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Tilting at Windmills

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April 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH AND DEMOCRACY....This is what I was talking about a couple of days ago:

While President Bush vows to transform Iraq into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, his administration has been scaling back funding for the main organizations trying to carry out his vision by building democratic institutions such as political parties and civil society groups....The shortfall threatens projects that teach Iraqis how to create and sustain political parties, think tanks, human rights groups, independent media outlets, trade unions and other elements of democratic society.

...."Money keeps getting transferred away to security training. Democracy's one of the things that's been transferred," said Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's project on democracy and the rule of law. "Without that, all the other stuff looks like just background work."

Is democracy promotion really something that George Bush cares deeply about? Let's review the bidding.

During the 2000 campaign, Bush derided the very idea of nation building. Promoting democracy in foreign countries was simply not something he believed was a high priority for the United States.

Did 9/11 change fundamentally change George Bush's worldview? The record says no. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Bush barely even mentioned democracy promotion as a reason for war. In the 2003 State of the Union Address he devoted over a thousand words to Iraq and didn't mention democracy once. Paul Wolfowitz specifically left out democracy promotion as a major goal of the war when he later recounted the administration's internal decision making process for Sam Tannenhaus.

Nor did the invasion itself envision democracy in Iraq as its goal. Rather, the plan was to install some favored exiles as proconsuls and reduce our military presence to 30,000 troops almost immediately.

Later, when Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisted on elections, Bush resisted as long as he could, throwing up excuse after excuse until it became clear he had no choice. In the end, he punted the whole issue to United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who finally created a credible plan for Iraqi elections.

What's more, in the surrounding regions, Bush has shown himself to be exactly the type of realist he supposedly derides. Hamas won elections in Palestine and he immediately tried to undermine them. Egypt held sham elections and got nothing more than a bit of mild tut tutting. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia remain our closest allies.

And now this. A man who is supposedly passionate about democracy can't rouse himself to bother funding it. Instead the money is going into security.

These decisions may or may not be defensible, but they are plainly not the decisions of a man dedicated to spreading democracy and the fact that he repeatedly says otherwise doesn't change this. So once and for all, can we please stop hearing about democracy promotion as a central goal of the Bush administration? It's just a slogan and nothing more.

Kevin Drum 1:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (110)

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Comments

To be perfectly fair, Bush does use the words "democratic" and "democracy" in his SOTU. Of course the first of those is in regards to Palestine and the second in regards to Iran.

When talking about Iraq, it is all about listing the weapons Hussein still had. At least the weapons Hussein had in George's imagination.

Posted by: heavy on April 5, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Democracy in Iraq was just some intangible, feel good bullshit they thought up once the dire threat of Iraqi WMD fell through.

And if democracy was their real goal, why do they want 14 enduring U.S. military bases there, which happen to be sitting on top of the world's second largest proven oil reserves?

And how come nobody in the mass media is asking that question?

Posted by: Space Shuttle on April 5, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum >"...It's just a slogan and nothing more."

So what ?

That is what Conservatism also is to ReThuglicans

Why is anyone surprised about this ?

"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." - Isaac Asimov

Posted by: daCascadian on April 5, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Judging by what Bush's Homeland Security Deputy Press Secretary just got caught doing:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060405/pl_nm/crime_doyle_dc_4

It doesn't seem like he cares too much about Homeland Security, or moral values either.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 5, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I figure Bush can give the whole democracy thing another shot--in Iran.

Posted by: KC on April 5, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Um, how is democracy supposed to thrive in the anarchic environment that Iraq has become? If political candidates can't safely leave their homes, if citizens can't hold public meetings, etc., etc., it ain't a democracy.

You're moving the goalposts here, Drum.

Posted by: trotsky on April 5, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

Democracy is much more than just an empty slogan for George W. Bush.

It's a talking point.

Posted by: Repack Rider on April 5, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

A country cannot be transformed into a democracy by throwing money at it.

You need to to throw bombs at it.

Posted by: lib on April 5, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

No, no, no... you have it all wrong. What Bush has repeatedly said is that he is bringing Iraq American Style Democracy, not Democracy. I think to look at what is happening in Iraq is pointless if you are trying to determine the current state of their Democracy because we do not know what to look for. Where we should be looking is here in America to see what Bush is turning OUR Democracy into, and when it has been twisted, tortured, and bloodied beyond all recognition then check to see where Iraq is. I think that once we redefine our own Democracy we will see that Iraqi Democracy has been on course all along!

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on April 5, 2006 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: Is democracy promotion really something that George Bush cares deeply about? Let's review the bidding.

As if you have to go to Iraq, the Middle East or anywhere beyond our borders to prove that Bush doesn't give squat about democracy. Yes, he cares about capitalism, that false synonym for democracy that plutocrats have managed to delude even many liberals into believing is close enough. Even then, Bush's corrupt and dishonest brand of capitalism, far from the inherent unfairness of the system in its neutral state, is further rigged to primarily benefit its most unscrupulous practitioners.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 5, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

George asked Dick, "Dick, this 'Democracy' stuff in Iraq has me stumped. Can you find funding for it."

Dick replied sourly, "No way. Haliburton doesn't do 'Democracy'. No money in it."

George was in a pickle, "What to do? What to do?" he asked himself through the day.

George continued to puzzle through the day and through the night, "Democracy... democracy... democracy... where have I heard that before?"

With the first light of dawn, the cry was heard, "Democracy! Democrats! Democracy! Democrats! That's the ticket!"

At long last, after many hours of hard work, George had found the answer. (Being President is hard work when you're an idiot.)

Barbara clapped and shouted gleefully "Oh George! You did it! You did it!"

Barney cried joyfully, "Bark! Bark!", as he humped George's leg excitedly.

*** The End ***

Which is why Iraq democracy efforts are today funded through the efforts of Kennedy, Lugar, Biden, McConnell and Leahy.

Posted by: has407 on April 5, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Just more of the same.

I was in bed with flu, fading in and out, when GW had his last White House press conference.

I was disappointed that I didn't hear anyone follow up on Helen Thomas' questions about telling us why we really invaded Iraq. I know everyone has their own questions, but we don't often get a chance to show that either he doesn't know are can't say, and it would be good to have a starting point with the US people.

Equally GW said: "If I did not believe that we have aplan to win in Iraq, I would pull the kids out . . ." (Kids. Look at the age of the dead!)
Later: "We have a plan to win . . ." "We have a strategy to win . . ." (Boy! Does he know the difference?) Anyway, I dindn't hear one, not ONE journalist ask the obvious. "Mr. President, can you tell us your plan?" Blown!

He doesn't have a plan. They threw away all the post-invasion plans before they even started.

Someone has got to get a grip on this situation if there is any hope of retrieval. Everyone who is not speaking out is guilty of condoning the staus quo. These guys are too dangerous!

Rumsfeld and Casey out now! Lets get whatever help we can from wherever. Does Iraq need a triumvirate government for the mo', like Kosovo but different. Lets get some ideas and motion in this thing!!!

Posted by: notthere on April 5, 2006 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

BOOM! - The hammer comes down, hard!!!

Kevin, this may be your best blog posting ever. This Administration has been all about funding the war machine and keeping this country on a permanent war footing, which is antithetical to the intent of the Founding Fathers. Bush is just a front man for the military-industrial complex, that Ike warned us about. But, playing the role salves his ego, since most of his life has been failure, and he can strut, peacock-like, in a flight suit and call himself a "war president". Infantile.

Of course, we should have seen it coming when Dick Cheney, the most hawkish politician in decades, picked himself to be Bush's VP. The PNAC document provided the roadmap, as well. All this nonsensical talk about "spreading democracy" is just diversionary. These clowns care not a whit about democracy - they have tried to overthrow Hugo Chavez, a democratically elected leader and they also repudiate the Palestinian leaders who were elected in elections less rigged than our own.

Keep speaking truth to power, Kevin. It becomes you.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 5, 2006 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Support our troops" is also an empty slogan of the administration that cuts vet's benefits every chance they get.

Posted by: gus on April 5, 2006 at 6:40 AM | PERMALINK

George thought he was smarter than all those experts and he could just install a friendly, open society without all the fuss and muss, I guess. What a dangerous, stupid tool.

Posted by: Some Guy on April 5, 2006 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well he's more committed than the Democratic party...

Posted by: McA on April 5, 2006 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

With due respect, Kevin, I'll vehemently disagree about the pre-war democratization arguments. They were made, and they were made at every level -- from the PNAC people, to administration officials, to Bush (repeatedly).

Posted by: Jon Henke on April 5, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

At least we have slogans, Kevin!

Thank Jesus that the Dems don't run on the "accomplishments" under Clinton/Gore (surplus, reduced poverty, soaring markets). Rather, they just bend over and take the Republicans' ... um ... abuse.

And why care about democracy if you have Diebold to do God's Will?

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on April 5, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Well he's more committed than the Democratic party..."

You'll have to forgive McA...poor fella...he rarely has a clue as to what he's talking about...

Posted by: Malay Fascist on April 5, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

We can reconcile all administration statements with reality if we just insert the phrase "...to talk about supporting..." in everything they say. Thus, "Bush vows to talk about supporting democracy in Iraq", "Bush plans to talk about supporting reduced deficits", and so on. In this we can restore honesty and integrity to the White House!

Posted by: sglover on April 5, 2006 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Well done Kevin, it can't be said often enough.

Posted by: grytpype on April 5, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

OK Jon, but do you agree that Bush's Plan A for Iraq was to install a leader instead of holding general elections, but he was forced into elections by Sistani?

Because that is in fact what happened.

Posted by: grytpype on April 5, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

John Henke,

The point is not that Bush was opposed to democratization in Iraq... the point is that he never made democratization a central theme in his argument for invading Iraq. Maybe he brought it up a few times, as you point out at your blog... but everyone knew that the threat of WMDs and terrorist ties was the casus beli for war.

True, the Neocons and PNAC crew supported a political transformation of the Middle East... but, the reason they had their sights set on this region of the world ( as opposed to the countless other regions desperately in need of better governance) had everything to do with the OIL. Everything. Energy security is a critical national security issue for the U.S. Carter said it and Bush knows it... but he keeps talking about Democratization as if it were the end... not the means to an end.

The end, my friend, is OIL. Without it, our economy would flounder and our trillion dollar war machine would be useless.

Posted by: Mitch on April 5, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Jon Henke,

grytpype has a point. That -- and the fact that Bush is unwilling to fund programs that are specifically aimed at promoting democratic institutions in Iraq -- kinda crushes the premise of your argument. ...that is, if you are suggesting that democracy promotion is really anything more than a cheap slogan.

Posted by: Mitch on April 5, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

I guess "whatever it takes" doesn't include spending money on building democratic institutions.

Just like "supporting our troops" doesn't mean equipping them with the best body armor.

That's our Bush.

Posted by: RT on April 5, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

During the 2000 campaign, Bush derided the very idea of nation building.
Just goes to show you that Republican's are capable of changing with the times. It's a good thing, you lefties ought to try it.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Jon,

With due respect, Kevin, I'll vehemently disagree about the pre-war democratization arguments. They were made, and they were made at every level -- from the PNAC people, to administration officials, to Bush (repeatedly).

It's cute you believed them. I mean being against democracy is like being against puppies. Every President in the 20th century said it was our duty to spread democracy why should this guy be any different? Or did you forget about the 20th century?

But what, in the billions of dollars spent and the thousands of lives extinguished has really been accomplished?

Are Iraqis safer (compared, specifically, to the era between the first Gulf War and this one)? Do they have a higher standard of living? Is Sharia a worthy goal of 'democracy'?

If you believe the real goal was to get rid of Hussein, well then Mission Accomplished -- but to instill democratic values that would miraculously spread like wildfire? Are you that gullible? A country that actually has a deep democratic tradition is Iran and even with the Ayatollahs, the culture is more democratically oriented. In case you haven't noticed, the forced 'democracy' in Iraq has led directly to Iran electing an anti-American jackass, Syria to crackdown on liberalization, Hamas being elected and sham elections in Egypt and Saudi Arabia which just increases the cynicism of the Arabs who see the US commitment, rightly, as nothing more than windy rhetoric.

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

A very nice analysis, Kevin Drum.

The key to understanding George Bush, I believe, is that he is a salesman. He sells product. He doesn't think for himself. He is a competitive, incurious man who has conformed to the narrow, unexamined worldview of the Texas conservative superrich--people with tons of money and no wisdom. Unlike many salesmen, however, he doesn't have a conscience: He views himself as above the law and other people are the means to his ends, so when he is selling, he will say anything if it helps him close the sale. And like any good salesman, he is very good at impression management and telling people what they want to hear. He adopts the buzz to impress the dupes and sell the product.

The product, after 9/11, was the invasion of Iraq. The Neo-Con vision of democracy blooming in the desert gave him his pitch.

Bush sold the invasion by rousing fears that we were about to be attacked with nuclear weapons because few Americans would buy an invasion to "export democracy." He began promoting the trope of "democracy" after the sale was made and the buyers were starting to express some doubt.

Does he believe in democracy promotion? I imagine that he probably believes that he does, but like all incompetent people, he doesn't know enough to know how little he knows. It is all a sales campaign: impress the dupes, close the sale.

All in all, as a business model, Bushco definitely needs fewer salesmen and more investment in research and operations.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 5, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

the forced 'democracy' in Iraq has led directly to Iran electing an anti-American jackass, Syria to crackdown on liberalization, Hamas being elected and sham elections in Egypt and Saudi Arabia
That's right, all the trouble in the world is the fault of GW Bush. If we'd only elected Kerry, we'd all be sitting down to cookies and soy based milk substitute with the terrorists by now.

You moonbats are great, keep up the entertainment.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Ahh, yes. When a Democrat changes his mind and pulls a complete 180, it's a flip-flop. But when a Republican does it, it's "changing with the times." Thanks for clearing that up. I look forward to the day when Bush gets blown by an intern and people like conspiracy nut make excuses and declare their sympathy for a man who was clearly going through some tough times and was looking for a way to blow off some steam.

Posted by: Doug on April 5, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Right, the U.S. invasion in Iraq did nothing to affect politics in the Middle East. Which is only the diametric opposite of what it was supposed to do, nut, or didn't you get the PNAC rhetoric the first time around? The thing is, they were only half right -- it DID affect Middle Eastern politics, just not in the way they hoped.

Iran, they're only developing long-range weapons and nukes (after electing an anti-American, anti-Semite) in a vaccuum. Not because of any "Axis of Evil" shit, or the war on their border. What's it like being that obtuse?

Our allies, giving in to American pressure -- namely Egypt and Saudi Arabia -- held elections. They were shams. This isn't conspiracy douchebag, it was all over the news. Condi was 'disappointed'. You might remember, if you cared to.

And Syria? Read the fucking paper you idiot. Just today, P1 of the Times: Syria Imposing Stronger Curbs on Opposition While Placating Islamic Conservatives.You might not believe it because you prefer to live in some fantasy world of arbitrary happenstance, but it's pretty easy to see why Assad would start courting the nutjob Islamist right while crushing those interested in liberalizing Syria.

And sure, Hamas' elections had far, far more to do with Israeli policies than U.S. ones but whether you even have the slightest shred of honesty or not, Bush's stated policies and his wildly counterproductive rhetoric and belligerence has directly influenced these actions.

Why don't you think so? Or can Bush's actions only result in good to the cultists?

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Whenever President Bush talks about spreading Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, what he means is spreading God, Christianity, Faith.

Posted by: tgm on April 5, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for clearing that up
Always happy to help.

it DID affect Middle Eastern politics
It sure did, support for terrorism is down, Libya gave up its WMDs, Syria withdrew from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is fighting terrorists, UAE gave up the terrorist financing networks; there have been all kinds of changes.

Of course, being a pessimistic moonbat like you are, you only see the bad things. And I can see your viewpoint; when you ignore all the good things, there's only bad things to look at.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Please correct me if I am incorrect, but I thought we were funding "freedom" in Iraq - Perhaps, not democracy, but the "freedom" of Halliburton to have any contract it wishes.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 5, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Look at all those accomplishments! Nut, you live in a wonderful gumdrop world. Maybe someday, indeed, we can all get along.

support for terrorism is down

Yep. Hamas is an organization of statesmen. See, it's easy to say, hard to quantify in human terms.

Libya gave up its WMDs

The process of which had been going on since the dreaded Clinton years. And since Iran is ramping up their WMD programs, I'd say it's a little less than a wash. But hey, at least Bush can now claim he's got Quaddafi on his side.

Syria withdrew from Lebanon
And promptly killed the Prime Minister. Thankfully, they have no influence anymore. But yeah, overall, that's a good thing, sorry I didn't mention it before.

UAE gave up the terrorist financing networks
A mere three years after 9/11? That was nice of them. Of course, I don't believe it, but its nice of you to take them on their word.

Saudi Arabia is fighting terrorists

Uh...Yeah. Ok. You know, except for their continued support of Hamas -- who, as we have established are now statesmen with popular support, not terrorists, the autocratic regime who has given billions to support madrasses worldwide (and continues to do so) is now fighting terrorists under some definition of the word.

Your list, nut, is the "What about Poland?" of Middle East success stories.

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Of course, being a pessimistic moonbat like you are, you only see the bad things. And I can see your viewpoint; when you ignore all the good things, there's only bad things to look at."

Why don't you go over to Baghdad, and walk around the streets like Ralph Peters, so you can tell us how great things are over there? Maybe that will get us to flip-flop - excuse me, I mean "change with the times." After all, there's nothing wrong in Iraq that a little optimism can't cure.

Posted by: brewmn on April 5, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

It's just a slogan and nothing more.

By Jove, I think Kevin's got it!

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Great post, Kevin. This is a message that bears repeating as often as possible.

n.o.l.t.f.Your list, nut, is the "What about Poland?" of Middle East success stories.

Indeed. As my mama used to say, "If you don't have anything credible to say, don't say anything at all."

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Great post Kevin. Bush and the Republicans have talked so much about democracy promotion in the Middle East and around the world that they've got people believing that they've actually attempted to do it, and just botched it up. But that's simply not true. The Bush administration has never fully bought into any philosophy or doctrine, not even neo-conservatism, beyond the extent with which it could be used to further their political purposes. All of this talk about democracy promotion is for us here at home; it means nothing outside of our country.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on April 5, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I really wish I lived in the sunny cartoon world of the moonbat. All the world's problems are easily solved, a Democrat just snaps their fingers and Presto!, everything is cool. (Kind of makes you wonder why we have any problems in the world since they're so easily solved)

The support for terrorism being down is the number one indicator, children. Remember your Mao? (Surely you've all got a copy of his book on your coffee table) Civilians are the ocean that insurgents swim in. You don't defeat insurgents militarily (y'all keep telling me this), you defeat them politically (as in: withdraw their support).

And speaking of Iran, why all the bitching and moaning? I thought we were supposed to let the UN do things like this, or the sensitive and ever so effective Europeans; hell, anyone but GW. It looks to me like GW is adopting your lousy plan. How's it working out?

But hey, don't look at both sides, it might cloud your judgement.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten,

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060405/pl_nm/crime_doyle_dc_4

Yeesh. What IS it with these guys?

A year or so ago we had a guy locally who was big in the local Republican party and wrote columns for the local paper that were right out of freeperland. Pure Limbaugh talking points.

Next thing you know he is caught exposing himself and beating off in front of girls under 12 years old in a local mall parking lot.

I mean the cops traced him to his house and he finally confessed, so there is no question he did it.

Just like the priesthood attracts gay pedophiles I think the republican party attracts sexual perverts.

Posted by: Tripp on April 5, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Next thing you know he is caught exposing himself and beating off in front of girls under 12 years old in a local mall parking lot.

I mean the cops traced him to his house and he finally confessed, so there is no question he did it.

And yet he posts here every day defending David Koresh. Can we get some truth in sentencing, please?!

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Just goes to show you that Republican's are capable of changing with the times. It's a good thing, you lefties ought to try it

I thought you called it flip-flopping cnut? Dems do it when they learn - Republicans do it when their ideology is proven false.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

we'd all be sitting down to cookies and soy based ....

Zzzzzzz

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

I think the republican party attracts sexual perverts.
Well you know, some perverts get off in parking lots, others in the Oval Office...

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I forgot something:

Libya gave up its WMDs

In which case, the Clinton Middle East policy was an overwhelming success because, under his watch, Saddam gave up WMDs, AND fought terrorists (he killed Abu Nadal and wouldn't let Al Queda set up camps in the areas of Iraq he controlled -- they did, but in Kurdish areas).

But whatever, right nut?

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't you go over to Baghdad, and walk around the streets like Ralph Peters

Or take pictures like Kaloogian...

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

The support for terrorism being down is the number one indicator

You know, I really wished I lived in the sunny cartoon world of the wild-eyed wingnut, where all you do is claim something is true and presto!, it's true. Back here on Earth, though, we usually have to deal with something known as reality:

U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism
State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report

By Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 27, 2005; Page A01

The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week.

Overall, the number of what the U.S. government considers "significant" attacks grew to about 655 last year, up from the record of around 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides who were briefed on statistics covering incidents including the bloody school seizure in Russia and violence related to the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir.

Terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased, from 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year's total -- a sensitive subset of the tally, given the Bush administration's assertion that the situation there had stabilized significantly after the U.S. handover of political authority to an interim Iraqi government last summer.

The State Department announced last week that it was breaking with tradition in withholding the statistics on terrorist attacks from its congressionally mandated annual report. Critics said the move was designed to shield the government from questions about the success of its effort to combat terrorism by eliminating what amounted to the only year-to-year benchmark of progress.

Posted by: Stefan on April 5, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well you know, some perverts get off in parking lots, others in the Oval Office...

Right. Because having consensual sex with an adult is just like jerking off in front of children under 12.

Republicans: They're either having felonious sex or they're so unfamiliar with it that they think it's all created alike.

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, I kinda like Clinton. He was a better Republican that Bush is. Signed most of the Contract with America that made it to him, failed to screw up the boom, and provided a whole lot of entertainment.

You lefties are good for entertainment.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

...or they're so unfamiliar with it...

...should have been so unfamiliar with sex in general.

Posted by: shortstop on April 5, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
I know this is going to be difficult for you to follow, but then, your inability to understand simple concepts isn't my problem.

There is a difference between counting the number of terrorist attacks and support for those terrorist acts among civilians.

It's the inability to understand things like that that make you moonbats so entertaining.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I really wish I lived in the sunny cartoon world of the moonbat.

Wow. Just wow.
Nut, I thought we were hopelessly pessimistic and couldn't see all this lovely reduction of terrorist support that you trumpet with absolutely no proof? Make up your mind or are you "changing with the times"?

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Well you know, some perverts get off in parking lots, others in the Oval Office...

I finally agree with Nut, Bush has made a perversity of the Oval Office.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

There is a difference between counting the number of terrorist attacks and support for those terrorist acts among civilians.

Still no evidence presented.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Make up your mind or are you "changing with the times"?
I'm really happy to help with education of moonbats, I am, here's your clue.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

There is a difference between counting the number of terrorist attacks and support for those terrorist acts among civilians.

Yes, because what matters isn't the number of terrorist attacks, or how many people get blown up, but how many people support it. So if terrorist attacks go up more than threefold in one year, but less people "support" terrorism (whatever that means) then that means we're winning, right?

A nice example of the fantasy world of the wild-eyed wingnut -- what matters is not what actually happens, but what people feel about what actually happens. So if, for example, we're really losing in Iraq, but you can get enough people to think that we're actually winning, then that's all that matters.

Posted by: Stefan on April 5, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

What IS it with these guys?

Doesn't this situation perfectly illustrate why Homeland Security and NSA should have court oversight of their eavesdropping activities?

Ultimately, all these guys manning the listening posts are human, with human weaknesses.

Posted by: xyz on April 5, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Still no evidence presented.
Let me get this straight, you need evidence that there is a difference between counting the number of terrorist attacks and support for those terrorist acts among civilians?

You guys just keep getting to be more fun.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan
Ah, so now you want to change your story that we can defeat insurgents militarily? Because if it's a sheer matter of counting incidents, why don't we count up how many terrorists the US has killed in the last 3 years as opposed to before that? Won't that be fun?

But you just keep shifting your position, that's a lot of fun to watch, too.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Send your post to the still delusional Tom Friedman.

Posted by: Jan on April 5, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, more deliberate dishonesty and mendacity from cnut - who could have predicted?

Still no evidence - plenty of misdirection though, no wonder you support the Bush admin.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

The Ironic Presidency of George W. Bush.

Posted by: Aaron Adams on April 5, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

You beat me to it. I see no comparison between seducing an adult woman and soliciting a 14 year old or, worse yet, traumatizing 10 year old girls.

I'm really starting to think the Republican party attracts losers and perverts who can't get a woman in the normal and natural way - through mutual attraction.

Posted by: Tripp on April 5, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well, at least we have the comfort of knowing that Iraq is NOT in a civil war....Dan

Posted by: Daniel F. Giallombardo on April 5, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

All of the boys in the band and their leaders GWB ( CHIMP ) and ( SHOTGUN ) CHANEY can be referred to as the isosceles triangles ; things that are equal to the same thing - are equal to each other.
They all should be wearing striped suits as that of a zebra

Posted by: BEEN THINKIN BOUT THAT on April 5, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK
There is a difference between counting the number of terrorist attacks and support for those terrorist acts among civilians.

There are degrees of support; if more people are actually carrying out terrorist attacks, and less of the people who aren't are supporting them, that is a decrease in one kind of support, but an increase in another, and arguably more important, kind of support for terrorism.

Certainly, acheiving that result has not enhanced the security of any of the people who might be victims of terrorism, so it is hardly something to be touted as a success in the "War on Terrorism".

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Judging by what Bush's Homeland Security Deputy Press Secretary just got caught doing:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060405/pl_nm/crime_doyle_dc_4

It doesn't seem like he cares too much about Homeland Security, or moral values either.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 5, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

I propose a new motto for DHS considering this is not the first member of the staff to be busted for this kind of crap...

"The Department of Homeland Security: Protecting America's Daughters From Everyone but our Secretaries."

Posted by: Dreggas on April 5, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

You don't defeat insurgents militarily (y'all keep telling me this), you defeat them politically (as in: withdraw their support).

Right. And this has to do with what, how? Are insurgents 'terrorists'? Is Hamas? Do they consider themselves as such? Does anyone? The Iraqi people seem to support the insurgency, which includes acts of terror, but it depends on who is doing the killing and terrorising. It seems that 'evildoers' are only evil if they're doing things to the wrong side. So, yeah, the people don't support 'terroism', but I think you'll find that plenty of them support things like 'killing American soldiers' to protect Sunni/Shiite interests.

And speaking of Iran, why all the bitching and moaning? I thought we were supposed to let the UN do things like this, or the sensitive and ever so effective Europeans; hell, anyone but GW. Itlooks to me like GW is adopting your lousy plan. How's it working out?

GW, having utterly botched things with a terrible Iran policy hands an excessively belligerent Iran with a newly-elected hardline nationalist president over to the UN is typical of him. He fucks up for years then wants other people to clean up his mess, when its exponentially more difficult. Funny, to listen to him now, he's doing the same thing in Iraq. The UN and Europe are in a nearly impossible, no-win situation because of the conditions Bush helped create by not listening to anyone to begin with. Good plan. That's some mean strategery your boy elected to follow, nut.

But hey, don't look at both sides, it might cloud your judgement.

I can't remember if the liberals were supposed to be ideologically ridgid or ineffectual flip-floppers. Nut, the RNC has to come out with a clarification. Could you get that one for us, please?

Nice to see the crazy right has embraced moral relavitism with such pansyassed gusto.

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly
And you moonbats claim I'm uninformed. But, like I said, I enjoy educating moonbats. Here you go. There have been earlier reports as well, but you can track the history of this yourself using Google.

And I can also give instructions for using Google, if that is also necessary.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Are insurgents 'terrorists'?
Whoa, are we having fun today. What happened, did somebody throw in the second stringers here? Terrorism is a tactic, people using the tactic of terrorism are terrorists. The insurgency is using terrorism; so yes, clown, they are terrorists.

He fucks up for years then wants other people to clean up his mess
Nice try, but GW has been letting the UN and Europe handle like you moonbats want, and he's been letting them handle it all along. How's it working out?

I can't remember if the liberals were supposed to be ideologically ridgid or ineffectual flip-floppers
Yep, definitely second string. The answer is both, the moonbat ideology is be a flip flopper. And you're not a liberal, liberalism is a fine institution with a long and glorious history. You are a lefty, a follower of a failed ideology.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you didn't believe in polls cnut? Oh sorry, that was just polls counter to your ideology. My bad.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you didn't believe in polls cnut?
You want me to list the threats to internal validity in the experimental design of polls again? The error margin is also unknown in this poll. What heartens me is that some of the polls taken are repeats over time, and while the error margin is still unknown the change between samples is accurate since the design errors are reproduced.

There is more to determing design validity than the moonbat method of: if we like the results it's valid, if we don't it isn't.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

How many conspiracy nuts does it take to put in a light bulb?

Two. One to hold the ladder and one to beat off in front of little girls.

Posted by: brewmn on April 5, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

ok that last one about conspiracy nuts and light bulbs had nothing to do with changing lightbulbs and was pretty...inane.

Sorry I'm for snark and even biting sarcasm/criticism but can we at least be adult about it?

Posted by: Dreggas on April 5, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Has any US President been able to keep his actions in accord with his talk about democracy promotion?

I know it's been a staple of our rhetoric since Wilson, but he showed he really felt about that in Haiti (occupied by the US in 1915, and under martial law while Woodrow was pushing the 14 Points) and Mexico. Other Presidents have been a good deal more sincere, but they've all ditched democracy the second it clashed with their policy goals.

I wish Bush was a realist (in the international relations theory sense of that term): his goals would have been a good deal narrower than they are.

I think he's found out that the limits of American power, like every other President who has decided to remake the world in our image on the theory that this would guarantee perpetual peace.

I think his talk against nation-building was the insincere thing.

As for the funding issues: given the incompetence Bush has displayed, would it surprise you if he was sincere, but he never thought about putting money aside to pay for programs to support his ideas?

Posted by: Nemo Ignotus on April 5, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Terrorism is a tactic, people using the tactic of terrorism are terrorists. The insurgency is using terrorism; so yes, clown, they are terrorists. -- cnut

support for terrorism is down -- cnut

Then these two statements offer an example of you lying to yourself, unless you think that the insurgency and Hamas' election are examples of dying support of terrorism.

It won't penetrate, but from a World Opinion poll: According to the poll's findings, 47 percent of Iraqis approve of attacks on American forces, but there were large differences among ethnic and religious groups. Among Sunni Muslims, 88 percent said they approved of the attacks. that's support that has gone up significantly in three years. Support of your self-described terrorists.

Nice try, but GW has been letting the UN and Europe handle like you moonbats want, and he's been letting them handle it all along. Once he committed the country to defeating the Axis of Evil, he wasn't 'letting the UN and Europe handle' anything.

You might think Busgh was just blowing smoke and being disingenuous with such rhetoric, but, as someone once said, "words have meaning". Even to Iranians.

And you're not a liberal, liberalism is a fine institution with a long and glorious history. You are a lefty, a follower of a failed ideology.

That's some flop sweat yo. It appears that 66% of this country are fellow travelers then, because the only thing we're discussing here is the monumental incompetence of the Bush regime and his utter failure in the Middle East.

Posted by: n.o.l.t.f. on April 5, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately the PEW results are not definitive. Nor are they the club to beat the left that c-nut suggests they are.

First, Stefan's point that actual terrorist attacks have skyrocketed in numbers gives the lie to the actual poll numbers. Then as Chris pointed out, the election of hard-line politicians and actual terror organizations to office clearly shows at least unconscious support for these methods.

Also, the report is not as conclusive as c-nut pretends; of the five countries polled support for terrorism went down in two, stayed the same in one, and dramatically increased in another. Also, the PEW project did not include the views of Iraqis, and was released prior to the Ministry of Defence poll which showed huge majority support for the use of terror attacks against Americans. Factor in Iraq and you have the same or more support for terrorism in half the countries polled.

It's certainly good news that support for terrorist tactics has dropped to some degree in some countries. As the authors of the report themselves point out, however, this has little to do with the so-called War on Terror and everything to do with violence fatigue.

In other words, it's all fun and games until you're the one getting blowed up.

Finally, the support for the use of terror tactics seem to have been tied to American aggression in the region, and one can speculate that further attacks against say, Iran, will cause those numbers to rise again.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 5, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

How many conspiracy nuts does it take to put in a light bulb?
Heh, I imagine the next thing will be somebody posting under my handle.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

cn, they are now attacking you personally, meaning, you've won. Congrats. BTW, nice link, encouraging.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

windhorse
In other words, it's all fun and games until you're the one getting blowed up.
Thanks for dropping by, these moonbats were starting to get me down. I believe this is an important point. Support for terrorism has always been inordinately high in the ME when the terror attacks occurred against the supposed "enemy" (US and Israel). By invading Iraq, the terrorists have had to resort to attacking Iraqis.

I believe this is what has opened the eyes of the ME; the terrorist have shown that they aren't against the trumped up enemy, they are against whoever stands in their way. They blwe up Iraqis, Saudis, and then Jordanians. Bad PR move.

And did you see near the end of that article where the "Arab street" is starting to believe that democracy can work for them, too? Dropping support for terrorism and an attitude like that is what will make a difference.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

cn are you saying the the muslim community is capable of instituting and embracing democracy and still not longing for the days of Saddam based on his obtaining 99% of the votes in previous elections as recently accounted by that sage reporter Christian Amanpour?

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Jay,

Considering only one person has posted what could be construed as a personal attack it hardly means anyone has won anything.

In fact given that each point has been countered and parried by each side I would say the debate is a toss up right now with more evidence backing what we've been saying, well, credible evidence anyway.

Don't get me wrong I would love to see Iraq or any nation that's suffered under any form of dictatorship become a free country but one thing I fail to see the right doing is that the end result is the possibility of what happened in Palestine happening there.

In other words the so-called terrorists (after all one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter) becoming the government. Or worse the islamo-fascists backed by people like bin laden and khomenei, and they do come in those forms.

That would be true freedom and bush as well as others knew this which is why they most likely tried to install "saddam-lite" as a puppet, in other words not promote democracy but do as the U.S. has always done in the middle east, install puppets friendly to our interests.

This is one reason we are looked upon with scorn by these people. To hear GWB say we are promoting democracy in the middle east which, even the evidence you present is sham evidence, is hypocritical. Why? Because the true face of democracy, given the culture and politics of the region, looks nothing like what we call democracy. Rather there are some freedoms but the ultimate freedom, and when left with it, is the freedom to impose religious law and with it it's own oppression like we saw in Afghanistan (which unsurprisingly is heading down that road again) and in Iran. That is what a democratic middle east would look like.

We only make this even more plausible by our current actions. Face it, it's a great dream but one that will only ever be a dream. If it became reality it would look far different than the dream we have.

Posted by: Dreggas on April 5, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

First of all Dreggas, my comment to cn was tongue-in-cheek, sorry you missed it.

The ME is quite capable of instituting democracy and that democracy will not resemble ours. And your claim that we have installed a puppet regime here is just flat out a lie. 11 million Iraqi's went to the polls three times and what you are seeing is the results of those elections. So are you saying that corrdinating and executing three successive elections was just a ploy by the administration to "install" a saddam-lite regime? It really doesn't matter to us who leads Iraq as long as that person was elected by the majority, respects human rights and respects other countries soveriegnty. To think that their democracy will mirror ours is just delusion.

Having Hamas as a participant in the governing of Palestine could actually be the best possible alternative, IMHO.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: Just like the priesthood attracts gay pedophiles I think the republican party attracts sexual perverts.

shortstop: Republicans: They're either having felonious sex or they're so unfamiliar with it that they think it's all created alike.

This just in: Homeland Security official arrested in child sex sting

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

My comment about conspiracy nut and his perverted sexual habits has every bit as much political substance as any of his posts, links included. If you think that tool engages in anything resembling honest debate, then you probably think that George Bush is the best president in the history of the world.

Posted by: brewmn on April 5, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

How many conspiracy nuts does it take to put in a light bulb? - brewmn

Trick question: conspiracy nut LIKES being kept in the dark and considers light bulbs to be a liberal plot. Wait, put a light bulb in where?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on April 5, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

First of all Dreggas, my comment to cn was tongue-in-cheek, sorry you missed it.

Given how these threads usually go it's easy to miss these things.


The ME is quite capable of instituting democracy and that democracy will not resemble ours.

And it already doesn't vis-a-vis Palestine. But the point is that the majority who ascribe to the bush ambition of some democratic middle


And your claim that we have installed a puppet regime here is just flat out a lie. 11 million Iraqi's went to the polls three times and what you are seeing is the results of those elections. So are you saying that corrdinating and executing three successive elections was just a ploy by the administration to "install" a saddam-lite regime?

Look back over several posts to this thread, you are missing the fact that elections were not part of the initial plan until they were pushed for by Sistani. We did indeed plan to install a government. Just as we backed and helped Saddam rise to power because he fought against Iran.


It really doesn't matter to us who leads Iraq as long as that person was elected by the majority, respects human rights and respects other countries soveriegnty. To think that their democracy will mirror ours is just delusion.

Oh it matters, it matters a lot at least to this admin. After all if it didn't matter so long as leaders were elected why did this admin become one of the first to say it would undermine the democratically elected Hamas in Palestine? Those who do trumpet the democracy in the middle east are deluding themselves, or at least the majority are, because that is what they see, american style democracy and capitalism, what they will get is far different.


Having Hamas as a participant in the governing of Palestine could actually be the best possible alternative, IMHO.

Agreed, it will force them to adapt to reality and they may either lose some of their shine as revolutionary warriors or they may grow up and play nice with the rest of the big boys. Given our governments attitude towards the election of Hamas, they believe that it would be similar to electing bin laden to head saudi arabia.

Posted by: Dreggas on April 5, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

My comment about conspiracy nut and his perverted sexual habits has every bit as much political substance as any of his posts, links included. If you think that tool engages in anything resembling honest debate, then you probably think that George Bush is the best president in the history of the world.

Worst yes, best no.

Posted by: Dreggas on April 5, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Because I know you moonbats care, I got some more good news from the ME

WOMEN made history in Kuwait yesterday by voting and running for office for the first time in a local by-election after the conservative, US-allied Gulf state granted them suffrage last year. [source]
I look forward to the first Cynthia McKinney of the Middle East.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

What truly makes the US great is not "Democracy" but our pluralism and protection of rights of the individual and minority rights. Democracies can elect Hilter who tried to do away with minorities altogether let alone protect their rights. Iraq can be called a Democracy because they have elections, but where is the protection of individual rights? Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? The right to life does not seem to exist in Iraq despite its elections. Bush rhetoric ignores what is truly important. No wonder his policy is so FUBAR.

Posted by: bakho on April 5, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

When challenged to provide evidence that public support for terrorism is down he provides a link to an article about a survey that shows it is down significantly since THIS TIME LAST YEAR.

The reasons given in the article for the decreases are the terrorist attacks carried out in muslim nations and that it has been longer since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The survey also showed that more than half the people had negative opinions of the U.S.

This does not exactly support the idea that George Bush's policies are working.

Posted by: tanj on April 5, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm, and he also gave an article from this year. Do you suppose that means that good news is fairly consistent?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It means that it says nothing about how current attitudes towards terrorism compare to before September 11, 2001 or to the period between then and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: tanj on April 5, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

tanj
That data's out there, too. But the moonbat sites you rely on don't bring it up, can't use it to bash Bush. And since it isn't usable to bash Bush, you won't go to the effort to look it up either. And since it's not worth anything to you, I'm not going to look it up for you.

How's the view in your cocoon?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 5, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Fine post Kevin, the reason I read your blog. This stuff is very obvious to people who pay attention, but it's nice of you to do the research and links.

Many people think that Bush is simply a political opportunist and that's probably true. However, I think part of the problem is that his politics (and the politics of his base) are so shallow that they can change very quickly and quite drastically. When you have only a shallow understanding of the reasoning behind political ideas and solutions, your political views can fall like a house of cards in no time. And you take off in another direction, newly enlightened by God.

Reagan was the same way.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 5, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK
tanj: When challenged to provide evidence that public support for terrorism is down he provides a link to an article about a survey that shows it is down significantly since THIS TIME LAST YEAR.

cnut: Hmm, and he also gave an article from this year.

Um, he gave an article from this year that had nothing to do with support for terrorism, so tanj's point stands.

Sorry nut, but you're a little late to the party with your article about women's suffrage in Kuwait. Kuwait has long been considered a leader in women's rights in the Middle East, with a history of progressive measures that goes back to the 1960's. Women were granted the right to vote by the Emir of Kuwait way back in 1999, but due to parliamentary factionalism and wrangling over unrelated issues like privatization of oil an agreement wasn't reached until this year. Nothing to do with Bush or the war on terror, though. As far as Middle Eastern countries recognizing the rights of women, Kuwait has been a pioneer and second only to -- wait for it, wait for it...

Iraq.

But that's been pretty much blown to hell for now, as while in theory Iraqi women in general have the rights they've always had, in practice the chaos and utter lack of law and order resulting from our invasion has set them back about seventy years or so. For decades Iraqi women have gone to college and become professors, business owners, even military officers. However, when Iraqi MP Maysoon Al-Damluji was interviewed on NPR a few weeks back she said that women can no longer even walk uncovered or walk alone on the streets like they used to for fear of reprisal from religious zealots. Women are hiding in their homes, and in many areas its too dangerous for parents to send their daughters to school.

Meanwhile an Iran that was at the tipping point for reform elected a hard liner in response to our invasion of their next door neighbor, and now it turns out the neocons turned down Iran's offer of negotiations with them back in 2003 because they didn't want to "owe" Iran anything, and apparently preferred the option of military attack.

Oh well, too bad for them. I mean, we can't be blamed if Bush's inept efforts in the Middle East have had exactly the opposite of their intended effect...unless we're one of the people who predicted the effect -- then apparently we can be blamed for being Negative Nellies for seeing only all the people who've been slaughtered recently and not acknowledging the beauty, if utter ineffectuality, of Bush's vision.

"Sunni, Shi'ite, Secular" -- who can keep track of all those funny words? Anyway, they'll all love us....

Posted by: Windhorse on April 5, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is your best blog entry ever, Kevin.

Excellent post.

Posted by: Name on April 6, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse, you've done what no one else on this thread could do: you drove Conspiracy Nut away. He or she (or it) just couldn't handle the truth.

Bravo.

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