no "substance."

"I always find it entertaining when people start [engaging in ad hominem attacks]. Why not just say, “yeah, you're right substantively” because that's what your diversion means."

PS - "citing semantics and language is not at all redundant."
"Semantics are a subset of language" ie citing both is redundant. Ex/ I like squares and rectangles.

Robert Hauer - 8/10/2006

Kovachev, you need to read Eric Hoffer, about fanatic people who need to worship every cause from nationalism to neoconservatism

Philip Tuley - 8/10/2006

Israel kills accidentally, did you really say that? Willful negligence is not accidental, and many of the deaths, including those in Qana and on the Syrian border, far away from any Hezbollah target that could have been attacking Israel, were just that.

These are war crimes, pure and simple, as spelled out in the Geneva Convention, and upheld in military trials in the past. Your ideology blinds you to the truth, and all you can do is continue to prattle on about justifications that are truly meaningless and, often, based on misinformation.

I'm done trying to respond to your inanities, you are morally bankrupt and blind, willingly accepting any excuse so that you don't have to admit that the Israelis have made willfull mistakes that have cost innocent lives.

Peter Kovachev - 8/9/2006

I've always been an ass, Hauer, tell me something I don't know. As for BS, you've got a point; any beery old sod, such as yourself, can google-up wild whoppers here with none the wiser. When you outgrow pointless pissing matches, as Mr. Simon rightly calls them, and especially when you get around to cobbling together an actual argument, let me know.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/9/2006

First of all the deaths of the civilians are caused by Hezbollah using them as shields. And by the way Israel responded to an unprovoked attack of war. And if you say it is a military attack by hezbollah then i guess this is just a war between Hezbollah and Israel. And civilian deaths are a sad consequence of war. The difference here is Hezbollah trys to kill innocent civilians, Israel trys to kill Hezbollah. Israel apologizes for the innocent deaths, Hezbollah doesn't. O and by the way Israel does have a gun to its head, why dont you ask the million Israeli's living underground about that.
My problem with you Mr. Tuley is that you put Israel and Hezbollah on the same moral level. And dont give me your killing innocent civilians is killing innocent civilians thing, because that is completely false. Israel kills accidently, Hezbollah kills purposefully. Even our own laws can distinguish the difference. Ever heard of Manslaughter, 2nd degree and 1st degree murder. Basically Hezbollah is commiting 1st degree murder, and Israel is commiting self defense. Their is a huge difference!

Philip Tuley - 8/9/2006

Wow, he really got to you didn't he? I've never seen a stutter on the internet before.

Philip Tuley - 8/9/2006

Oh, and one more thing - I didn't just write to my congresspeople and the UN, and Amnesty, and so forth, I also write for a local paper, two in fact, and that's where my first editorial appeared on the subject.

Philip Tuley - 8/9/2006

You are missing my point, and the point Mark's been making - unwarranted violence against civilians, regardless who is causing it, is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if it's Hezbollah lobbing rockets, China in Nepal, or Israel in Qana. No one is holding a gun to their head and telling them they have to kill civilians.

And it's interesting that you do not deal with the fact that the attack that stirred Israel's wrath wasn't the rockets into their country, which had been going on for a long time, but rather a military operation against a military group.

And yes, we should all be glad that 22 people survived the unwarranted attack on the building in Qana, and we should be outraged at the 28 deaths, in the same manner as we should be outraged at the deaths in Haifa.

Wrong is wrong. Everything else is sophistry and justification.

Peter Kovachev - 8/9/2006

Sure, Ebbitt, anyone who mocks your lucrative "therapeutic" business is in the clutches of reefer madness. That's one way to justify your scam. But don't knock your War on Drugs too much. It would be like an Indian cow knocking religion, the only thing that keeps her from becoming steak.

Bill Heuisler - 8/9/2006

Lt. Therral "Shane" Childers, USMC, was a "mustang" who joined the Corps in 1990, served ten years and went to the Citadel to become an officer in 2001. He died leading other Marines in combat in Iraq.

He is a fallen American hero.

His name should not be used to make a pacifist political point by a Leftist sitting comfortably in a Pioneer Drive easy-chair who has never done a patriotic thing in his life and whose closest brush with the military was living in Fayetteville North Carolina.

Mocking dead Marines is disgusting cowardly and foolish.
Bill Heuisler

Michael Dunning - 8/9/2006

Yes, when it comes to social issues, Libertarians are aligned with liberals. However, when it comes to economic issues, they align with conservatives. For example, they are against the estate tax, want to reduce income taxes across the board, and would like to end economic subisidies for other countries. Thus, to say libertarians are lefties is simply incorrect. Again, they are liberal on social issues but conservative on economic issues. Their consistent stance is less government intervention in all aspects of life. Did you not read the FAQ I linked to?
If you'd like to learn more, you can click here: Postions of the Libertarian Party

And, if you'd like to argue root words, the root word for liberal and Libertarian could be said to be "liberty." At this point it's merely semantics.

john crocker - 8/9/2006

"I always find it entertaining when people start debating semantics, language, punctuation and, the like. Why not just say, “yeah, you're right substantively” because that's what your diversion means."

The way you use language in an arguement goes to the substance of what you have to say. If definitions are not agreed upon then debate is meaningless. I argue the semantics of what you say when they are relevant.

When you claim opinion as fact, that goes to the core of your other claims.

The final paragraph of my above post is anything but a semantic arguement. It points out the ridiculousness of you assigning emotions to the posts of others while balking at the same being done to yourself.

I will admit that pointing out that instructive and mocking did not go to the core of your arguement. I just thought it was funny.

PS - Saying semantics and language is a bit redundant and I have yet to post on any of your punctuation errors.

Michael Dunning - 8/9/2006

Clue: "registered Libertarian" = Leftee

Mr. Mahan,
Either you have no knowledge of the makeup of the Libertarian Party, or you yourself refuse to believe that many former conservatives/Republicans (my father included) have defected to the Libertarians because they are tired of all the government involvement. Fact is, most of those who make up the Libertarian Party are those who believe in what they call 'true conservatism,' i.e. minimal government intervention wherever possible. To me, this is what conservatives and Republicans used to stand for, and some still espose those beliefs, but too many don't stand behind them.

Have you read this?
FAQ about the Libertarian Party

E. Simon - 8/9/2006

What profit do you see in continuing this "I'm better than you" stuff?

Clearly being used by the kinds of regimes that cause the most business for the U.S. armed forces gives Kovachev a perspective on the nature and worldview of the former that it seems downright stupid to be so dismissive of - especially from someone who might have been needed one day to be deployed against them.

Frankly, when it comes to whose government screwed whom over worse, it would be impossible to deny that he wins your pissing match.

Robert Hauer - 8/9/2006

Kovachev, you're still an ass.

What "green" did you wear. So far it's BS. I wore "green" too. USMC, Company K, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Vietnam 1966.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/9/2006

First of all you missed my whole point of the Darfur thing. Second of all I like you wrote letters to my senators and even to the GREAT U.N about that conflict. But here is the point. Darfur has been going on for 3 years now and the world has done not a thing to stop it, yet Israel is fighting a war and most of the countries in the world are up in arms. And like you I am against the deaths of civilians like in darfur and Lebanon for that matter. However your just blaming the wrong party. You should blame the actual people responsible for the deaths of the innocent Lebanese, ie: Hezbollah.

And here is a little side note for you the deaths of the Lebanese in Qana that everyone "grieves" for is a little on the fishy side. First 60 children died, then 55 people died, and now the body count dropped to 28, and what about Sami Yazbek a redcross worker that told reporters that their office heard of the bombing at 7, six hours after the bombing. Seems a little strange to me.

Philip Tuley - 8/8/2006

First off, don't lecture me about what I have and haven't said about Darfur. I have been protesting that issue for longer than you know.

Second, the rescue groups went in as soon as the planes were gone. The news crews arrived at the same time.

Third, no one made Israel bomb a building that had absolutely no rocket launches come from its vicinity. Your blindness on that shows your willingness to applaud slaughtering civilians, as long as it's by those you approve of.

You don't know me. You don't know the groups I support, nor the work I do. Don't lecture me about hypocrisy, when your own hypocrisy is staring you in the face.

The deaths in Darfur are horrible, as are the several other areas of genocidal activities throughout the world. But, it's interesting; I wonder when you started writing about Darfur? My first editorial on the subject was in April of 2003, when was yours?

Want to play holier than thou for a while? I condemn, without hesitation, all actions that cause unwarranted civilian deaths? You? It seems that you only do so when convenient.

In short, the only hypocrite between the two of us is you.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/8/2006

Killing innocent civilians Mr. Tuley, is the sad consequence of war. First of the civilians that are dying are ADJACENT to Hezbollah activity. If Hezbollah or the Lebanese government cared for the lebanese people as the Israeli's do, the civilian casualties would be so much lower.

Why is that you cant seem to hold the true culprits accountable for these sad deaths. Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and the Lebanese government for its neglegence to its own people. Did you know that after the Qana bombing that the rescue crews waited to go in to help until the News crews arrived! Thats a great way to preserve the lives of your people.

And the whole thing that upsets me even more about this situation is you and the rest of the worlds state of Hypocrasy. A few hundred Lebanese die and suddenly the world cares for Human Rights. Why is it that the world protests Israel's "war crimes" when thousands dide daily in Darfur, or the thousands that die in Iraq from clashes among Tsunis and Shiites. Bassically Mr. Tuley you are a HYPOCRITE. And if you think I am morally rudderless and bankrupt then i guess their is no words left to describe the level of scum you should be ascribed to.

Philip Tuley - 8/8/2006

Wrong is wrong. Killing innocent civilians that are not adjacent to your enemy is wrong, whether you are Israeli or Hezbollah.

The phrase "moral equivalency" is a cop-out designed by propagandists to shift the focus from the real issue - that of unwarranted civilian deaths. Until you accept that you are morally rudderless and bankrupt.

Peter Kovachev - 8/8/2006

Naah, subjugate, shubjugate ... it's not like anyone'll appreciate it. Grease'em right between the eyes and watch'em splutter.

Peter Kovachev - 8/8/2006

How do you know who's a vet and who's not, Hauer, and what bloody difference does it make to this topic? And no, I haven't put myself out for America because one, I'm not an merican, but a Canuck, and two, when I did wear the green I was on the other side, part of the Warsaw Pact monsters, the ones that turned the knees of a lot of you into jelly because you were too stupid to notice how hungry and raggedy we were. Instead of proper food, they fed us a lot America-is-the-devil crud, which most of us laughed at, but I stopped laughing after I made it out to the great West and actually met Americans who were saying the same stuff, word for word, but in English. Some of you still do.

john crocker - 8/8/2006

You merely stated opinion, not fact.

I wasn't aware that either instructive or mocking were emotions. I guess you really do learn something new every day.

Your original post sounds alot like an angry rant. If that was not your intent, maybe you should consider that before you attach emotion to the posts of others that you read.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/8/2006

O and Mr. Tuley I think that Mr. Kovachev dislikes what LeVine writes because he trys to put some kind of moral equivalency between Hezbollah and Israel. This is utter nonsense, and for people to actually think that is quite frustrating to sensible people like Mr. Kovachev and I.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/8/2006

Where did you go Mr. Tuley, I enjoy listening to your ridiculous idealistic thinking. It makes me think of our perfect happy world, where we can sit down and talk to terrorists that would like nothing better than to chop our heads off. Or negotiate with Iran who would love to put a nuke in our backyard and watch it explode.

john crocker - 8/8/2006

At last we agree.

Michael Dunning - 8/8/2006

Mr. Mahan,
There's a reason those of use who consider ourselves centrists don't listen to angry, ranting nonsense, such as you posted and Mr. Ebbitt attempted: It just makes you seem to be the very thing you profess to so strongly dislike. That is, your angry, simplistic rants would be just as repellant to me were I on the Right as Noam Chomsky's would be to me were I on the left. Hysteria is hysteria, no matter how you look at it.

For the record, Mr. Hauer, as I found out last night, Mr. Kovachev is Candaian. So to suggest he has never put himself on the line for America is moot.

Robert Hauer - 8/8/2006

I didn’t know you were Mr. Stephenson’s spokesman nevertheless, in my view, your answers are sadly a rehash and if you’ve been watching the news, it would be stretching it at this point to say Iraq is currently developing a viable democracy. The term “Right” I put in quote because Stephenson used it and it doesn’t really define anything specific, anymore than the term “Left” does. But comparing the Bush Doctrine to Clinton’s effectiveness is not a good comparison considering circumstances were different, the bar was already set low by Clinton’s administration and considering the 9/11 event didn’t happen on Clinton’s watch, it is useless to speculate with what-ifs and who’s to blame. But its strange how people define effectiveness in combating terrorism, an abstract term, that everything is going just fine in Iraq, according to schedule. I think you know better than that. It’s a sad picture over there, far from the cakewalk intended and going more out of control each day as our generals have recently explained to the public , and main media, which you seem to rely on, which you say are rooting for the enemy is a bit far fetched, again considering that mainstream media is owned by large corporations that influence American thought, with a two-way contract between them and the corridors of power in Washington . As for those on the “Left” who support resistance against Israel. Dissenting opinion doesn’t mean one supports the killing of innocent civilians or the extinction of another country. It’s an opinion, period. If we can’t have opinion without trashing each other as unpatriotic, what the hell is America all about? People ought to see it for what it is. The joke goes that the right-wing Catholic Mel Gibson supported Hizbollah using Aramiac as a coded message in Passion of the Christ to give them information to support their cause. This is the kind of crap that’s dividing America into two nations. We’ll destroy ourselves before the terrorists ever set foot in this country. No ,violence should not be used with half effort but its sounds contradictory when one says it’s mostly ineffective. Having voted Republican for many years, I don’t see myself as a Liberal, but it looks like traditional conservatives like myself have unfairly acquired that label. It’s sad that you believe that all Liberals hate conservatism, to base this on personal experience thereby making it true. But the truth is both sides have their haters and both sides believe the other is wrong on many levels.

Robert Hauer - 8/8/2006

to avoid the fact that both mahan and kovachev are not vets, have never put themselves on the line for America yet would lump anyone on the Left as anti-American, even veterans and those of them who support Israel. These two are keyboard warriors waving hate flags, provincial louts with small minds. Pathetic cases of conditioned reflex. Normally, not serving in the military is not an issue, but these two make it one with their hypocritical comments.

Peter Kovachev - 8/8/2006

How about ... drum rolls, please ... "Reality is for people who can't handle drugs"?

Calling me a butthole and a cad is so un-HNNish, Patrick. Am I supposed to excuse your silly bout of classlessness because of your self-appointed crusade? Get a grip on yourself, man, you sound like a reformed client of yours. I guess according to you the millions who engage in recreational drug use without any ill effects or interest in "therapy" are all a loss for your over-hyped therapeutic industry. It, by the way, has never made any difference to anyone other than the leeches who live off it. Money would be better spent on supplying addicts with food, shelter and work training, and yes, even clean drugs, and in time most will moderate or abandon their drug use. Percentages of casualties are pretty constant, no matter what laws and therapies are being tried out. At least that's what Europeans learned, but it's not something crusaders here want to hear; they'd have to find real work then. A man must make a living, I suppose, even when at the end of his career he has accomplished nothing, but save your "shocking" descriptions for the uninitiated; I've lived in some pretty ratty places in Europe and have seen more on an evening stroll about downtown Milan than you will see in your whole career.

Peter Kovachev - 8/8/2006

Good one, Mr. Mahan, thanks a bloody lot! Did you have to kick the at the asylum door? Now we'll have to be tortured by Patrick o-the-Lebanese-innocence on the third floor and Hauer show-me-your-medals-trooper in the Napoleon Room.

Robert Hauer - 8/8/2006

“I pledge $50 towards buying Professor Levine's airline ticket into the warzone, First class of course.”

You should be reminded that in America ethnic cleansing has not quite yet become SOP for dissenters.

Robert Hauer - 8/8/2006

blogstormtrooper mahan,

your thoughtful posts embody the principles of rational debate, particularly in their avoidance of ad hominem attacks, their thoughtful weighing of competing evidence and their noble insistence on addressing the stronger points of an opponents argument.

wonder how many medals and commendations are noted on line 26 of your DD214, if you have one.

Philip Tuley - 8/8/2006

Kovachev wrote - "Guess what, Mr. Tuley, we're capable of interpreting Mr. LeVines latest agitprop rant and coming up with our own conclusions about it. "

To which my only reply is that I've yet to see any evidence that you can interpret anything without instantly submerging yourself in your ideologically based rhetoric.

Philip Tuley - 8/8/2006

No, it's easy to tell when satire fails to rise to the stature of Swift's work.

Satire is a very, very touchy beast. The writer often considers his or her work to have been just barely obvious enough to qualify as satire, when it actually fails in that regard. In short, it isn't succesful satire if the intent of the author has to be revealed to the readers.

William A. Henslee - 8/8/2006

It's easy to see who never took a literature course that included Swift's satire "A Modest Proposal" for solving the "Irish Question."

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

I don't usually engage in internet research on demand, but while I'm roughly familiar with our Canadian demographics, especially since results from a recent census have been coming out, I was curious about your situation in the US. I looked at a bunch of sources, and these are the last ones, not necessarily the best or the most recent ones. Sources don't differ much, though, as they all obviously originate from your census data.

For Jews see:

For Christians: (scroll down to the "Religious Affiliation table).

Notice that while the overall Jewish and Christian populations are declining along with the rest of the general population, the traditional camps, such as the Orthodox among the Jews and the Evangelical and Congregational among Christians show healthy growth. This is evident casually and anecdotally as well; large liberal churches and synagogues have become empty museums, while traditionalist congregations are springing up and building.

Where I appear to have been wrong ... in the case of the US, but not Canada and the UK ... is in the divorce rates for traditional Protestant Christians in the US; they are significantly higher than in the general population. One of the reasons given is that these numbers are affected by a rapid appearance of new Christians, or "born agains" who engage in early marriages, have high expectations and lower education and earning power. Nevertheless, divorce rates don't seem to affect birth rates and it seems that because of strong family and community involvement, the social costs in family split-ups appear less damaging among traditional groups than in the unaffiliated general population.

Our birth patterns in Canada are similar, but our divorce rates are much lower. This is perhaps due to our comprehensive free medical care system and social safety nets which reduce economic pressures on families and reduce or slow down social mobility.

No offense intended to Captain Stubby; may the chap stay busy and happy doing the job nature/God intended him for.

Yehudi Amitz - 8/7/2006

I prefer tennis and Ping-Pong where I can cut the ball. About golf I am in total agreement with Mark Twain, it's a spoiled walk.

E. Simon - 8/7/2006

There are so many more where this came from.

Jim Seth Brown - 8/7/2006

I happen to agree with Amitz. I think it is ridiculous how all of the sudden the world is concerned with humanitarian rights. Thousands of Muslims die in Iraq every month from terrorist Muslims yet some Lebanese are killed and suddenly the whole world cares. Or the thousands that die in Darfur everyday. Why is it so convenient that when the Israeli's kill some Lebanese accidently in a war campaign that the world suddenly cares. I will tell you why.
The world hates Jews, its that plain and simple, aside from the Jewish people themselves and the conservative Christians of the world, I dont think anyone would have cared if the holocaust hadnt have succeded.

And to Jack Eckert the disproportianate causulties are not a result of Israel's agression. It is the result of Hezbollah using Human Shields and Lebanon not caring for its Citizens. Unlike the arab world Israel worked hard to create a safe heaven for Jews in a world that hates them. They didnt spend millions for on weapons for the sole purpose of killing arabs, instead they created
infrastructure and safety for its citizens. The Israeli's arent dying because they are all holed up in bomb shelters to survive. Maybe if Hezbollah used some of its 100 million dollar allowance per year from Iran to make some bomb shelters for the Lebanese civilians that they care so much for, or the lebanese government actually making evacuation plans to help its citizens. The fact is the Arab world is Lazy and likes to blame all of its problems on the scapegoat of the world, Israel.

Glenn Scott Rodden - 8/7/2006

If Mr. Levine wants to believe that the "left" has gone mad that is his business. But I am wondering who the "left" is? Chomsky and Zinn represent no one that I know, but they are always trotted-out as representatives of the left. Why?

And why are we condemning people for signing letters of protest and not condemning people for committing real acts of violence. In 2001, US forces invaded Afghanistan and killed thousands of people. The Taliban was defeated, but Osama Bin Laden was never captured and is still at large. Strangley, the Bush administration seems no longer interested in capturing UBL. Why not?

Afghanistan is now in the hands of warlords and drug dealers and the Taliban is once again gaining strength. How does the situation in Afghanistan increase US security?

In 2003, US forces invaded Iraq, killed thousands, and installed a Shiite dominated government that is now fighting a civil war with Irai Sunnis. The current Iraqi government is also allied with Iran. Why is that a good thing?

The current Iraqi government now refuses to condemn the Hezzbollah attacks against Israel. How does that situation increase US security?

The Bush administration is currently supporting Israel's wars against Hamas and Hezzbollah. Why? The Bush administration says that it supports democracy in the Middle East, but it is attempting to destroy two parties that came to power through democractic means. How does another civil war in Lebanon increase Israel's security?

Bush is also threatening to overthrow the Syrian government. Why? Who would replace the current regime? Would a new regime be friendly to the US and Israel?

The Bush administration is also threatening to use force against the Iranian government's nuclear program. Is the Bush administration preparing to invade Iran?

The Turkish government, citing Israel's incursion into Lebanon, is threatening to invade northern Iraq in order to fight the Kurds. How does a war between a NATO ally and our Iraqi Kurdish allies increase US security?

Greg L. Hampton - 8/7/2006

"So exactly what is this clear foreign policy the “Right” possesses and its wonderful results so far, foreign and domestic?"

I don't know about the "Right" but I do know that the Bush Doctrine has been far more effective at combating terrorism than ANYTHING tried or proposed by the darlings of the "Left" such as Clinton, Carter, Gore, Kerry, Ted "The Swimmer" name a few. Currently, 50 million people in two nations are now developing, via a democratic process, governments answerable to the citizens of their nations. The volumes of extream human rights abuses has almost vanished when compared to the horrific conditions prior to the Bush Doctrine. Their lives are better...and can continue to get better as they reject totalitarianism. Lebanon was nudged towards rejecting much of Syria's control and enabling them to hold free elections. Lybia gave their nuclear ambitions rather than, again, be on a US target strike list, other aram nations are now aware that support for Terrorism now comes with a price tag, that many of them simply can't afford.

"Who on the “Left” “supports the resistance against Israel – exactly who are “they”?"

Well judging from photoshopped photos, and false reporting of news most of the mainstream media seems to be rooting for the Hezbo's and the Palestinais, Chomsky clearly sides with anyone opposed to Israel, France and a good nymber of the EU offer appeasement overtures aimed at restraining Israel and saving the skin of the Terrorists in Hezbo, Hamas, and al Qaeda - plus their supporters in Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Hussein's Iraq. Here in the good ol US of A....sheesh..of the liberals previously mentioned and many others as well..only Lieberman is of sound mind of the issue on the War on Terrorism and the honest asssessment of a need to defeat the Hezbo's and al Qaeda's of the world.

"Why do you agree with the author that violence solves little and yet at the same time say the war(violence) should be expanded?"

I have no idea what Mr. Stephenson meant, but in my view violence is not something to use with a half effort.
Defeating the Hezbo's is an absolute necessity for Israel in defending their nation from thee missles and cross border raids. However, long term solutions can only occur when the nations sponsering these terrorists are either convinced to end their support or are severely punished for providing such support. What we are sitnessing curently is an open war between Israel and Syria/Iran. Israel fully realizes does everyone else....and that is why Syria is clearly scared, and why Iran is acting jittery.

You already know the answers to your other questions. That's what is so grating to me. Liberals know they are wrong on so many levels...but their hate for conservatism, and for the current administration of the executive branch overrides their better judgement and causes them to support things that they would never, otherwise dream of doing....the lust to regain their power is eclipsing their reasoned thought.

Greg L. Hampton - 8/7/2006

The Hezbo's plain miscalculated their enemy. Sadly alot of innocents are paying a stiff price for the Hezbo/Iran screwup...but Israel is doing exactly what they should be doing....eliminating the threat that their enemy poses. Hopefully it is a lesson that will be learned - again - by Israel's enemies - LEAVE ISRAEL ALONE. One would think after all the defeats the arabs and muslims have suffered after taking on Israel that they would finally grasp the concept that 1. Israel isn't gong to be wiped out 2. If they continure to try they themeves could very well be the ones getting wiped out. Iran/Syria/terrorists get their support from North Korea and the United Nations. Israel is supported by the United Sstates of America. There is no chance Israel will be allowed to be defeated. There is every chance, and indeed an every increasing likelyhood that Syria and Iran's current governments are squarely in the crosshairs of the Bush Doctrine.

Michael Dunning - 8/7/2006

Very well, I'll concede I misread the question. However, I'd still like some more information if you'd be so kind as to provide any.
And I'll thank you not to make fun of Captain Stubby!

Yehudi Amitz - 8/7/2006

Can you show us any of your postings against the genocide performed by Arabs in Darfur, by Russians in Chechnya or only Jewish self defense is unacceptable to you?

Greg L. Hampton - 8/7/2006

The Hezbo's are not interested in diarming because before their political interests they ARE a terrorist organization. Their charter is not a document of freedom for anyone, their aim - with every breath they take - is the destruction of Israel.

Yes, they pay some lip service to aiding their Palestinian brothers and sisters...but that is just the pretext..the excuse...the false face they want us to reality they are all about killine Jews and eliminating the Jewish state.

They are the pawns of Syria and Iran...of this there is little disagreement. Iran, as well as Syria, have long sought the destruction if Israel. The Hezbo's are simply a tool to achieve that end.

It's not going to happen though. Israel is much too detemrined to survive..and it's easily in the best interests of the US to support Israel.

Was Israel in preparation for offensive action in Lebanon? Well of course. That is where their immediate threat is - from the Hezbo's improperly esconsed in Southern Lebanon in open defiance of a UN resolution to disarm and allow the Lebonese Army to patrol that area under UN observation.

The problem here is not Israel, nor is it the US as some liberals might otherwise have you believe. The problem with all of this has been and continues to be the support for thugs, dictators, and terrorists. This support has taken one of two support for the vicious violence of these groups, or the same sickening appeasement that gave us WWII.

Israels actions, while having tragic consequencesfor many...will, if they are allowed to actually defeat their enemies, lead to a more peaceful Middle East. The world, including the US, hastried reigning Israel for decades...and have achieved nothing but prolonged agony for all concerned. The Hezbo's annoyed their giant enemy one too many times. It's time for us to stop tolerating terrorism and making ignorant excuses for what they do. It is time to follw the Bush Doctrine and the example we are seeing from Israel and defeal islamic fascism.

Yehudi Amitz - 8/7/2006

The only thing you "forget" to remember is that the "heroic" hezbollah uses human shields and of course in your infinite "love" for the Jews you would like the resupply lines for hezbollah left open. The OVEN theory always applies to Jews that can't defend themselves!

Jack Eckert - 8/7/2006

What was the scorecard last at? I believe the IDF had killed exponentially more Lebanese then Hezbollah had killed Israelis. Who's really being taken to the oven's here? Or is it those who have more/bigger bombs are allowed to kill more people?

If I remember correctly, the rockets didn't get fired into Israel until Israel's disproportionate use of force against Lebanon, when they turned the Beirut airport into rubble and set up the naval blockade.

If Israel has been successful in taking out Hezbollah's military capability, it has yet to be seen. It has come at a huge humanitarian cost, and this cost is unaccetpable. The "oven" theory does not apply.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

It was "KobaSHAVING" couple of weeks ago. Glad to see your sense of humour is maturing.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

If you can't tell the difference between demographics and polls, Mr. Dunning, no point in digging up stats for you. Don't worry about your appendages, can't find 'em without an electron microscope.

Yehudi Amitz - 8/7/2006

According to this red fascist propaganda master Jews shouldn't plan defense they should go quietly and in order to the ovens. You may call it "love"?!

Paul Mocker - 8/7/2006

What makes you think that Levine hates Jewish people?

Steven R Alvarado - 8/7/2006

I again pledge $50 for Professor Levine to use as travel expenses into the warzone. My suggestion is that he rent one of the Disney Cruise ships as their "peace ship". He, Juan Cole and Noam Chomsky can sail along the coast of Israel and sing "Its a Jew-free world after all".

Michael Dunning - 8/7/2006

Mr. Kovachev, from what I read you only made two points while the rest was fluff (or nonsensical fun, take your pick).

1) The Left, including the Jewish Left is noticeably collapsing.

Really? Last I looked the Republicans/conservatives were the ones with the lowest poll numbers.

2) Christian Conservatives in the US and even Europe, and Orthodox Zionists in the diaspora and in Israel are, meanwhile coasting along quietly and happily.

This seems to me to be more anecdotal evidence than anything approaching provable fact. If you would provide a source, I'd be happy to peruse it.

And please, Mr. Kovachev, stay away from my appendages.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Or he's saying that Hezbollah made a minor error.

They should have been better able to explain to the Iranians their value as wonderful human beings, rather than as mere mullah-fodder.

As in, "Thanks for your kind offer, gents, but we don't need those nasty rockets and things, just your millions for our social services division for the good people of Lebanon. We knew you'd understand."

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

You still have power in your basement command post, Mr. Baker? So sorry, the Israeli airforce can't be everywhere all the time, you know. Kindly send your global coordinates to the IDF. I'm too lazy to look up their website for you, so when you go a-looking, make sure you don't confuse it with that of the International Dairy Federation.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

An excellent point, Mr. Alvaro. This from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection:

-----begin quote -----

On December 4, 1915, Henry Ford (1863-1947) and over one hundred delegated and reporters left Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the steamship Oscar II bound for Christiana, Norway, the first port of call on an itinerary of peace meetings in nonbelligerant Europe. Less than a month before the Oscar II sailed, Rosika Schwimmer (1877-1948), who became the expedition's "general secretary," persuaded Ford to finance the voyage. The purpose of the Henry Ford Peace Expedition was the establishment of a conference of neutral nations which would seek to implement peace proposals through continuous mediation.

Although Ford left the expedition at Christiana (Oslo) for health reasons, the delegation visited European pacifists in Stockholm and The Hague before returning to the United States in January 1916. In late February, representatives from the European neutral nations met with a remnant of the Ford Peace Expedition to establish the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation (NCCM) at Stockholm. Several months later, the site of the sessions was transferred to The Hague. Work on proposals continued until the end of 1916, with Louis P. Lochner playing a key role in this attempt to encourage peace overtures and establish principles which could serve as the basis for an equitable peace settlement. (

---end quote----

Nothing like continuity in this world, especially for folks obsessed with Jews. In the same spirit of continuity, perhaps Mr. LeVine can get the Ford Foundation to sponsor his not-so-original brainstorm.

Of course Ford's expedition took place in comfort and safety among civilized folks, whereas LeVine's *SS Ship of Fools* would be heading towards an actual war zone and rely on the mercy of barbaric jihadists.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Indeed, Mr. Tooley & Hendrick, much more fun to respond to my horsing around than to any of my points. Fun and games.

Alas, your come-back skills wouldn't survive my mouthy 5-year old and your humour is as sour as a lime wedge, so let's cut the proverbial bull, hug each other and hold hands or any other appendages of your choice for courage, and see if you can daisy-chain your brains long enough to make a coherent response.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Guess what, Mr. Tuley, we're capable of interpreting Mr. LeVines latest agitprop rant and coming up with our own conclusions about it. No, pro forma disclaimers and half-hearted cynical attempts to come across as balanced, don't too work too well with some in this crowd here.

The elephant-in-the-room is the prickly question as to why now, after decades of suffering under Syria and Iran-sponsored Hizbollah jihadists are the LeVines getting all exercised about "supporting the Lebanese people." To some of us this is no great mystery; because only now can "support for the Lebanese people" result in interfering with IDF's military aims and delay them long enough to salvage some of the Iranian-paid infrastucture and Hizbollah as a viable force.

I note too that while fingers are wagging at Israel from your sector, there is little apart from vacuous generalities and weak mumbling about Hizbullah's daily barrage of rockets aimed at Israeli (Jewish and Arab) civilians or their deadly use of Lebanese civilians as human shield fodder. No offers to set up "peace camps" in Metula, Kiryiat Shimona or Haifa I note too.

But I'm actually not opposed to LeVine's "Peace Ship" pipe-dream ... too bad that you I, and Levine especially, know that there is no danger of that happening. Not before the Fall semester, anyway. Shucks. The idea that all you "progressives" might finally find useful employment by strapping yourself to Hizbollah rocket launch pads, thus collaterally improving our gene pool, is not without merit.

Steven R Alvarado - 8/7/2006

Didn't Henry Ford pull the same stunt during WWI?

Yehudi Amitz - 8/7/2006

For the propaganda master it doesn't matter that hezbollah kills Israelis but only

"that recklessly and selfishly played right into Israel's hands"

Even planing against an enemy who has 12000 rockets aimed against civilians it's a reason for blaming the Jews and IDF.
What happened with Lebanon it's very simple, before 7/12/2006 Lebanon had a social contract stating that as long as hezbollah kills only Jews and leaves the rest of the Lebanese alone to do their daily business the situation is OK. Now when the Jews try to changes the wicked social contract the red fascist propaganda is spreading its venom again. I wonder where the red fascists were when Syrians occupied Lebanon or when the Iranian and Syrian rockets kill women and children in Israel (two Arab Israeli children amongst them)?!

Joshua David Hendrick - 8/7/2006

Yes, and you "types," that is, you folks who enjoy the labels that define you, and who let your labels precede your actions, also seem to have no problem not knowing a thing about the topics you choose to engage. Fascinating!

Rant away my good man...hate mixed in with a little ignorance, historically, has proved quite productive.

Philip Tuley - 8/7/2006

Yep, as long as it doesn't cost them anything, require any of their time, or actually follow any of their religious tenets, they love helping people out.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

So sorry, obviously you are a man of great mystery and your beliefs are unfathomable. I guess you're NOT a fan of "Lebanese blonde"; forgive my presumption.

Philip Tuley - 8/7/2006

Boy, you two are a hoot and a holler, you know that?

No, seriously, I'm amazed you can put two and two together and come up with four. Mark's proposal is specifically aimed at supporting the Lebanese people. He's also stated that the intellectuals that are supporting Hezbollah are horribly misguided.

Yet, somehow, you equate helping the civillians in a country not at war with Lebanon, but who are victims of both Hezbollah and Isreal, with supporting Hezbollah.

Let me diagram it out for you -
Mark - condemns Hezbollah and Israel both, questions sanity of some of the left's intellectuals, proposes a peace ship to send humanitarian supplies to the civilians in Lebanon.

You - Somehow equate Mark's condemnation and plan with supporting the people he's condemning.

Your knee-jerk reactions to Mark are obviously not based on his actions, but rather on your own, blind, ideology. You would rather attack anything that comes from a source other than those you cherish, regardless of the validity of the point.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

I think he wants to float, not fly. Check his latest idea, his "peace ship" (post #94774). Let's all go for the SS Levine. Sounds like a party; pachouli oil-slick women, wild music, deep conversations and enough pot smoke wafting towards the Lebanese coast to make Hizbollah and the IDF throw down their arms, hug nicely and throw a big pot-luck party. And we'll get Ahmenedejad to spring for all that.

Philip Tuley - 8/7/2006

Wow, what a nice ad hominem there at the end. You have no idea who I am, nor what I really believe, so I'll accept the best wishes and leave it at that.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Of course I do, us Conservative types always feel good when we can help a fellow out.

Joshua David Hendrick - 8/7/2006

As long as you feel better...

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

What a novel idea, segilli Henrick Bey! Let's teach lazy American students the difference between croaking from an Al Qaeda or Hamas suicide bomb and a Hizbollah-fired Iranian missile and then, let's re-educate the Jews!

The only fly in your ointment, though, is demographics. The Left, including the Jewish Left is noticeably collapsing, probably thanks to from over-indulgence in family planning, late maturity (what is it now, mid-40s?) and aluring singles-lifestyles. Sad you might say, but a social group's inability to replace its members is the final sign of its iminent and probably deserved demise. Ignoring thousands of warnings costs.

But despair not; Christian Conservatives in the US and even Europe, and Orthodox Zionists in the diaspora and in Israel are, meanwhile coasting along quietly and happily where demographics, personal wealth, family integrity and mental health are concerned.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Mr. Tuley,

Your frustration is understandable. You must have been chomping at the bit for so long, with Syria squeezing Lebanon like a lemon for all these years, with Iran's little friend, Hezbollah, lording it over the Lebanese and such. Well, better late than ever, I suppose. What a coincidence in timing, though.

I should caution you that Mr. LeVine's Peace Train, I mean, Peace Ship, may not be his greates idea of the summer season. Israeli war ships won't let you near enough to even enjoy the sight of the photoshopped smoke plumes of Iran's hard-earned billions in infrastructure expenditure undergoing structural and molecular reconstitution. But if you do go, don't forget to pack a few ounces of domestic pot, since I doubt you'll get near enough to access some of that crazy Bekaa Valley blonde hash you've been hearing about. Good luck and my best wishes anyway.

Steven R Alvarado - 8/7/2006

I pledge $50 towards buying Professor Levine's airline ticket into the warzone, First class of course.

Joshua David Hendrick - 8/7/2006

Case in Point!


Joshua David Hendrick - 8/7/2006

Segilli Levine Bey,

I am both a student and an admirer, and I am most intersted in your thoughts in regard to the following. As a concerned global citizen, an American Jew, and an aspiring social scientist, I am becoming increasingly aware of what seems to me to be a fantastically large problem, a problem hinted at by two comments to this post so far. In your opinion, Dr. Levine, is there not a project to be completed here in the US? A project of perhaps equal importance to standing in front of buldozers and/or wearing orange vests in the middle of war zones? After being a TA for 4 years in (History and Sociology), I have become increasingly aware that much of the problem in regard to the perpetuation of the status quo is a problem of ignorance...that is, a general numbing of American society in general. As I am sure you know all too well from the performance of 50-80% of your undergraduates, and/or from striking up a conversation with ANY of their parents, the ignorance (apathy) of the American public is both shocking and daunting. While you and I might disseminate information in the classroom and on the page, who is disseminating information to Mr. Hughes above? Who is letting Mr. Hughes no the difference between "the jihadist," and Hezbollah? Between the Ikhwan, Hamas, and Al-Qu'ida? Who is letting Mr. Hughes know the difference between being Jewish and being a Zionist? Between Rabbi Michael Lerner and the Israeli High Rabbinical Council? My question: Is there not a project to be developed here at home? A project to educate "the Hillel generation" about the actual history of Israel, and to educate the general American about the complexity of politcal issues in that reagion we call the Middle East?

As I am conducting fieldwork in Turkey, and receiving somewhat curious emails from non-academic friends and family in regard to "the current situation", I decided to respond in a somewhat unorthodox manner.

Go to "How It Started" in the Categories section on the RIght.

Thanks so much, sorry for the length,


Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

Good points Mr. Henslee. Only, isn't "Amerika" more appropriately spelled as "Amerikkka"? We have to keep up with the times, you know.

Peter Kovachev - 8/7/2006

"If progressives really want to show solidarity and support for Palestinians, Lebanese, and Iraqis, we should be willing to travel to their countries, put our bodies on the line to stop the violence, and help develop the techniques of non-violent resistance, solidarity, and potentially at least, reconciliation, that made the anti-globalization movement so successful." (Mark LeVine)

A chuckle and then three hefty cheers and a hurray for Prof. LeVine's splendid idea for more and better human shields. Natives are inferior stock, it seems, so here comes our post-modern White Man's Burden cohorts. If he is somewhat under-employed this summer (perhaps his garage band ran out out bar acts?), I propose Mr. LeVine as the hallowed leader of this Idiot Children's Crusade. At the very least, he can strike a few heroic poses in front of a Merkavah tank, golden hair blowing in the hot khamsin, fist raised in defense of the ever-innocent Lebanese and ubiquitous "Palestinians." Then, back to his cubby-hole for the Fall semester to write his "How I Spent my Summer Vacation." Come to think of it, if his schedule does fill-up, he can strike his pose in front of the cafeteria air conditioner and have Reuters' Adim Hajj photoshop the whole scene. With that jiggly cloning stamp act, we can have our dear Mark look like he is holding off a whole IDF brigade with nothing but his guitar and laptop.

Well, thanks to Mark, The Guardian and the San Francisco Chronicle no less, we now know that Israel was simply following-up on long term plans to invade Lebanon and kill little Lebanese children for no other reason, I suppose, than that's what Zionists like to do best with their summer vacation. Hizbollah's border incursion, their killing of eight Israeli soldiers (forgotten by Mark) and the kidnapping of the two, and then the barrage of Iranian-made rockets (oops, forgot that one too) provided the "pretense" for Israel, not a causus belli (there never is a causus belli, actually). As confused, reluctant and slow to start Israel's response may have been, it was a still a well-palnned Zionist ploy obviously, because according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the IDF was ready with detailed Powerpoint presentations. Clever, those Jews.

No, the Left hasn't gone mad; it's only gotten sloppy with the program. Hence Mark's embarrassment with its hot-heads and his cry for a new "maskirovka.". By publicly chummying-up with its heroes ... Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, etc. ... the "progressive" forces threaten to further reveal themselves for what they are: Sympathisers, allies, enablers and felllow-travellers of the most murderous, hate-filled, racist and genocidal elements of the new century. They threaten to expose the fact that Fascism's and National Socialism's continuum lines do not actually run through the swastika-tattooed clubs of sub-morons, but through the usual channels of spoiled semi-intellectuals living off a potent brew of romantic futuristic dreams, antisemitism and anti-Americanism....not to mention student grands or their parents' money.

But the evidence for the progressives', anti-globalists' ... or whatever nom de guerre they operate under ... true nature is already evident They are not *for* specific people really, but people in *specific* roles, namely as useful fodder against Israel and the US. Thus, they couldn't care less about Darfurians, Kurds, Egyptian Christians, ordinary Lebanese, Iraquis, Palestinian Arabs and so on whenever they suffer grossly and massively under corrupt Arab regimes or Islamist movements. No Chomskys were willing to take up arms for them and no LeVines were willing to pretend to offer their lives to stop *that* violence. Odd? Not really; without the priviledged poltroons of the Western media to goad them and glorify them, without Jews as the ultimate target and without the IDF or Coalition forces to worry over their safety, they know that standing up to the Islamists will only get their precious heads sawed-off, all for a brief dinner-time snuff film on Al Jazeera. That's no fun, for sure.

William A. Henslee - 8/7/2006

Mr. LeVine is right! Let's not hear any more fadi fadi rhetoric.

Intellectuals who believe that Hezbollah doesn't really subscribe to violence as their answer to the continued existence of Israel "...should be willing to travel to their countries, put our bodies on the line to stop the violence..."

Mr. LeVine offers a practical sensible modest proposal that's sure to succeed--a "peace ship" full of progressives to show solidarity with Lebanese and Palestinians (and the odd mad Israeli) who support the aims and methods of Hezbollah.

For maximum effect, the destruction of this ship full of peace activists by unknown hands would provide the world with a perfect example of the genocidal and imperialistic aims of the Israelis and Amerika.

I have no doubt that the cynical Israelis would try to put the blame on Hezbollah and their supporting States---but would it really matter who did it if the progressive cause of anti-imperialism and the destruction of the most evil force in the world was advanced by their deaths?

adam richard schrepfer - 8/7/2006

Didn't the article imply that Chomsky was lending support to Hezbollah?

Lawrence Brooks Hughes - 8/7/2006

I wondered why so much of the left had abandoned Israel lately, and thank you for the answer. It is part of the "capitalist war machine." That explains everything. But I do believe the jihadists will behead leftists just as fast as right-wingers when le jour de gloire gets here--maybe faster.

Robert Hauer - 8/7/2006

You made seven statements and each one got dumber and dumber. They all begged the question so please explain them.

So exactly what is this clear foreign policy the “Right” possesses and its wonderful results so far, foreign and domestic? Who on the “Left” “supports the resistance against Israel – exactly who are “they”? Why do you agree with the author that violence solves little and yet at the same time say the war(violence) should be expanded? Who on the “Left” are giving support to those firing rockets killing civilians? Who on the “Left” are supporting terrorism and how are they doing it? Which policy can a Democrat not be linked to ever again? How are out-of-touch intellectuals backing the wrong side and who are they?

michael Randolph stephenson - 8/7/2006

The Left has no more clear direction in foreign policy than it does in domestic affairs it would seem. They decry violence against Hezbollah and support the "resistance" against Israel and the US (indeed the West in general). There is no doubt that the author is correct that violence is probably going to solve very little and the only way that the Israelis can succeed is to expand the war against Syria and Iran (the major suppliers of terrorism. This will not happen as long as the US is bogged down in Iraq. The Left supposedly is against violence yet they give support to people who fire rockets into cities with the intent of killing non-combatants. This is terrorism and the members of the Left support it. No Democrat can ever afford to be linked to this policy and once again out of touch intellectuals back the wrong side.

Jonathan Dresner - 8/7/2006

So you're saying this is what happens when the Cuban Missile Crisis goes bad...

Mark A. LeVine (UC Irvine History Professor) - 8/7/2006

if i have not responded to your email to my university account, please resend. my latest idea is what i am calling the "peace ship". i am posting it now. It is very easy to feel totally powerless in such a situation, but in speaking with friends in Beirut and also in israel, they appreciate that people here are at least trying to do something, so it's not in vain.

Mark A. LeVine (UC Irvine History Professor) - 8/7/2006

i believe the planning, and the fact that they were advertizing what was going to happen, was a not so subtle warning to Hezbollah not to deploy the advanced missiles Iran was sending them, which could threaten Israeli nuclear, not to mention civilain, sites. Hezbollah did not listen to the warning, at least in part in my mind because it felt that if israel started another war, it would end as the last one: withdrawal in what to the world looks like defeat. And this would only make Hezbollah stronger.

We shall see if the logic was right. The main losers, of course, are the Lebanese people, and increasingly Israelis as well (and let's not forget Palestinians, however convenient it is to do so

Jonathan Dresner - 8/6/2006

the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Israel's planning for a “coming invasion” of Lebanon, complete with Power Point presentations to foreign journalists and dignitaries, over a year ago.

Without a lot more background information, I don't see how this proves anything about Israeli intentions. I assume that most competent militaries have strategic contingency plans with regard to most of their likely enemies, and given the situation in south Lebanon, it'd be frankly unprofessional for the Israeli military not to have such a plan.

Philip Tuley - 8/4/2006

I agree with you that Hezbollah should have renounced violence a long time ago. Simply put, when they were in the midst of building the hospitals, schools, and housing for the Lebanese, they could have done the switch that the Irish National Liberation Army (an offshoot of the IRA) did in the early 90s. The INLA renounced violence, and took the money they were spending on weapons and put it into the local schools, and volunteer there. The impact has been impressive.

So, I guess the question that I need to pose is "what can those of us who cannot afford the travel to the area do?" What do we do to have an impact on the growing conflict and the broader issues of imperialism, globalism, and even, for lack of a better term, psuedo-colonialism?

Letter writing seems futile these days, when Senator Feinstein won't respond to someone who volunteered during her mayoral and early Senate campaigns it says something about the arrogance of our politicians, and so many in the rural areas either are uninformed, or are uninterested. (Ah, the joys of being a newspaper flack in a small, rural county.)

To whom should we lend support? Who do you see as legitimate in their efforts?

Oh, by the way, I left an email in your university email account, I would like to correspond a bit, I have an article in mind.