Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 4, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LEAVING IRAQ....In the current Newsweek, moderate conservative weathervane Fareed Zakaria makes a bunch of excellent points about the almost complete lack of serious national security discourse in the Republican campaign these days ("it has turned into an exercise in chest-thumping") and the related fear of Democrat hopefuls that they need to join in lest they be thought soft ("the party remains consumed by the fear that it will not come across as tough. Its presidential candidates vie with one another to prove that they are going to be just as macho and militant as the fiercest Republican.")

As important as this is, though — and it's well worth reading — what he says about Iraq might be even more important:

In order to begin reorienting America's strategy abroad, any new U.S. administration must begin with Iraq. Until the United States is able to move beyond Iraq, it will not have the time, energy, political capital or resources to attempt anything else of any great significance.

....The administration has — surprise — tried to play up fears of the consequences of a drawdown in Iraq (which is always described as a Vietnam-style withdrawal down to zero). It predicts that this will lead to chaos, violence and a victory for terrorists. When we listen to these forecasts, it is worth remembering that every administration prediction about Iraq has been wrong.

....As for the broader Sunni-Shiite civil war, even if we improve the security situation temporarily, once we leave the struggle for power will resume. At some point, the Shiites and the Sunnis will make a deal. Until then, we can at best keep a lid on the violence but not solve its causes. To stay indefinitely is simply to keep a finger in the dike, fearful of the outcome. Better to consolidate what gains we have, limit our losses, let time work for us and move on.

This gets it precisely right. Our foreign policy is at a standstill right now, held hostage by Iraq and unable to move in any sensible direction as long as we're there. Only if we get out can we start making serious progress against violent jihadists and their murderous and growing influence on Mideast public opinion.

As usual, though, Zakaria doesn't quite have the courage of his convictions. Rather than suggesting we leave Iraq, he wants only to draw down our forces to 50,000 troops, a strategy that would almost certainly represent the worst of all worlds: a big enough number to keep the Arab public convinced that we intend a permanent imperial presence in the region, but too small a number to accomplish anything effective. Whether we like it or not, a presence like that will imply an ongoing police role in Iraq, but without enough troops to carry out that role.

A much better option would be to draw down nearly to zero, keeping troops and air support nearby but not physically within Iraq. Otherwise the pressure to intervene will rear its head constantly and Iraq will remain the festering centerpiece of American foreign policy, preventing us from devoting our attention to more serious issues. We can't afford that, and neither can Iraq.

Kevin Drum 12:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (142)

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Comments

send Al.

Posted by: Trypticon on June 4, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

But if we're not killing (and being killed by) Scary Brown People over there, the SBP will kill us over here. "They" attacked us on 9/11!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on June 4, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Once we were "nearby but not physically within Iraq," under what circumstances would we go back in? I'm trying to imagine how this could happen. Iraqis are hardly likely to invite us back, and a few tens of thousands of troops aren't enough to mount an invasion against resistance.

I guess we could try to SWAT team out the losing government ministers if they are being overrun, and if they're somebody we like enough to care about. Or, once we're gone and they are burning Hillary in effigy at every corner in Baghdad, we could launch a strike to encourage them to pipe down a little. But really, I have no idea what the over-the-horizon force thinks it is supposed to do.

Posted by: jimBOB on June 4, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You just don't get it, do you.

Were not leaving Iraq. President Bush the other day made a very cojant argument in favor of making Iraq into the new South Korea. I think this is exactly right. A strong, economically vibrant Iraq is exactly whats needed to move into the era of the new Middle east. For security concerns, we are needed for the long haul, perhaps an even bigger force.

But right now, we have a couple thousand dead enders and Al Qeda fighting against this vision. Theres is one of backwardness and darkness. Ours is freedom and prosperity. Thats why this fight is so cruical.

Posted by: egbert on June 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

The last G.I. to die in Iraq already exists, unless we never leave. Maybe that's what's going on.

Posted by: Brendan on June 4, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is exactly right. A strong, economically vibrant Iraq is exactly whats needed to move into the era of the new Middle east. For security concerns, we are needed for the long haul, perhaps an even bigger force.Posted by: egbert on June 4, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. - Benjamin Franklin
Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 4, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas Ricks, author of Fiasco, made some interesting
comments about a kind of partial drawdown too last weekend on Ira Glass'es show 'This American Life'

Worth a listen.

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=333
This American Life

Posted by: rms on June 4, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

"the related fear of Democrat hopefuls"

Could we please just stop internalizing and repeating Republican slurs?

Please?

Just stop?

Please?

Posted by: Winston Smith on June 4, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Zakaria's not unreasonable, but I still want to know this; when he says Better to consolidate what gains we have, exactly what gains are we consolidating?

Posted by: thersites on June 4, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

The most important foreign policy objectives for the United States are international disease control, combating illiteracy, promoting bottom-up development, and poverty eradication. The most important way to get there is through international cooperation. For what we spend in Iraq every week, never mind, don't get me started.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on June 4, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

"an exercise in chest-thumping"

Sad to say, that's probably what will win the election. Listen to your radio and be afraid.

Does anyone in Canada need an aging C/assembly language programmer with a superficial knowledge of the classics? Please?

Posted by: thersites on June 4, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Better to consolidate what gains we have, exactly what gains are we consolidating?

I think Mr Zakaria means taking the profit gains of the defense contractors and those who invested with them into new, lower risk investments that do not depend on the Republican war machine.

Posted by: Brojo on June 4, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

This is just more wishful thinking. It's all well and good to suggest these potential "plans" (as stupid as Zakaria's "50,000 troops" suggestion is), but none of them are going to happen while Bush is in power.

Bush, his base, and many of the Republican candidates for POTUS believe that Iraq can be saved "if only we..." or "when we...". The next corner is only six months away, "we just need to...".

Just fuckin' shoot me.

Posted by: ihateemo on June 4, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Zakaria: In any event, it is time to stop bashing George W. Bush.

Wrong, Zak. The day Bush leaves office is the time we can stop bashing him. Then the historians can take over. I wouldn't mind some prosecutors getting their hands on him, either.

If you want to rebuild America's image in the world, you need get us out of Iraq. To do that, you need a Dem in the White House. To do that, you need to repeat the message each and every day: we're in a bad situation and it's the fault of Bush and the Republicans.

(By the way, I am doubful that anyone will get the U.S. out of Iraq 100%. Even if we leave the cities, and even if the government falls to a bunch of jihadist thugs, we'll probably maintain some bases in the desert for decades to come. They'll say we need that presence to protect our interests in the region, and no one's going to be able to stop us.)

Posted by: JJF on June 4, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Joel Rubinstein, precisely.

If we wanted to spend $n,000,000,000 over there so we didn't spend it over here, just think what might have been achieved.

Humans are a sorry species. Or at least most of those that pull the strings.

Posted by: notthere on June 4, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's a matter of Zakaria not having the courage of his convictions, but I agree with Kevin that the partial drawdown idea doesn't accomplish what we need to.

Zakaria is concerned about what would happen if the American army left Iraq -- or even left only the Arab-majority provinces of the country -- completely. We all ought to be clear that what would happen, could be pretty bad. Would it be worse than what is happening now, in terms of general violence and the slaughter of civilians in particular? Very possibly. It could be a lot worse.

The question is whether this possibility is a good enough reason to maintain a smaller but still expensive American commitment in Iraq -- not worth it to the Iraqis, but worth it to us. It isn't.

The problem we need to deal with goes beyond the fact Zakaria notes, that the American government is consumed with the Iraq problem. It would make sense for the government to be so consumed if Iraq were truly central to our destinies. The problem is instead that it isn't. It is one, mid-sized Arab country, and nothing more than that. Whether the United States ever should have assigned Iraq the priority it did can be debated, but if there ever were a time for it that time has passed. Whether the United States is able to conduct an effective foreign policy that serves our interests overseas matters, not just to us but to the world. It matters more than the Arabs of Iraq.

Posted by: Zathras on June 4, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

2,000+ Iraqis and 127 U.S. killed in May. 15 U.S. killed in first 3 days of June. It'll be 600+ U.S. killed in 1st 6 months of 2007. Will this change? How many more Freidmans to see? We better hurry and start the Genocide because we have Iran yet to do with Nigeria coming after that. Nigeria will be a lot of fun because we haven't had a good jungle war in a long time.

Posted by: R.L. on June 4, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the weakest point in Kevin's analysis:

"Our foreign policy is at a standstill right now, held hostage by Iraq and unable to move in any sensible direction as long as we're there. Only if we get out can we start making serious progress against violent jihadists and their murderous and growing influence on Mideast public opinion."

Putting to one side the vague, subjective and debatable comment that "foreign policy is at a standstill," what conceivable basis is there for Kevin's certainty that "only if we get out" can we make "serious progress against violent jihadists." First, it seems an innately illogical and perhaps ridiculous proposition that retreating from violent jihadists where we actually have Muslems fighting with us against them is the "only" way to make serious progress against violent jihadists.

But even if you could get past that point, Kevin ignores the obvious -- what actually happens if we leave. Until he can state with a reasonable degree of support what will happen with us getting out, his conclusion that getting out is the only way to make serious progress against violent jihadists is simply unsubstantiated wishful thinking. Zakaria (who perhaps Kevin is adopting on this issue) is not any better -- he assures us that the Shia and Sunni will make a deal at some point - a proposition that is not necessarily true and even if the "at some point" makes it true, it ignores what happens before the deal and the effect of what happens on us.

It is one thing to argue that our continued presence in Iraq is not worth the cost and we are willing to accept the bloodshed and other consequences of getting out; it is another thing to engage in fantasies about how getting out is the only way to make progress against violent jihadists.

One other point is that Kevin and others always treat Arab mind as some type of simplistic child. Now he says the Arab public will view our continued presence as the intent to maintain an imperial presence. The Arabs are like anyone else, smart enough to form their opinions based on our actions and, if our actions succeed not only in removing Sadaam but also helping Muslems in Iraq establish a decent country with freedoms found nowhere else in the Arab world, they will recognize our good intentions.

Posted by: brian on June 4, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Democrat" Hopefuls????

Puh-leeze!

Posted by: xtalguy on June 4, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Leaving Iraq makes progress against the most violent and destructive of jihadists, whom many Americans call the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Haliburton, Blackwater, etc. These people and institutions are the real
enemy of America and the world.

Posted by: Brojo on June 4, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

"A much better option would be to draw down nearly to zero, keeping troops and air support nearby but not physically within Iraq."
When we finally withdraw, we will still need an outsize force of Marines to guard the the U.S. embassy -- which, legally, is extraterritorial, so I guess that's right.

Posted by: Dabodius on June 4, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

brian, what a pathetically ignorant set of remarks at 1:44, so empty of meaning despite their length that it's hard to respond seriously.

still, let us at least reach to the key point: it is now the official white house line that korea is one helluva model for iraq.

and the people of the middle east are therefore perfectly capable of reading that for what it is: imperialism.

which isn't going to help us one bit.

try and use some synapses, why doncha?

Posted by: howard on June 4, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: A strong, economically vibrant Iraq is exactly whats needed to move into the era of the new Middle east.

like when it was nice and cozy?

"The Middle East looked nice and cozy for a while." - President Bush 5/24/07

Posted by: mr. irony on June 4, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Destroy that damned embassy.

Posted by: Brojo on June 4, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

The last G.I. to die in Iraq already exists, unless we never leave. Maybe that's what's going on.
Posted by: Brendan on June 4, 2007 at 12:52 PM

Yes. Because the sound of closure on this mess is going to be deafening, unless it never closes.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 4, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

What could possible be more important than killing the bad guys in Iraq?

Posted by: james waller on June 4, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

What could possible be more important than killing the bad guys in Iraq?

Posted by: james waller on June 4, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Like Brian, I disagree with Kevin's contention that, "Our foreign policy is at a standstill right now, held hostage by Iraq."

Our liberal media coverage is at a standstill, held hostage over Iraq. Fortunately, the Bush administration pays little attention to the New York Times and its ilk. Lots of foreign policy is going on. We and our allies continue efforts in Afghanistan. We recently bombed a suspected al Qaeda base in Somalia. We are negotiating with NK and Iran. Our negotiations with those two countries have been ineffective IMHO. But I think our defeat in Iraq would make those negotiations even less likely to be effective.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic from CNN, regarding the foiled JFK terror plot:

A wiretap transcript given to CNN by the FBI indicates the alleged plotters targeted the airport because of the popularity its namesake, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/02/jfk.terror.plot/index.html

A radical islamist terror plot characterized as "more ambitious than 9/11" foiled by wiretaps authorized by the Patriot Act.

Those are results you can't argue with. Thanks Dubya, for keeping us safe at home.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 4, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

The Arabs are like anyone else, smart enough to form their opinions based on our actions and, if our actions succeed not only in removing Sadaam but also helping Muslems in Iraq establish a decent country with freedoms found nowhere else in the Arab world, they will recognize our good intentions.

Unfortunately, here's what Muslims see right now:

- WMDs did not pan out like the Americans claimed
- "Shock and Awe"
- Torture
- Guantanamo
- American security contractors (ie. mercs) running rampant
- War profiteering
- Permanent bases being built
- al-Hurra is run by people who don't even speak Arabic
- Sunni/Shi'ite death squads and overflowing morgues
- Daily bombings

You're right that Arabs will form their own opinions based on what they see on the ground. What do you think that opinion will be, based on the above, hm?

Posted by: ihateemo on June 4, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: brian, everyone's favorite faux-reasonable concern troll, criticizes someone -- anyone -- else for a weak argument.

Sadly not ironic alert: "ex-liberal," everyone's favorite perfeptuallt dishonest, willfully obtuse, deliberately insulting neocon propaganda robot, agrees with brian. Not surprisingly, "ex-liberal" then trots out a series of dishonest and unevidenced assertions -- top ofg the list being the existence of a "liberal media" -- to support this original dishonesty.

Shame on you both.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo at 1:56 PM

Hey, you forgot me!

Donald A. "out, damned spot" Rumseld

Posted by: thersites on June 4, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

When you look at how a clear and thoughtful statement like Brian's is treated here, do you ever wonder why all you attract for counterarguments are simple-minded trolls?

Posted by: rossum on June 4, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

It is true my prior comment was too long. But how about someone explainting why the "only" way to "start making serious progress against violent jihadists" is to retreat from where there are thousands and where Muslems are fighting along side us? See what happened today: Iraqi soldiers killed a senior Al-Qaeda leader, Abu Abdullah al-Adhab. Can we at least call that a good thing?

Posted by: brian on June 4, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

sportsfan79 on June 4, 2007 at 2:21 PM:

...characterized as "more ambitious than 9/11"

As characterized by the alleged perpetrators.

...foiled by wiretaps authorized by the Patriot Act.

From the CNN article you so thoughtfully provided a link for:

The alleged plot was revealed when the planners tried to recruit a person who was a law enforcement informant, sources said.

That would make you, ah...wrong, sportster.

Those are results you can't argue with.

I just did. And I'll add that levelling Fallujah doesn't fight terrorism while good intelligence and police work around the world does.

Thanks Dubya, for keeping us safe at home.

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" has kinda jumped the shark as a catchphrase now, hasn't it? Looks like being in Iraq hasn't done a damn thing to stop terrorist activity in the US.

Posted by: grape_crush on June 4, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

one question for Kevin: if keeping US troops in Iraq convinces Muslims that we have imperial ambitions, how does pulling them out and keeping them somewhere else in the region change that calculus? I'm not arguing for keeping the troops there, but implicit in Kevin's argument is that we need to find another way to maintain the empire.

Posted by: jeremy on June 4, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Now Gregory, I happen to think ex-liberal made some progress today, so let's be encouraging in the hopes that he can make some more at a later date.

Lookit:


We are negotiating with NK and Iran. Our negotiations with those two countries have been ineffective IMHO. But I think our defeat in Iraq would make those negotiations even less likely to be effective.

Now, the tenses are a bit problematic, but there is some positive evidence of some slight understanding of some of the foreign policy complexities that have stymied his Daddy President.
It's a long step, I grant you, but eventually, he may come to understand that our defeat in Iraq was a done deal the moment that it was decided to go into Iraq. One day, he may even realize that in so doing, President Bush did exactly what Osama bin Ladin wanted the U.S to do, and OBL didn't want that because of the effects on US negotiation with North Korea or Iran.

Posted by: kenga on June 4, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Two points, (which, BTW, I have also made on Yglesias' blog regarding this subject. ).


1) The United States, for structural reasons based on the economy, lacks the substance to back up the "superpower" status it has previously claimed. It is facing a long-term decline best compared to that England faced in the 20th century.

2) Guerrilla warfare has established itself as a credible counter to the US conventional military. The idea created largely as a result of Gulf War I that we could have high tech, shock and awe, smart bomb wars with few casualties and a low cost is gone. Already countries such as Venezuela and Iran are challenging the US while guerrilla activity spreads to the Niger delta, to Columbia, to Somalia, and elsewhere. This is a different game, and people simply aren't going to play by our rules.

These shall be realities beyond any president's control; and the best that can be done would be to accept them and make the most of things within those constraints.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on June 4, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here" has kinda jumped the shark as a catchphrase now, hasn't it? Looks like being in Iraq hasn't done a damn thing to stop terrorist activity in the US.

I might also point out that inasmuch as these silly so-called "plots" hacve been stopped, they've been done so not by military means but by law enforcement.

As for the JFK plot, for all the predictable scaremongering, the operational details are about as stupid as the jackass who wanted to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch. Setting aside the fact that jet fuel doesn't explode like gasoline does in the movies, there's the fact that pressurized piplelines don't carry combustion any more than lighting your gas stove blows up the lines under the street.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK
…always treat Arab mind as some type of simplistic child…brian at 1:44 PM
Using sanctions to cripple a country for over a decade, invading and killing hundred's of thousands of their people and torturing others at Abu Ghraib are actions that speak louder than any Karen Hughes propaganda ever will.
Our liberal media coverage is at a standstill, held hostage over Iraq…ex-lax at 2:11 PM
Can anyone find one foreign policy success from either Powell or Rice? Have they closes a single deal, make the slightest difference in the world? By the way, the New York Times is another neo-Con rag whose editorializing and slanted news articles were all pro-Bush from the lies they published during the Clinton era, to the lies they indulged in during the 2000 campaign, to the run up to the war.
... with. Thanks Dubya,...sportsfan79 at 2:21 PM
Some claims by a US Attorney who's a loyal Bushie may impress bedwetters, but in fact, there were no steps taken past the talking stage and none of the 'plotter's had the expertise to carry out the plan. Actually, even if the plan could have been carried, it would not have worked. Every so often, some hair-brained "plot" is discovered and the Republican media go into an Augie-Dogie moment for a few days until the absurdity of it becomes better know. Posted by: Mike on June 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

gregory, way to kick ex-liberal's butt!

brian, it's long been evident to anyone with half a brain that the iraqi people see al qaeda as an interloper and don't support them. what does that have to do with anything? what exactly is it that you think is so laudable here?

Posted by: howard on June 4, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the terrorists are all a bunch of clowns who couldn't blow up anything. Look, here comes a group with--get this--boxcutters!

Posted by: dnc on June 4, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the terrorists are all a bunch of clowns who couldn't blow up anything.

Nice straw man, there. They could have blown up part of the JFK fuel system -- if they actually had, you know, explosives -- but this snarky straw man fails to refute the point that the catastrophic consequences the terrorists --and the media -- are so fascinated are mere fantasy.

Look, here comes a group with--get this--boxcutters!

Friendly advice: Bush apologists, even snarky ones, would do well to avoid the subject of preventing hijacking, unless they're prepared to describe what actions Bush took in response to the August 6 PDB warning of al Qaeda's ambitions to do so.

Other than telling the briefer "you've covered your ass, now," of course.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, you've been landing some sweet punches today. I'm stuck in moderation. :-(

Posted by: kenga on June 4, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

Read the August 6th memo again sometime.

Meanwhile, you can look at what Gore did the one time he had a shot at airline security, then tell me the Bishop of Gaia would have done anything with any memo at all.

Posted by: monkeybone on June 4, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

dnc: Yeah, the terrorists are all a bunch of clowns who couldn't blow up anything. Look, here comes a group with--get this--boxcutters!

monkey: Read the August 6th memo again sometime.

On July 10, 2001, CIA chief George Tenet and his counterterrorism deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so concerned about intelligence pointing to an impending attack by al-Qaeda that they called an emergency meeting with Condoleezza Rice and her National Security Council staff to issue a warning.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2006/11/think_again_911.html

fewer americans died from terror from 1993 to 9-11..

president bush fixed that..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 4, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Read the August 6th memo again sometime

You mean this one, bonehead? The one whose very title -- Bin Laden determined to strike in US -- Bush tried to keep secret? Good idea!

Hm, well, bonehead seems to imply reading the August 6 PDB would lead to a different conclusion. Let's see...

FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

Meanwhile, boner, shall I take your "Hey, look over there! Al Gore!" as a tacit admission that Bush, so far as we know, did nothing -- i.e., you give Bush a free pass for doing nothing because you assme Gore would have done the same?

Why dodge the question, boner? What action did Bush take to defend the nation from the threat of an al Qaeda hijacking?

It's rare we have so open an admission of dishonest partisanship -- didn't you get the RNC memo? Usually brian, "ex-liberal," Marler and their ilk pretend, however unconvincingly, to be posting in good faith.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

brian: The Arabs are like anyone else, smart enough to form their opinions based on our actions and, if our actions succeed not only in removing Sadaam but also helping Muslems in Iraq establish a decent country with freedoms found nowhere else in the Arab world, they will recognize our good intentions.

You mean like the good intentions Bush demonstrated by lying about WMDs and Iraq-al Queda links?

You mean like the good intentions Bush demonstrated by imprisoning and torturing innocent Iraqis?

You mean like the good intentions Bush demonstrated by not sending enough troops to get the job done and then later sending an insignificant handful extra to be butchered solely to get the war past his doorstep?

You mean like the good intentions Bush 41 demonstrated by abandoning the Kurds to Saddam's poison gas attacks and then giving Saddam more foreign aid?

You mean like the good intentions Nixon and Ford demonstrated when they backed the tyrannical Shah who arrested, tortured, and murdered innocent Iranians?

You mean like the good intentions the GOP demonstrated by sponsoring Saddam's unprovoked attack on Iran?

You mean like the good intentions Bush 41 demonstrated when he abandoned the Shiites in Southern Iraq to Saddam's butchering?

You are such a dimwit.

------------------------

But how about someone [explaining] why the "only" way to "start making serious progress against violent jihadists" is to retreat from where there are thousands and where [Muslims] are fighting along side us?

1) Muslims are "fighting along side us" [to the limited extent that is true, and it mostly isn't] because we've bribed and threatened them, not because they love us.

2) The Muslims "fighting along side us" are also the ones betraying us.

3) Most of the combatants fighting US troops are not "violent jihadists", but freedom fighters whose country has been wrongly invaded - they are doing just what American citizens would do if we were invaded by a foreign power.

4) The majority of "violent jihadists" are not in Iraq, so our troops are wasted there, if you believe that a military solution is the answer.

5) Bush's (and Cheney's) goal is not to stem "violent jihadism", but to increase it so they can justify other aims, control of energy resources, revenge on Iran, hatred of Arabs, revenge on Saddam, hatred of Muslims, protection of Israel at any cost, and a host of other similar reasons held individually or jointly by the neocons and Bushiites.

6) For every "terrorist" killed, we are creating several new ones - even "terrorists" (and by this I mean any Arab or Muslim who can be conveniently described as a terrorist for GOP propaganda purposes) have families and friends.

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is paralyzing US political discourse and foreign policy because the Democrats have decided to make it so. They'll opt to do the same with any military mission against which the wind blows even slightly, for political gain.

This is not a serious argument for departing Iraq.

Posted by: apetrelli on June 4, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

That was the extent of the "hijacking threat" in the memo. The rest of the memo assumed an attack using explosives similar to the first WTC attack, and all the examples given in the memo described such attacks.

Only someone incapable of parsing a simple sentence could twist "consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York" into an attempt to hijack airplanes and plow them into skyscrapers.

And yes, I do consider it significant that Al Gore, who the Left has deified to the point where they believe he would have stopped the attacks cold if he had been President, did not in reality behave in this manner in the one documented case where he was actually close to the issue.

Posted by: monkeybone on June 4, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

apetrelli: They'll opt to do the same with any military mission against which the wind blows even slightly, for political gain.

Liar.

It was Democrats (Kennedy and Johnson) who advanced the Vietnam war.

It was Democrats (Roosevelt and Truman) who saw us through to victory in WWII.

It was a Democrat (Clinton) who saw us win a significant victory against genocide in Kosovo and Bosnia without losing a single soldier.

And it was Republicans who wanted us to run away from war in the latter two instances and it was Nixon who ran away from Vietnam.

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

monkeyboner: Only someone incapable of parsing a simple sentence could twist "consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York" into an attempt to hijack airplanes and plow them into skyscrapers.

Hmmmmmm.

Let's see.

Individuals are focusing on hijackings and federal buildings.

Now, could they be hijacking federal buildings?

Nope.

Could they be throwing federal buildings at airplanes that have been hijacked?

Ummmmm, nope.

How would those two things, federal buildings and hijackings be connected, I wonder.

Hmmmmm . . . maybe they were just intending to land the airplanes on the roof and then hijack some more people?

Gee, monkeybrains, show us how those two things, federal buildings and hijacked planes, could be rationally connected in any other way than ramming the planes into those buildings.

You dipsh*t Nazi apologist.

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

That was the extent of the "hijacking threat" in the memo.

No, monkeybone, it wasn't. The following sentence I quoted indicated that the FBI was still concerned about the possible threat of an al Qaeda hijacking.

Only someone incapable of parsing a simple sentence could twist "consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York" into an attempt to hijack airplanes and plow them into skyscrapers.

Only someone sufficiently, dishonestly partisan could pretend that "consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks" does not warn against a possible al Qaeda hijacking.

Ah, but it's that bit you added that you dishonest partisans -- from Condi Rice's "no one could have imagined" forward -- have been using to distract from Bush's abject and evident failure to take any action at all to defend against hijacking -- a known threat regardless of what the terrorists intended to do with the aircraft, and one for which there are known countermeasures, worse luck for Bush.

Who said anything about plowing the airplanes into buildings? I asked you what response to the warnings about hijacking Bush undertook.

You dishonest Bush apologists -- but I repeat myself -- pretend that the fact that the terrorists used the airplanes as missiles excuses Bushs failure to take action to prevent the hijacking in the first place. But if the hijacking was prevented, then whatever the terrorists intended -- be it ramming the planes into buildings, systematically shooting the passengers on TV or selling the planes on eBay -- is also prevented.

Note, too, that we aren't debating the effectiveness of any action Bush took -- you have yet to establish that Bush took any action at all. And you give him a free pass, which you genrously acknowledge as motivated by blind partisanship.

So again, boner, answer the question -- what action did Bush take in response to being warned of al Qaeda's preparations to hijack a US airliner?

We all know the answer -- "you've covered your ass, now" -- why are you so ashamed to admit it?

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

One more thing, boner: Al Gore, who the Left has deified to the point where they believe he would have stopped the attacks cold if he had been President

You never run out of straw men, do you? I assert that Gore would have taken action in response to the August 6 PDB, and I further assert that in doing so, he's one up on Bush, who so far as we know took no action at all.

Now: Can you cite any action Bush took, or do you merely assert -- as I already noted -- that you give Bush a free pass for doing nothing because in your partisanship you believe Gore would also have done nothing, so it's okay?

And if that's so, do you really want to imply that you'd have given Gore a free pass as well? The partisan tone of your posts suggests otherwise, bonehead my boy.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

monkeycheeks: Al Gore, who the Left has deified . . .

This coming from a dimwit who has truly deified Bush and continues to do so despite abyssmal failure of every single policy and utter inaccuracy in every prediction about Iraq!

Talk about cheeky!

The "greatest" predictions of the Bush administration:

"Mission Accomplished"

"We've found the WMDs!"

"They will welcome us with parades."

"Iraqi oil will pay for the whole war."

"They are in their last throes!"

"Saddam is six months from a nuclear weapon!"

"Democracy in Iraq will spread throughout the region and destroy the basis for international terrorism."

"The war won't take more than six months!"

"The surge will bring us victory."

"The GOP will not lose the election in 2006!"

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Our troops did the job they were asked to do. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They conducted the search for weapons of mass destruction. They gave the Iraqi people a chance for elections and to have a government. It is the Iraqis who have failed to take advantage of that opportunity."

Hillary Clinton last night in the debate blaming it all on the Iraqis.

Posted by: quo on June 4, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

quo: Hillary Clinton last night in the debate blaming it all on the Iraqis.

Well, Bush certainly isn't blaming the Iraqis.

He won't even make them meet minimal benchmarks or take any responsibility whatsoever for their own country's future.

I guess you must agree with him.

Tell us exactly who you think is to blame and don't cite the handful of terrorists (many of whom are also Iraqis, thus making Iraqis to blame even for some of the terrorism) who are merely taking advantage of widespread sectarian violence BY IRAQIS or the Iranians whose involvement has been grossly exaggerated.

There are millions of Iraqis acting irresponsibly, either by taking part in violence or covering for those who do; there a thousands of terrorists at most and there are a handful at most of "Iranian" agent provocateurs on the loose.

Maybe you blame our soldiers, quo, eh?

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's endlessly amusing how this question makes the wingnuts' head spin. Even bonehead here -- as belligerent a Bush partisan as you could as for -- can't quite bring him/her/itself to admit that Bush did nothing, even as he/she/it offers up justifications, however feeble -- Look! Over there! It's Al Gore! -- for Bush's inaction.

I suppose we should be grateful he/she/it hasn't tried the "well, what should Bush has done?" gambit -- perhaps he/she/it realizes that's a tacit admission Bush really did do nothing.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybones: Al Gore . . . did not in reality behave in this manner in the one documented case where he was actually close to the issue.

When was Al Gore president, monkeybones?

Well, I guess he was after the 2000 vote before Bush and the GOP-contolled Supreme Court stole it, but when was he ACTUALLY in charge of the nation's security?

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Monkeybones, monkeybones,
for Mr. Bush he has the jones.
Spins a web, of Bush lies,
About George Bush does he fantasize.
Look out!
Here comes the monkeybones!

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: 6) For every "terrorist" killed, we are creating several new ones


that is what the evidence shows...


"The US invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism." - National Intelligence Estimate 9/22/06

"We can't kill them all. When I kill one, I create three." - Lt. Col. Frederick Wellman - Detroit Free Press - 6/13/05


Terror attacks 2006: 14,338

Terror attacks 2005: 11,111

- National Counterterrorism Center 4/30/07

29% increase.....with 45% of the attacks in Iraq.

heckuva job...

huh

Posted by: mr. irony on June 4, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, the above monkeybones song is sung to the tune of the classic Spiderman cartoon series.

"We can't kill them all. When I kill one, I create three." - Lt. Col. Frederick Wellman - Detroit Free Press - 6/13/05

How dare you post a quote, mr. irony, that shows an American soldier making a traitorous (as Bush and Cheney would have it) statement!

;-)

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Whether we like it or not, a presence like that will imply an ongoing police role in Iraq, but without enough troops to carry out that role.
...
A much better option would be to draw down nearly to zero, keeping troops and air support nearby but not physically within Iraq.

It sounds to me as though you advocate exactly what you oppose: a force in Iraq that will be too small to defend itself from the oncoming all-out civil war.

but how "nearly" zero do you propose, and over what time span? And how does the U.S. gain any freedom from maintaining large forces in Kuwait and Bahrain? Freedom to operate world-wide would follow from pulling out entirely from the Persian Gulf, which could be accomplished over 10 years at less cost than maintaining the deployment.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 4, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: Can anyone find one foreign policy success from either Powell or Rice?

Well, yes.

Powell & Bush succeed in getting many, many countries to join us in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The original Coalition of the Willing included 49 members. Many of these allies are still contributing to the effort one way or another.

Powell & Bush secured at least one very strong UN resolution regarding Iraq.

The Bush team negotiated an end to Libya's program to develop nuclear weapons.

The Bush team negotiated something regarding NK's nukes (although I don't know if that one will hold up.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

FAUX-Lib is correct about the fine work of the US Atty Gen in NY - Those Islamos were trying to build a building with their Erector Sets and no permits. Great work, by a Repug. Sleep well, FAUX - Oh, but some Pinko Military just dropped charges against a detainee at Gitmo - Aarrrghhh, he'll be coming for you and Sportsy.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 4, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: The Bush team negotiated an end to Libya's program to develop nuclear weapons.

Liar.

The program was not active when its "end" was negotiated.

If you accomplish nothing, it is not a success.

The Bush team negotiated something regarding NK's nukes (although I don't know if that one will hold up.)

You are right, your claim doesn't hold up.

Powell & Bush succeed in getting many, many countries to join us in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bush bribed countries into joining us and they didn't actually join in the invasions, you dimwit.

Powell & Bush secured at least one very strong UN resolution regarding Iraq.

A resolution that did not authorize Bush's acts, so his repudiation of his own "strong" resolution really doesn't amount to anything, now does it?

And it didn't result in anything positive, so I don't see how you count it as a "success."

To be "successful" the action must accomplish something and the resolution accomplished nothing that hadn't already been accomplished - Saddam's compliance with the disarmament requirements.

Posted by: anonymous on June 4, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well, hit a few nerves there, didn't I? Nice song, there, "anonymous." What are you, like thirteen?

Not quite as funny as you hauling up Vietnam as an example of a great Democratic foreign policy victory, but still pretty funny. I notice you had to get to the aerial bombing of Bosnia before you could mention "without losing a single soldier." Bush has a long way to go to beat Johnson's record.

Maybe Bush didn't leap to do something about hijacked airplanes based on that one memo. Maybe he should have. We don't have the details of the FBI actions mentioned there. But at least unlike Gore, who chaired the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, he didn't sell out airline security for campaign contributions.

You can spend all day telling me what you imagine Your Boy would have done. I documented what he actually did under similar circumstances.

Posted by: monkeybone on June 4, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

We need to send Griffith Observatory's new peg setter upper over to the Middle East.

Posted by: lampwick on June 4, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, the quote from Wikipedia below describes the accomplishments of the Bush team with Libya.

In 2003 Libya began to make policy changes with the open intention of pursuing a Western-Libyan détente. The Libyan government announced its decision to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and pay almost $3 billion dollars in compensation to the families of Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772.[10]

Since 2003 the country has restored normal diplomatic ties with the European Union and the United States and has even coined the catchphrase, 'The Libya Model', an example intended to show the world what can be achieved through negotiation rather than force when there is goodwill on both sides.[11]

In early 2004, the U.S. State Department ended its ban on U.S. citizens using their passports for travel to Libya or spending money there. U.S. citizens began legally heading back to Libya (some U.S. travellers went to Libya illegally through third countries during the travel ban) for the first time since 1981.

On May 15, 2006, David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, announced that the U.S. had decided to, after a 45-day comment period, renew full diplomatic relations with Libya and remove Libya from the U.S. list of countries that foster terrorism.[12] During this announcement, it was also said that the U.S. has the intention of upgrading the U.S. liaison office in Tripoli into an embassy. [13] The U.S. embassy in Tripoli opened in May. This has been product of a gradual normalization of international relations since Libya accepted responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing. Libya's dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction was a major step towards this announcement, and it is seen as an incentive for Iran to do likewise. Relations with Bulgaria has been troublesome after a group of Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV when they worked at a Libyan hospital; the nurses were sentenced to death in a Libyan court.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

But at least unlike Gore, who chaired the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, he didn't sell out airline security for campaign contributions.

That's a fascinating take on the Gore Commission. The issue there is Gore didn't push for bag matching because the airline industry basically said it would destroy them and at the time the security landscape didn't require it.

That was in 1997.

Here we are in 2007 six years after 9/11 and the shoebomber the Bush administration still hasn't required bag matching in a security landscape that demands it. They tell me I can't take a Dr. Pepper on a plane because I might conceive of a way to vaporize the entire tail section with it but simple bag matching? You know, to prevent someone from ACTUALLY blowing up the plane? Too much trouble for the Bush administration.

Now, careful focus your ganglia and try and guess which one of these scenarios is worse and more blameworthy.

You're a goofball. Better trolls please. Smarter ones, at least.

Posted by: tRex on June 4, 2007 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: To be "successful" the action must accomplish something and the resolution accomplished nothing that hadn't already been accomplished - Saddam's compliance with the disarmament requirements.

That's a high standard for interntaional agreements, and especially for UN resolutions. Very, very few accomplish anything, including Kyoto and the International Court.

But, the UN resolution regarding Saddam was helpful in persuading allies to join us. It particularly helped Tony Blair to justify a major military commitment aside ours.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush team negotiated an end to Libya's program to develop nuclear weapons.

No they didn't. Libya basically offered to give up its WMD programs in exchange for a lifting of sanctions in 1999 in then-secret talks with the Clinton administration, and that 2003 disarmament was the culmination of not only that but decades of economic pressure that finally wore out Qaddafi.

Posted by: tRex on June 4, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Until the United States is able to move beyond Iraq, it will not have the time, energy, political capital or resources to attempt anything else of any great significance.

For energy, political capital, and resources to attempt anything else of great significance, I think that the U.S. needs to move beyond its dependence on Middle Eastern Oil. Will Allen asked me about the "opportunity cost" of a Federal push for fuel sufficiency: on the whole, I think that it is less than the opportunity cost of the continual military deployment in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 4, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Libya basically offered to give up its WMD programs in exchange for a lifting of sanctions in 1999 in then-secret talks with the Clinton administration, and that 2003 disarmament was the culmination of not only that but decades of economic pressure that finally wore out Qaddafi.

Bush inherited a recession that had begun before he took office, and you give him full blame.

The 9/11 attack occured only 8 months after Bush took office, and you give him full blame.

But, Bush gets no credit at all for a negotiation that bore fruit beginning in the 3rd year of his term.

Hmmm.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 4, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone wrote: Well, hit a few nerves there, didn't I?

Not until you do better than: Maybe Bush didn't leap to do something about hijacked airplanes based on that one memo. Maybe he should have.

C'mon, bonehead...why is it so hard for you to say Bush did nothing? Is it because that if Bush did something, and that something had prevented the hijackings, 9/11 would have been just another sensational foiled terrorist plot?

Talk about hitting a nerve, boner...why can't you admit -- okay, you did, tacitly, but explicitly -- that Bush's response to the August 6 PDB -- which you seem to have conceded did in fact warn about hijacking -- was to do nothing but blow off the briefer and remain on vacation? Is the cognitive dissonance that bad?

Speaking of cognitive dissonance, Matthew Marler, amusingly enough, posts as if anyone gives a damn whether he thinks, let alone what.

On the more overtly dishonest front, "ex-liberal" wrote: The usual neocon water carrying bullshit. "ex-liberal" certainly can't imagine that his/her/its defenses of Bush are at all persuasive, though. I doubt even he/she/it believes these assertions any more, so what, ah, motivates "ex-liberal" to post them must remain a mystery.

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

But, Bush gets no credit at all for a negotiation that bore fruit beginning in the 3rd year of his term.

No, because Libya surrendered with its hand up to Clinton, that's why he gets no credit. If you don't believe me, read the Army War College's take on the matter, you nincompoop. They don't believe Bush had anything to do with it either.

Oh, and Defense Secretary Gates and Afghan President Karzai basically blew apart your "Iran is sending arms to the Taliban" argument today. First of all, there were only "indications" of weapons, not actual weapons. Then Gates said there was no proof the government of Iran was involved or if it was just smugglers. President Karzai said Iran was a close ally and that the whole argument was ridiculous on its face, and on TOP of it all Gates said that diplomacy was the best way to resolve our differences with the Iranians, not force.

Bwahahahahaha!

Remember after the invasion of Iraq when the administration claimed all the violence was caused by Syrian fighters coming over the border so it could pretend that the Iraqis all loved us for invading? This is that story rehashed for 2007.

My condolences to your dead arguments. May they rot in hell forever. They had one good day in the sun though, didn't they?

Posted by: tRex on June 4, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Bush inherited a recession that had begun before he took office, and you give him full blame.

Another lie. The recession began after he took office. It's fascinating to see how inconvenient the facts are to "ex-liberal"'s neocon agenda.

The 9/11 attack occurred only 8 months after Bush took office, and you give him full blame.

Blame for doing nothing -- a fact established, or at least not refuted, on this very thread, which "ex-liberal" dishonestly ignores -- to prevent the hijackings that occurred on his watch? Of course -- few are as invested in giving him a free pass for his dishonesty as you.

But remind us, "ex-liberal" -- what did Bush do after the August 6 PDB?

But, Bush gets no credit at all for a negotiation that bore fruit beginning in the 3rd year of his term.

He gets little credit for getting around to belatedly concluding ongoing negotiations, yes. The fact that you yourself note that he didn't conclude the process he inherited until the third year of his term -- while excusing him for the recession and terror attacks that occurred on his watch -- marks you yet again as a bad faith commentator, "ex-liberal." Why do you bother?

Posted by: Gregory on June 4, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

ex-human: "Fortunately, the Bush administration pays little attention to the New York Times and its ilk."

"Powell & Bush succeed in getting many, many countries to join us in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq."

Lucky fucking us, eh? Its ilk, of course, being 72% of the country and 90% of the rest of the world—many, many people, you could truthfully say, in this case. But you'll be down there in the bunker with Daddy, hoping for a pat on your tiny, empty head. "Fortunately", he doesn't care if you live or die, turd-brain.

Meanwhile, is anyone else convinced that egbert is fake, or replaced by a 15-year-old prankster? No one can make that many spelling errors in a forum where he is mercilessly ridiculed every day and still be a real person.

Posted by: Kenji on June 4, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, admit that what really makes you nuts was that Bush not only won a squeaker in 2000, he won again in 2004 by over three million votes in the middle of an economic mess and a war in Iraq.

It ain't that Bush is so great, it's that the Democrats are so lame.

And in 2008, I'd bet that pretty much any Republican they pick is going to blow away whatever lame candidate you manage to raise again. Especially Hillary.

Posted by: bugs on June 4, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

another nifty item about energy here:

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/GE_Jenbacher_Engine_Powers_Commercial_Landfill_Gas_Conversion_Plant_Supplying_Fuel_For_Public_Vehicles_999.html

And it's in Orange county.

Another plant producing usable gas from a landfill.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 4, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Awesome article in the new Rolling Stone Magazine on presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani authored by Matt Taibbi.
Entitled: Worse Than George Bush

A good line: "To the extent that conservativism in the Bush years has morphed into a celebration of mindless patriotism and the paranoid witch-hunting of liberals and other dissenters, Rudy seems the most anxious to take up that mantle."

"No one has profited more from 9/11 than Guiliani. Thanks to his lucrative speaking fees--as well as his law firm, security consulting operation and investment-banking arm, all of which prominently bear his name--"America's Mayor" has cashed in on his image as a hero."
"Like Bush, Rudy has repeatedly shown that he has no problem lumping his enemies in with "the terrorists" if that's what it takes to get over...his political hires speak deeply to that tendency."
"...While the mayor himself flew out of New York on a magic carpet, thousands of cash-strapped cops, firemen and city workers involved in the clean up at the World Trade Center were developing cancers and infections and mysterious respiratory infections...."

In 2001, his assets reported to divorce court: $7,000

Net worth disclosed in federal election reports in 2007: $30 million

Oh read this article!!!!

Posted by: consider wisely on June 4, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
So if you were president and received the PDB, what would you have done to stop the hijacking? Most of the info in the PDB is from 1998 or earlier. The FBI, according to the briefing, was already conducting 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considered bin Laden-related. What the PDB tells me is that bin Laden had been trying to attack the US for a long time (duh) and that some plane(s) may get hijacked at some time in the future or there may be some other kind of attack in the future. And the hijackings and/or other kinds of attacks may or may not have something to do with federal buildings in NY. So you would have done what exactly to stop 9-11 based on the info presented in the PDB?

Posted by: Dave! on June 4, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"Another lie. The recession began after he took office. It's fascinating to see how inconvenient the facts are to "ex-liberal"'s neocon agenda."
Well then let's look at some facts. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in March 2001 and ended in November of the same year. I guess that a month and 11 days in office gives Bush time to create a recession. That was pretty quick work though. However, several members of NBER's business cycle dating committee have said that revised data indicates the recession actually began some time within the final months of 2000. Don't like the non-partisan NBER? Using the stock market as a benchmark, the recession began in March 2000 when the NASDAQ crashed following the collapse of the Dot-com bubble. The US economy experienced negative growth in three non-consecutive quarters in the early 2000s (the third quarter of 2000, the first quarter of 2001, and the third quarter of 2001). Most economic indicators and stats turned south in 2000. Fact is, Bush inherited the recession.

Posted by: Dave! on June 4, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting article points out that many experts who originally opposed invading Iraq now support keeping US troops there, because our withdrawal would lead to disaster.

Brent Scowcroft...who openly opposed the war from the outset and was a lead skeptic of the president's democracy-building agenda...summed up the implication of withdrawal: "The costs of staying are visible; the costs of getting out are almost never discussed. If we get out before Iraq is stable, the entire Middle East region might start to resemble Iraq today. Getting out is not a solution."

Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Centcom Commander and a vociferous critic of the what he sees as the administration's naive and one-sided policy in Iraq and the broader Middle East: "When we are in Iraq we are in many ways containing the violence. If we back off we give it more room to breathe, and it may metastasize in some way and become a regional problem. We don't have to be there at the same force level, but it is a five- to seven-year process to get any reasonable stability in Iraq."

A senior Gulf Cooperation Council official told me that "If America leaves Iraq, America will have to return. Soon. It will not be a clean break. It will not be a permanent goodbye. And by the time America returns, we will have all been drawn in. America will have to stabilize more than just Iraq. The warfare will have spread to other countries, governments will be overthrown. America's military is barely holding on in Iraq today. How will it stabilize 'Iraq Plus'?" (Iraq Plus is the term that some leaders in Arab capitals use to describe the region following a U.S. withdrawal.)

John Burns of the New York Times.... "Friends of mine who are Iraqis--Shiite, Sunni, Kurd--all foresee a civil war on a scale with bloodshed that will absolutely dwarf what we're seeing now. It's really difficult to imagine that that would happen . . . without Iran becoming involved from the east, without the Saudis, who have already said in that situation that they would move in to help protect the Sunni minority in Iraq.

"It's difficult to see how this could go anywhere but into a much wider conflagration, with all kinds of implications for the world's flow of oil, for the state of Israel. What happens to King Abdullah in Jordan if there's complete chaos in the region? . . . It just seems to me that the consequences are endless, endless."

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 5, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Well then let's look at some facts. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in March 2001 and ended in November of the same year. I guess that a month and 11 days in office gives Bush time to create a recession.

But you admit that, contrary to "ex-liberal"'s lie, the recession started once Bush took office. Thanks.

So if you were president and received the PDB, what would you have done to stop the hijacking?

Shall we take that as an admission that Bush did nothing at all? Because if not, you flagrantly, obviously dishonest attempt to change the subject won't do.

admit that what really makes you nuts was that Bush not only won a squeaker in 2000, he won again in 2004

Actually, what I object to is that Bush, so far as we know -- indeed, for all Bush's apologists have established to the contrary -- did nothing at all to prevent hijackings by al Qaeda except tell the briefer he'd covered his ass and return to his vacation.

The question really is why Bush's apologists give him a free pass for failing to so much as lift a finger to defend the United States, but we already know the answer to that.

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, funny..."ex-liberal" cites as an "interesting article" a pice in the notoriously dishonest right-wing Wall Street Journal opinion page.

(Needless to say, he/she/it utterly fails to address the responses to his/her/its earlier posts...but then, we know "ex-liberal" posts in bad faith.)

Help that out, "ex-liberal"...was that citation deliberately dishonest, a deliberate insult, or both?

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I don't know what to make of some of your comments. E.g., do you actually believe that all those people were quoted incorrectly by the WSJ? If you really thought so, you could use google to try to check.

It's a side issue, but I can tell you that the editorial page of the WSJ has better factual accuracy than the op-ed page of the NYT. You may disagree with the Journal's opinions, but you will seldom find a factual error or quote out of context there.

I also don't know what to make of your quibble about the date the recession started. As Dave! already pointed out, some experts say the recession started in late 2000; others say it started very shortly after Bush became President. Either way, the point is that it's unfair to blame Bush for that recession.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 5, 2007 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: Gregory, I don't know what to make of some of your comments. ... I also don't know what to make of your quibble about the date the recession started.

Very simple, "ex-liberal": That my "quibble" exposed you (again) as a liar, that you post in bad faith, that you quote the execrable WSJ opinion page either as a further exercise in bad faith or as a deliberate insult -- I'll leave aside the irony of a serial liar like you vouching for the WSJ opinion page's accuracy -- and that in general you opinion isn't worth a bucket of piss.

You can't imagine your posts are persuasive. You do, however, seem motivated to post the neocon position, however in bad faith. As I said, one only wonders why you are so...motivated...to have that bullshit represented here.

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

ex-human: "That's a high standard for interntaional agreements, and especially for UN resolutions. Very, very few accomplish anything, including Kyoto and the International Court."

Hmm, I wonder why Kyoto has failed. Those wimpy UNers, eh? Imagine not being able to stand up to the depredations of the strongest nation on earth. Well, thanks to idiots like you, we will be losing that distinction within our lifetimes, and other bodies, including China and the EU, will be making more decisions for us. Congratulations!

Posted by: Kenji on June 5, 2007 at 4:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about "tough", but I know how they can stop looking like pansies:

I don't know how many Srebrenicas or Khmer Rouges or Post-GW Massacres Americans have the stomach for, but high tolerance for withdrawal from Iraq shows that many Americans have a lot of stomach… and this should scare the $#!+ out of Iran's leadership.

We've shown that we can stomach a withdrawal. However, the reality is that we are there in Iraq. It is in our interest tactically (fighting AQ, saving face/not looking weak); developmentally (working with a resource rich, culturally diverse, strategically located country on a large scale -- probably well over a million of Americans have gained experience in Iraq), and logistically and geo-strategically. The costs in American life and injury are distasteful, buy not high -- and injuries/disabilities are not insurmountable. And the cost in treasure is not nearly as great as it appears (much of the money comes right back to the US, would be wasted anyway, or would be used on training exercises and maintaining capabilities anyway. And there are great costs to withdrawal -- real costs like fuel, disposal of assets, security, loss of logistic capability and infrastructure and operating bases, decreased readiness of troops, etc.). Staying in Iraq is the best, and likely only, practical way to maintain a good operational capability in the region (if we were to simply pay large amounts of money to open bases in other countries in the region, they would not be active and would not likely be very effective initially when needed. Oh, and did I mention they'd cost a lot in obscenely large payouts to other countries.).

It is in our interest to be in Iraq so long as there isn't a place that is a higher priority.

But, we've established that we are not obligated and our commitment is not unconditional. We can leave Iraq at any time, but there is no reason to do so unless there is somewhere else our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors are more needed. We can cut and run, but not without somewhere to go.

Leaving isn't a realistic option, that's why we have felt comfortable keeping it in the political realm. And, though not always intentionally, it encourages AQ to attack wrecklessly. Feign weakness where you are strong and all.

Whether intentional or not doesn't matter because it presents an opportunity to use a strategy tactic that has been way under untilized in this war. Find strengths in your weaknesses and develop strategic advantages gained from your mistakes. Mistakes are only mistakes if you fail to develop the positives.

Posted by: aaron on June 5, 2007 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: [Y]ou will seldom find a factual error or quote out of context [in the WSJ].

If the meaning of "seldom" was the same as "often," I would have to agree.

[S]ome experts say the recession started in late 2000; others say it started very shortly after Bush became President.

The only "experts" saying that were from the Bush administration and even they had to change the definition of recession to arrive at that conclusion.

Either way, the point is that it's unfair to blame Bush for that recession.

Yes, it is fair. Bush is a Republican and the economy had been under Republican control, imposing policies identical to what Bush offered and implemented, for six years. So, yes, it is fair to lay the blame for the recession of Republican economic policies which were embraced and promoted by Bush, both as governor of Texas and as president. That is is not alone to blame removes none of the blame assigned.

Dave!: According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in March 2001 and ended in November of the same year. I guess that a month and 11 days in office gives Bush time to create a recession.

You are ex-liberal's equal when it comes to lying and obsfucating the truth.

So you would have done what exactly to stop 9-11 based on the info presented in the PDB?

I'm still waiting to hear a theory of what the combination of hijacking planes and snooping of federal buildings could mean other than ramming those buildings with the hijacked planes.

Come on, you are creative with the facts, surely you can be just as creative with theory and come up with some interpretation of how hijacking planes and surveillance of federal buildings together by the same people suggests something other than ramming the buildings with the planes.

ex-liberal: But, Bush gets no credit at all for a negotiation that bore fruit beginning in the 3rd year of his term.

It bore no fruit. Lying about it doesn't make it so.

BTW, the Wikipedia text does not support your assertion that Libya abandoned its WMD programs because of Bush; it merely says Libya said it had abandoned them, but we already know that Libya had no active programs at the time to ban. All Bush did was to get Libya to publically state an untruth (that they were giving up programs they didn't even have) in order to make Bush look good. That's not a foreign polcy accomplishment, at least from the perspective of the citizens of the US, since it didn't serve national interests, but only Bush's partisan interests.

That's a high standard for interntaional agreements, and especially for UN resolutions. Very, very few accomplish anything, including Kyoto and the International Court.

Funny, that's the same standard you applied when dismissing the sanctions against Iraq. Even a harsher standard in fact, because the sanctions were actually working and had substantive effect and you still belittled them as a foreign policy accomplishment.

Which simply goes to show . . .

conservatives will belittle anything accomplished by the opposition, even if it is a substantive and useful accomplishment, while praising similarly equal, or even worse non-substantive and unuseful accomplishments, by conservatives.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"The question really is why Bush's apologists give him a free pass for failing to so much as lift a finger to defend the United States, but we already know the answer to that." Actually, the question that i have is why you refused to answer any of my questions. I don't agree that Bush did nothing at all. 70 FBI investigations on bin Ladin activies seems to be something.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: 70 FBI investigations on bin Ladin [activities] seems to be something.

Now the wingers are claiming Bush was an FBI agent!

Even more that he was responsible for investigations that were initiated prior to his taking office!

Hilarious!

I LOVE IT!

Fact is, Bush inherited the recession.

Fact is, "recession" has a specific definition that did not apply to the economic situation prior to Bush taking office until the Bush adminstration came up with a new definition of "recession' in order to justify pushing it back before his term started.

As usual, conservatives like you like to make up their own definitions of things, like "recession," in order to justify their claims.

In the real world, people are required to use actual definitions, not every-changing definitions contrived for self-serving purposes.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: So you would have done what exactly to stop 9-11 based on the info presented in the PDB?

Ummmmmm . . . stepped up security at airports, put locks on the doors between the pilots and the passengers (something proposed many years ago but which the airline industry opposed with support from conservatives - Israel had been doing this for years - yah think they may know something about combatting terrorism?), put more marshalls on board aircraft departing from major east cost cities . . . etc, etc, etc; Bush still knew that hijacking, even if not linked to federal buildings, were being planned and did nothing.

Increase protection in and around federal buildings; even if you couldn't link the hijackings to those buildings, Bush still knew they were targets and did nothing.

You don't seem to be paying attention, DAVE!

The issue was stopping the hijackings and Bush did nothing.

I guess hijackings would be okay in your world, no matter how many people were killed onboard, as long as they didn't fly into a large building or two.

The bottom line is you are such an apologist that you insist that Bush only needed to take action if he anticipated the exact, fact for fact, scenario that actually occurred.

You would never use that standard for a Democratic president and you know it.

More importantly, that is such a low bar that any doofus off the street could have been a successful president in that situation according to you.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Anon,
"Bush is a Republican and the economy had been under Republican control, imposing policies identical to what Bush offered and implemented, for six years." So he/Republicans should get the cred for the boon from 94 - 2000 also. You and Gregory are as obtuse as can be if you think that Bush caused the recession based on the facts presented. Got other facts? Put up or shut up.

"I'm still waiting to hear a theory of what the combination of hijacking planes and snooping of federal buildings could mean other than ramming those buildings with the hijacked planes." Assuming one did draw this conclusion from the PDB (which i don't think you can but for the sake of this discussion, i'll suspend reality), I'm still waiting for you too to answer my question. It's great and easy to say you should do something...other than the 70 FBI investigations into bin Ladin activities, what would you do based on the info in the PDB? And why don't i think you can just assume they were going to crash planes into the WTC? Because the PDB said "FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." The part of the this that makes it meaningless from a preventative standpoint is "OR OTHER TYPE OF ATTACKS". That opens it up to just about anything.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: I'm still waiting for you too to answer my question.

Clearly, you aren't paying attention.

"FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." . . . That opens it up to just about anything.

Sure, because it might be anything, let's just ignore the one specific target mentioned.

Bush and Davd!: Ooooooh! It's just too difficult a problem when anything could possibly be the target, so even though we know the FBI has connected hijackings to federal buildings, let's just ignore that because if we put resources into investigating the specific link we might miss something else, so let's just miss everything instead so we'll have a good excuse for having done nothing! After all, we can just say because we didn't know the flight numbers, the number of terrorists, their names, the exact buildings targeted, and the date and time, we couldn't do anything!

Truly, you are pathetic in your infatuation with Bush.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

"Dave!" wrote: Actually, the question that i have is why you refused to answer any of my questions.

There's no question abot that; I told you that the subject-changing question of "what would you have done -- intended, obviously, to change the debate topic away from Bush's feckless and onto whatever I suggest -- is valid, if at all, only after you admit Bush did nothing. Otherwise, it won't do. So let's see:

I don't agree that Bush did nothing at all.

Oh, really? I'm still waiting for one of Bush's apologists to share what action, if any, Bush took in response to the August 6 PDB. Dave?

70 FBI investigations on bin Ladin activies seems to be something.

Sorry, but "Assuming someone else would take care of it" -- in reference to the FBI inquiries already going on at the time of the August 6 PDB -- doesn't count as "action taken in response to the PDB". Thanks for playing, though.

It's very simple, Dave. You said you "don't agree that Bush did nothing at all" in response to the August 6 PDB. Again, bearing in mind that relying on existing ivestigations doesn't count as action on Bush's part, but rather inaction, the question remains: What action, if any, did Bush take?

Actually, the question remains: Since none of you Bush apologists can come up with a single thing, why do you continue to give him a free pass on his inaction? And since you obviously do give him a free pass, why is it so hard for y'all to admit?

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

And again, Dave, the "we didn't know they would crash the hijacked airplanes into buildings" dog just won't hunt. If you prevent the hijacking, you prevent whatever they planned to do with the aircraft, be it crash into buildings, shoot all the passengers, hold them for ransom, or sell the planes on eBay.

You'd hardly suggest that al Qaeda hijacking American aircraft would be hunky-dory as long as they didn't crash them into buildings. Therefore, not knowing they were going to crash the planes doesn't excuse Bush's failure to take action to prevent the hijacking in the first place. As I said, that dog won't hunt.

And, of course, I'll certainly grant that it's possible that whatever action Bush may have taken didn't come in time or didn't work. But one earns the benefit of that doubt once it's established that Bush did in fact take action -- and so far, as far as anyone knows, he didn't.

By the way, you jackass, I didn't say Bush was responsible for the rescession; I merely pointed out that "ex-liberal" lied when he said it didn't begin on Bush's watch.

Of course, the fact that "ex-liberal" felt compelled to lie about the fact would seem to indicate some responsibility. Oh, but it's "ex-liberal"; he/she/it seems to tell lies defending Bush just for kicks, so I'll let that point go.

It's really interesting to see the Bush apologists' inability to deal with this simple fact.

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The CIA intercepts a communication that says: "Plan is to deliver anthrax to US Post Offices or other federal buildings around the country."

The Dave! (Bush) Standard: Let's do absolutely nothing because "other federal buildings" is such a large number of targets that we can't possibly come up with any plan to protect them all and even though we know that US Post Offices are the preferred primary target, let's do absolutely nothing to enhance security at those locations!

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"Sorry, but "Assuming someone else would take care of it" -- in reference to the FBI inquiries already going on at the time of the August 6 PDB -- doesn't count as "action taken in response to the PDB"."
Why? We have a one of many pending terrorist attacks. Better get the FBI on it. Oh, they are already on it? Well put them on it again so it looks to obtuse individuals that i am doing something!

Anon,
The PDB also states "We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists. Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings...". So the FBI had been providing information of pending hijackings since 1998 and Clinton did nothing. Why he should have stepped up security at airports, put locks on the doors between the pilots and the passengers, put more air marshalls on planes....

"Plan is to deliver anthrax to US Post Offices or other federal buildings around the country." Not quite correctly phrased to be a valid analogy. Is should be something like "Plan is to deliver anthrax attack or some other type of attack on US Post Offices or other federal buildings around the country." We don't know from that statement that Post Offices are the "preferred" or the "primary" target. We know they are but one of many targets including all federal buildings. We don't know whether to beef up anthrax security, bombing security, crashing plane into building security or social security. Your implication is that every post office and federal building should be secured like a military base.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"By the way, you jackass, I didn't say Bush was responsible for the rescession; I merely pointed out that "ex-liberal" lied when he said it didn't begin on Bush's watch." I stand corrected. I'll grant you that while the recession was caused by the Clinton administration, in one esimate at least, it officially "started" during Bush's watch (a month and 11 days in). Parsing words like this for the sake of argument seems rather, um, Clintonesque in nature.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Kenji: Hmm, I wonder why Kyoto has failed.

If you're blaming Clinton/Gore for refusing to even let the Senate consider Kyoto, I think you're being unfair. They were right to reject this impractical, unfair, worse-than-useless treaty.

anonymous: Bush is a Republican and the economy had been under Republican control, imposing policies identical to what Bush offered and implemented, for six years.

Not quite. Bush implemented substantial tax rate hikes, which led to a rapid end to the recession.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 5, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Why?

Because, dunce, the FBI was already investigating prior to the PDB. Remaining passive -- taking no action -- simply can't be considered taking action in response to the PDB.

We have a one of many pending terrorist attacks. Better get the FBI on it. Oh, they are already on it? Well put them on it again so it looks to obtuse individuals that i am doing something!

So you admit, then, Dave, that Bush took no action following the August 6 PDB?

I almost hesitate to point out that "putting the FBI on it" isn't the sole member of the set of actions Bush might have taken, but as I said, that discussion is for once you admit to his inaction (or provide evidence of action which has so far been conspicuously not forthcoming).

Your argument -- which, again, tacitly admits that Bush took no action -- seems to be that assuming the FBI weould handle it was all the action the President of the United States needed to do in the face of a hijacking threat by al Qaeda. Since you're making that argument, why not 'fess up that Bush didn't do anything else?

Really, Dave, since you obviously give Bush a free pass for his blowing off national security for his vacation, why are you so reluctant to admit it?

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Dave!" wrote: We know they are but one of many targets including all federal buildings. We don't know whether to beef up anthrax security, bombing security, crashing plane into building security or social security.

Note how cosnspicuously "preventing a hijacking security" is absent form this list, even as "Dave!" beats the "crashing planes into buildings" straw man yet again.

"Dave!" Obtuse, dishonest or both? I report, you decide.

(As for "ex-liberal," we know the answer is: both.)

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: So the FBI had been providing information of pending hijackings since 1998 and Clinton did nothing.

There you go lying again.

What you quoted provides no evidence that the FBI provided this information to Clinton in 1998 or even in 1999 or 2000.

Bush did get it.

And besides, the GOP Congress was too busy looking for non-existent wrongdoing by Clinton to bother with passing the necessary laws and would have opposed them in any event, just as they did previously.

We know they are but one of many targets including all federal buildings. We don't know whether to beef up anthrax security, bombing security, crashing plane into building security or social security.

Then, you are an idiot and clearly it is a good thing you are not in charge of national security.

If it is the only specifically named target and the first listed, it is by all grammatical and usage interpretations that reasonable people employ the primary preferred target.

Idiots of the same feather flock together should apply to you and Bush.

You seem to [not] think alike.

ex-liberal: Bush implemented substantial tax rate hikes, which led to a rapid end to the recession.

Uhmmm, no, you are lying again; Bush implemented substantial tax rate reductions passed by a GOP Congress which had been reducing taxes since they took over Congress in 1994 or thereabouts and the economy has remained mired in recession and poor economic performance for years.

That the Dow Jones has prospered does not indicate that the economic conditions faced by the vast majority of Americans has.

Most Americans are worse off today than they were in the late 90s under Clinton, both in terms of economic security and physical security.

Terrorism rates are up.

Murder rates are up.

Robbery rates are up.

Deficits are up.

Troop deaths are up.

Foreign policy failures are up.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: I'll grant you that while the recession was caused by the Clinton administration . . .

How could Clinton cause the recession if the GOP Congress was controlling spending and taxing and had been imposing tax cuts (which conservatives claim prevent recession) during the last half of the 90s?

Conservative economic policy (identical to Bush's) was in force during the last half of the 90s, so any recession is to be laid at their feet, not Clinton's.

Once again, your dishonesty is showing.

Better get a little more modest and cover it up, Dave!

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: Your implication is that every post office and federal building should be secured like a military base.

Uh, no, my implication is that post offices being the primary preferred target as indicated by those locations indicated with specificity in the message shoud ramp up security measures.

You demonstrate well, however, that usual conservative tact of imposing meaning on opposing points of view that aren't actually there.

It's called creating strawmen.

Look it up.

BTEW, isn't that exactly what Bush has done in response to utterly vague terror threats during more recent years?

Every time there is such a vague threat, they push the terror alert system to red and start alerting all kinds of targets suggested by the vague references in the threat, but in response to the more specific references (hijackings and federal buildings) pre-9/11 they did NOTHING. ZIP. ZERO. NADA.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"So you admit, then, Dave, that Bush took no action following the August 6 PDB?" No. The FBI was, at the time, the agency that was responsible for investigating domestic threats. They had 70 investigations going. Continuing the proper policy at the time was an action that Bush took. You seem to think that the Aug 6 PDB was some new light that pierced the clouds with some new revelation that should have precipitated many of the changes in the way our government and the numerous agencies operate since 9-11. That is absurd. There was an ambiguous threat. The FBI was on it. The question is Mr. President, there is this ambiguous threat, what should we do? The answer/action was to continue to let the law enforcement agency responsible for those threats do their work.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Dave!: The action Bush took in response to the PDB was to take no action.

Ooooooooookay.

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Anon,
"Conservative economic policy (identical to Bush's) was in force during the last half of the 90s, so any recession is to be laid at their feet, not Clinton's." If that is your position, then Republicans get credit for the 8 month recession in 2001 as well as the expansion during the 90's.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Anon,
"What you quoted provides no evidence that the FBI provided this information to Clinton in 1998 or even in 1999 or 2000." Again i ask why Clinton did nothing?

The following is the text of an item from the President's Daily Brief received by President William J. Clinton on December 4, 1998. It was declassified for the Report of the 9/11 Commission. Redacted material is indicated in brackets.

SUBJECT: Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks

1. Reporting [—] suggests Bin Ladin and his allies are preparing for attacks in the US, including an aircraft hijacking to obtain the release of Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Muhammad Sadiq ‘Awda. One source quoted a senior member of the Gama’at al-Islamiyya (IG) saying that, as of late October, the IG had completed planning for an operation in the US on behalf of Bin Ladin, but that the operation was on hold. A senior Bin Ladin operative from Saudi Arabia was to visit IG counterparts in the US soon thereafter to discuss options—perhaps including an aircraft hijacking.

IG leader Islambuli in late September was planning to hijack a US airliner during the “next couple of weeks” to free ‘Abd al-Rahman and the other prisoners, according to what may be a different source.

The same source late last month said that Bin Ladin might implement plans to hijack US aircraft before the beginning of Ramadan on 20 December and that two members of the operational team had evaded security checks during a recent trial run at an unidentified New York airport.[—]

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dave!: If that is your position, then Republicans get credit for the 8 month recession in 2001 as well as the expansion during the 90's.

If economic performance lags economic policy, what you and ex-liberal claim to be true in defending Bush, then it was Clinton/Democrat policies that led to the economic expansion that began in the mid-90s and Republicans in Congresss who progressively killed it by 2000 by repeatedly passing tax cuts, exacerbated by winning the White House in 2000 which facilitated even faster and greater tax cuts.

The question is Mr. President, there is this ambiguous threat, what should we do? The answer/action was to continue to let the law enforcement agency responsible for those threats do their work.

But that's not what Bush campaigned on.

Bush said that Clinton and the Democrats had been weak on national security and that he would do better, not that he would continue with the same policies, especially continue to do the same in light of new information such as was contained in the PDB.

Thus, he not only lied during his campaign, since he did not implement any new national security policies or pay any closer attention to national security issues, but he deliberately and consciously ignored critical new information in the PDB in favor of pushing for tax cuts that furthered the recession that came to be on his watch, caused by years of previous GOP congressional tax cuts.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"Note how cosnspicuously "preventing a hijacking security" is absent form this list, even as "Dave!" beats the "crashing planes into buildings" straw man yet again." Yes it was left out because in the analogy provided by Anon, it was not relevant to the point (security measures in his anthrax analogy) and the list was not meant to be exhaustive. Feel free to include that and others in the list. In fact, the point was that there are countless "security measures" one would need to take to make a building completely secure, if that were even possible (which it's not).

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: If economic performance lags economic policy, what you and ex-liberal claim...

Please pay attention, anonymous. My contentinon is that implementing a President's economic policy is different from his just being in office.

In early 2001, Bush had not yet implemented any economic policy. Once he implemented his tax cuts, the recession ended.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 5, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

it was left out because in the analogy provided by Anon, it was not relevant to the point

It's just a shame the Bush Administration didn't seem to regard hijacking prevention measures as relevant to the warning of al Qaeda plans to hijack airplanes, isn't it?

But your argument is bogus, anyway -- once again, by preventing a hijacking, you prevent the terrorists from crashing the airplane into the building. By including "crashing planes into buildings," you admit that hijacking prevention measures are relevant.

Again: It's a pity the Bush Administration disagreed with you. So why, again, do you give them a free pass?

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

[Libby is the] highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since the Iran-Contra affair . . .

So much for the winger talking point that this administration has been relatively free of scandal compared to Clinton's.

But then I guess the wingers count all of the false scandals drummed up with lying conservative activists when it comes to Clinton.

Dave!: The following is the text of an item . . .

An implicit admission that your previous quote was not proof of Clinton's knowledge, exactly as I stated.

BTW, "the operation was on hold," one of the alleged attack plans was supposed to have occurred in September, nearly two months before Clinton actually received the report, and the report of planned attacks before December 20, only 16 days after Clinton received the report, would have come too late to implement any of the above suggestions (e.g., locks on aircraft doors) except hightened airport security and you have no evidence that Clinton did not order that.

Again, you dissemble by pointing to irrelevant and easily debunked claims of Clinton inactivity which in any event would not excuse Bush who PROMISED GREATER SECURITY THAN CLINTON NOT SIMPLY NO WORSE and who did nothing himself in response to the threat, not even ordering increased security at our nation's airports.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Once he implemented his tax cuts, the recession ended.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, "ex-liberal." It's always amusing to see how dishonest Bush supporters -- but I repeat myself -- discount the role of the Fed, which -- since bush's tax cuts are still in effect, but Fed policy has changed over the years -- has a more demonstrable effect on the economy.

You really get a sick thrill out of posting the most dishonest Bush supporting assertions you can, don't you, "ex-liberal"?

Posted by: Gregory on June 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

dave!: I guess that a month and 11 days in office gives Bush time to create a recession. That was pretty quick work though.

then later...

dave!: Parsing words like this for the sake of argument seems rather, um, Clintonesque in nature.


did you know...

clinton was in office less than a month and 11-days when the WTC was bombed the first time in 1993...

what it is with the name bush and terrorists and dead americans?


Posted by: mr. irony on June 5, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dave!: In fact, the point was that there are countless "security measures" one would need to take to make a building completely secure, if that were even possible (which it's not).

Translation: It is not possible to make Iraq completely secure, so we shouldn't try and Bush's insistence on staying the course is wrong, wrong, wrong.

(Of course, Dave! won't admit that if he applied his own standards to Bush it would require that Bush leave Iraq and in fact that Bush abandon virtually his entire foreign policy on the basis that complete security is impossible to obtain.)

In other words:

"Don't wear your seat belt because even though it will save your life in 90 out of 100 accidents, the fact that it won't 10% of the time makes it not worth the effort. Live free of seat belts or die! There are countless safety measures that would need to be implemented to make automobiles perfectly safe!"

(Or maybe it should be "and die.")

"Don't put cops on the street or give them guns because you can never prevent all crime and therefore its not worth the effort and cost. There are countless policing measures that would need to be put into place to make our communities perfectly safe!"

"Don't give your kids vaccinations, even though 9999 time out of 10,000 it will prevent them from terrible diseases, because that 1 time out of 10,000 is just not worth it. There are countless health measures that would need to be taken to make our children perfectly safe. Indeed, don't even bother putting pedophiles into jail, because there are countless other dangers that we can't address."

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

dave!: "I'm still waiting to hear a theory of what the combination of hijacking planes and snooping of federal buildings could mean other than ramming those buildings with the hijacked planes."


Summer 2001, intercepts from Afghanistan warn that al-Qaeda could attack an American target in late June or on the July 4 holiday. However, the White House’s Cabinet-level principals group does not meet to discuss this prospect. This group also fails to meet after intelligence analysts overhear conversations from an al-Qaeda cell in Milan suggesting that bin Laden’s agents might be plotting to kill Bush at the European summit in Genoa, Italy, in late July (see July 20-22, 2001).


In late June, Time magazine mentioned a German intelligence report of a bin Laden plot “to fly remote-controlled model aircraft packed with Semtex into the conference hall and blow the leaders of the industrialized world to smithereens.”

dave...july is before september..

fyi...

how does the bush admin. compare with fighting terror before 9-11?

The White House’s Cabinet-level principals group will only hold one meeting on terrorism before 9/11 (see September 4, 2001). [New York Times, 12/30/2001]

According to 9/11 Commissioner Tim Roemer, before 9/11 the principals group met 32 times on other issues, such as Iraq, Russia, China, the Middle East, and missile defense. [Editor & Publisher, 10/1/2006]

By comparison, the principals group met to discuss terrorism around once a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton (see Late August 1998-November 2000). [New York Times, 12/30/2001]

Posted by: mr. irony on June 5, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here is something interesting for the wingers:

Libby has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Conservatives are demanding his pardon, unconditionally.

Conservatives blasted Clinton for pardoning Marc Rich, even though the pardon agreement required Rich to pay a $100,000,000 fine.

That's right, a 100 million dollars for you dimwitted wingers who can't count zeroes when it comes to American soldier body counts, deaths caused by the US, and other similar inconvenient truths, hardly a flat-out pardon as has been portrayed.

It was Libby who asked Clinton to pardon Rich.

Need I say it?

Too, too rich for words.

Pun definitely intended.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

dave!: The following is the text of an item from the President's Daily Brief received by President William J. Clinton on December 4, 1998. It was declassified for the Report of the 9/11 Commission.


so your argument is that clinton was bad...

and when bush came in...

he was WORSE by doing even LESS?

we already know that...

just look at the death tolls..

and gwb still has nearly 600-days left..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 5, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Note that while Bush had just a little more time than Clinton between his PDB and the attacks (none of the predicted attacks in Clinton's PDB actually occurred), his party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House and the GOP was perfectly willing to insert text into bills that the Congress had never debated or voted on, making it certain that Bush could have obtained the necessary legislation much more quickly than Clinton (the GOP would have held countless unnecessary hearings before adopting any legislation Clinton would have proposed, no matter how dire).

Note also that Bush, given his vision of presidential power, could have suspended any bans of weapons being carried by pilots, could have increased the presence of US Air Marshalls aboard flights out of east coast cities, could have had military jets on regular patrol near major cities and military installations, within easy, quick reach of any highjacked planes, could have alerted first responders in major target areas to engage in disaster prep exercises without creating a panic, etc.

Instead, Bush poured all of his effort into tax cuts that worsened a recession caused by previous GOP tax cuts and fed $$$ into the pockets of his campaign contributors and the GOP.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Libby has also been fined $250,000.

Question for the wingers: should he be made to pay it as part of any pardon arrangement by Bush?

Followup:

According to Paul Volcker's independent investigation of Iraqi Oil-for-Food kickback schemes, Marc Rich was a middleman for several suspect Iraqi oil deals involving over 4 million barrels of oil.

Libby helped obtain Rich's pardon.

Is it safe to assume that Libby and his close associate and oil industry hit man, Dick Cheney, were involved in a scheme, using Rich as the middle man, to undermine the oil-for-food program and prop up Saddam, either as part of a plan to ultimately invade Iraq or because they liked having Saddam as a strongman opposed to Iran?

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

30 months, sounds like he should appeal.

Martha Stewart just 5 months and then a teather.

Posted by: aaron on June 5, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK
In early 2001, Bush had not yet implemented any economic policy...ex-lax at 1:20 PM
Do not neglect the early efforts by Bush & Cheney to talk down the economy

…his economic downturn, quite simply, is the fault of President Bush.
It wasn't his tax cut, as the Democrats claim. The tax cut has not had enough time to have any positive or negative effects it will have.
What caused this economic downturn goes back to when George W. Bush was merely President-elect, waiting to take office, and continued on through his first six months in office.
Repeatedly, President-elect, and then President, Bush talked about how the economy was in trouble. Arriving in office following the longest continuous economic upturn in generations, President Bush seized on a stock market that had faltered some in the uncertainty following the 2000 Presidential election.
The "bad" economy, he talked about. Again and again. The "bad" economy.

And you can see right there how simply the words of President George W. Bush started slamming the breaks of the economy.….
So, to put it simply, President Bush's constant talk about the economy being "bad" led it to be so….
Why was President-elect Bush claiming the economy was bad if it wasn't?
Simply, the American people, those that voted for him and those who didn't, didn't support his enormous tax cut. So he set out to try and convince people that the economy was bad - which in Republican terms means in need of stimulation through tax cuts. If he could make everyone think things were starting to go in the crapper, he believed he could justify his larger tax cut.
Even better, since the President knew the economy was truly in good shape, once he got his tax cut passed, he could stop pretending there was a bad economy looming, and instead claim there would have been a downturn, but his tax cut saved the day….

Posted by: Mike on June 5, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: In early 2001, Bush had not yet implemented any economic policy. Once he implemented his tax cuts, the recession ended.

Pay attention, ex-liberal.

Bush simply continued an economic policy started by the GOP-controlled Congress, perhaps more aggressively, but nevertheless the same policy.

And tax cuts did not bring the country out of recession since they were simply a continuation of tax cuts regularly implemented by the GOP-controlled Congress after 1994.

If tax cuts were responsible for the recovery, then there never would have been a recession, since tax cuts had been implemented for years prior to the recession and would have prevented a recession in the first place.

More importantly . . .

"In determining that a trough occurred in November 2001, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity," the panel said.

Thus, end to recession or not, the economy was and remains in disarray and Americans continue to be hurt by Bush-GOP economic policies.

Moreover, the recession ended months after Bush's tax cuts so the recession didn't end "once [Bush] implemented his tax cuts." [emphasis added]

And you continue to lie about it and the fact that it was Bush's tax cuts.

It was congressional tax cuts.

The president has no ability to file or pass tax legislation.

Posted by: anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Funny that companies stopped hiring new grads back before the election and were resending job offers they made back in the summer.

Posted by: aaron on June 5, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

rescinding, hah, good job spell check.

Posted by: aaron on June 5, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Anon,
You make me laugh that you can type this stuff with a straight face!
"Note that while Bush had just a little more time than Clinton between his PDB and the attacks (none of the predicted attacks in Clinton's PDB actually occurred)...". None of the predicted attacks in Bush's PDB actually occured either.

"..., his party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House and the GOP was perfectly willing to insert text into bills that ... making it certain that Bush could have obtained the necessary legislation much more quickly than Clinton (the GOP would have held countless unnecessary hearings before adopting any legislation Clinton would have proposed, no matter how dire)." I have yet to see a Republican that would not "out-defense" a Democrat when it came to national security. Remember that the Republicans are the party that goes "too far" when it comes to national security. Histerical you are.

"(Of course, Dave! won't admit that if he applied his own standards to Bush it would require that Bush leave Iraq and in fact that Bush abandon virtually his entire foreign policy on the basis that complete security is impossible to obtain.)" I never said my standard was all or nothing (that appears to be yours). I said that you can never make something 100% secure. There is a difference between perfect security and chaos. In Iraq, Democrats want chaos. Republicans want somethings in between the two.

No i don't think that you should be required to wear seat belts but i think you are an idiot if you don't. Same with vaccinations - they should not be required.

Once again, your cops and crime analogy fails to pass muster. It would be more like there's word that some convenience store will be robbed. The solution is not to outlaw guns and put cops on every corner. It's to follow up leads on that particular case (just like the FBI was doing with the 70 investigations).

mr. irony,
"By comparison, the principals group met to discuss terrorism around once a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton (see Late August 1998-November 2000). [New York Times, 12/30/2001]". BFD. So they spent more time on it and did what.... Nothing. Results? Any changes in security? Any ramping up of air marshalls or security at airports? Maybe Bush is just more productive than Clinton. For God's sake if they spent so much time on terrorism, you would have thought that all the changes in US security would have been done by the time he left office and there would have been nothing left for Bush to do.

Posted by: Dave! on June 5, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dave! wrote: None of the predicted attacks in Bush's PDB actually occured either.

Bullshit. al Qaeda did hijack aircraft, or hadn't you noticed?

Posted by: Gregory on June 6, 2007 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Same with vaccinations - they should not be required.

Okay, that tears it -- "Dave!" is an irredemable idiot. Mandatory vaccinations aren't for your own protection, jackass, they're for the protection of everyone else who doesn't care to be exposed to your disease-riddlen carcass because you feel like you're too ruggedly individualist to get a vaccination.

Posted by: Gregory on June 6, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
You're ok with some government beaurocrats mandating that you should have to have some mysterious solution injected into your body regardless of health, religious, scientific, medical, economic or principle concerns and i'm the irredemable idiot? Everyone else that doesn't care to be exposed to my "disease-riddlen carcass" is welcome to get vaccinated, if they so desire. Call me pro-choice on this issue.

Posted by: Dave! on June 6, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: None of the predicted attacks in Bush's PDB actually occured either.

Translation: 9/11 didn't happen. It was all in your imagination. Look! There goes the Clenis!

I said that you can never make something 100% secure.

Which is the same as saying all or nothing in the context of your remarks that Bush couldn't do anything because there were too many potential targest. So once again you are lying about your own posts as well as mine. Par for the conservative course. Talk about creating laughter!

In Iraq, Democrats want chaos. Republicans want somethings in between the two.

In Iraq, Democrats recognize we already have chaos, both physically and policy-wise. Republicans want that chaos to continue, since every policy they have implemented since day one of the war has contributed to the chaos.

But you will continue to lie about what's happening in Iraq or rationalize it away like Cheney (well, duh, increased violence means that the insurgents are on their last legs and the more US troops being killed per day is a good sign!).

There is no hope for those who suffer from Bush Infatuation Syndrome.

They will lie to themselves.

They will lie to others.

They will lie about others.

They will lie about themselves.

But the key is that they . . . will . . . lie.

It would be more like there's word that some convenience store will be robbed. The solution is not to outlaw guns and put cops on every corner. It's to follow up leads on that particular case (just like the FBI was doing with the 70 investigations).

Uh, no, you are dissembling again. It is like getting intel that a convenience store of a particular type in a particular area is going to be robbed and alerting those types of convenience stores to take extra precautions, ensuring that security cameras in those stores are working, while increasing patrols in the areas of those convenience stores, as well as following up those leads most closedly tied to convenience stores as potential targets.

BTW, no one ever said put cops on every corner even when there is no convenience store in the area which just goes to show how big a liar you are when representing and responding to other posters' comments.

It would be putting cops on every corner where there is a convenience store of a particular type - e.g. Seven-Elevens (equivalent to focusing on an office building of a particular type - federal).

Another strawman proffered up by Dave!

Another strawman burned down.


Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Dave! wrote: You're ok with some government beaurocrats mandating that you should have to have some mysterious solution injected into your body regardless of health, religious, scientific, medical, economic or principle concerns and i'm the irredemable idiot?

Yes.

I might add that your paranoid references to "government beaurocrats," "mysterious solution," and "regardless of health, religious, scientific, medical, economic or principle" pretty much seals the deal.

Everyone else that doesn't care to be exposed to my "disease-riddlen carcass" is welcome to get vaccinated, if they so desire.

Your ignorance about public health issues is truly astounding -- or rather, would be, if you hadn't already demonstrated pelnty of ignorance, willful or otherwise, on this thread. For vaccination to be effective, you need as much of the population as possible to be immunized. Doofuses like you who "choose" to volunteer as disease vectors put entire populations at risk. Though it's illustrative to see "Dave!" recveal himself as the kind of selfish, paranoid, anti-science idiot that would have prevented our eradicating smallpox.

Call me pro-choice on this issue.

You simply don't have the right to "choose" to put a community at risk with your reckelss and ignorant behavior. There's abundant precedent that in cases of public health and safety, one's individual rights are superceded by the community's right not to be endangered by idiots who become disease vectors out of some half-assed, paranoid, loony libertarian idea of "choice."

Posted by: Gregory on June 6, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Dave!: You're ok with some government beaurocrats mandating that you should have to have some mysterious solution injected into your body regardless of health, religious, scientific, medical, economic or principle concerns and i'm the irredemable idiot?

Another implicit lie.

Vaccination solutions are not mysterious and they are not injected regardless of scientific or medical concerns, including health, probably not regardless of religious concerns (but even if so, you don't have the right to kill other people to effectuate your religious beliefs any more than radical Muslims have such a right), you are spewing nonsense on economic concerns which you can't back up, and you are no one to talk about principle you torture-loving, war-promoting, soldier-killing, freedom-hating, Bush-infatuated, bigoted, partisan hack.

Call me pro-choice on this issue.

No, we'll just call you a moron.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

"By comparison, the principals group met to discuss terrorism around once a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton (see Late August 1998-November 2000). [New York Times, 12/30/2001]".


Dave!: BFD. So they spent more time on it and did what.... Nothing.


actually...fewer americans died by terror when clinton was president..

bush fixed that..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 6, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,
"You simply don't have the right to "choose" to put a community at risk with your reckelss and ignorant behavior."
Listen maroon, me not getting vaccinated for smallpox means nothing if you (and the rest of the community) have gotten the vaccination. You and your community are protected. I'm not. I am not putting anybody, except myself, at risk. I don't know what is in most vaccines so it's mysterious to me, Doctor.

anon,
"you torture-loving, war-promoting, soldier-killing, freedom-hating, Bush-infatuated, bigoted, partisan hack." What are you auditioning for a Spike Lee movie? That is your idea of a serious debate?

"Dave!: None of the predicted attacks in Bush's PDB actually occured either.
Translation: 9/11 didn't happen."
Its a lie to say that the PDB predicted 9/11 anymore than Clinton's PDB predicted it. Both said that there were hijackings as well as other types of attacks in the works. The WTC was not a federal building. Hijackings and other types of attacks is meaningless because it means every type of terrorist attack known to man and then some. Let me guess, you both majored in creative writing?

Posted by: Dave! on June 6, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dave!: That is your idea of a serious debate?

It seems much preferrable to your idea of debate which appears to consist solely of lying, dissembling, and misrepresentation of facts and posts.

Listen maroon . . . Let me guess, you both majored in creative writing?

Funny you don't apply that same standard to yourself!

Now, go physically bend over for Bush, just like you do intellectually for him.

The WTC was not a federal building.

I guess neither was the Pentagon nor White House.

Bush's PDB predicted a link between federal buildings and hijackings. Bush did nothing about it. Federal buildings were the targets of attack with hijacked planes shortly thereafter.

Clinton's PDB predicted hijackings linked to hostage trading to get certain terrorists out of jail. Such hijackings never occurred during the remainder of Clinton's term.

Again, you shamelessly lie about what you yourself have posted.

Let me guess, you both majored in creative writing?

Let me guess, you majored in uncreative thinking.

Posted by: anonymous on June 7, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

More importantly, Bush campaigned on the promise and assertion that he was better than Clinton or the Democrats on national security, not that he was no worse.

He promised the nation would be safer with himself in charge, not just as safe.

So, even if your inane comparison had any legs at all, and it doesn't, you still prove Bush a liar and incompetent, by his (and your own) standards, and a man whose word is worthless.

Posted by: anonymous on June 7, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

monkeybone: Well, hit a few nerves there, didn't I? Nice song, there, "anonymous." What are you, like thirteen?

This from someone who uses "monkeybone" has his handle?

Really, you should think first and type later.

Again, when was Al Gore president and thus able to do something about highjacking?

Posted by: anonymous on June 8, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Anon,
"Bush's PDB predicted a link between federal buildings and hijackings". Federal buildings IN NEW YORK. RTFB.

Posted by: Dave! on June 10, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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