John McCain: “I’m a Terrorist”

Well, OK, he didn’t say that explicitly. But he did say it implicitly.

A basic logic lesson and please forgive me if you think I’m talking down to you. I’m really not. It’s just that I’m shocked at how many people, including McCain, don’t seem to get logic. If I say, “All crows are black” and I also say, “That bird is a crow,” then I’m saying that that bird is black even if I don’t say so explicitly.

On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday, April 20, John McCain called William Ayers “an unrepentant terrorist.” What was McCain’s evidence? McCain said that Ayers “was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people…” So McCain is saying that someone who engages in bombings which could have killed or did kill innocent people is a terrorist.

Now consider what McCain did. McCain flew a bomber, an A-4E Skyhawk, over North Vietnam. I don’t know whether he actually dropped his bombs before being shot down. But certainly he was engaged in actions that, if he had succeeded, could have killed innocent people. Which makes McCain, in his own words, a terrorist.

Now McCain could argue that that’s different because, as he said elsewhere in the interview, “I had a reconciliation with the Vietnamese, when we normalized relations.” Did he apologize to them? He didn’t say. If he did, that would make him a “repentant terrorist.” Too bad Stephanopoulos didn’t challenge him.

91 thoughts on “John McCain: “I’m a Terrorist””

  1. After a missile was accidently launched on board McCain’s carrier in 1967, leaving 134 sailors dead, McCain told a New York Times reporter: “It’s a difficult thing to say. But now that I’ve seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.”

    He was shot down three months later.

    1. Dear Lord, I wish someone would challenge McCain on his premises. Everytime he mentions Iraq, it always starts with “I know a lot of people are frustrated that it has not gone well, and I understand their frustration, etc., etc.” No, Senator, you don’t “understand my frustration.” I am frustarted that it happend at all, and not merely that it has been a unmitigated disaster. Even if things had somehow gone better (which would have run counter to practically every similar occupation in military history), there was no justification for the invasion to begin with. All McCain wants to do is reduce violence so no Americans are being killed; but NOT so that we can pack up and leave. That will mean we can hang out for 100 years in ‘enduring bases’ just like we do in S. Korea or Japan.

      Foreign policy expertise? What a joke.

      Peace be with you.

  2. I think the teaching of logic in school was thrown out the window along with other worthwhile subjects long ago. Maybe it required too much thought??

    1. In order to understand the similarities of American anti-intellectualism and deconstruction, one could do no better than to begin with Richard Hofstadter’s classic study of the plight of intellectualism in America, Anti-intellectualism in American Life (New York: Knopf, 1962). Hofstadter demonstrates how, from early colonial times, American culture was mistrustful of education and learning that went beyond practical use of the abilities of the common man. The life of the mind was associated with aristocracy and a decadent European culture.

      At an early date, literature and learning were stigmatized as the purgative of useless aristocracies…. It seemed to be the goal of the common man in America to build a society that would show how much could be done without literature and learning–or rather, a society whose literature and learning would be largely limited to such elementary things as the common man could grasp and use.

      By the late nineteenth century, this attitude was so prevalent in society at large that school textbooks had assimilated such a position. As a result, while children were learning to read they also were being introduced to the American distaste for, and mistrust of, the intellect: “There seems to have been a prevailing concern that children should not form too high an estimate of the uses of mind” (quoted in Hofstadter from Ruth Miller Elson, “American Schoolbooks,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 46 [December 1959]: 308). In such an atmosphere, of course, higher education was not considered a place to pursue high intellectual achievement, rather, “the American college was complacently portrayed as a place designed to form character and inculcate sound principle rather than to lead to the pursuit of truth” [Elson 308]

      Hofstadter sums up the national traits that fostered such a position toward education and the university:

      [Anti-intellectualism] first got its strong grip on our ways of thinking because it was fostered by an evangelical religion that also purveyed many humane and democratic sentiments. It made its way into our politics because it became associated with our passion for equality. It has become formidable in our education partly because our educational beliefs are evangelically egalitarian. (Hofstadter 22-23)

      Evangelical religion, a radical Protestantism which is hostile to rationalism and the disinterested pursuit of knowledge; egalitarianism which insists upon the priority of equality in all matters; and a stubborn insistence on the necessity of the practical use of knowledge are the ideas which came to dominate thinking about education in the United States.

      [Michael C. Milam]

    2. They replaced it with New/Fuzzy Math, aka Relativism, which is why so many Americans excel at it today.

      1. Is that like 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish = food for 5,000, not counting women and children?

        Or the “New Math” in the Old Testament–you know, Pi=(er)3?

        Oh, I forgot, Evangelical Protestants are very careful and absolute about counting money, as in thirty pieces of silver.

        Somewhere or another Willima Burroughs calls heroin the ultimate capitalist product.

        I beg to differ–Corporate capitalists like the Reverend Hagee have gone that one better.

        1. Given the state of the American economy and the USD this may provide a whole new twist on the Federal Reserve and “In God We Trust”, hehe.

          Yassuh, Neo-Conservative Evangelical Zionist Corporate Fascist Economics.

          Right up there with Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan–boy, weren’t they a hot item?

    3. No, it’s because our ruling class wanted to purposely dumb-down the population. If you never develop a citizen’s ability to reason, you suffocate his ability to question authority. It’s the Great American Lobotomy, and they’ve won.

  3. According to Dr Bob Bowman, former chief of US Air Force Missile Defense, missile defense is the missing link to a First Strike. Dr Bob Bowman thinks that missiles in Poland will be very useful to shoot down any surviving Russian missiles AFTER a First Strike. Therefore the Russians will implement Launch On Warning. The terrible consequences of a mistake will be caused by the stupid Pentagon. Dr Bob Bowman agrees that the Pentagon (McCain?) will get disarming first-strike capability by 2011/12. Acc. to former Trident missile engineer Bob US Navy can track and destroy all enemy subs simultaneously. The main danger is Russian Launch On Warning because of US First-Strike Capability. Please read Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, “The Rise of US Nuclear Primacy”, 2006 March/April issue of Foreign Affairs. By 2011/12 the Pentagon will have achieved that the Russians have no choice but Launch On Warning. “Bloody fools in the Pentagon”, as Brigadier Harbottle stated.

  4. Bah, logic. What does logic have to do in electing our future president. We can only and should only vote based on 5 random words taken completely out of context and put into a sound clip that repeats itself 1 million times. We also have to ignore facts. Facts can be used to prove something even remotely true. We can’t have truth and logic in making our decision. What do you think this is? A democracy?

    1. This is made clear in Strauss’s exchange with Kojève (reprinted in Strauss’s On Tyranny), and in his commentary on Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political (reprinted in Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue). Kojève lamented the animalisation of man and Schmitt worried about the trivialisation of life. All three of them were convinced that liberal economics would turn life into entertainment and destroy politics; all three understood politics as a conflict between mutually hostile groups willing to fight each other to the death. In short, they all thought that man’s humanity depended on his willingness to rush naked into battle and headlong to his death. Only perpetual war can overturn the modern project, with its emphasis on self-preservation and “creature comforts.” Life can be politicised once more, and man’s humanity can be restored.

      This terrifying vision fits perfectly well with the desire for honour and glory that the neo-conservative gentlemen covet. It also fits very well with the religious sensibilities of gentlemen. The combination of religion and nationalism is the elixir that Strauss advocates as the way to turn natural, relaxed, hedonistic men into devout nationalists willing to fight and die for their God and country.

      I never imagined when I wrote my first book on Strauss that the unscrupulous elite that he elevates would ever come so close to political power, nor that the ominous tyranny of the wise would ever come so close to being realised in the political life of a great nation like the United States. But fear is the greatest ally of tyranny….

      Strauss is a nihilist in the sense that he believes that there is no rational foundation for morality. He is an atheist, and he believes that in the absence of God, morality has no grounding. It’s all about benefiting others and oneself; there is no objective reason for doing so, only rewards and punishments in this life.

      But Strauss is not a nihilist if we mean by the term a denial that there is any truth, a belief that everything is interpretation. He does not deny that there is an independent reality. On the contrary, he thinks that independent reality consists in nature and its “order of rank” – the high and the low, the superior and the inferior. Like Nietzsche, he believes that the history of western civilisation has led to the triumph of the inferior, the rabble – something they both lamented profoundly….

      Strauss’s criticism of the existentialists, especially Heidegger, is that they tried to elicit an ethic out of the abyss. This was the ethic of resoluteness – choose whatever you like and be loyal to it to the death; its content does not matter. But Strauss’s reaction to moral nihilism was different. Nihilistic philosophers, he believes, should reinvent the Judæo-Christian God, but live like pagan gods themselves – taking pleasure in the games they play with each other as well as the games they play on ordinary mortals.

      [Shadia Drury (from an interview)]

  5. A classic “red herring.” William Ayers was engaged in actions meant to undermine and subvert his own country. In a word, treason. Not only terrorism but treason. And now Ayers, we later find out, is friendly with Barack Obabma. Interesting to say the least.

      1. Actually the agent you refer to, Plame, was not covert. She never was covert. It was wrong to out her nontheless but she was never put in harm’s way because of it.

        1. “Plame served the CIA as a non-official cover (or NOC), operating undercover in (at least) two positions in Athens and Brussels.[20] While using her own name, “Valerie Plame,” her assignments required posing in various professional roles in order to gather intelligence more effectively.[21][22][23] Two of her covers include serving as a junior consular officer in the early 1990s in Athens and then later an energy analyst for the private company (founded in 1994) “Brewster Jennings & Associates”, which the CIA later acknowledged was a front company for certain investigations.” (Wikipedia)

          Tim, you’re either mincing words or dead wrong.

    1. Where does “country” enter into this? The implied syllogism still remains. Unless you maintain that states and their rulers have special rights to violence denied by the ordinary mortal, Ayers’ and McCain’s acts are not merely morally equivalent: they are logically identical.

      1. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terrorand yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected….”

        Winston Churchill (1919)

        It is a pity in retrospect, Churchill so charmingly used the word, “terror”, isn?t it?

        The reference included Mesopotamia, which the British had just invaded.

        Otherwise, one supposes one might be able to confined terrorism by the military forces of an organized state, say, “moral effect”, and hinge considerable distinguishing in the way of how this is different from that upon it.

        1. corr: “confine terrorism by the military forces of an organized state, to, say, moral effect”

        2. State Terrorism? Terrorists State? So many ambiguities and cryptotypes! There was an old woman who lived in a shoe….

        3. And from James Board:

          There were few common-places that offended Reagan more than the old saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” — a delusion that he said “thwarted … effective anti-terror action.” As he explained,

          Freedom fighters do not need to terrorize a population into submission. Freedom fighters target the military forces and the organized instruments of repression keeping dictatorial regimes in power. Freedom fighters struggle to liberate their citizens from oppression and to establish a form of government that reflects the will of the people.

          In contrast, “Terrorists intentionally kill or maim unarmed civilians, often women and children, often third parties who are not in any way part of a dictatorial regime,” he declared. He especially admired the “Nicaraguan freedom fighters … fighting to establish respect for human rights, for democracy, and for the rule of law within their own country.” Similarly, Secretary of State George Schultz declared in a June 24, 1984, speech, “It is not hard to tell, as we look around the world, who are the terrorists and who are the freedom fighters.”

          A few weeks before the 1984 presidential election, news broke that the CIA had financed, produced, and distributed an assassination manual for the Nicaraguan Contras fighting the Marxist Sandinista government. The manual, entitled “Psychological Operations in Guerrilla War,” recommended “selective use of violence for propagandistic effects” and to “neutralize” (i.e., kill) government officials. Nicaraguan Contras were advised to lead

          demonstrators into clashes with the authorities, to provoke riots or shootings, which lead to the killing of one or more persons, who will be seen as the martyrs; this situation should be taken advantage of immediately against the Government to create even bigger conflicts.

          The manual also recommended

          selective use of armed force for PSYOP [psychological operations] effect…. Carefully selected, planned targets — judges, police officials, tax collectors, etc. — may be removed for PSYOP effect in a UWOA [unconventional warfare operations area], but extensive precautions must insure that the people “concur” in such an act by thorough explanatory canvassing among the affected populace before and after conduct of the mission.

          This was not the CIA’s first Nicaraguan literary project. In 1983, it had paid to produce and distribute a comic book entitled “Freedom Fighter’s Manual,” a self-described “practical guide to liberate Nicaragua from oppression and misery by paralyzing the military-industrial complex of the traitorous Marxist state without having to use special tools and with minimal risk for the combatant.”

          The comic book urged readers to sabotage the Nicaraguan economy by calling in sick, goofing off on their jobs, throwing tools into sewers, leaving lights and water taps on, telephoning false hotel reservations, dropping typewriters, and stealing and hiding key documents (sage advice later followed by numerous high-ranking Reagan administration officials). The comic book also included detailed instructions on making Molotov cocktails, which, it suggested, could be thrown at fuel depots and police offices….

  6. On Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the day Queen Esther saved the Jews from annihilation, Trinity Broadcasting Network’s flagship talk show, Praise the Lord, featured an appearance by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. A politically conservative Orthodox rabbi, Lapin is best known for crusading with the Christian right against anti-religion bigotry and, more recently, for his close association with the convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But he was not invited to a nationwide telecast to discuss such topics as the trumped-up war against religion or the better nature of his fallen friend. He had been asked to explain the significance of Purim to Christians, and particularly how the Old Testament’s Book of Esther “serves as a roadmap to reality,” which pinpoints where the next world “hot spot” will be.

    That soon-to-be-flaming location is where the Book of Esther was set: namely Persia, or in modern parlance, Iran.

    Seated beside Lapin in the ornately gilded Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) studio was Pastor John Hagee, the author of an incendiary new book purporting to show that the Bible predicts a military confrontation with Iran. By then, Hagee’s book, Jerusalem Countdown, had sold nearly 500,000 copies. It had occupied the No. 1 position on the Wal-Mart inspirational best-seller list, showed up on Wal-Mart’s list of top 10 best sellers for seven weeks, and made the USA Today top 50 best-seller list for six weeks.

    Hagee, who serves as head pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, hosts his own television program that is seen twice a day on TBN. He argues that the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West. Shortly after the release of his book last January, he launched Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a lobbying organization intended, he says, to be a Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. With CUFI, which Hagee has said will cause a “political earthquake,” the televangelist aims to put the political organizing muscle of the conservative evangelical movement behind his grand plan for a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ.

    While Washington insiders wonder and worry whether President Bush really is bent on a military strike against Iran, Hagee already has spent months mobilizing the shock troops in support of another war. As diplomats, experts, and pundits debate how many years Iran will need to develop a viable nuclear weapon, Hagee says the mullahs already possess the means to destroy Israel and America. And although Bush insists that diplomatic options are still on the table, Hagee has dismissed pussyfooting diplomacy and primed his followers for a conflagration.

    Indeed, Hagee wields “a very large megaphone” that reaches “a very large group of people,” said Rabbi James Rudin of the American Jewish Committee, who has studied the Christian right for 30 years. With CUFI, the Texas pastor has exponentially expanded the reach of his megaphone beyond his television audience. Thanks to the viral marketing made possible by the hundreds of evangelical leaders who have signed on to his new organization, his warmongering has rippled through mega-churches across America for months.

    Hagee calls pastors “the spiritual generals of America,” an appropriate phrase given his reliance on them to rally their troops behind his message. The CUFI board of directors includes the Reverend Jerry Falwell, former Republican presidential candidate and religious right activist Gary Bauer, and George Morrison, pastor to the 8,000-member Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, Colorado, and chairman of the board of Promise Keepers. Rod Parsley, the Ohio televangelist who is rapidly becoming a major political figure in the Christian right, signed on as a regional director. Among CUFI’s other supporters are nationally syndicated Christian right talk show host Janet Parshall, who serves on its board of advisers, and Ron Wexler, an Orthodox Jew and president of the theocratic Ten Commandments Commission, which has the backing of nearly every prominent conservative evangelical in the country. Many popular TBN televangelists, among them the controversial faith healer Benny Hinn and the best-selling author of self-improvement books, Joyce Meyer, have also offered their support. Meyer was named one of the country’s 25 most influential evangelicals in an oft-cited 2005 Time magazine article — as was Stephen Strang, CEO of Strang Communications, which published Jerusalem Countdown. Long before his launch of CUFI, Hagee had sought to influence American policy toward the Middle East. For 25 years, he has hosted a “Night to Honor Israel” at his church, an event that showcased Tom DeLay as the keynote speaker in 2002, and that has attracted leaders of the Israeli government as well as American politicians.

    [Sarah Posner New Prospect May 21, 2006]

  7. Look out kid
    Don’t matter what you did
    Walk on your tip toes
    Don’t try “No Doz”
    Better stay away from those
    That carry around a fire hose
    Keep a clean nose
    Watch the plain clothes
    You don’t need a weather man
    To know which way the wind blows…

    Bob Dylan

  8. And another thing: Terrorists generally have the specific intent to kill as many innocent civilians as possible. If John McCain was a pilot and his job was to destroy the enemy, ie the North Vietnamese military, his goal was not to kill innocent civilians. Sometimes innocent civilians die in war but I don’t think you can call it terrorism unless the specific purpose is to kill innocent civilians with the intention of terrorizing the populace.

    With all that being said, I have to admit that yes, America has in its past engaged in actions that have recklessly disregarded human life. And yes, even acts that could be defined as terrorism. Often the ends we sought were noble but the means we employed were not. But the bottom line is, how does that in any way shape or form excuse William Ayers? Two wrongs never make a right. Ayers hates this country and acted to undermine it. He is treasonous. And it is alarming that Barack Obama, running for the highest office in the nation is on friendly terms with him. And when you add it all up, it becomes even more alarming. It is not just William Ayers. It is Jeremiah Wright. It is his attending the Million Man March that was hosted by the biggest racist of them all, Minister Louis Farakhan. It is the fact that his wife says she was never proud to be an American. It is the fact that he won’t put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem. When you add all these clues up together I find it extremly disturbing. I still think Hillary can beat him and she needs to keep going negative and reminding people of these connections because they are very relevant.

    1. Dumping a known toxin like Agent Orange in deadly quantities on Vietnam? That sounds a lot like wilfull disregard for civilian life to me.

      Often the ends we sought were noble but the means we employed were not.

      What, might we ask, is “noble” about forcing smaller states to do as you please?

      No one here is apologizing for Ayers. Quite possibly he deserves the opprobrium he has received, though I don’t know the particulars of the case. We are simply applying McCainiac’s logic to himself.

      As it happens, the song Obama didn’t put his hand on his chest for was the Star-Spangled Banner, the patina of radicalism is mere posturing on Obama’s part, and he’s the candidate most preferred by finance capital (though, of course, industry has its feet in both aisles). Obama’s simply the Democratic Party’s latest commodity, and supports the interests of the power elite on all the fundamentals. Don’t believe the hype.

    2. Actually, all warfare is terrorism. In practice, these days, what our opponents do is labelled “terrorism.” We never admit that our own actions are terrorism.

      1. Of course. “Treason doth never prosper; what be the reason? Because if it prosper, none dare call it treason!”

    3. Tim does bring up a good point–no doubt McCain would defend his actions as those of war, in which civilians are unavoidably killed along with the intended targets, while the terrorist is only interested in killing civilians.

      Of course, if one is fighting an entirely illegitimate war as we did in Vietnam, then it’s evil that civilians were killed even if accidentally. In fact, it’s evil that the enemy combatants were killed too. How many dead Iraqi insurgents would now be sipping coffee with their families had we not invaded their country?

      Thus McCain wouldn’t be a terrorist as the term is typically used; he would be a vanguard of a murderous imperial power. I doubt the latter’s an improvement.

  9. We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too,
    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true,
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.


  10. Now I want everybody here who feels the spirit of the song
    And that means all you people out there in record land
    To sing along with your old friends Country Joe & The Fish.
    We will say an old time prayer as we look up to the sky and we ask the Lord:
    Please, don’t you drop that h-bomb on me, go and drop it on yourself, alright …

    Well, I said please,
    Please don’t drop,
    Don’t drop that h-bomb,
    H-bomb on me

    Yeah, I said please,
    Please don’t drop,
    Don’t drop that h-bomb on me.

    Yeah, I said please,
    Please don’t drop,
    Don’t drop that h-bomb on me, yes,

    Well, you can drop it,
    Oh, you can drop it on yourself.

    [Country Joe And The Fish]

  11. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan writes second letter to President Bush, warning of Divine consequences of war

    October 30, 2002

    George W. Bush, President of the United States of America
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N. W.
    Washington, DC 20500

    As-Salaam Alaikum.
    (Peace Be Unto You)

    Dear President Bush,

    May this letter find you and your family well.

    I am writing this letter to once again appeal to you in the strongest way that you might heed my humble counsel and sincere warning to you. I am not your enemy, nor am I an enemy to this country, but, I do believe that the course that you are guiding the nation on will increase many enemies for you and the nation at home and abroad.

    In my last letter, I respectfully called your attention to U.S. Presidents and their dealings with Islamic nations and leaders over the last several years, and, I warned that should you pursue what I know is in your mind and heart concerning Saddam Hussein and Iraq that you would lose the great advantage that you gained after September 11, 2001, and, that the coalition would fall apart and you might be forced to go it alone. Also, I opined that if you did such, you might run into something that your advisors had not thought of or perceived. This is already happening. Nations are becoming afraid of you and the tremendous power of America. In this state of fear, they will not stop trying to attain weapons of mass destruction because they believe that is the only thing that you will respect.

    There is a rising chorus of anti-war demonstrations in the nation and throughout the world and it will intensify as you move toward war with the thought of occupying Iraq. The anti-war demonstrators will blame every death of an American service person and every death of an Iraqi citizen on you and this will produce a crisis for your administration within the United States, as well as in countries throughout the world.

    I am writing to plead with you that there is a better way. However, the more you talk and the stronger you talk about regime change, you paint yourself into a corner from which it becomes increasingly difficult to extricate yourself.

    There are times in history when men of conviction go against the tide of world thought and opinion, bringing suffering upon themselves to establish a new truth or a new idea. However, this is not that time for you. In my judgment, this is a time when the President of the United States must not only listen to his advisors and study their agendas, but, he must listen to world opinion. If the President of the United States seems to show no respect for world opinion or for the thoughts of the members of the Security Council of the United Nations, then, your actions will turn the nations of the world against you and against America.

    Your actions will also render the United Nations an ineffective institution for future peacekeeping.

    Ancient Babylon was a city that caused all who traded with her to wax strong, but, at a certain point, the neighboring nations turned against Babylon and she was destroyed and left as a sign. The Book of Revelation speaks of a mystery Babylon that ancient Babylon was a sign of. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, my teacher and guide, said that America is the fulfillment of that mystery Babylon.

    Mr. President, you must study prophecy in order to beat it.

    Look at the nations to the north and south of you. Are they pleased with you, your administration and your polices? Look at your friends in the Middle East. Are they really pleased with you, your administration and policies? Look at your European friends and your African and Asian friends. The prophecy teaches that, they will take your money and whatever you offer, but they will hate you and ultimately make you desolate.

    We are headed into a terrible time. I am writing this letter as a final witness of my deep concern for you and for the nation, believing, however, that you are bent on doing what is in your heart with respect to Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

    Mr. President, if you do this, you will bring down upon America an increase in the Divine Judgment of rain, hail, snow, wind, earthquakes, pestilence and famine that is already witnessed in the country. As you go about destroying other nations and cities, you will bring this kind of Divine Wrath on the American people and on American cities.

    Please reconsider your plans.

    May Allah (God) guide you to make the right decision for this nation and for the future of the world.

    I Am Your Servant in the war against evil,

    The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

    Servant to the Lost-Found
    Nation of Islam in the West


    Houston, Texas [Pittsburgh Courier, May 6, 1967] – Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali, who once was known to millions by his Christian name, Cassius Clay, but who now prefers his Muslim name because he is now a convert and a minister of the religion of Islam, showed up for his induction into the U.S. Army last Friday but refused to be sworn in.

    The heavyweight champion readily submitted to pre-induction tests for both physical and mental analyses. He promptly and courteously answered all inquiries made to him by the examiners.

    But not before he insisted that those officials list him by his Muslim name of Muhammad Ali. There was little debate on the point and the officials noted it and passed it off as something to be settled later.

    All went smoothly after that until the heavyweight champion came up in turn to take the oath of induction and refused.

    The consequences of his action may take some time to settle. The penalty for not taking the oath is prescribed by law as 5 years in a federal prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

    Champ Muhammad Ali and his attorneys argue that he is a Muslim minister and spends at least 180 hours per week in the service of his religion. They say that the ministry is his life work and that boxing is a mere temporary sideline.

    Muhammad Ali is a member of the Black Muslim faith. He is a guard to the Islamic sect’s leader, Elijah Muhammad in the ranks of the Fruit of Islam, who are devoted to protecting their leader with their very life.

    The sect does not believe in military service for a nation.

  13. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

    [Ambrose Bierce]

  14. WASHINGTON [AP April 21, 2008] – Under pressure to meet combat needs, the Army and Marine Corps brought in significantly more recruits with felony convictions last year than in 2006, including some with manslaughter and sex crime convictions.

    Data released by a congressional committee shows the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350….


  15. “The seeming effortlessness of magic always conceals an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes work. When prisons disappear human beings in order to convey the illusion of solving social problems, penal infrastructures must be created to accommodate a rapidly swelling population of caged people. Goods and services must be provided to keep imprisoned populations alive. Sometimes these populations must be kept busy and at other times — particularly in repressive super-maximum prisons and in INS detention centers — they must be deprived of virtually all meaningful activity. Vast numbers of handcuffed and shackled people are moved across state borders as they are transferred from one state or federal prison to another.

    All this work, which used to be the primary province of government, is now also performed by private corporations, whose links to government in the field of what is euphemistically called “corrections” resonate dangerously with the military industrial complex. The dividends that accrue from investment in the punishment industry, like those that accrue from investment in weapons production, only amount to social destruction. Taking into account the structural similarities and profitability of business-government linkages in the realms of military production and publicpunishment, the expanding penal system can now be characterized as a “prison industrial complex.”

    [Angela Davis]

  16. “..Too bad Stephanopoulos didn’t challenge him.”

    If the free press and media of the west had chllenged the outrhight lies and propoganda churned out by the US and UK this war wouldn’t had happened!

  17. “Free press and media of the west”?

    Oh yeah, I remember now:

    The twisted, burnt wreckage of the Maine ‘s stern and bridge was still above water in the morning. It remained there for years. Two hundred fifty-four seamen were dead, and fifty-nine sailors were wounded. Eight of the wounded later died. The navy conducted an investigation into the cause of the disaster, but it never discovered who was responsible for the explosion.

    The American press, however, had no doubts about who was responsible for sinking the Maine. It was the cowardly Spanish, they cried. William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal even published pictures. They showed how Spanish saboteurs had fastened an underwater mine to the Maine and had detonated it from shore.

    As one of the few sources of public information, newspapers had reached unprecedented influence and importance. Journalistic giants, such as Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer of the World, viciously competed for the reader’s attention. They were determined to reach a daily circulation of a million people, and they didn’t mind fabricating stories in order to reach their goal….

    A minor revolt in Cuba against the Spanish colonial government provided a colorful topic. For months now the papers had been painting in lurid detail the horrors of Cuban life under oppressive Spanish rule. The Spanish had confined many Cubans to concentration camps. The press called them “death camps.” Wild stories with screaming headlines — Spanish Cannibalism, Inhuman Torture, Amazon Warriors Fight For Rebels — flooded the newsstands. Newspapers sent hundreds of reporters, artists, and photographers south to recount Spanish atrocities. The correspondents, including such notables as author Stephen Crane and artist Frederick Remington, found little to report on when they arrived.

    “There is no war,” Remington wrote to his boss. “Request to be recalled.”

    Remington’s boss, William Randolph Hearst, sent a cable in reply: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst was true to his word. For weeks after the Maine disaster, the Journal devoted more than eight pages a day to the story. Not to be outdone, other papers followed Hearst’s lead. Hundreds of editorials demanded that the Maine and American honor be avenged. Many Americans agreed. Soon a rallying cry could be heard everywhere — in the papers, on the streets, and in the halls of Congress: “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain.”


    1. it should have been” the so often called free press and media of the so often called free world ,the west!!??”

  18. I think that such press have been the worest offender of all.It has been the one that fooled the public more than any one else.As they say Garbbage in Garbbage out.

    1. What I remember observing 5 years ago was not a public being “fooled”, but a public hearing what it wanted to hear.

      The public does not care about being informed.

      The public cares only for their own preconceptions.

      The MSM is not about the pursuit of truth. It is about the pursuit of market share.

      “We’ll tell you anything you want to hear, we lie like hell.”
      -Howard Beale

  19. As are Clinton and Obama for taking money from AIPAC. AIPAC supports terrorism in central Asia. Obama takes money from Soros. Soros supports terrorism in eastern Europe and Central Asia. Pick any of the three. They all would be tools of terrorists and terrorism. Revolution would be ripe in the U.S. ripe all three sadly.

  20. Senator McCain–oil was $18 per barrel in January 2002. Today, April 22, 2008 it hit $117 per barrel. In light of that do you consider the Bush and Cheney administration, whose incompetence and warmongering is the direct cause of that rise in oil prices, the collapse of the dollar, and approaching US bankruptcy and depression–do you consider that administration, the Republican Party that supports it, and yourself ECONOMIC TERRORISTS whose primary target is the American economy?

    Just asking.

  21. The 21st Amendment to the U.S Constitution was ratified on December 5, 1933, repealing Prohibition.

    Part of the significance of that date is that it was years AFTER 1929.

    Curiously too, none of the Prohibition Terrorists, who were a small percentage of the population and who used law and government to terrorize their own nation for more than a decade, were lined up before firing squads.

    Eliot Ness, for example, went out and had a beer, instead of being shot.

    Later he somehow became a good guy and a model of LAWN ORDER in film and television.

    The idea that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Communist or a Socialist is a bad joke, and part of the same mythology.

  22. So where has all the money gone–the $7,000,000,000,000 to $20,000,000,000,000 that the US is supposed to repay over the next fifteen or twenty years?

    Mr. Paul–is this the status quo in which everyone is invited be be “self-owned”? Does your vision of “law” involve tracking down the thieves and confiscating their ill-got property and treasure?

    In fact, what have Americans got for their tax money for the last thirty years? And why in the world should they pay taxes to repay these debts?

  23. As far as programs and solutions are concerned, as opposed to ideology and charged mindless epithets, there may be some progress, when some of the clearer-headed Libertarians and even some conservative Republicans of the paleo stripe can mouth “nationalization” without choking and turning blue, and some Marxists and Socialists can likewise say “liberty” and “private property” without fainting.

  24. The average voter doesn’t know what day 9/11 happened. They certainly are not going to understand logic.

  25. I begin with the premise that it is the secret purpose of all government to destroy happiness and get away with it. As a result, I am never surprised at what they do, nor at how they do it, nor at what they have to say about it.

  26. Henderson:

    I know it’s tempting for a budding logician to hastily whip out his square of opposition on political opponents, but lesson two, grasshopper, definitely needs to include a few things called the maxim of quantity, the domain of discourse, and the principle of charity.

    Maybe your definition of terrorism includes uniformed soldiers killing civilians as a side-effect of bombing military targets, and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe McCain bears a significant burden of guilt for his participation in the Vietnam war, and maybe he doesn’t.

    But saying that McCain has called himself a terrorist because he offered an off-the-cuff and provisional definition for ‘terrorism’ that obviously fails to make a rudimentary distinction and so happened to include himself? Come on. You can do better than this when you’re criticizing McCain, and you can even avoid looking like an idiot playing “gotcha” while you’re at it.

        1. Nous sommes d’accord. Ever try it as a verb, say:

          Don’t korzybski that joint, my friend….

        2. Adjectiving weirds verbing:

          “A korzybski is self-reflexive in the sense that an ‘ideal’ korzybski would include a korzybski of the korzybski, etc., indefinitely”

        3. “Disappear” as transitive: Chile and deliberate–not that one has bothered to “prove” it.

          Has perhaps a flavor of being afghanistaned–from the Russian point of view at least.

        4. “Well, I can hardly say,’ he replied, ‘that as yet-er–we have come to a definite conclusion. The moral qualities, you see, though extremely valuable–”

          ‘For ultimate salvation, ‘ said my father, ‘they are essential.’

          ‘Oh, of course,’ said Mr. Lorton, ‘of course. But in the meantime, you know, and taken by themselves–‘ He paused of a moment, and then his face brightened. ‘Have you ever thought,’ he said,’of making your son a missionary?’

          A sort of sigh emanated from his wife.

          ‘In a warm country,’ she said, ‘a long way off?’

          Mr Lorton nodded.

          ‘Healthy but remote,’ he said, ‘where his moral enthusiasm could have full play?’

          ‘And where his personal appearance,’ said Mrs. Lorton, ‘could scarcely fail to be such a protection to him?’

          ‘Quite so,’ said Mr. Lorton, ‘I can conceive of no one eating dear Augustus.’

          ‘No one at all,’ she said, ‘not even the most debased.’

          Afterwards, as we discovered, these remarks lacked sincerity….

          [Augustus Carp ESQ]

  27. “A map is self-reflexive in the sense that an ‘ideal’ map would include a map of the map, etc., indefinitely.”

    Alfred Korzybski

  28. Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
    Going to the candidate’s debate.
    Laugh about it, shout about it
    When you’ve got to choose
    Every way you look at this you lose.

    [Simon And Garfunkel]

  29. Gimme an F…
    Gimme a U…
    Gimme a C…
    Gimme a K…

    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?
    What’s that spell?

    [Country Joe And The Fish]

  30. Eugene Costa,

    Why do you keep posting things that you cut and paste from songs, speeches, letters, etc?
    I mean once in a while is fine but why not just say things in your own words?

    1. There’s a pretty simple reason the Geneva Conventions insist on soldiers wearing uniforms: they provide a way to distinguish combatants from non-combatants, which makes it easier for opponents to avoid killing civilians. That’s a pretty big deal. We can argue all day long about the definition of terrorism, but putting on a uniform makes a moral difference. Think it doesn’t? Try offering a reason, instead of snide remarks.

      For that matter, I never said terrorists don’t wear uniforms. I said, “Maybe your definition of terrorism includes uniformed soldiers killing civilians as a side-effect of bombing military targets, and maybe it doesn’t.” In fact, a lot of people do think terrorists don’t wear uniforms, and their case isn’t half bad.

      1. “There’s a pretty simple reason the Geneva Conventions insist on soldiers wearing uniforms:”

        Incorrect as stated:

        Article 44. -Combatants and prisoners of war

        3. In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves from the civilian population while they are engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack. Recognizing, however, that there are situations in armed conflicts where, owing to the nature of the hostilities an armed combatant cannot so distinguish himself, he shall retain his status as a combatant, provided that, in such situations, he carries his arms openly:

        (a) During each military engagement, and

        (b) During such time as he is visible to the adversary while he is engaged in a military deployment preceding the launching of an attack in which he is to participate.

        Acts which comply with the requirements of this paragraph shall not be considered as perfidious within the meaning of Article 37, paragraph 1 (c).

        4. A combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party while failing to meet the requirements set forth in the second sentence of paragraph 3 shall forfeit his right to be a prisoner of war, but he shall, nevertheless, be given protections equivalent in all respects to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention and by this Protocol. This protection includes protections equivalent to those accorded to prisoners of war by the Third Convention in the case where such a person is tried and punished for any offences he has committed.

        5. Any combatant who falls into the power of an adverse Party while not engaged in an attack or in a military operation preparatory to an attack shall not forfeit his rights to be a combatant and a prisoner of war by virtue of his prior activities.

        [Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1 Part III. Section 1. art.44) wikipedia]

        1. Thanks for the addendum. I should have said that the Conventions insist that soldiers wear uniforms except where the “nature of the hostilities” prohibit them from doing so. Obviously, “nature of the hostilities” is ambiguous. I suppose the phrase could, and probably has, been stretched to cover guerrilla-style or asymmetrical warfare. I wonder if international law clarifies the scope of this exception somewhere?

          Anyway, the part that was relevant to my argument was “In order to promote the protection of the civilian population from the effects of hostilities, combatants are obliged to distinguish themselves…”

        2. Quite right about the original emphasis on uniforms, in regard to the Geneva Conventions at least (there are other purposes obviously)–just slightly misstated.

          A detailed and competent historical study, sine ira et studio, might be useful.

  31. The absence of logic and rational thought among the US population I believe is directly related to the religious indoctrination of the population. In Europe, some 90% of the population are athiest/agnostic. In the USA, 90% are fervant believers in ancient god myths. Once a person believes the nonesense that is at the heart of the Christian/Jewish/Islamic religions then it is easy for him to ignore the rational and the logical and the scientific. In fact that is essential. If his mind were ever to start questioning and demanding facts and logical explanations then his faith in his god would have to be questioned too. Among the heavily religiously indoctrinated, the brain will just not alow that to happen.

    Amnerica today is a land of myth believing (religous and national myths) peons at the service of a few elites who have learned how to manipulate them. The greatest criminal escapade in history with trilions of dollars up for grabs. And the population is so brainwashed and unable to perceive reality that it not only supports its own exploitation but does so with great enthusiasm.

  32. “Ness was promoted to Chief Investigator of the Prohibition Bureau for Chicago and in 1934 for Ohio. Following the end of Prohibition in 1933, he took a job with the local government of Cleveland, as Director of Public Safety. He headed up a campaign to clean out the corrupt police and fire departments, and also tackle illegal gambling and other entertainments. Ness’s inability to capture the Cleveland Torso Murderer, a vicious serial killer operating in the Cleveland area during the mid-1930s, may have also contributed to his exit from what was otherwise a reasonably successful career in Cleveland.

    Ness then moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for the federal government. In 1944, he left to become chairman of the Diebold Corporation, a security safe company based in Ohio. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cleveland in 1947 and was forced from his job at Diebold in April 1951. He eventually came to work for North Ridge Industrial in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. With friend Oscar Fraley he co-authored the book, The Untouchables, which was published in 1957 shortly after his death at the age of 54 following a heart attack. According to author Howie Carr, Ness was involved in a late night drunk driving accident and his heavy alcoholism contributed to his early death.

    He was married three times, divorced twice, and had only one child (by adoption). He was married to illustrator Evaline Ness from 1938 to 1946. His ashes were scattered in one of the small ponds on the grounds of Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland….”

  33. Absolute exactness of the representation of one object by another, with respect to contour, this, indeed, involves, as Mr. Bradley would say to us, the problem of identity in diversity; but it involves that problem only in a general way. Our map of England, contained in a portion of the surface of England, involves, however, a peculiar and infinite development of a special type of diversity within our map. For the map, in order to be complete, according to the rule given, will have to contain, as a part of itself, a representation of its own contour and contents. In order that this representation should be constructed, the representation itself will have to contain once more, as a part of itself, a representation of its own contour and contents; and this representation, in order to be exact, will have once more to contain an image of itself; and so on without limit. We should now, indeed, have to suppose the space occupied by our perfect map to be infinitely divisible, even if not a continuum….”

    [Josiah Royce]

  34. The inventions of philosophy are no less fantastic than those of art: Josiah Royce, in the first volume of his work The World and the Individual (1899), has formulated the following: ‘Let us imagine that a portion of the soil of England has been levelled off perfectly and that on it a cartographer traces a map of England. The job is perfect; there is no detail of the soil of England, no matter how minute, that is not registered on the map; everything has there its correspondence. This map, in such a case, should contain a map of the map, which should contain a map of the map of the map, and so on to infinity.’ Why does it disturb us that the map be included in the map and the thousand and one nights in the book of the Thousand and One Nights? Why does it disturb us that Don Quixote be a reader of the Quixote and Hamlet a spectator of Hamlet? I believe I have found the reason: these inversions suggest that if the characters of a fictional work can be readers or spectators, we, its readers or spectators, can be fictions.

    [Jorge Luis Borges]

  35. Don’t you guys understand? If a non-state actor sets off a bomb and kills innocent people, that is terrorism. If a government soldier does the same thing, it’s an act of patriotism. If Bill Ayers had just joined official government forces, and set off bombs in, say, a Vietnamese village, killing innocent civilians, he would be a patriot.

  36. There’s a fruit store on our street
    It’s run by a Greek.
    And he keeps good things to eat
    But you should hear him speak!
    When you ask him anything, he never answers “no”.
    He just “yes”es you to death, and as he takes your dough
    He tells you

    “Yes, we have no bananas
    We have-a no bananas today.
    We’ve string beans, and onions
    Cabashes, and scallions,
    And all sorts of fruit and say
    We have an old fashioned tomato (toe-mott-o)
    A Long Island potato (po-tott-0)
    But yes, we have no bananas.
    We have no bananas today….


  37. Merely by the way, granting that semeia are not tekmeria, Gates’ criticism of the USAF, supposedly for not doing enough in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly in the way of spy planes, likely should properly be put under the rubric not of Iraq or Afghanistan, but under the heading “threats and preparations for an attack on Iran”.

    Impeachment anyone? Cheney first, if you please.

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