MaPo and Cold Front, no one is saying Hussein shouldn’t have been overthrown. But why should Americans pay the price in blood and money? What is our interest there? NONE. If you were well educated Americans you would be familiar with Washington’s farewell address, http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/farewll/transcript.html,regarding foreign entanglements and wars. You obviously believe that the Founding Fathers’ ideas and principles are irrelevant. Since both of you deny being Jews, you must be neocons or some other variety of collectivist/statist. BTW, name calling does little to advance your so called arguments.

George Washington’s speeches are all very fine and nice, but they are 200 years old. There were no jet airplanes with terrorists on board in Washington’s day, nor were there nuclear weapons. Back then, a few shore batteries and a navy of privateers was enough to fend off the British. Nowadays, a single person with a glass vial the size of a thimble can threaten a continent. Have you gotten a recent smallpox booster shot?

As far as why Americans “should” pay – we shouldn’t, the world should help take care of such things. Unfortunately, the world is filled with selfish weasels such as the French, Germans, and Russians, who only see the short-term profits to be made by selling illegal supplies to a rogue state like Baathist Iraq but refuse to see a longer-term danger – or they at least hope that the danger will be to others if they suck up to the psychopath hard enough.

Our interest in the region? Well, let’s see, there’s economic stability, which is heavily dependent on oil; and there is the terrorist/WMD threat, which no one seriously claims Iraq was innocent on.

Your conclusion is hilarious:

So, I’m a probable Jew (oh my!) or a collectivist/statist (oh horror!) For someone who thinks “name calling does little”, you sure do a shitload of it.

You sound a lot like a guy I know who claims to be a strict constitutionalist but who sure comes across as a closet neonazi with all of his “But Israel benefits from the invasion of Iraq!” arguments. Who cares? Israel benefits, Iran benefits, Saudi Arabia benefits, and even the Iraqi people benefit. It’s all good.

Wrong. The Middle East is a key region in the smooth functioning of the world economy, which makes it a key region in the smooth functioning of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, the backwards nature of Islamic culture and the various regimes in the M. E. has forced the United States into the middle of what is civil war for the heart of Islam. The U.S. was attacked on 9-11 because we dared to sully the sacred ground of Saudi Arabia with our boots in defense of that regime and Kuwait in an effort that was sanctioned by the international community. (Despite bin Laden’s ex post facto reasoning that it had to do with Israel, Palestine, Iraq, etc., his essential motivation for attacking the U.S. came because he was upset that the Sauds allowed the U.S. into the royal kingdom just prior to the first Gulf War.)

The U.S. can’t entirely leave the region because of its economic importance and its inherent instability, and yet our very presence alienates a small but well-motivated minority. Like the Cold War, we’re probably in for a long haul of several decades before the region develops to the point we can remove ourselves entirely.

Hahaha! Ishmael, any day you want to compare knowledge on the Founding Fathers with me, start a thread. I’ll gladly swap tales with you on Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Morris, Livingston, Burr, Marshall, etc., and make lists on the top twenty books on the Founding Fathers we have read till the cows come home. You really shouldn’t make intellectual bluffs when you’re sorely out of your league.

The apotheosis of Washington’s farewell address came many years after it was given. In the 1920s and 30s, with the U.S. trying to avoid further entanglements in Europe, Washington’s address reached the level of holy writ. But it was glorified at that time for contemporary partisan reasons, the same reason you are trying to glorify it today. The idea that what Washington said in 1790s has some critical relevance to the present debate on the Middle East is pish-posh. You must be one of those dumbasses who asks himself what Jefferson would think about abortion or laws pertaining to the internet. Who gives a shit? He’s dead.

You should talk. You’re the one trying to sniff out your various personal bugbears (“Are you a Jew?” “Are you a neo-conservative?” “Are you a collectivist?”). Any name I’ve called you has been well-deserved, retard. Frankly, I’ve gone pretty light on you, even doing you the courtesy of reading your links.

We have had an interest in that area of the world since WW2 when it became clear to the allies that denying the Axis powers of oil while assuring a free flow of oil for the Allies would be necessary not only to defeat the Axis powers, but also to fuel the global reconstruction in the post war period and the global economy in the years after.


I for one would not mind having a thread on the Founding Fathers. I personally have limited knowledge in this area. I know the basic tenets and issues but would not mind hearing a bit more about it. I will leave it to your discretion though since initially I would not be able to provide much input into any such discussion.

Also, just to point out one thing again. I am surprised at Ishmael’s allegations regarding the Jews and how they have Shanghaied US foreign policy. I am also curious at the lack of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth by the political correct brigade at this obvious anti-semitism. I personally do not mind such remarks but if there is going to be “sensitivity” shouldn’t it be shown to all? Otherwise, let’s just keep the gloves off for everyone including the Two Sensitive Groups That Must Not Be Criticized.


[quote=“fred smith”]Coldfront:

I for one would not mind having a thread on the Founding Fathers. I personally have limited knowledge in this area. I know the basic tenets and issues but would not mind hearing a bit more about it. I will leave it to your discretion though since initially I would not be able to provide much input into any such discussion.



That could indeed be a fascinating thread. However, I think we should all do a bit of reading before starting such a thread. For starters, I’d recommend everyone who wants to participate at least read some of the Federalist Papers. I have the recently-published book about John Adams sitting at home… haven’t yet had time to read it. Perhaps Cold Front and others could recommend some books that they have found helpful on this subject.

Smith, what is "obviously anti-semitic " about my post? Compared to what you have said about Arabs in the flame forum, your accusation is misplaced. FYI, Arabs are also Semites.

Perhaps more of you should read the Founding Fathers. Start with the Anti-Federalist papers. But then again, some of you already know everything.


You are deliberately missing the point. Say whatever hard truths you want about anyone. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I am just asking for consistency. Also reread the Muslim forum and see that many of my comments are prefaced by suggestions that reacting in a similar way to Muslims would be ridiculous. Yet, why is it that the Muslims are the ones terrorizing the world right now and this cannot be discussed? It stems as directly from the prevailing cultural values as was once prevalent in Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, etc. Are we to make great efforts to understand terrorism or just whack it out of existence?

How is referring to Muslim women as fat at smelly somehow worse than what you are suggesting which is the age old “Jews are dominating the world” theory? One gets shrill denunciations while something (a belief) which is far worse in my book since it has resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews is let slide. How many Muslim women have been gassed because there was a universal belief in their sinister plots to be fat and smelly?

I think that it is clear (maybe not) that the West has a much greater danger of terrorist attacks from Muslims (I know I know I know these are only the extremists and most Muslims are great people) than world financial and media domination by the evil Jews who seek to blah blah blah.

This was a good one[quote]September 11, 2003
Are You a ‘September 10 American’?


On September 11, 2001, everything changed. Or so our leading opinion-makers – pronouncing an end to the risk-averse and post-heroic America they had observed during the 1990s – assured us.

For many Americans, it was true. New Yorkers still mourn their fallen. In small towns with sons and daughters serving in the war on terror, local newspapers feature daily weather reports from Baghdad. But the unglamorous truth is that, when it comes to public policy priorities and civic habits, most of us have picked up exactly where we left off on September 10. There are today two Americas – a “September 11 America” caught up in a world war, and a “September 10 America” largely oblivious to it.

Exactly how little everything has changed for most Americans may be gleaned from a mountain of poll data taken since the attacks.

Long gone are surveys from 2001 in which majorities cite terrorism as the key issue of the day. The latest polls show that, by a two-to-one margin, voters identify the economy as a more important problem for the federal government to address, while the weight they lend to issues like prescription drugs and health care has returned to pre-September 2001 levels as well. Surveys also show that the public’s willingness to tolerate inconveniences such as airport security screenings and random I.D. checks has declined consistently since 2001, as has its willingness to compromise on questions of civil liberty.

Nor has America’s return to normalcy been confined to the realm of public policy. It can be measured in slumping rates of church attendance, diminished faith in public institutions, and numerous barometers of civic disengagement. A series of Gallup polls even charts how, as September 11 slipped into memory, so too did people’s inclination to pray or to display an American flag. (The flag industry expects this year’s sales figures to amount to a fraction of what was sold the year before). Market saturation? Perhaps. But, by mid-2002, the number of Americans telling Fox News pollsters they would be willing to fight and die to defend the United States had settled down to September 10 levels too.

Does this mean that all Americans have reverted to pre-September 11 type?

Not exactly. Fear of terrorism cuts across all demographic sub-groups. Yet a willingness to do something about it, to adjust our priorities, does not. The latest Pew survey, which asked respondents whether the president should focus on the war on terror or on the economy, reveals a puzzling trend.

Evangelical Christians, whites, residents of rural areas, southerners, and self-described conservatives evince more concern about the response to September 11 than do secular Americans, African Americans, residents of cities, non-southerners, or self-described liberals. In fact, the very city dwellers most at risk tend to attach the least importance to the war on terror. If these results seem more suited to a gun-control survey, consider another way of reading the same data. A Newsweek poll in November 2002 found that respondents who cited terrorism as the nation’s foremost priority voted Republican by a margin of three-to-one. In a similar vein, the Pew survey finds that Republicans split evenly on the question of the war on terror versus the economy, while only 18% of Democrats profess more concern with terrorism.

It hardly comes as a surprise, but the emergence of a partisan gap on a matter that supposedly transcends politics has come awfully quickly. All the more so, because one of the most popular analogies generated by the September 11 industry likened the new unity of purpose to that which prevailed after Pearl Harbor.

If you really wish to know what someone thinks about the war on terror, however, that person’s opinions about Monica Lewinsky and the Florida recount offer a more reliable guide. Were the cause something other than self-preservation, these cleavages might not mean so much. But when a global war becomes the exclusive property of one political party – and is treated, increasingly, as a touch-me-not by the other party – the whole enterprise risks forfeiting its legitimacy.

Yet the existence of a partisan divide between the two Americas isn’t nearly so important as the preferences that divide them.

When September 11 Americans look back at the attacks, they see an event that requires an overhaul of national priorities. When September 10 Americans look back at the attacks, they see an event whose significance is emotional, even spiritual, but most of all historical. What they do not see is the opening salvo of a years-long struggle, much less its implications for politics and policy.

For this disconnect between sorrow and action, some have blamed the media’s gaudy sentimentality. (An “emotional bath” is what NBC’s Tom Brokaw promised us for last year’s September 11 commemoration.) Others have blamed the president for urging too little in the way of sacrifice, for exhorting us in the days after September 11 to “get down to Disney World in Florida” and to “enjoy life.” Whoever is to blame, this much is evident: What Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge calls “the new normalcy” resembles for most Americans nothing so much as the old normalcy.

That most of us have resumed living by September 10 rules would hardly matter but for the inconvenient fact that America’s foes still play by September 11 rules. Alas, the conceit that the war on terror will not require broad sacrifice, which persists even when circumstances do not justify such a conceit, has obscured this unpleasant truth. Preventing a repeat of September 11 will be difficult enough. Even more so if an attack that should have prompted a special vigilance prompts only a glance backward.

Mr. Kaplan is a senior editor at The New Republic and the co-author of “The War Over Iraq: Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission” (Encounter Books, 2003).

URL for this article: online.wsj.com/article/0,SB1063 … 00,00.html

Updated September 11, 2003[/quote]

Smith, you are reading too much into my comments, I never said anything at all about Jewish conspiracies, world domination, etc. Taking your line about people being uncritical of Muslims, anytime anyone says anything even remotely critical of Israel or Jews they are branded anti-semitic, and the holocaust is paraded out.


Apologies if I am reading too much into your statements. I may have been grinding the axe of my own agenda too much with regard to your post and so perhaps we are now talking past each other.


I will start up a thread on the Founding Fathers and guide the discussion is there’s interest for it, but I don’t want to be the only contributor. If a couple more people besides yourself and Tigerman show an interest on the topic I’d be happy to start up a thread next week.

Tigerman –

David McCullough’s book? If that’s the one, then like yours, my copy sits unread on the bookshelf.

Two great books I can highly recommend, one for the period and the other for its beautiful sketches of the Founding Fathers are The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 by Stanley Elkins and Eric McKitrick and Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis.

Ellis, as you might have heard, was the professor who told stories about his supposed Vietnam War adventures in his Mount Holyoke classes that turned out to be complete fabrications. That’s a damn shame because he is one of the best writers on the Founding Fathers I’ve ever read and I have never heard any complaints about his scholarship. I enjoyed his biographies on Adams and Jefferson, but his Founding Brothers reaches an entire new level of scholarship and first-rate historical writing.


Completely understand. Let me try to download some stuff off the Internet to brush up on my basics. In the meantime, why don’t we on one person in particular? How about Hamilton? This would narrow the field down a bit and provide greater opportunities to read up and brush up on the man and his views.

What do you think?

(Fred, I swear you give up way too easy.) This writing above comes from the guy who wrote “Who else but a neocon or Jew would support the war?” and linked to an article that claimed the entire war on terror was being carried out for Israel’s benefit.

Criticism of Israel is fine and, frankly, if there weren’t so many cranks and anti-Semites about here, I would engage in more of it. Three recent problems I have with Israel are 1) its policy to influence the U.S. to set free the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard 2) its military hardware sales (or attempted military hardware sales) to China and 3) and the fact it is a highly developed state that relies on U.S. welfare payments every year.

All of these things I would gladly criticize Israel for among adults like Tigerman or Blueface or Fred, but in this environment those criticisms of Israel would be like throwing bones out in the street for rabid dogs, and pretty soon the conversation would be taken over by holocaust deniers, Palestinian fetish freaks, and other marginal characters I want nothing to do with.

I think Hamilton might be too narrow a topic to begin with. There should be some introduction on the general milieu before looking at specific Founding Fathers.


My point was more that I could have been pushing my own agenda here which is incessantly the same issue of late: everyone should be open to criticism rather than actually debating the issues you and Ishmael are discussing.

I personally don’t like the suggestion that only Jews and Neocons would support the war in Iraq but on the other hand I am not going to blow a gasket over it. I would rather have Ishmael free to make that point if every group and subject is to benefit from the same latitude. By all means call him on it, but it is not an argument that I have a particular interest in nor do I want to get too deeply involved in the matter. Force of habit with me: just trying to civilly back out of what essentially is a nonissue for me.

That said, if he fails to support his views that Jews and neocons are the sole reason for the US invasion of Iraq, he will only weaken his position and others reading this posts will see that all too clearly. To me, you have already clearly won the debate. Fair?

Not too much to discuss with me, I’m afraid. I pretty much agree with your contention that 2) and 3) are problems. Re 1), I’m not very well informed on the matter… can’t thus comment.

But I was very angry at Israel’s near sale of military-use planes to China a while back. I thought that even considering the sale to China of that particular A-WAC type aircraft (or any military hardware or system that could make the US defense of Taiwan against uninstigated Chinese aggression more difficult was disgusting, especially in light of the fact that the US support of Israel’s existence while it has been surrounded by hostile nations since its founding has some similarities to the US support of Taiwan.

Re 3), yes, its time for Israel to stand economically on its own. For a long time, Taiwan and Israel were the largest recipients of US aid, unless I’m mistaken. Taiwan has progressed well economically… Israel should step up also.

[quote=“fred smith”]I personally don’t like the suggestion that only Jews and Neocons would support the war in Iraq but on the other hand I am not going to blow a gasket over it. I would rather have Ishmael free to make that point if every group and subject is to benefit from the same latitude. By all means call him on it, but it is not an argument that I have a particular interest in nor do I want to get too deeply involved in the matter. Force of habit with me: just trying to civilly back out of what essentially is a nonissue for me.

That said, if he fails to support his views that Jews and neocons are the sole reason for the US invasion of Iraq, he will only weaken his position and others reading this posts will see that all too clearly. To me, you have already clearly won the debate. Fair?[/quote]

Fred, I was just teasing you. I thought your initial reaction to his posts was spot-on, but I don’t think it matters one way or the other whether you enter the debate or not.

Ismael writes two- to three-sentence posts devoid of any argument, but whose general tenor carries heavy suspicion of Jews and extreme exaggeration of their influence on U.S. foreign policy. His condescending attitude that if you’re Jewish, you aren’t fit to comment on his links is invidious as well, especially since some of the most anti-U.S. and anti-Israel commentators out there are Jewish (Noam Chomsky, for example).

Here’s a recent opinion piece on Jonathan Pollard by Gregg Easterbrook in The New Republic; it’s a little emotional, but it gets the point across well:

LET HIM ROT: The traitor Jonathan Pollard slithered through Washington last week, though now is back in his prison cell where, it is hoped, he will remain until the end of his natural life. Or until there is peace in the Middle East, whichever comes first.

In a moment we’ll discuss the puzzle of why the Pollard case remains in play, and what it means to be a traitor whose treachery was to betray one liberal democracy to another. First, just consider: If Pollard were released, what would happen next might be the worst moment in U.S.-Israeli relations since the 1956 Suez war.

Pollard has become an icon to the lunatic Israeli right, to the same sick crowd that cheered the assassination of the great Israeli patriot Yizthak Rabin and who cheered the revolting mass murderer Baruch Goldstein. Flown to Israel, Pollard would be greeted by adoring crowds that would swoon before him and chant his name. Even some non-lunatic center-right Israelis might be inveigled to join the celebration.

An image on American newscasts of a traitor against the United States being received as a national hero in Israel would do immense damage to U.S. support for the Israeli cause. Americans would be reminded that the Israeli government paid Pollard to steal classified documents from the United States; that Israel cooperated with Pollard’s betrayal of the country that is Israel’s greatest friend in all the world; that after he was caught Israel even decreed him an Israeli citizen–this last helping Pollard thumb his nose at the citizenship America was obviously so wrong to grant him. Images of a man who hates and betrayed America being cheered in the streets of Israel would send Americans into a fury. This is an international train wreck waiting to happen; the solution is to keep Pollard in the cell he so richly deserves to occupy.

First, why Pollard is a turncoat in every sense: In America, both by the Constitution and by the ideal of freedom, Pollard or anyone else is free to hate the United States and its culture; to have true sympathies for some other nation; to work against the interests of the United States. What Pollard or anyone else is not free to do is to get a security clearance and then sell classified documents to agents of foreign powers. That was Pollard’s act. By his own admission he sold to Israeli agents eleven briefcases of highly restricted information about nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. A distinguishing mark of treason is not opposing your own government, but taking a formal oath of service to that government, being trusted with its secrets, and then acting in service to another government. During the Revolutionary War, a farmer or shopkeeper who stood up to give a speech advocating loyalty to England was no traitor. Benedict Arnold, who took a vow of service to the Philadelphia government and accepted its trust of power, then served a foreign government, was a traitor. Pollard is as well.

United States espionage law, in turn, makes it a crime to give classified information to the agents of any foreign government. Foe or ally is irrelevant. When Pollard’s many defenders–here, the Beverly Hills City Council absurdly calls for his release–say he was only trying to help a friendly nation, they are raising a issue that does not matter one whit. If military and intelligence officers could freely sell classified information to anyone who seemed to them like a friend, national security information wouldn’t last very long, would it? And if people down the chain of command could decide for themselves what classified information other governments should see, then line agents are making their own personal, private foreign policy.

Pollard’s own web site boasts he had become “an official agent of Israel”–that is, Pollard boasts of treachery! Pollard’s website further says he “regrets having broken the law,” and is sorry he “did not find a legal means to act upon his concerns for Israel.” Of course he regrets having broken the law–he got caught!

Pollard maintains that the documents he direct-marketed to Israel warned that nation that the nuclear threat from Iraq and Iran was greater than commonly known at the time (the mid-1980s). But if what Pollard did was really an act of conscience, there was a legal means. He could have resigned his position as an analyst with U.S. Naval intelligence, surrendered his security clearance and then used his freedom of speech to speak out about the Iraq-Iran nuclear threat to Israel. Instead Pollard betrayed the United States, and did so for money, accepting $50,000 cash from Israeli agents and the promise of $300,000 more waiting for him when he arrived in Israel. Set aside how foolish it was for the Israeli government to recruit and pay such a sleazy man. The money alone disproves Pollard’s claim that he was “an ideologue, not a mercenary.” An ideologue might have just handed over the documents. Pollard wanted money. Purely on the face of it, his first motive was mercenary.

Now to the current status of Pollard’s case. Caught, he confessed and, in 1987, pleaded guilty to espionage. Pollard entered into a plea-bargain in which he agreed with federal prosecutors to accept a “substantial prison time.” After Pollard made his guilty plea, the judge sentenced him to life. Three years later, in 1990, Pollard declared that he wanted to retract his plea bargain. When this proved impossible, Pollard began to say that because a life sentence was worse than “substantial prison time,” the government broke its promise to him.

The latter point is what a federal judge heard arguments on last week. Why the judge let Pollard make a new appeal is unclear. First, federal law passed in 1996 says that defendants have a maximum of one year in which to file complaints against plea-bargain sentences; Pollard was “not timely,” as lawyers say, and in 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1996 law applies to all prisoners regardless of when sentenced. Second, Pollard’s claim that his life sentence is so harsh it invalidates the plea bargain has already been rejected by an appeals court panel that included then-appellate judge, and now Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Ginsburg. In 1992, Ginsburg voted with a majority that found “there is simply no way” Pollard’s sentence is a miscarriage of justice.

Pollard maintains he did not object to his life sentence for the first three years for convoluted reasons involving a former wife. More likely, at the time he was simply relieved to have been charged only with espionage, not treason; espionage cannot be punished with death, and treason can. Then after he’d languished in jail for a while, and learned the strange news that the Israeli right–and the Beverly Hills City Council!–considered him a hero, Pollard began to long to be released in order to live, in Israel, the life of a celebrity.

Heroes perform valiant, selfless acts. Jonathan Pollard hid in the darkness selling out his country for money. He deserves his jail cell. He built it himself, brick by brick.

[I’ve extracted a few comments to keep my summary within fair use, but it’s an accurate representation of the original.]

There was a rumour that Clinton was planning to pardon Pollard at the end of his presidency, when he pardoned so many other freaks, but apparently the former president was warned that if he went ahead with his pardon, many in the national security establishment would go ballistic.