Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WHICH PART OF "VOLUNTEER" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?....Ryan Crocker gets results! At least, he does after his cables get published in the Washington Post:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ordered this week that U.S. diplomatic positions in Iraq must be filled before any other State Department openings in Washington or overseas are made available, raising the possibility that soon the agency will be forced to order its employees to serve in Iraq.

....Rice's message was sent more than two weeks after Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, sent her a cable with an urgent plea for more and better staffers.

I don't get it. These guys believe in the free market. Why not just keep raising the salaries for postings in Baghdad until they get enough volunteers? I doubt they'd have to go much above a million bucks a year.

Kevin Drum 1:43 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (124)

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Comments

I'm sure you know this, but you can't make the Foreign Service work like pure free agency because of civil service rules. Thank God.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 21, 2007 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes: I don't get it. These guys believe in the free market.

Repeat after me, Kevin— as many times as necessary until it sinks in permanently— markets are only free to the people who own them.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Posted by: s9 on June 21, 2007 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

They could have used some of that billions of $$$ that is now missing

Posted by: are required on June 21, 2007 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, I wonder if some folks refuse to go and QUIT and make a big public stink about it. Now that would be really interesting.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 21, 2007 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

A million a month

CEO territory baby !

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." - Ansel Adams

Posted by: daCascadian on June 21, 2007 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well Kevin, perhaps we should let individual members of the military decide whether or not they will accept overseas deployments too.

Foreign Service Officers, CIA officers, FBI and DEA special agents and members of the military signed on to act as official representatives of the United States government. As a practical matter, everybody can't be stationed in Paris or New York, somebody has to sweat it out in nasty places like Iraq or the Congo or whatever the next crisis spot may be. I'm sure being stationed in Sarajevo or Rwanda during the 1990's was no picnic either.

If that's unacceptable then maybe resigning and applying for a private sector job is the way to go.

Posted by: zenpundit on June 21, 2007 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

In the Republican mind the free market is a one-way street, where you pay them.

They are all probably mystified why bribery is illegal, but don't come right out and say so since they've always heard that it was, though the explanation is hard to follow.

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

cld: "[Republicans] are all probably mystified why bribery is illegal ..."

Because they don't really consider what they do to be bribery per se, but rather a creative form of "fiscal incentivization".

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 21, 2007 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

The State department employees should be content with $250K/year to work in Iraq. After all, it's supposed to be as nice as Indiana. I'm offered an engineering job in Indiana every two weeks, and I tell the recruiters I'll settle for $250K/year to have to go to Indiana. Of course, it's possible that maybe Iraq isn't really as nice as Indiana. But that would mean the Republicans are trying to mislead us about the conditions in Iraq. They wouldn't do that, would they?

Posted by: fostert on June 21, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps we need a category of H1-B visas for diplomatic workers. I'm sure that Bangalore and Mumbai contain many bright, ambitious young people who would be delighted to run the embassy for less than $250k / annum.

Posted by: joel hanes on June 21, 2007 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

I doubt they'd have to go much above a million bucks a year.

Sorry, Kevin. No one in government service, by law, can make more than the per-annum rate of the President. Regretfully, I can't remember what it's called off the to of my head and don't have time to look up. (Hopefully someone out there with more than 10 minutes spare time will be able to winnow out the datum point.) So the most that they can raise it would be to 399k/year.

Posted by: Off Colfax on June 21, 2007 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

The career foreign service officers obviously appreciate just how dysfunctional the Bush state department under Rice has become. She was proven a failure as the National Security Advisor and has not done much better as Secretary of State. We need competent people to represent our interests and Bush has no intention of providing those who would perform as professionals.

Posted by: Tommy on June 21, 2007 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kindasleezy Rice is about as brilliant a decision-maker (make that Decider), as her boss. Why would anyone who didn't have a profound death wish take this assignment? These people are either insane or dumber than a stump. In either case, I don't want them running my government.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 21, 2007 at 5:59 AM | PERMALINK

We need competent people to represent our interests and Bush has no intention of providing those who would perform as professionals.

coupled with competent people setting realistic goals at the top. But if you don't have that - and you don't - even the best foreign service in the world (and you're miles from there) isn't going to get you anywhere.

And just as a by the by, when did American foreign policy ever represent the people's interests? Well maybe Messrs. James Dole, Andrew Preston, L. R. Raymond et al.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 21, 2007 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes: Why not keep raising the salaries for postings...?

That's what I was thinking about janitorial jobs in the USA! You'd get lots of Americans wanting to do it if it paid, oh... say, $22.00 an hour. End of "illegal immigrant" problem.

Free Market and all...

Posted by: fingerfood on June 21, 2007 at 6:57 AM | PERMALINK

Liberals are all in favor of a command economy when it comes to things like health care and other pet projects. Why the sudden love of free enterprise when it comes to government jobs?

People who enter public service (conservatives, anyway) are motivated by reasons other than money. A personalized autographed picture of the president would be a much better motivator than a higher salary.

Posted by: Al on June 21, 2007 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

Do the laws prevent stock options? If you need 1000 workers, give them each $10,000 per year and 0.1% of Cheney's portfolio. He loves his country, so he wouldn't mind making the donation.

Posted by: reino on June 21, 2007 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

and what are you guys charging Exxon and Halliburton for doing their bidding? Surely they could pitch into the pot some...

though there ain't no amount of money gonna draw this mess down.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 21, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

As the fat lady sings;
in the rockets' red glare;
who sucks up the blame;
that the flag pole's gone bare?

Somebody has to give the order to abandon Emerald City.
Some Iraqi group is going to be video'd celebrating, flag raising, flag burning and effigy burning as they enter the Palais de Bush hubris. Will it be Sunnis or Shiite Sadrists? God forbid al Quaeda will even have a cameo appearance.
Bush, on his watch, will never withdraw the troops needed to keep our Embassy operating.
Let this political conflagration happen on the next, presumably Democrat', President's watch.
The world will not soon forget this spectacle when it happens.
It is a political fireball that may sear and burn for decades.
______________
Just something to think about!

Posted by: Craig Johnson on June 21, 2007 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

hell, aren't the blackwater mercenaries signing on for $100k. but, then, they do get to play out their mad max fantasies too; which wouldn't be the case for the desk bound state dept peeps...

Posted by: linda on June 21, 2007 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

How about this: Offer the looming avalanche of administration felons sentencing diversion in Iraq. Six months in Iraq volunteering for every one year of stateside jail time owed. Presto, sentence cut in half! Libby, Griles, Abramoff and others can don flak jackets and kevlar helmets and dodge Green Zone mortar attacks with everybody else.

Posted by: steve duncan on June 21, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Condoleezza Rice ordered this week that U.S. diplomatic positions in Iraq must be filled before any other State Department openings in Washington or overseas are made available

I don't see her volunteering to take one of those jobs. With all the success she's had as Sec State it would be fitting to make her a file clerk in the Green Zone.

Posted by: tomeck on June 21, 2007 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

A personalized autographed picture of the president would be a much better motivator than a higher salary.

Uh huh, Al. Put that on Ebay and see what it is worth.

Posted by: Bob M on June 21, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Are there no more Heritage Foundation interns in need of paying jobs?

Posted by: rea on June 21, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

So we have another victim in the George Bush Reality Tour of the Euphrates River valley...100,000 Iraqis, 3500 servicemembers, the most powerful military ever and now the State Department. Lovely.

hey, what's john bolton up to these days? Doug feith? Wolfie? liz cheney? There are four slots, right there.

Posted by: Northzax on June 21, 2007 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

So we have another victim in the George Bush Reality Tour of the Euphrates River valley...100,000 Iraqis, 3500 servicemembers, the most powerful military ever and now the State Department. Lovely.

hey, what's john bolton up to these days? Doug feith? Wolfie? liz cheney? There are four slots, right there.

Posted by: Northzax on June 21, 2007 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

HARD to believe that that there aren't lines of Heritage, Cato and Hoover fellows lining up to get their tickets punched.
Or National Review and Weekly Standard staffers--they've got the college paper, and God knows they've got the ideas.
Max Boot--that's your country calling! It's YOUR turn in the barrel!

Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 21, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I've put together a short list of enthusiastic candidates whom I'm sure would jump at the chance to serve their country by joining the American Embassy in Baghdad, particularly since few skills are apparently required except the ability to provide unwavering support of George W. Bush, this occupation, and various unrelated planks of the Republican party platform.

They are:

MatthewRMarler
ex-liberal
Red State Mike
Freedom Fighter
sportsfan79
Mike Kennedy
Mike Cook
Steve White
...and and a few others....


Since these aren't combat positions it's important to note that neither age nor decripitude -- physical, mental, or moral -- are considered disqualifiers. A list of open positions is available here and you may reach the State Department to get his process rolling at:

Via U.S. Mail:
U.S. Department of State
HR/REE/REC
2401 E Street NW
Suite 518 H
Washington, DC 20522

Via E-mail:
Careers@state.gov: General Recruitment Questions

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Rumor has it that some contractors working on munitions disposal have surpassed the president's salary (Can you believe how much we pay that guy?). So Kevin's suggestion isn't completely unrealistic. Just contract out the job. Or better yet, pull out and conduct diplomacy/puppetry via blackberry.

BTW, aren't the moderators being a little lax on that Al parody. The real Al is probably spinning in his grave.

Posted by: B on June 21, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

If that's unacceptable then maybe resigning and applying for a private sector job is the way to go.

You know, when I was in school, people were climbing over each other for a shot at a foreign service posting in places like Iraq & the Congo. Generally, only top of the class and/or Ivy League pedigree got you into such a coveted position.

Gee, I wonder what could have happened to dampen enthusiasm for serving the mission of the Department of State?

Posted by: Brautigan on June 21, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

It's Al's chance to make a difference!

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on June 21, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

joel hanes: "Perhaps we need a category of H1-B visas for diplomatic workers. I'm sure that Bangalore and Mumbai contain many bright, ambitious young people who would be delighted to run the embassy for less than $250k / annum."

heh.

In order to realize their vision, the neocons wanted to eliminate public servants who might defend existing institutional structures and attitudes. After 7 years of Bushco, I wonder how many competent career foreign service officers remain in the state department? And the smart young elite who would once have entered the foreign service? I'll bet many of them chose medical school instead. We may have lost a generation of talent.

In other words, even forcing people to take assignments in Baghdad, with or without hardship pay, may not help. Outsourcing may be the way to go.

I wonder if Karen Hughes could volunteer?

Posted by: PTate in FR on June 21, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler
ex-liberal
Red State Mike
Freedom Fighter
sportsfan79
Mike Kennedy
Mike Cook
Steve White

You bastard.

How dare you leave me off this list.

If the State Department wants to accomodate my salary demands, I would be happy to serve in Baghdad, and I would love to help the Iraqis set up their own stock market. I will ensure that they know what "free markets" are all about and I will gladly serve as President of their newly formed stock exchange.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 21, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hi,

Did yall catch the new Frontline "End Game"? It explains the Iraq policies in a way I hadn't considered before. Not that their theory is the right one, but it certainly is better than Common Knowledge -- which I had accepted.

Posted by: absent observer on June 21, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

And in the mean time...

BAGHDAD Jun 21, 2007 (AP)
The U.S. military announced the deaths of 14 American troops, including five killed Thursday in a single roadside bombing that also killed four Iraqis in Baghdad.
Elsewhere in Iraq, a suicide truck bomber struck the Sulaiman Bek city hall in a predominantly Sunni area in northern Iraq, killing at least 13 people and wounding 70, an Iraqi commander said.
The U.S. deaths raised to at least 3,545 the number of U.S. troops who have died since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
The deadliest attack was a roadside bomb that struck a convoy in northeastern Baghdad on Thursday, killing five U.S. soldiers, three Iraqi civilians and one Iraqi interpreter, the military said.
A rocket-propelled grenade struck a vehicle in northern Baghdad about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, killing one soldier and wounding three others, another statement said.
Four other U.S. soldiers were killed and one was wounded Wednesday when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in a western neighborhood in the capital, the military said separately.
Southwest of Baghdad, two U.S. soldiers were killed and four were wounded Wednesday when explosions struck near their vehicle, according to a statement earlier in the day.
Two Marines also were killed Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the military said.

I would imagine that State department officials aren't the only ones who don't want to be in Iraq.

Posted by: grape_crush on June 21, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

there actually is a functioning stock exchange in Baghdad.

Posted by: Norman redux on June 21, 2007 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Just pay them what a contract truck driver makes. They can by-pass the salary cap. They did it for the scabs when Reagan fired the controllers in 1981. He didn't fire me. I just told him to kiss my ass.

Posted by: nellieh on June 21, 2007 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I've put together a short list of enthusiastic candidates whom I'm sure would jump at the chance to serve their country

Red State Mike

I've been in combat three times, to include the first gulf war and Kosovo. How many you been in? Let me guess...none.

Since these aren't combat positions it's important to note that neither age nor decripitude -- physical, mental, or moral -- are considered disqualifiers.
Posted by: tRex

Sounds like it is right up your alley. It doesn't pay well but has status, which a previous thread here established as a liberal's raison d'etre. You're not there to kill anybody. You live in a Green Zone so it's enviro-Gore friendly. It's not a political appointment, so you can use the vavancy to jump start your career and be sitting in clover for the next president. You won't be running things, so you won't be blamed. You'll be right where history is being made, rather than spending your days checking tourist visas on some backwater on the night soil circuit. It does require some physical courage and an increased level of commitment to your country...oh, right...forgot who I was talking to...never mind. You're the wrong guy.

Posted by: I'll Volunteer for Anything on June 21, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

PTate - yeah. I used to be one of those young people who wanted to go into the foreign service, but was turned off first by the institutional culture during an internship with them, and then by the war in iraq. I have zero interest in serving a government that enters wars of aggression. Now I'm getting my mba instead, and I'll work in international business.

Posted by: Hillary on June 21, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK
Why not just keep raising the salaries for postings in Baghdad until they get enough volunteers?

Because they'd have to go to Congress to do that?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 21, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I have zero interest in serving a government that enters wars of aggression. Now I'm getting my mba instead, and I'll work in international business.
Posted by: Hillary

I respect that opinion, but also have a gentle problem with it. In the government there are two ways to be in a position to make a change, from the inside from the bottom up, and from the outside from the top down. The voters get to choose who gets to use the second route, but you get to choose if you are a part of the first. The officers who didn't get out after Vietnam, for example, are the architects of our modern military.

In short, if you don't like something, don't be afraid to try and be a part of the solution.

Posted by: I'll Volunteer for Anything on June 21, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

there actually is a functioning stock exchange in Baghdad.

Then I'll be happy to serve as the President of the exchange. Excellent! This makes my job all that much easier. We sit down, we hash out an agreement on my salary, I run things from my home here in the Northeast, Bob's yer uncle, we're on the pathway to glory and freedom!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 21, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Because they'd have to go to Congress to do that?
Posted by: cmdicely

More likely just contract out roles. Good friend just got back from a year in Afghanistan as a contractor working for state.

Posted by: VolAnything on June 21, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

rea: Are there no more Heritage Foundation interns in need of paying jobs?

We already got the ones who didn't really know where Iraq was or what it would be like.

Posted by: anandine on June 21, 2007 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well, like they say: there are some jobs Americans won't do.

Posted by: Chris on June 21, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Oooh. The bosses may have to force the employees to do the work that needs to get done. Scary. Can't have that. In left-wing-world, the employees tell the bosses what work they will do.

Posted by: Al on June 21, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Taps oer' U.S. Embassy in Iraq

As the fat lady sings;
in the rockets' red glare;
who sucks up the blame;
that the flag pole's gone bare?

Somebody has to give the order to abandon Emerald City.
Some Iraqi group is going to be video'd celebrating, flag raising, flag burning and effigy burning as they enter the Palais de Bush hubris. Will it be Sunnis or Shiite Sadrists? God forbid al Quaeda will even have a cameo appearance.
Bush, on his watch, will never withdraw the troops needed to keep our Embassy operating.
He will let this political conflagration happen on the next, presumably Democrat', President's watch.
The world will not soon forget this spectacle when it happens.
It is a political fireball that may sear and burn for decades.
______________
Just something to think about!

Labels: american embassy, baghdad, emerald city, cognitorex

Posted by: Craig Johnson on June 21, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

How dare you leave me off this list.

I had just assumed you'd be running things from this end behind the scenes at the State Department.

It does require some physical courage and an increased level of commitment to your country...oh, right...forgot who I was talking to...never mind. You're the wrong guy.

Yes it does, and if one was presumptively in favor of invading and occupying a country based on false premises with no post-war plan then one should be willing to step up and put their money where their mouth is. On the contrary, you'll remember me as the guy quite vociferously arguing top anyone who would listen that we not invade because not only was it morally unjustifiable, quite clearly it was going to be a disaster, the "greatest strategic disaster in American history" according to General Odom.

I am not here to clean up the messes of others who practiced terrible, and in the case of some administration members, criminal judgment. "Please mommy save me from my terrible mistakes so I can go bomb Iran" is not a legitimate plea. It's not my responsibility to fix Iraq for you because you were foolish enough to break it, Mike. Anyway, the fewer wingnuts there are willing to go to the Green Zone because they're scared, the sooner we can pull out.

Yeah, yeah I know: "But Islamofascists! Caliphate! They'll follow us here!"

Save it.

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

The officers who didn't get out after Vietnam, for example, are the architects of our modern military.

That would be the same modern military which is losing the Iraq War?

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

That would be the same modern military which is losing the Iraq War?
Posted by: Stefan

That would be the same one that stared down the USSR, succeeded in Panama, Iraq in 91, Kosovo, Southern and Northern Watch, threw out the Taliban with a handful of spec war guys, rolled up Saddam's guys in 14 days, and hunted him down in his own land. The military has crushed whoever it has fought in every engagement in Iraq above a platoon. The question mark is on political leadership and will, not the military.

Our enemies can't win over there. We can only choose to lose by deciding it is not worth what it will take to win.

Posted by: Vollerteering on June 21, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Washington Post 6/20/07:
At least 40 percent of State Department diplomats who have served in danger zones suffer some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Steven Kashkett, vice president of the American Foreign Service Association, said in congressional testimony yesterday....
Unlike members of the military, however, diplomats are not well equipped for war environments. Most get only a two-week anti-terrorism course as preparation..."Preliminary results from the State Department survey suggest that it may affect some 40 percent or more, similar to what has been reported for the U.S. military," Kashkett told lawmakers...."If you selected only those people whose unaccompanied tours were in war zones, these results would very likely be higher. Our perception is that this is a much more pervasive problem among Foreign Service employees returning from service in Iraq than most people realize."

In Iraq, many Foreign Service personnel have been exposed to frequent incoming fire in the Green Zone and sleep in vulnerable aluminum trailers, he told the subcommittee. Others live on forward operating bases in the midst of combat areas, while members of the provisional reconstruction teams are embedded with mobile combat units and are as susceptible to roadside explosives and attacks as U.S. troops, Kashkett said.

Posted by: Neal on June 21, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

The officers who didn't get out after Vietnam, for example, are the architects of our modern military.

Rumsfeld?

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Make it a junior year abroad program for Regent University and Liberty University students.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 21, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

The military has crushed whoever it has fought in every engagement in Iraq above a platoon.

And yet we're still losing....so what that we're winning those engagements? It's completely irrelevant considering that with every month, every year, the insurgency has only grown stronger. The plain truth is that the US military can't crush a few thousand lightly armed guerillas.

The question mark is on political leadership and will, not the military.

Oh, this old whiny excuse....it's never your fault, is it? It's always someone else's fault for not cheering loudly enough. It's like a team which loses the play-offs complaining "we didn't lose, the fans in the stands lost by not clapping enough!"

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

We can only choose to lose by deciding it is not worth what it will take to win.

What will it take to "win"? Genocide? Nukes? The deaths of 50,000 US soldiers and ten million Iraqi civilians? Lay it out.

Posted by: cdc on June 21, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, this is Condi's best chance to totally fracture the Foreign Service. Most of the Foreign Service officers that get sent to Iraq will likely wind up working in very small (like one to three people) teams running around the country without armed support. They'll just be considered civilians by the US military, who won't want to admit that security in 99.999% of the country is totally absent. So, these Foreign Service officers will be heading off into the wild and wooly without anywhere the firepower and protection that the military possesses, the same military which is experiencing five dead and an unreported number of injured casualties per day. How long does it take before Condi burns through the Foreign Service in short order?

Posted by: PrahaPartizan on June 21, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

"We can only choose to lose by deciding it is not worth what it will take to win."

I choose to lose, and it's one of the few areas where Bush and I agree.

Posted by: reino on June 21, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, this old whiny excuse....it's never your fault, is it? It's always someone else's fault for not cheering loudly enough.
Posted by: Stefan

Not cheering? Hell, you're yelling, "You're losing! You're losers!"

I find it ironic that in a thread about the State Department needing more people over there (Why? Are they maybe part of the effort and even important to its outcome?) that you say it's just the military losing, like it always was just a problem that needed a military solution.

Posted by: volunteeering on June 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt they'd have to go much above a million bucks a year.

I'd do it for half that - provided I could stay only in the Green Zone, there was a nice signing bonus, and a guaranteed pension with benefits.

Posted by: Thinker on June 21, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, you're yelling, "You're losing! You're losers!"

Now you're blaming us for what your inner voice is telling ya.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

volunteering: You're losing! You're a loser!

Posted by: reino on June 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's the US military's fault the Republicans have stuck them into a death trap.


there actually is a functioning stock exchange in Baghdad.

What do they trade, derivates based on dead and wounded?

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

That's 'derivatives'.

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

volunteering - perhaps. and I may consider applying again for the foreign service after this administration leaves office. right now I honestly don't believe it's possible to effect change as an FSO in state; it's been far too politicized.

Posted by: Hillary on June 21, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

The more I think about a stock exchange in Baghdad the more remarkable it sounds.

It must be the single crookedest thing on Earth.

Posted by: cld on June 21, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

The more I think about a stock exchange in Baghdad the more remarkable it sounds. It must be the single crookedest thing on Earth.

Yes, but the growth is explosive.

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

That would be the same one that stared down the USSR, succeeded in Panama, Iraq in 91, Kosovo, Southern and Northern Watch, threw out the Taliban with a handful of spec war guys, rolled up Saddam's guys in 14 days, and hunted him down in his own land.

Yes, but those wars were won by political leadership and will, not by the military....

It's true, we've done awesome when fighting smaller, poorer opponents who can't or won't shoot back. When people actually tend to resist us, however, well, then suddenly it's the politicians' and the public's fault, not the military's....

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

When somebody says a stock is skyrocketing, does everybody duck? How about when a stock launches?

Posted by: reino on June 21, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but the growth is explosive.
Posted by: Stefan

Speaking of which, howzcome you didn't show your face in the Hedge Fund thread a while back? Thought that was your home turf.

It's true, we've done awesome when fighting smaller, poorer opponents who can't or won't shoot back. When people actually tend to resist us, however, well, then suddenly it's the politicians' and the public's fault, not the military's....

I'm not going to change your mind, obviously, but you're wrong. Ask GC for her opinion, if you think are guys can't handle the best of theirs guys in an equal or often unfavorable fight. Hell, our women can and do handle their guys on a daily basis. You just have no clue how disciplined, skilled and professional our military is right now.

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

volunteeering: like it always was just a problem that needed a military solution

No, it's not. That's the point. There is no sensible military objective in occupying Iraq. GWB's father understood that, which is why he "cut and ran" after 100 hours. The military only works well when it has military objectives. Junior didn't understand that (he was probably too busy at TANG to learn the real lesson of Vietnam).

Posted by: alex on June 21, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Not cheering? Hell, you're yelling, "You're losing! You're losers!"

So? If I yell "you're losing!" at the Yankees, they still win.

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of which, howzcome you didn't show your face in the Hedge Fund thread a while back? Thought that was your home turf.

That's precisely why I can't comment. I keep away from such discussion so as not to violate confidentiality.

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

The military crushed whoever it has fought in every engagement in Iraq above a platoon

And that is relevant to the military's ability to succeed in Iraq how?

If the military is guaranteed to win every engagement above a platoon-sized one, then the enemy will simply never fight on those terms and fight on terms it know it will win and the US will lose. At present, there are no military objectives for the US in Iraq, so there's nothing for them to do except slowly wait until we decide they should leave.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

he was probably too busy at TANG to learn the real lesson of Vietnam

I don't think it was 'tang so much as coke that had GWB's attention....

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ask GC for her opinion, if you think are guys can't handle the best of theirs guys in an equal or often unfavorable fight. Hell, our women can and do handle their guys on a daily basis. You just have no clue how disciplined, skilled and professional our military is right now.

Actually, I do. My father was a US Army captain.

But that aside, the plain fact of this is that we're losing. We can say "no we're not!" as often as we wan't to but that won't change the simple fact.

Posted by: Stefan on June 21, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

volunteering's line of argument strikes me as similar to the French claiming how strong and impenetrable to Maginot Line is at the same time the tanks were rolling into Paris.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

volunteering's line of argument strikes me as similar to the French claiming how strong and impenetrable to Maginot Line is at the same time the tanks were rolling into Paris.
Posted by: Tyro

Actually my rhetoric is strong and impenetrable. I'm outnumbered here, yet continue to win all the arguments. QED.

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Norm and RSM have finally morphed into a single troll.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ask GC for her opinion...

And you are liable to get an earful about degrading quality of the forces because of the use of waivers to bolster numbers And about unfilled officer billets - 3500 in the regular army and 11,000 in the reserves - which is getting heavily relied on to the point it is broken. You are liable to get an earful about the degradation of the Honor Code and the sliding morale of the G.I.'s bearing the brunt, and the recipe for disaster we have whipped up and slid into the oven.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

This sounds very similar to the steps some Navy commands are employing to fulfill their Individual Augmentee requirements for deployment to Iraq, Horn of Africa or Afghanistan. If no one steps up as a volunteer, it turns into a "voluntold" situation. I don't know of too many Sailors who joined the Navy to become Soldiers...after about 2 weeks of Combat Readiness training your shipped off to the sandbox to fill much needed positions.

Posted by: vnv on June 21, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

volunteering, normally I'd asign bonus points for pointing out ambiguous syntactical constructions, but in this case the gerund "The French claiming", not the noun "maginot line," is associated with the antecedent "line of argument," and there is no ambiguity in that phrase. But yeah, echoing Disputo, you've become oddly Norman-like when backed into a corner.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I am not here to clean up the messes of others...It's not my responsibility...."
____________________

No one joins or stays in government service because they agree with every decision made. And no one in government wants someone who places conditions on their willingness to serve. So it's probably best that you stay home and sell shoes or whatever.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Lots of people are in favor of the free market as long as the market discipline falls on someone else.

"People who enter public service (conservatives, anyway) are motivated by reasons other than money. A personalized autographed picture of the president would be a much better motivator than a higher salary."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! This is an Al parody, right?

Posted by: nemo on June 21, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

And no one in government wants someone who places conditions on their willingness to serve.

Yep. Many people have found out the hard way that the GWB admin is not interested in people serving on the condition that they not be ordered to break the law.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

"That would be the same modern military which is losing the Iraq War?"
_________________

Ah, so it was you who graduated at the top of the War College class last week!

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Trashauler, like a parent with his child, sometimes a citizen has to let the government "make its own mistakes" and not clean up after his messes so that the government can learn from its own mistakes. Letting the government "face the music" by letting it stay in the metaphorical drunk tank for the night rather than bailing it out is probably better and more likely to keep him off the streets lest he drive drunk and hurt someone.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

"If the military is guaranteed to win every engagement above a platoon-sized one, then the enemy will simply never fight on those terms and fight on terms it know it will win and the US will lose. At present, there are no military objectives for the US in Iraq, so there's nothing for them to do except slowly wait until we decide they should leave."
___________________

The first sentence reads as if it were a quote from some study explaining the importance of the "inevitability concept" of Marxist warfare.
Nothing is inevitable in war, except that some non-participants will always claim to be expert at it.

As for current military objectives, you might read some of the military blogs a bit. Diyala province is getting a bit of attention right now.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Tyro, like most wingnuts, TH blames everyone else for his mistakes, and insists that everyone else clean up his messes. It's genetic. Hopefully through stem cell research we can find a cure.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK
But that aside, the plain fact of this is that we're losing.

The US is certainly losing, but I don't know that that is an indictment of the modern military so much as it is an indictment of the civilian leadership. The military didn't choose this war of choice, didn't choose to ignore the advice of those of its own senior officers who noted, even publicly, that the occupation would require far more troops than toppling Saddam's regime, didn't decide on policies like the mass sacking of the old regime's military that made a further mess of the security situation, etc.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 21, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Trashauler, like a parent with his child, sometimes a citizen has to let the government "make its own mistakes" and not clean up after his messes so that the government can learn from its own mistakes. Letting the government "face the music" by letting it stay in the metaphorical drunk tank for the night rather than bailing it out is probably better and more likely to keep him off the streets lest he drive drunk and hurt someone."
___________________________

Well, whatever metaphor works. While you're waiting for Godot, the rest of us will just have to muddle along as best we can.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Letting the government "face the music" by letting it stay in the metaphorical drunk tank for the night rather than bailing it out is probably better and more likely to keep him off the streets lest he drive drunk and hurt someone.
Posted by: Tyro

Exactly, or else the citizen may end up in the right seat of the car while the drunk government is attempting to cross a small bridge on a small island off of Cape Cod, and we all know how that story ends...

I liked your post better when you repeated it for emphasis, by the way. You should give the moderator heck.

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"'You just have no clue how disciplined, skilled and professional our military is right now.'

Actually, I do. My father was a US Army captain."
_____________________

Which made you, what, six or seven at the time he got out?

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

attempting to cross a small bridge on a small island off of Cape Cod...

Or Laura Bush, cruisin' and boozin' as a young lass, and missing a stopsign that had been there her entire life and killing her highschool sweetheart in the crash.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

And no one in government wants someone who places conditions on their willingness to serve. So it's probably best that you stay home and sell shoes or whatever.

My willingness to serve???

I'm sure you must be referring to George Bush enlisting on the condition that he not be sent to Vietnam, or the exodus from the officer corps because they wouldn no longer serve if it meant working for Rumsfeld or getting chewed up in Iraq.

You can't be referring to my willingness to serve because it simply doesn't apply. You don't serve an administration that you believe has acted illegally and foolishly, that has lied repeatedly to the American people, and one that continues on a course of folly that has put the American and Iraq people at greater risk for violence simply for ego and political expediency.

If you're in the military and you're doing your job that's honorable and right, there's no question. But to sign up and serve administration folly in Iraq just for the sake of serving doesn't make sense.

Just as an aside, were I so inclined to support the occupation of Iraq by joining the State Department I would never be allowed to, for reasons I pointed out yesterday: I didn't vote for Bush and I am pro-choice. Apparently that alone is enough to disqualify one according to many who applied.

This administration has put party, agenda, and ideology over American values and principles. It has placed opportunism ahead of strategy. I'm not about to climb on board and help speed up the destruction of the American ideal. I'd much rather sell shoes.

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Or Laura Bush, cruisin' and boozin' as a young lass, and missing a stopsign that had been there her entire life and killing her highschool sweetheart in the crash.

Let's compare...a just turned 17 year old teenager's crash done while sober as compared to a member of the US Senate who'd been drinking and missed a bridge and drove into a creek that had been there his entire life and was given a suspended jail sentence for various misbehaviors surrrounding the events...

Equivalent!

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Did young Laura run for safety and neglect to tell anyone it had happened until she had a nap and changed her clothes?

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Good point, Trashaulter and Volunteering. Also, Michael Moore is fat, which proves that we should stay in Iraq until we finish the job.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

"I didn't vote for Bush and I am pro-choice. Apparently that alone is enough to disqualify one according to many who applied."
_______________________

Those conditions would certainly surprise many who serve throughout government today, including the State Department.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Michael Moore is fat...
Posted by: Tyro

But I'm not sure he's spent time in a metaphorical drunk tank, which is our point of discussion, remember? However if *he* was the metaphorical government, I'm pretty sure the citizenry could not afford to feed him.

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I expected as a comeback for someone to say "if the government was Dick Cheney and the citizenry was his hunting partner..." but I guess the loyal opposition's snark glands just aren't pumping at full force today. Too bad.

Posted by: Volunteering on June 21, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Or the vice president shooting his friend in the face and refusing to talk to the cops until he sobered up?

It's real easy to paint with broad strokes. I brought up Laura's accident because someone else (RSM) brought up Kennedy's first. Neither is pertinent to the discussion at hand.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

tyro wrote:

"Good point, Trashaulter and Volunteering. Also, Michael Moore is fat, which proves that we should stay in Iraq until we finish the job."
___________________

Yes, you're right, tyro, I shouldn't have let myself get diverted by a meaningless aside.

The fact is most people join government to serve the country, rather than any single Administration. "Goverment of the People, by the People, and for the People" sort of thing.

As such, they'll take their oaths to serve without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. That means they'll serve under any number of Administrations, because the work of government has to be done, regardless of what political differences and desires drive outside partisans.

In both theory and practice that means one always strives to do one's job well, as readily for Richard Nixon as for Jimmy Carter (or even for a drunken, philandering Senator or an inarticulate, former drunk and addict, should either become President). People who cannot do that should best keep selling shoes.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

My snark glands are opiated in the wake of emergency dental work. I got there - it just took me a minute or two longer than you have come to expect from me....

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

"in the wake of emergency dental work."
________________

Hope you're doing better, BG. Dental work is nasty stuff, but not so nasty as having bad teeth.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 21, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

I guess RSM is too dumb to know that when a wingnut brings up Chappaquiddick in the middle of an argument, that he is admitting defeat.

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I cracked a molar last weekend, missed a pellet when I prepared the pheasant. But they make percodan for just such an emergency. I've been to the dentist, now it's just the healing. I may starve to death before then, I am so sick of yogurt and jello I could scream. But all in all, I've had worse days. A walk in the park compared to that time I slid into second and ended up with a compound fracture.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

I cracked a molar last weekend, missed a pellet when I prepared the pheasant.

Karmic retribution?

;)

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Touche'

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is most people join government to serve the country, rather than any single Administration.

We are constrained by the fact that work in Iraq requires anyone going there to do work under the auspices of the Bush plan, not the Magical Pony Plan. The Bushies should be left to clean up their own mess until responsible leadership arrives (or until the Bushies become responsible leadership, but that's not going to happen). As I said, when a child screws up badly, sometimes you have to let him learn to be responsible instead of trying to bail him out, which sometimes will just make things worse.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I guess RSM is too dumb to know that when a wingnut brings up Chappaquiddick in the middle of an argument, that he is admitting defeat.
Posted by: Disputo

The argument was done and the thread had moved into snarking. Since Tyro brought up drunkenness and bad analogies, it was an obvious segue.

Posted by: Volunteerer on June 21, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is most people join government to serve the country, rather than any single Administration. "Goverment of the People, by the People, and for the People" sort of thing.

Yes, I'm sure the US Attorneys who were fired by this administration for partisan reasons believed the same thing. Your platitudes ring hollow.

Sometimes service to one's country means opposing a corrupt government. You seem to have confused the two.

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

June 21, 2007 | In private, Bush administration sub-Cabinet officials who have been instrumental in formulating and sustaining the legal "war paradigm" acknowledge that their efforts to create a system for detainees separate from due process, criminal justice and law enforcement have failed. One of the key framers of the war paradigm (in which the president in his wartime capacity as commander in chief makes and enforces laws as he sees fit, overriding the constitutional system of checks and balances), who a year ago was arguing vehemently for pushing its boundaries, confesses that he has abandoned his belief in the whole doctrine, though he refuses to say so publicly. If he were to speak up, given his seminal role in formulating the policy and his stature among the Federalist Society cadres that run it, his rejection would have a shattering impact, far more than political philosopher Francis Fukuyama's denunciation of the neoconservatism he formerly embraced. But this figure remains careful to disclose his disillusionment with his own handiwork only in off-the-record conversations.

Yet another Bush legal official, even now at the commanding heights of power, admits that the administration's policies are largely discredited. In its defense, he says without a hint of irony or sarcasm, "Not everything we've done has been illegal."

"Not everything we're done is illegal." That's the best this group of malcontents and prevaricators can say about themselves. Sorry, I don't work for crime syndicates, I'm just funny that way. Shoes it is!

Posted by: tRex on June 21, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Alright, wtf is that? Any guesses? Yoo?

Posted by: Disputo on June 21, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

What? Metaphorical drunktanks and no mention of Shotgun, Let-me-sober-up-before-you-question-me Cheney?

Our enemies can't win over there. We can only choose to lose by deciding it is not worth what it will take to win.

There's truth to this, Red State. But if you chose to do what you need to do to 'win', you would lose in so many other ways, the cost would be staggering. Immediate end to your alliances with us other democracies for one.. and (if you still are a decent country) possibly even revolt on your own streets... Yes you could kill tens and tens of thousands, the vast majority 'collaterally' for a non-essential goal. And attain your military objectives. And 'victory' would be yours... temporarily... for you would have sowed the seeds for more of the same in future.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

What? Metaphorical drunktanks and no mention of Shotgun, Let-me-sober-up-before-you-question-me Cheney?

Not only was there mention, but it was by me first. Too obvious.

But if you chose to do what you need to do to 'win', you would lose in so many other ways, the cost would be staggering.

Well, that's an issue that probably the next Prez is going to have to address. I won't carry water for Bush/Cheney/Rummy, they screwed the pooch so hard it's carrying sextuplets, and I've had close friends die in the process. But here we are. I haven't heard it gamed out here as to what people expect to happen if and when we leave Iraq completely. I am occasionally reminded of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "...It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced..." I know, we differ on the "nobly advanced" part. The pictures of Iraqis standing with purple fingers and thumbs still resonates with me.

I don't think the next Decider, likely a Dem, if so probably Hillary, will decide to depart in toto. I think they and theirs will think it through and decide some other path of air support and advising. But I'm not in the loop so I'm just guessing.

Posted by: Red State Volunteer on June 21, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

RSV, I see your problem-- you're looking for a candidate most willing to nurture your fantasy ideology. Invading Iraq was a stupid idea. The worst possible group of delusionals was put in charge of it. For the most part, everyone is just embarassed about the thing and want to leave. You're simply left screeching, "Noooo!!! We need to wiiiiiiinnnn!" You wanted to see a wondrous fantasy come true in the middle east, that wasn't remotely grounded in reality, and it didn't work. I could have told you it was a stupid idea, and I saw this coming, but you wouldn't have listened. There comes a point when you realize that nothing more is particularly useful and you just cut your losses.

You can scream all you want about how "the army can never lose a platoon-sized engagement!" but the truth is that this is hardly relevant. The leadership isn't there, and the military isn't any more up for the job than a internationally famous heart transplant surgeon is up for treating a patient in need of emergency brain surgery. Give it up. You're making a fool of yourself.

Posted by: Tyro on June 21, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

RSV, I see your problem

No you don't, not from a few hundred word post, and its a stupid joke to think that you do. But you continue...

The leadership isn't there, and the military isn't any more up for the job than a internationally famous heart transplant surgeon is up for treating a patient in need of emergency brain surgery. Give it up. You're making a fool of yourself.
Posted by: Tyro

Tell you what my prediction is, leadership-wise. The next President is not going to completely depart Iraq. I will bet you on that. Repub or Dem. No matter how loudly their base howls one way or the other. Why? Because it won't be smart. Or maybe just no one else that is in charge is as smart as you. If I'm wrong on this, I'll post in all caps an apology to everyone for calling you out on it.

Posted by: Red State Volunteer on June 21, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

First RSM and Norm combine in their "I am always correct, therefore stop criticizing me" position, and now the RSM-Norm entity merges with Will Allen in their "you don't know anything about me, therefore stop criticizing me" plea?

What an ugly Frankenstein monster of excuses.

Posted by: Disputo on June 22, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes, I'm sure the US Attorneys who were fired by this administration for partisan reasons believed the same thing. Your platitudes ring hollow.

Sometimes service to one's country means opposing a corrupt government. You seem to have confused the two."
_____________________

Political appointees play by different rules than us mere peons, of course. I hadn't assumed that one must wait for a call from the White House to decide to serve.

And platitudes naturally ring hollow to those not disposed to actually serve.

As far as corruption in government goes, 99.99% of the government remains exactly the same regardless of who is in the White House. It is you who seems to have confused the two.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 22, 2007 at 4:58 AM | PERMALINK

"The Bushies should be left to clean up their own mess until responsible leadership arrives (or until the Bushies become responsible leadership, but that's not going to happen). As I said, when a child screws up badly, sometimes you have to let him learn to be responsible instead of trying to bail him out, which sometimes will just make things worse."
______________________

This is exactly why overtly partisan types are such pains in the ass in government, whichever side they support. They don't simply wish to serve, they only deign to serve a specific Cause. Which means that eventually their divided loyalty will drive them to quit just when things get toughest or provide them a ready excuse from serving in the first place.

Best most of 'em continue to sell shoes and confine their participation to partisan bickering.


Posted by: trashhauler on June 22, 2007 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK

TH, there comes a point in your life when you realize your time is spent most productively when you are working under competent leadership and direction. I suppose, from a spiritual point of view, there is value in serving for the sake of it. However, practically speaking, if you wish to "do good," he who is wishing to serve will do best when finding an organization with direction that values the employee's job. There's little point in serving someone who's incompetent, sending things in the wrong direction, belittles you, and doesn't value your worth.

You come across as nothing but a suck-up to power. Who wants to blame the failure in Iraq on the fact that other's aren't as big suck-ups as you are. There's little point in working for the Bush administration in Iraq when you know they're just going to screw the thing up. Respect is earned, it is not owed (except, it seems, when the Bush administration is involved). Don't give me this criticism of "overly partisan types." You only against "overly partisan types" when Bush is involved and those "types" are simply people who say, "I want nothing to do with this mess that the administration created and is too incompetent to deal with."

Posted by: Tyro on June 22, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

As far as corruption in government goes, 99.99% of the government remains exactly the same regardless of who is in the White House. It is you who seems to have confused the two.

It's all the same, is it? No wonder you're so easily able to ignore atrocity and wrongdoing.

Posted by: tRex on June 22, 2007 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

First RSM and Norm combine in their "I am always correct, therefore stop criticizing me" position

So prove me wrong, buster. Prove that what I have said is wrong. I am openly challenging you to prove me factually incorrect.

You can't do it, can you? Well, if you can't prove me wrong, shut your pie hole.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 22, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

"you don't know anything about me, therefore stop criticizing me" plea?
Posted by: Disputo

No, Disputo. It's "You don't know anything about me, therefore you look stupid when you say that you do."

Criticize away, just don't pretend that it is an informed critique.

Posted by: Red State Volunteer on June 22, 2007 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK
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