Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 6, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE END OF DEMOCRACY PROMOTION....Marc Lynch, after running down the evidence that the Bush administration has "effectively given up on democracy promotion" in the Arab world, makes the following observation:

On al-Arabiya last week, Hisham Milhem led a discussion on "Bush and democracy in the Arab world."....I was most struck by a remark by Amr Hamzawy. He pointed that the fact that most of the Arab media and political class were now discussing the "retreat" of American commitment to democracy demonstrates that at least at one point they were prepared to entertain the thought that there had been some credibility to that campaign. No longer, Hamzawy argued America's turn away from democracy and reform had badly hurt its image and its credibility with this Arab political class....This seemed to be a well-received notion.

But that's really just a single piece of a broader, and even more remarkable turn of events: the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore. They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything. With the neocons on the outs, Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, and Dick Cheney continuing to drift into an alternate universe at the OVP, the Bush administration seems completely at sea. There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

As near as I can tell, George Bush has learned that "There's evil in the world and we're going to stand up to it" isn't really adequate as a foreign policy for a superpower but is unable to figure out anything better to replace it with. So he spins his wheels, waiting for 2009. Unfortunately, the rest of us are left spinning with him.

Kevin Drum 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (159)

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Comments

They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything.

They have power. As far as they are concerned, what else is there?

Posted by: craigie on July 6, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

They are just waiting for everyone to settle down so they can begin the Iran War in earnest without all those pesky objections from our friends and allies.

Posted by: brewmn on July 6, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, the Democrats would be much worse, because, um, well, they're not Republicans. And gay marriage. Don't forget that.

Hey, is that a flag over there? God bless America!

What were you saying again, Kevin?

Posted by: craigie on July 6, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Foreign policy of the Bush White House: Deer in the headlights.

They are simply overwhelmed by the on-rush of events. They have no plans. They consider no contingencies.

This is the most incompetent bunch in power since...John Tyler, Warren G. Harding, US Grant or William G. McKinley.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Um....... North Korea is being contained and isolated. Iran is being forced to make difficult decisions about facing worldwide sanctions. Iraq continues to be a fledgling democracy. Afghanistan is going well. It is true that Bush isn't donning blue tights and flying off to fix everything at once, but that's apparently the only thing that would make you happy...

Posted by: American Hawk on July 6, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

the Bush administration has "effectively given up on democracy promotion"

Wrong again Kevin. Why don't you start listening to the words of George W Bush, Commander-in-Chief of the War on Terrorism, rather than listen to the words of fellow liberal bloggers?

Link

"No question, the enemy is violent and mean. But the enemy doesn't stand for anything. They have no message of hope. They have no positive philosophy. All they can do is kill and hope that the government splits up, or that the American people lose their will. And I keep reminding the American people that the stakes are worth it. It is worth it to help Iraq succeed. It is worth it to have a democracy in the Middle East. It is worth it to show other reformers and people who want to live in a free society what is possible."

Posted by: Al on July 6, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush, our Lord and Savior, has done his best to free the Islamofascists. But they clearly are uncivilized and uncivilizable. So we must kill them before they kill us.

And pay Halliburton handsomly.

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on July 6, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

It really is a case of projection here. Before the war, the left constantly ranted about how the Arab world had no Enlightenment, how it was impossible to skip 600 years of history, etc., thinly veiling its theory that brown people weren't ready for democracy. Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east, they have to accuse the right of being theones igiving up on it. Then, when it works, the left will try to take credit for it. Brilliant, but diabolical.

Posted by: American Hawk on July 6, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

There is total ideological consistency to the Bush administration's foreign policy, and its domestic policy as well. The ideology is greed. The sole and entire purpose of the Cheney / Bush cartel -- which is a criminal gang masquerading as right-wing politicians -- is to enrich and empower its already wealthy and powerful cronies and financial backers in the military-industrial-petroleum complex. And the Bush administration has consistently and coherently, and mostly successfully, pursued that purpose from January 21, 2001 until this very day.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 6, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Um....... North Korea is being contained and isolated.

What a fucking moron.

8 missiles in the last 2 days, moron.

That's isolation?

You are a total boob.

Go back to East Germany where you belong.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Things are going well in Afghanistan? In what universe, American Hawk?

Posted by: LeisureGuy on July 6, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hawk nails Al!

Just listen to George, and you will get all hard like me, Hawk, and Al!

Yeah, Spread that Democracy, George!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on July 6, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

As Craigie said, they have power. And they are enriching their friends.

Tell me again what else they really care about?

In a parliamentary system, George W. Bush would have been long gone. Tell me again what makes this system so great?

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on July 6, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Sure there's a foreign policy. It's kill, rape, sodomize, oppress and steal from brown and black people, especially non-Christians. Same foreign (and domestic) policy we've had for the last two hundred years. Geez, it's plain to me, how could you miss it?!

Posted by: steve duncan on July 6, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Grant was great.
See http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2006/jul/04/ulysses_grant_our_greatest_president

Posted by: Russ on July 6, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

How about we fight terrorism and help Iraq form a government over a long period of time? The president said it would take a LONG TIME which since we started in 2003 is only 3 years, that is not a long time unless your life span is that of a cicada.

How about looking back at the amount of time we started to form the Declaration of Independence and when our republic was actually established. Oh and don't forget our own civil war much later.

It's fun to watch the Neville Chamberlains of our modern day say we should give up.

Did you hear they found weapons of mass destructin in Iraq?

Posted by: Orwell on July 6, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Before the war, the left constantly ranted about how the Arab world had no Enlightenment, how it was impossible to skip 600 years of history, etc., thinly veiling its theory that brown people weren't ready for democracy.

Geez, to call that a straw man would be insulting to straw.

Let's set aside the whole did-he-have-WMD debate, as that's a different issue. Before the war, "the left" was actually divided - which is why Bush went to war so easily - but most of those who were against the war believed democracy would go badly not because "brown people weren't ready for democracy," but because the Sunni, Shiites, and Kurds in Iraq have always hated each other.

What, pray tell, has happened? Sunni, Shiites, and Kurds have engaged in violence. Zarqawi may prove to have been a flash in the pan, but sectarian violence has not. The Enlightenment is not the issue; the fact that Bush didn't even know the difference between Sunni and Shiites until the January before he invaded is the problem.

Posted by: mmy on July 6, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Did you hear they found weapons of mass destructin in Iraq?

No because it ain't true.

TRY, JUST TRY, ONCE TO THINK It's hard, it's hard, I know, but you need to do it.

That is ALL REPUKLISCUM PROPAGANDA.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget the vigorous pursuit of bin Laden!

And the many many WMD in Iraq that were about to kill us all!!!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on July 6, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

American Chickenhawk: It really is a case of projection here.

No, it's really a case of you lying, disinforming, misdefining, and rewriting history again and again.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

weapons of mass destructin

What is mass destrictin anyway? Kind of a redneck bondage game or somthing?

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Orwell puts up another straw man when he says

How about we fight terrorism and help Iraq form a government over a long period of time?

Would that it were so simple. Not all of the violence in Iraq is "terrorism" per se. Sure, there was al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the capturing and beheading of civilians is definitely terrorist violence.

However, Iraq is a bit more complicated than the average troll's mind can grasp. There are also a whole lot of people who fancy themselves as Iraqi versions of George Washington, kicking out the invading foreign presence. There are Sunni or Shiites who are resorting to violence because they don't want the other group to set up a majority government.

Iraq is not as simple as Afghanistan. It's not even as simple as our own civil war. It's a mess, and one that anybody who knew the history of the region could have predicted.

Posted by: mmy on July 6, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

What a puzzlement. We have no foreign policy?

Look at who's "in charge": The president's closest foreign-policy adviser, Miss "No One Could Have Imagined" herself. Preoccupied with looking good while doing bad. Preoccupied with appearing competent while remaining ignorant.

Rumsfeld? Busy trashing the armed forces and getting richer.

Cheney? I got your foreign policy: Them and us. Put your hands up and step away from the oil. And gimme more money.

Posted by: clem on July 6, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

American Chickengawk: It is true that Bush isn't donning blue tights and flying off to fix everything at once, but that's apparently the only thing that would make you happy...

Because the Right and Bush himself have held Bush up to be a superhero, capable of bringing order to the entire world through the verbal projection of strength alone, nothing less than that should suffice.

Remember, if we simply wanted John Kerry (as described by mendacious conservatives like you) with a sneering, weasley grin, we could have elected Kerry and given him some plastic surgery.

You are the ones who proclaimed Bush was the answer to the world's ills and that invading Iraq would solve all terrorist-related problems.

Deal with it.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bush isn't donning blue tights..

Not since Jimmy/Jeff quit hanging out at the White House he isnt.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell: Did you hear they found weapons of mass destructin in Iraq?

Yes, I heard those lies and then promptly forgot them.

The president said it would take a LONG TIME . . .

And he sent out his subordinates to say it would take six months.

How about looking back at the amount of time we started to form the Declaration of Independence and when our republic was actually established. Oh and don't forget our own civil war much later.

How about we consider the technology and power at Iraq's service which the Founding Fathers and Lincoln didn't have?

Typical conservative misanalogizing.

I tell you what, Orwell, replace all the motor vehicles in Iraq, including military, with horses, remove phones and electricity, etc, and we'll give you the same amount of time as the Founding Fathers and Lincoln had.

What an idiot you are, as well as a liar.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk,

Afghanistan is going well.

You aren't really up-to-date on the status of the Taliban in Afghanistan, are you?

Posted by: Edo on July 6, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Left didn't say much about democracy in the middle east leading up to the Iraq war because that wasn't the topic of discussion: I for one kept pointing out that everyone who was on the ground in Iraq kept saying that there was no evidence of WMDs (remember Hans Blix), and that there certainly wasn't any indication that Hussein posed an imminent threat. Turns out I was right on that, I was just some schmuck in grad school studying mathematics.

To the extent that democracy came into the discussion, I expressed skepticism that we could invade a country and install a democracy and pointed at the long histoy of U.S.-installed dictatorships (including, indirectly, Hussein himself).

And wasn't Hamid Karzaid just complaining about our lack of commitment to stabilizing Afghanistan?

Posted by: Don Hosek on July 6, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

For more background, see:
"The Myth of the Bush Doctrine."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on July 6, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

White House policy: Criminal abrogation of responsiiblity. It's not that there are no plans its that the White House is unwilling eo even listen to them.

The problem with demanding so much control is that you get to be held accountable when you misuse it.

Posted by: patience on July 6, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush: Lame duck or simply lame.

Discuss.

Posted by: ckelly on July 6, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east....

You are so uninformed.

Al Dawa is a fundamentalist Shiite faction.

Al Dawa is Pro-Iranian.

CORRECTION: Now that we're on the cusp of a fundamentalist Shiite democracy which has extremely close and long standing ties to Iran, which the Decider called an `axis of evil', a country whose leader has denied the Holocaust and has vowed to wipe Isralel off the map.


Drum: Taylor wonders if this explains why Maliki's proposal has gotten so little attention in the American press.

The lack of attention that proposal is getting is vastly uni-important to the lack of attention the media is paying to the historic roots of the fundamentalist nature of the democratically elected Al Dawa party, i.e. the fundamentalist Shia faction based in Iran which has been trying to transform a secular Iraq into a fundamentalist Iraq during the 20+ years prior to the deposing of Saddam Hussein.

To those who know anything about Al Dawa, this latest move by Al Maliki is no surprise at all.

Al Maliki has been slowly revealing the blade with which he will behead the American occupation.

It is just a matter of time before the infidel US is kicked out of Iraq, a holiest of holies for Muslims.

Al Dawa, the party of PM Al Maliki, is a terrorist group with direct and long standing ties with Iran.

A `suicider' from the Al-Dawa party bombed the US embassy in Kuwait in 1983.


In 1984, four men from Al Dawa highjacked a Kuwait airbus travelling from Kuwait to Pakistan.

They held the plane for six days.

During this time, these four men from Al Dawa shot and killed two Americans: Mr Charles Hegna and Mr William Stanford.


Posted by: God on July 6, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Our plans are crystal clear:

Plan for Iraq: Keep fighting insurgents indefinitely, occasionally drop bombs, tell the American people how great things are going and hope things get better.
Plan for Iran: Bomb and hope that solves the problem.
Plan for North Korea: Hope they go away.


I didn't say we had a plan to WIN. I just said we had a plan.

Posted by: Primate on July 6, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Afghanistan is going well

June 06 - 21 Dead
June 05 - 24 Dead
June 04 - 4 Dead
June 03 - 1 Dead

Its going very well for somebody
I guess

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

...the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore

Not true. The foreign policy of the Bush administration is based on a single, clearly articulatable proposition: 'Yee-haw!'

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 6, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Not to be harsh, but I'm pretty tired of these pronouncements from the 'Arab world'. When Bush was big on democracy promotion, we were told by the Arab world that they didn't buy it. Now that he's given up, we hear that they *did* buy it, but now they're disillusioned. Before Iraq, we heard how much the Arab world hated us. After Iraq, we find out that they didn't mind us before, but now they *really* hate us. Dunno, maybe this is just a problem with the media and pundits, they tend to spin things negatively all the time, so when things get really bad, they don't have any rhetorical rope left to express the change. But I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of (non-leftist) Americans are like me: at this point, we just tune out talk of how much we're hated.

Posted by: Shag on July 6, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Um....... North Korea is being contained and isolated. Iran is being forced to make difficult decisions about facing worldwide sanctions. Iraq continues to be a fledgling democracy. Afghanistan is going well. It is true that Bush isn't donning blue tights and flying off to fix everything at once, but that's apparently the only thing that would make you happy...

Make us happy? Why don't you try your brand of happiness on Neo-Con cheerleader Kristol? Whom, BTW just said that Afghanistan is getting worse.
Aren't you getting your talking "point" from your buckley fax machine anymore?

Posted by: UnAmerican Chicken Hawk on July 6, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk: Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east....

On 9/11, nearly three thousand people died ghastly deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in damage were incurred.

Thanks to your support, George W. Bush in direct reponse to these ghastly attacks has *inadvertently* fathered a burgeoning fundamentalist democratically elected Islamic republic which has a 20+ year history of trying to violently transform a secular Iraq into a fundamentalist Iraq.

9/11 + Iraq = Bush's Fundamentalist Islamic Republic

WTF?

Traitor!!!!!


Posted by: God on July 6, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

How about we fight terrorism and help Iraq form a government over a long period of time? The president said it would take a LONG TIME which since we started in 2003 is only 3 years, that is not a long time unless your life span is that of a cicada.

How about looking back at the amount of time we started to form the Declaration of Independence and when our republic was actually established. Oh and don't forget our own civil war much later.

By my calculations, that's about 89 years. So we'll be in Iraq for 89 years and then they'll have democracy? At a cost of 800 soldiers and $100 million a year? Totally worth it.

Posted by: Primate on July 6, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?
F. Gregory Gause III
From Foreign Affairs, September/October 2005

Summary: The Bush administration contends that the push for democracy in the Muslim world will improve U.S. security. But this premise is faulty: there is no evidence that democracy reduces terrorism. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington.

Posted by: God on July 6, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, I meant $100 BILLION a year in Iraq. With a "B." $100 million was wishful thinking.

Posted by: Primate on July 6, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

"They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything."

They have a plan for more tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

So what if they've already plunged income tax revenues to 1950s levels ? Let's shoot for the 1930s !!!
.

Posted by: VJ on July 6, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Foreign policy of the Bush White House: Manifest Destiny.

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on July 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Don't even bother responding to the trolls on this one, folks. The voting is over, and W has already lost the test of history. It's just one long mop-up operation now. It took the Cheney crowd less than two years to undo the successes of Clinton's eight in office, but it will take at least 15 to right even half of these wrongs.

The fact that neither president (and I use the term loosely in the latter place; what he presided over wasn't exactly the USA) lifted a finger to protect the environment is the time bomb we'll have the hardest time dismantling. Maybe Bruce Willis should be elected; he's good at stuff like that. Of course, we might have to send him into space, to blow up a meteorite or something Americans can relate to.

Posted by: Kenji on July 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

It is true that Bush isn't donning blue tights and flying off to fix everything at once

So he's even bad at being his alter-ego, The Decider!


.

Posted by: spork_incident on July 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush administration learned a great lesson in Iraq. Only the people in a country can fight for and bring about their freedom and whatever form of governance that will suit them best. It can't be thrust upon them.

In our own fight for freedom from British rule, the French were in no hurry to jump in and did not take the commanding role that we did in Iraq.

We solved our problem in Iraq with the removal of Saddam, but we can't solve the Iraqis problems, which created Saddam.

Posted by: scott g on July 6, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The Left didn't say much about democracy in the middle east leading up to the Iraq war because that wasn't the topic of discussion"

Well quibbling about the word "much" aside there was talk of the progress being made toward democracy in the middle east and how we could encourage (and stop discoraging) it by the left before Bush was elected. Iran was looking promising for a couple years there. Several middle eastern oil states (eg Bahrain) were dipping their toes into the waters of democracy. Generally it seemed that little bits of progress were being made made and that we could and should support that sort of thing around the world.

When Bush was selling his war as a cheap and easy way to promote democracy the left was very critical, but the idea that democracy is impossible in the middle east for some racial or cultural reason comes largely from the isolationist right like Pat Buchanan and those who whatever thier other political views may be are far right on all issues surrounding Israel. The left was critical of the idea that it could be cheap or easy or that war was a good way to go about encouraging democracy. Basically a trillion dollars (or half a trillion or two trillion or whatever the war ends up costing in all) could have bought a lot more democracy and/or human life saving than we are going to get out of Iraq with fewer negative side effects.

Posted by: jefff on July 6, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

As any number of commentators from Plato to Orwell have noted, vague terms like "democracy" have little or no intrinsic meaning and can be twisted in almost any direction. E.g., East Germany was the German Democratic Republic.

So we begin with the idea that "democracy promotion" is bullshit.

This is particularly the case when the Bush administration rejects elected governments such as Hamas and Chavez.

Posted by: Thinker on July 6, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Scott G
You have learned those lessons.
Don't credit the mentally challenged with the same.
The department of wishful thinking and selling same with messianic zeal is on full throttle.

Posted by: opit on July 6, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

If they have finally come down to Planet Earth and are actually being pragmatic about American interests -- this is good news!!!

Posted by: Moe is me on July 6, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

It's a good thing there were no IUDs during the American Revolution. Those that sat it out in New York and several other cities throughout may not have been "quiet" supporters of King George.

With the bungling of security since day one of the US led invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq ( 1 in 8 trucks crossing in to Syria in those first days of the war carried nuclear material) conventional weapons and explosives are readily available to the civilian population since the misguided "leadership" decided to disband the Iraqi military.

Would those in support of US independence have won against an armed insurgency?

Can one have freedom forced upon them?

I hear China is thinking of invading the US to free us from the current fascist regime under which we are all forced to live. We are being saved from fixed elections (I think fixed means the same thing in England) and loss of civil liberties through coercion and media ownership.

Long live China! Our saviors!

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on July 6, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

This is the most incompetent bunch in power since...John Tyler, Warren G. Harding, US Grant or William G. McKinley.

We object! Sir, in the strongest possible terms we object to this vile and contemptible libel! Bush is far, far worse than we ever were!

Posted by: Mssrs. Tyler, Harding, Grant and McKinley on July 6, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush administration learned a great lesson in Iraq. Only the people in a country can fight for and bring about their freedom and whatever form of governance that will suit them best. It can't be thrust upon them.

Hmm. I'm not sure this guy has learned anything. I have the feeling that these people have repeated thair rhetoric so much that they actually believe it now. Either that, or it's not good for the GOP to campaign on "flip flopping". I'd like to believe it's the former. While incompetence is bad, deliberately playing politics on our security and with the lives of troops in danger is much, much worse.

BTW, nut, you do mean IEDs not IUDs, right? I think they were actually trying to increase population, not contain it at that point.

Posted by: gq on July 6, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bush didn't give a damn about democracy for Arabs except as the marketing campaign for American empire.

Before the invasion Bush gave Congress bullshit versions of CIA reports, subverting the democratic process of Congressional review. He made sure the American people were disastrously misinformed about the rationale for war

When Garner foolishly believed the democracy cover story and tried to get elections set up early, Bush yanked his ass out and sent in Bremer to stall until things could be properly rigged.

A democratic referendum in Iraq would tell us to get the hell out, and a democratic referendum among the world community of nations would overwhelmingly oppose our minority "coalition" policies. Bush claimed to champion democracy while arrogantly thumbing his nose at the majority of world opinion.

Anyone who now observes that the Bush administration is backing off its former commitment to democracy was buying into purest bullshit in the first place.

Posted by: reason, t on July 6, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

The president said it would take a LONG TIME . . .

Wait, I thought Dick Cheney said it was in its last throes? Man, I wish they could keep their lies straight....

Posted by: Stefan on July 6, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

It's a good thing there were no IUDs during the American Revolution.

Should I point out the obvious joke here? No, I won't...OK, wait, I can't resist....yes, I can...no, can't, resistance...weakening...easy joke...within reach........

Posted by: Stefan on July 6, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I think the problem is that Bush only understands A'-rahbs and has no clue about Arabs. Just like we have North Korea's nuke-yah-lar capabilities in check, but probably not their nuclear capabilities.

Seriously, after 6+ years in office, saying "nuke-yah-lar" is no longer "cute".

Posted by: gq on July 6, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

We solved our problem in Iraq with the removal of Saddam

Thats a very parse-able statement:

We Whos we neo-con?
Solved As Clousseau might say about Iraq, the case in not solvv-edd.
Our problem Dubya had an Oedipal problem about Saddam, Im not sure about the rest of us.
Removal of Saddam Osama who?

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thinker,

Hamas and Hugo are doing just fine. The preferred policy in Israel is Sharons of 'giving' Palestine their own state totally separate from Israel. As long as Hamas is in control Israel will define the border to be where it is safest for them. Not that it matters but through all of this the UN and EU can only be further marginalized. They backed the wrong pony and no matter what happens here cannot win.

What we get to watch now is Hamas try to run a state. Moe, Larry and Curley would do much better. The answer to the question, "Are Palestinains capable of civilized behavior" is getting answered every day.

Meanwhile their ability to damage Israel diminishes every day. Israel has promised to complete the security fence before GWB leaves office. Once completed what remains of a destitute economy will be finished. The West Bank and Gaza will become even worse ghetto's than we see today.

There are two other side benefits.

Today the UN announced they are looking into charges Israel is violating civil rights in Gaza. The UN was fine with Hamas launching missles into Israel. This is actually good. It's long been impossible to take the UN seriously. But the more evidence the better. No American under the age of 50 can remember any useful thing the UN has ever done. Those under the age of 40 see a blantely anti-American instutition. With the emergence of talk-radio, the blogs and Fox this is like shooting apples in a barrel. Polls for the UN are by far the lowest they've ever been and are headed lower.

The 2nd benefit is Palestine is effectively a client state of the EU. The US under GWB will never support Hamas and you can be certain any democratic candidate in 2008 not explicitly clear on this issue has no shot at getting elected. The EU will eventually cave and start supporting Palestine. Those in the EU who see their role to counter the US will be far too poor to do so. Palestine can help them. Palestine can only drain their treasury.

Moreover, Sharon's policies have done wonders for the Israeli economy. While he was building the fence he also initiated supply-side tax cuts and the economy is booming. As Palestine and the EU lag the rest of the world Israeli is growing 3x's as fast as France.

For a guy without a brain and without a foreign policy things seem to be going well for him in Israel and not so well for terrorists.

So how come the liberals have nothing to say on this issue?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Thinker,

Chavez another of your heroes?

I love liberals. Other than a few whackjobs in New England he doesn't seem to be getting much support in America.

How cool is it this freak gives free heating oil to New Englanders, the richest region in the richest country in the world, while Venezuela has a poverty rate of 45%?

Has he declared war on Mexico yet?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
But that's really just a single piece of a broader, and even more remarkable turn of events: the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore.

I must have blinked and missed itwas there a point when the Bush Administration seemed to any reasonable observer to have any substantial foreign policy besides doing whatever seemed politically expedient at the moment? Or was the "anymore" deliberately superfluous?

They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything.

When was that not the case? Sure, perhaps one might very early on have assumed that there was some serious plan if one was extremely generous and very good at rationalizing the various stories coming out of the administration, but its been clear for years now that there never was much of a plan besides "it'll all magically work out" for Iraq, for instance.

With the neocons on the outs, Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, and Dick Cheney continuing to drift into an alternate universe at the OVP, the Bush administration seems completely at sea. There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

When was there ever any ideological coherency, beyond "advancing the political prospects of the Republican Party" as the governing ideology?

Certainly, it seems to me more accurate to say that a wider and wider number of people are recognizing that there was never any there there.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 6, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK
Would those in support of US independence have won against an armed insurgency?

Um, those in support of US independence were an armed insurgency.

If they had had IED's (and no doubt they did, though not as small and versatile as the same would be now, given the quality of explosives available), they no doubt would have been using them against the foreign occupying army, just as they used every other tool at their disposal.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 6, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

The bush people don't use the same dictionary the rest of the English-speaking world uses. They've proven this time and time again, and thinking they do is a big mistake. "Democracy" to them mostly means "leaders we can control."

It's especially fun for the bushistas when those controllable leaders get into power by something that looks democratic on the surface, like an election. Then they can tell the people who get screwed that it's their own fault.

Their model successes are Harper in Canada and the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. They miscalculated with Putin, misfired in Somalia just now, and are in the process of misfiring in Afghanistan.

They also, as lots of people have already pointed out, can't stand real democratic processes that give them leaders they can't control. But they have no problem with undemocratic governments they *can* control (or think they can control-- when they're so often really being manipulated).

Regime change, Kevin. Regime change is the answer to your question. That's the bush foreign policy.

Posted by: Altoid on July 6, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Certainly, it seems to me more accurate to say that a wider and wider number of people are recognizing that there was never any there there.

This is nothing more than wishful thinking consistent on the left from day one. Despite the so-called lack of a governing ideology GWB remains as much in control as ever. The opposition has either been in total support of GWB or absolutely incoherent. Think of "I voted for it before I voted against it."

Up until last month the campaign theme was going to be the culture of corruption. Harry 'ringside' Reid and Willaim 'icebox' Jefferson ended that. That theme is dead and the 'thing' they announced to replace it is also dead and they have nothing now. I think that's a specific example of a wider and wider group of people recognizing there's no there there.

Joe Biden just announced he is running for President bringing up the number of Senate Democrats running to a dozen. There is no chance the Democrats can develop anything approaching a coherent approach in this situation. Joe might be even less coherent than John Kerry.

Democrats expected to pick-up seats in 2002 and failed. Democrats expected to pick up seats and the Presidency and failed worse. This despite there never being any there, there.

It seems to me to be more accurate to say liberals are so far outside the mainstream they have no idea what normal, average Americans think.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

God wrote: Summary: The Bush administration contends that the push for democracy in the Muslim world will improve U.S. security. But this premise is faulty: there is no evidence that democracy reduces terrorism. Indeed, a democratic Middle East would probably result in Islamist governments unwilling to cooperate with Washington.

So, not only has Bush given up on promoting middle eastern democracy, but he also continues to promote middle eastern democracy, except that it will boomerang.

From the libs' POV, Bush will be wrong whether middle eastern democracy succeeds or fails. The only consistency in leftist criticism of Bush is that regardless of what he does or doesn't do, he's always wrong.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 6, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Democracy" to them mostly means "leaders we can control."

Exactly

For confirmation refer to posts by rdw about Hamas & Chavez.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Palestine, Israel, Biden, Venezuela blah blah blah

Shorter rdw: Iraq truly is a fucked up disaster, so I better try and change the subject of this thread.

Man, you can actually smell the desperation coming off of him.

For a guy without a brain and without a foreign policy things seem to be going well for him in Israel and not so well for terrorists.

Whaaaaaa??? Israel controls Israel's policies, not George Wanker Bush.

Or in your mind is he already just the grooviest the ruler of the world -- RW + GW True Love Always?

Posted by: trex on July 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Good comment from Mr. Drum, but I think we all know that it contains one significant error:

...the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore. They have no serious plan for Iraq, no plan for Iran, no plan for North Korea, no plan for democracy promotion, no plan for anything.... the Bush administration seems completely at sea. There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern, and no credible followup on what little coherency is left.

There is a goal, and they're attached to it with fanatical (and worried) zeal -- keeping the Republican Party in control of the Congress. The administration has too many people with too much to lose, should investigations and subpoenas start flying. Everything else is subordinate to the need to keep skins and bank accounts intact.

Posted by: sglover on July 6, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

kevin: the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore.

and this has harmed -them- exactly...how?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 6, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK


policy?


what do these 3-statements have in common?


"I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and...use an airplane as a missile." - National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleezza Rice 5/16/02


"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees..." - President GWB 9/1/05


"I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered.." - VP Dick Cheney 6/19/06

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 6, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Um....... North Korea is being contained and isolated."

Ha ha ha HA HA HA ha ha ha.

American Hawk needs to change his moniker to American Parrot.

Posted by: Cal Gal on July 6, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

"what do these 3-statements have in common?"

I don't think anybody can come up with the correct answer.

Chavez is a freak!
Palestine is a ghetto!
Kerry is incoherent!
Biden too!

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa... Bush learned something?
Maybe there's hope after all!

Posted by: marky on July 6, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's interesting that the debate in the MSM has been framed in terns of whether or not it's a good idea to promote democracy everywhere, and not whetehr to not teh Bush administration really supports democracy for everyone. At first I thought the so-called Bush Doctrine was interesting in that it seemed to be a slap in the face to his dad and all of the other cold warriors / real politik people who favored stability over human rights. However, it quickly became obvious that Bush had no more of a desire to promote democracy than the US had during the cold war, and only the words had changed. Thatis to say, democracy/democratic governments = people want in power. Promoting democracy is good when it gets rid of a government we don't like (i.e. Lebanon) but not good when it puts someone in place whom we don't like (i.e. Venezuela). Threatening voters in Bolivia & Nicaragua, telling them there will be serious consequences if they vote for one party/candidate is not promoting democracy. I can only imagine it was out of desperation that anyone in the Middle East believed Bush was going to promote democracy there, especially when in the months after 9/11 he placed several unabashed supporters of terrorism and unrepentant enemmies of democracy (Iran-Contra retreads like Negroponte and Reich) in his administration.

Posted by: greg on July 6, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east, they have to accuse the right of being theones igiving up on it.
Posted by: American Hawk on July 6, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

I thought we were on the cusp 2 years ago? Must be a pretty big cusp.

By the way, I *love* how Palestinian and Iranian democracy turned out.

You can't force freedom onto people who don't want it. They'll vote for the return of tyranny. Unless you educate them somewhere other than a Petrodollar-financed Saudi-wahhabist/salafist madrassa.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on July 6, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Cheer up! At least the rich have gotten richer.

Posted by: Lucy on July 6, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Man, you can actually smell the desperation coming off of him.

That's the ticket! John Kerry said he means business this time. Al Gore is back in the headlines. Joe Biden just declared. Howard Dean, as high as 3rd place finisher in one primary, at the DNC.

Of course I'm desperate! What else could I be?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

what do these 3-statements have in common?

They're running the country while John Kerry dreams?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Its a commonly known precept of civics: Institutions are based on belief systems/Ideology. Belief systems are based upon shared history and shared experience.

You can't impose democratic institutions upon a society that isn't condition for it by experience.

You can't chop of a dictatorial head and expect a democratic one grow in its place.

This isn't rocket science. In the field of civics, this just basic blocking and tackling. This is just the ABCs.

You can't be an advocate for the Bush administration if you are literate in the field of civics.

Posted by: E Publius on July 6, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Whaaaaaa??? Israel controls Israel's policies, not George Wanker Bush.

But of course! That's the beauty. Israel is doing what Ariel Sharon says. Even in a coma after a stroke Ariel controls policy. And what foreign leader of the last 3 decades is the most hated by the left?

Yes, that same Ariel Sharon.

I'd like to give credit to GWB for helping elect Ariel but that honor goes to Bill Clinton and Bill Clinton alone. GWB is the President letting Ariel be Ariel.

The absolute last thing the left wanted was Ariel defeating the terrorists, as he did, and creating separate states, as is happening. All this with NO negotiations.

There is a reason the mew PM of Israel announced a short time ago the security fence will be completed by 2009. That's because GWB won't be around to ensure Israel can be Israel.

This has GWBs fingerprints all over it. The UN has zero involvement. The EU has zero involvement. Hamas leaders are getting assassinated proving the American left has zero influence. The entire rest of the world is pissed but Israel only needs one friend and GWB is their friend.

Will this be a campaign issue in the USA? As dumb as the American left can be they aren't that stupid. That's because GWB is merely sitting back and letting Israel do their thing and the left can say nothing. The left loses the jewish vote they lose every election.

GWB is calling this shot.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: "The absolute last thing the left wanted was Ariel defeating the terrorists, as he did, and creating separate states, as is happening. All this with NO negotiations."

Is that really happening? Am I missing something?

Posted by: Mark S. on July 6, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw exemplary of the fact that Bush admin advocacy is 90% liberal-bashing.

Rave on rdw. I'll be looking to pick up your crystal ball for 2 cents on eBay come November.

Posted by: Lucy on July 6, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Is that really happening? Am I missing something?

Nah, don't worry. The creature known as rdw is our resident paranoid psychotic, with a strong tinge of mania and obsessive-compulsive thought, who lives in a world completely of his own imagining. His posts bear little or no relation to anything resembling the real world -- he might as well be living in Narnia for all the tether to reality he has.

Posted by: Stefan on July 6, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

It is human to fill gaps in your imagination with assumptions.

In politics, where people are ignorant, they fill those gaps with what their ideology tells them should be there.

In the case of Bush Administration, they've gone so far as to erase facts (knowledge) and fill them with ideology.

That's why the foriegn policy is such a failure. Its based upon wishes and hunches and what they want to believe. Its not based upon knowledge or facts or even informed guess.

Now they are faced with a world crumbling apart at the seems and a situation their ideology just doesn't address.

Thus there is no plan.

Also, plans cost money to formulate and execute. The treasurey is bare. To do anything would require taxing the rich, the only people with money.

But enriching the rich is what their ideology was created for in the first place.

Thus no plan. nothing. Chaos. They are hopping for a new dark age. Then they can have a new medieval feudalism. That's much closer to what they really want.

This is what happens when extremist theorist get access to power.


Posted by: E Publius on July 6, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Why do you put the energy into posting here? I'm honestly curious.

Posted by: Mark S. on July 6, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK


The Bush/neocon foreign policy was to remove Saddam. They've achieved it - they've got exactly what they wanted. Why should they care about anything else now? And clearly, they don't.

Posted by: Andy on July 6, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east....

It takes a lot more than an election to make a democracy.

The elected Iraqi government can't keep the peace, can't enforce the law and can't even move around the capitol city without considerable risk. "On the cusp" is quite an exageration.

Meanwhile, the other governments in the middle east are showing the violence of Iraq and using it as an excuse not to move toward democracy.
After all, who would want a situation like Iraq in their country.

Is the kool-aid really that good ?

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

No picking on U.S. Grant. He was a truly great man, with an incredibly strong sense of personal responsibility. Attacks on him and his presidency are largely the product of confederate sympathizers who controlled the historical narrative at times in the past.

No, for ineptitude beyond even Bush's, you have to look to James Buchanan. He's the gold standard of incomptetence.

Posted by: Rush's boil on July 6, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Why do you put the energy into posting here? I'm honestly curious.

Because I know the people here remained baffled they keep on losing elections. Every two years they get their hopes built up knowing their candidates are obviously vastly superior only to be stunned in losing yet again.

This is my contribution to the nations general mental health. I'm hoping the libs don't get their head stuck so far up their asses they have a complete mental breakdown the next election eve.

Plus I love irony. I never tire of listening to clearly brilliant people opine on how dumb the guy is who keeps kicking their asses in elections. I never tire of listening to them demand he fire Rumsfeld. I never tire of him ignoring them and their outrage.

I'm sure you recall the Senate hearings of both Roberts and Alito. I loved watching two brilliant men use their smarts and their reasonableness to utterly destroy their critics. Even Chuck Schumer realized early on in both sets of hearings his was a lost cause and pulled back. Reading these lefty blogs reminds me of those torchings.

It also gives me confidence in the future. Only on the left could Al Gore ever be considered an intellectual

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

North Korea is isolated? Umm, yes, for decades now.

Iran is struggling with decisions? Umm, ditto.

Things are going well in Afghanistan? Who is reporting that? Michelle Malkin?

OMG - the ostrich syndrome.

Posted by: Bill on July 6, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Joe might be even less coherent than John Kerry."

Keep clicking your heels together there, rdw, and who knows...maybe faeries will fly out of your butt and grant you your wishes.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on July 6, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK
The absolute last thing the left wanted was Ariel defeating the terrorists, as he did, and creating separate states, as is happening.

I don't know about any amorphous "left", but I've been hoping for an Israeli state secure from terrorism and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip living in peace and security in a state answerable to their willeither an enlarged Israel in which they were equally treated, an independent democratic "Palestinian State", or, less likely, an expanded and radically democratically transformed Egypt and/or Jordan or some other statesince, well, I was even vaguely aware of the conflict in the Middle East.

If the policies begun under Sharon achieve that at the end, I'll certainly be happy with that result, even while still condemning some of the abuses that occurred along the way, just as I'm happy with the outcome of the Allied war effort in WWII, even though some particular elements (like the Japanese internment in the US) stand out as examples of places where we could have morally done better.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 6, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

who lives in a world completely of his own imagining. His posts bear little or no relation to anything resembling the real world

Stefan,

Not only is Israel completing the fence but we're building one ourselves. And there's nothing the liberals can do to stop either. In fact, as angry as they are over the lack of negotiations, they are silent. With Hamas in control they can say nothing, do nothing. There won't be any negotiating.

Israel is going to finish that fence and we're going to help pay for it.

Here's something else you'll enjoy:

According to the Marietta Journal an amendment (H.AMDT.1058 (A003) ) was added to the Houses 2007 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R.5631 ) which passed back on June 20th, and is scheduled for markup in the Senate starting July 20th.

The amendment removes the restrictions from sale of our newly minted and not even fully deployed yet F/A-22 Raptor fighter aircraft to other nations

You are of course aware those planes will be headed for Israel.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

In order to have an end of democracy promotion in the Arab world I suspect you first need to have a beginning of democracy promotion in the Arab world, and apart from heeding Sistani's demand for elections in Iraq (under threat of potentially being told to leave the country by the Shiite Leader Emeritus) I'm in no sense convinced there ever was a beginning of democracy promotion in the Arab world.

Still, I quibble with this:

"No longer, Hamzawy argued America's turn away from democracy and reform had badly hurt its image and its credibility with this Arab political class...."

Who are what is meant here by "political class"? Here in the west it tends to refer to the people actually in charge, and those doing their bidding in the press. Are we really to believe the House of Saud and Egyptian state media are disappointed that America has retreated from its mostly non-existent efforts to "promote democracy" in the region?

On the other hand, I'm in no way convinced that the emergence of radical Islam, the ongoing chaos in Iraq, and the exploding young, male underclass in the Arab world is not a toxic cocktail sufficient for toppling the old order, and ushering in a new era of sectarian bloodletting in certain states if not region-wide.

I continue to maintain that with the exception of Egypt (the oldest country in the world) and perhaps a few other nation-states in the region, most of the walled fiefdoms created out of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire are geographical fictions (held together by appalling force) that never cohered around a strong set of national institutions or a national culture. Some of these states (including Iraq) have little reason to exist beyond the dispensation of oil revenues. Others have virtually no reason to exist at all.

The more natural state of the Arab world is I think a kind of postmodern version of Ottoman times, with local governance, open borders, and a centralized bureaucracy handling currency and economic policy, and regional security, with Islam as the unifying glue; it may take a generation of bloodshed to get there. Ironically, a new "caliphate" may not only be the most likely outcome of the demise of the present order, but in the best interest of western security.

Posted by: Linus on July 6, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

"we're going to help pay for it"

You mean money is going to be transferred from Washington to finance Israel?
When the hell did this start happening?
And why weren't we told?
And American Military Equipment is being sold to Israel, and being paid for with money Washington gave Israel?

This IS news!

Next you're going to be telling me that the Israelis kicked the Palestinians off the land that now makes up the nation of Israel.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about any amorphous "left", but I've been hoping for an Israeli state secure from terrorism and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

I use left and liberal interchangeably to signify the far left of the post-68 Democratic Party. To be fair there are some sober liberals, but not many. My example would be Joe Leiberman and he is without question a pre-68 democrat. I believe some describe this as the Scoop Jackson wing of the party.

Joe is very liberal on most things and while strongly disagreeing I respect his positions. It's interesting that the areas where we agree are getting him drummed out of the party. I can respect serious liberals but my sense is a large majority suffer from BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome, and they deserve only contempt.

I'm sure you wanted a secure place for Israel and Palestine. Same as everyone else. The problem was your party forced Israel to negotiate with a man who had absolutely no intent of negotiating and forced only Israel into concessions. Clintons pollyannish view of the world and his own self confidence (ego-mania) made him the perfect sap for Yasir Arafat who played him like a violin, one con-artist to another. Oslo was a disaster.

Every single liberal in the Clinton administration and those rumored to have a spot in a Gore administration hated Sharon with a passion. They hated his policy of assassination and they hated the fact he pulled out of Gaza without negotiating.

Your post seems amazingly sober but I suspect you also had Sharon in the war criminal camp and still do and you had Yasir Afarat as the peacemaker fully deserving, still, of his nobel peace prize. You are likely fine with his great wealth and probably not at all bothered Sharon is incompacited. I'd also net you were against the targeted assassinations because they only continued the cycle of violence and are a regular practioner of liberal moral equivalence which holds that an Israeli pilot shooting a missle to assassinate a terror leader is no different than a Palestinian suicide bomber standing next to an Israeli baby carriage in a pizzaria and butchering that baby and her family. Only a liberal would even consider the bomber as a victim.

Maybe I'm wrong and you are not that far left. If so I apologize. But that is where the mainstream of your party is. You would be in the minority.

BTW: I suspect the dailykos and moveon.org are moving your party further left and it's going to be a disaster. While I love the fact it makes Conservative dominance easier I'd rather have a healthy opposition. I don't think GWB is God and I do think a coherent opposition with real ideas would be a good thing. Being against everything GWB is for does not make for an opposition. It makes for easy election victories.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Only on the left could Al Gore ever be considered an intellectual.

Only self-loving, self-congratulatory, and arrogant rdw could ever consider a failure like Bush to be a success, simply because he wins elections while the country loses.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Next you're going to be telling me that the Israelis kicked the Palestinians off the land that now makes up the nation of Israel.

I thought the UN, pushed by the Brits did that. Actually wasn't it the Brits and the French deciding all of the borders there?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Joe might be even less coherent than John Kerry."

Keep clicking your heels together there, rdw, and who knows...maybe faeries will fly out of your butt and grant you your wishes.

Sheeh,

You've got to remember that great moment during the Roberts hearings when Big Joe got his 15 minutes and then talked for 15 minutes without asking a single question. You had to see it. Fox played it 25x's and still runs it periodically.

They didn't show the entire 15 minutes of course. They showed earnest Joe babbling away as impressed with himself as ever when Arlen Spector said "Your 15 minutes are up Senator Biden." And then apologizing to John Roberts for having to listen to that nonsense without getting a single question.

I'm not sure what was funnier. The sheepish look on Joe's face as he wondered if the MSM would show his performance or the sheepish look on Roberts face not wanting to join the laughter and add to Joe's humiliation but barely able to supress himself.

The thing about Joe is we have 20 years of video showing no one on this planet is more impressed with Joe Biden than Joe Biden. This would be th same Joe Biden who after the Alito hearings suggested the Senate find another way to hold the hearings so he could avoid making such as ass of himself.

Did I even mention that plagerism thing?

What a guy! What a candidate!

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Repeated due to excessive amounts of truth :) :

"There is total ideological consistency to the Bush administration's foreign policy, and its domestic policy as well. The ideology is greed. The sole and entire purpose of the Cheney / Bush cartel -- which is a criminal gang masquerading as right-wing politicians -- is to enrich and empower its already wealthy and powerful cronies and financial backers in the military-industrial-petroleum complex."
--SecularAnimist

Exactly.

The Republicans have taken sides in a reactionary-conservative coalition that wants to face the coming economic and financial troubles by bleeding the lower classes dry to keep their rich friends living well. The pie that is America is no longer expanding and hasn't been for some time. The internet boom of the 90s was the last ditch attempt to turn this around and begin actually growing, but it failed.

The rich are now fighting over who gets the biggest pieces of the shrinking pie. In the end, they'll end up with less than they have now, but it will still be much, much more than the rest of us get. The Bush admin's foreign and domestic policies are all in line with this goal. Secure more oil abroad, more pork for defense, plow money into home construction (build those exurbs for votes!), make bankruptcy laws harsher, etc.

They're propping up the existing oil-based energy infrastructure (which many of them have huge stakes in), tying more peoples' livelihoods to defense jobs (and directly to our warmaking endeavors), and creating a financial situation where real wages are falling (after inflation), savings are less than nil, healthcare is getting too expensive, homes are overpriced (foreclosures up), and bankruptcy laws are harsher than ever. There's more, but all these trends favor the elite and improverish the rest of us.

They just happen to be pretty damn incompetent too, so things aren't quite working out as they wanted. But we're still heading in the direction they want us to :(.

Posted by: Bolo on July 6, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

"I do think a coherent opposition with real ideas would be a good thing."

You could look it up.

Posted by: Lucy on July 6, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: But that is where the mainstream of your party is.

You wouldn't know the mainstream if you were swimming in it and if someone identified it for you then you'd lie about where it was!

. . . a regular practioner of liberal moral equivalence which holds that an Israeli pilot shooting a missle to assassinate a terror leader is no different than a Palestinian suicide bomber standing next to an Israeli baby carriage in a pizzaria and butchering that baby and her family.

You are a regular practitioner of mendacity and a moral equivalence which holds that an Israeli that deliberately bombs innocent Palestinian civilians is no different than a heroic American soldier shooting an enemy soldier about to kill his buddy.

Every single liberal in the Clinton administration and those rumored to have a spot in a Gore administration hated Sharon with a passion.

Yet another lie.

Lieberman would not have hated Sharon, even assuming everyone else would have.

Yet again, your capacity to lie, lie, lie without shame is exposed for all the world to see.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Did I even mention that plagerism thing?

Did we ever mention the lies about WMDs, the violations of national security for partisan political reasons, and the utter incompetence of the Bush administration that led to 9/11 and the deaths of 2500+ American soldiers in Iraq?

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 6, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"They hated his policy of assassination"

Now that's democracy in action

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on July 6, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Why do you put the energy into posting here? I'm honestly curious.

Like I've said before, he's mentally ill. And just to be clear, I'm not saying that to be cruel, or dismissive, or snarky -- I seriously believe that rdw's writings exhibit a virtual drugstore's worth of pathologies. Given how obvious his detachment from reality is, it's curious to me to see how many posters try to engage him in a one-on-one conversation. You can of course rebut his points, but addressing him by name and attempting to get any sort of cogent response makes as much sense as talking to Ann Coulter, or the local lunatic on the corner (same thing, really) or about politics. His paranoid psychosis runs so deep that there is nothing, nothing you can say that will ever convince him.

If this was ten years ago, rdw would be reduced to scribbling his musings on notebook paper and sending them off, wrapped in tinfoil, to the local paper, but given the low barriers to posting here here he can do so to his heart's content. My recommendation is to step gingerly around him and avoid eye contact -- speaking to him only encourages his psychosis.

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

No, for ineptitude beyond even Bush's, you have to look to James Buchanan

Sorry Mr. Boil!

In fact GWB will do quite well and certainly better than Carter and Clinton. Jimmy will be ranked as the worst President of the last century with the 444 day hostage crises ranked as the most humiliating event in all of American history.

Clinton will do better than Jimmy if only because he won't be remembered. At the top of the list will be Monica, impeachment, losing his law license, the pardon sales, etc but nothing else stands out. Kosovo was nothing and Oslo was a disaster and the infatada belongs to slick willie. I was a fan of NAFTA but trade deals do not make history. I was a bigger fan of his support for stronger sentencing and prison construction but that doesn't make history either. Even welfare reform is less than memorable. Other than the salacious stuff there's no reason Clinton will be remembered 25 years from now. IN 2035 and beyond you won't hear his name without hearing Monica's as well.

GWB will be a pivotal figure.

Besides 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq there's a major realignment in the deployment of US troops and State dept asets and as well as dramatic shift in relations with India, Japan, both Korea's, Western Europe as well as a huge increase in trade deals with Asia, South and Central America and Africa.

Dropping Kyoto will been seen as historic and savvy when the disaster that brain dead treaty ensured unfolds. Dropping the ABM agreement an even more historic and savvy move in light of the spead of missle technology and the obvious need for missle defense systems. Add to that the savvy agreement with Japan to help fund, design and deploy the missle defense system.

Afghanistan will of course be historic and very positive while Iraq can still head south. The mere fact that 60M middle easterners held a series of votes participated in by women and including the ratification of constitutions is a monumental acheivement.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

They hated his policy of assassination"

Now that's democracy in action


No, that's the great Ariel Sharon in action!

Here's a great question for you history buffs. Who will be more positively remembered by history; Yasir 'nobel prize' Arafat, Bill 'monica's boy toy' Clinton or Ariel Sharon?

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

The pie that is America is no longer expanding and hasn't been for some time.

So that 5.6% GDP growth just reported for the 1st Qtr didn't happen?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: a great source of Republican propaganda without the aggravation of mass media bobbleheads.

"GWB will be a pivotal figure" alright--in the tragic tale of how a feckless gang of plutocrats plunged the US into needless war, bankruptcy, and moral squalor.

Posted by: Lucy on July 6, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman would not have hated Sharon, even assuming everyone else would have.

I stand corrected!

That is of course why he's being drummed out of the party.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

What's the big surprise about Bush having no strategy for foreign policy? When he started he had never visited a foreign country. With the war in Iraq there never was a strategy that had any coherence about what to do after the war. In Afghanistan, the lack of a strategy coupled with diverting the troops into Iraq has led to the resurgence of the Taliban. The tradition has been there for some time. The neo-cons had no real strategy, just a belief that pieces might fall into place; after all a strategy takes into account not only actions but resources, such as troops and money, to make the desired end result a reality.

The only common thread was a political slogan "war on terror." Yet there is no such thing as a war on terror or war on terrorism. It is a stupid statement, and Ill explain why in a moment. I dont mean that as a pejorative. And to repeat it, or give it any credence, is to help spread a lie, a deliberate attempt at propaganda, or a statement by a person who does not know what he or she is talking about. I find that the newspapers and television, as well as blogs on the internet, all use the phrase war on terror and it does everyone a disservice. Google alone states that there are 137,000,000 references to this phase.

When our President, George Bush, says those words, "war on terror", he is talking non-sense. So is anyone else using these words.

The words are inflammatory, and their ultimate effect often deliberately to cause people to suspend any rational judgment about the things the speaker wants to do because of this so-called War on Terror. When rational judgment is suspended, people will do anything no matter how ineffective it is because of the emotional mind-clouding power, and the fear it gives rise to, when such meaningless words are used.

It is also extremely sloppy journalism to repeat this phase, except as a direct quote, because it is meaningless. It is as meaningless as war on laziness or the war on weather. Journalists seem never to have heard of semantics, or abstraction ladders, which look at the meaning of words and how their use affects us.

To define this "was on teroor," it is important to understand that right now, we as a country are involved in a number of situations, some dangerous, some not, one or two very separate wars, some diplomatic efforts, and a very diverse set of circumstances that may possibly threaten our way of life, and we, as a country, appear to be afraid of a number of diversified groups of people who reside in various countries. We are also, as a country, possibly threatened in a number of ways by a number of countries, as opposed to small scattered groups of people.

If we can define what these groups and countries are and distinguish how they differ from one another, it can help us to understand what were doing, why were doing it, and what the characteristics of all this mixed up war on terror might really mean. This, of course, immediately implies that there is no one single opponent against whom we can wage war, but instead presents a variety of different situations, some more dangerous than others, each of them requiring that we handle them, as best we can, in different ways if we want to reduce any threat they pose.

The first group of people that we claim to be fighting with is a vaguely defined group, once led by a man named Bin Laden, that calls itself Al Qaeda. It appears to be based in Afghanistan, but may have spread to various other countries. It is a loosely-knit, guerrilla group that dislikes the West, vaguely defined as European and American countries. We dont know nearly enough about it to be at war with this group because it is so diffuse, and it is all too easy to confuse it with other groups at times. It is not certain that its leaders are alive or have control over this group because it is so diffuse. Originally, it was most probably responsible for the event known as 9/11. We, as a country under President Bush, claim to be fighting this group but appear to have lost interest in pursuing this group forcefully.

I say claim to be fighting because, for all of our efforts, we have never caught Bin Laden, and Al Qaeda appears to be stronger than ever before. We have troops in Afghanistan, but they appear to be there mainly poised to defend the central government, which has been threatened by a number of groups including the Taliban (the prior totalitarian government), war lords in various provinces, and a loose network of guerillas including the Al Qaeda group. The current Administration, led by President Bush, has apparently de-emphasized our military efforts in Afghanistan and his rhetoric, his use of the words war on terror, appear to be mainly directed at Iraq, not Afghanistan.

The number of deaths of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in this first military operation is 255 with 765 injured as of January 2006, as tracked by Wikipedia. I cite this figure in sharp contrast to the number of U.S. troops killed in the next military effort, still going on today, in Iraq which was 2,299 U.S. soldiers killed and 33,094 seriously injured as of March 2006 (cited at the site http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspxhttp://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx). The disparity between Afghanistan and Iraq, in terms of dead and casualties is very revealing about what is being emphasized.

The second group that we were fighting was the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. It was a war declared by President Bush, with no real resistance from Congress. The enemy was a vague one mainly the dictator, Saddam Hussein, who somehow had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and was linked vaguely to terrorists, the same ones named in Afghanistan as being Al Qaeda. None of these reasons has proven to be true. I repeat: None of the reasons given for this war have been proven to be true. As cited above, more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq as a result of this war. Because of what the President and his Administration have been saying, and repeating as a mantra, according to many surveys, many people in the U.S. believe, irrationally, that this war is being fought as a war on terror. This is simply not an accurate or true statement.

It appears that Iraq has three major ethnic groups that have never gotten along. When Saddam was in charge of the country, the Sunni controlled everything with an iron hand. The Shiites, although in the majority, had no political power. The Kurds, the third group, also had no power. Once Saddams forces were overcome by the U.S. forces, the Shiites grabbed political power, the Kurds grabbed the northern part of the country, and the Sunni who had control and resented losing it have begun conducting an insurgency. The Shiites and the Sunni both have deep hatred of each other; it is obvious that the Sunni arent used to being out of power, and the Shiites resent all of the terrible things that were done to their people when the Sunni were in power. This is has led to brutal killings, with our troops in the middle, mainly siding with the Shiite majority. The country at this time may be in civil war.

Our troops really arent fighting terror or terrorists here. They are actually intervening in an internal conflict that has been going on for a long time back to when England and Winston Churchill was involved. I will add that there have been instances of non-Iraqi individuals crossing the border into Iraq from Syria and Iran to attack American military forces, and some of these individuals may be linked to Al Qaeda, but that is not the biggest part of the problem. In fact, because of our invasion of Iraq and our destruction of the status quo, by eliminating Saddam Hussein, it may be that we have opened a whole new breeding ground for, and encouraged, these individuals to learn how to operate successfully and conduct terrorist operations.

Iraq thus appears to be involved in a civil war of Sunnis versus Shiites, with Kurds protecting their interests, and some outsiders conducting guerilla terrorist operations aimed at fomenting unrest and driving the U.S. forces out. We cannot be involved in a war on terror here because there are at least four separate parties here, and it isnt always clear who is doing what to hurt or kill whom.

A third arena whom we are not fighting is North Korea, a dictatorship that is working to build an atomic bomb capability. This country is a military threat to South Korea because it possesses a huge standing army of more than a million soldiers. It is a country with a well-defined government, not a loosely organized group of individuals. We have not declared war on them, nor have they declared war on the U.S. But for some reason, at times, they have been included in this war on terror.

A fourth arena that is also sometimes referred to under the mantra of war on terror is Iran. Iran is the largest country in the Middle East, with a government that is primarily run by its religious right. They may provide a place for Al Qaeda and other groups which dislike the U.S. for various reasons to develop and train members. We are not at war with Iran, and they are not at war with us. But, for some reason, they also have been lumped into this war on terror.

There are other places in the world, such as South America and the Philippines, that have been also lumped into this war on terror, but, again, we have not declared war on them nor have they declared war on the U.S. Numerous groups, some of which hate the U.S. and some involved in insurgencies against their existing government, have the earmarks of terrorists in that they conduct underground operations, kill people indiscriminately, have loose organizations, may or may not be linked to other similar organizations.

In general, it is also important to separate different types of terrorists (a very maligned word) into specific and different groups. For example, Basque separatists, in Spain, commit what we would call terrorist acts. So do the Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka. They can both be called terrorists. Please note that, although these groups commit acts that seem to be terrorist acts, such as blowing up bombs in public places and killed innocent civilians, both of these groups are internal in their countries and act much as if they were engaged in a civil war against their existing government.

So we are not at war with all of the groups Ive mentioned. We couldnt be. Many of them have no government for us to declare war on. It is sloppy use of communication to say that we are engaged in a war on terror when we really need to understand that there are many such groups around the world, each separate and different, each requiring different tactics, each posing a different type of threat (in some cases, no threat) to our country.

Please remember that next time you hear these words. If you understand what has been said here, you will be able to determine how absurd such a claim is (war on terror) and look at what the person saying these words is really trying to do. He or she may be trying to scare you so you dont think clearly; he or she may be pushing an agenda to take rights away from you; he or she may be saying such words to get elected again; or to be considered patriotic or strong or effective. Always listen to the words and match them to the actions. The outcome may surprise you and open your eyes to what is actually going on.

###

Posted by: OCPatriot on July 6, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

What's the big surprise about Bush having no strategy for foreign policy? When he started he had never visited a foreign country. With the war in Iraq there never was a strategy that had any coherence about what to do after the war. In Afghanistan, the lack of a strategy coupled with diverting the troops into Iraq has led to the resurgence of the Taliban. The tradition has been there for some time. The neo-cons had no real strategy, just a belief that pieces might fall into place; after all a strategy takes into account not only actions but resources, such as troops and money, to make the desired end result a reality.

The only common thread was a political slogan "war on terror." Yet there is no such thing as a war on terror or war on terrorism. It is a stupid statement, and Ill explain why in a moment. I dont mean that as a pejorative. And to repeat it, or give it any credence, is to help spread a lie, a deliberate attempt at propaganda, or a statement by a person who does not know what he or she is talking about. I find that the newspapers and television, as well as blogs on the internet, all use the phrase war on terror and it does everyone a disservice. Google alone states that there are 137,000,000 references to this phase.

When our President, George Bush, says those words, "war on terror", he is talking non-sense. So is anyone else using these words.

The words are inflammatory, and their ultimate effect often deliberately to cause people to suspend any rational judgment about the things the speaker wants to do because of this so-called War on Terror. When rational judgment is suspended, people will do anything no matter how ineffective it is because of the emotional mind-clouding power, and the fear it gives rise to, when such meaningless words are used.

It is also extremely sloppy journalism to repeat this phase, except as a direct quote, because it is meaningless. It is as meaningless as war on laziness or the war on weather. Journalists seem never to have heard of semantics, or abstraction ladders, which look at the meaning of words and how their use affects us.

To define this "was on terror," it is important to understand that right now, we as a country are involved in a number of situations, some dangerous, some not, one or two very separate wars, some diplomatic efforts, and a very diverse set of circumstances that may possibly threaten our way of life, and we, as a country, appear to be afraid of a number of diversified groups of people who reside in various countries. We are also, as a country, possibly threatened in a number of ways by a number of countries, as opposed to small scattered groups of people.

If we can define what these groups and countries are and distinguish how they differ from one another, it can help us to understand what were doing, why were doing it, and what the characteristics of all this mixed up war on terror might really mean. This, of course, immediately implies that there is no one single opponent against whom we can wage war, but instead presents a variety of different situations, some more dangerous than others, each of them requiring that we handle them, as best we can, in different ways if we want to reduce any threat they pose.

The first group of people that we claim to be fighting with is a vaguely defined group, once led by a man named Bin Laden, that calls itself Al Qaeda. It appears to be based in Afghanistan, but may have spread to various other countries. It is a loosely-knit, guerrilla group that dislikes the West, vaguely defined as European and American countries. We dont know nearly enough about it to be at war with this group because it is so diffuse, and it is all too easy to confuse it with other groups at times. It is not certain that its leaders are alive or have control over this group because it is so diffuse. Originally, it was most probably responsible for the event known as 9/11. We, as a country under President Bush, claim to be fighting this group but appear to have lost interest in pursuing this group forcefully.

I say claim to be fighting because, for all of our efforts, we have never caught Bin Laden, and Al Qaeda appears to be stronger than ever before. We have troops in Afghanistan, but they appear to be there mainly poised to defend the central government, which has been threatened by a number of groups including the Taliban (the prior totalitarian government), war lords in various provinces, and a loose network of guerillas including the Al Qaeda group. The current Administration, led by President Bush, has apparently de-emphasized our military efforts in Afghanistan and his rhetoric, his use of the words war on terror, appear to be mainly directed at Iraq, not Afghanistan.

The number of deaths of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in this first military operation is 255 with 765 injured as of January 2006, as tracked by Wikipedia. I cite this figure in sharp contrast to the number of U.S. troops killed in the next military effort, still going on today, in Iraq which was 2,299 U.S. soldiers killed and 33,094 seriously injured as of March 2006 (cited at the site http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspxhttp://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx). The disparity between Afghanistan and Iraq, in terms of dead and casualties is very revealing about what is being emphasized.

The second group that we were fighting was the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. It was a war declared by President Bush, with no real resistance from Congress. The enemy was a vague one mainly the dictator, Saddam Hussein, who somehow had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and was linked vaguely to terrorists, the same ones named in Afghanistan as being Al Qaeda. None of these reasons has proven to be true. I repeat: None of the reasons given for this war have been proven to be true. As cited above, more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq as a result of this war. Because of what the President and his Administration have been saying, and repeating as a mantra, according to many surveys, many people in the U.S. believe, irrationally, that this war is being fought as a war on terror. This is simply not an accurate or true statement.

It appears that Iraq has three major ethnic groups that have never gotten along. When Saddam was in charge of the country, the Sunni controlled everything with an iron hand. The Shiites, although in the majority, had no political power. The Kurds, the third group, also had no power. Once Saddams forces were overcome by the U.S. forces, the Shiites grabbed political power, the Kurds grabbed the northern part of the country, and the Sunni who had control and resented losing it have begun conducting an insurgency. The Shiites and the Sunni both have deep hatred of each other; it is obvious that the Sunni arent used to being out of power, and the Shiites resent all of the terrible things that were done to their people when the Sunni were in power. This is has led to brutal killings, with our troops in the middle, mainly siding with the Shiite majority. The country at this time may be in civil war.

Our troops really arent fighting terror or terrorists here. They are actually intervening in an internal conflict that has been going on for a long time back to when England and Winston Churchill was involved. I will add that there have been instances of non-Iraqi individuals crossing the border into Iraq from Syria and Iran to attack American military forces, and some of these individuals may be linked to Al Qaeda, but that is not the biggest part of the problem. In fact, because of our invasion of Iraq and our destruction of the status quo, by eliminating Saddam Hussein, it may be that we have opened a whole new breeding ground for, and encouraged, these individuals to learn how to operate successfully and conduct terrorist operations.

Iraq thus appears to be involved in a civil war of Sunnis versus Shiites, with Kurds protecting their interests, and some outsiders conducting guerilla terrorist operations aimed at fomenting unrest and driving the U.S. forces out. We cannot be involved in a war on terror here because there are at least four separate parties here, and it isnt always clear who is doing what to hurt or kill whom.

A third arena whom we are not fighting is North Korea, a dictatorship that is working to build an atomic bomb capability. This country is a military threat to South Korea because it possesses a huge standing army of more than a million soldiers. It is a country with a well-defined government, not a loosely organized group of individuals. We have not declared war on them, nor have they declared war on the U.S. But for some reason, at times, they have been included in this war on terror.

A fourth arena that is also sometimes referred to under the mantra of war on terror is Iran. Iran is the largest country in the Middle East, with a government that is primarily run by its religious right. They may provide a place for Al Qaeda and other groups which dislike the U.S. for various reasons to develop and train members. We are not at war with Iran, and they are not at war with us. But, for some reason, they also have been lumped into this war on terror.

There are other places in the world, such as South America and the Philippines, that have been also lumped into this war on terror, but, again, we have not declared war on them nor have they declared war on the U.S. Numerous groups, some of which hate the U.S. and some involved in insurgencies against their existing government, have the earmarks of terrorists in that they conduct underground operations, kill people indiscriminately, have loose organizations, may or may not be linked to other similar organizations.

In general, it is also important to separate different types of terrorists (a very maligned word) into specific and different groups. For example, Basque separatists, in Spain, commit what we would call terrorist acts. So do the Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka. They can both be called terrorists. Please note that, although these groups commit acts that seem to be terrorist acts, such as blowing up bombs in public places and killed innocent civilians, both of these groups are internal in their countries and act much as if they were engaged in a civil war against their existing government.

So we are not at war with all of the groups Ive mentioned. We couldnt be. Many of them have no government for us to declare war on. It is sloppy use of communication to say that we are engaged in a war on terror when we really need to understand that there are many such groups around the world, each separate and different, each requiring different tactics, each posing a different type of threat (in some cases, no threat) to our country.

Please remember that next time you hear these words. If you understand what has been said here, you will be able to determine how absurd such a claim is (war on terror) and look at what the person saying these words is really trying to do. He or she may be trying to scare you so you dont think clearly; he or she may be pushing an agenda to take rights away from you; he or she may be saying such words to get elected again; or to be considered patriotic or strong or effective. Always listen to the words and match them to the actions. The outcome may surprise you and open your eyes to what is actually going on.

###

Posted by: OCPatriot on July 6, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

What crap. Carter was a much better president than King Turrdeater. King Turrdeater has taken us into a war by a lie, and has wasted billions of dollars to enhance Dick Cheney's stock portfolio.

That's the Bush record.

Carter never did anything evil. He wins hands down.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

...the Bush administration literally seems to have no foreign policy at all anymore...
There's virtually no ideological coherency to their foreign policy that I can discern...
Unfortunately, the rest of us are left spinning with him.

Kevin Drum 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (107)

Well you got the last part rightif "us" includes you. I'm not quite sure why you would think that they ever had a coherent foreign policy. It was destructive from the start. Don't you remember Kyoto or global trade negotiations?

You probably don't remember the Middle East roadmap. They obviously weren't serious about that either.

Hey! That reminds me. How are things going with Palestine-Israel.

Kevin? . . . Kevin?

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

He or she may be trying to scare you so you dont think clearly;

OC,

No denying you are a liberal. That's a lot of nonsense for one post.

It may be that after 9/11 you heard the words 'war on terror' and you were scared and you could not think clearly but that was not a common reaction and certainly it isn't so many years removed.

I do think liberals scare easily but not that easily.

Does the fact you got 137 million hits tell you it's a great term for politicians because it's widely used and accepted? Is that too obvious for you?

Did you do a search on GWOT? I'll bet you get 500 million hits. Or is that less scary?

Either you are a total coward or, like so many other libs, you have your head stuck so far up your ass you have no idea how condescending you are.

Obviously you don't know how stupid either.

I'm glad you are so strong that you can think straight after hearing such terrifying words. Who did you inherit your iron balls from? Your mommy or your daddy?

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you remember Kyoto or global trade negotiations?

Kyoto was/is the worst treaty ever negotiated explaining why it was shot down by the Senate 95 - 0.

GWB has been fabulous on trade. Without bypassing the global talks he correctly anticipated they were doomed and devoted resources to working outside the global deal. He's inked free trade deals with almost two dozen nations and is close to approval on another dozen. He's signed dozens of trade deals just short of free trade. Unit exports were up a stunning 14.7% in the 1st Qtr.

This doesn't even include the historic deal to come with India to sell nuclear fuel.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! That reminds me. How are things going with Palestine-Israel.

Rather well. The infatada has been defeated and Israel is well on it's way to a permanent security fence and total separation from Paletine. Accordingly the Israeli economy is booming and their defenses are dramatically improved.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Rather well. . . "

You're so full of shit, rdw:

"Israeli troops encountered intense fighting as they staged military operations in northern and southern Gaza, which Israel says are designed to stop Palestinian rocket attacks in the area and to find kidnapped army Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was abducted June 25 by Palestinian militants during a raid into southern Israel. Israel launched its Gaza offensive June 28."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/06/israel.soldier/index.html

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on July 6, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

"While I love the fact it makes Conservative dominance easier I'd rather have a healthy opposition."

As would I, Mr. Mid-30s Approval Rating, 2/3s Say Country's on the Wrong Track... so would I.

Posted by: Jim J on July 6, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

Thanks for the updates from planet Conservatoon.

Not going so well here on Earth.

Posted by: obscure on July 6, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWB will be a pivotal figure.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

In direct response to the ghastly attacks of 9/11, which killed nearly 3000 people and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, Bush and his supporters *inadvertently* caused the fathering of a burgeoning fundamentalist Islamic republic which has extremely close and long long standing ties to Iran which the Decider called an `axis of evil', a country whose leader has sworn to `wipe Israel off the map' and has denied that the extermination of 6 milion Jews ever took place.

9/11 + Iraq = Bush's fundamentalist Islamic republic

rdw: GWB will be a pivotal figure.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!


Posted by: God on July 6, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: GWB will be a pivotal figure.

Sure he will.

But not as you think.

During 2000 and 2001, it was George Walker Bush's "most solemn duty" to protect the USA from attack. (We know he was aware of this "most solemn duty" due to it being used often by him after 9/11.)

As the nearly three thousand murders and the hundreds of billions of dollars in damage incurred show, George Walker Bush absolutely FAILED to fulfill his "most solemn duty" during 2000 and 2001.

Then, in direct response to failing to do "most solemn duty" during 2000 and 2001, George Walker Bush inadvertently fathered a burgeoning fundamentalist Islamic republic by way of the democratic electing of the Al dawa party and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (sic!).

Bush = asshole!

His supports = Assholes!!

Posted by: God on July 6, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

lets kill all of the bison and starve them on to reservations! !

Posted by: OLD TIMER on July 6, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Every single liberal in the Clinton administration and those rumored to have a spot in a Gore administration hated Sharon with a passion."

Sharon is a war criminal.

.

"Afghanistan will of course be historic..."

For it's failure.

The Taliban are back with a vengeance and in control of a large part of the country. Of course, al-Qaeda never left.

.

"Kyoto was/is the worst treaty ever negotiated explaining why it was shot down by the Senate 95 - 0"

Wrong.

The Kyoto Treaty was never brought before the US Senate, and was never voted on. That vote was on something the Republicans purported to be Kyoto.

Even I would have voted against THAT.
.

Posted by: VJ on July 6, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Now thet we're on the cusp of an Arab democracy in the heart of the middle east, they have to accuse the right of being theones igiving up on it.
Posted by: American Hawk on July 6, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

I thought we were on the cusp 2 years ago? Must be a pretty big cusp.

By the way, I *love* how Palestinian and Iranian democracy turned out.

You can't force freedom onto people who don't want it. They'll vote for the return of tyranny. Unless you educate them somewhere other than a Petrodollar-financed Saudi-wahhabist/salafist madrassa.

上海耐博泵阀向大家推荐:阀门电磁阀调节阀球阀蝶阀闸阀隔膜泵离心泵水泵电动阀门气动阀门电动阀煤气电磁阀不锈钢电磁阀水用电磁阀防爆电磁阀电动调节阀气动调节阀衬氟调节阀波纹管调节阀电动精小型调节阀电动球阀气动球阀三通球阀电动调节球阀气动蝶阀电动蝶阀电动调节蝶阀电动截止阀电动闸阀电动隔膜泵气动隔膜泵管道离心泵排污泵磁力泵

Posted by: sam on July 6, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

There's only one thing you need to know about the Bush foreign policy---it's bold.

Posted by: Ringo on July 6, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

joel,

You of course remember the infatada and the mess Clinton left.

There hasn't been any suicide bombers from Gaza in 3 years and it won't be long before the West bank is sealed.


Even with this most recent dust-up the region is much safer for Jews. Check out the Huffington post for their story on why the EU has been so quiet regarding the recent incursion into Gaza. They're not comnplaining. That's a major diplomatic shift.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Kyoto Treaty was never brought before the US Senate, and was never voted on. That vote was on something the Republicans purported to be Kyoto.

It was a non-binding resolution on the finished product. That's why Slick Willie signed it and sat on it. He didn't lift a finger to make it become law. THe smartest man in the world knew his limitations and we got another lesson in why he's called slick willie.

Bill knew he could take credit for 'signing it' and dumb liberals would take his word he did all he could. Knowing it was a dumb treaty and would eventually be ridiculed he'd say, "Well that's why I never bothered to get it passed".

No doubt that boy is a liberal!

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

The Kyoto Treaty was never brought before the US Senate, and was never voted on. That vote was on something the Republicans purported to be Kyoto.

It was a non-binding resolution on the finished product. That's why Slick Willie signed it and sat on it. He didn't lift a finger to make it become law. THe smartest man in the world knew his limitations and we got another lesson in why he's called slick willie.

Bill knew he could take credit for 'signing it' and dumb liberals would take his word he did all he could. Knowing it was a dumb treaty and would eventually be ridiculed he'd say, "Well that's why I never bothered to get it passed".

No doubt that boy is a liberal!

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

.

The Taliban are back with a vengeance and in control of a large part of the country.

The only control the same outer fringes they've always controlled. THey're dying in record numbers. The coalition has a huge tactical advantage. THey can't mass in numbers about 20 without getting spotted quickly and wiped out.

The Taliban are not and will never again be a military threat.

Posted by: rdw on July 6, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

How does the Chinese character spam get inserted in to actual posts now???

Posted by: trex on July 6, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Rove. If ever there was a disatrous malefactor ruining a nation it would be him. The foreign policy of the Bush "administration" has been short-sighted politics and sheer stupidity. I was hoping against hope Rove would be wished into the corn, but the SOB is still pushing us off the cliff, stopping just long enough to project his Gay obsessions onto the stage. A man knows how to lie, cheat and steal, uses it curry political favor, is rewarded far in excess of his competence, and is the loudest idiot in a room full of gullible vanity. This is how we got to the disaster that was never policy. CM was right--ther was never any there, there. Just a lunatic who fixed elections, and soon imparted his particular genius on a half-wit. You Republicans with any sense left better figure a way to get these guys to resign. . .

Posted by: Sparko on July 6, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

The key point to remember is that the Bush administration has no policy about anything. They have no policy apparatus. Everything is driven by political considerations, ie. can this help the Party win in the next election or can we use it to weaken our opponent.

Posted by: Patrick Shumaker on July 6, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"You of course remember the infatada and the mess Clinton left"

Mess ?

The Israeli RightWing instigated the intifada because they did not want to see a peace deal consummated. How would they continue to annex other people’s land ?

President Clinton had the Palestinians and Israelis at the peace table until the Republicans sent Richard Perle over to put the kibosh on the deal.

.

"There hasn't been any suicide bombers from Gaza in 3 years"

Suicide Bomber Kills Nine in Tel Aviv

(MSNBC) - April 17, 2006 - A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a fast-food restaurant in a bustling area of Tel Aviv during the Passover holiday Monday, killing nine other people and wounding dozens in the deadliest Palestinian attack in more than a year. Monday's bombing was the deadliest since Aug. 31, 2004, when suicide bombers on two buses in Beersheba killed 16 Israelis. It was the second major Passover bombing in four years.

.

"It was a non-binding resolution on the finished product"

Nope.

The Senate has never voted on the content of the Kyoto Treaty.

.

"The only control the same outer fringes they've always controlled. THey're dying in record numbers. The coalition has a huge tactical advantage. THey can't mass in numbers about 20 without getting spotted quickly and wiped out. The Taliban are not and will never again be a military threat."

(AP) - July 6, 2006 - In Afghanistan, a string of recent bombings in Kabul and ongoing fighting in outlying areas have made this the most violent summer since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

~

War on Afghan Opium Farming an 'Absolute Disaster'

(Financial Times) - July 4, 2006 - Afghanistan is set to produce its largest ever opium crop, with the biggest rise in Helmand province, where British troops are engaged in combat with the Taliban, western officials said.

~

(Chicago Tribune) - July 5, 2006 - The Taliban rode in two months ago, demanding food and shelter. Violence followed. Insurgents on motorcycles pumped bullets into a moderate tribal elder as he shopped in a market. They shot three police officers on patrol. Government officials started driving with more than 20 armed guards instead of two--if they drove anywhere at all. In many areas in southern Afghanistan, the story is the same: The Taliban is back.

~

Taliban Attacks Coalition Base

(REUTERS) - Taliban rebels launched a brazen, large-scale attack on a coalition military base Wednesday in southern Afghanistan. The fighting was the deadliest in months and reflected a growing intensity of militant attacks after the Taliban warned of a renewed offensive this year, more than four years after the hard-line militia was ousted by U.S.-led airstrikes.

~

MORE ?
.

Posted by: VJ on July 7, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

I'm kind of late to this thread, but... the George W. "quote" sounds a bit like Rorschach in the Watchmen comics series: "There is good and there is evil and evil must be punished." But Rorschach was crazy and.... I don't want to spoil it for whoever hasn't read it.

Posted by: Marc in Denver on July 7, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

bush has no plan for anything.news conference yesterday showed he was not coherent,could not speak is sentences,too many ohs,and ahs,he rambled on and on,he accused hiv of being a terrorist.this man has his hands on nuke weapons.it a disgrace.bj

Posted by: bob johnson on July 7, 2006 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK
How about we fight terrorism and help Iraq form a government over a long period of time? The president said it would take a LONG TIME which since we started in 2003 is only 3 years, that is not a long time unless your life span is that of a cicada.

How about looking back at the amount of time we started to form the Declaration of Independence and when our republic was actually established. Oh and don't forget our own civil war much later.

Uh, Orwell, it's been about three years and three months since the Iraq adventure started.

Three years and three months after Fort Sumter, Grant had Lee pinned down at Petersburg, Sherman was about to capture Atlanta, and Farragut had damned the torpedoes at Mobile Bay.

Three years and three months after Pearl Harbor, Hitler had less than a month to live and Okinawa, the last battle of the war, was just starting.

And although reconstruction of the devastated lands was rocky, by and large peace reigned. You could travel between towns without undue fear of being shot or bombed.

Posted by: Stuart Eugene Thiel on July 7, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

MORE ?

Let's see some accurate points 1st.

The Senate DID vote 95 - 0 on Kyoto and the suicide bomber story you printed was from the West Bank not Gaza.

Not too worry. The security fence around the West Bank is being completed. They build more every day. It will be completed before any possibility of liberal interference exists. Palestinians will be allowed to enter Israel to work if and only if they're 'good'. One suicide bomber and the fence is closed permanently and the Palestinains economy is destroyed. The West bank will be wholly dependent on the EU for support. As if they can afford it. It's seems the recent reluctance of the EU to fund Hamas is due more to a realization they've got their own economic problems. The economic future of the West Bank and Gaza is bleak while this helps the already booming Israeli economy.

Bombings in Kabul are nothing new and have been useless as a terror tool. Kabul is the fastest growing city in the world. At the borders the Taliban are being killed in record numbers. They do not have the ability the inflict significant military damage and time is working against them.

Every day USA drone and targeting technology gets better as well as the trainging of the Afghan army. The taliban can't even consider meeting in groups of more than 30 unless it's in a cave very far underground. Otherwise they'll never know where that 500 lb bomb that landed up their ass came from.

Also at the same time the Afghan democracy flourished and the economy with it. The massive road program is now well extended inot farm regions resulting in much higher productivity and income for most Afghans. Kabul is covered with Satellite dishes and cell phones. They have their own TV station and a series of radio stations playing the music the taliban so hated. The schools are overflowing with the highest number of students ever, with females no less, and the population continues to swell as the count of returned refugees, all bitter enemies of the taliban, surges past 4M.

The Taliban are little more than cockroaches.

Posted by: rdw on July 7, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

stuart,

Relax, GWB has a timetable thru mid-Jan of 2009. The adults are in charge. They are making sure in both Afghanistan and Iraq the governments have time to form and mature a bit and to build professional well trained security forces.

These are huge tasks never before attempted and will be monumental acheivements. We are watching a desperate effort from the Taliban in Afghanistan getting crushed as well as the advancement of the Govt and the military in Iraq. Sometime later this summer the Iraqi services will have reached their designed sizes and coalitions troops will start to stand down.

Even more fortunate for the GOP in November than the troop drawdown will be the debate about setting laws for the handling of battlefield prisoners. Either they give GWB everything he's demanded or they will be seen as weak on the GWOT. It's perfect. Heads GWB wins. Tails GWB wins.

Posted by: rdw on July 7, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Here is the problem. 9/11 was an inside job. Everyone here absolutely needs to see the DVD "9/11 Eyewitness." It is from a camera on the NJ side of the river. You hear the blast detonations at the base of the WTC's before they come down. It is very powerful to anyone with a working mind. There is no 9/11 terrorism. This is the work of the over-government or whoever the hell they are, they certainly were willing to murder a bunch of NY'ers and the US military is in on it. Hurts to say it. This was the "new Pearl Harbor" to springboard this "war" against a country that is not attacking us. Just see the video. What the USA needs to do is locate the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the deeds, put them in court. Trust, this is not going away. The evidence is too abundant. A little camp fire at the top of the building does not bring it down. In the video you hear "WHOOOM rumble" about 10 seconds before each building falls and a cloud of debris rises from the BASE of the buildings. Small thermo-nuclear? Those were big strong well-built buildings and it took a lot of explosives to bring them down, falling at the rate of free-fall, ending up as paper and powdered concrete, byproducts of high explosives, but mainly, in the video, you can hear really big charges going off before each building is quite literally pulverized. So kids, at least get the right idea of what is going on.

Posted by: Boofie on July 7, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

USA is in mass denial. Friends, I am not some wise-guy. At 5:30 in the afternoon, developer WTC lease holder says, "It has been such a terrible day, let's "pull" (i.e. controlled demolition) WTC 7," the third building. And at 5:30pm on September 11, 2001, a 47 story built-like-a-tank WTC7 magically falls to dust.
Does it not take days or weeks to prepare for a building demolition? Most American cities do not even have a 47 story building. It is so painfully obvious.
How can intelligent literate people comment here and at the same time accept the murder of innocent workers that occured that day?
Everybody, I mean, everybody in the world sees it.
The American citizens will be the last to come out of a fuzzy cloud of denial. I figure most people
are just psychologically incapable of seeing how they have been manipulated. Good luck, friends. One tip: the only closure on this will be to investigate the very obvious and hold persons accountable.

Posted by: Boofie on July 7, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraq continues to be a fledgling democracy. Afghanistan is going well."

Well, there's my morning comedy! Man, hawk..you gotta take of them Bush-colored glasses.

Afghanistan going well???????

What planet are you living on?

Posted by: marty on July 7, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

"As we were waiting, we looked up and all I saw was - I heard this huge noise, and I saw hundreds and hundreds of people running towards us. They were running out of the South Tower to the Marriott, to the lobby. We just turned. We started to like run also. We got about 10 feet before getting blown across the lobby. We got blown across the lobby, just got covered with debris.

I didn't know the building had collapsed, actually. I thought a bomb had gone off."

Posted by: Silf on July 7, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

[Office fires do not produce molten steel. Explosives produce molten steel.]

In the weeks and months after 9/11, numerous individuals report seeing molten metal in the remains of the World Trade Center:
Ken Holden, who is involved with the organizing of demolition, excavation and debris removal operations at Ground Zero, later will tell the 9/11 Commission, Underground, it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the sides of the wall from [WTC] Building 6. [9/11 Commission, 5/1/2003]

Posted by: Open Your Eyes on July 7, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Steven E. Jones, a physics professor from Utah, later will claim this molten metal is direct evidence for the use of high-temperature explosives, such as thermite, used to deliberately bring down the WTC towers. [MSNBC, 12/16/2005]

Posted by: . on July 7, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK


Bob,

from polipundit, but it's all over. another deanism. this is why howard dean is karl roves best bud.


How DO you parody these people?


Seriously.

Yesterday the New York Court of Appeals ruled against same sex marriage and DNC Chairman Howard Dean said:

As Democrats, we believe that every American has a right to equal protection under the law and to live in dignity. And we must respect the right of every family to live in dignity with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. Todays decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing, but it does not end the effort to achieve this goal.

On May 10, 2006 Howard Dean had this to say on the issue:

The Democratic Party platform from 2004 says marriage is between a man and a woman

There just are not too many ways to make fun of them anymore, there really arent.

Any person that votes for this party needs to have their head examined.

Posted by: rdw on July 7, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Iran was knocked out of the football tournament in the first round, and state television has now begun showing film clips of Israeli violence - juxtaposed with happy World Cup spectators - in its ongoing match coverage.

Posted by: Ira Rosenberg on July 7, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

'rdw' posted:

"Let's see some accurate points 1st"

From YOU.

.

"The Senate DID vote 95 - 0 on Kyoto"

Never happened.

Let's see the Congressional Record.

.

"and the suicide bomber story you printed was from the West Bank not Gaza"

Wrong again.

If they weren't from Gaza, why does that story state that the Israelis announced "a possible reoccupation of Gaza" in response ?

Are you REALLY this pathetic ?

.

"The Taliban are little more than cockroaches"

And those "cockroaches" are BACK BIG TIME, with the "most violent Summer since the fall of the Taliban in 2001".

You are WRONG again, and again, and again, and again....
.

Posted by: VJ on July 7, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I stand corrected!

No, you stand exposed as a liar.

Lieberman is not a peripheral figure unknown to conservatives and your failure to acknowledge him points to mendacity, not ignorance or mistake.

Your claim is a lie beyond the Leiberman example; he was just easy icing on the cake.

Posted by: Advocate for God on July 7, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

No, you stand exposed as a liar.

Not at all. Joe isn't 'really' a lib. He's a democratic dinosaur. He's what we call a pre-68 lib. He's like JFK, Truan, FDR, etc. He in on the endangered list and could soon the extinct. I happen to think he wins anyway but he'll be damaged. We watched all of his peers bail out on him.

This is another one of those examples of liberals stealing defeat from the jaws of victory. Not too long ago pundits were predicting the Dems would bet both houses back. Then it because clear the Senate wasn't within reach. Then it became clear they might only get 1 or 2 and could just as easily lose 1 or 2.

Then it became clear the house was going to be very difficult. Now they expect at most 6 seats. Give it more time. You'll be lucky not to lose ground.

It's great the Dems are spending so much time and energy in CT. Schumer must be beyond Irate. He wanted to have a kitty to allocate toward close races at the end. But Howard Dean believes in spending it as soon as it comes in. There's no kitty. There's no less than 7 close Senate races that Rove can spend $25M on.

Posted by: rdw on July 7, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

All you need to know about rdw is that he confidently bet in early 2005 that George W. Bush would hit a 60% approval rating before he'd hit 50% and that his approval ratings had nowhere to go but up, not to mention that Bush was preordained to win on Social Security and that focusing on this issue was further evidence of Bush's brilliance.

This is also a guy who confidently predicted that the Condoleezza Rice confirmation hearings badly hurt the Democratic Party, that blacks and latinos were outraged by those hearings, that excerpts from those hearings would figure prominently in the 2006 election ad campaign, and that an SNL skit on those hearings would be part of that ad campaign.

This is also a guy who insisted that France doesn't have a economic cycle, who didn't know that there is more than one way to measure unemployment, and whose economic knowledge begins (and ends) with the concept of a GDP.

This is also a guy who firmly believes that all liberals and lefties hated Ronald Reagan with a passion, that Reagan was right about everything and that "liberal college professors" of the time were wrong about everything, that liberals and lefties absolutely hate our troops and vomit when positive commercials and news stories about our armed forces are shown. And no, I'm not exaggerating -- he really does think like this.

He truly is an amazing character, building elaborate fantasy worlds out of random disconnected bits of information he gets from the usual right-wing sources, wholly unable (and completely unwilling to even bother to try) to support anything he writes. He won't even bother to do a 30-second Google search to back up the points he is trying to make or to try to refute the points that others make. It's enough for him that he "knows" that these elaborate worlds he has created are somehow all true.

Laugh at him, mock him, expose his ignorance, and so on, but don't make the mistake of taking him seriously or expecting a real debate with him. He knows absolutely nothing and is wholly incapable of learning.

Posted by: PaulB on July 7, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

So you were paying attention. I did get the 60% wrong but I nailed everything else. I'm not sure Condi will do much campaigning but race will be a factor in these elections and it will be negative for the Democrats.

Mr. Steele has an excellent shot in the MD Senate race as Kfumi attacks his opponent on race and makes it stick. Kfumi won't win the nomination but he'll damage the front runner.

I was dead on regarding Ronnie on the fools on campus. Gotta love Ward Churchill.

I was also dead on regarding France. Slow growth and no growth is not a cycle. It's a failure. I also look at other measures such as the 4.6% unemployment rate and the fantastic corporate profits. We have tax receipts running up a compound 30% the last two years. The argument over supply side economics was ended by Reagan anyway but it's good to have another example.

Posted by: rdw on July 7, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, dear, when idiocies like those I documented above are spouted, of course I pay attention. Your silly little assertions were absolutely hilarious in their cluelessness. And even more hilarious that even when it's pointed out to you just how idiotic they, and you, are, you still pretend that you actually said something!

Let's go through that list again, shall we?

"This is also a guy who confidently predicted that the Condoleezza Rice confirmation hearings badly hurt the Democratic Party"

False. Nobody remembers those hearings; nobody is planning to focus on those hearings; nobody gives a damn about those hearings.

"that blacks and latinos were outraged by those hearings"

False. You were unable to find a single example of black and latino voters or organizations outraged by those hearings at that time. You will, of course, look in vain for those organizations today and in November.

"that excerpts from those hearings would figure prominently in the 2006 election ad campaign,"

False. No politician is that stupid or that wasteful of good campaign funds.

"and that an SNL skit on those hearings would be part of that ad campaign."

False, not least of which because it is copyrighted and NBC would never allow it to be used.

"This is also a guy who insisted that France doesn't have a economic cycle,"

False. All countries have an economic cycle of one kind or another. France's economy regularly goes up and down, just as does the United States economy. The length and depth of the cycles vary from country to country, but they all have a business cycle; they all have ups and downs.

"who didn't know that there is more than one way to measure unemployment,"

There are, of course, quite a few ways, including several that the federal government publicizes.

"and whose economic knowledge begins (and ends) with the concept of a GDP."

Obviously a judgment call, but given your level of discourse here and elsewhere, I stand by this remark.

"This is also a guy who firmly believes that all liberals and lefties hated Ronald Reagan with a passion,"

False, as the very notion of "Reagan Democrats" would quickly show.

"that Reagan was right about everything and that 'liberal college professors' of the time were wrong about everything"

False. You haven't been able to identify even a single issue or a single "liberal college professor" for which this was true.

"that liberals and lefties absolutely hate our troops and vomit when positive commercials and news stories about our armed forces are shown."

False, of course.

"So you were paying attention. I did get the 60% wrong"

Yup; laughably and stupidly wrong, since Bush was riding a very predictable slight bounce from the Iraq elections and the SOTU address. Everyone in the real world knew damn well that Bush's ratings would begin to fall immediately. Not only were you stupidly wrong, you were proved wrong in just two days with the very next Gallup poll.

"but I nailed everything else."

LOL. As noted above, this is completely and laughably false.

"I'm not sure Condi will do much campaigning"

Nice try at moving the goalposts, moron, but you didn't say that Rice would play a role in the 2006 elections, you said that her confirmation hearings would. That Karl Rove would run commercials prominently featuring Ted Kennedy's and Barbara Boxer's questioning of Rice. So where are those commercials, rdw? Where is all the outrage you predicted would affect the 2006 elections?

"but race will be a factor in these elections and it will be negative for the Democrats."

ROFLMAO.... And another false assertion. Um, rdw, has it really escaped your notice that support for Republicans and for Bush has been falling among blacks and latinos and other minority voters?

"I was dead on regarding Ronnie on the fools on campus."

No, dear, you weren't, which is why you haven't been able to identify even a single "fool" on campus, much less how they were "wrong on everything" while Reagan was "right on everything." Not one, rdw; why is that?

"Gotta love Ward Churchill."

Um, since Churchill has diddly-squat to do with Reagan, forgive me if I don't take this as a serious example of, well, anything, other than the fact that you continue to live in a fantasy world.

"I was also dead on regarding France."

ROFL.... Q.E.D. Sorry, dear, but your ignorance of economics is showing again.

See what I mean, guys? Laugh at him, mock him, ignore him, pity him, point out his ignorance, and so on, but don't take him seriously and don't expect a serious debate.

Posted by: PaulB on July 7, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

"See what I mean, guys? Laugh at him, mock him, ignore him, pity him, point out his ignorance, and so on, but don't take him seriously and don't expect a serious debate."

Posted by: PaulB on July 7, 2006 at 10:05 PM

Agreed! These days I just skip over his work unless I see it referenced in someone else's comment and I find it worth going over the original in context. There are only a very select few that I just skip past even in the trolletariat but rdw is one of them. I prefer the thought that this is a paid or unpaid operative working on behalf of the GOP for the idea that someone could manage to live in this degree of delusional perception of reality in real life is simply too disquieting for me to want to do so. That said I certainly do not dismiss that possibility given the downward spiral American politics has taken over the past decade primarily through the active work of the GOP and the passive response to it by the Dems along with the rise of ideologically conservative media (Fox, talk radio) and the clear fear that permeates the rest of the media (which is generally non-ideologically biased despite conservative claims to the contrary) in contradicting those sources for the most part.

Posted by: Scotian on July 7, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush donning blue tights and simply flying off would do just fine for me.

Posted by: Mark on July 8, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian wrote: " I prefer the thought that this is a paid or unpaid operative working on behalf of the GOP for the idea that someone could manage to live in this degree of delusional perception of reality in real life is simply too disquieting for me to want to do so."

Unfortunately, even the GOP isn't stupid enough to pay someone like rdw, whose little fantasies go so far off the deep end that he makes all Republicans look bad. I'm afraid that rdw really is the idiot he appears to be. The only alternative is that he's playing a really elaborate and long-lasting troll game (cf. DougJ and American Hawk) and, if so, my hat's off to him since, if so, it's a complete success.

Posted by: PaulB on July 8, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB:

Perhaps, but then again look at what the believers of the Texas GOP believe and then it doesn't seem quite so difficult to believe. As I said, I prefer the idea that this particular poster is some sort of operative to be preferable to this being a true believer willing and able to spend the amount of time this poster does in spreading his nonsense. It is more of a comfort thing than anything else, as I noted I can well believe that he is that true believer totally here under his own initiative. It is just a really sad commentary on the education and reasoning ability of those that genuinely swallow the propaganda that this poster so routinely proclaims is the real truth of matters were that to be the case.

Posted by: Scotian on July 8, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

OK, OK !!! So what is our "foreign policy" - and can some one define how we KNOW when we "win" the war on terror . . . ??? I'm personally living in "terror" that the likes of Rick Sanscrotum, Ralph Reed, Dick Cheney and Alertta Gonzales will decide my personal life, thoughts and definition of our Constitutional Rights.

Posted by: Jess Wonderin on July 10, 2006 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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