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Tilting at Windmills

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June 12, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HOLBROOKE ON IRAQ....I'm still catching up with stuff from last week, and one of the things that struck me was Suzanne Nossel and Michael Signer's report that Richard Holbrooke is seriously gloomy about our prospects in Iraq. First Suzanne:

He and our own Mort Halperin now agree that Iraq is worse than Vietnam both in its consequences and the policy challenge posed by the need to extricate. Neither thought they would ever say that about any foreign policy quandary. It's astonishing that with 1000 days left Bush is already saying he plans to hand this to his successor its a guaranteed 2000+ more casualties. Plus our international standing will only continue to wane.

Administration's dilemma is whether to draw down troops for political reasons or increase troops for strategic reasons....If Bush buck-passes as is his stated intent, it now looks like the 2008 election may be a referendum on Iraq. In office, a new president will have to end the war to have a hope of reelection in 2012.

And Michael:

Holbrooke intoned all of this as if he were reciting a dirge. Ominous is far too light of a word, and if he was only pessimistic he might as well have been dancing. Holbrooke seemed haunted and depressed by the darkness of a vision, and unquestionably convinced of the central premise of his vision that Iraq is "worse than Vietnam."

I'm pretty gloomy these days too. A year ago, I thought (or maybe just hoped) that a milestone-related withdrawal plan might improve Iraq's chances of avoiding complete chaos. Today I can't even convince myself of that little. If we leave now, full-blown civil war seems inevitable, but if we stay, full-blown civil war also seems inevitable except with the U.S. Army stuck in the middle. And that's long been my biggest worry.

Maybe I'll feel more upbeat tomorrow. But I doubt it. I think Holbrooke is right.

Kevin Drum 1:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (239)

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Comments

Well, everything would be all right, if it weren't for you Jihad-loving librul media commie traitors undermining the march to freedom and democracy.

How come you don't post about all those schools being painted, huh?

Posted by: bleh on June 12, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney nails it!

Freedom, Freedom, Schools, Purple Fingers, Easter Bunnies! What is there to be morose about? We can just keep borrowing trillions from China!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 12, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Holbrooke is seriously gloomy about our prospects in Iraq.

Richard Holbrooke is a liberal Clintonite Democrat who served in the Clinton administration. The same liberals that refused to liberate Iraq when they had their chance in the Clinton Administration and is now joined with Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan in attacking George W Bush and our troops. And yet you expect us to take his views on Iraq seriously?

Posted by: Al on June 12, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Dems have to get control over the message on Iraq. Otherwise they have no political advantage of being right because the meme will become that the situation is bad when the "hawks" said it was; this cedes control of the policy message to the people responsible for the mess in the first place.

Posted by: sunship on June 12, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's like watching someone die. It takes a while to accept the reality of the situation. But enough people have been saying this was a huge strategic tragedy from the beginning.

Hope springs eternal, and most of the semi-optimism came from hope rather than from any really positive developments.

Can you really think of anything that has transpired over the past three or four years that was really a step forward? The elections were a sham in terms of actual progress, because there is no consensus agreement by Iraquis on what constitutes progress.

This was a fantasy, wrapped in disingenuousness, and fueled by manufactured fear and a lust for a security unachievable by brute force.

Posted by: CR on June 12, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure what withdrawal would look like, with us building four huge permenent bases, and a fortress in the Green Zone.

Posted by: Slideguy on June 12, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Al nails it!

Attacking our troops! More people die in car wrecks! 9/11! 9/11! America haters! Fight them there not here!

Why can't you learn, Kevin??

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 12, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The troll/non-troll ratio has increased substantially on this site.


Let us first kill all the trolls.

Posted by: nut on June 12, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

After our own civil war, reconstruction is generally agreed to have taken about twelve years (65-77). The Republicans of the day wanted to stay the course, and the Democrats of the day wanted to give up and simply leave the south to their fate (including the newly liberated blacks). The left also wanted to appease the soviet union, before Reagan outspent and crushed them.

The ability of the Democrat Party to give up when freedom and democracy are on the line is truly unparalelled. Never before have so many been willing to forsake so much for so little reason.

Even if the American people are ready for a change of leadership, how are they supposed to vote for a party that advocates hiding under the bed?

Posted by: American Hawk on June 12, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Hey what's to be so gloomy about? Even now, Bush has his "war cabinet" hunkered down for two days to figure out a, err, umm, a strategy or, um, maybe a new speech, or something.

Posted by: paul on June 12, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Slideguy: There will be no withdrawal. We will be there for the forseeable future, spending money and lives.

I'm pretty sure this is a blocking move in a chess game against the Chinese. But that's not my insight, so I have no real support for it, other than to say it makes sense to me.

Posted by: CR on June 12, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Slideguy nails it.

There is not going to be any real withdrawl at least for a generation. When Bush is certifiably and officially lame duck, he will announce his plans for formal occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: lib on June 12, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

The next 6 months in Iraq will.........

Posted by: R.L. on June 12, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

bugger off, A-Hawk

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who grew up in the region as a young child, and with basically no no other frame of reference or institutional insight other than that the Bush administration were a bunch of incompent and mendacious cretins, yeah, this was pretty easy to see back in late 2002.

Posted by: nova silverpill on June 12, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

bugger off, A-Hawk

GOOD ARGUMENT!!!!!!!!

Posted by: American Hawk on June 12, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

GOOD ARGUMENT

like you know anything about what constitutes a "good" argument.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush buck-passes as is his stated intent, it now looks like the 2008 election may be a referendum on Iraq.

Well, yeah, that's the whole idea. The GOP wants to be able to paint dems as "cutters and runners", even if the war is vastly unpopular.

The Republicans of the day wanted to stay the course, and the Democrats of the day wanted to give up and simply leave the south to their fate (including the newly liberated blacks).

Ah, you've got to love the unerring sense of history of the rightards, exemplified here by Chickenhawk. Um, Chickenhawk, in 1865 the Republicans, and their Whig forebearers, was the progressive party, dems were largely conservative. So is it liberalism you hate, or democrats?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 12, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I saw all of this prior to the invasion. It was inevitable. Everything became black after 9/11 because of the planned US response to engage in war. The part I did not think about, however, was that it would be worse than Vietnam - there is no North Vietnam to pick up the pieces and provide political stability in the region.

The only thing worse than my dismay is that pundits only care about the few dying Americans, not the hundreds of thousands of future dead Iraqis. Perhaps the only solution to preventing more bloodshed is to allow Iran to take over in Iraq.

Posted by: Hostile on June 12, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

From Kevin's link: "Fischer's up. America is indispensible. He says it not because he wants it to be so, but having witnessed it. If we give up our traditional role in the world, it will be a disaster. We all but invented international law, international organizations. He cannot imagine a peaceful world without these instruments - - this is the most rousing defense of American exceptionalism to be sounded this morning. But it's being made by a foreigner."

The pessimists may prove to be right; the optimists may turn out to be right. Or, Iraq may muddle along for many years with a weak democratic government unable to put down an ongoing insurgency. At this point, nobody knows.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 12, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty gloomy these days too.

Gloomy about what? Look, do you have any idea what a huge mess that unquestioned US dominance in Iraq would have caused? We'd be knocking on the door of an invasion of Iran, and ever two-bit legislator who "supported the Iraq war" would be talking up the wisdom of his foresight and the wondrous future of "preemtive war." "Out prospects in Iraq" are to leave. Any other outcome would do even more damage to the USA than it already has.

AH, on the 12-year occupation timeline-- "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." We can't sustain a 12-year occupation. You might as well ask for a pony.

Posted by: Constantine on June 12, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

In Lebanon (per my recollection) a coalition of countries got together to basically give the existing warlords pardons + political power in a newly formed state. Those who didn't buy in were prosecuted as war criminals by the war criminals that did buy in. It's an ugly solution, but not nearly as ugly as civil war itself.

So I suspect that eventually grown-ups will look at Lebanon as a model for how things might work out in Iraq. Given the political environment in Iraq this is not currently an option. (Nor was it an option in Lebanon in 1980.)

Can anybody else think of a relevant model? (And no, it doesn't look a whit like US Reconstruction. Please.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on June 12, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

If videogames have taught me anything, its that sometimes you have to face the consquences of bad decisions, accept your failings as a commander, and reload at an earlier save point.

So, I suggest we release Saddam, pull back out to the border of Kuwait, take a month to get our ducks in a row, and reinvade.

Posted by: Mysticdog on June 12, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Appropriations conference removed a provision from the bill funding continued operations in Iraq that would have not permitted funding for permanent bases in Iraq. Reuters

This has always been the plan--a permanent occupying force of tens of thousands. I've been saying 30-40 thousand based on reporting by Fred Kaplan and George Packer, but now it is known that they are planning for 50,000 troops permanently based there.

America plans to retain a garrison of 50,000 troops, one tenth of its entire army, in Iraq for years to come, according to US media reports.

The revelation came as George W Bush summoned his top political, military and intelligence aides to a summit on Iraq's future today at the presidential retreat at Camp David.

Telegraph

via Firedoglake

These plans have always been in place, and they have gone almost unreported in the media. The plan to base troops permanently in Iraq makes any discussion of withdrawal dishonest and contentless. Kerry's proposal, Murtha's redployment simply don't reflect the actual plans.

Moreover, this makes it very clear that the notion of Iraqi sovereignity is exaggerated. No government will be permitted to take power that will not allow the US to occupy these bases. And the Iraqis will not be permitted to create a functional army. The logistical resources will not be provided. They will be permitted no armor, no air force and no capability for defense against air strikes. All those capabilities will remain in American hands indefinitely.

That's the plan. That's always been the plan. And neither the president nor the defense department have ever been called on it. The stand up stand down thing was a patent lie, and nobody would say so. Now that this out in the open, is there some chance someone will?

Posted by: JayAckroyd on June 12, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

If GWB is smart and cognizant of the need to salvage his legacy as well as the chances for the Republicans in 06 and 08, he would immediately appoint John Murtha the Secretary of Defense and listen to him.

Posted by: lib on June 12, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Taking your two last posts together, here's an idea: how about finally reformulating American policy priorities for the post-Cold War era. Withdrawal from Iraq would be justified if our candidates argued that our massive military spending is long since anachronistic. We need to return to forcing on important domestic issues such as universal health care spending and securing our homeland and citizens against terrorism.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwartz on June 12, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

But, but Kevin, what about the death of Zarqawi and the final formation of a government? Surely we've turned the corner now? No? Can't you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Posted by: ckelly on June 12, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly

It'll all be fine in 6 months.....

Posted by: JayAckroyd on June 12, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

not that it matters,not that it's relevant, but american hawk, you're twisting history. you might recall, the election of 1876 was deadlocked, and the repubs made a deal to get the florida delegation to change its vote in order to give the presidency to their candidate, rutherford b. hayes. it's just another case where the repubs eschewed principle to retain power.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 12, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Tilden won the popular vote in '76 as well.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on June 12, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk (aka asshole): After our own civil war, reconstruction is generally agreed to have taken about twelve years (65-77).

The south was part of a democracy and republic (the Union) before the Civil War. They were a democracy and republic during the Civil War. And they rejoined the Union (a democracy and republic) after the Civil War.

Comparing Iraq (a dictatorship) with Reconstruction of the south (a democracy and republic) is not helpful.

Posted by: tripoley on June 12, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get the conservative "vision" on Iraq at all. Let's say it's a good idea - we need a couple of police stations in the Middle East, we like cheap oil, etc. Oh, and it will prevent terrorism (chuckle) - how could I forget that one.

If all those things are true, and if we "must win", then the way forward seems crystal clear:
- Increase taxes to pay for this "war"
- Institute a draft to put 500,000 Americans on the ground there full time
- By doing the above, convince Europeans that we are serious, and so get them to commit another 500,000 people to actually be in Iraq
- Explain that this will take a generation

Since there are no conservatives, in or out of the government, advocating any of the above, I conclude that they are not serious about Iraq, and instead that Iraq is just a big campaign slogan for the GOP, that got out of control and is now threatening to eat its master.

Posted by: craigie on June 12, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Keep your chins up, Lefties!

You'll have to root for failure in Iraq for a few days, yet.

Keep the faith.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure what withdrawal would look like, with us building four huge permenent bases, and a fortress in the Green Zone.

Yes, but when we withdraw we won't get to keep them. We had lots of "permanent" bases in Vietnam, as well, such as Cam Ranh, but we lost those when we were chased out in ignominious defeat. The reason we were able to keep bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea is because we won (or, in Korea's case, tied) those wars -- that won't be the case here.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Since there are no conservatives, in or out of the government, advocating any of the above, I conclude that they are not serious about Iraq, and instead that Iraq is just a big campaign slogan for the GOP, that got out of control and is now threatening to eat its master.

Look, craigie, if you understood this stuff you'd get that cutting taxes creates an incentive to revitalize the economy for every company engaged in war profiteering. Or that we don't need more soldiers in Iraq; we need fewer big-mouth libs playing "gotcha" here. Get rid of the latter and I think you'll find you have enough of the other.

The master's foot is the last body part hanging out of the mouth of the beast at this point.

Posted by: shortstop on June 12, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

It'll all be fine in 6 months.....

No one could have imagined that Iraq would be a country with so many corners.

Posted by: Condi on June 12, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: Keep your chins up, Lefties!

You'll have to root for failure in Iraq for a few days, yet.

Go watch Baghdad ER and tell me what you're rooting for Birkel. Me, I'd like to see less senseless death and maiming in Iraq, but I guess you can accomplish that just be ignoring what's going on.

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax,

You're right.
An HBO Special will clear it all up.
Thank goodness they made "ROME" or I'd not know about Caesar's campaigns and murder in the Senate.

Oh? What's that? You were serious?

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not even sure what withdrawal would look like, with us building four huge permenent bases, and a fortress in the Green Zone.

Easy, they'll just turn them into big box retail outlets. They'll be able to get car parts, sushi and RPGs all in one convenient location!

Posted by: craigie on June 12, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

The human toll of Vietnam was so much worse that it's inappropriate to say Iraq is a bigger disaster.

Posted by: Dan-O on June 12, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,

Cut out the middle man - forget the HBO special and go to Iraq yourself. Its wonderful there these days. But, as always, the best way to see a place is the way the locals do, staying away from the tourist traps and the like. Don't use the US military as a taxi service, and just wander out on the street and see the sights.

We're not rooting for failure in Iraq. We're damn unhappy about the situation now. If you think things are going well (how many corners have been turned after all), go over there, take some pictures, and tell us about it.

Posted by: cactus on June 12, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

After our own civil war, reconstruction is generally agreed to have taken about twelve years (65-77). The Republicans of the day wanted to stay the course, and the Democrats of the day wanted to give up and simply leave the south to their fate (including the newly liberated blacks).

And at the time, the Republican party was the progressive party and the Democrats were the conservatives, a party that, at that time, dominated the South. Is it in any surprise the South wanted the occupying federal forces out?

There are parallels to be sure -- by pulling a retreat, the federal government left the South to sink back into a 100-year morass of Jim Crow laws and a reign terror -- yes, terror -- against the former slaves. If we withdraw from Iraq we face the same thing -- sure civil war. But if we stay -- we also face civil war. That's the point of the post: Bush doesn't have a clue how to fix it or how to get out; so he's just going to stay and let the next president figure out. Great leadership!

The ability of the Democrat[ic] Party to give up when freedom and democracy are on the line is truly unparalelled.

Uh, I believe it was a Democrat who led this country through World War II? And it was another Democrat who refused to withdraw from Viet Nam -- that was left to a Republican president to pull off, in his second term.

The party-bashing propaganda doesn't work here, A.H.

At any rate, you side-step the question: What the hell do we do now? Seems to me -- as a person who thought the war was one huge strategic blunder from the get-go -- we've long since missed the oppotunity to make a difference by significantly increase the troop numbers on the ground.

This what galls me about this whole mess: If you want to start a war, go in there with enough troops to win the damn thing. And if you don't have the troops -- raise them. It's called a draft. That's what you do when you find yourself in war of necessity. Since this was not a war of necessity, but a politically calculated war designed to boost the Chimp's poll numbers -- it was done on the cheap. The Big Lie the Bush Administration has pushed on us is the "Painless War." No Fuss, No Muss.

Well, we're gonna feel some pain. It's a comin' --- if 'stay the course' means "I don't have a damned idea what to do different," then we're looking at more lives lost in postponing the inevitable: a nasty civil war in which the Iranian mullahs ultimately prevail. And in the process, we undermine civil liberties at home, are knee-deep into a constitutional crisis here, and face the very real possiblity of a financial meltdown because of the explosion of debt, the fiscal irresponsibility of tax-cutting Republicans in war time -- something no Democratic president ever was foolish enough to do -- and the complicity of millions of Americans who are still so rattled by 9-11 that they would trade away the first and fourth amendments happily in the name of Homeland security.

Posted by: Harpo on June 12, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I like how, when the magic "rebuliding fairies" failed to materialize in Iraq, the Buh Administration decided it was still possible to continue its plan to build huge, permanent military bases in a nation that was becoming increasingly unstable and hostile to the US.

It's like there's no realization that if, three years from now we've got a hostile populace that's lousy with bombs and small arms, we can't effectively use the multi-million dollar military bases in that country, no matter how well-built the damn things are. They'll be a string of isolated fortresses. Might as well build 'em in the South Pacific, for all the good they'll do us.

I haven't seen a strategic plan so mired in wishful thinking since operation Typhoon--where the Germans didn't bring along coats or antifreeze because, hey, it's just an invasion of Russia. No need for contingency planning, just count on everything going perfectly! Rebuilding a country fractured by sectarian violence, ethnic strife, and awash in small arms, bringing a coat in case that Russia campaign drags on into winter...not the kind of thing great strategic minds should worry themselves about.

Posted by: theorajones on June 12, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

... [T]he notion of Iraqi sovereignity is exaggerated. No government will be permitted to take power that will not allow the US to occupy these bases. And the Iraqis will not be permitted to create a functional army. The logistical resources will not be provided. They will be permitted no armor, no air force and no capability for defense against air strikes. All those capabilities will remain in American hands indefinitely. That's the plan. That's always been the plan.

I think JayAckroyd has it mostly right. The principal objective was to put a big US cop-shop square in the middle of Oil Country. Iraq was the logical place to do it, because of its location, its natural resources, and its political and military weakness.

The political future of Iraq has always been secondary. Yeah, Democracy (pause to genuflect) there would be nice, but given the history and culture of the region, building a functioning democracy would be a generation's work, and the Bushies were always forthright about their scorn for "nation building." That they've sold this particular candy-land vision to their supporters is testament only to the Bushies' mendacity and their supporters' stupidity.

I'm guessing, though, that some Iraqi military capability WILL be permitted, a la South Korea or perhaps Japan, just to keep local order and to put somebody else's bodies on the front lines. We'll fund them, supply them (in carefully limited ways), and allow them to be the local veneer on the colonial military machine.

Ironically, building and carefully controlling a national Army with limited capabilities might well be a good way forward to politically stabilizing the country and bolstering relatively secular institutions. But that's certainly not the reason for doing it. If a military strongman -- Saddam II, say -- were a more effective choice, these guys would do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: bleh on June 12, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

cactus,

The chickenhawk argument is SO 2005. So you went and updated it.

Well played.

Your rhetorical kung fu is powerful.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever noticed how much trolls and terrorist act alike. All follow some motivation blindly. When one dies another jumps right in to replace them.

Posted by: Neo on June 12, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bush speaks of an Iraq ready and able to defend itself. This capability is linked to our leaving. Why isnt he asked to define this ability? Iraq is surrounded by nations sharing simmering hostilities towards each other. Theyve waged war against Iran. When will Iraq be permitted the type of military able to repulse another nations aggressions? Where will they get the money and who will they be permitted to buy weapons from? Theyll properly need advanced fighter jets, mechanized artillary, short range missiles, attack helicopters and all the advanced training and supplies to support it all. In short they need to be on par with their neighbors and Israel. When does Bush plan to enable and assist in this? And finally, how does he plan on keeping all that weaponry from being turned on American troops once its in Iraqi hands? The answer? Iraq isnt getting such a military. Ever. And Bushs professed desire they have the ability to defend themselves is nothing but a pack of gaudy lies. Lies the press and Congress wont call him on.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 12, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, as most trolls do you resort to false equivalencies. Baghdad ER is a documentary not fiction.

Those people on the screen are the real people that are dying and being maimed, and this will continue to happen until the administration you support comes up with a solution to its mess. And of course a documentary doesn't "clear it all up" but I didn't suggest it did. I just don't believe that you have any visceral idea or experience of what's happening over there.

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,

Are you trolling this blog again? Do you like lying? Does it make youi feel good when you look in the mirror? God watches you. Dont forget that.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,

I wasn't suggesting you sign up for the war. The Chickenhawk argument is played out because everyone knows the Chickenhawks won't enlist. Thus, why bother.

But... if you believe something, put your money where your mouth is. Forget about enlisting - none of the "Iraq is going great" crowd ever goes to Iraq for a nice vacation. I've spent a lot of time in South America, including places that at times the news reports indicated were extremely unsafe. I thought they were safe - so I went.

Again, I'm not suggesting you enlist, I am suggesting you take your family there for a nice vacation. I'm also asking that you do it the way I did it when I to places that were supposed to interesting - see it the way the locals see it. Don't abuse the US taxpayer and use the military as a taxi service.

BTW - I keep hearing that Afghanitan is doing well these days too, so that's another fine vacation spot you might pencil in.

Posted by: cactus on June 12, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax,

I see. Because it's a "documentary" it's, like, totally not got a point of view.

Just like "Farenheit 911" or that McDonald's movie.

I will counter your rhetorical drunken master with my tiger's claw.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, what's the point of view being expressed and how is it unaccurate in your opinion?

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Again, I'm not suggesting you enlist, I am suggesting you take your family there for a nice vacation. I'm also asking that you do it the way I did it when I to places that were supposed to interesting - see it the way the locals see it. Don't abuse the US taxpayer and use the military as a taxi service.

You know what, that's such a good idea that I'll even offer to spring for the ticket. If Birkel wants to go to Iraq for vacation I'll pay for a round-trip economy class flight (assuming he'll need a return, that is). All he'll have to do is bring back a few photos verifying he was really there (and no, photos from Istanbul won't count).

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

troglodyte,
What is this "god" of which you speak? Seriously, point out the "facts" that support your assertion of some "god". (And you're right. I shouldn't feel good about picking on the short bus kids. I feel really bad about commenting here.)

cactus,
No. The chickenhawk argument is played out because you're sitting at a computer instead of taking up arms against the McBushitler Halliburton neocon Christianist cabal. So I know you're not really serious about your support.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel's waiting for the REAL Iraqi documentary "Baghdad PS101- The Model" a real-life drama of painting a public school in Baghdad.

Posted by: ckelly on June 12, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Because it's a "documentary" it's, like, totally not got a point of view."

Again... see the place yourself. Go there on your next vacation. I bet its pretty cheap - the damn liberal media has scared most people off, so the prices have to be low. And when you go, see it the way the locals see it.

Tell us what its like - maybe if you give us a first hand view of the place untainted by the liberal media you'll convince a lot of people. But my guess is that you can't even convince yourself.

Posted by: cactus on June 12, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Go easy on him, Cyntax. He can't tell whats reality and what isn't - is fundamental to right wing nature. Reality has a left wing bias.

Besides, how can that be real? Everything is great over there, so a show that has US soldiers bleeding and dieing at a rate more than 1 a day or so has to be fabricated. Casulaties only refer to the dead anymore, after all.

A REAL-GOP version would have a bunch of doctors being fed peeled grapes by hardworking KBR employees, and every couple of days or so a perfectly intact soldier's corpse would be brought in and everyone would shake their heads sadly for a few seconds, until the soldier's buddies pointed out that they still got that school painted. For Johny.

Posted by: Mysticdog on June 12, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax,

I have no idea how it's unaccurate (sic). Please advise.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, what's the point of view being expressed and how is it unaccurate in your opinion?

It's all that biased, leftist blood and guts and dead people. They conflict with Birkel's world view.

Posted by: ckelly on June 12, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Really Birkel, your cute little Quentin Tarrantino-isms about kung-fu aside, where does the opportunity for editorializing come in, when the only ones doing the talking are the troops?

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I can't even figure out what Birkel is arguing about. Is he just muttering that liberals "are rooting for bad news"? What do you say about policymakers who simply *ignore* bad news? Do you think that the news from Iraq really isn't bad?

It's painfully obvious that the news from Iraq is terrible. Rather than shooting the messenger, what should we do about it? Kevin is saying - we can't do much; all of our options are bad ones. I agree. So Birkel, what do you think we should do?

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

cactus,
Thanks for the offer.
However, you may want to save your money to help some struggling Hollywood actor make it to Canada or Europe if this election doesn't go their way.

In the meanwhile, I'll read Michael Yon, et al, or Iraq the Model for my info.

(makes kung fu noises)

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

"No. The chickenhawk argument is played out because you're sitting at a computer instead of taking up arms against the McBushitler Halliburton neocon Christianist cabal. So I know you're not really serious about your support."

Hey. I'm in the US. That's how I have an idea about what's going on here. Once again - head on outo Iraq and Afghanistan and see what those places are like.

As "taking up arms against the McBushitler Halliburton neocon Christianist cabal" - there's such a thing as a loyal opposition. You, presumably, didn't take up arms against that evil Clinton - does that mean you supported Clinton? I note that you probably aren't willing to go to Iraq because you don't expect the loyal opposition behaves the same way in iraq.

Posted by: cactus on June 12, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

sitting at a computer instead of taking up arms against the McBushitler

psst. this is America - we don't take up arms against political rivals (unless you're a rightwing radical shooting at doctors or blowing up federal buildings).

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea how it's unaccurate (sic). Please advise.

You're the one denigrating the value of seeing exactly what the sacrifices are that are being made. Tell me why you think it's appropriate to trivialize what's happening. And tell me how we can stop this.

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Cleek....if American Hawk buggered off he'd have to use that orifice for something other than speaking out of and we can't have that.
Holbrooke a liberal? Yeah, that's pretty funny. Realistic & pragmatic? Pretty much.

Posted by: Nathan64 on June 12, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty gloomy these days too. A year ago, I thought (or maybe just hoped) that a milestone-related withdrawal plan might improve Iraq's chances of avoiding complete chaos.


Actually, you refused to distinguish between "milestone-related withdrawal" and "scheduled withdrawal", and you were gloomy then as well. And that was before the elections and before the fighting between Sunnis and foreign Jihadists.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish economic expansion continues to be the envy of the Islamic Middle East, followed closely by the economic expansion of the Shi'ite regions of Iraq.

And cooperation between the citizens and the Iraqi military continues to increase as well.

Don't be such a perpetual gloomster! Even Haditha is not as bad as you think.

I have a feeling that a thought has begun to sink in: the Democrats are not going to retake the Congress this fall. Now there is a source for your gloom: you will be at maximum uncertainty throughout the summer and fall.

Posted by: republicrat on June 12, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

cactus, Thanks for the offer.
However, you may want to save your money to help some struggling Hollywood actor make it to Canada or Europe if this election doesn't go their way.

It was cactus who suggested the trip but I was the one who offered to pay for it. And please don't worry about the cost to me, I have more than enough that it won't be a burden -- I'm happy to pay for you to go. In fact, I'll even book the flight for you -- but once you land, I'm afraid, you're on your own to make arrangements. So what do you say -- doesn't a week or two in Iraq sound like a better deal than just sitting around reading Michael Yon?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel

God does not base His power on whether you believe in him. He is not Tinker Bell. The smirk on your face will not last long when the time comes.

Those you profess to support say that He exists and that He judges sinners. Have your handlers told you that God doesnt exist? Did they tell you that only the fundy rubes believe in him? That He is a convenient tool?

Do not believe them. He will judge you. Prepare for that.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

cactus,
I did like Clinton. However, as an officer of the court I didn't appreciate his lying under oath (for which he lost his license to practice law for 5 years).
And I worked for Harvey Gantt in 1996 against Jesse Helms.

Not a Christianist.
Not a knee-jerk Clinton hater.
Wanna try for another stereotype?

cleek,
I meant you should go to Iraq to fight for your side.

Meanwhile, those anti-abortionist lunatic bombers of women's health clinics should be locked up forever -- or executed. Thankfully that's already happened with McVeigh.

When was the last abortion clinic bombing, btw. I can't remember one recently. Of course, I might have missed the reports and would appreciate being so informed if that is the case. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

aWol did us a major, major quagmire. We all should be gloomy.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 12, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

troglodyte,

Save your breath, sweetheart.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

We can't sustain a 12-year occupation. You might as well ask for a pony.

Posted by: Constantine on June 12, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

The issue is not that the US cannot sustain a 12-year occupation, we clearly can. The real issue is do we want to sustain a 12-year occupation if that is necessary to achieve our stated goal of a "free and democratic" Iraq. In the end, the debate over Iraq becomes a simple cost-benefits analysis.

You clearly don't think that the incurred and future costs required to achieve the goal of a free and democratic Iraq are worth it. The neocon's argument is that the costs are worth it because it would be a huge change for the better in the Middle East and for US as well if we can leave Iraq with a political and economic life similar to that of Turkey or Indonesia at the end of our occupation.

I supported the war because it removed an enemy of the US from power. And because I agree with Bush that in order to reduce terrorism, you must go after the states and governments that give terrorists protection or support.

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 12, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I too am gloomy. Don't any of you wish you could be proud of your government again? I wish I could say with certainty that my government stands for the highest ideals of good governance. As long as the Republicans are in power I can't, because they don't.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 12, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

I meant you should go to Iraq to fight for your side.

you first, chickenhawk.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

And because I agree with Bush that in order to reduce terrorism, you must go after the states and governments that give terrorists protection or support.

Great! So when do we invade the US allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

The issue is not that the US cannot sustain a 12-year occupation, we clearly can.

Well no, we clearly cannot -- at least, that is, unless we do so at the expense of all our other goals and interests, sacrificing our military might, economic security, and influence and authority in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America in the process.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I supported the war because it removed an enemy of the US from power. And because I agree with Bush that in order to reduce terrorism, you must go after the states and governments that give terrorists protection or support.

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 12, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK


I take it you support invasions of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Isreal. Three countries who give terrorists protection and support.

Yes, I said Isreal. Lobbing shells into a family picnic is just as much terrorism as a suicide bomber going off on a crowded street corner.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 12, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

So, let me guess: republicrat thinks that things are going well in Iraq. It's hard to respond to such sentiments, except to note that they represent a willful blindness to what is actually occuring there. 1400 violent deaths in Bagdhad in the last month. The massacre at Haditha, and the Iraqi PM condeming the US for killing civilians in general. Repeated reports on the collapse of civil rights for women, especially in the south. Rampant kidnappings, civil strife, and ethnic cleansing. A government that has taken months to form and which still cannot fill key posts. I could go on, but I shouldn't have to...

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

So what about that trip to Iraq? I find it odd, to say the least, that I offered to fund the whole thing out of my pocket and yet I'm getting no response -- it's almost as if he's not willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Marc,

Perhaps you missed the news of those key posts you mention being filled because of the celebration you put on about Zarqawi's demise. But, uh, I'm pretty sure you don't know what the heck you're talking about.

Some of the other particulars you mention are also wrong, btw.

Remember the good old days of the Afghanistan War when after three weeks the NYT declared it a quagmire. (Ditto the Iraq invasion.) Ah, yes. Those were the days.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,
Feel free to mail those tickets to me.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

"The stand up stand down thing was a patent lie, and nobody would say so. Now that this out in the open, is there some chance someone will?"

No. This Iraq stuff is getting boring, let's talk about Hillary and Bill's sex life!

Posted by: brewmn on June 12, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, he's not even willing to put your money where his mouth is.

Posted by: craigie on June 12, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Holbrooke is a very partisian democrat who essentially was a mouthpiece for Kerry in the last election.

Why should we pay any attention to his assessment of Iraq and speculations about what will be the effect of the 2012 election?

Signer's report actually is quite critical of Holbrooke for his pessimism and obsession with Vietnam. It is obvious that Iraq and more generally the war on terror will be huge issues for the next president. Holbrooke seems to have no ideas on how to address those issues. It apparently is a very good thing that he is not our secretary of state or in some other significant position.

Posted by: brian on June 12, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, that's nice and vague Birkel. Facts don't matter to you; the only thing you care about is defending Dear Leader and the Party. All of the major posts in the government are still not filled, by the way. Six months after the election. So, I gather that you think things are going just great in Iraq?

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Holbrooke is a very partisian democrat who essentially was a mouthpiece for Kerry in the last election. Why should we pay any attention to his assessment of Iraq and speculations about what will be the effect of the 2012 election?

Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney are very partisan Republicans who essentially were mouthpieces for Bush in the last election.

Why should we pay any attention to their assessments of Iraq and speculations about what will be the effect of the 2012 election?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Brian can't address the substance, so he dismisses the person involved - e.g. since Holbrooke supported Kerry, there is no reason to bother to respond to what he actually said.

Typical.

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Feel free to mail those tickets to me.

Great. When would you like to travel and which airport will you be flying out of?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I am boring. Blah blah blah.

Democrat party.

Posted by: birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

3:33 PM was a name hijacker.

Marc,
I can't fix your stupid. And you're still incorrect.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

When will the democrats learn that people vote for the candidate with a positive attitude?

Posted by: TruthPolitik on June 12, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,
I'd like to fly out of Sydney, Australia. That means I'll need tix to Sydney first. Thanks.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure glad the "intellectual" Democrats at Democracy Arsenal took the pro-war arguments seriously.

They did a bang-up job of proving that they were "adults" and willing to spill others' blood to prove their tough guy credentials.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on June 12, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

So this is how the 101st keyboarders do it. Challenge posters on a center left blog.Is this right. We are the enemy because we do not support{fill in mission}there by giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Since there are only 9 terrorists left in Iraq since {fill in name}is dead. We give hope to the dead enders. Victory is around the corner.Blah blah blah
This is how you guys fight the fight? And you wonder why we think you guys are a bunch of pu**ies!

Posted by: folks on June 12, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

folks,

Now that I know I've lost you I just don't know if I'll be able to carry on. (puts back of left hand to forehead and sighs)

/feigning giving a damn

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to fly out of Sydney, Australia. That means I'll need tix to Sydney first. Thanks.

OK, but from where in the US?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

So Birkel, I was asking you upthread where the opportunity for inaccuracy was in a documentary where the only people speaking are the wounded soldiers and the medical personnel that treat them.

Should I infer that you haven't seen the documentary you've been denigrating? Or is this all about "rhetorical kung-fu" for you?

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, looks like your approval rating is down to 30%. Better get busy and supersize those numbers.

Posted by: folks on June 12, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Confessions Of A Traitor

They are going to blame the failure of the Iraq war on me. They always blame me for these things. Im almost used to it by now. I almost dont mind being called a traitor.

I was a traitor in 1950 when I said that the military decision to push beyond the 38th parallel, after expelling the North Korean army from South Korea, was foolishly inviting disaster. I believed that China would surely intervene to keep us from threatening its borders. My commanding officer called me a traitor for predicting the bloody retreat and disaster that followed.

I was again a traitor in 1965 when the group I belonged to, Veterans For Peace, warned that the growing military adventure in Vietnam was doomed to end in failure and disgrace. We were accused of treason for not supporting our troops. But it was not us who failed to support our troops. It was the foolish and deluded men in the Pentagon, State Department, and White House who sent 65,000 young Americans to die in an unwinnable war fought under impossible circumstances.

Now it is happening again. After it became clear three years ago that Iraq was a target for invasion, tens of thousands of my fellow traitors and I began protesting against the persistent stupidity of pursuing this tragically failing war. We see the same old vehement ignorance at work once more. We can hardly be blamed for believing that Iraq is Korea and Vietnam all over again. And once more we are called traitors for not supporting our troops.

I said Im almost used to being called that. Almost. Considering the sort of people doing the accusing, I should be content to wear the label, but I prefer to think of myself as a patriot. After all, my ancestors were called traitors in 1776, but today are thought of as great patriots. So I prefer to think of my kind of treason as a family tradition. And to paraphrase an old family friend: If this be treason, then I shall try to make the most of it.

Posted by: buddy66 on June 12, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

buddy66,

You are not a traitor, just an ignorant, idiot.

Posted by: Clinton Era on June 12, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

NRO commentator jumps on the Iraq is a disaster bandwagon?

Lets start from the fact that the whole thing, taken in one pieceattack plus follow-up nation-building efforthas been a huge negative for the USA. Is there anyone, really, who is glad we did it? Most of my NR colleagues are still talking up the administrations Iraq policy. Its hard not to think, though, that if wired up to a polygraph and asked the question: Supposing you could wind the movie back to early 2003, would you still attack Iraq? any affirmative answers would have those old needles a-jumping and a-skipping all over the graph paper.

We are stuck there in that wretched place with no way out that would not involve massive loss of geostrategic face. Getting on for 3,000 of our troops have been killed, and close to 20,000 maimed. Weve spent untold billions of dollars. For what? ....

Since the Iraq war was obviously a gross blunder, is it time for those of us who cheered on the war to offer some kind of apology?... For those of us down at the bottom of the pundit pecking order, the stakes arent so high. I, at any rate, am willing to eat some crow and say: I wish I had never given any support to this fool war.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmYxNjgzMjFkMTQ3MDE1ZTIyYzFlNDc3ZWFlZjY4NzI=

I wonder how the Bush apologist shills around here are going to spin this one?

Posted by: Catch22 on June 12, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why is he a idiot clinton era, I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for this little tidbit of wingnut wisdom.

Posted by: folks on June 12, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

*sigh* Why does The National Review hate America?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

he's not only unwilling to put his money where his mouth is, he's not even willing to put YOUR money where his mouth is.

heh.

Posted by: northzax on June 12, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel, as buddy66 has eloquently pointed out, very often the people who are most cavalier about starting and supporting wars are the ones with the least experience.

I've no idea if you have any experience of war and combat. If you don't, I really recommend that as a gesture of solidarity and support for our troops you watch Baghdad ER every week that we have troops in harm's way, so that you can have some small sense of what they're going through.

I think doing that would also make apparent to you how impossible it could be for anyone to as you put it: "...root for failure in Iraq for a few days, yet."

Posted by: cyntax on June 12, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel,

You are backpeddling, fear in your eyes. You will not go to Iraq. You know that you are weak. You know that you lie. You fear that you are clinging to the lies of others.

It is not my breath that you fear.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

What do you expect from the party of ann [fill in blank] coulter

Posted by: folks on June 12, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Supported the war, for better or worse, but not sure why we are staying. They have a new govt, democratically elected, Zac the terrorist is dead and Al Queda in Iraq is on the run. Seriously, why not bring the guys home or at least atart. 50K troops at 4 bases is enough. If iraq wants to decend into the hell of civil war, and they are coming real close, let them. But don't ask our men and women to die when the mission is accomplished.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on June 12, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Catch22

Golly, that Darbyshire essay is quite a document. Has this fellow ever thought beyond the logic of a barroom brawl? If even folks like this are coming to regret the Iraq war, I wonder who will be left in The Base.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I said Israel. Lobbing shells into a family picnic is just as much terrorism as a suicide bomber going off on a crowded street corner.

Thank you Mr. Byers.


Posted by: on June 12, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

What did Clinton do wrong??

Posted by: now on June 12, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the good old days of the Afghanistan War when after three weeks the NYT declared it a quagmire.

Citations, please. You're a fucking liar.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 12, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Four understandings of history and human nature were missing from the minds of those who counseled war to achieve what they saw as laudable goals. I desperately hope Iraq has taught them something. If through this gigantic mistake we can learn a big lesson, all the senseless deaths will not have been completely in vain.

The first understanding is that war is by far the largest breeder of unintended consequences that exists. Anyone who believes they can predict what is going to happen in war is a fool. History is brimming over with examples of nations who went to war sure of their superior force and certain of a quick victory, who were bogged down, outlasted and finally defeated. Going to war when it can be avoided is simply the dumbest thing a human being can do.

The second understanding missing from the minds of the warriors who hoped to impose a democracy in Iraq is that democracy cannot be imposed. It has to be won by the people themselves or it will not be appreciated enough to be protected. An understanding that I must protect your beliefs as zealously as I protect my own must be firmly rooted for democracy to work, but that idea is largely missing in the middle east. Every nation that is now a functioning democracy has had many missteps on the way. The process takes generations. Japan after WW2 is the one exception that, to me, proves the rule. Im sure you know Japans unique situation.

The third understanding comes in the form of a delusionthat a violent incursion can actually change minds. Did we really think we could go in with shock and awe (a completely odious concept), kill thousands of sons, uncles, fathers and brothers, and their surviving relatives would lay flowers at our feet in gratitude? Violent incursions never change minds. You may control the situation for awhile, but violence breeds only hatred. It may be forced underground for a time, but eventually it will come out from under its rock and bite you. In the Middle East hatreds last for millenniums!

Another delusion is a pillar of American foreign policya belief that we can actually do something to force history to speed up. It took more than 2000 years for government of, by and for the people to firmly take hold in the West. Even today, democracys highest ideal, one-person-one-vote, is far from being realized in America.

Americans have the worlds shortest attention spans and no understanding of history. It is a toxic combination. Just as the world can only achieve democratic government a mistake at a time, it seems Americans must learn human nature a mistake at a time. Vietnam and Iraqwars of absolute futilityhave taught us much, but I suspect the belief that we can use war to effect any kind of a desirable outcome will raise its ugly head again before it is finally done.

Posted by: James of DC on June 12, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I said Israel. Lobbing shells into a family picnic is just as much terrorism as a suicide bomber going off on a crowded street corner.

Except Isreal didn't lob shells into a family picnic although leave it to Palestinian butchers to lauch rockets from a crowded beach. Leave it to the same morons to blow themselves up mishandling their munitions.

BTW: Your Palestinians friends are on a roll. Their praise of Zarqawi hasn't been well recieved in Iraq or Jordan and each government is demanding an apology. Seems like they don't see people who butcher their citizens as heroes. Go figure!

Hopefully they'll contniue to bleed the Europeans dry.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

So . . . violent deaths of innocent people are OK as long as you have an excuse? Some bad guys nearby, perhaps? Or is it that no one in the other tribe is innocent, and all deserve to be slaughtered?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

James,

Leaving aside Iraq for a moment, history offers many examples of democracy being imposed, violent incursions changing minds, and the use of force speeding up history.

You are right though that Americans in general seem to pay too little attention to history. But that cuts both ways. Holbrooke can only claim Iraq is worse than Vietnam by closing his eyes to history and hoping his readers will do the same. And, unsurprisingly, many of those readers have been happy to oblige him.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 12, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

MeLoseBrain?,

http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/Vietnam/apple-afghan.html

I'll thank you in advance for apologizing for your spurious ad hominem attack.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Al Queda in Iraq is on the run

in what way ?

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Even if the American people are ready for a change of leadership, how are they supposed to vote for a party that advocates hiding under the bed?

When are you enlisting ?


Posted by: Stephen on June 12, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh no!
Not the dreaded chickenhawk argument.
Ahhhhh...

When are you enlisting for the side you support?

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

There is some good news about Holbrooke being depressed. He's never been right about anything.

It's an especially good sign he sees Iraq in terms of Vietnam and that his primary fear is our international standing.

Where exactly are these standings? Can we look them up?

No doubt Richard is upset at what he's seen these last 4 years. He should be. His European friends are beyond dismayed. They're so toast. Schroeder left in disgrace. Chirac remains in disgrace. Blair will be gone in a year and probably lose power for his party. Martin lost in Canada and his party is still in collapse. The strongest Int'l leader is from Australia and Howard is more conservative than Bush. Arafat is a disgrace and Sharon is the stateman of the middle east. Israel has defensible borders and Palestine their own state and it didn't happen at all the way Holbrooke predicted.

At the same time GWB has dramatically improved relations with Japan, India and Pakistan. Sam Nunn and the libs are very upset with that nuke deal with India and then of course GWB has a dozen free trade deals done and another dozen on deck.

GWB is doing all this and there isn't anything the libs can do to stop it. Holbrooke understands that even if a Democrat wins in 2008 and he gets the State slot he will inherit a world vastly different than a short 8 years ago. His favored Europe will be in the background along with the UN.

Holbrooke is watching Europe struggle with Islamic fundamentalism knowing he's got nothing to offer. In 3 more years Europe will be that much closer to Islamic domination. Richard has been wrong about everyhing.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

When are you enlisting for the side you support?

right after you, chickenhawk

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

cleek,

There's no need for you to wait for me.

Get on with it, if you're
1) physically able
2) age eligible

You'll make us all proud when you join the side you support.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

So . . . violent deaths of innocent people are OK as long as you have an excuse?


NO. the deliberate killing of innocents is murder and it's always wrong.

In the example cited on the beach is Gaza the Palestinians fell to their usual practice of manipulating the MSM, especially in Europe. That is they blamed the deaths cause by their own incompetence on Israel.

What the Palestinians and Europeans haven't quite figured out is the ability of Israel to document via film. In Gaza the Palestinians on the beach were killed by Palestinians. This happens frequently. Although these Palestinians probably didn't intentionally kill that family they put them in jeopardy recklessly. It's murder.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat thinks that things are going well in Iraq. It's hard to respond to such sentiments, except to note that they represent a willful blindness to what is actually occuring there.

You could start by quoting my exact comments. I have never said that "things are going well in Iraq" without specifying which "things" and which parts of Iraq. I also usually write about comparisons, or rank orders: such as, the Marsh Arabs and the Kurds are definitely better off now than they were under the Baathists.

for Iraq as a whole I have used the words "mess" (as occurs when remodeling a house, though obviously on a larger and more gruesome scale) and "chaos" (where every action, for good or ill, has maximum impact on the eventual outcome.)

On the whole, "things" are probably better "in Iraq" than in Syria, Pakistan or Iran, though reportage is too spotty for certainty.

The rate of killing is approximately 1/8th of what it was in the US civil war (same size populations), and about 1/10th what it was during the Spanish Civil War.

The economy of Iraq, on the whole, is growing faster than the economies of Syria, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia. That doesn't define "well" for sure, but it is also much better than the frequently repeated "FUBAR".

Posted by: republicrat on June 12, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK
Al Queda in Iraq is on the run.

Al Qaeda in Iraq did not exist prior to the invasion, so that it is "on the run", even granting arguendo that that is the case, is hardly a positive effect that can be credited to the invasion.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 12, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Are we living on the same planet? Or in the same year? Neither Arafat nor Sharon are in a position to care about their TVQ these days. When were our relations with Japan in dire straits? The fact that GWB sucks up to India and Pakistan just proves to everyone how important it is to get those nukes.

And (news flash!) Blair is getting bumped because the Brits dislike his support of the US Iraq policy.

Do you make this stuff up for the fun of it? Or are you so deluded? You post often enough to suggest the latter.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

You'll make us all proud when you join the side you support

you first, chickenhawk.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: However, as an officer of the court I didn't appreciate his lying under oath (for which he lost his license to practice law for 5 years).

Does that mean you're a lawyer? If so, just say so. And Clinton's "lying" was the kind of language parsing that occurs in almost every civil trial in this country. In almost every case there is a point at which some witness, when confronted with a discrepancy between their deposition testimony and their trial testimony claims that they didn't understand the question, or the court reporter recorded incorrectly, etc. None of these litigants are charged with perjury or punished in any way. The whole point of the Jones litigation was to get Clinton in some trap where he could be accused of obstructing justice, perjury or some other ancillary charge and then use that as a ground for impeachment.

Posted by: jose padilla on June 12, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

I hate to break this to you, but terror has long been the policy of both the Palestinians and the Isrealis. I say a pox on both their houses. Neither gives a rats ass about anybody who isn't part of their "tribe."

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 12, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

No, cleek.

I'll go as soon as you, part of the 81st Airborne Fighting Keyboardists, join the side of the war you support.

I'm a gentleman. Ladies first.

Off to your recruiting station.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Except Isreal didn't lob shells into a family picnic

I guess you don't read the papers.

Posted by: BN on June 12, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel

you are making the false assumption that enlisting in a war on one side or another is the only option. You will be suckered by those now in power, who will exploit your inability to perceive other options.

Please read the essay cited above (by a writer probably much farther to the right than either of us) and tell me what you think of his argument

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmYxNjgzMjFkMTQ3MDE1ZTIyYzFlNDc3ZWFlZjY4NzI=

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

jose padilla,

Then I suppose by that logic you think the "witch hunt" going on now in the Valerie Wilson investigation is just "some trap where (Scooter Libby) could be accused of obstructing justice, perjury or some other ancillary charge and then use that as a ground" a criminal case.

I'll mark you down as consistent if you agree.

I, on the other hand, am consistent in that I think both (Clinton for sure -- as he was already punished -- and Libby allegedly) should be prosecuted for their respective crimes.

But, hey. Agree to disagree.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

troglogdyte,

I'm merely parroting the infantile "chickenhawk" argument to make the point that it is, in fact, infantile.

The fact that you can't discern what's happening is quite telling.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Off to your recruiting station

you first, chickenhawk

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

No.

I'll let you, chickenhawk cleek, go first.

Now off with you.

Ske-daddle.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Now off with you.

you first, chickenhawk

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

troglodyte to rdw: Do you make this stuff up for the fun of it? Or are you so deluded? You post often enough to suggest the latter.

rdw is thoroughly delusional. Whether he makes this stuff up himself, or snorts up lines of it from Rush Limbaugh's mirror, who knows. But in the end, it doesn't matter. He's just another right-wing crackpot who is completely disconnected from reality and cares about nothing but ranting "Bush Wins! Bush Wins! Rah Rah Rah!"

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 12, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

cleek,

While I'm quite sure your daddy is bigger than my daddy I'm also quite sure that either my point has been made to even someone as dense as you or that you're even more dense than I think.

If that's the case, give my condolences to your parents. Or teachers. Or friends. Somebody deserves it.

Posted by: Birkel on June 12, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to break this to you, but terror has long been the policy of both the Palestinians and the Isrealis.

I hate to tell you but the Palestinians are losing and they're losing very, very badly. Sharon has settled the issue. His is the model. There will be a security fence separating Israel and Palestine. If the Plaestinians insist on using terror the fence will simply be shut.

If the Palestinians insist on firing rockets it gets worse. The last thing they can afford is a 21st century video game war. Israel will crush them with vastly superior firepower. Sharons lesson was not to go after the donkeys carrying the bombs. Go after the leadership.

As it now stands Israel is in the fornt edge of an economic boom. Trade is exploding and they are creating great wealth. In Palestine they only get poorer and increasingly dependent on European aid which they are less able to provide. Israel's per capita GDP is over 25'xs Palestinines. In 5 years it will be over 30's and in another 5 40x's.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

please provide links rdw enquiring minds want to know more

Posted by: folks on June 12, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Birkel: The difference was that Paula Jones's case was brought by movement conservatives. It was purely an ax-grinding exercize. The case against Scooter Libby was brought by a prosecutor with a spotless record. Another difference is that Clinton was never charged with crime, nor could he have been since he didn't commit one. Finally, I am willing to presume Libby is not guilty since he has not been convicted of anything--yet.

Posted by: jose padilla on June 12, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why are you people arguing with a glib little twit like Birkel? He obviously doesn't give a damn about this country or any other.

Posted by: RP on June 12, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist

Yeah, right. Thoroughly delusional.

Birkel

Sorry, but your argument doesnt make much sense. You have not offered much in defense of your contention that the situation in Iraq is going well. Faced with facts, you cling to lies. You havent read the NatRev essay?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"epublicrat thinks that things are going well in Iraq. It's hard to respond to such sentiments, except to note that they represent a willful blindness to what is actually occuring there.

You could start by quoting my exact comments. I have never said that "things are going well in Iraq" without specifying which "things" and which parts of Iraq. I also usually write about comparisons, or rank orders: such as, the Marsh Arabs and the Kurds are definitely better off now than they were under the Baathists.

for Iraq as a whole I have used the words "mess" (as occurs when remodeling a house, though obviously on a larger and more gruesome scale) and "chaos" (where every action, for good or ill, has maximum impact on the eventual outcome.)

On the whole, "things" are probably better "in Iraq" than in Syria, Pakistan or Iran, though reportage is too spotty for certainty.

The rate of killing is approximately 1/8th of what it was in the US civil war (same size populations), and about 1/10th what it was during the Spanish Civil War.

The economy of Iraq, on the whole, is growing faster than the economies of Syria, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia. That doesn't define "well" for sure, but it is also much better than the frequently repeated "FUBAR". "
---------------------------------
Let me get this straight. "The economy of Iraq is growing faster than random country xxx." "The death rate is less than that involved in pitched civil wars yyy and zzz." This is a defence?
It's hard to see where your numbers even come from. The US had about 1 million deaths in the Civil War

(http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/other/stats/warcost.htm)

with a total population of about 34 million at the time, slightly higher than Iraq. Iraq's civil war not only isn't finished, it is showing clear signs of getting worse and the death toll is unknown - but certainly more than 100,000 according to even conservative estimates. You do realize that you're comparing the ongoing disaster in Iraq with the deadliest war in American history, right?

The economic growth argument is simply laughable, This is not only very tough to measure in a country wracked by insurgence and war - it's hardly the major quality-of-life indicator when you're seeing daily reports of bombings and mass beheadings.

You also have to contend with the strong evidence that women in particular (that would be half of the population, remember?) have seen a drastic contraction of their civil rights, even basic ones such as the right to work, travel outside the home alone, or drive...

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

So Isreal has just been musing for 40 years,They could have crushed the PLO long ago but kept them around for------???.

Posted by: Now on June 12, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Nothing calms a man's mind more than the absolute certainty that he is to be hanged in the morning" -- Samuel Johnson.

If civil war is inevitable in Iraq no matter whether we go or stay -- and it was ALWAYS inevitable whenever Saddam's dictatorship finally collapsed -- then the logical thing to do is to bail out so our military can be used for more important things that it might actually be able to affect. I can think with no trouble at all of one rather major candidate (initials "N.P.")

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on June 12, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

The economy of Iraq, on the whole, is growing faster than the economies of Syria, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia. That doesn't define "well" for sure, but it is also much better than the frequently repeated "FUBAR".

Y'know, I hear this "it's growing faster" fallacy all the time, and it always irks me, because the fact that something is growing "faster" is not, by itself, necessarily an indication of progress -- in fact, it can often be a sign of how poorly that economy was doing to start with. Iraq's economy (if this stat is even true) is probably also growing "faster" than that of the US, Canada and Great Britain -- but that's merely a sign that those are stable, mature economies that have less room to grow "fast" than Iraq.

Put it this way -- if you earned $10,000 one year and $20,000 the next, your current rate of growth is 100%, and you are growing "faster" than the man who made $1,000,000 one year and $1,500,000 the next and whose rate of increase is only 50%. But which one would you rather be?

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

RP

Birkel isnt glib. Unlike trolls, he seems to have sincere beliefs. His testosterone (and that of others) is getting in the way of a frank exchange of views, unfortunately.

A lot of Americans felt that, after 9/11, someone "on the other side" had to be dealt a crippling blow. It didnt really matter who it was -- read the NatRev essay referred to above for a window into this attitude. As individuals and as a nation, we will have to recognize this feeling, acknowledge the carnage we wreaked as a result, and look in the mirror. We will be judged.

Making excuses for our aggression (such as "promoting democracy") wont cut it in the long run, because history will record that the good intentions came after the fact.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

A nice read for all the Bushlickers at, of all the places, NRO.

We are not controlling events in Iraq. Events in Iraq are controlling us. We are the puppet; the street gangs of Baghdad and Basra are the puppet-masters, aided and abetted by an unsavory assortment of confidence men, bazaar traders, scheming clerics, ethnic front men, and Iranian agents. With all our wealth and power and idealism, we have submitted to become the plaything of a rabble, and a Middle Eastern rabble at that. Instead of rubbling, we have ourselves been rabbled. The lazy-minded evangelico-romanticism of George W. Bush, the bureaucratic will to power of Donald Rumsfeld, the avuncular condescension of Dick Cheney, and the reflexive military deference of Colin Powell combined to get us into a situation we never wanted to be in, a situation no self-respecting nation ought to be in, a situation we dont know how to get out of. Its not inconceivable that, with a run of sheer good luck, we might yet escape without too much egg on our faces, but its not likely. The place we are at is surely not a place anyone in 2003 wanted us to be atnot even Vic Davis Hanson.

Since the Iraq war was obviously a gross blunder, is it time for those of us who cheered on the war to offer some kind of apology? Here we arewe, the United Statesin our fourth year of occupying that sinkhole, and it looks pretty much like the third year, or the second. Will the eighth year of our occupation, or our twelfth, look any better? I know people who will say yes, but I no longer know any who will say it with real conviction. Its a tough thing, to admit you were wrong. Its way tough if youre a big-name pundit with a reputation to preserve. For those of us down at the bottom of the pundit pecking order, the stakes arent so high. I, at any rate, am willing to eat some crow and say: I wish I had never given any support to this fool war.


Posted by: nut on June 12, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

If the U.S. had only had the intelligence to realize the futility of uniting Iraq's three factions and let them separate into three republics, only helping to determine borders, thousands of lives -- American, Iraqi, British, etc. -- might have been preserved.

Posted by: Vincent on June 12, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Folks


Palestinian Civil War?
Well, close enough:

Hundreds of Palestinian security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas went on a rampage against the Hamas-led government Monday night, riddling the parliament and Cabinet buildings with bullets and setting them on fire in retaliation for an attack by Hamas gunmen.

The security men shot out the windows of the parliament building before storming the two-building Cabinet complex, where they smashed furniture, destroyed computers and scattered documents. No casualties were reported.

The mob then set fire to one of the Cabinet buildings, gutting the building's fourth floor. When a fire engine approached the scene, one gunman lay on the road in front of it, preventing it from reaching the building.


If you were an Israeli, what would you do? .... Keep building that wall! (duh) UPDATE: According to the AP, Fatah gunmen have kidnapped a Hamas lawmaker. [No scare quotes around lawmaker?-ed. This is a high-toned blog.]

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

If the Palestinians insist on firing rockets it gets worse. The last thing they can afford is a 21st century video game war.

What does he mean, "if"? the Palestinians have been firing rockets, missiles, and artillery shells at Israel since at least the 1970s:

"Nevertheless, the PLO had not been dealt a decisive blow. With Soviet help, it began to accumulate substantial numbers of heavy weapons, including long-range artillery, rocket launchers, antiaircraft weapons, and missiles. Between 1978 and 1981, numerous IDF raids against PLO installations in southern Lebanon were answered within hours by random artillery and rocket attacks on Israeli border settlements. By mid-1981, the reciprocal attacks were approaching the intensity of full-scale hostilities."

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Folks


Re: Gaza [Cliff May]

An Israel Defense Forces intelligence officer has confirmed that the explosion that killed eight Palestinians on Friday, was caused by a stockpile of Hamas explosives.

"Shortly after we stopped defensive firing at Hamas rocket launch pads which were deployed behind Palestinian human shields, members of Hamas scrambled to fire more rockets at our positions," said Col. M. "We have eyes on every meter of Gaza, from the sky, from the ground and from the sea. One of their rocket tripods collapsed inadvertently setting off an explosion of a stockpile of Qassam rockets. The Palestinians killed their own children. And this was not the first time."

Hamas terrorists fired rockets and mortar bombs from a crowded Gaza beach at southern Israel. Some of the rockets fell near the Israel city of Ashkelon. Some 17 rockets were fired between Saturday and Sunday morning. A man at a school in the Israel town of Sderot was wounded, Israel officials said.

Israel Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant said today that the Israel Defense Forces has additional evidence that it wasn't Israel artillery that hit the beach in Gaza. Galant, who commands Israel's southern command, said Israel stopped firing 15 minutes before the explosion. It's all on secure videotape from both sides of the conflict. Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he was sorry about the deaths, which included three children.

More here.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

On the whole, "things" are probably better "in Iraq" than in Syria, Pakistan or Iran, though reportage is too spotty for certainty.

On the whole, "things" are probably better "in Iraq" than in Australia, Holland, and Japan as well. Of course, I can't substantiate this or provide any kind of evidence for my claim, because the reporting is too spotty for certainty, but if I merely say it then some other wingnut can cite me as evidence for the claim....

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

What does he mean, "if"? the Palestinians have been firing rockets, missiles, and artillery shells at Israel since at least the 1970s:

They've been at war most of the time since 1948. The rockets have been obviously been ineffective militarily for the entire period. Under Sharon targeted assassinations have been the key. The leadership has no shortage of donkeys to committ suicide or launch rockets. We've seen that when it's their asses on the line they tend to think differently.

Israel just killed some of their leadership. Next week they'll kill more. In this battle of attrition the Palestinians run out of people long before the Israeli's.

Moreover the longer this last the worse it becomes. American and Israeli technology continues to advance rapidly and they become increasingly more powerful. We've seen several examples of the USA operating drones from Langley VA while tracking and removing terrorist targets. Israel has all we have and more.

Worse for Palestine is Jordan and Iraq will not tolerate their support for terrorism and Europe is running out of money and patience. Now that they're victims of terror, and increasingly likely to become victims in the future, Palestinain terrorism is a bit less 'chic'. The Europeans see the current Palestinians state unable to manage itself and understand they're pouring money down a rathole. Europe is looking to cut their losses.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, rdw! It must be nice to rejoice in these wars of attrition from the safety of your home in the US! If they kill three of us, its OK because we kill six of them!

And you still think that Sharon is making policy. Time warp here. Or maybe you were transcribing from last year's talking points. Where is Israel on the map, anyhow?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Another difference is that Clinton was never charged with crime, nor could he have been since he didn't commit one,

Clinton settled out of court with Paula Jones for $850K and he was charged with contempt of court and fined $91K by judge Wright. He also completed a plea bargain with the Judge resulting in the humiliation of surrendering his law license for 5 years. Moreover the impeachment really did happen and it will not be erased from the records. He was not removed from office becasye tghe crime was not viewed as serious enough for that penalty. But no sane person doubts he lies under oath in the hearing and then lied to the American people.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Should GWB be impeached if he lied to the American people?

And dont answer by claiming he didnt lie.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, rdw! It must be nice to rejoice in these wars of attrition from the safety of your home in the US!

No one is rejoicing over the death of innocents. It is rational to rejoice over the light at the end of the tunnel in the middle east as created by Ariel Sharon and George Bush. Although incapacited it's his policy ruling the day.

Israel is building the fence.

Israel is continuing with assassinations of their leadership as necessary. We can see the end. Ariel has taken on and defeated terrorism.

Palestine is now surrounded by countries who will not tolerate terrorism and even the Europeans are learning it can and will be used against them. Moreover, Palestine is in social and economic collapse. They are unable to function as a state.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Viet Nam turned out OK. They are an independent, socialist country with greater experimentation using market economies. We have relations with them, reasonably good. I am suprised they are doing so well considering what Lyndon and Dicky did to them.

I haven't read Holbrooke's gloomy report, but militia politics seems like the normal state of affairs for tribal Arabs emerging into modern government. Lebanon did it and still does a lot of it. The Palestinians engage in a form of it. So does Pakistan, tough technically not Arab.

If the US has done anything wrong, it is pushing too much central government on them too fast. Leave now before we create too much of a center, then let the varius factions engage in militia politics for a while.

Posted by: Matt on June 12, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Do you need a note to take to your Isreali pay masters. I would be happy to let them know that you are spreading their propaganda with vigour.

Terrorism is terrorism no matter who commits it. Isreal is, and has long been, a state sponsor of terror just like Hammas. Just because the Isreali victims are Palestinians doesn't make their actions any better. Their policy of targetted assasination hasn't exactly been targetted. When you call in an F-16 strike on a car in a crowded street collateral damage is unavoidable.

Want another example. Last year a young woman protested the demolition of a house. She sat down in front of the dozer. The Isreali driven dozer just buried her in the rubble. Nobody was punished. I am not sure the Isrealies even said they were sorry. The Isrealies didn't have their magic cameras running so there was no film.

If the Palestinians were smart they would engage in non-violent demonstrations. I am sure the Isreali tribal leaders would accomidate by killing hundreds of non-violent protestors. If there was a sure way for the pictures to make the news it would end Isreal's arrogance.

As to Sharon, he had a stroke. He is in a nursing home. He will never come out. There is new leadership.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 12, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Should GWB be impeached if he lied to the American people?

Bush did not lie.

Bill Clinton, a lawyer, was under oath in a courtroom giving testimony. Robert Bennett, his lawyer, told him before he went in, 'whatever you do, don't lie". Of course that's common sense for most people, even most lawyers.

In my book Clinton committed felony perjury and could have been removed from office. I thought it ended the way it should have. The dumb bastard let himself get boxed in on a chickenshit case and his lies caught up on him. Being removed from office was a bit strong but we should have high standards for our President. I am OK with the fact his disgrace is permanent. In 35 years all we'll know of Clinton is a scandal riddled administration of an impeached President. Worse for him than Paula and Monica will be the pardon sale.

Bill Clinton has been permanently stained and he did it to himself. That's enough justice.


Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Glad you never attempted the bar, because your book would be wrong. There is a strong legal argument that Clinton's lie was not even a crime since it was a lie about a matter that wasn't an issue in the case. Of course, I don't condon lying, but it happens every day in courtrooms and depositions across the country. Unless the lie is central to a matter prosecutors don't prosecute.

Posted by: Ron Byers on June 12, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

There is a strong legal argument that Clinton's lie was not even a crime since it was a lie about a matter that wasn't an issue in the case.

I have no desire to review this case. He lost his license to practice law for 5 years and was fined $91K. Someone thought it was a crime. One of those someone's is named Bill Clinton and another is Robert Bennett.

Bill Clinton has been sufficiently punished. History will record all this and the fact he was impeached.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush did not lie.

So he should be impeached if he *did* lie? I just want you to be clear on this point rdw, because your evasion is obvious.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Quite right about Sharon. He'll never open his eyes again. If he wasn't PM he would have been buried long ago. This is stll his government. He formed the party in power, as well as the party that just lost power (I think) and they are pursuing his policies.

Rachel Corrine committed suicide. The bulldozer operator didn't see her when she was crushed. It was her error. No one deserved to be punished. She decided to stand behind a 4 ton bulldozer. The responsibility was her's alone.

Targeted assassinations are the most humane option left for Israel. These are the men directing the killing. Cut off the top and the killing will end. This is much like the recent Zarqawi killing by the US. He knew and everyone around him knew there was eventually going to be a couple/few 500 lb bombs rammed up his ass. To be in his vicinity was to tempt death.

You seem to want to grant terrorist immunity. That's absurd. They can send donkeys to blow themselves and little jewish girls up but the jews cannot return fire? That's asburd. Of course the jews can return fire.

You have merely marginalized yourself with such silly logic. Just as Europe has been marginalized for 2 decades. Now Europe has it's own severe terrorist problem that is likely to become far more serious.

Israel will have it's fence. Whoever said fences don't work is a moron. The iron curtain, to name one, worked for 50 years. In fact with the incredible optics, laser technology and other advances fences work better than ever.

It is Palestine at the crossroads. Terrorism has been defeated. They are now a failed state. There will be a civil war with much bloodletting. They will be cut off from Israel. How will that war end and who will support them?

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

My own little pet theory on United States policy in Iraq and even our policy towards Iran is that its goal is to globally check China in regards to their growing status as a major, if not the major resource competitor to the U.S. It's ironic that though Cheney and Rumsfeld are widely known China hawks, we're gladly borrowing from the Chinese, hand over fist. Didn't China overtake Japan and Saudi Arabia as the world's number one holder of U.S Treasuries?

Posted by: JohnnyTremaine on June 12, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

I just want you to be clear on this point rdw, because your evasion is obvious.

I evade nothing. If GWB gets into a civil or criminal suit as did Clinton and he lies under oath he and any other President would deserve the exact same punishment.

I never understood this liberal fascination with impeaching Bush other than paybacks for Clinton. It makes you look so small and silly. History is going to record GWBs ability to drive the opposition positively bonkers. It's just one reason you've been so inept politically.
You are not just losing elections but you are all but ignored. Even worse, GWB is remaking the world totally nullifing the UN, EU, int'l courts, kyoto, ABM treaty, etc. Sam Nunn and the libs are livid over the reapproachment with India which has advanced far more than Nixon ever dreamed of with China.

GWB has permanently removed all combat troops from Western Europe and never discussed it with democrats. He's closing bases and returning our leases to the home countries thoughtout Western Europe. He's reassigning the State Dept out of Western Europe to the middle east and asia.

Yoy keep on looking for an impeachable offense and he changing the world a little more every day right under your nose and you don't even know it.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

GWB has permanently removed all combat troops from Western Europe and never discussed it with democrats.

Oh no! Now who'll do all the combat in Western Europe?

I bet those combat troops are relieved to be removed from the hellhole of their Western European bases to the safety and security of Iraq....

Posted by: Stefan on June 12, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Classic misdirection gang: rdw would dearly love to change the subject to Israel/Palestine. Matt Yglesias had the best rejoinder to rdw's flavor of triumphalism: namely, that if assassinations, etc. were the solution Israel would have solved its problems a long time ago. The fact that they still exist suggests that killing your opponents isn't sufficient to solve a political problem.

rdw: on this planet, Bush is deeply unpopular, he is failing to pass his initiatives even through a GOP controlled rubber stamp congress, and the war in Iraq is a disaster.

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Dont be daft. No serious Dem leader wants an impeachment. Look how well that worked for the Repubs back in Clinton's term. You seem satisfied with the symbolic victory over Clinton, but more than one Repub Congressman went to pasture because he was also doing the hankypanky. Cant have that sex, you know.

Im just checking on your double standard.

So, why are you trying out all these weird talking points on us? Is this some kind of Dieppe Raid in the blogosphere to test the Dem-left response to schizoid defenses of GWB policies? The policies of BushCo have been failures most of the time, motivated by logic akin to an rdw post, but their electoral politics have been cunning.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh no! Now who'll do all the combat in Western Europe?

Islamic radicals. Who else? It will also be interesting to see what happens when a nuclear powered Iran decides it will represent the Islamic underclass in Europe.


I bet those combat troops are relieved to be removed from the hellhole of their Western European bases to the safety and security of Iraq....

The permanent base is in Qatar which is quite nice. The point is we're no longer assisting the economies of Western Europe nor responsible in any way for their security. Nor is there any reason to coordinate policy with them any more than the growing Asian nations. It is quite clear we have far more in common with India, Australia and Japan than we do with France, Germany and Scandanavia.

Whatever Europe decides to do in response to Islamic fundamentalism will be entirely their problem. We will not get drawn into a defensive role. The same would of course be true if Russia decided to get more aggressive with their oil and gas exports and pay hardball as they have a tendency to do.

It's hard to know what happens in 5 or 10 years but we do know Russia and Iran will be much more prosperous and stronger militarily and the Islamic minorities even more restless.

This is a very good time to get out of dodge.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

And into a toyota?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Bill Clinton has been sufficiently punished.

I agree with this. The proper punishment all along was that he be fined and have his license to practice law revoked.

rdw: History will record all this and the fact he was impeached.

Along, of course, with the fact that the Senate could not even muster a majority to convict him on either charge. That fact alone will probably convince future generations that the impeachment was purely political theater.

Posted by: k on June 12, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

No serious Dem leader wants an impeachment.

John Conyers, senior member of the judiciary committee for the dems and chairman if dems get the majority has already held impeachment hearings.

More than one Repub Congressman went to pasture because he was also doing the hankypanky. Can't have that sex, you know.

They can have all the sex they want. So can Bill Clinton. But he has to do better than Monica. Gennifer Flowers made sense. Monica was pure perversion.

The policies of BushCo have been failures most of the time.


Actually they've been quite good. Kyoto is the dumbest treaty ever negotiated. He was correct to copy Bill Clinton and ignore it. The ABM treaty was obsolete 20 years ago. Sharon was corect all along. The tax cuts of 06/03 have been fantastic. Roberts and Alito have been great picks as were most of the lower court picks. France and Germany have't been allies in over 20 years and we need distance. We have much more in common with India and Japan and s/b much closer. We need a lot more free trade and to embrace globalization.

We're doing all of this. What's more, the MSM has mis-reported or ignored most of it. Most American are unaware of the dramatic foreign policy realignment save for Iraq and Israel. They are also more aware of the value of the UN. Their polls are in the toilet at all time lows.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I never understood this liberal fascination with impeaching Bush other than paybacks for Clinton.

This is simply projection on your part, I suspect. I heard repeatedly from Republicans when Clinton was impeached that it was payback for Nixon and/or Bork. Other people, however, do not necessarily think like you do. I would certainly like to see a number of different matters concerning how this country has been run the past several years investigated. This may or may not lead to impeachment, I don't know, but I am not as afraid of an honest investigation as you seem to be.

Posted by: k on June 12, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

'Even if Bush lied, his lying was innocent, as he is not a lawyer. '

Posted by: nut on June 12, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

They can have all the sex they want. So can Bill Clinton. But he has to do better than Monica. Gennifer Flowers made sense. Monica was pure perversion.

In your world, rdw, casual opinions like this would have relevance in a court of law. It is a frightening thought.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm also quite sure that either my point has been made

yup, it sure has, chickenhawk.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: John Conyers, senior member of the judiciary committee for the dems and chairman if dems get the majority has already held impeachment hearings.

I see you get your facts from WorldNetDaily.com. You are not worth responding to anymore.

Posted by: k on June 12, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Along, of course, with the fact that the Senate could not even muster a majority to convict him on either charge. That fact alone will probably convince future generations that the impeachment was purely political theater.

You can't separate Congress and politics. This is in no way comparable with the Andrew Johnson impeachment which was a power play on an inept but honest President trying to do the right thing.

Bill Clinton was sleezy beyond belief. He was clearly quilty of the crime but it was a question of the level of punishment. More damaging to Bill is the fact he picked someone so far below his station by every measure. He was bordering on child molesting.

He didn't get a majority but he did get 50 votes. This was a very serious episode which cannot and will not be written off. The fact is a few decades out when the History of Presidents is summarized into a few lines the 1st will be impeachment. The 2nd will probably be 'scandal ridden'. It was one thing after another and never ended. The single worst event was the pardon sale at the end.

The fact is there's little that his administration stands out for. We had good economic growth and a budget surplus but few presidents are known for the economy, unless it's bad. His foreign policy was mostly a disaster with Oslo a failure and the Korean treaty especially embarrasing. They cheated immediately. If he gets a point for Kosovo he loses two for Somalia. His panicky withdrawal certaintly led to further terrorists attacks in the WTC, Kobe Towers, The USS Cole, embassies in Africa, etc. Osama often expressed his contempt for American weakness. He was not talking about GWB.

Sorry but Monica will always figure prominently in any future analysis of Clintons Presidency. Ompeachment is the defining event and the matchup of the smartest and most powerful man in the world with Monica Lewinsky just invites discussion. What could possibly have driven Bill Clinton?

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Whenever you stray from your talking-point chant and express your own personal opinions, the goofiness is almost charming. If the talking-point chant is really that Dieppe Raid into the liberal blogosphere, I hope some better-connected folk than me are figuring out how to respond without astonished derision. I find it quite appalling that you advocate routine assassination of political leaders you dont like. Especially because this strategy has worked only for Cortez in Peru, and definitely not for the Israelis.

However, a lot of Americans might feel perfectly happy bumping off the opposition, thinking themselves invulnerable to retaliation. They will face their Maker someday, and His judgement will not be pretty.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

More damaging to Bill is the fact he picked someone so far below his station by every measure. He was bordering on child molesting.

"station" ? "child molesting" ? WTF ?

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you know Holbrooke is an experienced fellow when is comes to world affairs. Don't know how much of an expert he is on Iraq, but show me one experienced professional who, at any point in time, was not pessimistic about our invasion of Iraq.

What a word. Invasion. When your reasons for invasion don't hold up under scrutiny, other words come to mind. Irresponsible. Bully. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on June 12, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

I am not as afraid of an honest investigation as you seem to be.


I am not even a little bit afraid. The Democrats in Congress have proven themselves inept time and time again. Who you going to get to investigate, Teddy Kennedy?

The fact is we've been hearing impeachment threats since before the 1st inauguration. The left is always talking about it. It was never mentioned with GHWB nor with Reagan. It's not just the whackjobs in the lefty blogosphere. It's ABCnews and the rest.

Clinton was not payback for Bork. If they wanted payback for Bork Ginsburg would have been the target. Clinton was a sleezeball and he got caught lying under oath.

Tell me you were not embarrassed your President could do no better than Monica Lewinsky? A 22-yr old fat, unemployed, needy, depressed kid.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Morality advocates assassinations. rdw, you owe me an irony meter. Next up: torture good, Clinton bad.

Posted by: Marc on June 12, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me you were not embarrassed your President could do no better than Monica Lewinsky?

nope. i don't think i was. i remember thinking it was a stupid thing to do, but not because of anything to do with her. it's not my place to judge who other people diddle.

Posted by: cleek on June 12, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

I find it quite appalling that you advocate routine assassination of political leaders you dont like.

I have not advocated the assassination of political leaders. I have advocated the assassination of terror leaders. Hamas and Fatah are terrorist organizations. I would recommend Israel take out as many of their leaders as they can find EACH time a rocket is launched from Gaza.

The way to win an insurgency is to play by their rules and convince them they will run out of people 1st. The only way to convince them is if they kill 3 jews then 30 Palestinians will die.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry but Monica will always figure prominently in any future analysis of Clintons Presidency. Ompeachment is the defining event and the matchup of the smartest and most powerful man in the world with Monica Lewinsky just invites discussion. What could possibly have driven Bill Clinton?

Golly, rdw, this sex-obsession makes me wonder about you.

As long as we are wondering about our leader's contradictory actions, can you explain to the blog why GWB is concerned about China's growing influence in Asia and the rest of the world, but unconcerned that China has virtually a controlling stake in the market for US Treasury Bonds? It is not usually a wise policy to give one of your main global competitors the ability to sink your currency in a week's time.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

rdw on June 12, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

>>>No serious Dem leader wants an impeachment.

John Conyers, senior member of the judiciary committee for the dems and chairman if dems get the majority has already held impeachment hearings.

Conyers, as a minority member, has the power to hold impeachment hearings? That's a new one.

Let's get something straight. Dems would have to be stupid (although I may be repeating myself--they oftentimes are stupid) if they were to try to get rid of Bush. Who would become president? Not Gore or Kerry, or any other Democrat. Cheney would. And the Dems wouldn't be able to impeach, convict and remove Bush until well after 20 Jan 2007. What that means is that, even if Bush were to be removed from office, Cheney would be able, under the Constitution, to fill out the rest of Bush's last term, and could thereafter run for two more terms.

Removing Bush would be the last thing that the Dems would want.

Actually, if the Republicans were Machiavellian, they would get Bush to resign and allow Cheney to do the same thing.

BTW, the Clinton administration did not present Kyoto protocol to the Republican-controlled Senate because they knew that they couldn't get it through the Senate, not because it was dumb.

Posted by: raj on June 12, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

it's not my place to judge who other people diddle.

Don't be such an ass. The man could have had half of hollywood on their knees servicing him with the snap of his fingers. He chose Monica 22-yr old, 180 lb, unemployed Monica Lewinsky. Are you out of your flippin mind?

Shrinks write books on these cases.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

What's wrong with impeachment of someone whose less than honest presentations led to a war that caused deaths of 2500 americans and unknown number of Iraqis?

I would not vote for any candidate who rules out impeachment.

Posted by: nut on June 12, 2006 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, no historian would ever conceive of impeachment as political theater...

Posted by: Andrew Johnson on June 12, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, if the Iranian President recognizes GWB as a terrorist leader, is he justified in assassinating him? Which of the two is currently responsible for more deaths?

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me you were not embarrassed your President could do no better than Monica Lewinsky?

Hey, I'd hit it. Then again, I did like my women a little homely and full of life, as opposed to ghoulish blonde androgynies who get through life by annually re-writing 'Mein Kampf'...

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on June 12, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, rdw, this sex-obsession makes me wonder about you.

You people are so dense. My entire point is Bill and Monica had ZERO to do with sex. A 56-yr old President of the USA and worlds smartest man does not hookup with 22-yr old obese unemployed clerks while chatting on the red phone with world leaders for SEX.

I don't know what Monica was about but it was NOT sex.

It is not usually a wise policy to give one of your main global competitors the ability to sink your currency in a week's time.


I am amazed at how often people get this wrong. China is investing in the USA for one reason and one reason ONLY. We're the best investment out there. The fact they own so many bonds isn't a good thing, it's a great thing. They need the USA to do well so their investment will do well. If the USA does poorly they take a financial bath.

The idea China has power over us due to this invesmtment is DUMB. It is exceedingly DUMB. It is exactly backwords. 1st off the entire finanicial world is aware of debt AND currency markets. If the chinese so much as considered dumping it's bond holdings the markets would collapse BEFORE they sold even a dime. They'd be the biggest losers in the world. 2nd it would obviously hurt the US economy. So where would Chinas exports go?

I'm sure as a liberal you know they export 22% of their goods to the USA. So what happens to the Chinese economy if after they take a financial bath they lose 21% of their exports. Isn't that called a depression?

China needs access to US markets a lot more than we need them.

Posted by: rdw on June 12, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

I dont advocate fooling around, but for the record, Id find Monica more appealing than Gennifer. All that makeup was too too scary. No one has yet made a crass judgement on Paula Jones yet. The ways of the heart (and the gonads) are too personal to make predictions. Ken Starr sure cared a lot about gonad urges, though. Maybe rdw is Ken's grand-dad.

The Mein Kampf reference is to Ann Coulter, right? BBRRRR!!!

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

China needs access to US markets a lot more than we need them.

Predictable talking point. Considering your paranoia about Islamic workers in Europe (who need the jobs, right?), it is a bit of a surprise that you take the opposite position with China. I can think of several instances where China could play the debt card well. We cant take any future large military actions without China's implicit approval, for instance. Think Iran.

We cant very well invade China to force them to buy our bonds, can we?

But BushCo could probably find a reason to invade that rdw would find convincing. Maybe the Chinese Pres was !!!!?!??%%$$ with an overweight 20-something intern from Xianxiang. The horror! Send the Ken Starr Brigade!!

Posted by: troglodyte on June 12, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know what Monica was about but it was NOT sex.

Well, at least you agree with Bill that a blowjob isn't sex.

Posted by: Googles McGurk on June 12, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

once China moves their oil purchases to Euros, game over: the rest of the world follows and the US starts living like the bannana republic the republicans have worked so hard to make it.

Posted by: LOL on June 12, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

The way to win an insurgency is to play by their rules and convince them they will run out of people 1st. The only way to convince them is if they kill 3 jews then 30 Palestinians will die.

Hey rdw, does the name Lidice hold any meaning to you? How about Oradour?

Posted by: Pennypacker on June 13, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Y'know, I hear this "it's growing faster" fallacy all the time, and it always irks me, because the fact that something is growing "faster" is not, by itself, necessarily an indication of progress

I never present it by itself. The fact that one economy is growing faster than another is seldom because the the faster growing economy is the smaller. Right now, the US has a faster growing economy than most of the countries in the world, and all of them are smaller.

Posted by: republicrat on June 13, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: I am amazed at how often people get this wrong. China is investing in the USA for one reason and one reason ONLY. We're the best investment out there.

As you get it wrong. China, as Japan, does it to keep their currency artificially depressed. They're not investing in the US, they're subsidizing their exports.

Posted by: has407 on June 13, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

they're subsidizing their exports.

Maybe not for a whole lot longer. Joe SixPack has just about run out of HELOC cash and is switching to credit cards. The economic endgame is coming. Remember that new bankruptcy law? You will.

Posted by: troglodyte on June 13, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

China will be happy to subsidize exports and finance foreign consumption as long as those exports are the Chinese economy's primary locomotive. The shock will come--and the transition is visible today--when the Chinese domestic market is sufficiently large to make exports and exchange rates less of a concern.

Posted by: has407 on June 13, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Mein Kampf reference is to Ann Coulter, right?

Natch. And just look at what she's spawned:

The way to win an insurgency is to play by their rules and convince them they will run out of people 1st. The only way to convince them is if they kill 3 jews then 30 Palestinians will die.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Gauleiter rdw.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on June 13, 2006 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

As you get it wrong. China, as Japan, does it to keep their currency artificially depressed.

I have it correct. They're investment in US bonds ties their wealth to the good fortune of the US economy. We win they win. We lose they lose.

Their investment has zero to do with the value of the Chinese currency which is fixed to the US Dollar, the global currency.

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

LOL,

There is zero chance the chinese or the OPEC nations move all or even a major portion of their transactions over to the Euro. Europe is the slowest growing continent on the planet with the most daunting future prospects.

The fact they are facing exploding welfare state liabilities AND a rapidly shrinking population at the same time makes investment in the euro hazardous. IN addition to weak productivity growth and GDP Europe is in the middle of a difficult political transition with no discernable direction. Schroeder is out but merkel has a divided govt. Chirac is the lamest of lame ducks, Blair is very weak and Italy just changed governments in a very close race.

None of this addresses the bggest problem of Islamic fundamentalism among the native but unassimilated population. There is little attractive about Europe.

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 6:57 AM | PERMALINK

To see that the stupidity and incompetence were evident from Day 1, read "Cobra II", an fascinating tale of individual bravery, yes, but also leadership blindness and amateurishness.

Posted by: bob h on June 13, 2006 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

Well, at least you agree with Bill that a blowjob isn't sex

That's an exceedingly dumb statement. Oral sex is in fact sex. It's just not sexual intercourse. Bill childish attempt as creating a distinction was laughable and even he gave it up quickly.

I'm saying it's for a mental health professional to determine what Monica was about. Just as rape is not about sex neither was that episode(s).

The dude has 'issues'

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

Considering your paranoia about Islamic workers in Europe (who need the jobs, right?), it is a bit of a surprise that you take the opposite position with China

I have no idea what point you are attempting to make.

I have no paranoia or fear of Islam in Europe. If I was Swedish I would. But I am not. I am merely enjoying the irony of my moral and intellectual superiors get their multi-cultural heads headed to them. I think they're going to end up praying 5x's a day by a group that has total contempt for them.

They think they've invented peace and the world will emulate them. It's a fascinating social experiment. If they are correct I will say so. If they are wrong I will do all I can to ensure the USA keeps a very safe distance. We've defeated tyranny in Europe 2x's at great cost. Never again! This is their fight.

What position have I taken with China?

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 7:10 AM | PERMALINK

The economic endgame is coming

You can tell because since the 06/03 supplyside tax cuts we've had our strongest GDP growth in 20 years!

Was is yesterdays report of a much lower than expected budget deficit? Was it the 13% surge in tax reciepts? Was it the fact this 13% growth is the 2nd fastest in the last 25 years? The fastest being the 15% of 2005.

Maybe it's the record household wealth and the record percentage of home ownership? IS it that 4.6% unemployment rate? Maybe that 5.3% 1st Qtr GDP growth?

Were you distrubed by that 14.7% surge in unit exports? GWB has been adding free trade agreements all over the globe especially Asia. Since Asia is booming you're probably spooked about future export growth.

I know what it is. You're looking at the problems with the massive downsizings in Detroit and throughout the Northern blue states. You also noticed that toyota intendsto increase the amount of USA manufacturing from 60% of sales to 75% of sales and you know all of those new plnats will be in red states.

That's not an economic probelm. That's a political problem and not for the GOP.

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 7:19 AM | PERMALINK

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Gauleiter rdw.

Not quite. Your Hitler references are as always, silly. Interesting that I tout Sharon, a jew's jew, and you try to turn it to Hitler. Pure intellectual chickensh*t. You must be European.

Sharon does not target innocents. He targets terror masters. He brings terror to the terrorists. The plan as Reagan would say is, "we win they lose". The path is to kill the leaders. If they choose to travel with their families that's their decision to place them in harms way. Shame on them.

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

He chose Monica 22-yr old, 180 lb, unemployed Monica Lewinsky. Are you out of your flippin mind?

god forbid, should my wife and i ever seperate, i'll be sure to consult you before hooking up with anyone else - i'd hate to end up with someone below my station, Doctor Higgins.

Posted by: cleek on June 13, 2006 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

You can tell because since the 06/03 supplyside tax cuts we've had our strongest GDP growth in 20 years!

prove it. show your work.

Posted by: cleek on June 13, 2006 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

cleek,

Don't be so lazy. Do your own work.

As far as your station I suspect you'd have to jump to reach Monica. Is it really hard to understand? The most powerful man in the world and rhodes scholar versus unemployed, over-weight, less than 1/2 your age former clerk? Having a hard time there?

Posted by: rdw on June 13, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Don't be so lazy. Do your own work.

i'm not the one making crazy assertions. show your work, or take the F.

As far as your station I suspect you'd have to jump to reach Monica

zzz

Having a hard time there?

not at all. i'm perfectly comfortable with letting other people choose who they want to fuck. and what consenting adults do with each other is none of my business, none of my concern. it's pretty simple, really.

Posted by: cleek on June 13, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Bush did not lie.


here's one...


"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way." - GWB 4/20/2004

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 13, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Was it the 13% surge in tax reciepts?


did you know....

Tax revenues generally hit "all-time highs" on a regular basis because the economy is constantly growing. Like home ownership.

for example....

Clinton had "all time highs" in Federal tax revenues 8-years in a row, before and after Republican congresses, before and after tax increases.

did you know...

Federal tax revenues FELL in 2001, AGAIN in 2002, and DOWN even more in 2003.

That hasn't happened since the GREAT DEPRESSION.


for more perspective.....

In dollar terms, federal receipts from personal income taxes, at $802 billion in 2004, are still lower than they were in 1998 ($826 billion) and much lower than in 2001 ($994 billion)...

SOURCE: "Analyzing the Economic and Budgetary Effects of a 10 Percent Cut in Income Tax Rates." - Congressional Budget Office 12/10/05


Federal reciepts (measured in contant dollars) were less in 2004 than 2000

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/TaxFacts/Tfdb/TFTemplate.cfm?DocID=200&Topic2id=20&Topic3id=23

rdw: IS it that 4.6% unemployment rate?

yet that number is still more than 10-percent higher than when bill clinton left office...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 13, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

rdw...growth isnt always good....

RealtyTrac, an organization that maintains a nationwide database of foreclosures, says mortgage defaults between January & March 2006 numbered 323,102 compared with 188,122 for the same period last year a 72-percent increase.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 13, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"A year ago, I thought (or maybe just hoped) that a milestone-related withdrawal plan might improve Iraq's chances of avoiding complete chaos."

What?

How would running ever make things better?
Were still in Korea, the Balkans, the Siani, Germany, ect?

All is well...New unity Goverment,steady increases in IA capabilities and numbers...

Why is doom always around the next corner?

Can you spell defeatism?

Posted by: Zarquwi Done Dead on June 13, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

You people are so dense. My entire point is Bill and Monica had ZERO to do with sex.

Zero, eh? You're a pretty sharp customer, there, ain'tcha Champ?

The way to win an insurgency is to play by their rules and convince them they will run out of people 1st. The only way to convince them is if they kill 3 jews then 30 Palestinians will die.

Why only last week or so you were telling us about the "exceedingly simple" conflict between the Sunni & Shia in Iraq, and how the wicked Sunni were responsible for any & every escalation of the violence.

Looks like you're running with the 'Sunni playbook' now!

Talk about mental health professionals...

Posted by: Googles McGurk on June 13, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: Kyoto is the dumbest treaty ever negotiated.

You are completely and utterly ignorant about Kyoto and about global warming. Your "factual" claims about Kyoto are screamingly, blatantly false, and your analysis of it is pathetically laughable. In fact, I dare say that in all the comments I have ever read in these pages by anyone of any political persuasion about any subject, I have never encountered anything as shockingly ignorant, dishonest and delusional than your idiotic comments about the Kyoto Protocol.

Which is, consistently, your mode of operation in all your comments on all subjects: a steady stream of ignorance, lies, and absurdities, steeped in brain-dead cheerleading for the gang of career corporate criminals known as Team Bush.

You are really nothing but an over-caffeinated fountain of scripted, programmed right-wing Republican bullshit.

You differ from the other Bush-bootlickers who post comments here only in that you take a thousand words to regurgitate the same basic scripted lies that most of them can concisely summarize in a dozen words.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

C'mon SA - hit 'im wit da chair!

You know the one I'm talking about - our new Sec Treaury's past statements (while he was the head of Goldman-Sachs, that insignificant investment house) that NOT signing onto Kyoto will leave the US at a long term competitive DIS-advantage.

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/05/30/treasury-secretary-kyoto/

Posted by: kenga on June 13, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

CNN June 2006: 55 percent said they believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an error -- a figure unchanged from an April survey.

rdw: That's an exceedingly dumb statement. Oral sex is in fact sex. It's just not sexual intercourse. Bill childish attempt as creating a distinction was laughable and even he gave it up quickly.

When someone says "I had sex last night" they are referring to sexual intercourse.

Of course, conservatives redefined the common usage of the term "to have sex" only when it became convenient in their war on Clinton.

What can be categorized as a "sex act" is not the same as what can be categorized as "having sex".

That rdw deliberately equates the two is just further proof of the falsity of the claim, given rdw's utter lack of credibility, moral or intellectual.

Still lying about DeWine and Strickland as well as about what "having sex" means, rdw?

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 13, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

How would running ever make things better?
Were still in Korea, the Balkans, the Siani, Germany, ect?

First of all, we're not in the Sinai.

Second of all, how many casualties a day are we taking in Korea, the Balkans, and Germany?

Third, are we still in Vietnam? Did leaving Vietnam make things better or worse for us?

Posted by: Stefan on June 13, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, rdw, the American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary gives "sexual intercourse" as the meaning of "sex" and no where does it refer to fellatio or any term synomymous with fellatio.

Making you a . . .

liar.

Just like you lied about Strickland and DeWine.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 13, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

here is one of many recent brief summaries of progress in Iraq:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmQwNzg0Y2Y4MTE5Y2E2ZTNhN2QzZWQ4N2Q1Njg3ZDg=

The single best source remains Brookings' Iraq Index.

Posted by: republicrat on June 13, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: . . . here is one of many recent brief summaries of progress in Iraq . . .

But only if you want a dishonest appraisal filled with lies, half-truths, and partisan spin.

The single best source remains Brookings' Iraq Index.

Ditto.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 13, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

And you call yourselves a reality based community.

ROTFLOL

Pure liberalism is pure insanity and pure entertainment.

Posted by: Jay on June 13, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: Pure liberalism is pure insanity and pure entertainment.

So it must seem to someone with his head up Bush's ass.

But, then, the view of the real world isn't really all that good from that location.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 13, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

speaking of the Iraq index, it was updated yesterday:

http://www.brookings.org/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf

Most of the global indices are not changing much. The bombings of the mosques in Samarra made a big dent in morale. Electricity production has been above the pre-war average for over a year, if the independent producers are included. Iraq gets above $2.5billion per month from its oil exports; comparing that to the world bank estimates of Iraqi reconstruction needs ($35Billion), Iraq should be able to pay for most of its own reconstruction.

Brookings does not provide a "rosy picture", but it's not the gloom and doom that pervades this site.

Advocate for God, the sources that I provided have plenty of links to original sources -- read them. If Brookings has a bias, it is a liberal/Democratic bias, not a conservative/Republican bias. Bias, lies and spin are what most anti-Bush writers here provide. The full story in Iraq is much more complex and even optimistic.

Anti-Bushies like to call themselves "reality basied", but they ignore more than half the reliable information on any topic.

Posted by: republicrat on June 13, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: speaking of the Iraq index, it was updated yesterday:

Swill yesterday is still swill today.

. . . and even optimistic.

Yeah, no "spin" there.

. . . they ignore more than half the reliable information on any topic.

No, we ignore unreliable partisan spin.

Like what you provide.


Posted by: Advocate for God on June 13, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I need to get in on this discussion of whether Clinton had sex or not. I believe a large majority of people would agree: fellatio might be described as indulging in sexual activity, but having sex means penetration alone.

It sure did when I was a young-un. If you were asked, Did you have sex? It meant only one thing.

It still does. I heard an interview with a high school girl the other day who said (approximately), Giving head is no bigger a deal than sucking on a lollipop. But I wont have sex. I wont have my body violated.

Clinton was not splitting hairs. He did not "have sex" with Monica.

So why was the distinction, which appears to be hold up both legally and traditionally, so quickly and roundly overrun? Easy. The Republicans wanted to get Clinton by any means and the media wanted those headlines. Who could speak sense to such a juggarnaught! It was the darkest day for American politics and journalism since the Spanish-American War.


Posted by: James of DC on June 13, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Swill yesterday is still swill today.

And your sources are what? How exactly do you know that Brookings produces swill?

Posted by: republicrat on June 13, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

James of DC: good post.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 14, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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