I made a statement yesterday, which I almost thought I would have to retract; that it is impossible to have a civil, productive debate with Liberals on the subject of National Security. One of the comments in the article I put up yesterday in Wizbang Politics seemed, just for a little while, to show that some Liberals were willing to explore the matter with a clear head and calm attitude. The reader posting under the name “Gadfly” wrote:
”Very well written. Many good points. And it's surprisingly non-fanatical for wizbang. But...
Can you, or any other posters, please explain/provide the evidence for...
1. We now know that there were, in fact, caches and stockpiles of WMD...
2. ...turns out that President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” was just as he claimed. (Assuming "axis" denotes and connotes "connection", linear or otherwise.)
3. How is Iraq under Saddam (i.e. secular) related to ISLAMO-fascism? Why do conservatives link them? Other than the conservative proclivity to both create and conflate enemies. Or because, to conservatives, they're all "towel-heads".
4. And in what ways do conservatives distinguish Islamo-fascism from Islam? I think they fail to utterly. (Particularly on this website). And, in doing so, escallate conflict, rather than "defeating" it.”
All things considered, these were reasonable requests, which I thought and still think deserve answer. That answer will be presented further on. But I am familiar enough with the matter, and frankly dissatisfied with the evasion from the core question, that I pressed Gadfly to answer a few things himself:
”1. Petty name-calling is the mark of petulance. What, specifically, would you suggest as an effective policy for addressing Islamofascism, as practiced by Al Qaeda and like-minded groups?
2. Please answer why you feel compelled to ignore clear factual evidence of WMD programs, with specifics as to how not invading Iraq would have prevented the development and use of known extant programs under Saddam Hussein.
3. The WMD threat was only one of numerous causes for the invasion of Iraq. Please respond to the other causes, including the attempted assassination of a former U.S. President, the use of WMD on civilians, and sponsorship of multiple terrorist groups.
4. Please explain the Liberal policy for containing/addressing fanatics like Ahmadinejad.
I will work on my response, and look forward to yours. It would also be illuminating to learn why Joe Lieberman was good enough for you to be Vice-President in 2000, but not Senator in 2007.”
That, unfortunately, was the high-point of our discussion. Gadfly’s next response was distinctly disappointing
“Petty name-calling is the mark of petulance.
If you're referring to my assertion that wizbangers (though not you) are usually "fanatical", I stand by it. In fact, I think "fanatical" is an understatement. That's why I found your piece so refreshing in its lack of demogoguery.”
[ Gadfly ignores the fact, or is trying to duck it, that during the past six years, the Liberals have poisoned the well of discourse with the majority of invective, and the worst slanders being repeated at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. George W. Bush had no insults to spew at Democrats, yet Howard Dean, while the front-runner for the 2004 party nomination, mentioned that the lie that President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance was ” the most interesting theory that I've heard so far”. Ted Kennedy accused Buch of cooking up the war for political points, and nancy Pelosi claimed President Bush deliberately misled Americans about Iraq. The same Democrats who clearly supported the war against Saddam in 2002 when it was time to vote their conscience, are the ones who lied about their votes later when they saw a chance to play politics. The largest and most popular Liberal blogs – Daily Kos and Democratic Underground – censor their comments to deny participation at all by Conservatives, and regularly allow comments which are defamatory of Conservatives, and in some cases incendiary examples of slander and incitement of violence against Republicans ]
“What, specifically, would you suggest as an effective policy for addressing Islamofascism, as practiced by Al Qaeda and like-minded groups?
First, it would be akin to Bush's in taking the threat seriously, but 1) I wouldn't project the fear that he projects and 2) I would hold a very high standard for acting within the bounds of the law (for example the 1996 War Crimes Act) the constitution, and the Geneva convention as much as humanly and humanEly possible. Recognizing that many people in the world will lend their support (which we need for intelligence) to the more morally responsible party. We're not doing well on that front.”
[ It is an untrue allegation that the President is ‘projecting fear’. Sorry, but that projection is nothing more than the Liberal “projecting” his fear of the facts getting out. Terrorists want to kill Americans, and saying so is simply setting the necessary focus. I also find it interesting that Gadfly confirms my observation that Liberals want a legal prosecution of Terrorism, not an effective war. Terrorists need killing, not lawyers. I would strongly suggest that Gadfly and other Liberals read the specific terms of the 1996 War Crimes Act, the United States Constitution, and the Geneva Convention. The plain fact is, terrorists do not enjoy protection under any of those treaties. The Geneva Convention, for example, specifically limits its protection to civilian non-combatants and military combatants of sovereign nations. NGO’s like Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not have the standing of soldiers or non-combatants ]
“Also, language. Good point Red Baron!!!! Don't bind our enemies together! But to add to his point - what you call islamo-fascism, I might call fundamentalist-terrorism. Because it avoids the disgracefully inaccurate implication that Islam is primarily or significantly fascist. Or that the world's Muslims are at war with the west. (Though I recognize that SUBSETS of Islam ARE certainly marked by a propensity for violence. A violence that may be comparable to Christianity when it, Christianity, was about 1,300 years old.) But also because it clarifies to a democracy-loving Muslim (whose support we need) that, in our eyes, they are NOT a more serious threat to the U.S. than, say, Timothy McVeigh.”
[ This is a perversion of my phrase. I do not expect Gadfly to be especially familiar with my writings – for anyone interested, just visit my homepage and click on the ‘Significant Posts’ links, which begin with the Islamic condition in Iraq, or simply do a blogsearch matching “Drummond” with “Islam”, and see how often I have separated the faith from men wishing to usurp it. In point of fact, however, I do not know of many Conservatives at all trying to pretend that Islamofascism is the same as Islam as a whole. Certainly President Bush has repeatedly emphasized that Islam is not the enemy. I will write more about the nature, source, and remedy to Islamofascism in my conclusion. ]
“Please answer why you feel compelled to ignore clear factual evidence of WMD programs...
I don't feel compelled to ignore them. I do think, though, that 1) the evidence obtained post-invasion, for most Americans, does not sufficiently match the pre-war evidence provided by Bush. Thus the perception that he "lied". Though I'd call it "misrepresentation" and/or "exaggeration". Which, when justifying war, is still profoundly immoral.”
[ There you go again, projecting your own assumptions. The “pre-war evidence” was significant and effective, after all, since it demonstrated how the Bush Administration reached its decision, and that same information was available and seen by all leading members of the Republicans and Democrats. And frankly, there has been quite a bit of “post-invasion” evidence found. The problem has been the way that evidence has been portrayed by the MSM. Frankly, most Americans, according to the polls, do not think Bush lied at all. They may or may not support his decision, but the consensus is that he made his decision honestly. That’s actually a very great mistake the Left makes: You could actually sway some people if you admitted that President Bush was and is honest, but that you simply disagreed with the decision and the present policy. That you take such an opportunity and try to make it into something which is simply not true, is yet another example of the problem the Left has in dealing with its compulsion to attack Bush, even when such attacks cost you support of reasonable people. ]
“2) evidence continues to surface which suggests that a DESIRE for war with Iraq affected the Administrations objectivity in assessing the level of the Iraqi threat. (For example the Downing Street memo suggests this).”
[ Sorry, there is no such “evidence”. That the Bush Administration paid attention to all of the regional threats is accurate, but it is false to pretend that Bush influenced, or even tried to influence, the intelligence-gathering or the recommendations. Once again, this demonstrates the Left’s habit of deciding what they want to believe, then trying to shoehorn the facts to make things fit. Kind of like saying Bush “rushed to war” against Iraq, when in fact he took his time with diplomatic efforts, consultations with allies and the United Nations, and dealing with Afghanistan long before anyone began to consider acting against Saddam. ]
“3) Had Bush & co. employed a higher, i.e. more truthful, standard of accuracy for the intelligence, the case for war would probably not have persuaded Americans to support a pre-emptive war.
If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with democracy.”
[ That statement is a baseless cheap shot, and a lie. No further comment is warranted. ]
“with specifics as to how not invading Iraq would have prevented the development and use of known extant programs under Saddam Hussein.
Containment. It worked well against the Soviet Union.”
[ The Cold War took decades, ate tens of trillions of dollars, killed more than a million people in proxy conflicts and incidents, destroyed the economies and infrastructure of those countries absorbed by the Communist Empire, and still poisons the future of more than a quarter of the planet. Only a great fool would suggest it was a model for confronting groups which developed during the Cold War, and which have created their tactics and supply lines to take advantage of that especially bureaucratic mode of conditions. Further, it is a fact that the French and other allies of Saddam were already moving to lift sanctions, after which time Saddam’s protected WMD programs would soon have renewed their pace and development. ]
“Also, in consultation with military experts, I would build a case for war which turned out to be more true than not true. I would hold a high standard for evidence. More akin to Powell's standards than Cheney-Bush's (i.e. 1%). I would not fabricate arguments, especially those that appeal to vengeance - i.e. that Iraq was connected with 9/11. (Spin it all you want, that conflation was a clear case of irresponsible misrepresentation).
Second - I would place enormous, perhaps equal importance, on the "rebuilding" phase of the occupation. In order not to INCREASE TERRORISM. If my Secretary of D demonstrated a disdain for "rebuilding" I would fire him. That's not only imcompetent - that morally disgraceful.”
[ Here again you demonstrate the elitist arrogance of the purely hypothetical thinker – as if war could be so quickly and cleanly removed from the matter. In the first place, the military developed the war plan used: The best minds with experience and insight planned the war. Narcissist generals like Wesley Clark have no clue as to the best and necessary way to prosecute the war in Iraq, even if they had the inclination. If you cannot understand the huge difference between social interaction with NATO allies in Bonn and Verona, and street warfare in Baghdad and Fallujah, you need to go back to remedial tactics. And as for the “rebuilding” phase, you pretend that Iran and Syria are not fomenting violence through the insertion of terrorists over the border, and seem to believe that we had, say, a swell plan for making the boo-boo better after World Wars I or II? Again, to pretend so only shows how little you know of History. ]
“Third - In addressing the Iraq problem (i.e. possible, indirect threat), I would make sure that it did not diminish my pursuit of Al Qaeda (i.e. KNOWN, DIRECT THREAT).”
[ What a strange statement! Do you even know how many Al Qaeda have been killed or captured, have you not read the desperation in their intercepted communications, or the fact that they have fled to Sudan for their Headquarters because no other place, literally, exists for them? And I am sure I don’t need to remind you, that despite Liberal pretense, Al Qaeda has hardly been sitting around in one location, like a bad movie. The US military has done a spectacular job in hunting down these vermin, and your statement, while surely unintentional, demonstrates again how the Left does not in fact support the troops, since you are so unaware of even their most obvious accomplishments. ]
“Please respond to the other causes, including the attempted assassination of a former U.S. President...
Horrible as that was, we have no moral grounds to use that as justification - Cuba, Chile, Congo and (if you count coup attempts) Iran (Mossadeh) and Venezuela and many others.”
[ You are wrong. Assassinations and attempts on heads of state are accepted as valid causes for declaring war. Your attempts – whether factual or just spiteful – to link the United States to Saddam’s Iraq on this behavior, once again demonstrate to any reasonable person your contempt for America. We are the good guys, and that’s how most of us see it – if Liberals ever want to hold the trust of the public, they’re just going to have to change this kind of bile spewing. ]
“4. Please explain the Liberal policy for containing/addressing fanatics like Ahmadinejad.
Similar to an earlier question:
1) Take it seriously like Bush. But-
2) Don't be quite so idiotic and incompetent in the execution.”
[ The jury will observe that Gadfly made no attempt whatsoever to respond in substance, but chose to revert to a baseless insult. ]
“It would also be illuminating to learn why Joe Lieberman was good enough for you to be Vice-President in 2000, but not Senator in 2007.
For me, it was his explicit encouragement that the public NOT question the president in the vague and nebulous arena of "war on terror". Which, from my pov, for an Senator, borders on constitutionally lazy, if not structurally (governmentally) dangerous.”
[ Curiouser and curiouser. Lieberman never soft-pedaled the issue. In fact, he is still a critic of President Bush in many respects. You are simply lying about him, why? Because he finds the war in Iraq necessary. That speaks volumes. ]
(all Gadfly’s comments quoted from above are here)
Sad, really. While the Gadfly was still attempting to be civil, he had already begun to turn away from the substance.
Once in moral decline, Gadfly continued a slow but unfortunate descent. His next comment, in response to anecdotal evidence reminding him of the connection between Saddam and Terrorism, was this:
”Sorry, not buying it. I'll try to find the piece you reference. But maybe Bush should as well. He has on at least two occasions, finally acknowledged Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
If conservatives want to have any credibility on this point, they ought to acknowledge that the Iraq-9/11 connection as presented by Bush & Co was, at best, incorrect.
But, to spare your sensitive feelings, I won't say he "lied".”
Other Liberal comments were present, but they made no attempt at all to address the issue, but instead resorted front to back to boorish insults and petty vitriol. Beyond noting that they unintentionally proved my point, they are worth no response.
The blog Sweetness & Light put up a compelling reminder yesterday of just how delusional and bitter the Left has become, to the point that even the most obviously non-biased sources were attacked simply for not buying their lies. James B. Meigs of “Popular Mechanics” writes today about the acid-laced delusion which led Liberals and 9/11 Conspiracists to defame his magazine, for proving that the conspiracy theories simply cannot be true (ht Betsy’s Page).
In conclusion, then. Sorry, but the end is as long as everything up to it. In as brief as possible then, Liberals have demonstrated a delusion which makes it impossible to trust them in any post of responsibility. This is actually unfortunate, as Conservatives need a balancing force in debate and ideals to challenge their own assumptions and priorities. But the absolute hatred which drives the Left, makes their perspective irrational and a threat to the nation itself.
Now, to Gadfly’s initial questions and points:
 Liberals focus on only one aspect of one point of the decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein; his nuclear weapons program and material. This misses a great deal about why the 2003 Coalition existed, why the U.S. Military was and remains strongly motivated, and why the effort has been a success on the merits of its clear objectives. Ed Morrisey eloquently explains the context.
 The “Axis of Evil” must be understood in the context of the threat, not some artificial construct to be made into a strawman. Bill Clinton discussed abstract concerns, yet Liberals left him unchallenged, and Liberals have always supported “wars” on Poverty and Social Ills, but perhaps I must leave those for another time. There are, to be clear, to be blunt, nations which seek the destruction of the United States as it exists, and there is a cowardly unity to nations which hate us enough to make it their policy to find whatever weapons, however foul, they can use against the best nation on earth. Liberals who mock President Bush for trying to illuminate the danger, would do well to listen to the echoes from other Presidents calling out the clarion before him. There are nations which want you dead. It is not only right, but duty, to point that out.
 Saddam Hussein deserved to die. Beyond that I do not see a speck of injustice in what he has lost, or why. I would be happy to discuss the specifics of how and why it was necessary and right to invade Iraq, but only after my Liberal counterpart acknowledges that removing him was right. No, you don’t have to praise the war or any political position, but anyone who cannot agree to the basic fact that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator who needed removal, which was in fact made the official policy of the United States in 1998 – that’s uh, a while before Bush became President, by the way – is effectively so dispatched from reality that discussion is impossible.
 Islamofascism is one of those insidious disorders, which takes a culture and does its damndest to pervert its ideals and strengths. I have said before that given the thousands of terrorist acts committed by self-proclaimed Muslims, and matching them against the billion or so Muslims in the world, is prima facia evidence that most of Islam is not aligned with these monsters.
But there is a serious, grave problem for Islam. The leaders of Islam are not speaking out against the evils done by fanatics, and whole governments have dictated “Jihad” against non-Muslims, simply because they exist. It is also a dark and undeniable fact, that the overwhelming majority of terrorist violence planned and committed is by groups which declare themselves to be Muslim, and who declare that their religion is the principal motivation for their crimes.
And no, Conservatives are not “escalating” the violence. They simply refuse to hide from it, or to let innocents be tyrannized and murdered in the hope that the evil ones will not notice us across the water. 9/11 proved that was a false hope, anyway. The planning for 9/11 started long before Bush was President, just as Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran on motives which never concerned themselves with anything we actually did. We either hunt down these bastards, wherever and whoever they are, or we let them come and murder Americans.
I vote to take them out.