In answer to Comerford's latest lunacy, my name and my occupation are my own. The name Torquemada was chosen by Victor as a parody of Mark's willingness to demonize of those who disagree with his fundamentalist view of Gaudium et Spes (though not Jimmy Akin or Dave Armstrong or any other Catholic apologist he happens to know, since it appears that some animals are more equal than others when it comes to disagreeing with Mark on matters of theology) more than any real knowledge of the man outside his article in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It is intended as irony, though I never expected that so much paranoia would surround my true identity.
Moving right along from there, I see that Mark, once again displaying his paleocon paranoia, fears for the possibility that Bush might order an attack on Iran. How exactly this is supposed to happen given how hard-pressed the administration is to order an offensive in Baghdad at this point is beyond me, but leave it to the Buchanan Brigade to be concerned for Iran at a time when it is actively complicit in supporting the Iraqi insurgency, acts that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of American troops and thousands of Iraqi civilians. Now maybe Mark doesn't have any problems with that, just like he apparently doesn't have a problem with all the Iraqis (let alone Americans) who have to die for Quds Force's designs so long as they aren't Chaldeans,* but I do and unlike Mark I choose to blame the people who are actually doing the killing for their deaths rather than go through all kinds of tortured logic in order to blame it all on Bush and the neocons. If applied to a domestic setting, this reasoning is the equivalent of blaming the police getting tough on a bad neighborhood for crime.
I expect reaction among the war supporters will range from "Bush will never do that! Thos media panic-mongers are crazy!" to "Bush must do that! Those media-panic mongers are cowards!" If Bush does do it, then the former folk might wind up choosing between saying "All the deeds of the President are righteous, just, and wise. Blessed be the name of the President." or saying, "If Buchanan and Geyer were right here. What if they have been right about other things too." Of course, there are other possible reactions to action (assuming it happens) but I think those two might be prominent ones.
Anyhow, we'll see. Given the way the administration has prosecuted the war so far, I'd like to say they wouldn't do a half-hearted "surge" with inadequate troops and then dramatically expand the war with overstretched resources and make the Middle East spiral even further out of control beyond the wildest dreams of Osama bin Laden, but given the track record, I'm afraid that Bush will do exactly that.
To which I respond:
Get a clue. Regardless of the paranoid fantasies of the Buchanan Brigade, Bush is literally at the bottom of the barrel concerning his domestic political support. His speeches have done nothing to prepare the American public for what it will actually take to restore order in Baghdad (read: several months of very nasty street fighting), though Petraeus is far more candid in this regard. If Bush is barely able to sustain an offensive in Baghdad, how he is supposed to be able to mount a full-blown invasion of Iran is beyond me. Particularly since, according to Mark's paranoid worldview, the attack on Iran is supposed to come about after the surge ends (read: fails). It would certainly be nice if someone decided to do something about Iran's role in the deaths of both American troops and countless Iraqi civilians, but that prospect doesn't even occur to Mark. But not to worry, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad's vile regime in Tehran is likely to be secure for the immediate future and Mark can derive whatever comfort he desires from that.
One minor point to be made about this whole "playing into bin Laden's hands" thing. Bin Laden is not omniscient nor is he indestructible. He did not attack the United States because he believed it to be strong but instead because he believed it to be weak and degenerate. Moreover, while his strategy of bleeding the US to the point of defeat in Iraq seems to be proceeding apace, this is largely due to the twin factors that the administration has largely failed (at least publicly) to recognize the Iraq war as a theater in a broader campaign against al-Qaeda and then to act accordingly. Mark would no doubt be aware of this if he actually bothered to read Michael Ledeen or the Weekly Standard for anything other than polemical value. The latter publication in particular has recently published some very good articles on the rise of al-Qaeda in Waziristan and the US role in defeating the ICU in Somalia, two key issues that have been more or less ignored by the American press. I guess the difference is that the neocons, warts and all, are more interested in learning about the war in order to win it rather than to criticize it.
Lastly, I note that Mark is now blaming the Iraq war for the failure to repeal Roe vs. Wade, even though if that issue is going to be resolved it is likely to occur where it began, that being the Supreme Court. Josiah correctly notes that Mark's claim that "the GOP had five years of unrestricted power and did just a little short of jack--because they don't care about abortion and are only interested in exploiting the pro-life vote" is simply speaking, factually untrue and provides ample evidence to the contrary. Not that it matters, since I think Mark already demonstrated that he actually knows very little about the political movement to which he belonged when he started conflating neocons with libertarians. IIRC, Christopher Blosser dealt him fairly solid rebuttal to his assertion that Bill Kristol doesn't care about pro-life causes, though he continues to make it periodically. I don't hold it against people for not being able to appreciate the finer points about the political movement to which they belong, but I would appreciate it if Mark exercised a little bit more refinement when issuing his anathema sits against the entire GOP. Somewhat amusingly and disturbingly, Father Frank Pavone is derided for ideological impurity and seriously compared to the anti-Semitic Father Coughlin in the comments. Then again, the invasion of Iraq is also equated with the Nazi invasion of Poland (are the Kurds to be equated with Stalin since they assisted us, one wonders?).
* To those who will accuse me of engaging in demonization or hyperbole here, one of Mark's consistent criticisms with the Iraq war has been how it has affected the Iraqi Christian community. While I agree that their fate should definitely be of concern, I don't subscribe to the hideously amoral and absurd notion that Saddam should have been free to murder his own people to his desire so long as he left a couple of Chaldeans alive to serve as museum fixtures. This is essentially one of the arguments that Mark has been making on a number of occasions to use as a rhetorical and emotional club against the war, albeit inconsistently because he doesn't take understand the intellectual ramifications of his own arguments.