Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DARFUR....So why isn't anyone interested in doing much about the Sudanese-sponsored genocide in Darfur? Well, China and Russia both want Sudan's oil and the United States wants Sudan's intelligence. And nobody's much interested in sending their kids to Africa to die in someone else's war.

But will the U.S. do the right thing anyway, two years after Colin Powell admitted that the war in Darfur was genocide? UN ambassador John Bolton has been making the right noises lately, but Mark Leon Goldberg of the American Prospect says that the most immediate way to demonstrate seriousness on this issue is to support sanctions against Salah Abdala Gosh:

The Prospect has obtained a confidential annex to a January 30th Security Council report that identifies the 17 Sudanese individuals whom a panel of U.N. experts concluded were most responsible for war crimes and impeding the peace process....By far the most prominent name of the 17 recommended for immediate sanction is Salah Abdala Gosh.

You may not know that name, but the Central Intelligence Agency certainly does, and Langley wont be thrilled if he is placed under an international travel ban. He is the director of Sudans National Security and Intelligence Services. And when Osama bin Laden found haven in Sudan from 1990 to 1996, Gosh was his personal government minder. Last year, Ken Silverstein of the Los Angeles Times detailed the extensive counterintelligence cooperation between Gosh and the CIA, and reported that the CIA even flew Gosh to CIA headquarters on a private jet to swap trade secrets.

The UN Security Council hasn't acted on the sanctions list yet, but Mark reports today that Sudan is responding to the recommendations very nervously. "A little threat seems to go a very long way with this regime," he says.

President Bush recently came out in favor of a NATO intervention in Darfur, and I'll happily support this if it's sufficiently serious to get the job done. It's hard to say if the proposal currently on the table meets that test and even harder to say if Europe will get off its ass and show any interest but in the meantime imposing sanctions on the thugs responsible for the killings is surely the absolute least we can do if we want to demonstrate some moral leadership on this issue. Keep an eye on Bolton to see which way the wind is blowing.

Kevin Drum 12:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (101)

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Comments

Is it just me, or are sanctions now totally discredited as an effective technique of persuasion?

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Is there a lot of oil there?

If not, who cares?

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on February 23, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

What's a Dar fur?

Posted by: L'cureuil Gant on February 23, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Is there a lot of oil under our inner cities?

If not, who cares?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 23, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think this would help.

Posted by: aaron on February 23, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

hmmm - white folks in general seem to be just like gw - they don't like to hear the truth about themselves...

Posted by: cdj on February 23, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Cheney can go to Sudan and shoot someone in the face so the issue can get some news coverage.

Still might not be enough while we're freaking out about the ports, though.

Posted by: Frank J. on February 23, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

After the failure in Iraq, the first question should be whether involvement in Darfur would make the situation better. The US has a history of causing more deaths than saving them.

And if you remember Colin Powell saying it was genocide, you should also remember he was saying that no US soldiers would be sent to fight in Sudan.

And that last one is still US policy.

Posted by: Duh on February 23, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

hmmm - white folks in general seem to be just like gw - they don't like to hear the truth about themselves...

Thanks for using the term "in general" right inside that sweeping generalization, so we can easily identify it.

What a foolish statement, too.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 23, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why would Europe show any interest?

Bush and his fellow conservatives are hypocrites when it comes to being against genocide and for democracy and he lied to the Europeans about Iraq and the war on terror, which he has left floundering and without direction.

Bush is not committed to anything but Bush.

Europe knows that and won't be easily persuaded to jump into a fray that they know Bush will abandon the minute it becomes convenient to do so, leaving them holding the bag.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or are sanctions now totally discredited as an effective technique of persuasion?

I don't agree with Craigie about practically anything.

But I do agree with this statement.

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 23, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

If there was ever anything that the UN ought to exist for, stopping genocide should be it. Perhaps a UN sanctioned expeditionary force supported by NATO could do the job. It would require more than a token force though. If the major powers (including India) were to contribute twenty thousand troops each, this thing could be stopped with little bloodshed. Doing nothing risks further mass killing.

Posted by: Bob G on February 23, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK


**President Bush recently came out in favor of a NATO intervention in Darfur**


did someone explain what intervention means?


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK


**President Bush recently came out in favor of a NATO intervention in Darfur**


Did Bolton block it yet?

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 23, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Bush should incent the government of Sudan to stop this genocide.

Posted by: lib on February 23, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

If there was ever anything that the UN ought to exist for
Yep, and you remember Sudan getting a seat on the UN's Human Rights Council?

Rwanda, Darfur... But on the other hand, they did weaken the sanctions against Saddam with the OfF kickbacks.

You guys about ready for UN reform?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nicholas Kristof spoke at Yale last week on Darfur. You can see his talk at http://www.yale.edu/ycias/news/kristof.htm. He responds to questions at the end about NATO intervention and talks about the president of Slovenia who has been an advocate for more intervention in the region.

Posted by: jn on February 23, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

But on the other hand, they did weaken the sanctions against Saddam with the OfF kickbacks.

    Mr. Cheney called in June for the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran. He called relations between Iran and the United States a "tragedy," adding that one of the best ways to improve ties would be "to allow American firms to do the same thing that most other firms around the world are able to do now, and that is to be active in Iran."

    "We're kept out of there primarily by our own government, which has made a decision that U.S. firms should not be allowed to invest significantly in Iran, and I think that's a mistake."

one man's sanction is another man's missed business opportunity.

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

lib: Bush should incent the government of Sudan to stop this genocide.


maybe we could try the beauty of baseball...


"I think it's really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how tothe beauty of playing baseball."Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006


cn...funny you should bring up saddam...


did you know...the UAE is much more closely tied to 9/11 and al qaeda than saddam hussein ever was...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Okay Word Girl (aka Mz Punctilious Pain in the Ass) is stumped.

'incent'?

huh? Is this a neologism I've missed or what?

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

incent

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Great, that link yields an even worse word: incentivize.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 23, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: You guys about ready for UN reform?

You about ready for reform of the current US administration, cn?

As bad as the UN can be, it can't hold a candle to the dismal failures, f*ckups, and incompetence of the Bush administration.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Great, that link yields an even worse word: incentivize.
Posted by: Ace Franze

Ugh.

But I'm also against using 'gourmet' as a adjective. My mother introduces me as 'the gourmet cook' and I have to immediately deny having ever cooked any.

Posted by: CFShep on February 23, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Dear lib,

Thank you so much for using the word 'incent'! If enough people use the proper verb form of this word, one day we can live in a world where no one need fear that horrible monstrosity, "incentivize".

Thank you again!

- S Ra

Posted by: S Ra on February 23, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God:

Europe knows that and won't be easily persuaded to jump into a fray that they know Bush will abandon the minute it becomes convenient to do so, leaving them holding the bag.

So why doesn't Europe just pick up the "bag" themselves? For a change.

Even if NATO "does" something, you know it's going to be U.S. materials and personnel doing the heavy lifting anyway.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 23, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

So why doesn't Europe just pick up the "bag" themselves? For a change.

well, for one, the neoCons don't want Europe to be able to. they demand Pax Americana, not Pax Europa.

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

TBrosz, you know Europe don't do intervention. But it is time the American exceptionalists finally back something that could make her exceptional. This one was such a no-brainer (even domestic politics lined up behind it because of the Evangelical interest) that a little courage could have made it happen a long time ago.

Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

one man's sanction is another man's missed business opportunity.
We know that the UN set up sanctions against Saddam, and then used those sanctions to line their pockets, and Saddam's pocket. And Cheney's call for an end to sanctions on Iran is comparable ... how?

did you know...the UAE is much more closely tied to 9/11 and al qaeda than saddam hussein ever was
Your ignorance of the UAE is no reason for me to change my mind.

You about ready for reform of the current US administration, cn?
Sure am. All you guys have to do is put up a candidate that's a better alternative. As George Will said

the party in power in Washington has done much to earn a rebuke but the opposition party has done nothing to earn a reward.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Even if NATO "does" something, you know it's going to be U.S. materials and personnel doing the heavy lifting anyway.
If the UN does something it'll be the US doing the heavy lifting.

Kind of makes you wonder why the moonbats want to do away with the US Armed Forces...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

cleek:

well, for one, the neoCons don't want Europe to be able to. they demand Pax Americana, not Pax Europa.

So, what, did the NeoCons go over to Europe's military bases and let all the air out of their tires?

Much of Europe (with a few notable exceptions) is perfectly happy to sit on the sidelines and throw beer cans like soccer fans while the U.S. bleeds on the field.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 23, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

According to current practice, Mr. Gosh may not return the next time he visits CIA headquarters.

Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or are sanctions now totally discredited as an effective technique of persuasion?

I don't agree with Craigie about practically anything.

But I do agree with this statement.
Posted by: sportsfan079

Hey, I'm a uniter, not a divider.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

My quick take on Darfur tells me this again is Arab Islamic jackasses killing innocent black people, as they have done for the ages.

Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

So, what, did the NeoCons go over to Europe's military bases and let all the air out of their tires?

yes

Posted by: cleek on February 23, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK
So, what, did the NeoCons go over to Europe's military bases and let all the air out of their tires?

The Neocons? No. But the US worked very hard for the entire history of NATO, using pressure, threats, cajolery, and inducements to get all of the NATO allies dependent on the United States to carry out military operations. Now, notionally, the idea here was to create an integrate force that would work well in a major conflict (presumably with the Soviety Union and its allies), and to maximize efficiency by getting allied countries to specialize in narrower areas of competence.

This was a substantial impediment to the UK in the Falklands conflict, though not decisive.

While this trend has largely been reversed since the end of the Cold War, those kinds of capacities aren't rebuilt cheaply or in short order, and few European countries have put a lot of effort into doing so.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 23, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep: But I'm also against using 'gourmet' as a adjective. My mother introduces me as 'the gourmet cook' and I have to immediately deny having ever cooked any.

At least she doesn't use "gourmet" and "gourmand" as synonyms, as many do nowadays. You'd be cooking something a lot grosser.

Posted by: shortstop on February 23, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: So why doesn't Europe just pick up the "bag" themselves? For a change.

Because people like you and Bush insist that Europe do nothing unless it is something approved of by American conservatvies.

In other words, Bush has declared to the world, in so many words and deeds, that the US has veto power over the actions of every other country, including its allies and the UN.

And he proved it with his invasion of Iraq.

UN and European policy (and Clinton policy) were working just fine in Iraq - WMDs vanished under that policy, as did the programs to produce them.

And no American, European, or UN soldiers were killed in implementing that policy, nor was over $200 billion wasted.

But, no, that wasn't good enough for old Georgie Porgie Puddin' and Pie.

He had to lie his way into Iraq for dishonorable purposes, vetoing the actions of the Eurpeans and the UN.

So, its hilarious to see you suggest this.

First, you insist that Europeans keep their nose out of international affairs unless directly controlled by the policies of a conservative US administration which doesn't amount to doing anything themselves, then you insist that they try to do something themselves.

Typical conservative flip-flop.

BTW, Britain is a part of Europe.

Just in case you missed that factoid in geography class.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I'm a uniter, not a divider.

Till you get to the part where you say, "Let's find a better solution than sanctions," and sportsfan says, "Better solution my ass! Let's blow the holy hell out of 'em!"

Posted by: shortstop on February 23, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Much of Europe (with a few notable exceptions) is perfectly happy to sit on the sidelines and throw beer cans like soccer fans while the U.S. bleeds on the field.

The US wouldn't be bleeding on the field if Bush hadn't lied and the highly successful European, UN, and Clinton policy of containment had been followed.

Why should Europeans bleed just for the sake of bleeding, to accomplish absolutely nothing like Bush?

Bleeding should be for a purpose, a good purpose, an effective purpose, a moral purpose - not just to prove you can bleed.

There was no reason to bleed in Iraq.

The Europeans refusal to bleed at conservative's beck and call, no matter how dishonest that call is, and to buy into conservative lies is what galls you, not the fact that they won't contribute.

If they bleed but bleed not for conservative cause and policy, then conservatives will dismiss that bleeding.

You always have.

You always will.

Because you don't love America or hate Europe so much as you hate anyone who is not in the service of American conservatism, no matter how much they bleed or do not bleed.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Why should we waste time helping brown people in Africa when there are millions of zygotes being killed every year?

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on February 23, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: All you guys have to do is put up a candidate that's a better alternative.

We did - twice.

We did and you defamed them.

We did and you committed election fraud.

We did and you committed campaign funding crimes.

We did and you used corrupt judges to improperly control the outcome.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 23, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: All you guys have to do is put up a candidate that's a better alternative.

This reminds me of something I read on some other blog, and which I now carry around in my wallet, as a touchstone:

When a Republican is unsuccessful, it's because he wasn't conservative enough. And when a Democrat is unsuccessful it's because ... he wasn't conservative enough.

I think that about sums up the current received wisdom, as well as the MSM talking points that have been internalized pretty much completely.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Put an army in Darfur, then we have the Arabs surrounded, and we just all march toward Mecca making outrageous Muhammed jokes along the way.

The Artabs will freak out so badly they start belt bombing each other. Great fun!

Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Um, just curious, but what exactly do you think the U.S. would be able to do in Sudan? Give torture a human, i.e. American, face? Are you even aware Sudan is five times bigger than Iraq? (Yes, that's five Californias.)

Posted by: mg56 on February 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we could soften them up with an air drop of offensive cartoons...

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Would we have to add a line to the Marine anthem?


Or just shorten the anthem and mix it with the WW1 theme:

Everywhere, Everywhere
We will fight your country's battles
On the land and sea and air.


Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK


me: did you know...the UAE is much more closely tied to 9/11 and al qaeda than saddam hussein ever was


cn: Your ignorance of the UAE is no reason for me to change my mind.


today: In its report last year, the Nine-Eleven Commission raised concerns that as recently as seven years ago, officials from the United Arab Emirates were associating directly with Osama bin Laden.


doh!

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush recently came out in favor of a NATO intervention in Darfur, and I'll happily support this if it's sufficiently serious to get the job done.


I doubt that.

But for the sake of discussion, what would you consider "sufficiently serious to get the job done"? 400,000 thousand troops, including at least 50,000 French and Germans? Fewer than 100 US casualties? 19 UN security council resolutions? No Arabic jihadists joining in against the US/UN/NATO? Zero "mistakes" or policy disputes? And why Darfur, anyway? The humanitarian disaster in Congo is much greater, as is the humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe.

Sudan, like the other dictatorships (Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Iran) can withstand an attempted embargo forever. And like it or not, China wants the oil.

Posted by: republicrat on February 23, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

We did - twice.
Gore and Kerry? Now that's funny.

and you defamed them
Well you know, when the truth defames someone...

and you committed election fraud
Dang, you better get that unknown evidence out in public!

and you committed campaign funding crimes
Are you hiding more evidence that we need to know about?

and you used corrupt judges to improperly control the outcome
Those corrupt judges, were those in the 3 courts that ruled against Gore, or the one that ruled for him? But since I know that you're talking about the SCOTUS, are you talking about the first 9-0 slap down or the 7-2 ruling?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

as recently as seven years ago, officials from the United Arab Emirates were associating directly with Osama bin Laden
As recently as 7 years ago the Democrats were associating directly with Johnny Chung. Does that mean the Democrats are still in thick with Chinese agents?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't as a practice feed the trolls here, but the issue of UN irrelevance is substantive. It may be that a UN that is filled to the brim with anti-democratic, autocratic, antisemitic dictatorships is not the best vessel for defending liberal values. Still, it is a critical notion that the UN came into existence partly in response to, and to prevent, another Nazi war and another Nazi holocaust.

If we were simply to substitute the term NATO for the term UN, would that make people feel better? The issue is the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. That by itself should be enough. I think that a hundred thousand troops from western industrial democracies would be able to bring the situation under some sort of control in short order. This would be a major step by western countries, but in theory it could be accomplished. The requirement is not to cover the entire land area of the country with densely packed troops, but to intimidate the murderers' leadership with massive power.

Posted by: Bob G on February 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it is time for another Crusade. Go directly at the center of evil, Mecca, and wipe out Islamo fascism once and for all.

Posted by: Matt on February 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

9-11 commission report: as recently as seven years ago, officials from the United Arab Emirates were associating directly with Osama bin Laden


cn: As recently as 7 years ago the Democrats were associating directly with Johnny Chung. Does that mean the Democrats are still in thick with Chinese agents?


you don't really say....does it?

take a stand...

does that mean that members of the gop which exclusively received cash directly from jack abramoff an admitted thief...mean karl rove and bush and delay and the gop are thiefs?

tell us cn...now that you've moved the goalposts

i'll play...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

When a Republican is unsuccessful, it's because he wasn't conservative enough. And when a Democrat is unsuccessful it's because ... he wasn't conservative enough.
First, I really can sympathize. I know that the left truly believes in their thing, and they just can't get no love. Not even much from their own politicians.

But I'd suggest from this that the US (voting) public really doesn't agree with the left, they are indeed more conservative than you would like.

What I'd like to see you do is seriously look at why you've been unable to persuade people to your point of view. And don't bother pointing to Bush's approval polls, because if I was polled I wouldn't approve of Bush. And I didn't approve of him before the '04 election, but I still voted for him because (and I believe this) Kerry would be worse.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

you don't really say....does it?
No it doesn't. Just like OBL having financial ties in the UAE doesn't mean the UAE is in league with terrorists.

I'm not afraid to take a stand.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

you werent afraid to take a stand....is that why you moved the goalposts?


lol

so

hussien was a threat...with no evidence of operational contact with al-q...

gwb invades...

uae knows obl....personally

gwb wants to let that government help manage ports..

you dont think uae is as big a threat as saddam..a guy who we invaded....lost 2280 lives and have spent 30-billion

thanks for going on the record...

if you weren;t so defensive ... we could have saved a lot of time...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

cn nice turn of a phrase...obl "financial ties" in uae?


sounds so much nicer than

9-11 commission report: officials from the United Arab Emirates were ---associating directly--- with Osama bin Laden


why change the commission's terms?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

300-billion in iraq and counting.....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said earlier, your ignorance of the UAE is no reason for me to change my mind.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace
You know, you're missing the biggest argument against this port deal: Jimmy Carter is in favor of it.

Jimmy gave away the Panama Canal and took down a whole slew of congresscritters that supported him. I was reading an editorial that thought that was why most politicians were against the port deal, because Jimmy Carter supports it and they don't want to get burned again.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

So how are you willing to go? You want U.S. troops fighting janjaweed in the desert? And remind me again, what is the direct threat to our national security?

So the CIA is working with Gosh. Good. I know this is a radical idea, but the U.S. government's primary responsibility is to the security of its own citizens. If Sudan is willing to help us destroy al Qaeda, good.

Posted by: America First on February 23, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

cn:Like I said earlier, your ignorance of the UAE is no reason for me to change my mind.


today: In its report last year, the Nine-Eleven Commission raised concerns that as recently as seven years ago, officials from the United Arab Emirates were associating directly with Osama bin Laden.

again...officials from the United Arab Emirates were associating directly with Osama bin Laden.


you say you have this info..but dont say....

are you gwb in drag?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Well, he's
Kerrying and working his way through the global test.

After all - its only oil and mass murder
Iraq had those a few terrorists and possibly WMD

Posted by: mca on February 23, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK


cn....why do you think jimmy carter makes a diff to me?


uae officials know obl personally...

and you are cool with this?

any port in a storm?

lol

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 23, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace
The UAE is the financial hub of the ME. Anyone with money in the ME has contacts in the UAE. So by pointing out that OBL had contacts there, you're pointing out that he had lots of money.

I'm afraid that isn't news.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

What I'd like to see you do is seriously look at why you've been unable to persuade people to your point of view.

This is just silly. 49% of the total electorate voted for "not Bush" the last two times. The 44 Democratic Senators represent about 20 million more people than the 55 Republican ones.

It's nice for you that you control all three branches of the government, but that's much more a function of population distribution and the electoral college, than it is any dominance of the current zeitgeist.

And, one could and would argue, the difference is largely made up by the Dems abandoning the Dixiecrats. But that was the right thing to do, and over time, it will probably unwind itself.

And as Kevin has posted many times, the "liberal agenda" is something that most people agree with. To the extent that Repubs have been able to win in the past few cycles, it's completely been about their willingness to shout "fire!" and scare people into voting for them. It may be that that strategy can work forever - but I kind of doubt it.

Assuming, of course, that a weakened Bush doesn't just cancel all future elections.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is just silly. 49% of the total electorate voted for "not Bush" the last two times.
Is it? Look at the strength of GW Bush. Not much, is it? The Dems have lost to him twice. It's not like you've mustered close wins against a strong opponent, you've mustered close wins against GW Bush. That is not a show of strength.

but that's much more a function of population distribution and the electoral college
Been down this road before. The Dem Senators may represent more people, but the House is proportional. With Gore you could claim a popular vote win, but not with Kerry. And what is the distribution of Repub vs Dem control at the state level? (I haven't looked recently) You can claim the Senate, but nothing else.

And, one could and would argue, the difference is largely made up by the Dems abandoning the Dixiecrats.
I was arguing a while back that the Dems are abandoning all their conservatives. You have no conservative Senators left, you have no moderate Senators left, and now you're screaming that Lieberman should leave the party (Nelson keeps a low profile, but I'm surprised I don't hear more against him). You may think it's a good thing to purge the unfaithful, but how much of the US are you going to end up representing when you do?

And as Kevin has posted many times, the "liberal agenda" is something that most people agree with.
Well, I'd argue that the Dems are no longer liberals, but leftists. However, I've worked myself into a situation here where you wouldn't accept my arguments in good faith. But consider this: I agree with a liberal agenda, but I don't agree with Democrats.

their willingness to shout "fire!" and scare people into voting for them
You mean like cartoons showing Republican's pushing old people in wheelchairs off cliffs? Let's not slip into thinking Democrats are pure.

Assuming, of course, that a weakened Bush doesn't just cancel all future elections.
I trust this was joke. First, how could a weakened Bush do this? The road to grabbing power runs differently. Second... aw hell, nevermind, if this wasn't a joke I can't cure paranoia.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

But consider this: I agree with a liberal agenda, but I don't agree with Democrats.

To the extent that that is true, I would argue that that is because the word "Democrats" now has the meaning assigned to it by Rush, Coulter, etc. Democrats are anti-american, fag-loving, traitors and socialists. Everyone "knows" that.

Yet strangely, half the country votes for them.

I trust this was joke. First, how could a weakened Bush do this?

Kinda. He would do it because he is weakened. He would wake up one day and say "But I'm the president, dammit!" and declare himself king.

I listened to Yoo this morning on the radio - what a dangerous, dangerous man he is. And he - and people like him - are whispering in Shrub's ear every day, saying "you're god, you're the messiah, they're all wrong, they're all against you, they're all traitors."

So yeah, it was a joke. I'm pretty sure.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

the word "Democrats" now has the meaning assigned to it by Rush, Coulter, etc.
Yes, the right has attempted to turn the words "Democrat" and "liberal" into something derogatory. But the left has done the same thing with the words "Republican" and "conservative".

I submit the difference is that the liberals have helped make the word "liberal" derogatory. Starting with the Vietnam War. And the left is doing the same thing now as they did then, I recently saw this

Let's start off with a few quotations, then a question. In reference to the president's State of the Union: "Sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say." "Bush is threatening the whole planet." "[The] U.S. wants to keep the world divided." Then the speaker asks, "Who is probably the most violent nation on the planet?" and shouts "The United States!" [source]
These are the kinds of things that self-proclaimed "liberals" say. It doesn't take much work from the right to make "liberals" out to look bad.

And since Democrats are throwing out their conservatives and moderates, they are willfully populating their party with people like that. So the Democrats are helping themselves become the party of liberals, and liberals are working hard to make the "liberal" label a bad one. (Remember: We support the troops - When they shoot their officers)

So yeah, it was a joke. I'm pretty sure.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, the right moaned the same thing about Clinton.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 23, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. You link to someone I've never heard of, who has no power, and suggest that this is somehow equivalent to Coulter and Rush. What's wrong with this picture?

Since we're being reasonable men for a while, try reading this all the way through.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

There's no chance we go into Darfuor. IN order to avoid Democatic backstabbing he'll wait until they demand it and that's not going to happen. Even if it did get that far GWB would then make the French, Germans and Canadians commit troops to prevent backstabbing. You know that's not going to happen.

Posted by: rdw on February 23, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I couldn't find it in time for my last post, but this if you're in an expansive mood.

Posted by: craigie on February 23, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

All nations that signed and ratified the treaty against genocide are obligated to intervine (go to war) when any of the other signatories officially declare a genocide is taking place. There may be more legalities, but that is the jist. A genocide is officially defined as the killing of 5% of a specific recognizable group (religiuos, ethnic, etc.). If any of the nations really cared they would have declared the actions in Darfur a genocide.

The US is obligated to act on genocides because, as a nation, we made decision to be obligated. Otherwise we should not have signed the treaty. Each and every nation that signed the treaty is equally obligated. The first coarse of action is to get one nation to officially declare a genocide is occuring in Darfur.

Posted by: james on February 23, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK
All nations that signed and ratified the treaty against genocide are obligated to intervine (go to war) when any of the other signatories officially declare a genocide is taking place.

No, they are not. No such provision exists in the Convention, presuming you are referring to the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide".

A genocide is officially defined as the killing of 5% of a specific recognizable group (religiuos, ethnic, etc.).

Not it is defined, in the aforementioned Convention, thusly:

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 23, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK
There's no chance we go into Darfuor. IN order to avoid Democatic backstabbing he'll wait until they demand it and that's not going to happen.

So Bush is afraid of the Democrats, so afraid that he'll allow a genocide to occur rather than risk tangling with them? Coward.


Even if it did get that far GWB would then make the French, Germans and Canadians commit troops to prevent backstabbing.

So Bush needs French, German, and Canadian troops to protect himself against the likes of Ted Kennedy and Cindy Sheehan? Even bigger coward.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 23, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush can say whatever he wants, he has no intention of intervening militarily in Sudan, and never has.

Posted by: Jimm on February 23, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

So Bush needs French, German, and Canadian troops to protect himself against the likes of Ted Kennedy and Cindy Sheehan? Even bigger coward.

Yeah, you're right. We should do this unilaterally. I'm sure you and other liberals would approve.

Does it bother you that some of you have almost no consistent positions on foreign policy at all, with the possible exception of "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it?"

Posted by: tbrosz on February 23, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Flanders: Does it bother you that some of you have almost no consistent positions on foreign policy at all, with the possible exception of "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it?"

Considering the concrete results of Bush's foreign policy (a free Osama bin Laden, Iraq in chaos, Afghanistan at the heroin factory of the world, nuclear-armed North Korea, the US in hock to China, destruction of our alliances, enmity to the US at a historic high, etc.), "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it" is actually a quite pragmatic and intelligent course to take. If you know that someone will fuck up every single thing he'll ever do, why not just do the opposite?

Posted by: Stefan on February 23, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Does it bother you that some of you have almost no consistent positions on foreign policy at all, with the possible exception of "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it?"

I've been consistently against the war in Iraq and consistently against nation building and I'm not sure if you're setting up a strawman here, but this is ridiculous--

The Republican Party can't be trusted to defend America anymore. Do you want a rundown of US Army units that couldn't possibly be deployed to Darfur to help stabilize the region?

Just this week, a Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to lovely San Diego, worn out from an emergency deployment to support the Iraqi elections. Troops that were once stationed in Germany have rotated through Iraq and are being redeployed back to the States under the new reorganization rules.

Would you have us pull the last two or three remaining brigades in Korea? Hopefully the Han River won't be frozen over next month. Wonder what the Great Leader (the one in N Korea) thinks of the idea of more US troops being sent to conduct nation building and stabilization operations in Darfur.

It's kind of sad watching the Republican Party claim to be for nation building when they spent a decade deriding it.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 23, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

I've been consistently against the war in Iraq and consistently against nation building and I'm not sure if you're setting up a strawman here, but this is ridiculous--

"Fixing" Darfur with military action and making it stick would be nation-building. You for it or against it? How about after our forces get hit with their first roadside bomb?

Posted by: tbrosz on February 24, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Does it bother you that some of you have almost no consistent positions on foreign policy at all, with the possible exception of "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it?"

OK, let's see how this plan of "find out what Bush will do, and oppose it" would have worked in the real world:

DON'T ignore PDBs titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US."

DON'T destroy the deficit and DO build up a surplus.

DON'T mortgage America's future to Chinese Communist bankers.

DON'T engage in a three year guerilla war in Iraq, wasting thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars for nothing.

DON'T destroy America's alliances.

DON'T sit idly by as North Korea goes nuclear and Iran prepares to follow.

DON'T let Osama bin Laden get away.

DON'T ignore New Orleans' devastation during Hurricane Katrina.

Hmmm...I'm sure there's a flaw in this plan here somewhere, but I can't find it yet....

Posted by: Stefan on February 24, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

We need a no-fly zone, patrolled by NATO aircraft based out of Chad with the mandate to shoot down any Sudanese planes willing to challenge it.
The operational example is Operation Provide Comfort, when the US successfuly utilized a no-fly zone to protect the Kurds from Saddam's aircraft in the early 90's, allowing international aid agencies and groups to relieve the suffering of the Kurds.
The same could happen in Darfur, at the relatively low cost of a USAF deployment that lasts a year or 18 month. Aircraft from other NATO countries, like Spain, Italy and Germany, could be successfully utilized to augment the USAF mission.
You'd stop this round of brutal ethnic cleansing and save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Its possible, and it could be deployed in less than a month. Can Pres. Bush be pushed by American activists (from the left, center and right of our spectrum) to authorize it?

Or better yet, could Sen. McCain, along with Obama, Brownback, Biden, Clinton, Graham and others, push this onto the agenda and force Pres. Bush to take action?

Posted by: Eddie B. on February 24, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm...I'm sure there's a flaw in this plan here somewhere, but I can't find it yet....

The funny thing is, you're right. I can't think of a single thing.

DON'T leak national security secrets for partisan political gain.

See? It just writes itself.

Bush - the best anti-president the world has ever seen.

Posted by: craigie on February 24, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Troops that were once stationed in Germany have rotated through Iraq and are being redeployed back to the States under the new reorganization rules."

With no U.S. troops in Germany, can we rely on the French to keep the Huns in check?

Posted by: Matt on February 24, 2006 at 6:23 AM | PERMALINK

craigie
You link to someone I've never heard of, who has no power, and suggest that this is somehow equivalent to Coulter and Rush.
Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. Guys like what I linked to aren't equivalent to Rush and Coulter, guys like that make Coulter and Rush's job easier.

Look at all the slime the left has thrown at Bush (or DeLay, I can go on), you can't claim the left isn't trying. I agree that the right has been more successful, but guys like what I linked to are why. When the right jumps up and says "Liberals hate the United States!", they can then produce that guy for proof. He'll happily say he's a liberal and then procede to spout more shit like that. As I said, it makes Coulter and Rush's job real easy to demonize liberals (and by extension Democrats).

Since we're being reasonable men for a while, try reading this all the way through.
That linked between two posts, with the end of the first post dead center screen, so I don't know which one you are referring to. I read them both. First, I don't disagree with any of it. It is a little selective, e.g. anti-Bush and anti-Republican books are a dime a dozen as well. And if you think the books written by the right are worse, I submit that is because of your viewpoint. And also, I truly believe that the reason the right is more successful is because of guys like what I linked to. The liberals are making it easy. Second, I liked the guy, put him on my favorites so I can try some more.

Oh, and I couldn't find it in time for my last post, but this if you're in an expansive mood.
Now there's a guy that missed many points, but I think maybe the example will help me explain one of the main reasons why liberal has become a bad word.

You can certainly claim that Coulter has extreme views, and you can certainly claim that Coulter has rained some substantial abuse on liberals and Democrats. But you can't claim she's anti-American. You can claim Ward Churchill is anti-American.

I think this is important because the thing that irritates me most about the left is that I do not see where they think that the United States is a great place, today. I know we've got room to improve, but we are starting from a position of strength (and not just militarily, but economically and most important, morally). When a liberal says "We've got to reduce poverty", hell I agree. What I disagree with is how to go about it. But when a lefty says "The United States sucks and we need a complete overhaul", I don't even have anything to talk about with an idiot like that.

And in case you guys didn't notice during the Clinton years: The politics of personal destruction is not productive.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

DON'T leak national security secrets for partisan political gain.
NYT publishing covert charter airlines used by the CIA, is that what you're talking about? And haven't investigations been asked for in the leaking of the CIA prisons and NSA programs? Wasn't that a major talking point of the left: "Since an investigation was asked for, it's clear illegal activity took place"?

Right and wrong are defined by the action, not by who did it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK


cn: NYT publishing covert charter airlines used by the CIA, is that what you're talking about?

no outing a cia agent...

and if the defense is....

vp declassified her secret status...

just in time for libby and rove to out her...

i'm sure you can find an excuse as to why it took 2.5-years to offer that up....


hussien has terror ties....none to al-q...

we invade..

uae has personal relationship with obl...

let's do business...

flip floppin away...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

thisspace
Let me explain the major difference between the UAE and lefties: Since 9/11 the UAE has cleaned up it's act. You moonbats appear incapable of that.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK


cn:Since 9/11 the UAE has cleaned up it's act.


if that were true...you could have typed that claim....

about 18-hours ago..

but you didnt think of it til now?


and no excuse about how outing a cia agent is either illegal...

or...

they declassified that fact on the fly...

so it wouldnt be...

wonder why it took them so long to make that claim?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

if that were true...you could have typed that claim
Here's your clue: It's not my job to educate you out of your stunning ignorance.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

You can certainly claim that Coulter has extreme views, and you can certainly claim that Coulter has rained some substantial abuse on liberals and Democrats. But you can't claim she's anti-American.

She's called for a building full of Americans to be bombed and a Supreme Court Justice to be posioned. She couldn't be more anti-american if she were Osama bin Laden.

Posted by: tam1MI on February 24, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Air America has called for the President to be shot. What's your point? I suppose you just notice political attacks when the right does them.

Coulter has never called for "a thousand Mogadishus", she hasn't supported attacks on our troops, she hasn't said we are a nation of "little Eichmans". Nor has she been tolerant on those that have.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose I should defend my statement about "supporting attacks on our troopss", so here goes:

I salute Hasan Akbar for doing what every descendent of slaves should be doing: taking the head of the slave master's children, in the best tradition of ole prophet Nat. Details will be known in time, but it's clear to me the brother knew the real enemy was not Saddam Hussain, but his superiors in the American military, mass murderers in the guise of liberators

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK


cn: Here's your clue: It's not my job to educate you out of your stunning ignorance.


so all the responses to my specific posts....

was what?

odd that it took 18-hours for your simple claim to be typed....

very entertaining....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Air America has called for the President to be shot. ?

the network?


lol....


cn doesnt bother with the details....

makes it easier to be a dead ender....

all claims .. all the time...

proof through assertion...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK


cn: Coulter has never called for "a thousand Mogadishus", she hasn't supported attacks on our troops, she hasn't said we are a nation of "little Eichmans". Nor has she been tolerant on those that have.

and cn's statement....changes the previous one he is responding to...

not in the least...


She's called for a building full of Americans to be bombed and a Supreme Court Justice to be posioned. She couldn't be more anti-american if she were Osama bin Laden.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

so all the responses to my specific posts....

was what?

I just like to keep you responding because I like your odd formatting.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 24, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK


speaking of traitors....

cn....still nothing?


cn: NYT publishing covert charter airlines used by the CIA, is that what you're talking about?


no outing a cia agent...

and if the defense is....

vp declassified her secret status...

just in time for libby and rove to out her...

i'm sure you can find an excuse as to why it took 2.5-years to offer that up....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 24, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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