A sheep in Wolfie’s clothing

A sheep in Wolfie’s clothing

: For his column today, David Brooks may lose his title as the conservatives liberals like to like for his column today — and by agreeing with him, I will only solidify my title as the liberal liberals like to dislike:

Let us now praise Paul Wolfowitz. Let us now take another look at the man who has pursued – longer and more forcefully than almost anyone else – the supposedly utopian notion that people across the Muslim world might actually hunger for freedom.

Let us look again at the man who’s been vilified by Michael Moore and the rest of the infantile left, who’s been condescended to by the people who consider themselves foreign policy grown-ups, and who has become the focus of much anti-Semitism in the world today – the center of a zillion Zionist conspiracy theories, and a hundred zillion clever-Jew-behind-the-scenes calumnies.

It’s not necessary to absolve Wolfowitz of all sin or to neglect the postwar screw-ups in Iraq. Historians will figure out who was responsible for what, and Wolfowitz will probably come in for his share of the blame. But with political earthquakes now shaking the Arab world, it’s time to step back and observe that over the course of his long career – in the Philippines, in Indonesia, in Central and Eastern Europe, and now in the Middle East – Wolfowitz has always been an ardent champion of freedom….

His faith in people probably led to some of the mistakes in Iraq. But with change burbling in Beirut, with many young people proudly hoisting the Lebanese flag (in a country that was once a symbol of tribal factionalism), it’s time to take a look at this guy again.

If we liberals were smart, we’d be coopting the issue of freedom and human rights — the way that conservatives coopted it from us… and the way the Bill Clinton coopted fiscal responsibility from conservatives.

Agree or disagree about how we got here. Agree or disagree about what comes next (read Brooks’ column: even Wolfowitz says that Iraq must be the military exception). I don’t even care if you don’t want to give credit to Wolfowitz and Bush; I just don’t want to see the fruits of their strategy rejected just because it is their strategy.

There’s a hole in the dam of tyranny in the Middle East and freedom is flowing. Damnit. We should be holding the United Nations accountable for spreading freedom and not standing in the way. We should be figuring out how we can support movements of freedom — without invasion — in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain…..

One small way to do that is to give voice to the freedom-loving people of those nations. That’s the small thing we can do.

As I’ve mentioned before, Wolfowitz himself is an aggressive reader of weblogs. He reads them in Iraq and Iran because they sometimes give him better intelligence about what’s really happening than his own intelligence forces. And he clearly reads them because he likes to hear the voice of freedom.

So there: That’s something about which every one of you can agree with Paul Wolfowitz. Don’t let that scare you.

We should be doing a better job reading these voices and spreading their word. Halley Suitt, Rebecca MacKinnon and others at the last Harvard confab want to get lots of people to vow to find 10 fresh new voices and blog and blogroll them. I think 10 is light; it’s a discipline we need to follow all the time.

And we need to find better ways to support those who are being oppressed because of their speech. I despair to find better ways to bring attention to the bloggers arrested in Iran and threatened in Bahrain and Maylasia (and God knows where else).

If you don’t like the way Wolfowitz is trying to spread freedom in the world, then try to find new ways. But standing back and not trying is not acceptable. Freedom is the best cause of all.

  • qwrty

    Surely the liberals adopted the cause for human rights a LONG time before conservatives, for crying out loud. Doesn’t mean that you should adopt the “means justify ends” thinking when fighting the cause.

  • Todd Fletcher

    Yes, there’s hope: success in the mid-east will send the unrepentent moonbats out to the wilderness. Then maybe the sensible left to regain control and public favor.
    Also working towards this end is the inevitable Republican hubris – you can count on them to shoot themselves in the foot sooner or later.

  • http://www.oliverwillis.com Oliver

    Only folks like you, Jeff, have bought into the falsehood of conservatives championing human rights. How about you look at what people actually do, and not what they simply say.

  • LT

    Oliver
    I would say you look into current events in the middle east.
    good job Jeff
    LT

  • Glyn

    President Bush’s admonition to the Syrians this week: “I don’t believe that free elections can be held in a country [Lebanon] that is under foreign occupation”. Who said that this man doesn’t do irony?
    Presumably the even-larger pro-Syrian demonstrations yesterday and today are a sign to the neo-cons and neo-libs that the Syrian people don’t really know what’s best for them.
    But if the US govt are using these as triggers for “regime change” in Syria or Iran they can do it without us Brits, thanks.

  • LT

    Oliver
    why don’t you give us some examples of people who, in your opinion, are pushing for democracy and change aroung the world? Who is on your list of outspoken proponents of democracy, and what are they doing to further it?
    LT

  • http://www.rollingdoughnut.com/ Tony

    “…I just don’t want to see the fruits of their strategy rejected just because it is their strategy.”
    I couldn’t agree more. Since I turned 18, I’ve voted for Clinton, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry, yet that doesn’t mean I believe that Bush is the anti-christ. He’s made mistakes as President; some of them have been deal-breakers when it comes to how I judge him as a guardian of freedom. However, freedom is the ultimate goal that Americans should support regardless of who is leading. I don’t have to like how we got here, but it’s still a great development in the world.
    Liberals pretending that it’s not happening because of the guy who set the events in motion is not the way to encourage others to start agreeing with you. We shouldn’t filter facts through our ideology to determine what the facts really mean. Sometimes, the facts are just the facts. Pretending that they’re not because we don’t like how they came to be is juvenile.

  • Glyn

    Jeff’s final comment: “If you don’t like the way Wolfowitz is trying to spread freedom in the world, then try to find new ways. But standing back and not trying is not acceptable. Freedom is the best cause of all.”
    I think that’s what Britain and the rest of Europe have been doing in Libya and Iran, i.e. talking to them – with a lot of success in Libya’s case and some success in Iran’s. But it may be that you can go either their way or Wolfowitz’s way, but not both at the same time.
    But, personally, I’ve never understood why Iran should NOT have nuclear weapons (and I imagine that the Iranian dissidents would agree). It would make them less likely to be attacked by Israel (who has nuclear weapons with US approval) or attacked by the US (also nuclear-weaponed); and most of their neighbours are also nuclear-armed (India, Pakistan, Russia). If you were an Iranian (of whatever belief) wouldn’t you want your country to be fully protected – Iraq didn’t have nuclear weapons and consequently was invaded.

  • Glyn

    Jeff’s final comment: “If you don’t like the way Wolfowitz is trying to spread freedom in the world, then try to find new ways. But standing back and not trying is not acceptable. Freedom is the best cause of all.”
    I think that’s what Britain and the rest of Europe have been doing in Libya and Iran, i.e. talking to them – with a lot of success in Libya’s case and some success in Iran’s. But it may be that you can go either their way or Wolfowitz’s way, but not both at the same time.
    But, personally, I’ve never understood why Iran should NOT have nuclear weapons (and I imagine that the Iranian dissidents would agree). It would make them less likely to be attacked by Israel (who has nuclear weapons with US approval) or attacked by the US (also nuclear-weaponed); and most of their neighbours are also nuclear-armed (India, Pakistan, Russia). If you were an Iranian (of whatever belief) wouldn’t you want your country to be fully protected – Iraq didn’t have nuclear weapons and consequently was invaded.

  • Glyn

    Apologies for the repetition – I’m blaming my third world computer.

  • Gunther

    Who on earth thinks that Brooks is the “conservatives liberals like to like”?? I know that’s his reputation, but no one on the left with two brain cells to rub together takes him seriously. He won’t lose his title with this latest column, because he never had one to begin with.

  • http://www.drcookie.blogspot.com JennyD

    The best politicians grab the other side’s ideas. Clinton did welfare reform, fiscal conservatism. Bush took educational excellence and spreading democracy.
    There’s a trend here.

  • LT

    Glyn
    Please tell me that you’re not serious about the nuclear weapons thing…

  • JC

    For all the kvetching about Wolfowitz (and he definitely deserves approbation, for example his estimates about the cost of the war pre-invasion. I will find the link if necessary, but his estimate was between 10 and 20 billion), most liberals have always understood that Wolfowitz is a true believer. As an example, one of the primary issues is oil, and from what I understand, he tootles around in a Prius, and urges his staff to do the same. Anything to diminish our dependence, and thus insecurity, to the Middle East.
    Even Eric Alterman has always said the same.
    So, as usual, you are a liberal who casts aspersions on all liberals, based on the examples of a few, without thinking.

  • daudder

    1. removing a dictator is not the same as being free.
    2. the case for the war on iraq was made on protecting US, not freeing them (or anyone else in the middle east); re-wrting history doesn’t make it any better
    3. opposing the war doesn’t mean you oppose freedom; just to name a few, but Ghandi, ML King, and Jesus Christ all were anti-war
    4. freedom (and democracy) have always been won from within, and cannot be granted at the point of a gun. never.
    5. all that said, I DO hope, and DO beleiev that better days are ahead, inspite of the FUBAR situation

  • Franky

    “If you don’t like the way Wolfowitz is trying to spread freedom in the world, then try to find new ways. But standing back and not trying is not acceptable.”
    I think that is absolutely true. Something is happening in the Middle East and everyone (outside of the Pat Buchanan isolationist crowd) should have some of program to help the region out.
    By the way, Jeff can we now count on you to join us in demanding a free palestine, the complete end of the occupation?

  • Glycer

    And here we go again.
    The Ends always justify the Means, right?
    Josef Stalin instilled “modernity” and “upward mobility” into Soviet society by killing and incarcerating millions. In a decade he dragged the people and structure of Russian society through the blood of the old and Industrial Age and brought the USSR to superpower status.
    Should we praise him?
    And before I get people harping on the Wolfowitz/Bush/Stalin comparison, I want to point out that I’m commenting on the logic, not the people. Of course neither Bush nor Wolfowitz is in the same league as Stalin. But I hope people get the idea.

  • Kat

    No, I don’t get the idea. Is it better to just allow governments to kill their own people than intervene? Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Enver Hoxha and Stalin killed and slaughtered their own people at an unheard-of rate. So did Saddam Hussein. Was Rwanda better the way Clinton did it? Was it better to allow Saddam to kill millions of his own and let those idiot sons of his take over eventually? Should we just allow the Darfur Blacks to be genocided? Or should we grow some balls unlike many on the left.

  • LT

    Daudder,
    when you say freedom must won from within, does voting, like people did in Iraq, count?
    Does, the Iraqi National Guard and security forces combatting terrorists themselves count? What about the American Revolution? Never. huh? I would say that we took our freedom at the “point of a gun” wouldn’t you? And finally, I can’t believe you choose to use Jesus Christ in your argument, but do you think Jesus would have approved of the way Saddam Hussein ruled/treated Iraqi citizens. Would it have been a Christ-like thing to do, to allow that to continue?

  • EverKarl

    “Only folks like you, Jeff, have bought into the falsehood of conservatives championing human rights. How about you look at what people actually do, and not what they simply say.”
    Yes, like hammering the USSR on its human rights record, supporting human rights activists in the Soviet Union and Solidarity in Poland, winning the Cold War and bringing freedom to millions of Eastern Europeans, free elections in countries like Nicaragua, freeing millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq (including suffrage for women in both nations).
    I’m sure Oliver can cite a similarly impressive record on the part of the left.

  • LT

    EverKarl
    i asked him about it earlier…I think he must be trying to research it…or something.
    LT

  • http://www.oliverwillis.com Oliver

    I’m sure Oliver can cite a similarly impressive record on the part of the left.
    Winning World War II, for starters. You know, the same FDR the right tried to tear down as a commie sympathizing America hater.

  • http://www.democracyguy.com tim

    hey jeff….i got banned from posting by Atrios for posting something similar to what you just wrote. puts my blog ban count at 3.
    i never thought it would be so hard to be a Democracy Guy in the Democratic Party.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Can’t you have multiple allegiances: to America as well as the left, to freedom as well as America? That’s what this is about.

  • Carlos

    EverKarl:
    “…free elections in countries like Nicaragua…”
    I wouldn’t bring up South and Central America in a discussion about the U.S. and human rights.
    Who was it who held free election in Nicaragua anyway, Anastasio Somoza? (the long-time U.S. favorate son and graduate of the U.S. School of the Americas)
    FROM ENCYCLOPEDIA.COM:
    …a Marxist guerrilla coalition that opposed the Somoza dictatorship. In 1967, he was arrested and spent seven years in prison. Head of the Sandinista junta that took power following the 1979 revolution, he was elected president in 1984. As president, he attempted to consolidate the revolution along Marxist lines but was opposed by the United States and U.S.-backed guerrillas, the contras. He was unexpectedly defeated for reelection (1990) by Violetta Barrios de Chamorro , who led a coalition of opposition parties. Ortega has since twice lost in presidential elections, in 1996 to Arnoldo Alem

  • http://www.democracyguy.com tim

    the Democratic Party is in increasing need of a good thrashing. Bring on Dean. Bring on these loonie lefties. Let’s lose in 2006, but let’s make sure it’s such a disaster that every single drippy nosed Kossack, MyDDer, Atriosian, whatever they fuck they call themselves, goes right down the toilet too.
    this is gonna be a rough 2 years.

  • jack

    Jeff:

  • Gunther

    “I never thought it would be so hard to be a Democracy Guy in the Democratic Party.”
    later…
    “…let’s make sure it’s such a disaster that every single drippy nosed Kossack, MyDDer, Atriosian, whatever they fuck they call themselves, goes right down the toilet too.”
    Gee, I can’t imagine why Atrios banned you.

  • http://www.democracyguy.com tim

    my comments here are immediately post ban. my apologies. see how dictatorship breeds hatred?

  • Rock

    EverKarl:

  • Dishman

    Winning World War II, for starters.
    Pretty much everyone involved in that effort in any kind of leadership role is dead. I’m reasonably certain you don’t believe that FDR still leads the Democratic Party, being mortally challenged and all.
    So what happens when your allegiance to

  • JJ

    “Winning World War II, for starters.”
    By any metric, the U.S.S.R. won WWII. Ninety percent of all soldiers killed in WWII were Soviets, and ninety percent of German soldiers killed were killed by Soviets. The Germans were already being turned back when Hitler declared war on the U.S.

  • http://www.oliverwillis.com Oliver

    JJ, why do you hate America? Ask around, you’ll find it was “The Greatest Generation” that saved Europe.

  • jj

    Oliver:
    You

  • Glyn

    Oliver, don’t take this as a denigration because it by no means isn’t, but my grand-dad who fought in the war always said that it was the Soviet Red Army who saved Europe. What he and others did there was a sideshow in comparison.
    And because of the “Hollywoodification” of history, apparently British kids now truly believe that the majority of the soldiers who landed on D-Day were Americans – it’s difficult for teachers to explain otherwise when they “see” it on the big screen.

  • jack

    Dishwasher:

  • Hezballah Shows the USA What Freedom Means…

    Yeah, what a resounding voice of freedom and change we see in Lebanon…
    WHOOPS!
    Only a few days removed from the staged “opposition” quislings financed from Washington managed to get a few thousand strays out in the street, Hezballah gets a half million out for Syria thick with their bitter hatred for the USA.
    Thanks Wolfie, I hope your future contracts with the private sector soften the blow when you end up in hell for eternity.
    You can admit you’re an idiot at any point Jarvis.

  • wag

    I think Brooks lost that liberal love when he wrote a NYT column accusing Wes Clark, General Zinni, and every other person who uses the term ‘neoconservative’ of anti-semitism.
    Anyway to the point – can someone please please please provide some actual _proof_ of Wolfowitz’s love for democracy? I keep hearing about it yet there seems to be very little evidence and in fact plenty of reason to believe the opposite. One obvious example is when before the Iraq invasion Wolfowitz threatened Turkey’s parliament that the Turkish military might override them if they voted not to support the US in its invasion.

  • jj

    Oliver:
    Is Glyn and her grandfather “America haters” too?
    You should “ask around” about some of the great battles fought in Russia: Stalingrad, Moscow, Leningrad, Kursk, Orel, Kiev, just to name a few.
    http://www.onwar.com/maps/wwii/eastfront2/index2.htm

  • Carlos

    tim:
    “see how dictatorship breeds hatred?”
    Then I’m sure you can appreciate how the Palestinians feel?
    Wolfowitz feels differently about freedom for them.

  • barb-b-love

    How can I create italics here? Can anyone help?

  • Dishman

    Allegiance: Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause.
    It’s both “nation” and “cause”. What follows is from my perspective.
    I am loyal to nation of the United States of America, which I see as an embodiment of the cause of Freedom, to which I am also loyal. I see both as being very useful and even “the best bet” for the cause of the survival and spread of Humans and Earth-life, to which I am also loyal. I also try to be loyal to myself, though in that regard I often fall short (to my own loss).
    I don’t see these allegiances as being in conflict. There is occaisionally some small divergence, which I work to reduce. There are people and groups out there who would separate them in some way (particularly authoritarians and some environmentalists) who I oppose.

  • http://journals.aol.com/xutag77/Whatever Tim Gannon

    Compare the number for “Peace Studies” departments to the number of “Freedom Studies” departments.

  • kl

    “Then I’m sure you can appreciate how the Palestinians feel?”
    Hey, don’t blow up at him.

  • J. Peden

    Anger Management Programs: Perhaps an antidote to terrorist “creation”?

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “”see how dictatorship breeds hatred?”
    Then I’m sure you can appreciate how the Palestinians feel?
    Wolfowitz feels differently about freedom for them.”
    Well, he was booed at the huge Rally for Israel in 2002 when he said something positive about a democratic Palestinian state.
    Anyway, the dictators of the Palestinians were Arafat and his thugs, and are now the various thug gangs that Abbas can’t/won’t control. The US has tried to support reform of the PA from a mafia into a transparent government under rule of law. The US installed the PA Finance Minister, who managed the feat of normalizing the PA’s books enough to pass an audit by Ernst&Young. Given that formerly it was run by people who would hand out wads of cash to their cronies, that’s an accomplishment.
    The only thing holding the Pals from a state is their own societal structures, which are oppressive and chaotic. In a huge poll, Palestinians were asked which governments they would model theirs after if given a choice. They chose Israel first and the US second, with France a distant third and none of the Arab nations on the list at all. They see Israel’s free press, respect for minorities, solid judicial system and they know they don’t have that now.
    Are you in favor of democracy for the Palestinians? Then stop making excuses for the thugs who oppress them.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “Only a few days removed from the staged “opposition” quislings financed from Washington managed to get a few thousand strays out in the street, Hezballah gets a half million out for Syria thick with their bitter hatred for the USA.”
    This is not a few thousand.
    So if you are so quick to believe that this huge mass of people is “financed by Washington”, why would you not be equally ready to believe that Hezbollah is financed by Iran, for which there is much more evidence.
    Tony has a lot more on how Hezbollah pressures people to support the pro-Syria demos. Yeah, right, and all those massive demos for Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Kim Jong Il were purely spontaneous outpourings of affection. If you believe that, i know of a bridge you might want to buy…..

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “By the way, Jeff can we now count on you to join us in demanding a free palestine, the complete end of the occupation?”
    Over 90% of land lived on by Palstinian Arabs is ruled by the PA, propped up by lavish donations from the EU, the UN, the Arab bloc, and the US. The US and the UN have been trying to get the PA to the point of being able to be a working government for over 10 years. But the problem is transofrming a mafia into a real government with checks and balances, especially when the head of that mafia (Arafat) doesn’t really want to change, and the major funders (the UN and EU and Arab nations) don’t care about Palestinian democracy as much as they care about bashing Israel.
    Now that Bush is calling them on that shit and Arafat is dead, we may see some progress. Once Palestine is a functioning state with a representative government, it is much less likely that its primary goal will be terrorizing Israel (and if it still is, Israel can deal with it as a sovereign state). Then the remaining barriers like the fence and restricted airspace can be removed.
    All the Pals have to do is decide they would rather be healthy and prosperous and run their own lives than be suicide bombers.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “1. removing a dictator is not the same as being free.”
    But it is a necessary first step, and one which yields great results.
    “2. the case for the war on iraq was made on protecting US, not freeing them (or anyone else in the middle east); re-wrting history doesn’t make it any better”
    If you look at not only Bush’s speeches, but the actual authorization of war Congress signed, you will see that freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam and promoting democracy were always major reasons along with removing a terrorist-supporting threat. I agree, re-wrting history doesn’t make it any better. So don’t do it.
    “3. opposing the war doesn’t mean you oppose freedom; just to name a few, but Ghandi, ML King, and Jesus Christ all were anti-war”
    I could make a case that Jesus and MLK would be pro the right war. As for Ghandi, he suggested that European Jews commit mass suicide to protest Hitler’s attempts at genocide, and he symapthized with the Arabs when Israel was created. Someone with judgment that faulty is not one of my role models.
    “4. freedom (and democracy) have always been won from within, and cannot be granted at the point of a gun. never.”
    No, of course you can’t order democracy at the point of a gun. What you can do is remove the obstacles to its creation. Most successful liberation movements have had outside help. What the guns do is remove the power of the oppressors. Once they are gone, democracy has room to flourish, if it is going to.

  • Hezballah Shows the USA What Freedom Means

    “So if you are so quick to believe that this huge mass of people is “financed by Washington”, why would you not be equally ready to believe that Hezbollah is financed by Iran”
    I didn’t say it wasn’t, one is not mutually exclusive of the other. What I object to is the notion that the Wolfowitzes of the world somehow have any interest at heart other than their own stock portfolios. The evidence suggests otherwise, and using the un-spontaneous demos, or Murbarak’s IOU to future (maybe, sorta) democratization is laughable. Almost as laughable as President Moron’s statement today that free elections can’t take place in an occupied land.
    DUH, NAPOLEON BONEHEAD! Ever hear of Iraq?
    The fact is that Wolfowitz and his ilk could care less about democracy, it’s just the convienient buzzword for him to use in pursuing an agressive war for oil, global hedgemony, and Israeli-sponsered genocide since the WMD’s didn’t pan out.
    When otherwise reasonable people start talking about how we’re “spreading democracy” in the middle east it sounds like it’s lifted right from a Stalinist tract about how the Soviets were “liberating” Hungary and the rest of eastern Europe.
    Yep. We’ve liberated about 2 million iraqis of their lives in the last 15 years, and no end in sight as long as jergoffs like you manage to keep a straight face through the obvious lies.
    It’s a pathetic joke, and anyone that spouts such drivel is either profiting from it (or falsely believes they someday will), or a complete and utter moron. Period.

  • Franky

    “All the Pals have to do is decide they would rather be healthy and prosperous and run their own lives than be suicide bombers.”
    I think I saw the Kremlim say something similar about the Chechens. See Jeff this is what it comes down to – your heroes don’t want freedom unlimited, they want it where it benefits them and are content for oppression if it serves their ends. The Republicans are leading the cry of freedom, then where is the criticism of the brutal Israeli occupation? I’ll tell you where it is: nowhere. So immediately, this reveals the hypocrisy of this disucssion – when we can harm our enemies, we cry freedom, but when our allies are the oppressors we say nothing – now doesn’t that change this from idealism to political expendiency dressed as principle?
    There is no intention of a just settlement in Palestine. I’ve asked Yehudit on different occassions what he would like to see as a solution but he hasn’t answered, and that leads me to suspect that the game plan is not to reveal the real intentions until there’s really no option – all the prime land of the West Bank (only the crazies see any value in Gaza) which will of course be called a security buffer zone, and a palestinian state looking more like a patchwork quilt than a real nation.
    Did someone really mention Central America as something the Republicans are to be commended for? No, I must have started drinking way too early.

  • Kat

    Franky, what would you like to see as a just settlement in Palestine–the same thing as the palies want?
    The PLO emblem, like that of other Palestinian terrorist groups, displays a map of all of the State of Israel — not just those areas administered by Israel since 1967. Though the PLO claims that it recognizes Israel’s right to exist and wants to found a state only in Gaza and the West Bank, its official stationery, bearing its official emblem, betrays its true goals. As PLO officials have indicated repeatedly, the organization has designs on conquering all of Israel. These aims have been incorporated into the PLO Charter and the PLO’s “phased plan” for Israel’s destruction.
    The plan in brief:
    1. Through the “armed struggle” (i.e., terrorism), to establish an “independent combatant national authority” over any territory that is “liberated” from Israeli rule. (Article 2)
    2. To continue the struggle against Israel, using the territory of the national authority as a base of operations. (Article 4)
    3. To provoke an all-out war in which Israel’s Arab neighbors destroy it entirely (“liberate all Palestinian territory”). (Article 8)
    Over the past decades the PLO, the world’s leading terrorist organization, has morphed into the Palestinian Authority, but their goal remains the same: the destruction of Israel.
    NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

  • EverKarl

    So Oliver has to go back to WWII to find someone on the left who did something for human rights. By Ollie’s standard (what was done instead of said), how telling is that?
    As for the USSR winning WWII, it’s a side point to this topic, but I would note: (1) Stalin was with Hitler until he was double-crossed; (2) the Soviet military (and Hitler’s nutty decision to attack it) was key to Hitler’s defeat; and (3) it’s far from clear that the USSR would have held up absent Lend-Lease (and yes, Ollie, I give FDR credit for that also).
    Carlos: My reference to Nicaragua was merely to point out that the left supported the Sandanistas, who were chucked out the first chance the people got to have a free and fair election. By no means would I suggest that U.S. foreign policy (left or right) has been pure as the driven snow on human rights. I was merely suggesting that Ollie, as usual, made a grand generalization about conservatives vs. liberals that — when challenged — he could not back up.

  • Dishman

    Thanks Wolfie, I hope your future contracts with the private sector soften the blow when you end up in hell for eternity.
    I think you’ve said quite enough about yourself, “Hezballah”. If I understand you correctly… your dreams and beliefs run counter to mine (as stated above) sufficiently directly that I’ll shed no tears over their destruction.

  • richard mcenroe

    Jeff

  • Franky

    Of course the funniest thing about mentioning Nicaragua Everkarl was that you made exactly the point about hypocrisy – can you imagine a group that better fits any description of a terrorist than the contras? This would be like China pointing to some wacko group in Montana (but one that commits the worst atrocities) and demanding freedom for them.
    Kat, a fair settlement would be pre-1967 borders, with the US guaranteeing Israel’s security with the nuclear option (hell, since our foreign policy appears to hold Israel’s security as the be all and end all we might as well make it official – I’m anxious to see how Israel’s next enemies are framed as our enemies, say, oh I don’t know, Hizbullah maybe?).
    So you quote a charter that was written in the immediate aftermath of a disaster for the Palestinians. How about something from this decade – and lo and behold it shows that the majority of Palestinians want a two-state solution.
    “the latest joint poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both respected independent polling organizations, has shown that 63 percent of Palestinians and 70 percent of Israelis support the notion of mutual recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people after the settlement of all issues in dispute.”
    http://www.browndailyherald.com/news/2005/02/28/Letters/Palestinians.And.Israelis.Both.Support.A.TwoState.Solution-879677.shtml

  • Eileen

    Has the PLO charter Kat cites, at any time since it was written and adopted, ever been amended, repudiated, supplanted, abolished or otherwise revised in these particulars by either the PLO or the PA? Is it still in effect? Why are the emblem and etc. still on official stationary?
    Does the ‘failure’ of Arafat and now Abbas to rein in suicide bombers suggest whatever lip service is paid to a two state solution is just that?

  • Kat

    Last survey I saw showed 80% wanted the intifafada to continue till Israel was destroyed.
    (The poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center also showed 57.6 percent of the respondents oppose a cease-fire with Israel while 80 percent support the continuing uprising or “intifada.” )

  • Eileen

    As of 11/11/98, the charter provisions had NOT been revised.
    There is also the matter of Fatah’s Constitution:
    “Though not strictly related to the PLO Charter, the constitution of Fatah, the largest of the constituent bodies of the PLO, and Yasser Arafat

  • Eileen

    Come to think of it, I won’t bother. If ANY of these ‘eradication of the Jews’ provisions had ever been officially revised or eliminated in the ‘governing documents’ of the PLO, PA, Fatah, Hamas, etc., we’d all have heard about it. And we haven’t.

  • Brad

    Jeff, we have in common a hope and strong desire for true democracy across the globe.
    And we have in common that GWB deserves credit. You apparently credit him for being an absolute genius dedicated to true democracy.
    I credit him for waking up one day after he was apparently honestly elected (Dec, 2004) and happening onto the thought that “Spreading Democracy” might be an effective “sheet” to drape over his greed and ego driven Iraq Invasion disaster. A real “Aha”!
    And who knows? In his CYA quest, he may have just turned some magical planetary balance toward true democracy. Time will tell.

  • Jim S

    Now that we’ve heard comments on today’s events in Lebanon from the extreme ends of the American political spectrum let’s move on to something that hopefully resembles a calm view on it. Nothing changes the fact that the demonstrations organized by Hezbollah dwarfed the ones opposing Syria. There is no proof that either side used bribery or intimidation to bring out their people. Given that what does it say about the true level of a desire for freedom untainted by extremism in the Middle East?

  • Franky

    “The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.”
    Article Six
    Doesn’t sound much like the holocuast some of the comments above like to portray the PLO’s charter, does it? Seriously which charter are you reading? that posted on Little Green Footballs (better know as “don’t call us racist!!!!!”)? I’m looking at http://www.pna.gov.ps and none of these articles I’m being quoted match up (I’m not saying they aren’t there, but I’m not reading the whole charter just to find some similarity to what’s posted above).
    What of the right to return? that surely is a symbol of liberation, like you know being able to return to your land that was stolen from you? and let’s not even get in to the lunatic wing of Israeli politics who refer to the ethnic cleansing of palestinians (sorry, my mistake – only our enemies who do that, say the serbs) – yep that’s part of the society where we send more money that anyone else (with the temporary exception of Iraq).
    By the way, I trust out freedom supporters here will also be calling for the withdrawl from the Golan Heights. Freedom for everyone!
    So this little debate has once again shown the cry of freedom is nothing more than a tactic to oppose countries the right dislike rather than any principled attachment to the concept – “liberation (but for the subjects of our enemies)” doesn’t quite have that universal ring you were looking for, does it Jeff?

  • Franky

    Perusing the site I see this:
    “In a letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat stated that those articles which denied Israel’s right to exist or are inconsistent with the PLO’s new commitments to Israel following their mutual reognition, were no longer valid (see Oslo peace process). The PNC met in a special session on 26 April 1996 to consider the issue of amending the Charter and adopted the following decision:
    A. The Palestinian National Charter is hereby amended by canceling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged the P.L.O. and the Government of Israel 9-10 September 1993.
    B. Assigns its legal committee with the task of redrafting the Palestinian National Charter in order to present it to the first session of the Palestinian Central Council.
    The decision was adopted by a vote of: 504 in favor, 54 against, and 14 abstentions.
    On January 1998, Yasser Arafat sent a letter to US President, Bill Clinton, outlining the implications of this decision in terms of the specific articles of the Charter that were nullified or amended as a result of that decision. In December 1998, both the PLO Executive Committee and the PLO Central Council reaffirmed this decision.”
    http://www.pna.gov.ps/Government/gov/plo_Charter.asp
    Who would have thought it?

  • Eileen

    Apparently you didn’t read the article I cited, dated November 11, 1998, which post dates your latest reference. In pertinent part:
    “In its current form, the PLO Charter is nothing less than a call for total and unending war on Israel. The greatest myth propagated by the Palestinian Authority, until recently, was that the Charter had been revoked and was no longer valid. This myth, which has been imparted to visiting Australian politicians, including Senator Kim Carr et al, is that the Palestinian Authority, by convening the Palestinian National Council in 1996 revoked the Charter. This is incorrect. The Palestinian Charter has not been changed.
    On April 24, 1996 the Palestinian National Council convened in Gaza to consider the revision of the Charter. However, instead of changing the Charter the PNC voted in favour of a resolution that stated: “It has been decided upon:
    1. Amending the National Charter by cancelling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel, on September 9 and 10, 1993.
    2. The empowerment of a legal committee with the task of redrafting the National Charter. The Charter will be presented to the first meeting of the Central Council.”
    The PNC resolution did not alter the Charter. While the PNC declared its readiness, in principle, to change the document, the only practical step taken was the empowerment of a legal committee to draft a new Charter for presentation at an unspecified future date. Since the Charter is a legally binding written document, amending it is not simply a matter of declaring a willingness to alter it, but necessitates the actual adoption and implementation of changes to the document. No such changes were made by the PNC, and no specific articles in the Charter were specifically identified for removal.
    Further acknowledgment by the PA that it had not revised the Charter came with the Note for the Record of the Hebron Agreement, signed on January 15, 1997. In that agreement, the PA agreed to “complete the process” of revising the Charter, admitting that the process had not been carried forward since the PNC meeting almost one year before.
    But at least the PNC members knew what was being changed in the Charter. Less than a month after the PNC vote, PNC Chairman Selim Zaanoun asserted that the Charter had been amended but said that “no specific articles” were cancelled (An-Nahar, May 16, 1996). In an interview on January 22, 1998, Faisal Hamdi Husseini, head of the PNC

  • Eileen

    And if this is incorrect, Franky, simply give us a cite for the full text of the current (supposedly amended) charter. Oh, and maybe Fatwa and Hamas’ revised Consitutions or other ‘governing documents’ while you’re at it?

  • Franky

    Point taken. I did not read your link, and that made my second post irrelevant.
    But what exactly does this have to do with supporting oppressed people around the world when here we have one of the most brutal foreign occupations? If it’s good for the Lebanese (which it is) it’s definitely good for the Palestinians. That would seem to necessitate only the barest of moral consistency.

  • Eileen

    Oops. Make that Fatah. What a perfect ‘error’.

  • EverKarl

    “Of course the funniest thing about mentioning Nicaragua Everkarl was that you made exactly the point about hypocrisy – can you imagine a group that better fits any description of a terrorist than the contras?
    Al-Qaeda. That this answer apparently did not occur to you speaks volumes. And my post had nothing to do with hypocrisy. Ollie had suggested that conservatives championing human rights was a falsehood. If Nicaragua is the only example from the I gave that you want to dispute, I’ve still proved Ollie wrong.
    On the merits, I wouldn’t put the contras or the Sandanistas in the human rights hall of fame, but the fact remains that it was the Sandinistas that were rejected by the Nicaraguan people in the first free and fair election they got — and they wouldn’t have gotten one absent U.S. policy.

  • EverKarl

    Jim S asked:
    “Nothing changes the fact that the demonstrations organized by Hezbollah dwarfed the ones opposing Syria. There is no proof that either side used bribery or intimidation to bring out their people. Given that what does it say about the true level of a desire for freedom untainted by extremism in the Middle East?”
    First, Hezbollah’s provision of social services throughout Lebanon gives them the popularity, influence and organization to turn out half a million people — the anti-Syrian side lacks this degree of organization. Second, Hezbollah had the firepower and manpower to violently disrupt the anti-Syria demonstrations (which would have provided a nice pretext for a government crackdown), but chose not to do so. Third, Hezbollah could have turned out that crowd to march under the Hezbollah banner, but chose to have them march under the Lebanese flag.
    I would suggest that Hezbollah is as uncertain as everyone else as to which way events will tip in Lebanon and is maintaining a stance that leaves openings for Hezbollah whichever side prevails.

  • Eileen

    Franky,
    As long as the official government of Palestine, its predominant ruling political parties, and a host of internal and external terrorist organizations are hell-bent on the demise of Israel and the eradication of all Jews, any talk of a ‘two state’ solution is total bullshit. Until the Governing Charter and associated Constitutions change, this remains the case.
    The Palestinian people continue to be oppressed by virtue of the ‘vision’ and religious dogma of their own leaders and Muslim terrorists. No more. No less. But the U.S. does wish them their freedom and their own state. That very same big, bad U.S. of A. that some around here revel in denigrating will make sure it happens, as well as in Lebanon, and, and, and. As an optimist, I believe democracy will ultimately thrive in the separate state of Palestine and throughout the region.

  • Franky

    Everkarl, oh you shamed me with that volumes comment. Speaking seriously, what you want to bet the contras killed more than Al-Qeada? Just because the victims are American does not mean the tragedy is greater.
    Eileen, the lesson is that the occupiers cannot determine what is the right or wrong form of resistance – once you decided to occupy a foreign people you’ve got to accept however they resist is up to them. I don’t agree with tragetting of civilians and wish the Palestinians would stick to targetting the Israeli military, but I also understand that that is tactical suicide. You would hope that a peaceful campaign like Ghandi’s may work, but given the daily treatment of palestinians, the government of Sharon has shown itself incapable of shame.
    I don’t think many Palestinians believe they will be inhabiting Tel Aviv, hence the discussions between Arafat and Barak centered on a two-state solution and the poll cited above.
    So you cite a security risk for not giving back the West Bank. If you really want a security risk, keep Palestinians in the position they are – living like rats without hope of a future. That the govenrment of Sharon daily decides its better to keep the West Bank and suffer a few suicide bombers reveals it is fully aware of the cost of keeping that land.
    I’m just constantly amazed that people here would lack even the commonest empathy that they expect documents from the Palestinians wishing Israelis sunlight and joy following decades of having their land stolen then a savage occupation.

  • EverKarl

    Franky asks,”what you want to bet the contras killed more than Al-Qeada?”
    I don’t define terrorists by how successful or unsuccessful they are, any more than I do the nationality of their victims — though you are incorrect in your assumption that Americans have been the only victims of Al-Qaeda. The Irish Republican Army has killed far fewer people than Al-Qaeda, but it doesn’t change the basic nature of the group.
    Moreover, my larger point stands. I gave a long list of examples where conservatives have advanced human rights. You’re disputing one of them.

  • Franky

    No, I’m disputing an entire revisionist history that is currently in fashion that says really our only error in Vietnam was that we didn’t finish the job, that really that old war criminal Reagan was a hero for his bloody Central American history.
    I genuinely thought these debates were finished that it was accepted that these had been immoral policies, but I guess I lived in my own liberal cocoon because apparently there’s a whole bubbling undercurrent out there that thinks we were right in Veitnam, in Central America, in Chile etc. etc.

  • EverKarl

    Franky,
    Now you’ve got it!

  • richard mcenroe

    “Nothing changes the fact that the demonstrations organized by Hezbollah dwarfed the ones opposing Syria…”
    So the entire government quit why? Because they didn’t realize how beloved they were?

  • Franky

    Yeah now I get it – I’m debating with people who lack even rudimentary moral values. Make sure you say hello to drooling Reagan when you too get down to hell.

  • Wass

    Someone made the statement that Hezbollah is ‘no threat’ and ‘no enemy’ of the US. Amazing. Remember the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon? Really not surprising since so many lefties think killing American soldiers in their sleep is honorable and just. No problem there.
    Also, I will never, ever forget the look on Clueless Jimmy Carters face when his boy Danny got kicked out of office. Priceless, and much the same look that most democrats wear nowadays.

  • EverKarl

    Thanks for the kind wishes, Franky. I guess I’ll miss hanging out in Heaven with Ho Chi Minh, Danny Ortega and Yassir Arafat.

  • Franky

    Wass,
    Can we have a grown-up conversation about this just for once – this is in the middle of the Lebanese civil war and the marines looked like they were joining the Israelis, Syrians in trying to occupy the country. So yes, they were murdered.
    I notice how the realities of war (we bomb wedding parties etc) only apply to us, but everyone else is held to an impossibly high standard.
    As much as Hizbullah, Reagan can claim the credit for the death of those marines as well.
    But as for the threat, please feel free to send along any cases where Hizbullah has attempted to attack us here in the states.

  • Bob

    I will only solidify my title as the liberal liberals like to dislike
    liberal, you keep saying that word; I do not think it means what you think it means

  • Kat

    Hizbullah is a terrorist fanatic muslim group. Their camps in Lebanon are a training ground for Al Queda and other muslim terrorist groups from around the globe.These sick and barbaric fanatics carried out the bombings of the US military base in Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia, and the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, etc.etc. etc.
    Anyone who doesn’r see Hizbullah as a terrorist entity has their head up some terrorist’s ass.

  • Wass

    Frankie -
    I agree that Reagan had it wrong by not allowing the Marines to even defend themselves (unloaded weapons, unrealistic terms of engagement, etc), but we went in as a peacekeeping force to try and keep a lid on the situation there and we were invited in to do this job. The US was NOT there to occupy the place. The Syrians however ARE. At any rate, my main point is that the left has a real sickness about who their heroes are. Think Mike Moore and his comparison of the head-hackers to Minutemen. Look at the support the Left gives to any and every dictator and thug around the world. Until the left (worldwide)gets over its irrational hatred of the Jews and quits making common cause with murderous Islamists, they will continue to have no credibility on the matter.
    And I don’t know what ‘bombing wedding parties’ has to do with anything.
    Kat’s assessment is absolutely correct.

  • Franky

    Wass,
    I was making the point that when we bomb wedding parties in Iraq, basically the general line is that: it’s a tragedy, but this is a war. But everyone else is held to the highest standards of behavior.
    I thought Hizbullah is an interesting organization until they got to this sycophancy with the Syrian state, they were a genuine resistance movement opposing Israeli occupation of Lebanon. But the point is that they are not our enemies, they have no intention of attacking us here in the US and we should not be fighting them. Israel’s enemies are not necessarily our enemies, something that seems lost on the frothier factions here.

  • Wass

    Franky -
    Hezbollah, as presently constituted, fits every definition of being our (the US) enemy; they have committed numerous attacks on us, taken American hostages, etc etc. Long History.
    Of course, their main purpose in life is to wipe Israel off the map.
    Israel happens to be our friend and ally.
    I think we should try split Hez in Lebanon from their masters in Damascus and Tehran, relying on Shia and nationalistic sensibilities, and having the beneficial side effect of further destabilizing those regimes,which is the whole point of this excersize anyway.
    If Lebanon were free and democratic, I am confident it would not be an islamic theocracy.
    But if Hez remains nothing more than stooges of Syria and Iran, and refuse to renounce terrorism, and begins a civil war with their countrymen who plainly want independence of Syria, then they will remain enemies.
    Oh and Franky – are you aware of exactly how un-liberal the guys at Hez are? Did you contrast the pictures from the anti Sysria and pro- Hez protests?. Striking difference in the type of people attending each one. You tell me which side seemed more civilized.

  • Franky

    “their countrymen who plainly want independence of Syria” who exactly are you talking about? You’re aware that Syria is divided in to multiple different factions, that all fought against each other for a 15-year civil war, so all have diametrically opposed visions for the future of the country.
    But I’m not supporting Syria here and hope they do leave the country and hope that Asad tumbles, but Lebanon is way to complicated for pat phrases.
    Further, I would not want to live under hezbullah regime, but there’s a major reason for that – I’m not muslim. And there’s obviously millions who do want to live under their regime for their extensive welfare work.
    And where did this alleged enemy Hezbullahs of ours spring from? you got it, our friends the Israelis whose occupation of southern lebanon was the impetus for the creation of the group (of course the waddling Sharon helped us further when he allowed the falange militia of the Christians to massacre thousands of palestinians in their camps – I presume you’re also aware that the falange was a nazi group and that’s what some maronites decided to model themselves on, even adopting the name)
    I don’t think my tax dollars should go to supporting Israel (or any other country for that matter) – knowing we will always be there has made Israel instransigent, unwilling to compromise so causing much of the problem of the middle east today. Let them defend themselves and consequently be more reasonable in their negotiations.
    We have a big enough problem with Al-Qeda – let’s just stick to going after those who want to kill us here at home rather than defending governments led by war criminals.

  • EverKarl

    Barak offered Arafat a 95% solution. His response was to start another intifada. That’s the definition of intransigent. But some see Israel as being at fault. Go figure.

  • Eileen

    I’m just curious, Franky. Why is it that you consistently feel the need to defend terrorist organizations and states with such passion? I’m not talking about only the current thread, but pretty much everything I’ve ever seen you write for several months now. You say you’re not a Muslim. If not that, then why do you so hate the Jews and Israel – and please don’t tell me you don’t or I’ll have to regurgitate your own words back to you? Please help me to understand the source of your clear allegiance to Muslim terrorists.

  • Franky

    Eileen,
    It’s people like you that make debate between adults impossible in forums such as these. So the challenge is there: please provide the words I used that were according to you anti-semitic (just so you know I will continue to hassle you until you provide these words, chasing you from forum to forum until you admit you were wrong to accuse of such a thing). and while we’re at it, please show me where I demonstrated an a clear “allegiance to muslim terrorists”, especially since my last sentence posted on buzzmachine (the internet in general, infact) was “We have a big enough problem with Al-Qeda – let’s just stick to going after those who want to kill us here at home rather than defending governments led by war criminals”.
    By the way, just so we have a gauge of your perceptive skills wasn’t it you who accused me of being Faramin then later of being Canadian?

  • Franky

    As much as I hate the inefficiency of writing two posts consecutively, please try and find a post where I resorted to your level of calling you a racist hater of muslims (isn’t that the exact equivalent of what you’ve done to me, except only to a more egregious degree considering I have never posted on the topic of jews or israelis, instead purposefully choosing my words of the “israeli government”)

  • Eileen

    Franky,
    When virtually every single argument you post, as I said, defends terrorist organizations in some manner (in this thread alone, claiming that Hezbollah isn’t a threat to the U.S.), or – also in this thread – otherwise defends the fact that the governing documents of those organizations and Palestine continue to call for the extermination of Jews is somehow justified, as you questioned why anyone should ‘expect documents from the Palestinians wishing Israelis sunlight and joy’, while at the same time using phrases like ‘waddling Sharon’ or calling Israel ‘intransigent’, your allegiances become clear.
    As I said, my impressions have been formed over many months from many posts. If I were to ever hear you support or defend Israel in any fashion, or argue with any similar passion AGAINST any Palestinian related terrorist affiliations/organizations, I’m sure my opinion could change.
    Someone else here commented you were Canadian. As a result, and until you set the record straight – I thought that was the case. As for me, I do hate Muslim terrorists, and I take a very dim view of any group/government which wishes to exterminate Jews or Westerners in general.

  • Kat

    I|?m

  • Franky

    So instead of providing evidence, you write “my impressions have been formed over many months from many posts” – with such a convincing manner of presenting evidence you should have been a prosecutor. Of course I’ve also called Arafat corrupt, but why would you mention that when it’s so fun and dignified to call someone a racist.
    I pointed out that nowhere in that document of the PLO does it call for the extermination of jews, that you continue to peddle such lies should give observers of this tiresom interchange an accurate picture of your credibility. Your debating tactic is similar to Jesse Jackson – you can’t win a debate, so you call racism.
    But following the snail’s trail of your logic, should I accuse you of racism because you never criticise the Israeli government? It’s the mark of differing maturity that I have not called you anti-muslim, nor do I believe you to be. The only person I can remember calling a racist here is Kat whose obvious hatred for muslims is apparent.
    I mainly criticise the Israeli government of Sharon because I believe they hold most of the blame. I almost always refer to the Israeli governmnet, and not generic Israelis, because I have tremendous respect for large segments of the Israeli population who continue to fight for a just solution to the issue of Palestine. OF course I don’t expect you to see a difference, after all this was one side of the electorate that sniggered at the very word “nuance”.
    I set the record straight on being Canadian. Then you continued to post here that you thought I was Faramin, despite my denials.

  • Kat

    (I pointed out that nowhere in that document of the PLO does it call for the extermination of jews,) That makes you a liar as well as a terrorist lover.

  • Kat

    And despite my denials that I hold the greatest respect for muslims who speak and fight against terrorists, you continue to accuse me of hating all muslims, just because you hate all Jews. It is ironic that a racist as yourself calls others racists–you who have your head so far up the infidels haters’ asses that you can’t see straight for the shit running down your face and out of your mouth.

  • Eileen

    It would be a total waste of my time to further express the obvious; nor do I have any more patience for your lies, or your Jew hating affinity for Muslim terrorists, Franky. You can lie, deny and dissemble all you like, but your allegiances are crystal clear. Piss off.

  • Franky

    Yeah, that’s right accuse someone of something then run away offended when you can’t back it up – I felt it was wrong to even dignify your stupidty with an answer, but figured it was too important a charge to go unrefuted. I’m glad by your behavior that anyone reading this has been able to see how mendacious much of these charges levelled across forums are and will remember your behavior the next time you make a slanderous accusation. Thank you.

  • Kat

    Video for you: What muslims really want.
    http://standwithus.com/UCI_incitement2005.asp?video=true

  • Eileen

    Franky,
    Did you really have to invoke the Faramin stupid line?
    I am so sorry for you.