"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush Farewell Speech

In case you missed it.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

An exit with class and dignity, humility, sincerity and patiotism.
Truman left in midst of an unpopular war, derided by many. Smeday I think more will all appreciate what Bush did to keep us safe and free.

Anonymous said...

I believe the man did what he thought was right. He didn't allow his actions to be dictated by polls. And he will be viewed in a much more favorable manner when history looks back on his presidency.

Anonymous said...

"Brokeback got us good, didn't it?"

When your screwed by your president was it rape?

RWiley said...

Good bye George! Don't let the screen door hitcha where the good Lord splitcha!

Anonymous said...

Best Bush speech ever. He was composed, confident, dignified and sufficiently humble.

Diagree with the man for his choices, but you can't dispute his noble motivation.

RWiley said...

"Bush gave his last speech to the American people tonight and finally his reign is coming to an end. He looked haggard and old after never fulfilling his promise of eight years of compassion. Instead we got corruption, cronyism, unaccountability, wars, lies, torture and a virus that has infected the entire government that leads us. Departments were filled with extreme Christians and Cheney loyalists right out of Regent University. That would be Pat Robertson's college.

America has turned its collective back on movement conservatism as we witnessed this tragedy unfold before our eyes. Obama has replaced it with hope and optimism and a chance to undo some of the harm his administration has caused with the help of the David Addington's and John Yoo's.

I found this reference rather interesting in his speech:

President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism.

Of course he'd rather look to the future. When he looks back at his past actions---it must bring enormous pain. It does to most of America."

Anonymous said...

In a year or 2 after Bush is gone, who will the Libs like RWiley have to hate? Oh thats right they will have Sarah Palin.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wiley has extreme problems with hatred. It goes beyond reason, politics, ethics, any standard that I can see. It's almost like there must be more to this than we realize. Did you and Mr Bush date the same woman or something? You've shown us some very strange thought processes, Mr W. I used to get upset, but now it has gone on into a realm of pity.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of farewells,(trying to stay on thread) I think Sean Hennesy has lost his marbles(he's always been playing with a 1/2 deck) posting that BULL about it's standard practise to appoint someone to the Sackets board of the same party affiliation as the one who left.
How many times would he like me and others to point out how often that doesn't happen. NO WAY Sean!!
FAT CHANCE in Theresa also!
Maybe an intersting topic pol iv.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that be the Wiley who is related to Aubertine who is related to the windmill developers in the cape?
No wonder the windmills will go through there as many are going on Wiley's and Aubertines land

NNY Bluedog said...

I don't think that President Bush will be looked at with such extreme negativity. His presidency will be looked at as an overall failure, but over time, he will most likely be forgotten in the same way that many of the presidents of the 19th century lose importance as time goes on.

Anonymous said...

To Sean hennesy: How come your fellow democrats don't follow your direction. They must know something aye?
Theresa just appointed a republican supervisor to replace the previous democratic one.
Standard Practise Huh!
How about Sean's standard Bull Sh** as usual.

hermit thrush said...

i think republicans who are concerned about the future of their party should be a bit taken aback by some of the comments around here. the overwhelming sentiment of bush's supporters seems to be along the lines of (to borrow from a comment i've left elsewhere) well, whatever his faults may be, bush is a "good man" who means well, and that's what really counts. i confess, i do think there's some kernel of truth to that; i believe bush when he speaks of his commitment to national security (though that's certainly not to say i agree with the realization of his commitment). and i also think it's this sentiment that keeps his merely anemic poll ratings from completely collapsing to blagojevich levels. but really, what kind of pathetic standard is that to hold anyone -- let alone a president -- to? bush was elected to do a job. and rather than trying to wrestle with his performance in that job, my republican friends here seem much more interested in trying to prop up the bush cult of personality.

Anonymous said...

Adleast he is not a fake like the dems, He is a stand up guy with morals and all this world cant handle that now days. They all wan't some pussy with scandles and drama to bad Mother f.....'.

Anonymous said...

HT,

So what is the difference between the standard Republicans hold Bush to and the standard Democrats hold Aubertine to?

Aubertine is a nice sincere person, but not awfully intelligent and has not accomplished a lot as a legislator. Just watch him when he is on his own now, without another local go getter to follow.

Anonymous said...

hermit, the only standard I have for a president is honesty. I believe Mr Bush has acted in good faith. You mention performance. I view 8 years of no successful attacks on the US as good performance. There has been a strange, unsupported emotionally driven and media supported drive to hate the man. He was ineffective in countering this movement. In fact, he never really became involved in the debate. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm no kid.

Unfortunately, the WORLDWIDE financial problems we face will likely be used as an excuse for federal involvement in more and more aspects of our lives. I'm afraid that will change our country, and not for the better. Give it a few years. Let's see what GW is thought of in another decade or so.

No one is obligated to like him or agree with him on particular issues, but this hatred has grown to foolish levels.

RWiley said...

Anon. 9:34 said:

"Wouldn't that be the Wiley who is related to Aubertine who is related to the windmill developers in the cape?"

Let me help you out here a bit, Anonymous.

The people that are developing the Industrial wind generation plants in the Town of Cape Vincent are foreign companies who are using foreign manufactured equipment that will generate electrical power that will be sent to the grid which is owned in our area by National Grid which is a company from the UK.

Senator Aubertine is not related to the "windmill developers in the cape". The windmill developers are from Spain and the UK. Senator Aubertine has land in Cape Vincent and, according to the most recent proposal that was made public, that land is in the middle of the Spanish Development and his farm is going to have one windmill.

I am RWiley and have always preferred to use my name when I comment on the internet. if you look at the development plan for the two Town of Cape Vincent Wind proposals you will find that there are no Wileys or Rileys as you like to call me, involved in any way. Also, you will not find any RWiley's owning any land hosting a wind tower.

I do not even live in the Town of Cape Vincent. However, I do know that, as you say, "the cape" is Republican and that the majority of the land owners benefiting from the wind development are Republican. However, the development is receiving very strong bipartisan and community support. And, yes, there is also opposition. I am involved in neither.

I admit to finding your struggle with the truth to be quite amusing. But using me to anonymously attack Senator Aubertine and his family is not fair to them. And, in fairness to the other readers of this blog whether they agree with me or not, I have to point out to them how wrong you are.

RWiley said...

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann grilled former Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan last night about the president's farewell address to the nation. McClellan, who turned critic after exiting the White House, didn't exactly wax elegantly about his onetime boss.

"It's hard to talk about moral clarity when you have tarnished our government's moral standing in the world," McClellan said. "If you look at the speech it was really a feel-good farewell speech. It was designed one final chance to burnish his legacy by highlighting his humanity, showing his humanity, his compassion, his inner decency and good intentions."

hermit thrush said...

to anon 1:47:
not a fake? i think exactly the opposite. bush's "aw shucks" persona is an elaborate mask slipped over his prep-school/yale/harvard-educated, grandson-of-a-senator, son-of-a-president face. that famous ranch in crawford? bought in 1999, and now up for sale as bush moves into a tony dallas neighborhood. does anyone seriously suggest it was anything but a political prop?

i would not deny that bush is a moral man in certain ways; and as i said above, i think there's some kernel of truth to the idea that he's a "good man". but (to again borrow from another comment of mine), upon reflection, i find bush to be no good man at all. there are more reasons for this than i could hope to list here, so let me focus on the two that are especially on my mind right now.

the first is the unseriousness with which bush has discharged many of his most important duties in office. though there are again too many examples to list, i think perhaps the most egregious is his government's failure to plan anywhere near adequately for our invasion and subsequent occupation of iraq. i've tried, but i see no way to forgive this. being president carries serious responsibilities. and i consider bush's disregard for many of these to be a deep moral failing.

the second reason is, in a word, torture. under bush, it became the policy of the american government to torture prisoners. to those who haven't done so already, take a moment of pause and let the enormity of that sink in a little. true patriots will hang their heads in shame.

the issue of torture seems to produce an interesting role reversal in american politics. according to conventional wisdom, at least, the right is supposed to be the side of moral absolutism, while the left is supposed to be more relativistic. yet torture produces the opposite response: it is the left that unequivocally and universally denounces torture, and the right that finds wiggle room for what bush has done. i choose my side against torture. it is an evil too great, too vile, to ever countenance.

no, bush is no good man at all. he is a torturer. he is a war criminal. he is a monster.


to anon 3:28:
you make a fair point. aubertine has certainly made his share of blunders, and he deserves criticism. i greatly dislike his "one of us" shtick -- identity politics at its worst. but i also think many of the attacks against him are a bit overbaked, and some (just take a quick perusal of iv's archives) border on fanatical. i've seen no compelling case made that he distinguished himself while in the assembly. but i'm still willing to give him a chance in the senate.

i should also say, while i think iv's partisanship often leads to excess, i still think it's a good thing that blogs like this exist to keep an eye on our politicians.


to anon 5:50:
of course you're entitled to your opinion. myself, i believe bush has lied just as much as any other major national politician. he's lied about torture!

as for "keeping us safe", well, haven't you forgotten 9/11? need i remind you that that happened on bush's watch? aside from the anthrax scare, i believe it's correct that there have been no attacks on u.s. soil in the 7 1/4 months since 9/11, and i believe bush deserves some credit for that. if that's all you care about, then i guess you might consider bush's performance to be good. but i think there's a wee bit more to it then that. this comment is already way too long, so i'll just outsource: have a look at this nnyfollies post or at this article in the economist (a magazine that endorsed bush in 2000). you're in deep denial if you think disdain for bush on the left is unsupported.

Anonymous said...

"A war criminal, a torturer.."

Wow, I rest my case. Some people have the hate thing so bad they can't see straight. I'm surprised you're on that list, Kermit. I really am.

You have no idea what went on, only what you are swallowing from a media that drinks the same stuff.
Again, very sad. I'd expect such foolishness from Wiley, not from you.

Anonymous said...

It's the HATRED that is unsupported, kermit. There is very clearly another side of the story with GW. The hate part is what makes little sense.

On 9/12 we had no idea what was coming our way. They had to react to the threats as they saw them. If waterboarding a terror suspect would save half a million people, I would have done it. And if Obama has a large scale attack on his watch, questions will center on what he did or didn't do. These aren't easy questions. But the issues are not a basis in which to call someone a war criminal. Not to me. You guys hate him for Guantanamo too. Remember the Japanese internment camps of WWII? Do you hate Roosevelt? Look at the atom bomb debate, and how 60 years later some want to question that decision. Question, fine. But was Truman a war criminal? I doubt you look at it that way.

All I'm saying is this was an unknown situation. I do not understand or agree with the underlying hatred. When you call GW a war criminal, you are being irrational.

It will be interesting to see what history, and not the NY Times, has to say about the actual situations GW faced.

hermit thrush said...

to my anonymous friends,
i understand that "war criminal" is an explosive thing to say. and i thought hard about softening my language a bit before posting my comment. but i ultimately decided that forthrightness demands i call the man what he is, in plain english.

i suspect that a large part of what makes "war criminal" so shocking to you is that you're understanding it in a way a bit different from me. so let me try to explain myself more. your defense of bush seems to rest on the purity of his motives, or something like that; i again see this idea that bush means well, and that's what's truly important -- that it's ok if you do it for the right reasons. but the public evidence that bush authorized torture is now simply overwhelming -- do you deny even that? and torture is a war crime. therefore bush is a war criminal -- because that's simply what the word means.

it is an immensely saddening thing to realize your president is a war criminal. but i simply see no other conclusion, and i refuse to take the comfort of denial and pretend otherwise.

to answer some of your other questions: i believe guantanamo should be closed. i completely support obama's position that it be closed in a deliberate, orderly way, even if this takes much longer than many on the left would like. i believe the japanese internment camps are an extremely ugly blot on roosevelt's legacy. i do not believe truman was a war criminal for dropping the two atomic bombs, though i also agree there is plenty of ground to question his decisions, especially the dropping of the second.

on a final note, while i hate so many things bush has done to this country, i don't consider myself to hate the man himself. perhaps you find that a distinction without a difference; if so, that's your right. but i can also completely understand why someone would hate him. again, just have a look at that nnyfollies post. there's plenty of fodder.

Anonymous said...

Forthrightness sounds to me like you value you your opinion highly. I believe there will be a day when you regret saying that about President Bush.

But you're not alone. Many people hate him from the bottom of their hearts. You have to live with it. I had a friend who told me once to "let the arrogant be that way, for that is their punishment." You've got it all figured out. Imagine finding yourself in the same situation as he did. Making decisions that could determine whether thousands, or millions, lived or died. That's what today's presidents have to do. It's a wonder they don't have a red phone with a direct line to my friend kermit. It would take the worry out of things.

hermit thrush said...

anon 8:03 --
nice rebuttal! that's a great rhetorical technique -- if you can't argue your position on the merits, then just start firing away with hypocritical personal attacks. very convincing. as i've said before, i'm a patient bird, so i don't mind going through this slowly.

Forthrightness sounds to me like you value you your opinion highly.

do you even know what forthrightness means? maybe it's just not cool anymore, but yep, i do actually try to argue in good faith and to express my views authentically. i guess i'm old-fashioned like that.

I believe there will be a day when you regret saying that about President Bush.

um, just who is it that values their opinion highly? who was complaining about arrogance? i'm much impressed that you've obtained such peering insight into my mind. for the record, i believe you're wrong.

and speaking of arrogance:

Imagine finding yourself in the same situation as he did. Making decisions that could determine whether thousands, or millions, lived or died. That's what today's presidents have to do.

in fact, leaders of nations have had to make these decisions for centuries. our country faced much, much graver threats to our security during wwii and the cold war than we do now. yet our leaders then never sunk to the level of torture -- no, we were proudly better than that, even though many of our enemies weren't. it is foolish -- and arrogant -- to claim that things are somehow different now.

Anonymous said...

When you're absolutely, positively sure that you are correct on issues that have no clear cut right and wrong, then you are letting your arrogance get the best of you. The jury is still out on most of this, and probably will be for another generation or so. But you're sure of yourself, so I'll let it be.

As far as other leaders making these kinds of decisions for many years, I don't see it that way. We now live in an age where a fool with a vial of something in their pocket can wipe out a city. This is very different than what our leaders faced in past history. You have to see the difference, my friend.


And we're back to torture. I just don't see it that way. Throughout history, we've had millions shoved into ovens, the Gulag, countless occasions where people were murdered by the thousands, sometimes for not much of a reason. And you, for reasons I don't understand, feel the need to label GWB with the same titles these people earned for themselves. This is not meant to be a personal attack in any way, but I have no idea what makes a person like you tick. I don't understand you. Is this about politics? Now, in honesty, you did fail to answer the question as to whether or not Truman or Roosevelt were war criminals. You skirted that question. If you indeed think that GS is a war criminal for has been reported in the media, you must feel the same about Truman and Roosevelt. Should we close all the museums to them, and change all our history books to reflect on who they really were?

My statement that you will come to regret your comment calling GW a war criminal is not based on a high opinion of my own views, it is based on what I view as an extreme and unsupportable statement made by you. And for the life of me I have no idea why anyone would make it.

hermit thrush said...

anon 1:07 --
thanks for your reply. i'm glad you've largely returned to discussing the issues.

there are a lot of what i find to be misrepresentations and points of confusion in your latest comment. sorry if it takes a while to unravel things.

let's pick up right where you left off:

My statement that you will come to regret your comment calling GW a war criminal is not based on a high opinion of my own views, it is based on what I view as an extreme and unsupportable statement made by you. And for the life of me I have no idea why anyone would make it.

that's a very curious thing for you to say -- curious because a) i've already given very plain support for my view that bush is a war criminal, and b) you've said absolutely nothing to address the support i gave, so that i can only presume you agree with me!

i realize that you don't understand me or what makes me tick, and i have to say, at times like this the feeling is quite mutual. you, like i, must feel a certain amount of investment in our little discussions here -- for why else would you continue commenting? yet do you even read what i write? do you reply not to the real me, but to a cartoon version you've concocted in your head? are you just forgetful? is it willful denial?

in any event, i'll just say it again. torture of prisoners is, unambiguously, a war crime. the evidence that bush authorized torture is overwhelming. therefore bush is a war criminal. like it or not, that's what the term means. according to you, is it supposed to mean something else?

in general, i think that political discourse in this country tends too much towards oversimplification. but to my mind, in this case, it really is that simple. and accordingly, i think it's a point that's so clear as to be beyond debate. yet i'm guessing you feel otherwise. so please, explain away.

so yes, i believe bush is a war criminal, because i understand that term according to its dictionary meaning. what i think is a much more legitimate point of contention is what the implications of bush being a war criminal -- or more specifically, a torturer -- are.

as i said above, i'm essentially a moral absolutist when it comes to torture: in all of history, i know of no single instance when torture was justified. and i believe that the line of torture is an evil one that must never be crossed -- because that's the lesson history teaches us. and i remain utterly, utterly unconvinced that the threats we face now are so singular or so novel that they cast aside this lesson. to me, bush deserves deep moral condemnation as a torturer.

but i understand there's a case to be made in favor of torture -- or at least, for why torture isn't so bad, or for why we should take other considerations into account. i think this is what you're trying to argue for. i will readily concede that's there's a reasonable case to be made there -- though it happens to be one i don't agree with.

on a different topic, i already said -- again, completely plainly! -- that i don't believe that truman was a war criminal. to make it official, i feel the same way about roosevelt. but i must say that i don't know the fine details of the laws involved here. you might quite easily convince me otherwise.

and with that, i'm going to call it a night. i know i haven't addressed all the points you raised, but i'm tired and i think i've said plenty already. if there's anything you'd especially like me to come back to, just say so.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to convince you of anything, herm. I'll just take it by your standards. Therefore, verbage aside, and being the absolutist that you are, Truman and Roosevelt MUST be war criminals. Truman needlessly dropped an atom bomb on innocents and Roosevelt put people into concentration camps because they had asian names. By your standards, and in the spirit of consistancy, I move that we reeducate our children, remint our coinage, and board up all museums and memorials to these murderous war criminals. As long as you see fit to categorize GWB that way, there is no way that you can honestly exlude these other two hateful, racist killers of innocents. I mean waterboarding versus frying by radiation versus concentration camps. Would you care to rank order these transgressions, sir kermit? You could do the right thing and admit that your mouth, along with your politics, got the best of you. But I don't expect that to happen.

I feel for ya. But I have no respect for you whatsoever.

hermit thrush said...

since you've said nothing to the contrary, i take it that you agree bush is a war criminal. i'm glad we at least see eye to eye on that.

but i have to say, i'm a bit confused about your focus on the very particular matter of whether bush is a war criminal or not. to my own discredit, i've been quite happy to indulge you in this. but it's really beside the larger point, which is this: bush is not a moral man, not a decent man, not a good man. a moral person cannot disregard solemn responsibilities. a moral person cannot torture.

as for roosevelt and truman, if the conclusion we're forced to draw is that they're immoral for the decisions they made, then so be it. the fact remains that bush is not a moral man. if the conclusion we're forced to draw is that no person can remain moral in the presidency, then so be it. the fact remains that bush is not a moral man.

bush's performance in office has been so ruinous that the only remaining support for him is propped up almost entirely by the belief that he is a good man. and, sadly, even that belief is an illusion.

Anonymous said...

So now, after so much evidence it sickens all but you, hermit, you've conceded that Truman and Roosevelt are immoral. What crap. You call Bush a war criminal yet all you can manage is immoral in the face of so much more damning evidence. How brave of you.

The reason I've offered nothing new is that you have responded to nothing old. What you have done is typical cowards stuff, pretend not to read, or pretend not to understand. I can only conclude that you lack the courage to admit you have made a fool of yourself.

You speak of absolutes when it comes to war crimes. Absolutism is the language of the christian right. They, like you, speak of right and wrong with no in betweens, no circumstances. The world is a much more complicated place than you realize. Someday, you must break out of your partisan brainlock, and make an honest effort to see the difficulties of the world. It isn't as clear cut as you and your simple minded breathren would believe.

And the sad part is, I believe you are smart enough to know this is true. Calling Bush a war criminal is simple minded group think. Defending it when compared to the decisions made by Roosevelt and Truman is just plain weak. But it has obviously been so long since you have had an individual thought you just can't bring yourself to own up to it.

Again, you may be a nice guy. But deserving of respect you aren't.

hermit thrush said...

well geez, settle down, tough guy! about all that's left is for you to blurt out "you can't handle the truth!" and then tell me why good governance necessitates torture.

once again, the central fact remains that the last pillar of support for bush is that he's a good, decent, moral man. but bush is none of these things: he's a torturer. and since you won't or can't address this point (and also since i'm a sucker), i'll again indulge you on the matter of bush being a war criminal (which, it now occurs to me, is also a point you won't or can't address, but let's not have that stop the fun).

first off, how about this:

The reason I've offered nothing new is that you have responded to nothing old. What you have done is typical cowards stuff, pretend not to read, or pretend not to understand.

that's just an incredibly dishonest (or maybe hypocritical -- take your pick) statement. i think what got us started on this is that i wrote "he is a torturer. he is a war criminal." you complained that was "irrational". i addressed your complaint and said no, it's actually very rational since torture is a war crime, and therefore a torturer is a war criminal. it's what the term means. and i guess you still didn't like that, and although you never uttered a word in response to why i said bush is a war criminal, you still baldly claimed my view was "extreme and unsupportable". so i explained myself again, and i asked quite explicitly that if you disagreed with the case i presented, then please explain away. and you've just had nothing to say about it at all. the ball is, and remains, in your court. so you'd do well to save your little "cowards" lecture for yourself.

of course, i think the reason you've said nothing about my reasoning is that there's nothing you can say -- it's just an irrefutable point. (and please, if you disagree, then actually try to refute it.) yet you absolutely cannot accept the conclusion that bush is a war criminal. and the reason for this, i suspect, is that you're confused about the meaning of words versus their moral force.

for example, take the word "liar". as a matter of literal meaning, the word means someone who deliberately communicates false information, often with an intent to deceive. so, again as a matter of literal meaning, i think you'd agree that people in politics lie practically all the time. but the word liar also carries a harsh moral rebuke -- this is its moral force. and that's why people like iv might shy away from the use of the word.

i think the same thing is going on with "war criminal". you've made it quite clear that you feel "war criminal" imparts a harsh moral condemnation. and correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe you feel bush deserves nowhere near the moral condemnation you ascribe to the word, and that's the big reason you so object to it. in fact, to the extent that i can find an argument in what you've been saying, i think that's exactly it: bush can't be a war criminal, because the things he's done don't fall to that level of moral decrepitude.

unfortunately, i think that kind of thinking represents an orwellian corruption of language. the fact is that words have meaning. "war criminal" is a term with a real, honest-to-god, legal meaning. if you don't like the emotional or moral heft that comes with such a word, then tough! that's no excuse whatsoever to start pretending a word means something else. change the moral weight you assign the word, not its meaning.

that's why i don't have your problem with calling bush a war criminal. he plainly meets the definition of one; and if that seems like an awfully harsh thing to say, then the takeaway is that being a war criminal, while still horrible, isn't quite as horrible a thing as you thought. in fact, in a strictly moral sense, i don't care that much that bush is a war criminal -- in this case, i find it more morally objectionable that he is, in particular, a torturer. (in case it comes up in the future, i do care very much in a legal sense that bush is a war criminal -- the man broke the law!) that's why, from my perspective, it's a bit strange that you've focused so much on the war criminal question. and although you seem to feel i "walked myself back" in my previous comment by talking about immorality instead of war crimes, that's why i feel i actually stepped things up.

i don't know if roosevelt and truman committed war crimes, because i don't know nearly enough about their particular situations or about the honest meaning of what a war crime is. (before you get too excited: i do, on the other hand, know that torture is a war crime today.) i don't even know if the question makes sense, since i have no idea what war crime law was like in 1945 (did it even exist?), or if it's reasonable to apply our laws today to situations 65 years ago. and i don't care! you've gotten awfully hung up on war crimes, but they're really beside the point!

it is much more to the point, my friend, to consider head on the morality of what these men did. i cannot disagree that the moral transgressions of roosevelt and truman were worse than those of bush. if truman and roosevelt must be considered immoral -- more so than bush -- then so be it. if that tarnishes their presidencies, then so be it. but i don't see how that could invalidate their presidencies. the fact remains that, whatever our moral judgments, each realized a number of impressive accomplishments as president. each served the office ably. each is left with a record to stand on.

for bush, on the other hand, essentially the only argument left is his moral decency. and this, all too sadly, is an illusion. he failed to do due diligence in preparing for war! he's a torturer! how, except out of your own blinding partisanship, can you not condemn such transgressions? no, bush is no good man. and he is left with nothing.

you've been quick in your smugness to call me naive for my views on torture. yet it is you who completely ignores the lessons of history and so readily falls for the seduction of torture. i'm sure that practically every torturer in history has found him- or herself on the side of angels. the moral instinct can be twisted and perverted to justify any heinous act, especially in wartime. people lose their moral compass during war. and that's why people wiser than you and me have codified the most heinous acts, those that far exceed war's common brutality, as outside the bounds of morality. and torture, my friend, is on that list.

no regime in history has systematically employed torture without selling its soul. you're a fool if you think we're any different.

a quick fyi from two comments ago: the word is spelled verbiage, with an i. i mention it not to be snippy, but only because succinctness is obviously not a virtue of mine, and i'm sure you'll have many more opportunities to accuse me of too much of it, undoubtedly starting now.

and finally, please don't flatter yourself into thinking i care about your respect.

hermit thrush said...

sorry, i screwed up the link i put in the middle of the previous comment. it was supposed to go here.

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