"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Your Straw Man Is Way Too Big

I like stopping by Jaded Haven almost every day, because usually the posts are good, thought provoking stuff.  Even if I don't agree with something, it's usually no big deal.  But when I read something that makes no sense factually and actually defames others unjustly, I just have to say something.

Before I get on with it, let me be the first to say that I have lots and lots of vitriol to hurl at leftists who know what they are doing, as well as the leftist drones. I can engage in take-no-prisoners scolding of the crap that so-called progressives preach and want to impose on us.  But what I will not do is accuse my opponents of saying things they didn't say, or even worse, believing things they don't believe. So, when I encounter a writer whom I like, engaging in such behavior, it hurts.

Here I will quote Daphne directly and deal with it point by point.
Chalk it up to personal anxiety caused by ingrained societal pressure to create a day of materially prolific Christmas bliss or my increasing reluctance to walk any partisan line, but I would sincerely like to know how Evangelicals can justify the ongoing genocide and displacement of Iraqi Christians in the wake of Operation Freedom.

My question:  Is there some news source that I don't know about that has published a new survey that supports this charge?  And because she is talking about recent events, it made me curious, so I went searching the internet to see  if there was some evidence of this, since Daphne cites not a single article or even somebody else's educated or experienced opinion.  It begs the question: What has Daphne read or heard that  has her panties in a bunch over evangelicals?

I googled the question of evangelicals support war, and could only find these:
Please note that this is from 2002, and just as importantly note the stats:
"Some 69 percent of conservative Christians favor military action against Baghdad; 10 percentage points more than the U.S. adult population as a whole."  So, 59% of the general population felt that way back in 2002, and so because evangelicals were a bit more in that direction, evangelicals were are a big problem.   

Then there is:  http://www.religionnewsblog.com/7331/iraq-war-weakens-bond-between-bush-evangelicals
Dated May 18, 2004.  Please note what the article says about evangelicals: 
"Some academics estimate evangelical Christians represent 25 to 30 percent of the 105 million people who voted in the last presidential election."    The article, from Reuters - no big cheerleading squad for Christians - makes the point that evangelical support for Bush had eroded and by a significant margin.  Evangelicals by this time had started waking up to the fact that Bush was not really a conservative, but was still the lesser of two evils when compared to John Kerry.  The important point found in the survey is that even back then, no case could be made that evangelicals supported bush specifically on the war more than non-evangelicals.

When you can't get the kind of answers you want from a large base of survey participants, the best thing you can do is narrow the field and hope for the best.  Which leads to this survey:
Where what we find is that the press only interviewed 100 members of a group that the vast majority of evangelical churches don't belong to.  The reason I can say that is because the tens of thousands of churches that consider themselves evangelical are independent and don't belong to such an organization.  Just as telling is the fact that the survey revealed that only a bare majority of the members were on the support side.  Hardly some kind of mandate.

A most glaring absence of data would be a list of the top ten issues that caused evangelicals to vote for Bush. Just a wild guess here, but I think it's safe to say that abortion and a few other things were big factors as well.

Daphne again:

Don’t get me wrong, I was a fierce supporter of the invasion. Just another citizen completely convinced that Sadaam was about to unleash a maelstrom of fiery hell on America in the wake of 9/11′s devastation. I sincerely believed our government was telling us the truth. My justifiable fear trumped my mind’s skeptical rationale. It’s been a few years since I blindly subscribed to the Bush Doctrine,  in light of hindsight’s neglected facts, it was a tenuous position to maintain with any long-term seriousness over the passing years.

Here Daphne admits that she "blindly" supported the "Bush Doctrine" even though I can't seem to find any such doctrine as defined by the former president, but only some vague references attributed to pundits.  That's kind of like citing Roman Catholic doctrine and then assigning it to the Bible. But for me to make sense of what Daphne is saying, she needs to define what exactly is the Bush Doctrine. Secondly, what are the "neglected facts?"  If it is a question of WMD, the facts are that Hussein had WMD because he used it on people in his own territory and Iran.  British Intelligence still stands behind the information on yellowcake uranium and the fact that John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and various other democrat senators stood in the well of the Senate and cajoled their colleagues into voting for Bush's actions of war. (Even back then, I said there was something strange about that.)  Add to this the defecting Iraqi general who publicly spoke to anyone who would listen that the Russians came and moved the nuclear weapons north into Syria. No big surprise there.  What would you expect to find if the DEA spent three months weeks days warning a drug dealing gang that if they didn't provide proof that they had stopped dealing drugs you were coming in for a full sweep?    Then all of the ACLU types in the burbs start screaming that the raid is totally unjustified because -- "Wow, we searched in all of the obvious places, but we didn't find any drugs, Lieutenant."  I could say more on that, but . . .

But some people are still buying the mongrel spiel, most notably Evangelicals. No derision intended, I’d honestly like to know how they square the overthrow of a secular, American owned [then why the hell didn't we just sell them to the Chinese?] dictatorship in favor of an expensive war that established a Muslim hotbed of “democracy” who are directly responsible for the wholesale eradication and diaspora of minority Christians. How is eliminating Iraq’s people of the book in our nation’s best interests? I’d sincerely like to hear the Evangelical response to the continuing collateral damage resulting from a flawed foreign policy they still passionately embrace.

Again, I'd sure like to know what constitutes "most notably," but I think I already covered that up above.  While I can't speak for all evangelicals, this subject has come up in conversation with both people I consider evangelicals, which are few and far between, since my standards for that label are considerably higher than the secular world, and among those who carry some other mainstream Christian label.  Except among those I would call left-leaning, the general consensus was that we were making a colossal mistake and could lose the war because Bush and other RINOs insisted on the delusion that you could impose "democracy" [hochhhh - spit] on a culture whose religion absolutely loathes such a concept.  I knew we were in some deep cow paddies the moment I heard Bush referring to Islam as a religion of peace.  [Islam means "submission," look it up.]

Explain this horrific mess.

Christmas was almost cancelled in Baghdad this year. The October 31st slaughter of 58 people in a Baghdad church by Al Queda had already terrified the Christian communities, more bombings and murders followed, and last Tuesday Al Queda threatened to kill anyone celebrating Christmas.  

Thank you, I think I will explain this mess.

True conservatives overall, and evangelicals as the smaller subset were warning before the election of Obama, because of his own rhetoric, that this would create a disaster in Iraq for the innocent civilian population.  That telegraphing to the radical jihadists that it was just a matter of time before we would be pulling out, would simply allow them to breathe easy, re-group, re-arm, re-strategize while they wait for us to pull out.  The flip side of that coin is that those who were on the side of creating a peaceful, moderate society, were now faced with a choice: try to stand on our own against terrible odds when the Americans leave, or start trying to get back in the good graces of the Taliban before that fateful time comes.

The evangelical position, the conservative position, as has been publicized all over the internet, is that we don't like war.  But war gets foisted upon us by evil people.  So once the war starts, the goal should be to bring it to a complete and unambiguous end as quickly as possible.  Try to protect innocent life wherever possible, but don't let that keep you from the primary goal; win it, and win it fast and decisively. Only those who play by the rules of the Geneva Convention get to benefit from its rules.  All else are summarily executed.  No exceptions. People who have anything to do with flying plane loads of civilians into non-military targets, beheading journalists for show, turning mentally retarded women of their own families into burka-clad remote control bombs can be water-boarded ad infinitum and worse if it means helping to stop any more terrorist acts.  Again, I can't speak for most evangelicals, and there are probably many conservatives who wouldn't agree with me, but I don't find the Jesus in the New Testament to be a touchy-feely liberal.  His instructions about loving one's neighbor were strictly about one-on-one relations not political or national.  The guy who claimed to be "one with the Father" was obviously in on all the campaigns of the Old Testament. You know, like wiping out the entire Egyptian army?  I wouldn't have brought religious doctrine into this, but Daphne left me no choice.

More from the story Daphne quoted:

The following day, a council representing the various Christian denominations advised followers to call off Christmas celebrations. Services were cancelled, decorations taken down. Mass was held in various cities on Christmas Eve, but under tight security, then the faithful were told to go home and pray in private for those who had been killed in 2010.

There’s no reason to think the ongoing pogrom against Christians will slacken in 2011. This means the ongoing exodus will continue. After the Oct 31st mass killing over 10,000 people fled the capital for the relative safety of the Kurdish areas in the north. They added to the almost 300,000 Christians who have left the Arab areas of Iraq since 2003. Most left the country entirely. About 500,000 remain.

Daphne: I can’t imagine anyone of sound mind or honest integrity supporting this collateral damage in the name of nebulous homeland security or Muslim sovereignty.

You don't really have to, Daphne.  But let's be clear about something.  Bush's policy was that he could not, and would not guarantee a timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq because he knew that any such talk would be a signal to the radical Muslims that they were winning the propaganda war and that it would only be a matter of time before they could regain control and carry out pogroms against any infidels.  What is happening in Iraq now is the result of Al Queda simply responding to the policies of THIS administration, and the last time I checked, I couldn't find a single evangelical that supported a single policy, domestic or foreign, of the Obama Administration.

I'd like to see one of two things happen. a) Either the United States puts enough volunteer forces back in Iraq to flush out and eliminate ALL remaining Taliban/Al Queda/etc. members or drive them into obscurity and stay until it is reasonably certain that the Iraqis can defend against their resurgence, or b) we give notice and reasonable amount of time for all Christians or freedom loving Iraqis to be relocated to other parts of the globe where they are welcome and then we pull completely out of Iraq.  But then we put them and the world on notice that if we determine that they are involved in even the slightest way with any terrorist activity, a few GBU-43/Bs will be delivered to Baghdad in short order.  And while we will pray for your innocent lives lost, we will not be deluded into believing it was our fault and not yours that they died.

In a nutshell, to make sure that I'm not misunderstood; don't present the problems created by the Obama administration and expect someone to defend those problems as if they were created by Bush.

What's even sadder is to blame a minority segment of the electorate for crap they didn't believe in to begin with.


  1. Good analysis. Seems to have a lot in common with what I was trying to tell her.

    We seem to be living in a world of not quite so much good+evil, as diamonds+chalk; whenever two entities come into conflict, the soft will yield to the hard. As you (and I) pointed out, Bush's "doctrine," such as it was, consisted of a refusal to ever announce a timetable because that would make the "good" side into the "soft" side.

    Frankly, I do not know what events could possibly transpire to prove the wisdom of this more directly, more starkly, and more definitively than the events Daphne herself wishes to discuss...

  2. Excellent piece ! Thanks.

    Wonder why I hear Zola Levitt's voice (RIP) while reading your words:)

  3. Mark, thanks for your comment. Upon reflecting upon Daphne's entire piece, it came to me that her real problem was evangelicals. I can only surmise that, like myself, she has experienced some really bad events at the hands of folks who identify with that label. Seeing the news piece just set her off without thinking. I really hope she talks with me more about this. Nothing has made it harder for me to be a disciple of Christ than other "Christians," because the real ones are so few and far between.


Please don't make me disable comments because you couldn't maintain decorum and civil discourse. You can disagree all you want to, just don't get nasty.