Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 24, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WANTED: SUFFICIENTLY SCARY ENEMY, APPLY WITHIN....Matt Yglesias quotes Francis Fukuyama telling us the obvious about the neocon agenda:

During the 1990s "There was actually a deliberate search for an enemy because they felt that the Republican Party didn't do as well" when foreign policy wasn't on the issue agenda.

They tried hyping China first, and then after 9/11 switched to Islamic fundamentalism. As Matt says, "I think this is very telling, and reveals a great deal about the mentality that's been guiding America's foreign policy during the Bush years."

Indeed it does. As for me, I just want to hear Bill Kristol deny it.

Kevin Drum 1:54 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (129)

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Comments

Well, they tried the War on Drugs for awhile, too, but since they couldn't get the American people to wage war on themselves...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on April 24, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's worse than that- we had a real opportunity to take charge of all of the loose nukes in the former Soviet Union and the scientists and technicians who serviced them, but we blew it during the first Bush Administration and during Clinton's 8 years. It appears the neocons want an adversarial nuclear power, because a low tech "Islamo-Fascist" threat without nukes means our Military Industrial Complex can't justify spending over $400 billion annually on hi tech Star Wars, submarines, nuclear battle groups, advanced jet fighters & bombers, and so forth.

In short, without an enemy, the money dries up and tax dollars will go to jobs and health care. A very scary thought for the former Cold Warriors and other Chickenhawks.

Posted by: James Finkelstein on April 24, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

During the 90s????

Well bless my soul, I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1992 - 2000.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 24, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Frequency nailed it!

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't this just PNAC 101?

Posted by: jerry on April 24, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

During the 1990s "There was actually a deliberate search for an enemy because they felt that the Republican Party didn't do as well" when foreign policy wasn't on the issue agenda.

Well bless my soul, I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1992 - 2000.

Q.E.D.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on April 24, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, yes. The Democrats think that all of the enemies of the US are made up. That's why people think that the Democrats are weak on security.

And how much of Francis Fukuyama's output do you regard as reliable, anyway?

Posted by: republicrat on April 24, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

I knew 9/11 was a fake neocon hoax. I mean all those burning bodies falling out the twin towers... how desperate for a convincing story can you get!

And the 4,300 terrorist attacks in dozens of countries around the world... yep, all fake.

Now if you excuse me, I have a Danish cartoonist to fatwa!

Posted by: Jordan on April 24, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, I read that as "WANTED: SUFFICIENTLY SCARY ENEMA, APPLY WITHIN".

Posted by: Jeff Gannon on April 24, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

And what's the Democrat foreign policy?

That the threats aren't real.

Posted by: McA on April 24, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

What a surprise. Here's a clue (especially you Kenneth), from Foreign Policy and the Republican Future, which has as the following three major items:

  • Military strength. ...spend much more on our armed forces...
  • Morality. ...Chinese dictatorship...
  • Mastery. ...the United States was the worlds preeminent power...
Of course none of that makes sense unless there's a bad guy. Foreign policy by people who think with their dicks.

Posted by: has407 on April 24, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Do yourself a favor. Watch this. It delves into the 'we need evildoers, stat!' syndrome in a rather provocative and compelling way.

Posted by: Bill on April 24, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Military Keynesianism requires an enemy.

No enemy = trouble for the US economy.

Again, Godwin's Law prevents me from mentioning tho only other industrialised Western power that tried this economic tactic on a large scale.

It also helps in following this economic strategy that Republican voters are, apparently, snivelling cowards.

Posted by: floopmeister on April 24, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

How come the Dem leaders are unable to state simple facts like this?

Posted by: lib on April 24, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

On the demand side, the bedwetters are always in the market for an explanation of their soggy mattresses. There is too a monster under the bed!

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

If there seems to be one major article of faith in the leftist catechism, it's that there is no conflict in the past forty years that has not been tracable to American hostility, imperialism, and exploitation of other nations.

This view long predates Bush and the war against radical Islam.

I can find plenty of people who will gladly tell you that it was America's aggression and need for an enemy that drove the Cold War, that the Soviets were never a real threat to freedom at all, and that they quietly folded up all on their own.

The modern Democratic Party, under its current leadership, doesn't have what it takes to deal with real threats to the world, and hasn't for years. It ain't the party of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy any more.

Try and convince me that Carter, Mondale and Dukakis would have won the Cold War.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 24, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

What do you mean, the threat isn't real? Bin Laden still has the capability to issue videotapes!

And the Iranians are mere months away from a working Cloaking Device! Or was that the Iraqis? I can never keep those guys with the pointy ears straight. Which ones are the logical ones?

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK


JAMES FINKELSTEIN: It appears the neocons want an adversarial nuclear power, because a low tech "Islamo-Fascist" threat without nukes means our Military Industrial Complex can't justify spending over $400 billion annually on hi tech Star Wars, submarines, nuclear battle groups, advanced jet fighters & bombers, and so forth.

"And so forth," is right. Bush's submitted DOD budget for FY '07 is 439.3 billion. But that huge amount ignores items hidden in many other departmental budgets, such as the Departments of Energy/State/Veteran Affairs/Justice/Homeland Security/Treasury, even Transportation--not to mention supplemental spending that is sure to be authorized, as well as prorated interest payments on the national debt. All told, the actual total quite likely exceeds $1 trillion.

As capitalists are fond of saying, it's Econ 101: The government supplies the money because the corporations demand it.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Try and convince me that Carter, Mondale and Dukakis would have won the Cold War.

How about you try and convince me that if Carter, Mondale and Dukakis had been elected, Mikhail Gorbachev would still be running the Soviet Union.

I'm sure your answer will be suitably insulting to the citizens of Poland, East Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Russia itself who actually ended the USSR, and suitably amusing to the rest of us.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

Too funny. Tbrosz thinks that Ronnie Raygun single-handedly won the cold war.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, what's happening now is that, though the GOP is hanging on with its fingernails, the terrorism issue is slipping slowly away with the tide as the central focus of Americans' attention on national security. Fact is, global warming is just a much scarier threat. It's unclear whether or not there'll be another major terrorist attack in the US in the next 10 years, but it's damn certain that there'll be Category 4 and 5 hurricanes hitting the Gulf coast and the Southeast every summer and fall, just like clockwork; and each one will generate the requisite press over the global warming issue. And cutting oil consumption is a big part of the key to the Islamic terrorism issue anyway.

I never thought I'd see it. But environmentalism is coming on strong this summer, and the Republicans have no clue how to cope. For the Democrats, the "new enemy" is global warming, and it's a winner.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

That's the ticket! The GOP needs to declare war on Global Warming. GWOGW is the acronym to watch for in 2008...

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

Or if Bush makes it a campaign issue this year for some reason, it could be George W's Global War on Global Warming. GWGWOGW!

Okay, I'll stop now...

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK


This view long predates Bush and the war against radical Islam.

Funny. it is BushCo who defined this war. Seems to me that we had pretty much defanged Al Queda by the time of Tora Bora, only to give them new life by turning Iraq into chaos. Sorry, this example undermines your position.


I can find plenty of people who will gladly tell you that it was America's aggression and need for an enemy that drove the Cold War, that the Soviets were never a real threat to freedom at all, and that they quietly folded up all on their own.

The Russian were a threat to the freedom of Europe, sure. But we overestimated both the abilities and the intentions of the Soviets time and again. Why was that, pray tell?

The modern Democratic Party, under its current leadership, doesn't have what it takes to deal with real threats to the world.

then we are really up a creek, because BushCo have demonstrated a level of incompetency and cronyism unheard of since the Byzantines lost Palestine and Mesopotamia.

Try and convince me that Carter, Mondale and Dukakis would have won the Cold War.

I seem to recall that the smartest thing that Bush Sr. did at the end of the Cold War was to stand back and let the Soviets collapse on their own. If you think that the Soviets knelt down and surrendered before our superior power, you are clearly browsing too many S&M websites.

Posted by: troglodyte on April 24, 2006 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: Try and convince me that Carter, Mondale and Dukakis would have won the Cold War.

You couldn't be convinced that the earth was round if Bush didn't give you the nod. As for Reagan, to his credit, he managed to little forestall the already in place last throes of the Cold War, which had begun with the initiatives of Willy Brandt and was facilitated by the policies of Mikhail Gorbachev.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

It's true: environmental degradation is going to wreak more havoc than all the military, political, and economic considerations combined. But most politicians on both sides of the aisle think it's an esoteric subject the public can't hand. We've got category 5 wake-up calls coming in many departments, and Tom Cruise sure ain't gonna save us.

By the way, you have to wonder what keeps these trolls around. The biggest difference between us and them is that when something bad happens on our watch, we can own up to it, but these bozos are only interested in playing 'gotcha'. What pathetic excuses for citizens they are.

Posted by: Kenji on April 24, 2006 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe and jim:

Take it up with Fred Kaplan. Among many others.

I'm well aware of the attempts to rewrite that history, and of who walked off with a Nobel Prize in the matter and who didn't. I suspect in another fifty years, Carter, Mondale and Dukakis probably will be listed as having been president during those years.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 24, 2006 at 3:56 AM | PERMALINK

I always liked this theory that the foreign minister of Hungary in 1989 ended the Cold War.

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=7819

Not because I'm related to him or anything, but because I'm more of the opinion that nameless grey technocrats who know how to shift blame are responsible for most of the history of the modern world.

Hey, if you were a communist apparachik at the time, being responsible for the collapse of the soviet empire was definitely something you'd be happy to shirk credit for.

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 4:02 AM | PERMALINK

Some nice links and comments except the usual.

I don't see a contradiction in the neocons/PNAC et al following both.

An underpinning was to maintain US hegemony. China is a possible threat long term, so it's a target. But it was 1998 the neos wrote to Clinton about Iraq. They carried the idea into the administration; Iraq was always on the agenda and 11th Sept opened the door within minutes of the event. It was already at the front of their minds. That all ties in with advancing US morality, bringing spheres of influence within US domain. Not something they expect to achieve with China any time soon. Easy to coopt the Christian fundamentalists and the Israel factor, too.

Just what we need though for any future administration. Just screw relations with everybody.

You repubs just lurv revisionist history. Because your history is so simplified and fictionalized, it's not surprising you stumble into disasters. It's not that there aren't enemies out there. It's just that you can't assess the threat correctly or respond appropriately.

The mindless Reagan is becoming so mythologized for stumbling through the 80s. Brooksfoe is on point. The whole rotten system was coming apart at the seams and Gorby knew it. The fear with Reagan's politics was that it was fairly obvious for the Soviets it was now or never, and whether they wanted to take us all with them. They had more sense. Afghanistan very quickly showed the real effectiveness of their conventional forces.

Who the hell suggested GWOGW. That's a war we can't afford to lose. And that's going to require some really difficult and delicate decisions requiring a belief in . . .
SCIENCE!!!

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2006 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ, the former foreign minister of Hungary looks strikingly like George W. Bush!

http://emc.elte.hu/~magyarip/mmpro/horn.jpg

But somehow I doubt Bush's half-assed foreign policy will be the blessing to the world that Gyula Horn's was.

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

As Bill pointed out above, the documentary "The Power of Nightmares" is a fascinating exploration of the right wing's approach to governing. Rather than curry favor with the electorate by offering benefits ( a chicken in every pot ) they prop up bogey men to frighten the electorate and then promise to protect them if they are voted in.

One of my favorite parts was when the CIA was documenting a lack of Soviet weaponry their reply was that the Soviet weapons were so advanced that we couldn't detect them. Amazing.

Posted by: JohnK on April 24, 2006 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

In the late seventies, analysts at the CIA were already predicting the inward erosion and collapse of the Soviet Union simply from the weight of its own contradictions. Even Afghanistan was something of a last hurrah. After Kruschev, the Soviet Union wasn't exactly committed to communism. Brezhnev ran the Soviet Union like a creaky, corrupt corporate monopoly. Think Enron (or maybe Detroit is a better metaphor). In the 70s, I had a relative who was invited to be a host to a succession of Russian engineers; these guys were about as communist as the engineers at Boeing or Lockheed.

The reality is that the conservative wing of the Republican Party can't function unless they scare voters with the latest bogeyman. There have been a long string of bogus bogeymen both foreign and domestic since the Truman era when Joe McCarthy got his start.

Osama bin Laden attacked us on 9/11 and is a real bogeyman and yet Bush couldn't be bothered to stay focused on him and he has remained free for over four years. Instead, we got a war in Iraq we didn't need.

Posted by: Craig on April 24, 2006 at 4:18 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Kaplan says

Still, at some point, some Kremlin leader would have had to mount a major reassessment of the situation. The Soviet system was dysfunctional; its empire was collapsing; the cupboard was bare.

We can leave it there, or we can continue to the part where Kaplan addresses the crucial factor of Reagan's peaceful reassurances to Gorbachev that the US had no aggressive intentions and wouldn't launch a first attack, which allowed Gorbachev to go ahead with glasnost and perestroika. Perhaps you feel Gorbachev would have been more nervous about President Dukakis launching a preemptive strike, which might have dissuaded him from pursuing perestroika.

What are we doing talking about this? Who cares?

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK

bad Jim: "Too funny. Tbrosz thinks that Ronnie Raygun single-handedly won the cold war."

That's because tbrosz stayed up until 3:00am to watch Hellcats of the Navy, and you obviously didn't.

Kevin: "They tried hyping China first, and then after 9/11 switched to Islamic fundamentalism."

You left out the most obvious enemy of all -- those millions of subversive gays and lesbians who threaten the American way of life by living in cities and towns and shopping at stores and (GASP!!!) demanding special rights, i.e., the right to be left alone to live their lives in peace and not be hassled.

I mean, really -- How un-American is that?

How many states since the mid-'90s have had anti-gay legislation or constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by radical Republicans? I believe that there were eleven states in the '04 election that offere constitutional amendments against same-gender marriage.

Now, radical Republicans in several states want to punish children whose misforture it is to be from a disfunctional straight family, by prohibiting gay adoption and/or foster guardianship.

Radical Republicans need an enemy because they would much rather prefer to react vicerally and be outraged without having to put much thought into what they're doing.

As a result, the rest of us now have an enemy, too -- radical Republicans. Frankly, it's been appparent for quite some time that they've been spoiling for a fight. We need to give them what they're asking for, and take no prisoners.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 24, 2006 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

Kennan predicted the decay of the Soviet Union back around 1950. It wasn't hard, even then, to conclude that it simply couldn't work. Good Lord, collectivized agriculture? Central planning? Of course, the conservatives have never been confident of the ultimate triumph of capitalism, perhaps because they're feudalists at heart.

And now the righty-tighties have their knickers in a twist over the threat posed by hordes of mumbling mullahs and a tribe of cave-dwellers. Yeah, that's the gravest threat our civilization faces, and pay no attention to such ephemeral fantasies as peak oil and global warming.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

OK. I don't get it. Which Nobel Prize is tbrosz referring to, 3:56 AM?

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2006 at 4:29 AM | PERMALINK

Carter's, I think.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

Gorby won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. tbrosz is presumably po'd that you can win the Nobel Peace Prize for introducing freedom of expression and freedom of economic exchange into your previously totalitarian country, but you can't win it by threatening to build giant x-ray lasers in outer space.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

Illegal immigrants ... don't forget illegal immigrants. Their social morality might be music to GOP ears, their work ethic unparalleled, and they might actually harm nobody -- but they *do* exist.

And they're brown. And often odiferous.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on April 24, 2006 at 4:38 AM | PERMALINK

And often odiferous.

Hey, so am I.

I await Inhofe-Sensenbrenner (HR-1933), the Old Spice Act of 2006.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 4:41 AM | PERMALINK

Brooksfoe has it. Damn those huddled masses yearning to breathe free! They never seem to know who their true liberators are!

It's funny that there are still some among us who fear communists. My second-most treasured epithet hurled at me at an anti-war demonstration was "Communist!" (Third-most was "Hippies!" but best was "Go back to France!" That one I found most enjoyable advice.)

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, good point, Jim...if only I could somehow provoke some College Republicans into offering me a one-way ticket to France! Then I'd just have to figure out a way to pay for the return trip.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Brooksfoe, 'cos there's also Lech Walesa in '83 and (oh, no!) Jimmy Carter in '02.

Do you think anyone'll nominate GW, you know, just for the sheer perversity of it?

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2006 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK


TBROSZ: I'm well aware of the attempts to rewrite that history

Ironic that your link is to an article written during the week responsible for more revisionist history than any before or since. The fairy tales told just following Reagan's death are rivaled only by those he told himself during his presidency. Of course, they weren't big lies, like who he did or did not have sexual relations with. No, Ronnie told little white lies about things like misappropriating enormous sums of money, illegal arms sales, and secret deals with terrorists.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

Back to the topic for a moment: Dire Straits had a few words on this a couple of decades ago:

They're pointing out the enemy

to keep you deaf and blind

They wanna sap your energy

incarcerate your mind

I believe Goebbels had something similar.

Isn't there some way to exploit this for more desirable ends? Perhaps that which must be eradicated is something which is nearly certain to disappear by itself, and the absence of which is at worst innoccuous.

Citizens, I propose a war on virginity!

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK

jayarbee: "Ronnie told little white lies about things like misappropriating enormous sums of money, illegal arms sales, and secret deals with terrorists."

Don't forget that Cadillac-driving welfare queeen from Chicago who was receiving seven to ten government checks a month -- depending upon Reagan's audience -- or all those killer trees that caused more pollution than people.

Ah, the nostalgia of it all ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 24, 2006 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

bad Jim: "Citizens, I propose a war on virginity!"

Yeah, I want mine back from whomever took it!

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 24, 2006 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

Try and convince me that Carter, Mondale and Dukakis would have won the Cold War.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 24, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the left believes that Eastern Europe freed itself. You need to believe stuff like that to justify cuts on defense in favour of vote-buying favors to special interests.

Posted by: McA on April 24, 2006 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

If I still had any virginity, I'd be happy to share it with anyone who wanted some.

Posted by: bad Jim on April 24, 2006 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK


McA: Well, the left believes that Eastern Europe freed itself. You need to believe stuff like that to justify cuts on defense in favour of vote-buying favors to special interests.

No, you need to believe that women, gays, blacks and the poor are special interests rather than people deserving of representation in order to justify huge giveaways to the super-rich.


Posted by: jayarbee on April 24, 2006 at 5:58 AM | PERMALINK

Machiavelli said in the 1400s that the best way to govern was to keep the people poor and scared. That seems to be the only way the GOP knows how to govern - if you can call this governance...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 24, 2006 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

cuts on defense in favour of vote-buying favors to special interests.

Defense spending IS vote-buying favors to special interests. Though sometimes, to be fair, it's simply corruption.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

the left believes that Eastern Europe freed itself.

That is correct. The Soviet Communist Party under Gorbachev lost interest in shooting people and putting them in gulags to keep them from embracing capitalism and nationalism, which were obviously economically superior, as could be seen by anyone who had traveled extensively to Western Europe and North America (as Gorbachev and his cohorts had). Once the will to use force evaporated, the East European Communist Parties began heading their own way; some inside those parties saw an opportunity to desert and establish themselves as nationalist democrats, leading the wave of the future; and, once people saw the Russian tanks weren't going to roll in, the floodgates opened.

In the crack-addled version of history which you subscribe to, presumably, American tanks rolled into East Berlin and Warsaw, liberating grateful citizens. In the real world, that did not happen. You may have heard of something called the "velvet revolution". (Or you may be so ignorant that you have not.) Do you think it was named after the fabric of Nancy Reagan's dresses?

Eastern Europe freed itself. You know how I know? I was there. There were no Americans in sight - apart from young exchange students like me.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

Surely it is China. They are the ones driving up the cost of fuelling our SUV's.

Posted by: bob h on April 24, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe on April 24, 2006 at 7:05 AM

Eastern Europe freed itself.

Pretty much. Most Americans know little of history. They certainly know nothing of the role that Schabowski's Zettel played in the downfall of the Berlin Wall--and that was a fundamental error that led to the downfall of the East German regime.

For the Republicans, if St. Reagan didn't do it, it didn't happen.

Posted by: raj on April 24, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

China dropped out the axis of evil after a phone call from Bentonville. Remember the iron resolution GWB displayed after they forced down our E-3? China actualy has a military armed with something other than carbombs.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on April 24, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, that about tears it for me.
Who here can say they believe OBL and Al Qaeda were the sole perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks anymore? I know I cannot. I can't trust any government report on the subject, because this administration has been caught lying too many times.
So I have a simple request. Where can I read a good, concise summary of the case against OBL (for 9/11) not published by the government?

You know, even one year ago I wouldn't even have entertained any doubts. Now I'm entertaining them.
Next year will we find that OBL had some partners in the 9/11 attacks? Nothing would surprise me now.

Posted by: marky on April 24, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I believe I commented at some point in the past - the term "rogue state" was created and brought into common parlance after it was becoming apparent that there would not be a USSR around much longer to justify ludicrous amounts of defense spending.

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

They tried hyping China first, and then after 9/11 switched to Islamic fundamentalism.

And in both cases, GOP elites were cozying up to the bogeyman, yes.

It was all for the trailer park anyway. Never meant a damned thing.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on April 24, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Not long after that April Glaspie did her song and dance number at the Republican Palace.

The Rogue State bit was amplified and echoed thereafter.

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

I find it ironic, if not pathetic, that next to this story is a picture of Rahm Immanuel - the DNC operative who keeps VIABLE ANTI WAR candidates OFF the ticket .... he will do it again in 2008.

This isn't about Neocons and paleocons. THIS IS ABOUT JEWS AND ISRAEL.

Stop playing the DNC vs GOP angle. This is US against Israeli operatives at the highest level of government.

Posted by: karen on April 24, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

Out of curiosity - which is more anti-semitic (in the anti-Israel sense)?
a - believing that Israel is pulling strings in the US goverment, using it to stymie its enemies;
or
b - believing that the Israelis aren't capable of doing so?

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth and similars way upthread: Referring to the fact that Clinton was President during the 90s is irrelevant to Kevin's point. He means, Fukie's comment reveals the neocon/Republican mindset and what they try to do regardless of how much power they have or in what branches (if they have more, then of course they can accomplish more of their objectives.)

So many of you dextrotrolls express such clunky, fallacious and impulsive "reasoning" - no wonder you can support human canards like GWB and his crewe.

PS - Republicans have more kids than liberals. Considering the $1,000/child tax credit and deductions as well (not even counting public education), that means that liberals are welfare-subsidizing conservatives in contrast to the standard propaganda.

Posted by: some jerk off the street on April 24, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

One man won the Cold War: Stanislav Petrov. There should be a monument to him in every capital city in the world.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 24, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Heres the perfect enemy for the Dems to scare the country with. Unlike all the Republican enemies, this one is real:

Beware all those derranged, misguided and evil souls who are soft on global warming! Vote for us or your children will be washed away by the rising sea levels and intensified storms. They will go hungry because the changed weather patterns will turn farmland into deserts. Be afraid, be very afraid!

For heavens sake, if the situation were reversed, dont you think the Repugs would pin the hurricanes, the rising tides, the burning brush-lands, totally on the Dems?

This is all true stuff and yet the wimpydems are so afraid of being bold, they wont touch what is potentially the most effective campaign issue of the century!

Posted by: James of DC on April 24, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't that why Hitler touted the Jews as enemies of the state - because he needed a scary enemy to convince the Germans to give him power and follow his leadership?

Hail, Fuhrer Bush and his Nazi-like cohorts, the neocons - they employ the same methodologies as the German Nazis.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

they prop up bogey men to frighten the electorate and then promise to protect them if they are voted in.
Posted by: JohnK on April 24, 2006 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

Just like the Mafia.
They pay off big italian guys to come around and bust up your place, and then promise to to protect you if you pay their "insurance premium".

If prostitution is the oldest profession, protection rackets must be the second oldest. And the Republicans practice both.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 24, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

This is US against Israeli operatives at the highest level of government.

zzzz

Posted by: cleek on April 24, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Americans have been brainwashed to believe two crucial falsehoods: 1) we are better than everyone else (this takes many forms, be it divine favor, technological advances, etc., but is generally false) and 2) that might makes right. THere are historical comaprisons for what happens to cultures and countries who think this way. But no one reads history, no one learns, so why bother rehashing it? America needs something like a Great Depression, or a major war on her own soil, to wake up to the reality that we are muddling along with everyone else on this planet.

Posted by: Chris on April 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

OT--I haven't got time this morning to read all the comments, but this is for fellow Bush-haters who would like a grim chuckle: Google is striking back.

I could be the last person in America to discover this, but if not, go to the google search page, type in asshole, and do an "I'm feeling lucky" search.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 24, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Stanislov Petrov should be given credit for averting WWIII, but not ending the Cold War! (Though I admit the former is a higher honor. I can't wait to see the right-wingers bawl their eyes out when Col. Petrov dies).

Hungarian Foreign minister Gyula Horn ended the Cold War. By God I will hear you say it.


I'm sorry, we were talking about Islamic lesbians who fart CFCs? Who are we fighting now? Karl? Anyone?

Posted by: brought to you by McCain/Horn 2008. on April 24, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

The same deliberate cultivation of enemy-images for partisan purposes is no less apparent, and no less destructive, in domestic policy. The decision to hang Republican electoral prospects on the promotion immigration restriction to the top of the legislative agenda has been accompanied by the self-conscious use of the language of racial conflict. I did not think I would ever live to see it, but it's obvious to anyone who's listening that the governing party is deliberately fomenting racial conflict in order to secure its hold on power. I suspect that in retrospect this will be seen to be more important than it seems now.

Posted by: KH on April 24, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

America needs something like a Great Depression, or a major war on her own soil, to wake up to the reality that we are muddling along with everyone else on this planet.

Posted by: Chris on April 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

At last!!! The Liberal, I mean Progressive Agenda for the midterm elections revealed. Good Luck trying to win either House of Congress with that message. LOL

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 24, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Go Karen - anybody notice that Karen is ignored?

Rahm Immanuel and other Jews in the Democratic party make sure we don't get a viable anti war candidate.

This is a war from within. We either allow Israel to dictate nuclear war on Iran next - or we rout out the treasonous Jews in Washington and the press.

Those are our choices.

Bravo Karen. The left doesn't know what to do about this heresy.

Posted by: tj on April 24, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

In the real world, that did not happen. You may have heard of something called the "velvet revolution". (Or you may be so ignorant that you have not.) Do you think it was named after the fabric of Nancy Reagan's dresses?

brooksfoe,

You are right, of course, but it was named after my favorite rock band.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on April 24, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Apologies for not distingushing brooksfoe's post - at the begginning of mine.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on April 24, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

If I were a Democrat I wouldn't be trying to comb exchanges among neoconservatives for campaign fodder. This makes Democrats look as if they have no ideas of their own -- which may in fact be the case, but it's still not politically expedient to look that way.

Maybe neoconservatives outside the government were looking for a foreign enemy during the 1990s. But at the same time a foreign enemy was pretty clearly looking for us, and for eight years -- eight YEARS -- the Clinton administration looked on, worried, gestured, and did nothing effectual about it.

This is not a record to be proud of. And one of the Democrats' problems is their difficulty capitalizing on the abundant discontent with the Bush administration's handling of foreign affairs, a discontent directly attributable to their own record when they were in office. The public just doesn't believe that because the Republicans have gotten it wrong the Democrats will put it right.

Posted by: Zathras on April 24, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"There was actually a deliberate search for an enemy because they felt that the Republican Party didn't do as well" when foreign policy wasn't on the issue agenda.

Well, yeah. Cold War 1950s/1980s: 10 presidential elections, Dems win three (two narrowly), GOP wins seven (only one narrowly). No more Cold War, GOP loses popular vote three times in a row. QED.

For those who don't want to wait through the stop-and-start video, here's Fukuyama's complete remark:

"I think that for some neoconservatives, you know, in a sense they wanted to have an enemy, and it was really, the end of the cold war was a tough time because they didn't know who the enemy ought to be. I think in the case of Bill Kristol and the Weekly Standard there was actually a deliberate search for an enemy, because I think that they felt that the Republican party didn't do as well if foreign policy wasn't a big issue, and the late 1990s was the period of the stock market bubble and Monica Lewinsky, and they didn't really have an issue in all of that that they thought was particularly important with the public, and I think they initially picked on China as their target, and I always thought right from the beginning that was a big mistake because, first of all, foreign policy shouldn't be driven by the needs of the Republican party in domestic politics, and secondly, I just don't think that China, it's particularly useful to think of China as an enemy comparable to the former Soviet Union. And so in that sense, September 11 was a big godsend, because we were attacked, and you didn't have to invent an enemy at that point, but I think just that general tendency to think of the world as extremely dangerous and full of big threats is something they tried to carry forward."

Posted by: penalcolony on April 24, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Both parties engage in this.

the difference is that liberal multinationalists whip up support from homosexuals, blacks and working whites - by using specific republican demons -- ie religious crazies, racists [preoccupied dehumanizing Muslims until it's safe to come back and round up Mexicans] - and corrupt multi national corporations.

GOP multinationalists get out the vote by warning of a distinctly brown cast to our brokeback future.

Works every time... nothing much happens to stem homosexuality, immigration, thieving corporations, black predation in large cities, or multinational conspiracy to sell off the country for parts.

Posted by: tj on April 24, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Stanislov Petrov should be given credit for averting WWIII, but not ending the Cold War!

I disagree. I think the terror of what might have happened that day changed people's hearts.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 24, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Well bless my soul, I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1992 - 2000.

Bless your soul, I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1993-2001.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the left believes that Eastern Europe freed itself. You need to believe stuff like that to justify cuts on defense in favour of vote-buying favors to special interests.

Posted by: McA on April 24, 2006 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

As opposed to GOPers like Cunningham, who NEVER used vote-buying tactics to curry favor with special interests.

Posted by: Monkey Butt on April 24, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

It is amusing to read McA, tbrosz, Frequency Kenneth and other conservative apologists endlessly repeat their tired admonitions about Dems needing to do more than bash Bush or be Bush haters to win elections. They are whistling past the graveyard. The GOP is going to get beaten like a rented mule in the November elections. Count on it.

Heres why the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug debacle. Ill bet 95% of people on this blog dont go to their local party caucuses. If you did (and I do), you would hear one resounding theme Elderly people are PISSED! And they vote! I would be willing to wager the GOP loses control of the House and the Senate margin is going to be very, very close. If the GOP loses both, expect impeachment. You heard it here first.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 24, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is lying to you.

Fukuyama never pledged fealty to Cheney. Ever. He is not a member of the neocon cabal. Therefore, nothing Fukuyama says can be attributed to the neocon cabal that is keeping this country safe and free.

Posted by: Al on April 24, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I've been saying for awhile now we should admit we're in a global war against high prices.

Wal*Mart has done its part domestically but we need to send in the troops to keep the supply of oil coming and the supply of cheap Chinese goods coming.

It's the American way.

Gimme a bacon-double-cheeseburger for a buck and I'm a happy camper!

Posted by: Tripp on April 24, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Never have the trolls been so hysterical; you hit a nerve dead-on, Kevin!

Posted by: Ace Franze on April 24, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

As Matt says, "I think this is very telling, and reveals a great deal about the mentality that's been guiding America's foreign policy during the Bush years." Indeed it does. As for me, I just want to hear Bill Kristol deny it. Kevin Drum

The only problem with this (besides the fact that Yglesias was in junior high school when the Eastern Bloc collapsed and the Soviet Union began to implode) is that the Iraq invasion plans date from the end of the first Gulf War, which was not a messianic neo-con mess, but openly about oil. After this, the neo-cons, who are still a minor element of the political right, went into the wilderness for eight years during the Clinton administrations.

Bush the Elder is not a neo-con, so even if he had been reelected, the neo-cons wouldn't have been a part of that administration. It's just as likely that Wolfie, the architect of the second Gulf War and a Class A war criminal, would have left a second Bush Administration out of frustration.

Cheney isn't a neo-con either. In fact, I don't think he has any particular political philosophy other than power for power's sake. He's obviously not reflective enough and probably distrust the "deep thoughts" necessary to actually develop something so squishy and sissy as a "philosophy."

Posted by: JeffII on April 24, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans & conservatives are constantly derided for this paranoid style of politics.
That we need an enemy and will manufacture one if necessary.
Well what did Kissinger say about Nixon?
Even paranoids have enemies

As someone who actually followed the neo-cons arguments (long) before Sept 11, I hope I can enlighten those who are willing.
From my reading it wasnt that we needed an enemy, but rather that post cold war America had a duty to use its strategic and military dominance to shape the globe in a positive direction. This seems like a basic and important point. Clintons feckless foreign policy certainly can be said to lack any grand overall vision or strategy. (Not that thats necessarily a bad thing)
The smaller subset of the so called neo-cons who were arguing for war against Iraq deserves credit not ridicule for a certain number of observations. They had in fact isolated radical Islam as a important enemy. Years before 9/11 they had said (correctly) that of all the areas of the globe, the Middle East was democratizing/modernizing - westernizing/liberalizing the least. Further more they said that as long as the only two forces in the region were despotism and radical Islam the latter was sure to continue to spill over into the west. This was their implicit assertion while the internationalists were busy treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter.
Give credit were credit is due. They called Ronald Regan a paranoid to. And plenty on the left considered cold warriors to be delusional in fighting a non-existent enemy.

Posted by: Fitz on April 24, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

me: Stanislov Petrov should be given credit for averting WWIII, but not ending the Cold War!

Jeffery Davis: I disagree. I think the terror of what might have happened that day changed people's hearts.

me: I'd like to think that, until I found out the records of what he did weren't released until 1998, well after the fall. But if I'm wrong, my God I'm with you because I think it could help change any Cold Warrior's heart. I was glad to hear a movie about the man is being planned for this year. That's the kind of movie you really hope "they" don't fuck up.

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

They do pay themselves handsomely to protect the world from thugs and populist demagogues. Lots of golf and caviar and private jetting required, you know.

And, God knows, there's nothing -- nothing -- that can be done about poor children going to sleep hungry and waking up dead.

Jesus Christ.

Posted by: ferd on April 24, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

You are right, of course, but it was named after my favorite rock band.

And mine. Did you know Lou and Vaclav are buddies?

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ace: Never have the trolls been so hysterical; you hit a nerve dead-on, Kevin!

I've been noticing the same thing. Their desperate screeching is music to my ears.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I knew 9/11 was a fake neocon hoax. I mean all those burning bodies falling out the twin towers... how desperate for a convincing story can you get!

Bush doesn't seem to remember, as he can't be bothered to catch the man responsible for it.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Americans have been brainwashed to believe two crucial falsehoods: 1) we are better than everyone else (this takes many forms, be it divine favor, technological advances, etc., but is generally false) and 2) that might makes right. THere are historical comaprisons for what happens to cultures and countries who think this way. But no one reads history, no one learns, so why bother rehashing it? America needs something like a Great Depression, or a major war on her own soil, to wake up to the reality that we are muddling along with everyone else on this planet.Posted by: Chris on April 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

At last!!! The Liberal, I mean Progressive Agenda for the midterm elections revealed. Good Luck trying to win either House of Congress with that message. LOLPosted by: Chicounsel on April 24, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

His comment says nothing about a platform or agenda. Nothing. It is an observation/opinion.

As for a Democratic Party message against Global Warming, I am not optimistic that this will be very effective, unfortunately. Although the Republicans could not possibly be effective against Global "WAR"ming. Shit, their fight against it would probably involve invading someone.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on April 24, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Every revolution should have something to do with Lou Reed. I'm calling mine the Legendary Hearts Revolucion.

Posted by: eleric on April 24, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen:

The GOP is going to get beaten like a rented mule in the November elections. Count on it.

Ah, "Payback Tuesday" again.

Heres why the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug debacle. Ill bet 95% of people on this blog dont go to their local party caucuses. If you did (and I do), you would hear one resounding theme Elderly people are PISSED! And they vote! I would be willing to wager the GOP loses control of the House and the Senate margin is going to be very, very close.

Yeah, we're going to hear a lot of pro-Bush sentiments from people who go to local Democratic party caucuses. You might be limiting your data universe a bit. Check out actual surveys.

If the GOP loses both, expect impeachment. You heard it here first.

Actually, I haven't been hearing anything else for weeks.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 24, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I haven't been hearing anything else for weeks.

Didja just wake up from a 4 year coma?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 24, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: Actually, I haven't been hearing anything else for weeks.

And yet you soldier on, bearing light through the darkness of our self-inflicted nights. It's an energy-draining, back-breaking, morale-smashing job, bringing religion to the savages, but you do it...because you care. And we're grateful, Tom. So grateful.

eleric, Dismayed Liberal: Somewhere within my book collection is a photo of Lou's guitars lined up in the White House Red Room before a performance he gave in the East Room. Havel had asked Clinton if Lou could be the entertainment at his state dinner, and Clinton enthusiastically agreed. Try to imagine Bush inviting Lou Reed to play at a state dinner, even if he could stay up past 8 p.m. to attend one.

Posted by: shortstop on April 24, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is very telling, and reveals a great deal about the murderous mentality that's been guiding most Americans' foreign policy during all my years.

Posted by: The Reverend Hostile on April 24, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bush said. "Democracy in Iraq will be a major blow to the terrorists who want to do us harm."

How, exactly, will this be a "blow to the terrorists", much less a major blow?

Neither Bush nor his conservative lemmings have explained this - they merely repeat this conclusory statement like a mantra, presuming it is self-evident, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Bush spent about three hours at this military base in the California desert. He was enthusiastically received in the mess hall and in the Protestant chapel, where he attended a contemporary morning church service complete with guitars, clapping and a slide show above the altar.

Did they sing Kumbahyah too?

Tinkerbell will live!

"Because of your service, we're defeating an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home," Bush told the Marines, choking up as he heralded the sacrifices of them and their families.

So, Bush is promising that establishing democracy in Iraq will prevent any and all future terrorists attacks in the U.S. while shedding crocodile tears and lying to the troops!

Just another shameful Bush performance using our troops as partisan political props while lying to their faces.


Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: The Democrats think that all of the enemies of the US are made up.

Liar.

The GOP and its conservative lemming followers, like republicrat, are not imaginary at all.

The GOP's and conservative lemmings' policies and truths are imaginary, but conservatives themselves and their traitorous ways are not imaginary at all.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth: I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1992 - 2000.

A nice history lesson, but without any relevance to Kevin's post.

Typical FK - clueless and obsessively hateful of Clinton.

Hey, FK, Clinton is no longer president, so why do you obsess about him?

Jealous of Monica, no doubt.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

As near as I can tell, we're fighting the people in Iraq who would be on our side in an effort to contain Iran. And we're alleged to be getting ready to use Iraq as a staging area for the ground-portion of our effort of our assault upon Iran.

The interesting thing is to imagine what it is our final goal is supposed to be. Total annihilation of the people who were there before the Iraq War?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 24, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis: The interesting thing is to imagine what it is our final goal is supposed to be.

I'm not sure what our goal is, but I do know what the goal of Bush and his neocon masters is: revenge on the Iranians.

Revenge and greed are the two most important driving forces behind every conservative policy, either separately or in combination.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 24, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Russian were a threat to the freedom of Europe, sure. But we overestimated both the abilities and the intentions of the Soviets time and again. Why was that, pray tell?

Troglodyte

In fairness to the people in charge at the time, the military pretty much has to prepare for the worst case, to assume as a working principle that the most dangerous possibility is true, and civilian leaders have to take that into account. They were very wrong, but it would have been worse to be wrong in the opposite direction.

Posted by: anandine on April 24, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God:

Frequency Kenneth: I do believe Bill Clinton was president 1992 - 2000.

A nice history lesson, but without any relevance to Kevin's post.

At first I agreed with you AFG, but then I realized that the Republicans, in their desperation for an enemy, tried to turn Clinton into that enemy. They succeeded so well that Democrats thought Gore should distance himself from Clinton in 2000.

Posted by: cowalker on April 24, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

A for G - are you sure Bush isn't driven by liquor and revenge?
He really sounds like a worshipper of Alvis to me.

We can only hope for the future's sake that Dr. Quinn relieves Murphy of command by medical necessity and Stormy take the command chair.

/sealab

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Matt's on a roll lately.

Posted by: Jimm on April 24, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Read the pamphlets of the White Rose Group that had the courage to confront the Nazis in Munich in 1942-3. (also see the movie about them, Sophie Scholls, the Final Days - simply brilliant).

They were convinced that the Nazi's were able to paralyze Germany's middle class and military with threats of the Bolshevist menace. Recall that after the armistace of WWI, a 'Soviet Republic' was set up in Bavaria. After the collapse of Wall Street, communism became a real fear for Germany's middle class, industrialist and much of its military. The Great Depression, hitting Germany hard, meant radical politics, such as Communism were in play, and popular. The Industrialist, who had the most to lose if Communism emerged, got behind the Nazis. Ironically, The Nazi's were most successful in wining huge percentages amongst rural communities and rural voters. Just like the Neocons today, they came to power, under a minority vote, during a constitutional crisis, being appointed by a group of old men trying to solve the constitutional crisis while preserving their political perogatives. Finally, shortly after the appointment of Hitler, you have a terrorist incedent in the Burning of the Riechstag tied to a loan Communist conspirator from Holland. The Nazi's quickly seazed this event and spread fear of a widespread communist coup plot, posting soldiers all over the republic at tunnels, railroad stations and bridge crossings.

All of this, according to the White Rose, was fear mongering deliberately orchastrated to drive the population into the Nazi's arms.

We need to pay attention to the past, so we don't repeat it.

Fearmongering. If the truth shall set you free, fearmongering will surely enslave us.

Posted by: Bubbles on April 24, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is going to get beaten like a rented mule in the November elections. Count on it.


From RCP:

It is, according to most, out of the Democrats' grasp. I strongly agree with this estimation. For the Democrats to take the Senate, they would have to defeat incumbents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Montana, Missouri, and Rhode Island; win the open seat in Tennessee; and hold seats against strong challengers in Minnesota, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington. This amounts to a sweep of all 10 of National Journal's 10 most vulnerable races. Most would thus admit that the Senate is not on the table; those who make no such admission usually grow silent when asked to explain why they refuse.

The consensus on the Senate is actually a major problem for the consensus on the House. Historically speaking, the House only switches when the Senate switches. In other words, the improbability of a Democratic capture of the Senate is a sign that a capture of the House is improbable.


The Democrats are not winning the Senate and might not even get a single seat. Kean is ahead in NJ and Kennedy in Minnesota. Steele is running well in MD. All would be GOP pick-ups. Even Cantwell has seen her polls slip in Washington. All politics is local.

Posted by: rdw on April 24, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

While I'd love to believe this, when was the last time Fukuyama was actually right about anything?

Posted by: Shelby on April 24, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

A new Rasmussen Reports Poll has Ohio Republican incumbent Mike DeWine up 43% to 41% over Congressman Sherrod Brown, his Democrat challenger

The Senate and House will remain safely GOP.

Posted by: rdw on April 24, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

I never thought I'd see it. But environmentalism is coming on strong this summer, and the Republicans have no clue how to cope. For the Democrats, the "new enemy" is global warming, and it's a winner.

You were right the 1st time. You'll never see it. A recent Gallup poll ranking the 20 most important issues to voters had the environment as 13th. That means it's not even on their radar. Even if it were an issue the Democrats are stuck with two disasters, Al Gore and Kyoto. Kyoto was the dumbest treaty in the History of mankind and Al Gore supports it.

Posted by: rdw on April 24, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

when was the last time Fukuyama was actually right about anything?


He was right the 1st time. In the end of history he essentially argues the West has won. He is correct. There may be 'spats' but the great wars are over. Socialism is everywhere and at all times a disaster and Islamic Fundamentalism is at best a minor diversion with extremely limited appeal.

Worst for liberals is the conservative West has won. Not France or any in Old Europe. The USA has won with a mix of democracy, liberty, rule if law and anglo-saxon capitalism. It remains to be seen how China and everyone else completes the journey toward American style living but there's no question they will do so eventually. There are no practical alternatives.

Posted by: rdw on April 24, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

He was right the 1st time. In the end of history he essentially argues the West has won. He is correct. Posted by: rdw

Fukuyama tempered his views a great deal post 9/11 and after the Iraq invasion, which he signed a letter publicly opposing. So, actually, he's been right quite a bit.

http://www.cis.org.au/Events/JBL/JBL02.htm

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-fukuyama9apr09,0,5138726.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/excerpts/fukuyama_america.pdf

Posted by: JeffII on April 24, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK


bush approval: 32-percent


new cnn poll....


presidenting is hard work....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on April 24, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK
Kyoto was the dumbest treaty in the History of mankind and Al Gore supports it.

Kyoto, even looked at in the worst conceivable light, doesn't even touch the Kellogg-Briand pact for foolishness (well-intentioned or not), much less beating every treaty in the history of mankind on that score.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa! The West has won? So it's all over? We can all go home?

Don't think so. Global warmning is going to bring the greatest stresses, changes and (hopefully only) social conflicts the world has yet seen. And (Fukuyama's still intellectually wired the same way) the Neocons haven't even started to grasp the use of Science. Neocon or Neanderthal?

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that Kristol sure is a sharpie -- how he got those wacky Arabs to buttress his argument with their rude airplane rides should be reviewed and debated by the left for years to come.

Posted by: minionofrove on April 24, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

boys and girls....

Anyone who started looking into the phony "new' culture war that started after 911 would have found this long ago :

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-177.html

Published in 1992..."The Green Peril" and creating the new enemy.

Those watching the neo's back then before the rest of us even knew what a neo was always knew exactly what they up to.....

Posted by: Carroll on April 24, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Some people are impressed by bloviating and some arent.

We can be thankful that Gorbechev was not that kind of guy or he may have reacted differently to Reagans careless talk while visiting Europe about winnable nuclear war. He was able to recognize Reagan for what he was, i.e., a guy who sometimes shot off at the mouth without knowing what he was talking about.

Of course, its not like that little episode did not cause some problems. It really spooked the Germans, for example, because they had recently negotiated with Carter (an adult) to allow the placement of some rather lethal missiles on their soil. There developed a pretty serious push to reverse the agreements.

Of course (of course), many Reagan worshipers to this day think that it was Reagan who was responsible for the missile deployment because the actual deployment happened on his watch. They cite this as Reagan putting pressure on the Soviets.

Yep, that Reagan was one tough guy. He was so tough he was able to ignore the unanimous advice of the Joint Chiefs when they told him it was a bad idea to put those Marines in Lebanon. That turned out to be a poor move.

Yep, Reagan was so tough he didnt even have to consult the Joint Chiefs period when he decided to fund SDI (Star Wars). Just a snap decision by a very tough guy. Grandly promised us he would see to it that SDI would be deployed in the 1990s. Got up there and read that speech with the same assurance and determination as the tear down this wall speech. Cuz, that what he did... read speeches.

And that dorky Gorbechev (whom Reagan worshipers make fun of), what did he say about SDI from day one? Why he said it was pie in the sky, that his generals and scientists told him it would never fly, to let the Americans waste money on it. Anyway, glad he didnt over react despite the fact that the right-wingers in his country gave him hell about it.

Yep that Reagan won the cold war, same way he visited those concentration camps as an American soldier. Whoops, I forgot. According to his biographer, Lou Cannon, this was all in Reagans imagination, can you believe that? I guess toughness does not preclude absurdity.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 24, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Carroll, I remember that article "The Green Peril"! Man, some of that 1990s Clash of Civilizations stuff seems so old-timey. But at least the threats are easy to remember: Red Scare, Yellow Menace, Green Peril, Brown... I dunno... Crisis?

Posted by: Dark Piglet on April 24, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kyoto, even looked at in the worst conceivable light, doesn't even touch the Kellogg-Briand pact for foolishness (well-intentioned or not)

Kellog-Briand was a waste but a harmless waste. Kyoto is a true disaster. A great many companies started transferring manufacturing capacity to the exempt 3rd world anticipating they would be taxed and fined and vilified if they remained in one of the few countries with actual limits. Causing companies to leave the more regulated and efficient developed world to places like China where ecological concerns don't exits was tragically stupid.

That's not even the worst of it. The fools running it tried to force the USA to pick up the tab and in trying to ram a piece of garbage down our throats destroyed any and all chances of cooperation. The Senate passed a resolution condemning it 95 - 0. They created permanent enemies within the USA to ensure there will never be a Kyoto type treaty. An attempt by USA liberals sympathetic with these clowns to prevent any drilling in the USA has created the perverse situation where rather than drill for Oil in ANWR, and disturbing nothing, the USA is going to replace 2M barrels a day with Tar Sands production. They created an ecological disaster in Canada ensuring the Canadians end up in full view as the worlds biggest fools. Either they pay huge fines to contries like Russia who've treated Kyoto with contempt and only signed because they knew they could make a lot of money OR the Canadians can suffer the embarrasment of pulling out of Kyoto.

Think conservatives in the USA will enjoy watching Kyoto self-destruct? Think they'll use Canada's example for a few decades? Think there's any shot at Kyoto II?

Kellogg-Briand was smart and successful compared to Kyoto.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

We can be thankful that Gorbechev was not that kind of guy or he may have reacted differently to Reagan.

Gorby may have been the biggest fool of the last century. Even the Chinese realized a decade earlier socialism was garbage. When the people of Russia had a chance to freely evaluate his performance he got less than 1% of the vote. Donald Duck gets 1% of the vote. Gorby makes Jimmy Carter seem competent.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

Fukuyama tempered his views a great deal post 9/11 and after the Iraq invasion, which he signed a letter publicly opposing. So, actually, he's been right quite a bit.

What he's done is change his definitions and his story and he's been less than consistent. According to his original book Iraq is not a factor when talking about true clash of civilizations. This isn't islam versus christian or east versus west. This is an act of terrorism by a splinter group unattached to a nation lacking major support. It's no threat to the world order and has been a disaster for those starting it. Osama and Al Qaeda are begin hunted down by most of the Islamic world now recognizing they are merely facists in seach of blood and power.

Within Iraq, always an unsettled state unless ruled with brutality, it's a clash between different Islamic sects and cultures. There will be a Kurdish federation, if not nation, with very good relations with America and Israel. The Kurds now have a state. The Sunni and shia have to figure out what they want. In 30 years few people will remember Iraq.

There are many valid criticisms of Iraq but it is not part of a clash of civilizations nor especially important politically. It has accelerated a shift by the USA away from Europe toward Asia but this was inevitable due to economics anyway. A positive result here is Europe gets to think as a totally independent Continent unburdened by a US defense umbrella. It's healthy for the long term relationship.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

presidenting is hard work....


It certainly is. He's had to nominate two supreme court justices and it took him 3 tries to get it right. But at least he finally got it right.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK
There are many valid criticisms of Iraq but it is not part of a clash of civilizations nor especially important politically.

Well, ignoring the first half since I'm unconvinced that the "Clash of Civilizations" actually exists in the way its usually framed, the second part is pretty obviously wrong. You think Bush's approval ratings in the 30s come from magic disapproval pixies?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 25, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

cm

I'm speaking of the long term. GWBs polls now are meaningless. Truman had lower polls and it wasn't a few two-star has-been Generals on his ass it was Eisenhower. Todays he's regularly ranked among the top ten Presidents. We are in the 4th year of a war and history has proven Americans are very impatient in these matters as they were in Korea and Vietnam.

GWBs legacy won't be impacted one bit by his current poll numbers or defined by Bush hatred. If Democracy takes hold in Afghanistan and Iraq and leads to more stability in the region he'll easily be a top fifteen President, if not top ten.

What will also be an important part of his legacy is a dramatic shift in foreign relations. There has not been as dramatic a change in our Defense Departments and/or State Departments since the advent of the cold war.

My understanding of what Fukayama had written, and there are a variety of intrepretations, is that the class of civilizations is over because the democratic/capitalist model has 'won'. He wasn't saying wars were over. He wasn't saying there wouldn't be any more clowns like Chavez. He was saying that the combination of Democracy and capitalism had been proven so superior over all other political and economic systems it was going to win in the end.

GWBs moves pulling out of Kyoto and the ABM treaty will get high marks as will his handling of the economy and the judiciary. By contrast they're will be nothing to remember Clinton.

Posted by: rdw on April 25, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWBs moves pulling out of Kyoto and the ABM treaty will get high marks as will his handling of the economy and the judiciary.

Bush is approaching Carter territory in approval.

That is what Bush will be remembered for.

That is, if he doesn't reach Nixon territory.

Hardee har har!

GWBs legacy won't be impacted one bit by his current poll numbers or defined by Bush hatred. If Democracy takes hold in Afghanistan and Iraq and leads to more stability in the region he'll easily be a top fifteen President, if not top ten.

Since you've lied before about who is currently in the top 10, your predictions have no credibility.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 26, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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