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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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    • It is true that there are factions in Iraq that do want to work with the US to build a western-style democracy, but their voices are lost in the cacophony of those that want the US out of the country posthaste.

    The only cacaphony of voices are the media and liberal types who amplify the voice of dissidents and ignore real facts.

    Unless you have something to counter real research on the issue [nytimes.com]?

    There's also the interesting testimony of Khomeini's grandson that's reproduced on the wsj.com (pay site). He is s

    • Jordan, I don't write my journals to cause you pain. I don't write them to troll either. That's the reason I started labeling my political entries as such. Like others [noopy.org], I write stuff here so that my head doesn't explode. I sense the passion you have for your positions, but I do sometimes wonder at the ferosity of your comments on my blog. By all means, do point out my factual mistakes. That's precisely why I enable comments on these "essays." But keep in mind that even "liberals" have feelings. Attack my arguments if you must, but do leave me out of it.

      We read and hear what reinforces our beliefs. I've been thinking a lot about the rancor with which political discussions are conducted. I'm guilty of exacerbating this acrid tone too. I will try to mute my more flippant responses. I already count to ten before posting these journals. The first versions are little more than a stream of blue language. So I will try count to twenty next time. You might conclude that if this is what write after I've had time to calm down then I must be a near-raving lunatic in real life.

      On the issue of one George Walker Bush, you'd be right.

      The article cited supports your position that Western media is exaggerating the angst of the Iraqis.

      «Gallup poll of Baghdad residents finds that nearly two-thirds believe removal of Pres Saddam Hussein has been worth hardship they have been forced to endure; only 8 percent of respondents say they believe that their lives are worse off as result of military campaign to remove Hussein and his Baath Party leadership;»

      It is the next clause the feeds my uneasiness with the US occupation:

      «respondents still suspect motives of US and Britain and hold Pres Jacques Chrirac of France in higher regard than Pres Bush and Prime Min Tony Blair; are nearly equally divided on whether American-British occupation authority, led by L Paul Bremer III, is doing good job running country, but half say occupation authority is doing better job now than it was two months ago»

      So things are getting better, but a lot of deep suspicion remains both here and abroad. We all focus on what we want to hear. When I read the statements of the adminstration, I can't shake the feeling I'm being misled. It seem that Iraqis feel the same way.

      What's more interesting than these political discussions of attrition is the question of why US politics has seemingly become so polarizing. My profound antipathy for the Bush administration was mirrored several years ago by those that despised the Clinton. What did Clinton do that was so profoundly horrible? What has Bush done to elicit my ire? We bandy slurs like "liberal" and "neocon" with such contempt, and yet the bulk of political debate occurs over a very, very narrow spectrum. The argument is about whether Bush should have sought more international cooperation and gather more evidence of Hussian shenanigans before invading Iraq rather than not toppling the regime ever. We quibble over how big the tax breaks should be for the uber-wealthy and not whether we ought to nationalize the businesses of these twenty-first century robber-barons and institute universal national health care with the proceeds. There are very few truly Leftist (as in hard-core socialists) in the US just as there are few true goose-stepping fascists. Minor differences are fetishized into monsters.

      I recognize that I'm not articulating my position cogently or adroitly. Would that I could. I hear the other side of the argument, but can see it's merit. Sadly I realize that it is the same for the people arguing with me.

        • But keep in mind that even "liberals" have feelings. Attack my arguments if you must, but do leave me out of it.

        Well, I apologize if you are offended by my strong language. After all, I accused you of being a "liberal type" and stating things that weren't accurate. Now, knowing how sensitive you are, I'll be more careful in the future.

        • What's more interesting than these political discussions of attrition is the question of why US politics has seemingly become so polarizing.

        Hmmm... Do you think that ma