Author Topic: Christopher Hitchens  (Read 496 times)

Offline trdsf

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2017, 03:29:31 PM »
It wasn't what he SHOWED.  It was what he SAID.  He SAID they were there based on evidence and... I... believed him.
So did a lot of people.  Powell was kind of the GOP ace in the hole, he was one of their very few people who had the public's trust, so don't beat yourself up about it.  Even to this day, I wonder how much he was fooled by the warmongers, and how much he actually knew was bull.

However, I knew by the time of his presentation that the invasion was a done deal.  Recall that in the whole run-up to the Iraq invasion, the US made demands that carried at least an implicit threat of invasion, and in every single case, Iraq caved in.  And every single time Iraq caved, the US made another demand "or else", to which Iraq would also cave.  So it was pretty clear the Dubya White House was just desperate for any excuse to attack --  I mean, towards the end, the government complaint boiled down to "Well, okay, they gave us everything we asked for, but they were kind of sulky about it."

Ultimately, they were desperate enough to just make up the excuse themselves.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline SGOS

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2017, 04:34:52 PM »
So did a lot of people.  Powell was kind of the GOP ace in the hole, he was one of their very few people who had the public's trust, so don't beat yourself up about it.  Even to this day, I wonder how much he was fooled by the warmongers, and how much he actually knew was bull.
Powell was respected.  I respect him, but I was disheartened by that one presentation.  I had hoped Powell might be the one member of the inner circle that could have a positive effect on the nation, and I do believe he tried to do that, but was just overruled.

In retrospect, I've tried to put together what happened, but it's only in retrospect and guessing what happened.  Powell was a military man, and I think loyalty and (maybe) his military training edged him toward supporting his superiors, while opposing them internally.  In the end, I think that kind of loyalty caused him to swallow a bitter pill and go along. 

He left the administration shortly after and was replaced.  I don't know if he was told to leave or if it was of his choosing, and I wouldn't go by anything that was publicly articulated.  He must have voiced opposition in private meetings, but he was a team player, but not an ideal fit.  He had the potential to be a credit to the nation.  But sometimes potential is not enough, and regardless of potential we are often limited by circumstances beyond our control.  Had he said publicly that the Bush propaganda wasn't reliable enough to go to war, it would have had no effect.  We were going to invade Iraq.  It must have been disheartening for him too.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2017, 04:41:11 PM »
Powell was respected.  I respect him, but I was disheartened by that one presentation.  I had hoped Powell might be the one member of the inner circle that could have a positive effect on the nation, and I do believe he tried to do that, but was just overruled.

In retrospect, I've tried to put together what happened, but it's only in retrospect and guessing what happened.  Powell was a military man, and I think loyalty and (maybe) his military training edged him toward supporting his superiors, while opposing them internally.  In the end, I think that kind of loyalty caused him to swallow a bitter pill and go along. 

He left the administration shortly after and was replaced.  I don't know if he was told to leave or if it was of his choosing, and I wouldn't go by anything that was publicly articulated.  He must have voiced opposition in private meetings, but he was a team player, but not an ideal fit.  He had the potential to be a credit to the nation.  But sometimes potential is not enough, and regardless of potential we are often limited by circumstances beyond our control.  Had he said publicly that the Bush propaganda wasn't reliable enough to go to war, it would have had no effect.  We were going to invade Iraq.  It must have been disheartening for him too.

I understand NOW that Powell "took one for the team".  But I didn't know that then.  That's why they used him.  To get people like me.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2017, 05:13:39 PM »
Prior to his UN speech, Powell for me, was the one shinning light of the Bush adm.  I had hopes that maybe he'd run for president.  Then he made that speech and I knew he was just another politician--maybe worse than average.  I knew he knew he was lying.  As a high ranking military man, I knew he knew about who had what in the way of arms.  He lied and he lied because he wanted to.  I have no respect at all for the man.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2017, 10:28:23 PM »
As much as objected to the Vietnam War Debacle, I didn't avoid the possibility of the draft.  In 1970, I dropped my college deferment and threw my hat into the ring.  No fake medical disabilities or anything like that. 

I wasn't drafted, and was forever free.  Good thing, too.  It would have meant Canada or Ft Levenworth.  I don't take orders from idiots.  I barely take orders from intelligent people.

The government entrtance exam I took in 1976 was easy.  I scored in the top percentile, told them I smoked grass in college but not since then (well there WAS one party in 1974), but they really needed someone like me (rational analyst) and we met in the middle.

I cut off my 18" ponytail (which I still have most of on the wall) and shaved my beard; they gave me a job 2x minimum wage.  I never looked back and they never regretted it.

Lucky.  And I have an independent streak.  Would be afraid I would have fragged someone if I had been in combat with an idiot.
שלום

Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2017, 06:00:18 AM »
Lucky.  And I have an independent streak.  Would be afraid I would have fragged someone if I had been in combat with an idiot.

I could actually picture you shooting someone in the back.  Only because you suggested you would.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2017, 06:58:57 AM »
I could actually picture you shooting someone in the back.  Only because you suggested you would.

I didn't serve in Nam.  But I know people who did.  And yes, some 90-day wonders needed eliminating.  Just to ensure one's own survival.  But I was just pointing out that I am temperamental when I am in physical danger.  This is why you don't give me the nuclear football.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2017, 10:22:31 AM »
I didn't serve in Nam.  But I know people who did.  And yes, some 90-day wonders needed eliminating.  Just to ensure one's own survival.  But I was just pointing out that I am temperamental when I am in physical danger.  This is why you don't give me the nuclear football.

I heard a quote from Robert McNamara from a few years after Vietnam War ended.  He said, as best I can recall "We fought 10% to stop the North Vietnamese, 20% to stop the Chinese, and 70% to save face".

And I KNEW that in 1970.  Which was why *I* refused to be Nixon's cannon fodder. 

And I respect those who served bravely; never criticized them.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2017, 11:25:12 AM »
I heard a quote from Robert McNamara from a few years after Vietnam War ended.  He said, as best I can recall "We fought 10% to stop the North Vietnamese, 20% to stop the Chinese, and 70% to save face".

And I KNEW that in 1970.  Which was why *I* refused to be Nixon's cannon fodder. 

And I respect those who served bravely; never criticized them.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Had I been one year older, I don't know what I would have done.  My mother would have sent me to Canada, since she had already contributed my older brother.

The Pentagon Papers only told the half of it.  I blame LBJ primarily.
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Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2017, 11:54:44 AM »
Had I been one year older, I don't know what I would have done.  My mother would have sent me to Canada, since she had already contributed my older brother.

The Pentagon Papers only told the half of it.  I blame LBJ primarily.
I served in the Army during Nam, but not in Nam.  I was simply fucking fucking lucky!  But my father and a brother went.  My brother came back with a blown up gut and fucked up head--but then, he was already fucked in the head before he left, so no foul, no crime.  My dad made it back much the same, only much more liberal in his political outlook; no more defending the govt. no matter what.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2017, 12:33:06 PM »
Had I been one year older, I don't know what I would have done.  My mother would have sent me to Canada, since she had already contributed my older brother.

The Pentagon Papers only told the half of it.  I blame LBJ primarily.

It goes so much farther back than LBJ.  After WWII, we were very supportive of our French allies, so when they couldn't hold on the Indochina, we stepped in slowly.  They left, and we stayed.

Eisonhower disliked it, but sent "teachers" to South Vietnam.  Kennedy disliked it, but felt pressured to maintain the "teachers" and increased them.  LBJ was stuck with the dog-vomit situation.  He expanded.  That's where it impacted MY life.  I said NO WAY, LBJ.

Looking back, I shouldn't have blamed him so much.  But he did expand the military work, and Nixon followed.  It was a bad job all around.

When I went back to college in 1992, it was history to most of the students in the class.  But not to me.  And the professor said there was always one student in the class who was comtemporary.  I was that one that class. 

When she showed a picture of anti=war demonstrators, I realized that I was there in that picture somewhere.  No, I never put a flower in a soldier's gun.  And I never overturned a car on Rt One.  But I recognized the picture and I was in there.

I had to leave the room.  The next class, the professor asked me to speak of the demonstrations.  It wasn't easy.  But it got through to the younger students in the class. 

I felt better afterwards.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2017, 01:19:54 PM »
True about our entanglement, but you are giving the government in general, and LBJ in particular, too much credit.  LBJ was a stupid baby killer, even if the grunts weren't.  If by "babes" I mean young men 18-20 in all armed forces involved.  The US has generally ignored, starting with Jefferson in the Tripolitanian War ... Washington's suggestion that we stay uninvolved.  McKinley and Wilson really ratcheted that up.  Without Wilson, the Kaiser would have won, and there would be no Hitler.  Law of unintended consequences writ large.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2017, 01:29:24 PM »
True about our entanglement, but you are giving the government in general, and LBJ in particular, too much credit.  LBJ was a stupid baby killer, even if the grunts weren't.  If by "babes" I mean young men 18-20 in all armed forces involved.  The US has generally ignored, starting with Jefferson in the Tripolitanian War ... Washington's suggestion that we stay uninvolved.  McKinley and Wilson really ratcheted that up.  Without Wilson, the Kaiser would have won, and there would be no Hitler.  Law of unintended consequences writ large.

I appreciate the opportunity for an alternate history lesson.  Seriously, if Hitler's mustache hadn't caused him to suffer that gas attack in WWI, would there have been a WWII?

Yes.  The last shot of WWI was the 1st shot of WWII.  I forget who said (something like) We have bought a generation of peace and a new WW after. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2017, 01:35:34 PM »
I appreciate the opportunity for an alternate history lesson.  Seriously, if Hitler's mustache hadn't caused him to suffer that gas attack in WWI, would there have been a WWII?

Yes.  The last shot of WWI was the 1st shot of WWII.  I forget who said (something like) We have bought a generation of peace and a new WW after.

The US was negative on how Versailles worked out.  But we still made out like bandits on loans to Germans (see Walker-Bush).

Hitler was nearly shot ... while retreating unarmed.  The Tommy who could have shot him, felt pity.  And I think Hitler was crazy, even without the effects of the gas attack.  It was his psych doctor (who helped him want to continue living while recovering from the gas injury) who told him that he had an imperishable destiny.

My feelings on McKinley are negative, and on Wilson, split.  We nearly went to war with the British Empire, over the boundary between British Guyana and Venezuela in the 1890s.  Also with the German Empire over Samoa.  Good thing Spain was a push over.
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Christopher Hitchens
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2017, 02:25:19 PM »
The US was negative on how Versailles worked out.  But we still made out like bandits on loans to Germans (see Walker-Bush).

Hitler was nearly shot ... while retreating unarmed.  The Tommy who could have shot him, felt pity.  And I think Hitler was crazy, even without the effects of the gas attack.  It was his psych doctor (who helped him want to continue living while recovering from the gas injury) who told him that he had an imperishable destiny.

My feelings on McKinley are negative, and on Wilson, split.  We nearly went to war with the British Empire, over the boundary between British Guyana and Venezuela in the 1890s.  Also with the German Empire over Samoa.  Good thing Spain was a push over.

Sort of a pity about Spain.  We could have saved the annoyance over The Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rica, etc.  We nearly went to war with Great Britain every decade.  What's a small war among friends?  Keeps the troops trained.

Joke.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!