Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 23, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WAR, WAR, WAR!....Liz Cheney writes an op-ed in the Washington Post today. Josh Marshall responds:

Is it just me or does this column read like it was written by someone in junior high?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had that reaction. Although, honestly, what it really sounded like was a parody of a conservative warblog circa late 2002. Aside from being embarrassing, it was kind of eerie.

Kevin Drum 11:44 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (109)

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Liz Cheney strikes me as someone desperately trying to earn her father's approval. It's sad that a presumably intellegent woman like this will consistently back her father's cadre, even when it goes against her own interests.

Posted by: Berkeley C on January 23, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

It does read a little like junior high -- or somewhere between there and college freshman Poli Sci -- but I don't know how inappropriate that is to this forum.

The WaPo editorial page ain't "Foreign Affairs," and the national political dialogue isn't carried on at the level of a Georgetown graduate seminar.

Matter of fact, this might even be a little advanced for some of the 28% "left behind" crowd...

Posted by: bleh on January 23, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

The writer is former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

Doesn't the post think that a familial relationship with the one pushing the Iraq policy is worth mentioning? Especially given that they never would have published this load of tripe from someone who's only claim to fame was in fact being a former deputy assistant secretary of state.

Posted by: Fides on January 23, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Our soldiers will win if we let them.--Liz Cheney

Who is preventing the soldiers from winning? How?

BTW, what is "winning"? Allowing the war to go on forever?

If the occupation is worse off than in 2003, who is to blame? The soldiers or the Bush/Cheney administration?

So, success doesn't rest solely on the virtue of the GIs.

American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield.

Again, what is winning?

And what have team Bush, the Neo Cons or Repulicans done to show courage at home? Spend other people's money? Use the war as a club to beat Democrats? Where is the courage from your side, Liz Cheney? Where's the sacrifice from your people?

BTW, read some Sun-tzu. Wars aren't supposed to last a long time. When they do it usually means you're losing.

Liz Cheney, you just don't want to admit the Iraq occupation is lost because it conflicts with your feelings about domestic politics. And for your side this war has always been about milking it for domestic political advantage.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 23, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Wishing doesn't make it so."

Oy vey.

Posted by: Sam on January 23, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

I *totally* coulda written a better op-ed.

Posted by: NTodd on January 23, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

It is because of the lousy school system liberals and progressives have handed us that she has to communicate in the junior high vernacular.
If only we could all possess the mental fortitude of the Progressive population who so eloquently states,
"Na uh, the war is wrong! You are too stupid to understand. And you are ugly too.”

Posted by: Orwell on January 23, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Man, I'm glad you said this. I couldn't believe this when I read it today.

Posted by: Terry on January 23, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, the Republicans cut the funding to her school.

Posted by: cazart on January 23, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if her intended audience is at a junior high level [which logically it must be] then the article could be considered well reasoned and articulate. Choosing the WaPo as a forum for her musings though provokes questions concerning her competency since it's readership is proudly undergraduate. The country just makes no sense anymore.

Posted by: saintsimon on January 23, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

You're being totally unfair - this is some of Kaye Grogan best work!

Posted by: John on January 23, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh - I'm immature enough to go there.

As Liz Cheney said; "Let's be clear: If we restrict the ability of our troops to fight and win this war, we help the terrorists."

So why has Bush consistently restricted the ability of our troops to fight and win by redeploying them from Afghanistan (a.k.a. "the country who attacked us on 9/11) to Iraq (a.k.a. Liz's daddy's little retirement package)?

Why has Bush sandbagged the ability of our troops to fight and win by not equipping them properly?

Why has Bush crippled the ability of our troops to fight and win by not sending anywhere near enough to secure the country (or sensitive arms sites like Al Qa Qaa) - thereby ENCOURAGING terrorists to fight.

Why has Bush stabbed our troops in the back by refusing to fund this war with a tax increase (thereby weakening the value of the dollar, which also cripples our economy and our future ability to pay for our vital National Security interests)?

Why has Bush betrayed our troops by cutting their pay and benefits, and outsourcing and privatizing everything to crony contractors with no-questions-asked contracts, wasting valuable funds that ought to have been spent bolstering our MILITARY strategic position, rather than the financial position of Halliburton and KBR?

NO CONSERVATIVE HAS THE BALLS TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS HONESTLY.
(even the butch females).

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

The question is, even considering whose daughter she is, how someone this simple-minded could actually be former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. It's not exactly a ceremonial sinecure for total idiots. The criminally inane really have subverted the entire government.

Posted by: R.Porrofatto on January 23, 2007 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

If only she would have said, "Let's chat," she could have been considered the smartest woman in the universe.

Posted by: Orwell on January 23, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't agree less. For some reason, Kevin, Josh and Jason Zengerle all tell us that this is junior high work--without offering any specifics about what is supposed to be wrong with it.

I had a completely different reaction when I read the Cheney column. She starts--and ends--by deftly reinforcing standard negative narratives about Hillary Clinton. Are we all living on the same planet? This is exactly how White House races have been decided in this decade. The other side keeps churning these narratives out--and we seem blind to their presence.

Clinton is the most likely Dem nominee. The onslaught against her has started in force. Not only do we fail to teach ourselves how to defeat the various narratives involved in this onslaught. We are literally unable to see the onslaught as it occurs.

Get ready to enjoy the next U.S. war. Most likely, it will be driven by "junior-high" prose typed on behalf of President McCain/Giuliani, as we reassure ourselves about how juvenile the writing is.

Posted by: bob somerby on January 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

At least Liz Cheney didn't write a tale of forbidden lesbian love in old West...like her mother.

Posted by: AngryOne on January 23, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell,

Careful you don't cut yourself with that rapier wit.

Posted by: Foundation of Mud on January 23, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is the most likely Dem nominee.
Posted by: bob somerby on January 23, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Then let the onslaught of narratives begin.

I have deep reservations about Ms. Clinton.
I'd rather see Obama elected.

But moreso - I'd much rather see someone like Richardson given the nod.

If Hillary Clinton gets the party's nomination, then say hello to President McCain. You want to mobilize and reivigorate the Right at a time when they are disorganized, infighting, and demoralized?

Run Hillary Clinton.

Squander the Democratic's greatest chance at turning this country around since FDR.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

While I disagree with her article, I suppose Kevin would have sailed through the University of Chicago Law School - so full of "Valley Girls" as it were.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Doesn't the post think that a familial relationship with the one pushing the Iraq policy is worth mentioning? "

Boy, that was my thought too- I first read it wondering who this "Liz Cheney" was (seriously!) and deciding she was just another rabid wingnut that this administration elevated to a position of power. Turns out I was right, I guess.

I mean, wouldn't you at least add to the byline "...and is the daughter of the vice president"?

Weird!

Posted by: pdq on January 23, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Bedwetter: "And make no mistake - Iraqi citizens who cooperated with the USA will be slaughtered."

Yes, especially if we stay.

Presumably, the only thing tying the hands of our brave soldiers is the defeatist attitude of Chuck Hagel and the NYT. Or is it the Jewish bankers and international communism?

And talk about a conflict of interests! Normally, one is asked by editors to at least mention one's connections with the people or policies being written about. And it's true that her pep-talk writing style is a tip-off to a sad family pathology best discussed when these creeps are out of power.

Posted by: Kenji on January 23, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Basically Cheney's essay is a petulant retort to Hillary's statement "I'm in and I'm in to win."

In the op-ed Cheney strings together a bunch of unbalanced, neo-con assertions with absolutely no policy analysis, no definition of "victory", or whatever it is she says we can't afford to lose if we fail. No explanation for what new outcome the proposed addition of 21,000 troops will bring that three years of failed military intervention has not already attempted.

It's as if the neo-cons believe we can't possibly be losing in Iraq as long as we have troops there willing to fight.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 23, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is the most likely Dem nominee.

Mr. Somerby,

I see your point, but if Ms. Clinton fails to get nominated that would be fine by me. Right now she looks like the Democratic candidate most likely to find ways to let this war drag on indefinitely.

We're not so struck by the fact that the VP's daughter would take a swipe at Clinton as much by how the Washington Post is still publishing unnuanced pro-war bleatings at this late and sorry stage.

Posted by: Foundation of Mud on January 23, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

A new CBS poll has Bush with a 28% approval rating. His dad's worst was 29%.Son beats father again! Hooray! Can he beat Nixon's record of 23%? It won't be for lack of trying.

Posted by: R.L. on January 23, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

I had the exact same thought, although I was thinking more like grade school.

No one is preventing our troops from winning, except the morons in the Executive Branch who keep calling for "victory" without having any kind of defintion of what victory would be.

Posted by: mmy on January 23, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell nails it.

Posted by: gregor on January 23, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji, You can be so cruel to Kenneth - Perhaps he is having problems with his Kegel exercises. There is still hope.

Posted by: stupid git on January 23, 2007 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Example: She says, "Quitting helps the terrorists."
It's a significant issue that most Lefties don't want to deal with.
Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on January 23, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever you say, FK.
But Lefties have dealt with this "issue" from the start. Quitting Iraq does not help the terrorists, because if we do not have a draft and send a half a million troops, we WILL lose this war, and the terrorists will have their way in a post-invasion Iraq either way. Only then, we'll be powerless to stop them ANYWHERE.

Leaving Iraq, and bolstering our efforts in Afghanistan will allow us to defeat the terrorists. Where they actually are. Hell, we might even actually catch Osama bin Laden. Ignorant pig fuckers like yourself don't care about the fact that 6 years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still out there, plotting the next 9/11. I hope one of your close friends or relatives die in that attack.

And make no mistake - Iraqi citizens who coooperated with the USA will be slaughtered.

Dumbass. What do you think has been going on over there for 3 years? The only thing preventing a massive industrial-scale slaughter is US Air Power. Troops on the ground are not accomplishing anything. Get them to Afghanistan, and keep an eye on Iraq, and make sure the Shiite militias (ie. the defacto Iraqi government) don't roll tanks into Sunni neighborhoods. They're already rounding them up by the busload. 100,000 Iraqis are relocating EVERY MONTH. This IS ethnic cleansing. It's happening. And the only reason you don't see it is because you don't want to admit your chimperor was wrong.

The left has no problem addressing these issues honestly. It's the right that has the problem. Why don't you try to address the questions I posted earlier?

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

The writer is former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

This is the best part, knowing that the writer is the first-among-many assistant of the assistant of the secretary who's an assistant of the head Secretary of State.

Second best part: Victory is the only option. I can imagine Liz Cheney become very upset at the end of sports events and card games. "What do you mean I lost? Victory was the only option. I want a do-over!"

Posted by: RSA on January 23, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

No matter what the actual military and political outcome is in Iraq, if and when we pull US troops out the GOP will forever say we lost not because of poor decision-making by Bush and Cheney but because Democrats failed to support the President and the troops.

It's never their fault. President Bush has turned Washington into Never-Never land.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 23, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see how badly Cheney wants to win:

Bad enough to raise taxes to pay for the war?
Bad enough to enlist in the Armed Forces to fight in Iraq?
Bad enough to drive a tanker truck for Haliburton? They could give her the Basra to Bagdad route.
She only wants to win if others make all the scrifices. What a disgusting person she is.

Posted by: David Triche on January 23, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

The last days of Nixon and first days of Ford must have been chaotic. So, to rise to the top during those chaotic days is a sign of what? Intelligence?

And when high government officials take a quick trip through the revolving door and return with huge piles of money, it's a sign of what? Intelligence?

Hollywood stars, sports stars, and political stars get surrounded by sycophants, and they LOSE THEIR BEARINGS.

Posted by: connor on January 23, 2007 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Just to be clear, Liz Cheney is the married mother of umpteen children, not the lesbian daughter who wrote her own "Daddy I love you" book last year.

Posted by: Brittain33 on January 23, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Many of the old and paranoid think the way Ms. Cheney wants them to. They think the occupation can be won if we just let the soldiers kill a lot more people. Of course, the opinion piece was filled with lies.

America is not at war. There is no definable enemy, battleground or objective. America is involved with an occupation of a country that most Iraqis resent.

America is the terrorist. Quitting Iraq will stop American terrrorism, at least against the citizens of Iraq. Quitting Iraq will not stop the American terrorism of the Palestinians or Afghanis.

The poll taken on November 7, 2006 is the only poll that matters. The people spoke and want both the Bush regime and the occupation of Iraq to end.

Withdrawal from Iraq hurts the profits of many defense contractors and the future prospects of oil company revenues. Withdrawal from Iraq stops the killing of Iraqis by Americans and will probably result in a deceleration of sectarian violence, as the historical evidence indicates.

Iran has not demonstrated any militant bellligerence since the Revolution, so any fear mongering about this limited democratically governed nation must be for other motives. Most likely their oil, but the religious Sunni hegemony of the Saudis and the military hegemony of the Israelis is challenged by them, too, and helps to explain why so many of America's elites are so anti Iran.

Our soldiers are capable of killing as many Iraqi people as their commanders want them to. They can kill millions, and many Americans want them to. Fortunately, a majority of Americans have already voted against that back in November 2006.

What must be done politically to counteract the warmongering petro-defense industry elites, is to put them on the defensive. Anti-war politicians need to accuse the pro-war politicians of corruption and racial bigotry. These are the two driving forces behind the Iraq occupation policy. There is no war. There is no existential threat. There is not even a chance for 'victory,' as the self-determination of the people of Iraq does not include US sovereignty over their natural resources. We must expose the Lynn Cheney's of our country for the murderous theives that they are, while acknowledging the virtues of the Iraqi patriots who risk their lives to rid their country of foreign invaders.

Posted by: Brojo on January 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Liz Cheney shows that even lesbians can be clear-thinking patriots. She knows her interests are best served by supporting a strong America that tolerates diversity, even perversion. She knows her type would fare badly in a world dominated by Islam.

Posted by: Al on January 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Truth in advertising line the Post left out ....

This delusional, frightened, insane message, brought to you by the folks at Haliburton-KBR-MIC-BigOil, Inc., where our motto is: "We never saw a war we couldn't profit from!"

Posted by: Grok on January 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to agree with the conservative blogger theory:

Ignorance of the definition of the word "fact"? Check.
Lack of any actual facts? Check.
Unsupported assertions? Check.
Failure to even consider, much less address, opposing arguments? Check.
Demonizing opponents? Check.
Over-hyping of the threat? Check.
Strawman arguments? Check.
Jingoism? Check.

She should have been embarrassed to write it; the Washington Post should have been embarrassed to run it.

Posted by: PaulB on January 23, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Uhh - the reason why no one is addressing the merits of the argument is that THERE ARE NO MERITS. It's the same rehashed idiocy that we've been treated to for the past 6 years by the worst president our nation has ever suffered.

Frequency - name one thing Dick Cheney got right as vice president with regard to Iraq. Just one. Name one. Can you even name one thing?

He and his litter of harpies have gotten EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED THING WRONG ABOUT IRAQ!

Name one thing he got right. I dare you. Why should anyone waste time debunking the rantings and ravings of an idiotic lunatic?

Oh and about the creepy junior high school level of the writing - check out that picture of her on the Post webpage. She looks like she's 10 years old.

Posted by: reader on January 23, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

What makes Ms.Cheney's piece childish is that she is dealing in simplistic slogans alone.

We are fighting the war on terrorism with allies across the globe, leaders such as Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan.
Yes, Musharraf. Rather a problematical ally, isn't he? Osama is probably living in Pakistan. Under Musharraf's rule a Pakistani scientist gave nuclear weapons technology to Iran and Libya. I guess Karzai doesn't agree with Cheney about Iraq. "The $300 billion the United States has spent prosecuting the war in Iraq could have been better used stabilizing Afghanistan against the resurgence of the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview broadcast Sunday."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14986859/

There is no doubt that an American retreat from Iraq will embolden Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, . . .
I guess she hasn't heard that Ahmadinejad has been weakened by the Iranian democratic process, because the real Iranian "deciders" think he's a flake. In fact, if it hadn't been for Bush's stupid "Axis of Evil" comments, he might never have been elected to begin with.

No force on Earth -- especially not an army of terrorists and insurgents -- can defeat our soldiers militarily.
Heavens no. That didn't happen in Vietnam. We won. Or we would have won if we'd stayed, right? But worst of all, Cheney doesn't say a word about the Iraqi civil war. How are our soldiers supposed to "win" that militarily? You can't propose a strategy for Iraq without factoring in sectarian violence as well as "terrorists" and "insurgents."

That's why the piece comes across as juvenile. Cheney ignores all the facts and complexities.

Posted by: cowalker on January 23, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite part:

"Beware the polls. In November the American people expressed serious concerns about Iraq (and about Republican corruption and scandals). They did not say that they want us to lose this war. They did not say that they want us to allow Iraq to become a base for al-Qaeda to conduct global terrorist operations. They did not say that they would rather we fight the terrorists here at home. Until you see a poll that asks those questions, don't use election results as an excuse to retreat."

She's right, you know. They didn't.

Sheesh.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on January 23, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing! I am going to have to add this to my archive.

Does she really believe this amateurish agitprop? It reads like some old Soviet propaganda piece with strange ideological logic and dark pronouncements about bourgeois imperialism.

Liz, there is no war on terrorism. There is a war to pacify the Middle East for cheap oil and to impose an American order with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and George Bush’s business friends at the political center of the region. “Terrorists” are just everyone who resists the brilliant plan.

PS It also serves to keep old cold warriors like you employed.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 23, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

>written by someone in junior high?

That's an insult to all kids in junior high.

Posted by: James on January 23, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

The real story here is the amazing number and nearly uniformly anti-Cheney comments that have been posted to her op-ed. More than 50 pages!

Posted by: karin on January 23, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

No, it doesn't read like junior high writing. It reads like nationalistic, warmongering state propaganda.

Which, after all, is exactly what it is.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 23, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Our dear little troll, Kenneth, writes: "By the way, I found it very interesting that Kevin Drum and Josh Marshall both manage to avoid addressing the arguments."

Dear heart, that's because Liz didn't actually make any arguments, much less support them with anything resembling real data, facts, or evidence. When and if she does, I'm quite certain that Kevin and Josh, along with everyone else here, will be happy to address them.

But then, you already knew this and were just trolling. Sad, really... is this the best you can do?

Posted by: PaulB on January 23, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Get your facts straight: Mary Cheney is the pregnant lesbian (with great health coverage from AOL).

Liz Cheney is the simplistic, victory-at-all-costs neo-con.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 23, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or does this column read like it was written by someone in junior high?

More likely it was written for a target audience that reads on a junior high level.

Posted by: e. nonee moose on January 23, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote: "It reads like nationalistic, warmongering state propaganda. Which, after all, is exactly what it is."

True, but I think that what caught Josh's and Kevin's attention is that it's such amateurish warmongering state propaganda. If this really is the best that the Bush administration can come up with, it is in for a very difficult time.

Posted by: PaulB on January 23, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Get your facts straight: Mary Cheney is the pregnant lesbian (with great health coverage from AOL).
Liz Cheney is the simplistic, victory-at-all-costs neo-con.
Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 23, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

. . . And Mary Carey is the former California Gubernatorial candidate.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

It is written to cast a spell on uninformed and impressionable minds (like that of George Bush). It also serves to help the noise machine orient its language to the elites in the politburo and frame the debate.

Gonzales tried to cast a similar spell over habeas. But too many informed people are holding him accountable.


Posted by: bellumergio on January 23, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and about the creepy junior high school level of the writing - check out that picture of her on the Post webpage. She looks like she's 10 years old.
Posted by: reader on January 23, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's Cheney's GRANDDAUGHTER.

THEN, the writing style would make sense. As would the State Dept. job.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Was just thinking that.... wow.

Posted by: dk on January 23, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Marshall: Is it just me or does this column read like it was written by someone in junior high?

More like someone who was homeschooled with textbooks supplied by PNAC...

Beyond that, who the hell is Liz Cheney?

Recounted Wilkerson: “Liz Cheney comes out to this country, and she tells the ambassador—and she doesn't outrank him—she tells the ambassador, ‘You're not going in the meeting with me.' And he says, ‘I'm sorry, I'm going in the meeting with you. You're not going into a meeting with the head of state without me.' And she says, ‘Nope—would you like a telephone call?'”

More fun stuff at the link.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 23, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Example: She says, "Quitting helps the terrorists."

Of course, Starting REALLY helped the terrorists.

Posted by: ckelly on January 23, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Run Hillary Clinton. Squander the Democratic's greatest chance at turning this country around since FDR. Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 23, 2007 at 12:25 PM

I second that completely.

Posted by: Zit on January 23, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Carl Nyberg asked: "Again, what is winning?"

"Winning" is the establishment of a US-backed puppet regime in Iraq which will hand over control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's oil reserves to Dick Cheney's ultra-rich cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies; that will acquiesce to a large permanent US military presence to enforce that control; and that will also serve as a base for launching future wars to seize control of the oil reserves of other countries in the region.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 23, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK
True, but I think that what caught Josh's and Kevin's attention is that it's such amateurish warmongering state propaganda.

Its not amateurish, though; its a quite professional application of broad brush, big-lie techniques. Its not subtle, but then, neither, often, was Goebbels, who was hardly an amateur propagandist.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 23, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Vacuous and trite; nothing but bumper-sticker slogans. Presumably, this is how we Americans can show our "courage"--more yellow ribbons on our cars! These colors won't run! Don't mess with U.S.!

She ought to be embarrassed, but she isn't. She leaves that task to us, who are embarrassed to have such a dangerous lightweight representing our country's interests.

All of us who are grousing here should take a few moments and write to the Post. This really is an outrage.

Posted by: LAS on January 23, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield.

Does anyone think Cheney meant that line as a call for war hawks (Goldberg, Riel, the Ole Perfesser, etc etc) to join up?

Posted by: Gregory on January 23, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Listen trolls if your going to post at least know who your talking about.How hard could it be to learn the diffrence betwen Liz and Mary.Psst"" it kinda makes you look dumb!!!

Posted by: Thomas3.6 1/2 on January 23, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Politicians urging America to quit in Iraq should explain how we win the war on terrorism once we've scared all of our allies away."

Yes, well, any former Bush political appointee urging America to "stay in to win" (or whatever the slogan du jour is these days) who cites the effect redeployment would have on our 'allies' owe us all an explanation: how can this administration's cavalier and self-serving pre-invasion dismissal of its NATO allies -- many of whom had, and continue to have, troops in Afghanistan -- be seen as reassuring to any ally in the war on terror?

Regarding one of the allies Ms. Cheney cites specifically, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan – correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Pakistan where Osama bin Laden and Amin Zawahiri are holed up? And isn’t Pakistan where the Taliban is staging its efforts to re-establish itself in Afghanistan? It seems to me that our ‘ally’ will continue to do what is in the best interests of his country and himself, regardless of what the U.S. does in Iraq.

As to the hemming and hawing about troop levels for which Ms. Cheney takes Mrs. Clinton to task, again it seems to me that a former Bush administration official might care to explain why it's taken this administration nearly 4 years of hemming and hawing to finally decide to override the advice of its generals and raise troop levels -- now, when it is almost certainly too late to influence the outcome?

Finally, a former principal assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs whose opinions, along her credentials, are so deeply indebted to being the daughter of the Vice President -- a man who has proven to be completely WRONG about EVERYTHING concerning Iraq -- must answer the following question: Why should anyone care what you think?

Never mind the steel; how about a little less brass?

Posted by: topper on January 23, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

All of us who are grousing here should take a few moments and write to the Post. This really is an outrage.

Already did. And did anyone read the comments? At 0630, the comments were 16 pages, and I didn't see a single comment agreeing with her stance. But lots of people were making the assertion that if she feels so strongly she should join up.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 23, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

...even lesbians can be clear-thinking patriots...Posted by: Al on January 23, 2007 at 1:01 PM

As long as they aren't married lesbian clear-thinking patriots.

Al, you might want to crawl back under the safety of the Republican umbrella before you get on the bad side of the Rush Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly train. They pounce on wafflers like you.

Posted by: Orwell/Al '08 on January 23, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Victory is the only option. We must have the fortitude and the courage to do what it takes.

Bush and Cheney have had carte blanch since this fiasco started in 2003. Why haven't they achieved victory already? Clearly they haven't done what it takes.

Posted by: ckelly on January 23, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

According to unnamed colleagues interviewed by the newspaper the Australian, she was referred to in the department as the “freedom agenda coordinator” and the “democracy tsar” (March 6, 2006).

Isn't "democracy tsar" an oxymoron.

Of course, after reading her argument, I'm fine with dropping the "oxy" bit.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 23, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's a pleasure to see Bob Somerby posting here. As always, his alerts are worth special attention. But I think that in this particular case it's easy to address his concerns: Sure, Cheney's screed is loaded with simple, easily remembered bullet slogans, and it attempts to plant all the usual associations -- Hillary/defeatist, terrorism/Democrats, etc. But to my mind this childish "essay" is undone by one simple, inescapable question: Who the hell is Liz Cheney (other than the VP's daughter), and how the hell did she get a position in the State Department (other than being the VP's daughter)?

Obviously the WaPo didn't think that nepotistic trivia worth mentioning, but hey, this is the net, and it's easy to get answers. I think Cheney's little foot stomp gives us some splendid arrows. To start with, what kind of man sets his daughter up in a taxpayer-financed sinecure? And what kind of man sends her out to do his dirty work?

Posted by: sglover on January 23, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

That's why the piece comes across as juvenile. Cheney ignores all the facts and complexities.


Like father, like daughter.

Posted by: ckelly on January 23, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

NTodd,

I *totally* coulda written a better op-ed.

Like, totally dude.

Posted by: Edo on January 23, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

sglover,
the same man that has set a president up to do his dirty work. Cheney does it from behind.

Posted by: Fat Old Grump on January 23, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote: "Its not amateurish, though; its a quite professional application of broad brush, big-lie techniques."

I'm going to have to disagree. It so clearly flies in the face of reality, so clearly contradicts what the majority of the people believe, and so clearly is a mindless parroting of long-discredited talking points that I think "amateurish" is an applicable term.

I guess it depends on who its intended audience is. If it's intended to shore up the 30% base, then maybe it was the right thing to do. If it's aimed at the other 70%, though, I would argue that it's a failure. I don't expect very many people to be swayed by this. The "big lie" works only if it isn't contradicted.

"Its not subtle"

On this, we agree.

Posted by: PaulB on January 23, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

The article on the WaPo web site has a photo of Cheney that must be a good ten years old. Either that or she is really a very young, poorly edited novice scribe.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on January 23, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK


orwell: It is because of the lousy school system liberals and progressives have handed us that she has to communicate in the junior high vernacular.


shorter orwell: conservatives are victims

Posted by: mr. irony on January 23, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

There was a time in Soviet history when the propaganda became too remote from reality, when it became such a cartoon, that the people stopped believing it. It was one of the signs of a decaying regime. Sadly the true-believing Soviet authoritarians went on until the end. Fascism did not survive long enough to see what would happen.

The Cheneys are members of a political power cult. Their authoritarian ideology is at odds with most Americans, the vast majority in government and is counter to American tradition. Like the Soviet dead-enders they will go on until the end without changing their views or their assessment of reality. Like good authoritarians they think it shows character and moral resolution. It is really the making of a tragedy for the Republican Party and for the American people.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 23, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

"There is no doubt that an American retreat from Iraq will embolden Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, making it even less likely that the Iranian president will bend to the will of the international community and halt his nuclear weapons program."

Embolden Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Isn't she aware Ahmadinejad is a figurehead? Has she ever heard of Iran's "Supreme Leader"?

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on January 23, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK
I guess it depends on who its intended audience is. If it's intended to shore up the 30% base, then maybe it was the right thing to do. If it's aimed at the other 70%, though, I would argue that it's a failure. I don't expect very many people to be swayed by this. The "big lie" works only if it isn't contradicted.

Ah, see, I'd say this is clearly dedicated at maintaining the grip on the remaining base, of giving the remaining faithful the dogmatic framework in which to interpret the information they receive. The administration is facing total collapse of support, and it and its ideological allies are desperate to stop the bleeding, not reaching out to build bridges to the rest of the country.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 23, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or does this column read like it was written by someone in junior high?

It's embarrasing, and it definitely could have been better, but a few questions are simple.

1. Does quitting help terrorists? It has been argued that the invasion helped the terrorists more than quitting would. So perhaps that question has been answered, but perhaps not. Given that the invasion occurred, does quitting help the terrorists even more?

2. Does quitting undermine the faith of our allies in future wars that we will stick by them? Doesn't abandonment of the Kurds and Shi'ites in Iraq cause them to re-evaluate their dependence on our military?

3. Does talk of quitting make everyone afraid to continue to be our allies in Iraq?

4. If we quit Iraq now, won't that hurt the morale of the military when next it is called upon to go to war? For sure, there will be claims that the administration is dishonest, conducting the war on false pretexts, and making too many mistakes; there always have been.

If a senator voted for the war resolution, and subsequently defended that vote in speeches, and has voted to fund the war, and if that senator wants to be the next president, shouldn't that senator consider the effect that quitting will have on his or her military options once president?

Carl Nyberg: BTW, what is "winning"?

Why do people keep writing as though "winning" is undefined? The two major party presidential candidates in 2004 provided adequate definitions of winning. victory may be unattainable, but it surely is not undefined.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

calibantwo:

The answers to your asinine questions have been given here time and time again, in exhaustive detail, for years now.

If case you need a recap, here they are in shorthand: 1:No; 2: No; 3: No; and 4: No.

If you can't accept those answers, that's your problem. Regurgitating the same idiocy in a weak attempt to give "merit" to your side of the issue is simply trolling at this point.

Posted by: trex on January 23, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK
Does quitting help terrorists? It has been argued that the invasion helped the terrorists more than quitting would. So perhaps that question has been answered, but perhaps not. Given that the invasion occurred, does quitting help the terrorists even more?

"Quitting" isn't an issue. No one is suggesting that the US abandon working to advance legitimate national security, economic, and humanitarian interests in the Middle East. What is being suggested is that the active involvement of US military forces in Iraq is contrary to the US interests in those areas.

"Helping the terrorists" or "hurting the terrorists" isn't the issue (for one thing, there isn't a fixed set of terrorists who are helped or hurt by policy). Helping or hurting the interests of the US is the issue.

Does quitting undermine the faith of our allies in future wars that we will stick by them?

Quitting, again, isn't the issue. What "allies" are you referring to? Our "allies" are withdrawing troops from Iraq and leaving ours alone, the Iraqi public apparently wants the US out soon, and the Iraqi PM reportedly asked Bush to reduce the US involvement and instead got the surge imposed.

Doesn't abandonment of the Kurds and Shi'ites in Iraq cause them to re-evaluate their dependence on our military?

The Shi'ites don't want us in Iraq much more than the Sunnis do; and having Iraqis reevaluate their dependence on our military is something we ought to want. Encouraging dependency is not something that is in the US interest, encouraging self-sufficient, stable regimes is in the US interest.

Does talk of quitting make everyone afraid to continue to be our allies in Iraq?

"Quitting" isn't the issue, again. Also, what's making people afraid of that is manifest failure not "talk of quitting".

If we quit Iraq now, won't that hurt the morale of the military when next it is called upon to go to war?

No, knowing that the political leadership is mature enough to recognize a misguided course of action and not keep sacrificing American lives to avoid admitting error will strengthen the morale of the military.

If a senator voted for the war resolution, and subsequently defended that vote in speeches, and has voted to fund the war, and if that senator wants to be the next president, shouldn't that senator consider the effect that quitting will have on his or her military options once president?

Since abandoning the manifestly failed and materially counterproductive campaign in Iraq will have a salutory effect on US military options (and soft power), that is an argument for withdrawal that anyone, however they voted previously, should consider.

Just as anyone, no matter how they voted previously on the Iraq war, should consider how the progressive destruction of the US military in Iraq would affect both US soft power and military options.

Why do people keep writing as though "winning" is undefined?

Because those who talk about continued military operations in Iraq until "victory" have not present a coherent vision of what victory is and how the operations they support realistically lead us in its direction.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 23, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld: But Lefties have dealt with this "issue" from the start. Quitting Iraq does not help the terrorists, because if we do not have a draft and send a half a million troops, we WILL lose this war, and the terrorists will have their way in a post-invasion Iraq either way. Only then, we'll be powerless to stop them ANYWHERE.

When you think about the editorial staff at WaPo, don't you wonder why they did not ask Cheney to address this point in a rewrite? It's the lack of considerations like that which give the Cheney article its junior high quality.

If the article is mainly a swipe at Sen. Clinton, then perhaps your point is irrelevant, because Sen. Clinton hasn't called for massive reinforcements. when the Senators voted to authorize the invasion they knew what forces were being assembled, and when they voted to support the invasion they knew what forces were actually to be used. Perhaps Cheney is trying to say, obliquely, that Sen. Clinton has a responsibility to try to win the war that she voted to authorize and to support. I confess, that is not what Cheney did in fact write.

Your point is different from Carl Nyburg's question. You have asserted that the war is unwinnable with the resources devoted to it, not that "winning" is undefined.

As Liz Cheney said; "Let's be clear: If we restrict the ability of our troops to fight and win this war, we help the terrorists."
...
So why has Bush consistently restricted the ability of our troops to fight and win by redeploying them from Afghanistan (a.k.a. "the country who attacked us on 9/11) to Iraq (a.k.a. Liz's daddy's little retirement package)?

You are exactly correct here. The Bush administration has imposed restrictions, so Cheney's remark is absurd. Soldiers always fight under restrictions. Even with the more aggressive rules of engagement the soldiers in Iraq are under restrictions.

Maybe WaPo's editors are trying to end the war by publishing bad articles that support the war. "Damning by faint praise" sort of thing. Maybe the only ideas that still support the war are idiotic ideas held by idiots. Not my belief, but it might be theirs.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld: The only thing preventing a massive industrial-scale slaughter is US Air Power. Troops on the ground are not accomplishing anything.

On that I think that you have gone too far. Right now the troops on the ground are putting a dent in the Mahdi Army and rebuilding some of the towns in al Anbar province. Too little, too late? Perhaps, but hardly "not anything".

That reminds me, are the Democrats calling, as you do, for increased troop strength in Afghanistan?

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

topper: Yes, well, any former Bush political appointee urging America to "stay in to win" (or whatever the slogan du jour is these days) who cites the effect redeployment would have on our 'allies' owe us all an explanation: how can this administration's cavalier and self-serving pre-invasion dismissal of its NATO allies -- many of whom had, and continue to have, troops in Afghanistan -- be seen as reassuring to any ally in the war on terror?

I was going to mention that as a counter-point to what I asked above. Not so worded exactly.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

This editorial was written to soften us up for Bush'ss SOTU address. Too adult and professional an editorial (by Kissinger, say, or Brzezinski) would merely make Bush look bad.

Posted by: sara on January 23, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Carl Nyberg: BTW, what is "winning"?

Why do people keep writing as though "winning" is undefined? The two major party presidential candidates in 2004 provided adequate definitions of winning. victory may be unattainable, but it surely is not undefined.--calibantwo

If "winning" has a widely accepted definition, would it be too much trouble to ask you to provide it?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 23, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: No one is suggesting that the US abandon working to advance legitimate national security, economic, and humanitarian interests in the Middle East. What is being suggested is that the active involvement of US military forces in Iraq is contrary to the US interests in those areas.

Well, sure. If the US withdraws its soldiers from Iraq will that increase or decrease our ability to "advance" our legitimate interests? Will our ability to effect change in Iraq and the neighboring regions then rank with our ability to advance humanitarian interests in Darfur?

Everyone knows what the answers to these questions might be, and everyone knows what answers have been presented on this forum. The best that can be said about Cheney's article is that it is a request for the Congress to articulate its answers as it formulates its policy for the future.

I think, however, the argument that "The Democrats can't possibly do worse than what Bush has done" will satisfy a majority.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, she acts as though she's never left high school.

...But so do the majority of people in the country, which is a shame.

Posted by: Crissa on January 23, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

"If "winning" has a widely accepted definition, would it be too much trouble to ask you to provide it?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg"

Not at all. It would be a stable government in Iraq that could defend itself, would try to develop its own abundant natural resources, feed its people and leave its neighbors alone. Some form of representative democracy would be nice but would probably be tribal rather than what we usually think of as democracy. It would probably look a lot like Turkey.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Mike K on January 23, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

If we leave Iraq too soon, the terrorists will start taking over cities in Iraq. Al Queda will be able to set up training camps in Iraq.

I thought this already was the case.

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on January 23, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Victory is the only option."

What the hell is victory in this case? Liz, like other war supporters love to say we must win, but have no workable definition of what winning will be.

Is it making sure no WMDs are there that can be used against us? Check.

Is it overthrowing Hussein? Check.

Is it getting a Consitution written and ratified. Check and check.

Is it electing a government to support the Constitution? Purple thumb check.

As has been noted time and time again, each of these things were the victory we were seeking. Each was a benchmark towards the completion of the Iraqi project. But we have now passed all those benchmarks and frankly many of us don't know what the next benchmark is.

If the Administration could tell us how we will know victory, they'd have a shot at winning back some supporters and with progress perhaps new ones. They can not define what winning means though. The goal posts will always move because there really doesn't seem to be any particular goal but war for war's sake.

We're told that it would be worse to leave. How so? Is it better to let the Shia and Sunni have their grudge match (which we triggered) without us? Or should we stand around and watch while our soldiers play sitting duck? Or do we pick a side and participate in their civil war? I think those are the three curtains right now. Apparently one of those could be labeled "victory" and it would be our only option. So which is it?

Posted by: Gex on January 23, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'll forego extensive comments on this, as the thoughts that occur to me -- mostly having to do with Democrats and liberals complaining about the Cheney influence in the government instead of attacking it -- would not necessarily be appreciated on this site.

I would note that Ms. Cheney, in keeping with administration practice where the relatives of high officials are concerned, did secure a senior State Department position and was confirmed by the Senate with no opposition or controversy that I can recall.

Posted by: Zathras on January 23, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: No, knowing that the political leadership is mature enough to recognize a misguided course of action and not keep sacrificing American lives to avoid admitting error will strengthen the morale of the military.
...
Since abandoning the manifestly failed and materially counterproductive campaign in Iraq will have a salutory effect on US military options (and soft power), that is an argument for withdrawal that anyone, however they voted previously, should consider.

If it works out that way I'll be surprised. If we continue to converse here year after year, perhaps I'll have an opportunity to eat crow. I would bet that, the next time American troops are deployed, friends and enemies alike will ask: are they going to leave as soon as somebody makes a mistake? Or documents faulty intelligence? Or when enemies start bombing their own civilians?

Posted by: calibantwo on January 23, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Al Queda will be able to set up training camps in Iraq.

You realize of course that Al Qaeda is Sunni and Iraq is majority Shia right? And they are fighting each other quite viciously right? But you still argue, without explaining how this might occur, that they will invite Al Qaeda in with open arms? If this is anything like the open arms welcome we received, let it happen!

Posted by: Gex on January 23, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Propaganda on a par that would make Brezhnev blush.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 23, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

These people mistake political goals, like winning, with strategic goals that can actually be achieved by an army. They know nothing about the people they are fighting, not their history, or culture, or goals, and certainly not where the enemy is. They are nothing but politicos who think the US military and the American state are their private war-project force.

They would be saying the same things about the war if the year were 2010 and the US had spent itself into third world status. This is not America’s war. It is their war- a war of choice and Americans are being called cowards for not believing in this private project-war.

The shocking thing is that they have been wrong about everything for years and people still listen to them. Corporate executives could not have been so wrong and so ruinous without being called to account.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 23, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

I hope one of your close friends or relatives die in that attack.

Extradite Rumsfeld, I generally agree with your posts, but this is never okay to say.

Posted by: Gex on January 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Get your facts straight: Mary Cheney is the pregnant lesbian (with great health coverage from AOL).
Liz Cheney is the simplistic, victory-at-all-costs neo-con.
Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 23, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

. . . And Mary Carey is the former California Gubernatorial candidate.

... And Mariah Carey is someone else completely. Who incidentally has as much clue to what Victory (tm) means as Liz Cheney.

Posted by: Gex on January 23, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

The best that can be said about Cheney's article is that it is a request for the Congress to articulate its answers as it formulates its policy for the future.

How on Earth could anyone honestly say that about Cheney's article?

Oh, it's Marler. Never mind about honestly, then...

Posted by: Gregory on January 23, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Not at all. It would be a stable government in Iraq that could defend itself, would try to develop its own abundant natural resources, feed its people and leave its neighbors alone. Some form of representative democracy would be nice but would probably be tribal rather than what we usually think of as democracy. It would probably look a lot like Turkey.--Mike K

Thanks, Mike K.

If you would be so kind as to answer a follow-up question.

Compared to the current situation, was the United States closer to winning before Bush invaded (while Saddam Hussein was still in power)?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 23, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote: "Ah, see, I'd say this is clearly dedicated at maintaining the grip on the remaining base, of giving the remaining faithful the dogmatic framework in which to interpret the information they receive."

It's possible, certainly. I'm not sure that anything will sway that fanatic 30%, though, so I had assumed it was aimed at getting just another few percent of the opposition to rethink that opposition. Hard to tell. It certainly seems to have worked with calibantwo.

Posted by: PaulB on January 23, 2007 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK
I'm not sure that anything will sway that fanatic 30%

I don't think the fanatics are 30%, which is one reason that in some polls Bush is already below that number. And I don't think he's hit bottom, yet, either.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 23, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Not at all. It would be a stable government in Iraq that could defend itself, would try to develop its own abundant natural resources, feed its people and leave its neighbors alone. Some form of representative democracy would be nice but would probably be tribal rather than what we usually think of as democracy."

Golly, you could almost be talking about the United States!

Posted by: Kenji on January 23, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's screed goes nicely with the opinion page piece in today's Wall Street Journal which touted "China's Gift"-referring to their satellite interception as a gift in the form of a wake-up call for all us deluded peaceniks and a darned good incentive to pour resources into military R&D to counter their challenge. Day-yum, how could we progressives have been so blind as to press for the non-militarization of space?

Posted by: dware on January 23, 2007 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

"
Thanks, Mike K.

If you would be so kind as to answer a follow-up question.

Compared to the current situation, was the United States closer to winning before Bush invaded (while Saddam Hussein was still in power)?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg "

No, it wasn't. Saddam had invaded Kuwait and we expelled him. The ceasefire had certain conditions that he did not fulfill. We made major mistakes after the war, chiefly allowing him the use of his helicopters so he could put down the Shiite rebellion that was encouraged by Bush I. The assumption seems to have been that his own people would overthrow him and the resulting turmoil would keep Iraq out of mischief for a decade.

That didn't work. Then we had the sanctions that required daily sorties to enforce the no-fly rules. We protected the Kurds after seeing what happened to the Shi'a and that resulted in a standoff for a decade. Had 9/11 not happened, we would probably have withdrawn by now and he would still be in power.

After 9/11, in dealing with a culture like that of the Arabs, which relys on a shame-honor code, we could not be seen allowing Saddam to win the standoff. The Russians and French were propping him up and making billions in the process. He has been a French client since the 1980s. We had to deal with him.

It's too bad that a reasoned debate about what to do was impossible in 2002-2003. I don't think we had a good alternative but the screeching about "Bush lied" has made it impossible to discuss.

Posted by: Mike K on January 23, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I sent the following this AM to Josh Marshall about Liz Cheney's column:

Mr Marshall:

You wrote earlier today:

"Actually, give it (Liz Cheney's op-ed) a read. Is it just me or does this column read like it was written by someone in junior high?"

The column does in fact receive a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 8.6.

I do not know how that fits into the distribution of WaPo Op-eds.

Posted by: John M on January 23, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think we had a good alternative but the screeching about "Bush lied" has made it impossible to discuss.

Yeah, people are funny that way about egregious abuses of Executive power that rise to the level of impeachable offenses, particularly when they are compounded by the involvement of military power and a criminally negligent lack of planning that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, destabilizes the Middle East, increases the threat of terrorism, and bankrupts the treasury in the process.

Too bad we couldn't have ignored all that and instead had a pleasant discussion about your hysterical concerns with paper tiger Saddam Hussein instead.

Man, do we suck.

Posted by: trex on January 23, 2007 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Liz Cheney's op-ed read like it was translated from the PowerPoint original.

Posted by: Jim M on January 23, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Liz Cheney's article is nothing more than that of a "cheerleader." A high-school cheerleader at that--hence the high school level of the writing.

These Bushies are nothing more than cheerleaders. They believe that the entire Iraq adventure is a game. I have noticed it quite a bit on right wing web sites. "Americans don't like to lose." To them, it's nothing more than a football game.

Unfortunately, unlike in a game, in war people die, and the Bushies aren't going to die. The people who are going to die are not only the Americans who invaded, but also Iraqis. The later are what most Americans ignore--Iraqis are dying, too.

Posted by: raj on January 23, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad that a reasoned debate about what to do was impossible in 2002-2003. I don't think we had a good alternative but the screeching about "Bush lied" has made it impossible to discuss.--Mike K

What about the pro-war crowd dismissing anti-war arguments, questioning the courage and patriotism of Bush's critics?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 24, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

"What about the pro-war crowd dismissing anti-war arguments, questioning the courage and patriotism of Bush's critics?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg "

You mean like this one ? I know it's not a fair comparison but there are lots of people on your side making statements like Charlie Rangel. I wonder how Webb likes having his son thought a loser who couldn't get a job ?

Posted by: Mike K on January 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: I will see your Rangle and raise you two Coulters and a Limbaugh:

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."
-- Ann Coulter, MSNBC

“Soldiers are just cowards…The lowest IQ men in our society, those incapable of normal careers enlist. Their choice in life: Prison or the military. Some of them will have to die in support of our cause.” Ann Coulter 11/06/2006

“The troops are expendable. They are not smart enough to live here, in the real world. So we have them over in Iraq to do what we tell them to do. If some of them get killed? It’s no big deal. I mean, what are any of them going to contribute or amount to anything when they come back home? All they are good for is having more children, to fight in future wars? Working in garages? Doing low minimum wages work at some car or processing plant, out in Amarillo? They are better off being in the military and being told what to do. IF A FEW OF THEM DIE, WE ARE ALL BETTER OFF, ANYWAYS.” Rush Limbaugh, April 2004

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 24, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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