Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NYET!....The latest from our commander-in-chief:

Speaking somberly on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving on a trip to New York, Bush said he was willing to meet with Democratic leaders "as many times as it takes to resolve our differences," but he signaled no intention to compromise with them on the funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As I recall, that was approximately the Soviet style of "negotiation" during the Cold War. Who says Bush never learns from history?

Kevin Drum 2:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (99)

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Comments

My 2.5 year old son has a better grasp of what it takes to resolve differences than this asshat.

Of course, The Boy is not the "leader" of the free world, so it's understandable that he acts like a petulant child every once in a while. What the hell is Bush's excuse?

Posted by: Mark D on April 24, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

How'd that one work out for the Soviets?

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on April 24, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell is Bush's excuse?

this

Posted by: Disputo on April 24, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Just another brick in the Endless War wall. Bush's position is entirely consistent with the Republicun long-range foreign policy plan.

Posted by: CT on April 24, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK
this Posted by: Disputo

Oh my ...

Someone get some Centrum Silver and a gallon of water to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, STAT!!!

Posted by: Mark D on April 24, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Is the new funding bill any different from the previous one?

Posted by: Steven Jong on April 24, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I know you're from SoCal, and everyone down there seems to have an inner Ronald Reagan, but really.

No, Kevin, this wasn't the Soviet style of negotiation during the Cold War. The USSR entered into a number of treaties, and while they were tough negotiators, they did conclude treaties that required them to make concessions. They accepted limits on sizes of armies, on numbers of missiles deployed, and accepted means of verifying those concessions.

Bad as the Soviets were, they, unlike the Boy King, understood that negotiation (the real thing) was sometimes called for.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 24, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck him. Every day it becomes more apparent that the Dems need to keep their foot on this assholes throat. Half the money is an end-run around congressional oversight anyway.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

You have to be careful when you're trying to resolve differences with someone who thinks that the November 2006 election, when over half of the people polled wanted a reduction in our involvement in Iraq, was a mandate for increasing our troop strength.

Posted by: Nemo on April 24, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin claims Bush never learns from history. If so, leading Democrats have gone him one better. They refuse to learn from what's going on right now.

The Democratic position seems unrelated to the actual progress and problems with the surge in Iraq. They don't seem to want to know how well the surge is succeeding. They are simply responding to political considerations.

Their position may be smart politics. The war doesm't have majority support.

However, from a public policy and humanitariam point of view, the Dems are digusting. They don't care how many Iraqis die or how strong America's enemies become, provided that they win the election.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Why would someone who believes he is beyond the laws of this nation feel it necessary to deal in any way with the legislative branch of government?

He believes he can get his own way, do whatever he wants with no consequences because that is how he grew up. And god says so, too.

Or never did.

Grow up, that is.

And, personally, I don't think god would be that stupid either.

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Negotiating with Congress...negotiating with Iran... what's the difference? We don't talk with our enemies.

Posted by: jrw on April 24, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

re: ex-liberal's comments

That's what I call a Mobius Moment. A responder could change the political references appropriately, keep the charges verbatim, print them on the other side of a strip of paper, give the paper a half twist, and glue the ends together. Wah-La! An argument to keep ex-liberal happy for hours.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

From Shel Silverstein:

I know a way to stay friends forever,
There's really nothing to it,
I tell you what to do,
And you do it.

Posted by: Misplaced Patriot on April 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Believe it or not, I see Bush's problem here. He's spent so much time wrapping himself in this "war," that for him to say "oh, ok, let's stop" would be like saying he might as well not have been President.

Which is something we can all agree would have been much, much preferable to the past 6 years and the next 2.

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

"I will meet with them as many times as necessary to order them to bend to my will...."
-Der kleine Fuehrer

or in other words, "Give me the money and nobody gets hurt..."

Posted by: GOPNemesis on April 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Gromyko was Mr. "Nyet", as I recall.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch on April 24, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Maintain the pressure. Somewhere in the "firewall(s)" is a weak point that will, sooner or later, break & there will a be a shift in the dynamics of our political system.

Be ready for that situation by preparing now.

Maintain the pressure.

"Eventually, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall." - Robert C. Byrd

Posted by: daCascadian on April 24, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

However, from a public policy and humanitariam point of view, the GOP is digusting. They don't care how many Iraqis die or how strong America's enemies become, provided that they win the election.

fixed it for you.

Don't forget, the whole point of the war was to win the 2004 elections, and then cement a permanent GOP majority. Like every other Bush project, that isn't going so well.

Posted by: craigie on April 24, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

...from a public policy and humanitariam point of view, the Republicans are digusting. They didn't care how many Iraqis died or how strong America's enemies became, provided that they won the next election.

Yeah. That worked for a while, didn't it, never-ever-liberal.

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

craigie and notthere, your idea that Bush overthrew Saddam in order to win the 2004 election is unsupported and preposterous. After we prevailed in Afghanistan, Bush was hugely popular. He could have just sat on that popularity, and he would have been re-elected easily.

When Bush decided to attack Saddam, it was clear to all that he was risking his popularity by taking on a new war. It's a good thing Kerry was such a feeble candidate, or Bush's gamble might have lost him the 2004 election.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"The Democratic position seems unrelated to the actual progress and problems with the surge in Iraq. They don't seem to want to know how well the surge is succeeding."

By all means, tell us how many coats of paint have been slathered across Baghdad school rooms & hospitals. Tell us why Diyala Province is fast becoming a death trap for US soldiers. And while you're at it, tell the families of those nine soldiers killed in Baghdad just how safe that city has become since the surge began.

"However, from a public policy and humanitariam point of view, the Dems are digusting. They don't care how many Iraqis die or how strong America's enemies become, provided that they win the election."

They won the election precisely because they DO understand how many lives have been wasted, and how much more numerous America's enemies have become since this fool's errand began, you lickspittle. Why do you hate the will of the people? The reason the war doesn't have majority support is because it's been run by a bunch of complete eedjits who never anticipated the chain of events they set in motion. The only creatures left with less sense than they are you morons who still think they're going to get it right someday.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 24, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush has learned from history - his father's. His father successfully ginned up a war against Iraq and then lost the next election. The lesson learned by Bush the lesser was that the war needed to be continued so long as he wanted to use it as a campaigning point. If Bush hadn't had the war to back him up he would have lost to a badly trained puppy - he had no real accomplishments and 9/11 happened on his watch. The only arrow in his quiver was being a "War President." The idea that Bush invaded Iraq for anything but partisan political gain was undermined when Andy Card told us about how and when you introduce a new marketing campaign.

Posted by: heavy on April 24, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal:

I opposed the War before it became mainstream. I opposed the war before most Democratic leaders & pundits did. Why? Because it was poorly thought out, and no one had any plan for winning the peace.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. It would have been great for me to be wrong, but I wasn't. Now, the American people are getting sick of this. The moderate Democrats are joining the leftist ones.

Until you engage with the reality in Iraq, you just will not understand why the rest of us are taking the position we are. I understand that Republicans are only concerned with winning elections, so you perceive that as being the motivation of the rest of us. But that's NOT all we care about. And until you step outside your current point of view, you will consider to live in a delusional world fed by the modern media & right-wing & Republican party.

In truth, we all feel sorry for people like you, but not nearly as sorry as we feel for our fellow citizens and the Iraqi people who are suffering so you can live out your little glorious dream life.

Posted by: MDtoMN on April 24, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Wanted:

A pill that will put me into suspended animation until 2008.

Y'all can wake me when "Augustus stupidus" is either dead, impeached, or no longer President.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 24, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you're right Kevin, Bush did study history and learned that the Dems' style of
"negotiations" with the Soviets consisted of bending over and taking it like Monica did with Bubba.

They folded like a house of cards then and Bush is betting that they will fold again when push comes to shove. Based on your understanding of the Dems Congressional leadership, do you think he's right or wrong?

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 24, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "ex-liberal" referring to someone else's position as "disgusting."

Posted by: Gregory on April 24, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

the Dems' style of
"negotiations" with the Soviets consisted of bending over and taking it

Okay, Chicounsel, I call. Example? Put up or shut up.

Posted by: Gregory on April 24, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

See I'm a war President see...
I read three George Washington biographies recently see...
So I know about Gerneralin' and I know about Presidentin'
In other words see...
I'm a CEO President...
And 43 knows what it takes.
So sure we can have a talk, I'm willin' to sit and talk see..
Hey! historians are still talkin' about 1 see...
Why should 43 care what they say about him today when they are still can't decide about 1?
See...
War Presidentin' ain't easy.
It takes visioning and hard work and a lot of sacrifices.
That's why I understand what the American people are going through see.
And that's why I'm willing to sit down at the table with the Democratic Party leaders see...
Because see... in other words see...
A war President has got to listen...
And then decide...
Which is different you see...
Than the deciding and then listening.
See...


Posted by: President Bush on April 24, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bush will lose this fight, both with Congress and with public opinion, which I think he is counting on. When Bush realizes that the public has left him despite his hysterical appeals for supporting the troops, he will collapse and become like Wilson in his last days as president. I hope that is how it plays out.

Posted by: Brojo on April 24, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Never-ever-liberal: "...your idea that Bush overthrew Saddam in order to win the 2004 election is unsupported and preposterous...."

And he ran his re-election campaign centred around what, exactly?

Certainly less preposterous than the idea that he went there to rid us of the threat of WMD, or to free the people and bring democracy to Iraq and then the region.

You'd have to be certifiably ignorant of all the know facts, history, and the experience of all our leading military and foreign affairs experts, as well as a teensy bit touched by belief in your own judgement and the word of god in your ear....

Oh! Never mind, then.

Posted by: notthere on April 24, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"... Bush did study history and learned that the Dems' style of "negotiations" with the Soviets consisted of bending over and taking it like Monica did with Bubba."

Impressive. You've demonstrated a complete ignorance of domestic politics related to the Cold War while at the same time showing everyone that you don't understand the difference between anal sex & a blowjob.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 24, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK
After we prevailed in Afghanistan,

That'd be funny if it weren't so horribly pathetic.

It must suck to wake up every day and be you ...

Posted by: Mark D on April 24, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal", your idea that Bush could have just sat on that popularity, and he would have been re-elected easily is unsupported and preposterous. Given the personal and political shortcomings of the mendacious, incompetent and corrupt little man whose water you carry, you'll note that -- save for a few spikes tied to particular events -- Bush's popularity trended in one direction: Down.

Bottom line, "ex-liberal": The American people have deceided it isn't worth expending American lives and treasure on Bush's failed occupation of Iraq. You weep crocodile tears about the Iraqis and insist that we must stay -- but since you've already admitted you and your family aren't serving, and you support a President who insists on paying for his war with a tax cut, your self-righteousness has no basis, because it isn't costing you anything.

Not even shame, since it's clear you don't have any.

But your increasingly shrill comments are satisfying in a way, because they give away your dawning realization that your neocon agenda is dead, torpedoed by the mendacity, incompetence and corruption of the party you support.

Loser.

Posted by: Gregory on April 24, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Even if by some miracle the Senate could muster the 2/3 needed to impeach Cheney, he'd simply take up some position like 'adviser', or Cardinal, and continue as if nothing had happened.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK
……They don't care how many Iraqis die…ex-lax at 3:53 PM
Speaking of 'humanitarian,' not only has Bush killed more Iraqis (500,000+) than Saddam, he has caused the worlds largest health and refugee crisis and the US is doing nothing to provide help. America could not invent a policy designed to strengthen its enemies more if it tried. This is another Bush success for you. Posted by: Mike on April 24, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK
Even if by some miracle the Senate could muster the 2/3 needed to impeach Cheney, he'd simply take up some position like 'adviser', or Cardinal, and continue as if nothing had happened. Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Cardinal Fang, perhaps?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 24, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I spun my "Who's to blame" arrow and today it comes up with Barbara Bush for raising a spoiled son who was never told to behave.

Clearly, Bush's arrogance has become his undoing, but it is our troops and the Iraqi people who are suffering from Bush's hubris.

Still, I hope that the Democrats take Bush up on his offer not to extend the funding for another year. If he vetos the funding, they should make it clear to him that he won't get any new funds for the war. None.

As long as we find new ways to alienate the Iraqis, like the Wall example below, there is no possible way for us to win the occupation. Bush is a fool. We were fools to listen to him and his merry band of creeps.

Posted by: freelunch on April 24, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I talked to Jim Webb last Friday about the use of bills requiring proper training, limiting deployment time, etc., instead of dates per se. I don't know why the media, the Prez, the public etc, pro or con, are so obsessed with dates as such. We can wind down the war indirectly by limiting deployment, and avoid criticisim about how a "date certain" surrenders or etc. to our enemies. (BTW, bungling the war so we did just about or did lose it is far worse than to *say* that we lost it....)

Posted by: Neil B. on April 24, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

well, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. . .

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

that is, ref:Dr. Morph.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, Chicounsel, I call. Example? Put up or shut up.

Posted by: Gregory on April 24, 2007 at 4:26 PM |

I don't how old you are so I don't know if you remember the Dems' embrace of the nuclear freeze movement to counter Reagan's policy of placing Pershings II in then West Germany; their opposition to the Reagan buildup of the armed forces that included all the weapons systems that served us so well in the first Gulf War in the 90s and today; their fantical opposition to the concept of strategic defense ("Star Wars") then as being too "provocative" to the Soviets or to its deployment now; their blind faith in the process of "arms control"; their refusal to see the Soviets as the threat they were in much the same way they refuse to see the threat posed by rouge states that could provide WMDs to Islamic terrorists groups.

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 24, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

How old are you, Chicounsel? The Cold War was in its last quarter by the time Reagan took office, and the Soviet "threat" was in steep and obvious decline (Afghanistan, Solidarity). And here I thought you were going to explain to us how Truman rolled over for the Berlin blockade, or JFK rolled over for the missiles in Cuba.

Posted by: emartin on April 24, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"threat posed by rouge states"

I think that line comes from the Republicans' fears of "the homosexual agenda."

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK
Perhaps you're right Kevin, Bush did study history and learned that the Dems' style of "negotiations" with the Soviets consisted of bending over and taking it like Monica did with Bubba.

Which Democrats, exactly, are you talking about? Truman? Kennedy? Johnson? Carter?

Posted by: cmdicely on April 24, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, you have to watch out for those rouge states, chicounsel. They distract you with their heavy makeup, then they whack you with their handbags.

Posted by: mrgumby2u on April 24, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

If he kept his shoes on, he didn't learn anything.

Posted by: TJM on April 24, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

A society that couldn't manage an effective potato farm wasn't much of a threat, but it was a convenient threat, because it wasn't much of a threat. It was a safe threat. The kind of thing a Republican can deal with.

It was Reagan's belligerance that kept the Soviets from collapsing faster by giving them a rationale for existing. Instead of helping them to a soft landing, they were shoved off the edge into the state they're in now, Putin's Russia, in many ways an ideal Republican society.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel. Those aren't examples, those are regurgitated talking points. I don't remember any "blind faith" in "arms control." I do remember arms reduction negotiations, starting with that famous lefty Richard M. Nixon. I remember opposition to the Star Wars because, well, it wouldn't work. I remember hearing about these weapons systems that served us so well during the Gulf War which, it turned out, didn't work so well. See "Patriot"

And about these "rouge states..."

Posted by: thersites on April 24, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

There was an article somewhere (I'd link it if I could remember where) about how the US managed the transfer of modern computer equipment to the Soviets in the 60s and 70s because the Pentagon determined that the biggest threat from the Soviet Union was one of their shoddy ICBMs going off accidentally.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

mhr --

a. it's called the Democratic party.
b. Victory isn't Unamerican. But is wasting human lives in a useless war American?

Posted by: thersites on April 24, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

'an article somewhere' last week, I meant to say.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

So we have two parties taking opposing positions on a policy matter and neither side is prepared to cede to the other.

But according to Kevin, only one of those parties is being intransigent.

Partisans are funny. In a sad, stupid little way.

Posted by: am on April 24, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: not only has Bush killed more Iraqis (500,000+) than Saddam

On the contrary, most of these Iraqis were brutally killed by various insurgent groups. These barbaric killers are the ones Bush and the US are currently fighting to defeat.

If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get their way, we will stand aside and let these barbarian kill whoever they like for as long as they like.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

The thing about the whole Al Qaeda wins if we leave Iraq doesn't hold up very well. The current Iraqi government is dominated by Shi'a as would be expected in a region with a majority Shi'a population. Their near neighbor, friend and supporter, Iran, is also predominately Shi'a.

So explain to me again how a Sunni fundamentalist sect backed by the House of Saud will set up its nascent caliphate in Iraq?
The Sunni insurgents are from the majority sect of Islam and think they were robbed in the election. The current government has no real interest in doing anything about it because we'll do it for them.
It's clear we learned nothing from Viet-Nam since we still don't get that Maliki has a different agenda than we do. It's to get and keep political, military and economic advantage for the Shi'a and screw the Sunnis. And the Kurds if they think they're going to just walk off with Kirkuk.

Posted by: TJM on April 24, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

TJM - you have a good point. If we pull out, a more likely scenario is that after hundreds of thousands are killed in a real civil war, Iraq is eventually controlled by a puppet government of the Mullah's in Iran. Maybe that's a better outcome than al Qaeda taking over, but it's pretty terrible long-term as well as short-term.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

You were never a Democrat, mhr, but I don't doubt you're ill-informed enough that you can think that.

No one on Earth was ever frightened of Reagan. Mystified by him, certainly, but never frightened.

His military build up was nearly as much a fraud as the Iraq war.

As Christopher Hitchens put it, I only saw him once up close, which happened to be when he got a question he didn't like. Was it true that his staff in the 1980 debates had stolen President Carter's briefing book? (They had.) The famously genial grin turned into a rictus of senile fury: I was looking at a cruel and stupid lizard. His reply was that maybe his staff had, and maybe they hadn't, but what about the leak of the Pentagon Papers? Thus, a secret theft of presidential documents was equated with the public disclosure of needful information. This was a man never short of a cheap jibe or the sort of falsehood that would, however laughable, buy him some time.


So very Republican.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

If we pull out, a more likely scenario is that after hundreds of thousands are killed in a real civil war, Iraq is eventually controlled by a puppet government of the Mullah's in Iran.


Even if that should come about, what of it? It's surely better if Iran were stuck in a quagmire than us.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

When the US leaves Iraq the Shiites will pound the Sunnis into submission or the Sunnis will pound the Shiites into submission. The conflict between the largest, poorest group of people of Iraq, the Shi'a, and the richest, most politically powerful, the Sunni, was inevitable whenever Saddam was no longer in power. All of this was well understood before the illegal US invasion and patiently explained to the prowar Americans.

If those same prowar Americans were actually serious about the lies they repeat regarding a resulting bloodbath in Iraq when the US leaves, they would be calling for the US to back Muqtada al Sadr as the defacto leader of Iraq and encouraging Iran to help with the transition to a Shiite led society. But the prowar advocates do not back any logical solution to their dreamy nightmares of hundreds of thousands of more dead Iraqis, they back a continuation of the status quo, which has already led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The prowar advocates do not care at all about the suffering of Iraqis nor about the Americans serving in Iraq. It is difficult to imagine what it is the prowar Americans want. They want to preserve an image of America as the world's righteous policeman, a kind of Judge Dredd. They want to preserve US military hegemony in the world and realize Bush's folly in Iraq has destroyed that Twentieth Century left over. They want to preserve Israel's military hegemony in the Middle East, but realize that the insurgency in Iraq is a lot like the defense of Lebanon seen last sumemr and it makes them afraid Israel may have to negotiate honestly with Palestinians and return many of the lands stolen by war and violence. Why Americans should worry about Israeli hegemony is not well understood by me, but it is an excellent source of conflict and bigotry that many thrive upon.

Overall, though, I think it is American machismo that drives the prowar, pro-Bush and pro-Israeli factions. They want to impose their authority on others forcefully. It is the force that satisfies them.

Posted by: Brojo on April 24, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK
…. most of these Iraqis were brutally killed by various insurgent groups… ex-lax at 6:24 PM
It is the legal duty and responsibility of an occupying power to provide safety, security and substance to the occupied people. Bush has completely failed in his legal obligation. Every excess death in Iraq is the fault of the occupier no matter how you try to deny it. The blood of the Iraqi dead is on Bush's hands.
….Three years after Reagan left office the USSR ceased to exist.…mhr at 6:31 PM
Which is why the fall of the Soviet Union cannot be credited to Raygun but to Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Pity that your Republican idol Bush has looked deeply into the heart of a KGB apparatchik Vladimir Putin and saw love there. Carter is twice the man Ragun was, that's why Ragun's government was so corrupt and a sponsor of right-wing death squads
….Maybe that's a better outcome than al Qaeda taking over…ex-lax at 6:46 P
There exists a real civil war in Iraq now, but your assertions are pulled out of thin air just as the other statements by administration officials. The al-Qa'ida in Iraq is a small group and will not take the country over. The Iraqis are not going to become a providence of Iran. If Iraq is split up along ethnic lines, the Shia part of Iraq may develop closer ties, but everything the Loyal Bushies have said about the Middle East has proven to be in error. You have zero credibility. Posted by: Mike on April 24, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is eventually controlled by a puppet government of the Mullah's in Iran.

There is zero evidence to support this happening. It is nothing but hysteria.

It's true that Iraq and Iran have good relations, much to the chagrin of Princess Bush. But there is no evidence that puppetry has or will happen. In fact many of the prominent Shia groups are fairly hostile to Iranian influence and the Sunni and Kurds are deadly hostile to it.

Frankly you're a blithering idiot for even suggesting it as a possibility. Do you not read the news or books?

Posted by: trex on April 24, 2007 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

And the Congressional Democrats will meet as many times as it takes to impeach and imprison Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 24, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

And the Congressional Democrats will meet as many times as it takes to impeach and imprison Bush and Cheney.

iirc, Congressional authority is limited to removal from office. Indictment and imprisonment would come from civilian courts after a successful impeachment bid.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 24, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Global C: You excite us all with your indictment talk!

I do think the Congress can remand them to custody with U.S. Marshalls awaiting their arraignment.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: Sparko on April 24, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Probably on the finding of a guilty verdict by the Congress, the capitol police could take them into custody pending criminal indictment for the high crimes and misdemeanors that precipitated their removal from office.

Perhaps an attorney can explain the exact mechanism.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 24, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: It is the legal duty and responsibility of an occupying power to provide safety, security and substance to the occupied people. Bush has completely failed in his legal obligation. Every excess death in Iraq is the fault of the occupier no matter how you try to deny it. The blood of the Iraqi dead is on Bush's hands.

Let's see if I follow your reasoning, Mike. You seem to be suggesting that if we pull out and millions of Iraqis then die in a full-fledged civil war, that's OK with you. Since we would no longer be an occupying power, those millions of deaths wouldn't matter, since they wouldn't be our fault.

Enough sarcasm. I grant you that we didn't handle the occupation successfully. However, we have not been an occupying power for some time. We are allies of a democrat country helping that democracy defeat a brutal insurgency.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

We are allies of a democrat country helping that democracy defeat a brutal insurgency

You just can't help yourself can you ex(stasy-addled)? Even when trying to flatter Iraq's government.

Posted by: ckelly on April 24, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: As I recall, that [not compromising] was approximately the Soviet style of "negotiation" during the Cold War.

This comment tickles me. During the Cold War, liberals loved negotiating with the Soviet Union. They loved the SALT talks. It was the far right wing who opposed such negotiations. E.g., a right-wing best-seller was "You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists)" by Fred Schwarz.

Forty years later, Kevin has acknowledged that the far-right was correct and the liberals were all wet. Forty years from now, I suspect people will acknowledge that Bush was right and his liberal opponents were all wet.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

However, we have not been an occupying power for some time.

If we're not an occupying power then how come we can build walls when the Prime Minister says not to?

How can we arrest Iranian diplomats in defiance of the government's demands they be released?

Only an occupying power could do that.

Posted by: trex on April 24, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: During the Cold War, liberals loved negotiating with the Soviet Union.

Yeah, they kept writing steamy letters about it to Penthouse.

Lying tool.

Posted by: Gregory on April 24, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

You're a bit muddled with the Soviet analogy, Kevin. Bush is showing Reagan's resolve, while Pelosi will collapse like Gorbochov.

Cheney is like Bush Senior, a strong presence in the background, while Obama is like Shevardnadze, well-meaning but ineffective.

Hillary is Yeltsin, a power-hungry demigogue.

I could go on, but you get the idea

Posted by: Al on April 24, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

a more likely scenario

didn't take much to change your mind, did it?

Iraq is eventually controlled by a puppet government of the Mullah's in Iran.

you made that up,didn't you?

It's just as likely, (since we can't test the hypothesis, I can just throw it out), to say that the ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis in Baghdad is enhanced by the walls being built. We're doing it to keep the Sunnis from getting out to launch attacks. But, the Shi'a know where they are. There won't be any Shi'a behind that wall.
Let's not forget, though, that Sunni is the majority sect of Islam. The Iraqi government has only a small window for any large-scale attacks;they can't afford to piss off all the rest of their neighbors. We were careful not to give them stuff like artillery, an air force or a navy.

Posted by: TJM on April 24, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

I-call-myself-"ex-liberal"-to-make-my-assertions-seem-more-credible: "Forty years later, Kevin has acknowledged that the far-right was correct and the liberals were all wet."

Kevin acknowledged no such thing.

You are simply incapable of constructing a post that doesn't contain at least one mischaracterization of your opponent's position.

They are doing great work on compulsive strawman disorders at the University of Chicago; you might want to look into it.

Posted by: Dwight on April 24, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

fx-liberal, During the Cold War, liberals loved negotiating with the Soviet Union. They loved the SALT talks. It was the far right wing who opposed such negotiations. E.g., a right-wing best-seller was "You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists)" by Fred Schwarz.


I bet there aren't three liberals on Earth who have ever even known this book existed, and probably not that many, and 'ex-liberal' isn't one of them.

Lucky for everyone you can see it right here, 'published by the Christian Anti-Communists Crusade'./a>

A great example of pandering to the infantile dullard.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

cld, in fact, right wingers were hawking the book near campus when I was at UC Berkeley in the mid-1960's. I wouldn't have dreamed of buying it or reading it, for the reason you state: it was published by a far-right group.

Based on the title, I assume the theme of the book was that we ought not negotiate with the Soviet Union because of their inflexible commitment to their goals. As I said, Kevin's post made a surprisingly similar point.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 24, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm..

AI showed a somewhat independent opinion in his last post, where he called Yeltsin a "demagogue".

Was that statement in the specs that were sent over for the automated blog posting routine? I'm not sure the central technical review board approved that one...

Posted by: kokblok on April 24, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Based on the excerpt it seems to be a standard condensation of the social conservative and authoritarian mental disability view of whomever they don't like at the moment, which characteristics, for the most part, describe themselves with breathtaking fidelity.

But, though I don't know you, I feel certain you weren't a liberal in those days either, though you may have been caught up, briefly, in what I am led to understand, was love.

Posted by: cld on April 24, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

the exquisite purity of ex-liberal's know-nothingism is always wonderful to behold, but i think tonight's stupidity award has to go to mhr, who honestly seems to think that reagan and not the russians themselves ended the soviet union.

but still, ex-liberal makes a good running by asserting that kevin is admiring kremlin behavior!

and these clowns think that we give a good god-damn about their recycled idiocies concerning iraq. touching, innit?

Posted by: howard on April 24, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

ex-thinker: "They don't care how many Iraqis die or how strong America's enemies become, provided that they win the election."

I know you must have meant to say "repubs"... Aat this point, most Americans see a picture of Dck Cheney next to the word "disgust". What's wrong with YOUR eyesight, anyway?

Posted by: Kenji on April 24, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo: When the US leaves Iraq the Shiites will pound the Sunnis into submission or the Sunnis will pound the Shiites into submission. The conflict between the largest, poorest group of people of Iraq, the Shi'a, and the richest, most politically powerful, the Sunni, was inevitable whenever Saddam was no longer in power. All of this was well understood before the illegal US invasion and patiently explained to the prowar Americans.

If those same prowar Americans were actually serious about the lies they repeat regarding a resulting bloodbath in Iraq when the US leaves, they would be calling for the US to back Muqtada al Sadr as the defacto leader of Iraq and encouraging Iran to help with the transition to a Shiite led society. But the prowar advocates do not back any logical solution to their dreamy nightmares of hundreds of thousands of more dead Iraqis, they back a continuation of the status quo, which has already led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

the gludgeoning that you speak of is not inevitable. It could be a separation like India-Pakistan (bloody), Czech Republic and Slovakia (not bloody), or a canton system like Switzerland (does everyone think that Switzerland was always peaceful?)

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 24, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's basic "negotiating" stance is that we will begin talks as soon as the other party concedes the major point of the negotiations. Eg, we will talk with Iran about their nuclear program as soon as they stop their nuclear program.

Posted by: anandine on April 24, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

"the gludgeoning that you speak of is not inevitable. It could be a separation like India-Pakistan (bloody), Czech Republic and Slovakia (not bloody), or a canton system like Switzerland (does everyone think that Switzerland was always peaceful?)"

This should be good. Where do we sprinkle the fairy dust to bring this about?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 25, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

As this has come up several times and not been tackled at all, I thought I would.

One of the things that makes GWB so unbearably and predictably dangerous is his willingness to tear up all prior treaties and agreements that he doesn't agree with. (Goes with being preznit, see.) Don't have to obey the laws of the nation, don't have to conform to agreed and signed treaties.

However, administrations of all colors since 1945 until 2001 maintained a fairly consistent dialogue with the rest of the world that was for everyone's benefit.

All difficult international negotiations take years to come to agreement and signing, so there's not much point if there is a total change in direction with each administration.

PTBT signed in 1963.
Outer Space Treaty 1967.
NPT opened for signitaure July '68.
ABMT signed 1972.
SALT I started in 1969 and was signed in '72.
SALT II continued from there but wasn't signed until 1979.
TTBT signed July '74.
IRNFT signed Dec '87.
START I was signed July '91.
CTBT signed Sep '96.

And then, of course, there are all the trade, intelligence, international finance agreements, etc., etc., and the coming need for a world embracing environmental agreement.

This idea that any responsible government isn't involved in dialogue and negotiation with enemies and friends alike is only the product of this particular shit-for-brains administration and their equally ignorant trolls.

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Indictment and imprisonment would come from civilian courts after a successful impeachment bid.

Yes, and a US Attorney has to bring the charges and prosecute the case, I believe. If that is the case, suck eggs, liberals. The US Attorneys are already vetted and put in place to block your machinations.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 25, 2007 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Where do we sprinkle the fairy dust to bring this about?

I'll answer your question with another. Do you think that the fairy dust will appear when American troops are withdrawn?

Are we to believe that it doesn't matter how many Iraqis die after American troops withdraw because they are all the fault of Bush?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 25, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

MatthewRmarler --

None of them seem to matter a jot to these guys. I hear and see boy-wonder wring his hands when he has an opportunity for US losses, but you have to remember that it was this administration that made the conscious decision ("we don't count bodies") to make no attempt to count Iraqi deaths or casualties, restore their hospitals, protect and maintain hospital and clinic staffs.

In fact they went much further and deliberately set up a very 2-tier health system: us and them.

As it is obvious that this administration makes no contingency plans, and, if this surge fails, will presumably follow it with yet another surge, Yes!, they bear all the responsibility for all the lives lost.

And besides, we only have their judgement to tell us there will be a blood bath and they've been wrong on everything else. But that is far more likely if you don't plan to bring the country to some political resolution.

Which they don't!

So who's to blame?

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Marler,
I'd agree that partition is a possibility (in fact, the most probable outcome) despite what we do. A competent administration would have a plan for it and figure out how to manage the devolution gracefully with a minimum of deaths. But that is not this administration.

Posted by: mcdruid on April 25, 2007 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

cld, in fact, right wingers were hawking the book near campus when I was at UC Berkeley in the mid-1960's.

Ah! Well, that explains a lot about ex-liberal -- his brain is simply fried from all the acid he took. Poor sad old man.

Posted by: Stefan on April 25, 2007 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

It may be a minor point, but Bush is not "our commander in chief." He's commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, which is not the same thing.

Posted by: Alan Vanneman on April 25, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

He's commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, which is not the same thing.

That's right, and the US Armed Forces protect your right to be a nitpicky prig. Ergo, Bush is your Commander in Chief.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 25, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK


That's right, and the US Armed Forces protect your right to be a nitpicky prig. Ergo, Bush is your Commander in Chief.

You're an idiot.

Posted by: TheDeadlyShoe on April 25, 2007 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

the president is the commander in chief of the armed services. ergo, Unless you are in uniform, he is not *your commander in chief.*

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

"That's right, and the US Armed Forces protect your right to be a nitpicky prig. Ergo, Bush is your Commander in Chief."

I'm not sure exactly what you are suggesting here. Is it that the armed forces, who have the weaponry to defend us, could also use those weapons to coerce us? And that's why Bush is "our" commander in chief? I'm sorry, my brilliance may not match yours, but I don't really see another way to read that. Wait, unless you mean it in a "good shepherd" sort of way--Bush commands the border collies that guard the flock of us sheep and also direct us to the correct pasture, ergo Bush commands us. In either case, how charmingly Soviet of you to think that.

Posted by: Dano on April 25, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I was also struck by Kevin's comparison of negotiating with the USSR vs. Democrats negotiating with Bush. What I read into this is the idea that Bush is the Dems main enemy, just as the USSR was during the Cold War.

Note that Bush did compromise when negotiating nukes with North Korea and with Libya. But, Dems aren't interested in America's enemies. Their enemy is George Bush.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 25, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Dude, your ex-liberal schtick is old. We all know that your true enemies are those who oppose the Soviet style governing of George W. Bush where the entire apparatus of governing is subsumed into the political organization.

The Democrats aren't represented by Kevin Drum. He wasn't elected, doesn't hold any party offices, and is merely one voice among many.

This in contrast to George W. Bush who represents the Republican Party first and foremost and who is holding the troops hostage in order not to be at the helm when the United States admits that its war against the people of Iraq is a failure.

Posted by: heavy on April 25, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

That's right, and the US Armed Forces protect your right to be a nitpicky prig.

The Constitution protects my right to be a nitpicky prig.

This is why Republicans find it such an offensive document and will mis-characterize it reject it at every opportunity.

Posted by: cld on April 25, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

"I'll answer your question with another. Do you think that the fairy dust will appear when American troops are withdrawn?"

No, I don't. But then again I didn't buy into the neocon pipedream that this would be fast, cheap, and wildly successful, either. And here you are -- after the bloodletting that's already taken place -- suggesting that the country can now be partitioned without further "gludgeoning." What is it with you guys, that you can completely ignore the track record of this administration's war policy and suggest the most Pollyanna-ish things with a straight face?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 25, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

a1 says:"The Democratic position seems unrelated to the actual progress and problems with the surge in Iraq. They don't seem to want to know how well the surge is succeeding. "

it would seem there would be three ways to know how well the surge is succeeding:
1) check it out for yourself. probably suicidal and also impractical.
2) take the word of Bush and the military. proven now to be socipathic liars (cf. tillman, pat, lynch, jessica, and of course WMDS)
3) just assume that its going as well as every other operation in OIF- as in "failing."

which option should we take?

Posted by: a1 on April 25, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

ex-thinker: "Their enemy is George Bush."

No, but almost. OUR enemy is George Bush.

Posted by: Kenji on April 26, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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