Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Paul Krugman on the most important mission of a Democratic Congress 

There has been no end of intramural argument since Glenn Reynolds posted his "pre-mortum" of the probable Republican defeat in November's election. Countless bloggers of the left, right, and quasi-ambivalent have weighed in, as has Rush Limbaugh (whom I have literally never heard on the radio and only seen on television twice, so I don't really get that whole thing, but whose opinion is supposed to count for something). I'm not nearly knowledgeable enough about American politics to know whether the Republicans are, in fact, going to get crushed to the extent that the current handicapping suggests. I do, however, know what the primary activity of the Democrats will be if they do win control of one or both houses of Congress. They will bury the executive branch in subpoenas, much to the delight of their base. How do I know this? Paul Krugman told me in yesterday's column:

There are two reasons why party control is everything in this election.

The first, lesser reason is the demonstrated ability of the Republican Congressional leaders to keep their members in line.... [I]f the Republicans retain control of Congress, even if it's by just one seat in each house, Mr. Bush will retain that free hand. If they lose control of either house, the G.O.P. juggernaut will come to a shuddering halt.

Yet that's the less important reason this election is all about party control. The really important reason may be summed up in two words: subpoena power....

[W]hile the Democrats won't gain the ability to pass laws, if they win they will gain the ability to carry out investigations, and the legal right to compel testimony... Those who think it's a good idea to investigate, say, allegations of cronyism and corruption in Iraq contracting should be aware that any vote cast for a Republican makes Congressional investigations less likely. Those who believe that the administration should be left alone to do its job should be aware that any vote for a Democrat makes investigations more likely.

I must confess that I am in the very unfamiliar position of agreeing with Paul Krugman. If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 17, 10:09:00 PM:

You should listen to Rush when you get a chance. He is by no means perfect but he has an amazing talent for what he does and I very often come away surprised at how really smart he is. He is a huge conservative partisan and sometimes his animosity to the left is too much, but his political instincts and insights are usually spot on. Plus he's funny.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Tue Oct 17, 10:13:00 PM:

"If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats."


By Blogger Final Historian, at Tue Oct 17, 10:31:00 PM:

"If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats."

I suspect that the GOP sees this as the silver lining in the cloud. By 2008, the public will likely be fed up with "investigations."  

By Blogger El Jefe Maximo, at Wed Oct 18, 01:54:00 AM:

Yeah, I guess Krugman had to turn in a column, so he had to dress things up a bit. It's not like he could just come right out and say that the most important "mission" (obsession ?) of a Democratic congress would be to Impeach Bush.

You don't ever have to read Krugman beyond the first line. Whatever parade of horribles Krugman wants to bleat about was caused by Bush.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 08:28:00 AM:

Lets all vote democrat. Impeach in the house with Nancy Pelosi presiding and convict bush in the senate with John Roberts presiding. Impeach in the house with Nancy Pelosi presiding, and convict chaney in the senate with John Roberts presiding.

Can you say President Pelosi with a straight face?

Can you say Vice President Robert Byrd.

Can you say Charles Rangel "I will repeal all of bushes tax cuts"

I hope not :-)  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 08:40:00 AM:

I prefer Prsident Byrd, myself. But that may just be because I'm not that familiar with Pelosi.

Lord God, may it come quickly.  

By Blogger Johnny Nobody, at Wed Oct 18, 09:49:00 AM:

Yeah, you guys are right. It would be easy to find 50 Republican representatives and 15 Republican senators to vote for impeachment. That's totally what this election is about.

Since there is not a reasonable cause to suspect incompetence or wrongdoing on the part of any member of the Bush administration, let's totally not investigate anything, either. Goverment accountability is for pussies.

Man, remember when there were conservatives?  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Wed Oct 18, 10:18:00 AM:

Yes, indeed. Investigations designed specifically to accomplish two objectives:

(1) Provide aid and comfort to our enemy.

(2) Prolong the war.

Yeah, Dan, you go boy.  

By Blogger Wizard of Agnesi, at Wed Oct 18, 10:22:00 AM:

Johnny Nobody:

Just a nitpick: A mere majority in the House is required for impeachment, not 2/3. A 2/3 supermajority in the Senate is required to convict, but that's not the point. The point is to (a) get payback for Clinton's impeachment and (b) force Bush to expend resources on defending himself.  

By Blogger L. C. Staples, at Wed Oct 18, 10:37:00 AM:

But President Bush simply won't defend himself, if it comes to that. He knows there's no 2/3 majority to convict.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 10:39:00 AM:

Goverment accountability is for pussies.

When can we expect the investigations into Harry Reid and his amazingly astute land investments? If we're going to investigate and hold government accountable, let's do it all while we're at it. No double standards, no partisan pay-backs, let's clean it ALL up. The GOP has done a more-or-less good job of pruning the crooks from its ranks, but the Dems are still sheltering Cold-cash Jefferson, and they will shelter Mafia Don Reid.

Oh wait, this isn't about government accountabilty - it's about throwing a temper tantrum. Never mind.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 10:48:00 AM:

Big dig. Could the two Senators (K & K) and their union masters survive a real investigation?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 10:49:00 AM:

In some sense, elections are a learning process for the electorate. The Palestinians voted for Hamas, and look what it got them.

The Dems have been out of power so long people have forgotten what they're like. A couple years of proposing massive tax hikes and obstructing the prosecution of the GWOT, culmintaing in another terrorist attack, should provide ample reminder.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 10:56:00 AM:

Skip said:
"Yes, indeed. Investigations designed specifically to accomplish two objectives...

Yeah, Dan, you go boy."

Well, if it gets that far, you'll just have to take it up with the American people, won't you? Or, as some are fond of saying, if you don't like it here, you can always leave.

And the objectives of the investigation would be:
1. To hold criminals and other gov't leaders accountable
2. To fight the war on terrorism (we can never defeat terrorism by embracing illegality or immorality).

I hope you stay. We're a pretty great nation when we're clinging to our ideals.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 10:58:00 AM:

Yes, of course we don't want the Congress holding anyone accountable for the massive looting of the treasury and incompetence which describes the administration's handling of Iraq, resulting in the deaths of brave Americans.

observer 5  

By Blogger rosignol, at Wed Oct 18, 11:07:00 AM:

Big dig. Could the two Senators (K & K) and their union masters survive a real investigation?

Y'know, I wouldn't mind in the least if we had some happy fun corruption investigations. It would be nice to send some of those bloviating jackasses (in the non-partisan sense) to federal-pound-you-in-the-ass prison and get some fresh faces in DC.

But I don't think that's what the Dems are fantasizing about.

I think they're fantasizing about staging some politically-motivated show trials fishing for evidence proving leftie fantasies are true.

That's not what we need right now.

And I don't want to go through the inevitable payback that will happen when the Dems overreach and get tossed out of power. Again.

Sorry, I'll take stupid and corrupt over insane and self-destructive. The choices suck, but it's not a difficult call to make.  

By Blogger GreatHairGuy, at Wed Oct 18, 11:32:00 AM:

If Byrd became President, would he have any "white ni**ers" working at the White House? It's been a long time since we've had 'sheets' in the WH.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 11:47:00 AM:

Byrd in the White House wouldn't be bad, except all that white sheet fashion would get boring rather quickly.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 11:56:00 AM:

That's pretty lame. Citing something from Byrd's past - 50 years past! - for which he's apologized and from which he's turned.

Most Americans believe in forgiveness and people making changes in their lives for the better.

Perhaps one day, you'll be in that crowd - those who've repented from their earlier, wrong-headed ways.

Shall we continue to castigate W's coke-head, philandering, aimless, spoiled-rich-boy, draft-dodging days? I say no.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 12:02:00 PM:

Actually, Dan, the reference to to "white ni**ers" isn't from 50 years in Byrd's past but from just a couple of years ago. Like most other scandals the press doesn't pursue it if the person has a (D) after their name.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Oct 18, 12:03:00 PM:

I agree with Mr. Trabue. Bringing up Robert Byrd's distant past is only legitimate in retaliation for a lefty bringing up the distant past of a serving conservative politician.

Actually, I'm serious. America is a land of redemption, and Robert Byrd should be allowed his. Just as George Bush quite candidly admits that his life was pretty much a wash-out before the age of 40 and that fact should not be used against him, Byrd's admitted participation in the Klan, now renounced, should not be used against him.

The trick is to admit the problem with sufficient candor. I think Clinton did not adequately confront his own avoidance of Vietnam, and that hurt him severely with the military and the national security constituency.

Not that serving in the Klan and going to study in Germany are on the same moral scale.  

By Blogger Johnny Nobody, at Wed Oct 18, 12:05:00 PM:

Seems to me that, unlike the Republicans of yesteryear, the Democrats know that it would be impossible to impeach this president. Look at party discipline among the Democrats. The only thing they've held it together for is the Bolton nomination. It is simply impossible absent some kind of real smoking gun (I can't even imagine what that would be).

And, assuming you don't deny that corruption, cronyism and incompetence are problems among the Republican party (to say nothing of the Democrats; I understand they're not clean by any measure), would it be better to allow it all to go on unabated, or to have a party in power that would at least attempt to remedy the situation?

And to skipsailing, which party wants to prolong the war?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 12:08:00 PM:

"Shall we continue to castigate W's coke-head, philandering, aimless, spoiled-rich-boy, draft-dodging days? I say no."

That's very enlightenend of you. However, most people on the left don't agree. They bring up that ancient news all the time, but only about Bush or other Republicans. So you shouuld be preaching that to another crowd, perhaps.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Oct 18, 12:10:00 PM:

"That's pretty lame. Citing something from Byrd's past - 50 years past! - for which he's apologized and from which he's turned."

hmmm... I seem to recall Trent Lott getting lynched (oh the irony) for much less offensive things.  

By Blogger Windypundit, at Wed Oct 18, 12:24:00 PM:

"If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats."

That might be safer than two years of legislation.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 12:32:00 PM:

The people soaking in Beltway position papers had better wake up. I voted for Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clnton and Bush. But I've never been so disgusted and inclined to favor a change as now. If its so bloody important to keep Republicans in office, why doesen't "double-chin" Dennis Hastert act like it? Why didn't the Republicans act like it? If they keep control we get what- more of the Duke and Dennis show? Corruption? No action of note--what HAVE they done that's worthy? Pelosi might be several steps back. But I have a congress that awakes only to spend. They don't listen. They don't care. They've forgotten whey they were sent there. GWB is right on Iraq-but he has opted out of domestic administration letting Dennis pork out 24/7. And this is what I think: god knows what people in the real middle think. Telling me to "suck it up or the bogeyman will investigate us" is not doing much for me.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 12:37:00 PM:

yes, vote Democrat and grind the economy to a halt. 4.6% unemployment? ho-hum. Complete refusal to even discuss Social Security reform, ignore the fact that more people own stock now than in 2000 & pretend the stock market record levels only affects the rich. Cheer the repeal of the Patriot Act, the tax cuts (for everyone, not just the wealthy) and offer no solutions on Iraq, NoKo, Iran. What not to like?  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Wed Oct 18, 12:40:00 PM:

Utter nonsense Dan. While your moral stand might appear admirable to the less thoughtful, it is simply inappropriate in this world of ours.

Here's a rejoinder.

You said:

we can never defeat terrorism by embracing illegality or immorality

Oh really? Did you ever watch "Saving Private Ryan"? I'm asking because I'm not familiar with all the rules and regulations attendant to modern American Pacifism. Is watching a war movie OK?

In any case, there is a scene in the movie wherein some German soldiers emerge from a pill box with their hands up, only to be shot dead by our guys. Moral? Legal? how about the simple facts of life?

It is my opinion that we build memorials to our warriors for two reasons: first, to honor thier bravery and their valor. Next, to honor their sacrifice.

And what did they sacrifice Dan? Not just a few years of their lives, or their youth, or their girlfriends, or what have you, they also gave up their claim to the lofty moral priniciples you bruit about so cavalierly.

They filled their sight picture with another human body and pulled the trigger Dan. JRR Tolkien said it well, using the voice of Saruman: "Slay whom thy master names enemy." They killed for us. Moral? Legal?

It isn't a question of absolute morality, its a question of how much of our civilization must we shed to defeat an enemy.

At one extreme is your position: life on our knees because we are unwilling to fight a war to protect ourselves.

At the other end is utter savagery, as we have witnessed on a regular basis throughout human history. And as we are witnessing now. Are they moral? Are they legal? do they care?

Like it or not, in fact believe it or not, we face a savage enemy. An enemy that has sworn to kill us. If we can beat back this foe without a massive, though temporary, sacrifice of our civilization we will be fortunate indeed. But ultimately Dan, if it comes down to kill or be killed, better them than us and we'll engage in your navel gazing at a later date.

One last example: the use of nuclear weapons against Japanese cities. Moral? Legal?

Who is to say? The fact is it came down to a simple choice: who would live and who would die.

We didn't start this war but we damned well better win it. The stakes for losing are just too high.

Here's what losing means, using the voice of Omar Ahmad, the former chair of CAIR:

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 01:10:00 PM:

Skip said:

"In any case, there is a scene in the movie wherein some German soldiers emerge from a pill box with their hands up, only to be shot dead by our guys. Moral? Legal?"


So has it come to you defending war crimes?

Again, I hope you won't mind terribly if the majority chooses to disagree with you and end this invasion sooner rather than later. And we won't be doing it for any reasons except love of country, love of humanity, desire for security and belief in justice - we reject in the strongest terms your belief that any of these can come by means of war crimes.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 01:30:00 PM:

Dan, you defend Robert Byrd by pointing out something that happened "over 50 years ago". Actually, while his KKK days were over 50 years ago, he voted to filibuster the Voting Rights Act in 1963. Strom Thurmond (whose Dixiecrat run for president was in 1948) was branded an unrepentant racist for his support of the filibuster. Are you arguing that Thurmond was likewise being unfairly judged? (Thurmond's support of segregation in the 1940's is not in dispute; it's whether or not opposing the Voting Rights Act was racist.)

On a similar (and more recent) note, Judge Charles Pickering was successfully filibustered by the Democratic minority in the Senate because of a position paper he wrote in college in the 1950's, which detailed how to change Mississippi's segregation laws to make them constitutionally sound. Despite the fact that black leaders (including the brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers)supported Pickering's nomination, the Democrats sought to portray Pickering as a racist because they disagreed with his political beliefs. Are you saying that Pickering also got a bum rap?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 01:40:00 PM:

Typical idiocy from the Left. No serious conservative -- and certaintly not the Bush Administration -- defends war crimes. Indeend, any alleged mis-actions or crimes are thoroughly investigated by the military and certaintly propagandized by the MSM; always willing to give and aid and comfort to the enemy. I think what disgusts most conservatives like me with people like Dan is their complete and utter inability to recognize the innate goodness of America (not that it's perfect)and the absolute savagery and intolerance of the enemy we face. At every turn they give aid and comfort to the enemy while denigrating their own. It's no wonder that any fair poll will find the public doesn't trust the libs to protect us. It's ironic that people like Dan have a right to spout their idiocy protected by the same people the put down.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 01:47:00 PM:

To the extent that they've repented from past "indiscretions" I'm fine with forgiveness and moving on. I don't know enough about Thurmond or Pickering to have an opinion on them. If their bad behavior had changed 40 years ago and they had been doing "penance" since (as I think a case could be made for Byrd - and forgive the religious imagery), then we should get over it.

One reason Bush's military record has continued to surface is because it does reflect upon his current policy: Bush strikes many as the sort of chickenhawk who supports indiscriminate war - as long as he's not doing the fighting - and that sort of perceived hypocrisy rubs many folk the wrong way.

If Byrd publically recanted of his racist ways, but continued to support policies or systems that were racist in nature, then people would have a problem with that and rightly so. That does not appear to be the case.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 01:48:00 PM:

..."If you want two years of Congressional investigations, by all means vote for the Democrats."

Regrettably, two years will not provide sufficient time to expose and repair the damage our country and constitution have experienced over the last eight or so years.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 02:12:00 PM:

"At every turn they give aid and comfort to the enemy while denigrating their own. It's no wonder that any fair poll will find the public doesn't trust the libs to protect us."

1. It is not a denigration of our great and beloved nation to ask our leaders to obey our laws and live up to our ideals.
2. Nor do our ideals and laws in any way give aid and comfort to the enemy.
3. I think that we'll find at the ballots next month that the public no longer trusts "conservatives" to protect us.

Strike 1, 2, 3.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 02:28:00 PM:


Strike 1, that's actually a foul tip. You're half right. It would be great if ALL of our elected leaders obeyed our laws. That means Dems and Reps alike. Not one standard for Reps and no standard at all for Dems.

Strikes 2 and 3, are definitely strikes...for you. You are wrong on both counts.  

By Blogger TMink, at Wed Oct 18, 02:35:00 PM:

Or: If you want gay congressmen that rape pages then get a standing ovation, Vote Democratic: If you want gay congressmen that sexually harass pages, wait till they reach their majority, have sex with them, then resign in disgrace, Vote Republican.

I am voting a straight Republican ticket for the first time in my life.


By Blogger skipsailing, at Wed Oct 18, 02:50:00 PM:

No Dan, it comes to me DEFINING war crime.

Once more (with feeling):

At one end of the spectrum EVERYTHING is a war crime.

At the other end NOTHING is a war crime.

The question is: where on the scale do we need to be in order to win the war?

Here is no less of a conservative bigoted warmongering homophobe than Alan Dershowitz' take on this Dan:

Yet there are some who would deem such legitimate self-defence to be a war crime. Most prominent among them is Canada's own Louise Arbour, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and currently the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Even before the war in Lebanon was over, Arbour rushed to judgment and threatened "personal criminal responsibility" against Israeli generals and political leaders for their attacks on areas in which civilians live. Her benighted view is that any shelling of cities -- regardless of the threat posed to Israeli civilians by rockets being fired from these cities -- "constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians." Let's be clear what this means: If Hezbollah (or Iran) were firing nuclear or biological weapons at a democracy from Beirut (or Tehran), the democracy would be committing a war crime if it tried to destroy the enemy rockets by pinpoint bombing, as long as there was any "foreseeable" risk to civilians. This formulation would make war criminals out of the United States, Canada, Great Britain and all the Allies during the Second World War and in the current war against terrorism.

Read the whole thing, as they say. Here's the address:http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=3a7d8573-88c8-4b3b-a6d8-886065f33fc0&p=2

Frankly, I don't much feel like converting to Islam as a net result of losing the war because your tortured conscience demands salving.

No thank you.

the construct that everything is a war crime is a perscription for disaster. Your position is a threat to everyone. Lofty words nothwithstanding the point remains:

You are only capable of assuming your prostrate position because others are willing to fight in your place. Does that make them war criminals Dan?

No, it makes them heros.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 03:06:00 PM:

When I talked about war crimes, I wasn't really making a values statement, I was just stating fact. Our laws say it is illegal to target and bomb cities. It is illegal to shoot soldiers who have surrendered.

To take those actions, then, is - by definition of our laws - to commit "war crimes." Those actions break the laws we the people have set up for conducting ourselves in war time.

I'm saying I would oppose anyone breaking those laws. I think the majority of the US is with me on this one. Those who'd support breaking the laws will just have to get over the fact that - as flawed as human laws are - we the people choose our ideals and laws because we love the US and we will oppose those who'd encourage us to break these laws.

And who is it who truly loves the nation: The one who believes in and expects us to live up to our ideals or the ones who will "do what they think is necessary - laws be damned" in order to protect her?

For the record, I've said nothing about suggesting we can't defend ourselves. Our actions of late have not been about defense, so say the people.  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Wed Oct 18, 03:15:00 PM:

Here's the way the election is stacking up Dan.

The Democrats have launched a smear campaign of startling proportions. If this propels them to victory they will then attempt to prove that the election wasn't about the scandals they dredged up, but rather a referendum on "the war".

Stuff and nonsense Dan. Were there a proposition on the ballot that spoke directly to the propriety of our actions in Iraq perhaps, just perhaps, you'd have a point.

but there isn't such a proposition thus you have no point. Your attempt to make this election a referendum on Bush is specious at best.

I note that you've moved away from the war crime approach and are now attempting to convince me that you're motiviated by love of country. Again, Dan it simply won't wash. There is just too large a body of thought arrayed against your position for it to be sustainable. When in doubt, wrap yourself in the flag, eh?

Let me ask you a question Dan: is Arbour right or is Dershowitz right?


By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 03:30:00 PM:

"The Democrats have launched a smear campaign of startling proportions."
"When in doubt, wrap yourself in the flag, eh?"

^ This is funny, coming from a supporter of Republicans. (And, for the record, I'm no supporter of the Dems. I'm a Green kind of guy, myself. I just find the Dems less awful than the Republicans.)

Forgive my ignorance: Who or what is Arbour?  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 04:01:00 PM:

Oh, I found the Arbour reference. Well, if Israel's laws prohibit targeting of civilians, then it would appear that Israel broke their own laws, wouldn't it? I don't know Israel's laws so I couldn't say for sure.

Where I would break from Dershowitz, I believe, would be in what constitutes "legitimate acts of self-defense." I would argue that nearly every time (if not every time) that you make attacks that include civilians - especially if it's primarily civilians that are killed and wounded - you are weakening your defense, not strengthening it.

Feel free to disagree.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 04:14:00 PM:

If not for the far left leadership of the Democrats, I'd be very comfortable voting a straight anti-incumbent ticket.

Even if I correct for the "forced moderation" of being in power vs out of power, I am uncomfortable with the Democratic leadership.  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Wed Oct 18, 04:30:00 PM:

I did pose a dichotomy Dan because it fits my construct.If you disagree with Dershowitz then you agree with Arbour and therein lies the problem.

You position is a suicide pact.

Just to insure that I'm not accused of twisting your words, here they are:

I would argue that nearly every time (if not every time) that you make attacks that include civilians - especially if it's primarily civilians that are killed and wounded - you are weakening your defense, not strengthening it.

there are multiple problems with this position.

first, let's define "civilian". In my opinion this is no longer possible. but why don't you tell us your definition of civilian? who is it that cannot ever die in a war?

In world war two we bombed germany day and night. some targets were purely military, others weren't. If we destroyed a railway yard and killed the personnel manning it did we commit a war crime Dan? My guess is that your answer would be No if they were in uniform and Yes if they weren't. but if the rail yard was a marshalling point for a German army about to launch an attack on our forces or some neighboring country, was it still wrong, uniforms notwithstanding? If destroying that marshalling yard destroyed the ability of the german army to launch counter attacks, thus sparing America lives, is it wrong? If so, why?

In Iraq this discussion revolves around RoE's. If my son is patrolling a street in AlAnywhere Iraq and a man in a dirty dishdashi lifts his AK47, should my son kill him? Is this armed man a civilian? How would anyone in that situation know? Must our soldiers be fired on first? If so Why?

is it possible to be both "moral" and "dead"? And for what?

the terrorists in Iraq have used young boys to ferry material. If the marines, in the midst of a firefight, spot a young man carrying RPG rounds toward the source of the enemy fire, should they kill him? If preventing those RPG rounds from reaching their enemy saves the lives of the Marines, are they still wrong? If so, why?

Let's also look at the tactics used by Nasrallah's boys in Lebanon. They positioned their artilery and rocket launchers in the midst of the general population. does that make them off limits to the Israelis? Do your lofty morals prohibit a response from Israel? Arbour says that Israel should not respond which means that Arabs will fire from apartment buildings freely and all the Israelis may do is die, right?

No arab intent on taking jihad to the west will ever wear a uniform. does that make them civilians Dan? How, in the heat of battle, are we to tell?

You say that you're not opposed to defending the country, but since you've self identified as a pacifist, I find that hard to believe.

given the situation as it stands, would you tell us how, exactly, you would manage such a defense of our nation?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 05:46:00 PM:

I sereiously doubt that the Democrats have as their top priority investigating theGOP.But if they do investigate, why worry if there is nothing crimminal that has taken place? Looking into things and finding nothing would make the lookers (The Dems) look dumb; on the other hand, it may well be like the boy who does not want him mom to check out his drawer in his room because he has smokes, and beer etc...got nothing to hide? no fear.Got nothing to conceal becuse crimminal,nothing to fear.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Wed Oct 18, 05:50:00 PM:

I don't know that I have time to deal with so many points but quickly, Skip said:

"You say that you're not opposed to defending the country, but since you've self identified as a pacifist, I find that hard to believe."

It is not against our laws to use deadly force to defend our country. I don't oppose my country much when there is something like a legitimate defense war happening. While I have some problems with its effectiveness and the approach, I haven't criticized Afghanistan's invasion much. I haven't called that war "illegal," as one can make a credible argument of self-defense.

However, there's what's legal and what's moral. As a Christian Peacemaker, I can't see myself ever choosing to try to defend my country with deadly force. I would (and do) try to defend my country in other ways.

The means that I think most effective and still moral are Direct Action Peacemaking activities - such as Peacemakers used when the terrorists were running rampant in Nicaragua in the 1980s. We pretty effectively put an end to those attacks by having Christian witnesses in the villages that were being attacked.

Given that there's never been a nation led by peacemakers, there's a fairly substantial record of successful peacemaking efforts led by people and organizations. Gandhi and King, of course, as well as bringing down S. Africa's apartheid and many of the Eastern Europe revolutions.

If you're not familiar with the approach, it's worth looking in to.

For starters, the Quakers have laid out some pretty specific plans for dealing with terrorism, here:


Certainly, before we surrender any moral superiority by placing ourselves above the law (thereby further risking our national security), we must need investigate all means possible of avoiding war. As War-supporters often say, war should always be a last option.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 18, 07:14:00 PM:

Let's see if I've got this right; The Dems say they hope to defeat the Republicans on Nov. 7. They intend to do this by claiming that in the last six years the Repubican controlled Senate, Congress, and White House have not done enough to curtail the threats aginst this country posed by Korea, Osama ben Laden, Iraq, Iran, Darfur, Bird Flu, the NSA, the CIA, Illegal immigration, creeping obesity, and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

But, if the Democrats win control of either the House or the Senate or, sing hallelulah, both then this otherwise unstoppable Republican juggernaut will be "brought to a shuddering halt."

Is that about right?


By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Wed Oct 18, 07:22:00 PM:

I sereiously doubt that the Democrats have as their top priority investigating theGOP

If they want the hard left moonbats onboard in 08', it better be pretty high on the list. Its been promised for 6 years now.

They're going to need something now that they're apparently throwing the gays under the bus as part of the Foley scandal.  

By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Thu Oct 19, 12:04:00 AM:

"Slay whom thy master names Enemy."

Um, Skip, did you just use the voice of Saruman to bolster your argument over "war crimes" with brother Dan? The voice of Tolkien's little Hitler, the speaker of falsehoods, the totalitarian fascist foe?

And actually, who uses torture in Tolkien? The Necromancer - Sauron in another guise - tortures Thorin's father Thrain. Gollum is tortured in the Dark Lord's tower. Orcs revel in it. The only reference to torture by the West is the rough handling of Gollum by Captain Faramir's rangers, and that mistreatment and Frodo's failure to protect him ultimately makes his evil side stronger.

Oh yeah, Tolkein said don't read any of his fairy stories as parables of modern times. Nothing in there about WWI or II or the bomb or any of that. Nevermind.  

By Blogger Dan Trabue, at Thu Oct 19, 06:39:00 AM:

"Um, Skip, did you just use the voice of Saruman to bolster your argument over "war crimes""

Thanks, Tim. I noticed that but have already written so much I wrote that one off...  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Thu Oct 19, 11:20:00 AM:

If you play by the rules and your enemy doesn't, you will lose. I'm sure some people think it's very noble to value their morals over victory. I don't, and I'm grateful that they are not in charge of defending America. I put a higher price on my life and that of my community than someone else's guilt.

Things do in fact go bump in the night, armed with Swiss accounts, kalashnikovs, and hatred.  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Thu Oct 19, 12:02:00 PM:

As I suspected Dan, you don't have answers. What you have is an agenda.

suddenly it takes too much time to consider the questions I raise?

what a crock Dan?

Made you think too hard? IMHO you find it much easier to spout rhetoric than to make real choices.

No time to answer my questions? Really? more likely you have no answers.

and no dan I used the voice of saruman to define a term with which you are unfamiliar: WARRIOR.

sigh, what a weenie you are Dan.  

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