Thursday, September 01, 2005

They also serve who only taunt and slander

Reader Chris received the following in an email:

Friday September 2nd--¬óCindy Sheehan Protest

Yes, Cindy Sheehan is coming to Des Moines and we need your help to give her a good Drake College Republicans "welcome."

I guess sometimes the best way to fight for freedom is to taunt a grieving, gold star mother.

I hope a contigent of our readers shows up as well. I'll post more info as soon as I get it.

24 Comments:

At 01 September, 2005 02:06, Blogger Chris Woods said...

General, please post that information as soon as possible. I am a member of the Drake Democrats, the local Drake chapter affiliated with the College Democrats.

I hereby place us at your will, give us orders, sir, and we shall follow through.

 
At 01 September, 2005 13:23, Blogger James_Simakas said...

So, because she lost a son in Iraq, that means that she is the undisputed authority on the matter, and the many, many mothers who have lost sons and still support the war do not share her status for some unfathomable reason. The
assumption has been made that the college Republicans are going to be "taunting" her. I seriously doubt that anyone is going to be pointing their finger and saying "Your son died! Haha!"

The problem here is that whatever the college Republicans say at the event, it has already been labeled "taunting." This immedietly raises the question of what the defenition of "taunting" is. If "taunting" Cindy Sheehan is defined as saying anything to her that is in support of the war, or counter to her views on the war, then the Republicans cannot rebut her statements or defend the parts of their own stances that are being attacked without being catagorized as cruel mother taunters.

This tactic is meant to circumvent facts. I know this, because I have seen this tactic employed in intercolegic debate competitions, the goal being to diminish the credibility of the other team by making the judge view the other team as morally wrong [b]from the start,[/b] and it is powerful because [b]you have pushed the judge into making a conclusion against the other team, and nothing they say matters because they have lost the debate before it starts.[/b]

I am not saying that this is what the blog's author was attempting to do. It smacks of it to me, however. Use of such a tactic is specifically meant to avoid debate altogether, and that is good for no one: debate and discussion is what drives our democracy.

I encourage critisism. Please reach me at james@politicalcow.net if you wish to comment to me personally.

 
At 01 September, 2005 15:11, Blogger Sadie B. said...

Well, James, they did put the word "welcome" in quotation marks. Now I'm no college Republican to be sure, but where I come from you only do that when you don't intend for a word to be taken at face value. Sometimes you even mean the word to be taken at the opposite of face value.

Cindy Sheehan has no beef with you, or any of your friends. I don't see why you have taken it upon yourself to harass and intimidate her. It certainly doesn't do your side any favors in the eyes of the rest of the world. Have you ever stopped to think for one minute how our troops are viewing this whole matter? How do you think they feel knowing what the right-wingers will do to their mothers if they step outside the party line?

 
At 01 September, 2005 19:26, Blogger clonecone said...

I'm in Iowa City and I wish I could be there to give Cindy the welcome she deserves. Please don't think that Drake College Republicans represent the hearts and minds of the majority of Iowans.

 
At 01 September, 2005 19:45, Blogger James_Simakas said...

[b] Well, James, they did put the word "welcome" in quotation marks. [/b]

Of course they did. It's a sarcastic way of saying "we will be there to protest her statements." It's a insane streach to claim that putting "welcome" in quotation marks directly translates into "we will pelt her with rotten vegetables and burn her at the stake as a heratic."

[b]Cindy Sheehan has no beef with you, or any of your friends. I don't see why you have taken it upon yourself to harass and intimidate her.[/b]

Yes, yes she does. She isn't one greiving mother lamenting the loss of her son. She is being used as the mouthpeice of the entire anti-war movement. Everything Cindy Sheehan says has been said some other time by some other anti-war activist. Now, by your logic, if we got one of the pro-war mothers who have lost a son in combat (there are plenty of them with the pro-war people in Crawford at the moment) and put her on the soapbox to state Republican ideas, democrats would have to stop talking about the war on terror [i]immedietly[/i] or they would be attacking a poor, greiving mother.

Will ironies never cease? My first comment here said that democrats claim the moral high ground by making personal attacks in order to avoid a debate on the facts. In response, you claim the moral high ground by making a personal attack on me and ignore the facts. I refer specifically to this line from your comment: [b]"I don't see why you have taken it upon yourself to harass and intimidate her.[/b] Please point out exactly where I, or ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN, has harassed and intimidated Cindy Sheehan. We've argued against her opinions and her viewpoints, but we have not "harrassed and intimidated" her. We have never called her an idiot, a racist, an anti-Semite, a homophobe or a stupid-head. We have never insulted her lineage or her looks or her personal hygiene. No one has tried to throw a pie in her face, as some of your liberal ilk tried to do to Ann Coulter. [b]To say that Republicans have "harassed and intimidated Cindy Sheehan is a libelous accusation.[/b]

But that is your only argument: to call me a mean Republican. Well, guess what: I am not going to cede the moral high ground to you. If you want it, you have to earn it- you don't get to fiat your ethical rightousness.

[b]How do you think they feel knowing what the right-wingers will do to their mothers if they step outside the party line?[/b]

I don't think they are too worried about that, because if they did, they would be denouncing our millitary, denouncing the cause that their sons are risking their lives for, that the sacrifice of those who have died was pointless, and saying that their sons have failed utterly and completly. Somehow, I don't think too many millitary mothers will ever embrace that viewpoint.

 
At 01 September, 2005 19:46, Blogger James_Simakas said...

Whoops, VBB tags instead of HTML. Use your imagination, I guess. :P

 
At 01 September, 2005 19:53, Blogger Eupathic Impulse said...

The problem is that she has the MASSIVE ADVANTAGE of actually being, like, right.

 
At 01 September, 2005 19:58, Blogger James_Simakas said...

Well, if she is right, that's fine then. My point is that no democrat actually argues for the points Cindy Sheehan is making. They change the topic by accusing us Republicans of some invented cruelty. Yeah, Republicans have been wrong before, and they can be wrong again. We're only human. We're cool with that. But before we can move on to the matter at hand, Democrats have to actually engage in debate instead of changing the topic all the time.

 
At 01 September, 2005 20:04, Blogger Eupathic Impulse said...

Who said I was a Democrat?

I think that the Democrats are a ridiculous, spineless Lesser of Two Evils. Many rank-and-file Democrats feel that way.

http://fafblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/fafblog-interviews-democratic-party.html

The problem is that the Republicans are not only spineless, they are ACTIVELY CHEERLEADING for a catastrophic administration. And actively working to set up an atmosphere where it is politically costly to tell the truth.

I'm afraid your presuppositions were weak.

 
At 01 September, 2005 20:08, Blogger James_Simakas said...

QUOTE: The problem is that the Republicans are not only spineless, they are ACTIVELY CHEERLEADING for a catastrophic administration. And actively working to set up an atmosphere where it is politically costly to tell the truth.

I'm afraid your presuppositions were weak.


Okay! Now we are getting somewhere! So, tell me... exactly how are they setting up this "atmosphere" where it is politically costly to tell the truth? Any examples?

 
At 01 September, 2005 20:57, Blogger Eupathic Impulse said...

So today in a bookstore I saw prominently displayed a book by "Mike Gallagher" called "Surrounded by IDIOTS"---about his travails with Liberals. Of course, that's not what is offensive: namecalling alone is done by all sides. But a chapter on the "Saddam Chicks" is what is offensive.

The book was endorsed by Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity wrote a book I saw for MONTHS called "DELIVER US FROM EVIL: Defeating despotism, terrorism, and liberalism". Remember the massive victim complex if one compares Bush to Hitler or any other despot for that matter. And so on.

American liberals get pilloried for making

 
At 01 September, 2005 20:57, Blogger Eupathic Impulse said...

Sorry the last sentence was meant to be deleted.

 
At 01 September, 2005 23:17, Blogger merlallen said...

The cause their sons died for is creating an Islamic Theocracy in Iraq.
Seems pretty goddamn pointless to me.
That said, I wish all of you war lovers would enlist and die in this "noble cause". But of course you won't. Just like Glorious Leader, cheer on a war just don't join it.

 
At 01 September, 2005 23:26, Blogger Sadie B. said...

Well James, I don't know where you get your information, but on my TV I see pro-war protesters carrying signs that say "We Don't Care." I hear Rush Limbaugh saying that Cindy's story is false, made up of falsified documents. Republicans are calling her "the bitch in the ditch," shooting shotguns over her head and running over crosses. So, moral high ground? I don't think so.

And you honestly believe the troops are cool with watching you people trash a dead soldier's mother? Because that is way, way messed up. I don't know what kind of background you come from, but in some families people love each other more than any political figure.

But here's my main question and you still haven't answered it. Cindy Sheehan's beef is with George Bush, the man who made a mockery of her son's idealism and sent him to die for no good reason. She wants an answer for him and she deserves it. So who appointed you the Lord High Avenger? By what authority do you take it upon yourself to give her this Republican "welcome" you so smirkingly seem to think she has coming to her? What has Cindy Sheehan ever done to you, James Simakas?

 
At 02 September, 2005 02:07, Blogger Chris Woods said...

I've found out that Cindy herself won't be there, but that the tour will still be making its stop with other prominent members of the protesting group from Crawford.

They will be at Nollen Plaza from 10 AM - 2 PM in Des Moines, and then they'll be back on the road to Minneapolis. If you're in Des Moines, come support them, please.

 
At 02 September, 2005 17:18, Blogger James_Simakas said...

Republicans are calling her "the bitch in the ditch," shooting shotguns over her head and running over crosses.
I hate to say it, Sadie... but perhaps that is because, like I said before, the woman is mocking and insulting the sacrifice made by our soldiers already in Iraq, and some Americans still get very, very angry when they hear someone insulting the memory of brave young men with their whole lives ahead of them in the service of their country. If you lost your son, and someone told you he had it coming to him because he was helping an imperialistic invasion, you might get angry too.

And you honestly believe the troops are cool with watching you people trash a dead soldier's mother?

Like I said before, the troops know just as well as I do that Cindy Sheehan is NOT a "poor, greiving mother." The woman has her own effing speech tour, her own PR flack and has had how many Entertainment Tonight profiles to date? These are the antics of a C list celeberity trolling for a book deal. The soldiers know that she is being used by the anti-war movement, and she is spouting the same anti-millitary crap that was playing on Air America radio six months ago. These are the same anti-war activists who were calling American soldiers "baby killers" in the 60's. That's what Cindy Sheehan is a figurehead for.

She wants an answer for him and she deserves it.

The only answer he could give her is the same answer he has already given the anti-war groups since the war started, because Cindy is just repeating the same crap that the anti-war movement has been saying... since the war started. Cindy Sheehan's rightous demand for personal attention from the President is just a PR ploy, and the President recognizes it as such. What makes her so god*&^%*% special? None of the other mothers who have lost sons in the war have pulled these BS stunts.

What has Cindy Sheehan ever done to you, James Simakas?

Perhaps you don't get it yet, so I will tell you AGAIN: The only people who have ever hurt Cindy Sheehan are the terrorists who murdered her son in Iraq. You are trying to stifle the voice of conservatives by wailing about Sheehans greif. Go look up the first admendment, it grants this funny little thing called free speech to everyone.

Come, surley. You liberals must have AT LEAST one other argument besides calling Republicans mean, right? Because if you don't, then that would mean your political party has the aggerate intelligence of a newborn hamster, because even my full-grown gerbil knows at least 3 different ways to coax a treat out of me.

 
At 02 September, 2005 17:56, Blogger Sadie B. said...

So I am trying to stifle the voice of conservatives! Does the right-wing victim complex really know no bounds?

You are making some progress, though. You went from denying that Republicans were doing any taunting at all to saying "well their taunting is fully justified so there!" I guess we got to take this honesty thing in baby steps, after all.

And just because you formatted your response to make it look at though you answered my questions, you have yet again avoided answering them. "The only answer he could give her is the same answer he has already given the anti-war groups since the war started, because Cindy is just repeating the same crap that the anti-war movement has been saying... " and that would be, what? We've only heard about 400 justifications for this war, beginning with "it's not about oil" and running the gamut of 9/11, Al Qaeda, WMDs, Saddam is a bad man, human rights, and now finally, "well it is about oil but not in the way you think." So what is the noble cause? What have 1800 Americans and only-God-knows-how-many Iraqis died for? The problem is Bush can't answer this question, and he knows it. That's why he hides behind the human shield so willingly provided by people like yourself.

If you truly believe the soldiers in Iraq support you in your mission to crucify the mother of one of their fallen brothers, all I can say is, you better watch you back when they start coming home. Because sooner or later they will.

I knew you wouldn't be able to answer the question of what Cindy Sheehan has done to you because of course, she has done nothing. You are simply one of these people who suffers from a case of extreme identification with a political figure, so much so that any criticism of him is felt as a personal attack on yourself. This is not healthy.

 
At 03 September, 2005 00:39, Blogger James_Simakas said...

"So I am trying to stifle the voice of conservatives!"
Yeah, you are. Every time I try try to talk, you tell me that I am not allowed to because poor Cindy is in grief. If Bush tried to say that no liberal could criticize him because his father had recently died, Ted Kennedy would start throwing chairs across the Senate floor.

It's obvious you can't understand complex thoughts. Let me simplifiy them for you.

Original
"I hate to say it, Sadie... but perhaps that is because, like I said before, the woman is mocking and insulting the sacrifice made by our soldiers already in Iraq, and some Americans still get very, very angry when they hear someone insulting the memory of brave young men with their whole lives ahead of them in the service of their country. If you lost your son, and someone told you he had it coming to him because he was helping an imperialistic invasion, you might get angry too."
Simplified
Taunting sounds like this: "Nah nah, your kid died! Haha!" What the republicans, including those anti-war protesters are saying, is this: "Cindy Sheehan is wrong about everything! Wrong times eleventy billion!" They have a right to dissent. Are some of them dissenting visciously and loudly? Sure, some of them are. But guess what- it's no worse than what Cindy herself has said. Sheehan has called President Bush a ""that filth-spewer and warmonger," for starters, and has said that "this country is not worth dying for." She's been at least as vicous and rabid as her worst Republican critics, if not more so. Oh, go look up "taunt" in the dictionary, because I still doubt your ability to grasp the difference between dissenting opinions and personal attacks.

Original
"The only answer he could give her is the same answer he has already given the anti-war groups since the war started, because Cindy is just repeating the same crap that the anti-war movement has been saying... since the war started."
Simplified
We've given you 400 reasons for the war. What do you want, an even million?!?! If *Insert your diety here* him/her-self landed on the front lawn of the White House and wrote out those reasons on tablets of stone and bashed you over the head with them, you people would still not be satisfied. You don't want explanations- you just want to bitch and whine without end. That's why Bush isn't going to meet with Sheehan- he's already explained himself countless times. Sheehan doesn't want an answer, because she already has it. She just wants to harras the president. Well, just because I am very, very patient tonight, I will take the time to explain something I know will be ignored anyway. Pay attention: the reasons outlined below are the biggies. Everything else the administration has said is just gravy, or a finer detail of the biggies.

1. Saddam was a bad guy with oil money. Now, America doesn't like bad guys, but since there are so many we have to prioritize. But a Bad Guy with Oil is different... because oil is expensive, and makes whomever owns it very rich. So, Oil=$$$. Now, with regime math, we can calculate that Saddam+$$$=terrorist groups with tons of funding, and as we now know, lots of bribed UN officials in Saddams pocket- the people the rest of the world wanted us to trust as Saddam's watchdogs.

2. Encouraging democracy in general to destabilize hostile regimes in particular. Establishing democracy in Iraq is for a purpouse far greater than making the Iraqi's happy: by establishing a democratic government next door, and by showing the world that America, the big kid on the block, is ready to back them, it encourages the dissidents in nearby tyrranical regimes (such as Iran and Syria) to start trying harder- probably not overthrow the government (not that soon, surley,) but to at least cause enough trouble that Iran, Syria and their ilk will be too busy with internal matters to waste time developing nukes, plooting nefarious schemes, ect. And guess what- It's working. The recent happenings in Lebanon and the Ukraine didn't just happen by accident.

3. Intimidation of hostile regimes. The problem with hostile regimes is that they really aren't all that subtle; their idea of negotiation is "give before it hurts." The only thing that they fear and respect is forceful action, be it agressive diplomacy or agressive force. When Clinton pulled our troops out of Somalia, Bin Laden and his ilk pointed to that as a sign of American weakness. "The Rangers went into the city, we fought them, they lost 18 men, and two weeks later they left with their tails between their legs! The Americans are cowards, just shoot at them a few times and they run like hell!" However, by going into Iraq and staying in Iraq, we've proven that the American millitary is a force to be reckoned with- because they won't leave until the job is done. It's bad enough to face the power of America's incredible technologial battlefield advantage; but ten times worse to know that it will be relentless. Want proof that it's working? Kaddafi, the ruler of Libya, turned over their WMD's to the US without us even asking them to. Remember that?

The ultimate goal of those above reasons is to destroy tyrranical regimes. Most people prefer peace to war, and because of that, capitalist democracies are almost always peaceful- wars kill lots of loved ones, which nobody likes, and war destroys cites and countries, and that is bad for buisness. (Even the CEO's everyone thinks are evil don't like war.) Even arms companies dislike war: during peacetime, they can persuade the army to buy almost anything, but if a war comes along and proves that some of their airplanes/rifles/bombs don't work very well in battle conditions, the government will tell the arms company to take their next contract and ram it. In short, democracies don't start wars. Dictatorships do. History generally bears this out. So, the best way to protect our country is to ensure that democracy reigns around the globe, and all we have to do for that to happen is give people the chance to choose- they *always* choose democracy. Who wouldn't? You could even go so far as to say it will ensure world peace. If everyone's a democracy, and every one has a big army, no war will ever start, because 1. Democracies don't like war, like I said above and 2. Since both sides have a good army, a war would be a brutal grudge match that would be so costly there would be nothing to gain- it would be an awful loss in every sense.

To summarize:

"So what is the noble cause?"
World Peace. Is that good enough for you, or do you want us to save the effing whales, too?

"If you truly believe the soldiers in Iraq support you in your mission to crucify the mother of one of their fallen brothers, all I can say is, you better watch you back when they start coming home. Because sooner or later they will.

I knew you wouldn't be able to answer the question of what Cindy Sheehan has done to you because of course, she has done nothing. You are simply one of these people who suffers from a case of extreme identification with a political figure, so much so that any criticism of him is felt as a personal attack on yourself. This is not healthy."


Congragulations. You've proven that you can endlessly repeat the party line, over and over and over. Here's a secret: I have a pet parrot that can do that. Lots of people have parrots that can do that. It's not that great a trick. If you really want an answer to those statements of yours, go read my previous posts a few times again, and give it time to sink in. If I could, I would send someone to your house to shout it at you with a bullhorn while they stood in front of a 30 foot tall flashing neon sign with the same answer written on it, but at this point I don't think it would help you.

 
At 03 September, 2005 08:34, Blogger Sadie B. said...

World Peace? I ought to know better than to try to read this first thing in the morning you almost made coffee come out of my nose.

Okay, I give up on ever getting straight answers out of you. You talk and talk and talk, but you don't say anything.

Though there is one thing I wish you could tell me. I know you can't answer but I have to ask. What is it with you people and George Bush? It's like he's Moses and Jesus and Santa Claus all rolled into one for you. Is it hero worship, or a man crush? Maybe it's a matter of daddy issues? I just can't wrap my head around this obsessive fixation with someone who is really pretty mediocre, at best.

 
At 03 September, 2005 14:12, Blogger Vaughn D. Taylor said...

"What is it with you people and George Bush?"

I guess it's because he's a heartless, lying, manipulative, greedy human being. That's probably what "us people" take most offense to.

 
At 03 September, 2005 15:54, Blogger Sadie B. said...

vaughn, I think we are on the same side. The point I was trying to make is that despising George Bush is normal and rational, it's the ones who worship him who need to explain themselves.

 
At 03 September, 2005 19:34, Blogger Vaughn D. Taylor said...

oh, sorry sadie.

 
At 04 September, 2005 07:22, Blogger Sadie B. said...

That's okay, I read your story. I can't begin to imagine what you're going through right now. My prayers are with you and your family.

 
At 05 September, 2005 21:01, Blogger spinetingler said...

"democracies don't start wars. Dictatorships do."


So who invaded who in Iraq?

 

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