Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PATRIOT GAMES....Carl Hulse and Rachel Swarns in the New York Times:

As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

George Packer on the Bush administration in the New Yorker:

I think what those people have done is [turned] what should be very difficult strategic policy questions into, essentially, part of a permanent campaign at home to win a political argument. I think theyve taken that more seriously, theyve given it more energy, and they consider it more important, in a way, than they do the actual conflict outside of our borders.

This is, by a long measure, the most underreported aspect of the Bush administration's war on terror. Not that they're pursuing the wrong strategy though they are but that in the end they don't really care that much one way or the other. Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections.

Kevin Drum 12:52 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (113)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

The GOP has one unfair advantage every election - they get to run against Democrats!

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 5, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Come on FKer - doesn't it bother you, just an ounce - that the GOP believes in little beyond the perpetuation of its own power? From your point of view, aren't they in power to do something?

Posted by: Friend of Labor on September 5, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Politics by other means, indeed.

Posted by: dj moonbat on September 5, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is both parties only care about getting re-elected.

Posted by: SteveL on September 5, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

The purpose of war is not the defeat of a foreign enemy but the control of political dissent. Not an original thought, but the Republicans take good notes.

Posted by: JJF on September 5, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

This is another result of the stupidity of modern journalism. A reporter's job is just to write down what the pols say. Does Bush/Cheney/Rummy really believe what he's saying, or is he just trying to win an election? Well, a person's motivation is not observable, and therefore doesn't fall under a reporter's job description. All sorts of things are able to hide in plain sight.

Posted by: Garamond12 on September 5, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, I am not sure that winning wars is even secondary to them. Keeping conflict in perpetuity workd better with their ad-hoc view of pokicy, which needs to keep everyone frightened for it to work.

All guys like FK and Al can come up with, in the end, is the Yeah-but-we-always-beat-you argument, thereby proving (again) how little they care about the well-being of their countrymen, let alone the world. We have to get these fake patriots past the schoolyard-taunting phase if we ever want serious policy discussions in this country, or even on this site.

Posted by: Kenji on September 5, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

From Making Light,

Two of the well-paid and well-connected firms who are orchestrating professional astroturf comments on weblogs are NetVocates and The Rendon Group. The latter is scarier.

If you want to get some idea of the resources being devoted to falsifying and suppressing legitimate public discourse, consider that paid professionals are being hired to post agenda-pushing comments on midrange blogs. . . .

MoreWhat.com linked to my previous astroturf post, and gave additional information on the evil doings of the Rendon Group:

In 1991, prior to the first Gulf War, president George H W Bush signed an executive order directing the Central Intelligence Agency to create the conditions for Saddam Husseins removal. So the CIA hired a PR firm called the Rendon Group to run an anti-Saddam propaganda campaign

As part of that campaign, the group founded the Iraqi National Congress headed by Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi. Writing in The New Yorker magazine, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said the Rendon Group paid close to a hundred million dollars of CIA money to the INC.

Posted by: cld on September 5, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Not clear on what you are saying, Garamond12 -- on whether jourmalists should just report the he said-he said shit or go further into providing context for readers (ie. calling the pol on their lies).

Posted by: Kenji on September 5, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Getting past schoolyard taunting phase is not on for some. Remember : a match of wits with an unarmed opponent is an exercise in frustration.
They won't play by your rules. Theirs involve deceit : smoke and mirrors.
You can mock overly simplistic viewpoints. Anyone know the abridged lyrics to "Poor Johnny One-Note" ? ( That's a come-on to make some up ).
How can one have intelligent discourse in this venue ? Don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: opit on September 5, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats have spent months trying to weaking the NSA terrorist surveillance program and they have whined and complained about how terorrists are treated at Guantanamo. They have accused our troops of committing torture. They invited Michael Moore, an unabashed USA hater, to sit in the presidential box at the last Demo convention.

So it's hard for me to feel any sympathy for Dems who whine it's UNFAIR when the GOP accuses them on being weak on terror.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 5, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections."

Because for Republicans it's all about how to enrich their clients and in so doing enrich themselves.

To quote Ronald Reagan in 1980:

"the war poverty is over...the poor lost"

So true.

Posted by: S Brennan on September 5, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:
One question: How so?
a)How (by a long measure, no less!) is this the most underreported aspect of Bush? Every move, every non-move by anyone in the Bushadmin is bombarded by accusations of competitive campaigning.
b)You really think they don't care one way or the other?
You've got to be kidding me!
Please elaborate...

Posted by: bj on September 5, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the NYT just cottened onto this, they're like the Communist Party in China, terrified of loosing power, because then everyone would know how corrupt they are, or have been, lets hope.

Posted by: Terry on September 5, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

There really was no great need for immigration "reform". What we really need is to deal with is political corruption.

Most politicians - Dems and GOP - in effect support illegal immigration. Some of the reason may be because they think they can get votes; some of it may be because they're in effect paid off by companies that profit from illegal activity; some of it may be because U.S. citizens are a pain and they think "immigrants" will be easier to deal with.

No matter the reasons why they do it, it's all political corruption. And, the "reform" that almost all Democrat leaders and many GOP leaders support would give in to those corrupt forces and make them stronger.

Maybe instead of simply providing snippets of NYT pieces Kevin Drum could do a bit more thinking about this issue and whether "reform" is in the best interests of the nation.

== Immigration Wiki ==

Posted by: TLB on September 5, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Well Afghanistan has a bumper crop and the Talban has taken back large patches of the South. The Kurds have taken down the Iraqi flag and raised the Kurdish one. Another Iraq leader has given up and says he can't stop the civil ['Sectarian' ala Bush] war in Iraq as the Iraqi Government hunkers down in the green zone. Bush doesn't want peace, even the Arabs seem to.

"Speaking during an Aug. 20 conference call of the U.S. Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, Beilin said, "The Bush Administration doesn't believe in Mideast peace." He added that he had thought his proposal for a return to Madrid would be attractive to George Bush given his poor political position, but "I'm not sure that he understands it."

"Israel could have had negotiations with Syria this year, Beilin [Former Israeli justice minister] reported, but Bush blocked it: "It's the first time an Arab leader was ready to negotiate, and America said 'no.' " Beilin said that given the political weakness of not only Bush but all the leaders in the regionincluding Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Syrian President Bashir Assad, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, and Palestinian President Abu Mazenthey should "do something big enough which will serve the national interests and save their political lives"
==
Heckuva job Arbusto!!

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 5, 2006 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Come on, FKer - don't change the subject. The question is not about Dem whining - which we can debate separately. The issue is whether your guys have a concern in the world about doing anything about the GWOT, or are simply pandering for reelection. The "yeah but the other guys are just as bad" line is only so much childishness. Doesn't it concern you in the slightest that they are going to do jack on immigration - something you apparently care about?

Posted by: Friend of Labor on September 5, 2006 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin continues to deteriorate, becoming progressively more imature and silly whenever he talks about the war on terror or any other miliary matter.

He now asserts republicans don't care one way or the other about the security of Americans. He criticizes them because, after being bombarded by criticism of their performance on national security, they want to fight back in a political campaign?

He claims an "unreported story" that Kevin and his coherts believe republicans do not care about national security. Can you imagine how they would react if republicans said that about democrats? All very sad, especially since Kevin generally is more reasonable and mature than his lefty friends.

A while back Kevin claimed there was a "profound" story being missed about how the Bush administration has made folks like him extremists (as if anyone cares) and now he declares the most unreported story is that extremists like himself belief republicans do not care about national security.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

He claims an "unreported story" that Kevin and his coherts believe republicans do not care about national security. Can you imagine how they would react if republicans said that about democrats?
Posted by: brian

but of course, as I'm sure brian is aware, repubs DO routinely say this about democrats. and knowing this, brian can shove his sanctimony deep into his rectum.

cheney, a man who has simultaneously somehow managed to dodge actual combat AND still somehow be a war profiteer, advocate for torture, and war criminal, suggested that the partisanship of Lamont supporters sent signals of american weakness to al qaeda.

that grovelling toadie ken mehlman asserting that Dems stood for "defeeat and retreat."

these are partisans involved with moral uprights like nixon and ollie north, who lack any actual combat experience to fall back on, working on the one agenda they know something about, namely politicking. These cowards can't fight, and they're proving daily they can't lead.

But they can scare people into voting for them ... expect the color coded terror alerts any day now.

Posted by: Nads on September 5, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, brian. Whatever you say.

I'm sure that you have lots of conversations with the guy who looks just like you, but only hangs out in your bathroom behind that funny window.

Or, to put it less allegorically: to the Republicans, 'terror' is the continuation of electoral politics. The reflection in the mirror is not the thing itself.

Posted by: ahem on September 5, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Brian - your concern for Kevin's health is touching. He no doubt appreciates your sadness at his deterioration, growing immaturity and loss of reasonablenss.

There's an easy cure available - to you. Why don't you stop reading him? There are thousands of blogs more suited to your worldview.

You and your fellow trolls remind me of that old Woody Allen line - the food at this restaurant is terrible, and the portions are so small!


Posted by: Friend of Labor on September 5, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections

The Administration and its loyal followers believe that they are the right guys for the job. They see the continuation of their power as a victory in the GWOT in and of itself. It's not their fault elections happen every two years. Otherwise they might have time to actually do something besides campaigning.

Posted by: enozinho on September 5, 2006 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe instead of simply providing snippets of NYT pieces Kevin Drum could do a bit more thinking about this issue and whether "reform" is in the best interests of the nation.

Whereas Know-Nothing monomaniacs like El Wacko have done all their thinking already.

Reform is necessary because no matter how many fences get built, the immigration system will remain fucked. 'Securing the borders, who cares about the bureaucracy' just kicks the problem down the road until the next election year, at which point the borders still won't be 'secure', and the previous fence-building exercise will be condemned as a failure.

But that's what happens when people who know fuck-all about immigration, but think they know a lot about scary brown people, control the debate.

Posted by: ahem on September 5, 2006 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

in the end they don't really care that much one way or the other. Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections.

Leaving aside their dishonesty, "not caring" much about the War on Terror is actually pretty rational, given that the threat is almost completely hype. If only our brave "muscular" liberals, like Kevin, could agree.

Posted by: luci on September 5, 2006 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

Is security really a winning issue for Republicans? They may think it makes them look strong, the way some guys think a comb-over makes them look young, but most Americans agree that Iraq has been a disaster.

There are only so many people who are always so afraid that they'll believe in any threat, whether it be Communists, blue-helmeted troops in black helicopters or Islamic terrorists hiding in caves. Most people eventually get tired of being afraid, stand up and call "bullshit". We need to be there when they do that.

Our guys have to start putting themselves across as steadfast defenders of liberty, as unafraid of the bullies in White House as they are of the terrorists. Perhaps we can do that by calling anyone who exaggerates the external threat a coward, and anyone who justifies the invasion of Iraq a liar.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 5, 2006 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

I've been watching this trend for some time.

In the 1980s, it was popular in policy circles to argue the radical notion that internal politics were as important to analyzing international relations as the interests of the states themselves. We had an excellent example at the time: The military conflict between Libya and the U.S. made little sense from the perspective of the interests of the two states, but both leaders profited enormously on the internal political level; therefore, war was inevitable. Once the idea was put forward, it seemed obvious that it was true.

In the 1990s, I began to be amazed at commentary from out-of-power GOP policy people. They seemed to be putting forward positions which were designed to undermine Clinton, but which would be of no use whatever in actually running a foreign policy. This came not just from politically oriented policy lightweights like Condoleeza Rice. Genuine policy heavyweights like Lawrence Eagleburger were enthusiastic participants as well. The acme of this trend came in the 2000 presidential debates when George W. Bush said that he thought the Europeans were not pulling their weight in the Kosovo peacekeeping force. However well this may have played in Peoria, it had no relation to any policy which could have ever been pursed on the ground (where, after all, we had supplied only a token force compared to Europe's 85% of the troops).

But I watched this without realizing where it was really going.

I thought of this as a pig-in-a-poke situation: We were not being told what the actual policies would be. We were not allowed to know what real interests would be pursued. I looked forward with some curiosity as to what the real policies would be. I did not rule out the possibility that they might be better than they appeared.

But I was wrong.

There was no bad policy hiding in the poke. There was no good policy hiding in the poke. There was no policy. The poke was all there was: an election-year PR campaign.

Hard as it is to believe, these guys are trying to run a "global war on terror" as if it were nothing but a way to demonstrate their macho credentials. And FrequencyKenneth is proof they are succeeding, bizarre as that seems.

Posted by: scotus on September 5, 2006 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK

brian continues to deteriorate, becoming progressively more dishonest and silly whenever he critiques Drum's comments in his faux-moderate tone.

He claimes Kevin "asserts republicans don't care one way or the other about the security of Americans." Yet Drum's critique was that for Republicans, "Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections." A critique, of course, brian can't rebut, hence his straw man. (Bonus points, of course, for posting from within the "Republicans are inherently strong and Democrats are inherently weak on defense" frame.)

Where would dishonest Bush apologists -- but I repeat myself -- be without straw man arguments?

In any case, I'd go farther than Kevin. Winning the war is not secondary to winning elections for the Republicans -- winning elections depends on not winning, but rather perpetuating, the war. What evidence is there that Bush is at all serious about "winning" the war? Given that Bush insists on paying for his wars with a t tax cut, the evidence is clear that he is not serious.

It's satisfying indeed to see the GOP's decades-long branding effort as "strong on defense" swirl down the drain of Bush/Cheney's incompetence, leaving apoloigists like brian nothing but weak straw man arguments in the face of Americans not trusting Republicans on national security for a generation.

Posted by: Gregory on September 5, 2006 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

If you are saying that the GOP has become a bunch of narrow-minded, craven opportunists who care more about party loyalty than the United States of America, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

As far as being "tough on terror", two words - WHERE'S OSAMA????

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 5, 2006 at 6:31 AM | PERMALINK

I've been saying that here and at may elsewheres for awhile and have been ignored: the reason they fucked up this war so badly and continue to do so is because all along their only real concern has been the politics of it. This is why it has been foolish for you Kevin and others like you to constantly talk about withdrawing - you play into their hands. Now, possibly they've fucked up so badly it won't matter but a more subtle, more thoughtful, nore cunning approach would would have seen a bigger payoff - because let's face it, the Republicans should be wiped off the map in Novemeber but that's probably not gonna happen and all because certain elements on the left were unable to step outside their limiting ideology and see the big picture.

Posted by: Sherman's Marche on September 5, 2006 at 6:35 AM | PERMALINK

If it wasn't the gwot, it would be something else. The Republican't Party needs enemies. Have to keep the rubes scared, you know.

Posted by: merlallen on September 5, 2006 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that Bush plans to spend $20 million on a freaking PR campaign to promote the "success" of the Iraq war tells you everything you need to know about his mentality.

These people are fundamentally hucksters. They're the like to worst of Madison Avenue --- those late-night informercials selling the "it slices, it dices" crap to gullible insomniacs.

All the slick PR in the world doesn't change the fact that sooner or later, you have to deliver. PR isn't going to solve the problem. We're losing the goddamn war -- and the assholes in charge have no intention of changing tactics in any way.

Why don't they spend $20 million on body armor? Or put it into the VA? Or on inspecting cargo?

May they rot in hell.

Posted by: Harpo on September 5, 2006 at 7:15 AM | PERMALINK

YOU THINK???


Are their eyes open yet?

Posted by: Dancer on September 5, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have tied their short-term prospects (and their long-term historical status) to an endless war on terror. The war has been conceived, launched, and managed as if it were a controlled burn (maximizing dastruction overseas while minimizing it here). The Republicans would be bereft if the fires they are fanning were go go out.

They don't want to win the war on terror. They want to win the elections, win the arguments (by yelling the loudest and the most persistently and by shutting up the opposition), win the territory, win the resources, win the money. When Bush talks strategy, he can't describe the process, because its core is cheating.

Posted by: clem on September 5, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

And The New York Times and The New Yorker have only just figured this out?

It has been obvious for God knows how long that the only things this crowd cares about are:
1. power; and
2. enriching their friends to bolster their support, thereby perpetuating no. 1

And they have demonstrated that they are very good - extremely competent - in these endeavours.

So, no, not incompetence in the areas normal people care about - Occam's Razor provides the answer: they don't care.

Posted by: JB (not the U.N. John Bolton) on September 5, 2006 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to believe that Republicans really do care about their country, but I have read Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich and it is clear from their writings that party trumps all.

The "government doesn't work and we are going to prove it" crowd has had 6 years to encourage our money and middle class jobs to fly overseas. That they have been very successful can be seen from the rapid decline in median incomes.

Following Republicans down a long but steady decline to third world status is not my idea of a future.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats staked out their position on national security over the past months and years, Kevin.

What is really pathetic is they are afraid to defend their position at election time.

Cry me a river.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 5, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Condi now says those who oppose the Iraq war also opposed ending slavery. I guess after we fought for the south during the war, we climbed back into our time capsules and traveled forward in time 35 years and appeased Hitler, then made another pitstop in the 60's to lose Vietnam and so on.


http://www.nydailynews.com

Secretary of State Rice compared the Iraq war with the American Civil War, telling a magazine that slavery might have lasted longer in this country if the North had decided to end the fight early.

"I'm sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold," Rice said in the new issue of Essence magazine.

"I know there were people who said, 'Why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?'" Rice said.

Posted by: Mario on September 5, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

What is really pathetic is they are afraid to defend their position at election time.

Frequency Kenneth tries and tries, but -- unwittingly? -- engages in a bit of projection. The GOP's handwaving is precisely because they aren't willing, or able, to defend their record of mendacity, incomeptence and corruption, and no amount of FK repeating the "Democrats are weak on defense" mantra can distract from the fact.

Posted by: Gregory on September 5, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

The "war on terror" indeed - the Repukeliscum are terrified that they will be voted out.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 5, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP will continue to run on patriotism and scare mongering so long as it works. This will only collapse when the internal flaws bring its demise. Meanwhile, no Dem really wants to face the mess that would follow withdrawal from Iraq.

The Dems could win sweeping majorities if only they would pledge to: 1) limit the IRS 1040 to the shorter of 35 lines or one page, 2) cut legal immigration, 3) allow employers to deduct wage expenses only if paid to legal residents, 4) allow any worker to denounce abusive employment practices without fear of deportation, 5) promise fiscal responsibility in contrast to GOP "borrow and spend" policies, and 6) appeal to people's dislike of government meddling in other affairs by keeping the state out of private contracts on civil relations, scientific research, or reproductive decisions. These are issues about which most Americans are unhappy, which the GOP cannot address, and which Dems can offer more than just a "me too" approach.

Posted by: jkoch on September 5, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Good point. As an aside, I note that the first commentator to tag Bush (per Pluto) as a "dwarf president" was by "Cal" at http://reasonality.wordpress.com/. It's funny. (I noted in a previous thread that we should refer to the strife in Iraq as a "dwarf civil war", and Bush's administration as a "dwarf presidency."

Posted by: Neil' on September 5, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

"The GOP's handwaving is precisely because they aren't willing, or able, to defend their record of mendacity, incomeptence and corruption,......." - greggy

Failed strategy indeed. What was your plan again, isolationism?

[O]ver the next 12 to 18 months, I can see the Iraqi security forces progressing to a point where they can take on the security responsibilities for the country with very little coalition support, U.S. Army General George Casey told reporters in Baghdad August 30"

By David McKeeby
Washington File Staff Writer

Well it may appear some of the more moderate Arab states may begin to think were serious, despite all of you.

"Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said his country's troop contribution to the international force was an attempt by the tiny Persian Gulf nation "to tell the world of the Arab presence, even modestly, in this force and to tell Israel that we believe in this decision and so we want to contribute in implementing it."

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz _ leader of another key Muslim country _ was considering a similar pledge as he toured the Dahiyah district of south Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold that was pounded to rubble by Israeli missiles during the war.

"If it helps the settlement of peace, Pakistan may consider contributing troops to Lebanon, but such a decision has not been made yet," the Anatolia news agency in Turkey quoted Aziz as saying."


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/world/4163001.html

Good luck with Howard Dean though.

Posted by: Jay on September 5, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the Republicans aren't interested in winning the "war" on "terror" because, well, there is no spoon.

Foreign Affairs has a great article excerpted here, that asks the question: If it is so easy to pull off an attack, and the terrorists are so demonically competent, why have they not done it?

Rarely is the question asked...

Posted by: lambert strether on September 5, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK


We offer cheap auto insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, personal loans,free car donation, breakdown cover and much more! Cheap travel insurance for holiday travel for UK and International travellers. Single trip, Annual, Ski and Longstay travel insurance for backpackers and holidays. Travel policies available online.So if you are searching for the policy to suit you, look no further than here.house insurance,for more life insurance,plz checking the new website for cheap car insurance

Posted by: free on September 5, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post is slander, pure and simple. To accuse the American Government's ruling party of not caring about national security is disgusting as it is inaccurate. There's liberal thinking on display: no substantive policy ideas, no evidence to support their position, just demonization of conservatives. It's pathetic.

Posted by: Rock on September 5, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

This line from today's NY Times article on the "revamped" war on terror speaks directlly to Kevin's original point:

In the report, the White House said the nation has become safer since the Sept. 11 attacks, although it said we are not yet safe.

Of course we are not safe yet. If we were safe the repubs would lose their reason for being elected. They've used this same approach for as long as I can remember, back to Nixon at least, and hopefully at least a few former supporters are catching on to the tactic. We'll see in this next election.

Posted by: mdsand on September 5, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

As opposed to Democrats who have been itching to push Bush harder to achieve victory instead of 'redeploying' our forces from Iraq to Okinawa....

Oh....

What's that?

Nevermind.

I guess Dems are only worried about elections.

Posted by: Birkel on September 5, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

George Packer wrote, ...they consider it [the election campaign] more important, in a way, than they do the actual conflict outside of our borders. The words "in a way" makes Packer's statement meaningless. All he's really saying is that Bush is campaigning in favor of his chosen foreign policy. That's what a candidate is supposed to do.

Any Dems who think it's good politics to accuse Bush of intentionally not winning the war in Iraq are welcome to that talking point.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 5, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: You're trying to get slippery here: "Any Dems who think it's good politics to accuse Bush of intentionally not winning the war in Iraq are welcome to that talking point."

It's not that Bush is intentionally (how can anyone determine the intentions of a lying idiot?) not winning the war; it's that he is refusing to end it. If he wanted to end it, he could.

It is excellent politics, morality, and self-preservation to call him on this. Just because he's impervious to pain and reason doesn't mean the rest of the country is. Republicans are welcome to join the chorus of sanity.

Posted by: Mosquito on September 5, 2006 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I think that the only interesting thing about this post is that while this phenomena of caring more about elections that the GWOT has been apparent to anyone with their eyes and ears open, the MSM has been reluctant to put it to press. Maybe that is changing. Personally, I think that the press has an obligation to call BS when they think they see it. We are all free to agree or disagree.

Otherwise, the idea that the current administration cares more about winning elections than winning the GWOT is ... um...well...DUH!!!

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 5, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Lenin wanted to keep the USSR in a permanent state of "war communism," a constant siege/revolution mentality that would keep everyone in a never-ending mood of paranoia, fear and extremism. Sounds a lot like today's GOP.

Posted by: Speed on September 5, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth, aren't you the demented guy who was harassing Dan Rather all those years ago? When did they give you internet access at the asylum?

Posted by: Red on September 5, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Gauging motivation is not something reporters should always avoid, and there is a way to do it. By matching words and deeds, an observer can determine whether a speaker who claims certain ideals is actually acting consistently with those ideals.

Immigration reform is a great case-in-point, as you have a party that protests that this is an issue that is a core concern, a matter of fundamental importance. Yet they can't be bothered to act because it is not politically expedient for them.

At this point, it should be clear that this is not governing in the classical sense, it is really a concerted effort to block the government from acting so as to give the private sector unimpeded access to resources, domestic and foreign, that enrich the corporate sector.

This is not new under Bush, but he is truly the perfected form of the state as corporate muscle. Policy is a word that doesn't even make sense under the new paradigm, because it implies state action of a kind that is no longer viable. Instead, the actions of the state may only be evaluated along one dimension: their value in further dismantling the possibility of regulating the scope of private sector power.

Posted by: MarkC on September 5, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Mmosquito, you may be right. Maybe Packer is accusing Bush of fighting on in a hopeless war for political reasons.

I just read the more complete Packer quote in the New Yorker. He goes on to say, "But, beyond that, there is this ideological problem, which anyone who travels in that part of the world gets a heavy dose of. And we dont know what to do about it. And that is a failure of leadership." In other words, Packer says Bush is fighting wrongly in Iraq becauase of ignorance and faulty leadership.

Packer can't have it both ways. If Bush is sincere in trying to win, but using wrong strategy, then he isn't continuing the war for political gain.

Also, since the war in Iraq is quite unpopular, How can it be good politics for Bush to continue it?

As other posters have said, Packer is just libeling Bush every way he can, even if his accusations contradict each other.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 5, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Until the trolls can demonstrate why Democrats are weak on defense, rather then simply assert it, they should be ignored. And polls don't count. And neither does the McCarthyite tactic of claiming that criticism of their monumentally incompetent President undermines the Global War on Terror.

Because really, other than baseless assertion and aggressive stifling of dissent, what do these guys really have?

So come on trolls, bring it on. Let's hear some good, clear reasons why Bush would be better than a Democrat at making the country more secure.

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

It's really quite funny to see how shocked, shocked the wingnuts are to have Republican motives questioned.

Best selling right wing books have titles like "Treason" and "Party of Death". Combat vets who risked their lives (and sometimes gave their limbs) to defend this country are routinely slandered to score cheap political points.

Like classic bullies, when someone stands up and fights, using even a mild version of their own tactics, they burt into tears and run home.

Posted by: Fides on September 5, 2006 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

but that in the end they don't really care that much one way or the other. Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections.

It's not that they don't care, it's just that there is an aspect to the character of the Bush people that trumps everything else: ethnocentrism.

They see everything in terms of "us" vs. "them". If you disagree with them, you are one of "them", i.e., a person so different (and morally inferior) that they don't owe you anything, not fair play, not the truth, nothing. You may as well be a different species of animal vying for the same eco-space.

Everything is rationalized upon that basis. Does a Karl Rove think that he owes the American people the truth about anything? Even when its a matter of war and peace? Answer that question upon the basis of his behavior.

Do Rove and Libby have any remorse for outing a CIA agent? Does they have any qualms about lying about it?

No. To them, the Wilsons are the enemy first, Americans second. They are them. So any behavior is rationalized, justified, excused.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on September 5, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth is my favorite minion. He does my bidding unquestioningly. And delivers the children to me just as I ask.

Posted by: Lucifer on September 5, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

brewmn,

This is a fascinating thread. Kevin accuses republicans of not caring about national security (with no evidence) because they are fighting back on the issue in an election. The liberal posters enthusistically endorse the idea, without either offering evidence of repubs lack of caring or what dems will do.

But brewmn asks why Bush would be better than dems on national security (which technically is not the question being voted on this year, but it is close enough):

1. Bush generally believes in taking the attack to the terrorists, rather than playing defense, while dems largely favor defense; and

2. Bush is committed to fighting to win in Iraq, while democrats generally want to get out, hand terrorists their biggest victory yet and set the stage for much future unnecessary carnage.

I realize these point are debatable, which is what this election and especially the next election should be about.

ps. Not interested in the "we didn't catch Osama" argument -- it is a failure that we have not, but thus far, him successfully hiding (if still alive) has not produced any terror attacks - the more important objective was to diminish Al Queada and terrorism against the U.S., which Bush has clearly accomplished.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Brian,

1. bushie didn't take the attack to the terrorists. There was relative stability and tolerance in Iraq before he and Cheney created a hell on earth there.

2. Not only have the republicans perpetrated an unjust attack on the wrong "enemy", they have prosecuted this attack and the entire WOT that has cost this country its reputation, its respect, its dignity, its honor, its decency and has lost our soul. Its replaced national courage with national fear. They've done it in secrecy with contempt and lack of respect for the Constitution and the people of this country.

Republicans can try and make it about security all they want but all the Dems have to do to win this battle is repeat the mantra "Dems would have prosecuted this war without losing our soul, decency, dignity and honor". This will force the republicans on the defensive. To defend the undefendable - the corruption, torture, secrecy, lies, etc with which they've perpetrated this horror.

It's a battle you republicans cannot win.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 5, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

A comment was made a few moments ago that bears repeating. I have been hearing over and over again that the Demcorats are weak on security, but the Republicans refuse to cite specifics. They claim unnamed opponents to the war in Iraq are appeasers, but the never identify them, or what they have said that even hints of appeasing Al Qaeda.

I have looked all over the net for some examples of Democratic calls for appeasement, and so far I can't find them. I do see a lot of talk about redeployment out of Iraq, but no body is calling for a retreat from the actual GWOT, and actually nobody is calling for any kind of hasty withdrawl, just a recognition that the Iraqis have to stand up and stand up now. We really need to tell them we are leaving so they better get ready to handle things themselves.

More specifics and less mindless mouthing guys.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

chrissy,

No offense, but your softness about Iraq under Sadaam being a place of "relative stability and tolerance" and the need to prosecute the war on terror "without losing our soul, decency, dignity and honor" both accurately reflects the democratic party and shows why the American people have such reluctance to trust democrats on national security.

But again, the view of you and the democrats should be honestly argued before the people and we should let their votes decide.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Brian, your argument demonstrates exactly why the Republicans can't be trusted with national security. Sure, Iraq was a hell-hole under Hussein, but the violent death rate under George Bush's bootheel has skyrocketed. So, Hussein - fewer dead Iraqis and no dead American soldiers, under Bush - increased body count for both. Brian votes for spending money to make the lives of Iraqis worse and to kill our soldiers.

Run with that brian.

Posted by: heavy on September 5, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: Maybe Packer is accusing Bush of fighting on in a hopeless war for political reasons.


GWB claim: Saddam was a threat worthy of invasion


1991 invasion: 400k troops

2003 invasion: 150k troops (rummy had to be talked into that many)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

brian: Bush generally believes in taking the attack to the terrorists

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." -- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority. I am truly not that concerned about him." -- G.W. Bush, responding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 3/13/02

Posted by: thisspaceavialable on September 5, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

1. Bush generally believes in taking the attack to the terrorists, rather than playing defense, while dems largely favor defense; and Brian.

Is that right? Have we got Osama and the rest of the Al Qaeda leadership? Have we shut down the Madrassas in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan? Have the Saudis? What about Pakistan? Are the Taliban defunct? Is freedom on the march in Afganistan?

Proof that Bush want to fignt an agressive war on terror. Proof please.

2. Bush is committed to fighting to win in Iraq, while democrats generally want to get out, hand terrorists their biggest victory yet and set the stage for much future unnecessary carnage.

What does the war in Iraq have to do with the war on terror? How do you define "win" in a three way civil/religious war? Whose side are we on in that civil/religious war?

George handed the terrorists their biggest victory ever when he let them get away in Afganistan. In Iraq, he has handed the Iranians their biggest victory since they fell to Alexander the Great.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

All the Republicans bring to a discussion such as this is brain-dead, brainwashed, neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking mental slaves, mindlessly regurgitating scripted, programmed right-wing extremist drivel talking points.

Republicans: The Marching Morons.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 5, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

ron,

Last fall, Murtha said we should be out of Iraq in six months, which means we would have been gone in about April, Zarquawi would still be a live, Iraq would be far worse, we would be the laughing stock of the world, and we would be bearing the hideous cost of such foolishness for a generation at least. Democrats made Murtha a saint.

Pelosi agreed with Murtha. Kerry presented his own proposal with withdrawal within a short time. Kennedy wails about losing the war. Dean says we cannot win it.

You don't think withdrawing from Iraq constitutes appeasement. Leading democrats obviously don't think so either.

Dems generally oppose the NSA program. Repubs generally support it.

Again, we should debate all this in an open and honest manner and let the people decide. Not by saying "redeployment" when they mean withdrawal. Not by accusing republicans of not caring about national security, like Kevin has done here. One thing about Bush is he always speaks respectfully of the politicians who oppose him on Iraq and the war on terror. Democrats should do the same thing and be honest about where they stand.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Zarquawi would still be a live, Iraq would be far worse, we would be the laughing stock of the world

Zarqawi is dead, Iraq is in far worse shape than it was in April, and we were already pretty much the laughing stock of the world for invading and destabilizing Iraq when the inspectors were reporting that no WMD's or WMD programs existed.

Posted by: trex on September 5, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,

What does Iraq have to do with the globial war on terror? There weren't any terrorists in Iraq before we arrived.

Near as I can tell the winners in iraq are most likely going to be the iranians.

Is your problem Brian that you can't tell the difference between a "terrorist" and an Iranian? Do all brown people look the same to you?

Well about 60% of Americans have learned the difference. Nothing teaches geography and geopolitics better than nightly announcements of the names of newly dead soldiers.

Brian, you are soooo 2004.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

ex-Liberal wrote "Also, since the war in Iraq is quite unpopular, How can it be good politics for Bush to continue it?"

Simpy because Bush has no other politically viable option, not one.

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 5, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK


brian: Zarquawi would still be a live


what about saddam?


did you know....that more americans have died in iraq ..

since hussien's capture...

than all his 30-years in power...combined?

and multiplied...

many times...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Brian, the ones who are "soft" are your republican leadership. The ones who let OBL get away in order to create their own private hell hole in Iraq.

The ones who are "soft" are the republicans who shake in their boots over some unknown "enemy" and can't stand up like real men and women. You all are so afraid you don't even now who you're afraid of.

The ones who are "soft" are republicans who don't have the courage to fight based on honesty and honor.

The ones who are "soft" are the chickenshit republicans who run from accountability and truth. Won't answer the questions about how they started this and the barbaric and unconstitutional methods they're using. You should stop being so soft Brian and answer up and be accountable for what republicans are doing.

The republicans created this hell on earth and they did it dishonestly. If you don't think people (even in the south) are getting this, you better get real. I've heard it too many times recently from conservatives and vets - the war is wrong and more importantly the way it was perpetrated and has been prosecuted is an American disgrace.

Brian, if you want to live in fear with an unaccountable government that tortures and lies, go to North Korea. But you don't have any right to call yourself a patriot.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 5, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Dems generally oppose the NSA program. Repubs generally support it. Brian

That is not exactly accurate. Near as I can tell Democrats think the government should be required to follow the law. The boys in the administration don't believe laws passed by congress apply to them. There are plenty of Republcans who are not real comfortable about the NSA program and want to see if it can be made legal. Mostly, however, those Republicans are traditional Republicans and are not part of the present administration or their congressional enablers.

By the way, I am proud of the notion that I live in a country that espouses the rule of law. Why aren't you?

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Above someone postulates that Dems are surrender monkeys.

Okay, fine. Please show me all the statements from the Left's political leadership arguing for victory against those who would attack us.

I'll wait here.

Posted by: Birkel on September 5, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

are --> are not

whoops

Posted by: Birkel on September 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

august 2004

Lauer: You said to me a second ago, one of the things you'll lay out in your vision for the next four years is how to go about winning the war on terror. That phrase strikes me a little bit. Do you really think we can win this war on terror in the next four years?

President Bush: I have never said we can win it in four years.

Lauer: So Im just saying can we win it? Do you see that?

President Bush: I dont think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world let's put it that way.


.


The war on terror, five years on: an era of constant warfare

By Tom Coghlan in Kabul and Kim Sengupta

Published: 04 September 2006

Far from ending terrorism, George Bush's tactics of using overwhelming military might to fight extremism appear to have rebounded, spawning an epidemic of global terrorism that has claimed an estimated 72,265 lives since 2001, most of them Iraqi civilians.

The rest, some 30,626, according to official US figures, have been killed in a combination of terror attacks and counter-insurgency actions by the US and its allies. The figures were compiled by the US based National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (Mipt).


http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article1359854.ece


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

are --> are not

whoops

Posted by: Birkel on September 5, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Your drift to sarcasm after demanding and receivng proof of democrats taking weak positions with respect national security does not support your position.

As to everyone who takes the shot of us not getting Osama, as I said it my original ps, it is a failure but the more important issue is diminishing Al Queada and attacks on American - issues on which Bush has been larely successful.

To all who argue Iraq is not part of the war on terror. Osama calls it the great battle, his flunkies offer support, and the terrorists call themselves Al Queada or Iraq or Mesopotania. I don't see how it is correct to argue that Iraq is not part of the war on terror. In addition to the other side proclaiming it to be, they are blowing up and killing innocents -- how is fighting that not part of the war on terror? Please don't blame America for terrorists killing innocents in Iraq -- not a serious argument.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Please don't blame America for terrorists killing innocents in Iraq -- not a serious argument.

Sure it is. Al Qaeda had killed no one in Iraq before we destabilized the government and then didn't have a plan to secure the country.

If we knocked over the government of Norway tomorrow without replacing it and Al Qaeda took advantage of the security vacuum and began killing civilians, our country would surely be responsible.

Iraq is only part of the war on terror to the extent that Bush keeps opening up fronts that invite terror attacks where there were none. And this isn't "flushing out" terrorists, this is simply creating lots of people who want to kill us for various reasons that fuzzy-headed nitwits call "terror" to support their political aims and assuage their existential fears.

Posted by: trex on September 5, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"1. Bush generally believes in taking the attack to the terrorists, rather than playing defense, while dems largely favor defense; and

2. Bush is committed to fighting to win in Iraq, while democrats generally want to get out, hand terrorists their biggest victory yet and set the stage for much future unnecessary carnage.

I realize these point are debatable, which is what this election and especially the next election should be about.

ps. Not interested in the "we didn't catch Osama" argument -- it is a failure that we have not, but thus far, him successfully hiding (if still alive) has not produced any terror attacks - the more important objective was to diminish Al Queada and terrorism against the U.S., which Bush has clearly accomplished."

The mere fact that you, in good Republibot fashion, automatically conflate Iraq and the War on Terror, and then take the "didn't catch Osama" argument off the table, show that you are not willing to debate the topic honestly. Fuck you, brian.

Oh, and SecularAnimist nails it!

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,

Are you really that dumb? It has been 5 years since 9/11. It took Osama about 8 years to move from the first attack on the world trade center to the second. The absence of an attack in the last five years proves nothing.

Progress in the war on terror will not come from killing "terrorists." They jump up as soon as the conditions are right. You are never going to terrorize the terrorists into not attacking.

Instead we are going to have to deal with the causes of terrorism. I have a hunch replacing the terrorist schools and defeating the underlying relgious movement will have a lot more to do with ending Islamic fundamentalist terrorism than blowing up innocent Iraqis. That means we have to take the war to the heart of the terrorist movement. Well, as near as I can tell that is in the terrorist training centers in Great Britian, Saudi Arabia, France, and Pakistan.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws

They are at an impasse. No law yet presented can get a majority in both houses of Congress. With an election imminent, it makes sense for them to address other issues. A majority in the Senate, and a different majority in the House, believe that the status quo is better than a compromise.

Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections.

Yes. If you lose the elections it doesn't matter whether you have a good or bad policy. That was why you opposed the California redistricting plan: fair districts would reduce the Democratic majority the California delegation.

Posted by: republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Brian,

Are you really that dumb?"

I'm assuming that question was rhetorical.

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

brian wrote: Not by accusing republicans of not caring about national security, like Kevin has done here.

I accuse you of being an ignorant, weak-minded, gullible fool.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 5, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

brewmn and others,

I never understand why you think personal attack and profanity against those you disagree with is appropriate, or that it helps persuade readers that you are correct. I've said my piece. Sorry if I annoyed you folks, but Kevin started it by accusing republicans of not caring about national security.

One last time, I have said twice that not catching Osama yet (is he is still alive) is a failure, but not the important issue. You guys just cannot resist harping on it, because it is such an easy shot. But how would the war on terror be significantly different today if Osama was caught (other than Bush being more popular), instead of hiding in fear or quietly dead and burried somewhere. And those who feel the failure to get him is some huge problem with Bush, how did Clinton do on that issue and on the more important isssues of diminishing Al Queada and terrorism against America?

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bingo, Kevin.

Give the man a cigar.

The War on Terra is, was, and always has been about keeping Cheney in power with the Chimperor as front man.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

But how would the war on terror be significantly different today if Osama was caught

Criminal syndicates are often crippled when their leader is caught, and Al Qaeda is a criminal syndicate. They are not a state, so there is no "war" on terror, unless the phrase is used figuratively like "war" on poverty.

Also, a criminal who'd committed a horrible crime would be brought to justice, with all the effects that ripple outward from that.

That's what would be different.

Until you can wrap your mind around the fact that what this administration blithely refers to in the aggregrate as "terrorist groups" are in fact disconnected parties that include criminal syndicates, guerillas, religious extremists and in some cases freedom fighters -- all with their own unique agendas -- then further discussion about the state of the "war on terror" is pointless. Military intervention described as vital to this "war" is actually fomenting terrorism by creating resentment against the U.S. and fostering internicine violence as we've seen in Iraq.

To wit, if China were to invade the U.S. and abolish our government and constitution without replacing it, I'm certain we'd see all sorts of "terrorist" groups emerge from the citizenry and vie for power where there were none before.

Posted by: trex on September 5, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

brian wrote: I never understand why you think personal attack and profanity against those you disagree with is appropriate, or that it helps persuade readers that you are correct.

No one with any sense would waste a moment trying to "persuade" you of anything, since it is obvious that you are a deliberately dishonest, brain-dead, brainwashed, neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking mental slave of scripted, programmed, right-wing extremist Republican propaganda, who is incapable of doing anything but robotically regurgitating the turds that you gobble from Rush Limbaugh's stinking toilet bowl and the bile that you slurp from the toxic sewer that is Fox News.

You are an ignorant, weak-minded, gullible fool who is incapable of independent thought. You simply recite the talking points that the Republican propaganda machine spoon-feeds you to recite. You think what they tell you to think. You say what they tell you to say.

You are a mental slave. Only you can free your mind from this slavery, but you won't, because you love being a slave.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 5, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush generally believes in taking the attack to the terrorists"

Then WHERE'S OSAMA????

Why did he invade IRAQ????

This is total BS.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 5, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

SA,
I still don't get why the profanity and personal attack, but I admit your response is funny. I love self parody. Thanks.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"That was why you opposed the California redistricting plan: fair districts would reduce the Democratic majority the California delegation."

Au contraire.

Redistricting would make less SAFE districts, but could conceivably result in MORE Democrats elected.

I think you are using a tautology, conflating "fewer Democrats" with "more fair."

I'm pissed that the Democrats here were too chicken to go all Texas on the redistricting and elect ALL Democrats to Congress.

Out here in the Promised Land, we're just too darned even-handed, I guess.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 5, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

brian: I have said twice that not catching Osama yet (is he is still alive) is a failure..... You guys just cannot resist harping on it, because it is such an easy shot.

and because its true....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

brian: And those who feel the failure to get him is some huge problem with Bush, how did Clinton do on that issue and on the more important isssues of diminishing Al Queada and terrorism against America?


shorter brian: clinton bad..


name one thing bush did to improve the situation...before 9-11..

just one...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

"But how would the war on terror be significantly different today if Osama was caught (other than Bush being more popular), instead of hiding in fear or quietly dead and burried somewhere."

The only difference would be that we would most likely not be sacrificing a trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, and America's reputation on a war for which we still don't have a satisfactory rationale. Our money and prestige would have been better spent rebuilding Afghanistan, engaging in a smarter effort against terrorists, and developing better protections at our borders. Pretty significant, in my view.

The fact that Bush chose his diversionary war instead of the efforts I just listed shows that he, and by extension, the Republican Party, and you, are not serious about defending America against the threat of terrorism..

Furthermore, the fact that we haven't been attacked since 9/11 is a canard. Terrorists obviously spend a great deal of time learning how to pull these attacks off, and knew that 9/11 would bring greatly enhanced scrutiny and security. Based on past behavior, we would not be likely to see another large scale attack for several more years, without accounting for the heightened security post-9/11.

Your argument against Clinton also betrays your fundamental dishonesty. Clinton actually prosecuted some of those responsible for an earlier WTC attack, and prevented a millenium attack on the west coast, by, to use Richard Clarke's phrase, "running around with his hair on fire." Your boy Bush, when presented with similar warnings, went on vacation and dimissed an intelligence professional by saying "You've covered your ass now." In any fair analysis, Clinton was more concerned with terrorism than your boy Bush hands down. Plus, if you remember, when Clinton engaged in military action against Bin Laden, we was accused of "wagging the dog."

Sorry if I upset you, but the truth hurts. and the truth is that you are either a lying troll or very, very stupid.

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

"And those who feel the failure to get him is some huge problem with Bush, how did Clinton do on that issue and on the more important isssues of diminishing Al Queada and terrorism against America?"


Glad you brought this up.

Brian, you may want to take a look at legislative year 1996 and check out anti-terrorism legislation proposed by Clinton, which expanded wiretapping abilities, in addition to the anti-terrorism legislative proposals offered by Gore that specifically addressed airline security. Google that or hop onto CRS, if that is available to non-Hill staff.

As you will no doubt recall, Congress was controlled by the GOP. You can take a guess as to what they told Clinton and Gore in response, but you can also google that as well to be sure. I can save you the time, however---none of this legislation was scheduled to a vote, or even voted out of conference. You see, a decade-old land deal on which the Clintons lost money was #1 priority of the GOP, and I will bet dollars to donuts that impressionable Brian here was more wrapped up in Vince Foster's suicide that any thing that remotely resembled terrorism.

Contrast that with Bush. Read the 9/11 report. Seriously. Read how Clinton's team warned Bush personally that Bin Laden would be his no.1 priority. Read how Cheney's Anti-Terrorism Group met exactly 0 times in 2001. Read how Tenet informed Bush that the system was "blinking red" during the summer before 9/11. And of course there's the Aug. 6 PDB. A "historical" document, per Bush (thru Condi). A historical document that was regarded as such by no one other than Condi and Bush, and contained current information. Read how Bush didn't do a single thing in response. Hell, Condi admitted this under questioning in front of the committee. You can skip over the Richard Clarke portion--since you would presumably do that anyway---but when you are able at some point to extract you head from your ass, you should take a look, just to see what an utter disgrace we have for a president.

Posted by: beefcake blogger on September 5, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK


beefcake blogger: And of course there's the Aug. 6 PDB....

how did the "decider" react?

"All right. You've covered your ass, now."

-President Bush 8/6/2001 to a CIA briefer who informed him of the P.D.B. titled - Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 5, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

classic response by beefcake,

"And those who feel the failure to get him is some huge problem with Bush, how did Clinton do on that issue and on the more important isssues of diminishing Al Queada and terrorism against America?"


Glad you brought this up.

Brian, you may want to take a look at legislative year 1996 and check out anti-terrorism legislation proposed by Clinton, which expanded wiretapping abilities, in addition to the anti-terrorism legislative proposals offered by Gore that specifically addressed airline security. Google that or hop onto CRS, if that is available to non-Hill staff."

What did Clinton do? A legislative proposal and beefcake thinks that wins the argument.

Look, the truth is that the Clinton administration was mostly asleep at the switch on terrorism for 8 years and the Bush administration was mostly asleep at the switch for almost 8 months. I was just responding to the shots about Bush not catching Osama and supporting my view that Al Queada and terrorism against americans were bigger issues.

Posted by: brian on September 5, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"What did Clinton do? A legislative proposal and beefcake thinks that wins the argument."

Shorter brian: Clinton wouldn't break the law to spy on Americans, so he couldn't be serious about terrorism.

And you complain that we don't try to persuade you, you disgusting piece of lying trash. If you tried this method of argument with me face to face, I'd bash your lying teeth down your lying throat.

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Look, the truth is that the Clinton administration was mostly asleep at the switch on terrorism for 8 years and the Bush administration was mostly asleep at the switch for almost 8 months.

Look, Brian, there is a difference between being hamstrung by a blow job obsessed Republican Congress crying "wag the dog," and being brain dead. Clinton wasn't asleep so much as he was being actively hindered from doing his job by Republican "patriots" impeaching a President with 60% favorable rating.

Bush on the other hand, at least from all that I read in the 9/11 hearings, was actively ignoring the problem.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 5, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Good job, Jason. Everybody seemed to forget that, pre-9/11, Bush was blowing off the Agreed Framework w/North Korea and picking fights with the Chinese.

Of course, the rightwing nutjobs blame Clinton for the North Korea failures as well. Notice a pattern much?

Posted by: brewmn on September 5, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

brian wrote: I still don't get why the profanity and personal attack

I write what I write about you because you are an ignorant, weak-minded, gullible idiot who brings nothing to the discussion but robotic regurgitation of scripted propaganda, all of which is crap, and you deserve no more than insults in response.

And you "don't get" it, because you are an ignorant, weak-minded, gullible idiot ...

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 5, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK
Good job, Jason. Everybody seemed to forget that, pre-9/11, Bush was blowing off the Agreed Framework w/North Korea and picking fights with the Chinese.

As I remember it, Bush was bending over for the Chinese when they picked a fight with him.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 5, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

The comments here reflect the positions of a good part of America- Bush is perfect and if he says it, it is truth versus Bush is incompetent at best, and a lying thief at worst, who has bankrupted America on behalf of business interest.

I think that the conversation/debate should be directed towards those people who are subject to being swayed on the issue.

Consequently, there is no point in personally insulting brian. Nor, does there appear to be any point to brian's continued defense of this administration. It is simply more effective to ignore him.

OTOH- bryan is George Bush Jesus Christ returned? And, if so, how did Cheney miss the rapture? That is how you sound: Clinton is the source and root of all evil and Bush is the next best thing to the return go Jesus. People who enjoy a good debate get irritate at blind adherence to a position in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Out on Bond on September 5, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Let us now try to understand the mind-set of George the Bush and his cohorts. These people are dominated, controlled, imbued with an understanding of life that was coin of the realm for the first thirty-some thousand years of human existence. It is especially strong in the religions of Semitic origin, but at last, certainly in the more enlightened areas of the world, it is fading.

The Bushian creed: the world is divided into good and evil. Our side is right and righteous. Your side is wrong and evil. Whatever act is required to keep us in power, no matter how terrible it may seem in isolation, it is good if it maintains the power of the righteous ones.

You wouldnt know it to look at the Middle East today, but I firmly believe the good-evil dichotomy is losing. The three religions that are perpetuating it are having at it over there but they are in their latter days and as such are fighting even more fiercely. As soon as we get rid of the Bushies, I believe the good-evil dichotomy will never again have the power to raise its ugly hydra-heads to the heights that 9-11 afforded them.

Posted by: James of DC on September 5, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

James of DC wrote: The Bushian creed: the world is divided into good and evil.

The "Bushian creed" is much simpler than that, and in fact it can be expressed in one word: greed.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 5, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Even clear thinkers in the Pentagon (apparently not a contradiction in terms) are conceding that the Cheney/Rumsfeld GWOT, with its emphasis on brute force, regime changes, occupations, etc., has been shown to be a failure, as reported here by Pamela Hess, of UPI:

Analysis: Terror war may need name change
By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The United States should rethink the label it uses for what is known as the "global war on terror," the chief of strategic planning on the Pentagon's Joint Staff said Tuesday.

What is needed, said Army Col. Gary Cheek, is to recast terrorists as the criminals they are.

"If we can change the name ... and find the right sequence of events that allows us to do that, that changes the dynamic of the conflict," said Cheek at the Defense Forum Washington, sponsored by the Marine Corps Association and the U.S. Naval Institute.

"It makes sense for us to find another name for the GWOT," said Cheek. "It merits rethinking. I know our European allies are more comfortable articulating issues of terrorism as criminal threats, rather than war ... It ought to be our goal to partner better with the European allies so we can migrate this from a war to something other than a war."

The "war" moniker elevates al-Qaida and other transnational terrorists, giving them legitimacy as an opposition force to the United States. It also tends to alienate Muslim populations in other countries, who see the war as a war on Islam, and feel they need to support al-Qaida as a matter of defending their faith.

It also tends to frame the fight as one in which the Defense Department has the primary role, when it is becoming increasingly clear that the "long war" against global terrorism is going to be won on other fronts -- economic, political, diplomatic, financial. Other government agencies and departments must become more engaged; only they have the expertise to help other countries take the actions necessary to defeat terrorists.

Cheek's idea is not a new one, and for all the practical sense it makes to the military, it is being floated at a politically inopportune time. Both the U.S. House and the Senate hang in the balance, with a shift from Republican to Democratic control possible after the midterm elections.

To hang onto power, Republicans are returning to their strongest card: national security. And one of their chief attacks on Democrats is their alleged preference to manage terrorism as a law enforcement problem rather than being serious about defeating them in a war.

It's a tactic borrowed from President George W. Bush himself. Campaigning for his second term in 2004, Bush hit that theme often, attacking Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry for saying the war on terror was "far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering law enforcement operation."

Bush responded: "After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and supporters declared war on the United States of America -- and war is what they got."

But a little more than a year later, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers said in a speech at the National Press Club he had objected to the use of the term "war on terrorism" because it causes people to think that the military is the solution.

Within weeks, Bush publicly overruled Myers and Rumsfeld - who had also adopted the more complicated moniker "global struggle against violent extremism" -- by declaring in a speech in Texas in August 2005: "Make no mistake about it, this is a war against people who profess an ideology, and they use terror as a means to achieve their objectives."

Recent weeks have proven, in fact, that terrorism is often fought with law enforcement: British officials have arrested scores of alleged would-be homegrown terrorists plotting to blow up transatlantic flights to the United States.

And according to David Kilcullen, chief strategist in the State Department's office of the coordinator for counter-terrorism, such law enforcement operations may be more effective and more necessary in the months and years to come. The war in Afghanistan effectively disrupted al-Qaida as an "expeditionary" terrorist group that plans and carries out its own operations like the Sept. 11 attacks.

By contrast, the public transportation attacks in London and Madrid were carried out by local cells "grown close to the target."

"They are evolving away from pre-9/11 expeditionary terrorism to the guerrilla model," said Kilcullen, at the Defense Forum.

Al-Qaida has adopted the war in Iraq into its central strategy, portraying it as a war on Islam that it uses to gain recruits, funding, and score propaganda victories. If the United States can recast it in the global public eye as what the Pentagon views it as now -- a struggle for the imposition of law and order and the establishment of a democracy -- al-Qaida can be drained of some of its power.

The way to do that is to diminish the acts of suicide bombings and car bombings to acts of criminals rather than jihadists.

Tactically, the United States and its partners need to separate al-Qaida from the groups that do its bidding in service to their own local agendas, said Kilcullen. Strategically, al-Qaida and its terrorist tactics need to be delegitimized, according to Cheek.

"When we look at it, we want the world to view terrorism the way we view slavery," he said -- with opprobrium, and with broad global agreement to combat it. "I don't know that that's realistic. So the question is, what is realistic?"

"If we can reduce this to a criminal act, the local government has the capability to act," Cheek said. "The real trick is finding the right time to do that."

Afghanistan is nearly back to where it was prior to the Oct'01 invasion, Iraq only offers continued mayhem, and for all that there are people in the administration who are pushing for an assault against Iran. Can anyone seriously argue that what passes for "a strategy against terror" has honestly succeeded this past 5 years?

Posted by: barrisj on September 5, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Not that they're pursuing the wrong strategy though they are but that in the end they don't really care that much one way or the other.

And at other times I think you are just loony.

Posted by: republicrat on September 5, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ticketwood, a Real Time Price Comparison Ticket Site, Finds You the Lowest Ticket Prices on the Web for Concerts, Sports, Theater, NBA, MLB, NFL and More.

Concert tickets Concert tickets
Event tickets tickets
sports tickets tickets
theatre tickets tickets

baseball tickets BASEBALL tickets
MLB tickets MLB tickets
NBA tickets NBA tickets
basketball tickets BASKEBALL tickets
NFL tickets NFL tickets
football tickets NFL tickets
NHL tickets NHL tickets
hockey tickets NHL tickets
concert tickets concerts
sports tickets sports
theater tickets theatre
nascar tickets NASCAR
rodeo tickets RODEO
ncaa tickets NCAA
tennis tickets tennis
wwe tickets WWE
tickets Tickets
ticketwood tickets
ticketwood.com ticketwood.com tickets
ticketwood tickets ticketwood tickets
concert ticket concerts
concert concert
concert tour concert
concert live concert
theater tickets theatre
theatre tickets theatre
theater theatre
theatre theatre
ncaa ncaa
college football tickets college football
college basketball tickets college basketball
college tickets college tickets
nascar NASCAR
racing tickets NASCAR
racing NASCAR
rodeo RODEO
tennis tennis
wwe WWE
baseball BASEBALL tickets
MLB MLB tickets
NBA NBA tickets
basketball BASKEBALL tickets
NFL NFL tickets
football NFL tickets
NHL NHL tickets
hockey NHL tickets


Lakers tickets LAkers tickets
Heat tickets Heat tickets
Raiders tickets raiders tickets
Patriots tickets Patriots tickets

Dodgers tickets Dodgers tickets
Red sox tickets Red Sox tickets
Yankees tickets Yankees tickets
Kings tickets Patriots tickets

Bruins tickets Bruins tickets
Los Angeles tickets Los Angeles tickets
Las Vegas tickets Las Vegas tickets
New York tickets New York tickets

Miami tickets Miami tickets
San Francisco tickets San Francisco tickets
Boston tickets Boston tickets


Ticketwood, a Real Time Price Comparison Ticket Site, Finds You the Lowest Ticket Prices on the Web for Concerts, Sports, Theater, NBA, MLB, NFL and More.

http://www.ticketwood.com Concert tickets Concert tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com tickets tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/mlb baseball tickets BASEBALL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/mlb MLB tickets MLB tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nba NBA tickets NBA tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nba basketball tickets BASKEBALL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nfl NFL tickets NFL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nfl football tickets NFL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nhl NHL tickets NHL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nhl hockey tickets NHL tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/concert concert tickets concerts
http://www.ticketwood.com/sports sports tickets sports
http://www.ticketwood.com/theater theater tickets theatre
http://www.ticketwood.com/nascar nascar tickets NASCAR
http://www.ticketwood.com/rodeo rodeo tickets RODEO
http://www.ticketwood.com/ncaa ncaa tickets NCAA


http://www.ticketwood.com/tennis tennis tickets tennis
http://www.ticketwood.com/wwe wwe tickets WWE
http://www.ticketwood.com ticketwood tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com ticketwood.com ticketwood.com tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com ticketwood tickets ticketwood tickets


Priceless document what can I say great job with this blog. It really show that you took sometimes setting this up. tickets


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com]Ticket[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com]Tickets[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com]Ticketwood.com[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com]Ticketwood[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/concert]Concert Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/theather]theather Tickets[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/sports]sports Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/nba]nba Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/mlb]mlb Tickets[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/nhl]nhl Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/rodeo]rodeo Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/nascar]nascar Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/boxing]boxing Tickets[/link]

[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/ncaa]ncaa Tickets[/link]


[link=http://www.ticketwood.com/wwe]wwe Tickets[/link]

Posted by: Tickets on September 5, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

calesitas textiles http://ingegrafica.com.ar

Posted by: ingegrafica on September 5, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

情色电影 激情视频下载 明星露点图片 激情写真 阴部图片 乳房图片 全裸美女 淫荡小说 淫乱图片 美女脱衣视频 裸体女人 女性手淫图片 波霸美女 淫水美女鲍鱼 阴户阴毛图片 美女图库 美女口交图片 性爱视频 偷拍图片 泳装美女 美女内衣内裤 性爱贴图 性生活图片 作爱图片 性交姿势 做爱电影 性福电影 人体摄影 裸女图片 乱伦图片 强暴电影 轮奸视频 迷奸图片 乳房写真 性爱小说 美眉写真 激情贴图 两性性生活 作爱电影 性交图片 做爱图片 美女人体 美女裸照 全裸女 黄色小说 成人小说 强暴图片 轮奸美女 泳装图片 激情电影 联通铃声下载联通手机铃声 中国联通铃声 联通免费铃声 联通用户铃声 联通cdma铃声 联通和弦铃声 联通mp3铃声 联通特效铃声 联通彩铃 联通彩铃下载 中国联通彩铃 联通手机彩铃下载 联通彩铃业务 联通彩铃网站 联通免费彩铃 联通cdma彩铃 联通炫铃 中国联通炫铃 联通炫铃下载 联通炫铃网站 联通炫铃业务 联通cdma炫铃 联通手机图片 联通手机炫铃 免费电影下载 免费在线电影 看免费电影 免费电影网站 韩国电影 两性生活 性教育片 两性知识 性爱图片 免费黄色电影 最新电影 成人性爱电影 免费小电影 免费性电影 免费成人电影 免费电影在线观看 宽带电影 经典电影 恐怖电影 免费影片 免费影院 最新大片 十八电影网 美女写真 人体艺术 美女图片 美女走光 美腿图片 三级片下载 强奸电影 美女祼体图片 美女自拍 黄色电影下载 免费色情电影 激情图片 激情小电影 性感美女图片 漂亮妹妹图片 做爱图片 美少女图片 日本av女优 情色电影 同志电影 激情视频下载 明星露点图片 写真电影 阴部图片 乳房图片 明星裸照 性爱视频 偷拍图片 美眉图片 泳装美女 美女内衣内裤 舒淇写真 美女脱衣图片 裸体女人图片 人体写真 女性手淫图片 波霸美女 淫水美女鲍鱼 阴户阴道阴毛 美女图库 肛交口交图片 性爱贴图 情趣内衣图片 性生活图片 作爱图片 艳情小说 性交姿势 做爱电影 性福联盟 人体摄影 明星裸照 裸女图片 黄色小说 成人小说 乱伦小说 强暴电影 轮奸视频 性虐待电影 迷奸图片 妓女做爱 汤加丽写真集 全裸美女 淫荡小说 淫乱小说 淫书 手机图片 手机铃音 图铃下载 手机游戏 韩国电影 两性知识 最新电影 宽带电影 经典电影 恐怖电影 人体艺术 美女图片 美女走光 性爱图片 十八电影网 美腿图片 强奸小电影 美女祼体图片 美女写真 性感美女图片 做爱图片 美少女图片 日本av电影 明星裸照 黄色电影下载 免费色情电影 两性生活 性教育片 激情电影 免费黄色电影 成人性爱电影 免费性电影 免费成人电影 免费小电影 免费电影在线观看 免费影片 最新大片 免费电影下载 免费在线电影 看免费电影

Posted by: 联通铃声下载 on September 5, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

And at other times I think you are just loony.

Which is simply a reflection of your being a Republican. There is no evidence that the Bush cabal cares about terrorism as anything other than a way to hold onto power.

Iraq? Obviously not something a serious government would have pursued.

Afghanistan? A serious government might not have invaded, but if it did it would have done so with the express intent of turning it around. That means a real invasion - not a token force.

Fatherland Security? Security theatre is all we get. After the shoe bomber, you must take off your shoes; after the British find a couple dozen posers you can't take liquids. The very fact that it is entirely reactive demonstrates that it isn't a priority.

No, if you were anything other than a die-hard Bush Republican you would recognize the difference between those who are serious and the Bush team. The only loony here is you pretending to be what you obviously are not.

Posted by: heavy on September 6, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican party and its supporters remind me of something somebody called the Heinlein Solution (or is it the Clarke Solution?). It's a case of taking the quickest solution, of moving from one kludge to another. It sounds good, but often gets you painted into corners.

In reality, though, it's a lot more like the overpaid CEO mentality: make yourself look good in front of the stockholders, and damn long-term planning or even actually keeping the company healthy. Their fixation on getting past the next election trumps everything else. They have no policy, as they never think that far.

To them, it's all about winning, and never about what the officeholder is supposed to do. THAT is more or less an annoyance. Republicans view politics as just another sport, and federal elections as season finals. They've become so fixated on the winning office that they've lost the interest in actually performing the duties.

But now that they're stuck in the corner, they're frantic. It's going to be a scary, scary couple of months now...

Posted by: Saint Fnordius on September 6, 2006 at 4:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly