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Palo Alto, Iraq and questions about our responsibilities

Original post made by Andrew L. Freedman, College Terrace, on Jan 23, 2007

Hi folks,

I love it here in Palo Alto – where I've lived my entire life. I did, however, live elsewhere when I served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the mid-'70s in ground infantry. While it's a different kind of warfare (and warfare training) than in the 70s, I can relate to what our troops are going through.

While attending Wilbur Junior High in 1969, I attended war protests at Frost Ampletheater, Be-Ins at El Camino Park and, like many others around me, spoke out and demonstrated in the people's protest of our government in sending troops to Viet Nam. I knew of 2 older brothers of acquaintances who had died in Viet Nam at that time.

I'm working my "second tour of duty" at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center. After a 20 hiatus working as an administrative assistant for some good Palo Alto companies, I came back to the VA 5 years ago. Just to brag a little, this is the best medical center in this area!

Like other federal employees, I've taken that certain oath to uphold the constitution and recently, I had qualms about whether I am fulfilling that oath.

In 4th grade at the original Herbert Hoover, I recall our teacher saying that it had only been less than 20 years since the atrocities in Germany. We discussed why the civilian population appeared to have done little while their government was invading other courtiers, killing innocent folks, etc.

What's happening now with our government obviously is not the same as what had occurred in Germany.

I don't know all the details. I just know that what is taking place in Iraq in connection to the U.S. involvement is somehow not right. And simply framing it as right or wrong, big or small, doesn't say enough. And I wonder now whether, in light of that oath, I have any other duties or responsibilities other than what I do now.

We live in such a beautiful community and I just don't want to lose sight of what our government (our representatives) is doing elsewhere.

Andy

Comments (63)

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Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm

As a fellow veteran (served in Vietnam as a navy SEAL, 1969-1972) I believe that we have a responsibility and duty to put great pressure on our democratically elected representatives to start the impeachment process of Bush and Cheney. The have used lies, forgery, bogus claims and deception to involve us in a completely illegal and unnecessary war that has caused thousands of American deaths, tens of thousands of severely maimed troops and an untold number of Iraqi deaths, probably well over a hundred thousand. This criminal Bush regime has made our country hated around the world and far less safe than ever before. These people are criminals who are trying to subvert the Constitution and reduce our civil freedoms. Any person, especially military veterans, who love what our nation stands for, should put all their energy into making sure that our elected representatives, Democrats, republicans and Independents, remove the Bush regime from power through the impeachment process and hand them over to the war crime tribunal in the Hague. It would be our greatest contribution to the nation.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Though I understand your worries, I can tell you that I have family who have served in Iraq, and this is NOT Germany.

Before you start making assumptions based on what you fear is happening because of the absurd media coverage, please talk to people who have actually served there, and ask yourself why our re-enlistment is highest for the ones who have served there.

My family members have re-enlisted in order to go back and help the majority of Iraqis who want us there, who depend on us for their protection while they struggle to get strong enough to defend their democracy.

This is different from taking over countries, by a long shot.

The relief in Iraq is palpable, that at last the US is going to use its strength to stop the violence. They were starting to wonder if we were going to abandon them, again, to the violent fascists who want to take over their country. ( Like we did in 91)

The relief in the military is incredible. At last they are given enough people to stop the violence.

Think of it this way, ..when we went to New Orleans to stop the ( supposed) violence there, were we being like Germany, or were we helping to keep people alive until they could get back on their own feet.




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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Albert, thank you for your service back in 69-72

Please remember that the military is all volunteer now, and much more educated than the general population.

Twice as many children of Congress are in the military than are children of the general population. I don't think our Congress' children are uneducated or unintelligent.

They are not enlisting because of a draft, but out of desire.

They are not re-enlisting for lies.

They understand better than about 1/2 of the US why we went in and what the incalculable cost to our security will be if we fail there, ..translation, pulling out before the democracy of Iraq is strong enough to defend itself and not fall into dictatorship.

Iraq has had 3 full elections already, for their constitution, their parliament, and their president. 80% of the adults voted in their last election under threat of death. When have we done that in the last 150 years, if ever?

For the first time, ever, in a Muslim Middle East country, not only is there full democracy, but women have full participation.

They are almost fully operational in police and military. They had the first real, transparent trials they have had, ever, in the last few months. They are an educated peoples willing to fight and die for democracy in their country.

All since March, 2003, faster than any democracy has ever become operational in the history of democracy.

This is not Vietnam.


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Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 23, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your comments. However, I really identify with what Albert wrote even though I am aware, as you pointed out, of media bias. Please keep in mind, too, that I specifically said that it was NOT like Germany. I had touched on civilian complacency at that time.

Also, from the perspective of working for the Palo Alto VA, I am aware of just how costly - both humanly and in dollar and cents - this "war" is going to be down the road for our troops and eventual veterans.

Is it worth it?

Andy


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Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm

"Democracy' in Iraq is one of those bogus catch words from Fox News that are as delusional and vacous as Bush's brain. The present Iraqi government is totally indebted to the most deadly Shiite militia in Iraq. The Maliki g0overnment is cooperating with shiite death squads who murder Sunni, and the Sunni militias are busy murdering Shiite and other sunni, some democracy.

Everyone knows that Bush's Iraq "surge" will not work. Even the authors of the plan, neoconservatives Frederick Kagan and Jack Keane, have emphasized that the plan cannot work with any less than an addition of 50,000 US troops committed to another three years of combat. Bush is only adding 40% of that number of troops, and Defense Secretary Gates speaks of the operation being over by summer's end.

On January 18 a panel of retired generals testifying on Capitol Hill slammed Bush's surge plan as "a fool's errand." Even the easily bamboozled American public knows the plan will not work. Newsweek's latest poll released January 20 shows that only 23% of the public support sending more troops to Iraq and that twice as many Americans trust the Democrats in Congress than trust Bush.

A majority of Americans (60%) believe Bush to be neither honest nor ethical, and 57% believe that Bush lacks "strong leadership qualities."

Every day of our presence in iraq weakens our country even further and makes us safe. The half a TRILLION!!! dollars we've already wasted on this horrible war was loaned to us by other nations, mainly Japan, China and India, since Bush had bankrupted our nation with tax cuts to the oil companies and his corporate friends, and our grandchildrens children will still be paying it off. For our own survival, we don't only need to get out of Iraq, yesterday, but impeach these criminals and send them to face war crimes charges in the Hague.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Albert:

When your enemy makes fun of a plan to fight him in order to try to stop you from doing it...it is a clue that it is the right plan. Who has condemned this the most?

By the way..your bias is showing. I am starting to think you thought Jane Fonda and John Kerry were doing a good thing back in the early 70s.

Have you ever even spoken to someone who has re-enlisted in order to go back to BAGHDAD ( where the problems are...) to see why?

By the way, we are not talking Iraq..we are talking BAGHDAD, where Sunnis and Shiites are blowing each other up. The Shiites finally got tired of waiting for us to step up to the plate and start protecting them from the Sunnis who have always regarded them as less than human and treated them as such.. So, they started fighting back.

I predict that once the Shias know we will protect them, and Maliki stops protecting Al-Sadr ( which he just announced he has), the violence will decrease to 10% of what it is now.

This will give time for the ELECTED govt of Iraq to put in place mechanisms to protect ALL of its citizens and start helping each other build trust in each other.

And, we will be down to about 30,000 troops by Nov of 08, which has been what most people who study such things predicted before we went in.


California during the LA riots.


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Posted by an observor
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 23, 2007 at 3:26 pm

In fact, as I read these posts, both Anonymous and Albert have shown their clear biases which leaves Andrew still trying to put words to his sense that the actions taken by the US government in Iraq are not right.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Yes, I have a bias. My bias is that we win in Iraq, and we win by making sure that we leave Iraq a stable democracy.

Anything which threatens that, threatens my family who is there,makes me very nervous. I am very aware of anything which lends hope and strength to those who want a dictatorship..either a Shia dictatorship, or a Sunni one. This gives these people more "will" to keep trying to overthrow their democracy.

Which means that before we start making any public statements about the US and our involvement in Iraq, we need to have facts to back it up.

If I had any idea that we were condoning any purposeful killing and wounding of innocents, I would join in trying to pull us out. I am not talking about the .01% of our people who have legitimately sentenced for brutalities. In a population of a million people, you are going to have murderers and rapists. Because this happens in a city, it doesn't mean that this is the value of the city. The values of the city are reflected in how they deal with the aberrant behaviors. And our military and govt have dealt swiftly and harshly with anyone who has transgressed the rules of behavior. ( More quickly than we do in the civilian world, I might add).

But, we have no evidence of condoned wrongdoing in Iraq, and yet it is a country with a free press.

Freedom of Speech means the right to express any opinion you wish about our government without fear from our government. On the other hand, this freedom carries a responsibility with it.

The price our veterans are paying is big. No doubt. And we must remember that this is a risk that each one has chosen to take, as full adults.

It has been over 4 years since we started making noises for us to go into Iraq. Everyone who does not support this US endeavor has been free to leave since then. Many have. Yet, by a vote of their feet, the military is at the highest enlistement, and highest re-enlistment, we have had since the institution of an all volunteer army.

I have to respect my family, and, in fact, all the soldiers and families of soldiers, who have chosen this life, and do all I can to not undermine them and contribute to anything which may cause them to die or be wounded.

I respect that there are honest doubts from honest people of integrity concerning our involvement in Iraq, and concerning the planned surge. In fact, I think that Andrew is one.

Many people have died and been wounded in the last 200 and some years to defend the right of people to express these doubts.

My fear is that to do so without finding facts first can lead to more deaths and injuries.

To the question of "is it worth it?"..I can only look at the re-enlistment rates to answer that question for me, and listen to the stories of the people who are there and know what is happening.

I think it is like asking if it worth it to be a police officer or a firefighter when people in these professions die or wounded. Our people are there for myriad personal reasons, but I don't think they are less valid than the myriad personal reasons of police or firefighters. And I don' think that they are any less honorable in their intentions.

The best I can tell from the military I know is that the intentions of most of our military in Iraq are to secure that country as a democracy, to make it and the surrounding areas safer, and reverse the tide of extremism that has threatened to engulf the Middle East.

Democracies do not grow extremists as much as dictatorships. Democracies do not attack other democracies.

This makes all of us safer.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Another reason to believe that something is going right in Iraq...the economy is the best it has been in years. Economies don't grow so rapidly if there is pessimism, devastation and horror. I think the Iraqis know something.

GDP now in Iraq. ( More than it has ever been, by a long way)
Web Link

History of GDP in Iraq.
Web Link


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Posted by Andy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 23, 2007 at 5:26 pm

The great majority of our troops want to get the hell out of Iraq and never come back. Most of those who re-enlist do it beause they have no prospect of finding employment in Bush's economy. We didn't invade Iraq to bring democracy to a nation that wouldn't recognize democracy if hit with it in the face. The reasons for the invasion are myrad and go the gamut of helping Israel become the dominant power in the ME and helping her keep the occupied territories,and old neocon goal, getting rid of anti-American regimes in the ME from (another neocon old dream), control of Iraq's vast oil reserves, making tens of billions of $ for Haliburton and a few other and even crazier schemes. You can't bring democracy to a nation with tanks and F-16s, democracy is an organic process. Another point, who the hell gave us the authority to topple other regimes,especially ones who didn't attack us and didn't pose any real threat to us, decide which countries can have nuclear weapons and which can't and what kind of governments they should have? The longer we stay, and we are there in gross violation of any international convention we have ever ratified, the less chance there is of Iraq becoming a state with some civil processes which is as close to a democracy they will ever get. We will never reccuperate our national honor until we get the hell out of Iraq and hand Bush, his VP, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, to name a few, to international crime trbunal.


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Posted by A parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Anonymous, I don't know where you're getting your re-enlistment rates information. Last week I heard a report on the news that the military was having a difficult time getting people to re-enlist and hadn't met their quotas last year.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 23, 2007 at 6:24 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm


Walter:

Labeling all who dislike USA-Israel policy anti-semite is a misuse of the concept of anti-Semitism.

Jews and Jewish leaders who attempt to silence opposition by resorting to this sort of dishonesty and injustice imperil all Jews.


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Posted by Carolyn
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:26 am

Andy,

I think most people want to stand up for what they think is right, and in doing so provide a positive example for their children. I would like to go out and scream to the powers that be that habeas corpus be reinstated, but then I'm afraid that doing so may endanger my freedom and that of my family. There is no law anymore that says I must be charged with a crime before I am thrown in jail.

How difficult was it for families to protest the German atrocities when, once it was clear that they had no control over their governments actions, just saying so put them in peril.


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Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2007 at 7:17 am

Bush intends to involve our nation in another criminal and ctastrophic war, this time with Iran.
The only action that can stop Bush is for both the Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate to call on the White House, tell Bush they know what he is up to and that they will not fall for it a second time. The congressional leadership must tell Bush that if he does not immediately desist, he will be impeached and convicted before the week is out. Can a congressional leadership that lives in fear of the Israel Lobby perform this task?

All the rest is penny-ante. Revoking the Iraqi War Resolution as Rep. Sam Farr has proposed or requiring Bush to obtain congressional authorization prior to any US attack on Iran simply lets Bush and his Federalist Society apologists for executive dictatorship claim he has commander-in-chief powers and proceed with his planned aggression. Cutting off funding is not itself enough as Bush can raid other budgets. Non-binding resolutions of disapproval are meaningless to a president who doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

Nothing can stop the criminal Bush from instituting wider war in the Middle East that could become a catastrophic world war except an unequivocal statement from Congress that he will be impeached.

Bush has made the US into a colony of Israel. The US is incurring massive debt and loss of both life and reputation in order to silence Muslim opposition to Israel's theft of Palestine and the Golan Heights. That is what the "war on terror" is about.


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Posted by Adriana_Mickelson
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 24, 2007 at 7:35 am

Civil libertarians who have observed the Bush administration concentration of dictatorial powers in the presidency expect that war with Iran, especially if fearful nuclear weapons are used, will be accompanied by Bush's declaration of a state of emergency. The Bush Regime will use the state of emergency to grab more arbitrary and dictatorial powers in the name of protecting "national security interests" and American citizens from "terrorism."

As the Bush administration crimes against the US Constitution and humanity will be monstrous, dissent will be throttled in ways that will make Americans afraid to speak, or even to think, the truth. By stifling dissent, the Bush Regime will escape accountability for launching wars on the basis of blatant lies. It will complete its destruction of the civil liberties that protect free speech, dissent, and Americans from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention without charges or access to attorneys.


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Posted by Rafe
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2007 at 8:01 am

The speaker of the house is a California democrat. She is and has been a very powerful force in this country.

Unfortunately (for this cause), I am a former Californian. Were I currently a Californian, I would be calling Ms. Pelosi's office and Ms. Boxer's office (which is in Palo Alto) and asking for an appointment with said elected representatives to bring in a group of five like-minded friends to express our concern. All three democratic legislators from the Palo Alto district have email addresses and web pages. Email takes five minutes; a phone call accomplishes the same end.

If you want to know what you can do, emails and phone calls are the answer. All three of the women who represent Northern California are very senior, very powerful, and disagree in large part with the King...er, president. But they will not move unless they hear from you, hear your concerns, hear your anger, and understand that you will not return them to Washington unless they sponsor measures and vote to oppose the policies of George IV.

It is your right as a citizen to have an audience with your representatives, but they won't invite you in--you have to ask. Aside from voting, that is what you can do.

Raphael E. Serebreny
Cubberley class of 1961

This source gives particulars for contacting your legislators:

Web Link


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Posted by A Boomer
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 24, 2007 at 10:08 am

The word "democracy" has lost its meaning. Give it a rest.

I have traveled overseas for many years, and I can tell when I am not in a free country, like the US is. But, democracy is not necessarily the best way for people to achieve prosperity, stability, and control over their lives. I would like to suggest that democracy succeeds after those things are genuinely in place, it is an "effect" of those things, not the "cause."

To buttress my contention I cite Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan (and even China and Viet Nam at the local, but not the national level) as places where regimes were not democratic for a long time, but the country's leadership were not corrupt, and instead worked toward getting their countries' economies, legal systems and social networks stable and functioning. Now we see those places with democratic governments, and freedom increases slowly each year. Most people in those countries go about their lives as we do here. They are not perfect, but they are moving forward in a healthy way.

By contrast, I will cite some recent democratic regimes run amok: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Venezuela, Pakistan, and Iraq, where democratically elected leaders have plundered their countries treasuries, wreaked havoc over the infrastructures and economies of their countries, and "reign" over chaos in increasingly despotic manners. Their people are miserable, and the futures in these places are not hopeful, even with so-called democatically elected governments.

One can quibble over my choice of countries that I cite as examples to make my point, but I stand by my contention that democracy per se does not create a favorable outcome, and in fact can lead to the opposite in a given situation. I include Iraq in its current form.

I remember being in Saudi Arabia about 10 years ago, talking with my US-educated host in his home one evening. He commented that Saudis are used to their King making the decisions, and he was not sure that just switching over the democracy there would be a good thing, even though over time, he favored more democratic participation in decisions made in his country. It was a telling comment.

I have a hard time taking seriously anything the Bush Administration says. But their conceptual framework of an Iraqi democracy bringing about democratic regimes throughout the region is horribly mis-guided, poorly thought out, empirically wrong, and used by them as an expediency, not a policy.

BTW, I take my dad to the Palo Alto VA for his medical care. It is a wonderful place for veterans, and it already is filling up with casualties from this debacle of a conflict. It is shameful that the price of admission for this fantastic medical care is a debilitated life for a ill-conceived cause.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2007 at 11:00 am

If we allow Islam to eliminate Israel as has been their unwavering goal, then get your daughters fitted for a Burkah.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 12:34 pm

Walter:

Are you suggesting the attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon were intended to forestall the destruction of Israel?


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Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Hi folks,

Nice to see some fellow Cubberley High School alums (hi Raphael). To both you and Carolyn, I actually did write to my Senator (Diane Feinstein) about my concerns, and her office did not respond. I do know that Barbara Boxer is very good and very responsive. She came to my VA to dedicate the Fisher House and she seems to be a terrific lady.

Anonymous, reenlistment statistics, even if they are high as you mentioned, still isn't a good measurement for determining whether the US is correct in what they've done in Iraq and what they continue to do.

Senator Hagel, a leading Republican said (this is from CNN's Homepage):

"There is no strategy," he said of the Bush administration's war management. "This is a ping pong game with American lives. These young men and women that we put in Anbar province, in Iraq, in Baghdad are not beans; they're real lives. And we better be damn sure we know what we're doing, all of us, before we put 22,000 more Americans into that grinder."

He says, "We better be damn sure we know what we're doing . . ." Yet he also says, "There is no strategy,"

Not even our leaders know what we're supposed to be doing there. Today, a majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in response to the President's new plan, voted on a non-binding measure saying that it is "not in the U.S. national interest." That being said, one has to wonder then, why are we there?

I firmly believe that this administration has made huge mistakes and have not been truthful to us. I guess the issue is, what do we do now?

Andy (not to get confused with the other Andy who, coincidentally, lives in my neighborhood, too)


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Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2007 at 2:13 pm

The answer to your question:'what do we do now?' is straight forward:
The only action that can stop Bush is for both the Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate to call on the White House, tell Bush they know what he is up to and that they will not fall for it a second time. The congressional leadership must tell Bush that if he does not immediately desist, he will be impeached and convicted before the week is out. Can a congressional leadership that lives in fear of the Israel Lobby perform this task?
If we don't put enormous pressure on our congressional representitives to do this, we will lose thousands of additional troops, hundreds of billions of dollars and what is left, if any, of our good name and moral authority in the world by the time dubya is out of office. Our country and the world can't survive two more years of this criminal and inate administration.


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Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Hi folks,

Just one more reference from CNN today: You'll see where the Vice President answered the question I had asked on the list here (is it worth it?)

I have average intelligence and when I read the following, I'm wondering, is it just me or is what the VP is saying so transparently lacking in credibility that one wonders why, as Albert might suggests, these people aren't in jail. Here it is:

FROM CNN

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, conducted a day after Bush delivered his State of the Union address, Cheney was asked to respond to some Republicans in Congress who "are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders and the failures."

To that, Cheney answered, "Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I just think it's hogwash."

Cheney said the administration is committed to moving ahead with its plan to send more troops to Baghdad, even if Congress passes a resolution in opposition.

"It won't stop us," he said. "And it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops."

If U.S. forces were to pull out of Iraq, "we would simply validate the terrorists' strategy that says the Americans will not stay to complete the task ... that we don't have the stomach for the fight. That's the biggest threat."

He added, "The notion that somehow the effort hasn't been worth it, or that we shouldn't go ahead and complete the task, is just dead wrong."


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Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2007 at 3:35 pm

Andrew - It's just you.


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Posted by Albert
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2007 at 4:31 pm

By invading Iraq, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the neocon hallucinators pulled the greatest con job in the history of the USA. Normally in a con job, a few or many people lose some money. In this case. tens of thousands of American troops lost their lives or returned home with horrible injuries and the nation may have sqaundered a couple of trillions of dollars when all is said and done. This is why those people needs to go to jail.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2007 at 4:31 pm

We are at war not of our chosing. The enemy observes the situation and modifies his tactics to suit our actions. That is what war is, not some chessboard setpiece where the rules are static. The enemy has two advantages over us - we are constrained in our use of force, and we are constrained by the weakness of will to do what has to be done. We have to win. All the enemy has to do is break our will, a goal he is close to having accomplished.The next time around, we will look back on this phase of the war with nostalgia.


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Posted by EnoughAlready
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 24, 2007 at 4:49 pm

"We are at war not of our chosing."

What a load of you-know-what, Walter. You're still trying to spread the "big lie" of a 9/11-Iraq link.

By going into Iraq and totally forgetting about Bin Laden and his Saudi crew, who are all hiding out in Pakistan no doubt, having a good laugh at our expense, we never even ENTERED the "right" war and instead are caught in the middle of a civil war we caused.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:04 pm

Our nation is forever disgraced by attacking Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. Normal Americans would have never participated, but they failed to grasp our leaders and their masters have a truly unAmerican hunger to murder and terrorize the helpless and the innocent.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Robin...we were disgraced when we attacked Germany in WWII. Germany did not attack us...Japan did! We should have focused on Japan. The war would have been over in a couple of years. Sure Hitler, like Saddam and Stalin, was a bad guy, but it wasn't our fight. We ended up getting in bed with Stalin - a true butchher if there ever was one.

WWII was a real human tragedy for the U.S. We could have kept our heads down, and forgot about the moralistic crap. Now we are repeating the same thing in Iraq. Pathetic. More than that, a moral crime!

Great post, Robin. You have hit the nail on the head.


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Posted by Parallels
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Here are some parallels that Bush seems to fall under:

GAMBLER: Give just 10 dollars more I will win and recover all my money.

ALCOHOLIC: Just ome more drink and I will never drink again


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Posted by DreamGirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:12 pm

> By invading Iraq, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest
> of the neocon hallucinators pulled the greatest con job in the
> history of the USA.

Sting, Sting-2, ... Blame Hollywood !!


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Amen, Ron.

USA made a complete mess of WW2, defeating Germany only to be too war-weary to address the real problem, the Soviets. Some say the Bolsheviks gulaged and slaughtered as many as 80 million humans, mostly Christian political dissidents, from 1917 to 1989. Gotta love, admire, and never forget those brave Russians who resisted Bolshevik tyranny.

And while we're at it, I've yet to understand what USA gained by entering WWI in 1917, either. Just before we barged in, a then-victorious Germany had just offered a then-defeated Britain a truly generous, truly brotherly peace settlement.

Strange how our media and our schools consistently peddle WWI and WW2 as righteous wars of necessity. Especially WW2 is often held up as some sort of model of American victory over evil.






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Posted by Draw the Line
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm

Re: Robin's last few posts..

they speak volumes

DNFTT


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Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Robin, I couldn't agree with you more. Moralistic crusades are not in our interest. Let Saddam and Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and Mao kill all they want. All long as they don't invade us. Good point about WWI.

Clinton did the right thing by not getting involved in Rwanda. He got burnt by his toying around in Somalia (why were we there in the first place?) We need to stay the heck out of Darfur!

Why is it our role to save innocent people? Let them fight for themselves!


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Draw_the_Line:

Are you admitting you're pro-Bolshevik?


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 24, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Once again from the top -
War started when Iran invaded our embassy.
War with Iraq started when Iraq invaded Kuwait and the UN declared war against them.
That war ended in a truce, the conditions of which Iraq did not comply.
War was recommenced, with UN and congressional approval, after repeated violations of the terms.
Argue your points, but not with blatant misstatements of verifiable fact.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 10:00 pm

In 1953 US and British terrorists overthrew Iran's democratically elected prime minister, Muhamed Mossadegh. In his place they installed the Shah of Iran, a loyal US puppet and death-squad dictator.

Web Link

CIA senior officer and grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. was the mastermind:

Web Link.







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Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Jan 24, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Robin...The Mossadegh coup was a major mistake. If he had stayed in power he probably would have been a fairly typical socialist dictator, similar to Eastern European varieties (who were also elected, BTW). I believe he would have been a Soviet puppet, but that is still better, in my view, than the jihadist reaction to our overthrow of him. Whatever the actual details of the situation, why was it our right to overthrow him?

Various people need to fight their own battles, according to their own histories and circumstances. If one group wants to attack another, and the 'victim' of the attack cannot defend itself, then it will die off. If the group that is attacked can defend itself (or counterattack and kill off the aggressor), so much the better. But why do we need to get involved in their battles?

If the U.S. had nuclear weapons in 1941, we probably would not have been attacked at Pearl Harbor. If, nevertheless, we were still attacked at PH, we could have simply dropped a few nukes on Japan, and the war would have been over in a couple of months, with much less loss of life for both sides.

If we (the U.S.) stay out of every other nation's business (except to trade with them, if they want trade), we would be much better off. If the jihadists want to attack us, we know where Mecca and Medina and Qum are located. It would be over in one day. It would then be our right to claim those territories, if we really wanted them (which I doubt).

Moralists refuse to acknowledge that their insistence on protection of the innocent oftentimes causes more innoncent death than would have otherwise occurred. Either way, why should my family members be required to go 'save' them? Let them die. I want my kids to live.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 24, 2007 at 11:44 pm

No wonder Stalin laughingly agreed to Churchill's and FDR's demands for elections throughout Eastern Europe.

What a sorry charade to have long-established Tory and Labour candidates facing off against Communist Land Reformers.

Once those Communists won office, it was all over. The police, the military, and the ballot box were theirs to keep for over 50 years.

I think Churchill and FDR knew this all too well.

And the brutalization of Eastern Europe is still going strong. It's estimated that each year more than 200,000 Eastern European women and girls are swept up into international sex slavery networks:

Web Link







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Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2007 at 5:39 am

Robin... There are a lot of bad things out there. It is OK to talk about them, but it is wrong to get our country involved, unless it comes to our borders. Moralistic campaigns are bad, in the end, for the majority of us. To interefere in a foreign country's business (even for a 'good cause') is cultural imperialism. One of the reasons that the U.S. is stuck in Afghanistan is that American women were upset about the treament of women in that country by the Taliban. We had a right to bomb Al Queda camps, and possibly to arm the Northern Alliance, as payback for 9/11, but we had no right to get involved in the internal affairs of the Taliban, even if we don't happen to like they way they treat women. We are stuck there for decades, now, and there will be heavy casualties going forward.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2007 at 10:38 am

The Shah supposedly offed 3000 men during his entire rule. The Ayatolla killed ten times that many his first month in power.
The interests of the United States do not end at the seashore. Sneer if you will that most of these interests are economic, but economic feeds you.
The women of Afghanistan story is a new one. Islam is crippled because of their disdain for women that denies their economy helf the available workers.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 26, 2007 at 7:51 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2007 at 8:46 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 26, 2007 at 8:53 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Normal, life-loving Americans question the wisdom of blowing trillions on flattening and destablizing relatively peaceful nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.

And now it seems, Iran is a candidate for the same treatment.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 26, 2007 at 4:01 pm

If you want to stop the war, you can contact Anna Eshoo, Representative for the 14th District of CA which includes Palo Alto.

Anna Eshoo
District Office
698 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, California 94301
Telephone: (650) 323-2984 or
(408) 245-2339 or (831) 335-2020
Fax: (650) 323-3498 Washington, D.C. Office
205 Cannon Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Telephone: (202) 225-8104
Fax: (202) 225-8890

Contact Anna by e-mail:


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2007 at 9:50 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 12:37 am

It is kind of funny watching people, who would normally scream bloody murder if they felt someone doesn't allow them to say whatever they want wherever they want, meekly accept the censorship of Bill Johnson's gentility-troopers.

Enough said.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 8:29 am

I don't understand why the hateful speech, especially aimed at Islam, is permitted; but criticizing specific Jewish leaders is forbidden.

Go up 7 posts and Walter Wallis posts "Islam is crippled because of their disdain for women that denies their economy helf the available workers."

Can you imagine the moderators allowing a similar a slur against Judaism?



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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Well, Islam IS crippled by its disdain for women [in education and the workforce]. Not everywhere, but almost everywhere in the Middle East and Africa, and rather frequently everywhere else. This is a fact, so why is it a slur?

As to a "similar slur" against Judaism, it would indeed be a slur. Only a tiny minority of Jews still adheres to the belief that women should not study too much, or that should not leave their homes to work.

Still, I wouldn't be bothered by such a slur. After all, a slur reflects more on the thrower than on the recipient. I would be bothered if it was true, which you seem not to be vis-a-vis Islam.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm

You need to understand I am under orders from the Elders of Zion.


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Walter, please contact me to receive further instructions.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Wolf and Wallis:

Judaism is superior to Islam in it's treatment of women?

Really?

You sure about that?

How come Jewish women are never more than 10% of the 120 Knesset members?

Web Link

Time for you to head back to the drawing board to fabricate more myths about the glory of Judaism.





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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 2:36 pm

To conclude, Israeli religious parties are the main reason Israel boasts a limited number of women in public life:

Web Link

"The limited number of women in public life can be attributed, to a large extent, to the political structure itself. The system of proportional representation, which actually encouraged women's representation in Europe, has not had the same effect in Israel. A great deal of power is granted to the political parties, in which women tend to be under­represented, particularly at the decision­making levels. Also, the absence of majority parties necessitates the establishment of coalitions with smaller parties, to form a government. This tends to strengthen the role of the small religious parties, which are generally opposed to the participation of women in public life. Other small parties, such as the Arab and ethnic parties, have also discouraged participation of women. "


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Dear Robin,

I am confused. I thought we were speaking about Islam vs. Judaism, but you seem to use "Jew" and "Israeli" as a synonym. Not very nice! In fact, some see such confusion as a symptom of antisemitism :-)

So, for example, you could as well ask this question about US Congress rather than the Knesset. Or about California reps to US Senate :-)

Further, even your argument about the Knesset holds little water. Your own reference mentions that it is the Israeli *party* system that often holds women somewhat back. The religious parties a bit more so, but in any event they hold less than 25% of the Knesset and cannot account for most of the skew. Not to mention that female representation among the Arab political parties in Israel is *much* worse.

Finally, the original argument was about female participation EDUCATION and the WORKFORCE and not at the pinnacles of power. There even US and Europe have still some way to go. Please stick to the claim when you argue your issues.


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Wolf,

Allow me to remind you that Town Square asks its contributors to be respectful and truthful.

Your post is misuse of the concept of anti-Semitism.

In addition to be disrespectful, you are untruthful to suggest I used the word "Jew".

I don't believe our moderators will tolerate this mischief, nor should they tolerate your hate speech aimed at Islam.






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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Hey, I object to being called "goy hating"! I like George Bush! I like Condoleezza Rice! I liked Bill Clinton (at least until the Monica affair)! I like Walter (who I assume is a "goy" even if accepting orders from the Elders of Zion)! I liked Daniel Patrick Moynihan!

I also object to your pseudo gentile "un-truthful." You don't even need to call me a liar -- simply show where I twist the facts and everyone will see it for himself. But until you succeed...

I guess when facts fail, you think that a good name calling may work. Good luck!


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Oops... should have been "genteel" and not "gentile." Sigmund, go to sleep!


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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 27, 2007 at 7:10 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 10:13 pm

I urge Bill Johnson's censors NOT TO EDIT Robin's missives. I am not insulted by them--how can one be insulted by Robin?--and I think it is important that they should be allowed to stand and be seen by all. They speak for themselves.


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Posted by Wolf
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Oops... too late! Censors, please RESTORE Robin's posts. You are simply dumbing down the discussion! Venom should be seen for what it is--it is not simply a "bitter syrup" that can be swallowed and forgotten.


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Posted by Boaz
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 29, 2007 at 10:21 am

I had to laugh at Robin's complaints about Wolf and other's posts.
i especially enjoyed the line "I don't believe our moderators will tolerate this mischief, nor should they tolerate your hate speech aimed at Islam."
Well after looking back at this threads and others it seems that the editors delete quiet a few of Robin's posts.
perhaps this is an example of the kettle trying to call the pot black.




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Posted by Robin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Boaz,

I don't make way for two-bit Arab-haters and neither should you.

In case you didn't notice, they don't just hate Arabs, they hate us, too.

They're delighted both Islam and USA are being destroyed.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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