Stephen WellingtonMormon 21 Comments


Creating Zion requires 2 things:
1) A Vision of what it is like
2) Faith we can achieve it.

We all have the vision of the society we want to live in and this society is one that, I believe, is similar to the type of society we see in the Book of Mormon after Jesus visitied the Nephites…a society where there was harmony, Christ-like love, and peace amongst its citizens.

We have many people in and outside the church who have great ideas of attaining this “Zion society”. We just need to prepare ourselves to be ready to live in it.

So we have the vision…..Now we need the faith….Here are two quotes from Reinhold Neibuhr

Reinhold Neibuhr

The naive faith of the proletarian[working class] is the faith of the man of action. Rationality belongs to the cool observers. There is of course an element of illusion in the faith of the proletarian, as there is in all faith. But it is a necessary illusion, without which some truth is obscured. The inertia of society is so stubborn that no one will move against it, if he cannot believe that it can be more easily overcome than is acutally the case. And no one will suffer the perils and pains involved in the process of radical social change, if he cannot believe in the possibility of a purer and fairer society than will ever be established.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

As much as I appreciate Neibuhr, I find the first quote by Neibuhr to be somewhat defeatist. AND…I find it somewhat sanctimonious to say that having faith in grass roots societal change that produces something more equitable and pure as irrational. With Neibuhr being O’bama’s favourite theologian, it gives us incite into Obama’s own posturing about “wanting change” whilst accepting funding from the very same power structures that benefit from the current disparity in wealth and society. Now, dont get me wrong…If I was American I would be inclined to vote for Nader or Obama. I think Neibuhr’s prayer of serenity is brilliant…but we should not not use it as an excuse for not standing a little taller then we are now and changing our lifestyles to be more sustainable, more caring, more loving, and closer to the nature of those who saw Christ come and chose to live with love in their hearts for their fellowmen.

Ghandi Smedley ButlerThe greatest people are those who stood for peace, love and eternal truth in the face of MASSIVE opposition and even death. Ghandi is one of these too me. Another is Bishop Juan Gerardi, Ex-Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, Jane Manning, Omar Torrijos, Joseph Smith, Smedley Butler, William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King Jr. etc. Their flames may have died out but their fire still burns.Jane Manning
Aldo Moro

Thomas S. Monson

Thomas S. Monson has said:

We tend to become like those whom we admire.

Oh how similar Christian “Realism” and “Real Politik” appear to me at times…and lets not forget Real Politik was invented by man who is responsible for the death of thousands upon thousands of innocent Cambodians…Henry Kissinger.

As Mormons we NEED more realism…learn how the world works and I think you will find that our current state is indeed just as terrorizing and oppresive to our fellowmen as men sitting in caves that have bombs strapped to them. It is this increased realism which will, contrary to Neibuhr’s statement, increase our already high ideals and optimism. Lets all stand a little taller….lets get more conscious and love our brothers and sisters whatever country, race and religion or background they come from. Lets love them enough to EXERCISE our faith and bring about a revolution of love and be patriots of spirituality.

I hope we can all have the faith to stand a little taller and to know that you can:

Be the change that you want to see in the world.(Ghandi)

Comments 21

  1. With Neibuhr being O’bama’s favourite theologian, it gives us incite into Obama’s own posturing about “wanting change” whilst accepting funding from the very same power structures that benefit from the current disparity in wealth and society.

    Er, just so you know, you have an odd spelling error/word juxtaposition there. Incite should be insight. At least, I strongly suspect that. I’m not being pedantic in this case, because as it is written, the word used really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Unless that’s the UK version of the word, which I doubt.

    Anyway, great post, and I enjoyed it. I would add that in creating Zion requires a third thing–a willingness to give up your current method of achieving it. I almost said having a plan of achieving it, but I realized that it wouldn’t be entirely accurate. What is necessary is the humility to recognize that your current plan isn’t actually working or may not produce the results you desire. As an example of this, let me point out that EVERY person that has tried to create a better society has had a plan to do it. That’s easy. All of them have been thoroughly convinced that their plan was perfect as well, and that conviction is one of the things that led to some of the worst atrocities of the 1900s. Eugenics was going to lead us to a perfect society–we would create a better, faster, stronger and more capable society simply by breeding a purer race and then by eliminating the filthy stain that was holding us back. It wasn’t until one particular leader made it clear that in addition to that he also wanted to be the sole leader in this new world structure that other nations really objected. In fact many leaders and thinkers in the US felt that eugenics was the right path until Germany started invading all of Europe, and it wasn’t until the end that we realized we couldn’t go down that path. The stated goal of creating a purer race, however, was one that never really bothered most until a bit later.

    Creating Zion means we need to let go of our conviction that a method has to be the right method, and rely on the Lord to guide our method. It means that we have to be willing to look at the outcomes and recognize what they truly are. If we put a program in place that we think will lead us closer to Zion, but it then has a different effect than we expect, then we need to be aware of it. As a scientifically minded individual, of course I’m into measuring results, but anyone that thinks that God doesn’t pay close attention to the ultimate outcomes of an action is fooling themselves. Oh, I think that for our time before the judgment bar, we will be judged on the desires of our hearts, but when God himself puts a program in place (such as the Church), I think the ultimate outcome is a very big concern (sometimes to the point that our individual lives are seemingly meaningless).

    Well, that’s it for now…maybe more later.

  2. #1=thanks for the correction. Been up for 36 hours finishing up a review of a med paper which was due today. Knackered….

    You are very right and Ivan Illich talks about this…the idea that institutions are created to help people but the irony is that they end up focusing more on their own survival. You are very right that it requires humility and a realization that we are constantly evolving and need to be humble and flexible. Great reply.

    #2- It terms of answer the “how”? One word…service…William Van Wagenen’s podcast at Mormon Stories and his new one at LDSCooperative demonstrate that he went to Iraq to serve the people there in the face are tremendous danger. He was even kidnapped by Iraqi Militants that were prepared to kill him.

    In terms of answering the “Why?” I think Martin Luther King Jr. Does that well…

    “The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

    “Another reason why we must love our enemies is that hate scars the soul and distorts the personality. Mindful that hate is an evil and dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. This is understandable, for hate brings irreparable damage to its victims.”

    “But there is another side which we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true”

    “A third reason why we should love our enemies is that love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy be getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power”

    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. But Stephen, how can you serve a people you are killing? You quote Martin Luther King who says “we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity,” but by the very action we take to go into Iraq and kill people we increase enmity. And no matter how many “acts of service” we may do in Iraq, the people who lost a brother, or a father, or a sister, or a mother to an American bullet will never forget that it was an American bullet that took the life of their kin. How can an act of service ever compensate for the loss of a loved one? Enmity is increased by our very presence in Iraq. It is not decreased by any “act of service” because we have a reputation as a duplicitous nation. With our right hand we give handouts, and with our left, we fire bullets into their backs. This is not Christianity.

  4. Post

    Dan I completely agree with you….and from polls conducted around the world it seems that people are getting tired of this.

    I hope you can get a leader that truley represents the wonderful American people I have met in my life. A leader that really promotes liberty and democracy abroad rather than carrying on this insane foreign policy.

    I lived in Saudi Arabia for a long time…the people out there are just the same as the people in the UK, and in the US. People are generally good, want peace, want to forgive. I have a good friend who is an Iraqi and her brother died 2 years ago. She says the situation is worse then ever but she knows that the people of America are good and it is the government that she projects her frustrations.

    I think the world is hoping…really hoping for America to reclaim its position as the Land of the Free and a light to the world.

  5. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
    –Matthew 5:43-45

    We mustn’t make the mistake of lumping ourselves together as if my actions, the actions of a soldier in Iraq, and the actions of the President of the United States were the same. I’ll not enter into a digression on whether or how to ‘support the troops’, but in my own life I can ensure that what I feel for all humanity is compassion, and that I truly try to live this, one of the hardest of doctrines.

    Dan said, “This is not Christianity.” No, it is not. That’s why we have to work for the change we desire to see, that we, at least, may be blameless. Contribute to microcredit programs, bake bread for your neighbors, pray and plead and try to understand how you may send rain on the just and on the unjust alike.

  6. Dan,
    Are you asking how we as a nation can do this, or how individual soldiers can? Because you’re right, on the national level: this isn’t Christianity. But, for better or worse (and in spite of the President’s possible protestations), the U.S. is not Christian (and I’m not convinced that a nation could be Christian).

    If you’re asking how individual soldiers can loves those they are killing, frankly, I don’t know, and I’m glad I’ve never had to figure it out. But I know good people who are/have been soldiers.

    This is clearly a bad war; nonetheless, we’ve been involved in good wars, too, and we’ve not entered into what would have been good wars (and we’ve not entered into what would have been bad wars: we’ve been all over the spectrum). That is to say, even though this is a bad war, we have to figure out how to love the enemies that we’re killing, because almost inevitably, in this fallen world, we’ll be at war again in the future, and it may be a so-called good war next time. But the morality underlying the war doesn’t change the fact that we would be killing people, so we have to figure out, in any event, how to love our enemies (whom we are killing). I doubt, however, that there’s a facile answer.

  7. Great James Taylor video, by the way.

    I’m reading a lot of Niebuhr now so I’ll have to get back to your interpretation of him later. Right now I would just say Niebuhr is right with you in terms of practical projects for the betterment of humanity. His main idea was informing our utopianism with Christian reality, seen in the context of Marxian socialism. Most of his thought should be seen as a reaction to the Marxian overreaction.

    But what do I know? I do think this is an inspiring post.

  8. Sam,

    It is my belief that loving your enemies and killing your enemies are two inherently and eternally incompatible premises. You simply cannot love someone at whom you aim your weapon and let loose a stream of flesh-piercing bullets that tear up the other individual to pieces. If you love that person, you’d call him your brother and you would weep at his demise. You’d do everything you could to protect his life. Disarm him without killing him. You would not high five your fellow soldier at getting the latest kill. You would bury your enemy in the same respectful manner you would bury your loved one. That is showing your enemy love. You would go to your enemy’s family and beg forgiveness for taking his life, explaining the necessity. You would find a way to give some restitution for their loss. That is loving your enemy. Because that is what you would do to one of your own.

    But I’ll never expect that out of anyone today. That is too high a standard, though that is where we should be. However, I had hoped to see more of what we see in Alma 43, even from Mormons who had so often misread that chapter, using it as justification for aggressive warfare. In Alma 43, we have a situation where the Lamanites come to the Nephites to wage war. This is important. The Lamanites are coming to the Nephites, not the Nephites deciding to rid the world, once and for all, of the scourge of the Lamanites.

    15 And it came to pass as the armies of the Lamanites had gathered together in the land of Antionum, behold, the armies of the Nephites were prepared to meet them in the land of Jershon.

    The Nephites prepared themselves defensively for the coming Lamanites. Captain Moroni prepared them in the Land of Jershon, so when the Lamanites came, they saw that the Nephites were well too protected for them to attack. Note one important thing here. Captain Moroni doesn’t send his forces out aggressively to destroy the Lamanites. Instead, the Lamanites, upon seeing a fortified Jershon go elsewhere.

    22 Behold, now it came to pass that they durst not come against the Nephites in the borders of Jershon; therefore they departed out of the land of Antionum into the wilderness, and took their journey round about in the wilderness, away by the head of the river Sidon, that they might come into the land of Manti and take possession of the land; for they did not suppose that the armies of Moroni would know whither they had gone.

    They went to another part, thinking that Moroni wouldn’t know where they went. Now, what is Moroni to do to know the location and intents of his enemy? Well, he could capture a Lamanite and subject him to torture to reveal whatever he has to reveal. He could do that. But he doesn’t. He instead goes to the Lord.

    23 But it came to pass, as soon as they had departed into the wilderness Moroni sent spies into the wilderness to watch their camp; and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him, desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
    24 And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed the messengers of Moroni, that the armies of the Lamanites were marching round about in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti, that they might commence an attack upon the weaker part of the people. And those messengers went and delivered the message unto Moroni.

    I find this the most fascinating part of the ‘war chapters’ of the Book of Mormon. For Moroni to gain information on his enemy’s whereabouts, he doesn’t try to get that information from his enemy. Instead he goes to the source of all knowledge: God. Certainly God knows where Moroni’s enemies are located, probably better than Moroni’s enemies know where they are located! Also, note that Moroni states the reason why he seeks council from the Lord, not to know where the enemy is exactly but where Moroni should go do defend his people! He doesn’t want to go destroy the Lamanites. He wants to go protect his own people.

    Now, through some stratagem, Moroni placed his armies just right so the surrounded the Lamanite armies. Note here the following.

    36 And it came to pass that the Lamanites, when they saw the Nephites coming upon them in their rear, turned them about and began to contend with the army of Lehi.

    The Lamanites began the conflict, not the Nephites. Then as the trap began springing into place, we read the following.

    53 Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror.
    54 Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood.

    The trap worked and the Lamanites were surrounded and lost their will to fight, so Moroni stopped the killing. Then in chapter 44 we read.

    1 And it came to pass that they did stop and withdrew a pace from them. And Moroni said unto Zerahemnah: Behold, Zerahemnah, that we do not desire to be men of blood. Ye know that ye are in our hands, yet we do not desire to slay you.
    2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.
    3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
    4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
    5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—
    6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
    7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.

    Note how frequently Moroni states that he has no desire to take Zerahemnah’s life or the lives of the Lamanites. He pleads with them to take the deal, to walk away, to go back home and not attack them anymore. Zerahemnah doesn’t take the deal, of course, because he knows it will be broken either by him or by his children. Moroni still offers him one more chance. He restates again that he cannot recall his words and pleads with them again to take the deal. They don’t. Zerahemnah tries to attack Moroni but one of Moroni’s guards slices off Zerahemnah’s scalp, and uses that as a psychological ploy to convince the Lamanites to stop. Many do. But Zerahemnah is angrier, takes his sword again and rallies the Lamanites to one more strike.

    17 And now Moroni was angry, because of the stubbornness of the Lamanites; therefore he commanded his people that they should fall upon them and slay them. And it came to pass that they began to slay them; yea, and the Lamanites did contend with their swords and their might.

    But Zerahemnah sees the folly of this.

    19 Now Zerahemnah, when he saw that they were all about to be destroyed, cried mightily unto Moroni, promising that he would covenant and also his people with them, if they would spare the remainder of their lives, that they never would come to war again against them.
    20 And it came to pass that Moroni caused that the work of death should cease again among the people. And he took the weapons of war from the Lamanites; and after they had entered into a covenant with him of peace they were suffered to depart into the wilderness.

    And then a wonderful thing happened.

    23 And the armies of the Nephites, or of Moroni, returned and came to their houses and their lands.

    This section is highly instructive because it shows us that Moroni cared for the Lamanites, enough not to bother them once they stopped attacking the Nephites, or made the to-be-broken promise. No doubt Moroni knew the promise would be broken in the future, but that was okay.

    I don’t know how those two chapters could ever lead someone to conclude justification for aggressive warfare, for taking a war to your opponent’s turf. Everything that occurred there occurred in Nephite controlled lands. Every battle that occurred from chapters 48 on through 61 occurred in Nephite controlled lands. And then in 3 Nephi 3:20-21, we read the following. The context is that the Gaddianton Robbers have gotten so bad that the Nephites had to gather themselves close together in order to defeat them. We read.

    20 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
    21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.

    Note the consistency with Captain Moroni’s request and Gidgiddoni’s response here. The people’s request was the opposite of what Captain Moroni asked for in Alma 43. Moroni asked to know where to go to defend his people. The people here want to hear from the Lord what to do in order to go to the Gaddianton Robbers to defeat them. But Gidgiddoni says, “The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands.”

    Now, to relate to the war in Iraq. What Iraqi attacked us before we invaded their country? What Iraqi came to the United States and waged war against us here? Any? None? As such, would the United States not be considered, in fact, on par with the Lamanites for going into Iraq to invade them when there really was no need? No Iraqi threatened us. No Iraqi actually attacked us. So when we kill any Iraqi, we’re doing it because they’re attacking us for us being in their lands uninvited. This is why it befuddles my mind why any Mormon, much less any general Christian, would even find any justification for being in Iraq. It is just so absolutely wrong, so against our theological beliefs. I still cannot see how it came to be this way. I understand the basic, usual answers, but they are not truly explicative of the real reasons why.

    If we truly loved our enemies, we would pull out of Iraq. We would march on Washington, press for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney and pull our soldiers out of Iraq. We would get back to fixing our own battered nation. Let the Iraqis deal with their nation on their own.

  9. Dan,
    I don’t disagree with you about the just war problems many Mormons take out of the Book of Mormon. Nonetheless, in a fallen world, there will be wars. Let’s take the discussion away from the current war in Iraq, and transplant it to what you would consider a justified was (be it WWII, be it the Revolution, be it the War of 1812, or be it totally imaginary). I’m not interested in discussing Iraq; you believe it is a war we shouldn’t be in. I agree.

    But what about the war that we should (or have to) be in? Even where everybody acts perfectly–the war is appropriate, appropriately declared, our soldiers never shoot at anybody who has surrendered, etc.–our soldiers will kill certain of the other side. I don’t think that precludes them from loving, and acting mercifully toward, their enemies.

    I don’t find the war chapters of the Book of Mormon terribly enlightening. They don’t describe our world: the Nephites were, at minimum, a moderately theocratic people, led by a prophet-captain, and a godly chief judge. We are not, and expressly may not be. Like I said, a fallen world.

    Iraq is not instructive about how to act in war because it’s easy enough to get distracted by the fact that we should not be there. But your objections to conduct in Iraq don’t go away because the war is just. Soldiers (and political leaders and those of us who are neither) need to act in a Christian manner even where the war is a bad war, because we need to act in a Christian manner when we’re in a war that must be fought. Saying we need to get out of Iraq may or may not be the proper political answer, but it is clearly not an answer to the question of how to show love to your enemies in a time of war.

  10. Dan – “No Iraqi threatened us. No Iraqi actually attacked us.” This is a facile argument. The Lamanite/Nephite war is not the same type of conflict. The US did not declare war on Iraqi civilians but overthrew a dictator (and his governing Ba’ath party) that was unfriendly to the US, having made many (apparently empty) threats to the US and our allies, and tyrannical to its people (genocidal to the Kurds).

    If you were anti-invasion, on some level you had to be pro-Saddam (or at least neutral and passive about his regime). That’s an intentional oversimplification, but relevant. It’s important to understand that the real issue of the war is whether the US should get involved in foreign affairs of other nations. US foreign policy states that 1) it’s illegal to assassinate foreign heads of state, and 2) you have to have cause to go to war (determine that there is an imminent threat by that country to the US). Because the threat was not deemed “imminent” enough for Bush to just hit the button, he had to go to Congress to get the action ratified, which they did, based on faulty evidence (partly due to Saddam’s chest-thumping and uncooperativeness) and fearmongering.

    Now that we are there, what to do? I think that’s a valid question. It was ill-conceived and insufficiently studied before we went in, based on thee erroneous assumption that democracy can be given to a nation like a gift and that everyone must see democracy as a better solution to every other form of government, that somehow you can plant the seed of democracy anywhere you want and it will flourish into a beautiful tree without someone there to tend it.

    The issue in Iraq is that there was no unity to start with – there are three groups of people who don’t want to work together, who would rather kill each other than forgive past wrongs. We hurt the Baathists by overthrowing Saddam, and most Americans couldn’t tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’ite. But Iran sure can.

    I’m not for the war. But I can understand how this happened. It’s not cut and dried. That’s all.

    Stephen – good post. My view has always been that the Lord changes people and they change their circumstances. I don’t generally cotton to the notion of a Utopian society, which seems to always turn into a Dystopia. The unresolved problem of organized change is compulsion.

  11. Just 3 thoughts:

    1. Kum-bai-ya.

    2. Dan’s last comment.

    What Iraqi attacked us before we invaded their country?

    Iraq violated the terms of the first Gulf War peace treaty, in esse3nse starting the 1st gulf war over again (or at least ceasing to cease-fire tchnically).

    Indeed Iraq shot at allied (US and UK) planes for years after saying they wouldn’t a-practice-a-war-no-more. A small part of the terms of surrender were to a. not shoot anything anymore, and b. not try and kill the Kurds and Shiites. The Iraqi regime did all those thing regularly for several years. It was that and several other later violations of the terms which led to the 2003 Iraq war. So you could push this arguement back to the 1st gulf war, and asked why we were in that. the short answer is that our ally asked us to, and it was in our national interest, too. I’d count sending SCUD missiles over the Kuwait/Saudi Arabia border at US forces as “attacking” wouldn’t you?

    What Iraqi came to the United States and waged war against us here? Any? None?

    Really now. They have to set foot on US soil first? I don’t think any war has started that way since the invention of the artillery canon.

    As such, would the United States not be considered, in fact, on par with the Lamanites for going into Iraq to invade them when there really was no need?

    Inasmuch as the US did the traveling, yes. Inasmuch as the US is trying to enslave the Iraqis and take their land and labor, restoring the US’s ancestral right of rulership, no. Very tenuous and superficial equivalence.

    No Iraqi threatened us. No Iraqi actually attacked us. So when we kill any Iraqi, we’re doing it because they’re attacking us for us being in their lands uninvited.

    Demonstrably false, and wooly-headed thinking to boot. There are in fact events and conditions outside your personal experience which influence the events you speak of. The situation is also more complex than you believe. One small example, most of the “resistance” are not Iraqis, but muhajadeen/foreign fighters. They also kill more actual Iraqi nationals than Americans do, trying to turn the Iraqis against the US. The US is trying to kill *them*. A better analogy is a war vs. Gadianton Robbers.

    This is why it befuddles my mind why …

    Must.resist. ad hominem.

    3. Mr. Wellington’s assertion that Henry Kissinger is the “man who is responsible for the death of thousands upon thousands of innocent Cambodians”
    It seems to me that the Khamer Rouge would be the ones responsible for killing 1.7 million Cambodians (approx 21% of the total population). I had no idea that Kissinger had super powers of any sort, or that sort of bloodlust. sarcasm off.
    If you are referring to Kissinger being responsible for the Cambodian civil war, again, this is probably wrong. It was the PRC and North vietnamese backed Prince Sihanouk and his gov’t in exile trying to undo the anti-communist coup of Lon Nol. How far back in this “chain of causality” do we have to push this to finally get to Kissinger?
    Lon Nol came to power because Sihanouk was trying to ally the country China and North Vietnam (directly) and Moscow (indirectly). Sihanouk let the NorViet army use the Cambodian borderlands as supply lines and staging bases for the war in vietnam.
    This action by the Cambodian Prince was what lead the US to perform the Cambodian Campaign/Incursion. It was the bombing of Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia by the US that gave Lon Nol the political/popular power to stage a coup. Kissinger was

    So according to your aside: Kissinger was national security advisor, and thought something ought to be done about the North Vietnamese staging bases in Cambodia, but doesn’t want the president/congress to declare war on Cambodia. He helps run the “secret” bombing runs on the N.Viet staging bases. This makes Cambodians who don’t want to ally with China and N.Viet rise up and kick out their prince; Lon Nol (an objectively brutal man) comes to power while killing more ethnic vietnamese in Cambodia, and fights a civil war against the deposed Prince and his supporters (which include the Khamer Rouge). The Prince “wins” and his toadies take power instead and kill 1.7 million Cambodians who supported the coup/opposed being a puppet regime for China and N. Viet.

    So Kissinger is responsible? That, sir, is a conclusion that ignores all the moral-agency-stuff that happened between “Kissinger was security advisor” and “Khamer Rouge kill people.”

    I have no Kissinger love, but do dislike the propagation of this particular Leftist article-of-faith and canard.

    One last thing:
    Re: Wellington

    I think you will find that our current state is indeed just as terrorizing and oppresive to our fellowmen as men sitting in caves that have bombs strapped to them.

    This is a despicable moral equivalence.
    And wrong. The bomb-strapped are not sitting in caves. They are blowing themselves and others up in markets, in schoolyards, on busses, or anywhere else they can to maximize civilian casualties. When they are not doing this, they are capturing Iraqis who are “unbeliever” sympathizers and torturing and beheading them on camera, to upload the video to YouTube. They are kidnapping Iraqi citizens and delivering dismembered bodies to the families to terrorize the families into compliance.
    Shame on you, sir. Your own need for moral superiority and posturing has blinded you. “just as terrorizing” indeed!

  12. Post


    1. Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Seymour Hersh, in a 1983 biography, Kissinger, the Price of Power, argued that this bombing, moreover, jeopardised America’s atomic security.

    Kissinger sanctioned the illegal bombing of Cambodia.

    British writer, Christopher Hitchens, in his recent book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, argues that Kissinger is a war criminal. He claims he connived with brutal regimes, allied to the US, most notably Pakistan, Greece and Indonesia, to embark on savage acts of repression.

    Most notably, charges relating to Latin America have returned to haunt Henry Kissinger. The CIA’s involvement in the coup which toppled the elected Chilean leader Salvador Allende and brought General Pinochet to power, has been long well-documented.

    The evidence is there and is as clear as it was for Milosovich. Perhaps I should have mentioned Pinochet in the same breath as Kissinger…and then your evasive and casuistic dialectics just appear even more absurd.

    2. I suggest you read the newspapers and learn about what the US and the UK are doing to citizens in Basra and Sadr City at this very moment in order to make democratic elections turn their way. Your demagoguery is of no use N when you do not provide evidence of your own governments complicity in terrorism. I do not condone terrorism of any sort, on any side and find it all despicable. But if you are defend it when your country does it and abhor it when someone from the middle east does it then you are a hypocrite. Strong words but true.

  13. Post

    N says….”Iraq violated the terms of the first Gulf War peace treaty, in esse3nse starting the 1st gulf war over again (or at least ceasing to cease-fire tchnically).

    Indeed Iraq shot at allied (US and UK) planes for years after saying they wouldn’t a-practice-a-war-no-more. A small part of the terms of surrender were to a. not shoot anything anymore, and b. not try and kill the Kurds and Shiites. The Iraqi regime did all those thing regularly for several years. It was that and several other later violations of the terms which led to the 2003 Iraq war. So you could push this arguement back to the 1st gulf war, and asked why we were in that. the short answer is that our ally asked us to, and it was in our national interest, too. I’d count sending SCUD missiles over the Kuwait/Saudi Arabia border at US forces as “attacking” “

    I was there in Dhahran whilst the scuds were flying over my own head and landing within 100 miles of my house so if anyone should be angry at Saddam I should….

    But you ignore the evidence.

    The Iraq war was immoral and illegal despite your casuistic arguments. It defied the UN charter and the General Secretary Kofi Anan said that it was Illegal.

    If you bothered to read any of the internal documents and memo’s that were floating around you will discover that the py plane was used as a pretext to war. I suggest you read the Bush-Blair memo of 2003.

    Here is a summary:
    “It has become controversial for its content, which shows Bush floating the idea of painting a U-2 spyplane in UN colors and letting it fly low over Iraq to provoke the then-leader Saddam Hussein to shoot it down, providing a pretext for America and Britain’s subsequent invasion. It also shows the two making a secret deal to carry out said invasion regardless of whether weapons of mass destruction were discovered by UN weapons inspectors, in direct contradiction with statements Blair made to Parliament afterwards that Saddam would be given a final chance to disarm.”

    In the 9 months leading up to the war, starting in May 2002, US and UK planes flew 22,000 hitting 391 targets. Would you not go to war if someone had done that to you? Who is the aggressor here I ask?

    Even the British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said that going into Iraq with the intent of “regime change” is illegal under international law therefore American and Britain would have to provoke Saddam in a manner that would legally support military action by laying the proper pretext. The Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who sought to prosecute Pinochet, has called the invasion a War Crime and has sought to have Bush and Blair arrested aswell. Benjamin Ferenccz, a chief Nuremberg trial prosecuter, has said that both Bush and Saddam should be tried for starting aggresive wars and defying the Nuremberg Principles.

    Claiming that Iraq shot down a few drones which justfies the war considering all the bombing we did is completely…..well my mind boggles at such illogicality!

    The Iraq war, and Afghanistan war, were stragegized before 9/11 ever happened. These wars were not about defeating terrorism or the fact that America “wants to promote democracy”. If you believe those two things then I am completely awestruck.


    I suggest you read ‘The Ultimate Prize: Oil and Saddam’s Iraq’ by Ranjit Singh Kalha, India’s former ambassador to Iraq. He makes an extremely compelling argument that the United States knew Saddam was going to attack Kuwait. Saddam attacked Kuwait over a dispute over the Rumaila oilfield, which bordered both countries. The Kuwaitis were sucking out oil that was on Iraq’s side. Even a week before the invasion US envoy in Baghdad April Glaspie told Saddam on July 25, 1990: “We have no opinion on Arab-Arab conflict, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods… All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.”

    It is interesting that you chose to stop at the political piety of the first gulf war rather then explaining the reasoning for it and your governments negation of taking on the role of peaceful mediator. Stepping a few years back to the killing of the Kurds by Saddam that was wholy endorsed by your government at the time might have even been more honest in trying to express the War Criminal that was Saddam.

  14. Post

    Mark N. said “It’s simple, Dan: hate the war, love the warrior. 🙂 ”

    Yes I have to agree with you. But also…seek judgement for those who started the war and those individuals who funded the war machine of the aggressive party, and finally….educate the warrior. But I thought your maxim was fitting. Thank you for your comment.

  15. Post

    #10 – John Nilsson…yes you are probably more familiar with Neibuhr’s thought then myself and your explanation makes sense. Please do get back to me and tell me what you learned. I do think Neibhur’s contribution is essential and very important to our lives as Christians. I hope I havent given the impression that I think everything he says is rubbish because that couldnt be further from the truth. I am glad you could be inspired…please do inform me about what I should read from Neibuhr’s work that you found inspiring.

    #13- “If you were anti-invasion, on some level you had to be pro-Saddam (or at least neutral and passive about his regime).”

    Hawgrrr…An intentional oversimplification that, I am sorry to say, makes implicit every citizen of the United States in supporting or being apathetic about coercive and criminal regimes. It is a false dichotomy.

    I think you have to look at the potential harm that will excalate from an invasion and make an informed decision. The CIA at the time said an invasion would make terrorism more of a threat then it would be without…but yet we decided no to listen to the invasion. And I wouldnt mind if an invasion was just about promoting true democracy…but the recent bombing of civilians in Basra and Sadr City (1450 Iraqis killed with 90% being civilian women, children and men.A hospital bombed just last week and a massive wall put around Sadr city.) in Iraq further leads me to believe that the invasion of Iraq is about installing a coersive and illegitimate government through terror.

    I agree with you Hawgrrrl that it is not cut and dry. My hope is that our governments in the West will become more moral and this will also mean the citizens must stand taller. Thank you for your compliment on the post. I also agree that we shouldnt believe in a Utopia. Isaiah Berlin ‘sand Ivan Illich’s work is great here. Nevertheless…we should use this as an excuse not to move in that direction trying to seek justice and liberty for all.

    I tried to not make this too political but unfornunately it seems to have swung this way again. I think I am going to write about fairies and daisies from now on. lol

  16. Post

    #11 – Dan…thank you for your comments and the scriptures. I will need to make notes of them.

    I think your logic here-about the 9/11 hijackers being Saudis…but then we attacked Iraq(incidently a place that Al Qaeda wasnt on the ground according to the CIA)-being the most succint.

    I agree with your two conclusive paragraphs and wish we could do the same in my country aswell.

    Thomas Jefferson said, “”Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government. Whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

  17. You want-ta response? You got-ta response! 😉

    His post was a waste of his own time and a waste of mine as it does not take away from the original quote provided.

    In fact, I think the post did 4 things:
    1. Wasted my time.
    2. Wasted your time.
    3. Showed that the character and context of the quote was ignored. I’ll get to this later on.
    2. It shows that you can’t take a factual correction without lashing out negatively. I see that you have a lot emotionally invested in your political beliefs.

    This “anonymous and pointless” character with his contentious comments is one of the reasons I am glad to quit the bloggernacle and spend time with my my wife and new baby.

    good for you! Congratz on the baby. I’m happy for you, and this demonstrates that you have a good sense of proportion and, in my opinion, good priorities. Name calling doesn’t become you, though. I’ll get to this later.

    Otherwise, it’s fun to know I’m a “character.” 🙂 I’m as anonymous as anyone on the internet, true (meaning not very). The email address associated with my profile is real, and can be used to contact me. How much less anonymous are posters required to be?
    Am I contentious? only inasmuch as I have vocally disagreed with your broad characterizations of people, nations, and situations. I don’t even necessarily disagree with everything you write, or even all your conclusions. As far as I know, I have only been vocally critical of one item in one of your posts, in one comment. Oh I also was vocal in criticizing one instance of moral equivalence I found distasteful. I’m probably forgetting all the other ones which must exist. As a blog contributor you have more visibility and easy searching on my comments than I do, so I’ll just assume you came to your characterization of me from a long track record of contentious interactions with your material. If I have caused you undue stress or anger, I apologize. The meaning behind a written word is a difficult force to wrangle, and I’m sure I’ve done it poorly.

    1. N has been consistently wrong throughout his “violent and jingoistic apologetics” that seek to justify war crimes, imperialism and criminality.

    Hmmm. Have I used the term “violent and jingoistic?” Or have you previously in regards to me? I can’t find it, and I’m trying to find the context of this remark/quote.

    I would also like to know which comment*s* you are referring to. If it’s the (overly long and dull) comment I made in response to your r-love-ution post, that’s an interesting data point. Do you have others which might be help me understand why I am “consistently wrong throughout [my] ‘violent and jingoistic apologetics’?”
    Your two long responses to my comment are very interesting, and I look forward to reading some of the things you pointed me to. I have just gone back to read them today, since you’ve brought up my comment history as an attempt to discredit me.

    Oddly, in looking back over (all) your posts, to find a second data point on your assertion about me, I noticed that you posted the exact same text in response to my r-love-ution comment as you did to another commenter in your “disenchantment part 2” post. and the “soldiers walk for peace” post. It must be nice to have stock responses; I should make a note to have some of my own.

    [Taliban metaphor deleted] without addressing any other points I raise or even the point of the post..you need only look over my previous posts to see this!!

    Ad hominem. Again, bad form. Taliban-flavored at that.

    Re: this post. I didn’t have time to do anything else. Sue me. I now have more time, but I find myself having to defend myself from your ad hominems, generalizations, and false characterizations. It’s like argument by attrition. *Now* I won’t have time to address the content of your post. 🙂 Your doing, mate. And based on how badly you take factual corrections, I should be disinclined to address *any* point you make, ever. I can imagine how that might be your intent. I’ve been ‘shouted down’ when people don’t want disagreement, and this is just one more time.

    Re: Your previous posts. It is true that I hadn’t revisited that (r-love-ution) thread after I left the comment. I left a comment, and felt like I had spent too much of my time on mormonmatters already. I had other things to do which took precedence. I also didn’t feel compelled to find out what you thought of my comment. Sorry, but I’m really not that into you. I feel bad that you expected a long discussion like those you’ve have with B. Nielson regarding the current Iraq war, but I’m not often one to do such things.

    You have certainly read a lot into my non-response to your response to my comment on your post.

    In any case, I can plainly see that you have no intention of being wrong on any point, even a factual/verifyable one. Heaven forbid anyone disagree with you on any other point which can not be so easily verified.

    I think you are fixing your factoids around your gas guzzling car and false warmongering priestcrafts.

    More (in order) supposition, straw man, and ad hominem.

    Your justification of criminality, war and violence makes me sick to my stomach.

    As do your mischaracterization of me using *one* other comment, and your constant use of the “Mormon matters” blog as a platform for your tediously repetitive political rants. or maybe we both just need an antacid. Whee! blog-fighting is fun! poke-poke.

    Spector has it right on…the war has only spurred on terrorism through out the world…and that IS a fact according to the National Intelligence Estimates of 2006 and 2007.

    Immaterial to your assessment of me as a “violent and jingoist warmonger” –which I think is what you were discussing here.
    That being said, I think it’s completely true. Anecdotally, I think a “cause celebre” makes a fine rallying point for people, and they might also be spurred on by jihadist sympathizers and other ‘useful idiots’ in the US and UK.
    This conclusion might suffer from ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ though, so I’ll just assume that the analysts have a compelling chain of causality behind their assessment.

    2. N…have you actually read the transcript you linked to? I have never heard more Imperialistic mumbo jumbo from one man in my life?! But perhaps I need to read more of King George The Thirds’ works to find someone more idealistically imperialistic!!

    Truthfully, I searched it for the relevant quote, once I found the original source of the quote and read the question and answer for context. Computers are awesome. Since you brought it up and think it germane to your discussion of me as a forum troll, I have since wasted some of my precious time reading it, giving you the benefit of the doubt. I’ll limit my conclusions to Wolfowitz’s own remarks as there are other people in the transcript.
    My conclusion: I think your dismissal of Wolfowitz due to him being an “imperialist” doesn’t hold up to modest scrutiny. -Not that being an “imperialist” invalidates his point about using different types of diplomacy for different situations, however. It’s just your attempt to shut down the quote. I have no opinion on his possession of either “mumbo” or “jumbo.”
    We seem to be working under different definitions of “imperialism.” I can’t square your assessment of him as being a super-imperialist with commonly-accepted geo-political definitions of imperialism (authoritarian controlled colonization for economic gain) or Lenin’s theory of imperialism (highest stage of capitalism, e.g. global monetary trade), based on what I’ve read.

    Before you read (or skip) this, know this: this is what you get for wanting to be addressed on every point. I’ve taken your rhetorical tropes and addressed them seriously. If you do, skip it, at least pick it back up at the paragraph before the stipulated quote. You’ll need to to keep up.

    To illustrate, I’ve included a long and tedious Q&A section dissecting the interview (I’ve also grossly oversimplified the questions and tried to edit but be true to the answers).
    Q: You said N. Korea needs a different governance, how do you propose to do it? I think it might have to be forced.
    W: “I think given all the factors involved, including [regional] perspectives…, but also the enormous danger that any contemplation of military force is fraught within the peninsula, I think a slower and more patient approach than I am hearing you suggest may be what’s necessary…. I think the task is to persuade… their leadership really, that the only way to avoid regime change brought about by internal collapse is to in fact have … fundamental policy change”

    i.e. no force, slow, patient, taking into regional considerations. Oooo, that’s quite the warmongering imperialist.

    Q: Can you address near term problems with nuclear NK?
    W: “[The] greatest danger posed in that regard is the danger of export… I think there are things we can do to limit the market elsewhere, and not perfectly, but the more cooperation we have the more we can do that successfully. But recognizing the time scale problem you referred to, I am not really sure I see a solution… Military action isn’t going to solve that short-term problem and large-scale bribery I don’t think is going to solve that short-term problem..”

    Still no authoritarian control, no colonialism, not even any capitalism (bribery anyone? bribery is free-market capitalism).

    Q: How do other troop deployments in the East and Iraq interact? We can’t go everywhere.
    A: “I think it’s much too early to say what our longer term or even relatively short term military presence is going to have to be…But the re-look at our defense posture is something we had in mind before the war even began. It is not … at all by considerations of what are our requirements will be in Iraq. At some point we’ll have to factor that in. But it is driven most of all by the sense that, as I said, first, the threat has changed. The need to respond on rapid basis in places that are quite unpredictable is dramatic. [more talk about need to act at distances deleted]”

    So, ‘we don’t know what we’ll need, we’re not done with what we’re doing.’ is my synopsis. To take this talk of military presence needs as imperialism would be stretching the definition to thew point of breaking.

    Q: Re: asia-pacific region. What’s the deal with China and India?
    A: “[china is modernizing] on the whole I remain relatively optimistic that China is going to continue with a focus on internal modernization. That process of modernization I think is going to increase the internal pressures in China to maintain a peaceful orientation toward the rest of the region…[if] the region as a whole is going to insist on peaceful behavior.” “our bilateral relationship with India in its own right is enormously important both in the defense relationship but also more broadly in the economic and technology relationship”

    Well, we have capitalism here, and defense, but no colonization. So yes. I concede your point. Wolfowitz mentions a reciprocal economic benefit to being on good terms with India, and therefore falls in Lenin’s theory of imperialism. I don’t think this is so bad, as if that had anything to do with it.

    Begin quote context section
    Q: Re: NK, is non-proliferation even an option?
    W: ” It seems to be that non-proliferation is not a dead letter at all … and if they want to save themselves from the dead end they are going down [i.e. political implosion], I think they have to address our concerns. I think that’s fairly clear.”

    Q: but isn’t letting them get away with this without intervention sending a mixed message vis a vis Iraq?
    W: “The concern about implosion is not primarily at all a matter of the weapons that North Korea has, but a fear particularly by South Korea and also to some extent China of what the larger implications are for them of having 20 million people on their borders in a state of potential collapse and anarchy. It’s is also a question of whether, if one wants to persuade the regime to change, whether you have to find — and I think you do — some kind of outcome that is acceptable to them. But that outcome has to be acceptable to us, and it has to include meeting our non-proliferation goals.”

    summary: It’s not only a WMD issue and the US, it’s also the local region’s interests in not wanting a politically and economically unstable NK.

    which leads to the misquote:

    “Look, the primarily difference — to put it a little too simply — between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq. The problems in both cases have some similarities but the solutions have got to be tailored to the circumstances which are very different.”

    So to paraphrase: ‘You couldn’t use economic diplomacy with Iraq because they have too much money. You can use economic leverage on NK, but you can’t use military options since they have a military upper-hand.’

    *This* is the damning phrase?
    *This* shows that Iraq was invaded for oil?
    *This* shows “why the US didn’t attack North Korea in 2003 instead of Iraq because North Korea was more of a threat”? (don’t get me started on unpacking the faulty assumptions behind this phrase).

    No, it shows that he thought the cost-benefit of pressing economic ‘buttons’ with NK was better than the cost-benefit of those same buttons with Iraq. This is what diplomats do and what ‘peace talks’ and ‘negotiations’ are.

    It’s not preferential treatment to oil-rich states as much as its an admission that fining a millionaire a couple bucks doesn’t change his behavior. Fining a poor homeless man $2 stings the poor man more harassing him. It is also an admission that not every solution is good in every circumstance, and demanding that is silly.

    This is different than what you said it meant. This is why it is a misquote (well, besides all the fiddly ignoring-the-context bits). I don’t know how to help you see that.

    You took a curious turn in your response, and try to “poison the well” regarding the quote, and misdirect the original issue. Here it goes:

    “If I take one of my favorite countries, Indonesia, there’s no question in my mind that if Suharto had gone down a different path in the late 80s and early 90s, and promoted reform instead of the opposite, that Indonesia might be in much better shape today than he left it.”
    What about all the inncent people he killed Paul!!!!

    So, Wolfowitz was talking about political change in NK in the context of an Asia Security conference; he chooses to give another example from the Pacific Rim that he has experience in. He says that he wishes Suharto would have “gone down a different path and promoted reform” which *in this same interview* has meant ‘political, armament policy, and economic reform by the NK authoritarian regime.’ So Paul is wishing that a country he liked/enjoyed would be better off, and it would have been if the dictator would have enacted economic and “political reform instead of the opposite” (entrenching himself with money and blood). What a monster Mr. W is! This shows that he wishes Suharto would have given up his ‘throne.’

    You produce a 2nd or more likely 3rd hand quote describing his inaction as ambassador to Indonesia (from wikipedia? or did you go back to the original source? or even tell us about that source?) here it is:

    Binny Buchori said, “While, “during his 32-year reign, Suharto, his family and his military and business cronies transformed Indonesia into one of the most graft-ridden countries in the world, plundering an estimated $30 billion … Wolfowitz [Buchori said] ‘never alluded to any concerns about the level of corruption or the need for more transparency….’”

    The original source says that says he was “an effective diplomat,” but a a silent humanitarian, if he was even that (there are other good things they say about him, so I guess he wasn’t a puppy-killer as ambassador). Sadly the original source doesn’t say how they (a coalition of NGOs) know about what he did or didn’t do. I’ll just assume they have proof and evidence that he did *not* do anything to pressure his host gov’t into political, economic and humanitarian reform (proof of a negative, very difficult, but I’ll stipulate it for the sake of it).

    That doesn’t invalidate his point that not every solution is good in every circumstance (which is the quote we are discussing, remember, and you tried to discredit him entirely). This doesn’t damn him as a dictator-coddler. He’s damned as a dictator coddler in the same way all ambassadors (and journalists in authoritarian regimes) are: see/hear/speak no evil lest you lose access. He was a spineless ambassador when it came to speaking up for what was right. Dictator coddler he was/is/whatever, it *doesn’t invalidate his point* and you’re trying to misdirect that issue.

    Since we got to the money quote, and passed it to get to the last paragraph, I’m stopping this long, boring pathetic hoedown of doing Q&A regarding your characterization of him as some flavor of super-imperialist. You might have a bad habit of using “Imperialist” to mean “someone with whom I disagree politically.” I have seen this habit in some of my socialist friends and coworkers. I can’t see any other good-faith explanation for the mischaracterization than that.

    3. Ok lets look at your quote “N” and I must thank you for providing it fully. It does not in any way shape or form take away from the fact that Wolfowitz is saying that ultimately North Korea was to big to fight and didnt have oil.

    No, that isn’t what he’s said (c.f. above) Even *this* summary about it is a mischaracterization.
    #1. He said nothing about “too big to fight” he was talking about the military situation in NK and the region as a whole. NK has artillery batteries on the border within firing range of Seoul. The reason the US to this day has a DMZ there is so that there’s *something* that can fight between NK and SK. We’ve already been to war with NK and it didn’t turn out smashingly for regional reasons (among others).
    #2. Additionally he didn’t say it was because they didn’t have oil. He said economic pressure was better on a failing economy than military pressure when the military situation would be even more difficult considering the conditions.

    I really can’t believe you can read a plain English paragraph and only see your preconception.

    I trust my points have been made: The quote didn’t mean what you thought it meant. *He* didn’t mean what you thought it meant.

    Everything else you have attached to my comment has been personal attacks based on exaggeration, supposition, misrepresentation of available facts, and an inability to admit that you were sloppy with your scholarship because it suited your political purpose.

    All your false jingoistic justification demonstrates your willingness to give a black eye to others without really looking into the facts instead of using factoids and smearing attempts!!!!

    Now all of this supposition and leaps-of-deduction are just starting to run together in a big “blah blah blah.” And you can quit shouting. I have not tried to justify or smear anything in the previous comment. You are reading way too much into what was there.
    This entire slur here is based on your own construct of who I am, and what I believe, and what I’m like, just like your other one. You can punch that little imaginary man as much as you’d like.

    My “willingness” includes (but is not limited to):
    1. checking quotes, searching for clarification and context before using
    2. defend myself when I’m attacked personally
    3. defend my conclusions when they attacked
    4. concede when I am wrong

    As far as I can see in your response to me, you aren’t willing to do at least 1 and 4.

    4113 US troops have been Killed, 30,000 US Troops have been harmed,over 100 British troops are dead, about 500,000 Iraqis are dead (probably higher), 5 million are homeless, and many widowed and fatherless.

    …keep up the fight…lets keep our boys safe in Iraq and bring them home to their families with honour as soon as possible. No more war profiteering and no more widowed and fatherless in Iraq. No invasions of Iran or Syria…lets make peace, build up our defences and borders at home…and next time a war is proposed lets think long and hard about our self-interest and the wars necessity.

    Wait! I thought *I* was supposed to be the jingoist automaton! You have to let me know when you change up roles like that.
    Keep doing this rosary, though, it’s got some real gems in it.

    UPDATE: Hey, I guess I really do have a ‘history’ with you and your posts beyond the only one I remember! I just found a second comment of mine under my given name in the blog archives. It’s not really “contentious” though, it was mainly an appeal to documents, but needed better info and sources. I also happen to disagree with your assessment of my comment there, but that is not for this thread. Discipline, people!

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