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January 2, 2006

SLIPPING SUPPORT IN THE MILITARY....With his political support still suffering, the president can at least count on broad support among men and women in uniform, right? According to the 2005 Military Times Poll, perhaps not. (via Political Wire)

Support for President Bush and for the war in Iraq has slipped significantly in the last year among members of the military's professional core, according to the 2005 Military Times Poll.

Approval of the president's Iraq policy fell 9 percentage points from 2004; a bare majority, 54 percent, now say they view his performance on Iraq as favorable. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60 percent, among active-duty readers of the Military Times newspapers. Though support both for President Bush and for the war in Iraq remains significantly higher than in the public as a whole, the drop is likely to add further fuel to the heated debate over Iraq policy. In 2003 and 2004, supporters of the war in Iraq pointed to high approval ratings in the Military Times Poll as a signal that military members were behind President Bush's the president's policy.

The poll also found diminished optimism that U.S. goals in Iraq can be accomplished, and a somewhat smaller drop in support for the decision to go to war in 2003.

To be fair, there are a few caveats. The survey was conducted through the mail, which affects the sample and margin of error. Moreover, as the Military Times noted, respondents to the poll tend to be "older, more experienced, more likely to be officers and more career-oriented than the military population." But with these details in mind, one might expect the president's support to be higher, not lower. For that matter, because previous Military Times polls were conducted the same way with the same audience, comparisons are helpful in showing trends.

And at this point, the trend is towards less support for the president and his agenda, not more. For that matter, it's not just Bush -- the same poll showed a decrease in support for Congress and civilian and uniformed Pentagon leaders.

This is going back a ways, but Benjamin Wallace-Wells had a terrific piece in the November 2003 issue of the Washington Monthly on the slow but steady decline of the bond between the GOP and the U.S. military since the war in Iraq began. As Wallace-Wells explained, soldiers and their families feel as if they've been neglected and mistreated.

It seems we're now seeing the results.

It's also worth remembering the Army Times' devastating editorial about Republicans' priorities when it comes to Americans in uniform.

In recent months, President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have missed no opportunity to heap richly deserved praise on the military. But talk is cheap -- and getting cheaper by the day, judging from the nickel-and-dime treatment the troops are getting lately.

For example, the White House griped that various pay-and-benefits incentives added to the 2004 defense budget by Congress are wasteful and unnecessary including a modest proposal to double the $6,000 gratuity paid to families of troops who die on active duty. This comes at a time when Americans continue to die in Iraq at a rate of about one a day.

Similarly, the administration announced that on Oct. 1 it wants to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones.

Then theres military tax relief -- or the lack thereof. As Bush and Republican leaders in Congress preach the mantra of tax cuts, they cant seem to find time to make progress on minor tax provisions that would be a boon to military homeowners, reservists who travel long distances for training and parents deployed to combat zones, among others. [...]

Taken piecemeal, all these corner-cutting moves might be viewed as mere flesh wounds. But even flesh wounds are fatal if you suffer enough of them.... Money talks -- and we all know what walks.

This isn't the kind of dynamic Karl Rove & Co. can fix with a few more photo-ops on military bases. The Bush gang may want to back up the signs that say "Supporting the Military" with some actual substance that shows support for the military. Just a thought.

Steve Benen 9:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (126)

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Comments

Well, results like these are much less meaningful than you would like them to be. For example, you are excited by the fact that the favorable view of Bush's performance in Iraq dropped from 63% to 54%. Had those two polls also asked: "Would it have been better to have elected John Kerry in the last election?" I think you'd find that, if anything, that number went down as well. If so, what would that mean? That's worth thinking about.

Posted by: Engram on January 2, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Rummy your doing a heck of a job.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 2, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the professional military hate America?

Posted by: Pat on January 2, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

"I think you'd find . . ."

Who are you and why should I care what you think?

Posted by: Joel on January 2, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Love this piece.

Shows off the BushCo mind set.
We can say we are for them without
actualy doing anything for them.
Coupled with the steal a litte here
steal a little there theme.
Greed and the GOP walk hand and
hand. The Military knows this
there just to patriotic to
complain about the raw deal
they are getting. I do wish
Bush would stop useing them
as a backdrop. They should
be allowed to keep there dignity

Posted by: Honey P on January 2, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

engram, perhaps we should limit our thinking to that which we know; you can speculate all you want about what the poll might show about kerry (you might even be correct), but that's all it will be, speculation.

meanwhile, i'm interested in something we do know: this sample thinks it's going to be years until the iraqi army is ready to stand up - only 27% think it will be in the next two years....

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK
Had those two polls also asked: "Would it have been better to have elected John Kerry in the last election?" I think you'd find that, if anything, that number went down as well.

Even assuming that assumption of yours is correct, so what? George Bush's popularity may be an important factor in his political capital and ability to contribute to the reelection of Republicans; the relative popularity of Bush and Kerry is only important if the two are running against eachother which seems extremely unlikely in the future, or the two are the leaders of factions in a legislative fight, which, while it may happen, is hardly the main concern anyone reading the poll is likely to have.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 2, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Funny, how you decided to move to military polls because previous predictions on Bush approval on wrong.

It looks as if you are planning to keep distracting yourselves on how your predictions (impeachment, fitzmas, de lay, failure of Iraqi elections) have been wrong, wrong, wrong...

Its cool with me. Stay in your bubble then. Irrelevancy is a good storage space for useful idiot liberals anyway.

Happy new year!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is a good catch, but the fact is it's not very useful. The Military Times screwed the poll up, or at least what they posted. They offer a breakdown by service, but when one goes to the various service graphs, one finds the percentages are all identical. According to this poll, service personnel from each service feel just the same about what's going on. They also offer interviews with three or four individuals from each service.

The point? Well, as a two-time veteran of Vietnam, and retired Army officer, and given which military services are really bearing the brunt of the Iraqi adventure and the "war on terror"the Army and the Marine CorpsISTM the opinions of Air Force and Navy personnel, while no doubt interesting, are of little consequence. With the exception of some aviators and supporting elements, the Air Force and Navy are not really affected by the "war." It's therefore not surprising to learn that members of those services are sanguine about the whole thing. I found it especially interesting that a senior USAF NCO, a REMF in Alaska, was especially vociferous in his support for the "war" and disdain for those who differ. Yeah, like it affects him. Veterans will understand what I say when I say we've seen these guys before.

Speaking of REMFs, the discerning reader will also note that the military personnel interviewed are, seemingly without exception, REMFs of one kind or another. One is a bandsman. Others are members of reserve support units in the US. We see no input from grunts and the other folks who've actually gone to war.

We need a poll measuring the attitudes of those who've actually done the heavy lifting. That would be informative.

A really good poll would offer a breakdown in attitudes between senior officers and senior NCOs, as opoosed to junior officers and junior enlisted personnel. Junior personnelthose not committed to a careerare the canaries in the coal mine. When the senior personnel start tracking along with the junior folks, then you have the beginning of the end. Vietnam.

And, please, all of you civilians, don't ever think the military is one, big monolithic entity. It isn't. The military is really comprised of a whole lot of people just like you.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on January 2, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Really interesting stuff. I still have a tough time believing that the lost support for Bush will benefit Democrats. It's more likely that military folks long for father Bush, Brent Scowcroft, and Ronald Reagan. Ask a bunch of the military folks if they would vote for Hillary Clinton over George W. Bush and I don't think polling results would be any different today than they would have been a few years ago. Still, whether or not Dems benefit from this is separate from whether or not it is an important sign of difficulties for President Bush. What to do?

Posted by: Jack on January 2, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon Did It: amen, brother.

Posted by: Wapiti on January 2, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the NSA reads and listens to EVERYTHING generated by ALL officers in the U.S. armed forces. Promotions, transfers, duty orders, relief of command and the like hinge on being a good little boy or girl in those intercept reports laid on Bush's desk.

Posted by: steve duncan on January 2, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

here's one of the things i like about mcaristotle's bloviations: he makes up predicitions, projects them onto others, and then trumpets the failure of his own predictions.

So, in practice, Fitzgerald has indicted Libby, which was a lovely sight; delay's indictment stands and he's no longer majority leader; the iraqi elections look likely to have enshrined a shiite theocratic regime, just as many of us predicted 2.5 years ago; and there is no "impeachment" prediction. There is already a much stronger basis for impeaching george bush than ever existed for bill clinton, but that's a different matter.

and bush will never break 50% approval again, and this story is merely an interesting sidelight on that, and in particular, as i noted above, on the opinions of military professionals of just how fantastic that "progress" in training the iraqi army is.

i know, i know: i shouldn't waste my time on a buffoon like mcaristotle, but sometimes....

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

howard, I can usually tell from the second sentence that it's McA-hole, or t-bras or the other usual right-wing moonbats.

Then I get a rush of pleasure upon reading the byline that I've avoided a predictable paragraph of philistine gas.

I'm with you: donna feed the trolls.

Posted by: Archie on January 2, 2006 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with 'Nixon did it' that this poll is pretty useless. A little critical reading is all that is necessary. What should be obvious is that there is a big difference btw losing support in policy and losing support in an elected official/party.

Further, I believe America would be better served if its citizenry knew at least something about the armed forces and, like Nix said, didn't view it as a monolithic institution...

'tis ashame civics isnt as mandatory as it should be...

Posted by: wishful thinking on January 2, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

and there is no "impeachment" prediction....

and bush will never break 50% approval again,

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

See below. Life in the bubble is good isn't it.

BUSH INDICTED!!!....Via Teresa Nielsen Hayden, I see that the top search term on Technorati at the moment is "Bush indictment." Oh happy day! Actually it's even better than that. Check this out from Arctic Beacon:[Based on testimony from Colin Powell],...

Posted by Kevin Drum on August 11, 2005 12:49 PM

Winning

WINNING....As we all know, George Bush's approval numbers are in free fall. Democracy Corps says this is good news for Democrats:The fallout from these conclusions are quite dramatic. Democrats have a 9-point lead in the congressional balloting produced by...

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

My son has real problems with the POTUS. He's in Afghanistan, and due to classified information he won't spill details, but he truly thinks that the POTUS has problems, like the orders that are sent are from God talking to the POTUS. And this seems to be pretty prevalent in his unit. He firmly believes in what they are doing in Afghanistan, but he thinks that the administration, yes, the administration is not doing what needs to be done in Iraq.

And it doesn't help in my mind that when Cheney saw him in Afghanistan, shortly after he returned from leave home (so I know what he looked like), Cheney called him a "chubby PFC". I think that's pretty insulting. Especially for a guy who never did serve in the Armed Forces.

Posted by: Bryan on January 2, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Really interesting stuff. I still have a tough time believing that the lost support for Bush will benefit Democrats. It's more likely that military folks long for father Bush, Brent Scowcroft, and Ronald Reagan. Ask a bunch of the military folks if they would vote for Hillary Clinton over George W. Bush and I don't think polling results would be any different today than they would have been a few years ago. Still, whether or not Dems benefit from this is separate from whether or not it is an important sign of difficulties for President Bush. What to do?

Lost support for Bush can affect turnout, and thus is a net gainer for Dems. The repukes need to get their people to the polls. A failure to vote for King Turdeater is not the same as a vote for the Dem, but it's halfway there.

And on the point that this is a mail-in survey, and that this effect the MoE and such - very true, but the last survey to which this is being compared presumably had the same defect; the defects cancel out.

Under any circumstance, under any calculation approach, a 9 % drop in a sample of 6000 is way significant.

Posted by: dataguy on January 2, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

So what?

Military members are just another special interest group.


Armed forces members probably vote their pocket book more than anything else, like the rest of us.

Posted by: Matt on January 2, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

pretty funny, mcaristotle, that you prove what a buffoon you are so handily.

tell me what your first link has to do with an "impeachment" prediction.

and tell me what your second link has to do with anything.

meanwhile, i'm with archie: back to ignoring your ignorant self....

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Howard. You guys are right.

The armed forces vote is the Dem's key to the White House. There's even this war hero positioned to run in 2008.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060102/ap_on_el_pr/kerry2008

Fucking repugs are always in a bubble. Wait till we show them!

Stick it to the man!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK


soldiers and their families feel as if they've been neglected and mistreated

Only because they have been.

Posted by: Califlander on January 2, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

There may be some who resent the judgement of life or death combat decisions by Feather Merchants, and the failure of the president to immediately side with the troops.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on January 2, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Terminating the life of the President, in a loving manner, would do wonders for the US.

Posted by: Sky-Ho on January 2, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

and the failure of the president to immediately side with the troops

...or, indeed, to side with them at all, except as political props.

Posted by: Gregory on January 2, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Feather Merchants! now that's a turn of phrase, Walter. Is it in reference to anything in particular or just le mot juste?

Gregory, you are sadly only too right, but then again, Bush has always regarded the job of underlings as to speak when spoken to, do their job, and show loyalty to their superiors....

Posted by: howard on January 2, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Last summer an op-ed ran in the NY Times that verified and validated all the bitching I have been doing about the undermining of the Honor Code. Since the Times articles have now disappeared behind a subscription wall, I accessed the article via Times Select and reproduce it for you here:

The Not-So-Long Gray Line

By LUCIAN K. TRUSCOTT IV (NYT) 1506 words
Published: June 28, 2005

JUNE is the month in which West Point celebrates the commissioning of its graduating class and prepares to accept a new group of candidates eager to embrace the arduous strictures of the world's most prestigious military academy. But it can also be a cruel month, because West Pointers five years removed from graduation have fulfilled their obligations and can resign. My class, that of 1969, set a record with more than 50 percent resigning within a few years of completing the service commitment. (My father's class, 1945, the one that ''missed'' World War II, was considered to be the previous record-holder, with about 25 percent resigning before they reached the 20 years of service entitling them to full retirement benefits.)


And now, from what I've heard from friends still in the military and during the two years I spent reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems we may be on the verge of a similar exodus of officers. The annual resignation rate of Army lieutenants and captains rose to 9 percent last year, the highest since before the Sept. 11 attacks. And in May, The Los Angeles Times reported on ''an undercurrent of discontent within the Army's young officer corps that the Pentagon's statistics do not yet capture.''

I'm not surprised. In 1975, I received a foundation grant to write reports on why such a large percentage of my class had resigned. This money would have been better spent studying the emerging appeal of Scientology, because a single word answered the question: Vietnam.

Yet my classmates were disillusioned with more than being sent to fight an unpopular war. When we became cadets, we were taught that the academy's honor code was what separated West Point from a mere college. This was a little hard to believe at first, because the code seemed so simple; you pledged that you would not lie, cheat or steal, and that you would not tolerate those who did. We were taught that in combat, lies could kill.

But the honor code was not just a way to fight a better war. In the Army, soldiers are given few rights, grave responsibilities, and lots and lots of power. The honor code serves as the Bill of Rights of the Army, protecting soldiers from betraying one another and the rest of us from their terrifying power to destroy. It is all that stands between an army and tyranny.

However, the honor code broke down before our eyes as staff and faculty jobs at West Point began filling with officers returning from Vietnam. Some had covered their uniforms with bogus medals and made their careers with lies -- inflating body counts, ignoring drug abuse, turning a blind eye to racial discrimination, and worst of all, telling everyone above them in the chain of command that we were winning a war they knew we were losing. The lies became embedded in the curriculum of the academy, and finally in its moral DNA.

By the time we were seniors, honor court verdicts could be fixed, and there was organized cheating in some units. A few years later, nearly an entire West Point class was implicated in cheating on an engineering exam; the breakdown was complete.

The mistake the Army made then is the same mistake it is making now: how can you educate a group of handpicked students at one of the best universities in the world and then treat them as if they are too stupid to know when they have been told a lie?

I've seen the results firsthand. I have met many lieutenants who have served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, practically back to back. While everyone in a combat zone is risking his or her life, these junior officers are the ones leading foot patrols and convoys several times a day. Recruiting enough privates for the endless combat rotations is a problem the Army may gamble its way out of with enough money and a struggling economy. But nothing can compensate for losing the combat-hardened junior officers.

In the fall of 2003 I was embedded with the 101st Airborne Division in northern Iraq, and its West Point lieutenants were among the most gung-ho soldiers I have ever encountered, yet most were already talking about getting out of the Army. I talked late into one night with a muscular first lieutenant with a shaved head and a no-nonsense manner who had stacks of Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker and The Atlantic under his bunk. He had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and he was disgusted with what he had seen in Iraq by December 2003.

''I feel like politicians have created a difficult situation for us,'' he told me. ''I know I'm going to be coming back here about a year from now. I want to get married. I want to have a life. But I feel like if I get out when my commitment is up, who's going to be coming here in my place? I feel this obligation to see it through, but everybody over here knows we're just targets. Sooner or later, your luck's going to run out.''

At the time, he was commanding three vehicle convoys a day down a treacherous road to pick up hot food for his troops from the civilian contractors who never left their company's ''dining facility'' about five miles away. He walked daily patrols through the old city of Mosul, a hotbed of insurgent activity that erupted in violence after the 101st left it last year. The Army will need this lieutenant 20 years from now when he could be a colonel, or 30 years from now when he could have four stars on his collar. But I doubt he will be in uniform long enough to make captain.

One cold night a week later, I sat on a stack of sandbags 50 feet from the Syrian border with another West Point lieutenant; he, too, was planning to leave the Army. ''I love going out on the border and chasing down the bad guys,'' he told me as he dragged on a cigarette. ''We've got a guy making runs across the border from Syria in a white Toyota pickup who we've been trying to catch for two months; we call him the jackrabbit.

''He gets away from us every time, and I really admire the guy. But when we catch him, there'll be somebody else right behind him. What's the use? Guys are dying, for what?''

A couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail message from another West Point lieutenant; he was writing from a laptop in a bunker somewhere in Iraq. ''I'm getting out as soon as I can,'' he wrote. ''Everyone I know plans on getting out, with a few exceptions. What have you got to look forward to? If you come back from a tour of getting the job done in war, it's to a battalion commander who cares more about the shine on your boots and how your trucks are parked in the motor pool than about the fitness of your unit for war.''

There was a time when the Army did not have a problem retaining young leaders -- men like Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton, George Marshall, Omar Bradley and my grandfather, Lucian K. Truscott Jr. Having endured the horrors of World War I trenches, these men did not run headlong out of the Army in the 1920's and 30's when nobody wanted to think of the military, much less pay for it. They had made a pact with each other and with their country, and all sides were going to keep it.

When members of the West Point class of 1969 and other young officers resigned nearly en masse in the mid-1970's because of Vietnam, Washington had a fix. Way too late, and with no enthusiasm, the politicians pulled out of Vietnam, ended the draft and instituted the ''all volunteer'' military, offering large increases in pay and benefits. Now, however, the Pentagon has run out of fixes; the only choices appear to be going back to the draft or scaling back our military ambitions.

The problem the Army created in Vietnam has never really been solved. If you keep faith with soldiers and tell them the truth even when it threatens their beliefs, you run the risk of losing them. But if you peddle cleverly manipulated talking points to people who trust you not to lie, you won't merely lose them, you'll break their hearts.


Posted by: Global Citizen on January 2, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

here's one of the things i like about mcaristotle's bloviations: he makes up predicitions, projects them onto others, and then trumpets the failure of his own predictions.

howard this is a cogent insight, and one I have been meaning to ask about. The Rove/Orwell school of politics seems to have firm faith in the destiny of their words becoming fact. Examples: rdw on the economy; McA on leftist electoral futures; Tom Brosz on Republican malfeasance; any of them on Iraq's imminent future as an Islamic citte on a hille, and, last but not least, Richard B. Cheney on the obvious onset of the insurgency's last throes. There are many more, but to my question: some of these people are highly intelligent - have they all lost their little baby minds, or just become enmeshed in some sort of wierd cult? Do they really think that if they just repeat something often enough it will become real?

Nice job with the dull machete today. If the topic ever comes up I hav esome serious economic questions for you. Maybe I'll e-mail Kevin with some suggestions for a serious economics thread.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 2, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

John McLaughlin recently mentioned that "there was a poll saying that 56 percent of the military believe that the war has been mismanaged and they want out".

http://www.mclaughlin.com/library/transcript.asp?id=496
.

Posted by: VJ on January 2, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Men like my husband and my (step) brother are retiring before 30, saying "screw the Bird, I'm getting out in one piece."

Not only are they retiring at 20, they are actively discouraging their children from joining up.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 2, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

A quick reminder. The president said recently, in reference to the adventure in Iraq:

It's worth the sacrifice.

If you are a soldier killed, wounded, traumatized or in any way adversely affected by Bush's war, please bear in mind that it's worth the sacrifice.

If you are a friend or relative of such a soldier... it's worth the sacrifice.

If you are wealthy or very, very wealthy, and GWB gave you a hefty tax-cut...

It's worth the sacrifice.

Posted by: An Evening Well Spent on January 2, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

some of these people are highly intelligent - have they all lost their little baby minds, or just become enmeshed in some sort of wierd cult? Do they really think that if they just repeat something often enough it will become real?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 2, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, anyone who disagrees with you must be stupid or crazy.

Conversing only with people who agree with you is the only way to get a true overview of what's happening.

You guys are so smart!

Funny, how Bush keeps elections when he has outraged such smart people!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Last summer an op-ed ran in the NY Times that verified and validated all the bitching I have been doing about the undermining of the Honor Code.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 2, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Read only the NY Times. Newspapers are for validation not information.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 2, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen, you need to talk to my dd. She wants to join the Marines.

I am so scared that she's going to die in Iraq, plain and simple.

Suburbanmommy

Posted by: anon123 on January 3, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

If the topic ever comes up I have some serious economic questions for you. Maybe I'll e-mail Kevin with some suggestions for a serious economics thread.

Phil,

Do you ever visit Brad DeLong's site?

It's good. And you'll see howards posts there on occassion.

Posted by: obscure on January 3, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Terminating the life of the President, in a loving manner, would do wonders for the US.

Posted by: Sky-Ho on January 2, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant comment! I suggest you get Howard Dean to announce this. It shows how you guys are the real patriots in the partisan debates than those damn halliburty-chickyhawky-neo-cons!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen, you need to talk to my dd. She wants to join the Marines.

I am so scared that she's going to die in Iraq, plain and simple.

Suburbanmommy

Posted by: anon123 on January 3, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Well, unless they are going to ban the marines, she can still sign up and fight in Afghanistan, the Democratic party hasn't endorsed running from that.

But then again, someday a liberal nation will put in place a military free society and all death will disappear!

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Funny, how Bush keeps [winning] elections when he has outraged such smart people!

Yes, McAristotle, Bush won the election. 'Course he didn't win by much, and GOP fraud didn't hurt him any, and we may never know whether Diebold chipped in too. But no matter.

What interests me is how predictable is the retreat to The Elections amongst hare-brains like yourself any time the facts become too tiresome and embarrassing for you to deal with.

You don't have Mommy's skirt anymore, but you do have The Election! Pay no attention to Hitler & Peron, 'Kay?

Posted by: obscure on January 3, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Funny, how Bush keeps elections when he has outraged such smart people!

Thanks for proving my point. I assume you have a typo here and you meant ...Bush keeps winning elections.... IIRC you are Austrailian so you may not be up on American politics - OTOH you seem pretty savvy so I assume you understand that Bush's poll numbers are pretty bad. If he coached an American football team he would have been fired last August. Now, do you truly feel that if you keep clicking your ruby slippers together and saying, "All is well with George, all is well with George..." it's really going to happen? Iraq will become a citte on a hille (a reference from American history, the Puritan belief in their inevitable influence on world culture), the American budget deficit will disappear, and global warming will be revealed as junk science? Anything else you can do with this marvellous faith? Cure AIDS maybe? Win the lottery?

Right now it looks like Bush is going to be toxic in the 2006 elections. I'm not a subscriber to the "If I say it it is so" school of reality so I may be wrong, but do you really believe that if you keep saying things they will become real?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, where I work, officers tell their subordinates to raise their kids to vote republican. Talk about clueless.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 3, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

obscure: thanks, it's nit one of my regular stops, but I do check it out. I will so more more often.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Right now it looks like Bush is going to be toxic in the 2006 elections.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Ok. That's a prediction. Hope you remember you made it after the elections?

---------------

you are Austrailian so you may not be up on American politics - OTOH you seem pretty savvy so I assume you understand that Bush's poll numbers are pretty bad. If he coached an American football team he would have been fired last August.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yup. Funny how that Bush moron dude made sure he was popular enough when he faced election. Its almost as if he knew that people were elected for a term and didn't face annual popularity votes....

But that might imply competance...

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen, you need to talk to my dd. She wants to join the Marines.

I am so scared that she's going to die in Iraq, plain and simple.

Suburbanmommy

Suburban Mommy;

email me. It's a real address.

--

McA: Who said anything about "onlyu reading the NY Times? I read six newspapers minimum, every day of my life and access others on-line. In this instance I was validated, but do not presume to tell me for what purpose I read the paper! We have been through this before...You piss me off when you ascribe motives to me and put words in my mouth, and especially when you make assumptions.

Knock it off.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Nixon Did It: I hear you, the military is huge and includes every kind of person you can imagine.

However, I remember my IOBC class in 1974. Nixon resigned during our training. We were a class of 200 guys, most with no active duty experience at that time. For some reason, I was the only guy in the whole damn class that was openly glad that Nixon was forced out.

What's with that kind of bias?

I was disgusted. Hopefully, at least a few of the guys have seen the light by now.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

But that might imply competance...

So does you're saying he is competent make him competent? Or is he competent, despite what seems to me, an American, pretty disturbing signs of incompetence. Does the phrase "...heck of a job, Brownie" mean anything to you? Do you truly believe democracy is about to break forth in Iraq and spill over to the ayatollahs of Iran and the Wahabbists of Saudi Arabia and convince them to donate their excess oil profits to regional freedom and greater world peace? Be honest now.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

But that might imply competance...

You said a mouthful there, Kid.

Posted by: obscure on January 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

GC: Happy New Year. Hope your knee is behaving.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

This is a losing issue for Democrats. We should not discuss this as otherwise the Republicans will paint us as soft on security. Oh my God!

-- Any moderate democrat.

Posted by: lib on January 3, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

For some reason, I was the only guy in the whole damn class that was openly glad that Nixon was forced out.

What's with that kind of bias?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't he like, end the Vietnam war and force a wedge between China and Russia?

Damn. My history book must have lied again. Funny how those sneaky neo-cons have even managed to fake books on American history in foreign countries.

-------------------

Do you truly believe democracy is about to break forth in Iraq and spill over to the ayatollahs of Iran and the Wahabbists of Saudi Arabia and convince them to donate their excess oil profits to regional freedom and greater world peace? Be honest now.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

No. But it kinda beats leaving all that oil money under the control of a nut job like Saddam since oil-for-food was undermining sanctions.

I did expect the mass graves and rape as a matter of policy to stop though - which they did.

Typical liberal approach; criticize any action, attack any achievements as not enough, but ignore the consequences of inaction.

Then again, supporting Arab dictators is the only moral way to contain Islam in your world.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Hundreds of Iraqis whose loved ones vanished during the 1991 Shiite Muslim uprising watched Tuesday as workers dug into a mass grave, a backhoe pulling up eight or nine bodies at a time, and perhaps as many as 3,000 over the past four days. Villagers clutched the remains to their chests, trying to keep them intact as they fell from the machine's big shovel. They laid the bodies in the dirt nearby, next to hundreds of others waiting to be claimed. Then they searched for personal papers, the remnants of a wristwatch or other items that might reveal the identities of the dead."

-- Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2003

Remember. Among the left, mass graves are better than a majority Shiite population getting to vote.

Isn't liberalism so proud?

Martin Luther King would love how you believe that a minority movement, organizing itself through religious networks deserves to die in mass graves than to vote. He would love how the use of bombs on people attending services as political intimidation is now written up by liberals as 'freedom fighters'.

How come you guys sound so much like supporters of the Klan?

When did liberalism switch sides?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks LW Phil. The cold hasn't given my knee too much grief, but if it does, that's what Vicodin is for!

Hope your New Year got off to a stellar start, and I hope you got everything you wanted for whatever gift-giving holiday you celebrate. (I totally scored...My son got me the hard-bound Calvin & Hobbes collection!)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle: I apologize for ignoring you all this time. Now I see it's not your fault.

Your dadburn history books keep lying to you. No, Nixon didn't end the war, it was going strong when he left.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 3, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

McA:

Sigh - let's take this point by point. You ignored my question about Bush's competence, and elected to bring up talking points. Fine.

1. No. But it kinda beats leaving all that oil money under the control of a nut job like Saddam since oil-for-food was undermining sanctions.
While I am no fan of the oil-for-food scandal from most reports Saddam was far more interested in writing romance novels than obtaining WMDs in his waning days. If you need links look them up. Try David Kay and Charles Duelfer to start. As I mentioned I'm far more worried about all that money in the hands of the Wahabbists (think 9/11) and the ayatollahs.

2. I did expect the mass graves and rape as a matter of policy to stop though - which they did.

Straw man - as has been pointed out ad infinitum most of Saddam's atrocites occurred in the eighties when he was our nominal ally. As far as the War in Iraq it has mostly served to tarnish the reputation of the US Armed Services, which my family has served in since their inception, with the shame of Abu Ghraib and related idiocies.

3. Then again, supporting Arab dictators is the only moral way to contain Islam in your world

Where the hell do you construe this from? If I had any say in the matter we wouldn't be spending a billion dollars a month to install a Shiite theocracy, but would be giving massive aid to those suffering the horrendous consequences of the Pakastani earthquake.

Now answer - do you really think that if you repeat something often enough it becomes true?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Don't appologize for ignoring McA. He is a bomb-thrower. He knows better than some of the crap he posts, or he is cluelessly, hopelessly, ethnocentrically arrogant. I just ignore him, until he puts words in my mouth or ascribes me motives or presumes to tell me what I think. Then I respond with a rhetorical dope-slap and go back to ignoring his punk-ass posts.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

He knows better than some of the crap he posts

Does he? That's my question tonight. I think that there is a ruby slipper syndrome in the right wing, filtering down from Cheney. If they just repeat something often enough...it becomes real. Reminds me of some cultists I knew in the eighties.

whatever gift-giving holiday you celebrate

Thank you. I'm an unapologetic Christian, one of I think three that post here. Christmas was lovely, as was my in-laws' Channukah. I made roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on the 25th, my sister-in-law made brisket and latkes on the 26th.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

I mentioned I'm far more worried about all that money in the hands of the Wahabbists (think 9/11) and the ayatollahs.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the Wahabbists aren't running Iraq. And Shiism is strange but it beats a dictator who was trying to organise an assasination of a former president and was actively funding Palestian suicide bombers.

---------
Straw man - as has been pointed out ad infinitum most of Saddam's atrocites occurred in the eighties when he was our nominal ally.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

'1991 Shiite Muslim Uprising' happened in ...1991.
Or are you saying that once he got to do it once, precedent has been set to let him do it again and again?

------------

but would be giving massive aid to those suffering the horrendous consequences of the Pakastani

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK


Sure that might work if that Kucinich won the nomination. But he didn't.

The choice offered in American elections was Kerry's for/against/for or neo-conservatism.

If you want to win, you've got to put a nominee up with real positions.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

LW Phil:

That sounds like a lovely Christmas. GC, you too. How lucky -- the bound Calvin & Hobbes :)

McA loves to taunt liberals by liking to think he's hoisting us on our own petard of internationalism.

I smack that argument right down. I'm no internationalist; I believe in national self-determination. If there are rotten dictators in the world, we don't have to choose to support them. But we don't have any global mission to overthrow them, either.

Look, if the issue is how do we best curtail Islamic terrorism and delegitimate it, the way you do that is to demonstrate respect for a region of the world that's not yours. Helping foster an Israel II is not going to cut it. Even if Iraq becomes successeful beyond Bush's wildest dreams, it's not going to cut it as far as Islamists are concerned. All they'll do is hate Iraq to the extent that it becomes consumerist and wealthy-decadent for falling away from Islam -- the way they despise the Saudi princes.

Democracy and prospering free-market economies may be wonderful things on their own in human rights terms. But delegitimate a religious ideology is something they will not do.

Only moderate Muslims can do that, not us our the glorious economic and social systems we import into the center of their world.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

McA: aging hippie wantabe from the 60's, Still pissed cuz the cool kids wouldn't get high with him. Little girls call you a redneck back then?

Posted by: allen kayda on January 3, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

McStupid:

Saddam wasn't supporting Palestinian suicide bombers. He was supporting their families, who had otherwise no providers. An act of charity which you might call misplaced if you like.

But go ahead and keep twisting the facts. We'll just smack you right back down, you ol' suckup to your colonial masters, you :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

McA: aging hippie wantabe from the 60's, Still pissed cuz the cool kids wouldn't get high with him. Little girls call you a redneck back then?

Posted by: allen kayda on January 3, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Wasn't born then. Grew up in one of them asian dominos the veterans you spat on protected in Vietnam.

--------------

But we don't have any global mission to overthrow them, either.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Besides self-defense.

So any specifics on how to 'show respect' to that region of the world in a manner that would make terrorism disappear or is mumbling nothings still the Democrat alternative.

Posted by: McA on January 3, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Saddam wasn't supporting Palestinian suicide bombers. He was supporting their families, who had otherwise no providers.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, so promising money to suicide bombers is just charity? Funny how he wasn't awarding the same amounts to other families with no providers. Just martyrs for the cause of killing jews...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2846365.stm

'Another banner in the hall described the cheques as the "blessings of Saddam Hussein" and PALF speakers extolled the Iraqi leader in fiery speeches.

"Saddam Hussein considers those who die in martyrdom attacks as people who have won the highest degree of martyrdom," said one.

The party estimated that Iraq had paid out $35m to Palestinian families since the current uprising began in September 2000. '

You guys should be careful what you endorse. In your rush to bash Bush, you sure support some pretty horrific stuff.

Did you know that the 9/11 hijackers were just trying to save their families the burden of putting them through school? And you invaded Afghanistan just for that!

You American bullies!


Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

McA - Once again you're dodging the points. I'm stuck in a melting ski resort so I'll debug you once again.

1. And Shiism is strange Shiism (sic) is the ruling ideology of Iran. Fascinating that you support it.

2. assasination of a former president and a pathetically incompetent attempt it was. This is the guy who was as great a threat as Hitler? You do know his primary interest in the last few years was writing romance novels?

3. '1991 Shiite Muslim Uprising' happened in ...1991.
Here , the results of a thirty second google search, is a timeline of Saddam's major crimes. The '91 massacres, while reprehensibe, took place under Bush '41's (the "former president" you refer to) watch when he enjoined the Shiites and Kurds to revolt, then didn't back them up. I was appalled at the time. After that sanctions (you know, legal strictures on outlaw regimes - approved by the world community) rendered him incapable of further such actions. That's when he took up romace writing.

3. If you want to win, you've got to put a nominee up with real positions.
What the hell does that have to do with what's right or what's true?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

the same poll showed a decrease in support for Congress and civilian and uniformed Pentagon leaders.

With all the soldier worship going around, we should not be surprised that the military is getting big in its britches.

This is the stuff that coup's are made of.

Posted by: Thinker on January 3, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:

Thank you. Happy new year to you. Hope the holidays were lovely.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Thinker:

Which brings us right back to that Honor Code I have been wringing my hands about for so long...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK
Do they really think that if they just repeat something often enough it will become real?

In short -- yes. Are you familiar with the source of the popular phrase "reality-based community"?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes. Read only the NY Times. Newspapers are for validation not information."
Ditto here reading minimum 7 to 10 newspapers a day as well as blogs from both sides of the aisle. Unlike most "conservatives", and I use the term loosely because a "conservative" these days doesn't look anything like conservative when I was growing up, I read newspapers & blogs for facts & different points of view, not to reinforce what I already believe. I speak with numerous miliary people on a weekly basis and I hear pretty much the same thing constantly; things are far worse over there than the supposed "liberal" media tells the public and few soldiers know what they are fighting for.
The occupation of Iraq has been one disaster after another. To not acknowledge that simple fact is just shows you for the rank partisan your rhetoric betrays you to be. Yet for all that, I firmly believe this is still a battle we can win. I believe that the goal of democracy in the middle east is a noble one and one that will benefit our national interest. I believe we still have the best trained military in the world and if any group can achive this goal, our soldiers are the ones to do it. I just don't believe they are recieving the leadership they deserve and I think our military personal are finally starting to see the same thing. Bush may have won with 51% of the American people but that smallest of majorities has left him and Americans are ready for a fresh vision. A competent & realistic vision. I don't know if that vision comes from a Democrat or a Republican but people are ready for it. The people in our military that I speak with are ready for it.

Posted by: Nathan on January 3, 2006 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Some of this looks like a great PR opportunity for Democrats:

Then theres military tax relief -- or the lack thereof. As Bush and Republican leaders in Congress preach the mantra of tax cuts, they cant seem to find time to make progress on minor tax provisions that would be a boon to military homeowners, reservists who travel long distances for training and parents deployed to combat zones, among others. [...]

So a Democrat could stand up here and say "I'm going to repeal the tax cuts that George Bush gave to the wealthy, and instead I'm going to cut taxes for men and women in uniform". It accomplishes everything: overall, the amount of tax money coming in increases, the people who actually need and deserve the tax break get it, and that Democrat is seen as supporting the military.

Posted by: dolphinling on January 3, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Which brings us right back to that Honor Code I have been wringing my hands about for so long

I'm not as worried about it as you. If little Mac didn't revolt in 1862, a far worse time than this I don't see it happening now. I had an ancestor ride with Harry Lee, several killed at Second Manassas with the Stonewall Brigade, my grandfather rode with George Patton before he switched to tanks, my dad was almost killed on Okinawa, and none of us own fricking guns. All is not lost.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

In short -- yes. Are you familiar with the source of the popular phrase "reality-based community"?

Yeah, but you're snarking cm. I truly think they may believe this. Well sort of. It's late here in Montana, and I am frustrasted the snow was so bad.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

1. And Shiism is strange Shiism (sic) is the ruling ideology of Iran. Fascinating that you support it.

2. assasination of a former president and a pathetically incompetent attempt it was. This is the guy who was as great a threat as Hitler? You do know his primary interest in the last few years was writing romance novels?

3. '1991 Shiite Muslim Uprising' happened in ...1991.
Here , the results of a thirty second google search, is a timeline of Saddam's major crimes. The '91 massacres, while reprehensibe, took place under Bush '41's (the "former president" you refer to) watch when he enjoined the Shiites and Kurds to revolt, then didn't back them up. I was appalled at the time. After that sanctions (you know, legal strictures on outlaw regimes - approved by the world community) rendered him incapable of further such actions. That's when he took up romace writing.

3. If you want to win, you've got to put a nominee up with real positions.
What the hell does that have to do with what's right or what's true?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

1. And communism was the policy of both Russia, China and Vietnam. But once you started getting down to it. Russia and Vietnam fought China. You are conflating the Iranian political system with the Iranian people and the Shiite religion. One of the mistakes of the Vietnam era, was that everyone assumed that nationalist rivalry doesn't apply between fellow communists. If they had worked out that it doesn't, they could have shortened Vietnam by splitting China from Russia earlier or Vietnam from Russia.

2. 'The '91 massacres, while reprehensibe, took place under Bush '41's (the "former president" you refer to) watch when he enjoined the Shiites and Kurds to revolt, then didn't back them up. I was appalled at the time. '

And he got away with it because, America didn't want to invade Iraq after the Gulf War (note you earlier claimed all of these only happened when Iraq was an ally?).

However, why does making a mistake then suddenly obligate the US not to do anything about the Iraqi situation? If anything, doesn't it have an even bigger obligation to give the Shiite's a chance at freedom?

Your position looks like typical liberalism. You bitch about goverment not doing anything about the world's problems...but when they do, you rewrite history to bitch about the government in power. Not very honest.

And on top of that, atrocities continued throughout Saddam's rein. Watch the trial.

3. 'If you want to win, you've got to put a nominee up with real positions:
What the hell does that have to do with what's right or what's true? '

Someone who whines about 'right and true' but never ever does anything about it is a hypocrite who wants your support without actually caring about the situation.

A liberal who whines about increased foreign aid being the solution but wants your vote for a candidate who doesn't endorse that solution, doesn't believe in outcomes. He just wants his party to win.

You may disagree with Bush's solution, but at least he has a direction on terrorism.

What was Kerry's strategy?


Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Your dadburn history books keep lying to you. No, Nixon didn't end the war, it was going strong when he left.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 3, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Really. My encyclopedia says Paris Agreements were 1973. Impeachment was 1974.

Is this incorrect?

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

McSphincter:

> Wasn't born then. Grew up in one of them asian dominos
> the veterans you spat on protected in Vietnam.

Exactly. A suck-up to your colonial masters.

> "But we don't have any global mission to overthrow them, either."

> Besides self-defense.

Fuck you. I mean just. fuck. you.

> So any specifics on how to 'show respect' to that region of
> the world in a manner that would make terrorism disappear
> or is mumbling nothings still the Democrat alternative.

"Making terrorism disappear" is a straw man, obviously, as possible
as "winning" the war on drugs. The way you deal with them is not
rocket science; you treat jihadist terrorism the way you would any
other international criminal cult. Ultimately it's a law-enforcement
issue. Otherwise, you declaring war on al Qaeda is as assinine
as declaring war on the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof gang, the
Mndellin cocaine cartel or the IRA for waging "Catholic terrorism."

You recognize that the only people who can delegitimate radical
Islamism are their fellow Muslims. That's why you don't go
establishing a beachhead in the middle of their region which
only freaks Muslims out and causes them to band together and
impedes the process of questioning their own fanatics in the
name of solidarity against the Western invader. You recognize
that your number one resource in fighting global terrorism is
good intelligence, which you need to get from within Muslim
countries. You also recognize that while pushing for democracy
and liberalization might be worthy human rights goals in themselves,
they run counter to the goals of the GWOT, so you let that process
happen organically, with diplomatic encouragement, not ultimatums.

I mean, c'mon McAnus. Look at Uzbekistan, Bush's Central Asian
ally in the GWOT. One of the most repressive regimes on earth
-- but it knows damn well how to crack Islamist heads. So don't
bleed me your fake bleeding heart about human rights, okay?
You don't give a shit about human rights. It's just rhetoric
you use to try to tweak liberals. I am an untweakable realist.

> "Saddam wasn't supporting Palestinian suicide bombers. He was
> supporting their families, who had otherwise no providers."

> Gee, so promising money to suicide bombers is just charity?

Twist twist twist. He promised that money to their families.
As far as I know he didn't send money to find their operations.

> Funny how he wasn't awarding the same amounts to other families
> with no providers. Just martyrs for the cause of killing jews...

That's correct. I'm not saying this isn't questionable.

I'm just saying it's not the same thing as funding
the suicide bombers and their operations themselves.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK
So any specifics on how to 'show respect' to that region of the world in a manner that would make terrorism disappear

Terrorism is a tactic as old as humanity. It will never disappear; what can disappear is the motivation that Arab masses have to oppose the West. The best way to deal with that is to simultaneous stop blindly supporting Israel and stop supporting dictatorships in the Islamic--and particularly Arab--world; that doesn't necessarily mean withdrawing support for currently-repressive regimes, it does mean conditioning that support on real, significant, and concrete progress on human rights and democratization.

In the short term, of course, this will result in considerable regional instability, but its the only way that truly popular -- rather than proxies for various power players -- movements can emerge on which stable democracies in the region can be built. And once those genuine popular movements arise, they deserve the full support of the US govenment.

That's how you get pro-US -- or at least, US-cooperative -- democratic regimes in the region. Not by continuing to support repressive regimes in general, but choosing one to invade, occupy, rewrite the fundamental economic laws to suit the US under occupation in violation of international law, set up parties we assume will be most powerful in power, and, once we've done everything possible to constrain the policy of the next government to suit the US, try to hold elections for a "democratic" regime.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

So a Democrat could stand up here and say "I'm going to repeal the tax cuts that George Bush gave to the wealthy, and instead I'm going to cut taxes for men and women in uniform".

Posted by: dolphinling on January 3, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Sure. But if he did it. The conservatives would just introduce only the military the tax cut, and watch the Democrats impale themselves on the vote pissing off their base.

Even on this thread you have people who don't want more incentives to sign up.

------------------
Global Citizen, you need to talk to my dd. She wants to join the Marines.

I am so scared that she's going to die in Iraq, plain and simple.

Suburbanmommy

Posted by: anon123 on January 3, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK
Remember. Among the left, mass graves are better than a majority Shiite population getting to vote.

Mass graves are the direct result of the US support for Saddam, which is a large part of how he got in power and stayed in power, which was largely the policy of the right and opposed by the left.

Just because we don't like the short-sighted way the Right has sought to clean up the Right's own mess doesn't mean that we support the policies of the Right that created the mess.

That's all yours. Or, rather, theirs, since, despite your fantasies of becoming part of the modern authoritarian American Right, you are nothing but a wannabe, McA.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

You overlook the obvious - there are 2100 less of us to approve of Bush this time around. Although, truth be told, I no longer support his handling of the Iraq fiasco.
PS - I thought the fightin' keyboarders would step up for Xmas but no one gave me the candy or flowers I was promised.

Posted by: dead marine on January 3, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK
Yeah, but you're snarking cm. I truly think they may believe this.

I'm not snarking. They really believe that, if not actually changing reality, it can change the perception long enough that the reality never catches up, because by the time it does, the focus is on the next issue and the lie they've sold to paper over the reality on that. That's -- rather openly, as the "reality-based community" line makes clear -- exactly how the modern American Right works.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

Well, I have to absolutely disagree with you there. Noble as our military doubtless are -- this is not the mission for them.

The only people who can win this struggle are the Iraqis.

Period.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

Someone who whines about 'right and true' but never ever does anything about it is a hypocrite who wants your support without actually caring about the situation.

Oooh thanks. Lovely ad hominem. As if you know anything about me.

1. Its Persian people. "Iranian people" is like saying "United Statesian" people.

2. Did you click the link? The '91 massacres were peanuts to the eighties. I supported intervention at the time. That doesn't mean the 'o3 war was justified any more than it means we should have taken Khaddafi out in '04 despite his pernicious past. Should we take Putin out because of his lineage to Stalin? We should have taken bin Laden out, but didn't because of this strange obsession with Saddam. Deranged.

3. I've answered your last point as much as I will. You know nothing about me, my life, or my nature. You are rather impolite.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

that doesn't necessarily mean withdrawing support for currently-repressive regimes, it does mean conditioning that support on real, significant, and concrete progress on human rights and democratization.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

And what successes has a Democrat foreign policy had in the past? None.

Compare that to Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.

-----------

set up parties we assume will be most powerful in power, and, once we've done everything possible to constrain the policy of the next government to suit the US, try to hold elections for a "democratic" regime.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 3, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

So on one hand. They've had a bunch of Iranian theocrats win elections. On the other hand they put the party they wanted in power?

Which is it?

Or or Democrat positions all over the place, because they make shit up - to get votes without following through.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

1. Its Persian people. "Iranian people" is like saying "United Statesian" people.

2. Did you click the link? The '91 massacres were peanuts to the eighties. I supported intervention at the time. That doesn't mean the 'o3 war was justified any more than it means we should have taken Khaddafi out in '04 despite his pernicious past. Should we take Putin out because of his lineage to Stalin? We should have taken bin Laden out, but didn't because of this strange obsession with Saddam. Deranged.

3. I've answered your last point as much as I will. You know nothing about me, my life, or my nature. You are rather impolite.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

1. Read the term when I used it. I meant the people of the nation Iran. I accused you of conflating that with Shi'ism in general.
Would it suprise you to know that some Iraqi Shi'ites don't like Iran?

2. Putin and Stalin are not the same person. Saddam and Saddam is. Is their a time limit on removing genocidal leaders.

3. Guilty complex? Were you a genuine Nader or Kucinich man? A genuine believer in the 'Department of Peace'. Or a Kerry shill, making shot up to score anti-Bush points?


Posted by: Mcaristotle on January 3, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

And what successes has a Democrat foreign policy had in the past? None.

Compare that to Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hmmm, do the words "Camp David" strike a bell? Do you need a link? Lovely things arising in Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan these days. Have you read the news this week? We can't really tell about Lebanon yet, but I hope you're right as I have many Lebanese friends.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Would it suprise you to know that some Iraqi Shi'ites don't like Iran?
Not at all. I read as much about it as I can. Pretty small minority as far as I have read. Points to Iran as the big winner in Iraq. I hope they are wrong, and, unlike you, I don't believe just saying so will make it happen.

Putin and Stalin are not the same person. Saddam and Saddam is. Is their a time limit on removing genocidal leaders
So you didn't click the link. You're all in favor of us spending a billion a month to oust a has been dictator while letting the asshole who attacked us sit in a cave in Pakistan? Of course it's not your money, or your blood.
Guilty complex? Were you a genuine Nader or Kucinich man? A genuine believer in the 'Department of Peace'. Or a Kerry shill, making shot up to score anti-Bush points
Proved my point again. Apart from calling you a twit, and several months ago, beofre I knew you weren't American, suggesting you volunteer, have I ever insulted you? Is this what you consider honorable discourse? Are we discussing politics or whining on the playground?

I will suggest preview. Accusing me of "making shot up" is somewhat incoherent. Of course I am not the greatest typist either.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

All right cm, bob, its your ball. Flying home tomorrow.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

Please explain to us why the GWOT isn't best prosecuted as an issue of international law enforcement.

Like to know why Kerry et al. are so wrong here.

'Cept of course they aren't.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

"You may disagree with Bush's solution, but at least he has a direction on terrorism."
And there we have the dumbest thing Bush partisans like to throw out. Yes Bush would appear to be a man of convictions, and while I think that is more marketing than reality, what are we to do when those convictions keep turning out to be wrong, misinformed or misguided?
When did being consistently wrong become a virtue? The way we have handled Iraq is a case study of repeating mistakes that should have been learned decades before. When arrogance & hubris define your foriegn & military policy you've got major troubles. I'm not saying John Kerry would have been a better choice but it is hard for me to imagine Kerry doing a worse job than the man who won the election.

"Noble as our military doubtless are -- this is not the mission for them.
The only people who can win this struggle are the Iraqis."
I wish that were so but reality seems to suggest otherwise. I was never sold on any of the numerous reasons for war we were fed by this administration on the lead-up to invasion and lord knows I don't know how any objective person can say the occupation has gone well but I still think we have a chance to do something remarkable in the region and for the region. Something that has the chance to provide long term stability. I simply don't think the leadership currently in office has the trust of the American to get the job done or has a realistic plan to finish the job. To pull out now, or in time for the 2006 elections or to reduce funding for operations to zero seems like an isult to every American solider who has died or suffered personal injury and to every Iraqi we were supposed to be there for to liberate. We have a moral obligation to see the job through. Bush, Cheney, Rummy and their cronies clearly are not the people for the job.

Posted by: Nathan on January 3, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

GWOT isn't best prosecuted as an issue of international law enforcement.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

-Because there is no international law enforcement mechanism for criminals in rogue states. Do you remember Afghanistan's response to a request for extradition for OBL?

-No evidence.

----------

I hope they are wrong, and, unlike you, I don't believe just saying so will make it happen.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

- Wait and see. I don't believe saying it won't happen will make that true either.

-------------

Putin and Stalin are not the same person. Saddam and Saddam is. Is their a time limit on removing genocidal leaders?

Posted by: Me

-You dodged this issue totally.

---------------

You're all in favor of us spending a billion a month to oust a has been dictator while letting the asshole who attacked us sit in a cave in Pakistan?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

-If you knew where Osama was, get him too. But if not, doing something about the middle east's stagnation might be a way of addressing the greater issue.

-At the very least, Saddam's funding of suicide bomber incentives stopped the Palestinian peace
process which is a major underlying cause of Arab resentment

------------------

Guilty complex? Were you a genuine Nader or Kucinich man? A genuine believer in the 'Department of Peace'. Or a Kerry shill, making shot up to score anti-Bush points

Posted by: Me

Again you didn't answer the question. I haven't called you a hypocrite. I just said you are if you are arguing foreign aid is the solution while advocating a party that has not concrete promises on foreign aid...

------------

Proved my point again. Apart from calling you a twit, and several months ago, beofre I knew you weren't American, suggesting you volunteer

Posted by: LW Phil on January 3, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

-Twit is an insult.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not saying John Kerry would have been a better choice but it is hard for me to imagine Kerry doing a worse job than the man who won the election.

Posted by: Nathan on January 3, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

Well, he hasn't made it easy because no one knows what he really would have done. At last check he was advocating a quick exit.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

I would be fighting the jihadis in Iraq right now if
I didn't have that damn anal cyst.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Mathan:

Well, I understand this; this is the Pottery Barn Rule argument and I used to buy into it and argue with my leftier brethren who wanted an immediate pullout. I felt that would be simply morally wrong and be a terrible mistake for our national security, besides.

Then John Murtha gave his press conference and the earth moved for me. My view has substantively changed. I don't believe that anything that happens in Iraq for the positive we can have a part of; every aspect of our mission is tainted, including training Iraqi troops. I'm not calling for an immediate pullout as a matter of concrete policy; I'm just telling you I have lost every last shred of hope for the mission.

Here's the thing. What we intend to do is bound to fail in terms of our national security. If we think that building a consumerist, pluralist, moderately religious federated regime in Iraq is going to delegitimate Islamist terrorism, then we haven't a clue of what Islamist terrorism is or what motivates it.

Radical Islam is a religious ideology, not a materialist ideology like Communism. You won't make it go away by building up another social system that provides better for the people. That hardly makes our own fundamentalists in America any less agitated. The wealth and splendor of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states hardly makes Islamists less rageful at them. In fact, the wealthier they are, the more the radicals feel they've fallen away from true Islam. Religious ideology is a critique of godlessness -- all the material success in the world does not quell the fires that feed it.

So our hopes that we'll build something really wonderful in Iraq are totally chimerical; even if we succeed beyond Bush's wildest dreams, the greater that success the worse it will be for the Islamist threat. Ironically, we're better off hoping that Bush fails; that Iraq becomes a Shi'ite theocracy and a Kurdish mini-state. The more religious the cast of their government, the less pressure from Islamists. Of course, this outcome isn't too teriffic either, if it promises a Sunni disenfranchisement that could drive them away from secular materialism and into Wahabi/Salafism ...

It's a hopeless mess, Nathan. Success is completely out of the question. We had better hope we fail in the least destructive way ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

Afghanistan was a failed state with an illegitimate government. I certainly didn't oppose our mission there, and arguing for an overthrow of the Taliban doesn't contradict my point because the Taliban wasn't a state which recognized international law.

But you still didn't address the larger question. For the rest of the world, why isn't Islamist terrorism fundamentally a matter of law enforcement?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

why isn't Islamist terrorism fundamentally a matter of law enforcement?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

I answered. The words just didn't penetrate your bubble.

'-Because there is no international law enforcement mechanism for criminals in rogue states. Do you remember Afghanistan's response to a request for extradition for OBL?

-No evidence.'

And if you want more evidence. Abu Abbas was in Iraq prior to the war.


Posted by: Mcaristotle on January 3, 2006 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

Calling McA a "Twit" is a grave insult - to Twits everywhere.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 3:27 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

Right. You have to peddle the bullshit that's been thoroughly debunked by the 9/11 Commission and the CIA documents which has made it abundantly clear that there was no link between Saddam and al Qaeda to keep pushing your single note non-answer.

Any kind of answer that addresses geopolitics? Nope. You think -- what -- we're going to invade our great allies in the GWOT such as Pakistan? Uzbekistan? Saudi Arabia?

You have any kind of reason that will explain how building an Israel II in the plexus of the Mideast won't simply create more Islamism around the world?

I'm waiting, McA ... whip your best Wolfowitz impersonation on me ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

The wealth and splendor of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states hardly makes Islamists less rageful at them.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

1. Bob, no offence but you have no idea about the developing world. Look at World Bank measures - they are really poor in all of the middle east.
You look at oil sheiks and think everyone is rich.
You forget that in most third world countries the distribution of wealth is far more unequal than you think. You just happen to be looking at the elites.

Part of the anger radical islam exploits is the belief that the US works through rich elites to control the islamic world. If you introduced democracy, the money might get to the bottom and reduce the hate.

------------

It's a hopeless mess, Nathan. Success is completely out of the question. We had better hope we fail in the least destructive way ...

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

So you admit you have no idea how to confront Radical Islam. So why get in the way of people who say they do and are willing to try?

I'd rather have Bush run the war on terror. Because if the Dems believe Islamic people are intrinsically supportive of terrorism and no alternative works...it would not take much to justify retaliatory extermination as an anti-terrorism policy. The demonization of a culture is key pretext for most wars of extermination.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

building an Israel II in the plexus of the Mideast won't simply create more Islamism around the world?

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq is a lot of things but it isn't Jewish. I thought you said they were turning it over to Iran. How does that make it Israel?

--------------

abundantly clear that there was no link between Saddam and al Qaeda to keep pushing your single note non-answer.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

What one note answer?

I didn't link Saddam to Al Qaeda in this thread, (although the 9/11 report cited plenty of contacts). I just cited mass graves, Abu Abbas (a non-Al Qaeda terrorist) and Palestinian terror as
reasons why Saddam being gone is a good thing.

I did cite Osama's non-extradition and Abu Abbas's presence in Iraq as example of how there is no real international law enforcement mechanism for terrorism. What knee-jerk liberals don't realise is that, international law regards a state's right to shelter whoever it wants as more important than say, punishing genocide or preventing terrorism.

Posted by: Mcaristotle on January 3, 2006 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

You want a geopolitical answer. The geopolitical answer is that only nation-states can prevent terror in their own soil. The incentives to do so include carrots (trade), blackballing (sanctions) and the stick (regime change).

Sadly enough, all three tools are necessary for the US to have the credibility it needs to incentive the right behaviour. Repressive oil regimes can do quite well without trade and under sanctions...because oil is oil.

Posted by: McA on January 3, 2006 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

机票 便宜机票
机票预定 酒店预定

Posted by: shoo on January 3, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

> "The wealth and splendor of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf
> states hardly makes Islamists less rageful at them."

> 1. Bob, no offence but you have no idea about the developing world.

Bullshit. It might help if you read my arguments in context.

> Look at World Bank measures - they are
> really poor in all of the middle east.

Absolutely. What I'm saying is that wealth doesn't correlate to
Islamism -- one of the great delusions of both neocons and neolibs.

> You look at oil sheiks and think everyone is rich.

Not at all. Only saying that the lifestyles of the royals provoke
Islamist rage because these lifestyles are decadent and un-Islamic.

> You forget that in most third world countries the
> distribution of wealth is far more unequal than you
> think. You just happen to be looking at the elites.

Mohammad Atta was upper-middle-class by Egyptian standards, with
an advanced degree in urban planning. A suicide bomber of several
years ago in Israel suprised everybody by being a promising medical
student. The bombings in London, Madrid and Holland were perpetrated
by people who were less affluent by European standards but quite
well-off comapred to their countries of origin. Redistributing
wealth is not going to reduce the pressure that foments Islamism.

> Part of the anger radical islam exploits is the belief that
> the US works through rich elites to control the islamic world.

To an extent, true. But please -- are we going to stop supporting
the oil shiekhdoms or issue ultimatums regarding their internal
policies anytime soon? And would a policy of redistributing wealth
address the problem of Islamism if it just leads the people further
away from Islam? Would it ameliorate the problem or make it worse?

> If you introduced democracy, the money
> might get to the bottom and reduce the hate.

This is a delusion caused by thinking about Islamism as if it were
like Communism, and all you had to do to delegitimate it was to
make a society materially prosperous to show the people that
Islamism can't deliver the goods. Islamism is a religious
ideology, a critique of godlessness. Only moderate clerics can
begin to change it by exerting influence. But allowing a country
to develop a free market and a consumerist culture will turn the
traditional culture decadent very quickly, much faster than the
culture can develop mechanisms to cope with it. This is why
the Iraqis are running headfirst back to traditional religion.

> "It's a hopeless mess, Nathan. Success is completely out of the
> question. We had better hope we fail in the least destructive way"

> So you admit you have no idea how to confront Radical Islam. So why
> get in the way of people who say they do and are willing to try?

Read in context. Iraq is a hopeless mess because Bush doesn't
underatand Islamism and shares the same simpleminded equation
of Islamism with poverty and hopelessness that you do.

> I'd rather have Bush run the war on terror. Because
> if the Dems believe Islamic people are intrinsically
> supportive of terrorism and no alternative works...it
> would not take much to justify retaliatory extermination
> as an anti-terrorism policy. The demonization of a
> culture is key pretext for most wars of extermination.

Oh please, like Democrats have ever
been big on racial extermination.

What you are utterly blind to is the concealed Christian agenda
in Bush's Iraq mission. He claims he's doing this because every
man and woman on the planet are entitled to freedom, and that to
criticize the mission implies that brown-skinned Arabs are somehow
incapable of enjoying the fruits of civilization as we enjoy them
in the West. Sounds real universalist until you examine it more
closely and realize that Bush's idea of "freedom" is turning Iraq
into a free-market consumer paradise that will create an acid bath
that will corrode Iraqi religious traditions as globalization has
done everywhere in the world. Is this "progress"? Many people think
so. But this is also precisely what terrifies Muslims and drives the
impetus to Islamis as a response to the usurpation of their culture.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

Sending our army all over the world in pursuit of phantasms of our own imagining is wonderful theater, dubious politics, but, practically speaking, utterly worthless.

This country has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars, tens of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of local casualties, invading and occupying a country which posed not the least threat to the homeland.

Only the most impoverished imagination could not conceive a better use for those lives and those dollars.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 3, 2006 at 4:10 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

"Regime change" is an illegitimate tool of foreign policy. It abrogates the first principle of international law. At most, it is a tool of last resort to be used with consensual agreement of the world community. A policy of unilaterally launched regime change is a recipe for global anarchy and the weakening of America through imperial overstretch. We have set a terrible precedent with Iraq and we're going to be paying the price for decades.

As for Israel -- let me in on a little secret. Israel can take damn good care of itself. The idea of invoking anti-Iraeli terrorists who hang out in Iraq as a justification for regime change is both absurd and completely immoral. We don't invade countries for the sake of marginally improving the security of other countries. We invade them (if we do) as a matter of last resort, for the sake of our own national security, period.

I am sick to fucking death of having Israel dictate our foreign policy. They can fend for themselves at this point. They have nukes, a potent, thoroughly modern military and the best intelligence apparatus in the region. I am sick of seeing my tax dollars going to clean up the messes made by frothing Likudniks.

As for calling iraq Israel II: Obviously I didn't mean anything to do with religion. I meant establishing another regime in the Mideast by the full force of Western fiat for the sake of establishing an ally. Many Islamists already think of Iraq with almost as much charity as they do Israel -- an alien presence in their region and a puppet of the West.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 4:33 AM | PERMALINK

Oh please, like Democrats have ever
been big on racial extermination.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

They have a track record on nukes, don't they?

Strangely enough, Kennedy brought the world closer to its first nuclear war in the Cuban missile crisis than Ronnie Raygun did. And it was a Democrat President who nuked Japan.

If you undermine the conventional solution, you increase the likelihood of the nuclear solution. Saying conventional war is always wrong and islamic culture is incurably radical, actually sets the stage for a discussion of the use of nukes as a deterrant.

I'm not sure whether some Dem president would do it himself (like Clinton's bombing in Sudan) to make up for political weakness or discredit his own party so much, an ultra-con takes over and goes nuclear.

Dems are more leerly of American casulties. And a nuclear first strike on a non-nuclear nation is actually one of the safest ways to retaliate, to say a gas attack on New York from the viewpoint of American lives.

----------------

"Mohammad Atta was upper-middle-class by Egyptian standards, with an advanced degree in urban planning"

Try living in a corrupt, Muslim society.
You have a degree but no relevant work other than poorly paid, badly run state enterprises. The senior jobs are political...regardless of your education. The frustration is intense, making you vulnerable to the message that the modern world is wrong...and that the 14th century was a better place.

http://www.cdhr.info/backgrounder.asp

Did you know that the Saudi unemployment rate is 10-30%? And yet foreigners are 60% of the workforce?

--------------------------

...impetus to Islamis as a response to the usurpation of their culture.

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

Are you sure you know what Muslim culture is?
I'm heavily involved in Indonesia and Malaysia..
and Islam is certainly not afraid of economic development.

http://www.islamicinstitute.org/freemrkt.htm

Strangely enough the guy with the bombs isn't always the representative for the majority view.
And neither are dumb leftists, trying to fit the world to an anti-Bush storyline.


Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

More links:

http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/economics/default.htm

Posted by: McAristotle on January 3, 2006 at 4:52 AM | PERMALINK

When was the last time an actual leftist commented on Political Animal? An honest-to-Mark leftist?

Whereas the defenders of Bush and torture and the imperial executive are certainly rightists. Brownshirts. Blackshirts. Apologists for the commander-in-chief, apostles von den Fhrerprinzip.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 3, 2006 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

vom Fhrerprinzip. Entschuldigen sie bitte!

Posted by: bad Jim on January 3, 2006 at 5:30 AM | PERMALINK

This should be simple to remedy. Improve morale with a clear success for democracy and the march of freedom. Liberate Burma!
( allow a month )
They have a democratically elected leader sitting there waiting for Uncle Sam.
Now if you don't do this thing and spark up morale in the sevices then it just proves what a hollow sham the democracy crusade is and what a terminally and criminally negligent or just plain criminal ( oil thieves ) crime-gang/junta is running Norte America.

Posted by: professor-rat on January 3, 2006 at 6:20 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you professor rat! I made the very same point about a week ago re: Aung San Su Kyi.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 3, 2006 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

> "Oh please, like Democrats have ever
> been big on racial extermination."

> They have a track record on nukes, don't they?

But not on racial extermination. Do you read *anything* in context?

> Strangely enough, Kennedy brought the world closer to its
> first nuclear war in the Cuban missile crisis than Ronnie
> Raygun did. And it was a Democrat President who nuked Japan.

Truman was just *dying* to exterminate the entire Japanese race. If
it weren't for the Republican Congress, he would have done it, too :)

Little yellow bastards ...

> If you undermine the conventional solution, you
> increase the likelihood of the nuclear solution.

Only if you have no sense of morality.

> Saying conventional war is always wrong

Who says that conventional war is always wrong? What Bush
critics say is that unilateral unprovoked invasions bassed on
bogus intelligence of a nonexistent threat are always wrong,
but nobody in government (save Kucinich) operates on the
principle that war is always wrong. If they did, certainly
they'd be that much *less* inclined to use a nuclear option.

> and islamic culture is incurably radical,

Nobody says that, either. Sheesh, are you like the costume
designer for a revival of the Wizard of Oz? Because you
certainly seem to enjoy constructing entire *armies* of straw men.

> actually sets the stage for a discussion
> of the use of nukes as a deterrant.

No it doesn't. Nukes are a deterrent against states.
You can't use nukes to deter stateless suicide terrorism.

> I'm not sure whether some Dem president would do it
> himself (like Clinton's bombing in Sudan) to make up
> for political weakness or discredit his own party so
> much, an ultra-con takes over and goes nuclear.

Which comic book, exactly, do you get your idea of American
political culture from? Fantastic Four? Spider Man?

> Dems are more leerly of American casulties. And a
> nuclear first strike on a non-nuclear nation is actually
> one of the safest ways to retaliate, to say a gas attack
> on New York from the viewpoint of American lives.

I can't believe I'm having this discussion with a wannabe
American neocon who hs given to believing anything, anything
*at all*, so long as it discredits Democrats. Has the thought
ever occurred to you, my Malaysian friend of Chinese extraction,
that it's the Bush administration who is talking about resuming
the development of bunker buster nukes and nuclear testing? Did
you hear *one peep* from the Democrats in favor of such a scheme?

You're talking imbecile comic book nihilism. We get gassed, we nuke
a country. Which country? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Uzbekistan?

Terrorists are *stateless*. What part of this don't you understand?

> "Mohammad Atta was upper-middle-class by Egyptian
> standards, with an advanced degree in urban planning"

> Try living in a corrupt, Muslim society.
> You have a degree but no relevant work other than poorly
> paid, badly run state enterprises. The senior jobs are
> political...regardless of your education. The frustration is
> intense, making you vulnerable to the message that the modern
> world is wrong...and that the 14th century was a better place.

Do you know what ticked Atta off the most? Western influences
in Egyptian architecture. And he got his urban planning degree
in Hamburg; he could've easily emigrated. Or the British train
bombers. Everyone in their neighborhoods were shocked, but
especially about one young man whose family owned the biggest
house on the block. He was handsome and a real charmer, ace
footballer, too. Or that Palestinian medical student. The point
here, McA, is that all of these people could have gone somewhere with
their lives. They weren't trapped by bureaucracy or botched attempts
at socialism. That is just a neocon economic determinist explanation
for something that can't be explained by material conditions -- except
perhaps as a reaction against the affluence they saw all around them.

> Did you know that the Saudi unemployment rate is
> 10-30%? And yet foreigners are 60% of the workforce?

Yep. And the bifurcated Saudi society, which lets the princes
basically do as they please while everybody else has to chafe
under the strictures of Wahabism, is a big problem in that country.
If we could change that it would be wonderful -- but we can't change
it as long as the princes are in charge of the oil. Foreign workers
running most of the technical infrastructure while so many Saudi
citizens are unemployed has gotta be a continual humiliation.

" ...impetus to Islamism as a response
to the usurpation of their culture."

> Are you sure you know what Muslim culture is?

Yeah I do, actually. And since you cut my sentence
off at the knees, I'll restore the whole paragraph:

What you are utterly blind to is the concealed Christian agenda
in Bush's Iraq mission. He claims he's doing this because every
man and woman on the planet are entitled to freedom, and that to
criticize the mission implies that brown-skinned Arabs are somehow
incapable of enjoying the fruits of civilization as we enjoy them
in the West. Sounds real universalist until you examine it more
closely and realize that Bush's idea of "freedom" is turning Iraq
into a free-market consumer paradise that will create an acid bath
that will corrode Iraqi religious traditions as globalization has
done everywhere in the world. Is this "progress"? Many people think
so. But this is also precisely what terrifies Muslims and drives the
impetus to Islamism as a response to the usurpation of their culture.

> I'm heavily involved in Indonesia and Malaysia..
> and Islam is certainly not afraid of economic development.

Islam is not monolithic. Southeast Asian Islam is much different
than Mideast Wahabism, much less doctrinnaire. Read again what I
said -- too-rapid economic development creates cultural decadence
which provides a raison d'etre for IslamISM. Radical Islam is like
a cultural disease; it breaks out when the social immune system
breaks down. There is nothing wrong with economic development.
To the extent that the population sees it as an active choice
rather than something imposed on them externally, is the extent
that you can ward off the potency of an Islamist social critique.

That's why democracy is helpful, but it has to be genuine
democracy grown from within. What's developing in Iraq isn't
seen by the population as genuine, and that's why so many people
are running from it straight back to the certainties of Shariah.

> Strangely enough the guy with the bombs isn't
> always the representative for the majority view.

The guy with the bombs is never remotely representative of the
majority view, nor does he have to be to create a menace that
the world has to deal with. Again, it's a social pathology.

> And neither are dumb leftists, trying to
> fit the world to an anti-Bush storyline.

Or culturally obtuse free market fundamentalists, trying
to pretend that the religious impulse can be drowned
in consumer goods -- when consumerism drives the very
decadence that creates the toxic religious reaction to it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2006 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

Arguing with McAristotle is like punching one of those inflatable clowns with sand in the bottom. He just bounces back up and continues his mindless schtick regardless of what you say.

Nevertheless, it was nice to mostly agree with Nathan for a change.

LW Phil, I think a good way to understand the 'Bush boot-licker' syndrome (borrowing from Secular Animist) is as an emotional issue. Folks like McA view the world from a primarily emotional perspective. Their reason faculty is under-developed (equally true to say their emotional faculty is under-developed) and as a result they're at the mercy of powerful, visceral likes & dislikes.

They know what they like (a 'strong' authoritarian leader, a rigid, punitive society) but they don't know why.

If you look at McA as an infant, his rants become much more understandable.

(This is not to say that we're without our blind attachments, but everything is relative... )

:^)

Posted by: obscure on January 3, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

"In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption," Retired Marine Gen. Anthony C. Zinni

"It is our patriotic duty to speak out when egregiously flawed policies and strategies needlessly cost American lives."
-William A. Whitlow - Retired major general in the Marine Corps & former director of the expeditionary warfare division in the office of the deputy chief of naval operations.

The first thing aspiring right wing coups need to remember is: Don't piss off the military.

Posted by: CFShep on January 3, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

For a different take on this "poll" look at Michelle Malkin's blog. Money quote:

Congress has my best interests at heart.
Strongly agree 2%
Agree 29%
Disagree 40%
Strongly disagree 17%
No opinion/no answer 11%

Posted by: minion of rove on January 3, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

P.S.

To the great unwashed, and to our troops, Congress is synonomous with Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, etc.

Posted by: minion of rove on January 3, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Every wingnut should be forced to read the article by Paul Schroder in WaPo. He says that his son's life has been wasted for the delusion that it is enough to overthrow a dictator to bring democracy to Iraq and the false premise that it could be done with thw number of troops that GWB set to Iraq.

GWB: The worst President of the last 100 years.

Posted by: lib on January 3, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

How did the GOP get the lock on military cachet and loyalty in the first place? What did they do to deserve it? Was it there usual Marlboro-Country style image manipulation instead of real substance? They sure as heck don't deserve it now.

Posted by: Neil' on January 3, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Neil', to some degree they inherited it along with Nixon's Southern strategy.

Saying something often enough makes it true is corporate "think positive," "winner," culture. It is the intellectual fruit of salesmen.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 3, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Hey McAristotle et Al: You've been promoting the usual cliche agitprop about Bush at least having a strategy on terrorism and the Democrats/Kerry not. That is bunk. The Democrats all but one supported going into Afghanistan where al-Q was actually based, and we were on the verge of success there (not just toppling the Taliban but nabbing OBL - whom Bush once vowed to get but later mumbled that he didn't care so much about - remember?) Then, the neocons pulled resources out of Afghanistan for the Iraq invasion, just in the middle of Saddam's containment by the Inspectors and the international community - a situation which could have been held for a few years while we got a handle on the real war on terror elsewhere. Congress only authorized the invasion of Iraq because they were tricked by the Bush administration, who and whose apologists continue to spread the now known lie that "everyone had the same intelligence." Then we lost the chance to really nab al-Q (Google for operation jawbreaker and see what you get.)

Kerry would have at least used more troops going into Iraq, if he had gone in, because he would have listened to real experts like General Shinseki and not borderline-ill cranks (literally) like Rummy and "stupidest person" Doug Feith. Control of the country would have come sooner and at least not cost as much money and blood in the long run (I'd like to think Kerry would have been smart enough not to, despite his execrable political claim that he would have also invaded.)

If the invasion of Iraq had been well-executed, it might have been more worth it. However, it was bungled, in almost every way, and now is a mess after spending over 200 billion dollars that our kids will have to pay (since BushCo did not ask for any sacrifices from the current taxpayers, at least the already wealthy ones, but put Grover Norquist's project to destroy the government's services but keep the pork at the top of his priorities.) Actually, even if the whole thing "was successful" in execution, it still might have turned out to be a bad idea since that wonderful democracy can lead to religious parties (like the Iran-oriented Shias) gaining ascendency, in like vein to Hezbollah in Palestine and Lebanon, radicals in Egypt etc. - and that is what is happening in Iraq after all. Rememeber that voters in other cultures may not pick the sort of goverment you neocons/reflexdittoheads or whatever you are might like or be good for US interests.

Did I clear some mud out of you wanker's heads? And BTW don't dredge up that most pathetic last and hypocritically used refuge of scoundrels, the whine that "20-20 hindsight is easy" and all the other blabber brought up when your team screwed up in clearly preventable ways.

Posted by: Neil' on January 3, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK
To the great unwashed, and to our troops, Congress is synonomous with Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, etc.

Gee... It's wonderful, that clairvoyance of yours. Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge with us!

Now that we have the benefit of this knowledge that you kindly shared with us we are much better informed and much more knowledgeable.

It's good to have as much knowledge as possible. Thank you for adding to our humble storehouse of knowledge.

Posted by: tiptoe pantywaist on January 3, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK
...dumb leftists, trying to fit the world to an anti-Bush storyline.Posted by: McAristotle
The world is on an anti-Bush trend. Haven't you noticed the election results in South America and Europe? Even Abramoff is history: His Malaysian operation is defunct. Posted by: Mike on January 3, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

How did the GOP get the lock on military cachet and loyalty in the first place?

It has to do with the levels of activity in the reptilian centers of our brains. If you are naturally suspicious and prone to aggression you're going to have your foot in the door of military culture.

We have a built in disadvantage because we put some measure of stock in the better angels of our nature.

(Rightist politics flows naturally from what a rightist sees when he/she looks in the mirror.)

GWB: The worst President of the last 100 years.

Why so stingy?

Give him the entire history of the nation. It's only fair.

Posted by: obscure on January 3, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

"your team screwed up in clearly preventable ways"
Posted by: Neil' on January 3, 2006 at 10:40 AM

Ok Neil' So where were you when these screwups occurred? Why didn't you say anything? I mean if they were so preventable then you should have seen this comming. Almost everyone on your side of the house and senate seemed to agree with Bush back then. So why is it YOU knew differently? If you had this tremendous insight why did you not share?? Why didn't you go to congress, collectively bitch slap them and MAKE them listen to you???
And BTW. It's not about the Dems not having a strategy on terror. The Dems have no strategy, or even a reasonable idea in Iraq. Your side of the aisle helped put us there but now you can only bitch about being there. And don't give me that "Bush lied" crap. I would like to know how Bush lied to Clinton to get him to bomb WMD facilities in Iraq. Please to s'plain that one Lucy.

Posted by: Lurker42 on January 3, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

How the hell would you know whether I said anything, idiot? I did in fact have some things to say about my suspicions, but since I'm not famous there isn't any good record of it (well, try combing through WaMo comments...) Plenty of the sort of "leftists" you and yours excoriate who do have public presence (Scott Ritter, Dean, Senator Byrd, et al) did in fact warn us that Bush was on the wrong track: when are you going to give them credit for being right, instead of chasing straw men about faceless little posters to these threads?

Your "points" are wrong in so many ways anyway: we bombed some facilities in Iraq to help prevent further development of realistic WMD facilities, not to be confused with a ridiculous caricature of "mushroom clouds" such as posed by the Bushies. That must have worked since we didn't find much there after all, and it was a lot cheaper than 200 Billion and 2000+ American lives - as I said, many Dems voted against the Iraq authorization, and the advice that could have helped was indeed given, and ignored, by Shinseki etc. Why can't your kind come up with something that at least sounds worthy?

Posted by: Neil' on January 3, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

To the great unwashed, and to our troops, Congress is synonomous with Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, etc

It's not November yet. Last time I checked, the Republicans were in control of both the House and the Senate.

Posted by: mr. ziffel on January 3, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Wow this is pretty good article............a good article to POOP ON! Give me a break! Im a Marine officer doing back to back deployments and currently in Iraq. Get on a plane, come here to Iraq and do your bag of monkey crap survey, ask they guys doing the fighting, your poll will be alot different! Get the facts from the people you talking about and not the ones back in the states watching Monday Night FootBall in their house. Keep attacking, we are! SEMPER FI!!!

Posted by: Capt B on January 4, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK
一体机,一体化速印机 一体机 一体机 速印机 理光一体机 得宝一体机 基士得耶一体机 理光一体机 理想一体机 三星一体机 佳能一体机 松下一体机 联想一体机 惠普一体机 一体机 办公设备

复印机
传真机
一体机
投影机
打印机
收款机
考勤机

考勤机,收款机,打印机,投影机,复印机,传真机,一体机

Posted by: 一体机 on January 4, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bad Science and Math!

I'm with Capt B here.

I don't take polls and neither do any my Republican friends, you could construe that to mean that half of the United States and over half of the military wasn't polled. In general only a particular personality type participates in a poll so that skews the data before the questions are even asked.

Polls are also always highly suspect because of how they phrase the questions. If I were to estimate how the troops feel about the war in Iraq I'd judge from the comments on Any Soldier and from the letters I receive and my results would look very different from the Military Times.

Your article is baseless garbage presented to advance your agenda to people who have no concept of math or human behavior. People who think for themselves can figure it out for themselves.

Sam

Posted by: Samantha West on January 6, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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