Democratic platform wooing pro-lifers

Terry Mattingly at Get Religion discusses Democratic efforts to woo Catholics and Evangelicals by making some seemingly pro-life gestures in the new party platform. From Wooing the liberal pro-life vote, again:

The 2004 platform stated:

Because we believe in the privacy and equality of women, we stand proudly for a woman’s right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, and regardless of her ability to pay. We stand firmly against Republican efforts to undermine that right. At the same time, we strongly support family planning and adoption incentives. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

As Democrats For Life leaders have noted, this language says that to be pro-life is to back a Republican policy stance — period. There is no room for conscience on this issue among Democrats.

Now, the proposed 2008 platform language states:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.

Even this small of a concession has enraged feminists and other pro-deathers. But does this new platform language make you feel better about the Democrats? Is this enough to make you pro-life Obama supporters feel less conflicted?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fw

    politics is about the possible not about the ideal.

    any movement towards our position on the sanctity of all life is welcome. a step in the right direction but not NEARLY as far as necessary or possible.

    it would be great for pro lifers to stress their passion for care for the born as well as the unborn. maybe in that place there would be a bridge and space to persuade others to consider the lives of the unborn.

  • fw

    politics is about the possible not about the ideal.

    any movement towards our position on the sanctity of all life is welcome. a step in the right direction but not NEARLY as far as necessary or possible.

    it would be great for pro lifers to stress their passion for care for the born as well as the unborn. maybe in that place there would be a bridge and space to persuade others to consider the lives of the unborn.

  • texan

    I can never vote for a Democrat, even a pro-life one, because to do so increases their majority in congress. I don’t think there are enough pro-lifers in that party to influence the leadership, which is very pro-abortion, or stop abortion legislation from being passed and signed by Barak Obama if he wins (FOCA).

    Speaking of enraged feminists, Linda Hirshman wrote a piece yestereday for Slate that I think represents where most of the Democrat party is on the issue of abortion:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2197363/

  • texan

    I can never vote for a Democrat, even a pro-life one, because to do so increases their majority in congress. I don’t think there are enough pro-lifers in that party to influence the leadership, which is very pro-abortion, or stop abortion legislation from being passed and signed by Barak Obama if he wins (FOCA).

    Speaking of enraged feminists, Linda Hirshman wrote a piece yestereday for Slate that I think represents where most of the Democrat party is on the issue of abortion:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2197363/

  • mathguru

    David Freddoso’s August 13 article at National Review Online (http://www.nationalreview.com ) discusses Obama’s vote in the Illinois Senate concerning babies surviving abortion. Apparently, there is a conflict between the presumptive nominee and his party’s platform. Until this conflict is resolved, it may be best for pro-life voters to hold off their support.

    texan (#2): while I lived in Pennsylvania in the 90′s I supported Gov. Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat but not pro-choice Republican Gov. Tom Ridge. So, I would not say “never”, but after the Casey controversy at the national level, do agree that one must ponder the implications on a case-by-case basis.

  • mathguru

    David Freddoso’s August 13 article at National Review Online (http://www.nationalreview.com ) discusses Obama’s vote in the Illinois Senate concerning babies surviving abortion. Apparently, there is a conflict between the presumptive nominee and his party’s platform. Until this conflict is resolved, it may be best for pro-life voters to hold off their support.

    texan (#2): while I lived in Pennsylvania in the 90′s I supported Gov. Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat but not pro-choice Republican Gov. Tom Ridge. So, I would not say “never”, but after the Casey controversy at the national level, do agree that one must ponder the implications on a case-by-case basis.

  • Anon

    As it is written “no murderer has eternal life in him”. I cannot be an accessory.

    I haven’t decided who to vote for. McCain if he has a solid, pro-life, Constitutionalist VP, or a third party candidate who probably can’t win, but might cause the GOP to reform for the next time – if there -is- a next time?

    Of course, Alan Keyes is still in the GOP race, and Ron Paul could gain the nomination if McCain did something very stupid. A revolt by pro-life, pro-Constitution delegates at the convention could at least force McCain to pick a sound VP.

    I don’t know what to do yet. I do know that I could not ethically vote for Barak Hussein Obama, nor for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  • Anon

    As it is written “no murderer has eternal life in him”. I cannot be an accessory.

    I haven’t decided who to vote for. McCain if he has a solid, pro-life, Constitutionalist VP, or a third party candidate who probably can’t win, but might cause the GOP to reform for the next time – if there -is- a next time?

    Of course, Alan Keyes is still in the GOP race, and Ron Paul could gain the nomination if McCain did something very stupid. A revolt by pro-life, pro-Constitution delegates at the convention could at least force McCain to pick a sound VP.

    I don’t know what to do yet. I do know that I could not ethically vote for Barak Hussein Obama, nor for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  • Joe Mama

    Linda Hirschman’s article is an attempt to replace the morality of pro-lifers with another morality. She doesn’t make any case for her underlying assumptions of what morality is, but instead assumes that the reader already understands. It seems her goal is not to refute the pro-life argument but to shift the argument back to quality of life for women.

    Her arguments are all over the map: refuting the PAS movement with the same sort of pragmatism she rejects from the Clinton administration, using the AIDS epidedemic of the 80s as an example of the morality she champions in today’s abortion debate, and assuming that there is no real ethical dilemma to late term abortions; all while ignoring the most basic argument: what is in the woman’s womb?

    It is hard to make a strong argument when you refuse to understand the opposition. I get the feeling she has no intention to persuade pro-lifers, only to embolden pro-choicers who already agree with her.

  • Joe Mama

    Linda Hirschman’s article is an attempt to replace the morality of pro-lifers with another morality. She doesn’t make any case for her underlying assumptions of what morality is, but instead assumes that the reader already understands. It seems her goal is not to refute the pro-life argument but to shift the argument back to quality of life for women.

    Her arguments are all over the map: refuting the PAS movement with the same sort of pragmatism she rejects from the Clinton administration, using the AIDS epidedemic of the 80s as an example of the morality she champions in today’s abortion debate, and assuming that there is no real ethical dilemma to late term abortions; all while ignoring the most basic argument: what is in the woman’s womb?

    It is hard to make a strong argument when you refuse to understand the opposition. I get the feeling she has no intention to persuade pro-lifers, only to embolden pro-choicers who already agree with her.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    My country defends the legality of a practice where some of the brightest men and women in this land are paid handsomely to slaughter my friends and assault women’s wombs for the sake of convenience as a religious right. And powerful men and women want to manipulate this travesty into votes in order to do what about this injustice? Nothing. The Democratic National Party, the Republican Party, and our Federal Government are all held captive by… (words do not begin to describe the terror in my heart over the actual governing these men and women refuse to do for the sake of the most burdened and helpless in our society).

    Have mercy.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    My country defends the legality of a practice where some of the brightest men and women in this land are paid handsomely to slaughter my friends and assault women’s wombs for the sake of convenience as a religious right. And powerful men and women want to manipulate this travesty into votes in order to do what about this injustice? Nothing. The Democratic National Party, the Republican Party, and our Federal Government are all held captive by… (words do not begin to describe the terror in my heart over the actual governing these men and women refuse to do for the sake of the most burdened and helpless in our society).

    Have mercy.

  • Bass

    As a pro-life Obama supporter, I answer, yes, it does make me feel less conflicted. As fw said above, any step in the right direction is welcome. Democrats for Life are doing noble work.
    Abortion – even under the circumstances that McCain strongly supports it – is an unmitigated tragedy. But so is our nation’s hypocritical refusal to make readily available to young men and women “programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs,” and I’m glad to see the Democrats advocate for these things.
    God grant us the day when more “pro-lifers” begin to support life outside the womb. How can anyone justly call him- or herself “pro-life” while enthusiastically cheering on the Bush/Cheney/McCain pro-death war policies?

  • Bass

    As a pro-life Obama supporter, I answer, yes, it does make me feel less conflicted. As fw said above, any step in the right direction is welcome. Democrats for Life are doing noble work.
    Abortion – even under the circumstances that McCain strongly supports it – is an unmitigated tragedy. But so is our nation’s hypocritical refusal to make readily available to young men and women “programs for pre and post natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs,” and I’m glad to see the Democrats advocate for these things.
    God grant us the day when more “pro-lifers” begin to support life outside the womb. How can anyone justly call him- or herself “pro-life” while enthusiastically cheering on the Bush/Cheney/McCain pro-death war policies?

  • Carl Vehse

    This proposed language still is pro-murder-by-abortion and it would still be a sin to vote for any pro-abortionist politician, including Barry Soetoro.

    And it is not going to lessen the advocating of criminal prosecutions against such political leaders, judges, and enablers for their part in genocide-by-abortion.

  • Carl Vehse

    This proposed language still is pro-murder-by-abortion and it would still be a sin to vote for any pro-abortionist politician, including Barry Soetoro.

    And it is not going to lessen the advocating of criminal prosecutions against such political leaders, judges, and enablers for their part in genocide-by-abortion.

  • Bass

    Two more quick comments -
    (1) I am interested in hearing how one can be simultaneously pro-war and pro-life. I used to be. But when I seriously came to grips with my pro-life beliefs, I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just. Iraq ain’t one of those.
    (2) If you so hate abortion, what are you doing about it besides piously intoning that it’s a sin to vote for a Democrat? Of our 7 presidents since ’73 (Roe v. Wade), 5 have been Republican. So, besides party platform language, what’s the GOP done to earn your pro-life loyalty?

  • Bass

    Two more quick comments -
    (1) I am interested in hearing how one can be simultaneously pro-war and pro-life. I used to be. But when I seriously came to grips with my pro-life beliefs, I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just. Iraq ain’t one of those.
    (2) If you so hate abortion, what are you doing about it besides piously intoning that it’s a sin to vote for a Democrat? Of our 7 presidents since ’73 (Roe v. Wade), 5 have been Republican. So, besides party platform language, what’s the GOP done to earn your pro-life loyalty?

  • http://www.HempelStudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    This new platform is better, but it is still gravely lacking. The thing about adoption that I keep brining up, as someone who is actively in the process, is that the process is complicated and mysterious. There are PLENTY of good families who want to adopt. The red tape and expense get in the way. Something needs to be done on a national level to make adoptions less expensive, less complicated and more accessable.

    Just to give you an idea- we will have spent in excess of $25,000 by the time our adoption is finalized. Fortunately for us, we have loads of family support. We believe strongly in the sanctity of life and are happy beyond believe that our child’s mother let her live.

    ALSO, as Christians lets step up to the plate and actually help women faced with a “crisis” pregnancy. Are we willing to financially and emotionally support such a woman? Are we willing to invite her into our homes? Let’s quit making this issue an issue and remember that there are real mothers and real children at stake. The Left forgets the baby and the Right forgets the mother.

  • http://www.HempelStudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    This new platform is better, but it is still gravely lacking. The thing about adoption that I keep brining up, as someone who is actively in the process, is that the process is complicated and mysterious. There are PLENTY of good families who want to adopt. The red tape and expense get in the way. Something needs to be done on a national level to make adoptions less expensive, less complicated and more accessable.

    Just to give you an idea- we will have spent in excess of $25,000 by the time our adoption is finalized. Fortunately for us, we have loads of family support. We believe strongly in the sanctity of life and are happy beyond believe that our child’s mother let her live.

    ALSO, as Christians lets step up to the plate and actually help women faced with a “crisis” pregnancy. Are we willing to financially and emotionally support such a woman? Are we willing to invite her into our homes? Let’s quit making this issue an issue and remember that there are real mothers and real children at stake. The Left forgets the baby and the Right forgets the mother.

  • Carl Vehse

    But when I seriously came to grips with my pro-life beliefs, I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just. Iraq ain’t one of those.”

    Thank God our country has not had to depend on leaders with such misguided and confused thinking. The U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were more than justified.

  • Carl Vehse

    But when I seriously came to grips with my pro-life beliefs, I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just. Iraq ain’t one of those.”

    Thank God our country has not had to depend on leaders with such misguided and confused thinking. The U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were more than justified.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Bass, way to congratulate Democrats for relabeling all their big government solutions as pro-life. Whoopie! Hidden within the Democratic parties “pro-life” rhetoric is the hard work many of them are engaged in in order to push faithful Christians out of the adoption business. They are constantly advocating for the rights of faithful Gay and Lesbian couples to adopt poor unsuspecting children and poison their minds by their anti-family and perverted-marriage ideologies. These people have poisoned the work of our local Lutheran Social Service provider, too, who derides Lutherans who do not rally to their side in support of all their progressive programs. The democrats are forcing Christians out of our own best causes and then calls us unloving and not for the life of the born?

    But if Obama is selling it? – let the buyer beware!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Bass, way to congratulate Democrats for relabeling all their big government solutions as pro-life. Whoopie! Hidden within the Democratic parties “pro-life” rhetoric is the hard work many of them are engaged in in order to push faithful Christians out of the adoption business. They are constantly advocating for the rights of faithful Gay and Lesbian couples to adopt poor unsuspecting children and poison their minds by their anti-family and perverted-marriage ideologies. These people have poisoned the work of our local Lutheran Social Service provider, too, who derides Lutherans who do not rally to their side in support of all their progressive programs. The democrats are forcing Christians out of our own best causes and then calls us unloving and not for the life of the born?

    But if Obama is selling it? – let the buyer beware!

  • Joe

    Bass – you answered your own question:

    “I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just.”

    I agree with that statement. Now here is where I differ with you.

    I don’t think there is much debate about Afghanistan. Agree?

    With Iraq, the latest round of fighting was not a new war. The “first” gulf did not end; there was no peace treaty. There was a ceasefire (ratified by the UN) and one party to that ceasefire failed to live up to its obligations to allow for certain inspections and to provide affirmative proof that there were no WMDs left. The terms of the ceasefire authorized the US to begin military activities again without any further justification or action by the UN. We did not need to go to the UN but did anyway. The US had (and has) no burden to prove there were WMDs; Iraq had a affirmative duty to prove that there were not any WMDs. Iraq refused to do so and thus regardless of any other justification the reinstitution of military activity was authorized. Torture, possible future activity with terrorists (that were based on some of Iraq’s past activities), etc. were not necessary to crank the war back up. The US showed over a decade of restraint while Saddam played games. Now, if you want to argue the “first” Gulf war was not just that maybe a different story, but given that he UN authorized it, I am going to make the assumption that a strong case can be made in its favor.

    Also, there is one glaring difference between abortion and war. War is engaged in by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war. Abortion is more akin to someone walking into your schoolroom with a machete and indiscriminately hacking random children apart. The difference is obvious.

  • Joe

    Bass – you answered your own question:

    “I found that I could no longer support war – except perhaps under circumstances that legitimately can be called just.”

    I agree with that statement. Now here is where I differ with you.

    I don’t think there is much debate about Afghanistan. Agree?

    With Iraq, the latest round of fighting was not a new war. The “first” gulf did not end; there was no peace treaty. There was a ceasefire (ratified by the UN) and one party to that ceasefire failed to live up to its obligations to allow for certain inspections and to provide affirmative proof that there were no WMDs left. The terms of the ceasefire authorized the US to begin military activities again without any further justification or action by the UN. We did not need to go to the UN but did anyway. The US had (and has) no burden to prove there were WMDs; Iraq had a affirmative duty to prove that there were not any WMDs. Iraq refused to do so and thus regardless of any other justification the reinstitution of military activity was authorized. Torture, possible future activity with terrorists (that were based on some of Iraq’s past activities), etc. were not necessary to crank the war back up. The US showed over a decade of restraint while Saddam played games. Now, if you want to argue the “first” Gulf war was not just that maybe a different story, but given that he UN authorized it, I am going to make the assumption that a strong case can be made in its favor.

    Also, there is one glaring difference between abortion and war. War is engaged in by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war. Abortion is more akin to someone walking into your schoolroom with a machete and indiscriminately hacking random children apart. The difference is obvious.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Does the new platform change anything? Nope. Still in favor of abortion on demand.

    BTW, I’ve yet to be involved in a crisis pregnancy center that did NOT carefully care for the mother with things like clothing closets, housing, and even financial/college counseling. You don’t reach mothers by concentrating only on the baby, after all, and in general the very use of this ruse is simply a lie concocted to justify continued prenatal infanticide.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Does the new platform change anything? Nope. Still in favor of abortion on demand.

    BTW, I’ve yet to be involved in a crisis pregnancy center that did NOT carefully care for the mother with things like clothing closets, housing, and even financial/college counseling. You don’t reach mothers by concentrating only on the baby, after all, and in general the very use of this ruse is simply a lie concocted to justify continued prenatal infanticide.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Oh, and Bass, about the war question; nobody really supports war. They just know that the consequences of an ill-founded “peace” are worse. Read Solzhenitsyn for some examples of how it can be so.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Oh, and Bass, about the war question; nobody really supports war. They just know that the consequences of an ill-founded “peace” are worse. Read Solzhenitsyn for some examples of how it can be so.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Abortion is more akin to someone walking into your schoolroom with a machete and indiscriminately hacking random children apart. The difference is obvious.”

    …except, as we have seen, for some people.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Abortion is more akin to someone walking into your schoolroom with a machete and indiscriminately hacking random children apart. The difference is obvious.”

    …except, as we have seen, for some people.

  • Don S

    The democrat candidate, Obama, voted against the “Infants Born Alive Act”. Even if the victim of an abortion is inadvertently born alive, Obama does not believe that human life deserves protection. Murder is fine.

    It is a shame that some evangelicals can be taken in by such a cynical appeal as this minor platform revision, unaccompanied by any substantive policy change. All this because they believe that the democrat policy of forcibly taking money from some people to give to others, allegedly in need, is in accord with and fully complies with Jesus’ call to the individual and to the church to love our neighbor and to care for the poor. They want these government programs so badly that they are willing to rationalize the rest of the anti-God, anti-life stuff that comes with it.

    To equate the deliberate murder of pre-born completely innocent life, for convenience, to state execution of criminals or killing of life during a just war is supreme cynicism, and a complete rationalization, unsupported in any way by Scripture.

  • Don S

    The democrat candidate, Obama, voted against the “Infants Born Alive Act”. Even if the victim of an abortion is inadvertently born alive, Obama does not believe that human life deserves protection. Murder is fine.

    It is a shame that some evangelicals can be taken in by such a cynical appeal as this minor platform revision, unaccompanied by any substantive policy change. All this because they believe that the democrat policy of forcibly taking money from some people to give to others, allegedly in need, is in accord with and fully complies with Jesus’ call to the individual and to the church to love our neighbor and to care for the poor. They want these government programs so badly that they are willing to rationalize the rest of the anti-God, anti-life stuff that comes with it.

    To equate the deliberate murder of pre-born completely innocent life, for convenience, to state execution of criminals or killing of life during a just war is supreme cynicism, and a complete rationalization, unsupported in any way by Scripture.

  • Joe Mama

    I tend to think along the same lines as Bryan… Do we vote for someone who is for abortion on demand and will work to keep it legal, or do we vote for someone who is pro-life but won’t do anything about it (or won’t get anything done).

    I hope I’m wrong, but I feel like that is the choice between Democrats and Republicans on the life issue.

  • Joe Mama

    I tend to think along the same lines as Bryan… Do we vote for someone who is for abortion on demand and will work to keep it legal, or do we vote for someone who is pro-life but won’t do anything about it (or won’t get anything done).

    I hope I’m wrong, but I feel like that is the choice between Democrats and Republicans on the life issue.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 4,

    If you’re still around…”As it is written ‘no murderer has eternal life in him’. I cannot be an accessory.” Um, so I wonder: what is your definition of a murderer? The person with the weapon? The person who supplies the weapon? What do you do with the fact that our “Christian” President comes from Texas, where they regularly murder people on death row? I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t God reserve the right of vengeance for Godself? Or has it been left to us to decide? When is it right for one human being to kill another?

    Incidently, I don’t believe abortion should be used for any reason other than a threat to the life of the mother. But I am not a woman, and so will never have to make that choice. Since that is the case, I’d like to leave open the choice for that woman. It’s not about murder as I see it, so much as it is about a person’s rights. But it’s MOST about MY inability to make choices for others. Since I am not so arrogant as to think I know everything, I like to leave a person the right to make their own choices.

    I agree with fw that “pro-lifers” should do more to show that they are STILL pro-life once a child is born. Really, most pro-life people are actually just pro-birth. Or anti-death, if you’d rather.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon @ 4,

    If you’re still around…”As it is written ‘no murderer has eternal life in him’. I cannot be an accessory.” Um, so I wonder: what is your definition of a murderer? The person with the weapon? The person who supplies the weapon? What do you do with the fact that our “Christian” President comes from Texas, where they regularly murder people on death row? I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t God reserve the right of vengeance for Godself? Or has it been left to us to decide? When is it right for one human being to kill another?

    Incidently, I don’t believe abortion should be used for any reason other than a threat to the life of the mother. But I am not a woman, and so will never have to make that choice. Since that is the case, I’d like to leave open the choice for that woman. It’s not about murder as I see it, so much as it is about a person’s rights. But it’s MOST about MY inability to make choices for others. Since I am not so arrogant as to think I know everything, I like to leave a person the right to make their own choices.

    I agree with fw that “pro-lifers” should do more to show that they are STILL pro-life once a child is born. Really, most pro-life people are actually just pro-birth. Or anti-death, if you’d rather.

  • utahrainbow

    I was raised by Democratic parents, and understood from a fairly young age that they were the party for the poor and downtrodden. I still remember when I realized, as an 11 year old, what abortion was, that it also was a very political thing, and that Democrats were FOR it. I could not understand it. And I still don’t. It is what eventually drove me from the Dems. Why would the party of peace favor such a violent act? And not only favor it, but usually be against ANY restrictions on it in ALL states for whatever reason? Regardless of whether you think it ought to be a choice, it is violent. It takes a life. Basic biology.

    I very honestly would love to hear from Democratic voting Christians on this one. What would YOU do if YOU were running for office? What is the ideal Democratic platform on this? I realize sometimes there’s a reluctance to talk about what seems impossible, but dream a little with me…please help me understand.

    An idea: what if the Republicans promised full and complete pre and post natal care at the governments expense, including mental health care…would the Democrats concede not much purpose for abortion then and be willing to restrict and generally outlaw a gruesome practice?

  • utahrainbow

    I was raised by Democratic parents, and understood from a fairly young age that they were the party for the poor and downtrodden. I still remember when I realized, as an 11 year old, what abortion was, that it also was a very political thing, and that Democrats were FOR it. I could not understand it. And I still don’t. It is what eventually drove me from the Dems. Why would the party of peace favor such a violent act? And not only favor it, but usually be against ANY restrictions on it in ALL states for whatever reason? Regardless of whether you think it ought to be a choice, it is violent. It takes a life. Basic biology.

    I very honestly would love to hear from Democratic voting Christians on this one. What would YOU do if YOU were running for office? What is the ideal Democratic platform on this? I realize sometimes there’s a reluctance to talk about what seems impossible, but dream a little with me…please help me understand.

    An idea: what if the Republicans promised full and complete pre and post natal care at the governments expense, including mental health care…would the Democrats concede not much purpose for abortion then and be willing to restrict and generally outlaw a gruesome practice?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Psst, nobody mention John McCain’s support for stem cell research! Voting for him will still allow you into heaven. And all wars he starts will be, by definition, just, since he’s a republan.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Psst, nobody mention John McCain’s support for stem cell research! Voting for him will still allow you into heaven. And all wars he starts will be, by definition, just, since he’s a republan.

  • utahrainbow

    tODD: I’m not defending McCain. I’m not a McCain supporter. But I DO want to hear from you Democrats!
    I enjoy your sarcasm in #21 as I see the folly in claiming one party is the God ordained one. I’m a Lutheran, see, two kingdoms, you know. I generally respect and appreciate your point of view, so I’m curious as to what you believe on this issue.

  • utahrainbow

    tODD: I’m not defending McCain. I’m not a McCain supporter. But I DO want to hear from you Democrats!
    I enjoy your sarcasm in #21 as I see the folly in claiming one party is the God ordained one. I’m a Lutheran, see, two kingdoms, you know. I generally respect and appreciate your point of view, so I’m curious as to what you believe on this issue.

  • Don S

    I strongly disagree with McCain’s support for embryonic stem cell research. However, Obama supports not only that, but also unfettered constitutional abortion rights, through the entire 9 month gestational term. If the baby being aborted is accidentally born alive, Obama supports a continued constitutional right to deny medical treatment to the baby, thus, permitting it to die.

  • Don S

    I strongly disagree with McCain’s support for embryonic stem cell research. However, Obama supports not only that, but also unfettered constitutional abortion rights, through the entire 9 month gestational term. If the baby being aborted is accidentally born alive, Obama supports a continued constitutional right to deny medical treatment to the baby, thus, permitting it to die.

  • Bass

    While I’m a registered Independent, I remind myself when I vote that party platforms are not the equivalent of, say, the Book of Concord. They merely spell out a party’s general philosophy; they are not enforceable contracts between the voter and the candidate or the candidate and the party. Moreover, one doesn’t go to Hell or Heaven based on his or her voting record. Thus, I sometimes vote for the Republican, sometimes for the Democrat. Perhaps some of you do too.
    Now, there are Democrats for Life; there are pro-choice (or pro-death, as Gene says) Republicans. Are they all gruesome hypocrites, or are they people who, by and large, agree with their party’s general drift, except on the matter of whether abortion should be legal? I don’t imply that’s not an important issue. I said previously that abortion is an unmitigated tragedy. But I submit that it’s not the only issue out there.
    If you think that nothing else matters except stopping every last abortion, I suggest gently that you’re nuts to slavishly vote GOP. Maybe it makes you feel better to do so, but you’re being played for a sucker. You must agree that that party has does nothing to make abortion illegal everywhere and all the time, which I presume is your only goal in life. 5 judge-appointing GOP presidents since ’73, remember? So perhaps find other reasons to vote Republican. I find a few now and then myself.
    But can some of you zealots stop the ridiculous anathemizing? I don’t know who among you are Lutheran like I am, but you’re doing our reputation, such as it is, for sanity no good at all.

  • Bass

    While I’m a registered Independent, I remind myself when I vote that party platforms are not the equivalent of, say, the Book of Concord. They merely spell out a party’s general philosophy; they are not enforceable contracts between the voter and the candidate or the candidate and the party. Moreover, one doesn’t go to Hell or Heaven based on his or her voting record. Thus, I sometimes vote for the Republican, sometimes for the Democrat. Perhaps some of you do too.
    Now, there are Democrats for Life; there are pro-choice (or pro-death, as Gene says) Republicans. Are they all gruesome hypocrites, or are they people who, by and large, agree with their party’s general drift, except on the matter of whether abortion should be legal? I don’t imply that’s not an important issue. I said previously that abortion is an unmitigated tragedy. But I submit that it’s not the only issue out there.
    If you think that nothing else matters except stopping every last abortion, I suggest gently that you’re nuts to slavishly vote GOP. Maybe it makes you feel better to do so, but you’re being played for a sucker. You must agree that that party has does nothing to make abortion illegal everywhere and all the time, which I presume is your only goal in life. 5 judge-appointing GOP presidents since ’73, remember? So perhaps find other reasons to vote Republican. I find a few now and then myself.
    But can some of you zealots stop the ridiculous anathemizing? I don’t know who among you are Lutheran like I am, but you’re doing our reputation, such as it is, for sanity no good at all.

  • Anon

    You can’t be pro-life and support the mass murder of babies. The Abortionist talking points claiming that there is no help available for pre and post natal care won’t fly here, we know better. We also know how the Abortionists pushed to make it illegal for the same person to protest abortion -and- provide such care.

    To vote for a pro-death politician when there are other options is very likely to be mortal sin, a turning of your back on your baptism, a material accessory to the murders, and no (unrepentant) murder has eternal life. Not one.

    Iraq met the qualifications for a just war. That we messed up the attempt at nation-building doesn’t surprise me. I opposed that all along. The LORD is a warrior, a mighty God in battle.

    Voting against pro-death politicians is in fact the way to end legalized abortion in this country. And law does affect morals (1 Timothy). It is also one of the three uses of the Law.

    Sarah, the right does not even begin to forget the mother, unlike the pro-death party, we have crisis pregnancy clinics and other helps.

    Don, the evangelicals taken in by that rhetoric are either the false brethren we were warned about, or are barely catechized at all, and not in touch with God the Holy Spirit, which brings us back to loss of salvation and the false brethren category in potential.

    Michael, the Law of Moses makes that all quite clear. You should be able to find a copy. I don’t know who you mean by ‘Godself’ The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Blessed Trinity including our Lord Jesus Christ, is/are self-revealed as ‘He’. The God Who really Is actually commands the civil government to execute criminals for certain crimes, provided that the high level of evidence is followed. He also commands war in some instances, and King David was criticized for not going out to war. War is not a good, but there is something worse than war. When Christ returns, He will be at the head of an army, the War Host of High Heaven, that Host for which the Hebrew word is Tsabaoth, and for some reason is untranslated in some translations of the Bible for the Divine Name of Creator of the War Host; YHWH Tsabaoth.

    There is no medical case where the physical life of the mother is more at risk from the pregnancy than her life would be from an abortion, which isn’t exactly gentle to her body.

    There is this difference between guilt and innocence, and the rights of the Creator versus the rights of the creature that you are failing to comprehend. What exactly is your god? You haven’t said.

    Bass, I take it you’ve never actually read the Book of Concord. You might try beginning with Luther’s commentary on the 10 Commandments.

  • Anon

    You can’t be pro-life and support the mass murder of babies. The Abortionist talking points claiming that there is no help available for pre and post natal care won’t fly here, we know better. We also know how the Abortionists pushed to make it illegal for the same person to protest abortion -and- provide such care.

    To vote for a pro-death politician when there are other options is very likely to be mortal sin, a turning of your back on your baptism, a material accessory to the murders, and no (unrepentant) murder has eternal life. Not one.

    Iraq met the qualifications for a just war. That we messed up the attempt at nation-building doesn’t surprise me. I opposed that all along. The LORD is a warrior, a mighty God in battle.

    Voting against pro-death politicians is in fact the way to end legalized abortion in this country. And law does affect morals (1 Timothy). It is also one of the three uses of the Law.

    Sarah, the right does not even begin to forget the mother, unlike the pro-death party, we have crisis pregnancy clinics and other helps.

    Don, the evangelicals taken in by that rhetoric are either the false brethren we were warned about, or are barely catechized at all, and not in touch with God the Holy Spirit, which brings us back to loss of salvation and the false brethren category in potential.

    Michael, the Law of Moses makes that all quite clear. You should be able to find a copy. I don’t know who you mean by ‘Godself’ The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Blessed Trinity including our Lord Jesus Christ, is/are self-revealed as ‘He’. The God Who really Is actually commands the civil government to execute criminals for certain crimes, provided that the high level of evidence is followed. He also commands war in some instances, and King David was criticized for not going out to war. War is not a good, but there is something worse than war. When Christ returns, He will be at the head of an army, the War Host of High Heaven, that Host for which the Hebrew word is Tsabaoth, and for some reason is untranslated in some translations of the Bible for the Divine Name of Creator of the War Host; YHWH Tsabaoth.

    There is no medical case where the physical life of the mother is more at risk from the pregnancy than her life would be from an abortion, which isn’t exactly gentle to her body.

    There is this difference between guilt and innocence, and the rights of the Creator versus the rights of the creature that you are failing to comprehend. What exactly is your god? You haven’t said.

    Bass, I take it you’ve never actually read the Book of Concord. You might try beginning with Luther’s commentary on the 10 Commandments.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    UtahRainbow (@20), what I first believe about this issue is that not many people think about it anymore. Any discussion of abortion is seen as an opportunity to lob your favorite rhetorical grenade, plug your ears, and scream, “La la la!” I’m just as guilty of this, of course, but it’s unfortunate.

    Since you seem interested in doing more than that, I’d be happy to discuss this “off-line” with you (the first part of my email is “todd” and the second part is “toddstadler.com”), but I don’t think it’ll help to discuss it here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    UtahRainbow (@20), what I first believe about this issue is that not many people think about it anymore. Any discussion of abortion is seen as an opportunity to lob your favorite rhetorical grenade, plug your ears, and scream, “La la la!” I’m just as guilty of this, of course, but it’s unfortunate.

    Since you seem interested in doing more than that, I’d be happy to discuss this “off-line” with you (the first part of my email is “todd” and the second part is “toddstadler.com”), but I don’t think it’ll help to discuss it here.

  • Lisa

    Anon@25,
    Explain to me how Iraq met the qualifications of a just war.

  • Lisa

    Anon@25,
    Explain to me how Iraq met the qualifications of a just war.

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon,

    Oh, right, sorry. I don’t believe in any god. Godself refers to “God” (the character) in a gender-neutral way. I didn’t realize “God” had male genitalia. Gender only has meaning in the context of sex and reproduction, so I’m kinda lost here, since God doesn’t do any of that. Or am I misunderstanding?

    God commands the civil gov’t to execute criminals? Is this written in the Bible, or does God actually talk to these people? Like, do they have a red phone with a line directly to God, or…?

    What is it that’s worse than war?

    What are the rights of the Creator vs. the rights of the creatures? Are these printed and posted somewhere? I wasn’t aware. I always thought “rights” were just an idea. A good idea, but an idea nonetheless. And why would God need rights, if God is the Ultimate, Most-powerful Being?

  • Michael the little boot

    Anon,

    Oh, right, sorry. I don’t believe in any god. Godself refers to “God” (the character) in a gender-neutral way. I didn’t realize “God” had male genitalia. Gender only has meaning in the context of sex and reproduction, so I’m kinda lost here, since God doesn’t do any of that. Or am I misunderstanding?

    God commands the civil gov’t to execute criminals? Is this written in the Bible, or does God actually talk to these people? Like, do they have a red phone with a line directly to God, or…?

    What is it that’s worse than war?

    What are the rights of the Creator vs. the rights of the creatures? Are these printed and posted somewhere? I wasn’t aware. I always thought “rights” were just an idea. A good idea, but an idea nonetheless. And why would God need rights, if God is the Ultimate, Most-powerful Being?

  • Michael the little boot

    Joe @ 13,

    “The US had (and has) no burden to prove there were WMDs; Iraq had a affirmative duty to prove that there were not any WMDs.” Huh. I was always under the impression the burden of proof lay with the person making the accusation. So is it now part of international law to go around making accusations, and then expecting the accused nation to come up with evidence refuting OUR claims? Once again, I must be lost.

  • Michael the little boot

    Joe @ 13,

    “The US had (and has) no burden to prove there were WMDs; Iraq had a affirmative duty to prove that there were not any WMDs.” Huh. I was always under the impression the burden of proof lay with the person making the accusation. So is it now part of international law to go around making accusations, and then expecting the accused nation to come up with evidence refuting OUR claims? Once again, I must be lost.

  • The Jones

    I don’t think there will be any evangelical budge at the polls until abortion is dropped by the Democrats. Maybe individual Senate or House races, a pro-life or a neutral-life (I made that up, but you get the idea) candidate can make a little ground on evangelicals.

    But President? A position that encapsulates so much of the platform and that keeps so much power, it just won’t happen. The feeling in the gut is too much for Evangelicals. The worst you can do is make them NOT vote for the Republican (which is possible, but not likely with McCain’s recent courting of the right), but making Democrats slightly less despicable for Pro-Lifers is not going to make any huge strides.

  • The Jones

    I don’t think there will be any evangelical budge at the polls until abortion is dropped by the Democrats. Maybe individual Senate or House races, a pro-life or a neutral-life (I made that up, but you get the idea) candidate can make a little ground on evangelicals.

    But President? A position that encapsulates so much of the platform and that keeps so much power, it just won’t happen. The feeling in the gut is too much for Evangelicals. The worst you can do is make them NOT vote for the Republican (which is possible, but not likely with McCain’s recent courting of the right), but making Democrats slightly less despicable for Pro-Lifers is not going to make any huge strides.

  • Don S

    Michael @ 29: Joe explained it quite well in his post, and, yes, you are lost on this issue. Recall that the Iraq war did not occur in a vacuum. There was first the Gulf War in 1991, in which Iraq was the aggressor (invaded Kuwait without legitimate provocation) and lost. As a result, it was under UN sanctions and subject to no-fly zone and UN weapons inspections. In other words, because of its misdeeds in ’91, the burden of proof shifted from the accusers to Iraq. Iraq needed to continue to prove that it was not manufacturing or storing WMD. Unfortunately for Iraq, it refused to cooperate with the UN inspections, thus violating UN resolutions.

    Unfortunately, in its overarching desire to demonize Bush for political advantage, the left conveniently ignores this bit of history. “Bush lied, people died” doesn’t have quite the same ring in context with the actual facts, does it?

  • Don S

    Michael @ 29: Joe explained it quite well in his post, and, yes, you are lost on this issue. Recall that the Iraq war did not occur in a vacuum. There was first the Gulf War in 1991, in which Iraq was the aggressor (invaded Kuwait without legitimate provocation) and lost. As a result, it was under UN sanctions and subject to no-fly zone and UN weapons inspections. In other words, because of its misdeeds in ’91, the burden of proof shifted from the accusers to Iraq. Iraq needed to continue to prove that it was not manufacturing or storing WMD. Unfortunately for Iraq, it refused to cooperate with the UN inspections, thus violating UN resolutions.

    Unfortunately, in its overarching desire to demonize Bush for political advantage, the left conveniently ignores this bit of history. “Bush lied, people died” doesn’t have quite the same ring in context with the actual facts, does it?

  • Paul

    “’Bush lied, people died” doesn’t have quite the same ring in context with the actual facts, does it?’”

    After World War II (as an example), service men and women returned from war and wrote the history. I don’t see or hear much of that today. It seems that history is being written by the media. Perhaps someone will actually collect the facts from the people who witnessed them.

    I’ve noted before on this site that my brother was in the tactical operation center for the 101st Airborne Division (not company or battalion or brigade, mind you) as live Iraqi military radio transmissions were being translated on the spot. The Iraqi generals, colonels, and majors all believed that they had chemical and biological weapons and wondered if the regime might even have a nuke or two. They discussed this on the air with each other in fear as US soldiers translated their words. Once the 101st entered Iraq, there were chemical and biological ordinance everywhere – as labeled and color coded artillery rounds.

    History will demonstrate that “someone” decieved Sadaam and his military by loading inert chemicals into supposed chemical and biological delivery systems. If Sadaam and his military were deceived, then is it any wonder that our troops went into Iraq in full chemical/biological uniform despite the heat and limitations on their war-fighting ability? What US soldier ever willingly risked his own defense?

    Yes, there was also evidence of some stockpiles and production ability. But who would ever admit to Sadaam that they couldn’t produce large quanitites? No. The scientists covered it up. And who would open the shells to check? Saddam? Not! And the military hates the stuff (wind, water, etc., you know. The Iraqis had problems with that early on.

    My point is that people are lining up behind talking heads instead of talking to the Commanders on the Ground, as they say, or the troops who were there. Maybe, some day, the History Channel will actually ask those questions. Let me hear from a flag officer who led soldiers into Iraq instead of the “Busch lied and people died” rhetoric.

  • Paul

    “’Bush lied, people died” doesn’t have quite the same ring in context with the actual facts, does it?’”

    After World War II (as an example), service men and women returned from war and wrote the history. I don’t see or hear much of that today. It seems that history is being written by the media. Perhaps someone will actually collect the facts from the people who witnessed them.

    I’ve noted before on this site that my brother was in the tactical operation center for the 101st Airborne Division (not company or battalion or brigade, mind you) as live Iraqi military radio transmissions were being translated on the spot. The Iraqi generals, colonels, and majors all believed that they had chemical and biological weapons and wondered if the regime might even have a nuke or two. They discussed this on the air with each other in fear as US soldiers translated their words. Once the 101st entered Iraq, there were chemical and biological ordinance everywhere – as labeled and color coded artillery rounds.

    History will demonstrate that “someone” decieved Sadaam and his military by loading inert chemicals into supposed chemical and biological delivery systems. If Sadaam and his military were deceived, then is it any wonder that our troops went into Iraq in full chemical/biological uniform despite the heat and limitations on their war-fighting ability? What US soldier ever willingly risked his own defense?

    Yes, there was also evidence of some stockpiles and production ability. But who would ever admit to Sadaam that they couldn’t produce large quanitites? No. The scientists covered it up. And who would open the shells to check? Saddam? Not! And the military hates the stuff (wind, water, etc., you know. The Iraqis had problems with that early on.

    My point is that people are lining up behind talking heads instead of talking to the Commanders on the Ground, as they say, or the troops who were there. Maybe, some day, the History Channel will actually ask those questions. Let me hear from a flag officer who led soldiers into Iraq instead of the “Busch lied and people died” rhetoric.

  • Paul

    Adding to #32:

    Examples of the same abound over my 20 adult years. Clinton was offered Saddam but refused to take him. The US military knew the exact location of Slobodan Milošević and all but “had him in their sights” several times in the years before he was finally arrested. What tragedy could have been averted if just those two opportunities had been taken? And what tragedy has been averted because we finally did take actions? History suggests that its a good thing we’ll never know.

  • Paul

    Adding to #32:

    Examples of the same abound over my 20 adult years. Clinton was offered Saddam but refused to take him. The US military knew the exact location of Slobodan Milošević and all but “had him in their sights” several times in the years before he was finally arrested. What tragedy could have been averted if just those two opportunities had been taken? And what tragedy has been averted because we finally did take actions? History suggests that its a good thing we’ll never know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I didn’t notice it earlier, but I have to disagree with Joe’s assertion (@13) that “There is one glaring difference between abortion and war. War is engaged in by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war.”

    No, wars are started or engaged by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war. But those affected by war, including those who actually do the fighting, often have no such capabilities. And those who start wars or engage their countries in them often are not affected by those wars.

    That is why it is incumbent on leaders not to send their citizens into pointless or immoral wars (by which I refer, of course, to those started by Democrats).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I didn’t notice it earlier, but I have to disagree with Joe’s assertion (@13) that “There is one glaring difference between abortion and war. War is engaged in by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war.”

    No, wars are started or engaged by adults with the capability to make rational pleas to prevent war, or to correct their behavior in an effort to stave off war. But those affected by war, including those who actually do the fighting, often have no such capabilities. And those who start wars or engage their countries in them often are not affected by those wars.

    That is why it is incumbent on leaders not to send their citizens into pointless or immoral wars (by which I refer, of course, to those started by Democrats).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, the U.N.! Normally our arch-foe, and, of course, ultimately, the framework that Obama will use to claim his seat at the head of the one-world government. But when it comes to the beginning of the Iraq War, a dear, dear friend, whose resolutions are ever so meaningful. I mean, is it not U.S. policy to invade any and every country in violation of U.N. resolutions?

    Anyhow, that Saddam was foolishly playing games with U.N. inspectors is true, though it is rather oversimplifying things to say that Iraq “refused to cooperate with the UN inspections.”

    But the stupid gamesmanship Saddam engaged in does not preclude at all that there were lies and/or misleading statements leading up to the Iraq War on America’s part.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, the U.N.! Normally our arch-foe, and, of course, ultimately, the framework that Obama will use to claim his seat at the head of the one-world government. But when it comes to the beginning of the Iraq War, a dear, dear friend, whose resolutions are ever so meaningful. I mean, is it not U.S. policy to invade any and every country in violation of U.N. resolutions?

    Anyhow, that Saddam was foolishly playing games with U.N. inspectors is true, though it is rather oversimplifying things to say that Iraq “refused to cooperate with the UN inspections.”

    But the stupid gamesmanship Saddam engaged in does not preclude at all that there were lies and/or misleading statements leading up to the Iraq War on America’s part.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Paul (@32), how does one go about measuring who history is “being written” by at any given time?

    I also find it curious that you only mention that “Clinton was offered Saddam but refused to take him.” There was, of course, another President who also refused to take down Saddam. You might want to visit the words of the Secretary of Defense at that time (one D. Bruce Cheney) as to why Bush “refused to take him” (an excerpt: “The question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is, not that damned many”).

    Also, you seem to suggest that assassination is always preferred to bringing enemy leaders to justice. You don’t, however, ask what negative repercussions might have come if the U.S. acted as you suggest.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Paul (@32), how does one go about measuring who history is “being written” by at any given time?

    I also find it curious that you only mention that “Clinton was offered Saddam but refused to take him.” There was, of course, another President who also refused to take down Saddam. You might want to visit the words of the Secretary of Defense at that time (one D. Bruce Cheney) as to why Bush “refused to take him” (an excerpt: “The question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is, not that damned many”).

    Also, you seem to suggest that assassination is always preferred to bringing enemy leaders to justice. You don’t, however, ask what negative repercussions might have come if the U.S. acted as you suggest.

  • Paul

    tODD

    “…in their sights” was meant to be an expression to emphasize the previous phrase “…knew the exact location….” In reality, a pilot was following his convoy through his “sights” which are used both for viewing and for sighting the weapons. Had I said anything, which I didn’t, about having a “finger on the trigger,” that would have been a reference to assasination.

    In #36 I mispoke. I meant to say Osama. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Paul

    tODD

    “…in their sights” was meant to be an expression to emphasize the previous phrase “…knew the exact location….” In reality, a pilot was following his convoy through his “sights” which are used both for viewing and for sighting the weapons. Had I said anything, which I didn’t, about having a “finger on the trigger,” that would have been a reference to assasination.

    In #36 I mispoke. I meant to say Osama. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Paul

    tODD:

    I can’t say that I have any expertise in measuring the validity of historical accounts. I merely make my own observations. I have spent many hours visiting WWII combat veterans in their old age and at the end of their lives. In my work, I am privileged to hear many accounts that they may not have shared with others in any great detail as they “get it off their chest” or seek to “lay it to rest” before they die. I also observe that WWII documentaries with interviews of service men and women who were actually there abound as first-hand witnesses to these historic events are rapidly dying (A 17 year old in 1945 is now 80 years old). My own second cousin surrounded at The Buldge.

    My personal observation is that the first-hand accounts I hear don’t match with what the “talking heads” are saying. This includes what certain high level officers who have themselves become ‘talking heads’ have said publicly vs. what they had been told. Ken Burns demonstrates this same thing in regards to the Civil War – that what generals and politicians and newspapers said earlier didn’t match up with what the soldiers actually experienced.

    I will welcome the day when the historians reveal that Rumsfeld frequently contradicted his own military; but also the day when “Bush lied” will be put to rest. But alas, there are still those who deny the Holocaust despite the first hand evidence to the contrary (as with the Resurrection, I might add).

    I believe I am simply making a valid report of my own observations which call into question a great deal of the rhetoric. I simply look forward to the day when the personal accounts come out – as is now the stories of the OSS in WWII.

  • Paul

    tODD:

    I can’t say that I have any expertise in measuring the validity of historical accounts. I merely make my own observations. I have spent many hours visiting WWII combat veterans in their old age and at the end of their lives. In my work, I am privileged to hear many accounts that they may not have shared with others in any great detail as they “get it off their chest” or seek to “lay it to rest” before they die. I also observe that WWII documentaries with interviews of service men and women who were actually there abound as first-hand witnesses to these historic events are rapidly dying (A 17 year old in 1945 is now 80 years old). My own second cousin surrounded at The Buldge.

    My personal observation is that the first-hand accounts I hear don’t match with what the “talking heads” are saying. This includes what certain high level officers who have themselves become ‘talking heads’ have said publicly vs. what they had been told. Ken Burns demonstrates this same thing in regards to the Civil War – that what generals and politicians and newspapers said earlier didn’t match up with what the soldiers actually experienced.

    I will welcome the day when the historians reveal that Rumsfeld frequently contradicted his own military; but also the day when “Bush lied” will be put to rest. But alas, there are still those who deny the Holocaust despite the first hand evidence to the contrary (as with the Resurrection, I might add).

    I believe I am simply making a valid report of my own observations which call into question a great deal of the rhetoric. I simply look forward to the day when the personal accounts come out – as is now the stories of the OSS in WWII.

  • Matt

    Bass @ #9,

    Even if you’re right about Irag (I’m undecided, myself), if you compare the casualty rates of abortion to even typical antiwar propagandists’ numbers for Iraq, there’s no comparison in the severity of the problem. The one issue dwarfs the other. IF your only choice is between pro-life/pro-war and pro-baby-murder/anti-war, then the choice should be clear.

    Your second point is a fine one. Pro-lifers need a better strategy than simply supporting a party that is so mixed in terms of pricipled opponents of abortion, unprincipled political opportunists, and folks who are openly pro-baby-murder. I think the only worse strategy would be to capitulate and vote Democrat. We’re in desperate need of more creative thinking than we’ve shown so far.

  • Matt

    Bass @ #9,

    Even if you’re right about Irag (I’m undecided, myself), if you compare the casualty rates of abortion to even typical antiwar propagandists’ numbers for Iraq, there’s no comparison in the severity of the problem. The one issue dwarfs the other. IF your only choice is between pro-life/pro-war and pro-baby-murder/anti-war, then the choice should be clear.

    Your second point is a fine one. Pro-lifers need a better strategy than simply supporting a party that is so mixed in terms of pricipled opponents of abortion, unprincipled political opportunists, and folks who are openly pro-baby-murder. I think the only worse strategy would be to capitulate and vote Democrat. We’re in desperate need of more creative thinking than we’ve shown so far.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 35: And the UN proved why it is our arch-foe in this incident. No backbone, no political courage, no leadership, just a vast expensive morass of bureaucratic corrupt incompetence.

    But the fact remains, Bush worked diligently within the UN framework and abided by the UN resolutions that were passed regarding Iraq, not that the left credited him with any of that.

    “…lies and/or misleading statements…”. This just galls me about the left. Look, if you want to say that Bush was overzealous, reckless, wrong, foolish, etc. about going into Iraq, or about how the matter was handled after the first few weeks of active fighting, fine. That’s fair and reasonable political discourse. But lying is an intentional sin, one God abhors. To falsely accuse one of lying is slanderous. The left just created this whole “Bush lied” thing out of whole cloth. There is no credible evidence that the administration had any idea that the statements it made to the UN or the American public pre-war were wrong. Making an incorrect statement is not lying unless it is intentional. Saying that someone lied when you have no credible evidence that they actually did just poisons the conversation and is sinful.

    If the left is serious about improving the political discourse in this country, as Obama claims to be, and as Pelosi claimed she would do when she assumed the congressional throne in 2006, then backtracking on the “Bush lied” garbage would be a good place to start.

  • Don S

    tODD @ 35: And the UN proved why it is our arch-foe in this incident. No backbone, no political courage, no leadership, just a vast expensive morass of bureaucratic corrupt incompetence.

    But the fact remains, Bush worked diligently within the UN framework and abided by the UN resolutions that were passed regarding Iraq, not that the left credited him with any of that.

    “…lies and/or misleading statements…”. This just galls me about the left. Look, if you want to say that Bush was overzealous, reckless, wrong, foolish, etc. about going into Iraq, or about how the matter was handled after the first few weeks of active fighting, fine. That’s fair and reasonable political discourse. But lying is an intentional sin, one God abhors. To falsely accuse one of lying is slanderous. The left just created this whole “Bush lied” thing out of whole cloth. There is no credible evidence that the administration had any idea that the statements it made to the UN or the American public pre-war were wrong. Making an incorrect statement is not lying unless it is intentional. Saying that someone lied when you have no credible evidence that they actually did just poisons the conversation and is sinful.

    If the left is serious about improving the political discourse in this country, as Obama claims to be, and as Pelosi claimed she would do when she assumed the congressional throne in 2006, then backtracking on the “Bush lied” garbage would be a good place to start.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt, in order for your assessment (@39 comparing an anti-war candidate to an anti-abortion candidate) to be true, you’d also have to assume that the candidate equally (a) can and (b) will be able to impact each issue in question, and that, having done so (c) it will equally impact the number of deaths involved. But all you’ve done is compare the number of deaths involved.

    Not everyone’s assessment of these issues will be the same, but, for instance, it is arguable that the issue of abortion can only be addressed at the presidential level these days — and that only inasmuch as he appoints the proper judges — since it will require an overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. By that argument, pro-life labels are only theoretical for any non-presidential candidate.

    Of course, just because you vote for a pro-life candidate (or party) doesn’t mean anything much will be done about it, as is shown by, well, the time since Roe v. Wade. If you vote for a “pro-life” candidate who, let’s say, does nothing to overturn abortion but does commit our country to one or more foolish wars, does your calculus still hold?

    But let’s assume (though, as shown, it is unknowable at election time) that a candidate will have the opportunity to have an effect on abortion in this country, and that he does actually seize that opportunity to clearly move forward the pro-life agenda. There is still the question of what impact this action will have on the number of deaths. Now, if a President commits troops to a war or not is pretty much entirely up to him (thanks, spineless Congress!). So, arguably, his impact is 100% efficient in that regard. However, as can be seen in abortion rates in the U.S. before Roe v. Wade and now in countries that have laws against abortion, even if abortion is made illegal, it does not stop many of those who would murder their child.

    Like I said, not everyone who thinks these things through will agree in the end, but I do think that if we’re going to turn it into a numbers game, we should do so more thoroughly.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt, in order for your assessment (@39 comparing an anti-war candidate to an anti-abortion candidate) to be true, you’d also have to assume that the candidate equally (a) can and (b) will be able to impact each issue in question, and that, having done so (c) it will equally impact the number of deaths involved. But all you’ve done is compare the number of deaths involved.

    Not everyone’s assessment of these issues will be the same, but, for instance, it is arguable that the issue of abortion can only be addressed at the presidential level these days — and that only inasmuch as he appoints the proper judges — since it will require an overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. By that argument, pro-life labels are only theoretical for any non-presidential candidate.

    Of course, just because you vote for a pro-life candidate (or party) doesn’t mean anything much will be done about it, as is shown by, well, the time since Roe v. Wade. If you vote for a “pro-life” candidate who, let’s say, does nothing to overturn abortion but does commit our country to one or more foolish wars, does your calculus still hold?

    But let’s assume (though, as shown, it is unknowable at election time) that a candidate will have the opportunity to have an effect on abortion in this country, and that he does actually seize that opportunity to clearly move forward the pro-life agenda. There is still the question of what impact this action will have on the number of deaths. Now, if a President commits troops to a war or not is pretty much entirely up to him (thanks, spineless Congress!). So, arguably, his impact is 100% efficient in that regard. However, as can be seen in abortion rates in the U.S. before Roe v. Wade and now in countries that have laws against abortion, even if abortion is made illegal, it does not stop many of those who would murder their child.

    Like I said, not everyone who thinks these things through will agree in the end, but I do think that if we’re going to turn it into a numbers game, we should do so more thoroughly.

  • Michael the little boot

    Don @ 31,

    My disagreement with the Bush administration may make it seem like I am on the left; but I am not on the right OR the left. Just to clarify.

    The first Iraq war didn’t occur in a vacuum, either. If you’ll recall, Saddam was a friend of the US prior to the Gulf War. We had no problem when he used biological weapons on his own people. He was our buddy. It wasn’t until he violated the instructions of the US gov’t and entered Kuwait that we decided he was a “bad guy”. And then, of course, we began the rhetoric that Saddam was “evil” and a threat to the US. We even cited his use of the aforementioned weapons – which he used with the full backing of our gov’t – to show proof of his “evilness”.

    And I’m with tODD. It’s not cool to acknowledge the UN ONLY when it suits your needs. If we shouldn’t listen to the UN, we shouldn’t. We can’t pick and choose when we want to use them to back our claims. The UN was against our going into Iraq this time. Somehow you feel justified in using the UN opinion when it agrees with you. We violated them this time, but you say we didn’t, since we’re still under what they said last time. I think it’s you who’s actually lost here.

    And it wasn’t just Bush who lied. It was a LOT more than Bush who lied.

  • Michael the little boot

    Don @ 31,

    My disagreement with the Bush administration may make it seem like I am on the left; but I am not on the right OR the left. Just to clarify.

    The first Iraq war didn’t occur in a vacuum, either. If you’ll recall, Saddam was a friend of the US prior to the Gulf War. We had no problem when he used biological weapons on his own people. He was our buddy. It wasn’t until he violated the instructions of the US gov’t and entered Kuwait that we decided he was a “bad guy”. And then, of course, we began the rhetoric that Saddam was “evil” and a threat to the US. We even cited his use of the aforementioned weapons – which he used with the full backing of our gov’t – to show proof of his “evilness”.

    And I’m with tODD. It’s not cool to acknowledge the UN ONLY when it suits your needs. If we shouldn’t listen to the UN, we shouldn’t. We can’t pick and choose when we want to use them to back our claims. The UN was against our going into Iraq this time. Somehow you feel justified in using the UN opinion when it agrees with you. We violated them this time, but you say we didn’t, since we’re still under what they said last time. I think it’s you who’s actually lost here.

    And it wasn’t just Bush who lied. It was a LOT more than Bush who lied.

  • Joe

    Sorry I’ve been out for a while.

    Michael – I think Don answered the question you posed to me pretty well. Btw – In the abstract, I think the US would normally have the burden of proof. Also, your argument that Iraq was once an ally is really not that relevant. Russia was once an ally too, as was China – does that mean we are stuck with them forever?

    “The UN was against our going into Iraq this time. Somehow you feel justified in using the UN opinion when it agrees with you. We violated them this time, but you say we didn’t, since we’re still under what they said last time. I think it’s you who’s actually lost here.” There is a difference between UN resolution and a vote to not enforce their own resolution, which is what happened here. We did not violate a UN resolution when we went into Iraq. Instead, the UN refused to support our enforcement of their own resolution. Those resolutions were never altered nor were they ever released. The UN simply chose to turn its eyes while Iraq ignored them. This more than anything us crazy righties have ever been able to do turned the UN into a toothless lion. If the UN will not even attempt to enforce its own rules then why should anyone in the world ever both to listen to them?

    tODD – you make a very fair distinction re: those who start a war vs. those who fight in a war. But I still think the presence of some actors on both sides who can attempt to avoid the war still makes war and abortion fundamentally different. Last time I checked the baby doesn’t get a vote.

  • Joe

    Sorry I’ve been out for a while.

    Michael – I think Don answered the question you posed to me pretty well. Btw – In the abstract, I think the US would normally have the burden of proof. Also, your argument that Iraq was once an ally is really not that relevant. Russia was once an ally too, as was China – does that mean we are stuck with them forever?

    “The UN was against our going into Iraq this time. Somehow you feel justified in using the UN opinion when it agrees with you. We violated them this time, but you say we didn’t, since we’re still under what they said last time. I think it’s you who’s actually lost here.” There is a difference between UN resolution and a vote to not enforce their own resolution, which is what happened here. We did not violate a UN resolution when we went into Iraq. Instead, the UN refused to support our enforcement of their own resolution. Those resolutions were never altered nor were they ever released. The UN simply chose to turn its eyes while Iraq ignored them. This more than anything us crazy righties have ever been able to do turned the UN into a toothless lion. If the UN will not even attempt to enforce its own rules then why should anyone in the world ever both to listen to them?

    tODD – you make a very fair distinction re: those who start a war vs. those who fight in a war. But I still think the presence of some actors on both sides who can attempt to avoid the war still makes war and abortion fundamentally different. Last time I checked the baby doesn’t get a vote.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Its about the travesty of abortion and how it can be curbed. This is a much bigger issue than this war (justified or unjustified – it is what it is) which Iraq is actually being pretty good to us right now in helping us get out of it (in my opinion of current events).

    I pray that we will perhaps be a little slower and more discerning as a nation (and follow the constitution in regards to the waging of wars) at the next unfortunate time.

    But, what should we do about the pollution of abortion which pervades our country right now? I encourage readers of this blog to volunteer and donate to their local crisis pregnancy center and protest in creative ways the evils of Planned Parenthood. Please also look up the myriad of resources and opportunities through Lutherans for Life and Christian Life Resources:

    http://www.lutheransforlife.org
    http://www.christianliferesources.com

    Is it okay if I don’t really like both war nor abortion? I was getting a little confused on that after reading all these argumentative posts over what is in my opinion a rather silly argument when I have a very reasonable expectation that 2-5 children were just butchered in their mother’s womb as I type this comment.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Its about the travesty of abortion and how it can be curbed. This is a much bigger issue than this war (justified or unjustified – it is what it is) which Iraq is actually being pretty good to us right now in helping us get out of it (in my opinion of current events).

    I pray that we will perhaps be a little slower and more discerning as a nation (and follow the constitution in regards to the waging of wars) at the next unfortunate time.

    But, what should we do about the pollution of abortion which pervades our country right now? I encourage readers of this blog to volunteer and donate to their local crisis pregnancy center and protest in creative ways the evils of Planned Parenthood. Please also look up the myriad of resources and opportunities through Lutherans for Life and Christian Life Resources:

    http://www.lutheransforlife.org
    http://www.christianliferesources.com

    Is it okay if I don’t really like both war nor abortion? I was getting a little confused on that after reading all these argumentative posts over what is in my opinion a rather silly argument when I have a very reasonable expectation that 2-5 children were just butchered in their mother’s womb as I type this comment.

  • Matt

    tODD @ 41,

    I put “IF” in all caps on purpose — shorthand for “all other things being equal.” I’m sorry if I didn’t communicate that well.

    But since you bring it up, even a state legislator can pass laws making abortion more difficult (cutting funding, zoning restrictions etc). The US Congress has even more means (confirming and impeaching judges, removing the topic from the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, etc).

    We could certainly spend hours drawing up complex equations for lives saved over time for every action every politician might take, but frankly, I think that would be a waste of time. There’s no reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to this. Nobody who thinks the wholesale murder of children at the hands of their own mothers is acceptable is morally trustworthy. Would you trust somebody who thinks men should be able to rape any women they want to govern human beings? Would you trust someone who wants to exterminate the African race to govern human beings? Why should we trust anyone who thinks its even a necessary evil for millions of mothers to have their own children murdered? The ideas on human life and family responsibility that pervade the abortion issue cut so deep they leave nothing untouched. It may be possible that the person coincidentally holds right views on other moral issues — after all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day — but his JUDGEMENT is not trustworthy any more than the clock’s is.

    Take Obama, for example. When he fought against the born-alive infants protection act, he commented that he didn’t want a young woman to be punished for a doctor’s mistake. Do you really trust someone who sees raising a child as punishment to promote good programs that help women raise children? Do you really trust him to set up great health programs for expectant mothers when the lives of unborn children are so meaningless that he considers it a political necessity that they be murdered by the millions? How could he make any useful judgements on the topic when he’s that far off base?

    The contention that the Iraq War is just is highly questionable. A person with otherwise good judgement might make a mistake on an issue like that, and the stakes are not AS high if he does. This is not the case with the contention that allowing millions of mothers to murder their children is compassionate, necessary, or just. Anyone morally confused enough to hold this opinion is unfit to exercise political authority.

  • Matt

    tODD @ 41,

    I put “IF” in all caps on purpose — shorthand for “all other things being equal.” I’m sorry if I didn’t communicate that well.

    But since you bring it up, even a state legislator can pass laws making abortion more difficult (cutting funding, zoning restrictions etc). The US Congress has even more means (confirming and impeaching judges, removing the topic from the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, etc).

    We could certainly spend hours drawing up complex equations for lives saved over time for every action every politician might take, but frankly, I think that would be a waste of time. There’s no reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    As far as I’m concerned, it comes down to this. Nobody who thinks the wholesale murder of children at the hands of their own mothers is acceptable is morally trustworthy. Would you trust somebody who thinks men should be able to rape any women they want to govern human beings? Would you trust someone who wants to exterminate the African race to govern human beings? Why should we trust anyone who thinks its even a necessary evil for millions of mothers to have their own children murdered? The ideas on human life and family responsibility that pervade the abortion issue cut so deep they leave nothing untouched. It may be possible that the person coincidentally holds right views on other moral issues — after all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day — but his JUDGEMENT is not trustworthy any more than the clock’s is.

    Take Obama, for example. When he fought against the born-alive infants protection act, he commented that he didn’t want a young woman to be punished for a doctor’s mistake. Do you really trust someone who sees raising a child as punishment to promote good programs that help women raise children? Do you really trust him to set up great health programs for expectant mothers when the lives of unborn children are so meaningless that he considers it a political necessity that they be murdered by the millions? How could he make any useful judgements on the topic when he’s that far off base?

    The contention that the Iraq War is just is highly questionable. A person with otherwise good judgement might make a mistake on an issue like that, and the stakes are not AS high if he does. This is not the case with the contention that allowing millions of mothers to murder their children is compassionate, necessary, or just. Anyone morally confused enough to hold this opinion is unfit to exercise political authority.

  • Matt

    Just to clarify that last paragraph, I don’t consider President Bush or McCain (or 95% of politicians for that matter) to be people with good judgement; I’m merely speaking hypothetically there.

  • Matt

    Just to clarify that last paragraph, I don’t consider President Bush or McCain (or 95% of politicians for that matter) to be people with good judgement; I’m merely speaking hypothetically there.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@40), I was very careful when I referred to “lies and/or misleading statements leading up to the Iraq War on America’s part”. You keep reading this as only saying “Bush lied”.

    To suggest that “left just created this whole ‘Bush lied’ thing out of whole cloth” is, of course, to accuse them of lying, something with which you apparently have no problem.

    But you really do seem to be ignoring the many many false and/or misleading statements that were made in the lead-up to the war. As one example (among others, there is the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Phase II report), there is this database of what are charitably termed only “misleading” statements. I do not see how one can read through them and seriously say, “There is no credible evidence that the administration had any idea that the statements it made to the UN or the American public pre-war were wrong.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@40), I was very careful when I referred to “lies and/or misleading statements leading up to the Iraq War on America’s part”. You keep reading this as only saying “Bush lied”.

    To suggest that “left just created this whole ‘Bush lied’ thing out of whole cloth” is, of course, to accuse them of lying, something with which you apparently have no problem.

    But you really do seem to be ignoring the many many false and/or misleading statements that were made in the lead-up to the war. As one example (among others, there is the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Phase II report), there is this database of what are charitably termed only “misleading” statements. I do not see how one can read through them and seriously say, “There is no credible evidence that the administration had any idea that the statements it made to the UN or the American public pre-war were wrong.”

  • Don S

    tODD — how, exactly is “misleading” different than “lying”? I read your equivocation and I wasn’t impressed. “Leading” is an intentional act, as is “misleading”. You could have chosen “inaccurate” or just plain “wrong” if you didn’t want to imply that the President and his Administration had intentionally lied.

    The database you cited to, based on my cursory review, is all post-war, after the U.S. entered Iraq. So how is that relevant to your accusation that the administration lied to the American people and to the UN before March 2003?

    By the way, the basis for declaring administration statements to be misleading, at least for the quotes I reviewed, seems very weak.

  • Don S

    tODD — how, exactly is “misleading” different than “lying”? I read your equivocation and I wasn’t impressed. “Leading” is an intentional act, as is “misleading”. You could have chosen “inaccurate” or just plain “wrong” if you didn’t want to imply that the President and his Administration had intentionally lied.

    The database you cited to, based on my cursory review, is all post-war, after the U.S. entered Iraq. So how is that relevant to your accusation that the administration lied to the American people and to the UN before March 2003?

    By the way, the basis for declaring administration statements to be misleading, at least for the quotes I reviewed, seems very weak.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@43), are you really arguing that, until 2003, it was still worth listening to the U.N.? The U.N. was obviously a paper tiger long before 2003. Rwanda, anyone? Did the U.S. ever listen to the U.N. when it didn’t suit their interests?
    People keep bringing up U.N. resolutions as if we had no choice but to enforce them over and against the U.N.’s inertia. But we never enforced the U.N.’s resolutions against Israel that I know of. We only ever pointed to the U.N. to back up what we’d already made up our mind to do, to gain a semblance of acting on behalf of the world. We didn’t go to the U.N. to see if they’d okay our actions, we went to tell them what we were going to do.

    Let’s not pretend that we care what the U.N. says.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@43), are you really arguing that, until 2003, it was still worth listening to the U.N.? The U.N. was obviously a paper tiger long before 2003. Rwanda, anyone? Did the U.S. ever listen to the U.N. when it didn’t suit their interests?
    People keep bringing up U.N. resolutions as if we had no choice but to enforce them over and against the U.N.’s inertia. But we never enforced the U.N.’s resolutions against Israel that I know of. We only ever pointed to the U.N. to back up what we’d already made up our mind to do, to gain a semblance of acting on behalf of the world. We didn’t go to the U.N. to see if they’d okay our actions, we went to tell them what we were going to do.

    Let’s not pretend that we care what the U.N. says.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@45), thanks for your response. You make some good points.

    Don (@48), well, Merriam-Webster defines “misleading” as “to lead astray, give a wrong impression”. It defines “lying” as the present participle of the verb “lie”, which it defines as “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive”. Those definitions are consistent with my use, I believe.

    “The database you cited to, based on my cursory review, is all post-war, after the U.S. entered Iraq.” Well, you could try the search function and enter in dates. I asked it for statements made before March 19, 2003, and it pulled up 161 of them. I assume that answers your question as to how it is “relevant to [my] accusation that the administration lied to the American people and to the UN before March 2003″ even though, again, you’re only using the word “lied”, which I have already discussed.

    “The basis for declaring administration statements to be misleading, at least for the quotes I reviewed, seems very weak.” It has already been established that your review was rather cursory, but, of course, I expected you to dismiss it with a wave of your hand. I was just addressing your contention that “the left just created this whole ‘Bush lied’ thing out of whole cloth.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matt (@45), thanks for your response. You make some good points.

    Don (@48), well, Merriam-Webster defines “misleading” as “to lead astray, give a wrong impression”. It defines “lying” as the present participle of the verb “lie”, which it defines as “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive”. Those definitions are consistent with my use, I believe.

    “The database you cited to, based on my cursory review, is all post-war, after the U.S. entered Iraq.” Well, you could try the search function and enter in dates. I asked it for statements made before March 19, 2003, and it pulled up 161 of them. I assume that answers your question as to how it is “relevant to [my] accusation that the administration lied to the American people and to the UN before March 2003″ even though, again, you’re only using the word “lied”, which I have already discussed.

    “The basis for declaring administration statements to be misleading, at least for the quotes I reviewed, seems very weak.” It has already been established that your review was rather cursory, but, of course, I expected you to dismiss it with a wave of your hand. I was just addressing your contention that “the left just created this whole ‘Bush lied’ thing out of whole cloth.”

  • Joe

    tODD – I don’t think talking about the same thing. I am not trying to pretend that I think the UN has any legitimate role. That would be completely inconsistent with my world view.

    I was trying to deal with Michael’s statement which conflated the idea of UN resolutions and “UN opinion,” which he claimed the US violated. My point (inarticulate as it may have been) is that there is a difference between UN (or world) opinion and a formal resolution from the UN. The UN (in 2003) may not have wanted us to reinstitute military actions but we did not violate any UN resolutions in doing so; instead, they expressly authorized such actions. That was my point.

    “Did the U.S. ever listen to the U.N. when it didn’t suit their interests?” Does anyone else without being forced to?

    tODD/Don re: lying and misleading – I have to come down on tODD’s side here. Not that I agree that Bush mislead, but one can negligently mislead another. Such an action does not require intent.

  • Joe

    tODD – I don’t think talking about the same thing. I am not trying to pretend that I think the UN has any legitimate role. That would be completely inconsistent with my world view.

    I was trying to deal with Michael’s statement which conflated the idea of UN resolutions and “UN opinion,” which he claimed the US violated. My point (inarticulate as it may have been) is that there is a difference between UN (or world) opinion and a formal resolution from the UN. The UN (in 2003) may not have wanted us to reinstitute military actions but we did not violate any UN resolutions in doing so; instead, they expressly authorized such actions. That was my point.

    “Did the U.S. ever listen to the U.N. when it didn’t suit their interests?” Does anyone else without being forced to?

    tODD/Don re: lying and misleading – I have to come down on tODD’s side here. Not that I agree that Bush mislead, but one can negligently mislead another. Such an action does not require intent.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, Joe (@51), sorry for any confusion. Perhaps, then, we can all agree that the U.N. is a joke? (And, just for the conservatives, we can also sing “Kumbaya”?)

    When you say the U.N. “expressly authorized” our military action in 2003, can you give me a resolution number for reference?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, Joe (@51), sorry for any confusion. Perhaps, then, we can all agree that the U.N. is a joke? (And, just for the conservatives, we can also sing “Kumbaya”?)

    When you say the U.N. “expressly authorized” our military action in 2003, can you give me a resolution number for reference?

  • Don S

    OK, I can see where to lie is to mislead, but to mislead is not necessarily to lie, so I’ll give tODD the benefit of the doubt that he was not accusing Bush of lying (even though he said “lie and/or mislead”).

    My problem with the left on this issue is that, while I can certainly acknowledge a legitimate concern about Bush’s JUDGMENT on a number of issues during his presidency, particularly the Iraq war, I do not think there is any credible evidence or justification for challenging his CHARACTER. I think it is pretty clear that Bush is a good man who loves his country, was dealt a tough hand in the wake of 9/11, and did his best to deal with it. Argue policy, argue judgment, argue competency, but don’t stoop to impugning a man’s character unless you “have the goods”.

  • Don S

    OK, I can see where to lie is to mislead, but to mislead is not necessarily to lie, so I’ll give tODD the benefit of the doubt that he was not accusing Bush of lying (even though he said “lie and/or mislead”).

    My problem with the left on this issue is that, while I can certainly acknowledge a legitimate concern about Bush’s JUDGMENT on a number of issues during his presidency, particularly the Iraq war, I do not think there is any credible evidence or justification for challenging his CHARACTER. I think it is pretty clear that Bush is a good man who loves his country, was dealt a tough hand in the wake of 9/11, and did his best to deal with it. Argue policy, argue judgment, argue competency, but don’t stoop to impugning a man’s character unless you “have the goods”.

  • Booklover

    Anyone who thinks that pro-lifers care only for the unborn and not the born are either ignorant or just totally unaware of reality.

    The reason you might not notice a pro-lifer caring for the born is that she does it on her own time and with her own money. She generally does not demand that the country pay for it with collected tax money. (She cares for the born in a personal way, not a political way.) She uses her own money to adopt. She uses her own time to volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center. She uses her own money to donate blankets, formula, and sleepers to the local women’s center. She uses her own personal resources rather than demanding the country use theirs.

    You also wouldn’t notice her caring for the born because she doesn’t toot her own horn. She just does it.

    I really don’t see where chopping up little tiny heads, necks, and backbones is caring for the born.

  • Booklover

    Anyone who thinks that pro-lifers care only for the unborn and not the born are either ignorant or just totally unaware of reality.

    The reason you might not notice a pro-lifer caring for the born is that she does it on her own time and with her own money. She generally does not demand that the country pay for it with collected tax money. (She cares for the born in a personal way, not a political way.) She uses her own money to adopt. She uses her own time to volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center. She uses her own money to donate blankets, formula, and sleepers to the local women’s center. She uses her own personal resources rather than demanding the country use theirs.

    You also wouldn’t notice her caring for the born because she doesn’t toot her own horn. She just does it.

    I really don’t see where chopping up little tiny heads, necks, and backbones is caring for the born.

  • Joe

    I agree the UN is a joke (I only wish it were not taken so seriously by some and I do think it has the potential to be very dangerous).

    The relevant resolutions would be 660 (condemning Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and calling for it to end) and 678. 678 authorized the first Gulf War – specifically stating that member states could “use all necessary means” to (1) implement Security Council Resolution 660 and other resolutions calling for the end of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait and withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwaiti territory and (2) “restore international peace and security in the area.”

    The war this resolution authorized ended with the UN brokered cease fire that included Iraq’s affirmative obligations to disarm and to prove it has disarmed. When Iraq failed to live up to the obligations the use of force was authorized.

  • Joe

    I agree the UN is a joke (I only wish it were not taken so seriously by some and I do think it has the potential to be very dangerous).

    The relevant resolutions would be 660 (condemning Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and calling for it to end) and 678. 678 authorized the first Gulf War – specifically stating that member states could “use all necessary means” to (1) implement Security Council Resolution 660 and other resolutions calling for the end of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait and withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwaiti territory and (2) “restore international peace and security in the area.”

    The war this resolution authorized ended with the UN brokered cease fire that included Iraq’s affirmative obligations to disarm and to prove it has disarmed. When Iraq failed to live up to the obligations the use of force was authorized.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@55), you’re really stretching it to say that Resolution 678 in any way “expressly authorized” the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Our actions in 2003 had nothing to do with Resolution 660, and so cannot be perceived as carrying out Resolution 678. The whole argument hinges on there not being a decisive end to the 1991 war. But, twelve years later, we were not acting on behalf of Kuwait, and it is very difficult to argue that we were acting to restore international peace and security.

    Maybe you can argue “we did not violate any UN resolutions”, but I’m not buying that the U.N. “authorized” our 2003 actions, expressly or otherwise. Might as well argue, should we so decide in the future, that the U.N. expressly authorized us to bomb North Korea. Same situation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@55), you’re really stretching it to say that Resolution 678 in any way “expressly authorized” the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Our actions in 2003 had nothing to do with Resolution 660, and so cannot be perceived as carrying out Resolution 678. The whole argument hinges on there not being a decisive end to the 1991 war. But, twelve years later, we were not acting on behalf of Kuwait, and it is very difficult to argue that we were acting to restore international peace and security.

    Maybe you can argue “we did not violate any UN resolutions”, but I’m not buying that the U.N. “authorized” our 2003 actions, expressly or otherwise. Might as well argue, should we so decide in the future, that the U.N. expressly authorized us to bomb North Korea. Same situation.

  • Joe

    tODD – I will concede that I should not have stated it as “expressly authorized” that language is too strong but I maintain the point.

    Resolution 678 authorized the use of military force for two purposes 1. liberate Kuwait 2. Bring peace to the region.

    That conflict was never ended and came to a UN brokered ceasefire upon certain terms that were viewed as necessary to bringing lasting peace to the region (disarmament, weapons inspections, Iraq providing documentary proof that WMDs had been dismantled, etc). Iraq failed to live up to those terms and thus the ceasefire was voided and military aggression was “legal” (so to speak).

    As for North Korea – I have no idea what the terms of the ceasefire are or were or if there even still is one that is active or what. But from a “law of war” point of view a return to fighting could happen as you suggest. If it was not viewed as a possibility there would not be much need for a DMZ and troops along the boarder. Obviously, time would mitigate more strongly against activity against N. Koera than it would in Iraq. Also, we maintained a fly over presence the right to bomb targets in Iraq as part of the ceasefire.

  • Joe

    tODD – I will concede that I should not have stated it as “expressly authorized” that language is too strong but I maintain the point.

    Resolution 678 authorized the use of military force for two purposes 1. liberate Kuwait 2. Bring peace to the region.

    That conflict was never ended and came to a UN brokered ceasefire upon certain terms that were viewed as necessary to bringing lasting peace to the region (disarmament, weapons inspections, Iraq providing documentary proof that WMDs had been dismantled, etc). Iraq failed to live up to those terms and thus the ceasefire was voided and military aggression was “legal” (so to speak).

    As for North Korea – I have no idea what the terms of the ceasefire are or were or if there even still is one that is active or what. But from a “law of war” point of view a return to fighting could happen as you suggest. If it was not viewed as a possibility there would not be much need for a DMZ and troops along the boarder. Obviously, time would mitigate more strongly against activity against N. Koera than it would in Iraq. Also, we maintained a fly over presence the right to bomb targets in Iraq as part of the ceasefire.

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