Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Winston Smith puts it well

"I do not think [Bush and his administration] are evil and I do not think they are idiots. But I am fairly sure that they are fairly bad, and fairly sure that they are unwilling to consider even the possibility that they might be wrong. And at least as much harm has been done to the world by men such as these as has been done by history's pure villains.
...
OBL is a psychopath, but he has little power. Bush is merely a not-very-good man. But a psychopath with a pointy stick is nowhere near as dangerous as a not-very-good man with a wing of B-52s."

-Philosoraptor

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, an interesting comparison, the attacks on 9/11 as a pointy stick. He's a thinker.

Thomas More said...

Well let's see. Killing 3,000 people by taking down some buildings vs. global thermonuclear war. Kind of puts it in perspective, huh?

Here's another one: Bush's war in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11 (it's all about democracy, you see), has conservatively killed four times as many people as 9/11.

The really funny thing is, Bush has served up bin Laden's goals to him on a silver platter. No wait, that's a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

When we start a global thermonuclear war, I'll reconsider.

I won't argue the Iraq war, because it's a pointless exercise. I personally am glad Saddam is gone. He is a truly evil man. But I can't speak for Iraqis whether it will have been worth it in the end. I get to sit here in America pondering the idea of it based on what the media feeds us while the Iraqis have to live and fight it for real. To claim Bush is worse than OBL because of the attempt is patently ridiculous. To pretend it's all about "democracy" or oil or revenge or any of the other simplistic drivel floating out there is to ignore the facts and the actual resolution.

I like that a conflict signed on to by Congress is now "Bush's war". It makes it that much easier to hate the "not-very-good-man," the one who won't get in front of a camera during a war and admit defeat and leave the Iraqis to sort out the aftermath. Oops, sorry. We were wrong. We'll just leave you guys to it. I'm sure the terrorists will go back to wherever they came from and give up killing forever. If not, think of them like a pointy stick. It's not so bad that way.

Thomas More said...

So the war in Iraq wasn't about democracy, or oil, or revenge? What *was* it about? Funny how no one seems to be able to agree on that basic point even now.

Yes, this is Bush's war. It was a war of choice, a war he planned (badly), sold to the American people with visions of mushroom clouds (falsely), and executed (horribly). Remember "bringing responsibility and accountability back to the White House"? Yeah. No one else does, either.

I never said Bush was worse than OBL. But he is infinitely more powerful. That was Winston's point.

My additional point is that Bush has followed OBL's script to the letter. And that increases OBL's power in the world, something I hope we could all agree is a bad thing.

But hey, in this country we can't agree on what "torture" is. So I'm not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...





The United States definitely has more power than Osama. Very true. So when you said Bush's war has killed more people than 9/11 you weren't implying Bush is worse than OBL? You were just stating a random fact. And when you compared taking down some buildings and killing 3000 people to global thermonuclear war, you weren't inferring anything about Bush's position on the evil guy scale? Because it's true, global thermonuclear war is worse than 3000 dead and some demolished buildings. If we can't agree on what torture is, we can certainly agree on that.

Anonymous said...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html

I don't know if these links will make it, but the first one is the joint resolution to use force against Iraq. No confusion there. The second is the President's speech before Congress after 9/11.

Thomas More said...

When I talked about Bush's invasion of Iraq, it wasn't a random fact. It was meant to describe the difference in power between the two men. Bush can move hundreds of thousands of troops around the world at his command, and has the ability to threaten any nation he chooses with nuclear annihilation. Putting that power into the hands of an avowed apocalyptic evangelical like George W. Bush is a bit scary.

Again, (!) it's not about who's more evil. It's about who has more potential power to destroy. That's the point of Winston's post. I don't know how to say it any plainer than that.

As for the joint resolution, thanks. We all know how this war was sold, and no quoting of joint resolutions is going to paper over that. Condoleezza Rice didn't go on the morning shows urging the immediate installation of democracy in Iraq - she went on with visions of mushroom clouds and how Iraq could attack us in 45 minutes with drone planes.

John Kerry didn't plan and execute the war in Iraq. Neither did Ted Kennedy, or Hillary Clinton, or Al Gore, or Howard Dean, or Cindy Sheehan, or Bill Clinton for that matter.

Bush loved taking responsibility when he was out on the aircraft carrier in a flight suit (how ironic is that?) with "Mission Accomplished" behind him. Now there are no WMDs, insurgent and sectarian violence continues unabated, and it's three years out with no government. Take your medicine, Mr. President. Step up and be the man you so loudly proclaim yourself to be.

Anonymous said...

"Putting that power into the hands of an avowed apocalyptic evangelical like George W. Bush is a bit scary."

Finally. Thank you. You made my point. You should have just said that first. That one line makes crystal clear where you're coming from.

Thomas More said...

I thought I've always been pretty clear where I'm coming from. I guess I'll have to work harder at it in future.

Thomas More said...

Did you hear? There's a world leader who believes the Second Coming will happen within his lifetime, and that in an apocalyptic war beginning in Israel, all the unbelievers will die horribly, leaving the devout to reap God's benefits. He believes God speaks directly to him, guiding his hand in the leadup to the final war. Is this man:

A. The President of the United States.
B. The President of Iran.
C. Both.

The answer is C. You'll forgive me if that scares the shit out of me.

Anonymous said...

After searching, I can't find a reference to the President stating those are his beliefs. I find lots of inferring those are his beliefs, but nothing else. The closest I could find was Reagan believing armageddon could come in our lifetime. I suppose we dodged a bullet with that presidency.

I'm sure you've got a quote somewhere ready to pull out, but it doesn't matter. I can't forgive intolerance, even religious intolerance.

Thomas More said...

Are you saying I'm being intolerant of the President's religion? I'm confused.