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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Mistress Takes On The Smart Guys

Normally, Thomas would handle this post. Whereas I'm a new listener to Hugh Hewitt, I missed this part of his show. I had to rely on the written word through RadioBlogger rather than listening to this. And Thomas has always enjoyed ripping Erwin apart. However, I think I can handle it.

The Smart Guys are John Eastman of Chapman Law School, and Erwin Chemirinsky of Duke Law School. I'll be as brief as I possibly can. I'll give a rebuttal, but I'm going to let Erwin hang himself with his own words.

HH: Joined by the Smart Guys now. John Eastman, professor of Con law at Chapman University Law School. Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of Con law at Duke University Law School. John from the right, Erwin from the left. And gentlemen, normally we debate cases. And I do have one to talk with you about. But given that tomorrow is this epic event in the Middle East, and it's coming after a period of so much blood and tears, both Iraqi and American, John Eastman, let me start with you. As you contemplate the parallels with America, between the conclusion of the war and the adoption of the Constitution, first elections, leading to the government of 1789, do you see any parallels?

JE: Well, in fact, Hugh, Iraqis are pulling it off on a much quicker timetable than we did. The Revolutionary War was...you know, the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. We continued to operate under a fairly difficult Articles of Confederation government. They had one Constitutional convention in Annapolis that didn't have a majority of states even show up. They had a second Constitutional convention that took five months, and then went out to ratification. And it wasn't until 1789 that we began operating under the government finally chosen under that Constitution.

HH: And so yes, they are moving at a much more rapid pace. But Erwin, we had to postpone our bloody civil war for four score years.

EC: I just don't think there's a parallel. I hope that the election is successful. I hope they have a constitution that works for them, a government that brings them peace, a government that allows us to withdraw as soon as possible. But the reality is, the American Revolution was led by Americans who wanted independence from England. This was a military action by the United States, to overthrow a government, in the words of the president, a regime change, that I think has done nothing but make that country much worse off. A terrible loss of lives for Iraqis and Americans, and a huge waste of money.

There are a couple serious parallels. First, the formation of a constitution; something that the country hasn't had any semblance for thirty years. Second, yes we fought the war for them, but it was a war of independence, of sorts. We liberated that nation. That war was bloodier for us then than it was this time around. Second, "regime change" was not a term coined by this president. It was coined by Pres. Clinton in 1998, and Congress passed legislation that it never acted on calling for precisely that move. The Iraqis and Americans who fought over there understood the risks involved. As for the cost let me paraphrase a popular quote: What price security?

JE: Wow.

HH: Erwin, I am very rarely at a loss for words, so I'll just let John...

JE: Yeah. You know, the difference of course is that the Iraqi people were being so brutalized by their own dictator, that they could not possibly assert their own freedom with any prospect of success. They tried back in 1991, and we kind of pulled the rug out from under them, and departed too soon. And the notion that they could have pulled this off on their own, or that somehow this is being imposed on them, because U.S. troops are helping facilitate their claim to democracy, and their drafting of a constitution, and securing the prospects of peace, and allowing them to choose their own government, I don't even know where to begin.

HH: Erwin, do you think Iraq is worse off today than it was three years ago?

EC: Very much so. How many people have died as a result of this? How much have we destroyed the infrastructure as a result of this? What have we gotten for the hundreds of billions of dollars that we've just thrown down the drain, is what we've done? I think that this was a war that the president got us in, through nothing but lies. It's as ill-advised as anything the United States has done militarily, and there's a fascinating chart on the op-ed page of today's New York Times, that shows that 80% of Iraqis now would like to see the United States leave.

Lies. I'm so sick of hearing that this was a war based on lies. Was it a lie when Pres. Clinton cited the same reasons to lob cruise missiles into Baghdad. Was it a lie when the Congress agreed on regime change, based on the intelligence that was presented to them? Was it a lie when the Senate agreed with Pres. Bush to invade Iraq, which not only fulfilled the legislation from 5 years prior, but also was based on the same intelligence they saw at the time they passed that resolution? Was it a lie when the president cited that terrorists made Iraq a haven when, lo and behold, we've found terrorists hiding in Iraq? Please. This whole idea that history for the liberals started in January of 2001, and nothing that came before that matters or is relevant is getting pretty retarded. If the president was wrong fdor what he did, then so was the Congress that enabled him to do it, both now and back then. And, aside from public opinion still stewing about Vietnam, what other military action have we taken that was "ill-advised?" Korea was done at the behest of the UN. World Wars I & II were approved by Congress, and it was accepted that we were threatened at the time. And the 80% number's got to go. That was debunked with the ABC poll conducted late last week. That's not true, and Erwin knows it as much as John Murtha does.

HH: Now John Eastman, (laughing) I don't know what to say.

JE: Yeah, well look. Here's what's not a lie. Saddam and his thug sons killed massive numbers of people of Iraq, in the most heinous ways. They're buried in mass graves. They used biological and chemical weapons on their own people. They took a war to an innocent third country, neighboring third country, in Kuwait, that required the nations of the world to come in and try and repel it. You know, the notion that somehow Iraq is better off under a dictator that is the closest thing, at the end of the last century, to what Hitler was and Stalin in the middle of the last century, is just perplexing to me that anybody could even assert that.

HH: Let me ask a question of you both. I don't want to just embarrass one or the other of you. Do you have an estimate of the people that Saddam killed as simply political victims, Erwin or John, during his tenure?

EC: No. I think Saddam Hussein was a horrible tyrant. And I'm in no way defending him. But nor do I think that the appropriate thing to do was for a president to lie, and tell the country it was because Iraq was going to buy uranium, which he knew was untrue. Nor do I think it was for the president to lie about weapons of mass destruction, to justify the war. 30,000 Iraqis have died as a result of this war. There's been untold suffering imposed. I think we've done nothing but alienate those that might have been our supporters in the Middle East. I think this is one of the great tragedies of American foreign policy history.

Someone want to drag Erwin down from his bloody soapbox already? The Niger story wasn't a lie. Joe Wilson has told two different stories. The first, delivered to the Senate, wasn't under oath, and he told them that he had discovered that Saddam was trying to buy urnaium from Niger. It's the only export Niger technically has that's worth anything to the country. The New York Times piece has been debunked again, and again, and it directly contradicted what he told the Senate. And he never stated that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. We went to war to end his WMD programs, and to disarm the man. That means we were taking his military apart; an inevitable fact when another nation tangles with our military. We kill people and break things. The 30,000 Iraqi deaths are not all our fault. Many of those people were victims of terrorism, especially the recent, inceased attacks specifically targeting the civilian population! This isn't a tragedy, this is a success. Did it have it's bumps along the road? Sure it did. Sherman remarked that "War is Hell, lest we become too fond of it!" You can plan everything out in advance, but the best laid plans will go to hell in a handbasket very quickly. And as for supporters, I still see a few nations in the Middle East that are suffering under the current leadership including Syria and Iran. Erwin can't tell me that the Iranians desiring freedom from the Ayatollah and the mullahs wouldn't welcome the US into their nation to drive them out. If that stance were taken by him, then he's a moron.

HH: And John, I ask again. As opposed...just a simple factual assertion of the number of victims of Saddam, excluding those killed in the war that he initiated with Iran, and the war he initiated with Kuwait. Do you have any estimate?

JE: I don't. But I think it's well north of 30,000. And the conditions under which the people were killed were horrendous. The loss of life is always a tragedy, but when it's being imposed in the way that Saddam did it, the notion that the free peoples of the world ought to stand by and watch that happen and not do anything about it...and you know, it wasn't just that. He was violating U.N. resolutions, that any one of which authorized the world community to go in and finish the job that had been begin in repelling him from Kuwait in 1991. And these things were not new to the Bush administration. The same contentions about weapons of mass destruction were being made on President Clinton's watch as well, by the president then. I mean, I don't know where to begin. It's like this rewriting of history that's going on, in order to embarrass the United States, and undermine the war effort. If we succeed in this, in actually helping create a democratic government in the Middle East, that will stabilize that region, I mean, we're talking about a generation or more of peace that would never have occurred, but for that effort.

HH: I want to point to one particular...Human Rights Watch, a very reputable organization...this is just one year, in 1980. One year. One year. Saddam executed 50,000 Shias. That's one year. That does not talk about the 10,000 Kurds who were killed the following couple of years, or the more than 100,000 Kurds in the 1983 pogram. It does not talk to what happened in the streets of Baghdad. I mean, I'm just stunned, Erwin.

EC: But all of that was inexcusable. But that wasn't why the president went to war here.

No, but it became apparent after being in that nation, finding what we had found, hearing what we heard, that what we did was the right thing to do. The people of Iraq suffered under the iron fist of a dictator that killed without mercy or remorse. He went to the UN with his hat in his hand claiming that the sanctions were starving his people. And when he was allowed to sell his commodity to the world so he could feed his people, he bribed those involved, and pocketed the money for himself. For more palaces. For more weapons. For more luxury so he and his sadistic sons could continue terrorizing their own people. I'm so sorry that this wasn't a major citation made by the president. But once we were there, and knew what we knew, we had no choice bu to completely finish this job. Further, for Erwin to proclaim that the Iraqis are worse off now than under Saddam Hussein is either blind liberal ideology, or he is the most brain-dead lawyer I've ever had the chance to read and hear.

HH: That's not what...I'm not debating...I'm saying, are they better off today than they were three years ago.

EC: Well, I think the country is clearly worse off. Saddam Hussein wasn't engaged in those things at that time. And if we wanted to do things to pressure changes, we had all sorts of things to do. But to go in and launch a war based on nothing but lies, that's killed 30,000 people in that country, and cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, I think it's tragic.

Right there! in his own words he denies that Iraq is better off. And the denial that Saddam Hussein wasn't constantly torturing, starving, or murdering his people on the slightest whim he or his sons might have had is as bad as those who deny the Holocaust never occurred. What were our options that we could have done? More sanctions? More Security Council resolutions condemning Saddam? More threats that were never intended to be backed up? No. Absolutely not. Michelle Malkin put it best: America is tired of being the world's janitor. We took action because no one--not even the UN--wanted to take action. We saw the man as a serious threat, with ties to terrorism, with ambitions to obtain WMDs, and who had proclaimed himself that we were his enemy. And no, I don't want to hear from anyone that the president stated that Saddam was an "imminent threat." It's a lie. He never said that. Saddam was, however, a serious threat, and despite the naysayers, the evidence shows that Saddam had ties with al-Qaeda.

The enemy of my enemy is my ally. That's why we invoked Machiavelli in return: "For those that desire peace, prepare for war."

HH: John Eastman, you get the last word.

JE: Yeah. I don't know where to begin. I mean, we've still got troops in Germany, fifty years after World War II. And we liberated the German people from a tyrant there. And it wasn't...that continued after we had repelled him from the countries he invaded. I think that's an appropriate thing to do. I think it was appropriate then, and I think it was appropriate now. And time will tell, and history will show that what we have done here is help stabilize a region that has been a perpetual war spot for generations.

HH: All right, gentlemen. I will talk to you again next week about matters Constitutional, and those will include, of course, the constitutionally elected new government of Iraq.

Erwin's a nut. I doubt he'll be able to live this one down. Both Hugh and John gave him a run for his money, but basically let him hang himself. All I did was pull the switch, and let him twist....after I kicked him in the head a couple of times.

Mistress Pundit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog.The university should fire that guy. He lies. I detest someone like that. President Bush the other day said something for the first time as I recall that I've been saying. Iraq is a magnet and with our presence draws the terrorists. In other words better to fight them there than here. A jihad is declared against us. We didn't start this war but we have no option but to fight is we are to retain our freedoms. Freedom is contagious. The world saw that today with the voting. Rawriter

9:19 PM  

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