August 28, 2002
Shropshire Lies Again

Philip Shropshire just can't seem to stop telling lies. Here's one from a comment on this post over on Gene Expression:

If you feel, like Dr. Weevil, that this a just war and to not fight it means a capitulation to tyranny--despite our Chinese dictator allies--then it seems consistent that you would take the next step and enlist.

I don't know why he picks me as a typical 'warblogger', but:

When have I, or any 'warblogger', said anything to imply that the Chinese are "allies" of the U.S.? What many of us fear is that China will take advantage of a war on Iraq to invade or blockade Taiwan. JunkYardBlog had an entry on this yesterday, and he was not the first to worry aloud. Recent reports that the Chinese were supplying the Taleban with weapons even after September 11th are all-too-plausible. The U.S. has polite relations with the Chinese government, and trade ties, but that does not make us any sort of allies.

Three further comments:

  1. Does Shropshire really think that the war against Al Qaeda and its allies is not a "just war"? Does he not know that they declared war on us a few years ago, and have since demonstrated more than once that their declaration was not merely rhetorical? I can see how some might think such a war impractical, or not worth the cost of fighting, just as any attempt to liberate Tibet would be doomed to failure and therefore well worth avoiding. But how can it be unjust to fight those who are trying to kill us? Only the purest of pacifists can argue that, and anyone who writes for a site with a picture of Comandante Marcos on the front page can hardly claim to be a pure pacifist.
  2. I notice that those who oppose war on Iraq, and abuse supporters for not enlisting to fight in person, never follow through the logic of their own arguments. Philip Shropshire could join Ramsey Clark or Louis Farrakhan on one of their frequent flights to Baghdad. He could even stay behind when they leave. Not that I expect someone of his exalted principles to take up an AK-47 and fight for Saddam Hussein against American agression, but surely the mere presence of American pacifists in Baghdad would make U.S. bombing that much less likely? Maybe the whole WarBloggerWatch gang could fly over together. I would be willing to contribute to their plane tickets and hotel bills, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  3. It's a minor point, but still significant, that I do not "feel" that this is a just war, I think it a just war. Shropshire might want to try that unfamiliar process himself some time.
Posted by Dr. Weevil at August 28, 2002 09:13 PM


Do you remember the uproar when Bush changed the phrase from "strategic partners" (ie allies) to "strategic competitors"? It was another example of Bush's imperial hawkishness and/or bumbling.

Now, of course, we're hypocrites for not going to war against china. Naturally Shropshire would support going to war with China. Or would he ask why we're going after China even though we haven't taken care of Iraq yet?


Posted by: R. Alex on August 29, 2002 10:06 AM

I might have mentioned this here already, but it is worth repeating Phil's view on 9/11, back when he thought that 6000 people had died. You can find the remarks here(just scroll down to find them):

And here are Phil's remarks:

You might say, well what about the 6000? I want blood you're probably screaming. Well, why don't we forgive. Actually, considering the millions that have died in East Timor, Vietnam and Latin American I'll take 6000 karmically. It would also be a great lesson for Isreal and one that they need. When you answer the policy request in my next point, keep in mind would you like to be as safe as the average Isreali? Does eye for an eye work? Let's call off the war and determine these to be criminal acts....

Now, as Dr. Weevil pointed out, Phil is stuck on the meme of demanding that the only people who can support the war are people in uniform (never mind the fact that I tried to join the Marine Corps this year and got turned down because I am over 28 years of age--which I posted on my blog, if little illiterate Phil would ever bother to read it). As such, Phil's attitude is that you have to be prepared to physically act on your beliefs, no matter what the circumstances.

And as the above quote points out, Phil seems to think that the death of what he thought to be 6000 people in a single day was "karmic" justice.

Well, here is my question: If Phil can demand that I join the armed forces since I support a war against Iraq, why can't I demand that he go and turn himself in to the nearest Islamofascist to get his head chopped off, if he really thinks that the deaths of Americans is "karmic"? After all, won't Phil's noble sacrifice increase our good karma as a nation? Why is it good karma for other people to die at the hands of terrorists, but not Phil? Why hasn't he volunteered to increase our karma by at least one more corpse? We don't have to just demand that Phil join Ramsey Clark, or go over to Iraq as a human shield or enlistee of the Republican Guard. We can demand that he back up his talk about karma by volunteering himself as the next American victim of terrorism. All he has to do is go to the Middle East and volunteer to be killed. Why doesn't he live by those principles?

Then again, I don't think anyone should actually expect Phil to follow the logical consequences of his own meme. If you do, you are deluding yourself. Phil is as cowardly and hypocritical as he is skull-crushingly stupid.

Posted by: Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 29, 2002 03:53 PM

Hmm. "Feeling" vs "thinking." Very good.

The Shropshire Lad is on the very edge of hysteria. He doesn't argue; he rants, he thrashes on the floor, he shrieks. There are reasonable doubts to be had about the coming war (tho' more in the line of its execution and the aftermath than in the necessity of removing Saddam), but all that shouting won't persuade anyone. Perhaps if we all left him alone, not visiting his site (the blogger's version of being sent to his room), he would calm down. If he does not become more reasonble, he mightat least be quieter.

Posted by: Jack on August 30, 2002 03:19 PM

The whole 'you can't say a thing about the war if you're not in uniform' trope is getting just a little tiresome. It's asinine in the extreme - from the point of view of expertise it's like saying I can't write a book about Waterloo since I wasn't one of Napoleon's cuirassiers. John Keegan, probably the world's greatest living military historian, never served in unform either. Does that render his scholarship worthless?

As for the argument that since those of us who are not in uniform do not have the right to ask others to fight on our behalf - if this were true, then any sort of army at all would be immoral, unless it comprised a majority of the people of its nation, and even then only if the ones doing the asking were also doing the fighting. Politicians tell armies what to do, and we elect politicians (at least in theory), to do what we want them to do. Or is Shropshire advocating the Dowd-esque notion that the military should be free of civilian (i.e. non-combatant control)?

Methinks that those who espouse this silly notion are just casting about for an excuse to oppose the war that won't make them look like the anti-Western appeasers that they are.

Posted by: David Gillies on August 31, 2002 03:39 PM

I have been serving in Iraq for over five months now as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the "ROCK."

We entered the country at midnight on the 26th of March; one thousand of my fellow soldiers and I parachuted from 10 jumbo jets (known as C-17s) onto a cold, muddy field in Bashur, Northern Iraq. This parachute operation was the U.S. Army's only combat jump of the war and opened up the northern front.

Things have changed tremendously for our battalion since those first cold, wet weeks spent in the mountain city of Bashur. On April 10 our battalion conducted an attack south into the oil-rich town of Kirkuk, the city that has since become our home away from home and the focus of our security and development efforts.

Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, in the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands, in their broken English shouting "Thank you, mister."

The people of Kirkuk are all trying to find their way in this new democratic environment. Some major steps have been made in these last three months. A big reason for our steady progress is that our soldiers are living among the people of the city and getting to know their neighbors and the needs of their neighborhoods.

We also have been instrumental in building a new police force. Kirkuk now has 1,700 police officers. The police are now, ethnically, a fair representation of the community as a whole. So far, we have spent more than $500,000 from the former Iraqi regime to repair each of the stations' electricity and plumbing, to paint each station and make it a functional place for the police to work.

The battalion also has assisted in re-establishing Kirkuk's fire department, which is now even more effective than before the war. New water treatment and sewage plants are being constructed and the distribution of oil and gas are steadily improving.

All of these functions were started by our soldiers here in this northern city and are now slowly being turned over to the newly elected city government. Laws are being rewritten to reflect democratic principles and a functioning judicial system was recently established to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the rule of law.

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

The fruits of all our soldiers' efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today. There is very little trash in the streets, there are many more people in the markets and shops and children have returned to school.

This is all evidence that the work we are doing as a battalion and as American soldiers is bettering the lives of Kirkuk's citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as well.

Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo

"Die dulci fruimini!"

Posted by: Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo on July 11, 2004 08:34 AM