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Comments

Tony Makara

Many are now dead and maimed because Blair played to the gallery and was enthusiastic to beat the drum of war. Now it appears that Mr Congressional gold medal has not learnt the lessons history tried to teach him when it dropped its cold deathly hand on his shoulder. Tony Blair needs to understand that Iraq was 'His' war and there was never any great 'Will' for it in the country. While I accept that the situation in Afghanistan is different, Iraq was folly of the highest nature. Tony Blair talks about the will-to-fight, perhaps he ought to apply for front line auxiliary work in Iraq to show his level of commitment and his will-to-fight, but no, Blair would rather that others did the dying for his congressional medal.

Malcolm Dunn

Absolutely Tony. Blair probably has done more to undermine the case for the 'War On Terror' in Britain & Europe by the lies he told through his dodgy dossiers, in the parliamentary debates before and during the Iraq war and through his steadfast refusal to grant an independant enquiry into that war.
He is an utterly compromised figure who should realise that the best thing he can do for his cause is to retire from public life. He will achieve nothing good otherwise.

Maduka

"Will to fight?"

Talk is cheap. Ask the British squaddie that lacks basic equipment.

You don't just wake up in the morning "and become another Churchill". How can Mr. Blair talk about the will to fight when he consistently underfunded the British Armed forces?

Tim Montgomerie

Blair gets much of the strategy right but not the means. He sent our servicemen to war on a peacetime budget. Brown hasn't corrected course.

Tony Makara

Tim Montgomerie, very true. Whatever we think of the rationale for war it is an absolute disgrace that British servicemen had to go into a war situation with one hand tied behind their back. Our military has been treated with contempt by this Labour government, not just the servicemen either, but their families too, and the post-service support structure has been non-existent.

Frogg, USA

The Wall Street Journal has a somewhat related interview with Henry Kissinger out today. In it, Kissinger goes on to say that it all comes down to "what government(s) can ask of their people" and the "European governments are not able any more to ask their people for great sacrifices."

excerpt:

But today, fundamental philosophical differences divide the U.S and Europe across a range of key foreign policy issues. Europeans and Americans, I suggested, disagree as to both means and ends--especially the legitimacy of the pre-emptive use of force without an explicit blessing from the Security Council, as well as in their basic assessment of the gravity of the threats posed by transnational terror networks, which cannot be either bargained with or deterred.

The real difference, Mr. Kissinger interjected, lay in "what government[s] can ask of their people." It is because "European governments are not able any more to ask their people for great sacrifices," he argued, that they have so readily opted for a "soft power" approach to so many foreign policy issues. This will, of necessity, make it harder for Europe to reach a consensus with the U.S."

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010875

There's probably much truth in that analysis. However, I still have faith that free people will make great sacrifices to keep that freedom.

However, they are slow to admit the dangers because the truth is just to awful. They also don't learn from past mistakes very quickly. I hope the recent actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have changed the momentum our fascist enemy had going against us. But, if not...Europeans/Americans that are asleep will wake up, I believe, before it is too late. Sadly, it may makes the fight harder, bloodier, and closer to home.

History will look kindly on both Bush and Blair. But, that's another topic for another day.

Anna

Blair knows that Europe lacks the will to uphold their values. Perhaps that is why he and other European leaders are once again courting the US. It never ended, actually. We have simply had this nasty bout of adolescent rebellion and spitting in the face of reality.

I am an ordinary Yank who understands that Europe's security has been bought with US blood and neverending taxpayer burden. We have indulged Europe far too long. Some of that may have been false pride and/or a sense of responsibility that stretched too far.

Simple Yanks like myself often feel that we have been snookered by European (and British) "sophisticates", the very people our Founding Fathers warned us against. We often say that, "No good deed goes unpunished." And so it is. We owe Europe nothing.

When one travels to Normandy, for instance, one wonders if all those deaths were worth the sacrifice. Too many Americans were pulled away from their families and responsibilities to die for the most most ungrateful people to habit the earth. We don't forget our war dead, and we don't forget the sacrifices their families made. Mine was one of them.

There is a chap who writes for a small blog called, "The American Thinker". His name is James Lewis. I don't know much about him, but he often seems to read my mind. As Sarkozy is making overtures to Americans these days he writes:

"But let's be French about this: Practical and open-eyed. Europe needs us again. The Russian bear is growling in the East, the jihadis are finally understood to be serious about infiltrating and killing the West, nukes are within the grasp of A'jad and his merry mullahs, the Saudis are panicked but won't stop exporting Wahhabi hatred against us, and Europe with half a billion people has only pathetic defenses. "

(snips)

"So, Europe needs us: To survive, and to keep its soft socialist couch as long as possible. Because Europe has grown fat, lazy and self-indulgent under American armed protection. Money that normal nations would spend on defense is constantly sucked into the black hole of Eurocracies like the British National Health Service and generous payoffs for every voting block in sight. Eurosocialist parties have knowlingly imported tribal Pakistanis and Turks, who silently support jihadi terror against their host nations. Those people vote Socialist in every European country, because the Left panders to them and brings in more millions of impoverished Muslims to create a new underclass. Amsterdam, Paris and London are increasingly Muslim. The newcomers want their own Shari'a ghettos, complete with Wahhabi preachers, honor killings and women forced to wear black tents. In London they vote for racist demagogues of the Left, like "Red Ken" Livingstone and George Galloway. The Muslim ghettoization of Europe is well on its way.


I don't doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy was sincere in his pro-American speech before Congress. But his voters in France would love to fall back to the Disneyland years, when the welfare state played Santa Claus and the Americans took care of defending La Belle France. Their favorite sport was raging against their benefactor, Uncle Sam, because we made a safe target. The Soviet Union was never slammed in public, no matter how many people it killed, because the KGB was feared even in France. But even Socialist President Mitterand swung to the US position when push came to shove, because he knew what side his bread was buttered on."

(snips)

"So Vive la France! Vive l'Amerique libre! And don't forget, when the bill comes due, we must demand that Europe begin to take on adult responsibilities in a dangerous world.

No more anti-American rage while sponging off Uncle Sam.

That particular Euro Disney vacation is now over."
http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/sarkozy_and_the_socialist_bag.html


Lewis also wrote a rather poignant article about Europe's lack of will: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/09/britains_basra_bugout_and_the.html

I admire Tim's efforts and those of others to maintain a close relationahip with our British friends. The problem is that it is, as always, rather one-sided.

And what the Europeans fail to understand as well as the Brits is that the damage has been done. It may seem to be fun to spit in the face of an ally and protector. It may seem to be fun or good sport, but it isn't well-recieved by those who are footing the bill.

The Brits and Euros have spent many years maligning Yanks, and they have succeeded in making their point. What they didn't forecast is the backlash.

Contrary to European opinon many Americans have passports, and they have travelled the world, for business purposes, pleasure or serving in the military. I have, and I couldn't care less if my passport expires. I have no intention of ever visiting Europe or Britain again.

Many Yanks like myself find you to be tiresome and irrelevant, and we are committed to reducing our defense spending on your behalf.

It's time for the Europeans to grow up and assume adult responsibilities for their future. And the British need to decide where they stand.

Tony Makara

"When one travels to Normandy, for instance, one wonders if all those deaths were worth the sacrifice"

Anna, I might remind you, and I'd rather not have to, but America only came into the second world war after Pearl Harbour. There was no idealist rush to enter the war on the side of the allies up until that point.

After the second world war ended the United States left an army of occupation in Germany, not to protect Europe, but to protect American interests. America has always operated out of self-interest first, as it should, as any nation should. So to allude that the United States saved Europe's hide and that Europe is eternally ungrateful is a bit of a myth.

The second world war was won as a collective effort and each part played, large or small, was of equal value. The fighters of the French resistance played just as valuable a part as the United States armed forces, who I think were magnificent!

All those who subscribe to Tony Blair's Iraq thesis are quite welcome to apply for auxiliary work in Iraq with the many contractors out there. Its all too easy to beef up a situation like Iraq from the comfort of an armchair, but very few would have the courage of conviction to go out to Iraq and 'contribute' to Blair's vision.

atheling

"So to allude that the United States saved Europe's hide and that Europe is eternally ungrateful is a bit of a myth."

Is it? A myth? Tell that to the dead Yanks buried in Normandy, Tony. Haven't you heard about the desecration of American soldiers' graves over there?

I'm with Amna. I am beginning to think that the Marshall Plan was a major error, because look at where Europe is today: under the shadow of totalitarianism all over again - by their OWN CHOICE!

"each part played, large or small, was of equal value."

Oh please, don't give us that moral equivalency garbage, Tony! Oriana Fallaci said that in Italy the WWII graves were PREDOMINANTLY AMERICAN!

And your silly remark about the alleged French Resistance (gee, it seems that nowadays ALL Frenchmen claim that their daddies were in the resistance) seems to overlook the fact that the FRENCH OPENLY COLLABORATED WITH THE NAZIS! Your equating the "resistance" with the blood spilled by American soldiers is an INSULT to their memory and sacrifice.

Just being a Euro, aren't you, Tony? Try to minimize and erase any blood and sacrifice made by our fathers and grandfathers in those days... helps you to better justify your Euro-arrogance, doesn't it?

Tony Makara

atheling, your anger has dulled your wits. The Marshall plan was implemented for the main part to stop Europe falling under the sphere of Soviet communism. No-one in Europe or the UK fails appreciate the sacrifice of American troops in world war two.

Your remarks about the brave combatants in the French resistance are disparaging and an insult to all those brave French men, women and children who were tortured and executed. I maintain that the role of groups like the French and Dutch resistance was of equal value to the role played by US/UK/SOVIET troops in the second world war.

It is unfortunate that you cannot see history from a global rather than just an American perspective. Your remarks sadden me but at the same time make me understand why America so often gets a bad press around the world. I'm afraid America, a country that I admire, is so often let down by its countrymen.

Maduka

Let's have some balance here.

From 1939 till 1941, US was hedging its bets. The British (under Churchill) bore the brunt of the German War machine. Hitler was not able to overcome the Royal Navy and the Royal Airforce.

(In true fashion, Hollywood has failed to give Britain much credit for victory in the Second World War - even sixty years after the event).

America entered the war because Japan attacked America and Hitler foolishly declared war on America. That was 1941, if I remember correctly.

The US contributed much of the material needed to overcome the German fighting machine. However, please understand that the back of the German Army was broken at Stalingrad by the Russians. The Soviet contribution to the war was significant.

We should also remember that the British and Commonwealth forces on D-Day were not significantly smaller than the American forces.

D-Day would NOT have been a success if the French Resistance was not actively involved.

The Marshall plan was not an error, it was a stroke of genius. General Marshall understood that America's interests were better served by a strong Europe.

After the war, American troops were stationed in Europe for the same reason that they are presently stationed in Iraq (also why they are NOT stationed in either Zimbabwe, Darfur or Burma) - the protection of American interests.

The Second World War and its aftermath profoundly affected the psyche of many European nations. Germany has not yet recovered from Stalingrad and the rape of Berlin. Britain lost its Empire and was badly mauled at Suez (even the victory at Falklands did not erase the bitter lesson of Suez - the once mighty Empire could not act independently of the Americans). France (for all its bluster) lost badly in Algeria, Suez and Indochina.

Europe is not psychologically ready to fight anyone.

Even America was deeply wounded by the Vietnam experience.

Then we come to the issue of Islam and Islamization. What many Americans do not understand is that:

1. Most European Colonial powers (the French in Africa and the British in Africa, Malaysia and India) dealt extensively with Islam).
2. Colonialism strengthened Islam (in many cases, at the expense of Christianity). (For e.g the British discouraged missionaries from evangelism in Islamic areas, empowered the local Islamic leaders, had Islamic Emirs rule over christians and animists and incorporated Shari'a into the penal code).

Muslims understand the Europeans. Muslims were the most favored colonials - and they know it. Today they are the most favored immigrants. This is not just a 'liberals love Islam thing'. (The Conservative establishment in Britain and the French establishment is full of 'Arabists').

There is something hardwired in the minds of European policy leaders (past and present) that prevents them from dealing with Islam in a balanced manner.

Frogg, USA

America was late to WWII? OK. But keep in mind:

1. There were 18 countries fighting for the Allies before the US entered. 37 countries joined after the US.

2. The major players to bring about victory were the US/Russia/UK.

3. Prior to WWII America was sick and tired of European wars. We wanted no part of it anymore. Congress had passed a series of laws restricting any actions we took in European wars several years before WWII (Neautrality Acts).

4. The first battle won against the Axis was by the UK (Battle of Britain). The US was aiding cash strapped Britain (money first, later transferring 50 destroyers to Britain, and some naval assistance, etc).

5. Things were going very poorly for the Allies until after the US entered the war.

6. UK broke the German code; US broke Japan's code.

7. The US was helping China fund it's war against Japan as far back as 1938 (25 mil).

We can honor all acts of courage and contributions made by countires and resistance fighters; but it is beyond ridiculous to say that all contributors to the war were "equal". Russia and Poland gave the greatest sacrifice in lives (if memory serves me correctly). The UK saw the Nazi threat earlier than most and was one of the first to take on the fight, etc. And, Victory had much to do with the alliance of the UK/Russia/US and co-operative strategic vision. America's entrance into the war and contribution was a major turning point towards that victory.

global smobal. Perspective is perspective; but, facts are facts.

The global community was telling Churchill to shut up in his warnings against Hitler and refused to listen. President Roosevelt was viewed as very controvercial at the time when trying to get the peace loving nations to act aggressively to quaranteen Germany, Italy, and Japan two years before WWII. He saw the peril of a war coming and was trying to gather nations to prevent it.

History does repeat itself, doesn't it?

Americans don't see things from a global perspective? It is more like Europe sees history through an anti-Ameican perspective. What's needed is history from a historical perspective.

Anti-Americanism pre-dates even America (look at the early writings about the "New World" by Europeans).

I'm beginning to think that French writer Bernard Henri Levy was right when he said that much of European distain for America comes from its own fascist tendency.

I've always admired Britain. She is "first" to lead the world in the right directions (fight against Hitler, ending slavery, etc). GWOT is no different. And, it is America who often follows Britain's lead. The partnership is critical to a more peaceful/prosperous world.

Steevo

Tony, you claim you admire America? How so. Your standard for our enterance into WWII is "idealist". Boy did we fall short huh. But I can't help to wonder, was the UK idealist? Was anyone? If so, how were we less? What I learned is it was essential for survival and freedom from tyranny. A few more quick points tho. We were sending plenty of supplies before entering and we highly suspected we'd have it out with Japan. Not a pretty picture on both sides of the world. And we pretty much had it because of WWI - what the hey did that get us? Idealism? Well, you know, I kinda think so. Up until WWII that is.

You claim to admire America? An army of "occupation". Hmm. That kinda sounds... well, we get your picture. And with the Germans of all peoples. We weren't good buddies with Japan either. I mean, our forces were there too. Darn, are we tyrants, occupiers... what ever.

Tell me Tony, are you on the "oil for blood" bandwagon with our intentions for going into Iraq? Is Cheny in it for Halleburton? Does America have any will for humanity? Are you a 9/11 truther? Are we a nation with no conscience. Maybe even, no concept, to understand the need for good and to fight evil?

"atheling, your anger has dulled your wits."

Seems to me you have no problem voicing gut-ugly anti-Americanism and without much wit to boot to be pointing your finger.

Its easy for me to have second thoughts toward people who are bent on the side of revisionism to paint American sacrifice of blood and money as self-interest big business yada yada. Not much thought there, just the worst case some wanna believe. Like all Evangelicals are rapture freaks, or it was something like that right. You're increasingly reminding me of the trendy puppets bought and sold. Simple-minded narrow-minded. An ego... shattered in poodle-dog-Blair syndrome.

Tony Makara

Steevo, Americans need to understand that people around the world are greatly saddened by events in Iraq. The who exercize has been a debacle. The reasons for the invasion are manifold. To fulfill the neo-con's geopolitical objectives being the main one. Tony Blair, to my mind, enjoyed the publicity he milked from 9/11 and was beholden to George Bush thereafter and couldn't say "No" when Bush wanted Blair onside over Iraq.

Of course the American presence in Germany after WW2 was an army of occuption. What else were they doing there? They weren't tourists! They were there for the same reasons the UK were there, to occuppy the country and ensure that it didn't fall under Soviet influence. Remember the DDR and the whole eastern bloc was next door.

I do admire America and the many fine things that have come from that great country. I criticize America, or rather the neo-cons, as a friend rather than a foe.

Can anyone in America claim that the invasion of Iraq has been a success? George Bush can hardly claim the moral high ground when he offered Saddam and his sons safe passage out of Iraq if Saddam were to relinquish power. That would hardly have been justice for the gassed Kurds would it?

Frogg, USA

Tony, inisurgencies typically last a decade. This one seems to be winding down in four years. And, yes, haven't you been reading the news....

the surge has turned the tide in Iraq and the majority of Americans see the progress now. We are inpatient to a fault. We have a "can do" attitude. American disappointment was that the "can do" was "taking too long".

Michael Yon posted a photograph of Muslims helping Christians put a cross back up on their church recently -- the church was full of Muslims who wanted their picture taken (familiar neighborhood faces) with the message "Christians come Home".

Getting rid of Saddam was a good thing. You would see it, also, if you didn't have anti-American blinders on.

Simon R

World events are rarely as clear cut as they might seem. America's contribution to the successful outcome of the Second World War was vast, but it must be remembered that it was primarily the economic privations in Wiemar Germany which lead to the downfall of liberal democracy and Hitler's rise to power. These conditions were in large part due to America's faulty stewardship of the world economy when it assumed leadership from Britain after World War 1. The breakdown of international trade was a direct result of the cycical structure of international debt created by America's refusal to forgive or reduce its war debts, which then broke down when the economic downturn led America to raise tariff barriers and recall its loans. The ensuing poverty meant vast numbers turned their backs on conventional politics and engaged with parties like the National Socialists, who promised 'bread and work'. This is one of the reasons why the U.S. sensibly chose to rebuild Germany and Japan after the Second World War. The Marshall Plan was a direct contrast to the Smoot-Hawley tariff etc -the disastrously insular and short termist American economic policies of the interwar period.

Simon R

Also, if the Marshall Plan was such a selfless act, one wonders why none of the funds went to rebuilding the shattered infrastructure of Britain, a faithful ally of the U.S., who had been fighting the Nazi war machine for 6 years. It was quite simply because Britain had no geographical strategic value, and was already being viewed as an economic competitor to the U.S. This is fair enough -America owed us nothing, but it surely indicates that America was seeing to its own interests after World War 2, rather than simply pouring its bounteous generosity on a broken continent.

Steevo

Tony don't give me this "greatly saddened" bit. MOST around the world don't give a hoot about the Iraqis. Only the Iraqis, Americans who care and want success and a handful of others. I don't know what the "who exercise" is about but like I said you're bought and sold. "Neo-con's geopolitical objectives"... oh my, words of dark ulterior motives. Like I said, blood for oil? As we discussed before you don't even think about the Iraqis. And I'll remind you again this has been an ongoing history whether or not it was smart to invade. That's history almost 5 years ago. It is the Iraqis who want us there, now. You have no say. The "world" has no say. Your idea of "idealism" here can't speak of the pit falls of self-interest when you've shown no concern for present day humanity.

As far as Blair goes I gotta say too bad if you hate the man. And you lost just over 150 men in your efforts in almost 5 years, again too bad but its time to get over it and quit wallowing in resentment and crushed pride.

Its our war now, not yours. Its the people of Iraq's war and the remainder coalition forces. And by the way since you don't speak of this reality now - we're WINNING. And if you don't wanna talk about that... don't pick and chose what you do. Current reality is where its at. READ where it counts if you have any substance in your values intrinsic to idealism. Like Frogg said: "Getting rid of Saddam was a good thing. You would see it, also, if you didn't have anti-American blinders on."

Iraq may well be a success, moreso now than ever before if trends continue. I have hope with a positive attitude - like many, including a growing number of Iraqi citizens experiencing the fruits of freedom from evil as efforts continue. That's the difference in what hope for good means, and prejudiced ego with twisted resentment.

And I don't really know what your initial point was to bring up our "occupation". I thought you meant it was something bad, maybe not idealist enough for your standard of approval. I'm glad to know you do approve, right?

Simon, nobody said the Marshall Plan was "such a selfless act". We were in WWII for our survival like every one of the Allies. Our government just can't use our earned money for altruistic purposes; you know each and every working American's time, sweat and what it takes to live a life. But its not fair to say many, I say even most Americans didn't care nor want Europeans to benefit from the fruits of democracy. Especially in the UK. Sweeping statements like it was some big business conspiracy do not tell the picture.

Tony Makara

Frogg, interesting points and I agree that no-one can argue that Saddam was a tyrant who will be missed by no-one. A tyrant who was initially funded by the USA, we've all seen the picture of Rumfeld bowing to Saddam, and Saddam was a tryant who was offered safe passage out of Iraq by George Bush as late as 2003, so much for justice for the Kurds. Frogg, I agree that the surge has made some progress on the ground but I'm sure you will agree the focus has to be on the post-occupation political settlement, which looks as far away as ever.

Simon R, I have to say I agree with every point you make. You show a good analysis of history, cause and effect and do so in an objective way. Very good piece.

Steevo, I take it you will be volunteering to undertake auxiliary work with some of the contractors seeing as you think its 'your war' and you are so keen to support it . What was it George Orwell said:

"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting"?.

If you are an ex-serviceman I exonerate you from that quote, I don't blame the brave solidiers who do their duty, but rather blame the politicians who start wars based on lies, I also blame those who sabre-rattle from the comfort of an armchair.

Malcolm Dunn

Well said Tony. N.B. In World War 2 didn't Germany declare war on the USA rather than the other way round?

Tony Makara

Malcolm Dunn, yes, I'm pretty sure they did to honour their tripartite treaty and the Germans perhaps hoped it might give the USSR a potential worry in the east. At that time memories of the Russo-Sino war would have still been relatively fresh with it being only thirty or so years before.

Steevo

"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting"?

That's correct Tony and you have shown much of this in your 'interpretations' not really knowing or caring what is going on.

"I also blame those who sabre-rattle from the comfort of an armchair."

Again in your complete ignorance and refusal to acknowledge what is going on... I'm in agreement with just about every man and woman in uniform there. And... the overwhelming majority of Iraqis. You, Tony, rattle self-righteously on the other side of the world, your country's servicemen out of action and going home. You don't speak for anyone in Iraq. To the contrary.

There's one more reason why I hope for victory in Iraq. Not at all a high priority but nice just the same. To watch miserable egos point a finger of 'blame' 10 years from now.

"I agree that the surge has made some progress on the ground but I'm sure you will agree the focus has to be on the post-occupation political settlement, which looks as far away as ever."

Oh heck the same ole line. You've had no clue all along. Its just one more angle for your excuse to trash all hope. Pathetic and self-serving hatred of Bush and American power.

You talk about Orwell when so in the dark. Bought and sold on so much simple-minded narrow-minded love of what satisfies a sick soul.

LOL you admire America. Well I guess you kinda have to say that otherwise... the glove fits for the anti-American.

Tony Makara

Steevo, let's hope that things work out in Iraq.

Simon

Steevo, do you think it possible to dispute the causes of the Iraq war, and/or find fault with some of the actions taken by the coalition forces without being a rabid anti-American? It seems not. You happen to think that the resources were well spent and that the death toll, civilian and military, is acceptable for the sake of ridding Iraq of a repressive dictatorship and attempting to replace it with a democratic system. Others disagree. There is really no need to demonise your opponents just for holding a different viewpoint.

Steevo

Simon we've been in this discussion before, at length. The question really should be why don't you and others like-minded stop the blame game and get on with ongoing reality. You've shown no genuine indicators for hope. Nothing from the heart for the Iraqis. Nothing of intelligence for strategic concerns if this does not succeed and the consequences for world terror and warfare. Nothing. This is why I focus on the positive - albeit positive with factual evidence and not ignorance and indifference driven by never-ending resentment.

It is very reasonable to question and dispute the reasons for going into Iraq. I've stated here before, I wasn't for it until, Saddam stalled all the way to our build up of 200,000. I then figured like many others who will not admit it now there probably were WMD. BTW it has not been 'proven' they were not there. Israeli intelligence even said he had plenty of time in the delay to move them via train to Syria. There's actually a lot of evidence leading to a reasonable conclusion they were there but i'm starting to go off on a tangent from your post. And I don't happen to think anything is 'acceptable'. You have given what amounts to a lot of unacceptable facts and reasoning. We both know how our previous at-length discussion went. My counterpoints to yours could not be easily answered or even responded to by you. And to demonise my opponents? This is extremely personal with you guys and as far as I'm concerned I'm refuting the demonising. Simon, motivations are literally everything with this one. You know, you should read Iraqi bloggers. You'd think they were using my words or vise verse.

I don't like discussions about Iraq. Even tho you and I differ a lot I still feel your OK, and Tony too. Actually with him I have a lot in common about conservative policy and the role of government in our lives even tho he's Brit and I American. As long as this subject is kept in its place as a rather unique situation, maybe matters can be more congenial with other topics.

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