And Now a Friendly Message from Westboro Baptist Church

Finally! The answer to why bad things happen stateside. Yup. The Westboro Baptist Church has received a message from above: God Hates America. It’s what their website is all about. It’s so angry that it almost seems fiction – but it is real (the site – the sentiment is up for debate). My favorite section has to be “Face it, They’re In Hell” – referring to everyone from the Virginia coal miners, Ronald Reagan all the way to Pope John II.
They (WBC) spend their time traveling state to state – In fact, these devout Christians were in my home state last year spreading their message of God by protesting at a soldiers funeral.
According to a link on the site, God also hates Sweden. Ahhh – we are not alone!
http://www.godhatesamerica.com
http://www.godhatessweden.com/index.html

amber

49 comments

  1. This past year the city of Santa Fe NM was visited by the Westboro Baptist church of Topeka, Kansas –as you know is a hateful, militant group that promotes words of hate and death as though it were God’s word.
    The story below demonstrates how this church is perceived by the general public and as history has demonstrated – people like this can go along way to diminish the rights of all people in the world.
    Following is a statement that was published in a New Mexico newspaper. The statement was made by a person who opposed the message of this church.
    Poet Joanna Cattonar, 63, waved a large placard with the words: “Fear + Ignorance = Bigotry.” She said she got her orders to attend the rally from Vice President Dick Cheney.
    “When the vice president was speaking at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, he said that hatred and intolerance must be opposed before they turn into action,” she said.
    Cattonar said some activists suggested ignoring the anti-gay group. “But what happened when people ignored the situation in the 1930’s? It led Hitler to power”
    How can freedom of speech continue to protect people like this, while their actions directly affect others by denying the freedom for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
    Is this freedom of speech, or just freedom to spread HATE? This Westboro Baptist church hates the Gay-Community, African-Americans, Canada, Sweden, the Fire Department of NY, victims of 911, Christian Churches, The Pope, Judaism, America, Our American Troops, and the list goes on and on. Many of the groups they despise are specifically named on their hate propaganda, picket signs, and their many websites. They not only hate, but wish death on all that they abhor.
    This sick, so called church spreads its hate through picketing in our streets, provoking attacks, with abusive vulgar language. Worst of all, they endanger their own young children, having them man the front lines in their combative demonstrations – attempting to create a confrontation and cause for one more of their frivolous lawsuits.
    The city of Topeka, the state of Kansas and the U.S. at large, its citizens and their Churches, schools and events are all held hostage by this “hate group” – always at the tax payer’s expense.
    THE HATE MUST STOP!!!
    Thank you for your time.

  2. Margie,
    shouldn’t that have been “OBOY!”?
    There ain’t half enough whoopin’ an’ hollerin’ in that thar comment, dawrlin’.
    I seriously question your commitment to the cause. Where were you when Lordi picked up douze pointes after douze pointes in Athens? BRIAN KENNEDY CAME TENTH. “Where is your God now?” indeed.

  3. When they were here last year, the community came together by forming a line with signs on their backs that stated their religions. There were people of all faiths, sexes, ages and races. They stood in a line, holding hands to show that despite WBC’s message of hate and intolerence, that the community stood together. One man was quoted as saying that he couldn’t believe the vile things that they (WBC) shouted and that it was extemely difficult to stand there and not turn around to shout things back.
    My question is – if God truly does hate America -if I am going to hell (according to WBC) no matter how much I pray or where I move – do I no longer have to play by the rules and be held responsible for my actions? Sweet!

  4. Damien wrote: “it’s people like you that make the united states of america the most hated place in the world, despite the fact that the majority of americans are honest, decent and open-minded people.” Damien, your reaction to ‘Margie’ herself may be quite understandable, but pause to consider your gratuitous statement about America being the most hated place in the world. You’re forgetting it’s also among the most loved places in the world, and for good reason. I guess if enough people like yourself repeat that ‘most hated’ line, so popular since 9-11, it becomes a truism for all those already predisposed to want it to be so. American society is comprised of an extremely wide spectrum… you’re looking only at one end of that spectrum, or selective slices of it. (You do this elsewhere in the current featured articles, too… the ‘dark side’ lady you choose to describe almost as if she’s representative of most Americans.) You’re harboring a secret inferiority complex, I suspect, or guilt that most of Europe lacks the guts to really stand up for itself in these trying times, while the U.S. – though doing it less than perfectly – does have that strength. If I were to look ONLY at the down-and-out alcoholics of Ireland (i.e., about 47% of the population), as you look only at lower-quality Americans, I could easily come up with a similarly biased view of the Irish. But as a large-hearted, open-minded Irish American, I know that would not be the true story at all.

  5. fitzie,
    47% of irishmen and women are alcoholics? okay. that is just daft beyond description.
    also, you’ve managed to focus on one element of what i said whilst ignoring the context around it. yes, i made a statement that america is ‘the most hated country in the world’. what you failed to take into account is the fact that i also said this is despite the fact that the majority of it’s citizens are decent folk.
    my point is that loud, vocal, shit-stirring neanderthals like the cretins in this so called church (as woody allen once said if jesus christ were to return to earth now and see what has been done in his name, he would probably never stop puking) do a fantastically good job of further blackening the name of a country which has become deeply unpopular because of the actions of it’s white house administration.
    and this isn’t my assertion. many american friends have commented to me on the fact that travelling in europe (or further abroad) has become an unpleasant experience, faced as they now are by rampant xenophobia and seething anti-US sentiments. as an example, see the piece by Alex DeJong entitled ‘Proud to be Canadian’ (you can find it using the search box in top right) where he delves into some of this. Sadly, he’s not alone in expressing this sentiment.
    I’m not interested in US-bashing. What I am interested in is how a small, but highly-organised group of religious fanatics can do such a job of tarnishing the rest.
    Oh, and, inferiority complex? Seriously man. get a grip.

  6. Damien –
    The 47% alcoholism rate in Ireland was a joke, I thought an obvious one. Though come to think of it, Ireland is one of the very few places where, yes, you might have to give that number some consideration over a drink.
    Forgive me, but “it’s” is a contraction meaning “it is”… the possessive pronoun you’re looking for when you write “it’s citizens” and “it’s white house administration” is “its” without the apostrophe… even a few of us dumb, religion-crazed Americans know that much.
    My reference to the possible inferiority complex was also meant mostly in jest, but I do think you’re passing along this “most hated place in the world” bullshit without thinking very deeply about what you’re saying. It was gratuitous, as I said, in the context of your topic. Any problem with your syllogism, Damien? > This one crazy lady who posted on our site comes from America: ergo, America is the most hated place in the world! You’re just throwing that in because it’s the fashion to do so. By the way, my own experience (I’m living outside the U.S.) has not been such as you cite at all… some people actually appreciate the huge role the U.S. plays in not letting the world go to hell in a handbasket faster than it otherwise surely would. If you don’t like the ‘white house administration’, let’s see you do better. Please post your detailed plan for world peace, prosperity, and universal happiness, and we will humbly learn from you.

  7. Ah, dear, sweet demented Margie! Why won’t you answer my emails? Or that Whore of Babylon, Squirrel? Afraid of the truth, no doubt. A few facts:
    Fred had sex with his daughter, Becky.
    Fred is a murderer.
    Oh, and Margie, you should add that whore Iva Jean Judd to your “Face It” list.

  8. Rev. Stang! Good to hear from you. I’m some kind of subgenius, I think.
    Who is this Fred you speak of?

  9. Fred Phelps. Or the Rev. Fred Phelps to be more precise. He is the founder of the WBC. I believe I read that he is, among other things, an advocate of many activities including, but not limited to, spousal abuse. And I believe that Margie is his wife (?) Damn lucky lady she is!

  10. These people make me sick. Seriously, I want to hurl when I see them on TV–what they deserve is to be ignored. Still, as someone mentioned, ignoring Hitler in the early part of the last century proved NOT to be a great idea.
    Actually Phelps and his wandering tribe of inbreds are pathetic. Ignorant, stupid, hateful white trash who hate anyone better than themselves—which is, basically, everyone else on the face of the earth.
    Margie Phelps, you pitiable excuse for a human being, you and your lot will be roasting in hell long before the rest of us.
    God must be ashamed of you–and undoubtedly He greatly regrets having created you (always assuming that He did–frankly I suspect you and your crowd of cretins were made by God’s worst enemy–you know, the guy with the pitchfork).
    Margie Phelps, you and your ilk are the only curse on America.
    God doesn’t hate “fags”, he doesn’t hate Jews or African-Americans or our soldiers–but I’m betting that He can hardly stomach YOU.
    You better start praying. And hard. You need a LOT of forgiving.

  11. To Damian:
    Re: “my point is that loud, vocal, shit-stirring neanderthals like the cretins in this so called church . . . do a fantastically good job of further blackening the name of a country which has become deeply unpopular because of the actions of it’s white house administration.”
    Well, I guess it depends on which side you are on: ever hear of Code Pink, the Cindy Sheehan-inspired loud- vocal, shit-stirring protestor who likes to hurl abuse at wounded vets? Nice folks on the left…
    We Americans are used to people taking our money, hiding behind our military, yearning for our culture and freedom — and dissing us for our success and superior political structure. Envy is such a shitty emotion, leading to all sorts of venal sins. Whining seems to be the official European sport! Enjoy your new-found wealth, Ireland: American know-how brought it to you, and American force of arms and will to fight the forces of oppression will preserve it for you . . . and defend your right to whine and complain.
    Richie Rich

  12. Richie, have you ever considered that American forces might be regarded as the forces of oppression in some quarters?

  13. To Dave:
    Of course I’ve considered it! I hear it all the time! “Setting the good against the perfect” is a common propaganda tactic, as is citing “social consensus” as valiation of a position.
    Here’s a quote from an American president that may help you consider an alternative to knee-jerk anti-Americanism:
    “It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
    A pint to the first person to identify the president.
    Richie Rich

  14. Richie,
    While I have my own opinions to the name calling, mud slinging and and overall popularity (or unpopularity ) of the US and it’s current international policies – I find it amusing that despite that the fact that this so called church group gives the most vile offense to just about everyone but themselves – you chose to jump on Damian’s statement. And despite how any one of us might feel – the US’s name and reputation HAS been and continues to be tarnished by the current White House Administration – as shown in domestic polls where Dubyah and his cronies have only a 30% domestic approval rating and members of their OWN party are shuffling away from them as not be tarnished by the same brush.
    Oh, and before you sit down feeling superior by quoting a past President, consider that same President also said:
    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

  15. Amber:
    Polls are polls, elections are elections. Right now, the more libertarian Americans are unhappy with GWB for not holding the line on spending, and most middle class Republicans are against his back-door amnesty for illegal immigration. That’s why the polls are down, though he appears to have gotten a nice bump when the Great Decapitator was knocked off last week. Bush did get more votes than any president in history in 2004, I believe.
    As far as I can tell, Bush is pretty popular in eastern Europe, where people have actually experienced Islamic conquest and communist oppression, and are willing to put their lives on the line for freedom.
    As for Old Europe, why would we care? For the most part, they have failed to recognize and confront evil at every opportunity, and now prefer to remain comfortably angry against Bush for exposing their cowardice (and corruption). Maybe a few decades under the Caliphate will help you all put Bush into historical context — providing, of course, that you are allowed to live.
    Congratultions on the quote ID. Here’s another one:
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”

  16. Richie Rich rocks!
    You’ve made excellent points, RR. What these armchair quarterbacks don’t realize (oops… that’s an American football term: amid all the mania surrounding the World Cup of boring Soccer, I guess I shouldn’t use it… smacks of cultural imperialism too)… what they don’t realize as they smirk at the supposed simplemindedness of any American who doesn’t toe the line of the International Church of Liberalism, is that their own arguments tend to be simpleminded. It’s not that we’re not savvy enough to understand their position… it’s that we’re savvy enough to see way beyond their position. 100 years from now, for example, the U.S. intervention in Iraq will probably be seen by most historians as flawed here and there in its execution but brilliant overall… meanwhile the nearsighted take their cues from one another and glory in their smug sameness. America is “hated” in the same sense that sulky self-centered teenagers think they hate their parents.

  17. Well it looks like that tanker full of worms has been opened again ! While I’d like to join in, it would take a 50 page essay just to summarize my view on what’s right or wrong with America, it’s such a complicated issue. This entire argument will ultimately become irrelevant anyway as China and other powers gradually take control of the globe.
    All I will say is that these are not ‘trying times’. We are living in one of the most peaceful and stable periods in human history. International terrorism is a minor issue (especially for us ‘westeners’) and the number of people effected by it is a minor blip in the grand scheme of humanity. More people will die of starvation in a day than will be killed by terrorists in a decade. Don’t let an American government or anyone else put the fear into you.
    As for the 47% alcoholism rate in Ireland, I fully appreciate that that was a joke. Clearly that value is much higher !

  18. 47%? So what are the other 53% doing? Eating shamrock?
    You know, there’s times like this, I really believe that People like Richie and Fitzie are actually joking, and have a delicious sense of irony.
    I mean, sentences like ” U.S. intervention in Iraq will probably be seen by most historians as flawed here and there in its execution but brilliant overall”.
    In what regard? In its ability to kill thousands of people for no apparent reason?
    “We don’t do body counts”
    General Tommy Franks, US Central Command
    Some sober reading.
    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
    http://icasualties.org/oif/
    Fitzie – as for the sulky kid vs teenager… maybe “Old Europe” is the parent, and the USA is the out-of-control teenager.
    Oh, and here’s some bad news for you…

  19. Dave –
    Thanks for posting my last comment (and your own response) after I e-mailed wondering where it had gone. What you and WaterWolf don’t seem to get is that because of the nature of weapons of mass destruction currently available – such as nukes, dirty nukes, and incredibly nasty bioweapons (precisely engineered viruses, for example) – threats that may have once been dismissed as harmless rhetoric (the threat to annihilate Israel, for example, quite recently made very clearly)now are very credible and dangerous threats indeed. This is basically a NEW thing, guys… I don’t think your minds have caught up with the new equation yet. WMD in the hands of certain people (right… I know what you’re going to say….) is just NOT a good idea for civilization. You’re ignoring an awful lot of evidence that is out there for those who would pull their heads out of the sand and see it. The intervention in Iraq may well be preventing a larger catastrophe… it’s a question of the lesser of two evils. I am very familiar with the wily ways of governments, the U.S. included, and do not swallow propaganda… still, there is a very credible threat that needs to be addressed boldly. The U.S. had had a lot of practice in recognizing such threats clearly… dealing along with its allies with the Axis in WWII, and the Cold War… the delicious irony is that you sit there comfortably largely as a result of bold U.S. policy in the past and present, blissfully unaware of this larger picture, blaming the U.S. for all and sundry problems when it is actually the only adult in the room. (Well OK, a few other adults do wander through the room now and then.)
    If so many people can be so wrong about soccer (Americans tend to be mystified why such a boring sport – in which something actually happens an average of once every 30 minutes if you’re lucky, and with all that bad, overdramatic acting by ‘injured’ players – inspires such incredible extremes of emotion), they can be wrong in other things too, like their political judgement.

  20. Two things: I find soccer boring too. But it’s less boring than American Football.
    About WMDs… you are aware that Iraq didn’t have any WMDs, aren’t you?
    Hunt the WMD!

  21. Dave:
    Re: no WMD. I suggest you read the book “Disinformation” by Richard Miniter, for a start.
    Yes, no huge stockpiles of nuclear bombs were found, but plenty else was, and considerable evidence exists of hurried removal of biological, chemical and radiological weapons to Syria.
    Every lefty American politician of note, including Kerry, both Cintons, Kennedy, Boxer, Gore are on the record as repeatedly DEMANDING the use of force to prevent Saddam from going ballistic. “Regime change” was a bipartisan congressional resolution and was supported by the Security Council as a necessary evil to prevent an unacceptable scenario. No one believed that we’d actually call Saddam’s bluff, having watched Clinton I get snookered by the North Koreans, and the corrupt UN, French, German and Russian politicians who were sucking on the Oil-for-Food titty ran for cover when we did.
    Re: “terrorism only bothers a few people.” Yep, that pretty much sums up what I see as the European attitude toward Jihadism: as long as they only want to kill Jews and Americans, we don’t have to worry. Didn’t you guys learn anything from the run-up to WW2? Or do you even read history in Eurabia any more?
    The nice thing is, putting your head in the sand is excellent practice for “assuming the position” for daily prayers — once again, Europe leads the way!

  22. Nuclear?
    “Translation carried out for The Independent on Sunday reveals for the first time that several references to UN sanctions were cut from the Arabic text. On one page, the words “biological agents” were changed to read “nuclear agents”. Arab journalists who reported on the dossier culled their information from the Arabic version – unaware that it was not the same as the English one. ”
    How Arabic text of WMD dossier was massaged by Downing St

  23. What on earth has soccer got to do with this ? You’re showing an alarming level of cultural intolerance. Europe, like the middle east, isn’t all one country. Different societies will have different interests, different traditions and different ways of doing things. Some things we may not like and may wish to change but that doesn’t mean something that is different is wrong. Are you saying that the world is not safe until we all watch American Football ?!
    Aaagh… must… hold back… random, badly structured… rant… The USA does a lot of good in the world but rarely militarily. Invading other countries will have no effect on terrorist threats to the country.

  24. To WaterWolf:
    RE: “The USA does a lot of good in the world but rarely militarily. Invading other countries will have no effect on terrorist threats to the country.”
    Thanks for the acknowledgment that we do some good. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” — that’s an American football saying, for all you soccer fans who think a 0-0 tie is just fine . . . (sorry, couldn’t resist . . .)
    Unfortunately, and perhaps tragically for Americans, it has fallen to the US to once again “get going”, since other developed nations will not.
    The saddest thing about Iraq is not that the US acted virtually alone, but that it had to: the spectacle of France, Germany and Russia posturing and blustering, supporting UN resolutions, making pretty speeches (with a wink to the Islamists and one hand in Saddam’s piggybank), then cutting and running when the s**t hit the fan, must have been devastatingly familiar to Europeans who have read history. Having run for cover, what else is there to do but rationalize their own cowardice and corruption? At least Britain learned from Chamberlain’s example . . .
    “Saddam had no WMD” . . . maybe, maybe not, maybe not quite yet, maybe he had them hidden, maybe . . . Can you at least admit that no one was sure, but that the best efforts over a decade had failed, and the weight of evidence made the consequences of inaction unacceptable?
    Hindsight is 20-20, and we can argue the details, but one thing is certain: Saddam will never have WMD, and the world has one less tyrant, and one more democracy. Iraq could be a beacon of liberty and tolerance for the Middle East and the world, and Europe could be helping to elevate them.
    I’m reminded of the Al Pacino line in “Scent of a Woman”: “I always knew what the right path was, but I never took it, because it was too damn hard!” (paraphrased) I suspect that European critics can’t stand the truth that the UN and their governments were so easily corrupted by Saddam and have been so thoroughly cowed by the Islamists, and that they found the right path too damn hard. Nothing enrages a coward so much as the spectacle of a courageous man.
    WaterWolf, be careful what you wish for: when you refuse to stand on principle and risk your security for freedom, you and your children are much closer to slavery — or, as the Imams call it, “submission.” Which side are you on?
    Richie Rich

  25. (Westboro Baptist Church thread…)
    Let’s see… it’s hard to know where to begin responding to His Wolfship. (I’m assuming it’s a male wolf, not a she-wolf, wolfette, wolverine, wolf cub, or Big Bad type with certain male characteristics but a penchant for wearing Grandmother’s nightie. While I’m at it, what the heck is a water wolf anyway? I’m an avid scuba diver, but I have yet to see one. The choice of name reflects your preference for fantasy over reality: in the real world, wolves almost always avoid the water except to drink it. There is something to be said for the W…W alliteration, but my apologies, I can’t help but picture a poor drenched little pooch coming in out of the rain. Please don’t let me bother you, Wolfowitz, this is all good fun between Blather den brothers, right? Are you ready to wolf down some delicious irony? I know that’s the kind of irony you like best!
    Regarding soccer, it’s apparent that you have trouble distinguishing between the more serious elements of a post and the more lighthearted elements. However, I’m gratified that I succeeded in irritating you with it. You know, it’s interesting, for all the purported violence of Americans, we almost never engage in fighting between fans, and I can’t remember a single instance of an American going overseas and causing sports-related trouble. Once in a while there’s a post-championship celebration that gets a little out of hand in the U.S., especially at the college level, but we have nothing like the organized and disorganized gangs of hooligans (an Irishism, I note)you’ve got over there. Soccer stabbings, soccer beatings, actual soccer wars in South America (and the Columbian player who was shot dead for an own goal)… manic extremes of elation and despair… all this hyperemotionalism over the incredibly advanced athletic skill of kicking a ball, which finds the net perhaps 5% of shots on goal. Were it not for really tight security and the cooperation of anti-hooligan police squads all over Europe, it would be a lot worse than it already is. Americans are a gentle, civilized people in comparison.
    I never said that everybody should love NFL football. You’re putting words in my mouth. It’s true that it’s a lot better than soccer – at least you don’t know before any particular play whether it will be a pass or a run (or even a kick), whereas in soccer you always know it will be the run, run, run, run, run, run, run… – but actually American football is only one of many sports that I enjoy watching and playing, and recently I’ve grown a bit tied of U.S. football myself and tend to catch only some of the playoff games. Just so you know.
    Uh… cultural intolerance… well, you’re just proving my point: if we want to stage a nice little invasion now and then, or if I say I hate soccer, it’s intolerant of you to object to those dearly held beliefs of mine, isn’t it? Cultural relevance means everybody (except a certain type of American, of course)is always right no matter what they say, correct?
    But seriously, in the real world, you would not believe how culturally understanding I am. I have to be: I’ve lived outside the U.S. for a very long time, my wife is not a U.S. citizen, my kids hold dual citizenship, I function well in two and a half languages. The four areas of the U.S. I’ve lived in – Washington D.C., the New York City area, coastal California, and Hawaii are all very diverse, multicultural, and multiethnic. (Try to remember the U.S. already is the epitome of the successful multicultural society.) I spent two years when I was younger teaching in an underdeveloped part of the world, at low pay and in sometimes difficult conditions, for the cultural experience of it. In fact I am an international man of mystery, a lot like Austin Powers only sexier, baby.
    You mentioned China… I can all but guarantee you that I’m in a position to know a lot more about China than you do, unless you’re a real specialist, which I doubt. Currently I’m in contact with three Chinese several times a week (and I mean Chinese Chinese, not overseas Chinese) and I’ve known about 40 of them in the past. I’ve published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong, (a great publication on social issues as well as economic and political, unfortunately now defunct), and I’m probably going there within a year. I have a pretty good handle, I think, on both their impressive strengths and their systemic weaknesses, which mitigate against their “taking control of the globe” for at least another 25 years or so – and very possibly China will always remain, and be content to remain, a strong regional power rather than a true global power. I could go on… but the point is, don’t lecture me about cultural tolerance. You’re not reacting to the real me, you’re reacting to a simple stereotype you’re comfortable with.
    The U.S. rarely does any good militarily? Just one example: For decades it was widely predicted that when Tito was gone, Yugoslavia would have very serious trouble. Yet Europe seemed entirely unprepared to handle its own mess in 1990 and the following years, as the former Yugoslavia fell apart into vicious warring factions practicing ‘ethnic cleansing’: Uncle Sam had to come in and straighten things out while Europe held meetings and more bloody meetings (note that, if anything, the U.S. sided more with people of the Muslim faith in those conflicts, as they were more clearly the victims in that particular case). Of course all that’s quickly forgotten and you go back to the usual uninformed disdain.
    The many small U.S. military operations of the past 60 years have functioned partly as a pressure-release valve… notice there hasn’t been a WWIII yet? Notice the Soviet/U.S. megamatch was called off? This stuff gets deep, strategically speaking, but I don’t think you’re the type who can understand it.
    When you say invasions won’t influence terrorists, may I ask what will? History shows that if you appease the unreasonable demands of facists, it works only temporarily at best: soon they’ll have even more unreasonable demands. Besides, dialog has never been on their agenda! What is there to talk about exactly? These terrorist attacks actually began in the late 1970s and just got worse and worse until the U.S. finally took a hand. Look at the whole picture, please; you’re being naive.
    On WMD and Iraq: Richie Rich’s points are all well made and well taken. The intelligence agencies of some seven countries, including for example Britain and Germany, all agreed in their prewar assessments pointing to the strong probability WMD were being developed in Iraq. Giving Iraq such a long warning period instead of going in fast and unannounced – which was done for humanitarian reasons, not military reasons – gave them time to hide things out of country. WMD never were the sole reason for the action, anyway. Bush has made the mistake of allowing his opponents to frame the whole thing pretty much in terms of WMD, but there are several other geopolitical factors at work. Many analysts agree that by taking the fight to Iraq and Afghanistan, lines of communication, supply, and funding have been so seriously disrupted that terrorist acts have had to be fairly limited in scope after 9/11. They’ve been so busy defending themselves that the truly horrendous acts have been prevented or delayed. And while no doubt corny and jingoistic to you, Americans truly do believe in the idea of helping others try to achieve democracy. If you’d read history, you’d see it has worked many times, but sometimes it requires making difficult decisions and accepting sacrifices: it’s not achieved by sitting around the campfire singing ‘Kumbaya’ but by actually going in and doing it. I wonder, if you had been present and seen exactly what was going on in one of the many rape/torture/murder rooms that were instrumental in preserving the power of the previous regime in Iraq, would you be so blithely philosophical about it all? But I wouldn’t expect you to have any real appreciation of strategic thinking, judging by the simplicity of your comments.
    Oh dear, I fear I may have a random, badly structured rant coming my way now! Aaagh!

  26. Fitzie:
    Fuck man, you’re lost ” Soccer stabbings, soccer beatings, actual soccer wars in South America”.
    Can you provide evidence of soccer-related stabbings in Ireland (which isn’t in South America, by the way). Anyway, soccer isn’t as popular here as gaelic football, which along with hurling are our national sports. See the GAA website for more. At games of both hurling and football, the supporters of both teams share the same stands. There’s never any trouble between fans.
    I’m too tired to tonight to respond to your “hilarious” posting, but you really should hear yourself – you’re talking about torture in Iraq *before* the invasion, when ‘freedom’ was delivered in the form of Abu Ghraib. But I’m sure only the bad guys were tortured, right?
    Also, I’ve noticed that neither of you two apologists has managed to explain how blowing the shite out of 40,000 Iraqis (and that’s just the dead ones) was instrumental in freeing them, yet we still haven’t heard the end of the chestbeating over comparatively low numbers killed in the 9-11 attacks.

  27. (Westboro Bapt. Church thread…)
    Dave –
    When I said that the word “hooligan” is an Irishism I meant that the word itself comes from the Irish, which is just a fact, similar to the word shenanigan; I didn’t say that soccer hooliganism is a particularly Irish pehenomenon. What, you deny that there has been a lot of violence associated with soccer?
    Naturally you focus on the 1% (actually far less than 1%)of the U.S. military who behaved dishonorably rather than the 99% who behave honorably, and you draw a moral equivalence between the aberration of Abu Ghraib and the state policy of torture and terror in the former regime. A ridiculous stretch. The behavior of the few bad apples of Abu Ghraib shocked and disgusted Americans, and those people are being punished severely; it wasn’t official policy at all, nor unofficial policy, it was just a little group of fuckups. Guess who turned them in… fellow members of the U.S. military.
    And once again, as in all these exchanges, it’s clear that you have only a simplistic sterotype of me in mind when you say “I’m sure only the bad guys were tortured, right?” You’re not reading my posts closely… you persist in trying to make me fit the image of Americans you already have. When faced with the reasoned points I and the other ‘apologist’ have made, you just fall back on the simplistic sterotypes.
    This is what got me onto this thread in the first place. I realize that Blather pokes a lot of fun at people in a lot of places, and I shouldn’t be too sensitive, but it’s so tiresome to see how readily you all paint Americans with the ‘narrowminded dimwits’ brush when that is precisely what you are proving yourselves to be.

  28. Fitzie, I think it’s you who’s falling prey to stereotypes – you lump all Europeans in USA, there’s a lot about the USA I love. The amount of USA-based art and culture that I’ve been influenced by would take all week to list. I’ll be in NYC towards the end of the summer, I think.
    The USA’s culture has been exported around the world – from TV to cars, rock music, to fast food, to military activity etc. etc. And the rest of the world has been lapping it up for a long time, and loving it! People in Ireland (I can only barely speak for them, not Europeans as a whole) watch TV from the USA, watch Hollywood movies and so on… and though we may be willing punters, I find it odd that you think that we should swallow it all without comment. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?
    I let you guys come post on blather.net – as guests, you’re welcome to do so. Do you see me censoring your posts? No at all.
    You’re entitled to your opinions about your country, and about mine (however half-arse I might think they are), just as I’m entitled to criticise the USA (and don’t even get me started on criticising Ireland, we’ll be hear all day).
    The thing is, as the boss of blather.net, I insist you attack the post, and NOT the poster. Throughout this thread, you’ve passed sneering, insulting comments about anyone who strays from the path of the righteous, declaring an opinion that is anyway heretical from your own. A case in point is your attack on Waterwolf.
    I can appreciate that you *you* think it’s funny. But I suggest you don’t give up the day job yet.
    Just because someone disagrees with you does’t make them wrong. Think about that.
    Also, when I criticise something American, I’m criticising it for its own value – regardless of how it coincides with the perceived values of the American people.
    So no… not Anti-American. I’m anti-USA foreign policy!
    On Abu Ghraib – fair point. Can you make the same argument about Guantanamo Bay? Ok, the same level of bizarre torture hasn’t been reported from Gitmo, but even Rumsfeld openly admits that there’s torture going on in Guantanamo.
    And about soccer – I find it bizarre that you keep going on about it like it matters in some grand schism between the east and west coastlines of the Atlantic. Isn’t the USA in the current World Cup?
    Really though, the whole soccer thing *bores* me. Damien, one of our other correspondents is fanatical about me. It’s not my cup of tea, so trying to draw me on sports related issues is pissing in the wind.

  29. (Westboro Bapt. Church thread…)
    OK Dave, thanks for your comments. Sorry if I’ve been too harsh in some of mine: it’s hurtful when you hear that your country is the most hated place in the world, and there’s an urge to fight back. I do think a lot of simplistic and errant stereotypes about the U.S. and its people have been in evidence in some of the posts, but oh well, people are going to go ahead and believe as they wish — I just wanted to show that there are some of us out there who have a different view of things and are capable of stating it. I’d think you might welcome a new angle.
    I went on about soccer because others kept it up. I always get like this when the World Cup comes around… that’s why I happened to mention it originally. Then, thinking about it, there are some interesting metaphors that can come up.
    WaterWolf was fairly insulting toward me, too, but OK, I take your point.
    Thanks for running Blather: I find the mix of features on it very interesting and creative, though a little one-dimensional whenever the U.S. is mentioned.

  30. Fitzie, I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I sometimes feel that American response to criticism is often a little one-dimensional. It’s a problem we’ve had for years here on blather.net. You talk as if blather.net spent its time complaining about America – how about you go back through the content of the last 9 years and look at the amount of positive stuff we’ve said!
    All you’ve seem to be doing is picking up on anything you perceive as negative, completely ignoring anything that’s positive.
    On blather.net, everything is a target. We slag off everyone, including each other. But for some reason, only people from the US come on to complain about how we’re treating them.
    Why is this?

  31. From Dave: “…even Rumsfeld openly admits that there’s torture going on in Guantanamo.” Your source, please?
    I have a video of al-Zarqawi beheading Nicholas Berg, and a collection of still pictures of people jumping to their deaths from the upper floors of the World Trade Center. There are videos of Baathists cutting our critics tongues and pushing political opponents off of roofs. Want to see a nice picture of a 10-year-old girl wearing a dynamite vest?
    What do you have? Cell-phone shots of terrorists being made to wear women’s undies, ordered into a naked dog pile, or being lead on a dog leash by a smiling guard? Regrettable, and the guard was punished for it, but hardly torture . . .
    Again, from Dave: “I sometimes feel that American response to criticism is often a little one-dimensional. It’s a problem we’ve had for years here on blather.net.”
    Well, what do you do when you believe your country is being criticized unfairly for wholly cynical and self-serving political reasons? I usually evaluate the attacker’s motivations, logic and facts, and make a reasoned response.
    If you don’t like “My country right or wrong” stop parroting “Blame America first” (That a coinage from Jeanne Kirkpatrick, whose forebears found the courage to risk all for freedom, and who thus knows well how fragile they are.)
    Iraq may turn out to be America’s finest hour, when it shamed the appeasers who have, time and time again, stood mute and blind, and allowed the world to descend into the pit of genocide and slavery which so blighted the 20th Century. Have you forgotten the millions of Iraquis who risked their to cast votes for their own government? Yes,”the tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of patriots.” Bless the Iraqui patriots! Bless the innocent victims! May their deaths not be in vain! May their country become a beacon of liberty and representative government which transforms the Middle East (and Africa, and Asia)!
    If it does, you will have to answer the hard question “which side were you on?” If it fails, your satisfaction at watching America fail will be short-lived, I’m sure, as you watch the aftermath unfold . . .
    Richie Rich

  32. Dave:
    Was my last post too difficult for you to answer? Is that why it wasn’t posted? I still want to know: when, exactly, did Rumsfeld “openly admit that there’s torture going on in Guantanamo”? Is that why you didn’t post my question?
    Most students of history recognize the familiar Leninist tactic: “Accuse your enemy of what you yourself do. When caught, justify it as a reaction to the enemy’s actions.”
    Since I last wrote, two Americans were mutilated and beheaded in the most obscene way in Iraq, which kind of makes your whining about supposed Gitmo “torture” a little weak, doesn’t it? Abu Ghraib? A couple of naked dogpiles and a few harsh interrogations don’t add up to torture. Would you like to see some pictures of Nicholas Berg being beheaded, for the “crime” of being American and Jewish?On WMD, newly declassified files reveal the discovery of significant nerve gas operations there. There will undoubtedly be more such news in the coming months, as the truth emerges. Don’t start censoring your posters now, Dave.
    Richie Rich

  33. Richie, I’m not given to personal comments online at all, never mind on blather.net. But I really do think you’re as mad as a bag of meerkats.

  34. My “openly admitting” may have been a bit strong –
    http://news.orb6.com/stories/nm/20051101/security_guantanamo_dc.php
    “The judge said detainees’ lawyers had presented “deeply troubling” allegations of U.S. personnel violently shoving feeding tubes as thick as a finger through the men’s noses and into their stomachs without anesthesia or sedatives, with detainees vomiting blood as U.S. personnel mocked them.
    Rumsfeld appeared to distance himself from the decision to force-feed detainees.
    “I’m not a doctor and I’m not the kind of a person who would be in a position to approve or disapprove. It seems to me, looking at it from this distance, is that the responsible people are the combatant commanders. And the Army is the executive agent for detainees,” Rumsfeld said.”
    (Reuters)

  35. Re” “Richie, I’m not given to personal comments online at all, never mind on blather.net. But I really do think you’re as mad as a bag of meerkats.”
    Ouch! That’ll get the illiterati whooping alright! Does this mean we’re not going to the prom after all?
    Re: “Are you really that paranoid?”
    Oh no! Psychological invective, too! I’m crushed and devastated.
    I may have seek help from Fitzie — now, there’s a guy who knows how to smack down with the best of ’em. Fitzie? Are you there?
    RR

  36. A week without blather.net is a week without fun! I guess you’re just teasing me, holding my messages until I squawk, then posting the squawk as evidence of my . . . whatever! Well, I may be a Yank but I’m not a Jerk — if you want to continue to receive my valuable tutoring, you’ll just have to be quicker on the “instant post” button!
    Meernwhile, “Meerkat Manor” premeers on “Animal Planet” so I’ll be much too busy to waste time trinta eddicate you Donkeys . . .
    Rich Richie Richguy

  37. Richie – the only tutoring you’ve provided so far has managed to strengthen the stereotypes you’ve been apparently trying to refute.
    I’ve actually been too busy to even *consider* this thread, as I’ve been moving Blather GHQ from the east coast to the west.

  38. So amusing! I beat your arguments into the dirt, cite facts and beg you to consider that you may be subject to progaganda and manipulation by your own government, and all you can do is call me “stereotypical”? I am crushed! What, exactly, is the stereotype I have strengthened? Come on, here’s a free shot: tell me how you really feel about Americans! BTW, good luck on your move to the west coast of Ireland. That should keep you from losing your head for a few extra weeks . . . of course, you never know what the Caliph of Londonistan will think is important . . . he may see Dublin as the center of the universe or something. Hell, what can you expect from people who pray to a black rock!
    Richie (Right Hand of the Profit) Rich

  39. Richie, you know, I’m really falling into a bad habit of mine here – trying to reason with irrational people.
    You say you beat my arguments into the dirt – I wasn’t aware I’d made any arguments – I’d just expressed my opinion… a distinction that you seem to be unable to make.
    Stereotypes? This thing of American self-righteousness, fundamentalist rhetoric ,and that you can’t seem to see beyond the end of your noses – that stereotype. I don’t believe the stereotype myself, but *you* are insisting on playing up to it!
    In fact, you’re playing right into my hands here – I criticise *you*, and you seem to take that to mean that I have affronted everyone sandwiched between Canada and Mexico.
    I was in a cafe earlier – there was an obnoxious middle-aged male customer, Irish, who was making racist remarks to several of the serving staff. I had to assist the staff on removing him from the premises. Going on *your* logic, I should now assume that all midde-aged Irish men (despite the fact that I’ll be one someday) are inherently racist. It’s not the case – this lone fuckhead is not necessarily representive of his particular demographic.
    As for propaganda from my own government – that’s a curious one.
    I actually disagree with my the Irish government’s quisling-like behaviour – allowing thousands of US troops to transit through Shannon airport (less than an hour’s drive from where I sit). I also fail to fall for their propaganda, where they deny any responsibility – based on CIA assurances – about rendition flights coming through Irish airports.
    A few years ago, our Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (prime minister) told the Dáil (parliament) ‘that to withdraw facilities for US forces at Shannon Airport now would be a radical change in foreign policy and would be seen as a hostile act’.
    Whereas I think it was would be a declaration of neutrality and more strength…
    I’m a bit lost about your “Caliph of Londonistan” comment… are you talking about Ken Livingstone? And if so, why?
    Finally – about Americans – despite my protestations, you continue to obsess over my alleged anti-americanism. It’s American foreign policy that I don’t like. In a perfect world, the CIA would be disbanded.
    To quote Damien, several kilometres back up this page:
    “it’s people like you that make the united states of america the most hated place in the world, despite the fact that the majority of americans are honest, decent and open-minded people.”
    I have dozens of American friends, have had an American girlfriend, I have written for American publications, have several clients in the US that I do work for I visit the country regularly, and so on.
    Richie, you seem to have a lot of time your hands, please go and use it somewhere else, I have don’t have time to be replying to your inane posts. I have no illusion that I’m going to change your mind on this – you just stay snug, smug and protected, behind your curtain of arrogance.

  40. (Westboro Bapt. Church thread)
    Dave –
    If the meerkats come meerily over the walls after you, are you going to issue a fierce “declaration of neutrality”?
    Just kidding… who doesn’t love a good meerkat joke?
    Did you know that the governmental agency you mentioned above (no doubt calling attention to Blather… don’t you know certain keywords are automatically red-flagged by Echelon and other programs?) has trained meerkats wearing little explosive vests to infiltrate through the shamrock patches (in teams of five)and martyr themselves during hurling matches and public readings of Joyce? The USMCP (meerkat commando protocol) occupies Hangar 51 at Shannon Airport. They’ve got all the meerkats on a steady diet of Guinness and LSD in order to calm them down and make them more trainable. You can tell which kats are involved by the little black berets they wear. I can prove all this.
    Well, I thought this thread had mercifully died, but now that you and Richie Rich are back at it, please post my post posthaste. BTW, why did you have to drag out again that “most hated” line you’re so proud of? JAY-sus!, as my Irish father used to say. Let it alone why don’t you.

  41. Well, that sort of ices it, doesn’t it? You know your arguments against US policy in the middle east are wrong, so you smack down anyone who tries to educate you. Shut me down, it’s your blog! I don’t care. Don’t take time away from your valuable whatever to answer.
    Moving to the west of Ireland is a good plan — you’ll be closer to help when the Jihad looks past the continent and decides that you stay-behind Irish are worth converting or enslaving. Maybe there’ll be a US-bound boat close by . . .
    No, I don’t have a lot of spare time. I take time from my successful business, study of history and vigorous social life to try to help you poor benighted blarney boys free yourself from the psychological conditioning and groupthink that have blinded you to the threat of Islamofascism and sapped your will to fight. But I won’t bother any more . . . You get last word! (But I won’t bother to read it — maybe you could send it to my e-dress?
    Oh, one more thing: you have made a nice Freudian slip with your “…the Irish government’s quisling like behaviour…” Quisling, as most educated people know, betrayed his country to the Nazis. What, exactly, was Ireland’s position during that little dust-up, WWII? What were your male forebears doing while mine were shedding blood to keep you free? A lot of little Quislings, to be sure — and more cowardly than Quisling to boot . . . If Ireland had any balls at all, it would have gone all the way and joined Adolf against the Brits, which is where their hearts lay, but of course they only made pretty speeches about neutrality, laid about the pub and looked for opportunities to make a buck selling information and materiel to the Axis. Hedging your bets in the face of evil — an Irish tradition? No wonder you’re so confused . . .
    Richie Richer than You

  42. Richie, my final word on this thread – and then I’m closing the comments to it.
    Hilariously, you still seem to assume that I automatically agree with the acts of the Irish government, whether in WWII or now. I don’t have the same reverence for the establishment that you seem to have. And I know exactly what Quisling means, and note I used the term “quisling-like behaviour” and used it in full knowledge of how Ireland half-acted in WWII.
    But enough.

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