Everything old is old again

Jane Fonda is setting out across the country in a vegetable-oil-fueled bus — honest — to protest the war in Iraq.

Anybody want to take a bus tour to protest the murders of innocents by terrorists in Iraq, Great Britain, Spain, Egypt….?

  • VinceTN

    She isn't relevant enough to screw up America. A pointless shadow fighting age.

  • vnjagvet

    This will surely be popular with Joan Baez and Jane's ex Tom Hayden.

    I wonder how big the crowds will be.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Sorry, Jeff.

    I'm a little scared of mass transit right now.

  • SteveMG

    I’m sure that Katie Couric – our generation’s Walter Lippmann – will ask Ms. Fonda about those victims.

    Will be another one of those hard hitting, take a big gulp of your coffee interviews that Ms. Couric is known for.

    Then she’ll interview Carmen Diaz about her pet cat’s fur balls problem.


  • Franky

    How in God’s earth did Jane Fonda didn’t make it on Bernie’s list?

  • Mike NYC

    Okay, I’ll take the tour with you, Jeff. I think it might be unnecessary since militaries are already fighting on behalf of those innocent people, and the press has universally condemned the actions. But if that’s what you want to do, let’s do it.

  • Mike G

    I was very pleased to see that in my neighborhood– where a Kerry/Edwards sticker seemed to be required– someone defaced a bunch of posters for Monster-In-Law by writing “Hanoi” next to her name above the title.

  • John

    Is she going to finish the cross-country trip with a protest rally at the World Trade Center site? Maybe she can relieve her past glory and find an anti-aircraft gun to pose next to for the obligitory photo op.

  • J. Puckett

    I’m not usually a big Fonda defender myself; I feel I should here, however, Jeff. There is a big difference between speaking out against a policy of what your own democratic government is doing and speaking out against what a few thousand numbnut terrorists in the Middle East are doing.

    One, you have much more power to change the minds of your democratic government (although this is a questionable charge thanks to Fonda’s highly suspect past). And two, since it’s already pretty well-established that 99.99% of the American public don’t like terrorists attacks, why don’t you aim for a making a difference in an area that could use some change, in Fonda’s view?

    In other words, Jeff, just because you post more about “I hate the FCC and their ilk” than about “I hate terrorists” doesn’t mean your misusing your time. In fact, I’d prefer you keep it up against the FCC.

  • HA

    Let's be precise about what Fonda is planning. She will not be protesting the war. Rather, she will be aiding and comforting our terrorist enemies. This will be actively working to help them achieve victory. This is nothing less than treason.

    Fonda should have been charged with treason back when she aided and comforted the Vietnamese communists. But this country forgot how to deal with traitors. We used to prosecute them. Now they're glorified as "peace" activists. And now Fonda is free to betray her nation and our soldiers yet again in a time of war. Absolutely disgraceful.

    I can only wonder if Fonda will pose for photo ops wearing suicide bomb vests, planting road side bombs, test driving an explosive packed car, or visiting some head-chopper's film studio. Or maybe she learned some subtlety since her pilgrimmage to Hanoi.

  • Eileen

    How sad for her.

    I hope her veggie bus has a tofu egg shield and bullet proof windows.

    Some people never learn.

    And JJ, not that you’re required to, but maybe add the United States and Israel to that country list, among so many others.

  • Ed Poinsett

    She going to protest the 911 jumpers for fouling the atmosphere?

  • Jesse

    I'm not Fonda veggie-oil Jane…

  • Right of Center

    A counter protest should be launched. Where ever she pulls up in her bus she should be met with scores of people with large white flags, no need to shout or say anything, just lots of white flags — try to get into the press photos.

  • Anthony

    I'm confused. When exactly did being against terrorism equal agreeing with the decisions of the current administration on how to fight terrorism?

    Sure, Fonda is an easy target, and she may deserve all the shot lobbied at her. But I'd hate to think I was in danger of being charged with treason if I don't think Bush made the correct choices in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

  • Although I don't mind Jane Fonda's protest against the Iraq war, it is true that very few people protest against the terrorist attacks. This has begun to sound absurd. It has almost become a fashion to decry war against terrorism.

  • Right of Center

    Jarvisian Summary&#153: Appeasement, bad.

    Everyone else:

    "'Even in January 1942, when German armies were at the gates of Moscow, George Orwell wrote in Partisan Review that 'the greater part of the very young intelligentsia are anti-war … don't believe in any 'defense of democracy,' are inclined to prefer Germany to Britain, and don't feel the horror of Fascism that we who are somewhat older feel.'

    As if to illustrate Orwell's point, a pacifist poet named D.S. Savage wrote a reply in which he explained why he 'would never fight and kill for such a phantasm' as 'Britain's 'democracy.' ' Savage saw no difference between Britain and its enemies because under the demands of war both were imposing totalitarianism: 'Germans call it National Socialism. We call it democracy. The result is the same.'

    Savage naively wondered, 'Who is to say that a British victory will be less disastrous than a German one?' Savage thought the real problem was that Britain had lost 'her meaning, her soul,' but 'the unloading of a billion tons of bombs on Germany won't help this forward an inch.' 'Personally,' he added, with hilarious understatement, 'I do not care for Hitler.' But he thought the way to resist Hitler was by not resisting him: 'Whereas the rest of the nation is content with calling down obloquy on Hitler's head, we regard this as superficial. Hitler requires, not condemnation, but understanding.'

    Orwell's [response], written in October 1941: 'The notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact. As I have said, it is only possible to people who have money and guns between themselves and reality.'"


  • David McMurray

    Hanoi Jane really doesn't rate with anyone these days. First Vietnam, then she talked about how women should be comfortable with themselves – but did the workout tape, had fake breasts, etc. Then she continued her tiresome harangues about "women's rights" while she was marrying the multi – millionaire loudmouth from the South.

    Classic case of cognitive dissonance.

  • I can't help but think that Orwell would have said something as well, had in the aftermath of Hitler's invasion of Poland Great Britain declared war on Greece instead of Germany.

    He probably would have had a few choice words for the Prime Minister if he'd spent the first two years of his war effort refusing to mention Adolf Hitler by name in his speeches or public appearances, adding when pressed "To tell you the truth I don't really think about him that much, I'm not that concerned."

    And Orwell likely would have decried the shell game of reasons the British government trotted out for its misguided Greek invasion–first, that they had proof that the Greeks were working on a nuclear weapon; second, that the Greeks were in league with the Nazis (never mind that the two were actually enemies); third, that by invading Greece and installing a modern democracy we could somehow undermine Hitler's 1000-year Reich by osmosis.

    Make no mistake, Right of Center–if Orwell were alive today, he'd be nothing less than merciless in his skewering of the current governments in London and Washington, D.C. for their complete and utter failure to make the world safer from the scourge of terrorism. Because as much as the Right and hawks like Hitchens attempt to appropriate Orwell's mantle in this War on Terror, what the man hated far more than fascism was hypocrisy.

    As for Jane Fonda, J, Puckett is absolutely right. What's the sense of protesting the Enemy's attacks against you? Is Osama bin Laden going to have his heart grow three sizes when he sees such a protest on CNN? Um, no. Whereas if Fonda can do any good, she can help raise awareness that the War on Terror has little if anything to do with the occupation of Iraq, and that while we piss away a billion dollars a day on the neocons' mad scheme for socially engineering the Middle East the real enemy is safe and sound and still calling hits against the West with total impunity.

  • Right of Center

    What someone *might* have said. A truly Jarvisian(tm) analysis of Orwell.

  • kat

    {The problem was that Hitler's stated demands were a pretext for his maniacal ambitions. He was unappeasable. So is Osama bin Laden, who wants to avenge centuries of humiliation supposedly suffered by Muslims at Christian hands and who dreams of establishing a Taliban-style caliphate over all the lands once dominated by Muslims, from western China to southern Spain. Pulling out of Iraq would only whet his insatiable appetite for destruction, just as giving up the Sudetenland encouraged Hitler to seek more.}

    So are muslim terrorists unappeasable–but they value your support Jersey as they will value traitor Jane.

  • Franky

    Well said Jersey,

    Orwell was a socialist, a man who proudly fought alongside the anarchists (and let's be clear, not the type of fighting that Hugh Hewitt does in the war on terror, Orwell actually went and volunteered for a civil war he felt was worth dying for), a man who despised hypocrisy and lies as much as he always strove for the truth.

    And yet following Hitchens' lead, conservatives claim he would be with them.

    Of course, they get away with this by various dodgy interpretations of his work. Well let's look at Orwell's comments on a subject being discussed today. Liberals are fighting against the use of torture, while conservatives are buying Gitmo t-shirts.

    Cue Orwell:

    "By chaining up German prisoners in response to similar action by the Germans, we descend, at any rate in the eyes of the ordinary observer, to the level of our enemies. It is unquestionable when one thinks of the history of the past ten years that there is a deep moral difference between democracy and Fascism, but if we go on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth we simply cause that difference to be forgotten"

    He goes on to write:

    It seems to me that the civilised answer to the German action would be something like this: "You proclaim that you are putting thousands of British prisoners in chains because some half-dozen Germans or thereabouts were temporarily tied up during the Dieppe raid. This is disgusting hypocrisy, in the first place because of your own record during the past ten years, in the second place because troops who have taken prisoners have got to secure them somehow until they can get them to a place of safety, and to tie men's hands in such circumstances is totally different from chaining up a helpless prisoner who is already in an internment camp. At this moment, we cannot stop you maltreating our prisoners, though we shall probably remember it at the peace settlement, but don't fear that we shall retaliate in kind. You are Nazis, we are civilised men. This latest act of yours simply demonstrates the difference."

    Orwell would not have supported a war based on lies, he would not be supporting the acts of torture against our enemies. In short Orwell would have been at the forefront of any march against the war.

  • John

    Jersey Exile is quite right. The Iraq war is a failure and hasn't made the U.S. a whit safer. Go ahead, call me a Saddam appeaser, but I'd rather have Saddam in power and contained than have lost the lives and money we've wasted in replacing him with chaos. This war supposedly was necessary to defuse a threat to the U.S. Yet the threat was a chimera, which we could easily have found out with a more robust inspection regime instead of a mismanaged war.

    As to Jeff's point about Fonda, I concur with some other posters here that it rather misses the point. To lament the lack of protests against terrorists is silly. The terrorists aren't listening and can't be reasoned with. They should be apprehended, tried and/or killed, depending on circumstances. We don't need to shout about that, just do it. What we also don't need to do is abrogate our own principles in launching an unprovoked war (as distinct from that in Afghanistan, which should have remained our tighter focus) that has spawned a virulent breeding ground for terrorists where a much less dangerous one existed before.

  • I'm just surprised she's not flying cross country in a canola oil fueled crop duster.

  • Cog

    When can we expect photographs of her posing with Al Qaeda?

  • Eileen

    A poster at LGF:

    "I wonder how many miles to the gallon Jane Fonda's vegetable oil van will get? If you add pancake mix does the exhaust spit out funnel cakes?"

  • whodat

    "but I’d rather have Saddam in power and contained than have lost the lives and money we’ve wasted in replacing him with chaos. "

    But you were comfortable with the sanctions that left people in Iraq dying from such deadly diseases as–diarrhea? I dream of Jeannie isn't there. No one can blink and make it all utopian. It takes a lot of time. They are trying. I've said it before and I'll say it again–where were all the great humanitarians and their protest marches when innocent Iraqis were dying daily at the hand of Saddam and from the sanctions that were imposed because of his failure to comply with the UN?

    You asked for a "more robust inspection regime ". Well if he would have let us in this whole thing could have been averted. Sanctions lifted, lives saved and no war. Let's no kid ourselves–the guy was a threat and always would have been a threat. He used chems against Iran, and his own in the Kurdish region. Then he went to Kuwait. He prevented UN inspectors from doing their jobs since 1991. They left in '98. There is plenty of evidence that Iraq was funding and training terrorists and rebuilding WMD. They admitted hiding weapons of mass destruction in the desert, in caves and in tunnels. They have admitted manufacturing chemical weapons like sarin and mustard gas, and biological agents like anthrax. UN weapons inspectors, denied access to Iraq, cannot account for large quantities of materials used to make these deadly substances. Oops–but now we couldn't find them–maybe Casper the friendly ghost took them away! It's all his fault, period.

  • cathar

    Ms. Fonda's time is long past. Both in politics and in movies. She is a vastly silly woman (read her book for proof) desperate, like so many actors, to be taken seriously. And she apparently thinks further vilification by the majority of the American public will make her be taken seriously.

    Ignore her, she's gotten far too stupid to be worth our hatred.

  • Eileen,

    I believe the LGF poster is making a not-so-subtle reference to the accidental death of Rachel Corrie (whom they have dubbed "St. Pancake"). Shame on you for cross posting that trash here.

    Funny that the rest of you hawks sound a little less sure of yourselves these days, nitpicking at long-since irrelevant details — like the efficacy of Iraqi sanctions in the 1990's (!) — rather than debating the matter at hand.

    I guess when al-Qaeda strikes three times around the globe in as many weeks it's hard to argue that we're winning the War on Terror with a straight face, isn't it?

    Shame on us liberals for calling for bin Laden's head on a platter and the destruction of al-Qaeda where it festers in nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — how could we possibly give the enemy such aid and comfort?

  • Maureen

    "Go ahead, call me a Saddam appeaser, but I’d rather have Saddam in power and contained than have lost the lives and money we’ve wasted in replacing him with chaos." Ah yes, those happy days of children's prisons, annihilation of Kurds, destruction of the Marsh Arabs, Iran-Iraq war, & the orderly non-chaotic Middle East that existed just a couple of years ago.

    I'm a history major, but maybe I took the wrong classes. Enlighten me on the instant order that existed after World War II (& our immediate pullout from Germany & Japan, where we apparently haven't been for 50+ years)? The instant peace & rebuilding that occurred? Or WWI? Or Korea? Or, in fact, any conflict that has ever occurred? Geez, even Bosnia–apparently the "ok" war because Clinton put us in it–still has US personnel (under the guidance of that wonderfully organized body, the UN, who runs everything so well), & no viable infrastructure (imagine that–despite the UN handling it!). And that one ran so well? The Chinese embassy didn't get blown up?

    And Jersey–I'd love to hear your plan for ending terrorism. Seriously. I'm not being facetious. John Kerry had a super-secret plan that we still haven't heard about for ending terrorism. The various Democratic websites have all sorts of references to ending terrorism. Apparently even Hillary has a way to end terrorism. It's just that noone seems to be able to actually, umm, explain how to do it.

    So please, you don't like Bush's handling of things? Absolutely valid. But you know what–if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. We get it, Bush sucks. Bush lied.

    So let's hear your–LEGITIMATE, NON-VAGUE–way to end terrorism. "Bush sucks" doesn't cut it. "US out of Iraq" doesn't cut it (as John Howard mentioned last week, there have been plenty of terrorist attacks PRIOR to 9/11). Let's hear your realistic, viable way to end terrorism. I'd love to your plan for ending terrorism, so that I can take the Metro every day without worrying about a possible attack. Personally, I support what we're doing in Iraq & think we need to hit the bastards as hard as possible every day.

    If you've got a more effective method, let's hear it. Seriously. Because so far, I sure haven't heard anything practical from Democrats. The fact that Democrats have lost 2 Presidential elections, the House, & the Senate, would indicate that the American public thinks the same thing. I'll be the first to say that I'm not locked into voting Republican. There are a lot of domestic issues I'm not happy with. But other than listening to Democrats screaming "Bush sucks! Bush lied! Bush sucks! We wouldn't do it that way!", I have yet to actually hear anything concrete. So let's hear something concrete.

    It's easy to tool around the country in a vegetable-oil bus bitching about rotten old Bush. How about some actual legitimate ideas?

    Ball's in your court, friend.

  • A tour to protest terrorism?

    Jeff, that's a lame argument and you know it. Jane Fonda might look silly driving around in her canola-fueled bus or whatever the hell, and honestly she's not really someone I want on my side of the ideological aisle. But your comment makes no sense, and plays into the hands of right-wingers who assume that anti-war equals pro-terrorism. I expect better.

    And there are a bunch of cars on tour to protest the things you mentioned. You can spot them by the ribbon stickers above their bumpers.

  • Franky


    The short answer is – Al-Qeada and its principle leaders were and remain in Afghanistan and the borders with Pakistan. We should have sought to stabilize that country and destroy AL-Qeada there.

    Lots of people comment about who out there in the muslim world is already lost to us. Those who opposed us hunting down Al-Qeada can legitimately be called lost to us as there is obviously no common point of beliefs.

    That is not the case with those who have opposed our invasion of Iraq – you want democracy for Iraqis fine, keep on with Quixotic mission there to create a democracy as the country keeps sliding to civil war.

    But don't justify the mission in Iraq on the grounds of fighting terror – the only effect that war has had on terror has been to increase the number of those who want to kill us.

  • Dmac

    I think most recognized scholars of Orwell (yes, including Hitchens) would agree that he would've resisted fascism, period. He saw the horrors of war up close and personal, but he also knew that sacrifices must be made when the civilized world is under threat.

    Orwell was never a moral relativist.

  • Maureen

    Franky – I still don't hear a solution to ending terrorism. I found this quote–from a BBC editor (!) no less that is excellent:

    "Against this argument is the view that the new kind of terrorism is essentially nihilist and apocalyptic, and that Iraq is only a kind of inchoate excuse. “After all, the African embassy bombings happened before Iraq,” Mark Urban, the diplomatic editor of the BBC program “Newsnight,” said. “The I.R.A. had a political arm, and a political goal, however unreal: they killed to get people to the table. What is there to negotiate with these people? An end to the American presence in Saudi Arabia? All right, we’ll consider it. The elimination of the State of Israel? Hmm, that may be a bit more difficult. The restoration of a universal Islamic caliphate? It may be a bit of a deal-breaker, that."

    Amen to that! If you really think that Iraq is the reason more people supposedly hate us, bask in your happy delusion. Yup, noone hated us before Iraq. News flash. "They" hated us before Iraq; they still hate us now. If you think "they" give a flying f*** about Iraq (or Palestinians or whatever cause they need to drum up to gain the sympathy of the "why do they hate us crowd" like you), you really are delusional. It's just that "they" get more news play now. There aren't more of them–they're just more visible.

    The reality is that people hate me because I support our efforts in Iraq. But they hate you, too. Why? Not because of Bush or Iraq. Because you (& I) live in a country where Madonna & Britney Spears & JLo & other non-talents can parade around half-naked onstage. Because Jews, & Catholics, & Buddhists, & Druids, & Mormons, & atheists are allowed to worship (or not) freely. Because I, as a woman, can drive a car, work, own property, marry or not, don't have to be veiled, don't have to have my genitals mutilated. Because gays/lesbians/bisexuals can be open & not live in fear of execution for their orientation (unlike, say, Iran–a non-chaotic country that John yearns for above–where 2 gay men were hung for being gay; I defy you to show me Bush/Rove doing that!). Because you can speak openly against political & religious leaders without fear of having your tongue cut out or being executed.

    You really think "they" would stop the terrorism if we pull out of Iraq? Hmm. Let's take the example of the British Muslim cleric from last week. A man raised in Britain. The one who was decrying violence, except when it's ok, as in when poodle-Blair supports evil-Bush, so it's ok to blow up subways (your position). Then he casually mentioned that it's also ok to, you know, decapitate gays. (Because apparently that's not violence, or something.) So how do you respond to that? Isn't that terrorism? Suppose he, & your beloved "they", proceed to let us know that the jihad will continue because the West allows gays to live. That they're going to blow up subways & fly jets into office buildings as long as gays are alive. Do we cave into that? No? So how do we combat it? (I love John's comment above that terrorists "should be apprehended, tried and/or killed, depending on circumstances," but apparently we mustn't mustn't go to Iraq. Just curious–do we arrest them before or after they fly into an office building or blow themselves up on a subway? I'm guessing before, but do we do that by putting up a "terrorist line here" sign, then arresting them?)

    You think I'm exaggerating? We've already got a lot of "why do they hate us" apologists for terrorism (most of the BBC & Guardian staffs) going along with the theory that Israel shouldn't be allowed to exist. You know, because Osama is miffed about the Palestinians. Ok, so we give in on that. (You know, because they're Jews, & as Jersey said in a post last week, Bush really hates them anyway because he's a Southern Baptist–gotta make sure to mention he's a Southerner.) But he's also miffed about Iraq. So we give in on that. But he's also miffed about Afghanistan (& at the risk of being cynical, since he's not Afghani but actually a Saudi, didn't he technically invade Afghanistan or is his invasion ok somehow while ours isn't?). So we give in on that. At what point do we stop? What happens when you find out "they" still hate us? Do we start imposing restrictions on women? Forcing people to become Muslim? Killing gays? That's not an exaggeration–that's what the "they" you're so concerned about in Iraq want. (People, btw, who are not Iraqi but coming in from Yemen & Sudan & Saudi Arabia & Syria & other countries.)

    Spain, ironically, is finding themselves on the horns of such a dilemma. They caved to one group of terrorists by pulling out of Iraq. I count two major bomb attacks since then. Weren't "they" supposed to not hate Spaid anymore? Oh, woops, it's a different "they." So does Spain cave into that group of "they" also? And what happens when the next "they" emerge?

    And BTW, I'd love to hear your explanation for the attack that killed 88 people in Egypt over the weekend. A Muslim country. Not in Iraq. That opposed our actions in Iraq. But I'm sure you'll come up with a reasonable excuse for why "they" slaughtered fellow Muslims in a Muslim country.

  • Eileen

    JE: Thanks for another laugh. What an absurd, outer space-like attempt to discredit LGF. Your brain leaps from funnel cakes spewed from a vegetable oil guzzling bus to a reference to Rachel Corrie? How nutty can you get? Your sense of humor = your logic = your prowess as a mind reader = NIL. Shame on you for your efforts to trash.

    Quelle surprise.

  • Tesh

    Jeff, move over and let Maureen have some room!

    Bless your heart girl!

  • Franky

    "I still don’t hear a solution to ending terrorism."

    That's because it's impossible. We can destroy terrorist groups that threaten us, but we can't destroy the concept of terrorism any more than we can stop the phenonema of rape. But please let me in on how you plan to destroy an idea, and please explain to me how the invasion of Iraq will destroy the idea of terrorism as well as impacting these State Dept designated terrorist groups – ETA, IRA, Real IRA, United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, FARC, ELN, Shining Path, Revolutionary People's Army of Turkey, November 17, Revolutionary Nuclei, Tamil Tigers, PKK, Kahane Chai or even Al-Qeada.

    And I'm really too bored of explaining the fallacy of the "they hate us because we're free" bumper-sticker thought. All I ask is go read any single person who works in combatting terrorism, again literally any single person who works in that field, and you'll see it's not true. Not even remotely.

    Of course you could just save time and reply instantly that all these counter-terrorism officials are really democrat insiders.

  • brendan

    Jane Fonda on a bus? Attn: Dennis Hopper. Your services are needed, sir.

  • kat

    {Shame on us liberals for calling for bin Laden’s head on a platter and the destruction of al-Qaeda where it festers in nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — how could we possibly give the enemy such aid and comfort?}

    Too bad you didn't want his head when it was handed to you. Instead you appeased the son of a bitch while he planned the second WT bombing. All you did was find excuses and coverups for terrorist acts. Hilary donned a burka, Chelsea studied islam, and Willie chanted islam is peace and invited terrorists to the Whitehouse and he and his democrats sipped wine with them.

  • i think i just fell in love with Maureen!


    very similar to rants i've written explaining that some Americans (me, my family, and many others I know) have been dealing with terrorism while living overseas in Europe and the Middle East since the days of Carter.

  • Maureen

    Franky –

    OMG, you actually said something that makes sense! You're absolutely right that it's impossible to stop terrorism. (And I'd love to know some authors who claim they don't hate us because of our lifestyle. Please name a few. Because everything I've read–including Bin Laden's own writings–say the reverse. Do you have a reading list? Apparently the British Muslim cleric who thinks gays should be beheaded hasn't read them either.) So in a way, you discredit your own contention that somehow our being in Iraq is creating more terrorism or more people who hate us. Iraq is important because we're finally beating the s*** (for a change) out of the people who were doing it to us. And I'll be totally honest, I don't give a frick whether we "prove" a connection between Saddam & al Qaeda/nuclear weapons/etc. (there's plenty of proof out there, but people are going to believe or not & it's pointless to rehash). I'll say this. We deposed an evil evil man who slaughtered thousands of innocents. (Shall I mention in a quick history lesson that we also took on an evil guy named Hitler even tho it was NOT his country who bombed Pearl Harbor? By your logic, we never should have touched him, since he didn't "do" anything to the US.) Can we take on every one like him? No, sadly. (And I have here, & elsewhere, said that I think we need to act in Sudan & should have acted sooner in Bosnia–BTW in DEFENSE of Muslims who were being persecuted.) But we took out one pretty evil human. And every survey that's been done in Iraq, of Iraqis, shows that they're glad to have the bastard out. You want to dredge up the tiresome rhetoric about how we supported him first, didn't do the job in Gulf I, blah blah blah. Yup. We made a mistake. And we finally fixed it. And in the meantime, we're taking out a lot of other pretty evil people who want us dead. And at the same time sending the message to those who blew up the Khobar Towers & the Cole & shot down a Blackhawk in Sudan that we actually WILL fight back (something that even Osama has admitted he didn't think would actually happen, since we hadn't done anything previously). Bullies can be stopped with violence–notice how Ghaddafi has gone from pariah to almost a model citizen, courtesy of some missiles? If not stopped, they can be made to realize that they'll suffer just as much, or more, than they're making us suffer. And above all we're sending a message that we absolutely positively will NOT change our way of life one single solitary iota. Hey, if Madonna wants to prance around naked with a snake & her gay dancers, you go girl! The annual Gay Pride parade here in DC? You go, girls! Meanwhile, I WILL ride Metro every day, I will watch out for unattended bags, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let a stinking lousy terrorist who wants to stop me from my life's goal (which I've proudly attained) of being a bitch have his way. I will not change my life one bit. You want to try for me f******. Come & get me. Because I guarantee I'll go down fighting. And with my absolute last breath, I'll shout as loudly as possible for the US to continue fighting the bastards & never ever give up.

    A former colleague of mine was life partners with one of the pilots on the plane that hit the Pentagon. I had friends in the Pentagon. My firm lost a young man in the Twin Towers. We had/have offices at World Financial Center, & a lot of people there that day fled for their lives. A colleague here lost his close friend in the Twin Towers. They didn't die because of Iraq. They died because we had gotten slack & shrugged off too many previous attacks, wringing our hands about whey they hate us but convincing ourselves that it couldn't happen here. Well, it can–& will. Terrorist attacks have happened in virtually every country in the modern world (First & Third World). They'll find one excuse or another to continue. Hand wringing, worrying why they hate us, throwing money at a kleptocrat who stashed billions away in his Swiss bank account while pretending to care about his people–haven't worked. The solution is to send a message that we WILL be vigilant & we WILL inflict just as much pain on them as they want to inflict on us–but that they will NEVER win. We WILL live our lives as WE please; not as some thug wants to impose on us.

  • Franky

    If it is simply a case they hate us because we're free, why are terrorist attacks rising? why are new terrorists being created (see the study by Saudis and Israeli institute on how those caught sneaking in to Iraq have no record of terrorist activities)? why is that the CIA estimated terrosim would increase with the invasion of Iraq?

    Let me know how we've suddenly become freer ever since April 2003.

    Ok, well thanks at least for being honest and not citing anyone who believes it's because we're free that we were attacked. Now those who believe the explanation may be a little more substantial than "we're free" – CIA, FBI, Interpol, the Bin Laden Unit, Mi6, SIS, Shin Bett, Mossad, and every analyst who has ever spent more than one Sunday afternoon studying terrorism. But to start you on your education you may want to check out the guy who has just written the definitive study on suicide bombers (Robert Pape), Ghost Wars about the formation of Al-Qeada in Afghanistan and then Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer, the guy who formally ran the Bin Laden unit and was transferred because he was seen as too gung-ho in wanting to capture/kill Bin Laden (this is all before the 9/11 attacks).

  • Dak

    JE writes: Shame on us liberals for calling for bin Laden’s head on a platter and the destruction of al-Qaeda where it festers in nations like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — how could we possibly give the enemy such aid and comfort?

    Fighting in those areas would take away the advantage of our ground troops have in Iraq's more favorable terrain, and leave them open to decimation instead of victory. – surely giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They'd be so happy to lure our our boys there, there would be dancing all over the place.

    Yet JE continues his endless quest to convince all he can reach thru the internet that is exactly where our troops should be sent.

  • whodat

    Quixotic? I think it's more along the lines of trying to make the ME more democratic. If Saddam/Al Qaeda/etc. had their way they'd run over the whole ME and then come after the rest of the world. It;s a win-win. Freedom for the Iraqis and increased stability–eventually in the ME. When the day comes that we are without friends in the ME we are cooked.

    Pape makes points. So what then if a country is making bombs to kill us with? Should we not do anything about out it of our fear of more terrorist attacks? Should we not have tried to work out Kosovo? Is Pape Canadian?

  • Franky

    I sort of pledged that I would tone down my comments since Jeff moved and was bored by the petty slandering, but for flat out weirdness, Dak you take the Gold.

    So what exactly is our plan? to invade every single flat piece of land in the world and what wait until Osama pops down to the shops in Kabul and nab him? Or are we going to play the really smart game and wait for the mountains to slowly ware down and then when all the mountains have slipped in to the ground then strike like a cobra?

    Can you imagine if Clinton or Kerry had said something even 1% as weird how the wingnuts would respond?

  • Franky

    Sorry I don't mean to pick on you wingnuts, but did you check out the proposed constitution for the "Islamic Republic of Iraq"

    Article Two:

    Islam is the official religion of the state and it is the main source of legislations and it is not allowed to make laws that contradict the fundamental teachings of Islam and its rules (the ones agreed upon by all Muslims) and this constitution shall preserve the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people (with its Shea't majority and its Sunni component) and respect the rights of all other religions.

    Sounds suspciously close to Sharia law to me.

    Yep that what $300 billion and nearly 2,000 dead gets us – the Islamic Republic of Iraq sitting next to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Good one Bush supporters, now let's see your next trick.

  • kat

    I said it last week and I'll say it again–give them a caliphate, become dead or dhimminized and there will be peace–one big islamic sewer.

  • Maureen,

    Three ways to fight terrorism that we could implement tomorrow:

    1. Internationalize the Iraqi occupation. Get as many Muslim peacekeepers on the ground as possible, so as to counter the enemy's claim that this is just "another Crusade." Get the U.N. involved again. Re-open reconstruction contracts to third party bidders, including the Arab world. It is in our best interests to encourage as much Arab "buy-in" as possible at this point, because if we cut and run (as Bush will do if the polls tell him to), the Iraqis will be fucked with a capital "F".

    2. Announce a boycott of Saudi oil until the government there starts cooperating 100% with disrupting al-Qaeda's financial operations. American intelligence have complained time and time again that the Saudis aren't following even a tenth of the suggestions we've passed along to stifle the cashflow going out of S.A. and into the hands of radical clerics around the world. Tell them the gig is up. Tell America that we will open up the strategic oil reserve, institute a gas price freeze, but that we must be willing to sacrifice in order to curb the Saudis support for terror.

    3. Announce a suspension of Pakistan's foreign aid and sales of military equipment until it eliminates al-Qaeda's safe havens in the lawless western portion of the country. If that fails, go to the United Nations with the same grievances that we brought against the Taliban and the Iraqis. If Musharraf can't or won't comply, then we're going to have to do it ourselves.

    Dak's declaration that we couldn't mount such an operation because we'd lose the "favorable terrain" we have in Iraq is ludicrous. First, we're sitting ducks in Baghdad and most of the Iraqi cities. Second, the enemy we're engaging in Iraq are at best al-Qaeda second-stringers recruited as jihadi cannon fodder and at worst native insurgents who wouldn't be shooting at us if we weren't there. Third, Dak forgets that we've already fought on such terrain in Afghanistan and won repeatedly when most observers redicted that we would be slaughtered by the noble Afghan warriors.

    Fourth, what are we now, a bunch of cowards? What happened to hunting the enemy down, 20th century notions of sovereignty be damned? I thought our battle cry was "You're either with us or against us." Clearly the Saudis and Pakistanis have worked against us a hundred times more than Saddam ever did, no matter what they profess in public. It's time for them to decide what is more important — appeasing their lunatic minorities who hold them hostage or helping the world rid itself of the scourge of terrorism. With us or against us. What happened to the moral clarity of the hawkish right? Gets a little muddled when there are real stakes, eh?

  • Linda Edwards

    I wonder if Maureen is aware that we took on Hitler because HE DECLARED WAR ON US.

  • Linda Edwards

    Also Maureen, since your so full of piss and vinegar, and ready to go down fighting to protect your way of living, I'll expect to see you first thing in the morning at the local military recruitment center. I understand they're having a problem meeting their goals. And that alot of our soldiers are coming home wondering why the hell they're the only ones sacrificing.

    You wanted this war in Iraq, now all the chickenhawks need to get off duffs and go fight it!

  • Faramin

    I wonder why there is no category called "war" in Jeff's chosen categories. For a person who has advocated war for years, it is strange that such category is missing.

  • Linda Edwards

    Oh, and Maureen, your apparently confusing the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict with the conflict in Bosnia that ended ended in 1995. And it wasn't a UN operation, it was NATO.

    You said you were a history major? Maybe you really were taking the wrong classes.

  • Jersey Exile

    Coming in late, but…

    If England were to declare war on Greece in the aftermath of Poland, they'd have to move fast, since their army was garrisoned in France, was nearly destroyed by German aggression in the following year, and in any case, Greece fell to Germany in 1941.

    It's all such poppycock, what you say. It is so difficult to draw parallels between the execution of the Second World War and the GWOT, I must dismiss your fantastic rambling.

    In any case, Churchill did one right thing after the other, and they kicked him out before VE day.

  • Alan,

    The WWII analogy was supposed to be poppycock. The reason that it's so hard to find a historical parallel to what the Bush administration did by invading Iraq as a consequence of 9/11 is because it defies reason.

    Perhaps the closest example from history would be the invasion of Sicily by Athens during the Peloponnesian War — an ill-conceived grab for the Mediterranean's breadbasket on a trumped-up pretext which turned all of the Greek world against them, undermined Athenian security (taking their focus off the life-or-death conflict with Sparta) and finances, and ended in a humiliating defeat which signified the beginning of the end of Athens' empire.

    But God forbid we put our own actions into historical context. No, let's just compare our enemies to Nazis no matter what the situation and then anything we do in response couldn't possibly be worse, could it?

  • Franky

    Regarding historical analogies – remember don't ever mention Vietnam, despite the ever clearer resembalances. All we needed was the Vietnamization back then and today all we need is the Iraqization of the fighting force today.

  • Franky

    Dear God please don't tell me that Jessica Simpson is our generation's Walter Cronkite – telling the country that the war is unwinnable.

    "JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY's harrowing trip to Iraq got to – because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.

    The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.

    But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn't appear in the fun-filled TV show.

    Simpson says, "It was unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced."

  • Maureen

    Jersey – I don't agree with you often, but I do agree with you 100% on your 3 comments. Bush has absolutely no business being as friendly with the Saudi regime as he is–& with the "diplomats" they send here. They are openly funding & sympathizing with terrorists, & we need to be putting far more pressure on them than we are. I would love to see us totally boycott them. (Don't know as that would stop terrorism, but it's a good start.) Should I also point out that the Saudis are heavy funders of CAIR, which is so beloved on campuses–& which is itself infecting (& funding) universitiest with vicious anti-Semitism & anti-Americanism?

    We also need to be putting heavy pressure on Pakistan. One good way would be to forbid companies from outsourcing operations there. Pakistan is trying to market itself as an alternative to India for outsourcing, & companies are beginning to do business there. I say let's block any type of outsourcing until Pakistan cooperates more fully in shutting down the al-Qaeda operations going on so openly there.

    And I would love to see Muslims on the ground in Iraq doing peacekeeping work. Do you seriously think it would happen? I didn't see Muslim nations rushing to send soldiers in to Bosnia & Kosovo, where anti-Muslim slaughtering was going on–they were more than happy to let NATO do the heavy lifting.

    Linda –

    1) Yes, I'm aware that Hitler declared war on us. Are you aware that Saddam declared war on the US?

    2) I'm 45, so the military won't take me–unfortunately. My brother is in the Army (plus he served in Gulf I), & my nephew soon will be. Also an in-law. Two cousins in the Navy. That enough for you?

    3) Yes, I'm aware of the distinctions between Kosovo & Bosnia. My groveling apologies for not being specific enough. Since, sadly, they're both in the Yugoslavia region, they tend to run together. For the record, NATO was involved in both. I'm VERY aware that it wasn't originally a UN operation. One of the ironies is that all of you who were screaming that the UN needed to approve our involvement in Iraq never said a peep when Clinton (finally) acted in the Balkans WITHOUT UN approval. However, the UN is involved–or as much as the UN ever is–in peacekeeping & rebuilding missions there. With their usual disastrous results. (But since so many like to talk about the Iraq "quagmire"–how do you classify both Kosovo & Bosnia, since NATO still has operations in both? Or ok, since you like to parse so much, now a European peacekeeping force in Bosnia?)
    http://www.nato.int/kfor/welcome.html (NATO in Kosovo)
    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos… (Bosnia, including the former NATO operations but now IFOR)

    And since you want to be snotty, honey, you might want to learn to spell. There's a difference between "your" & "you're." "You're" is the short version of "you are"–not "your" (which you used, more than once). I can also give you a quick course on the proper use of 's if you need it.

  • Linda Edwards

    Maureen, when did Saddam make a formal declare of war on us as Hitler did? Saber-rattling doesn't qualify.

    How unfortunate that you missed the maximum recruitment age. Sorry you couldn't have joined my grandson. I see they're (not there, not their) trying to up the maximum age to 42, but they might get desparate enough to raise it to 45.

    Yes, I am aware Bosnia and Kosovo were NATO operations. That's whyI pointed out that what you said was wrong. And Clinton didn't act, NATO acted.

    Speaking of quagmires, let's see. How many American lives have we lost in the Balkans? I think that was a whopping "0". Should we compare the cost between the two operations? Between the bombing campaign, reconstructing Serbia and resettling the refugees, the United States spent some $25 billion. Most of the $300 billion that has been appropriated so far has gone to Iraq. And we will be paying much, much more before this is over, both in lives and treasure.

    and if pointing out a typo is the best you can do(gasp, I didn't capitalize the "a"), then yoooooorr really struggling to make an argument.

  • Dak

    Jersey Exile says: "the enemy we’re engaging in Iraq are at best al-Qaeda second-stringers recruited as jihadi cannon fodder and at worst native insurgents who wouldn’t be shooting at us if we weren’t there."

    Uh, what happened to YOUR claim that terrorists who weren't radicalized before are so radicalized now that they are streaming into Iraq solely BECAUSE THEY ARE SO ANGRY over Bush's war?

    Recruited? Darn right!

    I guess if you speak out both sides of the mouth, at least one side is bound to get it right.

  • Helen

    I find the spread of the "chickenhawk" argument deeply disturbing. It embraces the idea that only the young, fit and armed should have a say in controlling the exercise of U.S military power. So full citizenship must be earned by combat enlistment? So the military should dictate terms to the civilian population? How very Heinlein. How very sad for the disabled, elderly and unfit, no franchise for them.

  • Elrod

    Maureen and Franky,

    Islamist terrorism long pre-dates the Iraq war, obviously. Its roots go to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement run by Qutb in the early 1960s. Followers of him in Egypt, including Ayman Al-Zawahiri (OBL's right hand man), declared war against western civilization many years ago. The goal of the Islamist jihad movement is to remove all of the pro-western regimes from power – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, etc. – and replace them with purist "Islamic" regimes based on a puritanical reading of the Quran. To attain this longterm strategic goal they've launched a global guerrilla war against the Middle Eastern regimes themselves and, beginning especially in the 1990s, against their western benefactors. The reason behind the WTC, London, Bali, etc bombings is to make it too uncomfortable for westerners to continue to prop up regimes in the Middle East. They will keep at it for decades unless the movement implodes from within.

    That said, the movement rises and falls depending on external variables. It requires new recruits and it obtains them from autocratic regimes – especially pro-western autocratic regimes (any coincidence the 9/11 hijackers came from Egypt and Saudi Arabia?) – where the only outlet for the middle class is to ingratiate the regime to get a plum job, emigrate to the West (especially Britain, Germany and France), or join the jihad and try to bring the whole thing down violently. There are events that encourage more disaffected Muslims to join the jihadists – like the Iraq war – and there are events that discourage it (real democratic and economic reforms in the autocracies). Thus, it is a fallacy to say that the Iraq war is the reason for the jihadist movement. But it's naivete to insist that the Iraq war hasn't encouraged the growth of the jihadist movement.

    So how do we fight this movement? We need a global counter-insurgency effort that relies on every political, cultural, military, diplomatic and economic tool at our disposal. No point in arguing about the Iraq war at this point – just try and get it right. Unfortunately a civil war there is likely at this point so hopefully the insurgency will bleed itself to death. And work to get a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace that provides real security to Israel and real sovereignty (and no Israeli settlements) for the Palestinians. Work to develop the economies of the region so it doesn't entirely rely on oil exports – and we don't have to rely on oil imports. Push the Egyptian and Saudi regimes toward open, democratic reform. And apply real pressure on Pakistan to clear out the real Al Qaeda leadership hiding out in the mountains – including rooting out Taliban supporters from the ISI.

    Defeating Islamist terrorism will take decades but it can be done if we work at it. Note also that none of these prescriptions are "Democratic" or "Republican". Let's stop griping over water under the bridge and try to win this war.

  • Linda,

    Here's your declarations of war:

    "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places."


  • Linda Edwards


    Thank you for the link, but the question is, when did Saddam/Iraq make a formal declaration of war against the U.S. It's true that bin Laden/al Qaeda made a declaration, but since we all know from the various official reports that have been issued, Saddam and bin Laden weren't connected.

  • Dak


    Linda writes: "but since we all know from the various official reports that have been issued, Saddam and bin Laden weren’t connected."

    No, Linda…that is not true.

    "Even the leftist Guardian ran articles on the axis of Saddam and bin Laden."

  • Linda Edwards

    Thank you for your reply, DAK.

    Quoting from the 9/11 Commission regarding al-Qaeda/Iraqi links: "To date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship."


    I tend to give greater weight to official reports than a blog.

  • whodat

    Kosovo-Nato in name only. It was all Bubba. He went there because he knew the UN wouldn't bite. At least G-Dub gave them a chance to get in.

    And since all the lefties seem so concerned for the innocent Iraqis, I expect to see them boarding planes en masse to go minister and comfort them in their time of need. I also expect them to go there and demonstrate in Iraq against the war. Yes, obviously the "go sign up and fight" argument is dumb.

  • Linda Edwards

    Whodat, it's only dumb to those your side because it's put you on the spot. It's like Cheney and all his deferments so that he didn't have to go to Vietnam. He doesn't mind sending everyone else off to war, but he wouldn't go fight one. That's a chickenhawk. There's tons of chickenhawks in this administration, and tons of chickenhawks that support this illegal war. And the term "chickenhawk" must have struck a sore spot judging from the reaction I've been seeing lately.

    BTW, the point you think you're trying to make, is pretty lame.

    Re Bosnia/Kosovo, I called Maureen on her mistake because she made two factual errors in one statement. She retaliates by pointing out my typos (we need "message preview" back). She claims to be a history major. I never claimed to be an English major.

  • “jcrue
    Thank you for the link, but the question is, when did Saddam/Iraq make a formal declaration of war against the U.S. It’s true that bin Laden/al Qaeda made a declaration, but since we all know from the various official reports that have been issued, Saddam and bin Laden weren’t connected.”

    The actions of his government in violation of the cease-fire signed a Safwan ending the combat phase of Desert Storm was a binding agreement that detailed the response to violations of the cease-fire.

    Our return to Iraq was simply the return to combat due to 12 years of repeated violations of the cease-fire and removal of the regime responsible. Nothing since the cease-fire was signed negated it. The invasion was a completely legal response to articles of war signed by both the Iraqis and Coalition Forces. All of which had tacit approval provided by every resolution approved by the UN and the US Congress on the Iraq question since 1991.

    I bet you dollars to doughnuts I can find more evidence supporting a historic, factual connection between Saddam / Iraq and OBL / AQ than you can to disprove it. This isn’t about just 9/11, it’s about so much more. You understand that don’t you?

  • Tared26

    Wow! I am very surprised to see that nobody has written anything since August 4, 2005. I had a very good friend die in Iraq on October 20, 2005. Supporting not only OUR Country, BUT all of you who seem to disapprove of the war. It is said to be that Ms. Fonda will be visiting our troops over in Iraq, in the spring (March) of 2006. Should I warn all of my other friends in Iraq about her? Have you all forgotten that there is a reason we are there, whether it be right or wrong in your eyes or mine? (Forget what the media doesn’t tell) Secondly,do you have support for the men and women who lose their lives for YOU to be against them? Isn’t this about what Jane Fonda did? Not why we went back fourteen years later? I was born in 1977 and thankfully was raised in a family that never lied or hid politics. The everchanging world will go through wars (god forbid anyone has casualties) but the fact is it will happen! Jane Fonda can now have regret for the unforgetable deaths and torture that she at one time inflicted on our Americans Soldiers and Military, and will soon be again with our soldiers to do what? The same? She will continue to do what she has and needs to do to sell movies, books, and videos.
    9/11 is a tragedy and always will be but, let us not forget that we do not want to engage in a war on our home soil. Let’s remember what the possibilities are IF and WHEN she enters into enemy territory soil again might be.