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Comments by Ritchie Emmons
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On “Disastrous consequences

It should be noted here I think that if we can't pay for the tunnel today, there is still the possibility that we can pay for it tomorrow. However, we can't simply pay for Iraq/Afghanistan tomorrow. Wars need funding today. One can of course argue that we shouldn't be fighting the wars, but the fact remains that we're currently in the fight.

War (especially for a democracy) is often something that is put upon a country against its wishes. Afghanistan falls into that category - we would rather not have suffered through the 9/11 attacks and the resulting (overwhelmingly supported) invasion of Afghanistan. But the 9/11 attacks indeed occurred and a month later the invasion ensued. GWB couldn't say "Well, I think we'll be in a better financial situation in 2007, so I'll schedule the invasion of Afghanistan in 2007."

A nice tunnel would be great to have, but there isn't the urgency for this tunnel as there usually is for war.

On “The Horror, The Horror

"My point was that the Journolisters on this topic were just more or less normal partisan political junkies talking “among friends.” I’ve seen stuff about BHO & Co in some ways much more lurid and demeaning than Trig Truth."

CK, Yes, perhaps this is true. But some of that stuff could be perceived not merely "talking among friends" and something more like a plan. Whoever it was who said she wanted to see Rush's eyes bug out - I consider that "talking among friends" (as distasteful as it was). But Ackerman's email suggesting that the left should label as racist Barnes or some other conservative looked to me like something the Journolisters should put in the playbook (yet again). Since conservatives have been unfairly labeled in the past as racists (a despicable act of demagoguery), to see Ackerman blithely and specifically recommend they do it again suggests to me that he wasn't just "talking" - as it's been a tried and true tactic of the left for years. I can't recall if a conservative was wontonly accused of being a racist in the aftermath of the Wright bombshell though.

Zoltan, Who is "they?" I'd be happy to answer your question if I knew to whom you were referring.

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CK, I'm not sure that "TrigTruth" and "Birtherism" should be lumped together. For starters, "TrigTruth" was something that was written about by a number of people who are considered respectable by the "mainstream" left (like Andrew Sullivan). I personally have little regard for Sullivan, but that's irrelevant here. More over, it was a pretty ridiculous claim and topic.

"Birtherism" is something that at least carries some weight regarding our republic - whether or not our President is legally allowed to be our President. But putting that aside, I'm not aware of many "mainstream" conservatives giving much credence to the claim. To me, conservatives essentially consider the "Birthers" a fringe group and don't pay much heed to the them. Kind of like the "Birchers" (pretty close, huh?) were regarded after Buckley shoved them aside.

Personally, I assume Obama was born in Hawaii and is not illegitimately in the WH. I do however wonder why he has never made public his actual birth certificate. One would think there is *some* reason for that - something that would be embarrassing if the actual paper birth certificate was made public. I'm curious what that would be. But I don't assume it's because it would prove that he was born elsewhere.

Maybe I'm wrong here and that there were more mainstream conservatives on board with "Birtherism" and I just missed it. I'm sure I'll be corrected if that's so.

On “A time for not choosing

I must say that I'm quite happy to see yet another article that confronts the narrative of the left. Especially by someone as well known as George Will. Maybe we can get this country to realize the insidiousness of progressivism. Hopefully soon enough to get the health care "reform" bill overturned before it begins in earnest.

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Very good CK, I will heartily accept that we should be cognizant of what your "average" Iraqis and Afghans wish. Once we get past those fellers and get into the bin Laden's of the world, I support resistance, arrest and drone attacks (and my favorite - capture of bin Laden alive so he can be humiliated in front of the world for not blowing himself up as a martyr).

"People acting “in the name” of Western Civilization have repeatedly put large sections of Baghdad under heavy bombardment, and caused countless (literally countless) military and civilian casualties. If it’s not reasonable for someone in Iraq to be upset about the new U.S. Vatican, how is it reasonable for us to be upset about said 15-story pipsqueak of a structure?"

If you assume the average number of those killed annually by Saddam, the number of presumed (according to sites that try to accurately count that number) killed since we invaded in Iraq has been quite a significant number below that. And that doesn't include the countless number of Iraqis that surely would have perished at the hands of Uday & Qusay (and whoever else afterwards). So, the overall numbers of dead people compared with not so dead people are quite favorable in terms of what we've done there. Now, that being said, this does very little for the person who lost his family thanks to a misfired American J-Dam. It also does little for those who don't tend to look at the overall long term national picture - which may be a majority of humans.

I'm not sure about similar statistics for Afghanistan, but my guess is that the Taliban is responsible for more Afghan deaths than the US.

I've made this point before a couple of times at Contentions back in the glory days when they permitted comments to the masses. I'm not refuting what you've said - I'm just re-making a point that I felt got WAY too little attention, especially during the dog days of the Iraq War.

BTW, The new "US Vatican" might be seen as an intrusive by some, but I hope it's mostly seen as a symbol of the US freeing the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant and giving them the capacity to choose for themselves the type of govt they wish to have (as I feel it should be viewed).

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"I find the above statement comically myopic (or would the right phrases be “willfully blind“?). In terms of victor’s “icons,” just ask yourself, for example, how an Islamist views the zillion dollar U.S. monster-embassy in Baghdad."

CK, I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "Islamist" here. My definition of an Islamist is one of those fellas who wants chop off my head for simply being an infidel American (you may have a more benign definition of the term though). I assume your definition is the same as mine though. That being said, I think you're a little off-center with the above statement/question. I don't think we should care what an Islamist thinks of our Baghdad embassy or any other "icon" we erect. It's kind of along the same lines as having our troops in Saudi. Bin Laden claimed that this was some horrific offense and was justification for war vs America. Well, we were there with the blessing of the Saudi govt. We didn't just gratuitously show up to be infidel invaders. Should we have left because bin Laden told us to? Why should we care one iota what a bin Laden thinks? We wouldn't pay any heed to some KKK buffoon who wants to rid America of the Jews and Papists and blacks. Once we start prostrating ourselves to the desires of the Islamists (rather, continue to do so ever more explicitly), we put ourselves on a path towards sharia - sharia being in direct contradiction with the most cherished values that a liberal democracy like America holds dear. We allow the narrative to be on the Islamists' terms.

If I had my preferences, the 13 story mosque would be built elsewhere - somewhere that's more than a two football field walk from where the towers fell (maybe a couple of miles?). I too might be pretty unhappy if a mosque was 2-3 blocks away from where my hypothetical family member was killed in the name of Islam. That said, if it's private property and a mosque is built going through the normal procedures that dictate how such private structures are built, then so be it. But once I've heard that someone in that mosque is preaching that Americans and non-Muslims must be killed, I'm going to want the wire taps in there 10 minutes later.

On “The obligatory “problem with the problem with the Palin problem” post

I doubt anyone will still be paying attention to this post at 4 days after the last comment, but I thought I'd add my thoughts anyway.

Among several conservatives that I know, an alarming number of them don't like Palin. They like her political positions, but don't like her personally. Some don't want her to be the face of the Tea Party. Others don't like the way she speaks or her voice. One wants a Margaret Thatcher type personality. Most don't want her to run for national office. And these are from people who I'd be almost certain that they'd be fans of hers.

The best answer I can come up with is that it's a northeast elitist thing (I live in Boston). I find it a somewhat disconcerting. Personally, I'd love to have someone like Palin as President. She embodies the "anti-Obama." I want someone in there who is going to push for less government rather than more. Someone that trusts the collective citizenry, rather than the elites, to make the best decisions for this country. Now more than ever that's needed. Her character is such that I'd trust her judgement when it came to handling any arising issue - even if she wasn't an expert on that topic.

Regardless of what I think, it seems to me that Palin would have a hard time generating support in these parts. I suppose these people would vote for her if it was between her and Obama in 2012, but wouldn't support her in a primary. Given this unfortunate dynamic, perhaps the best way she can help the conservative movement is to be a fund raiser/king maker, rather than as a politician.

On “Limbaugh over the line

Thanks CK. I discovered WRMead not too long ago and read that article last month. An excellent piece I thought. He shed a perspective on the subject that was enlightening I thought.

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Now I understand CK. Thanks for taking the time to clarify.

Speaking of defenders of Israel, I find rather puzzling that I, with not a drop of Jewish blood in me, seems more interested in the well being of that tiny state than much of the Jewish diaspora. That diaspora, while voting rather heavily for BHO here in the USA, might be souring on our President if Obama continues to treat Israel as badly as he has. I hope that's the case anyway.

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CK, Thanks for the welcome, and I'm glad to be here. I always enjoyed reading your comments at Contentions and at JED's blog and see no good reason why I shouldn't continue on here at ZC.

I'm not quite sure why you put that Youtube clip at the end of your welcoming comments to me, but I'm glad you did. Seeing Moshe Dayan and his signature patched eye reminded me of one of the finest war books I've read - Michael Oren's "Six Days Of War." The book really gives one valuable insight of how political interests and necessities play a role behind the scenes. I assume you're read it, but if by chance you haven't, I highly recommend it. And it has a (mostly) happy ending!

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"They are motivated by love. Not hate, not sedition. They love their country and want to save it from those who do not."

Is Limbaugh *that* far off with this assessment? I get the impression that Obama would be happier with citizenship to the Global Community Of Humans than to the United States. What politician actually *removes* his USA flag pin? I have no problem with anyone not wearing a USA pin. But to wear one, remove it, then wear it again after public pressure became too much? And you're running for President? It's almost an unthinkable act for a high profile politician. Why would he do such a thing? One has to wonder the motivation.

I feel like Obama is far more sincere when he is apologizing for or denigrating America than he is when he's praising it (praise being a political necessity). He has hired several people in his administration who share his same views. His wife wasn't proud of her country until her husband was the Dem nominee for Prez.

The Founders created this country to be distinctly different from the Europe from whence they came. To have a degree of liberty that no other country in the world had. But now Obama, despite allegedly being a constitutional scholar, is trying curtail that liberty by implementing a statist "utopia." Just like they have in the same Europe that our Founders broke away from 200+ years ago. He's backed by the likes of Pelosi and Reid and almost all of the heavy hitters in the D party.

Does Obama and several of his cohorts who run the show love their country? I'm not so sure. I get the feeling that they are more embarrassed by it than they love it. They feel that America needs to decline and become less (benignly) hegemonic as some sort of "corrective" in my opinion.

Note, Rush didn't say that these people "hated" America. He said that they didn't love it. To be honest, I'm having a hard time disagreeing with that statement. Is that too incendiary a statement that it harms the conservative movement more than it helps it? I'm not sure. However, with all the vile demagoguery from major figures of the left directed towards GWB, conservatives, Tea Parties, etc..., I for one am not going to fault Rush for this relatively mild statement. I'm a little tired of conservatives having to defend themselves from spurious accusations (racist! homophobic! anti-immigrant!) and wouldn't mind putting liberals on the rhetorical defensive for once.

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