Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

AFTER NEOCONSERVATISM....Francis Fukuyama, longtime neoconservative apostle of the "End of History" and the inevitable triumph of liberal democracy, has been weaning himself away from the post-9/11 version of neoconservatism ever since the publication of his widely read essay "The Neoconservative Moment" in the Summer 2004 issue of National Affairs. On Sunday he finished his journey to apostasy, writing in the New York Times: "Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support."

So what does Fukuyama think we need to do now?

Now that the neoconservative moment appears to have passed, the United States needs to reconceptualize its foreign policy in several fundamental ways. In the first instance, we need to demilitarize what we have been calling the global war on terrorism and shift to other types of policy instruments...."War" is the wrong metaphor for the broader struggle, since wars are fought at full intensity and have clear beginnings and endings.

....If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper financing of those institutions of the United States government that actually promote democracy, development and the rule of law around the world, organizations like the State Department, U.S.A.I.D., the National Endowment for Democracy and the like....By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic. Democracy promotion is therefore a long-term and opportunistic process that has to await the gradual ripening of political and economic conditions to be effective.

The State Department? Fukuyama really has turned on his former comrades, hasn't he? I guess you can take the boy out of the State Department, but you can't take the State Department out of the boy.

More seriously, I can't help but think that in some sense Fukuyama is the foreign policy version of Bruce Bartlett: a man who has decided that both the Bush administration and its cheerleaders don't take conservative principles seriously, and that even when they do they aren't willing to do the toughminded, real-world analysis it takes to get their policies right. Unlike, say, Charles Krauthammer or Bill Kristol, Fukuyama is at least trying to face up to the obvious failures of the war on terror over the past few years so that he can figure out a better way to proceed in the future. If that means admitting mistakes and risking an electoral backlash, so be it.

This is admirable in its own way, though I suspect the "electoral backlash" part of that equation will prevent him from finding many supporters among the current crop of conservatives running the country. Electoral backlash is precisely the thing they're most afraid of these days, which means that any serious analysis of where they went wrong is pretty much out of the question. Better to pretend that everything is working out perfectly and hope for the best.

But it's a start. Unlike domestic critics like Bartlett, who are unlikely to ever find any serious common ground with liberals, newly chastened foreign policy critics like Fukuyama could very well end up aligned in spirit if not always in fact with the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. After all, as Matt Yglesias points out, Fukuyama is pretty much endorsing "regular old liberal internationalism" whether he can bring himself to say so or not. The possibility of a truce is not completely farfetched.

Kevin Drum 2:17 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (192)

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Yes, we can always count on quality comments from Ayatollah Chuckles.

The possibility of a truce is not completely farfetched.

A truce, yes, but I'm not sure where that leads us. Right now, its just Fukuyama and a growing number of apostates. And even so, I'd see the alienated neo-conservative elite having a much easier time siding with a pragmatic Republican like, say, John McCain, before Hilary or any other Dem.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on February 21, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

In the meantime, I will be busy "fac[ing] up to the obvious failures of the war on terror" such as ZERO TERRORIST ATTACKS ON AMERICAN SOIL over the past few years ; )

Nice choice of cut-off date, Ayatollah Chuckles. How many attacks on American soil have there been in the past ten years? Twenty? Why is American soil more important, than say, Spanish soil, or even English soil?

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on February 21, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. re: McCain - can Fukuyama even vote in U.S. elections?

Since he was born in Chicago, I'm gonna bet on yes.

Posted by: asterisk on February 21, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Francis Fukuyama, finished his journey to apostasy, writing in the New York Times: "Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support."

Francis Fukuyama? *Snicker* Sorry, Kevin, but the fact that Fukuyama is willing to give up on Iraq after only three years in the country shows he was never a real conservative in the first place but was really a liberal. Japan and Germany took over a decade to control even after we won WWII. In Korea, we never even signed a peace treaty. And in all those countries we still have troops in their country to support freedom and democracy. But liberals like Fukuyama are willing to call it quits after just three years. I guess he got bored of being a pretend conservative and instead decided to go back to being a New York Times liberal which he always was in the first place.

Posted by: Al on February 21, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Democracy promotion is therefore a long-term and opportunistic process that has to await the gradual ripening of political and economic conditions to be effective.

Jeez, it looks like Fukuyama finally got around to reading Prof. Adam Przeworski:

This is a startling fact given that throughout history about 70 democracies have collapsed in poorer countries. In contrast, 35 democracies spent a total of 1,000 years under more affluent conditions, and not one collapsed. Affluent democracies survived wars, riots, scandals, and economic and governmental crises.

The probability that democracy survives increases monotonically with per capita income. Between 1951 and 1999, the probability that a democracy would fall during any particular year in countries with per capita income under US$1,000 was 0.089, implying that their expected life was about 11 years. With incomes in the range of US$1001 to US$3000, this probability was 0.037, for an expected duration of about 27 years. Between US$3001 and US$6055, the probability was 0.013, which translates into about 78 years of expected life. And above US$6055, democracies last forever.

It also seems that Amy Chua's book World On Fire may have had some influence:

A professor at Yale Law School, Chua eloquently fuses expert analysis with personal recollections to assert that globalization has created a volatile concoction of free markets and democracy that has incited economic devastation, ethnic hatred and genocidal violence throughout the developing world. Chua illustrates the disastrous consequences arising when an accumulation of wealth by "market dominant minorities" combines with an increase of political power by a disenfranchised majority. Chua refutes the "powerful assumption that markets and democracy go hand in hand"

It sure would have been better if Fukuyama had taken Przeworski and Chua's viewpoints into consideration earlier.

Posted by: TangoMan on February 21, 2006 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, Cheney keeps shooting himself in the foot.. and hitting his mouth.

Posted by: Kenji on February 21, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

If Cheney is Ayatollah Chuckles, is Al Ayatollah Snicker?

Posted by: ogmb on February 21, 2006 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.

Most countries have dictatorships imposed upon them by small cliques of violent men who are able to gain control over the military. Domestic demand for democracy and reform are always present, but are crushed by the minority who are in power. Nothing other than outside military intervention can enable the democratic forces to overcome the native tyrannies. there are many examples, but the best in the history of Western Europe include France (the coalitions that defeated Napoleon) and Germany (the coalition that defeated the Nazis.) In WWII the US restored to Japan the democracy that had been stolen by the militarists -- and strengthened it. The democratic reformers of Iran were overwhelmed by the mullahs; the democratic reformers of Iraq and Syria were quashed by the Baathists.

Unlike, say, Charles Krauthammer or Bill Kristol, Fukuyama is at least trying to face up to the obvious failures of the war on terror over the past few years so that he can figure out a better way to proceed in the future

I disagree. As before, Fukuyama is way too literate and idealistic, ungrounded in reality and messy actualities. Krauthammer and Kristol are more accurate in their assessments of the violent urgings of America's enemies. USAID is completely impotent against the kind of people who want to burn the cars of France, burn the embassies of Denmark, burn the Christian churches of Nigeria, bomb the train stations of London and Madrid, brutalize the peoples of Darfur, reconquer Afghanistan from the autonomous tribal regions of Pakistan, murder the Dutch filmmakers, institute Sharia law in Indonesia, and fly aircraft into the tall buildings of New York City.

The US military may be useful in bringing democracy to Iraq, or it yet may fail; but USAID is totally impotent to defeat the active enemies of democracy there.

Posted by: republicrat on February 21, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Fukuyama is a clown. He was disasterously, idiotically wrong about the war. Yet he still doesn't admit error. He didn't leave neoconservatism, neoconservatism has left him (it's "evolved" into something he "can no longer support"). This article is useless for trying to understand what the US should do but immensely valuable for understanding Fukuyama's campaign to salvage and preserve his reputation.

Posted by: jr on February 21, 2006 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

One should read and understand Stewart Newberry`s Fourth Republic thesis for an interesting perspective on the times we are in; our foreign policy is tied to oil & oil politics and what to do about them are critical

Newberry has some perspective on American economics that all should understand so as to have the best opportunity to overcome the Neo ConJob

Fourth Republic PDF

"...We don't have news, we have stories inspired by current events..." - Stirling Newberry

Posted by: daCascadian on February 21, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Unbelievable stuff from him. Always a very rational arguer. His "Statebuilding" book is also along these lines, showing his opinion of a "Realistic Wilsonianism" in full effect.

Always nice to convert another one to the cause. I'm just wondering who snuck him the kool-aid.

Posted by: Steve L on February 21, 2006 at 3:57 AM | PERMALINK

Francis Fukuyama? *Snicker* Sorry, Kevin, but the fact that Fukuyama is willing to give up on Iraq after only three years in the country shows he was never a real conservative in the first place but was really a liberal.

Thanks for the update on definitions, Al. So, when Reagan pulled all U.S. troops out of Beirut after just two serious attacks (embassy and marine HQ) means that he revealed himself as a liberal at that very moment.

Sweet! I really dug that pomade he wore, and there's no one like that svelte gal of his, wearing those size 0 dresses. Welcome to the club, Ron.

Posted by: travis on February 21, 2006 at 4:31 AM | PERMALINK

I think I'll leave before Cheney burps up another turd.

Posted by: snowy s.o.b. on February 21, 2006 at 5:13 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Gold global perspective on February 21, 2006 at 5:13 AM | PERMALINK

You mean a conservative realized that we will NEVER be able to kill our way to peace? A modern day epiphany!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 21, 2006 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

we will NEVER be able to kill our way to peace? A modern day epiphany!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 21, 2006 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

Wrong question. The question is can you kill enough, that the other culture realises he can't kill his way to peace.

'Cos that's your problem...factions of Islam that believe they can kill their way to a certain objective.

At the very least, you have to kill enough, that the other guy believes he has something to lose.

Remember the other culture that used suicide tactics? ...Japan. Now your primary ally against China.


Posted by: McA on February 21, 2006 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

that he revealed himself as a liberal at that very moment.

Posted by: travis on February 21, 2006 at 4:31 AM | PERMALINK

Or he was a realist and remembered he needed Arab support to bleed the Russians dry at Afghanistan and end the Cold War... remember the Wall and the Iron Curtain?

Oh, you wouldn't. Because stupid liberals pretend Communism was all roses and chocolates.

Losers! History will hate you 'useful idiots'.

Posted by: McA on February 21, 2006 at 7:08 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Fukuyama is indeed taking the liberal journey to (a hoped for, eventual) success: "It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another — but above all: try something." — Franklin D. Roosevelt

I think that it is in ignoring this common-sense process that radical right-wingers, neoconservatives, the lot of them, fail to deal with the problems of governance.

Posted by: Dave Alway on February 21, 2006 at 7:09 AM | PERMALINK

What this age needs is a George Kennan to guide us through this struggle, though I suspect it is vastly inflated in importance.

Posted by: bob h on February 21, 2006 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

Fukuyama's assertion that we need to change our approach to international relations has already run aground on America's isolationalism. What event could have brought together the disparate elements in US society? Why it's having an Arab company (state-run,no less) take over port operations from a UK company which was awarded the contract because no US company bid on it in 2000.
Yes,sir,liberals and conservatives agree:keep Arabs out of our country and especially if they want to run operations in our ports. Northern Europeans are ok, but not Arabs.

Posted by: TJM on February 21, 2006 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

Fukuyama's article is much fun to read. Highlights include:

* His desperate attempt to salvage the neocon version of the end of the cold war from the incinerator of the consequences that dishonest account has brought us.

* His quite honest, compelling and illuminating comparison of own neocon days to Marxism, followed by his devastating comparison of the direction Krauthamer, Kristol and Bush have taken neoconservatism with Leninism.

And you gotta love anyone who can convince the New York Times copy editors that post-cold-war is preferable to post-cold war.

By the way, anyone who is surprised that Al and Cheney are willing to play the roles of Stalin and Lysenko in that little drama haven't been reading their posts all these years. They seem to miss the fact that they are aiding Fukuyama in his attempt to salvage his reputation. If they had read the article, they would know that Fukuyama totally blew away the phony claim that conservatives knew how long and hard the fight for freedom in Iraq was going to be.

Maybe Al or Cheney could shoot Fukuyama next time he reads a paper in Mexico to help the professor's attempt to Trotsky-ize himself a little further.

Posted by: scotus on February 21, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

We seemed to have killed our way to peace in Germany, Japan and South Korea. You must be able to enforce democracy when bad actor threaten to destablize it.

Posted by: Berlins on February 21, 2006 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Bush got one thing right during the SOTU address. The obvious backlash to the failure of neoconservativism is isolationism, not a return to liberal internationalism.

Thanks a bunch Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol your failed neofacsism (er neoconservatism) is going to take us right back down memory lane. And thanks Francis Fukuyama for finally recognizing the obvious. Pushing people around might be fun on the playground, but it is disaster in a world of multinational corporations, world religions and nuclear weapons.

Maybe spending sometime outside the country ought to be mandatory for anybody giving foreign policy advice.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 21, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK


We seemed to have killed our way to peace in Germany, Japan and South Korea.

Did you put South Korea in there as a joke?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Can you tell me where the grown-up Republicans are to be found, yet? I know you have been searching for them since the spring of 2004. Will they be stopping by the White House soon?

Or, just maybe: there ARE NO grown-up Republicans? Have you started to think about the consequences of that yet?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 21, 2006 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

Who let the Gold bug in?

>You must be able to enforce democracy when bad actor threaten to destablize it.
Posted by: Berlins

Like, for example, when elections are compromised, the drawing of Congressional districts are compromised, the judiciary is compromised, the treasury is looted, the checks and balances of the Constitution are FUBAR?

Stuff like that?

Posted by: CFShep on February 21, 2006 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: P.S. re: McCain - can Fukuyama even vote in U.S. elections?

Is there no end to the bigotry of conservatives? The assumption that his name determines his birthplace in the world of to-day seems to further enhance the conservative bigotry of the New Orleans disaster. I feel sorry for the society that endures people like Cheney without comment

Posted by: murmeister on February 21, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Shep,

If you say so. It sounds like sours grapes coming from you since you came out on the losing end of the democratic process.

Jeff,

Yes, South Korea. Ask the South Koreans if they like their form of government over North Korea.

Maybe

Posted by: Berlins on February 21, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Electoral backlash is precisely the thing they're most afraid of these days, which means that any serious analysis of where they went wrong is pretty much out of the question. Better to pretend that everything is working out perfectly and hope for the best.

Fukuyama argues that they already have, Kevin:

The Bush administration has been walking indeed, sprinting away from the legacy of its first term, as evidenced by the cautious multilateral approach it has taken toward the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea.

I agree. No, there has been no admission of mistake, but there definitely has been a change of approach.

Posted by: wagster on February 21, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

>>...If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper financing of those institutions of the United States government that actually promote democracy, development and the rule of law around the world,

Well, I'd suggest that this would be a good place to start in terms of domestic policy.

"Promote the general welfare', rather than that of a vanishingly thin strata of uber-riche who regard our government as the 'hired help' expected to do their bidding?

Posted by: CFShep on February 21, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, I suppose it's a good thing that Fukuyama has admitted mistake.

But if you've proven yourself that spectacularly wrong and obscenely reckless with the lives of other people and with the general peace and harmony of the world, why should anyone ever pay attention to you again?

Some mistakes are career and lifetime mistakes.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 21, 2006 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

In my view, every last "thinker" who was associated with the neocon movement should be relegated to a place of permanent disgrace and powerlessness.

Obviously, Fukuyama is really trying to do little more than recover his battered reputation. He knows enough to realize that there's no way that the Iraq fiasco and the neocon argument will escape excoriation by historians and foreign policy thinkers, and he wants to disassociate himself from it as quick as he can.

But only someone who treated the brutal exercise of power as if it were a classroom gedanken experiment could have helped push for anything like the neocon agenda. If there's any single thing that a foreign policy expert needs to avoid, it is recklessness, because foreign policy holds within it, like nothing else, the power of life and death, even, in the extreme, of entire nations.

And the neocon agenda was unconscionably, obscenely reckless. Failures like that of Iraq should end, permanently, the influence of those who forcefully pushed for it.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 21, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

I can't help but think that in some sense Fukuyama is the foreign policy version of Bruce Bartlett: a man who has decided that both the Bush administration and its cheerleaders don't take conservative principles seriously, and that even when they do they aren't willing to do the toughminded, real-world analysis it takes to get their policies right.

Molly Ivins had Bush pegged ages ago: all hat, no cattle.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

'the fact that Fukuyama is willing to give up on Iraq after only three years in the country shows he was never a real conservative in the first place...'
--Al

Really? What makes the preemptive invasion and occupation of a country that was no harm to the United States, a "conservative" philosophy? Sounds like a radical, fascist philosophy to me.

'Wrong question. The question is can you kill enough, that the other culture realises he can't kill his way to peace.'
--McA

Who is going to tell us when we have killed enough people? Bush? Cheney? So we have to keep feeding our young people to the war machine until two cowards who were afraid to go to war themselves tell us we have killed enough people? How can you be so foolish? And what is with this phrase 'the other culture'? I thought we were "at war" with al-Qaeda, not the entire Muslim culture? So, you think we need to kill all one billion Muslims? And I suppose you call yourself a Christian too? Good God, get a grip on reality.

Look, it is very clear now that Bush planned to invade Iraq before 9-11 even happened. Don't ask me why this sick, dysfunctional man believed it was the right thing to do, but I suspect it has to do with some Oedipal/psychological inadequacy problems. Most of the Bush family are psychological basket cases. Let's impeach Bush right now and put him in a mental institution where he can get the help he so clearly needs.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 21, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Shep,

If you say so. It sounds like sours grapes coming from you since you came out on the losing end of the democratic process.

Berlins

Love it. You guys are as predictable as sunrise.

"Sour grapes."

(Bronx cheer)

When in fact the issue is precisely that the 'democratic process' has been hijacked, subverted and looted.

When do the 'unborn' make their requisite ritual appearance?

Posted by: CFShep on February 21, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Liberal Internationalism? Are you guys still trying to be friends with everybody? Remember, that has never worked out that well. We tried staying on the sidelines in WWII until we were attacked. We've tried the passive liberal peace process several times with only the Embassies in Kenya and Beirut, the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers, etc. to show for it. Russia has even attempted the "be nice" policy and lost several school children in Beslan. Liberla internationalism only works if you can stay alive.

Also I loved Kevin's line "Better to pretend everything is working out perfectly and hope for the best". Well if anyone had actually listened to the SOTU, Bush did acknowledge many tactical errors (as with any conflict) and stated that strategies to the war were constantly being reviewed. The real quote here needs to be from the left "Better to pretend everything is a quagmire and hope for the worst"

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Oh how can I forget Madrid! Tehy even changed their politics to try and reach out to Liberal internationalism "let's be freinds" policy. Unfortunately, the commuters on that morning train took the full brunt of that failed policy.

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Let me get something straight. Whenever a rightie points out that since 1994 the lefties have been losing power in DC, and then makes a claim that liberalism is a dying philosophy, all the lefties scoff.

And now the claim is that neo-conservatism is a dying philosophy...

Oh wait, I get it. Neo-conservatism has reached what you consider it's "peak", and therefore has no where to go but down. And you consider that "liberalism" has hit rock bottom and has no where to go but up. (Remember the Whigs?)

Then again, here's just no way to know what you're thinking, is there? Is anything going on here besides lefties trying to make themselves feel better?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Shep,

You and Kriz should get off this board and go out to the greater public and convince them with your reasoning.

Posted by: berlins on February 21, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing other than outside military intervention can enable the democratic forces to overcome the native tyrannies. there are many examples, but the best in the history of Western Europe include France (the coalitions that defeated Napoleon)...

Nice example there, the "coalitions" that defeated Napoleon re-establish the monarchy, a.k.a. another dictatorship.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

and hope for the worst
You can't really blame them for that. The Democrats have 2 options to get back in power:
1) Come up with ideas and candidates that people want to vote for.
2) Wait for the wheels to fall off the Repubs.

Option one is apparently beyond the pale. And given the single issue fringe groups that make up the party, it probably is beyond the pale. So that leaves them with option two. That would be why they work toward failure.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, the trolls are really thick on this thread. Somebody pull your chains babies?

Oh, and CN, liberal democrats were losing power in Germany all through the late twenties and the thirties. I guess that proved that the Nazi ideology was the correct one, right?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

That would be why they work toward failure.

The Democrats don't need (or want, of course) to work for failure; the party in power, the Republicans, have been providing plenty on their own.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

There is one bright spot. At least in the future we won't have to hear idiots on their bar stools proclaiming about how we "coulda won Vietnam."

Posted by: Tripp on February 21, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Doc, back with the Nazi analogies again?

Democrats: No really, we think Bush = Hitler!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats don't need (or want, of course) to work for failure
As for the need, the alternative is policies and candidates that people want to vote for. Seen Tradesport's lines on Repubs maintaining control of government? Apparently there isn't a move in that direction yet. Without that, you do have a need for failure.

As for the want, that's pretty funny considering that 100% of what Democrats do is oppose. If it's conservative it gets opposed, if it's liberal it gets opposed. No principles, just knee-jerk reactionary opposition.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Good God, are you seriously going to waste another year bashing Bush and trying to revert back to Liberal internationalism? Do you not learn? Do you not want to win? Bush is not up for re-election! You will have to defeat another Republican the likes of a Giulani, McCain, or Allen to name a few and your best options to date are Hillary and Kerry (again) good luck on that. It's 2006 already and you have yet to develop a cogent positive platform that will continue to position America as the torch bearers for Democracy and Peace. And just hint, trying to be freinds with everyone doesn't work.

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Me and Kriz?

Hot damn.

>>laughing

Posted by: CFShep on February 21, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The smell of unwashed troll sweat is even grosser than usual. But I like that they're doing so much of it.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Jay
Ya, Hillary and McCain, check it out:

The survey finds that both senators far outdistance their nearest competition for their parties nominationsbut in a head-to-head match-up, the Arizona Republican bests the New York Democrat by 19 points, leading her 54% to 35%. McCain would also defeat Massachusetts Senatorand former Democratic presidential candidateJohn Kerry by a full 20 points, 55% to 35%.
McCain has majority support in every single geographic region of the country. But more telling may be the fact that, even in the states carried by Kerry in 2004, McCain comes out comfortably on topleading Clinton by 49 to 38% and Kerry by 50% to 40%. Among the states carried by President Bush, the margin is even wider, giving McCain a 58% to 33% lead over Clinton and 59% to 32% lead over Kerry.
Hey, maybe you moonbats ought to start in with McCain = Hitler. Be the first one on your block.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

" my view, every last "thinker" who was associated with the neocon movement should be relegated to a place of permanent disgrace and powerlessness."

Prison would do, for starters. A creative use of the legal code would surely allow this. If we managed to sneak in a few people wearing a wire, it might not have to be particularly creative.

I'm not sure that Krauthammewr would do well in prison, though. But as the judge said when he gave the 65-year old man an 80-year sentence - do as much as you can, do as much as you can.

Posted by: gcochran on February 21, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

The hypocrisy of neoconservatives was never more evident than in the following quote, proffered in defense of Bush selling out US national security interests to a state sponsor of terrorism, the UAE, in order to save a few dollars to protect his tax cuts . . .

"The process [of turning over US-controlled ports] was done by the book," Bartlett said. "If you start deciding these issues in a guilt-by-association method, you will have a situation which has deep and harmful ramifications to the economic interests of this country."

Yes, he really, really said that.

conspiracy nut: Hey, maybe you moonbats ought to start in with McCain . . .

Hey, maybe you ought to remove your lips from Bush's ass and transfer them to McCain's.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know, those McCain vs Hillary numbers are almost as bad as the Reagan vs Mondale numbers. A little looking turned up this gem.

Mondale's 13 electoral college votes marked the ... lowest electoral vote for a Democratic candidate since 1872, when Horace Greeley died between Election Day and the vote in the electoral college.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

So when the Reps hold majority in '06 and McCain takes office in '08, will we then see a keepmovingon.org? Or I guess the real question is what state will follow Florida and Ohio as election stealers?

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Good God, are you seriously going to waste another year bashing Bush and trying to revert back to Liberal internationalism?

Good God, are you seriously going to waste more of our time by trying to convince liberals that you have their best interests in mind when you give them advice?

Why don't we waste some more time and talk about your obsessive loyalty to a conservative internationalism that consists primarily of aiding and abetting both terrorists and tyrants, including being complicit in Saddam's attempted genocide against the Kurds, not to mention tens of thousands of incidents of murder and torture.

According to conspiracy nut, Bush's shit is a dish best served warm, but you love to lap it up hot, warm, lukewarm, or even cold.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

advocate, do you realize you are now bashing a Bush policy that the left has been clamoring for? Reaching out to the Arab world. Is there no end to your diabolical obssesion with the current administration? This will not serve you well in '06 and '08, but hey full speed ahead huh? Is that a light or a train?

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Bush selling out US national security interests to a state sponsor of terrorism
I don't think the UAE is actually listed as state sponsor of terrorism, and they have been very helpful in shutting down terrorist finance networks. But I still agree with you here.

maybe you ought to remove your lips from Bush's ass and transfer them to McCain's
I'll have to see if Hillary! is really for pursuing the WoT, if I have any doubts she's out. But even given HillaryCare I'm apt to vote for her over McCain. Something has to balance out that damn Repub Congress.

But since I would consider voting for her, I just cannot believe that she would ever make it through your moonbat-driven primary process.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

With the lefty Moonbats - KOS, Atrios, Air America, and sometimes Kevin Drum - there will be no truce.

Posted by: BigRiver on February 21, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Can I place my lips on Meaghan Kendalls ass from Fox news. She's hot.

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Can I place my lips on Meaghan Kendalls ass from Fox news.
Come on Jay, don't be a Democrat, face reality. The answer is No.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Jay, resident dickhead at Political Animal, awoke in darkness feeling violently ill and unable to move his arms and legs. "Have I been drinking Troll Sweat again?", he thought blurrily to himself, "Surely after that LAST time I'd never again....No, this feels worse!"

Posted by: Botecelli on February 21, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

The basic dishonesty of Fukuyama's effort to reposition shows up most clearly in his "it is the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad that may suffer the greatest setback. Perceived failure in Iraq has ..."

Are we to believe that the pre-emptive war on Iraq was fundamentally inspired by an idealistic effort to promote democracy and human rights? Surely you jest.

Posted by: focus on February 21, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Admirable"? Fukuyama is just flaky, having gone through an emotional indulgence with the neo-cons and now back to the womb -- that which recognizes that we are all in this world together -- for another kind of emotional indulgence. Give him a few years and he'll have had enough kumbayah to call us to arms again. How old is he -- how many more turnarounds do we have to suffer?

Posted by: polo on February 21, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

If I may, a plea to the intelligent and rational posters on this blog...

As you've noticed, the troll quotient is out of control lately. The reasons for that are likely obvious to all of us, but may I ask that we be a little more diligent in withholding food from these idjits? Just look at this thread; it's overrun with the deceitful, the hysterical, the teenaged, the impotent and the actually insane.

I know there's an argument that says a GOP lie unrefuted is a GOP lie accepted. And a couple of people actually seem to have a good time answering every single troll post. I've certainly been guilty of engaging them far more often than they deserve.

But if we made an effort to ignore those who truly aren't worth it, we could have a real conversation with each other, with the several bright and reasonable independents who post here, and with the occasional actual conservative who wanders in. Trolls will always be trolls, especially as the GOP's position becomes more desperate, but what's fully under our control is our reaction to them.

I trust that didn't come off as accusing, prim or preachy. I think most of you know me well enough by now to recognize the spirit in which this is intended.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

on the end of fukiyama

in the first place:

what francis says now, he could and should have been said in sept, 2001 were he the prescient intellect he is given credit for being.

(remember boys and girls
it's a media, media, media world. nothing makes you smarter faster than a catchy title like "the end of hsitory".)

despite tom freidmans's hysterical "world war III" headline in 2001, fighting terrorism was never a war in ans but a rhetorical way, e.g., the "war" on cancer.

in 2001, and in 1901, and in 1801,

fighting terrrorism was always a matter of tracking down and eleminating small groups of committed and dangerous people.

in the second place:

anybody who writes stuff like the following is mostly a blowhard.


Neoconservatism, whatever its complex roots, has become indelibly associated with concepts like coercive regime change, unilateralism and American hegemony. What is needed now are new ideas, neither neoconservative nor realist, for how America is to relate to the rest of the world. February 20, 2006 1:31 pm


"whatever its complex roots"

what does that mean.


"new ideas for how to relate to the rest of the world"

would that be

"new" ideas like

co-operation with one's allies,

say,

building true coalitions,

instead of sham coalitions like the fiction the bush administration foisted off on the world about a "coalition of the willing" in iraq.

new ideas like

not using a terrorist attack on a symbolic building in new york as a shield

for running the table with ideologically inspired partisian programs, domestic as well as international.


where oh where

has francis been these past five years?

what kept him silent so long.


sounds to me like this latest bit of wisdom from fukuyama is more of a john yoo career-building move, than a thoughtful merging of past and future.

Posted by: orionATL on February 21, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK
More seriously, I can't help but think that in some sense Fukuyama is the foreign policy version of Bruce Bartlett: a man who has decided that both the Bush administration and its cheerleaders don't take conservative principles seriously, and that even when they do they aren't willing to do the toughminded, real-world analysis it takes to get their policies right.

While that may or may not be something Fukuyama believes, it seems at best tangentially relevant to the point of this essay. There is very little about the lack of willingness to do any kind of analysis in the piece, its entirely about a defect in the analytical framework.

Fukuyama is, essentially, claiming himself as part of the "reality based community", and critiquing, in detail, the particular failings of those in the neoconservative movement who believe that they can make their own reality by acting. The description of his own work as parallel to Marxism while the positions of this administration are parallel to Leninism is particularly telling -- he is making essentially the same critique many on the left have made about the defects in the approach to reality of this administration.

This is very different than accusing them of being unwilling to do "tough minded, real-world analysis" which has the air of being an accusation of simple laziness. Rather, he's accusing them of having beliefs about the malleable nature of reality that prevent absolutely any analysis they do, however tough-minded, from being "real-world". While a kind of laziness or impatience might be the fundamental, psychological, distant root of this defect (they, like the Leninists Fukuyama compares them to, may have a deep seated need for a theory which offers the prospects of immediate, sudden success in the present environment), the distinction in the criticisms is critical because while a group suffering from mere laziness could conceivably get motivated by mounting failure, and correct their problems, a group suffering from fundamental, deeply-held quasi-religious illusions about the nature of reality that cause them to be unable, rather than merely unwilling, to deal with the present reality are unlikely to correct the defect, and are likely to become increasingly desperate to find a way to validate their view of reality.

And, further, the critique of what has gone wrong is not the only thing to take from the piece; largely, its background and justification for the prescriptive elements. And, in that, I think that Fukuyama is spot on, not only in what needs to be done, but in his realistic, hardly rosy, description of the path ahead. This is an essay we should pay attention to for reasons far more important than validating what we already believe about the failings of the Bush Administration and the particular neoconservative faction that has dictating so much of its foreign policy.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Or I guess the real question is what state will follow Florida and Ohio as election stealers?

You'll have to ask the GOP which states they intend to steal in '08.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: advocate, do you realize you are now bashing a Bush policy that the left has been clamoring for?

Jay, do you realize you are lying again?

Of course you do.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Then again, here's just no way to know what you're thinking, is there?"

But it's very easy to tell that you're not thinking.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 21, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I trust that didn't come off as accusing, prim or preachy.
It did. It started at the beginning when you said that everyone that doesn't toe the moonbat line is a troll. (I know you didn't use those words, but that's what you said.)

Democrats: Open our minds? Never!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatism, much like communism, is not something that is actually implemented in real life. Rather, it is a legacy that its supporters believe is constantly betrayed by traitors from without (liberals) and within (heretics like Fukiyama or, we will hear soon, Bush). Any failures are not a failure of the conservative/neo-conservative enterprise, but a failure of the will to remain loyal to the cause.

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Is there no end to your diabolical obssesion with the current administration?

Is there no end to your nauseating sycophantic obsession with the current administration?

This will not serve you well in '06 and '08, but hey full speed ahead huh?

This does not serve America well at any time, but hey full speed ahead, huh, because partisan success is more important to you than national security or success.

Is that a light or a train?

For you, it's an optical probe being funneled through Bush's asshole.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Well now that the Bush administrations neoconservative movement is the huge catastrophe that it was lets pretend it was a necessary evil for all wrong headedness of this stupid administration and go back to old conservative values.

Pull a Bush and pretend it never happened.

We never went to war with Iraq it was not a war on terrorism but just a broad international police action against terrorism.

If only Bush could pretend the last 5+ years didn't happen. You'd think all the Bush cultism followers would get a little confused.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 21, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Better to pretend that everything is working out perfectly and hope for the best.

You mean it's not?

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I don't think the UAE is actually listed as state sponsor of terrorism . . .

Neither is Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, even though they are in fact.

Bush's designations in this area are highly selective.

Those nations with the greatest ties to 9/11 were never listed as state sponsors of terrorism or were removed for Bush's convenience.

Those who had no connection, however, were put on the list or maintained on the list.

There is little doubt that Bush and the GOP are getting financial kickbacks, either directly or indirectly, from the Saudis and the UAE, so we know exactly why they aren't on the list.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I'll have to see if Hillary! is really for pursuing the WoT . . .

An assumed fact not in evidence, that a "WoT" exists.

It doesn't.

The GOP, including Bush, stopped doing more than paying lip service to fighting terrorism a long time ago, even assuming they were ever serious to begin with.

They have more important things to do, like sell the US out for hard cash from the UAE.

That's what happens when you run up a deficit while promising fiscal responsibility - you put yourself in a bad position, subject to blackmail and the need to deal with bad characters to save your butt.

Come to think of it, that's what happened with conservative support for Noriega, the Shah, Saddam, Pinochet, the Taliban . . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop: you're dreaming. It's a nice dream, but it's just a dream.

Posted by: S Ra on February 21, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

it's overrun with the deceitful, the hysterical, the teenaged, the impotent and the actually insane.

That made me laugh. As a parlour game, let's assign names to categories!

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, South Korea. Ask the South Koreans if they like their form of government over North Korea.

The issue was whether killing put it there. The war was NEVER going to end. In fact, it hasn't.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

There is little doubt that Bush and the GOP are getting financial kickbacks, either directly or indirectly, from the Saudis and the UAE
I'm not sure of that on the UAE, but something's wrong in River City re the Saudis.

Have you noticed, though, that the Dems seem to have the same failing there? Now it may just be that no one wants to irritate our oil spigot, but it is a certainty that no one wants to irritate the Saudis.

The UAE is kind of an interesting place. Smuggling haven from time immemorial, pearl center (of all things), currently one of the larger free trading zones in the world, more Federal than the US but very Islamic. Lots of good and bad mixed together in a fascinating soup. And if you are ever in Dubai, do not miss the museum.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

You want an idea from a Democrat? Here's a couple.
- Stop worrying about winning everything
- Start emphasizing disarmament
- start investigating other paradigms of success, such as a 'national happiness quotient'
- throw all our support behind the united nations whenever possible.
- stop proselytizing Christianity and capitalism unless you want to deal with the backlash from Islam and facism
- stop setting up dictators in oil rich countries that run their countries into poverty and militarism

What is lost on this 'war on terrorism' bs is that WE gave saddam weapons of mass destruction to use on Iran; WE support/enforce the house of Saud that is incredibly corrupt and does not have the support of its people - the Saudi Arabia that supplies all the money and terrorists that we've recently seen; WE send in troops to oil rich african countries to support their dictators who allow Shell and Mobil in but steal all of the profits that we deign to give them;

Time to start walking the walk.

Posted by: cindy on February 21, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatism, much like communism, is not something that is actually implemented in real life. Rather, it is a legacy that its supporters believe is constantly betrayed by traitors from without (liberals) and within (heretics like Fukiyama or, we will hear soon, Bush). Any failures are not a failure of the conservative/neo-conservative enterprise, but a failure of the will to remain loyal to the cause.

Conservatism IS George Bush. They're basically anti-democratic types, aka royalists, and as every good royalist knows: the body of the king is the state.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Curious evolution. But I'm trying to figure out why I should care. The guy is clearly an idiot who has to see is idiotic ideas play out in the real world before he realizes that he is an idiot.

Treating such an idiot with respect and trying to find common ground in the present will only provide his future idiotic ideas with a cover a credibility. Better to just ridicule him, lest he get in a position to give the world another foreign policy lobotomy.

Posted by: B on February 21, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Have you noticed, though, that the Dems seem to have the same failing there?

Uh, no. The Dems don't get to determine who takes over our ports.

Bush and the GOP do.

They are in charge, as you repeatedly remind us.

Quit blaming the party you say currently has and should have no say in such matters.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, no.
Why am I not surprised. I momentarily forgot that your entire world consists of GW Bush.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: The UAE is kind of an interesting place.

So was Iraq and none of the 9/11 highjackers were from Iraq nor did they receive any funding from Iraq.

They did receive funding from the UAE and the Saudis.

After all, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are dictatorships every bit as much as Iraq was.

If, according to the conservative theory, Saddam was in complete control over every inch of his country such that the presence of even one terrorist must have been with his permission and aid, then the same must be true of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

But then I forget that conservatives routinely adopt differing and contradictory standards and theories as convenience suits them.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey, yes, you're right. For now, conservatism is Bush. Tomorrow, Conservatism will be someone else. The failures of the administration will be called not a failure of conservatism, but rather a betrayal of conservatism by Bush, to be fixed by the new Conservative torch-bearer who will lead his people to the Conservative Promised Land. The failures of that venture will be pinned on other heretics until finally the baton is passed to the new conservative luminary, and so on, going from failure to failure, always claiming that their failures and the suffering they caused will be fixed once we adhere to "true conservatism."

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,

Your 11:01 AM post was, as floopmeister would say, spot on.

See fewer of the excellent commentators at this site - Perhaps it is because of the incessant swill from the trolls creating diversion from the threads - Perhaps it is also some of the regulars turning educational threads into "I'm the most intelligent human being in the universe", "No, you're not, I am" - whole lot of narcissistic attitudes out there.
As the rider of the Pale Horse would say, lots of unreadable material piling up on this site.

Now, that I have offended a few, adieu.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

FYI: Fukuyama was AGAINST the Iraq war from the start. He was part of a Pentagon study commisioned to look into the potential for a pre-emptive war in Iraq, and his committee advised AGAINST it. Go ahead and google it.

Fukuyama has been saying what this article states since 2004, but no one has been listening.

Posted by: Nate on February 21, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I would call the Times essay Fukuyama's "nischt Nazi" moment. (When the liberating armies of the allies went into German homes after the surrender, people in these homes all proclaimed that they were "nischt Nazi"--even if they had stuffed their Nazi flag up the chimney and just finished burning it moments before the Allied soldiers arrived. You could still smell the ashes!)

Rats leaving a sinking ship would be another way to put it. As a guy with a scholarly reputation, Fukuyama fears associating himself any longer with this gang that can't seem to shoot straight. I believe the tipping point has finally arrived--and Fukuyama's not the only one. Niall Ferguson, the LA Times columnist who thinks the British Empire was the greatest thing since haggis and Scotch eggs and that America should now happily and proudly assume Britain's imperial role, was trashing Cheney and the current administration in his most recent column.

Either Bush will start firing, hiring and revamping his administration, as Reagan did, or dig a deeper hole for himself as Nixon did. It's probably no coincidence that Bush was babbling about alternate energy yesterday.

Posted by: Sylny on February 21, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I momentarily forgot that your entire world consists of GW Bush.

You are looking in the mirror again.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

But then I forget that conservatives routinely adopt differing and contradictory standards and theories as convenience suits them.
You mean like equating Iraq and the UAE? Tell me, is it embarrassing when your ignorance shows like that?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

thethirdPaul, actually the educational threads are actually interesting. A little narcissistic preening of specialists duking it out amongst each other is always educational (seriously).

However, this blog is starting to suffer from the fact that messes aren't cleaned up. Pages and pages of Chinese comment spam is kept up. Trolls are allowed to fester and metasticize, and we're even starting to get commercial gold marketing spam. Blog comments require maintanence, if only to tell troublemakers that they aren't welcome. Instead, this weblog has said, "no matter how idiotic you are, you're welcome here." When I read the blog comments and think, "gee, I wish rdw were here to chime in instead of these other idiots," obviously the blog comments are having troll problems.

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Baghdad marketplace bomb kills 20

Let's see, now about three to four months ago, and before that about six to eight months ago, and before that about ten to twelve months ago, . . . etc., conservatives on this blog, Dickless Quailess Cheney, and Bush were all ranting about how liberals were being negative and that things were really improving in Iraq and that the insurgency was on the run and on its last legs . . .

I think it's about time for Cheney to make his they-are-on-their-last-legs speech again . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Either Bush will start firing, hiring and revamping his administration, as Reagan did, or dig a deeper hole for himself as Nixon did. It's probably no coincidence that Bush was babbling about alternate energy yesterday.

Something tells me he'll go the Nixon route and will dig himself deeper into the bunker.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

It just breaks my heart to hear everyone wishing the trolls would go away and leave your moonbat echo chamber pure. Brings a tear to my eye.

Democrats: Don't tell me anything that doesn't support my worldview!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Baghdad marketplace bomb kills 20

Quit focusing on the negative, Advocate -- what about all the people that bomb didn't kill, hey? And I bet Saddam killed more people than that bomb ever did, so are you saying that you'd prefer to have Saddam back rather than that bomb? Etc. etc.....

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

shorstop: But if we made an effort to ignore those who truly aren't worth it, we could have a real conversation with each other, with the several bright and reasonable independents who post here, and with the occasional actual conservative who wanders in. Trolls will always be trolls, especially as the GOP's position becomes more desperate, but what's fully under our control is our reaction to them.

That's worth saying again. I often feel discouraged by having to wade through all the filth, but I know that that's the whole point of their strategy, so I try to overcome that feeling.

One possible tactic: refute the lie in a clear, calm manner, just present the facts, but try to avoid answering them in the first person or getting into a personal back and forth. I'm as guilty of ignoring this as anyone, but remember that what they, like most five year olds, want most is attention.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: You mean like equating Iraq and the UAE? Tell me, is it embarrassing when your ignorance shows like that?

Since I did the exact opposite of equating Iraq and the UAE, drawing a distinction between them in fact, I'd say it must be far more embarassing for you to routinely get caught in such mendacities.

But let me put it in small words:

Iraq designated as state sponsor of terrorism, without any proof of financing or producing any such terrorists, much less any involvement, direct or otherwise, in 9/11.

UAE not designated as state sponsor of terrorism, despite overwhelming proof of connections to 9/11.

See, not equating, differentiating.

I know the truth is a hard concept for conservatives.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

The fundamental failure of the neo-cons is due to the fact that they are lazy.

Intellectually lazy and unwilling to do the hard work of government. They viewed the GWOT as a magic bullet that would set off a chain reaction of freedom after a small burst of shock and awe.

That is why it captivated George W. Bush. No hard work.

All the power of the universe...itty bitty amount of work.

They ridiculed the dems for relying on police work, because that was too demanding.

They ignored the warnings of Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton while they dreamed of a "systemic " solution...then held no meetings of the terrorism task force until the eve of 9/11.

The neo-con prescription was perfect for lazy people like W. with a penchant for magical thinking.

Welcome back from fantasy land.

Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 21, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop:

Rather than ignoring the trolls, Kevin should simply block their IP addresses. Any good blog has that capability. If visitors to this blog are simply abusive and have nothing intelligent to say or are pimply adolescents with too much free time on their hands - shut 'em down.

People who are just misguided and ill-informed (tbrosz and Al, to name two) can hang around. Their viewpoints are often informative, if not amusing.

Fred

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on February 21, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

but remember that what they, like most five year olds, want most is attention

Really? I thought they wanted their check from the RNC. I mean, they post this stuff for money, right? Because nobody could actually believe any of this gibberish.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Don't tell me anything that doesn't support my worldview!

Truly amusing, coming as it does with an obsessive Bush loyalist, the same Bush who, along with his GOP buddies, fires or forces out and defames any dissenting voice.

You are one of the biggest supporters of the biggest echo chamber in this nation's history: the Bush administration.

You reek of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Neoconservatism as it is practiced and preached is just an articulation of imperialism mixed with the theory of crisis in representative liberal democracy. The intellectual origins of this movement are not American or from the Anglo liberal tradition that goes back to Locke and Adam Smith and includes the founding fathers. It is a conservative product of the crisis atmosphere of the Weimar Republic. As we all know Leo Strauss is the principle theorist who translated the Weimar crisis into a general critique of liberal democracy and therefore, we have to admit, the foundations of the United States. Nietzsche and the End of the West figure large in this world-view.

Fukuyamas silly End of History is not part of this neocon tradition. It is just another articulation of the utopian idea that politics (disagreement on the ultimate goals of mankind) will end and there will be a global consensus on how we are to live. After this consensus is reached all civil questions become technical.

Pure-bred neocons believe in perpetual crisis and the supremacy of politics over Utopian consensus. There is no consensus only great princes who have enough vigor, foresight and virtue to eliminate their enemies and cloud the minds of the people in pursuit of a stable society. It is also a deeply pagan vision. Some neocons dream of the day when hegemony of the bloody-minded princes will bring politics to an end. This is why they are wicked men capable of great cruelty in the name of salvation.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 21, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

If visitors to this blog are simply abusive and have nothing intelligent to say or are pimply adolescents with too much free time on their hands - shut 'em down.
Damn, there wouldn't be a commenter left here! AoG would likely be the first to go. But, you know, supporting free speech means supporting speech you don't like.

Democrats: We don't need that stinkin' Free Speech!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

My, my. What a surprise:

Dubai company set to run U.S. ports has ties to administration

BY MICHAEL MCAULIFFNew York Daily NewsWASHINGTON -

The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.
One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose department heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port.
Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.
The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and who was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/13922695.htm

Posted by: Newton Minnow on February 21, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Or I guess the real question is what state will follow Florida and Ohio as election stealers?"

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

At least you understand that much - we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope you eventually see the rest.

Posted by: Dano347 on February 21, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

It never ceases to amuse me that trolls -- even self-admitted ones like conspiracy nut -- justify their serial dishonesty, straw man arguments, and bogus characterizations on the grounds of breaking up some mythical "echo chamber."

It also amuses me that c.n., Chuckles, tbrosz and the rest tacitly admit that there's no honest means of defending the Bush Administration's mendacity, incompetence and corruption. Of course, whether they admit it or not is irrelevant -- the American public seem to have figured it out on their own.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: We don't need that stinkin' Free Speech!

Clearly, cn doesn't understand the concept of free speech.

Imposing restrictions on free speech, even in spirit outside the clearly delineated limits of the concept to governmental action, doesn't mean criticizing the ideas in speech one disagrees with, but insisting that the speaker has no right to say what they are saying.

The latter is what conservatives do, insist that the speaker should be punished for speaking and that they should never have voiced their speech.

Nor is it imposing on free speech to insist that the speaker tell the truth.

That your lies are revealed is not an imposition on your right to speak freely, cn.

You have no right to lie, cn.

Under the First Amendment or any other provision of law.

So, clearly it is conservatives, who routinely attempt to stifle free speech by imposing sanctions on those they disagree with.

Again, you are looking in the mirror and in your delusional state seeing the face of your opponent when it is really the faces of yourself and those you politically and with partisanship support.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bellumregio writes that the neo-con view of the world is "a deeply pagan vision."
Yes it is. And I think a review of Robert Kaplan's "In Search of a Pagan Ethos" sums it up quite nicely:

Posted by: Botecelli on February 21, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry here it is:
"Despite all of the talk about how life changes and advances, Robert Kaplan argues that the world is pretty much the same world it was 3,000 years ago. It's a violent world, one where the strong survive and the weak are crushed. The best Chinese and Greek philosophers would have no trouble understanding or navigating the modern world -- because the same basic forces at play today were the same issues faced by societies millennia ago. In addition, Kaplan argues that the modern notion of a moral conquest is a far-off dream. Real leadership requires putting aside the Christian ethic of sacrifice and taking on a more pagan perspective."

Posted by: Botecelli on February 21, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

It never ceases to amuse me that trolls -- even self-admitted ones like conspiracy nut -- justify their serial dishonesty, straw man arguments, and bogus characterizations on the grounds of breaking up some mythical "echo chamber."
Pay attention much? I am not here to break up your echo chamber. I am here for my own personal enjoyment of poking fun at you moonbats in whatever manner strikes me at the time. I have stated this before.

Your interest is in preserving the echo chamber. Any thoughts contrary to the voices in your head must be shouted down. And that's why it's fun to hang out here.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK
I am not here to break up your echo chamber.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

It just breaks my heart to hear everyone wishing the trolls would go away and leave your moonbat echo chamber pure. Brings a tear to my eye.

Democrats: Don't tell me anything that doesn't support my worldview!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

'nuff said.

You're a liar, c.n. It's just swell that posting your lies amuses you, but you don't get to pretend that pointing out your serial dishonesty is shouting down "contrary voices" or preserving an echo chamber.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

We have have spent the money to create these institutions:

The Air War College
The U.S. Army War College
The Naval War College

What would happen if we decided to spend the same amount of money to create:

The U.S. Peace College

An institution dedicated to promoting freedom and democracy through peaceful means instead of military.

Posted by: Sandy-LA 90034 on February 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

conpiracy nut: Any thoughts contrary to the voices in your head must be shouted down.

More navel gazing and magic mirror looking by conspiracy nut, the penultimate in faith-based belief in the voices in his own head, second only to Bush.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Any thoughts contrary to the voices in your head must be shouted down.

Stating something doesn't make it true.

Especially when the statements come from you.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory
Not too good with English, are you? So tell me, what is your first language?

Just for my interest, what part of

It just breaks my heart to hear everyone wishing the trolls would go away and leave your moonbat echo chamber pure. Brings a tear to my eye.
do you think says that I am here to break up your echo chamber? It points out that you moonbats want trolls to go away to keep your echo chamber pure (as I said, it is you moonbats that are interested in this), and it says I'm heartbroken that your want is not granted. But I'm at a loss to see how you think it says I'm interested in breaking up the echo chamber.

Help a troll out here.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I read "End of History" in undergraduate for an international relations course. It was widely read and considered to be influential at the time (92-96), but I could never figure out why. It used a lot of big words and "serious" thinking, but when you boiled it down it was really a lot of overly optimistic assumptions that I never thought reflected the history or reality of mankind.

Posted by: IMU on February 21, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

What's amusing to me is that the trolls should come out in full force precisely on the point of the most glaring failure of the right wing: the utter catastrophe of neoconservatism.

Everybody with a lick of sense knows that neoconservatism, and the Bush Doctrine, are political dead meat.

Yet here are our trolls, insisting otherwise in strident if confused chorus.

The ignominious death of a cherished ideology can't be easy on the poor sods.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 21, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

As cogent as Fukuyama's NYT piece may be, what it sorely lacks is any acknowledgement of his personal complicity in the disastrous reign of George Bush. A small note of contrition or, god forbid apology, for having helped lead this Administration down the very paths he now so adamantly disclaims would demon strate a measure of ethical honesty that is otherwise lacking.

Posted by: Martin on February 21, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen Kriz
"Look, it is very clear now that Bush planned to invade Iraq before 9-11 even happened . Don't ask me why this sick, dysfunctional man believed it was the right thing to do, but I suspect it has to do with some Oedipal/psychological inadequacy problems."

Jeb: Saddam tried to kill our Daddy!

George: "Why that @#(%*ing %#@). How dare he?
But George, you want to kill your Daddy. Remember the fist fight when you were drunk? God that felt good, didn't it?

Jeb: I hope they can bring him to trial. Or send the CIA after him.

George: Why should Daddy go on trial?
For being a pussy, that's why. He should have gone on to Baghdad.

Jeb: I meant Saddam you idiot.

George: Yeah. I hate that Saddam.
You hate him for reminding you how much you hate your Daddy, and how you'd like to see him dead. Always giving you that disapproving stare. Blaming Laura for the twins being high-spirited. Ha! He should talk. Look at Neil.

Jeb: It makes me want to go over there and plug the #%*#@$ myself.

George: Yeah, me too.
Maybe then the voices that tell me I hate my Daddy will go away.

Posted by: cowalker on February 21, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: It just breaks my heart to hear everyone wishing the trolls would go away and leave your moonbat echo chamber pure. Brings a tear to my eye.

Since your own logic escapes you . . .

Trolls break up the echo chamber by interfering with it's purity.

You are a self-admitted troll.

You have criticized (actually falsely concluded) that this is an echo chamber or that the liberal posters want it to be.

Thus, you are interfering with the purity of the echo chamber and clearly want to do so.

So, I would say pretty much every part of your statement supports a conclusion that you are interested in breaking up what you falsely perceive to be an echo chamber, but which is in reality merely a demand for truthful assertions and opinions based on fact or reasonable speculation, rather than based on self-serving, and unidentified, presumptions and a false evidentiary set.


Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

What Fucyourmama does not understand is that the 'failure' in Iraq was the goal of the Neo-conmen. It is the goal of totalitarians to create societies based on complete and utter terror. The Nazi death camps, Stalin's Gulag, and US power capitalism's Iraq are examples of this type of society.

Posted by: Hostile on February 21, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

The goal of neoconservatism is to keep the world in chaos so they can justify the continued erosion of those civil liberties that they oppose.

A never-ending war against terrorism is the perfect political environment for conservatives.

It is the same tactic used by totalitarian regimes throughout history to form the foundation for every-increasing control over a populace in the name of protecting that populace, and more importantly the state and leadership of the state, from so-called "national security threats".

It is neither a shock nor even a surprise that the Bush administration manipulated the terror threat alert system or lied about and exaggerated the threats from Iraq as well as actual terrorists in order to create the climate of fear and apprehension that is so necessary to such a plan.

They learned from Saddam, they got rid of Saddam, and they will now employ the methods of Saddam against the populace of Iraq, and America, with equal fervor.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

(actually falsely concluded) that this is an echo chamber or that the liberal posters want it to be.
Want to count the comments bemoaning trolls, just on this thread? As for the rare wish for reasoned righties, people like you would run them off before they ever commented. Reasoned righties are a pipe dream here.

So with no chance at reasoned opposition, and no desire for trolls, what the hell else do you think you moonbats want other that a pure echo chamber?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Such a never-ending war is also what the terrorists would like to see.

Funny how the goals of the terrorists and the neocons are so similar.

It's almost like they are in a conspiracy together.

Then, again, given previous aid and assistance provided by the neocons to terrorist groups and nations, maybe not such a far-fetched theory after all!

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Reasoned righties are a pipe dream here.

Entirely by accident, conspiracy nut speaks the truth -- though not in the way he/she/it intended, of course.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well then, Gregory, what do you think keeps the reasoned righties away? Because I can assure you it isn't the high level of fact and logic brought to bear here. I've slapped down the "Bush lied" BS so many times I can tell you how you moonbats backtrack away from it while I'm doing it. But the next day you're right back at it, apparently clueless that you lost that argument the day before.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

You know, Gregory, it's kind of like that argument that we were having earlier this thread, when you just slunk off into the shadows.

You'll be back again with the same unmitigated bullshit another day.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

You'll be back again with the same unmitigated bullshit another day.

Says the master of the art.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut nails it!

All those people who keep saying "Bush lied" are nothing but Islamorrist sympathizers who just won't admit that Bush is doing everything he can for this country - and if that means telling people what they need to hear, then that's what he's going to do. And if you al-Frenchies don't like it, you can MOVE TO IRAN!

Posted by: fromage de pnis on February 21, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

what do you think keeps the reasoned righties away

Offhand, and in all seriousness, I'd say it's not wanting to be associated with assholes like you.

Posted by: Gregory on February 21, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Offhand, and in all seriousness, I'd say it's not wanting to be associated with assholes like you.
Well, I realize that I'm part of the problem and not part of the solution here. The difference is that you moonbats think you're part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

It never ceases to amaze me that you guys take yourselves seriously.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK
Well then, Gregory, what do you think keeps the reasoned righties away?

I'm not Gregory, but I think its the same thing that keeps the Unicorns and Pixies away.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sandy-LA:

Dennis Kucinich ran on that very idea...he wanted to start a Department of Peace. I knew then he was screwed, even within his party, it would be a breif cameo.

Wow,lot's of "cult Bush" on this thread.
Haven't seen an intelligent argument yet, but plenty of name calling, innuendo and accusation. Nothing like the smell of propaganda in the afternoon.

Posted by: Ben Merc on February 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not Gregory, but I think its the same thing that keeps the Unicorns and Pixies away.
Well, ya cm, I can see that. You're so far left that you can't even see the middle from where you are. So the existence of actual righties would no doubt come as a shock.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK
So the existence of actual righties would no doubt come as a shock.

Plenty of actual righties in evidence throughout the world, nutball.

Its the "reasonable" kind that is mythical.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I read somewhere of Fukayama's retreat from his 9/11 neocon conservatism but thought--so what? I have zero truck with Fukayama and his ilk, who are a bunch of intellectually dishonest scribblers who are nothing but parasites on the U.S. Like most neocons and other GOP-types (e.g., the entire male membership of the WSJ editorial page, Larence Kagan,Cheney, Wolfowitz, Hastert, DeLay, Bill Thomas, most of the House GOP conference, Bill Frist, Santorum,Trent Lott, most of the GOP membership of the U.S. Senate. Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Britt Hume, Bill Kristol, David Brooks, Hugh Hewitt, Dough Feith, Steve Hadley, Charles Krauthammer [a a pro-warcripple] and on, and on), Fukayama is a draft-dodger/combat avoider/non-server--What is the word? Oh, it's French: "embusque(r)"--believes other Americans and their children should secure the fruits of liberty for him and his posterity and other march all over the world on military adventures to impose the American way (imperfect, but superior) on other people. In the debate over the Iraq War II one of the words that bothers me is "we." Those f-ing non-servers haven't risked anything. Casualty reports from Iraq reveal an appalling number of injuries and deaths of troops in support units. Therefore, the average soldier in an admin billet risks more than any of these clowns. (In any event, unlike high-level civilian service, who can resign to "spend more time with their families," servicemembers swear an oath that implicity states they will risk their lives for the U.S. and can't simply leave to "spend more time...). And 30+ women have died or been wounded. The GOP is a old-fashioned values, man's party? What a laugh. What kills me is why the media didn't push the fact that a Bush2 war in Iraq appeared unseemly. A poor choice of words? No. I'll be fighting for those sublime concepts--liberty and freedom--in Iraq this summer,so what the hell? Actually it's King George's Vendetta/Revenge War, but apparently in this Orwellian/Alice in Wonderland world, I'm a loyal subject, not a U.S. citizen. (Despite my opposition to this Administration, I take my oath SERIOUSLY, unlike the drill missing, early dischare requesting prez/commander-in-chief(?).

Posted by: Allen on February 21, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Foreign policy does not have to be a partisan issue. If we adhere to two guiding principles 1) what's best for America and 2) spreading our principles of democracy and liberty, and striking a fair balance between the two that takes into account the value of our interests at stake, our foreign policy would be rational, enlightened, practical and humane. That's the summary of my opinion anyway. I've got more to say here: http://threewisemen.blogspot.com/2006/02/death-of-movement.html

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on February 21, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I've slapped down the "Bush lied" BS so many times I can tell you how you moonbats backtrack away from it while I'm doing it.

Because you haven't actually "slapped it down".

Simply falsely claiming over and over that Bush didn't lie until you are blue in the face doesn't actually prove that he didn't lie, which in any event would be impossible since there is irrefutable evidence that he did as did those whose statements he is ultimately responsible for.

Failure to correct the lies of ones agents, not to mention failure to punish the agents, is to adopt those lies as ones own.

So, Bush is liable not only for his own lies, but the proven lies of his servants who spoke with his permission, with his implicit approval, and with his acquiesence [sp?].

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate-

I think perhaps you meant to say "claiming over and over that Bush didn't lie until you're red in the face."

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on February 21, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Its the "reasonable" kind that is mythical.
No doubt you've never seen one; they aren't going to come to a cesspool like this, and you aren't going to poke out of your shell far enough to find them, either.

Lieberman probably sends you scrambling for safety, and he can barely be called center left instead of pure left.

Me, I get around, I've seen reasoned lefties as well as reasoned righties. It's a big, broad world out there, you ought to get out and experience it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: It's a big, broad world out there, you ought to get out and experience it.

nut meets the mirror again.

It happens a lot.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: It's a big, broad world out there, you ought to get out and experience it.

nut meets the mirror again.

It happens a lot.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Foreign policy does not have to be a partisan issue.

It is when one party gets the lion's share of its support from it's claim that it alone is tough enough to "protect" America.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 21, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK
I can't help but think that in some sense Fukuyama is the foreign policy version of Bruce Bartlett: a man who has decided that both the Bush administration and its cheerleaders don't take conservative principles seriously, and that even when they do they aren't willing to do the toughminded, real-world analysis it takes to get their policies right.

A horrible comparison Kevin. In the case of Bartlett, he has been pretty consistant in his criticism of the president's fiscal policy, etc. throughout.


Fukuyama on the other hand was a cheerleader for Bush's NeoConservatives and had suspiciously well timed reconsiderations after the mess was made.

Posted by: Davebo on February 21, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

The probability that democracy survives increases monotonically with per capita income. Between 1951 and 1999, the probability that a democracy would fall during any particular year in countries with per capita income under US$1,000 was 0.089, implying that their expected life was about 11 years. With incomes in the range of US$1001 to US$3000, this probability was 0.037, for an expected duration of about 27 years. Between US$3001 and US$6055, the probability was 0.013, which translates into about 78 years of expected life. And above US$6055, democracies last forever.

This is backwards and absurdist. Most failing "denmocracies" of the post-WWII era were richer than the US of the 1820s. Their miserable politics produced poverty. The most extreme example is probably the ever-declining Zimbabwe (where the electoral winner created a dictatoship and set about destroying wealth), but Uganda and South Africa provide less extreme examples. Japan was as poor as Korea in 1945, but its democracy grew.

Democracy requires a commitment to democracy; wealth is pretty incidental, though freedom does promote economic growth more than does statism. Mongolia has a democratic government, though it is certainly poorer than the Argentina that Peron wrecked.

Posted by: republicrat on February 21, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Heh, japan in 1945. Thats a typical year well defining the medium term standard of living in that country.... oh wait... wasn't there a war or something about then? Oh yea and it wasn't a democracy that year, it was under military occupation. What was its per capita income in say 1955?

It's as if everything you are saying in your post it total baloney manufactured to back up pre-existing assumptions.

Posted by: jefff on February 21, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Keeping up the "troll" tradition, kudos conspiracy. advocate mentioned in an earlier post that Iraq neither harbored nor financed terrorist. Have you ever heard of a little fella by the name of Abu Nidal. He's the guy that pushed a wheel-chair bound Mr. Klinghoffer in the ocean to drown for the high crime of being a Jew. Now what part of your little compartmentalized brain to you fail acknowledge that. Or are you lying? Do liberals lie? Hey I wonder what Cindy Sheehans doing? You know come to think of it, when McCain wins in '08, Cindy is going to need a new tent. I'll start the fund raising.

Posted by: Jay on February 21, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'll start the fund raising.
Let me know where to send my check. Keeping her in the public eye is a massive boon for Republicans.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

The most realistic and pragmatic path isirony of ironiesconsidered to the most airy-fairy and naive by the current establishment.

Step one: Greatly reduce the military and use them only in response to a direct attack. I do not mean we should extrapolate an attack like 9-11 into an ongoing "war" that can be a justification for nearly anything. Self defense only.

One of the great misunderstandings of human nature is that people can be cowed into submission by shows (and use) of superior force. This is the true naivete. The imperialiststhe various kings and Caesars, Hitler, the neocons and the Israelis have this in common. By force you may control the situation now, but you are only causing hatreds to simmer underground. In the Arab world hatreds are passed from generation to generation! Someday it is certain payback will come.

Step two: What is the wisest use of American power? Be the people we say we arethe good guys. We all know do as I say, not as I do fails as a strategy for parenting, the effective parent teaches by example. Unfortunately, we have failed utterly to put this simple wisdom into practise in any larger sphere.

Instead of a vast military, lets establish a great disaster response edifice, with teams ready to go anywhere in the world at a moments notice. We could even use some help at home. This kind of action will win us friends where arrogant projection of power only wins hatred and distrust.

What will be the glorious year when we finally hear the wisdom that the Buddha and Jesus and Gandhi and King and Mandela have been trying to teach us? I, the eternal optimist, hope to live to see it.

Posted by: James of DC on February 21, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK
Lieberman probably sends you scrambling for safety, and he can barely be called center left instead of pure left.

Lieberman isn't anything like center-left, at least in terms of the US, skewed right, political spectrum; he's a hard left voting, self-aggrandizing media hound that's found that the best way to keep the limelight is to be the go to guy to criticize salient positions and stand-out people of his own party.

I've got problems with Lieberman (as one can readily see), but they have nothing to do with where he is on the left/right spectrum.


Me, I get around, I've seen reasoned lefties as well as reasoned righties.

Nutball, you wouldn't know reason if you fell into a great big pile of it.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: . . . advocate mentioned in an earlier post that Iraq neither harbored nor financed terrorist.

No, I didn't, but thanks for the misrepresentation, since it proves again the nature of your character, or actually lack thereof, to lie about just about everything, including what those with opposing viewpoints have written.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Keeping her in the public eye is a massive boon for Republicans.

Yeah. It did wonders for Bush's polling numbers on Iraq.

Oh, wait, that was in the alternate universe that Jay, conspiracy nut, and rdw inhabit.

In the real universe, Bush's numbers on Iraq plummeted faster than Cheney's fellow hunters do when he's shooting.

My bad.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 21, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Saying Neoconservatism 'evolved into something else' is just a copout. He should admit he was wrong, the Neocons were bad for American and somebody else should be put in charge.

There's no need to listen to the failure Neocons anymore. They are known, admitted liars and bad for America.

Posted by: MarkH on February 21, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

History is pulling out of Fukyuyama's station again, and he just doesn't want to get left standing on the platform.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 21, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

One of the great misunderstandings of human nature is that people can be cowed into submission by shows (and use) of superior force.

The Moslems are doing pretty well this way against Denmark. The Baathists in Syria have been pretty successful as well, as they did previously in Iraq.

Posted by: republicrat on February 21, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

As you've noticed, the troll quotient is out of control lately.

Personally, I think that the left-wing and Democratic commentaries have declined dramatically since about Nov 2004. I have never been able to tell who any of the trolls were.

Posted by: republicrat on February 21, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Woah, utterly fantastic. I used to consider Fukayama something of
neocon faux-Hegelian cheerleader with "The End of History," but
this is just abso-fucking-lutely spot-on. It dovetails perfectly
with former Clinton advisor and democracy theorist Benjamin Barber
in both Jihad vs McWorld and Fear's Empire. This neocon student
of Strauss and Wolfowitz is on the exact same page with Barber
the liberal internationalist advocate of "preventive democracy":

> We need in the first instance to understand that promoting
> democracy and modernization in the Middle East is not a solution
> to the problem of jihadist terrorism; in all likelihood it will
> make the short-term problem worse, as we have seen in the case of
> the Palestinian election bringing Hamas to power. Radical Islamism
> is a byproduct of modernization itself, arising from the loss of
> identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist
> society. It is no accident that so many recent terrorists, from
> Sept. 11's Mohamed Atta to the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker
> Theo van Gogh to the London subway bombers, were radicalized
> in democratic Europe and intimately familiar with all of
> democracy's blessings. More democracy will mean more
> alienation, radicalization and yes, unfortunately terrorism.

This guy is clearly neither an Islamophobe nor a Clash of
Civilizations cultural pessimist. I have taken this line of
argument vigorously on the NYT Iraq forum, the Dean blog and
on Political Animal, where my first heated debate here (with
Pale Rider and Windhorse of all people) was making these very
points. I have slammed rdw's head against this wall more times
than I care to count: Making Muslim countries into consumerists
who "just want to get rich like Americans!" also turns them
decadent and against their religion and consequently creates
more terrorism. Terrorism is, IOW, an inevitable byproduct of
democratization, not something that democratization ameliorates.

> But greater political participation by Islamist groups is very
> likely to occur whatever we do, and it will be the only way
> that the poison of radical Islamism can ultimately work its
> way through the body politic of Muslim communities around the
> world. The age is long since gone when friendly authoritarians
> could rule over passive populations and produce stability
> indefinitely. New social actors are mobilizing everywhere,
> from Bolivia and Venezuela to South Africa and the Persian Gulf.
> A durable Israeli-Palestinian peace could not be built upon a
> corrupt, illegitimate Fatah that constantly had to worry about
> Hamas challenging its authority. Peace might emerge, sometime
> down the road, from a Palestine run by a formerly radical terrorist
> group that had been forced to deal with the realities of governing.

OMFG this is good. EXACTY ! This is *precisely* why threatening
Iran right now is so goddamned counterproductive. Iran is the
country where the poison of radical Islamism has worked its way
almost through its body politic; give it ten years and the youth
cohort will have overthrown the mullahs, making Iran the potentially
most progressive country in the Muslim Mideast. Its younger
population is already pro-US and more socially liberal than our
putative allies Jordan and Egypt. Even if it means letting them get
a nuke, setting back this process with military action is the last
thing from in our long-term interests. The mullahs will die off.

> If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have
> to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper
> financing of those institutions of the United States government
> that actually promote democracy, development and the rule of
> law around the world, organizations like the State Department,
> U.S.A.I.D., the National Endowment for Democracy and the like.
> The United States has played an often decisive role in helping
> along many recent democratic transitions, including in the
> Philippines in 1986; South Korea and Taiwan in 1987; Chile
> in 1988; Poland and Hungary in 1989; Serbia in 2000; Georgia
> in 2003; and Ukraine in 2004-5. But the overarching lesson that
> emerges from these cases is that the United States does not get
> to decide when and where democracy comes about. By definition,
> outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't
> want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.
> Democracy promotion is therefore a long-term and opportunistic
> process that has to await the gradual ripening of political
> and economic conditions to be effective.

Thank you, thank you, thank you :):):)

This leads to a middle way between bogus neocon messianic
"benevolent hegemony" which makes us hated in the world,
and the cynical isolationist overreaction of a Pat Buchanan.

It also points the way to a viable goddamn Democratic foreign policy
alternative that wholly repudiates Bush without abandoning the world
or our historical committment to fostering democracy and human rights.

This is pure gold. No troll can touch it,
coming from a card-carring neocon and all :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 21, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

carring = carrying

Posted by: rmck1 on February 21, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm attaching this pledge to the bottom of every post of mine from herein:

Stop feeding trolls.
Disagree factually with reasonable disagreement.
Do not respond to baiting and malice.
This is too good a blog to have a shitty comments section.
Attach this pledge to your posts, and live by it.

Posted by: glasnost on February 21, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

1) Fukuyama is not a liberal; he's a neocon.

2) Moderates have a more difficult time confronting the radicals when they feel beseiged by a foreign power. Doubtless this is different in Malaysia -- which doesn't feel remotely targeted by the US -- than it is in the Mideast.

3) Democracy requires cultural requisites. It is a consequence of modernization and not its cause (a very important point that Fukuyama makes along with Benjamin Barber). Jump-starting democracy in an authoritarian regime allows long-repressed anger to surface and empower radicals: Witness the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, SCIRI and al-Sadr in Iraq and, of course, Hamas in Palestine. Iran's Ahmadinejad doubtless had an easier case to make for his election with their neighbor identified as a charter member of the "axis of evil" and 100k + Western troops next door.

The world is democratizing and globalizing -- that is merely a fact.

That the flames of Islamic radicalism are being fanned by these processes is another indisputable fact as well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 21, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

2) Moderates have a more difficult time confronting the radicals when they feel beseiged by a foreign power.

3) Democracy requires cultural requisites.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 21, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

1) So what. If he changes decisions, it will be by crossing over to the liberal power base.

2) They also have a tough time when the local government owns the press, has no secret ballot elections (which allow you to send a message without retaliation) and can jail you without trial.

Eastern Europe didn't free itself until the Russians took a knock to their credibility in Afghanistan.

3) Tell that to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore (sort of), Indonesia and Malaysia (sort of). Its not the same kind of democracy but it can execute a peaceful change of power (usually forcing a different leader within the dominant party to take office).

I think Fukuyama misses a point.

The middle east has oil wealth. It can survive economic sanctions by only living of a commodity with a black market. Its not as if it has a private sector to damage.

If you can survive that, aid isn't going to do very much. And institutions don't do very much if the local government expels their people.

The threat of war must always be on the table to drive reform. The US might not always be at war but its certainly going to have to be ready and willing if it wishes to initiate change.

If not, surrender world leadership to China in 20 years, and they'll show you how to handle the Middle East. Did you realise that the West of China is a well managed Muslim population?

Their solution was to kill enough of them, then settled vast numbers of pork-loving Chinese there.
I would say that in the Middle East, they only need the oil wells. And since Genghis Kahn, made it all the way there before, how hard can it be?

Posted by: McA on February 21, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Bush's wars have created a problem, instead they've confronted it and American liberals are still in denial

According to the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT, mipt.org) since Bush has instituted his "policies" to combat terrorism the number of terrorist attacks worldwide have risen by orders of magnitude, from just dozens to over 4300 last year.

At the same time the moderates and liberals in Iran were squelched by the conservatives in response to the invasion of Iraq, and Hamas won an election with overwhelming numbers.

Who's in denial again?

The threat of force is something that has to be managed very carefully and tempered with diplomacy: unfortunately for the world, Bush's badly thought-out strategy, ulterior motives, and failure to master the basics of good international relations has been disastrous --

-- and terrorism is on the rise as a direct result.

Ultimately, war and the constant threat of war with no respect for sovereignty or culture or even human life only polarizes and then radicalizes either end of the ideological spectrum in a society.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

I really shouldn't be debating someone so hard-headedly intent on missing the points of F's piece I posted and commented on and regurgitating the Bush neocon talking points.

Fukuyama was an architect of Bush's muscular, unilateral, hard power-driven foreign policy. He was present at the creation.

He's recanting. What are you going to do -- attack him personally for it? You might want to actually consider his arguments for a change ...

All the countries in the Pac Rim you mention help make the point: They were all statist authoritarianisms before they began democratizing. They began democratizing because they *embraced modernity*. The countries in the Mideast have a small but superempowered cult of radical Islamists who are, rather, *threatened* by modernity. This is the problem. Take the lid off, stop cracking heads, give them the tools of popular sovereignty -- and the rage that has built for years, some of it justified, some of it self-created, will find political expression in election results that hardly signal the arrival of peaceful relations either with each other or with the West.

For every Libya and Lebanon there's an Egypt and Palestine.

You know, for a Chinese Malaysian who writes pretty good English, it amazes me how blind you can be to cultural differences, and draw analogies between Eastern Europe and the Mideast. You could have knocked Czechoslovakia over with a feather, it was so close to democracy prior to the Velvet Revolution. Other countries in that region -- Hungary, Poland -- likewise had lots of cultural contact for centuries with Western Europe and were culturally prepared when the Wall fell. The Balkans took a little longer and a *lot* more blood. The Ottoman Empire was a less apt tutor for democratic skills.

Now your point about repressive regimes is a good one (duh), but here's the thing: We are *not* going to challenge the major despotisms in the Middle East in any meaningful way. We are not going sabre-rattle for regime change in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the Gulf States. We might pick on Syria -- but Our Friend Jordan is at least as much a jihadi-exporter (Zarqawi is a Jordanian). We might not bomb Iran after all, because the Bush war cabinet knows full well it will only increase support for the regime and set back their nuke program only years. Invading Iraq has made us a paper tiger. Jihadis look at us stuck there and *laugh*.

Your fundamental view strikes me as incoherent. On the one hand, you're pro globalization, pro modernity, pro consumerism. On the other, you're a cultural conservative who doesn't see how the cultural decadence you despise in America is a direct result of the modern quest for self-fulfillment. You seem to empathize with a Muslim critique of Western decadence (it's also a Christian critique, of course), and yet you somehow think that if we force modernity down the throats of cultures unprepared for it, that this is not going to provoke a violent reaction. At the end of the day, though, you reveal your authoritarian colors and admire the way China dealt with its Muslims -- with extreme brutality verging on genocide and ethnic cleansing.

So why boost democracy at all? You know, the more democracy, the more people will agitate for gay rights and reproductive freedom :)

You can't be pro-progress-at-bayonet-point and simultaneously socially conservative. It is incoherent. Fukuyama realized that, and I say better late than never.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

If not, surrender world leadership to China in 20 years, and they'll show you how to handle the Middle East. Did you realise that the West of China is a well managed Muslim population?

Their solution was to kill enough of them, then settled vast numbers of pork-loving Chinese there.
I would say that in the Middle East, they only need the oil wells. And since Genghis Kahn, made it all the way there before, how hard can it be?

No, the Uighur insurgency is continuing there.

'Well managed' my arse.

You've obviously never spent any time in the Xinshiang Muslim areas of cities like Guangzhou (I have - used to buy a little bit of hash there, actually, when I lived there).

Wanna know where you can buy stolen Chinese military weaponry, for use by the Muslims in that province? Stolen (bought?) from the Guangzhou PLA for use against the Xinshiang PLA... One branch of the Chinese army dealing drugs and weaponry to make a profit, while the rebels use that to attack another branch of the PLA.

The situation is actually pretty damn fucked up.

None of my Chinese workmates would go to the Xinshiang ghetto (let alone moving to Xinjiang!) - too dangerous for the Han Chinese, they used to say.

Us gweilo, however, were pretty popular.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 22, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

number of terrorist attacks worldwide have risen by orders of magnitude, from just dozens to over 4300 last year.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'd question if the number of attacks is a suitable metric. Before the war on terror, their support networks were getting stronger and supporting more sophisticated attacks (from truck bombings to coordinated highjackings). I think their are more attacks now, but at the same time their financing and training capabilities are being destroyed. They certainly haven't improved in style since 9-11 when they spent US$50K, lost 20-30 guys and killed 3000 people.

History will judge. And I suspect it'll judge the anti-war movement, biased and stupid.

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

This is the problem. Take the lid off, stop cracking heads, give them the tools of popular sovereignty -- and the rage that has built for years, some of it justified, some of it self-created, will find political expression in election results that hardly signal the arrival of peaceful relations either with each other or with the West.

For every Libya and Lebanon there's an Egypt and Palestine.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

True. But if Libya and Lebanon begin the process of modernization, their improving living standards would raise expectation in neighbouring countries possibly affecting the next election.
Democracy doesn't automatically put a good government in place, just a popular one. But its great at getting rid of bad ones.

I don't rule out Hamas's victory as a success. The Palestinians are so dead set on confrontation, they need to feel the consequences of that confrontation. There's a possibility, that 4 years down the track, Hamas will be out and a genuine recognition that the infidata hurts the Ummat (Muslim community) as well as the 'cursed Zionists' might be achieved.

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

On the one hand, you're pro globalization, pro modernity, pro consumerism. On the other, you're a cultural conservative who doesn't see how the cultural decadence you despise in America is a direct result of the modern quest for self-fulfillment.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see my values as contradictory. I admire democracy because it brings benefits and I think it swings to the right in times of danger well enough to defend that system.

I may be wrong. If you fail, sooner or later China will take world leadership and confront Islam. I'd take brutal, Chinese-style modernization over brutal, Islamic regression to the Caliphate. China jails its unlicensed missionaries, the Syariah executes them.

I would challenge your assumption that democracy brings liberal cultural values. We don't all need a bill of rights and a judiciary that legislates.
There are other forms of democracy around.

Japan is fairly conservative in many ways (though not sex) and is still a democracy.

-------------
likewise had lots of cultural contact for centuries with Western Europe and were culturally prepared when the Wall fell.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Asia is as alien to Europe as the Middle East is to it. And its cultural contact came from Cold War interactions and US reconstruction.
The 4 tigers were originally Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Singapore. 3 of which were defended/reconstructed by the US and 1 of which was helped by the British.

You are ignoring the fact that the 'statist' governments in Asia, had foreign influences in their origins.

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

the more people will agitate for gay rights and reproductive freedom :)

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Possibly, but not in a part of the world with Muslims. Police are too busy trying to prevent 'honour killings' and 'gay bashing' to
worry about the weddings.

Besides, I see a significant difference to efforts within a democratic system to prevent something bad and the support of Arab dictators to prevent some increase in gay rights.
I think the homosexual movement is a destructive movement, but secret police and mass graves are more objectionable.

Partial-birth abortion is kinda grey area. I'd take some non-lethal police brutality rather than live in a country that allows partial-birth abortion in the third trimester.

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

You can't be pro-progress-at-bayonet-point

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure this is progress at bayonet point. Everyone is talking about a Shiite victory in Iraq elections screwing the neo-cons. If it wasn't a genuine election, why let the Shiite's win?

I would say that force is applied at regimes with common people being caught in the way. However, when you have no better alternative that might be an appropriate step. Everyone forgets that leaving some regimes in place has an opportunity cost measured in mass graves.

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

We might not bomb Iran after all, because the Bush war cabinet knows full well it will only increase support for the regime and set back their nuke program only years.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

I think if Chirac nukes Iran, it'll do a little more then set them back a few years. Look, Iran is in a bad situation. If France is talking about nukes. Israel and the US are already aiming them.

I would not rule out a more devastating attack. After all, Bush can't have a third term so he may as well end it in style.

Heck, he can always resign and let Cheney take office and do it. The man has already shotgunned a friend. The next thrill is nuking a few cities.

If you were Iran, you'd be really scared.

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

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Oh - forgot to add - get your facts straight before making such blanket statements that are flatly contradicted by events on the ground.

Not that you'll take any notce.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 22, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

None of my Chinese workmates would go to the Xinshiang ghetto (let alone moving to Xinjiang!) - too dangerous for the Han Chinese, they used to say.

Us gweilo, however, were pretty popular.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 22, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Chinese need permission to move states, remember?
Say what you want, but nobody has flown planes into downtown Shanghai.

And China suppresses Xinjiang quite well without Chinese flags being burnt by protestors in Pakistan.

It says a lot for a capitalist system, with partial freedoms of speech. All they need are elections of some kind...

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

Say what you want, but nobody has flown planes into downtown Shanghai.

That's because no one can see the buildings for the pollution.

It says a lot for a capitalist system, with partial freedoms of speech. All they need are elections of some kind...

'Partial' freedom of speech? Is that like a 'partial' capitalist system or a 'partial' democracy?

You really are pretty incoherent when you try and make all your contradictory viewpoints add up.

Does it give you a headache?

Posted by: floopmeister on February 22, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'd question if the number of attacks is a suitable metric. I think their are more attacks now, but at the same time their financing and training capabilities are being destroyed.

Yes, measuring the number of actual attacks is a terrible metric for determining whether terrorism is increasing -- particularly when terrorism is defined by its attacks and the number of attacks has been skyrocketing.

I much prefer your method with its inverse relationship of terrorist financing to number of attacks: it's wildly hopeful. Why, with a little luck, in a few years we'll have shut down terrorist financing almost completely...

...and logically the attacks will have increased to infinity???

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

That's because no one can see the buildings for the pollution.

Posted by: floopmeister on February 22, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Another reason why signing Kyoto sucks!

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

and logically the attacks will have increased to infinity???

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps, if you define attacks as being badmouthed by newly established democracies.
I think the number of capitalist, growing Muslim economies that arrest militants when they plot to attack foreign countries would be the metric.
The score is running at -0.5 for Carter, 0.9 for Reagan (Malaysia), 0.2 for Bill (East Timor-ish) and 0.66 for Bush (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon).

Be nice if there was just one total success.

And it might give Moderate Islam something better to point to than the Caliphate.

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

floopmeister:

> Does it give you a headache?

Hehe, he prolly could use a little of that Xinjiang hash :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps, if you define attacks as being badmouthed by newly established democracies.

You're a dip.

We define terrorist attacks according to the conventions used here in reality, which is the use of violence to intimidate and achieve ideological objectives.

Unfortunately for you, the real world definition of terrorism shreds your argument about progress being made under the policies of Bush.

However, if in your stupor you choose to define terrorist attacks as the number of intelligent remarks made by trolls on this blog, then in that case they are definitely decreasing.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Well the definition seems to recognise the number of attacks but not the size, or the fact that many of them are now in Arab countries. Which froma realpolitik point is a good thing, because it energises Arab societies to question terrorism.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060222/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

The insurgents just blew up another marketplace and a famous Shiite shrine? Do they look like a movement growing in popular support, given that Shiite's are the majority of the population?

Your terror statistic would pick up shit like this but not the use of torture by Saddam's government..even though in many cases the terrorists are former regime operatives.

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

Do they look like a movement growing in popular support

The question is not whether they are popular, the question is whether or not they are growing in capability:

And all the statistics clearly bear out that they are.

Secondly: yes, the wild increase in attacks clearly shows the growing popularity of terrorism among the Sunnis.

In fact, the military estimates that Sunni insurgent sympathizers went from just a handful after the invasion to as many as 200,000 now.

That's pretty damn popular.

As for the Shi'ites, they are retaliating with torture rooms and their own death squads and mass graves for Sunnis.

Where are your crocodile tears for them? Do we re-invade to overthrow the Shi-ite regime? Betcha we just let it go. We have our permanent bases and access to the little oil that the insurgents allow through, there's no more need to use the moral high ground as political cover.

Why I'm debating with the person whose best argument against the existence of global warming is that "it snowed today somewhere" I don't know.

Posted by: Windhorse on February 22, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

McAristotle:

Have you ever noticed that when I respond to your posts, I quote your
entire paragraphs and generally go sequentially through them? You know
why -- because I try to respond to what people are genuinely trying to
argue and not take them out of context.

What do you do to me? Cut my sentences into strips of confetti. It
really does argue that you *don't* have conherent views you can argue
one point from another -- just disjointed value-laden assertions.
Democracy -- good. Free markets -- good. Social conservatism -- good.

Military might against bad regimes -- good. Muslim extremism -- bad.
You know -- confetti. No connective tissue. No clue how one point
relates to another. No *context*.

Now it's late where I am so I'm only going to deal with one of your
sentences before hitting the sack:

> If you were Iran, you'd be really scared.

If I were Iran, I'd be sticking my chest out for thumbing our noses at
the whole world over nuclear inspections.

First, get a clue, McA. Chirac may be a right winger, but he's a
French right winger. He drinks good wine, eats great food, listens to
wonderful music and tours fantastic art galleries and museums. He is,
in short, *civilized*. He's not nuking anybody who doesn't nuke first.
His talk was bluster, out of understandable frustration at last
summer's car-b-ques. He's trying to shake the Fear o' Gawd into Muslim
extremists.

Secondly, nobody's else (specifically the US or Israel) is going to
nuke Iran, either. Not to pre-empt an as-yet nonexistent threat. If
you think that's a good idea, there's a Hiroshima museum in Japan you
might want to tour. (Pay close attention to the section on radiation
burns.) Stop being such a sick, bloodthirsty fuck, McA -- or else I'll
start calling you Genghis, or better yet, Ghengie-poo. All it does it
turn all that Christian moralizing and support for democracy of yours
into reeking elephant diarrhea, liberally (heh) laced with typhus.

"A marvel to be seen / dysentery green" --Frank Zappa

Now stop fidgeting and pay attention, you ADD li'l munchkin -- the
lecture continues:

Thirdly, you know what happens in Iran when somebody mentions the
N-word? Ahmadinejad's poll numbers go up. The Great Satan performs
precisely the same function in Iran that the War on Terra does in the
US. It's a rallying cry. Are some people scared? Sure. But I'd bet
that less people are scared in Iran over the pseudo-"threat" of being
nuked than US conservative bedwetters are over overseas cartoon riots.

"Oh Daddy Daddy -- saaaavvvee meeeeee -- fwom th' TeWwwWWwWwoWists !"

You don't seem to understand the Shi'ite culture of martyrdom, the
cult of the beseiged underdog. Iran could take a brutal pounding
in an airstrike like the tiniest nibble of a sand flea. These are
the guys who, after all, literally flagellate themselves publicly
into a bloody pulp like some grotesque real-life parody of a Monty
Python skit (during their holiest religious holiday). They might
even calculate that losing their entire nuke infrastructure would
be worth the increased solidarity of the regime. The only thing
that would be completely wiped out would be the reform movement.

Dumb fucking move however you slice it, Genghie-poo.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

You don't seem to understand the Shi'ite culture of martyrdom...

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

South East Asia was overrun by Japanese soldiers following the Cult of the Emperor. Remember?

2 nukes, some napalm and a million dead later, things changed.

As to Chirac just mouthing off...the thing is people who make threats people don't think will be carried out, are the people most likely to have to execute those threats to gain credibility.
If France took one 9-11 type attack with a clear link to an Arab country, the country would be debating the Nuclear option or a new head of state.

Believe it. The Canadians are conservative, the world can turn overnight.

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

McA:

I give up.

You're a sick, bloodthirsty fuck, Genghie-poo.

I guess Never Again only applies to that *other* kind of Holocaust ...

You need a morality transfusion big-time.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

I guess Never Again only applies to that *other* kind of Holocaust ...

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

Country trying to get nukes to exterminate a culture, gets nuked.

Sounds better than two counties exchanging nukes in an orgy of double genocide.

Posted by: Mca on February 22, 2006 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

When I read the blog comments and think, "gee, I wish rdw were here to chime in instead of these other idiots," obviously the blog comments are having troll problems.
Posted by: Constantine

Made my day. Right on.


And poor David! Carpal tunnel just waiting to happen.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

>>And since Genghis Kahn, made it all the way there before, how hard can it be?

Um....Baghdad was sacked by the Mongols in 1253. Genghis Khan (b. 1103) would have had to have to have been 150+ to have been around for the party.

Hope Kevin isn't looking to you trollies for Jeopardy coaching since your grasp of historical fact is as tenuous as your grasp on reality in general.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Genghis Khan (b. 1103) would have had to have to have been 150+ to have been around for the party.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Genghis, Kublai, whatever.... send me the name in pinyin and I'll get it right.

Posted by: McA on February 22, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

McA,

Genghis, Kublai, whatever.... send me the name in pinyin and I'll get it right.

Speak American, boy!

Posted by: Tripp on February 22, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Genghis, Kublai, whatever.... send me the name in pinyin and I'll get it right.

The correct answer is c) neither of the above.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep:

Tammerlane?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bob

Tammerlane (Timur the Lame) began his attempt to conquer Western Europe in 1363. He was encouraged by the fact the West was weakened enormously by the Black Death.

That means he'd have been -100 at the Sack of Baghdad.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Okay. Okay.

The correct answer is:

>>>drum roll

Mangu Khan - Great Khan from 1251 -1259

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep:

Okay, i give up (and I'm not googlin', cuz I'm only idly curious):

Who *was* the Mongol warlord and man-about-town who sacked Baghdad?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep:

Whoopsie :)

Thanks.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep:

Remember when Bush toured Asia a couple months ago and got skunked by the Chinese? He came to ask if they could, you know, stop repressing dissidents and they rounded up 15 or so of 'em the day before he got there? :)

So then he goes to Mongolia and just really *bonds* with the place. Sez it reminds him of Texas, while he's sitting all afternoon in a yurt guzzing 3% fermented yak milk. Mmmm ... got *burp* milk?

Sheesh ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 22, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

So then he goes to Mongolia and just really *bonds* with the place. Sez it reminds him of Texas, while he's sitting all afternoon in a yurt guzzing 3% fermented yak milk. Mmmm ... got *burp* milk?

Sheesh ...

Bob

Those were the days, my friend.

>laughing

Google smoogle - just scour the local used book stores for H. G. Wells 2 volume "Outline of History".

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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