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Tilting at Windmills

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July 4, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

TRUDY RUBIN ON IRAQ....Jeff Weintraub recommends that I read the Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin, who has recently been in Iraq and has a good feel for what's happening on the ground there. So I did. And after a bit of back and forth about what our military leaders think about drawing down our forces in Iraq, here's what she says about the debate over withdrawal:

Iraqi officials from nearly all factions say they want U.S. troops drawn down within 18 months. Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote in the Washington Post recently that he expected most of the U.S. troops "to return home by the end of 2007."

However, neither Rubaie nor more senior Iraqi leaders want an explicit timeline. Instead, they favor a "road map" for troop reductions, that depends on achieving a set of goals for improving Iraqi security. They want dates, but dates that depend on meeting those targets.

This is not precisely what the Reed-Levin resolution called for, but it's pretty close: make at least a small start on troop drawdowns this year; don't set a specific timetable for further drawdowns; but do insist that the Bush administration submit a redeployment plan by the end of the year that specifies "estimated dates...with the understanding that unexpected contingencies may arise."

It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this though every Republican senator but one did. It's little more than an official acknowledgement that we don't intend to stay in Iraq forever, and practically the only concrete thing it asks for is that the Bush administration tell us what its goals are in Iraq and then provide some rough estimates for accomplishing these goals. What's more, if Rubin is right, this is almost exactly what the Iraqi leadership wants.

So that's that: I've read Trudy Rubin and I agree that she sounds pretty sensible. Both she and the Iraqi leadership appear to believe that an open-ended commitment to the occupation of Iraq is a bad idea, and that a vague commitment to drawing down U.S. forces that's something short of a firm timetable is a good idea. On that score, 38 out of 44 Senate Democrats seem to agree. Unfortunately, the Bush administration doesn't.

Kevin Drum 2:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (321)

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Kevin, haven't you--and many others--mentioned this a long time ago? Seemed pretty common sense then and now.

Posted by: gq on July 4, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

It's little more than an official acknowledgement that we don't intend to stay in Iraq forever

But is it true that we don't intend to stay in Iraq forever? What about those permanent bases? I won't believe that we truly plan to pull out until this issue is addressed openly.

Posted by: cowalker on July 4, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

What's obvious here is....

Bush and the Republican party favor an open-ended, indefinate deployment of US troops in Iraq.

and...

Bush and the Republican party have no ideas and no plan for improving the security situation in Iraq.

If Bush had a plan, he'd have mentioned it by now. If Bush had any ideas that might lead to a plan, he'd have mentioned them by now. And if Bush favored something other than an indefinite, open-ended occupation of Iraq, he'd have made that clear by now. In point of fact, Bush has gone out of his way to avoid committing to a limited-term occupation, making it obvious that he favors permanent occupation without having to actually use those words.

It's not farce or tragedy, it's a two-in-one miracle of modern Republican technology.

Posted by: NBarnes on July 4, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

I'll put it at the start: KEVIN DRUM you are ignoring Palestine-Israel, Gaza problems.

WHY???

At least give us a reason why this has no relevance to the Middle East, the US, world politics, US responsibilities, peace in the world?

Otherwise I'll just presume you are in the payroll of Israel.

Posted by: notthere on July 4, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Instead, they favor a "road map" for troop reductions, that depends on achieving a set of goals for improving Iraqi security.

As they stand up, we'll stand down.

I don't see the disagreement between those statements. The disagreements arise when somebody specifies a firm schedule.

Posted by: republicrat on July 4, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Sooner or later the Iraqi government will invite us to stay in Iraq for ever, or an Iraqi government will be installed which will do that.

Withdrawl during the Bush regime is a fantasy.

Posted by: nut on July 4, 2006 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

However, neither Rubaie nor more senior Iraqi leaders want an explicit timeline. Instead, they favor a "road map" for troop reductions, that depends on achieving a set of goals for improving Iraqi security. They want dates, but dates that depend on meeting those targets.

Translation: we want the occupiers gone, because we're not idiots. But we don't want them gone until our local enemies stop shooting at us.

Posted by: feh on July 4, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

"... that the Bush administration tell us what its goals are in Iraq and then provide some rough estimates for accomplishing these goals."

Goooooaaaaal!

They (a) don't know what their goals are.
(b) know, but don't want anyone else to know.
(c) plan to do this because it will segue nicely into 2008 election

(d) What about those permanent bases then?

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on July 4, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Good, Tilli.

I can't distill "not wanting to say in Iraq forever" into a bumper sticker ("I'm already against the next war" is what I've got on my car.)

This shouldn't be that hard, but it still seems to be. Do we have to wait for the next rape and murder?

For that matter, how badly do we as a nation intend to abuse our troops? 110 in the shade, and they don't get any beer? Not only is it inhuman, it's un-American.

We don't have to insist, just now, in a foreign country, that beer is a good thing. We don't have to occupy their country indefinitely in the hope that they might eventually concur that beer, like ice cream, is transcendentally wonderful.

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

"It's little more than an official acknowledgement that we don't intend to stay in Iraq forever"

They do intend to stay forever. It is probably the only way that the US can keep the friendly Gulf States on its side.

None of the US friendly Gulf States such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar etc have significant militaries capable of defending themselves from the non-US friendly countries like Syria and Iran. If the US military leaves Iraq it is going to have to find somewhere else to base itself to provide security for these states or face these states becoming non-friendly in one way or another, with all that implies for world oil security.

The US moved its military forces out of these countries because it thought Iraq would be a better place to put them. Unfortunately they cannot just move them back because the events of the last few years have made it politically impossible for the leaders of these countries to agree to this, much as they would like to do so.

If you advocate a phased withdrawal from Iraq how do you plan to maintain security for the US friendly Gulf States and hence world oil supplies ? Especially in view of a strengthened Iran ?

Posted by: still working it out on July 4, 2006 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK

I got a plan for Iraq. Its really simple and would be very popular.

Fire Donald Rumsfield.

Imagine if everytime a Democrat was asked
"What do plan to do about Iraq?" they answered
"Fire Rumsfield".

How easy is that? Two words that everyone can understand and agree with. Very popular with the troops. Impossible for Republicans to adopt. Impossible to even argue with really. And best of all it acheives the miracle of making a policy every Democrat can agree with (well, except perhaps for Lieberman).

I have not seen Rumsfield's poll numbers but I would be surprised if they are not lower than even Cheney's. Even the troops hate him. How could you go wrong?

Posted by: still working it out on July 4, 2006 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

the debate over withdrawal

I feel like we are in an unconventional position. It's clearly not the case that our units will be able to peak and stand down after a few more thrusts into the fertile crescent. And in spite of strenuous efforts to rebuild our military as an agile, discerning, and unswerving force, I don't think that observing an Iraqi spearhead deep into the timeworn valleys of the Sunni triangle would immediately result in rapid shrinkage of our forces.

However, I do know that 1) setting a specific timeline for withdrawal and 2) nagging endlessly about the friction our transient occupation creates are surefire techniques for prolonging our intrusive presence and reducing the odds that our urgent task will ever be complete.

Posted by: rewolfrats on July 4, 2006 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

i speck the real questchun is whuther we wonta stay thar in perpetooity. n ye kin take it to the bank how aint nobidy in this add mininistrayshun willin to name no benchmarks on a counta then ye wood know not only whenever ye had made em but more embassinly, when ye had missed em.

that them rubberstamplicans voted fer sumthin they caint deefine in sted of sumthin that had a lil difinishun toot is part of the 'we aint a'gone be tricked into bein accountabull' strategy.

Posted by: buddy don on July 4, 2006 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

Bush admin doesn't agree cause can't agree: only possible election strategy is contra Dems, and the more broadly allusive and rhetorical the contra the better - which is why dems calling for withdrawl, no matter how moderate you try to be [which actually just ends up making you look worse] is stupid: surrender monkey grist to right's ain't we tough mill. Worse though, it's not only stupid, it's unnecessary - which does tend to make me wonder if repubs caricature of dems as weak, confused, irresolute, out of touch with cold reality may contain several grains of truth.

Posted by: wobbly reagan ghost on July 4, 2006 at 7:15 AM | PERMALINK

"It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this though every Republican senator but one did."

Well how about because:

Dates, timelines, goals makes it sound like you are trying to run the government like a business.

You think Bush is a CEO or something?
Aren't CEO's and businesses held accountable by the shareholders?

Listen Mr. Drum:

The USA is an empire and Bush is its terminally sophmoric Augustus.
We must let him play with his toy soldiers...

Yeah I know: he is hopelessly overmatched by bin Laden's IQ.
Still, he is an emperor--not a CEO!

So let the little boy play: at dice and cards; at mountain biking with Lancey; and with troops and treasure...

Posted by: koreyel on July 4, 2006 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

If Republicans are true to form, they will oppose any plan for troop withdrawal until they decide it is time to take credit for whatever it is they feel they have accomplished in Iraq.

They will probably approve sending some troops home just before this year's November elections and just before Christmas, a few more in 2007, and the rest just before the elections in 2008.

Republicans are so convinced of their own righteousness they are not ashamed to use troops' lives to retain power because they believe the exercise of that power is what keeps America safe.

"We kept you safe from terrorists" is the Republican mantra. Under Bush the Republicans have desecrated the Constitution, managed government incompetently, run up trillions of dollars in debt, destroyed international alliances and respect, dragged their feet on the environment and global warming, fenced out immigrants, sold the elderly out to the pharmaceutical industry, increased the number of people living in poverty -- but "kept us safe from terrorists."

This is why the GOP's arguments against timetables for withdrawal, domestic spying and the Supreme Court's decisions against Bush's detainee policy are interwoven and so critical. They divert in a dramatic way our attention from the utterly incompetent way they have managed most aspects of government and the Iraq war itself.

Don't put it past Bush and Rove to time a dramatic (yet six years late) response to Korea and Iran right before the election. Defense and the war on terrorism are the GOP's political trump cards.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on July 4, 2006 at 7:44 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, why aren't you clamoring for an immediate withdrawl of our troops -- IN GERMANY? or IN JAPAN?

Gee that war was won over SIXTY YEARS AGO!

Let's get to the truth, Kevin. You Demwits have an irrational hatred for our President and for much of what this country stands for and you are committed to try to wrest defeat from our victory in Iraq to try to discredit him.

You have an emotional need to pretend you're smarter than life has judged you and you can't deal with the success of man who doesn't seem as glib as you imagine yourself.

You lie to yourself, Kevin. You pretend that the Dems haven't called for an immediate withdrawal (to OKINAWA!).

Gee, Kevin, how come you haven't trumpeted GWB's "free fall" in the polls recently?

And you wonder why I think you're a moron?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on July 4, 2006 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, Kevin, how come you haven't trumpeted GWB's "free fall" in the polls recently?

Because he's bumping around the bottom, Norma? That is, the muddy seabed True Believers like yourself?

Sad little man, masturbating over dead Iraqis while trying to puff yourself up while trolling on a blog.

Posted by: ahem on July 4, 2006 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

"It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this..."

surely you're spoofing us Kevin. Its not the least bit difficult to understand if you consider the premise that no significant troop draw-down is planned; that a large permanent US presence in Iraq IS the plan.

Posted by: pluege on July 4, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Although I don't want to be accusatory, I do wonder the same thing as the poster above who wanted something on the Palestinian issue.

It is important, and does not seem to be dealt with here at all.

Posted by: Bob M on July 4, 2006 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Especially if US soldiers continue to rape and kill Iraqi civilians.
And are they really going to allow the US to stay. Juan Cole quotes Al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a major party in parliament as saying this about US troops They were not qualified to protect society. They were sucked into a quagmire and made many mistakes that have brought us to the present unfortunate stage. They must give more opportunities to Iraqis to take control. He also said about Coalition troops, "The Iraqi government will study this subject and will see where the benefit of the Iraqis lies, and then will take the appropriate decision through a timetable for the departure of foreign forces or their immediate withdrawal."

Posted by: Botecelli on July 4, 2006 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

*That* war was won 15 years ago. You're pretty confused about purpose as are the leaders of your party.

And, it's irrational to not hate the man that has done more harm to our country in its entire history than the next 3 idiots combined.

Two possible reasons for Republicans to resist; 1) they want permanent bases (The reasons for that are weak-- Arabs and Persians will stop selling oil if we're not there!?); 2) As long as we're there we can avoid acknowledging the loss by continually saying "as soon as we turn the next corner." Nothing that comes out of this is going to look like a win and their die-hard supports will hate everyone for the loss, most of all themselves for being suckered into this mess. Where that mob goes after that is anyone's guess.

Posted by: dennisS on July 4, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

"supportERS"

Posted by: dennisS on July 4, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

GWB has had this plan for over 3 years. When the Iraqi's stand up we stand down. This is ust another looughable attempt by libs to appear serious about military matters.

It's simply not possible. You pick the man who is possibly the dumbest person in Congresss, to be your spokesman in Iraq only because he has service. John Murtha is a moron. The fool wants to redeploy our troops 'over the horizon', in Okinawa. The simple ass is too stupid to figure out Okinawa isn't over the horizon and so clueless on our foreign policy he doesn't even know we're reducing our bases in Okinawa by 90% at the request of the Japanses.

John Murtha is as dumb as a rock.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

"And you wonder why I think you're a moron?"

Uh, no, Norman. Nobody cares what you think.

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

"John Murtha is as dumb as a rock."

And yet, the administration is basically gonna follow his recommendation and start drawing down the troops. Guess that makes this Administration dumb as a rock, too, rdw.

Heh.

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

You think Bush is a CEO or something?
Aren't CEO's and businesses held accountable by the shareholders?

Yes they are! He was held accountable in November of 2004 and increased his vote count among shareholders by a stunning 23%!!!

If you want to see how this MBA President has used his background look no further than his flurry of trade deals (unit exports up 14.7% in the 1st Qtr) and the dramatic Asian realignment of US foreign policy. Relations with India are far better than ever and trade is exploding. Intel received quick permission to build a plant in Vietnam after trade negotiations and GWB has signed other trade deals with India, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malayasia, Australia, Chile, the CAFTA nations and others.

It's thanks to this MBA President the world is starting to embrace nuclear power as the solution to energy and environmental problems as well as clean coal, clean tar sands, increased oil and gas drilling and market induced conservation. While Al Gore is making bonehead stupid powerpoint presentations GWB is reving up massive sales to India for nuclear fuel and construction equipment.

It was this MBA President who walked away from Kyoto (but only of course after the smartest man in the world did the same) giving it all of the attention it deserved, none! Al has the libs creaming in their pants over this movie that less than 3M people will see. That's less than 3% of the voting public and those seeing it are all libs. He is speaking to the choir therefore obviously influencing NO ONE.

Only a liberal could possibly consider this C- student and gradual school drop-out an intellectual. I don't think liberals have any clue as the the level of glee experienced by conservatives watching that dick whine away at the movies and to the MSM while the MBA President signs trade deals all over Asia.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Surely you overstate whatever case it is you are trying to make, rdw. Dumber than Don Young or Lynn Westmoreland?

Surely you jest.

Posted by: bobbyp on July 4, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, dont be nave. Bush and his fellow fascists are planning (and building) permanent bases in Iraq. They are not leaving until every drop of petroleum has been pumped out of the sand. Which also means, they are busy plotting the rigging of the 2008 presidential election, to ensure a like-minded fascist (Jeb Bush?) is in the White House through 2016.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 4, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Check out "his vote count among shareholders" now:

"For the third straight month, fewer than 20% of Americans Strongly Approve of the Presidents performance while more than 40% Strongly Disapprove. The precise figures for June were 19% and 41% respectively."

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Bush_Job_Approval.htm

I don't think rdw has any clue as to the level of glee experienced by those of us in the reality-based community watching that dick prattle away on the comments section while the MBA President's job approval ratings are in the toilet.

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

The next 6 months in Iraq will be the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: R.L. on July 4, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

And yet, the administration is basically gonna follow his recommendation and start drawing down the troops. Guess that makes this Administration dumb as a rock, too, rdw.

They're not listening to Murtha on anything. Rove is praying he stays in the limelight as long and as visibly as possible. Get used to hearing his idea's on Okinawa because they will be repeated throughout the campaign.

Here's where the Internet, talk radio and Fox kill the libs. One upon a time the MSM would have advanced the idea this is all Murtha's idea. Search engines are the worst thing that ever happened to liberals. That GWB or anyone else with a brain would listen to that dumbass is laughable.

Murtha has the added advantages of being very ambitious and equally incoherent. His ambition leads to his camera chasing and the 'need' to make outrageous statements ala Dean. Too bad he's so clueless. His cheerleading on Haditha feeds perfectly into Roves campaign to prove liberals hate the military, even ambitious, headline chasing ex-marines. It seems his claims on Haditha were horribly over the top and innaccurate and possibly even less sensible than his Okinawa plan.

The man is a gift from God to Karl Rove. Murtha might be just as stupid as Michael Moore. Each has a keen awareness of how to incite hyper-active liberals totally unaware they are repellent to same people. Best of all he sees the shining lights and his path from obscurity to great fame. You've got to love ambition.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Check out "his vote count among shareholders" now:

There's no denying you are liberal. The shareholders have already rendered the last count on GWB they'll ever render. Your train has left the station.

As the saying goes, "you're a day late and a dollar short'.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think rdw has any clue as to the level of glee experienced by those of us in the reality-based community watching that dick prattle away on the comments section while the MBA President's job approval ratings are in the toilet.

Actually I do have a clue. I love it. It's perfect. You are celebrating GWBs polls. I am celebrating John Roberts and Sam Alito. 30-yrs from now I'll be celebraitng John Roberts and Sam Alito. And you?

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I predicted this six months ago. The left, having miserably lost the Iraq issue, will try like hell to make the pending troop withdrawal their own. I will tell you what, let's let the people that have orchestrated this successful campaign from the beginning continue to call the shots and when we need some comments from the cheap seats, we'll let you know.

Kriz demonstrates more of his severe brain trauma. In his post from a few days ago, he claimed that had Gores aviation safety plan been put into place 9/11 would not have happened. Failing to read the entire article though he would have read that the republican congress approved and funded every recommendation. Now that's what I call an inconvenient truth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"The shareholders have already rendered the last count on GWB they'll ever render. Your train has left the station."

That's what they said about Dick Nixon.

Heh.

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

You want to see a Bush-hater in full bloom?

Check out this guy "Joel" at 9:53 AM.

Very serious case of (BDS) Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on July 4, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

"I am celebrating John Roberts and Sam Alito. 30-yrs from now I'll be celebraitng John Roberts and Sam Alito. And you? "

I'm celebrating the Supreme Court repudiation of this failed president on Guantanamo. I love it!

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see another Bush-worshipper has joined us. Whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name . . .

Heh.

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, rdw, I'm a liberal too. So freakin' what? You really need some juice and cookies, and then go sit in the corner until you're ready to play with the other kids.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on July 4, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

That's a really weak victory Joel, but I guess you have to glom onto something. It's been a bad year for the liberals huh?

Considering the permanent gov't in Iraq, the pending drawdown of troops (which has been planned from the beginning "when the Iraqi's stand up, we will stand down", remember that? Of course you don't), a 250,000+ military, Zarqawi dead, Saddam on trial, the economy growing, unemployment at historic low levels, homeownership at an all time high, new allies in India and Pakistan, Bilbray victory in CA.

And what is the lefts main concern? Oh yeah, that we're all going to burn up, or freeze or what was it again?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Considering the permanent gov't in Iraq . . ."

A shrinking one, it appears:

" Insurgents in Baghdad kidnapped Iraq's deputy electricity minister and 19 of his bodyguards Tuesday morning . . . The kidnapping occurred three days after gunmen in two vehicles hijacked the convoy of Sunni female legislator Tayseer al-Mashhadani, as she traveled from Diyala province to the capital . . . On Sunday, Ayad Jamal Eddine, a Sunni member of the Iraqi parliament, survived what he believes was an assassination attempt outside his house in central Baghdad."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/04/iraq.main/index.html


" . . . the pending drawdown of troops (which has been planned from the beginning "when the Iraqi's stand up, we will stand down", remember that . . ."

Must be a new and unfamiliar use of the phrase "stand up."

" . . . a 250,000+ military . . ."

Heh. Must be a new and unfamiliar use of the word "military." I thank God our military isn't so corrupt and incompetent.

"Zarqawi dead, Saddam on trial . . . "


Thats certainly had an effect on the civil war in Iraq, hasn't it (not)? Oh, and BTW, where's bin Laden?

" the economy growing, unemployment at historic low levels, homeownership at an all time high, new allies in India and Pakistan, Bilbray victory in CA."

Guess that's why the president and his party are so popular in America. LOL. You've been into the koolaid again, haven't you Jay. Naughty little boy.

"And what is the lefts main concern? Oh yeah, that we're all going to burn up, or freeze or what was it again?"

And what's the right's main concerns? Oh yeah, that we're all going to burn flags. Or marry same-sex. Or fail to say "under God." Or charge the NYT for treason for publishing stuff that's public knowledge already (except to illiterate trolls like yourself).

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Let's consider a few other things while we're at it, shall we? (1) No one can call Iraq's government permanent at this point. They can't even leave the Green Zone safely to govern, and the violence continues virtually unabated in Iraq in a slow death spiral. (2) Our military is stretched dangerously thin, and there are few options to increase its size. The recent huge increases in funding are based on credit, not pay-as-you-go. That's your taxes, bucko, and your national credit card. And to call Iraq's security hires an army is a joke. We won't even let them have light artillery. (3) Zarqawi is indeed dead, but before he was buried, bin Laden had chosen a successor. And we've created thousands of new terrorists in Iraq. (4) Rumsfeld really should be on the witness stand in Saddam's trial for the material support he arranged personally with Saddam. (5) Our national economy is unsustainable, funding irrational mortgages, McMansions, and huge SUVs with Chinese money. A recession is actually needed right now, if you follow the reality-based economists, to avoid a collapse.

I could go on and on, but perhaps it's the holiday that has the trolls agitated today. Go fly your plastic flags, trolls, and pop open another beer.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on July 4, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

To Jay and rdw:

Given that a majority of Americans think the war in Iraq is pointless, the conservative Kool-Aid drinkers on this blog find themselves on the wrong side of this issue, like virtually every other issue. If the mainstream media wasnt so afraid of the fascist Bush regime, they would have as their headlines this morning that Bush ordered the leaks of classified information to discredit Joe Wilson. If this country followed its own Constitution, Bush would be standing in the dock on the floor of the Senate this 4th of July morning facing impeachment, while the sounds of the carpenters hammers building the gallows for his execution for treason echoed in the distance.

As we celebrate the fading glory of this once-great country on this 4th of July, you should really read this article by a great American, Jimmy Carter, on how the United States is going the wrong way with regard to secrecy and this most assuredly will mean the further erosion of the status of the United States as a great power. Have a wonderful 4th of July, even you neofascists!

Regards,

Stephen Kriz

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 4, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

You want us to listen to Jimmy Carter! The worst president in history. On his watch we had hostages in Iran, double digit inflation, gas embargo's, high unemployment, stagnant economy, and on and on. Godd Lord, you do have brain damage Kriz.

"..if the mainstream media wasn't so afraid of the Bush regime"? Which ones would tha be? The NYT, MSNBC, The LA Times?

And you call yourselves the reality based community? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Have a nice Fourth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

That's what they said about Dick Nixon.

It's good that hope springs eternal Joel. Everyone should have hope, even libs. But as with everything else this too accrues to Rove's advantage.

It seems liberals have two fond memories driving their passions, Vietnam and Watergate. Yet each has been destructive to their fortunes for quite a while now. They did get Jimmy elected but then he hasn't helped any. Quite the opposite with the 444 day hostage crises still the prime example of liberal ineptitude.

John Kerry was able to get the nomination ONLY because he was a Vietnam Vet. Unfortunately, not a very good one. John Murtha, a bumbling fool, could never become a spokesman for any party in any age but this one and only because Liberals are so desperate for veteran credibility.

THe chase for scandals has been worse than a total and complete falure. It's been counter productive. During GWBs term the scandals have all been in the press. Rather is a total disgrace. CBS and ABC have each lost 1M viewers off of their evening newscasts or more than 20%. The NYTs has had a series of economic, legal and editorial disasters running the entire almost 6 years. They've spent a fortune losing legal battles, by very wide margins, lost press protections, have had two major down-sizings and a few smaller ones, fired editors while Down, Freidman and Krugman and been almost relentlessly humilated over factual errors, doctoring quotes and plain stupidity.

Today the NYTs reputation is shreded, it's much less profitable and employes many fewer people. It's stock price is 1/3 previous levels and it's publisher is facing a shareholder revolt that will be exceedingly ugly and long lasting.

And they still chase Watergate. Someday they'll figure out Bush isn't Nixon. Thankfully it won't be until after 2009.

At the same time the WSJ, Washington Times and a few other more conservative papers are doing quite well and Fox is flourishing. More people listen to talk radio than read newspapers and they are vastly better informed.

We have a blogsphere which has taken down Dan Rather and CBS and exposed John Kerry's Xmas in Cambodia story as a total fraud. On the liberal side they elevated the unelectable John Dean to cult status where he remains currently in battle with Chuck Schumer and Rob Emanuel over the direction and programs of the DNC.

Chuck and Rob are easily the two most capable Democratic leaders. Yet Dean, a total bust nationally, is winning at the DNC.

Regarding the memory of Vietnam I must confess I enjoyed a column printed in the Boston Globe last week calling for a draft. Joan Venocchi (sic) wrote a long lament for the 'good ole' days of the Vietnam war protests and is demanding a return. Joan recognizes it ain't going to happen until we have a draft and is demanding we start a draft.

Now how desperate is that? Surely Joan understands Rove is going to laugh out loud on the speaking circuit pointing out that ONLY liberals are calling for a draft. Joan is the proberbial 'duck hit on the head' as described by Lincoln. She is stunned by current events and doesn't know what to do. A liberal calling for a draft is a desperate plea for help. Joan has passed frustration into insanity.

Go ahead Joel. It's July 4th and you are miserable. You have absolutely nothing to cheer except GWBs polls and the possibility he morphs into Nixon. With the chronic keystone kop act in the MSM I don't know how you can have hope but by all means knock yourself out.

If I have a beer today I will cheer you.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

FOX is flourishing? The Washington Times able to stand on their own w/o Moonie money? The failed attempt to secure the Iranian hostages the fault of liberals? A wily, battle-tested, decorated veteran and long-time congressman a "bumbling fool?" A call to arms a "desperate plea for help?"

My, the perfidy and delusions of rdw are trully impressive, but sad. Sad because Americans of different political persuasions can't even agree on the basic facts these days.

You want an opinion? This once-great country is fucked, and it's because of proto-fascists and delusionists like you, rdw. Thanks a lot, you idiot.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on July 4, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

More people listen to talk radio than read newspapers and they are vastly better informed.

This has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a comments section in a while, typed with a straight face and without irony, no doubt.

Since rdw and the infant Jay are shining examples of the consequence of suckling the mother's milk of talk radio, it's even funnier.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on July 4, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

a_retrogrouch, it only sucks for you, because of your lack of spine. I might suggest a more hospitable place like maybe Sweden. There you can sit around, enjoy socialism, complain about everything and do nothing about anything.

That's really suits you better.

And Mr. Porrofatto, with newspaper readership in serious decline and talk radios numbers growing every year, it appears you're losing the debate. Of course you must be getting use to losing by now.

Have a nice Fourth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I'm celebrating the Supreme Court repudiation of this failed president on Guantanamo. I love it!

Joel,

Wishful thinking is not analysis. The Justices said Gitmo can stay open forever. They can keep the detainee's there forever without a trial of any kind.

What Breyer said is that GWB can put them on trial EXACTLY as he's planned as long as Congress agrees.

Surely you can see the wheels turning in Karl Rove's brain? Will Nancy Pelosi demand access to civil courts and taxpayer funded legal defense and show trials for terrorists? Please Nancy, Please do this!!!!!!!

If not Nancy, Murtha? Feingold? Kuncinich? Kerry? Moore? Sheehan? Dean?

You just know some flaming liberal will demand equal rights for terrorists and Karl Rove will take that gift and run with it.

I think we can agree on something here. It's always good for the American people to see such a clarifying issue as this. We'll have the liberals arguing for the civil rights of terrorists and conservative arguing our rights to kill them.

The timing is perfect. We'll have our debate just before an election. Even better. We're going to have much more than a debate. Talk is cheap. We're going to have a vote and probably several votes. We'll see if Kerry votes for it before he votes against it. We're going to see where each and every one of them actually stand.

Does it get any better than this?

BTW: The Washington Post has already realized the political danger here. They are less thrilled about this ruling than initial headlines would suggest.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Still prattling, rdw? LOL!

Posted by: Joel on July 4, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

This has to be the funniest thing I've seen in a comments section in a while, typed with a straight face and without irony, no doubt.

Two examples my friend. Dan Rather and John Kerry.

I knew Dan was full of crap before the NYTs was delivered the next day. I also knew within a day just how badly sourced their story was on so many levels. I knew the TANG story was dead. I knew Rather was done and I also knew CBS would not have the balls to fire him but would allow him to linger as a constant reminder of their fraud and inteptitude. If I had my way Rather would still be the anchor.

I also knew Kerry's Xmas in Cambodia story was comically fraudalent and by itself would destroy his credibility. I never much cared about the other frauds because this was so perfect. It was an obvious fraud and amazingly stupid. It was impossible to defend and I knew Kerry would never issue a statement suggesting he was confused about the date or any other aspect. I knew Evan Thomas advised him to ignore it because the MSM would ignore it and people would not find out.

If Kerry had a sliver of honor he would have corrected himself.

Talk radio and Fox and the blogs and the conservative newspapers are all now networked. It's a beautiful thing. While Evan Thomas was telling Kerry not too worry I was watching Foxnews play a clip of kerry telling the world President Nixon was lying to the American people about our presence in Camboidia on Xmas eve in 1968.

It was a memory seared, seared in him. And a dramatic memory it was. Too bad Nixon wasn't President in 1968.

This will go down in election history as one of the dumbest statements of all time. It will also be used as an example of what a lack of honesty will do and possibly as the moment the MSM was exceeded by the alternative media in power.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bush does not want to leave Iraq period. Therefore, Bush has taken no steps, no political negotiations, no dialog with allies and opponents that would ease the movement of US troops out of Iraq. Bush then turns around and uses the near impossibility of removing US troops (an impossibility created by Bush policy) as a reason for not leaving.

Imagine building a road out of Iraq. Bring in the surveyers and cartographers, then the engineers to plan the road. Get cost estimates on the construction. Imagine not wanting to build the road. Don't hire any surveys or do any sort of road planning whatsoever. Would the road ever get built? Is this why we cannot get out of Iraq? Bush does not want to leave.

We continue to ignore the elephant in the room.

Posted by: bakho on July 4, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

You want an opinion? This once-great country is fucked,

Well I can see you'll enjoy this 4th!

Didn't you see the report last week 1st Qtr GDP growth was raised to 5.6%?

We are at war not of our own making so it's hard to celebrate when good men are in harms way but it is also worth celebrating their heroism and their success in ensuring the USA remains the Greatest nation on God's green earth.

I will think of Joan's 'call to arms' and celebrate here total capitulation. Joan knows the post-68 Democratic party is dead this day. They tried everything but are utterly powerless. Non-liberal Americas are celebrating today. We are proud of our military and of our country.

We also share another sentiment among ourselves you can't or won't. You pitiful peole are afraid you might offend someone. We thank God for our good fortune!

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this though every Republican senator but one did.

No it isn't.

What the hell else do they have to run on?

Iraq -- not so much a war as a very, very expensive campaign commercial.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Trudy Rubin was on C-Span's Washington Journal last Sunday and she sounds about right to me too. She talked about how scared the Sunni's were about the US military leaving> So it seems to me that Sunnies would be basiclly just like the refugees like the US left in Vietnam if and when the US leaves Iraq.

Bush's plan to have NO plan will leave little option's in next three years except to just get out after congress fails to do anything since Bush certainly isn't doing anything. Whatever happen to "as Iraqis standup, we'll stand down". Where is Bush at on this plan right now? We don't seem to be any closer to getting out of Iraq then we were 6 months ago.

Something I think the press really needs to address and what the press seems, indeed, to be avoiding and something I like Trudy to address too, especially after watching George Clooney's "Syriana" is about the oil in Iraq. What is happening to the funds with oil being siphoned out of the country. Trudy talk about how Iraqi's only had 6 hours of electricity a day and I've heard that Iraqis are sometimes waiting as long as 12 hours in line for gasoline, it's their oil - why is it taking so long. Iraqi's are being told to ration their gasoline, WHY - how are Iraqis benefiting from their countries greatest assest and who is getting the cash for Iraqi oil? Iraq still produces a lot of oil and to me it's beginning to look alot worse than what happened with the "food for oil" policy - I don't remember Iraqis having to ration their gasoline while Saddam was in power.

Who's benefiting from that oil in Iraq since it doesn't appear to be Iraqis?

Posted by: Cheryl on July 4, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

We are at war not of our own making

Everyone I know remembers pictures of those burning battleships moored off of Ford Island after the Iraqi attack.....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 4, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

If the resolution recognizes that "unexpected contingencies may occur" then I don't see why the Bush administration should object. After all, they only have to make sure that unexpected contingencies do occur. It's simply a matter of saying one thing and doing another. They're very good at that. This resolution plays to their strength. I suspect the objection is that it came from Democrats.

Posted by: G'kar on July 4, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Most ironic rdw post ever:

Wishful thinking is not analysis.

Posted by: Gregory on July 4, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

So Jay, you consider yourself, as rdw puts it, vastly better informed from all your talk-radio listening? Let's just take your last post for example:

You want us to listen to Jimmy Carter! The worst president in history. On his watch we had hostages in Iran, double digit inflation, gas embargo's, high unemployment, stagnant economy, and on and on. Good Lord, you do have brain damage Kriz.

The inflation of the 70's had little to do with Carter, which you might know if you actually read something. (You might want to look up "Whip Inflation Now" and the term "stagflation"hint: you won't find them taking another pull on Hannity's Nipple.) There were no "gas embargo's [sic]" during the Carter administration but there was an Arab Oil Embargo which began and ended before Carter was even President, and triggered the inflation of the early 70's that began during the Nixon presidency (double-digit inflation began in 1974 due to the aforementioned Arab Oil Embargo, ended right after it, and only resumed during the Iranian Oil Crisis in 1979, which also ended when Iran resumed full production.)
In addition, unemployment rates actually improved during the Carter administration, and were significantly lower than rates during eight years of the Reagan administration (avg. rate 6.5% Carter vs. 7.5% Reagan.)

So, if by vastly better informed you mean stridently opinionated but pig ignorant, I'd have to agree with you.

I'm off to the beach. Happy Fourth to all.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on July 4, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

R. Porrofatto, you might as well go to the beach -- you can't refute a theology.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 4, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK

Hello!

Largest remaining pool of oil in coming decade - Middle East

PERMANENT BASES for McJesusAmerica

Lotsa Rape Torture Murder

Whatever

(last of oil burned by armies of Jesus vs. armies of Confucian infidels in order to acquire last of oil as the world broils, dessicates, last throes)

starvation rape murder torture cannibalism here and there

whatever

"Pass me that rump of little boy. Yum, first protein in weeks! Too bad all the salt is gone."

PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK OIL PEAK

Posted by: geo on July 4, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, I'll skip reading all the comments and just make my own comment...

This is not precisely what the Reed-Levin resolution called for, but it's pretty close: make at least a small start on troop drawdowns this year; don't set a specific timetable for further drawdowns; but do insist that the Bush administration submit a redeployment plan by the end of the year that specifies "estimated dates...with the understanding that unexpected contingencies may arise."

If we're in it to win it, I don't see how the Reed-Levin resolution helps. In short, any message we send that suggests we will leave before we are done is a bad one, as it gives hope and sustenance to the bad guys.

The key question, which is being debated in the military at least, is whether our continued presence keeps the Iraqis from stepping up and handling security on their own, or whether it is providing Iraq the security it needs to allow it's nascent government to gel. If it's the first, we should draw down allow some pain to occur. If it's the second, we should stay until they ask us to leave.

And since the Iraqis are now asking us to leave, or at least talking out loud about it, that's A Good Thing.

In short, who it is that is suggesting we should draw down and leave is just as important as the fact that the question is being asked. The Iraqis asking is means sends a different message than us saying it.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 4, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Cheryl
and I've heard that Iraqis are sometimes waiting as long as 12 hours in line for gasoline, it's their oil - why is it taking so long.

You can have all the oil in the world, but if you can't refine it, you have no gas. Iraq lacks refining capacity.

Posted by: Red State Mike on July 4, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, who to listen to on the Iraq issue:
Trudy or Gen. Casey. Boy that's a tough one.

What was Trudy's credentials again? Oh yeah, a reporter for the national inquirer (oh excuse me Philadelphia Inquirer) and what is her military background again? Oh that's right....none.

This is the same Trudy Rubin who in May of 1997 claimed that the Israel/Palestinian conflict is entirely the fault of the Israeli's. So she seems fairly balanced.

This makes perfect sense for the liberals to prop up Trudy Rubin as someone whose opinion should matter. Hard to believe we've been able to make such great progress without the the brilliant minds of biased reporters.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

poster above: FOX is flourishing?

Fox News Channel lost viewers across the board in the second quarter of 2006. The network dropped 19 percent in the demo and 5 percent among total viewers compared to the same quarter in 2005.

"Early prime" programs were the biggest losers. Your World and Big Story are down 15 percent in the demo. Special Report is down 24 percent. Fox Report is down 19 percent. The total viewer losses are almost as bad.

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ratings/q2_06_every_fnc_program_loses_viewers_39238.asp


JAY: Let's see, who to listen to on the Iraq issue

rummy who had never invaded a country....or colin powell? hmm that's a tough one...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

jay: This makes perfect sense for the liberals to prop up Trudy Rubin as someone whose opinion should matter.


Ex-CIA Aide Reveals New Details On Ignored Warnings Of Iraqi WMD Fabricator Curveball - Wash. Post 6/24/06

Veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Well let's see, since Rummy was first a Sec Def in 1975 that would give him over 30 years of experience at the highest level of the military.

I'll go with Rummy.

And considering summer is upon us, viewership among all programs tends to decline. What is also a fact is that Fox News continues to trump MSNBC and CNN. But I guess you have to take your small disingenous vistories somewhere huh?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this though every Republican senator but one did.

I think the senators in question correctly perceive that the conditions are not yet ripe for announcing specific plans concerning withdrawal -- even if those specifics avoid deadlines. Those conditions may soon be present -- we'll likely see a major offensive in the Baghdad on the part of the Iraqi forces, and the latter are apparently (finally!) making significant progress in recruitment and training. But we're not quite there yet.

The thinking on the part of the Senators is: we're obviously getting out relatively soon. But announcing a plan, or starting a major drawdown, six months too soon could force the Iraqis to pay a high price that will partly be paid by America in the long run anyway (in reduced regional stability, lost credibility, greater security expenses, higher oil prices, etc.).

Of course, if, like many of the Democrats, you think the war is an irreperable mistake, then staying even 24 hours longer is too long (remember Kerry's words about the last man to die for a mistake). But the mainstream GOP position (as articluated most eloquently by McCain, but also largely shared by Lieberman and Hillary Clinton) is that the war, however badly managed it's been up to this point, has not been a mistake, and will leave the situation in Iraq improved in comparison to the status quo under Hussein.

Iraq's not likely to resemble Fairfield County any time soon. But it may soon resemble the Colombia or Northern Ireland of a few years ago. A place with major security challenges, but one where life is at least livable and not devoid of hope, and where a government elected by the people enforces the rule of law, conducts business, and oversees a functioning economy.

Posted by: 99 on July 4, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

I'm not a knee-jerk you basher, but I expect better from you. The Reed-Levin plan is politically neuteured to the point of almost pointless stupidity. It offers the idea of withdrawal without the substance and does not neutralize you to the bullshit of Red State Mike. This country is not willing to save its soldiers and the lives of Iraqis from a bloodthirsty and unwinnable Iraqi stalemate, because the Democrats would rather avoid looking politically weak.

You are watching a dysfunctional system in action. And you're perpetuating it. We are not helping anyone in Iraq. There is no military victory in sight and the preconditions for negotiated end to the conflict is our withdrawal. Everyone will bleed until we go home. Anything other than a policy of going home is a policy of the tolerance of mindless loss of life with no strategic goal.

Red State Mike:

In short, any message we send that suggests we will leave before we are done

Not trying to be offensive, but getting past this particular stumbling block of stupidity is critical to thinking intelligently about the costs and benefits of our presence to both us and the Iraqi people.

We're in the fourth year of this never-neccesary in the first place war. When do we win, please? When all armed resistance to our presence ceases?
Armed resistance to our presence could continue for decades. So, what the hell does "done" mean, exactly? You don't know, and neither does anyone else. Because there is no "done", or at least no realistic done that anyone can frame.

"As the Iraqis stand up, we stand down" is an equivalently meaningless term. We're the greatest military on the face of the planet - if we can't crush the insurgency to the last man using non-genocidal means, they can't, either. Their military isn't going to get much stronger than it is, and those incremental upgrades will not make any real difference in its abilities against the insurgency.

So what are we doing, exactly? What our presence is doing is preventing a negotiated end to the pointless and senseless daily slaughter of Iraqis. We are the bone in the throat of a functional Iraqi system.

If it's the first, we should draw down allow some pain to occur.

I apologize if this offends you, but are you out of your fucking mind? Between forty five and one hundred thousand (BOTH lowball) estimates Iraqis have died violently in the past four years, and you're waiting for some pain to occur?

Posted by: glasnost on July 4, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

But the mainstream GOP position (as articluated most eloquently by McCain, but also largely shared by Lieberman and Hillary Clinton) is that the war, however badly managed it's been up to this point, has not been a mistake, and will leave the situation in Iraq improved in comparison to the status quo under Hussein.

Iraq's not likely to resemble Fairfield County any time soon. But it may soon resemble the Colombia or Northern Ireland of a few years ago.

The situation in Iraq is short-term improved as a function of our overstimulated security and
mercantilist requirements. The situation in Iraq for Iraqis has gone to utter and complete hell, as many actual members of the US military would privately admit to you. Let me give you a hint: the violent-death-multiplied by ten between 2003-2006 and 1999-2003 statistic for Iraq
is not a demonstration of their improving lives.

Posted by: glasnost on July 4, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

glasnost, your better off worrying about something you can control, like giving information to the jihadists.

"Between 45 and 100 thousand estimates iraqis have died violently"
When did you start caring for the loss of life? An estimated 500 thousand Iraqis died under your policy of containment via starvation. Over 1 million unborn babies die every year under your policy of abortion on demand.

Victory is when the Iraqi's begin to take total control of the security of their country, which will be soon. The Iraqi's established, in less than four years (with our help), a permanent gov't, a 250,000+ military/police force, three successful elections and a constitution.

In three and half years we have spent nearly $300 billion dollars in Iraq to help the people of Iraq achieve those goals. In one year here, we spent $360 billion in entitlements on Americans, helping Katrina take vacations, buy drugs, get sex changes, etc. I will say that the Iraqi's got the better end of the deal.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

oh and btw, I hope this doesn't offend you, but your an idiot.

Have a nice Fourth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

poster above: FOX is flourishing?

Yes, they have 9 of the top 10 shows and 12 of the top 14. In most time periods more people watch Fox than MSNBC and CNN combined. Even more interesting is Fox is still adding outlets and starting to dominate CNN overseas.

The best test of how well Fox is doing is to listen to a liberal, any liberal, talk about Fox. It's like waving a red cape in front of a bull.

BTW: Fox's influence extends well beyond it's own viewership. It's an integral part of a conservative network that is flourishing. If you look over the last decade of best seller lists you will see a large number of books written by conservatives. They are rarely reviewed in the MSM and certainly not by the NYTs. Yet the books sell very well and the authors are well known to their target audience. Ann Coulter has sold 5 best selling books being a regular on the cable circuit.

We would not know what Ann looked like if not for Fox.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Victory is when the Iraqi's begin to take total control of the security of their country, which will be soon. The Iraqi's established, in less than four years (with our help), a permanent gov't, a 250,000+ military/police force, three successful elections and a constitution. "


Where you see nothing but neat fairy tale endings, the rest of us see a complicated, dangerous future.

How much of that security force you mention is made up of Shi'ite or other militia groups, which pursue vendettas against enemy ethnic or tribal groups, or maintain prisons that conduct torture, or that enable, in some cases, insurgent activity? This sort of thing will only inflame the civil war. Do we have any indication that these new troops will show more allegiance to their new government than their ancient ethnic ties? Don't the Kurds maintain their own militias? Aren't the Kurds pursuing their own trade agreements and oil deals?

The Constitution as I understand it is flawed. All laws must be in accordance with Islamic law. What's more, currently the Constitution recognizes that Shi'ites and Kurds control their own oil reserves, and hence control of the profits. This leaves the Sunnis out, since their lands are relatively oil poor. As long as this arrangement stands it will be a lasting impediment to the end of the insurgency.

I could go on and on. Is it victory if we leave Iraq as an anti-American, nominally democratic, Islamic nation? Unemployment is between 25 - 50%, yet the supply-side economic laws set in place by Bremer are wholly inadequate to deal with these problems.

The military was put in an impossible situation. One very poorly thought out. They were at once tasked with winning the hearts and minds AND ruthlessly stamping out terrorism. Pursuing one goal too strongly hurts our pursuit of the other. Iraqis will not forget Abu Gharaib, Haditha, rapes, etc, and this will heighten Islamic resentment towards America, and hence terrorism, for a long time.

I believe Bush will announce a full withdrawal in time for the '08 elections, because that will score the most political points and that's what this administration (and dutiful Republicans like rdw and Jay) are all about. And that's when bin Laden will hit us again. And he'll be able to, since Bush's progress on security in this country is very poor.

Posted by: forsythe on July 4, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

jihadist jay ,Why do you give aid and comfort to the enemy? Any islamofacist reading your comments would stay the course! A goat herder could rub two brain cells together faster than you could. Ignorant f*ck its a lost cause, political grandstanding for the unwashed redneck masses. Get out of the trailer court sometimes fricking moron. Ahh I feel better now.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"...the rest of us see a dangerous and complicated future"
A liberal with a negative view point. Will wonders never cease.

"How much of that security force is made up of Shi'ite......"
Again, a liberal with no confidence in the majority of average decent Iraqi citizens to control their future and their country. Are they stupid?

"The constitution is flawed....."
You say the same thing for our constitution. Remember? The left saying that the constitution is an aged document.

"I could go on and on....."
Of cxourse you can, and you do ad nauseum.

I predict GW will announce a troop withdrawal this fall in accordance with the Iraqi's ability to control the situation on the ground which will lead to a continued republican majority in both houses. And then in '09 say hello to President Gingrich.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

You're right babe, I should not give aid and comfort to the left. And the left's position on Iraq is a lost cause, but you still have global warming. Or is it cooling?

This fall the left will be confronted with another "inconvenient truth" (I don't care who you are, that's funny).

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Two-thousand five-hundred and thirty four

Posted by: heavy on July 4, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

1.2 million

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

ohh fancy that another redneck that thinks us nasty peace loving liberals are the enemy. So how many liberals have you drug behind the old pickup truck jj.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

A Sunni PM (a woman, no less) was just kidnapped by Moktada's people.

How, exactly, does this represent progress if the new government can't step outside of the Green Zone to mingle with their constituents without seriously risking stuff like this?

How, exactly, does this resemble "democracy"?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

PM = MP (member of parliament)

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

if we can't crush the insurgency to the last man using non-genocidal means, they can't, either. Their military isn't going to get much stronger than it is, and those incremental upgrades will not make any real difference in its abilities against the insurgency.


Not at all true!

The Iraqi military is not limited by liberal sensibilities. There won't be a need to use genocide but it's a fair assumption their methods will be dramatically more violent as they extend the message to the masses they intend to wipe out the insurgents and everyone assisting them and they won't be reading them their miranda rights 1st.

These soldiers speak the language, know the culture and are willing to do what has to be done to track down and kill the killers. This won't be a good time to be a foreigner in Iraq. This won't be a good time to lie for or otherwise protect insurgents. It probably won't be a good time to be related to an insurgent. It can only end one way and that's with the insurgents running out of people 1st.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Good for Jay, he can post the number of refugees created by George W. Bush's war on Iraq. Does he also have the death toll for Iraqis under Bush's boot heel?

Posted by: heavy on July 4, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Nice, Wooten.

You just made a speech in favor of sectarian warfare.

Just what part of "the rule of law" don't you understand?

Oh, and a happy Fourth to you :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi military is not limited by liberal sensibilities.................So what is different from Saddam's rule and the gov. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

How did we survive as a nation after losing the battle of New York to the British, the assasinations of McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln and Kennedy, and the civil war?

Violence does not equate the absence of freedom and democracy.

Don't be that naive rmck1.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

heavy, that was the number of aborted babies last year in America. You know, since you're soooooo concerned with life and all.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

My name's Bob, btw. Niceta meetcha. rmck1's only a beloved old handle.

Dude ... those were exceptions.

In Iraq, they're the rule.

The propensity of daily violence doesn't necessarily correlate with freedom and democracy.

Lords know if it did, we'd be celebrating all that potential freedom 'n' democracy in the Sudan.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

They aren't "babies," Jay.

They're fetuses.

Check a medical textbook.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

So a human fetus becomes a..........pollywog? The end of any life is called death Bob, no matter how hard you try to sanitize it.

So a kidnapping of ONE PM is now the rule? hmmm......

Well considering that logic, Bilbray winning in CA is now the rule. Yahoo!!!!!!!! Republican control of both houses again this fall.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I used to be a clinic escort {abortion} the right to lifers would bring their children to protests. Many times children were poorly clothed and looking hungry. It's touching how the right has some much concern for the unborn and little concern for those who are here.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

How, exactly, does this resemble "democracy"?

Er, The Constitution! And how about those elections, blue fingers and all!

The new government is indeed messy unlike that pristine, tidy one under Saddam but it is progressing at it's own pace. As messy as it's been for Iraqi's it hasn't been very good for your party. It's fun watching them commit Hari Kari each election cycle 1st with Howard Dean and then with, well, Howard Dean.

I'm not sure if you saw Brit Hume's show last night but he's reporting both Rom Emanuel and Charles Schumer are livid at Howard Dean for pissing away all of the money he raised. Rom and Chuck at without a doubt the two sharpest Democrats in the country. It has to be galling that Howard Dean leads the DNC.

Bob, Apparently your boy Dean did the same thing this time he did in his own race. He ran out of cash way too early and he didn't know where the cash he raised went to. Rom wants extra money to throw into close races in the House. There is none. Chuck wants extra money to throw into close races in the Senate. There is none.

Karl Rove and Ken Mehlmen have plenty of cash and both Bushes are actively fund-raising. Tactically, the GOP is well positioned again.

Did you enjoy that Supreme court decision? Seems the Washington Post is now having 2nd thoughts as to it's 'victory'. Seems they now realize having Congress hammer out a plan for trying the insurgents is a big advantage for the right. Either GWB gets EVERYTHING he wants or the liberals are sissy's.

It's going to be an interesting campaign. We'll see how interested the libs are in giving those Afghan insurgents. some of whom killed american soldiers, their civil rights.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

So Jay, how many Iraqis have lost their lives under George W. Bush's boot heel? How many Iraqi mothers lost their babies because there is only electricity a few hours a day? How many Iraqi mothers lost their babies because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? This discussion isn't your pet topic; it is about Iraq. You know that and want to move to something else because you know you are a cheerleader for death.

Ignore Jay's distraction, otherwise we will be subjected to far more of his idiocy.

Posted by: heavy on July 4, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

babe, i am sorry I missed your last post.

How many liberals have I drug behind the ol pickup? Not nearly enough, but thanks for asking.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi military is not limited by liberal sensibilities.................So what is different from Saddam's rule and the gov. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

The new boss was elected by the people for the people to carry out the laws they voted for in their constitution. Dispatching the insurgency in great haste is one of the tasks. The Iraqi constitution is not the US constitution and Iraqi sensibilities are not liberal sensibilities.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

You must have one serious, depression-producing crisis of remorse, Jay, after every time you beat off.

All those millions of potential lives all crumpled up in drying gooey white stuff in your Kleenex.

Do you do the Santorum thing, Jay? Do you, like, save your old jizz cloths and make sort of a shrine to them to memorialize all that potential of life wasted? Do you take pictures and light candles?

The Iraqi parliament can't set foot out of the Green Zone without seriously risking their lives.

That is a daily and constant fact.

And one which is hardly amenable to cultivating the instincts of citizenship that any serious political scientist and/or sociologist agrees is necessary for the cultivation of democracy.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

heavy, I have never professed to be that concerned with the lives of Iraqi's. I merely point out your hypocrisy. Many, many Iraqi's died under Saddam and many more will die, unfortunately, as they form their new union. Just as over 51,000 American soldiers died in the Gettysburg battle of the civil war to form our union.

If every nation were held hostage to liberal concerns, NOTHING WOULD GET DONE.

"A cheerleader for death"?
Over 500,000 Iraqi's reportedly died during YOUR policy of containment. That is still 5 times the reported death of Iraqi's since the war began. And you wanted to continue the containment policy. So how's those cheers coming along?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

The new boss was elected by the people for the people to carry out the laws they voted for in their constitution.

I'm sure all of those people on the receiving end of the new government will see little difference from the Saddam days. Except now little electricty, a shia run government and less freedoms. F@ck you guys are good.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Now that you mention it, Wooten, I *did* catch Brit Hume last night.

My friends were over for a homemade spaghetti dinner and we were well into a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi chianti by the time we flipped on the TV.

We laughed our asses off. My buddy doesn't have a TV at his apartment and so when he comes over, we make his "Fox fix" into an amusing ritual. All entirely for comedic value, of course.

Dean has spent that money building parties at the local level in states that've never had much of a Democratic presence to begin with.

He's going for the long ball, Wooten.

You know -- the kind of stuff the GOP learned to do as they spent year after year losing the House and Senate?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1, your desperation is now getting embarassing, having just had your ass kicked on the merits of your pathetic arguments.

Our police forces across America risk their lives everytime they go to work. Would your sociologists then say that we haven't quite cultivated our democracy?
Why do US Presidents have to have extremely tight security everywhere they go? Is it because we're a democracy?

Just go have a hot dog today rmck1, and leave the big issues to people that actually know what they're doing?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

You just made a speech in favor of sectarian warfare.

I did no such thing.

Just what part of "the rule of law" don't you understand?

I understand the rule of law. The rule of law says aiding and abetting a murderer is a crime. If someone hides or otherwise protects an insurgent they are guilty of a serious crime. That's the rule of law. My understanding of the culture is that if, in the heat of battle, an Iraqi commander comes into contact with a nest of insurgents and is not getting cooperation he needs he has responsibility to get the cooperation he needs in order to protect his troops. In other words protecting an insurgent, or even appearing to be protecting an insurgent, might prove to be extremely damaging to one's health.

It might not be the way the US would do it. Some might even be offended. However this is a different culture and I think we at least agree we have to accept, even celebrate, our cultural differences. Far be it for me, an unfeeling conservative, to suggest our culture is superior to their culture.

I am neither supporting nor condemning acts which if taken by a US Marine might be viewed as criminal. I am acknowledging our cultural differences and suggesting we might need to be tolerant of them. At the end of the day the peace will be enforced by the popularily elected Iraqi government and that's as it should be. My point stands. There is a big difference between a marine patrol in a hotspot and an Iraqi patrol. Different rules are at work and they make for a big difference in results.

Take my word for it. The Insurgents can quit or die. They will run out of people 1st.


Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

The situation in Iraq for Iraqis has gone to utter and complete hell, as many actual members of the US military would privately admit to you.

glasnost: I would agree with you that the situation in Iraq has gone to "utter and complete hell" in Baghdad, and in a number of Sunni Triangle cities. I do not agree your words characterize the situation for the vast majority of Iraqis who reside outside this region (which would mean, of course, a majority of the majority). Your histrionic sky-is-falling rhetoric is every bit as exagerrated as the rose-hued PR of Dick Cheney. Neither is helpful to the Iraqis.

Posted by: 99 on July 4, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,
so all those people who hid and assisted eric rudolph the clinic bomber, terrorist and murderer just didn't understand the rule of law. He was on the FBI most wanted list for five years.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ever notice on holidays and weekends, rdw and Jay are out in force?

So sad, they really have nothing better to do with their time, nor anyone to spend it with.

Fire away trolls, amaze us with your vast intellect and superior debate skills....*snicker*


Posted by: rdwandjay losers club on July 4, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

He's going for the long ball, Wooten.

He's swinging and missing. Building a ground organization in Utah. Are you crazy?


You know -- the kind of stuff the GOP learned to do as they spent year after year losing the House and Senate?

Chuck Schumer and Rom Emanuel are far more savvy than Howard Dean. They are the only two democrats I respect for their political skills. Rom will at least be a Senator and possibly a serious presidential candidate. Chuck is too NYC to go any higher but he's a very smart man and skilled politician.

Dean is a fool with fr too big a mouth.

Newt Gingrich never intended nor did he try to win over the strong blue states or appeal in any way to liberals, moderate or otherwise. Newt focused on the base, knowing it was larger, and independents. Dean putting money into Utah and other some Red states without keeping a kitty for aiding those in tight races is bonehead stupid.

I don't think the Dems were getting back either house anyway but it's looking very possible for a GOP pick-up, or two in the Senate and the losses in the house might only be a few.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

so all those people who hid and assisted eric rudolph the clinic bomber, terrorist and murderer just didn't understand the rule of law. He was on the FBI most wanted list for five years.

They clearly understood the rule of law. They decided to ignore it. I think they should have been prosecuted.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

And you had just been acidly mocked for erecting a Santorum-like shrine to your dried jizz :) All that potential life, oh my!

I'm not saying that's *literally* true, of course -- but it's a pretty apt metaphoric image for a guy who tosses out gratuitous abortion references when he's backed into a corner in an argument about Iraq.

Policemen aren't politicians, Jay. Taking the freeway to work isn't equivalent to travelling with an eight-person bodyguard armed to the teeth.

This is really kindergarten stuff. But I suppose it is what it is. We really *do* need better trolls, though.

rdw:

Without evidence, it's just vigilante reprisal killings, obviously. That's why they call it a rule of law rather than mob rule. Doesn't matter if it's the Shi'ite Interior Ministry prosecuting it, Sunni insurgents or common criminals.

But what's *even funnier* than Jay the Mourner Over Dried Jizz is the fact that if you *really believed in* your new cultural relativist argument -- there would have been no reason to depose Saddam Hussein to begin with.

After all, it's *their* culture ... isn't it?

ROTFL !

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

We laughed our asses off. My buddy doesn't have a TV at his apartment and so when he comes over, we make his "Fox fix" into an amusing ritual. All entirely for comedic value, of course.

This begs the question: were you laughing your asses off when Brit was torching Dan Rather and CBS news night after night after night? How about when they replayed the memory John Kerry had seared, seared in him when Nixon was President?

Well you may have been laughing but Dan Rather and John Kerry were not.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

So Jay, how many Iraqis have lost their lives under George W. Bush's boot heel?

The majority of Iraqi deaths have been murders done by the insurgents, who are mostly the same Sunnis that used to run Iraq using brutal terror tactics. It's utterly backward to argue that Bush's overthrow of Saddam should be blamed for the atrocities com,mitted by these people. They've been committing atrocities in Iraq for two decades. It would be like blaming FDR for the Holocaust, because he went to war with Hitler.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well you may have been laughing but Dan Rather and John Kerry were not.

OHH ouch man that hurt let me pick myself off the floor. It's just about power with you guys isn't it? Your the boss, the alpha male. You got the big winkie, huh? That's why many of us think your such losers.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Without evidence, it's just vigilante reprisal killings, obviously.

Who said anything about without evidence? I don't believe any commander or soldier can go into a house and just start shooting away. I do expect what will happen is these commanders will have a much better uderstanding of what is happening inside these houses and when pressure is approproate. I expect some of their techniques will be aggressive. More aggressive than our laws would allow but consistent with Iraqi norms. An iraqi accused of harboring a terrorist on the field of battle by US Marines might not be uncomfortable. Might even feel safer. That same person accused by Iraqi troops might be terrified and far more cooperative.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose [the Reed-Levin plan]... don't set a specific timetable for further drawdowns; but do insist that the Bush administration submit a redeployment plan by the end of the year that specifies "estimated dates...with the understanding that unexpected contingencies may arise."

Two general approaches to Iraq have been espoused: schedule dates for withdrawal of US troops or make the withdrawal contingent on progress. The Reed-Levin "plan" purports to combine these two contradictory approaches. It's no plan at all. It's just polical toilet paper.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

That's both factually incorrect and specious reasoning.

{"Thank you, Lisa" sez Homer Simpson -- Stefan will get this reference :)

First of all, Shi'ite death squads are prosecuting much of the atrocities currently. Acid splashed in your face and amateur facial plastic surgery with power tools, anybody?

Secondly -- and more seriously -- save for the Kurdish region, there's almost universal agreement that, despite everything, life was better under Saddam.

Yes, that includes the Shi'ite south, who initially looked on our invasion as a blessing.

The last thing we've done there is made things better. Oil and electricity are still at pre-invasion levels.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

That's why many of us think your such losers.

No doubt.

But I have the proof you are the loser. John Kerry is still a Senator, and a bigger fool, while Dan Rather just left CBS is humiliation.

How did you like it when Kerry demanded the troops be pulled out by 12/31/06 and Mitch McConnel introduced his demand as a resolution? Kerry was furious. And he should have been knowing the best he could do was humiliation. Even you have to be happy that dumbass is not the President

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is the responsibility of George W. Bush's occupying army to provide security to the conquered people of Iraq. His failure to do so is the underlying cause of death, whether by insurgents, terrorists, or heatstroke because there is not enough electricity. The holocaust took place before the occupation of Germany. It is actually like holding FDR responsible for the deaths owing to the Werewolves in post WWII Germany. Oh wait, there were none.

Posted by: heavy on July 4, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You really, really *do*, in your heart of hearts, think it's that simple, don't you ...

Here's to you, Wooten. *clink*

Happy Fourth, man.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Cheerleader-for-death Jay fails to provide evidence that the death rate has gone down since Bush declared war on Iraq. How about it? One study. Don't forget to include all of the deaths, not just the surplus deaths that assume sanction-era Iraq as a baseline.

Posted by: heavy on July 4, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 laughs out of dimentia, not because of any irony. His ROTFL comment kind of makes you feel sorry for him. Policeman also get shot rmck1, by actual criminals, kind of like the ones in Iraq, you know the ones you call freedom fighters. I guess that means we haven't quite "cultivated" our democracy.

And you are right in your question to rdw, it is their cutlure. That's why millions of them are thankful Saddam is on trial. Or do you care about them? Here's something funny, there are 27 million Iraqi's and an estimated 10,000 insurgents and yet rmck1 and the liberals are betting on the insurgents. Remind me never to ask for their opinion when I am in Vegas.

Topic to discuss: Can liberals critique someone without resorting to sexual references? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

But I have the proof you are the loser. John Kerry is still a Senator, and a bigger fool, while Dan Rather just left CBS is humiliation.

Ok explain it to me. Are they not paying John Kerry? He still can vote, He can say Wooten I'm a senator and your not. Oh I get it he's not the prez, Bush is still a loser though.
Dan Rather did he go to prison? They stop his pension. Does he beam his secret thoughts into your forehead? Or is this some more of this reasoned analysis by the mega minds on the right. Thanks for revealing some of your talent on loan from god.

Posted by: babe on July 4, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

"dimentia." Far be it for me to issue spelling flames ... but I can't help finding that amusing for some reason.

Jay, you don't follow the basic rules of debate. You don't get to arbitrarily switch contexts, just because your example looks better for your case.

Policemen aren't politicians. If you can't get how being a politician in a country where your security is provided by an occupier and you can't even go out and safely mingle with the purple fingers who voted for you -- I just don't know what to say.

I'm in a large-spirited mood. Today's the Fourth, and we all have much to feel proud of as Americans -- even traitorous liberals like myself.

I honestly wish I could take your arguments more seriously, Jay. But I just can't, if you won't follow the basic groundrules of debate.

Which, I suppose, is the difference between being an honest contrarian and a provoking troll.

Today isn't a day where I can be provoked, though.

Cheers, brother.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

heavy wrote: It is the responsibility of George W. Bush's occupying army to provide security to the conquered people of Iraq. His failure to do so is the underlying cause of death, whether by insurgents, terrorists, or heatstroke because there is not enough electricity.

Heavy's point may have some theoretical validity, according to some vague international law. Presumably, the same international law would say that responsibility for security has now passed to the elected Iraqi government.

My problem with heavy's comment is that it seems to imply that those who attempt to do good are less moral than those who do nothing. Here's why:

I think we all agree that overthrowing Saddam was a good thing to do -- good for the Iraqi people and good for the world. And, I think we also agree that the overthrow of Saddam has been done in a flawed manner. Still, nobody else in the world overthrew Saddam, nor would they have done so. Without Bush's war, Saddam would be in power indefinitely, followed by his insane, sadistic sons.

In my book, doing good imperfectly is better than just sitting on one's tuchis.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

heavy, why are sooooo concerned about life all of a sudden?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Bob wrote: Secondly -- and more seriously -- save for the Kurdish region, there's almost universal agreement that, despite everything, life was better under Saddam.

Bob, do you have a cite? Here's a poll showing the opposite. http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2006/06/unlike-murtha-iraqis-say-they-are.html

QUESTION TO IRAQIS: THINKING ABOUT ANY HARDSHIPS YOU MIGHT HAVE SUFFERED SINCE THE US-BRITAIN INVASION, DO YOU PERSONALLY THINK THAT OUSTING SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS WORTH IT OR NOT? (chart shows those who responded worth it).

The chart shows 77% agreeing.

Moreover, that same report shows most Iraqis still say that they are better off now than before the invasion.

And, this poll is from the Brookings Institution, hardly a right-wing organization.

Also, under Saddam, there was no hope. Today, despite the daily atrocities, there's a fighting chance that the country can become a peaceful, forward-looking democracy. (Although, in my opinion, it will take many years to finally put down the insurgency.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1, forgive me for not following your rules of debate. Next time I'll be sure to put in more personal sexual attacks.

Argument out of context? A US policeman being shot by criminals: an Iraqi policeman being shot by insurgents.

"Life was better under Saddam"

Please please please make shout that from the roof tops and make that part of your platform.

Are you really that stupid?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Nice post ex-lib, but surely you must know that rmck1 and the liberals are much more intelligent than the average Iraqi and they know what is best for their country.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

I'm not inclined to trust that poll, due to a whole suite of factors starting with methodology and ending with cultural differences. It's common in Arabic cultures to have a dissembling discourse of public speech -- especially to foreigners. It's even Koranic to do so. In a region occupied by strongmen and foreign powers for so many centuries, this creates a public-private split that's very hard to get underneath. And it's not just in Iraq -- the same kind of dynamic functions to an extent in Italy. Basically, it's a manifestation of the ideal culture / real culture dichotomy. The only poll results I'd trust from Iraq would have to come from an Iraqi organization.

There's also a qualitative difference between being glad Saddam was deposed and having a new hope for the future, while also noting the change in the day-to-day conditions of one's life. New aspirations, if unmet, also give rise to intense dissatisfactions that one could never voice previously. It's kind of like the decade-long euphoria hangover in most of the former East Bloc after the Wall fell ...

I also disgree strongly with your previous post. I don't believe we did the morally correct thing in Iraq, because ends don't justify means. Just because we'd improve the gene pool doesn't mean we can go out and involuntarily sterilize retarded people. And eugenicists used to advocate this. Utilitarianism and its attendant slippery slope is always a bad calculus upon which to found moral action.

By invading Iraq, we violated the cornerstone principle of the postwar world order. The example we set to other countries by doing so is so bad that even if Iraq turns out well, the would would remain a more dangerous place for that reason alone.

Secondly, it's less likely that we're going to bootstrap democracy there than it is that Iraq will ultimately wind up with some kind of strongly authoritarian regime -- whether a secular "Saddam-lite" strongman or a theocracy of some flavor. So any long-term gain over Saddam will be incremental and not qualitative -- and may well set back women's rights and sectarian comity.

Finally, I've always found the fear of Saddam's sons inheriting Iraq to be overblown. As sociopathic as both of them were, unlike their father who clawed his way to the top, they were the pampered beneficiaries of nepotism. I believe that a military coup would have soon followed. And then -- with severe unrest in Iraq, perhaps we could have become involved at the behest of some of the oppressed groups. Had we entered Iraq in that circumstance, we would have done so with the world's imprimatur and not scorn.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

His failure to do so is the underlying cause of death, whether by insurgents, terrorists, or heatstroke because there is not enough electricity

Nonsense!

The primary cause of death is insurgents killing people. Your logic is brain dead. It's the same as blaming cops for crime because they didn't prevent it.

The Iraqi's have survived 5,000 years without air conditioning. They'll survive 2006.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, it's a holiday, get a life already.

Oh wait, my bad, I forget who I am talking to

Carry on, loner.

Posted by: rdwandjay losers club on July 4, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I am not inclined to trust that poll..." rmck1

FINALLY, A poll that a liberal is skeptical on. I guess you can pick and choose your polls right rmck1? I will remember this next time you throw out poll numbers.

rdwandjay losers club, and why are you here exactly?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

I, of course, gave my reasons.

You're free to agree or disagree with them -- but you're not free to misread them as a wholesale attack on polls in general.

This is what I mean when I say you don't exhibit respect for context.

You can't make arguments mean what you want them to mean.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 wrote: By invading Iraq, we violated the cornerstone principle of the postwar world order. The example we set to other countries by doing so is so bad that even if Iraq turns out well, the would would remain a more dangerous place for that reason alone.

rmck1, would you mind enunciating the specific "conerstone principle" you're citing? Is it that one country shouldn't attack another without UN approval?

If so, AFAIK the only US conflict ever to have UN approval was Korea. Clinton bombed the Balkans without UN approval (and without Congressional approval.) Kennedy had no UN approval for his blockade of Cuba. A blockade is an act of war. We had no UN approval for helping Great Britain fight Argentina in the Falkland Islands, nor for Granada, nor for sending troops to Haiti, nor for fighting al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

It's not a question of getting explicit UN approval, which is a red herring.

We violated the UN Charter.

We invaded Iraq violating the very principle we invaded Iraq in the '91 Gulf War to uphold, and which Iraq violated by invading Kuwait.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

I;m sure Jay will find a way to blame Kerry or Dean on the fact that he cant get a woman, snicker!

Posted by: Jay's dirty drawer on July 4, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a question of getting explicit UN approval, which is a red herring.

We violated the UN Charter.

Bob -- I understand you to be saying that a war lacking explicit UN approval may or may not violate the UN charter? If so, what's the distinction? How can one determine whether a given war violates the UN charter?

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 4, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well of course rmck1, and there is no reason whatsoever to question the methodology of polls or the inherent bias of CNN/Gallup right?

rmck1, why do you consider yourself a better judge of the Iraqi's lives than the Iraqi's themselves?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"postwar world order..." rmck1

Someone forgot to tell this to the Sudanese. They're going to horrified by the worlds opinion of them.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

jay: Well let's see, since Rummy was first a Sec Def in 1975 that would give him over 30 years of experience at the highest level of the military.


countries rummy invaded: 0

countries powell invaded: 2 (iraq and viet nam)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Aghast! Powell's a murderer.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK


jay: And considering summer is upon us, viewership among all programs tends to decline.


.."The network dropped 19 percent in the demo and 5 percent among total viewers compared to

--the same quarter in 2005."


lol


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

babe: So what is different from Saddam's rule and the gov. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.


"See, if I'm president, I've got probably another 50-60,000 with orders to shoot on sight anybody violating curfews. Shoot 'em on sight. That's me. President O'Reilly, curfew in Ramadi, 7 o'clock at night. You're on the street, you're dead. I shoot you right between the eyes. OK?

That's how I'd run that country -- just like Saddam ran it."

- Bill O'Reilly 6/19/06


and another point about fox....from a frequent contributor on fox...

"All of them are trying to copy FOX News now to be honest. There's only so much of that trailer trash pie to go around." - Cal Thomas FOX News Watch 6/17/06

the insiders know....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK


heavy: So Jay, how many Iraqis have lost their lives under George W. Bush's boot heel?


estimated iraqi death toll since 2003: 50,000

equivalent if same percentage of americans were killed: 570,000

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK


jay: Our police forces across America risk their lives everytime they go to work.


even more so recently...

FBI statistics confirm Violent crime in the U.S. is on the rise, posting its biggest one-year increase since 1991. AP 6/13/06

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK


jay: Powell's a murderer.


when its bush or america....

jay sides with bush....and turns on our troops..

and on 4th of july no less...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 4, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

FBI statistics confirm Violent crime in the U.S. is on the rise, posting its biggest one-year increase since 1991. AP 6/13/06

The numbers when you break them down are even more interesting. The bulk of the rise is from a few large cities among them Philadephia. Mayor Street has been a notable critic of NYC and especially of Rudy's policies which continue to work as NYC is now one of the safest large cities on the planet. Street, like most liberals, still thinks it's about gun control.

Cconservatives have so thoroughly dominated crime in the USA the NRA has little to do. Can carry laws are becoming comnon and have been proven successful along with mandatory sentencing and 3-strikes type laws. It's so bad for old school liberals like John Street he can't find anyone to argue with. It's a dead topic.

It's the ultimate irony guns are most deadly in blue state hotspots. The more liberal and area the more likely to be a dead zone.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

I don't. I didn't say that I rejected the Brookings poll out of hand -- I said that I'd be inclined to question the methodology -- especially if it were conducted by Arabic-speaking Westerners. I really don't know enough about the poll to have a definitive opinion of it either way.

You, of course, want to buy into it uncritically because it supports your POV. Whatever, Jay :)

ex-liberal:

I'm not particularly well-versed in international law, so I'm not going to make as crystalline a case here as one can and should be made. Perhaps others more knowledgable like cmdicely can jump in here with the specifics. But here's a broad sketch of the principle:

The UN approval process is deliberative and slow. Obviously a country doesn't need UN approval to defend itself or intervene quickly in urgent situations (bear in mind that we haven't prevously abrogated international law in a wholesale fashion; our intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo was done under the ageis of NATO).

What happened in Iraq, however, was unique. We were testing a brand-new doctrine -- preventive war -- based not on an immediate threat of being attacked but a long-term threat to our interests and the region. In order to win international support and enlist countries to join with us, we went through an arduous UN Security Council process, ostensibly to determine to the world's satisfaction that Saddam's regime indeed did pose an unacceptable threat.

And evidence of active WMDs was the only thing that would move the Security Council into accepting this argument and giving our invasion its imprimitur. That's why it was so critical. That's why we hyped the intelligence. If international approval wasn't important, we could've just said hey well, Saddam's an odious dictator who commits atrocities against his own people and he needs to go so the Iraqis can have the blessings of democracy (our current justification). Instead, we built a house of cards around supposed objective evidence of the thread posed by Saddam to the world.

But we really didn't *give a shit* about the WMD case sui generis. It was just a means to an ends; a fig leaf. And ultimately, an act of blatant manipulation -- because we were going to invade anyway.

Naturally the UNSC was furious and didn't grant a second vote when it became apparent that as far as the US was concerned, Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei and their careful reports could go fuck themselves.

The violation didn't occur only because the UNSC didn't grant final approval. The violation occured in the *absence* of approval, because preventive war -- an unjustified invasion -- is illegal in the plain language of the UN Charter.

And we did not justify the invasion to the satisfaction of anyone but ourselves and the handful of countries that provided more than token support.

We lied to the world community. We didn't just violate international law -- we raped it with a sharp, splintery stick, snickering and sticking our fingers in our ears all the while.

It was the single most humiliating moment I have ever felt as an American citizen.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Fox news still out does CNN and MSNBC combined. And I am glad that you follow fox news so closely

Really thisspace, your desperation is sad. Resorting to sound bites and irony to prove your point.

500,000 Iraqi's DEAD under YOUR policy of containment and you have yet to acknowledge their deaths so excuse me if I call you a HYPOCRITE.

So Powell now represents America (when its bush or america).

You are too stupid to carry on a debate with. Have a nice Fourth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone should read this eye-opening piece in the American Conservative by an infantry officer who returned home from Iraq last year.

Money quote:

"I returned home in September 2005, grateful and safe, but stripped of the illusions I had taken with me. My experience proved that contrary to countless official pronouncements, the Bush administration has no interest in the Iraqi army training program. We were fighting a war to establish permanent bases in Iraq to better manipulate the flow of Middle East oil."

The piece implicitly lays waste to one of the liberal hawks' favorite nostrums about the Iraq War, that we might have restrained or even forestalled the growth of the insurgency and sectarian violence by putting the poor, huddled masses of Sunni and Shiite kids to work sweeping the streets, rebuilding the country.

As Mr. Guthrie observes, unless Americans were going to oversee every level of every project funded with taxpayer dollars, the Iraqi contractors hired to do the job were - how to put it? - unlikely to actually do the job.

The trouble with this project is that it has always depended on a certain pride we assumed Iraqis took in their own country, and the fact of the matter is that few Iraqis have such pride. It is not that they are biologically deficient in this regard, but that Iraq is simply a young geographical fiction that never (as in didn't have enough time to) cohered around a strong set of national institutions, national culture, and national identity.

Iraqi self-identity has reverted to its pre-modern Ottoman self (or at least become a postmodern version of it). In some sense, it probably never stopped being fundamentally a province of the Ottoman Empire. Iraqis feel a connection to tribe, and to a lesser extent religous sect (although the insurgency has obviously succeeded to some degree in arousing inter-sect tensions that were never too strong), and Islam has for more than a millenium been the unifying glue, but we are nearing the end of the age of the nation-state, and Iraq is probably never going to have the cohesion of Poland or Ireland today, even if it survives as a unitary nation-state for a generation or two (before all the oil runs out).

Part of the chaos we are seeeing in Iraq today is the region reverting to its former, Ottoman self, but lacking the relief valves that existed for a thousand years, namely open borders, and the free frow of goods and people. What Iraq wants to be is a province (or two, or three) in a wider Arab union, with local governance, open markets, and open borders, not a walled fiefdom with a strong sense of nationhood. Of all the neoconservative delusions, this one may be the most corrosive.

Posted by: Linus on July 4, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1, I have stated on numerous occasions that I don't lend much credence to any poll, too much inherent bias either way. So again, refrain from jumping to conclusions. Of course what am I saying, that's classic liberal. Nevermind.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1, I would think the most humiliating experience for you is when rdw bitch slaps you time and time again. Go figure.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh oh, one disgruntled soldier writes a unfavorable report on Iraq.

Well it's over now.

Just ask Trudy.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Linus:

"... or a postmodern version of its former Ottoman self."

Spot on. Excellent post.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Linus, another example of the left feeling intellectually superior and knowing whats best for the Iraqi's better than the Iraqi's themselves.

Too bad you can't translate that intellect to winning elections.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

It was the single most humiliating moment I have ever felt as an American citizen

Why would anyone feel humiliated over a law that does not apply to the USA? Contrary to liberal opinion we are not citizens of the world nor do we operate with the permission of the UN.

You're humiliation is not the result of any government actions but 1st of the need for liberals to see themselves as victims and 2nd of the need to see themselves as 'popular'. The worst aspect of the Iraqi war isn't the losses suffered by our solders but of the reaction from the Europeans. Liberals are embarrased and upset the French don't like us.

This is clearly part of the post-68 mindset. If FDR or Truman or Kennedy came back and heard Kerry promise his 1st trip as President would be to Europe to apologize they would puke. Then they would re-register as Republicans.

Thankfully we've moved so far away from the UN, and the EU, the next generation will look at this sentiment as silly and beneath contempt. The thought anyone would even think the massively corrupt and inept UN could ever trump the US constitution is not even worthy of discussion let alone consideration.

Kofi Annon, Jan England, the putz Bolton went after a few weeks ago (Kofi's right hand man), as well as Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac, Paul Martin and others have set back even the suggestion of adapting international law as envisioned in Brussels by generations.

THe beauty of coalitions of the willing as defined by Rumsfeld is that permanent alliances such as with NATO are finished. The USA will operate with coalitons of willing nations defined by missions the USA defines as nesessary for the advancement of US citizens. Coalitions will ont longer define the mission. That means NATO will not define USA missions. That means the UN will not define USA missions.

This is a dramatic redefinition of US foreign policy and a total rebuke of Internationalism as defined by liberals. We will never be part of Kyoto. Not now. Not next year. Not on 2012.

You can see the future here I am sure. The disaster of Kofi, Jacques and Gerhardt is that a one-time shot at an internationally managed community based in Brussels and led by the UN and EU is DEAD. Western Europe and the UN are well past their glory days and have lost whatever voices they once had. The post-WWII generation invested in the noble dream of the UN has been replaced with a generation schooled in it's chronic failures and massive corruption. The dream has been replaced by the reality.

Whatever hold Europe placed on the imagination of liberals I confess I never understood. Why anyone would count European opinion as important is beyond my imagination. Whatever glory France commanded to get a seat on the security council has waned long ago. Today Europe is faced with daunting problems of low growth, high regulation, tragically low birth-rates and angry minoritoes uninterested in assimilation and prone to great violence. Every year Europe grows weaker, poorer and more dangerous compared to the rest of the world.

Sorry Bob, I don't understand your humiliation but it's just beginning. The UN is toast.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's clearly not the case that our units will be able to peak and stand down after a few more thrusts into the fertile crescent.

I have to disagree with rewolfrats. I think a few firm thrusts into the Sunni triangle may indeed allow for a timely withdrawal. I don't envy whoever has to clean up though.

Posted by: B on July 4, 2006 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

There's nothing quite so amusing as thoughtfully writing a post that tried to expand the issue beyond the sound bite du jour -- and being accused by trolls of "feeling intellectually superior."

Ooh how very elitist of us :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

I'm sorry, bro, it's the Fourth and we should really try to avoid personal bickering on a holiday -- but when you go off on your anti-European soapbox I find you as offensive as I would Nazi propaganda.

Enjoy a Beethoven symphony once in your life, you fucking philistine.

Sheesh.

I have European friends I correspond with regularly. You're the face of the Ugly American. Your attitude is precisely why we're hated in the world.

Thanks so much, Wooten, for being a part of the cultural dynamic that makes me so fucking ashamed of my country.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have European friends I correspond with regularly. You're the face of the Ugly American. Your attitude is precisely why we're hated in the world.

Thanks so much, Wooten, for being a part of the cultural dynamic that makes me so fucking ashamed of my country.

Are your Euopean friends as miserable as you are? Is this a case of misery liking company? If so get used to a life-long festival.

If the Europeans hate us that's a good sign we are doing the right thing.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wooten, could you imagine if you took your attitude to Europe and carried it over into the world of social relations -- sports, politics, business, friendship, relations with the opposite sex?

"Oh, well they all hate me because they're jealous I'm so fucking great."

That is a mental defense of a pathological narcissist, Wooten. Even if you *did* have some irreplacable sterling quality, people would tend to discount it.

To find narcissists and bullies odious needn't be a result of sucking up to the French, dorkbreath.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

North Koreans launched 4 missles today. I don't think that short fella scared of king george.

Posted by: folks on July 4, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

And *there's* your result of preventive war doctrine in violation of international law, dingbat.

If American cherished its perogative to invade you based on what your behavior *smells* like -- you'd damn well be testing a long-range ballistic missile system yourself.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Where did you come up with dorkbreath? Did you hear that at recess?

NK launched four missles today and they all said "Thank you Madeline and Bill".

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1, if you care sooooo much of what others think of you, what do you suppose the jihadists think of the liberals?

What do you suppose Maliki thinks of the left?

What do you think the vast majority of our troops think of the left?

What do you think the 11 million people who voted in Iraq think of you?

You know there are more people on this planet than your UN friends, just saying.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

No, I read it in a National Lampoon in the late 70s. A piece by PJ O'Rourke, if memory serves ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Rdw and Jay are still here, like the bitter angry lonely losers that they are. They can't enjoy a national holdiay with friends or family, since they have none, or at least none they'd want to spend time with.

How pathetic and sad, but completely not surprising.

Hey Jay, maybe rdw can give you hints on how to have a successful, happy marriage....snicker!

Posted by: Jay's dirty drawer on July 4, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well that's the second post now wondering about my time here today (as if rmck1 has a life too). But if you need to know, I gave my manager the day off and am running my store myself, you know making more obscene republican profits, without the payroll, yeah baby!!!!!

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Keep those soda shelves stocked nice and full today, okay Jay? The idiot white trash truckers need their Fanta Grape. And make sure there's plenty of Miller Lite. If the coffee machine breaks down, I trust you can fix it.

Ah, working in a 7-11, who knew you'd be so successful Jay.

Still a lonely loser you are Jay, and I really pity you for that. Maybe someday you can have sex with a real live woman, one you didn't pay for. But even hookers have their standards.

Posted by: Jay's dirty drawer on July 4, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

running my store myself

This is a story about the store that "Jay" runs in Philadelphia with his friend Wooten...

Standing on the front lawn of his West Philly house, Justin Kaplan clutches a plastic bag stuffed with DVDs. He reaches in and randomly pulls out a video featuring lingerie-clad women on the cover, and begins reading the promotional copy for Tough Brotha Love. "These poor little white girls won't act stupid around these brothas again," Kaplan recites.

And not because the Kaplans are indulging some fetish for female degradation. The pornographic videos tossed out by Risque Video shop are among the items Justin and Katy Kaplan are routinely forced to step over when leaving their home near 43rd and Chestnut streets.

A trash compactor belonging to the Chestnut Plaza strip mall abuts their property line, and when it overflows, the Kaplans' lawn is littered with everything from blood-stained meat boxes (from the Chestnut Farms butcher shop) to stale pastries (from Donut Plus). The powerful stench prevents them from opening their first-floor windows, just feet from the dumpster.

"In two years we've never once opened our kitchen windows," Katy Kaplan says.

The electric compactor, which is hardwired into the ground, blatantly violates a handful of Philadelphia's dumpster regulations. The Streets Department has cited the property owner-Jay Shaver, who rules a small empire of porn video shops and strip clubs, and who contributes big bucks to Republican politicians-with numerous dumpster violations in the past. He simply pays the $25 fine each time. And the Department of Licenses and Inspections continues to renew his dumpster license every year in exchange for a $50 fee.


Posted by: A Concerned Citizen on July 4, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Soooooooo stereotypical of the left. Unable to make any critique absent sexual references and always, always underestimating the average person.

Keep underestimating people, it will serve you well in the next few elections. In fact it did serve you well in '04 right? Remember those exit polls? Those were hysterical.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

Referencing a Democratically controlled town (Philly) as an example of inner city decay!!!

Thank you so much for that. If there was a republican mayor in Philly, maybe we could clean up that town.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why do people get so mean on holidays?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Corruption runs rampant through the democratically controlled city of Philadelphia.

Corruption runs rampant through the democratically controlled city of New Orleans.

Coincidence?

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think rdw has any clue as to the level of glee experienced by those of us in the reality-based community watching that dick prattle away on the comments section while the MBA President's job approval ratings are in the toilet.

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Posted by: mike on July 4, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I thought you already had a shadow government. The UN.

And I am definitely against you.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Using verbal judo on the GOP smear machine, compliments of Jonathon Alter:

In the upcoming 2006 elections, you have a clear choice:

If you believe the war in Iraq has been a success, vote Republican.

If you believe the war in Iraq has been a failure, vote Democrat.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 4, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh ... Jay, there you are. Put those magazine down and get over here, my languid little bottom bitch.

Your Mistress has arrived at last, and she is *not* amused by waiting, no not a bit. Don't flinch. Now look me in the eyes.

My how quivery you are. Yes, I know just how much you need me, my delicious little earthworm, how much you need the ideology I feed you, how I love to watch you drink it all down and swallow ... every ... last ... drop. Mmmm ... salty enough for you? That's a good boy.

No no, Mistress is not going to touch your wee-wee. Maybe someday ... in your dreams, perhaps ... but not today. You know just what Mistress came for, and patience is never one of her many virtues.

That's right, Jay. Take that copy of The American Spectator -- the one you hid between Hustler and Leg Show -- that's right, now spindle it up tightly. Very tightly, Jay -- we don't want you to tear anything too valuable. Okay, now, go over to the shelf, that's right, the Jergens will work just fine, smear it all over ...

Now c'mere my submissive little slave, bend over and take what Mistress gives you ...

Posted by: Ann Coulter's twelve-speed dildo on July 4, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

That is a mental defense of a pathological narcissist, Wooten. Even if you *did* have some irreplacable sterling quality, people would tend to discount it.

To find narcissists and bullies odious needn't be a result of sucking up to the French, dorkbreath.

Fred Kaplan wrote of this a couple years ago while based in Europe and sitting on panels discussing the post 9/11 world. Invariably the question would come up, "What do the Americans think of us"? Fred was initally caught off guard and realizing Europeans thought of the USA quite frequently, wanted to be careful in telling them the truth in answering the question. We don't think of them at all.

That's the facts. It isn't narcissistic. There simply isn't any reason to do so. Why would I think of Europe before Asia or Africa or South America? Kaplans 'problem' was he knew this news flash would further inflame European passions despite the fact it only made sense.

America is independent, self-reliant and very, very successful. At 230 years of age we hardly need European approval before taking actions we consider warranted.

The fact is we did consult with Europe and the UN on iraq before taking action. It was known then and has since been further confirmed the UN, specifically Kofi Annon and the leadership, as well as the French and Germans and Russians had been bought and paid for by Saddam. It's almost certain they even gave him out attack plan before the invasion.

It's good you have friends in Europe. By all means keep them. But don't think for a second this 'change' in relations is merely due to GWBs and will revert to 'form' once he leaves. Anti-American sentiment was widespead long before GWB and recent changes are irrevocable. The fact is Japan, India and Australia are far more important than France, Germany and Canada.

Europe has more than enough of it's own problems and we've bailed them out for the last time. They declared war on Conservatives and they lost. Nations have permanent interests not permanent friends. Our interests have shifted. This isn't a time to be sentimental. We've moved on.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's that other cult religion you need to worry about cheney sr.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Pay attention to rdw people, he is schooling all of you in being reality based.

Me, I'm here just fuck around with you all. Have a nice Fourth.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

And *there's* your result of preventive war doctrine in violation of international law, dingbat.

If American cherished its perogative to invade you based on what your behavior *smells* like -- you'd damn well be testing a long-range ballistic missile system yourself.

I have no idea what point you attempt to make here regarding the lunatics in NK. Speaking of a regime that systematically starves it's own people in order to fund a missle system is the definition of insanity. To try to use them as proof of any politicial point is the desperate act of a fool.

Why even bring up NK at all. They played the smartest man in the world for a total sap in proving another example of the blind stupidity of liberals. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton negotiate sill another treaty with someone the rest of the world knows is a chronic liar and literally insane. He starts cheating on them before the ink is dry and cheats undetected for 5 years without them ever questioning or finding out. How dumb!

This is another example of superior diplomacy by GWB. NK remains isolated as a rogue nation with support only from China and other rogue nations in full view of the rest of the world. Meanwhile GWB smoothes raw relations with SK,left over from Clinton, by pulling troops out of SK, pulling other troops out of the DMZ and Seoul while SK assumes far more control, and risk, and expense, for their defense. GWB also makes SK a full partner in negotiations refusing to sit with NK without SK at the table.

GWB did the same with Japan and Russia. This is a regional problem and it will get a regional settlement. NK played Clinton for a sap. The next time the deal is with all of their neighbors.

In pulling troops out of Japan GWB also signed a series of trade and security deals. Japan is investing heavily in Star Wars and building it's own systems. Relations with Japan have never been better. They are increasing defense spending and will soon change their constitution to become full defense partners with the USA. The worlds 3 largest democracies, USA, Japan and India, will soon be in the largest defense pact with Australia. It will dwarf NATO at it's peak.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

In the upcoming 2006 elections, you have a clear choice:

In Jonathan's dreams. Few columnists are as bitter as Alter but he has good reason. From his perch at Newsweek he and Evan Thomas among others to play king-maker. Not only did the MSM select the candidates and help select the winners but they determined the debate. No longer. Clearly no longer.

They told Kerry not to worry about the SBV's. If the MSM ignored the story it wasn't heard.

WRONG!!!!!!!

They knew Dan Rather could pull it off.

WRONG!!!!!!!

Last week they watched him slink off in total humiliation. Dan Rather, the icon of icons. The 24 year resident of the anchor desk at the tiffany network. The heir to Walter Chronkite and George Clooney's hero.

Alter is bitter. It wasn't supposed to be this way. His picks are under attack and there's not a damn think he can do. His piece in newsweek might be read by 200,000. A clown in their pajama's sitting at home makes a pithy quote about liberals and it's on the blogs, talk radio and FoxNews the next day heard by as many as 30 million.

Life ain't been fair for Jonathan and Evan. It's bad enough even their own mothers don't buy this objective crap anymore. It's worse their influence declines a little more every day in front of their eyes.

Did Alter suggest using that tag line in 2006? It would figure. Too bad Bush isn't running. Did he look at the Senate race in MD or NJ or Minn. All 3 are very competitive and potential GOP pick-ups. It seems the MD democrats are in a frenzy between Mfumi and the white candidate. Mfumi will of course pay the race card in what has been a tough battle. It would be a shame to see the Democrats turn on each other over race. Since that's Mfumi's only talent it seems likely.

It's great Alter wants to nationalize this race. Rove would just love to see it. He's working it state by state, seat by seat. You go with Alter. I'll gladly take Rove.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, you can feel the fear. And the hatred. As the realization begins to filter into the gray matter of that last dying grasp of elite conservatism once again draws it's last breath. You can feel the desperation. The grabbing at straws of the drowning conservative.

Sometimes I wonder if advertising and mass media control really works. Then I see Jay and rdw's posts and realize-yes it functions. When someone is unable to cynically reason and move above simple mental lobbying then they lend themselves to manipulation. They're just being used. And so easily. They're told what to believe and they buy it. It's done with such nuance that they cannot even see how easily it is done. And the amazing part is that liberals, thinking people, our fore-fathers, and a lot of hard work went into developing a government where they would be free to associate, free to hate, free to discriminate, free to kill, and free to question stupidity. And what do they do? They in essence try to limit their own potential to be as they are. Left alone they will eventually turn on each other as one may not be conservative as the other. Conservatives should thank liberals everyday for helping to develop a country where conservatives can flourish. Instead they condemn and try to destroy the system because they fail to understand when their own lively-hood depends upon the freedoms that they are programmed by propaganda to hate. And they are not even sharp enough to fiqure it out. They just spew more hate. Left alone they'll destroy each other eventually. One will be to liberal for the other. Pretty funny really. Not bright enough to fiqure out that they are just being used. And will be cast aside once the American experiment is destroyed. Now they fear that their chance at US destruction is diminishing. You can smell their fear in their posts here. It's the smell of freedom. Happy 4th. Goodbye moron conservatives.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

China is the new conservative frontier. Everything they want and the government that they love is there in China. Environmentalism is destroyed-there's contaminated water and air for everyone. A conservative dream. And the government controls the media. And the government is able to control historical information. Both orgasmic love for the conservative. People get to vote but then the controlling party system really runs everything-no leftist there. And employment-why everyone can get work, of course the pay doesn't provide basic nutrient levels. All the power is concentrated with the companies and the government-none for the people. A conservative's wet dream. And the people are so easily manipulated into working for free, breathing and drinking contamination, with a promise to go nowhere, a conservatives true hard-on. It's perfect. The masses can be screwed for ages. And the conservative can consider the form of government that truly adheres to his basic desires. Yep, China, it's the new conservative frontier. They'd love it there but of course they hate all people that do not share their language and customs and therefore they would either be killed instantly due to their own insane hatred or attempt to kill the Chinese. Where exactly do the conservatives fit in?

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

"They just spew more hate".

au contraire, we like you guys, really. and actually the only "hate" filled posts I read here are from the leftie moonbats.

btw, where's osama, will you please speak louder into your phone reiever, we didn't get full audio on the last intercept. Thanks, NSA.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The fact is Japan, India and Australia are far more important than France, Germany and Canada.

Egads rdw, if ever there was a concrete example of Alexander Pope's nostrum...

Japan Important for now but faces the same demographic problems as Europe writ large. Declining influence over the next 50 years. Natural alliances to develop with India, Indonesia and Vietnam all of whom share Japan's wariness over rising Chinese power. This is the same dynamic that is seeing increased military cooperation between the US and Japan even as the Japanese people turn away from the States (see Pew Global Attitudes Project; also annecdotal: I live here). Militarily? While spending big bucks Japan can't even project power to the extent that France can.

India. You're betting on the future and I'd bet here with you. But India is far too big to ever be in the 'American Camp' ala Japan. Any cooperation will be decided on the basis of India's interests.

Australia Great country but please! What? As a market? Canada has the population of Australia, New Zealand the Pacific Island nations and oh let's throw in Singapore together. As an economic powerhouse? Same response as to markets. As a military partner? Canada has a larger presence in Afghanistan than Australia in Afghanistan/Iraq combined and has taken more than five times the number of deaths. Nice country, currently punching above it's weight acting as a proxy power for the US but this is not Australian power. Also, attitudes to the US at least as ambivalent as those of us Canadians.

the US Not yet apparent to all but increasingly on a downward path. (canaries: basic research, patents, middle-class incomes) Hitching its wagon to the rising star of Asia (largely hitched on Asian terms) won't be enough to offset this. Will over the next 100 years join Europe as a secondary power. Still important but not the center.

30 years hence, let's see who's picture is more accurate, your US-centered love-in or mine? (so far in my life I have a record of almost always being on the money).

Oh happy fourth of July!

And Jay, you're too stupid to be ever able to fuck with anyone. Don't flatter yourself.

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 4, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wooten, don't take this as an insult, because it's meant only
as a description. But I think probably the main reason you
find it so easy to dismiss Europe is that you're just not a
culture guy. You're not a music guy, an arts guy, a literature
guy, a cuisine guy, an intellectual history guy, an archeology guy.
You're, if I recall correctly, a CPA. You're a typical pragmatic,
quantitative-oriented, show-me-the-money American. Henry James
had your number vs the Europeans at the turn of last century.

There's nothing wrong with that orientation -- but it's hardly
universal, even on the right. And there's nothing I can address
directly *to* it, because if you don't care much about culture
at your age, there's precious little *I* can do about it.

But I *can* say that people who do care about culture find your
orientation incomprehensible. Because there's precious little
in the field of art, music or literature that's a pure product
of American civilization. Okay, jazz and Abstract Expressionism.
Americans may have invented rock 'n' roll, but England *still*
drives trends in rock music 40 years after the British Invasion.

America *is* Europe, Wooten. We owe everything we are to European
civilization and ideas. We were primarily settled by Europeans.
And watching America dis "Old Europe" is a little like watching
a musclebound adolescent start beating up his "old man" just
because you know, he's physically capable of it. It's creepy.

Now Kofi me no Kofis. Red herring me no red herrings about the
oil-for-food scandal -- it's totally irrelevant to how America
violated international law and fried the reputation of his good
buddy Tony Blair in the process. If we thought we could just
march into Iraq to depose Saddam and bring democracy -- we would
have done so. Instead, Blair begged us to get a consensus through
the UN. So we placated Blair by engineering a process that we
were sure was going to fail. There's no way I believe that Dick
Cheney is dumb enough or blindly ideological enough not to have
known the true status of the WMD intelligence. It was a game we
ran on the world community in high contempt. We got caught with
our pants down and our credibility went south. Your response is to
deflect and blame the victim by attacking the countries who thought
we were working with them in good faith. Oil for food? Please ...

Now North Korea is a special case. But you can't simultaneously
call Kim insane and claim that negotiations -- I don't care with
who -- are the solution. NK just flipped us the bird today --
because our eye is on another ball. Add Iran into the picture
and you have two countries with paranoid regimes who feel compelled
to beef up their nuke programs because Bush has done more than a
little hinting that they might be next. Paranoid -- but not insane.

And, while many factors are involved, putting international
law into a paper shredder because as a hyperpower we answer to
no one but ourselves, can't exactly have helped the situation.

We could have done the same thing after WW2. We had the only
intact industrial base and a nuclear monopoly. We didn't.
As the most powerful country on earth at that time, we helped
erect an edifice of treaties and international law, voluntarily
limiting our power in the interest of forging global cooperation.

Fortunately at that time we had wiser leaders.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

The wingnuts really depress me. They're the kind who'd see a fatal car crash as an economic benefit. Who'd see lies in the service of empire as some kind of patriotic gesture. Who'd publicly state that the death of an American soldier should be avenged ten-fold. I'm ashamed to call myself an American in the company of such dreck. We used to be a great country, but every week we seem to plumb new depths of depravity and insanity. Where is the bottom, wingnuts? How low will you go?

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on July 4, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

That's the best you got, Jay? That's pathetic. Paranoia that you have doesn't affect me. I'm unconcerned with NSA. Freedom allows me to move assets off shore to prepare for the next fascist-conservative take-down. Convervatives are not even bright enough to conserve their own funds to truly combat stupidity at length. Paranoia, fear, hatred, prejudice only works short term-then it consumes itself. And you haven't the intelligence to fiqure this out yet. Nor the intelligence to understand that liberal forms of government (like the USA) create a situation whereupon pinheads like you are not shot on site. Us progressives are hanging in there for you, baby. Even though your hardly bright enough to save. And you'd destroy yourself if left up to your own devices. But us progressives will keep pulling your head out of your ass even as you spit on us as soon as it's out. Do you feel your control on government slipping away yet? Sure you do. It's inevitable. Liberal governments will countenance ignorant conservatives but will stop their self destruction.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

We could have done the same thing after WW2. We had the only intact industrial base and a nuclear monopoly. We didn't.
As the most powerful country on earth at that time, we helped
erect an edifice of treaties and international law, voluntarily
limiting our power in the interest of forging global cooperation.

Fortunately at that time we had wiser leaders.

American's response at the end of WWII was simply awesome. The good will has lasted until now even. But we no longer see the same America.

Also, Bob your comments about the cultural importance of Europe are spot on. When it comes to fashion, food, industrial design etc. it is Europe that is seen as the superpower by people here in East Asia. Not America. These are of course just frills in rdw's world.

Posted by: snicker-snack on July 4, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack,

Japan: Not the same demographic problems as Europe. The same low borth-rates for sure but no immigration issues. Japan is far more proficient technically and it's ability to project power is limited by it's constitution. That will change. It's economy is larger than France and Germany combined.

The fact is France and Germany are of limited to zero value. Conservatives simply do not trust either.

India: of course they will always act in their own best interests. The only reason I am touting them is our mutual interest are almost perfectly aligned. We have the same geo-political fears and India is finally turning towards free marklet capitalism.

Australia: Our best friend of long duration. While only 2/3's the size of Canada they spend 75% more on defense. They were with us in every war since WWI. Kudo's to Canada under Harper and their role in Afghanistan. Unlike Australia Canada isn't in Iraq. Canada can at times be a valuable ally but their defense spending the last 15 years has collapsed and with it their military capabilities.

If the choice to fill a foxhole with one ally to watch our backs and the choice was between Canada and Australia it's a no brainer. Canadians are far more European in their outlook. Australians and Americans have more in common ideologically and by temperment.

USA: Our downward path has been predicted for quite some time. Last week 1st Qtr GDP was revised up still again to 5.6%. That's some downward path. Our per capita GDP was already up a stunning 40% versus Western Europe and will continue to widen at ever growing rates. Our military gap versus the rest of the world continues to widen and our cultural dominace remains. Our birthrate remains at 2.1 and we continue to be the worlds 1ast choice for immigration.

Your prediction of slide is laughable. While most developed nations run from globalization GWB has been embracing it with abandon. He has over a dozen free trade deals signed and another dozen on deck. In that booming 1st Qtr unit exports were up a stunning 14.7%.

His management of the energy situation in the fact of huge price increases has been stunning. He's dumped Kyoto while the Canadians are certain to be made total fools. While GWB was unable to open ANWR conservatives get to look forward to replacing that 1M to 2M barrels a day of Alaskan output with up to 2M a day of Tar sands output. Canada is certain to be the worlds WORST polluter under Kyoto. What a deal. We get 2M barrels day of oil and you ger massive pollution. Gotta love America's liberals. On top of that he's passed the most market friendly energy bill in 3 decades and has regenerated the worlds nuclear power industry with his negotiations with India. The USA is ramping up uranium processing for sales. In the next 2 years we'll start to see a boom in the construction of nuclear power plants. The energy bill has more research dollars located for coal gasification and ethanol production than solar and wind power.

By 2010 Canada is likely to replace 1.2M of OPEC imports and ethanol production another 0.5M. If in fact Iraq is settled as hoped we'll see a sharp drop in pricing and far higher energy productivity.

America doesn't have downward trends.

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Are you admitting to avoiding taxes osama? Just like your friend John Kerry, well done.

Doesn't take much to set you off does it? Kind of like pavlov's dog. You, of all people, should not refer to someone else as unhinged.

But I am glad to see that you have acknowledged your freedom, for awhile there after reading some of the moonies posts, I thought GW was stripping those away from you.

"pinheads like you are not shot on site"
why would you be concerned about that. You didn't care that thay is exactly what was going on under Saddam's rule. And according to rmck1, life was better in Iraq under Saddam, so maybe we ought to shoot people on site. You first.

Posted by: Jay on July 4, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Off thread, today I saw a perfect 2002 Dodge Intrepid for sale for $4900. I would imagine that this car sold for near $20,000 four years ago. Advertising and progaganda are so effective that whenever this poor bastard bought this car he actually thought he was getting a good deal. It's no wonder relatively bright individuals are manipulated by the right wing propaganda onslaught. They're just not cynical enough. Their hatred, prejudice, ignorance is used to manipulate them. Nothing inside suddenly goes, "Wait a minute, that sounds bogus." Meanwhile some poor bastard blames Iraqi's, illegal immigrants, stem cell research, abortions, Europeans, non-christians, and liberals for screwing him out of $4000/year on a stupid car. He's just so easily manipulated. Pavlov's dog was harder.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

America doesn't have downward trends?

Why do you think that is, Wooten?

What is it about America that allows us to defy the laws of sociopolitical physics?

Special nation blessed by God or what?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'd respond Jay but I can't make out what your trying to say. Perhaps you're saying a lot of things that you do not, can not know. Like my tax situation. Your grasping at straws. But I suppose when you see your conservative bullshit starting to go south then what else can you do.

And rdw, I'll give you an Indian name: failure to use brain. I would guess from your posts that you've never been to Europe or Australia or Japan or anywhere probably. If you had then you'd be able to post more intellectually. Maybe make some sense. Inch by inch the Euro and the European monetary values increase against the dollar. If you spoke from intelligence rather than bullshit then you would probably know this. Inside your potential ability to comprehend this would indicate that their economic and future power is strengthening. Not every issue is solved within a foxhole-I'm sorry to inform you of this. I doubt that you would understand any of this but there is information readily available in a progressive intelligent society. China is more your style. Stupidity for everyone there-just what you like.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Jason:

Hey -- cocaine, heroin and marijuana are all more potent per dose today than they were in the early 80s.

Speaking of, you know, American trendlines going, umm, higher :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives relate to the world as they do their own. They assume everywhere is just the same as where they are. The climate, the stupidity, the culture, the rationale, and accepting this they then force the world into an existance defined by their own narrow experiences. Then they freeze it there and hold it static. Letting it never change. Then they turn it inward-due to the fact that their world is filled with preconceived ideas and opinions then therefore the outside world is basically fucked. It can be no better. The preconceived outer world is defective and therefore nothing can be learned constructively from it-it must be manipulated. Manipulated into something unreal. Every read a Rush Limbaugh book? Seems like the name was something like, "The Way the World Should Be". And while reading it immediately one considers-wait the world doesn't, can't, has never, will never, work that way. That's the preconceived limited aspect of how things truly are not. Welcome to modern day conservatism. A long one block road ending in nowhere. The same place it's always ended.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Where's Osama:

That reminds me of a venerable story among my people ...

During the campaign George W Bush gets an invitation from an Indian tribe to visit a regional powwow of all the tribes and address issues of concern to the Native American community. George figures why not, what with Abramoff's work starting to pan out.

So Bush lands in Marine One just outside the cermonial circle and is feted with traditional dancing and food and made their guest of honor. He gives a few canned remarks about compassion and personal responsibility and, after the polite applause, prepares to leave. The senior chief of the tribes stops him and asks if he could present an honor rarely bestowed to white people.

He would like to give George Bush an Indian name.

Bush sez sure ... but Marine One had started and the propwash starts blowing everything around, making it hard to hear.

The chief bellows into the PA: "President Bush, on behalf of all the tribes of our region, we hereby name you Walking Eagle."

Bush smiles and thanks the chief and turns to go. There appears to be a great animated response among the others in the circle, but Bush can't hear it because the prop is too loud.

As the copter ascends into the sky and the sound recedes, it becomes clear that the group's reaction was howling, wet-your-pants laughter.

As the chief explained: Walking Eagle -- a bird so full of shit he can't fly.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

American's response at the end of WWII was simply awesome. The good will has lasted until now even. But we no longer see the same America.

The goodwill didn't last until now. It didn't last through the 60's. Europe wasn't in Korea or Vietnam (excl 50's france and I believe the dutch). Anyone suggesting anti-americanism started with GWB is a moron. I can remember the anti-American protests in the mid-80 as much worse than the recent nonsense and that was hardly the 1st episode of anti-maerican demonstrations.

America's responses to the worlds crises has always been awesome. No one is perfect but we try hard all the time to do well.

Also, Bob your comments about the cultural importance of Europe are spot on. When it comes to fashion, food, industrial design etc. it is Europe that is seen as the superpower by people here in East Asia. Not America. These are of course just frills in rdw's world.

Actually they're not spot on. They're superficial. Culture is whatever you want it to be. It comes down to the tastes of the indivudual. I am not quite sure how important fashion and cuisine rate in super-power discussions but it ain't high. I'll readily agree French cooking is superb while the Brits suck but the fact is I am partial to Mexican and Italian. I'll put British rock bands as equal or better to Americans and the Aussies and I don't much care about the rest because I don't have time. I think British TV is probably superior, especially regarding serious detective shows and confess to a lapse on my part for an affinity to Dr Who, especially the older episodes. I prefer California and Australian wines but have found good beer from all over including my beloved PA.

I could babble on but NONE of this amounts to much in the big picture. I have not suggested Europe isn't influencial culturally in Asia or elsewhere. I said Europe isn't influencial here. The Japanese and Indians might love French cooking but that won't help them much in preparing for China. It doesn't seem this 'soft' power Europe holds is very effective anywhere.

You can bank on your soft power. I find the concept preposterous. Fortunately or unfortunately we will find out in the next two decades if soft power means anything. My view is the Europeans are fools. Their record of peace and prosperity since WWII is not due to their sophistication and nuance. It's due to 200,000 US troops and equipment. They'll all gone now as is our defense umbrella. NATO is a shell. For better or worse we've gone our separate ways. Conservatives will never again allow the redeployment of US troops in Western Europe.

Europe's test is coming. So far Iran has shown pure contempt but Europe was never going to be a factor there or in Palestine anyway. It may be the biggest threat is from within but for the 1st time since 1941 Europe is on it's own

Posted by: rdw on July 4, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK
It's difficult to understand why anyone would oppose this

No, its rather easy to understand, even without reference to the intent to stay in Iraq forever. Setting estimated dates with the understanding that unforeseen contingencies may arise means setting metrics by which success—and, therefore, necessarily failure as well—can be judged.

The administration has made a series of public statements saying it expects drawdowns are just around a vague corner because of progress, usually accompanied by "temporary" increases in troop presence. Having an official estimated timetable instead of those vague predictions that always get kicked further out into the future would, as the estimated dates were missed (as they inevitably would be as things are getting worse, not better, so any progress-based set of criteria for staged withdrawal is going to end up with a bunch of never-satisfied conditions as long as we are there), give critics solid ammunition to say that the Administration policy wasn't living up to expectation and was, indeed, failing.

Of course, the policy is still failing, whether or not there are clear, easy metrics with which to assess that. But the absence of such metrics makes it easier for the administration to muddy the waters (not enough to convince the majority of Americans, but perhaps—the administration certainly hopes—enough to prevent the collapse of Republican rulem taking advantage of the disproportionality in the US system of representation.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 4, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

That's funny Bob. Makes me think of another Indian story (pardon me if I don't quite get it right) of NASA wanting an Indian to create a greeting for possible space inhabitants on a probe being sent into to deep space. It said something along the lines of: Beware these people will steal your land.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure in the time of Romulus Augustulus there were Romans saying "Rome doesn't have downward trends", too.

So its no surprise that, in the time of our own Momyllus Augustulus, we've got voices like rdw's.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 4, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

God, in just seconds, rdw backs up my points. Total non-relevance with respect to non-USA cultures and concepts. A true lacking and inability to perceive anything outside the immediate circle. True conservative idealogy on display. Fit the world into my constraints and if it doesn't fit then reshape it. The world needs alteration not my short sighted simplistic interpretations. Thank you, rdw, once again you've excelled at producing the obvious. To bad that it's not obvious enough for you. Ever consider how much the limited level of American troops truly influenced Europe? No, that wouldn't fit into the limited consideration of everything outside your little circle, would it? Go on, tell us more of your vast insights or wishful thinking as it relates to the world and Europe. We can reverse it and then it potentially makes some realistic sense.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 4, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Very perceptive point, Chris.

With metrics come expectations.

The GOP can't have that -- oh no, no, never.

Which only goes to show you that they aren't fooled by their own BS about "progress."

If they believed in it, you think they might invest a little political capital in its possibility ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 4, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jason, Osama, Bob

The American economy is the most awesome machine ever created. My generation is wealthy beyond our parents dreams as they were beyond their parents. How did you like that story last week of Warren buffet giving Bill Gates $30B to give away? How long ago was it liberals had Bill Gates as the worlds biggest asshole? He's going to cure childhood diseases and die as the worlds greatest entranpeneur AND greatest philanthropist. Is there any doubt these men would be Americans? Is the any doubt the MSM was wrong about Gates from day one?

Toss you're little snide remarks about this stat or that. one is as dumb as the other. yes there was a day a man could feed family of 5 on a single paycheck. But then he decided to buy a phone, a TV and a car. Mom had to go to work. And yes, we may get a quarter or two when GDP growth stalls.

We are STILL the greatest machine ever constructed. We are growing GDP at a 4% clip over 3 years while fighting a war on two fronts! The gap between the USA and Western Europe is startling. We are growing at nearly 3x's the rate and it appears to be sustainable. Per capita income in the USA could be double Western European levels by 2020. Think about that. That is a devastating number for a continent facing a demographic disaster and unassimilated, unhappy minoroties.


Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

How do conservatives determine who is a leftist? I mean if I'm one of the most conservative spastics in the universe and up walks someone less conservative than me is he then therefore a leftist? Do I then hate him, condemn him, restrict his rights and priviledges, fuck his sister, beat up his kid brother, write derogatory books about him, and otherwise screw him royally? And if I do, what if a more conservative than me individual realizes this-am I then therefore a leftist? Where does it all end? How do we determine the right most conservative so we can fuck over all the other leftist, liberal, progressives? Maybe if I hold a gun to his head he will be more conservative and less a leftist. Then everything will be in Rush Limbaugh land. It'll be like China, but...

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ever consider how much the limited level of American troops truly influenced Europe?

No. They weren't there to influence Europe. They were there to influence Russia.

What is your point?

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

>> snicker-snack: Also, Bob your comments about the cultural
>> importance of Europe are spot on. When it comes to fashion,
>> food, industrial design etc. it is Europe that is seen as the
>> superpower by people here in East Asia. Not America.
>> These are of course just frills in rdw's world.

> Actually they're not spot on. They're superficial.

Superficial? Moi? Oh, Wooten, try not to be such a perfect
parody of yourself, will you? Your idea of "Italian culture"
is a nice bowl of homemade spaghetti sauce, hold the corn syrup.

> Culture is whatever you want it to be.

Why is it that when you scratch a conservative,
you get a value-averse radical relativist?

> It comes down to the tastes of the indivudual.

Sure, Wooten -- *IF* your idea of "culture" is what you read
in the Style section, watch on TV or order in a restaraunt.

You're hopeless, bro. If I tried to explain this to you, it'd
be the compleat case of pearls before swine. One can't explain
culture to a philistine who equates it with consumption.

I'll tell you though -- the intellectual edifice (or
rather, ragtag collection of incoherent rationalizations)
behind American hard power is not exactly winning
friends and influencing people around the world.

Our illegal invasion of Iraq has given the ideas of freedom
and democracy the biggest black eye since Hitler and Mussolini
made political careers out of expressing contempt for majority rule.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Very perceptive point, Chris.

With metrics come expectations.

The GOP can't have that -- oh no, no, never.


Pleaaaase! Perceptive my ass! Senate discussion of a date certain pullout was pure political theatre initiated by Kerry to get an edge on his Democratic Presidential opponents. McConnell saw the opportunity to make a complete ass of Democrats in general and Kerry specifically. He succeeded.

The few Americans watching got a chuckle out of the serial inpetitude of the Senate Democrats.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm getting a little annoyed at the attacks on anyone who wants to offer a resolution to set a timetable for redeployment from Iraq. (Cut and Run) It is not the responsibility of democrats to get us out of this mess. From the joint resolution to use force in Iraq:


SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

(a) > Reports.--The President shall, at least
once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant
to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the
exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning
for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are
completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq
Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338)

It is, in fact the administration's duty to rep[ort to congress on the need for troop levels to meet specific goals. Otherwise, why not 180,000 instead of 135,000? Why not 80,000? They neeed to answer to this, not democrats.

Posted by: DK2 on July 5, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

rdw,
And dow 36000 by the 12th of July and a fusion reactor in every garage. If this is true why are gm's sales off 26% from last year.20% of all jobs created in the last 5 years are housing related. The air is starting to bleed from the housing bubble.Do you think these jobs are going to hold. I don't know where the wondrous economy is that you are talking about. Who gives a fuck about GDP if only 5 people are benefiting from it.

Posted by: Neo on July 5, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Ha, ha, now that is funny. Due to awol's abuse financially the dollar fails against the euro as well as most other denominations. You can't know what 2020 will bring anymore than the next idiot. That's hillarious. The US has great potential but that involves us quickly determining that awol is a war criminal and showing the world some realistic sense by taking him out back of the white house and stringing him up. The only way to regain any strength financially, militaristically, culturally, intellectually or any other way is to repudiate awol stupidity immediately and try to explain to the rest of the world that we were momentarily knocked paranoid by 9/11 and please to forgive us. We can only hope that the rest of the world does not go on the euro standard and off the dollar or we will be in deep shit. We've sowed roque nation seeds and we'll need to plow them up pronto. The Nazi's thought that they could do whatever they wanted in the world without consequences and they learned, as our conservatives may eventually fiqure out, that the world won't stand for it. Conservatives can't comprehend Buffet's and Gates' actions at a greater level than liberals. Please explain how neither were in favor of repealing inheritance tax laws as they were. You radically misinterpret liberals if you think we condemn Buffet or Gates. There's lots that you apparently do not comprehend about the way things are and how people view them. Which, of course, is my point exactly. Thanks for your posts that help indicate your distorted view. I couldn't do it better without your help.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1, you are wasting your time. Rdw occassionally condescends to the level of attempting to make factual arguments, but can't be budged an inch from apocalyptic predictions that can't be disputed by contrary logic. It's simply ignored.

Jay is simply a troll in the most basic sense of the word. He doesn't bother with facts at all, except in the most passing and trivial sense. He's here only to insult you and pollute this environment. It gets him off.

If anyone here had an ounce of leadership, we would boycott the comments section entirely until Kevin and the Washington monthly implemented the ability to ban disruptive assholes - and used it.

Posted by: glasnost on July 5, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

I didn't ask you for more zippity-do-dah stats.

I asked you *why* do you think that is?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

glasnost:

Well, I actually couldn't disagree with you more. If there was moderation here -- I wouldn't be. I'm very much a free-speech purist when it comes to blogs.

Wooten and Jay are who they are. At least they're not toxic, avowed anti-semites like the karen/tj entity. I'd (reluctantly) assent if Kevin decided to ban comments that exhibited racial/religious/ethnic hatred. Hate speech is yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater.

Organizing a boycott would obviously never happen. There are plenty of WM regulars who consider responding to trolls an engaging rhetorical exercise -- whether or not the trolls ever listen.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

You're hopeless, bro. If I tried to explain this to you, it'd
be the compleat case of pearls before swine. One can't explain
culture to a philistine who equates it with consumption.

I'll tell you though -- the intellectual edifice (or
rather, ragtag collection of incoherent rationalizations)
behind American hard power is not exactly winning
friends and influencing people around the world.


It must be sooooo hard for you to share the planet with rubes and crackers like me. Looking back you must think this one man one vote thing is quite foolish. The votes should obviously be limited to the 'cultured' among us. Our 'betters'.

I have to admit I just love being the rube. It has to crawl right up you ass my vote counts just as much as yours. Still, it's good you are so sophisticated. You are a model for us all. While you're our touring museums and listening to Brahms we're back in the trailer park making babies. Enjoy your museums. We don't quite have the numbers yet but at the rate those cracker babies are popping out, and liberal men are marrying other liberal men, it won't be long and we'll ban those museums.

A chill wind will be blowing across the land. Just ask Tim Roth. While you still can.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatism in essence is a dead-end street. What does it offer? Hatred. Prejudice. Ignorance. Can't have. Cut it off. Low pay. Nothing for everyone. Hunt them down and take everything and force them to work for nothing. Eventually, as we now will see, everyone fiqures out what a dead-end street it truly is. Conservatism means to cut off all hope, limit any personal potential, restrict civil liberties and basically leave citizens with nothing more than than the requirement to work for nothing until they die and never dream or hope or desire anything better. And make it illegal if the citizens doesn't tow the line. Crappy job, low pay, no hope, no independent thought or desire. Conservatism is an end unto itself. Allowed control and it destroys. Conservatives need liberals to create a situation where they can prosper. Otherwise they just destroy each other and all hope. Thank God liberals developed the USA so that conservatives would have the right and full privilege to be total morons. Happy 4th.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Actually, Wooten, I'm really the last thing from a political elitist. Your tastes don't bother me a whit; I even understand them, because you grew up in my Dad's old nabe of Philly. That makes us, kind of indirectly, homeboys :)

Your opinions of "culture" only matter in a concrete sense when you start talking out your ass about Europe.

You just don't get why it's valuable.

Which is -- again -- perfectly fine.

Until such time as you start blowing out value judgments about the worth of countries you don't remotely understand.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

If this is true why are gm's sales off 26% from last year.20% of all jobs created in the last 5 years are housing related.

This is a red state/blue state thing. GM is getting crushed because it's a slo-mo union shop. The entire union based manufacturing industry is getting hammered. Those fools backed the wrong party and a price has to be paid.

Part of GWBs warming up to Japan is to attract investment. Thus toyota is increasing US content of it's US sales from 60% to 75%. They will be building several plants in the non-union south. They idea is to move jobs and people from the blue state North to the red state south. Look for another 7 to 10 electoral votes to move to red states in 2010 and as many in 2020.

Th reason so many housing jobs are created is because housing is booming. Duh! The US population is growing rapdly and will continue to do so. The housing segment of the construction industry has been slowing but other sectors are doing well.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

America's "illegal" invasion of Iraq has given freedom and democracy a black eye? No, what usually gives freedom and democracy a black eye is when the majority of citizens in a country venture out way too far on the slippery slope of cultural degeneracy.

Before you know it, nobody ever makes a contract that they intend to honor. Lawyers are available to help you out of every commitment and escape the consequences of every wrong choice, if you can pay them.

Democrats don't even get what the marriage amendment debate is really about. Most cultural conservatives understand that humans aren't born having any type of "natural" behavior in regards how they should treat each other either economically or sexually. As the Greek historian Herodotus observed, humans have tried living every which way they could possibly live. The many experiments were possible because we truly are not born with a social playbook in our heads.

Social conservatives believe it is the incredibly important duty of civilization to brainwash children into certain conventions, such as monogamous heterosexual marriage and the importance of each individual who is physically and mentally capable to work their butts off every day to provide some other human being with a good or a service that is acceptable to them.

If the worker does that, maybe they will get paid enough to live on. Maybe they won't, but they need to work just as hard the next day and keep one eye open for a little better opportunity to profit.

The last social conventions that conservatives want drilled into the heads of the young are not to murder and not to steal. If the children can actually be taught to be polite and humble, all the better. If they can be taught to be patriotic and to serve even at the unselfish risk of their lives, all the better.

If this blue planet is truly as indifferent to existence and fate of we bumbling bi-peds as some say, then the grand project of civilization (at least as it exploded out of Europe since the Enlightenment and the age of Empire) may be meaningless and unsustainable.

But, considering everything, I don't think it is all that hopeless. BTW, pleased to see the shuttle made it up today and the International Space Station will get the sustenance it needs to keep on keeping on awhile longer.

Posted by: Mike Cook on July 5, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook:

Hey, Mike. Well, I'll say this for ya: At least you're a fairly well-educated person.

Doesn't make you any less odious to debate than Wooten, though.

"Cultural degeneracy," my goodness. At what relatively recent historical moment have we heard *that* from?

Helpful hint: It had something to do with reacting to the Weimar Constitution.

Mike, your stance comes down to the willingness to perpetrate cruelty. There is no argument you could possibly make to a gay person that their orientation and love for a member of their own gender is nothing more than a social construction.

You're willing to deny people -- real human beings, not conceptual persons like fetuses -- the rights which you enjoy as a straight, married male.

In the name of defending civilization.

I think we've seen this movie before ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

This is a red state/blue state thing. GM is getting crushed because it's a slo-mo union shop. The entire union based manufacturing industry is getting hammered. Those fools backed the wrong party and a price has to be paid

rdw you truly amaze me,they supported the wrong party and are being punished hahaha people support republickans why was it?

Posted by: Neo on July 5, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook:

It's also deliciously ironic to see you define "cultural degeneracy" in terms of not honoring contracts.

Mike ... in the parlance of Max Weber, Iraq hasn't yet moved from ascribed status relations to contract relations.

I guess that society is "pre-degenerated" before it ever had a chance at becoming a democracy :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

Enough for one night, to the normal people out there have a good week. To the wingnuts tomorrow the islamofacsits declare a fatwa on you. Short Korean dictators shall target you with many mega tonned MERV's. Many Nigerian scammers steal you identity. The IRS audits you till the end of time.

Posted by: Neo on July 5, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

You just don't get why it's valuable.

If you are talking about valuable from a historical perspective I have no dispute. I am talking about important from a politial perspective and to a lessor extent, a military perspective.

My point has been consistent for a long time on the military aspect and I think Europeans agree. They speak of soft power because they have little military power. European military power has become an oxymoron.

To the extent political power is based on military power Europe has little political power.

There is something to be said for economic power but that's harder to evaluate. This is especially true considering the EU is far from a single entity. Most but not all have adapted the Euro and all have their own fiscal policies. There are other differences as well.

Moreover there are many times economic power can be used against Europe as Saddam did so effectively with France and Germany.

The bottom line politically is Europeans and US conservatives have very different values and beliefs. We no longer trust Europe nor do we see much value in a continued diplomatic alliance. We see the opposite. GWB has been shrewd in creating distance from Europe while moving closer to Japan, India, Australia and others.

This is not an emotional response because we disagree on Iraq. It's a rational response to a long series of disagreements and the backstabbing by the French over Iraq serving as the final straw. We've been at odds on the middle east forever as well as our handling of the USSR. We disagree more often than we agree.

There is absolutely no reason for us to maintain troops in Western Europe and I would argue the hospital and airbases that remain in Germany should be disbanded and returned to the German people. I'd not have a single soldier in Western Europe. Europeans can defend Europe.

NATO is fine as it is as described by Rumsfeld. NATO is a shell. It's nothing until we need it. The US will define the mission and then build the coalition. The coalition will NOT define the mission. If we have a mission and NATO can be used we'll contribute assets. Otherwise NATO is empty.

The Europeans are not our enemies. They are our friends. But the post-war alliance is over and whatever special 'kinship' existed as a result is over with it.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Conservatism in essence is a dead-end street. What does it offer? Hatred. Prejudice. Ignorance.

And I was wondering how they keep on winning elections.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Will Rogers once said, "It's not what you don't know that makes you ignorant, it's what you know that ain't so." rdw proves consistently with his posts that this premise is true. He doesn't have a clue nor can he dream about what he doesn't know. But he can produce quantities of bullshit. Eventually, even with massive propaganda, people see through the bullshit. rdw realizes it and whacks his penis with indignation at the thought of it. His misdirected anger at all liberal is because he realizes that conservatism awol style is breathing it's last hope. He has a faith in an impossible world or reality. Maybe someday there will be some medication for the insane, er, conservative.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Until such time as you start blowing out value judgments about the worth of countries you don't remotely understand.

I understand Europe quite well. I also understand GWB. I correctly predicted GWB would move out of Germany. I correctly predicted on both Afghanistan and Iraq GWB would try to attract allies but would go in alone if necessary. I also predicted GWB would act as if nothing bad had happened regarding Europe, nothing had changed, and wojld continue to speak of our close kinship and strong alliance. All the while moving as fast away, as far away, as possible.

I predicted Condi Rice would re-allocate state dept resources out of Western Europe toward Asia. She did than and also made clear by revising the list of desired language skills that those employees with ambitions should not have a European focus.

I also predicted GWB would pretty much ignore France and Germany but be as gracious as possible. The only exception to this was a White House press release issued immediately after Chirac called Bush about Iran. Bush wanted it made clear he did not call Chirac nor did he request the call nor did much come of the call. He obviously wanted to make sure Chirac didn't try to frame it differently.

The goal here all along has been to radically reshape NATO, more specifically our relationship with Western Europe, to reflected current realities and to do so as quietly as possible. American liberals will wake up in 2009 to vasty diferent world and there won't be any going back. Can you imagine what would happen if in 2009 President Hillary decided her 1st overseas trip were an apology tour of Europe? She'd be crucified.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Any elections won by conservatives were won because of several reasons: fear, prejudice, mis-information, election fraud, progaganda, stupidity, hatred. These elementary feelings cannot be controlled forever. Eventually rationality rebounds. That's where we are now. Gradually day by day rationality redevelopes and when it does the citizen quickly realizes that awol had just used all those emotions to fuck them raw. What pisses rdw off is that he realizes that everyday someone wakes up and considers that awol, Rush Limbaugh, Fox news, Hannity, Coulter, the republicans, and conservatives in general have fucked their ass raw in the last several years. Bend over conservatives-it's your turn now.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

He doesn't have a clue nor can he dream about what he doesn't know.

Did you even read your own quote?

What did I say I knew that isn't true?

GWB pulled out of Germany. Over 100K combat troops have been permanently removed and only a hospital remains with an airbase. A series of bases across europe have been officially returned to the home country. The deeds legally cancelled.

Condi Rice is transferring posiitons out of Western Europe permanently and expanding in India and other parts of Asia and the middle east. The language list has been revised to reflect these changes.

Rumsfeld has been both repetitive and eloquent on US policy regarding alliances. The mission will define the coalition. The coalition will not define the mission. This is a dramatic shift. NATO is over as we once knew it.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

osama,

Rebel without clue. Whinning is not a strategy. It is unmanly and unattractive. Americans despise liberal victims because they define weak. You will continue to lose.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Ha, ha, ha. You fucking dumbass. You didn't even understand the quote. I stop talking to you now. Get an education. What a fucking moron. God, and I had presumed that I was talking to someone with half a brain. This proves my statement about conservatives. Even if your ideas made some sense you'd have to eloquently develope them into rational sensical information. Without education and intelligence you can't even do that. In some rare cases conservatism might make sense when used judiciously and intelligently but you defeat the hope of that by being unable to understand your position, it's pluses and minuses, and your opponents position. If you can't ram it down their throat some way then you can't fall back on rational discussion. William F. Buckley was intelligent enough to persuasively comment on some conservative ideals but he hasn't had an equal for many years. You didn't even understand the quote-goodbye dumbass.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Let alone you don't know how to spell. What, are you in the third grade? And a D student at that. Read a lot and try to understand it. Don't read and receive information like you all ready know it all. Receive it without prejudice. Like you would even know what that means. God, I'm talking to an illiterate moron that can't even understand a Will Rogers quote. Read and try and understand vast levels of information and maybe you'll be able to consider rational thought. But then, maybe not. Duhhh.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

What's whinning? That's not a word I've ever seen before. Is that like awol's ability at international relations? Whinning-duhhhh!

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Why can't we get smarter conservatives or are there any? I mean following the moron off the cliff is not evidence of smarts. Are they capable of independent thought or just nazi drones verbalizing, drooling, and masterbating at their masters whim? What do they fall back on when they can't force everyone to think, or in this case-not think, like them? Are there smart conservatives? Hope springs eternal.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Just got home. Viva USA! 230 years old. Let's hope she can get back on course.

OK -- A road map? Mmmm. Think Bush tried that somewhere and it seemed to disappear into the sands of a desert in . . . not sure if I'm allowed to mention . . . er . . . PALESTINE-ISRAEL.

Come on, Kevin. Hold your own balls and open a post!

Now I'll start reading but in case it hasn't been speculated on:

That the administration's original perception of this war was so far from reality, that they have been building permanent looking bases, that they seem to have deliberately short-changed the retraining of both police and non-sectarian security forces and not even mentioned a new nationl army (there's an idea!): Is it possible they also made assumptions in similar unreality land.

Without bothering to learn the lessons of post WWII and all the hard planning laid pre- and work done post-surrender, is it possible they made the simple assumption that the US would be there almost imperpetuity, just like W. Germany or Japan?

Boy, it sure would be nice to know more of what they did actually discuss because we know Bush isn't a history student or interested in details, or in dissent. Wow! Aren't those all the worst attributes of an effective C-in-C?

Posted by: notthere on July 5, 2006 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Okay, a couple comments about Europe.

First of all, militarily disengaging from Western Europe isn't
something that sits poorly with liberals; many of us have been
advocating it for a long time. Doubtless whoever was president, the
cold war is over and the need for a permanent NATO vastly diminished.
You're not exactly going to tick off anti-American French leftists by
yanking away an obsolete security umbrella. If anything, this makes
Europeans feel freer from having to submit to American influence.

The disengagement, IOW, is entirely mutual. And healthy for both
parties. America still has plenty of Europhiles and many Europeans
who despise our government still love Americans and American culture
(movies especially; Hollywood is unrivaled in the Western world).

Your most honest statement is that US conservatives and Europeans
don't like each other. No argument there from either side.

Secondly, the primacy of hard power would be salient if our
purpose was to *conquer* Iraq. It isn't; it's to jump-start the
civilizational values that foster a political system previously
unknown in that neck of the woods. You can't do that at the
point of a gun; if we could, our troops would be home by now.

That's why soft power isn't just some third-tier figment of French
wishful thinking -- it happens to be the key ingredient of the war on
terrorism. If we can't win the war of ideas -- we can't win the war.

Enough with the stab-in-the-back buisness. It's just an attempt to
deflect the salient issue here, Wooten -- that America stabbed the
world in the back. We fostered a UNSC process we had no intention
of honoring. Had we said to the Russians, French and Germans -- hey
look, WMD or no WMD, Saddam has to go and we're taking him out -- our
coalition might've been smaller, but I don't think there would have
been a tenth of the fury generated by pulling out the tablecloth
when Blix and ElBaradei didn't give us the results we wanted to hear.

It's the fundamental dishonesty and disrespect for the process that
so pissed off the world, Wooten. We wanted to act like an empire
without *looking* like an empire. If the UN is so unworthy of
respect to begin with -- then why bother with the charade of trying
to win its approval? Consider this without knee-jerk UN bashing.

Finally, Europeans will always have a special kinship with Americans
for as long as Americans can trace their roots back to Europe. We're
joined at the hip, Wooten. Cultural bonds are a lot deeper than
what sort of wines you like to drink or TV shows you like to watch.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK
Our illegal invasion of Iraq has given the ideas of freedom and democracy the biggest black eye since Hitler and Mussolini made political careers out of expressing contempt for majority rule.

I agree with the sentiment here but I think the focus is wrong; this is one point where the "Iraq is just a component of the 'War on Terror'" idea is actually right; what has done the most to undermine the idea of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and limited government as anything more than hollow ideals is the coordinate US campaign against the substance of all four of those ideals, around the globe, under the aegis of a global "War on Terror". Iraq is certainly a major front in that campaign, but equally certainly is neither the source nor, a fortiori, the whole of that campaign.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK
The goal here all along has been to radically reshape NATO, more specifically our relationship with Western Europe, to reflected current realities and to do so as quietly as possible. American liberals will wake up in 2009 to vasty diferent world and there won't be any going back.

The main thing that held our relations to Europe static after the end of the Cold War is US conservatives reluctance to accept a realignment in which the US would no longer be the pivot of European security, because accepting that realignment would mean US regional influence would wane and that of France and Germany (and possibly Russia) would wax.

Of course, liberals wouldn't have preferred an unnecessarily undiplomatic realignment which maximized the damage to US regional prestige in Europe, but handling it without doing that would have required competence, which is too much to hope for from this administration.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Do you know the fable of the fox and the grape?

This "ha ha ha, we're taking NATO away from Europe" biz of Wooten's is just his way of scourging a new global development that conservatives had no choice but to submit to kicking and screaming.

"France, Germay and Russia are going to be co-hegemonic powers in that region? Well, ha -- your region sux anyway."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Both she and the Iraqi leadership appear to believe that an open-ended commitment to the occupation of Iraq is a bad idea, and that a vague commitment to drawing down U.S. forces that's something short of a firm timetable is a good idea

Perhaps Lamont can ask Lieberman tomorrow about his support for open-ended occupation.

Posted by: bob h on July 5, 2006 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

it's to jump-start the civilizational values that foster a political system previously
unknown in that neck of the woods. You can't do that at the point of a gun; if we could, our troops would be home by now.

So exactly what was that Revolutionary War about anyway?

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

It's the fundamental dishonesty and disrespect for the process that so pissed off the world,

What liberals don't understand is the fundamental corruption of the process, of the UN and of the relationship between Iraq, the UN, France, Germany and Russia. It's the worst case of bribery ever recorded. Chirac, Schroeder and Annon were bought and paid for. The resolutions were comically meaningless. Not for a minute did Saddam take the UN seriously.

The WSJ and alternative press has been all over this story. The MSM continues to ignore it. Conservatives were not ignoring it and are not forgetting it. This UN isn't just a waste of time. It's a danger to the USA. We are well past reform. We need a new orgnization. In the meantime we'll load up the Security Concil with Japan and India at a minimum just to make it even slower, more cumbersome and thus less dangerous.

Again, this pissing off of the world is a good thing. The world needs to be pissed off. They've assumed our role as the worlds policeman will continue indefinitely and they can poke their finger in our eye at will. Poke away Europe. You've probably got less than 5 years before you are threatened by a nuclear armed Iran with the capability of delivering missles to Paris, Oslo and Berlin.

It's going to be interesting to see what options Western Europe uses when Iran demands better treatment for it's Islamic minorities.

Of course soft power can only deliver one thing, appeasement.

Bob, are you thinking the French will invite Osama's lieutenants over for a fine meal, with fine wine and a tour of the Louve and take in a concert or some Opera? Thinking a little exposure to Western Culture and the obvious superiority of 'soft power' will turn the fundamentalists into good global citizens?

Or will they just slice their throats?

Europe is in deep trouble my friend. The longer they remain in denial the less likely their culture can survive. We know today there's no intention on the part of Islamic minorities to assimilate and a large number have pure contempt for European secularism. They can read the birth rate data just as well as you and I. For them it's a matter of a short wait for Islam to become the dominant culture. It as several years ago, in Sweden I believe, Jan was replaced as the most common name by Mohammad. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The main thing that held our relations to Europe static after the end of the Cold War is US conservatives reluctance to accept a realignment

The Democrats had control of Congress during GHWBs 4 years and the 1st two of Clintons 8 years.

You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Conservatives were anxious to pull out of Germany for a long time to force European to defend themselves both militarily and economically. Those bases were an economic boon for Germany and conservatives wanted those dollars invested elsewhere.

The fact is Clinton was paralyzed by the military and afraid to appear weak.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: send on July 5, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, liberals wouldn't have preferred an unnecessarily undiplomatic realignment which maximized the damage to US regional prestige in Europe, but handling it without doing that would have required competence, which is too much to hope for from this administration.

Ah, prestige! Such a load of crap. GWBs diplomacy with Europe has been terrific. He's changed everything and few liberals even know it. They still think Western Europeans are our closest allies. Few even realize we've mothballed most of our bases and signed all legal rights back to the home counties. Even fewer appreciate the dramatic economic shift away from Europe to Asia and what it means for diplomacy and security.

Economics will determine future diplomacy and it could not be more obvious our 'allies' across the Atlantic are simply not as important as our allies across the Pacific.

As far as prestige and what it means I'd suggest you look to the Middle East. The Europerans and liberals had one view of Israel and Palestine while conservatives had a dramatically different view. Bill Clinton was clearly a soft power kind of guy. What happened?

Probably the single most despised man among the salons of Europe and the liberal elites in the USA was Ariel Sharon. A short 4 years later he's the indispensible man in the Middle East widely considered the greatest PM in Israeli history.

Europes support for Palestinian terrorists has been a disaster. They have no influence in the region unless they buy it and as we know their treasuries have other, growing demands. At the same time Europe still attracts only contempt from the Islamic world.

So much for your prestige. Arafat took Europes prestige and put it in numbered bank accounts. One can't buy prestige.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Europeans will always have a special kinship with Americans for as long as Americans can trace their roots back to Europe. We're
joined at the hip, Wooten. Cultural bonds are a lot deeper than what sort of wines you like to drink or TV shows you like to watch.

Yes, like that special kinship we had with Germany and Italy in 1945. European contempt for the USA is only exceeded by American contempt for Europe.

There hasn't been a special kinship with Europe for a long time and the country is becoming more Hispanic every day. We've had generations and generations of intermarriage such that the Italian immigrants of the 1920's very likely have grandchildren and great grandchildren mostly less than 50% Italian. They are pure American and probably unable to spot Italy on a map.

Economics will trump kinship everyday. Intel gets 60% of it's sales from Asia and 18% from Europe. In 3 years that will be 70% and

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

If you'd read two books last year instead of just the one, rdw, we'd at least have a tiny bit of variety in your endless repetition of the same boring-ass talking points. Don't they have any libraries in Pennsylvania, or is reading too European for you?

Posted by: shortstop on July 5, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Christopher Hitchens delivers some timely Fourth of July advice regarding polls about America's image abroad:

A country that attempted to be in everybodys good books would be quite paralyzed. The last time everybody said they liked the United States (or said that they said they liked the United States) was just after Sept. 11, when the nation was panicked and traumatized and trying to count its dead. Well, no thanks. This is too high a price to be paid for being popular. . . .I would suggest less masochism, more confidence on the American street, and less nervous reliance on paper majorities discovered by paper organizations.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Don't they have any libraries in Pennsylvania, or is reading too European for you?

I do quite a bit of reading. Just read 'While Europe Slept' by Bruce Bawer and just before that I read about 75% of Ann's new book. Coulter is uproariously funny. It was my brothers copy and I only has access to it on the beach.

Believe it or not Bruce has a lot more contempt for Europe, and less hope, than Ann. Europeans really are the proverbial duck hit in the head. A majority still believes their new radical neighbors will come to appreciate the refinement and culture of Western Europe and adapt their ways. No chance!!!

Here's a prediction for you. I think it's the Netherlands which in 2003, for the 1st time in 50 years, experienced a net emigration. Since then the rate has increased. There's also been an urban to rural migration as the dutch decide they do not want to send what few kids they have to schools with majority islamic population.

White liberals from northern US cities are of course very familiar with this concept. We call it 'white flight'. Apparently in many cases the white flight in the Netherlands is to Australia.

My prediction is that as the collapse in birth rates starts to bite in the way of decreasing populations (Russia, Japan, Germany, Italy and soon all of Europe) the negative effect if emigration will spread and compound the demographic disaster.

Thatis Europe will become Eurabia more quickly than current predictions suggest. We are watching a total disaster unfold in Europe. In 30 years the Islamic minorities will be much larger and much younger. The ethnic populations will be smaller and much older. That is a horrible dynamic and it's irreversible.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Coulter is a shameless plagiarist.

Posted by: ckelly on July 5, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, she was just hilarious slamming widows of 9/11.

Posted by: ckelly on July 5, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Europe will become Eurabia

rdw,
It must be time to re-stock the bunker then - the Arab hordes are coming! It'll be hard to kill them all.

Posted by: ckelly on July 5, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

I mock rdw for not having read anything other than While Europe Slept in the last year, pointing out that all his posts are endless repetition of talking points from this book, and he responds by once again blathering on with talking points from this book. You can't pay for entertainment like this. Aren't there any smart Republicans left?

Posted by: shortstop on July 5, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK
The Democrats had control of Congress during GHWBs 4 years and the 1st two of Clintons 8 years.

So? Up until the "Republican Revolution" of 1994, when the partisan realignment that had been going on since the New Deal was essentially complete, "Democrats" included a sizable faction of conservatives.

Conservatives were anxious to pull out of Germany for a long time to force European to defend themselves both militarily and economically.

Sure, some conservatives wanted that; that desire was counterbalanced by a conservative desire to avoid the consequences that would have in terms of US influence, which is why the US right, in particular, tended to oppose European defence integration efforts that they feared would reduce the importance of US-led NATO, at the same time they wanted Europeans to pay more of their own way.

Really, its the same attitude conservatives have toward most things—they want others to bear the costs and burdens, but don't want that to come at the expense of them not being in control.

The fact is Clinton was paralyzed by the military and afraid to appear weak.

The fact is, Clinton has nothing to do with this discussion.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Aren't there any smart Republicans left?

Wooten's washing the floor with you lefties. What do you mean, smart? I'm sitting at the feet of a master.

Posted by: Jay on July 5, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

I mock rdw for not having read anything other than While Europe Slept...You can't pay for entertainment like this.

And now he's read Coulter - God's argument for book-burning. Let the fun continue.

Posted by: ckelly on July 5, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK
Ah, prestige! Such a load of crap. GWBs diplomacy with Europe has been terrific. He's changed everything and few liberals even know it. They still think Western Europeans are our closest allies.

Er, no, actually, most liberals are quite aware of the gulf that Bush's opposition to the rule of law, freedom, democracy, etc., has opened up between us and Western Europe.

Probably the single most despised man among the salons of Europe and the liberal elites in the USA was Ariel Sharon. A short 4 years later he's the indispensible man in the Middle East widely considered the greatest PM in Israeli history.

Well, sure; 4 years later, after he had demonstrated that despite his past history as a war criminal, he was also quite adept as a master of soft power—a mastery which necessarily involves both the capacity and will to use hard power and the restraint in its use which produces clear and credible marginal threats.

"Conservative" doesn't have to mean "incompetent", despite the example of George W. Bush.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

I was trashing Europe long before I read this book. The term Eurabia is hardly new yet Bruce Bawer didn't refer to it often and spoke little of birth rates. His book was about Europeans and how they have adapted, or not, to the emergence of radical Islam.

Bruce is a gay man who moved to Europe in 1997 because he felt it the more enlightened continent. He still lives in Norway but has grown very pessimistic regarding the ability of Europeans to 1st recognize the threat and then actually do something about it.

My contempt regarding Europe was due to two major differences. Their view of the middle east and more specifically Yasir Adafat and Ariel Sharon. And then their sense they've evolved past war to a level of sophistication and nuance far superior to that of their cracker counsins across the pond. We have generations of Europeans certain the USSR collapsed due to their soft power. Those 200,000 American troops armed to the teeth facing Stalin and his successors merely delayed the process.

Obviously my contempt for Europe is long lasting. As it true for most conservatives. I am not glad Europe is facing cultural extinction. It's a disaster for us as well. But I am glad GWB has delinked and minimized potential damage.

Conservatives see the world as it is not as we wish it to be. The UN is dead and the EU dying. We can only walk away.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Jay:

No, your master -- or rather Mistress -- is Ann Coulter's 12-speed dildo.

How'd that American Spectator feel tucked up there so snugly, eh?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: I'm sitting at the feet of a master.

Chained, leathered and ready for action. What a pretty sight.

Posted by: shortstop on July 5, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

strong arguments relentlessly put

so good to see a reality-viewing conservative putting these limp-wristed libs in their place. it's like Kerry off celebrating Christmas in Cambodia - didn't he know there was a war on?

Eurabia, Eurabia. ROTFL!

(Is that your original?)

Posted by: rdw fan club on July 5, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Well, sure; 4 years later, after he had demonstrated that despite his past history as a war criminal, he was also quite adept as a master of soft powera mastery which necessarily involves both the capacity and will to use hard power and the restraint in its use which produces clear and credible marginal threats.

Arafat was the war criminal up through to the day he died. You were horrified as the landslide that brought him into office and horrified even more at his use of assassinations and the crackdown in the West bank and Gaza. You were equally horrified at his construction of the security fence and his refusal to negotiate with terrorists.

In short you HATED and OPPOSED ever single move he made. You still think Arafat deserved his Nobel Prize and Arafat his tag as the war criminal. Which, obviously you still use. To this day you are humiliated at the turn of events. I got to watch your hero have to ask Sharons permission for water to flush his toilets. He spent the last few years of his life up to his knees in his own shit. Just AS HE DESERVED.

Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat are Exhibit A to the intellectual rot of European and American liberalism. Arafat stands as Clintons legacy while Sharon stands as GWBs legacy. It's perfect.

Conservatives were right for 20 years and liberals were tragically wrong.

BTW: When did assassinations, military occupations and land seizures for fence construction become the tools of soft power? I missed that. I never knew assassination was a key component diplomacy. Go figure.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

>> it's to jump-start the civilizational values that
>> foster a political system previously unknown in that
>> neck of the woods. You can't do that at the point of
>> a gun; if we could, our troops would be home by now.

> So exactly what was that Revolutionary War about anyway?

Whoof, what a stinking cow turd of a bad analogy *that* is.

Certainly nothing whatsoever to do with jump-starting
civilizational values, that's for sure.

Or do you think the Hessians landed with copies of Locke
and Montesquieu they passed out to the Founding Fathers?

> What liberals don't understand is the fundamental corruption
> of the process, of the UN and of the relationship between
> Iraq, the UN, France, Germany and Russia. It's the worst
> case of bribery ever recorded. Chirac, Schroeder and Annon
> were bought and paid for. The resolutions were comically
> meaningless. Not for a minute did Saddam take the UN seriously.

Wooten, this is disingenuous. It's also projection. Not to mention
a slap in the face to every honest UN employee as well. Not to say
that the oil-for-food scandal wasn't industrial grade corruption --
but if the overall analysis were anything more than right-wing spin,
the US never would have had any use for the hopeless UN to begin with.

Instead, we used the UNSC process with utter
contempt, never intending to honor it if Blix and
ElBaradei gave us results we din't want to hear.

We raped international law, flagrantly
in front of a crowd of witnesses.

Of *course* you need some red herring to deflect the import of this.

>> Europeans will always have a special kinship with
>> Americans for as long as Americans can trace their
>> roots back to Europe. We're joined at the hip, Wooten.
>> Cultural bonds are a lot deeper than what sort of
>> wines you like to drink or TV shows you like to watch.

> Yes, like that special kinship we
> had with Germany and Italy in 1945.

Why do you think we didn't enter WW2 until Pearl Harbor? Yes,
Wooten, cultural ties have an effect for good or for ill.

> European contempt for the USA is only
> exceeded by American contempt for Europe.

I swear, you conservatives are as bad a bunch
of narcissistic navel-gazers as the French.

Mirror images of each other. Which is why projection of
all your inner malice onto them comes so easily to you.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Er, no, actually, most liberals are quite aware of the gulf that Bush's opposition to the rule of law, freedom, democracy, etc., has opened up between us and Western Europe.

They have no idea of the breath, depth and permanence. Most libs operate under several simultanous delusions. 1st that the current ant-american sentiment is somehow new and/or worse than ever. It's old and it's been worse. 2nd they think GWB is the sole cause and once he leaves we go back to being best buddies.

This is of course nonsense. The world has changed dramatically and serve to highlight what are equally dramatic cultural, economic and religious differences between us. Our relative views of Sharon and Arafat is but one example. Our differenr views of capitalism and the role of govt in the economy. Kyoto was rebuked 95-0 in our Senate. And then European secularism versus US christianity.

Libs seem to think GWBs polls mean they get congress back in 2006 and the WH in 2008 and all will be 'normal'. That's just stupid. The last brief period of Democratic control was the 1st two years of Clinton and that was a disaster for liberals. You lost 55 house seats in the next election. The time before that was over 25 years ago under Jimmy Cater. He was the biggest disaster since WWII. You are not winning control anyway but it's not what you remember.

The fact is conservatives are the driving force in American politics. We're driving this bus. GWB has 2 1/2 more years in office to force change in Europe and limit American risk. Merkel is much different than Schroeder so relations with Germany can improve but it won't be the same Germany. Harper in Canada is the opposite of Martin and he's growing his base. Canada has become far more aggressive in Afghanistan, is increasing defense spending and is developing the Tar Sands at a heroic pace. Harper and GWB have solved long standing trade disputes and Harper is talking of supple-side tax cuts.

The last hurdle will always be France but even they may have a clue. Chirac is a disaster but will be gone soon. If DeVillipen wins we'll have nothing to do with France and they will continue to erode. Sarkozy will probably win and might be able to stem the disaster. GWB is forcing all of these issues onto Europe to decide for themselves and choose their future.

Liberals have no idea of all that he's done.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Or do you think the Hessians landed with copies of Locke and Montesquieu they passed out to the Founding Fathers?

The founding fathers already had their copies. That's they they were fighting, using guns no less, to foster a political system unknown in our neck of the woodsm assisted by our best buds in France.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

We raped international law, flagrantly
in front of a crowd of witnesses.

Int'l law can never and will never trump the US Constitution. Not with a conservative in the Oval office.

Your Senators and Representatives gave GWB the permission and all but demanded action. It was as legal as legal can be.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

but if the overall analysis were anything more than right-wing spin, the US never would have had any use for the hopeless UN to begin with.

The US has had precious little use for the UN EVER. The US and Europe ignored then in Kosovo and in other places throughout their history. It's an all but useless monstrosity of a bureaucracy. It's a parody of what was intended and it's only useful purpose is for conservtives to bash away. Once a month some UN twit attacks America and it's great to bash back.

The base loves it. Jan Egland called the US stingy a few years ago and we're still using that clip to trash the UN and Europe. The UN is useless for real diplomacy so we might as well get something for our money.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Yeah, well the Iraqis don't have theirs translated into Arabic yet, which is why your analogy falls face-first into the turdpile.

Colonial America had longstanding traditions of local self-government prior to the Revolution. Where do you think the New England town meeting came from?

Wooten, I have European friends. You, apparently, do not. I know about European anti-American sentiment from the horse's mouth.

But you don't need European friends to have observed the cheering throngs of well-wishers whenever Bill Clinton toured the capitals of Europe.

Today, Bush can't even get a non-rude crowd in England.

That's an empirical observation. Obviously the dependent variable is Clinton vs Bush as president.

But no no no. Reading right-wing tracts provides a much more accuate gauge of reality than using your own eyes and ears.

Sheesh.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you think we didn't enter WW2 until Pearl Harbor? Yes, Wooten, cultural ties have an effect for good or for ill.

It had nothing to do with cultural ties. We already suffered severe losses in a horrific war to save Europe and wanted to stay out of it. It was the same reason we stayed out of the League of Nations. We are in exactly the same place today. Europe is going to solve it's own problems. We're not going back.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK
They have no idea of the breath, depth and permanence.

No, I think most liberals are well aware of the breadth, depth, and permanence of GWBs opposition to freedom, democracy, the rule of law, limited government, &c.

Most libs operate under several simultanous delusions. 1st that the current ant-american sentiment is somehow new and/or worse than ever.

Most liberals don't believe that at all; they certainly believe (and its empirically measured to be true) that in many respects the anti-American sentiment in Europe and the world under the Bush regime is worse than it has been in recent years, but that's not the same as thinking its worse than it has ever been.

I mean, it surely was worse when the US was both one of the last holdouts on slavery and an obstacle to European colonial ambitions.

2nd they think GWB is the sole cause and once he leaves we go back to being best buddies.

Er, no, I don't think most liberals think things are that simple; while Bush's policies are certainly the direct cause of the recent downturn in opinions of the US, it will take a clear and sustained reversal in direction, competently directed, by a future administration or more likely a series of future administrations to heal that damage. There is, of course, no guarantee that any series of successors will be both inclined and competent to make that change.

Kyoto was rebuked 95-0 in our Senate.

No, it wasn't. The 95-0 vote you are referring to is, almost certainly, the one that occurred before Kyoto was drafted.

Libs seem to think GWBs polls mean they get congress back in 2006 and the WH in 2008 and all will be 'normal'.

Most liberals I know are not particularly optimistic about either of those. They think the polls show an opportunity to win in those elections with competent campaigns and strong candidates

But they also note that neither 2000 nor 2004 (2002 being close enough to 9/11 to be only dubiously relevant) were examples of those kind of campaigns and candidates from the Democratic party at either the Presidential or Congressional levels, so its far from safe to simply assume that 2006 or 2008 will be, either.

Further, most liberals also realize that while the Democratic Party may hace controlled Congress and the Presidency, liberals haven't, nor have they clearly dominated the Democratic Party except perhaps since 1994, so its impossible to talk about liberals "taking back" either.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

The Constitution has nothing to *do* with international law.

Because the Bill of Rights gives some asshole the right to insult your dying grandmother in the town square -- does that mean it's right to do so?

Stop thinking like a petty criminal, for gods sakes.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative" doesn't have to mean "incompetent", despite the example of George W. Bush.

I agree. How did you like those Alito hearings? How bad is it that even Joe Biden, possibly the dumbest man in the Senate, announces after the Alito hearings were over, that the Senate can't hold the hearings in the same way because the democrats keep on making major asses of themselves.

It's just perfect that blathering idiot just announced he's running or President.

Too bad CM, GWB might not be the most competent guy in the universe but then he doesn't have to be. He's proven in 4 pools that matter he's more competent than anyone you voted for.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

No, actually awol is a war criminal based upon the Nuremberg Charters. He'll eventually be caught and charged. Some other sorry piece of excrement, insert any conserative name here, will have to pardon him. The US is a part of the world not the owner of it. Conservatives that believe that US power trumps all other world power will in turn become the future war criminals. Just like the leaders of Nazi Germany. Awol is a fascist war criminal and eventually will be prosecuted for it. The scary part for rdw is that he is beginning to realize this. The conservative approach to world domination by the US will never happen. Conservatives have come out of their hiding place where everyone can see how unfit for true leadership they actually are. Starting wars based upon lies was outlawed by the Nuremberg Charter. Therefore awol is a war criminal. Besides being insane.

Posted by: Where's osama on July 5, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
When did assassinations, military occupations and land seizures for fence construction become the tools of soft power?

Since always; soft power is almost entirely established by the clear and credible—which inevitably means at some point demonstrated—combination of the capacity and will to use hard power and the capacity and will to refrain from using hard power which creates credible marginal incentives which allow results to be obtained.

Sharon's hard-line policies of retaliation and separation, while applications of hard power, were policies that developed soft power; in this respect they were parallel to the uses of force by NATO in the Balkans in the 1990s.

I missed that. I never knew assassination was a key component diplomacy. Go figure.

Yes, well, its really not surprising that a Bush follower would not understand what goes into making a "credible threat".

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
He's proven in 4 pools

What, he's a swimmer now?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Oh no, Wooten. Culture had *nothing* to do with the isolationist resistance to entering the European theater of WW2.

Pay no attention to those throngs of German and Italian immigrants and their family ties to their home countries (we'll leave aside the American corporate interests in their war industries), or the fact that racism, anti-semitism and eugenics were pretty damn popular in the heartland at the time. Not to mention a widespread popular admiration for Hitler and Mussolini for being strong leaders who pulled their countries out of the Great Depression.

Of course not. It was all just a theoretically pure isolationism derived from American exceptionalism and George Washington's farewell warning against foreign entanglements.

And that's what you call cultural cluelessness, boys 'n' girls.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK
Obviously the dependent variable is Clinton vs Bush as president.

Surely, that's the independent variable and the response is the dependent variable.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall: Yes, that's a [wingnuts] mock-up of the New York "Crimes" publishing the location of Anne Frank's secret hiding place.

. . .

I called Free Republic's Kristinn Taylor, who said his group was responsible for the sign ("We made that one up," he told me). Could he explain it?

"Basically, it's a satire on what the New York Times would be publishing during World War II if they had the same attitudes they have now," he said.

. . .

"Probably not an exact one," Taylor said. "It's just the idea that what they're doing now will get people killed. [It's] equivalent to [how] revealing Anne Frank's location to the Nazis would get her killed."

Ironic coming from people who would've actually used such knowledge to locate and kill Anne Frank and all the other Jews they could find.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Throughout my entire history as a sociology minor, I have always gotten those two terms mixed up.

Thanks for the correction, Chris. A sociology prof was both my college mentor and my landlord. Through him, I got to skip the 100-level courses and went straight into theory and development.

Which is why I can talk about Bordeaux and Habermas but wouldn't recognize a regression analysis if it backed over me with a truck :(

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

No, it wasn't. The 95-0 vote you are referring to is, almost certainly, the one that occurred before Kyoto was drafted.

It was after Kyoto was drafted. It wasn't a vote on Kyoto because Clinton never submitted Kyoto for a vote. He signed it and then ignored it. The vote was a non-binding resolution intended as a warning to Clinton not to bring that piece of garbage to the floor.

Thi is one of those examples of the tragic vanity of Bill Clinton. Bill signed it knowing he would never submit it because it was to his personal advantage to do so but a dis-service to the country.

He knew he'd be able to say after the fact, "Hey, I did MY part, I negotiated the best deal possible and I signed it because I understood the environmental impact if I didn't sign it. The Senate refused to see the importance and then the next President just dumped it. "

It's comical the MSM blames GWB. Fortunately their control of media has waned so there was no political cost. The fact is Clinton didn't have any idea GWB would be President and had every reason to expect it would be Al Gore. Al Gore wasn't getting that garbage signed either. Bill Clinton always planned on taking the credit for signing it and dumping the blame for it's failure on someone else.

This is the quintessential Bill Clinton. It's always been about him. He press still goes his way on this. He's a hero to the eco-freaks. It's just one more reason the Europeans look down their noses on us. He knowingly made the path harder for the next President expecting that President to be Al Gore. History will not be so kind. A number of current day historians/pundits have claimed he's not the worst President but he's the worst man ever to be President. This is one reason why they say it. His signature was pure vanity.

Kyoto was go down as a ecological disaster. The great irony of blocking development in ANWR is that production is being replaced barrel for barrel from the Tar Sands. Tar Sands extraction is the dirtiest method known to man. The result will be that Canada will be by far the worlds worst pollutor under Kyoto. Moreover, the USA will have a better record than 75% of the signess. We get canadian Oil. they get the pollution.

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

rdw: Europe is going to solve it's own problems.

Too bad rdw and his ilk didn't feel that way about Iraq.

2500 plus American soldiers would still be alive if they had.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon's hard-line policies of retaliation and separation, while applications of hard power, were policies that developed soft power; in this respect they were parallel to the uses of frce by NATO in the Balkans in the 1990s.

This is absolute and total nonsense. Soft power is negotiation and diplomacy. Sharon NEVER NEGOTIATED. The now great statesman of Israel NEVER negotiated. Sharon was 100% hard power. There was no diplomacy. The one possible exception is he heeded GWBs wishes not to kill Arafat. He decided to humiliation him in the most visible way possible. Arafat couldn't wipe his ass unless Sharon said so.

Your analysis is utter nonsense.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, well, its really not surprising that a Bush follower would not understand what goes into making a "credible threat".


I love libs.

At the time Sharon was killing Hamas leaders and associates in rocket attacks he was a murderer and a war criminal and most definitely an impediment to peace.

Today the term is, 'issuing credible threats'.

I love it!!!

This is where search engines really suck. You can revise history at will. The NYTs gets caught every time as does clintons entire state dept.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Sharon could've also appeased his right wing and the intense passions of the settlers and chosen not to withdraw from Gaza in the name of Greater Israel -- a concept he made his political bones defending.

Instead he took the, umm, softer path.

Boy, you really *do* have comprehension problems with multivalenced concepts, don't you.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

And that's what you call cultural cluelessness, boys 'n' girls.

So we told W. Wilson to cram the League of Nations up his ass because of Italian immigration?

Are you sure?

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

You also have problems with historical timelines.

Oh -- and Wilson put the full weight of our diplomacy behind negotiating the Treaty of Versailles, while formulating the Fourteen Points.

That the heartland rejected the League is implicated in its later resistance to entering European-theater WW2 as Roosevelt would have preferred, to be sure.

Popular demagogic support for some of the concepts Hitler stood for, as well as blood ties to those nations, played their role as well.

Hey, *you* were the one who said "cultural ties have nothing to do with it."

I don't have to rebut that by arguing that political agreements had nothing to do with it, either.

It's called debating in context, Wooten. Perhaps you should look into it.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Further, most liberals also realize that while the Democratic Party may hace controlled Congress and the Presidency, liberals haven't, nor have they clearly dominated the Democratic Party except perhaps since 1994, so its impossible to talk about liberals "taking back" either.

This was an unusually sober post on your part. but I stand by my point because most liberals will be far less realistic.

I would argue the liberals had some control in 1992 because Clinton Presided as a liberal and further that's why 1994 was such a disaster. He campaigned as a new democrat but acted like the old kind.

I would also suggest the roll of your liberal wing will be very interesting in 2006 and 2008 and potentially very destructive. Liberals are outside the mainstream. They pulled Kerry much further left in the primaries and possibly cost him the election. The dailykos and moveon.org have been disasters and we now have the spectacle of Joe Leiberman looking at running as an independent. Clearly these lefty fringe groups are moving the party left. So far the only Presidential candidate to resist has been Hillary.

You s/b careful not to get your hopes regarding 2006 too high. The GOP is very vulnerable but your party is equally capable of snatching defeat from the jaws if victory. You have Rom emanuel and Schumer in a nasty spat with Howard Dean, a probably fight within the house leadership, and several races once thought winnable slipping away.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Bill signed it knowing he would never submit it because it was to his personal advantage to do so but a dis-service to the country.

If Kyoto is not binding on the US because Congress never approved it, then it can't be a disservice to the country.

Therefore, you lie.

Again, just like you did with DeWine and Strickland.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, *you* were the one who said "cultural ties have nothing to do with it."

And I stand by that. The US was isolationist notwithstanding Wilsons entry into WWI and European politics. His treaty was a disaster as was the League.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . Clinton [p]resided as a liberal . . .

So, you were lying previously when you claimed that Clinton never governed as a liberal.

Yet another lie to add to the long list of your lies - it's miles long and growing!

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . several races once thought winnable slipping away . . .

But, are you simply lying again, just like you previously did with the DeWine and Strickland polls?

The only thing slipping away, rdw, is your mind.

Now, run along and try to find it.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon could've also appeased his right wing and the intense passions of the settlers and chosen not to withdraw from Gaza in the name of Greater Israel -- a concept he made his political bones defending.

Instead he took the, umm, softer path.

Boy, you really *do* have comprehension problems with multivalenced concepts, don't you.


Not even a little bit. And I can smell self-serving bullshit a mile away.


Sharon's decision had zero to do with a 'softer path'. It was a pure tactical military position to withdrawal behind defensible borders and build a fence to permanently separate the two societies. There was no one to negotiate peace with therefore no point. Once that was decided Sharon settled on the best outcome for Israel which is defensible borders and permanent isolation from Palestine.

Liberals at the time were livid. They demanded he negotiate and they demanded he stop killing Hamas leaders. Sharon withdrew unilaterally and didn't stop the assassinations until the infatada ended. He defeated the terrorists.

He followed Reagans plans for the cold war. "We win, they lose".

I'll say again. You can put this revisionist nonsense out there but Mad Maddy Albright is stuck as is EVERY other liberal egghead from Clinton on down. They're all on videotape.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: And I can smell self-serving bullshit a mile away.

Another lie.

The bullshit smell emanating from yourself would cover up any other bullshit smell even in your immediate vicinity, much less a mile away.

You can put this revisionist nonsense out there . . .

You are talking about yourself, rdw.

Your revisionist nonsense is legend.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Int'l law can never and will never trump the US Constitution. Not with a conservative in the Oval office.

Yeah, well, for the Security and Prosperity Partnership -- signed by the conservative in the Oval Office -- which has given an unprecedented amount of authority to NAFTA tribunals to essentially override U.S. law.

DOBBS: We have reported to you the impact of so-called free trade agreements on our middle class families, working men and women in this country. We have reported to you over the years on the creation of a North American union without the approval of the American people nor the U.S. Congress.

Tonight, American democracy faces another unprecedented attack from the associates and advocates of so-called free trade. A provision of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, gives secret international tribunals extraordinary powers over the laws passed by our Congress and the power to negate America's national sovereignty.

Bill Tucker reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Canadian cattlemen are suing the United States government over its decision to ban Canadian beef because of mad cow disease. They want American taxpayers to pay them $300 million for lost business.

A tribe of Canadian Indians is challenging the U.S. state tobacco agreements, saying they're arbitrary and unfair to them as Canadian tobacco traders. These cases will not be decided in or by U.S. courts or judges, they will be decided by international tribunals established by NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD GEORGE, CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT: With all due respect to Congress, who passed the law, probably did not realize the full ramifications of what they were enacting. It does provide foreign companies with greater rights than their American counterparts.

TUCKER: The rulings based not on U.S. law, but on the language of NAFTA as interpreted by three international lawyers who were appointed on a case-by-case basis.

BILL WARREN, FORUM ON DEMOCRACY AND TRADE: Do we want to use that model to make basic public policy decisions about whether or not we're going to protect a certain area in the Imperial Valley of California from gold mining, or whether or not Utah gets to ban gambling? Those seem to be fundamental issues that in my mind ought to be decided by democratic institutions and not by three anonymous international lawyers.

TUCKER: There's a constitutional issue as well. The Constitution prohibits Congress from delegating "essential attributes" of the judicial branch to tribunals or other such institutions.

PETER SPIRO, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: It's a very important question, and it's going to be -- it's going to be an even more important question going forward as we see the creation of more of these sorts of international tribunals.

TUCKER: Yet Congress is creating more of these types of agreements as fast as it can. The latest agreement is CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, giving companies in those countries the authority to challenge regulations and policies of our states and federal government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: And Congress is not done yet. They're now considering the Free Trade of Americas Agreement, the FTAA. It would essentially include all of the countries in North, Central, and South America, and include the Caribbean nations as well. One of those countries, Lou, is Venezuela, meaning that if it's passed, Venezuelan companies under the control of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will have the right to sue the U.S. government.

DOBBS: And over the next week you will be exploring as well, I understand, Bill, the impact of the World Trade Organization, every bit as deleterious to U.S. national sovereignty and our judicial system as anything put forward by NAFTA. It is remarkable and it is pretty clear that there is a very good constitutional challenge to each of these agreements based on exactly the issues that you raised in your report.

Yes, the conservative in the Oval Office has betrayed America by giving other countries and entities power over her in a way that Kyoto doesn't even begin to approach.

Once again your pin head is blowing hot air so far up inside your own ass I'm surprised you don't just blow up and float away.

Posted by: a on July 5, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK
Soft power is negotiation and diplomacy.

No, its not. Negotiation and diplomacy being productive is a result of soft power, it is not the essence of soft power.

Soft power is getting people to act as you wish; hard power is the direct application of force to prevent people from being able to act in ways you do not wish. The two are not separate; the development of soft power comes largely through the credible threat of hard power, which is developed itself through the actual application of hard power, as well as properly-chosen restraint in applying hard power.

Clinton got that, and competently applied it. Sharon got that, and competently applied. (Yes, aside from that, they were very different, and in either case there are arguments that their actions contravened applicable law and/or morality.)

Your idol, Bush, does not get that, or at the very least has failed to competently apply it. This is on top of any objections to the morality and legality of his actions.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 5, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Your Senators and Representatives gave GWB the permission and all but demanded action. It was as legal as legal can be.

"[A]ll but demanded action", even if that were true, is not the same thing as "demanding action" or "authorizing action in any and all circumstances."

You lie again.

It's boring.

Try telling the truth for once and surprise us!

Int'l law can never and will never trump the US Constitution.

No one said it should.

You lie by implication yet again, falsely accusing others of saying something they have not.

ex-liberal: In my book, doing good imperfectly is better than just sitting on one's tuchis.

Then you must have loved Clinton's strike against the alleged chemical weapons factory and the Chinese embassy, as opposed to the do-nothing GOP Congress that opposed those actions.

Doing good so imperfectly that you cause more harm than good and more harm than would have occurred through inaction is not "better than just sitting on one's tuchis".

But, let's say some b*stard rapes your wife because he wants a child and she ends up giving birth to a child who eventually grows up and developes a cure for malaria, saving lots of lives.

Is that doing good imperfectly, ex-liberal?

After all, bringing a child into the world is a good thing and curing malaria is a good thing and even more importantly the latter clearly results in far more good than the temporary discomfort experienced by your wife.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Obviously my contempt for Europe is long lasting.

Your contempt for the truth is even longer lasting.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

the development of soft power comes largely through the credible threat of hard power,

You are absolutely full of crap. Europe brags about it's sophisticated use of soft power. According you definition Europe only has soft power to the extent it can provide a credible threat of hard power. NO ONE thinks the Europeans are a credible threat. Ergo they have no power, soft or hard.

Clinton was a sap. No one thought he provided a credible threat of hard power. The only time he used hard power remotely credibly ws in Kosovo AFTER he sent Milosovich signals he would not use hard power (promising no boots) and Milosovich then let loose his storm troopers and the genocide began.

It wasn't until well after the Air Force bombing began and Clinton finally gave the order to bomb closer to Milosovich and cause real pain dis the Serbs stop.

His clumsy attemps at soft power signalled the start of the genocide. He's excruciating delay allowed it to drag on. Not until he used the full force of the USAF did Clinton get his ONLY foreign policy success.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

a,

I am not sure of your point above. If the US signs and ratifies a treaty it becomes US law. If that treaty requires adjudication under an agreed to, pre-specified trade court that strikes me as legal as long as it is also constitutional. My point would be that if our constitution says it's illegal then it's illegal and the trade court has zero jurisdiction. That is, the US Constitution trimps Int'l law.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Your idol, Bush, does not get that, or at the very least has failed to competently apply it. This is on top of any objections to the morality and legality of his actions.

Bush is not my idol. Scalia maybe, Rummy maybe, Clarence Thomas maybe. I am a huge fan of GWB expecially his singlular ability to drive liberals over the edge but the fact is I am more of a Reagan Conservative. GWB is far too big govt and free spending.

You will find this true of most conservatives. GWB has been a major disappointment on spending.

GWBs ability to drive people like you bonkers. In your view he is totally incompetent and while I haven't read yor comments on his intelligence I suspect you think he is as dumb as a rock. NO doubt you have Al Gore, with lower marks, lower test scores and fewer academic degrees, listed as an intellectual.

Here's the rub abnd this must frustrate you to no end, as dumb as he may be, and as incompetent as he is, he's been able to do pretty much as he wants, when he wants, even when it's clearly illegal. Neither Courts nor the Congress can outsmart this dumb, incompetent bastard.

I have to admit, I have a hard time following that logic yet liberals us it constantly. This dumb SOB seems to outsmart you at every turn. How does he do it?

Here's another observation I can't get out of my head. Maybe you can explain. Europeans as a rule and American liberals for certain are the masters of the application soft power. We agree they own soft power. So how is it they were not able to negotiate with and guide GWB to do the right thing. I think we all know that if the French were leading negotiations with Saddam Iraq would be peaceful, the equivalent of a disney theme park filled with smiling faces and not an ounce of blood spilled. They wojuld have been able to get Saddam to do the right thing because they are that sophisticated, that nuanced. So why couldn't they get the rube known as GWB to do their bidding?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

A,

I think your clip is garbgage. After re-reading it I picked up on the inclusion of Venezuela. They will not belong to the FTAA nor will Cuba. Dobbs is a known partisan on this issue. I don't know Tucker but this is weak.


TUCKER: And Congress is not done yet. They're now considering the Free Trade of Americas Agreement, the FTAA. It would essentially include all of the countries in North, Central, and South America, and include the Caribbean nations as well. One of those countries, Lou, is Venezuela, meaning that if it's passed, Venezuelan companies under the control of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will have the right to sue the U.S. government.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

I am not sure of your point above.

That's because you're a dumbass posting way out of your depth here and blinded by your cock-sucking devotion to George Bush.

The Bush Administration is pushing to create a North American Union out of the work on-going in the Department of Commerce under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in the NAFTA office headed by Geri Word. A key part of the plan is to expand the NAFTA tribunals into a North American Union court system that would have supremacy over all U.S. law, even over the U.S. Supreme Court,any matter related to the trilateral political and economic integration of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Right now, Chapter 11 of the NAFTA agreement allows a private NAFTA foreign investor to sue the U.S. government if the investor believes a state or federal law damages the investors NAFTA business.

Under Chapter 11, NAFTA establishes a tribunal that conducts a behind closed-doors trial to decide the case according to the legal principals established by either the World Banks International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes or the UNs Commission for International Trade Law. If the decision is adverse to the U.S., the NAFTA tribunal can impose its decision as final, trumping U.S. law, even as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. laws can be effectively overturned and the NAFTA Chapter 11 tribunal can impose millions or billions of dollars in fines on the U.S. government, to be paid ultimately by the U.S. taxpayer.

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15623

If that treaty requires adjudication under an agreed to, pre-specified trade court that strikes me as legal

Does it now? So when those tribunals have the power to trump even U.S. Supreme Courts decisions -- which they do, according to the language of the agreement -- and the agreement gives any corporation the right to sue the U.S. government for perceived loss of business for any half-ass reason they choose to concoct under their interpretation of the agreement --

-- that's not giving International Law the power to trump the Constitution?

Of course it is. And you're either a stupid jackass for not knowing or for knowing and pretending it's not a big deal, take your pick.

Bush sold us out -- period. And that's a true conservative viewpoint.

Posted by: a on July 5, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

A)

You haven't provided the actual language of the document and you are talking about something that hasn't been passed yet.


Further, and this is dumb even for you, the clause refers to NAFTA. NAFTA was passed by Bill Clinton.

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: NAFTA was passed by Bill Clinton.

NAFTA wasn't "passed" by anyone.

More evidence that you have no clue about most everything you post about and lie about the rest.

I bet the Serbs thought getting bombed was hard power and surely conservatives thought getting bombed by terrorists using phantom Iraqi WMDs was hard power, again showing you to be not only a complete moron, but a lying b*astard as well!

In any event, Clinton's "soft power" (by your inane definition) stopped ongoing genocide and Saddam's WMD programs, while Bush's "hard power" (again, by your inane definition) stopped nothing, including both genocide and the production of WMDs.

This dumb SOB seems to outsmart you at every turn.

I guess that's why social security reform passed!

I guess that's why Bush has a rousing 40-45% approval rating, far below Clinton's worst second-term rating!

I guess that's why Bush has the Roadmap to Nowhere and the Every Child Left Behind successes to his credit, to go along with his Global Whine on Terror!

Your ignorance has never been more obvious or your lies more odious than your posts today.

:-)

I LOVE IT!

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Here's another observation I can't get out of my head.

There are a lot of things you can't get out of your tiny head, but the vast majority of them are delusions and the rest are lies.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 5, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

You haven't provided the actual language of the document

Yeah, well, that's because Bush has hidden the material away. Maybe you should take it up with him.

Jerome Corsi (I'm sure you're familiar with that name) had to file an FOIA so we can see the goddammed document and know what we're getting in to.

Dobbs is a known partisan on this issue

??? Dobbs is a conservative, pro-business thinker with the best long-term interests of the American economy and its security at heart.

If being a "known partisan" invalidates one's opinion despite one's conservative credentials, then you've just cinched it that no one should ever pay attention to any word you write here ever again, which of course they shouldn't anyway.

You're so simple-minded I could repeat your repetitive claptrap in my sleep.

NAFTA was passed by Bill Clinton

Yes, and it sucks for working Americans. Why do Free Trade/GDP-loving turds like yourself worship it so?

The point is that without consulting Congress Bush unilaterally created a new division in the Commerce Department for the "Security and Prosperity Agreement," the "working groups" of which include officials from foreign nations, and the recommendations for which by the influential Council on Foreign Relations include taking the NAFTA courts to the next level by changing their ad hoc status to a permanent "North American Court."

Maybe you should educate on yourself on the issue before reflexively fellating whatever elitist/globalist authority figure you think appealing to will win you some points and make you feel like a big man.

Without a dick in your mouth all the time, maybe what you say might start making more sense when you talk.

P.S. You're not a "conservative" by any stretch of the imagination. You're nothing but an opportunistic globalist whore willing to get rich by investing in foreign powers at the expense of the American worker, and a jerk who tries to consolidate the influence of his special interest group against our national interests by encouraging bigotry against anyone who opposes his money-making scheme, no matter how patriotic they may be or how well they've served their country.

You're the sick love child of a three-way tryst between the Know-Nothings, international banking interests, and an angry mob.

Posted by: a on July 5, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

a:

OMG, that's an even funnier image than Jay submissively bending over and getting reamed with a copy of The American Spectator by Ann Coulter's 12-speed dildo :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

So when will you graduate from junior high?

Posted by: rdw on July 5, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Who told you they'd let me graduate?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 5, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

The story seems to have died. I just checked the Huffington Post and they're working on 15 other outrages but not this one.

The left just can't seem to get any traction. It's too bad you can't sell anger and frustration. The Huffington Post is great for a comedic break. I don't know how a serious lib can stand to go there. Every single story is a depressing reminder your not in power and no one is listening to you. Ouch!

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: So when will you graduate from junior high?

rdw

So when will you stop lying in your posts?

. . . and several races once thought winnable slipping away.

Does that include . . .

Rasmussen: NJ Senate: Menendez Leaps To Lead - Republican State Senator Tom Kean Jr., son of the popular former governor, is suddenly trailing Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, an appointee who has held the post for only half a year. Menendez now leads 46% to 40%.

Oops!

I guess not!

How about this one . . .

Rasmussen: . . . [Minnesota] DFL county attorney Amy Klobuchar continues to hold a narrow edge over Republican Representative Mark Kennedy in the race to succeed Senator Mark Dayton (D), who is retiring after a single term.

Ouch!

rdw wrong [lying] again!

Or . . .

Rasmussen: In [Virginia in] the wake of his June 13 Primary win over Harris Miller, former Navy secretary James Webb (D) has added eleven percentage points to his support in a match-up with incumbent Senator George Allen.

What rhymes with "rdw"?

"Lie."

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/democratic-messaging-pol_b_24450.html

The above is a posting by Arianna on her blog. It's incredible. Princess seems to think the root of all evil is Karl Rove and she doesn't have much good to say about the Democratic leadership either.

I only call your attention to it to show how dumb the Hollywood crowd can be. Their solution to educate the 'masses' is to make a movie. One has to laugh at their stupidity. There's little doubt that aside from making Michael Moore a mega-millionaire his movie was an electoral disaster. George Clooney made two movies last year which made him richer but influenced no one. Al Gore, already wealthy, will make millions but set back his supposed beloved cause with typically grossly exaggerated claims.

Other than suck money out of the pockets of dumb liberals these movies achieve nothing and that's if you're lucky.

For example, Al's movie is up to $13M in sales. That's about 1.3M viewers. 98% are liberals. They've been in that choir for a long time. GWB still gleefully pised all over Kyoto. The other 2% are critics reporting on just how stupid the movie is. It's simply not possible for Al Gore to bring credibility to subject.

The best part however is the major ass-kissing he's received. He's very pleased. So are conservatives. Among our daily prayers are, "God, please, please have this man run for President!"

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: Every single story is a depressing reminder your not in power and no one is listening to you.

And every single one of your posts is a depressing reminder you are a liar who is not in control of his own mind and who is not familiar with reality.

The left just can't seem to get any traction.

The right, especially rdwe, just can't seem to escape corruption and dishonesty and failure.

Roadmap to Nowhere?

Global Whine on Terror?

Social Security Deform?

Every Child Left Behind?

2500+ dead American soldiers in Iraq with no benefit to American security.

Bush = Failure Plus Failure

How sad that rdw loves and celebrates failure.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: I only call your attention to it to show how dumb the Hollywood crowd can be.

Reagan was living proof of how dumb the Hollywood crowd can be, but none of them are as dumb (or mendacious) as you, rdw!

The best part however is the major ass-kissing he's received.

Quit talking about Bush and your Bush fetish.

Really, get back on topic, rdw!

Among our daily prayers are, "God, please, please have this man run for President!"

Well, he got more votes than Bush and absent a corrupt Supreme Court cabal of conservative justices would've been president and he didn't let 9/11 happen, like Bush did.

. . . typically grossly exaggerated claims.

Grossly exaggerated only in your head and far more palatable than your outright lies previously about DeWine and Strickland, among many other lies you've told.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

AG,

Recognize these numbers:

167, 176, 230, 226, 223, 221, 229, 232

43, 44, 53, 55, 55, 50, 51, 55?


These would be the election results in the house and senate for the GOP over the last 8 Congressional elections. The GOP hasn't been this strong since 1922. That's only 80 years.

How's that Charlie Brown?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ohio Senate:
DeWine Enjoys Slight Lead Over Brown
DeWine 46%, Brown 39%
June 27, 2006 /

Republican Senator Mike DeWine In the Ohio race for U.S. Senate, Republican Senator Mike DeWine again enjoys a moderate lead, 46% to 39%, over Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown. Last month Brown was the leader, 44% to 41%the first time the Democrat had pulled ahead all year.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Washington Senate:
Cantwell (D) Slide Continues

Cantwell (D) 44%, McGavick (R) 40%
June 21, 2006 /

Senator Maria Cantwell Thanks largely to her support for the war in Iraq, electoral support for Senator Maria Cantwell (D) has slipped once againfor the fifth survey in a row.

How cool is it the only people in trouble for their support for Iraq are Democrats? Joe Leiberman might have to run as an independent. Hillary and half the Senate has already thrown him under the bus. Amazingly, on issues outside national security Joe is among the most liberal of Democratic Senators.

No matter what happens in Conn. Karl Rove wins. The Democrats probably keep this seat but now have to spend a ton of money to defend what should be an automatic seat. Plus many moderates and jews are going to be pissed the party threated Joe so shabbily.

Thank you Kos!!!!!


Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Jul 6, 12:47 PM EDT

2 State Courts OK Gay Marriage Bans

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The top courts in two states dealt a setback Thursday to the movement to legalize gay marriage, with New York's highest court ruling same-sex unions are not allowed under state law and the Georgia Supreme Court reinstating a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.


AG,

This throws it into the legislature. Let's see the Democrats run on this one. The next step will be to get Senator Hillary to declare her position on this one. Princess is going to find out why it's so hard to get elected to be President from the Senate.

So will you.

She is going to be your candidate in 2008 and she is going to lose.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman Betrays the Democratic Party

READ MORE: 2006, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush
Senator Joe Lieberman betrayed the Democratic Party over the holiday weekend. Retreating from earlier statements, Lieberman announced that he will ignore Connecticut's primary voters if they oppose his reelection. The plan is as simple as it is cynical: If he wins the primary to be the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, he will run as a Democrat. If he loses, he will run for reelection as an independent, potentially playing spoiler to the surging candidacy of businessman Ned Lamont. The plan undermines the entire point of holding party primaries and displays a stunning disrespect for the will of Connecticut voters.

It may be a desperate act of self-preservation, but so far Lieberman's arrogant announcement has only further damaged his campaign. He simultaneously antagonized the twin revolts he faces within the party, from grassroots Connecticut activists and national leaders, by disrespecting his constituents and undermining the party in the mid-term elections. (Publicizing plans to run against the Democratic nominee hurts the party.)

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman: CT Democrats Can't Win Without Me -- Update: Let's Hit $1000!

by Yoss

Wed Jul 05, 2006 at 06:24:07 AM PDT
The title of The Hill's story this morning is, "Lieberman puts Dems in Quandary," which is definitely true. Unfortunately, rather than talking about how Lieberman has effectively underminded his party through his undying support of President Bush, or his complete ignorance toward the will of his constituency, they had this to report:


A Lamont victory in the Aug. 8 primary could present another hurdle for Democrats Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy who are vying to oust GOP Reps. Christopher Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson, respectively, in a state where Democrats have dominated in recent national elections.

...snip...

"Democrats have a much better chance of winning if Joe Lieberman is at top of the ticket," said Bill Andresen, Lieberman's longtime chief of staff-turned-Dutko Worldwide lobbyist. "General elections are determined by moderates and centrists, not liberals. This kind of split hurts those House candidates."


Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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