Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 29, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BREATHTAKING....You have to give the hawks credit. Here is Robert Kaplan on why George Bush will have trouble getting support for a war with Iran:

Though they may not admit it, the political elites beyond loyal administration circles, and particularly in Europe, simply do not trust Bush's ability to wage another war. Here is where the real problem lies; by delegitimizing his ability to wage war, they delegitimize his right to wage war.

That's a helluva triple gainer, isn't it? The problem, apparently, lies not in the actual fact that Bush has prosecuted the Iraq war with astonishing incompetence, but in the fact that non-Republican "political elites" have peevishly decided to take note of Bush's performance. Wow.

Believe it or not, though, it gets worse later on in the piece:

As someone who supported the invasion of Iraq, I know that the problem with grand assumptions is that they're nice when they succeed; otherwise you require a Plan B. The idea that there is no alternative to diplomacy in dealing with Iran, even after it achieves nuclear status, is another grand assumption, but without a Plan B.

The president and his hawkish enablers are rather plainly trying to maneuver the country into a position where military force will be the only plausible option available to us against Iran. Not only do they have no Plan B, but they're actively trying to close off even the possibility of a Plan B in the future. Is this a problem? You'd think so, but in a breathtaking piece of table-turning chutzpah Kaplan declares that the real problem lies with those who are trying to keep our options open. Apparently they suffer from the unforgivable stain of having been right about Iraq.

The plain fact is that military action is always a Plan B. The Pentagon has multiple contingency plans for war against Iran, and those plans will continue to be updated and available to whoever is sitting in the Oval Office. If, in the end, we truly feel that we have no other choice, military force will always be an option. That's not a problem. It's preemptively closing off all the other avenues that's the problem.

Kevin Drum 1:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (147)

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Comments

"...his right to wage war"

But the King always has the right to wage war!

Posted by: jefff on September 29, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush and Kaplan were concieved, there mothers should have used Plan B.

Posted by: Hostile on September 29, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

These guys are like rightish fifth columnists trying to destroy this country from within.

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on September 29, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Bush has prosecuted the Iraq war with astonishing incompetence ..."

While Bush is formally responsible and accountable, in actual reality he is a grinning, smirking sock-puppet whose role is to bamboozle gullible Americans with bullshit. Cheney and Rumsfeld have "prosecuted" the Iraq war, and while it's true enough that Rumsfeld in particular has been incompetent, the more important and more applicable term than "incompetent" is "corrupt".

Moreover, it's important to keep in mind that none of this has anything to do with the nonexistent threat from nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons, any more than the unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq had anything to do with nonexistent Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction."

All of it -- absolutely all of it -- has to do with securing control of the vast oil reserves of the Middle East by Cheney's cronies and financial backers in the US military-industrial-petroleum complex. It's a war for control of oil resources, period.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 29, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

If, in the end, we truly feel that we have no other choice, military force will always be an option.

And what other options does America have to prevent Iran from getting nukes? Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution, said Iran has to have nukes.

Link

""A letter from 1988 in which Iran's top commander says Iran could need a nuclear bomb to win the war against Iraq has come to light in Tehran," the BBC reports."

"The commander is quoted in the letter, written by the father of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, to top officials in the final days of the war."

"It has only now been made public -- by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. The letter seems at odds with Tehran's statements that Iran is not seeking a bomb because it is against Islam."

I have yet to hear from liberals like you any serious proposals on how to deal with Iran. Until liberals start getting a serious foreign policy concerning the middle east, you will continue to be ignored by people who do care about the middle east.

Posted by: Al on September 29, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't war with Iran be plan Zed for christ's sake? Or at least E or F?

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 29, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

You got this one right, Kevin. Especially the last two paragraphs. That's clear thinkin'.

Posted by: Cabal on September 29, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Kevin Drum: No matter what, we must always be at the ready to appease Iran.

Posted by: American Hawk on September 29, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush and Kaplan were concieved, there mothers should have used Plan B.

Too Funny!

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 29, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

"...his right to wage war"


Sorry to offend the religious, but this is reminiscent of some religions wherein 'the God has the right to your prayers and loyalty'.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: gregor on September 29, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Huh. I always thought it was the Congress who had the "right" to wage war.

Posted by: nonplussed on September 29, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

nonplussed: Me too. Although, if the Codpiece wants to parachute into Iran on a one-man-suicide-mission-to-save-all-humanity-and-tax-cuts, I'd be willing to support that*.

*T1, are you going to report me now?

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is the entire mindset which has apparently not learned anything in the past forty or so years.

I think, frankly, the "Powell Doctrine" needs to be updated.

Perhaps others who have the time and energy to Google up the existing Powell Doctrine could take a swing at exact language, but it should say something like this:

Unless the military action is needed to secure existing United States territory, a military expeditionary force should not be used to: (i) overthrow an existing government, (ii) intervene in a civil war, unless the United States is planning on annexing the territory in question, or unless the United States is one member of a multi-nation peackeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations.

I'm sure some of the usual suspects will jump in with the "where's the exception for pre-emptive strikes to eliminate WMD's" The answer is, there is no exception.

Its not as if, tactically, the only way to defend against a WMD is to overthrow the government which is trying to acquire it. It is not as if, tactically, the only way to defend the United States is by means of expititionary force, actual, you know, defense, works too.

The cited article is a good example of the mind set that has simply watched way too many war movies. Talk about "to a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail" -- that's only 12 words, but it sums it up, doesn't it?

Posted by: hank on September 29, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

In late 2000 it wasn't widely known Bush had already decided on war with Iraq. We'll look back, dig up records and documents, elicit testimony and sometime in 2008 discover the decision to go to war with Iran was made in 2002 or 2003. The die is cast. The only thing needing done is the dying.

Posted by: steve duncan on September 29, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

The way Pentagon budget cuts are slashing away at the Air Force, I'm not so sure that air power can be counted on as part of Plan B. And I'd expect it to be even more important in Iran than it was in Iraq. But never, mind. Head down. Don't touch those blinders. Stay the course.

Look how well the war in Iraq is going with inadequate ground forces. Why should we worry about declaring war on Iran with an inadequate Air Force?

Posted by: cowalker on September 29, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

I should also add that the Powell Doctrine was initially formulated to figure out a way to avoid another Vietnam. As I recall part of it included the concept of "overwhelming force" and something about "clear military objectives."

Frankly, the Iraq misadventure failed on both counts, so it does not even pass muster with what we already have, let alone what might be an even better policy.

At least the worst possible Democratic social program boondoggle only wastes maybe a couple of hundred million here, a billion there, and all of the "waste" is spent in the United States and ultimately cycles into the overall economy.

Compared to the Republican idea of appropriate government spending, a Democratic administration would be the bargain of the century.

Posted by: hank on September 29, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bush no longer cares about "support" for his war policies. He has already been reelected. He will bomb Iran no matter what people think of it.

Posted by: steve ex-expat on September 29, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

There is no way we are capable of going to war with Iran. Some way want to but it just isn't going to happen. There will not be support at home for a war with Iran or support abroad. We don't have the money or the troops to win it. Get over it. Move on. So what if Iran gets a couple bombs, we have thousands. Iraq is the biggest disaster this country will ever have to deal with. Bush really sucks. Thomas1 and Al do too.

Posted by: dee on September 29, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I have yet to hear from liberals like you any serious proposals on how to deal with Iran. Until liberals start getting a serious foreign policy concerning the middle east, you will continue to be ignored by people who do care about the middle east.

Posted by: Al on September 29, 2006 at 1:39 PM

There was already a threat about this a couple of days ago when you asked the same question and you received several replies detailing different options that can be taken.

I would recommend that you go back and see what people responded to your previous question.

Posted by: kevin on September 29, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

The hawks are correct. We must invade Iran. After all, we didn't win the Cold War until we attacked the USSR.

Posted by: Dokes on September 29, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Monkey Boy will do exactly as he pleases.

Posted by: Terry C, 100% against torture on September 29, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about you but I put my trust in His Majesty King George I and Uncle Dick because they always know what's best.
Long live King George and Prince Jeb!

Posted by: Johnny Tremaine on September 29, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

I have yet to hear from liberals like you any serious proposals on how to deal with Iran. Until liberals start getting a serious foreign policy concerning the middle east, you will continue to be ignored by people who do care about the middle east.

Posted byAl


And to what branch of the armed forces do you belong, troll boy?

Posted by: Terry C, 100% against torture on September 29, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Al --

There's a difference -- a BIG difference -- between being able to enrich uranium sufficiently to create fuel for nuclear reactors, which is Iran has just recently achieved, and being able to enrich it enough to build bombs.

The International Atomic Energy Agency -- the same people who debunked your hero Bush's PNAC-induced fantasies of WMD and aluminum tubes -- has said repeatedly that Bush, the Republicans and the PNAC Platoon are doing the same thing with Iran that they did with Iraq: Namely, lie about it just so they can scare us into yet another war of conquest. (If you don't think it was about "projecting our power", to use the polite euphemism, then why was Bush's first act once in Iraq to set up all of those bases, some of them huge affairs with their own bus routes and Starbucks and such?)

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on September 29, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Oooh, Saddam Hussein, he so scary!"

Remember that one? Well, turns out he was NOTHING. In a speech delivered in Washington months before the run-up to war, Colin Powell bragged about how Hussein had been completely defanged, that he wasn't even a threat to any of his neighbors, much less America. Of course, that was before Powell sold out and got on the phony WMD bandwagon.

Don't believe that speech happened? There's video of it. Some of it was in Michael Moore's movie, but ofcourse Rush and Fox told the stupid rubes that post here not to see Moore's movie, so they wouldn't know.

Iran is no big threat. Just like the USSR, if they get the bomb, they can't use it, or we (or Israel) turn that country to glass. Some people never learn.

The bigger threat is that Iran stops selling us oil, and they way we're making friends with them, who would blame them if they did?

Posted by: Raoul Paste on September 29, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Booman Tribune has an interesting story about technical glitches in Iran's enrichment activities, like overheating centrifuges.

Interesting read,, even if you're not a mechanical engineer.

Posted by: Michele on September 29, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin told Al:

There was already a thread about this a couple of days ago when you asked the same question and you received several replies detailing different options that can be taken.

I would recommend that you go back and see what people responded to your previous question.

Kevin, you meanie! Forcing Al to actually argue in good faith! How could you?!?

Posted by: Phoenix Woman on September 29, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think we'll bomb Iran now or in the next few years. I think Bush and PNAC neo-cons wanted to, but now, post-Iraq War, there would too much resistance in the military, State Dept., public, Congress, etc.

While true-believers like that dick-stroking schmuck Kaplan may still desire the elimination of as many Muslims as possible, the Iran sabre-rattling is mostly just election-year tough-talk by Republican fucks trying to force the Dems into opposing agressive action.

Posted by: luci on September 29, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The war in Iraq ended a long time ago; we won. The country is a nice, prosperous democracy now. Why do you stupid liberals keep harping about it? Why do you keep making things up and causing trouble for our President?

Posted by: Wingnut on September 29, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

"...you will continue to be ignored by people who do care about the middle east."

Al, can you even find the middle east on a map yet?

Posted by: Speed on September 29, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

neo-con plan b: blame everybody but themselves....

gop: majority rules..until crap happens..then we are victims

Posted by: mr. irony on September 29, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I like the Admin's current plan. Seeing as how "they" (pick your own "they") hate our freedoms, the Administration, with the help of a rubber stamp Congress, has wisely decided to do away with some of the more pesky freedoms that "they" hate so much. In that way, we will be much safer, because we wont have so many of those freedoms that "they" hate.

Posted by: dokes on September 29, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

All options must remain on the table, or so I keep hearing.

That includes airstrikes, ground incursions, fullscale invasion and even nukes.

But not actually talking directly to the Iranians; that would be bad, I guess....

Posted by: A Hermit on September 29, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

The die is cast. The only thing needing done is the dying.

Comment of the thread came early on this one.


The die is indeed cast. The Navy is taking up offensive positions in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. One US carrier task force has been in position, and two more task forces are moving to take up their positions in the Iranian theatre.

This is not classified, so repeat it often, and ask questions about it at campaign events this fall. I came to this knowledge through a relative who happend to be a Lt. Commander on one of those carriers in the gulf, and after independednt verification through information available in the public record, I decided to throw down the gauntlet. Spread the word, folks. That's our Navy, after all.

I am about the hardest nut to crack on the Iranian front. My dad was in the Persian Gulf in the days of the Shah, when the Iranian Navy was moving to modernize and the new naval headquarters were coming on line in Bandar-e Abbas, we were frequent visitor of the region and I spent a lot of time soaking up Persian culture. I saw that student-led Islamic revolution coming a mile away, and so did everyone else who knew the intricacies of the area and wasn't deep in denial. My cynicism was born when I realized that I was more savvy at 16 than the State Department was at 200.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

If you look at it closely George's plan for Iraq, it has turned out just like he said it would.

A Democratic country full of terrorists.

Posted by: owlbear1 on September 29, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Global, if you're right, Bush will be committing political suicide. The Iranians have all kinds of non-conventional ways of retaliating, the south of Iraq will rise up, and we will likely lose our army in Mesopotamia. It will be a catastrophe, not an October Surprise like President Dickhead thinks.

Posted by: GOP Torture Squad on September 29, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

It will be a catastrophe, not an October Surprise like President Dickhead thinks.

My guess is that the Iraq war was the political war, while an attack on Iran is the true ideoligical battle they've always wanted.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 29, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why of course!

Nuking Iran should be Plan A, and only if it fails should we stoop to the cowardly and craven tactic of diplomacy and negotiation.

Posted by: melior on September 29, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

While I'm normally against nuking anyone, maybe we can turn this into a win-win.

Send Bush, Cheney, Condi and Rummy to Iran. Then nuke 'em.

Posted by: tomeck on September 29, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

What's with the war-talk? Here's a guess.

The US, while it has no hope against rooted insurgencies and even sociology, can win a war at a certain level (nuclear or some near equivalent involving mass destruction), where the goal is simply to cripple the opponent. The idea would be to ramp things up to that level. The Rumsfeldian exhaustion of US ground forces in multiple conflicts even plays into this. What other choice would we have with Iran?

Posted by: hquain on September 29, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK


The president and his hawkish enablers are rather plainly trying to maneuver the country into a position where military force will be the only plausible option available to us against Iran. Not only do they have no Plan B, but they're actively trying to close off even the possibility of a Plan B in the future. Is this a problem? You'd think so, but in a breathtaking piece of table-turning chutzpah Kaplan declares that the real problem lies with those who are trying to keep our options open. Apparently they suffer from the unforgivable stain of having been right about Iraq.


"The chief qualification of a mass leader has become unending infallibility; he can never admit an error. The assumption of infallibility, moreover, is based not so much on superior intelligence as on the correct interpretation of the essentially reliable forces in history or nature, forces which neither defeat nor ruin can prove wrong because they are bound to assert themselves in the long run. Mass leaders in power have one concern which overrules all utilitarian considerations: to make their predictions come true. The Nazis did not hesitate to use, at the end of the war, the concentrated force of their still intact organization to bring about as complete a destruction of Germany as possible, in order to make true their prediction that the German people would be ruined in case of defeat."

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1976, pp. 348-349

Posted by: Good to be King on September 29, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will be committing political suicide.

the pathological prick doesn't care - he never has to be elected again, so bombs away!

The strikes will be off the carrier fleets and the casualties will be some Russian technicians who are installing the equipment.

My husband retired from USAF intel after SAC was deactivated, and has some very strong opinions on this topic. maybe he will come out and play when he gets home from school. Suffice it to say, Iran is not Iraq. And Iraq is proving to be no cake-walk.

p.s. - the Naval buildup has been quietly mentioned in the MSM since late July.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The fools are in charge and the elite media can't be bothered to warn us. The United States of America is being run like a failed state. Only a political revolution of the most radical sort, such as in 1860 or 1930 can remedy the situation. How much bad, ugly and stupid can America absorb before it causes permanent injury? I need a drink.

Posted by: Northern Observer on September 29, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I had the misfortune to read Kaplan at breakfast this morning. I think Kevin's analysis is dead on.

It strikes me that all the ink spilt about Iran is just a way to rationalize decisions that have been already made. I may be naive, but I don't think we'll be bombing Tehran before 11/7, but I would be quite surprised if Bush doesn't exersice his "right to wage war" (what a disgusting phrase) before he leaves office.

Posted by: JJF on September 29, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK
My guess is that the Iraq war was the political war, while an attack on Iran is the true ideoligical battle they've always wanted.

No, the whole amorphous campaign against various Islamic societies in the guise of a "War on Terror" is the ideological battle they've always wanted, a war that will last long enough to justify authoritarian expansion of government power at home.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Not only do they have no Plan B, but they're actively trying to close off even the possibility of a Plan B in the future."

It's like a reverse version of Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru.

God, I'm such a nerd.

Posted by: keptsimple on September 29, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

AL nails it, 1988 that is where the problem started.oh wait never mind we righties where in charge-Al what do I do, you got me mixed up on the talking points.

Posted by: Mann Coulter on September 29, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I really, really, hope he does it.

I hope he's sitting at home, in Crawford, with that football, open on his table, and I hope he has a good stiff drink, and pushes that fucking button.

America does not understand the monster they've created. The events in congress over the last week have convinced me that there is NOTHING that can save this country. Not moderate Republicans. Not Dems. I doubt even a Military revolt will be successful. The only thing that can do it is the people. And the people are not going to get off their fat asses and do anything, until it gets so bad that it affects them personally.

And if Bush attacks Iran - that'll just about do it.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

AI guess I'm a nerd too, because I got it, keptsimple. Wrath of Khan - Best.Star Trek. Ever.

I may be a bigger nerd - I had a Blue Doberman female - named Saavic.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely may be correct. In essence the people of this country have the most power to stop it. Not Iran. So the focus on obtaining power to stop any dissent in the US should be an over arching goal. My Congressman is part of the Military Industrial Complex and was virtually hand picked for the job - 3rd District Ohio.

The only problem is the sheep will bleat for the name they heard last and the people backing the Dems do not know how to win. It takes a farm team, not a top down approach.

Posted by: Greg Hunter on September 29, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I just heard on NPR that the family of the judge presiding over the Hussein trial has been targeted. Didn't catch the whole thing, but it sounded like a brother was killed. Off to find out what I can about this.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kaplan totally distorts the liberal opposition to Dubya's starting a war prematurely with Iran and he works carefully in this article to hide his ingenuousness. Few object to engaging Iran militarily if Iran leapfrogs forward, in contravention of its treaty obligations, with an active military nuclear program, which existance no one has quite identified yet. Instead, Kaplan has built a strawman of oppostion - that all liberals oppose a military option under any and all conditions. That construction is a deliberate lie by Mr. Kaplan and should be thrown back in his face.

No, opposition to initiating military action now against Iran stems from a complete lack of diplomatic action by Dubya's posse and a complete lack of evidence that Iran is doing anything further than working within its treaty obligations. If Dubya would pursue a vigorous diplomatic track - a real and honest diplomatic track for a change - he might find he could build support for a military option if Iran proves totally obdurate. No, Mr. Kaplan does not fault Dubya and his posse for failing to implement the other side of the strategy he himself claims to favor.

Instead, Kaplan insists it is all the liberal's fault. Why am I not surprised by this very old neocon whine in a new bottle. They can't even honestly decant their own cant.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on September 29, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

No, the whole amorphous campaign against various Islamic societies in the guise of a "War on Terror" is the ideological battle they've always wanted, a war that will last long enough to justify authoritarian expansion of government power at home.
Posted by: cmdicely on September 29, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, they're just pandering to their religious extremist base (just like Ahmadinijad is) so they can justify war (and the War Profiteering that goes along with it). When they leave office, they, and their war profiteering buddies will be even richer, and our nation will be bankrupt, and unable to meet even modest challenges. The war profiteer actually hates his own country - hates the rule of law, and wants there to be no superpowers who can enforce the rule of law. Because that leads to war (if the world's policeman can't stop it, it'll happen), which leads to more war profiteering.

Folks may be picky about how much money they spend on chinese-manufactured garden gnomes at Wal Mart - but they'll pay absurd sums for AK-47's.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Wrath of Khan - Best.Star Trek. Ever.

word.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Down Florida there is a Congressman who fought strongly for toughening sex offender laws, especially in relation to sex offences against juveniles - He has also sponsored legislation toughening internet child porn laws. Really fought the good fight.

Problem is he was caught in sending "Young man dah de dah de dah dah, I say, Young man......." e-mails to a former Senate page.

Say Goodnight, Mark Foley (Publican-FL), as you decline to run for re-election.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 29, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Arrgh....

Hello? Price spikes of $200/bbl oil? Anyone want to take a gander at what that will do to the economy?

Not to mention pissing China off as well....heck, they don't have to do anything, just refuse to buy any more US Gov't bonds next time around.

A war with Iran, unless we have the rest of the big players on board with us, will do nothing but ruin the US.

Maybe Bush and the neocons ARE in cahoots with Bin Laden....

Posted by: tzs on September 29, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Kaplan's argument is quintessential sophistry. That type of argument would be overkill for the Bush base. Chest thumping, tranparent mendacity, and frequent Jebus references are sufficient for it. Kaplan is hunting for the higher quality, more prestigious dupe. One who aspires to reason and nuance.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on September 29, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page, according to a congressional official.

This is all a tempest in a teapot. I've checked with rdw, and he assures me that hitting on 16-year-old boys is "better" than Clinton getting a BJ from an adult Monica Lewinsky. Move along, move along.

Posted by: shortstop on September 29, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

When you wage war, you'd better be clear about what you wish to achieve.

How is our heavy hammer in Iraq going to achieve victory?

Victory is not democracy.

As we beat the drums of war against Iran, think about what Victory against Iran looks like.

Victory is winning hearts, not dropping bombs.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 29, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

And I thought rdw had just flown out of Philly for the Dominican Republic. Had some of Rush's phone numbers with him.

Posted by: stupid git on September 29, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

He's just a frat-boy at heart. He looked at a map and said "Hmmmm...Iraq, Iran...We'll start us a coupla wars and merge em into one big country, see, and we'll call it Iraqan (pronounced I Rock On.) We'll all laugh real hard at the next homecoming, I'll tell you what!"

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hello? Price spikes of $200/bbl oil? Anyone want to take a gander at what that will do to the economy?...
Posted by: tzs on September 29, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Please.

All they have to do is scare the market up to $200/bbl, then "give the oil in the SPR to the oil companies to save America" (yet allow them to charge consumers what $200/bbl implies at the pump - because - it's the market, donchyaknow).

Then - THEN, we'll have a draft, to take down Iran. And people will support it. Because they *need* to keep their hummers gassed-up.

And it won't matter to the Bushies if we win, or lose, because, at $200/bbl, they'll have all the money. Ever wonder why Gold prices shot up?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ready to go George - Curtis and I are just re-checking the coordinates - Hmm, head for Dresden and then south east it is. Yeah, Curtis, we'll take plenty of fire bombs. YaHoooo

Posted by: Bomber Harris on September 29, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a soldier.....but I can read:

Iran's Star Rising in the Next World Order (Part III):

"The bottom line is that in order to give a penny's worth of damage to Iran's nuclear industry we'll have to put a ton's worth of hurt on them."

And we won't come out of such a conflict unscratched. Even if only one or two combatant ships suffer significant battle damage--which is a conservative prediction--that will be the first time the mighty U.S. Navy has suffered a casualty in conventional, toe-to-toe combat since World War II. ............"

here

Posted by: avahome on September 29, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

PS.
It's official - Foley resigned.

WTF? I was SURE this was a Rove-a-dope.
Why would that fucker be so stupid - for a peice of 16-y/o ass?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's sad, but if this were a democracy, we would be moving heaven & earth to prevent aWol from bombing Iran. However, the die may have been cast, casting the U.S. an an imperial power. As Digby might say, though, it's all over.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on September 29, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Well, at least it might take the spotlight off of the Dog Days in the Maryland Senatorial race and the round the clock TV ads showing little Georgie Allen sitting on Roosevelt Grier's lap learning how to knit and then running merrily around the LA Coliseum hand in hand with Deacon Jones. "Why shucks folks, they were my mentors"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 29, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK
Actually, they're just pandering to their religious extremist base (just like Ahmadinijad is) so they can justify war (and the War Profiteering that goes along with it).

I agree that war profiteering is part of the motivation, but so is power (money & power being fungible for each other, they are really sides of the same motivation, not separate factors.)

But war is not an independent goal, but a means to acheive (more) wealth and power for them.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 29, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK
Kaplan totally distorts the liberal opposition to Dubya's starting a war prematurely with Iran

That phrasing suggests that war is probably something we'll want to do, but Dubya just wants to do it a little to soon.

I don't think I can buy into that.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 29, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the picturesw of him double-dating with Doug Williams? HMMM? What, they didn't hang out?

NFL coaches are politicians too, after all. George Allen of course had little George Felix in those photo-ops with his palyers. That's a big 'ole "Duh!" It was politics to veil racism then, and it is politics to veil racism now. Duh.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Keven sez:

If, in the end, we truly feel that we have no other choice, military force will always be an option. That's not a problem. It's preemptively closing off all the other avenues that's the problem.

Diplomacy is appeasement.

War is peace.

Now that GWB can legally disappear anyone he wants to, he will no longer have any problems prosecuting a successful war.

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

war crimes for oil, denial of habeaus corpus etc. are all very interesting, but I am surprised not to see something at Washington Monthly on the Abramoff/White contacts detailed in the NYT today (p.18)

Posted by: shoebeacon on September 29, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget Freedom is Slavery

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

"The plain fact is that military action is always a Plan B."

where do you come up with such nonsensical statements kevin? Your own post posits that wingnuts are actively closing off all paths to dealing with Iran other than the military option, which guess what - if there are no other plans, the military option by default is Plan A.

Aside from Kevin's silliness, there are plenty of wingnuts out there, most in fact, who lust for war. They scour the world stage looking for opportunities to sell the use of the military so they can get their jollies blowing shit up and slaughtering people. Many join the military so they can actively participate in such wingnut "fun". Others are happy to be part of the 101st fighting keyboards, waxing their woodies, pretending they are playing real-life Risk.

Make no mistake, wingnuts in general do not view the use of the military as a means to an end; most view the use of the military as the ends itself. Solving a problem is not even in their lexicon - using the military IS the goal - endless war IS THE PLAN.
.

Posted by: pluege on September 29, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Global, if you are still here shout back. I have a question.

Posted by: Keith G on September 29, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why would that fucker be so stupid - for a peice of 16-y/o ass?

As a comedian once quipped, the reason why it is illegal to have sex with a 16 year old is because every man wants to have sex with 16 year olds; otherwise it wouldn't be illegal.

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm here - ask away.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

pluege: I think you're misreading Kevin's remark. He meant that war should always be Plan B, not that it actually is.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on September 29, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

As a comedian once quipped, the reason why it is illegal to have sex with a 16 year old is because every man wants to have sex with 16 year olds; otherwise it wouldn't be illegal.
Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK


But, a buh-buh-buh-buh-boi?

Given the choice between a 16 year old, and a HR seat, I think I'd try harder to keep my nose clean. Or if I couldn't, at least use my brain and try to cover my tracks. I mean - these people CAN'T be that stupid, can they?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

My plan is that if Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions by July 2008, I will send in the mighty and righteous Republican Patriot Volunteer Hawk Force to seize control of all their nuclear facilities and crush the Iranian command elements. The Iranians will not be able to hold off these legions of young republicans, douchey bloggers, religious zealots and war profiteers. Given the martial vigor I have seen on the internets I should have a force of millions willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve our freedoms.

Posted by: al gored on September 29, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

You may know about this, but your fly boy certainly will:

Iran has an air force and air defenses. With the F-14s gone, what carries the load?

Would this pose a problem in that our tactics will depend on a different configuration with pilots not necessarily experienced in combat?

Posted by: Keith G on September 29, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is the entire mindset which has apparently not learned anything in the past forty or so years.

Try the past forty or so months!

Posted by: mister pedantic on September 29, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

OBF - with this lot, where "stupid" ends "craven" takes over.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Given the choice between a 16 year old, and a HR seat, I think I'd try harder to keep my nose clean. Or if I couldn't, at least use my brain and try to cover my tracks. I mean - these people CAN'T be that stupid, can they?

I should have been clearer. It is a compulsion with these people. They can't stop themselves. And the more powerful they become, the less they can stop themselves.

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I truly believe that the Repugs under their King have turned Carl von Clausewitz on his head - their belief is that politics is a continuation of war.

And to paraphrase von Clausewitz, George the Conqueror is indeed a man of peace - He would love to conquer the Democratic Party without any opposition.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 29, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, I'm sure among the more informed this is common knowledge, but I only learned this last week.

Question: including tests, how many atomic bombs has the U.S. detonated?

Posted by: hank on September 29, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Forgotten is awful hard on war profiteers:

The war profiteer actually hates his own country - hates the rule of law, and wants there to be no superpowers who can enforce the rule of law. Because that leads to war (if the world's policeman can't stop it, it'll happen), which leads to more war profiteering.

How does he explain Dick Cheney?

Posted by: Folded on September 29, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I have more knowledge of military planes than Tom does - he was a SAC (missile) guy. But my dad was attached to carrier fleets that flew the F-14's before he retired from service. But to answer your question, the F-16 is still flying, and the F-18 Hornet is the new "Mayor of Planeville."

Would this pose a problem in that our tactics will depend on a different configuration with pilots not necessarily experienced in combat?

I am not worried about the competencies of the pilots, they are some of the best we have. (Hat tip to Red State Mike - you may disagree with him on policy, but he flies for us in planes we paid for.)

Maybe he will come by and answer the remainder of your question better than I can, and with the perspective of one who will be called upon to fly those sorties.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone is closing off diplomacy, it's "allies" like France and Russia, who won't let us move ahead toward sanctions. I don't actually think sanctions will work, but due those countries, sanctions cannot be tried or even realistically threatened.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 29, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

PLEASE. Someone with more time and savvy, start a "Fire Kaplan Now" website targeting the Atlantic.

Thanks,
One pissed of Atlantic subscriber

Posted by: Chris on September 29, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe they take their signatures on the NNPT treaty a little more seriously than aWol does. Just throwing it out there for consideration - and before the trolls jump on that with glee - don't even start. And don't ascribe me motives for being able to think about a possibility that never managed to clear the cobwebs and cross your minds.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Question: including tests, how many atomic bombs has the U.S. detonated?

A list of tests can be found here.

Posted by: ein on September 29, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Jason will be teaching the History of the Cold War - I was content to offer "over a thousand" but he gives us the actual number, chapter and verse.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

France detonated between 200 and 250 nuclear devices in the same time-frame, mostly in Algeria, and in Mururoa in the Bikini Atoll.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

but your comment relies on rational thought processes and reason to reach its conclusion. try the handy dandy new "end times" filter, and see if that helps. meaning: the goal here is a middle east in flames, so there's no plan b. silly boy.

Posted by: rael on September 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

silly boy

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oops messed up the tag. that was supposed to read silly boy if that was for me, my husband is in for a shocker.:)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, we remember some of that testing.

Yeah, it probably was one of the worst films ever made, but that doesn't change the testing facts.

Posted by: Cast and crew of The Conquerers on September 29, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

obf: Because they *need* to keep their hummers gassed-up.

"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he will no longer drive a Hummer. ... Arnold said, 'I want to find a more environmentally friendly way to look like an a-hole.'"

- Conan O'Brien

Posted by: mr. perspective on September 29, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

The French didn't just sink the Rainbow Warrior in that harbor in New Zealand. They sent commandos to board vessels in the area of their testing, they siezed film and video, they confiscated reporters and activists journals. they basically acted like feckless thugs. And it was happening in my adult lifetime. that is why I laugh out loud when the French are dismissed as soft, and weak and effete to a fault. Please. Those strikers last summer who siezed a vessel sure found out different, didn't they?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

GOP Congress resigns on being confronted with sexually explicit instant messages to male aides.

It's now official.

GOP is the Party of Liars, Crooks, Pedophiles and Assorted Not So Nice Guys.

Posted by: gregor on September 29, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-Rep. Foley is contemplating his own personal plan b. That's plan b, for boys.

Posted by: Hostile on September 29, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

... I don't actually think sanctions will work, but due those countries, sanctions cannot be tried or even realistically threatened.
Posted by: ex-liberal on September 29, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

You mean ". . .due to our economic dependence on Iranian oil. . ."

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

There are 2 points to attacking Iran:
1 - appoint yourself president for life.
2 - bring on the rapture; since attacking babylon didn't bring it on.

Posted by: Peter on September 29, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Can anyone name a single Republican man who is not a closeted homosexual, pedophile, or both?

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I see that American Hawk wrote:

"Shorter Kevin Drum: No matter what, we must always be at the ready to appease Iran."

Well, A.H. (Heh!), we bombed Iraq. How's that working for you?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on September 29, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo,

Hmmmm, first clue please.

Posted by: stupid git on September 29, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Can anyone name a single Republican man who is not a closeted homosexual, pedophile, or both?

To be on the safe side, I would add one more category in there: liar or crook.

Posted by: gregor on September 29, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Can anyone name a single Republican man who is not a closeted homosexual, pedophile, or both?

I believe that was the correct question to "Political Impossibilites" for $100 on Jeopardy last Tuesday.

Posted by: Qwerty on September 29, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

If there is a war with Iran, it's going to get really "drafty" in this country. And, where is the money going to come from?

Posted by: Mazurka on September 29, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Perle Harbor is a PNAC wet-dream. And none of the brats-of-priveledge will be doing any fighting or dying.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

WAR WITH IRAN IS PART OF THE REPUBLICAN PLAN FOR ENDLESS WAR.

Posted by: CT on September 29, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

where is the money going to come from?

Tax cuts!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I.F.S.A. : Iran Freedom Support Act
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/sep/1324.html

US House Approves Iran Sanctions, Senate Expected to Follow
Opponents such as Congressman Earl Blumenauer asserted the measure will hurt diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff with Tehran. "Nothing in this legislation points us in the direction of a solution. It is, if you will, a cruise missile aimed at a difficult diplomatic effort, just as they are reaching their most sensitive point," he said.

... [The I.F.S.A.] will only serve to weaken pro-Democracy elements in Iran. It represents an escalation of tension, policy and attitudinally, with Iran and an escalation that is guaranteed to fail," said Republican Jim Leach.

Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen maintains the legislation is not an alternative to diplomacy but a strong incentive for European and other allies. "This bill provides a comprehensive approach, providing U.S. officials with strong leverage to secure cooperation from our allies in order to counter the Iranian threat," she said.

House sponsors of the Iran Freedom Support Act say they expect the Senate to take up the measure and pass it before Congress adjourns, sending it to President Bush for signature.
The United States has a long history of imposing economic sanctions on Iran. The track record of this policy leaves much to be desired, however. The Clinton Administration was particularly prolific in its use of sanctions on Iran. The Executive Orders that terminated trade with Iran in 1995 were initially costly to the Iranian economy. The Iranian state was forced to find new markets for its products as well as new suppliers for the goods and services it previously purchased from the US.

But in spite of these costs, sanctions have failed to achieve their stated political objectives: to change the behavior of the Iranian government in several critical areas. A decade later, mindful of the radical rhetoric of the Ahmadinejad government, it is quite clear that Tehrans behavior has not changed. Arguably, it has become more radical in the areas where sanctions were supposed to have an impact.

Posted by: Persian Cat on September 29, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen wrote:

The French didn't just sink the Rainbow Warrior in that harbor in New Zealand. They sent commandos to board vessels in the area of their testing, they siezed film and video, they confiscated reporters and activists journals. they basically acted like feckless thugs. And it was happening in my adult lifetime. that is why I laugh out loud when the French are dismissed as soft, and weak and effete to a fault. Please.
___________________

GC, the French have good fighting men, certainly. The Foreign Legion is especially tough. They've got good pilots, though their aircraft have always been second rate. Their tanks are a joke.

People confuse their government's positions for national character, which is always a mistake. The real concern we should have with France is that they are not our ally in almost any sense of the word. Their national interests and ours only occasionally intersect and their preferred stance is in opposition to the US.

Posted by: Trashhauler on September 29, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

If there is a war with Iran, it's going to get really "drafty" in this country.

We would have to feel the draft well before any actual war, if said war is to be executed with any competence. Of course, Iraq proved that there isn't much competence in this administration.

Posted by: Qwerty on September 29, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Their national interests and ours only occasionally intersect and their preferred stance is in opposition to the US.

This is what I find so endearing about wingnut nationalism -- they assume that it is in the national interests of the French (or anyone else for that matter) to be in opposition to the US.

Really, get over yourselves. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

My point about the testing was that I believe the number of atmospheric explosions alone was over 300, many of these were huge.

Thus, when the bogeyman of "oh my God, what if Iran or (fill in the blank) gets the bomb) its not as if this hasn't already occurred.

Its really very simple, if the question is framed as "which would you prefer, having a nuclear bomb detonated in Los Angeles or dropping a few bombs in Iran" well, its a bit of a "have you stopped beating your wife?" question, is it not? The question itself assumes away the actual issue.

Given the number of countries which already possess nuclear weapons, and the sheer number of nuclear weapons tested in the past, its disingenuous to suggest that Iran getting the bomb is some sort of remarkable event in world history.

How certain can we, or anyone, be that some terrorist won't steal a bomb from some other country, India, Pakistan, Russia, France, England, China, Israel? Maybe we should just invade all of those countries. Come to think of it, if you are a terrorist, why not steal a bomb that it already located in the United States? Let's invade ourselves!!

Posted by: hank on September 29, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

I am going to hop off and go do something I haven't done since my father died - I'm gonna get good and drunk and grieve the death of my country.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like Foley's resignation and the sure Dem win of an otherwise red seat is vindication of Dean's 50 state strategy and making sure that there was a Dem running in even the most blood Red districts.

Posted by: Disputo on September 29, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm gonna get good and drunk and grieve the death of my country.

Good idea!

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on September 29, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I used you "America 2.0," but I sourced you.:)

I was serious - my cab will be here in ten - see you all later.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 29, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

The French didn't just sink the Rainbow Warrior in that harbor in New Zealand. They sent commandos to board vessels in the area of their testing, they siezed film and video, they confiscated reporters and activists journals. they basically acted like feckless thugs. And it was happening in my adult lifetime. that is why I laugh out loud when the French are dismissed as soft, and weak and effete to a fault. Please.

The mighty warriors took down a bunch of Greenpeace hippies, reporters, and journal-writing activists? Well, I'm impressed.

Let me know when they take on Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Posted by: lepew on September 29, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure the French have a sizeable contingent in southern Lebanon right now, lepew.

Posted by: Color me Blue on September 29, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen wrote: "I am going to hop off and go do something I haven't done since my father died - I'm gonna get good and drunk and grieve the death of my country."

That's exactly what I did ... on that hideous night in November 1980 when I learned that Ronald Reagan had been elected president and the Republicans had taken control of the Senate.

The Clinton years notwithstanding, America has never recovered from that catastrophe.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 29, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or does it seem very likely that Bush-Cheney is a long-term al Qaida sleeper team, sent here many years ago to get elected and then destroy the country from within?

It's the only explanation that makes any sense...

Posted by: craigie on September 29, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or does it seem very likely that Bush-Cheney is a long-term al Qaida sleeper team, sent here many years ago to get elected and then destroy the country from within?
It's the only explanation that makes any sense...
Posted by: craigie on September 29, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Or Cult of the Yellow Sign, if you're a Robert Anton Wilson fan. . .

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 29, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

and their (France) preferred stance is in opposition to the US.

I'd take issue on this but the more interesting question is which sensate non-American wouldn't want to see a weakened US at this point?

and though it's a hell of a bloody route to it, George Bush and the neonits seem our best allies in this regard.

A trumped up attack on Iran and I want no more military cooperation with the US. At a minimum I'd want to see us withdraw from any military organizations that involve the US - out of NORAD, out of NATO and instead to liaise with the EDF. And while I have been part of a minority in favour of our involvement in Afghanistan, I'd want immediate withdrawal in response to any action of this kind. If the US wants to take actions without regard to the international community, it can bloody well try to do all it wants to do without the international community.

Oh, and you'll likely lose Korea.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 29, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Jason, my unclear writing.

I was meaning the South Korean government's reaction not the North's. Though you're right, that too needs to be factored in.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 29, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: mmf铃声 on September 29, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or does it seem very likely that Bush-Cheney is a long-term al Qaida sleeper team, sent here many years ago to get elected and then destroy the country from within? It's the only explanation that makes any sense...

The Arabian Candidate....Bush was kidnapped while on Guard duty and subjected to advanced Saudi brainwashing techniques (which would explain why he just disappeared from view for several months while supposedly in Alabama).

And hey, Barbara Bush as the Angela Lansbury character works all too well....

Posted by: Stefan on September 30, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Someone needs to work up a script for that.

Posted by: Disputo on September 30, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

What I wonder is when exactly the brilliant and perceptive man who wrote "the Coming Anarchy" and seemed to understand better than just about any journalists that geographers rather than international relationists were the new geopolitical prophets (for the post-Cold War era) began to lose his mind.

I own more than one of this man's books. I quote him, and people he quotes. I read the journal articles of the academics he cites. But none of this changes the fact that he is clearly losing his mind.

Posted by: Linus on September 30, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bush was kidnapped while on Guard duty and subjected to advanced Saudi brainwashing techniques (which would explain why he just disappeared from view for several months while supposedly in Alabama).

It would also explain why he can't speak English. They washed his brain just a little too hard.

Posted by: craigie on September 30, 2006 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

They washed his brain just a little too hard.

I think it was the soften agents they added to the rinse cycle.

Posted by: Disputo on September 30, 2006 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

softenING

Posted by: Disputo on September 30, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

The military option is the Plan M, N or O, and each a sign of failed diplomacy.

The point is to try, honestly and wholeheartedly, to solve the problem without the use of arms, and to use the best brains to do so.

To enter the contest, having already made up your mind to ignore all other options but the one that the preznut thinks he still has (but in fact doesnot), to enter thinking that with that vanished threat you can bluster and dictate to a couontry where pride and "face" are important, well, it's just plain nuts.

To do this after you have demonstrably not succeeded (the kindest way I can put it) in TWO previous campaigns (3 if you count Lebanon), is most likely a psychopathic personality.

I'm serious.

Posted by: notthere on September 30, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

He shows the symptoms of extended alcoholism.

Posted by: notthere on September 30, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: ll on September 30, 2006 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

disputo wrote:

Their national interests and ours only occasionally intersect and their preferred stance is in opposition to the US.

This is what I find so endearing about wingnut nationalism -- they assume that it is in the national interests of the French (or anyone else for that matter) to be in opposition to the US.
_________________

I'm assuming nothing, disputo. France makes quite a point of being the alternative to mere alignment with the United States and has done so since the days of De Gaulle. Perhaps the description "preferred stance" is too strong, but often times not. "Triangulation" comes to mind, as well. The point is that we can never simply count on their support and many times we can assume they will oppose us. And in almost every case, even when we are cooperating, the French will create a series of niggling issues just to show us they have to be accommodated.

Thanks for bringing it up, though - it made me want to clarify my point.

Posted by: Trashhauler on September 30, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

A bit further clarification, disputo. We in the US military get along quite well with the French military - until the politicians get involved. Then, we often see regretful expressions on the faces of our counterparts and both sides do our best to press on. From what I've seen and heard, our minions in Commerce, Transportation, and State quite often experience the same thing. The French are fine people and France is a wonderful country. It's just that they are only slightly more inclined to support us than most non-aligned countries.

Posted by: Trashhauler on September 30, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

by delegitimizing his ability to wage war, they delegitimize his right to wage war.

Might makes right, apparently.


Republicans are always so upset about mysterious 'elites'. Because anyone who disagrees with them is obviously smarter than they are. And better than they are. And they resent it.

Republicans are very self-conscious of being the lowest slime on earth.

Posted by: cld on September 30, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

* Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins pleaded guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.* Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child molester.* Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.* Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.* Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.* Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.* Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.* Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.* Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.* Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.* Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.* 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.* Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer was charged with molesting his 9-year old step-daughter after including her in an anti-Gore television commercial.* Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.* Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.* Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.* Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.* Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.* Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.* Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.* Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.* Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.* Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.* Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.* Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. "Republican Marty"), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.* Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.* Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.* Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.* Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.* Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.* Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.* Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.* Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.* Republican legislator Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).* Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl.* Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.* Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.* Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.* Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.* Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.* Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.* Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.* Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.Congressman Mark Foley, Republican from Florida, resigned hours after ABC news questioned him about a series of sexually explicit instant messages involving current and former underage male Congressional pages. * Thomas Adams, longtime Green Oaks mayor and former chairman of the Lake County (IL) Republican Central Committee, was charged Monday with possession and distribution of child pornography.* A Bush appointed DHS spokesman was arrested for trying solicit sex on the internet from an undercover detective posing as a 14 year old girl. He was arrested while actually online with the detective.* Republican Mayor of Spokane, Jim West, was recalled after being arrested for soliciting young boys to have sex with him from his government issued work computer.* Republican political consultant and ad producer Carey Lee Cramer was found guilty of charges he sexually molested two young girls. Cramer is best known as the man behind the Anti-Gore ads in the 2000 election.* Republican and top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby has published a sex novel which includes among other things, depictions of a 10 year old girl in a cage being forced to have sex with a bear. * Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.* Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.* Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.* Republican petition drive manager Tom Randall pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 14, one of them the daughter of an associate in the petition business.* Republican County Chairman Armando Tebano was arrested for sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Posted by: Librul Media on September 30, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Librul Media,

You're not suggesting there's a pattern in that? It's not about the bigger picture, it's about character, it's about who they are!

The kind of person they are when no one else is around.

Posted by: cld on September 30, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure why anyone should be particularly surpried or upset by the fact that France's foreign policy is not focused on supporting U.S. interests. As with any sovereign nation, France seeks in its dealings with other nations to increase its own diplomatic and economic influence and prestige. This goal is not optimally achieved by placing the concerns of other nations ahead of one's own. One would think that a nationalist would understand this principle - even when it is expressed by another nation...

Posted by: jjcomet on September 30, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Here is where the real problem lies; by delegitimizing his ability to wage war, they delegitimize his right to wage war."

Does anyone besides me see a connection between this statement and the "wag the dog" accusations made when Clinton launched missile strikes against AQ in Afghanistan?

Posted by: RobW on September 30, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Here's that list of Republican sex offenders, with links to sources.

Posted by: Raven on October 1, 2006 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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