Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HARRY S BUSH....George Bush met with some Democratic leaders on Friday to review the recommendations of the ISG report and discuss the way forward in Iraq. However, they report back that he wasn't too interested in talking about this:

Instead, Bush began his talk by comparing himself to President Harry S Truman, who launched the Truman Doctrine to fight communism, got bogged down in the Korean War and left office unpopular.

Bush said that "in years to come they realized he was right and then his doctrine became the standard for America," recalled Senate Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "He's trying to position himself in history and to justify those who continue to stand by him, saying sometimes if you're right you're unpopular, and be prepared for criticism."

Durbin said he challenged Bush's analogy, reminding him that Truman had the NATO alliance behind him and negotiated with his enemies at the United Nations. Durbin said that's what the Iraq Study Group is recommending that Bush do now work more with allies and negotiate with adversaries on Iraq.

Bush, Durbin said, "reacted very strongly. He got very animated in his response" and emphasized that he is "the commander in chief."

We still have two more years left of this guy. Jeebus.

Kevin Drum 12:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (259)

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Comments

This seems to be Bush's favorite line--even before he was elected he looked forward to having this title. I wonder if he knows what it really means?
(of the armed forces only).

Posted by: dca on December 9, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

He's never been told "No" in his life, and he won't accept it now.

Posted by: Linkmeister on December 9, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

George Will once wrote about Bush's father that some people enter public life because they want to DO something, and others because they want to BE something, and Will concluded that Sr. was in the later group. It was not a compliment. George Will, of course, is a major douche bag. However, this comment was spot-on and it is ever so much more true about Chimp. I look forward to the day when this family will cease to blight our nation.

Posted by: Ba'al on December 9, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm... This reminds me of something. Ah! Here it is: http://www.pistolwimp.com/media/31921/


Will Ferrell [as angry dad at dinner]: You do not talk to me like that!! I work too hard to deal with this stuff!! I work too hard!! I'm a Division Manager in charge of 49 people!! I drive a Dodge Stratus!!

Posted by: dave on December 9, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

And what role in history will Bush's unmatched stubborness really win for him?

The Worst President Of All Time.

We'll be able to kick him around long past the time he's no longer around to kick around.

And it's our job to remind the American people that all Republicans are Bush Republicans.

Posted by: frankly0 on December 9, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Ba'al: bad as George Sr. was in so many ways, there was a key difference between the father and the son: the father had a sense of responsibility. Can you imagine if Junior had been president in 1989-1992? Do you think that the Berlin Wall would have fallen without massive belligerence on the part of Dubya, leading to who knows how much bloodshed in Europe?

Both Bush Sr. and Gorbechev were failures in a number of senses, but between them they managed to let the Iron Curtain fall without violence. Part of H.W.'s "secret" was that he talked and corresponded with every significant world leader. There's no way Junior would have been capable of that.

Posted by: Joe Buck on December 9, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

I love when newspapers quote people like Bill Bennett. And they said he was a leading Republican moralist. I almost fell off my chair laughing at that one. Smirk really is delusional. Rolling Stone recently had a interview with Springsteen recently. He summed up Smirk pretty damn well, of all people.

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on December 9, 2006 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Part of H.W.'s "secret" was that he talked and corresponded with every significant world leader. There's no way Junior would have been capable of that.

Yeah, for one thing, he'd have to be able to read and write...

Posted by: Jeff Fecke on December 9, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like it came as a shock to Dick Durbin that he isn't the Commander In Chief.

Posted by: We got to move these refrigerators on December 9, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

We're doomed.

Or more precisely, the Iraqis are.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on December 9, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Jeebus can't help us now.

Posted by: craigie on December 9, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and by the way: I think that, on balance, it's just as well the Kerry lost in '04. Can you imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from not just the Right, but from the Liberal Media (tm) over Kerry's loss of Iraq?


At least this way, Bush's legacy as Worst President Ever is secure.

Posted by: craigie on December 9, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

craigie:

And can you imagine Old Man McCain arguing that Bush didn't win because he didn't go at it *hard enough*?

And the GOP faithful just eating that up ...

All the Dems need to so is say "hey, we would've followed the bipartisan ISG recommendations."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

craigie:

I take your point :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie, I love your posts and I know you're being snarky, but even the idea that it's good Kerry lost so this disaster will be secured on W. watch really just sticks in my craw. This man is responsible for god knows how many deaths in Iraq and he should have been voted out of office in '04 for the good of the country.

Posted by: D. on December 9, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

That was freakin' bizarre. Craigie just had a post here saying that while nobody wanted to admit it at the time, it was good that Bush won, because of how it positions us now.

Counterintuitive for Democrats, maybe -- but hardly trollish.

And it got zapped as I was writing my one-line response to him. Meanwhile, there are truly odious troll droppings on the preceeding thread which haven't been zapped.

Weird.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

It may be good for the country in the long run that Bush won because the fall of the Republicans will that much greater, but for the people who have died since 2004, well.... not so good.

Hey, Al and all you other worthless trolls, did you vote for Bush?

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/12/8/225311/741

Posted by: Tom DC/VA on December 9, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bob;

I'm enjoying watching the slime evaporate, but I bet overnight it's going to be catch-as-catch-can. Anyway, I'm off to bed. This has been a great day on PA. Let's hope the moderation wasn't a fluke.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't had this many responses since I pointed out that Dick Cheney's daughter was a lesbian. Did you guys know that, by the way?

This man is responsible for god knows how many deaths in Iraq and he should have been voted out of office in '04 for the good of the country.

That's true. And he probably was.

Posted by: craigie on December 9, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Global:

It certainly has. Mazel tov, and snuggle the Major for me :)

Goodnight.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine how Harry Truman is freakin' spinning in his grave at that comparison? I cannot imagine that Truman would have given W the time of day. Thank you, Dick Durbin, for rocking that pigheaded oaf's boat.

Posted by: Wendy on December 9, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Harry Truman once said the "S" stood for nothing. Would that W could only reach that mere level.

Posted by: Vincent on December 9, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly, Craigie is right. Sadly, because just as many, if not more, Americans and Iraqis would have died under Kerry as under Bush. Why? Because Kerry - at least at first - would have wanted to continue the war under the belief that his new policies (remember: engage with our allies, bring in the UN, etc.) could turn the situation around. After the inevitable failure and humiliation, the Republican congress and the SCLM would put overwhelming pressure on the Democratic White House to continue the war, making it politically and practically impossible for Kerry to disengage.

Then, riding on the failure of the "Kerry Democrats", the Republicans would have made major gains in the mid term elections, and a Republican hawk would be elected in 2008 on a platform of saving Iraq.

So in the big picture, we're better off now with the spectacular implosion of the Bush Presidency and an invigorated Democratic congress - and a real possibility of ending this foolish, tragic adventure.

aa

Posted by: aaron aardvarka on December 9, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I can't help but wonder if Dubya is going to end up being forcibly removed from office, i.e., by armed guards. I just don't see him being reasonable or mature.

Impeachment is coming.

Posted by: Rook on December 9, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Truman is remembered for finishing off Japan. Korea is a blot on his record.

What war exactly did Bush finish off?

Posted by: grytpype on December 9, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

gryptpyre:

Well, I think he eventually *did* finish choking down that pretzel :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

It's great to see that winning the election didn't reduce the Democratic derangement any.

Posted by: rnc on December 9, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

HST would beat Junior like a Missouri mule. Please hurry up, Father Time.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard on December 9, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't Truman get the peace accord signed that ended the war in the Pacific aboard the USS Missouri? Yeah, he had only been in office for fifteen minutes, but still, he sealed the deal.

Posted by: Never Drank the Kool-Aid on December 9, 2006 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

W's reputational fate is sealed. But much more important than confronting and taunting him is minimizing the harm he does to the country on all policy fronts over the next two years. Since reason is not an option and threats are apt evoke ever more desperate behaviors, it is not at all clear how to proceed. It may get very ugly very soon.

Posted by: PDL on December 9, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and by the way: I think that, on balance, it's just as well the Kerry lost in '04. Can you imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from not just the Right, but from the Liberal Media (tm) over Kerry's loss of Iraq?

Give it time. The righties will try to -- and probably succeed in -- pinning the blame on the Democrats.

Posted by: J Bean on December 9, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Something's gotta give. Bush is at the breaking point. It ain't gonna be pretty but it could be swift.

Posted by: Fel on December 9, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK


Bush still has options to save his historical legacy: He can start a war with Iran. Who knows, he might just succeed this time. At least some chance is better than no chance at all. Thus I fully expect military action against Iran some time next year. Just pray that it isnt nuclear.

N.W.


Posted by: Bosco on December 9, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

Rook, if any president deserved to do the Frog March, it's W. But it probably won't happen. The best we can hope for is for the Democrats to develop enough back bone to use its funding authority to force an end to the Irag fiasco.

The only thing that can make impeachment a reality is for the American people to overwhelming demand it. And that won't happen as long as the "values" voters continue to consider killing innocent people good a Christian value.

Our only hope is if W gets caught in bed dead woman or a live boy, and that's not too likely to happen.

aa

Posted by: aaron aardvarka on December 9, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

To recycle an old pun, that's Hairy Ass Bush to you, Kev!

Ba'al quoted George Will:
...some people enter public life because they want to DO something, and others because they want to BE something...

Er... Maybe Sr. was the latter, but neither applies to Jr. A better choice might be "...because they want to do SOMETHING..."

Posted by: buck turgidson on December 9, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

If this account is accurate, one must contemplate the desirability of premature removal from office. I know there is a general reluctance, approximating unanimity, to even consider impeachment. It is very often said not to be a realistic option, and with the backstop of Cheney's imminence, forced resignation does not appear to be feasible either. But in all candor, I cannot see the present situation lasting for two more years. Too much is going to fall apart. The acceleration of decay is now palpable. I can only speculate that many private thoughts are being devoted to finding a solution within the context of existing law. The parliamentary system of government can handle this situation with aplomb and has done so many times in many different contexts. But we are dealing here with an elected dictatorship by fiat, lacking only full spending power for complete independence of action. It is possible then that cutting off the supply of funds is the ONLY way to stop this cruel farce. But cutting off the cash would instigate a profound constitutional crisis without a doubt. Nevertheless such a crisis, as ugly as it would certainly become, might prove to be preferable to the liquidation of the expeditionary armed forces in Iraq and all their heavy equipment in a contemporary re-enactment of the battle of Stalingrad, or the retreat to Dunkirk. It seems to me that if forces are not soon withdrawn they will be ground down until nothing is left. They are after all effectively surrounded with just a couple of long resupply corridors which are themselves subject to routine attack, much as the German Army was surrounded and engulfed at Stalingrad. And a catastrophic defeat of that magnitude would produce domestic crisis of biblical proportions.

Posted by: anon on December 9, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

How dare Durbin interrupt Bush's fantasy!

Posted by: secularhuman on December 9, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

anon >"...It seems to me that if forces are not soon withdrawn they will be ground down until nothing is left..."

Which is EXACTLY why they will stay as long as Bush Handlers, Inc. remain in positions of power. The rationale is to make the rise of these folk easier over a short period of time than would otherwise be the case.

Yea, sure, laugh now while you can dipsy doodles. Wake up !

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill" - Sun Tzu

Posted by: daCascadian on December 9, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

30% approval rating
Start the impeachment hearings in April after
Bush has ignored the ISG report for 4 months.

Posted by: for the good of the country on December 9, 2006 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

So GWB is a petulant child. Is this news to anyone?

Posted by: Disputo on December 9, 2006 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

The Truman Doctrine was meant to contain and/or fight Communism. But apparently, the Bush Doctrine is to create more terrorists.

Posted by: Andy on December 9, 2006 at 4:32 AM | PERMALINK

To paraphrase a man who knew Jack Kennedy. Harry's house is just a couple of blocks from my office. I knew a lot of his friends. They were friends of mine. Mr. Bush is no Harry Truman.

Truman was all about service. Bush is all about being served.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 9, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK
We still have two more years left of this guy. Jeebus.

You noticed, huh?

I actually agreed with the reasoning for keeping impeachment off the table (dividing an already critically divisive country, distraction from actually repairing the damage done to and by congress, and so forth), but then I watch Bush and break into a cold sweat. I'm more afraid about what might happen with GWB at this point than I was when Nixon was wandering the halls of the White House after midnight, talking with the pictures on the walls.

Posted by: idlemind on December 9, 2006 at 5:33 AM | PERMALINK

i have a friend who likes to pose the following
question to all the bush haters he knows:

how much would you pay for the privilege of pounding both of george bush's balls to a pulp
with a top of the line stanley 16 oz. steel head
hammer(*)?

he also warns people that any offer over $10,000
is likely to get their name on a list the secret service keeps of presidential assassin wannabe's

(*)you have to supply your own hammer

Posted by: wschneid25 on December 9, 2006 at 5:45 AM | PERMALINK

I've got a nice little 5-lb engineer's hammer. Can I play too?

Posted by: bad Jim on December 9, 2006 at 5:52 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't Truman get the peace accord signed that ended the war in the Pacific aboard the USS Missouri? Yeah, he had only been in office for fifteen minutes, but still, he sealed the deal.
Posted by: Never Drank the Kool-Aid on December 9, 2006 at 2:34 AM

You need to study up on your history a bit more. It was Truman who had to make the hard end-of-war decisions in the Pacific--including whether or not to use atomic bombs.

Posted by: Lis Carey on December 9, 2006 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

pounding both of george bush's balls to a pulp

That would be redundant.

Posted by: Disputo on December 9, 2006 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

Truman was deservedly unpopular because of the lousy way in which he waged the Korean War. His larger policies (NATO, containment of Communism, Marshall Plan, ...) were vindicated in the fullness of time, which is why his failure in Korea is overlooked now.

Can Bush look forward to the same? I think not. His failure in Iraq (and New Orleans) has little to balance it -- he doesn't really have other policies that can come to fruition. He just has an attitude.

Posted by: Robert the Red on December 9, 2006 at 6:44 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, Bush's Iraq policy may be vindicated by time, for the reason that the major change on the ground will not be undone by departure of our troops. That major change is that Iraq is back to full, even record, oil production and the checks are being mailed to the present Iraqi government.

Under Saddam, all this money went to the Baath Party, which meant Sunnis and almost nothing went to Shia or Kurds. Today a mostly Shia government gets the cash.

The Sunnis can car-bomb the Shia all they want but they will not physically get their hands on either oil or cash. The Kurds might get a pittance if they make nice.

As a practical matter, I don't see how the Sunnis or al Qaeda can un-do this reality. As long as the present Iraq government gets paid the big bucks it will retain some type of mailing address in Baghdad. My bet is that the Sunni can kill a lot of people if they want, but folks who have never had hundreds of billions of dollars flowing to them every year will be extremely reluctant to part with it.

Posted by: mike cook on December 9, 2006 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, even Poppy Bush knew how to work with others, had NATO to help out. Bush is such a "non-starter".

This is why impeachment is good idea. The polls say that 71% don't think Bush is doing a good job with war in Iraq. Bush is in denial about the war AND about his place in history.

The only way forward will be to impeach the "non-starter" prezinut and "non-starter" VP.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

That major change is that Iraq is back to full, even record, oil production and the checks are being mailed to the present Iraqi government.

On what planet? Iraq oil production hasn't even reached pre-war levels under Saddam. And the barrels that are being pumped are hardly secure -- disrupting production by attacking the oil infrastructure is a trivial feat for determined guerrillas.

Posted by: Disputo on December 9, 2006 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, USA Today is saying that Dennis Hastert knew about the Foley problem but did nothing about it except lie to the public, but is now serving again in office, and the panel, having waited until Hastert got re-elected to to report the fact that Hastert lied.

"The committee harshly criticized Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., saying the evidence showed he was told of the problem months before he acknowledged learning of Foley's questionable e-mails to a former Louisiana page. It rejected Hastert's contention that he couldn't recall separate warnings from two House Republican leaders."

And there were all those Religious right-wing voters that voted for Hastert saying it wasnt Hasterts fault since Hastert didnt know anything about Foleys sexually explicit e-mails.

BUT GET THIS - The Washington Post papers over the whole thing, barely reporting on the issue LEAVING THE FACT THAT HASTERT KNEW ABOUT FOLEY PROBLEM LONGER THAN HE CLAIMED TOO HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT, COMPLETELY OUT OT THE ARTICLE, instead the WP leaves the entire artcle up the reader's imagination as if is NONE damn publics business to know about the final report.

The article's headline reads thus: The Buck Just Stops, those famous words out of Dennis Hastert's mouth, but the column NEVER comes out says that Hastert LIED, in fact the column say basically that congress should be ashamed but NEVER really states WHY congress should be ashamed.

The Washington Post treats the reader like it's none of our damn right to know that Hastert outright lied to Americans. In this way, the Washington Post helps congress cover-up the whole event.

This is why journalist don't need a sheild law, and Americans need protection from reporters like Judith Miller, whereby access is everything - facts are nothing, whereby Americans die in trumpet up wars but its no big deal for today's access loving news reporter just leave the facts out, using hype instead.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Washington Post does say this:

It concluded that "the weight of the evidence" is that House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was warned about Mr. Foley's "overly friendly" e-mails and that Mr. Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, his denials notwithstanding, had confronted Mr. Foley about his behavior years earlier.

This whole ordeal was over what Hastert knew and when did he know it? Hastert lied, got re-elected via the misleading of the so-called "values voter". That's should be big enough deal, big enough to get Hastert impeached.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

Dan Froomkin writes this:

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, December 8, 2006; 12:50 PM

Long live the British press!

In contrast to the small-bore questions that American reporters posed to President Bush yesterday about his Iraq policy, two British journalists cut right to the central issue of the president's credibility.

American reporters have gotten lazy, don't want to report anymore, are afraid to report on Bush and his many lies, that gets many people killed. And for this they want a shield law?

Judith Miller went to jail, not because she WAS a reporter, it was because she wasn't one. Does the Washington Post or the NYT know what reporters are suppose to do?

This is why know one trust the media anymore, because they bent to willingly to the Bush/Cheney pack of Whitehouse lies and became nothing more than a pack of Whitehouse damage control aids.

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Sort of hate to use the Caine Mutiny as an anology as the Captain of that vessel had served honorably in war time conditions - But there does seem an element of Shrub rolling marbles in his hand while talking and demanding an investigation into the missing strawberries.

Kudos to the Senator from my state, of whom I did not vote, for having the guts to stand very tall indeed in the Senate and say that our actions in Iraq, perhaps, are criminal. Senator Gordon Smith stood very tall indeed. May have missed FAUX News - Not enough "drama" to the moment.

A report from Baghdad states that out of a 1,000 employees at our embassy, only 33 have any knowledge of Arabic and only 6 can speak the language fluently. I wonder how this compares with the English language at 1600 Penn.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Well I hope the Dems pile on justified ridicule at Bush 43 comparing himself with Harry Truman. That's a new level of pathetic. More like the anti-Truman. Bush is as far from Truman as a president could get. Truman was a courageous, strong man who came from humble origins, served in WWI, etc. etc. etc. This, versus the weak coward, this excuse for a president. You can just imagine the cursing old Harry must be doing from beyond the grave. And let's not get too carried away with Bush 41 (who, you may recall, in the closing days of the '92 election also tried to compare himself the Truman. That whole family has no shame; no matter how cynical I get about them, I just can't seem to keep up. (One of my biggest fears in '08 is that if McCain wins the nomination, he'll put Jeb on the ticket.)

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Froomkin writes:

American reporters dutifully but fruitlessly tried to get Bush to explain what he meant. Their colleagues from across the pond took a different tack.

Why, the two Brits asked Bush in slightly different ways, given your track record on Iraq, should we believe you now?

Not surprisingly, Bush failed to provide a persuasive answer.

I'm pretty sure that Bush go combative over that type of question, acting as if the press has no business calling out his lies?

Not long ago, that kind of "combativeness" USE to be a signal for the press to go into attack mode, but anymore the press dutifully backs off. And for this the press wants a *ucking shield law?

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

this part should not have been in italics:

I'm pretty sure that Bush go combative over that type of questioning, acting as if the press has no business calling out his lies.

Not long ago, that kind of "combativeness" USE to be a signal for the press to go into attack mode, but anymore the press dutifully backs off. And for this the press wants a *ucking shield law?

Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Shrub likes to compare himself with Truman and Winston Churchill - However, I think he has been watching some re-runs of Alexander Haig running amok yelling, "But, I am in charge, I am in charge" - At least Shrub has the title, but his demeanor is the same.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Froomkin: First off was Nick Robinson of the BBC: "Mr. President, the Iraq Study Group described the situation in Iraq as 'grave and deteriorating'. You said that the increase in attacks is 'unsettling'. That won't convince many people that you're [not] still in denial about how bad things are in Iraq, and question your sincerity about changing course."

Bush's response was at first testy, then jokey, then righteously indignant.

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?" Bush snapped. Then he chuckled.

If the US press would just do it *ucking job, US miltiary members would not now be Iraq and people never would have died there. If the US would just now do its damn job, we could impeach Bush for lying, a-hole that he is.

There is no such thing as a "liberal" press, only press that refused to get the facts in light of access, BS, and hype.



Posted by: Cheryl on December 9, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

But, Uncle Paul, he does have so much on his mind - Geez, the same four red $800 and change dresses show up at a State Dinner - a Christmas tree falls over in front of the White House (O'Arrogantone's intrepid team of crack head investigators are looking into the possible War on Christmas meme) and Barney's X-mas video is being panned by the critics.

Give the little Roi a break.

Posted by: stupid git on December 9, 2006 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Cheryl,

David Schuster is doing his job - However, he is doing it so well, that Fox and Friends and others over at FAUX are demanding that he be fired by MSNBC.

Rove writes the text, FAUX reports the text, You Decide.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

If the best counter to GWB you can put up is the oleaginous Durban, maybe Bush's record won't be so bad. Truman had responsible allies to work with, not pimps for Oil For Food. Maybe if you guys directed your fire at our common enemies instead of lusting for our defeat this war would be on a different track.

Posted by: minioin of rove on December 9, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, that's right, minion of rove, the catastrophe in Iraq Kevin Drum's and his posters fault! What's it like to live in a world where it's always someone else's fault?

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

To follow on craigie's notion, imagine if Bush had pulled troops out after capturing Saddam...where do you think we'd be, Iran or North Korea?

Posted by: H.H on December 9, 2006 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Best president ever, that's what many buscists wanted us to believe. At least one person will continue to believe that: George W. Bush

Posted by: Gandhi on December 9, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

To me, this leads directly to the impeachment argument. If Bush adamantly refuses to lead, and perpetuates his mistakes simply to remind everyone that he is still the "commander in chief", then what recourse remains? I'm aware that is not the legal basis for impeachment. But insofar as I believe there already exists multiple legal bases for impeachment, and that the only reason we may not pursue it is for political reasons (pursue a positive agenda for change in leiu of impeachment), might this petulant, recalcitrant behavior override those concerns and force impeachment?

Just asking the question...

Posted by: Gordo on December 9, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing as pathetic as the boss who always needs to remind people that he's the boss.
We're getting a long way past Harding. This is Carlos II country.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on December 9, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Deciders ain't gotta take none a that Defeatocrat crap!

Posted by: Coffee Spew on December 9, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Amen, Steve. Hey, forgive my ignorance, but what is the Carlos II reference?

Bush's "Decider" stuff, his repeatedly needing to assert he's the Commander in Chief all just underscore what a weak man he is.

It's also interesting how he's never been made accountable for his personal cowardice on 9/11 - hiding all over the country that day. Can anyone imagine any of our other presidents - Reagan, JFK, ANY of them behaving that way? Every one of them would have immediately returned to Washington.

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

If those "determined guerillas" could stop oil production, they'd have done it. They are real good at suicide car bombs and roadside I.E.D.'s in population centers. It will probably be a good thing that the hamstrung American forces get out of the way and let the Shia protect their valuable new assets in a pro-active way. Otherwise Sunni communities might become launch points for Palestinian-style rocket attacks on oil infrastructure.

Posted by: mike cook on December 9, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

The Truman Doctrine called for efforts to combat communism wherever it surfaced. This meant needless US intervention in places of no instrinsic value (witness Korea and Vietnam). It was a strategic disaster.

HST did many good things. The doctrine wasn't one of them.

Posted by: JR on December 9, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, once again Mike - Now, get down to lst Ave and pick some day laborers to help with your tree.

My, oh my, what a MBA degree can accomplish.

Arbusto (Spanish for Bush) Energy or Oil failed; Spectrum 7 Energy failed; Harken Energy failed - The Rangers were pathetic, handling of Katrina was a disaster and now, Iraq is lost.

Geez, the lines must indeed be long for a MBA from Harvard. Perhaps, if he had only been a haberdasher and a Captain in Artillery.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

On his own, W would not have even known the specifics of the Truman situation. The comparison is something W's handlers have explained to him in order to soothe his desperate little brain. They need to keep it from exploding shit all over the walls of the Oval Office for another two years.

How about a Trumanesque photo of smirking George, holding up a newspaper with the huge headline: "GORE WINS"

Posted by: olds88 on December 9, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ive got just the prescription for taking the wind out of Bushie boys sails: An independent counsel investigation into his sex life!!!

After all, Bushs sex life sure seems to be a lot more unusual and interesting than Bill Clintons sex life!

We could start with an in-depth look at Bushs homoerotic relationship with gay male prostitute Jeff Gannon. What happened during those slumber parties that Gannon had at the White House with Bush? A little hide the salami in the Lincoln Bedroom, perhaps? The independent counsel could also ask a few questions about Bushs old college roommate, Victor Ashe. It seems that Bush and Ashe (nice ring to that, huh?) have been butthole buddies since college.

If Ken Starr can spend $100 million investigating Bill Clintons heterosexual relations, I think the Democrats should spend about $200 million investigating Bushs homosexual relationships.

Do you suppose Harry S. Truman handed out ambassadorships to his homosexual lovers???

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 9, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, Bush's Iraq policy may be vindicated by time, for the reason that the major change on the ground will not be undone by departure of our troops. That major change is that Iraq is back to full, even record, oil production and the checks are being mailed to the present Iraqi government.

That indeed would be inspiring! I wonder why this wasn't the advertised rationale for going to war in the first place.

Posted by: Ferruge on December 9, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

I may have missed it, but has anyone confirmed if bush has actually read the report?

Posted by: Tim Moloney on December 9, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe if you guys directed your fire at our common enemies instead of lusting for our defeat this war would be on a different track.

Where have I heard this before? Oh wait, now I remember:

"I would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been for those meddling kids."

Posted by: Ferruge on December 9, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Has anyone confirmed if he has actually read the report?

Posted by: Tim Moloney on December 9, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

If those "determined guerillas" could stop oil production, they'd have done it.

They did for three years, you ignorant dumbshit. They have other priorities now, obviously.

Really, stop embarrassing yourself and watch something other than Fox for your news every once in awhile.

Posted by: Disputo on December 9, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

For an excellent short course on Harry Truman's presidency I'd direct ya'll to 'The Course of our Times - The Men and Events That Shaped the Twentieth Century' - Abram l. Sachar

I quote this fragment:

" in the Context of what became known as the Truman Doctrine, the pledge that the United States was bound to offer support 'wherever free peoples resisted attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.'"

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry - typo crept in: That's Abram L. (not I.) Sachar.

He identifies the Truman Doctrine as the precursor of the Marshall Plan.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, CFShep, for the recommendation; I've been looking to read something along those lines. I recently finished "The Conquerers" by beschloss, pretty good. The Truman doctrine (with the able help of Marshall, Kennen, Acheson et al) had it's flaws - they got Vietnam wrong and set us on that course (but they got Korea right), but they set the course for the triumphs of '89 and '91.

Another example of polar opposites of Truman versus Bush43 - knowledge of history. Truman was arguably the best historian and arguably on par with Wilson, in 20th Century presidents. His grasp of American history was absolutely first rate. Bush34, of course, is the most ignorant and willfully ignorant of them all - and so are his top advisors. Prior to the Iraqi invasion, not one of them even knew the differnce between Shiite and Sunni Muslems. Pathetic.

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Tragically,for all of us, Dubja is caught up in a delusional certitude about his Iraq positions and nation building fantasy. Now it is a full-blown fixed delusion, complicated by his rationalization that his father wasted political capital after forcing Iraqi people out of Kuwait. Psychologically convinced he needs war success, he flees from the truth, ignoring the carnage and chaos of this war. Just as he has minimized the number of deaths from his unwinnable war, he is dimissive with rational suggestions. Recall he already said the next president will have to figure it out. Total denial, evident early on as he refused to release photos of soldiers' flag-draped coffins. And evident now. His only regret is what his legacy may ultimately be.


Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

On his own, W would not have even known the specifics of the Truman situation. The comparison is something W's handlers have explained to him in order to soothe his desperate little brain.

Precisely. Note that the Troll Whose Name We Dare Not Speak, as well as numerous other trolls, pundits and assorted GOP mouthpieces, have been spouting this ridiculous line for months now. They started trying to get Smirky to say it in early summer, but it took six months for him to properly memorize the phrase. And to figure out that Harry S Truman isn't a GOP donor from Lufkin.

(And Ferruge, that cracked me up.)

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

You're welcome, Max.

I've gotten the feeling that people are confusing Truman with John Foster Dulles...

'The Course of Our Times' is an excellent overview of the issues. Well written, well organized and concise.

The immediate issue for Truman at that point wasn't in Asia. It was the attempted Communist takeovers in Greece and Turkey and assistance he was seeking was very modest: advisors and so forth.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

So, Bush has permanently changed Iraq by taking away the petroleum money stream from the Sunnis and giving it to the Shia. The Sunnis will continue to kill a lot of folks out of pique but they will not get them money back.

Bush is also precisely correct in being skeptical about anthropogenic global warming. In the long run the harshest critics will have to swallow that one (but not the Russian or Chinese climate scientists because they agree with the Bushites and with Exxon mobile scientists, all of whom have luckily picked the winning horse for different motives.)

Bush was right to try to bring back nuclear power as bird-whacker power (otherwise known as windmills) suffer from the inherent problem that even in the windiest places the air is still many hours of the average day.

Solar power is better than wind energy and has the added bonus that most of us individuals can invest in our own units and avoid the basically socialist aspect of large power grids altogether.
That would be a very big plus and would tend to make society decidedly more conservative in the long run, especially if we can power our individual vehicles on energy that government can only with difficulty interdict or tax.

Posted by: mike cook on December 9, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

CFShep, not to pick a nit, but "y'all" is a contraction of "you all," and so the apostrophe goes before the A, not after.

I thank y'all for your forbearance as I address this small pet peeve. Back to extending the mockery W so richly deserves...

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, again, CFShep - and right again: Turkey, Greece; also the Berlin air lift, Austria, Italy . . .

Imagine a president who actually knew how to hire good people and knew what he was doing.

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Regarding:

*Impeachment
*Future efforts by conservatives to blame the Iraq debacle and its repercussions on Democrats, the media, etc.

The ISG report makes the former much more likely and the latter much more difficult. The ISG report may not get us out of Iraq through its recommendations but it provides a wildly different depiction of the situation on the ground than Bush's recent statements. It even goes to the extent of commenting on the under reporting of violence. It's bipartisan proof that he's been lying to us and makes me wonder if people like Baker may even see the need to have W impeached. It reminds me of a review you give to someone you want to force out of a job. This report and his predictable reaction to it so isolates him from all but the dead-enders that I can't believe that Baker didn't have in mind to throw him under the bus, politically, historically. This mess can't be blamed on the left so the next best thing for him was to pin the blame on W, Cheney and their ilk sparing future republicans.

Posted by: Lawnguylander on December 9, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I remain firmly in the 'ya'll' camp.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I figured that anyone who could survive the Mt St Helens disaster, was all right in my book.

Posted by: George W on December 9, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

consider wisely always: Good summation.

All of this feeds my half-serious prediction that the question of impeachment may never come up because Bush, bereft of coping skills and unacquainted with having any desire rebuffed, is cruising for a complete meltdown. Of course, then they'll just tuck him away in his bedroom like Woody Wilson.

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Mike Cook has become rdwNorthWest.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

That would be a contraction of "ya all," then? Hmmmm. Well, suit yourself.

This reminds me that Drum usually provides a holiday list of what he deems the best political books of the year, and then readers weigh in with their own recommendations. I'd like to see that again this year. Maybe I'll just drop him a little note.

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

(And Ferruge, that cracked me up.)

Thanks - it's sad commentary that the creators of Scooby-Doo know more about Dolchstosslegende than our resident trolls.

Posted by: Ferruge on December 9, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

clauswitz and van crevold, who needs 'em?
The Bush cheerleaders have revolutionarized strategy with the new principles of warfare

1. You can't win a war if there are any critics at home.

2. It's not your fault if you start a war, despite critics at home, because they are supposed to shut up and salute once you start the war.

Posted by: citizen k on December 9, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Vietman. Iraq. "History repeats itself twice; the first as tragedy, the second as farce."

Yeah, Lawnguylander, I think that's exactly what Baker had in mind.

My recurring '08 fear is that the Dems nominate someone who can't win (Hillary, Obama) and that McCain, age 72 then, puts Jeb on the ticket.

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

it's sad commentary that the creators of Scooby-Doo know more about Dolchstosslegende than our resident trolls.

Another excellent line...

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I figured that anyone who could survive the Mt St Helens disaster, was all right in my book.

Unfortunately, George W. he didn't.

Posted by: Dave Howard on December 9, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

And g'mornin' to any Breakfast Clubber from the Windy City, y'hear!

Posted by: stupid git on December 9, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

git, silly, it's da Windy City. Good morning to you!

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Say what? But, I have a picture of him standing like a stonewall next to Spirit Lake.

Posted by: George W on December 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

The "ya'll" camp contains only a handful of dead-enders.

Posted by: mwg on December 9, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Truman's unpopularity had as its basis the enormous economic and social problems attendant upon reintegration of the millions of returning veterans where they faced competition for jobs with entrenched unions, fattened on years of heavily subsidized war-time contracts, severe housing shortages and other pressing issues.

He imposed wage and price controls to attempt to rein in spiraling inflation and in doing so angered both capital, resisting any limits on profits, and labor, resisting any wage freezes.

There were coal strikes. Threats of a paralyzing rail strike. Farmers and ranchers withheld their products from the markets leading to shortages.

After the mid-terms of 1946, the low point of Truman's popularity, he came out swinging, proposing:

1) Extension of Social Security
2) National health insurance
3) Vastly expanded Federal aid to education
4) Civil rights for Black Americans.

He couldn't get any of through the newly Republican Congress of course. Couldn't get most of it out of committee.

"I'm going to fight," he said, "I'm going to give 'em hell."

"Don't vote for me. Vote for yourselves, vote for your interests. Go after the mossbacks, the gluttons of privilege. Don't let them make America an economic colony of Wall Street." Harry S. Truman

He was re-elected.

But thanks to Reagan and his successors we are now in fact 'an economic colony of Wall Street' and 'the gluttons of privilege' are in complete control.

One of them has the sheer gall to compare himself to this man!

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

It should also be noted that an important difference between the Korean War and the invasion of Iraq is that North Korea started the Korean War by invading another country. Iraq had invaded no one in 2003 and was no real threat to any of its neighbors.

Bush is more analogous to the leader of North Korea in 1950 than he is to Harry S Truman.

Posted by: McCord on December 9, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Methinks, that if Shrub continues on with this Iraqian fiasco, he will end up more like the Harry Truman who tried to stonewall the massive surge of the mountain and, who is forever entombed in the depths of the once beautiful Spirit Lake than the once haberdasher from Independence, MO.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I figured that anyone who could survive the Mt St Helens disaster, was all right in my book.

Unfortunately, George W. he didn't.

Better link

Posted by: Dave Howard on December 9, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK


From novelist E.L. Doctorow: "This president doesn't know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMD's he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country."
"But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be...to mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing."

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

George W.,

Can you post a link? Sounds like a great picture.

Posted by: Dave Howard on December 9, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Paul, the dress in question cost $8,400 not $800...$800 is what this crowd pays for a single pair of slacks or a handbag...

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

consider wisely always,

Very good point - In contrast, Truman had seen death close up in France - I believe that the A-Bombings left him a very sober man. He felt that the bombings were necessary, but that he was left with an awesome responsibilty to never use them again, unless it was absolutely vital to this country's defense.

This is why he stopped Dug-out Doug from using the weapons against the Chinese after Doug's ego had led our forces, ala Col Thursday from Ft Apache, into a box canyon, called North Korea at the Yalu.

The ultra conservatives castigated Truman for reining in MacArthur.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

As 'The Oxford Companion to the English Language' is unfortunately silent on the issue of the correct contraction of the colloquialism 'you all'. So too is the 'Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage'.

I hope that the esteemed Shortstop and I can amicably agree to disagree as to our preferred usage.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop: I agree with you. In the waning days of HIS failed presidency, Richard Nixon was observed roaming the halls, unglued, debating with the portraits of presidents that were hanging on the many walls of the white house.

Posted by: consider always wisely on December 9, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Must have been thinking about Monica's.

Posted by: stupid git on December 9, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

$8400 is about the yearly gross pay of a minimum wage worker working 30 hours per week for 50 weeks per year.

"Of course I believe in the free enterprise, but in my system of free enterprise, the Democratic principle is that there never was, never has been, and never will be room for the ruthless exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few."
President Harry S. Truman

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

$8,400? Well, I guess there will not be four red dresses in the windows of the local Sallie's Thrift Store. E-Bay perhaps?

Dave Howard, Thanks - Yeah, I live in the shadows of the mighty mountain - Just wanted to poke fun at the lack of historical knowledge of Shrub.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

third Paul: Absolutely, Dubya is simply and totally detached, likely from his lifetime experience of privilege and family wealth, successfully awol from the Texas Air National Guard... this uncurious man...he sees what he wishes to see.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

consider wisely always: Yes, but I think my favorite Nixon meltdown moment, as reported by Kissinger (Grain. Salt. Big.), involved Dick on all fours beating the carpet with his fists, crying, "What has happened?" Who among us would be so churlish as to hope Smirky has a similar episode?

(Raises hand cheerfully.)

We can certainly agree to amicably disagree, CFShep, but I really would like to know what "ya'll" could possibly be contracting, other than "ya all."

Some admittedly non-professional opinions (as you say, the actual English usage bibles are silent on this) nixing "ya'll" appear here, here and
here.

In contrast, I was unable to find any source that argues for "ya'll" to the exclusion of "y'all."

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Is George Bush really comparing himself to Harry S. Truman? The same Truman who gave this speech?:

We will do that because they are wrong and we are right, and I will prove it to you in just a few minutes.

...The reason is that the people know that the Democratic Party is the people's party, and the Republican Party is the party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be.....Confidence and security have been brought to the people by the Democratic Party.

... That's labor, and labor never had but one friend in politics, and that is the Democratic Party and Franklin D. Roosevelt....These benefits have been spread to all the people, because it is the business of the Democratic Party to see that the people get a fair share of these things. This last, worst 80th Congress proved just the opposite for the Republicans.

The record on foreign policy of the Democratic Party is that the United States has been turned away permanently from isolationism, and we have converted the greatest and best of the Republicans to our viewpoint on that subject.

The United States has to accept its full responsibility for leadership in international affairs. We have been the backers and the people who organized and started the United Nations, first started under that great Democratic President, Woodrow Wilson, as the League of Nations. The League was sabotaged by the Republicans in 1920. And we must see that the United Nations continues a strong and growing body, so we can have everlasting peace in the world.

...We have started the foreign aid program, which means the recovery of Europe and China, and the Far East. We instituted the program for Greece and Turkey, and I will say to you that all these things were done in a cooperative and bipartisan manner. The Foreign Relations Committees of the Senate and House were taken into the full confidence of the President in every one of these moves, and don't let anybody tell you anything else.

As I have said time and time again, foreign policy should be the policy of the whole Nation and not the policy of one party or the other. Partisanship should stop at the water's edge; and I shall continue to preach that through this whole campaign.

....The situation in 1932 was due to the policies of the Republican Party control of the Government of the United States. The Republican Party, as I said a while ago, favors the privileged few and not the common everyday man. Ever since its inception, that party has been under the control of special privilege;...

...Now everybody likes to have low taxes, but we must reduce the national debt in times of prosperity. And when tax relief can be given, it ought to go to those who need it most, and not those who need it least, as this Republican rich man's tax bill did...it still helps the rich and sticks a knife into the back of the poor.

They [the Republican Congress] are going to try to dodge their responsibility. They are going to drag all the red herrings they can across this campaign, but I am here to say that Senator Barkley and I are not going to let them get away with it...And in the record is the stark truth, that the battle lines of 1948 are the same as they were in 1932, when the Nation lay prostrate and helpless as a result of Republican misrule and inaction...The country can't afford another Republican Congress.

millercenter.virginia.edu/scripps/diglibrary/prezspeeches/truman/hst_1948_0715.html

Posted by: Stefan on December 9, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Well, seein' as how I represent the great state of Missouri in these parts, and specifically the great county of Jackson, home of Harry S Truman, just let me say I find any comparissons between aWol and Give 'em Hell Harry to be an utter apostacy.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about any of that, Stefan. Karl just told me to say I was Truman and talk about the courage to be unpopular.

Posted by: George W. Bush on December 9, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks again, CFShep! You're on a roll this morning. And thanks also, Stephan.

See what wonderful level of discourse can be had on this site, when we ignore the trolls?

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

>>I find any comparissons between aWol and Give 'em Hell Harry to be an utter apostacy.

Seconded.


Psst: Firefox 2.0

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ya'll hear now:

Harry S Truman once said the following,

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all it's citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in terror."

And Shrub thinks he is emulating Whom? Y'all hear now.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

The irony, of course, is that if a Democratic politician gave in the present day the speech Truman gave above he would be denounced by the GOP and their corporate media enablers as a dangerous out of touch lunatic and radical (just as the GOP of 1948 did to Truman, of course: plus ca change, plus ca meme change), whereas now Republicans try to wrap themselves in Truman's cloak, hoping his good name will give feeble cover to their perversion, corruption and incompetence.

Dr. Johnson was wrong, it seems, since now impersonation, not patriotism, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Posted by: Stefan on December 9, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Johnson was wrong, it seems, since now impersonation, not patriotism, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Ooooh, good one.

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

LOL, Paul.

You know what happens when ya try to please both camps, eh?

You end up like the character in Flaubert who preached moderation to the radicals and accommodation to the Royalists. The first wanted to hang him. The second wanted to shoot him.

Man, I've just got to locate the exact passage.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Pay attention children Mike Cook found one piece of the puzzle.

Posted by: gandalf on December 9, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

CFShep may be on a roll, but it's still "y'all"....

Posted by: Stefan on December 9, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well, this was a pleasant exercise in troll-free chat. But I'm still in my nightgown, and invoices aren't getting generated, Meaningless Atheist Christmas Trees and groceries aren't getting bought, dogs aren't getting walked and bathrooms aren't getting cleaned.

Wishing all...you guys...a good Saturday.

Posted by: shortstop on December 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kinda hard to do a y'wohl.

Posted by: stupid git on December 9, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

The more I think about this, the more it drives me mad: the same pundits who go on TV and the Op-Ed pages every week to whine "why can't today's Democrats be more like Harry Truman?" would reach for the smelling salts if they ever heard a real-life Democrat gave a speech in which he said, like Truman, "this Republican rich man's tax bill...helps the rich and sticks a knife into the back of the poor." They'd mewl and whine about how unfair he was being, and about the need for civility, and how this was just class warfare, etc.

Posted by: Stefan on December 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

You say to-May-to and I say to-Mah-to...

Ya know, darlin'?

I'm leaving. Not in a huff or anything. I've got errands to run and things to do.

Play nicely.

Posted by: CFShep on December 9, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it took me forever to stop fighting it and embrace my inner hayseed and use the colloquialism in question, and now I find out there's a controversyt between y'all and ya'll?

Oy vey. I'm casting my vote with Stefan and Shortstop on this one, but if you show me I will entertain changing my position. Democrats sometimes do that, you may well know.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Have a good Saturday Shep, Shortstop. I'm off to run some errands myself, but I'm a shower and the hair produce ahead of Shortstop.

Later all!

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: Thank you for the kind words last evening...they were great to read when I got online this morning. Thanks for the welcome.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK


Thanks for the stuff today, CFShep; I've got things to do soon too.

Wasn't it Truman who said, "If the people are given a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they will always choose a Republican"?

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, fix that:

"If the people are given a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they will always choose the Republican."

Posted by: MaxGowan on December 9, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe what Bush really meant was that he is like the guy from "The Truman Show," in that the whole world revolves around him and that reality itself seems to have conspired to give him a life of ease without effort or merit of his own.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well before I jet out of here, let me say you are welcome and you are welcome. You raised the level of discourse, and we have been sorely needing that around here lately.

I'll be back later. I have to go lock up the lab for the semester break. (Then I have to start grading. Plagiarism is so much easier to catch now, however. Gawd, I love Google.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing more to say now, other than Bush is just a rotten, self-centered, mean-spirited shit. And an idiot.

Posted by: Bat Guano on December 9, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Man! That's it! Windhorse just drove the nail clean through the plank with one swing of the hammer. (Hi and Bye, Windhorse.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan

The language of the Truman speech you quoted could form the basis of a speech Barack Obama or John Edwards might give. Amazing how as things change they stay the same.

In fact the speech provides damn good talking points for nearly all Democrats.

Globial Citizen. You might not have noticed but I am from Independence. I belong to Harry's old Kiwanis club and have known many members of his family and close friends over my years. You are not alone in representing Jackson County on PA.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 9, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, much intelligence in the environs of the north - Windhorse did nail it.

MaxGowan, Perhaps the reference to the Habsburg King of Spain Carlos II is described in "More Royalty in History"

Part of the discussion states: "His tongue was so large that he was barely able to speak. His intellect was simarly disabled. His brief life consisted chiefly of a passage from prolonged infancy to premature senility."

And, now as others before me, kudos to the troll free morning, and I now bid you adieu.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's great to see that losing the election didn't reduce the Rethuglican Bloodlust any.

Posted by: rnc on

Fixed your typos

Posted by: flint on December 9, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's great to see that losing the election didn't reduce the Rethuglican Bloodlust any.

Posted by: rnc on

Fixed your typos

Posted by: flint on December 9, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Bush doesn't want to admit that he secretly defines Victory as having impressed Jodie Foster

Posted by: audioduck on December 9, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

There is substance, not rhetoric, here. It is reassuring there are so many critical thinkers (and superb writers) out there. Time here is enjoyable...this place is has an exceptional collection of fine minds.
And Kevin always has plenty to start the citizen journalists thinking, round the clock.
Luckily Mr.Consider Wisely Always enjoys seeing me blog, and offers smiles and occasional food as he passes by! I have been online for a while!
Time does march on, with things to do...the endless activities of daily living...

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Lots of talk of Bush's legacy here. You could probably put Afghanistan in the plus column, but then you have Katrina, Iraq and 9/11. In my mind, Bush has to worry less about how he will be seen in light of Iraq, and more about how history will re-write his 9/11 biography.

He has been flirting with "undeserving occupant" status for a while now. And the longer he makes a fool out of himself, the more it looks like re-electing this guy, from an historical perspective, was either a huge mistake or a fluke.

If the public mood changes from asking, "What was he thinking?", to "What were we thinking?", then he will really have nothing left. History will blame him for 9/11 and blame us for enabling him, which in my mind, is the way it ought be.

And the title of that chapter in the History books? "Going to war with the President you want, not the President you have."

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on December 9, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush atomized a couple of Iranian cities and the Sunni triangle would the comparison be more apt?

Posted by: nikkolai on December 9, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Woah ... what a truly awesome thread. Not even one little minor dinky harmless troll to call it a mutual appreciation society :)

Not snarking, just being lightly facetious.

Okay, here's what I wanna know. Somebody mentioned upthread that Iraq's oil production is in high gear. Is this true (Windhorse)? I wouldn't know exactly where to search to confirm this specifically.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"He's trying to position himself in history and to justify those who continue to stand by him, saying sometimes if you're right you're unpopular, and be prepared for criticism."

Just because you're unpopular doesn't mean you're right. Carl Sagan said something apropos...

"They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Posted by: eyelessgame on December 9, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hunter Thompson nailed him before 9/11 calling him "our goofy boy-president". That was, of course, before he became the manly War President.

Posted by: Pastor Doodah on December 9, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Trumans approval ratings werent simply about Korea theyd already sunk to the mid-30s by February 1950, months before hostilities erupted there.

But they sunk further, into the low 20s, during the Korean War not because the American people thought Truman was pushing too hard on the war, but because they thought he wasnt doing enough. They thought Truman had been caught off guard by the communist menace and wasnt fighting back hard enough. While MacArthur was not-so-quietly advocating for dropping 20 to 30 nuclear bombs on the Chinese mainland and bringing in the Taiwanese forces to make it a full-blown World War III, Truman was trying to keep it a police action.

Look at Trumans ratings in April 1951, when he finally removed macArthur from power. Thats when he bottoms out at 24, where he lingers for a while, before creeping back up to the mid-30s when the wars finally stalemated and people are looking for a way out. (Eisenhowers campaign promise to go to Korea was like Baker and the ISG; people wanted a way out by then.)

All in all, Bush is completely misreading the polls. Truman suffered in popularity not because he took a hardline foreign policy with the enemy of his time, but because he didnt take a hard enough line. Bushs case is precisely the opposite.

Posted by: Otto Man on December 9, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Petulant little fucktard.

Is anyone else just sick and fucking tired of having our country run by a goddamned second grader?

Posted by: angryspittle on December 9, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it about time for brother Jeb to take Fredo, er, I mean "Georgie" on a little fishing trip?

Posted by: steph on December 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

So, victory is an ceasefire. OK, then, sign an agreement with both Shia and Sunni that we will attack neither.

Posted by: Matt on December 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody mentioned upthread that Iraq's oil production is in high gear. Is this true?

According to the Brooking Institution oil production is about where it's been for the past six months, which is slightly below pre-war levels.

In November production averaged 2.08 million barrels/day whereas pre-war estimates were that production was 2.5 million barrels/day, which is the current CPA interim target (revised down from 2.8 - 3.0 mb/day).

I wouldn't describe this as production in "high gear" and neither does the ISG Report, which found:

Oil production and sales account for nearly 70 percent of Iraqs GDP, and more than 95 percent of government revenues. Iraq produces around 2.2 million barrels per day, and exports about 1.5 million barrels per day. This is below both prewar production levels and the Iraqi governments target of 2.5 million barrels per day, and far short of the vast potential of the Iraqi oil sector.

Problems with oil production are caused by lack of security, lack of investment, and lack of technical capacity. Insurgents with a detailed knowledge of Iraqs infrastructure target pipelines and oil facilities. There is no metering system for the oil. There is poor maintenance at pumping stations, pipelines, and port facilities, as well as inadequate investment in modern technology. Iraq had a cadre of experts in the oil sector, but intimidation and an extended migration of experts to other countries have eroded technical capacity. Foreign companies have been reluctant to invest, and Iraqs Ministry of Oil has been unable to spend more than 15 percent of its capital budget.

Corruption is also debilitating. Experts estimate that 150,000 to 200,000and perhaps as many as 500,000barrels of oil per day are being stolen. Controlled prices for refined products result in shortages within Iraq, which drive consumers to the thriving black market. One senior U.S. official told us that corruption is more responsible than insurgents for breakdowns in the oil sector.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 9, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, at the time Bush invaded Iraq it had not invaded anyone (lately) and was no real threat to its neighbors or even its own Kurds as long as the U.S. maintained the no-fly zones. But Saddam was out of compliance with WMD enforcement for the reason that he wanted his neighbors and his own people to THINK he had WMD's. Saddam succeeded in making Bush think he had a WMD.

Bush was elected to make such judgment calls, including which nations can have a WMD and not be considered a realistic threat to the USA and which can't. The cheap opinions of name-calling shmucks don't count.

Truman, by the way, was followed by a real war hero. If this analogy holds up the next prez either has to be McCain or John Kerry and McCain did not give his medals back.

Posted by: mike cook on December 9, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Two things are important to remember. The first is that "oil" is the operative word behind Iraq. See the following websites for more detailed and accurate information:

http://thebushagenda.org/article.php?id=43

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-juhasz8dec08,0,4717508.story?coll=la-opinion-center

The second is the remark that Bush became President because he wanted to "be" somebody; before he did so he was always being bailed out by his father and his father's friends. And, please, don't pollute your mind by thinking the present President was a good businessman, a good oilman, a good sports team owner; if you look closely at all of these, he was awful as a manager. And someone recently said that the Lt Governor of Texas had more power than the governor.

Posted by: OC Patriot on December 9, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, the boy king is dilusional. I expect history to look back on his tenure & give it an even worse critique than it is being given now, not better.

Glad I never voted for the petulant imp.

.

Posted by: KG on December 9, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook:

Wow, Mike -- you really *are* rdwNorthWest, aren't you? :)

"Cheap opinions of namecalling schmucks?"

As you say, Mike, Bush was elected to make those decisions.

Well -- he decided wrong. The evidence that existed on WMDs was, to put it mildly, flimsy at best. A whole raft of Arab experts could have told him about the strongman psychology that would keep Saddam bluffing even some of his own military people that he had WMDs. I mean ... the West should've learned this cutural stuff after WW1.

Bush went to war on the flimsiest of pretexts. Truman went into South Korea with the requisite UN authorization to staunch an invasion of an ally.

Any further questions?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

According to the Brooking Institution oil production is about where it's been for the past six months, which is slightly below pre-war levels.

If we had just firebombed those mothereffers when I asked for it, all this stuff wouldn't be leaking out now.

Posted by: Richard Milhous Nixon on December 9, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It kind of makes you long for the good ol days of 2003 when the right trafficked in crude historical analogies to the Second World War.

But I guess we've moved on to the Cold War now. Eventually maybe the right itself will get to Vietnam analogies, and maybe comparisons between the Iraq War and the Iraq War. Malkovich, Malkovich.

Posted by: Linus on December 9, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Mike Cook, Bush was supposed to make such decisions based on his greater access to information. We now know that he did not. He merely guessed, and guessed wrong. Its a simple formula if you guess your neighbor is a child molester and kill him, you have killed a child molester and it will be hard for a jury to convict you. If, instead you merely kill the swimming instructor who had a wall of photos of his pupils, you are a monster who deserves, and will get, the full weight of the law.

As to why Bush was elected, lets start with the fact that he did not win a plurality of the votes in 2000. But aside from that, a look back at the 2000 campaign reminds us that foreign policy wasnt a big issue. If it had been, the faux-hick governor from a state with an incredibly weak governorship and no reported international travel would never have been a top-tier candidate. Plainly, Bush was not elected for his foreign policy brilliance.

Finally, the American system allows anyone to voice an opinion, even one as stunningly wrong as yours. Certainly those who were right about Iraq before George W. Bush started a war on its people have an even greater right to be heard than your dumb ass, or the dumb ass whose incompetence has killed thousands of American soldiers.

Posted by: functional on December 9, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Cook,

Good post, but with all due respect there really is no comparison between John McCain's war record and the war record of Dwight Eisenhower. John McCain was a fighter jock. His primary claims to fame are in chronological order (1) being "shot down" by one of his own while waiting to taxi his plane to the catapult. The first incident was totally not McCain's fault, but watching the film of him jump out of his A-4 onto the deck of his carrier after being hit by the inadvertent launch of a missile by another plane is really good stuff. It would be funny if several people hadn't been hurt. (2) Being shot down for real over Hanoi and spending several years as a guest of the North Vietnamese. The story of his refusal to leave unless his other countrymen were released is good stuff.
Dwight Eisenhower was the supreme allied commander. He was responsible for dealing with all of the strong willed leaders civilian and military fighting the war in Europe. He had to make decisions affecting millions. He had to make them right the first time. If he screwed up others paid dearly. He did a great job. One of the decisions he made was to shove the Germans back into Germany after being surprised at the battle of the bulge. Other commanders would have paused and waited for good weather after stopping the German Army. A lot of soldiers suffered greatly as a direct result of that decision, but it shortened the war and probably saved millions of lives.
Ike was far better prepared to be president than any of the yahoos currently being considered.
A President with military experience similar to McCain might be John Kennedy or maybe Jimmy Carter. Definitely not Dwight Eisenhower.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 9, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's "I am commander in chief" equals Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook." The fact that he feels compelled to say it is evidence enough that it just ain't so.

Posted by: Sandwichman on December 9, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

functional:

Liked the child molester analogy. Bush's invasion contra to international law and opinion is the functional equivalent of vigilante justice.

Ron Byers:

Excellent post. Thanks for those McCain stories. Absolutely correct that McCain is not even on the same carrier deck with Dwight David Eisenhower. McCain maybe to Kerry, Kennedy or Carter -- but only Powell *might've* warranted the Ike comparison had he chosen to run when he had the chance. Of course, it would be a tenuous comparison even so -- but still way more justified than Ike to McCain.

sandwitchman:

Or like "I'm the decider."

But yeah, there's that ring of overbearing petulance, like he's trying to convince himself ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we now at least have one Senator (Webb) who will not let the Little Idiot bully them verbally.

When Shrub petulantly stated "I'm the Commander in Chief," how I wish Durbin had responded "We can take care of that, Mr. President, Sir."

As to "...some people enter public life because they want to DO something, and others because they want to BE something..."

I think after Poppy's crying jag, it's pretty clear that the Little Idiot wanted the job to screw up Poppy's plan for the Good Son. That is, his thinking went something like "So you want Jeb, my little brother, to be Preznit, and not me? Well I'll show YOU. I'll become Preznit, and I'll do what you couldn't. And Jeb can kiss my ass."

So the Little Idiot entered public life to screw his younger sibling and talk back (yet again) to his parents.

As to JR's comment ("The Truman Doctrine called for efforts to combat communism wherever it surfaced. This meant needless US intervention in places of no instrinsic value (witness Korea and Vietnam). It was a strategic disaster"), maybe Bush is more like Truman than we'd care to admit. In any case, the Little Idiot does seem to have cribbed "the Bush Doctrine." (Unless, as others have suggested, that was NOT the Truman doctrine.)

As to the y'all/ya'll controversy, the answer is clear. An apostrophe in a contraction represents something taken out. This is a contraction of "you all" and what's taken out is the "ou" of "you." Hence it must be "y'all."

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 9, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Just to stir up needless controversy, Cal Gal's explanation falls down if the contraction involves a corrupted "ya" for "you," as in, how ya doing?

Oh, and Bob, the analogy was a Desperate Housewives reference :-)

Posted by: functional on December 9, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Stubborness? I call it arrogance. What a petulant little ass.

Posted by: sandy on December 9, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Network analysts are starting to get back their bark. Suzanne Malveaux said yesterday that Bush was drinking the kool-aid, the kool-aid he made, and it didn't taste as sweet.
Incompetence has taken on a whole new meaning as he piddles away his time in Washington these days.
That one day he scoffed--"History? We'll all be dead."
History will show he erred dramatically trying to occupy and remake the middle east. Err: to wander from the right way. to deviate from the true course. to deviate from the path of duty. to fail morally. to blunder, be mistaken or wrong. It all fits his presidency for the past 6 years.
He'll have an F on that report card.
If you haven't already, make sure you read in Rolling Stone Magazine "The Worst President in History? One of America's Leading Historians Assesses George W Bush," by Sean Wilentz, May 4, 2006 edition, Issue 999 @ rollingstone.com. He has taught at Princeton since 1979.
The cover of the magazine has the Chimp sitting in a corner wearing a big dunce cap, looking like a doofus.
Wilentz concludes, "Bush has failed to confront his own failures in both domestic and international affairs, above all in his ill-conceived responses to radical Islamic terrorism. Having confused steely resolve with what Ralph Waldo Emerson called "a foolish consistency...adored by little statesmen," Bush has become entangled in tragedies of his own making, compounding those visited upon the country by outside forces...Harry Truman left office in seeming disgrace, only to rebound in the estimates of later scholars. But so far the facts are not shaping up propitiously for George W Bush. He still does his best to deny it. Having waved away the lessons of history in the making of his decisions, the present-minded Bush doesn't seemed concerned about his place in history....the judgments of history cannot be defied or dismissed, even by a president."

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

This little "I feel Trumanesque" performance makes me think Bush is watching "The Office" and trying to copy Steve Carell's leadership behaviors.

Posted by: singe on December 9, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops--I should have put quotes around the kool-aid comments, first line. That's all Suzanne said that I quoted!

The rest is what I said!
I typed in a hurry.

Preview is our friend!

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

He knows his Bush era is over, everything is failing, and Rove is probably whispering in his right ear, don't worry, be happy--you're just like Truman. They usually resort to something grandiose, for the base.
I hope Keith Olbermann has a special comment on it.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

What I find zany about this story is that he must know it will be reported that he is blithering about the office like some Napoleanic mentally ill person. Either he wants us to see him in this pathetic light or the psychological boundary between him and the audience no longer exists and he is just free associating and hoping the nurse will bring some meds soon.

Posted by: singe on December 9, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers; Please forgive me for slighting you. For some reason, I keep wanting to place you between Lone Jack and Warrensburg on my mental map. Maybe because you are out there in Skelton country, and I'm only about 12 blocks from Kansas. In that regard, you are the one with the real claim to Truman.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin should have left the S out. It's funnier that way.

Posted by: aaron on December 9, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The lettering on the water tank at Florence, Kentucky (across the river from Ohio) welcomes people to the South thus:

"FLORENCE, Y'ALL"

But since literacy is not the hallmark of our beautiful Bluegrass State, the water tank could reasonably be interpreted as evidence against that spelling.

Posted by: olds88 on December 9, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Truman was despised in 1952 because he wasn't winning in Korea. He was disparaged as a dumb haberdasher. But, he began the resistance to Soviet expansionism. That effort took 40 years to complete successfully. Truman is now well-respected for beginning the major resistance to Soviet expansion.

I think the West will put down Islamic radicalism, but it will take many years. Eventually, people will recognize Bush's contribution of defining resistance to Islamic radicalism as a war that must be won.

Historians will also give Bush credit for the first significant expansion in Medicare in decades and the good economic conditions. It's even possible that minority educational results may improve due to NCLB.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 9, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Florence, Kentucky - The home of Sean Alexander of the SeaChickens.

And the mighty Turfway Park of PolyTrack fame. Keeneland was a little late to come on board. Please Churchill, spring for the Poly.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 9, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Commander in Chief is one part of the job of President, but it seems that Bush sees that as his only role. Moreover, he approaches it like a child playing with toy soldiers -- careless of the casualties in warplay because he lacks the ability to see anyone outside himself and his circle of friends and family as real.

Posted by: Kija on December 9, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Birthplace of Sean Alexander, Uncle Paul - Believe that his McMansion is in Seattle.

Posted by: stupid git on December 9, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal: I respectfully disagree. The democratic congress will revise the Medicare prescription drug benefit, they were physically shut out of any debate; instead, big pharma was in the room with republican congressmen and they proceeded with a massive ramming through of a bill openly hostile to helping our elderly citizens.
If this bill isn't changed, Bush will be known for destroying Medicare. That may in reality be his true goal. Please read "The Deadly Doughnut" by Paul Krugman, 11/11/05. People can't even buy supplemental insurance to cover the time when they get stuck with out of pocket costs. This is mom and dad we're talking about, and aging baby boomers. Republicans wanted the geriatric citizen to avoid being "insensitive to costs," and added the "doughnut hole" into which they will fall. On purpose. Not only that, not being able to negotiate prices with the drug companies will be an enormously costly component. Democrats will change that too.
History will not be kind towards Mr. Bush. Our economic system has been terribly burdened.
With Iraq, he will be remembered for starting a war based on lies, and bankrupting the treasury. It will be shown that with using white phosphorus on the citizens of Iraq, he was hypocritical, himself using weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

uh, what is all this chatter about how kerry would have lost iraq too? i can't imagine why, if kerry had been president, we would even be in iraq right now. all you people forgot that WE HAVE NO LEGITIMATE REASON TO HAVE INVADED IRAQ IN THE FIRST PLACE? all you people forgot that it was BUSH WHO IGNORED THE AUGUST 6 PRESIDENTIAL BRIEFING as well as other pre-9/11 warnings?

what, did i fall into a republican blackhole and not realize it?

Posted by: karen marie on December 9, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

The West will never "put down" IslamIST radicalism. Islamist radicalism is a religious ideology -- at the end of the day it's not judged in material terms, the way Communism -- an Enlightenment ideology -- was. It's a thirst for cosmic justice that can't be killed either militarily or through material prosperity.

All the West can do is increase or decrease the *reasons* Islamist radicalism spreads, and how virulent that spread will be. And until we come face-to-face with this reality, we have no genuine chance of mitigating its effects in the real world.

And it's not an old, blind, incontinent dog, either.

"Put down," jesus christ.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

karen marie:

Nope, not at all.

What you said is pretty much the consensus view around here on this liberal blog.

No Republican rabbit hole here :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 9, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

and let's revisit cheney's recent visit to saudi arabia in light of the isg report on saudi financial support of the iraqi sunnis ... anyone but me think he went over there to give them the heads up on what was coming before it became public? junior couldn't have gone, people WOULD have questioned that. cheney just keeps creeping around the edges keeping things tidy for "this rolling shopping cart of jackasses."

Posted by: karen marie on December 9, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kija--I know, that is him to a tee. He limits contacts with ordinary citizens, has a very small circle.
He's been criticized when visiting other countries, and keeping a low profile, not caring to share ideas with people other than those with whom he must talk.
Look how he treated Cindy Sheehan. Disrespectfully and dismissively.
Protest.bmgbiz.net had a perfect protest sheet-- Georgie Bush: Our sons and daughters are not your little green army men. Find another toy!

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Lots of talk of Bush's legacy here. You could probably put Afghanistan in the plus column..."

on what planet could you put afghanistan in the plus column? that is one of the silliest things i've read on the internets all week. the only reason we haven't heard more about what a disaster afghanistan has turned out is because iraq is such a clusterf*ck.

Posted by: karen marie on December 9, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

For future Bush to be compared to Truman it would likely require a successful military/911 style strike by Iraqi's on American soil to come to fruition.Then and only then could he say "I was right and i told you so"
What other future scenario could abslove him?
Who is the enemy he is so afraid of and intends to conquer?Is anyone really sure anymore?
If it's muslim extremist's and they ever attack American soil in the future and they're not Iraqi's, Bush will be blamed for focusing on the wrong zone.(God help his "legacy" if they're more Saudi's again.)
Even by "winning" in Iraq,muslim extremists will still be out there and a strong argument can be made that Bush has made this situation even worse.
So unless Iraq pulls WMD's out out it's ass and attacks American territory with them i don't see any future occurrence that would vindicate Bush and restore his legacy ala Truman.

Can anyone out there imagine a scenario in the future that would vindicate Bush?

Posted by: Albert on December 9, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Karen--you are so right. John Kerry would never have invaded and occupied Iraq.

The Bushies like to say that 911 changed everything, but as early as June 1997, with the birth of the Project for A New American Century, Cheney, Rumsfield, Jeb Bush, Wolfowitz, WJ Bennett, Gaffney and Scooter Libby all planned their global empire, seeking military domination of the middle east, Orwellianly called "Pax Americana." In 1998 they urged Bill Clinton to attack Iraq, saying Saddamm put "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil at hazard."
They were unable to manipulate for their desires.
George Bush served them well.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

"muslim extremists will still be out there."

as will the christian extremists still be here in the good ol' united snakes of amurka. you cannot justifiably complain about one without acknowledging the identical wrongness of the other.

Posted by: karen marie on December 9, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

we don't have to have 2 more years.

www.impeachabletreason.com

Posted by: southjaw on December 9, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "We still have two more years left of this guy."

There is no reason in the world why Bush or Cheney should remain in office for two more years. Both of them are criminals. They should be impeached, removed from office, indicted, prosecuted and imprisoned for war crimes, crimes against humanity, treason, intentionally defrauding the United States of America, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Democrats who refuse to even consider impeachment, such as Nancy Pelosi, are engaging in cowardly, craven political calculation -- and not only that, but like John Kerry with his pro-war position in 2004, they are engaging in craven political calculation that is wrong even on its own terms. The majority of Americans want Bush and Cheney to be held accountable and have stated in polls that if Bush deliberately misled -- i.e. lied to -- the country to lead us into war, he should be impeached.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 9, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Truman was able to articulate his policy, and his policy was congruent with his actions in Korea. Bush won't articulate a coherent policy because he can't. His actions in Iraq weren't prompted by a clear moral and political purpose. He came to that positon only as his other public reasons had been shown to be a crock.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on December 9, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

the only reason we haven't heard more about what a disaster afghanistan has turned out is because iraq is such a clusterf*ck.

Afghanistan is better off without the Taliban. And the United States and Europe are better off without and Al-Qaeda base there. Nato is involved, and it was an example of the United States having constructive relations with Iran.

Its much more likely that Afghanistan would be better off, had we focused our attention on rebuilding, rather than jumping over to Iraq.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on December 9, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Truman Show! LOL. Very apt.

'Bush's "I am commander in chief" equals Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook." The fact that he feels compelled to say it is evidence enough that it just ain't so.'

So true. People who feel compelled to read out their own job descriptions are rarely able to carry out the tasks at hand. As usual, the Bad Son is confusing pep talks with admissions of defeat.

Now, to the bunker, mein kinder!

Posted by: Kenji on December 9, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Karen--you are so right. John Kerry would never have invaded and occupied Iraq."

It would have been pretty difficult as Kerry ran for president in 2004, by which time we had already invaded Iraq. What would he say? "Since our first invasion didn't work out we will invade you again, Iraq! Consider yourselves Double Invaded!" Had Gore won in 2000 we would not be in Iraq and this would be a significantly better country and world to live in.

"For future Bush to be compared to Truman it would likely require a successful military/911 style strike by Iraqi's on American soil to come to fruition.Then and only then could he say "I was right and i told you so"
What other future scenario could abslove him? "

Nah, that wouldn't work at all. In that case Bush would have simply created a terrorist threat where very little existed before. Like if truman had invaded japan to contain communism, then japan had become virulently communist (or, you know all the countries we messed with during the cold war that turned communist after years of US support for repressive far right governments).

Posted by: jefff on December 9, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK
Afghanistan is better off without the Taliban.

One of the elements of the disaster in Afghanistan that the bigger disaster in Iraq has limited the media attention to is that it is an exaggeration to say that Afghanistan is without the Taliban.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 9, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

jefff--My point was that the invasion of Iraq was planned years ago.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 9, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist:

Couldnt agree more. If George W. Bush remains in office for the rest of his term, the Democrats might as well sponsor a Constitutional Amendment to eliminate impeachment from the Constitution, as it is difficult to imagine a future president who will deserve it more than this one does.

To join the discussion of PNAC and the neocon push to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein, I strongly recommend Thomas Ricks excellent book, Fiasco. In that book, Ricks reviews the efficacy of Operation Desert Fox, which was Bill Clintons preemptive strike to punish Saddam Hussein for failing to comply with inspection regimens. Unlike the conservative spin around here, it was a highly effective, low cost way of reining in Hussein and significantly degraded his ability to produce WMDs and the will of his scientists and advisers to work on them. For conservatives to say that Bill Clinton did nothing to contain Saddam Hussein is false and inaccurate. They simply dont know what they are talking about.

Hussein was a beaten, tinhorn dictator before Bushs invasion. There was no need for the invasion and it was predicated on ego and Bushs infantile need to prove some kind of macho superiority to his old man. For that reason alone, George W. Bush should spend the rest of his pathetic life in a federal prison.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 9, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Congress was willing to impeach Richard Nixon for breaking into a building, but is not willing to impeach George W. Bush for breaking into a country. They were willing to impeach Bill Clinton for taking advantage of an intern, but not willing to impeach Bush for taking advantage of a nation."
--Howard Zinn

Posted by: Quotation Man on December 9, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: The West will never "put down" IslamIST radicalism. Islamist radicalism is a religious ideology...It's a thirst for cosmic justice that can't be killed either militarily or through material prosperity.

True, but religious ideologies can change over time. E.g., 500 years ago many Christians were willing to use torture to convert non-Chistians. A thousand years ago, Christians left their homes to make war on Muslims Today, those philosophies no longer hold sway, even though the words of the Bible haven't changed.

All the West can do is increase or decrease the *reasons* Islamist radicalism spreads, and how virulent that spread will be.

Bob, I agree with these words, but suspect that you and I have different ideas as to what these *reasons* are. I think the reasons have nothing to do with the behavior of the US or Israel or the West. I think the reasons are entirely within Islam. E.g., the rise of Wahabism and the rise of al Qaeda.

My reason for this belief is that western behavior towards Muslims has not changed for the worse during the last 20 or as years that saw the rise of radical Islam.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 9, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

it is sad, you know, that george walker bush can liken himself to harry truman and virtually no one recognizes the irony. perhaps that is because very few understand the real history of the truman era.

so, as a preface, let me cite some books that might provide more dimension of the truman presidency.

1. cumings, bruce: the monstrous 2-volume history, THE ORIGINS OF THE KOREAN WAR.

2. cumings, bruce & halliday, jon: korea - the unknown war. this was a companion volume to a documentary that these scholars produced for thames television. eventually, it was aired in the usa on pbs, but highly redacted. for a history of that monstrosity of historical censorship, see cumings' recounting - TELEVISION WAR.

3. stone, i.f.: the hidden history of the korean war. and a collection of his essays entitled, the truman era.

there may be more good history of the truman era out there, but these books will give you a start.

in my assessment, truman revealed himself to be a homicidal psychopath when he ordered the nuclear bombardment of hiroshima, nagasaki. there was absolutely no need for this mass murdering of essentially civilian[non-combatant] populations.

after all, curtis lemay's B-29's and their thermite bombs had destroyed virtually the entirety of japan's urban areas. built of wood and paper, they went up better than most suburbanites' backyard barbecue grills.

and the B-29's had complete mastery of the air. japan had no aircraft capable of interdicting them.

and by 1945, the japanese had no navy. and no indigenous hydrocarbons[no coal, no oil, no natural gas]. japan was an island surrounded, blockaded in all dimensions.

but truman, the beacon of bullying, did his war crime thing. and by and large, has gotten away with it. harry truman - the tough guy. instead of harry truman - the mass murderer.

but hiroshima, nagasaki are the first revealing aspects of harry truman's character[or lack of].

now, let us bounce to korea. historically, korea had never been a divided country.

even after japan assumed control of the country after the russo-japanese war in 1905, the country was not divided.

BUT, at yalta, fdr and old joe decided that they would divide the korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. and in 1945, at potsdam, old harry agreed to preserve this divisive arrangement. no koreans were consulted concerning this division of their country.

following the signing of the surrender documents on the big mo in edo bay, the usarmy took control of korea.

think upon this as if you were kim il sung. you had been the leader of an anti-japanese band of insurrectionists[korean patriots] and suddenly, not only was your country being cut in half, but in the southern half, the usa was appointing japanese war criminals as its administrative surrogates.

[to be continued]

Posted by: albertchampion on December 9, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK
he is "the commander in chief."
Ubi Roi
Bush is also precisely correct in being skeptical about anthropogenic global warmingmike cook at 10:36 AM
Bush is completely wrong on this issue.
e West will put down Islamic radicalism, ex-liberal at 5:47 PM
In so far as that radicalism is the result of having their countries invaded, their oil stolen, their popular governments overthrown for America-friendly dictatorships and Israeli terrorism and atrocities committed against Arabs, that will not happen. If that is your goal, your means are counterproductive.
for the worse during the last 20 or as years that saw the rise of radical Islam. ex-liberal at 9:33 PM
Not so. This has been percolating since the 50's. See The roots of radical Islam Posted by: Mike on December 9, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why on earth do any of you think McChimp is leaving office in 2008?

I mean that's just dumb. He's the Unitary Executive. He'll jes ring up OBL and ask for a nuclear tehhah attack and then declare martial law.

You protest and yer on the plan to Uzbekistan.

All courtesy of the Republican Party.

And ol' Poppy will be beamin'...'That's my boy!'

Posted by: A. Citizen on December 9, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, is that all he has to say for himself? "I may be an idiot, and I may be screwing up everything I touch, but I'm in charge."

Pathetic.

Posted by: 14All on December 9, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

in addition to truman's willingness to kill thousands of non-combatant japanese, in addition to his willingness to steal the korean peninsula, let us consider his domestic actions[those that he instigated, those that he allowed to be instigated].

truman was the first president since woody that asserted the doctrine that george walker bush has asserted: you either with us or against us. and if you are not with us, you are treading on treasonable activities.

so, what did old harry bring to the usa? loyalty oaths. and all the secret policemen...the cia, the nsa, and an empowered stasi, hoover's fbi. illegal wiretapping. the surreptitious reading of mail. etc ad infinitum.

the most interesting aspect of old harry was his program to infiltrate and destroy the amerikan trade union movement.

and to energize the future of war profiteering... an activity that has been enshrined ever since.

but what makes old harry so interesting today is how much he is the model for george walker bush. both invaded other countries. and both f*cked up their invasions.

and both had a press that overlooked their crimes, their incompetence.

i have long said, if you knew the true history of the amerikan invasion of korea, then you would have been more adamant in opposing the invasion of vietnam, grenada, panama, nicaragua, iraq.

what i think most interesting about the perceptions of the amerikan invasion of korea is the barren aspect of the korean landscape.

just to enlighten you, prior to this amerikan invasion, korea was a leafy country.

but then old harry unleashed curtis lemay. who bombed the shit out of the korean peninsula.

and then there was the napalm. indiscriminately dropped everywhere.

because it was understood by the usa, and by the un that it controlled, that there were no allies in korea. all were opposed to the amerikan invasion. therefore, all deserved death.

and that is the real history.

so, when you hear george walker bush likening himself to old harry, don't miss the truth of that statement.

by the way, old harry was a colossal f*ck up in the management of the korean invasion. his first error was invading. but the errors kept on climbing

remind you of anyone?

[to be continued]

Posted by: albertchampion on December 9, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think an early warning sign was when Bush replied that we'll all be dead before we know whether his Iraq adventure worked.

Posted by: Steve J. on December 9, 2006 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

old harry would never relinquish his f*ck up.

and eventually, it may have been this refusal that insured his party's defeat, eisenhower's election.

and though ike ended the active combat, real redress was never achieved.

korea is still divided. which is an artificial situation imposed upon korea by the usa.

there are still thousands of us troops occupying the southern half of the korean peninsula.

and much as is the situation in iraq, the amerikan press continues to prevaricate concerning korean realities.

[to be continued]

Posted by: albertchampion on December 9, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Durbin's history was off a bit. The Truman admninistration got UN backing for Korea. They got the Security Council to approve after the Soviet Union had stomped off in a snit. UN nations sent troops into Korea. We were a part of a UN force. The largest part but a part nonetheless.

There are, of course, many other parts of Bush's attempt to identify with a real President that don't wash. Just a small sample: We did not START the Korean War and a part of Truman's low approval ratings were a hangover from his dismissal of MacArthur. Firing MacArthur wasn't popular but it was the right thing to do, not only because MacArthur was crossing the line of military subordination to civilian authority but also because MacArthur had mislead Truman concerning China. In fact MacArthur's blunders concerning China revealed that his arrogance led to incompetence. Truman actually fired people who screwed-up.

Posted by: cal on December 9, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

When he says he's the commander and chief it pretty much settles any issue doesn't it? He told everybody a long time ago it would be up to the guy who comes after him to say when the troops leave Iraq and on this subject he is a man of his word. Its about legacy stupid. He's hoping he can hold back time befor history issues its verdict.

Posted by: aline on December 9, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Truman was deservedly unpopular because of the lousy way in which he waged the Korean War."

Excuse me robert the red. Truman wanted MacArthur to stop at the 38th parallel. MacArthur pressed on. The Chinese came in because MacArthur advanced beyond the 38th. An act of arrogance that sent Korea spiralling into stalemate.

Part of Tuman's popularity fall was residual from firing MacArthur, who the American people considered a hero. The reality was that Truman had canned the man who screwed up Korea.

Truman's regret was that he didn't relieve MacArthur at Wake Island. That was Truman's error in the Korean war.

Posted by: cal on December 9, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK
Why on earth do any of you think McChimp is leaving office in 2008?

Because wanting to stay President isn't enough to actually make it happen, and Bush doesn't have the base of support to execute a coup-from-the-top.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 9, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK
"They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

I'm not quite sure why Columbus is in the first group rather than with Bozo the Clown, though...

Posted by: cmdicely on December 10, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

What all of u don't understand is I am the Commander in Chief, which means I Command. You see I am the Commander, I command. And I command u to stop mocking me, you see u are the mockers and I, the commander, command u, the mockers, to stop mocking, so then u will not be the mockers, which means ... who do I command? umm, well, let me see, I am the commander, and I command, so I command .... u to carry on, I guess.

Posted by: Commander on December 10, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mike wrote: "so far as that radicalism is the result of having their countries invaded, their oil stolen, their popular governments overthrown for America-friendly dictatorships and Israeli terrorism and atrocities committed against Arabs, that will not happen. If that is your goal, your means are counterproductive."

(I had written: "western behavior towards Muslims has not changed for the worse during the last 20 or as years that saw the rise of radical Islam." Mike responded: Not so. This has been percolating since the 50's. See The roots of radical Islam"

Mike's cite makes a case that the US was wrong to overthrow Mossadeq in 1953. Maybe so, but the half century time gap between that act and the rise of Islamic extremism argues against a cause-and-effect relationship.

Also, one should consider the good deeds done by the US toward Moslems, such as protecting Moslems atainst Christian attacks in the former Yugoslavoa, saving the Kuwaitis from being conquered and ruled by the horrendous Saddam, being the most generous country in earth in support of the needy people of Afghanistan, supporting the people and the government of Saudi Arabia, being fully accepting of Islamic residents to the United States (in way that Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia do not reciprocate), etc.

In fact, I would argue that US behavior to Moslems in the period 1970 - 2000 was a lot nicer than our behavior during 1940 - 1970.

Also note that we (arguably) mistreated Iraq in 1953, yet no 9/11 perp was Iraqi. They were organized in Afghanistan and mostly came from Saudi Arabia -- two countries that we had always treated well. Therefore, I do not believe that
US action has caused the rise of radical Islam.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 10, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

of course, many fail to understand who it was that ran old harry.

one of his owners was herbie walker. an acolyte of the rockefellers.

a man from missouri. who owned a piece of old harry.

eventually created a rockefeller, brown bros harriman associated merchant bank: g h walker.

some of you may recall a burt lancaster movie, executive action.

the principal murderer in that movie is often thought to be h l hunt. not. it was herbie walker.

do try and pay attention.

Posted by: albertchampion on December 10, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Mike's cite makes a case that the US was wrong to overthrow Mossadeq in 1953. Maybe so, but the half century time gap between that act and the rise of Islamic extremism argues against a cause-and-effect relationship.

It was not a half century from 1953 to 1979. It was barely a quarter century. And the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 to soothe some British hurt feelings over the loss of their oil company set the stage for what is playing out in the middle east right now. John Foster Dulles. Need a shower just letting that name crawl off my fingers. *shudder*

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 10, 2006 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

>>John Foster Dulles. Need a shower just letting that name crawl off my fingers. *shudder*
Posted by: Global Citizen

Amen, Sister.

Who's this albertchampion wacko we seem to have acquired? Clearly a member in good standing of the tinfoil hat brigade.

Posted by: CFShep on December 10, 2006 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

Merriam-Webster lists "y'all" as variant of you all. No mention of "ya'll" a tall...

Posted by: Barbara on December 10, 2006 at 7:34 AM | PERMALINK

I'm no Bush supporter, but I recall that GWB mentioned about the disjunct between their policies and their beliefs following 9/11, and hence the democracy project in the M.East. It started with great fanfare, and lots of people cheered on.

The problem took a bad turn because he chose to attack Iraq instead of prodding it along as he had done with the other middle east states.

Posted by: Chui on December 10, 2006 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.
- Dan Quayle

We could for a change of pace, discuss yawls for while. Years ago, while honeymooning on St. Croix, I saw a surpassingly lovely sloop-rigged yawl named Sayonara.

Posted by: CFShep on December 10, 2006 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

i was hoping somehow that once the democrats got some control that they could hit the ground running and fix some of the mess george got us into but it looks like now they are going to HAVE to impeach gwb.

Posted by: Jenny'O on December 10, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen wrote: It was not a half century from 1953 to 1979. It was barely a quarter century.

Look at it this way, Global Citizen. In 1953, Iraq got a government it didn't like; we overthrew it. The world was not swept up in Isalamic terrorist attacks.

In 1979, Iran got a government the US didn't like. We made no effort to overthrow it, even though the kidnaping of our diplomats was an a act of war that could have been used to justify an attack the Mullahs. If was after we left the Mullahs in place that Islamic terrorism really took off.

To me, it seens like a stretch to blame today's troubles on one act taken by the US 53 years ago, since so many other things have occurred in between then and now.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 10, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib states: 500 years ago many Christians were willing to use torture to convert non-Chistians. A thousand years ago, Christians left their homes to make war on Muslims Today, those philosophies no longer hold sway, even though the words of the Bible haven't changed.


yet....

just above....ex-lib: To me, it seens like a stretch to blame today's troubles on one act taken by the US 53 years ago, since so many other things have occurred in between then and now.

see....to ex-libs "thinking"....things that happen in the space of a few decades can't be factored in current events..

apparently only hundreds of years can provide clarity..

haven't seen so much hoppin around since dancing with the stars....

Posted by: mr. irony on December 10, 2006 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Could someone please explain to this president that the United States has not been ruled by a monarch for several hundred years?

Posted by: Leo Strauss on December 10, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Paging Travis Bickle. white courtesy telephone, pls.

Posted by: bill T on December 10, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bush doesn't have to change his philosophy or attitude. He will simply is going to leave office and pass on this mess to the next president like the republican-led 109th congress just did to the 110th. And we, the American Public, will forget because the new democratic-led congress will fail to hold him accountable. I feel terribly sad for our country.

Posted by: Roland on December 10, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Years ago, while honeymooning on St. Croix, I saw a surpassingly lovely sloop-rigged yawl named Sayonara.

Ah, but was she yare? Was she prone to yaw?

(I think it's time for me to see The Philadelphia Story again.)

Posted by: shortstop on December 10, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop inquires: Was she prone to yaw?

Don't know, but the minute I win the Lottery I'm gonna charter her. 4 bedrooms/2 heads/full galley and crew. Paneled in teak throughout.

I'd like to correct my math as to the $8400 red dress.

I used the wrong rate ($5.65) for minimum wage ($5.15) so:

A minimum wage worker would have to work 32.5 (about as close as most employers allow so as to foreclose any possibility of overtime) hours for 51 weeks.

That would come to a hair over $8500 which would just about cover the sales taxes...

Posted by: CFShep on December 10, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

One major difference between Bush and Truman, is that Truman was elected...

Posted by: Vaporlock on December 10, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Question to the one who falsely calls him or herself ex-Liberal,

In what country was the Mossadegh we overthrew in 1953?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 10, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

As one who has been known to yaw yaw between scenic Islas, must say that it is far better to yaw-yaw, then flounder,flounder upon barren shoals.

Posted by: Janus Brions on December 10, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Irony: see....to ex-libs "thinking"....things that happen in the space of a few decades can't be factored in current events.

It's not that they can't be factored in, but rather that factoring them in requires quite a bit of evidence, not just an assertion.

Sadly, there are some America-haters on this Board. For them, it's automatic that anything bad in the world was America's fault. They simply look for the closest American wrong to blame, even if it's not close at all.

For these people it's obvious that the reason a group led by Saudi Arabians living in Afghanistan organized an attack on the US in 2001 was because of something the US did wrong in Iraq in 1953.

Roland: Bush doesn't have to change his philosophy or attitude. He will simply is going to leave office and pass on this mess to the next president like the republican-led 109th congress just did to the 110th

I agree. Once a President is out of power, he automatically leaves unsolved problems to the next Administration.

Eisenhower passed the problem of North Korea forward to his successor, as did subsequent Presidents; it's still unsolved. Ditto for Carter and Iran. Papa Bush and Clinton passed on the problem of Saddam. Reagan, Papa Bush and Clinton passed on the problem of al Qaeda; Bush is likely to do the same.

Personally, I give W a fair amount of credit for trying to actually solve the problem of al Qaeda and of Saddam. I would give him more credit if he had succeeded.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 10, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly, there are some America-haters on this Board. For them, it's automatic that anything bad in the world was America's fault.

I am going to take that as directed toward me, and I gotta say you're out of your ever-loving mind. Get this through that thick head of yours right god-damned now: Just because one considers ones own countries culpability in events does not mean one hates America it means those people are capable of thoughtful consideration.

By the way, you are not so stupid as to actually believe that For these people it's obvious that the reason a group led by Saudi Arabians living in Afghanistan organized an attack on the US in 2001 was because of something the US did wrong in Iraq in 1953. Whether you like to admit it or not, the hubris of 1953 did set the stage for the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Afghanistan and the Taliban and al Qae'da? That was a different set of circumstances and interventions.

I don't hate America which is a motive you are all to ready to ascribe to anyone who doesn't march lockstep with your ideology; but I do not pledge blind fealty either.

As Letterman said to O'LIEley: It isn't simple for me because I am thoughtful.

You might have a touch more credibility if you could keep the countries in question straight.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal"

Eisenhower passed the problem of North Korea forward to his successor, as did subsequent Presidents; it's still unsolved. Ditto for Carter and Iran.

Silly boi. Eisenhower also passed the problem of Vietnam on to his successors. DId you see what happened?

Eisenhower also passed the problem of Iran on to his successors. Eisenhower was the one who authorized the CIA to overthrow the democratically-elected Mossadegh government in Iran in 1953.

Recovering lefties such as yourself are so ignorant of history. It really is amusing.

Posted by: raj on December 10, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Geez, raj, did you have to give him a clue? I'm sure that he was frantically trying to find his Middle Eastern lesson book of last week from Tail Start. No wonder the Pubs want to cut it's funding.

So, FAUXLib, you are really trying to prove that you could run the House Intelligence Committee?

Well, you seem to know as little as Reyes.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 10, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Look at it this way, Global Citizen. In 1953, Iraq got a government it didn't like; we overthrew it. The world was not swept up in Isalamic terrorist attacks.

In 1979, Iran got a government the US didn't like. We made no effort to overthrow it, even though the kidnaping of our diplomats was an a act of war that could have been used to justify an attack the Mullahs. If was after we left the Mullahs in place that Islamic terrorism really took off.

To me, it seens like a stretch to blame today's troubles on one act taken by the US 53 years ago, since so many other things have occurred in between then and now.

So much ignorance, all at once.

* In 1953, we orchestrated and financed the coup against Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran, and installed Shah Reza Pahlavi. Where do you get the idea the Iranians weren't happy with the leader they'd elected?

* This meddling was a direct cause of the 1979 hostage-taking. Americans had forgotten all about 1953 but Iranians sure hadn't.

* That little mid-century oopsie was hardly our only intervention in the region. You don't pay attention, but the people who live there do.

Jesus Christ, ex-lib, do you read anything at all other than NewsMax? I'm embarrassed for you.

Posted by: vetiver on December 10, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

And now, FAUXLib, for your next question. Which western democracy provided artillery, intelligence and gas for Saddam's invasion of Iran to fight Khomeni?

Check your Tail Start book once again.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 10, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

This American didn't forget. While my dad was helping the Iranians build that shiny new Naval headquarters at Bandar e Abbas I was a teenager in coffee shops. I realized at 16 I was more savvy than the State Department was at 200. And a cynic was born.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 10, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal,

Please continue posting at this site.

You provide two things.

1) Much needed Comic Relief and,

2) Inspire all of us to demand of our local school boards and even college and universities, a return of history, local, national and international to the schools' curriculums

Posted by: stupid git on December 10, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen: Just because one considers ones own countries culpability in events does not mean one hates America it means those people are capable of thoughtful consideration.

Fair enough as far as it goes. However, when someone looks only at American misdeeds, ignores misdeeds by non-Americans, and ignores the many good deeds done by America, then it's fair to call that person an America-hater.

I invite those non-America-haters who disagree with me to present their list of all the good things America has done for Muslims and their list of all the bad things non-Americans have done to Muslims (including harm done to Muslims by other Muslims.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 10, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

3rdpaul carries on the faux factiod that Saddam got artillary gas etc from the US -- he did not, he was armed by the USSR and our "allies" the French. Any "intelligence" he got was about Iranian attacks on Iraq. The US position was a plague on both houses, but we were "tilting" towards the less internationally aggressive party. You guys really give our counntry a backhanded complement when you have to go so far out of your way to distort the facts to make us look bad. Why don't you put some of that energy into analysing your compulsion to hate your roots?

Posted by: minion of rove on December 10, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

That's why they call him "W"--so he can spell it.

Posted by: Big Daddy on December 10, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

3rdpaul carries on the faux factiod that Saddam got artillary gas etc from the US -- he did not, he was armed by the USSR and our "allies" the French.

Given the fact that the weapons and chemicals Iraq received from other nations were at the request of the U.S., often purchased with U.S. dollars and frequently orchestrated and managed by the CIA, I can only assume you're making a semantic argument to the effect that WalMart is providing my family with Christmas presents this year and not me.

Not to mention the Bell helicopters and chemical weapons precursors that the U.S. provided directly and were likely used to attack the Kurds for which Saddam was just put on trial.

Funny how things come full circle.

Posted by: Windhorse on December 10, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you put some of that energy into analysing your compulsion to hate your roots?

Speaking of "roots," why don't you ever put some of your energy into learning American-style spelling, so that your impersonation of a Yank might be more believable?

Posted by: shortstop on December 10, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

We're not falling for being labeled anti-american as we voice differing views.

This remains a thinly veiled, self-serving means by which conservatives disregard and demean others' important viewpoints.

It failed in the mid-term elections, as similar minds produced a readily recognized echo chamber linking democrats/progressives to terrorists. In fact, someone on this board kind of sounds like Sean Hannity...

The sharp thrust of reality heightens the fear of change, as conservatives seek to maintain their agenda.

A "whatever it takes" mentality of stifling free speech by negative association. I don't think it works any more. Voters certainly rejected it.

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 10, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK


ex-lib: It's not that they can't be factored in, but rather that factoring them in requires quite a bit of evidence, not just an assertion.

...........ok...further up the thread....

ex-lib: 500 years ago many Christians were willing to use torture to convert non-Chistians. A thousand years ago, Christians left their homes to make war on Muslims Today, those philosophies no longer hold sway, even though the words of the Bible haven't changed.


Mr. irony: i see your assertion..

where's your evidence?

Posted by: mr. irony on December 10, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

mr. irony, I made no assertion of cause and effect. I merely pointed to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 10, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

>> rmck1: The West will never "put down" IslamIST radicalism.
>> Islamist radicalism is a religious ideology...It's a thirst
>> for cosmic justice that can't be killed either militarily
>> or through material prosperity.

> True, but religious ideologies can change over time. E.g., 500
> years ago many Christians were willing to use torture to convert
> non-Chistians. A thousand years ago, Christians left their homes
> to make war on Muslims Today, those philosophies no longer hold
> sway, even though the words of the Bible haven't changed.

And where did the change come from? Hint:
it most certainly wasn't imposed from without.

>> All the West can do is increase or decrease the *reasons* Islamist
>> radicalism spreads, and how virulent that spread will be.

> Bob, I agree with these words, but suspect that you and I have
> different ideas as to what these *reasons* are. I think the
> reasons have nothing to do with the behavior of the US or Israel
> or the West. I think the reasons are entirely within Islam.
> E.g., the rise of Wahabism and the rise of al Qaeda.

Well, exlib, I don't think you really see the situation in its full
context, which includes the growing effects of globalization on the
developing world, the lingering legacies of colonialism, the grinding
poverty and neglect remaining in the areas where Islamic charities
and madrassas education picks up the slack ("the rise of Wahabism").
And yes -- Israel remains a festering sore for a number of reasons.

I'm kind of thunderstruck at how naive you are about America's
motives appear to the world. Not what the motives of Americans
appear to ourselves; you kind of mindlessly conflate the two. Of
course Americans aren't racist imperalists in the mold of 19th-century
Britons. Of course, America as the world superpower has done a lot
of good things for Muslims around the world. But what kills me is
that you think this is *sufficient*. Of course it isn't. Because
at the end of the day we have national interests, and these
interests are manifestly not in the interests of Muslims worldwide.

We support the Saudi and Gulf state monarchies -- who are really,
really despised in the region for being useless ne'er-do-wells who
don't even run their own countries and repress the fuck out of
everybody who's not royalty. Or how about Hosni Murbarak of Egypt,
a goddamned President-For-Life -- when was the last time *he*
stood for election? Or even the relatively benign Hashemite King
of Jordan -- a dynasty which isn't any more indigenous to Jordan
than it was to Iraq. These are our biggest allies in the region,
and they all suck elephant turds in the democracy dept.

> My reason for this belief is that western behavior
> towards Muslims has not changed for the worse during the
> last 20 or as years that saw the rise of radical Islam.

But the world has, exlib. I'd seriously suggest that you get in
some political science reading, and I'd strongly recommend Ben
Barber's Jihad vs McWorld. People don't go from oppressed colonial
subjects to self-actualized democrats in a generation. A major
factor in the rise of Islamism is the collapse of secular pan-Arab
nationalism. If we celebrate when the age of dictators like Saddam
Hussein is passing -- don't be surprised when political Islam fills
the authority gap. And don't be surprised when the dubious fruits
of globalization -- a vastly affluent elite class in a country too
saddled by IMF debt and economic strictures to improve the lot of
everyone eise -- produces a religious backlash against modernity.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 10, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Say, minion of rove, having lunch with Carlos Cardoen these days?

There are at least of couple of ways to insure weapon systems are transferred from one country to another. One is direct sales - No, the US did not have overt direct sales with Iraq in the early 80s.
The other method is ye olde "wink nod", whereby a blind eye is turned to the works of others.

Then certain items can leave, say Lancaster, PA, get shipped to Chile, then trans shipped to Iraq - Or Austrian artillery can pass through Jordan - Cluster bomb tecnhnology can wind through curious channels from the US and end up in Baghdad - All with many a wink and many a nod from government officials.

Money from the Italians can pass through Atlanta to fund such transfers.

Why do you think Gates withdrew from heading the CIA during that time?

Why did Cap Weinberger support Iraq's war in 84, but was aghast at Saddam's actions in 89?

Many winks, many nods helped transfer far more than mere intelligence to the Iraqis - Carlos Cardoen was up to his eyeballs in the transfers and he and other arm dealers were very close with the Reagan Administration.

Did Carlos pick up the tab for you?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 10, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"The World According to George W Gump" www.theaustrailian.news.com11/5/05
"...Confusing Iraq with Iran (or possibly Syria) and confusing Saddam Hussein with bin Ladin, George demolishes pretty much an entire nation. In further confusion, he mistakes palm trees for nuclear missles and camels and donkeys for biological and chemcial weapons. This leads to the deaths of 100,000's innocent Iraqis who had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks on the world trade center. George's war also involves the deaths of 2000 young Americans and tips the Iraqis into a civil war that will go on and bloodily on for decades. George further destabalizes the world's most dangerous region and persuades a new generation to choose suicide bombing as a career.
And, while his offsider Dick Cheney promises the invasion of Iraq would see oil drop to just 20 bucks a barrel....
While the war makes the Bushes best friends with the Blairs and the Howards, it turns the rest of the world against him. From being surrounded with goodwill and sympathy after 9/11, the Americans find themselves feared and isolated. And that's for starters.
Checklist: Bush maintains Saddam's policies at the local jail, tears up the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo Bay...threatens to veto the bill condemning the US's cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners, which also forbids further use of torture in interrogation. He reverses the US's proud progress on human rights under the guise of "homeland defense" and thumbs-downs the International War Crimes Tribunal.
Obedient to his allies in the coal industry, he refuses to sign Kyoto, demolishes legislation...protecting air/water, makes a fool of the administration by buckling to Bible-belt bigotry on issues from T. Schaivo to stem cell reseach, threatens UN agencies and NGO's with cessation of funding if they breathe a word about abortion or contraception to desperate women in Third World countries--and agrees with the Pentecostal/Vatican lobby in opposing condoms for millions of Africans doomed by the AIDS pan-demic. Yet George has the nerve to condemn Islamic fundamentalism."
Then there are small problems such as his ongoing attacks on the American poor, combined with his endless generosity to the top 1% of income earners, is in the process of ending capital gains tax, which will lead to the biggest transfer of wealth to the wealthy in US history. This amounts to a bigger drain on the nation's kitty than the Iraq fiasco?? and it will go on every day forever."

Posted by: consider wisely always on December 10, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: You have no standing to make rhetorical demands of anyone. You're not only abysmally ignorant, but your underpowered brain apparently can't process anything more complicated than GOOD/BAD. Those sad facts do not obligate others to handicap themselves likewise.

And think about it -- are you arguing that Global Citizen is less of a patriot than you are? Remember, it's not 2003 anymore. Most people have caught up with reality.

Posted by: vetiver on December 10, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

I blame The Slickster in part for this. He started the idea of talking about a "legacy" while still in office.

I blame today's MSM for abetting this with both presidents.

Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., and even older presidents didn't engage in this.

Ultimately, it's Baby Boomer BS in part. Techinically, I am part of that, but at the last year of the baby boom demographic. Of course, later generations will probably be even worse about this crap.

I can't wait for the presidents of 20-30 years from now.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on December 10, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK
Or how about Hosni Murbarak of Egypt, a goddamned President-For-Life -- when was the last time *he* stood for election?

2005.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 10, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

In a fair race? Didn't he win with an un-credible majority of the vote?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 11, 2006 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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