One is not supposed to speak ill of the dead


So I would like to point out that Charles Manson never:

  • poisoned Indian lands with a leaky oil pipeline;

  • invited and enabled the slaughter of elephants;

  • built cheesy gilded hotels and casinos;

  • ripped off the contractors who built his hotels;

  • voted for tax breaks for the obscenely rich;

  • conspired with the Russians to subvert elections;

  • got elected to congress;

  • appointed far right conservatives to the Supreme Court;

  • or was elected president.

I’m still glad the old monster is dead.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    Manson manipulated his female acolytes for sex, so yes.
    — — — — — — — —
    BTW, the front guy in AC/DC has died after a decade of dementia :-(
    A lso, a prominent country artist (I forgot the name) has died.
    And in Sweden, the artist Rickard Wolff has died after fighting chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, a nasty way to go. Eventually, you need a lung transplant to survive.
    BTW Wolff was the first openly gay artist to win over a broad Swedish audience, he was something of a polymath.

  2. specialffrog says

    I’m surprised more freeze peach enthusiasts weren’t lobbying for Manson to be released. Wasnt his defence that he didn’t kill anyone himself but just said stuff?

  3. weylguy says

    The atrocities that Manson and his acolytes committed are no different than the ones committed by U.S. soldiers who raped, mutilated and slaughtered Iraqi women in the Iraq War. Like Manson, the ones who were caught went to prison, but I don’t hear anyone referring to them as monsters, just poor misguided sons of our glorious, heroic military.

  4. thirdmill says

    Ol’ Charlie probably felt he could finally rest in peace since someone who shares his racial views is finally in the White House.

  5. thirdmill says

    Weylguy, that’s one of the most dishonest comments I’ve ever read. I don’t specifically recall if anyone used the word “monster” but that conduct was harshly and unambiguously condemned in the strongest of terms, from the Secretary of Defense on down. Virtually the entire Pentagon said the perps were vile and despicable and, as you point out, the ones that were caught went to jail.

  6. Ragutis says

    Evil comes in many colors. Sadly, Manson made no attempt to recant or redeem/rehabilitate himself. I doubt many (or any) implied in PZ’s post will ever do so as well.

  7. robro says

    conspired with the Russians to subvert elections;

    Not so much “Russians” as billionaires of many different nationalities, including Americans. I bet Manson never put any of his billions in off-shore bank accounts or set up family foundations to evade taxes.

    David Cassidy is in critical condition with organ failure, and is in a medically-induced coma. He also has dementia.

  8. Vivec says

    @8
    And yet the US military command (who I’d argue mirror Manson far better than the individual soldiers) that enabled said war crimes by engaging in a foreign invasion for lebensraum natural resources and nationalistic consolidation of political power remain as free as the day they were born.

    But don’t worry, they shifted the blame onto the individual soldiers who committed the war crimes, so it’s all good.

  9. thirdmill says

    Vivec, No. 14, you are correct that others should be in prison too, but that observation misses the mark. My response was directed at a comment comparing the military to Manson. Among many other differences, the military has a policy of not engaging in atrocities (or at least trying not to), and individuals who do act in violation of policy rather than in furtherance of it, and are punished when caught. This is in contrast to Manson, whose policy was to inflict as much suffering on his victims as possible.

    Granted, when there’s a war going on, atrocities happen, which is a pretty good argument for trying to avoid war whenever possible. But the nonsensical moral equivalence you and weylguy are positing (and that required a thread hijack since it’s not even relevant to Manson) are a good example of why some moderate voters who might otherwise be inclined to give progressive policies a hearing, instead simply say the left is completely nuts and stop listening. If you seriously think Manson and the Pentagon are morally equivalent, you are entitled to your opinion, but don’t be surprised if you mostly get raspberries from people who might have otherwise listened to you on other issues.

  10. KG says

    If you seriously think Manson and the Pentagon are morally equivalent – thirdmill@16

    That would be outrageous. Manson’s known victims didn’t even reach double figures. The Pentagon has killed millions.

  11. Vivec says

    @16
    I’d argue that, if we’re using personal responsibility for promoting human suffering as our metric, the Pentagon are many orders of magnitude worse than Manson.

    Also, even if I was interested in trying to convert “moderates” to liberalism, I wouldn’t be doing it here. This is, after all, the comment section for an exceptionally liberal atheist blog.

  12. Holms says

    #3
    BTW, the front guy in AC/DC has died after a decade of dementia :-(

    AC/DC’s rythm guitarist – not front guy – Malcolm Young. And given that AC/DC is pretty much all about starting with a riff and then building a song around that, he was regarded as the core of their sound.

  13. thirdmill says

    Vivec, if you would argue that, you’re a complete idiot because that’s just stupid. And speaking as someone who myself is more left of center than anything else, I’m not concerned about your comments on this blog; I’m concerned about comments such as yours published to the general public that help Republicans win elections because the left gets written off as stupid.

  14. microraptor says

    thirdmill @20:

    Something written by a semi-anonymous individual in the comments section of a biology teacher’s blog isn’t helping Republicans win elections, regardless of what it says. Anyone who cites it as evidence for anything about the left is already a foaming-at-the-mouth conservative who would never ally with liberals in the first place, so the kind of self-censorship you’re calling for is pointless.

  15. KG says

    thirdmill@20,

    What is genuinely stupid is the failure to realize that people are just as dead when they are killed on the orders of the Pentagon (explicitly, as “collateral damage”, or by allies such as Saudi Arabia) as they are when killed by or on the orders of individual psychpaths.

  16. Vivec says

    @20
    Anyone who is stupid enough to base their voting decisions on the comments they see online is sufficiently malleable that any competing internet ideologue would win them over way better than I ever could. Furthermore, the readership of a notably liberal atheist blog are unlikely to be malleable “moderates”.

    In regards to my point being stupid: explain how indirect responsibility for millions of deaths is not morally worse than indirect responsibility for a handful of people.

  17. thirdmill says

    OK, let’s back up a minute.

    I am a progressive who is sick and tired of progressives losing elections that we ought to win because progressives don’t seem to understand how politics works. There is no reason Donald Trump should be president except progressive stupidity. There’s a wonderful Biblical quotation in which Jesus exhorts his followers to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves, but we seem to have inverted it and become as wise as doves and harmless as serpents.

    There is much that the Pentagon has done over the past 200 years that is vile and despicable. At the same time, we live in a dangerous world in which other people — both state actors and non-state actors — want to crash the American economy, engage in terrorism specifically designed to kill lots of Americans, engage in espionage against American companies, steal our trade secrets, and disadvantage us in the world. 9/11 really did happen. Chinese and Russian high-tech sabotage really does happen. And like it or not, the American security apparatus, including the Pentagon, is sometimes the only thing that stands between us and those results. That’s the world we live in; not the world we wish we lived in. And pretending we live in any other world is no more efficacious than living in any other fantasy. It’s called real politics.

    So yes, curb abuses and do what can be done to prevent atrocities, but if you’re seriously going to suggest a moral equivalency between Manson and the Joint Chiefs, out in public where everyone can hear you, the middle swath of the country (which does understand real politics) is simply going to write you off and tune you out. And the fact that you have a point about the Pentagon will be cold comfort when people lose health care, social security, abortion rights, and progressive judges because those public comments help elect Republicans.

    In my case, shoot the messenger if you like, but what I’ve just described really is how things work.

  18. John Morales says

    thirdmill:

    […] And like it or not, the American security apparatus, including the Pentagon, is sometimes the only thing that stands between us and those results.

    You sure you’ve got cause and effect correct?

  19. Vivec says

    @24
    Was it necessary to our national security that we invaded and desposed a foreign power that we helped establish with no clear ties to the most pressing national threat at the time?

    If not, is our military command partially responsible for the war crimes that happen as a direct result if their leadership?

    If they aren’t, why is Manson culpable for the murders that happened as a direct result of his leadership?

    If the point of your little spiel is that I have to overlook the state sponsored murder of innocents for political expediency, fuck you and fuck anyone who uses that kind of tactic to get into power.

    If not, why are

  20. thirdmill says

    Vivec, if you’re referring to the Iraq invasion, I agree with you that that should not have happened, but most of the really awful stuff that followed wasn’t done by Americans. The Allies did far worse to Germany and Japan in World War II, but Germany and Japan managed to transition to stable, liberal democracies in a brief period of time. The reason Iraq could not do the same was because of religious intolerance between Sunni and Shia (and their respective sponsors, Saudi Arabia and Iran), massive corruption, kleptocracy, lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights by the Iraqis themselves, plus ISIS added to the mix. The American policymakers failed to appreciate in advance what a mess they were making, but that is not the same thing as directly telling your followers to go kill a bunch of innocent people, which is what Charles Manson did.

    Can you honestly not see the difference between unintended consequences caused by lack of planning (Iraq) and intentionally killing people in groups (Manson)? You’re making a very flawed false equivalency.

  21. thirdmill says

    John Morales, if the American security apparatus disappeared tomorrow, we would still be the targets of cyber espionage, terrorist attacks, and hacking of our elections, because we’re rich and they’re not. We have stuff that they want. So no, I have not upended cause and effect.

  22. John Morales says

    thirdmill, recent history* doesn’t matter one whit, then, as you figure it. Forgive and forget and all that, right? You might care to consider Omar Khayyam: “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”. Just as the legacy of the USA’s embrace of slavery lingers yet, so does the legacy of its hegemony.

    * And by recent, I mean the last hundred years or so. At least.

    As for the security apparatus, well. There’s a bit more to it than that.

    (Are you in any way familiar with Noam Chomsky’s theses?)

    And now, a musical interlude: Harry Belafonte Day-O ( Banana Boat )

    (You have heard the term “banana republic”, no?)

  23. John Morales says

    PS

    Can you honestly not see the difference between unintended consequences caused by lack of planning (Iraq) and intentionally killing people in groups (Manson)?

    OK, you really are unfamiliar with Chomsky — and with reality.

    What actually happened is what every single non-invested party feared would happen; that you imagine it was unintended merely demonstrates how naive you are.

  24. Vivec says

    @28
    As far as I’m concerned, our motivations and “handling” of the Iraq war was little better than Germany invading poland (replace lebensraum with regional resource access and intense ethnic hatred of degenerate races with….intense ethnic hatred of degenerate races lol), and our military leadership is no less culpable for the murder and war crimes than Hitler was for those that happened in Poland.

    The only reasonable difference you can draw is that we didn’t put the Iraqi’s in death camps.

    How absolutely magnanimous of us.

  25. Vivec says

    Also maybe if we wanted regional stability, we shouldnt destroy democratically elected regimes and install puppet governments.

    Food for thought.

  26. John Morales says

    [Not really on topic, but important]

    chigau, ta. It’s a botched link, I didn’t properly close the tag and WordPress “fixed” that for me.

    I do wonder how many people are aware of its significance, though:
    “[…]
    work all night on a drink of rum
    day light come and me wanna go home
    […]”

    (I wonder how many readers are aware of Jorge Ubico and the United Fruit Company, for example)

  27. chigau (違う) says

    Vivec #34
    What about regimes that occurred by some method other than democracy?
    I am not trying to picking a fight, it’s just that, sometimes, I am not all that impressed by democracy.

  28. John Morales says

    chigau, actually, it was not just you comment that motivated me, Vivec’s did too — which is why I chose that specific example.

    (Don’t like the term ‘democracy’? Fine. Substitute ‘self-determination’, it won’t change the claim in any substantial way)

  29. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #35
    There is also the California and Hawaiian Sugar Company.
    The Wikipedia article is currently remarkably lacking in references to genocide.

  30. Vivec says

    @36
    Well, democracy is relevant because a great deal of our colonialist history has us deposing democratically elected governments that don’t like us, but you have a salient point (as in, it was fucked to depose the Hawaiian Monarchy too).

    As a general rule I don’t think we should be desposing foreign governments at all, especially when there’s no actual national security reason.

  31. John Morales says

    chigau, indeed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_plantations_in_Hawaii is a little more forthcoming, FWTW.

    But it’s understandable how people like thirdmill have a mistaken impression about the USA’s effect on other countries and don’t “get it” when it comes to antipathy and suspicion. The pattern of behaviour is undeniable — which is not to say that it’s also done some good things.

    Anyway, if you’re still reading, thirdmill, please be aware that your opinions may not be fully-informed.

    (Hell, I myself probably don’t really “get it”, I’m just a tad less ignorant than the general populace and perhaps a bit more cynical)

  32. thirdmill says

    Well, Vivec, Saddam Hussein did try to assassinate the first President Bush, and wars have been started on far less provocation than that.

    Look, I’m not going to pretend that our motives in invading Iraq were pure; they weren’t. By the same token, don’t blame the Americans for bad stuff the Iraqis mostly did to themselves. If I throw a rock through your window, I shouldn’t have done that, but if you then use that as an excuse to burn your house to the ground, I’m not sure it’s fair to blame me for the rubble that results.

  33. Vivec says

    @42
    The “alleged” assassination attempt that happened under a previous administration and was never officially cited as a reason to go to war? Please.

    It totally wasn’t a false claim of WMD’s and a desire to render the area more amenable to western interests and resource collection.

    Also, I’m not blaming the US for Iraqi on Iraqi deaths, I’m blaming the US for invading a foreign country and massacreing innocents on bullshit pretenses.

  34. John Morales says

    thirdmill:

    Well, Vivec, Saddam Hussein did try to assassinate the first President Bush, and wars have been started on far less provocation than that.

    Wow. Just… wow.

    You almost seem to revel in your ignorance. Duly noted, but I did at least try to get you to think.

    (Do you imagine the USA is somehow inferior at assassination? Of course not. USA! USA!)

    By the same token, don’t blame the Americans for bad stuff the Iraqis mostly did to themselves.

    Very informative.

    (Sure, Iraq — a secular society though a nasty dictatorship at the time — destroyed their own infrastructure, their social support networks, and their own environment quite independently of anything the USA did.)

    If I throw a rock through your window, I shouldn’t have done that, but if you then use that as an excuse to burn your house to the ground, I’m not sure it’s fair to blame me for the rubble that results.

    No worries. If you slap my face and I then crush your skull with a mace, you would not be sure it’s fair to blame me for the results. Quite the proportionate response.

    (What you forget to note is why I slapped your face in the first place. Must have been unprovoked, right?
    And that’s leaving aside that Iraq had pretty much zero to do with Osama… well, until Saddam “found” religion after the first Gulf War. So yeah, I should crush the skull of one of the people in your neighbourhood if you slap my face, were I to follow the USA model, and only then crush your skull. Not sure it’s fair, but hey, there’s precedent)

  35. John Morales says

    … and to get back to topic, one of the things about Manson is that he never admitted any guilt — quite the opposite. So, it’s not just what he did, it’s his smug self-justification and non-remorse that made him a monster.

    (The analogy is not inapposite, but)

  36. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #43

    …it’s his smug self-justification and non-remorse that made him a monster

    Yes. I agree.

  37. Ichthyic says

    good example of why some moderate voters who might otherwise be inclined to give progressive policies a hearing, instead simply say the left is completely nuts and stop listening.

    why is it that self-proclaimed “moderates” so often resort to extortion?

    you have no legitimate point, but must threaten everyone to avoid any unpleasantness in your failed world view?

    how’s that work?

  38. Ichthyic says

    By the same token, don’t blame the Americans for bad stuff the Iraqis mostly did to themselves.

    now where have I heard a very similar argument before…

    Oh yes! It was: “The REAL problem is black on black crime! that’s where the focus should be!”

    TurdSpill pretends to be a moderate, then a progressive… can’t see they are little more than an ignorant racist asshat.

    Pick up a mirror at your nearest grocery store sometime. they’re not expensive.

  39. thirdmill says

    Ichthyic, nobody’s being extorted. What’s being said is that if you say stupid things like the Pentagon is morally equivalent to Charles Manson, you should expect to be marginalized.

    John, and Vivec, after we invaded Iraq we pumped billions of dollars into their economy. We did more for their infrastructure than we did for our own. We gave them the foundation for a democratic government. In short, we would have left them far better off than we found them had they not then proceeded to destroy their own country. None of that is Manson-like behavior.

  40. thirdmill says

    John, the point about real politics that you’re still not getting is that global politics is a form of organized crime in which there are no good guys. The field is populated entirely by crooks, thugs and scoundrels, and a decent human being would last about ten minutes before being eaten alive. So when you make arguments like “The US engages in assassinations too,” your point is both true and completely irrelevant.

    Given that reality, and it is reality whether you like it or not, the question on any given policy is whether it produces good results. Is the world a better place for X action having been taken. In the case of the Iraq invasion, the world was not better off (though I would argue that most of the fault for that lies with the Iraqis who trashed their own country as soon as Saddam was gone). Had the invasion led to a stable, peaceful, democratic Iraq, my answer would be different. If I had a magic button I could push that would create regime change in North Korea, I would push it so fast my finger would be in danger of suffering a sprain. You may not like that approach, but at this stage of our evolutionary development it seems to be the best we can do.

  41. Saad says

    thirdmill, #49

    In short, we would have left them far better off than we found them had they not then proceeded to destroy their own country.

    You’re making it really bad for yourself. You should have stopped a few posts ago.

  42. Vivec says

    @49

    John, and Vivec, after we invaded Iraq we pumped billions of dollars into their economy.

    Consider that one could make the same argument about the pilgrims in the east coast, the conquistadors in southern america, or the US in Hawaii.

    You can’t retroactively justify invasions, assassinations, and near genocide just because we put money into solidifying our hold on the country after the fact.

    Also, not really sure where you come off calling yourself remotely liberal, when you’re spouting this White Man’s Burden and making excuses for a war most modern rethugs dobt even support.

  43. Vivec says

    Given that reality, and it is reality whether you like it or not, the question on any given policy is whether it produces good results.

    Not everyone is a hard consequentialist that will excuse a few war crimes if it benefits the many.

  44. says

    Is it wrong of me, that I had really hoped that Billy Graham would have died yesterday so I could have made a posting on social media to the effect of this? “a really horrible person, who did a huge amount of damage to the country and offended the sensibilities of good people everywhere, has died. I will not mourn the passing of Billy Graham”.

  45. KG says

    John, the point about real politics that you’re still not getting is that global politics is a form of organized crime in which there are no good guys. – thirdmill@50

    And you’re evidently content to propagandise for the strongest gang of hoods.

    Had the invasion led to a stable, peaceful, democratic Iraq, my answer would be different.

    Had Hurrican Katrina just swept up all the litter in the streets of New Orleans and deposited it neatly in the trash cans…

    One clear sign of your racism is the way you blame “the Iraqis”, who “proceeded to destroy their own country”. You evidently can’t even think of Iraqis as individuals, the great majority of whom have largely been concerned with staying alive, and looking after their families and friends, in the chaos that followed the invasion.

  46. Saad says

    Can you invade a country, defeat its military, drop tons of bombs, kill thousands upon thousands of civilians, and occupy it for over a decade and then wonder why the country isn’t back on its feet and prospering in a couple of years?

    You’re talking imperialist minded, white man’s burden garbage.

  47. thirdmill says

    Saad, No 56: “Can you invade a country . . . and then wonder why the country isn’t back on its feet and prospering in a couple of years?”

    Well, maybe not a *couple* of years, but that’s basically what happened with Japan and Germany after World War II. Each of those countries was in far worse shape than Iraq was after the American invasion. Perhaps you could enlighten us on why you think they could do it but Iraq couldn’t?

    KG, No 55, when all else fails, call your opponent a racist. No, the Iraqis are not a monolithic group, but the people doing the suicide bombings, blowing up markets and mosques, engaging in kleptocracy and corruption (and blatant tribalism), weren’t American military. So my comment is of a kind with “Christianity ruined the South.” Not all Christians, no, and Christianity isn’t a monolith either, but neither would that be an inaccurate statement.

    Vivec, I’m not making excuses for an invasion I’ve already said was a bad idea. Just pointing out that it’s a flawed moral equivalency to compare the US military to the Manson family. And Vivec, before you criticize consequentialism, it’s another reality that consequences are what people will ultimately have to live with.

  48. Vivec says

    @57

    Just pointing out that it’s a flawed moral equivalency to compare the US military to the Manson family.

    Claiming something without justification =!= “pointing it out”

    Unless you can actually make a case better than “ur dumb if you think this lel” then I don’t really care how many times you repeat the same idea. The US is no less responsible for the war crimes committed by its underlings than Hitler was for the actions in Poland or Manson was for the actions of his cultists.

    And Vivec, before you criticize consequentialism, it’s another reality that consequences are what people will ultimately have to live with.

    Yes, consequences exist, but I reject that they are the sole arbiter of morality, or even a significant one.

    There are things that it is wrong to do, regardless of whether or not they have good effects.

    Killing a few thousand innocents to save more is still a fucking war crime, and the people in charge of those committing the war crimes partially share the blame.

  49. Vivec says

    @57

    Perhaps you could enlighten us on why you think they could do it but Iraq couldn’t?

    Both countries had a comparatively modern infrastructure in place and several world superpowers interested in their rehabilitation.

    Germany’s also, y’know, a white country and a long-running member of the white european good ol’ boy’s club. So, y’know.

    Yeah.

    when all else fails, call your opponent a racist.

    You being a racist making excuses for imperialist massacres is completely separate from the fact that you shrug off every valid criticism of your inane position in a way that’d leave David Icke’s head spinning.

    No, the Iraqis are not a monolithic group, but the people doing the suicide bombings, blowing up markets and mosques, engaging in kleptocracy and corruption (and blatant tribalism), weren’t American military.

    Yeah, we’re just the ones that have repeatedly destabilized the region in order to wage a proxy war against the Soviets and win access to regional resources. If I knock 3/4 of the support beams of your house down, I bear the fucking blame when your house collapses in on itself.

  50. Saad says

    thirdmill, #57

    Perhaps you could enlighten us on why you think they could do it but Iraq couldn’t?

    The differences and similarities between pre- and post-war Iraq and Germany/Japan seems like a whole research project.

    But I do know that going “Germany and Japan turned out fine after World War II. What are those Iraqis waiting for?” is quite an ignorant position (or one that is not in good faith).

  51. thirdmill says

    Vivec, No. 58, be as self righteous as you like, but we live in a world in which sometimes there are no perfect options and any action at all — including doing nothing — will cause pain and suffering. On the other side of your ledger, the people no longer being tortured and murdered by Saddam Hussein were probably happy to see us.

    And No. 59 — “both countries had a comparatively modern infrastructure and several superpowers interested in their rehabilitation”. The first part is just wrong on the facts; the German and Japanese infrastructures had been completely wiped out by the Allies. And the second was also true of Iraq; both the US and the EU were pouring billions of dollars into trying to get it up and running again. And at some point, after billions of dollars of rehabilitation have been poured into it, you can only continue to blame the original invasion for so long. We didn’t knock out 3/4 of their foundation; we took out Saddam Hussein and rebuilt what we’d destroyed.

    And if the best you can do is to call me a racist, I accept your concession. In the first place, I’m not, and in the second place, even if I were my arguments would still stand or fall on their own merits.

    And Saad, No. 60, OK, so you don’t know the answer to my question but you do know that my answer is wrong. Got it.

  52. KG says

    KG, No 55, when all else fails, call your opponent a racist. – thirdmill@
    Nope – when your opponent makes clear by their statements that they are racist, call them racist.

    No, the Iraqis are not a monolithic group,

    But until this very point, you have always referred to them as such – which is extremely telling.

    but the people doing the suicide bombings, blowing up markets and mosques, engaging in kleptocracy and corruption (and blatant tribalism), weren’t American military.

    The people who devastated Falluja certainly were. And the people who disbanded the armed forces, with the result that large numbers of weapons and people trained to use them were readily available to the sectarian forces that were a readily predictable (and predicted) development were American. As were many of those who profited from the money “poured in” – much of which poured out again.

    The comparison with post- WWII Japan and Germany is quite ludicrously ignorant. It is true both had been extensively damaged by bombing – but both (unlike Iraq) had been near the global forefront of industrial development a few years earlier, and the USA had the strongest possible motive (rivalry with the USSR) for helping them return to that state – in a position subordinate to American interests, certainly, but as advanced industrial economies. Iraq’s role was to be an extended military base, a supplier of oil, and a place for American corporations to make money.

  53. Vivec says

    @62

    The first part is just wrong on the facts; the German and Japanese infrastructures had been completely wiped out by the Allies.

    No shit Sherlock, but Germany and Japan both had relatively modern infrastructure in place prior to the allies attacking them, which made the return to normalcy easier.

    Also, as I and KG mentioned, both Germany and Japan had multiple world superpowers working to rebuild them, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And if the best you can do is to call me a racist, I accept your concession.

    Learn to fucking read. I’m not conceding anything – calling you a racist is a valid but completely tangential digression.

    On the other side of your ledger, the people no longer being tortured and murdered by Saddam Hussein were probably happy to see us.
    Cool. Thank you for proving my point.

    (You get that we helped install Hussein as part of our proxy war with the Soviets in the first place, correct?)

  54. Vivec says

    Fuck, double coding fail.

    On the other side of your ledger, the people no longer being tortured and murdered by Saddam Hussein were probably happy to see us.

    Cool. Thank you for proving my point.
    (You get that we helped install Hussein as part of our proxy war with the Soviets in the first place, correct?)

  55. vucodlak says

    @ thirdmill, #24-

    Of course, 9/11 almost certainly wouldn’t have happened if not for the meddling and murdering of our “security apparatus.” Terrorists don’t target the US for shits and giggles. They do it because we blow up their homes and families, torture people, wreck their economies and lives, and meddle in their politics.

    Bin Laden wasn’t trying to destroy our country when he plotted that attack; he knew he couldn’t destroy the US with his handful of fanatics and dupes. He was trying to goad us into destroying ourselves by overreacting. He had a far better understanding of the political realities of the world than most USians (or, for that matter, than you’ve exhibited here), but I imagine that even he was shocked by how well his plan succeeded.

    I live in the middle swath of country. Most of the people I overhear talking about politics don’t understand a damn thing about what’s actually going on. They know what they’ve been spoon-fed by propaganda outlets, and they know the lies they were taught school. Neither of these things are conducive to understanding political reality.

    As for your comment at #49-

    We took far more from the Iraqis than we gave them. For starters, “Shock and Awe” wasn’t just some ghastly light show. It was the good ol’ US of A blowing up Iraqi power plants, factories, roads, airports, and other vital infrastructure. Then, after Iraq surrendered, we paid US companies to rebuild all that we had destroyed. Most of that money vanished into the pockets of those companies’ shareholders and execs, never to be seen again. Very little rebuilding was done. Essentially, we reduced their nation to rubble, then looted the rubble. On top of that, we installed our puppets in their government (mostly to facilitate our looting) and called it ‘democracy.’

    Oh, and we killed tens of thousands of people, too. Can’t imagine why anyone would be upset about that.

    Imagine a person is robbed and beaten within an inch of their life. Then the robber tosses the victim a dime so that they can call for help. The victim dies before they can call for help because: A.) they couldn’t find a payphone because there aren’t many payphones around anymore, B.) even if they could find one, you can’t make a call on a dime, and C.) the robber broke their arms and legs, so the victim couldn’t actually move.

    Following your logic in this thread, the victim committed suicide. And after all the robber did for them! Talk about ungrateful.

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