Comments Posted By Leo
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Obama does not plan to disarm America, what he plans to do is reduce the military spending to a level that is not abusive to the American people. Do you know that for each $10 we pay in taxes our goverment spends $4 in war efforts. In the Middle East, we the American people are spending $12 billion a month, and what are we gaining? Nothing, but young American soldiers injured, killed, etc. What if we invested those $12 billion a month in this country?
Obama wants to balance the budget and use the money we pay in taxes wisely and not in wars across the world.
Bush spent all the savings America had after Clinton left. Not only did he spent everything, but drove the nation into a huge debt. We owe money to everybody, even to our own people.

The budget of the United States is $3 trillion dollars. We spend around $485 billion on defense. That's less than 8% of the budget. Your formulation is incredibly dishonest. Personal income taxes contribute only around $1.2 trillion to the budget. Even running a $200 billion deficit defense spending as a percentage of the budget is about what it was at the height of Reagans build up. And when taken as a measure of GDP, defense spending is around 3% - hardly a ballbreaker.

And don't you listen to what this guy says? Or do you only hear what you want to hear. Weapons systems already in the pipleline, he would slow down or cancel - unilaterally. He would stop making nukes - unilaterally. He would cut the defense budget - the liberal's idea of what is wasteful or unnecessary - unilaterally.

We call this "unilateral disarmament." And only a naive idiot would do it.


Comment Posted By Leo On 21.05.2008 @ 08:55


Again my post is deleted.
And this time a certainly friendly one.

I don't think Rick Moran could justify this deletion.

I remembered him that I've posted the link to the Nation article some days before, and he deleted my post, in after that some more of my posts.

I gave the link and asked Rick Moran to comment on it. He now posts the link himself, and comments in a way which I think is quite reasonable, although I think onesided: the scepticism and doubt has to be even stronger when the army propaganda is at work, either denying atrocities or claiming decency.

What was it what made you delete my post, Rick Moran?

Was it what I wrote about my father?

Tell us!

Comment Posted By leo On 24.07.2007 @ 16:33


For obvious reasons the Fans of the Army are not eager to get independent and curious investigation of the behaviour of their "fine young men and women" in Iraq.

In the large rest of the world (even in parts of US public) WE know about the barbarian behaviour of a considerable percentage of your wonderful army.

And, most of all, the Iraqis themselves had to learn it. They experience it now for several years, and US army atrocities have fuelled the insurgency and contributed to the decline of support.

For most US soldiers in Iraq, all Iraqi men are enemies, more or less. They hate them, they despise them. In general.

Of course there are many decent men and women, too, in this army. But 20 or 30% of thugs in your army - and the reputation of this army is ruined.

That is the case.

You may build your Fortress of Belief in your right wing-nut castle as you like. What counts in the world are the views of all people, in all nations. And world opinion has already established: The US troops commit plenty of barbarian acts in Iraq, and do so with impunity.

Your post reveals: Your main interest is not to find out whether the allegations of this soldier who wrote for the The New Republic are true.

Why not allow f.e. Amnesty International to investigate the behaviour of US soldiers in Iraq? The army itself is not capable of doing it. As the rare examples where it was forced to do so show.

As there is no allowance of independent investigation, we have to listen to the trickling information about US atrocities committed in Iraq. And we have to assume: These only are the tip of the iceberg.

Comment Posted By leo On 22.07.2007 @ 05:33


Considering answers like those of Rick Moran or Fight4TheRight to my sceptical reflections, I dare say: You simply do not know what to object in an argumentative way.

Anticipating future, as I tried to do in my post, requires to develop tentative scenarios. Worst case scenarios are among them, and an important guide-line for action: they recommend caution, mainly.

As I wrote, I do not consider this worst case scenario as the likely one.

When you read my worst case scenario, and then compare the two answers to them, you see: it's only smearing. Is that all what right wing-nuts are capable of?

Why did your Foundation Fathers put so much stress on Checks & Balances? Why were they so suspicious of the negative effect of war on the constition?

Governments are necessary - and I also hold, different to Libertarians, that strong government is necessary.
But strong government always harbours a danger, too. Power aims at more power. Power corrupts ...
That is a general rule, true in politics, economy, private life. Right wing-nuts do not take this rule into account - why?

Comment Posted By leo On 22.07.2007 @ 05:00

Well, Rick Moran, what about this?

(1) Possible, maybe even likely that the USA will start to air-raid Iran soon.

(2) Possible, maybe even likely then that Iran will retaliate with some success: f.e. stop oil transport through the Persian Gulf for quite some time.

(3) Very likely, then, the oil price will surge to heights that will desastrously affect global economy. The Dollar might collapse. The credit culture on which US economy builds might collapse, ensuing a very deep economical crisis in the USA. Millions of jobs lost, etc...

(4) Then, possibly, a state of emergency might be called in the USA. The "unitary executive" might claim dictatorial powers to uphold the security of the people and to meet the evil enemy abroad with radical escalation of the conflict domestically and internationally. Maybe Iran will be nuked.

(5) The whole world - mired in global crisis now, political and economical - may spiral out of control, and that might justify longterm dictatorial suppression of all dissent in the USA.

Rick Moran, that is only kind of worst case scenario. Unfortunately it is one that we have to take into account nowadays.

I do not think that it is the most likely scenario, though.

In one important respect I agree with your critique of the Kos diary:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." (FDR)
This diary is fear-mongering. But any real danger demands coolness from us. Never act from fear!
The President's fear-mongering concerning terrorism finds its equivalent in some liberal fear-mongering.

There are real dangers, and terrorism is one of them. But government's fear-mongering to acquire dictatorial power is also a real danger. That is something you conveniently forget.

Comment Posted By leo On 21.07.2007 @ 07:25


So we could dub the Iraq III war the "Halliburton War" to differ it from Iraq War I (Iraq vs Iran) and Iraq War II (Kuweit) ...

Excellent post about the money interests involved in Iraq War III, JML!

I wonder why our Corporate MainstreamMedia never discuss to such obvious things.

Could it be that they are eager to hide Corporate interests?

Could it be that US militarism - the idea that international conflicts of interest have to be solved mainly by use of violence or threat of violence - have its main supporter here, among the Corporations?

And gil,

you are of course right when you "correct" my "quote" in post 26:
" ... We did it to secure your cheap gas for the future! We lied, but our intentions were GOOD!”

Even when these guys are willing to come NEAR the truth they still have to lie.
Western people in general do not like it to be seen as EGOISTS.
Weird. Because on the other hand we all openly advocate egoism, when it comes to economy.
But when we wage war, we of course only do it benevolently, to support the interests of the others, and for ideal (and not material) ends.
Fascinating hypocrisy in so many of us!

Rick Moran is a comparatively honest guy, in this respect.

Let me address MY own egoism with this statement:
Yes, people, I AM an egoist - but in my own, very personal interest I do what I can to interpret my personal interest in terms of a collective interest. My personal wellbeing requires mankind's wellbeing. And that does NOT mean that my own wellbeing of means automatically the wellbeing of mankind. It's more the other way round! (Such reflection requires quite a complex evaluation of interests, and a threefold logics; binary logics fails to meet the complexity here.)

So, for example, being a liberal I know quite well that for my success as a liberal I NEED the conservatives and their strength, too. Because my personal sanity and soberness comes from balance, and a liberal can only balance himself insofar he is challenged by (real!) conservatives.

That is a lesson Rick Moran does not want to adopt. Although, in some of his reflections, there is a good trait of it. That is why it makes sense for reasonable liberals and reasonable conservatives to read his blog.

Comment Posted By leo On 21.07.2007 @ 07:07

"So I was watching the morning news in a state of pre-coffee muziness, and the utter absurdity of our position in Iraq suddenly struck me.

We are supporting Sunni insurgents
who oppose the Iraqi government
which we support,
which is in turn supported by militias backed by Iran,
who we oppose.

The administration is calling this the path to victory.

Screw the coffee, where did I hide the whiskey?"

= a wonderful reader's post on the comment of Washington Post's Krauthammer, who suggested now to empower the Sunni 20% against AlQaida and, if necessary, also against the Shiite 65% majority ...

Comment Posted By leo On 20.07.2007 @ 19:28

"Is it better to have the bloodbath or not?" Rick Moran asks.

There is a bloodbath already going on, and for some time now, and it is spiralling worse by the year. Maybe a million have already died due to the direct and indirect effects of the war:
sectarian civil war
crime caused by chaos
general decline of health.

Will the bloodbath become bloodier after a US withdrawal? - We don't know. Maybe. Maybe not.

A good withdrawal plan might provide some measures to limit the continuing bloodbath.

THE BETTER REASON why the USA has to stay in Iraq is correctly put by Rick Moran this way:

"It is bothersome that liberals like Obama can’t differentiate between a humanitarian mission where American interests (oil, economic, strategic) are not in play and a place like Iraq ...

Bush will have a lot to answer for from history but his monumental failure in articulating what is at stake in Iraq while failing to make his actions match his rhetoric will be perhaps his greatest blunder. No wonder the American people want out. When their president has failed so miserably in giving them logical, coherent reasons to support the mission, why not just give up and go home?"

Well said, Rick Moran!

The USA do have strategic interests in the MidEast, and these strategic interests - OIL, mainly - will continue to demand powerful and efficient US presence in the area.

Sober liberals know this. And accept it. Hillary Clinton does. That is why they opt for the Baker-Hamilton strategy. It would be quite flexible concerning troop numbers and intervention policy in Iraq, to influence the power struggle there, but limit the carnage in terms of blood and money a little.

I would not expect it to work sufficiently, but it seems to be the best option now. (The Baker-Hamilton plan is of course an admission of defeat, too, and that is Bush's and Cheney's reason not to adopt it.)

As for the critique Rick Moran hurls against GWBush:

The Bushies could not start the war in outing their true motive(s). Americans want to FEEL GOOD when they go to war: "good" motives, certain victory, splendid display of their army (a good show).

"Well, people, we want to take over Iraq because of the oil there and to control the oil region ... because of strategic interests that have to do with our nation's demand of cheap oil in the next 20 years at least ..."
- no, giving such a cold reason he would NOT have gotten a majority for going to Iraq.

But now, of course, the USA need a sufficient reason to stay, and that can only be the true strategic one - but now it is late, maybe too late to confess to the people the UGLY TRUTH:

that there was not only the WMD deception in the run up to the war,
"we have hidden from our national debate the real reason of this war ... we have lied all these years about our true motive to wage this war of aggression and occupation and oilgrab. We did it to secure your cheap gas for the future! We lied, but our intentions were GOOD!"

Comment Posted By leo On 20.07.2007 @ 19:19


The definition you give fits to your statement, DevX!

In my case, as you see:
I assume that the Syrian regime is behind the Hariri murder (and the other murders of Lebanese politicians) - although, being against antiSyrian action I should claim that Syria is likely to be innocent.
You see: I can accept information I do not like.
Different to you.

Comment Posted By leo On 22.07.2007 @ 05:06

Thanks for the compliments, Rick Moran.

As for Syria and the Hariri murder: In a previous post I wrote, that it is likely for me, too, that Syria was behind the assissination.
As for the other murders of prominent Lebanese opponents I also assume that Syria is responsible for them.

I think the Syrian regime is (1) reckless enough to act like this, it is (2) in a favourable position to do so due to the repercussions of the Iraq occupation war, and I think (3) the regime might interpret their interests in a way that killing some prominent Anti-Syrians of Lebanon helps them to increase Syrian standing in Lebanon on the medium run.

But our MERIE DISPUTE was not about who killed Hariri. It was about Fatah al-Islam.


You identify me with a position I definitely do not hold - and in an earlier post on a different thread I have mentioned my assumption already that Syria was likely behind the Hariri murder!
Ok, you may not have read it - I have to pardon that.
But what made you assume reading the post above that I do not attribute the Hariri murder to Syria? - I wrote about Fatah al-Islam!!

That Fatah al-Islam is sponsored by Syria is nothing but a propaganda claim by the Siniora-coalition, by Israel, by the USA. They all want to put more pressure on Syria - a legitimate aim, sure - but I am not writing here as a politician; I am an observer interested in truth, and I don't like to be fooled. I write here as a German citizen. I am neither a pro-Syrian nor an anti-Syrian propagandist.

It is simply not likely that Syria is behind Fatah al-Islam, for the reasons I stated in the previous post.

AND YOU SHOULD ADDRESS THESE REASONS, Rick Moran - as you claim these my reflections are stupid and ignorant. (Your words!!)

Now come on! You have to show your quality as a right wing macho blogger who can hit hard on liberal idiots like me!
So, tell me
your arguments about Fatah al-Islam = why I cannot be right with my interpretation, and why to assess the case in my way is simply ignorant and stupid.

It is obvious from what you wrote that Merie's testimony was coerced:
"Ahmed Merie, a Lebanese citizen, testified before a military magistrate that he was a “liaison” between the terrorist group’s leader Shaker Abssi and Syria’s head of intelligence, General Asef Shawkat. ...
Merie was arrested in a a Beirut hotel along with his brother Mohammad several weeks ago. ..."

Such a man, arrested by his enemy, will just present the truth and nothing but the truth about everything of this case?? - We are not in an American movie, Rick Moran!

Come on, you know that in such cases any convenient testimony is coerced and therefore has to be dismissed out of hand. We all know the methods how to make people tell us exactly what we want them to tell us ...

Of course Merie's interrogators will not tell us that they have tortured the man to get this convenient testimony. And with my use of the word "coerced" I left it open how exactly Merie was made to say the things he said.

In this issue, too, Rick Moran, I do not think that my view is simply ignorant or stupid. It may be disputed, ok, but you did not really try to argue, you just yelled. And commented with insults:

" .. calling you an idiot and ignorant is less than you deserve. It’s not name calling if it fits."

Whenever you point with such a nasty digital finger on me, you should realize that three of your fingers are pointing on YOU ...
You see these three fingers of yours, Rick Moran?

Comment Posted By leo On 20.07.2007 @ 15:42

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