It's Tuesday, November 2nd. It's time to fufill the most important duty a citizen of the United States has.
I don't care if you're going for Bush, Kerry, Nader, Badnarik, Cobb, Peroutka, or an even more obscure candidate. I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or Communist. I don't care if you're white, black, brown, yellow, purple, or green.
It's time to do your job. It's time to have your say in the direction this nation will take in the next few years. It's time to go out and vote.
I was metamoderating today, and had this comment, end up as one of my items.
The comment suggests an exit strategy for the US in Iraq, which involves allowing Allawi to be killed, and letting his successor (who would ideally be nominally anti-US) be seen to be kicked out of the nation. The author states that, If we do that, and do it soon, we win. Iraq will be no more anti-western than when we stared (that would be impossible). They will have no more or less love for Israel (that too would be impossible). The problems in the region will not have been solved. However, someone with the political clout to re-build Iraq without being attacked by guerilla bombings every day will be able to establish order. It will be slow and painful. There will be abuses, but it will work because he will appear to have "kicked out the Americans". In the end we will have removed the largest source of instability in the region (which we created) and accomplished our goal of removing S.H.
I disagree completely with this idea, and believe such a policy would have some pretty disastrous consequences down the road. But what truly annoyed me is that the comment was marked "flamebait."
That was an unfair moderation, and I metamoderated as such--while I disagree with it, the comment itself is quite interesting. The moderation was undoubtedly the result of someone who simply disagreed with the author of that comment, and to that, folks, I say letting your politics moderate for you is bad policy--it's sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming, "la la la, I can't hear you!"
I don't care what political ideals someone champions, I'm still willing to hear out what they have to say--the alternative to talking about our politics is shooting each other over them. We tried that one already, and I can't say I'd like to see a repeat performance.
I'm sure at this point everyone is familiar with the story of Nick Berg, so I won't bother to rehash the disgusting details. But this incident is so offensive that--after five years of being a
The people--and I use that term loosely--who murdered Mr. Berg claim they have done so in retaliation for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Gharib. While the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers is both disturbing and disgusting--and, indeed, casts a dark shadow over our stated mission of "liberating the Iraqi people from the terrors of Heussein"--the idea that murdering innocents is somehow a just response is sickening.
News stories have quotes from around the arab world about this issue. Gems like "This was a justified retaliation. The Americans had committed very ugly actions against the Iraqi people in general and Iraqi prisoners in particular," said Mohammed AlBargouti, a 24-year-old security guard in the West Bank city of Ramallah. and While many thought it an appropriate response to what they see as U.S. abuses against Iraqi civilians, Mutaz, a Syrian taxi driver working in the United Arab Emirates, went further: "It must have been a beautiful sight. The Americans deserve even more than this for what they are doing in Iraq. Every American should watch this tape to see what is coming to them, or are they the only ones allowed to kill? are splashed across various wire stories.
Make no mistake: Nick Berg's murder had nothing to do with Abu Gharib--this is just a convenient excuse. It was an simply an excersize in terror, and a display of "power." Anyone who believes there is any justification for this act is simply not human. There is nothing redeeming about al-qaeda. There is nothing holy about al-qaeda. They are nothing more than thugs who claim to believe in god, because it allows them to control others who truly do.
To be fair, there have been some condemnations of this act from surprising quarters: "Hizbollah condemns this horrible act that has done very great harm to Islam and Muslims by this group that claims affiliation to the religion of mercy, compassion and humane principles," the Shi'ite Muslim group said in a statement. There you have it, folks: even Hizbollah, a group that does not shy away from suicide bombers blowing up children agrees that this is beyond the pale.
Personally, my thoughts run thusly: Men who can saw the head off of another human being while chanting "God is good!" have no place on this earth, and should be hunted down and killed for the good of all civilized people. And I, for one, would gladly be the man to pull the trigger.
The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James