Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 12, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

CONSERVATIVE CAGE MATCHES....A fairly astonishing array of conservatives have come forward recently to publicly break with George W. Bush. But we figured that wasn't enough. To really twist the knife in, we thought it would be fun to put them all on the record in a liberal magazine. First up is Christopher Buckley, who acknowledges that Republicans have had failures before:

Despite the failures, one had the sense that the party at least knew in its heart of hearts that these were failures, either of principle or execution. Today one has no sense, aside from a slight lowering of the swagger-mometer, that the president or the Republican Congress is in the least bit chastened by their debacles.

George Tenets WMD slam-dunk, Vice President Cheneys we will be greeted as liberators, Don Rumsfelds avidity to promulgate a minimalist military doctrine, together with the tidy theories of a group who call themselves neo-conservative (not one of whom, to my knowledge, has ever worn a military uniform), have thus far: de-stabilized the Middle East; alienated the world community from the United States; empowered North Korea, Iran, and Syria; unleashed sectarian carnage in Iraq among tribes who have been cutting each others throats for over a thousand years; cost the lives of 2,600 Americans, and the limbs, eyes, organs, spinal cords of another 15,000 with no end in sight. But not to worry: Democracy is on the march in the Middle East. Just ask Hamas. And the neocons bright people, all are now clamoring, On to Tehran!

What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back?

Want to see more conservatives bashing George Bush? Then contribute to the Washington Monthly! You can donate in many different ways. If you want to write an ordinary check, make it out to WM Corp and send it to:

1319 F St. NW, Suite 710
Washington, DC 20004

Or you can click here, which takes you to a page that allows you to donate online. You can buy a subscription to the magazine here, or buy a gift subscription here.

Last but not least, you can donate via PayPal, using either your PayPal account or a credit card. So many choices! Kevin Drum 12:48 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (69)

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Comments

Want to see more conservatives bashing George Bush?

Yes. How much does it cost to watch them using power tools?

Posted by: craigie on September 12, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Though 91.8% say they believe in God, a higher power or a cosmic force, they had four distinct views of God's personality and engagement in human affairs. These Four Gods dubbed by researchers Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical or Distant tell more about people's social, moral and political views and personal piety than the familiar categories of Protestant/Catholic/Jew or even red state/blue state.

For example: 45.6% of all Americans say the federal government "should advocate Christian values," but 74.5% of believers in an authoritarian God do.

Sociologist Paul Froese says the survey finds the stereotype that conservatives are religious and liberals are secular is "simply not true. Political liberals and conservative are both religious. They just have different religious views."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Naw Kevin I think the bush base is splitting not just because Neo-Conism is dead [And George says all Jewish can burn in hell, which doesn't go over so well], or dying. Aw hell you like graphs and number and percentiles ==
Enjoy! Take a gander
http://www.rawstory.com/showoutarticle.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fnews%2Freligion%2F2006-09-11-religion-survey_x.htm%3Fcsp%3D1
GRaphic numbers % signs =8^]

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

I just spent the last of my magazine budget on the new republic. Sorry.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 12, 2006 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Nicely shameless :)

Franklin Foer just lost his undisputed championship of that domain.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hah! So much for Rush Limbaugh and his moral majority and all that other liberal crap he's been spewing endlessly.. BTW why doesn't Flush Dimbulb ever talk about GOP pedophelia and perversion??
Why doesnt American Chicken Hawk like to discuss this? =8^P heh!

http://www.gatago.com/alt/non/racism/23174032.html
Click HERE HAWK LOL
But American Hawk dint ya know?
cmon lets get personal like Rove sez!
Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond
had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.


* Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the
2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a
sexual affair with a female juvenile.


* Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an
inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Yo Kevin A liberal aint a liberal no more, maybe you should make that the 'Moral Majority Liberal Magazine?'

bwwwwaaahahahahaaa!

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

It is still 9/11.

And instead of mourning you are trying to get Cheney and Rummy in a cage with spurs on their ankles and testosterone patches on their genitals?

Please...

Look everyone: IT IS STILL 9/11!

AND 9/11 is the GREATEST TRAGEDY EVER TO BEFALL A PEOPLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

YEAH THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD.
SINCE BEFORE JESUS BEGAT TIME.
SINCE BEFORE MOSES SUPPOSES...

You should all be on your knees weeping and simultaneously thanking Father Bush for protecting your weak sheep asses.

Anybody who is not... is a traitor... and will suffer the consequences...

Kevin Drum: J'Accuse!

Posted by: koreyel on September 12, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

It is still 9/11.
And instead of mourning you are trying to get Cheney and Rummy in a cage with spurs on their ankles and testosterone patches on their genitals?
Please...
Look everyone: IT IS STILL 9/11

It's 12:15 am here sep 12th.

I gave my condolences earlier but I will do it again

My sincerest condolence to the familys that lost loved ones. Remember they always be with you in your hearts and dreams. --BRS 318
~~~~~~~~~~
Lets quit while were behind
By Christopher Buckley
The trouble with our times, Paul Valry said, is that the future is not what it used to be.
[[No sheet Sherlock..]]
This glum aperu has been much with me as we move into the home stretch of the 2006 mid-term elections and shimmy into the starting gates of the 2008 presidential campaign. With heavy heart, as a once-proudindeed, staunch Republican, I here admit, behind enemy lines, to the guilty hope that my party loses; on both occasions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well I am glad to see that Christopher Buckley realizes that America is no longer living in the 1960's and that the end times wasn't armageddon after all.

Welcome aboard Chris Buckley!!

And come to texas and after church we will all go have a beer with the Republicans and the Democrats!! Maybe watch a football game and be humanitarians, you know whut I mean..=8^]

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

I'll subscribe as soon as you get rid of that Marty Peretz. That guy is a complete a-hole.

Posted by: jerry on September 12, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

You should all be on your knees weeping and simultaneously thanking Father Bush for protecting your weak sheep asses.

Oh come now, how is George gonna protect your sheeply ass by sitting behind a desk and doing photo ops, I mean really...

Run to the nearest bunker and fly off to safety leaving our sheeply asses behind to wonder WTF?

Really, you should thank those folks in the services and not those chicken hawks hiding in the White House. Those men like my father, my brother, my uncle, my grandfather, my brother in law all served or are serving.

Anybody who is not... is a traitor... and will suffer the consequences...

[[That is a silly, and hateful thing to say, I am a Christian.
What if I told you that you would sufferbecause you are a traitor and YOU will suffer the consequences? Because I don't agree with BUSH??? WTF is wrong with you Republicans? You think you are the only people that have ever served?? WTF Koreyel?? My uncle is screwed up to this day because of Vietnam!! ]]

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Kev, is the WM in financial trouble?

Posted by: glasnost on September 12, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Anybody who is not... is a traitor... and will suffer the consequences...Koreyel

I think you should apologize to my family and me Koreyel..they did fight for this country, how dare you try to appear high and mighty.

That is a silly, and hateful thing to say, I am a Christian. What if I told you that you would suffer because you are a traitor and YOU will suffer the consequences? Because I don't agree with BUSH??? WTF is wrong with you Republicans? You think you are the only people that have ever served?? WTF Koreyel??

My uncle is screwed up to this day because of Vietnam!!

You should be praying for your fellow American Koreyel instead of running around acting like a Coulter Republican with those ignorant and unfounded and untruthful "liberals are Godless" rants.

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

You want people to PAY for this stuff???

Good luck with that!

Heh.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 12, 2006 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Is Amy Sullivan still writing the Dems should be less Godless crap to win elections in the Washington Monthly?

Posted by: gregor on September 12, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Trinary Suka:

I'm absolutely positive that koreyel -- a staunch antiwarrior and fervent Bush opponent -- was parodying right-wingers in that post.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Christopher Buckley: "What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back?"

Your party's moderate remnant has had some recent health problems, but is currently resting confortably at his Rancho Mirage, CA home. You would do well to seek the wise counsel of this good and decent man.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Trinary Suka:

I'm absolutely positive that koreyel -- a staunch antiwarrior and fervent Bush opponent -- was parodying right-wingers in that post.

Bob

That isn't funny..when you have family that served.
She/He should put /sarcasm on their post. I don't blog here regular enough to know these posters.

Not funny at all.

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

He's counting on being understood by people who have basic reading comprehension skills and haven't had their humor glands surgically removed.

Posted by: Calton Bolick on September 12, 2006 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

GLORY TO OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, GLORY TO OUR SOLDIERS, AND GLORY TO OUR CITIZENS; DEATH TO OUR ENEMIES, WHO DID STRIKE US FIRST; EVERYONE ELSE, SCURRY NOW OUT OF HARMS WAY IF IT IS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE THIS WORLD WAR IS ON UNTIL OUR ENEMIES AND THEIR ENABLERS ARE ALL DEAD AND OUR VICTORY IS WON; POWER IS OUR SWORD, MERCY IS OUR SHIELD; THEY THEMSELVES ARE OUR WITNESS; THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING A BEGINNING THAT WE WILL END IN OUR VICTORY: WE THE PEOPLE OF THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA STRIKE BACK. VICTORY!

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on September 12, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

The Leftist Delusion:

Rather than accept the reality of an enemy that cannot and therefore will not negotiate away what he believes to be the will of God, and rather than accept that this enemy will understand nothing outside total victory or total defeat, and rather than understand that this enemys goals include enslaving the entire world in a global caliphate, and rather than accept that this reality necessitates the use of all tools including military might to defend ourselves, millions have embraced an alternate reality.

The reality of the enemy outside the West and its motivations being too terrifying and too far beyond their own control, millions now imagine that the enemy in this war is within. The enemy, to them, isnt the turbaned man behind the plot to hijack multiple airplanes and crash them into multiple buildings in America. The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.

Imagining the enemy as a Westerner who has a Western worldview and essentially Western motivations gives these millions the comfort of thinking that they can understand and defeat the enemy easily. They can expose him in the press or on their blog. They can spread the word through a bumper sticker or a sign in their yard. They can vote against him and encourage others to help vote him out. They can impeach him. They can shout and rail at anyone who supports him. They can destroy his political party and ruin his name. They can, in their own minds, win the war on their own terms without exposing themselves to danger. Because they have imagined their own enemy from before that day to be the enemy of civilization. And because its not really a war at all, just a made-up threat some evil neocons conjured up to scare everyone into giving them power. And that being the case, the deniers imagine that they can save civilization at the ballot box. They dont have to find out what makes the enemy tick, they dont have to fight him, and they dont have to change their fundamental and now obviously flawed assumptions about humanity and the world.

If only it were that easy.


Posted by: hammersmith on September 12, 2006 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

"You would do well to seek the wise counsel of this good and decent man."

Where were you when he was president, and the Left was crapping on him like a prune-eating hippo?

Posted by: mack on September 12, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

hammersmith:

Oh what ... you actually sit there and post that idiotic screed and *pretend* to us all that you're about *knowing the enemy*?

Oh yeah, right. A Palestinian suicide bomber candidate is equatable to a trained Revolutionary Guard soldier who is equatable to a rural, uneducated Deobandi Taliban who is equatable to Mohammad Atta who held advanced degrees who is equatable to Mahmood Ahmadinejad who is equatable to Nasrallah who is equatable to Zarqawi who is equatable to Richard Reid who is equatable to Osama bin Laden.

Yeah. That's "knowing your enemy," all right.

But they're all ISLAMOFASCISTS !

Idiot.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

All of them want Israel and America destroyed. The rest is detail.

There was quite a wide range of cultures comprising the Axis powers during WWII. Didn't seem to confuse Americans back then. Japan, Germany, or Italy, they knew the stakes and the goals.

Ask yourself why you're making excuses for the other side, and attacking your own. You did read the article, right?

Posted by: hammersmith on September 12, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

you should probably prevent enabling senile and/or incompetent republican administrations from arming these madmen then, right hammer?

Posted by: Nads on September 12, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

hammersmith:

Are you nuts? There were *three*. The stuff in the Balkans, Palestine and North Africa were alliances, very much driven by the dominant parties in them -- namely Germany and Italy. Imperial Japan was an ally of convenience with the European Axis, but that theater was entirely separate. Otherwise European Fascism was entirely possible to speak about as a single entity, since it shared so many features.

When you consider that Osama and Ahmadinejad would annihilate like matter-antimatter if they ever were in the same room together -- you have kind of a different situation.

No, the struggle for Palestine isn't equatable to Osama's dream of a Caliphate which isn't equatable with Khamenei's ambition for Shi'ite regional parity with the Sunni nations, which isn't compatible with a Deobandi Taliban's desire to push around women and extort revenue from poppy growers ...

And riddle me this: How you gonna establish a Universal Caliphate when the people who want it most fervently believe that Shi'ites are polytheistic apostates -- and an apostate Muslim in 1000 times worse to a takfiri Salafist than a Christian or a Jew?

Clearly, my friend, you don't know Shi'ite from Shinola.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

I've been a subscriber for a quarter of a century or so!

But really - Christopher Buckley? Not surprising. I loved "Thank You for Smoking" (and liked the movie a lot), and enjoyed "Little Green Men".

Anyone with an undamaged soul, let alone an undamaged sense of humor, could not enjoy the spectacle of this administration.

Posted by: bad Jim on September 12, 2006 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I can't believe you would even post such puff-piece hackery by Chris Buckley.

Read Kevin Phillips' Bush family bio; HW may be a kinder, gentler form of W, but ain't no saint, nor even close.

And as for Chris Buckley's pretend naivete, any GOP stalwart who claims he didn't know in 2000 that W actually was in bed with, and wanted to be in bed with, the Religious Right rather than just taking it out for a one-night stand, is full of shit.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on September 12, 2006 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

More slowly, rmck1:

All of them want Israel and America destroyed.

That they would then fight over our bones is very little consolation. Whichever one has the nukes will probably win, since a war between jihadists is not going to be as restrained and full of self-examination as a war involving the West.

They are all fighting for various fanatical interpretations of Islam. That one of them has a different version than the other changes nothing for us.

Try and get past the inconsequential portions of this to the important part: They all want us dead or converted.

The guy who wrote the article was right. You'll do anything to avoid the real issue.

Posted by: hammersmith on September 12, 2006 at 4:02 AM | PERMALINK

hammersmith:

That's absolutely correct, hammer. I absolutely resist being brainwashed. You think I should just tattoo 'they want Israel and America destroyed' on my forehead and march around like a drooling zombie. Ain't gonna happen. Your reductionism is puerile.

It matters to the greatest degree whether or not this enemy is capable of coalescing. If there are any differences between the various flavors of jihadi, we kind of need to know how to exploit them, don't you think?

And it matters a great deal whether this entire 'global religious war' deal even exists per se. This is not to question the danger of individual terrorists or terrorist cells, or to defend the loathesome ideology of al Qaeda. But it *is* to note (and empirical studies have been done on this) that the common denominator motive of suicide terrorism (something practiced, incidentally, by the secular Tamil Tigers) is nationalism. Religion is just a justification -- what you tell yourself before the act. These guys aren't dreaming of offing Americans cuz they crave some hot action with 72 black-eyed virgins.

These guys don't even want to destroy Israel, truth be told. You really think Hamas wouldn't recognize Israel if Israel decided to revert to the '67 borders? What they are are *furious* at the humiliation they perceive at the hands of our piddling in their region -- supporting governments that *everybody* despises (including Westerners) and recognizes aren't representative. They're furious at Israeli trimumphalism and having the image of Nazis projected on them by a demoralized European population fresh from WW2. But noooo ... gods forbid the West *ever* examines its motives in that region or tries to see things from their perspective. Because every rational, moral, sane person wants to become a like a Westerner -- enslaved and drooling at consumer culture. This is an *acid bath* to religious traditions. Lords know, our own religious whackos are exercised enough about it in the West. Add all of this up and Islamic hatred of the West begins to make a little sense.

Now ... can we reason with Osama? Can we reason with the committed fanatics? Of course not; they're irredemable, and indeed, if they consider themselves at war with us, then we are assuredly at war with them. But we don't have to help them win converts. We don't have to make their case for them. And we *surely* don't need to aggrandize a tiny minority of the world's Muslims who hew to an ideology that is so extreme it is unwelcome in every functioning state on the planet -- including Iran.

I dunno about you, hammersmith -- but I am sick and fucking tired of doing Osama's propaganda work for him.

You apparently revel in it, however.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 4:36 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, this guy's a nutcase bedwetter! Leave him alone.

For me, the appeal of confronting people like that was drastically attenuated by reading the excerpts of the works of "Dr. Bob" Altemeyer in Conservatives Without a Conscience by John Dean.

How could one deal with people who are so fearful that they actually contemplated Communist domination, decades ago, when it was obvious before I was born that the system was unworkable, or people now exhibiting the same fear of Islamists, who irregularly threaten us with a fraction of that capability.

Don't try to understand them, just rope and throw and brand them

Posted by: bad Jim on September 12, 2006 at 5:32 AM | PERMALINK

Your comment about subscriptions was somewhat misleading. Implied was that Paypal was accepted. After filling out the entire form, I see you won't take Paypal for anything but donations, I don't want to donate, I want to subscribe, but will not give my credit card over the net. I use Paypal for a reason. If its good enough to donate, why not for subscription? Just wondered'.

Posted by: jim walker on September 12, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

"What have they done to my party?"...INDEED...and where were these sniveling boobs while it was going on? Why, I'll bet, cheering them on from the sidelines as good old REPUGS are wont to do...no discrimination, no morals, no "real" values...just the old elephant over the eagle and the dollar over all...

ARE YOUR EYES OPEN YET!!!!??????

Posted by: Dancer on September 12, 2006 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

If the Washington Monthly needs support maybe they should consider pulling out of the publishing business. What were they doing on the web in the first place?

Don't they know that their columns and comments create more fundamental Christian Republicans? And that the are just creating more hate by their presence here?

More radical Christians are born every minute because of the nasty comments - if only the Washington Monthly would understand how much the evangelicals hate them and if they would just try to have peace talks there would be less of a need for financial support.

Pull the writers and editors out now! No more comments for money!

Posted by: Orwell on September 12, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Re Orwell at 9:23: I wasn't sure about donating to WM again, but I can't in good conscience enjoy over-the-top entertainment like Orwell's for free. It would just be wrong.

Posted by: shortstop on September 12, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

No shortstop don't do it! Stop the support of the facist publication who only wants the war of words to continue to support their buddies in the big font business!

Isn't it obvious from Buckley's comments that the war of words was just a fabrication of the industrial word complex?

Are we really better off when the innocent words were under control of Fox News? Tell the Washington Monthly to pull out now!

Posted by: Orwell on September 12, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

And that being the case, the deniers imagine that they can save civilization at the ballot box. They dont have to find out what makes the enemy tick, they dont have to fight him, and they dont have to change their fundamental and now obviously flawed assumptions about humanity and the world.

Too true. So much for Republicans. Now, did you have something to say about Democrats, hammersmith?

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 12, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

>Imagining the enemy as a Westerner who has a Western worldview and essentially Western motivations gives these millions the comfort of thinking that they can understand and defeat the enemy easily.

Well, I don't know about the "easily" part but it's not a delusion. The enemy is a westerner.

His name is Cheney. Dick Cheney.

Well, I'm kindof on soft ground with the "Western worldview" bit, too, unless you consider "The Divine Right Of Kings" to still be a viable Western governmental concept.

Ah, you probably do. Strict Father-fellating, authoritarian asshole that you are.

Posted by: doesn't matter on September 12, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bad Jim:

How could one deal with people who are so fearful that they actually contemplated Communist domination...

Exactly the same phenomenon, different era. Why, who could possibly have thought that communism was trying to expand across the world? A corollary was the belief that the entire Cold War was driven by American aggression.

rmck1:

It matters to the greatest degree whether or not this enemy is capable of coalescing. If there are any differences between the various flavors of jihadi, we kind of need to know how to exploit them, don't you think?

This theory gives you another comforting "out," allowing you to hang on to the fantasy that somehow you can "play" these people with talk and diplomacy. Make it all go away quietly.

How would you "exploit" the supposed difference between Osama and Ahmadinejad in such a way that either of them would cease to be a threat? Not seeing a lot of al Qaeda attacks on Iran lately. Iran is supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hizbollah in Lebanon, despite the differences. And still working on nuclear weapons.

These guys don't even want to destroy Israel, truth be told. You really think Hamas wouldn't recognize Israel if Israel decided to revert to the '67 borders?

Of course they would refuse to recognize Israel if Israel pulled back, and continue their attacks. Their own writings and speeches say so, and any serious analyst of the Middle East would probably agree. Did the level of hostility change at all when Israel gave up Gaza? Israel pulling out of Lebanon did not cause Hizbollah to fade away either, or change their goals. Go back and look at what Israel's borders were when the state was originally created, just before the first attempted Arab war of extermination.

Presidents from both parties have been playing the negotiation game in the Middle East longer than I've been alive.

All you're doing is making my point for me. And I see above that name-calling is starting.

Posted by: hammersmith on September 12, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

hammersmith wrote: "All of them want Israel and America destroyed."

Actually, that isn't even close to being true. They all have different goals, different tactics, different motivations. Your quote from hotair.com is wildly incorrect in every one of its assertions, both about "the enemy" and about us.

And even if the assertions about "the enemy" were true, what that author conveniently forgets is that "the enemy" lacks the ability to actually carry out any of those grandiose goals, unless, of course, we engage in acts that feed the enemy or accomplish his goals for him.

Posted by: PaulB on September 12, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and hammersmith, given the vitriol in that excerpt you posted, any talk about "name-calling" is rather disingenuous. You posted a highly insulting and inflammatory excerpt here and you're going to get precisely the reaction you no doubt intended, that any troll of any stripe intends, and you have the sheer chutzpah to talk about "name-calling?" The mind boggles.

Posted by: PaulB on September 12, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Doesn't all the advertising on your site cover your operating costs? Are you saving up for a new Lexus, Kevin?

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on September 12, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

A quote that sums up the situation:

Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Thomas Jones (1892 - 1969)

BTW Kevin's cited article does not support his allegation that C. Buckley had recently broken with President Bush. Buckley had already broken with the him two years ago, when he chose not to vote for the President's re-election.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 12, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Washington, DC, 1972: Having just won re-election for Nixon, Republicans are running around town smacking their hands together and relishing the opportunity they say they now have, to get rid of democracy once and for all.

Some of us remember.

They were always like this. They just used to hide it better.

Posted by: Avedon on September 12, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

From Buckley:
Despite the failures, one had the sense that the [Republican] party at least knew in its heart of hearts that these were failures, either of principle or execution. Today one has no sense, aside from a slight lowering of the swagger-mometer, that the president or the Republican Congress is in the least bit chastened by their debacles.

But my favorite, from Garrison Keillor:
You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math.
To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz.

Posted by: Wonderin on September 12, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB said "the enemy" lacks the ability to actually carry out any of those grandiose goals, unless, of course, we engage in acts that feed the enemy or accomplish his goals for him."

What do you mean by acts that feed the enemy? Do you mean things like people repeatedly speaking against the military and making it seem like the terrorist are succeeding in Iraq? Or do you mean Americans who join the hate Bush crowd?

Here are the acts which feed Islamic terrorism; people breathing and living in no-Muslim countries.

The enemy would gladly take down every non-Muslim and for that matter every Muslim person in order to destroy the western world. They have proven they will kill themselves in order to destroy all civilization and purposefully target peaceful areas with explosive devices. Then they will blame the victim. Do we still think they will gain a nuclear weapon and not use it?

If so, you need to take your gambling ways to Vegas and win millions instead of using that method in the political realm.

Posted by: Orwell on September 12, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

==
A Western anti-narcotics official in Kabul told the Christian Science Monitor on Aug. 16 that preliminary crop projections showed about 370,650 acres of opium poppy cultivated this seasonup from 257,000 acres in 2005, and up from the previous record of 323,700 acres in 2004, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. At the same time, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent this year in counter-narcotics campaigns.

The final figures of the yield of opium resin from the poppies will be confirmed only when the UN agency completes its assessment of the crop in September, based on satellite imagery and ground surveys. However, the United Nations said that because there was no report of any sharp drop in opium productivity this year, it is safe to assume that at least 6,200 tons of opium resin will be harvestedenough to produce 620 tons of heroin. Thus, it is almost a certainty that the U.S.- and NATO-occupied Afghanistan, under the "democratic rule" of President Hamid Karzai, will succeed in producing almost 95% of the world's heroin.
==
Way to appease and support the Taliban GOP.
Heckuva Job. One shoot durn bang up of a job. Yeh not only has the Taliban grown stronger, more heroiin will the streets of the world.

But maybe some good will come of this, perhaps limbaugh will overdose..I mean once an addict always an addict right? Shouldn't Rush follow his own advice and export himself to Afghanistan and stay there?
==
I apologize if I misunderstood Koreyles unfunny sarcasm, but when the chickenhawk right, those in office and media, pundits etc, never serve and then continually insult and accuse others, Mccarthyistic fashion, it becomes very tiresome. All of their Mcarthy rhetoric is not based on any truth -- it is unfounded and unpatriotic.

The GOP is the biggest bunch of Hypocrites I have ever had the misfortune to set eyes upon.
Here's yet another recent example;
Cheney to stump for GOPer who bullied wife with guns [Published: Tuesday September 12, 2006
Vice President Dick Cheney will be attending a fundraiser for Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY) in late September, today's issue of Roll Call reports.
The Vice President and Kuhl have each earned a measure of infamy for incidents involving firearms. Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner Harry Whittington in the face earlier this year, while according to divorce records obtained by RAW STORY, Kuhl once bullied his wife with shotguns.
==
One of these hypocrites gets drunk and shoots a man in the face then refuses to talk to the Law, the other Hypocrite bullied his wife with shotguns.
"Compassionate Conservatism" at its best, huh?
==
And more moral majority hypocrites and their idiotic baseless Rhetoric;
Playboy magazine commissioned a poll to address what it called a common misconception that the majority of its readers are liberal Democrats.

Really? People think only Democrats read Playboy? Who knew?

Playboy surveyed 1,000 people. Half were drawn from a nationally representative sample of adults age 21 and older, while the other half came from its subscriber rolls.

The odd premise aside, the magazine's "Playboy Voter" feature in this month's edition outlined the following conclusions from its survey:

-- 79 percent of those surveyed voted in the 2004 presidential election, 15 percentage points higher than the national average.

-- 36 percent of its readers are Republicans compared to 25 percent Democrat, 25 percent independent and 14 percent other parties.
==
The media only helps to reinforce this conservative lie. The media only helps to reinforce moral majority rhetoric, and to reinforce the Hypocrites by following in the footsteps of the Republican media thru hate baiting.
==
Who was it that said."When Fascism comes to America it will br cloaked in the flag and Religion"

Benjamin Disraeli also correctly identified the inherent evils of "conservative" government as a Organized Conservative Hypocrisy. One listen to any Republican Pundit. Anne and the Godless Liberals. Rush and his drug habit. Oreilly and his falafel, Randy Michaels (clear channel) who wore a rubber penis around his neck and harassed women in the office. Cheney here is now defending a guy that bullied his wife with shotguns...Republican Pedophiles out the wazzoo, Tom Delay and his Mariannas and sweat shops, Disney and it's sweatshops, Abramoff and corruption, cunningham and corruption, DHS with child pornography, male prostitutes such as Jeff Gannon (who wears military dog tags but never served) serving as paid shills. Then these chickenhawks such as Wolfowitz and the Hegelian Straussian Lie-o-cons who lie by intent...all these Hypocrites and liars. Condi Rice who's father a preacher will stand in front of a crowd and lie thru her teeth..yeh these folks are some serious hypocrites..you can take any of their words and simply reverse them if you want to know the truth. To this day the GOP folks that they can propagate the truth by repeating a lie for eternity, Cheney, Ignoring the DIA still repeats his war monger mantra. All the while fooling their followers and in effect dismantling America for some money god of power. The GOP works to destroy America by attacking 70% of its citizens enabled by the corporate media and pedantic pundits. The Falwells and the Robertsons whom cloak themselves in religion also work to undermine America by supporting such blatant hypocrites and liars.
The GOP fatcats are a LIE. The breed and feed on lies, they believe their own Lies, and they repeat them with no remorse whatsoever, they have become sociopathic liars and enablers


Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

"What do you mean by 'acts that feed the enemy?'"

Acts like invading Iraq.

"Here are the acts which feed Islamic terrorism; people breathing and living in no-Muslim countries."

Oh, garbage. This is such complete nonsense that it doesn't deserve a response.

"The enemy"

And just who is "the enemy?" You're making precisely the same mistake that has been pointed out repeatedly above.

"would gladly take down every non-Muslim and for that matter every Muslim person in order to destroy the western world."

And, once again, complete nonsense. Go ahead, point me to anyone, terrorist or not, who has even remotely stated something like that.

"They have proven they will kill themselves"

Yes, sadly, all too many of them have shown a willingness to kill themselves to further their cause. This is undeniable.

"in order to destroy all civilization"

This, however, is not. It's jingoistic nonsense, devoid of content and thought.

"Do we still think they will gain a nuclear weapon and not use it?"

Then it would behoove us to secure nuclear material and devices, would it not? Alas, the Bush administration has come up short in this endeavor.

Posted by: PaulB on September 12, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

All of them want Israel and America destroyed. The rest is detail.

George W. Bush would rather be a dictator as he himself as proclaimed. The rest is detail.


Hey we can all play this game.

Posted by: gregor on September 12, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

hammersmith: "You'll do anything to avoid the real issue."

You will do anything to regurgitate scripted Republican talking points because you are a mental slave of right-wing extremist propaganda who thinks what you are told to think and says what you are told to say and who has no ability for independent thought.

The "real issue" is that the US federal government has been taken over, through a stolen presidential election, by a gang of career corporate criminals and war profiteers, who since the moment they gained power have been abusing that power to enrich themselves, their cronies and their financial backers in the military-industrial-petroleum complex and to concentrate America's wealth and power in the hands of America's already wealthy and powerful neo-fascist corporate-feudalist ruling class.

And to that end, they misled the nation with deliberate, elaborate, repeated, sickening lies about what they knew to be a nonexistent "threat" from nonexistent "Iraqi WMD" into a war of unprovoked aggression in Iraq, misusing the power of the US military and killing tens of thousands of innocent people for corrupt purposes of private financial gain.

That's the real issue, and you and your fellow right-wing know-nothing stooges are aiding and abetting those crimes.

Orwell: "The enemy would gladly take down every non-Muslim and for that matter every Muslim person in order to destroy the western world. They have proven they will kill themselves in order to destroy all civilization and purposefully target peaceful areas with explosive devices."

Everything you wrote in that comment is bullshit. You are just another know-nothing mental slave regurgitating scripted propaganda. The fact is that the vast majority -- 95 percent! --of suicide terrorist attacks have nothing to do with Islam or with any religion. By far the leading reason that suicide bombers do what they do is to oppose and resist foreign occupation of what they regard as their homeland.

"hammersmith" and "Orwell" are nothing more than weak-minded, gullible dupes, members of the zombie cult of neo-brownshirt bootlickers of Republican Fascist power, typing up the lies that are fed to them by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and other agents of the Republican Fascist propaganda machine.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 12, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Kudos to Secular Humanist! Hillary should hire him/her.

Posted by: gregor on September 12, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell seems to think muslims only live in the middle east. Of course Orwell is hate-baiting and trying to take the focus off the incompetent bush machine and once again ussing the mcarthy approach [Blaming ghosts and "air-pointing"]
==
Newsflash Orwell [BTW get your head out of the hate baiting MSM, its bad for you and the world]:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_Muslim_countries

And here;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Islam_by_country
Orwell Sez; "Here are the acts which feed Islamic terrorism; people breathing and living in no-Muslim countries."
* Islam in Afghanistan
* Islam in Africa
* Islam in Albania
* Islam in Algeria
* Islam in Angola
* Islam in Seychelles
* Islam in Antigua and Barbuda
* Islam in Argentina
* Islam in Armenia
* Islam in Austria
* Islam in Azerbaijan
* Islam in Bahrain
* Islam in Bangladesh
* Islam in Barbados
* Islam in Belgium
* Islam in Belize
* Islam in Bolivia
* Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina
* Islam in Botswana
* Islam in Brazil
* Islam in Brunei
* Islam in Bulgaria
* Islam in Burkina Faso
* Islam in Cambodia
* Islam in Cameroon
* Islam in Canada
* Islam in Chad
* Islam in Chile
* Islam in China
* Islam in Colombia
* Islam in Comoros
* Islam in Costa Rica
* Islam in Croatia
* Islam in Cuba
* Islam in the Czech Republic
* Islam in Cte d'Ivoire
* Islam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
* Islam in Denmark
* Islam in Djibouti
* Islam in Dominica
* Islam in the Dominican Republic
* Islam in Ecuador
* Islam in Egypt
* Islam in El Salvador
* Islam in Eritrea
* Islam in Estonia
* Islam in Ethiopia
* Islam in Europe
* Muslims in Western Europe
F * Islam in Fiji
* Islam in Finland
* Islam in France etc etc...
==
Orwell you have got to be one of the lamest parody trolls of all time or just a really blind person who repeats whatever pablum the Pundits feed you. Either way your so way off base as to be incoherent when you speak. I don't support terrorism of ANY nation, race or color. YOU by your racist rant DO.

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I've been saying this off and on for years in this space, but while I love what the Washington Monthly does in terms of getting important stories out, I find subscribing to it to be quite frustrating: half the content trickles out online before I get my paper copy, and by then the whole thing feels dated, so I never read the rest of it.

The American Prospect has an online-subscription option, and I wish the Monthly would do the same. Or at least make ALL its articles available online to those of us who are subscribing to the magazine.

My Monthly subscription recently expired, and I'll probably re-up soon, despite my frustrations with the magazine. But I may just wait awhile first, so my irritation with the current state of things can fade a bit.

Posted by: RT on September 12, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

According to Orwell, and Hammersmith we must destroy the world for his religious fanaticism to kill the other religious fanatics..You sound alot like an Aryan Orwell.

Please use your brain and not your sparkle box boob tube brain...

Posted by: Trinary Suka on September 12, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher Buckley: Ouch!

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 12, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

What do you mean by acts that feed the enemy? Do you mean things like people repeatedly speaking against the military and making it seem like the terrorist are succeeding in Iraq? Or do you mean Americans who join the hate Bush crowd?

Damn that Col. Devlin for speaking against the military. All dissenters are traitors. We have always been at war with Oceania.

Wanker.

And the fact that you use Orwell as your moniker is the height of irony.

Posted by: cyntax on September 12, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is now experiencing the agony the Democrats went through with Viet Nam when a seated president was defeated in a primary. That was 38 years ago. The Democrats split and are yet to be put back together. Is there enough unity now to reverse the tide? The words sound just like 1968 to me being sung to a different tune.

No Republican president ever won a war of significance. When the civil war is finally over then Lincoln can be delcared the first, presuming a win of course. The most significant war in history, WW2 was won by the original liberal Democrat, FDR. Harry the integrator of the armed forces Truman banged the Japs with the bomb, twice. Being liberal does not mean being a pussy. The voters are anxiously waiting for the return of liberals with a little bang to go along with their bleading hearts.

Posted by: BG on September 12, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why cannot we just call a spade a space. Just yesterday everyone paused in memorium......but here's the ticket. Bush plans........everything, including obstruction.........

Every Brick in the Wall was placed by Bush.
They were acts of commission - deliberate and studied. George Bush built the brick wall of obstruction to the 911 Commission Report. It's the only task he has ever completed to plan.

here

Posted by: avahome on September 12, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Not seeing a lot of al Qaeda attacks on Iran lately.

That's funny, I've been seeing a lot of Sunni and/or Al Qaeda attacks on Iranian-allied Shiites in Iraq lately. Several dozen a day, in fact.

Iran is supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hizbollah in Lebanon, despite the differences. And still working on nuclear weapons.

You idiot, Iran and the Taliban are enemies. Iran and the Taliban were at war in September 2001, and Iran had been supporting the Northern Alliance with weapons and training for years. Iran also helped us when we invaded Afghanistan. Here's what Time magazine said:

Iran is implacably hostile to the Taliban over that movement's extremist theology and over its killing of Afghan Shiite Muslims. In 1999, Iran almost went to war against the Taliban after its militia killed eight Iranian diplomats and a journalist after capturing a predominantly Shiite town, and has worked together with Russia to support anti-Taliban opposition forces.

Posted by: Arminius on September 12, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Muslims are not bound to keep their word even when it is a signed agreement. So there are agreements and one group helping another that turn on a dime. Where they were is hardly related to where they are at any given moment for that reason alone. Are we any better?

We were attacked by the Muslim faith that crosses international boundaries with the ease of the wind. The Bush bunch has jumped in bed with the evangelicals, a superset that includes Muslims. He doesn't stand a prayer, (no pun intended) of a chance of winning anything beyond more of what has already been won, flies on flypaper kind of situation, without changing his evangelical posture. Case in point. They had the number one insurgent, Al-Sadr and his malitia surronded and ready to wipe but Bush vetoed doing it because they were holed up in a mosque. We bombed MonteCasino, historical landmark be damned to defeat Nazi Germany.

Time to rethink the evangelical intrusion into the government. Here's a start, http://www.hoax-buster.org

Posted by: BG on September 12, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

hammersmith:

>> It matters to the greatest degree whether or not this enemy
>> is capable of coalescing. If there are any differences between
>> the various flavors of jihadi, we kind of need to know how
>> to exploit them, don't you think?

> This theory gives you another comforting "out," allowing
> you to hang on to the fantasy that somehow you can "play" these
> people with talk and diplomacy. Make it all go away quietly.

Wow, you really have the makings of a top-flight, umm,
intelligence officer, don't you. Too bad you're only
a Chair Force Fighting Keyboarder. The Pentagon could
use such sterling insight into our enemies, for sure.

It'd called Divide and Conquer, and it's as old as the Roman
Empire. And it worked. You know ... when we were arming
Saddam with nerve gas in his war against our implacable
enemy Iran? And then ... selling Iran TOW missles (diverting
the profits to the Nicaraguan Contras, but that's another
scandal for another day) to Iran when the balance began to turn.

Yeah, it's scummy and disgusting and everybody hates it when they
find out about it. Call it Realpolitik, call it amoral -- but
it was quite effective during the Cold War, when we actually
had an adversary with both nukes and millions of men under arms.

> How would you "exploit" the supposed difference between
> Osama and Ahmadinejad in such a way that either of them
> would cease to be a threat?

Not "cease to be a threat." That's Bedwetter Delusion #1. None of
our adversaries in the Cold War "ceased to be a threat." It's how
you adequately mitigate threats so they're more concerned about the
threats from each other than they are about seeking to "destroy" us.

> Not seeing a lot of al Qaeda attacks on Iran lately.

Not seeing a lot of al Qaeda attacks against Saudi Arabia lately,
either, for that matter. Why? Because these states have rather
effective internal security apparatuses. You *do*, however, see
Sunni agents in the Iranian hinterlands (along with our Special
Forces) attempting to stir up the Sunni and Azeri minorities.

But that sure as hell didn't stop Abu Musab "Hassan Chop!" Zarqawi
from mutilating a lot of Shi'ite meat for his snuff video collection
-- you know, they being Muslim apostates and all. So much so that
the al Q chief ideologist Zawahiri had to issue a communique to ask
him to cut it out. Al Qaeda's trying to play a game in the Muslim
world of drawing solidarity with all Muslims in the name of the
powerful Islamic concept of Umma, because their goal is long term,
and the more Muslims there are to bleed us, the better for them.

But here's the thing: al Qaeda ideology is a perverted mixture of
ancient hadiths from the time Islam was bent on world conquest and
the writings of former Egyptian exile Sayyid Qutb -- who was vastly
influenced by various mid-century hard-left revolutionary ideology.
It's not "fundamentalist Islam." It's a demented hybrid that
threatens every conservative Muslim state on the planet. "First
the Westerners -- then we'll take care of those Shi'ite dogs."

It might be helpful to alert the Muslim world to the nature
of Osama's blatantly dishonest propaganda in the name of Umma.

> Iran is supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan

Iran is *not* supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, because the
Taliban are takfiri Deobandi. Invading Afghanistan put an end to
the "regime" of another bunch of extremist Muslims who wish to wipe
every Shi'ite off the planet. This myth must've come from NewsMax.

> and Hizbollah in Lebanon, despite the differences.

There are no ideological or major doctrinal differences with
Hezbollah in Lebanon (although "rule of the jurist" Khomenei-style
Islamic revolution is impossible to export even to fellow Shi'ites
of Arab traditions). This is what I mean. You're stone-stupid
enough to equate the Taliban with Hezbollah.

This doesn't mean that Iran had ordered or directed the Hezbollah
action. That's another myth beloved of the Islamofascism-pushers.

> And still working on nuclear weapons.

And we still don't know that for certain -- although it's a good
guess. How you feel about Our Friends the Pakistanis having nukes?
Because *that* regime is a helluva lot more unstable than Iran.

> These guys don't even want to destroy Israel, truth be
> told. You really think Hamas wouldn't recognize Israel
> if Israel decided to revert to the '67 borders?

> Of course they would refuse to recognize Israel if
> Israel pulled back, and continue their attacks. Their
> own writings and speeches say so, and any serious
> analyst of the Middle East would probably agree.

Bullshit. This is a myth beloved of AIPAC and FLAME and all the
other Israeli propaganda outlets. You realize that Abbas just
brokered a deal with Hamas for a joint government which includes an
implicit recognition of Israel if they pull back to the '67 borders?

> Did the level of hostility change at all when Israel gave up Gaza?

The level of *Israel's* hostility never changed, nor did the
border skirmishes instigated by Israel cease, the assassination
campaigns, the "whoops" missile strike on a family at the
beach (which precipitated the prisoner-taking) which Israel --
after bluffing about it for a week -- finally had to confess to.

> Israel pulling out of Lebanon did not cause Hizbollah
> to fade away either, or change their goals.

Why would you expect it to? Hezbollah thought they'd get a
prisoner exchange out of it -- which has happened a few times before.
Instead, Israel went apeshit (Olmert having to prove his hawk
creds). Nasrallah claims he never would have ordered the action
if he thought Israel was going to act so irrationally about it.

> Go back and look at what Israel's borders were
> when the state was originally created, just before
> the first attempted Arab war of extermination.

'48 would be better, but '67 would work for the Islamic world.
Israel holds those territories illegally in the eyes of the world.

> Presidents from both parties have been playing the negotiation
> game in the Middle East longer than I've been alive.

Yeah. And they got peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan out of it.

> All you're doing is making my point for me.

But not nearly as effectively as you're making my point for all of us.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Buckley's piece reminds me of the Kaiser in 1918 who, along with Ludendorff and Hindenberg, realized Germany couldn't win the war and so they turned power over to the democratic politicians. Let THEM sign the surrender document!

Posted by: Amway Zombie on September 12, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

mack: "Where were you when [Gerald Ford] was president, and the Left was crapping on him like a prune-eating hippo?"

We were wrong to do so -- and I was in the 8th grade.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 12, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Where's my child support, Dad?

Posted by: Chris Buckley's Child, Born Out of Wedlock on September 12, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

To follow up my earlier post about Buckley's inanity, wow...

What an incredible mix of slobbering over dual shibboleths of "true conservativism" and "checks and balances."

The first shows that the critiquers are just as much ideologues as the man they criticize. The second shows their blind slavery to an anachronistic document (a view likewise held by Democrats and even a certain percentage of left-liberals, sadly.)

In either case, all the bloviating begs the question: Where were these folks four or more years ago?

The Dept of Ed budget bursting? That was happening before Iraq was invaded? The Wilsonian foreign policy? That was being put into frightful practice at that very moment.

Hey, two or more years ago would have worked. Iraq was already halfway to failiure by the 2004 elections; from a "true conservative" POV, the Dept of Homeland Security had to already be a nightmare; Education continued to swell, etc.

But, where were these folks then?

If Wa Monthly wants to either kill trees, or incinerate plankton via coal or natural gas for electronic delivery, for such massive pablum, it doesn't really deserve donations.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

BG, leave the academic-level Bible debunking to people like me who know what we're doing.

As an atheist with a graduate divinity degree, your work seemed nothing other than the flip side of what you're claiming to debunk.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 12, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, it's scummy and disgusting and everybody hates it when they
find out about it. Call it Realpolitik, call it amoral -- but
it was quite effective during the Cold War, when we actually
had an adversary with both nukes and millions of men under arms.

Bob, what exactly was "scummy and disgusting" about establishing diplomatic relations with China and encouraging Deng's epochal turn towards the free market? It's lifted 600 million people out of desperate poverty, hunger and malnutrition so far, and has increased the moral, civil and intellectual freedoms of Chinese citizens immeasurably.

I mention this because I think it has real consequences for current policy towards Iran, a country which in terms of its political structure resembles China in many ways. There would be nothing "scummy and disgusting" about normalizing relations with Iran and coaxing it to become a productive member of the international community. Such a policy has, over the past 30+ years, helped turn China from a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth totalitarian foe of us Western capitalist running dogs, to a more and more productive and cooperative member of the dogsled team.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 12, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe:

Nothing at all -- and of course I totally agree with your entire point.

I was referring to Iran/Contra (and alluding to some of the less-than-savory regimes we backed we during the Cold War) to make the rhetorical point to hammersmith that "negotiating with the enemy" yields results no matter how less-than-pretty it might look to ideological purists.

IOW, we are making the identical larger point.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 12, 2006 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, okay. Iran-Contra. Hm. Not sure I'm so fond of the particular brand of realpolitik that deal represented, though...or the kind of results it yielded.

Posted by: brooksfoe on September 12, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

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