Reality Check: What you’re not supposed to think about

“655,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Who are the terrorists?”
-Rosie O’Donnell from The View comparing U.S. activities with Islamic terrorism

Since Rosie O’Donnell has recently “got quit” from her job on The View (or rather, had her pre-existing plans for departure greatly accelerated) because of uttering this sentence, it is worth taking a second to explore the veracity of Rosie’s statement.

If we take the total confirmed attacks by Al Queda against the West (broadly understood) we have 5 acts of terrorism in total.  The 1993 WTC Bombing which killed 6. The 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole which killed 17. The September 11th attacks which killed 2974. The 2004 Madrid bombings which killed 191. And, lastly, the 2005 bombings in London, England which killed 52.

So, Al Qaeda has claimed a total of 3240 fatalities in the West.

Now America’s activities abroad are far too numerous to either delineate or to quantify, so, for simplicity’s sake, let’s limit it only to US involvement in the country of Iraq since the enactment of UN resolution 667 in 1990 up to the present.

The Gulf War and the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq throughout the 90s up until 2003 killed a total of approximately 1,000,000 (source).  And, from 2003 up until the present, according to the best and most thorough statistical project undertaken the U.S.  has killed approximately 651,000 in the Iraq War.

reality-check-us-versus-al-qaeda.pngSo, the U.S. has claimed a total of 1,651,000 (approximately — interesting how we don’t bother to count their fatalities isn’t it?).

Keep in mind this figure pertains only to the fatalities since 1990 and that this pertains only to fatalities the U.S. caused in the country of Iraq.  We could have just as easily included U.S. involvement in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and a host of other countries which undoubtedly would have made the data more interesting, but I think this makes the point.

Let us put this into perspective another way.  If a U.S. politician stood up and said that he’d kill 100 Iraqis for every one U.S. soldier killed, he would be considered a moderate since the U.S. has killed on average over 500 Iraqis for every one Westerner killed by Al Qaeda.

Now this isn’t intended to get into a debate over motivation or reasons for engaging in these horrible killings.  Everybody has reasons for the things they do and anybody can justify their actions (at least to themselves).  But, objectively, it is more than obvious that Rosie O’Donnell statement was actually conservative and an underestimation.

But, there are some things we (the people who are hated for our freedoms) are not supposed to think about and this, apparently, is one of them.

255 Responses to “Reality Check: What you’re not supposed to think about”

  1. 1 Polly Jones 26 May, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Great post. If you saw the clip from Wednesday’s view, Rosie was quick to point out that her statements get spun in the media along the lines of: “big, scary, lesbian Rosie attacks little, helpless Elizabeth”. By demonizing Rosie, the media is able to detract from the real issue: brutal US imperialism.

  2. 2 James 27 May, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Dude, your full of it – THEY STARTED IT! If we don’t kill them first they’ll kill all of us.

    I for one support America – it’s communist liberal retards like you who are destroying our country.

  3. 4 OpenYourEyes 27 May, 2007 at 10:55 am


    Since when is Europe, and middle east countries part of the USA? The stupid government policy of having a military base in every freaking corner of the world and imposing “democracy” down their throats. We do now want communists imposing communism in the US, we do not want any country imposing sanctions on our economy or manipulating it for self profit, and we certainly do not want another countries military policing our streets – Why should they? If someone INVADES your house, would you do something about it or sit and take it? Why should they?

  4. 5 no one 27 May, 2007 at 10:58 am

    no, we started it. we invaded Iraq when they had nothing to do with 9/11

    there were no WMD’s

    there was no Al queda in Iraq ( because of religious differences Saddam would never support Al Queda)

    besides the fact that we created AL Queda in Afghanistan to fight the soviets when they invaded.


    we put saddam in power in the first place.

    we’re the bad guys. get over it.

  5. 6 alter 27 May, 2007 at 11:01 am

    It’s people like the first commenter “James” that bother me the most. The “they started it” defense is probably the most arrogant and ignorant possible thing one can claim. Please learn about the history of this entire effort before you support or decry it. You only come off as a fool, and as one of the contributors to the reason that Americans are increasingly being considered ignorant and decreasingly being admired and supported around the world.

  6. 7 Kris 27 May, 2007 at 11:12 am

    James — Yes, indeed, they started it — it had nothing at all to do with foreign interference in their homelands. You overthrow a government and put people you like in charge and then they sh*t all over the common citizens but they should be happy. Afterall, we know whats best for them. You give money and arms into a countries defense force to keep foreigners out but seem to expect them to owe you favors the rest of their existence. We see markets for second-rate plastic goods and items which people in some of these countries never wanted or needed, bombard them with advertisements which deface their traditional values and beliefs and then are shocked when they chafe under the pressure you’re forcing on them.

    I don’t condone terrorism, but I find the argument that they started it extremely distasteful. And I am also somewhat wondering how you can go through life day to day terrified that “they’ll kill all of us”; we kill more people on a daily basis in car crashes then died during the September attack. Apparently you were never raised by parents who told you to try and “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” . . .

  7. 8 Josef 27 May, 2007 at 11:16 am

    “Dude, your full of it – THEY STARTED IT!”

    If by “THEY STARTED IT” you mean that after we made military bases in their countries, fucked with their cultures and attempted to control their governments they acted back in the only way they could. Then yes, they “started it”. /rolleyes.

    “If we don’t kill them first they’ll kill all of us.”

    Just think about that argument for a second. This is a country of 300 million people. Do you really believe, even for a second, that if we stopped the war, and stopped our failed interventionist policies all around the world that a small group of extremists, who we would no longer even be angering, would manage to kill all 300 million Americans? Yeah… didn’t think so.

    Please James. Think before you… actually, just don’t speak. Ever. Please never speak again James. Until you have had a rational, reasonable thought not driven by blind adherence to a failed government policy, please don’t ever speak again.

  8. 9 Polly Jones 27 May, 2007 at 11:43 am

    My comments don’t seem to come through on here.

  9. 10 Uzair 27 May, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Dude, I think you mean ‘veracity’, not ‘voracity’. Mistake or Freudian slip? You decide…

  10. 11 Gavin 27 May, 2007 at 11:59 am

    When did deaths start to equal terrorism? Are all the people killed in WWII victims of “terrorism?”

    You can certainly argue that the US has killed a lot more people, but to conflate that with terrorism is entirely inaccurate.

    Additionally, it seems a little unfair to blame the US for every death that has taken place, when so much of the violence is continuation of a civil war that’s been going on for centuries, and will continue long after we’ve gone.

    Personally I think we were deceived into war and that it’s been a collosal blunder, but that doesn’t give us the right to call any deaths that occur terrorism perpetrated by the United States. Distortions on every side can cause critical errors.

  11. 12 james 27 May, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    if you really want to play the numbers you need to look at the number of people killed and the gdp per capita, once you multiply that out its more or less even

  12. 13 Joebob 27 May, 2007 at 12:11 pm


    The comment made at the start by James was a classic “troll” and you all fell for it – hook, line, and sinker. Maybe all 4 of you are new to the Internet? Your posts seem to be reasonably intelligent so why did you all get suckered in by something so blatantly obvious? Maybe you guys need to take a primer course on basic Internet knowledge….

  13. 14 Exotic Electron 27 May, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    James, DUDE, research our UN Security Council vetoes going back to 1949 and educate yourself.

    This is the battle. Educating the electorate to the realities of the situation, a merit our media has yet to embrace.

  14. 15 Exotic Electron 27 May, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    If you knew my garbage man you would not think this a troll…

  15. 16 Fun Boy 27 May, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    “When did deaths start to equal terrorism? Are all the people killed in WWII victims of “terrorism?””

    You’re right. We are not engaged in terrorism…

    We are like Germany invading Poland… just occupying their wimpy little country.

  16. 17 Rick 27 May, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    yeah, they are teh beardy wimps!!!!1 lolz

  17. 18 Pradeep 27 May, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I wish the violence and the killings would all end and someone could say let there be peace and there would be PEACE!

  18. 19 aviet_error 27 May, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    dude, james wasn’t a troll… he was kidding. “i for one..” is a dead give away.

    but i agree. you communist liberal retards… you all clearly hate america.

  19. 20 Ralph Dosser 27 May, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    There’s a reason the US government refuses to strictly define “terrorism.” Any rational definition of the term would describe acts that the US commits every day, and has done for centuries.

  20. 21 paulitics 27 May, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Just wanted to point out to those of you who may be new to this site: I’m not an American, so it’s a bit rich to say that I’m ruining “our” country.

  21. 22 paulitics 27 May, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    PS – Fun Boy, since war IS terrorism, I don’t think I’m conflating those two terms.

    “Organized violence against a civilian population to achieve an objective”. That’s the U.S. Army’s definition of terrorism and that’s my definition of terrorism. And that supports my argument.

  22. 23 anonymous 27 May, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    It’s an interesting argument. However, it seems fallacious to equate war with terrorism. Civilian casualties in a war is a byproduct of achieving a goal–whether the goal is just or not–whereas an act of terrorism is deliberately slaughtering innocent citizens. It is logical to say that the Iraq “War” is causing more harm than the terrorists did, but to say, or at least hint, that the War is an act of terrorism is exaggerated in my opinion.

  23. 24 paulitics 27 May, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Anon – if you read the documentary record pertaining to the bulk of US-caused fatalities in Iraq, the bulk of them were caused by sanctions. And if you read the justification of these sanctions published BY THE US GOVERNMENT, the sanctions were designed to “make the civilian population of Iraq uncomfortable”.

    I don’t think my argument’s exaggerated at all.

  24. 25 Londo 27 May, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    What a complete load of biased, collectivist, anti-american crap. long live free markets!

  25. 26 Fun Boy 27 May, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    No no.. I was making a snarky joke about how the US is pretty much doing what Germany did at the beginning of WWII… invade some defenseless countries that never attacked us cause we didn’t like them.

    Heaven forbid the general american populous wakes up and realizes the parallels…

  26. 27 Brent 27 May, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Burn in hell commie. You are my enemy.

  27. 28 paulitics 27 May, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Polly Jones – Sorry about your posts not showing up. For some reason when a post is very popular on WordPress (and I’ve had over 3000 hits on this post today alone) it seems to have a harder time figuring out what is and is not spam. I’ve recovered all of your comments now.

  28. 29 johan 27 May, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    I for one support America


  29. 30 Lenina 27 May, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t think the US military killing civilians is terrorism at all – but this doesn’t mean its any less awful than it is

    terrorism has now just become a word like racism that you lob at people you don’t like, it carries to much emotive weight that it starts to end rational arguments as soon as its deployed

  30. 31 Sigh 27 May, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Bush’s definition of a terrorist:

    Someone that has a bomb, but can’t afford an air force.

  31. 32 "J" 27 May, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    What is it exactly that makes someone who is against the unlawful invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation and the deaths of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians a communist, unpatriotic, or anti-american? Could it be that people who say these things can’t defend their argument with facts and logic, so they revert to name calling like a 3 year old.

  32. 33 jacks0n 27 May, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Doesn’t “Shock and Awe [Iraq with our military power]” mean the same thing as “Inspire fear [in Iraq with our military power]?” True, we aren’t specifically targeting civilians, that I have seen, but the goal is the same – to inspire terror in the population, in order to accomplish an objective: in this case, scaring the Iraqis into submission. Same goal as Al Qaeda, trying to scare America into submission (or maybe get us engaged in a hopeless war in the Middle East).

  33. 34 intellectualbeatoff 27 May, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Hey check out our piece on the Iraq war. Thanks for a great posting.

  34. 35 Mike 27 May, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    The U.S. does have an official term for terrorism. It’s “The unlawful use of violence for political, religious or ideological purposes”. The U.S. would argue that it’s violence is lawful as it was authorized by NATO, and every american, when we voted for our Commander of the Armed Forces. If Americans were so against violence, why is it still going on? The fact is Americans are ALL ABOUT war. The war against terrorism, the war on drugs, the battle to be thin…. I served my armed forces for the past 5 years (Marines) and if the Commandant of the Marine Corps called me up and said it was time to overthrow our government, I would gear up and take the hill. Capital hill. Isn’t it funny that theres only about 1,000 people at the top of our government fucking over the other 300 million of us? Wild

  35. 36 Anne Other 27 May, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    T-shirt idea:

    “I support the war on terror.”

    (In fine print: The first and only state in history to be convicted of state-sponsored international terrorism by the World Court is… the USA.)


    Wikipedia quote:

    “In the 1980s the United States was convicted by the International Court of Justice (World Court) for ‘unlawful use of force’, killing Nicaraguans for political purposes and supporting a proxy-terrorist force, the Contras.[30] This made it the first and only state in history to be convicted of state-sponsored international terrorism by the World Court.”

  36. 37 Al 27 May, 2007 at 3:11 pm


    Bin Laden’s power-base was created with American financing, they were supported and armed by America.

    Sadaam Hussein was financed and armed by America.

    George Bush Snr sold out the entire Iraqi population at the end of the first Gulf War, making a false promise to oust the Baathists, on which he reneged like a two faced liar. As a consequence Sadaam killed and tortured millions and consolidated his power base. Hardly surprising that so many Iraqis think America is a nation of two-faced lying wankers.

    America is totally complicit with regimes conducting torture around the world – Saudi Arabia for one.

    America and Saudi Arabia are behind the civil war in Lebanon and are currently, right now, supplying arms to Sunni terrorist groups there.

    Personally I like America as a nation of people. But your government and military are behaving like terrorists all over the globe. To me you are just as bad as the Islamists, there is nothing to choose between you. You are both warmongerers, and your arguments and rationales are just as unintelligent and bigoted as one another’s.

  37. 38 Londo 27 May, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    I love it when retards quote Wikipedia.

  38. 39 Duffy 27 May, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    You guys are sheep! Don’t you recognize “James” for what he really is? This is a regular tactic on many political blogs – The blog poster posts a comment using another name/account with the opposite, and often poorly represented, viewpoint to drum up comments that back them up.

    “James” doesn’t exist!

  39. 40 Dave 27 May, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    If you read the source report titled “Annual mortality rates and excess deaths of children under five in
    Iraq, 1991-98” that you quoted never once does it mention the United States. The United Nations is the only body it mentions. United Nations sanctions are different then United States imposed. There are many countries that involved and you blaming the U.S. is simply wrong. As far as your other source it also is wrong in the fact that the U.S. is not building bombs and placing them indiscriminately around the country and blowing people up. The insurgents are not even targeting only U.S. forces. They are blowing up markets and job centers. You can’t blame the U.S. for this. Unless you can argue that Bush had a crystal ball and could see that the war would end up like this you can’t blame the U.S. totally for this.

  40. 41 hildigunnur 27 May, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    heh, well, there were just SO MANY people, apparently with crystal balls, that predicted very accurately how this war would end that Dave’s argument doesn’t stick.

  41. 42 JoeDuck 27 May, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Is your math here consistent? You seem to be saying that by destabilizing Iraq the US is responsible for all the deaths even though most of the death is from sectarian violence? This is a common approach now but I simply don’t get it. Shia guy kills Sunni guy and this is considered a US killing. It would be clearer to assign responsibility to those who actually kill people. Using the 650k estimate is also problematic until the huge discrepancy with Iraq Body Count’s 65k estimate is resolved (this cross checking is underway).

    Another unclear part of the dialog is that both sides are failing to separate the decision to go into Iraq from the decision about whether to stay in Iraq.

    It now appears unreasonable to say that it was wise to go in and depose Saddam given the destabilizing effect that had on Iraq and the lack of WMDs, and the cost in lives and money. However most here and in Iraq seem to believe that if the US leaves Iraq the violence will be far greater than now, with far more innocents killed. Advocates of pulling out at the *very least* need to address whether the US has a responsibility to the people of the country it destabilized, especially the innocent people who are just trying to avoid the violence.

  42. 43 amanda13 27 May, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    i really don’t understand how the majority of americans still support the ‘war’. bush waged a ‘war on terrorism’. but isn’t the act of invading a country without provacation as he has done so far to both afghanistan and iraq an act of terrorism in itself? there were no wmd’s. no links to 911. if it is not a ‘just’ war then it is state terrorism surely?

  43. 44 johnluvr1339 27 May, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    my sad side sighs, as I once again see why humans cannot be trusted with the technology that could carry them to the stars. We are way too confrontational and warlike, mean, viscious… etc. to be loosed into the outer galaxies. :(

  44. 45 Shaun Apple 27 May, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    This is exactly the kind of contraindications that my web site tries to always point out. Love Across Borders.

  45. 46 gman1948 27 May, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Yeah, OK…..numbnuts, your like the drugged out hippies of the Vietnam era (Who are now the CEOs of our nations economy…can you say sellouts?) They claim something like 6,000,000 deaths in Vietnam caused not by the VC and North Vietnam Regulars, but by the USA! Thats like 50% of the population and total BS.

    The Iraqi ragheads are killing doxzens of their own people everyday..100X more that the USA precision bombing! Your full of horsepooky!

  46. 47 thoughtengine 27 May, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Amanda; The majority of Americans are against the war. We were hoaxed, bamboozled, and hustled by our own government…

    read the book “1984” to see exactly how they did it.

  47. 48 johnluvr1339 27 May, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    re: “Let there be peace”: there was someone who said that.. (this is ancient history now) … and people.. common little people sort of followed him.. but he died. They shot him.

  48. 49 gman1948 27 May, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    OH……a post script……….There would be no USA casualties in Iraq if the USA followed my lead. On 9/12/2001, I would have hit every major Muslim city on the planet in every Muslim country, yes Mecca and Medina especially, with 10 megaton nuclear missiles.

    Kill them all, let God sort them out!

  49. 50 Doug 27 May, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Congrats on the popularity, Paul. Sorry it had to be a bunch of idiots.

  50. 51 U.S.A.! 27 May, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    The entire Middle East should be made into a glass parkinglot!

  51. 52 confuzed 27 May, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    are you honestly saying that U.S. soldiers have actually killed 650,000 Iraqis? and that not a single iraqi has been killed by Al Qaeda?

    are U.S. troops lining up iraqs each day , 500 at a time, and shooting them? is that what you saying?

  52. 53 poop 27 May, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    The situation doesn’t have to be exactly like WW2 to be extremely bad for the world. You guys are acting like if we are not exactly doing what the nazis did, then we are off the hook. WRONG.

  53. 54 Patrick Britton 27 May, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    It’s never really a good thing to take stance with Rosie, she’s a morally inept individual that has absolutely nothing that qualifies her to speak on such issues. I think you want to mince arguments and find a way to claim we are the terrorists and it’s your right to do so but I have to disagree. I feel America has a very large footprint and that is the reason we have been targeted, it’s easy to see how we anger so many people. America doesn’t have bad intentions when it comes to these deaths, they (terrorists) are trying to extinguish us and we kill to protect our freedoms (seems the popular motto anyway). As such a large country if we don’t stand out and make ourselves known as the big boss we will be screwed, 9/11 will be very small in comparison if we do not fight them where they are; they will bring it here.

    Either way you’re observations are solid and hard to argue with, perhaps we are no better?

  54. 55 Chuck 27 May, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    You are so misquided.

  55. 56 Bang Mandor 27 May, 2007 at 10:02 pm


    Well i have read book ” a confession of hitman” (sorry i rather forget the exact book title). West (capitalist) tried to fool asian and other countries.

    Are moslems terrorist? I think they are just defend their pride with everithing they could afford, including suicide bomb.

    The true Islam preaching didn’t allowed the prisoners were treated as animal, USA did it, UNO just be quited.


  56. 57 Razib 27 May, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Americans made aggrason to Iraq for their oil, and just showed the cause of terrorism. If they couldn’t find Laden, surely they would find another cause..!

    Canvas of life – The lives of real people

  57. 58 AusPost 27 May, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    It’s the strong lobbies that took US to War and maybe the idea of getting re elected. The leaders fooled thier own country and invaded Iraq which lead to break up of the existing system (it was bad) but if only got worse and hence the deaths, I respect France because they saw it coming but the US does not care for life – others or there own really. Ask your self again and again what right has US in Iraq in the first place.. bloody liers… frauds, cheats and murderers. Iraq could not attack US and now US citizens are more hunted then ever – offcourse if you kill some ones dad, don’t expect the person to forgive you. Eventually US is going to implode but before it does the US citizens will become prisoners in there own country.

    The whole argument of preemptive attacks is morally and ethically wrong also brings back the law of the jungle. Why can’t X attack Y because it thinks something is going to happen. Why can’t I bloddy well kill my nosiy neighbors who I think might plan to attack me next week?

    The US is not for one ever after of other people, only self interest in oil, keeping Isreal happy and running defence industries and let’s face it the media plays along. It’s happening again.

  58. 59 dasickis 27 May, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    It’s amazing how there’s so much intelligent conversation and finger pointing, but there’s no action. No practical plan of how we should get out of Cheney’s multi-billion profiteering scheme. Everyone is so heavily involved in playing the blame game. Sure let’s go back to 1776 and figure out every bad deed we committed, but how’s that going to help the current state. Will less people die arguing about who did what when and where? Or will somehow someone scream “Enough!” and everyone will think “Whoa! This war is killing us!” and peace will resonate the world? Or is it just that no one has a clear idea of what to do. So to fill our time we argue instead of collaborate. We read up on history instead of controlling it. And speak instead of think.

    I mean I have tried to see how this could be solved, but the best I came up with is someone else’s idea. The person claimed that we should divide Iraq into its religious groups and give each part to a corresponding country. For example, the Sunni part of Iraq to Saudi Arabia, the Shia part to Iran, and then finally the Kurd part to Jordan. The countries would extend their borders to each of these groups to stifle violent competitions. Additionally, we lessen our harsh control on Iran and allow them to continue their nuclear program. Are they going to attack us? We could shoot down every nuke, before it reached us… If your fear is they’ll destroy Israel, I don’t think that would happen[1]. Their nuclear program would allow them to keep a military counter-balance so they don’t get pushed by USA.

    Off course it’s not perfect nor is it flawless, but at least I’m trying to push my efforts in creating some kind of plan we can work towards. Even if the US government doesn’t do what we want, at least there’s a vision we can look to. Right now we’re all in the middle of a dark tunnel of chaos with no direction. We just need someone to shine some light.


  59. 60 Akonx 27 May, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    I guess we have to distinguish between “US govt” and “US citizen”. Because the govt doesn’t seem to really represented their citizen’s will.

    In my opinion nowadays we have “legal” terrorism and “illegal” terrorism. But both are still terrorism anyway =)

  60. 61 dasickis 27 May, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    Will less people die arguing about who did what when and where? should be
    Will less people die, if we argue about who did what when and where?

  61. 63 peoplesgeography 27 May, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Great post. It also comes as the ratio of deaths in the Israel-Palestine conflict jumped from 1:4 over much of the last forty years to 67:1 in 2006. War is the biggest terrorism.

  62. 64 bluesilver 27 May, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    You know, I really never thought about it that way.
    I don’t know, America has been so uptight lately.
    It’s like saying, “You can have your opinion and defend it, so long as it’s what we want to hear”.
    You don’t see war supporters and the like being bashed and met with hostility for stating and supporting their opinion, yet if an opinion is unorthadox, or strange, it gets frowned upon.

    I personally don’t think the US should be in Iraq, forcing democracy down their throats.
    First of all, how would we react if a bunch of people invaded our country and told us how to run our government? Let’s just say, it wouldn’t be pretty.
    Secondly, how long did it take America to get where we are today? A long effing time. It’s not going to happen in Iraq overnight, even if the people do want a change.
    Maybe they do, I don’t know, but it’s not right for us to be the catalyst for that change. I pretty much think that we have no business being there; we should concentrate on our own country, instead of trying to force our ideals upon another.

  63. 65 MJ 27 May, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    It’s unfair when Rosie had to resigned because she dared to present this phrase in the public. Doesn’t US encourage critical thinking and analyzing information, discussions?

    When there’s mass war/fight, it’s very hard to get accurate information.

    Why did US provided training and arms to Saddam & Al-Qaeda in the first place? For money, power and hopefully an exchange to control oil? When Saddam & Al-Qaeda attack US, does it make them worse or better than US? Saddam and Al-Qaeda too caused a lot of suffering and deaths in their own country and other countries.

  64. 66 gwaltrip 27 May, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    655,000 Iraqis? Gimme a break. Those numbers are ridiculous. Fat Rosie also thinks that 9/11 was an inside job. She’s a flaming nutcase. No doubt it includes the number of children alleged to have died during the Western embargo agains Iraq following the Gulf War – when money allotted to Saddam from oil sales was to be used for medicines for children and he spent it on armaments instead. But that’s our fault, isn’t it?

    So you believe in Socialism? Why not the Tooth Fairy or the Abominable Snowman? Socialism is the biggest economic disaster that has ever been tried. Only losers who want something for nothing support Socialism, and they want a government who will act as their personal mugger to steal from the productive to give it to them.

  65. 67 The Infidel Sage 27 May, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    What hogwash. If 651,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed (and the implication seems to be by the US, most deaths in Iraq are Iraqi on Iraqi) since the invasion you’d think someone would have noticed. They would be tripping over the mounds of bodies in the streets. Gross exaggeration for the sake of political gain is pathetic and only takes away from the true tragedies that take place in war.

  66. 68 good 27 May, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    I haven’t read any of the comments but regarding the original article……that is great news…I wish the number was higher….if you mess with the U.S. you are going to have to pay…….pretty good deterrent to any future hostilities against us…..

  67. 69 paulitics 27 May, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    The numbers presented were of the best statistical surveys completed in Iraq using the same techniques the US government uses to assess fatalities after massive disasters such as Katrina.
    If you question these numbers, please, feel free to explain why you’re a better epidemiologist than Les Roberts and the team of doctors who conducted the surveys. Also feel free to present what you consider to be more reliable peer-reviewed, primary data.

  68. 70 good 27 May, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I don’t question the numbers….I just wish they were higher….again….pretty good deterrent

  69. 71 good 27 May, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    This is a travesty. My tax payer dollars have only resulted in “(insert whatever b***s**t number here)” I’ll be happy to donate some ammo to keep the fighting far far away. Keep it up army, navy, air force, marines. Make us proud. Get those numbers up.

  70. 72 paulitics 28 May, 2007 at 12:09 am

    Good – Not everything is about you. I was referring to gwaltrip & The Infidel Sage, not to you or your previous asinine comment.

  71. 73 good 28 May, 2007 at 12:56 am

    paulitics – you are an idiot. Canada (a.k.a. America junior) owes its existence to the U.S. If we didn’t do something about terrorism…who would?… We are the defenders of freedom. al queda would rape Canada and the rest of the world if it could. The only thing in the way is the USA …….oh…also, yes everything is about me.

  72. 74 Afnan 28 May, 2007 at 1:01 am

    I think that both American government and Al-Qaeda are terrorists. There is no question of bigger or…Lesser evil or bigger evil evil is evil. But i want to raise a question here that what was the source of Al-Qaeda. It was that so called Jihad against Soviet Union in 80’s that created Al-Qaeda and America at that time supported it. But now when it does’nt suits America they are against it. I equally blame Al-Qaeda here that why they became the arm of America then and why are they against America now. Think over it.

  73. 75 Afnan 28 May, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Nothing can be achieved from what America is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan and what Al-Qaeda did on September 11 or the other attacks they carried out on Americans.

  74. 76 codesmithy 28 May, 2007 at 1:27 am

    I just wanted to say this is an excellent post. I can’t help but wonder if all the commenters that support brutal U.S. foreign policies would be the same ones screaming “Death to America” if they happened to have born in a country that the U.S. forcibly subjugates to its will. Would they be as quick in their calls to turn the Middle East into a glass parking-lot or kill more people if they had friends or loved-ones who lived there?

    Regardless, one thing I do find annoying is any debate of this kind must be done on estimates. The fact that it is intentional is undeniable. It is meant to deflect criticism through apparent uncertainty. However, even with the uncertainty, it doesn’t change the truth of the matter. The U.S. government has killed a horrific number of people in Iraq, directly and indirectly, through its policies. Above and beyond any conscionable ratio that could be considered just or a mistake. Thank you for being brave enough to say it.

  75. 77 Akonx 28 May, 2007 at 2:14 am

    I think the people behind this war have their own motives. Not for US, not for world. But for their own wealth. Oil? we never know.. =(

  76. 78 kronstadter 28 May, 2007 at 2:19 am

    And I was seriously starting to think that the American blogosphere is all about Conservative and right-wing nationalist nut-jobs who don’t know a damned thing about the world outside.

    Thank you, for correcting my impression of the American blogosphere.

    Great post, and keep them coming!

  77. 79 Wanna be American 28 May, 2007 at 3:17 am

    Guys Americans here this.

    I am an asian and because of that during my younger years I always thought you Americans as the ultimate race superb down to earth I used to cried why did God made me an asian not an American like you!

    But now you American are sick as hell! You are given all your worldly superiority just to be burn in hell! You are the real terrorist! You are not even a liberator, not even a peacemaker. You are conspiracict, Evil!

    I am proud not to be American now! Damn Americans only watch CNN and there are blinded and stupid! Sick!

  78. 80 micky 28 May, 2007 at 3:20 am

    I was ready to try and make some kind of a revealing and educating post here. But by the time I read half of these post’s I was so tired of all the mundane , futile, generic left and right predictable arguements { and distortions linked to agendas} I decided to ask a couple questions.
    Could this type of opinion and print survive in any number of countries that he claims have been treated so badly by America? Could I play this all in reverse in Iraq or Afganistan 10 or 11 years ago ? Probably not without getting tortured by my own goverment. Hes a socialist.
    Here in America we tolerate all beliefs even intolerant ones like his.
    If he is ever up shit creek he will come crying to us.
    If he botherd to look past his pre-ordained mentallity he would see that socialism over the last 60-70 yrs. is becoming less and less popular.And expensive and unproductful at the same time.
    I’m not coming back to this

  79. 81 Ammar 28 May, 2007 at 4:00 am

    A very awesome and reality check post.i m a Muslim from Pakistan and i dont go against anyone more than to think whos wrong.i know Al-Qaeda is the biggest thread and nearly 99% muslims hate em coz they think they r God.but on the other hand if u think the reason they so called ‘suicide bombing’ and attack on US soil’ is for the fact that US is ordering normal muslim citizens to be killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and many more places.hey US dont come with a genuine reason for killing they say he was linked to terrorist.this whole thing gotta fall on US government(Bush administration).why?coz he ordered attack on iraq for the reason they have nuclear weapons and they didnt! i belong to Islam,i dont what these mullah’s and extremist groups r doing.there is no wat in Quran it said to kill innocent lives infact Quran/Islam teaches tolerance and brotherhood with Muslim/non-Muslim people.but i simply say these extremist are taking there frustration by humiliating islam and Bush is humiliating Americans to show to the world we r all in one is eliminating terrorist.whereas i know American r tired of Bush of being the boss and breaking the good image of American people.bottom line whos the terrorist. i say both Al-Qeada and US Government(Bush Administration).until one of em will fall this cant end! just notice a common thing unless Bush order something wrong aganist a country there isnt any problem/attack from Al-Qeada. so real problem is Bush not Al-Qeada .i m not saying Al-Qaeda is saints.they arent,they r equal partners in crime or shld i say more n more in light of islam for disgracing it but wasnt osama one of America intelligence people.trained by US in the fight against Russia?

  80. 82 Jack 28 May, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Took a lot of words to state your point, but you’re right. The main problem with the Rosie story is that it’s a distraction from more important events. Also, ignore the Rethug trolls.

  81. 84 Dark Knight 28 May, 2007 at 5:03 am

    Think about the slides in my blog. I hope that a native english speaker would unsderstand the message.

  82. 85 Ben 28 May, 2007 at 5:11 am

    In the philosophy course I had to attend a few years ago they gave a different definition of terrorism;
    “Terrorism has the aim to inspire fear, paralysing a population and invoking political changes, with maximum effect for a minimum of actions. Terrorism is the ultimate weapon of the desperate …”

    Although you may argue the U.S.A.’s actions do fit in this description for the biggest part, it fails in reaching “maximum effect for a minimum of actions”. It is there that the consumerspirit of the economy-based government surfaces; The aim of the U.S.A. in this war is not to establish peace and order, but to sustain an economy based on the transaction of as much resources as possible in as little time as possible, achieving as little satisfaction with the costumers (the people) as possible, creating a need for more resources.

    The U.S.A. has a single effective policy to attain higher technological and scientific standards, and to occupy and content their people. That policy is called “WAR” (Weapons and Arms Race). With the cold war cooling down and nuclear threat from the former soviet army less imminent, the U.S.A. had to find a new enemy. An enemy more illusive and fear-inspiring than a nation hiding in oldfashioned steel bunkers. A faceless enemy, able to strike anywhere, anytime.
    What better “WAR” could they create than the ‘War on Terror’? The less really happens, the more people grow affraid of that bogeyman that must inspire them to be good and do as they are told … Last time I checked even a kid with a hammer was considered a terrorist …

  83. 86 Mark 28 May, 2007 at 5:32 am

    The figure 650,000 is a made up bullshit number.

    If sanctions are terrorism, the the U.N. is a terrorist organization. Oh we knew that already.

    Why do you give Saddam a pass? Oh yea, you liked his “enlightened” rule of Iraq.

    Real facts:

    300,000 Kurds gassed (WMD btw) Saddam.

    100,000 plus murdered by Saddam each year

    100,000 plus tortured or imprisoned or both for speaking out or opposing Saddam.

    Yea, he was just a good ol boy in a tough situation. The U.S. is evil.

    Grow up. Stop spinning tall tales to justify your irrational hatred of the U.S. or more likely Bush.

    If you have to say things like “Now America’s activities abroad are far too numerous to either delineate or to quantify, so, for simplicity’s sake, let’s limit it only to US involvement in the country of Iraq since the enactment of UN resolution 667 in 1990 up to the present”; you should just be honest and say “I’m making this shit up as I go along because I hate Bush.” Plus if you don’t restrict it to Iraq, you look like an idiot. Well you do anyway.

    Grow up people.

  84. 87 steve faragher 28 May, 2007 at 6:10 am

    kill them alllllllllllll

    well nah, no wonder Borat found such am easy bunch to take the piss out of…

    You kmow what from the distance of the UK it’s incredibly difficult to figure out how such a magnificent country and people can be hijacked by a bunch of dicksheads and led by he largest dickhead of all george w. for god’s sake wake up get shut of this war mongering oil monkey and get the hell out of EyeRan (you cant even pronounce the country’s name)and let them sort themselves out. You’ve spemt over $19 billion on rebuilding the country……where? the money was mainly pocketed by US carpetbaggers and corrupt Eye Rakkis

  85. 88 preciousmetal 28 May, 2007 at 6:28 am

    I wasn’t going to respond at all, but I had to since it was Rosie. She is an attention seeking slob, to be straight to the point. Whenever her “career” is flopping she pulls this shock style bs. Yes, the issue is more than just Rosie, and I agree with most of the comments here. BUT Rosie needs to be left alone, I’m sick of hearing about her and seeing her jabba the hut face on TV. Let’s all talk about real issues, which most of you are, not celebrities. Why must we all listen to them? Can’t we think for ourselves?

  86. 89 Hafez 28 May, 2007 at 6:49 am

    indonesian muzzie here.. so please excuse my english. the main issue is israel. think about it..before israel erect, america was muslim world’s favourite. its powerful, glamour plus they have 180 degree different ideology from the soviet.

    but ever since israel erect, america has become muslim world’s #1 enemy. nowadays, this negative sentiment is not belong only to muslim world, but widen to non america.. hugo chavez is just one example. if this is going to continue then america will vanish from civilization. remember hitler? he used to think germans were the best race to lead the world. and where’s hitler and german arrogancy now? this could be repeated by america if they keep their arrogancy.

    however, democrate’s victory gave us – muslims – a new hope that soon america will be soon become our #1 favourite once again

  87. 90 david 28 May, 2007 at 7:01 am

    Dear Paul,

    Please move to Canada or anywhere outside the U.S. I will pay for your ticket. Maybe Iran?

  88. 92 malander 28 May, 2007 at 7:45 am

    Excellent comment, Mark. And the killing of innocent Iraqi civilians is being perpetrated by Iraqi insurgents. They have always killed each other and always will.

  89. 93 evilfurby 28 May, 2007 at 7:59 am

    hah! It was the sanctions that killed people? Not the man who refused to follow them? The only responsibility we bear in regards to deaths from the sanctions is the fact that we let Iraq go so long without invading. We should have acted sooner.

  90. 94 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Any government that goes to war and gives ridiculous sound bites like “War on Terror!” or motives meant for 5 year olds such as “they hate us because we’re so free, so democratic” shouldn’t be trusted by default. I’m surprised they didn’t slap a “they hate us because we’re soooo beautiiiifuuuul” on top of it.

    But for a REAL reality check, you might want to check this:

    Oh, and all those going “saddam was an evil guy”: yes he was, he was very evil. And the USA NEVER stopped supporting saddam right up till the point where he invaded Kuwait. Because THAT, in contrast to his other massacres, would actually intervene with USA’s oil deals. Saddam was put down not because he was a bloodthirsty dog, but because he was a bloodthirsty dog that bit the hand of the one that fed him. And that’s a fact.

    To be fair, USA wasn’t the only one supporting Saddam all the way, many of the Western world did so as well. But they’re not the ones going “holier than thou” mode when it comes to the Middle East.

    Speaking of facts, where did you (mark loser) get that 300k kurds gassed number?

    Estimates of the number of civilians killed range from 3,200 to 5,000, with many survivors suffering long-term health problems.

    Chemical weapons were also used during Iraq’s “Anfal” offensive – a seven-month scorched-earth campaign in which an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 Kurdish villagers were killed or disappeared, and hundreds of villages were razed.

    A UN security council statement condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in the war was issued in 1986, but the US and other western governments continued supporting Baghdad militarily and politically into the closing stages of the war.

  91. 95 headwindblows 28 May, 2007 at 8:11 am

    good job, but think of this, sectarian violence amounts for a huge number of this figure you site, currently, and the UN sanctions on Iraq were sponsored by many countries, including the taliban and Al Qaeda as their for telling Iraq not to attack kuwait

  92. 96 diashermosos 28 May, 2007 at 8:15 am

    I’m just curious if that is the approximate number of how many people were killed by US soldiers specifically, or just how many people have died total in Iraq. How many Iraqis have been killed by other Iraqis??

  93. 97 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Speaking of beautiiiifuuuuuuul and iiiinnoooooceeeeent USA:

    Guess which country USA, other than Iraq, also supported during the Iraq-Iran war? That’s right, Iran! Educate yourself on Iran-Contra Affair and your GREEAAAAT LEAADER REAGAAAAAN!

    The Iran-Contra Affair was a political scandal in the United States in 1987.[1] Large volumes of documents relating to the scandal were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan Administration officials.[2] The affair is still shrouded in secrecy and discovering the facts is very difficult. It involved several members of the Reagan Administration who in 1986 helped to illegally sell arms to Iran, an avowed enemy, and used the proceeds to fund, also illegally, the Contras, a right-wing insurgent organization in Nicaragua. [3]


    Gee, I wonder how they BOTH must have felt, being BACKSTABBED by USA and all?

    Oh wait, they just hate USA cuz USA is sooooooooooooooo BEAUTIIIIFUUUUL and Sooo SWEEEET!

  94. 98 Russell Sanders 28 May, 2007 at 8:24 am

    I question the figures you quote here. Having been a solider and former analyst who targeted Iraq under Saddam, I find the 1.6 million figure highly dubious. I suspect it is sourced from Saddam’s own propoganda machine and taken without question. Furthermore, the US military takes great pains to minimize civilian injuries and deaths, absorbing increased personal risk to do so. Your attitude and comments, and indeed those of many who have responded, is a slap in the face to those who have risked much to protect not only US security but the honest citizens of Iraq who simply want to live a peaceful life.

    Nobody likes or enjoys war but when it occurs, it is a struggle of will. Your anti-American stance, propelled by your blind acceptance of propoganda data, increases the death toll. By railing against “America’s ills”, you are contributing to the deaths you are complaining about. I hope satisfying your hatred of America is worth the blood you’re spilling on your own hands.

    Russell Sanders

  95. 99 Princess Kelly 28 May, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Try watching your husband board a plane to go out there and fight. No matter how much people get into debates over this goddamn bullshit it makes no difference you just don’t have a say. Just like i don’t have a say.

  96. 100 thirst 28 May, 2007 at 8:50 am

    im just wondering. The US went into War with Iraq supposedly because of WMDs. After thousands have died, Saddam overthrown and the whole country’s now in a mess, where are the WMDs that the US claimed was the basis of going into war with Iraq?

  97. 101 Red Jenny 28 May, 2007 at 9:00 am

    She Hit me First, and other poor justifications for war – It’s natural to think the other started it, but it doesn’t make it true.

  98. 102 paulitics 28 May, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Russell Sanders – The numbers presented were of the best statistical surveys completed in Iraq using the same techniques the US government uses to assess fatalities after massive disasters such as Katrina.
    If you question these numbers, please, feel free to explain why you’re a better epidemiologist than Les Roberts and the team of doctors who conducted the surveys. Also feel free to present what you consider to be more reliable peer-reviewed, primary data.

  99. 104 michaelt74 28 May, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Great post and well done Rosie O’Donnel for mentioning this, since the mainstream media choose not to. Terrorism applies to anyone who targets civilians, thus the United States is a sponsor of terrorism.

  100. 105 steveflesher 28 May, 2007 at 9:50 am

    This isn’t a reality check. This is a blatherfest inspired by untruths regurgitated by Rosie O’Donnell and Cindy Sheehan. To begin with, conservatives have grown VERY tired of proving liberals wrong everytime they holler out phony numbers in Iraq so in order to compensate for every other aspect of liberals’ arguments, I’ll let you have that one for free. Secondly, your cute little pie graph fails to count the 20+ years our interests have been attacked. After an accurate count of how many people with American interests have been slaughtered by Islamic extremists, I think you will find the number will significantly increase. Third, 650,000 Iraqis (even IF that count were accurate) were not killed at the hands of Americans. There are members of alQueda over there blowing up people in masses, there are insurgents, there are dozens of Muslium-fanatic interests that want control of Iraq.

    Also, Rosie left “The View” after getting her butt kicked by Elisabeth. After taking Rosie’s crap for almost a year, she finally stood up for herself. Nobody forced her out the door.

    I only wish it would have been Ann Coulter sitting across from her everyday. She WOULD NOT have even lasted a year.

    There’s some reality for ya. Now have a good day.

    Steve Flesher

  101. 106 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Yes, conservatives have been kicking liberals’ asses so badly that the American public decided to….flip republicans the birdie and put Democrats in charge of Congress to fix the large pile of dung those retarded republicans have been piling up since bush got into WH. OUCH. Severe beating indeed! I almost feel sorry for them poor liberals.

    Even those fools at foxnews looked like complete dumbasses after their own poll had Ron Paul as winner of the debate, after cutting through that bullshit that is the bush admin.

  102. 107 Iain Grey 28 May, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Just reading the comments alone is enough to put anyone off American society. WMD? The US is the country not to trust with anything more powerful than a tennis ball.

    Why are Americans proud to be so? It baffles me

  103. 108 modu 28 May, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Interesting. However, the 651K figure you reference was already refuted by most international organizations due to the calculation used by the Lancet to obtain that figure. When you consider that would have to be roughly 500 deaths a day, the number of dead bodies would be very hard to miss, especially with the population of Iraqi’s decreasing rapidly in order to remove said bodies. And of course, the implication is that the US is the one killing these 500 Iraqi’s each day, and not the terrorists or insurgents. However, since a rational person knows that isn’t true, there is already one hole in your argument. Taking the second count of over one million dying, you fail to take into account that many of those deaths were directly related to Saddam failing to provide for his country through the oil-for-food program (where he failed to buy the aid for which his oil proceeds were to be used for), as well as cracking down on Shiite and Kurdish revolts in the North and South by using chemical weapons and napalm. So there’s a hole in that count as well. Lastly, what is a terrorist? According to Merriam Webster, a terrorist is one who commits violent or destructive acts to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands. Could one view US activities in Iraq as terrorism? They could, though it wouldn’t be accurate. The US has been at war with Iraq since the invasion by Iraq into Kuwait in 1991. After being repelled, a cease-fire was signed between the two nations, which was violated less than a year later by illegal activities into the no-fly zones established under the cease-fire. This activity alone is what gave President Clinton the authorization for attacks within Iraq and operations such as Desert Fox. And while in 2003 the US pandered to the UN to obtain yet another resolution against Iraq, the US was already at war with the nation and did not need further authorization, so our military actions within Iraq were acts of war and not terrorism. This is one of the problems with Rosie’s (and others) arguments. Thanks for your analysis though.

  104. 109 steveflesher 28 May, 2007 at 10:39 am

    #113 – Ron Paul was the result of text-messages by liberal fanatics that only CLAIM to not watch Fox News. Luckily, for Americans, liberal bloggers won’t be controlling the polls at the real elections. And regarding the Democrat takeover: first, it was a 6th year election (since WW2 the opposition party of the White House picks up – on average- 38 seats in the House) and they only picked up a lousy 31 seats! Second, what have they done with the control they gained? They voted twice against their own lunatic base by approving funds for Iraq and the second vote (just last week) was stripped off the timeline requirements. So it turns out, they aren’t doing anything that the left-wing lunatics want them to do. The only ones who voted in step with the left-winger moonbats are the ones running for President who need them to win the primary. Once the primary is won though, they will need to switch their positions to appeal to the moderates needed to actually WIN a national election.

    The thing you are missing is that the Democrats should have won 2006 midterms, but by a HELL of a lot more than they did. Especially with these great referendums against the war and talking blather-engines like Rosie and Condy Sheehan.

  105. 110 fatih demir 28 May, 2007 at 10:45 am

    I was checking my page when i saw the title and read most of the comments…

    First i like to add one more attack… Istanbul bombing… November 2003.. Just because Turkish companies carried American weapons and stuff to the Iraq… As u know Istanbul is a European city and Turkey is NATO member…,2933,103612,00.html

    But there is one thing bothers me. Numbers… For example the guy who works for American company and killed by Iraqi group of terrorist/freedom fighter/patriot…. whose side this casualties goes for???

    Turkish drivers lost more people than English soldiers in Iraq… Turkish drivers considered as a USA lost , because Turkey ally with USA or going to other side of chart??

    Iraqi guy come to the middle of the police station which new hired 100 guys ready to work new government as a police officer killed by suicide bomber considered as a Iraqi lost or American lost??

    I dont think that easy to tell 1 million against 5-6 thousands…

    When u kill one innocent u r a murderer and when u kill 100 innocent u still murderer… Anyway i am against any kind of war… I am not supporting war in Iraq but i dont believe it is about the numbers…

    In this case i think there is more than 2 sides…. There is American soldiers, American government , International companies, American people, Terrorists, Iraqi freedom fighters, Iraqi government and Iraqi people…

    And I believe innocent soldiers, innocent Americans, innocent Iraqis dying while politic power figures rising from those death bodies… And it is sad for not only Americans nor Iraqis …it is sad for whole humanityyy

  106. 111 Brent 28 May, 2007 at 10:58 am

    What is truly sad is how ignorant most of these comments are. LONG LIVE AMERICA! And happy memorial day. It’s a good thing that these American “terrorists” gave their lives to defend you little ungrateful brats.

    Paul, you make me want to puke. I would love to fatten your lip. The fact that these un-American comments are being made on Memorial Day, just shocks and offends me.

    LONG LIVE AMERICA! Love it or leave it.

    P.S., It looks like we finally we get to bomb Iran (hopefully)!

  107. 112 Ronnie Ann 28 May, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I clicked on your post because I just wrote my own post about a father who is a war critic who just lost his son in Iraq this month. But I struggled with how to phrase the idea that young men and women are losing their lives for something that is not accomplishing what we want – in fact, may be resulting in a stronger and ever-growing hatred of our country throughout the world. As much as I know we are on the wrong course, there was no way I could write the words “wasted lives” knowing how that might feel to a parent and knowing that these brave young people are doing the best they can under impossible circumstances.

    But all that said, it’s important to be able to have honest discussions about this, including the real value of what we are doing. So I very much appreciate your post! The point isn’t exactly how many have died or whether our being there may have in fact had some good basis. The point is we screwed up and need to admit it and do all we can to work with others (including all countries with stakes in the region) to help recover from some tragic miscalculations. Thank you for what you wrote since it – along with all the different comments – furthers the discussion.

  108. 113 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 11:03 am

    #116 – Ron Paul was the result of text-messages by liberal fanatics that only CLAIM to not watch Fox News.


    ‘Luckily, for Americans, liberal bloggers won’t be controlling the polls at the real elections.’

    Yes, wouldn’t want another repeat of House/Congress i.e. massive victory for the Democrats. Oh wait, that’s not with text messages, either! Oh dear, now what? Spin spin spin!

    ‘it was a 6th year election (since WW2 the opposition party of the White House picks up – on average- 38 seats in the House) and they only picked up a lousy 31 seats!’

    If that, and that being losing both the House and Congress, makes your defeat any less painful, by all means. It wasn’t that long ago republicans got the full confidence of americans, and then have it stripped off right away in the very next election. Like you said; conservatives were sure kicking some serious ass: their own.

    ‘They voted twice against their own lunatic base by approving funds for Iraq and the second vote (just last week) was stripped off the timeline requirements.’

    Approving funds is not against their own base you retard. That’s another of the oh so many lies spread by the dudes that lost the House/Congress in the last election, and for good reasons. And when you got a retarded monkey desperately holding on his losing war, hoping it would blow over and veto the bills, there’s not much you can do. Soldiers are dying there, but not like he gives a shit.

    Still, going as far as having it vetoed before dropping the time requirement, ain’t so bad. In the end, it was the GREAAAT DEEEECIDER that said no, not congress. Still, with all those conservative spinners, who knows what’ll happen? Bush admin and co been pissing around for 6 years, doubt they’re going to stop now.

  109. 114 Maliha 28 May, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Great post! It actually makes you realise that many people don’t actually consider ou “want to” consider certain facts… bitter facts! so many ppl get killed in Iraq,no1 cares and around 3000 ppl died in the september attack,it becomes an international issue!!! Am nt siding anyone,i got nothin to gain nor to lose by doing so but atleast ppl should realise certain things around in the world rather than just siding shits!

  110. 115 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Oh and a rather interesting act of comforting yourself, or is it just self pity?

    ‘The thing you are missing is that the Democrats should have won 2006 midterms, but by a HELL of a lot more than they did. Especially with these great referendums against the war and talking blather-engines like Rosie and Condy Sheehan.’

    Ignoring the obvious absurdity of this reasoning, such as ignoring pro war idiots on foxnews and the like. By your logic, a democrat SHOULD win the presidential election because Iraq’s instability remains, if it hasn’t worsened actually, and the realization of this being a rather miserable failure seems to be increasing as time goes by. And I doubt the next MIGHTY republican armchair DECIDER would give up this meaningless fight.

  111. 116 steveflesher 28 May, 2007 at 11:22 am


    Republicans picked up 54 seats in the House in 1994 over issues like Gun Control and Crime. I would think that if 76% of Americans wanted to pull out of Iraq and that was on top of the Democrats’ agenda, they would have picked up ALOT more than 31 seats (especially after being out of power for 12 years.) Moreover; there were no landslides for Democrats. Many races indicated even splits and in fact in places like Missouri, the only reason Democrats won was when votes from poor neighborhoods of East St. Louis and East Kansas City were counted. I don’t think welfare recipients should have the right to vote, but because of them, loons like yourself get to go around saying that they were indeed voting on the anti-war movement and because of Michael J. Fox’s happy chair dance.

    And indeed the only big names that voted against funding are YOUR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. Democrats will never vote based upon their political blather. They know by cutting off funding and forcing a troop pullout IS against what Americans really want.

    You can say all you want, but the facts and historical elections are on my side. On a webpage where you go on about this stuff is one thing – but it means nothing if you cannot even get your own party to vote in the House and Senate in a way that it somewhat parrallels your opinions.

    Americans are not terrorists, nobody in their right mind believes that.

    And by the way, CONGRESS DID VOTE in step with the Bush administration last week. (No veto was required.) Pay attention.

  112. 117 steveflesher 28 May, 2007 at 11:27 am

    “By your logic, a democrat SHOULD win the presidential election because Iraq’s instability remains, if it hasn’t worsened actually,”

    Well look who just caught up! That’s EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN.

    Right now, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all know that they need your votes to win the primary (because only left-wingers decide on who they are putting out for the general election.) So they all voted AGAINST the no-timeline funding last week that the rest of the Democrats voted FOR.

    After the primary is won, they should be able to stick to those positions and win the election with no problem (especially since Alan Colmes and Jane Fleming believe that 76% of the country want the war over.) But watch and learn my friend, their positions will change as soon as the primary is over. There will be one reason why they will “flip-flop” and when people like me make light of it to people like you, you’ll just have another excuse to defend them. They have to appeal to the moderates to win an election, which requires NOT appealing to you.

  113. 118 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 11:38 am

    ‘I would think that if 76% of Americans wanted to pull out of Iraq and that was on top of the Democrats’ agenda, they would have picked up ALOT more than 31 seats (especially after being out of power for 12 years.)’

    Not at all, you’re comparing a rather significant American domestic issue with a foreign issue that’s being financed on borrowed money. Truth be told, if bush never lied about the WMD shit, this war would have never happened. It’s called scaring people into thinking their personal health is at stake, and that’s why they felt inclined to go with it. If that was the only issue as to why congress members were to be elected for, that may have happened. But amazingly, it’s not all about the war in iraq.

    So your statement is particularly silly. You should take some classes in statistics. Might prevent you from saying this kind of stupid shit in the future.

    ‘Americans are not terrorists, nobody in their right mind believes that.’

    Americans ARE terrorists and terrorism supporters and have proven to be as such. Those who don’t believe it need more education in history. Heck, osama bin laden carried out operations for USA till he finally decided to bite the hand that fed him. Saddam was also supported by USA, among others. America is against terrorism when it’s used against them, and likes, breeds and supports terrorism when it suits their needs. That’s a fact.

    Not that many other countries haven’t been doing similar shady things, so I’m not here to judge america. Just stating some facts many idiots would love to deny.

    ‘And by the way, CONGRESS DID VOTE in step with the Bush administration last week. (No veto was required.) Pay attention.’

    Silly me, and here I thought the GREAT DEEEECIIIIDER vetoed it before they had to change it. Oh wait, they did. Pay more attention.

  114. 119 steveflesher 28 May, 2007 at 11:50 am

    “Truth be told, if bush never lied about the WMD shit, this war would have never happened. It’s called scaring people into thinking their personal health is at stake, and that’s why they felt inclined to go with it. If that was the only issue as to why congress members were to be elected for, that may have happened. But amazingly, it’s not all about the war in iraq.”

    To begin with, WMD was not the only reason we went to Iraq. Though I know it’s more fashionable as a liberal to keep saying that I understand. And if you really do not know that the war in Iraq is the NUMBER ONE issue among voters, then you really aren’t paying attention. By 2006, your party had been yapping on for four years that “Bush lied, kids died” and apparently it hasn’t convinced people. The Dixie Chicks used that opposition to make a comeback. Janeane Garafolo gave up a career as a “talented” actress to have a failing radio show on the failing Air America Radio. It inspires people like you to say what you say. So what were the voters voting on?

    “Silly me, and here I thought the GREAT DEEEECIIIIDER vetoed it before they had to change it. Oh wait, they did. Pay more attention.”

    He did veto the first time. Democrats promised the President would not get a “blank check” on war.

    Apparently Democrats in Congress were too busy concentrating on their “no-confidence” vote about to take place on Gonzales because miraculously they weren’t able to hold true to their positions on the war.

    Everything Democrats do, proposing bills with timelines, holding “no-confidence” votes on Gonzales amount to a big old nothing for their loyal voters like yourself.

    This is what Democrats mean by “getting things done.” But don’t be mad at me. They’re your Democrats.


  115. 120 micky 28 May, 2007 at 11:57 am

    This fight my friend has all the meaning in the world.
    When radical christians in America do stupid shit in the name of God we as a people step in and say ” you can’t do that ” ” you can’t twist the true meaning of God to apply to your hurtful ways. ” I really appreciate the mainstream Muslims that speak out against radical Islam. But where are the masses ? Man’s respect for man is preached almost identically in the Koran as it is in the Bible.So where is the Muslim community that should be in the streets calling for and end to innocent Muslims death being carried out by acts of terrorism ?
    People usually won’t believe something unless they see it themselves. So all of these post’s are mostly useless because anyone can interpret facts to coincide with what they want or think reality to be. All your facts and arguements are not going to get us anywhere unless you counter it with some type of idea or suggestion.
    I can find something not to like about everything, but that won’t get us anywhere. I can point out monsterous acts on the part of all country’s and religion’s.
    The earth is just one big room , and we are all in it together.So we better get our shit together or it’s going to be very lonely in that room. Unfortunatly mankind has not progressed yet to the point where we can be humble , forget about things we can’t fix and move on.
    In ones own mind a war can be settled in a minute.But that is the person that want’s to be understood and not take the high road and try to understand others.
    I would go fucking nuts if I attempted to have the whole world understand me ,I would be nuts to even think about trying it. But thats whats going on in most of the post’s above this one. Everybody wants their feelings and beliefs recoknized , and thats fine. But if that is all you want you will end up very lonely.

  116. 121 ispyauctionriches 28 May, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Why is it that so many people are blind?

    You have eyes yet you do not see what really is going on.

    Being a muslim and born over here in the west I can see the minds of both sides, East vs. West if you were.

    First, you get people here who moan about the muslims who want an islamic state here and tell them (the muslims) that if you want to live in an islamic state then f*** off back to your own country.

    But what do we have happening back in our own country (e.g. Afghanistan & Iraq)? You have the USA & co trying to control what we can and cannot do. They want to set up their own puppets to rule the people.

    What happened to Afghanistan?

    What the heck are the troops still doing there? Fighting Taleban?

    Ha. What a joke.

    Every muslim with a beard is considered to be a Taleban. They all look the same. Do you think they walk around with name badges that say I am a Taleban?

    Fact is, they are killing normal muslims who are trying to protect themselves and their family. Heck, every ‘terrorist’ and their dog seem to be related to Al-qaeda..

    Are people just stupid or don’t you understand that fear = CONTROL. If you can cause fear within a people you gain control.

    What all this fighting comes down to is PROFIT.

    If you believe for one second that Bush & co care about the people you’re more stupid and brainwashed that I thought. If you want real news, get outside the US and see the real facts with your own eyes and ears.

    Don’t just regurgitate the views of the media. Most people don’t have their own views and simply spout out the views of the people who own the different media channels. Are you one of them?

    You want facts, here are facts:

    HALLIBURTON (Energy Services) – Multinational corporation with operations in over 120 countries.

    Provides technical products and services for *OIL* and *GAS* exploration and production, and the KBR subsidiary is a major construction company of refineries, *oil fields*, *pipelines*, and chemical plants.

    -Based in Houston, Texas, USA

    -One of the world’s LARGEST players in this industry.

    -Halliburton’s revenues have skyrocketed because of war in the middle east.

    -Defense Secretary DICK Cheney, paid Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root Services over $8.5 MILLION to study the use of private military forces with American soldiers in combat zones.

    -Prescott Bush was a director of Dresser Industries, which is now part of Halliburton. Former United States president *George W.* Bush worked for Dresser Industries in several positions from 1948-1951, before he founded Zapata Corporation.

    -Thomas H. Cruikshank served as chairman and CEO from 1989 until 1995 when he is replaced by *DICK CHENEY*.

    -1995-2002, Halliburton KBR has been *AWARDED* at least *$2.5 BILLION* to construct and run military bases.

    -November 2002, KBR was tasked to plan OIL well firefighting in Iraq, and in February 2003 was issued a contract to conduct the work. Awarded due to DICK Cheney’s position as Vice President. Concern was also expressed that the contract could allow KBR to pump and distribute Iraqi oil.

    -2003, Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR was responsible for the construction of the Allied military base in Babylon, Iraq.

    -January 24, 2006 Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced that it had been awarded a $385 MILLION contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build more temporary security facilities.

    —- The company’s contracts in Iraq are expected to have generated more than *$13 BILLION* in sales by the time they start to expire in 2006.

    —- KBR has contracts in Iraq worth up to *$18 BILLION*, including a single ‘NO BID’ contract known as “RESTORE IRAQI OIL” (RIO) which has an estimated worth of *$7 BILLION*.

    —- An audit of KBR by The Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) found *$108 MILLION* in “questioned costs” and, as of mid-March 2005, said they still had “major” unresolved issues with Halliburton.

    Ties with DICK Cheney

    The company has become the center of several controversies involving the 2003 Iraq War and the company’s ties to U.S. Vice President DICK Cheney.

    – Retired from company in 2000 with a severance package of *$34 MILLION*.

    – 2004, received *$398,548* in deferred compensation from Halliburton.

    Allegations Of Fraud

    Allegations of fraud by Halliburton, specifically with regard to its operations in Iraq, have persisted since before the Iraq War. The associations between *DICK Cheney* and *Halliburton* had led many to speculate with regard to improprieties and *profiteering* from the war.

    – Whistleblowers were threatened “to be sent to Fallujah” and other “places under fire” if they talked to media or governmental oversight officials.

    Identity kept secret: “I personally was sent to Fallujah for three weeks. The manager told me that I was being sent away until the auditors were gone, because I had talked to the auditors,”.


    The Bush & Co admistration have it easy because the ignorant and brainwashed people keep pushing the same message…”oh we did Iraq a favour by getting rid of their dictator”. There are plenty of other dictators in the world to get rid of. I don’t see them being chased after.

    Just the other day I heard somebody complaining on radio that *ONE* soldier had been killed in Iraq and there wasn’t even a mention of them on the TV News.

    What about the thousands of NORMAL civilian iraq’s that are being killed with bombs dropping down on their heads?

    Truth is, their blood isn’t worth anything.

    “Oh it’s just a worthless iraqi”. I bet you would stand up if you saw thousands of americans being killed.

    Just remember that they didn’t choose to be born there and as iraqi’s. Just as you didn’t choose the skin you were born into. You could have easily woke up in this world as an iraqi.

    So what makes you superior? The fact that you were born in the US, earn dollars, and wear Nike? Pathetic.

    Every human deserves to live, especially when their innocent.

    Keep believing that war isn’t about money and power.

    Go back to ABC News and get your education. Blind Fools.

  117. 122 schimberg 28 May, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    You really think that those citizens who are lower on the economic ladder should not be allowed to vote??
    Please explain. . .

  118. 123 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    ‘To begin with, WMD was not the only reason we went to Iraq.’

    You could shit out another 1000 or so more reasons for all I care. Republicans been doing it for years. Not like this filler material matters. The only reason that got the USA scared enough to actually give a shit were the supposed threats of WMD.

    ‘Though I know it’s more fashionable as a liberal to keep saying that I understand.’

    Likewise, after looking like a complete joke on the WMD issue. I understand you’re trying to save face. Not sure who you think is buying this crap, other than the other losers that are and have been trying to save face ever since the invasion happened. Pitiful really.

    ‘And if you really do not know that the war in Iraq is the NUMBER ONE issue among voters, then you really aren’t paying attention.’

    Apparently, the concept of voting for a congress member on more issues than Iraq has escaped you. That may explain the blatant ignorance you’re exposing here.

    ‘He did veto the first time. Democrats promised the President would not get a “blank check” on war.’

    Not much you can do against a veto. Actually, forcing bush to actually veto is already a big deal. Granted, it’s far less satisfying than a time requirement and it certainly won’t sit well with their base for now. But then, I imagine starting a war mainly supported because the opponent supposedly had WMD and being wrong, can’t be that much of an enlightenment either.

    ‘This is what Democrats mean by “getting things done.” But don’t be mad at me. They’re your Democrats.


    Your corrupted and incompetent administration, your losing war, your troops dying, your money down the drain, your deficit. LOL indeed… In fact, let me raise that with a ROFLMFAO!

    You’re a sad individual indeed. Pitiful even.

  119. 124 knilli 28 May, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    What responsibility does the world have for the genocide that was occuring when Sadam Hussein was in power? American initially turned a blind eye to the Nazi’s activities in World War II and were thoroughly criticized for that. I’m not sure where these numbers came from that are being thrown around here, but I do intend to do a bit more research to check for accuracy.

    It is true that American supported Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein at the beginning. But because of that, when we discovered the atrocious things that they were doing, didn’t we have a responsibility to go in and stop it? I agree that maybe we should stay out of things in the first place, but when we don’t and things turn terribly wrong, what should our course of action be?

    As to the military bases, most are left over from past wars and the intent was to provide a presence to discourage those who were not supportive of peace. The military is gradually withdrawing from many of these areas and closing the bases.

    Regardless of whether the war is wrong or not, we are involved. And rational voices need to prevail in deciding how we are going to leave and when. I don’t have any answers. But I do vote and I’m paying close attention to what is being said…and even closer attention to what is not being said. Americans have a responsibility to educated ourselves about what goes on in the world around us and not rely on people like Rosie O’Donnell to think for us.

  120. 125 tonyperez 28 May, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Thousands of our soldiers have died who came to bring dead to our own country? Even before 2001? Then I asked what was behind the sarcastic question. It is time to stop playing with the feeling of those who have given so much for our liberty and country and those who continue risking their life for us while we are on this side of our land. God Bless America!

  121. 126 Brian 28 May, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Oh man, I thought this was a poll. I wanted to vote for either “The Corporations, Man!” or the Underpants Gnomes. (Oh how I hate them!)

  122. 127 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    ‘It is true that American supported Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein at the beginning. But because of that, when we discovered the atrocious things that they were doing, didn’t we have a responsibility to go in and stop it?’

    Noble, but no: America stepped in when they started hurting America. When they were hurting others in America’s favor, they stood by and watched, if not helped.

    Likewise, America officially declared war on the Nazis after they attacked a US ship, and fought the Japanese when they bombed PH.

    America has always looked after itself, regardless of the means to achieve it, and that most definitely includes terrorism, assassinations, hostile coups and the like.

    Again, many countries have done the same in the past. I’m not judging America for only thinking about themselves. Every somewhat successful country has done so climbing on the corpses of those it has slain. USA, being one of the most successful, have just done more of that accordingly.

    The part that annoys me is the denial.

  123. 128 schimberg 28 May, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Isn’t it documented that the U.S. govt supplied money and weapons to both Saddam and Osama in the early 1980’s? I’ve even seen a cute video of Donald Rumsfeld, smiling widely, while shaking Saddam’s hand. And that was after Saddam’s mass murder of Kurds, no?

  124. 129 micky 28 May, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Well Shimberg , was it after Saddam murderd the Kurd’s ?

  125. 130 micky 28 May, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Point being ;
    Where is Saddam now ?

  126. 131 lizadilly 28 May, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    great post. people need to let go of their “home team” attitude and consider context, consider all victims on the human scale. the US has long funded and trained regimes that use terrorist forces, and has even had such rouges do its dirty work.

    as for the current administration, they blatantly and consistently terrorize their own citizens with spin and propaganda. thank you for laying it out graphically so people can really see what they’re trading in their civil rights for.

  127. 132 falconblu 28 May, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    We Americans are the most forgiving country in history. When the Muslims attacked us and kidnapped our sailors in the late 1700,s, we gave them ample time before we fought with them and defeated them in Tripoli. Again when we have been attacked several times in the ninteen nineties, we searched out the real culperts, the radical Muslims, and went gave them warnings to stop. 9/11 was the last straw and we stuck back. Now we will never stop until they stop attacking us. We did not kill the 655,000 muslims insnuated by “Alkada” Rose, the radical Muslims did. I do not call them Muslims, because Muslims are a peaceful people, for they gave up their religion. I call them dogs.

  128. 133 bob 28 May, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Al Qaeda never claimed 911.

  129. 134 maxxpup 28 May, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Those who can create a moral equivalency between terrorists and U.S. military
    personnel attend a very strange school of logic.
    Our troops are constrained by rules of engagement that are so constrictive they
    put our troop’s very lives at risk. No American takes comfort in the death of an innocent
    Iraqi, yet it is civilians who are the preferred targets of terrorists.
    Do you think suicide bombers fill their backpacks with ball bearing to minimize
    civilian casualties?
    This is the same type of logic that causes someone to foam at the mouth when they refer to abu ghraib yet they’ll givee al qaida a pass for drilling somones eye ball out or cutting someones head off on video.
    Finally while I think your death toll statistics are far from accurate, you fail to mention how many of those deaths are at the hands of fellow Arabs and or Muslims.
    I’m assuming those don’t count or that the U.S. is to blame for those deaths as well.

  130. 135 abarclay12 28 May, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Very provocative post.

  131. 136 YourAparrot 28 May, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Rosie and you are ignorant. The civilian deaths in iraq can mostly be attributed to suicide bombings by muslim extremists. It’s true the US has killed many innocents in this terribly managed war, i’m not doubting that, but to say every death in iraq can be attributed to the US is the kind of statement that shows how much control the leftist media has over those who cannot think for themselves. I don’t think rosie should be fired for parroting lies, but your blind faith in her argument shows that if she had been let go earlier this world would be a better place.

  132. 137 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Agreed , very provacative ,you go maxxpup

  133. 138 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Why does anyone care what rosie says ? Drop it already , shes an idiot, her logic is based on hate and confusion
    I’m more worried about what the guy holding the cards has to say.

  134. 139 anonymous 28 May, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    not that anyone believes me but when the war started on iraq i didnt know if it was right or not. at that moment lightning struck outside my house. i knew instantly that it was a mission of rescue. i knew that i was supposed to pray for american troops and freedom and safety of the country. i’m not making this up. you don’t have to believe me but this really actually happened.

  135. 140 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Bob ! at 142 What planet are you on?

  136. 141 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Come on dude ! the lightming could of meant we should all kill ourselves. I appreciate your patriotism very much but you can’t base a war on a lighting strike , please ! You’re making us look bad.

  137. 142 ericgonzalez 28 May, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    So your point is that Rosie’s comments are an underestimation. Fine, I grok that. Talk about missing the forest for the tree, though.

    1. Rosie should be charged with sedition and put to trial. This coming from someone who is fiercely protective of the first amendment, mind you. It’s been long established that yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater isn’t free speech – likewise calling our military “terrorists” isn’t political expression. You can disagree with how things have been run, or our being there (heck I do), but no one with the maturity level beyond a 5th grader would agree that name-calling is constructive speech.

    2. Most of the killing in Iraq involves locals killing locals; nobody really disputes this. Before we jump to blame US involvement, let’s take a look at no-so-distant history. Did the defeated, occupied Japanese turn in on each other in a homicidal frenzy after WW2? How about the occupied Germans? Surely the occupied Koreans after the Korean Penninsual war.. wait, no they didn’t either. Hmm..

    I’m tired of this pseduo-intellectual detritus – this is precisely this kind of nonsense which jarred the country right of center and kept this inept administration in office for another 4 years. There’s your reality check.

  138. 143 gurzilla 28 May, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Well, none of this is going to matter when the ecosphere collapses and we all die anyways.

  139. 144 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Well fuckit ! lets kill everyone now !

  140. 145 wvanloon 28 May, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Anybody who gives any credence to what Rosie says needs to take a course in critical thinking and logic. You give her way too much credit.

    Going after the USA to give shape to the serious trouble in Iraq is cliche. America is an easy target for critics of the war. Why don’t you do some analysis of the doings of the French, the Germans, the Russians or even the Chinese in Iraq? No that would be too difficult. You might actually have to think through something and abandon the straw men you construct.

    I appreciate your comments but we’ve heard it all and we keep hearing it. I also have some of my own misgivings about what we are doing there. I find your analysis only marginally helpful. You offer very little that’s new and you stoop to name-calling to make your point. When you go there, I need turn you off.

  141. 146 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Gurzilla !
    What kind of backasswards logic is that !
    {might as well not take a bath I’ll just get dirty again }
    A lot these people are looking for answera and you discount the whole plight of humanity with that fucking tree hugger mentality’
    Go to Al Gores website with that shit .

  142. 147 micky 28 May, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    NO Erisgonzalez its your reality and no one else’s.

  143. 148 micky 28 May, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    By the way ericgonzales , you may frown on name calling all you want but a turd is a turd and an idiot is an idiot, and the names apply according to the proof of any evidnce to back up idealogical B.S. {note the origin of the word ” idiot ” stemming from “Idea ” the “OT” represents the omission of gunuine IDEA, hence ” Rosie is an IDIOT !

  144. 149 Seiruu 28 May, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    I agree completely micky.

    Hence why bush is indeed a fucking retard.

  145. 150 Andrés 28 May, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Good post.
    I am from El Salvador and I know the USA has very great influences here: We are the only Latin American country with troops in Iraq to help the United States.
    We have interior problems to worry about here.
    God bless our people, God bless us all.

  146. 151 micky 28 May, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    yea but at least he fucks1

  147. 152 micky 28 May, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    I think I good idea would be to create a think tank consisting of everyone who is participating in these post’s.
    And if by some miracle we came up with a solution we could all go about our merry way’s
    But the dialogue so far really does nothing but breed more hatred,and I myself am also guilty of this back and forth bullshit.
    I beleive we all{most of us }get caught up in this trap of ” one upmanship ” and then the whole thing gets ugly.
    Come on ladies and gentleman , lets see if we can better about this. I apologize if I have offended any one.

  148. 153 micky 28 May, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Finally some real dialogue.
    I won’t try to pretend to be as articulate as you. But one point I might make is that the lions ate because they were hungry.I don’t know that they could have a concept of greed or dominance {other than that of natural prowess and defending there turf }They protect there young and eat when they are hungry. In analogy to the U.S. or other aggresions by other country’s it may be because of threats based on concept.
    Our actions might be based on a perceived threat to our future oil supply.A good guess would be that we are not trying to take something that doesn’t belong to us but rather we are protecting what agreement’s and polocies in place. It’s my beleif that radical Islam would love for more than anything to somehow destroy us on the economical front by cutting of the flow of oil that we already have. But that the revenues from oil would definatly be used for more than improving the infrastructure in Islamic states.An educated guess would be weapons.

  149. 154 micky 28 May, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    I can appreciate the column , although I’m christian I have strong feelings against organized religion. The bible was written by men that are succeptable to their own interpretations of what really happened during B.C. and A.D scriptures. I’m not a theologist so if I show ignorance , excuse me please , but I have one question;
    Is there any religion that encourages or dictates world dominance and rule. As opposed to tolerance of others ?
    I can’t help but beleive that the majority of wars are the result of organized religion having its influence on a countrys population { judeau christian vs Islam }.
    It’s the ideals involved with each religions brainwashing indoctrinations that are shoved down our throughts from the time we are born.
    But to leave each other other alone is difficult due to international trade.
    Can we all put up walls and be succesfully self sufficient so as not to fight over energy needs or agriculture or tecnology ?
    I choose my own spiritual path due my experiences with alcoholics anonymous and seeing all the hypocrits in American churches , especially the catholic church.
    In the name of whatever or whoever your god is we are killing each other. And yet they all preach the value of life.

  150. 155 plubius 29 May, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Great post and graph.

    The reality is, an American life is seen as much more valuable than that of say… than hundreds of Iraqi lives… That’s the stance that American politics and media go by anyways.

  151. 156 oldskychaos 29 May, 2007 at 4:58 am


    When are we going to wake up and stop fighting amongst ourselves? By fighting amongst ourselves and saying its the iraqis fault, its the americans fault, its the libs its the dems we are never going to solve the problem.
    9/11 is only the tip of the iceburg. There was a declassified document admitting the involvement of false flag terrorism in a number of incidences including the covering up of these incidences. Why weren’t they afraid of declassifying? Because ‘the American people don’t read’.

  152. 157 MG 29 May, 2007 at 9:01 am

    The initial article ‘assumes’ that the US is the only party responsible for all deaths caused in Iraq since 1990. It ignores any other parties (such as Sadam himself, such as Sunni-Shia-Kurdish hatred & score-settling, such as other middle-eastern countries trying to influence events there, such as basic criminality).

    It also ignores the fact that the sanctions were a product of the UN security council, and attributes all ‘blame’ to the US alone

    Yes, the US deserves criticism. But these ‘assumptions’ are patently false, and only make the journalist look biased and foolish. I’m not suprised she got fired.

    I like the irony of the title – ‘What you’re not supposed to think about’. Anyone who swallows this nonsense obviously isn’t thinking very much!

  153. 158 micky 29 May, 2007 at 11:23 am

    The more I read these exchanges the more I realize that although socialism as form of governing is slowly becoming extinct , we should always try to maintain at least one exmple of it so that we can have a reference to point to as to just how dangerous and unproductive it can be for a society.
    In reference to the post above this one { MG } Iagree with this person 100%. I,ve spoken to numerous servicemen returned from Iraq and Afganistan and they all say very much the same thing. And that is that the Iraqis are a very nice people , and that most of them do not want us to leave untill they themselves are capable of maintaining their own security. And when I ask them how they feel about the American media they say that they only get it right about 20% of the time.The biggest point they all made was that 99% of Iraqi deaths are contributed to them fighting among themselves or as a result of them firing on our troops , and of course they mention that Iran and Al Qaeda are behind a substatial part of the instability and Iraqi deaths that they would like to attribute to the U.S. involment.
    The article seems to conveniantly not mention that Saddam was starving his own people by violating sanctions that require oil revenues be exchanged for food , medical etc…
    receiving cash instead. and that this violation was being helped along by non other than Kofi Anan , his son ,and other members of the U.N.

  154. 159 paulitics 29 May, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    MG – this article does not ‘assume’ that Hussein didn’t kill his own people. Anybody who can think themself out of a paper bag knows this. However the reality of this fact is moot since it was not what I was talking about. I was not comparing the U.S. and Hussein, I was comparing the U.S. and Al Qaeda.

    The figures used in this article were merely those pertaining a) to the Iraqi sanctions developed by the US and endorsed by the UN in 1990 at the urging of the US; and b) the best figures of Iraqi civilians dead over and above regular mortality rates as a result of violent conflict related to the U.S.-led war against Iraq.

    The first stat is confirmed by multiple sources (although admittedly they do vary, with some saying 750,000 dead and others saying slightly more than 1 million dead). The second stat is based on the only thorough investigation of the Iraqi populace undertaken since hostilities began. The survey was headed by epidemiologist Les Roberts and he used standard methodology in his survey. If you would like a detailed (albeit highly academic) explanation of the methodology by Les Roberts himself, click on this link and then go to the video at the bottom of the post.

  155. 160 paulitics 29 May, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Micky – Marxism has never been tried, so your statement that it is useful to keep a socialist country (which itself, in the Marxist sense at least, is a contradiction in terms) around as an example to the rest of us is specious.

    Read Marx (more than just the Manifesto) and then read the documentary record of the Soviet Union, China, North Korea et cetera. If you can find any similarity between what Marx wrote and what they chose to call themselves, then please let me know.

    Just because a dictatorship like North Korea choses to call itself either a “People’s Republic” or a socialist country does not mean that it is one anymore than me calling myself the King of Canada makes me the King.

    It is the height of naivté to assume that everything that a government says is true. What these countries actually are/were is ‘state capitalist’ and if that is what you are referring to, then, as a Marxist, I would agree with you that it is worth always keeping in mind the anti-democratic and brutally authoritarian tendencies of ‘state capitalist’ countries who falsely call themselves ‘socialist’.

  156. 161 micky 29 May, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Come on dude , now you’re playing semantics by pointing out my choice of literary descriptions of these country’s.
    You can call or not call them anything you want. But the word ” social ” describes everything about the way these failing goverments are set up , operated and displayed to it’s citizens ,and the rest of the world that has taken any course in english grammar.I don’t beleive half the crap that any goverment tells me and only half of what I see , but I do know dictatorship , communism , and socialism when I see it.
    In addition I never anywhere mentioned or even hinted that Marxism was needed for anything , although socialism and marxism can co-operate together very well, I’m not about to read a whole documentary to prove my point that tottalitarian , communist , socialist or any goverment that promotes a collective way of patriotism is a failed country.These methods of rule or goverment fail consistenly .Anyone who can think their way out of a paper bag can see this.
    Call it ” state capitalist ” if you want. The bottom line is Kim Jung is starving his people just the same as Saddams ” dictatorship ” did. An another example would be the bread lines in the now failed communist Russia. This was because Reagan ran them broke knowing they would put weapons in front of feeding it’s own people.They are now a fledgling democracy that like most young democracys will take three steps forward and two steps back as it meets resitance from communist loyalist.{ Trojan horse Putin }.
    If the shit ever hits the fan I know that I would rather be in America or any other democraticly run country than any other place in the world.
    Socialism would simplify and steamline the operation of any country.It likes to keep things black and white so as to reduce any dissent from its citizens basically so that they don’t know what they are missing. By being taught through religion that western ways are sinful , or by cutting of info and communication to the world or propoganda aimed at devaluating democracys they aim to reduce their citizens choices , so as to reduce dissent and confronting questions
    You will never convince me of any benefit that these goverments hold other than to promote a mindlees society that is no better than a bunch of panicking lemmings. I feel so sorry for these people and will pray for them and you.

  157. 162 paulitics 29 May, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Micky – no, I’m not playing semantics. What these countries are is anti-democratic, authoritarian, brutal and state capitalist. As a Marxist, I steadfastly oppose all four of these things.
    Therefore it is not a matter of semantics.
    I am one thing. State capitalist countries such as North Korea, the former USSR, China et cetera are something completely different.
    It’s a little bit like you telling me “I’m happy” and then me misconstruing that as “I’m gay”. They are not the same thing any more than state capitalist is the same thing as ‘communist’. Therefore, and I know I sound like a broken record here, it is not a matter of semantics.

  158. 163 RPJ 29 May, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Paulitics, what would you say is the most “socialist” country in the world? Actually, what are the top 3? I know there aren’t any that are truly “Marxist” but it would be interesting to see who comes the closest. And yes, I am aware of the difference between those regimes who claimed to be communist and what you are talking about so you don’t have to start at step 1. Thanks.

  159. 164 micky 29 May, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I notice in your opening sentence above that you did not mention communism , which I mentioned goes well with marxism , each being a form of socialism.
    Both socialism and communism have a nasty reputation for limiting choice and dictating to it’s citizens what is in their best interest.
    I prefer all the choices and options I have in America as opposed to any other form of leadership.
    Seeing as how we are the most powerful country on the face of the earth , the system of democracy must be doing something right.Our economy , our military , our ability to help other countrys in need and our tolerance for intolerance makes us far more attractive than any of the above any day.
    You might maintain that your way is the way because you think you have the answer to all the shit going on around us. But what I have experienced in life and studied leaves me no choice but to put my money on a govt. that is put in place by free democratic elections .Or are you confusing the issue by saying that America is socialist under a different name ?
    Oh! and by the way , you pie chart up top with the Al Qaeda victims and U.s. victims could be proven wrong by my 12 year old son. It should include all victims of terrorism world wide not just Al Qaeda in the west these asshole have been and are everywhere. Iraq is part of the war on terror not the war on Al Qaeda. Stop the selective quotes and studies and you’ll find that there are about a thousand acts of anti American terror throughout history going back 200 years’
    Fact in documentation; These assholes will leave an American on the field to die after a conflict. We give life saving medical to whoever is left on the feild after any battle. And you have the nerve to put up in question ” whos the bigger terrorist ?”. Sure ! staring down the barrel of an American m-16 is terrifying , but its not terrorism.
    You can claim your way as superior all you want. But you’re not fooling me at all because I know a fear and hate monger when I see one . Good by sir and take your stupid pie chart with you.

  160. 165 Lawrence 29 May, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    America! Love the fruit hate the tree :stay home America your making the world a dangerous place. Do you know I think you have to go back to President Carter to find a presedent that has not bombed another country.Like imperial rome the people have lost a grip on the country and its power.

  161. 166 paulitics 29 May, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Micky – a few points.

    First: you wrote “I notice in your opening sentence above that you did not mention communism , which I mentioned goes well with marxism , each being a form of socialism.”

    I don’t know what you’re getting at here. I, much like Marx, use the terms Marxism, (scientific) socialism and communism interchangeably, so I don’t see the issue you have here.

    Second: you go on to write that “Both socialism and communism have a nasty reputation for limiting choice and dictating to it’s citizens what is in their best interest.”

    I’ve already discussed why this is fallacious. Socialism and communism, since they’ve never existed in practice, cannot have a reputation, either nasty or otherwise for limiting choice. I do agree with you however that countries PROFESSING to be communist or socialist have a terrible record of limiting choice and freedom.

    Third: you write “Seeing as how we are the most powerful country on the face of the earth , the system of democracy must be doing something right.”

    What kind of logic is that. You’re judging the rightness or wrongness of a country based on its ability to abuse and exploit all other countries? By that logic a bully who brutally keeps everyone else under his thumb “must be doing something right”.

    Might does not make right.

    Fourth, you write: “But what I have experienced in life and studied leaves me no choice but to put my money on a govt. that is put in place by free democratic elections.”

    You really have no idea what you’re talking about do you? You seriously think I don’t like democracy? I support free and democratic elections and would be the first to take to the streets in violent protest if any government attempted to clamp down on my right to exercise my democratic freedoms.

    What on earth has given you the impression that socialists don’t want democracy? If you had bothered to read my above response to you, you would have noted that I steadfastly oppose ALL anti-democratic tendencies. Thus I actually support an EXPANSION of democracy beyond what even you’re willing to support (ie. popular democratic control of the economy). I’m the one who can charge you with not being the true supporter of democracy since you want certain segments of society (such as the means of production) to be controlled in their current anti-democratic fashion.

    Fifth: you write “you pie chart up top with the Al Qaeda victims and U.s. victims could be proven wrong by my 12 year old son. It should include all victims of terrorism world wide not just Al Qaeda in the west.”

    You’re right. Al Qaeda has attacked many places outside of the west and I could have included them had I had the time to calculate it all out. However, as I mentioned in the post (seriously Miky, it’s always a good idea to read the post carefully before commenting) I could have also included all of the U.S. victims in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and a host of other countries. If anything, I was being biassed TOWARDS the U.S. as the graph would have been even more of a landslide for the U.S. had I included all of their foreign interventions and suppression of democracy abroad.

    Sixth: you write “You can claim your way as superior all you want. But you’re not fooling me at all because I know a fear and hate monger when I see one.”

    What have I done here to inspire fear? If you are afraid of arithmetic and graphs then surely I can’t be held responsible for that.

    What have I done here to inspire hatred? I’m a completely non-violent person and would not fire a weapon at another human being even if my life depended upon it. I have not called for violence. I have not called anybody names (unlike you, I might point out).

    All I have done is add numbers together using the best sources available at this time. What is fearful or hateful about that?

    Lastly: you conclude “Good by sir and take your stupid pie chart with you.”

    Actually, you’re the one who came here onto my space and got emotional over arithmetic, of all things. If you want to leave, there’s a nice little “back” button on the top left hand corner of your screen that you can feel free to avail yourself of at any time.

    However, since this has been my most popular blog post ever (thanks in part to people like you who ratcheted up the rhetoric to a hateful and emotional pitch), with over 13,500 hits in two days, I think this blog is here to stay. Micky I’m not going anywhere.

  162. 167 micky 30 May, 2007 at 6:02 am

    You really like to twist things. I said good bye not asking you to go anywhere,please , stay right here.

  163. 168 waxspell 31 May, 2007 at 5:14 am

    That’s an insight. Really, it’s just funny how anyone trusts america. It’s exploitaton through and through. Whether UN or whatever organ tries whatever mechanism, people just dont like invasion and injustice, period.

  164. 169 oldskychaos 31 May, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    too true waxspell!!

  165. 170 Brent 31 May, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Communism is coming to America. All I can say is that if you love your country and freedom, BUY GUNS, because commies want to take your freedom from you. Just ask Hillary Clinton. Burn in hell commies!

  166. 171 Armando 1 June, 2007 at 12:02 am

    This is amazing to me. America is the most just and responsible nation ever to exist on this planet. Look at history. It’s full of mass killings, oppressions, injustices. Conquering armies pilage and rape. America has bled so many times for strangers. America gives more aid around the world than any other nation. America holds its soldiers accountable. Who can deny this? We defeat our enemies, and then we invest time and money to rebuild them, making them independent of the U.S (Germany, Japan). Countries ask for our help (South Vietnam) and we leave them high and dry because liberals decided that Americans were the evil ones. Subsequently 1.7 million Cambodians lost their lives.

    You understand nothing of this world or life. You illustrate that when you said, “I’m a completely non-violent person and would not fire a weapon at another human being even if my life depended upon it.” Really? What if some else’s life depended on it? Would you stop them, or let them be killed the same way you’d let yourself be killed? Thats pretty sick. What fantasy world do you live in? Who should help the weak if not the strong and capable?

    Are you all so blind as to not realize that before republics and democracies existed on this planet, the world was awful. There was no due process. No human rights. Who authored that? Which country more than anyone else help perpetuated that around the world? Which country dies for others to ensure that evil does not prevail?

    Have you bothered to look at how terrible every middle east country is? Oppressed women. Homosexuality pushable by death. In Saudi Arabia, its not allowed for buddist temples, jewish temples or christian churches to exist. Islam has produced the most intolerant governments in the world.

    Iraq has USED WMDs. The fact that they arent there anymore should be more alarming. Iraq is the center of the middle east. A successful democracy in that region would do wonders for liberty and human rights. GUESS WHAT! Its not going to be easy, but that doesnt mean its not the right thing to do. You need to go watch some speechs the president of Iran has given. Listen to what he is saying. Listen to the hate across muslim nations government media. They want to destroy Israel and America. Why? Because we are not Muslim. They will kill themselves for this. And why? To get virgins and a river of milk and honey. They are basically promised food and sex in heaven. They are killing themselves, and us for this. Do you see the absurdity?

    Yes, how awful of America to take action to remove a brutal dictator, try to spread democracy, and futher our goal to protect our country against terrorist attacks. Geez, it really makes me wonder why military enlistment rates and RE-enlistment rates (guys volunteering to go back to Iraq 2,3 and 4 times) are at an all time high. How could they want to be part of something so terrible?

  167. 172 landsker 2 June, 2007 at 6:21 am

    Going slightly off the topic, but as an answer to those who state that “they (arabs) started it”.
    There is a group of senior american generals, scientists and politicians who accuse “certain persons” within the american government of being the perpetrators of 9/11.

    Included amongst them, General Wesley Clark, former commander NATO, and several airforce colonels, who state that the american military itself has, ahem, $$Rogue elements$$.
    I`m just the meesenger, :), check out the site itself, mindboggling!

    Their names and statements can be found at *patriotsquestion9/11*.

  168. 173 ale1980italy 2 June, 2007 at 7:53 am

    Hi Paul, I think it is a great post, so I copied it on my blog:


  169. 174 RPJ 2 June, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    To Armando. Clearly you have totally bought the image of the US that Hollywood and Disney World has sold you. Perhaps you should look for the facts instead of just “watching the John Wayne movie version of reality”. Below shows the generosity of each nation per capita (keep in mind, you are the richest nation so “should be #1” by a wide margin. You are not even close.

    CIA World Factbook, 15 May, 2007 DEFINITION
    The net official development assistance (ODA) from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to developing countries and multilateral organizations. ODA is defined as financial assistance that is concessional in character, has the main objective to promote economic development and welfare of the less developed countries (LDCs), and contains a grant element of at least 25%. The entry does not cover other official flows (OOF) or private flows. Per capita figures expressed per 1 population.Economy Statistics > Economic aid > Donor (per capita) by country

    Rank Countries Amount (top to bottom)
    #1 Luxembourg: $490.59 per capita
    #2 Denmark: $389.53 per capita
    #3 Norway: $302.51 per capita
    #4 Netherlands: $241.39 per capita
    #5 Sweden: $188.24 per capita
    #6 United Kingdom: $176.06 per capita
    #7 Finland: $162.36 per capita
    #8 Ireland: $147.72 per capita
    #9 Switzerland: $145.61 per capita
    #10 Belgium: $103.15 per capita
    #11 Austria: $83.05 per capita
    #12 Canada: $77.87 per capita
    #13 Japan: $69.84 per capita
    #14 Germany: $67.96 per capita
    #15 Australia: $43.75 per capita
    #16 Spain: $32.88 per capita
    #17 Portugal: $25.46 per capita
    #18 United States: $22.91 per capita
    #19 Iceland: $22.19 per capita
    #20 Italy: $17.20 per capita
    #21 Korea, South: $15.17 per capita
    Weighted average: $134.54 per capita

    Now here are the figures on generosity with wealth or ability to give factored in and you are even worse.

    CIA World Factbook, 15 May, 2007 DEFINITION
    The net official development assistance (ODA) from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations to developing countries and multilateral organizations. ODA is defined as financial assistance that is concessional in character, has the main objective to promote economic development and welfare of the less developed countries (LDCs), and contains a grant element of at least 25%. The entry does not cover other official flows (OOF) or private flows. Per $ GDP figures expressed per 1,000 $ gross domestic product.Economy Statistics > Economic aid > Donor (per $ GDP) by country
    Rank Countries Amount (top to bottom)
    #1 Denmark: $8.76 per $1,000 of GDP
    #2 Luxembourg: $7.57 per $1,000 of GDP
    #3 Netherlands: $6.93 per $1,000 of GDP
    #4 Norway: $5.60 per $1,000 of GDP
    #5 France: $5.04 per $1,000 of GDP
    #6 United Kingdom: $5.00 per $1,000 of GDP
    #7 Sweden: $4.91 per $1,000 of GDP
    #8 Finland: $4.56 per $1,000 of GDP
    #9 Ireland: $3.31 per $1,000 of GDP
    #10 Belgium: $3.06 per $1,000 of GDP
    #11 Switzerland: $3.06 per $1,000 of GDP
    #12 Canada: $2.65 per $1,000 of GDP
    #13 Austria: $2.35 per $1,000 of GDP
    #14 Germany: $2.06 per $1,000 of GDP
    #15 Japan: $1.93 per $1,000 of GDP
    #16 Portugal: $1.61 per $1,000 of GDP
    #17 Australia: $1.42 per $1,000 of GDP
    #18 Spain: $1.34 per $1,000 of GDP
    #19 Korea, South: $1.10 per $1,000 of GDP
    #20 Italy: $0.60 per $1,000 of GDP
    #21 United States: $0.59 per $1,000 of GDP
    #22 Iceland: $0.54 per $1,000 of GDP
    Weighted average: $3.36 per $1,000 of GDP

    When the Tsunami occurred, the US had to be shamed into upping their original gift several times because it was so embarrassingly small compared to other countries. Finally the victims had to wait months for 2 ex-presidents to go on the rubber chicken circuit drumming up money for them. When you are starving and dying of thirst from a lack of clean water you need the help TODAY, not in a few months. I believe you saw the results of this type of assistance when your own disaster occurred in New Orleans just 9 months later. Your people died waiting for help, and many are still waiting. Other countries rushed to your aid including Cuba even though your leadership arrogantly refused Cuba’s aid. I bet the inhabitants of New Orleans would not have refused it.

  170. 175 paulitics 2 June, 2007 at 3:58 pm


    You wrote “Communism is coming to America.”

    I very sincerely hope you’re right. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the case.

  171. 176 paulitics 2 June, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    RPJ – Great post. I was thinking about showing those same figures to Armando, but he doesn’t strike me as a “facts” kind of guy.

  172. 177 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Haha. Wow, no one even confronted me on what I was really talking about. I asked specfic questions in my post, and there was not one answer to any of them. Soooo when we America doesn’t help fast enough, you give me stats to criticize, and when we do try to help, as we have numerous times around the world, America still gets criticized for getting in peoples business. In the order they came:

    To Landsker–If there was ANY shred of hard evidence to support that theory, it would be plastered over every Bush hating newspaper in the country.

    To RPJ–I have not been brainwashed. I gathered that opinion I posted from studying world history, having friends who came from other countries, and serving in Iraq in the U.S Marine Corps.

    To Paulitics–You didn’t even repost responding to any of my questions or statements in my post. Good one. I’d like to try to respond to all of my questions, instead of assuming something about me to marginalize my post.

  173. 178 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Also Landsker, I never claimed the U.S was the richest. Read my post, and try to respond to what I was getting at. Name me another country in the history of the world that spend more time and money rebuilding enemy nations after a long and bloody war.

  174. 179 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Haha whoops. The last post was addressed to RPJ, not Landsker.

  175. 180 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Do those stats take in to consideration the private money that is donated by Americans?

  176. 181 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, anyways Paulitics…I’d love for you to explain your source about the over 600k civilians dead in Iraq. Go ahead please.

  177. 182 RPJ 2 June, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Armando, nobody criticizes anybody for giving aid. You are criticized for your false statements inflating your generosity and refusing to acknowledge those countries who are more generous than you. And I quote you “America is the most just and responsible nation ever to exist on this planet.” and again “America gives more aid around the world than any other nation.” When you post horseshit, expect to be called on it. Oh and when you say “America holds its soldiers accountable.” you must mean that poor little Lindy (forget her last name) masterminded Abu Ghraib. The real creators of your “Torture Policy” have never been held accountable and likely never will be. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t say you claimed to be the richest country I stated it as a fact. You are, but you sure as hell would not know it by your ranking in foreign aid. So cut the crap and own up to your real record and quit trying to BS the world into thinking you are the “Mother Teresa” of nations. We are all dying laughing out here at your ignorance. Oh, and PS: do you really think you are the only ones who gave money to help rebuild Germany and Japan?

  178. 183 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Torture policy? Haha. Okay, I guess I’m done here. You refuse to see how very different American military thinks and operates with regards to morality. You want to back up any of those claims about torture? How exactly do we torture? And who does it? And, yes, America gave the most to not only rebuild Germany but all of europe. What country are you from? And have some class. There is no need to curse. And try answering my qeustion: Do those stats take into account private american money donated? Yes or no?

  179. 184 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    We have a military of over a million people. It only takes one group of bad soldiers to make everyone look bad, by doing something that is not acceptable. There doesn’t mean we advocate torture. And those soldiers were punished.

  180. 185 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Follow this logic please. Our thought has always been that, if an enemy knows they will be killed or tortured when they surrender, they will fight like a cornered animal, and kill more of our soldiers. The world over has never been fearful of surrending to Americans. We WANT them to surrender. We don’t them fighting hard against us. This is the offical policy. Are there bad seeds? Perhaps. Do soldiers get out of line, yes. Do they get punished and made an example of when they do? Yes, and that holds true for actions of Americans in every war we fought. Don’t you think if Americans were always torturing prisoners, word would eventually get out and they would stop surrending so easily to us?

  181. 186 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    And I apoligize for misreading your other post. Okay, yes America is the richest nation, and I agree, should Americans be giving most if they are the richest? Yes, we should be. If we aren’t, then shame on us. But I need to know if those stats take into account the private money Americans donate. Last number I saw was something like 270 billion, but I don’t know if thats just to domestic charities, or if some of that includes international charities as well.

  182. 187 RPJ 2 June, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Armando, in addition to the above reply I quote you again.
    “Have you bothered to look at how terrible every middle east country is? Oppressed women. Homosexuality pushable by death. In Saudi Arabia, its not allowed for buddist temples, jewish temples or christian churches to exist. Islam has produced the most intolerant governments in the world.”
    Actually, Iraq and Iran had the best record for emancipated women in the middle east. Even Afghanistan had a reasonably good record before the Taliban took over. Women in these countries held jobs as Doctors, lawyers and scientists. Once the religious zealots took over this changed and having the shit bombed out of the country destroying the infrastructure is a prime reason these zealots can take hold. And by the way, speaking of zealots you better watch out for them in your own back yard. Next to the middle east the US is the most religously driven in the world these days and you folks are striving mighty hard to roll back the rights of women in every court. Also, I found it funny that you trotted out the tyranny found in Saudi Arabia. You are absolutely right, they have a dismal record regarding the rights of women and other religions so why then do you suppose the US supports them instead of the more progressive regimes????? And also, if you are trying to claim you went into Irag to remove a tyrant who used WMD please spare us the BS. Saddam’s biggest supporter during the 80’s right up until he invaded Kuwait was guess who … yep the good old USA. You gave him the weapons and planes and money even while he was using WMD against his own people. So cut the crap there too. He was always a wicked evil dictator and yet you supported him during the 80’s (he gave you oil) fought with him during the 90’s but still got his oil by giving him food (knowing it was not going to his people) and then in the new millenium deciding he was suddenly this huge threat (although he could barely move in his own country) and decided to bomb the shit out of him and his people. And all this instead of focussing on the real criminals who caused 911 or on the much bigger and stronger tyrants that were a much bigger threat than he posed and against all advice from most other countries. Now you have destroyed their infrastructure, stolen their oil, killed thousands of their people, lit a powder keg in the middle east, sacrificed your own military personnel who bravely give their lives for this ill conceived fiasco and you can ask “Gee, how come we are being criticized?” Wake up you imbecile.

  183. 188 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    You are throwing a lot of claims. Id ask you to back them up, but I know you wont. I asked you 3 TIMES if your stats included private money, and you havent answered yet. And you are now calling me names. Have I called you a name? If you truly believed what you are saying is true, then you’d want me to listen and engage you in reasonable conversation. However, you have proved that you cant respond to anything i say without going of an several new tangents at once, AND calling me names. So, either you care little if others know the truth, or you are simply blindsided by hate for those who don’t Sorry Paulitics, I was having fun on this post, but I guess you are going to have to only preach the the choir now.
    “Actually, Iraq and Iran had the best record for emancipated women in the middle east. Even Afghanistan had a reasonably good record before the Taliban took over. Women in these countries held jobs as Doctors, lawyers and scientists. Once the religious zealots took over this changed…” Yes, just like I said, once Muslims took over, it went to hell.

    Don’t bother posting back. Responding to you civilly has proven to be a waste of time.

  184. 189 peoplesgeography 2 June, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Armando, you are an exemplar of someone who has been completely indoctrinated. If you really believe the propaganda and are not simply a troll, you are incredibly naive. It is you who parrot claims that are completely false, refutable and unsupported. I and others could easily direct you to sources. The onus of proof in the first instance is however on you. You back up your patently false assertions with sources, and do some work, for it is you who is “throwing a lot of claims”, demonstrably false. Those governments were already Muslim, for a start. They weren’t suddenly Muslim when the western-backed Taliban ran rampant, in the case of Afhganistan. Iraq had the best health care system in the region before the US neocons destroyed it. As for your breathtakingly ridiculous and distorted view of American imperial “benevolence”, do some reading. If Noam Chomsky isn’t to your taste, try some avowed Republicans like Andrew Bacevich and Chalmers Johnson. As for RPJ asking you to “wake up, imbecile”, I don’t believe this is name-calling. I think this is a statement of fact — until you indicate otherwise.

  185. 190 Armando 2 June, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    People are accusing my country of many things. Last I checked, the burden of proof lies on the accuser. So, proof away. You want to advocate name calling? I don’t care if you want to rationalize it by saying you don’ t believe it is. It is. Look, lets assume I’m a total moron. Even so, do you expect to make any progress by trying to make your point by belittling someone with name calling? It’s amazing to me that I try to have a civil exchange of ideas and I get called names by 2 people. Both of you want so badly to say that America is so awful. What claims am I parroting peoplesgeography? Lets see if you can be more civil and logical then RJP and take this one step a time. From the top originally, I said that America was unique amount powerful nations it that it spend time and money to rebuild enemy nations and nations that were hurt by that enemy nation. American didn’t subjegate them or force our ideas on them. Both Germany and Japan are wealthy nations and think independently of America. Lets stick with just situation to start. What do you make of that claim?

  186. 191 peoplesgeography 2 June, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Armando, I’d be happy to, as time allows and Paul kindly indulges myself and others.

    First of all, America is neither completely benign nor completely malevolent. Let’s eschew simplistic dichotomies of the type Ronald Reagan (Soviet Union as the “evil empire”) used to make, and George Dubya makes now (“axis of evil” referring to Syria, Iran and North Korea). Let’s acknowledge that yes, the US has done some good for the world, and exported some positive ideals. I neither hate America nor am I a patriot. I admire its founding ideals and its constitutional framers. I have American cousins. I have taught American students. There is much to know and love about the US.

    If you can accept that people of good will and conscience are not in fact claiming that US foreign policy is completely bad, can we ask of you to also acknowledge, in the first instance, that neither is it completely benign nor benevolent as you claim?

    The Marshall Plan may have helped re-build some of Europe, but it was hardly one-sided. The US was awash with surplus and needed to recycle the hegemonic surplus to retain its economic and military position.

    The US is not the most generous nation as RPJ has already demonstrated with evidence. The prize for highest per capita contributions in foreign aid as a percentage of GDP in most years is usually the Nordic nations.

    Yes, there is much private philanthropy in the US and that is to be applauded. It is fortunate philanthropy is strong in the US as there is no strong social democratic welfare tradition there. The income gap is increasing by the year and federal budgets* are increasingly being devoted to past and present military spending, outstripping outlays on health and education. This may well be a sign of imperial overstretch.

    *(Scroll down half way down the post for the federal budget outlays post, and while you are there also avail yourself to the related links about war profiteering in Iraq by US corporations Bechtel, Halliburton et al. and unaccountable private contractors such as Blackwater who are also making a killing (sadly, literally) and make up almost half the US military presence in Iraq. There are many, many other links to which I could refer; as comments sections usually hold up comments in moderation queues if there are more than 2 or 3 links per message, I’ll include links judiciously per comment).

    RPJ is also right to point to how the CIA, Rumsfeld and the Reagan administration backed Saddam Hussein and supplied him with weapons. If he used chemical WMD at one point in time, the US were implicated, just as US arms dealers are directly responsible for the Israeli savagery unleashed upon Lebanon last year, and much else besides.

    You claim to have read history but I very sincerely doubt it. Please enumerate upon the books you have read, I’d be most interested in your selection. I teach international relations and I’d be happy to offer you suggestions, as I already have with respect to Chalmers Johnson and Andrew Bacevich.

    You also mention that you have served in Iraq but that doesn’t confer upon you common sense and a modicum of historical awareness. I have ex-Marines who post at my site and they are rightly critical of US foreign policy. I am critical of my own government too, and for those governments (US, UK, Australia, Spain) that ignored the will of the people to launch this immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq.

    The US military is not innately moral nor is it the case of a “few bad apples” that led to systemic abuse at Abu Ghraib and the suspension of international and US legal norms as they relate to torture.

    Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, lest tyranny overrun you. Or are these patriots just “American-haters”, too? This Traveling Soldier site may interest you: Words From the Frontlines.

    Several of us have engaged with your points directly, and it is you who have been led to water but refuse to drink. The blog owner commented that he would have engaged with you but he rightly suspected you weren’t amenable to reasonable refutation. I thought you were just a troll. It is inexplicable to many of us that you could so easily buy into these propagandistic beliefs, and tar Islam to boot.

    im·be·cile n. A person whose mental acumen is well below par.

    You are invited to demonstrate otherwise, or go and do some reading.

  187. 192 paulitics 2 June, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Armando – you wrote

    “Oh, anyways Paulitics…I’d love for you to explain your source about the over 600k civilians dead in Iraq. Go ahead please.”

    I’ve cited that source multiple times in this blog post alone including previously in the comments section and in the actual body of the original posting. At the bottom of the page linked to in the original post there is a video of an academic lecture given by Les Roberts who headed the team who conduced the survey. In this lecture he documents thoroughly his methodology. Feel free to take a look at it and feel free to read the blog post again before your criticize. It makes you look amateurish when you criticize without having actually read the material thoroughly.

    However, as for your charge that I have not responded to all of your attacks and questions, on that front you do have a valid point. You’re right that I haven’t responded to everything you (and many others) have written. However, between the comments on this blog, the comments on Reddit and the comments on, I got well over 400 comments in total on this post which made it virtually impossible for me to respond to everybody. Besides, you’ve already made up your mind on all of these issues and have demonstrated with your actions that you are not interested in discourse.

    Second, you wrote:

    “People are accusing my country of many things. Last I checked, the burden of proof lies on the accuser. So, proof away.”

    I’m not going to speak for anybody else on this blog but me, however I documented my sources and you didn’t bother to even read them before claiming I concocted the whole thing.

    Lastly, you wrote:

    “It’s amazing to me that I try to have a civil exchange of ideas and I get called names by 2 people.”

    Read over your comments again (from the beginning) and point out to me the parts that were aiming for a ‘civil exchange of ideas’. I think most people reading over your comments wouldn’t see much of a desire for a ‘civil exchange of ideas’ for if that truly was your intention, you would have actually read what you were criticizing before launching into tirades against it.

  188. 193 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 12:43 am

    First to Paulitics–I reviewed your source and others. I wanted to hear what you had to say about it first. Apparently you don’t want to play ball and break down how those numbers came to be.

    My quote “You understand nothing of this world or life. You illustrate that when you said, “I’m a completely non-violent person and would not fire a weapon at another human being even if my life depended upon it.” Really? What if some else’s life depended on it? Would you stop them, or let them be killed the same way you’d let yourself be killed? Thats pretty sick. What fantasy world do you live in? Who should help the weak if not the strong and capable?”

    I’m pretty sure that was the harshest thing I said to you. Your statement was absurd sounding. I’m pretty sure most people would defend their life if someone was trying to take it. I just don’t understand where you are coming from with that statement.

    Now to Peoplesgeography–Ill take one thing a at time. Yes, the U.S armed Saddam…but of course, the question is…why? The enemy of our enemy is our friend. We didnt just do it for hoots. But this is more important: That was more than 20 years ago. Different president, different senate, congress, cia director, and everyone below. For arguments sake, excercise of lack of judgment could of been made. In fact, lets assume it was. Okay, great, now here we are. What has changed? Is doing the right thing now not valid because other people caused the problem 20+ years ago?

    “The US military is not innately moral nor is it the case of a “few bad apples” that led to systemic abuse at Abu Ghraib and the suspension of international and US legal norms as they relate to torture.” It absolutely is the case of a few bad apples. And yes, the articles that govern out discipline and protocol ARE moral. Show me in history or today a more moral, accountable, while also being effective, military. There is no torture field book. It’s no where in our philosophy. The reasons why torture is unacceptable is pounded into our brains starting in book camp.

    So you have a few ex-marines who think how you do. So what? The majority of the U.S military does believe in what we are doing over there, and our re-enlistment rates are at an all time high. Theres a reason for that.

    Where are you from? This is hardly fair, you know where I’m from but I have no idea which country you are writing from!

  189. 194 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 3:04 am

    haha book camp…of course I meant, BOOT camp!

  190. 195 peoplesgeography 3 June, 2007 at 5:18 am

    Book camp was an apt Freudian slip, as it seems apposite in this case.

    You keep making the claim that re-enlistment rates are at an all-time high but again do not provide any evidence to back up your claim — a simple link to a reputable reference would do. Its incorrect. There is actually a serious recruitment shortfall.

    Ken Silverstein writes in Harper’s:>/a>

    I recently spoke about this with my friend Eli Flyer, a longtime Pentagon consultant on military recruiting, who painted a grim picture of the Army’s current recruiting strategy. In 2005, Flyer noted, the Army fell far short of its goal of attracting 80,000 enlistees. It managed to meet that same target last year by deploying about 1,400 new recruiters, by offering larger enlistment bonuses and other incentives, and by systematically lowering educational standards for new recruits. For example, the portion of non–high school graduates in last year’s enlistee pool was 27.5 percent, up from 17 percent in 2005. In the 1990s, non-grads (most of whom do have a G.E.D.) made up only about 5 percent of new Army recruits.

    There has also been an increase in the number of recruits coming in with “moral waivers” for a criminal history (a story covered last year by the Los Angeles Times). Last year, one in ten recruits had a prior misdemeanor or felony conviction. That adds up to 7,500 individuals, up from 4,000 in 2004. Meanwhile, a Hartford Courant series last year found that the military is enlisting (as well as redeploying) a growing number of mentally-troubled soldiers.

    Recruits with a criminal history and non–high school grads are far more likely to perform poorly, commit acts of misconduct, and fail to complete their scheduled tours of duty. Judging from past results, about half of the non-grads will not complete their first four years of active duty, versus an expected “attrition” rate of about one-third for high school graduates. The Army is aware of these statistics, Flyer explains, but—having found no other way to meet its recruiting goals—it has looked the other way.

    Even as the Army welcomes growing numbers of likely non-finishers and screwups, it is at the same time seeking to lower discharge rates artificially and thereby to reduce the pressure to sign up new enlistees. Military analysts estimate that every time the “failure rate” drops by one percent, the Army can cut by 3,000 the number of new recruits it needs in order to meet personnel levels.

  191. 196 paulitics 3 June, 2007 at 9:12 am

    Armando – I don’t know what your gripe is with my sources. I’ve cited every figure I gave and, what is more, they are all impecable primary sources of first hand enumeration of the Iraqi population. The Les Roberts survey has been the most comprehensive and detailed survey of Iraqi fatalities since 2003. He uses the same standard techniques the US government uses to assess fatalities after massive disasters such as Katrina.

    If you question these numbers, please, feel free to explain why you’re a better epidemiologist than Les Roberts and the team of doctors who conducted the surveys.

    Seeing as how I don’t believe you are an epidemiologist who has recently enumerated the Iraqi population using EPSEM statistical standards, I’ll stick with Roberts’ numbers.

    I also found your account of the US supporting Saddam to be simplistic. Do you also want to explain US support for dictators and oppression of democracy in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Iran, Lebanon, Somalia, South Africa, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and a host of other countries?

  192. 197 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 11:37 am

    peoplesgeograhphy–you give me an article about enlistment rates. I said re-enlistment rates. They are two very different things. But you are right: the Army frequently looks the other way and lowers their standards, and they always have enlistment problems. I knew this early on, which is one reason I joined the Marines instead.

    Paulitics- Do a search for Iraq, and check out the study on arming Iraq from 1970-2004. During the years before 1990 you will find that the majority of weapons sold to Iraq was from the Soviets and France. Ha, even canada sold them weapons. You can actually see specifically what type and quantity. You will also see many other countries, with America constituting about 1% percent. And no, I wont explain your alleged support for your list of countries. YOU please explain where you are getting this from, and back it up. I’m not the one making so many accusations. So you are trying to say for some reason that America supports facists and oppression?

    And I don’t see you explaining why you are better General then the ones in charge of Iraq right now, but yet, you are allowed to doubt them, but I must explain why I’m a better epidemiologist then Les Roberts?

    If you questions the results of Iraq, please feel free to explain why you a better strategist and tactician then the Generals in the most effective military the history has ever known. : )

    This is riduculous. I don’t have to be an epidemiologist to questions those numbers, and you don’t have to be in the CIA, Dept of defense, or a military commander to question whats going on in Iraq.

    Your study is not without doubt and controversy. Read this BBC article. But before you do that. Let’s assume for arguments sake that Roberts Lancet report is accurate. Our military bends over backwards to ensure civilians are not killed. What more can they do? We are there for many reasons. Would not a free Iraq, and democracy with free trade be a great thing for the 50 million people in that country? Futhermore…, the ability to trade oil with Iraq would help us become less dependent on Saudi oil. And Saudi Arabia is the worse of them, but we can’t simply go F U to them yet. Trust me, America will someday soon. There are many reason why America is in Iraq. Spreading democracy and free markets and using that country to apply pressure and influence on other countries in that region is one of them.

    Huge gaps between Iraq death estimates
    By Paul Reynolds
    World affairs correspondent, BBC News website

    Iraqi woman mourns after car bomb in Kufa, July 2006
    Many Iraqis have lost relatives to violence
    The estimate that about 655,000 people have died in Iraq as a result of the 2003 invasion is such a large figure that it has led to two differing interpretations.

    Those who had faith in an earlier report from 2004 – also published in the medical journal The Lancet – are now able to say that this larger survey proves their point that Iraqi deaths have been far greater than publicly reported, and have now reached what the report calls “a humanitarian emergency”.

    Those who thought that the 2004 survey was exaggerated – it estimated 98,000 additional deaths up until September 2004 – think this one is even more wide of the mark.

    Les Roberts, one of the report’s authors said: “It may not be extremely precise, but it gets us into the ball park.”

    Professor Gilbert Burnham, another of the report’s authors and an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said: “We’re very confident with the results.”

    And other epidemiologists supported that view. Ronald Waldman of Columbia University told the Washington Post that the survey used a method that was “tried and true” and that “this is the best estimate of mortality we have.”

    Update 19 October: there has been a lot of support for the report’s methods among the statistical community. For example, at George Mason University has an online article by Rebecca Goldin who says: “While the Lancet numbers are shocking, the study’s methodology is not. The scientific community is in agreement over the statistical methods used to collect the data and the validity of the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the study.”

    However there has been some criticism of the methodology.

    An article in the Wall Street Journal by Steven Moore, who worked as a pollster for the coalition authorities in Iraq, attacked the sampling: “The key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough cluster points. In their 2006 report… the Johns Hopkins team says it used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is astonishing: I wouldn’t survey a junior high school, no less an entire country, using only 47 cluster points.”

    And on 20 October, Science Magazine reported the queries of researchers at Oxford and Royal Holloway universities. One of them, Sean Gourley of the Physics department at Oxford, said their studies “have found fundamental flaws [in the Lancet report] that lead to an over-estimation of the number of deaths. ”

    One aspect they questioned was the selection of sample households chosen for interviews. There could be “main street bias”, they said, in that households on main streets were more likely to suffer casualties from car bombings. They want an inquiry into the methodology. “It’s almost a crime to let it go unchallenged,” said Neil Johnson of Oxford.

    It may not be extremely precise, but it gets us into the ball park
    Les Roberts
    report author

    And other groups that track deaths in Iraq dispute the findings. Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, which tracks statistics in its Iraq Index, said: “I do not believe the new numbers. I think they’re way off.” The Brooking Index, relying on the UN (which gets figures from the Iraqi health ministry) and the Iraq Body Count (IBC), estimates the civilian death toll at about 62,000.

    The IBC, which counts the number of reported civilian deaths by violence, puts them between 43,850 and 48,693, though it adds that “our maximum refers to reported deaths – which can only be a sample of true deaths unless one assumes that every civilian death has been reported. It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media.”

    (The IBC reaction to the Lancet report has now been published. See below after summary of Lancet report)

    One should note here the political nature of this debate, as well as the statistical. Some critics say that the report’s authors and the editor of the Lancet Richard Horton have a political agenda in opposing the war in Iraq, and that therefore this should be taken into consideration when discussing this work. In turn of course some of these critics tend to be politically committed themselves.

    Report methodology

    First, though, to the report itself. Its strength, its authors argue, is in its tried and trusted method.

    It took a sample and then extrapolated broad results from that sample. This is a technique used in other areas of conflict, in public opinion polling and in marketing, for example, in assessing television audiences.

    In 2004, 33 clusters were chosen across the country with 30 households in each cluster. These households contained 7,868 people. This time, 47 clusters were chosen, with 12,801 people.

    Aftermath of Baghdad car bombing. File photo
    Insurgents are now staging daily attacks in Baghdad
    The method was to question people about deaths in their household first in the “pre-invasion” period and then in the “post-invasion” period leading up to July 2006.

    The difference would constitute what the survey calls “excess deaths”.

    The report says that there were 82 deaths pre-invasion and 547 post-invasion.

    It then multiplied these figures up in relation to the Iraqi population of 27,139,584, and came up with an estimated 654,956 “excess” deaths, 2.5 % of the population.

    Some statistical caveats are entered. The lowest estimate of deaths is put at 392,979 and the highest at 942,636. The lowest figure is still much bigger than the other counts.

    Of the “excess” deaths, 601,027 were attributed to the violence (mainly from gunfire and mainly among men aged 15-59), the rest coming largely from increased illness and disease.

    The report concludes: “Our estimate of excess deaths is far higher than those reported in Iraq through passive surveillance methods. This discrepancy is not unexpected. Data from passive surveillance are rarely complete, even in stable circumstances, and are even less complete during conflict.”

  193. 198 RPJ 3 June, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Well Armando it really doesn’t matter what countries we are from. It has nothing to do with the discussion. We are discussing the veracity of your statements about the USA. Nor does it really matter where you are from, unless you are finally prepared to concede that your statements were based on nothing more than the “my daddy is better than your daddy” type of argument. As far as your “Torture Policy” goes, it is really not disputed in many places other than within your own rank and file and I can understand why you need to be in the dark on this. They have to convince you to go into harm’s way believing that you can rely on your country’s ability to demand fair treatment for you if you fall into enemy hands. Your leadership, however, will not deny it, nor will they stop it. It is being done at Guantanimo and Abu Ghraib et. al. plus you are transporting prisoners to countries willing to torture on your behalf. They are all held without charges and without access to legal counsel or outside scrutiny of any significance. And if you think you would be taught “Torture Skills” at boot camp, in addition to my earlier statements, I draw your attention to the fact that even Germany kept its military separate from its torture squads. The Gestapo carried out that nasty bit of work for them. It is also most interesting to see that the very same techniques that are used at Gitmo found their way to Abu Ghraib (illustrated very well by pictures) right after the man in charge of torture at Gitmo was transferred to oversee Abu Ghraib. Funny how little Lindy et. al. was able to come up with these same techniques on her own without ever having been to Gitmo. And it was Gonzales the current US Attorney General who wrote the original opinion on Bush’s ability to get away with this by making sure they are not tortured within your country and that you avoid calling them enemy combatants so you can get around the Geneva Convention. Now why do you suppose that is necessary if you are such paragons of good treatment that the enemy is rushing into your arms?
    Also when you say that we are talking about a totally different administration right now than the one who supported Saddam, are you for real???? For crying out loud it was the idiot’s own father in the White House during the last two years of the 80’s when he actively supported him. He also did so during his terms as Vice President under Reagan and when you say it is a different group of people, are you serious? This is the same bunch of criminals almost to a man. Its like looking at a freaking class reunion photo. Now one claim you have made to a foreign policy you can be proud of was your reference to the “Marshall Plan” but you had to go back 65 years to find one. Let’s face it, the US record has been going rapidly downhill since. You had a good reputation then but not now my friend. And no we are not American Haters, at least I am not and I suspect the others are not either. There is nothing wrong with the American people. They are the largely the same as everybody else in the world, more arrogant perhaps and certainly more duped by their own propaganda than most, but nonetheless of the same ethical viewpoint of the rest of us. Unfortunately, the people don’t run your country any more than sheep dictate how the farm is run. Your country is run by big business. When you intervene in another country “to protect the interests of America” it is not the people’s interests that are being protected. It is the interest of the multi-national companies that own your country lock, stock and barrel. Your elections are window dressing. You are presented with basically two candidates that have been purchased by these companies and you get to choose between Candidate A who is owned by this group or Candidate B who is owned by this other group. Only those that are thus owned get the nomination because it takes their millions to put them into that chair. I won’t even go into how the actual elections themselves are tampered with especially in close races but I will say it is not the American people who are doing that. It is the two or three hundred big money people who orchestrate and finance this. They don’t call you the land of the dollar bill for nothing. Too bad once the people finally wake up and smell the coffee
    it will be too late. If you don’t believe your country supports dictators and fascist regimes because it is a “good business decision” you need to read some more. Oh and by the way, regarding the massive numbers of Iraqi dead, even Colin Powell knew that “If you break it, you pay for it”. You cowboys broke it when you destroyed their infrastructure, you can’t now blame them for the chaos and deaths occurring in the vacuum you created. Take some responsibility for what you did and also, quit pretending we are blaming your military troups. Nobody is, they are just pawns in the game and they are being offerred up as such by your leaders.

  194. 199 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Aight, I write you a paragraph or two, and copy and past one article for Paulitics. You write back way too much, which makes this whole dialogue difficult to handle one topic at a time. You are the one accusing. The burden of proof does lie on you. Much of what you say is unfounded, and you cant prove any of it. I can’t argue with you thinking our leaders are evil because how do I prove that they aren’t?. That is why the burden of proof lies on the accuser. Meanwhile, the president of Iran says that the destruction of Israel is coming soon. But no one seems to care.

    Do you really call whats going on in Gitmo torture? Ripping up korans and depriving them of sleep? Thats torture? Gee, I though it was mutilating people and causing severe pain and dismemberment, as is the practice of most of the U.S ememies. You want to accuse us of torture and look the other way at what other countries do?. Geez, you won’t go into how the elections are tampered? If there is proof, please give it, because Id want any problem fixed, as would most Americans. You have nothing but conspiracy theories and accusations. I’m here to defend a nation that more than any other nation in the world, has helped spread ideas of human rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech, press, justice. You need to have some real evidence before you say that our elections are rigged, and we support fascists. It’s like accusing a man of terrible crimes and having no evidence to back any of it up. Please, give me evidence. How do we support dictators, which ones? Who in our government makes the call? What do we get out of it?

    And I dont think you are blaming our military troops. I know you are blaming America. Also, we did everything we could to keep their infastructure intact. The reason there is chaos there is because the Islamic equivalence of the difference between Protestants and Lutherans want to kill each other. Oh, lets not forget that fact all terrorist can simply come to Iraq to kill Americans. Oh, and Irans funneling of weapons and training to insurgents. Oh yeah, people strapping bombs to their bodies to blow up market squares.

    George Bush was VP during the 80s, yes. So tell me what we did to support him. Then tell me how it justifies any of his atrocities Saddam chose to do? Then tell me why its wrong to remove a man who ruled with an iron fist and committed genocide, while simultaneous trying to establish a free nation in the middle east?

    But hey, you want to lay everything at Americas foot? Fine. We should do nothing for anyone ever. Or ever step in. Cause hey, its not like our unwillingness to get involved in Europe before WWII let Hitler gain so much power right?

    Ya know, when Iran gets their nukes, and other nations that have too much influence from radical islamic groups finally hit America hard, like theyve been wanting to, the effect of an american city being hit will effect the entire nation. It may effectively cause the world economy to shut down. Imagine LA or Chicago hit with a nuke. Americans stop working in big cities, people are scared, trade slows down. Its going to be very disasterous. This is a big problem. I can give you every point you made. Have them, fine. But this is real, and no one seems to care. They have openly stated they want the distruction of Israel and the U.S. Iraq is a key because of its location. Again, we went in for many reason. One of them was Iran. But one seems to care about the big picture. Unless you think the president of Iran, who has stated the holocaust didnt happen, is a good man?

  195. 200 RPJ 3 June, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    OMG I give up. This would take me full time for the next 5 years just bringing you up to speed on the realities of the real world. You have been given so many facts by so many of us it is amazing you can’t acknowledge them. Funny, though when you were warned by most other countries about what would surely result from your invasion of Iraq you ridiculed their predictions. Now that they have come to pass exactly as predicted you talk as if it had nothing to do with you. Good luck to you and you are right, you will need it because you likely have touched off WW3. Too bad it will also take many of us down with it.

  196. 201 paulitics 3 June, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Armando –

    I must hand it to you, you’ve just outdone yourself with this comment:

    “And I don’t see you explaining why you are better General then the ones in charge of Iraq right now, but yet, you are allowed to doubt them, but I must explain why I’m a better epidemiologist then Les Roberts?”

    First of all, I never said that I was better at commanding soldiers and killing people than America’s Generals are. In fact, I’ll state the exact opposite, America’s Generals can kill people far more efficiently than I could ever advise them to do even if I were inclinded to do so.

    Second of all, you’re talking about two things. The first is a group of people who are killing others. The second is a group of doctors counting the people killed. And you’re saying that it’s roughly the same thing for me to doubt the former group as it is for you to doubt the latter?

    I never mentioned anything about military tactics anywhere on this blog, however whenever any group of people are engaged in killing others, we are ALL entitled to take a stand on purely moral grounds against this. Which, after all, was what I was doing. I wasn’t questioning America’s efficiency or techniques of killing, I was questioning the very reality of the situation. So yes, I do doubt the mission the generals are undergoing, I don’t doubt their ability to kill.

    Les Roberts, on the other hand, has done nothing that was morally reprehensible. If you want to ‘doubt’ him, you have to do it on methodological grounds and insofar as his methodology is concerned, nobody — not the US military, not the UK military, not the Iraqi government nor the Iraqi ministry of heath — has done as thorough of an analysis as Roberts has.

    Lastly, Armando, you wrote

    “YOU please explain where you are getting this from, and back it up. I’m not the one making so many accusations. So you are trying to say for some reason that America supports facists and oppression?”

    You really need to read a history book.

    I’m happy to give you a small sample of a reading list of reliable, academic, peer-reviewed sources, but what you’re saying amounts to an argumentum ad ignorantiam, which, of course, is a fallacy. Just because you are so ill informed that you are unaware that the US funded and supported brutal dictators, is not an argument. Specifically I suggest you take a look at Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’ and Noam Chomsky’s ‘Hegemony or Survival’ (However there are dozens of others which I could suggest with a more narrow focus, such as Elm’s work on the US support for the brutal Shah in Iran, if you like). You may also do some research on US support for the following brutal dictators specifically as they are certainly figures you SHOULD know about especially if you consider yourself politically aware.

    Suharto of Indonesia, Batista of Cuba, ‘Baby Doc’ and ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier of Haiti, Marcos of The Philippines , Pinochet of Chile, the Shah of Iran, Hussein of Iraq and Noriega of Panama to name just a very very few.

    Happy reading.

  197. 202 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    RPJ–what facts have you given me? Cite the previous facts YOU have given me. You won’t even be polite and tell me which country you are from.

    Paulitics–this is going no where fast, and again you make snide comments saying I need to read a history book. You always have to try to cut down eh? Civility is not something I’ve come to expect when debating with anyone from the left, liberal, or socialist. So I’ll ask you this: What do you think of the American Pit Bull Terrier, as a breed? And I really do wish for you to answer that.

    And stop arguing semantics with me. I let so much stuff go because I know that you write a lot, and you might skim or in haste misinterpret what I’m saying. But you know very well what I was getting at when I mentioned doubting Roberts vs doubting people in charge of Iraq. And I did in the most light hearted fashion.

    Answer my question about the pit bull please, and then tell me how what American should of done after 9/11.

  198. 203 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Also…in 2005, your sources were were saying civilian deaths were approaching 100k. Now, lets say 2.5 years later..its 650k Soooo 550k more deaths in 2.5 years….hmm so lets just even say almost 3 years, around 1000 days. Are you telling me that you actually believe 550 Iraqi civilians on average are dying every day in Iraq? Are you kidding me? Tell me how this is possible.

  199. 204 RPJ 3 June, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Go back and look at my first message to you where I quoted the statistics and source of which countries are generous and which you went crazy on because I quoted statistics to you in response to your unsupported statements. You my friend continually try to suck and blow at the same time and just about as effectively. It does not matter what country I am from unless you want to change the topic to that country. Anyway, I’m not going to try to educate you any further. Enjoy life and good luck to you.

  200. 205 RPJ 3 June, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Okay one last post because it must be said.

    I quote you “tell me how what American should of done after 9/11”

    They should have looked for the criminals involved and brought them to justice in a civilized fashion in a court of law. That is what civilized societies do.

  201. 206 paulitics 3 June, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Armando – I noticed the deafening silence from you vis-à-vis the U.S.’s role in supporting these brutal dictators.

    Now, I don’t think you’re an apathetic person (I don’t know how anybody reading this exchange could think that), so I sincerely hope that your admirable political engagement leads you to research the U.S.’s involvement in propping up these unsavoury regimes. Now, you obviously don’t have to come to the same conclusion that I have, but the reality of the U.S. support is confirmed not only by every academic source on the subject of which I am aware (even the right-wing/conservative/ sources), but by primary governmental sources and the documentary record as well. The latter of which you can read yourself if you’re willing to do some digging. Now there are conservative sides to the argument. If you’re interested (and willing to devote a couple of hours of your time) you can listen to an interesting debate between Noam Chomsky and Richard Perle on the subject of U.S. suppression of democracy in Latin America wherein both a conservative and a socialist position are articulated here:

    However the difference between what Richard Perle offers in his debate with Chomsky and what you’ve offered here is the difference between an informed conservative argument and an uninformed conservative argument.

    Second, did you seriously ask me how it’s possible for a state without a modicum of law and order or a viable government combined with the most destructive armed forces ever in the history of humanity, kill a large number of people in a short period of time, or was that a joke?

    Third, silly Armando, don’t you know that, when we get together for our global weekly meetings, part of the Socialist pledge is to eat dogs for dinner along with our own young? We especially enjoy eating the American variety of the Pit Bull Terrier. Tangy.

  202. 207 Armando 3 June, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    No, please tell me, when there are no major air strikes going on in Iraq since after the main invasion force, and our military bends over backwards to avoid civilian casualties, tell me HOW 550 Iraqi civilians are dying EVERY DAY. Please, explain those mind bloggling numbers. 550 civilians a DAY? Where are the bodies being piled? Please explain this to me, without merely brushing it aside. These are your numbers. U.S troops don’t simply butcher civilians. Insurgents may blow some up during their suicide attacks. Where are these 550 civilians day being gunned down?

    As for your other accusations. I don’t know. I know that our country benefits from other free markets, and a country living in fear from a dictator doesn’t help us. So if we did that, shame on us. Moving on, here we are today. What can we do today? I didn’t do those things, nor did any other American I know. Nor is it something that springs forth innately from any of the principles our country was founded on. If they were done exactly as you think, then shame on us. America is powerful, we should be helping the weak not empowering dictators. If thats what you truly believe, then you have a reasonable gripe with the U.S. I can see your point of view. However, the danger in judging is that none of us were privy to all the factors that make a leader decide on a decision. For us to say, action A cause 100 people to die, therefore it is bad and he is an idiot, is wrong if his only other choices were B and C which would of resulted in greater loss. I think too many Americans forget that we live in a representative government, and our leaders are going to make decisions base on information, that by its very nature, cannot be known to everyone. So to hold every leader on every decision face value is very short sighted.

    Now, please explain those numbers.

  203. 208 paulitics 4 June, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Armando – Those numbers are not, as you put it, “mind bloggling”. At least not to me. America has killed far more people in a far shorter period of time and with far less news coverage than we are currently experiencing in Iraq. These figures come even farther away from the ‘mind boggling’ range when one considers that the killings are being furthered much by the wonderful situation America knowingly and willfully created with their War in Iraq whereby the rule of the jungle now reigns and ancient animosities are pitted against one another with no serious juridical structures to ensure stability and the rule of law — much as in Rwanda.

    Moreover, and this may come as a shock to you, but just because you say something with force or demand something with force (much like a child does), doesn’t mean I, or others have to do it or respect it. Simply put, it is not my place to explain these numbers nor do I have the inclination to. I have never been to Iraq and, more importantly, I have never worked for any organization doing enumeration of any kind in Iraq. Ergo, it would be inappropriate for me to explain them. Unlike you who relies on gut feelings (ie., “bellyfeel”), I rely on the best surveys of the population to have been completed, which, as of this time, is the survey conducted by Les Roberts.

    Now, that said, I am more than willing to modify my data if I am presented with a more thorough enumeration survey which holds to EPSEM standards as well as possible. Currently, neither the impotent government of Iraq nor the UN (which has virtually no presence in Iraq and even less inflence) has attempted this.

    Lastly, just as an intellectual exercize, if the U.S. has engaged in systematic suppression of democracy in various countries all over the world since the 19th Century, and, assuming that they continued to support brutal dictators while professing to adhere to these ‘founding ideals’ you speak of, which do you lend more weight to: What America says it stands for or what America’s actions say it stands for?

    If you wanted to honour the intellectual tradition of conservatism, you’d realize that it’s not too far removed from the intellectual tradition of socialism insofar as trust of government is concerned. Neither tradition trusts government, so I am amazed that you, a conservative, are so readily willing to put that much trust in what ANY government says. That kind of unflinching trust of government is a part of the liberal intellectual tradition.

  204. 209 Armando 4 June, 2007 at 1:01 am

    For every genocide (and 650k would be a genocide) that occurs, there are pictures of countless bodies. Horrific accounts. Where are those? Uganda, the Kurds, Armenians…I ask to to explain that number I gave you, and you give me rhetoric. How dare you try to call me a child. You have been snide and insulting on almost every post to me. And I don’t rely on feelings. But thank you for telling me how I think. And I’m sure those other genocides needed Les Roberts and EPSEM standards to determine if it happened, and to what extent.

    Again, stop assuming so much about me. I never said I put so much trust in any government. You take what I say completely out of context, and then use it as fuel for debate.

    550 civilians on average a day, for the last 3 years. Sure thing buddy. That really makes a lot of sense. I guess the news misses the firefights were 1000+ Iraqis die in one day, and the bombs that killed 300 or so a few times a week…for three years! Oh wait, they wouldn’t be firefights–they are civilians, it would be them merely being gunned down. Yeah, the media in the U.S which hates Bush and opposes the war missed all of that, probably due to Americas uncanny ability to cover it all up.

  205. 210 paulitics 6 June, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Armando – sorry for the lateness of my reply, yesterday I was away from my computer.

    You are incorrect that for EVERY genocide there exists large amounts of pictures of countless bodies. There weren’t that many pictures when the U.S.-backed Indonesian forces slaughted East Timorians; nor are have there been pictures that I’ve seen of the bloodbath in the Darfur region of the Sudan; nor have there been virtually any pictures in the Western media of the ongoing U.S.-backed invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces. Pictures are directly proportional to media access and, as I mentioned above, media access in Iraq (outside of Arabic media) is almost entirely non-existent outside of the Green Zone.

    Second, you write, “I ask to to explain that number I gave you, and you give me rhetoric.”

    Actually, I was entirely honest and forthright with you. It is in appropriate for me to answer that question as I do not work for any team of professionals who have conducted any surveys of the Iraqi populace nor have I ever even visited the country of Iraq personally. Ergo, you’re asking me to account for the number is in itself a rhetorical device by attempting to shift the appeal to authority in my original post from Les Roberts — who is a legitimate figure — onto me in order to further your rhetorical objectives.

    Third, you write “You have been snide and insulting on almost every post to me.”

    Ditto for you.

    Fourth, you write “I never said I put so much trust in any government.”

    You’re right, you never did say that. But your reliance on governmental sources which were less thorough than Roberts’ survey demonstrates a trust in government which buttresses my contention.

    Lastly, you write “Yeah, the media in the U.S which hates Bush and opposes the war missed all of that, probably due to Americas uncanny ability to cover it all up.”

    If you want to run with that conspiracy theory, be my guest. I think it makes you look like a little bit of a loon, but then again I was never really in your camp to begin with.

    That said, I would like to point out that I have put forth the challenge to you to present to me a more thorough and far-reaching survey of the Iraqi populace with EPSEM standards than Roberts’ survey on more than one occasion and you have conspicuously been unable to marshall any survey to your defence.

    If you’ve got a better survey, I’ve got nothing against giving it a full airing. But either present it to me, or quit your complaining about my numbers.

  206. 211 Armando 6 June, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Okay, lets assume then that those numbers are correct. Whats your point? That we shouldn’t of gone in? Okay great. But we did, and if 550,000 have died in the last 3 years, pulling the troops out would have an even worse, more destabilizing effect. Or do you disagree?

    More criticism of the method used by Les Roberts, but of the 2004 study:

    The authors of a peer-reviewed study, conducted by a survey team from Johns Hopkins University, claim that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war. Yet a close look at the actual study, published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet, reveals that this number is so loose as to be meaningless.

    The report’s authors derive this figure by estimating how many Iraqis died in a 14-month period before the U.S. invasion, conducting surveys on how many died in a similar period after the invasion began (more on those surveys later), and subtracting the difference. That difference—the number of “extra” deaths in the post-invasion period—signifies the war’s toll. That number is 98,000. But read the passage that cites the calculation more fully:

    We estimate there were 98,000 extra deaths (95% CI 8000-194 000) during the post-war period.

    Readers who are accustomed to perusing statistical documents know what the set of numbers in the parentheses means. For the other 99.9 percent of you, I’ll spell it out in plain English—which, disturbingly, the study never does. It means that the authors are 95 percent confident that the war-caused deaths totaled some number between 8,000 and 194,000. (The number cited in plain language—98,000—is roughly at the halfway point in this absurdly vast range.)

    ….so what do you make of that? If you are going to base part of your political philosophy or Les Roberts, should you not be able to defend against peoples criticism of his work, rather then dismissing them until someone gives you a different survey?

    And this is just for petty fun…but here, from you: “…demonstrates a trust in government which buttresses my contention.” Haha come on Paul. You do this every time! How about, “which supports my argument”, or even keep contention and just “supports my contention”

    Ya know, it doesn’t help your argument in any topic. All you can possibly do with that is isolate people who get bored as soon as they see how you write, or roll their eyes because they think you are a poser trying to sound intelligent by using very unnecessary words. No one will go…wow, how impressive! So why do it? Your point would be made much clearer in simpler words and concise sentences.

    And this criticism of how you write has nothing to do with this discussion or your views. If a conservative who I agree with wrote like this, I would offer up the same friendly (though unsolicited!) advice.

  207. 212 paulitics 6 June, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Armando – First, I’ll start with your arguments not pertaining to the survey and then finish with the part of your comment which was on subject with the topic of this thread.

    Firstly, yes I do hold the opinion that the U.S. should not have gone into Iraq in the first place. Moreover, yes I do also hold the opinion that the U.S. should exit from Iraq immediately. America has been saying throughout the ages that if they leave a given country, chaos will ensue. America said that chaos would insue if they left Vietnam (both Nixon and LBJ in fact had much the same talking points on this matter). America said the same thing about Cuba while they were supporting the brutal Batista régime. America said the same thing when they were supporting the death squads in El Salvador which killed, among others, Arch Bishop Oscar Romero. America said the same thing about Panama when they annexed it from Columbia.

    Your government has sold that line of “if we leave there will be chaos” to your countrymen for over 100 years and you, I see, have bought it hook, line and sinker. Bravo. This is yet more proof that you are frighteningly naïve insofar as the trust you give to your government. Let me ask you, if your government also told you that “we’ve always been at war with Eurasia”, would you believe that too?

    Secondly – I thank you for your (not-so-)constructive criticism of my writing style. If you must know, I spent the first 7 years of my schooling in kindergarten and elementary school in a French-only school and so it wasn’t until I transferred into an English school that I started to write assignments and other items in English. Thus, if you know French, you’ll notice that my sentence structure at times more closely mirrors a French sentence structure than a standard English one. Also, because I missed the first seven years of normal English instruction, my spelling of simpler words is not as good as my spelling of more complex ones. Thus, I chose my words very carefully because my spelling in English remains to this day atrocious, so I generally attempt to keep my writing very precise. So, if you want to make fun of me for the way I write, you can go right ahead. However, it doesn’t make you look witty, it just makes you look like an inconsiderate dick.

    Now, as for the substantive portion of your comment, firstly, you wrote “….so what do you make of that? If you are going to base part of your political philosophy or Les Roberts, should you not be able to defend against peoples criticism of his work, rather then dismissing them until someone gives you a different survey?”

    No I don’t feel that I have to do that. As I have said now more times than I care to count: I am not an epidemiologist, nor have I visited Iraq, nor am I a member of an organization which has surveyed Iraq, nor am I a professionally trained statistician. All I can do and all you can do for that matter is to take the best evidence that we have available and analyse it.

    I am well aware of much of the criticism of Les Roberts’ survey. In fact, if we’re going to play that game, another criticism that you could have even included against him, but didn’t, is the criticism of his ‘clustering’ methodology as having a spacial bias towards farmland over urban areas. I never said his methodology is perfect. In fact, I would argue strongly against that. I only said that his survey is the most thorough, most extensive and most reliable survey conducted to date of the Iraqi populace.

    Thus, it has not gone unnoticed that, having issued four or five times now, the challenge for any of your fellow right-wingers to come up with a better, more reliable survey, nobody has presented me with one.

    Seriously, if you have a better survey, please show it to me now and I’ll update this post. Otherwise, quit wasting my time with things like criticisms of a survey which I was already aware of and criticisms of the way I write in the English language.

    Shit or get off the pot.

  208. 213 Armando 6 June, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    The 1.7 million Cambodians that were killed after we pulled out of vietnam doesn’t count as chaos?

    Look, I really wasn’t trying to be a dick. I think the bigger dick move would of been to not say anything, as I’m sure most people do.

    I’m also aware of the criticism of Les Roberts clustering method.

    Assuming 655k is true: America’s military does not engage in wanton killing. So the incredible jump of 500k + deaths in the last 3 years could not just be from accidents, the few bad seeds that pop up (Haditha), and bombs that just kill too many or hit the wrong target.

    Just two things:

    1)Where do you think most of the deaths have resulted from in the last 3 years there?

    2)Suppose it takes 6 more years, and Iraq’s government and economic infrastructure is is developed and functional and they become a wealthy, independent nation. Would that be a bad thing? If it takes 1 life to have a nation of 50 million achieve that, is the price too high? What about 100, or 1000, or 1,000,000. At what point is the price too high? At Iraq’s estimate of 70k civilians? Or at Les Roberts 655k? Are both too high? How do you measure the value of 50 million free Iraq’s trading and participating in the free market? Or the value of 50 million people no longer living in fear, who couldn’t leave the country if they wanted to, had very little outside media, and who were controlled, town by town by the bathe party? (and yes, every town we went through, thats how it was. People lived like animals, and the bathe party had houses that were well furnished, electricity, and running water. They controlled all weapons, and food from the U.N. These people we arrested)

    Say what you will about America’s past. I’m saying is that what I described for Iraq’s future would benefit everyone, and I really do believe thats what America, and it’s leaders, would like to see happen. It’s also what the Iraqis would like to see happen. When we first came in there, the kids would mob us and they would want to know if we had the internet, and what was California like. The kids aren’t stupid, at a young age, they knew there is something better out there. The adults, came at us in tears, sobbing with joy, or cheering.

    We went to Iraq for strategic reasons (Iran is between Iraq and Afgansistan) and to help people at the same time. Now things have gotten rough, but thats such a wrong reason to advocate leaving immediately.

    General Patraeus is now recently in charge of Iraq…

    Petraeus was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College – class of 1983. He subsequently earned a Master of Public Administration (1985) and a Ph.D. (1987) in International Relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He later served as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy, and also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University. He has a BS from the U.S. Military Academy – class of 1974.

    …he seems to think it can be done. He’s been commanding ground forces from the start of the war, and now he’s in charge. I think he’s right, and I want to see what he can do before we simply pull out. He literally wrote the book and dealing with insurgencies like this. So, knowing of no one else as qualified as him to deal with this situation, I think it would be unfair to the Iraqis and the U.S to pull out after all that has happened there without giving him a chance to succeed.

    Or do you think that to be unreasonable?

  209. 214 paulitics 7 June, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Armando – I particularly loved this quote from you:

    “I think it would be unfair to the Iraqis and the U.S to pull out.”

    Your trust in your government is heart warming. You really have bought all of their talking points. Surveys of the Iraqi populace demonstrate that in Februrary in 2004 51% of Iraqis opposed or strongly opposed the continued presence of U.S. troops in their country. By November 2005, that number had increased into supermajority territory of 65%. Now, in 2007, 78% of Iraqis oppose the presence of U.S. troops in their country and want them gone. 78 percent!

    [Source: ]

    Yes, I suppose you’re right: it would be unfair to give the 78% supermajority of Iraqis what they want. Can you even imagine what 78% of a country agreeing on anything looks like? You can’t get 78% of Americans or Canadians to agree on the colour of shit. Yet 78% of Iraqis want your soldiers out of their country. You must really know much better than the Iraqis themselves what is good for their country.

    On one final note, now that I see that we have veered completely off topic, I can only presume that you have no further substantive critiques of my original post which have yet to be addressed. I now issue the call for what I believe is the fifth or sixth time: If you have a better, more thorough and far-reaching survey of the Iraqi populace with EPSEM standards than Roberts’ survey, please present it to me.

    P.S. Insofar as your quote pertaining to the chaos in Cambodia, you really should look up the documentary record on U.S. financial and military aid to the Khmer Rouge. If your government was that concerned about chaos in Cambodia (and Laos), they shouldn’t have given money AND arms to the very government which perpetrated the genocide.

  210. 215 Armando 7 June, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Paul, every time you respond to me you always have to ridicule my trust in the government and point out how brainwashed I am. You did not respond fully to my two points. You did not answer my question about the future of Iraq.

    They Iraqis originally wanted Saddam out, and were happy to have us there. Do you think its possible that them wanting us out now is simply a hope that their own people will stop killing them if the U.S leaves?

    And no, I won’t look up documentary record of aid to Khmer Rouge. You are the accuser, thats your job. I don’t need to prove innocence. You have to prove guilt. You can’t simply make that accusation without going into any details, and say for me to look it up. Absurd as it is for you to accuse that way, you could be right. But again, even if we did supply them with aid…you never ask the questions. Why did we? Did we know about the genocide at the time? And how much aid? Who was in charge of that decision?

    It would be unfair to them to pull out now, and you can’t give me anything better than a study showing people oppose the presence of troops? You are going to trust a war torn people who’ve lived in awful conditions for years before the U.S got there, who are now dying at the hands of their own people? Yeah, cause they have everything in order right? You can trust a poor scared Iraqi family because they see the big picture–it can’t be just them hoping that if we leave things will magically get better?

    I guess we are done. You can’t respond without trying to cut me down or call me names, and instead of engaging me in rational debate, you sidestep my questions and point to a statistic without wanting to dig deeper. You suggest I have blind faith in my government. Well, you appear to have blind faith in every accusation, study or survey that accuses America of something negative for the last 50 years. Why? Because it furthers your beliefs and, if all true, makes your case for your political view points stronger.

    Also, you did not answer my first question because you either A) have to say that Americans themselves are doing all the killing or B) its something internal…factions, sects, insurgents who want to kill their own for whatever reason. If you admit to B, then you would have a hard time justifying the U.S pulling out immediately.

  211. 216 Big Guy in TB 7 June, 2007 at 2:57 pm


    You are a real piece of work. Yes, you are the tenacious pit-bull who will never give up, always seemingly to need the last word.

    You quote “I’m saying is that what I described for Iraq’s future would benefit everyone, and I really do believe thats what America, and it’s leaders, would like to see happen.”

    Wow, what a profound statement. Who does the USA think they are to dictate what is best for some other country? Some other country should just accept what America thinks is good for them? Surely you dont think they are that stupid?. I wouldn’t give you a damn nickle for American-style democracy and the way the US government is run…high deficits, corruption running rampant, low education standards, and on and on it goes. Be truthful with yourself. America went after Iraq for control of its oil. Period. Nothing more, and nothing less. Not weapons of mass distruction, not to find the terrorists to destroyed buildings of the WTC. Its the oil.

    You also say “It’s also what the Iraqis would like to see happen. When we first came in there, the kids would mob us and they would want to know if we had the internet, and what was California like.”

    Oh my, this sounds like its right out of fairy tale book. They want to know what California is like? The internet? Surely you have to be embarrassed even to say this, and if you’re not, you should be.

    You quote “We went to Iraq for strategic reasons (Iran is between Iraq and Afgansistan)”.

    Strategic reasons? I thought they went there because they were after the WMDs.

    You quote ” and to help people at the same time.”

    Help people? Really? Was the USA invited in by the Iraqi people for help? Help to do what? Paulitics got it right when he said you have bought into the BS (yes, hook, line, and sinker), that your government has been feeding the good citizens of the USA. The government is relying on the fact that, on the whole, people in your country generally are not prepared to think independently and critically, and they therefore blindly accept that what the goverment says, must therefore be the gospel truth. I prefer to think of this as the people of the USA have been “hood-winked” by their own government.

    And finally, I expect that you will fire back a response to this. I won’t respond further to any comments you make, because I have neither the time nor the inclination to get into an opened ended, never ending verbal battle with some one who appears to have a closed mind on this whole Iraq situation. Others have shown remarkable patience to respond to your numerous and lengthy remarks. No one seems to be able to get thru to you. I wont even attempt to.

  212. 217 paulitics 7 June, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Armando – a few final points:

    Firstly, I never called you brainwashed. I have, however said that you demonstrate an alarming trust for your government’s statements without ever having read the documentary record yourself. And, what is more, everytime I have asserted this fact, I have backed it up with your own words.

    Secondly, you write “And no, I won’t look up documentary record of aid to Khmer Rouge. You are the accuser, thats your job. I don’t need to prove innocence. You have to prove guilt.”

    You claim to want to engage in a rational debate, but then you violently eschew reading something for yourself? Never have I met anybody who is so opposed to learning about something.

    I’m not here to waste time accusing the U.S. of supporting the Khmer Rouge. The accusation doesn’t need to be made — and it most certainly doesn’t need to be made by a Canadian socialist. I was merely informing you of the fact of the U.S. support for the Khmer Rouge in the hopes that you would bother to be slightly interested in learning something and do a little research on your own. There’s plenty to read on the subject for anybody who’s interested in doing so and I have already pointed you to sources several posts ago which you may find interesting. These sources do discuss, among other things, U.S. support for the Khmer Rouge. Specifically, I recommend ‘A People’s History of the United States’ by Zinn as I found it to be an easy read.

    As for your continued contention that “It would be unfair to them to pull out now.” Please explain to me what in your experience makes you so omniscient that you get to say what is and is not good for Iraqis? Your contention that you know more about what is good for the Iraqis than Iraqis do is the height of arrogance.

    You are, however, right that I did not answer your two questions. I did not answer them because:

    A) you have exhausted your critique of my original post and have now veered dramatically off the topic of this thread and onto subjects which, by your own admission on two different occasions, you have little knowledge about. Moreover, you have demonstrated little interest in building upon your knowledge of this subjects when presented with the opportunity.


    B) your second question about the future of Iraq is patronizingly authoritarian in its assumption that you and only you know what is best for the country of Iraq, ergo I reject the very premise of the question altogether. And your first question makes use of a false dichotomy which, even if it weren’t a fallacy, would still be overly simplistic. No, I never said that American soldiers directly killed every Iraqi casualty. I took the numbers from the Les Roberts survey and from various NGOs for the portion of the fatalities pertaining to the sanctions imposed during the 1990s. All sources acknowledge that these fatalities were CAUSED by the U.S. involvement in their country which does not mean that all of these fatalities were caused by U.S. bullets. For instance, if a guy fills a house with radioactive material (and ironically enough, since you’re the only country which uses depleted uranium in your munitions, this isn’t far from what your country’s actually doing) and then stuffs 100 people into it, what happens? Of course, they all die, but he could stand there and honestly say that HE didn’t kill them: it was the radiation that killed them.

    America’s soldiers don’t have to have personally fired a bullet into the heads of 650 thousand Iraqis for America to have CAUSED these deaths. Nobody is saying that U.S. soldiers personally killed all of these Iraqis. Not me. Not Roberts’ survey. Not Unicef. Not any of the other NGOs I employed. However the U.S., according to the best statistical evidence to date, did CAUSE 650 thousand Iraqis to die since the invasion began.

    If you dispute this fact, I will for one final time (which is the seventh time now, I think?) ask you to present to me a better, more thorough and far-reaching survey of the Iraqi populace with EPSEM standards than Roberts’ survey.

  213. 218 Armando 7 June, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Big guy, you said “”You also say “It’s also what the Iraqis would like to see happen. When we first came in there, the kids would mob us and they would want to know if we had the internet, and what was California like.”

    Oh my, this sounds like its right out of fairy tale book. They want to know what California is like? The internet? Surely you have to be embarrassed even to say this, and if you’re not, you should be.”

    …say what you will, I was there, as a U.S Marine infantryman in 2003 and that was my personal experience. Thanks for calling it a fairy tale though. I’m sure you know much better than I.

    So you interject a post in the middle of me and Paul just to say you wont respond if I reply? I think Paul is more than capable of handling this discussion without your hit and run comments.

    And no, others have not been patient–just Paul.

    And now back to Paul.

    Ah, but you still didn’t respond to the big picture of Iraq. Apparently none of that should come into play when these decisions should be made I guess.

    And as to my contention for pulling out being unfair, I already told you why it could be very reasonable to not make a decisions purely based on a survey done on people who are in a very bad situation. What I said was very reasonable and was nowhere near the “height of arrogance” But hey, apparently you are a better judge of the situation then Gen. Patraeous, right? I mean, if Paul says we should pull out immediately, who is anyone to question Paul?

  214. 219 paulitics 7 June, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Armando – I never said nobody could quesiton me. Show me where I said that.

    If did believe that nobody could question me or if I didn’t want people questioning me, I wouldn’t host a blog where people like you can guzzle up my time left right and centre. Seriously, why would I have responded to all of these comments by you if nobody was allowed to question me? Isn’t that just a bit rich?

    Secondly, I did answer your questions, honestly and forthrightly. Read the response again if you don’t believe me.

    Lastly, you are arguing in circles again when you appeal to the authority of General Patreous. Now, generally speaking, an appeal to authority is not a logical fallacy, but the appeal has to be based on the proper grounds. The grounds of my critique are moral and statistical. Ergo, your appeal to Patraeous on strategic grounds IS fallatious.

    Seriously, Armando, we’ve been over this before. Remember when I said that I was quite certain that General Patraeous and the U.S. military can kill Iraqis more efficiently than I could? Remember when I volunteered that point and it had no bearing whatsoever on my argument?

    I do.

    If you’ve nothing left to argue against my original post such that you’re resorting now to arguing in circles, then please don’t waste my time. I’ve responded to all of this already. If, on the other hand, you have something new and of substance or if you come up with that better, more thorough and more reliable survey that I’ve asked now 7 times for, then please do present it to me.

  215. 220 Armando 7 June, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    “Armando – I never said nobody could quesiton me. Show me where I said that”. That comes from the fact that you believe your opinion about the war in Iraq to be more valid then someone as qualified as Patraeous. If you didn’t this blog wouldn’t exist. If you questioned him, I wouldn’t say, “Show me a more qualified General or stop wasting my time!” But thats exactly what you do every time I ask you to logically speculate on how Les Roberts numbers are possible.

    Look, we are arguing apple and oranges. It isn’t just about killing efficiently–its also about managing the rebuilding of the countries infrastructure, training their security forces, and judging when and how to make our exit. Patraeous is qualified to do that. If America doesn’t see noticeable decline in violence, and progress as far as government, security, etc goes, after Patraeous executes his plan, then I’ll be the first to agree with you that the U.S should exit.

    And I already told you, you know I’m not going to produce any other stats or surveys that you haven’t already seen! Stop asking me for one! Even if the numbers are true, does that justify immediate pull out? I think no, you think yes.

    This is what I said that I felt wasn’t responded to:

    “Suppose it takes 6 more years, and Iraq’s government and economic infrastructure is is developed and functional and they become a wealthy, independent nation. Would that be a bad thing? If it takes 1 life to have a nation of 50 million achieve that, is the price too high? What about 100, or 1000, or 1,000,000. At what point is the price too high? At Iraq’s estimate of 70k civilians? Or at Les Roberts 655k? Are both too high? How do you measure the value of 50 million free Iraq’s trading and participating in the free market? Or the value of 50 million people no longer living in fear, who couldn’t leave the country if they wanted to, had very little outside media, and who were controlled, town by town by the bathe party? (and yes, every town we went through, thats how it was. People lived like animals, and the bathe party had houses that were well furnished, electricity, and running water. They controlled all weapons, and food from the U.N. These people we arrested)”

    This is how you responded to that paragraph: “B) your second question about the future of Iraq is patronizingly authoritarian in its assumption that you and only you know what is best for the country of Iraq, ergo I reject the very premise of the question altogether”

    Do you really think that the U.S would be sticking around this long if Iraq would work out splendidly? You can’t simply avoid my questions because you reject the premise. The question was fairly simple: What price is worth paying for a country of 50 million living free and joining the world community?

    Also, on what logical grounds does the U.S take action based on those stats of 78%? Even if they are true, that Iraqis have been subjected, force to live in fear of the bathe party, and now after the U.S invasion, subjected to internal strife. Their logic is reasonable, but simple–this wasn’t happening until the U.S came, so if they leave things will get better. Are you saying that the situation will really improve if the U.S leaves immediately? Well Paul, as much as you disagree with U.S policy, we can’t leave just yet. Not while it would be an easy target for Iran and terrorist factions to take hold of. And I dare say, most Iraqis wouldn’t want that either.

  216. 221 RPJ 7 June, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    OMG you have to be the most obstinate, perverse and ignorant American I have ever encountered and that is a real achievement. I have never seen anyone, anywhere more determined to cling to their unsupported opinions in all my days. You rebuff all attempts to convince you that it is you who needs to educate yourself, not the rest of the world since we have already educated ourselves as best we can and are continuing to do so. What part of “Les Roberts’ figures stand on their own authority until something else of equal or better authority is offerred” don’t you understand? That is basic scientific principle 101 for crying out loud. You and Paul debating his methods or his numbers with no credentials in that field is INSANE. Surely you know that opinions are like assholes, everybody has one! That doesn’t mean you have to be one. As for children running up to you wanting to know about California and the Internet is laughable NOT because nobody believes it didn’t happen you idiot, it is because you naively are asserting it as a justification for the USA invading Iraq. So what if they came running to ask about things they have never seen and are interested in, they are curious kids from a poor nation. I’d love to ask someone who comes from or who has been to China or Antarctica or the space station what they are like too. That doesn’t mean that therefore I approve of China’s foreign policies or America’s. Now how you think a child’s actions can be evidence of acceptance of your foreign policy is mind boggling. They have to be taught not to take candy from strangers because they are trusting and have no idea of how the world works or who might hurt them. That little childish vignette proves nothing. Also, with no intended insult to General Patraeous, he is being tasked with a mission and will not be the first in that kind of a position who must either rise to that challenge or step aside for someone else to get the assignment. Same as in previous American fiascos. Don’t forget you also have MANY other very experienced Generals and military experts who heartily disagree with him in his optimism about this foolish mission he has been given. Also, it is not just Paul or Big Guy who are saying they don’t believe this will work it is almost every other Westernized nation on earth. These are the same folks who told you Yanks that this is exactly what the result of your invasion would be, contrary to your assertions and actions at the time. Now they have been proven right and you have been resoundingly proven wrong and yet you offer up one more General blindly following this doomed path as the de facto correct expert opinion. Pardon us in the rest of the world as we roll on the floor laughing. Finally, your dream sequence on what you see as taking place in Iraq in 6 years could only be sold to Disney or Dream Works so please peddle it there. Those folks are good at making deer and birds come out of the forest to sing with princesses lit with rainbows and fairy dust. What the hell are you smoking? I fear it is a bit too strong for you so you might want to cut back a bit on it. If you can’t see that your country’s aggression in any region makes nations scramble to get the bomb if they don’t yet have it then you are truly doomed to repeat these mistakes until you blow up the rest of us. You do remember that you are the only country to have used nuclear weapons on another nation don’t you? If you don’t, let me assure you, the rest of us have not forgotten that fact and view your actions with that in mind. You have PROVEN you will go nuclear to achieve your own ends. And yet you think we should all see you as just a big old cuddly teddy bear bringing peace and lollipops to everyone. Again, stop smoking whatever it is that has you in this fog.

  217. 222 RPJ 7 June, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    One last comment in response to your question “What price is worth paying for a country of 50 million living free and joining the world community?” This has nothing to do with the reality of the situation so speculation on your concocted fantasy is a monumental waste of time. Your US made Iraqi government has about as much validity as the Vichey government did when it was created by the Nazis in France. (Same as the puppet government you installed in South Vietnam). The price is being paid to serve Halliburton and Exxon not the Iraqi’s. If your intent was truly to bring peace and democracy to the world there are so many other places that needed it worse than Iraq it is not even funny. And I mean that. It is NOT funny. Of course they didn’t have oil so “no peace or democracy for you”.

  218. 223 paulitics 7 June, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Armando – clearly you don’t know what “rejecting the premise of a question” means. You write “You can’t simply avoid my questions because you reject the premise. The question was fairly simple: What price is worth paying for a country of 50 million living free and joining the world community?”

    Actually, that’s the definition of rejecting the premise of the quesiton. My whole point is that WE don’t get to make the decisions as to how many Iraqis get to die for our preferred level of government. We don’t get to chose what’s an acceptable death toll.

    Secondly, you wrote “That comes from the fact that you believe your opinion about the war in Iraq to be more valid then someone as qualified as Patraeous.”

    You haven’t read a word I’ve written have you? Read over what I said again (I’ve said it twice now) and you’ll have your answer to this question. Start with my most recent post about the fallatiousness of this line of reasoning and then work your way back.

    Thirdly, you wrote “And I dare say, most Iraqis wouldn’t want that either.”

    Seeing as how you’ve not even bothered to read what I point you to, there seems little point in going on. I’ll save you the trouble of doing all the pesky reading I pointed you to in my previous post: You’re wrong. Read the data. A growing MAJORITY of Iraqis what you gone and do not support your continued presence in their country. Neither I nor them need a history lesson as to what the Baath Party did to them in order for you to justify your country’s continued presence. And moreover, Iraqis most certainly do not need to be told how incapable they are of coming to the correct conclusion on this matter from somebody who’s now misspelled “Bathe Party” (it’s supposed to be “Baath” or “Ba’ath Party”) twice.

    I also liked how you slipped in the “Even if they are true” with regards to statistics you never even bothered to read.

    Lastly, since I have finally gotten you to admit that I used the best, most reliable sources for my post, I am pleased that you have finally surrendered your initial criticisms of my sources.

    Do you have anything else of substance pertaining to the subject matter of this thread to address? Or do you want to go around in circles over items we’ve already discussed some more?

    Moreover, if you DO have anything else of substance pertaining to the subject matter of this thread, answer me this: Is it even worth the time of me pointing you to the evidence you ask for seeing as how recent experience demonstrates that you’re simply not going to read it anyways?

    If the answer is no, then we truly are done here.

  219. 224 paulitics 7 June, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    RPJ – just to be fair, I wasn’t holding myself up as a statistical expert. That’s why I refused to speculate when Armando kept asking me to speculate on Roberts’ numbers.

  220. 225 Big Guy in TB 7 June, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    To all:

    This is not a response to anyone in particular, but rather a thought that has been in my mind for some time. I need to get this out.

    I find it rather pathetic that we seem to place such little value on life – from the soldiers from the US, Canada, and other countries both in Iraq and Afganistan, to the lives of soldiers and others who are “the enemy”, and to innocent citizens caught in the middle of all of this violence. Multiply one death by a spouse, children, parents, brothers, sisters, and I am probably not far wrong in saying that for every life given up in this cause, whatever the cause really is, there are likely at least 10 other lives severely and forever negatively impacted as the direct result of the death of one person.

    I can speak with direct knowledge of this, because one of our employees had a son killed recently in Afganistan, and I have seen first hand, the hurt and pain that has been forever inflicted on this family. It is not pretty.

    When I see this up close and personally, it puts the value of a life in a whole new light for me. Was it cause worth it? Does this death bring a solition to the conflict just that much closer? Each of us should answer this question in their own mind and rethink the whole idea of armed conflict.

    My answer is NO – what a pathetic, useless waste of life!

  221. 226 RPJ 7 June, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Paul. I know you weren’t holding yourself up as a better expert or any expert in that area. You made that very clear several times in your many posts. See, I read your posts, it is Armando that does not. Sorry if my wording made you think I was tarring you with that brush because it was aimed at Armando’s attempts to engage you in that futile exercise.

  222. 227 Armando 7 June, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    To all: I can’t seem to talk to Paul without the railbirds putting in their two cents in what is obviously a dialogue that was coming to an end soon. RPJ–I didn’t even bother to read your tirade against me. Congrats all. If you truly had so much compassion for the situation Iraq, you might think twice about the way you debate. I’m one of the few average Americans that will even bother to hear opposite point of views, and you guys have pushed me away with your constant insults, assumptions and refusal to meet my arguments with anything except rebuttals wrapped in condescending statements of how stupid, ignorant, or brainwashed I am. Good job guys! You sure make your side very appealing! Bye!

  223. 228 RPJ 7 June, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Oh boo hoo, waaah waahhh. Are your Marine buddies as lame as this?? This is an open blog, but if you can’t take the heat (and you can’t) then getting out of the kitchen is a good idea. All you have offerred is half baked opinions, theories and whines about somebody was mean to you. Certainly nothing of substance that would be useful to the rest of us. So don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  224. 229 Bob Rosser 15 June, 2007 at 2:57 am

    No need debating with right-wing WACKOS, because they are totally oblivious to the facts of reality. They want reality to be changed to suit their dogma.

    Best to just label them as a blind, insane, destructive and faith-based cult !!!

  225. 230 qxe 16 June, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Here’s a strange idea. I propose a personal tax based on your vote. If you feel strongly about your candidate, put your money where your mouth is. The problem is that we Americans vote for madmen like Bush based on campaign promises like “I’m a uniter, not a divider” and “no nation building”, then he and his party go and usurp incredible power, takes away our rights and spend trillions on an unfounded war killing thousands and thousands of people on both sides, and we do practically nothing about it (save for debating in comment fields).

    Our stake in this is too esoteric, too far past our nose to do anything about it except wring our collective hands. Now if it had consequences payable on your annual income tax, there might be some real public outcry and action.

    Imagine if everyone that voted had to pay a larger percent based on their candidate of choices’ decisions in office, and not voting at all meant you automatically “voted” for whoever won.

    Perhaps they would ask that candidate to make good on his campaign party promises. Perhaps they would consider more closely how they want their candidate to spend “their money” instead of “everyones money”. They might, instead of crying for blood, start crying for better healthcare, greener solutions instead of pollution or any number of more positive causes.

    The system would be self-correcting.

    From my experience, most of my fellow Americans consider themselves good, honest citizens. The good guys. If you gave them a choice that required more thought than a quick political soundbite that they held up like a yardstick to their own fears of security, one that affected what they would pay, and how the money would be used, I think the decision would be different.

    Imagine this decision is represented by a few of those donation checkboxes (like we see on ballots and our water bill):

    Please check how you wish your tax funds to be allocated –

    Check Here ___ Candidate A

    • reduce pollution by holding manufacturers to higher emission standards
    • decrease use of oil by moving to alternate energy vehicles quickly
    • increase tax cuts for the poor and middle class to decrease the wealth gap
    • increase taxes to provide better education of our young people
    • increase taxes to eradicate hunger and homelessness in our country

    Check Here ___ Candidate B

    • increase taxes to finance multiple wars with nations who we consider a threat
    • increase tax cuts for the wealthiest 15% of our citizens to spur spending (trickle down)
    • decrease emission controls for manufacturing to lower prices of material goods
    • reduce the EPA / other gov’t watchdog agencies to save money by letting the corporations police themselves
    • increase taxes to buy more arms and nuclear weapons to fight multiple wars

    So I ask you, if you knew up front what the very real and immediate cost was, (and that it would be hitting your pocketbook the same year, hard) would you rather spend your money on building your nation or tearing down someone else’s (based on fear)? And if your candidate of choice did the opposite he or she promised, would you re-hire them next term?

    I wonder.

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