Call & Response, Part II

Diana Moon says something in my comments that bears repeating:

But I think it’s important that we say it *is* FUBAR. It’s amazing how the hawks were able to get away with blackmailing the press and the skeptical side of the blogosphere with charges of disloyalty into making anyone who disagreed with them pull punches. Well I say it’s FUBAR and I say to hell with it.

She’s right, and that’s something that I just can’t stop emphasizing. If we’re to have any hope, any hope at all of fixing the situation so that there’s some kind of security and stability, then we have to admit that we’ve made some really serious mistakes, and then fix those mistakes.

Instead, all we’ve gotten is this by-now ridiculous insistence that “we have our good days and our bad days”, as Secretary Rumsfeld has said, and that’s kept us from fixing a wrecked system.

One of the big reasons why I started writing this blog lies in that–I’ve dissented from the official line, and I continue to do so where the situation warrants it. It’s one of the reasons why I use a pen name, since I feel much more free in expressing my personal opinion regarding what’s happening in Iraq and around the world.

The situation in Iraq is FUBAR. Let’s work on fixing it, so that we’re not there any longer than necessary, and then let’s learn from our mistakes, so that we don’t repeat them and keep on proving Santayana right.

Two brief notes, the first for those of you commenting: Look, calling me a “f—king a–hole” because of my proposed plan for resolving the Iraq crisis (a plan, might I add, that I, even in my most delirious moments, don’t think has a ghost of a chance of being adopted) isn’t really going to convince me to see things your way. I’ve seen and been through worse. If you want to persuade me, might I suggest that you do what Rich Puchalsky did–show me where I could have made mistakes. God only knows I’ve made enough of them, and I have no problem admitting when I’ve fouled up.

Better yet, come up with your own competing plan, like Jim Henley did, and hopefully, together, you and I will be able to come up with a way out of this mess. Who knows–stranger things have happened.

The other, for Prof. Brad DeLong–thanks for the link, and the addition to the blogroll.

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26 responses to “Call & Response, Part II

  1. Regards “We broke it, we bought it”…

    It wasn’t for sale. The analogy is just so totally wrong, and that leads one to make basic assumptions that are egregiously wrong, which inevitably leads you to bad conclusions.

    Try an analogy that fits a little better.

    You’re a cop–a good cop but a sometimes brutal one (I’ve worked with the cops…). You knock down someone’s door on a warrant that turns out to be based on a bunch of lies from slimy informants. In the process of finding that out–you happen to nab a nasty criminal, but that wasn’t why you came. But having come, you stay a while, and bust things up a little more… when the residents get pissy about their door, possessions and your attitude, not to mention the fact that you brought yous sack-of-shit informants in and are giving them the keys.

    You broke it? Yeah. But you didn’t buy it. It wasn’t for sale. It’s not even possible to really pay for the damage–some of those bits of kindling are family heirlooms and the kids cowering in the corner looking shell-shocked are probably not going to ever look at a cop with the idea that they’re the good guys, on our side, ever again.

    What the residents want is what? Well, they want their place back. Intact. Not that they can have it, really. But more than anything, what they WANT is you to get the fuck out, and to take the dirtbags with you.

    We cannot impose peace. We cannot impose democracy.

    The delusion that we can rests on assumptions based on WWII. But those societies were beaten senseless, bled white and shattered… starving… desperate, intimidated and crushed. We didn’t impose peace, we beat the Axis senseless and then rebuilt it in an image we felt was acceptable. It was victor’s justice, tempered with more sanity than traditional and customary (see Carthage, see Versailles…) but it was victor’s justice nonetheless.

    Iraq isn’t the same situation. There was no cause for war, really, and so we face a people for whom we lack any internal sense of need and justice for shattering their society and bleeding them white. And they know it and feel it… and are outraged at being brutalized and violated… wronged.

    Do we have a responsibility? Sure. We broke it. But our responsibility is to make things right with the people of Iraq, as they see it–within the limits of what’s sane and reasonable. It’s not to make it right by doing whatever we think would be nifty for Iraqis… if only they were a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth.

    It’s time to leave. Is that a problem? Yes. There’s going to be some chaos… and there’s not a lot we CAN do about that. But the Iraqis need to determine their own path. All we can do is try to help–hands mostly off–and just remind them quietly that there are directions they could go that will make us come back. Don’t embrace Al Qaeda….

    But the cost alone proves that we’ve screwed up. We could have removed Saddam, shattered the Republican Guard and employed EVERY Iraqi at a wage that’s well above a decent living wage in Iraq, putting them to work rebuilding their nation… and not paid more than we have to corrupt corporations, mercenaries and various pocket-liners.

  2. Rich Puchalsky

    The analogy above is good, but I still think that mine (the rapist who tells his traumatized victim “I broke you, I bought you”) is better. Because when you really look at what the Bush administration did in invading Iraq “preemptively”, you see a war crime. It was just as much a war crime as Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.

    I presume that most people will disagree, because of how horrible Saddam was. But we didn’t make war against Saddam. We made war against Iraq: its military, civilians, society, and stability. If we had invaded Iraq at the same time as the Shiites were actively revolting, in the first Gulf War, perhaps the moral situation would have been different — much more like our Kosovo intervention. But that’s water under the bridge.

    So. When a criminal rapes a victim, and then hangs around and tries to control the victim’s life out of a sense of guilt, of course the results are going to be bad. In modern societies, this rarely happens, because police take away the criminal and put him in jail, and society tries to help the victim get on with her life. But the relationships between nations are not a society, they are an anarchy. There are no police with the power to haul America away. There will be no justice — unless you want to call “justice” the eye-for-an-eye version given by the suicide bomb or by the guy who cried that he would come to America and shoot civilians in order to repay the death of his 8-year-old daughter.

    So please stop writing “we broke it, we bought it.” It is grotesque. Start, instead, praying for mercy — from those we have sinned against, and from God. For when there is no justice on Earth, mercy is all we can hope for.

  3. Rich Puchalsky

    Oops. I wrote “the analogy above”, but on this blog, previous comments are shown below. I had meant to refer to Ogre’s analogy in comments.

  4. Rich,

    I certainly don’t disagree that Bush’s War began with a war crime–and not surprisingly, it includes more war crimes. And I’m not going to crawl into the qWagmire of which war crime is worse…. (Nope, not going there. Wouldn’t be prudent.)

    The best face I can put on war to take out Saddam (which is NOT what this war was about, in the first place…) is that it can be framed as a SWAT action in a very bad situation… with a psychopath who has taken a large number of hostages and is killing some of them.

    But our response has to be framed in that case as going in to get him, guns blazing, killing some of the hostages in order to save any of them.

    And then, having “gotten” him, continuing to shoot hostages.

    But I don’t think that it’s a good analogy.

    These are things best resolved after the fact–which is why I’ve called for Bush to have a one way ticket to the Hague on 3 November.

  5. Finally, someone’s listening! Thank you, Arkhangel, for listening. Saying this to the warblog crowd (of which I used to be a member) has been rather like howling into the void.

    Don’t expect thanks for being right, but keep saying it, and maybe some of them will start listening.

    National Review has begun a partial process of stumbling into the light.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/issue/editors200404160830.asp

    John Burns was on Charlie Rose last night. I don’t have a transcript but the gist was that Sistani is the man who holds the cards, and that he wants an “Iranian-style” theocracy. It was horrifying to hear those words. Horrifying.

  6. Rich Puchalsky

    Diana, I don’t see why you are so horrified by the idea of an Iranian-style theocracy. It’s probably the best of the available options, and always was. And the people in Iran are really much better off, in terms of their ability to dissent and so on, then the people in most other countries in the Middle East. And the Iraqi Shiite theocratic tradition is not as severe as the Iranian one.

    “Democracy” is a method of making sure that government reflects the popular will. If the popular will is majority Shiite and theocratic, then by introducing democracy, that’s what you get. Again, this is probably better than the alternatives for when we inevitably leave, those being:

    1) Anarchy
    2) Ongoing civil war between the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds
    3) Another strongman / dictator takes over
    4) Partition, followed by the Shiites having a Shiite theocracy, the Sunnis having a strongman, and the Kurds going to war with Turkey

    I could see some people thinking that having a strongman / dictator is actually better than having a theocracy. In which case they should have stuck with Saddam. This is exactly why Bush I stuck with Saddam; he was willing to try to replace Saddam with a friendlier dictator, but when it came to supporting a Shiite revolt, he decided to let them die.

  7. Rich Puchalsky

    See, this is the problem with blogs that have comments listed with the most recent at the top. If I simply reply, “sheerahkhan, fuck off”, everyone will see that before they see the insulting, childish diatribe that makes it a reasonable response.

    What I think should be done is obvious. I think that we should leave Iraq, impeach Bush and turn him over to the Hague for war crimes trials, and perhaps pay war crimes indemnities to whoever emerges from the chaos in Iraq. Then we should take the difficult steps we will need to take to get us out of an oil-based economy, which we will eventually be forced to do anyway, and which would permit us to stop intervening in the Middle East. None of that will happen.

    What will happen is that we will lose the war in Iraq and eventually be forced out. Bush will either steal another election, and get us into four more years of wars which we will also lose because we can’t hold territory, or retire to cut brush. The Iraqis will be left with a grudge against the U.S., and our civilians will start to die from Iraqi-sponsored terrorism, which will continue for years and possibly generations to come. Eventually, we will be forced by defeat and necessity to do what we should have done from the beginning.

    And no “competing plan” made up by some blogger is going to change this. It is the height of arrogance to think so. If you really think that you have a competing plan that you want to implement, you must be first do one of two things: either win a major election, or become a major ideologue (by which I mean someone like Marx or Madison, not someone like any blogger). Otherwise the decision will be made on the usual basis of the American factors of corruption, jingoism, self-interest, and apathy — unpredictable in detail, but predictable over a long time period. Thankfully, I think that we are now too decadent as a society to have an unpredictable surge of idealistic fervor that could lead to the deaths of millions instead of mere tens or hundreds of thousands.

  8. Under the present circumstances, a theocracy probably *is* the best option, but my initial reaction was one of horror, because I don’t think that that is a good option, or that it had to be that way.

    Call me Pollyanna (go ahead) but I think that smart, relentless and patient diplomacy could have leveraged Saddam and sons out of power after 9/11. That’s a big claim so I should try to back it up. I’m not sure I can. But I’ll try.

    After 9/11 a lot of people owed us, Arabs and Europeans both. I think we could have said to them, “Look here, we want to create a secular democracy in Iraq. We want to drop the sanctions. We can do without you but we can’t do it while you are obstructing us. So don’t obstruct and stand aside while we get rid of Saddam and replace him with a council of elite elders. Eventually you’ll be able to have representative government but for now, power will be exercised by you, with us in the background.”

    Somewhere or other, during Kay’s last report, I read that he claimed that Saddam’s grasp on power was tenuous, and was imploding. I can’t believe he had much of a power base left.

    But we didn’t do that, we went for the grand theater of armed force, and look what happened.

    My point is that I do think that Saddam would have had to be sorted out, but not this way, not that time.

    OK Rich, fire away. Tear me to shreds.

  9. Regarding analogies, how about, “you broke it, you mend it”?

    Should that be, “You broke it, you let it mend itself”?

    The problem I ahd with the “you broke it, you buy it,” analogy is that it struck me as an excuse for continued occupation under any circumstances. Not surprising, as the entire mentality underlying the phrase is one of possession.

  10. Rich Puchalsky

    sheerahkhan, don’t confuse Google pages with influence. And don’t confuse blogging with influence. Let’s take the most influential Democratic bloggers (I’m not familiar with the Republican ones), who I would take to be Kevin Drum, Atrios, Kos, and maybe Marshall. Have any had any influence on real world events? The most that I can recall is that Atrios may have been one of the key elements in the chain bringing Trent Lott’s gaffe to a wider audience. So yes, bloggers can be opposition researchers. They also can be journalists (mostly of the gossip variety) and lower-ranking party activists. None of those roles has any real effect on policy.

    Diana, the problem with your proposed chain of events is that it has us taking the support that we received from sympathy over 9/11 and using it on a completely unrelated matter, that of Iraq. In fact we did use that sympathy to have the world agree to our invasion of Afghanistan, one of the countries that was supportive of the 9/11 attack. (Saudi Arabia being the other). But, water under the bridge.

    At any rate, I don’t see why people feel such a need to make plans about the fate of someone else’s country. This is a problem that both warbloggers and “liberal hawks” have. The Iraqis are going to be the ones making the criticial decisions about Iraq from here on out. Stop believing the Pax America propaganda and start restricting your plans to our own country.

  11. Rich, I really don’t understand you. You present yourself as coming from an ultra-realist point of view. Yet you say, “hen we should take the difficult steps we will need to take to get us out of an oil-based economy, which we will eventually be forced to do anyway, and which would permit us to stop intervening in the Middle East”…

    “Getting us off an oil-based economy…” do you realize how technically and economically unfeasible this is? Oil is in everything, from the plastics you use to the clothing you wear.

    Then you say that we should stop intervening in the ME even though you implicitly concede that we must, as long as we depend on oil. I’d you to clarify that.

    As long as Iraq was part of the Islamic ME, it was part of 9/11–not in the sense that Saddam was behind the attacks (a heinous lie for which Bush does deserve impeachment, and whose effects will resound for generations), but in the sense that they are part of the culture that produces terroristic opposition to US involvement in the region. Even if we were to have a completely rational foreign policy (which we obviously do not), we would still trade with the ME oil-producing states (something that Henley not only concedes but recommends) and we would have to back up our trade with muscle.

    I continue to believe that nudging Iraq towards an accountable and humane government was possible during a narrow window but that the Bush blew it. Rich seems to think that the goal itself was disreputable. I disagree.

  12. This from Nathan and NathanNewman.org.

    It’s… droll, in context.

    Pottery Barn Denounces Powell

    A break for the surreal. Pottery Barn has intervened in the discussion of Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack to impeach Colin Powell’s credibility.

    In fact, if you break it, you have NOT bought it at Pottery Barn:

    “The policy is completely incorrectly represented by the secretary of state,” said Leigh Oshirak, director of public relations for the company. “I can’t imagine you would ever hear that at any retailer at our level.”

    Really, if these folks don’t have accurate intelligence on consumer policies at fine yuppie furniture stores, how can they keep track of WMDs?

  13. Rich Puchalsky

    Diana, look up “Hubbert peak” on Google, would you? Then look up “IPCC” and read the mitigation summary. Yes, you are right when you say that presently “oil is in everything”, that is what I meant when I referred to us having an “oil-based economy”. But we could have an economy that is not dominated by fossil fuels for power generation by 2020 (according to IPCC).

    I don’t think there is any question that many (not all) of our interventions in the Middle East are because of oil. We would never show the Saudis the deference that we do otherwise. We would never have had Gulf War I otherwise. The military interventions that we do in the Middle East that aren’t because of oil do, I think, more harm than good in the long run. But as long as the oil is there and we are dependent on it, we will never be able to sustain the resolve not to intervene.

    And I completely reject your BS that because Iraq is part of the Middle East, it was part of 9/11, because it was part of a Middle East culture that supports terrorism. Do I really need to argue against this, or can you see the logical problems involved yourself? Should we say that because France is part of the West, it was part of Bhopal, because it is part of a Western culture that supports capitalism?

    Lastly, you claim that “I continue to believe that nudging Iraq towards an accountable and humane government was possible”. But what did you write before? It was “So don’t obstruct and stand aside while we get rid of Saddam and replace him with a council of elite elders.” I assume that this means a military invasion, as there was no other way of convincing Saddam to suddenly give up power. That doesn’t sound like much of a nudge.

    I support the human rights movement and its frustrating, slow, but steady methods of convincing people that they should demand better from their governments and that governments that don’t do better are illegitimate. Saddam was going to die or be overthrown at some point. The only way to have an Iraq that we will like is to have its people want the same kinds of things we do, and you don’t get this by invading and setting up puppets unless you are willing to completely crush a society (in a way which is not longer politically possible).

  14. Rich,

    You assume a lot. You also have a way of reading into people’s words, and spewing a lot of hostility into the bargain. But let me not belabor the obvious.

    I didn’t say that nudging Saddam aside necessitated an invasion. I am suggesting that he had no power base, and a scalpel could have been used. Yes. I am saying that. With smart diplomacy, he could have extracted. Like a tumor.

    I am saying that the Bush Admin wanted an invasion not to get rid of Saddam, but to secure military bases in the Gulf. Read JB Kelly’s Arabia, the Gulf and the West.

    Let me restate what I said about Iraq being a part of 9/11 since you didn’t get it the first time: any commercial relationship between us and the Arabs always seems to get distorted (in the minds of the angry young hard men) into economic domination of them by us. That is because the whole system in the ME is FUBAR. Allowing something like a fair system to take root in Iraq might have gone some way to changing that. With Saddam in power, impossible.

    That is ALL that I am saying, and I’d appreciate it if you’d stop foaming and over-interpreting.

    I’ll look up those references.

  15. Rich Puchalsky

    Diana, spare me your projection. I don’t know you from Adam, and I’ve certainly never written anything hostile towards you.

    As for your statements, once again I have to point out that they are BS. That isn’t hostile, it’s an amount of emphasis that appears to be required. You wrote: “I didn’t say that nudging Saddam aside necessitated an invasion. I am suggesting that he had no power base, and a scalpel could have been used. Yes. I am saying that. With smart diplomacy, he could have extracted. Like a tumor.” Saddam had no power base??? He had a power base sufficient to survive two wars of aggression which he lost (Iran and Kuwait), armed large-scale Kurdish and Shiite revolts, an American-enforced no-fly zone over the hostile areas of his country, American attempts to bribe his military into coups, and the massed diplomacy of the world suggesting to Iraqis that any other leader would be fine if they wanted to avoid war. Your fantasy of “smart diplomacy” is wholly contradictary to historical fact.

    And I did get what you said about Iraq the first time. It’s a varient of the neocon “transform the Middle East!” ideology. It goes: a) we didn’t like 9/11, b) 9/11 was due to “middle east culture”, c) changing a big county in the middle east would cause changes in culture to ripple out to the rest of the ME, 4) why not start with Iraq? It had nothing to do with 9/11, but it’s convenient.

    It’s social engineering at the end of a gun barrel, wholly devoid of any connection in justice between those who actually commit crimes and those who get shot. Except that you have this fantasy that Saddam had no power base and that therefore no one would be shot.

  16. Rich,

    I hate to tell you this, but someone who tells other commenters “fuck you” and “you are full of BS” is likely to be thought of as hostile. That’s not projection. It’s a reasonable conclusion.

    Look, you can call names or you can try to communicate. Since you’ve decided you want to call names, I’ll just bow out here and continue to blow smoke on my own blog.

    But to clarify a point, saying Saddam had to be replaced isn’t a variation on the same old neocon theme of changing the ME. It’s an admission that he survived due to our support and he turned out to be ghastly, evil, and a menace, and a continuation of the system that is not giving young Arabs a stake in their future.

    Regarding Saddam putting down revolts, etc., that was in 1991. I was referring to conditions inside Iraq in 2001. Vastly different.

  17. PS, Rich,look up the name “Thomas Gold” would you? He’s an emeritus physicist at Cornell, the discoverer of pulsars. He doesn’t think there is any oil shortage, or that oil is a hydrocarbon, even. Oil is everywhere, it is quite abundant, and not confined to the ME.

  18. Rich Puchalsky

    Diana, I never wrote either of the two comments that you put in quotes. And if you don’t think that my response to sheerahkhan was appropriate, too bad. I haven’t called you a single name, so I suspect that what you mean when you claim that I have is that you have reached your comfort level with your ideas being challenged. That’s fine.

    I don’t share your belief that our support was what propped up Saddam. He survived because he was the means through which the Sunnis continued their dominance, as a minority, over the rest of the country, and the Sunnis were his power base.

    Lastly, I am quite familiar with Thomas Gold. He does indeed think that oil is a hydrocarbon, I believe that what you meant to write is that he thinks that oil comes from a primordial, non-biological source, mixed with some biologically-sourced compounds from a “deep biosphere”. His ideas have not yet acquired much experimental evidence, and it isn’t clear whether deep-lying primordial oil would be economically extractable even if it existed. Of course, you can put your hopes in his hypothesis if you wish and decide that nothing needs to be done because he must be correct.

  19. Diana, Just because Gold is an astrophysicist does not mean he knows squat about the chemistry or geology of oil. Of course it doesn’t mean he doesn’t either.

    Update: on further looking, it appears that Gold does know what hydrocarbons (like oil)are but disagrees with how they are formed here on Earth. That makes him seem more reasonable than your discussion, so I will look further.

  20. Sorry, you wrote “sheerahkhan, fuck off” as a fake hypothetical.

    My bad. (not)

  21. Rich,

    OK, Gold does think that oil is a hydrocarbon, but abiogenic (see http://people.cornell.edu/pages/tg21/DHB.html). It’s been some years since I read the book. Stuff happens to your memory after you hit 40…

    But this doesn’t affect the substance of the argument, which doesn’t even undercut your ideas (in fact it supports them), so I don’t know what you are getting so enraged about.

    BTW, Gold isn’t a specialist in the inner ear, but he figured out how we hear, and his paradigm replaced the earlier model. He’s a brilliant, original thinker, and his ideas should be given at least as much credence as the oil industry.

    Yeah, you definitely *have* exceeded my comfort level, but it’s not the fact that I dislike for my ideas to be challenged.

    The main issue is our involvement in the ME. We are there, the intersection between our economic domination of the place and their violent hatred of us. I don’t think that anything you’ve said contributes to a constructive consideration of what we can reasonably do.

    Regarding name calling, this is getting tiresome. You tell another commenter to “fuck off.” You say that my ideas are “BS” and a “variant” of neoconservatism, your online manner is completely rude, hostile and dismissive, and then you charge that I don’t want to respond because my “comfort level” has been exceeded. There’s something to that, but it has nothing to do with an exchange of ideas. It’s because you are a hostile prick. If that’s name-calling, so be it. You are a hostile prick.

  22. Sorry for all the comments, but I clicked too quickly.

    Rich,

    Can you do me a favor and explain this: “Start, instead, praying for mercy — from those we have sinned against, and from God.”

    Do you mean that literally?

  23. Rich Puchalsky

    Diana, this is really getting quite tiresome. Your post about my hostile manner includes an admission that I’ve disagreed with your ideas and not called you names, and ends with you calling me a “hostile prick” twice. You are providing a textbook example of projection. What’s your problem?

    And really, why should I “do [you] a favor and explain” my prior comments just so you can complain that I’m not being constructive again?

  24. Rich,

    Thanks for making me laugh. You have your amusing aspects.

    Your post about my hostile manner includes an admission that I’ve disagreed with your ideas and not called you names

    False, Rich. For several posts, I’ve stated a fact that appears to embarass you, so you can only run away from it. You told another commenter to “fuck off,” and by characterized my my ideas as “BS.” That’s the full spectrum of Anglo-Saxonisms.

    Under the circumstances calling you a “hostile prick” is simply an objective statement of a fact. What other kind of person argues this way? Your ideas are strong ones, there is no need to argue this way.

    And really, why should I “do [you] a favor and explain” my prior comments just so you can complain that I’m not being constructive again?

    Who is projecting here?? You would be doing not me but yourself a favor, and the readers of this comment line, by clarifying your comments. You referred to God and sin. This is the kind of talk one usuallys associate with far-right religious people. But to assume you are a far-right religious person would be wrong, so I asked for a clarification. Put your cards on the table–what do these references to God and sin mean?

    What’s your problem?

  25. Rich Puchalsky

    OK, I know that I’m being suckered into an argument with a troll here. But, one last time:

    Look, Diana, you may not like it if I call one or more of your ideas BS. What you appear not to understand is that this is not the same thing as calling you names. It’s a way of indicating how bad I think that your idea is — and is generally followed by an explanation of why I think your idea is bad. That’s why I objected to your misquote of me when you claimed that I said that *you* were full of BS. One is an attack on the idea, the other on the person. If I can’t strongly disagree with your ideas without you flying off the handle, I see no point in argument.

    And you may not like it that I told sheerahkhan to fuck off. But really, let’s remember what he wrote:

    “Next, that really grabs my goat is having a whining little nitpick trounce everyone elses opinion but not offer up their own version of how things could be done different…RICH!
    For me, at least Arkhangel put his huevos on the line to hopefully bring up suggestions that someone who can do something about this mess might recieve inspiration…RICH!

    SO here is my challenge…RICH…PUT UP OR SHUT-UP!”

    Which I notice didn’t exercise your sensitive ears at all. Generally, when someone is screaming “whining little nitpick” and issuing comical macho challenges, I find “fuck off” to be a reasonable reply. I guess it’s a guy thing.

    And lastly, you might want to read up on psychology a bit before you reply to my comment about projection with the equivalent of “No, I’m not — you are!” It’s pretty reasonable of me to predict that you’ll say that I’m not being constructive — after all, you just did. You, on the other hand, are showing classic signs of projection. That’s when you take a behavior that you don’t like in yourself and project it on to someone else, who becomes an outside embodiment of that part of yourself that you dislike. I think that anyone reading my comments here will see a lot of vehemence, but not much personal hostility. You, on the other hand, are capable of calling someone a “hostile prick” twice and claiming that as a statement of objective fact. Seriously, think about projection and what this may be telling you about yourself.

  26. Rich,

    There’s a lot I could say but I won’t–it’s useless.

    You are evading my questions about why you brought God and sin into the discussion. I’m very interested in this. What did you mean by this?