mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

June 5, 2004

Ronald Reagan

Filed under: Politics — mlah @ 11:16 pm

Ronald Reagan passed away today. the first ballot i got to cast for president went to him in ’84. i wish we had him now.

rest easy, Mr. President.

60 Comments »

  1. The spirit of knowing your true faults and learning to change or adjust with them is the spirit of knowing the greatness in others, even when that greatness is clouded over by inconsequentials.

    Thank you President Reagan for looking past the inconsequentials!

    Comment by CJ — June 5, 2004 @ 11:56 pm

  2. Reagan had an ability to project a kindly image, and was well liked personally by virtually everyone who knew him, apparently. But it always struck me that he was a mean man. I remember learning, in the late 1960s, of the impact Michael Harrington’s The Other America had had on Johnson’s War on Poverty. Harrington demonstrated that in the early 1960s there was still hunger in places like Appalachia, deriving from poverty. It was hard for middle class Americans to believe, and Lyndon Johnson, who represented many poor people himself, was galvanized to take action.

    I remember seeing a tape of Reagan speaking in California from that era. He said that he had heard that some asserted there was hunger in America. He said it sarcastically. He said, “Sure there is; they’re dieting!” or words to that effect. This handsome Hollywood millionnaire making fun of people so poor they sometimes went to bed hungry seemed to me monstrous. I remember his wealthy audience of suburbanites going wild with laughter and applause. I am still not entirely sure what was going on there. Did they think Harrington’s and similar studies were lies? Did they blame the poor for being poor, and resent demands on them in the form of a few tax dollars, to address their hunger?

    Then when he was president, at one point Reagan tried to cut federal funding for school lunches for the poor. He tried to have ketchup reclassified as a vegetable to save money. Senator Heinz gave a speech against this move. He said that ketchup is a condiment, not a vegetable, and that he should know.

    The meanness was reflected, as many readers have noted, in Reagan’s “blame the victim” approach to the AIDS crisis. His inability to come to terms with the horrible human tragedy here, or with the emerging science on it, made his health policies ineffective and even destructive.

    Reagan’s mania to abolish social security was of a piece with this kind of sentiment. In the early 20th century, the old were the poorest sector of the American population. The horrors of old age–increasing sickness, loss of faculties, marginalization and ultimately death–were in that era accompanied by fear of severe poverty. Social security turned that around. The elderly are no longer generally poverty-stricken. The government can do something significant to improve people’s lives. Reagan, philosophically speaking, hated the idea of state-directed redistribution of societal wealth. (His practical policies often resulted in such redistribution de facto, usually that of tossing money to the already wealthy). So he wanted to abolish social security and throw us all back into poverty in old age.

    Reagan hated any social arrangement that empowered the poor and the weak. He was a hired gun for big corporations in the late 1950s, when he went around arguing against unionization. Among his achievements in office was to break the air traffic controllers’ union. It was not important in and of itself, but it was a symbol of his determination that the powerless would not be allowed to organize to get a better deal. He ruined a lot of lives. I doubt he made us safer in the air.

    Reagan hated environmentalism. His administration was not so mendacious as to deny the problems of increased ultraviolet radition (from a depleted ozone layer) and global warming. His government suggested people wear sunglasses and hats in response. At one point Reagan suggested that trees cause pollution. He was not completely wrong (natural processes can cause pollution), but his purpose in making the statement seems to have been that we should therefore just accept lung cancer from bad city air, which was caused by automobiles and industry, not by trees.

    In foreign policy, Reagan abandoned containment of the Soviet Union as a goal and adopted a policy of active roll-back. Since the Soviet Union was already on its last legs and was not a system that could have survived long, Reagan’s global aggressiveness was simply unnecessary. The argument that Reagan’s increases in military funding bankrupted the Soviets by forcing them to try to keep up is simply wrong. Soviet defense spending was flat in the 1980s.

    Reagan’s aggression led him to shape our world in most unfortunate ways. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that Ronald Reagan created al-Qaeda, it would not be a vast exaggeration. The Carter administration began the policy of supporting the radical Muslim holy warriors in Afghanistan who were waging an insurgency against the Soviets after their invasion of that country. But Carter only threw a few tens of millions of dollars at them. By the mid-1980s, Reagan was giving the holy warriors half a billion dollars a year. His officials strong-armed the Saudis into matching the US contribution, so that Saudi Intelligence chief Faisal al-Turki turned to Usamah Bin Laden to funnel the money to the Afghans. This sort of thing was certainly done in coordination with the Reagan administration. Even the Pakistanis thought that Reagan was a wild man, and balked at giving the holy warriors ever more powerful weapons. Reagan sent Orrin Hatch to Beijing to try to talk the Chinese into pressuring the Pakistanis to allow the holy warriors to receive stingers and other sophisticated ordnance. The Pakistanis ultimately relented, even though they knew there was a severe danger that the holy warriors would eventually morph into a security threat in their own right.

    Reagan’s officials so hated the Sandinista populists in Nicaragua that they shredded the constitution. Congress cut off money for the rightwing death squads fighting the Sandinistas. Reagan’s people therefore needed funds to continue to run the rightwing insurgency. They came up with a complicated plan of stealing Pentagon equipment, shipping it to Khomeini in Iran, illegally taking payment from Iran for the weaponry, and then giving the money to the rightwing guerrillas in Central America. At the same time, they pressured Khomeini to get US hostages in Lebanon, taken by radical Shiites there, released. It was a criminal cartel inside the US government, and Reagan allowed it, either through collusion or inattention. It is not a shining legacy, to have helped Khomeini and then used the money he gave them to support highly unsavory forces in Central America. (Some of those forces were involved after all in killing leftwing nuns).

    Although Reagan’s people were willing to shore up Iranian defenses during the Iran-Iraq War, so as to prevent a total Iraqi victory, they also wanted to stop Iran from taking over Iraq. They therefore winked at Saddam’s use of chemical weapons. Reagan’s secretary of state, George Schultz, sent Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad twice, the second time with an explicit secret message that the US did not really mind if Saddam gassed the Iranian troops, whatever it said publicly.

    Reagan’s policies thus bequeathed to us the major problems we now have in the world, including a militant Islamist International whose skills were honed in Afghanistan with Reagan’s blessing and monetary support; and a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, which the Reagan administration in some cases actually encouraged behind the scenes for short-term policy reasons. His aggressive foreign policy orientation has been revived and expanded, making the US into a neocolonial power in the Middle East. Reagan’s gutting of the unions and attempt to remove social supports for the poor and the middle class has contributed to the creation of an America where most people barely get by while government programs that could help create wealth are destroyed.

    Reagan’s later life was debilitated by Alzheimer’s. I suppose he may already have had some symptoms while president, which might explain some of his memory lapses and odd statements, and occasional public lapses into woolly-mindedness. Ironically, Alzheimer’s could be cured potentially by stem cell research. In the United States, where superstition reigns over reason, the religious Right that Reagan cultivated has put severe limits on such research. His best legacy may be Nancy Reagan’s argument that those limitations should be removed in his memory. There are 4 million Alzheimers sufferers in the US, and 50% of persons living beyond the age of 85 develop it. There are going to be a lot of such persons among the Baby Boomers. By reversing Reaganism, we may be able to avoid his fate.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 6, 2004 @ 11:23 pm

  3. gus, at spies dot com does not like to make his own comments. he likes to cut and paste opinions from university instructors and present them as his own.

    further, the site that has this crap posted does not have comments enabled, because he is afraid of people actually shedding light on his bogus facts.

    just a few of the ‘facts’ cited in the previous comment include the sandanistas as ‘populists’, when they were in fact a dictatorship sponsored by the old soviet union. he also claims the contras were running death squads, something the sandanistas used to come to power. who is telling the truth?

    it’s easy to let the people speak, when presented with an honest chance to vote, the sandanistas were turned out, and are now gone.

    ronals reagan created al qaida? man… islamic fundamentalism is as old as the religion. doc, read some history books. yes i know you’re a professor of history. you need a lesson.

    the hasheeshee’en were spawned as a result of islamic fundamentalism. in the 12th century. alqaida was started by osama as a response to infidels in the arabian peninsula. not the soviet invasion of afghanistan.

    there’s too much me to fully contradict in a ‘comment’, so in the future, when you copy post from somebody else, please back up their facts. a university professor’s opinions are not facts.

    i may well delete the comment. haven’t decided yet.

    Comment by mlah — June 7, 2004 @ 1:21 am

  4. MLAH! How the heck did this goon above get a doctorate in history, unless his alma mater is Moscow U? Man, the PRC could use his services right now at their Ministry of Truth. I shudder to think what JC is teaching to his poor students. Gotta give him his due, though, using those 50 cent words like mendacious. Me — I’ll be standing in line to pay my respects to #40 after work on Thursday.

    Comment by yup — June 7, 2004 @ 7:13 pm

  5. Maybe we should put JC in a room alone with a REAL professor of history. Not the kind of history that’s made up as the teacher sees fit. I’ve said this in other blogs that the left think totally out of emotion. They get some small facts and then emotionally expand on them even when emotion is not involved or shouldn’t be.

    This guy spoke his true heart. His hatred of the former President very evident. When he talks of the creation of militant islamists, eg. Al Qaida, he fails to go back far enough in history to explain the mindset of these groups (as you stated, mlah) which in no way had anything to do specifically about us but about western ideals. They would have done the same to europe if we were not in the picture. And if we had such good relations with the “holy warriors” then why did they attack us?

    When he talks about people eking out a living because Reagan destroyed all those social programs, I believe it was Clinton who, in 1996, signed the welfare reform act (which was the best and only thing he did as president), cutting thousands of people off a social program that was so abused and used as an income by people that generations in one family would remain on it. But that meant people had to work for a living, which of course didn’t happen right off the bat so people did suffer. Hmmmm. I could speak of other “social programs” that cost the taxpayer billions of dollars and just don’t seem to work.

    I read on Foxnews.com today that spoke of how history is now taught in the context of the bad things that the US did, eg. kids could not recite any or few battles during WWII or any/few of the major players. They could however discuss at length the detention of Japanese-Americans in internment camps here (which was unfortunate and not at all what we should have done), but do they talk about what the japanese did to our soldiers and women caught in the war? probably not.

    I’m not a savvy orator who could come up with quotes or facts at the snap of a finger, but I do have what’s called common sense, with a good education and logic behind it. Hopefully others will use their common sense when dealing with these revisionist teachers.

    Oh, and Reagan did approved a significant amount of funding towards AIDS research. As to his position on the disease, his message was for people to be more responsible.

    Oh, and mlah, maybe you can help me with this one, but I remember either reading about this or hearing someone say that there were two groups (Mujahadeens) in Afghanistan fighting the soviets and our support was not for Bin Laden’s group, it was the other one. I just can’t remember where I got that from. If I figure out where I heard or read it I’ll let you know.

    Comment by CJ — June 7, 2004 @ 10:32 pm

  6. y’all, i suspect that mr juan cole did not post the comment. i visited his site and he has a nice blog, with no comments of course. the above little snipet was verbatim cut and pasted into the comments block.

    y’all can’t see it, but notice how when you comment, you have the option of also posting an email? because he posted a website, that is what you see, the email assoc with mr. cole is gus@spies.com and i suspect that it was some other nardless troll who is afraid to speak his own words, or sign his comments himself.

    today at work i stumbled across campus-watch, and they have a photo section, and lo, the first photo was none other than juan. he concentrates mainly on the middle east it would seem.

    i’m still not sure what to do about the comment. i think i’m going to leave it up, just because he is my first troll comment.

    Comment by mlah — June 8, 2004 @ 12:22 am

  7. cj, there were many groups fighting the soviets in afghanistan, we aided many of them. pretty much anybody who would put rounds on targets. there were some scruples however as to various extremist groups, and if memory serves, the taliban came around out of pakistan after the soviet pullout. they ended up winning the afghani grab for power after the soviets withdrew.

    that’s just off of the top of my head though, i’d have to check dates and history to be certain.

    Comment by mlah — June 8, 2004 @ 12:28 am

  8. My apologies to Mr. Cole. I guess since I didn’t have any other name, I thought it was he who had written this malarkey.

    Yeah, still trying to figure out where I heard that last thing. Thought it was from Bill Bennet or Lawrence Eagleberger, or maybe i just read it somewhere. I just remember hearing/reading that we didn’t necessarily support the Taliban or Osama backed rebels.

    Comment by CJ — June 8, 2004 @ 12:45 am

  9. OK, I take my apologies back. Mr. Cole needs to get his facts straight before he makes ludicrous statements as above!!!!!

    Comment by CJ — June 8, 2004 @ 6:50 pm

  10. Exactly which statements are ludicrous?
    Reagan’s AIDS Legacy
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/06/08/EDG777163F1.DTL
    A Brief History of CIA Sponsored Terrorism 1979-1988
    http://expage.com/notowar3g
    1984 Censored Foreign Policy News Stories
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Project%20Censored/CensoredNews_1984.html
    Anatomy of a Victory: CIA’s Covert Afghan War
    http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/MiddleEast/TerrorInUSA/Anatomy.asp
    “The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, according to Yousaf — as well as what he called a ‘ceaseless stream’ of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan.”
    “CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujaheddin in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons, Yousaf and Western officials said.”

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 8, 2004 @ 10:45 pm

  11. Tell me Mr. Cole, which one of your sights you describe above do not have a left-leaning ideology? Hmmmm…let’s see: sfgate.com (San Francisco)…’nough said; thirdworldtraveler.com-first line I read was “The Right lies with inpunity”; and globalissues.org-again, statements describing Chechnya talk of the world powers and their wars disguised as humanitarian in nature but read on…;I don’t even have to look at expage.com/notowar to see their bent.

    I think you need to read the previous comments that give you a clue. You are not going to change your mind no matter what I say but maybe you should be a little more open-minded to what the “Right” is saying and less denigrating it.
    And don’t give me that crap about how I ignore the left’s point of view because I was one of those once so I know their point of view and frankly, it scares me. And I know some of our leaders, even the ones I like, have their faults, but, you see, I look past those faults to see the whole. You are not!

    Open up REAL history books for a change!! Maybe “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Middle East Conflict” would help you understand.

    Mlah……

    Comment by CJ — June 8, 2004 @ 11:27 pm

  12. i was finishing my post. let me take a quick look. and i still doubt that this is actually juan cole. just some asshat that is pretending to be him.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 12:01 am

  13. ok juan. first. cite facts not other people’s, or newspaper’s opinions.

    now aids research. reagan was bad on aids research? he was WAY too generous. if you compare the level of spending on aids research versus say the amount of money spent on research for heart desease and breast cancer, it is a huge staggering difference. and each of those two deseases kill more people than aids each year. i have two aunts with breast cancer right now. so fuck your aids research money. yeah reagan was too geneorus with aids research money. here is an article that quotes the actual levels of unding spent by the US NIH on aids and breast cancer research. notice the huge difference? they don’t even mention hypertension, which is proven to lead to heart desease.

    reagan spent too much on aids. and we still do.

    next link you provide is an aussie ‘history of cia sponsored terrorism’

    they again make a lot of claims but back none of them up with hard eveidence. you want me to believe in the cia death squads? march somebody out. not easy? they’re afraid to be killed? nope, they do not exist. if they did, they’d be at the front of the ‘no to war’ marches with michael berg. do you really think the left wouldn’t march his ass out in a minute if just one existed?

    if you want me to take you seriously, back up your claims. here watch this,

    the rainbow coalition is secretly developing nuclear weapons to use on lima, peru. they just really feel world attention needs to be drawn to the plight of the suffering masses there.

    no really, it true. really. no, really. i wouldn’t lie! really, man. see, it’s on my website. see it must be true.

    you think i believe those links? cold hard facts my friend. citing some other lefty who agrees with you is not proof.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 12:22 am

  14. Very Good, mlah

    Comment by CJ — June 9, 2004 @ 12:30 am

  15. The article you link to isn’t from Reagan’s terms in office, so it has no bearing here. And who’s doing that funding anyway? PROVE it is politically motivated. Maybe it is, but maybe it’s not. Just practice what you preach, boy.
    Here are some easily verifiable facts about AIDS:

    It was early in Reagan’s first term that AIDS became visible. In 1981, The New York Times detailed a new and rare cancer seen in the gay community. But not until 1987 did Reagan mention the word AIDS in public. By that time, thousands of victims had died.

    In a 2001 speech on U.S. AIDS policy, C. Everett Koop, who served as Reagan’s surgeon general, said he was cut out of all AIDS discussion for the first five years of the Reagan administration.
    “Because transmission of AIDS was understood primarily in the homosexual population and in those who abused intravenous drugs, the advisers to the president took the stand they are only getting what they deserve,” said Koop, now head of his own institute at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

    According to his own authorized biography, RR said, “Maybe the Lord brought down this plague,” because “illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

    The White House director of communications, Patrick Buchanan, once argued in print that AIDS was nature’s revenge on gay men.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 9:46 am

  16. Ok, “Juan Cole”, none of us faithful Mlah-readers believe for a second that you are who you claim to be. Second of all, we are all rather bored with your plagiaristic rhetoric. Your last comment had unattribituted quotes from a website that I found.

    If you are going to post, post an original thought. If you are going to quote, or copy and paste at will, then please reference.

    Otherwise, quit wasting our time with your drivel.

    Thank you, have a nice day.

    Madame Butterfly

    PS None of your comments are really relevant to the in memorium this post was geared towards.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 9, 2004 @ 10:54 am

  17. And by the way, just saying from on high that someone has a bias is not the same as DISproving someone– that must be done by engaging with the content of what is said and providing proof otherwise. To only look at a web address and dismiss it out of hand is not credible. What is your teensy list of “reliable” sources of information that I may choose from, and might they not have biases? CJ says foxnews.com, hmmm, that’s mighty debatable! And CJ, who is your approved “REAL” professor of history? It’s true, I am not Mr. Cole, but I do admire his daily digesting of the developments in Iraq and have found him to be realistic in his views.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 10:59 am

  18. M. Butterfly,
    What’s wrong w/ cut-and-paste? If you can disprove it, then disprove it. I said they’re verifiable, if you dare to do so, which you probably won’t. You all are just weaseling out and hiding behind your prejudices. Sorry if I’m boring you, but I’m not making you read my comments, change the channel.
    Love,
    Pinkerton

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 11:14 am

  19. If I may point out, you were the only one who began spouting out prejudices, using a professor’s name to give your own prejudice some bizarre foundation of truth in your mind, and it seems you have some preoccupation with being gay and having AIDS.

    This topic digressed way out of line because of you. That is my sole point.

    Madame Butterfly

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 9, 2004 @ 11:28 am

  20. pinkerton. it is customary for the person making the assertions to back those claims up. you plagiarized dr cole, represented yourself as him, and did not back up his claims.

    you say that his claims are verifiable, if we try. well, pinkerton, WE are not weaseling out. YOU are. you made the claims. back them up.

    finally. in a previous comment, you ask the question ‘And who’s doing that funding anyway? PROVE it is politically motivated’, well according to the first comment you made, plagiarizing dr. cole, REAGAN was the source of all that funding, or lack thereof.

    very nice how you make reagan guilty of underfunding aids research, as if he is responsible for all funding (the 80’s had a democratically controlled congress, remember?)then when disparities in funding are pointed out, favoring aids, you try to cloud the source of the funding to preserve the unfair preponderance given to aids.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

  21. We here in our home have something called a library with a ton of books that we get from all over the place concerning science, history, literature, etc. We also get many subscriptions, such as to Scientific American. Fox News is only one source. The rest comes from long life experience! and education!

    I’m with Madame Butterfly and mlah. You created this digression from the topic of this post and it is not for us to have to disprove your point but for you to prove it yourself. Maybe you should wait and put it on a post that’s more pertinent to the issues!

    Comment by CJ — June 9, 2004 @ 3:14 pm

  22. oh, and by the way. fox news is liberal. mad as hell? bill o’reilly, pro choice, pro affirmative action. sounds pretty liberla to me. the main difference is that foxn actually gets hard line right wingers to represent the right wing point of view. they have the flaming liberls represent the left, and they let them go.

    fox news is liberal.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 3:37 pm

  23. Mme Butt said: “This topic digressed way out of line because of you. That is my sole point.”
    Oh, what is “the line”, that Reagan was a great man? When there is evidence to the contrary, I will speak up. And that wasn’t your only point– you also had to charmingly suggest that I have a “preoccupation” with gayness/AIDS. I just started there, I could have started with Central America.

    Mlah, if “it is customary for the person making the assertions to back those claims up”, then let’s talk about WMD, shall we? What a card you are! Were C. Everett Koop and RR’s memoirs not authoritative enough sources for you, btw?

    As I said, I dunno how health research gets funded, but AIDS obviously wasn’t a priority for RR. That seems to be OK with you, right? Why not just say so? If the President and Congress have anything to do with it, then it must be GWB and the Repub. Congress who are now “overfunding” it, if I follow you. I’m not trying to cloud anything.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 4:55 pm

  24. juan-a-be, i think i authoritativly stated my ‘ok’ness with the fact that aids research is not a priority when i said ‘so fuck your aids research money’. did you require further statements than that?

    i can talk a lot about wmd. which is not reagan. please stay on topic.

    and as you so vividly pointed out, we need to pay attention to where the funding is coming from. why do you blame reagan solely for the lack of your funding ’81-’85? hmmm, maybe congress had a little to do with it as well?

    and mme butt was using the word line for topic. the english language is a curious thing. sometimes words can mean many things. and she was requesting you stay on topic.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 5:15 pm

  25. Can we say “Forrest Gump Award”?

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 9, 2004 @ 5:41 pm

  26. Central America
    Is Reuters an acceptable source?
    http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=525034&section=news
    “An estimated 300,000 people died in Central America’s civil wars, about half during Reagan’s two terms in office. Many were civilians tortured and murdered by army troops or death squads linked to armed forces that received heavy U.S. support, human rights groups say.”

    The Somoza family was the dictatorial power in Nicaragua for 40 years, says country-data.com, “based on the Country Studies Series by Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress,” and the Sandanistas were indeed “populist”, which you denied earlier:
    “As the 1970s progressed, all sectors of Nicaraguan society joined the opposition to Anastasio Somoza Debayle’s regime.”
    “(M)ost Nicaraguans supported the new regime because they saw the Sandinista victory as an opportunity to end the repression and economic inequalities of the almost universally hated Somoza regime.”
    Then, paranoid that Nicaragua would turn into another Cuba, RR supported the contras (minions of Somoza), and embargoed them. “Although in their early years in power, the Sandinistas put great effort into improving the health and education systems and the literacy rate, diversion of half of the national budget to the military during the second half of their administration largely wiped out the significant gains made in their first few year.” Hey, thanks, America!

    “It would be an embarrassing situation if you ever had a roll call of everybody in the Guatemalan Army who ever collected a CIA paycheck,” –Colonel George Hooker, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency chief in Guatemala from 1985 to 1989.
    And here’s what they did, according to the report of the official Guatemalan Historical Clarification Commission, here hosted by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of the journal _Science_:
    http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ceh/report/english/conc2.html
    Read it all!

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 7:10 pm

  27. Yo, JC wanna be! You cite AP as a credible source? Please! Now, are you gonna tell me, back to Mr Ronald W. Reagan (may he rest in peace) that all the thousands of people who have been queuing up to pay their respects are doing the wrong thing? I was able to pay my respects to the former President and his family this afternoon. There were hundreds of people on Andrews AFB with me, lining the street. Thousands were lined up downtown, all to pay their respects to the man. As I type, there is a line forming to pass by his remains in the Rotunda. All of these people are guilty of supporting whatever ‘sins’ your leftist rantings paint the former President guilty of? And why is it that your arguments — or rather, JC’s arguments — are paralleled in the statements from Communists and Socialists around the country and the world in past days (see remarks from Castro et al)? You seem so bitter for some reason….are you from Minnesota? Your ignorant drivel is entertaining, at the least.

    Comment by yup — June 9, 2004 @ 8:40 pm

  28. I watched the procession myself, from home. It was amazing and solemn at the same time.

    Comment by CJ — June 9, 2004 @ 9:10 pm

  29. Oh, forgot. yup, it was Reuters that he was quoting from. No difference, though.

    Comment by CJ — June 9, 2004 @ 9:12 pm

  30. That Reuters article paraphrases unnamed “human rights groups”, and the next paragraph quotes someone from Human Rights Watch. Are they on your communist watch list?
    The death of a President deserves some respect, but at the same time his tenure is now being written into the history books, and should be even-handed. And it was written about on the front pages in his day, whether you were paying attention or not, and guess what? He wasn’t a perfect saint. If you have any substantive complaints about the content of the Central America articles, I am (still) all ears. I think we should all be somewhat “bitter” when our tax dollars go to fund killers.
    Bravo, Mlah, for taking that courageous stand against gays! As I’ve said already, I dunno who starts the funding ball rolling; you’re the one who started talking (inconclusively) about funding. All I know is that 20,000 Americans died of it by the time he first spoke the word ‘AIDS’ in public. Presumably you would have done the same thing, but why do you seem so proud of that? And wait, don’t tell me: C. Everett Koop was a commie pinko fag, too, eh?

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 9, 2004 @ 10:07 pm

  31. home from practice.

    incorrect my friend. the article you plagiarized from juan cole started talking about funding. and since you cut and pasted it. YOU started the funding debate.

    next. i have no doubt that reuters really did hear human rights groups claim that 300,000 people died in cent americ. but are the civil rights groups correct. you seem to have a real problem understanding the difference between a fact and an opinion. where did the human rights groups get their numbers? and no, i am not going to verify your claims. you have to do that.

    again you claim that the sandanistas were a populist govt. no they were not. (see how my unsupported claim kind of hangs there? it’s kind of like your unsupported claim that they were)

    prove the contras were minions of samoza. your claim is again unsupported.

    this url here
    is your only decent fact. oh, but wait. yet again you are off topic. look at the url. it is about GUATEMALA! are you incapable of staying IN LINE? oh, i mean on topic.

    and yet more.

    no the history books do not need to be ‘even handed’, they need to be accurate. if you ask a question (what is 2+2?), and two people answer, 4 and 5, do you give equal time to each answer to be even handed? no, you accept the correct answer.

    the fact that liberals attempted to smear his name then does not mean we should diminish his memory now, just to be even handed.

    oh, and another shot. how many people died in latin america during his presidency? why do you attribute them all to him. brezhnev was general secretary during the same time period. and if memory serves, he was fond of supplying the sandanistas. it was HIS fault.

    like my unsupported claim? talk trash? talk all the trash you want, but back it up. else you are subject to a flaying.

    Comment by mlah — June 9, 2004 @ 10:50 pm

  32. NO! INCORRECT yourself re: RR + AIDS. Kindly reread what JCole says above– there’s NOTHING about funding. I daresay you must be either blind, stupid or insane, perhaps all three.

    # of dead in cent amer?

    Exactly what is your short list (it must be very short indeed) of trustworthy information sources, then? What is so “unsupported” about claims that the Sandanistas were popular? Now you don’t trust the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress? If they aren’t serving up facts, then you wouldn’t know a fact if it bit your ass.
    Here is the fucking history lesson you asked for about how the Contras were the minions of the Somoza family (& friends), which controlled the National Guard for 40 years:

    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/nitoc.html

    Click on the link that says The Somoza Era: 1936-1972:
    First Somoza Garcia ruled from 1936-1956. “Somoza Garc¡a’s National Guard repressed serious political opposition and antigovernment demonstrations. The institutional power of the National Guard grew in most government-owned enterprises, until eventually it controlled the national radio and telegraph networks, the postal and immigration services, health services, the internal revenue service, and the national railroads.”
    In 1944, “Somoza Garc¡a’s reelection was also opposed by the United States government. The dictator reacted to growing criticism by creating a puppet government to save his rule… Despite the large support for the Aguado candidacy, Somoza Garc¡a subverted the electoral process by using government resources and the National Guard to ensure the electoral victory of his candidate. Argello was sworn in on May 1, 1947, and Somoza Garc¡a remained as chief director of the National Guard.
    “Argello had no intention of being a puppet, however, and in less than a month, when Argello’s measures began to challenge Somoza Garc¡a’s power, the National Guard chief staged a coup and placed a family associate, Benjam¡n Lacayo Sacasa, in the presidency.”
    “Somoza Garc¡a was succeeded as president by his eldest son Luis Somoza Debayle… His brother Anastasio ‘Tachito’ Somoza Debayle, a West Point graduate, took over leadership of the National Guard. A major political repression campaign followed Somoza Garc¡a’s assassination: many political opponents were tortured and imprisoned by guards under orders from Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the government imposed press censorship and suspended many civil liberties.”
    “Trusted friends of the Somoza family held the presidency from 1963 until 1967… Anastasio Somoza Debayle continued as chief director of the National Guard.
    “In February 1967, Anastasio Somoza Debayle was elected president amidst a repressive campaign against opposition supporters of Agero… With his election, Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president as well as the director of the National Guard, giving him absolute political and military control over Nicaragua. Corruption and the use of force intensified, accelerating opposition from populist and business groups.
    “On December 23, 1972, a powerful earthquake shook Nicaragua, destroying most of the capital city. The earthquake left approximately 10,000 dead and some 50,000 families homeless, and destroyed 80 percent of Managua’s commercial buildings. Immediately after the earthquake, the National Guard joined the widespread looting of most of the remaining business establishments in Managua. When reconstruction began, the government’s illegal appropriation and mismanagement of international relief aid, directed by the Somoza family and members of the National Guard, shocked the international community and produced further unrest in Nicaragua. The president’s ability to take advantage of the people’s suffering proved enormous. By some estimates, his personal wealth soared to US$400 million in 1974.
    “Anastasio Somoza Debayle’s intentions to run for another presidential term in 1974 were resisted even within his own PLN… The president responded with increasing political repression and further censorship of the media and the press. In September 1974, Anastasio Somoza Debayle was reelected president.”
    And from the section titled The End of the Anastasio Somoza Debayle Era:
    “United States support for President Somoza waned after 1977, when the administration of United States President Jimmy Carter made United States military assistance conditional on improvements in human rights… The final act in the downfall of the Somoza era began on January 10, 1978, when Chamorro was assassinated. Although his assassins were not identified at the time, evidence implicated President Somoza’s son and other members of the National Guard… On January 23, a nationwide strike began, including the public and private sectors; supporters of the strike demanded an end to the dictatorship. The National Guard responded by further increasing repression and using force to contain and intimidate all government opposition. Anastasio Somoza Debayle, meanwhile, asserted his intention to stay in power until the end of his presidential term in 1981.
    “Indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population and abuses of human rights by National Guard members further tarnished the international image of the Somoza government and damaged the economy.
    “By the end of 1978… (t)he Somoza regime was further isolated and discredited when in November the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights published a report charging the National Guard with numerous violations of human rights. The report was followed by a United Nations (UN) resolution condemning the Nicaraguan government.”
    Section called The Sandinista Revolution:
    “After President Somoza left Nicaragua in 1979, many members of the National Guard also fled the country, seeking asylum in neighboring countries, particularly in Honduras and Guatemala.”
    Section called Growth of Opposition, 1981-83:
    “Using an initial budget of US$19 million and camps in southern Honduras as a staging area, the United States supported groups of disgruntled former members of the National Guard. These groups became known as the Contras (short for contrarevolucionarios–see Glossary). The Contras initially consisted of former members of the National Guard who had fled to Honduras after the fall of President Somoza. By the end of 1981, however, the group’s membership had multiplied because peasants from the north and ethnic groups from the Caribbean coast had joined in the counterrevolutionary war. Nevertheless, early Contra leadership was represented mostly by former members of the National Guard; this fact made the movement highly unpopular among most Nicaraguans.”
    Section called THE NICARAGUAN RESISTANCE:
    “Anti-Sandinista exile groups, backed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) soon after their formation, began in the spring of 1981 to plan paramilitary operations against the government of Nicaragua. A year later, a new civil war was well under way. Together referred to as the Nicaraguan Resistance, the two main antigovernment organizations were the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (Fuerza Democr tica Nicaragense– FDN) and the Revolutionary Democratic Alliance (Alianza Revolucionaria Democrtica–Arde). Based in Honduras, the FDN consisted largely of former members and officers of the National Guard in alliance with other groups, deserters from the FSLN militia, and disgruntled Miskito. According to a 1985 United States Congressional study, forty-six of the forty-eight command positions in the FDN were held by former members of the National Guard.”
    “Advisory, financial, and material help from the CIA were crucial. According to the United States Department of State, military and nonmilitary assistance between 1982 and 1990 amounted to US$300 million. This figure did not include an additional US$100 million gathered by the United States National Security Council, and aid solicited from private organizations and foreign governments, much of it devoted to weaponry.”
    “The Contras’ brutal practices of attacks on rural cooperatives, villages, and clinics, often involving the deaths of civilians and the torture and killing of Sandinista officials and soldiers, brought accusations that the Contras were conducting a deliberate campaign of terrorism.”
    “Although the United States Congress rejected the request of President Ronald Reagan’s administration (1981-89) for additional military aid to the Contras in 1988 while peace negotiations were under way, it approved humanitarian aid that enabled the Contra forces to remain intact.”

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 10, 2004 @ 2:14 am

  33. And my topic was Reagan in Central American, using the *2* countries of Nicaragua and Guatemala, nothing off-topic about them apples.
    I don’t even know why I jumped thru all the last post’s hoops to prove that the Contras were Samoza’s minions; whoever the Contras were, they terrorized and pillaged, and St. Ronnie loved them, period. If you want to say it was worth killing all those people to stop a leftist revolution, then just say so, instead of pathetically trying to nitpick me to death, which you aren’t even capable of. In other words you are a lame-ass sparring partner (liberals are witty, too– loved it when you called me “Juan-a-be”!).
    Sorry to have left that phrase “# of dead in cent amer?” hanging there; of course it has nothing to do with the rest of the post. I meant to get back to it but got distracted by the Somoza lesson. My own googling skills aren’t coming up with any other “estimated #’s of right-wing murders in Central America during RR’s terms”, but it’s a tricky, awkward statistic. I assume (perhaps naively) that human rights groups have done their homework for no other reason than to get to the bottom of things, and I have no frantic reason to question their sums. Do you trust Amnesty and HWR? I happen to. Do you think more than 1 person was killed by forces that we supported? If you can agree on that, then we’ll say “between 1 and 300,000”, okay? Or do you deny that anything like that ever happened? Until you can come up with a better, more authoritative source, even a lowball estimate, I’ll consider it true-ish. Don’t get all freshman-year philosophical on me, man, about how “is anything really objective?” and “does this chair really exist?” Most major league journalism in modern America is pretty good most of the time (even Fox News). You just seem to have a lot of close-minded animosity towards even the possibility of it being true, which won’t ever get you far in the pursuit of truth.

    Yes, the history books need to “accurate”, which is exactly what I meant by “even-handed”, no matter how you cared to construe it. Reagan was mortal and made mistakes and pissed people off and led some commies and poor people to die, we all know it, so why bother denying it? It’s part of his legacy. The only difference between us is that you think his ends justified his means, and I don’t, right?

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 10, 2004 @ 3:22 am

  34. As to your claims that Brezhnev was as bad or worse, see the Guatemala Commission for Historical Clarification report (URL a few posts back):

    “82. Human rights violations and acts of violence attributable to actions by the State represent 93% of those registered by the CEH; they demonstrate that human rights violations caused by state repression were repeated, and that, although varying in intensity, were prolonged and continuous, being especially severe from 1978 to 1984, a period during which 91% of the violations documented by the CEH were committed.”

    And:
    “128. Acts of violence attributable to the guerrillas represent 3% of the violations registered by the CEH. This contrasts with 93% committed by agents of the State, especially the Army.2 This quantitative difference provides new evidence of the magnitude of the State’s repressive response. However, in the opinion of the CEH, this disparity does not lessen the gravity of the unjustifiable offences committed by the guerrillas against human rights.”

    By the way, here are their numbers of deaths from 1962-96. I know that goes beyond Reagan’s administrations, but you can use this handy graphic showing how political violence monstrouly peaked in the early 80’s http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ceh/report/english/graphics/charts/page84.gif

    “1. With the outbreak of the internal armed confrontation in 1962, Guatemala entered a tragic and devastating stage of its history, with enormous human, material and moral cost. In the documentation of human rights violations and acts of violence connected with the armed confrontation, the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) registered a total of 42,275 victims, including men, women and children. Of these, 23,671 were victims of arbitrary execution and 6,159 were victims of forced disappearance. Eighty-three percent of fully identified victims were Mayan and seventeen percent were Ladino.1

    2. Combining this data with the results of other studies of political violence in Guatemala, the CEH estimates that the number of persons killed or disappeared as a result of the fratricidal confrontation reached a total of over 200,000.”

    You didn’t read it, did you?

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 10, 2004 @ 4:44 am

  35. Pinkerton,

    Here’s a splendid idea.

    Run for President. Do a better job. Be more honorable. Be more honest. Give EVERYONE everything they want and need. Give EVERYONE ALL the money they need. Be absolutely perfect in every way, so no liberal nor any conservative can find one solitary fault with you. You seem to have the lead on perfection.

    If you can do it better, then do so.

    Madame Butterfly

    But here is a general question for the audience: Is there one single President that we don’t bash for one reason or another? I think the only one may be George Washington, and if today’s media had existed back then, by God we would have found something to bash him about too.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 10, 2004 @ 7:19 am

  36. the environmenta;ists would have flayed him for chopping down the cherry tree. gw was sooooo NOT green friendly.

    Comment by mlah — June 10, 2004 @ 10:14 am

  37. But that is the Enquirer’s story-there are no facts proving he chopped down the cherry tree!!!

    However, maybe it was the cherry tree that provided him with his teeth…hmmmm….

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 10, 2004 @ 10:56 am

  38. no i didn’t read it. i actually have things to do.

    but since you have quoted some of it. the state committed 93% of the violence? and the guerillas 3%?

    and the sandanistas were the govt? sounds like they weren’t very populist.

    Comment by mlah — June 10, 2004 @ 8:36 pm

  39. Hate to do this to you, mlah and Madame Butterfly, but the left, or at least their cohorts have disparaged George Washington:

    A few years ago, Charles Barron, NYC councilman from Brooklyn decided to take the portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson down from the Council Chambers and replace them with Malcom X and someone else. His reasoning was because the two former Presidents owned slaves. I didn’t quite here anyone on the left come to their defense, either.

    Comment by CJ — June 10, 2004 @ 9:20 pm

  40. Mlah said: “but since you have quoted some of it. the state committed 93% of the violence? and the guerillas 3%? and the sandanistas were the govt? sounds like they weren’t very populist.”

    those stats are for Guatemala, shit-for-brains.
    you didn’t even read the post that came from.
    the topic was deaths caused by US-backed regimes in central american during RR’s reign. i don’t have the nicaragua #’s, but those for Guatemala can give you (or someone *like* you who’s not so ridiculously close-minded) an idea how the “human rights groups” might have concluded that 200,000 is the total for central america.

    oh, y’all are giving me the silent treatment so I’ll go away, huh? yep, that is a lot easier than thinking…

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 11, 2004 @ 3:11 am

  41. actually no, we moved to knew posts….. it must be nice to have all night at your what? computer lab job at the u of mich? i don’t have as much time at my real job.

    the topic was NOT guatemala. as i told you before. the topic is ronald reagan. i don’t know that much about guatemala, and i’m not going to read a country study to impress a labtech who has nothing better to do than hunt obscure opinions on the net and represent them as facts.

    but i bet you’re used to the silent treatment….

    Comment by mlah — June 11, 2004 @ 4:01 am

  42. “knew” posts? great spelling.
    You asked me to prove my points, so I did, period, you’re welcome. Quit complaining about their “obscurity”; these are facts, not opinions (unless you know something about the Library of Congress’s Research Division that I don’t). Read it not to “impress” me, but just so you you won’t be a dumbass know-nothing blowhard all your life. Here’s a neat quote I read today that sums up the attitude around here (and Reagan and Bush, too): “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” — Mark Twain.
    The topic was indeed Ronald Reagan, it sure as hell was, and it still is, bitches. Actually i’m not used to the silent treatment; usually i debate people intelligent enough to admit any valid points i make, or at least offer a rebuttal with the facts that they’re working from (y’all apparently don’t have any).

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 11, 2004 @ 4:46 am

  43. Yuh, right, you are obviously too busy to read anything. But not too busy to look up my IP #, whoo hoo, you Tech Stud! Well, it’s one way (out of the many you have found) to avoid paying attention to my arguments and meeting me on yonder battle field of the intellect, ye scurvy knave.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 11, 2004 @ 6:39 am

  44. Hey Pinkerton.

    There is no meat left on this horse. Move on to a NEW horse.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — June 11, 2004 @ 11:32 am

  45. Mich tech boy — you certainly wasted no time in resorting to some unkind language. When you actually have to go out into the world and get a job to support yourself (and perhaps a family), and see how much of your hard-earned income is taken away from you, I would certainly like to see whether you adhere to your current hard-core, left-inclined beliefs. Go out and participate in history, tech boy, so that you can provide JC some more fodder for his boilerplate agitprop. Have fun growing up and learning how to shave. I’m tired of reading your rants on this topic. Should you contribute to any of Mlah’s other, more current postings, I may be mildly amused by your rants. Cheers.

    Comment by yup — June 11, 2004 @ 5:00 pm

  46. Actually I held off admirably on the cursing until I could be certain that no one here can themselves use anything but ad-hominem attacks and pathetic stalling. But by all means use my cursing as yet another reason to plug your ears and cover thine eyes. Or the other new reason– your ass(and i do mean ‘ass’)umption that I am a ninny undergraduate, that’s a nice pulling of rank, folks. Sorry, but I’m in my late-thirties and have been supporting myself for 20 years and paying my share of taxes. Someone said “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.” The US leaves those on the bottom to tear each other apart. It only engenders envy and honors greed.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 11, 2004 @ 6:18 pm

  47. M. Butt said: “There is no meat left on this horse.” No.. surely Reagan has not decomposed that far already?! I am simply doing my part to counter the wide-ranging media bullshit about how great he was that everyone I know is gagging on and asking “Did they live thru a different 80’s than me?!” The myth(and I do mean ‘myth’)ologizing is running rampant. Most of you have military backgrounds, right? So it’s not surprising that you like him and don’t question authority. And y’all must like paying taxes when they go towards increasing the military budget (Reagan didn’t lower total taxes, just took from social programs to give to the Pentagon). In other words, you’re hypocritical and cynical.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 11, 2004 @ 6:35 pm

  48. tech boy. late 30’s and still in college? don’t give up you’ll make it someday!

    you are the purveyor of mythology. ever been to central america? ever spoken to the people?

    oh, and re-read one of your earlier comments, ‘you you’ nice grammar. since you made fun of my synonym mistake.

    ad hominem attacks. you started those to. did m butt call you anything before you called her that? don’t think so.

    and my mt emails me your comments complete with ip, and the arin already broken out, so it takes no time.

    make some valid points for us to refute, helpdesk. there are lots of works of fiction in the library of congress. just because the guatemalan report was in the library of congress does not make it correct. it means that the guatemalans did write it. hmmmm. let’s see. who should i believe, US govt? or guatemalan govt, at the prodding of the underling of a half baked radical-hippie history teacher?

    Comment by mlah — June 11, 2004 @ 10:53 pm

  49. Jeezus, you are one ignorant, lazy and pig-headed cocksucker.

    Here is what USAID (i.e. part of the US gov’t) considers the facts of Guatemala:
    http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/vot/guatemala.html
    Note that they use the 200,000 figure (1960-1996) and that the Historical Clarification Commission was “supported by the United Nations”, so not just the work of any Guatemalan gov’t.

    The Nicaragua info is from The Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program “SPONSORED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. Because the original intent of the Series’ sponsor was to focus primarily on lesser known areas of the world or regions in which U.S. forces might be deployed.” Handbookhttp://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html

    Is that valid enough for you? Or do you have to hear it from God Himself? Take off your blinders, let the scales fall from your eyes, just for a minute!

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 12, 2004 @ 4:53 am

  50. and what do they say? that reagan was president in 1960? how is he responsible? wasn’t that jfk? you are saying jfk was responsible for 200,000 deaths in guatemala? no, og it was only reagan? how come.

    nicaragua. there were deaths during a civil war? no! say it’s not so. how many does it say were a result of contra death squads? how many does it say are the results of sandanistas? i’m very familiar with country studies, having read more than 10. guatemala on the other hand is outside of the region of the world i concentrate on. i am not going to read an entire country study to refute a profane miscreant who lacks the vocabulary to deride somebody on civil terms. helpdesk.

    back to reagan. greeatest president of the 20th century. he CRUSHED that pipe dream called communism, and all of that social program waste that went along with it.

    wake up dude. communism, and the iron fisted socialist govt that would export communism to the rest of the world has failed.

    workers paradise. reagan created one. work, and it’s paradise. suck on the tit of society, ooop, i’m sorry, rely on the state for welfare programs and wither.

    as it should be.

    Comment by mlah — June 12, 2004 @ 4:58 pm

  51. If you bothered to follow the links, you’d see that, in general, it’s not a lot of reading for your frail brain– I quote the important parts, just providing the link as proof. And specifically, the graph I link to shows how the political violence in Guatemala massively peaked during RR’s first term. Your defensiveness and incuriosity truly baffle and astound and amaze me. I’m well aware that communism is dead, and all totalitarian systems have always absolutely disgusted me. Are we in agreement? Your preconceptions of Liberalism are quite out of whack with anyone I know or read or listen to, time to update your mental software.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 13, 2004 @ 1:46 am

  52. do you dispute the liberal socialist agenda? and hence your decrying rr cutting the social programs?
    of course violence peaked during reagans term in office, he was fighting communism. which entailed containment of the sandanistas. open YOUR mind my friend, and see the facts for what they are. fighting peaked in europe during fdr’s last term. of course it did. he was fighting national socialism. and i don’t blame him for the deaths.

    Comment by mlah — June 13, 2004 @ 12:57 pm

  53. So you’re willing to go on the record as saying that you applaud all the murders of people who were killed by anti-communist forces just because they were “OUR” anti-communist forces, yes? That they never went overboard, that those killed were absolutely all communist sympathizers, that no innocents were killed, that no one was killed just for having an opinion? You applaud the CIA teaching terror and torture tactics to them?
    You still haven’t read anything I’ve linked to, have you? “Containment”?! That’s one way of putting it, I guess. Why don’t you just admit that you don’t really know what you’re talking about, and further that you don’t even WANT to know? It would make things easier for both of us.

    What are the terms of the “Liberal Socialist Agenda”, first of all? I’m not familiar with that platform. Maybe I’d agree or disagree with some or all of it, but I’m not sure what you’re referring to. The tuitions at state college are escalating wildly compared to inflation because states are cash-strapped because of all the tax cuts. But hey, better Dumb than Red!

    And just in case you weren’t aware of it, Hitler’s National Socialism (Nazism) has nothing to do with any living, modern socialist tendencies. To CONFLATE them (if you know what that word means) is about as idiotic and ahistorical as it gets. Bravo.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 13, 2004 @ 10:57 pm

  54. hitlers national socialism had nothing to do with any modern living socialism? not so my friend, hitler put franco in power in that economic juggernaut of spain. but the similarities with other socialist programs are common. as with the soviet brand of socialism. ie, socialized medicine, state funded abortion, etc. whether you like it or not. whether you try to divest yourself of it or not. the nazis were socialists, with social programs.

    guatemala. no, i don’t give a shit. was the stae there perfect, more than likely not. did they stop communism? yep

    were the contras perfect? probably not. were the sandanistas worse? yes. are we better off for them being gone? yep.

    do i applaud the cia teaching terror/torture tactics? oh, you’re about to go into the school of the americas over reagan? i don’t give a shit if they do or not. what YOU fail to realize is that foreign countries have different laws. if france chooses to harbor murderers, that’s their prerogative. if some central amercian country threatened by communism chooses to use unsavory methods, guess what? that’s their business.

    i got news for you my friend. know who khaleed sheikh mohammed is? why do you think he is still in paki? and guess what else. i JUST DON’T CARE about him. you assume i have the same morals you do. i think you have few to none.

    hey, i’m going to toast the govt of guatemala in a minute, for the fine job they did rooting out communism in their country.

    and oh yeah, after your initial poor performance with documentation, you lost the ability to entice me into reading any more of your fiction. yes i read a lot of it at the beginning. not now.

    Comment by mlah — June 13, 2004 @ 11:23 pm

  55. Mlah said: “if some central amercian country threatened by communism chooses to use unsavory methods, guess what? that’s their business.”
    well, when it’s my illegally funnelled tax $$ (our constitution), guess what? that’s my fucking business.
    okay, i’m happy now: you admitted you “don’t give a shit”, the ends always justify the means in your world. torture and terror are fine if WE teach them, eh? and somehow you bring up MY morals, phew, you are a laff riot!
    and you undoubtably can’t recognize a fact from a hole in the ground (see mass graves in Guatemala). if you were a Nicaraguan after 40+ years of Somoza family raping and pillaging, I wonder what side you *really* would have been on. Big Money was the only thing being protected, but what else is new? that’s always been the saddest thing about US troops, usually poor kids, brainwashed to fight whomever is putting a hair up the precious assholes of the rich.
    i’m not up on khaleed sheikh mohammed. but you earlier asked me to stick to the point about RR, so i’ll ask the same of you.
    hitler and franco are more properly called Fascists. every gov’t has “social programs”, we still have Medicare, etc., plus faith-based bullshit. that could be said to be what gov’t IS. canada and the UK have socialized medicine, what’s the problem? every other industrialized nation takes better care of its people than we do. it’s just that our capitalism-on-steroids thinks a dog-eat-dog situation is good, so what if many working people can’t afford health insurance? fuck ’em, right? the bottom line is what matters. the ends always justify the means, again. you’re a real sweetheart, oh yeah you are. fat shit.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 14, 2004 @ 7:56 pm

  56. fat shit? who’s ass is stuck to a chair at the helpdesk for u of mich? eating donuts all night and drinking mountain dew? not mine.

    ends justify the means? a lot of times. you seem to think so too, after all, taxes are only stealing from the rich, and middle class, to give to the lazy, so that they can continue to be bribed by the dimocratic party. who’re your morals now?

    what? one ref to ksm and you frak? let me give you some lit to read. and oh, by the way ‘fat shit’ be sure to ‘read it all’. what? no time? you have more time than i do, waiting for your little remedy ticket so you can create an account.

    not giving two shit’s about guatemala, or nicaragua, or argentina or a host of other places does not mean i think the end always justifies the means. it simply means….. i don’t give two shit’s about guatemala, or nicaragua, or argentina. nothing more. your tax dollars are being siphoned away by lazy bastards on welfare. do you think there is a chance in hell the will vote repub? nope. you know why? because they are economic slaves helpdesk. they are bought and paid for. you sir, are a slaver.

    some poor youth brainwashed into fighting? they are volunteers. ‘but still…..’ shut it. i’ve been there. while you were eating donuts, i was serving.

    so YOU, get out of your cocoon. go someplace outside of our culture. nope canada does not count. not even french speaking canada. then stroll the streets. and after you get to know a few foreigners. NOT the ones who live here. the ones over there. and you learn what the psyche is like and you find out what their real desires are. preach to me about our conduct overseas.

    ronald reagan was the greatest president last century. easy.

    Comment by mlah — June 14, 2004 @ 11:38 pm

  57. i dunno what frak means. i know you busted my balls for bringing up WMD, saying: “i can talk a lot about wmd. which is not reagan. please stay on topic.” i’m perfectly willing to talk about current affairs, wherever you like.
    you are the one who’s had weight problems, not me, bucko. that much is clear, fat shit.
    taxes are an eternal question, aren’t they? shall we privatize absolutely everything, or is it more efficient to keep some things common? i’m angry paying taxes that go to the “lazy bastards” at Halliburton. what if you had a son who was retarded? what if you lost your job and got kicked out of your house? the “commonwealth” serves a purpose that you use every day. municipal water systems. Clinton cut welfare, why don’t you love him? oh wait, he’s a “slaver”.
    brainwashed, yes. what the hell does Medium John know about citizenship? he knows how to be sicced on his handlers’ enemies like those german shepherds at Abu-Ghraib (or Treblinka).
    Since when has the US cared about the “real desires” of those overseas? It’s all about our interests (and Israel’s, of course).

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 15, 2004 @ 12:53 am

  58. our country, our interests. their country their interests. hence guatemala. but understanding other people would open your eyes quite a bit. instead, you try to tax people more and more. so that they have no choice but to obey YOU. the slaver. kaiser bill did not cut welfare. the conservative congress did. bill kept trying everything he could to increase spending.

    those lazy bastards at halliburton are working. not hiding in a school, eating donuts, fat helpdesk shit.

    medium john knows a hell of a lot more about citizenship than you do. he does real work. he also did something very conservative. he weighed the consequences of his actions. rather than the liberal mob, that just takes with impunity. and never another thought aside from let’s get some more. collected your subsidy yet?

    Comment by mlah — June 15, 2004 @ 7:15 am

  59. JC, I guess they gave you a triple shot of espresso for your night shift coffee drink last night. You seem upset that we as a nation spend a bit of time worrying about Israel. You angry because only 6 million were wiped out? (BTW, I would suggest a tour of the Holocaust Museum here in D.C., which in my opinion presents the historical facts in a much more cogent manner than, say, Dachau. Although I have to admit that standing in front of the assembly line killing machine at Dachau was a powerful experience.) Who assumed you were an undergrad? I simply suggested that you leave the safe little environment that academia provides you and go out into the real world (and since you are still in academia at the age of nearly 40, you have frittered away your youth — get moving before you run out of opportunities). Live some history, don’t simply read/write about it. Talk to people who have been on those evil social programs (and before you try any freshman sophistry, I’m married to one). See how many of them truly enjoy being wards of the State. Those who do are the ones that conservatives tend to condemn. And look in the mirror — I bet you could use a shave. Has our country ever done things which are not commendable under our present set of mores? Yup. Do we need to applaud them? Nope. But we owe it to our forebears (including those still with us who were in charge then) to consider what they did in light of the global situation in which they operated. Pay attention to the context! Then work with the world as it exists today, instead of constantly whining about things which happened 20 or 50 years ago — unless you can come up with a Way-Back Time Machine, Mr Peabody, there’s nothing you can do to change those events!

    Comment by yup — June 15, 2004 @ 7:42 am

  60. oh, i understand other people, i’m in the real modern world, my eyes are wide freakin open. i don’t want anyone obeying me, that’s not my M.O. (more the military mindset). how many more overcharging scandals can Halliburton have? it’s like the opposite of the McDonald’s sign: “X Millions of MRE’s NEVER served”. i paddle my own canoe, financially as well as philosophically. context? love it, i’m all over it, can’t get enough. i thought Mlah might be the Holocaust denier, since he seemed to deny all the senseless death in Central America. no, Yup, it’s not an anti-Semitic thing to say that some of Israel’s current policies re: Palestine are unfair, and that we must have gone into Iraq partly for their sake. i suspect the deal was “we’ll take out Iraq if you (Sharon) try to pull back to pre-1967 borders”, which is finally moving now, sort of. hell, if UN condemnation means anything, the damn settlers should have been booted a long time ago. i know it’s a complicated, emotional issue, even for liberal jews.
    taxation is, too. i’m willing to see if tax cuts help out. i’m just apprehensive. remember when the homeless population blossomed in the Reagan years, after the mental institutions emptied out? you can’t just go around blaming the victim all the time so you can buy a bigger SUV, that’s immoral.

    Comment by Juan Cole — June 15, 2004 @ 8:38 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress