Psy rapped about killing Americans–Gagnam style?

Psy

Hoo brah, it turns out that internet sensation Psy has spit some serious political lyrics in the past. This, of course, was right before we saw him in a steam room rapping about Gagnam Style.

싸이 rap : 이라크 포로를 고문해 댄 씨발양년놈들과
고문 하라고 시킨 개 씨발 양년놈들에
딸래미 애미 며느리 애비 코쟁이 모두 죽여
아주 천천히 죽여 고통스럽게 죽여

Kill those —— Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
Kill those —— Yankees who ordered them to torture
Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers
Kill them all slowly and painfully

Well, they say the friendliest looking people are often the most deadly, right?

He has since apologized. I actually don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Eight years ago, he was in his mid-twenties and was angry over the military relationship between the U.S. and Korea. Yes, it was in poor form, but a young guy can be excused. It will, however, be fun to hear Limbaugh and company go crazy with their right-wing histrionics after Obama attends his concert.

125 thoughts on “Psy rapped about killing Americans–Gagnam style?

  1. I’m with you B. Its not a big deal. People are all up in arms but are ignorant of the situation in Korea the time the song was made.

    Ice Cube’s song Black Korea didnt lose him many fans, and hey, it probably incited a lot of people to shoot asian shop owners. Have you seen Barbershop? Its pretty funny.

  2. This was after a Korean missionary was decapitated by some Islamic group and 2 -13 yr old south Korean girls were killed by American military….and the military was not charged w/ anything. So….. yeah, I would be frickin’ pissed at Americans too.
    I don’t think it’s a big deal, especially compared to some of the things Americans say about other ppl from other countries.

    I don’t even know who why someone would bring this story up in US media? Are they against a “foreigner” reaching fame and success here? Maybe it’s a huge Beiber fan that’s upset PSY beat him on Youtube.

  3. “I don’t even know who why someone would bring this story up in US media? Are they against a “foreigner” reaching fame and success here? Maybe it’s a huge Beiber fan that’s upset PSY beat him on Youtube”.

    There’s plenty of people out there who dislike Asian men, especially the ones who are unattractive, which unfortunately is a large majority.

    Justin Bieber is also a foreigner, but his combination of good looks and race removes any stigma that is associated with one.

  4. ewww gross. You think Justin Bieber w/ his pre-pubescent body is good looking? bleh. what’s wrong w/ you Chr? You have the same tastes as a 12 year old girl. hmmm…suspect.
    I totally think PSY is better looking than Bieber. Are YOU are Bieleber Chr? gross…. Gag me with a spoon.

    And most Americans don’t think Canadians are “foreigners.”

  5. Linda,

    You sound like an idiot. Justin Bieber is young man. PSY is about to be over his prime in a few years.

    Many Americans think their fellow Asian citizens are foreigners.

  6. So not only does Chr stare at the penises of Asian men, he thinks Justin Bieber has the combination of good looks and race as well.

    ROFLMAO

  7. My take on the Psy controversy: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2012/12/psy-useful-idiot.html

    Linda,

    The deaths of the 2 girls were due to a tragic accident. Because the incident occurred in the line of duty (a convoy during military training), the US military had jurisdiction per the Status of Forces Agreement. Off-duty incidents involving Korean nationals would have fallen under Korean jurisdiction – US soldiers have been convicted in Korean courts and placed in Korean jails for off-duty crimes.

    The soldiers were charged in a court-martial, which was unfair to them to begin with because a joint investigation by Koreans and US investigators already found that the incident was an accident. (An accident is not a crime.) Of course, the soldiers were acquitted in the court martial because it was an accident.

    However, anti-American groups in Korea waged an aggressive misinformation campaign and propagandized the accident to inflame anti-American sentiment. Unfortunately, rather than set the record straight and calm the situation, many Korean media and politicians chose to exploit the mob anger for their own agendas.

  8. @Bigwowo, I don’t know as I intially missed the 3rd verse Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers. That is harsh and he should be criticized for those words. That was George Bush and Dick Cheneys war and and I had agreed at his anti US military criticism of the US army abuses back in 2004, but why did he have to say kill their daughters mothers and so on. He should have pin the blame on GB/DC and the US army personnel who did abuse in Iraq and those who got away with manslaughter of the Korean girls 2 years earlier. We’ll see if he will get any backlash, but he I estimate he will hit 1 Billion Youtube hits Dec. 20,21 or 22. 🙂

  9. Dman,

    I recommend this detailed account of the 2002 accident: http://rokdrop.com/2008/06/13/gi-myths-the-2002-armored-vehicle-accident/

    Keep in mind that in 2004 US-led forces in Iraq were desperately trying to stop the terrorists who were bombing marketplaces, religious processions, committing mass murders daily, and kidnapping, (actual) torturing, assassinating Iraqi government officials, police, aid workers, and other Iraqis trying to build the post-Saddam Iraq. The Koreans were in Iraq on an aid and reconstruction mission. With the beheading video, the terrorists were trying to chase out the Koreans, along with all foreign aid in Iraq, so that the terrorists could dominate Iraq and mold it in their image.

    Put yourself in their boots. If, like the American and Coalition soldiers in Iraq, you were personally responsible for protecting the Iraqi people from terrorists who were literally killing 100s of Iraqis everyday and bloodily ripping apart the vulnerable nascent post-Saddam Iraqi society – what would you do? What “abuses” would you countenance in order to save lives from monsters?

    As far as “George Bush and Dick Cheneys war”, it was at least as much Clinton’s war. The Bush admin just took the ultimate step of Clinton’s Iraq policy. See http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2012/05/regime-change-in-iraq-from-clinton-to.html

    In fact, while 9/11 forced a heightened focus with the War on Terror, most of Bush’s counter-terror policies actually originated in the Clinton administration. See http://www.e-ir.info/2012/12/02/the-myth-of-george-w-bushs-foreign-policy-revolution-reagan-clinton-and-the-continuity-of-the-war-on-terror/

    The War on Terror didn’t start on 9/11. Remember when al Qaeda bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, during the Clinton administration? I do. I was in class at Stuy that day. We saw it from our windows at school.

  10. Nice spin, Eric.

    How long did you take to write all of that? I must admit, it is pretty good… for spin, and for people who were just born yesterday.

  11. Raguel,

    I only wrote 2 of the articles linked: “Psy the Useful Idiot” and “Regime Change in Iraq from Clinton to Bush”. FYI, here is the companion piece to the legal discussion where I discuss the public controversy over Operation Iraqi Freedom: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2012/05/problem-of-definition-in-iraq.html

    Psy was angry and ignorant, but I can sympathize. Like Dman and many others, Psy was tricked by folks whose agendas would benefit from US failure in Iraq. Psy was fooled into being a Useful Idiot. Dman shared the popular misperception that Bush invented the conflict with Iraq out of whole cloth. In reality, Bush acted to resolve a long-festering conflict that had evolved into its final form during the Clinton administration.

    “The Myth of George W. Bush’s Foreign Policy Revolution” is by a Taiwanese grad student studying US national security policy at a New Zealand university, which is pretty cool in itself. I knew generally that the Bush administration responded to 9/11 by repackaging and updating Clinton-era counter-terror policies, but I never bothered to look into the extent that Clinton’s counter-terror policies carried over to the Bush administration. As Tsui showed in his paper, there was a lot of continuity between the two administrations. Relevant to the Psy discussion, Clinton’s counter-terror policies encompassed the Iraq problem.

    “GI Flashback: The 2002 Armored Vehicle Accident” is by an Army veteran who served in Korea. His article rings true to me based on my Army service in Korea. I served with the 2nd Infantry Division based at Camp Casey, which is in the same part of Korea where the 2002 accident occurred. Driving in Korea generally was nerve-wracking due to the auto culture in Korea. It was the closest thing to a car-racing video game I’ve experienced in real life. For Korean drivers and pedestrians, traffic signs, signals, and symbols were suggestions only. I had a few close calls while driving on duty in Korea (I refused to drive off duty) and I can understand how what happened happened. Like the author of the article, I drove inconvoys and trained in the area, which is heavily used by both the ROK and US militaries. I didn’t drive a track, but I did TC (or tank commander) a tracked vehicle, so I know they have blind spots and are big, heavy, and awkward to maneuver. Therefore, convoys are careful with speed limits and warnings to drivers and pedestrians to give a wide berth. But perhaps because convoys, both ROK and US military, are so common in the area and they take a long time to go past, the local Koreans take them for granted, tend not to respect them with enough space, and treat them like regular car traffic – and in Korea, ‘regular’ car traffic is already dangerous. It’s nerve-wracking. Convoys in that part of Korea often have to drive on country roads that are barely more than lanes that provide no room for error for large vehicles that need extra room. The 2002 accident happened on such a road.

    Military traffic can’t be curtailed, though. The military must train. The ROK and US militaries expect to make their stand in the part of Korea where the accident occurred if/when north Korea invades again, so it’s necessary to leave base to train. I agree with the author that hopefully, the accident reminded local officials that the military has special traffic requirements and improvements have been made in local road conditions so that military drivers and local pedestrians won’t be placed in a position for similar accidents to happen again.

  12. Linda wrote: Chr says “justin bieber is a young man”.. Isnt that what that elmo puppeteer said too?

    Is it just me or a lot of Chr’s posts skew toward being homoerotic. Nothing wrong with that but a guy who complains about Asians being ugly and hates Asian women. It may be some vent up stuff he’s keeping inside.

  13. Eric, don’t put words in my mouth, implying that I wanted the US failure in Iraq. The Bush/Cheney doctrine was their belief that Saddam Hussein had WMD and that was their main purpose for the US invasion of Iraq. So where was the WMD. Zilch ! Ever seen Green Zone with Matt Damon? My main objection was the abuse of power my SOME units of the Army like the Abu Gharib prison scandal and the Blackwater security unit abuses. Of course both sides of the combatants have culpable blame who abuse the laws of war including the Al-Qaeda Terrorists and the Iraqi Republican guard and Iraq insurgents.
    I did not know the full scope of the 2 Korean girls accidently killed in SK back in 2002 so thanks for the clarification, but that does no excuse some members of the US military who have committed crime back in Asia in SK and Japan. Again put your wrath back on Psy as he said some harsh lyrics back then and he is trying to acquiesce and apologize to white American audience to keep up his popularity here and get his record 1 billion hits on YouTube. 🙂

  14. Dman,

    I didn’t say you wanted the US to fail in Iraq. I said you and Psy were “tricked by folks whose agendas would benefit from US failure in Iraq”.

    Bush and Cheney’s belief about Iraqi WMD only scratches the surface of why we invaded Iraq. The why is found in Clinton’s history with Iraq. The trigger for Operation Iraqi Freedom was the same trigger carried over from Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Affirmative knowledge of Iraqi WMD was not required to take military action against Iraq.

    If you want to know why, read my posts on the legal basis of Operation Iraqi Freedom and my explanation of the public controversy. For a broader background, here are links to articles, speeches, blogs, and my own thoughts that informed my views on the ‘Why We Fight’ (or Why We Fought) in Iraq: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html

    Here’s an appetizer:

    Excerpts from the Statement by the President from the Oval Office, December 16, 1998:

    I concluded then that the right thing to do was to use restraint and give Saddam one last chance to prove his willingness to cooperate. I made it very clear at that time what “unconditional cooperation” meant, based on existing U.N. resolutions and Iraq’s own commitments.
    . . .
    Now, over the past three weeks, the U.N. weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq’s cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM’s Chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to U.N. Secretary General Annan. The conclusions are stark, sobering and profoundly disturbing. In four out of the five categories set forth, Iraq has failed to cooperate.
    . . .
    So Iraq has abused its final chance.
    . . .
    [T]he inspectors are saying that, even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham. Saddam’s deception has defeated their effectiveness.
    . . .
    This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.
    . . .
    We acted today because, in the judgment of my military advisors, a swift response would provide the most surprise and the least opportunity for Saddam to prepare. If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler’s report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse forces and protect his weapons.
    . . .
    [W]e must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq, or moving against his own Kurdish citizens. The credible threat to use force and, when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.
    . . .
    The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with the new Iraqi government, a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.
    . . .
    Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.
    . . .
    In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community; fear and hope. Now, in a new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past — but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace. Tonight, the United States is doing just that.

    President Clinton established that the failure of Iraq to cooperate with the weapons inspectors and meet its burden of proof, irrespective of Iraq’s actual possession of proscribed weapons, compelled military action due to “a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere.” Moreover, President Clinton defined the continued existence of Saddam Hussein’s regime, irrespective of its compliance with the UNSC resolutions or actual possession of proscribed weapons, as a humanitarian crisis and collective security threat.

  15. Dman: “Again put your wrath back on Psy as he said some harsh lyrics back then and he is trying to acquiesce and apologize to white American audience”

    Why should Psy apologize only to the white American audience? He needs to apologize to us, too.

    We Asian Americans are also “Yankees”. When Psy called for killing “Yankees” and their loved ones, he wasn’t just talking about white Americans – he was talking about us, too.

    More specifically, Asian Americans are also American soldiers. Asian American soldiers have served in Korea and Iraq. Asian American soldiers have died defending South Korea and Iraq. I served in Korea as an Asian American soldier. When the anti-Americans in Korea exploited the accident to incite mob violence against US soldiers, they could have been me.

    You know what I learned while serving in Korea? While we’re (less than comfortably) boxed into a pan-Asian American identity of sorts in America, out in the world, there is no global pan-Asian fellowship. To Koreans in Korea, I was a GI, same as the rest of my fellow American soldiers.

  16. @Eric

    Bush invaded Iraq. Clinton would not have invaded Iraq. Gore would not have invaded Iraq. Obama would not have invaded Iraq. While both Clinton and Obama had/have some of the same foreign policy, parts of which I disagree with there is a difference between policies and actually going in to a full fledged war. So its not “as much Clinton’s war” as Bush’s war. Bush and Cheney supplied false and thin intelligence to the media and then cited it as a reason to go to war.

    What PSY said was a bit dumb but I doubt it will hurt him much.

  17. This hissy fit about Psy’s lyrics is nothing compared to the outrage of America and its Coalition of the Killing waging their war of aggression against Iraq to begin with.

    Apparently, some people in the USA have conveniently forgotten that America’s assault of Iraq was based upon propaganda lies about non-existent “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” (Remember that issue?)

    Worse yet, this war has caused the death, maiming, or displacement of hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of Iraqis. This is not to mention those Iraqis that America murdered during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 or the USA-driven economic sanctions throughout the 1990s and leading right up to America’s 2003 invasion.

    Based upon the Nuremberg Tribunal precedent, the United States of America is guilty of the “supreme international crime”—waging war against peace.

    But Proud Amurikans predictably remain silent, deny these issues, or even try to justify their wars of aggression.

    They whine about “anti-Americanism” at even the slightest suggestion of American crimes–or, more comically, lie to themselves that people around the world irrationally “hate us because of our freedoms.”

    That’s the real outrage.

    Horrors of war: US, UK munitions ‘cause birth defects in Iraq’
    http://rt.com/news/birth-defects-iraq-report-385/print/

    The International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq
    http://usgenocide.org/

    http://www.brusselstribunal.org/home2.htm

  18. Psy sounds like my kind of guy. I was indifferent about him before, but I definitely like him now. Asians who act as if they have a pair always have a fan in me!

  19. Lingyai,

    “Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers, Kill them all slowly and painfully” = a bit dumb? Hm.

    The reason we went to war is because Iraq was in material breach of the 1991 ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. Bush followed the legal/policy case and precedent on Iraq set by Clinton. Their public cases differed only in that Bush cited intelligence whereas Clinton cited lack of knowledge of Iraqi WMD. In other words, Clinton actually used a lower bar than Bush.

    The reason Clinton cited lack of knowledge and the intel was (legally) irrelevant is Iraq was presumptively guilty. The burden was placed entirely on Iraq to prove it was rehabilitated by fully and unconditionally cooperating and complying with the 1991 ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. There was no burden placed on the US, UK, and UN to demonstrate Iraqi WMD.

    Former President Clinton, July 22, 2003, CNN: “Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn’t know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions. I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons.”

    More on Clinton’s support for Bush, Blair, and Operation Iraqi Freedom: http://www.alternet.org/story/69420/bill_clinton_pretends_he_opposed_bush%27s_iraq_invasion%2C_media_go_along_for_the_ride

    Note that the alternet.org article repeats the popular misconception that UNMOVIC was engaged in a “search for the non-existent WMDs” in Iraq. In fact, the purpose of UNMOVIC was not to detect WMD, but rather, like its predecessor UNSCOM, to verify/test Iraq’s compliance. In Feb 2003, Hans Blix (UNMOVIC) reported Iraq was non-compliant. Blix’s report was the trigger for Operation Iraqi Freedom in the same way that Richard Butler’s (UNSCOM) Dec 1998 report triggered Operation Desert Fox.

    The key to understand Bush’s reaction to Blix’s report is knowing Clinton’s reaction to Butler’s report.

    President Clinton, December 16, 1998, announcing Operation Desert Fox: “Now over the past three weeks, the UN weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq’s cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM’s chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to UN Secretary-General Annan. . . . If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler’s report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse his forces and protect his weapons.”

    In other words, Clinton deemed it necessary to take immediate military action because “If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler’s report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse his forces and protect his weapons.”

    Note that Clinton distrusted Saddam to the degree Clinton felt it was necessary to act right away when UNSCOM was in Iraq for 3 weeks and immediately upon receipt of Butler’s report. In comparison, Bush gave Saddam a far greater extended opportunity to comply with UNMOVIC. Bush ordered Operation Iraqi Freedom when UNMOVIC was in Iraq for 4 months and 1 month after Blix delivered his report.

    Finally, note that the UNSC resolutions covered a wider range of issues than just WMD. They included humanitarian requirements, which is significant because Clinton set the precedent of deploying the military (in the Balkans) based only on his executive authority for humanitarian reasons. Obama followed the precedent in the military intervention in Libya. Humanitarian grounds, established under Clinton, were a main component of our Iraq mission, too.

    Anyway, I can go on. For a better understanding of the legal/policy basis and the public controversy of our Iraq mission, I recommend reading the linked articles I included in earlier comments.

  20. NY,

    Asian Americans are the same American as white Americans. Psy certainly didn’t differentiate.

  21. Larry,

    You raise an important point that critics of our Iraq mission often decline to address:
    The Iraq problem that the Bush administration inherited from the Clinton administration was already intolerable before 9/11.

    With that in mind, what course of action on Iraq was the better alternative?

    By 1998, if not earlier, all our choices on Iraq were either bad or worse. The best choice with Iraq was out of our hands: Saddam complying with the ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. But Iraq easily could and should have complied within days – weeks at most – of the Gulf War in 1991. By the end of the Clinton administration, it was clear that a defiant Saddam had no intention of complying.

    When the cease-fire ended the 1991 Gulf War, the United Nations mission in Iraq was designed to be a quickly achieved disarmament mission. It was not intended to become an indefinitely prolonged, very costly sanctions and containment regimen that cast the U.N. and U.S. as villains, severely undermined American credibility around the world and in a region with a vital national security interest, and made the U.S. complicit with Saddam Hussein’s oppression of the Iraqi people.

    President Bush faced the same three options on Iraq faced by President Clinton:

    A. Head-line and maintain indefinitely the provocative, harmful, and failing sanctions and containment regimen.
    B. End the mission and release Saddam from constraint, in power and triumphant.
    C. Offer Saddam Hussein a final chance to comply with the UNSC resolutions, and if Iraq triggered the ultimate enforcement measure, then move ahead with regime change.

    When Bush entered office, he continued the status quo he inherited – Option A. But the 9/11 attacks forced us to critically evaluate our relationships with the Muslim world. The festering open-wound Iraq problem was at the top of the list and demanded urgent resolution. For a multitude of reasons after 9/11 (eg, the uncovering of the global AQ Khan WMD blackmarket), it made sense to seek closure on the Iraq problem, which meant ending Option A.

    That left us with Option B: Unilaterally wind down the US-led UN mission, free a triumphant Saddam from constraint, and take our chances. Or Option C: Give Saddam a credible ultimatum to comply or risk regime change.

    As Hans Blix noted, the only reason UNMOVIC was even able to enter Iraq was due to the credible threat of regime change. If we were bluffing and Saddam called our bluff – which he did – then we no longer would have had a credible threat. At that point, we would have been forced to choose between a return to the intolerable, crumbling status quo or freeing Saddam.

    For those of you who have stated your opposition to Option C, which then is the course of action on Iraq you have would chosen as President?

    If you choose Option A or Option B, just keep Clinton’s warning in mind: “Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.”

  22. Byron,

    bigWOWO: “It will, however, be fun to hear Limbaugh and company go crazy with their right-wing histrionics after Obama attends his concert.”

    President Obama is the Commander in Chief of the United States military, including our military serving in Korea and our military who served in Iraq (and served both places). This isn’t just about any commercial performance by Psy in any venue. This is a show from Washington DC that’s billed “from our nation’s capital” for head-line guests of honor the President and First Lady of the United States. In other words, the show has a purposely national context and symbolism.

    Do I think Psy should have his career ruined over his bout of useful-idiocy in 2004? No. He’s apologized and even performed for US forces in Korea since then. But his head-lining participation in this particular show, with its particular national context and symbolism, is inappropriate.

    I admit, I react more strongly because I was an American soldier who served in Korea. Whether it’s coincidence or an unacknowledged ham-handed attempt at cultural sensitivity, my ad hoc observation is that the Army seems to find a way to assign more Asian American – especially Korean American – soldiers to Korea than anywhere else. At least it felt like there was a higher proportion of Asian US soldiers in Korea than I experienced stateside. So, when the anti-American propagandists in Korea, included useful idiots like Psy, incited violence against the US military, it wasn’t just against “YT” – it was against our own, too.

    I understand there are popular misconceptions about the US mission in Korea, which technically is US forces serving in a UN mission. I shared some of those misconceptions before I actually served in Korea and learned the truth.

    And the truth is mundane. We were responsible for South Korea after liberation from the Japanese in WW2, then just as (or because) we were ready to pull out of Korea and in the midst of doing so, north Korea attacked. President Truman, in his defining ‘3 am’ call, made the highly controversial and unpopular decision to defend South Korea from north Korea. The first US Army units Truman sent into Korea didn’t stand a chance. They were slaughtered, but they slowed the onslaught and bought just enough time with their lives for South Korea’s defenders to rally. The US military in Korea has simply continued to uphold their commitment to defend South Korea ever since.

    While serving there, I learned the parameters of the US military in Korea are strictly regulated and we have no governing/political influence, though I can’t speak for the diplomatic influence of the US Ambassador to Korea.

    More importantly, I also learned the US military really does only have one mission and purpose in South Korea: to defend South Korea from north Korea. US forces in Korea have no other regional mission and are no-deployable. I know that from my training and indoctrination as a US soldier in Korea, but also having read our war plans. Those war plans? They’re all defensive.

    Here’s the thing that makes the anti-American campaign in Korea especially hard to swallow. In the area where the 2002 accident occurred – where I was stationed, too – the US military will absorb the full brunt of the first wave of the expected north Korean special forces, mechanized/armored assault, and artillery barrage. The realistic role of the US military (and ROK military) there is to buy enough time with their lives to evacuate the civilians in Seoul, which is just to the south, and the densely populated region while the military in the south organizes defensive lines. The gallows-humor in 2ID was that our job in Korea is to be a “speed bump” for the north Koreans. When we in-processed in Korea, the reality of the US military mission in Korea was made very clear to us.

    So yeah, given that US soldiers in Korea reconcile that – if/when the shit hits the fan again – they will die in order to protect Psy and the rest of South Korea, Psy’s active role in the anti-American campaign is upsetting. It’s more off-putting that Psy has been welcomed to perform in a Christmas show from our nation’s capital for the Commander in Chief.

    Maybe it’s just me. Do you think that’s a reasonable reaction or “right-wing histrionics”?

  23. So much disgusting, tasteless spin. I can hardly believe that these Refuglicans put so much into the Iraq occupation and have even made it a point to construct a national myth over it.

    What I will do is I will wait a few months until this disgusting propagandist is no longer here, then I will destroy his points one by one for posterity.

    What a disgusting piece of shit.

  24. Eric,

    First, thanks for your service! It’s really interesting to hear about your first-hand experience in Korea. My grandfather (for those who follow this blog, not the merchant marine grandfather, but the other grandfather) served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and I agree that there’s a reason why American soldiers are there. Not too long ago, my grandfather received an award from the South Korean government for his service there, thanking him for traveling overseas and risking his life to protect their country.

    The politics of war, of course, are complicated.

    You mentioned Clinton and compared him with Bush. But I think it’s an entirely different situation. Clinton didn’t invade Iraq. Dropping bombs on a country for four days is quite different from invading. We drop bombs on countries from time to time based on educated guesses of who is doing what and where(Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, etc.), but it’s an entirely different thing to commit ground forces and try to take over a country and depose its leader. In the case of W’s Iraq war, Hans Blix himself was asking for more time.

    http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/03/18_blix.shtml

    “In the buildup to the war, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis were cooperating with U.N. inspections, and in February 2003 had provided Blix’s team with the names of hundreds of scientists to interview, individuals Saddam claimed had been involved in the destruction of banned weapons. Had the inspections been allowed to continue, Blix said, there would likely be a very different situation in Iraq today. As it was, America’s pre-emptive, unilateral actions “have bred more terrorism there and elsewhere.””

    Keep in mind that this was indeed something that Blix had said all along; it’s not just a “hindsight” remark. I think “more time” is the option that should have been taken. Sure, there may have been a good reason to invade, but when your head inspector is asking for more time and saying his findings so far are inconclusive, it makes sense to listen to him–otherwise, why even bother having inspectors?

    As for Clinton and the Iraq war, past Presidents (Jimmy Carter excepted 🙂 ) rarely speak out against current presidents. I remember Clinton coming on air and saying something like, “Well, Saddam is a dangerous threat and had to be taken out.” But it wasn’t like he was advocating for Bush’s actions. It was more like, “Well, it happened, and the guy was dangerous, so I’m not going to say anything more.”

    I think in the case of Psy, it’s a complex issue. As with Japan, a lot of Koreans don’t want the U.S. military there, even though the U.S. military is necessary. Even if the Korean government is okay with the U.S. military on their soil, I’m sure you can understand the ambivalence given the lack of authority that Koreans have when accidents happen. In Japan, there are instances of straight-out rape and violence, and although Japan’s government also allows the U.S. to have troops in Japan, one can see that it’s not all happy for the Japanese who have to live with it.

    Certainly Psy shouldn’t have said that–especially the mothers and daughters comment. But I think you also have to keep in mind that he’s not saying that right now. He said it eight years ago, and he’s disowning it right now. Should we say that he’s “active” in an anti-American campaign? He may have been active eight years ago, but people change in eight years. I would agree that it would be inappropriate for Obama to invite a guy who was actively campaigning for the murder of U.S. soldiers, but Psy has basically disowned his younger self.

  25. Raguel,

    I’m not a Republican. For context, however, I volunteered for Joe Lieberman’s re-election campaign in 2006.

    Bush campaigned as a Republican but turned out to be more Democrat in practice than Republican.

    Bush entered office in 2001 with the stated intent of winding down the indefinite overseas deployments like Korea and focus on near-peer competitors like China instead – a good Republican position. Then, 9/11 converted Bush from a balance-of-power realist to an interventionist liberal and Bush stopped being a good Republican. As a side note, conservatives also believe Bush’s social ‘compassionate conservatism’ was just Democratic social liberalism by another name, and the liberal cost of Bush’s social policies undermined his fiscal conservative actions.

    The expected dissenters on the Left dissented as expected. But many Republicans actually were uncomfortable with the Iraq mission because it was definitively liberal in the Wilson/FDR/Truman/JFK school. The Petraeus-led counter-insurgency ‘surge’ especially would have been President Kennedy’s dream come true. As such, the Right actually supplied many of the most potent critics of the Iraq mission – America-First isolationists, Jeffersonian libertarians, and most stridently the Cold War realists who felt fundamentally betrayed by Bush’s 9/11 conversion from realism to liberalism.

    Bush went so far in his liberal conversion as to reject his former fellow realists by name and affirm the liberal foundation of the Iraq mission and strategy in the War on Terror.

    The natural ideological supporters for the Iraq mission should have been liberals, especially the liberals who were instrumental in the Clinton-era laws, policies, and precedents on Iraq that Bush followed, but they’re found chiefly among the Democrats. They were precluded by party loyalty, though, in the polarization achieved by the propaganda/misinformation campaign. Clinton held out for a while by citing his administration’s case against Iraq, but his position ‘evolved’ as it became politically untenable to support Bush and the mission. Eventually, Clinton’s famous instinct for political self-preservation kicked in and he abandoned ship altogether.

    In contrast to Clinton, Senator Lieberman stayed true to his liberal values in supporting the Iraq mission. Though a pillar of his party, Lieberman was exiled from the Democrats as punishment. Another example is Samantha Power, who was removed as chief foreign policy advisor in the 2008 Obama campaign for her liberal support of the Iraq mission (dutifully qualified, of course, to exclude Bush), then was quietly brought back into the Obama administration.

    Bush’s speeches were content-rich, though not as legalistically precise as Clinton’s speeches. But as we know, Bush wasn’t nearly as charismatic a spokesman as Clinton. Under attack from the Left and Right, and stripped of its natural liberal support, the Iraq mission couldn’t withstand the propaganda/misinformation campaign that swamped it.

  26. “Bush campaigned as a Republican but turned out to be more Democrat in practice than Republican”.

    How do these parties separate themselves by their corrupt policies? With our current schemes in place, both in the domestic and foreign front, what makes a Democrat different from a Republican?

  27. Byron,

    Regarding the Ask-Korean post, I suggest reading the comments correcting him, so I won’t repeat most of what others have said as well or better than I can. I’ll hit a few points to fisk:

    The soldiers in the accident weren’t let off. There was an investigation and a trial by court martial. Court martials are real legal proceedings.

    I’m not a JAG, but just recalling how the SOFA was explained to us, the SOFA doesn’t protect off-duty US troops in Korea. You can’t just commit a crime, run on post, and request asylum.

    The demand for the US soldiers to be charged under Korean criminal law doesn’t even match the legal norms for the Korean military in Korea, as I understand them. I believe the ROK military has blanket jurisdiction over ROK troops that extends even to off-duty incidents. In other words, if the same thing occurred but with a ROK convoy, there would be no question in Korea that the ROK military had jurisdiction.

    Ask-Korean’s analogy of Yongsan to Central Park is flawed on its face. One, Seoul is a lot bigger geographically than NYC, more LA than Manhattan island, and Yongsan::Seoul is proportionately much smaller than Central Park::NYC. Two, Yongsan is a military base, not a public park, and has been a military base for the entirety of Korea’s modern history. Ask-Korean may as well have compared the Blue House to a playground. I believe Yongsan was actually a military base before the US was in Korea. We have long-standing military bases in and around cities, too, though much fewer now than we had in the mid-20th century. Three, the analogy is also flawed because the military has a fundamentally different presence in Korean society than our military’s presence in US society. The ROK military has a far greater voluminous, extensive, and visible presence within Seoul, throughout Korea, and civil society in general. In order to highlight the misfit of the comparitively small US military presence in Seoul, Ask-Korean ignores the omni-presence of the ROK military in Seoul. Four, if I recall correctly, the ROK military HQ and the War Museum are walking distance from Yongsan’s front-gate, which makes the area a military district of sorts.

    Finally, “ghetto” must have a different definition in Korea, or else Ask-Korean must be rich, because I recall the neighborhood around Yongsan being quite nice and peaceful. It’s not a wealthy section of Seoul, but a solidly middle-class business/residential urban area. That is in part due to US soldiers who pump a good deal of revenue into the local Korean economy around the base, just as they do in military towns in the US.

    Have US soldiers committed crimes in Korea? Yes, but they’re outliers, just like crimes in civil society are outliers. They’re not the norm for US troops. Without looking up the stats, I venture the crime rate by soldiers is significantly lower than the crime rate in civil society. Contrary to what Ask-Korean thinks, crimes committed by US soldiers are regarded as crimes by the US Army. It’s certainly not the epidemic that Ask-Korean paints.

    The usual cringe-worthy misbehavior by young soldiers (including, to my occasional chagrin, my young troops) is of the alcohol-induced kind that’s equally common in typical college students of the same age. Soldiering happens to be a high-pressure profession, moreso in the no-nonsense combat-arms environment up north. As in other stressful professions, soldiers off-duty look to blow off steam. I will allow there is more testosterone, machismo, and ‘fighting spirit’ among soldiers than other populations, which can have an extra effect (and keep the MPs busy) when mixed with alcohol. However, I’ve observed those same qualities in ROK soldiers, who I found to be equally talented at getting drunk and misbehaving as US soldiers. I believe Koreans will appreciate those soldierly qualities if/when war happens.

    Besides, last I checked, Korean civilians get drunk and have sex, too, and some even occasionally hire sex workers … you know, when they’re not too busy with GIs.

    On the larger issues, I understand the fundamental discomfort that Koreans have with a large body of foreign troops based in one’s country and hometown, no matter how justified the reason, how many of them are Asian, or how many GIs fall in love with Korea and turn expat.

    In my conversations with KATUSAs about the subject, we would agree that they didn’t want us in Korea and we didn’t want to be in Korea. But Korea has an overriding need for America to be there; for us, we’re professionals with a job to do and a mission. What we both wanted more than a separation was for the DPRK to stop being a threat to the ROK.

    What Koreans tend not to understand – even the upper-class, elite-university-educated KATUSAs I served with – is what’s in it for America. They wonder, we know why we need the US here, but why does the US *need* to be here? What does America get out of it? Combined with the basic discomfort of foreign troops in their home, that question opens the door for conspiracies about America’s reasons to be in Korea.

    As I said, the truth is mundane. However, the answer goes to the heart of Ask-Korean’s thesis and my concern about the psychological effect of violent and widespread anti-Americanism in Korea on US soldiers who may be called upon to fight and die for Korea.

    The harsh answer is America doesn’t need to be inside Korea at all. We don’t have a specific national security interest in Korea. Not in 1950 when Truman overrode standing US policy and the protests of his advisors to send soldiers into Korea on a suicide mission, not when Ike promised to end the war, not when I served there, not in 2002 or 2004, and not now. Our Pacific theater presence is based in Japan, not Korea.

    It’s a common belief that we’re based in Korea today to honor a legacy and out of inertia, not out of need. If not for 9/11, Bush and Rumsfeld likely would have followed through on their original goal to drastically downsize (which they did so moderately), if not eliminate altogether, the US military presence in Korea.

    Ask-Korean’s thesis is that the burden is on the US military to convince Koreans that Koreans should accept US troops in their country. While as a matter of socialization and morality, I can agree US soldiers in foreign countries should behave well, in terms of the bedrock need in the ROK-US relationship, Ask-Korean has the dynamic backwards. Korea owns the compelling need, not the US. The burden is on Korea to convince the US to keep our military in Korea as an anchor commitment to the ROK’s security. For example, a convincing theory for why the ROK sent engineers to Iraq to help us rebuild post-war Iraq was in order to dissuade Bush and Rumsfeld from their plan to downsize USFK. At the time, the US troops committed to Korea were really needed elsewhere.

    As far as the psychological effect on a personal level, US soldiers are emotional people, too. US troops in Korea are being asked to commit their lives to Korea’s security and that’s a commitment that should not be taken for granted. It’s incumbent on the Korean hosts to earn the trust and goodwill of their American military guests – which to be fair, Koreans have done in my experience.

    Finally, who benefits when South Koreans turn against the US military? I know there are pro-nK operatives active in South Korea because when I was at Camp Casey, part of my job was a collection point for the stready stream of nK propaganda that was routinely found inside the base. (Which convinced me the north Koreans knew exactly where I slept, worked, and stored my weapons, equipment, ammo, and vehicles – which was perhaps their psy-ops intent.) When judging any anti-American propaganda/misinformation campaign in Korea, I question how it happened and where it came from. I already know who it benefits and who it hurts.

  28. Since I enjoy making music and songwriting is a hobby of mine, I’ve come to better understand the art form and creative expression. Art can be a reflection of the times, of society, a mirror held up to ourselves.

    So to some extent, I see Psy simply mirroring the sentiments of the day. Whether it’s exploitative or calculating on his part, who knows? And who cares what some pop singer says? I don’t necessarily take what a recording artist says literally or that seriously. I might take their work’s statement seriously, as a work of art or creative expression, but I don’t care to be preached to by Bono.

    Some might find the lyrics are offensive, and that’s fine. But maybe that’s the point. It was MEANT to piss you off—and get you thinking. Some might like the lyrics and think, “hell yeah!” and that’s fine too, but I am free not to like it and free to disagree with them as well about their sentiments. But you’d be seriously deranged to act upon a violent message— but that’s got nothing to do with the song; it’s got everything to do with an unstable individual who would take hyperbole literally and the individual would probably commit a violent act regardless of a song being some sort of triggering mechanism that sets him off.

    Look at the lyrics to NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police”:

    Ice Cube will swarm
    On any muthafucka in a blue uniform
    Just cuz I’m from the CPT, punk police are afraid of me
    A young nigga on a warpath
    And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
    Of cops, dyin in LA
    Yo Dre, I got somethin to say

    Fuck the police ….

    But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
    And we’ll go at it punk, I’ma fuck you up

    Make ya think I’m a kick your ass
    But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast
    I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
    But I’m a smoke em now, and not next time

    Smoke any muthafucka that sweats me
    Or any assho’ that threatens me
    I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
    Takin out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me

    Takin out a police would make my day
    But a nigga like Ren don’t give a fuck to say

    Fuck the police …”

    or Metallica’s Seek and Destroy:

    “We are scanning the scene
    in the city tonight
    We are looking for you
    to start up a fight
    There is an evil feeling
    in our brains
    But it is nothing new
    you know it drives us insane…

    Running,
    On our way
    Hiding,
    You will pay
    Dying,
    One thousand deaths
    Running,
    On our way
    Hiding,
    You will pay
    Dying,
    One thousand deaths
    Searching,
    Seek and Destroy…

    Our brains are on fire
    with the feeling to kill
    And it will not go away
    until our dreams are fulfilled
    There is only one thing
    on our minds
    Don’t try running away
    `cause you’re the one we will find…”

    NWA captured a feeling among some minority youths and they were putting it out in song, mirroring society. But has anyone really linked a law enforcement officer’s death to the song inciting someone to smoke a cop?

    Metallica’s song lyrics is dark and violent and macabre. but that’s part of the metal genre, this overblown, hyperbolic stuff. I don’t take any of that shit seriously. And no one should take Psy seriously either other than he’s reflecting a sentiment that some Koreans feel.

  29. “Since I enjoy making music and songwriting is a hobby of mine, I’ve come to better understand the art form and creative expression. Art can be a reflection of the times, of society, a mirror held up to ourselves”.

    Two opening rhetorical devices which don’t convey anything we haven’t understood. You’re beginning to sound like the Rag man.

    “I don’t necessarily take what a recording artist says literally or that seriously. I might take their work’s statement seriously, as a work of art or creative expression, but I don’t care to be preached to by Bono”.

    Well, apparently Psy did. He realized a blacklash would come to bite him, or else he wouldn’t apologized for it. As Asian Americans, we know any apology will not completely redress the matter, simply because of our mainstream’s tendency to bash and let down Asian men whenever there’s an opportunity.

  30. @ Eric

    “The usual cringe-worthy misbehavior by young soldiers (including, to my occasional chagrin, my young troops) is of the alcohol-induced kind that’s equally common in typical college students of the same age. Soldiering happens to be a high-pressure profession, moreso in the no-nonsense combat-arms environment up north.”

    US military bases are contentious all over the place, and I think that a recent poll taken from around 21 countries shows that there is a general international opposition to them. I’ve read a little bit about some of the objections to the bases and I note a slight difference between criticisms from Europe and those from Asia.

    Europe’s objections tend to be grounded in issues relating to peace activity, whereas Asian issues seem to relate to issues of behaviour and disrespect. I wonder if there are differences in the way that US servicemen conduct themselves when they are based in Europe as opposed to when they are based in Asian countries?

    For example, when I lived in the UK (while the Cold War was still going on) there were never any reports of US servicemen raping, or even acting disrespectfully towards any locals. Of course, there was conflict between young bucks on both sides, but the apparently significant issues of disrespect and perception of a kind of rape culture just didn’t seem to exist. I also lived in Germany for a while (West Germany as it was at the time) and even there, I don’t remember hearing any reports of military rape or gross misbehaviour. I’m not saying these things never happened, just that if they did, they weren’t widely reported.

    In Asia it seems different; widely reported rapes and servicemen misbehaviour seem to characterize a significant aspect of the military presence.

    I would feel more comfortable about framing this type of behaviour as immaturity and high stress if it could be seen to be consistent from country to country. I don’t claim to be widely read on the subject, and I acknowledge huge gaps in my knowledge, but either incidences of military misbehaviour are unfairly over-reported in Asia as opposed to other countries, or there is isn’t the same kind of misbehaviour going on.

  31. Eric:

    “Regarding the Ask-Korean post, I suggest reading the comments correcting him, so I won’t repeat most of what others have said as well or better than I can.

    I actually read all 80-somewhat comments before my own comment, and I didn’t see anywhere that his commenters corrected him. I saw differing opinions, but no corrections as to his facts.

    I think it might be easier if I break down my (and our) main points into numbered sections.

    1. Yes, I agree that Koreans in Korea also commit crimes, and that most US soldiers in Korea don’t. I also agree that young soldiers are more apt to get rowdy because they’re young. I agree it’s not an epidemic (and I think the Korean also agrees it’s not an epidemic.) I agree with all of what you said regarding this.

    The issue isn’t mostly the crimes though. The issue is representation. If we had foreign soldiers in New York, even if it was just in Central Park (and for the record, I lived in New York for quite a number of years and rarely passed by Central Park), there are cultural issues that would arise if those soldiers could commit crimes and not be subject to American laws. Representation is the main issue.

    2. I COMPLETELY disagree with you when you write:

    “The harsh answer is America doesn’t need to be inside Korea at all. We don’t have a specific national security interest in Korea. Not in 1950 when Truman overrode standing US policy and the protests of his advisors to send soldiers into Korea on a suicide mission, not when Ike promised to end the war, not when I served there, not in 2002 or 2004, and not now. Our Pacific theater presence is based in Japan, not Korea.”

    We’ve got a HUGE national security issue interest in Korea. Look at your smartphone or TV or that of your neighbor, look at the huge ships that bring and take our goods from port to international port (S. Korea is the world’s #1 shipbuilder), and chances are good that these products are made in South Korea. Not to mention that having North Korea running the entire Korean penninsula would be dangerous to Japan–which would put that outpost in jeopardy. If we allowed Kim to attack South Korea and bring North Korean controls and governance to South Korea, we’d be in a world of trouble, both economically and geopolitically.

    This is just the tip of iceberg as to South Korea’s importance on a global scale. We haven’t even discussed the problems that the Chinese would have with this (not the government, but the people). And if China, our number one trade partner, has a problem with their security, then we also have a problem with ours. Korea is very important to our national security, which is why the politicians mention North Korea so often.

    3. Referring to your post about Bush’s “liberal” policies, I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve never seen anyone…anyone at all…refer to Bush as a liberal. Exactly what was liberal about his war in Iraq? If you’re talking about interventionist policies, I don’t think it’s not quite accurate to call that “liberal.” If you go to an anti-war rally, it’s usually more likely to be populated by liberals than anyone else. It was liberal hippies who protested against Vietnam, the same way liberals protested against Iraq. For at least as long as you and I have been around, it’s been the liberals who have opposed wars, sometimes to our advantage, other times to our detriment.

  32. Keep in mind that the whole anti-war/anti-interventionist thing isn’t a core of either party or place on the political spectrum. Liberals have sometimes supported intervention in ethnic conflicts in Africa, and other times as well. I’m just saying that being pro-intervention isn’t necessarily liberal.

  33. Byron,

    Regarding Clinton and Iraq, you’re doing the same thing that the alternet.org article called out in the mainstream media: whitewashing Clinton’s instrumental role.

    It was Clinton who established that Saddam’s Iraq, irrespective of the state of its standing WMD, was a “clear and present danger” for which the only solution was regime change.

    I’ll put it this way. FDR didn’t order atomic bombs dropped on Japan and LBJ didn’t send Kissinger to Paris, but the Presidents set the courses through to the penultimate step on which their successors took the ultimate step. And they didn’t lay it out like Clinton did.

    While the public perception is different, bombing – moreso extensive bombing – is not legally different as an invasive action than a ground attack. Nor is the net effect necessarily less destructive; the bombers Clinton ordered into Iraq couldn’t do reconstruction and peace-building like the US and Korean troops did reconstruction and peace-building in Iraq.

    Putting that aside, Clinton did more than bomb Iraq for 4 days in Operation Desert Fox. Here’s a snapshot of where we stood with Iraq after ODF: http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/081399iraq-conflict.html

    That eventually became the status quo inherited by Bush and the situation Bush had to re-assess after 9/11.

    Clinton deserves credit for developing and passing onto Bush the laws, policies, and precedents that Bush used to resolve the Iraq problem. But as Larry touched on, Clinton also passed onto Bush a FUBAR mess in real-world terms that forced Bush to use those laws, policies, and precedents to resolve the Iraq problem.

    FYI, Clinton also did more than bomb the former Yugoslavia for a few days. He sent in ground troops on a mission that Russia has characterized as more illegal, ill-conceived, and immoral than our Iraq mission. (On the legal question, at least, the Russians are probably right.) I didn’t serve in the Kosovo mission, but my friends who did told me that we were lucky it wasn’t a disaster. Our troops were not prepared to deal with any real insurgency and were often cut off and out-gunned on the ground by the forces they were supposed to be supervising. It was tense on the ground, and if there had been a snap-the-line x-factor like the Islamic terrorists who sabotaged our peace-building in Iraq, there would have been bad trouble. But then, in the Balkans, we weren’t holding a geopolitically, economically, and religiously vital center with a plan that could potentially jumpstart a liberalized course for the Middle East that was Satanically intolerable to Islamic terrorists like we did in Iraq, so I guess that worked out okay.

    [Thought experiment: What difference in the Arab Spring if the whole West had rallied around post-Saddam Iraq – which they did in the immediate post-war – given Iraq’s centrally influential position in the Middle East, and then sustained the support for Iraq through the Islamic terrorist onslaught, rather than blame Bush and try to abandon Iraq to the terrorists?]

    As far as Hans Blix, I discuss him in my explanation of the public controversy: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2012/05/problem-of-definition-in-iraq.html

    To understand where Blix went wrong, you first have to understand UNMOVIC’s role. Blix was a standardized tester, not a detective nor subjective admissions officer. We here, of all people, understand the difference between objective standardized tests vs subjective admissions.

    What are the normal requirements of a standardized test?

    UNMOVIC was meant to test Iraq’s compliance by an established standard, by which it would be conclusively proven whether Iraq had rehabilitated its presumed guilt. UNMOVIC was in Iraq to apply a simple pass/fail test – the same test used by UNSCOM in 1998. Recall that UNSCOM completed its test in 3 weeks. Yet UNMOVIC was in Iraq for *3 months* by the time Blix reported Iraq’s non-compliance to the UN in Feb 03. And it was an additional month after that before Bush green-lit OIF.

    Iraq had failed its test and Blix had completed his job as a standardized tester. Simple, right? Except Blix, on the fly, redefined UNMOVIC’s role in a way that was outside his standardized testing mandate, ad hoc, and UNMOVIC was unequipped to do.

    The difference between Blix and his predecessors – why 3 weeks was enough for Butler but 3 (and ultimately 4) months was not enough for Blix – is that Blix was willing to judge Iraq on Saddam’s terms. Where Saddam had failed repeatedly by the US/UN test standard, Blix was asking to test Saddam by an admissions standard effectively designed by Saddam. Remind you of anything?

    Alternatively, Blix reinterpreted his role from a standardized tester to a detective of Iraq’s WMD, which matches the common misconception of UNSCOM/UNMOVIC’s mission. UNMOVIC was not equipped to do detective work, moreso because Blix had rejected foreign assistance in order to appease Saddam’s objections to ‘violations of Iraqi sovereignty’.

    Outside the mandated standard that Blix took into Iraq, UNMOVIC was incapable of conclusively showing Iraq was in compliance. In effect, Blix – whether wilfully or gullibly – was asking for a radical course change that would eventually determine Iraq was rehabilitated according to Saddam’s standards.

    Another important point is the overriding practical aspect that I presume Clinton understood equally well as Bush: Our credible-threat invasion force could not maintain its ready posture forever. Whether its Normandy or Iraq, D-day for a large-scale invasion can’t be postponed indefinitely. The changing seasons, for example, were a decisive factor.

    Bush weighed the reasonable amount of time needed for UNMOVIC to test Iraq vs the date after which our threat was no longer sustainable, and therefore, no longer credible. Part of the equation, of course, was Clinton’s determination in Operation Desert Fox that Saddam, after he failed the test, would only use any added time to prepare the Iraqi military and possible WMD. The longer we waited past D-day, the more our readiness would erode until the credible threat was gone. In addition, our deteriorating readiness plus Saddam’s improved readiness would mean worse casualties for our troops, the Iraqi military, and Iraqi civilians. Recall that our “Thunder run” to Baghdad was a carefully timed operation that was designed to minimize casualties, which was accomplished admirably.

    I assume Blix understood the half-life of our credible-threat invasion force, too. At least, he’s stated the credible threat of regime change was UNMOVIC’s only real authority in Iraq. Yet Blix asked for an indefinite delay for suspect reasons that would have undermined, even ruined, the credibility of the threat necessary for UNMOVIC to work.

    I’ve wondered what game Blix was trying to play. Remember how he was portrayed in Team America: World Police? Maybe, like Stone and Parker showed him, Blix was simply a well-meaning fool.

    After we controlled Iraq, the CIA was able to do a nationwide investigation of Iraq’s WMD that UNMOVIC could not have done. Critics have since emphasized the Duelfer report’s lack of finding of WMD stocks. However, the Duelfer report also shows Iraq was guilty of multiple material breaches that closely match Clinton’s public case against Iraq, which closely matches the legal/policy standard. The UNSC resolutions and our matching statutes didn’t require just the one thing of Iraq. We hardly even mention the humanitarian requirements that were a main part of Clinton’s dealings with Iraq.

  34. Ben,

    I don’t know. OCONUS, I only served in Korea. I don’t see why the felony crime rate would be different for soldiers in Asia as in Europe, or stateside for that matter.

    Soldiers share common qualities from their common acculturation into the Army, but they aren’t monolithic. For better and worse, soldiers are as diverse as America. They have to be at least 17 (with parental permission) to join, which means their basic characters are mostly shaped in their civilian background before they join the Army.

    The Army acculturates soldiers with military ascetic and traditional social values in a patriarchal structure, which do combine to make good men. But a uniform isn’t magic. It’s not going to cure a psychopath who can pass as normal, which is the case with shitbags in civilian life, too.

  35. Byron,

    Very good point on South Korea’s modern technological and over-all economic value. Stipulated. That’s on me for thinking in traditional military-oriented national security and poli sci-IR frames rather than a political economy frame.

    I will, however, maintain there is a widely held belief that US ground and air forces don’t need to be physically inside Korea for the defense agreement with Korea, eg, the US commitment – on paper – to defend Taiwan.

    However, if I was a ROK leader knowledgeable about the the anti-war culture within the US since the Vietnam War and updated since the War on Terror – on display in this thread – I would make damn sure a significant physical US military presence was based inside Korea as a guarantor for any American defense commitment.

    We get racism here, right? Well, anti-war – hereafter, anti-peace – protestors clamored most loudly for US forces to summarily leave Iraq at the height of the insurgency. Ie, anti-peace protestors pushed for America to abandon the Iraqi people at the precise point where the Iraqi people were in greatest danger and the most dependant on US forces. Worse, the call to abandon the Iraqi people in their hour of greatest need didn’t come only from a radical fringe, but included mainstream American politicians, even the current President of the United States.

    Given the utter callousness displayed so loudly, so viciously, and with such passion by anti-peace protestors when the lives of brown people in Iraq were in the balance, what makes any one of us trust the same anti-peace Americans, including those among our elected leaders, would support sending the US military to defend yellow lives in peril in Korea, Taiwan, or Japan?

    When I witnessed the anti-peace protests over Iraq, you better believe I was thinking about the reliability of the US commitments to defend Taiwan and South Korea, should the US knowingly choose to abandon the people of Iraq to monsters.

    “Referring to your post about Bush’s “liberal” policies, I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve never seen anyone…anyone at all…refer to Bush as a liberal.”

    Bush’s reaction to 9/11 – with the liberal Freedom Agenda, full-spectrum deployment of soft and hard power, and our peace-building goals in Iraq and Afghanistan – was a definitively liberal response in the John Kennedy sense from the Wilson/FDR/Truman/JFK tradition.

    To explain, I suggest beginning with this 2004 strategic explanation of the Iraq mission:
    http://thomaspmbarnett.com/globlogization/2010/9/18/blast-from-my-past-mr-president-heres-how-to-make-sense-of-o.html

    Also, follow this flow of Bush’s liberal lineage, customized to the Iraq mission:

    President John Kennedy, 1961:

    “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

    President Bill Clinton, 1998:

    “In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.”

    “The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

    The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government — a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort.”

    President Bill Clinton, 1998:

    “The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

    The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.

    The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.”

    President George W. Bush, 2004:

    “For decades, free nations tolerated oppression in the Middle East for the sake of stability. In practice, this approach brought little stability, and much oppression. So I have changed this policy. In the short-term, we will work with every government in the Middle East dedicated to destroying the terrorist networks. In the longer-term, we will expect a higher standard of reform and democracy from our friends in the region. Democracy and reform will make those nations stronger and more stable, and make the world more secure by undermining terrorism at it source. Democratic institutions in the Middle East will not grow overnight; in America, they grew over generations. Yet the nations of the Middle East will find, as we have found, the only path to true progress is the path of freedom and justice and democracy.”

  36. Danny Chen the Chinese AMERICAN soldier that was murdered by the savages in his army group should be in jail. But yet that isn’t happening.

    As far as I’m concerned the YTs who are crying over this need to build a bridge and get over it. Learn to take a joke! Lighten up!!! I’m a 2nd generation American and I was not offended AT ALL. And what PSY had to say is what you call FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Don’t like it? Don’t listen to it! SIMPLE!

  37. NY,

    PVT Chen committed suicide. He wasn’t murdered.

    Here’s a good take on the issue by a Chinese American Army infantry officer: http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/an-asian-american-veteran-reflects-on-when-discipline-becomes-hazing/

    As a soldier, I experienced stuff but not what PVT Chen experienced. I was in a combat support branch, not combat arms. We had our Army sub-culture in MI. The infantry guys had theirs. Theirs was different and tougher.

    I’ve discussed PVT Chen’s suicide with young Asian American combat veterans. Their take is that hard-core ‘corrective training’ is a normal part of infantry culture, especially for new privates (the FNGs of Vietnam War lore). They said the descriptions of the ‘corrective training’ they’ve heard don’t sound out of the ordinary for the infantry, especially if he was making the kind of mistakes in a combat zone that have been reported. Rough language, including racial slurs, also is not necessarily an indicator of racist abuse due to the roughneck and close-knit nature of the infantry.

    They also said there is fine line between tough but fair corrective training and abusive hazing, and at times, the line is crossed. In a poor leadership environment, bad things can happen.

    They couldn’t tell from the reports, though, whether the line was crossed in PVT Chen’s case.

  38. Chr: “Two opening rhetorical devices which don’t convey anything we haven’t understood. You’re beginning to sound like the Rag man. ”

    Your attempts to take a run at me are feeble, as is that tiny little mind of yours. It appears that your tiny little mind missed the point of my post. In fact, your opening statement is an incomplete sentence, not to mention irrelevant. Moreover, your second sentence is incoherent. Rag has nothing to do with my post and neither do I sound like him at all.

    “Well, apparently Psy did. He realized a blacklash would come to bite him, or else he wouldn’t apologized for it.”

    No, I think Psy’s manager, Scooter Braun (the same guy who manages your man-boy crush, Justin Bieber), also helped Psy get ahead of the story by issuing an apology. It’s part of the PR game to protect the money and the investment.

    ” As Asian Americans, we know any apology will not completely redress the matter, simply because of our mainstream’s tendency to bash and let down Asian men whenever there’s an opportunity.”

    So that’s why Psy performed at the “Christmas in Washington” event for charity, which included the President and his family, and had received a hand shake from Obama afterwards. Far too often you take kernels of truth and blow them way out of proportion into over-generalizations.

  39. Eric,

    “When Bush entered office, he continued the status quo he inherited – Option A. But the 9/11 attacks forced us to critically evaluate our relationships with the Muslim world. The festering open-wound Iraq problem was at the top of the list and demanded urgent resolution. ”

    9/11 didn’t change the treat of Iraq. There was no threat. We had Saddam in a box.
    Repeated claims by Bush and other neo cons proved false again and again. Saddam was a bad guy but he was dealing with at times a dishonest US gov’t. Who would let weapons inspectors in when some were CIA operatives?

    I do think some people who are always anti US military fail to note that there are a lot of place who do want US bases in their country. US in some places does bring stability. That being said disagreeing with the military and US foreign policy doesn’t make you anti American.

    As I can’t read Korean and I don’t know the full context of PSY comments made over half a decade ago. He said kill those who tortured people and their relatives. He didn’t say kill all Americans. Eminem, 50 cent, other rappers talking about killing their mom, girl friend, half of the other rappers in Detroit, NYC, LA etc doesn’t mean you take it literally.

  40. @Eric,

    “Rough language, including racial slurs, also is not necessarily an indicator of racist abuse due to the roughneck and close-knit nature of the infantry.

    I’m guess that you are White, not a minority. That means you haven’t a clue what is like to experience racism. Would you please explain in your definition 1). What’s racist? 2). What actions constitute racism?

  41. Eric

    “I don’t see why the felony crime rate would be different for soldiers in Asia as in Europe, or stateside for that matter.”

    Well that is what seems to be the case – but like I said, it could be due to under-reporting by the media, or there may well be a difference in how servicemen conduct themselves. Why this may be the case, I don’t know and don’t want to speculate, but there is at least an apparent difference in behaviours.

    Even now, I’ve lived in Turkey for around 5 years, and I have not heard a single report of US servicemen involved in significant misdemeanours. Now bear in mind that protests against US policies take place in the centre of Istanbul on a regular basis, and that there is no reason to believe that misdemeanours would be deliberately under-reported for any reason – in fact the opposite might be the case. So, clearly there is good reason to believe that the circumstances of deployment – stress, youthful rowdiness and indiscipline – can’t really account for what many in Asian seem to perceive as a culture of military disrespect. If this was the case, then there would be more uniformity in misdemeanour reports across nations.

    It is significant because, if servicemen do, indeed, conduct themselves differently in Korea than they would in Germany or Turkey (perhaps with more restraint and discipline, let’s say) then that lends some support and justification for the level of hostility to the military presence. It is all well and good to highlight the fact that these servicemen are putting their lives on the line to defend Korea, but that doesn’t change the fact that a culture of poor conduct can, apparently, threaten the very basis of the alliance. To paraphrase Chris Rock, if America is like the uncle who pays for college, but who has also molested you – which seems to mirror the Korea situation – then it leaves room to wonder if the troop presence (and the accompanying misconduct) is more detrimental to the alliance than not.

  42. Eric,

    I probably don’t have the time to get into the whole Desert Fox discussion at this time, so I’ll let you continue with lingyai. But I’d love to discuss it with you at another time. For now, I’ll just stick with the three bullet points. I will say that I’ve never heard anyone say that Bush HAD TO invade Iraq because of some course that Clinton set. I think that if you read news about the discussions taking place in the country at the time, you’ll find that Bush (not Clinton) was the president and that he had far more agency than what you’re saying. There were all sorts of reasons for the decision, but it was Bush’s decision:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

    So for the bullet points:

    1. I’m thinking we probably agree on the “epidemic” thing, right?

    2. We agree on the economic threat, which is good. 🙂

    I don’t know if I agree that Taiwan is a good analogy. China has a very very big economic and political relationship with the U.S., and it’s highly unlikely they would attack Taiwan given the U.S.’s stance. Sure, China will hold military exercises, etc., but there has never been a credible threat. And given the economic importance of Taiwan to the rest of the world (it’s always about the money), China has more to lose by invading.

    The government of North Korea, on the other hand, more than any other government on earth, has NOTHING to lose. They don’t have significant international trade with the free world, their people are starving, they subsist on donations from the Chinese and Americans, and they get more food whenever they hurl threats and act like barbarians. You almost need troops gathered at their border just to remind them that people are going to die if they go too far. It’s a sad reality when dealing with a dictator.

    3. I disagree with your reassigning of different names to different phenomena, mostly because it renders your statements inaccurate. Anti-war = anti-peace? Sure, I agree that pulling right out of Iraq would be a bad thing and would cause people to die, but I think it’s going a bit far to accuse those protestors as being against peace. It’s not an accurate portrayal of what they were saying. I think it hurts your argument.

    Same deal with “liberal.” No one sees interventionist policies as being something “liberal.” All U.S. Presidents since at least WWII have been actively interested in managing the affairs of other countries (maybe not Ford, since his tenure was so short), but not all U.S. Presidents since WWII were “liberal,” as least not in the political sense. You can’t just assign a word to describe your views when the word clearly means something else!

  43. Chr,

    Would you do a podcast with Mojo? Oh, that’s right, you avoid real-time communication with guys who might outdebate you.

    How about making a VIDEO with Justin Bieber?

    (Haha…sorry, couldn’t resist!)

  44. I dunno about the rest of you, but I LOVE this story. White people look at Psy and think “Look at the goofy Asian guy with his weird clothes, his funny dance, and his pudgy William Hung face.” Now they’re thinking “Oh shit, Asians are capable of getting angry?! And criticizing what our sacred military does?!”

  45. Good one, RR! As for Danny Chen and his alleged ‘suicide’ where was Dr Henry Lee who was supposed to autopsy Danny’s Body? Seems he just disappeared off the face of the Earth. I’m extremely uncomfortable with these sham proceedings as well as why there are no rapes and other crimes in Germany like what goes on regularly in Japan and Korea. Rapes, killings, etc.

    And to have some of the members here swallowing wholesale whatever fiction the US spins is extremely unhealthy and unwholesome. Not to mention the fact that the US has more than 900 military bases around the globe. As self appointed “world’s cop’ these are evil but necessary stations we would be told. Hah!

    Even the simplest beliefs like ‘our way or the highway’ is consumed whole by people like brainwashed Eric. I can’t believe there are sheeple like him still walking around unenlightened. Next he’ll be saying the nuclear holocausts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely justified.

  46. “Your attempts to take a run at me are feeble, as is that tiny little mind of yours. It appears that your tiny little mind missed the point of my post. In fact, your opening statement is an incomplete sentence, not to mention irrelevant”.

    Is it not true that most people know artistic creations convey/mimic reality in some form or the other? Do you think everyone needs to read Aristotle’s Poetics or better yet, read your 2 opening liners to understand this?

    “No, I think Psy’s manager, Scooter Braun (the same guy who manages your man-boy crush, Justin Bieber), also helped Psy get ahead of the story by issuing an apology. It’s part of the PR game to protect the money and the investment”.

    So? What difference does it make? Either way, the apology was issued so he won’t get screwed.

    Psy is an Asian dude and a foreign one (but who cares right? Asian Americans are seen as foreigners anyway), and he or his manager realizes that his racial makeup will put him at a disadvantage. I’m sure you know that the PR game is different for a White celebrity. Do you think Scooter would be as adamant if Justin Bieber was in the same situation?

    “So that’s why Psy performed at the “Christmas in Washington” event for charity, which included the President and his family, and had received a hand shake from Obama afterwards. Far too often you take kernels of truth and blow them way out of proportion into over-generalizations”.

    There are White people out there who will no longer support him, and plenty more on the boards to tell him to go back to Korea and that’ll be the end of him.

  47. “Would you do a podcast with Mojo? Oh, that’s right, you avoid real-time communication with guys who might outdebate you”.

    It would seem to be the case, because my only spiel is to say that Asian men are generally considered physically unattractive by Western Standards, which put’s them at the short end of the stick when it comes to the IR dating and non-Asian social scenes. Since most of us here agree that PUA is ineffective in helping many Asian guys with these problems, and no one has offer a better alternative, I’m just making my points as to why these Asian men are in the situation where they are in the 1st place. My observations is based on what I see in NYC. I have a White friend who works in Finance and as you should know, Asian guys are oversaturated in Finance, where he was telling me that his many of his male Asian co workers have a hard time meeting women outside of their circle, when they’re out in the social scene and nightlife. He also tells me that women are generally very comfortable in chatting up with Black guys in these situations, but no so much with Asian men. So this confirms with what I see as well. Then there’s the point where I was making how Asian men get treated as second class customers in non-Asian establishments. If the poster NY gripes about how a Black server mistreats Asian customers, it would seem a lot worse if you had female servers who mistreated Asian guys as customers, and I have seen this with my very own eyes.

  48. Actually, no—I don’t think most people don’t think about what art is, good and bad art, either way. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe they do know intuitively or not. Who cares? You’re getting all pissy over a general statement of what art is?

    Look, the point is that the artwork may provoke discussion and debate and all, but to take exception to what some pop singer says is to take Psy way too seriously. Or to take NWA literally or the Beatles or anyone else as subversives and dangerous is taking them too seriously. Sure, you can be offended by the message or statement. No one needs to like or agree with the message but to get all worked up over a guy like Psy is really kind of small in comparison to the things that do indeed inflict far more real damage to others. I mean, that’s what people have to worry about? Psy?

    Furthermore, whether Scooter Braun would be more adamant with Psy over Bieber, no. Business is business. PR is PR. Money is money and Braun and his management company wants to keep the machine moving. If you don;’t make the right PR moves, guess what? You wind up like the Dixie Chicks. The industry basically destroyed their careers because of their comments about Bush and Iraq. As for the white folks who want Psy to go back to Korea, there will always be those types who’ll kick an artist to the curb for whatever reason.

    Regardless of whether this is all you see in NYC, my feeling is this is all you’d ever see and conclude if you were anywhere else.

  49. “If you don;’t make the right PR moves, guess what? You wind up like the Dixie Chicks. The industry basically destroyed their careers because of their comments about Bush and Iraq”.

    And idiots like you forgot that Psy said he wouldn’t mind being a one trick pony here in the states. He would still be happy if his career ended today, because he secured enough fans and made a lot of money. If he was behind this apology, then it’s all hypocrisy on his part. If his PR guy was behind it, then it’s even more of a hypocrisy, because the apology portrays him as a greedy guy.

    Despite his success, I believe his fan base is very limited. That is if we are speaking about a young demographic who is under 30, female and White. He’s just like Jeremy Lin (a one trick pony with his Linsanity), who DIDN’T secure a large following of White female fans.

    I do often hear high school girls talk about Justin Bieber when I’m riding the subway, but not anything about Psy.

  50. “Regardless of whether this is all you see in NYC, my feeling is this is all you’d ever see and conclude if you were anywhere else”.

    In regards to the West Coast, my view of Asian guys over there is even less encouraging. But I’ll say that they have it easier, where they have more success in the IR dating arena than their counterparts here in the Northeast, where many White women only want guys who are good looking and loaded with money. The hypergamous nature on their part is what propels many White men to date Asian women in large numbers. I’m sure you heard of the Asian Male Poker Face, you know, that angry look of Asian men. Well, it’s very common here in NYC. I don’t blame them because of the social dynamics working against them.

  51. I wear that hard look and it definitely gets the chicks. They like macho guys as opposed to soft, tofu types. So if it aint broke, I aint fixing it!

  52. Lingyai,

    Okay. You vote against Option C and your choice is Option A: Continue indefinitely and head-lining the corrupted, provocative, harmful and failing sanctions and ‘containment’ mission.

    Just to be clear, this is what you choose to have had continued indefinitely:
    http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/iraqi-sanctions-worth/

    In May 1996 Madeleine Albright, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the UN, was asked by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in reference to years of U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iraq,

    We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

    To which Ambassador Albright responded,

    I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.

    Larry can probably dredge up more in that vein.

    To be clear, I’ve never seen corroborating evidence there was a factual basis for the “half a million children have died” charge, and the propaganda/misinformation poured onto our ‘Option A’ Iraq mission was thick. But you get the idea that Option A is not a value-neutral course of action.

    Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider Option-A as your choice? Or is that your final answer?

  53. Chr, bringing up the white demographics of Psy’s fan base is irrelevant. And it doesn’t matter who is behind the apology because the the idea behind PR is to protect the brand, not just for the American market but everywhere. That’s how the game is played, whether you like it or not. Additionally, what pop star ISN’T greedy for the monetary gains and the ability to continue as a performing artist? So Psy and Scooter Braun aren’t doing anything differently than any other pop star.

    Even Bieber apologized to Indonesia for making an offhand comment about it being some “random country”.

    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/art/celebrity-news/2012/05/01/339607/Bieber-apologizes.htm

    Is he sincere? Does he care? Who knows? But you make nice and quell the disturbance. you protect the image and the reputation of the brand so you can continue to work. Besides, the shelf life of this backlash against Psy seems like it has expired. And sure, he may be a one hit wonder in North America, just part of a fad that will eventually fade. He probably is a one hit wonder, but it doesn’t mean he is in Korea or elsewhere in Asia.

    But introducing Jeremy Lin into this discussion as another comparison is ludicrous. It’s just more of your denigration of successful Asian males; give it a rest already. You’ve hijacked enough threads with your incessant contempt for other Asian males.

  54. Diane,

    I’m Taiwanese American.

    While on-the-spot corrective training by immediate supervisors is normal in the Army, I didn’t experience what PVT Chen went through, including during training. But I wasn’t Infantry.

    If you read my comment, you’ll see I spoke to young *ASIAN* American combat (infantry) veterans whom I asked about PVT Chen’s suicide. I don’t have enough 1st hand experience with the Infantry’s sub-culture for an informed opinion. They did.

    Their full answer is that infantrymen normally use rough language among themselves in a locker-room, rough-macho, give-and-take style, and race is not out of bounds.

    They didn’t reject that PVT Chen was a possible victim of racist abuse, just that the fact of racist language isn’t dispositive. If it happened in my combat support branch, which has a more genteel sub-culture, I would say racist language is a bigger indicator of racist abuse. In the Infantry, though, it’s only probative.

  55. Diane wrote:
    “I’m guess that you are White, not a minority”

    You know, I thought it was my imagination at first. But it seems like everyone on here is assumed to be white. Show of hands. Who here is secretly a white person? Don’t try to hide, or you’ll be screwed in the long run…..”open condom-style”

  56. Ben,

    Like I said, soldiers aren’t monolithic in character or personality.

    I can’t speak for what they do in Japan; however, I can assure you that in Korea there is no guidance to US soldiers to disrespect their local national hosts.

  57. Byron,

    Well yeah, of course Bush had agency. FDR’s ghost didn’t force Truman to invade then occupy Japan and its former territories, let alone call off Operation Downfall and use the atomic bombs developed under FDR. LBJ didn’t order Nixon to follow up and expand on LBJ’s secret backchannel contacts with North Vietnam.

    Our foreign affairs, especially longstanding commitments and conflicts, aren’t games. They don’t simply reset and start over when the lame-duck President hands the White House keys to his successor.

    That’s the reason the newly President Obama kept Bush’s war staff intact and promptly dropped the unrealistic pledges made by Candidate Obama.

    There may have been a moment we could have taken a very different course with Iraq. (FYI, that moment was in 1995.) But that moment was past and the Iraq problem was mature by the time Bush took office. Bush faced the same 3 options on Iraq faced by Clinton.

    Regarding the Chinese threat to Taiwan, China has a standing absorptive policy on Taiwan that it vigorously enforces in its world affairs and is designed into its military policy. I’m biased, of course, because my family is from Taiwan, whereas you may have Chinese readers who believe the separation of Taiwan from China is due to a YT neo-imperial conspiracy. My opinion of China’s threat is don’t ever underestimate China’s ethno-nationalism, regional aspirations, and Taiwan aspirations. They have a cost/benefit analysis, but it’s not as imbalanced as you might think. Part of the calculation is whether US forces stationed in Japan and Hawaii would actually be deployed for Taiwan’s defense. And whether China could credibly deter them – or stop them if they set sail anyway.

    I stand by my characterization of the anti-Iraq protests as anti-peace. It’s a simple construction: They were opposed to our mission in Iraq to build the peace. Ergo, they were anti-peace.

    I coined the term in publication for an opinion I wrote for my school paper, “When Anti-War is Anti-Peace”, which was based on two peace operations conferences on Iraq I attended while the anti-Iraq protests howled outside.
    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2007/02/spec-opinion-when-anti-war-is-anti.html

    My final impression was more emotional. My heart broke as I listened to the lessons learned by peace operators and their hopes for the future while knowing that outside, the “anti-war” movement was tearing down their mission. I especially was moved by the desire of the military officers to secure a better future for the Iraqi people – all the military participants had served in Iraq and expected to return. During the Washington conference, I studied the reactions of two Iraqi embassy liaisons while they listened intently to Americans taking personal responsibility for the fate of Iraq. I wondered how they reconciled the peace operators with the “anti-war” activists who accuse coalition forces of “[refusing] to even validate the lives of Iraqis.” At the end of the Columbia conference, a United Nations representative asked whether the American commitment to peace operations would outlast a “regime change” in the next presidential election. Her fear was a massive, and most likely untenable, shift of responsibility to the UN in Iraq should the United States abandon our peace operations there.

    That the anti-Iraq protesters were misguided doesn’t excuse them from accurate labeling, not when their efforts nearly caused real horrific harm. The Iraqis and American and allied forces weren’t playing a game with the terrorists. Whatever the protesters believed they were doing, they were actually undermining our Iraq mission at the precise moment the Iraqi people were in the greatest danger and in the most need of our commitment.

    The pressure – popular, political, domestic, international, even from within his administration and the military – on President Bush to give up Iraq was intense. It burned him but President Bush held the line . . . Iraq’s lifeline.

    “Troop ‘Surge’ Took Place Amid Doubt and Debate” by Michael Gordon, New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/washington/31military.html?ref=world&_r=0

    In January 2007, at a time when the situation in Iraq appeared the bleakest, Mr. Bush chose a bold option that was at odds with what many of his civilian and military advisers, including his field commander, initially recommended.
    . . .
    [The] Iraq Study Group, a nonpartisan panel led by Lee H. Hamilton, the former Democratic representative, and James A. Baker III, the secretary of state to the first President Bush, was preparing to publish its recommendations — to step up efforts to train Iraqi troops and withdraw virtually all American combat brigades by spring 2008.

    “A Farewell Warning On Iraq” by David Ignatius, Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/16/AR2009011603721.html

    The key to success in Iraq, insists Crocker, was the psychological impact of Bush’s decision to add troops. “In the teeth of ferociously negative popular opinion, in the face of a lot of well-reasoned advice to the contrary, he said he was going forward, not backward.”

    Bush’s decision rocked America’s adversaries, says Crocker: “The lesson they had learned from Lebanon was, ‘Stick it to the Americans, make them feel the pain, and they won’t have the stomach to stick it out.’ That assumption was challenged by the surge.”

    Regarding my definition of liberal, I majored in Political Science. I’m using the poli sci definition rather than the popular-use meaning of the term, which fluctuates.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_internationalism – hence my qualifier of Bush as a liberal President in the Wilson/FDR/Truman/JFK tradition, President Kennedy most of all. JFK’s prognostication of “another type of warfare” from 1962 is definitively liberal and applies well to the Iraq mission and War on Terror: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/this-is-another-type-of-warfare

    Finally, Byron, Lingyai chose Option A as her course. Since you also oppose Option C, which option would have been your course? Option A or Option B?

  58. PPS – Byron,

    Regarding the Guardian article based on a relayed quote from “Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister” (certain professions might consider that hearsay from an unreliable source) explaining Bush’s reasons in the War on Terror, Bush didn’t limit his explanation to an off-hand comment in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

    President Bush actually publicly broadcast Presidential speeches on the subject.

    I recommend these references on Bush’s perspective, excerpted from my “Perspective on Operation Iraqi Freedom” page: http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html

    The Bush administration’s Freedom agenda

    * Tom Junod cites Bush’s 02JUN04 speech in his excellent August 2004 Esquire article.
    President Bush speech about the War on Terror, 02JUN04.

    * In ESQUIRE, a must-read by a liberal for liberals. Tom Junod is a Bush-basher, and a brilliant writer. In this article, Junod’s deep dislike of Bush Jr the man serves as a compelling counterpoint to his critique of Bush Jr the war-time president.
    JUNOD: The Case for George W. Bush i.e., what if he’s right?

    * Bush’s 07OCT02 speech features intelligence on WMD stocks as one of multiple reasons to move forward with UN Resolution 1441.
    President Bush explains the case against Saddam, 07OCT02.

    Authorization of the Use of Military Forces of September 25, 2001

    Public Law 107-40

    Congressional Resolution Authorizing US Armed Forces Against Iraq of 2002

    * Note the the large variety of reasons cited to authorize the use of force against Iraq.
    Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, October 2, 2002.

  59. PPPS – Byron, I forgot to add this in my last comment. In terms of US Presidents who evangelically invoke the Christian God as their moving force, if the Guardian had just waited 3 years, they wouldn’t have needed to rely on dubious hearsay:

    Excerpts from Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-obama.html?pagewanted=all

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
    . . .
    This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
    . . .
    America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

  60. What a disgusting piece of shit. This guy is so low down on the ladder he preaches from the lowest rung.

    Note his style of writing and his consistent theme of pin the tail on the liberal/democrat. He’s not so much interested in debate than he is in re-writing and “re-interpreting” history.

    This guy is going for volume and therefore I recommend that he not be dignified with debate, and that instead the tactics they themselves have used before with glee be used against them. Ridicule, social ostracisation, shunning without hesitation.

  61. Raguel: “his consistent theme of pin the tail on the liberal/democrat.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t blame President Clinton for diagnosing Saddam as Iraq’s disease, that WMD was merely a symptom of the disease, and regime change was the cure, to wit, “The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with the new Iraqi government, a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people.”

    The only justification necessary is Clinton was dealing with Saddam Hussein, who evinced no grasp of the concept ‘rational actor’. For context, we even view Iran as a rational actor.

    Clinton struggled with Saddam for his entire 2-term Presidency over a situation that Saddam could and should have resolved expeditiously before Clinton was President. To steal a line from Aliens, Clinton learned enough about Saddam to understand that in order to cure Iraq, the only effective solution was ‘Regime change–it’s the only way to be sure.’

  62. Just ignore this bastard. He’s just trying to get traffic to his shitty blog, without which his “political science” major is of no use and his masters will pay him peanuts.

  63. “Besides, the shelf life of this backlash against Psy seems like it has expired. And sure, he may be a one hit wonder in North America, just part of a fad that will eventually fade. He probably is a one hit wonder, but it doesn’t mean he is in Korea or elsewhere in Asia”.

    In an interview, Psy said he doesn’t mind being a one trick pony here in the states. Of course his success will last longer in Asia, given the fact that he’s Asian, and America’s tendency to disregard any high profile person who isn’t White.

    “But introducing Jeremy Lin into this discussion as another comparison is ludicrous. It’s just more of your denigration of successful Asian males; give it a rest already. You’ve hijacked enough threads with your incessant contempt for other Asian males”.

    Jeremy Lin is another one hit wonder Asian dude, and that’s where’s the similarity comes from.

    I don’t have any contempt for them. None of these guys are successful if they can’t secure a large White female fan base. They are no different from Mr. Asian Nobody who has stellar credentials and a high paying desk job (Do I need to say, can’t even attract Asian women?).

  64. Just because the Clinton Administration held a policy position of regime change doesn’t mean that Clinton advocated an actual military invasion to depose Hussein, does it? It seems to me that the Bush administration used that as cover for their plan to use military force as part of the neocon agenda from guys like Wolfowitz and the Heritage Foundation.

    And has there ever been a confirmed, established link that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9-11? Dick Cheney made all the rounds of the Sunday news talk shows and kept intimating it without ever providing any proof. It also seems that when the failure to find WMD, and all the NIE analyses seemed to be wrong on the WMD aspect, the justification for the invasion shifted to spreading democracy, according to Bush administration.

    Moreover, was the containment policy and the establishment of no-fly zones enough to isolate Hussein and render him a paper tiger?

  65. “Jeremy Lin is another one hit wonder Asian dude, and that’s where’s the similarity comes from.”

    You don’t have a clue. Besides, sports and music are two different animals. He’s a bona fide NBA player who belongs, so he’s not a one hit wonder. Given that he’s had less than a full year as a starter in the league, you’ve already decided that the guy can’t learn more at the pro level or improve his game and become even better than what he is.

    “I don’t have any contempt for them.”

    Yes you do.

    “None of these guys are successful if they can’t secure a large White female fan base. They are no different from Mr. Asian Nobody who has stellar credentials and a high paying desk job (Do I need to say, can’t even attract Asian women?).”

    You’ve got a twisted sense of what constitutes success if you base it solely on a white female fan base. Most females, let alone white females, don’t give a shit about sports and I seriously doubt any pro athlete worries about what white females think about their athletic game as a marker for success. You are a child and it’s pointless to engage with you.

  66. “He’s a bona fide NBA player who belongs, so he’s not a one hit wonder. Given that he’s had less than a full year as a starter in the league, you’ve already decided that the guy can’t learn more at the pro level or improve his game and become even better than what he is”.

    The post Linsanity days proved he is just an average rookie. That’s good enough to say he’s a one hit wonder.

    “Most females, let alone white females, don’t give a shit about sports and I seriously doubt any pro athlete worries about what white females think about their athletic game as a marker for success”.

    Oh yeah, so why do I hear young girls talk about Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Derek Jeter? A White dude, Latin dude and a Black dude. Having hot women fawn over you is a confidence booster and gives you the energy to kick ass. I guess a kid like you don’t understand this. Why do you think many successful men come off as arrogant?

  67. Chr,

    The stats so far show he’s NOT just average. As Mojo said, you will see whatever you want to see. Jordan could have been Asian, and you’d still be calling him average.

  68. Eric:

    “Regarding the Chinese threat to Taiwan, China has a standing absorptive policy on Taiwan that it vigorously enforces in its world affairs and is designed into its military policy. I’m biased, of course, because my family is from Taiwan, whereas you may have Chinese readers who believe the separation of Taiwan from China is due to a YT neo-imperial conspiracy. My opinion of China’s threat is don’t ever underestimate China’s ethno-nationalism, regional aspirations, and Taiwan aspirations. They have a cost/benefit analysis, but it’s not as imbalanced as you might think. Part of the calculation is whether US forces stationed in Japan and Hawaii would actually be deployed for Taiwan’s defense. And whether China could credibly deter them – or stop them if they set sail anyway.

    No one here that I know of believes that the separation of China and Taiwan has anything to do with anything other than the relationship between China and Taiwan. Sure, most people I know from Taiwan believe China is threat, but you have to look at the history of China’s leadership. They’re pro-business right now, and attacking Taiwan would be disasterous for business.

    “I stand by my characterization of the anti-Iraq protests as anti-peace. It’s a simple construction: They were opposed to our mission in Iraq to build the peace. Ergo, they were anti-peace.”

    That would be like me calling the pro-gun lobby “pro-murder,” even though that’s also a construction. It’s inaccurate, and it’s not a true representation of their stance. It’s great if you’re a talk show host or a rabble rouser, but it’s a complete mischaracterization for people who are aiming to educate others, engage in discourse, and to learn from others.

    On the “liberal” thing, the link you shared supports exactly what I was saying and actually has nothing to do with the term “liberal.”

    “Examples of liberal internationalists include British Prime Minister Tony Blair.[1] In the US, it is often associated with the American Democratic Party[citation needed]; however, many neo-conservative thinkers in the United States have begun using similar arguments as liberal internationalists and, to the extent that the two ideologies have become more similar, it may show liberal internationalist thinking is spreading within the Republican Party.[2] Others argue that neoconservatism and liberal internationalism are distinctly different foreign policy philosophies and neoconservatives may only employ rhetoric similar to a liberal internationalist but with far different goals and methods of foreign policy intervention.[3]”

    Again, it’s a matter of truth, Eric. If you want to say that Bush supported “liberal internationalism,” go ahead and use that term (even though the article you linked questioned whether it’s still valid given the neo-con positions) instead of just “liberal.” If you just use “liberal,” then what you’re saying is no longer true. And like I said, because we’re interested in truth and aren’t just a bunch of shit-disturbers, it behooves us to use proper terminology, terminology that can be found in the dictionary and is in common use.

    By the way, I’ve been known to fight with others over word usage. Some say I’m anal about it. But I think it’s the most important and efficient way to discuss issues. There’s no way to be precise with your thoughts UNLESS you are precise with language.

  69. John Doe,

    The existence of gleaming new WMD stocks and busy labs and factories were not the only standards imposed on Iraq, though their possibility was the most urgent concern.

    Remember, the bar for Iraq wasn’t set at our knowledge of demonstrable Iraqi WMD. Iraq was not judged ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Iraq’s WMD stocks, programs, and intent were established and presumed at the outset of the ceasefire and reaffirmed over the course of the UNSC resolutions.

    Saddam was a recidivist.

    Think of a convicted but released – and still defiant – serial child molester who is held accountable to proscribed behaviors and is not allowed to act outside of strictly defined limits that don’t apply to regular citizens. There is no question the recidivist is denied his civil liberties. However, a zero-tolerance policy that strictly holds to account the defiant recidivist living among us is the only way for the authorities to guarantee society that the recidivist won’t harm again. Unfortunately, the reality is the authorities are not omnipotent, and as we are painfully aware, official guarantees often fail to prevent recidivists from acting out.

    At that stage, the authorities do not hold the burden to prove the recidivist is guilty. The burden is entirely on the recidivist to adhere strictly and beyond a shadow of a doubt to mandated standards. With Saddam, the risks and stakes were exponentially higher than even a convicted serial child molester released among us.

    Iraq was obligated to fulfill a range of requirements. In fact, Iraq was non-compliant with the UNMOVIC inspections, WMD-related requirements, and non-weapons-specific standards.

    Tragically, Saddam refused to obey the mandated standards, and for too long, we as the authorities failed to fulfill our obligation of holding Saddam to account.

    From http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/03/18_blix.shtml :

    Amanpour asked why, if those weapons had been destroyed, would Saddam have continued to let the world believe he still possessed them at the risk of losing his country? Blix surmised that the bluffing was a cheap and effective deterrent. “[The Iraqis] didn’t mind the suspicion from the neighbors – it was like hanging a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the dog’ when you don’t have a dog,” he speculated.

    With Saddam, we simply had to be sure. Presidents Clinton and Bush tried to make Saddam understand he was under a zero-tolerance scrutiny, but the recidivist just couldn’t help himself.

  70. Eric,

    Sorry dude, I can’t read so much if you can’t even claim there were WMDs in Iraq after so much searching. I didn’t read beyond the first line of what you wrote. WMD was the argument Bush administration presented to the world.

    Unless you are Bush yourself, there is no point debating what the real reasons or secondary reasons were for the administration to go into war. We can only debate what was presented. So, you will have to stay within the context of WMD. Powell should be ashamed for lying to the UN with such a straight face.

  71. Byron,

    Your definition of ‘liberal’ is from the popular vernacular of partisan politics.

    In traditional political science, ‘liberal internationalist’ is descriptive, but not the common use. Within the foreign policy and poli sci-IR fields, the way I use ‘liberal’ is the common use. At least it was when I graduated. I haven’t heard that there’s been a convocation of berobed masters of political science changing the language since then.

    If Bush can’t be called a (foreign policy) liberal, then neither can we call Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy liberals, and their foreign policies epitomize liberalism. Given the context of this discussion is foreign affairs, the term ‘liberal’ is apt and Operation Iraqi Freedom was a definitively liberal mission.

    However, I agree with you that liberalism (I can accept if it helps you to differentiate by calling it ‘interventionist liberal’ or ‘liberal internationalist’), neo-conservatism, and neo-liberalism for that matter, are difficult to tell apart to the point that they’re interchangeable as schools of thought. Every attempt I’ve seen at parsing them has been an exercise in hair splitting. At minimum, they are on the same continuum and neo-conservatism is a form of liberalism.

    I’ll put it this way: Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a giant of liberalism and a historic touchstone for Kennedy Democrats, is considered the godfather of neo-conservatism.

    Another confusing factor is that the meaning of ‘liberal’ in domestic affairs is distinct from the meaning of ‘liberal’ in foreign affairs, though the two often combine in the same people.

    My opinion is that the term ‘neo-con’ often was used in place of ‘liberal’ in public discourse in order to avoid confusing people about the technocratic foreign-policy meaning of liberal vs the popular partisan understanding of the term. That’s unfortunate because the technocratic meaning is more precise and relevant in a foreign affairs discussion.

    As far as pro-gun::pro-murder vs anti-war::anti-peace anti-Iraq protests, your analogy is inapt.

    The Constitutional right to bear arms and the legality of gun ownership are not the proximate cause of any particular gun-related murder, anymore than the rights to marry and bear children are the proximate cause of any particular domestic violence incident. The cause and effect are too attenuated.

    The culpable murderer and his intentional act, perhaps done with a gun, are the proximate cause of the murder. (With that said, the social cost of guns as a multiplying factor on the effect of murders is a different policy debate.)

    Similarly, I don’t define pacifist principles or even generalized anti-American sentiment as anti-peace in Iraq. The cause and effect are too attenuated.

    However, following the anti-Vietnam protest precedent, the anti-Iraq protests were purposely intended to force the US out of Iraq. They very nearly succeeded. If they had succeeded in their intent, the direct effect of premature US withdrawal from Iraq would have been the opposite of peace or anti-peace.

    The apt analogy of guns and murder to the anti-Iraq protests is of a murderer clear in his intent who loads a gun, takes careful aim, and fires rounds repeatedly into his intended victim. But when held to account for the intended effect of his act, the gun-wielding murderer claims an excuse, eg, opposition to Norwegian multicultural and immigration policies.

    While the direct effect of US surrender in Iraq was obvious, or should have been, I try to believe anti-Iraq protestors like Psy were merely useful idiots who didn’t really understand nor intend the effect of their actions. To believe otherwise, that they intended for America (and Korea) to abandon Iraq in its hour of greatest need, would imply that my countrymen are completely morally bankrupt.

  72. Mojo Rider,

    “the justification for the invasion shifted to spreading democracy, according to Bush administration.”

    There was no shift in the law and policy basis, nor even the public case made. The bundle of reasons, or justifications, including the liberal/humanitarian reasons, was intact from the start.

    The case against Saddam was not original. It was developed during the Clinton administration, which was encoded in UNSC resolutions and US statutes. Even if Bush had made no mention of the liberal/humanitarian reasons, they were already enshrined in the laws and policies that were the structure of our enforcement actions on Iraq.

    I grant there may have been a perceived shift in justifications within the public discourse, but that has more to do with the framing by pundits and points of emphasis.

    “Moreover, was the containment policy and the establishment of no-fly zones enough to isolate Hussein and render him a paper tiger?”

    I’ll take this to be your vote against Option C, and you choose Option A as your course.

  73. Mojo Rider,

    Ugh. I was distracted, and my answer to your last question was a little flip. I covered similar ground with John Doe in my ‘zero tolerance for a dangerous recidivist in society’ explanation. I’ll add to it here.

    Take 2.

    “Moreover, was the containment policy and the establishment of no-fly zones enough to isolate Hussein and render him a paper tiger?”

    If we assume for the sake of argument that Bush’s intelligence on Iraq’s WMD was entirely wrong or false, the result is to return us to the lower bar set by Clinton.

    Clinton’s basis for military action was not knowing the state of Iraq’s WMD. Clinton established that the lack of knowledge of Iraq’s WMD – as opposed to demonstrable Iraqi WMD – due to Iraq’s failure to unconditionally and completely cooperate and comply is the thing that signified the “clear and present danger”.

    Remember, Iraq was established and presumed to be guilty of WMD stocks, programs, and intent, until Iraq proved otherwise.

    In other words, the actual state of Iraqi WMD was possibly exactly the same when Clinton green-lit Operation Desert Fox in 1998 as when Bush green-lit Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

    But the background and situation with Saddam required that we had to be absolutely sure. Short of conclusive proof that Iraq was rehabilitated, we were compelled to presume the worst.

    Once again, I’ll cede the floor to President Clinton to explain what he knew as President and the zero tolerance policy he passed onto President Bush:

    Former President Clinton, July 22, 2003, CNN:

    Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn’t know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions. I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

    President Clinton, December 16, 1998, White House:

    Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

    Note that Clinton didn’t claim Saddam demonstrably possessed WMD at present. Clinton’s case was couched in the regime’s uncooperative and defiant behavior and the foregone expectation of future recidivist acts.

  74. Byron: “Sure, most people I know from Taiwan believe China is threat, but you have to look at the history of China’s leadership. They’re pro-business right now, and attacking Taiwan would be disasterous for business.”

    Cross our fingers, knock on wood, and think kind thought about China’s new aircraft carrier capability.

  75. Eric, you’re looking at Taiwans point of view and that’s fine since you say you’re Taiwanese American. But some of us are Chinese American and we look at Chinas point of view.

  76. NY,

    I know China’s point of view and aspirations on Taiwan.

    You bring up a point that relates to the underlying causes of Anti-American protests around the world, and calls for a deeper inspection of them.

    For example, when Psy protested the US in Iraq, did he actually care about Iraq, or was he actually protesting the US in Korea? When a Chinese person protested the US in Iraq, did he actually care about Iraq, or was he actually protesting American protection of Taiwan?

    Are anti-American protests around the world merely reasonable reactions to American injustice? Or are they actually about parochial, nationalistic interests?

    Since WW2, the US has been the “leader of the free world”. In other words, we have been the head of a particular world order. We’ve provided security guarantees as part of our leadership in that world order, ie, America as world cop. You know, Team America: World Police.

    As we have with the police in our personal lives, the world has a dichotomous relationship with America the world cop. We need, respect, and appreciate the security that the police guarantee us that allows us the peace of mind to live. But when we run afoul of cops and fall on the other side of law enforcement, man oh man, do we hate cops, prosecutors, judges – the whole freakin system.

    In our foreign affairs, for every action, there is a reaction. In our role as world cop, for every country or group we’ve helped, there is a country or group that resents us, even hates America for helping their competitors. That resentment and hate doesn’t go away, especially if the US-caused injustice in their eyes is still on-going.

    The result is that when America is in conflict anywhere in the world, the anti-Americans everywhere – motivated by their parochial interests – rally to the anti-American cause.

    Here’s an example I experienced as a student. I was in school on 9/11. Soon after the attack, while we were still starting our response, a very passionate, well-spoken, and out-spoken anti-American protestor was on campus everyday with a sheaf of hand-outs. White kid, good-looking, middle-class appearance, looked like a typical college student.

    I decided to engage him, not unlike what I’ve done in this thread.

    The kid eventually revealed that he didn’t care about Afghanistan. His motivation to protest the War on Terror was as a Serbian outraged about the US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. His passionate anti-American protest of the War on Terror was his way to hurt America for the gross injustice he whole-heartedly believes we imposed on his country and people.

    From serving in Korea and processing nK propaganda as part of my job, I was already aware that the clock-work anti-American protests outside US bases in Korea had a strategic element. My experience with the Serbian protestor on campus further sharpened my critical eye to the underlying parochial causes for anti-Americanism around the world.

    The lesson was reinforced that even our just and honorable commitments breed anti-Americanism. And our interventions anywhere will lead to anti-Americans mobilizing everywhere.

    In the same vein, the failure of American commitment anywhere weakens American commitments everywhere. To return to a point I made upthread, that’s the reason when I witnessed the anti-Iraq protests that nearly succeeded, I worried for Taiwan and South Korea.

  77. “From serving in Korea and processing nK propaganda as part of my job, I was already aware that the clock-work anti-American protests outside US bases in Korea had a strategic element.”

    Is that where you learned to write in doublespeak, you piece of shit?

  78. We get it, Eric. In other words, it’s, my country right or wrong. Which is one reason we were so shocked that the overwhelming majority of UN members voted for Palestinian statehood. How could this be? We were force fed from day one that the Palestinians are terrorists. A belief only shared by us sheeple and not the rest of the world, apparently.

  79. Byron: “By the way, I’ve been known to fight with others over word usage. Some say I’m anal about it. But I think it’s the most important and efficient way to discuss issues. There’s no way to be precise with your thoughts UNLESS you are precise with language.”

    I don’t see what more we can do with the term ‘liberal’, given that either usage is valid in different contexts. I can only explain the context of my use of the term and the meanings attached to it.

    I believe, however, I can be more precise explaining why the “anti-war” protests were anti-peace.

    So far, I’ve highlighted the intended effect of the anti-Iraq protests. It appears you agree that the precipitous withdrawal of the US-led forces from Iraq would have resulted in harmful effect.

    Drilling deeper into the terminology, the label of “anti-war” is technically inaccurate. Technically speaking, our war mission with Iraq was completed when our objective of deposing Saddam and regime change was effected. The events in Iraq after Saddam, and the protests opposing our occupation of Iraq, occurred in the post-war.

    (Yes, the post-war was bloodier and more costly than the war. I can discuss that as well, but it’s tangential to the terminology discussion.)

    I grant that ‘anti-post-war protest’ would not have been common usage, despite that ‘anti-post-war’ was the more precise description for the anti-Iraq protests at the time of Psy’s 2004 rap.

    The essential questions are, one, what was America’s post-war mission in Iraq that was opposed by the anti-Iraq protestors? And two, what American efforts in Iraq were the anti-Iraq protestors actively and actually trying to derail?

    To answer the first question, I’ll cede the floor to President Bush.

    President Bush, May 1, 2003, USS Abraham Lincoln:

    We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We’re bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We’re pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We’ve begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We’re helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people.

    The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

    Our post-war mission in Iraq, as initially outlined by President Bush and faithful to President Clinton’s solution, qualifies definitively as a liberal/humanitarian peace-building mission. Therefore, the anti-Iraq protestors who tried to cut off our post-war mission were opposed to building the peace in Iraq, or in short, the “anti-war” protests were anti-peace.

    Our post-war mission in Iraq did not have a war-fighting character. Iraq, American, and allied forces were focused on security and stabilization, reconstruction (not just physical building, but the whole economic and civil infrastructure), and transition.

    The technical term for our post-war efforts in Iraq is “peace operations”.

    What are peace operations? Essentially, they are the full-spectrum processes that transform failed regions into viable states that are secure, can sustain development and integrate into the international community, and are stable and effectively governed. Peace operations also encompass the organizations—private sector, government, international, and military civil affairs—that engage in humanitarian intervention, development, and aid.

    Therefore, to answer the second essential question – what American efforts in Iraq were the anti-Iraq protestors actively and actually trying to derail – the answer is that Psy and other anti-Iraq protestors were actively and actually trying to derail peace operations in Iraq. Once again, ergo, the “anti-war” protests were anti-peace in Iraq.

  80. John Doe: “I am a bit tied up. Will respond to your UN resolution first.”

    No worries. Does this mean you read my ‘zero tolerance for a dangerous recidivist in society’ comment past the first line? ;D

  81. @ Bryon

    “The stats so far show he’s NOT just average. As Mojo said, you will see whatever you want to see. Jordan could have been Asian, and you’d still be calling him average”.

    This Asian NBA guy is not average in the looks department tho. If he was better, American female fans would know more about him and definitely pay attention to him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yi_Jianlian

  82. Eric,

    First, if you accept that a certain percentage of the population is wrongheaded or crazy, the availability of guns and the ease of mass murder is inescapable, both inductively and deductively.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2012/12/china-watches-newtown-guns-american-credibility.html

    I think you agree with that with your statement here: “(With that said, the social cost of guns as a multiplying factor on the effect of murders is a different policy debate.)” The fact (and it is a fact) that the NRA has done NOTHING to help responsible laws in gun ownership, makes them an enabler of these crimes.

    That said, to stay consistent to my point, it’s wrong to call them “pro-murder.” That’s simply not their position.

    Similarly, it’s inaccurate for you to call those anti-war protesters “anti-peace.” You can say that you feel that they present a danger, but saying that they’re anti-peace is a mischaracterization of their position. And no, there was never any direct provable causation between pulling out of Iraq and the bedlam that you foresaw. Unless you have a crystal ball, any political decision allows only an educated guess as to the eventual outcome. You can shout “anti peace!” at them if you’re an ideologue, but the truth is that you (and I) really don’t know if that’s a guaranteed outcome. Therefore, it’s best to stick with their reasoning if you need to label them.

    Thanks for using “liberal interventionist.” I appreciate using dictionary definitions.

  83. Bigwowo: “And no, there was never any direct provable causation between pulling out of Iraq and the bedlam that you foresaw.”

    The “bedlam” was happening and filled the news coming out of Iraq, eg, an impetus for Psy’s rap was the terrorists’ propaganda video of their beheading Kim Sun-Il.

    At the same time, US, Iraqi, and allied forces were desperately trying to counter the “bedlam” and protect the peace-builders and Iraqi people from the same forces that beheaded Kim, and urgently trying to build the peace; those efforts were also in the news, were in fact part of the same news. Eg, the Korean peace-building presence in Iraq was also an impetus for Psy’s rap.

    At the same time, “anti-war” (or anti-post-war) protestors intended and were actively attempting to force a stop to peace operations in Iraq.

    Your excuse for the anti-Iraq protestors only works if they were truly unaware of the “bedlam” and our peace operations. Yet that’s not the case. News of “bedlam” in Iraq perversely made anti-Iraq protestors more passionately committed to leaving the Iraqi people to the “bedlam” and faster.

    In contrast, when we sidestepped the Rwanda genocide, we at least pretended we didn’t know – though it was a transparent lie even as we pretended – what was happening, and we didn’t need to make a soul-destroying moral decision to withdraw US and Korean forces that were already fully engaged and relied upon by Rwandans for securing the peace. Whereas at the time of Psy’s rap, we were fully engaged and relied upon by Iraqis for securing the peace in Iraq, and anti-Iraq protestors were fully aware of what was happening on the ground.

    I agree not all souls are the same. Different moralities shape different reasoning on Iraq. For example, of the 3 options on Iraq, Lingyai and Mojo Rider only care about Iraq within a narrow prism of ‘threat’, so chose Option A, while Larry dogmatically opposes American intervention, so chose Option B. Other souls, however – liberals – justify American intervention with a broader morality, such as you corrected me on the reason to commit much American honor, blood, and treasure to Korea.

    The fact is anti-Iraq protestors tried their best to cut off peace operations in Iraq when they were most needed and the need was demonstrated to the world every day in the news. Far from unaware of the “bedlam”, the news actually made the anti-Iraq protestors try harder, as if to reward the terrorist strategy of “bedlam”.

    From the perspective of liberal and humanitarian morality, what reasoning possibly could justify taking away Iraq’s hope against the terrorist onslaught when the anti-Iraq protestors were fully aware of it.

    Perhaps it would help if you explained why you personally supported, if you did, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq in the face of such news. Or why you defended the peace operations against the anti-Iraq protests, if you supported the American commitment to peace in Iraq.

    “Thanks for using “liberal interventionist.” I appreciate using dictionary definitions.”

    Well, my use of liberal is the dictionary definition that’s best suited for a foreign policy discussion. But we’re covering partisan politics, too, where your use originates. I guess we can’t all have been poli sci majors. 😉

  84. Exhibit A of the double-speaking propagandist:

    War is peace, lies are truth, destitution is plenty, hatred is love and the most brutal exploitation is salvation.

    True power is over human minds and so these worms do their utmost to reduce it and then control it.

  85. Eric,

    If that were really the dictionary definition of “liberal,” you would’ve just quickly linked up a dictionary reference that defined it as such! Plus, you yourself brought it up in a partisan political context by talking about what Bush was elected to do and what he actually did!

    But anyway, let’s move on…

    “Perhaps it would help if you explained why you personally supported, if you did, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq in the face of such news. Or why you defended the peace operations against the anti-Iraq protests, if you supported the American commitment to peace in Iraq.”

    I didn’t support quick withdrawal from Iraq, and when Obama said that he was going to quickly withdraw, I knew he wouldn’t be able to. On the issue itself, I feel the same way you do–that we needed to be there.

    My issue, again, is with the labeling. People who were supporting an immediate (or quick) withdrawal were not against peace. They were against, for a variety of reasons, having American troops continuing to stay in Iraq. Some of them didn’t think we should spend money. Others thought the Iraqis could take care of it themselves. Having a different political solution doesn’t mean that they hold a different opinion on peace vs. war. I’m against the NRA’s drive to keep out gun regulations, and I think it’s clear that the proliferation and easy access to guns enables murderers, but for me to call them “pro-murder” would not be an accurate reflection of their position, no matter how dangerous I think they are.

    If I wanted to, I could call them “enablers of murder” in good faith, but it would be wrong to say that they are “pro-murder.” The first references what I believe their policies do. The second describes their position.

  86. “Eric” is never going to admit that. It would destroy his entire basis and coherence of argument, which is to employ doublespeak in the bid to re-interpret history and conform minds to the renewed bout of myth-making and liberal-blaming.

  87. Raguel,

    What did I learn from serving in Korea?

    I learned about parochial nationalism. Not from the uniform I wore, but from the Koreans with whom I served and I interacted. I learned that while we Americans interpreted our mission in Korea from the US military’s global perspective – informed by institutional memories of missions around the world over many years – the Koreans viewed our mission in Korea strictly within the parameters of their parochial national interest. We use the term “friendship” a lot in diplomacy, but our alliances are really grounded in tangible interests, not fuzzy feelings, and they’re not always the same interests.

    I learned the difference between parochial national interests, which are the most common, and America’s global national interests. As I mentioned upthread, we’ve been the head of a particular world order since WW2. In practice, that means US soldiers must reconcile dying on foreign lands for the sake of other nations and peoples, as I had to reconcile in Korea and our troops had to reconcile in Iraq. I learned in Korea that the responsibility of the American soldier, unlike the Korean soldier, covers a lot more than defending his own homeland.

    That’s why the “anti-war” argument that Iraq or Afghanistan (or China or nK) isn’t a direct threat to the American homeland is quaint, since it’s an argument based on a foreign policy that’s been obsolete for at least a century.

    Thomas Jefferson, the American patron saint of libertarians, warned us against “entangling alliances” overseas. A Jeffersonian foreign policy appeals to the Americans who bear the most weight of a liberal foreign policy, as anti-American propagandists well know. However, that foreign policy ship sailed a long time ago, and was decisively sunk by the liberal Presidents who defined the foundation of the 20th century American foreign policy that we’re still using.

  88. Byron,

    You could have looked it up on your own. The textbook definition is pretty dry, though. I tried to give you a customized intuitive explanation with the Kennedy-Clinton-Bush lineage and the link to Tom Barnett’s 2004 strategic explanation of the Iraq mission.

    Actually, my thesis is Bush’s Presidential course wasn’t partisan because he followed the Presidential course on Iraq established by his predecessor, Clinton. Thus at most, our Iraq mission was bipartisan in nature, but in the Presidential course, it is more accurately non-partisan.

    While the Iraq mission was non-partisan, the protests against the Iraq mission were partisan. In the sense of describing the character of the Iraq mission, my usage of liberal applies, whereas in the sense of describing the character of the protests, your usage of liberal applies.

    “They were against, for a variety of reasons, having American troops continuing to stay in Iraq. People who were supporting an immediate (or quick) withdrawal were not against peace. … I’m against the NRA’s drive to keep out gun regulations”

    One is a specific act with an intended direct cause and effect. The other is a policy position that is attenuated from any particular act.

    The anti-Iraq protestors committed specific acts intended to directly cause an anti-peace effect – ie, cut off peace operations – in Iraq. They weren’t NRA lobbyists. The anti-Iraq protestors were the murderous shooter or the shooter’s accomplice, if we reserve the shooter metaphor for the terrorists.

    You choose to restrict the labeling of anti-Iraq protestors to their reasoning with no consideration for the direct cause and effect they intended. Does knowing Seung-Hui Cho’s reasoning, which he recorded for posterity, cure him of the label based on the direct cause and effect he intended?

    “They were against, for a variety of reasons, having American troops continuing to stay in Iraq. Some of them didn’t think we should spend money. Others thought the Iraqis could take care of it themselves.”

    The scary thing is this kind of near-sighted reasoning divorced from greater considerations and obvious consequences can be, has been, and will be used to oppose American commitment to Korea. If anything, the reasoning applies better to our Korea mission than it did to our Iraq mission.

    Generally, I assume our competitors and would-be competitors learned the lesson from the anti-Iraq protests that the effective way to fuel domestic opposition in order to drive out an American intervention is to commit a high volume of sensational atrocities against the people and peace operators the US is responsible to protect. The lesson would seem counter-intuitive morally if it hadn’t nearly worked. We’ll find out what long-term cost to peace that we and others will pay going forward because of the anti-Iraq protests.

  89. Eric,

    I did look it up on my own. So did you. Neither of us found anything linking Bush’s actions to anything “liberal.” Which is why you still can’t link it.

    “The anti-Iraq protestors were the murderous shooter or the shooter’s accomplice, if we reserve the shooter metaphor for the terrorists. “

    OOOOkay. Well, I don’t think there is anything more I can add then.

  90. Byron: “Plus, you yourself brought it up in a partisan political context by talking about what Bush was elected to do and what he actually did!”

    An interesting parallel can be made between the foreign-policy-related pledges made by Candidate Bush and Candidate Obama that were then dropped by President Bush and President Obama.

    The difference is we can track the origin of Bush’s changes to 9/11, which makes it difficult to know which pledges he would have kept if no 9/11 had traumatized the nation and radically altered the course of his Presidency. Whereas the conditions were the same when Candidate Obama made the pledges he dropped when he became President Obama.

  91. Byron,

    “Neither of us found anything linking Bush’s actions to anything “liberal.””

    No? I thought we covered that ground ad nauseum.

    It is just a standard definition. I don’t understand why you’re fightin git. It’s not like I made much of an effort to find a link. The wiki entry was right there. Here’s another one that pops up at the top of a google search: http://www.chegg.com/homework-help/definitions/liberalism-53

    “OOOOkay. Well, I don’t think there is anything more I can add then.”

    Well, you could add your answer to ‘Does knowing Seung-Hui Cho’s reasoning, which he recorded for posterity, cure him of the label based on the direct cause and effect he intended?’

    I have tried to explain my analogies and respond to yours as well.

  92. If it’s standard, why can’t you or I find anything that defines it the way you used it? C’mon, Eric, even the chegg link you just linked specifically says “liberal internationalism” before talking about interventionist philosophy. Look upthread to see what you wrote and how it’s different from what you’re now saying. I’ve not heard of a President that doesn’t believe in equality or liberty, and yet you were making a contrast between what Bush said he’d do and what he did.

    “‘Does knowing Seung-Hui Cho’s reasoning, which he recorded for posterity, cure him of the label based on the direct cause and effect he intended?’”

    Well, what exactly is the label you’re putting on him? If you’re saying that he was a murderer, that’s a fact. If you say that “the anti-Iraq protestors were the murderous shooter or the shooter’s accomplice,” then that’s not a fact. Both are labels, but only one happens to be accurate.

    So let me answer your question with another question–what label for Seung-Hui Cho do you mean?

    Again, this is somewhat off-topic. I’m just driving at the idea that we ought to be precise when talking about politics.

  93. Byron,

    Perhaps, I misread you. Did you mean links to something other than my own writings describing Operation Iraqi Freedom in liberal terms?

    If so, earlier linked in this thread are the Tom Barnett (Esquire) article, Tom Junod Esquire article, and the best source material, Bush’s speeches.

    If you want more, the Iraq the Model blog, by Iraqis in Iraq, is insightful, though it no longer seems active: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

    I like this paper by an Air Force officer because it shows that US military officers, ie, folks directly executing the Iraq mission, viewed the mission in liberal terms:
    http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/schwalbe3.html

  94. Byron,

    I was too glib. I’ll back up a step with this disclaimer: My ‘shooter’ or ‘shooter’s accomplice’ response was meant to follow the contours of your NRA/pro-murder analogy.

    Once again, my label for anti-Iraq protestors as ‘anti-peace’ is descriptive based on the direct cause and effect they intended, to wit, the anti-Iraq protestors committed specific acts intended to directly cause the effect of cutting off peace operations in Iraq.

    Disclaimer again, using Cho is also meant to follow the contours of your analogy. What he did wasn’t an accident nor even negligent. The direct cause and effect that Cho intended was mass murder and suicide, and that’s how we label him. We also label him secondarily as a sick, alienated young man based on the popular narrative of his life.

    Speaking to your objection to labeling the anti-Iraq protestors based on the direct cause and effect they intended, we know Cho’s reasons because he told us. Yet we don’t restrict our labeling of Cho to his justifications.

    9/11 did convert Bush from a realist foreign policy agenda to a liberal foreign policy response to 9/11. The (foreign policy) liberal nature of the Iraq mission and the Freedom agenda are self-evident.

    You agreed at the outset that intervention is a feature of foreign-policy liberalism. In fact, it’s been a feature of liberalism since Woodrow Wilson butted America into Europe’s affairs. You just disagreed that the Iraq mission qualified as a liberal intervention. Ask the Russians and they’ll tell you that the Balkans intervention was no more (and probably less) justifiable as a liberal intervention than our Iraq mission.

    Now that you know more about the foundation, background, and aspirations that formed the Iraq mission – ie, there were grounds for the Iraq mission other than visions that God may or may not have sent to Bush – do you now understand why Operation Iraqi Freedom was a liberal intervention?

  95. No, actually I never disagreed that Iraq was liberal intervention–I disagreed that intevention was a “liberal” policy, which was how you laid out the argument and made your statement. You’re doing it again as you contrast “liberal” with “realist.” I actually agree with you on a lot of your politics; I just disagree with the way you polarize and mislabel things. Raguel sees where I’m coming from with his 1984 reference.

    Comparing anti-war protesters to Seung-Hui Cho? It shows how much credit you give to their intelligence and saneness. Using your comparisons, you might also call anti-nuclear protesters “anti-peace” since the absence of nukes could cause war. You see, that’s the issue–you see your own version of cause and effect as some kind of scientific certainty, when it’s far from that.

    Yes, I know you’re not the only one who does that. Limbaugh does that. I’m sure there are some left-wing ideologues who do the same on the other side. But it doesn’t advance the debate, if you know what I’m saying.

  96. Byron: “C’mon, Eric, even the chegg link you just linked specifically says “liberal internationalism” before talking about interventionist philosophy”

    And? You just pointed to something within the rubric of Chegg’s ‘Definition of Liberalism’.

    As Chegg states, “Liberalism is a broad political ideology”. In other words, liberalism is not the just the one thing you think it is. Liberal internationalism is not outside the genus of liberalism. If it helps you, picture it as an expression of liberalism that’s distinctive to foreign policy.

    As I said, in my poli sci-IR classes and discussions back in the day, we just said ‘liberal’ because we all understood the application in foreign policy.

    Again, I don’t understand why you’re hung up on this. If it helps you to differentiate by typing out ‘liberal internationalist’ every time, it’s really not necessary, but that’s up to you.

  97. Byron,

    My bad. ‘Realism’ is also a poli sci-IR term. In political science, the realist school is often presented as competing with the liberal school.

    In 2000, Candidate Bush’s foreign policy advisors were realists. After Bush’s 9/11 conversion, the realists came hard after Bush’s liberal strategy. I know because one of my professors, a respected and influential figure in the field, was one of the leading realist foreign policy voices against Bush. He bragged about it to us in class. It got bad enough where Bush actually called them out.

    President Bush, June 2, 2004, Air Force Academy:

    Some who call themselves “realists” question whether the spread of democracy in the Middle East should be any concern of ours. But the realists in this case have lost contact with a fundamental reality. America has always been less secure when freedom is in retreat. America is always more secure when freedom is on the march.

    “I never disagreed that Iraq was liberal intervention”

    That’s not quite saying you agree, but I’ll take it. If I said somewhere that all interventions are ipso facto liberal interventions, then I misstated. I meant Bush’s response to 9/11, including our Iraq and Afghanistan interventions, has been liberal. Our Reagan-era intervention in Afghanistan certainly wasn’t liberal – that was realist.

    I used Cho because he fits your analogy as a shooter whose given reasons are known. Following the contours of your analogy, feel free to pick a different famous shooter or shooter’s accomplice you feel more comfortable with whose given reasons are known for the direct cause and effect he intended. Breivik, perhaps?

    As I said, I’m using a simple, logically direct construction for labeling the anti-Iraq protestors as anti-peace:

    Anti-peace in Iraq = intend the direct cause and effect of cutting off peace operations in Iraq. Anti-peace in Iraq can also be defined by the harmful, anti-peaceful effect of cutting off peace operations in Iraq. I think we agreed the “bedlam” in Iraq was known by the anti-Iraq protestors, but even if we didn’t, I don’t think I need to demonstrate that piece of history.

    FYI, “peace operations” actually is the technical term for our efforts in post-war Iraq.

    The nuclear protest analogy has some legs, moreso when applied to the MAD of the Cold War, but it lacks the direct cause and effect of cutting off peace operations in the midst of the terrorist onslaught in Iraq.

    I’m satisfied I showed my work. You countered my basis of ‘intended direct cause and effect’ with an alternative basis of ‘reasoning’. That’s just a different construction, not a demonstration of logically flawed construction.

    I don’t listen to Limbaugh so I don’t know his rhetorical style. I’ll take your word for it.

  98. Byron,

    I apologize beforehand if this seems like spoon-feeding, but here’s the wiki IR section on realism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_relations#Realism

    It’s just a wiki thumbnail but you can see how realists and liberals would clash in principle.

    Note that following the realist section, wikipedia combines “Liberalism/idealism/liberal internationalism” as an interchangeable term for IR use. In class, we just said liberal and liberalism. I may have heard liberal internationalism a few times in 101 beginner-type classes, which is probably why I thought of the term to forward to you, but it’s a mouthful to say. I don’t recall hearing anyone ever say idealism in place of liberalism, but I think I read it somewhere, probably in association with Wilson.

  99. Eric,

    I like the links you link. But the links you link often don’t support your definitions.

    Here, I’ll make this easier. Let me quote what you originally wrote. Bold emphasis is mine. You can compare it to how you’re NOW defining liberal (even though you don’t have any links that support your definition).

    Bush entered office in 2001 with the stated intent of winding down the indefinite overseas deployments like Korea and focus on near-peer competitors like China instead – a good Republican position. Then, 9/11 converted Bush from a balance-of-power realist to an interventionist liberal and Bush stopped being a good Republican. As a side note, conservatives also believe Bush’s social ‘compassionate conservatism’ was just Democratic social liberalism by another name, and the liberal cost of Bush’s social policies undermined his fiscal conservative actions.

    But many Republicans actually were uncomfortable with the Iraq mission because it was definitively liberal in the Wilson/FDR/Truman/JFK school

    We all know that Republicans aren’t liberal in the partisan sense, which is why I addressed the issue. But now you’re saying that’s not what you were saying. Using the most recent definition, what you said above makes no sense.

    So you might be able to see why people here think that you’re not arguing in good faith. It’s like you’re using the term to denote a party affiliation or an opposite party affiliation, and then you say that it doesn’t mean that and that it actually means something else, and then you define it with links that don’t support your arguments or definitions at all and sometimes even contradict your definitions!

    Even after all this, I think that I agree with you in many areas. But it’s hard to tell! I know what “liberal” means in many uses–google “liberal democracy bigwowo.com,” and you’ll see I use the term often. But my definition is supported by the rest of the English speaking world!

    So that’s the reason why I’m “hung up” on it. Arguing in good faith requires me to try to understand you in good faith, but it’s hard when the definition and usage are constantly shifting.

    Now as for anti-peace…you should have said “anti-peace operations” if you wanted to be accurate based on your explanation. Peace is a value-laden term. Which is why no one else, except for ideologues, call them anti-peace.

    And…Eric…I don’t want to repost what you wrote when you originally posted “anti-peace,” but if you reread your original post, you’ll see that as with “liberal,” that’s not how you used it. You were saying that they were actually against peace–the concept of peace, not the name of the operation.

    Anyway, let’s drop this. There are so many more relevant topics to be discussing right now, like gun violence and (hopefully soon) affirmative action.

  100. Byron,

    Just for shits and grins, I googled ‘George Bush liberal’. Didn’t you say you tried it? A good deal pulls up, including articles by folks who are not fans of Bush.

    Here’s a good one that might clear up some confusion: Colin Dueck, “Hegemony on the Cheap: Liberal Internationalism from Wilson to Bush,” World Policy Journal, Vol. XX, no. 4 (Winter 2004/04) https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/wpj.htm

    Excerpt: The administration responded to the challenge of 9/11 by devising a more assertive, Wilsonian foreign policy. The stated goals of this policy have been not only to initiate “rogue state rollback” but to promote a more open and democratic world order.

    Notice how the author jumps back and forth between liberal and liberal internationalist.

    Here’s a quick fun read from a Bush basher: Bush the Neoliberal
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/28/AR2007052801053.html

    Okay … try to imagine a friendly tone, because I appreciate you’re trying, and many people don’t: My usage is correct.

    Like I said, we can’t all have been poli sci majors, and that includes most of the “English speaking world”. This topic area just happens to be my home field. I’m bad with technocratic lingo in fields I haven’t studied, too. That said, I’m surprised you’re having such a hard time processing that, as Chegg states, “Liberalism is a broad political ideology”.

    Alright, let’s take a step back. Recall that I said earlier, “Another confusing factor is that the meaning of ‘liberal’ in domestic affairs is distinct from the meaning of ‘liberal’ in foreign affairs, though the two often combine in the same people.”

    In this “side note” – ie, off the main topic – I used liberal in a domestic sense, not a foreign policy sense: “As a side note, conservatives also believe Bush’s social ‘compassionate conservatism’ was just Democratic social liberalism by another name, and the liberal cost of Bush’s social policies undermined his fiscal conservative actions.”

    Key: When you see ‘social’ qualifying liberal, it’s an indicator of domestic policy.

    It should be obvious from context that the liberal in this statement is the foreign policy version of liberal: “But many Republicans actually were uncomfortable with the Iraq mission because it was definitively liberal in the Wilson/FDR/Truman/JFK school”

    Broadly speaking, Republicans favor (IR) realism while Democrats favor (IR) liberalism. Bush turned the typical pattern on its head and thereby twisted up our political discourse. As we found out, party loyalty trumps principle in the political discourse, which led to the sad disillusioning spectacle of Democrats bashing liberalism, or maybe they weren’t (foreign policy) liberals to begin with.

    Whatever ‘concept’ of peace the anti-Iraq protestors had in mind, their actions attacked the reality of peace in Iraq. Opposing the peace operations was the same as opposing peace in Iraq because the reality of peace in Iraq was wholly dependent on the peace operations. I doubt the quality of any ‘concept’ of peace that contravenes real peace.

    I provided a paragraph-length definition of peace operations earlier. Said shorter, peace operations are the whole spectrum of entities and measures necessary to construct, restore, and maintain the peace, especially in a non-permissive or semi-permissive environment – like Iraq.

  101. Eric:

    “Okay … try to imagine a friendly tone, because I appreciate you’re trying, and many people don’t: My usage is correct.

    Like I said, we can’t all have been poli sci majors, and that includes most of the “English speaking world”. This topic area just happens to be my home field. I’m bad with technocratic lingo in fields I haven’t studied, too. That said, I’m surprised you’re having such a hard time processing that, as Chegg states, “Liberalism is a broad political ideology”.”

    The point isn’t what you or I majored in. Hell, Chr graduated from Columbia! The point is precise definitions. You may have majored in poli sci, but I doubt your usage is reflected in any major publication in any paper written by you or anyone else. Granted, your usage would be perfectly acceptable if you were a shock jock or an ideologue. But those types aren’t interested in dialogue except for entertainment purposes.

    Even that Cohen article uses it VERY differently than you do. Not even somewhat differently, but VERY differently. I won’t repost it again, but reread your original post. Hell, MOST of that Cohen article talks about domestic policy. The only way in which he veers into “liberal” talk is when he’s talking about Iraq and mentioning it in passing, and even then, he puts it in quotes.

    In short, I agree with EVERYTHING you’ve linked–the Chegg, the Wiki, the Cohen article. I just don’t agree with your usage.

    “Whatever ‘concept’ of peace the anti-Iraq protestors had in mind, their actions attacked the reality of peace in Iraq. “Opposing the peace operations was the same as opposing peace in Iraq because the reality of peace in Iraq was wholly dependent on the peace operations. I doubt the quality of any ‘concept’ of peace that contravenes real peace.

    And this is all an assumption. You don’t know that that is the reality. You’re making an educated guess, which is fine, but you really don’t know that. You can’t mislabel something based on what you think would happen, unless it’s a certainty. Well…let me put it this way…you CAN mislabel it, but people just won’t take your words seriously.

    Are you religious? If you are not, I’ll bring up a quick religious example that might better illustrate my point.

  102. ” Different moralities shape different reasoning on Iraq. For example, of the 3 options on Iraq, Lingyai and Mojo Rider only care about Iraq within a narrow prism of ‘threat’, so chose Option A, while Larry dogmatically opposes American intervention, so chose Option B.”

    Hey, don’t lump me into any of your options or make assumptions I’m part of the peace movement. I simply asked a question about containment and no-fly zones because I wanted more explanation from you on your argument why military intervention was the only option left.

    And in your view, just what was the role of the neo-cons in pushing for this invasion and their influence on the Bush administration? How did guys like Doug Feith, Richard Perle, and all those Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise conservatives carry such weight? Why was the administration constantly trying to link 9-11 to Iraq?

    And what role did the massive intelligence failure play into this?

    (For the record, I was a poli-sci major as well, and I am a hawk on most foreign policy issues. )

  103. Eric,

    Why did you bother? I don’t give a flying fuck about what you learned in Korea.

    What you learned there is worth nothing.

  104. “Why was the administration constantly trying to link 9-11 to Iraq?

    And what role did the massive intelligence failure play into this?”

    There was no failure. It was one sinister and intentional campaign to eliminate Saddam so Iraq becomes this open source for economic and resource grabbing opportunities. Cheney’s Halliburton was given contract by the US Gov’t to not only drill for oil, but set up infrastructure that it deemed necessary and profitable.

  105. Psy did it 🙂 The revelation of his comments some years ago did not hamper his rise. (dance) He got 1 Billion views on youtube for Gangnam Style just now. 8) (music)

  106. “The revelation of his comments some years ago did not hamper his rise. (dance) He got 1 Billion views on youtube for Gangnam Style just now”.

    So? Out of that, how many views did he only get in the USA? Just because you don’t like someone, doesn’t mean you will not watch his videos.

  107. Eric: What’s your real job in the US military? Are you a military PSYOPS (i.e., propaganda) operative? Your defense of America’s war of aggression against Iraq, among other outrages, suggests as much.

    Your question to me about which option to take is based upon many false premises like your dogmatic belief in the legitimacy of the “Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction” nonsense; the criminal UN resolutions inflicted on Iraq; or that America had any moral justification to invade, overthrow, and subjugate… sorry, “liberate” Iraq to begin with.

    I noticed that you try really, really hard to minimize the significance of the USA’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies.

    It’s because these WMD lies were essential pretexts for America’s invasion of Iraq. As such, their expose as deceptions reveal the criminal nature of America’s war in a starkly undeniable manner—and suggest other motives (like US geostrategic control of OIL) as a real reason.

    Other American war rationalizations like humanitarianism or democracy are just as ludicrous. I am sure that you haven’t forgotten US Military’s Abu Ghraib torture scandal? It’s but one shining example of American “democracy” in action:

    Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos
    http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=8560

    As documented in the links I posted above, America has raped and destroyed Iraq–killing 100,000s of Iraqis at the very minimum, maiming and refugeeing millions more, and turning that nation into a humanitarian horror show. Here’s more for your edification:

    THE IRAQ WAR READER: A History of War Crimes and Genocide. The Unleashing of America’s New Global Militarism
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-iraq-war-reader-a-history-of-war-crimes-and-genocide-the-unleashing-of-america-s-new-global-militarism/31067

    America’s Peacetime Crimes Against Iraq
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory208.html

    I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on you.

    You’re no different from most Patriotic Amuricans who don’t have the courage to question whether their American Empire is really the champion of freedom and democracy that they’ve been indoctrinated to believe in.

    America is not so much a “global cop” or “world police,” as you assert above.

    Rather, the American Empire is a more like the Mafia Godfather of the planet.

    America’s wars of aggression and expansionism are designed to make the world safe—not for democracy and freedom—but for American global dominance and the penetration of capitalism into every corner of the earth.

    The Sydney Morning Herald’s description of the US National Security Strategy issued in 2002 perhaps best described what America truly represents today….

    Manifesto for world dictatorship
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/09/22/1032055033082.html

    BTW, Eric, your mastery of American military Newspeak is really quite remarkable. I salute you. Your perverse description of anti-war protestors as “anti-peace”(!) is particularly brilliant. Your characterization is reminiscent of that propaganda slogan from George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four: War is Peace.

  108. Tying up loose threads while in the mood:

    Byron,

    That’s why I cited 2 articles, to illustrate Bush’s liberalism on both levels: Dueck re the textbook liberal internationalist character of Bush’s foreign policy, specifically with the Iraq mission. And Cohen’s Bush-bashing piece re the liberal character of Bush’s domestic policy, though he mentions Iraq, too.

    Re the “anti-war” movement is anti-peace, my article When Anti-War is Anti-Peace applies equally in principle to Iraq in 2004, ie, Psy’s protest, as to 2006, ie, Ehren Watada’s action. The US was on the same peace mission, responding to the same crisis, in both periods in Iraq. If in 2004, as in 2006, the US-led coalition had abandoned the nascent, fragile post-Saddam Iraq and vulnerable Iraqi people to the terrorist onslaught, there was no other actor with the necessary capacity, nor probably the will, to take our place.

    If you genuinely believe withdrawal of US-led coalition forces and the international peace mission in Iraq was a viable course to peace in 2004, then I can’t take you seriously. Current events made – or should have made – the situation and the hard choices self-evident. That also would mean you oppose, in principle, humanitarian interventions in non-permissive environments, because Iraq at that time presented the most urgent, necessary benchmark for peace operations.

    Recall that in the immediate post-war in 2003, we tried to reduce our military footprint in the post-war and have the military take a backseat, supporting role to other agencies, particularly the civilian-led Coalition Provisional Authority. The terrorists exploited the practical gaps left by our military pull-back, which forced our military into the lead role of the post-war.

    College classmates who served in the immediate post-war in Iraq told me heartbreaking stories of local Iraqi leaders approaching them for help that amounted to pleas for effective governance. Following SOP, they referred them to the CPA. But no help came from the CPA except for nice-in-theory, practically inapplicable guidance. In other words, prematurely reducing our military’s role in Iraq contributed to the subsequent post-war problems. Further reduction of our military role at that time was not the solution. The CPA, while it crafted impressive, humane policy, worked top-down and failed to reach problems at the ground level. The military solution was more suitable because the military, especially the Army and Marine Corps, works ‘boots on the ground.’

    And, not all Columbia grads are poli sci majors or (IR) liberals for that matter.

    Mojo Rider,

    As a fellow poli-sci major, you understand that pacifists and Marxists on the Left were not the only factions to oppose the Iraq mission. Libertarians, isolationists, and IR realists on the Right also opposed the Iraq mission. Since you describe yourself as a hawk in other areas, I assume you’re an IR realist. You chose Option A, which was the preferred choice by most IR realists. Our indefinite ‘containment’ of Iraq certainly wasn’t pacific.

    The Iraq mission was fundamentally IR liberal and violated fundamental IR realist principles. For example, Congressman Murtha was a leading critic of the Iraq mission and he was a hawk – a China hawk. As a staunch IR realist, Murtha was opposed in principle to liberal intervention, not limited to the Iraq mission.

    As a poli sci major, you also understand that neoconservatives are liberals. Throughout the Clinton presidency, most if not all our top foreign policy thinkers were trying to figure out what to do about Saddam and the intractable, worsening Iraq problem. Some of them served in the Bush administration. The conspiracy notion is interesting, but more compelling is the continuity between Clinton and Bush on counter-terror policy and Iraq policy, with the two areas intertwined across both administrations. While 9/11, for obvious reasons, intensified those policies, Bush was not original.

    The ties between Saddam and terrorism, and the greater threat of Saddam were established before the Bush administration. Clinton’s counter-terror policy covered Iraq and wasn’t limited to Osama bin Laden’s gang. The War on Terror from the outset wasn’t limited to the 9/11 attackers, and the 9/11 attackers weren’t – and aren’t – the only terrorists threatening the US and our interests. Nor did the Bush administration claim Saddam was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

    As a poli sci major, you’ll also recall the revelation of the AQ Khan-based international WMD black market. As Clinton said in July 2003 in support of his successor and the Iraq mission, “we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons.”

    A bundle of reasons justified Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here’s my Perspectives on Operation Iraqi Freedom compilation again:
    http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html

    I understand you disagree with the justification for the Iraq mission as an IR realist, but I trust you appreciate its liberal foundation as a poli sci major.

  109. Eric,

    You wrote:

    “If you genuinely believe withdrawal of US-led coalition forces and the international peace mission in Iraq was a viable course to peace in 2004, then I can’t take you seriously. ”

    I don’t believe this.

    BUT, as before, my issue on both cases (“liberal” and “anti-peace”) was with your terminology. Calling people who were pro-pulling out “anti-peace” assigns a value to their activism and motivations. It’s just not accurate. It would be like me saying that Wayne LaPierre is “pro-mass-murder” or “anti-children.” I do believe his actions enable mass murder, and I think the evidence is strong that we’d have a lot less murder without so many guns in our society. But for me to call LaPierre a “mass-murder proponent” would be inaccurate.

    Do you agree?

  110. Byron,

    I already deconstructed your analogy upthread.

    I showed my work in my When Anti-War is Anti-Peace column that I blockquoted in the Kyle thread regarding Watada. My point is they were anti-peace because precipitous withdrawal from Iraq at that time would have caused an anti-peace effect.

    The necessity of the peace mission in Iraq was established by the clearest possible evidence of current events. Recall, too, the UN had followed the precedent of our Yugoslavia intervention (which Clinton had ordered without Congressional and UN sanction) by sanctioning the post-war peace mission in Iraq immediately upon the conclusion of the war against Saddam’s regime. In fact, the UN mission in post-war Iraq was the highest value target of the terrorists in 2003.

    In other words, the peace mission in Iraq was fully established and known in 2004.

    Thus, your excuse presupposes the “anti-war” protestor demands for precipitous withdrawal carried no intent to cause an actual effect on the peace mission in Iraq, rather than real-world actions with the intent to cause precipitous withdrawal.

    Because they clearly intended the real-world effect of precipitous withdrawal, your excuse then requires the claim they didn’t know precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would have an anti-peace effect. But that claim requires you to make the supporting claim that a basic rational analysis of current events and a basic understanding of our peace mission and the terrorists’ mission in Iraq were all merely “assumption”. That claim discredits your argument.

    Abandoning the peace mission in Iraq in 2004 would have had an anti-peace effect. The anti-peace effect of the “anti-war” campaign was known or should have been known, yet they tried to cause it anyway.

    Which means they were 1 of 2 things:

    Despite the weight of available evidence, people like Psy actually were that jawdroppingly ignorant about current events in Iraq, why we were in Iraq, and why the terrorists were there. That categorizes them as fools duped into being useful idiots.

    Or, the more-sinister category is the ones who understood the anti-peace effect of abandoning the peace mission in Iraq yet intended to cause it because anti-peace in Iraq attributed to American failure would advance their particular agenda.

    By the way, my reaction to your saying Chr is a Columbia grad that not all Columbia grads are poli sci majors is a bit of inside-baseball. The Columbia political science department’s international relations faculty is dominated by IR realists. IR realists are against IR liberalism in our foreign policy. IR realists vigorously opposed the Iraq mission because of its liberal character. They made sure their students were clear on every liberal characteristic of the Iraq mission and Bush’s foreign policy in order to teach us why IR liberalism is wrong and IR realism is right.

    That’s how I know with certainty that Operation Iraqi Freedom was fundamentally liberal and President Bush reacted to 9/11 as a liberal. Because that’s what Columbia’s poli sci-IR professors taught me.

  111. Eric,

    You didn’t prove that they were anti-peace. And even if there was a 100% proof that their efforts were anti-peace, that’s not how they define themselves. It doesn’t matter what you or I believe withdrawal would lead to. You and I don’t have 100% proof, and even if we did, it’s not an accurate way to portray their activism.

    One last example:

    Let’s say we know a guy named Mark. Let’s say Mark was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and the doctor says he needs chemo. He gets a second and third opinion, and Docs 2 and 3 agree with Doc 1. In fact, Mark sees four more doctors, and they all say the same thing. Now let’s say Mark refuses chemo. Instead, he wants to pray about it and believes God will make it go away, despite all the medical experts believing he needs chemo.

    If you were talking to me about Mark, would you say that Mark is “pro-cancer” or “anti-health”?

  112. Byron,

    I just stopped by to drop off this 2004 essay, A Fighting Faith, by Peter Beinart of New Republic, regarding American liberalism:
    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/fighting-faith

    Beinart would benefit from my Perspective on Operation Iraqi Freedom compilation. Still, he and I agree on the need to reclaim American liberalism.

    I’ll respond to Mark and his cancer, though:

    It’s rationalization versus cause-and-effect. Whatever Mark’s rationalization, he would cause – knowingly – the effect of giving his life to the cancer.

    Aggressive malignant cancer is an apt analogy for the political-Islamist terror phenomenon, while chemotherapy and the spectrum of medical treatments needed to cure cancer are an apt analogy for our efforts in the War on Terror.

    Your analogy of Mark carries an alarming implication: Mark, though informed, would choose to substitute prayer and die than fight the cancer via chemo. Still, if Mark was only placing his own life at stake, I’m libertarian enough that once I was satisfied he’s informed, I’d be willing to stand aside and let him die a free man.

    The problem with Mark’s decision is you and I share the same national body with Mark and others depend on our national body, too. Mark’s suicide, whatever his rationalization, doesn’t only affect him.

    But your analogy of Mark is inapt on its face. The anti-Iraq protestors – unlike ‘Mark’ – weren’t risking their own lives in their campaign to abandon Iraq to the terrorists. The anti-Iraq protestors were trying their best to sacrifice a whole nation of other people, the Iraqis depending on the American-led international peace mission to build their nation after Saddam and fight the terrorist cancer ravaging Iraq.

    Here’s the apt analogy with your contours. You’re a physician, Byron. You have a patient in your care who is fully your responsibility. In fact, while he has been in your care, you’ve already treated him for a really awful disease. That disease, thankfully, is firmly in remission. The long course of that disease, your prior failed attempts at treating it, and your relatively quick, surgical ultimate treatment have been hard on your patient. You’re tired, too. Your patient is vulnerable and weak but is hopeful of a better life under your care. Indeed, he has good reason to trust you because you’ve successfully helped prior patients under comparable circumstances. In fact, your prior patients are helping you now with your new patient’s care. Everyone acknowledges that rehabilitation for your patient will be a long difficult road, but you’re confident that you’ve done it before. Your doctor-patient relationships with your successful prior patients have continued, going on decades. Those relationships have evolved as your prior patients have grown strong. You look forward to the future of your relationship with your current patient when he grows strong. You’re fully engaged treating your patient. You have pledged to him on your honor (your and my honor as Americans, Byron) your commitment to see it through. Then, as the already long hard rehabilitation gets underway, your patient in his vulnerable weakened state is attacked viciously by another disease. It’s an emergency. You urgently scramble to add emergency life support to your medical care, knowing your patient’s life depends on you. Just as importantly, you know no one else can or will save your patient. You know the stakes, not only for your patient but the larger stakes around your patient, if you fail.

    But to your horror as a caring, ethical, liberal doctor, your colleagues, friends, and family – with names like ‘Psy’ and ‘Ehren’ (or I guess ‘Mark’) – who label themselves ‘liberal’ act the opposite of liberal. Instead, they try their best to drag you away from your patient and leave him to the disease. The rationalizations they give for their actions shock you with their wilful ignorance, callousness, or plain cruelty. You can hardly believe they are your countrymen. They know the larger stakes and the effect on your patient if you abandon him . . . yet the more that your patient suffers, needs, and depends on you, somehow the more passionate they become about forcing you to abandon him as quickly as possible.

    Byron, do you actually believe these people’s rationalizations outweigh the anti-peace effect they knowingly tried to cause? At least Clinton pretended – however transparent a lie – that he didn’t know what was happening and would happen in Rwanda if we didn’t intervene. At least Clinton didn’t pledge our honor to stand with them, be there for them, and then abandon them in the moment they most depended on and needed us. The anti-Iraq protestors don’t even have the Clinton’s Rwanda excuses; they knew the stakes and what was happening in Iraq.

    Byron, that you would continue to defend and excuse the shocking inhumanity of the anti-Iraq protestors exemplifies how deeply corrupted the popular definition of liberalism has become in our country.

  113. Eric,

    I think we’re finally finding the root of the problem here. Here’s where it is:

    Whatever Mark’s rationalization, he would cause – knowingly – the effect of giving his life to the cancer.

    No, it’s not necessarily “knowingly.” It’s still just an opinion. The premise that you have in your mind is that these anti-war protestors were displaying “shocking inhumanity” and that they were evil people. Even if I agree that Ehren did a very bad thing by breaking his promises and stealing from the American people (it’s in the papers he signed), it’s still quite another thing to say that he was dragging people away from helping with the disease. We don’t know why he chose to renege on his promises. We’re justified in calling him out on his failure of character, but we’re not justified in stating his reasons or assuming that he sees it the way everyone else does.

    Since you do bring up the issue of hurting oneself vs. hurting others, check out some of the debates on autism and vaccines, which is a very big problem these days, especially in the Pacific Northwest where I live. New agey parents often don’t give their kids vaccines because they believe it causes autism, despite the fact that nearly 100% of the medical community says that this is a lie. What happens is that their kids wind up getting sick with whooping cough and some other horrible diseases, and when the schools surpass a critical mass of sick children, even kids who have had the shots are now susceptible to the diseases.

    Now if you’ve spoken to any of these parents, they truly believe that they are doing the right thing. It would be wrong for me to call them “pro-whooping cough,” even if their actions endanger their own kids and my kids, the same way it’s wrong to call the anti-war protestors “anti-peace.” It’s just not an accurate description of what they are protesting.

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