Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 15, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE WRONG MAN FOR THE JOB....Michael Kinsley's rumination yesterday about the history of Western intervention in Iran was an oddly rambling affair, but the man does have a way with words:

When the United States should use its military strength to achieve worthy goals abroad is an important question. But based on [our record in Iraq and Afghanistan], it seems a bit theoretical. It's like asking whether Donald Trump should use his superpowers to cure AIDS. Or what George W. Bush should say when he wins the Nobel Prize in physics. A more pressing question is: Can't anyone here play this game?

Nope. George Bush : Fixing National Security Problems :: Herbert Hoover : Fixing National Depressions.

Kevin Drum 8:26 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

Rambling, and somewhat oversimplified in his view of history.

I'm dying to hear what Kinsley thinks we should do about Iran.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 15, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Michael Kinsley on April 15, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Get a time machine, go back and prevent them from using a butterfly ballot in Florida in 2000.

Posted by: Kinsley on April 15, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kinsley:

Go back to 1953 and cancel the campaign against Mossadeq.

Posted by: ccc on April 15, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kinsley seems to be blaming the deaths of a million Afghans during the war of the 1980s on the fact that the U.S. "kept the war going" by aiding the Afghans. Let's be precise: a million Afghans were murdered and five million more driven into exile by THE SOVIET UNION. The Russians were morally and politically responsible for the suffering of the Afghans, NOT the Americans who were helping the Afghans fight back. I usually respedct Kinsley, but he's very far off the mark here.

Posted by: Joe on April 15, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Joe:

We aided, trained and sponsored the Afghan muhajadeen -- including, at that time, Osama bin Laden.

Kinsley's point is about *blowback*, and his tone is corrosively sardonic.

I'm surprised nobody who's commented seems to have picked this up.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 15, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Joe:

I remember Jimmy Cater -- you know, the "human rights president" -- talking to a bunch of muhajadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan he invited to the White House.

He said that he really identified with them. See, they're fundamentalists -- just like he is.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 15, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kinsley's salient point is that the current incompetence in foreign affairs is predicated on a belief system which invests Bush with abilities and powers he's obviously lacking.

There's really no mystery to any of this - we've been talking about this for several years now. And we'll keep talking about this until it ceases to be a mystery. That is, when the media catch up with what the American public already knows.

Posted by: walt on April 15, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Cater = Jimmy Carter

Posted by: rmck1 on April 15, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Who would have thought that Casey Stengel would be invoked in a debate on so serious a subject?

Hail the Bush Administration, the '62 Mets of U.S. governance.

Posted by: Daryl Cobranchi on April 15, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Some facts. The crash was Oct. 1929, Roosevelt presidency begins 1932.

More generally, the Great Depression is regarded as having begun in 1929 with the Stock Market crash, and ended in 1941 with America's entry into World War II.

So, however you judge Hoover and his three lame duck years versus Roosevelt's nine years, neither figured it out evidently.

Bad weather, bad trade policy, and bad monetary policy are the main culprits.

Posted by: Matt on April 15, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised nobody who's commented seems to have picked this up. Bob

One would think the "happily ever after" line would have been a BIG clue.

Posted by: jcricket on April 15, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

'Matt' posted:

"More generally, the Great Depression is regarded as having begun in 1929 with the Stock Market crash, and ended in 1941 with America's entry into World War II."

Wrong on three counts.

The "Great Depression" began BEFORE the 1929 crash, and ended in 1938, thanks to FDR's raising of taxes on the wealthy and plowing that revenue back into the economy from the bottom up, and America's "entry into World War II" was not in 1941.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 15, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats:: Offering no solutions.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 15, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

The administration may be forced, due to its demonstrated incompetency, to take the proper action: do absolutely nothing for the time being.

Posted by: has407 on April 15, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Talk is cheap.

I'm always amused by metrosexual critics like Michael Kinsley, who have spent years bashing Republicans but who have never actually achieved anything of substance.

Sure, the Sniveling Mr. Kinsley can turn a phrase. I'll give him that.

But has he actually ever been, you know, in charge of anything?

Posted by: Moon Over Miami on April 15, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

As long as there's been no terrorist attack on US soil since 2001, people will believe Bush's policy is working. It's a winning talking point and I think Democrats will be surprised how well Republicans do in the midterms, running on national security issues. Americans don't trust Democrats to keep them safe. Period. I'm not saying they are right to do so (I don't know if America is safer with Bush in office than it would be otherwise), but it is a majority opinion.

Posted by: Tom on April 15, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Please do not buy products from these Republican contributors.


I have seen that people do not want to call companies and tell them why they boycott companies and ask for a progressive agenda, so then just avoid buying from these companies and spread the word. I will tell the Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader and the CEOs of these companies listed below that their profits will silently lessen until an agenda listed on http://www.boycott-republicans.com gets acceded to by the Republican Party in a press conference and then passed by congress and signed by the pResident. So just do this and I will do the rest of the work for you. You have no petitions to sign, no phone calls to make, just stop buying products from these Republican contributors and to tell others as well to stop. Thank you.

Dell Computers, Walmart, Wendy's, Outback Steak House, Dominos Pizza, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Eckerd, CVS and Walgreens, Curves for women health clubs, General Electric and Exxon/Mobil.

Posted by: mighty maximus on April 15, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Tom

The myth that Republicans can keep us safe EXPLODED with the first plane that hit the world trade center on Sept 11, 2001.


Posted by: mighty maximus on April 15, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats:: Offering no solutions.

sigh, once again the Repubs come crawling to the Democrats, demanding that we provide solutions to your massive fuck-ups.

Fix it yourself this time, it's all on you.

Posted by: uh huh on April 15, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Americans don't trust Democrats to keep them safe. Period. I'm not saying they are right to do so (I don't know if America is safer with Bush in office than it would be otherwise), but it is a majority opinion.

check your poll numbers again.

Posted by: uh huh on April 15, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Talk is cheap.

I'm always amused by metrosexual critics like Michael Kinsley, who have spent years bashing Republicans but who have never actually achieved anything of substance.

Sure, the Sniveling Mr. Kinsley can turn a phrase. I'll give him that.

But has he actually ever been, you know, in charge of anything?
Posted by: Moon Over Miami on April 15, 2006 at 10:36 PM


You don't have to be in charge, or as Brendan Behan once said,

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how its done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.

Posted by: Majun on April 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Tom, there's no question that it has been a majority opinion, but the republicans are doing such a magnificent job demonstrating how wrong that perspective is that even long-settled habits of thought are being shaken up, as recent polling data is making clear. Whether that shake up will cointinue into November or not remains to be seen, but surely you don't think the sudden drive on Iran is an accident unrelated to current polling, do ya?

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Off Topic, but important: General Clark has joined the fray. Is momentum building? Let us hope so.

"I believe secretary Rumsfeld hasn't done an adequate job. He should go," General Wesley Clark told Fox News Channel in an interview.

Clark said Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had pushed the United States into Iraq, and said the invasion "had no connection" with the war on terror".

"They pressed for this, they pressed for open warfare before the diplomacy was finished," said the retired general and Fox News analyst.

"It was a tragic mistake, a strategic blunder."

Asked whether it was appropriate to comment on the defense secretary's performance while the United States is at war, Clark replied: "It's more than an appropriate time. This country needed a better policy from the 2001 period on.

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 15, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I realize these are a little off topic, but not really that much.

Does anyone remember when Rep. McDermott went to Iraq and proclaimed that Hussein was right and Bush was wrong? How did that turn out?

Does anyone remember when Gov. Dean said that the capture of Hussein didn't make any difference? How did that turn out?

Posted by: heavy on April 15, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats:: Offering no solutions.

How about this for a solution: declare victory and leave. We got rid of Saddam, there are no WMDs, the Iraqis had an election. Why the hell are we still there?

Posted by: k on April 15, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

And as for what to do about Iran maybe getting nuclear weapons in the future, why don't we do what the Bush administration did about the same problem in North Korea and Pakistan? That is, talk tough and do nothing.

Posted by: k on April 15, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

I thought it was a fine article. Perhaps a bit over-simplified, but his point was that even when we've engaged in supposed "realistic" foreign policy, acting supposedly in our own best interests, we've managed to damage ourselves in the long run. What's sad is that for all this talk about Bush and "spreading freedom", that's not really our foreign policy under Bush, nor has it ever been. And yet in the past when we've repudiated that approach and acted in our own short-term interests, we've found that subverting democracy strangely undermines our own long-term interests. Funny how that works.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on April 16, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

It's deja-vu all over again.

Posted by: IOKIYAR on April 16, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen:

Wesley Clark isn't really much of a surprise. I do wonder why he waited for the others to weigh in first.

Other generals have come out in Rumsfeld's defense. Do they count at all? If not, why not?

And as a lot of people are starting to point out, now that the media feeding frenzy is dying down, the issue is more complex than it appears.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 16, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Which retired generals have spoken in Rumsfeld's defense?
Active-duty generals don't count, since they have to express whatever opinion is ordered, in public.

Posted by: marky on April 16, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

It is worse than you think; the "solutions" this administration and the wingnuts in Congress are cooking up are not pretty...

  • Why the US granted 'protected' status to Iranian terrorists -- The US State Department officially considers a group of 3,800 Marxist Iranian rebels - who once killed several Americans and was supported by Saddam Hussein - "terrorists."

    ...This strange twist, analysts say, underscores the divisions in Washington over US strategy in the Middle East and the war against terrorism. It's also a function of the swiftly deteriorating US-Iran dynamic, and a victory for US hawks who favor using the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) or "People's Holy Warriors," as a tool against Iran's clerical regime.

    ...For months, Tehran has quietly signaled that it would turn over high-ranking Al Qaeda members in exchange for MKO members now in Iraq. The MKO's new status likely puts an end to any such deal.

  • Group on U.S. terror list lobbies hard

    ...Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, responded in a written statement saying he supports the MEK because it is an "asset to U.S. intelligence" and "the most reliable source of information for the region."

    ...In contrast, the Iran Policy Committee, a Washington think tank of former U.S. officials that specializes in Iran policy and favors the removal of the group from the terror list, said the move would "send a signal to the Iranian rulers that their days are numbered." In a written statement to questions about the MEK, the IPC called the organization the "best organized, most credible Iranian opposition group" that stands for a democratic, secular republic in Iran.

  • On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say

    The Pentagon is bypassing official US intelligence channels and turning to a dangerous and unruly cast of characters in order to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack, former and current intelligence officials say.

    ...One of the operational assets being used by the Defense Department is a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), which is being run in two southern regional areas of Iran. They are Baluchistan, a Sunni stronghold, and Khuzestan, a Shia region where a series of recent attacks has left many dead and hundreds injured in the last three months.

    ...These guys are nuts, this intelligence source said. Cambone and those guys made MEK members swear an oath to Democracy and resign from the MEK and then our guys incorporated them into their unit and trained them.

...and those just scratch the surface.

Posted by: has407 on April 16, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

"As long as there's been no terrorist attack on US soil since 2001, people will believe Bush's policy is working. It's a winning talking point and I think Democrats will be surprised how well Republicans do in the midterms, running on national security issues."

There weren't any terrorist attacks between the 1993 WTC attack and September 11, 2001 despite the fact that terrorism ranked lower than fellatio as a public issue. The fact that we've gone five years without an attack while focusing on nothing but terrorism is hardly bragging material. Unfortunately the dems are too stupid to point this out.

Posted by: Col. Bat Guano (Ret.) on April 16, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

I think I understand the "War on Terror" agenda.
It's O.K. when the U.S. does it.
I might rebut the idea of a nuclear threat from Iran if I could stop laughing at the preposterousness of it.
Check out Lindsay at Majikthise. Someone should elevate the quality of discussion.

Posted by: opit on April 16, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

marky:

Which retired generals have spoken in Rumsfeld's defense?

Ones I've heard about so far include Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Army Gen. John Keane, Marine Lt. Gen. Michael P. DeLong, and Tommy Franks.

Don't worry. I'm sure they will be treated to the same intensive news coverage the others were.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 16, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Other than WWI&II, when has the USA's foreign adventures had a net positive effect? Never - ask Chomsky.

Posted by: N on April 16, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Watch and see how the repugs turn the Iran issue into the "...what we should have done in Iraq issue." (though they will not admit it and spin it against the sane portion of our republic) They will use diplomacy to change Irans mind (any other approach is nuts) and they will involve the UN and they will claim that this is the best course of action . The "nations of the willing"(those that backed the folly in Iraq) will rally around, and the repugs will attemt to turn this into a win in the fall. Mark my words...(I know of what I speak)

ITMFA

Posted by: imbroglio on April 16, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

There's really no mystery to any of this - we've been talking about this for several years now. And we'll keep talking about this until it ceases to be a mystery. That is, when the media catch up with what the American public already knows.


Posted by: Greg on April 16, 2006 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

But based on [our record in Iraq and Afghanistan], it seems a bit theoretical.


That's pretty stupid, considering the overall improvments in both places since Bush's interventions. Gateway Pundit has some good scorekeeping today. For Iraq, go as usual to the Brookings Institution reported, updated biweekly.

Each place, Iraq and Afghanistan, used to be run much worse than Syria, on the whole. Now both are run much better than Syria, on the whole. I expect that conditions will continue to improve until a Democrat is elected president of the US.

Posted by: republicrat on April 16, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

I have never held a high opinion of Toomey or Meyers. And I know one of the two men. They are the only two pro-Rummy Generals I am aware of.

Sure they have opinions that count, but remember that the Army and the Marines are the troops that hold and keep territory - by standing on it. Air Force Generals don't carry as much weight in this debate as Marine and Army generals. Which might just be why we haven't heard from any Admirals, come to think of it.

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 16, 2006 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Don't worry. I'm sure they will be treated to the same intensive news coverage the others were."

Correct, actually. The story of the Pentagon pushback occupies the identical position in today's times as the story of the critics did yesterday--although "dog bites man" hardly has the same news value as "man bites dog."

Posted by: buce on April 16, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz
I saw a recent interview with Tommy Franks and while he didn't call for Rummy's resignation, it would be quite a stretch to say he came out in support of him. Mostly he just talked about how Rumsfeld could be difficult to get along with, ignored advice and made his own decisions.

Posted by: psiniq on April 16, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Does anyone remember when Gov. Dean said that the capture of Hussein didn't make any difference? How did that turn out?"

I believe what he said was thast the capture of Hussein didn't make us any safer.

And it turned out to be spot on.

Posted by: Buce on April 16, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

"when Rep. McDermott went to Iraq and proclaimed that Hussein was right and Bush was wrong? How did that turn out?"

Do you mean when Rep. Jim McDermott said that it ws Bush and not Saddam who was percipitating the crisis?

Spot on again, I'd say.

Posted by: Buce on April 16, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Each place, Iraq and Afghanistan, used to be run much worse than Syria, on the whole. Now both are run much better than Syria, on the whole. I expect that conditions will continue to improve until a Democrat is elected president of the US.

Narco-states?

Being pulled from the street, having one's head punctured by power drills, fingernails pulled out?

Blown-up on sunny Main St?

Your anaylsis is penetrating, republi-schmuck.

Posted by: obscure on April 16, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

To take this thread back to Kevin's post, I must say he is a bit unfair to Hoover. The First New Deal had a lot of continuity with Herbert Hoover's policies. (If I remember, FDR ran against Hoover calling for balanced budget, and only saw the light when he was in power.) Indeed, it could be said that Hoover is the exact opposite of Bush. Hoover had a well-earned rep as a very effective administrator, but crashed and burned on the symbolic aspects of the Presidency.
The only Presidents that can be fairly compared to Bush are Harding, Buchanan and Pierce.

Posted by: Joe S. on April 16, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

'mighty maximus' posted:

"The myth that Republicans can keep us safe EXPLODED with the first plane that hit the world trade center on Sept 11, 2001"

Of course, but the RightWing actually believes they "inherited" 9/11 from the Clinton administration, just as they believe they inherited a recession from the Clinton administration.

Their disconnect from reality knows no bounds.
.

Posted by: VJ on April 16, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why the hell are we still there?

Exactlly. Why the hell are we still there?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 16, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

"More generally, the Great Depression is regarded as having begun in 1929 with the Stock Market crash, and ended in 1941 with America's entry into World War II.

So, however you judge Hoover and his three lame duck years versus Roosevelt's nine years, neither figured it out evidently.

Bad weather, bad trade policy, and bad monetary policy are the main culprits."
Posted by: Matt

Matt, please stop lying, and take a look at graphs of unemployment and/or economic growth over this time period. There's a striking difference between the pre-FDR time and the FDR administration.

Posted by: Barry on April 16, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans: Killing Their Way to Peace

or, how about

George Bush:Willing to Send Your Kids, But Not His, To Die for His Beliefs

or

Republicans: Killing Muslims Is Our Forte

See how easy bumper sticker sloganeering is, Frequency Kenneth? Why doesn't the GOP try offering a solution to foreign policy that doesn't involve wanton slaughter?

While Kinsey makes a lot of good points, the best analysis I have found regarding the foolishness of the U.S. intervention in Iran in 1953 is Stephen Kinzers All the Shahs Men. The group assembled here might find it enlightening. Overthrowing Ahmadinejad and installing another U.S. proxy will undoubtedly come to a bad end, as it has in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Iraq, etc. When will we ever learn?

I actually support Bushs voiced support of using diplomacy to solve this situation (which I would hardly characterize as a "crisis"), with additionally, massive pressure on Israel to disarm and treat the Palestinian people with human dignity. Economic embargoes against Iran would be the next logical step after that. But, Bush and Cheney are the Great Deceivers and prefer the mass slaughter of innocents and the unleashing of the nuclear genie, due to their slavish devotion to a false religion, just like Ahmadinejad himself. The real policy towards Iran is hidden in plain sight on FoxNews. Ahmadinejad and Bush are both religious fanatics who have little popular support in their own country. Both should be removed by the people and imprisoned, because they are insane.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 16, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't the GOP try offering a solution to foreign policy that doesn't involve wanton slaughter?

That's a stupid question: there is no wanton slaughter.

Posted by: republicrat on April 16, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK
Wesley Clark isn't really much of a surprise. I do wonder why he waited for the others to weigh in first.

If Clark, a longtime critic of this administration that sought the Presidential nomination of the opposing party, was the first to raise these kinds of complaints, then, well, the immediate media narrative would be that it was partisan, and that any further generals that spoke out, whatever their background, were joining the ongoing partisan dispute.

When people who have served in high ranks under this administration spoke out first, it resulted in a different dominant media narrative, and General Clark can join other generals speaking out against the administration without creating a frame for the debate which would lead to their comments being dismissed as part of a simply partisan dispute.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 16, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

'That's a stupid question: there is no wanton slaughter.'
--republicrat

Don't you know that there are no stupid questions?

However, if 35,000 dead civilians and barbaric behavior by U.S. troops like this is not wanton slaughter, then I really dont care to see what it really looks like.

Why do conservative revel in the deaths of innocents, then turn around and claim to be Christians? On this Easter Sunday, I pray they can learn to be ashamed.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 16, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

However, if 35,000 dead civilians and barbaric behavior by U.S. troops like this is not wanton slaughter, then I really dont care to see what it really looks like.

wanton slaughter was what happened in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and in Afghanistan under the Taliban. If there is "wanton slaughter" in Iraq now, it's principally carried out by the suicide bombers, IED setters, and perhaps the militias. All tallied, the kill rate is lower now than under Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: republicrat on April 16, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

All tallied, the kill rate is lower now than under Saddam Hussein.

This seems to be a consistent allegation, does anyone have any actual evidence to support or refute it.

Posted by: Ray on April 16, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ray--
The "kill rate" now is certainly much higher than it was under the last decade of Saddam Hussein's rule. Saddam did most of his killin' before and immediately after his invasion of Kuwait. Most of the "Estimates" of Iraqis killed under Saddam include war dead for the war with Iran. The other great campaigns of killing were against the Shia after the Kuwait invasion and of course the Kurds as well.

These campaigns had pretty much ended by the mid 90s. What killing was carried on after that was your standard totalitarian book-keeping operations, a few murders here a few murders and rapes there. Hardly comparable with the mass bloodshed we see now.

Remember, the meaningful question is not whether Saddam killed a lot of people. Obviously he did. The important question is whether our action in Iraq resulted in more death or less than leaving the situation alone. Taking into account the moribund state of Saddam's government and his seeming lack of interest in or ability to carry out further large-scale massacres, I think it is pretty certain that there would have been less deaths.

Remember that the Lancet study, which caused such howls of disbelief when it came out has pretty much been vindicated, and it showed EXCESS deaths (above the pre-war, Saddam level) of 100,000. I'm sure it's even worse now, since this study took place before Iraq turned real grisly.

This is the ugly truth. Sure, our actions aren't the direct cause of most of these deaths. But obviously they wouldn't be happening if it weren't for us being there. That's why it makes total sense for Iraqi protesters to have protests that are simultaneously against the terrorist bombers and against the US.

Posted by: kokblok on April 16, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: All tallied, the kill rate is lower now than under Saddam Hussein.

You know fuck-all and you're eager to tell us about it.

Einstein.

Posted by: obscure on April 16, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

It seems odd to revel in our reduced rate of killing iraqis NOW as opposed to our rate when we were supplying saddam.

Posted by: Nads on April 17, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Who's to say that we haven't suffered a terrorist attack since 2001? How do we know that (eg) evil doers haven't been busy setting forest fires in the west and southwest?

Posted by: Brian Boru on April 17, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Most terrorists take credit for their malfeasance...

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 17, 2006 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Rambling, and somewhat oversimplified in his view of history.

That's a hoot coming from the great simplifier of liberal history and Bush (41 and 43) apologist tbrosz.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 17, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK


tom: As long as there's been no terrorist attack on US soil since 2001

(9-11 was 4-years and 7-months from today)


until anyone with a brain realizes that...

there wasn't a terror attack inside the u-s in the 4-years and 7-months --before-- 9-11


and if you want to count the 12-americans that died in the african embassy bombings, and the 17-sailors on the uss-cole...

then you have to include the 2400-dead from afghanistan and iraq...

either way...

gop = more dead americans

Posted by: thissspaceavailble on April 17, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

"Rambling, and somewhat oversimplified in his view of history.

I'm dying to hear what Kinsley thinks we should do about Iran."

There is more intelligence in a single sentence of a Kinsley column than in all the tripe you've spewed in the comments to Kevin's blog over these many months. Just shut up, already.

Posted by: brewmn on April 17, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think there is anything materially wrong with the column. It Iranians have excellent reasons to hate out guts. Of course, this administration and indeed all administrations love to be loved and have never understood Iran. From Carter to Bush, US foriegn policy is nearly always half informed, unclever and not in out interests. We really are bad at it. Doing nothing would be cleverer. Its a good think China is bad at it too. If they had have the ability the English do they would eat us for lunch.

We are lousy.

Posted by: exclab on April 17, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Small nations like Iran do not attack big nations like us that are equipped with thousands of nuclear warheads. Never has happened in the history of the world. The only concievable scenario is that they'd use them to counter an attack.

Of course, we do have to concern ourselves with our allies as well. But why not revive the old Mutually-Assured Destruction doctrine? Make loud public announcements with our allies that any Iranian nuclear first strike would be met with total retaliation by the US. It worked with the Soviets. It should be even more effective with the Iranians, considering that even if they do eventually manage to pop out a couple of bombs or missiles, they'll be A) not very numerous and B) of inferior quality and firepower.

But of course, these are the idiots that are fond of the "mental illness" school of international relations, where the actions of our enemies are never guessable because they're just so darn....CRAZY!!! And if you don't believe you can predict behavior at all, well I guess you might as well just act just as crazy as them (I'm channeling one of Thomas Friedman's most asanine columns here) and talk all kinds of shit about how WE"RE going to use a first-strike nuclear weapon. WE act crazy and then that will bring about the craziness on the part of Tehran that we want to use as a casus belli.

Boy, it's really brilliant.

I never thought I'd say it--but can we raise Reagan from the dead? "Trust but verify" is looking better and better the more I listen to these fucking neo-con IR fucks and their weird role-playing fantasies.

Posted by: kokblok on April 17, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

"All tallied, the kill rate is lower now than under Saddam Hussein."

Who has caused the death of more Iraqi civilians, Saddam Hussein or the Bushies, father and son ?
.

Posted by: VJ on April 18, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

hey ,good article.

Posted by: feng on April 18, 2006 at 5:47 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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