Rules of engagement

How to behave -- toward a country, toward a woman and even in Table Talk itself, this week in TT.

Published June 29, 2006 11:18AM (EDT)

White House

Pink Tutus Redux - More on Might-As-Well-Be-Republican Democrats

Karl Northman - 10:36 pm Pacific Time - Jun 28, 2006 - #891 of 899

There's some stuff that I'd really appreciate the goddam media making clear, because you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

First -- we are no longer part of the solution in Iraq. And as we said many years ago, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Second -- one way or another, sooner or later, we will be leaving and there (hopefully) will become some sort of Iraqi national government which does not have to salute when they get e-mails from PNAC.

Third -- this government will have to issue amnesties to large numbers of fighters. They may do it explicitly and publicly and announce it, or it may just be an internal policy that becomes widely known, that no prosecutions will ever be taken against people who only did this.

Look at the aftermath of WWII -- I know of no country occupied by the Nazis that ever prosecuted its own people, even if they were just active civilians, for killing German troops. If memory serves, there were prosecutions against people who killed collaborators with the Nazis, but killing a collaborator was roughly like killing your neighbor's dog, in terms of criminal liability.

Bottom line? There will never be a stable government in Iraq that does not issue an amnesty against people who killed (at least, let's say, after June, 2004) American military personnel.

Sure, random American civilians, that's different. Innocent bystanders, that's different. But American military -- killing American military is simply ordinary partisan warfare against an occupying army.

We don't like this. You may damage your re-election chances by mentioning it, or acknowledging it. Probably will. But it's the flat truth. If we really want an independent, self-sustaining Iraqi government, then we simply have to admit that one way or another, they will give an amnesty to people who merely attacked our troops.

Anyone who doesn't understand this doesn't understand what the situation is.

Families Who Think

Teaching My Son About Sex in a Humane Way

Dr. Zachary Smith - 08:36 am Pacific Time - Jun 27, 2006 - #24 of 39

If you want my opinion (and you must, you asked!), it's not so much what you teach your son about sex; rather, it's what you teach him about girls (and ultimately women). You need to teach him to see them, first and foremost, as people -- I hope you've gone out of your way to teach him empathy to begin with. You need to teach him (again, IMHO) that women are indeed different from men, but the differences are both less important than generally believed and not exactly those that are generally bruited about. And teach him that being a man is something he must discover for himself -- that he must never simply accept the easy definitions that everybody else, especially people who want to sell him things, will give him.

White House

White House Bar & Grill: XV

LetterMan - 12:59 am Pacific Time - Jun 27, 2006 - #7665 of 7864

My reimagining of Desiderata, for Table Talkers everywhere:


Post placidly amongst the twits and trolls
And remember what peace there might be in lurking
As much as possible, without flaming
Be on good terms with all posters
Post your thoughts clearly and read the posts of others
Even the dumb and repetitious
They too have their stories

ENUF loud and obnoxious posters;
they are a hindrance to the spirit
If you compare yourself to other posters,
you might become jealous and spiteful
For always there will be posters who
are greater or lesser than you

You are a member of the Message Board
No less than the WAYDRNers and Harpies
You have a right to post here
And whether or not it is clear to you
No doubt the board is getting along as it should

Enjoy your subscriptions as well as the snark
Keep interested in your own threads
However few they may be
For they are a real treasure
In the ever-changing fortunes of the folders

Be careful in your dealings with other posters
For the board is full of grief and trickery
But let this not blind you to what goodness there is
Many posters strive for high ideals
And every thread has its heroes

Be yourself
Especially do not pretend to care if you really don't
And don't be cynical about community
For in the face of dead horses and old threads
It is as ubiquitous as the trolls

Take gratefully the counsel of the old-timers
Gleefully surrendering the things of newbies
Foster strength in spirit
To help you through the outages and withdrawals
But don't worry yourself about bad karma
Many fears and stresses are born of weariness and

Above a singular obsession with TT
Be easy on yourself

You are a member of the Message Board
(You are a member of the Message Board)
No less than the WAYDRNers and Harpies
(No less than the WAYDRNers and Harpies)
You have a right to post here
(You have a right to post here)
And whether or not it is clear to you
(And whether or not it is clear to you)
No doubt the board is getting along as it should
(No doubt the board is getting along as it should)

Therefore, be happy with Mary Beth
Whatever she might be posting
And whatever your workload and distractions
In the hustle and bustle of the threads
Keep happiness in your tagline
With all its spam
kerfluffles and bugs up butts
It is still a marvelous board
Be helpful
Strive to be happy

You are a member of the Message Board
No less than the WAYDRNers and Harpies
You have a right to post here

By Salon Staff

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