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The Moral of the Story (my response to a liberal-hating conservative about 9/11 & torture)

Mr. Conservative said:


Liberals sicken me.

On 9/11, people lined up for blocks to donate blood to help the victims of the terrorists. The victims never came as they were all crushed to bits or incinerated. The smell from the fires at ground zero lingered in the air and subway tunnels for weeks after the attacks. I recall being on the E train the week after the attack and realizing no one was talking.... was odd. The silence was eery & deafening. Missing persons posters hung everywhere.... there was a real sadness in the city. Week after week of funeral processions on 5th Ave for the firefighters & police killed trying to help those trapped. Trapped by islamic animals bent on destroying the US using any & all means possible.

F*ck them all....... Torture (loud music and no sleep) is too good for them. They should have all been put to death... slowly and publicly.... just like the muslim assholes do when beheading innocents today.

Liberals scare me. You seem all too eager to play by the rules when your enemy has no rules whatsoever. Might as well walk into battle with your arms high in the air waving a white flag. Actually, no. Liberals run & hide from battle..... Weakness is your most abundant trait.

My response (which I doubt he will fully read and will likely pass off as "librul propaganda":

It isn't about 'rules'. It's about a thoughtful, intelligent, measured response that won't perpetuate terrorism and hatred and make things worse, fomenting more violence and hate. It takes restraint and intellect to do that. And that -- takes STRENGTH. Intellectual, moral strength. Not the biceps and guns and tanks kind. It's about not buying into all the propaganda about 'mushroom clouds' and the various profiteer's admonishments and fear-mongering to rush to war. It's about waiting to find out more facts and basing responses on actual intelligence (which in this case was there before the attacks but were inexplicably ignored). It's a different response than going into a full on occupation with guns-a-blazing, torture prisons awaiting to slam anyone in there we can get just to show how macho we are and to make ourselves feel better (and to make lots of dough for our oil businesses and military industrial complex buddies bytheway).

This isn't about "liberals" (though we know you hate them) and intellectualism in general. It's about the immorality of deceiving a nation into war based on false pretenses in order to gain profit, power, revenge, and control. It's about certain important facts that far too many people find it convenient to ignore - maybe because it gives them an easy platform upon which to stand to justify their hatred of "liberals" - or any other whole groups of people. It's about what's wise and unwise in regards to how to respond to terrorist attacks (that is "respond" NOT "react" - there's a difference). It's about morality. OURS. Not theirs.

The Bush admin ignored multiple direct warnings about al Queda. Some people would like to ignore that fact. I won't.

His administration knew Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, yet they fired up their propaganda machinery to sell an invasion there to the American people. Yellow cake. Mushroom clouds. Claims of meetings that never occurred. The whole crock of bullshit. No WMD there. Even Bush himself joked about it later. And, later " target="_blank">he stated that he didn't know where bin Laden was and didn't care.

I should point out that it was BARACK OBAMA who hunted down and killed bin Laden. With no invasion or occupation of Pakistan. Without torturing anyone to find him. And without killing anyone else other than him. And without lies and false pretenses. If Obama was white and Republican, conservatives would have been (and would still be) singing his praises to the high heavens forevermore. But -- he's not.

So, Bush not giving a damn about bin Laden after he allegedly masterminded 9/11 is fabulous in their eyes. Obama on the other hand -- after finally getting bin Laden after Bush failed and after Bush tortured a bunch of people in Iraq needlessly under the guise of "war on terror" -- Obama is a failure (at least in the eyes of conservatives).

Very interesting.

It was learned that Bush/Cheney planned to invade Iraq before 9/11. That's interesting too. Here's the money quote about that:

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed." They lied to the American people. Halliburton, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the oil companies benefited handsomely from this invasion and subsequent decade-long occupation.

Here's something too makes this even more despicable than it already is - insiders (Colin Powell's chief of staff for instance, along with others) have said the most extreme waterboarding and torture wasn't done to pre-empt another attack on America, but rather because Bush and Cheney wanted to extract confessions or info (false or not) to so they could claim there was a link between Iraq and al Queda - to justify their invasion and occupation of Iraq - which as I mentioned they evidently had planned at the beginning of Bush's first term well before 9/11.

Gordon Trowbridge writes for the Detroit News: “Senior Bush administration officials pushed for the use of abusive interrogations of terrorism detainees in part to seek evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq, according to newly declassified information discovered in a congressional probe.

That congressional probe was the Senate Armed Services Committee report from 2009. More about that:

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

If that's not despicable enough or incriminating enough, Senator Carl Levin recently explained that the torture techniques used in the Iraq prisons were the same ones used by the Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean war for the express purpose of eliciting FALSE CONFESSIONS to be used as propaganda. This appears to be the same reason the Bush Administration was using these techniques, doesn't it? Also very interesting.

So once they found (or let happen) their convenient excuse for invading and occupying Iraq, they tortured innocent people (including sodomizing children in front of their mothers to try to extract information from the parents) in the some of the same prisons Sadaam Hussein used and in the same as well as worse ways. I can't justify that. I don't care who attacked us or how. It's a moral issue.

Every second of suffering. Every drop of blood spilled is on their hands. On America's hands. Every. One. And its about time we owned up to it as a nation.

Anyone can huff and puff and beat their chest and drag their knuckles and drag themselves down to behave just like the terrorists themselves (or worse). They can hate Muslims and hate "liberals" and whoever else and declare that any form of torture is too good for the lot of them. It doesn't take any skill to do that. Or much intelligence. Or any more morals than the terrorists have.

Torturing people doesn't result in reliable intelligence from prisoners. Simply because a prisoner will do or say ANYTHING to make the pain stop. You know you would. And as I mentioned, there are some accounts that say the administration wasn't even looking for reliable intelligence - just something they could use as propaganda to tie bin Laden to Hussein to justify the invasion.

But if you're really looking to catch the bad guys (not just something to use for propaganda), torture still is not necessary to gain good intelligence to capture terrorists. See my previous mention of Barack Obama's capture of bin Laden. No torture was necessary. That's what you call "leading by example". That's how it's done. I know you hate that. I know you hate giving a black Democrat president credit for anything at all, much less something as important as capturing a terrorist mastermind who allegedly orchestrated attacks on America. But Barack Obama did that. Without torture. And without invading and occupying another country - under false pretenses or otherwise.

Acting like terrorists ourselves by torturing people is at best counterproductive. It is at worst a mechanism which only serves to exacerbate, propagate and perpetuate the problem (though it might make YOU feel better). One Republican who has himself been subjected to torture agrees with that sentiment - John McCain - he's got first-hand experience with having been tortured.

How does America being a terrorist state (and it was at that time in many people's estimation) perpetuate terrorism? Well, here's an example:

Here is what the leader of ISIS said about its current existence: "If there was no US prison in Iraq, there would be no ISIS. The prison was a factory. It made us”

. . . Abu Ahmed recalled. They had also been terrified of Bucca, but quickly realised that far from their worst fears, the US-run prison provided an extraordinary opportunity. “We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else,” he told me. “It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred metres away from the entire al-Qaida leadership.”

It was at Camp Bucca that Abu Ahmed first met Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of Isis who is now frequently described as the world’s most dangerous terrorist leader. From the beginning, Abu Ahmed said, others in the camp seemed to defer to him. “Even then, he was Abu Bakr. But none of us knew he would ever end up as leader.”

. . .

According to Hisham al-Hashimi, the Baghdad-based analyst, the Iraqi government estimates that 17 of the 25 most important Islamic State leaders running the war in Iraq and Syria spent time in US prisons between 2004 and 2011. Some were transferred from American custody to Iraqi prisons, where a series of jailbreaks in the last several years allowed many senior leaders to escape and rejoin the insurgent ranks.

Abu Ghraib was the scene of the biggest – and most damaging – breakout in 2013, with up to 500 inmates, many of them senior jihadists handed over by the departing US military, fleeing in July of that year after the prison was stormed by Islamic State forces, who launched a simultaneous, and equally successful, raid on nearby Taji prison.

Iraq’s government closed Abu Ghraib in April 2014 and it now stands empty, 15 miles from Baghdad’s western outskirts, near the frontline between Isis and Iraq’s security forces, who seem perennially under-prepared as they stare into the heat haze shimmering over the highway that leads towards the badlands of Falluja and Ramadi.

Parts of both cities have become a no-go zone for Iraq’s beleaguered troops, who have been battered and humiliated by Isis, a group of marauders unparalleled in Mesopotamia since the time of the Mongols. When I visited the abandoned prison late this summer, a group of disinterested Iraqi forces sat at a checkpoint on the main road to Baghdad, eating watermelon as the distant rumble of shellfire sounded in the distance. The imposing walls of Abu Ghraib were behind them, and their jihadist enemies were staked out further down the road.

The revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib had a radicalising effect on many Iraqis, who saw the purported civility of American occupation as little improvement on the tyranny of Saddam.


[url=http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/-sp-isis-the-inside-story?CMP=twt_gu]http://www.theguardi...ory?CMP=twt_gu [/url]

_ _ _ _ _

And in regards to ISIS, there is another piece of relevant information that the media and those who support the Bush regime like to ignore (they inexplicably blame Obama instead, for the fact that ISIS exists - but the fact is Obama has little to do with it):

How the Top Iraqi Terrorist Was Helped by a Bush-Signed Agreement

With the crisis in Iraq intensifying, conservative media outlets have searched for a fall guy and found one: President Barack Obama. In recent days, conservative websites have peddled the claim that it was Obama who freed the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic militant group currently overrunning cities in northern Iraq and threatening Baghdad. Referring to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who heads ISIS, the Daily Mail asserts, "Obama SET FREE the merciless terrorist warlord now leading the ISIS horde blazing a trail of destruction through Iraq." Right-wing author David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine claims Baghdadi, who was once held by US forces in Iraq, was released "on Obama's watch." And RedState.com says Baghdadi was let go under the Obama administration's "policy of releasing terrorists." But they have it wrong: It was an agreement signed by President George W. Bush in 2008 that led to Baghdadi's release in 2009.

In 2005, US military forces captured Baghdadi. (There are not many public details about his capture or his role then in the ongoing insurgency.) He was held in a US-run detention camp in southern Iraq called Camp Bucca, where he remained for several years.

In 2008, while reducing the numbers of US troops in the country, Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government that mandated that all detainees be handed over to Iraqi forces. In accordance with this agreement, Baghdadi was transferred to Iraqi custody in 2009, and by 2010, the Iraqi government (for a reason not explained publicly) had set him free. That same year, Baghdadi assumed leadership of ISIS. He has since been dubbed "the new bin Laden."

It's not as if Bush could have prevented Baghdadi's release by maintaining control over detainees—in part because his administration had so screwed up on this front. (See Abu Ghraib.) At the time, "the United States' detainee programs had become a black eye," says Patrick Johnston, an expert on Iraqi insurgent groups at the RAND Corporation. US-run detention facilities were overcrowded; some prisoners were tortured. Continuing a large US-controlled detainee program "was a political nonstarter," he adds.



_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Getting all pissed off and invading another country and torturing the shit out of people in various prisons there might make chest-beaters feel better. Because they're mad. And they're going to have their revenge on that damn terrorist scum. But is it the best and wisest thing to do in order to stop terrorist activity or in response to attacks? Participating in terrorism stops it? It looks to me like it just perpetuates it. So when does it stop? Really. When? Because what's been tried so far isn't working. The torture carried out by Bush did more harm to America than good. And it did more harm to America than the damn terrorists did. It hasn't worked. What it's done is give us new terrorists to deal with - like ISIS. And it's made us war criminals. And terrorists - in the eyes of much of the rest of the world (regardless how John Yoo contorted laws to make it "legal".

Oh but it's OK when America does it. Right?

So those are a few things for you nosh on as you clench your fists and grit your teeth about about "liberals" whom we all know you hate. Here's the thing: I welcome your hatred. Because I know it will hurt you more than it will ever hurt me. Come to think of it, that's actually the moral of this entire response.

There isn't a hair's difference between the misogynist attitudes of Elliot Rodger and Republicans

There isn't a hair's difference between the misogynist attitudes of Elliot Rodger and those of Republicans. I watched his video. I read his manifesto. ALL 141 pages of it.

His belief about women was that they should be enslaved. Tortured. Killed. That the patriarchy/some man or men should have complete control and dominion over women and that women should have NO choices about whom or whether they have sex or with whom or when, or whether or when they reproduce -- that men should decide FOR them.

Look at the legislation these conservative bastards have been passing all over the country.

That's EXACTLY what it seeks to do- control women and deprive them of any choice about their sexuality or reproduction. Same as Elliot Rodger said he felt women should be treated.

I'm reminded too of that all-male panel that met in chambers to discuss whether women ought to be allowed birth control under the ACA. NO WOMEN were allowed on the panel. One did ask. She was told she was "not qualified".

These attitudes - from high school and college campuses all the way to the highest levels of state and federal government, form the societal basis of our insidious rape culture in the U.S.

What we saw in Elliot Rodger, IMO, is a disturbed young man who was additionally infected by what are essentially the roots of modern patriarchy/misogyny in our country today. And what did it result in? A murder spree based in vile, otherwise insatiable hatred of and need to control women.

Everything he wrote about reflects what the GOP/Republicans say and do in regards to women.

Some of it sounded to me just like some of our conservative politicians ie: "she should put an aspirin between her legs" and "abortion Barbie" and "legitimate rape" and that rape is "just another form of conception" - and their insidious and never-ending mantra about how women should have NO choice about who has sex with them, or when or how -- or about how or if or when they reproduce. THEY ARE ADVOCATING SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE SLAVERY.



Elliot Rodger.

The psychopathic murderer. That's right. That's RIGHT.

I think there were three factors which resulted in this gruesome massacre - not necessarily in this order:

1. mental illness
2. easy availability of guns, even for someone who has long since been formally diagnosed with mental illness and whose own family notified police that he may become violent.
3. Insidious misogynist conservative attitudes about women from MRA sites he visited combined with an American society which largely supports those attitudes - from the HIGHEST governmental levels and the inherent sense of male entitlement that goes along with it, as well as the idea that women are anything BUT human and are only here to serve male sexual and reproductive needs.

What the hell should we expect to happen? WHAT?

The War on Women has manifested itself once again in gruesome terms (once again) and I'm sure we'll all still be told it "doesn't exist" -- that there "is no war on women" and that we're "just imagining things"


BULL SHIT. What Elliot Rodger wrote, said, and did was not "imaginary". The insidious influence of male entitlement/MRA/patriarchal/misogynist culture that helped push him over that edge is not "imaginary". IT IS REAL.

What we saw from the websites and message boards Elliot visited and participated in (and what we see from any of these MRA groups) is the modern ROOTS of this war on women. Elliot Rodger himself EVEN. CALLED. IT. THAT. See page 132 of his "manifesto".

These patriarchal roots have pushed themselves deep into the history of a society whose women have repeatedly been told this war doesn't exist.

But that's not true. It DOES exist. We just saw prime evidence of it in Elliot Rodger. THERE it is in all of its hateful, controlling, murderous glory. THERE. IT. IS.

And women are still suffering and dying in that war at the hands of angry and controlling men. And yes I know he killed some males too. But it was because he wanted to control the women and felt entitled to them -- because he was jealous of the males because they possessed women and HE did not. To him, women were property - devices to provide sexual gratification and to be used for breeding. To Republicans, it's the same.

We need to deal with the issue of mental illness.
We need to deal with the issue of insidious gun culture and the fact that guns are easily available to anyone - no matter how deranged or mentally unstable they are.
We need to deal with our insidiously misogynist society and our misogynist government.

Otherwise - this is going to happen again. And again. And again. Count on it.

© Seven Bowie


The arguments I'm getting on Twitter are a lot of "absurd!", and "you're stupid!", and "you have daddy problems!" and "well his parents were liberals and he watched Young Turks!"

The first three are commentary from those conservatives who've lost the argument already and thus turned to that good old standby: personal insults and name-calling. I won't waste my time on those.

The last one I will address:

Elliot Rodger's parents may have been Democrats. And he may have watched "The Young Turks". However he likely didn't pick up his sexist attitudes from them. Or from "liberal" TV programs.

Elliot Rodger was known to have frequented PUA and MRA websites full of self-entitled angry males (of whom he was one) who demanded sex from and sexual control over women and who viewed women as property put on Earth to satisfy their sexual desires on demand, not human beings with self-determination.

Those sites - full of controlling men (the type whom the GOP caters to) is where he likely obtained his worst, most dangerous attitudes about women. What were those attitudes? Elliot Rodger wrote about controlling women, taking their reproductive choices away, forcing them to breed. These are Conservative attitudes. His "manifesto" could have been written by some of the GOP whackos who talk about "rape being another form of conception"

I see the ire of some conservatives has been raised due to my making that point. That tells me there is substance to it.

My advice to conservatives who dislike that their Representatives' anti-choice rhetoric sounds like Elliot Rodger is to stop trying to control women -- and stop supporting idiot politicians who insist on controlling women's sexuality and taking away their reproductive choices. It might help to learn that women are HUMAN. Not breeding cows for you to own and control and to rape and impregnate at will, and to force pregnancy or sex upon.
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