Prosecute the torture.

March 29, 2011

But Ginny, He IS A War Criminal

My friend Ginny wrote yesterday:
The very day I outed myself as Virginia Montanez instead of PittGirl, Chad Hermann at the Radical Middle latched on to this letter to the editor I wrote when George Bush was re-elected, wondering how my readers were going to like me knowing I was a Republican. This resulted in some uproar from readers who were shocked I ever voted for a “war criminal.” Yes. WAR CRIMINAL. I voted for him because as you already know ME LOVE KILLING! GRRRRR.
But Ginny, why the use of the ironic quotation marks? Bush IS a war criminal and he was when you voted for him in 2004. He approved the waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and KSM (as he's known in intelligence circles) was waterboarded in 2003 - well before the 2004 election.

I don't think I need to spell out (again) how waterboarding is torture and how torture is against international and US law and how torture is a war crime, do I?

Even without the Bush-approved torture, the case could be made for war criminal by the invasion of Iraq itself and the dishonesty he used to support it - where were the connections to al-Qaeda? the sale of uranium in Niger? the WMD? They were no where to be found. The foundations for the war were fraudulent even if the war resulted in halting Saddam Hussein's murderous regime. Bottom line is that all that blood (American, Iraqi, British, etc) IS on Dubya's hands.

Whatever else belongs in your otherwise thoughtful and nuanced blog post, the irony quotes don't.

Perhaps I misunderstood (and if I did, then I apologize in advance) and you DO think that Bush is a war criminal and you were merely quoting one or more readers with your use of the quotation marks.

If that's the case, then why the vote for the war criminal?

32 comments:

EdHeath said...

"Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal"

"Sock it to me?"

spork_incident said...

She doesn't agree with all the awful things Republicans do, she just supports all the Republicans who do awful things.


.

Infinonymous said...

Anybody who acknowledges voting for Bush Jr. the second time, and doesn't begin with "I apologize . . . ," is just asking for it.

On the other hand, Republicans who regret the Bush Jr. presidency can be very nice people.

mwilcox said...

Well said, Dayvoe. I was so disappointed to read that not only is she a Republican, but voted for Bush as well.

Heir to the Throne said...

Good Luck convicting Bush of torture when in the democratic stronghold of Chicago a cop did much worst and could not be convicted of torture .

Chicago police officer convicted of lying about torture and abuse

Of course Bush does not a union and union supporters backing him up like the cop did.

Professor Chaos said...

The entire Iraq war is one giant ongoing war crime. There was no causus belli, this was always a war of aggression, which violates international law and human decency.

Grace said...

I stopped reading her blogs and articles after I found out she was a republican - a moderate one who was not making any effort to take her party back.
I was an independent until 2000, at that time I became a Democrat and have worked to get progressive candidates elected.
Ginny stands for nothing. Her use of air quotes around the term war criminal makes me sick.

rich10e said...

you frigging progressive goosesteppers, if everyone isn't 100% leftist, they are dead to you...grow up, expand your worldview, read some opinions other than the HuffPo, Krugman,Friedmann, Dowd, ectectect...if Bush is a war criminal so is Obama for continuing a "criminal" war.....

EdHeath said...

You know, Rich, Dayvoe asked a question, some commenters expressed disappointment, and Grace said she stopped reading "That's Church". Neither Grace nor anyone said "She's dead to me".

And you branded all progressives as Nazi's.

Obama has certainly charted an interesting path as President. Republicans/conservative such as David Brooks on Bill Maher's "Real Time" consistently label Obama as "left of center", yet as you point out, Obama has continued some Bush policies and now taken military action in Libya. Which is potentially a tremendous gift to American oil and natural gas companies, considering what are supposed to be huge reserves. Yet Republicans/conservatives/reactionaries simultaneously want to brand Obama as a war criminal and a socialist. I am surprised you aren't pushing for a lynch mob to storm the White House.

rich10e said...

Edward, by goosesteppers, i meant blindly marching in unison, not political affiliation!!!C'mon, you're teasing me, huh? I don't promote violence Ed, nor do i associate with leftist anarchists, SEIU members who tout "economic terrorism" against the US, or Media Matters, a pseudo-non/profit, which has declared war on Fox News and Rupert Murdoch.And please, you're being disingenuous. As someone who visits this site periodically, anyone with a inkling of conservative bias is usually savaged by the onslaught of leftist invective thrown their way. There is absolutely NO TOLERANCE here in spite of all the progressive BS that is preached!!

Bram Reichbaum said...

Cosigned. Nice presentation.

The only thing which discomforts me at all is, in a democracy like ours (and let's grant for the moment the 2000 election was an effective tie and coin toss, and recognize how many Democrats were credulously on board with invasion in 2002) -- does that not then make us ALL war criminals? Although maybe technically accurate it seems midly ungenerous to single out our president for the "war criminal" stigma without taking Who We Are As A People, not to mention Where Our Heads Were At After 911 into account.

Infinonymous said...

Heir To The Throne: Good Luck convicting Bush of torture

So George W. Bush is to torture what O.J. Simpson is to murder . . .

Infinonymous said...

Bram Reichbaum: does that not then make us ALL war criminals?

There is blood on every American hand -- even those, like ours, that believed invading Iraq was a stupid and immoral move.

It defies reason to deny that George W. Bush deserves a special helping of opprobrium.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Infi - My instinct would be to argue instead that Cheney deserves the special helping of opprobrium and Bush a special helmet; but that's neither here nor there. The trouble with terming an American president a War Criminal in lieu of focusing lies told, truths stretched and unnecessary bloodshed and mayhem is that it tends to make things seem more personal / political and alienating / divisive.

I'd prefer however to hear how Ginny herself might respond to this material, as she brought it up and put it out there -- in so doing mussing up a major part of Dayvoe's body of work.

Dayvoe said...

Bram: Mussing? Not sure what you mean.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Mussing. Like, kicking over a sandcastle several times, maybe befouling it.

Dayvoe said...

I got that - not sure why you think she was "mussing up a major part" of my work.

Not a big deal, just curious.

Infinonymous said...

This is confusing. How could Virginia's expression of a positive opinion concerning George W. Bush or Republicans (if that is what she has done) affect, let alone "muss up," the Junkies' effective deconstruction of the Bush II era and a decade of deplorable Republican failures?

Virginia has her powers, and indeed reigns in her world, but she couldn't lay a finger on these two if she unleashed her entire soap opera army. To her credit, I doubt she would try.

EdHeath said...

Um. rich, you could have used "lockstep". But you chose the phrase that is associated with Nazis. And phrases like "leftist anarchists". But anyone who considers themselves a progressive is supposed to lie down and just take abuse from people with a conservative bias.

There's espousing the free market as providing the greatest benefit in the aggregate, and then there's calling progressives Nazis.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Well David, you've put a lot of concentrated energy for a long time into the Torture Happened narrative, and Torture is Illegal narrative, and the Go Ahead and Prosecute Them Already narrative. She rather dismissed all of this amidst the crossfire of her own disclosures with some glib ridicule it so happened. I would feel pretty mussed.

For all I worship Ginny, sometimes I wish she would engage meaningfully with this kind of reaction ... but bad luck (for us), she's on vacation now, and it's a free country.

rich10e said...

Ed, peace be with you!!

Maria Lupinacci said...

1) I thought that Chad was more chiding her readers than outing her -- isn't he a Republican too?

2) Can't we all agree that whatever your opinion of Republicans are that Onorato (and Lukey too) would be Republicans if this city had an equal or strong Republican base?

3) Only my hair is mussed, but then again, my hair is always mussed.

EdHeath said...

I need a better shampoo

Infinonymous said...

Maria has a point: If Onorato or Ravenstahl sued someone for calling him a Republican, the defendant could probably rely on the "truth is a defense" defense. Of course, official party registration records indicate you also could call them Democrats. So it looks like they're fair game. Doesn't happen every day, but Pat McMahon's position was justifiable, mainly because he couldn't go wrong on this one.

Dayvoe said...

Yea...let's not talk about hair, ok?

GeneW said...

Can't we all agree that whatever your opinion of Republicans are that Onorato (and Lukey too) would be Republicans if this city had an equal or strong Republican base?

I would have said that five years ago but the Republicans have gone so totally off the rails in the last few years that I think that even Luke has more decorum than to be associated with them.

I figured that PittGirl was a republican a few years ago when she started attacking the PAT drivers for making a living wage.

Chad said...

Maria: I was, in fact, chiding her readers (much) more than outing her. Thank you for being the only person who ever seems to have noticed.

I am, however, a lifelong Democrat. I've toyed with changing my registration to Independent, and I suspect I will break down and do so someday. But I am not, never have been, never will be a Republican.

Infinonymous said...

Chad: Does your place feature a (relatively well hidden) e-mail address?

(If not, how do people call you names, threaten to sue you, hurl profanity at you, provide tips . . .)

Anyway, we've tried to find it a few times.

PittGirl said...

Sorry I missed all the drama. Because my quotation marks around "war criminal" seem to be what has irked so many, let me explain.

I wrote that post in under ten minutes, didn't proof it, posted it. I had no motive behind any of my punctuation. I put quotes around war criminal not to be ironic, but because, and I mean this honestly, I was quoting the reader who said that. Honestly.

Do I think that those that view George Bush as a war criminal have a valid opinion. Of course I do. That day that I came out was honestly one of the hardest days of my life and to have people suddenly jump on me for voting for Bush, write about how I voted for a war criminal, etc. on top of all the other shit that happened that day, honestly was unexpected.

How I voted in a presidential election had nothing to do with my blogging for the three years prior, yet that's what some focused on. That I was a Republican. That's why I brought it up in my post.

I'm also shocked at those who say they can no longer read my writings about the Pirates, Steelers, pigeons, Boy Mayor, the Ories and Pittsburgh happenings because I'm a Republican. It would be hilarious if it wasn't such a sad comment on the state of current political discourse.

Until such a time as there's a la carte political voting, meaning I can vote for one person on one issue, then everyone of us has to prioritize the issues according to our own personal belief system. Some choose gay rights. Some choose tax relief. Some choose gun control. Some choose abortion. I'm certainly not going to tell a Democrat that their own personal priorities are wrong. But that's what's happening now. People are telling me that my personal voting priorities are wrong without knowing my personal history or how I feel the way I do about certain issues, because they're so focused on that one issue that trumps all others for them. So they're emailing me demanding to know where I stand on THEIR issue. Because they can't understand how it isn't MY issue.

I'm sad that a post simply saying, "Hey. Don't judge all Republicans based on the actions of a few. And if you're the union president, don't use the word Republican as an insult, because you don't know who you're insulting." has created such vitriol towards me.

I have no animosity toward any of you, and am honestly sad to see readers leave because they learned I'm a moderate Republican.

Bram Reichbaum said...

"People are telling me that my personal voting priorities are wrong without knowing my personal history or how I feel the way I do about certain issues..."

Like I wrote, one of these days it'd be a bonus to learn a little something about this. You do write about politics enough that the perspective would be helpful. Plus we're all obsessed over here.

"I'm sad that a post simply saying, [X] has created such vitriol towards me."

Well it's the Internet. I cannot clearly recall the time when you "came out" but if anything I wrote contributed to the jumping or the vitriolic atmosphere I would want to apologize. Something we all have to keep in mind more when writing about people who are in the news.

carpetbaggery.com said...

It does seem troubling that simply admitting a party leaning would elicit such vitriol. I have spent time in my life as a Republican and now as a Democrat. As Ginny states, there are completely valid reasons for backing or opposing both parties. And through history, there have been plenty of crooks on both sides. If voting for a criminal element is that distasteful to you, you really should stay home and embrace political atheisim along with the other 50-70% of Americans who don't vote.

Stanley said...

@PittGirl, quotes aside, it's not funny to marginalize war crimes. Just like it's not funny to marginalize sexual assault. You're right - people prioritize their issues - but I still think your presentation tried to "make a funny" instead of addressing exactly what Dayvoe's post says: why vote for a war criminal?