Thursday, December 15, 2011

About Eight Years Too Late

I Love Mountains - Peace by paynehollow
I Love Mountains - Peace, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

The best way to end wars? Don't start them.

The angel went to Mary and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; God's kingdom will never end...”

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for the Lord has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is God's name.
God's mercy extends to those who fear God,
from generation to generation.
God has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
God has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
God has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
God has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.

God has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors...”

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace...

...And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, goodwill toward all!'

Merry Christmas. Happy Holy Days.


Marshall Art said...

"The best way to end wars? Don't start them."


Dan Trabue said...

You suspect the best way to end wars is start them, I presume?

THAT would be silliness, don't you think?

Dan Trabue said...

If we learned nothing else from the Iraq Invasion it would be the conservative principles of prudence and unexpected consequences were re-inforced (and promptly ignored by most "conservatives.")

Edwin Drood said...

Best way to end a war is not to drag it out. Destroy everything over 6 foot tall as fast you can and in the long run more people will be spared.

Dan Trabue said...

My fault, I should have clarified. By "best," I meant "most moral, ethical, wise."

Certainly, turning your "enemy's" country in a crater with nukes is the fastest way to end any perceived threat to you.

But that is a fearful psychopath's route to "safety" and not wise and certainly not moral in any conventional sense.

Marshall Art said...

"You suspect the best way to end wars is start them, I presume?"

The silliness is in thinking you've taken some profound position. The silliness is in thinking that if a war hasn't begun that a war exists. The silliness, actually "inanity", is in thinking that a war is some arrangement in which both sides agree to engage, rather than one side pushed to engage after all else fails, which was deemed to be the case with Iraq. Iraq wasn't just some spontaneous idea by one bold president, but the result of trash talking by members of a previous administration being finally acted upon after a lengthy list of provocations. Had there been some way to turn Hussein around without going to war, it surely would have been implemented. This notion that we can simply not engage when the evil in the world becomes more and more emboldened is what leads to all the suffering previous to and during war. To not engage only perpetuates and encourages even more suffering visited upon the most helpless.

And yes, a swift and devastating response to aggression is the most moral when the decision to go to war has regretfully been made. It is far more moral that putzing around with handcuffing rules of engagement that don't reduce suffering at all.

Prudence was not overlooked in the decision to go to Iraq as it had been discussed for years, and alternatives were failing to bring about any significant change in the regime's behavior.

Parklife said...

"a swift and devastating response to aggression is the most moral when the decision to go to war has regretfully been made."

Easy to say that from over here.

Dan Trabue said...

True, that.

I'm sure that's what the terrorists are thinking, too.

"Sure, there may be some loss of life initially, but in the end, it's all for the greater good..."

It's always easiest to justify those sins which make us feel the most comfortable...

Marshall Art said...

Wow. If you're agreeing with Parkie, that says about all anyone would need to know about you.

The decision to go to war has rarely been made without great deliberation. The Iraq war was an example of this as has been stated and proven time and again. Great suffering was already in progress before our decision to act was made. You would prefer that suffering continue so that you can pretend you've taken the high road by not going to war. How nice that you'd feel so special while suffering persists and schemes continue to be devised.

There is absolutely no sin in defeating a despot. You have a warped idea of what it means to defend against wickedness on all levels. No surprise your notion of war is so comprehensive, as if one nation is to allow themselves to be destroyed, or another is to sit back while a people live in perpetual suffering. Your position makes you complicit in their suffering.

Dan Trabue said...

Iraq was no threat to us.

Parklife said...

MA.. safe to say you dont like me?

There are millions of people in many countries that face horrible conditions from oppressive governments. Yet, for some strange reason we dont go looking for WMDs in their backyard.

Its curious that you have never heard of these other countries.

Marshall Art said...


Just how threatening must one be before you are willing to act defensively? That's between you and the threat. Others, far more rational than you, and willing to deal with reality, have different opinions on threat assessment. I've produced, in past discussions, the list of reasons that compelled our decision to act. If you find them wanting, that's on you.

Marshall Art said...


No. I don't much care for you. You've made every effort to insure that doing so is impossible. More to the point, I pity you.

From that point, you make wild assumptions about what I know about other countries and who is living in misery. How much we act to affect such conditions is based on a myriad of issues. And referring to the list mentioned in my last to Dan, the point of engaging with Iraq wasn't solely to find WMDs. That was just a lame political charge by lefties suffering from BDS and a lack of character.

Dan Trabue said...


Just how threatening must one be before you are willing to act defensively?

We're not talking about "acting defensively," we're talking about "DESTROYING EVERYTHING OVER SIX FOOT TALL..." and "a swift and devastating response"

For that level of hideous monstrous destruction, we'd have to have something more than "I think this tiny devastated country might pose a threat to us maybe, perhaps, one day..."

And Marshall, you're welcome to make comments (however immoral) ON topic, but leave your comments about commenters out of it. I don't care what you think of any of my visitors, this is not the place to gossip or slander or cast aspersions.

You will note that Parklife's comment was ON topic, whereas you went straight for the ad hom attacks, snide innuendo and girlish gossip.

No more. Be a man and reason like one or go back to the school yard.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

So the left invented the whole WMD stuff?

That makes George W. Bush a person of the left.

OR . . .

It could be that a series of statements from the President on down, from the fall of 2002 until the war itself made the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction the reason to invade.

From the Manchester Guardian:
"The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war."

Apparently, the CIA during Bush's Presidency is also of the left. From Salon:
"[T]he information [that Iraq had no WMDs] was distorted in a report written to fit the preconception that Saddam did have WMD programs. That false and restructured report was passed to Richard Dearlove, chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on it as validation of the cause for war.

Secretary of State Powell, in preparation for his presentation of evidence of Saddam’s WMD to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, spent days at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and had Tenet sit directly behind him as a sign of credibility. But Tenet, according to the sources, never told Powell about existing intelligence that there were no WMD, and Powell’s speech was later revealed to be a series of falsehoods."

So, um, not so much a liberal ex post facto lie as the reason we were invading - Iraqi WMDs. Which not only didn't exist, but which the very officials who kept telling us about them knew they didn't exist.

Marshall Art said...


First of all, you may recall this question asked directly of me:

"MA.. safe to say you dont like me?"

I answered it. I'm not much concerned at your attempt to use it as an excuse to attack me with lame accusations of "girlish gossip" and the like.

As to military options, you don't seem to acknowledge a basic trait of human nature regarding bullies. They are not likely to respond to Chamberlain-like action, either on a one-to-one level in a schoolyard, or a nation-to-nation basis on the world stage. It has never worked in the past and is not likely to work in the future. In the meantime, they are free to continue their oppression of their own people, supporting others with similar agendas and working to find ways to exert their malevolence where they can. YOU, in your willful naivete, like to pretend that a smaller nation is harmless, forgetting the wealth it possesses due to natural resources beneath them and the technology that wealth can provide which, like the six-shooter of old, results in any variety of "equalizers" they are more than willing to use. You don't want our nation to engage in assassinations, covert operations or any overt military campaigns to end the reigns of such people, even after years of diplomacy and sanctions have done little to change their attitudes. All the while, people suffer and schemes are designed. All the while, you claim to care for the "least of these". Not convinced.

Marshall Art said...

Sorry Geoffrey, but your defector tale does not trump the reports of the Pentagon that detailed info gathered during the invasion and ejection of Hussein from power. It does not trump the knowledge of WMD usage by Hussein on his own people. It does not trump the list of reasons that led to the decision to invade, of which the possibility of WMDs were just another line item. It does not trump the knowledge, given further credence by said Pentagon report, that Hussein sought to be a major player once out from under the yoke of sanctions. There was virtually no one around the world who was not friendly with Hussein that did not believe him desirous of pursuing weapons or funding other who might use them for mutual purposes. Blind yourselves if you choose, but ridding the world of people like him is good for the world.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you're only serving to make my point. There are dozens of "bad" countries with "bad" gov'ts. EVEN IF Iraq-like invasions worked and "destroying everything over six feet tall" wasn't an offense on morality and, by spending trillions of dollars and killing tens (hundreds?) of thousands of mostly innocent people you could make that "bad" gov't go away, IT IS NOT A WORKABLE SOLUTION.

The Iraq Quagmire should serve as a constant reminder of this sort of immoral insanity, if nothing else good comes out of it.

We CAN'T go around spending trillions of dollars and killing millions of people in the name of "fixing" other nations. It is stupidity of the worst sort to think that it is even a workable solution EVEN IF the ends justified the means.

But the point is, THE ENDS aren't any better than the means.

And the point remains, the best way to end wars is not to start them in the first place. It's simple rationality and something true conservatives used to understand.

As to your comparison to Chamberlain-like passivism, if someone were making that argument, you could debate them somewhere. But no one here is making that argument so you can peddle that strawman somewhere else.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, you said that the claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction was something others cooked up about the Bush Administration's claims about invasion. My point was they were the sole reason given.

Not to topple a dictator.

Not to free a people.

The reason many, including me, were enraged with the run up to the war in Iraq was simple - there was no evidence of WMDs. Period. Every time evidence was given, it was refuted within days. Even Colin Powell's speech before the UN Security Council, which even "liberals" like MSNBC drooled over, was all pretty much debunked within hours. Powell quit because he knew he'd been used by the Bush Administration, and his honor and reputation were tarnished for good.

Look, you can sit at your house and blather about this and that and the other thing, and I honestly don't care. Facts are facts, and I realize it's either inconvenient for you, or your just so ignorant that you did not even know that's why we invaded Iraq, but the reality is this: we invaded Iraq, in Pres. Bush's own word, to disarm him. The trouble was, he didn't have anything. No bio weapons. No chemical weapons. A few research notes on nuclear fission, but that was about it.

So, go have a Merry Christmas imagining our glorious previous President invading Iraq for whatever reason you've made up in your head, while the rest of us continue to be enraged over the stupidity, and violence, and lies, and loss, to no good end.

Marshall Art said...

"The Iraq Quagmire should serve as a constant reminder of this sort of immoral insanity, if nothing else good comes out of it."

I worked fine in Germany and Japan, because there was a superior attitude than yours toward how to deal with despotic regimes. In both cases, we see that it isn't a matter of not starting a war, which is a childish notion to the extreme, but dealing with a situation thrust upon us. The same case existed with Iraq despite the leftist insistence that no threat was posed. Did Hussein have the level of aggression that Hitler have? No. Should we have waited until he did? Apparently so, in your twisted little Pollyanna world. Worse than that, you continue to lay at the feet of our president the deaths caused by the existence of said threat, and their manner of fighting wars. WE held to terms of engagement that lessened civilian casualties at the risk of our own soldiers. This actually leads to more civilian deaths at the hands of those who hide behind civilians. Civilians die in wars, Dan. That's an unfortunate fact that cannot be totally eliminated. But it is not a reason to allow despots to rule and unleash their own deadly policies unchecked. Civilians were dying and suffering well before our actions began.

Dan Trabue said...

Again, since no one is suggesting "doing nothing," your response is about a strawman.

Marshall, on this, the Birthday of the Prince of Peace, our Savior who taught us to turn the other cheek and overcome evil with good, you are free to believe that evil means are justified by what you consider to be a less-evil possibility, just don't ask me to believe it because I see it as contrary to the teachings of my God and, given a choice between your hunches and what I think God is teaching, I'll always opt for God.

If you feel compelled to choose the "lesser of two evils," I'd just remind you that you are STILL choosing to do evil. I won't go there.

Marshall Art said...


I stand by what is entered into the Congressional record regarding the reasons we went to Iraq. Dispute that if you will, but it stands as the official reasons and among them, only WMDs were the focus of the leftist anti-Bush crowd as if it was the only reason. That lie was perpetrated by the left, not the right. And I stand by the Pentagon report that was based on captured documents from the Hussein gov't that showed that while our understanding of his capabilities was innaccurate, so was our understanding of the extent of his desires in that regard. I am indeed going by facts, just not the irrelevant facts to which you and other lefties and Bush-haters cling.

If you think it is prudent to take chances with despots, then the suffering that they levy upon anyone is on you as well as them. He had proven what scum he was, and had proven his willingness to continuing being one, at the risk of neighbors of his and allies of ours. The action was justified for a host of reasons you choose to ignore.

Dan Trabue said...

As to "working fine in Germany and Japan," I'd remind you that THAT war came at a cost of 60 MILLION lives, many of them innocents.

"Worked fine" is a matter of opinion and degree.

I'd just say that many folk are swayed by their emotions and loyalty to what they've been taught, but what we've been taught isn't always right and that is not the measure of how best to walk in God's ways.

YOU may say it is morally acceptable to, for instance, firebomb a city full of innocents for some imagined "greater good," or to nuke two cities full of innocents into a burning hell because it's a "lesser evil" than what you fear MIGHT have happened if we tried some other ways.

I just don't believe it and won't go there because I hold to the teachings of Christ and, AS I UNDERSTAND THEM, they call for an Other Way.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.


Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, anything you would stand anywhere near is a place I would avoid on principle.

Parklife said...

Geoffrey laid to rest MAs claims. I dont see any serious claims (here or elsewhere) that the reason given to the American public for the invasion of Iraq was anything but a search for WMDs. If the US was truly interested in the well-being of other people, our world would be a much different place.

"I'd remind you that THAT war came at a cost of 60 MILLION lives, many of them innocents."

The human lives lost in any war is a travesty. But, also the environmental harm can be equally shocking. The damage that we do short and long term to our living earth is horrific. Not to mention the other lives that have been forever changed through a lost loved one. My point is that the casualty list is much higher than the number of actual dead.

It is difficult for the American people to debate if we should invade a country when we dont understand the true costs and have a government that misleads.

And I did want to wish everybody the best holiday season, especially MA.

Marshall Art said...


Your principles are questionable to say the least. You don't know what mine are, as you continually insist, and you don't care, as you also insist. Yet, you dare to suggest they might be worth avoiding. How very tolerant and gracious of you. The word "fraud" seems to leap out here.

Marshall Art said...


By "worked just fine", I referred to how quickly those wars ended by dealing with the situation head on. Are you so inane and willfully blind that you dismiss diplomatic efforts that took place before Hitler and the Emperor began their attacks and invasions? Are you so stupid as to ignore the deaths meted out by both to Jews, gypsies and others by the Nazis, and the Chinese and others by Japan? How does any nation deal with such evil aggression in a manner that avoids bloodshed from occurring without allowing the bloodshed that is already ongoing from continuing? This goes beyond naivete and into abject stupidity. Similar barbarisms were going on under Hussein's rule with support for attacks on allies as well as incursions into neighboring states.

The point is this: Wars aren't started by some flip decision when one nation like ours has nothing better to do. We enter into wars when all other options have failed. For you to sit there and pretend there is a better way, or that death and suffering can continue so long as we don't fire a shot, is the height of stupidity and corruption of Christian teaching. Rare is the peace that was not the result of a violent struggle. This is not visiting evil upon evil as your psuedo-sanctimony determines it to be.

But hey, you go ahead and let someone beat you to death without you raising a hand to stop them. You go ahead and let someone assault your family and don't you dare make one violent move to prevent or stop it, for that would be so totally wrong.

In the meantime, I will risk my own safety to protect myself and my family, even if it means killing the bastard that refuses to be moved to piety by my pleas to repent. And I hope that all future presidents will have the stones to do what is necessary for the sake of our nation and our allies.

Marshall Art said...


Geoffrey did nothing but bloviate. I have offered evidence of my claims in the past and now offer this. It provides the actual law that authorized the invasion which includes the list of reasons. The article itself also links to the Duelfer report, about which I had forgotten, that also provides post-invasion intel. The article speaks of the time between the two Gulf wars and the chances Hussein abused in complying with UN resolutions. The facts are clear. There was no rush to war by GW Bush. There was no massive lying in order to gain world support.

What there was and continues to be is lies by the opposition as to the purpose and intent of the invasion. Geoffrey, and yourself apparently, hope to perpetuate those lies. And he dares talk of principle.

Dan Trabue said...


For you to sit there and pretend there is a better way, or that death and suffering can continue so long as we don't fire a shot, is the height of stupidity and corruption of Christian teaching.

I DO believe there is a better way, the way that Jesus taught:

1. Overcome evil with good.
2. Turn the other cheek.
3. Stand against oppression.
4. In your anger, don't sin.
5. Don't shed innocent blood.
6. Love your enemy.

Are these PERFECT solutions or complete policies in and of themselves? No. Nor is "destroy everything over six feet tall," (as if you could do that without destroying everything UNDER six feet tall.)

Nonetheless, I truly believe in these and other teachings of Jesus. I believe it is the Way we are to live, as taught and lived out by Jesus and the early church.

You are free to disagree with me, but it IS what I believe.

You are free to think it "stupid" "inane" and what ever other abusive insults you want to ponder in your head. Nonetheless, I'd ask you to disagree respectfully and without the name-calling. I don't think that honors anyone.

Again, if you ask me will I give in to your bullying and disagree with the teachings of Jesus, that's a losing game for you, brother Marshall.

As for the rest of your points, you continue to err in suggesting I'm talking about "doing nothing" and other strawman absurdities. Since those points don't touch on my points, I will ignore them, as you're being a master debater against yourself, not me.


This is not visiting evil upon evil as your psuedo-sanctimony determines it to be.

To be clear: It is my position that deliberately killing innocent people is evil. You can disagree if you wish, but you won't likely change my positions, especially not with this sort of ungracious bullying emotionally-wrought/irrational behavior you exhibit here.


Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, just to help clarify the point of this post for you, in case you're not getting my point:

1. War is bad. It's hell.
2. We're finally ending this war in Iraq, and for that, I am grateful.
3. I'd hope that we'd learn from this Iraq fiasco that the way to deal with problems with bad dictators is NOT to invade the nation.
4. The very best way to END wars is NOT to get in a war in the first place. Find peaceful, NON-warring ways to resolve the situation and recognize that we are not the world's police force. We CAN'T bomb a nation into being good, nor can we invade every nation that we don't approve of in order to "make things right." We don't have the moral or logical authority to do that.

In addition to THOSE points, for my friends who are fans of the teachings of Jesus, I offered some quotes from around his birth story reminding us of Jesus' way of Peace for those who wish to follow His Way.

The point was not really to discuss the Iraq War or WWII or any other specific war. The point was that (and here it is in one line...)

It behooves us to find peaceful ways to solve problems.

Would you like to disagree with the point I am making? Then make your case that it behooves us NOT to find peaceful ways to solve problems, if that's what you really want to do.

It just strikes me as strange that a follower of Jesus would want to go there.

Marshall Art said...

I don't disagree with that point. My rebuttal is that there is rarely a way in which that can be accomplished when dealing with the Hitlers and Husseins of the world, or it would always have been done and would always have worked. Do you honestly believe that peaceful solutions aren't sincerely sought, even by conservative or Republican presidents and congressional majorities? Do you honestly believe that there is a faction of the American political community that favors war over peaceful solutions? Are you that corrupted in your thinking?

As to the teachings of Christ, you corrupt them as well. It is evil to allow evil to flourish and exist indefinitely while you attempt to "Christian" evil into submission. In the meantime, people are suffering and dying, others are threatened, and the smooth and peaceful current of international relations is never attained. All this explains why my descriptions of your position are not merely ad hominem, but accurate representations. All the while, you continue to use this "destroy everyone over six feet tall" as if I used that metric.

The idea isn't "bomb a nation into being good". It's to destroy an enemy that is unrepentant and unwilling to alter their behavior that results in death and suffering. You wish to lie about the intentions of leaders who have laid waste to territories controlled by our enemies as to purposely kill innocent civilians. What a cheap and dishonest way to argue a point. If you truly believe that was their intention, then you need to back it up with some evidence or you are engaging in one of Dan Trabue's mortal sins: bearing false witness and slandering.

So let's look at your first six points:

"1. Overcome evil with good."

Rarely possible when dealing with despots and while making the attempt, people continue to suffer and die. Nice going.

"2. Turn the other cheek."

Not in the least bit meant to counsel governments in how to deal with despotic foreign opponents. In addition, it results in the despot believing there is no one to stand in his way of continued abuses. Nice going.

"3. Stand against oppression."

Hello?! I give you, the Iraq War. That's what we were doing. That's what needs to be done elsewhere. It often requires taking up arms. One is not standing against oppression if one is flattened by tanks.

"4. In your anger, don't sin."

The planning of engaging any enemy requires cool heads and unemotional decisions, which are the hallmark of good military leadership which leads to victories. Secondly, to go to war against despotic elements after all diplomatic endeavors have failed is NOT sinning in the least. It is only said to be by those who have no business even entering discussions on the subject. Like you.

"5. Don't shed innocent blood."

We do not intentionally shed innocent blood, and all innocents who die are the responsibility of the despotic elements we fight. The sad reality is that innocents die in war. The hard truth is that the death of innocents is not a reason to engage in what is unavoidable. It is regretful and the sooner we devastate the enemy, fewer innocents will suffer. Your way allows for more suffering. Nice going.

"6. Love your enemy."

Another misapplication of Scripture. As you love the enemy, you show no love for those the enemy oppresses. I don't hate the enemy. I love their victims more. What's more, our love for the enemy was shown by our willingness to engage in any diplomatic action at all. Unrepentant sinners are to be cast out of the community. Unrepentant killers are to be put to death for the sake of future victims.

I believe in the teachings of Jesus. What you believe in is a corruption of those teachings.


Marshall Art said...

Now for your clarifications:

"1. War is bad. It's hell."

War is too often necessary considering the fallen nature of mankind. It is more often unavoidable than not, unless one is willing to enslave his own nation to the whims and behaviors of despots. But in your corruption, you like to believe that war is bad across the board. War is evil if we start it for selfish purposes. War is justified if it is defensive in nature intended to oust a despotic regime and end the suffering it causes and thus not evil at all.

"2. We're finally ending this war in Iraq, and for that, I am grateful."

We've ended nothing but our involvement. Already, bombings have occurred that have killed about sixty people and injured more. Already, we're seeing what was predicted by leaving before the job is finished. We did not learn the lesson of Germany and Japan in how to govern and bring about stability and freedom.

"3. I'd hope that we'd learn from this Iraq fiasco that the way to deal with problems with bad dictators is NOT to invade the nation."

That is one way and it worked. Hussein was deposed and his government dissolved. How we dealt with the aftermath was lacking. You may recall that we were accused of causing suffering with sanctions on Iraq before the war. You may recall that supporting those within the nation looking to effect regime change from within is considered by many in this country to be meddling. Apparently, most on you side of the ideological divide want to simply let despots with delusions of power go about their business, where you will then complain that nothing was done to stop them.

AS for #4, this has been addressed. The notion is insane. We don't enter wars by choice, unless "by choice" you mean the choice between allowing a dictator to cause suffering or doing something to stop it when all non-violent means have been exhausted. You're a simpleton who refuses to acknowledge the realities of life in order to present a posture of self-satisfied piety. You're a danger to freedom loving people everywhere. You speak of the evils of slavery, yet you work to prevent the enslavement of peoples around the globe, and apparently have no trouble with seeing your own people enslaved if it means not taking up arms to protect freedom. This makes you complicit in their enslavement.

Craig said...

The following sound great, and will probably be fairly workable on an individual level. Since, it seems, we do not live in a theocracy nor do we make public policy based on biblical teaching this leaves us as a nation in somewhat of a quandary. Again, while these sound good, I notice no actual practical application to the world of international relations is given. So, lets see how these might work.

1. Overcome evil with good.

Where exactly is this sort of foreign policy actually being used? Obviously ONG's don't count for the simple reason that they are ONG's. So, one example of this soundbite being used to inform foreign policy in the real world?

2. Turn the other cheek.

So, you hit the WTC, why not go ahead and hit the Empire State Building too? Oh Japan, since you bombed Pearl Harbor, why not take a shot ant Long Beach while you're at it. How many innocents people are we willing to let be killed or injured with this one.

3. Stand against oppression.

But without using force. Again this works fine if one is willing to face harm or death, but shouldn't that be an individual decision?

4. In your anger, don't sin.

This doesn't actually seem to have any relevance to the direction of the conversation. Unless one has predetermined that all killing is sinful. But it's still a stretch.

5. Don't shed innocent blood.

Interesting on several levels. Who gets to define innocent? Is there any stretch of imagination that could portray Saddam and the Baath party as innocent? How do you deal with the fact that if you embrace #2 innocent blood will most likely be shed? Why would we not want to use any means available to prevent/stop/punish the shedding of innocent blood. Or do we just turn the other cheek and say "Too bad all you Kurds killed by poison gas, you should just turn the other cheek?

6. Love your enemy.

How does one balance love your enemy with protect innocent life?

Over 2 weeks and still no answer to a very simple direct question, I wonder why.

"If these things are so "self evident" why do so many cultures ignore these "self evident" truths?"

Craig said...

"3. I'd hope that we'd learn from this Iraq fiasco that the way to deal with problems with bad dictators is NOT to invade the nation."

So, what is the solution?

"Find peaceful, NON-warring ways to resolve the situation..."

So, what's the peaceful Non-warring way to end the genocide in Darfur? The ethnic cleansing in the Balkans? The slaughter of the Kurds by the former Iraqui regime? The fact the there are peace loving folks who feel that the best way to make their point is to blow up/shoot/kidnap/behead/torture/fly into buildings, and in other ways kill, injure or maim innocent folks.

"It behooves us to find peaceful ways to solve problems."

You are right, it does behoove us to find peaceful ways to solve problems. In the real world sometimes problems go beyond peaceful solutions. For a peaceful solution to be found don't both sides need to be committed to finding a peaceful solution? How does one find a peaceful solution with someone whose stated goal is to destroy you? Again, in a perfect world you're right, we just don't live in a perfect world.

I'd address your "question" but MA seems to have done a fine job.


Your point about the aftermath of the Iraq war is well made. Who now bears responsibility for the continued violence? P-BO? Hussein? Bush? Bin Laden? Iran? The individuals who commit the acts? Those who manipulate those who commit the acts?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not interested in arguing with you fellas on Christmas weekend.

My point remains: The best way to end wars is to not start them.

I was not going into specifics, it was just a general truth that I hold to. Kind of like, "love your enemies," and "turn the other cheek" and "overcome evil with good" and "do not shed innocent blood."

Disagree if you wish, those are my opinions, you're welcome to yours.

God's peace and blessings to all.

Dan Trabue said...


Over 2 weeks and still no answer to a very simple direct question, I wonder why.

Over 2 weeks and I'm still waiting for a direct answer to a couple of very simple direct questions I asked you. Answer my questions directly and I'll answer yours.

Craig said...


I've answered your questions multiple times. The ball is in your court on this one. Your refusal to provide clarification to support your hunch really does you no good.

I understand and support your desire to suspend this over the weekend. I'll eagerly await your response to the questions and comments on your hunches after the weekend.

Marshall Art said...

"My point remains: The best way to end wars is to not start them."

It's not that your point is misunderstood. It's that it is so ludicrous. It does not reflect reality. Rarely, if ever, do two sides who prize peace and brotherhood resort to warring with each other in the first place. Two such parties ALWAYS find ways to resolve differences that make war unnecessary, or, one of the two are willing to bite it in order to avoid war.

But the reality is that war is usually the result of one side refusing to bend to anything that does not further their own agenda, the consequences of such place an incredible burden on the other until the other must fight or perish or submit all their own pursuits to the pleasures of the one. You might be willing to, say, worship in secret, never expressing your faith publicly, bowing to the whims of the people in power, but I don't see that God/Jesus expects us to enslave ourselves in hopes that doing so might break the will of our oppressor, since it won't.

When we engage in war, the war has already begun. We don't start them. We finish them. (At east we used to.) There's a major distinction that you don't seem to grasp.

Marshall Art said...

To be more to the point, your statement sounds good (to the shallow), but it means nothing. It is not actionable in any way. If it was our history that we initiate war, then it might be instructive. As it stands, it is pathetic.

Parklife said...

Marshall.. American Thinker is not a reliable source. It is biased plain and simple.

Marshall Art said...

That might be good defense, Parkie, if the columnists were not using government figures or documents to support their positions. I don't rely on AT for opinions, but for the sources used to support opinions I share, as they have already done the leg work and found, as I've said, gov't figures and documents to support those opinions. If you actually took time to read the links I offer, you'd know this to be true and wouldn't lazily fall back on the lame argument that the website is conservative. Of course it is and I have never offered it as an unbiased source. I offer it because they use unbiased sources, or those such as OMB, CBO, etc. From there, one is free to decide if the columnist has analyzed the data properly. I never seem to get many libs to do that.

Parklife said...

Sounds like it wouldn't be that difficult for you to find a non-biased source? You best get started.

Further, why would you use such a poor source when you know it will not be accepted? Just curious about that.

Even after that work, you still have to overcome the comments by Geoffrey. You have a long way to go my friend. Good Luck.

"That is one way and it worked. Hussein was deposed and his government dissolved"

If the US was really interested in freedom for people, there is no reason we would have invaded Iraq when we did Marshall. I wish you could understand this small fact.

Marshall Art said...

"Sounds like it wouldn't be that difficult for you to find a non-biased source? You best get started."

You mean to say that the Congressional Budget Office, the Pentagon, and other federal governmental sources aren't unbiased enough for you? These are the types of sources used by writers at sites like American Thinker use to support their opinions. You are just too lazy to look at them and think that blasting AT is good enough. Very cheap on your part.

As for Geoffrey, he made no case against which I need offer anything more than I have. YOU are not one who is qualified to determine whether or not I've overcome anyone's points.

"If the US was really interested in freedom for people, there is no reason we would have invaded Iraq when we did Marshall. I wish you could understand this small fact."

What the hell is that supposed to mean? It makes no sense. Where exactly is the "fact" to which you allude?

Parklife said...

Im saying that American Thinker is poor at representing facts in a truthful way. You disagree. Such is life. Marshall, its time to move on. From my point of view, your comments have not "proven" anything and no "points" have been made. Such is life. Please feel free to address my or Geoffrey's questions and comments with actual sources.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

It means there is a much better / cost efficient way to spend a trillion+ dollars.

Marshall Art said...

You don't know one way or the other the quality of American Thinker because you don't read it. Who are you crappin'? What's more, take a look at the list of contributors and tell me there isn't anyone who is capable of providing accurate insights and analyses of government stats and documents. The fact is you have no idea whether or not AT presents facts in a truthful way because you are biased in the other direction and wouldn't take a moment to really consider the points made (if you have the capability to understand them in the first place).

I always look at the links provided by my opponents. Always. I usually find I was right to feel that the exercise would be a waste of my time, but I can and do explain why. But all I get from you lefties is that AT is worthless, with no worthy explanation (which requires counter arguments and data), or the Townhall is "Clownhall". NEVER do I get a real substantive counter argument to consider (except from Vinny sometimes).

YOU have not provided anything in any case to argue against or agree with. MY comments were not the argument I was making, but the references to links within the AT article were and you have not reviewed them at all. The AT article was an excellent explanation of the Act that authorized the war with all the reasons listed and explained (see if you can find a better explanation) as well as the Duelfer report highlighting pertinent info. If you can't see how that counters Geoffrey's lame offering, then you clearly didn't read any of it.

"It means there is a much better / cost efficient way to spend a trillion+ dollars."

You call that an argument? Pardon me if I'm unimpressed. Even in hindsight that's still a matter of opinion, and yours is never bolstered by anything of substance and thus worthless. But even to agree with the notion, that money and those lives cannot be more wasted than by this pullout, motivated purely by political reasons of a president who doesn't give a rat's ass about the consequences, and hadn't the leadership to negotiate better circumstances with the Iraqis.

Parklife said...

"Who are you crappin'?"

I became uninterested after you went down that rabbit hole. If you want me to read the rest of your comment. Please edit it into something less insulting. Thank you and have a great day.

Marshall Art said...

Nice dodge. "Oh! Art is talking naughty, so I'm not gonna answer him!" Would you prefer "Who are you bullshitting/kidding/fooling/zooming/messin' wit"? How about just straight up "lying"? To whom do you think you're lying when you pretend you have any real knowledge of AT and the many people who post opinion pieces there? You continue to support the image of yourself that you've worked so hard to establish at my blog. You continue to be a waste of time.

Parklife said...

Please remove the insults and repost. I will be more than happy to respond. Thank you again.

Marshall Art said...

That's rich, Parkie. You didn't mind making insulting comments at my blog, yet here you feign offense. Your responses are not required by me. Do what you want.

Parklife said...

I've attempted to engage you in different ways. Some ways Im more proud of than others. But, going forward, this is how I hope to conduct myself. My other hope is that you too can come to the realization that a sans-insult post is a more worthwhile and effective post.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, there's a challenge for the new year.

How 'bout it folks?

Marshall Art said...

"I've attempted to engage you in different ways."

None that could be distinguished from others at my blog. If you are referring to comments now made here, you'll have to pardon me if after so long I am prone to expect from you the usual stuff in due course. I'll be more than pleased to see this change manifest and hope it is sincere. We'll certainly see.

For my part, I have never demanded false piety out of my visitors or those with whom I engage at other blogs. I can tell when someone is just having fun and when someone is being an ass (see Geoffrey's comments). Your comments at my blog were always of the latter variety as there's never been a substantive comment from you there, despite my ongoing and still existing welcome for such.

Parklife said...

"None that could be distinguished from others at my blog."

Marshall.. still at it.

"Your comments at my blog.."

Nobody here cares. Lets call it a new year and move on. Thank you again for your time. I sincerely hope that we can tone down our comments.

Marshall Art said...

The ball has always been in your court. Don't pretend I've never made any efforts to procure a better tone out of you.

Parklife said...

Im not sure why Marshalls never ending comments fascinate me so much. But, it sounds like he is on board with a goal of improving 2012 and I will look forward to reading future posts by Marshall without insults.

I hope everybody has a great day.

Dan Trabue said...

From your fingertips to God's ears...

Marshall Art said...

"Im not sure why Marshalls never ending comments fascinate me so much."

Truth has a way of doing that. But I return your wish and hope you will spend 2012 making no comment that doesn't include substance.

Parklife said...

"making no comment that doesn't include"

Double negative?
Marshall, Im not sure what you are trying to say. But, I'm pretty sure this post has lived its life.

Marshall Art said...

No. Not a double negative in the manner you're thinking. And you know exactly what I'm saying. But go ahead and pretend.

Parklife said...

Thank you Marshall. And feel free to voice any desire to post non-negative comments in the future. Curious that I thought this would have happened by now.

Marshall Art said...

First of all, as this is not your blog, I don't believe you have standing to grant me permission to do anything here. That would require your own blog, which you haven't shown any interest in providing.

Secondly, what passes for a negative comment is subjective and not all negative comments are rhetorical assaults in any way. An example is the "uglyass" situation at the start of the comments following a more recent post of Dan's. He chose to regard John B's innocuous parallel to be an "uglyass" comment when there was no negative intention in John's comment.

On the other hand, I could have said of your "double negative" remark that it displays a remarkable ignorance as it is not an example of a double negative at all. This could mean either an intentional shot or a frankly stated truth, or both. If I had said "making no comment that is substance free", the meaning would be absolutely identical to what I DID say.

But hey, maybe you've made some resolution to be less of a punk than you have been at my blog since the first day you visited. I hope that is the case. I would consider that a true gift even if you had no intention or care that I might.

I'm sure Dan's more than tired of our back and forth, so I'm done with it.

Parklife said...

"double negative"

My point was only that it could have been made more clear. Thats it. There are thousands of ways to communicate. Just seemed to me that there was a better way to go about making your point.

Its all sort of a moot point anyway, as you continue to be abrasive. Such is life.

Dan Trabue said...

How long will this go on, fellas?

Marshall Art said...


I already answered that question with the last four words of my previous comment.