You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

January 05, 2007

Uh...Maybe We Shouldn't Be So Smug About That Holocaust Denial Conference In Iran

Most people looked at Iran's Holocaust Denial conference and thought: wow, that place is really screwed up. And rightfully so. How crazy does a country have to be to host that kind of poisonous nonsense? in America we don't have much grounds to criticize. Because we take lots of people with the exact same moral and intellectual standards as Holocaust deniers, and then—rather than consigning them to complete obscurity, as sane cultures do—WE PUT THEM ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Michelle Malkin and the Saga of Jamil Hussein.

Sadly, you're probably familiar with this. If not, here's the gist: last month AP reported that several Sunnis in Baghdad were attacked and set on fire in front of a mosque. One of their sources was a Baghdad policeman named Jamil Hussein. But the Iraqi government claimed (backed up by the U.S.) that they had no one on their payroll by that name. Ah ha! screamed Malkin and her one million bloggy friends. Jamil Hussein does not exist! AP made him up, just to make Americans think Iraq isn't a 100% success! This turned into a huge brouhaha.

Now, predictably enough, it turns out Hussein is real. Whoops.

But why do I compare Malkin to Holocaust deniers? Let me explain:

1. In every historical event involving massive violence and brutality, things get reported that eventually turn out to be wrong. Rumors get started. Witnesses, driven insane by fear, don't remember things clearly. Troubled individuals fabricate tales to inflate their own importance. Sometimes there's even conscious propaganda.

For instance, regarding the Holocaust, several celebrated books have turned out to be hoaxes—notably The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski and Binjamin Wilkomirski's Fragments. Stories that the Nazis made soap from human fat, once widely-believed, appear to be false.

Now, normal people understand and accept this is the nature of reality: tiny false details around the edges don't mean the Holocaust didn't happen.

2. In every historical event involving massive violence and brutality, there are those who want to deny it occurred. Usually they have transparent political motivations, but there's often a fair amount of personal weirdness—as with Fred "Dr. Death" Leuchter—mixed in too.

These deniers first pretend the massive violence and brutality never happened. Then, when presented with mounds of evidence, they fall back on a second strategy: a blizzard of accusatory questions about every detail. Could you really cremate a human body with three pounds of coal? Why are there records of inbound trains to the camps but not outbound? What proof is there of this supposed soap made from people?

While doing this, they take the pose of disinterested scholars: "All we are asking for," they say, "is an open debate." (One of the most prominent Holocaust denial organizations calls itself "The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.")

3. 999 times out of 1000, you can provide simple answers to the deniers' questions—though bothering to do this is in itself a victory for them, as they've wasted your time and created the appearance they should be treated as normal, rational human beings.

But the one time out of 1000 is even better for them: due to the nature of reality (see above), they INEVITABLY will eventually stumble on mistakes or even fabrications. And then they will screech triumphantly about this for decades on end.

"Look!" they cry. "The soap legend is false! Surely for anyone honest, this will raise doubts about the entire Holocaust story!"

• • •

Now we return to Michelle Malkin.

In the case of Iraq, she and her squad of winged attack monkeys have followed this script precisely:

1. Normal people understand the situation in Iraq is catastrophic, with massive violence and brutality on all sides. Because humans aren't perfect, not everything reported about it will be 100% accurate. But normal people know this doesn't mean things aren't horrific.

2. Malkin et al first denied things are bad. It's all just a plot by the MSM! When presented with mounds of evidence, they fell back to Strategy #2: the blizzard of questions irrelevant to the larger picture.

"Who is Jamil Hussein?"

"If he's not getting official information, then who is he and why would he know all this stuff about what goes on all over Baghdad?"

What about reports one of the other witnesses to the story is a former member of Saddam's secret police?!

• Etc.

And they cry: all we're asking for is an open debate! Our so-called "agenda" is simply finding out the truth!

3. In this particular case, it turns out Jamil Hussein is real. That's okay, because it served to waste the time of dozens of serious people and forced the world to treat Malkin like a non-lunatic. And as always, More Questions Remain.

But if they'd hit the jackpot with this one—as they eventually will with something—they'd be shrieking about it for the next fifty years: "The Jamil Hussein legend is false! Surely for anyone honest, this will raise doubts about the whole Iraq-is-terrible story!"

• • •

Now, what's happening in Iraq, as dreadful as it is, obviously does not compare to the Holocaust. Nevertheless, it's important to recognize that the motivation and credibility of Malkin & co. are exactly the same as Holocaust deniers. (And indeed, if the U.S. were setting up death camps in Iraq, Malkin would be leading the denial of that.)

But there's an even larger point: every society has hatemongering nutjobs like Malkin. So the mere fact she exists isn't remarkable. However, normal countries leave them to fulminate in their parents' basement. Abnormal countries let them host "conferences" or put them on Hannity & Colmes.

It's easy to see the problem with Iranian culture isn't the individual attendees at the Holocaust Denial conference; rather, it's powerful figures like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who give them legitimacy. But we need to recognize the same thing is true here: what we should be focusing on isn't Malkin herself, but the powerful people who give her a platform.

AND ABOUT ANNE FRANK: The reason I have Malkin talking about Anne Frank is an article by notorious Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson called Is "The Diary of Anne Frank" Genuine? If you read it, you'll find it sounds eerily like the every right-wing blog post you've ever seen.

Posted at January 5, 2007 02:02 PM | TrackBack

Good analysis.

My brother just came home from a tour in Iraq. It is terrible. Anyone who says it isn't I direct towards him.

Posted by: BRG at January 5, 2007 03:28 PM

See also the denial of ongoing global warming -- a very different issue with a similar pattern by the deniers. The current infatuation of right-wingers is a UN report that they claim shows that cow farts are more to blame than industrialization. Of course, many reasonable people have pointed out the many ways that they are badly misinterpreting the report, but it doesn't matter; it'll take several months or longer to get rid of that particular straw that the deniers are grasping.

For an example, see:
or the last strip in this sequence:

Posted by: Whistler Blue at January 5, 2007 05:31 PM

Excellent post, well done!!

Posted by: ascap_scab at January 5, 2007 06:41 PM

This also ties in with the non-reporting of Gerald Ford's complicity in the East Timor genocide. Now that's real genius--you don't have to deny the atrocity. You just never talk about our role in assisting the killers.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 5, 2007 07:02 PM

Nice post, Jon.

It's a handy guide; denialists aren't only in the right-wing camp.

Posted by: Nell at January 5, 2007 07:48 PM

Nell -- Is it at least possible that there are certain distinct differences between left and right? Could we ever have a post like this about the particular traits of one political "side" without someone immediately piping up and positing a completely reflexive and thoughtless equivalency between both?

Seriously, this bugs the hell out of me.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 5, 2007 11:15 PM

Excellent, excellent post, Jonathan -- you couldn't make the resemblances any clearer or more damning. Well done!

Posted by: nashtbrutusandshort at January 6, 2007 06:41 AM

Is it at least possible that there are certain distinct differences between left and right?

Differences in ideology, obviously. Differences in human nature, no.

Humans are humans when it comes to their ability to overlook evidence that doesn't fit their worldview. You do it, I do it, everyone does it. Any suggestion that one "side" is less subject to common human fallibilities than the other is a lie, so why does a reminder of this bug the hell out of you?

Posted by: bobg at January 6, 2007 12:46 PM

I'm not sure that "overlooking evidence that doesn't fit their worldview" is an adequate summary of what Jonathan is talking about here.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 6, 2007 12:58 PM

I've always thought of people such as Malkin, Coulter, Savage, Limbaugh, etc. as being more like Pastor Fred Phelps of "God Hates Fags" fame -- that their 'politics' is really an extended dada performance art happening. I mean, they can't be for real.

Posted by: Lloyd at January 6, 2007 01:14 PM

The classic piece on denial is Orwell's "Notes on Nationalism". It is a universal human trait.

That said, I think lefties of a particular stripe (the type that supports Amnesty International, roughly speaking) try harder than most to avoid the problem.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 6, 2007 02:14 PM

But you missed the point Malkin defenders are already saying. Her point was not if the man really existed but if the events reported were true. Were four mosques really burned or were 6 Sunnis really burned to death? Since the US and Iraqi governments have denied this, then Hussein lied and if he has been arrested, it was for lying and he deserves it for causing problems.
In the meantime from the safety of their keyboards and thousands of miles of ocean, they demand to know if it were not really three mosques or that they were set on fire not burned and if burned, prove they burned to the ground (and define "to the ground" while you are at it) and were there five Sunnis not six and were they not shot first and then burned?
Even if, as you said, you proved all of this, then you have to prove the mosques were really important and that no one put out the fire and that the Sunnis burned burned to the ground and that they were really Sunnis and not secular Iraqis attending mosque like most Americans attend church.
Give it up. Malkin depends on this for her daily bread and nothing will ever separate her from her income so long as people are willing to believe she has anything worth saying.

Posted by: entlord at January 6, 2007 03:14 PM

Her point was not if the man really existed but if the events reported were true.

Well, her point is that unless all wire reports from Iraq have the omniscience of God Almighty, the only possible conclusion is that Iraq is really like Walt Disney World on one of those days when they're not inviting the gays in.

Posted by: ahem at January 6, 2007 04:29 PM

nothing will ever separate her from her income so long as people are willing to believe she has anything worth saying.

Well, it's about time to separate her from her income. And if it takes a few broad strokes to do so, then that's the price we pay. Malkin's never going to sacrifice anything important, so hit her in the wallet and force her to beg like the other wingnut welfare cases.

Posted by: ahem at January 6, 2007 04:32 PM

Didn't she say she was going to Iraq to investigate this "story"?

Posted by: Paul -V- at January 6, 2007 05:15 PM

@Adam K.: I've never been a big fan of the reflexive both-sides-are-at-fault tic, myself, to put it mildly, so I understand your irritation.

It's more than clear to me that most of the denialism in this country now is found on the right. It has to be: most Americans have accepted that there's no victory to be had in Iraq, that things are going from horrible to worse, and that we have to get out. Bush and his 30% claque have to deny plain reality in order to support a different policy.

But what I meant by my comment is that left-wingers aren't immune to the syndrome, which is different from saying that it's just as common on the left as on the right. [And I'm an unashamed left-winger; no one who knows me online or off takes me for some kind of "truth is somewhere in between" centrist.]

It just happens that I've spent a fair amount of time in the last couple of months working to counter some conspiracy-mongering (offline, among friends), and it struck me as I read Jonathan's post how closely the conspiracist "case" in question follows the pattern he sets out.

Sorry to strike a nerve, but you were also reading more faux-balance into my comment than I intended.

Posted by: Nell at January 6, 2007 05:47 PM

Well, well. The libloggers are all over you, JS. Attack Malkin (or Coulter, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc), and you are *in*. Like a limited audience that enjoys the same routine over and over, libloggers can never get enough of this stuff, even though it has very little to do with the workings of state. Celeb fetishes are enjoyed at every level. Now, try asking the majority of these libs who are so hot over the Holocaust denial angle what they're take was on East Timor when Ford died -- that is, if they had one. Crooks and Liars was one of the few, and they estimated the total death toll was about 10,000. Not all that much, really. And maybe, just maybe, Ford had a hand in the slaughter, or so some people say. They weren't too sure. Ah well, it doesn't really matter. Ford was a class act compared to Bush. And Malkin? Evil beyond words.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at January 6, 2007 06:11 PM

"Now, what's happening in Iraq, as dreadful as it is, obviously does not compare to the Holocaust."

not yet.......

Posted by: Susan at January 6, 2007 06:20 PM


Posted by: Dennis Perrin at January 6, 2007 06:32 PM

Do 9/11 conspiracy theorists deny that 9/11 happened? I am unaware of any such theories.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 6, 2007 07:21 PM

That's what I never understood about all this. Who cares if six people were immolated alive or simply shot, or whatever precisely happened in the other Hussein-sourced stories. That is, even if they were completely right about AP using a bad source or making this up or whatever, what about all of the very clear and confirmed cases of 33 men found tied and executed or buses of women and children blown up, which are still coming on a twice weekly basis at least? It's like arguing about whether Katrina was a class 4 or 5 storm at landfall - purely inane.

Posted by: winner at January 6, 2007 08:13 PM

Frontline did a program on Noam Chomsky and that was the first I heard about the invasion of East Timor and according to Frontline we footed the bill for the genocide and I believe supplied weapons. The only mention in the newspapers was a very small paragraph buried deep in the New York Times. So who should we be angry with, the news, Ford, ourselves, Winnie the Pooh?

Corporate America is running the show, recently the energy companies said that Bush gave them more money than they needed and they are willing to give some back. I think that is rich, Bush gave them too much money.

Sometimes when I am in full self-hate mode I go read a Malkin column, you can read a whole bunch of them over at if you feel masochistic. Rush Limbaugh’s brother also has columns there trying to cash in on the conservative nature of America if you really want some punishment.

Posted by: rob payne at January 6, 2007 09:17 PM

Posted by Dennis Perrin: "the total death toll was about 10,000. Not all that much, really."

The UN's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor puts the minimum deaths attributable the conflict at 102,000.

The Canadian Catholic Church:
"The invasion, which could have served as the model for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait a decade-and-a-half later, has claimed the lives of 250,000 Timorese -- more than a third of the population -- through war, famine, and an aggressive forced birth control programme said to include forced abortions, involuntary sterilization of women, and murder by injection of newborns in hospitals."

Even accepting the absurd 10,000 figure, anyone who consequently says "Not all that much, really" evinces a fine ratite brain and the ethical calculus of a paramecium.

East Timor's population at the time was under a million. If 10,000 out of less than a million is "Not all that much, really", what was 9/11 to a country of 300 million?

Posted by Dennis Perrin: "And maybe, just maybe, Ford had a hand in the slaughter,..."

The day before the invasion, Kissinger and Ford met with Suharto. Ford: "[W]e will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have."

More from the conversation may be found here:

Throughout the conflict the U.S. supplied arms to Indonesia and blocked UN actions to abate Indonesia's aggression.

Posted by: cavjam at January 6, 2007 09:48 PM

Adam, I said nothing about the conspiracy in question having to do with 9/11. It doesn't. Nor did I say that every conspiracy theory follows the pattern Jonathan laid out.

But, yes, some 9/11 denialists exist: those who maintain that what hit the Pentagon was a missile, not a 737.

Posted by: Nell at January 6, 2007 10:19 PM

I see that Dennis Perrin has come by to spread the meme of the day from the right-wing blogs: "I don't see why you lefties are spending all your time critiquing right-wing bloggers! Don't you have anything better to do with your time?"

It's all over the comments they left at TBogg's place on Friday -- all 500+ of them.

Posted by: Mnemosyne at January 6, 2007 11:08 PM

Y'all don't understand--it was really Nancy Pelosi's fault. Not only that, but she's responsible for the cover-up, too.

Posted by: Aslan365 at January 6, 2007 11:27 PM

Mnemosyne, do you know Dennis Perrin's political position (basically the same as our host's) or was that a deliberately cheap shot?

I think Dennis is being a little cranky here, but he's probably right--JS will get liberal links when he criticizes the common enemy of humanity (i.e., right wing bloggers, who do deserve all the bashing they get), but as far as I know he's pretty much ignored by them when he writes about more explicitly Chomskyan themes like the fact that Ford was complicit in the East Timor genocide.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 7, 2007 12:32 AM

The mainstream liberal bloggers are pathetic anyway, with the exception of Yglesias. I don't think that being mostly ignored by Atrios and the Kosites reflects negatively on a person. And of course, Josh Marshall is too busy worrying about what some congressional aide had for lunch last Thursday to worry about broader themes such as hegemony, etc.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 7, 2007 01:33 AM

I also think Dennis Perrin was being sarcastic about the number of deaths, you should check out his blog before judging him.

Posted by: rob payne at January 7, 2007 01:46 AM

Re: The both-sides-are-equally-to-blame meme.

Yes, there are lefties who are as deep in denial mode as the Holocause denial crowd and right-wing bloggers. The best example would be those who continue to believe in Communism as a viable economic and political system despite the complete collapse of the Soviet Union.

However, those pro-Communism deniers have long been relegated to their parents' basement, as they should be in healthy societies, and do not regularly appear on cable news programs or write columns in major newspapers to promote their views.

30-40 years ago, both left-wing and right-wing loons were pretty much relegated to their parents' basements. What has changed is that our no-longer-healthy society has allowed the right-wing crazies to come back upstairs.

Posted by: monchie b. monchum at January 7, 2007 08:21 AM

Well, Dennis, I love Chomsky as much as anyone, but some of us feel like we have to work with the lesser of two evils rather than sit around endlessly bitching because the Democrats aren't socialists. No shit, Sherlock. But in case you hadn't noticed, the alternative, amazingly enough, is actually worse. Fergawdssake, how many ways can you rephrase that same gripe on your blog? But, hey, I'm sure with just a tad more pissing and moaning on your end, the American population will just magically develop socialist sympathies after decades of hearing fascist propaganda.

Do you stand at the bottom of a staircase crying and whining because you can't leap up past all thirteen steps at once, too?

Posted by: curtis interruptus at January 7, 2007 09:50 AM

i imagine that i would whine if i knew more steps were rotten to the core than were not.

Posted by: almostinfamous at January 7, 2007 11:25 AM

As a tangential point, there actually was a movement in Germany in the early 1960s to discredit the Diary of Anne Frank and deny the authenticity of her writing. I read about it in Simon Wiesenthall's biography about 20 years ago. Wiesenthall made the whole brouha come to a grinding halt when he found that the Gestapo officer who arrested the Franks was detective in the Vienna Police Dept. and worked in the precinct a few blocks from where Wiesenthall lived. The detective publicly stated that he remembered not only the arrest but also his men tossing the diary across the room. It's sad but true that admissions by the perpetrators count 10 times as much as the testimony of the victims in terms of authenticity and believability.

Posted by: Steven Dunlap at January 7, 2007 12:19 PM

I'm more of a let a hundred flowers bloom type myself--there's a need for people like Dennis to point out the fact that the Democrats are, well, often evil, if somewhat lesser about it, but also a need, regrettably, for mainstream liberal types who have to be dragged into an acknowledgment that the US commits war crimes, but only under the convenient fairy tale that it's mostly just Republicans who are always responsible and even then, only the worst ones. Anybody else ever encounter some young person online who would say that the old-fashioned decent sort of conservative like Reagan would never have done the evil things Bush has done? I have. But the votes of these people are needed.

The problem with saying that everyone knows the Democrats are only the lesser of two evils is that not everyone does know it--some liberals don't even know that a beloved Republican icon like Reagan was a cheerful supporter of mass murderers and torturers worldwide.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 7, 2007 12:20 PM

"endlessly bitching because the Democrats aren't socialists"

Uh, what about being an order of magnitude off on the East Timor death toll has anything to do with being socialist? He was talking about their grasp on reality, not their economics.

Posted by: buermann at January 7, 2007 12:23 PM

As to this whole "the left does it too" dodge.. I hear this constantly by wingers whenever they're busted on any wrongdoing. Putting aside the notion that "well he did it too" is an excuse for anything (as any parent of a five-year-old could tell you is bogus), it doesn't mean that the left and right do things in equal measure. It's like trying to say that parking at an expired meter is morally equivalent to murder since, technically, they're both "against the law". It's a smokescreen that's both morally bankrupt, and pretty childish, when you get down to it.

Can you tell I've had to listen to this line of "reasoning" more than a hundred times from my winger co-workers over the past several years? When Adam Kotsko says it bugs the hell out of him, I completely understand. If anything, Nell, it sounds like you don't have the length of experience with these morons that we do. That makes you fortunate, not better informed or more balanced.

Posted by: DH Walker at January 7, 2007 12:30 PM

I loved the instant link between the Jamil Hussein story, and the global-warming hogwash, by Whistler Blue. Keep going, you're killing the Islamofascist-resistance with your brilliance!

Or, you could try learning something about climatology, CO2, El Nino-effect, and earth science in general:

Posted by: Sane Person at January 7, 2007 12:30 PM

See, here we have an illustration of the problem with the appearance of (giggle) sane person.

On the one hand we have the Democrats, the party that falls over itself demonstrating its willingness to bash Palestinians over the head and support mass murdering governments like Turkey with weapons sales (Clinton did this) and back outright genocide (Carter in East Timor). It's hard to support these people. And if we do, as I think we should, it's probably not politically effective to say "Vote for the Democratic jerk--he (or she) will put fewer innocent people into the ground and in the meantime, maybe some modest gains will be made in the very important areas of the minimum wage, environmental protection etc... Oh, not enough, but it's better to approach the cliff at 30 mph rather than 60."

Unfortunately, if you start enthusiastically supporting the Democrats and suppressing what you know, I think you probably spread ignorance even further and you end up with a party that puts Joe Lieberman on the ticket.

But then "sane person" comes along and shows that there is a greater of two evils to worry about. At least some of the Democrats have some connection with reality.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 7, 2007 12:43 PM

BTW, CH Walker, I suspect that given where Nell lives, she's more than a little familiar with rightwing thinking. I thought she clarified her position quite nicely. You seem to be arguing with a projection of the rightwingers that annoy you in your own life. I sympathize.

Anyway, gotta go. I have to explain to a moderate liberal why Ford was guilty of complicity in genocide, and why , when I say that, it does not mean I want the US to be the world's policeman. Seriously. This has happened to me on previous occasions and I'm starting to think that some people literally can't process the statement "The US was guilty of complicity in genocide" without turning it into the completely different statement "The US stood by and did nothing while genocide happened." Moderate liberals can be lovable, but sometimes they are dumb as a rock.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 7, 2007 12:55 PM

I rescind all my objections to Nell as a person. My annoyance at the phenomenon Nell's statement reminded me of stands.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 7, 2007 03:03 PM

Of course, now all the right-wingers who love comparing people like us to Chamberlain will argue that you're cheapening the holocaust somehow.

Remember - the basic rule to being a right-winger - never ever stop to breathe, just attack everything as somehow hideous.

Posted by: MDtoMN at January 7, 2007 07:12 PM
Well, Dennis, I love Chomsky as much as anyone, but some of us feel like we have to work with the lesser of two evils rather than sit around endlessly bitching because the Democrats aren't socialists. No shit, Sherlock. But in case you hadn't noticed, the alternative, amazingly enough, is actually worse. Fergawdssake, how many ways can you rephrase that same gripe on your blog? But, hey, I'm sure with just a tad more pissing and moaning on your end, the American population will just magically develop socialist sympathies after decades of hearing fascist propaganda.

Do you stand at the bottom of a staircase crying and whining because you can't leap up past all thirteen steps at once, too?

Perrin's "gripe", for whatever it's worth, is that lesser evilism isn't working, you condescending numbskull. It's putting pro-war, pro-security state neoliberals in all the top "opposition" offices. The difference between them and the wingnuts is they don't publicly shit themselves in fits of psychotic rage and then demand to be tidied up. Now I can understand how the wingnut routine might wear thin, especially for consumers of liberal branding who have chosen lemons and are struggling to cope with the endless costs and disappointments. I can understand them wanting to snap at people as they're standing around in a hopeless dither, faced with their complicity in supporting people who support the wingnut agenda most of the time. But imitating wingnut road rage, with a better vocabulary and somewhat less foam, is singularly unhelpful.

Your only electoral hope a Republican meltdown so extreme that hard core wingnuts choose to prop up your bad choice for a bit, if only for a change of pace. Rather than railing at Perrin, you might start thinking about ways to hold your crackpots, cranks and bubble dwellers accountable.

Posted by: Scruggs at January 7, 2007 10:17 PM


How easy it is for members of the House and Senate to send other Americans, many of whom have yet to celebrate their 21st birthdays, to their possible death; how easy to send others to war. Three thousand dead, when compared to the fifty thousand plus killed in Viet Nam, does not seem so horrible, as numbers go (unless one of them is your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, or your father or mother). Yes, the new body armor is keeping our soldiers alive, keeping our death toll down - but, the new body armor that protects vital organs does not extend to arms and legs (and testicles). These "survivors" will, we know, have days when they question their “good fortune” at having survived death as they imagine facing the world as single or double amputees, some having lost arms, some having lost legs, and some having lost one of each or both of each.

How easy it is to vote to send others to a foreign land where they are then ordered to kill..... men, women, and children..... deeds that will change them forever. What does "war" really mean to our representatives in their comfortable offices in Washington, these representatives of ours in the House and Senate who were duped by the president into supporting what historians will one day call "The war that should never have been” or “The war that was the beginning of the end for America”? The war in Iraq does not, I promise you, mean to them what it means to the American soldiers who have been sent to fight it!

For that reason I submitted the petition below and it went online at on January 5, 2006. Anyone over 18 anywhere in the world is eligible to sign this petition. Unfortunately, however, it is just one of many, many hundreds of petitions and is lost among petitions like the one asking WalMart not to close their fabric department.

Please read this petition and if you agree with me that it may help end the war in Iraq or may help prevent future wars, with Iran, for instance, PLEASE SIGN IT. If you agree that this madness, this political killing for unknown reasons (certainly not the reasons given us, but reasons the nature of which we can only guess at) - if you believe that this madness, this senseless killing must end, PLEASE SIGN IT! To sign this petition, go to: Thank you. Tommye Rodrigues, 15 Merlin Path, Hendersonville, NC 28792, 828 685-0599,
1,000,000 Americans Seek the Support of their political leaders in carrying out wars in which they involve the United States!

To: Members, U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate:

Members of the House and Senate who vote in support of wars involving the United States must themselves each serve in the infantry, in the front lines of the country where the war is taking place, for at least six months. Members will be provided basic training in the use of weaponry they will be called upon to use. Their six-month service shall be done on a rotation basis with other members so the business of government will not be disrupted.

When members of the House and Senate ask other Americans, primarily young Americans, to risk their lives and to risk being maimed, ask them to kill men, women, and children in a foreign land, then they must themselves know first hand what is entailed in the fighting of a war.

No member of the House or Senate shall be excused from this duty under any circumstances and they cannot hire replacements.
Your Name


Posted by: Tommye Rodrigues at January 7, 2007 10:50 PM

Excellent post. I had to give myself a vacation from reading the reality denying hysteria from the right blogs this Christmas. This AP story where it was obvious from the beginning the Shiite run Interior Ministry was lying was just one of many stories they were hyping that were reality distorted.

Posted by: Gary Denton at January 7, 2007 11:28 PM

Ms. Malkin's mode of "inquiry" is the same as virtually all types of conspiracy theorists and deniers. It's all about shifting the burden of proof and turning Occam's Razor upside down. It is deliberately and openly intellectually dishonest because its goal is not to seek the truth but to discredit the concept of objective, verifiable truth itself. Young Earth Creationists, in my opinion, are the foremost "experts" on this type of innately spurious and dishonest form of dialogue, but Malkin and her ilk are starting to catch up with them.

Posted by: Douglas Watts at January 8, 2007 03:36 PM

If you want to see a flustered leftist denial, try bringing up Margaret Sanger's fascination with eugenics and her racism.

Let’s quote her:

"The most serious charge that can be brought against modern “benevolence” is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression."

But the fallacy of the original post isn't that the leftists doing the same thing makes it okay, but its rather strained attempt to extrapolate a passing comment on a remote incident into the equivalent of denying a well-document historical event in order to connect an entire political ideology to a few fringe lunatics.

Posted by: Toadvine at January 9, 2007 06:10 PM