The Spinning Pinwheel Flame War
by Luke Jackson
Table of Contents
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
appeared in issue 225.
A motley group of participants in an Internet forum take widely differing positions on various social issues, including a war in the Middle East. Note the date: 2024.
--- Cynic email@example.com wrote:
Fat Toe, are you looking for any employees?
I would love to work for someone who would guarantee my constant employment. Since any potential replacement would have the same basic goals that I had, you would continue to retain me, no matter how shitty a job I did.
Not only that, but I could just say I was doing a great job and you’d accept it without question.
Hire Cynic in 2024, or the terrorists will kill your pets!
--- Fat Toe firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Perhaps Straw Man is finally waking up to the idea that he needs to present a plan for Turkmenistan! That’s a
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Your reply seems to indicate an obsession with multilateralism... why? If it’s out of a desire to show respect or “lack of contempt” for the rest of the world, I think that is a mistake. I think nations act in their own best interests, not out of respect or admiration for other countries. That’s just Basic Iron Theory.
For example, Old Europe opposed our invasion of Turkmenistan not because they lacked respect for Iron Man or disliked America — they opposed our invasion because it was in their best interest to keep The Sultan in power because they stood to reap billions from oil contracts (and kickbacks) that they had received from The Sultan’s regime. Italy withdrew from Turkmenistan, not out of hatred of Iron Man’s policies, but because they knuckled under due to some penny ante terrorist attacks on their soil.
Nations tend to act in rational self-interest, not out of emotional love or respect for their fellow nations or their leaders, so all this hooey about respect for Straw Man is just that — a bunch of hogwash. If Straw Man is elected, the French, Germans, Russians, and Spaniards will not send troops to the Middle East. Mark my words. Any politician from any of those white-flag waving countries who tried to enter the War on Terror now would instantly be voted out by the brainwashed, unwashed hairy masses that populate those fun-to-visit but otherwise quite useless tracts of European land that should be annexed by the U.S. and turned into golf courses and condos.
Even if a U.S. President convinced the Russians, French, and Germans to send troops to Turkmenistan, do you really think it would make a difference on the batttlefield? No. In fact, a whole army of light-blue-helmeted white-flag waving U.N. weekend warriors would just be cannon fodder for the Islamic jihad.
Like it or not, the U.S. is the strongest, most technologically advanced and fiercest fighting force on earth. Multilateralism for the sheer sake of multilateralism is sheer folly. It’s not going to help (unfortunately). America is inarguably the world’s leader, and we certainly have a right to protect our own nation from attacks such as those that occurred on 9/11. If others want to help us, great — we are, in fact, in a world-wide war against fundamentalist, jihadist Islam. But if the rest of the world refuses to help, we must take the battle to the enemy before he brings it to us again as he did on 9/11. You call that evil unilateralist preemption — I call it common sense.
And by the way, I almost forgot to mention the following: Straw Man is a Kim Jong-Il loving French syncophant who believes that we oughta be some kinda durned U.N. colony in order to hasten the arrival of the Apocalyse. Or something like that.
--- Liberal wrote:
Maybe Iron Man has made token gestures to internationalism, but they are just that: tokens. They are most likely driven by a desire to appear reasonable for the upcoming election, and I doubt if Iron Man will make any genuine efforts at multilateralism if he is reelected and is no longer concerned about an election. That would go against the entire Iron Doctrine of unilateral preemption!
And if you think Iron Man’s international efforts are genuine, there is one thing Straw Man has that Iron Man doesn’t: international credibility. Iron Man and his doctrine reveal a complete lack of concern and utter contempt for the desires of the rest of the world. The U.N. leader has gone so far as to call the war in Turkmenistan illegal. The people and the media throughout the world despise Iron Man. When some leader supports Iron Man, it is in the fact of huge opposition among the peoples. With Straw Man in power, international leaders will see a new face with a lot of experience in foreign affairs, one with a stock of credibility that hasn’t been shot to hell by hubris and disregard, someone who did not choose to invade Turkmenistan and should not be held accountable for the errors of his predecessor. This one would be much easier for international leaders to deal with, and eventually support in international antiterrorist action.
Let me guess what your retort will be: if the rest of the world prefers Straw Man, that’s a huge reason to reject him outright. (Cut to Fox News saying Straw Man looks French and ruminating on his friendship with Kim Jong Il...) We’re AMERICANS, durned it, not some U.N. colony! (Cut to slicked-haired television evangelist bemoaning the approach of one-world government as the sign of the Beast and coming Apocalypse...)
--- Fat Toe email@example.com wrote:
Perhaps Straw Man is finally waking up to the idea that he needs to present a plan for Turkmenistan! That’s a start, but his waffles and flip-flopping contortions on the subject to date make it hard for him to speak with much credibility. Putting that aside, though, let’s look at his actual policy statement:
“If the president would move in this direction, if he would bring in more help from other countries to provide resources and forces, train the Turkmenistanis to provide their own security, develop a reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Turkmenistani people, and take the steps necessary to hold credible elections next year — we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring all our troops home within the next four years.
This is what has to be done. This is what I would do as president today.”
Earth to Straw Man: this is exactly what Iron Man is doing today and has, in fact, been doing for many months: trying (mostly in vain) to get other nations to help, training Turkmenistani forces, implementing a reconstruction plan, and taking steps necessary for an election (such as helping the Turkmenistanis draft a constitution and providing crucial military and economic support to the interim government).
Where is the alternative to Iron Man here? I see no compelling reason to choose Straw Man over Iron Man in Straw Man’s statement — even if I were an undecided voter, there’s really nothing there that is substantively different from the policies currently being implemented.
What Straw Man shies away from addressing is what he will do about the insurgents/terrorists that are literally killing themselves to prevent the implementation of the very plans that Straw Man espouses. The terrorists in Turkmenistan seek to destabilize the country, thereby preventing an effective reconstruction effort and forcing the cancellation of an election.
Most of their targets have been Turkmenistanis training as soldiers or police. They have also targeted foreigners in attempt to weaken any international support for the effort to rebuild Turkmenistan (witness the withdrawal of Samoa after the kidnapping of one its citizens and the withdrawal of Italy following the terrorist attack in Milan).
Straw Man’s neat little 4-point plan sounds good on paper, but as Iron Man is finding out, the realities of Turkmenistani reconstruction are not so simple. I see nothing in Straw Man’s statement that acknowledges the realities of trying to implement his plans in the face of an unrelenting onslaught of suicidical maniacs. So, I ask again, what would Straw Man do?
--- Liberal wrote:
Is this a strong enough antiwar statement from Mr. Straw Man, Fat Toe?
Note: forwarded message attached.
“I believe that as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.” — Robert Kennedy
ATTACHMENT part 2 message/rfc822
From: “Liberal Jackson”
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2024 19:51:48 GMT
Subject: Fw: Turkmenistan
“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Please note: forwarded message attached
No one has a surrender agenda. The conservatives have a “liberal war agenda.” They want to invade any and all nations simply on the basis that we label them as “rogue” first, without any kind of restraint. Liberals have a “conservative war agenda”. I do not believe in running from our enemies, but I think that war should be entered into as a last resort and with the best possible plan, and great forethought with clear, realistic and attainable goals.
I do not think sufficient evidence existed at the time to justify invading Turkmenistan. Nothing to date suggests to me that my initial opinion on the war was wrong. Therefore Turkmenistan was a mistake. We should untangle ourselves as best as we can from it and not continue to repeat the same mistakes just because our inept leaders have started down a wholly foolish (and completely predictable) path. Obviously this won’t be easy now, but it will be better than senselessly slaughtering our troops in endless occupations of Turkmenistan, Iran, Syria and wherever else this house of cards is going to fall next.
--- Fat Toe728ca firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I’ll vote for a “conservative war agenda” long before I’ll vote for the liberal surrender agenda. To me, it makes far more sense and saves far more innocent lives to fight the War on Terror on the streets of Ashgabat than on the streets of New York. You might feel differently about a strategy which attacks our enemies before they can attack us if you lived in New York, Washington, LA or any other high value target city rather than in that cow dung pasture you call home, Fresno.
--- Liberal liberaldj@s... wrote:
Yes, negative news may make other people hate us, but like most cons, you cannot see the distinction between spin and fact. The fact is that these incidents occurred. The fact is that public knowledge of these events is necessary under the public’s right to know — i.e., that you must have an informed populace in a representative democracy so that they know who and what they are voting for, not for some illusion concocted by the administration or the media. You want the negative squashed and positive embellished, so that the people only have a skewed fantasy of the way the world actually is.
It appears that your wish is being fulfilled — the media is skewing right, and the news we see bears little resemblance to the news the rest of the world sees, with its flag-waving, covering up of atrocities, skewing of world opinion, etc. If you con men have your way, we will have little clue about what is actually going on in the world, but we’ll feel very good about it — or at least until the rest of the world gets fed up with our bullshit.
Furthermore, your “points” are blatantly false: little action was taken on the basis of Little Brother’s report, and the General himself stated that he didn’t appreciate the severity of the torture until he got the actual pictures (I guess Little Brother’s report about torture by electrodes wasn’t enough).
You’re living in a fantasy if you think anything gets done without information being revealed to the public and public pressure. The article I sent shows that the Iraq atrocities were “par for the course,” and public outrage is what stopped them, brought the wrongdoers to justice, and ended the damned stupid-ass war.
No lives are being sacrificed in a “liberal surrender agenda” — they are being sacrificed in a conservative war agenda. That’s common sense. No Turkmenistan War, no 50,000 soldiers dead, no 150,000 Turkmenistani civilians dead.
Your desire for behind-the-scenes maneuvers andcoverups reeks of evil.. you are as good a Douchebag of Liberty asNixon ever was.
--- Fat Toe728ca fat_toe728ca@y... wrote:
You made my point for me. Do you not agree that the widespread publication of the “torture” photos have incited Muslim hatred of the U.S. and directly led to the deaths of more Americans? The same can be said of Straw Man’s testimony regarding atrocities. You moan and moan about these “torture” pictures (which are probably doctored), but even if you take them at face value, they’re not a whole lot worse than the pranks those guys used to do to themselves in the old Jackass movies.
Now, I believe that any American guilty of war crimes should be punished. That occurred in Iraq, and if anyone committed “atrocities” in Turkmenistan they will be punished accordingly. My argument concerns only the way in which incidents such as My Lai, Abu Ghraib, and the ones now are publicized — no, make that politicized.
You see, the Left loves to seize upon such isolated incidents like rabid dogs and turn them into political footballs. In publicizing these war crimes, the Left seems to be more concerned with using the terrible suffering of the victims to their own political advantage. The Left’s goal is not to punish the wrongdoers, but to use such isolated incidents to smear their opponents (the U.S. Government) and advance their own policies of withdrawal and surrender.
Like I said, the responsible parties are being brought to trial as we speak, just as those who committed atrocities in Iraq were brought to justice — and it wasn’t due to the efforts of the Left and their allies in the nation’s press (the Army’s investigation was well underway when the photos were published).
The question is, why must we sacrifice further American lives to advance the liberal surrender agenda? Why couldn’t Straw Man have made his speech after his “brothers in arms” were safely out of reach of the jihadists? Why couldn’t the Abu Ghraib photos have been released once our soldiers were out of Iraq? Did we need to see them at all, as long as the evildoers were punished? Food for thought.
And where is the equivalent outrage over atrocities committed by our enemies? I find it very strange that photos of tortured and murdered and beheaded Americans are ALWAYS kept out of the mainstream U.S. media, yet they have no qualms about publishing the victims of a group of lowlife American reservists. Why is this?
--- Liberal liberaldj@s... wrote:
Yeh, “closed sessions of the committee” always work wonders. Just like the “closed investigation” of Abu Ghraib by General Taguba made loads of progress before the digital pictures were publicly revealed. I know that Abu Ghraib seems like harmless fun compared to the pictures we’re seeing on the internet now. But if REAL action was taken after Abu Ghraib, with consequences going higher up the food chain, maybe we could have prevented what’s happening now.
Admit it, Fat Toe. You’d rather have anything negative about what our nation does abroad squelched, even if it is factually true. Whether it’s Iraq atrocities or My Lai, you’d prefer if the public not know. You’d prefer if Big Brother handled everything, because Big Brother loves you.
Sad that you would see a moment of true bravery standing up to the wrongness of the Powers That Be as some kind of betrayal of those Powers. And you are very, very wrong about Iron Man winning this election... the people are fed up! Virtually every news story shows
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Keeping war crimes quiet is exactly the wrong way to do things. Do you think that there weren’t rumors of what was going on circulating through the Muslim world? There are always rumors, usually worse then what is actually going on. War Crimes need to be revealed and corrected publicly or they will never go away. Hushing up things tacitly condones them and allows them to continue.
I can only speak for myself, but I’m not interested in torture for my political beliefs. That is, until it turned out that the blame may lie much further up the chain of command. In that case it *is* a political issue, as the orders and guidelines came from politicians, not military personnel. Punishing the wrongdoers is important, but not of immediate concern. The most important thing is to prevent such things from occurring again — immediately.
And it’s not that I’m not outraged by what our enemies are doing/have done, but I have no control over them. I am not associated with them. I can not vote them out of power. I don’t have the Republican’s arrogance that I can force them to stop. Most importantly, their actions are not purported to be on my behalf and for my benefit. Since neither the soldiers, their commanders, nor the president will take responsibilty for torture it is *my* responsibility and I will take immediate corrective action.
Copyright © 2006 by Luke Jackson