Waking up on the political side of the bed

My alarm clock is set to radio, and the radio is set to NPR. I can’t deal with the buzzer option…you’re likely to be peeling me off the ceiling when it goes off. So every morning I am awakened to Morning Edition and try to make it out of the bed before Radio Reader.

This morning I was lying in bed listening to two mothers talk about what it was like losing their sons in Iraq. This story coincided with the death of the 2000th American soldier in Iraq.

I’ll let that one sink in for a sec. TWO THOUSANDTH AMERICAN CASUALTY.

I’ve never been a fan of the war and I’m even less of a fan of Dubya, but come on…enough is enough. How many more of our own have to die? Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost compassion for the plight of the Iraqi people, and I understand that they needed help to get out from under Sadaam Hussein. Got it. No problem there. USA=heroes. Got it. But aren’t we kinda done? Haven’t we been training them to take on the peacekeeping work in their country?

I listened this morning to a mother say that when she saw the gray vehicle with the man in camoflauge fatigues park in her driveway she just started screaming because she knew what it meant. Another mother said that she met the military personnel on her front porch because somehow if she could keep them out of her house “it wouldn’t be happening.” When that same woman was asked if she thought that her family’s sacrifice was worth it for the good of her country, her answer was very simple.

“Hell no.”

I don’t have children yet, but I lay there in my bed and cried with these two women this morning. To have that much strength and not completely fall apart in the face of losing your child…the second woman went on to say that she had seen on the news an Iraqi woman, dressed all in black, clinging to a coffin and wailing…and she wanted to put her arms around that woman because “I know exactly how she is feeling.”

I admit freely to being a liberal and a democrat. I admit freely to thinking that our country is being run by a frat boy who puts his cronies in offices that they aren’t qualified for and can’t talk his way out of a wet paper bag. I understand that a great majority of Americans probably think those who believe as I do are un-patriotic, un-Christian, un-fillintheblank, and that’s fine, that’s their perrogative. But in this post and on this issue, please understand, I’m speaking as someone who loves her country and her fellow Americans…and doesn’t want to see any more of them die. This war is a sham. We need our troops to come back home.

26 thoughts on “Waking up on the political side of the bed

  1. Some other thoughts on this \”grim milestone\”, as the leftist media insists on hyping it:\”The anti-war Left couldn\’t wait for the death of the 2,000th soldier in Iraq. Peace activists have been gearing up for protests, vigils, and other events this week to mark the completely bogus milestone. Why 2,000? Was the 2nd or 555th or 1,678th death not as worth mourning as any other death with nice round numbers?\”-Columnist Michelle Malkin\”The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations.\”-U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan

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  2. And another thought-provoking column, this one from political cartoonists Cox and Forkum:\”With the 2,000th U.S. military death in Iraq near, anti-war demonstrators and the \”this-is-a-quagmire\” press are eagerly awaiting a painful milestone. We see nothing to celebrate….It will be a sad spectacle — Sheehan and the rest of the war protesters on their macabre death watch, waiting for American heroes to die. In Sheehan\’s defense — which leaves us feeling a bit odd — we agree that every U.S. military death in Iraq has been tragic. But we don\’t agree with her that it\’s been needless.Do Sheehan and her friends think Islamic terrorism against the West was just going to go away without military intervention? …To the anti-war groups and those in the media who uncritically repeat their message, we would ask: Who else might celebrate the 2,000th death in Iraq? The enemy itself, of course. Is this the side the anti-war groups really want to be on?\”

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  3. No one will find celebration of the 2000th death here. I think it is an important figure however…2000 of our folks are dead and we\’re no closer to pulling out of Iraq (at least that\’s how I understand the Administration\’s stance) than we were after the 2nd or the 555th…I\’m not taking this \”milestone\” as an opportunity to suddenly oppose the \”war.\” I\’ve been against it from the beginning. I also wish that journalists on both sides would be more careful about calling the enemy \”Islamic\” terrorists. Radical islamic beliefs, so far out of the mainstream of that religion that they are barely the same thought process are what fuel terrorist attacks on the US. This type of ommission leads to more stereotyping and more animosity toward people who have nothing to do with terrorism, but happen to practice the Islamic religion.I still say that this war is a sham, our troops should be able to come home, and we should let Iraq rebuild Iraq. /shrug

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  4. amy do you think this war is a good thing? i\’m not attacking, just interested in your take on things as it seems very different from my own.

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  5. I haven\’t listened to NPR in a while, but when I used to listen to it, it was definitely left-leaning.As to the war in Iraq: no, I don\’t think any war is a \”good thing\”, but sometimes it is a necessary thing, and in this case, I believe that it was necessary.Do I think that it\’s being handled the best way it could be handled? No. I think Bush is being wishy-washy. He started out strong, but I think he\’s letting the naysayers get to him. I also think he didn\’t have a well-thought-out plan for getting us out of Iraq once we\’d taken over.But yes, I do think the war was justified, for many reasons.For one, there\’s no question that Hussein is linked inextricably to world terrorism. There is proof that he provided financial support, training and shelter to at least seven terrorist organizations, five of which have been involved in attacks in which Americans were killed or injured.Hussein is a genocidal dictator who tortured and executed hundreds of innocent men, women and children. Our troops continue to find mass graves in Iraq containing women and children as well as men. Why wouldn\’t we want to depose someone like that? Personally, I want to see all tyrants everywhere deposed.And let\’s face it, peace just doesn\’t work against tyrants. Radical Islamic terrorists want to kill us – is there any question in anybody\’s mind about that? God, I hope not, after 9/11.What do you do when a crazy and irrational person wants to kill you just because you don\’t think the same way they do? Do you initiate \”peace talks\” or try to reason with them? No, you fight for your life.By invading Iraq, we took the fight where it needed to be – their own grounds. Instead of rampant suicide-bombing of unarmed civilians, terrorists have been forced to divert huge numbers to contend with armed and trained forces in their own lands.Yes, 2,000 American deaths is a cause for grief. But let\’s face it, George W. Bush didn\’t kill those soldiers. Radical Islamic terrorists killed those soldiers.If we want to just look at sheer numbers, well…US soldiers killed per year: World War Two – 100,000 per year Korea – 20,000 per year Vietnam – 5,000 per year Iraq – 750 per yearOh, and please, I hope nobody brings up the beat-it-like-a-dead-horse But What about the Fake WMDs? argument as a way of \”proving\” some sort of ineptitude on Bush\’s part.Because, then, I would have to pull out this little gem of a quote from the liberal\’s favorite poster boy Clinton, who in 1998 was quoted by CNN as saying, \”Earlier today, I ordered America\’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq\’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.\”Even Clinton, along with pretty much every intelligence agency in the world, thought Iraq had WMDs.And let\’s take a look at what our soldiers have accomplished in Iraq:Iraqis have installed the first democractic constitution in the country\’s history – 78 percent of the Iraqi people voted in favor of this constitution. That\’s huge.What else?More than 600 health care facilities have been equipped with medical technology. More than 2,500 schools have been renovated, and 8.7 million textbooks have been distributed to Iraqi children. An estimated $425 million worth of imported food has been delivered. The U.S. government has installed 240,000 telecommunication lines and added 1,100 megawatts to the Iraqi electrical grid. American-funded water and sanitation projects are improving health conditions for more than 11.8 million Iraqi citizens. More than 77,000 public works jobs have been created. None of this would have been possible without this war, and without the sacrifices of our troops.Hope that helps explain my position a little bit better.I could write pages and pages more, but I\’m trying not to kill Nancy\’s blog bandwidth. 😛

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  6. Praise God and pass the ammunition. I understand all those things are good things. Like I said in my original post, USA=hero, I get it. While I think the war is bogus, I support those men and women that have chosen military service as their career, and am in awe of the courage that it takes to knowingly put yourself in harm\’s way (to quote W) day after day. My original question stands, however: When is enough going to be enough? When will we be done? Further, I have been mulling over the quote attributed to Michelle Malkin and I have to say I find it offensive. To say that those of us that are anti-war couldn\’t wait for the death of ANY soldier in Iraq, be it number 1 or number 1999 is horrible. Most of the people I know, my family included, are against the continuance of the war, and we don\’t sit around anxiously awaiting casualty reports. It is because of those reports that we are against this seemingly never-ending war. Why does that not make sense?Further, I have a friend and two family members that are both in the armed forces. The friend is in the Marines, and was scheduled to come home last year. Didn\’t happen. The two family members, husbands of my cousins Laura and Audrey, have both been and come back (at least one has come back)and I\’m sure will be returning. One of them just joined the guard and got called up…the other is in the Air Force and is a fighter pilot. This \”war\” has a very personal face for me, and it has just gone on way too long. 2000 deaths too long.

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  7. Yeah so i was thinking…It is somewhat macabre (Sp?) that we have all of this coverage of 2K dead US G.I.\’s (and 2K grieving families). The first GI to die in WWII was from my home town. He was celebrity. That\’s equally macabre, too. My point is we come home, watch the news, and as the tote board adds another corpse, we become more and more desensitized to the fact that there is someone who will not be welcoming a loved one home.The case in in, people, Iraq has NOTHING to with terrorism. It has to do with geo-political security, oil, and money. How many of us know that OPEC was about to shift oil to being valued on the Euro before the \”war\”? How many of us know that that act would mean countries would stop buyin T-bills? How many know that would mean the end of our bottomless pocketbook for weapons systems in D.C.?Meanwhile, we have right in front of us all the evidence we need that the evidence put forward for a need to go to Iraq was FORGED, worse even than when I would cheat in elementary school by turning in my brother\’s paper with my name on it.When are we going to stop drinking cool-aid (red, blue, or purple) and realize that we have been lied to, our friends and relatives are dying for corporate profit, and we are just sitting around blindly accepting it.- UMC Elder The Reverend H. David Allen Grady, O.S.L.

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  8. Oh, and on a more partisan note: HOW IN THE HELL CAN ANYONE GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT BRINGING PRES. CLINTON INTO THIS ONE?Sorry, it just roasts the ol\’ chestnuts when people want to sling a little more mud on a decent man who got drunk with power (nevermind the fact that \”Daddy\” was the worst womanizer ever in D.C. but all the dirt and strings he has from days as head of CIA keeps it all under wraps).Maybe the UK is the place to move to. At least there they all agree that they were lied to and that it was a bad thing.

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  9. \”There is proof that he provided financial support, training and shelter to at least seven terrorist organizations, five of which have been involved in attacks in which Americans were killed or injured.\”Okay – where is the proof? And even if your view is that this war was necessary (even though, in my opinion, it was about big business, oil and lining the pockets of the good ole\’ US of A)when is enough, enough? When do American troops get to stop dying?Dave, the UK is a great place to live but it has its shortfalls, I assure you. However, you pretty much couldn\’t pay me to live in the States, under Dubya\’s regime. I am ashamed to be an American most times.Amy, when did you become so radically conservative – it\’s frightening. You should get to know my ex-husband… crikey.

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  10. \”When do American troops get to stop dying?\”That was the point entirely of the original post. When does my cousin Laura\’s husband get to come home? I think they were married about a month before his guard unit was called up.When does my cousin Audrey not have to worry that her husband is flying into a bomb?When do I get to hear from my friend Adam (via Candy) again? It\’s been a long time since his last message.When is enough enough?

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  11. I slowly began moving into conservatism after I started working in social services, where every day I\’m confronted by what happens to people when they don\’t take responsibility for their own lives and instead expect the government to solve all their woes. As Bill O\’Reilly said, and I\’m paraphrasing because I don\’t have the exact quote, if you are depending on the government to take care of you, you\’re going to end up in a tenement surrounded by people who sell crack and try to kill each other.Every day I see more and more examples of why the welfare state that liberals are so fond of doesn\’t work – all it does is take my (and your) hard-earned money and give it to people who won\’t work for it themselves.As for when enough is going to be enough in Iraq, Bush would be a fool to publicly discuss when he plans to pull our troops out. He might as well just paint a big-ass sign on Iraq saying, \”Open for Rampant Terrorism and Revenge Attacks on ___/____/____.\”You don\’t even have to know much about military strategy to know that.I agree with all of you that Bush didn\’t have a good plan on pulling us out of Iraq – I said that in my last post.As for the quote from Malkin, that was referring to the liberal media, many of whom have been waiting for the 2,000th death for weeks now. Their faux-mourning is a cover-up for the fact that they want us to fail in Iraq. That\’s borderline treasonous, by the way.The war in Iraq was about terrorism, but you know what? Let\’s drink some Kool-Aid and say that sure, it\’s all about oil and profits. Even if that were true (where\’s your proof?)…STILL…we deposed a brutal dictator who was killing hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, and we brought freedom to a people who have not ever known freedom. I fail to see how that is a bad thing. The Americans who have died over there were VOLUNTEER soldiers. Hell, even Ms. Sheehan\’s son RE-ENLISTED for the sole purpose of going to war in Iraq. Does that make their deaths easier to bear for their parents? Maybe not. But I know if it was my son Drew who died over there, and if he believed in what he was fighting for and he died bringing freedom to a country that desperately needed it and he died trying to protect his country from terrorists who want to kill us, well, I would be proud of him and yes, it would make his death easier for me to bear.I brought Clinton into it to show that even he thought Iraq had WMDs. Even way back in 1998. That should prove that the WMD issue was not created by Bush as a coverup. Go check out the CNN archives – you can find that quote as easily as I did. It\’s indisputable.OK, as for proof of Saddam financing terrorist organizations:http://www.husseinandterror.com/That\’s a link to a presentation by a media fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University. It uses sources from the U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism.That\’s just one link. Do a Google search on it and you\’ll find many more. Hopefully, I addressed everyone\’s points! If I missed anything or if you want to debate it further, bring it on! I love a good debate.:)

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  12. \”I slowly began moving into conservatism after I started working in social services, where every day I\’m confronted by what happens to people when they don\’t take responsibility for their own lives and instead expect the government to solve all their woes.\”See, that\’s interesting to me because I too work in social services. The folks I work with have to depend on the government (or in my case, specifically, the department of mental health) to take care of them because they cannot do it themselves. It\’s not a matter of won\’t. My tax dollars go to make sure that Jane Doe has her clozaril so that she doesn\’t try to murder her roommate, or that John Doe gets his therapy and meds in the sexual predator\’s unit so that hopefully he won\’t re-offend when he is released. Helping those that can\’t help themselves…that\’s what I\’m all about, and that\’s why I have no problem with the part of the \”war\” where we took Sadaam out of power (the draping of the American Flag over his statue on national television was a bit much, but I digress). The Iraqi people couldn\’t do that for themselves so we helped them. That\’s done, so we should be as well.My dad made an interesting point yesterday (considering he\’s a minister and all)…he said \”I\’m not sure why the USA feels like they have a moral responsibility to rush into a country and kill the dictator every time there is a dictator, just because their beliefs are not the same as ours.\” But that\’s a point for another post… 🙂

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  13. Your clients and mine are a bit different. (although I would argue that the place for a sexual predator is not a mental hospital but a prison)I firmly believe that most people in this country are fully capable of taking care of themselves with minimal government assistance, and I try to help my clients find that kind of self-sufficiency.Aw, God bless Hoyt – tell your daddy I said hi. :)As for the moral responsibility thing, though, think of it this way:It\’s not a matter of their beliefs being different from ours. I\’m friends with a lot of people who think very differently from me, as evidenced by my friendship with you!But Nan – if you tried to bomb me, I\’d shoot you. I wouldn\’t care about your political views; all I\’d care about is the fact that you\’re trying to kill me.Our moral responsibility is to kick the crap out of dictators who fund and shelter terrorists who hate and want to kill us. And why do they hate and want to kill us? Because we\’re not radical Islamic terrorists. That\’s it.

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  14. They\’re not always different…one of our clients tried to become one of your clients, remember? I\’m still trying to figure out why PTI isn\’t under the same umbrella as the court system (legally required to pay for interpreters) unless it\’s because it\’s a voluntary program…but that\’s neither here nor there. :)The sexual predator unit is housed within a prison, as is the forensic unit…just so you feel a bit safer. 🙂

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  15. Amy:So – wait.. Let me get this straight. You\’re all for an American government that won\’t fund social programs to help it\’s own people, but you\’re guns a-blazin\’ to save other countries whose beliefs differ from our own?\”Our moral responsibility is to kick the crap out of dictators who fund and shelter terrorists who hate and want to kill us. \”Why is that our moral responsibility to save the world? Why not focus on our own country which currently, can not even provide for and save its own citizens as evidenced by hurricane Katrina?I know we will not come to an agreement on this topic – but I am alarmed by your views Amy. Not because you have them really, but because there are lots of people who think like that. I find it very scary.On another note – I find it very ironic that such a conservative person who doesn\’t think the government should take care of its people, actually works for the government who pays her to help take care of its people. I wonder if your views flavour the help you give people?(totally not a personal attack, honest)

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  16. There\’s a big difference, Liz, between a country that is suffering because it\’s ruled by a violent, brutal dictator and someone who is suffering because he won\’t stop using drugs or because he refuses to take his antipsychotic medication or because she won\’t get a job.The two aren\’t even comparable.Second, the fact that we freed Iraq is wonderful, but remember the original reason we attacked was because Saddam had ties to terrorist organizations that were attacking and trying to kill us.Once we deposed Saddam, it would have been the height of irresponsibility for us to just leave and allow the Iraqis to be taken over by yet another brutal dictatorship.I don\’t think you guys are actually reading what I\’m writing. I never, ever, once said that it was our moral responsibility to save the world. I said it was our responsibility to attack those who are attacking us, and to defend ourselves against radical terrorists who want to kill us.Yes, I work for the government, and it\’s my job to help people TO HELP THEMSELVES. I work very hard to try to help my clients gain self-sufficiency; to get off welfare, get off food stamps, get educations and jobs and provide for themselves.Yes, my views definitely color the help that I give. If someone complains that they can\’t find a good-paying job, I help them find educational resources so they can get a GED so that they can find a good job. I don\’t just hand them money. Where will that get them? They\’ll spend it, and then they\’ll still have the same crappy low-paying job and guess what? Now they\’re back for more handouts.You know the saying, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.I believe in teaching people to fish.You keep saying that you find my views \”scary.\” What\’s so scary about wanting people to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions? What\’s so scary about wanting others to be self-sufficient? What\’s frightening to me is the thought that we\’re raising a generation of children to think that they don\’t need to take care of themselves because the government should do it for them.

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  17. Well, if we are talking about dictators and such, let us remember that we put Pinochet in power, we put Sadam Hussein in power. Hell, we even train people that its okay to rape, torture, and kill nuns but my country: right or worng, right.Oh, yeah. At least once a week I pull out that 0-balance/ high limit creidt card and my passport and think, \”hmm… maybe I could take the cold of the UK, again\”. At least I wouldn\’t have to worry about whether or not my employer is up to date on my insurance premiums or not.And Nan, Laura did not EVEN get to spend a month with her new husband before he went to war to make sure Haliburton, Bechtel, etc could have more buisness and oil companies could have record profits.

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  18. I do find your views scary, Amy. Sorry. It doesn\’t make me like you less as a person – I just don\’t get it. At all.

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  19. and here\’s a fourth. Why do I find your views scary.. Let me think about that. I mostly find it scary to think that you don\’t believe that the President lied to the American people about the real reasons for war. The amount of money that has spent has put the US into virtual bankrupcy. The debt will be paid by who? Our children and THEIR children.The government is being run by a bunch of criminals who put their own financial interests above the interests of the country and are busy looting the Treasury like it\’s their own personal piggy bank. That is what I find scary. I think your arguments are strong, but the underlying beliefs (and hey – they\’re yours so that\’s cool) just freak me out.What do you think of:\”We will examine all the contracts that Saddam Hussein has made, and we will cancel all those that are not in the interest of the Iraqi people and will reopen bidding on them,\” said Faisal Qaragholi, operations officer of the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition coalition based in London that plays a central role in the American anti-Hussein strategy. `Ahmed Chalabi, the INC leader, has gone even further, proposing the creation of consortium of American companies to develop Iraq\’s oil fields.\’ Uhhh…

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  20. Well…kinda. :)The reason is not that I\’m not enjoying the debate. It\’s very interesting. The reason is that the point of the post is lost now. The emotion that prompted me to post had nothing to do with why we went after Sadaam in the first place, whether or not we should be in the biz of deposing tyrants, or who was waiting to make what kind of big deal out of which death.The point was that I heard these two women telling their stories about their children dying, and while I do not have children yet myself, I cannot imagine that kind of pain. The point was that I don\’t understand why they had to go through that, whether they were the mom of number 1 or number 2000. The point is that it needs to stop. That was the point.This debate has gotten me out on the \’net reading though, and some of the things I\’m finding terrify me (and I\’ll tell you why! LOL). Blogs that talk about being god-fearing in one sentence and \”rag-headed moon worshippers\” in the next…I\’ve seen \”Kill them all and let God sort them out\” more times than I can count… I am not going to apologize for not harboring that kind of hate towards another human, not any human, not even a human that feels I am an infidel and deserve to die. It\’s just not who I am. It\’s not in my genetic makeup. I cannot hate people that I have seen/touched/known that have hurt me so badly that I almost haven\’t come back from it…so there is no way on earth I can hate someone that I have never seen/touched/known, regardless of their politics or religious beliefs.And the hiding behind the Christian religion I\’ve seen out there in order to defend Bush/the \”war\”/etc etc etc just makes me nauseous. All it does is prove to this preacher\’s daughter that the hypocrasy and backstabbing and dare I say arrogance that I saw growing up in \”good Christian people\” runs rampant in the good old US of A. Peace is my way. If it gets me blown to bits, at least I will die without hate in my heart.

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  21. \”I mostly find it scary to think that you don\’t believe that the President lied to the American people about the real reasons for war.\”And yet again…where\’s the proof? I keep asking for this and nobody\’s giving any answers – just emotional reasoning and rhetoric.If you\’re trying to use the argument that Bush lied to us about WMDs – revisit my earlier posts on this subject. Everyone thought Iraq had WMDs – and there is verifiable proof of that. Clinton thought it as far back as 1998. Practically every intelligence agency in the world was giving us information that Iraq had WMDs. If everyone thought Hussein had them and was developing them, and Bush acted on that intelligence, how does that make him a liar? The very worst it makes him is misguided by wrong information.Now, let\’s look at the \”war for oil\” propaganda: So, we invaded Iraq to get oil? Oh, that must be why my gas prices are getting lower every day! Oil companies are recording record profits because they\’re charging us record prices. It doesn\’t take a mathematical genius to figure that out.You can\’t complain about how much debt this war is causing out of one side of your mouth and then accuse us of going into war only to line our pockets out of the other side – it just doesn\’t wash.As for the debt rhetoric; that seems to be the only real, provable justification to avoid this (or any) war that liberals can come up with. The fact is, wars cause debt. All wars. It takes money to finance a war, and a lot of it.But trying to avoid more debt is a piss-poor reason to avoid going on the offensive against people who want to kill us.Maybe we should have let the Japanese get away with bombing Pearl Harbor because, God forbid, we don\’t want to amass any debt…Here we are, 20-some posts later, and I\’m still waiting for the proof that Bush knowingly lied about WMDs, that Saddam had no connections to terrorists who want to kill us and that our oil companies are being supplied with ill-gotten gains from Iraq….and waiting….

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  22. Well, thanks for letting us have an interesting debate, Nan, even if your original intent was just to express emotions rather than argue facts.There are a lot of kooks and nuts out there on the Internet, and I know you know better than to lump all conservatives and all Christians into one basket because of a few idiots.I mean, come on, I don\’t judge all liberals by Ward Churchill or Cindy Sheehan or, God forbid, Michael Moore or Ted Kennedy.I realize these people are extremists and don\’t speak for the majority of liberals, many of whom are relatively clear-headed and intelligent people, despite the fact that they\’re completely misguided.:P

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  23. I was just surfing through some links I found on blogs that I read often…that\’s where I found the disturbing stuff. So I resolved to stay in my comfort zone. NPR, the BBC, and occasionally WaPo and NYT. The rest of it just makes me sad to be lumped under the same flag as the authors I read when viewed by the rest of the world.

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