April 07, 2004


James Lileks delivers the last word on the Daily Kos derailment:

Americans strung up and burned. Big-time blogger says “screw them.” Blogger suffers blowback, just as a mainstream columnist would suffer if he wrote that it was time to nuke Mecca or pave Fallujah. And there are consequences? Welcome to the real world.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 7, 2004 05:10 AM

maybe ted rall will do the illustrations for kos' site...
i haven't gone to kos' site, because i refuse to boost his traffic.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at April 7, 2004 at 05:24 AM

Daily Kos is taught the same lesson that politicians have been trying to learn probably forever. It's not always what you said at the beginning - everybody says stupid things. It's how you react after people notice you said something stupid. You can apologize and move on or you can blame your legion of enemies. So Daily Kos was taught the lesson but did he learn anything from the experience?

Posted by: Keith at April 7, 2004 at 05:39 AM

Hey, I wrote three Dems. I could get to like this crushing dissent business.

Posted by: Bruce at April 7, 2004 at 05:40 AM

Maybe Kos would like to help Ann Coulter get her job with National Review back, since he's such a free speech advocate.

Posted by: E.A. at April 7, 2004 at 05:46 AM
Welcome to the real world.

Probably the most cruel thing one can say to a leftist.

Posted by: PW at April 7, 2004 at 06:24 AM

Unfortunately, Kos hasn't learned anything. He is acting like a martyr.

Posted by: Blue at April 7, 2004 at 06:55 AM

I have to disagree - if this were the real "real world," Kos would probably get his ass kicked.

Posted by: Bill from INDC Journal at April 7, 2004 at 07:28 AM

I ruminated on "nuke Mecca or pave Fallujah" for a while this morning. I'm not sure whether it would fit better as one of the rotating slogans at LGF, or at a site satirizing LGF, or both.

Posted by: Bob71 at April 7, 2004 at 07:40 AM

Reality is nothing if you do not possess the means to observe and/or interact with it.

I long ago came to the conclusion that you're either Right, caught up in the sheer folly of Centrism, or plain nuts.

Posted by: Mike Jericho at April 7, 2004 at 07:54 AM

Kos was complaining because 5 soldiers that died that day got a lower billing in the news than the "mercs". The fact is, the mercs wouldnt have gotten top billing if they hadnt been dismembered and hung from a bridge. For some odd reason, Kos seems to be missing the importance of that.

Posted by: Oktober at April 7, 2004 at 09:41 AM


Posted by: chris at April 7, 2004 at 10:40 AM

KOS of couse

Posted by: chris at April 7, 2004 at 10:42 AM

wher is a good spot to fer abginner bloggrtr to start gettinto ito in australiA

Posted by: chris at April 7, 2004 at 10:52 AM

just as a mainstream columnist would suffer if he wrote that it was time to nuke Mecca or pave Fallujah

Did LGF have on its web site at one stage a frontpage article calling for the demolition or something of Fallujah?

It doesn't seem to have it any more. I don't think Charles has ever pulled anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if he maybe the original author had to take back the article, and that meant Charles removing his post quoting it as well.

Posted by: Andjam at April 7, 2004 at 10:52 AM

His defense doesn't even make sense. Why would five military deaths cause him to not care about non-military deaths? If my mother were to die the same week as your grandfather, would it be acceptable for me to say I don't care about your loss? This "overshadowing" and "mercenary" claims are just a sad attempt at rationalization. This is true even before we scoff at his claim we've "lionized" these men. This wasn't done by commentators, but by the media looking for a new human interest angle.

What does make sense is that the contractor deaths were drawing attention away from what Kos felt was the appropriate lesson: we shouldn't be in Iraq. Military deaths are worth more in that analysis because while soldiers chose to be in the military, predominantly the choice wasn't made with the Iraq war in mind. Contractors, on the other hand, specifically signed up for Iraq.

Another way to look at it is that the involuntary nature of the soldiers' service saves them from the "taint" of Kos' vision of an evil war. Contractors have no such shield and are thus "tainted". Ultimately, this means Kos believes it is just that volunteers die.

I think he tries to justify all this by dragging in the negative connotations of the term "mercenary". To recognize this, consider what your emotional reaction is to the term, and see if any of the images apply to his usage. Mine certainly don't. I envision peoplebeing used to commit atrocities since they have no relationship to the populace. This certainly has no bearing on men who were guarding food shipments.

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 10:59 AM

Unfortunately your analysis (or what you speculate may be Kos's analysis) falls apart due to the fact that soldiers are not in the military "involuntarily." They may have no choice where they are sent once they sign up, but they can't say they didn't know that one of the risks of this particular career is the possibility of being killed in battle.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 7, 2004 at 12:42 PM

I have one objection to the item only: moral equivalence.

It is time to nuke Mecca, and they can do in Fallujah also while on that milk run.

Posted by: d at April 7, 2004 at 01:01 PM

I disagree. As I explained, (most) soldiers volunteered without knowing specifically that they would end up in Iraq. The issue isn't about accepting risk of death. The issue is whether the person chose to fight this (immoral) war. The choice to join the military isn't immoral, only the choice to fight this particular war.

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 01:09 PM

You are wrong mj.
When someone enlists, they do so fully cognisant of the fat that they are paid to prepare for war, any war, their own view on any war which might arise in their time in service is irrelevant to that fat as also to:

They signed, they agrred to serve as ordered, they freely take, in return, the pay which, as with other things not so worthy like social welfare, natioanl socialisto medicare, emoluments, subsidies and other benefits of that contract.

An example is the sailors, RAAN, who deserted ship claiming they disgreed with that war, Gulf War I, and are entitled to be loosed of their freely contracted obligations. Rubbish, they should have been court martialled on quite a few counts including the some of the gravest: desertion; desertion , so cowardice before the face of the enemy.

The fact is, mj, many who enlist do so not just on the spur of the moment but, even though inclined, after much consideration of what is entailed , before they sign up.

There is another important dimension to why servicemen cannot arbitrarily decide which war they will or will not fight in: moral responsibilty: that accrues to the govt. of the day.

On the other hand, having enlisted , a servicemen has thus stated they are not only prepared to go to war, they are prepared to do what that entails, kill others of the enemy. So, those servicemen who cry they are repressed because they forced to fight in wars they disapprove of, are also hypocrites. If they find one war immoral, they must do so of every war because, every war they might have to fight in is the term of their contract. They should, at the least, be dishonourably discharged and accrued pay not handed over and not least because such fuckwits have just wasted more of real taxpayers hard earned money: such servicemen are not hoinopurable, they are userers.

They signed up, they take the money and everything else, and then, when it is time to pay back with the work they are contractually obliged top deliver, they refuse to do so. Fuck them. They are a disgrace.

Posted by: d at April 7, 2004 at 01:28 PM


You are dead wrong. Military personnel swear an oath to defend the Constitution and follow the orders of their duly appointed chain of command. I know, I did.

There is no promise, implied or otherwise, moral or immoral, about where they will serve or what they will do. Those are controlled by the laws of the United States and the Unified Code of Military Justice. Many soldiers have elected to break their oath, and refuse to deploy when orderd. They get court martialed.

I recall one soldier who was courtmartialed for refusing to wear the UN beret for a deployment to Bosnia; in fact, he refused to serve under UN command, even when ordered to do so. He viewed the deployment as against the Constitution. Is that an immoral view, simply because he didn't sign up for a UN deployment?

In short, don't apply your "morality" to this. Your definition of morality is immaterial.

Posted by: JeffS at April 7, 2004 at 01:29 PM

"As I explained, (most) soldiers volunteered without knowing specifically that they would end up in Iraq. "

This is incorrect except in a trivial sense. Furthermore, enlistments have very strong recently, when many know for sure they were or are going.

But the Kos thing isn't about Kos directly. It is that such a mindset is held by someone considered a mainstream liberal Democrat.

Posted by: David at April 7, 2004 at 01:33 PM

PS to mj:

I forgot to add that Kos didn't make sense in his rant because he wasn't thinking, he was hating. Then he realized what a publicity mess he had created, tried to recant, and failed to do so.

That's because no one really believes him, but there are those who will forgive and/or excuse him, for whatever reason. Those people need to examine their own motives before spouting about their morality.

Posted by: JeffS at April 7, 2004 at 01:35 PM


There is a whole political process, which amazingly enough is democratic in the US,UK and Australia, and that political process is what makes the decisions to take military action.

A fundamental part of our democracy is a seperation of powers. The military enacts the policy of the government. It is a matter of the politicians being able to ask why and the military asking how high? This is one of the fundamental bedrock principles of western democracy.

The vast majority of military forces from western democracies consist of ordinary people achieving extraordinary outcomes, despite fuckwits like you who have no idea what being in the military is all about. You probably have no concept of the meaning of words like honour, loyalty, discipline, integrity, mateship. . .I could go on but I'd just confuse you.

Paratus and Percute Percute Velociter

Posted by: Razor at April 7, 2004 at 01:42 PM

Andjam, it's still there: Raze Fallujah. It links to an article in Frontpagemag by right-wing lesbian activist (seriously), Tammy Bruce, who's not known for mincing words:

Fallujah has remained a hotbed of support for the brutal past regime, and for reasons that can only be explained by political correctness, we have not, up to this point, destroyed that base of murder, terrorism and bestial violence.

I contend it is now time to raze Fallujah.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at April 7, 2004 at 01:58 PM


That may be your view, but it doesn't explain the facts in Kos' case. I'm not trying to explain my view or your view. I never claimed soldiers have the right to decline deployments, nor am I saying anyone else believes soldiers have or should have the right to decline deployments. I'm only saying that some intuit the lack of such right absolves / mitigates their moral responsibilty.

This is hardly controversial. If a judge orders a bailiff to confine someone and it turns out later to be a technical legal violation, should we look to the bailiff or the judge?

I can't help but conclude you didn't read my post very carefully. I'm not saying they don't have to go. I'm also not saying the soldiers would not have gone had they had a choice.

As to the point that many knew Iraq would be their destination, I hardly think we're to that point yet. Iraq's only been on the horizon as is for two years. We may have had general knowledge that Iraq was a potential theater of conflict, but it's not necessarily "war" that's the problem as much as "war in these particular circumstances". So general knowledge of a potential threat isn't a sufficient trigger.

I don't know the exact percentage, but including Guardsmen I would guess 75% or more enlisted prior to that time. At the point of deployment the number had to be even higher. Anyone who enlisted during the brief period between public knowledge and deployment was probably still in training.

On rereading my second post (response to Andrea Harris), I'm now thinking you didn't read my first post to see that I'm explaining my interpretation of Kos' actions. If that's the case, I should think this would clear up the misunderstanding.

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 02:15 PM

I hate it when soldiers (or their parents) say, "oh, i just signed up to get the benefits, i don't actually want to fight." Thats like being hired at a restaurant and not wanting to cook or clean once you get the job. when you sign up for the MILITARY, you really are signing up to be in the MILITARY, you know? the army? the group with guns and tanks and shit? if you dont want any part of it, dont fucking sign up!!!

Posted by: Oktober at April 7, 2004 at 02:17 PM

Monty Pythons, as usual, explained it all before:

Watkins (Eric): I like to leave the army, please, sir.
Colonel (Graham): Good heavens, man, why?
Watkins: It's dangerous.
Colonel: What?
Watkins: There are people with guns there, sir.
Colonel: What?
Watkins: Real guns, sir. Not toy ones. sir. Proper ones, sir. They've all got 'em. All of 'em, sir. And some of 'em got tanks.
Colonel: Watkins, they are on our side.
Watkins: And grenadas, sir. And machine guns, sir, So, I'd like to leave, sir, before I get killed, please.
Colonel: Watkins, you've been in the army a day.
Watkins: I know sir but people get killed, properly dead, sir, no barley cross fingers, sir. A bloke was telling me, if you are in the army and there is a war you have to go and fight.
Colonel: That is true.
Watkins: I mean, blimey, I mean if it was a big war somebody could be hurt.
Colonel: Watkins, why did you join the army?
Watkins: For the water-skiing and for travel, sir. And not for the kiling, sir. I asked them to put it on my form, sir - no killing.
Colonel: Watkins, are you a pacifist?
Watkins: No, sir, I am not a pacifist, sir. I'm a coward.

Posted by: Katherine at April 7, 2004 at 03:09 PM

Actually, mj, I did read your first post. I'll stand by my comments on that, but it doesn't necessarily apply to you. You're being polite on this blog, and I really appreciate that. But some people excuse evil and stupid, and that is something that I don't ignore, even if I come across as a pain.

As to you other point.....

mj, any good soldier accepts moral responsibilities. You should be very glad of that, and not find reasons to go around "....saying that some intuit the lack of such right absolves / mitigates their moral responsibilty." Indeed, their training includes the legal and moral issues of war, the so-called "Laws of War".

They also sign up for war. That's why we have military, and give them weapons. That's in their training, even if they get assigned to a desk in the midwest.

All of this ignores the other comments posted here about civilian control over the military. What I say here is a result of that control.

My point was and remains that your moral judgement of this war is yours and yours alone. Those soldiers have their own demons to face. If they want help, and ask for it, that's a different matter. So please don't pass moral judgement on them in abstentia. Or forgive them their sins.

If you don't like the war in Iraq, fine, that's your decision. But don't rationalize your support for the troops into some sort of logical morality quagmire that relieves you of the stain of even remotely supporting the war.

As a side note, you said:

I don't know the exact percentage, but including Guardsmen I would guess 75% or more enlisted prior to that time. At the point of deployment the number had to be even higher. Anyone who enlisted during the brief period between public knowledge and deployment was probably still in training.

As a former member of the National Guard, I would raise your guess to above 90%, for various reasons. And all of them knew deployments were in the wind well before 9/11. There were unit mobilizations, up to battalion in size, for years into the Balkans and other places. Or Desert Storm I. Those call ups lasted 9-12 months each. By no small coincidence, it's a major reason why we have the National Guard, not to mention the Reserves.

Posted by: JeffS at April 7, 2004 at 03:28 PM

I raised my hand and swore an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic and to obey those in command over me.

Don't anyone mitigate my moral responsibility for serving in Desert Storm. Nobody made me sign up, and the military is there to carry out the will of the government. I chose to be an agent of the government. We all chose it. None of us were drafted. None of the people serving now were drafted, either.
Everybody takes an intelligence test before entering, everybody goes through Basic and drills on killing people, everybody goes through soldierization to understand that they're no longer civilians.
With the amount of hell that draftees along with volunteers were put through by a certain segment of the civilian population 30 years ago, I'm waiting for people like Kos to start calling our current entirely volunteer military names.

Posted by: Donnah at April 7, 2004 at 03:54 PM


I don't think I'm excusing Kos at all. I think I showed that his stated rationalizations (he was upset about non-miltary men receiving more publicity, etc) aren't reasonable. Further, I showed a line of reasoning which both fits his actions and shows him quite outside the mainstream.

Kos was upset because the people who died were inconvenient to his cause. The fact that the media focused on the dead contractors instead of dead soldiers prevented him from using the matter as a reason to abandon the war. He can argue that enlistees were sent to Iraq involuntarily, even if they would have gone had they been offered a specific choice. Contractors have no such value because they demonstrably did make that choice. Politics means more to him than 9 dead Americans. I'm not sure how you think this is apologizing for him, I think it's reprehensible.

I'm not trying to hide behind anything, I support the war. Is it so hard to understand that I am explaining a theory of morality other than my own?

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 04:16 PM

The following exchange is intersting; iforget the citation but the following is accurate:

2nd century, early chruch history, Roman soldier and chrisitan, writs to a Father with the problem:

the soldier is clealry affected by his new found faith and in voiew of that, on the account not of warfare per se but on the count many christians who serve do actually wrsetle with, can they do so in view of `not killing someoe else'.

Roam Army soldiers were boudn to serve for a minimum of a decade and, exectution was the penalty for attempting to break service.

The Father replied: you could be executed for it;
there is no good in that; it is not germane to the faith of a chrisitan grounded in the life of the holy Trinity.May you be be transparent to the Blessed Trinity, remain firm in your faith grow in it, but dont' confuse this with what you must do as a man also. There is a very ine distinction involved which also Pau;,. John, Luther, Shleirmacher, Bultmann, Boheoffer , Robertson, to name a few, if not fully worked out at leat intuitively understood: the Scholaistic distinctio, what is of man and what is of god, and Luther's what some call evil is good and others good is evil,have not been bested for distilling what underpins, very fine and very sensitive distinctions, distinctions which are manifest in the Father's pastoral to a Roman soldier.

Posted by: d at April 7, 2004 at 04:20 PM

mj obviously thinks that supporting various dictators who slaughter their own people en masse (such as Saddam Hussein)is very "moral".

mj obviously believes that anyone who will fight to remove such a person is "immoral".

mj obviously thinks that blowing up people in places like a nightclub in Bali, a train in Spain or the WTC is very "moral".

mj obviously thinks that to fight to stop people who carry out such acts is exceptionally "immoral".

mj I am sure thinks that the horrible rapes and mistreatment of women at the hands of Islamic thugs in Australia and Europe is perfectly fine because we are all not sufficiently sensitive to the "cultural differences" between Islam and the "western" cultures.

Well mj, I am glad that I am not as "moral" or as "sensitive" as you.

Posted by: cat herder at April 7, 2004 at 04:32 PM

Posted by: cat herder

What an appropriate name. There's certainly a herd mentality tonight.

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 05:10 PM

Wonder what Gnat thinks?

Posted by: burton cummings at April 7, 2004 at 05:19 PM

Is that U Michael Jackson? (MJ)? NO LITTLE BOYS FOR YOU!

Posted by: soup nazi at April 7, 2004 at 05:37 PM

Aren't y'all forgetting the Democrats' damnable twist to the enlistment issue? Surely you've heard them say how the poor is virtually FORCED to enlist because the economy is so "bad" under this Republican president. Pretending that the US economy is not about the best in the world is their favorite game. Their second favorite is to pretend that patriotism is not a strong factor in signing up for the armed services.

The Dem's say that young people desperate for a paycheck and college tuition under the Uncle Sam plan have no where else to go other than to the armed services. Jessica Lynch's press reports described her as a small town gal with no work options in a collapsed job market and needing a college scholarship.

Our patriotic Dem's make military service sound mostly like a government welfare jobs and education program. But the political pay-off to their argument is to assert that many of these recent "economy draft" or "involuntary" recruits were not really expecting to fight a war, and especially one they couldn't possibly believe in...

So, not only do Democrats impugn this war, but the recruiting process whereby troops are "forced" to fight. Some Democrats even lied about US troops being disproportionately comprised of ethnicities- not true. They contended that these minority member soldiers would be sent to die so that (white) Republicans' kids could be safe at home. This was Rangel's rationale for his cynical draft reinstatement ploy. Funny how racism charges cut both ways. The US military has worked hard to be racially integrated and representative of the population as a whole. And now that's a problem??!

Fortunately, reenlistment is doing well, as JeffS notes, and WHILE THE WAR IS STILL ON! Must be because our economy is tanking, though, with all of those new jobs created recently...

Posted by: c at April 7, 2004 at 05:40 PM

MJ stated a theory of why antis like Kos would feel less sympathy for the contractors as opposed to regular soldiers.

Now a bunch of comprehension-challenged maroons are haranguing him for things he never said, projecting his "theory into the mind of Kos" onto MJ himself.

WTF? Read MJ's first post again. If you get mad at MJ - read it again, cause you didn't understand it. Repeat until you get a clue.


Posted by: Australian Elvis at April 7, 2004 at 06:47 PM

i read it. i comprehend it. it's still shit.

Posted by: soup nazi at April 7, 2004 at 06:56 PM

Swear to God, I had this exact conversation yesterday.

"I think the biggest mistake the government ever made was to drop the draft."

"No kidding?"

"Yeah, I mean, like, think about it. The reason so many innocent people are being killed over in Iraq is because we're sending people over there who WANT to be soldiers."

"There's something wrong with wanting to be a soldier?"

"YEAH, duh! Being a soldier involves killing people! Only serious psychopath loonies would ever WANT to be soldiers. Only when soldiers don't want to be soldiers can you guarantee that they'll try all the other options before they start killing people."

"You know, we had the draft during the Vietnam War..."

"Exactly! You never heard about innocent people being killed in Vietnam, you know?"

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at April 7, 2004 at 07:08 PM

mj, quit splitting hairs. If that isn't "your" viewpoint -- that this is an "immoral" war, that soldiers are "victims" because they "signed up not knowing they would be sent to Iraq" -- but merely the viewpoint of the reprehensible Kos, then why the fuck are you arguing with us when we poke holes in the idea? What in hell is there to "disagree" with? People who sign up for military service don't get to pick where they are sent, and they know this from day one, and anyone who pretends otherwise is being at best a disengenuous fool. If you "support the war" then you know this to be true, so quit arguing Kos' side. By the way, it's rather patronizing of you to go to such lengths to "explain" the little shit's "viewpoint"; none of us are mystified as to what motivates him -- we just don't care.

As for "Australian Elvis," go back to singing "Love Me Tender" in the bathroom mirror or whatever it is someone who calls themselves "Australian Elvis" does.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 7, 2004 at 08:08 PM

Read MJ's 1st post again. He's actually on your side. You are taking it a little too personally.

Posted by: Observer at April 7, 2004 at 10:22 PM

Let's just get this straight - MJ's post was clearly anti-Kos. He was responding to a "why the hostility to mercs" theme (see Oktober's preceding comment) and he came up with a theory.

Your initial response Andrea was that his argument 'falls apart due to the fact that soldiers are not in the military "involuntarily."'

That's true - and that's the point. It doesn't have to make sense for people like Kos to believe it. MJ is just trying to find some reason why this 'mercenary' meme is getting such traction on the left. His thesis is that Kos-lefties believe that soldiers had less choice that mercs, therefore mercs are more responsible and deserve less sympathy.

I think it needs explaining again cause so many people are going off the handle and attributing to MJ beliefs that are clearly not his.

Fair suck of the sav.

Posted by: Australian Elvis at April 7, 2004 at 10:24 PM


I think it's more productive to try to deduce what they actually think rather than just say FU. His apologists are now claiming this is no big deal, just some "intemperate" comments. I think that's bullshit. People don't run off at the mouth like that over nothing. There's a line of reasoning from which his actions make perfect sense, they just don't want to admit it because counterproductive to winning the propoganda battle.

Saying the logic is faulty misses the point. It isn't the logic that's the problem. The ugliness is the core beliefs you have to have for the logic to get you where Kos ends up. It's standard lefty rhetoric to excuse the soldiers because they're under orders, look at Kerry's Vietnam claims. In fact, I rather think this is a practicial stance undertaken because they now understand how unpopular it is to call our soldiers babykillers.

I'm defending the theory that people think like this, I'm not saying they're right. Part of the reason I make the claim is because I know several people who openly admit it. It's just not that uncommon a belief set on the left.

If you think it's not worth understanding people on the other side I can only say I disagree. When people come to understand the core beliefs you have to hold to arrive at such positions, it becomes much easier for them to see why such beleifs should be rejected.

Posted by: mj at April 7, 2004 at 11:05 PM


I think the problem here is that what you're doing is so alike what appeasers of terrorists do. Instead of actively fighting terrorism, we need to find the root causes; answer the question of "why do they hate us?" I think Andrea and the others are so tired of hearing that question that they automatically disregard anything that brings that to mind, which your discussion does. And to be honest, I'm siding with them on this: your idea only works when some sort of discussion is possible, but Kos and his ilk are so consumed with hatred that they can't handle rational debate on the matter. (Which is why posts like his get made in the first place...)

Just my $.02. 'Course I could be wrong, and probably am. Especially since no one should be allowed to post comments on 2 hours of sleep.

Posted by: david at April 7, 2004 at 11:26 PM

Poor Little Soldiers?

An excellent vetting of a Progressive screed about how the American military is a dumping ground for poor kids and how they all live in poverty.

If you believe this sort of thing, or know someone who does, point them here for a correction.

Thanks to Instapundit for the head's up.

Jason: The Progressive Disorder

But between the glaring factual errors, the total misunderstanding of military pay and benefit structures, and the condescending cultural elitism built into her prose, it's clear that Ehrenreich has no idea how to report on the military community. Neither does the editorial staff at The Progressive.

Posted by: J at April 8, 2004 at 12:44 AM


I'm not interested in convincing loony lefties, I'm interested in revealing their politics without the glossy finish they work so hard to maintain. The purpose of debating isn't to convince your opponent, it's to convince third parties that you are right and the other guy is wrong.

While you may think delving into such issues is unnecessary, I think they're critical. If no plausible alternative to "he was intemperate" is advanced, that explanation will be accepted by default. That may not matter to people who oppose Kos' views, but it does to those who are in the middle. It is also a step in the education of people who are lefties more by default than education.

Although you're correct that lefties are primarily driven by hate, I think you err by claiming they aren't logical. They are, but you have to start with their core beliefs to understand the logic. The irrationality is the starting point, not the process.

Once you view it this way, though, you'll see that it's far more damaging to them to have those core beliefs revealed than it is to argue about whether soldiers are shielded from moral culpability by being under orders. By accepting this argument you've lost the war even if you win the battle.

Posted by: mj at April 8, 2004 at 01:37 AM

mj - Had an argument with a lefty on another blog. She objected to a post pointing to a memorial fund for the four contractors, "highly paid mercenaries", yadda yadda. That was used to springboard into a rant on the unfairness of military pay, the bloated military-industrial complex, Halliburton, Rachel Corrie, right-wing blog conspiracies to crush dissent, and on and on.

The left is convinced that everything evil is caused by money. If you make zero dollars, it doesn't matter if you're a deluded anti-American splodeydope sympathizer, you're golden. 18k a year as a voluntary soldier? They'll let you slide. 200 bucks an hour to deliver food in a warzone? You're EVIL!

So, you're right, they do have a sort of logic to their moral obtuseness.

Posted by: Matt Moore at April 8, 2004 at 02:56 AM

"Exactly! You never heard about innocent people being killed in Vietnam, you know?"

God, what ignorance! Someone wasted their educational dollars, that's for sure.

Posted by: JeffS at April 8, 2004 at 12:35 PM

Hey, Elvis Kangaroo or whatever your name is, I KNOW MJ IS "ON OUR SIDE." THAT'S WHY I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS "I DISAGREE" SHIT WAS ALL ABOUT. I WAS FUCKING AGREEING WITH HIM. Christ, but it is frustrating trying to communicate with pinheads.

By the way, MJ, you made your goddamn point. About twenty times. We. Get. It. Now go away.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 8, 2004 at 01:40 PM